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Showing posts from August, 2010

High Expectations

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I tend to avoid hairdressers. And for a very simple reason: I usually leave the salon in tears. I don't know what it is. Perhaps I expect them to work miracles with the raw material that they're given and when I come out looking less than gorgeous I'm disappointed. Or perhaps it's also due to the fact that I have wavy hair which has a mind of its own with some wanting to spring up to a third of its length while the rest of it is happy to imitate straightness and no one has yet sorted out which likes to do what.

Whatever it is, after hearing several women talking about how they feel like 'a new woman' when they've been to the hair salon, and being ever so tired of always feeling so very unattractive, I made an appointment and went in to have some face framing layers cut in.

I regretted it almost from the moment I walked out the door. I can't blame the stylist - she only did what I asked and consulted me before she made the first cut - but what on others is…

What's in a Name?

When my eldest son was born it seemed that every second boy that was being born at the same time was being given the same name. I remember thinking that I'd never name a son of mine that name - it was so common.

Famous. Last. Words.

Guess what I named Son#3?

(But in my defence, I did change the spelling of it.)

When it came to naming our children DH and I wanted names that were not your run-of-the-mill everyday names. We gave up after Son#2. There were only so many times we were able to be original and after two sons and two names apiece our creativity was exhausted.

We also tried very hard not to give our children similar initials (we were thinking ahead to the days when letters would arrive addressed to our children and we didn't want one inadvertently - or purposefully - opening one that was intended for another). At least on that we succeeded.

But I'm thinking now that it was all a waste of time.

Son#3 has just started courting a lovely girl who just so happens to have the sa…

My Little Helper

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The Most Adorable Granddaughters in the World were here on Saturday afternoon and while The Most Adorable Granddaughter#2 had a nap, The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 helped me bake.

There were several advantages to this:
1. The baking tins are now full (which believe me does not happen very often around here);
2. Son#5 and DH are happy (because of #1);
3. I got to spend time with The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1;
4. What is for me a burdensome activity became fun; and
5. The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 got to do something she enjoys.






By the way, did you know that you need big muscles to do baking? I didn't until this weekend but apparently it's so.

Why I'll Never Be Rich

On the way to work yesterday I stopped off to post two letters. It must've been because it was Monday morning but the person serving me thought both my letters were to international destinations and charged accordingly. He then rang the total up wrong, added what he thought was the difference, and gave me my change. When I got back in my car I burst out laughing. Not only had I been overcharged but short-changed as well!

Did I do anything about it? No. To me it just wasn't worth the fuss for a few dollars. That's why I'll never be rich.

Two Dreams That Came True

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On Friday DH arrived home with a gift for me: my very own laptop! Since Son#2 reclaimed his not so long ago I've not done nearly as much writing as I'd like to because it's just too cold to sit at our family computer for any length of time. In fact, my time at the computer seems to happen in spurts interspersed with longer periods in front of the fire to defrost!

But now that's behind me. Now I can write and not be limited to one freezing cold corner of the house. Better still: this is my computer and I'll set it up the way I want to and if anyone touches it, watch out! (For those sons that are away at university but come home periodically to torment me by changing all the settings on the family computer, No you cannot play games on my laptop).

So that's one dream that came true (since I didn't consider a laptop a necessity and thought I would have to wait years before getting my own).

The second dream that came true occurred this morning when I jumped on the …

Though I Walk Through The Valley

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On the weekend we watched a touching movie that celebrated the love between a married couple in their winter years. Perhaps what made it so poignant was that the wife could no longer recall their years together or recognise her spouse or children and yet still her husband stayed by her side, refusing to leave her even when their children pleaded with him to come home. Even though she didn't know him, he stayed with her and loved her to the end.

The fear of being alone and unloved at the end of my life is one that has tormented me at times. My maternal great grandmother suffered from senile dementia and four - possibly five - of her children had - or have - Alzheimer's. On the other side of my family, my paternal aunt and grandfather suffered from depression. It seems that it is something we have in common so the fear of being alone at the end of my life, not knowing my loved ones, is not an idle one.

There's a joke about several older citizens sitting talking and one says th…

Impatient

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This is the last sock post for a while. I promise. But I got impatient yesterday to try two socks on two needles at the same time and since I wasn't completely happy with the work I'd done so far on one sock, undid it and used the opportunity to knit two socks from the toe up.

As my mother said last night, I make my hobby my work and become obsessed. Guilty as charged. She recognised it in me because she's the same.

But back to two socks on two needles. What can I say? It's fun and quick and no counting rows (apart from keeping track of pattern rows) since you're automatically knitting the same number of rows for both socks. And now that I've finished DH's socks I can devote more time to getting these ones done. Oh what a way to knit!

Changing My Mind

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Call it perseverance, a woman’s prerogative, or trying to redeem myself with sock purists, but I’ve discovered that knitting socks in the round can be fun. The reason? I’ve discovered knitting on two circular needles as opposed to four or five double pointed needles (DPNs). The blogs I read describing this technique seemed to suggest that it was a skill worth trying but that it could take a while to master. The first is true but as to the second, nothing could be further from the truth. As long as you remember to knit from the same set of needles all the time, it’s almost as quick and easy as knitting on two straight needles. Notice I said, almost. I suspect two straight needles are faster, but only just.

No more stabbing myself on double pointed needles, no more row markers that slip off the needles (if the instep is patterned and the sole plain it's easy to see where a row begins), and no more frustration. And if you're really clever and knit two socks at once on two circular…

Generic Toe Up Sock Pattern

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This pattern owes much of its construction, instruction and inspiration to Universal Toe-Up Formula at Knitty.com.

Before beginning, a word about gauge/tension and measurements. I don’t know of anyone who likes to knit a gauge/tension square and if the truth were known, I’ve never made one in my life, preferring to undo and start again than take the time to check my tension (all that wasted time!). However I do have a good idea of my own personal tension for most of the common yarns and needles, and it didn’t take me long to realise that for every size in needles I went down I gained a stitch for 8 ply (double knit/light-worsted), 10 ply (Worsted/Afghan) and 12 ply (Aran/chunky) or two stitches for 2 ply, 3 and 4 ply (also known as sock, sport, fingering, or baby yarn). Since I like to knit my socks on smaller needles (at least 3 sizes smaller usually) this saved me from having to knit a gauge/tension square. So really it’s up to you whether you knit one or not but it could save time …

Sock on Two Needles Pattern

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This pattern owes much of its construction, instruction and inspiration to Sox on Two Stix and the Universal Toe-Up Formula at Knitty.com.

Before beginning, a word about gauge/tension and measurements. I don’t know of anyone who likes to knit a gauge/tension square and if the truth were known, I’ve never made one in my life, preferring to undo and start again than take the time to check my tension (all that wasted time!). However I do have a good idea of my own personal tension for most of the common yarns and needles, and it didn’t take me long to realise that for every size in needles I went down I gained a stitch for 8 ply (double knit/light-worsted), 10 ply (Worsted/Afghan) and 12 ply (Aran/chunky) or two stitches for 2 ply, 3 and 4 ply (also known as sock, sport, fingering, or baby yarn). Since I like to knit my socks on smaller needles (at least 3 sizes smaller usually) this saved me from having to knit a gauge/tension square. So really it’s up to you whether you knit one or not…

Sharing Photos

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The Most Adorable Granddaughters in the World are staying with me at the moment. I'd forgotten how hard it is to get anything done with little ones around (how did I ever manage to do housework when my children were little?) so this post will be brief. But The Most Adorable Granddaughter#1 has shared her train trip photos with me and has chosen some to post on my blog, so here goes: