Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Almost finished

Almost finished
Originally uploaded by sarahkate.
One and a half of my barefoot mountain socks are finished. I should be done with these by next week. I really love the yarn, the colorway, the pattern.
These are the first pair of socks I have knit for myself. I've made two pairs of grown-up socks for gifts, and four pairs of baby socks for four babies. I think I deserve a pair of handknit socks. Once these are finished, I'm never taking them off. They are warm and soft and beautiful.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The "I (heart) Coach Ken" Shirts make their debut

We all snuck around for three weeks to pull this off. Blaze had these shirts printed up and we all organized to wear them. I can't begin to describe the look on Ken's face when we all whipped off our jackets at practice tonight during announcements. I can honestly say that he was tickled.
Roller Derby has really changed my life. I have met so many amazing women, made a bunch of new friends, boosted my own self-confidence (not like I really needed THAT), and created something lasting. I know I get frustrated with some of the tedious aspects of running the league and I tend to vent to those around me about them, but please do not misunderstand me, I love the Arch Rival Rollergirls with every iota of my heart and soul. Cheesiness now over.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Anime, Barbecue, Brunch, Taxes, Knitting: How I spent my weekend.

Last night I stayed up til 2:30 watching "Saikano" with Sara Jane and Jill. I have been obsessed with this Manga for about six months now, so when Tracy from Duff's offered to let me borrow the DVDs of the Anime series I was so excited.
The story follows a young couple, Shuji and Chise, as they fall in love and do normal High School things. Then Chise is taken by the government and turned into the Ultimate Weapon of Mass Destruction. (for those of you who are not enormous fans of Japanese animation and comics, this happens all the time in Japan. Really.) It's a very sweet telling of a popular story line, and I've been particularly enamored with Shin Takahashi's manga treatment. Sara Jane and I had been planning to watch it all week. We both cleared our schedules for all of Friday day. Jill had the afternoon off so she decided to join us when the boys went down for a nap. Unfortunately, our afternoon of Anime fun was thwarted by the appearance of Mr. Ex. He who shall not be named showed up, and since I didn't want to upset Miles and Jasper, I left. I cannot bring myself to be civil to that man.
I went to work, and spent my shift in the kitchen talking about Battlestar Galactia and Dr. Who with John Roman and Phil. I returned to Sara Jane after work and we watched the Saikano series straight through. I really liked it, but the characters were much more weepy and whiny than they were in the Manga. The animation was cool, but the transformation scenes were too short. It was a sweet series, but I think I preferred the books.
I took today off and Matt and I went to The Royale for the Hair of the Dog Brunch. They have a "build your own Bloody Mary bar!" Did I mention how much I love The Royale? I really think I could spend all my spare time there. Sarah brought me an entire Bodum of coffee this morning when I asked for a refill. Michelle, who has been one of my favorite customers for years, is now one of my new favorite bartenders. So yeah, props to The Royale.
Matt and I did the taxes. I don't want to talk about it. Suffice to say that things are not how we thought they'd turn out and people like us are really getting screwed. Grr.
The ARRG BBQ at Cid's place was tonight. I contemplated not going, after the taxes and all, but I'm glad I decided to go. I had a couple beers, spent some quality time with my girls, watched everyone do jello shots, and got to know a few of the girls better than before. Cid's house is really nice, her daughter is so sweet and well adjusted for a thirteen-year-old, and her man is a Grill Master. I think everyone had a good time.

The last thing I have to report is knitting progress. As you can see, one down, one to go. On this pair at least. These are actually for me. I know I should be knitting for all the upcoming babies and finishing my Booty Swap loot, but I deserve fancy socks. I really do.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Booty Swap!

Booty Swap!
Originally uploaded by sarahkate.
This is all the booty my Booty Swap Pal Mad Mary Rackham
  • aka Kathy
  • sent me! It just arrived and I was so happy I squeaked in a totally non-pirate fashion. Look at the goodies: pirate candles! herb and vegetable seeds for the garden! Kidsilk haze! chocolate dubloons! a recipe for tomato and corn pie! and the cutest little crocheted parrot! Everything she included was perfect and precious and thoughtful and totally personal, exactly the way a swap of small treasures should be. Thank you so much Kathy! My day is made. I can't wait to try out the recipe, and I'm going to sprout the spring planting seeds this weekend in the basement since it's still cold here in St. Louis. I'm really excited, I've never grown a lot of these before. I'm especially stoked about the edamame. They are my favorite snack, and it should be cool to grow them. I know Missouri grows a lot of soybeans, so I know they'll flourish. The little parrot is so cute, the picture doesn't do him justice. He's sitting on the keyboard right now. I'm going to have to find something neat to make with this kidsilk haze, it is so soft! Thank you thank you thank you Kathy! yay booty swap!

    Tuesday, March 21, 2006

    Self Portrait Tuesday

    I'm in cleaning mode. Today we do the basement and the office. I'm wearing my gardening hat, even though I'm working inside because I had planned to do gardening today. Alas, snow is on the ground and I am stuck in the house. Good hat anyway, don't you think?

    Monday, March 20, 2006

    So Far Behind on Everything

    I have sixty-four unread emails in the ARRG account, seventy-two in my own account, and five new messages on MySpace that need to be answered. Also, I have eighty-plus photos to upload, a sink full of dishes to wash, four loads of laundry to fold, a very dirty bathroom that's screamin' for a cleanin', and two filthy catboxes to empty. Add that to three and one half pairs of unknit socks, two unfinished novels, and six DVDs to return. Oops, I almost forgot: one tub of recycling to sort and twelve phone calls to make before tomorrow. So why am I blogging? Because procrastination is my forte.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Matt is paranoid

    So around seven fifteen tonight I pulled a muscle in my back. It hurts to sit up straight, and I'm walking kind of hunched. Matt is worried that everyone will think I just SAID I hurt my back when I actually wanted to stay home and get the house in order because that's what I wrote in the post earlier today. Frankly I don't really care if no one believes me, MY @#$%^ BACK HURTS, and I'm not skating tonight. I'm so sure that anyone who knows me would think I'd rather clean the house than skate. I think Matt is feeling guilty because he shirked his responsibilities as derby doorman tonight to stay home and "take care" of me. I think I'm going to call my chiropractor first thing tomorrow morning. Ugh.

    Self Portrait Tuesday

    I think I've missed the last two of these. I haven't been the best blogger. I'm waiting for Jill to come over today so we can run our errands together, and she's late. It is completely understandable, she has two small boys. Two small boys would make anyone late. While I've been waiting I've been catching up on reading my "MySpace" bulletins and doing a few memes. The last one I did asked what I was wearing, and I said "a turban" among other things. So here I am in my turban. It's actually a scarf wrapped around my head. I didn't feel like doing anything with my hair today. Anyway, that reminded me that I needed to blog and I figured a turban shot would be cool. I haven't actually checked the theme on the SPT sight in a while, so I'm sure I'm out of the loop. I think Jill's here, I'm off. Happy Tuesday.
    Later: due to a problem with my DSL connection, this post did not go up on schedule. It was supposed to get up there at 11:45am. I have returned from errands, successful and satisfied. I went to both banks, and both grocery stores. I made hummus, green bean walnut pate, peanut noodles and potato leek soup. I think I'm going to take the night off practice to get the house in order and finish up the cooking. I also have a ton of derby email to answer.

    Monday, March 13, 2006

    Derby embroidery and more knitting

    On Sunday we had two guests at derby practice. The lovely and talented Miss Penny "It's my Birthday" Royalty and the famous and much missed Kate "Stinky" Strembicki. Kate borrowed my skates for practice, so I sat out and worked on the labeling of our derby-owned gear. Barb wanted me to mark the pads and helmets so that we know which ones we lend out and to make sure we get them back. I embroidered "ARRG" on all twelve pieces and painted "ARRG" on the helmets. Dana accused me of being a den mother. I hate to admit it, but that is an accurate assessment of what I did last night. I sat on the sidelines, watching my girls skate while I embroidered, knit and cheered them on. At least I got some progress done on the socks. Check it: I'm almost done with these. I really like the way this self-patterning stuff is knitting up. I know it's considered lazy to use this stuff, and that if I was really a hardcore sock knitter I'd just do fairisle socks, but I've only done stranded knitting once and I REALLY didn't enjoy it, as it was totally headache-inducing. I understand why people do fairisle, but not why they do it for socks. I guess it could make them warmer, but I don't like my socks too thick. I tend to layer my footwear, so thickness in socks can be a minus. When you are wearing tights, knee socks, anklets and legwarmers, you don't want to go with super-thick anything, unless it is January and fifty below. Okay, enough on sock theory. He's another close up of the pattern. Can you tell that I'm also really happy that I figured out how to post multiple photos in each post on the blog? I'm getting better at this. Prepare to be overwhelmed.

    Saturday, March 11, 2006

    TV on DVD

    So I have a little problem.
    It comes in the form of Netflix. For those who don't know Netflix, I'm very sorry for you. Netflix is a monthly DVD subscription service. You sign up on their website, and for a few bucks a month, they send you all the DVDs you can consume, no late fees, no time limit, no annoying high school slasher movie buffs behind a return counter to scoff at your choice of celluloid entertainment. And they have EVERYTHING. I heart Netflix.
    I super heart the TV on DVD sections of their library. Lately I've been into Freaks and Geeks and Battlestar Galactica. I'm so into them that I chose to spend Saturday Night at home watching them instead of going out to be social. I know how lame I am. I own my lameness. I blog about my lameness.
    Fortunately, TV on DVD is highly conducive to knitting. Here's my knitting progress: further along on two socks.
    I know it doesn't look like much, but the other knitting I'm doing right now is for a swap and gift knitting for someone who has been known to peruse the blog on occasion. So one photo is all you get.

    Friday, March 10, 2006

    ARRG props from Coach Ken, some knitting news.

    I wanted to share this with the rest of the world. Our Coach wrote this on our mailing list this morning. I am so very proud, and we are lucky to have him.

    "I would like to take a few minutes and talk to everyone about last night. When I skated off the floor I looked around at everyone like I do after every practice. In case no one realizes I do this with a purpose. I'm looking for injuries (that someone may be hiding), levels of fatigue, skin color, rapid assortment of maladies. However, last night, for the first time I saw something different. Although there were the usual sweaty bodies and tired muscles, there was a quietness that I hadn't seen before. People were smiling and there were looks of accomplishment. Up to last night all the skaters had been skating with their heads.....learning new techniques...going through the exercises...just trying to stay on their feet. But for the first time, last night skaters were skating with their hearts. They pushed past their physical endurance levels...their technical limits ...pain thresholds and climbed that first rung to being a Roller Derby Skater. I saw individuals instinctively jumping over downed skaters like they had been doing this all their lives. Dodging blocks, driving through packs, weaving back and forth through skaters with the confidence of veteran skaters. Doing things like that just a short 6 weeks ago would have been impossible. I've yet to learn the names of all the skaters, but I guarantee I know the strengths and weaknesses of everyone, and there is no doubt of the improvement. When we started, I promised everyone a tighter butt if they kept it up...and it is working. Everyone is leaner...their muscles are hard, they're stronger...and if I might add without being accused of harassment...your butts are looking better too! Last night I "high fived" everyone coming off the floor. If you noticed, that's the first time that's happened. That's because you earned it. That is me showing you the highest form of respect. I was blown away by your performance, and I bow gracefully to your talent and devotion. I feel honored to be among you. The training will be fact you'll probably be glad to have a night with a bout before an audience...because it will mean easy night!
    Be glad you can go home sore....because you earned it! This is the greatest bunch of skaters I've had the privilege to associate with, and I'm proud to be the Arch Rival's coach.


    All is going great on the Derby front, I am proud to be a part of this.
    All is also going great on the knitting front. I have turned the heel on sock #1, almost finished the cuff on sock #2 and I am about to graft the last toe on baby socks #4. For those of you that don't know, I am currently up to my eyeballs in sock knitting, baby and otherwise. I need six pairs of baby socks and three pairs of adult socks by the end of April. This may sound easy, but I have work and babysitting and Derby practice. I have completed three pairs of baby socks and I am going blind.

    Thursday, March 09, 2006

    Knitting with Mashu

    Knitting with Mashu
    Originally uploaded by sarahkate.
    Spent the day in full gypsy regalia with the boys. Katie came over and we made dinner for Matt, Joe and Zach. Then we played photo shoot. This is one of the best ones from tonight. She also gave me a quick photoshop lesson.
    I started a new pair of socks tonight, using some of the Christmas yarn from Mom. Red and soft and lovely. I will finish the baby socks before the babies come, I just have a need to knit three pairs of socks at once.

    Tuesday, March 07, 2006

    Pirate day. All day, everyday.

    I'm participating in a "booty swap", so here's my pirate name. I have tons of great booty ideas for my secret booty buddy. I hope she likes the loot I've collected for her!

    My pirate name is:

    Captain Grace Read

    Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Even through many pirates have a reputation for not being the brightest souls on earth, you defy the sterotypes. You've got taste and education. Arr!

    Get your own pirate name from

    Current knitting

    current knitting
    Originally uploaded by sarahkate.
    For those who are interested, here's the update on my knitting exploits. I'm halfway finished with the third pair of baby socks, and I started a pair of grown-up socks today as well. (grown-up socks on the left, baby socks on the right, Manos x-mas yarn from Dan in the middle) I was getting too squinty working on those tiny size 0 needles that I decided to switch to some big socks, to give my eyes a rest. I also wanted to use up some of that cool sockotta yarn I had laying around. I've made one other pair with this stuff and I like it. I'm usually happy with the self-patterning stuff. It makes me look good to the non-knitting world, and it knits up quick.
    The black and manos thing on the dpns in front is the second inside-out hat. You may recall the big blue and rainbow striped inside-out hat that I made when I was sick. My love it for its insanity is still strong, but I wanted a more "formal" version. Well a "formal" version of that hat is a strange concept, maybe "muted" is a better description of what I'm going for. We'll go with muted. The yarns in this one are debbie bliss cashmerino chunky and manos del Uruguay. The manos was a secret santa gift from my buddy Dan at work. I love love love this yarn. I'm happy with the debbie bliss stuff too. I've kinda paused this hat, since I've been in a socky mood lately.
    I gave John Roman the socks I knit for baby Belly today. He really liked them. I hope all the other mommies and daddies like the baby socks I've been making. I don't see how anyone could resist them, they are so unbelievably adorable.

    Friday, March 03, 2006

    Decadent Friday

    I'm headed over to Toni's. Dean took the kids to Kentucky for a rover weekend, and her cousin Kathy is driving up from Springfield to hang out. We are going to watch all three extendo-LOTR movies in a row. We might watch Serenity and Shaun of the Dead as well. Much popcorn will be consumed. I will probably not be posting pictures of this event. Probably.

    Thursday, March 02, 2006

    yet another case of the icks.

    tiny socks
    Originally uploaded by sarahkate.
    I am so over being sick. I can't stand it anymore. I've contracted two bad colds and a nasty case of strep in the past two months. I have no idea why my immune system has been down this winter. My doctor says I'm fine, I don't have anything seriously wrong with me. She poked me with needles and stuck things in my ears and mouth about fifty times, so I'm inclined to believe her. I'm still achy and drippy from this last round of "flu-like symptoms" and being sick has really cut into my attendance of Roller Derby practice. I seriously doubt that I am going to be up to the WFTDA skill levels by the end of April (the month, not the girl). This worries me a little, I mean, how will it look if the founder doesn't make the first round draft pick? I'm trying not to stress about it though, I'm going to stick with it, and practice until I am up to snuff with all the rest of the girls.
    I know some of you are wondering what the tiny socks have to do with me being sick and doubting my derby skills. They have absolutley nothing to do with either of these things.
    Everyone I know is having babies. Okay, not everyone, but six of my friends are due between now and June. SIX. I've been knitting little socks and hats for all the coming babies. I really enjoy making tiny socks. I found a pattern for tiny Maryjane-style booties, but only one of the babies is definatley a girl, and she's already here. The top tiny sock is for her. I'm finishing the other one today. Hooray! Tiny socks!