Thursday, October 26, 2006

In praise of younger men

While the Spouse has been working on the East Coast (of the US; if he was working on the East Coast of Israel, he'd be home), The Oldest Teen has been filling in, for good and bad.

Good: He went to the city and got the Youngest Teen's cell phone fixed.
Bad: He leaves his coffee cup on the table, just like dear old Dad.

Good: He went to the city to get the rice mixes my parents asked me to bring.
Bad: Since Dad's been away he's taken to wearing his tzitziyot like Dad -- one set of strings hanging straight down the center outside his waistband.

Good: He drove me to the airport.
Bad: He nearly gave me a heart attack doing it.

Good: He made me dinner every night.
Bad: It was either pasta with no sauce or frozen chicken schnitzel.

But all in all, it's been a joy having him home. No scrambling for who'll watch The Youngest Teen while I'm away. No having to run in to town to take care of errands. Almost like having The Spouse at home, but when I tell this man to clean his room, he sometimes (somewhat) listens.

I'm taking a newer, smaller hand luggage this trip. I'm such a yekke that I always worry they'll enforce the weight and item limits. Usually I take two pairs of socks to knit on the plane, but to free up weight, I quickly finished my pair. The Spouse's can wait; he's getting gifted them for our anniversary, a week away.

(Quick, bad picture, because the airport authorities don't like you taking pictures inside the terminal.)
Mystery socks from the Yahoo SAM group.

ETA: Free on-board innernets rulz!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What a heel

(And I'm not talking Yair Lapid, either)

The week before Fall Travel Season is always busy, especially if The Spouse has gone on ahead and I'm left with all the last minute details. This year I'm lucky; the Oldest Teen is home, waiting for basic training to start, and he's out running errands for me. (Picking up my travel insurance, taking in the Youngest Teen's cellphone for repair--again, etc.) Every traveller should have a teen with time on his hands to help out.

The Spouse left with two suitcases which were together within a kilo of his total buggage allowance. What have I got?

One suitcase is packed inside the other, because I always have more coming back than going--yarn, goodies for the kids, stuff The Spouse doesn't need again until he comes home. That's three weeks worth of clothing, a coat, and, of course, knitting projects.

I admit I'm cheating here, since I have a Knitpick order waiting in New York, so all I've brought is cotton for the November Dishcloth KAL, yarn for kneesocks, and the Knitpicks stuff I have in stash which matches what's waiting for me. With any luck I'll come home with a dishcloth, a Skully sweater for the Youngest Teen, and a pair of knee socks in progress. In my hand luggage I'll take the current sock WIPs.

Now to see how much of the current WIPs can be finished before Wednesday night

Two Mason*Dixon logcabin blanets, a pinwheel blanket, a dishcloth, socks for The Spouse, and socks for me. The priority is The Spouse's socks, since our 20th secular anniversary is Nov. 2. (Today's the Jewish annoversary, but since he's in Boston and I'm in Israel, not a whole lot of celebrating giong on.) The plan is to spend our honeymoon in--ready?--Niagara Falls. Honestly--we're finsihed in Toronto on November 1 and don't have to be in NYC until November 3, and the Falls are right on our way home. I told American neighbors our plan, and they weren't quite sure how to react. Is it ridiculously corny, or so corny it's cool?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

That was the week that was

When last I blogged, I was about to go into knit withdrawal. Been there, done that, gained the extra holiday kilo. But the holiday's been over for nearly a week, so where have I been? Knitting, of course. Like those two or three cups of coffee you drink after Yom Kippur -- you know better intellectually, but you're jonesing and so indulge.

Sukkot was lovely. The Youngest Teen had to do all the decorating herself, since the Oldest Teen and The Spouse put up the contraption and The Middle Teen barely breezed in with enough time to shower before candle lighting. Youngest did a ton and a half of paper chains and used all our ornaments.

Instead of bringing back all sorts of useless garbage from our travels, we bring back useless souveniers as sukkah decorations. Works best when we travel in December, not so well when we're travelling in June.

First day we went to my aunt, who lives about 20 minutes away, not so much to see my aunt and my neohew (learning here fr the year and with my aunt for the holiday) as because The Middle Teen agreed to come home for the holiday only if she could be assured of seeing friends who live in my aunt's town. (Said friends are now in Poland doing the 'Let's give the Poles our tourism shekel as reward for everything they did to--oops, for-- us in WWII' tour. Oh, my, did I get political there?)

Last Monday we went to Jerusalem because the Teens wanted to go to the huge Birkat Cohanim at the Wall and I had a client meeting. Afterwards we all (including my nephew) went to lunch in Talpiot--which cost a fortune, because the only way to get a seat in the restaurant's sukkah was to take waiter service, and then to the second day of the Beit Shemesh Festival.

Middle Teen met more of her Poland-bound friends

and we got to see Shai Gabso for a second Sukkot in a row.

I was more impressed with Adi Ran and the Moshav Band, but was very disappointed with Shlock Rock. I guess when you've been following a band for 25 years (before they even were Schlock Rock) you build up unreasonable expectations.

Time to get back to my knitting--Socktoberfest (and my upcoming anniversary) call.

Friday, October 06, 2006

When Judaism interferes with knitting

Tonight the holiday of Sukkot starts, and so my knitting ends for a week. I'm still not sure I understand why I have to give up my craft Prozac -- sure, in the days when you *had* to knit/weave/spin/sew to clothe your family it was work, but now? [sigh]

And it comes at the worst time, right at the start of my quick-finish-everything-in-sight-before-I-fly panic.

Speaking of which, can anyone explain why accomodations in Toronto, Canada are so flippin' expensive? The Spouse and I may actually stay in a hostel, because everything else seems to be about the same price as the hotel we stayed in in Paris, without the convenience of a kosher breakfast or being walking distance from the Eiffel Tower. (And what, pray tell, is worth doing in Toronto, particularly after 5 pm, aside from Lettuce Knit?)

Here's a state of the WIPs, before religion forces them into hiding.

An FO--another MD baby kimono. Everything old is new again, only this time in stocking stitch. Gifted to a baby to be named later -- her parents were so sure she'd be a boy they hadn't even thought of any girl names, and then, when she was born, oops!

So now I have no girl baby gifts. A serious problem in a town where babies are the local industry. Lack of gifts + lots of oddballs of acrylic + MD knitting book = log cabin baby blanket! Too bad I started the blanket off thinking I'd have a run on boy baby gifts, but I can compensate: when I'm done I'll embroider a flower in the center square using some girly-girl color yarn. Since the picture was taken I've added two strips and four circular needles, because a blanket all bunched up looks like unblocked lace. What this might say about my tolerance for unblocked lace and the number of #6 circular needles I own will go unsaid.

But it's not all acrylics (me, knitting in acrylics--well, it's for a good cause, namely reducing my acrylic stash). Oh, no, of course it's not, because it's

I've even managed a half FO (does that make it an F or an O?)

Trekking XXL, color 66. This may hold the record for sock longest on the needles, since I cast it on at the beginning of June, while waiting for a flight to Las Vegas. (Here's the sock visiting Red Rock Canyon, back when I thought I could actually finish a sock over the summer with the Trek-Along)

and cast off Tuesday. With any luck sock #2 will go faster, because now that The Spouse has doctor-ordered custom insole and needs to wear old man shoes for the rest of his life, he's decided the only worthy compensation is hand-knit socks. (Are there any good cotton sock yarns with a decent amout of lycra content, too? The Spouse will spring for a whole new sock yarn stash if I can find a brand. If not, I'll probably try a pair or two out of Cascade Fixation.)

And if he gets, socks, I get socks. I hope these come out nicely, but who can tell? It's a mystery pattern from the SAM Yahoo group.

And in the Mason-Dixon spirit of "nothing is too crazy if you want it bad enough," a garterlac placemat. I think it may be a little small; I may buy another ball of this Coats & Clark yarn when I visit my parents in November.

Yeah, I know it's garish and tacky, yet for some reason, every time I look at it it makes me feel insanely happy. Go figure.