Wednesday, December 26, 2007
This is Hamish. He's a Scottish terrier that came from a rescue, just like our other dog Brunnhilde. Now that he's gotten used to us, he is quite playful and fiesty. He needs to be around Brunnhilde.
If you only weighed about 5 pounds and you had a 90 pound German Shepherd dancing around you wanting to play, you'd be fiesty too.
I wonder how much longer he'll be able to fit here? Black dogs are very hard to photograph.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
-Uncle Ben Parker "Spiderman"
T-shirt available on tampaxdahtcom. They are donating money to worthy cause, girls in South Africa ala Oprah, yadda, yadda, yadda. Not to belittle the cause, but I am not wearing that across my chest.
Monday, December 10, 2007
As an ebay addict and compulsive knitter, the two worlds sometimes merge serendipitiously. At other times, I see this...http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270195396778&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123
Friday, November 30, 2007
Last evening after dropping The Boy and The Girl off at the karate dojo, I ran to Biggs with Thing 1 and Thing 2 to pick up a few needed things. Thing 1 had been whiney all day due to a toothache, and I was in a not so good mood due to said whineyness and the fact that he wouldn't let the dentist take an x-ray.
But I get ahead of myself. The day before he had been complaining of a toothache, but like any good Mom I looked in his mouth and my Momovision detected nothing wrong. So he was sent off to school. Yesterday, same thing, except this day was different. He was sent to the clinic in tears. So, I went and picked him up, called the dentist (who was swamped with appointments) and begged for a few minutes of time.
The dentist graciously squeezed us in. After Thing 1 has been in the exam room for all of 5 minutes, I'm asked to come back. He fought the dentist about putting the little thingy in his mouth to take the x-ray, and when the dentist finally convinced him to do it, he ripped it out as the x-ray was being taken. We got a nice blank x-ray for our money and wasted time.
So now I have to take him to a pediatric dentist (ca-ching), and they can't fit him in until Monday. So more whining on Thing 1's part, because he was to wait so long(and more whining on my part, because I have to hear his whining for 3 more days).
Fast forward to last evening at the grocery. So, I'm walking up and down the aisles in a bit of a rush with the two Things, and Thing 1 spots the great big bin full of Webkinz. The Things (who are 7) and their older sister are all Webkinz all the time.
Those of you with children know what happened next. We are talking a full-blown, full on frontal assault hissy fit complete with floor flopping! Amazingly enough, Thing 2 was very adult about the whole thing.
The cleaning of the grocery floor by my son with the use of the coat that was on his back occurred several times through out the remainder of the shopping excursion right up to the check out lane. I exhibited great restraint by not grabbing him by the ankles and dragging him up and down the lanes in order to do a complete and thorough job of the floors thereby possibly earning a discount on my groceries due to the gratitude of the dude whose job it is to sweep.
When he realizes that he is getting no where with me, he sulks off to the Webkinz bin to pout(which happened to be near the check out). Along comes an angelic grandmother, who stops to talk to him. She then looks a me and asks if it's o.k. if she buys him one! She notices the twin, and says, "I'll get one for him too, aren't they cute?" Yeah, they're cute, alright.
My initial response is, "Granny, are you on crack?", but luckily my brain filter was working. Instead my response was, "No, Christmas is coming, and they don't need it."
Long story short (too late), she bought them for the Things, because she said it made her happy and she has a grandson of her own. In order to thank her, I asked her what her favorite charity was so I could send a donation. She said it was "Gospel Mission in Jackson County, Kentucky", she likes them because they are all about helping children.
Anyone (of the four of you that read this!) heard of them? I've googled, but with no luck. I guess if I can't find them, I can donate to another "children's charity". Any suggestions?
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I caught the Boy yesterday morning trying to squeeze his big melon head into one of his little brother's hats(Thing 1 and Thing 2). I guess he was trying to tell me that he needed a hat. Luckily, we are having an unusually warm day, but tomorrow it's supposed to get colder.
What to do? Whip up a basic beanie hat from the stash. It's Plymouth Encore DK on size 8's, with a few stripes. You can't really see the stripes in this picture, but they are there.
Since the Boy tends to lose things, I made it simple and quick(and inexpensive - no cashmere for the Boy just yet!) so there will be no dramatics from me when it doesn't come home.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
There's the Sponge, drying. I decided to block it first to even out the wonky stitches before weaving in the ends. I read this suggestion somewhere, I think in Maggie Rhigetti's book. I'm not crazy about my tension on the teeth(too tight), but it will make it easier to weave in the ends and get the tension correct if it is blocked first. And no, you can't see the back once I'm done, it's crap.
I'm also going to give it a proper seaming(mattress). Please to ignore the missing red stitches on the curly thing under his mouth. Those can be easily fixed with a duplicate stitch embroidery.
I hope to have it all done by tomorrow. I know that he'll want to show it off to his SpongeBob lovin' cousins at the gatherin'.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
The Boy: Hey, Mom, where's Daddy? When's he coming home?
Me: It might be a long time. There was a shooting.(For those of you that don't know, the Husband is the senior police sergeant in a neighborhood bordering a large-ish city.)
The Boy: Hmm. Do you think he'll remember to bring home Ratatouille? Can I call him to remind him?
Me: Weasel, I think he'll be a little busy, and Ratatouille will be low on his list of priorities.
Monday, October 29, 2007
After a brief hiatus, Spongebob is back. I had lost the original chart I had made(I think it was thrown out in a cleaning frenzy), so I had to make a new one. Which involved going downstairs to use the computer that is connected to the printer rather than the laptop. Yeah, I'm lazy.
But it also involved this really cool website where you can generate your own knitting graph paper to your gauge. Here's the link if you don't already know about it. There is also another very cool site that will generate a graph for you if you aren't comfortable drawing your own. It's here. I've not used it yet, so if you do, let me know how it turns out.
This sweater has to be perfect. Thing 1 is a man(boy) after my own heart. After he received one of his frequent progress reports that he demands on no particular schedule, he told me that when he out grows the S.B. sweater, he is going to save it for one of his children to wear. Thanks, kid. Thanks for the added pressure of knowing I'm making an heirloom.
Monday, October 22, 2007
So I'm browsing through the 'Fibre after 40' forums on Ravelry, this is a group for knitters of a certain age. There is a thread on perimenopause. Perimenopause? I thought it was just 'menopause'.
After a little more research, it turns out I'm drowning in perimenopause! It's a bit of a relief to put a reason, or excuse, to all of those niggly little things that are going on.
Insomnia - check!
Thinning hair - check!
Forgetfulness - check!
Belly weight gain and bloating - check!
Daytime fatigue - check!
Zits - check!
Dry skin - check!
Forgetfulness - che..wait I did that one
Mood swings - check!
I told the Husband a few days ago that I didn't like the person that I was becoming emotionally. I was blaming all on the kids! Now, they are innocent of those charges at least. This doesn't mean that they are innocent of leaving dirty dishes, socks, and underwear all over the house.
It's quite liberating, really. I'm free to speak my mind, yell, cry at the drop of a hat, and just give into the naps all without feeling guilty. If someone starts giving me crap, I got one word for ya' - perimenopause. Except that's too long. I should just call her Perry.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Honeymoon: on the train from Stonehenge
Fourteen years ago today I married the Husband. It was truly a day that changed my life. Before Husband, I was still at home with my folks(I could have moved out, I chose not to. Why move from a large-ish house with off street parking in a good neighborhood close to shopping to a crappy, dingy apartment? Besides, I had good room mates!)
So the day we were married, I became a homeowner, first time on my own person. I'm glad the Husband was there to help me with the transition. He had been on his own for 12 years. It was a big transition for both of us. Back then 'playing house' by cleaning and grocery shopping was fun. Now, it's drudgery.
Thankfully, it's only the little things that have become a grind. I could say that everyday has been fun, but that would be a lie. But, with the Husband by my side, we've weathered those stormy days only to come through stronger and more resilient. Besides, we actually like each other and laugh often.
If it weren't for the Husband, I wouldn't have had the wild ride and 4 kidlets that all look like him. Well, three look like him, the Girl looks like his sister!
Here's to you, hon. I'm counting on you to make the next 14 and beyond as fabulous as the first fourteen.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
It bears repeating...
I have finished(relatively speaking) the birthday wash cloths for the PD. Two still need weaving. The one on top is from the leftover scraps. Even though they had the same amount of yardage(so the label said), I was only able to get one full cloth out of the variegated colorway. That was the first one, and the one on which I had trouble counting. Maybe I added a few extra rows.
This is the rat bastard part. I am one glorious little inch from completing the back of the Husband's rather large aran sweater. That's not a rat bastard, that fact is the opposite of a rat bastard, a non-rat non-bastard, if you will.
I was knitting happily along last evening, when I saw it. Approximately three inches down from the needles are three groups of travelling stitches in the center celtic knot section all crossed the wrong way. They are going in the correct direction, they're just not latticed.
And to make matters worse, I did the same thing where you see that fabulously(if I may say so) manicured finger. After yelling out the title of this episode, I asked the Husband if he saw anything wrong with the sweater. He (not being a knitter, and a man) said he didn't see a thing wrong with it. I then pointed it out.
That dear sweet man told me there was no need to fix it. His reasoning: it's just the back of the sweater and barely noticeable. Barely noticeable!!??? I think if Salma Hayek were to suddenly grow a big, fat, hairy wart on her chin it would be just as noticeable.
Bless his heart.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
The following post is not for the faint of heart or fluffy bunny lovers.
We had a bit of a carnage here last week. Our usual weekday morning routine was disrupted by a mauling. The usual morning goes something like this: the Husband leaves for work, I wake up the kidlets, and walk outside in the back yard with the large carpet spotter Brunnhilde. She evidently can not be alone even to pee. She will not go outside with out me standing there, unless her dog pal neighbors are outside, then she'll go alone.
This past Tuesday, the Husband called in sick, the Girl felt ill and didn't want to go to school. Brunnhilde was even willing to go outside without me. I should have read the warning signs, but it was early, and my brain was foggy from sleep.
Then I saw why she wanted to go out without waiting for me. She had a rabbit on the run. We have a family of bunnies living in the over grown garden. She occasionally chases them, but they are able to make it out of the gap between the fence and the back gate. It was not to be that day.
This day the bunny wasn't going to make it to the gap and made for the 3 x 5 grid space in the liner of the fence. He got his head through. By the time I got back there, she had made his hind quarters nice and bloody, and he was stuck.
The Husband was not going to help, and didn't appreciate being bothered in his sick bed about a rabbit stuck in the fence. I knew the rabbit wasn't going any where, and he could just wait for my help until the kidlets were on the bus. The only problem were the two cats I saw in the property behind us on the prowl. They had noticed the ruckus and were very interested. So, I posted the Girl on watch to keep the cats away.
After I got the Boy off to school, I realized that I was going to have to cut the stupid rabbit out of the fence. My neighbor had beat me to it. It was obvious that the bunny was dying, and we should put it out of it's misery. I deferred to the neighbor. Having grown up on a farm in North Dakota, I hoped she would be up to the task.
She said, "I've killed rodents by twisting their necks, I've even killed cows, but I don't know what to do with the bunny." Great. We decided on suffocation. So, with an apology to the rabbit, I put him in a plastic garbage bag and tied it up tight.
His body is in temporary holding in the garage. I'm especially looking forward to garbage pick up this week.
Friday, September 28, 2007
See that mess? It's supposed to be a washcloth from Mason Dixon. You know the cute one worked in the round with the bobbles and eyelets. Evidently I don't know how to count, at least not while the t.v. is on and the kidlets are home from school.
That's the third go round on the rat bastard. Don't get me wrong, there are parts about it I like so far. The yarn so far. I'm using SWTC's aMaizing. (Should it still be called yarn if it's made from corn? Wouldn't "yearn" be better?)
I had yesterday what at the time seemed like a brilliant idea. The PD's(the Husband's knickname for his sister) birthday is this weekend, and she decided to have her own party at her house. I can't show up empty handed, so a couple of face cloths and some nice soap would fill up my hands.
That was until I was unable to count. I wonder if Ringo Starr is available for tutoring. He once said that he was able to make a decent living simply by counting to eight.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
1. I am enabler. This past August while my Massachusetts friend I've known for over 20 years from college was in the area visiting family and friends, I pulled out the toe up sock. She pointed at it and said, "I want to learn how to do that."
So, yesterday while she was back in town we decided to go to the University of Cincinnati vs. Marshall football game. On the way to the game I gifted her with a set of size 10 bamboo needles, 3 balls of Bernat Bamboo(which is really, really soft- so I bought some for me!), and a print out of a lacey rib pattern that would make a really good scarf. She told me that every time she's tried to knit, she's had tension issues. Maybe the gift will give her a little gas to go just one more mile.
2. The UC Band is (still) Damn Good! Last night was the first UC game I had been too since my friend and I graduated from college and hung up our band uniforms. College kids look young! During the game I was thinking about how all those kids feel like they have nothing but opportunity before them, and the world is wide open to them. I was almost envious until I looked down in my hand and saw the beer. Hah! Take that you wrinkle free, non grey haired kids! I'm old enough to drink beer. (Honey, I had two in the space of 5 hours, and finished the last one about an hour before I got in the car to drive.) (The previous was for the benefit of the police officer Husband. He's a bit of a stickler about drinking and driving, rightly so.)
Which brings us to the third thing...
3. I'm too old for this shit! My friend was flying home to MA this morning. She had a 7am flight. She asked for a ride to the airport. We decided that rather than having her spend the night here, waking the 4 kidlets up at 4am to drag them to the airport which is 45 minutes away(the Husband had to work today, so he couldn't hang out with the kidlets) we would just go to the airport after the game, and she would get a room at the hotel.
So by the time I picked the kidlets up from my in law's after the game, dropped them off at my house(which is on the way to the airport), visit with the Husband for a few minutes, drive to the airport and back it was 3 am before I flopped in bed.
The kidlets were up rocking and rolling at 7:30am this morning. I see much caffeine in my immediate future.
Monday, September 10, 2007
What to do, what to do...The husband has one of his rare weekends off this coming Saturday and Sunday(rotating schedule and all that). My two oldest nephews are playing against each other on Saturday. One is on the defensive line. He has played several positions in the past(defensive end, cornerback), the other nephew is a wide receiver(for those of you that didn't have the benefit of growing up with two older brothers and father that spent their fall weekends watching football and you just sort of picked this stuff up by osmosis - a wide receiver is an offensive player).
The kidlets asked me which team to root for. My answer: root for which ever nephew is on the field.
This weekend is also the Celtic Festival at Yeatman's Cove. Having a bagpipe playing husband of Scottish descent, well, it's pretty obvious what he wants to do this weekend.
Also this weekend is the Wool Gathering Festival in Yellow Springs, OH. Seeing as how this is supposed to be a blog about knitting, it's pretty obvious what I want to do this weekend(without the kidlets in tow - I did that last year - it wasn't pretty).
I think that next year the organizers of these events should consult me on scheduling.
Friday, August 31, 2007
This has been the fifth best thing that has happened to me in my life - all of the kidlets are finally in school all day.
I have big plans for this school year. Every closet in this house(that's 8, one of which is a walk-in) will be cleaned out and organized. Now that the kids are finally past the coloring on the walls phase, every room will get a new coat of paint.
After nearly 8 years of living in this house, the front room will finally become what it was destined to be - a living room. It will not be a 'toy room', a 'PS2 room', or an 'empty room because we came from a smaller home and didn't have furniture to put in said room' room.
This year the front room will get built in bookcases(I'm trying to convince the Husband that I can build them and save us some money), a new wood looking laminate floor(we have kids and animals), and furniture. I have the furniture. So far I have an antique settee and matching chair(I could have the matching platform rocker, but that is a rather sore spot with me) that came from my grandmother's house. Unfortunately, the settee has been stored in the attic for a gazillion years and the chair had been in the house that is like a really big petri dish(don't ask, that's a post for another day). So, in order to save money, I need to learn how to re-upholster furniture.
So I have the coming 9 months mapped out. But I've taken the first week off, because dammit, I deserve it. I've been doing this,
the Absorba bath mat from Mason-Dixon knitting with Peaches 'n Cream, and some more of the Husband's aran.
I also started my first toe-up sock from the "formula" in the Fall 07 IK. I needed something that I could work on during the 4 soon to be 5 evenings a week I sit at the dojo while the kidlets are doing karate. I had been working on the Husband's aran, but found when I got home that I had made many mistakes(too much gabbing with the other Moms) and had to selectively rip back a few pattern repeats.
I also decided to make them knee socks to eliminate any left overs(Plymouth Dreambaby DK). I hate it when you don't have enough left overs to make another complete meal, and you end up with just a snack.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Friday, August 03, 2007
In spite of playing on Ravelry, I have done some knitting. But I've mostly ripped. I lost my place on the Husband's aran and couldn't figure out what row I was on in the pattern.
Maybe it was because of the raging headache I've had for the past two days. It's hot as, well you know the cliche, and we are under a smog alert. They have been advising people with respiratory problems to stay indoors. That would be me.
I just found out last week that I have asthma. I've had this annoying non productive cough for weeks now, and last week I was doing some heavy cleaning and stirring up cat hair, dog hair, and dust. My chest felt tight and I was short of breath. While sitting still. Great.
So one inhaler and extra strong allergy medicine later, I'm stuck in the house with a raging headache. I'm not sure if the headache caused the losing of my place, or the losing of my place caused the headache. Hmm, anyone, Bueller?
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Saturday, July 28, 2007
That's how many days are left until it is blissfully quiet around the house. I have been looking forward to this day for years. August 27th is the day that all 4 kidlets will be in school all day! No more of the half day for preschool or kindergarten crap! No siree, all blooming day! That thought will be the sustenance that gets me through the next weeks. When you go shopping for office supplies, I'll be the one dancing in front of the two pronged folders.
Not much to show on the knitting. I'm still plugging along on the Husband's aran. I've finished the second sleeve of the Spongebob sweater, and I'm on the ribbing of the front soon to start the face.
I haven't done much knitting this week. I've been busy cleaning the house for the cleaning lady! My sister-in-law set us up with an immigrant(I'm assuming she's legal since she holds down two other jobs that with hold income tax). In order for her to actually see the dirt, I had to pick up all of the crap that was hiding the dirt. This has taken me days. I kid not.
Mt. Laundre has become a mountain range in the laundry room. I'm off to scale the mountain, because it's there and it's the last unconquered frontier! If I'm not back in 3 days, send help.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
Hi, my name is Karen, and I've been crocheting(it's still evil). Last weekend we were at my Dad's house. While the Husband was taking care of fixing some computer problems, I was rummaging around the closets. Don't judge, I used to live there, and I was digging through the closet in the bedroom that had become my Mom's craft room.
I found a baby blanket that Mom had been crocheting for my nephew, who is now 15, and never finished. She had time to finish it while he was a baby, she just never did. Joey was 5 when Mom died. I thought it was a shame that it had never been finished. I immediately made a vow to not let projects go unfinished for years in order for my children to find while cleaning out my closet and wonder why I never finished it.
So, it became my mission to compete the blanket. She had easily 3/4 of the blanket done. The whole thing is done in double crochet. Easy enough.
Except I've not been able to stop crocheting! I've actually walked past the Husband's aran to work on the blanket. I rationalize it this way: The blanket has Mom's mojo so that is why I'm drawn to it(I'm also getting Mom's gauge). Also, it's a dream of mine to open a yarn shop, so I'll need to know how to crochet because I don't want to discriminate against crocheters. So, I also consider this research into the world of crocheting.
There will be no pictures. It's being made from inexpensive acrylic 80's pastel variegated yarn, and I'm still too ashamed to admit that I'm actually crocheting.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Bwahahaha! Several weeks ago we were at a family gathering/cookout. I, of course, brought along the knitting for the after feast stupor sit around and visit time. I didn't realize it at the time, but my 9 year old nephew must have been watching me knit.
Later while said nephew was riding home with us, he asked me to teach him to knit. I told him that learning to knit while in a moving car wasn't the best idea, but I would teach him the next time I saw him.
Several weeks later, we went to a family camp for the weekend(like summer camp for kids, but for families) and said nephew's family was also there. I pulled out the sleeve to Thing 1's sweater and started working on it, when the nephew reminded me that I said I would teach him how to knit. So I gave him his first mini lesson using the sleeve. He was actually interested, and kept it up for a while. I promised him that the next time I saw him I would have yarn and needles that he could keep. Of course I waited until he was out eyeshot to rip out his efforts.
I really want to encourage this, because Nephew has been diagnosed with ADHD, and if you observe him for a while, he just doesn't seem to have the happy-go-lucky attitude a 9 year old should have. I think he has been diagnosed with depression, but don't quote me on that. He's the kid in the family that you just want to grab and hug tightly.
As he was proudly looking at the rows he had accomplished, he requested a turtle sweater. I said, "What like Leonardo?" He said, "No, a box turtle." Thank goodness, I don't think I could stomach another cartoon character. Cowabunga, dude!
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Don't let them fool you. They'll suck you in with their cuteness, and when they see that glazed look in your eyes - they pounce. This is reason not much knitting is getting done. I'm busy putting out fires. Laundry, picking up, scrubbing, running errands - the stuff of life. There seems to be an inordinate amount of it lately.
I have managed to finish the back of Thing 1's (he's the one on the right)SpongeBob sweater and have started a sleeve. The Husband's aran is only about 3 rows further along. I keep ripping back a few stitches here and there, ala fixing a miscrossed cable, and tweaking wonky looking stitches. I don't trust a good blocking to fix some of the wonkers.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
That's the Husband's aran. I had the perfect atmosphere for working on the aran(no kids, husband, or dogs in the immediate vicinity) and I still screwed it up! I still have the black eye from the knitting goddess' smackdown.
So, I valiantly used a crochet hook to pick up the stitches on the cable I had incorrectly crossed and get them going in the correct direction(a crochet hook's only useful purpose in my opinion), when I noticed that I had $%^&ed up the celtic knot center portion. Some how I had gotten on the wrong row on the chart and was blissfully knitting along for 3 rows before I realized it.
I can fix that I thought. Rather than use a crochet hook(this was too big of a job - 28 stitches with multiple crossings), I used dpn's and reknit it. Although I'm going to give it another go, because I used dpn's way smaller than the 7's I'm using on the sweater.
This left me with a very tight gauge and loops of 'left over' yarn that I don't think a severe blocking will correct. I knit on for a few rows thinking I could tug it into submission. No joy.
In the spirit of random Tuesday...Last evening was the Carpet Spotter's(Brunnhilde the German Shepherd-why am I using a knickname for her like I want to protect her privacy?) first night of training. We were kicked out in the hall for 'talking'!!!!
Monday, May 07, 2007
I'm trying to catch up on my sleep. So far, not so good. The two older kidlets and I arrived back home around 9m last night, and I'm sleepy. The hotel was nice and comfy, but the Girl insisted on sleeping with me. I would rather have slept with an octopus.
At about 1am the first night, I decided that I'd had enough of the random arm flailings and knee kickings to get up and crawl in bed with the Boy. Now at only 11 years the Boy is only a few inches shy of being as tall as me(I don't come from Amazonian sized parents), he was taking up most of the bed as he was stretched out from one corner to the opposite one. Being the self-sacrificing mom that I am, I didn't want to disturb his rest since he was the one that was going to be competing the next day, I pulled the really soft and cushy comforter of the bed that I had just vacated and made a nest on the floor. I figured that the Girl would be fine since it wasn't that cold and she is usually very hot when she sleeps.
I was sleeping very soundly and quite comfortably(surprising since I was on the floor), when I was awoken at 3am by the Girl to tell me she was cold. So I got back in bed with her to be kicked and punched until 5am when the Boy got up and flipped on the flipping t.v.!
"HOLY MOTHER GOD, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?", I said. Although I'm sure it sounded more like, "Hug movr guh, wha'do?". The Boy said he couldn't sleep(though you couldn't tell by his snoring). I said "G'bed, stare seal." Translation: Get in bed and stare at the ceiling.
The next night I debated about just starting off on the floor, because I had found an extra blanket that I wasn't coherent enough to search for the previous night, when the Girl promised me that she wouldn't flop about. I also warned her that I was going to punch and kick back if she so much as crossed over the "line of death" that ran down the middle of the bed.
After pushing her back over the line to her mutterings of "stop it!" and putting the extra blanket on top of her, I was back in my nest on the floor. I was going to get in bed with the Boy, but he had rolled up in his blankets like a burrito. I was later awoken(again, after very comfortably sleeping on the floor) to, "Mom, I'm cold." So I was once again kicked and poked the remainder of the night. Besides that, I had the beginings of a cold, so breathing was not up to par.
Last night I got to sleep in my own bed, and I slept well, but I'm still nodding off at random times this morning. I think one more night ought to do it.
Oh yeah, the Boy came home with a bronze in sparring, and the Girl came home with a silver in sparring(I guess she was practicing on me during the night - had I stayed in bed with her, it may have been a gold).
Thursday, May 03, 2007
This weekend the Boy, the Girl and I are off to Gurnee, Illinois(north of Chicago, almost into Wisconsin) for a regional karate tournament. Those of you in the Chicagoland area will know how excited I am to be going(she says with sarcasm).
Since I'll be driving the 7 hours to get there, this eliminates any possibility of knitting in the car, that and the motion sickness. If anyone has figured out a safe way to drive and knit, I'm listening.
Sitting for 6 hours at the tournament venue and having to pay attention to the competitors(not just my kidlets, but the others from our dojo as well), eliminates working on the Husband's aran. I need something I can knit on autopilot. That would be this...
That's the beginings of Thing 1's Spongebob sweater. I figure that I can work on the back and sleeves while cheering on the competitors, because it's a mindless drop shoulder sweater and also because I haven't charted the front yet. The front is going to be an intarsia version of the Sponge's face.
Drop on the deck and flop like a fish!
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Oh yeah, the Husband's aran. One fine day while we were out with out the kidlets(they were all in school, and the Husband had the day off), we were running errands. One of the stops was the library which happens to be a short mile or so from the yarn store. I dragged him there, under vehement protests of course, to pick out the yarn for his sweater. I think he didn't want to go there, because it wasn't, well, macho like a hardware store. (Insert manly grunting here.)
I wanted him to go, because I didn't want a repeat of the last sweater I had knit then ripped for him. In that instance, he picked out the stitch pattern but not the yarn(soft enough to be knit into undies, Malabrigo). He liked the softness factor, but he didn't care for the color.
The Husband settled on a yarn that is exclusive to the yarn store. Actually, I picked out the yarn, he just chose the color. It's Yarn Source Sol in grey. It's 100% wool, 100 grams per skein(approximately 220 yards) for $4.50 per skein. in a worsted weight. I think this yarn is excellent. It's nice and soft, and I've had no problems with splitting. It's a good utility yarn at a good price. Christine has lots of fantastic colors. Go on over to her online shop and check it out.
Now that I had the yarn, there was no excuse not to swatch. Besides, I was so excited to be working on something other than the #$% samurai hats, I actually wanted to swatch! For those of you that have an allergic reaction to swatching - get over it!(She says in her motherly "I'm tired of putting up with your nonsense" voice.)
To determine how many stitches to cast on for the Husband's aran, I swatched each panel and measured the width. For example, the diamond pattern panel with moss stitch in the center of the diamonds is worked over 25 stitches and it measured at 4.5" in width. The celtic knot is worked over 28 stitches and measured 4.5"
By adding up the measurements of each panel including the 4 cables I was using to separate each panel, that gave me the width of moss stitch I would need at either side to make up for half of the circumference of the aran(30"). I figured that I would need 5.75" of moss stitch on either side of the seam, which worked out to 26 stitches. I'm putting a lot of ease in this sweater, because the Husband likes them big and he will be able to hide his weapon and badge under it(policemen never go out in public unarmed and they don't like to advertise the fact that they are armed).
I know, I've been rambling, but here's how it worked out...I need a total of 162 stitches for 1/2 of the body.(I chose not to do this in the round so I could have the stability of seams, and I knew that it would be easier for me to keep my place in the pattern if I was only working on half of the sweater at one time.) So my pattern is:
26 stitches of moss stitch,
8 stitches for a 6 stitch right cable(this includes a rev stocking stitch on either side of the cable),
25 stitches for the diamond pattern,
8 stitches for a 6 stitch right cable,
28 stitches for the celtic knot pattern,
8 stitches for a left cable,
25 stitches for the diamond pattern,
8 stitches for a left cable,
and 26 stitches for moss stitch.
Using the EPS, I cast on 10% fewer stitches for the ribbing(2x2 for 2"), increased 16 stitches on the next row in purl stitch(making this the wrong side), and I'm off to the races! I increased in purl so the stitches would recede to the wrong side and that row wouldn't be noticable in the big scheme of things. I could have increased on the last row of ribbing, but quite frankly I didn't think of it. I also added a selvedge stitch to each side to make it easier to seam.
After all that, I think you deserve a picture.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Oh, the shame...I failed to finish all the #$% samurai hats by the deadline. I had until 5pm on Sunday. I was this close to being hysterical when I realized at 3pm that there was no way on God's green earth I was going to have them done.
So I did what any self respecting knitter would do. Rather than save my honor and finish them(better late than never), I cast on for the next project. I'm now working on the Husband's aran.
There has been considerable work on the aran so far. Not knitting work, mind you, but planning and much math.
I can't use published patterns for the Husband's sweaters. I've yet to find a designer that has designed a decent looking sweater for a man that is larger than an XL. The Husband has a 55" chest. The largest published pattern that I have come across is for a finished chest of 54". As unselfconscious as the Husband is about his body, I don't think he wants to look like a 'sweater girl' of the 40's.
I wanted to make sure that the Husband was going to wear this sweater, so he was very involved in the planning stages, whether he wanted to be or not. First I picked his brain on what type of sweater he wanted. Which meant that I had to drag out many books and magazines. We consulted Tara Manning's "Men in Knits" and Debra Mountford's book. We even consulted a handknit aran sweater that I've had for close to 15 years that I purchased(yes, purchased) on a trip to Bath, England.
The Husband decided that he liked a twisty Celtic knot looking pattern for the center panel and a diamond shaped cable with seed stitch centers for the side panels. I decided to add a simple 6 stitch cable to separate the different patterns.
The next step was to chart each individual panel, because the only patterns I could find for them were written out. I've never worked from a chart before, but I figured that this would be the best way to go. I knew that I would be consulting my notes a lot, and it would be easier to keep track of where I was.
After charting the Celtic knot and diamond pattern, it was time to swatch.
Will our heroine faithfully swatch? Will she get the Husband to Lambikins to pick out the yarn? Will she be able to figure out how many stitches to cast on?
Monday, April 09, 2007
The following post has nothing what so ever to do with knitting. You've been warned.
Last evening the Husband and I had an unexpected treat. We went to his parent's house for Easter dinner and the Ga-Ga(this is what the oldest grandchild started calling Grandma and it stuck- or sometimes she is known as the Gaggs - the Husband's family is big on nicknames) offered to let the Kidlets spend the night(I use nicknames in order to protect one's privacy). (I promise from here on out to limit the use of paranthesis.)
The Husband needed to go into the police academy to finish up some copying that had to be done by this morning so I went along to help. While on the drive there we started discussing "The List".
The list is a list(obviously)(Damn!-there they are again) of people, that given the opportunity, we would allow our spouse to have a fling with. It is also an unwritten rule that the names on this list must be someone with who(or is it whom? - Dadgummit!)that we have no chance in Hell of ever having a chance meeting.
We are each allowed five names. My List(in no particular order-AARRGGGH!):
1. Colin Farrell
2. Sam Elliott
3. Kiefer Sutherland
4. Jackie Chan
5. still working on this one - maybe Brendan Fraiser, or LL Cool J, George Clooney, or Johnny Depp
Now, I named my list off rather quickly, and not because I have put a lot of thought into it. I have always liked Sam Elliott. There's just something about the rugged good looks combined with that voice. The same goes for the rest of my list, I've just always liked them.
So, we began to work on the Husband's list. The first name was very easy - Salma Hayak. The husband likes them curvy with a bit of intelligence, which rules out Pam Anderson(The Husband greatly admires Condeleeza Rice because of her intelligence and piano playing ability, but he'd rather just sit and discuss politics and world events with her - I've given in to the power of this form of punctuation). But we were having a hard time coming up with others. It took close to two hours to come up with the next two, Viveca A. Fox and Tia Carrere.
The Husband then pointed out that I had a rather well rounded list of ages and nationalities. Whereas his had so far a good mix, he needed a woman of Anglo-Saxon descent to round it out. We had a very hard time coming up with this name. We finally decided it was because women of Anglo-Saxon, blonde persuasion value skinniness to the point of looking boyish of frame, i.e. Nicole Kidman, Rene Zellweger, Kiera Knightly(not blonde, but very skinny).
Remember when "Bridget Jones' Diary" came out and everyone was making a big deal about Rene Zellweger gaining - gasp!- 20 pounds? The Husband and I thought she looked fantastic with the 'extra' pounds, especially the Vicars and Tarts party scene when she shows up in the bunny costume.
I know that none of these skinny young starlets read this blog, but I have a favor to ask of all of you. If in your travels you come across any of them, please hold them down and force feed them a sandwich. You'll be doing all of us a favor. Those of us that look like Renaissance women will be in vogue, and the Husband will be able to finish his list.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
I spoke too soon in the last post. Today the kidlets are supposed to go to an Easter egg hunt, and there is snow on the ground. Now if we lived in Canada or Maine this wouldn't be a big deal, but this is southern Ohio, for the love of Pete(Rose). This past Monday was the Cincinnati Red's Opening Day which is a rite of spring in these parts and the day was beautiful and warm. Today, not so much.
The brace is off the thumb, it still feels a little stiff but thank goodness it wasn't as bad as Kate's. I've got one week to finish the #$%^ samurai hats and they will be out of my life forever! I can't wait to cast on the Husband's aran. Since even the XL size in most patterns don't accomodate the Husband's chest, I had to come up with a pattern on my own. The Husband was very much involved in the designing of this sweater. I don't want to be 3/4 done with this sweater and have to rip it like I did the Malabrigo that was supposed to be for him.
I checked out all kinds of books from the library, pulled all of the patterns for aran sweaters that I had in my personal library and had him look at all of them to tell me elements that he liked. Then I combined the cable patterns and went from there.
Once I cast on I'll post on the details. I really have to steel my resolve and finish the #$%^ samurai hats.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Several weeks ago, the yarn shop that I frequent was having their spring sale to clear out the bulky winter yarns to make room for the summer weight yarns. I felt obligated to do my part.
So, I thought that since I was almost done with the Girl's hoodie I would pick up some yarn(Plymouth Dreambaby D.K. - very soft and machine washable) for Thing 1's SpongeBob sweater(of my own design). Although I have a pile of yarn waiting to be worked into the Husband's aran, I would now have a project waiting in the wings for those times I became disgusted with all of the mistakes I knew I would make on the aran and toss it aside for a few days.
Naturally the stuff I picked out wasn't on sale. While there I also picked up some yarn for baby booties. A co-worker of the Husband's just had their very own Thing 1 and Thing 2, and some friends of ours just had not only Things 1 and 2, but a 3!
As an added bonus during the sale, with every purchase you got to reach into the 'box of surprises' and grab a gift. Some were for discounts on future purchases, but I grabbed a $25 gift card! Woo-who!
To add to this elation, I finished the Girl's pink hoodie, and she loves it so much that she has worn it to the bus stop every morning, and I have not been able to get a picture of it.
(Finally got a picture since it's 70 degrees this morning, and she didn't need it).
Our weather has finally turned the corner to 'Springsteet'! A sweater is all the Girl needs in the morning. And just yesterday I saw as I was driving the first haze of green on a roadside bush, and a slight shade of yellow on a forsythia! I have crocus blooming in the front yard, and my Bradford pear trees are about to pop open their blooms. I love this time of year, in spite of my allergies.
Just when my heart was so full of silly joy that I felt like I might burst into song like Shirley Jones in "The Music Man" came the big smackdown. Tendonitis in my right thumb. I have a brace on my thumb, an anti-inflamatory prescription in the cabinet, and doctor's orders - no knitting for at least two weeks. Why don't you just tell me not to breathe, doc?
I also found out that D-Day for the #$%^& samurai hats is April 15. I have the knitting done, I just have to assemble. Doc didn't say anything about not assembling for two weeks.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
I've been waiting close to a month for this. The dishwasher was tired. Even though it was only 7 years old I figure in appliance years it was probably 15-20 years old. Here's how I see it: Dishwashers are designed to do one load a day, but our family of 6 ran the dishwasher with a full load at least twice, sometimes 3, times a day, hence tired.
Unfortunately, it decided to start leaking at the same time as the 13 year old fridge and the upstairs bathroom shower. Plus we were having highs of 10F when the Husband said he needed a new winter coat, because the old one just wasn't doing it for him anymore.
So the bathroom leak, coat(a gorgeous black leather number), and fridge repair came first, while I washed dishes by hand. By hand, people! For 6 people that must get a clean glass every time they want a sip of water.
So I sit here waiting for the handsome men(I know they are handsome, because any man that delivers a dishwasher after a month of hand washing is handsome). I'm so excited I could piddle on the floor like the bladder control issue, old spaniel.
I was about to hand wash those dishes in the sink, but then I realized that I need some dirty dishes to test out the new love of my dish cleaning life.
I think I'll make a cake, some cookies and brownies, and roast some big hunk of meat just so I can have more dirty dishes! I'm feeling giddy. I'd better have a lie down so I can get myself under control before they show up, if I don't I may not be able to contain myself.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
I've been remiss in thanking the Husband for the virtual flowers. I think he was a little hurt that the post immediately following the Valentine's post was not a post thanking him. John, I am sorry.
The flowers are beautiful, and the best part...much cheaper than the $60 you would have paid for real ones on Valentine's Day.
John is a fantastic husband that works hard for the family and has made many sacrifices and often gone sleep deprived for us. He is also a terrific father and best of all he gets to be the 'fun' parent.
Thanks, hon. I'll have your aran sweater done by this fall. I promise.
Monday, February 26, 2007
I can't believe I'm going to admit this, but I should have my knitting license revoked.
I spent this past Saturday sitting on an incredibly hard bleacher for 6 hours at a state karate tournament and didn't once get out the knitting. Please believe me when I tell you that I feel deep shame.
I took the girl's pink hoodie that I had set aside last fall in favor of working on the gazillion samurai hats(that still aren't finished). I only have 3/4 of a sleeve and the hood to go. She could still get some late winter/early spring wear out of it, if I'd only finish the dang thing. It's being knit in the round so I don't even have to stare at it for weeks until I resign myself to sew up the seams.
I'm sure the Blogging Police will probably revoke my blogging license next for not posting pictures.
"But, officer, I have a good excuse. The batteries in my digital camera died, and I don't have anymore here at the house. I'm so scatterbrained anymore that I forget to pick up a pack while I'm standing there staring at the battery display looking for just the right size watch battery for all of the kidlet's Tamogotchis!"
"Tell it to the judge, lady."
The girl and boy #1 did well at the tournament. The girl came home with a silver in kata and a gold in kumite. The boy didn't medal, but he was in a much more difficult division. Although he is a brown belt, he was in a division with black belts. I'm very proud of him, he held his own and did his best. That's all we can ask.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
I sneaked onto my wife's blog because I have been sick the last couple of days and did not have an opportunity to get her anything for Valentine's Day. She's a great gal who is always there for me and (almost) never complains - even when I forget Valentine's Day.
So Karen, please accept this dozen roses as temporary until I recover from this virus so I can go out and get you something more tangible for Valentine's Day.
Love - John
Monday, February 05, 2007
February has never been my favorite month. It's right about this time of year that I get so sick of winter that I just want to hibernate. Even though February is the shortest month, it seems to drag on. It's like sitting through Lawrence of Arabia again, or The English Patient, two movies that are supposed to be great, but make me want to poke my eyeballs out with size 1 double points.
On to knitting news...
I'm still working on the Color on Color scarf from Scarf Style. But that's not the exciting part, this is...(the picture is dark because it's just too bloody cold to take the knitting outside for a good shot)
See that Fair Isle section? The one with the dog hair on it? I did it two handed. That's right, I carried one color in one hand, and the other color in the other hand. It may be no big deal to those of you that knit Continental, but I had never been able to master the Continental style of knitting. It felt awkward and I was never sure of which way to pick up the yarn. The best part about this, I taught myself.
I'd better stop congratulating myself, because I know the big smackdown is coming. It always does.
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
1. I've been stuck in the house, except for a trip to the grocery, for about 6 days. First the Girl was sick with the classic flu. Right about the time she started feeling better, Thing 1 and Thing 2 started with the symptoms. It's their turn to stay home from school. I suppose it's only a matter of time before the Boy gets it. I usually do my running during school hours. Those of you that are parents understand. Consequently, my nails look like this. I didn't blur the photo on purpose. Have you ever tried to take a photo with your left hand while the camera controls are on the right?
It looks like it will be a few more days before I can get them done. It's the one little luxury I allow myself, well, that and the yarn...and the chocolate...and the occassional glass of wine.
2. I ripped the drunken scarf swatch, and started in earnest on the pattern. This is the first thing that I have knit using the exact yarn in the exact colors recommended, and it's still fun. There aren't any tricky techniques or stitches, but it is managing to keep my interest. I'm sure it's because of all of the color changes and constantly turning it this way and that to pick up stitches. This pattern is not for those of you with a 'weaving aversion'.
There's the other hand with the horrid manicure.
3. The other day I was at the Husband's work place(the police academy), and saw a flyer advertising for instructors in various subjects(cardio kick boxing, woodworking, painting, etc). It is for the "adult enrichment" division of the school. I jokingly said, "What, no knitting?" He promptly jumped up, ran into his supervisor's office and told her that I would teach a knitting class! I've got to learn to keep my mouth shut around that man.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
There it is. Proof that drinking until you are legally drunk(.08) and knitting don't mix.
I was so excited that the Paternayan yarn that I had scored on eBay arrived the afternoon that I was to drink for the good of the community(see previous post). Now I wouldn't have to work on a warshrag(no offense meant Ann and Kay). I could now work on something for me - something that only I would use.
So the Paternayan yarn arrived for the Color on Color scarf from the Scarf Style book, I ran out to get some Addi's in the size needed, (I really need to order the Options set from Knitpicks) and loaded all the needed accessories in the tote bag. I was ready.
So, I arrived at the school, took the base line breathalizer, got my 6oz. of wine(Turning Leaf Sauvignon Blanc, I really wanted the Australian but couldn't justify the higher price - the Husband was expensing this), and started to knit. I decided that even though this was going to be a scarf and size doesn't really matter, I should knit a swatch.
Well, the Paternayan comes in 3 strands and you only need to use 2 for the pattern. So I started off with a tangled mess. Once I got that under control, I began to knit.
This whole time our alcohol intake was being closely monitored by instructors, all of whom are local deputies. We were under a time crunch, because we had to be drunk by a certain time in order for the cadets to 'test' us. So this wasn't a leisurely evening sipping wine like I prefer to do. At one point I was told that if I could still knit, I wasn't drunk enough!
This burly macho deputy obviously knew nothing about knitting! Sure I was knitting, but very badly. See the little dip in the middle? I have no idea what I did. Thank goodness it was only the swatch, and that's where I quit. Even though I was there for 5 hours, only 1 1/2 hours was used for drinking/detangling/knitting.
The remainder of the time I was put through the paces. They divided the class into groups and each group was given a drunk. We, hereafter to be known as "the drunks", were deposited in chairs in a line up- I guess they were afraid we might fall- and each group was told to come up and "grab a drunk"!
We were rotated throughout several groups, because we were all at different levels of drunkeness. I was told by several groups that I was the hardest to determine whether I was drunk, because I found out later that I was just a tad under the legal limit! I try to help whenever I can..
Anyway, after having to do the "follow the pen" routine, walk a straight line for heel to toe for 9 steps-turn around and come back, and hold your foot 6" off the ground for 30 seconds while pointing your toe and counting for the 18th time, I got to go home.
I survived the next morning with only a slight headache, but my legs and toes hurt from trying like hell to keep my balance. I also did something to my right wrist while flapping my arms around trying not to fall that still hurts. But it hasn't stopped me from starting all over on the scarf! I am macho woman! I can knit through the pain, but a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc stopped me dead. I now know my knitting limits, and I have helped in the training of our next crop of wo/men in blue. It was a win/win for all.
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Tonight I will be performing an experiment. I will attempt to answer the question: Is it safe to drink and knit?
The husband is the commander of a local police academy and tonight is the unit on field sobriety tests and use of the breathalizer. I selflessly volunteered to help. That means I will be getting a good buzz going so the students can test their skills on a live subject. It's my way of being a good citizen.
So I've rounded up family members to watch the kidlets this evening while I get drunk in order to further the education of these fine young men and women. Yes, there are women in the class. You go, girl!
I will be there for about 5 hours with nothing to do except knit, oh yeah, and drink wine(they provide the wine - I requested a nice Sauvignon Blanc or a Merlot. You can do that when you are married to the commander). Just imagine, five hours of knitting and drinking. I've been thinking about what sort of project I should take with me. Obviously I don't want to take anything too fussy, so the samurai hat is out. Besides, I'm at the finishing point. It wouldn't be practical to block all of the pieces for 3 hats at the academy.
The only other project that I have going at this point is the Daughter's sweater. So, I think I'll take that and some Peaches and Cream that I have on hand and whip out a few dishcloths. Although, this could be a good excuse to go yarn shopping(as if any of us need an excuse!). I have several ideas percolating.
It will be fun to see if there is any difference between my 'sober knitting' and my 'drunk knitting'. I'll let you know as soon as the headache I'm sure to have goes away.
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
I've never been one to make New Year's resolutions. In fact, I've always resolved not make resolutions. Maybe that's my problem.
I'm happy with my looks and weight. Sure I could stand to lose some weight, but I'm just not motivated enough. My extra 20 pounds isn't affecting my health and I don't have to shop for plus sizes, and I'm o.k. with that. I do have some grey hair and that can be easily taken care of. Plus the sweet husband says I'm getting 'hotter' as I get older now that I'm past the frumpy-I-have-very-young-children-or-I'm-pregnant-so-I'm-always-tired-stage.
So this leaves me with personal characteristics. My list will not be as amusing as Franklin's, and these aren't really resolutions they are more like guide lines.
1. I must fight the tendency to be lazy - if I can do this the house will be clean and organized. If the house is clean and organized, I will have time to tackle home improvement projects such as laying down new flooring in the living room, stairs and upstairs hall. Every room will get a new coat of paint and drapes. I will also get the buffet from my great-grandmother cleaned up and looking purty. Which leads me to all of the craft projects that are percolating in my mind...
2. A fisherman's sweater for the husband - I was almost finished with a very large Malabrigo sweater for him(60" chest) when he decided he didn't like the color. Thank goodness I hadn't finished the other sleeve and neckband! So rather than have the thing lay in a drawer never to be worn after months of on and off work, I ripped it.
3. A SpongeBob sweater of my own design for Thing 1 - yellow sweater with Bob's face on the front
4. A Patrick sweater of my own design for Thing 2 - Patrick is as some of you may be cursed to know is a pink starfish. The husband has a strong opinion about boys wearing pink, so it will have to be a smallish Patrick motif on some 'manly' background
5. Knit a runner for the front entry
6. Baby blanket for new family member to be born in February - I'd better get a move on. I don't even have the yarn for this one.
7. A quilt made from old jeans cut into squares
8. Finish the #$%^%%& samurai hats!
9. Finally, I need to challenge myself so this is the year I would like to attempt a lace shawl for me. Do you see the above list? Not a dang thing on there for me!
Gotta run, I've got carpet to rip up, laundry to fold, a nap to take! Scratch that last.