Friday, January 12, 2018

Sweet Sweet Therapy

Today saw the triumphant return of the Therapy Socks!

These aren't socks that I am knitting as therapy (although I can not deny that knitting them is therapeutic).

Rather, these are sock that I knit while I am in the waiting room of the pediatric therapy center while the Queen Bean is in one of her various therapy sessions.

These socks were set aside in August.  The Queen had been receiving services at the same therapy center since she was two months old.  Despite being an hours drive from our home we considered this center to be a bit of a second home.  The staff there was family.  We were devoted to our center despite the long drive we made twice a week.

Think about that for a second.

An hour's drive each way. 

Twice a week.

For three and a half years.

We were devoted.

But over the summer things changed at the therapy center.  I'm not going to speculate on the cause.  But something made the staff very unhappy.  And they left.  And the new therapists who were hired to replace them didn't stay for more than a few weeks at a time.  Rather than the consistency of therapists we had enjoyed for the first three year we had a steady stream of every changing therapists. 

Which doesn't work for the Queen.

So we left.

And it took four months to get in with a new therapy center.  We had to be evaluated.  And approved by insurance.  And fit into the schedule.  The process was ridiculously slow.  Especially the approved by insurance part.

Unfortunately the new center doesn't have any openings that allow us to double up two therapies on the same day.

So we now drive 20 minutes three times a week to reach the new center.  Fifteen minutes if traffic is cooperative.  I'm really appreciating staying on my side of the valley. 

We've been at the new center for six weeks.  And in that time I've sat in on all the Queen's sessions.  It has been a difficult transition as the Queen got back into the routine of therapy with new therapists who have different rules and preferences.  But I feel really good about the work that they are doing.  As much as I loved our old therapists sometimes change is good.

This week I was finally able to bow out of the sessions and allow the therapists to do their job solo. When I am in the room the Queen looks to me as the ultimate authority who can overrule the therapist, and who she can run to for comfort when she does not want to participate in the exercises.  Despite my efforts to redirect her back to the therapist I was still a distraction. 

But since we took the time for the Queen to get comfortable with the therapists she happily walks back with the therapists.  She did cry for fifteen minutes the first day, which was hard, but then she did more work for her physical therapist in one session than she had done in the entire previous five weeks.  She followed that up by making noise for the speech therapist and saying "baby".  And today while I sat and knit she actually drew horizontal lines as requested by her occupational therapist and she made great strides in her hand strength working with, well I don't know what it is, but if you put a ball in its mouth and squeeze its stomach the ball pops out.  Earlier this summer she couldn't squeeze it by herself.  But she did today.

And while she did that I knit a toe

I was super helpful to myself back in August when I abandoned this project.  I left no notes regarding what pattern row I was on when I put the sock in a temporary time out.

I like to set myself up for failure.

It took an embarrassing amount of time to figure it out.  But as it turns out I was much closer to finishing the first sock than I remembered (maybe House Gnomes took pity on it and knit a few rows here and there so it wouldn't be lonely?)

Sock one of the Therapy Socks is completed.

Ravelry tells me I started these socks on October 11th, 2016.

That's right.


I wonder how long it will take me to complete the second sock.

Maybe the House Gnomes do me a solid and help me out with some of the knitting.

Thursday, January 04, 2018

The First FO of 2018

So the only upside to my pounding headache, if there is an upside, is it hurts to much too move so I spent a rather large chunk of time sitting in the same spot and I knit.

The downside of this is I can't knit anything too complicated.  Too many of my brain cells are occupied with the constant throbbing dance they are performing against my forehead.  There are very few brain cells left over to use for things like concentration.

I'm dying to finish my pink socks

But all those tiny crossing cables.

Nope.  Not today Satan.

Instead I settled for a gentler cable pattern.  So subtle it almost isn't a cable pattern.

Sidenote, as I knit my nails were not matching, but coordinating in the same tone as my yarn.

And it made me very happy.

My finished socks also make me very happy.

Pattern:  Oscillatory Socks

Yarn:  Pattons Kroy Socks in Turquoise Stripes, 2 skeins

Needles:  1.5 32 inch circular needles

Modifications:  I knit a longer heel gusset.  The pattern only called for 24 rows, and I knit 32 rows.  And then I picked up extra stitches on the side of the heel gusset but decreased to the recommended 64 stitches for the foot.

I think the mod worked out well for me.

I love how the stripe pattern lined up, but the colors are slightly different on each foot.  They are brothers not twin socks, and I'm not mad.

Kroy isn't the softest or snuggliest sock yarn but the colors called to me.  And the socks should wear like iron.

Not a bad way to start the knitting year.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

New Year, New Me!

Just Kidding.

New Year, Same old Me.

I've spent the past three days looking like this.

So far I'm three days into the new year and I'm three for three with migraines.

It's all good.  I've decided to get all my migraines for the year out of the way now then I can be done with them for the rest of the year.

It totally works like that right?

A girl can dream.

December was a BIG month for us.

We had a birthday.

And a 20th wedding anniversary.

And my Brother came to visit.

And there was Christmas.

And another birthday.

All good things. 

And I'm hoping 2018 is full of good things too.

Just as soon as I get done having my entire year's worth of migraines in a week.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

A Riot of Purple

When I was in fourth grade my Mom bought me a ginormous bag of new school clothes. 

Every single item was purple.

Which was AWESOME! 

Because purple was my favorite color.

I have a feeling Sweet Pea would have approved

She too is a fan of dressing like a grape.  (and she's in fourth grade!  Maybe it's the age?)

Both her hat and her sweater were made by me.  But really I'm just show off what a cutie my fourth child is.

The hat pattern is "Goblin Hat."  I have no further details about this hat.  I have no idea how I even found the pattern.  It took me ten minutes of ravelry searching to find the pattern today so I could link it. I'm glad I found it.  It's really cute and I'd love to knit twelve more.  I think the yarn was the rejected yarn from this project.  But I couldn't swear to it.  I probably used size 6 needles for the whole hat.  But I'm just guessing.  I might have pulled out size 8 dpns for this but who knows.

I really am the worst blogger.

The sweater

The pattern was Little Boxy, by Joji Locatelli.  She's one of my favorite designers.  And I knit her grown up version of this sweater  last year  at some point in my life.  This was knit with Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn.  I used a skein and the left over bits and bobs from my Step Mommy's sweater.  If you look you can see where the two different dye lots are clashing.  It's all good.  It's another subtle homage to the 80's color block sweater.

The construction of Joji's sweaters is always a little more complex than your average raglan sweater, but I love the combinations of textures here, the rolled collar, the garter stitch at the shoulder, the smooth stockinette of the body. 

The Queen was very concerned that Sweet Pea look her best in these photos.

She appointed herself Sweet Pea's personal stylist, and made sure the sweater laid just so in each picture.

She did a good job.

Monday, December 04, 2017

It's Story Time!

We haven't had a good disaster story around here in a while.  It seems time for things to go horribly wrong.

See this beautiful throw

I test knit that for KnitPicks.  (It's now a free pattern available here)  Photo credit for this goes to KnitPicks because my finished project photo looked like this.

Why yes, I do still block my stuff on garbage bags.  Probably the exact same garbage bags I used twelve years ago when I first discovered what blocking was.

When I test knit for KnitPicks I have to knit a gauge swatch.

Turns out I only knit gauge swatches if I'm getting paid to.  Otherwise I like to live dangerously. 

The path from humble lowly gauge swatch to finished throw started out smoothly enough.

The designer also has five children and she likes to design patterns that are easily memorized but with just enough change to keep it interesting.  She achieved her goals with this one.  You had to pay a little attention to what you're doing but not too much.  It is perfect tv knitting.

And when it got big enough you could snuggle under it while you knit.

I knit this while marathoning Quantico.  Season one was better than season two (which explains why there wasn't a season three).

But I wasn't the only one in the house who loved this blanket

Pumpkin LOVED this blanket.

I don't know if it was the color, or the yarn itself (it was knit with Mighty Stitch Bulky which is super soft and smooshy) or if it just smelled so much like me she couldn't resist loving it.  But seriously, I could not keep her away from it.

Side note, when we did the big furniture change downstairs we upgraded my knitting chair.

The otter man opens for knitting storage!  How awesome is that!

But this is neither here nor there.  Back to the cat.

So Pumpkin loved the big grey blanket.  And the morning I was to block it I took this picture for Knitpicks.

Then I ran down stairs to grab my wool wash to soak it in.  And when I returned I discovered Pumpkin not only on the blanket, but doing that weird nursing/pawing thing cats do sometimes.

And while she was doing that weird nursing/pawing thing she did this.

It is hard to see from the way I was holding it in the picture, but she pulled out that loop, and it was broken.  She chewed through the yarn.  And that's not a third of the way from the top of the blanket.  That's a third of the way from the bottom.

And I realized as I pulled out my contracts that the blanket was not due the next week like I thought.  It was actually due in the Knitpicks offices THAT SAME DAY!  I have never missed a deadline and it felt terrible to miss this one. 

And there was nothing to be done but frog it back down to the bad spot, take it out, and reknit the top two thirds of the blanket.

Which I did.

In two days.

Sometimes I'm a crazy fast knitter.

Or maybe I'm just crazy.

That could be it too.

I told my little brother that she's lucky she's such a nice cat with lots of redeeming qualities or I wouldn't put up with her nonsense.   He laughed and asked "the nonsense of her being a cat?"  Yes, exactly.  If she weren't such an awesome cat I wouldn't put up with her being a cat.

And that's the story of the grey blanket.

Go forth and knit one of your very own.

And keep it away from Pumpkin.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

It's Been A Long Time

Hello Blog.

As I told my group chat girls "There is no knitting.  There is only me strumming my guitar.  Badly."

And while that's a little bit of an exaggeration.

There is a whole lot of truth to it as well.

Which isn't to say that I can play guitar yet.  My chord changes are abysmally slow.  Bar chords are still an emerging skill.  But I am enjoying relearning music theory as it pertains to the guitar strings/frets.  Way back in the dark ages before the dawn of man I was a music major in college.  I was a vocalist who also dabbled in piano (the official term for my keyboard skills was "proficient", which isn't to say I was good, but I was passable at the basics).   All those long forgotten lectures on music theory and "using all the crayons in the crayon box" are starting to resurface, as is my love for music.  It was always there, the need for music in my life.  But I'd forgotten how much I love not just to listen to music, but to MAKE music.  It feels good.

And I got a new guitar.

I know.  I don't NEED two guitars.  But we wandered into the guitar store and there it was.  So beautifully blue I couldn't resist.  It is my favorite shade of blue and it matches my favorite nail polish (that I happened to be wearing that day).  It was love at first sight. The Greatest immediately bought it for me calling it my birthday present.  But even if my birthday hadn't been right around the corner he would have bought it for me.  My birthday was just a convenient excuse to spoil me.  He really is The Greatest!

So I returned the favor and bought him an upgraded guitar for his birthday.

Our music room now looks like this.

Guitar Acquisition Syndrome (also known as GAS) is real.

On the knitting front there has been knitting.

Unfortunately it is all Knit Picks knitting.  So I can't talk about it until the test knits are published.  Fortunately for me they recently released their "Merry Knitmas" collection and I can show you one of my favorite test knits ever.

Look how flipping cute that is!  I knit that pillow.

Here it is modeled less artistically on my knitting chair.

I loved knitting it.  I have to admit I looked at the chart and felt a little overwhelmed but once I got in to the rhythm of it it was very fun to knit.

I tried very hard to convince my contact at Knit Picks to send the pillow back to me when they were done with it.  I'm just so enamored with the rows upon rows of gnome-ish Santas.

But they weren't going for it.

I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and buy yarn to knit two (or three, or maybe four) for my house.

That's really going to eat into my guitar practice time.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Juggling All The Balls

To say I've been busy is an understatement.

I'm in that stage of Motherhood where my days are full of stuff that needs done TODAY, yet at the end of the day I somehow feel I haven't gotten anything done.

I'm still consistently attempting to learn to play the guitar.

And I've got the blisters and baby callouses to prove it.

The Greatest is obsessed with home improvement/renovation shows right now.  The other night we were watching one where two brothers create ridiculous projects every month.  Like a floating hot tub.  Or a floating fire pit/stage.  Their cottage is on a lake. They make a lot of floating projects.  But on the floating fire pit episode at the end of the episode these idiot pull out two guitars and just start busting out flawless chords.  I turned to The Greatest and asked him "Is it just me or does it seem like everyone can play guitar except us?"  He agreed.  We suck.  I'm really feeling this meme

But I can play "Twinkle Twinkly Little Star" and "The Alphabet Song" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep."

So I've got that going for me.

And today I had a breakthrough and I think I've mastered the D major chord.  So now I can play "3 Little Birds."

That was a pretty thrilling moment for me as well.

I've given in and turned the bottom half of the hutch in the music room

into toy storage.

The tiny Queen was always pulling out the things I stored in there anyways.  And now I can watch her cause mayhem and destruction while I serenade her with nursery rhymes.

This child is always getting serenaded

She has no idea how truly spoiled she is.

Last week she had to have outpatient surgery to remove a broken tooth.

A simple extraction turned into an extraction, two crowns, and five fillings.

But at least now her mouth doesn't hurt.

And in the midst of surgeries, and learning guitar, and unf*cking the house, and chauffeuring children to sports, and checking home work, and keeping the kids fed and for the love of all that is good did everyone brush their teeth before bed?!!!!...

There is knitting.

I'm a teensy bit obsessed with the designs by Andrea Mowry.  I've knit the Find Your Fade Shawl (twice) as well as her Boho Blush Shawl (which is still waiting for blocking/fringe).  I have big plans to knit a Kingston Tunic someday.  For now I am knitting a FunFunFun Shawl.

I wanted to copy the colors of her original shawl

But sometimes you have to go with what is available at your local craft store.

So my shawl looks more like FunFunFun's goth older cousin.

But it's all good.

Or at least it was until I ran out of yarn.

Looks like I'll have to add "Run to the craft store" to the list of things have HAVE to be done tomorrow.