Monday, October 31, 2005

I love Halloween

I don't think there is anything better in the world than having your kids go door to door begging for a sugar high.

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We hit the jackpot in our new neighborhood. We only hit one block of one street and we had overfilling bags of mostly chocolate, no cheap stuff for us.

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Pirate Bird let us carry her for the first half, then she caught on and insisted on running from door to door of her own volition. If you tried to pick her up she clutched her bad to her chest and screamed "mine, mine" at the top of her lungs. Hands off her candy or the Pirate will resort to drastic measures.

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Meaty was so excited to be "Mr. Credible." When trick or treating he wouldn't look anyone in the eye, and half the time wouldn't stick his bag out. When he was coaxed into saying "thank you" he said it very quietly in his low grown-up voice.

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Pork Chop was just the pretty princess. She told every single house that I made her dress. Unfortunately she ripped out the hem at the party on Saturday but I didn't find out until ten minutes before trick or treating. Good old safety pins can cure all kinds of ills.

All in all we had a great time. After we sugared them up we took them to Wal-Mart and let them run around the mostly empty store. Then we took them home and put them to bed with no fuss. What a great night.

And just because it's cute here's Squeaky in her Halloween costume

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I made this sweater for her when my Sister was still pregnant with her. What can be cuter than a child dressed as a bee?

Tomorrow I take my Mom for chemo. She is also having a battery of test done to check the progress of her chemo, so I should have plenty of time to finish my Socktober Socks. Only one day late.

How I loved thee Socktober

Like most Socktoberfest Participants I wanted to finish Socktober with a grand flourish. Alright, maybe not grand, and maybe not a flourish. I really just wanted to finish a sock IN Socktober.

This is what I came up with

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As you can see I came so close. I was knitting and knitting and knitting last night, I just really wanted to get it done. I knit until I was so tired I was dropping stitches, and for the safety of me and the sock I had to put the sock down. Who needs a sock with toes anyways?

I have more to blog about, more witty things to say, but there are screams coming from the downstairs. Not supernatural Halloween screams, but "he's got my new Dora doll and he's licking it" kind of screams. Screams that require intervention and possibly a tranquilizer gun. More later.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Whew, the frenzied sewing of Halloween 2005 is over. And we all survived with most of our body parts. I did sacrifice a chunk of my finger when I accidentally got it too close to the running sewing machine. But last night at 9:45 I put the final stitch into Meaty's costume and I was done. They're going to wear them to a very special Halloween playgroup today so I'll post pictures tomorrow. Pork Chop will be wearing her dress for four out of the next five days. She has playgroup today, her school party tomorrow, a Halloween party Saturday, we're taking Sunday off from the dress (although she might convince me to let her wear it to church if it is clean), then on Monday we have trick-or-treat. Hope the dress holds up. Final measurement on the hem was SEVEN inches. I had to shorten that puppy seven inches, on a bell shaped dress. I was too lazy to cut it, so the dress has a four inch hem. I don't claim to be a seamstress, just a Mom who is to cheap to buy a real Halloween costume.

After I finished to costumes I needed serious de-stressing. So look what I did

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I made a heel. I've never done top down socks before so a heel turn was new and a strange sort of magic. Very fun to do. I have discovered a flaw in the top-down versus toe-up debate. With toe-up it is hard to run out of yarn. When the yarn is gone you just bind off and that's how long the leg is. With top-down you have to be sure you have enough yarn because if you run out before you get to the toe, well, you're screwed. I personally don't think toeless socks are a good idea, but I've been wrong before. Boy I hope I have enough yarn to get to the toe.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What I really need

I've been sewing my poor little fingers to the bone. I put the zipper, neck, sleeves and belt on Pork Chop's costume. Now I just need to make the aforementioned six inch hem.

I made Bird's skirt, belt, and bag. She just needs her head-dress.

I've made Meaty's belt, and had The Greatest puffy paint his logo on his shirt. I just need to make some Super-hero underwear for him to wear on the outside of his costume.

Whew, I'm tired, and I've saved the hardest parts for last.

Last week Jackie tagged me and I know I need to do Jackie's tag, but I'm pondering truly odd things about myself. I asked The Greatest and he had a whole list just off the top of his head. Thanks for the love. So while I think I did this one.

Google your name and the word needs. I googled my real name, not Goddess. Here's what came up.
1. Goddess needs help!!! (This was at the TOP of the list. The exclamation points was there. You can't make this stuff up. Do the people at Google know me personally?)
2. Goddess needs a flu shot - like really really NEEDS a flu shot (Since I had the flu last week I think it's a bit late for that)
3. Goddess needs a new pair of shoes (or two or three)
4. Goddess needs a loving home and help with her veterinary expenses (Please adopt me, I'm housebroken and come with yarn)
5. Goddess needs to be found (Hide and Seek anyone?)
6. Goddess needs to decide if this fits her idea of a good relationship (are we talking about Boyd here, cause I already know the answer)
7. Goddess needs sex (that's a bit personal)
8. Goddess needs to get another facial expression for deep ponderance (that's a bit mean)
9. Goddess needs to either wake up or start getting some extra will power (are we talking about yarn here)
10. Goddess needs a new diaper (probably)

Why wasn't sleep on the list because I think what I really really need is sleep? And more time to knit, and a personal chef, and a housekeeper, and a winning lottery ticket. Any body have any of those things just lying around?

Monday, October 24, 2005

What do you mean it's October

So I'm happily knitting on my Socktober socks when I get an e-mail. An earth shattering, life changing e-mail. It seemed simple enough. Someone suggested that we have our children wear their Halloween costumes to playgroup this Thursday. Sounds like fun. My first thought was that it was awfully early in the month to have Halloween Costumes, but hey when in Rome. Then I realize what the actual date is. Halloween is next week! I have not even begun to consider Halloween costumes. I've been too busy knitting socks.

So I start shopping for costumes. Usually I make them, but this year I thought I would just buy them considering playgroup is Thursday. I didn't want to kill myself sewing three costumes in less than a week with my questionable sewing skills. I looked everywhere. Either I couldn't find the costume in their size, or they didn't have what they wanted to wear, or I just couldn't justify the expense for such a poorly made item. It is truly a sad day when the sewing job I do is superior to that of the store item.

So Sunday I went out and bought this

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Now my challenge is to turn this jumble of colors and textures into three beautiful, creative costumes for my children. Some day I'll entertain you with my history with sewing machines. I have a talent for breaking them, yet I keep sewing. I literally, no exaggeration, broke three machines when I was sewing my son's crib bedding (first mine, then my Mothers, then my neighbors. Makes you wonder why on earth my neighbor loaned me her machine in the first place). It was not pretty. Well the crib bedding was so pretty, and the crib skirt was perfect. But the pile of broken machines? Not pretty. So far I have only broken two needles and I'm almost done with Pork Chop's costume. Unfortunately it is huge. I always buy her dresses in a size six, so I made her costume in a size six, and I should have gone with a five. Oh well. She'll be able to wear it for years. I'm just going to have to figure out how to hem six inches of fabric from a bell shaped dress. Did I mention I'm fine with straight lines, but curved lines actually scare me?

So while I am leaving a trail of sewing pins through the apartment I will be neglecting this

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Don't they look fabulous? I love them. Here's a close up of the front lace pattern

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Isn't it pretty? I think of them while I'm ripping out ill-sewn seams. Tomorrow I'm taking my Mom to chemo, and since I don't feel like lugging the sewing machine with me I'll be able to knit away tomorrow afternoon guilt free. See, every cloud has a silver lining.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

What to do with Boyd

What a bad needle. And he's hiding again. When I get my hands on him I'm not sure what I'm going to do, but it's going to be bad. Cutting him in half sounds like a good idea, but I'm afraid he's like a worm and he'll only sprout new points at each end and become two separate evil Boyds.

And in his latest act of treachery Boyd has gifted me with the flu. I barely had the energy today to lie in bed and watch the children hit one another, occasionally calling out a feeble "don't do that." Meaty's response is always "But I luf her." Evidently "luffing" someone is an excuse to harm them. I'm going to have to work on that before he gets himself a girlfriend.

When The Greatest came home for lunch I told him I was too sick to knit, but around two I had grown tired of watching the toddler version of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (Bird really was holding her own) so I tried to knit. What a huge mistake. I'm trying to knit Knitty's Straightlaced Socks. There is a two row lace pattern repeat. I knit about five rows of the repeat before I realized I was only knitting the first row over and over and over. I'd evidently decided the second row was superfluous, not really necessary. I tried to frog it, but I'm not good at frogging with yarn overs and decreases. I ended up taking the socks off the needles, ripping back to the ribbing and then trying to pick-up the stitches. That was a disaster. The stitches are so small, and the work was so tedious, and my head hurt so much I thought I was going to throw up. I ended up frogging the entire socks into two neat balls. I'll try again later when I'm feeling better. I swear I'm going to knit these Socktober Socks IN Socktober.

And just to clarify. My Mother has breast cancer, so every Tuesday I take her for her chemotherapy. That's why Tuesdays are chemo days. For me it's not such a bad thing. I get to spend the afternoon childless just talking to my Mother. I get to sit in a chair and knit uninterrupted for a few hours, and a nice volunteer brings me hot chocolate and brownies if they have any. If it weren't for the life threatening cancer and the poisonous toxins they pump into my Mother it would be a perfect afternoon. I don't blog about it much, not because I'm uncomfortable talking to random strangers about it, but because my family reads my blog and some of my feelings are too raw and personal to share with people I'm going to actually have to see face to face. I will post if there is any news, good or bad, about her progress. She gets a body scan next month to see how the chemo is doing. I would like to thank everyone here and on the Knitty board who have said such positive supportive things.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Good things never die!

Silly girl.

Did she really think it would be that easy to get rid of me? (insert evil laugh here)(Don't forget to use a deep voice, with an evil accent).

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So she thinks she really "accidentally" downloaded the wrong version of the pattern into her palm. Give me a break. It was sooooo simple to make the switch. Sure she had a password on her Palm but "I hate Boyd" wasn't too hard to crack. I almost died laughing when I saw her try on her sweater with the too low neckline. It was too sweet. My plans are falling together perfectly.

This is my next evil act

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Her precious Socktober socks. (yes the picture is fuzzy and bad, but give me a break, I don't have opposable thumbs) She had knit an inch and a half, the ribbing was done, she was all set to start the lace repeats tomorrow. Imagine her surprise when she awakens tomorrow to find there is less than a half an inch done. She'll wonder how she measured so wrong. She'll never suspect I unraveled all her work.

She is sooo simple, so trusting. Sure she changed her password after the last time I hijacked her blog but again "Death to Boyd" wasn't hard to figure out. I think my next move is to find this "Evil" she keeps talking about. I think it could be useful to my cause. (insert evil laugh here)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's a long story

I know, I know. I'm neglecting my blog. Poor blog. Bear with me. It's been a long few days, and I've got great excuses.

On Thursday I just couldn't blog or even knit because I got a new toy. My Father gifted me with this

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It's his old MPIO music player. I didn't think I needed it, but I absolutely LOVE it. It's really useful. I wore it until my ears hurt. I can wear it when I knit, and when I do the dishes, and when I knit, and when I'm cleaning, and when I knit, and when I'm outside playing with the kids, and when I knit, and when, well, you get the picture. I spent most of Thursday downloading songs to load onto my player. Collecting songs could become a time consuming hobby in and of itself.

On Friday with an MPIO full of my favorite songs I decided to sit down and get serious about Hopeful, and here's how it turned out.

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Here's another Public Service Announcement. When you are gifted with a pattern, and then a few days later an second version of said pattern is distributed because the neck-line is too low on the original version, please be sure the copy you downloaded into your Palm is the second updated version of the pattern and not the first copy of said pattern. I finished the entire left front side, and most of the right when I decided to try the shirt on and see how the length was. Imagine my surprise to discover the length and shaping was perfect but the neckline dipped down below my bra. After some checking I realized I was knitting with the original version of the pattern, the version that was scrapped because the neckline was too low. No biggie, I'll just frog to the neckline and knit until I get to the appropriate length to begin the neckline. But as I'm frogging I realize I've started my shaping much lower than called for by the pattern. For the life of me I can't imagine why I would start the waist shaping at three inches instead of the four and a half inches called for by the pattern, so I frog the entire sweater. As I roll the last ball I realize I started the waist shaping so low because I was modifying the sweater to spread the shaping over a total of eight inches instead of four. I frogged the entire thing because I am a DUMBASS who needs to keep better notes on my knitting.
In shame I avoid my blog.

So Saturday feeling sad and demoralized by knitting I sit with my MPIO and try to make so pretty stitch markers to cheer myself up. I made these

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They're nice, but not quite what I intended. I just wasn't feelin' it. With nothing to show but some balls of yarn and a story of knitting idiocy I consider entering the blogger protection program.

So Sunday I start Hopeful again and just pray I can recreate the new shaping that fit so well. Why oh why did I choose this project to get cocky on and stop using row counters and keeping detailed notes? With progress to show I consider blogging but I got The Greatest a new computer game for his birthday and I was unable to get within ten feet of the computer.

On Monday I continue to knit Hopeful. I'm roughly where I was on Thursday.

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But I feel no joy. Where's the love? Hopeful has lost all meaning for me.

Today was Chemo day. I didn't want to bring either of my sweaters to chemo, they're getting too big. So I decide to work on my Socktober socks before Socktober is gone. I'm working on Knitty's Straightlaced socks. Only I don't have two size 3 circular needles. I figure I'll just work with the needles I own and make the larger size, that should work won't it? Everyone reading this is shaking their heads and wondering if I've started doing drugs again. I got the ribbed cuff done, but it is no where near fitting. So tonight during the Sopranos I reworked the gauge to match the needles I have, it's cheaper than buying new needles. So my fabulous Socktober socks look like this

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I need a finished object to cheer myself up. I think I need to grab the project that is closest to being done and just finish it. That or I need to find Boyd and sacrifice him in a ritual to the Gods of Knitting.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A little motivation

There's nothing like volunteering to host playgroup to motivate you to clean up.

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Isn't it pretty. And I swear there's only one unpacked box and one laundry basket of random things off camera. And a smallish pile, alright mediumish pile of papers on the desk. But it doesn't look bad for only being here 12 days. Things are really coming together.

I hung curtains today. Or atleast I attempted to. After figuring out all by myself how to put the proper drill bit into the drill I tried to install the brackets for the kitchen window. For some reason it didn't work. I tried moving the bracket. I tried pushing harder. I couldn't get the screw to screw into the wall, so I got the bright idea that maybe I needed to drill a hole before I tried to drill the screw into the wall. I took out the bit for the screw and tried to insert the long thing for drilling holes (see my amazing use of proper technical jargon). This is where God himself intervened and I couldn't get the hole driller thingie to stay in the drill. The little grippers had disappeared. Later that afternoon The Greatest called and he explained to me that the screw wouldn't go into the wall because the drill was in reverse, ditto for why the grippers disappeared. He also told me that for the love of all that's good do not drill holes before drilling the screws in. He doesn't have enough spackle for that. It's amazing. When you're not in reverse the screws just drill right in. I got the kitchen curtains up with no further incident.

Feeling bold from my moderate success with the kitchen curtains I decided to hang the living room curtains. I measured, I leveled, I drilled, and I tried to hang. Notice I had no trouble until I tried to actually hang the curtain rod on the brackets. When I put the weight of the rod on the right bracket it fell right out of the wall. I had drilled into a place that was all spackle under the layers of paint instead of drywall.

I gave up and let the curtains just dangle from the wall until The Greatest came home. He quietly re-spackled and hung the curtains properly. And then just to keep me from getting "inspired" again he hung the living room pictures as well. I think he'll hang the rest of the decorations this weekend. Not a bad way to keep him motivated.

And in between watching the children and abusing the power tools I made this

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I'm finished with the waist shaping. I'm almost ready to start the neckline. This pattern is just falling into place, but I've seen from the knitalong that most of the knitters don't have problems until the knit the sleeves and the neck tie. I'm feeling cautiously optimistic.

In an unrelated note, sometimes you see a blog entry that is so well written and beautiful it changes the way you see the world. This is such a post. People who know me know I hate feet. Just can't stand them. But Miriam made me almost love them. Now I have a grudging respect for them. I just thought the whole thing was so well written and beautiful. Her soul must just shine, radient. She inspires me to be a better writer, and produce more thoughtful posts.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Use your illusion baby

Progress of some sort.

I've made a dent on my Hopeful

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This pattern is designed for a petite woman with a shorter torso I don't think my torso is abnormally long, but it is normal. So I've measured my favorite shirt and I'm mirroring the measurements for the waist decreases. I'm doing them over four inches instead of just two. Ditto for the eventual increases. I've also lengthened the shirt just a smidge. I've had moderate success messing with patterns in the past, but lately I feel like I've lost my design mojo (hence the hiding from the corset), so we'll just see how this all works out.

I've also made progress unpacking my bedroom. See

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Looks better doesn't it? Of course you can't see this pile on my bed.

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I'm learning that it's all about the illusion. It doesn't matter what's off frame. It's all about the illusion.

Monday, October 10, 2005


I have a small confession to make. I've actually had internet access for almost a week. I'm sorry I've neglected you. I've just been busy, what with the kids, and the unpacking and the finding of the yarn. I apologize, to make up for it I have pictures. Lots of pictures. I know I can buy your forgiveness with pictures.

Here's my almost finished corset with sleeves in the required pose on my sheets.

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I knit the first sleeve with a lace repeat at the bottom.

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I actually think the lace with where it hits on my body is just too busy. It detracts from the pattern of the bodice. I think the second sleeve which is simple rib will look better.

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Then I seem to have caught a case of start-itis.

I've got my corset to finish. Not to mention the rosebud afghan. Plus Bird's sweater (I could put it off over the summer, but now that it's cold I have no excuse). Let's not even talk about Evil.

So here I am with all this stuff to do and I'm going to join Socktober. I've already made my balls of Sock Garden yarn.

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I'm thinking of using the Straight Lace pattern from Knitty. But I'm open to suggestions.

I've also finally cast on for Hopeful.

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Notice the pretty stitch marker. I've decided to be brave and use pattern as written for the most part. It has been suggested that horizontal ribbing on the hips might not be the most flattering, but hey, I live life on the edge. I am loving the Merino Style yarn from knit picks. I think it would have been lovely to use for the corset as well.

And for a final picture I am letting you into a place few people get to go.

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This is my bedroom. To truly understand the significance of this picture I have to give a little background on me. My bedroom is sacred. It is never messy, there are never clothes on the floor, and my bed is always made. It is the prettiest room of the house, my favorite room of the house. Or it was at my old house. Now it is a depositing place for things we don't know what to do with yet. There are no unpacked boxes in any other room of the house (they are mostly hidden in the basement). Yet for some reason my room has been the last to be unpacked and it will probably be the last to get painted. I'm sure my hair dryer is in here somewhere. But I'm not sure where. People who know me in real life will now forgive the way my hair looked in church on Sunday.

On the plus side, in all this mess Boyd has "accidentally" been misplaced in the move. I'm sure he'll find a good home. Evil is also "mysteriously" missing. You don't think the two incidents are related do you?

In an unrelated note, and I add this only because The Greatest will be devastated if I don't point this out, did you notice the ugly monitor on the floor, and the pretty one on the left on the desk? The Greatest was gifted with a new computer for his birthday. Isn't it pretty. I must admit I'm loving the flat screen monitor and the fact that the disk drives all work, and it doesn't crash on a regular basis. Please ohh and ahh over his new toy.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Public Service Announcement

No matter how tired you are, even if you have a good excuse for being tired, like packing and moving and unpacking and arranging furniture and painting (alright watching The Greatest paint) all the while taking care of five children

Let me repeat NO MATTER HOW TIRED YOU ARE do not

a) put the beautiful matching hand knit socks you made for your daughters in the wrong laundry pile resulting in them being washed on warm, not cold.


b) being unaware that they are in said wrong load proceed to dry them in the DRYER instead of laying them flat to dry.

Let me assure you that the end result will be a two small pairs of socks only fit for dolls. They will also be lightly felted so they can not be blocked back to size.

Not that I would do a thing like that and then quickly order two new balls of sock yarn from knitpicks to make replacement socks. No, I'm just saying that when you are tired things like this can possibly happen and people should be warned.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Moving day my butt

It's moving day. So why am I here blogging instead of carrying heavy things up and down stairs?

Funny story.

Last week I went to see our apartment and it had cat feces in the garage and the basement had mold and smelled worse than the garage. So I went back to the rental office to make sure they were going to have the apartment ready in a week. The woman at the rental office was annoyed with me for even asking. She didn't want to let me in the apartment in the first place. She kept telling me it wasn't ready yet. I understand that. I wasn't asking about the missing blinds or the half installed flooring. I was concerned about actual animal waste and potentially harmful mold being in a place I am supposed to live with my family. When I came back the woman wouldn't listen to my concerns. She brushed me aside saying that she had told me the apartment wasn't ready yet, but they had a week and they could get it ready in two day.

So yesterday I went to pick up the keys to the apartment and guess what....The apartment ISN'T READY. Sure they picked up the cat poop and scraped the mold off, but the smell? It's not just lingering, it's threatening a hostile take over. They assured me that they had used emulsifier on the basement three times, and now they were going to use a sealant to seal the smell in (does that sound like a bad idea to anyone else?) They had also decided yesterday at three o'clock in the afternoon that they needed to replace the carpet and padding in the entire apartment. Why on earth would they wait until the day before I'm supposed to move in before making a decision like that?

So here I sit. Cooling my heels. Waiting for the sealant to dry and the carpet to be laid.

On the bright side I get all new carpet.

On the other hand I blame this on Boyd.