Monday, October 29, 2007


I spent my weekend with this

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So I must spend today with this

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So there is no time for this

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But it was so worth it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Gratuitous Grandchildren

My blue scarf is everything I dreamed it would be, all washed and blocked, ready for its close-up. As nice as it looks all laid out on my bed, it really must be modeled for full effect. And unfortunately we have been under the weather these past few days. So I am no ready for my close-up. It will have to wait another day.

In an effort to distract you allow me to present the only thing better than my knitting.

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They don't seem to mind the dirt back yard. Sure they get filthy (that's not a tan, its a fine layer of dust)

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but they're still so cute under all that dirt.

More Random Cuteness

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And for the record that last one was taken two weeks ago, and I feel so much larger than I look.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Trio of Tiny Things

I'd like to thank everyone for their nice comments on my green yarn. I adore the way it turned out, but chalk most of my success up to beginner's luck. I love beginner's luck. It's the only kind of luck I have. Well, that and bad luck. Or maybe one of my children is a dye-ing savont, and the results should be credited to them. I'm sure it's one or the other. Either way I'm very happy with my shaded green yarn.

And for the record, a tiny bit of yelling might have been involved, especially when the dye was involved, but I'll never confess to the actual amount or words used.

And there are lots of things I can't do. That list includes whistling, thinking about Christmas without crying, making a good pie crust and intarsia. But I keep trying. Someday my kids will eat decent pie crust and realize what they've been missing all their lives.

I was most productive yesterday. My tiny orange pants are all clean, dried, and ready for some embellishment. So they're not quite ready to be unveiled, but I did block a few other items that are.

Pretty As A Poppy, or Cute as a Button

Pattern: Pretty As A Poppy Hat, size newborn

Yarn: Bernat Softee, 1 skein, and a little red yarn from the Nausea Sweater (which still, by the way, makes me sick when I touch it)

Needles: Size 2 and 4 Double Pointed Needles

Modifications: None, this pattern was perfect. Although I did accidentally forget to decrease a stitch before I started the crown decreases, so there's an extra stitch up there. We'll just call that a design feature.


Review: I'm in love with this hat. It is teeny tiny. But oh-so-cute in that way only teeny tiny things can be. It is definitely a newborn hat. I'm a little nervous that depending on head size it won't be deep enough for the baby. That's the problem with newborn knitting, it's such a guess. If it turns out to be the wrong size I'll just knit a larger one. I might knit a larger one anyways, it's just so cute! And just to add to the fun, my picture was chosen to be featured on the Pretty as a Poppy page on Ravelry. How cool is that?

And speaking of knitting hats in two sizes

One of these had better fit her!

Pattern: Odessa, baby and newborn size

Yarn: Bernat Baby Softee

Needles: 2 size 3 cirucular needles

The model shot

Modifications: I saw a picture of the cutest chubby baby wearing a baby size Odessa on Ravelry (I do so love that site). I knew my new sweatpea had to have one of her very own. So I knit in baby size. Basically the pattern is the same, but you use fingering weight yarn instead of DK to create a smaller hat. It is cute beyond belief. But I decided it was a little large, more of a 6-12 month hat than a new baby hat. So I cast on fewer pattern repeats and tried again. This one is definitely more newborn size. On the smaller hat I also used size 2 dpns to knit the ribbing and I think it looks nicer. On the first hat I added the beads to each stitch as I was knitting. On the second hat I pre-strung the beads on my yarn, then knit (as the instructions say to do), which again, I think looks nicer. But they are both such sweet little hats. There's just something about knitting with that pristine white yarn. I still have half a skein left, so I don't think we've seen the last of the white baby hats.

And I loved knitting with bead so much that's when I had to break out the blue beaded scarf. Speaking of which, guess who learned to graft in garter stitch?

Blue Beaded Goodness

Shh, it's blocking.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Queen of Procrastination or Highly Motivated?

I suffer from a rare form of amnesia. Most mothers suffer from it, so I guess it isn't that rare. Gender specific amnesia? Maternal amnesia? It might be caused by a chemical in the brain, or it might be the result of the trauma of motherhood, or it might just be a gift from God, but there is a certain degree of forgetting that occurs in the mind of a mother. Things that are forgotten include the severe pain of childbirth, just how terrible the terrible two's are, and the fact that that third year of life is even worse than the second. In my case this amnesia also extends to satin.

Every October I stand in the fabric store mesmerized by this shiniest of shiny fabrics. I can see in my mind's eye how stunning my little girl will look swathed in this shimmer of smooth beauty. I imagine how grown up and special she'll feel wearing something so lovely that I made for her. I know how she'll feel because that's how I felt wearing some of the costumes my Mother made for me. I want to create those memories for her. In a haze of delusion fueled insanity I buy yards and yards of the stuff. I eagerly bring it home and lay it on my table covered with carefully cut out pattern pieces. But as the scissors make their first cut I remember.

Satin is an evil fabric created by the Devil himself to torture people like me.

As I fight with the slippery fabric cutting out fairy shaped pieces my amnesia is lifted and I remember that every Halloween, when I put the final stitch in the hem of her dress, I vow to never ever ever ever ever sew another satin costume again. Yet here I sit with piles of gold and cream, and a tiny girl anxious for her fairy costume.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but I am avoiding another project. I spent five hours cutting out pattern piece after pattern pieces. If I never see another leaf shaped petal skirt it will be too soon. My back is sore, already thrown out of alignment from my burgeoning belly, the hours spent bent over a table were a bit too much. I'm not ready for a marathon of sewing bent over my trusty sewing machine. Refusing to cast on another project until I get some finishing work done on my old projects, I did what any knitter would do. I dyed some yarn with Kool-aid.

And it was so much fun. I had three skeins of cream wool left over from the charity knitting. I didn't want to knit another cream sweater, one of the sweaters awaiting finishing work is a cream sweater for Bird. So the logical conclusion was dye the yarn a different color. I choose green. The children "helped" me which of course is code for

ran their cars up and down the yarn as I wound it into dying skeins

Fiber Race Track

poked the yarn while it was soaking in wash water until I feared it would felt

Please don't felt the wool

dyed everything in the kitchen green except the yarn

The dye goes ON the yarn

Whined while the yarn cooled that they wanted to dye some more

Hot Yarn!

Refused to stop touching the yarn while it hung to dry

Stop running through the yarn!

Both the yarn, the children and I survived the process. And this

Boring Yarn

Was transformed into this!

A Yarn Masterpiece!

I was going for a shaded solid look, and I don't think this turned out to terribly awful. In fact I'm thrilled with it. Overall it is made of lighter shades of green than I envisioned in my mind, but hey, it was my first time. And it certainly won't be my last. I'm anxious to see how it looks when knit. But first I have some unfinished knitting to attend to.

Could it be something blocking?

Could that be something tiny and orange finally laid to block?

And there is that dress to sew.

We mustn't disappoint the fairy princess.

Friday, October 19, 2007

And into the pile it goes

Unfinshed like the others

My poor blue scarf. It never really did stand a chance did it. Here it lies. Completely knit. All that is required is a three needle bind off. But in a stroke of madness I've decided grafting would be prettier. Only this is garter stitch and I don't know how to graft in garter stitch. A quick google search turned up these instructions. Looks easy enough. I'm just unmotivated right now. It has gone to join the other pile of knits awaiting finishing work. Really I think I'll have to hide all my needles so I can not cast on anything new until I buckle down and do my finishing work.

But even that wouldn't help right now. I'm on a new mission. Since it is October, and it is 12 days until Halloween, I've decided to finally get around to making Pork Chop's fairy costume. The procrastination isn't my fault this year. The Greatest is working seven days a week and I have been unable to get to a store to buy the required yards of satin and nylon with which I will craft this years costume masterpiece. This was remedied yesterday when I stole the car to go to the Dr (the baby is fine by the way and measuring really big). On the way home we picked up this.

So much potential

Now I'm not sure why out of all the lovely lilacs, pinks, and blues Pork Chop was drawn to the gold Satin, but she will be the most elegant of faeries draped in gold and cream. Wish me luck.

And since you're all so impressed with my night stand allow me to dazzle you with my Knitting Corner, complete with the happiest of cats lying in a patch of sunlight.

Knitting Bliss

The cabinet holds my favorite yarns. The table holds a candle warmer in my favorite scent (Wal-Mart's Baked Apple Pie, which doesn't smell at all like Apple Pie, but more like Hallmark's Apple Orchard). The window overlooks a grassy place the children like to play. It is a good knitting spot.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We can all sleep soundly tonight

The insurgents have been ruthlessly dealt with. Any plots of revolution have been squashed. Order reigns once more in my kingdom.

Orderly Again

We can all sleep soundly tonight free from rogue beads implanting themselves in our skin. And we are free to wander in the dark barefoot without fear of vicious dpn attacks. Life is good.

Well, except for the dog. The dog is depressed.

I swear my dog used to have a head

I'm not sure if she is hiding her head in shame because she briefly joined the opposition. Or is she is troubled that her plot of a hostile take over was so easily destroyed. Or maybe she just misses the ball of pink yarn. It is the same yarn Bird would cradle and sing to when it was still in hank form. Personally I don't see the attraction. Don't get me wrong, I like the yarn. What's not to like about Socks That Rock Yarn. And it is the lightweight, my favorite Socks That Rock weight of all. But there's a little too much purple in the colorway for me. Go figure.

As I was organising my knitting I realized the root of my problem.

Hmmmm something is missing

See these? All these knits have one thing in common. Can you guess what it is? C'mon, I've had this problem for years, it's just never been this bad. You know what it is.

They're all completely knit.

Each and every stitch on each and every item is completely knit. They no longer require a knitting needles. All that's left is the finishing work: sewing seams, weaving in ends, blocking, a little embroidery work on a few of them. These were all knit, then abandoned ten feet from the finish line. It's rather sad really. I should pull out my beloved Chibi needle (if you don't have a Chibi you really should, they're right up there with Addis) and spend an afternoon seaming.

Maybe tomorrow afternoon.

There's still knitting left to do on the beaded scarf.

Needs more knitting

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Now I'm really concerned

I'll admit it. I had good intentions yesterday, but that's all I had, not actual ambition. I was going to go all ruthless on my knitting and get it under control. But life gets in the way. I had a bathroom to clean, and kids toys to organise, and ridiculous built in shelves to scrub (because I must scrub anything that stands still). I started cleaning at the front of the house, and by the time I got to my room, in the very back of the house, I was just done for the day. I didn't want to deal with my knitting in a practical manner. I didn't want to sort, organise, and make decisions concerning my knitting. I just wanted to knit.

So I did what any wise knitter would do. I cast on for a new project. A beaded scarf. And truth be told I didn't do any actual knitting, instead I spent the evening stringing the beads onto my yarn in preparation for knitting the scarf, pre-knitting if you will. In the process I created a beautiful disaster with beads everywhere when I wasn't smart enough to figure out how the twelve pre-strung lines of beads were held together and managed to dump all twelve over my unmade bed. I thought I managed to find them all tucked into the corners of my sheets and blankets, but I woke up with a bead in my shoulder this morning. I'm sure I'll be finding beads for weeks.

So despite the fact that I had made the condition of my room worse not better I wasn't concerned. I don't think my yarn is very well organised in this revolution they are planning. I thought it could wait another day without serious repercussions. But as I was preparing to go to bed I found this.

Sleeping with the enemy

This is the dog. And she is cuddling the very same ball of yarn that stabbed me so painfully in the foot the other night, without provocation on my part I must add. I am not sure what to make of this. Has the dog been recruited as a soldier to the opposition? Is the dog secretly the leader of the opposition directing the yarn in their attack? Does the dog merely like pink and wish I would knit her four puppy socks to keep her paws warm on the cold tile?

I haven't decided what this means. But I'm sure it does not bode well for me. I'd better conquer the yarn today.

Just as soon as I finish stringing the rest of the beads, of course. A girl's got to have priorities.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I love the smell of napalm in the morning!

I might require an intervention. I am starting to think I might need help. My WIPs are officially out of control. I fear they are on the verge of staging a bloody revolution.

My current knitting projects are usually kept in a knitting bag between my bed and my bedside table. The table also has a tiny shelf just the right size for holding books and a small project bag if I'm working on socks. Usually everything is all neat and tidy. Knitting is by my bed where I can reach it. Accessories are organized in little pouches and bags for easy access. It is a knitters dream. But right now, not so much.

Send help!!!

In addition to the large knitting bag filled to the brim with projects, there are three smaller project bags also holding projects at various stages of completion. Then there's the knitting that doesn't fit in the bags anymore. Like a river swollen from the rain whose banks can no longer contain the fury therein, my knitting has spilled over to conquer the outlying areas of my bedroom. Did you see the hand knits just thrown on the floor under the table? Usually my knitting gets more love than that.

And the table top itself?

Just Like A Where's Waldo Picture

It's like my accessory bag threw up. I'm inadvertently living in an i-spy page. There's three and a half sets of dpns, a row counter, stitch markers, random pattern pages, scissors, a chibi needle, a tape measurer, odd yarn balls, some artwork from the kids, and my favorite chapstick thrown in for variety. Can you find them all? And in the interest of complete honesty in blogging I left my candy wrappers on the table. I considered removing them for the picture, but really, I feel no shame. The baby needs chocolate!

The sad part in all this mess is the chaos isn't what is causing me concern. I like to keep my home neat and tidy. I like it to be child-friendly, and that little corner of my world with the tiny pieces, and scissors just laying around willy-nilly, is decidedly not child-friendly. But still, despite all my nesting urges, I felt no compulsion to purge the mess from this aspect of my life. You'd better believe all my baseboards have been scrubbed with a toothbrush in the past week. That cord thingie behind the toilet that no one ever sees? It is shiny and dust free. But the highly visible table top beside my bed? It has been declared a federal disaster zone. There was no desire what so ever to sort my dpns back into their beautiful case, all neatly lined up by size and length. There was no need to gather my knits and fold them back into beautiful knitting bags safe from dog hair and sticky child fingers. No pressure at all to actually complete some of my knits. I was completely comfortable to surround myself in knitted chaos. It's my bedroom, the children aren't supposed to play in here anyways. My anal orderly ways were at peace with the state of my room. And that should have been cause for concern. But it wasn't.

What I did find to be troubling was stepping on a double pointed needle last night. It was part of an unfinished sock I was knitting for Bird. I'm not sure when in all the chaos the sock lost it's coveted place in the big knitting bag and was banished (or promoted as a soldier in the revolution?) to the floor. But in the semi-dark I did not see it there. The dpn is metal not wood, so there was no harm caused to the dpn. But considerable harm was caused to the instep of my foot.

This is where I draw the line.

When the knitting starts attacking you in the semi-darkness.

My corner will be purged today. I am expecting a bloody massacre. There will be casualties. Many a knit will take a trip to the frog pond never to be seen again. Or be mercilessly plunged into a bowl of water for blocking only to be abandoned for dead like the tiny pants. Some, depending on their loyalties, might even be promoted to Finished Objects. But there will be carnage today. I'm feeling ruthless. It won't be pretty.

My foot is sore and I'm cranky.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Confessions of a Bad Blogger

I used to think in blog posts. I viewed every aspect of my life as potential blog fodder. Was my observation witty enough to publish? Were my children cute enough to entertain the masses? Was my knitting disastrous enough to share? (because let's face, my knitting disasters were always much more interesting than my knitting success). But these days? Not so much.

I'm too tired to string words together let alone plan entire blog entries with correct grammar and spelling (never my strong suit anyways). My kids are being too well behaved lately, no shaving cream, no dog food, no crisco. In fact Meaty has taken to making his bed and cleaning his room. And by cleaning his room I don't mean shoving everything in his closet (the girl's chosen method of cleaning). The kid actually puts his little people things in his little people basket. His train engines go in his train drawer. And only blocks are allowed in the block box in his room. He explained to me that now he can find his toys. Isn't this one of the signs of the Apocalypse?

See what I mean? I just proved my point. Meaty cleaning his room isn't nearly as interesting a story to read as Meaty painting his room with jello would have been. (I painted my room with jello once. I was in college.)

So blog fodder doesn't just jump into my lap as it used to. I'm sure in a year when my house once again has a toddler I will be full of stories of domestic disaster. In the meantime I'm tired. And very very round. I'm pretty sure I'm carrying triplets. One baby in my tummy, and one baby in each thigh. In fact my thighs are petitioning as we speak to be granted their own zip code. And despite the fact that they touch all day long, they will not be content to share a zip code. Each thigh demands a zip code of its very own. I spend a lot of my time eating to get this big.

This absence from blogging has led to an unexpected freedom of sorts. In addition to eating every hour on the hour because I'm so dag-gone hungry, I've given in to a full blown case of knitting ADD. I don't have to show anyone what I'm knitting. I'm free to flit from project to project with no accountability to anyone at all. I've cast on and promptly discarded projects with wanton abandon. I don't have to take carefully staged pictures of the process, trying to capture the perfect light that shows the true color. I'm not disappointing anyone who's anxiously awaiting FO pictures. There is no progress bar sitting there taunting me. I don't have to justify why I cast on for another pair of socks, when I already have seven on the needles. No one but me knows that I've had a pair of tiny pants sitting in a bowl of water to block for over a week and I feel no pressure to actually take them out and lay them flat to dry. In fact no one but Katrina even knows I've knit a pair of tiny pants. I currently have a project on every Addi Turbo Needle I own. This is not an exaggeration. I've also put three projects on stitch holders so I could use those Addis to cast on different projects.

It truly is out of control. And I'm loving this new freedom, the complete lack of accountability in my knitting. I've been knitting only the things I want to knit, when I feel like knitting them. It almost feels like a relaxing hobby again. So what if I have two dozen projects on the needles and am contemplating casting on a new one today. It's only yarn. I'm not hurting anyone. And Meaty's too busy sorting his cars into the appropriate bin to notice what I'm up to anyways.

Never fear. This complete abandonment into childish self-indulgence won't last much longer. Nesting is starting to set in. The walls and windows are the first casualty undergoing a vigorous scrubbing. (I highly recommend using vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia to clean walls. My walls are so white I swear they glow.) The toys are next, about to undergo yet another sort and purge session. I will HAVE-TO-RIGHT-THIS-VERY-SECOND buy baby furniture soon. I've done this before. I remember the steps. As the birth of my fourth child draws closer I will begin to feel pressure to actually finish or frog these objects that I am so carelessly creating. Soon I will be overrun with FO Reports. This might actually turn into a productive knitting blog once again.

Until then I think I might cast on those Hot Wheels socks in my blue Tofutsies for Meaty. He deserves them after all his hard work.

Or I might go wring out the pants and lay them to dry. Now that people know they exist they might want to see them. And the light will be perfect for pictures in about six hours..........

Monday, October 01, 2007

So Tired of Moving!

We are all moved. Mostly....

The old house is sparkling and ready to have the keys handed back. The new house is coming together. The things in the house are for the most part unpacked. But I refuse to even think about all the boxes hidden in the garage waiting to be unpacked. Many of which were never unpacked from our move last year. I'm wondering if I quietly threw them out unopened if I would ever miss them.

I am so sick of moving. The Greatest and I sat down the other day and counted it up. In almost ten years of marriage we have moved seven times. SEVEN TIMES. It's no wonder I don't own any lamps that are more than two years old. It is a wonder that we've managed to own the same tv during our entire marriage. I used to love Nomad living, but in my old age? Not so much. I'm almost ready to settle down.

The new house is fine. It's got four walls and a roof. That's the important thing. The kids bedrooms are smaller than I'd like, and the backyard is WAY too Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucketsmall for our family. But I've got a kick ass master bedroom suite, and an island in the kitchen, so it's a trade off. I've never had an island in my kitchen before and I must confess I love it. I love it more than I would have ever imagined. The absence of an island in the kitchen will be an automatic deal breaker when we go to buy a house. That is how much I love that cabinet in the middle of the room.

With all the packing and cleaning, and unpacking and cleaning one would think I haven't knitted a thing. But one would be soooooo wrong. I've been a knitting fiend.

Recently a friend of mine co-chaired a benefit dinner for a family we know who's son has cancer. This brave little boy is just over a year old, so little, and so strong. He is currently in remission, but even with insurance his medical bills are staggering. Part of the benefit dinner included a silent auction. I knit a baby set for the auction.

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Pattern: Baby Coat, Bonnet, Mitts, and Bootees Published by Copley 1977

Yarn: Pomfret Mark II Sport Yarn (100% virgin wool), 3 balls for entire set

Needles: Size 4 and 2

Modifications: None really. I just followed the pattern as written. Imagine that?!!!

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Review: There is something to be said for knitting with 100% wool. It just knits up so nicely. And what can beat baby knitting for instant gratification. The booties alone took one night to knit. If my own tiny sweet pea didn't already have so many sweaters and knit things either knit or planned to be knit I would make another set for her. But alas, I live in the southwest and there are only so many knitted things this child can wear.

Our next move is going to be to somewhere very cold, sweater weather practically year round! And I'm sure with the way we move about the next move will be next fall.