Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Loving

It's been a great week. I loved Spring Break. But I've also loved having the children back in school. I'm also loving...

I'm loving my new bird.


Isn't he cute? There's so much personality in his little beak. I just need to decide where to keep him. He looks good everywhere I set him down.

I'm loving my tree.


(Neighbors house gets stickers for privacy reasons. I could have avoided that if I had gone outside and taken a better picture, but I was feeling lazy.)

(and wearing my bathrobe)


This poor tree has looked like the largest dead stick, just stuck in my front yard, for the past nine months. We've watered it diligently but quietly wondered if the neglect it suffered before we moved in had done it in. I kept bending branches to reassure myself I was watering a live tree and not wasting water on a dead stick. But the branches always bent, never snapped in half, so something was going on. About a month ago all the trees on the street exploded in leaves and flowers. But not my dead stick imitator (it really did the best impression of a dead stick). It continued to look, well, I know I've over used this word, but it looked dead. Once again I was bending twigs and quietly wondering if there was any hope left. Then one day, in its own good time, it bloomed. I love the springy green. It looks like tangible hope to me. My tree weathered the drought, and I can weather hard times too.

I'm loving my Man!


(For privacy reasons I've covered the most identifying parts of his uniform.)

(Then I went a little crazy with the stickers.)


I don't put much about his work on my blog, but today I am too proud to be quiet. He received a medal yesterday for service he performed during the course of his employment. He saved a man's life under circumstances where most would have failed. I'm so proud of him. He's always been MY hero. But I enjoyed seeing other recognise him as such. It made me so happy to see him being honor by his employer. He is a good man, who does good things. It was nice to give him his day.

What are you loving?

P.S. I'm not loving my brown sweater. I once read a snarky comment on a knit blog about how she hates seeing poorly blocked knit items. I wonder how you could poorly block something. You get it wet, you stretch it out, you let it dry. Wet blocking is kinda idiot proof.

Well, I'm an idiot.

Not so much an idiot. But I had a saboteur.

Some tiny person is very pleased with her fine motor skills.

She is so pleased she snuck into my room and used the unusually well developed pincer grasp to remove half my straight pins that were holding the sweater in place. She proceeded to line the pins up in a PERFECTLY STRAIGHT line across my carpet. It was actually kinda impressive.

The rest of the pins?

She grouped those decoratively in one of the armpits.

But I can't really blame it all on her.

She appears to have waited until the sweater was mostly dry. The hem is uneven is a way that can only be blamed on bad pinning (which may or may not have been the result of her original "assistance").

Oh the shame of it all!

And in a related note Meaty has decided he wants to share a room with the dog. To facilitate this he took the dog's bed from my room and placed it in his room. Fine with me.

Just one small snag.

The dog does not appear to want to share a room with Meaty.

Upon finding no comfy blanket by my bed to sleep on last night she decided to sleep on my sweater.

Back into a soapy bath the sweater goes.

Stay tuned for "Blocked, Take 2."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009





Beds made. (In the interest of full disclosure I only made one of those beds. My life gets better every day! I *heart* chores, as long as they're not my chores.)

Older Children dressed, fed, and sent to school. (In the interest of full disclosure I had nothing to do with this at all. I *heart* having older children)


Laundry sorted and washing. (I did this all by myself, no help what-so-ever)


Kitchen cleaned. (And this.)


Dinner in Crockpot. (And this.)


Brown Sweater drying. (How I wish I had done this all by myself.)


Evil allergy medicine taken. (Hate this)

I think that's it.

I officially surrender.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

If I admit this you won't think less of me will you?

Guess What I Did Yesterday???!!!!!

If you guessed block a sweater, or knit a button band, or sewed a skirt, or smocked something, or maybe even tagged something you are.....


I got nothing at all done yesterday.


I didn't even get a chance to clean up the spot in the hall where to dog peed. I had the kids standing on towels to soak up the worst before I came along with the spot bot, and then?

I FORGOT all about it.

Completely forgot it.

I know!

That is so gross I'm completely disgusted with myself.

I don't even understand it.

I cannot hold a thought in my head for more than 1.36 minutes.

So I wandered around yesterday trying to remember things I needed to do. I knew I had things to do. There were all kinds of things I needed to do. But I could not focus on what to do or what order to do them in. I think the kids are darn lucky I picked them up from school, but if the phone hadn't rung causing me to look at the clock (phone ringing = clock glancing, I know there's a logical correlation in there somewhere) I might not have realized the time in time.

All I can say is Claratin Clear my ass.

Can't blog anymore.

Must go clean the carpet while I still remember the spot exists.

And I should probably put the dog out to pee before she gives the spot a friend.

Can I distract you with cute so you will forget I just admitted the dog peed on my carpet yesterday and I still haven't cleaned it up yet?


Monday, March 23, 2009

Drowning In Projects

It was almost a perfect weekend with only one child in the house. It was amazing to see how happy and content she was just playing quietly by herself. She cries a lot less when there aren't three other bodies crammed into her personal space. In fact, I don't think she cried at all, all weekend. Go figure. She was so cute and cuddly and happy we were powerless against her charms. I freely confess, we fed her a ridiculous amount of ice cream over the weekend. That seemed to help her mood as well. I wonder if all those crabby baby months were really the result of an undocumented ice cream deficiency.

The older children returned sunburned and deliriously happy. They stormed the house like a tornado of floaties, dirty laundry and squeezy hugs. They all had stories to tell that had to be told RIGHT THAT MOMENT . The highlight of their adventure seems to have been a trip to the Dollar Tree where they each got a dollar to buy whatever they wanted. I missed them so. I felt sublime peace Sunday night knitting on the couch beside me Beloved knowing all four of our sweet babies were tucked safely in their beds where they belong.

So it is back to the chaos of normal life (whatever that means). The Greatest is at work. The older two are back in school (it was a toss up as to who was happier: me to see them go, or the school bound who got to go). Bird is finishing her breakfast (she got up late, needing extra sleep after the big weekend. She put her head under the water. And she "didn't even cry!"). Sweet Pea is down for her first nap. I am left with two hands to get some work done.

But I don't know where to begin.

I am swimming in projects. There is so much to do. Things that NEED to get done. And so much I WANT to get done. I think I need to stop sleeping. I could get a whole lot more done in the course of a day if I didn't waste nearly a third of it lying unconscious! Sounds like a solid theory to me. What do you think?

I am getting stuff done. I really am. I'm just not actually finishing anything. I need to revisit the idea of project monogamy.

I FINALLY made the trip to Hobby Lobby to purchase the much needed size 10 circular needles. So my brown sweater has a sleeve.


Two of them as a matter of fact. And the yoke is done as well. It is so cute. I love this sweater. It might possibly be my favorite sweater to date. It just needs blocked. And buttons. How I hate buttons. Why do I love cardigan but hate finding buttons? I need to block it today because there is a cold front moving in and this may be my last chance to wear this sweater until November. I'm sure as soon as I hit "publish" I will forget I was supposed to block this sweater. The best laid plans and all that.

My "Tiger Stripe" Sweater is getting a button band


*groan* More Buttons *double groan* Every time I pick this sweater up I am surprise by how silky the brown alpaca is. I need more of this yarn. Lots more! I love how light this little sweater is. I don't like how I decreased for the button holes, so I need to rip-it and re-knit it. But there really isn't a lot of work left. I must finish the knitting on this sweater. I'm so close to the finish line.

And that was my plan last night. I was going to rip and re-knit. Until I got sidetracked (is it ADD or early Alzheimer?). I've had a little bug in the back of my brain. It's bothering me. Much the way Tempest bothered me. A sweater is calling my name, and would give me no peace until I cast on.

I found this sweater on Ravelry (non-Ravelry link)


And I'm in love! Just look at those sleeve! I must have one of my very own.

Only there isn't really a pattern, just vague enough to be workable instructions on how to shape the sleeves (Ravelry link).

The rest of the original raglan is based on EZ instructions, but as I do not worship at the alter of EZ (honestly, reading her patterns makes my head feel like exploding from the smug), I do not have access to those specific instructions.

That's alright. It's just a raglan. I sorta know how to knit a raglan. Sorta.

The original yarn used is worsted weight. The only yarn I have a sweaters quantity of is fingering weight. Much thinner yarn. But it will be alright because I'm loving the light sweaters knit with fingering weight yarn on size 6 needles (see above Tiger Sweater). Plus that gives me an excuse to knit with my size 6 harmony needles. How I'm loving those needles! It's bad when my knitting decisions are swayed by the size needle I get to use.

And the original sweater is steeked! I totally wanna try steeks. So this is all good right? I have no idea how to steek, but I'm knitting with 100% wool, so it should work right? And Eunny Jang wrote a tutorial on steeking. I can do this.

And it's a cardigan, which means more BUTTONS! *groan* *groan* *groan*

So many reasons not to knit this sweater. But the sweater was already in my blood. It danced on the edges of my mind, begging to be pulled into the spotlight. Unfortunately with me, nagging works. Just ask my children. So instead of quietly ripping and re-knitting last night, I cast on for a raglan sweater so that I too can own a sweater with bulbous sleeves that might already have gone out of fashion.


Oh yeah. Did I mention the yarn is cream colored and will have to be dyed a different color? I've decided to dye the entire garment once finished. Thus increasing the peril. Assuming I get the raglan shape right, and get the sleeves right, and my steek doesn't fall apart, and find the perfect buttons, I still have the chance of ruining the entire sweater by shrinking it in the dye pot. Does this sweater have disaster written all over it or what?

I've pretty much set my mind to the idea of kool-aid dye. I'm thinking pink lemonade. Or possibly blue raspberry.

But the project love doesn't end there.

Did you know it gets really hot in the desert?

I'm talking super-unbearable-like-living-in-an-oven-wanna-shrivel-up-and-die-from-the-heat hot?

I know! I was shocked by this realization as well.

I've come up with a plan to make the summer more bearable (other than living in the pool, which is Phase Two of my plan. Phase Three involves living on a diet consisting solely of ice cream which should please me and the baby equally). Phase One is called "Summer of the Skirt." See the start of my pretty proto-type


Just a simple a-line skirt with a gathered elastic waist. Nothing too fancy. Nothing I would feel like I couldn't get dirty in. Simple cotton that can be thrown in the washer. The A-line is breezier than shorts, but not too breezy if you know what I mean, but there's ease of movement. Elastic waist comfort cause that's how I roll. Yet still pretty enough to make me feel special.


I'm gonna feel really special.

And did you see Marie Grace's tutorial on smocking? I may never get anything done again! And still it wasn't enough information for my brain. I've already googled more on smocking (there really isn't a lot out there. Yet another reason to *heart* Marie Grace). I've discovered what smocking plates are and dream of three white nightgowns with "Symphony of Roses" dancing across the bodice.

Must go soak brown sweater before I begin marking a sample square of fabric.

Must go soak brown sweater before I forget it exists in favor of shiny new project.

Must go soak....


Has anyone seen my quilting thread?

I know! It's hopeless. And I've still got laundry to wash, and dinners to cook, and the usual house to clean.

Must stop sleeping.

I've even got a project for The Greatest. It involves spray paint.


Lots and lots of spray paint.


Am I a good wife or what?

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Rookie Mistake

So yesterday I decided to be the World's.Best.Mom!

We've got this beautiful pool in our backyard. Sure the plaster needs some touch-up work that we can't afford (cross your fingers for next spring). And the motor is slowly dying so it makes the worst loud whining noise when the filter is on. Seriously, neighborhood dogs howl when we turn our filter on (repair man can't get to it until sometime next week). But it is clear, and blue, and ours. We love it.

Unfortunately it is entirely too cold to go swimming. It's been in the 80s, and is simply too cold.

Yes, laugh, mock, point. I deserve it. 80 no longer feels that warm to me.

I've acclimated.

The pool taunts me. It wants to be admired, and used. It wants us to dive into the almost depths of it's water (it's only 5 foot, plenty deep for us, but not deep enough to have actual "depths"). It wants us to turn on the fountain and play in the spray. It has suffered a long lonely winter and wants to be filled with the joy and laughter of small bodies lazily floating in "O" rings.

And we long to float.

While we wait I contemplated what we could do with a ridiculous amount of water just sitting in our back yard.

After much pondering I decided "BOATS." We could float boats on the water.

A couple of milk jugs rescued from the recycling pile, some glue, paint and scissors and we had these


all ready for their maiden voyage.

(That ugly green line on one sail is where I had to edit out a child's name. Sorry for the ugly)

At first things went well. The boats were floated on the water. They flowed from the deep end to the shallows and were dragged back to the deep on strings I had attached to the back of the boat for just such purposes (see, I really did start to think this through).

The kids rolled up their pants legs and sat on the edge of the pool with their legs dangling in the water just watching the boats float merrily on the water.

It was picture perfect. And me without my camera.

Then the kids started walking on the "bench" in the shallow end of the pool.

(and this is the point where I stopped thinking this idea through to its logical conclusion)

Then one adventurous little boy stepped down another step in the water.

Then children were swimming, fully clothed, IN THE WATER.

It was such a rookie mistake to think the children could be around all that delightful cool blue water and not give into the temptation to swim.

I gave up and fetched them floaties and goggle. They were already wet, why ruin the fun?

And since I was inside I grabbed the camera.


Notice that all three of my children are wearing pants, and two of them have on long sleeve shirts. I told you it wasn't THAT warm.

The baby was sensible and stayed with me on the swing playing with extra floaties.


It was a wonderful hour and the kids think I am indeed the best mom ever for letting them go swimming in their clothes.

But how can I top a move like that? How can I retain my title of World's Best Mom?

Today, instead of making our beds, we are going to build the World's Best Train Track on my balcony.

And Tomorrow?

A Sleepover with the Grandparents.

Life is so sweet!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

This week is Spring Break.

I love having all my babies home with me. I love not rushing around in the mornings. I love not having to put pants with a zipper on so I can walk to the school to get them in the afternoon.

Life is good.

We're not going anywhere for Spring Break. We never do. So I decided that each day I would do something extra fun with the children.

Yesterday we cleaned their rooms.

(I didn't say it would be extra fun for them did I?)

Then I made each one use the vacuum all by themselves to vacuum their carpet.

Then I made them organise all the toys in the playroom.

I'm thinking of setting them to work on the bathrooms tomorrow.

I LOVE Spring Break.

Today we're all wearing green. We're having friends over to craft later in the day. A little sewing, a little hot gluing. Should be big fun. Maybe I'll whip up some new play dough to keep the kids occupied while the Mommies ignore them.

We'll snack on Irish Soda Bread.

And we'll have corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

That's as Irish as I know how to be.

I know this is a lame post about nothing. No story. No witty narrative. No knitting. I didn't even include the obligatory cute kid photo.

At least I blogged.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Another Lame Update Post

I have a sad tale of woe to tell. It involved a cursed project that has been knit no less than four times in the past year. It is fascinating and tragic and ends with me drowing my sorrow with woe-cake. But I simply can not face it yet. My soul hurts to much to tell the tale. Instead I present to you lame updates on my knits.

The Socks:


Aren't they as cute as can be?! I just love the neat little twists.

This is what they looked like Friday night.


I'm to a point where I have decided the socks really need tried on for fit. So I'm going to mail them to the intended owner for a fitting. I'd rather find out now that they're too snug, too large, too twisted or too whatever now, as opposed to finding out after they're all knit with end neatly woven in.

My Other Brown Sweater (cause the first brown sweater is still waiting for needles):

It soaked in the bowl of water from Thursday until Monday *hangs head in shame*


Now the pieces are all beautiful and patiently awaiting seaming.

So now we've established that the socks could be knit no more after Friday,my brown sweater is still waiting for needles, and my other brown sweater spent the weekend taking a looooooong soak. So how did I spend my knitting time over the weekend?

I knit a Weasley Sweater.