Sunday, October 28, 2012

Day Dreaming

I'm sitting on the couch with Sweet Pea.  It is an hour until bedtime.  She is so tired she is mumbling her words.  She can not gather the strength to speak in a big girl voice.  She keeps asking if it is bedtime yet.  She is ready for sleep.  I have offered to put my sleepy child in bed.  But she refuses to go until her "friends" go to bed too.  She is firm in her resolution to not be the only child going to bed.  Even if she can barely keep her eyes open.  The Greatest is pretty sure she gets that stubborn streak from me.  I will argue until my dying breath that I am not stubborn and it must come from his gene pool.

Having typed that sentence I'm realizing realizing he may have a point.  

But since he doesn't read my blog he will never ever know I admitted just this once that he might be right. Bear in mind that admitting he MIGHT be right is not the same thing as admitting he IS right. Embrace the difference.

I spent a large portion of my weekend sitting in my living room knitting.  A KnitPicks deadline looms.  Color work and cables, I was so busy knitting that I couldn't go to knitting group this weekend.  How messed up is that?

Usually I knit in the family room where the tv is. I loves to knit with my tv. Makes me feel all productive and stuff, when I'm really just rotting my brain. But this weekend I could not resist the twinkly lights of the tree. I had to be near it. As I sat in my living room, knitting by the tree, I felt a little like I was smack dab in the middle of a Tim Burton movie.


Does this mean Halloween is going to stage another hostile take over of Christmas?


Is it possible that Elanor and Lt. Dangle climb out of my yarn cabinet and have adventure in the night?

Perhaps they dance with my ghosts in a sweeping musical number?

My happy rocks could sing in the chorus.

But I would watch out for the ravens.  I have a feeling they are up to no good.

Friday, October 26, 2012

What's In A Name?


It has occurred to me that calling it "The Great Tree Erection of 2012" just doesn't sound, um,  appropriate?  And there will probably be a lot of disappointed google hits just from my typing that sentence.  Hi disappointed people *waves*

So, yeah, that's not what we are calling it.  I'm going to go with "The Lighting of the Tree 2012".  The  Lighting of the Tree 2012 took three days.  But it was worth all the hard work The Greatest put into it, and all the time I put in sitting on the couch telling him what a good job he was doing.  Hey, being someone's personal cheerleader is harder than it sounds.  The constant stroking of an ego can wear on one's nerves.  I've decided I want a personal cheerleader.  Someone to sit beside me and chant "Knit Mamma Knit!"  Someone to exclaim "Wow, those purl stitches are so nice and even."  Someone to tell me to keep going when my wrists hurt "You can do it, only four more rounds to go, don't give up now!"  Triumphant fist bumps and "You knit the h*@% out of that sweater" when I finish a project.  That would be pretty awesome.

I'm just saying.

And to bring this back on topic:  Would you like to see my tree?

I thought you might.



I told you it was a mother of a tree!

I flov-ah it!

The kids are all confused because we have Halloween decorations, Fall decorations (which mean Thanksgiving, or so I'm told) and a Christmas Tree all in the same room.

I've told them to be quiet and just roll with it.


Look at me giving my kids valuable advice that will carry them through their entire lives.

Just Roll With It...

Is there some slacker Mom award I can win?  I'd like a slacker Mom award.  Especially if it comes with its own personal cheerleader.

In knitting new I am sad to say that I was bested by simple arithmetic.

I have six skeins of Berroco Vintage that I am attempting to knit a sweater with.   The sweater was knit from the bottom up in one piece, then divided into front/back sections at the sleeves.  As I attached the fourth ball and knit I realized I had yet to reach the sleeve divide.  That left me with three balls to knit the entire bodice, two long sleeves, two pockets, a belt, and the upper shawl collar.  I'm expecting to use two balls on the sleeves alone, possibly two and a fourth.  This math just doesn't add up.

It doesn't matter how fast I knit, I was not going to be able to out knit this yarn.

But look how cute my bobbles were.


And I usually don't appreciate bobble.

Armed with my math research we took a dip in the frog pond and then I decided to do what I should have done in the beginning.  I cast on with larger needles, for a less tightly knit fabric.  I've cast on a number between the xs and s size, which, with  my gauge, should give me a m size.

I used to knit so fearlessly.  Laughing in the face of the pattern gauge.  Working my own math to make my yarn work for a sweater.  With a measuring tape and a calculator there was nothing I couldn't knit.  When did I start following patterns so blindly?


Here's to boldly knitting as no knitter has knit before!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

O Christmas Tree

So Monday The Greatest decided it was time to return to his wood shop.  During the summer, in the 115+ degree heat it is too hot to be in the garage.  Hanging out there for more than ten minutes is a recipe for heat stroke.  He works with a lathe making beautiful hand turned items, but even if he had wanted to hydrate and brave the death trap that is the garage, the wood could not take the stress.  It cracked and splintered with the friction of his tools.  It was simply too hot.

Oh the joys of living in the desert.

But our temperatures are down. Finally.  Mid nineties last week.  Upper eighties this week.  It was time to return to the garage.  Time to create.  Time to do something he enjoyed for a change instead of all the things he has to do.

There was just one little snag.

Over the summer I acquired the most awesomest of awesome free cycle scores.  A 12 foot pre-lighted Christmas Tree.  This is no tall, skinny tree.  This is the mother of all 12 foot Christmas trees.  When I went to pick it up I had Sweet Pea with me, and our Expedition was nothing but tree.  Tree in the back blocking my rear view mirror. Tree on the floor.  Tree in the seats.  Tree in the front passenger seat blocking my view of all traffic from the right.  Nothing but tree.  And her sweet little face peering between the branches.

I should have taken a picture.

Oh, the missed photo ops.

This tree is ginormous.  I brought it home and realized I have no place to store a tree of this magnitude. My house lacks a basement.  Which is so stupid.  Basements are really useful.  I think there might be an attic, but I'm scared of attics.  And even if I didn't have my great fear of attics, I don't know where the entrance to the attic is.  In my defense I don't know where the entrance is because I'm scared of the potential attic in my house, so I've never bothered to learn how to access that death trap in the ceiling, if said attic even exists.  (Yes, my house does appear to be full of death traps.  No wonder nobody wants to come visit.)We keep the holiday decorations in my craft closet, and that puppy is already filled beyond capacity.

Whats a girl to do?

Enter the unused portion of the garage that is his wood working studio stage left.

Hey, if I can share my craft closet with ALL the holiday decorations he can share his wood working studio with one measly Christmas tree right?

Yeah, no.

Not unless I want the entire tree covered in sawdust.

Knitting, with its quiet needles, and lack of sawdust is a vastly superior past time compare to his wood working with the loud power tools (which carry the potential for serious bodily injury and/or death) and sawdust.

I'm just saying.

So lacking a place to put this ginormous, mother of all Christmas trees, we decided to just go ahead and put it up.


Why not.

The Greatest began Monday afternoon.  He thought it would be an evening's worth of work, but it would be worth it to have his space back.

Here's how it looked when he stopped at about ten pm last night.


We are currently on day three of Erecting The Tree 2012.

This tree needed some love.  All those pre-lit lights?

Yeah, no.

Not a single strand worked when we plugged it in.

The Greatest happens to be a little ocd about his Christmas lights.

I'm not gonna lie.  The man is the Christmas Light Whisperer.

He has carefully gone over every strand.  Replaced every burnt out bulb.  Lovingly fluffed every smushed branch.

I think he was Father Christmas in a former life.

Five-ish feet done.

Seven-ish to go.

I on the other hand have sat on the couch and watched him.  I've lended a hand when needed, but mostly the great Christmas Light Whisperer wants to work alone.  So I've stayed out of his way and I've knit my sweater.


I don't think I have enough yarn to actually finish this sweater.  I am knitting a size larger than the pattern suggests because I want some positive ease.  If I knit my actual size instead of the larger size I would probably have enough yarn.  I also think if I went up a needles size and down a pattern size I would end up with a fabric I like better (this fabric is pretty dense) and have enough yarn to finish this sweater.

But I can't stop knitting it.

I don't understand it.  I have no aversion to frogging.  I've already frogged this yarn from two other nearly completed sweater patterns.  Fear of frogging isn't the problem.  But I can't stop.  I'm obsessive.  I'm on this collision course of knitting disaster and I just have to see how it all plays out.  Can I knit fast enough to knit the sweater before the yarn runs out?

The answer is pretty much no.

But I can't stop.

I might need help.

Send chocolate.

Or more yarn.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


My weekend in pictures...

I blocked my owl socks


I finished Meaty's Weasley Sweater


I frogged my Cromarty and cast on for something new


I managed to keep the children alive too!  Regular feeding and all that stuff.

All in all, not a bad weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Love The Man But...

The Greatest and I had a wonderful time at dinner the other night.

We went to the most romantic Mexican restaurant.

Alright stop laughing.

As I pointed out to The Greatest, there is no such thing as a romantic Mexican restaurant.

Simply doesn't exist.

No room for drippy mood setting candles when you've got salsa and a big basket of hot  greasy tortilla chips taking up the table top.  Dining on refried beans and all those raw onions in the pico de gallo just don't make you feel like kissing.  Bloat inducing deep fried burritos will never be viewed as sexy couple food.  But seeing how it was his birthday he got to choose the restaurant.  And if truth be told, this little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant is my favorite place to eat too, so it's all good.

We sat by the window and got to watch the tweakers come and go from the liquor store across the street.  Being married to a cop means you get lectures on how to spot the signs of who is actively using, and who is just hung over.


I found it amusing that the liquor store also sells hot coffee.  Wonder how much business that brings in.  It might be more than you think because they've taken the time to install a neon sign proclaiming that they sell hot coffee.  You never can tell about these things.

See.  Romance was in the air.

We marked the occasion with a photo.


I didn't say it was a good photo, but it is a photo.  I've got to teach my 12 year old to work a camera properly.

After our date we cuddled up on the couch and I decided it was time for the man to pick a knitting pattern so I could knit him a sweater.  I thought with the Ravelry data base, surely the man would be able to find something he liked.

I thought wrong.

Using the pattern search I put in pullover (because he doesn't like cardigans), has photo, knitting, exclude purchase in print (for ease of getting my hands on the pattern)adult, and male.

Ravelry spit out seventeen pages of pattern suggestions.  Five hundred and eighty patterns.


Yet, tragically, the Greatest was unable to find a single pattern that perfectly replicates the sweater his deceased Grandmother bought him for Christmas 12 years ago.

And he couldn't pick a different sweater because that is just crazy talk.

That sound?

That rhythmic pounding sound?

Don't be alarmed.  That's just me pounding my head against the wall.

I've decided the man does not deserve to have me knit a sweater for him.


No Weasley sweater for The Greatest this year.  Or Ever.  NEVER EVER PEOPLE.

In other knitting news, I didn't get any work done on my socks Wednesday.

I made up for it Thursday.



One more owl and a toe to go!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Random Things

It is sad, but my kids are getting to big to provide good blog fodder anymore.  They are out of the toddler stage where they make cute/infuriating messes with ordinary house hold items (anyone remember the industrial size can of shaving gel?  *shudder*  I do).  Normal messy bedrooms can only be talked about so many times (I think I'm going on four instances in the past month, I'm really pushing the limit).  I also suspect that they are now at an age where putting their embarrassing misdeeds on the internet for the world to see is probably a form of child abuse.  At the very least it is a credible reason for seeking professional therapy, and I simply can't afford to put a Psychologist's child through college.  I'm still figuring out how to put my own four children through college (I'm thinking scholarships For The WIN!).  But every once in a while a child does something so cute, so sweet, so funny, I can't resist.

I proudly present to you my son's math homework.


Now before you point it out, I am aware that number 15 is wrong.  This was his first pass at his homework.  He gives it to me to check and then I send him back to the table to fix the ones he got wrong.  He's not technically wrong on that last one.  But I don't think it was what they were looking for.  I made him try it again.

Between grading homework, and making dinner, and life in general, I managed to sneak in another row of owls yesterday.


I love those pretty little owls.  I'm very tempted to knit an Owl Sweater.  And I'm nearly consumed with the idea of making an Owl Obsession.  Never mind the fact that I don't really crochet.  I have a working knowledge of how to crochet, but I would call my crochet skills slightly short of adequate at best.  The pattern says it can be done by a dedicated beginner.  How dedicated am I?

In a related note, today is The Greatest's birthday. 


Is that man handsome or what!  (He humors me and my camera so)  I will spare him the indignity of telling everyone how old he is.  But I do want everyone to remember, as they're looking at this picture of him with his super sexy grey hair, that I am MUCH younger than he is.  MUCH younger.  Practically a baby by comparison.   

We're gonna go out to dinner.

WITHOUT THE CHILDREN!  (which is truly a blog worthy event, and a rare enough occasion that it needs to be written down for posterity.  How else will future generations know when to honor the occasion and celebrate The Great Childless Dinner of 2012?)

I wonder if he'd mind if I fit in a few more owls while we sat at the restaurant waiting to be served?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One Down




I am addicted to knitting these tiny owls.  I don't want to clean, or cook, or knit my knitpicks project.  I just wanna create tiny owls with sparkly eyes all day long.

Monday, October 15, 2012





I'm making it!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Walking on Rainbows

I can joyously announce that all four children have survived fall break.  It was touch and go there for a couple of days.  The boy tends to pick on his sisters when he gets bored.  He likes to take his life boldly in his own hands.  He may or may not have spend two days secluded in his room until he could remember how to have like a decent human being.

We finally got around to doing the bi-annual reaping of the toys, the final step in the bi-annual decontamination of the house.  It wasn't pretty.  I stand by my controversial view that boy toys are way worse than girl toys.  At least Barbie shoes are brightly colored.  That tiny black thing on Meaty's carpet?  It could be a lego piece that if lost will ruin the expensive castle set forever, or a tiny toy gun necessary for Master Chief to defeat the flood, or it could be a dead bug.  There's no easy way to tell before you pick it up and realize you are now touching a desiccated beetle.  Next time I'm going to make The Greatest clean Meaty's room.

When I was done cleaning I took pictures of every object in their room.


I intend to print these pictures and duct tape them to the side of said object, and then when they clean their rooms they can check reality against the picture and try to make them match.  Then maybe the room will have a chance of being actually clean, and not just kid clean with everything shoved under the bed.  (Cracks me up that they think I don't know that trick, as if I was never a child)

Here's hoping this works!  *fingers crossed, breath firmly being held*

A girl can dream.

On the plus side I didn't spend the entire week cleaning.  I've got knitting to show off!

Finished knitting!

Beautiful happy finished knitting!


Pattern:  Traffic Island Socks (Rav linky), size small

Yarn:  Knit Picks Dye your own sock yarn, hand dyed by me for the Ravellenics

Needles:  5 size 2 dpns

Modifications:  None

Review:  I really liked this pattern.  It is a straight up knock of off the Jaywalker pattern.  But she added yarn overs for the increase and I think that makes all the difference.  I've tried making jaywalkers and I've never been able to make them fit.  The bias fabric is just too stiff to get on my big wide feet.  The yarn overs give this sock a lot of stretch, making them a perfect match for me.  I would caution that I knit a size small for my size 9 feet, and they are just barely small enough for me.  I like my hand knit socks to have plenty of negative ease, and I think these socks are just barely this side of positive ease.  They look crazy huge in the picture because they are being worn my by eight year old.  You try taking a good picture of the side of your leg.  I just don't contort like I used to.   I promise, on me they fit.

I did get a cute picture of my toes.


The big fit is fine, but something to consider.

I love how the yarn knitted up.


Minimal pooling!  Just glorious rainbow stripes.


I bought this yarn six or seven years ago.  I think I bought the very first skein they sold.  The dye your own sock yarn is now discontinued.  Knitpicks has replaced it with a lovely line of dye-able yarn in every yarn weight and fiber content imaginable under the name Bare.  But back in the dark ages when I bought this all they had was merino sock yarn.  It is a shame they got rid of it.  I love it.  I'm currently obsessed with the idea of dying my alpaca sock yarn red/blue/purple, but I fear my lovely lovely results were beginners luck. I'm due for some ego humbling fug yarn next time.  I simply can not take beautiful natural alpaca and turn it into fug. Fug yarn makes baby kittens cry.  I'm going to have to let this dilemma sit around in the back of my mind a bit longer before I can make a final decision.

I finished these socks last night, and in an odd twist of fate my windows were all open and the house was actually cold.  I put my socks on right away and immediately remembered the joy of hand knit socks.


I was so happy with my stripey warm socks I cast on for another pair of socks as quickly as I could turn a hank of sock yarn into a pretty yarn cake.  This time I'm using beads!


Squeeeeeeeee.  I'm going to love these socks.

Thursday, October 04, 2012



Thanks to the Walking Dead Season 2 (Hooray for Netflix) I was able to make substantial progress on Hagrid.

Just look at that armhole


(side note:  I'm pretty sure the proper term I am looking for is armscye.  I'm pretty sure that is the correct professional jargon for the opening of a garment through which one sticks their arm.  But armhole is a way more fun word.  Just say it out loud.  Now call someone a stupid armhole in your best angry voice.  Yup.  Fun.  Anyways, back to the armhole...)

Looks good right?  Looks like it will actually work.  Like this sweater will fit a four year old body.


I had it.

Amid the gruesome zombies I knit.  And if truth be told there was a scene where I actually held the knitting in front of my face to hide myself from the carnage on the TV (and possibly to keep the zombie from seeing me), it was too gross to be allowed.  I grew up on zombie movies.  I think it is reasonable to assume a causation between those movies and my fear of being eaten alive.  All that fear and ick must have made me knit super fast.  I finished the entire body of the sweater in one sitting.  You might want to file that tidbit of information away in case there ever is a zombie apocalypse.  Zombies cause me to knit stupid fast.  I could clothe an entire commune in warm stuff in under a week.  You're gonna want me around when you can no longer loot cheap socks from Wal-Mart.  Just something to keep in mind when you're choosing who to rescue and who to leave behind to get eaten alive by zombies (*Pick Me* * Rescue Me* *Love Me*).

Full of joy I put this purple fuzzy monstrosity on my cuddly four year old.



I hates it.

It gives me a sad.

The front does not drape the way I hoped it would.  If I fuss around with it I can get something close to the way I pictured it in my mind.


But let's be realistic here.  I was going to put this sweater on a four year old.  She was not going to tolerate having me constantly fussing with her sweater to ensure the proper drape.  She just wants to dance in the living room and sing "Starships."  Yes, that "Starships."  The Nicki Minaj song.  She only knows the Glee version.  I'm not ready to hear her sing "Higher than a mother %^&*$^" just yet.  She thinks the lyrics are "Higher than any other." It is my general plan to never let her hear the original version.  She has arm motions to go with her song.  It is super cute.  There is no room for me to adjust the drape of her sweater when she has arm motions to go with her song.

Back to the drawing board on this one.

In the mean time, see this picture


Does that expression remind you of anything?


They both humor me and my camera.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Why Hello There October!

Is it really October?

Sure, my calendar might say it is October, but I don't really believe it.  It certainly doesn't feel like October here in the desert.  It is supposed to be over 100 all week.

I'm starting to think cold weather is a myth, and winter is never coming.


Game of Thrones lies like a lying liar.

It is known.

While I wait for the weather to catch up to the calendar I have decked out my house in fall things.


Pretty pumpkins make me happy.  Although technically these might be gourds.  Either way?  Joy!

Not much else is going on. I am in serious danger of becoming one of those very boring blogs detailing the minutia of my day and what I bought at the grocery store today.  (Here's a hint:  it was groceries)

 I have yet to cast on for Hagrid 3.0.  My heart just isn't it.  I need to find a new TV series with fifty billion episode.  Something really addictive so I have to watch all fifty billion episodes in a week.  That would encourage me to sit in one place and knit.  Anyone got any good suggestions?

I did have a scary thing happen this morning.

Pork Chop was getting dressed for school and casually asked me if she could borrow one of my sweaters.

The idea of her wearing one of my hand knit sweaters to school strikes fear in my heart.  I do this girl's laundry.  I know how much stain remover her shirts require.  So the stain probability is quite high.   I shudder to think of what she would do to one of my precious hand knit sweaters.

But the far scarier moment was the moment it dawned on me that she is big enough to borrow my clothes.

Makes my blood run cold.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

I'm taking away her birthday so she won't get any bigger.

Think that will work?