Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mmmmmm....Wet Lace

Betting is now open...

How long will this sit on my counter before I finally block it?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Living a Life of Purpose

I had grand plans for today.

You see, in addition to all my mad knitting, I've been crafting.  And it is the best kind of crafting...

Baby Crafting!

I planned to get up and finish my first craft for the nursery.  But that involved diving into the Abyss for supplies.  And since I was going to be in the Abyss anyways I figured I might as well organize it while I'm in there.  And since I'm tearing the Abyss apart to organize it I might as well pull out all my Fall decorations, since everything was going to be out anyways.  And since the decorations were going to be out it seemed like the perfect time to clean and decorate the downstairs, covering every available surface in ceramic pumpkins and fake oak leaves.  And if, after cleaning my house, and decorating for Fall, and organizing all my crafts, if after all that I possessed any energy at all, I was going to finish my baby craft.

All these grand plans I made in my mind as I lay in bed Thursday night contemplating what I am doing with my life.

All these grand plans made in vain.

I woke up this morning with my brain feeling swollen and throbbing.  My stomach felt like a rock and ached, it hurt to move.  My throat felt red and raw, as if someone had replaced it with angry sand paper while I was sleeping.  I have come down with whatever germ du jour is floating around the school.  Oh the joy of being an elementary school parent.

All my grand plans were immediately abandoned.  It was a day of laying on the couch and Netflix.

I might have done a little knitting too.

When I'm lying in bed tonight wondering what I'm doing with my life I can count this as a worthwhile accomplishment right?  I can add this, and the fact that the children have survived to whine another day in the win column right?   And we'll just gloss over the trashy tv marathon I witnessed while I knit.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sabotage or Good Timing?

So remember the other day when I said I didn't know what Joji would design next, but I was sure I would want to knit it?

Look what Joji just published!

Yup, I wanna knit it.   And I think I have some yarn in my stash that would be lovely with this design.  And there is a coupon code for 20% off all Joji's patterns until August 31st.!!

Which is hard.

I am full of knitting ADD.  And while I have been trying to remain steadfast and faithful to my orange sweater, we all know how hard knitting monogamy is for me.  I'm good with the whole marriage monogamy thing.  Have you seen how drop dead handsome my Husband is?  He really is The Greatest.  He make marriage monogamy easy.  But knitting monogamy? Totally different thing, and I don't even see a reason to try.

But the orange sweater has been so delightful to knit.  The pattern is from another one of my favorite designers.  Her designs are classic and endlessly wearable.  I love her.  I probably have six of her designs in my Ravelry queue.  Let's not forget the fact that her patterns are so well written.  I knit one once while on narcotics, and it turned out perfect.  The orange sweater is a fairly mindless knit that I have thoroughly enjoyed knitting.  I haven't needed any mods.  I haven't done any math.  I haven't frogged anything (yet).  Just mindlessly following the pattern with gorgeous results.  No reason to stray when I am having so much fun right?

No I was knitting merrily along, resisting the siren song of a new shiny knit, when I was sabotaged.

See my beautiful sleeve?

Yeah, maybe not so beautiful in this light.  Plus it is unblocked lace, so it is kinda lumpy, but trust me, it is a beauty.  I'd knit the entire body of my sweater and I was almost half way done with the sleeve when the worst happened.

I was using my beautiful Sunstruck wood needles and thinking how much I have grown to love them.  I was thinking of blogging my new found love for Sunstruck needles.  When I first bought my needles I wasn't a huge fan.  They were gorgeous.  I love the look of the bare wood.  But they were grabby.  I don't enjoy grabby needles.  For me the slicker the better.  I want my yarn to fly off the needles.  My yarn did not fly from my Sunstruck needles.  It kinda chugged along, which is good if you're into that thing, I'm just not.  I couldn't understand why they didn't have the same finish as the Harmony wood needles.  I was a puddle of disappointment.

But while I was a disappointed puddle, I was also a vapid and shallow disappointed puddle.  I love pretty things.  I could not resist using my Sunstruck needles whenever I had need for size 6 knitting needles simply because they were so pretty to knit with.  For the sake of vanity I knit quite a few things with my gorgeous grabby needles, including my orange sweater.  I realized last night that I was enjoying knitting with my needles.  All that knitting must have burnished the wood, because now my needle tips have lost their grabby, and my yarn flies.  I found myself wishing I had a full set of Sunstruck tips.

Yes, there I was happily knitting my lumpy lace, thinking the most complimentary thoughts about my knitting needles when this happened.

Yes, it is another bad, late night picture, but we can all still hold a moment of silence in respect for the tragedy depicted here.  For you muggles, that purple cord is supposed to be connected to that silver thingie on the end of my needle.  The lack of connection renders my pretty pretty needles completely useless.

*in my best William Shatner-esque voice*KNITPIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICKS! *like Khan, only knitting related*

How you betray my love.  First I'm short on yarn, and now my needles are falling apart.

I might need to console myself during my time of sorrow with a brand new pattern.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My New Favorite Sweater

It wasn't a good hair day, but it was a clean hair day, which is kinda the same thing.  Are you ready for some bad photographs of a good sweater?

Pattern: Darling Emma (Ravelry Link)

Yarn:  100% cotton yarn recycled from this Thrift Store Haul

Needles:  Size 4 Addi Turbos, I think.  The pattern called for size 4 needles, so that is probably what I used.  And Size 2 dpns for the sleeve cuffs

Love those garter stitch cuffs.  Garter stitch is so under-rated.  I *puffy heart* garter stitch.

Modifications:  I made this sweater way shorter than it is supposed to be, and I think it is still a pretty long sweater.  I was aiming for a butt length sweater, but it grew with blocking, which is fine because I love the length.  It is still shorter than the pattern calls for.  I also did my center double decreases wrong.  The pattern says sk2p, which I deciphered as Slip 1, Knit 2 together, Pass Slipped Stitch Over.  That is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.  On the very last page I found the instructions that said to slip 2 as if to knit, knit 1, pass slipped stitches over.  Oops.  By the time I discovered my error I was entirely to far into the sweater to bother frogging.  On the bright side, I like the way the lace turned out

so this is a mistake I feel I can live with.  I also left off the belt.  I plan to go back and add the belt when my body is more of a person shape with an actual waist.

Review:  I adore this sweater!  Using recycled cotton yarn means the yarn is already broken in like a pair of old blue jeans, so it is soft and snuggly.  I was a tad annoyed that no where in the pattern is there any indication that this sweater is supposed to be knee length.  There isn't a full length picture of the sweater to be found.  Only rav research revealed the true nature of this cardigan.  It was meant to be more of a coat.  And I was annoyed that there wasn't a more accessible explaination for the sk2p, but that is probably user error and shouldn't be mentioned at all, lest I look like I don't know what I'm doing (which is I don't most of the time, I only make a good show of pretending I know what I'm doing).  In reality either complaint is petty and unnecessary.  As a general rule I love Joji's patterns.  They always have an interesting construction that looks complicated

but is deceptively simple.  Just look how effortlessly the lace goes across the top of the sweater.  It looks amazing and complicated in person, but was so easy to knit.  Joji really is a genius.  I don't know what she'll design next, but I'll probably knit it.

Final Verdict:  I LOVE this sweater.

And because I have friends who are begging for this...


And in related news

My orange sweater grows.  I am almost ready to split for the arm holes.  I know there is a fancy word for arm hole, but arm hole effectively describes what I'm doing, so I'm sticking with my non-fancy word.  Still waffling on the size.  I'll probably knit the entire body and then decide to frog.  Because I might be insane.  But that isn't news to anyone around here.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ready for Some Friday Lovin'

Trying to appreciate the little things in life.  Here are a few things that made me happy this week.

My pedicure

First off I'm going to have to apologize for putting up a very ugly picture of my very ugly swollen pregnant toes.  But you'll forgive me, cause my story is too cute not to share.  Several months ago Bird saw a TV show where the Mom was pregnant and could not reach her toes to paint her toe nails.  Her solution was to force her other children to paint her toe nails for her.  From the moment Bird discovered that I was going to have another baby she has been counting down the moments until I could no longer reach my toes and she could paint my toe nails for me.  I'm not saying I can't reach my toes, because I'm flexible and stuff, and I totally can.  But who am I to crush a young girl's dreams.  You should have seen her grin from ear to ear when I told her I could use her help.  She made me promise not to look while she carefully painted and dabbed the enamel on my nails.  I expect I'll have crazy polka dots courtesy of Bird for the duration of my gestation.  I love it.

Meaty's first test of the school year

Look at him go!  He works much harder than his sisters do for his grades.  He tries and never gives up.  I am proud of his work ethic.  But he also rarely achieves As.  He is a solid B student.  So I am very proud of his A+.  I know how hard he worked for it.  Unfortunately his first math test is another story...

My new knitting project

I've cast on and abandoned no less than four knitting projects this week.  What can I say?  I'm feeling fickle and uninspired lately.  But this project, I'm in love.  I also fear it is doomed for frogging.  I'm not sure this is a good yarn/pattern combo.  I'm not convinced I will actually wear an orange sweater.  I don't think I own anything that is orange.  I'm not sure I'm going to end up with a size I can wear.  I know the lace is stretchy, but I fear it looks a smidge on the small side, and I'm talking small with my usual body, not my current smuggling a basketball silhouette.  I fear it is only a matter of time before another project turns my head and I abandon this one in a fit of castonitis.  But until I am overcome by my fears I knit on and enjoy the pretty pattern my yarn over and strategic decreases are creating.

What made you happy this week?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Big Things Happening Here

We need to mark this day, for today is a day that will surely go down in history.

Today is that day that I......finished ALL.THE.LAUNDRY!

All the shirts, all the socks, all the sheets, all the towels, all the random hand wash things.  ALL.CLEAN.

Even my two sweaters that were sitting in water waiting to be blocked for so long they started to smell?

Why yes, even my two sweaters are now fresh smelling and pristinely blocked.  And if I ever get a good hair day I will blog them.  (Where is my pregnancy hair?  I was promised good pregnancy hair and I am still impatiently waiting.)

It is a momentous occasion indeed.  Some of you may remember that my only New Year's Resolution was to become a person who does laundry.  It seemed like an attainable goal at the time, but good intentions are not enough.  Some days I wake up thinking "I should do laundry today."  Then I laugh really hard and say "I'm not doing laundry today."  Then I try again a few days later.  I am a work in progress  And while I'm not saying I am a person who does laundry.  I am saying that TODAY I am a person who did all the laundry.

Let us all rejoice!

I am also a person who finished my socks!

Yarn:  Knit Picks Felici Self-Striping, in some discontinued colorway I bought on sale

Needles:  Size 1 dpns?

Modifications:  I did fewer repeats on the leg.  I can't find my notes to tell you exactly how many repeats I was too lazy to do, but trust me, I did less than the pattern called for.  Which turned out to be a very good thing because I ran out of yarn on the final toe.  And of course, I had to sub in some yarn for the final toe because I ran out of yarn.  A personal first for me in my long history of using Knit Picks sock yarn.

Review:  As you can see I didn't even come close to matching colors for the final few rows.

By the end I was just so over these socks, I didn't even try very hard.  I don't know what went wrong.  I love the colors.  I love the pattern.  I even love the mis-matched toe.  But it didn't add up to a win for me.  I was just sick of looking at them.  Pregnancy hormones?  Who knows.  I didn't even want to put them in my over-crowded sock drawer to see if my feelings would change when winter came bringing with it sock wearing weather.  

Instead I tossed them at Pork Chop, who is big enough to wear socks I originally knit for myself, (she also borrows my clothes and my shoes.  I don't love that.)  I told my Teenage Wizard-wanna-be that these were Hermione's Everyday Socks, and now she and her new socks are very happy together.

So this still counts as a happy ending.  It just wasn't meant to be my happy ending.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Yesterday was D Day.  The due date for the baby I lost in January.

For reasons that are entirely our own, and not backed up by any sort of medical science, we were convinced that this baby was a boy.

I picture this phantom baby, and how he would fit in our family.  The final miserable weeks of pregnancy in the hot desert heat.  In all reality he wouldn't have been born yesterday.  My babies tend to come early and he would have been born weeks ago.  I picture the chaos of juggling the first day of school with the first days of life with a newborn.  I picture myself carting him around in a heavy car seat carrier to the kindergarten gate to pick up Sweet Pea every afternoon.  She would rush to kiss her brother before she would acknowledge me.  I picture the pride with which Meaty would shine with as he showed his baby brother off to his friends after school.  I picture how helpful Bird and Pork Chop would be fighting over who would get to rock the baby while I made dinner each night.  We would have been so happy.

I mourn the child that is not to be.

As I sit and type this I can feel the busy kicking in my tummy.  Not phantom kicks of a child lost, but the strong sturdy kicks of a new life.  A little girl.  A girl whose in utero acrobatics have already displayed a personality that is sure to set her apart from her sisters.  A child who is about to change our lives in ways I can't even begin to imagine.  A special little girl who is already so loved by her siblings.  They read to her, and talk to her, and plan what they will do when she is FINALLY here.  They argue over who will be the baby's favorite sibling.   Sweet Pea rushes from the kindergarten gate to kiss my stomach, then she tells me about her day, but she must love the baby first.

My daughter.

A daughter who would not be if not for the loss of my son.

Life is funny and cruel that way.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Today's Post Has Been Brought To You By The Number

Count with me


One Finished Sweater (still) sitting is a bowl of water waiting to be blocked.


Two Finished Sweaters sitting in bowls of water waiting to be blocked.

The number of the day is TWO!

Second Sleeve Syndrome might not be my only issue.

I should get off the internet and lay my sweaters out to dry before they start to rot on my kitchen counter.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Betrayed by My Love

I have been having a well documented, long standing, and dare I say it, torrid love affair with Knit Picks.

From the moment I looked at their shiny shiny catalog with all the pretty pictures of soft smooshy yarn paired prices I could actually afford, I was smitten.

Admittedly, some of their yarn did not live up to my aspirations.  I found Wool of the Andes to be on the itchy side and I was not a fan.  My first experience with Essential Sock Yarn was underwhelming as well.  It was stiff, and rather unpleasant to knit with.  Granted the socks I made in 2005 are still wearing like iron, while newer softer socks have succumbed to holes, so there is that.  But there is something to be said for enjoying the process of creation, and I most definitely did not enjoy the process of creating with Essential Sock yarn circa 2005.

As the years have passed Knit Picks has improved the quality of their yarn.  Essential Sock yarn is now as smooshy as advertised (only time will tell if it still wears like iron.)  Have you knit with City Tweed yet?  It is uh-mazing.  Someday I will have a sweater knit from City Tweed.  I will not lie, these days most of my experience knitting with Knit Picks yarn comes from knitting FOR Knit Picks. But they do not pay me to endorse their yarn.  Which is a shame.  I would be rich from all the times I've recommended their yarn.

But not today.

Today my beloved Knit Picks has let me down.

I had this beautiful sock knit with Knit Picks Felici sock yarn.

So pretty right?  I'm in love.  It wasn't a problem, but when I finished the sock I only had maybe 5 yards of yarn left.  It was a photo finish.  Which is unusual for Knit Picks yarn.  Usually I have enough left over to make a baby sock.  But not this time.

When I began my second sock I didn't bother trying to make the stripes match.  I knew I wouldn't have enough yarn for those kinds of knitting shenanigans.  I do make my socks match, using the same number of rows on each leg, duplicate heels, same rows on the foot.  So essentially a duplicate sock and still

I ran out of yarn.  And that sad little sock includes every inch of the skein, AND the last five yards I had left over from the first sock.

I'll admit it, by the time I ran out of yarn last night I was just completely over it.  Done with the socks, done with dpns, done with Knit Picks.


I'm sure later today I'll pull a similar colored yarn from the left over stash and finish the toe.  But last night I wasn't going to deal with it.  Plus it was dark out and I wanted sunlight to compare shades of brown.  I could have given up and gone to bed at that point, but I still had 38  minutes left on the show I was watching.  I had to have something to do during those 38 minutes.  Because watching TV only for the sake of watching TV just doesn't feel right.

So I went WIP diving in the Abyss.  I discovered an alarming number of WIPs.  Turns out I spent the summer casting on and abandoning projects willy nilly all over the place.  I pulled out another sweater dangerously near completion.

Turns out I may have a problem with Second Sleeve Syndrome.  But that is a tale for another day.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Friday Lovin'

I'm loving that this morning my Sweet Pea came downstairs dressed for school.

"Wow" I said.  "You're going to wear your zebra dress with your zebra leggings?"

It is, undeniably, a bold fashion choice.

She shrugged off the implied criticism, "I want to be a zebra today."

Of course you do.

What's not to love about that?

Thursday, August 08, 2013


I had the strangest thing happen today.

I got up and got the kids off to school.  A task that sounds easier than it is.  Four children who don't want to eat breakfast, don't want to brush their hair, are ambivalent about brushing their teeth, and only want to pack potato chips with a juice box for lunch.  I am always a little grateful when I finally push them out of the car and onto school property, for they then become wards of the public education system and not my problem until 3:00.  (I'm just kidding about that last part...mostly.)

After I deposited my children into the loving cradle of knowledge (where I was told I did NOT need to walk my youngest to her class, she wanted Pork Chop to do it.  I am no longer her favorite *sob*) I came home and I cleaned the kitchen.

Admire the sparkly kitchen goodness.

I clean a few more thing downstairs, then went upstairs to get showered and dressed for the day.  I cleaned a few more things upstairs (riveting blogging I know, but hang in there, I've got a point.  Promise).

I came back downstairs and discovered the kitchen was still sparkly clean!


I went out for a few hours, ran errands, came home, and The Kitchen Was Still Sparkly Clean!

Ran more errands, came home, and THE KITCHEN WAS STILL SPARKLY CLEAN!!!!!!!!

I don't even understand what is happening here.  It is a little unsettling.  I'm so accustomed to living with tiny gremlins named "Idon'tknow" and his sneaky cousin "Notme."  For the past twelve-ish years things have been moved, messes were made, the kitchen was destroyed on a regular basis with no one  willing to take accountability for any of it. I imagine this is what living with a poltergeist is like.

And as suddenly as it started it has stopped.  Nothing was moved today.  Everything was exactly where I left it.  The things I cleaned stayed clean.

A girl could get used to this.

But did you notice that I spent the entire day running errands?  And cleaning things?  Granted they were child-free errands, and once cleaned things stayed clean, but still, not the relaxing life in the pool that I had envisioned for myself.

There's always tomorrow.

In the meantime, now that the children are home and fed, I've managed to throw my sweater into the blocking bowl

Yum, wet lace.

And I'm about to enjoy a Bridezilla marathon.  I might even knit a mate for this pretty sock.

Somehow it is easier to sit and relax when I'm surrounded by my babies.

Maybe I should home school.

It's messier, but there's no hair brushing required.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Best Day Ever!

Ever have a bad day?

I mean a really bad day.

Where every piece of news is bad news, and even the good news turns out to be bad news tied in a pretty bow so it looked like good news but it really wasn't?


That's my life lately.

But today was the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL.

Did you catch that?

Did you notice that Sweet Pea has a backpack on too?


The house is so quiet it is almost eerie.  But I think I could get used to this.  I have a sweater that is dangerously close to completion.

So I think maybe today is going to be a good day.