Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I Should Just Step Away From The Knitting

So yesterday Bird woke up and said her tummy hurt.

I love the girl, but she can be a bit of a hypochondriac/drama queen at times.  Sometimes it is hard to tell when her tummy really hurts, and when she just doesn't want to take her math test.

I watched her go through her morning and decided her tummy ache was real.  I offered to call her in sick.

She refused.  She had decided that she wanted to get a perfect attendance award this year and she wasn't going to let a little thing like a tummy ache hold her back.

With her shoulders determinedly set, off to school she want.

She made it two and a half hours before the school nurse called me.

Bird had thrown up.

I don't know about you, but I always feel a slight air of condemnation when the school nurse calls to tell you to pick up your sick child.  Almost like the nurse doesn't understand why you sent your sick child to school in the first place.   I feel judged and convicted of bad parenting.  Maybe that's just me.

I arrived at the school to find a very sick looking little girl who was now running a fever (something she did NOT have that morning.  I checked, I swear).  As we left the school I asked her how many times she threw up.  This was her explanation of events:

"First I threw up five times on the floor.  Then I threw up twice in Mrs. X's trashcan.  Then Mrs. X told me to go to the bathroom, but I couldn't make it to the bathroom.  I threw up five more times in the trashcan by the door.  So twelve times."

What I got from that is she was counting how many times her stomach heaved, but she still managed to throw up in three different places in her classroom.  Poor Baby!  And is there anything worse than being in fourth grade and puking in front of your entire class?

She laid on the couch looking pathetic all afternoon, and she put herself to bed at seven last night.

This morning she is still running a temp.

So she is home with me today.  She wants to watch Dr. Who.  I'll probably let her.  Only my tummy is feeling like a hot ball in my abdomen, so she might have to share the couch with me.

In knitting news I made a ton of progress on Meaty's Weasley Sweater yesterday while I was tending to (and catching germs from) my sick little Bird.

It is a shame I'm going to have to rip it all out.

I was loving this pattern.  LOVING IT!  It was well written.  The chart was easy to memorize.  You can't tell from the pictures, but I'm using the loveliest shade of blue yarn.  It was a joy to knit.

Until I got to the short rows.

Ravelry warned that the raglan decreases were tricky.  I didn't have any problems with the raglan decreases.  I think the instructions for marking the decrease stitch were muddy, but I don't know, you've done one set of raglan decreases you've done them all right?

Nope, the raglan decreases weren't an issue.  The short row  neck line was.

How do you knit short rows while simultaneously knitting cables?   Cabling that interferes with the short rows?   Cabling that must be crossed while you are picking up the short row wraps (which in the pattern weren't wraps at all but yarn overs)?

I muddled through the first set of short rows.  And while I didn't feel like I did a masterful job, it was good enough that I could live with it.  I began my second set of short rows and

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the pattern isn't matching up on both sides of the neck.

I don't know where or how or why it all went wrong, since the blasted short rows/cable crosses don't make any sense to me in the first place.  I just know that this is something that my possible OCD will not allow to remain.  I can not live with this.

Not having the heart to rip it all out last night, instead I cast on for a pair of socks.

Something that isn't even on my list of the eleventy billion things I need to do before the baby comes.  *rolls eyes at self*  I haven't decided how I feel about them yet.  I love the pattern, but they are toe up and I generally loathe the fit of toe up socks.  I'm also not sure how I feel about that lone purple stripe on the top of the foot.  The  purple was striping beautifully, when without warning it decided to pool on the bottom of the foot.

I don't mind the pooling, I'm just not sure how I feel about the lone stripe on top.  In that decisive way I have, where I always make decisions promptly and never put off the ineveitable frogging, I'll probably throw the sock into The Abyss to linger until March or so when I frog it because I can't remember where I am in the pattern and I'll move on to something I HAVE to do, like maybe sew the baby's quilt.  Or fix the neck line on Meaty's sweater.

That is if I can get up from the couch today.  (*sob* My stomach feels hot)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


I've decided that real life is hard.  The kids bicker,  the bills come every month with alarming regularity, and who decided we need to eat dinner each and every single freakin day?

But then a friend drops by and gifts you with the largest bottle of coconut syrup you've ever seen.

And once fortified with some dirty diet coke things don't seem so bad.  And yes, that is diet coke in a diet pepsi cup.  I feel no shame.

The tiny overalls are finished-ish.

Does it surprise anyone that the overalls are waiting for buttons?

Yeah.  I didn't think so.

The impending arrival of  She-who-has-not-been-named is looming over everything we do.  I need things done NOW!  Before the baby comes.  That may or may not mean that The Greatest is currently setting up one of our 11 Christmas trees as I type this.  I regret NOTHING.  Plus Christmas is his happy place, so he doesn't mind.  I still need to sew the baby's quilt, and I've agreed to join some women from knitting group on a both at a holiday sale.  I need to make some things to sell so I can turn around and buy some Christmas presents.  I need to pack for the hospital.  And hang pictures on the nursery wall.  And get the "big girls" to finish putting their room together.  And re-arrange/clean Meaty's room because he is feeling left out.  And I need to knit this year's round of  Weasley Christmas Sweaters.  NOW!

I started this one on Friday.  I think I'm making good progress.  I keep thinking it looks to small for Meaty, but the measuring tape says it will fit.  I guess we'll see.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Drive By Friday Love

Today I love that

my house is reasonably clean

the nursery is mostly put together

the big girls are in charge of putting their big girl room together, so there is nothing I can do in there

Finding myself free(ish) from the bare minimum of my house-wifey/good mom responsibilities means I get to spend the rest of my morning sitting on my butt with my Hulu queue

and I will FINALLY finish the overalls!

And there will be much rejoicing from my the comfort of my couch!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The End Of An Era

When we moved into our house five years ago we were so happy.  With four bedrooms and two and a half baths this was the largest place I had ever lived.  We poured over paint swatches for weeks while we waited for closing day to arrive.   I mentally decorated and re-decorated the rooms a thousand times.  It was very exciting.

With six people and only four bedrooms there were sacrifices to be made.  Not everyone could have their own room.  I willingly sacrificed my chance of having a space all to myself and offered to share a room with The Greatest.  He doesn't always make the bed, or put his dirty laundry in the hamper, but on the other hand he doesn't snore, and he doesn't complain about my fifty million girly things all over the bathroom, so there is that.

Having made the first decision, that left four children and three bedrooms.  The boy got his own room.  A perk of being the only boy.  And Pork Chop got her own room, a perk of being the oldest.  That left the youngest two children to share the final room.  They were given the largest bedroom as a concession to the fact that there were two of them in a room.

And they were very happy.

Sweet Pea was still a baby, so we let Bird pick the color for the walls.  She choose a deep shade of purple.  And for five years they have shared everything in their purple room.  Hours of giggle and whispering long past bedtime.  Tea parties, barbies, my little ponies, countless meals in their kitchen.  They are close as two sisters can be.  Sweet Pea never referrs to Bird as her sister, she calls her "My Friend."

Adding another girl to the family is a bit of a logistical nightmare.  If She-who-has-not-been-named had been a boy, he would have shared a room with his brother.  We would have cleared out a corner for a crib and made some matching camo bedding.  Boom!  Done!  (Although if I dwell too long on the amount of choking hazard legos Meaty has all over his room I might reach a different conclusion.  I might have decided that the only viable option would be to burn the house down and use the insurance money to build a smaller house with seven teeny tiny bedrooms so nobody had to share.  Not even me.)

Adding a baby of the girl variety proved to be a bit more challenging.  As much as Pork Chop insisted she wanted to share her room with the baby, I knew that arrangement wouldn't last for long.  The first time the baby got into her make-up or her jewelry, or her art supplies, or messed up a puzzle she had spent days working on, the charm of having a baby sister would be all over.  No, some arrangement of older girls would have to share.  In the end it was decided that Pork Chop would share with Bird.  Bird is now nine years old and while her abilities to keep her room tidy are still slightly lacking, she is old enough to stay out of teenage Pork Chop's things.  And that is important.

And since they are the two older girls, they get the biggest room.  Being older and responsible has to have some perks right?

So it is the end of an era.  No more sweet baby girls in the purple room.

Pork Chop and Bird are anxious to move into their more grown up tan room.

I wonder what laughter and dreams and late night whisperings will happen now.  Will they grow as close as Bird and Sweet Pea?  Will Sweet Pea and  Bird grow apart?  Will Sweet Pea even sleep in her new smaller room alone until the baby comes?

Life, the only constant is change.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More Randomness

It was kinda a big weekend for Bird.  Her girl's group had a "pink" pinewood derby.

She won!

Between Meaty's first place win at the Scout derby, and now Bird's win, we kinda dominated this year!  The part I love best is that The Greatest and the racing child did all the work.  I just showed up and got to be the parent of the fastest car on the track.

Knitting news is not so joyous.

I've been knitting tiny baby overalls, only they weren't looking so tiny.  I got to the point where you split for the legs and discovered...

they were really huge compared to a 0-3 month sleeper.

Ordinarily this might not have been such a big deal, but we live in the desert.  There is only a teeny tiny window where an infant can wear a hand knit pair of overalls without sweating to death.  I really needed these overalls to fit in that tiny window.

So I frogged.

All the way back to that safety pin.

I only cried a little.

I've now modified it and knit again to where you separate for the legs.

And it is still kinda wide and big.

Only now I'm so sick on knitting in the round on size 1 needles (I thought I had upgraded to size 2 but I accidentally grabbed my size 1, which is kinda a good thing, they would probably fit a toddler if I had knit them on size 2) I don't care if they ever fit anyone.  I shall finish them, and gift them, and be so glad to be done with them.

Fiddly size issues aside, they are stinking cute.

I've officially begun my crazy nesting phase of baby preparations.

If you don't hear from me for a few days you might want to send reinforcements for The Greatest.  We barely got the crib put together without strangling each other.

Friday, October 18, 2013

It Is Time!

My Shawl Is FINALLY Dry!

Let us all take a moment to do the happy dance.

Or maybe that was just me shaking my groove thang.

Either way it's all good!

Pattern:  Dream Stripes

Yarn:  Recycled Cotton from my Black Friday Sweater Haul

Needles:  Size 6 Addi Turbos

Modifications:  I didn't like the triangular shape so I used the increases from the Ka'ana Shawlette to give it more of a crescent shape.  I also wanted a deeper shawl so I increased to 393 stitches before I began the lace edging.

Review:  Because of the change in shaping techniques, instead of increasing 4 stitches ever two rows I ended up increasing 6 stitches every two rows.  This gave the shawl a really impressive wing span.

Seriously, I couldn't even hold the entire thing out from end to end.  I absolutely LOVE IT!

Look how flow-y and drape-y and romantic-y it is.  Maybe I've been watching too many movies set in the Regency Era, but I love it.  Absolutely love it!

I still think the top edging is a tiny bit too stiff and tight in comparison to the rest of the shawl, but it is a flaw I am willing to live with.  This is definitely one for the "WIN" column.

And because this picture just cracks me up

Even the dog is impressed and possibly scared by my 31 week baby bump!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My Hero

Sometimes all the best intentions in the world won't save the day.

You wake up and discover the shawl you were looking forward to showing off is still wet.  It is no longer hotter than the surface of the sun here, it is merely a respectable 89 degrees, so I guess now nothing wants to dry?

You sit down to do some baby crafting and discover your big bottle of E-6000 glue is glued shut.  You sacrifice three fingernails and half a bottle of nail polish remover in an attempt to open the much needed tube.  It was a sacrifice made in vain.

You discover you accidentally bought an extra yard and a half of fabric when you bought fabric for the crib skirt.  Budgeting fail.  The pattern says you need 2 yards of fabric to make a matching crib sheet, but you manage to coax the fabric into being enough for the crib skirt AND a crib sheet.  Thrifty Crafting Win!  But then you break a needle sewing the basting line for the crib skirt.  And it is your last needle.  So.Much.Fail.

You run to the store for more supplies and since you are there you pick up some things for dinner.  And then you  happen to leave the meat that you purchased for dinner at the store.  And it isn't until you go to make dinner with a house full of hungry kids that you realize your mistake.

I think it is time for me to give up for the day and just go knit on the cute baby overall.  But I'm kinda afraid to touch them.  With the day I'm having the yarn might burst into flames.

Enter The Greatest stage left to save the day.

He spent the day painting the dressers for Sweet Pea and She-who-has-not-been-named's bedroom.

Aren't they perfect!  I love them so much.  They turned out exactly the way I pictured them in my head.  I'm so happy, every time I see them they make me smile.

He really is The Greatest!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Will Wonders Never Cease?

You guys are going to be so proud of me.  This morning I sucked it up and got down on the floor to block my shawl.  Before it started to smell bad!

It wasn't easy.  As I crawled around, back hurting, knees hurting, my big belly in the way, I vowed to stop knitting things that need blocking until after the baby is born.  Maybe only small object that can be blocked on the bed from now on?  Or maybe just more baby socks.  Yeah, quick, easy, no blocking required baby socks just might be the thing.

When I began placing the blocking wires along the top edge of the shawl I swore this was going to be a disaster.  The cotton garter stitch edging was every bit as tight as I feared it would be.  I worried it wouldn't stretch enough to match the more flexible stockinette stitch body.  I almost gave up right then.  Why waste my time crawling around on the floor when I knew it wasn't going to work?

But I pushed on.  I'm in that crazy stage of pregnancy where once I get an idea into my head I must see it through to the end.  If only I had that kind of focus when I'm not nesting.  The Abyss wouldn't even exist.  I had to pin the shawl out.  I had to know for sure how terrible it was.  Besides, what else was I going to do with a wet pile of pink stripes?

It turns out that like Jon Snow, I know nothing.

It is everything I hoped it would be but feared it couldn't.  It is huge, and pretty, and I love it!

I am thinking I'll take it to the hospital with me.  I get cold in the hospital, but it is hard to wear a sweater with an IV (I NEED the epidural, I do not fear the IV).  Or it could be used as a cover up while nursing.  Or I could just wear it and look fabulous.  I have options.

I've cast on for yet another baby knit.

But this one isn't for me.  A tiny pair of knitted overalls for a good friend's little boy. I knit this pattern a few years ago for her baby girl, and when she found out she was expecting again all she wanted was a blue pair for her little boy (in a side note, that blog post includes me thinking I might be done having kids.  Very funny).  I kinda hated the pattern the first time I knitted it.  All those tiny stitches on size 0 needles.  This time I am knitting it on size 2 needles and I like it so much better.  It is so cute and tiny and fun to knit I'm going to HAVE to knit a pair for my own baby.  But I must finish the blues one first.  She is due any day now.  Just like in college, there is nothing that motivates me to get stuff done more than having a deadline.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Mystery Of The Striped Shawl

Will it block?

Consider the fact that it has been sitting in that bowl of water since Friday afternoon...the world may never know.

In the mean time I've knocked out another pair of baby socks.

So there is that I guess.

Friday, October 11, 2013

It's Friday!

This week I'm loving

All Bird's Accomplishments

She got Student of The Month, and she exceeded expectations in both math and reading on the standardized testing.  Way to go Bird!  I'm so proud of who she is.  She's so clever and smart and cute.  I just adore her.

Forgive the big pink blob in the middle of the picture.  I try to keep some things off my blog for privacy reasons.  When she got dressed this morning she put on a sweatshirt with the state university on it.  I told her I couldn't put a picture of her to celebrate getting Student of the Month on my blog if she was going to wear that sweatshirt.  She decided that she would wear it on the walk to school (after all, it is her favorite sweatshirt) and she would take it off for the award ceremony.  It seemed like a reasonable compromise.  Once we were at the school I chatted with her teacher before the ceremony about how proud I am of Bird.  When they were ready to hand out the awards Bird started taking her sweatshirt off.  I explained to her teacher why she was taking it off, and we both burst into laughter as the offending state specific sweatshirt was removed to reveal she was wearing a t-shirt underneath that proudly displayed the name of her school and the mascot.  I decided then and there that a big pink blob would have to do, and it was probably time to have another internet safety talk with the children.

I'm loving


It is chilly enough in the morning to wear socks.  Makes my heart feel happy.  You would not believe how far I had to lean over to get a picture of my feet.  And I've still got blurry baby bump in the picture.  (P.S.  Those are my BFF Socks, I think they are holding up quite nicely and are probably my favorite pair of socks.  I just love that colorway.)

Speaking of baby...I'm loving

My Sassy Baby!

You know you're going to have a spirited child when they're already sticking their tongue out at you in ultra sound photos.  If the amount of pure sass she is showing is any indication, this baby is going to come out ready to conquer the world!   I might be a biased parent, but I can already tell, she is going to be one cute kid.  I'm 30 weeks today, and I've delivered three out of four of my children at 37 weeks.  My pregnancy is going by so fast!  She's going to be here before you know it!

Finally I'm loving

My Sweater!

Let me just apologize right now for the bad self-portraits.  I think having the top of your head in a picture is over-rated anyways.  And I know you were all too busy staring at my big ole belly to notice either the sweater or the fact that the top of my head is missing.

The pattern is called Spirited.  It is the grown-up version of the sweater I knit Bird for Christmas.  I loved that sweater when it was child sized, and I love it even more for me.  I used yarn I recycled from a store bought sweater.  It is fuzzy and soft and warm.  I love it.  I think the long drape-y fronts will double nicely as a nursing cover up once the baby is here.

And that's pretty much all I've got for today.  The kids are doing well in school.  The weather is almost fall-ish.  The Greatest is upstairs sleeping safe and sound in anticipation of his shift tonight.  The dogs are at the back door happily watching birds eat our grass seed.  Dinner is in the crock pot.  And I am so large and round I am about to have my own gravitational pull.

Life is good.  I think it is time to knit!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Random Ramblings of an Unfocused Mind

It finally happened.

I needed something from the Abyss, but I could not find it.  I sifted and searched, but the jumbled mess of half finished project, random skeins of yarn, with needles and hooks everywhere refused to give up their secrets.  The object of my query remained frustratingly hidden.

I had no choice.

I had to clean the Abyss.

Behold the organization!

Aren't you impressed?

I also organized my yarn cabinet while I was organizing things.

It's so purty!

Unfortunately all that organization unearthed a small mountain of nearly finished items that just NEED someone to get off their butt and for the love of all that is good FINISH THEM.

This should be fun right?

In the mean time The Greatest took a little vacation time.  I used his vacation to my advantage.  Is there anything more loving in a marriage than one spouse using the other spouse for slave labor?  I've only got 8 or nine weeks left.  It is time to get things ready for the nursery!   The crib was only the beginning.

Half finished baby crafts are everywhere!  We were moving along, feeling very productive, until we got to the dresser.  I mentioned wishing it could have a fresh coat of paint.  Taking the hint, The Greatest lovingly cleaned and sanded and painted a dresser for the baby.  He really is The Greatest!  We left it outside to dry.  And of course, last night, at three am, in the desert where it NEVER rains, the skies opened, and rain poured out.  All over the freshly painted dresser.  He gets to spend next week lovingly cleaning, sanding and painting the baby's dresser.  Again.

And I still managed to do a little work on my striped shawl.

I'm up to the lacey border and have fifty billion stitch markers everywhere.  I'm ready to have the project done.  You can't see in the picture, but I fear the garter stitch border on the sides of the shawl looks tight and I'm never going to get it to block out the way I need it to.  But I won't know until I try to block it.  Part of me is ready to chuck the entire project and find something less frustrating to work on.  The lazy part of me is too lazy to go find another project.

While I war with myself over what to knit, I've got some quilts rescued from The Abyss to mend, and little girl dresses to repair.  One dress has been in The Abyss for so long it began as Pork Chop's dress when she was in first grade.  I'm hoping once it is mended Sweet Pea can wear it. Yes.  It is sad.  I'm sure it says something terrible about me that I've taken this long to fix the ties, but I can't hear it over the sound of the sewing machine.

Friday, October 04, 2013

Can You Stand The Lovin'

This week I'm loving....


Yup, we (and by we I mean The Greatest) painted the crib REALLY pink.  Everyone thinks I'm crazy, but I'm completely in love with how it turned out.  It is going to be so cute in the nursery.  One baby project down, fifty billion more to go!


Yup, it doesn't look like much, but I can see a huge difference between my triangular shaped stripes and my crescent shaped stripes.  I do like this better, so I guess I should be happy I had to frog?


It is finally only in the 90's.  I'll give the rest of you who live in normal climates a moment to laugh.  We've turned the a/c off and opened all the windows.  In the early morning it is actually cool enough to cuddle under a blanket on the couch.  I'm taking every moment of cuddling I can get.

And finally CANNING.

Today I "put up" 14 quarts, and 14 pints of canned apples.  The Greatest has already declared he wants to see a steady flow of apple pie coming from the kitchen.  But since pie crust and I are currently locked in a war that I am losing, I'm hoping I can appease him with apple crisp instead.  I've also made this recipe and it is pretty yummy too!

What are you loving this week?

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Some Days

Some days you knit and it all falls together.  The stitches are even, the count is never off, and gauge is always achieved.  I love knitting on those days.

Some days you knit and you think, hey I don't need a stitch marker to mark the center stitch of my shawl.  I can totally just see the center stitch.  And after knitting over 200 rows you discover you've been slowly shifting the center stitch of a triangular shaped shawl to the right every thirty rows or so.

And to the frog pond you go.

I kinda hate knitting on those days.

*Deep Sigh* Oh well.I was totally thinking I would like my pretty pink stripes so much better in a more crescent shape instead of a triangular shape anyways.  I guess now is my chance to find out.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

I Did It!

I finished the sweaters!  Blocked and with Buttons!

Pattern: Korrigan

Yarn:  Malabrigo Sock Yarn

Needles:  Size 3 Addi Turbos

Modifications:  I made a few.  I initially knit the yoke on size 2 needles, but my gauge was off, so I went up a needle size and got a much nicer fabric.  Based on ravelry reviews I changed the button band from the original ribbed band to a seed stitch band.  I also knit seed stitch at the wrists and bottom of the sweater.

I love how it turned out!  I also knit the body before the sleeves and knit the sleeves in the round.  Goodness knows I didn't want to have to seam the sleeves.

Review:  Not the most user friendly pattern.  It does not spell everything out for you, but if you are familiar with sweater construction you shouldn't have any problems.

The chart for the cables looked quite intimidating, but they are rather intuitive once you understand their construction.

And aren't you all impressed that I actually sewed buttons on a cardigan for a change!

I don't want to alarm anyone, but this might be a sign of an impending apocalypse.  Or it could mean I am nesting and getting stuff done.  As much as Pork Chop is looking forward to the rise of the zombies, safe money is on the second option.

I contemplated adding an i-cord border, but got lazy at the end.  Instead I used the remaining yarn to knit matching booties.

They're so tiny and cute!  I can't wait to put them on the baby!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Busy Bee

In the past two days I have...

knit two more pairs of baby socks

and yes, that is an intentionally mismatched pair of socks on the bottom.  My 13 year old thinks that matching socks is for chumps and she is over the moon that I knit a pair of socks for the baby that coordinate but don't match.  I should probably weave those ends in sometime in the next 10-ish weeks.

I have cast on a little something new.

Not sure if I like this pattern yet, but I'm loving the striped color combo.

I have finally picked a paint color for the crib

The saga of the crib is a different post entirely.

I have canned 12 quarts of peaches.

I've never canned peaches before.  They're supposed to look like that right?  I hot packed them.  I thought hot packed peaches didn't float.  We're not gonna die if we eat these are we?

I have made a strawberry pie

Meaty is unhappy that it is not pumpkin.

Plus see that big container of pomegranate seeds in the back?  I de-seeded all those glorious bits of heaven.  Turns out small dog likes pomegranate seeds too.  Despite de-seeding in a bowl of water there were still some brave seeds who made a run for it.  She eagerly licked the ones that got away off the floor, then she sat so pretty hoping for more.  I'll share my pomegranate seeds with the kids, but I draw the line at sharing more than five with the dog.  Okay, maybe seven.  Or possibly the two dozen or so it took for me to stop laughing at how much she loves them.  But that is it.  No more for the

I have also baked four loaves of banana bread, baked one batch of banana nut muffins, and made 40 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Not to mention I washed all the laundry, except for one lonely load sitting in my hallway in front of my bedroom door.

I've been a busy bee.  Yet, somehow, in all this industriousness I have not managed to lay  my teeny tiny baby sweater out to block.

I should probably get off my butt and do that.  I could toss that last load of laundry in the washer while I'm up.