Sunday, March 29, 2015

Just Checking In

First things first, lets just get this out of the way right away...

Nope.  Not yet.

But I did weave in all the ends of my blue and my other purple sweater.  I even wore my other purple sweater this morning.  Have I blocked my other purple sweater?  Nope.  Not yet.  But with summer looming in the desert, this morning might have been my very last chance to wear my other purple sweater until November.  And of course I failed to capture photographic evidence of said outing.  But I looked awesome.  My other purple sweater is knitted perfection.

In my defense I haven't been sitting on the couch these past few days while I ignored my wet sweater shaped yarn on my counter.  We've been painting the house.  It was time.  There were holes in the walls from the dogs.  Naughty children had peeled paint off the walls in the stairwell while sitting in time out.  The base boards looked like a war zone.  After it had been bombed.

I refuse to get on a ladder and it doesn't matter since I am not to be trusted with a roller, so my part of the painting included washing walls/trim, moving things out of The Greatest's way, and standing at the bottom of the ladder for moral support.  He did ALL the hard work.  He really is The Greatest.  He got roughly half the house done this weekend.  And it is so pretty.  I can't wait until he gets it all done.

Here's a before of my beloved yarn cabinet

And after

It isn't a huge difference, but the new color is lighter and it gives the house a more airy feel.  I love it.

And because my sock yarn is oh so pretty 

Doesn't that just fill your soul with joy?

And I did get a little bit of knitting done.

A pretty little school of fishy wash clothes for the children.

All in all a good but exhausting weekend.

Thursday, March 26, 2015


One week Baby!

And its got two sleeves, and a finished collar and everything.

I could really get used to knitting big things on big needles with big yarn.

I guess now I have to block it.

That should only take a month or so.

And I am free to finish seaming the blue sweater.

And I should reach into the abyss to finished the other eleventy billion projects stashed in there so I can FINALLY play with my new yarn.

I'm dying to knit some socks, but I don't have any unfinished sock projects.  Do you think it would count as an old project if I started knitting a pair of socks with yarn I owned before I received my yarn order.

Cause that only feels a little bit like cheating to me.

And it feels like the kind of cheating I can live with.

Monday, March 23, 2015



That is STILL my purple sweater sitting in a bowl of water.  Actually I'm not sure if there is even any water left in the bowl.  The goldfish were included as proof that this is a completely new picture taken today, and not a reuse of an old picture for dramatic effect.  I really AM this lazy.  One of these day I will either wash this sweater (cause you know it's starting to smell at this point) and block it or it will just give up the ghost and disintegrate becoming one with the water.  It really could go either way at this point.

In case you hadn't noticed, or maybe you're just new around here, I really hate blocking.

But my OTHER purple sweater is coming along swimmingly.

I do love knitting.  I oscillate between thinking I'm going to have miles of yarn left over, and thinking I could run out at any moment.  I haven't finished the front edging because I wanted to be sure I had enough yarn to finish the sleeves.  If I have to cut corners somewhere I'd rather have a narrower edge around the collar than sleeves that are too short.  I'm pretty sure I started knitting sweaters specifically so I could finally have sleeves that I didn't have to keep tugging to cover my wrist bones.  So the sleeves are not the place to skimp on the yarn.  I'm currently on the side that says "I'm going to have plenty of yarn."  We shall see.

In Queen Bean news...

She LOVES walking with a walker.

The "walking wings" are a different story.

I would rather not teach her to walk at all at this point in time, but nobody listens to me.  I'm just the Mom.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Celebrate The Differences

Today is World Down Syndrome Day.

March 21st (3/21) was chosen because my Lily Bean (and all other individuals with Down syndrome) have 3 copies of the 21st chromosome.

It is one chromosome.  One tiny chromosome.  It is a teeny tiny piece of who she is, and if that is all you see, then you miss everything.

Like how if you don't let her kiss you

she will push you down and pull your hair (while your Mothers laugh and take pictures)

And how she refuses to drink from a straw

unless it is a strawberry milkshake.  (which makes no sense at all because she hates every other thing that is strawberry flavored)

And how she loves her siblings so much

She will happily sit in their laundry basket if it means she gets to be near them.

And how she dances to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.  And how she sings to "Come and get your love." And how she loves bright pink.  And how she only eats Cocoa Puffs.  And how her smile makes everything better.  She makes every day a little brighter and a little more joyful.  I am so proud to be her Mom and I am so proud to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day in her honor.

You can play too.

You can wear blue and yellow today, the official colors of the University of Michigan, my sorority, and Down Syndrome.

You can wear brightly colored mismatched socks

to celebrate the beauty of difference.

You can perform random acts of kindness today in the name of Queen Bean.

You can donate $21 to Ruby's Rainbow, an organization that provides scholarships to individuals with Down syndrome so they can go to college.

You can volunteer at your local Down syndrome society.

There are lots of ways to play.

So come celebrate with us.

Friday, March 20, 2015

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Sometime optimism is rewarded.

I have achieved a respectable neckline.

And sometimes you optimistically call the plumber to fix an easy peasy tiny leak only to discover you need a entirely new faucet and five hundred dollars later...

You find yourself installing an new garbage disposal as well on top of what the plumber has already repaired.  (and by "you" what I really mean is "The Greatest").

If you need me I'll be on the couch knitting.

Turns out I get a metric ton of knitting done when I'm stress knitting.  I started this yesterday afternoon around 2.  This is what it looks like at 10 am the next day.

I am currently dabbling in project monogamy.  Which mean I will leave my (other) purple sweater to mold in a bowl of water, and I will leave my blue sweater on the back of the couch waiting for me to sew the underarm seam while I sit and knit on this until there is no more knitting to knit.

It's the right thing to do.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


So it turns out that with proper motivation...

I can get a metric ton of knitting done.

I keep reading on Ravelry that this is a well written pattern.  I'm not sure if my brain is simply too addled from the sleep deprivation or what, but I'm finding this pattern to be the opposite of well written.  And I'm a girl who knits Drops pattern.  I can follow a vague pattern.  This one, not so much.  So I've done a ton of guessing about what needs to be done where, and the neck mods I've done are insane.  I'm still not sure if they're gonna work out, considering that right now the neckline dips below my bra, and I'm pretty sure that's too low.  But that could just be me.  I've got hope that things will work out (I had a semi-decent night's sleep last night, so today I'm feeling optimistic), but if not I'll frog back and try again.

But it also turns out that no amount of new yarn...

can get me to block my knits in a timely fashion.

Maybe first thing tomorrow morning?

Monday, March 16, 2015

Big Plans

Saturday was a beautiful day.

The sun was shining, a gentle breeze was blowing, and the post office delivered my yearly tax return funded (Thank you Uncle Sam) Knit Picks yarn order.

And a beautiful order it was.

I have yarn for a sweater.

Perhaps Boxy, inspired by this version.

And yarn for a sweater

Possibly another Emelie.  I have a black version but I've always wanted to knit a longer version.  A lighter sweater with the same shape of my Olivette.

I've got yarn for two pairs of socks.

I'm head over heels in love with that green/silver/black yarn.  I did not realize it was going to be so very very awesome.  I have seen Pork Chop eyeing that yarn, but NO!  BAD PORK CHOP!  That is my awesome green/silver/black yarn.  Those are my future Slytherine socks.  Possibly with the Nagini sock pattern?

And this special collection of sock yarn is destined to be...


I'm a Whovian.

Deal with it.

I had a moment of insanity and promised to make the Tardis socks for my Dad.  But if the socks come out too small and accidentally fit my feet instead, well, you know, stuff like that happens accidentally maliciously on purpose sometimes.

Knit Picks asked me if I would like to try a set of size 7 Caspian needles for $1.99.

And I decided I did want to try a set of size 7 Caspian needles for $1.99.  For some reason I didn't own a pair of size 7 Knit Picks needles.  Thank you Knit Picks for helping me rectify that oversight.

And since I was placing a Knit Pick order I did it.  I tried really hard not to.  But in the end I could not resist.

I ordered 14 balls of Tweedy Yarn so I can knit my Tweedy sweater all over again with lots of yarn all in the same dye lot.  This round of Tweed yarn happens to be the same dye lot as the two non-matching balls I previously ordered.  If I can not knit my sweater with 16 balls of City Tweed DK then this sweater was just never ever ever meant to be.  And I'll probably set the entire thing (both dye lots) on fire.

In a rare fit of grown up behavior, or perhaps a moment of insanity (who am I to judge) I made myself promise I would finish my current projects before I started anything new.

Its like I hate myself or something.

But with that kind of motivation I ...

Kitchnered the toe of my socks.

and I...

put my purple sweater to soak so I can block it.

And I am...

doing some serious knitting on my Folded.  I still haven't decided if I've got a good yarn/pattern match.  My yarn might be a touch too thin for this gauge.  You all see that row of extra big stitches right?  What is going on there?  I'm still keeping the option of frogging this entire thing open.  But in the mean time I need to get off the computer and knit a second sleeve.

My new yarn depends on it.

And just in case you forgot...

Queen Bean is the World's Cutest Baby.

Deal with it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Spread The Word

I wrote this post back in November.  It is very dear to me, and I needed to hold onto it and publish it at a time when my emotions didn't feel so raw.

Today is "Spread The Word To End The Word"  an initiative run by  So today feels like a good day to share my thoughts and be part of a movement.

Original post below:

I love my Queen Bean.

When I was pregnant with her, and scared, I turned to the internet.  I lurked on message boards for people who had children with Down syndrome.  I saw a sentiment repeated over and over again "I didn't know I wanted a child with Down syndrome until I had one."  I read this sentiment with equal measures of doubt and hope.  I wanted to feel this way, but was unsure I could reach that point.

But it is true.

I love my daughter.  I love every single chromosome in her body.  I wouldn't change a thing about her.

But I do want to change the world she lives in.  I want to reshaped the culture into one where she is unconditionally accepted and loved and not looked upon with fear and a sense that she is "other."

I believe the first step to doing this is to change the language people use when they talk about children with disabilites.

The first step is to use "people first" language.  She isn't a "Down's baby".  She is a baby with Down syndrome.  It is a subtle difference, but the first puts the emphasis on her condition, the second puts the emphasis on the fact that she is a baby, she is a human being, she is a person who happens to have Down syndrome.

Another change in the language is the banishing of the word "retard" from the common vernacular.  It is short for the term mental retardation, an outdated medical term that is now used solely as a pejorative.  When you use it you are comparing something to people who are intellectually disabled, and you are saying it is a bad thing.  You are saying my daughter is a bad thing to be.  You are also saying it is fine to make fun of people with intellectual disabilities.  You are saying it is fine to make fun of my daughter just for being who she is.

That is not okay.

I did not realize how important this issue is to me until I found myself arguing with an idiot on the internet.  He was ready to defend to the death his right to speak this word as part of the language of his birth.  It didn't matter to him that it is insulting, it is dehumanizing, it is demeaning, it is harmful, and hurtful, and hateful, and unkind, and unnecessary.  There is no instance when this word is the only word that can be used to describe something.  If you feel this way I think you are displaying a distinct lack of imagination. But who was I to tell him how to speak?

I am a mother of a child with Down syndrome.  I am a mother of the person you disparage when you say this word.  I am a mother who will defend to the death the right of my child to live in a world where she is not the object of ridicule by people who are obviously smart enough to know better.

And because the universe has a funny sense of humor, two days after my online encounter one of my children used this word in my own home.  So busy arguing with idiots on the internet I failed to teach this lesson in my own home.  Lesson learned universe.  Lesson humbly learned.

I explained to my children the history of this word and they were appalled.  They insisted there was nothing wrong with Queen Bean (because there isn't) and that people must never make fun of her (because they shouldn't).  Their easy acceptance of the idea that this word was wrong, and should never be spoken soothed my heart.

I firmly believe this is a word whose usefulness has passed.  It is time to retire this word.  Much like we no longer use the n word.  Or call people "gay" or frankly a whole host of other terms that I simply can not bring myself to type because they are words that should never be used.  And we have stopped using them because the people who these words harm have asked us to stop using them.

And now we are being asked to stop using the r word.  Maybe you don't get it.  You grew up saying it.  You don't mean it like that.

Does it matter?

You are being told that it hurts, and you are being asked to stop.  Don't the people to whom this word refers deserve the same courtesy and respect that was shown when we stopped using the n word and all those other hateful words.

If you don't understand that.  If you feel your right to use this word (1st amendment, freedom of speech and all that) is sacrosanct and supersedes the wishes of anyone else, then please quit reading my blog.  If you know me in real life, please just quietly disappear from my life.  This is important to me.  I'm picking my battles and this is one I will fight.  This is my hill to dies on.  If you want to say this word than please find someone else to say it around.  That disrespectful attitude has no place in my life, and you have no business being around my daughter.

This is important.

And on this one, for the sake of my daughter, there are no second chances.  Utter this word around me or any member of my family and that will be the end of your welcome with my family.

As an addendum to this post I would like to add that you must never ever say this word around my son.  He will kindly explain to you why you shouldn't use this word.  And if you continue to say it he will grab you by the head and straight up punch you in the face.

True Story.