Monday, April 17, 2017

In Which I Lose My Freaking Mind

I was in Wal Mart the other day.

I am always in Wal Mart.

All day.

Every day.

I'm either buying milk or toilet paper.  Because that is my glamorous life.

But on the particular day in question I found myself in the fabric section.

Pork Chop is going to Disney Land with the Science National Honor Society.  Not only is that girl in the National Honor Society but she is also in the Science National Honor Society.  She makes me proud!

But anyways...

She is going to Disney Land and as such she needs a pair of Mickey Mouse Ears.  But not just any Mickey Mouse Ears.  A dorky circle hat with plastic ears and her name embroidered on the back just isn't good enough.  She has to have DIY character ears made from instructions she found on Pinterest with a few youtube tutorials thrown in for good measure.

She is so my kid.

Again, that girl makes me proud!

Which is how I found myself standing in the middle of the Wal Mart fabric section pushing the button for service for eighth time trying to find someone to cut me six inches of satin fabric in a dazzling array of rainbow colors.  For her ears.

And that is when I saw them.

A glorious row of fat quarters in colors and patterns that spoke to my soul.

Before I knew it I was googling how many fat quarters one might need to sew an twin size quilt.

The Queen is three and still sleeping in her crib.  It is better for everyone if she remains in her crib.  But she is growing.  And will outgrow her crib any moment now.  I can hear her hit the bars at night as she rolls over.  She needs a big girl bed.


We have almost everything we need to move her to a big girl bed.

We have a bed frame.  A twin size mattress.  Tons of twin size sheets.  We have a baby gate to put at her door to attempt to keep her in her room.  We have a secondary gate we can use to block the stairs in the event that the first baby gate does not prove to be sufficient to contain the wild toddler.

We everything but a quilt.

She has a very very cute crib quilt.

But she will need a big girl quilt.

And I think these will work nicely for that purpose

The pink!  The grey!  The aqua!

The clouds!  The polka dots!  The chevrons!

I don't know what happened.  They were on the shelf one moment.  And then they were in my cart.  (for the record the internet said I needed 24 of them, so I bought 24.  I probably shouldn't have trusted the internet.  I probably should have bought 25 or 30 or 52 just to be safe.  But I took a leap of faith and bought 24)

It was only when I brought them home and set them on the counter beside The Queen's shoes that I realized how deep my problem is.

Evidently I am only purchasing from a single color palette lately.

But it is such a gorgeous one!

Now I just need to give up sleep completely to find time to actually make a quilt.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cat For Sale...Cheap

My fat cat is a cat nip addict.

Each night when the kids go to bed she joins me in the family room where I present her with a goblet of milk and a pile of catnip served on a silver tray.

The Greatest wishes I was making this up.  

But it's true.

I am an enabler.

In October of last year Pork Chop crocheted a round cat toy and filled with with batting and cat nip.

That was hours of fun.

For some reason I hate stuffing.  Not the yummy food of the Gods you fill turkeys with at Thanksgiving.  But the white stuff you use in pillows/dolls/teddy bears/and cat toys.  I hate it.  Just hate it.  It's a texture thing maybe? Or bad flashback of middle school home ec?  I just hate the stuff.  We all have our quirks and I seem to be amassing more and more as I age.  Hating stuff is one I embrace.  (that was supposed to read "hating stuffing is one I embrace" but I think I like the typo better)

I read somewhere (probably on Ravelry) where someone kept all their yarn ends to stuff their cat toys with.  And I really really really liked that idea.  So I've been saving my yarn ends for the past six months or so.

And I've got half a cat bed full of left overs.  I could stuff three or four cat toys with my stash.

I bring this up because from looking around my blog one might be left with the impression that I haven't knit anything at all in the past six months or so.

And that impression isn't entirely wrong.

My pink socks are still in the Abyss waiting to be knit.  My red dress is still sitting on a shelf in my closet waiting to be turned into a sweater.  My Good Sweater is still hibernating in the trunk beside my knitting chair waiting for a miracle.  Even my Find Your Fade shawl is knit, and even blocked.  It is waiting for the ends to be woven in.

Another Find Your Fade and a Boho Blush shawl have joined it (see I did knit something!).  Both are waiting to be blocked.

In my defense, blocking has become a lot harder around here.  Not only do I have to fight my natural loathing of blocking (see...quirky.  also...hating stuff).  But fat cat LOVES blocking knits.  She ALWAYS lays on them.

And if the pins are bothering her she just pulls them up with her teeth.

Problem solved.

The only way to ensure my blocked knits actually dry to the proper proportions and remain relatively cat hair free is to lock her out of the bedroom.  Which is harder than it sounds.  She sits and meows at the door.  She tries to open it with her paw.  And heaven forbid you have to go in that room.  Don't let her robust physique fool you.  She is fast and she will trip you in her efforts to enter the room before you finish turning the door knob.  The other day I locked her out of the bedroom so I could block a sweater I test knit for Knit Picks.  She was so mad at me that yesterday as I sat on the couch knitting she chewed through my working yarn.  Revenge was hers.

Whose idea was it to get cats?

All of this to say I'm still alive.  I'm still knitting.  I hope to finish something one day so I may share it with you.

*fingers crossed*

Friday, February 03, 2017

Failure Never Looked So Good

So it looks like I spoke too soon.

The Queen began her morning with diarrhea.

And once she was freshly bathed and the carpet/couch/clothes were all cleaned, she proceeded to vomit all over the carpet/couch/clothes.

The Greatest cleaned each mess while I bathed the Queen.

He really is The Greatest.

Her fever has returned so we spent all day like this.

And sometimes like this.

My back is killing me from all the hours in the rocking chair.  That evil vengeful spirit sure is taking revenge in small petty ways.

On the knitting front I finished my Find Your Fade Shawl.  Wanna take a guess where it is now?

That's right.

I put that baby in The Abyss to sit and await blocking.

My goal in knitting this shawl was to create left over sock yarn.  Having a super cool shawl was a bonus.  I failed a little in my primary directive.

I used seven colors but I only have six left over balls.

And that one ball on the end

It isn't big enough to actually do anything with.  Cat paw included for scale.  And also included because she wouldn't leave my yarn alone.


She wouldn't leave the yarn alone.

All my yarn was once again on the floor as I searched for the perfect stash combination for my next Find Your Fade Shawl.  Why am I knitting another one?  Because this pattern is addicting that's why.  It ought to come with a warning label.

After considering several combinations I finally settled on this one.

You might notice that two of the yarn ends from the precious shawl will be making an appearance in my second shawl.

So that's a double fail on the left over yarn ends.

But I'll have another awesome shawl.  So there is that!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

The Curse Is Real

So The Queen was sick this week.

I always get extra nervous when she gets sick.  Her Down syndrome isn't something that really impacts our day to day lives too much.  It just is who she is.  I don't think about it much.  I don't think about it in terms of raising my daughter with Down syndrome.  I think about as raising my daughter.  Funny how when I was pregnant it was all I thought about.  Her diagnosis.  Now I'm too busy thinking about her.  The actual amazing person that she is.

But when she gets sick her Down syndrome comes rushing to the forefront.  It means she gets sicker than the other children.  It means she is sick longer. And with her heart defect it makes fevers feel more perilous.

I don't know if that last one is an actual medical danger or just how I feel.  But I feel it none the less.

For a few days it was just a runny nose, and a low grade fever.

Then a switch flipped.  She was whiney.  She was lethargic.  She was running a high fever that over the counter meds weren't touching.  And she was touching her ear a lot.

She cuddled any available body.  She fell asleep on my chest and as I cradled her hot little body I could feel her heart working over time.

She was really sick.

I was really scared.

It was no longer a cold.  But was it more serious than a virus that needed to run its course?  The ear clutching gave me the excuse I needed to run to urgent care.

I got dressed to go in the first things I grabbed from my closet.

Jeans and the cursed sweater.

It was there.

I wasn't feeling picky.

The trip to urgent care was uneventful.  Queen seemed to enjoy the novelty of riding in Daddy's big SUV.  I think it afforded her a level of luxury that was missing from her life.

We checked into the clinic and settled down in the waiting room.

All was well.

Until it wasn't.

The Queen started to fuss.

I stood to rock her and as I shifted her head up on my shoulder she puked down the back of my sweater.

Multiple heaves shook her tiny body as hot liquid flowed down my back.  I flipped her to my hip to take her to the bathroom to get cleaned up and she puked all down the front of my sweater.

Hot vomit in my bra.

Motherhood is so glamorous.

I'm 100% positive this was the work of the evil spirit haunting my sweater.

She didn't puke before that moment.

And she hasn't puked since.

A vengeful spirit is seeking revenge on my sweater.

And they're off to a good start.

To add insult to injury there was a spare outfit for the Queen in the diaper bag.  But there wasn't a spare shirt for me.  I almost never ever rarely ever get puked on in public.  The Greatest saved the day.  He gave me his sweater and spent the rest of the evening in a plain white t-shirt.  He really is The Greatest.

In other Queen Bean news, she had a round of steroids and is midway through a course of antibiotics and she is nearly back to her sweet sassy self.

I'm so glad she's feeling better.

On the knitting front my fade grows and grows.

I'm on my final color and I'm already planning a second one.  This pattern is addictive.  I would love to knit one from all variegated yarn but I'll be stash diving for this one as well, so a mix of semi-solids and variegated yarns will have to do.

I'm not even mad about it.

It's gonna be glorious.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Leggings Don't Judge

So in keeping with my desire to feel more in love with my life I wore leggings.

And I loved them.

Leggings do not judge.

Of course when getting dressed leggings are only half of the equation.

An appropriate torso covering is required as well.

Today that appropriate torso covering emerged from the depths of The Abyss.

This yarn first appeared on my blog is June of 2015.  But that project was destined for failure.  I tried again in the fall of 2015 as part of the Joji Fall 2015 KAL.  I knit the sweater in time to qualify for the prize drawings and everything.  But instead of entering my finished object I threw it in the Abyss where it sat for a year and a half waiting for the ends to be woven in.

Cause procrastination and self sabotage are how I roll.

One of my least favorite parts of blogging is staging pictures of myself.  I decided to pose knitting on the couch.  But when I went to check the frame someone else decided she wanted to knit on the couch as well.

While the Queen possess many various talents, knitting is not in her skill set yet.

A quick intervention was required.

She was not pleased.

Look at that look she's giving me.

I love this tiny tornado.

I'm on the fence about this sweater.  It has everything I love.

Look at that texture.

The cables!  The ribbing!  The textured stitch!

I love the shape of the sweater

The slightly oversized body with the fitted sleeves.  The way the back dips a little lower than the front.

Usually the make or break factor for a sweater is the sleeve length.  Did I nail the perfect sleeve length?

I did.

Everything is there.  Everything I love is there.  I should be living in this sweater.

So why am I withholding my love?

The yarn,

It was acrylic yarn I bought at big lots.  Huge score getting a sweaters worth of yarn for five or six bucks.

It's even a lovely shade of grey.

I do love a good shade of grey.

I could get weird and maybe a little dirty here, but I won't.

My children might one day read this blog.

Back to the yarn: its not even a really bad acrylic.  It isn't scratchy.  Its holding its shape well.  I was kept warm in my sweater today.

It just feels weird.

And I can't come up with anything more specific than that.

I just feel weird when I wear the sweater.  Like the yarn robbed an ancient burial ground and is now being haunted by a vengeful spirit who is just biding its time watching and waiting and creeping me out before it makes its move.

I feel wrong in this sweater.

Also my neck bind off was almost too tight.

So there is that too.

I need to knit this pattern again.

In a natural fiber.

I may be turning into a yarn snob.

My leggins won't judge me if I do.

Thank goodness leggings don't judge.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Dreams Do Come True!

I'm not going to lie

It's everything I thought it would be.  And more.

It's oh so quiet and peaceful and perfect for that beautiful slice of time after the children go to bed but before The Greatest comes home from work (working the swing shift is not for the faint of heart).  That precious hour where I can pee all by myself and eat the secret ice cream without sharing.

I've discovered I need a footstool or otterman of some sort.

The cat scratching post will work for now.  Until I think of something better.  And by better I mean prettier.  Way prettier.

Speaking of cats, my fat cat was furious with me for sitting in her chair.  She turned her back to me to express the depths of her displeasure and loathing for me.

But it turns out if I'm in the comfy chair fat cat gets desperate enough...

To use the cat bed.

This my friends is what winning looks like!

On the other side of the room Fluffy Cat was absoutely delighted to have the entire king size bed all to herself.

This may also be what winning looks like!

Yes.  We are going to knit such beautiful things here together.  Yes we are.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Because Of Course I Did

Let's recap the current status of my works in progress

Twisted Flower Socks

Currently abandoned in the Abyss.   The twisted stitches are beautiful and challenging.  And as bad as this is going to sound, I'm just going to say it:  I don't feel like being challenged right now.  I need more easy in my life.  Plus I'm not sure where I am in the chart anymore, so that kinda sucks and holds me back as well.

Fancy Holiday Sweater

Currently abandoned on a shelf in my closet.  I need to frog it back but since the Holidays are over and I have missed my window in which to wear my sweater on an actual holiday I feel no urgency to complete it.  Maybe I should remind myself that Valentine's Day is swiftly approaching.  And red just happens to be thought of as a traditional Valentine-y color.  But no.  Still not feeling the strength of destroy all those hours of knitting.

The Good Sweater

Currently abandoned inside a trunk, project bag and all, for want of sleeves.

With all my current works in progress not only abandoned but also hidden from sight and mind, now seems like the perfect time to cast on something new.

I have been nurturing a little obsession with the idea of a fingering weight multicolor shawl.  There are tons of them on Ravely.   Briochealicious, Color Affection, Assana Wrap, and Tailwind are just a few that have tempted me.  Seriously though, Briochealicious is gonna be a thing that happens someday.  But for now I've decided on Find Your Fade.  I love the shape and size, and that fact that it will leave me with lots of left over sock yarn, as I have recently found myself in need of lots of left over sock yarn.

When choosing which colors to use I decided throwing all my sock yarn on the floor would be a good way to start.

Not gonna lie.  I was tempted to strip down and roll around on it.

But I resisted.

My life is full of regrets for the things I did not do.

Then I started lining up possible color combinations.

I found out I own a crazy amount of Knitpicks Hawthorne Yarn.  Yet, I do not own a single pair of socks knit from Knitpicks Hawthorne Yarn.  Wonder how that worked out.  Should I knit an all Hawthorne shawl?

Or all pinks to red?

or shades of blue?

Not gonna lie, this one almost won.

I was also tempted by this color combo.

But this is the one I settles on.

Four fades in and I think it is beautiful

Alternating sections of garter stitch and garter stitch lace.

Easy knitting.

Just what my soul needs.

And because I want to brag, The Greatest has been doing the traditional post-holiday cleaning for me (which is how I made so much progress on my shawl over the weekend  I knit while he cleaned.  I got the good end of that deal).  Taking down decorations.  Deep cleaning the kids room.  Bleaching the bathrooms.  He even did the quarterly culling of the kids clothes, making sure everything in their drawers fit and was weather appropriate.  He really is The Greatest.  And just for me, he created this knitting space in the corner of my bedroom.

Things worth noticing:

  • Beautiful trunk full of yarn where The Good Sweater is taking a nap
  • Cat bed
  • Cat napping on chair ignoring comfy cat bed
  • I honestly think the colors of my cat blend a little to well with the colors of my home decor.  It really is unhealthy how well she coordinates.  
I'm going to knit such beautiful things here while I hide from the kids in my bedroom watching grown up tv with all the swear words.

I can't wait.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Recreate and Repeat

So my love for Pinterest is infinite and knows no bounds.

The Greatest has come to loathe the words "So I saw this thing on Pinterest..." because it means I've found a new project for HIM to do.  But in my defense there are so many things I want to do from Pinterest I can't possibly do them all myself.  I'm sharing the work load.  Isn't that what marriage is all about?  Having someone to make the heavy labor Pinterest projects for you?

I recently saw this pin on Pinterest

And it resonated with me.

I've been tired.

Really really tired.

Three years of not sleeping through the night will do that too you (a saga that belongs on my other blog, if I ever get the time lol)

I don't have anything left.  I have no patience.  I have no desire to do the things I love. Or even just the things I have to do.  I have difficulty remembering things and concentrating on things, so doing things seems to take so much more energy than it used to.  I know it sounds a lot like depression, but I've been depressed and that's not this.

I'm just so very tired.

My children think I'm in a constant bad mood.  They come home from school every day asking how I feel and if I'm in a good mood.  This makes me unspeakably sad.  I'm not in a bad mood.  I'm just too tired for a good mood.

My well is empty and I need to refill it.

I need to recreate and repeat.

This refills my well.

It is probably the worst, and the most real photo ever to grace my blog.  Sweet cheese and crackers it isn't even in focus.  I didn't check the lighting.  I did no staging.  Half eaten plates, empty wine glasses decorate the table.  I've only got an eye brow in the frame.  But I love this picture.  Pork Chop was babysitting all of our kids that night.  She sent me the cutest picture of all the children eating pizza, so this was our response.  The grown ups table.  All the adults playing hooky for the evening.  I had trouble getting dressed to go out.  I couldn't find anything I wanted to wear.  My favorite jeans were dirty.  My back up jeans didn't want to go up past my thighs.  I cried to my group chat where they helpfully reminded me "leggings don't judge."  So I wore leggings.  And shirt that said "nothing to wear."  I embraced where I was in life.  And I wore my ridiculous stiletto cut out booties that I love and insist on wearing everywhere since I don't have anywhere special to wear them.

So the take away from this, the things to recreate and repeat are:

  • leggings (no lie, I bought six new pairs the next week, including a pair of jeggings.  More leggings?  Done!)
  • ridiculous heel (does this mean I get to wear my heels more or that I get to buy more heels?  It's a win win either way)
  • and night out with friends.  Must schedule more nights with friends.

And thinking of things I wore that I loved...I loved how I looked today

For reals its nothing special.  I spent five minutes on my make up.  Even less on my hair.  But I felt pretty.  And I love my floral kimono.  Wearing kimonos makes me super happy.  They're like knit cardigans (which I own an abundance of), but slippery.  And I always get complimented on them.

Recreate and repeat?
  • buy more kimonos.  
  • Like one a week. 
  • It's good for my soul.

This morning I fixed The Queen's sneakers

The velcro tab was sewn on poorly and ripped right off the first time she wore them.  And of course the first time she wore them was to physical therapy, so she had barefoot PT that day.  Another Mom in the waiting room saw what happened and shook her head saying "you need to take those back."  And maybe I should have.  But she was assuming I had any earthly idea where the receipt was.  Which I don't.  And finding the appropriate receipt from the depths of the diaper bag or the drawer where I shove the receipts when the diaper bag gets too full felt like a Herculean task.  Not to mention standing in line at customer service with the Queen is my own personal version of hell.  The Queen has a finite amount of time she is willing to behave in the store, and that finite amount of time must be squandered on running around buying luxuries like milk.  The last time I had to return something to customer service it was such an ordeal I cried.  I don't want to deal with customer service ever again.  (see, little things feel so exhausting) So I fixed the shoes.  I sewed the velcro back on.  It took ten minutes.  But those ten minutes felt like me.  Or the version of me I want to be.  I don't discard broken things.  I fix them.

Recreate and repeat?

  • find ways to avoid customer service at all costs
  • be crafty
  • ????
  • profit?
Speaking of being crafty, I finished the body of my Good Sweater

Right now it feels like my "meh" sweater.

I'm not feeling it.  

It's probably because it needs sleeves.  And the collar isn't sewn down so its weird in the back.  And it needs blocked so the edges will stop curling.  

But the sleeves are knit from the top down with short rows and I just don't wanna do it.  And must we once again list all the reasons I hate blocking.   I love the end result but I hate blocking.  Hate hate hate it!  I don't wanna block it and you can't make me.

See even knitting feels like a chore right now.  

Send sleep!

And kimonos!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Catching up on all the good stuff

So another holiday season has come and gone.

With no blog post.

Bad blogger.

I have to confess I never felt very Christmas-y.

It was all there.

All the parts of Christmas were there.  We had the trees.

The school Christmas pageant where our very own Sweet Pea had a speaking role (which she rocked!  I'm so proud of my girl).  We had entirely too much candy and too many cookies.

We had family, no only my Dad and Stepmommy, but my brother came too!

We had Christmas lights, and presents, and love.

And I wasn't feeling it.

What's wrong with me?

It's probably the exhaustion.

Or it could be the fact that I never finished my super awesome holiday sweater.

I reblocked it to see if I could make it more of a dress.

I think it's still a touch on the short side.

Plus it makes me look pregnant.

I'm not loving that.

So I need to rip it back to shirt proportions.

I just don't have the heart.

In the mean time good things happened

My baby turned 3.

 And my baby turned 9.

And my baby turned 14.

The Queen started Preschool

I got another cat (phase two of my transformation into a crazy cat lady: complete)

We rang in the new year

Surrounded by my bestest friends

So all good things here.

Just need to frog that dress into the shirt it was meant to be.

As soon as gather the strength to destroy.