Friday, September 29, 2006

Finished projects!

Since I have no one around to take my picture this morning,
the dress dummy will have to do

Well, really only one finished project. But progress on another!

I like it so far! Getting close!

I finished the last part of the back and closed up the shoulders. I started the sleeves, too. My math challenged brain may have created a sleeve unique to this sweater. We'll see how my calculations work out when I finish them. I had Big Brother's help, so we'll see if his much more advanced math skills pan out. If anything, I have taught him that you really DO use math on a daily basis in the real world. The times that poor kid rolls his eyes at me and tells me I really can't be asking him the answer to THAT. Oh well, I guess they all think they are smarter than their parents.

PeeWee decided she had to remove the center marker

There are definately times in life when you can't contain the bark of laughter. Big Brother asked me if I was all of a sudden knitting EVERYTHING I was wearing. I was confused and told him, uh, no? Why? Well, look closely at these sleeves. Yes, that's right, a bra. Bwahahahaha!! The inner workings of a 13 year old boy's brain may be more than I want to know about. But no one can tell me that kid doesn't have a sense of humor. He does know those are sleeves, he just couldn't resist pointing out the resemblance to women's undergarments. What am I in for the next few years...

Do you see it? Unfortunately I do...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Always something to finish

I just got back from dropping the hats off at the NICU with PeeWee. They really turned out cute. Once they were washed and dryed and bagged, it was over. Just a quick trip to the hospital and they now belong to the babies. PeeWee fell asleep in the car on the way over even though it was a little early for naptime. She looks so long and skinny that way. Her doctor was thrilled with how great she looks. Too bad he didn't get the floor show she put on for me when we got home. She was singing her favorite medley of Old MacDonald, Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, and the ABC song while running up and down the hallway. She's never down for long.

Now I am at a loss as to what to work on. I have spent so many hours knitting for the NICU that I am feeling a bit guilty doing something else, like I am still supposed to be working on hats. I started a few projects last winter, early spring, that I have pulled out of the closet to finish. I checked and I literally have 8 rows left on some sleeves to finish one of these sweaters.

8 more rows and it's done.
Been sitting there for about 8 months now...

Procrastination at its finest. It probably says a lot about me on some deep psychological level that I can leave something that close to done for that long.

And nothing to mention that sweater for a certain little boy that I started back in February. Problem with that one is that I deliberately made it big so it would work this winter. I think I made it big enough for several winters from now, so there's no pressing need to get it done. And, he's got a little brother on the way, so less pressure still because if he grows out of it quickly, there's another one on his heels to fit into it. Actually, I'm looking forward to getting that one all finished and shipped off. It's cute, but I made the pattern and it has kicked my butt a few times. Lots of ripping row after row of sweater out. It was first in the round, then I split the top to make a front and back and now if I can just get those sleeves done... (recurring theme, I know)

I do want to get this finished,
looks like a few more rows then sleeves

His mom is a sweater-lover and he's got the cutest sweaters in his closet, so I know it will get lots of wear, especially since he's in New Jersey, so as soon as I get those last 8 rows done on my sweater, I'll do my best to knock his out quickly. I was glad when I pulled it out of its bag that there were not only 8 rows left on it.

Maybe I should not admit I also found a teddy bear that I thought I had a few more body parts to finish that is indeed all done. It just needs to be pieced and stuffed. Uh huh, I guess that's also about an hour's worth of work.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

All those hats!

43 hats. Alright!

I managed to get them all done, all ends woven in, ready to go into the wash tonight. I have some ziplok bags they will go right into and I'll bring them into the hospital tomorrow sometime. I am so happy to get them delivered.

You can see there's a huge variety here, from fruits and veggies to crazy acrylic yarns, to stranded work. Some traditional Fair Isle designs thrown in there and even a bee. Stripes and cables and lace and tassels. Pretty much whatever I felt like when it was time to cast on a new one. They are pretty darn cute if I say so myself. Cottons, acrylics, even bamboo. I tried to keep them gender neutral, but there are a few that are certainly meant for either a little boy or a little girl, my favorites being the sailboat and the little pink number which turned itself into a crown with the little bobbles on top. There's one matching pair for some lucky twins. Hopefully something for everyone.

Believe it or not, I am going to miss the comfort I get looking through these hats. Sounds silly, huh? Well, I guess I am a little nostalgic for when PeeWee weighed only 2lb 15oz. Her second birthday is coming up, and I have the hardest time pairing the energetic crazy toddler I spend all day with, with the tiny baby girl who could only grasp the tip of my finger with her whole hand. Boy, she was small. Boy, she scared us half to death.

We're coming up on all sorts of PeeWee anniversaries in the next few weeks, when she will officially pass out of her preemie status and be "caught up" with those her actual age, instead of counting in her adjusted age. It sure seems like yesterday though!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Look! Look! Look!

Knitting while I type

Right now I am working on the ribbing for hat number 43! Yay!

That's the number of babies in the NICU right now! Yay!!

Last one. Phew! The last few I did were pretty fun, I have to admit, after dragging there for a while.

Now that I am done, I am pretty excited to drop them off. One day when we went to see PeeWee in the NICU, I remember coming in to find all the babies with little fleece blankets that a retired nurse had made on all the little baby bassinets and isolettes. Boy was that cute, all of them matching like that. They were different patterns but you could tell they were all gifts from the same person. It was happy and exciting, all at the same time. (We still have that blanket, and now PeeWee uses it to cover her baby doll.) That's the effect I am hoping for with these hats. Boy that sounds selfish. I guess I should clarify and add that the feeling I got is the feeling I want the parents who go in to see their babies to get.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


So, I signed up for a gouache painting class taught by a talented woman, Jean Cassels. I actually signed up for a botanical painting class with her last fall which was cancelled due to Katrina disruption and I had a credit with the school which called me to tell me I could sign up for this other class she was teaching now. Well, it's a total disappointment so far for me. Maybe my attention span is too short for this one, but I really feel like I am wasting the little PeeWee-free time I have. Oh I am torn. I want to keep going, hoping I'll learn something, and at the same time I want to just bail on the class and find something more mentally stimulating for my free time.

I need to knit three more hats, but the NICU said they will take whatever I have and not to worry about the last three beause they are hoping to send a few babies home this week. I am so happy to be so close to done with this project. It's been hard to keep going with it, even though I know it's all for the babies. I had a small panic attack when it occured to me that these babies have all different sized heads and not all the hats will work. Oh well, I guess I need to just not think about that. I think I made a variety of sizes so keeping my fingers crossed they will be able to use most of them.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I have 40 hats done. I can say it was a very busy weekend around here and even still I got 8 more hats in the pile.

I got some inspiration from a friend who pointed out that September is National Hat Month. Now I feel complete knowing there's really a month for everyone. I knocked out some matching hats for what's certain to be at least one pair of twins. And when I get my final count I may do that again. It was fun to know I was making a pair for a pair. So, when I hear from the hospital on the number for today, I'll either get washing or get knitting the final few. I have a feeling I'll probably be making another few before I get them there.

I am so excited to for the little munchkins to get their hats! I most likely won't see them in action, but I love knowing they are almost on their way!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Count down to finished

I am getting so close to done with the hats. I have 32 finished and one on the needles. I am waiting to hear back on the number of babies right now in the NICU so I can finish the right number this weekend, get them all washed and deliver Monday! I have enjoyed this, but I will be satisfied when I am done. And be glad to have the knitting guild here's help from now on. What great timing that they are looking for a charity to knit for!

The knitting guild had a meeting Monday night, but after a long and tiring weekend, I skipped joining for now. I meant to pre-Katrina, but for some reason (who knows at this point!) I was not able to get to the August meeting and was planning on joining at the September meeting. So, here I am a year later, and since knitters all seem to talk in yarn shops, I found where they had relocated. Turns out it is the church I grew up going to. Small world. The plan is to go next month, join, and have a monthly knitting time on the calendar. What a treat that will be!

Thanks to PeeWee waking up around 4:00 am the last week or so and jumping into our bed, I have been up early lately. Hard to get back to sleep with her little feet kicking you in the head. This morning the sky was the best shade of blue. I like the few minutes I get alone in the early hours before anyone else is awake, but I think this week I'd trade them for a leisurely morning sleeping in. And breakfast and coffee in bed. Hmmmm... maybe I'll request it this weekend. My One and Only has been so nice to me lately. Maybe breakfast and some selfish knitting.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Got it back

Something clicked and I got my motivation back. I'm almost done with the third hat I was hoping to finish this week! Yeah! I have to say, it came to me in a very strange place. I was riding along and got stuck behind the garbage truck. Usually a dreaded place to be. But, the weather was incredible and the stink was blowing the other way and I was facinated by what the garbage men were doing. Putting an entire shower enclosure into the garbage truck. Impressive. The kind of thing you just don't expect to see. It gave me the giggles in such a big way. Garbage here is just one of the things that's not quite back to normal and they are picking up everything under the sun. There's no recycling, even if you are willing to haul it to a facility- it got flooded though so no chance of that. Whatever landfill this stuff is going to is mighty full of weird little things. So, seeing those guys was like the ant and the rubbertree plant. Shouldn't be able to do it but nothing but sheer determination. So, there you go. I can finish these last few hats. There are babies with cold little heads to cover up!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I need a kick in the pants and some inspiration to get these hats finished. I like the new one I started yesterday when I was waiting to pick up Big Brother from football practice. It's very cheery.

I'm trying to think unisex now since I can't get a number for how many boys and how many girls. Even if I could, the number would probably be different by the time I brought them in. There's a big turnover in the NICU and that's a good thing for the most part. I have tried to make a few that would fit a full-term newborn because unfortunately some of those kiddos stay in there for 6 months, and their heads get pretty big!

This shouldn't be such a challenge, but for some reason it is. I think coming up with something cute and happy and different is where I am getting stuck. So- send me some creative vibes! I need them! That and time.

For some reason I always think with the kids in school I am gong to be able to get so many creative things done. It seems like when they are in school my days are booked and there's no time left for fun me-me-me time. Well, except that I did sneak in a trip to get my hair touched up. A few highlights to blend that grey in. And ding-dong me, I forgot to bring the bag, grrrr!!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Slowed momentum

How is it that entire weeks can slip by without anything but dishes getting done? I've lost track of what I did last week. Holidays tend to add to the chaos. It wasn't just a long weekend, it was a long weekend.

PeeWee was home sick all week, a virus she just got knocked out by. She's finally over it and we've been out in the world again. Today she joined me for a meeting. When the meeting was over, she got up she decided to see just how many pickles she could eat off the sandwich buffet. I think it was four before she gave me the partially eaten mess and said no more. If I ate four pickles I would swell up like a sausage. She likes her salty snacks! One other child had to come with her mother. I think she's about 3. PeeWee is really pretty good coming with me just about everywhere. I'm going to keep taking advantage of that while it lasts.

Mmmm, pickles.
Huh, her pants are below her bottom.
Maybe I should go tell her to pull them up.

With a sick PeeWee, my knitting time was really limited last week. Needing to get something finished, I took a little break from the preemie hats to work on the kool-aid sweater. It turned out great! I have to find my stash of buttons for just the perfect ones and it'll be done. I even ran it through the wash to be sure it would hold up to the abuse PeeWee is sure to give it and it fluffed up just the right amount, while the moss stitch edgings softened up perfectly. I think it'll get a lot of wear this fall. Hard to imagine though when it's still in the upper 80's!

All ready for a cool front- maybe in November?

As for the preemie hat progress, I'm getting there. I have 27 finished and the last count I got from the NICU was 38. As I get closer to finished, I'll get another headcount. I've been slacking lately, though. I finished one yesterday and that got me excited to get them finished again. I've been eyeing Sheila McGregor's books so full of Fair Isle and Scandinavian patterns and I went ahead and splurged and got them. They have definately come in handy keeping me interested in finishing this project. Plus, when PeeWee was in the hospital after being born, we would go in and see a hat that someone had made on her and it was a great feeling. I wish I could do blankets, but with the time I would have to commit would be impossible right now.

They're getting there! I'm almost done...

This week my goal is three more hats. I think it's do-able. There have been evenings when I've managed three, so I am hoping that with the week I have I'll be able to squeeze them in. I have a full calendar the next few days. And how I would love an afternoon to just hang out with myself, watch a movie and work on some hats. Maybe it'll be a rainy weekend and I can send My One and Only off with the kids. We got a cool front last weekend (mid- 80's! and dry air) and it's got me all excited to get knitting. I have some UFO's that are calling to me from the closet. Sleeves. I have four sleeves to finish so I can write two sweaters off my list. And, yes, those would be the same two sweaters I was hoping to finish in August. Well, it is only the first week of September. And then there's the fuzzy sweater. But, well, I won't hold myself to finishing that one any time soon.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Katrina 1 year later

A ball of yarn that survived the house gutting.
It stayed there until the cleanup crew came to rid us of mold.
Somehing about this silly ball of yarn just cracks me up.
Knitting will get you through just about anything.

It is almost impossible to imagine that this time last year I was at my parent's farm watching the wind blow like crazy from their hurricane proof (we hoped) house. PeeWee was so little, Big Brother was kind of bored and we were amazed, watching the wind blowing like something on TV instead of real life. We were with My One and Only's family, who really hadn't wanted to evacuate. In fact, he would have stayed behind with them if they had not come, kicking and screaming. I'll give it to him that he had a feeling about the storm and told me to get all our papers together and brought some things he's fond of upstairs. He even rolled up the rugs and put them up high. He knew. Not sure how, but he definately knew.

What he and no one else didn't know was that our lives would change forever. Yet again. We'd already had a year to remember, with PeeWee being born early and travelling to California for her open heart surgery and the long slow recovery, not so much of her, but of the rest of us. We were pretty battered from the beginning but somehow we've come out on top. A little moldy, a little shattered, a lot more cynical. Many more grey hairs for both of us.

We came out intact, a lot closer, more guarded, and less likely to take things for granted. We learned that it really does change overnight. We'd learned that from PeeWee's entrance into the world, but I think this whole thing shook our world in a different way. I had planned to drive around the city today and take pictures of the evidence that still exists on my daily route of the damage and destruction, but since I can't escape the Thing, I now feel like documenting the damage may not be the thing to do. Maybe in a few days, but today I am sort of reeling from the fact that it's been a year and there is so little progress here.

I know it'll come though, because this place is a place that just shouldn't be here and somehow it survives everything. Near me, on my block, everyone's home. Two blocks over is gutted and boarded up, waiting to see if we can count on the government to provide us with real protection or if we're going to have to live with things the way they always are in Louisiana. I hope that we can keep up the momentum and get this city back. It's home, and I'll be staying here.

The debris pile in front of the house.
This is the third pile to be hauled away.
The first pile was the furniture that could not be salvaged.

The kitchen as I saw it when I finally came home to the gutted house.
You can see some counters piled on the floor- granite's heavy so it stayed there for weeks.
The dangling potholders have since been lost.

The kitchen today
Progress is good.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I got a reminder today from Lynda that there are days when we should just sit back and let the urgent things slide while we take care of the important things in our lives. I tend to get worked up in the urgent things, rushing around killing myself to get things done while ending up exhausted and cranky and unwilling or unable to do the things that are really important to me. I want my husband and children taken care of and happy and if I am miserable, that's not going to happen.

Most of the small stressful things in my life can be avoided by thinking beyond the next half an hour. I spend a lot of time avoiding the big picture, when the big picture is pretty nice around here. Sure, the last 2+ years have been a rollercoaster ride, but if you look back, it's been incredibly interesting. We've been through things we never in a million years thought we'd have to. We were given a lot to handle and it seems like we've come out on top. We've met facinating people and become good friends with some of them. We've gotten a lesson in what's truely important.

So, I'm going to go take care of the kids and my husband now and try not to let them annoy me too much. I have a hour before Big Brother gets home, so maybe I'll go finish one of those preemie hats.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Okay, I have seen double knitting, but really didn't understand how it worked. So, watching Knitty Gritty on TV while PeeWee was napping they were doing a double knit project. So incredibly cool. So, my day off from preemie hats was not wasted. Wow, it is so cool. I forgot to twist the first few rows, but realized what I was doing when it was actually 2 pieces of knitting. What genius came up with this? Knitting is cool.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A lesson in duplicate stitch

My brain reached it's limit for fair isle. Hat number 21 is a mess. I think it may be salvagable with some duplicate stitch. I've never done it before, but I did some embroidery in 3rd grade. I may need a break from tiny hats.

I think the real problem here is that the only paper I could find for the printer was green and I made a color copy of the blue pattern from the book and it's pretty hard to read. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Could not possibly be me making mistakes.)

It's Big Brother's first day of school. The Episcopal school he goes to has a new policy for middle school and the kids now have to "dress" for chapel days. I think it's good they teach them to dress nicely. They have a pretty tight dress code for regular days too. And we don't have too many events around here except holidays where he would otherwise dress up, so at least the jacket we had to buy will be worn more than once before he outgrows it. We have a closet full of jackets to be passed down to his cousins as they get big enough.

Since he has gym today he had to bring a bag with his shoes and socks. Those are some very big shoes. And poor kid, the only bag I could find was one for plastic cups. He has endless patience for me. He will have lots of good stories to tell his family one day.

Poor kid also has a lazy mother who makes him ride the school bus (more misery stories for the future kids) so he had to be up and ready to go before 7am. He had a few minutes to rest. It was really early. He had to get up and cut the mohawk off this morning too. Kid has a rough life.

I for one am glad he's home and school's starting again. We need a schedule around here. It's been a good summer, with Big Brother and PeeWee being very busy. I think if we looked at the calendar, Big Brother was probably gone more than he was here! And when he was here it seems like there was a pack of boys with him. I think he had a good summer.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Almost halfway there!

I am not entirely sure how it happened but when I recounted the hats I now have 20 finished. I guess I got more done this weekend then I thought. And there are some pretty cute ones too. You can see the dish full of them behind my trusty model. (And those watercolors are from a trip to Russia several years ago if anyone's curious.) I may reach my goal well before PeeWee's second birthday. (I do know that I have just called out to Karma to see if I am worthy of actually finishing this project. Hopefully being for the good of innocent babies, all will go without a hitch.)

I have gotten about halfway through the Kool-Aid sweater too. And I like the way the colors are showing. I need to finish the sleeve I have on the needles and another side of the front, then it's just blocking and assembling. All right, edgings too. I left off the edging on the sweater because I was unsure just how much yarn I had. I would rather have someone take my needles away then ask me to rip out ribbing, so I decided it was safer to knit the body first. It's probably a good thing I did tha because there's an awful lot going on here and it is even bright for a 2 year old. I was first thinking I would add edgings when I knew how much yarn I had left. (As you can see, there's going to be no shortage of this yarn! Maybe PeeWee will also have a matching hat, mittens, earmuffs, socks, a teddy bear and a little ball of yarn to play with. I do overestimate the yardage required. I live in fear of running short.) Seeing the actual fabric I'm making, I think I may go pick out on of those bright happy sock yarns I have been seeing around town.

Of course, I needed a portable project other than hats, so I also started some socks. I took them with me to get my hair um, "cut", and since all that cutting (not color, oh no no) takes such a long time, I needed something mindless and quick. I usually bring a preemie hat, often enough that the stylist asked me why I was knitting two identical hats. She's just adorable and keeps asking to learn to knit. I told her they have a drop in at the yarn store near where she lives, 'cause, I'm spreading the word.

Friday, August 11, 2006


So, in my good intentions, I called my friend the neonatologist at our hospital to get a head count. 45. 45 hats! I thought I was doing so well and I counted the hats in the pile and it turns out I have 13 finished, one on the needles. It may take a month to get the other 31 I need! It'll keep me busy. (Not that I need anything to keep me busy these days.)

I was told it would be really nice if I could do blankets too. I laughed out loud. His wife knits hats so he was teasing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

Aside from the pink and blue hat on the left these were what I knit over the week. My goal is a hat for every head in the NICU. I was so incredibly grateful for what we were given that I get everything from giving these back. Hopefully it'll inspire some extra acrylic/hypoallergenic/baby yarn stash use. I'll be doing a NICU Knit-a-long from September 29th until October 8th. Nothing but NICU knitting for those 10 days. It's the time I spent in the hospital before, during and after PeeWee was born. I figure if I got all this done in a week without devoting myself to it, I ought to be able to reach my goal for my hospital.

My basic preemie hat pattern is to find a suitable yarn- I really love the Plymouth Dream Baby. I have lots of it because my mother went on a buying spree at the LYS when PeeWee made her early entrance to the world and let me tell you, one ball of that makes a LOT of hats. So, little bits of stash work great for me. I use a lot of Cotton Tots, too. Bigger gauge and soft as can be. I've used that for blankets that knit up quickly and get softer with every wash.

Once I've found the yarn I cast on anywhere from 48 to 72 stitches- depending on my mood and on the yarn and stitch pattern. The neonatologists and NICU nurses at my hospital have told me they have kids from 24 weeks to 6 months there and they all need hats to keep them warm. They have their little NICU hats, but they love the look on the parents' faces when they come in and see a handknit hat on their baby's head. I remember when we arrived one morning to find all the little babies had blankets that a retired nurse had sewn. It was incredible to look around at all the isolettes and cribs and see them all covered up in matching blankets. We have ours (and everything else we were given) still. Perfect baby doll size!

So....... I cast on then knit in the round- I find it's easier and I don't have to worry about a very flat seam so no chance of irritating delicate preemie skin. I work my edging for about 1/2 inch to 2 inches- again my mood dictates this completely. I continue with whatever stitch pattern I want to use- sometimes just plain stockinette, a lot of fairisle (fun with something so tiny!), and anything I am trying to learn- cables, twists, anything. When I have gotten to where the hat, minus the edging is just a little taller than a square I start decreasing. Sometimes I'll go longer, make a rectangle and put tassles on the corners- cute jester hat look. Sometimes it gets an i-cord on top tied in a knot- I really like that- it gives me a giggle. Sometimes a pompom. Soem of the hats turn out pretty sophisticated, some are really silly. The occaisional hat looks a little wonky, but seems fine when I try it on my PeeWee model.

Once I've woven in all the ends, I wait until I have a few (or 30) to run them through the wash. I use a small amount of baby detergent, Dreft because it's what we have here, wash the hats with extra rinse on the cycle, and then- this is important! wash my hands before I put them into the dryer. No fabric softener, no dryer sheets. When they are completely dry I wash my hands again and put them straight into ziploc bags. They stay sanitary that way. I know when they get to the NICU at the hospital, no one with a runny nose or dirty hands or anything like that has gotten ahold of them.

Join me from the 29th of September to the 8th of October and lets see how many heads we can get a hat on!

back in town

Well, I am recovered from my family vacation to the mountains. The weather was incredible! Cool and breezy and really nice. The kids were kids and kept me on my toes. (interpret that as you want)

Lots of family time and hiking and PeeWee took nice long naps to give me lots of knitting time. I spent it mostly making preemie hats for the NICU. I worked on the fuzzy blue sweater, ripped it back 3 times when I kept making mistakes and am finally almost finished with the front top. It was nightmarish ripping all that fuzz back. Oh well. It is still soft and fuzzy and should be cozy for the two cool days in New Orleans. Maybe I'll just crank the A/C and enjoy it this fall...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Sock progress!

Finished the heel flaps... now I just need to turn the heels and keep knitting! Now that I know all I have is stockinette the rest of the foot, I hope the colors are exciting enough to keep me interested...

Crazy kid

Big Brother seems to have abandoned us for most of the summer. I guess it is much more fun when you go to your grandmother's house. PeeWee has been a busy little critter lately, and as you can see, she's just miserable most of the time.
We'll all be home tonight, it has been a while since we were able to sit down to a meal together. So, I guess that means I need to go to the grocery and come up with something everyone will enjoy. Enjoy the pictures of PeeWee being her regular self :)

Monday, July 17, 2006

forgot to add...

Please DO laugh at the P-K (post Katrina) landscaping in that last picture. Gotta love a baked dirt yard when you're married to a landscaper.....

Some things you can't pass up

I don't know why I am always surprized when my plans change. Saturday I had no knitting time in the car because I ended up driving. And bringing along my mother in law. PeeWee slept the whole way over and the plan was to stay an hour and sneak out when the bride to be started opening her shower gifts. Well, I tried that but PeeWee had been snatched up by The Aunts (my mother in law's sisters) and we couldn't get out the door. I had hoped to get out of there before it was late enough for PeeWee to fall asleep in the car again. You really can't sneak out of a party when the front door is behind the honoree and she's in the spotlight. So, soon as she was done we ran out of there and about 23 miles into the 24 mile causeway PeeWee crashed. It was a late night. She woke up from the car rarin' to go. Good thing My One and Only was well rested from a day off.

My blue sweater I started when I swore I wasn't going to start new projects is chugging along nicely, considering a total lack of knitting time. The sweater is an unknown blue wool/acrylic mohairy blend that's been in a ziplok bag for a few years. I know there's a lot of it, plenty for a sweater, but it was picked up during a yarn swap and had been balled into beautiful round sphere's, with no sign of a ball band to be found. But, there's a lot of yarn in there. And it is soooo soft. It's almost hard to touch it's so soft. It wants to slip right out of your fingers. I am happy with the unknown. The first 6 inches or so is a k6, p2 rib that I reduced to a k4, p2 rib. A bit of sassy flair. I like the scallop it is making where the knitting wants to curl. Plus, it gives a little more room for my behind to hide in the extra fabric. I like a little A-line in things.

I am working on some socks begun before the no new projects diet started. They are Lorna's Laces Hawaii. I like the way it is knitting up for the most part. I am knitting just a plain old sock so I don't compete with all that great color. I did about 5 rows of stockinette then 5 rows of 2x2 ribbing and the rest is just plain old sock. I like them short so I am starting the heels now. Like most of the Lorna's Laces I have chosen to use so far, they are bright and happy colors.

I went out today looking for
a box to store yarn in. Keeping it hidden keeps PeeWee from tangling it into a crazy mess. I looked and looked, but instead of a box, I found this very fun orange basket, complete with belt buckle closure on the handle. I figure the orange works with the laundry (go on and justify it, Sarah), it is cheery, and it was on sale. I also came home with 2 bottles of wine I couldn't resist.

Vampire and Il Bastardo.

How do you pass up wine with names like those? You don't. I am a wine idiot (I know so little). It is apparently not genetic knowledge passed down through the generations, because my father and his brother are big connoiseurs (I don't even think I can spell that right) and their sister is married to an importer. And I buy wine because it has a funny name. And yes! the Vampire is from Transylvania. Couldn't pass it up.

Friday, July 14, 2006

such is life...

In the last 48 hours I have learned:

1) Give a 13 year old boy clippers and permission to cut his hair and you must smile and live with the results. He threatened a mohawk. And he had the nerve to follow through. (kind of proud of that, in fact) Gotta love Big Brother.

2) You can get Sharpie off of beige upholstery with nail polish remover and at least a roll of paper towels. Oh, PeeWee...

3) Sharpie comes off of gray upholstery with Spray n Wash and a stack of terry cloth towels.

4) Worry when your children get quiet. (they are possibly giving themselves crazy haircuts or using permanent markers to redecorate the furniture you have had less than 6 weeks)

5) Laughter makes almost anything bearable. Once it's done, no matter how much you want to run screaming out of the house, there's not much reason to dwell.

{huge sigh inserted here}

So much for not starting anything new. I started a sweater. But, it's stash yarn! And it's a sweater I have been meaning to start for almost two years, so I justified it. Oh well. It's soft and blue- does that help?

Tomorrow I will have some driving time- no, no, no!- RIDING time in the car to work on things.
My One and Only said he'd drive us over the Causeway (longest bridge in the world!) and hang out with his brother while we do girly things. I am going to a wedding shower for our niece, who is getting married in Hawaii next month. The idea of all that time on a plane with PeeWee is INSANE so, as much as we would like to, we aren't going. Now that it is so close, I am a little sorry we decided not to go. That's the way it goes though.

I sent off the Rowan exchange gift! I had to send it mailman postal carrier mail because to send it to Scotland UPS was (gulp!) almost $200.00! That's a lot of yarn!!! I can't wait to find out how she likes it! Yay! I felt so good getting it all finished and packed and shipped right on schedule. And this week, that was really good.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Yeah, yeah...

I do know that a knitting blog with no pictures is, well, boring. So here are some I am sharing.

We had this flowerbed on the side of the house that had a lovely yellow climbing rose that was out of control and the whole thing was totally in the way. It had become an unfortunate holding place for the most unattractive garbage. We decided in the interest of pretending to create more space to bust it out. My vision is a play area for PeeWee, complete with a swing set and a slide. My One and Only thinks he is putting in a walkway to the backyard. There will be some discussion about this one. If I am going into the backyard I am going out the door to the backyard, not the kitchen door. The idea is to create space, get rid of something useless. He just has this thing for walkways going all over the place. He wants to put one down the side of the pool, too. Can you say runway? I am not so sure we have the same vision for the yard. I am not sure we have the same vision for most things involving this house. But he hasn't complained yet about anything major. Well, except the stove and fridge. Pretty major! They are a beautiful robin's egg blue and he recently told me how much he hates that color. Well, that was an expensive boo-boo. So, around here if you don't speak up, you definately have to live with the consequences. Since I didn't speak up about the poolhouse and am really not thrilled with the space, I'm speaking up about this. I don't want a house I am not happy with. My One and Only keeps saying how much he hates this house, so I figure since I am the one who loves it and really finds it works for us, I think my opinion has more weight. Plus, I am way more childish about getting my way, so there.

Well, THAT was charming... How about some knitting?

I have everything pretty much ready to ship to my exchangee, with the exception of finishing one project- needs ends woven in and the final touches. Here's a sneak peek! I am pretty happy with what's going out. It got fun in the last few days, looking around for things to knit with. A few things haven't been tried yet, if there's time later today, maybe... I wish I had been part of this exchange in the past so I had a clue if what I am sending is appropriate or not. Oh well, I guess I will find that out when my box arrives... I hope my exchangee will like her goodies. Why am I so anxious about this? Ack! Maybe because it's so new to me... I just hope my knitting isn't too scrutinized! I have to say though, I don't think the person I am knitting for seems like someone who might pick things apart looking for flaws. All my knitting insecurities are coming out here. I am so full of charm today. Oh well!

I started this thing with tulle- I bought 100 yards of it at the craft store. I am thinking it will be a bag when it is all done. I have never knitted with the stuff before and it has a mind of it's own. I like the fabric it is making. The big needles are hard to work with, but the tulle is not as hard on the hands as I thought it would be. It's very stretchy. I started out with size 11 needles and felt like I was making some kind of bullet-proof vest it was so stiff! So, I kept jumping up and feel pretty happy with it now. I am picturing an envelope-type bag that could hang on a doorknob and hold yarn, of course! The more places you can find to put the stuff, the more you can spread it out so it just doesn't seem like you have much at all! Logical? Completely. I keep looking at the bins of yarn that I have yet to deal with and I wish I could figure out a way to knit in my sleep. I know I am not the first person to wonder how to make that work. I am officially on a yarn diet though. I want to finish up all the UFO's around here. I am kind of embarrassed my the whole pile of them. As I unpack, I keep turning up new things that were stuffed away with all my other debris. My plan when PeeWee goes to school on Tuesday is to gather them all up and not start anything new until I finish what I am working on. But, I'll excuse preemie hats and socks from that list, of course. The preemie hats use up all sorts of bits and pieces of my stash and well, socks are the perfect portable project. My plan for getting things finished is to bring only those things to North Carolina when we go at the end of the month. That's a lot of car time to get knitting finished! The two things I want done before August is over are a sweater that has about 20 more rows on both sleeves (knitting them at the same time) and a sweater for a friend's son that is pretty much the same thing- sleeves.

One final thing... My mother bought us this for the house. I love it! It is glass and amazing! So, just one final picture I want to share. Boring? Me? Well, I may be, but at least I have pictures!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Spreading the word!

I have this need (I am sure you can all understand) to spread the word. A friend's birthday is coming up and I got her the best goodie basket of knitting equipment. She doesn't know it yet, but she's learning to knit! I got some good yarn- a treat you usually don't start knitting with- and nice needles and a book, a basket to hold everything in, and a little packet of notions. I can't wait to teach her! She expressed an interest a while back and now, well, she's gonna learn. In fact, she wanted to know if she could knit socks first, but I think maybe a little something should be first, then socks. I'd rather ease her in.... she still has a family to take care of! So, welcome to the world of knitting!

Another friend wants to learn too and asked me to start a knitting group. As soon as our couch arrives I plan on doing just that. I would love the company- minus kids though. Or with babysitters... Much as I love them, it is just too hard to knit with a group with little munchkins demanding attention. PeeWee loves to unwind yarn and has the most amazing knack for creating huge knots that take hours to undo. So, she'll have to be supervised...

We had been getting together for weekend retreats to Pass Christian, MS for knitting and needlepoint- girl's only! Since the whole place was washed away with Katrina (though the house we went to is remarkably still standing) we have stopped those get-togethers. But, the friend who was the organizer of the whole thing recently said she wants to do a few nights here and there to get everyone together and give them all a break. So, I offered up my house as soon as we have sufficient seating.

Speaking of the house, it is coming along nicely. I felt like it was really finished when we moved back in (love is blind) but there are lots of things we need to get wrapped up. Still, no doors. No doors ordered even. With the holiday and the stomach bug and My One and Only's long hours lately we haven't had a chance to go to the place and get them ordered. And, yes, normally I would go myself, since I am the one who's going to have the opinions, but I have no idea where "the place" is. The only problem with no doors is the lack of a bathroom door downstairs. I think we have one that we can pop in temporarily though, should we socialize any time soon. I know we have a laundryroom door we can use, too. For now we have a baby gate to keep PeeWee out of the laundry, and I am pretty tired of tripping over it. I should know better, since my mother shattered her ankle last summer falling over one... (add that to the list of lessons we SHOULD learn from our mothers...)

There are still a few plumbing issues, mainly the lack of a dishwasher. Washing by hand has lost it's charm. We now create a huge pile of garbage daily thanks to the paper plates we're consuming at an alarming rate. They are going to be abe to build an island with the debris they are picking up around here. In fact, that would be a good use for it. But, being Louisiana, the organization of something like that just wouldn't ever happen. Too bad, because there's a mountain of junk hauled away from here everyday. Wherever it's going they have new land being built. I still see the trucks at night, not so much during the day like you used to. But the freeway is full of the loads running out of town.

Monday, July 03, 2006

It's the thought that counts

I love getting things off the needles. I have been wrapping up things for my Rowan Yarn exchangee and it's been so much fun! She is a fan of blue and I have found so many beautiful things to do with blue yarn. Some I had already and some I bought just for her.

I have tried some new yarns and new things and it's been very fun. I like knitting things for the house instead of a person. I've been looking at knitting in a new way, and these last few days I've been cranking out some interesting little do-dads for her. I've had a few failures, things that are going into the toy box instead of the shipping box... It's not quite so nerve-wracking worrying if it fits or if it will look good. It is either a success right away or a total loss. No skin off my back! I am a little anxious if she will like what's coming her way, though... I am hoping so! I have some finishing touches to wrap up, but I am pretty much finished with the whole thing. Wow- ahead of schedule. So far, that is. Remember, I've learned not to look too far ahead!

I'm also pretty curious what's being made for me! Ohhhh, that makes me sound so darn greedy. Well, I am really doing this for the fun of making things for someone else, not for what I will recieve. In fact, I kind of forgot there would be something coming my way until My One and Only asked me if my exchangee was making something for me too. I think he is coveting something that's heading out in a box next week... So, it'll be like Merry-Half-Christmas here soon. We always celebrated that at camp- you picked a name and made something for them and we did a gift exchange. I like those. I like surprizing people. The hunt for the perfect thing you think they will like is such a challenge.

My friend in Indiana sent me a welcome home house warming gift and it was perfect. A signed copy of a Barefoot Contessa cookbook. Months ago she had casually asked me if I liked to cook, knowing she was fishing for info since my cookbooks flooded. She is totally thoughtful! She sent a big old care package to a friend who just had a baby recently, too. I want to be THAT kind of friend. Working on it.

Big Brother has come home, but we've barely seen him. It took about 17 minutes for his room to turn into a tornado's destruction path. You really can't even get in there. I was impressed. He had a friend spend the night and the blow-up bed is the last thing they could fit in the room. Ahhhh. I knew it was quiet when he was gone.

PeeWee has found the basket of yarn and has had a blast unwinding the odds and ends around the hallway, into the kitchen and back into the family room. She's got artist written all over her future. Her favorite toy is anything you can color with. We got her a magnadoodle type thing and she loves it. She draws pictures (scribbles) of us and blows them kisses. Warms your heart.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Back to knitting

I know- this is supposed to be somewhat about knitting. Well, life throws us curve balls every once in a while.

PeeWee came through the cardiac catheter with flying colors. Her doctor was very pleased with the results. She did very well and I can tell she seems much perkier. It was a long 24 hrs. I hate the hospital, but our PICU has been redone and it is very nice. Kind of like a hotel. Makes it easier on every body involved. PeeWee was ruling the place She decided in preop she had waited patiently enough for long enough, climbed off her bed and went for a walk. She was having a ball, her little diapered heiny hanging out of the back of her hospital gown. Quite the looker.

I had lots of knitting time, just as I had expected. I finished PeeWee's hospital socks just in time. I darned the toes just before they came out and said how well she had done and that we could go on up and see her in her room. I used some leftover Lorna's Laces called Happy, I think. I must learn to save ball bands..... I learned that hospital socks are quite slippery when a toddler decides she's going adventuring throughout her hospital room. I need to figure out a solution to that one

I worked on my exchangee's gifts too. Here's a peek! I love the colors I am working with. And WOW! is all I can say about Rowan's Polar. It is yummy. It is knitting beautifully and cozy as can be. I want a sweater from it. It's really delicious yarn. I like how it blends with the slate floors. I wish the texture of the knitting showed up in this picture. Oh well! It's just a sneak peek! I feeel a little better about getting the time to start working on this project. I worked on another thing for her, but the picture would just give it away completely. I am excited to finish these up and get them shipped! The ship date is going to be here before I know it! Nothing like a dealine to get me moving...

Wednesday, June 21, 2006


A little game of peek-a-boo with Big Brother the day he left town (2 weeks ago, I am a bad blogger...) is a nice way for them to pass the time. I love this picture!

Things here seem to jump from one major life event to another. I am learning that this is what's in the cards for me these days. If nothing else, I've become much more flexible and patient. But some days I'd rather I didn't have to be.

PeeWee is having a cardiac catheter in the morning to determine the extent of scarring in her conduit repair during open heart surgery 20 months ago. I am hoping they are able to stretch it out enough with a balloon catheter to buy us a little time before her next surgery. I will be spending the day at our hospital until she is released. That will most likely be early Friday morning. Just about 24 hrs. The procedure is about an hour for prep and an hour for the procedure. We bought her some new toys just for the hospital and a new stuffed doggy. A whole bag of goodies just for her. She'll be sedated a few hours after she's done, so I am packing a big bag of goodies to entertain me too. A bunch of knitting projects I really want to finish, including some socks for PeeWee to wear while we are there.

I had my own doctor's appt today and (shame on me) forgot to bring some knitting. About 5 blocks from home I almost turned around and went back but I was in a rush and, well, I was sure the sitter would think I am nuts. I got to the Dr's office and was told she was running late. They came and got me an hour and a half later. Brought me to the room. Sat in there another half hour. When my early morning appt was over it was lunchtime. All I kept thinking was how much knitting time I had wasted. I was across the street from a craft store and I kept wondering if I could get there and back before they called my name. Well, I could have, but that would have meant yet another project started!

I kept kicking myself as I looked through magazine after magazine all about Brangelina and Brittney and Jennifer and Vince. As lovely as they all are, they bored me.

Lesson learned? Leave knitting in the car at all times.

Friday, June 09, 2006


Home again home again- jiggity jig!

Last night laying in bed, My One and Only said to me 'it looks pretty good in here'. That's saying a lot since he never liked this house before, and the last thing he ever wanted was to come back to it.

All I have to do now is unpack. Oh yeah- that's real likely to happen right now. I am so tired my eyes are playing tricks on me.

I jumped out of bed at 5:30 to rush out and get what the plumber needs and it turns out he's a no show so far. Oh well, I hadn't actually spoken to him, just the girl in the office, and she said she'd see what they could do. Oh, and in case I offend anyone, she really was a super young sounding girl, not the regular woman I speak to most days.

Cabinets are all installed, just a bit of trim at the top of the cabinet to be done after a little wall patch. Things look great.

Pictures will have to wait... I have no idea where the thing that connects the computer to the camera could possibly be. But trust me, things look good around here!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Check another off my list

I finished the ugly socks! I can now pack them away. PeeWee loves them. She wants to wear them herself. What will I do when she demands only handknit socks? Why teach her to knit of course!

She has decided they are cozy enough to wear them as long shoulder length princess gloves. Gotta love it.
My One and Only wants them for himself. He has these thin legs and ankles, unlike my own thick ones, and the socks actually look good on him. His narrow feet make up for the length difference in our feet. Plus, when he tried them on a while back to humor me I decided to err on the long side with this pair. I had a feeling he might want to snag them for himself, they are so comfy.

Big Brother is leaving town soon to spend a couple of weeks with the rest of his family. We'll miss him, but it will definately give us a chance to get his stuff all organized for when he comes home. He'll be back for his birthday and that's what matters to me!

We're moving back into the flood zone Thursday and I am cleverly avoiding packing. I have several of those giant ziplok bags filling up with yarn. I'll get a shot before the movers put it on the van. It's comical. I really do have a problem... As many projects as I have been finishing, I can't believe how much yarn I have accumulated here since January! Some of it came back with us from our refugee days in North Carolina, but I have definately done some damage while here. It really says something that as I am picking out furniture, I am wondering to myself if it holds yarn. And how much. I need therapy...