Friday, December 28, 2007

Back to the grind

I keep thinking the holidays are over and the break is over and that we're all back to normal on Monday.  Not so.  Another week off, which we plan to keep as quiet as possible.

We've had family from both sides in town and it's been hectic to say the least.  Throw in a funeral and the planning headache becomes a little too much.  Poor PeeWee is so off her schedule that Marky Mark is passing on the visitation this afternoon and going to be home with her, until the next round of baby sitters this evening.  It's been a very busy week.

Not much time for knitting here at mom's house.  Just trying to clear out the old to make way for the new.  PeeWee scored and the loot from Santa is a bit much.  But she's happy and you are only three once.  Big Brother is still in New York City! for the next few days, returning to us Monday, just in time for the New Year.  For which I never ever make a plan.  I'm the in bed at 10 type.  I just don't get the hype.  I usually hop up out of bed when I hear the fireworks begin though, those are fun!  But I'm not into crowds and noise and drunks so I tend to hang at home and watch from there.  Better view anyway.

Today I hope to pick up the needles again, at least for a short time.  A few minutes might improve my mood just a smidge.  Funny how doing anything creative lifts the mood.  I get cranky if I am not creating something.  Anything will do.  I sewed up a little heart pin to add to my stash of things that need to be photographed so they can be listed on etsy.  I have a few things to add over there.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone who celebrates Christmas has a great day!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I must post about kids

Just a little update on PeeWee and our life-long love affair with the doctor's office.  This time the cardiologist.  You can see she waits patiently.

We went in had the checkup, they did some different thing with her echo and EKG which worried me, of course, anything different will do that to a mother.  We waited for the doctor to come in and as soon as he walked in the door another nurse brought him an emergent EKG.  This poor little kid was having big problems, and PeeWee's doctor called the doctor who faxed the EKG and gave him some info then told him he'd call him back in 2 minutes.  Yes!  Two minutes meant there was no way they were going to tell us we needed to do her repeat surgery.  Huge relief, we go back again in 6 months, with some extra testing and a more likely to be needing the surgery visit.

Weird thing?  That EKG turned out to be my cousin's child, very sick and in the hospital.  (what are the odds of that?) With HIPPA I had no idea who it could have been, blacked out name and all, but when my sister in law told me about my cousin's child having this "thing" with his heart, I called my cousin and sure enough we were sitting in the appointment when our cardiologist was called into his situation by the doctor they were seeing.  It's a weird small world.

Both kids are fine, I am glad to say.  I for one am thankful for medical science and all its advances.

I knocked out the headbands for the teacher gifts and have started more to put up in the shop.  Which is being neglected since there has been virtually no free time around here.  I have a plan for some phone covers too, it's all in my head until I have a chunk of time to devote to making things.
Crafty Wednesdays went on vacation until kids are back in school, we start up again mid-January.  I miss those few hours a week to sit and just be creative.  My sewing machine is under our couch slip cover, which I need to bring in to be dry cleaned, the annual 'show off the red couch' weeks are here.  I have been itching to use it.  I have big plans (again, these plans are in my head).
I wrapped things up and realized I am a little short.  I have a sitter this morning and am going off to a few big box stores for a few last minute things.  Glad I got a chance to check early.
Can someone please tell me where I stashed the Koigu mittens I made for my niece!?!  I have looked in all logical hiding spots.  I have no idea why I even hid them, she's in college across the country.  Instead, I think I put them away.  Kinder way of saying I lost them.  Darnit.  Any ideas?
And since PeeWee was so silly last night...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


First, just so you don't think I have given up knitting (or documenting it) completely...

An ornament that is knit from some Kool Aid dyed yarn from a sweater for PeeWee, little leftovers.  
In this picture I can pick out 8 ornaments we made, and one that's been decorated after the fact by us.  We have an eclectic tree and I like it that way.

The tree trimmers in action.

And this weekend I did something really dumb.  I went to bring PeeWee to a birthday party on the wrong day.  It was a friend of mine, whose child is a classmate of PeeWee, and boy was I embarrassed.  After an impromptu playdate at their house, we had a small meltdown leaving because there had been no birthday cake.  I was feeling like a pretty awful mom at this point so I pulled out some mix we'd been saving and whipped up a Christmas Cake to satisfy the three year old sweet tooth.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Time Warp

I am not one of the unlucky who stress about the holidays.  Christmas is fun for me.  I usually start out with grand plans then they dwindle and we do something a little less dramatic.

This year Big Brother is leaving on Christmas Day.  In fact, I think he's on the same flight my sister and her family arrive to visit us, the turn-around plane thing airports do.  So he'll get to see his cousins for exactly 5 minutes until he boards and goes back to where they live.  He's excited about this trip but I am not.  At least they got a few extra days off for the break since they didn't have to use any hurricane days in the school calendar.  Planning them in seems to be almost enough to keep those guys away.

I had all these plans today to bake and deliver cookies to the neighbors and all that great stuff today then I realized there's still another weekend before Christmas.  Yes, I just publicly announced what a ding-a-ling I really am.  So I'm totally relaxed about Christmas, I have a whole week I found!  We live on one of those blocks where everyone bakes for each other, it's a friendly group, and this year we are making Joy of Cooking's Butterscotch Brownies.  

Here's the recipe:
preheat the oven to 350, grease a 9x9 pan
melt in a saucepan:
1/4c butter
stir in until dissolved:
1c brown sugar
cool these ingredients then add:
1 egg
1t vanilla
sift then measure: 
1/2 c all purpose flour
1t double acting baking powder
1/2t salt
stir these into the butter/sugar mixture
I never do but you can add 
1/2 to 1c chopped nuts
or 3/4 c grated coconut
I like them just plain
*whoops, you do bake these for 20-25 minutes, the oven's not on for just fun!

I am including the recipe here because my Joy is the old, unhealthy version.  Somehow miraculously spared from the floodwaters.  It is dirty and crumbly and marked with sticky notes and scraps of paper, little pencilled in instructions in the margins, all that.  The pages I use most open up on their own, which makes me happy.

I have finished two of the four headbands I wanted to make.  PeeWee has decided there's no knitting time allowed while she is anywhere in range.  These are a super quick knit so I am not too worried about getting them wrapped up by Tuesday.  

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I went, I saw, I conquered.

I went to Target.  I managed to get that elusive gift Big Brother wanted, purely by chance.  One of those high tech gadgets that's on the 'endangered until the holidays are over' list.  I thought... it can't hurt to check if it's here can it? ... and was rewarded for my patience.

I went to the other mall.  I parked.  I found gifts.  I wish I had thought to go back in but I was beginning to panic.  I'm not big on crowds and as 11:30 was coming up on the clock the people were starting to fill the aisles of the stores and I was done.  Walking back to the car I was accosted by a woman who wanted to follow me to my car so she could park.  Well, lady, do what I did and get here when they open and you should have no problem.  But don't follow me in your car like some kind of freak.  Because I will do what I did today and tell you I am parked way on the other side and turn and head that way.  So you can take your colorful language over in that direction.  Besides, when I got to my car there were three hopeful parkers waiting.  It was insanity.  I am done for this year.

I came home and finished filling up a box and I am off to the post office shortly.  I feel so accomplished today.

I am casting on today for a few of those headbands for PeeWee's teachers.  But no knitting to show today.  An inch of progress on that sleeve just doesn't cut it.  So scroll down and look at yesterday's picture for excitement.  Because I must recover from the mall now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Two posts in two days?

Yes, it's me, I haven't been taken over by aliens or anything.  Just showing off today's handy work.  

I made a headband. It was some leftover yarn from some socks from ages ago, shipped off to Kathleen in a Rowan yarn exchange. It's Cherry Tree Hill yarn and I love the colors.  A little i-cord widened into a little 'V' which went into seed stitch band and back down into another 'V' and finishing with an i-cord which ties nicely into a headband.  Simple as pie!  I wore it all afternoon and forgot it was there, a nice thing with a headband.  They usually bug the heck out of me and end up in PeeWee's playbox.

I also started a mitten with the prize yarn.  Not that we need mittens around here, but they are light enough that when it's chilly and I walk to go get coffee I can keep my hands warm.  The self-striping is making me happy.  The colors are so me.  And they match the house, an all important thing in my world.  I was going to make socks, but I wanted to be able to look at them when I wear them.  I am easily amused.  These may take a while because they will be my traveling knitting.  And on DPN's they must be hidden when PeeWee is in range.

I am down to only huge home bound projects so I really did need to start something portable.  They say it's going to get cold so I need to pick up the pace with my sleeve.  I'm about 3 inches into it, so I have some work left.  It may be the next cold snap when I get to wear this sweater.

Tomorrow I am going out into the world to do some shopping.  I need to gather some storage containers for the yarn closet organizing I am doing so I am going to brave the world of holiday shoppers and leave the house.  I figured I will hit the mall too while I am in the neighborhood.  It depends on if I find a parking spot though.  My main criteria this time of year.  I usually avoid any shopping unless it's really required but some twisted part of me wants to go to the mall.  Huh.  I must be coming down with something.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Once upon a time

I used to actually consider myself an artist, way back before Big Brother came on the scene.  I haven't done much at all in the last few years, especially since PeeWee made her entrance.  Mark was out in the shed (yeah, nice) and came across a bundle of drawings and a few prints, the most recent being 1991.  Which says a lot about how little work I have done in recent years.

I'd love to have a studio but we're short on space and it's not in the budget to rent one.  Someday I'll get to have a space to play in where I can leave things out and go back to my real life.

I have to now do things which are portable and also easily picked up when the kids enter my zone.  I spent a few hours today making our Christmas cards, something I usually have done around Thanksgiving, but which I put off for a while this year.  I had trouble getting motivated but I ordered some goodies from Christina's shop and am really happy with what I got.  The cards have a smooth finish which I really liked working with.  I got the cards done quickly, I thought it was going to be a two day event but they are wrapped up now and all I have to do is get them addressed and out in the mail!  And all this before I picked up PeeWee!  

Since I have been either decorating or sorting through old bundles of paper or making cards I have done very little knitting.  I finished the first new sleeve on the cabled sweater I am chugging away on and got a little worried because I was down to one ball of yarn.  I'm not sure where my brain was because I forgot I have an entire sleeve to tink and work with.  Phew!  I immediately cast on for sleeve two and am done with the ribbing, working my way up!  If we get the least bit of cold weather I'll slap this baby on.  It has only a ribbed edging to do for finishing when I get this sleeve knocked out.  Of course no pictures, this is one long lasting knit.  If you've forgotten, it doesn't look much different from this.  I love the Cashmerino Aran, it's so nice to have in your hands, especially after working with a bunch of cotton for the preemie stuff.

And just because...

This is the yarn I won from Rhonda.  I have been meaning to post a picture.  I have about 6 things in mind I would like to make with it, so now I have to narrow it down.  I've got an appointment tomorrow with some knitting time so I plan to bring it along and get something started.  I'm thinking a simple ankle sock with a ruffle at the cuff.  Something fun just for me.  

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Other ways to use yarn

This is cool.

I made several ornaments for The Green Project's auction this weekend.  It felt good making them even though I really pushed it back to the last minute.  I may be on time getting places but I really procrastinate.  I meant to take pictures but I got sidetracked.  Since I am getting good at asking you to use your imagination, I knit up some balls and stuffed them with polyfill so they look like a glass ornament, complete with the curved loop on top.  Used leftover sock yarns.  Part of the recycle theme they so fully support, in a way.

I think we've all recovered around here.  It was an exciting day Sunday.  PeeWee's refusal to eat or drink anything the whole weekend landed her in the ER getting an IV at 4 in the morning Sunday.  She perked up completely and has been herself but we are still recovering from the exhaustion of a sick toddler.  She likes to scare us to death.

We have her cardiology appointments coming up soon and all I kept thinking about as I watched her feel worse and worse the weekend through was that dehydration can really mess with your heart rhythm.  It made me one anxious mama.  The ER staff was wonderful, helpful and very nice to us.  I think the appearance of a 3 year old at 4AM was an unusual event for them.  And when she started wailing so loud you could hear her practically out on the street everyone stuck their head in to see how they could calm her down.  They were a nice bunch.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

We have a winner!

Actually we have three.  But first allow me to apologize for the delay in announcing the winners.  I know a contest that ended two days ago with no prizes announced yet is a serious offense.  But we've been up to our eyeballs in sick kids here and this afternoon I finally got a chance to get photographs and get online for more than a millisecond.  

PeeWee picked names for me in two groups, those who knit and shared their knitted items with me and everyone together.

Monique, who also happened to also be the busiest knitter, won the big prize of the Cherry Tree Hill yarn, it is luscious.  Scrumptious.  I hope she can turn it into something absolutely beautiful.

The second name PeeWee picked from the active knitters was Christina who wins this lovely lace weight yarn.  This stuff is seriously soft.  It should turn itself into something gorgeous.

The third winner is from the entire group and PeeWee picked... Kenyetta!  She wins these really nifty See Jayne Knit stitch markers.  I want to keep them for myself.  They are darn cute.

I am very fond of all these prizes and am glad to send them off to their new homes.  They are things I want to knit with someday so I hope they are well loved!

I had a lot of fun with this one and I am going to try to keep doing the contest.  Hopefully we'll have even more participants in the future.  I made the commitment to be making preemie things this time of year when PeeWee was released from the hospital and I know I will keep making them for a long time.  If you have any preemie knitting that needs a home and you would like to send it to me email me. I'll be happy to wash and deliver things through out the year. I bring them in a few times a year, when I have enough to wash and pack up. I'll be bringing these in next week, since I am going in for a meeting at the hospital.

Thanks again to all of you who made someone's day a little brighter by making a tiny little hat or other goodie for the littlest babies we ever get to meet!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Oh I wonder

Have you ever had those weeks where you think you have caught up on everything and all of a sudden you realize how far behind you are?

It's almost December.  I can't show you any of my finished knitting because it's all gifts and I am not willing to spoil the surprises.  

I am in no way shape or form ready for the holidays.  At. All.  I bought something for Big Brother.  I finished two other gifts.  Marky Mark keeps saying he's going to go get us a tree.  But he's about as behind as I am.

I need to have an ornament ready for Sunday and I have two kids home sick.  I think PeeWee may even have the flu, in spite of her flu shot.  Poor thing has been up in our bed all day dozing off and on, whimpering when she's awake, and watching cartoons when she's coherent.  Her little fever just won't break and it is killing me.  I remember the comfort in being up in your parents bed when you were home sick though so I am hoping that's some comfort to her.  She's a stinker when it comes to taking medicine, she spits it out and fights it completely.  So I can't even get Tylenol in her.  I'm just doing what I can to make her comfortable.  Poor little chicken.

Big brother was sick yesterday.  And I let it slide today.  He woke up feeling cruddy but is now catching up on all his homework.  He's going to school tomorrow no matter what.  Because if you are really sick you don't ask your mother to pick up sushi for lunch.  While you are watching TV and up and dressed.  I should have made him go in late but it really didn't matter today.  Tomorrow when he goes back in he has a detention.  So he'll start his day at 7am.  He'll be working in the kitchen.  Because he did something so stupid it was jaw dropping and opened up a can of worms and even though he undid the stupid thing, it opened the door for someone behind him to do something even stupider and blame it on Big Brother.  Confused?  Well, it was the workings of a 14 yr old boy's brain.  I'll leave it at that.  Because I am a mom and I refuse to use the language he used when typing something onto his teacher's computer which was projected onto the big screen at the front of the room when they got a 5 minute break.  He deleted it but someone else came in behind him and wrote something with a bit more flourish and said he did it.  (sigh)  The joys of high school.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's not all bad

Proof that I didn't leave the laundry room the way I showed it yesterday:

And that the living room WAS picked up:

There may be hope for me after all.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Clever girl

I had this dream. I figured out a very clever new way to knit. I mean, revolutionary. So amazing that it was going to change lives. I have three things I am working on for gifts this year and this was going to be how I knit one of them. It somehow involved knitting flat then not having to seam up. There were just yarns you pulled and it seamed itself. Too bad I can't begin to remember. It made a great hat.

I have been slowly working on about 50 things around here so there's almost no progress on anything. The cleaning and organizing is going great. I really do want to commit myself to loveliness . It doesn't sound like a chore, it sounds like an indulgence. I am working on getting the downstairs of my house organized and in working order. I've been making my way through the drawers in my kitchen. Out of 10 drawers, 3 have become junk drawers. That's nuts. I bought drawer dividers and things are even tidy in the junk drawers. I have always been one of those people who's clutter is not hidden. The insides of my cabinets are very orderly, so getting something as simple as the utensils all sorted has made me very happy.

The laundry room was the worst offender and I tackled it and have kept it clean. It's been about ten days so the keeping it clean part really IS a big deal.

It makes me so happy that last night I went in there, worked on something for an auction coming up, put everything away in it's handy place and walked away. 

(use your imagination here, Blogger is being cranky about uploading the good pictures of the lovely clean laundry room.  I will update when Blogger sees fit)

Normally I would have just left it all out since it was a mess anyway. But I need a space to do what I need to do where I don't have to step over piles of junk to do it. Mark loves that he can go in there and iron his shirt and not have to drag all the equipment out into the hallway where there's more room.

The living room is in order for when we go up into the attic and pull down the Christmas decorations.

(insert your own imaginary pictures of a super tidy and organized living room.  Darn Blogger.)

But I am waiting to do that until I get the dining room in order. It's now the worst offender. I'll be sure and get before and after pictures of that disaster too. I pile all the mail in there and then never do anything about it. And the few things that were homeless after the great laundry room takeover have moved into temporary housing in there. A little FEMA trailer for a dish rack and a fish cooker and the wrapping paper.

Any knitting pictures? Well, no. The only thing worth showing the progress on is a gift and I don't want to spoil the surprise. I have luckily moved my knitting energies over to finishitis. A rare and wondrous thing. Mark's blanket is back in the works, I have added about another foot. This thing's huge and I may be knitting it until Christmas morning. It's a quick knit but when you are three feet into a six foot blanket it sure doesn't seem like a quick knit. Not being portable the progress is slow. But I love it and think he will love it. And if for some reason it is not finished by Christmas his birthday is in March.

I am all about wrapping it up around here. I want all my knitting bags and needles empty. I want to wrap up all these challenging or boring knitting projects and be able to use them!

Wrapping up this week is the Preemie Knit-A-Thon. If you are a part of the contest but haven't let me know, now's the time to leave a comment or email me. Be sure to include how many things you have knit up. If you need a place to drop things off, let me know, you can mail them to me. It only takes about an hour to knit up the tiny hats, any pattern sized down a few needles works great. PeeWee's head was about the size of a tennis ball and quickly grew into an orange if you are wondering what size to make. I'll be setting aside the knitting going on right now to make as many hats as I can in the next few days. And with my absolute desire to wrap things up that's going to be a challenge. Contest ends Thursday so Friday when I get up and check for any new emails or comments I will gather the names and draw one. I have a few goodies here that are ready to go out in the mail!

And finally... I won something! Over at Rhonda's blog I guessed within seconds of the winner that she was knitting an Einstein Jacket. I was second to guess but we were guessing at the same time so she very sweetly sent me a consolation prize. Some beautiful cotton sock yarn!  Thanks Rhonda!  (again, it's imaginary yarn we're seeing here)

Dang this blogger. I'll update the pictures later. 

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Gobble Gobble

Happy Thanksgiving!

I went to bed early and have been up since 4:30. So much for lazing around in bed this morning.

Lunch is at my aunt and uncle's house at 1pm. We're middle of the day Thanksgiving eaters. And not football watchers. We dress, too. I'm hoping to get a good picture of the kids all happy and smiling for the Christmas cards. Last year we did that and it worked really well. It's cloudy and supposed to rain today so this year's picture may have to be a bit more creative. Last year we totally amused the neighbor- she watched us trying to get "the picture". Wish me luck!

I am bringing creamed spinach- my own extremely fattening recipe, lots of cream cheese and an added crunch of sliced water chestnuts. Mmmmm. I'm winging it but basically I'm planning on sauteing a white onion, adding garlic, butter and cream cheese, adding the spinach and then some sour cream if it's too thick. Then I will top it with shreaded swiss and pop it on the oven. It's a one dish wonder too- I will be doing it all in my big red pot- the great oven safe one :)

At dinner today there are going to be 11 people I have never even heard of. And 8 of family. Because 8 people is not enough for Thanksgiving according to my aunt! We've done extra "family" before and it can be very interesting and nice or very interesting and horrible. But always interesting.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day! Thanksgiving is a favorite of mine, and we have so much to be thankful for this year. Even though it has been a tough one in many ways, we're all much closer as a family, and coming out whole is always the best thing to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"wooly balls"

Crafty Wednesday this week was felted balls. Pretty simple, you think. Kind of fun, I think!

I did a sample last night out of some brown roving, something which I wouldn't have minded messing up and wasting too much. Mark was proud (he said). Big Brother suggested something a dung beetle might be rolling ahead of him. Not too attractive, but it worked.

A little roving, a little water, some tossing around and a pile of nifty little woolen balls! I think I am going to save these for stocking stuffers. PeeWee is itching to get her hands on the wet ones.

I am all over the place with crafts right now. I haven't been this scattered with projects of all sorts since college! It's kind of a treat to give myself the one day a week to just play.

In the process the house has gotten really out of hand. We have had a cleaning service the last few years, since I was pregnant with PeeWee and told to do nothing. They do a great job, but lately it's been just about impossible for me to get myself organized enough to have their cleaning be as good as it should be. As a result we end up with a bunch of things stashed away instead of really out away. I have taken myself off their schedule for the next two weeks and will be trying to knock the place out in that time. So it's organize central around here. I have to do it before the holidays get in full swing or we'll be living in the midst of insanity until about February.

If I could just figure out a good way to organize all my crafts I would be set. (wouldn't we all?)

Sunday, November 11, 2007


We all know I have a "thing" with water. I had no idea how deep it went until this weekend. We ran off to the country to get some good relaxing in with friends. We all wanted a break from the city so we made a weekend of it.

When we got there we unloaded the car then instinctively I turned on the icemaker. After a while I noticed nothing was going on. Huh. Ignored it. Sometimes those things are picky and I just wasn't that worried. I was thinking there might be a switch I didn't know about that needed flipping.

When I went to turn on the dishwasher it was also doing nothing. Kind of fishy, I thought I better find out what the trick was to these things. So I picked up the phone and made a quick call to my father. Well, the icemaker was broken already so I was off the hook with that. The dishwasher had a trick to closing it right so I did and it ran for hours and hours before I thought it surely had done something and the dishes must be clean. Nope. SO I tried it again. Nothing. No water ever ran into it. Weird.

Around the same time we noticed that the alarm was beeping and said "trouble". Went to pick up the phone to call and see how we fix that and the phone didn't work. We hadn't yet realized the dishwasher was broken for this call. Good thing I could find a little corner of the house to pick up cell service. Turns out the phone was wishy washy and that was the reason the alarm was blinking.

Later figured out the dishwasher was indeed broken, so I washed a weekend's worth of dishes for 8 people who thought there was a dishwasher. That's a lot of dishes if you are wondering. I was trying to knock them out to be able to sit down with knitting and teach my friend while she and her husband kept the kids busy. That didn't happen. It took me forever to get them all cleaned.

While we were getting ready to go home my friend stripped the beds and rounded up the wet towels and I loaded the washing machine up and turned it on. No water. No kidding. And it's a little mini euro thing and there was no opening it to get out the wet towels we decided needed the first wash. I left with a car full of sheets and towels to wash and bring back out to the country. I hope the wet towels locked in the washer are not a giant molded mess by the time someone can pop that sucker open.

We decided that since the house was built 11 years ago that every single warranty had run out and things were just crashing. But really? The ice maker, the dish washer, the phone and the washer? (For once it was about no water instead of an excess of the stuff. For that I am thankful.)

If you're wondering, my father joked with me to please just stop touching things. The last call I made to him he answered the phone with "what now?" At least he has a sense of humor about it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Knitting in Action

It's been chilly the last few days...

PeeWee modeling her soft and fuzzy sweater

And me wearing socks

PeeWee in her sweater outfit, you can barely see my sock poking out

It's back in the 70's again but that quick blast of cold air made sure the knits got some use this fall!

Thank you all for the good vibes for my friend, she did well with the surgery and is in a lot less pain than she was expecting.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Busy work

What do you do when your friend tells you she has breast cancer and will be having a double mastectomy on Wednesday?

Knit socks! I'd knit her a tit bit but she's having the whole reconstructive tummy tuck done at the same time.

Green for healthy growth, healing and life. I could have used pink but I thought about it and well, it's just the obvious breast cancer color and when I think of this spring green I think of rebirth. Plus, after the initial shock of the diagnosis hit me it was Sunday evening and I had to find somthing in the stash (no yarn diet rules here, just no open yarn shops) that was A) washable B) bulky enough to knit quickly so it could be finished before her surgery and C) a color she likes.

I still have to pick up my other yarn from dyeing but I am very happy with what I have. I want to cast on socks right now. I'm holding off though, I want to wrap up my sweater.

Want to know what I love about my daughter? She sees things.

WOW! You made me a puppy! No, don't look at just the sock, look at the whole picture. Pretty cute puppy. I love the way kids' minds work at this age. It makes the absolute screaching fit when it was bath time last night worth it.

It still looks more like a reindeer to me.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Down to business

This week we went on a field trip for Crafty Wednesday to Christina's house to dye yarn. It was great. My yarn is still hanging to dry, some was cooking at her house when I had to leave for carpool, so I will get it at least by Thursday for the knitting meetup. I am ready to make socks with what I did yesterday though. She had all the goods ready for as, great explanations and we had a lot of fun! Thank you for getting it together for us!

My sweater is chugging along nicely. I'm into the second front piece now and will be redoing the one sleeve when I knit the other. Sort of annoyed at the length of the sleeve, but I know this sweater will get good wear so its all good with me. I am usually not about redoing anything but this one's good. The color of the yarn? 300601. No name for it but it's a really nice periwinkle. Tha pattern is the Office-to-Casual Cardi from Creative Knitting May 2007. I have lengthened both the body and the sleeves. I rarely follow a pattern and usually make my own, so it's not unusual for me to alter them a lot when I find one I like. My middle-aged belly is not something anyone wants to see in a cropped sweater so I made some modifications.

The contest is open for a few more weeks, so if you are interested make sure you leave a comment. My preemie knitting is going well. I copied more or less a little t-shirt we have, I was going to write up the pattern but I did things that I am not sure can be easily written out. Weird flip-flopping and stuff. The shirt works but I think it's going to be a one of a kind. It's a kimono-wrap style shirt, they need lots of access to bellies in the NICU so things which open easily are good.

Thank you all who have been working on preemie items, spreading the word about the contest or finding other ways to support this. Here's a heel flap preemie sock pattern from knittyauntie I have been meaning to link to. She changed the short row heel to a flap and the pattern can be found under September 25th. I realised looking back over some posts that I had not included the link! Oops!

Any more delayed answers to questions? I've got a three year old punching buttons on the computer alongside me so I'll have to give a good look back and get to those answers next post!

There are no pictures today because I keep getting errors, so bear with me, I'll have some when Blogger allows.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Knitting? Actual knitting?

Yes, knitting.

I seem to have gotten my groove back with this sweater. I love working with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, especially the Aran weight, it's so soft and it shows stitches so well, it's got nice spring, too. This color is lovely for me, I'm looking forward to having it all wrapped up and being able to wear it. I was walking to get coffee today and I was wishing it was finished up, I was underdressed for the chilly morning breeze.

I have finished the back, one front and one sleeve. I basted it together lightly to check out the sleeve length and I need to knit them longer. I've got monkey arms and they seem less than 3/4 length. And we all know, if the sleeves bug me I'm not going to wear it. I like the increases and how they work so I am just going to have to rip back the cap decreases and work in some length, saving me an entire sleeve to redo.

We've had just gorgeous fall weather this weekend, it's been a real treat. Mark and the kids were gone the whole day pretty much and I got a good chunk of time to myself, during which I realised the reason there's been so little knitting going on is because I absolutely can not knit with the kids around right now.

Big Brother has been on a moody teenage boy kick and I am having to talk to him about something that he wants to argue about even if I agree with him- pretty much constantly, I feel like I am riding him for everything while trying to remember just how cruddy being a freshman in highschool and having a bad day can be. When he's in a foul mood it is bad. No one warns you of it. They say girls are tough but he's been a lot of work lately. (I'm feeling pretty lucky that he's generally a very good kid. A night at Grandma's house has hopefully improved the mood a little. Keep your finger's crossed for me.)

PeeWee just wants to grab ahold of the yarn, smile an evil smile, and say "I need that", causing me to stuff away yarn and needles almost instantly. My weekdays have been packed with daily chores, with only a little down time for crafts, which has been overtaken by other endeavors. Getting a good chunk of time to myself I feel like I got a lot accomplished.

And a much improved mood too.

Friday, October 26, 2007


So I am a really bad blogger. I'll go sit in the corner.

We lucked out and the water didn't get into the house again. Phew! I am not sure I can say how relieved I am about this. We're in the plans now to replace our mismatched driveway and install much better drainage. I really hope that's going to solve our wet problem.

What have I been knitting? Pretty much nothing. I finished the first sleeve, kept it 3/4 length and will have enough yarn for the sweater no problem. Yeah, one of these days I'll take a picture. Can you tell I am having a love/hate relationship with the knitting needles right now?

I cheated big time on the yarn diet, I went to that great shop in Natchez, the owner is my brother in law's neighbor, a sprightly 82 year old woman who had not only an incredible selection of yarn, she had some great books too. It is a great place if you ever get to Natchez. The kind of yarn shop I too would like to own one day... bought some mohair and some alpaca... I am stuck at down 6 pounds, I needed that candy bar to get me back on track. I'm going back to the gym to jump start this old metabolism and get myself back on track.

We're completely in Halloween mode right now, maybe it's why I haven't been knitting. I took us a while to get it together but we finally made it to the pumpkin patch the other day. The kids had a great time getting their pumpkins.

Hope everyone is well! I'm trying to get it together and post more regualrly, maybe next time there will be actual knitting to show.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rain, rain go away

We had water. Again. In the house. And it's still raining, starting up again right now.


We have a small drainage problem over here. Our backyard is higher than the front by about 6 inches, just enough to rush the water towards the house when it rains. Normally not an issue, but when it rains really hard and we get several inches and there are toys and debris in the driveway, we get seepage under our back wall. Grrrrr.

It's weird how it somes in, under the corner of the end of the hall, not the door like you would imagine. I'll be laying down towels and making sure things are picked up before bed. I have a feeling Mark will sleep down on the couch on edge waiting for the water. We're supposed to get quite a bit more rain this evening into morning. Pulled the cars into the driveway, hopefully they won't block the water flow out to the street.

Send me nice dry vibes, will ya?

I spent the day recovering from the insane weekend, we were in the car for too much of it, dealing with family dynamics and basically having too much everything. The rain today was well timed, I was completely in the mood for a rainy day! I about flipped when I saw that familiar puddle water creeping my way across the floor. I jumped up and grabbed a pile of pool towels, pulled the furniture from the wall and mopped it up. Not my idea of a relaxing moment, but I did get a bit of knitting time in on the sweater I have started. I decided that I will go ahead and knit up a sleeve to see how much yarn it takes since I don't own a kitchen scale anymore. Weighing it would be a lot of work, I'm going to guesstimate yardage by the balls I use up. It's coming along, but I am too darn lazy to put it out and get pictures. I'll do it as soon as I have something good to show though!

The preemie knitting is coming along. I'm making up some mitts. The little things you stick on baby to keep them from scratching their faces. I'm trying to mix things up and make different types of clothes for the bitties. I've made literally hundreds of hats so I am branching out a bit.

Here's to a nice dry house tonight! Hopefully I can update next post without pictures of wet towels. Yes, if you've been reading here for a long time, this is NOT the first water in this spot since Katrina baptised the place. Seems like that first wave through opened up a flood gate and now we've got water issues. Reading along for a while you may have gotten that picture. Burst pipes, leaking bathrooms, Katrina funk-water. Seems like we've had it all here.

Now they are forcasting 2-3" an hour through the night off and on. Good grief. Gotta go lay down the towels. Wish me luck...

Friday, October 19, 2007

Ahhh, Nightlife

Let me begin by saing I really do like my husband's brother. Very kind man. Mechanically inclined? Not at all. This is the man who misunderstood the instructions to turn the water off and instead of turning the water off at the main to the house, he turned the water off. As in turning the water off that runs in the sink. He went around and checked them all. He was very confused at the request to turn the water off, he asked if he had ever accidentally left water running before. Come February and a cold spell and burst pipes and a rebuilt house and another missed season to sell the place. Nuff said. But I really do like him.

Usually night life is all about going out on the town, late nights, dancing maybe, music, drinking, parties. Not here in this house. Night life is unfortunately the glaring streetlamp in the backyard. Seriously it is a streetlamp. My dear sweet brother in law told us it was a city streetlight when we asked him how on earth we could turn the thing off. We can't find the breaker box or we would have remedied the situation ourselves. Mark wanted to cut the wire. They recently bought this house, and I will repeat... not mechanically inclined. Um, the wire for this lamp leads into the wiring for the outside deck lights. It's on some kind of photo cell. It's mounted on a tree in their backyard. It shines into the house to light it up like a prison yard or something. We haven't slept through the night yet. Yesterday they came to install blinds. No help. My brain is a little fuzzy and I can't wait to go home and sleep. I'm going to the drugstore today to buy Mark and me matching eye masks.

But first I have to wait for my clothes to dry. I always overpack when I travel. Somehow I didn't do that this time. We washed a load and put it in the dryer and when the buzzer sounded to announce dry clothes we searched the closets for hangers to hang the wet stuff up to dry. Not mechanically inclined, they had not even washed a load. So now we have sheets and towels to bring in town to the laundromat. It might explain the remains of a laundry line in the very well lit yard. The one thing they took down.

It's the Natchez Great Mississippi River Balloon Race this weekend. Purely by chance we're up here for it. It's pretty cool though and I'm glad I am here. All over today there will be balloons flying overhead, a few passed the house a minute ago! Last night we got to see the balloon glow, when they set up the balloons and they have them all turn on their gas and glow. We thought it was going to be across the river and since they weren't it was a little hard to see them, but you get the idea.

There were also fireworks. They were a great show over the Mississippi River.

And this morning my brother in law and I ran out into the street in our pj's to watch the balloons go right over the house. Pretty cool.

They fly pretty fast, you can see the edge of the house but by the time I snapped, the balloon was moving out of the frame! It was exciting.

We were supposed to be on the road right now, heading back to New Orleans, but Mark's other brother called him with extra tickets to the LSU game so we're going to be stopping and going to the game. I am just ready to be home, but we're not getting back until the wee hours of the morning. (Not a good idea for someone who likes being in pj's about 8 o'clock!) Since my Saturday plans were already shot by the late leaving plan, we figured we'd take him up on the tickets and go. There's always tomorrow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Natchez, Knitting and Nightlife

I know, it's been quiet here.

After we recovered from PeeWee's birthday weekend, I had our pediatric fundraiser to work, which turned out to be a huge success. Glad it is wrapped up for another year and now that I am almost a week out, I am feeling the love again and I'd be glad to do it again next year.

We earned a break, our first vacation since PeeWee was born. We needed it after the last several years! We decided to take up my brother in law's generous offer to use his house in Natchez, Mississippi. It's not a bad drive, and we got to see some great stuff on the way. One of my favorite places is Afton Villa, the burned ruins of a plantation with incredible gardens:

Natchez is such a pretty town. I haven't been here in about 6 years or so and it seems to have been well maintained and improved in that time quite a bit. A lot of the downtown looks like it's been and being rebuilt and renovated and there are a bunch of cute restaurants and shops I don't remember. Maybe they were there, but I don't remember!

Partly because I grew up in New Orleans and partly because I am married to a history nut we always go to cemetaries when we travel. I've always appreciated the old tombs and graves and enjoyed the quiet beauty of them. I was blown away by the Natchez cemetary, it's HUGE. Giant. Sprawling. Everywhere you look you see these beautiful iron fences around little families who are together in their beautiful white marble homes. The hillside is covered with them. It was an amazing site. (Click on the picture for a better idea of how vast it is.)

All of the gates seemed to be open. Can anyone tell me if there's a reason for that? We couldn't figure out if we'd seen that before. We also couldn't figure out if it was just because they were old and had just swung open. Any guesses?

My brother in law spends a lot of his free time eating out and he gave us a list of places to try. My favorite so far?

I mean, how could you NOT stop and check it out? I wish there were more places like this left on the by-ways. It must have been fun to drive them back in the 40's and 50's and stop in places like that. Plus the pie was just too good.

I brought along a sweater for me that I am working on. I've been knitting away on it the last few days. The preemie knitting was left at home with the kids. Since this vacation is just us, I gave myself permission to be selfish and knit something for just me. It's a little cabled number, pictures will come later when there's something to actually show. I tweaked the pattern a little and am hoping I have enough yarn. It's looking good so far. Another question... when you fiddle with a pattern how do you determine the amount of extra yarn you will need? This one I have about 200 yards more, but I lengthened the torso several inches, it was cropped, not a good look for me. I am almost finished with the back and about to start my fourth ball of 100 yards. Can I safely guess it will take four balls for the front? It's a cardigan, but v-neck. I decided to start a sleeve next to see how much yarn I use for that. Plus, it will keep me off of sleeve island! I was thinking of lengthing those a little too, but I am going to see about the yarn and how they look as 3/4 length. Suggestions? Ideas? Am I the only one who just wings these things?

Nightlife? Next post. We're off to go get some breakfast right now...

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Party on PeeWee!

PeeWee had her third birthday Friday, and it has turned into the birthday weekend. Who knew three could be so busy?

She's thoroughly enjoying herself. We went to a great spot for her party, Storyland. If you are ever in New Orleans with kids, it's one of those hidden gems the locals are keen to which is a great place to go play and burn some energy.

Hmmm, knitting... well, very little time here to be honest. I have a hat almost finished up out of a really soft fun baby yarn. But, yeah, not much else happening this weekend.

October turns into the busiest month for me. Now that we're past the birthday, I've got the hospital pediatric fundraiser coming up next weekend. I'm thankfully not chairing it this year, boy was that a lot of work, but I am in charge of the dunking booth. Which means following around a few doctors, rounding them up and putting them into a bucket of cold water. Hey, it's for the kids! This money raised this year goes towards financing families who have to travel long distances to be at the hospital with their children, a service we took advantage of- the meal card vouchers and such- when PeeWee was in the hospital, so I am more than happy to help out and return the favor. When this event is over I have just fun me stuff going on.

Yeah, I know, no pictures again? Blogger is giving me errors, I'm going to try again in a bit... Next post will be plenty to make up for it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Hello! (echo, echo, echo...)

Yeah, I know, I'm slacking here.

I made a cute little preemie shrug though! Pale pink baby yarn, I hope they have a tiny graduate they can give it to! PeeWee was smaller than our model Teetsie when she came home, so I know it will fit someone.

I had never made a shrug before and the construction is so peculiar to me. One of those weird mistakes which turned into a pattern, I guess.

Here's my Crafty Wednesday finished project. I really like the way it turned out, the colors are just my style, the stitching was quick and easy yet required a little thought, I am all around happy with this one. And how nice to have a finished project! One of the group told me how good I was at finishing things. If she only knew.....

I also made a little ornament and finished it using some leftover sock yarns. I love the way the variegated yarns stitch up this way. I have a new use for the odds and ends of yarn around here now! Always glad to be able to use up stuff.

Yes, for the astute among you, it IS hanging on a vine growing inside the window. I was told my new curtains were really nice. When you are married to a landscaper, you leave those things until he gets them. And that's usually when someone teases him about it. Or when his mother is horrified at his wife's housekeeping skills. It's the one time I can really point out it's not my job.

And then just because...

Halloween is coming!

Yes, that is candy corn soda. Sounds absolutely horrible, but we're having our annual block party for Halloween and I couldn't resist. Besides, Big Brother and his friends will drink it up.