Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Reason for Hands

There is no normal in this boy's world.

The poor child fell from a rope swing.


Upon closer inspection, I noticed that there was not a single scratch on his hands or arms.

Figuring they must've been tangled or caught in something, I asked, "Why did you not put your hands up to stop your fall?"


To which he replied, "I forgot all about them!"


He's not really quite as miserable as he looks in these pictures, but the child goes into drama mode when the camera is turned on him.


BTW - the tp pyramid in the background is the result of my request of him to put some toilet paper in the downstairs bathroom a few days ago. He makes everything an adventure.

Okay, now I must decide if I'm going to seam or cast on. Oh wait, we have school work to do. Darn it.

ETA: The dear boy has seen his picture here and feels famous. He has also developed the strangest desire to check constantly for comments. (A blogger in training for sure.) At any rate, if you could please leave a comment, it would make his day! Thanks.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Next Up...


Vogue Sideways Cardigan

and Swatching...

Noro Scarlette

For what?


Scarlette from Jane Ellison's Noro Joy pattern book.

I've been eyeing, drooling over, coveting this for a while now and today the LYS received its first order of the new Noro Matsuri, a DK weight cotton/wool blend.

Noro Scarlette

How does it feel? Wonderful! It has a ton of stretch for a cotton and great texture. Of course the colors are outstanding. Now my only dilemma is figuring out which size to make considering the stretch.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Finally, Etc.

I finally got around to sewing the perfect button on my finished Eyelet Cardigan and was able to wear it to church today.

Eyelet Cardigan

It feels soft and wonderful.

Eyelet Cardigan

Eyelet Cardigan
Blue Sky Dyed Cotton - 4 hanks
Clover Bamboo circulars - Size 7
Mods: Added a bit of length to the body.

Verdict: Love it! The only problem I ran into was seaming the shoulders. The pattern didn't match up, but considering the amount of time between when I knit the back and fronts, this is most likely due to knitter error.


Meanwhile, I've watched a lot of baseball this week...

With some Chewy Spaghetti:
Chewy Sock

And some Lorna's Laces:
Crosshatch Lace Socks

And I won a contest at Maria's blog and she passed some crazy my why! Check out this beautiful sock yarn from Tempted Yarns. The colorway is Love Bites.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Previously On LOST...

I have no idea.

Something to do with Michael... and a freighter... or was it Jin rushing to the hospital in the future... no the past?

Oh well, it doesn't really matter.

All that matters is that its Thursday night and I will be able to watch Survivor and Lost. Harmony is being restored to my universe. Truth be told, I'm a little thrown by the 10:00 time slot... and not just because that means an extra hour of noisy boys who will want to stay up and see it.

Then we have a new House on Monday!!! Yay!!! But... on a Monday. Unstable universe.

And even though I'm thrilled with the return of my favorites, my enthusiasm is somewhat restrained by the fact that these late season returns are merely a peck on the cheek and will be gone in 4 quick weeks at which point we will go into summertime re-runs. Two summertime re-run seasons in one year. It's just not right. It's confusing to my inner sense of seasons... and well-being.

Big Bang Theory remains a strong fill-in, but I do miss 24 on Monday nights. American Idol & NCIS have provided some consistency for Tuesdays... but (yawn) several of the Idols this season just put me to sleep. As for Wednesdays, I just can't find any satisfaction in the 8:00 time slot.

My inner peace relies on a consistent schedule to look forward to. I am like a hungry infant without it... just wandering through the days and weeks with no sense of stability.

I feel the staff of Saturday Night Live must be likewise affected because I would think that after 3 months of time off the writers would've returned full of brilliant ideas... but sadly this doesn't seem to be the case. At all. Christopher Walken was good a couple of weeks ago but I can't figure out if he's oddly brilliant or just strangely odd. Check out "Googly Eyes" and "Surprise Party" here. (I'm not responsible for the content of anything else you click on!) Or, you can wait and see the whole show again this Saturday. Apparently they have only been able to pull together about 3 new episodes since the strike which they just keep cycling through. I'm telling you... total breakdown in the television universe. (FWIW, yes I know that SNL is juvenile, but what can I say... I'm easily amused. I just watch with discretion. For the most part.)

I've even lost my knitting rhythm and found myself forced to put in a new sock yarn order for motivation... cause there's nothing like new yarn to restore my inner peace.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I've been trying to figure out if I've been too busy to blog or if life is too boring to blog about. I'm thinking it's both... in addition to the fact that I'm trying to limit my knitting projects so there's just not much to show you. I might add that this fact alone makes me an extraordinarily boring and antsy person who is losing enthusiasm for knitting and life in general. Clearly I need to start a new project... and I think I'll buy some yarn to liven up the blog for you... because that's the kind of gal I am.

Anyway, I was searching my overstuffed bookshelves last night for a book that my dad loaned my several years ago. I never, ever read books twice but this is such an insightful look at the life of Oswald Chambers that I thought it was worth a second read. Searching for a book in my house is no easy task as it involves many shelves in several rooms as well as my nightstand and under my bed. (Note to self... vacuum under bed.) My husband couldn't understand my determination and since it was getting pretty late asked, "Why do you need it now? Are you going to start it tonight?"

His question kinda baffled me and I replied, "I don't know. But I've decided I want to read it so I need to find it."

Is there a distinction? It's like deciding you want to knit a certain something so you buy the yarn when the decision is made regardless of when you're actually going to knit it. I know some people practice such things as "self-control" and "patience" but let's just say, for better or worse, these aren't my strengths.

But back to the bookshelves... considering that I think most of the answers to life can be found in books, one can get a pretty good idea of everything that has ever interested, concerned, or puzzled me by browsing my bookshelves.

Of course, parenting is a big one. Here's a couple from the early years...

Moving on from hope to desperation we find...

BTW - I love the third one. Unfortunately though, just reading these type of books is never enough. They usually require some sort of effort or follow through on my part in the way of discipline, diet, or attitude, none of which are likely to happen thereby only leaving me with some interesting conversation topics and a greater understanding of my lazy nature and undisciplined children.

My dad sends me a lot of books and he obviously has an amusing perspective of my life...

I LOVE the title of the first one!

Here are a couple of my favorites.

Both of these books really had an impact on my role as a mother. Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit is a wonderful book for any homeschooling mom... especially if the title alone makes you chuckle. As if! Actually, I should probably read this one at least once a year!

This is just a glimpse, as their are dozens more on topics ranging from homeschooling to theological controversies and I wouldn't dare show you photos of these shelves because it would expose every thought that has ever crossed my mind.

At any rate, I never did find my dad's Oswald Chambers book. I'm going to assume I gave it back to him so I ordered another copy from Amazon... along with a couple other items so I could get that free shipping.

Now, for the highlight of my day, I get to help my son with his Algebra. I love Algebra!! Oddly, he does not share my enthusiasm. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things

If you don't have one of these, you need one!

GoKnits Pouch

I've had a small GoKnit Pouch for years, but just recently acquired a medium size one from The Loopy Ewe. It's wonderful! The small one is perfect for a sock on the go, but the medium will easily hold the back of a sweater and a few extra balls of yarn.

GoKnits Pouch

I was really trying to stick with the above cardigan through its completion but I couldn't resist starting another lace project.


This is Juno Regina from last fall's Knitty in Malabrigo lace. I think the discouragement from Talia is best remedied with a project that will require no sizing, gauge, or finishing. (I also love pudgy little boy fingers.)

I have been mildly obsessed with this yarn since I received it last week.

Hand Maiden Casbah

It's Hand Maiden Casbah in "Smoke" and is a blend of Merino, Cashmere & Nylon in gorgeous shades of lavendar and greys. In hopes of being able to knit something large enough to wrap myself up in, I quickly tried to order some more but it was sold out. I'm not sure what I could knit with only 325m aside from socks, but I'm considering a small blankie to sleep with or just wearing the hank around my neck like a scarf. If you have any ideas, please, shoot them my way.

Remember that little loose tooth that JoJo was so worried about? The poor little guy has not even been able to go to sleep at night without some assurance that it won't fall out when he's sleeping... and that little loose teeth don't just drop out of your mouth without you knowing about it. So we get in the car about an hour ago and he suddenly shouts, "Where is my tooth? It's gone!" And so it is.


Whadda ya know.

Lastly, one of my not so favorite things... proudly displayed by my reptile catching son in the middle of my living room.


I don't know why the little guy didn't dash off his hand any more than I know why I told him to stay put while I grabbed the camera. But it did... so I did. According to my son, it's a Blue Bellied Lizard in case you're all wondering. But I'm guessing you're not.

Monday, April 14, 2008

FO: For Better or Worse

I need to start out by noting that I am quite limited in the area of available and willing photographers. I have 5 boys who can't keep their grubby hands off my camera until I actually want them to use it. Then they whimper and moan while I attempt to motivate them all of the usual (yet useless) motherly lines like, "All the driving around I do for you and you can't give me a few minutes for a decent picture??" But they are immune to such prattle and find the disgrace of standing in the front yard taking pictures of their mother too much to bear.

Anway... We'll start with this washed out photo of my Shetland Triangle Shawl.

Shetland Triangle Shawl

Actually, I have no idea how to wear a shawl and am not sure better lighting would make any difference. (But I do think some lipstick would be good here.)

Shetland Triangle Shawl

I'm not sure if it's the improved lighting or the missing model that makes this photo so much more appealing. Either way, whether I wear it or not, I loved knitting it and am crazy about the finished shawl.

Shetland Triangle Shawl

Shetland Triangle Shawl from Wrap Style
Dream in Color Smooshy in "Chinatown Apple" - 1 skein plus a bit of a second
Knit Picks Options size 6
Mods: 14 repeats instead of 8

Next up is Talia from the Spring Knitty. This is a great pattern and fun to knit.


Unfortunately, my inability (or unwillingness) to measure properly resulted in shoulder straps that were too long.


I could fix this by frogging all the garter edging around the armholes and neckline (choke), then unseaming the shoulders and frogging back a few rows, but... I also seem to have strayed and ignored the obvious gauge issue that was occurring as I knit with rapid clicks.


Even if I fixed it, buttons ain't gonna hold this puppy together. I actually like the vest enough to put some more effort into it but I think my best bet is to start from scratch. I feel much sadder about this now that I've seen the pictures. I must hide it again quickly.

The yarn is Malabrigo Worsted in "Pigeon".

What have I learned?
(1) I love to knit shawls and I don't have to worry about them fitting.
(2) It's really worth the time to slip a one-piece knit off the circulars onto some waste yarn to double check your fit.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Just Another Friday

I really need to get some pictures posted. I have 3 finished knits but am being held up by button sewing and, more importantly, the necessity of brushing my hair and throwing on something besides sweats in order to be photo-ready. This week has just not allowed time for that. And I'm lazy.

However, I still find time for knitting...

The Sideways Cardigan from the new Vogue Knitting is coming along. I decided to go ahead with the pattern as written instead of adding a repeat for length. This is the first pattern I've knit from Vogue and while I love the pattern, the instructions are rather vague especially when it comes to binding off the lace pattern.

Vogue Sideways Cardigan

I started a sock with some Zen String Serendipity Fingering in the color, Jay. It took me several attempts to get a stitch count and pattern (simple 2x2 ribbing) that would prevent severe pooling. I usually don't mind pooling at all, but with such bold colors it was a bit much for me.

Zen Socks

I had a major breakdown while ordering some ShiBui Knits Sock yarn for Knitty's Lace Ribbon Scarf that resulted in this...

Sock Yarn

But now... Now... I will simply never be content until I get my hands on this pattern and some of the new Noro Matsuri (87% Cotton, 13% wool) yarn.


It's all I can do just to try to stop thinking about it.

Obsessive? YES!

Monday, April 07, 2008

I got my hand stuck in the couch today...

I say this because, well, because I did... but also because I later realized how distinctly this phrase answers the question, "How was your day?" Now usually I might respond with "fine", "lousy", or even "one of those days". But really, don't you have a pretty good idea of what kind of day I've had if you ask and I say, "I got my hand stuck in a couch"? It wasn't predominantly bad... or good... but there were about 30 minutes in the middle of the day that were so typically bizarre that I wonder how I ever get myself dressed in the morning let alone take care of anyone else.

At 11:15, I remember that I am late in getting my payment into the pre-school so I embark on a vast, yet unsuccessful search for my checkbook. I know it's here somewhere because I've seen it. I also know that it's "lost". I've known this for some time now but haven't bothered to look for it. (This drives my husband crazy.)

At 11:30, I realize that I'm running out of time and am just going to have to run by the bank and get cash so I grab my car keys and begin a search for my cell phone. (I always need to look for at least one of them.) I call the cell phone from the home phone and find that our couch is ringing. This is when I learn that behind the normal dusting of crumbs buried in our couch cushions, there is a bottomless abyss that has sucked up my cell phone. I also learned that once I extend my arm up to a certain point, it becomes stuck.

Really, truly stuck. I had no idea that it was even possible to get your hand stuck in a couch. Unfortunately, I have a pretty quick panic button when it comes to the whole notion of being stuck in any sense so it was really the longest 20 minutes seconds of my day.

Finally, I freed my arm and approached the ringing from another angle. Oddly, before I recovered my cell phone, I first pulled out our long missing second house phone. A whole phone lost in the couch! Forget Mars, there could be life in our sofas!

By this time I'm running late and dash to my car. As I'm driving off, I realize that my cell phone battery is almost dead and I can't find my charger. (Are you seeing a pattern here?) This is more important than you might think... you must understand that when you live in a house with 5 boys, the only chance you get to talk on the phone is when you're in the car.

I began to try to calculate what percentage of each day I spend looking for things but it was too discouraging so I gave up and stopped at the store for a Diet Coke since I had forgotten to buy some over the weekend.

You can pretty much fill in the blanks for the rest of my day with the insight that this is just a random moment in time for me. So when you don't know how else to describe the day you're having, try it. "Ugh. I got my hand stuck in a couch today!" I think it sums things up quite well.

Anyway... DH remains interested in supporting my blog by continuing to submit his own photos. I suggested he start his own blog as the shock value of his photos might not appeal to my average visitor, but this one is special because it's my middle boy in training.


This same snake-hunting, mountain-biking child found a crystal when he was camping with DH last year and spent some time with his jewelry-making grandma recently to make this for me...


He is a boy of extremes... fearful of nothing, fights to the end, yet loves with an amazing heart.

Finally, for those of you on Ravelry, I wanted to pass on this fundraiser info I just came across. It's actually a fundraiser with prizes which makes it even better! I have to confess that a part of me really hates passing along contest alerts because in doing so I am actively seeking to decrease my own odds of winning but what can I say... I guess I just like you that much.

So here's the info. If you've been hanging out at Ravelry, it's a great chance to help them out if you can.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Shetland Blocking

Blocking always amazes me.

This morning I had a blob. A great knitted blob of color. It showed very little hope of being much more.

Shetland Triangle Shawl

In fact, I kept comparing my blob to the other Shetland Triangle Shawls that were displayed on Ravelry.

Shetland Triangle Shawl

I was almost sure that I had done something wrong. No doubt I had ssk'd when I should've k2tog'd. But I couldn't find the mistake.
Shetland Triangle Shawl

But alas, the magic of blocking.
Shetland Triangle Shawl

The Dream in Color Smooshy I used is incapable of pooling and the colors are always so varied and rich. The top picture is probably the closest to the overall color I used (Chinatown Apple), but you can see the variety in the close-ups.

Dry, baby, dry!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Silken Update

Thank you all so much for your advice! After 24 hours of obsessing over pondering my options, I finally sent an e-mail to the store asking about the significant change in color. They were very quick to respond with an apology and an offer for an exchange or credit.

However, since I wear a significant amount of browns and greens, I'm thinking that the Cedar might be an interesting color to try so I'm still undecided... but am pleased to have the option of exchanging.

Oy. I think I need a decision-making chip for my brain.

Thursday, April 03, 2008


So, I've had some money sitting in my Paypal account for several weeks and I finally decided that I was going to indulge in a few skeins of luxury yarn to make a special wrap. I ordered some Hand Maiden Silken in Cedar and have spent the last week deliriously debating whether I wanted to use it for a Clapotis or the Tuscany Shawl from No Sheep for You.

I've been really excited because the color appeared to be a perfect blend of saturated greens as you can see here. "Appeared" being the key word in that sentence because when the yarn arrived today and I sat down to open it with all the devotion and attention it deserved, I was surprised to see this...


"Oh my... this isn't really the color I was expecting."

At which point my 5 yo looks over and asks, "You mean poop?"


I know that internet photography can be a tricky thing... and I really should've checked the return policy (there is none... "All sales final") before dishing out that kind of cash so shame on me. I also realize that I'm really slamming my chances of selling this fine yarn in cyberspace when I use the word "poop" in the description... but, well... what does a 5 year old know, right?

Ahem. Anyway, this evening I pulled it out again and tried draping it around my neck in a variety of rooms for different lighting. I made my 13 yo son follow me around for his input (which, of course, was useless), then attempted a series of self photos (as my 13 yo had become a hostile witness by this point) with it draped around my neck hoping to a better idea of how the yarn would knit up into a wrap. This resulted in some of the most hideous self photos I've ever taken in my life. The wee bit of vanity I posess required cropping of said photos before posting.


I was actually a bit intrigued by the colors when they were draped in this manner... but I'm concerned it was only because they distracted me from my sagging neck skin that plagued my photos.


So... what say you? These pictures are pretty accurate color wise. Is the color unique and interesting? Or do you think JoJo was right? Or maybe you're interested in a good deal on some Silken in a lovely shade of "Cedar"?

Either way, your honesty is sincerely requested because my slightly obsessive mind is going to have a field day over this until I resolve what to do. What if it's a very interesting, classy color that will make a great Clapotis and I just don't know it?

And Julie, if you read this, know that I will be stalking you early tomorrow morning to appeal to your expert eye for color.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This and That

Thanks for playing along with my movie quote post. That was fun.

As you can tell, I don't have very high standards for movie entertainment. I do enjoy the occasional drama, but usually when I pick out a film, I just want to zone out and laugh.

Anyway, my Shetland Triangle is coming along much quicker than I expected. It is really quick, pleasant knitting and I'm finally seeing a decent dent in my ball of Smooshy.

I had to take a quick detour though and get a start on the Sideways Cardigan featured in the new Vogue Knitting.

Sideways Cardigan

I'm using RYC Cotton Jeans which is knitting up very nicely, although does tend to be a bit splitty so I have to be careful. I love the textured appearance of the colors. I chose to add an extra repeat of the zig-zag to give it a bit more length since I don't feel young or hip enough to wear anything "cropped".

I made an attempt to find some buttons for my finished knits but only had a few minutes and was interrupted by new yarn at the LYS.

Ty-Dy Yarn

It's K1C2 Ty-Dy in "Meadow" for a summer tank (which I am going to knit in the infinite time allotted for knitting that exists only in my mind).

So there you have it. Actual knitting content.

But now I'll give you what I know you're really here for...


This may look like an ordinary goofy boy smile... but it's not. No, this is the extraordinary display of JoJo's first loose tooth! (See it? The one on the bottom.) I've experienced this right of passage with several other children by now, and am well aware of the enthusiasm, joy and growth that this event embodies. But JoJo's reaction is quite different.... and probably best described as obsessive with a touch of anxiety.

"It hurts." "It wiggles." "It still wiggles." "Will it fall out in an apple?" "I'm not eating apples." "I better not eat chips." "Maybe I shouldn't eat until it comes out." "Will it bleed?" "What if it falls out while I'm sleeping." "How long will it take?" "Longer than today?" "How about tomorrow" etc. etc. etc.

Do you think he's too young for therapy?

'Cause one of us is gonna need it!