my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Yes, it's only 9:30, but doesn't that make cake more exciting?

It's not cake you eat though. It's a yarn cake. And it's for Rae.

Rae's going to be my guinea pig and show how the NEON sock yarns knit up. Since she doesn't have a swift and ball winder, I figured I'd wind it up for her.

Happy little cake, don't you think? The color looks a little dark in this pic. I also wound up my orange crush. That's at home and wasn't part of the photo shoot this morning. I think I may start a new pair of socks soon. Or at least swatch with it.

Sleeve 1 is done on Hubby's aran. I finished it as the train was pulling into my station last night. I've got the ribbing for sleeve 2 finished and will start the cabling tonight. Hopefully, I won't have to rip out 6" and this one will go faster.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

just a Tuesday

Thanks for the comments on the yarn. I'm really happy with them. And I'm trying really hard not to order more yarn. I mean, how many skeins of sock yarn do I need? It's just so much fun, though. I've thought of a ton more color combinations.

I'm still not done that first sleeve. Should be today. I figure that means I'll need a week for the second sleeve, which gives me a couple of days for finishing. I should take the time to start weaving in some ends now. (Each piece takes about 8 balls of yarn.)

I'm anxious to start a new project. I've got that lovely tangerine calmer that wants to mimick a Mossimo pullover I bought a while back (high ribbed waist, ribbed boatneck, with 3/4 length sleeves). I've toyed with a cardigan, cause I wear them more. But, calmer is an against the skin kind of yarn.

I do, however, have lots of things to finish up. B's bounce for one. I nearly got the whole thing seamed up when I realized the sleeves weren't wide enough. Ha! I laugh in the face of these problems. Little triangular gussets to the rescue. Those need to be washed. Seaming needs to be finished, and then the duplicate stitching.

Then there's a baby blanket I started (ASC in diagonal garter stitch, think large, stripey dishcloth), Billy's Indigo Gold socks, my beaded rib socks and Here there be dragon socks. Mom's dishclothes. Not to mention really old UFOs.

I do think I'll be casting on something new when Hubby's Aran is finis. I'll just have to make sure it's not for another deadline!

Monday, February 26, 2007

good news

Two years after being implanted, B's left ear tube is finally out (the right one was out in November). Our little trooper let the doc put the needle-nosed tweezer thingies into his ear three times to remove the tube as it was sitting in ear wax in the canal. TMI? It's done, and if all things go well, we won't see Dr. Carl again!

But, that's not why I'm sacrificing serious knitting time to post tonight. Nope. I wanted to post the pics of Saturday's yarn.

The middle one is my favorite, and I couldn't recreate it if I wanted to.

color reward

I put my camera up out of B's reach yesterday and then forgot to bring it in to see if I could upload pictures today.

Damn shame. I think I got some really accurate shots of Saturday's experiments. I dyed 3 skeins of the Knitpicks Superwash/Nylon blend and although I got a splotchy tie-dye effect, I really like the skeins. The dyeing was my reward for getting some chores done while Hubby had B out and about running errands (errand running is one of Hubby's finely honed skills). I've got a new turquoise/purple/lime, a turquoise/purple/pink, and a red/orange/pink that I just adore.

I've got a few ideas on how to counteract the superwash's rapid and splotchy uptake of color. I'm thinking less acidity and a slower uptake will lead to a more even coloring. I've got one last superwash to experiment on and then I'm dyeing two skeins of silk/wool blend with koolaid. (I'm thinking they might not become socks but something lacy for me.) Then there's the donegal sock yarn that I'm torn between doing purple or turquoise for a friend here at work. For the longest time, she knitted with just donegal yarn. She's branched out, but I'm thinking donegal socks might be a good idea!

For the record, I was trying to get Hubby to tell me how pretty my skeins were and he said "I don't understand why you can't just buy red yard." Can we rewind his childhood and have some creativity put back into the man?

I've started the sleeve decreases on Hubby's aran. I'd hoped to have sleeve 1 done this past weekend, but I jammed my pinkie finger on my right hand on Saturday carrying B upstairs for a diaper change and it's been stiff the last couple of days. I hope to finish sleeve 1 today and get sleeve 2 done over the weekend. Hubby's chomping at the bit to wear the sweater. St. Patrick's day parade season starts Saturday in Hoboken and he's disappointed he can't have the sweater sooner. He's already informed me he's wearing it to lunch at the Irish Pub in AC next Friday.

Friday, February 23, 2007

"what color be?"

I ripped back to the ribbing. Yeah one and a half repeats gone. As I was trying to figure out where I screwed up, it came to me that I probably messed up at the very beginning, when establishing the cable pattern. So I decided right there on the E train to rip it back. And I did.

I've mostly completed the first repeat again. I probably would have made it slightly past where I was when I decided to rip, but Hubby had a really bad day at work (didn't get home until 8:45 pm) and needed a vent session. I figured he deserved my full attention.

I have lunch knitting today, so hopefully some progress will be made.

Hubby's miserable at his job, but otherwise we're all doing well. I think B's even had a mood elevation since Mommy's doing better. Hubby's promised since he's worked late so much this week to play as many board games as B wants this weekend. I'll hear many refrains of "Daddy, what color be?"

I got my knitpicks order last night. Be prepared for more yarn dyeing over the weekend. I'm very curious to see how the superwash/nylon blend takes up my food color.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

did I mention?

Did I mention that I made great progress on Hubby's aran? Front is done (completed it Tuesday watching TV). Sleeve 1 is through 1 and 1/2 repeats. But I have to rip back an indetermined amount. See the right side has 2 fewer increases than it should but the left side has 2 too many. And I don't know where I effed up. Have to go back to someplace where they match!

Hey, look a post with a picture, or two

Just for Rae, here's '80s watermelon and it's companion Crockett's t-shirts. I can't wait to play more with these neon dyes. Not sure I need too many pairs of neon socks, but there are always hats and gloves and mittens, right?

We had a good trip to VT. My favorite part? Someone else playing Hi-Ho Cherry-O and CandyLand with the B.

My second favorite part? Seeing Dad wear his Kirk every single day we were there. He absolutely adores it and I imagine he'll completely wear it out.
It's the best zipper install I've ever done. It's a little small for him, but I wasn't expecting him to wear it over a sweatshirt, and he's put on a few pounds since he's been home on disability (neck injury leading to some nerve issues).
Just a quick FO report. Kirk from Rowan 36, knit in Zucchini Polar. I used about 7 skeins. Followed the pattern to the letter (including needle size), except I may have shortened it a bit (Dad's shorter than me).
I'm doing better. The meds have kicked in. So far, I've had some minor itching and hives, but I think daily Claritin is keeping it down. Hubby keeps pushing me to stop taking the fluoxetine and get something else from the doctor. I don't want to go back to where I was a few weeks ago. Just ask B how much easier it is to deal with mommy lately.

Friday, February 16, 2007

weekend plans

I didn't knit much after I got home yesterday. My evening was spent finally putting the zipper in Dad's Kirk. I'll try to get a pic of him in it to post. We're heading up to VT tomorrow and staying through Tuesday. Crazy, right? Fortunately where Mom and Dad are, they only got 15" of snow, whereas a lot of the Champlain Valley got 2 feet and where my grandfather lives (about 30 mi east), they're registering 30". Yesterday, they had a forecasted high of 5° farenheit. Fortunately, they know how to handle snow up there so all the roads will be cleared by the time we get there tomorrow. (Although, hubby wouldn't mind the opportunity to use the 4WD on the H3.)

I'm very excited to see my family. The one regret of my life is that VT and NJ are so far a part. I can't wait to tell Billy in the morning that we're going to go see his Nanny and Grampy. That we're going to Nanny's house. I haven't told him yet because he'll ask nonstop about going to Nanny's house.

I've got knitting at lunch today, so I hope to hit the armhole shaping on the front of Hubby's Green Aran (only about 10 rows to go). I'm still planning to have the front finished before we come back. I'll have 2 weeks to knit the sleeves. I can't remember if I started the armhole shaping at row 7 of repeat 4 or later in the repeat. I forgot the back at home (it's too large to carry both pieces all the time) and Molly chewed up my original notes. Oh well, if I get to row 7 today before I get home, I'll just put it aside and cast on the sleeves.

I don't know if I'll have much time after B goes to bed to work on the aran tonight, though. I need to pack for the weekend and part of me thinks I should do a load of laundry, too. I have to remember to pack the full array of DVDs for the 6 hr ride up. Oh, and we should bring B's favorite board games. I think he'd be bereft if he had to go four days without CandyLand.

We had a better morning this morning. He still didn't want to put on a coat, but there was less carrying on in general.

Polaroid rocks. They sent me a new camera. They determined the old one was defective. Woot! I'm so happy to have it back. I told Hubby again it was great he was able to find the receipt.

If the light is good when we get back Tuesday, I'll take a pic of the sock yarn I dyed. And I'll post it for you.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

a little retail therapy

What a crappy morning.

B was fine about getting up and getting dressed. But he didn't want to stop playing. I had to wrestle to get his coat on and then wrestle him into the car (he was double upset because we wouldn't let him bring a matchbox truck to school). I angrily informed hubby that I was not going to assist in drop off, even though B was still crying in the back seat. I helped with that on Monday and it didn't help (we still had to leave him screaming for us) and was late for work.

I rushed to get onto the bus and then spent over an hour and a half sitting on it! 495 to the tunnel was a nightmare this morning. So, not only did I upset my husband by bailing on him (but really, he needs to grow a set and step up to this parenting thing), I got in even later than if I'd helped him and taken the train in.

I did get over 10 rows of the aran done on the bus.

Poor hubby, not only does he get snappy me, B refused to change out of his boots and the asst. director got on him for "disturbing the whole school."

I just bougth some KnitPicks Bare. All sock yarn for dyeing, including some silk blend. I had so much fun with the two skeins yesterday, I decided I needed to stock up. I'll post some pics once the two skeins are dried and hanked. One is totally '80s watermelon, but I haven't decided on a name for the second color way.

Quick LOST note: You'll win me back with episodes like last nights, esp. with the emphasis on Desmond!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

snow, er, ice day pictures

Since B and I are home for the day, you get pics. Daycare called at 8 pm last night to let us know they would not be opening today. Nice of them, huh? I got to stay in bed until 6:40 on a workday, without a migraine!
This is my new sock yarn. The pinkish stuff on the right was supposed to be orange and red for B. I'll see what the colors look like knitted up. The top is Yankees Ikat from Dave Daniels's Cabin Cove. I love the feel of this merino/nylon blend. Not to mention the color is perfect. Underneath all of that is some KnitPicks bare fingering merino. I'm dying to dye it with some NEON food color I bought a while back; naptime here I come. (My knitpicks order was EZ's Knitting Around, an orange chibi, and some needles.)

This is the progress on Hubby's aran. I'm on row 18 of 28 for the second repeat. Must knit during my conference calls today (hey, work doesn't stop just because I can't go into the city today).

Better morning today, because, of course, there were no arguments about dressing the boy. Why argue about it when there's no deadline?

I think I'm getting my poloaroid back today. I got a ship notification from a company I don't know and I haven't ordered anything. I hope it works!

Happy Valentine's day! May you be with your loved ones today.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

giant sucking sound

So, apparently B's been mouthing off to the ladies at school (saying No and having tantrums). We're supposed to "talk to him" about respecting adults. Like that's going to do any good. I realize that his behavior is probably no worse than any other kid's but he's usually so sweet and happy that it's very noticeable when he becomes Mr. CrankyPants.

Just what I need on top of the gravitational pull of being unmedicated for nearly three months. That giant sucking sound is not NAFTA taking jobs away. It's the black hole pulling at me. I am doing a littel experiment. I started taking my meds again. I think it will be a few days before we see any therapeutic benefit or the itchy, hivey wonder reappears. I really, really should call my doctor and insist he give me another SSRI. But, I'm taking the path of least resistance.

Things are not all bad. Last night a good friend came by for dinner. He came with bread, cookies, and a gift of new cars for B. He had fun playing games with Hubby and B (let's not discuss the resentment of me doing all the work for dinner while they played CandyLand). Apparently, B had fun too. Not only did he take one of the new cars to bed with him, he asked where Ted was this morning when he woke up.

Another good thing. I got some Cabin Cove sock yarn in the mail. This is my first skein of Dave's sock yarn and it is so silky soft and the colors are wow! I was going to take a picture of it and the sock yarn I bought for B and some naked yarn I got from KnitPicks, but decided to not bother since I can't post them from here.

I am so ready for a snow day tomorrow, if we get one.

Monday, February 12, 2007

someone bail me out

I'm using my get out of jail free card. Last week the numbers on that awesome calmer auction seriously started to dwindle. By the time I dragged my sorry behind out of bed Friday, she was down to 77 skeins. Shortly thereafter, she was down to 62. I bought 15. I hope to have them later this week.

Now, to keep myself from buying any more yarn until the end of September, I'm making myself a promise. I will try with all my might to make it to Rhinebeck this year and to make sure I have some money to spend, I'm putting $10 away each week I go without buying yarn. That's 36 weeks. Think I could do some damage with $360.

Gotta go update my ticker....

Bad case of the Mondays

Billy was not in the mood to get dressed and go to school. He wanted to stay in his PJs and play with his toys. I can't really blame him, but if mommy wants to get paid, mommy has to go to the office.

He was a right pill up until the moment we left him screaming at daycare. Well, he was fine and dandy when he was playing trains. But a right pill when I was trying to dress him and get his coat on and put him in the car...

However, after wrestling with Mr. B, Super Three, these office headaches will be a trifle, I'm sure.

Speaking of headaches, I had the mother of all migraine auras on Thursday, after B went to bed. We started with persistent after images of our diningroom chandelier, progressed through empty spots in my field of vision, became a sizzling line in one eye (my usual aura), and as I was trying to fall asleep, became one long string of holographic, multi-colored shimmering triangles around my entire left eye's field of vision (except my eyes were closed). Fortunately, the barbituates were taken at about stage two and the pain never came. I was, however, completely useless all day on Friday, until about 2 pm. I do actually enjoy watching the aura as long as there is no pain or nausea. It can be really trippy even when it's not as extensive as this last one.

I did manage to finish the back of Hubby's aran on the way home Thursday. I'm nearly finished the first repeat on the front. I think I'm still on track.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Thanks for the supportive comments on the potty thing. It's hard not to feel a little insecure in your decisions when a person of authority implies you're doing something wrong. But, I just know my B and if I push it, he's going to push back. The kid's surprisingly easy going much of the time (especially if there are other kids to go along with), but once he makes up his mind, there's no changing it.

I swear, I'm raising my sister all over again! From the time I was 12 and she was 7, I was responsible for getting both of my sisters up for school and watching them after school until my parents got home from work. In the summer, it was a 40 hour a week job. The youngest made it so much work. She was the most stubborn kid. So hard to get out of bed, difficult about hygeine (at 8 she nearly had dreadlocks), and you'd never change her mind once it was made up. One time, I purposefully gave her the wrong answer for a question on her math homework (because helping her meant doing it for her), and she went around for weeks giving that answer even though I had immediately corrected it the first time.

He's got her eye color (that blue/green/silver depending on what they're wearing eye color) and the same birthmark/mole on the right thigh. He does adore her and she him. Makes me wonder if my sis and I are more alike than I'd thought.

Alert the knitting media, I'm 4 rows from finishing the back of the green aran. I will be casting on for the front by tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

It'll happen

I'm not going to stress over the toilet-learning thing. Rae had some great suggestions, but I'm only with him 2 1/2 hours most days and daycare's got 18 little 3 YOs. I think I'll wait until he's ready and let him do it himself. It will happen some day. He's not going to want to wear a diaper forever. Right? (I still may try the feel and learn, just to see.)

The back of the green aran is rapidly decreasing. I'm onto the set of decreases that subtract 4 stitches each row. I should be done with the end of the sixth pattern repeat. I want to cast on for the front tomorrow and have that done by the time we get back from Vermont (2/20). That will leave me with two weeks for sleeves. I figure I can seam up in the car on the way down to AC for the parade (just need to wash and block before we pack up).

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

thinking out loud

Project Spectrum Plans:

Blue, White, Gray
Finish Blue Bounce
White, Gray Seagull sweater

Green, Yellow, Pink
Pink Icarus
Green (koigu) Lace leaf shawl

Red, Black, Metallics
Pinwheel in Red Silk Garden and Black Silkroad Aran

Brown, Orange, Purple
M-i-L’s beige sweater

2' 1"

That is how much height separates my three year-old child from me. Billy measured in at 3' 3" at yesterday's physical. He weighed in at 38 lbs. (When do you reach an age that it is appropriate to weigh more than your height in inches?)

All in all it was a good appointment. We had an issue with the insurance, but that's always the way. Dave was able to straighten it out. Nice to have a spouse in the biz.

B didn't need any shots, which was nice. He's hit all of his major milestones, including shocking mommy by knowing he's a boy and not a girl (although, when he sees me potty he tries to find my p*nis). The only things she wants us to focus on are potty training (she seemed a bit disdainful that he's still in a diaper) and circle drawing.

Question for mom's who've successfully accomplished toilet learning: how do you get a kid to potty when he doesn't want to be on the potty? When do I start to worry? We've been pretty low-key about it. I figure you can't force him to go if he won't and we don't have the time to sit him on the potty until he does. Sometimes the mess and wet do bother him, a lot of the time it doesn't. Should I move him to the feel and learn diapers?

I'm not worried about the writing thing. I know they practice that a lot at school.

The green aran is well past the armhole shaping. Although, it's going to be a while before the back is finished. This knit blogging thing is really boring without pictures. I need to start blogging from home.

Monday, February 05, 2007

to sum up

I baked this weekend. I played lots of board games. Did a little housework. And I knitted.

B really enjoyed his Birthday on Friday and Saturday. His lead caregiver gave him a paper crown which he wore to whitecastle for dinner (he gets to have a cheeseburger and chicken rings since the burgers are small, Hubby and I wind up eating what's left) and to bed Friday night. He enjoyed his presents, especially his new Thomas trains and his play dough doggie doctor set (guess who gets to do most of the work with the play dough. I love the trains because it's one thing at which he plays completely independently, so much so we are not allowed to touch them). Saturday we had dinner and cake and presents with M-i-L. Not too many new toys.

I've finally reached the raglan shaping on Hubby's green aran. Or I will once I pick it up today. First two rows are the bind X stitches and then we decrease and decrease and decrease.

Last week was not a good one for me. I was not in a great place emotionally. I'm better today, but I'm also not playing the 10th round of Farm bingo. For some reason, and I want to chalk it up to exhaustion, I couldn't enjoy playing with B and I had no patience for his fussing. Until Saturday. Saturday we were able to let him tantrum himself out over things.

M-i-L saved the morning for us today. She gave B a new coat for his birthday. And without even being prompted, on this the coldest day I've ever had in NJ, he said he wanted to wear it. I sure hope this doesn't mean he needs a NEW coat everyday!

I'm going to try to edit or post again this evening to add pictures. I moved offices and now have windows and natural light again for better blog pictures!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Groundhog day is special in our house

It's B's birthday (and after 14 hours in labor, no build-up just water breaking at midnight, I felt like I was in the movie, I mean 2 epidurals?)!