my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hard work pays off

That time I spent back in November planting the daffodil bulbs payed off.

Here's what my raised bed looks like now.

Hubby had been giving me a running count of the number of blooms. I figured I needed to check last night.

Billy thought that taking pictures of flowers looked like fun so he went into the house and brought out his own camera. I took some pictures of him taking pictures, but blogger's decided you're only getting the daffodils.

In other news, I've got a killer of a cold. At first I thought it was allergies, yesterday was the first High tree pollen day. But, it's definitely the cold Hubby had this weekend. Fortunately, I feel more awake today than yesterday. That means I may actually knit tonight on the bus home instead of sleeping. I was in bed 20 minutes after B last night.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

dye, baby dye

So, I was a bit busy with the dye pot last weekend. Friday night, I tried to do a three shade of blue pooler in three bowls. Didn't quite work (remember, lay off on the vinegar with the superwash or stir, stir, stir). Also, probably not a good idea to dye when Hubby is working late, I'm cooking and B is still 3 and awake. Doesn't lead to much stirring.

Saturday, I tried again to make a three shade blue pooler. This time, into the crockpot, no vinegar, and a gradiated dye. Again, not so much with the luck. I've got three shades of blue and it will probably pool if knitted back and forth (the whole point having been inspired by this post of Fathom Harvill's, although 440 yards of fingering probably isn't enough for a scarf, right?).

I've also been wanting to do an Easter basket dye with all my favorite Easter colors (or their closest NEON variation). This time I was going to hand paint. I used so much vinegar in the hot water that I mixed the colors in that I really didn't need to cook it to set it! That was fun. Although, my planning out of the color sequence was not so great.

Again, I didn't plan the timing of the activity so well either. Hubby brought B home earlier than expected during the dip dye of the blue and he came home during nap mid-way through the Easter basket pour. (He relieved me of Mommy duty so I could go shopping; bonus = new clothes, not just new yarn.)

So, here's a pic of my last five efforts. From L-R, Barbie goes Boca, an orange-y pink dip dye that was supposed to be gradiated. I made a slightly longer skein for this one. Next to that is Shamrock Sunday. I made a 14' skein for that one and it was supposed to be my green gradiated dip dye (got some great tips on how to better do that from Julie's last Knitty article). Next is Easter Basket (Hubby thinks it should be called Woodstock). Then Partly Cloudy my first attempt at a blue pooler. Last is Easy Blues, the other attempt at a blue pooler.

I am now out of sock yarn for dyeing. Must go order more.

In other news, I'm working on the border for the garter stitch baby blanket. Must go look up garter stitch mitres.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

complete and utter liar

So, that whole Knit from your stash thing has bitten the dust. I knew if I bought that Calmer in February I'd lose it. Who uses their get out of jail free card in February? So then, I bought the yarn for B's 2008 Atrick's Day sweater. And now, I'm going nuts on eBay. I'm getting 10 sks of Rowan Spun Aran in Gables (pretty red) and 10 skeins of Polar in dark truffle (mmmmmm, chocolate).

I have no resolve. I have a large bonus check and no will power.

I'm going to try to keep the stashing to once a month. But, we'll see about that.

Friday, March 23, 2007

guess who

So, my friend and I are heading out to lunch today and when the elevator stops at the 3rd floor I think that the blonde woman getting on looks a lot like Jayme the wonder publicist. Well, it was. Guess who followed her onto the elevator!

Guess who didn't say anything.

My excuse is that my friend was talking and I didn't want to interrupt her (although I couldn't tell you what she said because my brain was all THAT'S THE HARLOT, STEPHANIE PEARL-MCPHEE IS IN THE SAME ELEVATOR AS ME!!! SQUEEE!). And I didn't want to be the dork.

Wish I'd worn a handknit today. She would have sensed that I was one of her kind.

The Harlot at FIT

I felt like a huge dork going to the Harlot's talk by myself last night. Hubby rightly pointed out that I should have talked to my lunch ladies about going, but I was very shy and nervous about it. Still, even sitting by myself, surrounded by knitters in packs, flocks, herds, I felt I was with my people. The auditorium held 750, and there were at least 650 people there.

I was tenth row center, and should have picked a closer seat so I could share better pics.

Steph is even funnier in person. You get to see her gestures and facial expressions. She's a great speaker. Her speech was about muggles and how they try to thwart knitters. Very funny. I cried.

She wore her finished Bohus Guld, which was gorgeous, even from ten rows away.

Joe surprised her by flying in with his mom. I've got a really horrible pic of Stephanie leaning down to kiss him. (Is it strange that I refer to someone I've briefly met once, but read everyday, by her first name as if I know her?)

I was so high on laughing and wool fumes (the Craft Yarn Council gave everyone a skein and needles to do a square for Warm Up America), I floated up to Penn Station for the train ride home.

I was fortunate enough to get a signed copy of the book. Apparently, they sold out of the ones she'd pre-signed and there was no time for signing afterward. Q&A ran to almost 8:30.

What a great time!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Guess what I forgot at home

I finished my represent hat the other day (Monday, I think). As you can see, there is patterning. I re-worked my favorite slip-stitch rib with the wrong side out so I was knitting, instead of purling in the round. Turn it inside out when done and whoop! finished hat.
Of course, instead of coming with me tonight to see the Harlot, it's sitting on my dresser. I realized this as my bus was travelling through Hillside. I thought last night when I was getting ready for bed "I should go downstairs and put that in my bag. Naah, I'll do it in the morning." And then this morning I was getting dressed I thought "I have to remember to bring that downstairs with me." Of course, I forgot. But, I remembered while eating my raisin bran and I thought "I have to remember to bring that downstairs when I go get the B." But, of course I forgot all about it until the bus was in Hillside and it will stay on my dresser until I can mail it to one of the other events.
Represent was knitted with 1 skein of Rowan Tapestry in the Potpourri colorway on US 6 dpns.
I'm still very excited to see the Harlot tonight and to buy the next book. I even dug out an old SIP to bring with me. The first sock of the second pair of beaded rib anklets. The should be good company on the line.
I've been quiet this week. I stayed home sick on Tuesday (little stomach bug) and had no time to blog yesterday. I'm feeling more caught up today, but I think that's a trick of my mind (I haven't looked at my to do list in a while).

Monday, March 19, 2007

future knitting

So, for Billy's green St. Patrick's Day aran, I present: Laurie, from Knitting Hearland by Jo Sharp. I've got 8 balls of mille fille fine which equals 10.2 balls of the called for yarn (Jo Sharp 8Ply DK wool). Mille Fille is suggested at 21 st/inch while the DK wool is 22.3 st/inch. I hope I'll be okay.

Represent, and more color

So, I didn't dye on Saturday. I wound up organizing the living room. Trying to get more toys out of sight. We really need to do a purge.

I did do some dyeing on Sunday, but no pics yet. My green gradiated dye didn't work as well as I had wanted it too. I set my intervals too long on the first segments and wound up having to add more dye which meant the later segments don't fade so nicely. I did however walk 400+ yards setting up a 14' skein.

When seeing me set up that skein around the dining room chairs, Hubby again asked why I can't just buy colored yarn.

I did do a 6' gradiation in pinky-orange. I think the intervals on that one were too short at first. The first two segments aren't quite as far apart as I wanted them to be.

I did take some pics in Sunday's sun of my previous experiments. L-R: Wool and silk blend in pink and orange (used cherry and orange kool-aid plus food coloring); Vegas sunset (NEON colors over superwash/nulon blend), and the most perfect shade of green ever (NEON colors at less saturation, over KnitPicks Donegal superwash).

I also started my REPRESENT hat (the in-laws will be picking up B for Hubby, he just can't get home early enough, and they'll have pizza dinner, and Hubby will put B to bed). I was going to use Cork in Delight (aka Cheetos), but saw a lonely skein of Rowan Tapestry in my craft-stash room/office. I had bought it to swatch with because it just looked so nice. Hmm, I thought. That would make a lovely hat. Looks pretty boring now, but there will be magic when I'm done. Magic, I tell you. It's been slow going. I couldn't find a small US6 circ, so I've done the whole thing on DPNs.

As for the B, he loved Atrick's Day. Once he got over that although we had cake, we weren't having a birthday party so there would be now Happy Birthday singing. I tried to get him to join me in Danny Boy, but he wasn't interested. Now, whenever he sees a shamrock, he says Happy Atrick's Day.

Friday, March 16, 2007

letter y show tell

Hubby agreed to stay home or to go home early if needed. He'd like to watch the NCAA tournament. I've got to show someone how to estimate costs. Lucky me. Rae mentions stuff is closed by her. Nope, our school district is open for business. The rain/sleet just turned to snow outside my office.

But, since the weather was winterish this morning, B wore his new hat to school. I took a couple of pics in the car this morning.

This one is him looking unsure about taking pics in the big red truck. Can't really see the hat too well, but doesn't he look cute?

This one shows the hat better, but he's crying because I wouldn't let him have my camera. Besides the fact that "me see it" is not the appropriate way to ask for something, he ain't getting the new camera. I went through the broken camera thing once, I'll prevent it to the last.
The letter of the week has been "Y." Guess what Billy brought for show and tell. He's very into show and tell and since he's been student of the week, he's brought a couple of things already. Friday, is class-wide show and tell, though. We were trying all week to think of Y words. Well, duh, he brought in a ball of Rowan Cork.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

siren call of

I couldn't resist.

I just ordered 8 balls of MilleFille Fine in Kelly green and a pattern book to knit Billy his own St. Paddy's day aran.

So much for not stashing in 2007.


I think I want it to really snow tonight and tomorrow. I think I really want daycare to be closed tomorrow (or at least close early). I really, really want to take the day off. Shh, I know I took a day off last week, but I want stay home. I could take a vacation day, but having the last minute excuse of a big snow would be more fun.

Of course, I'd probably be more than ready to come back to work on Monday. What we think we want doesn't always work out to what we really want. You know? And three day weekends with the B can drive one a bit round the bend.

Poor kid. Mommy was very cranky last night. I'm all hormonal and people at work are not being nice (hanging me out to dry with the VP is not cool). So, we started off on a wrong foot. Then he all flipped out about the 8 being broken in Chicka Chicka 123. See all the numbers fall out of the tree and 8 has a visible tear in one of the pages. He wanted to get some scotch tape to fix it. I showed him that 8 has a cool green band-aid on the next two pages and is all fixed on the end papers, but that wasn't enough for him. Nice that he's so empathetic. I hope he remembers that the next time he kicks me when I'm trying to get him to do something he doesn't want to do. Or the inadvertent head to the throat the other night, that was fun. (He was trying to hug me, get me to save him from THE CLAW.)

We had a better morning this morning. I need to find patience for him everyday and not just when I'm in a good mood. And when I'm frustrated and impatient? I need to turn it down to about a 6. 11 is way too much.

Didn't knit much last night. I parked my butt with a beer (or two) and some popcorn.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

now you're really going to be bored

I took a picture of my lunch. See, I try to bring in a frozen "diet" entree everyday. I also try to eat that and not go out for lunch. I'm not really on a diet, but I'm too lazy to make a sandwich everyday and we stock up when they're on sale. It really helps the wallet if I'm not spending $10 everyday for lunch.

I usually don't bitch about the meals, too much. Yes, they're going to be smaller than the sandwich from the deli around the corner, but it's healthier and cheaper.

However, the discrepancy between the picture on the box and the actual meal caught my eye today. I realize that these companies use "food wranglers" to make the meals look attractive. But, I could have used Ace Rothstein today*.

I got one lousy carrot in my meal. I saved it, and the two biggest pieces of meat for last.
*Remember the scene in Casino where De Niro as Rothstein tells the chef that every blueberry muffin should have the same number of blueberries. Yeah, that, but with the carrots.

Bored, yet?

I didn't get a picture of B in his hat. It was too nice to make him wear a hat or coat last night. After we got home we sat outside yesterday and played bubbles until Hubby came home. B was such a good helper yesterday, washing tables and putting away chairs, that he got a new mini-bottle of bubbles from the lead teacher. He got some Thomas stickers, too.

I'm averaging about 5" a day on the garter stitch blanket. Three more days or so and the body will be done. I'm getting a bit bored with it. I bet you're getting bored with looking at the pictures, too. Especially since I don't have any yarn to pose with it today.

I do have some thoughts on what I'm going to dye next. I'm going to fire up my crockpot on Saturday for a special St. Paddy's day dye. Yes, I'm crazy to plan an extended dye session when I need to clean (in-laws coming over for dinner) and hubby's going to be all in the kitchen cooking. But, I haven't dyed in nearly two weeks and since I didn't knit anything for myself for St. Paddy's, I want to dye something. I'm going to do some of the prep work early. It's going to require an extra long skein, so that will happen one night this week.

I've also got another dye idea in mind, prompted by a blog post I read yesterday. I might wait and do that one on Sunday.

I really want to start a sweater for me. I was thinking ChicKnits' Ariann in some white Saucy worsted. I've already done the math to upsize the pattern. Now, I just need to find the yarn and get the needles together. Or, I could start on the sweater I want to knit with that Calmer I bought a month ago. Then again, I have B's sweater to finish, socks in progress to find and work on, and a vest for me that I haven't mentioned that's stuck at the waist shaping. Oh, and mom's dishclothes and a hat I started way back when. Hrmm. Perhaps I shouldn't cast on anything new.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

baby blankets and sock yarn

I've got a spoiler in this post, if I can post pictures. Andrea may not want to read very far.

Thanks so much for the compliments on Hubby's sweater. Susan, he really liked the color (amazing how well it matched his t-shirt), but was mostly happy with the price of the yarn. Me, I'm not planning any cables with worsted cotton again anytime soon. No lasting damage, but it was tiring on the wrists.

Rae, I'll see if I can get a picture of the completed Billy socks. They're in his hamper right now. I'm a bit miffed that he's not wearing them into the ground like his jacko'lantern socks. The blanket is just garter stitch. I cast on about 122 stitches and have been doing one row in each of three colors. (The yarn is a melange from light to dark so it might look like more than three colors.) It's a pretty boring knit, but that's what I want right now! When I'm ready to read a chart again, I have to do the duplicate stitching on B's bounce.

So, I've got over 10" done on the blanket and have just started the second ball of each color. I'm going to have a nice 30 x 32 blanket even without a border.

I knit up a quick hat for Billy Saturday while Hubby played in a poker tournament (I like the Showboat, they have nice seats outside the poker room). I got a little bit of attention from passersby. Since it's going to be 60° today, B saw the completed hat on the table this morning and had to wear it. I wanted to take a picture, but he was way too cranky. I'll try to get one tonight. Just a basic round hat with a garter stitch brim.

As for that pic, here's the blanket with the hand-dyed I'm sending to Andrea today for winning my little contest last week. It makes me think of Irises.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Hubby's Aran was finished Thursday night. He thinks it's a little short. I think it would be perfect if he wore his waistband closer to his waist! Here he is at the AC St. Patrick's Day Parade on the boardwalk. He wore it all weekend, just like he said he would.

Details: Pattern is from Patons Aran Style. I knit it up in Bernat Handicrafter cotton (emerald). I got the yarn at Herrschner's last year for ¢77 a ball. Hubby thinks I shouldn't use any other yarn. I used US 6s and 8s. I started it last May as my green project spectrum project and it languished for about eight months. The only mods were to make the body a little shorter. Looking back, I should have knit to the pattern. I'm really glad that's done! I'm not planning to knit any cables or anything from a chart for a while. Here's a detail of the back.

Since that is done, and I also finished Billy's socks (which he's wearing today), I started a baby blanket yesterday. I decided I didn't like the diagonal stripe I had going on. So, plain garter stitch it is. I'm working it in three colors, one row each color. I'm carrying the yarn up the sides. I really like it so far. I have to more it to a longer cord. I can't measure it right now. I'd planned 30" but I think it's closer to 36", which means it will be vertical stripes. I've got an idea for a neat edging, if I have enough yarn left over.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

A winner!

Andrea over at Paper Monkey was right, it was "A Clean Well-Lighted Place" by Ernest Hemingway. Generally, I dislike Hemingway, but the nihilistic take on the Lord's Prayer has stuck with me. Send me an e-mail with your address and I'll get the package out to you early next week.

I don't know why, but I always underestimate how long it takes to seam up a sweater. I finished all the seams and wove in the remaining ends on Hubby's Green Aran. I'll get the neckband in tonight (along with packing and giving the dog a shower). I've got a pic, but I can't post it right now.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Seaming party chez Netter tonight

I'll be seaming up hubby's aran tonight. I haven't washed or blocked it, but it's 100% cotton. I don't know if a block is necessary. Most of the edges are seed stitch, so not much roll to account for. I did weave in all ends last night so I could put it in the washer, but didn't finish until 11. By then, I was ready for bed!

I brought these with me instead. I finished the gusset on the second heel this morning. I'd like to get them done tonight. That will be one more WIP off my list.
Not much response to my contest. I guess it was harder than I thought (either that or neon socks aren't that popular). I'll extend the deadline if I don't get many more responses today. One hint: macho American fiction.
I haven't taken any pics of Sunday's dye extravaganza. B and I went to Target last night. Hubby and I needed new sheets and a new quilt (we've had the same comforter on our bed for 11 years).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

our nada who art in nada*

How can someone who was humming an hour and a half ago be totally bereft of something to say?

I'm less than 48 rows from the finish of sleeve 2. I will have it done tonight. I hope I can get it washed and laid out tonight, too. We shall see.

No pictures again today.

*Little contest. This one might be too easy. Where is the above line from? Skein of my hand dyed sock yarn to the first person to get it right (either via comments or e-mail). If no one gets it right, I'll do a random, but I think someone will get it. Entries close tomorrow at midnight.

Monday, March 05, 2007


You know you use a word too much when you hear it coming out of your kid's mouth. Billy's taken to answering questions with "sure." Well, when he answers in the affirmative.

I didn't realize I'd used it with him so much until he started saying it back to me.

Thing is, I broke Hubby of saying "sure" years ago. Of course, whenever he said it, it sounded patronizing and condescending. Now, he'll catch himself and it sounds like "shu, yes!"

structure is as structure does

Thanks Amy and Rae for your comments on Friday (oh, and did you read Rae's post about getting the yarn? My head, she grows). I agree with Amy that a heavily structured day probably isn't the best fit for Mr. 3, but most of the places offering fulldays around here think that they're prepping for Harvard.

I've spoken with B a couple of times about what is expected of him, and he seems to be retaining it. This morning he told me he needs to "coperate" with the teachers and he seems much happier about going than he had been for a while. I'm beginning to think he's just been moody, but we'll find out on Friday when we have our sitdown at the center.

Gee, Friday's going to be fun. Meeting with the teacher and then we do our taxes! Hubby thinks we're going to owe since one of his three jobs from last year wasn't taking the 401K contributions the whole time. I'm so going to need lunch at the Irish Pub in AC, with a Guiness, or two.

The weekend was nice, I didn't knit too much on the Aran. I'm just about done repeat 4 and will be starting the raglan decreases. I must get the knitting done tomorrow so I can have Weds and Thurs for seaming and neckband. I did knit a bit on Billy's indigo gold socks on Saturday. I went for a hair cut and spent three hours in the salon (1.5 waiting, it's a walk-in place and 1/5 in the chair). That morning we'd gone to the zoo. B was very happy to see the animals. It was all he talked about yesterday. During nap yesterday, I did more dyeing (had to make room for my next knitpicks order, made Friday). I'm very happy with the results. I'll try to get some pics to share.

Rae, the yarn's Knitpicks superwash and nylon. I really like the feel of it, too!

Friday, March 02, 2007

of arans and little boys

Here are the biggest sleeves ever. Seriously, why are they so darn wide? I've finished two complete repeats. Two more and I start the raglan shaping. It's all downhill from there. I think I'm right on track to finish by next Friday. I'd show you, but I've used up my blogger picture posting rations for the week. Ha! I got it to work. Ironic, thought that the pic is so small!

I have to call Billy's lead teacher (which is a bit of a misnomer). We got progress reports last night. And, although he's doing well in most of his "academic" and motor skills (we have to work on drawing circles and the potty), he's not doing well with the emotional and social skills. Seems he's still throwing tantrums and being rude to the teachers (yelling back at the mostly). He's disturbing everyone else's naptime (gee, his not sleeping during the day explains why he's so bratty at night) and, most worrisome, he's not sharing and has started hitting and pushing his classmates. So, we have to come in to speak with her. I spoke with him a couple of times last night and twice this morning about sharing and cooperating with his teachers, blah blah blah.

I know I'm his mom and I bear responsibility for this situation, but short of lecturing the three-year-old, how am I supposed to address this situation? I'm never with him in a room with 18 other kids (Hubby gives them the benefit of the doubt that not all kids assigned to the room are there all the time). If he talks back to me, I sit him in a chair and leave him. My options are very different from what they have at school and if he's disruptive at home? He's only disturbing me and Hubby.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pawn this off on them, I just don't know what to do. I don't know what effect my unmedicated state has had on his behavior at school or Hubby's working late so much.

Part of me doesn't want him to be some little stepford child always blindly doing what the authorities tell him to do. But, then again, he's only 3 and doesn't know how to make good choices all the time.

Fortunately, Hubby's so wrung out about work, he couldn't get into his normal over-reaction frenzy about this last night.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I love .... cake

Thanks for the love on Rae's 80s cake. I hope it knits up as nicely as it looks in the ball.

I brought Orange Crush with me so I could take a few pics. I've got these huge windows now with northern exposure and I think the lighting is good for these kinds of macro shots. Someday, I'll grow up and use a light tent. I did have to adjust the color a skosh. It was a little too yellow.

Now, it's looking too pink to me. But, this is a hard color to capture and describe precisely because I wanted a mish-mash of orange and pink.

I didn't do too much knitting last night on Hubby's aran, but I'm 17 28ths through the first repeat.

The consensus at home is that I have to knit Billy his own orange hat. He's taken a liking to my orange swirl and Hubby thinks it's a little girls. Good thing I still have some Cork in Cheetos! I might try to bang that out this weekend before it gets cold again.

I was a real cranky pants this morning, but surprisingly we had a good morning at home. Well, once I let Billy wear his shirt backwards. See, it's got a large 8 on the back and he wanted to be able to see it (nevermind the small 8 on the front). Yep, I'm a lazy mom.