my life as a crocheter & knitter & working mom

Friday, June 29, 2007

seeing stripes

Progress on Baby H's blanket. I would be a lot further along if I'd crocheted the entire 2 hour bus ride of my three hour commute yesterday morning, but I napped for some of it.

B wore his sweater to school again. And he knows to say "Mommy made it" when asked where he got it.

Have a great weekend everybody.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bounced an FO

Whatever could make a child so happy? Could it be his mommy finally finished his baseball sweater?

Yes, she did. And she even let him wear it to school today! Sweater details, Bounce from Miss B's Seaside, knitted in Twilley's Denim Freedom medium blue and ecru. I knitted the largest size and as you can see, B will shortly be outgrowing it. My main mods were the yarns (pattern calls for Rowan Denim) and to duplicate stitch the balls in red, instead of doing them in blue along with the main pieces. Oh, and the underarm gussets, which I neglected to photograph. The width is great, but the kids got a super long torso and arms.

What a good little model. When mommy asked him to show the back of the sweater, he turned right around.

I started this in December, I think. It was mostly knit up in January and lingered forever as I procrastinated the duplicate stitching and end weaving in. It's a great little sweater and I'm sure B will wear it to death. I do need to fix one of the side seams, somehow I cut the yarn without weaving in the end and it's separating. Oopsie!

Thanks for the compliments on the shawl. It was a great knit.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Spring Things FO

Cookie, I knit my Cabin Cove yarn (I have a skein of Yankees Ikat to be a pair of socks once they stop sucking so much, kidding, I'm not a bandwagon fan).
I finished the shawl a while ago but didn't get around to blocking it until this past Sunday. The pattern is Spring Things Shawl from Knitting As Fast As I Can. I don't know what Dave uses as lace weight merino when he dyes, but the yarn was 100% merino and I can't remember the colorway name he gave it either. I knit the shawl on my KnitPicks options size 4 (I think). My only mods were to try to make it BIGGER, to use as much of the yarn as possible. I added extra eyelet rows as directed in the pattern, and an extra repeat of the bottom pattern. I still have a sizeable ball of yarn left and in my spree of picture taking on Sunday, I forgot to include it.

This goofy pic is included to give an idea of size. I could have gone bigger. I'd like it to be deeper, but not necessarily wider. I love it and have no idea when I'll wear it!

I'm hoping to FO bounce tonight. It's all seamed but for one underarm gusset, which I've lost. I'm taking care of that on the way home tonight (knitting a new one from the swatch I washed). B should be happy. He keeps taking it out of my bag and asking me to fix it. He wasn't bothered by the fact that it wasn't done, he just didn't like the long ends hanging off it.

Monday, June 25, 2007


Thordora tagged me for this meme back on May 31. I’ve been holding off because I thought it would make a good 1000 post.

Your mission: Give these questions a stab in a post, and then tag three more writers. If you don’t mind, please link back to this original entry—we’d LOVE to track the progress of this meme with trackbacks.

1. Go back to first or early post. How would you describe your voice back in those early days? Who were you writing to? What was your sense of audience (if any) back then? This wasn’t my first blog (that one was started and taken down in 2001), so my voice wasn’t quite as raw as it could have been. I started rambling about my experiences crocheting with acrylic and was I defensive. This was in 2003 when knitblogs were really exploding. I didn’t have much of a sense of audience because I didn’t think anyone would bother reading me. I don’t think I really have a voice now. I’m not like the YarnHarlot or Dooce where you could take a snippet of a post and know where it was from.

2. Do you remember when you received your first comment? What was it like? Considering how I obsess about comments now, I didn’t really remember my first one. I do remember the thrill of seeing names of “real” bloggers showing up in my comments.

3. Can you point to a stage where you began to feel that your blog might be part of a conversation? Where you might be part of a larger community of interacting writers? I got a bit of a sense of this with various knitalongs, but more so, like Dora, once I started blogging about my PPD and problems with modern parenting. I now have a small group of people who read me regularly and try very hard to comment or e-mail with them. People don’t leave comments for people who don’t comment.

4. Do you think that this sense of audience or community might have affected the way you began to write. I think in some ways it might influence me, but I try to not cater to any one group. I still use this as my own personal diary and write what I feel like writing (which might be why my comments and readership are low).

I tag Amy Lane, DropStitchKnitter, and Rae (just cause she's not posting).

Speaking of a 1000, we do have a winner!

I assigned numbers 1-9 to the nine entrants. Using a random number generator, our winner is #1, Julie. (Yes, I know it's odd that the generator gave me 1, but there you go.) Please confirm your e-mail address and I'll send the gift certificate later this week.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I'm going to the aquarium on a school field trip tomorrow. In preparation, I dyed my hair last night (the red had gotten way too light for my skin tone and I had really long roots, not to mention some grays popping up) and I've been obsessing about what to wear. The beauty of online friends is that you come into the relationship with shared interests and don't have the opportunity to feel awkward about appearances. (Notice my profile pic doesn't show much of me.) I'm not saying I'm going tomorrow to make friends, but I don't want to be the fat, out-of-date mom who gets her kid ostracized either. (Makes me wonder why I never got the phone number from that mom whose kid asked if B could go over on a playdate.)

Yeah, I know, I should be worried about getting B to wear a blue shirt (all the little ones have to bring personal chaperones and be dressed to match the group) and how I'm going to handle the bus ride.

Tomorrow is also the last day for entering the 1000 posts contests (click the tag for more info if you haven't entered). I've got 8 contestants so far. I'll pick the winner over the weekend and try to get the prize out next week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

sleevie stitchies

I'd much rather spend my commute actually knitting or crocheting, but I'm making great progress with the duplicate stitching. I figure, I should be done tomorrow. Then I can snip ends (I'm trying to weave in as I go along as much as possible) and finish seaming. The sweater got a great reaction from my knitting group last Thursday. Someone even mentioned wanting an adult size.

Thanks for the positive feedback on the blanket. I really like it, although it doesn't scream "BABY BLANKET" to me. But, if they want generic pastel, they can get it at BabiesRUs. I especially like Amy's suggestion of putting fringe on it instead of weaving in the ends! If I didn't have to do a border (my corners always curl without a border), I'd definitely fringe.

Funny Hubby story. The other day we got a delivery attempt notice from the post office about a confirmation required letter. I was wondering why we were getting a letter from a Costello who needed confirmation of delivery. Hubby freaked out worrying that someone was going to sue us. We couldn't think of any reason we'd be sued (no late payments, no accidents, blah blah blah). So, instead of just leaving the notice for redelivery in two days, he had to be late to work yesterday to go down and pick up the letter. The man is obsessive, especially about anything that could be the list bit negative. Anyway, he gets there at 8:20 thinking the window doesn't open until 8:30, but it's been open since 8. And the letter is from someone within 200 ft of our house who needs a variance to build a front porch. Now, this house is behind a house across the street from us. There is no way we will ever see the porch unless we go up the block and make two right turns.

The irony is, he thought, maybe it was a property thing, but since the closest Costello in the phone book wasn't close (nevermind that you won't find anyone with our last name in our town via the phone book), he assumed it couldn't be that.

This is why Netter rarely gets to freak out about anything. I have to hold him together.

Monday, June 18, 2007

one foot in two days

So, I started something new this weekend. Some friends of ours are expecting their first child this summer. You may remember me posting a pic of a box of KnitPicks Shine. Here it is crocheted very simply. Hubby thinks it's very sharp. I'm going to add a border of some sort. Part of me wants to put a row of granny squares in the middle (I was going to do a granny square blanket because the mom has a granny square blanket her grandmother made her that's very special to her, but that's way too much work). Or, I may just do my usual crochet shell pattern. Hubby asked why I was crocheting it instead of knitting, and I said because it's faster. I started it Saturday and I've got over a foot done. Which means I'm about a third of the way through the body.

I think Hubby had a pretty good Father's Day weekend, although we got some sad news on Friday night. One of his college friends has recently been diagnosed with testicular cancer. He's out of the hospital (recuperating from surgery I assume) and will be starting his chemo this week. I don't have many details, that's the way the boys operate, generalities not details.

Saturday was a bit brighter. He golfed with his dad, our pastor, and a friend and hit a hole in one! His first. The rec department is going to send him something to commemorate it and put his name up at the course. He downplays it a bit because it's a short course, but, it still required some luck.

He enjoyed his gifts yesterday (a Dwight Schrute bobble head and a remote meat probe thermometer like Alton recommends) and a mellow afternoon at home. His mom made corned beef and homemade cream puffs for dessert. Not to mention, the Yanks took two of three from the Mets.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Just because Thordora seems so lonely

What the Hell is that Smell?

A blast from the past. My college boyfriend wore Drakkar Noir or Obsession. I still can't smell those things without being transported back to the early 90s and the heady feelings of thinking I was in love with him.

Hubby doesn't wear cologne and has only used Original Green Prell since he was 13. He even wears unscented deoderant. Not so much with the olfactory memories.

Neither of my parents have consistently worn scents, so no big connections there. Although, the smell of cow manure does remind me of growing up in NW VT.

The smell of Huggies Giggles baby wash in Oatmeal reminds me of B and his infancy. So does the smell of disposable diapers. You know, the clean ones right when they come out of the package. I kind of miss the smell of breastmilk poopies.

Gee, me and poop smells. Aren't you glad you stopped by?

Billy says, Happy Flag Day

Mr. B. seems to be backsliding a bit on the potty at home (everyone at school yesterday told Daddy how great he's doing). Methinks his mom needs to ratchet back up the enthusiasm for multiple trips upstairs at home. But, he was very excited to hear that today was Flag Day and insisted on bringing a flag in the car with him.

Here's a tease of the back of bounce. I just realized I missed that partial ball up there. I'm into the third row on the front. We're knitting at lunch so hopefully, I can get the front done today.

My Polaroid still takes pictures, if I use the AF beam to aim. However, it's not fool proof (all the pics I took of Bounce cut off the right side) and I can't adjust any of the settings. But, it's better than nothing until Mom returns my Kodak. I did talk to Polaroid yesterday and it's $80 to get the Polaroid fixed. I'll be sending it out this weekend, after I get paid.

Please do note that if you've knitted scarves for the Red Scarf Project, this year's deadline is in October. The Orphan Foundation will begin accepting scarves September 1 and ask that all scarves be delivered by October 15. They're aiming to send the kids the packages in early winter when a scarf is more useful. They do ask that each knitter send no more than five. I cast on for my first one last night. It's in Patons Classic Merino Red and Filatura di Crosa 501 Tweed in black and white. Pretty nifty looking and perfect for June/July project spectrum (although, it's missing metallics).

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Netter is mean

Last night after we got home from dinner with Hubby's grandparents and parents and B was in bed, I noticed we had two messages on the answering machine.

First message was from Billy's lead teacher. We've had some talks and some notes about the potty training. She suggested buying a reward and placing on the fridge. Which we did, the big orange ball.

So, she wanted to let us know that B's been going on the potty at school and is staying mostly dry for the last three days and she thought he should get the big orange ball (we gave it to him Sunday after 5 pees on the potty). She said we're not trained yet (which I know, still no poops on the potty and he was wet this morning), but we're having success.

I then called down to the basement for Hubby telling him that school had called and that I thought he should come listen to the message. I didn't tell him what it was about. I just kept saying he should listen.

Then he listened. Then he told me I was mean. He thought we were getting bad news. If he'd taken the time to look at my face he would have seen I was trying to not crack up.

I'm so not made for Punk'd.

Second message was a hang up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Yesterday was all about duplicate stitching B's Bounce. I've completed the back and have about 8 balls to complete on the front and 6 on each sleeve. Since I'm making good progress, I'm going to focus on this for a while. I don't think he'll be able to wear it until Fall (maybe indoors if the air conditioning is too much or evenings down the shore), but it should still fit then. I made the biggest size.

I had a minor bummer on the train to Newark last night. I lost one of the needles that came with my chibi. For some reason I sort of flung it off the yarn. I didn't hear it drop (I had head phones on) so no chance of finding it. I hope someone gives it a good home. I really do find that the slanted tips help a great deal in seeming and the duplicate stitchery.

B's still peeing on the potty for me, although we need to really start working on #2. Yucko.

I'm so proud of myself. He intentionally head butted me in the nose this morning and I barely raised my voice. I just put him in immediate time out and sat and watched the stars until I could focus again. He's really pushing the limits on physical play right now and his empathy isn't quite where it needs to be. So far, he thinks it's funny that he hurts me when he pinches (or head butts). He says he doesn't want to hurt me, but he doesn't grasp that those actions do hurt.

I love having a boy, I always wanted a boy, this is what I get.

Monday, June 11, 2007

to the tune of Winnie the Pooh

Billy went Pee
Billy went Pee
Big boy Billy peed on the potty

I think hubby and I were a mite worried that B would stop using the potty all together when we hit the road this weekend. Fears assuaged when he went pee on a strange potty at the half-way mark Friday. Then, he peed at my mom's a few times Saturday (including letting Daddy help him with Mommy nowhere near the potty). Piece de la resistance, he peed at every stop yesterday plus once at mom's. Five pees on the potty. Each time he happily announces "I went pee!"

Still no poops and the pull up still occasionally gets wet. I hope we get an update from school today.

That's not really the highlight of the weekend, I had a lot of fun hanging with my mom and sisters (and their SOs).

I'm glad I got to see my dad, but his situation just depresses the crap out of me. He does nothing but sit in his recliner. He rides a stationary bike or walks on the treadmill for about 15 minutes each day, but this is the man who ran the Boston Marathon, competed in the VT Golden Gloves when I was a kid, kept a vegetable garden bigger than my back yard, barely stopped moving as long as the son was out. It was a gorgeous weekend this weekend and we played outside a lot (even having a bonfire Saturday night), but he step outside more than 10 minutes all weekend.

The killer.... the man who always said sunny days were "golden days" responded to my husband's comment about Sunday being another nice day with it's going to be a nice day with "doesn't really matter."

They're taking him off lyrica and putting him on celexa. Can't happen soon enough. He doesn't think he's depressed (he worries that mom's not handling the situation, but she just started dyeing her hair again), but denial isn't a river in Egypt.

He's got some serious bone deterioration issues in his neck and back that cause excrutiating pain and ridiculous headaches. Just talking too much can cause him a lot of pain, forget moving around. Julie mentioned that anti-depressants are commonly used in low dose in pain management, I need him to get some depression sized doses.

I did find out this weekend that my Meme's (dad's mom) family has a history with depression. Seems dad's meme once pulled a Brittany, chopping off all her scissors with kitchen shears. And Meme's sister is currently deeply depressed. I forgot to thank Meme when I saw her.

Spring Things shawl was bound off on the way home yesterday. Once I find room, I'll block her (pics may be hard to come by, I left my camera in VT).

Thursday, June 07, 2007


My 1000 post will be happening soon (this is post 991).

I want to have a contest.

Tell me about your favorite blogs. Who do you have to read everyday and why? Doesn't have to be knitting blogs and it can be someone who's already in my bloglines over there.

Winner gets a $50 gift certificate to Winner will be chosen at random.

Post a comment to this entry or e-mail me at byhookorpointedstick at yahoo dot com.

Contest ends 6/22, by which time I should have posted my 1000 post.

More potty progress

Because I know you're on pins and needles about my kid using the potty.

Last night after dinner (ribs at Tiffany's mmmmmm), I was getting B's bath ready and he asked to go on the potty. And wanted me to do my silly cheers. When he said he was done, I figured it was another practice run (not hearing any musical tinkling), but low and behold, the water was yellow. So, step two is accomplished. Child has informed parent of need to pee and then peed on the potty. Yippeee! The kid literally glows when I tell him how proud I am of him.

This morning, we didn't quite get the timing right. We had three dry runs and he asked me too late for us to make it upstairs in time. I could tell he'd let go as I was turning to get out of my chair.

The Asst. Director at school says he's working very hard there as well. Little bugger's getting much better at manipulating his clothes, too.

We're getting there with minimal frustration. I think our ordeal last weekend, while not successful, was a bit of a motivating factor.

Again, I didn't knit more than a few rows on the shawl yesterday. I had to do some housework (bane of my existence, I hate it worse than poopy diapers). Hubby's grandparents are up for a visit and they're coming down to the house with the in-laws for dinner. M-i-L is cooking and doing the cleaning up afterwards so I can't really complain, but I did have to make the house presentable last night. I'm still planning on bringing just the shawl and bounce to VT tomorrow.

I can't wait to ask Billy if he wants to go see Nanny and Grampy tomorrow when he wakes up. He's been talking about them and his aunts a lot lately.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I just don't knit enough

Seriously, I've been barely touching my knitting the last couple of days. I need to stop acting like I have a life and get back to knitting.

I've planned what I'm taking on the trip to VT this weekend. Billy's bounce for duplicate stitchery (I've got 3 rows of balls done and at least 8 more to do). And the Spring Things Shawl to complete. I'm not bringing anything else.

I do still think about knitting a lot (and sewing). I've got my next couple of projects lined up (M-i-L's birthday CeCe, for late August gifting, and Hubby's Flag sweater, for late January wearing) . I'd like to set a goal of sewing one item a week because my fabric stash has become ridiculous, complexity depending upon time available (ie, weekend plans mean whipping out a simple tote). I actually ordered fabric last week to make Billy a quilt (it should be on my doorstep today).

I desperately need some organization. I'm thinking of taking a day and just overhauling my basement storage area to consolidate the various stashes (under the bed, in the closet, in the office at home and at work) and make the office area where my sewing machine more user friendly (not to mention find room to put in a futon or small sofa bed).

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I've got a new knitting physics problem. It's not that I'm knitting and the piece isn't getting bigger, which is the usually knitting physics problem. Actually, it may not be getting bigger, but I'm not worried about it's current size. It's lace it will block out larger. What I'm concerned about is having leftovers. See, the ball is not getting appreciably smaller. Granted, I've only done two and a half rows since Friday, but still it seems like it's been the same size forever. I just don't want too much leftover and the shawl too small.

Sorry for the itty bitty pic, it's all blogger would let me post (clicking makes it way bigger).

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm a proud mommy

So, B's been in pull-ups all day. He had to have his shorts changed at 5 because he leaked. At the diner he asked to go potty and stood there and played with himself standing up in front of the toilet.

We got home after dinner and he was running around grabbing at himself in the groinal area. So, being the astute mommy I am, I asked if he needed to pee. He said yes. So we hurried upstairs and with little fanfare plopped him on the potty seat. He then asked me to do the "Elmo Beach Potty Party" cheer. Just as I was about to start I heard the most amazing sound.

The sound of pee tinkling into the potty. Never such sweet music have I heard (B didn't cry in the delivery room).

My boy peed on the potty. I've never been so proud in my life (well, just when he asks to go visit my parents and grandparents). We made a HUGE deal about. We hugged and kissed and yelled and gave high fives. Hubby ran upstairs to get in on the celebration.

In the tub, after, glowing from our impromtu party, he kept saying "I peed."

I swear he fell asleep saying it, my little man.

(I know it's highly likely things will slide back. It will be fine. The joy will sustain me.)

A Barry Monday

Wow, it was really pouring a while ago. Glad I get into the office before 8:30 most days (it should really be closer to 8 because I have to leave well before 4:30).

Not too much to report. Billy continued his string of waking up dry (kids got a bladder like a camel which means when he goes, he goes). He was very excited to sit on the potty this morning (he didn't do anything, but he loves the Elmo Beach Party Potty and the cheers and songs we've made up). He's in love with 123 toast (peanut butter with numbers written into it) and had no problems getting out the door for school this morning. Of course, on Monday, he sleeps till after 6:30.

I knit some on mom's ballband dishcloths last night. I should have the final two of her four-piece set to give her this weekend. I find I can make four easily out of 1 ombre and 1 solid skein of sugar and creme cotton. I've got some solid leftover from M-i-L's and mom's so I'm going to make myself some.

I've been futzing around with Hubby's St Andrews Cross sweater (the Scottish National Flag) and I thought I had the design set, but then I realized I was 2'' short. Why does a man who is 5'10'' need a sweater 26'' long? Because if he had proportional legs, my hubby would be well over 6'. Just what a sweater knitter wants, a man with a long torso and long arms.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Well Hello Barry

This Barry, that is. Hubby says the front lawn needed the watering and the cars need the rinse off (the Ion's looking more green than silver lately). I said I needed the pollen washed out of the air. Hopefully, tomorrow's morning commute won't be a washout.

Potty training this weekend was a washout. He just isn't ready. Twice this morning, I had him on the potty with no action and 5-10 minutes later, he'd peed through his clothes. (I'm kind of glad he hasn't had a bm since Friday.) So, he's back in pull-ups for the forseeable future. He's pretty bummed about it. He really liked his big boy underwear. Me, I'm kind of relieved. The last 36 hours have been way too stressful and I'll admit I was not handling it well. We've got another attempt planned for a couple of weeks from now. I'll be following the potty party plan as outlined in this book. Hopefully, he'll be more amenable. He did ask to sit on the potty after peeing in his pullup a few minutes ago.

I spent nap time today starting a new tote bag. I'm tyring to copy a gucci knockoff a friend at work had. So far, it's going okay. I've got the outside sewn together. I'm not quite sure how I'm going to do the handles, but I still need to put the lining together and attach the interfacing to the lining. Pictures will come when I've made more progress.

Since it's the second to last Sopranos tonight, I'm not sure if much sewing or knitting will be accomplished after B goes to bed. Maybe, I'll finish up mom's dishclothes (that reminds me, I really need to update the side bar; no 2007 FOs are listed and the WIPs are out of date).

Saturday, June 02, 2007

morale is at an all-time low

Anyone want to come potty train my kid? I mean, Hubby and I got the air conditioners in okay by ourselves, but I think this potty training thing is beyond us.

He's had a couple of minor improvements. He's kind of peed on the potty twice and has twice asked to sit on the potty (after he's already wet himself). Considering he refused to even sit on the potty this morning, it's an improvement. But, he's had about six "accidents" and for those of you following along that means I've had to dress my child at least seven times today. We spent 40 minutes tonight trying to find something he'd wear to bed. Normally, he's in bed about eight, tonight he got to bed about five minutes ago (9:15). Granted, we started the whole bedtime process later than normal, but he napped until five. We won't go into why nap was so late (gee, maybe because lunch wasn't until 1 because someone always takes longer to run errands than he thinks he's going to).

So, I'm about at my wits end and I've got another day of this. (I'm trying not to think about what Monday morning is going to be like when I have to send him into school in a pull-up because he's still peeing before he gets on the potty, and we haven't even had a bm today.) I've tried to make this as fun as I can and I've tried to not be angry and get frustrated, but I've about had it. I haven't even done anything fiber-related today. I spent naptime fixing some AV problems caused by other members of this family.

Yes, I'm feeling bitter and resentful and close to tears. But, isn't that what motherhood's all about?

You know what's most ironic. B had a small ball of cotton yarn that I'd wound off trying to fix a mess Molly had made (she still likes to kill yarn balls when she gets a chance). He was wrapping it around the dining room this morning while I finished the paper and he had his first accident. Poor little yarn ball went into the garbage.

Friday, June 01, 2007

no potty, I promise

This is the Spring Things shawl as of this morning. Per the pattern, I should be starting the lower border. But, I've decided that since I still have a pretty sizeable ball of yarn I'm going to do 4 repeats of the upper border on this bad boy. Yes, I am consciously choosing to do two more rows with nupps (there are nupps, but you can't see them)! I love the nupps they're pretty, but they can be a b*tch to execute. I can't wait to see what size this is when blocked out. I added a couple extra repeats of the upper pattern as well.

Not that I've really touched it since Wednesday night. I've been reading. I don't think I'll be blocking soon.

Note to self, do not back up a reading of The Road with a viewing of "Children of Men." So very good, but so very bleak, with a hint of hope at the end. Although, when I finished The Road I thought to myself, that's what fatherhood should be.