Archive for August, 2008

Another day…

First, rewind to last night, where my allergies are so bad that I take 2 allergy pills (it says to take 1 to 2 every 4 to 6 hours, so I wasn’t OD’ing) and it still feels like my head weighs about 50 lbs.  I discover that if I put lip balm on my eyelids and around my eyes where they itch so dang bad that I’ve just about rubbed them raw, that it’s rather soothing.  And my nose is all chapped up from literally dripping like water every time I sneeze, which had been about every 5 to 10 minutes.  So, there I am lying in bed, eyes red and chapped and smelling rather minty, nose red and chapped and smelling like mentholatum, and I still can’t sleep.

O’crap o’clock – Russell comes in, “Can I snuggle with you?”

Slightly after O’crap o’clock – I say, “OK, is that enough snuggles now?  Can you go back in your own bed?”

He finally stumbles back off to bed, and I realize I have to pee.  Get up, pee, blow nose, re-apply lip balm to eyes, wipe the crust off my nose, re-apply mentholatum, and fall back to bed.

2 minutes prior to alarm going off – Russell, again, this time, “Can I get up now?”

Me – Uh, you’re already up, aren’t you?  Go ahead and get dressed.

Alarm – annoying sound, I hit snooze, hoping and praying for just 9 more minutes.

Knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, you’ve got to me kidding me, who knocks on the front door and it’s not even 7 am, someone had better be on fire.

Neighbor boy – Hey Russell, can you play?

Russell – MOM! Can I go outside?

Patrick, stumbles from bed, and says, Russ, tell him I have to get dressed, and then I have to eat breakfast, and then I have to get ready for school, he says, rather confused.

(Side note here, I take comfort that Patrick seemed confused by the morning’s events.  I was too.  Seriously, who knocks at 6 whatever o’clock it was in the morning to play?)

I sadly realize that those 9 minutes aren’t coming.  I turn off the alarm, so it won’t go off while I’m in the bathroom, and wonder where Steve is.  He’s not in bed.

I begin to piece things together.  He got up to run with David.  That probably woke Russell up.  Then when they left, I bet they used the garage door, and then left it open, which is our neighborhood universal sign for “kids are available to play now”  Note to self, from now on, make Steve and David use front door.

I get up and get dressed, and stumble downstairs with Patrick, and Russell is no where to be found.  Patrick says he went outside to play with neighborhood boy.  I look.  No one there.  Neighborhood boy’s parent’s cars are both absent.  Um.

Russ is outside anyway, sitting on the cooler, enjoying a bowl of yogurt and grapenuts until I holler his name and startle him and he slips off the cooler.  Oops.  Tears, hugs, and “Mom will you check my back” follows.

Day is not starting off that good.

Hubby and David come home, get breakfast, lunches packed, one off to the bus, play a little outside, other one off to the bus, sit with Russell a little, go back inside, get Daddy off to work, start laundry, iron a few shirts for hubby, and get a little tired.  I think, hey, it’s my birthday, I’m just going to lay down for a minute and rest.

An hour and a half later, I awake with a start, thinking, oh my gosh, I just passed out!  Luckily, Russell was downstairs still, and the clothes hadn’t finished up in the dryer yet, so nothing was wrinkled, and it was lunchtime.  I called my dad to thank him for the card he sent and fixed Russell lunch.

Mail came, and a big box from my sister.

A while back, when we’d send each other e-mails, seems like most of them centered on 2 topics, yarn and jewelry.  We started typing in the subject line, “yarn and sparklies”.

Guess what was in my birthday box?

Yeah, yarn and sparklies.

First off, she got the cutest little bag to put everything in, with Cinderella and Princess Aurora, and Belle, and Jasmine, and Snow White, and Ariel.  Inside were several skeins of Lion Chenille in a nice foresty green, and a pattern for a ribbed jacket from the Lion website.  Ever felt Lion Chenille?  Very fur-like.  Oh, and stuffed in amongst the yarn was a box.  That little turd, who has been complaining to me how she hasn’t had any time to play with her beads, made me a whole entire set of pearly goodness.  There’s a ring, using those memory wire things, and a bracelet, and a necklace, both of which I think have magnetic clasps, and fishhook earrings, and, get this …. ready?

Matching stitch markers.

Oh yeah.

The day is so looking up.

Thank you God for giving me a sister who knows just how to brighten my day.

Good news, and sort of good news, and better news

OK, where to start.  School’s going fine for both boys.  Patrick’s getting used to being at school ALL day, but still gets cranky at night sometimes, so we’ve upped bedtime and we’ll see if that helps.  David’s doing great, except for talking too much in gym.

Russell gets his own paragraph, because he’ll start preschool NEXT WEEK!!!!!  His open house is on Wed.  He’s been asking me for weeks now, “Is it September yet?” as I told him he wouldn’t start school until then.  Steve’s actually out of town that week, so it’ll be interesting with only me to get both boys to the bus stop in time, and then be in a presentable condition to drive Russ to his school.  I have to double check when his starts.  That’s the sort of good news.  Because it’s good and all that he’s growing up and looking forward to school, but I’m sure going to miss him.  Lucky for me though, it’s only 3 mornings a week.  For being the loner that I am, I sure have separation anxiety with my kids.

We went out to one of our favorite places to eat yesterday after church, Noodles and Company.  If you have one near you, go.  It’s one of the few sit down places where we can feed a family of 5 for $20 to $25.  And the food’s really really good.  But that’s not the good news part.  We thought since it was so nice, we’d sit outside.  And this big truck pulls up, and David notices the license plate which says ALPACA2.  As the guy walks by, I ask him, do you raise alpacas?  He says “Yep.”

“Do you shear them?”

“Yep.”

Do you sell the fleece or make it into yarn?”

“Yep.”

“Do you sell the yarn too?”

“Yep.”

“I think I love you.”

Turns out, he’s about 10 minutes away from our house.  We went to his farm last night, and met all the alpacas; he’s got about 20.  And Steve bought me some yarn.  It’s so nice.  I’ll be bringing it on the cruise, I think, if I can figure out a pattern by then.  I have a couple of ideas.

Speaking of the cruise, it’s in a few weeks, and Steve got a phone call from his sister a few days ago.  She reminded him that their mom’s b-day is in Sept, and she was wanting to plan a big surprise party for her, since she was turning 75, and was there any way we’d be able to make it down then?  Steve inwardly groaned, thinking that whenever Debbie was planning was, with our luck, when we’d be on the boat.  Guess what?  It’s not!  And, even better yet, it’s the evening before we’re supposed to get on the boat!  So, our original plans were to drive down there and get to the port with a few hours to spare before having to board.  Now, instead, we’re just going to leave a day early, and get there the day before, and have the big party for Grandma, spend the night at Steve’s brother’s house, and then the next day leave around lunch time for the boat!  It’s very cool that the timing works out.

I think most of the sisters are going to be there as well, so I may get more projects, or at the very least, be able to ask Maureen the questions I asked her by e-mail over a week ago that she still hasn’t answered.

The state fair is looming, and I think I may have to make a decision between the socks and the mittens.  It’s a tough one, as I think the mittens would be a faster knit, but I think the socks may have a better chance at winning something.  Plus, they’re further along.  As it stands, I didn’t work on either one really at all yesterday.  Shame on me, I know.

One down, 2 more to go…

The fingerless gloves for the Cascade thing at the state fair are done! I finished them up last night, and even charted out a little design for Kyle’s mittens. I don’t know yet how it’ll work out on the thumb gusset, so we’ll have to play that one by ear. I’m thinking of just maybe doing alternating colors or something. I also figured out my gauge, and the right cast on, and got started. I decided to go with the size 4’s for the body of the mitten instead of the 6’s. So, I’m doing the ribbing at the bottom with some 3’s

The picture is of a cute little snake. It got a 2nd place at the county fair, and now it’s awaiting it’s counterpart for the state fair. They have a toy class where afterwards the Kansas Highway Patrol comes and takes all the toys and then gives them away. There’s 2 categories, one for under 3, and one for 3 and up. So, this camo one is for the over 3, and I’m making one in a pink and blue yarn for the under 3. It’s about halfway done.

So, I still have the mittens, and the socks yet for the Cascade. And all of Maureen’s stuff.

Back in the saddle again

After falling down yesterday, it seems I’m on the road to recovery.  I had to stop the hat anyway, as there were actually 2 patterns on there and I wasn’t sure which one she wanted.  So, I just worked the hat up to the point where either pattern would start.

Then, I thought, there’s a lot of that with what she sent me.  Patterns where there’s 2 choices.  I’m not complaining, not at all.  I just realized that I didn’t know for sure which one she wanted.  So, I sat down on the floor with the box and a piece of paper and took some notes of questions I had and measurements I’d need.  Just basic notes.  I went on to the computer and started to compose a quite lengthy e-mail to Maureen, detailing how happy I was to get the box, how excited I was to begin working, and did a paragraph on each pattern I had a question on, explaining it all out in detail.  This actually took a few hours, not that it was that long, but there were interruptions.  Russ woke up from his nap, David came home from school, Patrick came home from school, Steve called me.

Then there was the really confusing one.  She sent me a great pattern book from SWTC all about hats made with their Karaoke yarn.  I’ve never worked with that yarn, and it feels very cool.  The pattern book is pretty neat because SWTC went to a bunch of LYS owners and asked them to submit a pattern for a hat using that yarn.  So, the pattern book has the hat patterns and a little bio of the LYS owner and the website if it’s online as well.  There was one pattern, the one Maureen wanted, called Julee’s Hat.  The picture showed a model wearing this cute crocheted hat with a brim that was almost ruffled, but not quite.  She was also wearing a wrap, one of those big circular ones.  They sort of remind me of a big tube top, but it goes over your arms too, not underneath them.  The pattern, as I mentioned, is called Julee’s Hat.  I read the instructions.  I’ll say this vaguely so as not to break any copyright laws.  Using a pretty large size hook, i.e not the ones you’d think of for a worsted weight yarn, but way bigger, cast on, oh, let’s round the figure a little and say 110, join and begin knitting in the round.  There’s a pattern there, but we won’t go into that.

Now, again, I say, the pattern’s called a hat.  I’ve made hats.  Many hats.  My standard hat uses size 8’s or 7’s, and I begin by casting on 100.  Now, imagine 100 st cast on with a size 8.  Now imagine 110 st cast on with a really bigger needle.  How’s that going to fit a normal head?

I look at the pattern.  I look at the model.  I read the pattern again and realize that the whole thing is moot because the hat she’s wearing is crocheted.  How can you make a crocheted hat by casting on 110 with a big huge needle and joining in the round?

Then I look again.  The hat pattern is being worn as a wrap.  So, is it a hat or a wrap?  This led to much web research, which gave me nothing, and a question posted on Ravelery.  Some one even said that it’s both a hat and a wrap, that the directions are good and it does work.  I just can’t see it.

So, that was part of the questions to Maureen as well.  Luckily, the yarn requirements for the hat pattern, which is on a different page, are the same as for the wrap.  I just need to know for sure if she wants the hat or the hat/wrap.  I finally finished the e-mail and hit send, expecting it to come back that this was a new e-mail and did I want to add it.  That message never came up.  Oh no.  Don’t tell me that it flubbed.  Please tell me it was saved.  I went to my sent folder, where it saves everything, and it wasn’t there.  I thought, maybe it doesn’t show up right away.  So, I sent off another quick e-mail to Maureen saying that I just sent a longer one and wasn’t sure if it went through or not.

Now, I’m waiting.  That’s what I get for digging into that yarn.  Last night, I finished the ribbing on that fingerless mitt, so today I’ll figure out how to do the thumb.  And get started on Kyle’s mittens.  No more of Maureen’s stuff.  The yarn gods are angry.

Oops, I fell down

8-18-08, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

See this? This is what I AM doing today, as opposed to what I should be doing.

Let’s focus on the positives…
1.) I already did a load of laundry, and it’s hanging out on the line.
2.) The older boys had a healthy breakfast, I packed their lunches, and even managed to brush my hair and put enough cover-up on my under eye circles so as not to scare the neighbors before walking the 1st grader up to his bus-stop.
3.) The youngest one “helped” me get all the garbage out.
4.) Aforementioned youngest one also had a healthy breakfast, a snack of peanuts and craisens, and a healthy lunch of ham and cheese and pickles and a few baked doritos, and is currently sleeping in a tent that I helped him make after we got the garbage out.
5.) I am “almost” done with the fingerless mitts for the fair.
6.) I printed off some graph paper and fiddled around with a pencil and got what I think will be the design for Kyle’s mittens for the Cascade thing. All I have to do now is knit them. And write everything down.

Now, what I should or could be doing…
1.) Starting another load of laundry. Always.
2.) Putting dishes away from the dishwasher so it’s ready to load again tonight.
3.) Mowing the rest of the grass that oldest boy didn’t do this weekend. Actually, now that I look at it, it pretty much all needs to be done again.
4.) Cleaning off the dining room table of paper clutter.
5.) Vacuuming under dining room table. It’s a crumb picnic.
6.) Clearing gemstones off of good dining room table as I won’t have the time to play with them for a while.
7.) Vacuuming the basement tv room.
8.) Ironing a bunch of shirts I told hubby I’d iron last week and didn’t.
9.) Finishing up the 7 rows of ribbing I need for the other mitt, shown here in the purple-y yarn. Then all I have to do is figure out the thumb. And write it down.
10.) Working on the Fixation socks, which are also for the Cascade thing at the state fair.
11.) Finishing up the snake, seen here peeking out of the yarn bag, that’s also for the state fair, in the charity toy class for under 3. I made him sleeping so he woundn’t be scary.
There’s more, there always is, but for guilt’s sake, I’m stopping here.

What I AM doing instead… playing with one of the patterns for Maureen. It’s a hat. See that teal-y color? That’s it. The gauge is fiddly. It calls for worsted weight yarn, which thanks to the lady at the yarn shop, she got. It says 17 st in 4 inches on a size 7. Does that sound right? I got 16 st in 3 inches. Knitting loosely. Luckily, the pattern is a 10 st repeat, so I pulled out my math and re-calculated the whole pattern. Right now I’m on the double-stranded rolled brim with bigger needles. Calls for a few rows of that, then a massive decrease row and then on to single strand in the smaller ones. With the pattern.

On a related note, I’m sort of afraid to go check the mail. What if the boxes from the other sisters are there? I may have a yarngasm. If you hear a … well, nevermind.

It’s Christmas!

I got a box in the mail today.  I thought it was from my sister with whatever stuff I had left behind from the last visit.  We do that.  Sometimes on purpose, usually not.

It wasn’t from my sister.

It was from one of my hubby’s sisters.

Remember me talking about how his mom was giving all the sisters $200 for yarn to send to me to make them stuff?

I got one.

One.

Oh my gosh, I am going nuts.  You should see the stuff, and I’ll try to get a picture up tomorrow or something.  I was already having trouble getting through the Cascade stuff for the state fair, what with my ginormous queue on Ravelry, and wanting to get back to some things I put on hold for a while, and there’s hubby’s Bucs blanket that has been waiting patiently all summer.  And there’s that new yarn I got when we were in Denver that I want to do something with.  And now that I figured out how to do those crazy nutkins for my sister out of that yarn I won, I want to finish those.  But now there’s new yarn and patterns and they’re all calling to me.  One is alpaca.  The sister was kind enough to put a note in there reminding me that they in no way expect me to get everything done my Christmas, especially when I get the rest.  Yes, the rest.  That means there’s more.  This box has 6 projects in it, and it’s just for 1 sister.

It’s Maureen’s box.  That means there’s still Cindi, Cara, and Dulcie.  There are other sisters, but they weren’t part of the conversation, so for yarn purposes, we’ll leave them out.

3 more boxes.  I am so stoked.

Oh my gosh.  I must knit faster.  And get off Ravelry.  And teach the boys how to fix mac and cheese.

The Boys’ 2008 Johnson County Fair Entries

Isn’t this just the cutest picture? Russell made a drawing of fish. Patrick wanted to do a bead necklace, and spent quite some time choosing the color for the next one on. David entered several things he put together fairly quickly, except for the dream-catcher that he made in summer school gifted art class.

And yes, that’s a tomato box on the right. I told you I use them all the time.

Today’s the first full day of school. I’m counting the minutes until they come home. Not that I’m lonely, just worried. I think they liked riding the bus though. David thought it was too loud.

On the knitting front, I finally decided what to do for the back side of the socks for the Cascade class for the state fair. Still can’t quite figure out how exactly to pick up the stitches for the little thumb on the mitt though. I know how to do it, I just want to make sure I do it really nicely for the fair, and for Kristi too.


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