Sunday, October 26, 2008

There's a brand new baby at their house...

Not my house, but a friend has 3 sons, and the oldest just had their first grandbaby, a girl.  I am making these baby moc-a-socks, and a pair of baby Uggs also.  I have never met the parents, but I know when this happens to us, our first grand-daughter, it will be life changing. 


Saturday, October 25, 2008

My sister

My sister and I have led two very different lives in many ways.   She lives on my grandparent's old farm land and has only lived away from our hometown long enough for two years of college.  I have lived in 8 different states in my adult life. We tend to live in places like people vacation.  She has one child, I have 6, not that she didn't necessarily want more, not hat many days I want less.  She has worked for the same university almost since graduation.  I've never worked anywhere long, probably never will.  I get bored easily.  I guess we both have been married to our husbands quite a along time.  She is the peacemaker, I am the one who says what everyone is thinking and usually creates trouble.
Here is the big difference.  More dying and illness has been packed into her lifetime than anyone I know, and more living and health has been packed into mine.  She certainly hasn't invited any of this, but she has had to handle more grieving than I may ever know.  I just don't know how she gets through.  I can't even tell you how many times she has almost died, even this year alone.  The car accidents she has had.  She almost died having her child. She has had cancer. Her husband could have died in a really bad accident just before school this year.  He found her laying on her bed unresponsive with her eyes open in August (She has type 1 diabetes). Her soon-to-be daughter-in-law was involved in an accident this past Sunday and was very nearly paralyzed, during which she herself went to the emergency room with an issue. Her father-in-law is in the late stages of prostate cancer.  I  don't see how she is such a generally pleasant person.   The list is a lot longer, she keeps coming back.
I have only dealt with one death in my life, my father's. 17 years ago.  I always tell people don't be upset if I die anytime now, I have lived more and seen more than a lot of people.  I have always done things to the extreme, hence the 6 sons.  Life seems difficult sometimes, but then I talk to Sue.  She never complains.  She is remarkable, but I'm sure she would ask for it all differently if she got a do-over.  She would ask for the ease of my troubles in exchange for her "experience" in growing through grief.  Someday I will need her, and she will be the one I know understands about the loss.  God know she will likely still be here, because she can't apparently die. She hasn't shut down and not been close to people because she has lost before, she is one of the most caring people there are.
So how do we get handed these things?  Why are those of us handed the easy way usually not deserving, and those who are deserving given the hard road?  That's the question.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My finished key cozies! 

Yes- do not use wax to seal your jelly. It didn't seal. Probably you have to be much more detailed and perfect about keeping the jelly totally off the sides of the jar, then pour the wax on. Something like that. I know people that this method has worked for, but it's not for us. Water bath next time.


I want to inform anyone out there who doesn't actually know me in the flesh.  If there is one thing that gets under my skin it is mothers who put forth a perfect persona, who never really let you know how everything isn't as perfect as it seems. 

I for one have never striven to be a great housekeeper, not high on my list, and you'd really better call first before coming or suffer the consequences. If you have small children you live this life too.  In reality I have a 20 year old son who is lost and drifting at the moment, still living at home.  He will vvcatch on to something, but that is what is real right now.  I have 2 kids homeschooling that I probably am not doing permanent damage to, but I'm not entirely sure.  My youngest is the cutest 8 year old boy you've ever seen, but a complete bully around the house with his brothers, and throws major fits.  And the younger 4 fight most of the time when they are together.  Oddly, people who know my boys from school tell me how wonderful they are. My husband is a complete opposite of me, he is by occupation an "efficiency expert" for lack of better explanation, he tries to not be a perfectionist with my abilities, tries not to judge, but it is so much of who he is.  He makes enough money that only he has to work to support 8 people, and  thank God, because I can't seem to make money in my life.  We have a good income but I am crap at not spending too much anyway.
So that's it really.  I am by nature a whiny person, I try not to put a lot of this out there in my blog because it's not the forum to do that.   This is my hobby forum, to share ideas, to put down in writing what I have actually accomplished, because it's easy to think that things are not going well just because my recent project is not going well and personal relationships are tough.  I can look back and realized that I have actually done something, moved forward in some way.
Now I won't be going on about it again.


I stumbled across this this morning, it's public domain books read by non-actors, downloadable for FREE!

LibriVox: free audiobooks

LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.

Go have a look, perfect for catching up on the classics, especially during knitting! The only down side if you are use to listening to audible or other books on tape, those are primarily done by actors. These are everyday volunteers doing the reading, so they do not sound as polished, or acted out. But what do you want for free?

Monday, October 20, 2008

What has my life become...

This is a key cozy.  I'm not kidding! I made one in about 15 minutes!  And it is cute!  Different colors, different keys.  This isn't my key cozy, this comes from
Liatknits  Check it out! And if I start knitting cozies for toilet paper rolls, turn me over to the mental ward and toss the key.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Big Ivy Scarf (Inspired by...)

This is my take on the Big Ivy Scarf.  I wanted to choose my own fair isle to insert, I liked the look of this one.

I am hoping I have enough of the green, it looks like I will get 5 sections out of it, but not quite 6.  It is to go into the Christmas gift pile.  When I notice someone has a coat that it would match I it will be going to them.
Not much else going on.  Usual school stuff.  We went to an orchard this week, which has become incredibly over comercialized and not so much fun as it use to be.  But the boys wanted to buy concord grapes and make jelly.  I had done that a few years ago.  It was fun.  #4 did a lot of research on jelly and preserving it, and wrote a paper too.  We used the wax seal method, which is no longer recommended, but we will see how it goes for us.  Here it is:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Little Sugar's Dress

This is Sugar, my sister's dog.  Around July I made The Little Black Dress With Pearls for her, and she just sent these pictures back.  Love it!  Thanks Amy for the pix.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Shrug done!

This is what has taken up my time for the past week. It is a shrug, but I tailored it to what I wanted. It's not all that poofy, the first pattern I tried was, and I wasn't going to have enough yarn. It was also suppose to be in a double moss stitch, but I have no objection to regular stockinette. I prefer it sometimes, looks less homemade. So I reduced the stitches cast on, but stuck to their stitch count when it came time to knit flat across the shoulders. Oh, that was another thing, the pattern I had had you knit the whole thing flat, then seam it. Not a fan. It made sense to me to do the sleeves in the round. The yarn is from our knitting weekend away, from a shop called Sea Needles at Bethany Beach Delaware. I wish I could tell you what it is closer, but I can't find the wraps to the hanks! I do have enough left for a quaint, or maybe a
Calorimetry. It is 100% acryllic (generally known as crap), but this is a particularly soft and vibrant one. I will get a lot of wear out of this, unfortunately tonight it is in the high 60*'s I think. I put it on, then had to take it off pretty quick.
I wanted to show off a Goodwill purchase. Can you believe these are Liz Claiborne, almost new. The plaid one has to be new, there is no wear at all. I got one for $8.97 and the other for $10. And they are big. I can easily fit my normal purse stuff, my book, and whatever I'm knitting at the time.
Other than that I feel like I haven't been doing a whole lot, it was a 3 day weekend from school, so tomorrow we have to get back to work. I'm starting to think about Christmas knitting. I have so much cool yarn from the swap from our trip. Oh, and I made a teeny trip to the expensive shop nearby with the unfriendly staff, lured by stock like Koigu and Wool Of The Woods. I ended up with a hank of Happy Feet and one of Fleece Artist. But you didn't hear that that happened because husband hasn't worked through the money recently.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Mama Jane's

These slippers are a joy to create! They ahve a nice shape to them, and taught me about shaping the toe of a slipper using short-rows. I will use this technique again, and this pattern, for sure. It takes about 150 yds of a springy type yarn. You wouldn't want to use something that would flatten and felt easily. The pattern calls for Manos, and I just happen to have 2 balls. I have another colorway too, so someone will be getting some of these babies for Christmas. I didn't add the button to the strap closure though, too fiddly. I just sewed the strap in place. The pictures are modeled by someone else, so they look too big. But they fit me well.


Husband and boys at Doubleday Field. Yes, after Abner Doubleday, supposed inventor of baseball.  Doubleday is in the center of Cooperstown.  This weekend was the fantasy baseball weekend, you could pay $8500 to play ball with some old-timers.  
Ozzie Smith is behind the catcher in the blue shirt and red turtleneck.
I saw a lot of this!  It was peak this weekend, so beautiful.  It'll be another week or two here in PA.
This is my kid who was my buddy during the trip.  He and I couldn't care about autographs and all that.  He and I did a lot of shopping.  We found a cool toy shop.   He bought a neat game, and a solar king crab robot kit, which he assembled today. It does walk when in the sun.

This is the Baseball Hall Of Fame.  It's very different than I remember.  They had a scavenger hunt for the kids to do, they did that with their dad.  I walked through how I wanted to, saw what I wanted, then went to coffee.  To me baseball is my husband.  I get sentimental about baseball history because it is so much a part of Tim.  I can see a day when I visit Cooperstown after the kids are all grown, by myself.  I will walk through and think of him, because I will outlive him.  That's a given.  Even though he thinks he's so much more healthy than I am because he's a skinny chicken man.  I will someday walk through the town and feel close to him.
This is my boy with our trolley tickets.  We found the town has this cool trolley that you can ride all day long around the town for $3.  Very cool.
This was our little cabin...  
And from the front, our view. 
We all had a great time, we could have had another day there, at least.  Tim and a couple of the older boys go there every Hall Of Fame Induction Weekend, usually the last weekend in July.  They go for five days.  It is way too much chaos for those of us not obsessed.  Those of us who won't get up at 4 am to stalk baseball legends on a golf course to get their autograph. This weekend was our chance to enjoy the town without the 100,000 people who usually are there during the other weekend. 

Friday, October 3, 2008

This weekend

Update- This is a very busy weekend for us.  The youngest 3 and my husband and myself are going to Cooperstown.  We are the ones who don't go every year for the hall of fame induction.  We just like to go every few years.  We  have a cabin at the campgrounds where they usually camp.  It will take  4 hours to get there.  #3 son is staying home to take care of the dogs, and #1 is working most of the weekend.  #2 is working tonight, then has the SAT in the morning.  So we are all going in different directions (and why in the world does that man turn the play-offs on in my room then go out of the room for 1/2 an hour at a time????).
Anyway, am looking frward to being back in NY, in the fall weather with the leaves turning, good weather for a campfire.  We are looking forward to a good time.
Can't decide what to work on.  I am finishing the second of a pair of Mama Jane's, slippers, and have the Hemlock ring going.  The hemlock ring takes concentration.  So I'm not sure what I'll do. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Not such a good start...

So I just ripped back about 10 rows of my hemlock ring... It looked right, but I was WAY off in my stitch count. Luckily rounds 15-24 are totally K around, and the stitch count was correct to there, so I could pick up easily enough to that point. I have to learn to pay attention to the stitch count stated at the end of every few lines!
#2 did in fact get his license yesterday, without having a single thing marked off on the test. Just as I did on my test, BTW, and I did accept full credit for this from husband, because it took him (husband) 2 tries. To this husband took back the credit by stating that he is the one who taught son for the most part. So I let #2 have the car at school, and he drove the brothers home, and he had a date with a new girl last night. New girl is an unknown factor, he works with her, and #1 son knows her, but I don't. I hear she's quiet, nice. They went mini-golfing, and to WalMart. He was out late, and I was very worried. I told him not to answer his phone if he's driving, wait until he gets to the next place and call me back. Just before 11 I got ahold of him, and he came home, and we had a chat about how late he should be out on a school night. We haven't really had a curfew, they have used common sense. We are having to put some guidelines on to what common sense is so that I can go to bed at a reasonable time and not wait up.
#1 son has an interview for a job today that he really wants that could start his life in the direction he wants.
I have no idea how I am going to deal with life when I have 4 teenagers, because that day will come in 4 years. They will be 13, 15, 16 & 18 at the same time. I will probably be completely numb by that point, like you could stick a fork in me and I wouldn't even twitch. I will have heard it all by then and have a very long term view of life- as in don't worry too much about the things they're doing now, they will all be normal people when they are 30. Some will be ok, some will have a rough patch. Someone may be in jail, someone may be military, someone may be a PHD candidate. None of them will be just like husband or myself. The things that I will freak about will be different than what husband will have a fit about. I'm beginning to figure out that to be ok I have to look at the idea that husband and myself have organized our own life, as a couple, in a way that is a fairly happy and productive, and have to work theirs out and that has not much to do with ours. Our lives go on, they spin off, and we have a full enough life to be busy and happy. And thankful.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hemlock Ring Throw

I don't know what is possessing me, this is not a project I would ever start! But this yarn is yelling at me. It was a part of a swap, and my friend Amy said it was suppose to be a Hemlock Ring. So it goes... On row 34 now, have done some obsessive knitting for hours tonight. I am taking a lot of advice from people on Ravelry, I put in a lifeline tonight. Hence the bright pink line on the outside. The yarn is Zara, and is a rust color, sometimes it looks like chocolate brown. But it is rust. It would be just like me to pick it up next time and learn 3 hours later that everything I did during that session was off by 1 stitch, and I have to rip out 1500 stitches with YO's and SSK's. This will help, I know I'm correct to this point.

Yarns Away!

Gosh, I can't say enough about the trip this weekend, so I don't feel like I should say much, because I know I'll leave so much out.  Have to say the food was incredible, Katie, one of the chefs at the Canal Street Pub was our private chef.  She made a 25 lb prime rib on Saturday night!  I mean, this was the most incredible food.  Eggs Benedict Saturday morning, Creme Broulee, cheesecake...  The house was like a model home, perfection.  The local shop was called Sea Needles.  The attendant was helpful but not hovering.  We all dropped a bundle there.  Oh, and we had a swap, I made out! Each woman there was unique, the ones I didn't know well I felt like I knew better after, and liked them all.  It was only 10 of us, a nice size.  I had a lousy head cold most of the time and the weather was crappy, but that's not what I'll remember.  We had games and prizes.
On to the knitting.
This stripe hat is made with Blue Sky Cotton, one of my most favorite yarns in the world, and I dislike cottons immensely.  Whenever I find it in a shop I MUST have it.  I have more to make mittens out of also sometime.
I re-did my calorimetry, basically it's a short-row headband to wear instead of a hat in winter. LOVE IT.  I had made it before but the pattern is notoriously messed up and I needed it smaller. And this is me without makeup, ick.
I also finished my Orange Juice socks. They are actually made of Trekking, and the Ampersand Sock pattern.
It is a super easy sock to do because it is only a 2 row repeat.
We each received this hand dyed yarn, this years colorway was called Tide Pool, in reference to 
our being at the shore this year.
And this is a bad picture of one of my acquisitions from Sea Needles, it's Claudia Handpainted, and it's called "Eat Your Veggies".  It's a combo of greens to grays.  Had to buy it just for the name.
So that's what I have to say.  I added all my swap yarns and buys to my queue spreadsheet, so it is again unbelievably long. 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So here are my next 3 titles to consider.  Deep Dish I havn't gotten into at all.  Her stories are always wild, and like Janet Evanovich.  Carrot Cake Murder I have started to read before.  She has great recipes, but her books are quite wordy.  Her earlier ones were better...  St Patrick's Day Murder is going to be funny, because the main character is a very large Manhattan female PI.  She loves to eat and is usually broke. Hmmm. And the thing is that any time I do spend reading means my hans are not on the knitting.  They don't do these titles as books on CD or tape, so that's not an option. It'll pronbably be the St. Patrick's Day Murder.

Orange Juice socks

       These have kept me busy for the past couple of days.  They are Ampersand Socks.  The design doesn't show from this perspective, but the colors are beautiful.  It is trekking that I looked at for months before buying.
Am getting ready for the weekend trip.  My ride is getting me at 5:45 am!!  But that's because we are taking the food and the chef with us, and it all needs to be set up for lunch, I think.  It's suppose to rain tonight and all day tomorrow, but that's just good knitting weather, right?  It's not like this is a volleyball weekend and we won't be able to play.
I am listening to this from  I love Patricia Routledge (Hyacinth Bucket) and Prunella Scales (Mrs. Fawlty).  They are friends who email each other, usually not in a very friendly manner!  There are about 6 in this series, have to wait for more monthly audible credits to get each one. If you like Britcoms you will recognize these ladies, and will enjoy this.
I am finishing Miss Julia Paints The Town today.  I always enjoy these stories.  Usually there's some wild goose chase at the end, not so much in this one.  But the familiar characters are always interesting.  If you like the Jan Karon books, you will like these.  They are set in a small southern town, and center around a somewhat wealthy matron who tends to get into everyone's business. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Updated pix

This is #6's Koolhaas and wintery coat.  Thank God, one thing one of the kids likes and will wear.
These are the Ivy's Mitts.  They are so soft, and not bulky.  Good for when there's just a bit of chill.  When husband saw them he said "Oh, and they have those "holes" on them, looks nice."  I said yes, dear, we women call that lace. You can't see that part of the design very well unless they are on, and I couldn't manage a pic with one hand showing the other off.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Knitting feverishly

This weekend our Boy Scouts camped out fairly near home, and my younger 3 and dad went.  This left time for, guess- KNITTING!  I made a lovely pair of Ivy's Mitts out of some random gray angora.  Sorry no pictures yet.  Oh wait- Dancing With The Stars just starting, be right back...
So.  I made right mitten on Friday and one on Saturday, and wore them to the campfire.  OK, so no one noticed one bit, but I did.  They are soft, but they hav ean awful lot of hairiness, tickley!
I'm sorry, but double stick tape is truly the only thing keeping Julianne's dress to the exact spots not to see.  Of course plenty is shown.  The young guy from Hannah Montana that has her as a partner can't concentrate to learn from her!  He admitted it.
I started a pair of Ampersand Socks out of some Trekking I call Orange Juice.  They are only a two row repeat so quite easy to remember.
Today I moved around my room, and confiscated a tall bookshelf for my yarn.  (No school today- for the homeschoolers- since they were so busy this weekend), I moved out a love seat, moved in a recliner, and a beautiful old hand-me-down table.  I'll do pictures tomorrow.  My yarn had been in 3 XL ziploc bags, now they are all displayed.  I did debate- they will collect dust, God knows I won't dust them, or use them in a timely fashion.  I even fixed a shade the dog ripped, and put curtains up again. It was unbelievable the amount of crap hiding in my corner, under the couch, in the couch. 
I wasn't feeling all that well, some of the kids are getting a fever, and just generally not up to their norm.  #2 son called off work, he was all red from fever.  He said he slept through the last 2 periods, both computer classes!  Geez.  We arranged for him to get in 2 classed in computers this year because that's what he wants to do in college.  He's so far advanced we all have to agree on what he should do next, and the teacher has to learn a bit ahead of him. He's self-paced, that's how he got away with sleeping, and being in Puerto Rico last week with his dad.  We are so blessed to be in such a small school, all the kids are catered to individually. He should have just gone to the nurse and had me bring him home.  I guess he thought he could stick it out.
Then tonight I begged for a date dinner with husband, Chinese Buffet.  Sounded like a good idea, now not feeling like such.  A bit queasy.
And last but not least this weekend is out Yarns Away weekend, 3 days at a house near the beach in DE, knitting until our fingers fall off, and gourmet food.  One of the ladies' sisters is a chef, and is coming.  The menu is made and midnight snacks planned. Sounds great, now I have to figure out what to pack to work on.  We are having a swap, I have been buying cute goodies to swap for fabulous sock yarns.  Plus we'll be hitting some shops.  So I'll get my fill!

Check out this amigurumi!

You'll find these and more of her incredibly unique designs at
Her store is called Delicious Crochet.

Friday, September 19, 2008

These are some Celtic Gloves I was making for anyone in the house who liked them. Unfortunately no one liked them at all, but I pressed on. Now, the fingers are too small for the men. I could wear them, but I don't like them either, I've quite gone off the whole thing- so to redeem myself...
My first Koolhaas. It's for #5 son, I bought him a winter coat at Goodwill that is mostly gray and black with one red stripe, and then I went to the yarn shop I found Jasper in the same colors! I already know I LOVE Jasper by Berrocco. I will make him some mittens too. I didn't follow the decrease instructions from Jared Flood, I made up my own. It got too fiddly, I had cast on 2 less repeats around and it threw some of the counts off, so I took the easy path and didn't continue the pattern decrease. I was tired, and I wanted to cheat, OK?

I also purchased this sweater at Salvation Army, and am ripping it apart for a Clapotis.  I love the drape this has, and of course the colors.

Catching up

Wow, listening to QI, laughing outrageously. I need that, it's been a crappy week. Husband and #2 son are back from Puerto Rico. My camera and laptop went along, so there haven't been any posts here. I went last year, this kiddo loves to travel so he got to go. School didn't mind at all. So they returned last night. Husband is taking today off, and is working with the 2 boys on soldering a siren kit! (above)

Monday, September 8, 2008

This is why I don't have a walk in closet in my room-  sorry about the picture quality...