Monday, March 26, 2012

Good Practice

I'm back at it, working on what I *hope* to be my first finished sweater for myself.  I say finished, because I never finished my Ditto.  Around the holidays, I screwed up the ribbing a third time and the entire top needs to be ripped out.  Avoidance is my way of dealing with it's in a bag in my living room where it occasionally gets a peek and a reassuring pat that "Someday honey, you'll be a sweater."  Sigh.

I picked out a Spring Cardigan that's a very simple design, and ordered some cotton-silky blend from Knitpicks.  It's a raglan style sweater, which I've never done before.  I like the fact that there's no seaming at the end, anyone that says that they like finishwork at the end of a knitting project is either a sadist or lying.  :)

Anyhow, I've frogged twice so far, and I'm just too tired tonight to cast on again.  I apparently have issues when it comes to following two sets of instructions at once.  Trying to remember to increase stitches in the middle every other row, and one stitch on either end every fourth row isn't easy. (This is exactly why I had trouble with piano lessons as a kid...the right and left hand doing different things...tricky!)  Only a little cursing the second time, so I have that to be happy about.

The first time this happened, Will was in the room.  He's having a tough time with everything having to be "perfect," especially when it comes to drawing.  He loves to draw, but if he "messes up" he gets angry at himself.  Daddy and I told him that since he enjoys drawing, what matters is that he's having fun.  And if you have to draw it again, then what's that?  More drawing!  So....the first time I was frogging the sweater (ripping it back and turning it back into a ball of yarn for those of you not "in the know") I was all "look!  I get to knit it again!"  He was sleeping tonight and though Hubby suggested gently a repeat knit, I was more like "Look!  I screwed it all up again!"  :P  But now we'll just go ahead and say "Wow, good practice!  You're going to knit a kickass raglan someday!

Meanwhile, I'm petting my nineteen other skeins of wisteria colored cotton blend and whispering  "'ll be a sweater someday Honey.  And you're gonna be gorgeous!"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

You ought to be in pictures...

We recently found out that our hard drive is so full, it's not backing up things anymore.  So while figuring out what to do about that, Brian was going thru some of the stuff on there.  He found a few videos of Will from when he was just a little older than Sean is now.  I had forgotten that we made them, and they're precious.  I was pregnant with Sean at the time, and we were asking Will questions like where he lives and is he going to have a baby brother, etc etc.  Most of the time the camera is focused on Will, but it went to me briefly and then Brian.  As it panned over me, I'm making a face.

I know that face.  It's the "Ugh, why are you recording ME?" face.  I'm not crazy about the camera, I'd much rather be behind it than in front of it.  But you know what?  I need to get over that, and I'm working on it.  In the last few months, instead of a tight-lipped smile, I grin broadly.  If it's a video, I stop thinking about how bad I'm looking on camera and keep doing whatever we're doing for the camera in the first place.  And I do it with gusto.  Because these are memories, people.  I don't want to watch these videos or look at photos later and wonder why I wasn't any fun.  Or in photos at all...there are plenty of photos with the kids and hubby but not too many of me.  In order to fix this, I hand the camera off to Brian and say "Hey, let's make it look like Mommy went on this trip."  It's a long road, but I'm in the car and making the journey.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


This is a potato chip scarf.  The reason why it is called that is because supposedly "you can't have just one."

I knit it from yarn I picked up in New Hampshire when I went to visit my friend Maureen last November, her local yarn store was an absolutely cool place and I'm jealous of their class schedule.  So far she's taken a fair isle class, and entrelac too.  Two things that I am dying to try!

Anyway...the scarf is pretty straightforward and only nine rows of knitting.  It's a super-easy project that flies by til' row five, and you suddenly have over 300 stitches on your needles.  It doubles every other row so you're binding off a ridiculous amount of stitches at the end.  The bind-off took FOREVER.

So pretty, and such a soft wool.  Too bad I can't wear it now, with this March heatwave!  What a way to welcome in spring.    If I was to become addicted to this pattern and need another, I'd choose a colorful cotton/silk blend.

Next on the needles:  my first commissioned item!  A hat for my hairdresser...coming soon to a blog near you.  :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Princesses and Explorers

On our last two trips to Target, we needed soap for the boys and new toothbrushes.  In the interest of getting the boys to be cooperative for bathtime and teeth time, we let them pick their own stuff.  (Not that either one of them gives us a hard time about these things.  In fact, Sean would brush his teeth all day if we let him.)  Will surprised us and picked out a bottle of bath gel featuring the Disney Princesses.  And do you know what?  We bought it.  He's happy that he got to pick it out himself, and says that it smells "delicious."  (It's vanilla scented.)  Sean fell head over heels in love with a pink toothbrush with Dora the Explorer on it, when I opened the package this morning he was SO EXCITED.  And we're happy that they're happy.  I'm totally cool with them picking out princesses, or Dora.  Their choices don't make them any less boy-ish and I'm thrilled to see them pick something else besides trucks and trains and dinosaurs.  :)  That's right kids, break those gender stereotypes.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Color Rut

Have I mentioned before that I can be stubborn and set in my ways?  Yes, yes I am.  And when it comes to clothing, I'm even more so.

I adore the color purple.  It's been a favorite for years, and I could certainly say that it's my signature, as is pink for Elle Woods in  Legally Blonde.  ("And whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed..."-Elle Woods)  Recently, I took a good hard look through my yarn stash and was overwhelmed by the purpliness of it.  Almost everything I own, everything I make for myself, purple.  Occasionally I'll make a foray into a darker pink, but really, that is a purple derivative.  When you pull a third purple sweater out of your closet that week and it's only Wednesday, it's time to do something about it.

Purple, my love for you is true.  But I really think that I need to start seeing other colors.

Monday, March 12, 2012


I'm tired.
I don't sleep well on Sunday nights.
I'm sure that this has something to do with going to work on Monday mornings....but staying up to work on mittens and watch Desperate Housewives doesn't help.
Especially when the episode has a bit of a violent ending, giving me nightmares when I actually get some sleep.
Kind of like my reason for not watching the news late-night, there's nothing happy and just disrupts the sleep.

So, instead of a post that has photos, I'm going to give you five random things from my day.

1.  Pay attention to when you get recall notices about your car.  "Cause nobody likes to get stuck with their car windows open and a fried window switch.  Yes, it'll be free to get taken care of tomorrow.  But A.  it would have been nice to not have to have this be a repair emergency instead of a planned thing.  And B:  taping a big blue trashbag over my window when Hubby gets home from school is going to be a blast.

2.  Know what goes incredibly well with a cheesesteak?  A glass of Pepsi and some sweet potato fries.  Courtesy of my oven.

3.  Every day Will and Sean do something that surprises me.  Today Will came home with a paper flag that he had drawn and I didn't know what country it represented but he did:  Ghana.  And Sean can count!  Sure, he starts at five and ends at ten, but it's a start!

4.  A little boy playing Angry Birds on your phone is a surefire battery-drainer.

5.  Lastly, give your pets an extra big hug tonight.  They deserve it.

'Night, all!  Zzzzzzzzz

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Admitting Defeat

Sometimes, although you hate to do it, you have to admit defeat.

Some time ago, I saw a pattern for a gorgeous lace wool cap, and I decided to make it for myself.  I chose a charcoal gray yarn with a little bit of silver shimmer.  (Berroco Flicker)  Off I went, full speed ahead!  I sat watching the Superbowl, knitting furiously, determined to have a finished hat by the end of the game.  (Alas, it was not meant to be, but sooo close!)  After finishing the hat, I thought that it looked a wee bit small.  Nah.....I'm sure it'll stretch.  After all, it looked small on the model in the pattern but she looked pretty good.

Fast foward to last week:  the only snowstorm we had all winter.  I remember my sparkly new hat and pull it on to go to work in the snow. barely covers my ears.  I examine my reflection and come back laughing.....I look ridiculous!

Into the donation bin it goes.  There's got to be someone that this hat will fit and flatter.  Likely, it's going to be a child, a little girl out there that's going to be thrilled with her sparkly new hat.  Rock it, girl!

As for me?  I still have four skeins of the stuff.  A few tweaks to the pattern, and perhaps I'll have my own sparkly lace headwear NEXT winter.  Winter things are kind of already off my radar, I'm dreaming of cottons and spring colors.

Part-Time Assistant

Last week, I brought some work home.  As I sat at the dining room table preparing invoices, Will asked if he could help.  Wish you could, buddy.  But I didn't mind passing him some blank vouchers and letting him copy my work so he could practice his letters and numbers.

Guess I can't say that I work alone anymore, with my Little Assistant.  :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Visit n Play in Philly

We took a short trip this weekend, "short" in terms of time and not distance.  On Saturday morning we drove down to Philly to visit with Grandmom and Grandpop, whom the boys adore.  On Sunday, we decided to check out some local attractions and ended up at the Please Touch Museum in Fairmount Park.

I'd heard about this museum and was intrigued by it even before having kids.  A museum where kids can interact with EVERYTHING???  Hmmmm.  Five minutes into the place (with a AAA discount to boot) and we knew that this place was the real deal.  It was clean, polished and very well-kept.  There were lots of exhibits and everything was open, nothing shut down for maintenance or other issues.  One issue that we have a lot due to our kids' age difference is that often we go somewhere that has plenty to keep Will busy, but not much for Sean. Or it's perfect for Sean but too babyish for Will.  Not this place!  There were plenty of great activities to keep both kids busy.  There was a water room (Sean enjoyed chucking baby ducks into the "baby pond" and yelling DUCK!  while soaking me.)  and a great Alice in Wonderland exhibit.  A big floor piano like the one in that movie "Big."  A few playspaces for kids under three, where Sean comandeered the slide. A space room, where the kids enjoyed shooting foam rockets across the room out of a big cannon and pretended to be astronauts.  A train exhibit, where the train table was a huge hit.  (I swear, if I had the room I'd have a train table, with the amount of time that these kids spent at it there)  A grocery store, where Will enjoyed running around with Grandpop, pretending to shop for food.  (And then he got a green foil star for putting everything back on the shelves....who is this champion cleaner??)

All in all, it was a great trip, though it left the four adults absolutely exhausted.  I would recommend this place to anyone.


Posing with all of their duckies. 

 Splish splash, when Sean's around we ALL take a bath!


 Mom and Will outside the Musical Rainforest

 Will posing with Grandmom and Grandpop

 Both boys loved the trains!

 Putting gas in the Scion in the Garage Exhibit

 Our little speller....this kid  loves magnets

 Will's driving Seanie crazy!

A good day had by all...and someone doesn't want the fun to end.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beauty, Unexpected.

Last year I knitted a scarf to go with my new navy blue coat.  It was a zig-zag lace pattern, and the yarn was variegated in shades of purple, gray and cobalt blue.  The colorway was called "Midwinter" and I fell in love with it instantly in the Knitpicks catalog.  It's a warm wool and while I love the pattern, I don't know if I'd use this yarn again.  It pills like crazy, and despite a good blocking after completion it rolls up constantly, obscuring the lace pattern.    I got a lot of wear out of it last winter, but not so much this year.   It's been cold, but certainly less snowy.

The inside of my car is a total disaster area.  Toys, papers, a sippy cup or two, and what looks like several pieces of winter wear on and around the passenger seat.  Gloves (mine) hats, a cowl and scarf or two, name it!  Anyway, it snowed yesterday and the day before, so I was sure to have some woolies.  I drove to a construction meeting at my new job, then took a tour of the site and went back to work. 

I came back this morning to do a few more interviews, and I pulled up close to the building.  The first thing to catch my eye was the church next door's back entrance.  The church itself is a simple building, with beige bricks.   I catch a flash of cobalt, purple and gray on the oil delivery pipe.  My scarf!

I parked and then rushed over to it. It was dirty and frozen solid, it must've been swept out of the car when I was loading my stuff into the passenger stuff.  (Anyone that knows me knows that I travel with a plethora of "stuff" at any given time!)  Some thoughtful person found it and draped it there, hoping that the person missing such a pretty thing would notice it.  And a pretty thing was just the "midwinter" thing to beautify the all-white environment.  I only wish that my hands hadn't been full of applicant files, I would have loved to get a photo of it there.

I brought it in to my interview, and it started to thaw.  But no worries, a loving soak in some Eucalan and then re-blocking, followed by a treatment with the pilling comb, and it will be restored to it's original beauty.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snow Day!!

After an impressively light winter (heck it was practically SPRING a week or so ago!)  we've got some of the wet, slushy stuff.  Last night as I was switching cars with Brian I looked up into the sky and marveled that it's a weird feeling, thinking snow is still "beautiful" come the end of February.  That's because, like many New Englanders, I'm pretty much done with the stuff come January.

No school for Will today.  He's going to spend the day with his Papa, and is totally thrilled to get the alone time! Brian and I, well, we're wishing that grown-ups got snow days still.