Monday, August 18, 2008

What have I been doing???

Well, we have had three birthdays. Celebrating Ashleigh turning 11, Lindsey turning 7 and Matthew turning 4.

Before school was out, Ashleigh and I went on a school trip to Washington DC and Williamsburg, VA. It was a week long trip and we got to see a lot of interesting things. Because it was a 5th grade field trip, many parents went with their children and only very few children were chaperoned by an adult that was not a relative or friend of the family. Ashleigh thought I was a pretty strict chaperone in that I made her actually look at the Smithsonians and tour Williamsburg for 95% of the time and only 5% in the gift shops (as opposed to some of our other parents and children). Although, everytime I made her do something "learning/historical" as opposed to "shopping" she did say "Wow, mom, that was interesting. Thanks for making me do it." and made me happy that I didn't cave to peer pressure of shopping.

School has started here. We're starting on our second full week. This is a picture of our first day.


I finally got back into the swing of things after the holidays and made my soon-to-be-born nephew Bo a pair of socks.

And my neighbor, who is expecting her seventh child and her fifth girl (yes, I did type that correctly) any day now, a pair of socks.

I signed up for Dish Rag Tag: the Sequel, which started on Friday the 15th. I have also signed up for Mystery Stole 4. When I finally finish my swatch, I'll post a picture.

Finally ~ Be excited for me - MDO starts in two weeks and Matthew will be going all five days from 9 am to 1 pm. I will have to work out a routine to get the best use of my time, but I already know that Monday (which is a short day from 9 to 12) will be a clean the house using FLY Lady methods and that another day will be to help Lindsey's second grade teacher. That leaves me 3 days for my stuff (library and crafts and other me stuff). I'm so excited!!

Isn't he soooo cute??

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Catching back up

The Holidays..... Christmas and New Year's

I have a love/hate relationship going on with the holidays. I love Christmas as the time of year to celebrate Christ's birth, getting together with family and of course as a time of giving and receiving gifts. I hate that there is a long span of time in which I must mediate between my children. They are all so strong willed and mischief minded. I personally can't understand when they claim to be bored as even when I was a young child I could entertain myself with things like cross stitch (I learned how when I was 6), reading, puzzles (I love the logic of putting together a large puzzle), playing outside and riding my bike, and sometimes TV shows (you know back when there were only 4 channels). My children can barely keep themselves entertained with all the numerous options available to them. I'm just glad we're back on a school schedule. Maybe I can get back to knitting.


Before the holidays I participated in the Alabama Holiday Ornament Swap - a kind of Secret Santa thing. I enjoyed it. This is the second swap I've done and they've both been small but easy-ish to complete (just the way I like). So because I like the ornaments I knitted here's a picture of what I sent to my secret partner.

These stockings were made with Jean Greenhowe's Mini Christmas Stocking pattern. Her pattern is to make them on two straights, but I did them in the round after my first test stocking. I did learn on my second stocking that for the bottom to look "right" to me that I needed to leave the bottom open and not cast on in a closed method like for a toe. And for the loop at the top, I cut my yarn long and then put it on a needle and finished off the last stitch as if I were finishing off a cuff. Then I took the needle off the yarn and, with the toe facing me, picked up 3 stitches to do an icord hanger. When it was long enough to do a nice loop, I put the needle back on and kind of kitchnered the end of the icord to the cuff and wove in the end. I was proud of them and hope the recipent like them as well.

What I received from my Secret Santa was WOW!!

That is a mini sock blocker and a dog tag necklace of how to do a kitchner stitch - what knitter wouldn't love those cute items?!?

And aren't those juice / water cups just the cutest? I love that not only are they super cute and fun but made out of a sturdy plastic that my maniac children can't easily accidently break them (not that they'll ever get to use one!!).

I'm also working on a Hemlock Ring Blanket in linen for my mom. It was supposed to be for Christmas, but as with all things handmade you may or may not get them done on time. My knitting time vanished on December 19 (the day school let out) and I'm just now beginning to get back into the groove.

Here's a picture of the star/flower center.

And a picture after row 73 (just to show how much feather and fan is done - it's too big to strech out on my 47" needle to show the whole thing). I've been doing 5 rows of knitting between pattern rows instead of just 4.

I'm hoping it will be more shawl-ish when it's finished.


A picture of my family in the snow this past Saturday.

They had lots of fun. It only snowed about an inch and for just a couple of hours. To me, it was the perfect amount.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Halloween and Hemlock


Halloween was a good evening. I had my trick or treat candy station just right for me.

Large bucket of candy, radio/tape player with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix playing, and my Hemlock Ring blanket to work on in between trick or treaters.


I finally finished my Hemlock Ring blanket. (Yea!!! Much Celebration!!!) Before I finished, I went Friday to get some new yarn in white to make a Hemlock for my mom (this finished one is for my grandmother) and took my blanket for show and to ask about the bind off and I'm sorta glad I did. She suggested that I frog back and do the bind off with a larger needle and much more loosely since I said how badly my wrist was hurting (I thought I might have to have some sort of therapy on it ;) ) and so that the edges of my blanket would have room to move. I did and was amazed at how much better my wrist felt.

When I took my lap blanket off the needles, it stretched out to about 31". After I washed and steam blocked and pinned it, it measures about 38" across the fan parts.

I'm really pleased with this project. I wish it had been a little larger, but I must admit that I was growing tired of how slow the outer rings were becoming to knit. When your row/round is over 500 stitches, it just takes a while to knit it. My next one will have 5 rows of knit stitch in between pattern rows instead of just 4. Hopefully that will add the width that I want.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Not Dead Just A Procrastinator


~ I was invited and my ID is ReaderKnitter
~ I don't use Ravelry as well as it is intended to be used, but I'm working on it

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
~ I got to go to the Barnes and Noble party and get my book (I was home by 1:30 am and finished the book before 7:00 am)
~ I met JP ( a ball of yarn and a remote control ) and he is so very nice. (He was there with his parents.)

Potty Training
~ We are about 95% totally trained. This means only true accidents are happening and mostly not power plays.

Dish Rag Tag
~ We finished and I enjoyed it. This was my first ever swap. I enjoyed that it was something I could knit quickly and not worry if it was something I could finish within a certain time limit and could make it look good enough that I wasn't embarrassed to send it on.


I'm working on 2 new projects. I have taken on the Hemlock Ring Blanket and I'm working on Ashleigh's socks.

This is myblanket progress to row/round 90. I'm knitting this with Cascade 220 Superwash on size 8 Addi Turbo needle.

Ashleigh's socks are coming along. They are going to have a short cuff. This is my first two socks on two circular project. I'm knitting them on size 3 Addi Turbo Lace needles.

I love the Addi needles. Unless something bizarre happens, I won't be buying straights again - only Addi circulars. My favorites are the lace needles because of the pointiness (watch out though because you really can poke a hole in your finger).


I've been listening to alot of audiobooks while I've been knitting. I love the Hoover Public Library (and the Jefferson County Library) for having Overdrive and NetLibrary audiobooks for their patrons and the large selection of books on tape and CD. There have been too many audiobooks to suggest just one at this time, but the book series I'm suggesting at this time is by Charlaine Harris. The Harper Connelly Mysteries (paranormal) beginning with Grave Sight and Grave Surprise. The third book An Ice Cold Grave has just been published and I enjoyed it. If you enjoy paranormal mysteries this is a good series to read.


The fam is rocking along with school and work. Things are going well.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Almost invited

My Ravelry info:
You signed up on May 30, 2007
You are #5989 on the list.
12 people are ahead of you in line.
12545 people are behind you in line.
32% of the list has been invited so far
Oh how great tomorrow will be, maybe an invite from Ravelry and the new Harry Potter. Yes, since it is the last one, I will be going to the "party" in order to get my book right then.
I think there are sooooo very many life lessons to be learned in these stories. There are too many for me to think about right now, but for example we were watching one of the HP movies the other day and my oldest daughter asked me why some of the characters were so mean not only to Harry but to almost all of the other characters also. This open up a discussion about why some people are mean (also a topic too large to type about here).
Tomorrow looks to be a good day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Wow, time really flies...

when you are trying not to be crazy from birthdays (mine - I am now 38 - how the heck did that happen?? I personally believe I'm only about 24 or so.) and potty training the boy. Yes, it's that time and I hope I'm not driven into .....well, use your imagination. Apparently, none of my children want to take that step into leaving diapers/pull ups behind and into the big girl/boy world of using the potty. I had to put my girls into panties and had to spank them to make them use the potty. My oldest would sit there and pee like she hadn't been for a week and scream at me that she "would not use the potty" the whole time in which she was using the potty. Extremely frustrating. Now, the boy .....(just rolling my eyes and shaking my head) let's just say that there is a poop stain on the carpet that the carpet cleaner couldn't get out. However, I will persevere because he must be trained before September in order to attend 3 year old MDO. Matthew WILL be attending MDO.

Knitting -

I finished my dishcloth and found that I knit 11 stitches by 16 rows in 2 inches. Therefore, my star dishcloth for which I cast on 37 stitches came out to be about 7 inches square. I will need to practice the rag I intend to make for the dishrag tag and adjust the amount of cast on stitches in order to make a 9 inch square cloth.

I haven't worked on my baby sock lately. That would require attention that I just don't have at the moment.

I cast on for a shrug for my sister. it is coming along fairly well. I'm knitting it using Yarn Bee - Italia in the Tuscany colorway. I love this yarn. It's soft and pretty and feels good in my hands.

In crafting and not knitting area, I bought the Friendship Wheel kit by Alex Toys . This is the link to show you about it and if you have any interest in this type of thing, I'll warn you that it is fun and easy and addictive.

Other knitting news - I was on I'd Rather be Knitting's blog and found this link to check my Ravelry status -

You signed up on May 30, 2007
You are #5989 on the list.
157 people are ahead of you in line.
11849 people are behind you in line.
32% of the list has been invited so far

If you are signed up, I encourage you to go check your status (it's simple) or to sign up if you already haven't.

Reading -

I've been reading a lot lately, but today I'm going to talk about my new Nora Roberts book High Noon. It's no wonder they call her La Nora in the writing world because this woman can really tell a story. High Noon is about a woman named Phoebe who is a police negotiator and all about her life and her new romance. There is also a who-done-it mystery embedded in the story. As always, Nora Roberts has created a rich story with such complete characters you will feel that you really do know these people and are pulling for them and really want to know what happens to them after the end of the book.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Well it happened. Bad luck came in 3s. First as you know it was the air conditioner, then there was the washing machine and then the garbage disposal. The air conditioner had to be replaced. Luckily, we only had to replace the outside part that was broken which saved us mucho money. Then the washing machine was leaking water into the catch pan (which of course was flimsy and a little cracked). Another lucky thing, it was just the pump which was a relatively inexpensive item to replace (heck, that "service" just to come to your house fee was half the bill). And finally, last night the garbage disposal made a horrible noise and locked up. After much mutter cussing (my mom was here) and working out the allen wrench situation, it was fixed by my husband with the price of sweat and elbow grease. I will be knocking harder on the wood that we are at an end of our bad luck run.

Knitting -

Urgggg... I thought I was off to a good start on my second sock when I realized my pattern problem. I said to my self that it was OK that I could frog back. Well no, apparently I can't. It just looked like a scary mess to me.

So, I cut the yarn and began again. I have picked up the stitches for the one side and will be working on the foot part later.

I also have a dish cloth on my needles (it's for my sister) to practice my gauge for the Dish Rag Tag. Usually I'm not too concerned about the size of a dishcloth (if it's bigger than my hand and washes it's good with me), but for the tag game it needs to be 9 inches square.

Reading -

I am rereading a series I love by David Webber - the Honor Harrington Series. It is a SciFi series all about God, Country and personal honor. I feel that everyone (appropriate for all ages) who reads should give this series a chance. Baen publishing ( gives everyone a chance to do just that with their free library. The first two books in this series On Basilisk Station and The Honor of the Queen are available in their free ebook library as well as many others. I will say that sometimes there is much technical talk/explanation in the books about ships and size and drives and impeller signatures that unless you like that type of math information you can just skip over and it does not affect the story at all. Also, those who are cat people will doubly enjoy this series for Honor Harrington's treecat companion. A wonderful creature that I wish I could have.

Family -

My mom made an unexpected visit yesterday for an overnight stay. She was supposed to fly to San Antonio yesterday morning to visit my sister Anna to help her set up her new house and her flight was canceled and she was given a new flight time of this morning (don't ask me why such a long delay). So instead of going home to Gadsden, she stayed with me. My mom has no hobbies except for cleaning - she loves to clean. I have hobbies so I'm not so much for the clean all the time and not sit & read or sit & knit or sit & listen to a book while knitting. Can you see that it might make me feel just a little guilty to be showing my mom my knitting stuff while she's cleaning some dishes by hand at my sink (by the way, those dishes go in the dishwasher perfectly well and were just waiting their turn). Oh well, differences aside - I love my mom and I think she's the best.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Knock on wood.....

that nothing else breaks this summer. Thank goodness that we got that portable air conditioner (that I can highly recommend) because the upstairs air conditioner compressor broke. That means no conditioned air upstairs. A new air conditioner is due to be put in today. Luckily, downstairs is nice and cool. I have been busy dealing with repair men and children. I haven't maimed or killed anyone...yet. When does school start back?? Ahhh poop, not until the second week of August. I think I can....make it until then without my head exploding (Orudis take me away).

Knitting -

I was working away on my baby sock during the aforementioned craziness and was about to start the heel when I noticed that instead of working the broken rib stitch I was just doing a 2 x 2 rib. I was going to rip back and start that section again, but I just cut the yarn and began again. The cast on looks better and I'm more pleased with the beginning of the new 2nd sock. I'll do pictures again when I turn the heel.

I'm also excited that I'm part of the Dish Rag Tag. This is going to be so much fun. Emily is shocked so many want to take part, but I'm not. Socks are great and who doesn't want a pair, but they are work intensive. Dish rags are faster and easier. No knitting in the round or sizing concerns. The only bad thing about dish rags are that they are meant for that four letter word - cleaning. Who wouldn't want to join such a fun knit game??

Reading -

The new Janet Evanovich book Lean Mean Thirteen is out. If you have not read this series, I highly recommend it. The series is about Stephanie Plum and her antics as a bail bond enforcement agent. They are better read in order as the characters interact and grow with one another in each successive book. These books are a really fast read. Also, if you choose to read these know that you will be smiling and laughing out loud and might have to explain to others that the book is just really funny (also, you might want to be care full about drinking while reading these books - coffee or coke stains on the pages and surrounding area could be a hazard).

Family -

Other than dealing with all the other craziness, my baby sister moved to San Antonio, TX on Wednesday. Tuesday, we trekked to my parents house in Gadsden for her husband's congratulations on graduating dental school and getting residency in oral surgery school and their goodbye party. My brother-in-law M did a deal with the Air Force in which they paid for the last 3 years of dental school and he owed them 3 years of (dental) service. But, he was accepted as one of 3 for their oral surgery students and now he'll be in school with the Air Force for another 3 years and then serve his 3 owed years. A (sister) and M will need all the prayers they can get as they also have a 1 year old daughter AB and no family in the area.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

And... the light bulb finally flickers on.

Thanks to Emily's email that got the idea to me and started the percolating and a fair amount of reading help blogs --- I finally figured out how to do the whole html code thing for the buttons on the side. It was a collaborative effort to make things click for me, but isn't that how things work sometimes? Instruction and information pouring over you until that last bit of info and then you can't understand why you didn't clearly understand before all the effort. But, I've got that piece now. ;-)

Is it really Wednesday??

Time seems to be poking along and speeding by. I think it has to do with the children being home all day. I do know that I seem to hear more questions than any person should ever have to.

I got to watch a little bit of So You Think You Can Dance tonight. I DVR'd it so I'll be able to do things like fold clothes (boo) and work on my second sock (No one foot for our little cousin) while I watch the whole program.

Knitting -

I finished my first (baby) sock. Yea for me!! I would like you to look at my picture and critique the sock (not the mediocre photography). I need to know what you see - that if I did this ____ technique or pulled/didn't pull my thread tighter, it'll get better with practice -

I really would like to know what you think (praise is good, but constructive criticism is really good).

Also, I would like to know if anyone knows of a plain stockinette sock for my daughters (too big for baby, too small for women's small). I found a generic sock pattern here: and it looks good, but I was wondering.....?

I signed up for Emily's Dish Rag Tag at (soon I will learn to attach the button and link - if you can tell me in little words I would appreciate it - Emily already tried and I only sorta got it, obviously, as the buttons still don't work) and am so excited to participate. I can totally knit a dishrag in a somewhat speedy manner - socks, not so much with the speed.

Reading -

Yesterday morning, on my favorite SciFi book web site , I saw this book Beast Master's Quest. I was excited about it because I like stories with "intelligent" animals especially cats. I like Baen because you can "preview" all their books and they also have a free e-library. I read my preview and the library near me actually had the book and it was in - kismet. Unfortunately, this story turned out to be just ok for me. I'm not sure if it's because I didn't read the first two (which of course the library doesn't have), but the story just fell flat about 3/4 of the way through. If you like to read this genera, it wasn't bad, but if you don't enjoy reading don't check it out.

Family -

Ummmm.. Mimi, when can the children come to your house for the week??