Friday, March 30, 2007

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

Instead of a nice relaxing evening knitting and sipping on a hard cider, I just finished wrestling with the video card on our desktop. It wasn't seated correctly to begin with and I completely forgot about it. John picked up a new mouse and when he fiddled with the cord because it wasn't working he heard a "twang" and the monitor screen went to the test screen. I went up and it looked like the video card had come unseated. The tower no longer appears to work - the hard drive isn't booting.

The only good thing is that we at least have the new lap top. Do you think Dell will accepted knitted items and hand-dyed yarn as payment for a new tower? We've contacted our IT friend and hopefully all is not lost. If it is, I'm hoping it's an issue with the mother board and not the hard drive - all of Michael's pics are there because of course I've never backed them up. I have a ton of files that I would really hate to loose.

No geraniums or lobelia today - they probably won't be available 'til the end of April. The matress pad is nice, though.

Just found out that the graphics card is most likely fried. Keeping my fingers crossed that putting the old one back in will fix the problem.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A whole host of things...

We just got back from a major shopping trip since my sister came over with the car and we took full advantage of it.

  • I finally got a memory foam matress pad at BJ's. I've been wanting one for ages but theres just no way I can strap that sucker onto my stroller. The wait was worth it because it was reduced again and I got it for only $50!

  • Containers from Ikea. We bought some a few months ago for Michael and my yarn stash took them over.

  • I got four of these to make myself a little container garden in front of my house. I bought some morning glory and sweet pea seeds at the flower show a few weeks ago to plant there. My mom also picked up some miniature pansies for me and I'm going to try and get some lobelia and geraniums at the Italian Market tomorrow. While John and Michael are at the park, I'm going to drill a few drainage holes in them and fill them with the soil I got

  • I bought 3 cubic feet of top soil - I'm not even sure how I managed to move the 2 cubic foot package by myself - I had to put it in the stroller to get it from the car to the house

Those are the highlights of the trip. I actually drove for all of our errands this afternoon. M and I did the math and it's been eight years since I've driven a car. I wasn't as nervous as I though I'd be since Michael was in the car as well. There was one more thing but for the life of me I can't think of what it was so I'll just leave it at that. Oh - I remember now - I am starting a decluttering mission for April. My goal is 200 things out of the house. I'm hoping to get that number as close to 500 as I can but 200 is at least attainable.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Gotta love a good Lovecraft reference

Michael is steadfastly refusing to nap, so I have to keep myself from going insane amuse myself somehow. Check out this little gem on Defective Yeti.

Just a reminder to myself

of how great he really is...

What I stayed up all last night doing...

and considering it's now 2am, I'm risking doing the same again.

I made Michael a weighted-vest. In children who have sensory issues, weighted clothing can help them focus and decrease some of their sensory imput. As always, I thought this would be a quick project. It was, but considering I had to make the pattern from scratch and didn't start that process until almost 11pm, I was up until 3:30 finishing it. The only reason I got to bed at 3:30 is because Michael woke up at 3 and I had to be quick, calling up stairs to him every five minutes or so to say I'd be done soon.

Here's my handiwork:

It's not very high on the list of priorities, but I will be posting a PDF with the pattern for at least a toddler/young child-sized vest. Michael's OT was very impressed with it and kept telling me that I could make a lot of money selling them but you know I really don't want too - this crap is damned expensive and I am not out to make a dime off of another parent who is trying to get their child a piece of needed equipment. Heck, if I could afford it I would have bought the thing - spending four hours sewing medical equipment no matter how well it turned out is not my idea of a fantastic evening.

Ranting aside, he did fantastically well with it Tuesday morning at story time - he just looked like the kid who had trouble sitting down rather than the kid who spends most of the story time hopping and or running around the room. We are ging to have OT at storytime again next week, so we'll see if we can repeat it.

Just for fun...

On Notice

Found this on Weezie Doo and Icey Too (aka Adventures of an AP Mama). You can get your own here.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Oh, the humanity...

Cartoon Network's feed hiccupped at the end of Naruto tonight and I missed the last couple of minutes of the episode, filled with portents of what is to come and then had to expose myself to the spoilers on Wikipedia to find out what the hell happened in the last three minutes.

Of course, Viz will not have this storyline published until the fall with my luck. I am seriously tempted to start buying back issues of Shonen Jump. The next volume of Naruto isn't due until JUNE!!!! June, people. I have to wait three months. I can't help but think that this is some sort of conspiracy - they are doing this on purpose. Some exec at Viz is sitting in a high-backed leather chair, stroking a white Persian cat and laughing maniacly. Come to think of it, there are probably a few Cartoon Network execs in on the fun as well - or maybe Comcast has decided to screw with me.

Honest, tomorrow I will go back to being the mom who bakes and sews, tonight I am the rabid Naruto fan who is mightily pissed off that I had to expose myself to spoilers. I've know about the Wikipedia entries for ages - John has read all of them and sometimes exudes this smug, "I know what happens," vibe while I'm on the edge of my seat. There was a point where the Viz graphic novels were ahead of the show and I had to seriously consider if I wanted to find out what came next (I did buy it).


I'm going to bed.

Quick and Dirty Crafts Update has to be becaue Naruto is on in ten minutes and I have to see how they handle the Third Hokage's death. That sentence is so specific that it doesn't even need the qualifier that I am a huge geek.

First off, take a look at this. This was the present from Michael and John to the new baby. I'm a little chagrinned (if that is even a word)about this because I made a comment about how we expected babysitting as payment and later found out that everyone thought that I wanted S to babysit for us when it was we who want to watch her child. Oh well, not much can be done for it now.

Here are the pics - Istill haven't installed PSP on this yet so you'll have to deal with the crappy job Corell does on my very mediocre pictures.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Hooded washcloth
Sugar and Cream Cotton
Original Pattern

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Nursing Pads

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Burp cloth
Sugar and Cream Cotton
Original Pattern
Comming Soon to Knitty Keen

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Small Bib
Sugar and Cream Cotton
Original Pattern
Comming Soon to Knitty Keen

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Sugar and Cream Cotton
Original Pattern
Comming Soon to Knitty Keen

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Snazzy Pants Step-Ins
Hand-dyed Merino Wool
Original Pattern

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Mason Dixon Bibs
Sugar and Cream Cotton

...damn, it's starting - I'll fix this up later. Have to dash!!!

I’ve become my mother…

…and it’s not really all that bad.

We were driving home from S’s shower today and had a really great conversation. We really realized just how alike we are to each other, probably one of the biggest contributors to the turmoil we both went through during my later teen years. We talked a lot about parenting and motherhood. A large portion of the conversation centered on what we wanted to do differently from our own parents. She told me how taking care of her husband was one of the biggest things she took away from her own childhood because her own mother did not do this for her father. I told her that most of my stuff is discipline related – I never want Michael to be afraid of us. We actually talked about the incident that really cemented my resolve on this matter.

We talked about how she grew as a parent and the whole, “When you know better, you do better,” concept. I told her that as crappy as a lot of the shit that happened between as during my childhood and young adult years, I know that they were doing the best they could with what they had, that there was no malice of forethought involved. This doesn’t change the fact that these incidents have scared me and still hurt like hell, but that we can have an open conversation about it without all of the hate and blame that would have been present even just five years ago is phenomenal.

One of the biggest things to come out of this conversation was her admission that the thing she most regrets is not recognizing my mental illness for what it was, that her inability to see it as a real condition caused so much heartache and pushed us so close to the brink of no return. My therapist has suggested having this conversation with both of my parents several times but I have not been ready for it and I know if I pushed it I would have really fucked it up. This quiet admission of regret has been something I’ve wanted to hear from her for years. It doesn’t take away the pain, as is evidenced by the tears threatening right now just thinking about it, but I feel like we can really move forward in our relationship now that she’s told me this.

Friday, March 23, 2007

And the needles are flying...

I have tons of ends to weave in and only a few hours to do them in. Actually, I have 1.5 nursing pads, an applied I-cord and more buttons than you can shake a stick at. I updated the "On the Needles" stat bar to say 75% since I feel that I am not done with it yet, even though John says I'm bordering on doing too much. That's it, S - every time I see you in the next few weeks, you are going to find a knitted item secreted somewhere on your person after I leave.

I am insane (this goes without saying), but she is my best friend who is pregant with her first and I love her more that words can say.

I'll post pics on Saturday and there will also be two new pattern downloads for Knitty Keen sometime this week.

After I have this mostly out of my system, I'll be doing so dyeing too. With a bit of luck, I'll have the Etsy store stocked by April 2nd.

Off to weave in ends....

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

How strange is this

Flibbertigibbet is in my e-mail program's spell-check dictionary.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Out of the dye pot...

Here's what I spent my Sunday doing...

Fingering, 80/20 Merino/Silk, hand-painted

Fingering, 80/20 Merino/Silk

Fingering, Merino, Kettle-dyed

Fingering, Merino

Worsted, Merino, Kettle-dyed

Worsted, Merino

Worsted, Merino, Kettle-dyed

Worsted, Merino

I so love using my acid dyes. It takes a lot more prep-work than using Wilton's, but the actual dyeing process is quicker and I am loving the results. It is very interesting that I used the exact same stock mixtures for the two fingering-weight yarns and the difference came from the dyeing method. The hand-painted is very dark and exact while the kettle-dyed has a softer, washed-out look to it. I'm thinking Bengal as a name for the hand-painted colorway, and Sandstone or Autumn Wood as a name for the kettle-dyed colorway. Aquamarine is a logical name for the turquoise-colored skein, so I think that's a keeper. Nothing screams out to me for the Blue/Green/Yellow one, the names I have bumping around my head all seem cumberson or don't do the color combination justice.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, I am going to try to recreate the two kettle variegateds tonight or tomorrow night. I took lots of notes, so lets hope that is enough.

Thanks for looking!

cross-posted on Knitty Keen

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Things found while searching for my book...

...and no, I never did find it.

  • Antique gold organza ribbon

  • Tatting needles and a plastic shuttle

  • Jiffy Crochet hook

  • Shrinky Dinks

  • IRS Employee handbook

  • Pre Cana Guidebook

  • Half-finished novella I wrote in college (unrequited love - enough said)

  • Pictures from S’s wedding

  • In Defense of Marxism by Leon Trotsky

  • Guidebook for Access ‘97

  • DBZ mouse pad

  • Tinsel

  • Broken super-8 camera

  • Negatives for our wedding pictures

  • Autograph book from eighth grade graduation

  • Dressmaker’s rule

  • The sculpey whorl I made for my drop spindle

  • Pascal programming textbooks

  • DOS 6.0 back-up disks

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

There is nothing quite as aggravating... really wanting to read a specific book, knowing that you have a copy of said book and being unable to find it. I've looked everywhere my books are stashed around the house and I cannot find my copy of Enchanted April. I went to see a stage production of it tonight with my mom and really wanted to read the book so I could contrast and compare. Of course I had a cup of regular coffee on my way home so I am in no way ready for bed. I may just have to tear apart the house to find this book, I can't wait 'til tomorrow.

It's funny, John and I have been married for almost eight years and my books have never merged fully with his. His books are for the most part in strict alphabetical order while mine are squirreled away in strange places. I did find some interesting titles, but alas nothing that will fit the bill. Oh, for a 24-hour book store.

I'm off to look downstairs some more.

Finding my sea legs

It has been really, really hard to do this and there are days where I do great and days where I fail miserably. One of the things I am focusing the most on with Michael is not loosing my temper since it does no one any good. When Michael does not respond to a request I am using a silly voice to call to him rather than just repeating myself louder - this was a tip I found on a special needs board for communicating with children with auditory processing issues and it's usually part of the GD bag of tricks. With the exception of, "Please, for the love of God will you take a nap!" it's really working. I am still trying to find my way with the naps. There are days when I really resent the fact that I have to lay on the floor next to his crib to get him to sleep (and yes, I've tried co-sleeping and he won't have anything to do with it, he needs his space). I just sit in the glider, knitting and seething at him while he tries to settle down which I know helps the process oh so much. Yesterday I decided I was tired enough to take a nap so we both went to sleep. This afternoon, I was a bit tired and really wanted to sleep which is a big flashing sign saying that I shouldn't. Since I have gotten some time to myself these past few days and in general he's been easier to deal with, I had no problem laying down and reading some manga (Naruto if you are interested - and Viz is Evil by the way -- 3 flippin' months until the next volume!!!!!) while he settled - it only took fifteen minutes. I still have a few other things we want to try out - fully darkening his room and a weighted blanket, so I don't have to lay down every time because there will be days where I won't be able to let go of the resentment and it is unreasonable to expect myself to be able to do it all the time.

On Monday we had the evaluation for his IEP. Michael will be turning three in June so he'll be changing over from Early Intervention to the school district. It actually went great. I almost always feel better after these types of evaluations - they give me the validation that I'm not just making things up or blowing them out of proportion, that my child has real issues. It's hard to remember that sometimes. We've structured our life around making things as easy as possible for him and us. This is a given to an extent whenever there are children in a family, but we've taken it a bit further than most because of Michael's special needs. I have to remember to tell myself that no, Michael isn't like the kids you saw in the clips on Comedy Central's Autism fundraiser, but he still has issues and he is Special Needs with a capital "S" and "N". He had a tantrum during the evaluation. There were some storage cabinets in the room and he spied some trucks in the bottom of one of them. One of the evaluators told me to relax, that it was a good thing that they were seeing this (she told me I had a look of horror on my face). She asked me how we deal with these types of tantrums. That's when I realized exactly how much we have changed our lives. I told her that these tantrums were rare because we just didn't allow them to happen, in that I avoided the circumstances likely to cause a tantrum. If he got like that while we were out, we left. If there was a place where that seemed to happen every time we went there, then we didn't go there any more. It's one of the reasons why he's in the stroller so much, and it's as much for his benefit as it is for mine. You know, I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this line of thought and since it's starting to take on a tone of justification, I'm just going to end it here.

It will be several weeks before we have the official report, but they are recommending a special classroom. I have to option of putting him in a regular preschool but he would definitely need wrap-around care. Frankly, I'm very happy for this; I was actually afraid that he wouldn't qualify for it. I think a small classroom where he can get as much attention as he needs is best for him right now. I have a ton of phone calls to make this week. I have to schedule his hearing test, I have to find out what's going on with the developmental ped, I have to find some of the schools in the area that offer these services so we can schedule tours and pick one before the IEP meeting, I have to get the loop-hole Medicaid application in, and we have to make a decision about the genetic testing. This and knitting to boot (well, there is always knitting). I'm off to make a few calls.


ETA: Thank you so much for your kind words about the new 'do. I'm hoping to dye it tomorrow night (probably while I'm dying yarn).

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Not the best of pictures...

New 'do

...but enough so you can get an idea, this is truly the best of the batch. One of the stylists saw how much hair was cut off and made a comment about twenty years-worth of hair being on the floor, my mom and I both said, "No, just three years," at the same time.

Now I just have to dye it.


The lap top is OK and I am once again experiencing the joy that is mobile posting.

Here's a succinct list of what's doing...

The mystery project is progressing - I've known about it for months and have had the yarn for at least the past four weeks yet I am only now getting to work on it. Given the fact that I still have just shy of two weeks, I'm still doing better than I normally am. There is lots of knitting in my future - actually that's a given, just more so than usual.

My hair is gone. John is very depressed. I am ecstatic - I've had long hair for almost two years now and it's so freeing to have it gone. The flip side is that it looks like I'm going to have to pick up some styling product. It looks OK without any, but I know it will look so much better with just a bit of gel to keep things in place. To do it right I really should buy a couple of different products and blow it dry but that is way too much. It does look super cool with my headband though. I'll post pics tomorrow when it's a bit tamer.

We have Michael's evaluation with the school district tomorrow for his IEP and I am very nervous. My gut says he should have no problem qualifying for the inclusive preschool we really want, but that is the best-case scenario. There's no doubt in my mind that he qualifies for services. We'll just have to wait and see.

My kitchen scale arrived on Friday and my yarn came on Saturday. I'm hoping to mix some dyes and get a few skeins of hand-painted done this week. I'm planning on putting things up in the Knitty Keen Etsy Shop by the end of the month.

That's about it for now. A picture-heavy post is coming soon.

Friday, March 09, 2007

I don't even know where to begin...

Michael poured watered-down orange juice on our new laptop.

The day did get a bit better but now I have to try and fix some things and I really don't know how. I just know that I seem to make things worse every time I try.

At least I have the haircut to look forward to tomorrow. My sister M is going to watch Michael at my mom's while she and I get our hair done (it's my birthday present from her). Yes, I am getting it chopped. I've had long hair for almost two years now and it's time for a change. Besides, it will remove most of the part that's dyed so I'll just have salt and pepper which will take the Loreal version of Manic Panic much better (well it will look cooler, gray is terrible at absorbing color). Damn, just remembered that I should probably start to buy real Manic Panic if I'm going to keep this look up since I'm pretty sure Nestle owns Loreal now.

I'm going to have some Irish cream in my coffee (or more likely some coffee with my Irish Cream) and go to bed.

I miss cigarettes right now.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Mobile Crafts Update!

I am posting this in Starbucks - wooohooo!!!! I appologise that the pictures aren't the best, I haven't installed Paint Shop on this machine yet and the free imaging software that came with leaves a lot to be desired - aparently it's too much to expect a sharpen feature.

Dream Swatch

Dream Swatch Scarf
Dream Swatch scarf
Cottonade in Lipstick
US Size 10 Needles
Altered pattern so there were only 3 repeats

Silky Sock Socks
Silky Sock Socks
Universal Toe-up Sock
Great Adirondack Silky Sock, Serengetti
US size 1 and 0 Needles
Altered pattern to use a Turkish Cast-on for the toe

Nursing Pads
Wool Nursing pad
Wool Nursing Pad
Worsted-weight Silk/Cashmere blend
US Size 6 needles
Altered pattern to make all kf&b increases into M1L increases

Cable Band for Quinn bag
Horizontal Cable Band
Horizontal Cable Band for Quinn Bag, MDC KAL
hand dyed Lions Brand Fisherman's Wool
US Size 8 Needles
I'm still working on the design for this, when I am finished I will post links to a complete PDF

...and last but not least...

Frogs in My Pocket
Frogs in My Pocket
(or on my coffe cup to be more exact)
This will be a pattern available for purchase on Knitty Keen in the not too distant future.

Of course, I forgot the power source, so I have to cut this short so I can get some gaming in before my battery dies. Thanks for looking!!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Being sick all last week pretty much put the kabosh on my Knitty submission, so we'll just have to aim for the fall which is just as well. There has been much happening the past few days as per usual and I don't have the time right now to list them all. I will say that I am posting this in my livingroom from our new Dell laptop - we've gone wireless!