Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Not the most spectacular Halloween

It has just been a day. Michael has been up for several hours a night since last week and trying to sleep with us which is not working at all - John sleeps with a lot of pillows and I'm at that lovely stage in pregnancy where I just can't get comfortable enough to get into the deep sleep I really need. Needless to say, sleep-deprived mama and child are not the best of mixes. If the disturbances in Michael's sleep are still happening by the weekend, we'll be going back to the air mattress in his room again.

We had Michael's "pyjama party" this morning at his preschool - I'm not sure if it's a school policy or a teacher policy that Halloween was not mentioned, but I'm going to find out. The party was a complete disaster from my point of view. The parents arrived at 10am and I figured we were going to go right into the food after the kids played and showed us stuff and what not. No, we did not sit down to eat until after noon - eighteen kids and close to two dozen parents in the classroom. I hit sensory (and heat) overload after just thirty minutes. Michael had a steady stream of small meltdowns and by the time we did get to eat, he wasn't the only crying kid there. We ended up leaving at one so we could catch the direct bus home - after he had downed several Hi-C drink boxes and received two goody bags from classmates (who in their right mind puts pixie sticks in a goody bag for a 3/4 year-old?).

I am definitely going to have a talk with someone about this. I can't speak for other parents, but my kid can't cope with that much sensory input - a class visit would have been nice, all of us crammed in there for two and a half hours before eating was way too much. The food was fine, but I would like to see beverages limited to 100% juice. I am not the most uptight person when it comes to nutrition and firmly believe in the "everything in moderation" rule, but over stimulated three year-old and free access to red-dyed sugar water drink boxes do not a good mix make - trust me when I say that taking them away or finding a way to restrict access to them would not have been pretty. It's going to take days for him to get this out of his system. My mom, who was a preschool/daycare teacher herself for a good 10 years, feels that this was a failing of the teacher, much firmer guidelines need to be in place. I guess my position as classroom representative may come in handy after all.

Since the remainder of the afternoon and evening has been spent in various stages of melt-down or hyperactivity, trick-or-treating is pretty much out of the question. We got his costume on him (flannel, overalls and an engineer's cap) and he wanted it off immediately. We asked him several times if he wanted to go out and each time were told no. It's really for the best - God knows the last thing he needs is more candy. John and I are a bit disappointed, but neither of us can cope with much more at this point. The thing that really sucks about today is I didn't have the energy to make John's pumpkin cake with cream-cheese frosting for his birthday. Ah well, something to look forward to on Friday since I'm sure tomorrow will be spent in recovery.

Sorry to my friends out there - I just don't have the energy to call and bitch about this in person right now. I'll try and talk to you all in the next few days when I'm not quite so exhausted and raw.

Happy Halloween All!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


It's clammy and wet outside, I'm getting a cold, Michael had a 15 minute meltdown tonight 'cause I would not let him macerate my ice cream with his own spoon (sorry folks, it was my line in the sand), and I got my first *real* taste of the scary potential of life with two (we had S's son all afternoon). I really think it was a combination of weather, recent school upheavals, and probably the fruit gem candy he ate this afternoon that caused all the problems with Michael. I also realized that I have to have a talk about how we phrase inappropriate behavior - "bad" was used as a descriptive several times this afternoon and it made my skin crawl each time I heard it. Granted, internally I was just screaming at him to please for the love of all that is holy stop and listen, but I tried to stay as GD as possible since perpetuating the feedback loop does no one any good. Despite the fact that I could have ended the incident over the ice cream by giving in, I just didn't have it in me at that point. I do have to say I am proud of how I handled the fifteen minutes of screaming - I wanted nothing more than to throw a spoon and scream right back at him, but I kept my cool and calmly explained why I wasn't letting him do this and gave him all the hugs he wanted during the ordeal. He did finally end up sitting in my lap and we shared the last bit of Hagen Daaz. Man, this is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, but I don't think I'll completely suck at it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Green Scaly Goodness

I stayed up late last night and finished the first of the Green Scaly Socks (a.k.a. my magic-loop, toe-up rewrite of Pomatomus) and they are a thing of beauty.



Be sure to click on the pics to see the full-sized pictures - the tiny ones do not do them justice. Yes, I'm a wee bit excited about it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Green Scaly Socks, Part Deux

Unfortunately, there is a Part the Third as well, but I'm waiting 'til tomorrow to write that one.

Here are the changes thus far...

  • Changed the CO to 32 sts (16 loops using the Turkish or Middle Eastern Cast-On)

  • After the foundation rounds, worked the increases thusly - K2, M1L ~ M1R, K2 (rep for needle 2) until there was a total of 76 sts (38 sts per needle).

  • Began working Pomatomus Chart B, changing the k3togtbl in line one to k2tog for the first time I worked it. There is a 1 st border on either side of the lace chart.

  • Worked Chart B once and then a second time through Row 11

  • Began incorporating heel from Cookie A.'s Beaudelaire sock. Work Row 12 of chart B on needle 1, then on needle 2 K1, M1L, K36, M1R, K1. Work the gusset increases every other round until there are 12 increases (until you hit Chart B Row 12).

  • Work Chart B Row 13 on needle 1, then K48, W&T; then P34, W&T. Work to one stitch before the wrapped st on each row and then W&T until you have 12 wrapped sts on either side and 12 unwrapped sts in the middle. Work one more K row - K11, W&T. P until the first wrapped st, p/u wrap and p it together with the wrapped stitch. Continue until all but one wrapped st has been worked, p/u wrap and place it and the wrapped stitch back on the left needle, p3tog, turn. Sl 1, k until first wrapped st, p/u wrap and k it together with the wrapped st until all but one wrapped st has been worked. P/U wrap and place it and the wrapped st on the left needle and k3togtbl (Cookie calls this a sssk in her pattern). Turn your work. Work one more P row and then on the next K row start working twisted single rib.

  • Continue working short rows, k or p until 1 st before gap and then doing a p2tog or an ssk depending on side you are on until all the gusset sts have been worked, there will be a total of 36 sts on needle 2.

  • Resume working in the round with Chart B Row 14 on needle 1 and the twisted single rib on needle 2 until you have completed Chart B Row 21. On Row 22, K1 and then slip it to needle 2, work chart B row 22, and slip the last st to needle 2. On needle 2, k2tog, follow rib, k2tog - there will be 37 sts on needle 1 and 36 sts on needle 2.

  • Begin working chart A - turning the first k2togtbl to a k3togtbl. Work as many pattern repeats as you want and then change to twisted single rib for the cuff, finish with a sewn bind-off.

If I did not have the feet that I do, this alteration would be perfect for someone with a size 10 wide foot and a high instep. As it is, not only do I have wide feet with a high instep, I also have thick ankles that only get thicker with being pregnant. I can get the sock on my foot, but I'm not happy with the stretching of the lace pattern so I frogged back to the end of the gusset - thankfully I had the presence of mind to put in a life line last night. I decided that I was going to work a few more gusset round to a total of 14 increases. I'm still going to work the w&t's until there are 12-12-12, but I'm only going to work the heel flap short-rows until there are 2 sts unworked on either side - there will be a total of 40 sts on needle 2. I'll finish chart B and then start it again, this time on both needle 1 and needle 2, with twisted rib in between. I'm hoping that this will fit over my foot better and there will be less stress on the lace pattern. I still have my life-line in place, but here's hoping I don't need it and I'll have a lovely finished sock to show off in the morning!

Crafts Update

Much sock knitting has been happening (as well as much frogging and gnashing of teeth). Here's what's doing - the Green Scaly Socks will be getting their own post.

Socks by Numbers


I'm testing out my Socks by Numbers pattern on Michael with some Regia I picked up last week at Tangled Web. I was a little too conservative in my numbers and while the socks fit, they *just* fit, so I'm going to re-work things a bit and start over. I'm hoping to get them done by the end of the weekend.

Step Socks

Now I just have to get the second one done.

Felted Messenger Bag
I finally did the finishing work on this today and it has been felted. Once it dries, I'll be lining it with some denim salvaged from an old skirt and some webbing for a shoulder strap. Here are the before pics:
Messenger Bag, Unfelted - Open

Messenger Bag, Unfelted - Closed

Mystery Projects
Wouldn't you like to know. There are many and they are progressing nicely.

Snazzy Pants Longies
Just one leg left to go...

Once I get the socks out of my system, I'm going to plow through my WIP's to upgrade them to FO status - not something for the faint of heart.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Michael Fix

It's been far too long - and now he knows how to pose for the camera. Enjoy!








Friday, October 19, 2007

I love it when a plan comes together!

Nothing quite like an A-Team reference ;)

I've had an idea burning in my brain for the past 36 hours and I just finished the first prototype which turned out surprisingly well. I've made a few changes and I'm getting ready to cast-on for version 1.1. Of course, I have at least a half-dozen other projects waiting to be finished (one just needs buttons sewn on), but who can work when their brain is on fire? I'm not sure what I'm doing with it yet, so if you want to see pics, email me.

Inspiration calls...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thou shall not piss off the pregnant woman

For she will write letters full of vitriol and cc everyone she can think of.

Michael has missed school twice this week because the bus hasn't shown up and I've been under the weather enough that taking Septa to drop him off at school is pretty much out of the question. John is calling the program director this afternoon and hopefully something will actually get done. I can appreciate the fact that the school has no control over the bus company, but the fact that no one calls to let us know what the hell is going on and the only way we get the piddly amount of information we do have on the situation is because we call repeatedly is ludicrous. We called three times this morning, the first two we were told that the bus was on it's way, the third time we were told that the bus had been and gone to the school. Why on earth did I have to call the school myself to find out this information after waiting for an extra 30 minutes outside for a bus that wasn't coming?

Preschool is one thing - the fact that Michael has missed two days of therapy this week because of screw-ups is unacceptable. Either fix the f&*(ing problem, or let me know it can't be fixed so I can make other arrangements.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Otaku Outrage

They messed with One Piece. New opening, almost all new American voice actors and new music. At least John was enjoying me yell, "What the F***?!?!" at the TV screen. I finally have the time to devote to watching it again at the start of a new story arc and they change everything on me. grumble, grumble, grumble...


Yes, I am well aware of the fact that I am probably in the very small minority who liked the first US version better. John got some more enjoyment watching me swear at people under my breath as I was reading a message board thread about the new version. I have to admit I've never read the manga (*gasp* horror of horrors) and the sheer silliness of the show is what drew me in, much the same way I've been sucked into quite a few Dragonball story arcs - you just can't not watch it.

I really liked the opening song - I practically watched it just for that.

I guess this is someone's way of telling me I should go to bed after Naruto on Saturday nights.

John is so going to use this to his advantage - I can here the otaku comments already.

Note to Self - Simple Math

Take heed...

three year-old + silence + not in the same room = trouble

At least now I know how to remove procion dye from carpet, linoleum, walls, and kitchen counters. Thankfully, Michael doesn't seem to mind blue hands - I wonder what the preschool will make of it on Monday.

Absolute Fall

I cannot tell you how happy I am that the weather is finally seasonal. Michael and I went to a few stores yesterday morning a good mile away and I was achy, but not completely wiped as I would be if it were hot and humid out. This morning we are planning on going to one of the local playgrounds where they are having a flea market and then onto another one in the Italian Market afterwards. I know I'll have to stop and sit every once in a while, but the thought of being out all morning in this glorious weather and not needing to recover for several hours afterwards is exhilarating.

Breakfast needs to be eaten and lunches need to be packed - enjoy the day!

P.S. - A Very Happy Birthday to K!!! May you have a wonderful day today!


Friday, October 12, 2007

'tis a pitty...

but I had to frog it, the green scaly sock that is.

I did a short-row heel on the way home from Chestnut Hill yesterday, tried it on and there was no way it was going to fit my foot, so I frogged the heel and prepared to do a heel flap and gusset. After much fudging, since I've never done one before, I finally turned the heel and was happily doing gusset decreases when I realized I should have read a bit further in the directions I was adapting - I was decreasing every round instead of every other round. Since so many little things had been fudged at that point, I decided it was time to make a clean break.

Here are the plans for the next attempt:

  • Start with 14 or 16 sts for the toe so it's a bit more shallow
  • Work increases so there are a total of 72 sts
  • Rearrange stitches so there are 40 on needle 1 (top of foot) and 32 on bottom (sole) so I can avoid the gapping that happens on either side of the stitch pattern and keep things nice and tight
  • I think a heel flap and gusset is still going to be my best bet with my wide feet and high instep. I plan on using at least 32 rows for the heel flap, but am not adverse to making it a bit longer. I also want to look at a few other toe-up heel flap and gusset patterns because I'm not in love with the look of the one I adapted from Sensational Knitted Socks. I'll have to look over some of Cookie A.'s other sock patterns to see if I can find one I like, or otherwise adapt the one she gives in the original pattern.

This is definitely an adventure and I'm learning a lot more about heel construction. I can think my way around a short-row and an afterthought heel with no problems, it will be nice to get some practice in working/designing hell flaps and gussets. I've been doing a little reading about them and many feel that they work best for high-instep/wide feet. Now I do like the fit of my Austermann Step sock and that just has an extra-deep short-row heel, but it's also knit in stockinette so the stretchiness stays uniform. I think the heel flap and gusset is going to work better for me with lace patterns. I frogged the Super Mecha Sock last week because the instep was just too tight and I'm thinking that the structure of a heel flap would alleviate that well.

I just cast-on for a pair of socks for Michael so I can test out my Socks by Numbers pattern for infant/toddler socks. I also have grand plans to get the Toe-up Baby Socks pattern up before the end of the weekend as well. All of this and I have to find time to go to bed earlier since I've been able to figure out that sleep deprivation is a big contributor to my sever lack of patience with my son. We'll just have to wait and see how productive (read: how much housework I can avoid) this weekend.

Lots of pics coming soon - the camera just has to make it upstairs.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Just checking in

I'm off to my OB appointment in a few minutes and then it's on to Chestnut Hill and Tangled Web and Pensey's Spices for a day to myself.

In knitting news, I finished the first of my Step Socks, I'm about half done the instep of mt Green Scaly Socks (a.k.a. toe-up Pomatomus), Michael's felted messenger bag is just waiting to be sewn together and felted, the longies are waiting for the second leg to be done, a few mystery projects are waiting to get on the needles, and so many baby things are waiting to be finished. Man, I have way too many things going right now - it's scary to see everything written out like that. I'm probably taking the Green Scaly Sock with me to work on today and the Austermann Step to make a pair of baby socks if I feel like working on something different (and to finish the pattern). I have pictures of all of these things, it's just a matter of getting them from the camera to the computer now.

I have to dash - breakfast beckons (everything bagel, cream cheese and Jersey tomatoes - mmmm). TTFN!

Someone on the R8 to Fox Chase is now the proud owner of a 4 oz. bag of Penzy's Greek and Northwoods Seasoning blends. Pregnancy brain strikes again. On the otherhand, I turned the heel on the first Green Scaly Sock - let's pray it fits.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

As per usual

Instead of napping, I am blogging.

I thought I'd give a quick update on the socks I started (and frogged) yesterday. Since I had such a horrendous morning, I figured I deserved to be able to cast-on for a pair of cool socks rather than plugging away at the 2x2 ribbing for the cuff of my first Step Sock. I bought a hank of Araucania Multi Ranco fingering wool at Loop last week with the intent of making something for the Bean. Since I have three sweaters in various states of completion right now for the Bean, I figured the Bean has enough for now and I deserved something cool.

I was paging though some of the patterns on Ravelry and came across an adaptation of Cookie A.'s Pomatomus Socks pattern from Knitty turned fingerless gloves. How cool would a kettle-dyed green yarn look as scaly gloves? Of course, then I also got involved in Socktoberfest so I thought green scaly socks would be even better, although I still plan to get another hank to do up the gloves as well - it's that cool.

The pattern as written is for top-down socks which really annoy me, so I started looking for toe-up adaptations. I found one on The Shizzknit that looked promising and set to work. The original pattern is written for a women's size 9 using US 2 (2.75mm) needles. Since I have wide, high-instep, size 10 feet, I decided to try things out with my Addi Turbo 3mm needle. The resulting fabric was a little looser that what I usually do for socks (checked and my gauge was 7.5 sts/inch which would translate to about 7 sts/inch once it's been blocked). I plugged away using the instructions from The Shizzknit until it was time to start the lace pattern and I couldn't wrap my mind around her instructions. The potential problem with this pattern is that the lace pattern isn't rectangular, so there is a separate chart for use on the instep of the sock. It also changes stitch counts in the middle which is another potential stumbling block. Reading over Cookie's instructions, I figured if I changed the k3togtbl on line 1 of chart B to a k2togtbl only for the first time I worked it, I would be fine.

I got through almost two pattern repeats before I realized that I didn't really like the way it was working up on the 3mm needles. I tried it on my foot and it just seemed too loose, and this is my end of the day 5 month pregnant foot too. With a sigh, I frogged it. After I lay down for a bit (which I am going to force myself to do no matter how much I want to go knit right now), I'm going to cast-on again but use my 2.5mm Addis instead and see how that goes. I'm still not sure if I'm going to use a short-row heel or try out a toe-up heel flap and gusset from Sensational Knitted Socks. I'll post pics later on today.

Just wandering about

I did finally make myself get out of the house yesterday afternoon and it was wonderful - three hours listening to the I-pod with the music cranked up and some knitting for myself. I felt so relaxed afterwards and have made yet another pledge to do this weekly since my need for alone time is very high right now. Last night the bean moved up out of my pelvis for a couple of hours - I didn't notice until I walked to the drug store last night and realized that there was no pain. Of course, he's settled back into his favorite spot, but I'm hoping I can get him to shift again. Last night we also scored a recliner. One of my neighbors down the street is moving and they were throwing theirs out. I manhandled it up the block to our house and John and I managed to get it in (after several false starts). I always swore we would never have one, but the thought of dozing in it is very tantalizing and it was free so I can't complain too much.

I have to get myself and Michael dressed so we can hit BJ's and Shoprite for groceries. TTFN!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

"Ain't Pregnancy Grand?"

So saith the husband as I apologized for the umpteenth time for starting to sob in the middle of Superfresh. I woke up in a fairly good mood but Michael was pulling the whole coy, "I'm not going to listen to you 'cause I want to play" thing this morning and I just didn't have it in me to try and play with him to get him dressed so we could get out the door. We went to IHOP for breakfast and things started to go really downhill when we sat down in the booth and I barely fit, something I haven't had to deal with for a good six years. We walked over to a different shopping center and John got new shoes, we got Michael a cute Halloween shirt from Old Navy ("Mummy's Boy"), and then we went to AC Moore. I wanted to try out the two brands of organic cotton they carry so I bought one skein with a 40% off coupon and John bought the other (with a similar coupon). When we got out front and John gave my me change I knew something was up - the clerk told him that it was already on sale which was a load. So I had to go back in, wait in line and demand my 40% off. Once I was back outside, a steady stream of curses left my mouth over the ineptitude of AC Moore cashiers, that my own cashier had no problem ringing up my yarn, why on earth couldn't the other two women grasp this simple concept? We then walked over to Superfresh to get Michael some "green fish" (parmesan flavored goldfish crackers) and myself something to drink. Used the restroom there and of course someone tries to open the door while I'm using it - why on earth don't people knock anymore? Once I got out, my mood had swung the other way and I was blinking back tears while looking for something vaguely appealing to drink and I lost it when John and Michael met up with me.

Ah, the "happy" trimester. God help me, I still have fourteen weeks of this.

P.S. I am going out for a few hours by myself this afternoon, so hopefully it will be a much less moody person posting the crafts update later tonight.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Grumble, Grumble, Grumble

My message board is down again.

What's doing today...

Michael and I are going to swing past Dunkin' Donuts for an oh-so-healthy breakfast, walk to the post office 10 blocks away to pick up my DDC swap package, hopefully hook up with K and Z for Starbucks and the park, and then come home for naps (which I pray happen today 'cause my broken night time sleep demands it).

I'm hoping to finish my first Step Sock, kitchner the crotch on the longies, and start working on the toddler sweater I'm doing for pay which will turn into a long overdue trip to Chestnut Hill later this month.

That is all, I leave you to your Fridays...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Becoming a Non-Combatant...

in the Battle of Wills.

This morning I told Michael that we were going to walk up and get some coffee then go to the park for a bit. I finally got myself dressed and him completely undressed when he decided he'd much rather make silly noises and run around the living room naked. My back went immediately up and I started to try and harangue him into getting dressed which resulted in more silly noises and those coy "I'm not listening to you," smiles. I asked him several times to get dressed, telling him we needed to if he wanted to go for coffee and the park and finally just gave up. He was happy running around the living room naked, we didn't "need" to go anywhere, and I could get some knitting done. Granted, I'll have to put off my want for coffee and a walk until this evening, but getting us out of the house would have caused so much more negative energy. My only wish is that I could step back and do this more often, but I do the best I can.

In knitting news, I turned the heel on the first Step Sock and am half-done the cuff ribbing. Michael's messenger bag is progressing - I'm almost done all the knitting so I should be able to get it felted on Saturday. I picked up some finishing work for pay that I'm going to start playing with tomorrow so I can get it knocked out over the weekend (and most importantly get paid). This morning I've been working on the Bean's longies - I'm about half-done the body.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Down with SPD?

...yeah, you know me.

The Bean seems to have decided he likes sitting in my pelvis. My already damaged joints on the other hand do not concur. It's amazing how much pressure a 12" long one pound baby can put on your pubic symphysis. I'm starting to do pelvic rocks and tilts more regularly to encourage him to turn vertex because if this is what it feels like with a one pound baby, I don't even want imagine an eight plus pound baby.

Of course this occurs right when my body is starting to actually hold my chiro adjustments. My chiropractor was amazed at how much my pelvis was out of alignment yesterday since I have been doing so well. While he works on pregnant women, he doesn't actually do Webster. His wife who does acupuncture has a technique for turning babies so if the spinning babies stuff doesn't work, I'll check her out.

After all that complaining, it still isn't a patch on what I went through with Michael. It hurts to move my legs independently, but I can still do it. I think I'm going to try sleeping with the body pillow tonight and see if that helps things.

Turn, baby, turn!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Flying Needles (AKA Crafts Update)

Despite playing with Ravelry all weekend, I have managed to get some knitting done - Finished objects, no less! So here goes...

Baby Socks!
These are such fast knits and use so little yarn that I'm sure the Bean will end up with a ton. Sometime soon I'll post the pattern here and on Knitty Keen.

Baby Socks, Orange/Teal
Trekking XXL Orange/Teal

Baby Socks, Spring
Trekking XXL Spring 84

EZ February Sweaters
These have been a lot of fun to knit - it's great to be able to change things up a bit and use different techniques without having to re-write the entire pattern. Once I finish both of them and get buttons sewn, I'll post the true FO pics and specs here and at Zimmermaniacs.

Feb Baby Sweater, Orange/Teal
Trekking XXL Orange/Teal
This is *nearly* finished - just blocked it and all that's left are the buttons

Feb Baby Sweater, Spring
Trekking XXL Spring 84
Just one more sleeve to go!

Socktoberfest 2007
Like I need more excuses to knit. This is something I stumbled across on Ravelry and since I have one sock in progress and I'm quickly becoming addicted to baby sock knitting, I figured I join in the fun.

Step Sock WIP

Step Sock WIP, On Foot
Austermann Step, Moss
Knitty's Universal Toe-up Sock
This is the yarn S got for my birthday that has been languishing on the needles since her baby shower. If anything, I will get it done this month.

Here's the first of two pairs of longies I want to make for the Bean. The yarn is courtesy of H and is truly a joy to work with. This particular pair is going to be paired with the Koigu BSJ for the Bean's coming home outfit.

Snazzy Pants Longies
Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Snazzy Pants Longies (Newborn/Small Hybrid)

Messenger Bag
This has to be knocked out by week's end - it's been on the needles for way too long and seeing as it's October and it's supposed to be for Michael for school, I ave to get cracking on it. This is just one of the sides and the pick is actually upside down, the orange bit goes on the bottom of the bag.

Felted Messenger Bag
Lambs Pride Worsted

Thanks for looking!