Monday, August 31, 2015

Its A Blocking Party

For someone who doesn't consider themselves to be a knitter...

I sure have been doing a lot of knitting.

Future finished objects to come.

Or not.

We'll have to see.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Magical Things Happening Here

On Wed, August 5th, something very sad happened.

The children returned to school.

Can you believe they're in 2nd, 6th, 7th, and 10th grade?

I was really sad to see them go.  So very sad.  It meant the end of summer.  The end of lazy mornings.  School means schedules, and homework, and science projects, and book reports with dioramas and costumes.  School means work, for them and me, and I wasn't ready to let go of summer yet.  I wasn't ready to give up popsicles, and wet towels everywhere, and days spent in jammies.  Summer was too short this year.

I was sad.

Until 10:00 am.

Something magical happened at 10:00 am.

At 10:00 am the Queen Bean went down for her nap, and The Greatest and I hit the pool.

No bickering, no screaming, no getting splashed in the face.

Just floating.

I think I actually might have died for a few minutes and this is what heaven looks like.

Then on Thursday we took the Bean to her therapies and ran ALL.THE.ERRANDS.  Which is decidedly less heavenly, but we got to sneak in a quick lunch.

And going out to lunch is one of my favorite things to do.  It really is.  I love food.  And I especially love food I didn't have to cook.  I love waiters who make food appear like magic, and bring me unlimited cups of Diet Coke, and make the dirty dishes disappear like magic.  I love going out to lunch.  And the Queen was being especially cute at lunch that day.  So YAY!

Then on Friday when I asked The Greatest what his plans for the day were he said "You know, we can either stay here and relax, maybe go swimming" using a tone of voice that implied that this was not how he wanted to spend the day "OR" he went on "we can go on an adventure, I have a little place I want to take you to lunch."

You had me at lunch.

So we went on our mini-adventure.

We drove through the most beautiful scenery.  The Greatest pulled over three different times so I could take pictures.

I was a little mad at The Greatest for not suggesting I bring my good camera.  There was so much I wanted to capture but couldn't with my phone.  I think I've let the Bean play with drop it one too many times.  I don't get half my texts and my camera pictures can be iffy.

We had lunch at this great little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant.  I loves me some greasy tacos.  We walked around the cutest town which was full of antique/thrifty stores that I love and The Greatest hates.  We went into every single one.

For the record, the picture was his idea.

And we found the perfect thingie to hang in that bare spot in our stairwell.

See.  Perfect!

And in the midst of all the floating and lunching and adventureing I managed to get a spot of knitting done.

I think I love having the children back at school.

How soon can the Queen start pre-school?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015


My shelf with my wips is getting a little out of control.

Apparently I REALLY like pink project bags.  

Who knew?

My purple yarn is officially in a time out.

It needs to learn to knit nicely.  I've got a plan for it.  I'm feeling fairly confident about the new course of action.  It is a combination of all my previous techniques.  But I haven't tried it out yet.  I've been a little distracted.

I keep thinking about that ginormous shawl and obsessing over what yarn to use to knit it.

I love the idea of a bold striking yarn color.  A real statement of a shawl.  Most of my sweaters are neutral colors.  But my shawls?  I love to play with big color in my shawls.  And this big shawl begs to be a big color.

But that alpaca yarn.

It calls to me.

It wants to be a big elegant quasi blanket.   It keeps tempting me with this mental image of myself and the Queen wrapped up together in my ginormous alpaca shawl gazing at the Christmas tree.  

I can see it.

I want it.

But I'm not gonna lie, that alpaca yarn was EXPENSIVE.  Do I really want to use it to knit a shawl I will apparently use once a year to snuggle while gazing at the Christmas tree?  Or do I want to use it on a cardigan that I will wear every day all winter in place of a coat?

I was pondering it outloud with The Greatest when I voiced the question "How often do I really wear my shawls?"

He laughed and pointed out "You're wearing one right now."

I looked down to discover that I was.  And I'd been wearing it off and on all weekend.

I immediately cast on for a ginormous alpaca shawl.

And I can't.stop.knitting!

This yarn is like knitting a baby bunny.  I'm going to have a gigantic wearable snuggly cuddly baby bunny quasi-blanket to snuggle under with the Queen Bean as we gaze at the Christmas Tree.

I can't wait.

If you don't hear from me for a while its because I'm knitting my baby bunny yarn.

Sunday, August 02, 2015


I love social media.

That should come as no surprise to anyone.

I'm a blogger.  How could I not love social media?  I blog.  I Facebook.  I Instagram so much my teenage daughter's friends make comments about how much I instagram (seriously, if you don't follow me on Instagram, you totally should).  I don't Tweet, because I fear that if I figured out Twitter I would have to give up cooking for the children entirely to make time for all my witty tweets.

My favorite thing about Facebook is catching up with my friends from college.  We were all so bold and wild and we thought we were invincible and we would be young and beautiful forever.  It cracks me up and makes me happy to see how "grown up" we all are now.  I love seeing their families.  I love seeing how the crazy guy who was always down for a beer bong is now the most loving family man.  I love seeing how my old sorority sisters have become these amazing strong women, with these amazing lives, some are wives, some are mothers, all are happy.  I love seeing how happy everyone's life has turned out to be.

Including mine.

And I know it must crack them up that the girl who was addicted to body glitter, and dancing, and swimming in the school pool at 2 am (which may or may not have been closed at the time and may or may not have been accessed through tunnels under the school), is still with that guy she married after only knowing him for four months, and that crazy girl now has five kids.

Crazy pants right?

One of my old college roommates is my favorite person on Facebook.  We only lived together for one semester but it was so much fun.  I loved her so.  She was so confident and so creative and so sure of herself.  We lost touch as people tend to do.  But thanks to the genius of Mark Zuckerwhateverhisnameis we reconnected on Facebook.

Her feed is full of inspirations quotes, and happy stories, and information about Down syndrome.  It is always uplifting.  When I was pregnant with Lily I sent her a message thanking her for all the information on Down syndrome that she posted.  It turned out she has a young son with Down syndrome.  She was the only person I could talk to at the time who gave me hope.  I will always be so very grateful to her for that.

The other day she posted this picture

When I read it I thought about Motherhood.  I've been  telling  sobbing at The Greatest that I feel like I'm drowning lately. I love my little motley crew.  I love being their Mom.  It is the greatest privilege.  The Greatest and I sacrifice a lot so I can stay home with them, to make being their Mom my full time job, my favorite job.  This quote took my breath away.  I needed to take a moment to remember that I love Motherhood.  This is my dream.  Admittedly, my dream contained a lot less being spit on (The Queen really does not like her new medicine) but this is my dream.

I'm treading water right now.

But I love to swim.

It turns out this also applies to my knitting.

Once I let go of the sense of obligation, downsized to a knitter, I was able to feel the fun.

My Stepmom asked me to knit her a purple cardigan.  She said the rust stains were optional.  We ordered some gorgeous variegated purple yarn from Knit Picks, and I love knitting it.  Granted I forgot how variegated yarn can pool.

I did not love this.

So I tried alternating skeins every row.

And now it's flashing.

So I tried alternating every two row.

This looks more like the first try, but with more depth of color in the pooling.

So I tried a different needle size

I haven't found a solution but I'm not done trying.

I also have some socks on the needles.

I started these during my big fancy overnighter with The Greatest.  These were cast on at sunrise in a suite on the top floor of the hotel gazing out at the gorgeous view of the city while The Greatest slept in the bed beside me.  I can knit them, or not, as the mood strikes me.

Then I was poking around on Ravelry and I found this shawl.


The pattern is in the latest issue of Interweave Knits.  I immediately downloaded it.  I just need yarn.  This is a big shawl knit with big yarn.  So I was thinking I would just grab some Red Heart.  It isn't the most fun to work with but if you condition it and throw it in the washer it comes out snuggly soft.  I was thinking I would like to make this in a deep red/wine shade, but the more I look at this yarn in my stash

The more I think it would make the most gorgeous ginormous cuddly snuggly alpaca shawl.  But do I need a gorgeous ginormous cuddly snuggly alpaca shawl or do I need a deep red/wine but less luxury (an infinitely more washable) shawl?

Either way I'm gonna knit that shawl!


And I MUST knit them now!

Because I love to swim.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Change of Seasons

I used to be a Knitter with a capital K.

I knit all the time.


I was never more than a few feet from my knitting.

I started as a knitter, small k.

I knit a baby blanket.  I knit a few scarves.  But I didn't always have to knit.  I didn't even always have a project on my needles.

Heck, sometimes I didn't even know where my needles were.

But somewhere along the line a switch was flipped.

I know exactly when too.

Meaty was a baby, a sweet tiny baby.  And I stumbled upon a book of baby knits at the library.  I became obsessed with knitting every item in that book.  I think all the babies in the neighborhood got a baby sweater for Christmas that year.  I made (possibly illegal) photocopies of my favorite patterns from that book that I may or may not (if they are in fact illegal) still have.  I knit and knit and knit and never looked back.

I was a Knitter.

And I loved it.  I knit all the things.  I wanted to knit everything in every size.  I wanted to try all the techniques, and learn all the cast ons and bind offs and how many different ways can you knit a sock.  I loved learning and growing and creating.

It brought such joy and accomplishment to my life.

But now, I'm a knitter.

I can go a week without knitting.  I feel it in my stress level, I need to knit.  I need that stress relief.  But trying to dedicate time to knit only adds stress to my life.  It doesn't relieve stress.  Thinking about how I want to knit but I'm too busy, or too tired adds stress.  Thinking I should knit because it is what I do doesn't add a positive value to my life.  It is becoming a negative.

Knitting is something I have to loosen my grasp on.

Not let go.

I don't want to stop knitting.

But I need to let go of being a Knitter.

I am a knitter.

I might finish a project this month.

Or I might not.

I've got a lot going on.  And I need knitting to go from something I feel obligated to do to something I want to do if I can, or not if I'm too busy.

I am a knitter.

And that is alright for now.

Seasons change and in a new season I will be a KNITTER once again.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

More Sock P*rn

And the mermaid socks...

I wasn't kidding when I said I NEVER knit colorwork for myself.  These socks were never meant for me, but my StepMommy reads the blog..a few misleading statements aren't outright lies right?

Don't you love how daintily she poses?  First we point the right foot...

And then the left.

I love these whimsical socks.

And since I've been asked to knit a pair for Pork Chop, Bird, and a girl from my knitting group this will not be the last time you see this pattern on my blog.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bigger on the Inside

So speaking of strange things I do that my family has seen me do so many times they now consider it to be perfectly normal...

We can add forcing them to model sock pictures to the list.

I told my Dad and Stepmommy that I needed pictures of their socks and they sighed "Time to make some sock p*rn" as they dutifully put on their socks.

I am super sad to announce that the Tardis socks fit perfectly.

I used this pattern available as a free pattern download from Ravelry.

Sometimes color work can be less stretchy than straight knit stitch, so I really liked that this particular pattern increased the stitch count for the color work portions to help alleviate that problem.  It also hid the decreases in the corners of the "boxes" which I thought was fairly clever.

The socks were knit with Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn.

Which is always fun to knit with.

As you can see it says "Police Box" not "Police BCX"

So this is an all around win.

Except for the part where I selflessly gave these beautiful Tardis socks to my Dad.  I'm actually a little surprised he was able to get the socks on the plane to return home, there was quite a list of people plotting to steal them out from under him (Pork Chop, Bird, Me, Half my knitting group)

And then to keep my humble my Dad made me take a picture of the sole of his sock

In my defense we'd had company for a week and we'd been too busy swimming and eating and having fun to bother with things like vacuuming the tile floors.

He's just making sure I keep things real around here.

In an unrelated note, I've started a second blog, which is simply insanity, I can barely keep up with this one.  But I've been thinking about this for a long time, and after some strong urging from The Greatest I've finally taken the plunge.  I considered dovetailing the subject matter of my second blog with this blog, but ultimately decided to separate the two.  This blog will continue to be the wonderful mess of knitting and family it has always been, and Life with Lily will be more specifically tales of Lily, Down syndrome, advocacy.  If you enjoy it feel free to share.  The more people who read and love Lily the more we can change hearts and minds about Down syndrome.   I know I'm taking a risk putting so much of my heart and child on line. The internet, and world in general, is full of ugly people, but I think the risk is worth the potential benefits.