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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

All Aboard(ed)!

Here it is! We're so close!!
All we need is the railing and the steps and we can eat outside again! We eat outside almost every nite in the summer and I've been really missing it-well, not the splinters, death defying railing and nausea-inducing swaying of the old deck, just the being outside part. The new deck is sway-free and splinter-free and also half the size of the old one which is actually way better-the old one was TOO big and just an eyesore. The Hubby has done a FANTASTIC job-give him a shout out in the comments!!

In other news, Thing 2 has been very sick-her fever topped out at 105 (yes, that's right) on Monday-of course a holiday when the doctor's office was closed as per the usual way we like to roll here at Chez Things. We thought it was a reaction to her immunizations and all we could do was keep her fever down with meds but by yesterday she was all scratchy throated and it turns out it is strep. She's a tough cookie, though-she did not complain and when she was drugged up and her fever was down, she was out playing with Thing 1 just like nothing was wrong! Our doctor, who is a great man, let me bring her after the office had "officially" closed yesterday (did I mention he is a great man??) and after just one dose of her antibiotics and ibuprofen, she was up and at it again. And I even got in some knitting time at the doctor's office! All's well that ends well, right?

Finally, Thing 1 is out of school for the summer and we are looking for fun adventures to do this summer-any suggestions?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Are You Getting Enough Fiber Every Day?

Here are some Hokie Healing squares:

This one is a square knit in the round in a way I made up (and probably could not replicate if I tried...)-I had to felt it a bit because it came out too big-oops! But yay for natural fibers and the power of hot water and agitation!

This is my sampler square made of different types of stitch patterns including seed stitch, cross hatch, and a sidewaysish cabley thingy. It pulls in sitting there but can be stretched out fine for blankie fittage.

This is my Branching Out square made from the same pattern as the Branching Out scarf (which I have knitted and LOVE!)-I did 3 repeats of the lace pattern and it blocked out to 8 x 8 inches but squashed up a bit when unpinned-I think it will work fine for a square though b/c it can be stretched again when sewn into a blankie.

All these squares are knit from Elsebeth Lavold Angora in a burnt Orange/Rust color which I had in my stash and it is VERY soft and squooshy and I just want to snuggle my squares-but that would be kind of weird.....I guess............right?

Next up--mitered squares for the baby blankie!

These are coming along just fine-only a bazillion more to go...(and by bazillion I mean 11 but it seems like a lot when time is limited by squalling babies, deck building, sick kids (Thing 2 has some nasty virus), school awards ceremonies (Thing 1 is now OFFICIALLY a second grader-woot!), and the bane of my existence....laundry. I hate laundry.

(Note to self: Look into nudist colony. Think of all the savings!! Detergent, water, money, time.... What's with all the clothes wearing anyway? Oh right, to cover the stretch marks...never mind)

Finally, I leave you with a picture of part of my Mother's Day gift (I'm a little behind in my pictures...and everything else in my life) from my beautiful Things 1, 2, and 3 (and a wee bit of help from the Hubby)-2 skeins of Regia Bamboo that is INCREDIBLY soft and a sheepy tape measure whose tail is the tape which retracts when you squeeze his tummy and which I have been wanting for years so it worked out well when Thing 1 broke my other regular, non-cute tape measure 2 days before Mother's Day (she thought of it on her own, though-I've trained her well, young Jedi!). They TOTALLY spoiled me this year-I also got a gorgeous 14K white gold Mother's Necklace with real stones (i.e. not colored glass and one of which is a diamond-go Thing 2 with your birthstone!), lovely flowers and a super duper lunch out. Hmmm, I think I'll keep this job, even if it does involve laundry.....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

This Just In

Warning: the info contained herein will only make sense to you if you rely heavily on sarcasm in your daily life; if that is the case, proceed...

My husband sent me this breaking news. Make sure to check out the labeled picture carefully and watch the slideshow to get the full story. The Hubby's comment in response to this story was "I think it answers a lot of questions, and solves a lot of problems!"

He just doesn't understand.

Excuse me, I have to go get my snorting, shedding, house-peeing, tooting dog off of the table-again.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

We're Not Playing With a Full Deck

I apologize for the lags between posts lately-we've just been busy busy busy this Spring and the blog has sort of had to get shifted down on the priority list (what? you expected me to shift the knitting down the list? ha!) Most of our spring has been consumed with the rebuilding of our deck. When we moved into our house we had a MASSIVE deck looking out onto a beautiful view. However, it was a MASSIVE disaster of a structure that was a safety hazard at best, or better known around here as The Death Trap. The railings were thin flimsy boards that stairstepped out AWAY from the deck in a ridiculous, early 80's fashion that earned them the name "Ladder of Death" and the kids knew they were to under no circumstances to go near them. Then there were the steps which were attached to nothing (yeah, you read that right-nothing!!) and were barely rested on a half of a cinder block. When the Hubby tore them down, he just picked them up and pulled them off-charming. Not only that, when he got to the part where he needed to take out the old "support posts", he just pulled them out of the ground-now, yes, he is INCREDIBLY strong (that's for you, Honey!) but they were attached to NOTHING, just stuck in a hole in the ground with no protection from moisture, no concrete, nada, zip, zilch. Now, I really am not exaggerating one bit-I have a high tolerance for things being "rustic" or having "character" and not being in tip top shape. This was literally a dangerous structure and our home inspector laughed at us for saying we wouldn't be tearing it down immediately (decks=$$$$-way more than you'd expect, I was shocked). It was also hideous, by the way. So anyway, this spring it was finally time and in March the old deck was torn down, a large part done by some hard working Hokie boys through The Big Event who were happy to be paid by pizza-I love college! (by the way, the boys in that picture on the VT website holding the huge shrub are the ones who worked with us last year and that is our monster shrub-we're, like, famous! or something...) However, a husband who must work a full time job every day, rain, a road trip or 2, rain, a tragic shooting, some more rain, and 2 birthday parties have put us behind a bit and the deck has dragged on throughout the spring (although where is the rain now??). The Hubby has worked like crazy though and while we have had some help, he has done the majority of it himself and it is looking great!!! Perhaps by June we can sit on our deck with out praying no big gusts of wind would blow up (not likely by the way because we live right on the side of a mountain). I feel like I wish I could help more, but aside from knitting a nice canopy for our new deck (hmmmm....rope? nylon? I'll have to the think about this a bit more...) I can't do much except wrangle the Things. Anyway, that's been a big time consumer for us but the end is in sight so hopefully I'll be posting a bit more often soon-I know you all have been waiting on the edge of your seats ;)! Right now I am contenting myself with daydreams of sitting on the nice new deck, knitting while a nice breeze gently blows and my kids play happily on the swingset and trampoline below and Thing 3 naps peacefully.

I bet you didn't know that building a new deck cures sibling rivalry, banishes bad attitudes, completes housework, and induces great napping in tiny babies. It's my daydream-I can think what I want.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

We are Family

I've gotten several emails from you great knitters about your progress on the Hokie Bird squares! I love it! Debbie has a picture posted of her square-her first intarsia ever! Great job, Debbie! And another speedy knitter has already completed 4 or 5 of them and says she's on track to do 4 or 5 more before the May 31st deadline! Go on, girl, knit it UP!! This project has given so many people a way to grieve and support and commune with one another in the Hokie Nation. I'm so thankful to see so many from all walks of life and all corners of the world come together for the common goal of comforting others, especially in a world where evil acts get the spotlight far too often.

I'm off to try and get another square started myself. I caught myself feeling badly because I haven't done as many squares as some others but then I realized that it really is meant to be something that helps everyone heal whether we do that by knitting 100 squares or 1 square, doing complicated squares or simple squares, using fancy yarn or plain yarn. A healing square is a healing square and each one is unique and that's the point-it's not a competition or a requirement to knit so many squares. (ok, now the word square is starting to look and sound weird to me-does that ever happen to you when you keep using a word? squaresquaresquare-how 'bout now?Anyhoo...) I'm proud to be a part of the community of knitters who've come together to support Virginia Tech. Go Hokies!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Wait a Minute Mr. Postman!

Wheee! Look what came in the mail! My inner knitting nerd enhancers:

And this!!:My yarn for the mitered square baby blankie (well, some just came up from my basement but that's not really important-I just wanted to put in one of each color to get a good feel for the color combo-and a fun picture) I'm a few stripes into my first mitered square and I CAN'T STOP!! (And thank you wonderful super-fast eBay sellers who got my yarn to me in record time-I only bought it on Tuesday-woohoo!) Off to knit, no time for blogging-have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

I am in a knitting hole. I cannot seem to find time to knit anything (or else I fall asleep as soon as I try) and this is especially bad as ALL I WANT TO DO IS KNIT!! I am stressed out with lots of little odds and ends that add up to one big life-sucking vortex of "stuff" that steals all my knitting time and more accurately, energy. My Hokie Healing squares are stalled out at 2 stinkin' squares-but I have hopes of 1 or 2 more by the end of the week. My socks have been put away as they are wool and it is warm and well, that is why they shear sheep before the warm weather. Ditto for the Peekaboo mittens because mitten weather is a far off memory as far as I'm concerned. None of that concerns me much-other than the fear that I have no idea where I left off on either of those 2 patterns but I'm hoping I will figure it out in the fall, eventually, maybe... But what does concern me is that I want to start new stuff-fun stuff-SPRINGY stuff!!! So, I am going to do that. Goodbye silly woolly things (just for now-don't get all huffy). Next up on the plan is a Mitered Psychedelic Square blanket (ala Mason Dixon Knitting) for a friend who just had a wee new baby boy this past Saturday. I didn't get it started before he was born (because I do not make wise use of my time ok? Let's move on...) But, I figure he's not going anywhere and he is super tiny right now so I've got a bit of time to finish it-I'm truly hoping to have it done in 1-2 weeks. I LOVE these blankets and all the colored, crazy, stripeyness of them all. However, it needs to be very, very machine washable because though he is tiny, he pees, a lot, on everything. It's my opinion that it is generally a bad idea to give a mom a gift that involves more work than the new baby. So, I have about 10 million balls of old school Cotton Ease (not the subtle pretty new colors, the psychedelic, eye-popping, semi-scary-but perfect-for-this-blanket retired colors) in the old stasheroo but only in 4 colors, one of which is hot pink and that's a no go for this little guy. (BTW-that is not a picture of a square I knit-HA! did you read the above? I am resorting to finding other pictures of already knitted blankets because I AM IN A KNITTING HOLE) So I spent all of my time yesterday trying to find some comparable cotton blend (couldn't be 100% cotton or the stripes would shrink at different rates) and ended up paying WAY too much for it on eBay. Nothing that will break the bank, but still a lot for 2 balls of cheapo discontinued yarn. (Incidentally, if any of you lovely readers have any old fun colors of Cotton Ease lying around that you want to get rid of, let me know and I'll take it off your hands-or you can sell it on eBay to desperate, procrastinating, over-tired moms like me) I also have 3 fun knitting mystery books coming, also courtesy of eBay, that I am hoping to read when we go to the beach in a month. Because as a mother of 3 little kids-Thing 3 who is an infant and still nursing and who has skin that can scorch in a heartbeat, Thing 2 who is 5 and a fan of building elaborate sand sculptures and kite flying, and Thing 1 who is 7 and just a crazy hellion in general but especially in the sand and water-I'm sure I will have lots of time to sit, relax and read. I wonder what kind of yarn is best suited for a sand-filled knitting hole....

Friday, May 4, 2007

My Baby, She Wrote Me A Letter...

Dear Mommy,

How do you like my picture? I know you have been terribly exhausted lately because I keep getting you up real early to feed me and stuff so I decided to write your blog entry for today. I sure have seen you do a lot of running around the house lately-why do you keep putting all our clothes and the rugs and sheets and towels that that new pug peed on in that big metal noisy monster? It's so rattly!! Anyway, I enjoyed chewing on your fancy yarn today-thanks for letting me do that while you made some orange yarn thing. You've been making lots of orange thingys lately-what are they? I saw my big sister, I think you call her Thing 2, making something with 2 pointy sticks and some string-she seems to be getting good at that! I much prefer drooling on it. It gets all nice and slimy that way. I have had lots of fun riding in the van on our 100 trips we've been taking every day-it feels like we live in that thing this week! Whee! Especially yesterday's trips in all that cold, crazy rain. It's nice to have a little change of scenery I think-do you? I like to listen to the music you play, too. Especially the music at home-that funny ringing noise that comes from that little box with the voices in it. It seems to ring like that a LOT though and now whenever that ringing music plays, you shout "who is it NOW?!" That's funny--I didn't know you could talk to music boxes! It must be so much fun to be a mommy. You get to stay up late, get up early, you never have to take naps, you get to make all your own food AND stuff for daddy and my big sisters, you can play with big rattly toys, you get to drive the car all day, you get to take the doggies outside a bunch of times-so many fun things. It's hard being a baby sometimes-I just have to hang out all day, play with my stuff, take naps, and make cute smiley faces at people. They seem to like it. Well, I hope you don't mind me using the computer for a little bit-I just wanted to say hi and thanks for being my mom. See you at 5 in the morning!


Thing 3