Monday, June 30, 2008

Out Of My Secret Closet

The Knitting Wildflower is having a blogiversary contest - it's here.

It says to tell a short story about a sock and such. My sock attempts have been abysmal. I think the problem is that I attempt these really difficult patterns. The first sock I ever attempted was also my first time on DPN's and my first chart knitting. I got to the end of the heel (top down) and when I looked at the sock, you could really tell when I figured out the DPN's because the first chart repeat (of 2) was much looser then the second. Rrrrrrrip-it! I'm about halfway through the first repeat again. I love the way the yarn looks with the pattern but the pattern has these evil Make Purls that are killing my hands.

Then there was the ill-fated Baudelaires from last year's Tour De France KAL. I'm in that KAL again this year and I'm considering trying to finish them. I have half of one foot finished. I got to the part where you have to do the increases but my increases would be beTWEEN the needles (magic loop). Couldn't figure it out. They are in the dreaded Closet Of No Return.

Of course, all I had to do was move the stitches around on the needles so the increases wouldln't be inbtw. Duh. I'm probably going to get them out and give it a go for this year's TDF KAL.

I suppose I could try a basic sock pattern but that seems so boring! I feel if I'm going to be knitting something I could buy (scarf, sweater, sock), I should be doing something fun and not just plain stockinette. I should probably do a boring basic one anyway, just to finish a pair. I have enough sock yarn for roughly 30 pair!

Do y'all have the equivalent of the Closet Of No Return? What/where is it? What's in it? I have everything I've either become stuck on or bored with. Mostly stuck on. Mostly, it's the designs I attempt. Most of my designs way outreach my actual knitting ability. I get to a part where I know what I want it to look like, I just don't know how to make it look like that!

The Hateful Bed Jacket is not in there. It's all sewn up and I've actually even worn it a coupla times. I did the edging for one sleeve, sewed it on and hated it. It looks very court jester-ish. I took the edging off and am just going to crochet a nice edging on. I'm still going to do the original edging for the rest of the jacket but I'm waiting on football season for that. It's an 8 repeat lace and every row is different. It also has a different stitch count every row, except for the 3 rows that are 17 stitches - but even these same number of stitches are each worked differently. Impossible to memorize. Hateful. Bed. Jacket.

Cleaning out my Closet, Ruth!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

General Directions

Warning: Grossness ahead....

My little guy has this weird thing when he gets a bad cough. It gets so bad sometimes that it makes him throw up. It hasn't happened in almost a year, but yesterday it came back in full projectile force.

He threw up on the floor yesterday. Dave came home shortly after and I told him, "Just in time! D2 puked and now you get to clean it up!" haha. I cleaned it. As I was cleaning, Dave was teasing D2 saying, "We don't like pukey boys! We'll have to send you to another home! One where they DO like pukey boys!"

Usually, when we tease D2 like this, he says in a wavery/laughy voice, "Reeeeeeeallllly?" But today he got all excited, "Can I go to the Puke House?"

We laughed, "Where??"

D2: "The Puke House. You know.... where you can puke as much as you want to all day and no one cares about the puke?!"

The three of us were cracking up about that!

I'm on all fours, cleaning up nastiness and laughing about it. Love that kid.

As I'm cleaning, I look at the carpet cleaner I'm using. It's Folex Instant Carpet Spot Remover and comes in a spray bottle (the kind you have to squeeze over and over. And over.) Not crazy about it's delivery system but this stuff works like crazy! I read the instructions yesterday and I've read them before but every time I do, it makes me shudder:

General Directions: Simply apply a generous amount on the spot, agitate with finger tips and blot with absorbent cloth. SPOTS DISAPPEAR INSTANTLY.

OK - pretty sure anything I'm using this stuff for is not anything I'm ever going to want to stick my finger tips into! Ewwwwwww! (I just use a towel to agitate it in and then blot.)

One thing that's not so funny is when D2 pukes at night. Which he did twice last night. Like I said, he hasn't done this in almost a year and we were hoping he'd outgrown the problem. (Last time it was so bad during the night that we literally ran out of sheets for his bed and he had to sleep on towels.) The scariest, like last night, is when he does it in his sleep and doesn't wake.

The first time last night was right before he went to sleep and we changed everything out. We always check on the boys before we go to sleep. Give them a last kiss goodnight, make sure they're covered with blankets and such. Last night when we checked on them, we were in D2's room and I said, "Ugh, hate that puke smell!" (His last bout was in the hamper in the hall waiting for their trip to the basement laundry this morning) Dave said he couldn't smell it. I said really?! Then he said he could smell it. Then I saw it. D2 had done it again but we don't know when because he was sleeping in it and it was all dried. That completely freaks me out because I get images of Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix, ya know?

Dave keeps saying we should take him to the Dr. but what're they gonna say? Or do? The kid coughs up some gunk from his latest cold, it gets caught at the back of his throat and triggers his gag reflex. Besides, every time I consider taking him for this problem, he stops before we get the appointment! sigh.

Any suggestions?

Quickly becoming the Puke House, Ruth!

Friday, June 20, 2008


Here's a coupla FO's. I know, I'll give you a moment to recover. Not only actual knitting content but real FO's???

I've fallen for Fetching. Hard.

I made this pair for a friend who says she works in the Antarctic of air-conditioned offices.

The yarn is Classic Elite Waterlily. 100% merino. It took about a ball and a half on US 6 DPN's. Very soft and lovely. A bit splitty when cabling without a cable needle (thanks to Kelly for re-showing me how!). Also, the yarn is darker in real life and the cables aren't as noticeable.

This set was for a private swap and the recipient requested mis-matched mitts. Apparently there's this whole movement where you wear mismatched socks, mitts, etc. I think my recipient wanted them to be completely different but, due to my being a bit more anal then I'd anticipated, this was the best I could do...

The orange is Berroco Ultra Alpaca and the other color is Rowan Wool DK. Recipient requested orange and some other color. I was quizzing my husband, the sports fanatic, about orange. I couldn't think of a single color that orange goes with that isn't associated with a sports team! Neither could he! I had this orange in my stash and when I came home with the other color (wine? dark mauve?) he said it didn't look like any team colors.

Fetching is a SUPER quick project. Especially when you learn to cable w/o a cable needle. If you don't already know about - you gotta check it out. I'm the type that when taught, I go home and promptly forget! That site is an audio/visual knitting teacher 24/7. Brilliant!

Last year, everyone got scarves or bath mats for Xmas. This year, Fetching for all the girls!

Love playing Fetch!

Showing no signs of stopping, Ruth!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sketchy McSketcherson

Have any of you bought things off Craig's List? We have.

I got an amazing bike for $40 and on Memorial Day, we bought a TV. Not just any TV, either.

We'd been talking about buying a new TV for our bedroom. Ours is so old, we can't hook up our DVD player to it. We wanted a 32"er and something flatish. We were discussing spending around $500-600 for it. My bone of contention with this is that's about 1/4 of my Lasik I so desperately want. Don't get me wrong! I love TV. Love it. Can't stand to be without it. (Although the few times I have had to go without - I got a lot more reading done!) In our house, if someone's awake, the TV's on.

So Dave's been looking on Craig's List for a suitable TV. He's also been scanning the ads for 0% financing and such. (Our living room TV took a dive the day before we moved to CO. Dave found 0% for 3 years at one of the big electronics stores. We got a 42" flat screen and they gave us an XBox 360 for free!) So on Memorial Day, he finds someone on Craig's List is selling a 42" brand new Magnavox for an excellent price! Too good, in fact. He had me call the guy and ask why he was selling. I told Dave that was silly as the guy was going to give some lame excuse and if we wanted it we should just go buy it and not ask futile questions.

We had a tough time scrounging up that much cash as the banks weren't open for the holiday and the ATM will only cough up $300 per account. Luckily, I had some cash stashed in the house. (I can't believe I'm putting all this on the internet. If you're going to rob us, you should also know we're well armed and willing to use them!) We went to go pick up the TV and D was surprised that it was in a really expensive neighborhood. The house we pulled up to was easily worth half a million. Dave asked why the guy was selling (I inwardly groaned) and the guy said they already have 3 TV's and didn't need this one that they'd just bought. We gave them money, they gave us an enormous TV. Still in the unopened box with a price tag from Walmart that was double what we were paying!

On the way home, we wondered why they would buy this TV if they didn't need it and why not just return it if they didn't want it? I'm quite sure that TV "fell off a truck" but obviously have no way to prove it.

So here's the question of the day:
If you know something is stolen, do you buy it anyway? Apparently, we would. And truthfully, we don't know it's stolen, we are just assuming so.

The week before we bought my bike, there were notices posted around our neighborhood about someone's bike had been stolen. Whenever I ride my bike, I'm always nervous, wondering if the one we bought off Craig's List (and picked up across town) is the same bike.

Enjoying the big (and likely hot) screen, Ruth!

Friday, June 6, 2008

I Feel Like The Cheese

My SIL says I'm The Sandwich. She'd read an article where people who take care of the young in their family and also take care of the old are called The Sandwich.

My FIL got to go home from the hospital last Thursday. For those just checking in, he went to the hospital last Monday for a routine heart check. His EKG was very unhappy with him and they admitted him. His breathing for the past few weeks was very whistley, wheezy, and labored. When they first admitted him, the dr.'s were saying that due to his age (80), his quadruple bypass surgery 15 years ago, and his current health/breathing issues, he was a really bad candidate for surgery. He agreed and remembering how hard the recovery time was on him 15 years ago, he was really adamant that he didn't want surgery anyway.

After 4 days of hospital care and med's to clear the fluids in his lungs, his health/breathing made a 180. He still didn't want the surgery but one cardiologist that talked to him could "sell water to a drowning man" (as my FIL said). So he decided to do the surgery.

It's kind of funny because when the new cardiologist was talking to him about the surgery and explaining that now that his lungs were fine and he was a good candidate for the surgery - she was really trying to talk him into it.

She dangled the wife in front of him, "She'll miss you."
FIL: I'm 80, she's 79, we're good.
Dr. (dangles grandchildren) : What about them? Don't you want to see them grow up?
FIL: They're young, they'll be fine.
Dr. snatches his car keys away from him and he looks at me and says: Looks like I'm having surgery!

(Of course the dangling and key-snatching are strictly metaphorical.)

We had the family meeting Friday night and my BIL/SIL came, too. We all went out to eat and then to FIL/MIL's place to talk. The FIL had already made up his mind to get the surgery but the only thing making him waver was the up to 6 month recovery time. My BIL put it best when he said, "That 6 months is going to pass either way. It's what your life will be like beyond that 6 months that matters." If he doesn't have the surgery, he'll be on an oxygen tank, can't lift anything, can't drive anywhere. If he has it, he'll be better then he is now and will stay that way for many years to come. His chances of dying on the table are less then 20%.

So Monday this week, I drove them to the cardiologist for his appt. and then to the hospital again for his angiogram. I've been driving back and forth to that hospital at least twice a day all last week and part of this week. I didn't think it was bothering me, even though my MIL keeps pointing out how much stress I'm under with doing my job, taking care of the kids, and taking care of the grandparents. However, on Tues. I ran some errands, including taking the FIL to Home Depot (I had to go anyway). When I came home at 1p, I hopped out of the van, got Davis out and trooped into the house. Dave stopped at home 3:30p and when he came in the house, he said, "Why is the van on?" I said the van wasn't on and walked out to see. sigh. 2 and 1/2 hours of idling gas, wasted. WTF??

Anyway! Thanks for all your well wishes, they seemed to've worked! FIL's angiogram (they put a catheter in his leg and go up to his heart to film stuff) came out with really great news! They already knew he has Aortic Stenosis which means his aorta isn't opening all the way and would need to be replaced. They initially thought part of the problem might be that his quadruple bypasses, after 15 years might be wearing out. They are fine! There's one other vein near the heart that may need a bypass but other then that, the surgery won't be nearly as extensive as they initially expected. Splee!

I feel more like the ham, Ruth!