Monday, April 16, 2007

Sometimes April Showers Bring...

A baby girl.

Four years ago today, my DH and I waddled our way to the hospital and said, "Take her out, she's done!" (Okay, maybe I shouted it. DH just sat there and agreed with everything I said. After all, he knew the drill, having been through it twice before.) She made it in to the world just in time to have dinner with the family. DS the Elder was thrilled to have a baby sister, telling everyone he saw that evening (including the high school kid behind the Arby's counter) that he had "wished upon a star for her, and it came true!)

DS the Younger wasn't quite so thrilled.

But he came around.

Now, four years later, my baby has become a little girl (a diva princess and tomboy all wrapped up in one tiny package) and will start pre-K in the fall. She is my last baby, and I am a little sad about it. Yet, I am also excited to see what kind of person she will become.

Happy Birthday Baby Doll! May this year be even better than the last. :)

"Mommy" aka Mel

P.S. For my Harry Potter Sock Pal, my feet are 9.5" when your measure from heel to big toe. However, when you measure from heel to second toe (which is longer than my big toe,) they are 9.75". I have to wear a 9 for the width. I can wear an 8 1/2 ONLY IF the shoe is available in a wide width. So there you have the strange story of my feet.

Friday, April 13, 2007

It's All About the Potter

So, I signed up for another sock swap. This time to wait out the new Harry Potter book and the new movie. I needed to post the answers to the questions on my blog so that my house, Hufflepuff, would receive the maximum points. So here we go....

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

Hmm, think I just answered that above, but I'll go ahead and repeat myself: Hufflepuff!

2. Shoe size?

I wear size 9 tennis shoes.

3. Foot Length?

According to the wooden measuring stick I used, my foot is 9 1/2" from heel to big toe.

4. Foot Circumference?

According to the Magic Tape Measure, "practically perfect," however in muggle terminology, my foot is 9 1/4" around. (I did measure the bigger foot.)

5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.

a. 7" Boye, US size 2, bought at the local Hobby Lobby.

b. 7" Boye, US size 1, bought at the local Hobby Lobby.

c. Knit Picks circular needles, US size 2, 24" in length, set of 2. (I'm a bit of a rebel.)

6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?

Sure, why the heck not? No plastic (They grab too much) or bamboo (I have tendency to break 'em.) As for size, either US 1 or 2 would be great. Length would need to be 7" or shorter. As for brand, surprise me. :)

However, if you happen to stumble across a set made of holly wood with a phoenix feather enclosed inside, about 11 inches in length, I'd go for those too. ;)

7. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?

Hufflepuff here, so I shall move on to the next question....

8. Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal?

That's perfectly fine. Always interesting to see what other people use out there in the big, wide Muggle world.

Later daze,


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm King of the World

Or should I say Queen?

I've been playing Civilization IV on the computer for the last 2 weeks and am like totally hooked. I'm all about conquering the world and crushing the other civilizations. Heh.

At least I'm conquering something, cause the knitting is kickin' my arse, people.

I'm knitting birthday socks for DD, who turns 4 on Monday, but the party is Saturday. I'm doing a toe-up, which is really new for me. I've ripped out the toe 3 times before I had it right (my fault, not the instructions.) I'm using the Magic Cast On from Knitty (most excellent by the way), so no having to deal with short rows.

Everything is going smoothly. I follow Wendy's directions (from Wendy Knits) for the short row heel and nail it. I'm feeling confident now. I start the stockinette part of the ankle and notice that my gusset is gaping, even after adding the extra stitches between needles to fill them in. No prob. I'll just stitch them closed with some extra yarn. Continue on.

Do my 2 1/2 inches of 1x1 ribbing. Change to the lace portion of the sock for the turned down cuff. (I'm converting the Lace Cuff Anklets pattern from Favorite Socks to a toe-up version, so I am fiddling a bit.) Change my needle size for the 2x2 open ribbed lace and start knitting.

I am 5 rows into it when I drop a freaking stitch! Don't panic. I go back try to fix it and drop 4 more! Now it's an unholy mess. Fine. I'll rip back to the ribbing.

Nope. I've lost my marker for the beginning of the round.

So, I rip it back to just before I start the heel. It was the only way I could find the beg/end of my round.

I re-knit the heel, no prob and fixed the gusset gaps properly this time, thank you very much and am now finally getting to the 1x1 ribbing again. And this is just the first sock!

Think I can get sock 2 done in time and still rule the world?

Anyone know how to fold the time/space continuum?


Sunday, April 01, 2007

I Have Gone Off the Deep End

And I may never come back!

I have decided to give up knitting for good.

I have fallen in love with something new that will now take up all of my time. No more dropped stitches! No more gauge swatching! No more frogging!

What's this new passion of mine, you ask, that has caused me to throw out the old needles and set fire to the stash?


The dampness! The darkness! The bat guano! Anything is better than ripping out my design project for the six millionth time and re-knitting it.

I am off to go live in a cave. Don't wait up for me.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

::pokes head in and looks around::

Hmmm, I guess it's been awhile since I updated. Guess I better rectify that!

What's been happening....

10 Things Going on in My Life That You May or May Not Care to Know

1.) I won the blog contest over at Two Sharp Sticks. I am loving the book! Thanks guys! (There's a link in my side bar if you'd like to visit their blog.) Wanna see? Yeah, I don't see it either. The computer I use to download pixs went toes up, and DH hasn't reloaded the software on the new one yet after having to wipe the HD.

2.) Computer broke. Processor and motherboard went to the Great Big CPU in the Sky. Hubby fixed but had to wipe the HD in order to reset everything. Needless to say, he hasn't reloaded everything back onto the computer, and I seem to have the uncanny ability to make things freak out when I add stuff to his 'puter, so no loading programs for me. I'll wait until he comes home, and he can break it, thank you very much.

3.) Got a new bed. Queen size, pillow top. DH and I are in HEAVEN! Our backs are thanking us profusely and now, we have a tich more room for when DD comes shuffling into the room at 3 in the morning looking for a place to light because of bad dreams.

4.) I finished 2 socks (notice I didn't say a pair) and a hat for my niece. I started some Mommy and Me cardis for DD and I. I worked on the Smock Coat some more. And I've started to design a sweater vest for DS the Younger. I'd show you pixs, but see number 1 and 2.

5.) DS the Elder (who is dyslexic) is going to the state competition for the Reader's Digest Word Power competition. The winner goes to Orlando for the Nationals. Keep your fingers crossed.

6.) Both of my nephews are now out of the hospital and are thriving at home. Will, the smaller one, is a little further behind than Brady in size because he couldn't get the hang of eating from a bottle. So they put in a feeding tube, and he's finally starting to gain some weight. It's amazing that these 2 boys, who were born at 28 weeks gestation, are still here to fill our lives with smiles and joy. God is good. And sometimes, He answers prayers with the answer we are hoping for.

7.) I finished one fingerless mitt for myself. The other one is about halfway done.

8.) I caved and bought yarn that is not destined for socks. I am so weak. But, I do know what I want to do with the yarn, so that doesn't count right? Plus it was on clearance/sale! See, so it doesn't count.

9.) Bought a couple of new knitting books. A sock book and a book for baby hats and matching booties. There is an argyle hat in that one that I want to make for my nephews for next winter.

and finally,

10.) I've decided to try and submit a pattern to Knitty. I'm hoping to get the cotton vest I'm making for DS the Younger finished so I can submit it for the Summer Issue. (It's due by March 15.) I always find cute patterns for girls, but not very much for boys that aren't babies or toddlers. I wanted something that a young man could wear over a white t-shirt for casual or over a polo shirt or button down for dressier. We'll see if I succeed. Keep your fingers crossed.

Peace out,


P.S. March came in like a lion at 2 in the morning. Ask me how I know. Stupid Oklahoma wind and weather. If you don't like it, wait ten minutes.

Monday, February 05, 2007

How Did All This Craziness Start?

So I entered a contest over on another blog to win a new knitting book, (I'm such a book slut.) and now you all get to hear how all this craziness started.

I've been crocheting since I was about eight. My grandmother taught me and my other grandmother fed the habit by giving me a bag full of her leftovers so that I could practice.

When I was about 11, I bought a book on knitting that was designed for kids. I thought I could teach myself, but I couldn't figure out the pictures. That was my first clue that maybe I'm a visual learner. I needed someone to show me how. Unfortunately, neither of my grandmas knew how.

Fast forward 24 years later....

November 2005

I got invited to a local knitting group that meets once a week at Panera. For a couple of weeks, I came to just chat with the girls and work on the throw I was crocheting for my Mother-in-law's Christmas present. Finally, the project was done, and I asked Rachelle to show me how to knit. That evening, I learned to cast-on, knit, purl and bind-off. Then I went home and practiced.

After an hour or two of knitting and purling, I decided I needed to do something more challenging. So off I went to Michael's, found myself a How-To book and some magazines with cute patterns that I wanted to try. I also bought some more yarn and needles. I also googled the internet and found (a site I recommend to everyone who is learning how to knit.) After the holiday season was over, I had knit two scarves, a hat (I taught myself circular knitting on DPNs) and a poncho.

A lot has changed in the year and few months that I've been knitting. I learned how to knit continental, entered the Knitting Olympics and medaled, learned to knit socks, entered the Knitting World Cup (I finished) and have knit many, many more items. Now, I'm beginning to design my own knitwear for children with my kids and nieces and nephews as inspiration.

It's been a whirlwind experience, but it feels like I've been knitting forever now. I can't NOT knit. That idea is now a foreign concept to me. I don't go anywhere without a sock on the needles to work on or some other portable project. And TV watching time, is prime knitting time. The yarn is beginning to spill out of the bedroom closet, and the needles have multiplied like rabbits. I'm sure if I never bought another knitting book or magazine, I'd have enough projects in queue to last me the rest of my life.

But where's the fun in that? LOL!


P.S. Here's a knitting shot of what I've been working on for the last week.

The red thing is the back to Sizzle from The Garter Belt. The dark green in the upper right corner is the start of a cabled sweater for me. Three socks (1 for DH, 1 for my nephew and 1 for myself) and one finished fingerless mitt from the latest issue of Creative Knitting. The light green lace piece is a sweater for DD, and the brown seed stitch piece is the beginning of a sleeve for the Debbie Bliss Smock Coat for my niece. I am a little busy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Silent Poetry Reading

I saw about this over on the Yarn Harlot's blog and decided I needed to contribute too. This is one of my favorite poems. I have loved this since childhood. The idea that one doesn't have to be brave all the time, only when it REALLY counts, has always struck a chord with me.

The Tale of Custard the Dragon
by Ogden Nash

Belinda lived in a little white house,
With a little black kitten and a little gray mouse,
And a little yellow dog and a little red wagon,
And a realio, trulio, little pet dragon.

Now the name of the little black kitten was Ink,
And the little gray mouse, she called hum Blink,
And the little yellow dog was sharp as Mustard,
But the dragon was a coward, and she called him Custard.

Custard the dragon had big sharp teeth,
And spikes on top of him and scales underneath,
Mouth like a fireplace, chimney for a nose,
And realio, trulio daggers on his toes.

Belinda was as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chased lions down the stairs,
Mustard was as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Belinda tickled him, she tickled him unmerciful,
Ink, Blink and Mustard, they rudely called him Percival,
They all sat laughing in the little red wagon
At the realio, trulio, cowardly dragon.

Belinda giggled till she shook the house,
and Blink said Weeck! which is giggling for a mouse,
Ink and Mustard rudely asked his age,
When Custard cried for a nice safe cage.

Suddenly, suddenly they heard a nasty sound,
And Mustard growled, and they all looked around.
Meowch! cried Ink, and Ooh! cried Belinda,
For there was a pirate, climbing in the winda.

Pistol in his left hand, pistol in his right,
And he held in his teeth a cutlass bright,
His beard was black, one leg was wood;
It was clear that the pirate meant no good.

Belinda paled, and she cried Help! Help!
But Mustard fled with a terrified yelp,
Ink trickled down to the bottom of the household,
And little mouse Blink strategically mouseholed.

But up jumped Custard snorting like an engine,
Clashed his tail like irons in a dungeon,
With a clatter and a clank and a jangling squirm,
He went at the pirate like a robin at a worm.

The pirate gaped at Belinda's dragon,
And gulped some grog from his pocket flagon,
He fired two bullets, but they didn't hit,
And Custard gobbled him, every bit.

Belinda embraced him, Mustard licked him,
No one mourned for his pirate victim.
Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate
Around the dragon that ate the pirate.

But presently up spoke little dog Mustard,
I'd been twice as brave if I hadn't been flustered.
And up spoke Ink and up spoke Blink,
We'd have been three times as brave, we think,
And Custard said, I quite agree
That everybody is braver than me.

Belinda still lives in her little white house,
With her little black kitten and her little gray mouse,
And her little yellow dog and her little red wagon,
And her realio, trulio little pet dragon.

Belinda is as brave as a barrel full of bears,
And Ink and Blink chase lions down the stairs,
Mustard is as brave as a tiger in a rage,
But Custard keeps crying for a nice safe cage.

Maybe next year, I'll post one of my poems that I've written over my lifetime.

Happy Groundhog's Day Everyone! (Early Spring! Yay!)