Wednesday, June 28, 2006


Alright. I'd show you my progress on the lacy shrug, but you know what? My batteries are dead in my camera. It doesn't matter, anyway. I was going to be a smart ass. I was going to post the 6--count 'em, SIX--rows I have completed. But, Christina! I thought you were further along than that! AGHHHH!!!! I was, but you know what? The pattern for this adorable shrug is....AGHHH!!! I finished over half--maybe even 2/3 of the right side when suddenly the pattern became...confusing! Here is an excerpt: "Shape Lower Front At beg of RS row, [bind off 2 sts] once, then [ssk] 16 (19) times. At the same time, work even on other edge for back, maintaining established pat. Shape front neckline Continuing to dec at lower edge, when there are 26 (32) rows from row-counting marker, on RS work across to center marker and turn...." What really gets me is the shaping of the lower front. I just don't understand it! Am I supposed to do all of this in the same row, or is it to be spread out over the next twenty rows?! I'm so CONFUSED!!!!! I really thought I was a big shot. Well. This pattern has humbled me. I ripped out the same few rows and re-knit them many times before frogging the whole damn thing. Maybe, by starting over, this will make more sense by the time I get to that point. Maybe I made a mistake somewhere before I got to that point, that made the directions make less sense. If anyone has had this problem, PLEASE tell me what to do! I think the ssk's are supposed to be spread out over the next 19 RS rows. I just don't want to get a whole side done and find out I did it wrong. AND, quitting is not an option, as I have completely fallen in love with this shrug. :( I can't stop now.

Anyhow, other than that, my hubby and I have been charging steadily towards completion of our home remodeling. The goal is to put it on the market after we get back from visiting family in two weeks. We still have one MAJOR room to paint (the largest in the house) and one smaller room, plus two stairwells. Sounds like a lot, but really, it isn't. The pain in the ass will be moving everything away from the walls in the living room to paint...and keeping the boys from licking the latexed walls. We also have a lot of molding to put back up. We are very close to being done. Then we can GET OUT OF HERE!!! HAHAHAHA! (I hate this townhouse.)

Next week, for the Independence Day Holiday, my family is visiting my husband's dad and his step mom, Anne. Have I ever mentioned them? I love them. They are so much fun. I'm a little anxious, though, because there will be others there, and I'm not too good with crowds. I have a mild social phobia. I told my husband I would remain positive, not paranoid. I just always feel so out place. Anyhow, I'll take pictures and share them. It should be a good time. Hopefully. If I can quell my neurosis.

Well, that's all I have. I vented. I feel better. I forgot one thing, though. I sat on my bamboo I have to go on? One of them is a little...cracked. I'm really upset, because they are brand new. Maybe I can reinforce it with a little wood glue? It isn't that bad. (Okay, now I'm done ranting.)


Thursday, June 22, 2006

Say hello to my little friend...

Do you remember when Mr. Potatohead was fun? My 3 yr old has gone Potatohead Crazy. Not only that, but he wants me to play with him. (This, apparently, is not a game to be played by one person.) I love Mr. Potatohead, but you know what? There are only so many seconds before he becomes boring. The most excited thing about the Potatohead Gang (there's three--man, woman and child) is whether or not they will have smiling teeth, or poking out tongues. My son loves it, though. :)

So, I ran out yesterday and bought some yarn for that project I talked about yesterday. I chose Peru DK Luxury, which is a Merino, Alpaca and silk blend. Nice! Okay, I know this is going to make a child's shrug, which will undoubtedly get dirty again, and again, but I am committed to this project. I'll hand wash the darn thing!

While I was out, I picked up a new book, "Knits from the Heart." Great book! I thumbed through it in the store and could definitely see myself completing many of the projects. There are the cutest, tiniest socks. I think they could be a good side project.

Anyhow, here is a picture of the Lace Shrug I'm making for my non-existent daughter:

I'm really enjoying this pattern, so far.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Compulsive homemaker

It's not much, but it's something!

I've been having such a hard time finding something to knit, so I thought I'd cool my heels on a simple dish cloth. I used 100% cotton.

I have found my next project.

I found this project in the current issue of "Creative Knitting Magazine." (The pattern isn't on their website, so you'd have to buy the magazine to make this.) You probably can't see it in this picture, but there are cables and eyelets running up the arms and on the feet of this ensemble. I bought the magazine just for this pattern--although, there are other nice patterns other than this. When I complete it, I'll post a picture. I, unfortunately, do not have a girl to model it. As a matter of fact, I'm making it in hopes of having a girl some day soon! Boys are great, but not much fun to knit for. Anyhow, that's my next project.

I bought two books at Borders the other day. Both deal with the subject of being a happy, competent housewife. One is about being a family manager, the other is about taking pride in having stay-at-home status. Interesting, huh? Well, it is to me. I want to learn the secret of a clean, smooth-running home. I want well-behaved clean kids, and dinner in the oven at the same time everyday. It's funny, before I had my first son, being a mom was all I could think about. I tried for two years before conceiving him, and planned right away that I would be a SAHM (Stay-At-Home-Mom, for those of you who don't know the acronym.) Then I got my wish and was immediately over- and underwhelmed at the same time. (Yes, it can happen.) When my second son came, I started to resent having kids so young. For some reason I suddenly rejected the idea of being at home with my kids. I felt like I wasn't accomplishing anything. First, I took a part time job as a check out girl. Then, I got a job at BB&B, which is where I was until recently. I was part time and a supervisor, but I wasn't happy when all the youngsters started getting ready for college. I wanted an education! So, I enrolled in classes. I was still unhappy, though. I wanted to have more control at work, even if that meant putting the kids in daycare! Of course, the decision wasn't as easy as that. I agonized over it for months. Anyhow, I got that promotion and, wouldn't you know it, I wasn't happy. So. I am back to square one. I think this is where I belong. I let my ego get the best of me in each one of those instances. (My ego is huge and hungry.) I've learned, though, that I can do good at whatever I work at, even if that's raising my kids. I wanted them. I should take care of them. Sounds really old fashioned, huh?

Some backstory: My mom spent my entire childhood and teenagerdom at home. She was there. Everyday. The house was sanitized on a daily basis. (And I'm not kidding. You could literally lick the floors if the moment moved you.) Clothes were always clean and under control. Dinner was always made, and every morning my mom would make me and my sibs sack lunches of PB & J sandwiches. Of course, I took all of this for granted. I hated that I couldn't buy my lunch--laughable, I know, considering the quality, or lack thereof, of school lunches. I hated that my mom would pull out the broom if she felt the slightest speck of dirt on the floor. Most of all, I despised doing dishes right after eating. BUT...

Now I want to be that compulsive homemaker. I'm old-fashioned because my mom was old-fashioned. I commend and respect her for how in control she was during my younger years. So, I bought the books for pointers. Why not ask her myself? She never took shortcuts. Cleaning was her life. Unfortunately, as much as I like a clean house, I like my free time, too. I need a plan of attack.

Anyhow, why mention this all? What's the point? I guess I just wanted to say, bring the home arts back!! I miss the time when being a mother meant something. I want to earn my Mother's Day cards!! That's all I wanted to say. [Steps off soap box.]

Friday, June 16, 2006

Guess What?

I've been knitting!! Yay! Do you remember this:

This was the beginnings of a rabbit I was making for my niece. Special, huh? Anyhow, I got the pattern from one of the best knitting books ever, "Last Minute Knitted Gifts."

To the left, you will see a bunch of parts. With some artful rearranging, we see that these parts finally equal a whole...a whole bunny rabbit.

I've been very busy, though, and decided it wasn't enough just to have all the bunny parts finished. I wanted to finally finish this rabbit. So, while I was watching "The Skeleton Key" on HBO last night, I stitched his little parts together and gave him a face. (I think he's handsome.) My only complaint about the pattern, though, is that the ears and the arms were a little difficult to sew to the body. The instructions just said to sew like it is in the picture. I ended up having messy arm and ear joints. I think the arms should have been added during knitting, just as if they were fingers on a glove. The ears, I decided, are too wide at the base, which is what makes them difficult to sew to the head. I would have made them a little more narrow.

But, I digress--presenting...the Bunny!

I wrapped a ribbon around his neck because I think he looks naked. Maybe I'll knit him a little jacket...or maybe not. So? Cute?

Knitting talk aside, I have some information to report. First of all, I quit my job. That's why I had time to finish the bunny. I freaked out last weekend and just had to get out of there. I didn't want to quit that way. There is no honor in walking off the job, but if I would've stayed, I would've hurt business. That's all behind me, though. We (my husband and I) are getting this house ready to put on the market, then good bye Maryland! I can't wait to move. I just want to simplify. I just have the uncontrollable urge to throw everything away and start over. I guess that's kinda what I did with my job. I feel happy for the first time in a long time. I have something to look forward to!

So, as I said, we are fixing up the house. We've gotten pretty far, which means we will be able to put the house on the market soon. We just have a lot of painting to do. That, and I have become a mad woman, throwing everything away. If it serves no immediate purpose, it is either getting donated, or getting canned. Simplify. That's my new word. You can not imagine the amount of junk we've accumulated in just a five short years. Terrible. I am so ashamed of myself! :-p

As for the boys, they are doing great. I had to take them out of daycare when I quit, which made me feel bad. They've grown attached to Kish (their provider), and she has fallen in love with them. I felt as if I were breaking up with her when I told her I had to take them out of daycare. I felt so bad! I don't know. Maybe I'm assuming she loves them as much as I do.

Well, that's all I have for now. It's going to be a great day.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I started to knit...

...but then I got frustrated. The yarn I chose didn't work well with my smallest needles, making my stitches very loose. :-
I do have some news. I should be moving at the end of the summer. Why does this matter? I'll tell you why. Leaving this state will require me to leave my job. (Yes, the one that I wanted the promotion so badly.) If I leave my job, I plan on staying home for a while with my boys. I feel like I never see them anymore. And I have no time for me. So, it'll be a good thing...unless I change my mind AGAIN. I'm very good at that. I hate change. That is why I'm not adapting so well to my new responsibilities at work. Unfortunately, this means I won't be adapting so well to not working. AGH! It is very difficult to make me happy. (So my husband says.)

Anyhow, that will come later. I'm looking forward to it--for now. We'll see.

Since I have no knitting pictures, here's one of my youngest boy. This was taken a few months ago when my sister came to visit and we went to the National Zoo.

And here is a picture of my niece, Lucy:

And, my sister, Mandy:

One more--my baby, Aaron, and me:

Yeah, there were animals there. Their pictures just didn't make it to this post! (Uploading is taking waaayyy too long.) BTW, that's an old picture of me. My hair is much shorter.

Well, more posts later. I have to work from 1 o'clock this afternoon until 11:30 tonight, so I should probably try to get at least something done before I leave!