Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NOT Haley's Decode Hat

The last time I rented Twilight (yes, I've rented it more than once. Heckle and mock me if you will but pay attention.) I watched the video "Decode" by Paramore that's in the bonus features. I had seen the video before but noticed for the first time Haley's awesome purple slouchy knit hat! I've been obsessed with it ever since.

Of course I wanted to do it out of a handspun and I proweld etsy to find just the right shade of purple batt, which I finally did from FiberOptic. I was SO thrilled, it was even superwash! I spun my yarn slightly thick and thin 'cause I wanted some character, all the while dreaming of this hat I was going to make myself. It was going to be awesome.

The picture I had in my head, that I'd gotten from watching the video in my living room in poor lighting looked like it had k2p2 rib for about 4.5" so it turned up quite a ways and then it looked to me like it was knit with a diamond/diagonal grid pattern of purl stitches through it.

Today I decided to Google image search "paramore decode video" and "paramore purple hat" and discovered that I had gotten it all wrong! Knitters feel free to pummle me with acrylic nastiness for missing something so obvious! The hat had CABLES and knittle (knitted and little, ha!) BOBBLES not diamonds! Curses!

So I was devestated all day. This wonderful beautiful hat I had planned was not as I planned. I love cables but I do them all the time. I don't like bobbles/knitted knots so I don't do them at all.

I decided since I wasn't as thrilled about the actual Decode video hat as I was about the one in my head that I was just going to make the one in my head instead. Do you own thing and all that. As I poked biscuits and gravy in Hannah for dinner I drew a little graph of X's and O's since I don't own any graph paper.
I worked out my repeating diamond pattern over 12 stitches. I didn't know what my guage was going to be so I did something I've only ever done once--knit a guage swatch. It was too loose so I cast on with smaller needles, LoL! I cast on 84 stitches on 4.5mm double-pointed needles and I've only gotten about 4 rows knit but it looks like that's going to be a good size. I'm pretty unhappy with that little guage swatch anyway, the pattern didn't show up well but I guess it's hard to see how a pattern will look on a 12 stich swatch! I am however lovin' this gorgeous, orgasmically wonderful purple yarn! Superwash merino too, can't beat it!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Spontanious Vacation

Last Monday my MIL called and said she was going to have a few days off work and did the kids and I want to go with her to Charleston SC to visit with her mother and sister (and family). Tony's Nana was recently discovered to have cancer and has been undergoing chemo treatments after having had tumours removed and is not in very good health. We had been wanting to take a trip over there (about a 7hr drive East of us) as a family but the opportunity to do that hadn't happened yet.

Tony and I have not ever been apart a single night, in a little over 5 1/2 years. The kids have never spent the night away from us except for Jeremiah who's stayed at my MIL's a couple of times. We knew it would be a little strange to be seperated but Tony and I decided that it was a good time for the kids to go see Nana and to visit with the Aunt, Uncle and cousins.

We left Wed morning and arrived Wed night. I took some knitting with me in the car, a little sweater I was working on to send to a friend for their new baby. All I had left to do when we left was add both sleeves and I managed to get one done on the ride over there. Thurs. morning we got up and Nana mentioned that she'd like to have a couple small caps or some slippers because her feet are so cold. The chemo has, of course, caused her hair to fall out and she still has several treatments to go. We went to Michael's craft store and I picked up some yarn (that morning and on the way there I feverishly finished the second sleeve on the baby sweater since I'd only brought one pair of DPNs with me!) Between Thurs afternoon and Monday morning before we left I'd knit her 2 beanie/skull caps and a pair of slipper/socks. I am almost tired of knitting! LoL!

Thurs we took Nana with us and went into North Charleston to the Michael's and then to Border's Bookstore where we hung out for about an hour. Book stores are very special to me. I get a feeling of peace and calm there that I get almost no where else. I can spend hours surrounded by books, the air conditioning and the quiet muzzak and feel well rested when I leave. This feeling of course is railroaded by the fact that I ALWAYS take my kids with me, even with help, you can't look at books sufficiantly while holding a squirming or chasing a running child through the bookstore. It totally kills the outting. I tell Tony that I always feel robbed. This time was no so bad, the Nana's watched over Jeremiah leaving me free to roam and look for books with Hannah for about a half hour before she bashed me in the face with her forehead and gave me a nose bleed. Peace and calm ruined.

Friday cousin Caitlin and I took the kids into Downtown Charleston to the local Market which was pretty neat. Like a flea market but in an old brick enclosure with open ends and sides. We did the touristy thing, buying the kids woven bracelets and Tony a shot glass from the Pirate's Cove memorobilia store. I took pictures of a couple old buildings I thought were particularly neat!

For lunch we went to Bubba Gump's, which is a slightly-overpriced (I thought) but fun seafood resteraunt based on the movie Forrest Gump. The kids' meals were served in cardboard boats with Jennie on the side. It was a neat experience and my fish sandwhich was pretty good, though I make better coleslaw LoL! One of the waitresses was creating a giant side-walk-chalk mural/advertisement which was very colorful! I bought myself a souvenier shooter-shot glass with a little shrimp on the side with the words Bubba Gump.

Saturday Tony's aunt Charlene was off and so was her son Andy so we (me, the kids, Cheryl, Charlene, Andy and Nana) loaded into her Tahoe and off we went to Charle's Town Landing historical site. It was a huge plantation like-deal where you walk for a million miles and see local folliage, wild life, hisorical plaques and facts. Kind of like a museum, gardens and zoo rolled int one. They didn't have any strollers available when we got there so the kids trekked along with us. Hannah picked up sticks everywhere we went which she used to swat at leaves and Jeremiah carried around a map, telling us which ways to go. We didn't get to walk the whole place because by the time we got back to the middle (after seeing the animals) and picked up a stroller for each kid, we were all tired and worn out and needing to get Nana home and it was dinner time. Still, I got some cute pictures and it was a nice outting. I like all that historical type stuff.

It ended up being just as lonely for me without Tony as I'd thought, and worse for him to come home to a big, empty house everynight. Tony is VERY MUCH a people person, he doesn't like to be alone period. He tried to get off Saturday with the intention of suprising Nana and driving over to visit but he had to work. So he put in a vacation day for Monday (which also gave him Sunday off) and drove over Saturday night when he got off work! He got there about 7am Sunday morning. Needless to say we (he, haha) spent most of Sunday sleeping.

Monday we got up, packed and cleaned up our messes, said our goodbyes and headed toward the beach. Folly Beach is only about 20 minutes from where we were but considering we didn't know how to get there, we had to strop and buy towels and a sippy for Hannah (because her bottle disappeared at Charlene's house) and that inolved going into 3 different plazas on the wrong side of the street, it took us about an hour and a half to get there. Sigh.

We finally there, found a place to park that was TADA right near the bathrooms! $1 an hour to park. Crap, we don't carry cash. Scrounge $1 in dimes and nickles off the car floor and head up 3 flights of stairs to the bathrooms to discover this lovely view and the bathroom doors locked--5 hours before the sign says they're to be locked. Crap. Okay, we changed in the car. We had a wonderful time playing in the surf (even though I hate the beach, cause I hate sand.) and the kids LOVED it. We got someone to take this picture of us. We're a chunky bunch, aren't we? We managed to escape unsunburned (yay me!) and with a little bucket of shells which included some impossibly small ones I found with a little hole in them already to make into stitch markers, and 2 beer bottle caps (what?). Jereiah said he had to use the bathroom when we got there (and they were locked), when we left (2 hours later) we asked him if he still had to go, he said no. We get in the car, drive 2 minutes when he starts crying he has to pee. Of course there's nothing but closing up surf-shops. 4 minutes later we're waiting at a traffic light to turn into a gas station to take him to the bathroom when he starts to cry and says he had an accident. Ooohkay. Take him in, clean him off, change his clothes, take the cover off his car seat. Then gas, the rest of us use the bathroom, get drinks and snacks and 40 minutes later we're stuck in rush hour.

It took us until 1:30am to get home (we left the beach at 4-ish pm). Still though, we had a good trip. We we thrilled to be back together again and loved being able to do something vacation-y with the kids at the beach. They'd never been to an ocean beach before (though we took Jeremiah to a Gulf beach in FL).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

More fun for Today!

Today Tony decided to tackle that closet I wanted built upstairs as part of the whole expanding the master bedroom thing. As I type he is prepping the space to start framing in the new closet. Wonderful! But my whole house is covered in plaster dust. Everything, everything upstairs. Gonna have to wipe all my books down with a barely moist towel. Still though, it was my idea so I can't complain! He had Artemas spend the night last night and tonight to help him and upon the discovery of only one dust mask he tied a Tshirt around his head Bin Ladin style. And of course, considering it was game day, he went with a University of Tennessee Volunteers shirt LoL!
I started knitting a stocking cap (a really, really long boggin that comes to a point. Think Psycadelic Elf. I am using up any and all bits/leftover balls of fun and brightly colored redheart acrylic yarn I can find.
I got a new messenger style tote started yesterday and finished today. I call it "Pie Guard" and it's available in my etsy shop.
I usually have a black thumb when it comes to plants. Every plant, flower, rose bush I've bought has died. Quickly. Loudly. This time I got some pots and some seeds and I seem to be doing well with growing some herbs and flowers! Maybe that's the trick for me, start with seeds!

Hannah and now Jeremiah (and possibly me) have mysteriously come down with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease. My children don't go to daycare, nursery, etc except for Jeremiah going to Sunday School so we usually avoid illnesses like flu and kiddie viruses. I got a one-day-a-week job at our church keeping the nursery and the first night was last Wednesday. Then Fri a friend (who's kids do go to daycare) and I took our collection of children to Dollywood where they played around barefoot in the kiddie water part. Then on Saturday we attended a family reunion where they played with their baby cousin. The only thing I can think of is somewhere along they way they picked it up. The good news is, since we're all showing signs of it already, we should be done in about a week. The other good news is that it's a fairly harmless virus that just has to run it's course. The bad news is baby Hannah has severe blisters ALL over her feet (maybe 40 of them) and she's been up at night crying a lot. : ( I feel so bad!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Pictures, pictures and more pictures

Finally I was able to put some pics in Mom's computer (hers has a nifty thing where you stick your smartcard right in the side, mine doesn't) and she e-mailed them to me. So here are all the pictures the previous couple posts have been missing.

First we have Diantha's hair with the pink streaks put in it. Very cool, but for some reason her hair hasn't taken the color well and it's already faded a little--even with us having bleached the streaks first. Oh well, ya live and learn.

Then check out the crown molding we've been putting up around the living room. I LOVE it. It makes the room look so much better, especially with the cool little corner pieces Tony got. We still have to caulk around the top of the molding with some white caulk because the ceiling in our 69 year old house isn't exactly straight. Go figure.

Jeremiah and Hannah had a LOT of fun the other day playing with sidewalk chalk. Jeremiah drew lots of racetracks and Hannah tried to eat a green one.

I spent the greater part of any kind of riding in the car over the last week knitting this adorable little almost-white baby sweater. I had intended to send it to an old friend and his wife for their new baby. I thought the baby was due in about a month so I've been working on a newborn sized sweater. Even still I ran out of yarn and needed to go pick up another skein to do the sleeves and the intended ruffle around the bottom. Then I talked to this friend's Mom and found out the baby was born last month. Oops. I got some new, differnt yarn this afternoon to make something else because the yarn shop didn't have any more of that color yarn. Of course.

I started knitting a hat for my Goddaughter Lily with a skein of bucle yarn I had laying around. I thought it would be SO cute with ear flaps. Got the hat knit, ran out of yarn (see a pattern). So I either have to find another skein of the horrid bucle yarn somewhere (think Big Lots actually has it) or give it to her without the earflaps? Le Sigh.

I won a nice, fluffy batt, ironically from my sister/Mom for coming up with a gruesome name for one of Mom's recycled Hall of Horrors yarns series she's doing in her shop.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A busy day

Today was very busy, though if you walked into my house and looked around you'd probably come to the conclusion that I sat on my butt and watched Warehouse 13 reruns all day on OnDemand. Well, maybe your conclusion wouldn't be so far reaching but... you'd be wrong either way, LoL!

This morning I took the kids outside and let them play with the new box of sidewalk chalk I picked up on clearance at Walmart over the weekend. (56 pieces of chalk for $3!) While they drew I read them the Polar Express and Gorgonzola outloud.

Then Tony put a first coat of white on the little wooden corner pieces that go to our crown molding while I touched up the wall paint along one long wall upstairs. Then I touched up the trim paint along the same wall while he used drywall mud to patch where he'd torn the wall up a little taking some old pipes off teh wall.

Then we hung the beaded curtain in Hannah's bedroom doorway, she is really thrilled with it. Then he left for work and I put the first coat on the posts of the railing upstairs. The previous owner had painted every other railing limey-mint green. While that dried I put all my fabric/yarn stash bins back along the long wall that I had touched up earlier and swept the floor in the reading area up there.

Then it was nap time for the kiddos, which took a while to get them to sleep. While they finished napping I cut off the red drapes for the living room, hemmed and re-hung them.

Mom, Dad, Artemas, Josiah and Betsy came over and Mom and Artemas made enchiladas while I put the SECOND coat of white on the railing posts. The green is still showing through. Sigh. It will take a 3rd coat. Just figures. Artemas put together a poll lamp I have that's going in my reading nook upstairs and I sanded Tony's mud job on the drywall and cleaned all that up.

Now it's ready for painting and I am going to do that in a minute. Then it's tidy the living room, do the dishes and HOPEFULLY work on Marion's knitting bag I'm going to make her (I got the strap done yesterday!) and/or work on potholders for the N2Quilting swap.

And I am SORRY there are no pictures to go along with all this mayhem, even though I did take them! I STILL cannot find the USB cord that goes from my digicam to my computer. *Growl/sigh*

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Dude, You Can't Come in My House!

Yesterday was a very, very long day.
It started bright and early with my loading the kids in the car and driving to Pigeon Forge to meet my frind Tara, her children and her mother to stroll around Dollywood for the day and ride kiddie rides. We had a great time (and great company) but by the time I got back into town at 5:30 we were all worn out.

I swung by my house to pick up my brother Artemas, then ran to the LYS for another skein of Plymouth Yarn's Jeannie (this time in almost white for a baby sweater) and some Lustra in the most gorgeous just before dawn blue color. Then walmart and home.

Tony has worked 12hr shifts all week, getting home around 3am. Last night was the last night of a long week of not seeing him more than a couple hours and that wears on my quickly, I tend to get pretty depressed and sad by the end of a week of this. What can I say? I miss him. He called at 10:30 and said he only had about an hour more to work and that he'd be home "early." Mom called and said she missed Artemas and they were coming to get him since Tony was going to have the weekend off afterall and I wouldn't need his help with the kids during a trip to Greeneville for the Bowman family reunion today.

Mom and Dad got here about 1, about 2 minutes before Tony came home with a dozen roses for me. Beautiful, gorgeous pink roses with darker pink stripes (think pink on pink zebras). We had a hard time getting the baby to sleep but we finally did and we watching some TV together when at about 10 minutes til 3am we heard our screen door open. Our screen door is very hard to open and doesn't get knocked about by the wind.

Tony turned the porch light on and looked thru the peep-hole in the door to see a kid standing on our porch, not looking at the door or the porch light but just staring off into space. Tony opened the door and asked if he could help him, which the reply was "No." Tony said, would you mind telling me what you're doing here? The guy says, I'm just gonna sit.

So Tony told him he had to get off our porch and out of our yard and go on his way down the street. Then the guy started over toward the deck part of our porch, picked up some weed and ant killer and started to walk off with them. Tony told him to put them down and the guy walked off into our back yard. Tony came back in, told me to call the police and grabbed a 1000 candle mini-flash light he has and went out into the back yard.

I must say I was impressed with the response time for our local police department. We haven't had to call them in the 5 years we've lived in Clinton but it seriously only took them about 2 minutes to arrive at our house, on Friday night of a holiday weekend.

Our neighbors have some railroad beam/fence post square planters along our property lines which have roses and other flowers planted in them. Tony said when he got around to the back yard the guy was trying to lift one of them out of the ground and then it looked like he was picking things up and putting them in his mouth. Weird.
He wandered back into the front yard and Tony followed him up on to the porch, again. Tony said when he shined his flash light on the guy's eyes his pupils did not dilate at all. Very strung out and high on something, not pot and definitely not drunk (or just drunk). I was watching out the front window and the guy was shirtless and appeared to be in his late teens (he later told the cops he was 17) and was about 6'3 and 170 lbs. Nothing compaired to my 6'0 240lb husband but I was still really scared and to my embarrasment, crying to the 911 operator.

When the police arrived (one in a car and one on a motorcycle) they asked him what he was doing and he said nothing. They asked for ID, he didn't have any; he did tell his age. They asked where he lived and he said "Clinton" (duh). When they asked his address he said he didn't know, it was on his mailbox. The motorcycle cop (a big guy about 6'5) took him by the jaw and told him not to mouth off while the other officer cuffed him and they put him in the car. They got the story from Tony, asked for his ID, etc.
What we all think is that the kid either got high and wandered off, or was partying with people he thinks are "friends" and they put him out of the car near our street. He didn't have any idea what was going on really, a real "no one's home" case when you tried to talk to him except for when he decided to try to get mouthy with the police.

The officers said this was the first call they'd had to our street in 8 years. I always say Tony's the exception to every rule but I wish this was one case I was wrong. I told him, We've lived here a MONTH and you're already screwing up the neighborhood's averages!

I am so thankful, it could have been so much worse! Tony could not have been home, or the kid could have been one of those that gets mean, dangerous and angry when strung out, or he could have been armed. As it was he was just lost. The Lord was surely watching over us and I am greatful that no one was hurt, not even the guy (because if he had tried to actually come in the house Tony surely would have hurt him.)

However... I'm thinking of buying a gun. LOL!
(Will post pics of luscious yarn, baby sweater in progress, kids at Dollywood, etc in a couple days)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm back!

Finally, after MONTHS (ok, not months but a long time) of being without the internet we got it hooked up today! Yay! I can BLOG again! I can check my e-mail again! Woo hoo!

So I went around today and took pics of everything crafty and house-y that we've been doing. I have TONS of pics to share so bear with me, it's been a while.

First, I've been on a bit of a knitting frenzy. I knit a LOT while we were staying at my MIL's apartment and the obsession has kind of continued. I have several friends who are having, or just had, babies and one in particular is my very oldest and dearest friend Beth. Beth was the maid of honor at my wedding, her Mom is my Mom's best friend. She married 3 years ago and in the beginning of Oct she and her hubby are expecting their first baby, a little girl. A new yarn shop opened up in town where I live (I cannot TELL you how excited I am about that!) and on my first obligitory trip there to scope it out I picked up a skein of Baby Bunnies cotton/angora yarn. It is so soft and lucious, I got a brown skein and a pink skein and knit a little newborn size hat and booties set.

Then when I saw I had yarn leftover I thought, SWEATER! Never having knit a sweater I was pretty excited. I got a really basic pattern which I mostly ignored and cast on. I thought I was getting 4 stitches to the inch, turns out I was getting 5. You wouldn't think that would be a big deal but it messed my guage WAY up! I knit the 12mo size pattern, figuring it would come out small anyway. The resulting sweater is beyond premie. More like American Girls Dolls size. Sigh. Oh well, get to try again!

And so I decided to try to master the pattern and while up all night Sun night with Hannah I knit one from some purple and white with little flecks of color yarns I had in my stash. The result was 0-3 mo size I think, even though before I knit the sleevs I crammed 18-24mo size Hannah into it, LOL! She LOVES knitted sweaters and put up a fight about taking it off. Don't know where this one will end up since I don't really know any 0-3mo size babies right now but I'm sure I'll figure something out.

I spun some yarn for my sister Diantha's etsy shop. It's superwash BFL and was a handdyed dark red with lighter red and almost white places here and there. It spun BEAUTIFULLY and since it was super wash I went really thin and ended up wtih 354yds of sock weight yarn. She's calling it Vampire Bites and I am kind of covetting it. I can see myself designing, knitting and wearing socks from this with black toes (and maybe heels) with a gothic lace pattern knit into the top of the foot. Sigh.

I finally managed to finish a healing quilt I was working on for one of the member of N2Quilting. I will mail it to its recipient on Friday. Other list members donated the blocks and backing and a little bit toward the batting and I put it together. I really like the way it turned out, I hope the person it's intended for will too!

Still on the sweater kick I took the 154 yards of corrie/merino 2ply I made myself and using the same simple pattern I used for the baby sweaters. It's not as long as I wanted, but I only have 2 LITTLE bitty 8yard skeins left for the sleeves. I will have to get or spin some solid black and add on to the sleeves and around the bottom and neckline. The good news was that I was planning on making it short sleeved with just rolled edges instead of knitting ribbing so I think making it out of the black with work out just fine.

We visited a local hippy shop a couple weeks ago to get a beaded curtain for one of the doors in Jeremiah's room. I asked about some of their more hippy, batik purses they had and mentioned that I make some. They told me to bring in some and let them look because they love local stuff. So I've made 3 new bags and I'll take a couple of my older ones in on Thurs. It's taken me a while to get around to it, longer than I planned, but suddenly I'm a chicken. I think I have a fear of failure. Anyway, here they are. 2 really bright and one done in earthy tones with appliqued mushrooms.

This weekend I'm also going to get the LAST gallon of paint I need, at least until our bedroom is finished, and put the second coat around our entry way and upstairs around my bookshelves area. This week I straightened up up there, putting away things in the shelves and getting rid of all but 2 boxes. The one box actually has Tony clothes in it that can't go in our room cause it's a demo zone. See how nice it is?! It will look SO much better when I'm done painting and can hang things on the wall. Also I have a tall lamp to put up there, that table isn't staying and I don't think the chair is either LoL! And the curtains definitely are not. But you get a general idea of what's going to happen there and it at least doesn't look like a mess now.

And this is the progress Tony made on our room this week. He was really excited about tearing stuff out, then got put back on 12 hr shifts and that's as far as he's gotten. But at least it's progress! Can't wait to get everything done!