Thursday, January 31, 2008

Passing Down the Charity (Hats)

I told my (sometimes knitter) mother inlaw about the charity knitting that I was doing back in December for Gale over at She Shoots Sheep Shots and for Emily (for the New Haven soup kitchen). I asked her if she was interested in doing some, if I provided the yarn and needles. She was!

I gave her 3 balls of yarn maybe 2 weeks ago. So far she's used all of 2 balls and has another hat that she's cranking out now.

She even asked for more yarn today!

Here's her finished hats. Aren't they great??

Gale, I'm going to be looking for you soon!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bad Vest, That's a Bad Vest.

It's no secret that I'm working on a fair isle vest for Schaefer.

I've shown photos, I've talked about it to anyone who'd listen.

Last night I sat down to knit another pattern repeat on it. I got through maybe 4 or 5 rows and realized that I was doing the pattern wrong. I ripped. I tried picking up the stitches and I swear I could not get them back on. I ripped another row. Again, I couldn't get all of the stitches on. I ended up tinking back stitch by stitch.

I had to put the vest down. I was so irritated.

(Say it with me in your best doggy-mommy voice...)

Bad vest...that's a bad vest.

I want this thing done. It's not that I'm sick of it or that I'm not enjoying it. I've challenged myself to do it in a timely manner. I have a feeling that "timely" isn't going to happen, or atleast not a quickly as I would like. (Who, me? Competitive? Yep.)

I completed the back of the Minimalist Cardigan and started the sleeves. Of course, I got about 4 inches done and realized that I did it in stockinette, instead of moss stitch as the pattern called for.

Yeah, I ripped.

Bad Mini Cardi, that's a bad Mini Cardi.

Both of my current projects are in time out. I'm going to some housework or something.

BTW, how much time do you spend knitting? Just on average, as a guess- how long do you spend "on the needles" on any given day? Does it vary from day to day or weekday to weekends? At SnB yesterday they were amazed to find out how much of my day is spent knitting. I was just wondering if it's unusual.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fight The Octopus!

So it's Friday. Today is day one of algebra 2.0. Yeah, I'm petrified.

I had dreams last night that I was helping Jenn (another SnB'er) out of a wide, serene river that she was swimming in in Taiwan...don't ask me how we came to be there, other than she's from there...but in my dream I was there too...anyways, there was this huge octopus trying to grab onto my leg as I'm reaching down to help her out of the water and on to the river bank. She's totally calm, like nothing is happening, telling me about the algebra problem that she solved in her head while swimming. I however, am in a panic, trying to help her out and get the octopus to let go of my leg. I can feel the suction cups on my skin, I could feel it tugging me leg into the water.....and Jenn's all calm while talking algebra.

Hm, think the dream means anything??


Algebra is like an octopus trying to drag me into the water. Fight the octopus!!
I'm still knitting. Here's the wrong side of my fair isle vest. Very pretty...

And here's the crappy-ass close up of the Minimalist Cardigan (from IK) that I've been rockin' since Weds.

The yarn is Cascade 200 in a pretty mossy-green color. Lovely. It reminds me of Ireland, even though I've never been there. Lol

I had to start something that I could do mindlessly- something portable yet not to small. (Socks would be perfect, if I remotely liked making them.)

Anyhow, I need to destash a bit. So I'm knitting with the big stuff first. You know, the stuff you have a bunch of, that was earmarked for sweaters. I'm going to work on that stuff first, then move on to smaller projects.

(I'm laughing on the inside even thinking of stashbusting, considering Super Bowl sales are happening next weekend. Yeah, like I'm not going to buy anything. Ha!)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tomato Done! And Off to a New Home

Here is the completed Tomato. I'm thrilled with this sweater. Unfortunately, I will never wear it. Yeah, not kidding.

My hair dresser is named Laurie. She rocks. Whenever I leave her salon I feel pretty, but not in a fake "this is not me" way.
Every year at Christmas I make her something. It started with a scarf, then a hat, then a pair of socks, then a sweater...this year's gift HAD to be good.
I missed my December hair cut. So when I decided to get one yesterday I had to scramble for something for her. I couldn't NOT give her anything, right?
Tomato was it.

So I wrapped it up, drove to my appt. and Laurie wasn't there.
She called my cell saying that she had been in a car accident. Ugh.
She's fine. Her car isn't.
Anyways, we made it to the salon- I picked her up at her house- and we had a great time while she prettied me up.
Tomato lives with Laurie now, but don't worry- I will be making this again!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Help a Girl Out Here?

So some of you know...and most of you don't know...that I have a cafepress store that sells certain monkey knitting paraphernalia.

Namely, shirts. And bags. And whatever else you could possibly imagine putting 3 monkeys on.

So today I signed into my hotmail account. There were 2 emails from Cafepress saying a couple of shirts sold. Nice. I handed out cards at Rhinebeck to alot of people who saw the shirt and liked it. Odd though, I thought, that 2 would sell in one day, seeing as I only sold two shirts in the last 6 months.

But, I forgot about it.

Just now I signed into hotmail and I've sold another 3 shirts! What the hell?

(Not what the hell in a bad way, I should add)

Someone must have worn the shirt or something. Is it on another blog?

I don't get it.

Help me out here, will ya? Have you seen the monkeys around??

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fair Isle Vest in Fours

I started my next Schaefer Yarn project.
It's a fair isle vest using their new Heather superwash wool/silk/nylon yarn. I've worked on it exclusively, while sitting on my butt at my inlaws.
Hubs was once again away on business. (I hate when he does that.) The Boy and I marched off to the other side of the state, to be pampered and loved for a few days.
The project is looking good, perhaps a bit puckered. I know gauge swatches lie, but my swatch relaxed once I washed and pinned it. I'm hoping this will too.
The fair isle is keeping it interesting. It's done on size 4 needles, so my wrist is complaining a bit. I've been taking advil to alleviate some of the pain. I've also been trying to stretch it every few minutes.
Tomato is done and beautiful. I'm hoping to get photos of me in it, but the weather is in the low 20's here and I'm NOT standing outside in short sleeves in that. Deep Breath is also done, I just need to weave in the ends and wash it.
Not much else is going on. It's going to be a busy week- I start back at school on Thursday and Friday. (YAY! Algebra!)

Oh, and congrats to the NY Giants for squeaking into the Super Bowl. As much as I hate football, I'm happy to see that Hubs is very, very excited.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Flying Tomato

Thank you all for the comments. As difficult of a situation that this has been, my family has been comforted by your thoughts and prayers.

Tomorrow is the service. Some of my family went to PA to be there for it, I chose to stay home. I'm not feeling guilty about it, but there is a part of me that wishes I was there. I'm a full believer in a grieving process. I think I'd have full comfort and closure if I was able to attend the service.

Part of me is just elated that it's come to its final end.

That said, I've been knitting.

Here's Tomato, with a change in the detail. I moved the color work down a few inches, so it hugs my rib cage, not the "girls". It's done in sparkly novelty yarn, so it add alot of contrast to the black and dresses it up a bit. I love it! I also did one repeat, instead of 3 called for. My rib cage doesn't need to be that accentuated.

I have to compete the sleeves and the neckline, then I'm done. It's only been a week since I started this project and it's gone by super quick. I love that.

And I received a new project from Schaefer Yarns, along with payment yarn from the cabled vest. The payment yarn is lovely Sandra yarn in the Billie Holiday colorway. Pretty, pretty. I know that I earmarked a project for this yarn as I was picking it out, but now I have no idea what that project is.

Schaefer sent me Heather, a superwash/silk and nylon mix for the next project. I can't wait to start it!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

With My Heart Heavy...

My brother and his wife made the brave decision to take the baby off the respirator and feeding tube this afternoon. He was given last rites shortly there after.

He took a turn for the worse a couple of days ago. He starting having seizures. The tests showed that he had between 15-20% of his brain present. His liver and kidneys were not functioning. There was no chance for him to survive.

I know he's not in pain. I know he is no longer suffering.

But my heart is just so heavy right now....I feel like I'm walking around in a fog.

I don't know if I want to drink every drop in the house, eat every bit of chocolate in the cabinet or what.

So I'm just going to sit and breathe.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Moving Along, Moving On

I'm trying hard not to let my nephew be the center of this blog. This is the last update for awhile, mostly because my mom has returned home so it will be harder to get concrete info from my brother. The baby is back on a respirator. The doctor said it was normal for someone who has similar issues to go back and forth a few times before being off the air all together. Doctors are now looking at the baby as a whole, instead of just worrying about the fluid and brain issues. His liver is not working. At all. There are issues with his kidneys. He's never going to be a normal, healthy, lively boy. Just because the fluid is draining, doesn't mean there isn't 100 other issues waiting to be dealt with. My brother is still believing that the baby will be home in a few days, still thinks the baby will be fine. He has no idea how to take care of this poor thing and in my heart I know he's unable to do so. Luckily, my mom agrees and spoke up about her fears to the hospital staff and distant family in the area. We'll see what happens.

Moving on...

So, I've been knitting.

I started the green rayon Deep Breath sweater and put it down in favor of Kona Bay Cotton. I can't stop touching this stuff. I wear the red sweater daily so I decided I needed a black sweater, too.

I've been eyeing Tomato since it was sent out in Knitting Daily. The black is perfect- I have exactly enough to finish this sweater. Since it's top down I've been able to try it on as I go along. It's easy to sit on the bike at the gym and knit, knit, knit.

I haven't decided if I want to do the stripes in red or if I want something sparkly instead.

I've got to get moving on this Humanities course I'm taking too. Only 7 more days and I'm done. This is proving to be the fastest 3 credits ever.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Up To Date

I haven't gotten a call this morning, but so far here's an update on the baby.

He made it through surgery Friday. The fluid is now draining and my mom said that he's not as frantic in his movements as he was. He's resting more, his heartbeats have gone down to normal baby beats, he's relaxed. Alot of the swelling has gone down in his head and face. He can open his eyes.

The doctors say that he will never regain any of the lost gray matter, sight or hearing.

They are supposed to be taking out his breathing tube to see if he will breathe on his own.

As for my brother, the hospital found him a room in a house, similar to the Ronald McDonald house- free of charge. His wife is expected to be released today so they can all move into the house. Social services also gave them gas cards and minutes for their phone so they can call and keep everyone updated.

My brother also has another daughter who turns one- TODAY! Happy Birthday Shantae.

In other news, I've started Tomato. So far, it just looks like a black blob.

Thanks again for all of the comments and well wishes. I'm truly blessed with the friends I have.

More later.

Friday, January 04, 2008

It's Ok To Skip This Post.

I just received word from the hospital.

The baby is not doing well.

His brain is still producing fluid, causing the skull to enlarge and deform even more. He's waiting for surgery to relieve some of the pressure on the brain. The MRI's and other tests show that the brain couldn't form correctly and that there's barely any gray matter. The baby is blind and deaf. He's unable to breathe on his own. Overnight one of his lungs collapsed. Doctors have no idea if he will live through the surgery so my brother had him baptized.

My mom says that you can tell the baby is trying to cry and can't. Doctors let her soothe him through the incubator. She said that he reacted somewhat to her touch.

Also, my brother hasn't been able to work. He won't be paid for the time he's missing. He lives about an hour outside of Pittsburg (where the baby is). The Ronald McDonald House that he's was supposed to be staying is full (the baby came earlier than expected) so he has to make the choice of staying at a hotel or leaving and spending money on gas to get him back and forth. His car has no heat in it. My mother's boyfriend gave my brother money to get a tire fixed yesterday. They have nothing in the way of savings or money coming in. I can't even imagine how much the hospital bill is going to be. (I know my kid was 15K and he was born healthy.)

This entire situation is breaking my heart.

How do I help? How do I make things easier for my brother and his wife?? Aside from sending them a ton of cash- which we don't have, but we're sending some, I can't do anything to make it better.

Any advice??

Thanks for the thoughts left in comments and by email. I'll make sure my family sees them all. At this point, any light is better than the darkness.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Life

My brother's baby was born in the last hour. They are getting a lifestar helicopter to fly the baby from the small hospital that he was delivered in to Pittsburg Children's hospital. Doctors have no idea if he will make it. He's unable to breathe on his own. We don't know if he can swallow or what damage the fluid in his brain has caused.

It's tough to welcome someone so fragile into the world, with all of the unknowns. But I'm doing it anyways.

Welcome little baby boy. We're blessed to have you in this family.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Lists...I Love Lists!

In the next year I want to:



Hourglass (Ravelry link)


Blanket (Ravelry link)


One colorwork sweater, the harder the better. (Um, Hello Alice Starmore- you're so on my list...)


Algebra til I can't help but to love it. (Yeah, I signed up for more punishment. Class starts in 3 weeks.)

3 more cast on methods. Right now I use maybe 3. How many do you know??



Go To:




Weekend spinning camp in some form

Here's a photo of the green sweater. It's top down and so far, I love it! Don't even ask- yes, it's for me.

And- as if I didn't know this was going to happen, the hat that I made for my cousin is gone. His fiance borrowed it and lost it. So he's upset at her, she's upset at's a mess. She called me up today begging for me to save her. I have no problem knitting another for him. Sometimes our knits want to find a new adventure, right? I just hope it doesn't happen again, although I'm totally prepared for that.

Last Year, New Year

Today is New Year's Day. Last night I fell asleep at 11:47pm, without regrets. In the past we've always gone out on New Year's. We had no babysitter so we decided to stay home. Although today was supposed Hubs' day to get up with The Boy, I traded dishes for the pleasure of rising with my son. Ok, pleasure is pushing it, but it was better than doing 2 days worth of dishes.

I woke this morning before the rest of the house. I thought about things I've accomplished over the last year and things I want to accomplish in the coming months.

Knitting-wise, I've done some beautiful things in 2007. I love that this hobby keeps teaching me things.

Here's a mosaic of what I've completed in the last year. Let me know if you have any questions on the items there. I know I'm missing some things...

People have asked me what I have planned for 2008. For starters, I want to keep on knitting for Schaefer Yarns. I've learned a bunch of things, just from the 2 items I've knit for them. Plus, their stuff is super yummy to knit with.
Second, I'm going to finish Hubs' sweater. I just need to find another skein to match.
Third, and most selfishly, I'm going to knit for me for awhile.
I know I have some events- birthdays, weddings, etc.- coming up and while I'd normally give knitted items as gifts for those occasions, I think I'm just going to find something else for them.
Selfish? Hell yeah. But I don't think anyone will notice.
Happy New Year everyone.

(Heehee, I wrote "yarn" instead of "year" and had to go back and change it. ha!)