Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicken Pox First Aid For Moms

After a rather grueling few days of nursing an itchy but very sweet chicken pox patient, waiting on a worried spouse who has moved into an "apartment" in the basement to avoid further contagion and dealing with disgruntled siblings who are just a bit jealous of all the special treatment Bubba is receiving, it was time for Mom to take a time out and get some first aid for herself.

Hence, a quick trip to the local nail salon for a pedicure and a set of acrylic nails (both firsts for me). You'll have to forgive the funky color of my skin. I truly do not have lavender feet. Because the scratch coat is going on the exterior of our house today, all the windows and door are covered with plastic, so the light coming in is somewhat filtered. Either that, or Hockeyman messed with the settings on the camera again and I'll have to exert some maternal pressure to get him to fix it. Anyway, the nail polish is lavender but my feet aren't.

As for the teaser for the Chicken Pox Project, when I snapped the photo of the yarn in my fading fall garden, I didn't have a design in mind. A conversation with Bubba and a few sketches later and we have a sweater design. I am making the pattern up as I go, working from the top down. I cast on a collar about as long as I thought she'd need, knit a few inches of ribbing, then divided it into sections for fronts, sleeves and a back. Some raglan increases and slip stitch front gives the sweater the beginning of the special shaping I'm developing as this sweater grows. How it will end up . . . well, that depends on my ability to make this one up as I go. I've done enough top down sweaters now that I think I can do this on the fly, ala Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Or pride may goeth before a fall. If I fail and need to do some frogging, I'm sure another pedicure will go a long distance toward soothing my bruised ego. Stay tuned for a potential "Frogging First Aid For Moms" edition.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chicken Pox Emergency

Just when we were slipping into the regular school routine, life throws us a curve ball . . . Bubba (aka 10 year old DD#2) was diagnosed with chicken pox yesterday. Needless to say, I was flabbergasted.

You see, I had my kids immunized against chicken pox. Hubby never had it as a child (he had the test 11 years ago and he had no immunity) and since he is a world traveler for his job, we knew that he was at risk. So the whole family has been dutifully injected with weakened strains of the Varicella Virus. However, I missed the fact that this is a 2 shot immunization and Bubba hadn't had her second shot.

Compound that mistake with the fact that Hubby is also on immunosuppressive drug therapy for
Crohn's disease . . . and scheduled to go to India in a few weeks, right around the time he would fall ill if he contracts chicken pox . . . and cannot have the varicella vaccine anymore because of the Crohn's issues . . . and we cannot find his immunication records from 11 years ago to verify that he had both shots . . . well, you can see our panicky state of mind around here.

So what is a fiber artist to do?

Start a new project for the poor, scabby 10 year old who is quarantined to one room in the house for the next week or so. Besides sterilize the entire house, that is.

(The fact that I am casting on a new project before finishing Dancing Diva's new sweater has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that I'm deadly bored knitting plain black stockinette. I'm just being a good mommy and catering to the needs of my poor, itchy, twitchy, widdle Bubbakins. Really!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another Blog Blob Sighting

In the spirit of the proliferation of blob sightings on a popular blog, I present my own shapeless blob of knitting for your viewing pleasure:

While I'll admit that you can see the rudimentary shapes of sleeves to come, the very blackness of the yarn, combined with the somewhat too short needle, should qualify this project as a blob. At least for the time being.

The endless rows of black stockinette are taking their toll on this intrepid knitter. I can't help but fantasize about soft pink yarn, tweedy purple yarn, or even the bargain pumpkin orange yarn that are all marinating in my stash at the moment. But Dancing Diva is living up to her reputation of holding Mom's nose to the grindstone and making me a monogamous knitter. At least for as long as I am working on a project for her ROYAL HIGHNESS.


Well, at least I can enjoy the temporary distraction of ongoing home improvements that are continuing at a rapid pace here at Chez Construction Central.

See my pretty new front door? Isn't it lovely?

(Edited to add: We're getting a new stucco front for our house, too. They have been pounding away all day, putting up the mesh screen stuff. I'm slowly being driven mad by the noise!)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another one bites the dust . . .

Yes, folks, we have another sweater FO! I'm just on a sweater knittin' rampage around here. (Though nothing like Guinifer - her sweater production is AMAZING.)

I finished the neckband and sleeves two days ago. After a long and fruitless search through my button stash, I determined I had to make yet another trip to Coldwater Collaborative for the "right" buttons to finish this lovely sweater. (Darn, right?)

As usual, Carrie came through for me with the right buttons in stock. And, because I'm on a bit of a yarn diet around here (this is the only context in which the "D" word is used in this house because I'm always hungry for new yarn and calling it a "diet" isn't going to make it any worse than it already is), I put the blinders on and managed to walk out with the buttons and only the buttons. I swear, that has to be a record for me because I am constantly going in for "just one thing" and walking out with a sweater's worth of yarn.

And, you guessed it, I've cast on for yet another sweater. This time, it's for Dancing Diva. She wanted a black ballet wrap sweater for dance. I found this wonderful top-down pattern (#263) at Coldwater Collaborative. I'm well on my way down the yoke and already dreaming about the next sweater in the queue.

After all, knitting plain black stockinette leaves lots of time for dreaming . . . another Daily sweater in pink? Or maybe a tweedy sweater coat in purple? Hmmm . . .

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Unfinished Business

First of all, apologies to all who have asked questions in the past few weeks. The fact that we've been more frantically busy than usual, coupled with ongoing modem issues that keeps the internet out of reach for half of every day, made it super hard to get online to update the blog.

However, I'm back on a more regular schedule and, although the modem is still giving us fits, ready to catch up.

Guinifer asked when Hockeyman starts hockey this year. Hard to answer because he's a year-around player. He played in a spring league, had hockey camps all summer long and is now on a fall league. The official high school season will start late October. We are assuming he'll be on the JV team again, because there are 10 veteran defensemen trying out for the Varsity squad and he is in the bottom half of that group, in size and skill level. However, he should see plenty of playing time on JV because he'll be one of the top players at that level. It all depends on try-outs, though. So stay tuned in for updates in October.

Livnletlrn asked about Hockeyman's new camera . . . He purchased a Canon 50D, with extra lenses and a tripod. Based on the price ($1500 +), I'd say it must be a pretty good camera. However, I'm a complete novice when it comes to photography, so who am I to say. He's very happy with it and I can't wait to see what he does with it this year.

Rani asked how I do everything I do around here . . . Well, I fail miserably at some things. I'm a lousy cook and rely on pre-packaged and frozen entrees for most meals. I'm a horrible housekeeper and my kids have to pick up a lot of the slack on chores and cleaning. But now that Dancing Diva is an official Freshman at the local high school and Hockeyman takes classes 2 days a week through a tutoring facility, my homeschooling duties have lightened up considerably. I'm actually enjoying working with the two "little girls" (as they're lovingly referred to in our clan) on their school work. I'm even finding more time to whip up a few meals from scratch. Not too many, though, since I don't want to poison my family or make them think that I've been abducted by aliens and replaced with an evil clone.

Finally, here is the photographic evidence of actual knitting progress . . . This is a sweater in Plymouth Yarn's Kudo (55% cotton, 40% rayon & 5% silk) from the Noro Designer Mini Knits book by Jenny Watson. I'm working on Design 26 (you have to scroll down the page to see the actual design). Coldwater had this sweater on display a month ago, with the alternate yarn suggestion. Since I had a $50 gift certificate burning a hole in my wallet, I decided to treat myself to this lovely yarn and sweater pattern. However, I rewrote the pattern to a top-down version and am thrilled with the sweater so far. I'm nearly done with the body and will only have ribbing to add to the sleeves and the collar and I'll have another finished sweater.

I've been on a sweater knitting frenzy this year. Some of my friends are wondering if we're going to have a particularly hard winter this year. You know, like when the beavers make thicker lodges and wooly caterpillar have heavy coats. Who knows . . . maybe I am reacting to "climate change" in some weird way.

Oh, and by the way, I fixed the cable crosses on Cable Down Sweater. I'm just too compulsive that way.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ahhh, pics at last . . .

My hubby was able to get the camera working again, so I can finally post pictures of all the work we've been doing around here, which has been the convenient excuse for lack of blogging time.

First of all, here is my kitchen remodel, in progress. So far, we've gotten new granite countertops, a new decorative light fixture (which replaced a very industrial looking florescent fixture) and new stools for the counter.

We still need to refinish the cabinets but I'm waiting to do that until we have ripped out an old desk on the opposite wall and replaced it with a full wall of cabinets. If there is a slight difference in the wood tones, we can refinish everything at once and get it all to blend. That is, if everything goes according to plan . . .

Here are also the long awaited pics of Cable Down Raglan. I haven't washed and blocked it yet because I'm pondering the necessity of fixing the mixed up cable crossings on the front. All of them should cross right over left but I somehow got it all screwed up. I know how to fix cables without unraveling everything but how much do I care about the error? Either way, I need to decide before I wash and block because the 100% wool will probably felt a bit when I wash it, making it harder to pull out the couple stitches that need fixing.

In the meantime, I've moved on to yet another sweater and am more than half done with it. More on that later . . .

So, what's your opinion? Leave well enough alone or fix the cables?