Friday, April 27, 2007


Ok, not really overheard, I was standing right there, part of the conversation. INBA didn't want to go to the library with me because it is the Mister's Friday off, (he works a 9-80) and he wants to be with Daddy. Mommy is boring, Daddy is cool.

The Mister asks him if he wants to help him change the oil in his car.

INBA gets all excited and says (keep in mind he is 5,) "Great! That gives us the opportunity to talk about how the engine works in your car!"

I swear, I can't make this stuff up!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

STR Spoilage

No, INBA is not the spoilage... Spoiled, perhaps.
I can't help it, he is just at such a cute moment in his life.

The spoilage is below.
The pattern that accompanied the April shipment is lovely, lacey and knit on 2 circular needles. Ok, I am game. It doesn't call for an incredibly tight gauge like the last one, so I am hot to knit it.
Alas, I need 2 24 inch circular needles in size 2. Ok, I needed to go over to Costco. The "nobody likes green" lys is on the way. I have been feeling bad that I am smitten with the new LYS down the way and I was going to take this opportunity to give grumpy lys one last shot at not driving me away.
It was POURING rain. INBA didn't want to get out of the car, but darnit, Mailman Tim brought me beautiful yarn and I wanted to knit it, he was going to get out of the car!! We splish-sploshed our way up to the door of the lys... and it was locked. Wednesday at noon and the store was closed! Yes, these are her regular hours. Yet again, I am astounded. I want to buy something and she is closed. Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. Short hours on Saturday. And has the audacity to complain how hard it is to stay in business! Geesh, if you are closed half the week, are you really in business?
So, now I don't feel bad anymore. The new LYS is having her grand opening weekend this weekend. (did you get your postcard? Who is meeting me down there, Saturday morning?) And I will wait (oh, it is killing me, 'cuz I know she is open until 8 tonight) to buy my needles and of course what ever else I can't live without.

This is Superwash wool and Silk. Oh my, it is sooooooooo soft. Not a colorway I would have chosen for myself.... but then it is kinda like receiving a great gift- you wouldn't have bought it for yourself but very much appreciate the receipt of it.
Now I just need my needles.
Say What?
What is this world coming to? People go around making claims like this- it makes my stomach hurt. The Mister points out that my beloved San Francisco is #2, so they must know what they are talking about (he couldn't even say it with a straight face.) I say, who is it and what is it that they have been smoking?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Where'd the sun go?
The weather man says that it is going to rain for the next 4 days. I just have the hardest time getting started when it is so dark in the morning and looks the same all day. It can't just be cloudy here. It has to be dank and grey. Gloomy. Depressing.

But, luckily, I have resigned myself to the fact that I am never going to be a size 4, so I am having a donut with my coffee and just hoping for the doping effects of sugar and caffeine to kick in sometime soon.

Something for the Mister.
The Mister saw an ad in the May 2007 issue of Organic Gardening and scared me with his enthusiasm. Usually that glint in his eye is reserved for pruning the bushes, but this is right up there.
First of all, the company is called Flame Engineering. That is man stuff if I ever heard it. And then they give him the opportunity to own the "Weed Dragon," the name is enough to get a guy going. And then they tell you that you can carry around the propane from your gas grill and BURN up the weeds in your yard! Oh, can you hear the grunting of satisfaction?
The ad says:
  • Flame Weeds
  • Melt Snow & Ice
  • Burn Brush & Stumps
  • Start Camp Fires (! he actually needs help here!)
  • Thaw Frozen Pipes
  • Sterilize Confinement Areas (obviously they do some government work)
  • and MORE! (what more could a guy want?? Don't tell me, I can't handle the truth.)

Did I mention it is 100,000 BTU? Yes, the Mister is tantalized, but I don't think I could bring myself to get this for him for Father's Day. I would have to package it up with a chainsaw. I just cannot go there. I love you, Mister, and I am protecting you from yourself. It's my job.

Speaking of the Mister

I finally got around to washing his swatch and my gauge was the same... 26 spi instead of the desired 23 spi. So that means more swatching. Probably tomorrow as I park my fanny in front of Grey's Anatomy. And then of course, I will be up way too late, just one more rowing. It is sad how addictive the Fair Isle is to me. Especially since I know this and then I don't start because I know I will be cranky if interrupted or up until all hours of the night. *sigh* I must find the happy place in between.

Well, my donut and my coffee are depleted, I am going to go stand by the mailbox. Maybe Mailman Tim will have my Rockin' Sock Club for me today. That will perk me up... and hey, what's another sock on the needles?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Ah, He's a Magic Man, Momma!

And So Talented, Too!

Sorry about the blur, I was at the back of the gym and so nervous for him, I was shaking.
"What else do you think I have in my hat?"
Eldest was great- funny and cute as can be.

Both 1st grade classes got together and sang "Fifty Nifty United States".

Listen to a version here

My son can tell (sing) all fifty states in alphabetical order, now!
Cute, cute, cute.
Proud Momma.

On The Needles

And batteries in the camera. My Green Socks knit along...The Chalet Socks from Folk Socks.
This picture makes them look rather blue, but it is really a nice emerald color.
My Classic Wool Sock kit from Peace Fleece.
I received this last year for my Birthday, I thought now was a good time to knit it.
It is just, once I do, it is done. I won't have it to knit anymore.
I am sure I will find something else to do... I just saw the Onion Dome Earflap Hat and Mitten kit as I acquired the link... oooooh.
The yarn for this sock is worsted weight.
I am going to be loving these socks next winter! It is a heavy, warm sock.
Almost makes me look forward to the cold weather... I know, I know, it is April, but you know as well as I do, I will be wearing my wool socks sooner than any of us like to admit.

And then there is the Lorna's Laces in Bee Stripe.
This is the cuff of INBA's gloves.
I think I may as well use two of the other skeins that I bought for my Hogwarts Sock Swap pal. Is anyone else laughing that I got a Hufflepuff?
Absolutely nothing against my pal, she seems really sweet and nice... I just cannot get away from black and gold.

Speaking of Magic
Eldest is in the school Talent Show today.
He is in 1st grade.
He and his buddy, Alex, are doing 'magic'.
Um, the beautiful thing about being 6 is having no concept of Fear and Humiliation.
Eldest has the barest concept of doing a trick.
He has no desire to practice or learn a new trick.
He has a (fabulous) magician's hat (with a false bottom) and a (stuffed) rabbit.
I tried (several times) to suggest that a script would be appropriate.
It isn't a good idea to turn your back on the audience while performing a trick.
Try speaking while performing, unless the silence is a gimmick.
I was ignored.
And really, I have never seen eyes roll around their sockets like that before. That may be the one thing he practices.
So, we will go and watch the show.
I am hoping that I am just freaking out on his behalf and it will be not nearly as bad as I am expecting. He will pull it off.
Good thing it is a Catholic School... no one will pay any attention to me praying!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I am still floundering.

I have a lot on my mind, weighing my shoulders.

It is so hard to just let things be and happen as they may.

Anyway, is it just me or do you think that Soak Wash in Flora smells like baby shampoo, too?

This is INBA's snack for preschool.

His favorite- Pumpkin bread.

His favorite- train.

It looks better in person... I am super-duper happy with this pan!

I have a gingerbread kids loaf pan by NordicWare, too, and it is awesome as well. That is usually what INBA wants his Pumpkin bread baked in, but he doesn't want me to cut it!

Either way, Eldest is making plans for his birthday cake being baked in this pan and they are beyond anxious to decorate..."How do you make fake smoke, Mommy?"

So I guess we will be cake baking and decorating in the near future.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Looking for Something

I am swatching the "who cares if it is steeler colors" Lorna's Laces. Just because it is in a ball and just because I have a serious case of startitis. I have 3 pairs of socks in progress and a cardigan and the Mister's basket of yarn staring at me. So, I guess I need to start a pair of gloves for Eldest.
I suppose the problem is as much the weather as anything. I just need a perk up. It is kind of like wanting some chocolate and grazing thru everything in the pantry until I get to the chocolate which is what I should have just gone to to begin with-- oh please, like I am the only one that does that?-- Anyway, I need a project to get excited about. I need something fun and easy and quick and satisfying. So why would I reach for the "who cares" yarn? Because it is in a ball. I am grazing, I guess. I should just go upstairs and root around a bit. But then I will end up winding a bunch of balls and then I will feel pressure to knit it all up and I have so much stuff on the needles and then I will feel bad and cranky. Yeah, I am a procrastinator, too. So let me swatch and see what happens after that.

And then there is the horrific events at Virginia Tech.
The Mister is an Alum of that fine institution, his education has served him well.
What can be said? It is a tragedy of unreal proportions. I hope and pray for comfort and strength to endure for all the families touched by this (and all) violence. It is devestating that this kind of thing can happen. Let's pray for healing and forgiveness, that these families can find hope and purpose, inspired by the lives of those loved and those lost.
I just wish that there was some sort of sparkly, wooly way to make it all go away.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


When one becomes old, one celebrates as celebration is convenient, rather than accurate.
So we celebrated my arrival on the planet.
The Mister and the Boys got up early to make me a cake.
The Mister now contends that by the time he has celebrated my birth 30 times, the cake will be perfect, having learned from all mistakes. Honestly, this is the first cake he has ever really jacked up. I hope this does not set a precedent for the year. And really, it was mostly the frosting that was... um... not traditional, but we all know that I am not harmed by foregoing the frosting. And Betty Crocker is just not the best place to get a cake recipe... unless you like the fluffy box cake type thing, and then it is just easier to open a box and crack a couple eggs.
All this being what it is, My Mister made me a cake for my birthday.
My Mister loves me.
I love my Mister.
I love my cake.

Oh, and I got a bike for my birthday.
It is hot pink.
I feel like a 10 year old.
Now I need a helmet and a lock and I am hoping to find a white wicker basket for the handlebars with big colorful plastic daisys.
Oh, and it needs to stop being February and start acting like April outside so that the boys and I can go around the block.
Geesh, I get demanding-- just because I was born.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You Say It's Your Birthday?

Um, No. But I think my dear friend Kellie is right... I should celebrate my Birthday for the ENTIRE month of April. Totally appropriate. And it would save Kell from trying to remember just exactly which day it is that I was born. She celebrates me on a different day each year! Talk about Birthday surprises!
This year's bouquet is particularly gorgeous. You know all my bulbs outside are dead from the late blast of winter.
And because I am a spoiled girl... CQ gave me a birthday present at knitting last Friday, Lace Blockers and a bottle of Soak! Spoiled, spoiled girl, thank you very much! Just how I like it.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hogwarts Sock Swap!!

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? Ravenclaw

2. Shoe size? 8.5

3. Foot Length? 9 3/4 inches

4. Foot Circumference?~8.5 inches

5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.
a. Brittany 5 inch-- my only sock needles
b. Crystal Palace 6 inch --recently discovered and my new love, only have sizes 0 and 5
c. I usually use size 2 for socks, not a fan of metal
6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length? I like the shorter needles for socks... haven't tried 2 circs or Magic loop yet... who knows what the future holds!!

7. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference? I prefer the blue and silver of the film... but I am just so happy to be here! What ever works is fine!

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

Many thanks to the Mister for tracing my foot for me... otherwise my highly scientific method is, knit until the foot is as long as my hand and then decrease the toe :)

You Swatched Me All Night Long!

We have a small problem, here at Chez Mayhem.
Mommy has an addiction.
I can't stop.
Even when it is midnight.
O n l y
O n e
M o r e
R O W!
R E P E A T!

We have this little gem to show for it.
I can sleep when I am dead.
How outrageously beautiful!
I wish I could express how happy it makes me to be able to make something so beautiful for someone I love.
Oh, and I mean beautiful in a VERY masculine way, dear.
We convert 'em at every turn...

Not only did she become a Friday K-nite Knitter, now she is a blogger, too.

Of course, we cannot take credit for her coolness, but you know she makes us look good... when she isn't "I didn't say" stealing chairs.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Recap

What would we do without Chocolate?
Well, we might be a bit neater.
That, however, would not be nearly as tasty.

INBA and I are going to have issues if Mommy cannot accept that he is going to become whatever it is that he needs to become everytime I want to take his picture.
Here he is acting the Easter Bunny with the train from said creature.

Eldest wanted to make sure that I got a picture of his magnetic thing-a-ma-jig that he was hoping beyond hope to get from the Easter Bunny in his basket.
Luckily, the Easter Bunny was able to come up with one.
Did you know that the Easter Bunny could break into a cold sweat over a magnetic thing-a-ma-jig? It is true. Never the first place you look.

Mommy just wanted to get a close up of the Emperor's new vest.

Oh look, it is INBA as a train.
How grown up do my boys look?!

I just liked this picture.

Eldest took a picture of Mom and Dad!!

We made Grandma Bea's Apricot Pie for our Easter Dessert.
I used about 1 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of ginger.
OH, MY!! So very good. I used the Mariani Apricots. OH, MY!!!

Laurie showed me how to do the picot cast on at Knitting group on Friday.
Weee! I love picot.
It takes a while, but it is grand.
However, I am not so sure how I am feeling about my restart.
That is only one inch of ribbing and it just feels sooooo out of proportion.
I don't know how I feel.
Also, the 60 stitch version was too small, it fit INBA, but even though my math tells me to have faith, I am thinking that the 80 stitch version is going to be gi-nourmous.
But those purl ridges are still doing it for me.

Friday, April 06, 2007


Not me!



The fabulous, beautiful, way wonderful, hopefully someday to be the Mister's Bauhaus Fair Isle Sweater. Let's all cross our fingers.

My confidence has grown because of failure.
Well, swatches may indeed be filthy little liars, but the alternative is this. <-
So, as I finnegan-begin-again my eyelet and chevron socks (with my fool hardy assumptions about guage and this yarn tossed out the window by hard core measurements) I will be swatching for the BFIS-- and enjoying it! mostly.

Happy Easter!! With Treats!
The boys had a great time decorating these cookies that I found at Costco. It came with the cookies, icing and candy. Oh, yeah.

Eldest's and INBA's masterpieces.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Take Me Out...

First off...

My shipment is expected this FRIDAY!!! It will be swatchville at Chez Mayhem... if there is a free moment during the holiday. Either way, I am excited to get started on the Mister's BHFIS.


I was in to a very nice LYS yesterday (INBA was a champ, but then, I bought him yarn) and I picked up a flyer for the 2nd annual Stitch n'Pitch at PNC Park... I wanted to go last year but had a conflict. This year it is Sunday July 8.
It just occured to me that I have camping reservations that weekend, but I think we could be back... oh, heck.

Well, we'll see.

We are working on a list of things to do this summer. Obligatory family trips, camping, trains, baseball games, outdoor concerts, hockey camp, art camp... any additional suggestions will be appreciated, especially things that are good even if the weather is less than ideal.

The Library has a summer reading program and the Newcomer's Club does a weekly rotating park date, too. Somehow, I know that all of this is a lot, but not enough for those days I am on the verge of craziness. Ugh. And I am thinking about this the first week of April!

Monday, April 02, 2007

We Live to Dye Another Day

But First Things, First.
My sock. My lovely, lovely sock. I have finished the gusset and took out the purl ridge for the instep. I am a little concerned that it might not fit. But I always worry about such things and the cotton ones, in particular, always give me the most angst.
Still, it is delightful. The purl ridges were definately the loop I was caught in. Now that I am without them, well, it is ok to just be toted around. Funny thing, that little purl stitch.
On To the Best Way to Spend a Sunday Afternoon...
The boys dyed their own skein of yarn to be made into mittens for them.
Eldest was particularly keen on playing with the colors and making his own yarn.
"Hey, Eldest," I say, "do you want to dye your own skein?"
"Will you wear what I make for you out of it?"
There is no winning with this child.
INBA put a lot of red onto this that turned a beautiful (not real boyish) hot pink. Luckily, pink is light red to him.

Obviously, he is ok with it!


The crocus turned out more Iris...
but I still like it.
The Purple split out into a blue.


This was Blue and Black (that split out into some blue) and the same Purple as above, but here it went pink.
This might be my favorite.

This is the Easter Surprise skein.
I used egg dye that was supposed to give (eggs) a marble effect... had an irridescent component.
Obviously, the kit didn't have too much dye in it.
I don't mind that.
When I rinsed it the water was lovely and sparkle-y. I love me some sparkle... but I was hoping it would be on the yarn! Ugh.


Here are my finished skeins.

Special thanks to Laurie for all her know-how and patience with my (eager) boys.
Fake Love
BBINH accused me of fake love. He says that kids can smell it a mile away and that is why they rejected the yarn. (I am paraphrasing here... 'cuz I know what you meant;)
The reality is: there is no more real love than a mother has for her family. It is not fake or insincere to offer up something perceive to be valuable by the receipient even though the giver does not share the same affection. That is still good love.
Fake would be for me to pretend that I give a whoop-de-doo about some franchise or another and act all crazy and stupid and spend inordinate amounts of money on dumb stuff just because it had a decal and then people would like me because I am all fakey and logo'd. That would be fake and insincere.
As it is, I love my family and I am trying my darnedest to find some sort of comfort zone while living in a place that I am not comfortable. I don't know how to love my family more.
It isn't a cliche for nothing..."If Momma's not happy, nobody's happy."
Still, BBINH makes a really valid point (even if it probably wasn't what he was originally going for,) there is no point in trying to be something that I am not. I seriously doubt I will ever care about the Steelers.... but I will say, "go Pens!" (you're right-- you can tell the difference!)
******ok, I am having troubles... blogger is squishing up my post. It did this once before, I thought it was me... but I keep trying to fix it, but it squishes it... what am I doing wrong? *****