It's been a heck of a week. Busy. Excuse me while I attempt to pull out any bloggable bits and then make fervent promises to post more often. And comment on other people's blogs more often, and reply to comments more often, and, well, you get the idea.
Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I hope you all have a lovely day, whether or not it is a special day for you. May your eggs be colorful, your family be cheerful, and the Easter Bunny bring you lots of chocolate.
We'll be heading off to my mom's later today, for what will surely be the usual loud, fun family get-together. I predict some fairly competitive Uno, some green bean casserole, and a box of Girl Scout cookies for everybody. Mmmm, Girl Scout cookies.
Happy Easter, internets! Have a great day!
Monday, March 17, 2008
So, Birthday Party #2: The School-Friend Edition was this weekend. As I mentioned before, Big Brother wanted a science theme, complete with experiments (I swear, I didn't influence that decision). I planned some involving airflow, rotational inertia, friction - some of which we did perform and some we didn't - but the biggest hit?
The kids were very, um, enthusiastic with the slime. A bunch of ten-year-old boys, go figure.
It wasn't anything complicated, just cornstarch and water (which, if you've never mixed, you need to do so right now. No, really. You can read this later.). My original plan was to have each kid have his own cup to mix it in, then be able to take it out and play around. I provided food coloring too, which may have been a mistake.
The individual cup idea lasted about five minutes before one kid asked, "Hey Mrs. Big Brother's mom, can we have a big bowl to mix it all together?"
At least I was smart enough to have them take that outside. They really, really got into it.
I just tried not to think about, well . . .
All in all, the party was a success. Actually, I was told that it was "the best party ever" and it "creamed Monster Golf." High compliments indeed. Most of the kids went home with green hands (at least Monday was St. Patrick's Day - they were festive), but luckily I had written that it might get messy right on the invitation. I haven't gotten any calls from angry parents . . . not yet, anyway.
I do have to say, though, I'm glad Baby Sister wouldn't be interested in that sort of thing and that Little Brother's birthday's not until July.
I need some time to clean up my kitchen.
PS - totally unrelated - does anybody know how to get chocolate soymilk out of jeans?
Friday, March 14, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Knitting time is at a premium around here, between work and birthday parties, but I've gotten a bit done. First, Baby Sister's socks:
They're not really anything special - plain toe-up socks - but the model's pretty cute. :)
I've also got something actually happening with the seamless hybrid! And it's only been on the needles a couple of months! (I am pathetically slow, I know.) Here's what it looks like now:
Can you see where I started the second skein? How about now?
It's pretty obvious to me, but there's nothing I can do about it, because a)after scrutinizing the ball band, I can find no mention of a dye lot, b)I got the yarn at the Webs post-holiday sale wicked cheap, it's probably gone, and Northampton is two hours away, and c)I had knit about three inches before I noticed. So I'll have to just get over it.
Hey - speaking of Webs, I'm going to see the Yarn Harlot there in April!! It's going to be great; my mom and my sister want to go, plus Jess and Amy and MadMad and lots of other bloggers too. I'm so excited to actually meet all these people!!
Okay, sorry for the Webs-induced hysteria. Where was I? My sweater. Right - so I want a shawl collar on this thing. I had originally planned to do it the way I believe they're usually done: bind off a section of stitches where the bottom of the collar will be, then afterward pick up stitches around the neck and knit the collar, probably in ribbing, so that its stitches are at right angles to the sweater's stitches, in the front anyway. Like this, except, you know, not on a guy:
But a few weeks ago, I was in a parent conference, and - though of course I was paying attention, I swear - the mom had on this terrific sweater with a really interesting collar. It was shaped like a shawl collar, but it was in the same stitch pattern as the rest of the sweater (cables, incidentally) and the stitches were in the same direction as the rest of the sweater. It looked like you just cast on extra stitches at the bottom of the collar, then start knitting back and forth instead of in the round, shaping the V of the collar as you go. Then you overlap the collar and sew the little seam at the end. I wish I could find a picture of this. If I'm not making any sense, feel free to send me a big WTF in the comments. Here, let me try this:
Anyway, I decided I had to have this collar on my sweater. I was pretty darn excited about this collar, too, as only you knitters will understand. But I wanted to see if I could figure out a way to do it without the little seam at the end. I worried about lumpiness, and also I don't care for sewing.
So here's what I did. When I got to where I wanted the bottom of the collar to be, I put markers at either end of the center 19 stitches, and I cast on 19 more stitches, to get the overlap. But in what at the time I thought of as my extreme cleverness, I didn't cast them on all at once, I did knit 1, make 1 across the stitches between the markers. Then I put the new stitches on a stitch holder. I gave myself a little pat on the back, because there I had it: two sets of overlapping stitches on the front of my sweater, just waiting to be shaped into shawl-y loveliness. Then I turned and purled around the back of the sweater.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Big Brother is 10! Happy birthday kid!
Each birthday of your kids makes you feel a bit older, but 10 - that's a big one. I've officially been a mom for a whole decade. I wonder when exactly I'll start to feel like I know what I'm doing . . .
Anyway. The lucky punk's going to have two parties, mainly because he procrastinated in letting me know what kids he wanted to invite. By the time the invitations were ready, to have the party on his actual birthday (yesterday) would have been like, "Hey, want to come to a birthday party? Um, tomorrow?" So yesterday we had family over and next week he'll have his friends come - we're going to do fun science experiments and make stuff like slime and baking-soda-and-vinegar rockets. I'm totally looking forward to it.
Yesterday, of course, was a lot of fun too. It was marked by a strange (for Big Brother, anyway) lack of NASCAR paraphernalia. (Perhaps he has it all?) Instead, there was a bit of this
and a little bit of this.
Such big kid gifts!
It was also great to see family that we really don't see often enough. I couldn't believe how big Brand-new Niece had gotten! (I also can't believe I didn't get any pictures of Brand-new Niece!) I was very happy to get to hold her, and also happy that after holding her - feeling how little and soft she was, inhaling that milky baby smell - I still don't want another one. Phew.
Happy birthday, Big Brother!!
(This last picture was taken about a half-second before that big grinning head was smacked by his brother. Both boys were sorely disappointed I didn't capture the actual smack. Boys.)
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
The third time really is, apparently, the charm.