Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Warning: Geeky Knitting Post

Psst... Check out those sweaters - and the men in my life are pretty cute too.
Jack's sweater a.k.a. the woolen colonoscopy took no less than a zillion hours of knitting up a great pattern: The Manly Sweater designed by Kate Wisson as found in Debbie Stoller's cool little handbook for knitters Stitch 'N Bitch.

Materials: I used very nice Galway Heather Irish worsted 100% pure wool in three lovely colors. My only major complaint is that it took such a long time. Seriously, *cough* MONTHS of knitting but I worked through the pain. I knit the sleeves at the same time and I seriously had moments where I was may have been thinking about what a nice vest this would make.

Minor glitch: the fact that I was so worried about making the sleeves too short that I inevitably made them about an inch too long. Ahhh well, I have to say that overall I am very pleased with the results. That being said - I am not sure if I would ever again knit another men's XL sweater without the promise of *ahem* some serious jewelry in return.

I have got to say that Jack was an incredible sport over the past few months of the process. Ex. every time he would walk into the room it was not uncommon for me to hang bits of knitting off of him and take endless measurements. I also may have talked about knitting a lot and he still managed to at least feign interested and smile and nod in the right places. Good on ya hunny!

Matthew's sweater was a blink in time as compared to the woolen colonoscopy I made for Jack but it was not without it's moments.

The pattern is from Cast On Magazine May-July, 2005. The Designer is Laura Bryant and the pattern is called Barefoot in the Park Boy's Pullover.

* At this point you may have inferred two things about me which you may find alarmingly geeky.
1. Knitting Magazines
2. I purposely removed my son's socks for this picture - I know, I know...

OCD moment: I am also seriously fighting the urge to get Jack and Matthew to pose for more pictures - but separately - and maybe in some natural lighting - as the green couch and the two green sweaters are clashing in a bad way. Deep breath Lexa - move on...

Anyway - let's see what else can I tell you about this sweater?
It took about two weeks to knit. I did not use the yarn called for in the pattern. The pattern actually calls for a lovely 100% cotton crepe BUT as the sweater is destined for a soon to be 3 year old, I wanted something a bit more washable. I end up using a wool/ acrylic blend from Phildar called Pegase +

Glitch: This sweater was almost one size too small and if it were not for the meager 30% wool content of the yarn that allowed me to "aggressively" block the crap out of it - it would have been a bad, bad scene involving a big fat hissy fit. Thankfully it ended up fitting Matthew nicely but will probably only last this season until it is outgrown.

So I guess, overall I am pleased. Well except for the badly lit clashing green photos that are now making me cringe a bit.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

25 days left until school starts…

Every year without fail we purchase one of those advent calendars for the kids, you know, the ones that count down the month of December to the BIG DAY. Each morning the kids religiously pry open the corresponding perforated cardboard window and extract the questionable tasting little chocolate that has been badly molded into the shape of a sprig of holly or what have you.

For this one month out of the year my daughter will repeatedly inform you, every family member, the dogs, and unsuspecting telemarketers of the exact day and date. She will also add in other handy information, for example, on on the evening of December 19th she will advise you that there are ONLY SIX more sleeps until Christmas and ONLY FIVE more shopping days left.

* This morning - 7:35 am.

Emma (loud): MOM!?
Me: Yeah?

Emma: So, is it Saturday today?
Me: Nope, it’s Thursday.

Emma (suspicious): Huh… It feels like Saturday. Are you SURE?
Me: Yes I am sure.

Emma (loud): MOM!?
Me: Yeah?

Emma (whiny): I’m bored!

Wouldn’t it be great if they also had advent calendars for parents that counted down the month of August? Perhaps each little window could contain - say an Advil - OR - even better, maybe those little airplane bottles of vodka?

I would buy one.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Another Day Another Holler: Telltale Signs Of Motherhood

1. Even though everyone who resides in your house has several of their own grooming devices - your hairbrush is the one that is always missing.
2. Once you find your hairbrush - you then have to spend 15 minutes picking sparkly doll hair out if it.
3. You have designated “time-out” locations in your house.
4. You spend your “free-time” doing laundry.
5. You have come to the conclusion that - left to their own devices the other members of your family would indeed all die from scurvy while wearing dirty underwear.
6. You have shouted variations of: “I swear to GOD the next one of you who starts crying, screaming or whining will be sold on ebay! In Canadian Dollars!!”
7. You used to be thinner and go out to places ALONE. Ahh… Good times…
8. You have stepped on pieces of Lego/ ello/ Clickets/ Hot Wheels etc…at 2:00am and had to stifle your scream for fear of waking the baby.
9. The mere thought of packing for a family camping trip causes you to have an anxiety attack.
10. You used to be able to remember things – now you write lists.
11. You have had to pull off of the freeway during rush hour traffic and find a gas station not because you are low on gas, but because somebody in the back seat “Has to go really bad!”
12. You wipe the counter in your kitchen about 500 times a day and you never seem to have any clean spoons.
13. You know the difference between a fake cry and a real one.
14. Your house is stocked with Band-Aids that sport Disney characters on them.
15. Your husband understands that a hard elbow to the gut at 3:00am while he is feigning sleep means that he had better go deal with that screaming child in the other room.
16. You have at one time signed a permission form with an orange crayon because there was no other alternative and the bus was coming.
17. You have sympathized with other parents whose children were misbehaving in public places while at the same time thanking God that this time it was not you.
18. You are expected to know where every bloody thing in the house is and are met with complete disbelief when you “don’t know where the Gameboy is.”
19. You are up to speed on subtle differences between: Groovy Girls, Barbies, Bratz Dolls, Polly Pockets, and My Scene dolls.
20. You are now resigned to the disgusting fact that none of the clothing and accessories for any of the above will fit any of the other dolls.
21. You have looked at the family dog who is curled up on the floor next to the garbage can peacefully napping and have been jealous.
22. You have learned things the hard way such as: Natural Childbirth REALLY FREAKING hurts but that a sleepover party at your house with 10 eight-year old girls is much, much worse.
23. You have realized that unless you are the one to put the groceries away that your family will simply graze right out of the bags.
24. You feel quite accomplished when you have managed to keep the dirt level in your house down to silt.
25. Your war wounds include: stretch marks, cellulite, gray hairs, a facial tic and the crazed look of a woman on the edge that will motivate your husband to install the new kitchen sink taps and may occasionally inspire your children to pick up their rooms.
26. When you start cleaning the house you notice that family members seem to disappear - yet when you go into the bathroom and shut the door they miraculously reappear and need you to do stuff for them.
27. You have stayed up really REALLY late making a child’s Halloween costume only to be met with a comment like “it’s okay, I guess…”
28. You now buy your children’s Halloween costumes.
29. You notice that your own mother appears to be enjoying your complaints of “The kids are driving me nuts!” just a little too much.
30. You really enjoy when all is quiet - but fear above all else when it is TOO quiet.

31. You would not change one thing about your life.
(Except for maybe that being thinner thing…)

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