Thursday, December 31, 2009
That's not entirely true. I wasn't only bored. Before I start a project like a sweater, I measure myself, then I measure a sweater that fits me, then I do a swatch, then I do another swatch with different needles, then I do some math, then some more math, then I go on Ravelry and look at what other people have knit, then I start. I am fairly confident when I start that I will make a sweater that will fit me. Then in the middle, I get a rush of doubt and am sure I am making a sweater that will either look like a tent or fit my daughter. So I stop for awhile. But, I picked it up again and ignored the doubts.
Anyways, yesterday I knit the button bands over breakfast:
Yep, that's my new netbook next to it. (Thanks again, Stu!) I was listening to a podcast while I worked. It was great. The button is made from recycled plastic, but it looks like wood. I like that.
Pattern: Sitcom Chic
Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable in Forest (4 skeins)
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I have a few knitted things to post, but I can't right now because I'm posting this from my new netbook, and all the pictures are on the home computer. Eventually I'll have access to them from this machine, but I don't know how to hook it up yet. I do have the printer working, which delights me to no end. Thanks, Stu, for such a cool gift :)
Speaking of Stu, he cooked a huge Christmas dinner - prime rib with "the sauce" that Sam loves, sweet potatoes, aspearagus, and green beans. Yummy.
I'm almost finished knitting a green sweater, and trolling around for yarn to knit the next sweater. The cool green & purple gloves are stalled for now. I'm also doing some consignment knitting, which is super fun and makes me feel like my hobby could become my career someday.
That's about all. The dog is being a brat, so I'm signing off. Enjoy the music.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
We should probably teach Stu how to knit, because when he wasn't watching Sam, he was bugging Sally. They amuse me. We couldn't take flash photography during the competition, so we only have blurry pictures of Sam warming up.
Today it is (finally) raining. We had breakfast in the living room by the fireplace - very cozy and warm. I'm going to put some dinner in the crock pot so when we all come home this afternoon the whole house will smell yummy.
Friday, December 04, 2009
I've started taking my knitting more seriously. I've designed some patterns before, but in August I wrote and submitted my first pattern for publication. Although I didn't get accepted, I have self-published (the gloves below) and have gotten lots and lots of feedback from the knitters on Ravelry (thanks, Ravelers!) I'm considering designing more gloves, and I'm also considering opening a shop on Etsy and selling them. My sister and I are working together on a line of greeting cards with knitted embellishments. If anything comes of either thing, I'll be posting lots of links here.
I have subbed a handful of days this year, and I'm not really surprised that the phone isn't ringing off the hook. What has surprised me is that a new opportunity has dropped into my lap! My friend recommended me as a teacher for Independent Study (for students out of school due to medical reasons) and I started working with students this week. I already have three kids that I am working with, and I am really enjoying it. The hours are flexible, I am paid hourly and for mileage, and I'm teaching one of them geometry (my favorite). It's really the perfect job for me now, and I'm so thankful that my friend thought of me (thanks, Cindi!).
The kids are well. The flu/cold virus continues to move through our school, hitting whole families for 1-2 weeks at a time. I'm kind of glad we got ours early.
I'm off to bake some cookies and write a letter to put in the Christmas cards. Hope you are enjoying the Christmas music (I take requests!)
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
I had to do very little cooking, which makes me completely thankful.
Today I spent the morning decorating, then had a yummy turkey sandwich for lunch, and took a huge nap. A huge huge nap that was hard to wake up from. I love those.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
i carry ur heart (fingerless gloves)
FINISHED MEASUREMENTSCuff circumference: 6.5 inches; Length: 7.5 inches
YARNMalabrigo Worsted [100% pure merino wool, 210 yards (3.5 oz) per skein], color #157 "Amoroso", one skein [One skein will make two pairs of gloves with approximately 5 yards left, not including gauge swatch.]
NOTIONS1 set US 7/4.5 mm double-point needles
Stitch marker (optional)
10-12 inches waste yarn
19 sts/24 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch
Combo Ribbing (worked in the round over a multiple of 5 sts)
K2, p1, k1, p1
Open Ribbing (worked in the round over a multiple of 5 sts)
Round 1: k2, p1, k1, p1
Round 2: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1
Round 3: k3, p1, k1, p1
Round 4: k3, pass the third stitch on the right needle over two stitches, p1, k1, p1
Round 5: k2, p1, k1, p1
M1R – With left needle, lift the strand between stitches from the back and knit into the front of loop.
M1L - With left needle, lift the strand between stitches from the front and knit into the back of loop.
Cast on 35 stitches, dividing stitches onto three needles (10 sts, 10 sts, 15 sts). Join, being careful not to twist. Place marker at the beginning of the round.
Rounds 1-10: Work in combo ribbing.
Rounds 11-15: Work in open ribbing.
(I have included a chart for this section if you prefer that to detailed instructions.)
Round 16: k2, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k2, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]
Round 17: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1, k4, p1, k1, p1, [k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1]
Round 18: k3, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k4, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k3, p1, k1, p1]
Round 19: k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1, k6, p1, k1, p1, [k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1]
Round 20: k2, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k6, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]
Round 21: k2, p1, k1, p1, k8, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]
Round 22: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k8, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1]
Round 23: k3, p1, k1, p1, k10, p1, k1, p1, [k3, p1, k1, p1]
Round 24: k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1, M1R, k10, M1L, p1, k1, p1, [k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1]
Round 25: k2, p1, k1, p1, k12, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]
Round 26: k2, p1, k1, p1, k5, p1, k6, p1, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]
Round 27: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1, k5, p1, k6, p1, k1, p1, [k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1]
Round 28: k3, p1, k1, p1, k5, p2, k5, p1, k1, p1, [k3, p1, k1, p1]
Round 29: k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1, k5, p2, k5, p1, k1, p1, [k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1]
Round 30: k2, p1, k1, p2, k3, p4, k3, p2, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]
Round 31 : k2, p1, k1, p2, k3, p4, k3, p2, k1, p1, [k2, p1, k1, p1]
Round 32: k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p3, k1, p6, k1, p3, k1, p1, [k1, yo, k1, p1, k1, p1]
Round 33: k3, p1, k1, p 14, k1, p1, [k3, p1, k1, p1]
Round 34: k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1, slip next 12 stitches to waste yarn, cast on 2 stitches (using backwards-loop cast on), p1, k1, p1, [k3, pass 3rd st over, p1, k1, p1]
Round 35: k2, p1, k1, p1
Rounds 36-40: Work in open ribbing.
Rounds 41-45: Work in combo ribbing.
Bind off in pattern.
Round 1: Put 12 stitches on two needles, attach yarn, and knit every stitch. Pick up and knit 5 stitches in opening at top of thumb. (17 stitches)
Round 2: P 17.
Round 3: k 12, k2tog, k1, ssk (15 stitches)
Round 4: p 15
Round 5: k 15
Bind off purlwise.
Make a second glove following the same instructions.
Weave in all ends.
©2009 HandKnits by Sheila Chew. All rights reserved.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I am a domestic goddess. I have a screwdriver (the tool, not the drink) in one hand and an iron in the other. Fear me.
I am realizing that the best part of new curtains is that they cover up the dirty windows. (Tomorrow, I'll have windex in one hand and a wad of paper towels in the other . . . maybe I can find the kids doing something wrong and punish them with window cleaning . . . . )
Monday, November 16, 2009
When I make them, I use extra m&m's to decorate the top. They look pretty that way, and you can do different colors for the holidays too.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
(Sally was still in her jammies and refused to be photographed. She sends her regards.)
Dad, Happy Veterans Day. We will call you later and tell you we love you and are proud of your service to our country. (PS - I think you'll be pleased to know that yesterday Sally said to me, "Well, I suppose we'll need to call Grandpa tomorrow", and then this morning Stuart reminded me, "Don't forget to call your Dad today.")
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Well, it's November. Time to start a countdown to Christmas. This year, I'm determined to get my cards in the mail early. (I say this every year.)
If you are like me and you are looking for an easy way to get your shopping done, I have some ideas for you. These are businesses that are owned and run by people I know. Check them out:
Ace Quality - my sister's on-line store - camping gear (tents, outdoor showers, food - everything you need), all kinds of camelbak hydration backpacks, and more. She's got all kinds of personal trainer computer things and heart rate monitor watches for the athelete on your list.
So Many Colors, So Little Time - my cousin Amber's Etsy shop - Amber makes super-cute cards, hair ribbons, and earrings. She takes custom orders, too.
Pressed Ink - my friend's line of note cards - I've used these cards and they are beautiful and thick. Stripes and polka dots. Personalized initial. Love it.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
(Hers is a bit wonky because something was up with my sewing maching - it did not like that green checked fabric and kept bunching up funny. I'm still not sure what happened, but her edges are finished better than mine.) She has become quite the crocheter - she's into the animaguri toys and has even designed a tree that is knit and crochet. She's very talented.
(And yes, I am wearing black nail polish. For Halloween. Even though we didn't leave the house all day.)
Friday, October 30, 2009
I think that is it. Too tired to write more and my hands hurt from washing them so many times. I'm going to put on lotion and watch Tom and Jerry with Sam.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I'm a little bit of a wreck today. It's not the cabin fever - I could hole up at home all week and not go crazy with it. I've got plenty of projects and things to do around here, and I don't mind the quiet. It's the worrying that makes me crazy, and it's the being the one in charge that makes me exhausted. I'm the one that has to decide: ibuprofen or tylenol; make him eat or leave him alone, take him to the doctor or stay home and rest . . . . and on and on until I can't even decide what to eat for lunch and I can't remember what day it is. So I'm going to sit and be quiet and think positive thoughts. I'm going to take my vitamin and drink extra water. I'm going to, sadly, watch Over the Hedge with Sam.
Hug your kids today. Be well.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Anyways, he's doing better today. He ate toast for breakfast and drank some juice (I gave him some clear juice in a juice pouch - yesterday he had a grape popsicle and threw up purple and Sally almost lost her lunch at the same time) and his fever is below 100. Last night, in an effort to quarantine the sickness, I decided that Sam and I would sleep on the couches in the family room, and Stu and Sally could have our bedroom. I woke up in the middle of the night alone in the family room. Everyone else was in my bed. I guess it was just fine because Sally and Stuart are at school and work, and Sam slept all night and hasn't thrown up today.
I played with the colors on the blog - let me know what you think. I'm not sure about the green color on the left side. I like the brown, though.
Shouts out to my cousin and her husband, who had their first child on Sunday. Welcome to the world, baby Mia! Can't wait to meet you! Sally is grateful that you are a girl, and she really wants to hold you.
Also sending love out to my mom friends at school who covered for me at the jog-a-thon and who always tell me that family comes first and not to worry about staying home with a sick kid. I love it when people make a point of telling you the right thing to do. It makes me feel proud to be in a community that values family and friendship like that.
OK, enough fun. I'm going to change all the linens and disinfect the bathrooms again. Note to self: buy more lysol.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
We've had a pretty quiet weekend, for us. Soccer game on Saturday morning, then home for some family time and lunch. Sam was tired and took a nap. I think it was a combo of the last of being sick, and growing. He's going to sleep and sleep and wake up taller, I just know it. I don't know what's gotten into me, but after subbing on Friday, I came home and made homemade croutons (yummy) for our dinner salads (with lasagna that I made last week - froze half - instant dinner). Saturday I made a Halloween costume for Sam and started one for Stuart. Today I got up and made some pumpkin muffins. (I'm tweaking the recipe again, so check back for a new version soon!) I made some with cream cheese and some without, because guess what? Stuart doesn't like cream cheese in muffins. This was quite a shock to me.
Today, Stu took the kids to the movies, and I'm having some quiet time. I'm going to go finish sewing his costume, then either knit or nap. Probably nap. All this productivity makes me tired.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I've been stuck home, except for last night when I spent almost forty minutes in the line at the Walmart pharmacy. I don't know what went wrong there - maybe somebody called in sick - I just know I was fourth in line, and by the time I got to the front, there were at least ten people behind me. At 8:30 pm! I really don't like Walmart, but their prices are so low that it's worth it. I tell myself that it's character building, standing in line, cultivating my patience. It doesn't really work, but I'll keep at it anyway.
It doesn't really bother me, being stuck at home. I've become such a homebody lately. There is always plenty to do, and I like the quiet.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Today, though, another piece of the puzzle clicked into place. When I found out that my corneas were peeling off, I knew there must be some reason for it. All the doctors told me that it had to do with my eyes being dry and that sometimes people have damaged corneas. I was convinced that there was more to my condition, though. At first, I thought it may have to do with a drug that I took during high school to control acne. Then I thought that I might have cancer. (OK, that was a parnoid thought, but the eyes are the windows to the rest of your body.) I don't think either of these things had anything to do with my RCE. I think it goes back to my gall bladder.
In 2003, Sam was born in June, and I had my gall bladder removed in October. Before my surgery, I was eating very little and I lost quite a bit of weight. Basically, I stopeed eating dinner for two months. I knew if I went to bed hungry, I wouldn't wake up with the awful gall bladder attack pain. It took me several months after the surgery to get back to a normal diet. But my body was not the same, and I couldn't eat some kinds of food anymore. Sadly, I didn't make the connection between certain foods and how my body felt after eating them for over two years. (I blame the Mom Thing - I was so consumed with taking care of two young kids that I wasn't overly concerned with my occasional digestive issues.)
However, over this past year I have been making changes to my diet. I have stopped eating almost all pork. I never eat hot dogs or bacon. If we have ribs (previously one of my favorite things), I only eat one and make sure I have extra vegetables. This summer, I tried going without red meat. I didn't miss it too much, and I even considered becoming a vegetarian exclusively. Except for one big thing. I love hamburgers. I know me. I don't know if I could go through the rest of my life without a hamburger. But, feeling good is better than a hamburger, so for the past few months I've been having gardenburgers.
This weekend, though, I fell off the wagon. I ate a western bacon cheeseburger. The aftermath has been, um, significant. I can't ignore the fact that this kind of food makes my body sick. And this morning, when I woke up with a really dry eye and I still was having diarrhea (OK, more info than you wanted, but if this helps even one person with RCE, then the honesty was worth it), it hit me: I was dehydrated. I have probably been dehydrated since 2004. I was so dehydrated that my corneas became dry and damaged.
It wasn't random. There was a reason. I was dehydrated and I was sleeping with my eyes open.
I feel like a weight has been lifted. I can't tell you how much RCE messes with your head. The randomness of the episodes and feeling so out of control of yourself is horrible. I was having small panic attacks at various times of the day. Even now, almost two years later, I have a small panic if the store is out of the ointment that I use, and when I find the ointment I almost weep with relief. It's sad - I know that it's totally irrational, but I can't help it, so I let myself feel it. I tell myself that it will be ok, but I still know that it might not. Anyway, now I have another thing that I can do to protect my eyes. I can make sure that I am hydrated. I can avoid foods that my body can't process. It's a small thing, but inside my head it's like turning a corner; it's like the day after a week of cold rain. It's sunshine.
(PS - If you are reading this because you or someone you know is dealing with RCE, please leave me a comment or email me. I'd love to talk to you.)
Friday, October 16, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
If this is your recipe or your friend's recipe, please leave me a link to your blog so I can give you credit. And thank you for sharing this with me!
Mocha Double Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Yield 12 muffins and 8 texas sized muffins
Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour muffin tins
1/4 cup oil and 1 cup plain applesauce
1 cup sugar
3-4 ripe bananas
4 Tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 Tbsp hot water (it's like a syrup)
2-3 Tbsp cocoa powder
2 and 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips (for the batter)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (for the tops of the muffins)
Mix everything together. Fill tins 3/4 full and top with chocolate chips. Bake 20-25 minutes (12-15 for mini muffins). Cool. Enjoy.
Friday, October 09, 2009
What else? How about a sheepy wedding dress? I love these photos! Such a cute couple.
And speaking of cute couples, The Office was great last night - Jim and Pam's wedding - loved it. Best opening of any Office episode that I've ever seen. Stu and I watched that scene twice!
That's all - I'm off to run some errands, including going to the yarn store because, you guessed it, I ran out of yarn in the middle of the hat that I am making to use up the leftover yarn. BUT - I found contrasting yarn in the stash to use for the two-color mittens, so I only have to buy one skein to finish the hat and make the gloves. (I better not run out while making the gloves. That would be a travesty.)
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I've had a few sub jobs and a few sub-Lunch-Lady jobs, and I've been keeping busy with the cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, and being Personal Assistant and Driver for both kids. I've been knitting lots of things, but some are gifts and some are other things I can't talk about yet (mysterious, yes, but the waiting is killing me too). Yesterday I got the crazy idea to knit some traditional colorwork mittens, like these:
I know, I know. Latvian two-color mittens! I live in Southern California, and these have no practical purpose in my life, but I might go somewhere cold some day, and they would make a lovely gift for someone, so I think I might just go ahead and make some. Also, this solves another little problem that I have - I made a green scarf for myself last year, thinking that I would try out this yarn and see if I want to use it for a sweater. I don't. It's too itchy. So, I have about half of a skein left. Of course, I decide to make some gloves. So I start off and get almost done with the first one when I realize that I will not have nearly enough for a second glove. So I put it away for a few weeks, avoiding the fact that I'll need to buy more yarn (to use up extra yarn! crazy) or rip out the glove. After making about five other pairs of gloves with different yarn, I ripped out the almost-finished green glove and decide to make a hat. Slouchy knit hats are all the rage this year, so I find a pattern and cast on. It's charming, I love it, and guess what? I think I may run out of yarn. (@%&*) But now I really like this hat, and I don't want to rip out another project, so if I go out and get more of this color to finish the hat, then I can get a contrasting color for the gloves! Problem solved!
See why I have no time to blog? Just thinking about all this takes most of the morning.
Yesterday I was most productive. I washed my car, went to the post office, visited a friend, volunteered at school, had lunch with a new friend, went grocery shopping, picked up the kids, took Sam to get a haircut, helped the kids with homework, made homemade soup, cleaned the kitchen, folded laundry, and took Sally to soccer practice. Today I woke up an hour early for some reason. I'm going to fall into a coma around 7:30 tonight. I better get all my stuff done. Maybe I should start with another cup of coffee . . . .
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Anyway, I found a pattern for coasters that look like japanese slippers, but I made mine just plain little squares.
I've been keeping this project in my bag as they are small and quick and perfect for knitting on the go. I put the beads on so I don't have to weave in the ends :) (In this picture, the top coaster is upside down, but I like the angle and the colors, so I am dealing with the fact that it isn't perfect. Embrace the imperfection.)
Monday, September 14, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
Not much else going on around here.