Counting Cars

Ah, where to begin.
How about the Bean’s socks.
This is how much of a sock you can get done when you are in the back seat of a car for 8 hours.My step mother lost her Dad last weekend. He had been sick for about a year and was holding steady but took a turn last week. My sister, brother-in-law and I drove from the Pioneer Valley to Syracuse to support her and her family at the funeral. My Dad calls it a bullet trip and it is exhausting, 4 hours out, 4 hours back and I would do it again tomorrow if she needed us.

When we got back to my Mom and sis’s house there was some stupendous stew to slurp and Mom had a bag of goodies for me from my Gramcracker – that’s Mom’s Mom. I was really too tired at the time to even look in the bag, I actually thought it was stuff for the munchikins. This is what was actually in the bag. A whole tub of really cool buttons, a pile of simple ring stitchmarkers, all sorts of spools of thread on really cool wooden spools(I’m sure I’ll come up with something to do with them once the thread is used), snaps, needles, metallic thread, elastic, and a bunch of ricrac. How cool! I love bits o stuff. The ricrac is all ends and irregulars and they are labeled with the most simple white band with black lettering. It reminds me of govt issue foods – I saw a six-pack of beer once in white cans that just said BEER. I always thought it would be cool to have cabinets full of foodstuffs like that. CORN, MACARONI, CEREAL… Now I just need to do a little shuffling of the workshop to fit in all my new goodies.

I thought I would share with you my progress on the toolbox purse. I’m really not a fan of showing projects in progress, especially the assembly bits. Its just so inglorious.

Autumn in New York

Well, Massachusetts. I know the calendar still says August but the weather is decidedly fallish here in New England this week.
You never have quite as much time as you think you do. I thought I had ALL summer to get tank tops done for the girls so I worked on them in little fits and spurts between other projects. Needless to say I have just finished the Bean’s tank, am only halfway done with the Grumble’s and it is now too cold to wear them. As a small comfort, if the Bean’s growing record is any indication, she can still wear it next year and since I’m nowhere near done on the other I can just toss it in the frog pond and start again in the spring.

Ah, yes. Here are the completed “rainbow socks” that the Grumble wore to her first day of school yesterday, to bed last night, and again today to the park. They are a little pilly from being in her sneaks all day but you get the idea. She’s all ready for another pair – aren’t we all!

Like a Rolling Stone

My Grumble has raging double ear infections. We were up ALL night last night just trying to comfort her enough to get some sleep. She napped fitfully from 12 until about 5 this morning when she finally passed out. Children’s motrin, decongestants, warm oil in the ear (thanks to the MIL) – nothing worked last night. I cannot convey to those of you that don’t have children how truly frustrating it can be to not be able to relieve your child’s pain. Thankfully this morning we were able to get a Dr. appt and get started on antibiotics. This evening already seems to be going smoother. Sometimes I am amazed by just how strong my little grumble is. When I say raging ear infections, I mean it! The Dr. says that this is the level they usually see in the ER – let me tell you, last night was the FIRST inkling we had of the ear infection and she wasn’t screaming in pain she was just uncomfortable and cranky. How much easier it would be if she complianed at her first discomfort and we were able to address the infection early. Instead she soldiers on saying nothing until it is truly painful. I think of how much she’ll be able to handle as an adult if she has this kind of fortitude at 4. oh Grumble.

Consequently my entire sense of time has been thrown off. It hasn’t felt like a Saturday because of the late night and the Dr. appointment.
OOOO I feel so bad about this but it was about 10 this evening that I realized I missed my future sister-in-law’s wedding shower! What kind of a horrible person am I!?! I can’t believe I completely missed it – I made sure that I had today off just for the shower – UGH. I’ll call her in the morning and apologize. UGH!
When we picked up the Grumble’s medicine I grabbed some sidewalk chalk because she was so good at the Dr’s. While she and the Bean drew school houses and hopscotch games in the driveway I finished up Sarah’s back-to-school gift.Here’s it is.Every girl needs a stylish pencil roll when she heads back to class in the fall. Sarah just got this great new bag for school. Its big and grey with red stitching and a giant red button – I thought this would work.

Ah, I don’t even want to talk about the process – I feel like such a shit for missing the shower. I really like my future SIL and I really don’t get to see her much and this is her wedding and I remember how important My shower was to me. Ugh Ugh Ugh

Sock It To Me

One sock down, 3/4 left to go. Considering that the Grumble has spent most of the last six months purposefully wearing mismatched socks, I’m not too concerned about these not matching. The Bean has made it clear that she needs hers to be matching, “I’m even going to count the stripes Momma.”
These are the assembled materials for Sarah’s back to school gift. Tomorrow is her last day running the Children’s Department at the local Mega bookstore. I know the munchikins will miss storytime with her and our work schedules just won’t overlap anymore. I’ll miss seeing her when I work. I hope to have this little ditty done by the time I go in tomorow, we’ll see. I have a parent teacher meeting with Grumble’s preschool teachers tomorrow – she’s been out all summer. She’s SO excited – she’ll be wearing her new pink and brown striped dress, “Yah. Da one wiff da hood and da pockits vat meet in da middle.”

Pappa’s Got a Brand New Bag

I got this pattern from a friend at the Wed night Noho knitting group. She had made it for herself just before her second son was born earlier this summer. She made it in the material pictured and it was delectable. I already had some fabric stashed away to make something for another friend that is expecting again soon and I knew it would be perfect for this pattern.

So, that’s what I did today, I finished the Nappy Bag. I had cut out all the pieces a while back but I just hadn’t gotten around to putting it all together. This is a pic of how close I was to being done when my bobbin ran out. Its always the little things.

Here’s the finished bag on my new manikin – not exactly a dressmakers dream but she’ll do. That’s a skirt that I made for my sister’s birthday two years ago that the manikin is wearing. Someday I’ll get around to measuring my sister’s waist so I can finish the damn thing – stupid elastic. I hope that the intended will like the Nappy Bag – I think she will. I called her husband to get the measurements for her cell phone. The pattern has a pocket built in but she has this crazy huge thing thats a combo phone/blackberry/pda/blender/tireiron doohickey. I had to move the pocket down on the bag but it works in its new place. Hmmm, I seem to have mushrooms on the mind….need to go finish up that toolbox bag.

Finally, my munchikins are washing the dishes as we speak! Yup, washing and drying the dishes. Ahhh…..

Let’s Dance


Quick update on the socks. I should be done with the first one tonight and I can start on it’s mate tomorrow. We were planning a nice day at the park tomorrow, picnic and all, but both the girls have caught their first cold of the season and I can’t imagine that they’d have much fun coughing instead of playing. Perhaps next week.

Aren’t We a Pair


I just had to mention this guy, Jeff Mack. I was working with him at this time last year and he’s awesome! He is adorable and sweet and he does So well with kids. These are two of his not-book illustrations and I just love them. I thought the’d look good paired in a Shaker style dining room. And check out the bear with the daisy – killer. I’m about to order a box of greeting cards.
He did a little workshop at the Mega bookstore last Sept. He read two of the books that he has illustrated, Rub-a-Dub Sub and Starry Safari and then he taught all the kids, and some grown-ups too, to draw pictures from the books. He was a delight.

Candle on the Water

It POURED last night. Just after sunset we had some wicked thunderstorms roll through and about an hour of biblical deluge rains. Just as we sat down for a late dinner the rains and wind let up and *snick* the power went out. I say “snick” because its not a bang or a thump its just sort of like a switch being turned off, startling but no shock. Dug out some candles, found one our hurricane lamps that still had oil in it, and sat back down to finish dinner. The Bean was freaked out that we’d never have electricity again and it took a bit to settle her down and wipe away the crocodile tears. Popped the munchikins into some jammies and read some Raggedy Ann and Andy by flashlight. With Bean and Grumble tucked in for the night the Hubby and I settled in for a quiet night on the couch, he read with his miners head lamp – gotta love LEDs – and I settled in for some knitting, duh. I started by attempting to weave in the ends of the 12×12 in block but gave up and just worked on Sarah’s piece.
Strange how much time you seem to have when you have no available technology! The Hubby and I mused on how much money we would save and how much more quality time we would have as a family if we just “lost” power one night a week. Something to think about.

It’s the Saturday Night Special

What do you do on a Saturday night when there’s nothing good on Tv? You sit down to watch netflix movies, that’s what. You watch Bruce Almighty and get a kick out of Steve Carell making nonsensical noises and shrug at Jim Carrey’s usual schtick. You watch The Aviator and shake your head at just how weird Howard Hughes really was and try to decide if Leonardo DiCaprio is attractive or just a little too creepy to be attractive. In the midst of all this movie goodness – which we do at home because we can’t afford to do it at the theatres, tickets, snacks, bbsitter…blah, blah, blah – you freak out because you haven’t finished the birthday present for your friend’s son’s birthday party tomorrow and you need a good 6 hours for all the stuffing, buttons, and hand stitching that needs to be done. So, I ask, who needs sleep when cute dolls can be made.
I used this book as a reference, it belonged to my Nanny – see the inscription. Yep, that says 1941 :) I really had fun with these – even if I did feel a bit rushed, all my own doing of course – I’ve been toying (pun intented) with the idea of making dolls since I started making the Knitted Babes back in January. This idea has been bolstered by my fun with the Wee Wonderfuls stuffies and encouragement from friends and family. I need to play around with design a bit and come up with something that is uniquely mine. I’m just not comfortable selling items that are recognizable as someone else’s design.
In other news I have finished the 12×12 in square for one of the super secret noho group blankets and am halfway finished with the 10×10 in. I am almost finished with the bit to be felted for my friend Sarah’s back-to-school surprise. I now have a monkey to make for the little sister of the Raggedy Ann and Andy birthday boy, Grumble and Bean’s socks, sleeves for the Bean’s stash sweater – picked up sz8 dpns the other day, and I need to finish up the toolbox purse. Hmmmm I think its time to make another list, I always feel better when I can actually, physically cross things off.

Tea for Two


The munchikins decided that they wanted to have a tea party this afternoon. We have just finished watching Fairy Tale: a true story . This is the second time they’ve watched it and though they seem to lose interest a bit in the middle, they are rapt during the “fairy” parts. They also took full advantage of the dress-up set that Grumble got for her birthday. 15 some-odd interchangeable and mix-matchable pieces = 2 girls with lots of fancy options for tea parties.

I thought I’d include the Grumble’s sock in progress in the pic. The cup and saucer the girls gave me seems as though it was tailor made for this yarn :) As much as I would love to work just on this sock all weekend… I have a pair of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls to put together for our friend’s birthday this weekend.