Chance of a Lifetime

I am one in a million.

Yes Mom, I know that I always was in your eyes but seriously. I am one of 47 people in the US (pop. 301,139,947) that can do what I now can do – though not very well, yet.
So, that actually makes me one in 6,407,232.

What, you ask, is it that I don’t do very well yet that you do not do?
The Mittens of Rovaniemi, that’s what, well, maybe just a cuff from Rovaniemi.
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These things are impossible, like literally you should not be able to do this but you can if you have Susanna Hansson teaching you. This woman and her friend Lene are geniuses.

I cannot tell you how. Why? Well. Besides the fact that I’m not sure that I could teach this to anyone without at least two years of work on my technique, Susanna very nicely asked that we not share the how to because…..

You’ll be able to read all about it and try it for yourself in the Jan/Feb issue of Piecework! Do it people! If you have a chance to take a workshop, mittens, bohus, whatever, DO IT!

She pointed out to us at one point that about 2/3 of the class had picked out colors for their cuffs that matched or coordinated with what they were wearing.
(Melissa, you know, that we all know, that that cuff will match everything in your wardrobe except what you were wearing on Sat ;P )
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I am so happy to have been able to take this class, to meet Susanna, learn this technique and spend the day with those 13 other women, among them:
Melissa, Tamara, Mary, Laura, Carol, Lisa, Liz, Laura, Teresa, Lani and Pixie too.  We even have a fans of Susanna group on Ravelry now! Yarn Geeks all.
What a great time. I could seriously sit here and write about this experience for another 2 hours but I have kiddos to get into bed, 30 pages to read for my history class and some laundry to fold but what I’ll probably do is go rip out my cuff, all of it, and start again on larger needles to get a better gauge – US 00 was just too small for me. Oh and check out the bruise the needle gave me!

P.S. – This is what Patrick thinks of what I learned on Saturday. Ha!



I had grand plans to tell you about my classes, how much I’m enjoying the scenery on the UMass campus this fall, this great little beaver pond/swamp that I drive past everyday and about Aurelia’s open house at school on Tuesday.

But my children have managed to thoroughly piss me off this evening and I’m too angry to do anything else but this right now. Just the act of typing is keeping me from yelling at the top of my lungs. I won’t go into sordid details but this is the third day of an upward curve of awful behavior for which they have already been punished and reprimanded and have given their promises of better behavior just to wait for me to turn my back and repeat what they were just punished for.

My children will not see a television for more than a month. Not that they see much more than an hour a day to begin with. There will be no chapters at bedtime for a week, poor Dorothy will be stuck in Oz for another 7 days.

I’m not sure what started it or if it’s finished its run. I do know that my husband, being a good man and helping some friends to pack up their entire life to move halfway across the state, not being home in the evenings is a contributing factor. I know that the hot weather this week made the girls cranky but no such problems today. Maybe neither of them slept well in the heat and humidity, maybe they are tired. I don’t know.

I do know that I am entirely relieved to know that I will not be anywhere near my children for more than 8 hours tomorrow and even when I do get home my husband will be there too. Tomorrow I am taking the Lapland Hand Garments: The Mittens From Rovaniemi at Webs with Susanna Hansson. Yes, the same woman and the same class that The Harlot took in Feb. I am fairly excited.

Ok deep breaths, girls are in their jammies, quietly playing in their room. I’m going to get them in bed and try to get the second Alpaca Sox sweetpea sock’s heel turned. I’ll try to post tomorrow what I would have given you today.

My MIL keeps telling me that this parenting thing doesn’t get easier, it just gets different as the kids grow. Anybody want to lie to me and tell me that it totally gets easier?

     *My Mil called and has added and addendum: 

      If you do your best, it won’t get any worse.

From a woman who raised my husband and his two brothers…sage wisdom. 


My Fair Lady

How do you spend the perfect day at the fair without losing your shirt?

1.) Drop the kids off so they can spend two hours working out bunches of energy throwing candy at kids along the parade route.
2.) Bring along some grandparents – in this case, Pat’s Mom and Dad.

3.) Pick up the kids at the end of the parade and go get a hearty brunch.
4.) Head back up to the fair, watch tractor pulls, visit the petting zoo, and win a few earthworm races!
5.) Let the girls pick 2 rides because tickets are $1 each and each ride is 2 – 5 tickets per person and Mommy is the only one that will ride these things with you. – Mummy Boat and Farris Wheel! Immediately after the mummy ride begins yell at the operator to stop it because your 6 year old is going to lose her hearty brunch
6.) Console your 6 year old – who thankfully kept everything down.
7.) Ride the Carousel twice – we are now afraid of big rides and our stomachs and we need Mommy to stay – console your Mommy because after spinning for 6 minutes SHE is now feeling sick.
8.) Ride the DragonLand ride with your sister because you’ve both forgotten about your big ride fears.

9.) Stop by the Great Pumpkin Patch to see the biggest pumpkins in the WORLD (um, town)
10.) Head home, take serious naps and end the day with an awesome bonfire.


Orange Creamsicle

I have a huge pile of fabric in my stash that I’ve had a hard time deciding what to do with, its polyester, and horrible print/color poly to boot.
I also have a pile of cotton duck or flag fabric in solids, 100+ yards.
And then the idea struck – these are both fairly water resistant fabrics and alone aren’t good for much but together….

I present the first of “My Grandma’s Pants” bags. (graphic to come)
…um, cuz grandma’s pants were polyester.

This one is my new school bag and I love it. It’s totally orange and totally me. I might have enough of the orange to make another smaller or narrower version of this one but they’ll all be one of a kind. More pics of more bags in the coming weeks. I’m hoping to get them into our friend’s shop and maybe in my Etsy space, we’ll see

Sampson she ain’t

Patrick says we should just shave her head bald and then she wouldn’t have anything left to cut – my fear there is that she would resort to cutting her sister’s hair.

Um, so yeah. She did it again. Only this time it was her eyebrow, with a razor the day before school pictures. ,(Suddenly I’m in the mood to play Clue) Its not horrible and I’m probably the only one who would notice, besides my mother, but Damn! We’re hoping this is the end of hair cutting, and yes, we’re putting all the razors out of reach, again.

Click for bigger. Here you will also find Aurelia’s mutant tooth and both girls swinging and sticking their tongues out. So lovely.
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And just so you don’t think that my crafting has fallen out of my schedule – dueling socks.
One is for the store, its Melissa’s Sweetpea pattern (I just can’t not like making these) in Classic Elite’s Alpaca Sox. The other is a Monkey in Schaefer Anne – I’m liking this one a lot too but it’s for a gift, as you can tell by the long leg – remember, I have cankles and make short socks for me : )
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You Spin Me Right Round, Baby…Right Round

Ok, Ok. I had big plans for today. I wanted to sew up a new school bag, do some finishing work on my dolls, dishes, laundry and “The Great Bi-annual Seasonal Clothes Swap”.
You all know what I mean – summer clothes out, winter clothes in. This is a slightly more complicated process than one might think since we have two opposite season daughters (they were born in opposite seasons). This means that we have to guess at which clothes that currently belong to Aurelia will still fit Saebra come next spring. This is doubly complicated by Aurelia’s complete lack of hips (she’s all legs folks!) and Saebra’s slightly thicker physique. So we end up with three piles, one for next summer, one to pass on to a friend with 2 little girls and one to send along to the Goodwill. Once that’s all done I have to go out to the garage and grab the bags that we put away last fall and the bags that have been handed down from other family members that contain NOW seasonally appropriate clothes – Phew!

Yeah, well. We got through all the clothes in the house, and then I got my Ravelry invite.
It’s now 9:30 and I don’t remember feeding the kids lunch. I could spend the next week playing with that thing but I got a bunch of projects in and detailed and I think I can limit myself to weekend updates. I think.

Can I just quote Sam from Quantum Leap here and say, “Oh Boy!”
I’m relaxing now and sliding downhill to sleepytime. I’m working up a pair of socks for the store in Classic Elite Alpaca Sox color1856. And no, I haven’t added this project to ravelry, yet.


Cuts Like a Knife

So, Saebra’s haircutting history.

When she was 2, she moved from a toddler room to a preschool room at her Preschool. She moved into Copper Beech with Miss Chris and Miss Karen and a gaggle of student assistants. Both of our girls were fortunate enough to attend the Child Care Center at UMass. Fabulous people, great program, subsidies for student parents and happy kids – good, good, good. Aurelia had started right away in the preschool, Maple Hill classroom, because she was 4 when we enrolled them, but Saeb was only 1 ½  so she started with the other infants and toddlers in River Birch (seeing a theme here? There was also Elm, Walnut Grove and Snowbell)
The biggest change, aside from being potty trained, in Copper Beech was the availability of all products at all times. There were stations throughout the room and the kids could choose their own, supervised, activities. Saebra was one of the youngest in her classroom and one of the student assistants must have been distracted…

When I picked Saeb up, I squatted down to give her hugs and ask her about her day. When I did I noticed stray hairs on her dress, her hairs, then I looked at her real close and noticed a whole chunk of her hair – right along either side of her part, looked like it had been buzz cut. So I asked her if she had cut her hair. She denied it but then I asked if she had used scissors in her hair

“Yeah, gween ones”

She was given the big talk about scissors and the teachers were urges to only let her use scissors under close watch and they were good about it for a year. The next fall when all new student assistants started she did it again, same spot. Its been 2 years, that we know about, since she cut it and I was really surprised – I thought she had moved past that fascination, apparently not. Truth be told we were always kinda worried that Saeb would cut her sister’s hair at some point but hopefully we’ll continue to avoid that one!
This is a pic of Saebra and my Mom at Aurelia’s 4th birthday party. If you look close you can see that her hair is thin and growing back right around her part.

That’s my baby


What a Girl Wants

This is just about exactly what I wanted for dinner tonight – minus some mushrooms, I woulda loved me some mushrooms.
Burgers seasoned with my Memaire’s mix – salt, pepper, garlic powder and sweet basil – nestled on a bed of my sister’s balsamic carrot salad and topped with some – oooweeee – sharp cheddar on toasted buns with thin-sliced, peppery oven fries. Cap it with a tall COLD glass of milk and you have perfection.


…and a couple of tra la las

School pictures are next week.

Saebra went after her hair with scissors when no one was looking and hid the locks in her backpack. Some of you will remember that she has a history of this.

Aurelia has been asking for us to cut her hair for most of the last month – she wants to be cute. I suspect she doesn’t want to deal with knots and snarls anymore.

So, once again, and without a visit to a costly salon (Saeb wants to know if she can use her birthday money next year to get her hair cut at the Beauty Lawn) my girls have short hair, again.