Archive for March, 2009

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Even prettier!

I remember quite distinctly being too sick to knit when I was pregnant with Clark. Fortunately, I’m not that sick. Yet. I’m too sick to want to do much of anything else though, including eat, and I totally bailed on exercise yesterday, but I did get a lot of knitting and beading done. And a tiny bit of guitar practice.

At some point, I’d like to make one of these for me. They’re so luscious. But this one isn’t mine. And the next one won’t be. I’ll probably think of someone else that needs/deserves/should get the one after that. I need to write the pattern out so I’m not re-working it each time.

I’m a little annoyed that it looks like I’ll have quite a bit of yarn left, but not enough to make a second scarf. So I have no idea what I’ll do with it.

I wish I had the luxury of being lethargic today, but I don’t. Tuesday is my insane, go-go-go day. And to start it all off, I’m hauling 3 lunches, 22 planted pumpkin seeds, 16 wave bottles, 10 zen gardens, some assorted beaded things, a measuring cup, the original copy of a school newsletter to be copied, and a number of kids to school this morning. On her way to band practice earlier today Abby asked, “Oh mom, could you please bring my ukulele when you come? I want to play something in music today.”

Sure. Why not? I’ll just load up the pack mule and get right on it. Maybe I should re-think the pack mule. It’d make more sense for me to have an alpaca, wouldn’t it? They pack stuff. But, “I’ll just load up the alpaca and get right on it” doesn’t have the same effect.

I’d rather have an alpaca.

Monday, March 30th, 2009

Pretty, pretty!

Remember the tussah silk/baby camel I spun a couple weeks ago? Well, on Saturday I picked up some bigger seed beads and have started another of those little neck scarves with it. And it’s really pretty.

I was concerned about how it would look knit up. The top (spinning fiber) was raspberry, salmon, and muted yellow/green. I was worried that the green would only serve to muddy it up, being a complimentary color on the color wheel. The yarn isn’t all that pretty where the berry plies with the green. It looks odd. But I’d hoped it would look nice when sitting next to other combinations in the ply. The berry with berry and the salmon with green or berry each look nice. There’s a little bit of green with green, we’ll see how that looks when it pops up.

But really, the colors change so subtly, flowing from one to the next… I’m loving it. It’s lovely. And I’m really surprised. I only persevered because it was a small project and I wanted to finish it. There’s a lot of yarn left and it’s possible it’ll get yuck, but I’m very optimistic now.

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Health Group- Year 5, week 41

I managed, through being extremely busy and extremely sick, to exercise 2x each week this month. I’m very pleased with that. I hope to do better in April, but I’ve been pretty diligent since the year started and it feels good.

Exercise has become more difficult since pregnancy, but I’ve noticed that it’s more a lack of lung capacity. My heart rate is still good.

To answer an anonymous question in the comments yesterday, the smocking stitch pattern is in the Harmony Guide, Volume 2.

I had a “good parent” day today. I’m quite proud of myself. The older two girls have a trade fair at school on Tuesday. We’ve had months of notice, but not a lot of opportunity for crafting. (We had made attempts. And failed. I tried SO hard to get the girls felting, and Liv was going to spin yarn). The combination of busy/sick mom, Abby’s lack of willingness to come up with ideas of things to make/trade/barter, and Olivia’s tendency to reach for the moon arrived us at the Saturday before Trade Fair with nothing. Nate and I spent our date collecting supplies for some ideas I came up with, and when we got home and showed the kids, they were very excited.

So, they planted 24 pumpkin seeds in little biodegradable pots.

They made 16 wave bottles.

They made 10 zen gardens out of plastic trays for planters, aquarium sand, marbles, shells, polished rocks and a plastic fork. (I’m particularly proud of that one).

They may make some yarn bracelets and necklaces, or some pendants with beads and wire. That’s up to them and we have the supplies readily available if they so choose. But I’ve done my motherly duty and my kids will have some groovy stuff to trade with their classmates at Trade Fair. Stuff that they made.

Friday, March 27th, 2009

I knew it

Here I am, about to rip out my attempted tea cozy for the second time.

It’s not big enough. But it’s so pretty! I love smocking stitch. I’ve come up with a ton of ideas for ways to use it. Mainly as gathers around a neckline, or upper arm, or under the bustline ’cause it really sucks in the fabric.

“Battle of the blehs” update

-friend made quiche and apple cinnamon muffins- good
-avocado and fritos- probably more fattening that drinking straight cream, but it was good
-dried peaches- good, not painful anymore
-diluted herbal tea- good, though I can’t seem to possibly drink enough. I’m so amazingly THIRSTY all the time
-homemade mock up of Taco Time’s soft bean burrito complete with enchilada sauce- good
-two fudge stripe cookies (thanks Nate for bringing home tons of junk food)- bad
-Cadbury Creme Egg- good, no headache this time, but not something to make a habit of, obviously. Fortunately, they’re seasonal.
-Homemade raisin cinnamon bread toasted with butter- delicious, and made me so very sick

I’m feeling so much better, but I seem to have a rapid and distinctly bad reaction to sweet baked goods. It’s gonna be a long 9 months if that stands. But seriously? The constant sour stomach is quite diminished. The horrid taste in my mouth is gone (so long as I avoid the baked goods), and while I am aware of my stomach 24/7 and therefore think about food all. the. time. which is beyond annoying, I’m so much more comfortable than I have been. But it takes constant effort and diligence. Everything I eat has to be debated and intentional.

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Smocking stitch

After stash diving and swatching up a chunky Rowan yarn left over from Nate’s brief affair with knitting,

(it looks better in the picture than it does in person. In person, it’s lacking stitch definition).

I went to the yarn store and bought some Cashmerino Aran along with the new Debbie Bliss magazine, forgetting ’til I was almost to the car that Cashmerino Aran pills like crazy. Hopefully, a tea cozy doesn’t get enough wear to pill, though if I remember right, just being knit is too much for the integrity of this yarn. Oh well. It’s pretty.

As for the Debbie Bliss magazine… there’s a completely lovely pleated summer top that I luv. If I had a scanner, I’d show you. Maybe I’ll take a picture later. But I’m seriously thinking about making myself one.

“Battle of the Bleh’s” update-

Dried peaches and apricots- ok, just little waves of abdominal pain
Jack in the Box chicken strips with house Buttermilk sauce- goood
dinner of marinated jerk chicken and baked potato- good
Cheetos- definitely not good
tiny bite (and I mean tiny bite) of fig newton- Not. Good.
Turkey sandwich on homemade wheat bread with cheddar, light mayo, and cucumber- pretty good

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009


The older two girls are going on an overnight field trip tomorrow. It’s supposed to be cold, wet, muddy, etc and I need to round up some rain gear for them today. I’m not excited about that. I don’t really know where to look. Joe’s? Fred Meyer? Army Surplus? I also need to get two sleeping bag pads to protect them from the floor they’ll be sleeping on, and a couple flashlights.

I’m craving dried apricots. The dry ones, not the gooey, sticky ones they sell at Costco.

I’ve decided that I need to knit a tea cozy. A drink I’ve found that doesn’t irritate my stomach or gross me out (for now) is diluted Wild Raspberry tea (Stash). I put three bags in a 5 cup pot, and it’s typically cold by the time I get to the 3rd cup. Do tea cozies really keep tea warmer? I’m assuming they do. I’ve always wanted to try smocking stitch, so I’m thinking about working up something which means I’ll undoubtedly have to rip and redo a few times.

Yesterday, I felt ok, ’til I had a glass of Hawaiian Punch. I was really sick almost immediately. Is it the sugar? I’m noticing that junk food makes me worse, and surprisingly, beans calm my stomach significantly. So I’m trying to figure out how to eat beans on a daily basis without having to eat chili every day. The day I ate microwave popcorn (eww) and a can of Nalley Chili, I felt really good. How weird is that?

I’m taking notes so I can learn what to eat and how to survive these next several months.
-Bananas have been good.
-As have almonds.
-Soft bean burrito at Taco Time? Good.
-Girl Scout Cookies? Not so good.
-Canned peaches? Not good, but I’m not giving up on those quite yet. They taste so nice.
-Cadbury Creme Egg? (Dang, I love those things. They gross Nate out). Didn’t make me sick, but I had a headache this morning, and I’m guessing that’s why. It was the last think I ate yesterday.
-My soymilk/berry/protein powder shakes seem to be neutral. I don’t feel good, but it’s not miserable, either. I’d like to find a more pleasant alternative. Having experienced happy tummy after eating beans, I’m wanting more of that type of reaction.

That’s as far as I’ve got in my sleuthing so far.

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009


Clark treadles my spinning wheels. This is nothing new. He loves it, and is careful about the hooks and orifice to not hurt himself. Yesterday however, he took it a step further. He got my lazy kate with three empty bobbins on it. He positioned it “just so” at the foot of my Ashford Traditional. He started treadling, reached down to one of the bobbins on the kate and grabbed the leader, and holding it fast with one hand, started rhythmically rubbing up and down the leader with the other hand. Not only that, but his grip was perfect, and he held it very soft. It was unbelievable. And incredibly cute.

I finished spinning and plying the silk/camel on Friday. It’s pretty. We bought beads for it on Saturday but discovered they’re much too small once I started swatching. They’re size 8. I don’t have a picture of that yet.

Today is my guitar lesson, and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t done my homework in about a month. I was really busy with school stuff, then house stuff, but I assured him I’d practice this week and I haven’t because I felt so lousy. Dangit. A week flies by so fast.

I’m wanting to cast on something neat and fun. Maybe that Philosopher’s Wool shawl I keep talking about. I’m really missing serious knitting time and need to get on that.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

You know something’s up when…

-You go from wanting nothing but Tuna sandwiches and chocolate milk for breakfast one day, to not being able to look at it the next
-Arby’s starts sounding yummy
-Your husband asks what you want to do for your weekly date and you say, “go to sleep?”
-You have to hold your breath while changing a diaper so you don’t puke all over the toddler you’re changing
-You have to hold your breath doing almost ANYTHING because the planet itself and everything on it has too much of a freaking odor to be tolerated.
-Despite the fact that you’ve spent the entire year kicking butt on the elliptical and thought you had achieved a relatively awesome level of aerobic health, you suddenly can’t get up off the couch without getting winded, and climbing stairs has you seeing stars
-No matter how much attention your poor husband gives you, it’s not enough and you just might give him what-for at any second for ignoring you these past 5 minutes
-Water, which is traditionally your beverage of choice, tastes like mucus
-EVERYTHING, for that matter, tastes like mucus
-You no longer have any desire or ability to socialize whatsoever because you have sour stomach 24/7 and can’t quite think of anything else to talk about
-Certain parts of the female body, which are already significantly bigger than they should be, swell even larger (is that even possible?) and hurt like crazy
-You are suddenly obsessed with getting a certain bedroom cleaned up, bunk beds assembled, and extra stuff purged, driven by fear that in a matter of weeks you won’t be able to do anything both because of the extreme loss in physical strength and stamina mentioned earlier, and an admittedly unrealistic fear that you’re going to turn into an elephant
-You’re left to wonder if you’re going to be in your 2nd trimester before the dumb doctor, who you haven’t even met yet, is going to have time to see you since she’s already bailed on your first appointment by being suddenly “out of town” and is booked for the next month
-You start avoiding people because despite the fact that it was intentional, and long awaited, you’re not exactly happy about it yet and haven’t been in the mood for congratulations. However that may be directly linked to having sour stomach 24/7 and being unable to think of anything else to say. Or look forward to.
-You write this crazy post because you HAVE to. Because you can’t post anything about your life anymore without addressing the fact that you feel crappy, and you’re tired of being vague and mysterious when people ask why you’re not posting.

This all having been said, we’re really very happy about our exciting news :-) . I wasn’t sick with my girls. I had round ligament issues and sciatica, and I was very sensitive to smells, but I wasn’t sick. With Clark… all nine months, baby. I had to liquify my food after he was born to get my body used to digesting again. That was an exciting realization. Actually, it was creepy.

Nate wants a girl. He’s hoping that the sickness isn’t so much a “boy vs. girl” thing, but more a “pregnant in your 30s” thing.

I guess we’ll find out in a couple months or so when I hit 20 weeks and get an ultrasound.

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Thank you all for your comments, you’re so sweet.

I really appreciated all of your comments, thank you.

I wrote this big, long post and was just adding pictures at the end. I highlighted all the text to cut and paste it so I wouldn’t lose it. Then without thinking, I added the image, but since all the text was highlighted, it put the image in place of my text. I didn’t realize this, thinking that it had just been put at the very end of the text, so I highlighted it and cut it to move it. But when I tried to scroll up, and couldn’t, I realized what had happened. At that exact moment, the automatic saving feature on my software kicked in and saved the image in place of my text, and I didn’t have the text cut to paste anymore, ’cause I’d cut the image. And my “undo” button didn’t undo.

I’m so completely annoyed.

I’m going to begin to recreate my stupid post. Some of it was in an email, so I’m going to cut and paste that to get me started…..


The most amazing thing happened today.

I’ve been thinking about Charkhas again. I borrowed a Bosworth Book Charkha a couple years ago and really enjoyed it. Teaching spinning to 75 elementary students during a month long medieval unit at my girls’ school has started a lot of spinning conversations with non-fibery folk. Or “muggles” as I think someone on a Yahoo group said recently. I really laughed about that one.

So, I’m talking to a friend of mine whose parents are from India. I believe she was born here. I told her about the Charkha and she had never heard of it. She said her mom is going to India real soon, and she’d have her pick one up for me ’cause she thought it’d be much cheaper there. I emailed some links to her, as she was trying to get information to be able to tell her mom exactly what it was that I wanted. In talking to another relative who studied in India for a few years, my friend learned that they’re hard to find, and I told her not to worry about it.

But all this got me really thinking about charkhas again, so I was poking around on the internet. There really isn’t much info, but I saw a reference to two Spin Off articles in the early ’80s. When I bought my first spinning wheel, a Clemes and Clemes, it came with a plastic bucket full of old Shepherd’s newsletters (I don’t remember which one specifically), and a bunch of old Spin Off magazines. I have never looked through that bucket, but when I was in the garage this morning trying to find a dowel for something else, I saw the bucket and started digging through it, remembering that one of the articles was Spring of 1983.

There it was, right on top of the Spin Offs, under the newsletters. It’s 25 years old! And in perfect condition!

Now I need to find where I saw them referenced, so I can see if I have the other one. How incredible would that be?

Back to cleaning… I’ve been working really hard and have made great progress. I feel productive now, instead of hopeless and reactionary. Today, I’m tearing apart Veronica’s and Clark’s room. I can’t begin to describe the scene I discovered under her bed. Eww. We’re setting up bunkbeds, and will paint and organize. They need a new dresser. It’s been ugly and inefficiently arranged in their room since we moved in 3 years ago, and it must be fixed.

Dear Susan, who reads here and who I adore even though I never see her and don’t even know that well, said that when she needs to get rid of old, sentimental things she takes a picture to remember them by. I took that advice today. I have this old music box (I am SO resenting having to write this twice) that was given to me by Italian relatives I don’t know for Christmas when I was 5. It’s a rabbit, that watches a bunny spin and dance in a circle in front of him. It’s completely broken, the bottom has fallen out, the music box doesn’t work and it’s not made well enough that I can disassemble, repair and reassemble it. I tried. I haven’t been able to get rid of it, though, but today, I took a picture and now it’s gone.

Thanks, Susan! I feel lighter already.

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Health Group- Year 5, Week 40 (and other things)

Last week was extremely busy at school. But that should all be over now. The medieval unit is over. The spinning teaching stuff is over. I’m so done. Except I’m hosting a cooking party this Saturday for moms to come over and cook stew for 40 people, 2 meals worth for an overnighter field trip next week. I was going to go on the field trip, but they didn’t need me, so I backed out.

I’m so done.

My house, and most every other aspect of my life has been completely neglected for a month or so while I’ve been doing school stuff. I’m going crazy. I want to set my house and everything we own on fire so I don’t have to deal with it.

That’s not true.

What I’d REALLY like is for the Garbage company to deliver one of those huge dumpsters in front of my house so I can throw away almost everything we own without having to sort through it. That way, I’d still have a house to live in, and I do like my house, but it’d be clean and empty. That sounds so nice.

So very, very nice.

But, it’s not going to happen. I can’t escape the fact that I have a phenomenal amount of work in front of me, and it’s all on me.

I managed to exercise 2 days last week. An hour on Monday and 40 minutes on Friday. Now that I’ve dropped out of school :-) , that sounds so nice, I should be able to do at least 4 days a week again.

While carding tons of batts for young children to spin last week, I squeezed in two Tweedy Batts for myself.

I haven’t spun them yet. On Friday night and Saturday, in an attempt to decompress and relax a little bit, I spun an ounce + of a hand dyed Tussah silk/Baby camel top that was given to me a couple years ago.

I’m working on the second ounce now, then I’ll ply them together. I think it’d be pretty to knit into another of those little neck scarves with all-over beading.

It’s going to be really hard to focus on my house when I could be spinning that second ounce. But if I do that, it’ll just prolong my clutter-stress. And I don’t want that.

If you feel so inclined, leave me a comment to say hello. Seeing some friendliness in my inbox today will help lighten what looks to be a pretty joyless day.