28th May 2004

yeah Zach!

The prof posted the test results…he got an A.  He was relieved.  This prof seems like he was forced to teach the class and is determined to prove that it can’t be done in two weeks.  Thank goodness dh is a fast reader because he gets assigned nearly 100 pages of reading every day.

posted in School, Zach | 2 Comments

27th May 2004

Knitting joy and Neighbors

It was a fairly good day today.  I found out my check didn’t bounce.  *yeah!* and Zach, knowing what a big deal to me to not having the right knitting needles to start Pam’s soaker, dug through all of our change and came up with enough for one and sent me to the LYS to pick it up.  He’s a good guy!

He had a test this morning in his class that he feels good about even though he went to it with only 1 1/2 hours of sleep.  We are both glad this class is only 10 days…the schedule is really rough on us.
Things that make you really wonder about your neighbors.

This morning I noticed that on the roof or our neighboring 2 story apartment building there was a pair of shoes on the roof.  Something about it really struck me as funny.  It would have taken some serious effort to get them in their particular location considering the balconies are covered.  The person would have had to have thrown them up there from the ground.  It just made my mind wander thinking of outrageous reasons why they would be there.  (maybe they were waiting for the mothership, but when they beamed them up, they forgot the shoes)

I hope these neighbors leave.  I assume they are the people from the upper floor apartment because those people are crazy.  One of them has a leg bracelet (house arrest kind).  It appears to be a mom with her grown children, their boyfriends/girlfriends, and their kids.  You really get the impression that nobody is married and the kids with kids can’t be over 18.  There is an insane amount of drive-by traffic with radios so loud it rattles our windows and neon crap all over the cars.

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27th May 2004

New neice & other minutia

Yesterday afternoon my folks dropped by for a few minutes.  They brought me a lamp with a magnifier so I can get started on the custom Italian charms for the shop.  I tried to work with it once, but my eyes just don’t work that well anymore.  This was one of those drafting table clip on lamps with the magnifying glass in the middle.  I just need to commandeer dh’s computer so that I can print up some pictures to put in the bracelets.  I need to make one for mom and one for display.

Mom also loaned me $100 to cover the overdraft and give us a little cash until the 1st.  I am waiting to make sure there aren’t any charges before I go to the LYS to pick up some circulars, but hopefully, I will know in a day or so.    Our summer amount keeps dwindling since we have borrowed so much.  I hope we don’t have to borrow again at the end of summer.  Just once, I want to feel like a self sufficient grown up again.

I wrote a gigantic “catch up” letter to all my relatives that live away from us.  It was like those Christmas letters with links to pictures.  (the “pictures” link on the left goes to the same batch of photos btw).  I got one response so far from his brother who is in med school.  They just had another baby girl recently.  I am just impressed that the busiest of the bunch was the first to respond…and he usually is the first to respond.

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26th May 2004

Knitting log

Knitting Log from a brand new knitter


First Project:  Shopping Bag

the inspiration came from this pattern: http://www.frugalhaus.com/homepage/freepat.htm

I didn’t follow the pattern completely, just used the ideas in it.

This is actually the second bag I started, but the first bag I completed.  The first try I made the yo in the body so tight that I couldn’t get them to slide around the circular needles.  I planned on making it a lot longer, but really wanted to get going on another project so I just closed the bottom of the bag up and called it done.  It is made with Cotton-Ease yarn with two strands at once – one was a blue, and one a green.  It was weird how the blue yarn looks more purple in the bag than it looked like on the skein


Second Project:  LTK Easy Peasy Sweater

Little Turtle knits patterns: http://www.littleturtleknits.com/patterns.htm

This was my first “real” project.  I haven’t gotten around to seaming the edges yet and am still deciding whether or not to rip it and save the yarn since it looks so wonky.  It is made of a machine washable wool and I intended for it to be for a friend who is pregnant and gave away all of her baby clothes for her other two boys and then “whoops!”.  I actually knitted a large part of it while babysitting her boys (ironically, the worst looking area…lol).  The lower picture illustrates this – the bottom part was done after ds went to sleep one night (no interruptions) and the upper part was done while babysitting (lots of interruptions).


Third Project:  LTK Soaker (toddler size)

Little Turtle knits patterns: http://www.littleturtleknits.com/patterns.htm

made with Lion’s Brand Fisherman’s wool

The result of this soaker looks pretty pathetic, but I learned a LOT doing it.

First problem – I kept getting off on the ribbing.  I could not for the life of me understand which was a purl and which was a knit stitch…it all seemed a tangled mess to me.  Somebody in chat suggested that I might be doing yarn overs, which I didn’t really understand at first, until I started doing it correctly and Voila!….the difference between the purl and knit was clear.

Second problem – I was doing the purl stitch incorrectly and didn’t find out until after I had completed this.  I also discovered it was called a twisted stitch.  Basically, I put the needle in to purl, but wrapped the yarn around the needle the wrong direction.  It ended up creating a pattern in all of my short rows and every other row of the crotch.  It did, however, make it a lot easier to count how many rows were I had gone since the last short row so I knew when I needed to start the next one. lol.

Third problem – I failed to pick up the stitches in the next row after the short row and it left little holes.  (see bottom picture)   I had no idea what “picking up the stitches” meant until I did my next soaker and played with the short rows a bit.

Fourth problem – My son has big legs and when I put the soaker on I couldn’t even pull it all the way up his legs because it was too tight.  I had to pull out the crochet edges and the Kitchener stitches and add some more rows.  When I put it back together and tried it on, I could get it on, but the fit was really strange.  You can see in the pictures that the crotch just doesn’t look right.  It was also really loose around the waist which is probably the result of the yarn overs (extra yarn & bulk) in the ribbing.

I also didn’t understand what “tog” meant.  I knew “together” but that just didn’t make sense..after all, aren’t all the stitches knit together.  lol.  oh, the things I have learned.  “together” means that you stick the needle through two stitches instead of one and knit it, thus decreasing.

What a mess.  A true learning experience for me.


Fourth Project:  LTK Soaker (toddler size)

Little Turtle knits patterns:

http://www.littleturtleknits.com/patterns.htm

made with Cannon Simply Soft acrylic yarn (because I didn’t want to waste any more nice yarn until I could figure out the pattern a little better)This one was a little more successful, but I wandered off the pattern a bit.  First, I did a k2 p3 ribbing because I read someplace that it doesn’t curl as much.  I also knitted ribbing quite a bit longer than the pattern called for, but I did get the cord holes this time.  I wanted to make a pattern on the tush and thought that maybe if I just did purl instead of knit following a chart, it would make a nice pattern.  (of course, I had to do knit instead of purl on the short rows).  What it did instead is create a weird ribbing and puckered up around the peace sign area.  Next, I wanted to make the legs bigger and stretchier, so I decided to add ribbing around the legs and make the crotch wider by decreasing slower.  I created the ribbing by going to the ends of the leg rows, and instead of binding off, I put it onto a dpn.  (the same size needle as the ribbing at the waist).  When I finished the kitchner at the crotch, I had a circle of raw edges around each leg.  I just picked up stitches wherever there were spaces until I got a multiple of 5 (since I was doing 2×3 ribbing) and then knitted the ribbing.  I was pretty proud of myself when I was done, but I have a feeling I am just gonna shake my head at this one later on.  lol.


Fifth Project:  LTK Longies modified to shorts (toddler size)

Little Turtle knits patterns: http://www.littleturtleknits.com/patterns.htm

made with Red Heart Kid’s acrylic yarn (again,  I didn’t want to waste any more nice yarn until I could figure out the pattern a little better)

This one I basically followed the pattern, adding the peace sign to the tush again.  Ironically, I used the same chart I did for the last time, but the result was a lot different.  After doing the kitchener stitch at the crotch, I just did 3 more rows, then changed back to the ribbing color and added ribbing at the cuffs.  I really liked how this one turned out.

I struggled with the color changes for the peace sign and had a million little pieces of yarn.  I should have just woven them all in, but I decided to tie them into knots instead.  I found out from somebody that weaving them probably would have held together better…I guess I will see as I wash this thing if it falls apart.


Sixth Project:  LTK Longies modified to shorts (toddler size)

Little Turtle knits patterns: http://www.littleturtleknits.com/patterns.htm

made with Chunky USA acrylic yarn (on clearance…super cheap)

This one reminded me of those complicated story problems from math class.  I couldn’t afford the size needles I needed to get gauge,  so I just used my biggest needles, did a gauge swatch, and then did the math to get it the right size.  I also had to figure out the smallest number of stitches you could use and still tell the picture was of a peace symbol, then had to divide it into the number of cast on stitches to space them right.  Oh, yeah, I also had to make sure the number of cast on was divisible by 12 -> red (3 stitches), white (3 stitches) x 2 legs.  I finally got my Vogue knitting book about 1/2 way through this project and discovered my color changes looked exactly like the “what not to do” picture.  *sigh*  The legs are also double thick due to stranding, so it is a heavy soaker compared to the last one.  At least the heavy part is on the seat and not the waist.

I was originally going to do a stars and stripes design, (July 4th) but decided that I didn’t want the appearance that I supported the war in any way, so I changed it to peace symbols to reflect my “Peace is Patriotic” theme.

The biggest challenge of this one was that the edge of the short rows fell in the middle of a peace symbol on each side (and not precisly at the same place) and I had to eye it to figure out what color to use because the chart I made became pretty useless.  The line of where to start the stripes at the bottom was also skewed because of how the design fell over the short rows, so I had to keep adjusting where the strip started and wasn’t entirely sure what would look right.

Although I am happy with the overall effect, I would do some of the things differently next time…for one, I would be better at not pulling the yarn too tight when stranding and eliminate the sort of bubble stripe look.


Seventh Project:  LTK Easy Peasy Sweater (5T + a few inches for length)

Little Turtle knits patterns: http://www.littleturtleknits.com/patterns.htm

Made with Bernat denim style yarn I found on clearance.

Ok, I can laugh at myself a little here.  I wanted to make him a sweater now since he outgrew all of his jackets, but since it is just getting warm I wanted to make sure it was big enough that it would still be usable this fall so that he can actually get a decent amount of use out of it.  I think I over estimated how much “just a few inches” would be.  lol.  Please ignore the strings…still need to weave them in, but wanted to try it on him before bed.  I *think* I made it big enough.  LMAO!  I did finally have complete success at a color change this time and added buttonholes, which all worked correctly and look good.  I am thinking of doing a blanket stitch in the contrasting red yarn around all of the edges, but I think I have time…lol.  I also joined the edges a few inches up so it would fit for longer (because it stretches around the hips better) and I like the edge it made.  He seemed to like it…didn’t want me to take it off.

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26th May 2004

Robbed

Dh’s best friend was robbed and sort of carjacked the other night.  He left our place about 3-4 am and about a mile from here stopped to pick some stuff that flew off the seat onto the floor.  Before he got going again, a girl came up to him asking for a light.  He obliged, she started crying and spilling her life’s story and begged him for a ride.  She asked him if he could first drive her someplace so she could return the cell phone to her friend.  She directed him back to one of our neighbor’s apartments and begged him not to leave while she returned the phone.  From out in the car, he could hear her in a domestic situation, but continued to wait.  Before he knew what happened, not only was she getting in the car, but a huge scary looking guy who demanded he drive NOW!  He made him drive all around town (he presumed it was for drug deals, but didn’t actually see anything), threatening him and putting him into headlocks.  Finally, at about 8 am, he robbed him of all his money (a whole $40…but that was literally everything he had in the world) and let him go.  I am glad he didn’t get hurt!  He is too scared to call the police (also embarrased that he was duped so easily) and hasn’t been to our house since.  Kind of sad…we don’t like going to his house because of the neighborhood (drive by shootings, and uninsured, drunk, illegal aliens who drive like crap and run into us) and now he doesn’t want to come to our house because of the neighborhood.

I HATE HATE HATE being poor and living in lower income housing.  We do have some nice neighbors, but we also have a huge number of scary neighbors and domestic situations.  I can’t just stand by and let that happen, but every time I have to call, I get really scared that I am putting us in danger.  (I know that domestic violence isn’t limited to the poor – but when you are poor the housing is often much more crammed together and you sure see a lot more of it (and they see you and might know who called and who to take revenge on).  Another of our neighbors appears to be a gang member.  There are always people hanging out, listening to insanely loud music in their cars while drinking and smoking, and generally yelling and postering to each other and other cars that drive by very slowly.  Scary scary scary!


Adding some more photos from the last few weeks

chalk drawing from Zane.  He wrote the letters in the right order, but placed the letters so that it reads the alphabet backwards, skipping the “C”.  He wrote from “A” to “G” before getting bored and doing something else.

He almost always puts hair on his faces.  I wonder why.  lol.

Zach self-portraits.

My boys asleep.  aahhhhh!

posted in Friends | 1 Comment

25th May 2004

Tuesday May 25, 2004

 

What a frustrating night!  Not only am I not going to be able to go and get the circular needles I need, but our checking account is overdrawn $50.  This means that we have zero funds until the first of June AND we will get charged a bunch of fees for bouncing checks.  I don’t even remember the last time I bounced a check.    I hope there aren’t any emergencies because I really don’t want to ask mom for help yet again.  I feel like such a loser asking for help.

Another quick vent:  My computer is really ticking me off!  Ever since getting the MSN hotmail & Messenger (which I think is the real culprit) it keeps crashing like crazy…I had to hard boot my computer 5 flippin’ times today! HARD BOOT!  I had to soft boot it another 3 times.  In the half hour the knitting class met, I was able to be there for about 5 sentances toward the end.  I spent the rest of the time dealing with freeze ups and crashes.  I was SO ticked.  I remembered today why I avoid Micro$oft stuff if I can…black box testing.  grrrrrrrr!  (non-geeks…basically, they use the consumer to test it instead of figuring it out themselves before we get the product)

In better news, I am so close to being done with ds’ LTK Easy Peasy sweater that he might even be able to try it on tomorrow.  I just have a few more inches of the front panel and sewing it together.  I hope it looks decent.  Of course, it is now warm enough that he probably won’t use it for a few months, but I made it big, so it should be good.

In response to the question about our sleep schedule:

Like Feebee, we just have our sleep time shifted from what is “normal”, but usually get enough sleep.  The typical bedtime for ds is 1-2 am, waking up around 10am – noon.  It sometimes wanders outside of that to 2-4am (and sometimes even later, but not often) but we work to get it back to our normal time.  I would like to move it more towards midnight again, but it needs to go slowly or it can cause much more problems than it solves.  The worse time is when he will go on a sleep fighting stage and is up for 20 hours straight.  I don’t know how he does it, but it will screw us   up for weeks.  Honestly, I know exactly where it comes from…dh and I are both the same way…left to our own devices we would rotate 20 hours awake, then 10 hours sleep, 20 hours awake, 10 hours sleep….and on and on.  We just seem to both have a natural 30 hour clock in our heads instead of the normal 24 hour clock…makes it hard to conform to schedules at times!

Ok, now some pictures from the last few weeks

“Family Fun Day” at WSU

Zane was loving the watermelon.  Zach needed to keep him on his shoulders to keep him from running away.  For some reason, his head was sticky when he got home.

 

Some more “let’s wear weird things as hats as we go about our daily routine”.  lol.

 

Riverfest Pictures

 

 

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

24th May 2004

Monday May 24, 2004

 

Well, I am going to try and upload a picture and we will see how it works.  ds, who hated hats, has decided that he loves to put things on his head and wear them all over the place as hats. 

 

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

23rd May 2004

Sunday May 23, 2004

WooHoo!  I figured this thing out.  It is sort of depressing in a way because I used to be one of the first people in line to adopt new technologies and here I am, several years after blogs have been around, trying to figure out how to make this work.  Now I just need to kick dh off of his computer so I can upload some pictures…

Life has been a little rough lately due to finances, but somebody really made my day (and I have yet to find out who).  The MDC diaper fairy gifted me with a spot in Pam’s knitting class, so I have something to really look forward to and enjoy!  The class also comes with a limited liscence, so I might even be able to sell a few covers to help with our finances this summer. (a girl can dream, can’t she…lol)  Here is the thread at MDC:  http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=1494162#post1494162

Now I just have to wait until Tuesday when the LYS opens to pick up some size 3 circulars or dpn so I can get started! *doing a little happy dance*

DH starts his summer presession class in the morning.  8am – 12 noon is going to be REALLY hard for us.  I don’t even plan on trying to get ds to fall into that schedule since it is only for 2 weeks or so, but I am not going to really see him much with our schedules that off from eachother.  Plus, we aren’t really sure how we are going to handle him going to bed 6-8 hours before us and keep ds from bothering him.  It is short term, but it will be interesting in such a small space.  Luckily, his regular summer session classes don’t start until noon, so that will fit much better into our lives.

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

23rd May 2004

Sunday May 23, 2004

My first post…let me see if this thing works!

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 15 years, 5 months, and 27 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 11 years and 6 months old
  • Random Quote

  • No one in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work hard, and are kind, amazing things will happen. — Conan O’Brien, a wise man , a true class-act

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