Archive for February, 2009

I’m Spending Too Much Time . . .

February 22, 2009

on the couch.  I’m writing this while laying on the couch, still in my pajamas and robe.  Another stinking cold.  Being knocked down onto the couch has given me lots of time for knitting.  I’ve finished the second sleeve on my Toothpaste Liesl.  All done, except for the closure.  I’ve had mixed reviews about the ribbon tie, so I’m rethinking.  I plan to take the good advice I was given and crochet a few button loops and find some good buttons.  Until then, the sweater lays in a heap.  I’ve already moved on to other things.

There are four babies on their way to friends and family members, so I needed to figure out what I was going to knit for each.  If I’ve been paying attention carefully, I’m correct when I say that two boys and two girls are expected.   Here’s one of the boy gifts – the OpArt baby blanket from


I got off to a rocky start on this one.  It’s knit in the round from the center out, which is fine.  I started it magic loop style, so I didn’t have to fumble with dpns.  The thing I didn’t love was the number of color changes made right away.  Ugh.  It had so many loose stitches and ends hanging all over the place that I almost scrapped it.  I actually pulled it off the needles, ready to rip.  Hmmmm.  It looked kind of not too bad.  I tightened up my loose stitches and it looked kind of pretty good.  Back on the needles.

It’s a simple pattern with four kf&b increases on every round.  My heart skipped a few beats this morning when I realized that I’d missed  a kf&b several rounds back and had to rip out hundreds of stitches.  I’m proud to say that I handled this setback with dignity.  No sweating.  No swearing.  I ripped back to the mistake point and re-knit gracefully.  I think I may officially be a grown-up now.

I also whipped up this Pilot’s Cap for one of the baby girls.


I’m not happy with it at all.  First, it’s way too big for a newborn and second, the shape of it seems wonky.  I can’t see it sitting properly on a baby’s head.  Maybe I just need to try it on a baby, but I don’ t have one and don’t know where I can get one any time soon.   Instead of approaching a random baby out in public, I decided to try another version of a tie hat:  this one.  It looks cute and will definitely cover the head and ears, although it may have the unwanted effect of making a baby appear to have been kidnapped from an Amish mother.  We’ll see.  I think it’ll be adorable on a little punkin with big, fat, rosy cheeks.

Speaking of little punkins, Emmie thought it would be a good idea to climb into the cabinet and stand guard over her food.  You just never know . . .



When in Doubt, Improvise

February 18, 2009

I’m in doubt.  I’m improvising.  Here’s the progress on the Toothpaste Liesl.  The photo is cropped to cut out my bare left arm.  I’ve still got the second sleeve to finish and the one sleeveless side really throws off the otherwise appealing look of this sweater.   I’m loving it.  The doubt comes only from the fact that I’m a dope and neglected to knit buttonholes as I was going along.  Doy.  Due to the lack of buttonholes, I need an alternate way to close up this baby.   I have a store-bought sweater that ties closed with a grosgrain ribbon that runs through a few openings in the body.  That’s where I got the idea to make use of the eyelet holes that run throughout the pattern.


I’ve run an ivory ribbon through a row of holes and I think it’s okay.  Sad that I couldn’t find a ribbon that matched one of the shades of aqua in the yarn, but nothing worked.  I’ll continue to hunt for a ribbon that blends rather than standing out so much.  I also may decide to bump the ribbon down a few rows so it’s not around my rib cage.  I think it makes my boobage a little too prominent.  I’ve always been one to play them down – not make them stand out.

See what I mean?


Please note that this photo can not in any way be viewed as a gratuitous boob shot.  It’s tastefully done and included because it’s important to advancing the plot.  Really.

This photo also serves to point out that my eliminating the purl ridge on the fabric of the sweater was a good choice in this case.  I don’ t think that this yarn, with all of its variegated goodness, was the right yarn for this particular pattern.  The lace pattern would work better with a solid color, so keeping it as clean and simple as possible was the right way to go.

Overall, I’m happy with this sweater.  It’s a keeper.  I need to finish so I can move onto the baby knits I want to work on next.  Lots of babies coming soon.  Love the babies.

Speaking of babies, here’s mine sticking her nose into my Valentine’s Day haul from my 3rd graders.  Emmie can sniff out the sweet stuff from a mile away.  She tends to go for the baked goods.  She was looking for a cookie.


Here, she was supervising while I was baking cookies.  She had her paw on the handle of the oven door.  The timer hadn’t gone off yet, so she didn’t want me peeking.


For a glimpse into summer, look into the box of oranges and grapefruits we received from my boy’s grandparents.  They live in sunny Florida and tried to send a little of their sunshine our way.  So good!  They’re already almost gone.


I’ll leave you with a photo that my boy found a few days ago while going through his dad’s things.  It was taken of him and his brother at Playland in Rye, New York.


I love how the boys are in focus and everything else is blurry, even though they were moving.  Such a cool shot and, I’m sure, completely accidental.  We never had any mad photography skilz.

I Heart Vacation

February 16, 2009

Vacation and I get along very well.  I love being completely in control of what I do and when I do it. I’m spending entirely too much time in my pajamas and bathrobe.  It’s a good thing that I don’t smoke cigarettes and drink beer – or it could get really ugly around here.  I’ve set a goal for myself for today:  Take a shower, get dressed and leave the house.  No pressure, though.  If it happens, it happens.

My 3rd graders wore me out.  They’ve been full of beans (as my mother would say) – so stir crazy from being cooped up inside so much.  There were only a few days over the course of the last several weeks that we were able to go outside for recess.  During the rest of the days, we could be found inside the classroom with the door shut with me constantly calling out things like, “Keep your hands to yourself!”, “Slow yourself down there, buddy!”, and “We’re not doing wrestling moves in here, guys.”  The kids were wild.

I was constantly keeping a close watch on my wild boys, who’ve recently become obsessed with Google Images.  Yikes.  Now that’s an invitation to teacherly disaster.  While my kids are innocently looking for photos of  cute puppies, Nascar drivers, or professional wrestlers, they could see some NFK stuff.  (Another Mom-ism: Not For Kids).  I recently talked with a fellow teacher who had a bad Google Images experience in her classroom.  The kids were searching for people’s names following by .com to see what would come up (like  They googled several of the kids’ names, but didn’t come up with anything.  Then they typed in their teacher’s first name, followed by .com.  The first image that came up was a photo of a bare chest.  Breast.  Boobs.  Alarming?  Of course.  We don’t want our students to be looking at naked women in the classroom.  But the horrifying part – some of the kids actually believed they were looking at their teacher’s boobs!  Holy crap.  It took many chats with the principal and with parents to clean up that mess.  We don’t do the Google Images thing in my classroom anymore.

Even the usually-calm-and quiet kids were starting to do wacky things and they were getting on each other’s nerves.  There were lots of tears and complaints about friends – “She’s copying everything I do!  I made a Bubbles book (?!).  She made a Bubbles book.  I drew a picture of a horse.  She drew a picture of a horse.  She copies everything I do and I’m just not comfortable with it.”  The reply: “We were doing things together because I thought we were friends!  I’m not copying you – I’m doing it with you.”  Ugh.  Me?  “I’m so surprised that you’re getting so upset.  You’ve been such good friends ever since you got the same eyeglasses.  Go try to work it out.”  Ugh.  We were fine when we were actually working and learning, but the social time was a mess.

Come to think of it, some of the working and learning times were a mess, too.  The one that comes to mind  . . .

Remember that Adventures with Emmie the Cat thing that I started a while back?  One of my boys was reading his Adventures with Emmie story aloud to the class while they were all gathered on the rug for our daily read aloud. (Just so you know, we’ve been reading a book called Snot Stew.  That’s how ugly it’s getting in my classroom.)  This boy wrote about taking Emmie to a birthday party and while he wasn’t looking, she ate his piece of cake.  He also told us that he woke up in the middle of the night and found Emmie playing video games.  It was really cute.  After he was done with his story, I jumped in, acting like I was really disgusted.  I said, “I don’t know if I should allow anyone else to take Emmie home.  I think you’re all corrupting her.  Do you know what corrupting means? (They did.)  She never behaved like this before.  She never would have eaten someone’s cake without permission or snuck around in the middle of the night to play video games.  I’m shocked.  I can only imagine what you’ll teach her next.”  The kids all laughed until one of my scarier boys piped in with, “We’ll have to teach her how to get rid of a body and how to clean up the blood.”

What?  What?  We had a private little chat about that comment, during which the boy rolled his eyes and continued his daily routine of acting like I’m the queen of the idiots.

So . . . can you see why I’m happy I’m on vacation?  These kids wear me out.  I love them all (well . . . the eye-roller is kind of hard to love), but we all do much better when we have a break from each other.

I’m happy to be knitting, reading, watching my DVR’d shows, and sleeping.  Oh – and thank goodness for my DVR’d shows.  Daytime television is so sad.  While reading this morning, a commercial for a soap opera came on and even though I didn’t pick up my head to look, I heard this:  “I was ready to give you the daughter you always wanted, but now I find out my sister already did.”  Gag.

Next time, I’ll show you some knitting.  Have to go make some of that happen now.

Knelley’s Not . . .

February 15, 2009

very bloggish lately.  But I will be soon.

I’m finally able to sit and relax.  It’s officially February vacation.  No running around.  No big nights out.  No school.  I can knit.  I can sleep.  I can read.  I can catch up on all my DVR’d TV shows.  I can get organized.  I can blog.

Not ready yet.  I need to get photos loaded onto my computer and attempt to stay upright for a decent chunk of time.  Look for me tomorrow.

I think.

My brain needs a rest.