Fail

So, I keep trying to write something witty and wonderful. Unfortunately, my brain has morning sickness, too. My body wants to sleep and my brain thinks that is a great idea. So, while I am laying around a lot, I am not getting any knitting or writing done. I am gestating, though, and that is worth something, even though you can’t see it yet. Maybe in a few weeks I will be back with wonderful knitting and great, witty pieces on life with five kids and other things. For now, I am taking a break from everything – including this blog. See you on the other side…

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Opinion Overload

I am an opinionated person. Strongly opinionated. I know how everything should be done – from childbirth to breastfeeding to homeschooling. I know how to be a good wife. I know how to keep house. I know that you would sleep better at night if you had a bed like mine, and if you tried my coffee, you’d never go back to your old brand. I know this, I know that.

I know that I drive people crazy.

In recent years I have begun to realize that not everyone wants to know what I think. Not every pregnant woman needs to hear about my birth preferences. I don’t need to give parenting advice to every mom whose kid is acting out. And, as hard as it is, I do understand that not everyone would be happier with my favorite vacuum cleaner.

But, if only they could see my heart… I know why I am so outspoken. I know why I tell people what they should do.

I am so happy. I love the way my home is run. I am head-over-heals for my husband after almost twelve years. I am gloriously happy with my children’s behaviour, schooling and schedule. I revel in my fabulous birth experiences. I have found what works, and I am so happy.

You see, I just want to help. Hey, if it works for me, it should work for you! I am so amazingly happy, and I want to spread it around.

I am learning to hold my tongue. I am doing more listening and less talking. I am trying to be a good friend.

But, when I slip up and tell you that your kid needs more than a time-out, or that maybe your baby doesn’t need to nurse so often, or that Tide really is the best detergent, know that it is out of my desire to see you as happy as I am.

Because I really do love you and want the best for you. And, because I have opinion overload.

Let’s Try This Again…

Before you ask…

No. We didn’t “plan” it. Since the miscarriage, I have been a little desperate for it, though.

Yes. We do know what causes it. We like it. We are going to keep doing it.

We have five. This makes six. And it’s probably not the last. We like our kids.

I’m due in June. Probably the same week as the last two babies. We must really like September.

No, I didn’t change my mind about homebirth. And, yes, I want to go unassisted again. Thank you for your concern.

I am thrilled, of course! Marc is, too.

I feel terrible. Thanks for asking. Terrible. Horrible. I wanna crawl under a rock and die. But, I know this is how I do it, so I can get through it. Plus, my kids know the drill by now and have really stepped up around the house. And, hey! I got dressed today. Yay for me!

I really wanted to keep this one hush-hush. I don’t know if I am afraid of losing it or what. You know, I already announced a pregnancy this year and I don’t want to do it again. To go through the whole thing again, ugh. My darling Man, however, is so excited. And he can’t keep a secret (you should see him at Christmastime!).

So, there it is. The reason I have been hit and miss with everything, from blogging to knitting to getting up in the morning.

Yeehaw!

Flower Garden Stitch Markers – Free Pattern

I made a few sets of these sometime ago and have been meaning to make more. I love the cheery way that they mark the end of a long row of boring stockinette, or that they help me keep the rythym of intense lace. (They also happen to grace my Ravelry avatar.) So, to brighten up your day, too, here is the simple pattern for:

Flower Garden Stitch Markers

materials – size 10 cotton thread in a variety of colors, size 5 (1.9mm) crochet hook, brass rings (I used Knit Picks Stitch Markers)

gauge – not critical

• Keep right side facing throughout.

• When adding the brass ring, it should sit at the center top of the first petal.

Using yellow, chain 3 and join into a ring with a sl st.

round 1: sc into ring 7 times, sl st into first st, break thread and fasten off

round 2: using petal color, ch2, work a dc, catching the last loop through the brass ring, ch 2, sl st into same st, *(sl st, ch 3, dc, ch3, sl st ) into next sc*, repeat in following 6 sc

Break thread and fasten off. Weave in ends

I apologize for the crochet content of this post. Tomorrow, we will return to our regularly scheduled knitty-ness.

Dishrags, Robots and Christmas Gifts! Oh, My!

It turns out that dishrag knitting was just what the doctor ordered to cure my hurt knitting ego. I used this pattern, and cannot recommend it enough. Using size 10 cotton makes a wonderfully scrubby rag that I enjoy using. And I have lots of cheery colors to choose from already in the stash. This was the first:

(and yet another lousy picture. It amazes me that ya’ll keep coming back…)

This one was the first, so I followed the directions and used size three needles. The next ones I wised up and used a set of 5’s. Much faster, and the fabric is looser which makes for a better rag. No picture, it is in use already…

After my bruised ego was sated with dishrag knitting, I did cast on the cursed sweater in the right size and made great progress on it. Yesterday, we went visiting, and it was wonderful talking knitting while I spent a lovely afternoon with my mom and sister.

Then, last night, I started Noah’s birthday gift. Here is the Rav page and a picture. Yup. Cute.

I will probably only make the two on the left. Noah wasn’t too thrilled at the third. Maybe I will make up my own twist for a third. We will see how my interest holds out.

So, that is my knitting update. Of course, there are a bunch of other things on the needles, too, with Christmas looming and all. But these are the things that I am excited about. I did make a deal with myself that I cannot work on my lace project until my sisters gift is complete. This is partly to motivate, but also because I only have one set of size five circulars…. Maybe I should fix that…

Humble the Knitter in Five Easy Steps

Step One: Upon choosing the pattern one wishes to knit, one must read every part of the pattern, except the parts about finished measurements and gauge. One must be sure to hone in on the differences between the sizes, but ignore the actual sizes themselves.

Step Two: Using supreme mathmatical skills, one must add two cable repeats to said pattern using this logic – There are three sizes, each one cable more than the last. The largest size is 2 sizes smaller than needed, therefore, one must add two cables.

Step Three: Ignoring all nagging doubts and misgivings, one must cast on and begin to knit. One must never stop to check her gauge. One must never double check the finished measurements. Rather, now is the time to knit blindly while watching a movie.

Step Four: After days and days of knitting stockinette stitch in the round, after using two balls (this would be half of the yarn purchased for this project, of course), finally begin the armhole shaping and start working back and forth across the front…… which happens to be NINETEEN INCHES ACROSS. (keep in mind, this is for an eight year old boy…)

Step Five: Blinking back the tears, realize one must refer back to the pattern. The painful truth will slowly creep into ones mind. Given ones gauge (which, of course, is off. By a lot), and the finished measurements of the largest size, one realizes that the largest size is adequate and no fancy math was needed after all.

There you have it folks. The knitter is completely reduced to a pile of blubbering hopelessness, the knitted “garment” must be frogged post-haste, and the poor child for whom the sweater was intended must wait that much longer for his promised prize.

The cure? Dishrags. I needed some new ones anyway….

Knitting Poetry, the Third

From Me to You

I made this little thing for you

With two sticks and some string

I worked on it for quite some time

It’s a very special thing

 

Choosing a pattern took awhile

But I finally found the one

It spoke of you and begged to be

Given to you when it was done

 

The yarn is precious and very soft

No acrylic for you, my dear

If you take care and treat it right

It will last you many a year

 

But, do not fear to put it to use

Enjoy it all the more

I would rather see it worn threadbare

Than forgotten in your drawer

 

This gift of love from me to you

Is more than yarn in knots

In every stitch there is the thought

“I love you lots and lots!”

The Perks that Come With the Job

As a mother, I experience many perks that come with my chosen occupation. These are just a few:

1) The many opportunities to see the world through a child’s eyes. “Mama! Look at the grass sprouts! Wow! Aren’t they beautiful!” The world is amazing, and my kids don’t let me forget it.

2) To be witness to the kind of faith and innocence that believes that a bandaid can “fix” a dead frog.

3) Companions are everywhere. If I want to play a game, read a story, take a nap, go for a walk, show off something I made… I always have a willing audience, an eager buddy, a partner in every activity. (This can also be seen as a disadvantage, but, today, it is a perk.) I love these little guys and how they want to do things with me all the time.

4 Faithful heaters in the cold. A kid on a lap, a baby strapped to my chest, someone piggyback – in the cold weather, there is no better heating system than a child in the arms.

5) Small knitting.

Oh, and  6) goofy people in the background of every picture. That is another great perk!

The Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fetig in Malabrigo Worsted Sobotosque. I have a few things to say about this knit here on my Rav project page.

Enthusiastic Homeschool

I recently read this post by a wonderful homeschooling mom, Audaciter Matris. Go ahead. Read it. I’ll wait.

Good, right? I mean, after homeschooling for four years, it is fun to remember the excitement that I once felt as a newbie. When my system was still in flux, when I wasn’t totally sold on this idea or that. When it was all fresh and unknown.

Going into my fifth year is interesting in a new way. I have finally found what works for us after trying different things for four years. I have tried so many methods, every year starting a new book or a new schedule. I have given up on most everything that I have tried. I figure that if I am bored teaching something after only a few weeks, then the kids must be barely surviving!

But, this year, I think that I have got it down. This year, I am doing what we did last year. For the first  time, I am entering a school year with confidence. Last year, we tried out some things and they worked so well that we can repeat them this year. It is a cool thing to know what we are doing, to know that we will enjoy it. Amblesideonline.org is the main thing. We are on year four, and we love it this year as we have in years past. (Right now we are working our way through, “George Washington’s World” by Genieveve Foster. Awesome!)

Homeschooling is a journey, and I am sure that it will change again. Soon, the big kids and the little kids will have to be separated and I will be teaching two classes. As learning styles demand new methods or our lifestyle changes and takes us down new paths, we will adjust and continually search for what works for us.

But, for now, I am thankful to have found what works for us in this season, at this time. It isn’t as exciting or as thrilling as those first few years of daring and exploration, but rather, it is cozy and comfortable. For this year, anyway…

The Sweet Scent of Mama

A friend of mine told me once that she had worn the same cologne for years and years. She said that she wanted her kids to associate that scent with herself, wherever they went. I thought that was a lovely sentiment. I have yet to do such a beautiful thing… intentionally.

I thought of this last night as I was putting away my Wispy Cardi (which I wear all the time! it is so soft). As I shook it out, the lovely scent of wool and woolwash wafted up into my face.

I wonder if my kids will forever think of me when they smell wool.

And, so I think that I will continue to buy Soak flora and wash my woolie’s in that. A lovely scent to be connected to.

It’s better than smelling like sheep.