Friday, March 30, 2007

The knitting class went ok. Only three parents showed up and I knew them all. In fact two of them actually already know how to knit. They just want to improve their skills. I like to worry about stuff needlessly, it makes me feel more alive;) I got them started on squares for Warm Up America. I figure it's always better to have a goal in mind and while I usually like to start people on washcloths I suspect the PTA appreciated making it a charitable event. I felt bad for the woman who came to teach crochet, no one was there for it. The scrapbooking table looked a bit busy though.

I've been working on the RPM sock but not as much as I would have liked. I'm only on the final repeat today. It will be done this weekend I'm sure but the recipient's birthday is Friday so I need to get my ass in gear if I plan on giving a completed pair.

I meant to have home renovation shots for you today but I never did get around to taking them. Maybe on Monday. I only really post them for Ann anyway, I know how home improvement excites her.

Next week the boys are off. So far the only plans we have for them are Go Diego Go Live for Ian and a trip to Philly to see the boy king for Avery (ok, ok really for me too). Rinaldo and I actually work all week so it looks like they'll mostly be stuck at home. Poor Grandma...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Wednesdays are a bit sucky for me it would seem. While the work situation is looking up I'm feeling a bit abandoned by a few friends. Nothing serious, just a bit disappointed is all. Of course the linky love I got yesterday from Cara is enough to wash away any blues I may get. Now I see what Ann was talking about, the hits just keep coming when Cara simply utters your name. Thanks!

Yesterday was Ian's IEP meeting. I walked in and told them I had no interest in their assessments or opinions let's just cut to the recommendations. If I disagree with any of them then they could backtrack and explain why they decided that. The thing about these meetings for me is what an inaccurate picture they have of my son, which then makes me defensive and I'm not pretty when I'm pissed. On the other hand I have come to realize that the mere fact that Ian can do so many things but refuses to do them in school is an issue in and of itself. Leaving him back in Kindergarten and putting him in a small special ed setting with a teacher I know and like is a good way to address that problem. It is also the way they want to address what they view as his low functioning. Interestingly I did let his speech teacher do her eval of him. As expected it sounded bad but she went on to say how far he has come, how he does play, talk and interact normally with the other kids when she pulls him out in a small group even though she hears he doesn't do that in class. So she sees the disconnect as well. Ian adores his speech teacher and she has done excellent work with him. Next year he will continue one on one with her but she also pushes in for the whole class so I think he'll get a great deal out of that. The special ed teacher whom we have known in passing for years came over to Rinaldo and told him how excited she was to have Ian with her next year and what a fantastic year she was sure he would have. That's all I want, someone who looks at him and sees all his potential, not all his deficits. She also said, which Rinaldo and I found very interesting, that he would have a few of his classmates with him so he would feel at home. So, more kids are being left back from his class and put into special ed. I think that's very telling about the class he is in.

I had joined Fiber Flix a few months back. It's a knit along/movie along. We all vote on which movies to watch in a given month and then discuss them. The moderator also tries to tie a knitting project in to the movies to keep it fun. I had some time on my hands this weekend when Avery participated in a Chess Tournament in Brooklyn:
...he won 2 out of 4 games by the way...

So I was able to catch this month's selection, Logan's Run on my Ipod and work on this month's project, RPM socks:
Here's where I am as of this morning:
I am really enjoying the pattern which is different for me when it comes to socks. Anything other than a plain vanilla sock has usually caused me drama but these are very intuitive. I never have to refer to the pattern anymore. I did have to rip them out after the first pattern repeat as they were coming out too small but I think it's just because the Lorna's Laces may be a bit thinner than the Socks that Rock it was designed for. Of course it could just be me since I tend to knit a bit tightly.

Dear lord I actually agreed to teaching a knitting class tonight at Ian's school and the people who said they would help ended up with other commitments. I don't really know why I agreed. I don't particularly like people and I am extremely anti-social. It should be interesting.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, March 26, 2007

When spending the evening with a Harlot...'ll always get something for your time. In this case there was laughter, fun and of course needles and yarn:
Ostensibly the yarn was for us to knit a square for Warm up America while we listened to Stephanie speak. I don't knit that fast so I took it home. Where it was quickly claimed by my husband, who ordered it made into this:

Which led to this:

I figure I'll just knit up a square or two out of stash yarn to ease the little bit of a guilty consious that I have.

The harlot was hysterical as always. I really enjoy her speaking events. Her focus this time around about the lack of respect that knitters get from non-knitters is a valid one and she raised some interesting points about it. I sat with the sadly blogless Claudia and the blogged but barely posting Maribel. Chante was there at 3 and she and her friends managed to snag seats in the middle of the second row. The lovely Bakerina was a few rows back from us but other than that I didn't run into anyone else I knew. Of course the auditorium was large and nearly packed. It was a nice night out, of course I'm pretty easy to please when there's no children involved;) I didn't take any pictures because frankly I'm sure you'll see tons of pictures of Stephanie and people sitting in an auditiorium all over blogdom so I won't bore you with more. If you haven't seen any yet and you want to Amy has a nice guide to some of the better reports of the event.

Vacation is sadly over and I'm back at work. Gyrid's getting plenty of compliments. I'm nearly as bad as Ian when it comes to wearing my knits. I wore it to the thing on Thursday, I wore it to Avery's chess tournament this weekend and I am wearing it now. I'm enjoying all the compliments it's getting. I'm all warm and fuzzy about it.

Try to have a good day, even though it's Monday...

Friday, March 23, 2007

Dear Ann,

We have been friends for awhile now. I remember when I met you at my first blogger meet up I didn't even read your blog. We clicked and have been friends ever since. We have mutual friends and I've been to your lovely home and met the boar.I've sent you candy and you've rigged had contests that I've won.

The other day you wrote a public love letter to my husband. While at the time I was a bit concerned I must say I have changed my mind. You see the day that you linked to me I had nearly triple my normal amount of hits and I've run about double every day since. So I thank you.

Now I would appreciate it if you could work me into a blog post a week. Now that I've tasted the waters of high number stats I want to stay there. I mean I came up with the skimmer alert system right? Don't I deserve a little love? Hell I say fuck all the time, we've discussed the pros and cons of various sex toys, isn't that enough for you to share the wealth?

Once a week, that's all I ask.

All my love,


Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm on vacation this week, which somehow always means I don't blog. I guess I spend so much time on the computer at work that I don't want to look at it when I'm home.

I have been somewhat productive though. This weekend I finally finished Gyrid:

I'm not thrilled with any of the pictures but this is the best. The sweater doesn't actually make me look bigger than I am but pictures tend to;) It's very comfortable and I think it works pretty well with the thermal shirt under it. I think I have enough to make a pair of fingerless gloves for myself.

I also completed two squares for the soldier blanket for my knitting group. I had hoped to make three but I am just a little short of yarn (I actually weighed it). I liked the stitch patterns I chose:

I am off in a few minutes to the Yarn Harlot's book launch. While a new book by her isn't the event it used to be (she's so damn prolific) I always love an excuse to hang out with knit buds. Maribel, Chante and the sadly blogless Claudia will all be there so that is reason enough to go.

I'll take pictures!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

How an object becomes finished...

6:30 PM last night:

2:00 AM:

7:00 AM this morning:

I'd like to claim it was all love for my child that kept me up to finish this sweater and while that helped, the bottom line is I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. I needed to finish the damn thing. I have to admit for all the bitching and the endlessness of it I really love this sweater. It has a huge flaw in the placket portion. I really screwed up the spacing of the button holes that I added. The ones I made were kind of sucky too but I firmed them up with a bit of crochet. I also wish I had gone up a size. While it fits him perfectly he is a growing boy and I'm afraid it won't last him long. On the other hand I suspect it may stretch out a bit with wear so it may be fine. Of course without a trip to Katonah there's no way I could have gone bigger. This is all the yarn I have left:

I got a little panicky at the end and sped up my decreases in the last few rows and that seems to have been a wise decision. I love, love, love raglans at the moment. The lack of finishing at the end is an amazing and beautiful thing. A little kitchener under the arms and I'm done. I'd like to make ones for Rinaldo and Avery at some point.

My day yesterday was better. One of the issues that ticked me off on Wednesday was resolved and that brightened my mood quite a bit. The fact that I'm on vacation next week makes today a better day already.

I did have some linkage for you that I was too cranky to share.

My aunt was in the newspaper. I can't tell you what the article says, it being in Icelandic, although I can think of 4 people who read my blog who can read it but she attended a conference on services for blind children in Iceland. She's in the red coat with the glasses.

Ann alert!

Nora Ephron is an evil woman. I have had enough conversations with Ann alone to disprove her theory.

Finally here is an article I ran into this morning about a knitting ghost. I'm pretty sure my needles get red hot when I'm pissed too.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Today sucked. I am feeling unappreciated at work due to numerous things that came up today. It also isn't helping that I've received somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 comments in the past 48 hours on the blog and all but 1 of them were spam. So for my sucky mood you suffer through yet another meme:

From Butterfly a “bold the ones you’ve read” list of “someone’s version The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953-2002 .

The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
Dune, Frank Herbert
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
Cities in Flight, James Blish
The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
Ender’s Game, Orson Scott Card
The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
Gateway, Frederik Pohl
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, J.K. Rowlinghe
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
Little, Big, John Crowley
Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
On the Beach, Nevil Shute
Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
Ringworld, Larry Niven
Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
Timescape, Gregory Benford
To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

I would have thought I read more of them. I guess I read a wider variety of genres than I thought or I read a lot of crappy fantasy and sci-fi.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Not a lot to show...

I moved along finally on Ian's sweater, then I got to the part where you make the placket and froze. Seriously, I was cursing the stupid pattern, how poorly written it was, you know the whole knitter's lament. I put it down and went to bed. This morning I decided it was time to start on Marsha's squares. Here is my swatch for the rolled rib pattern I chose for the first square:

Swatch for a square, yeah a little odd I know but they have to be 9 x 9 and since I wanted to try out new stitches I thought I should be safe.

I got to work and started hunting the blogs of knitters I knew had made the damn sweater. The ones I found just kept talking about how easy the corrected pattern was. Obviously the problem was mine. So I looked at the pattern again. Suddenly the clouds parted and the sun shown through...I'm an idiot. When they were referring to knitting back and forth I kept thinking you only worked one side of the placket at a time, but then it says to do seed stitch on each end, I couldn't wrap my head around that. Duh, of course it's the other side of the placket. You work back and forth across the whole sweater stupid! I'll get back to it tonight.

Along the lines of not my brighter moments I was reading the chart for the rolled rib in my Knitting Stitch Bible this morning on the train. As you all know I'm not a fan of charts. I don't hate them anymore but I'm still quite the novice at reading them. So I went to check what one of the symbols represented and it said this:

"From the back of the work, bring the yarn over the needle to the front of the work, then between the needles to the back of the work again to make a stitch, k1..."


I could not figure it out for a good minute or two until I realized they meant do a yarn over. Sometimes spelling something out for me is obviously not helpful.

Happy Monday...

Friday, March 09, 2007

For the best friend's birthday this year I decided to do a fun post rather than my usual weep fest about what a great friend she is, how much I love her blah, blah, blah...instead may I present:

Six Weird Things You May Not Know About Maribel

1- She got me into Anne of Green Gables

2-She interviewed for her first position at Barnes and Noble in a Motley Crue t-shirt and jeans...she got the job.

3-She loves Bollywood movies (she got me hooked on those as well).

4-We would spend most Sundays of our teenage years baking and watching old movies on TV.

5- She has only beat me once at Trivial Pursuit(the original edition), ok maybe twice.

6- My mother didn't like her very much at first, she said she was very "brash" (we were about 12 at the time). She of course grew to love her as a second daughter as time went on.

So go wish my girl a fabulous birthday!

Happy Birthday Bel!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

What Rinaldo did on his winter break...

Rinaldo took of the week of President's day to stay home with the boys. He had also decided to try to do a little work on the house. Now remember my husband does not consider himself a handy man. He would happily never pick up a hammer if he didn't have to but now that we have a house he's realized he needs to try to do some things himself. He decided the game room in the basement was the place to start. Some before shots:

...and after:

It's amazing what some drywall, paint, molding and sweat will do for a room. Of course the devil is in the details and this lightswitch is what he is most proud of:

...nice right, my baby got skilz;)

In addition to the video games, air hockey table and various toys down there, we picked up one more necessity for Mr. Ian:

Kathleen, I'm figuring the game room is now Owen approved;)

I have to add that I am absolutely devastated that poor Captain America is dead. I'm sure he'll be back at some point but he's a character I really like and I hate when they just kill them off for an event. The Mathews household is in mourning...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

When people call you and ask why you've been so quiet you know you haven't blogged enough. There's no good reason I just didn't have anything I was dying to talk about.

I did get the second sleeve done on Ian's sweater. I've enjoyed the construction so far but the yoke is worrying me. Here is where I am:

It's a bit, umm, billowy, I guess? I'm not sure how it's going to look on Ian but he'll wear it no matter what, I know. If he sees it lying around he'll pick it up and ask, "Mommy is it finished yet?". He also carries around the book that its in and leaves it open on the page with the picture. The boy seriously wants his sweater.

Avery had a busy weekend this weekend. He had a meeting for a prep program to get into a private high school. I don't think he'll be participating though. The schools involved are all boarding schools and Avery is not really the type of kid who would be happy going away to high school. Then on Sunday he had his first chess tournament with his school chess team. He ended up losing 2 matches, winning one and winning one by default. I was very impressed. His team came in 4th of the twelve teams competing.

I went on a school trip with Ian on Friday. He's still pretty happy in school and he does seem to be doing a bit better, at least from what I can see. They are in the middle of all his assessments though to get him back in self contained special ed in the Fall.

Otherwise not a lot going on. Rinaldo did some home renovating during the winter break but I'll share those pictures with you next time. He would want it to have a post all to itself;)