wasting time…

I will NOT admit how many tries it took me to get this respectable score…or that I couldn’t think of the last 6 states the first time I tried…well, 5 if you figure I just couldn’t remember how to spell Connecticut… *hangs head in shame* lol

Thanks,wandering stitch, I didn’t need to do any silly stuff…like laundry or dishes tonight… lol!

In 2m 34s
Click here to Play

no self control, I tell ya…

In 2m 26s
Click here to Play
Okay, okay…I’m going to bed…

R.I.P. …but not rriiiiipp…

lacecap2

Rest In Peace, little #2 Brittany.

I am sorry for using my knitting bag as a purse, then stuffing it carelessly into the diaper bag.  It wasn’t because I did not care for you…you were actually very special to me.  I will remember you always; especially when I’m turning the heel on a sock as you are particularly handy then.

Foiled again!

Ugh!  First I peruse my blogroll and come upon Cookie’s stunning new sock patterns. I fall head over heels in love with the one knit in purple Louet Gems…only to find that it won’t be available online for a good 6 weeks.  Oh, if only Stitches West wasn’t all the way on the other side of the country, I would soooo be there — just to grab a copy of the pattern (okay, I’d probably pay for it…and maybe look at a few other things…).

The pattern reminds me of La Digetessa from Yarnissima, so I decide, what the heck — do I have some tax refund cash to spend or not?   The fates must have something else in mind, though, because her entire site is down!  Grrr….

Okay, maybe it’s a sign I should stop looking at new things to knit & knit the things I already have, huh?  😉

Hi!

Spencer's Hoodie & Hat

You think he’s saying “hi,” but really he’s trying to grab the camera…the next shot would have showed him ticked off since I had the audacity to not hand it over. 😉

Anyway, I thought that since Spence had been wearing this sweater/cardie since Fall, I should get a pic of him in it! It’s HPY and just a generic raglan, knit in one piece sweater. I did a garter stitch button band while knitting the body (never mind that I never actually attached buttons…), but if I did it over I would pick up stitches & knit the band on — this one folds in constantly & annoys me. The hat is actually too small so I finally knit him another one…out of the Landscapes from my last (admittedly whiny) post.

Unoriginal hat Generic baby hat

The wine helped my grumpiness — and for the record, Beringer Pinot Noir is yummy! 🙂 In the finished pic I folded up the brim because I was *sure* it was going to be too big. Turns out, it fits him perfectly:

Spencer in his baby hat.

Details:

– Knitpicks size 11 circs (options set), magic looped.
– Landscapes yarn, 1 small (less than 2 inch diameter) ball left.
– Time to knit…an hour or two? I watched House and some other random show (LOVE House!).
– Pattern, my own. Here’s a quick rundown:

CO 9 sts. (5 sts 1 ndl, 4 sts 2nd ndl)
Join & k 1 round
*kfb* 1 round
k 1 round
*kfb, k1* 1 round
k 1 round
*kfb, k2* 1 round
k 1 round
*kfb, k3* til last 4 sts, k4 = 44 sts
k until piece is about 3 1/2 inches from CO
Do short row on needle with more sts (if you kept to stitch arrangement at beginning one side will have more – either 25/19 or 24/20, I forget. That way the back of the hat — where the short rows go — will reach past the ears on both sides & keep both those & the neck warmer).
k 1 round
Do 2nd short row on same “side.”
k 1 round
*k2, p2* ribbing for about 6 rows.
BO VERY loosely.

There is enough yarn left for a pom-pom or tassel if you are so inclined. I’m not much for them, myself. Plus I couldn’t pull his hood over it if I did.

In other knitting news, I’ve started my youngest sister’s birthday present. Lacecap, from Knitty. I’m using Louet Gems & I love the feel of the yarn. I’ll definitely be buying more. From my Ravelry search I’ve found that many people felt the hat wasn’t deep enough, so I might tack on a half inch before starting the decreases.

LaceCap by Knitty

Starsky is soldiering on. I’ve picked up & knit 2 rows of the collar then set it aside as I’m going to attempt to disguise the new dye lot in the ribbing there (and I have yet to buy it), and I’ve cast on for the first sleeve. I altered it to do it in the round, but I think I’m going to have to frog it & alter it further. It’s too loose; I wanted a more fitted wrist/forearm, so I’m going to see if I can fudge the numbers a bit.

Magic Ball of Yarn Swap - Feb '08

I received my yarn from Briar Rose the other day, and it was just as wonderful (and even more HUGE) than I had expected. The color is a bit more brown than I thought, but as I was winding it into the MBOY (magic ball of yarn) the colors blended beautifully. Chris is so sweet, she emailed me 1/2 hour after I ordered & said the shipping was a little high, so she put a gorgeous fimo/clay beaded stitch marker in the package as well. She also gave me a coupon code for 10% off when I called her (after hours — 6pm-ish) to see if she could ship immediately the next day. I’ll definitely order from her again. The skein was a hefty 850 yards, so I did a rudimentary estimation & wound off 1/2 of it for my pal. I also wrapped up a skein of natural BFL for accents and an almost full skein of Patons Merino (pictured) in natural & a skein of Jubilee in browns with both pink & blue accents. I knit a sweet baby layette out of the same colors/yarns last summer. I also knit my first ever pair of socks out of the Jubilee, although they didn’t hold up wonderfully — I think the knit was a little loose.

I’m hoping that will give her lots of “gender neutral baby project” yarn, as that’s what she requested, but there are some other goodies in there too, and I wrapped it all up in the bright yellow flannel (for sewing baby somethings…she’s preggo) pictured. I hope she loves it. She’s spoiled me rotten twice in the past and I really wanted to return the favor, ya know?

On the mommy front, I have some new links for you…or maybe I should call it the “soapbox” front…that’s what my dh claims, anyway. 😉 There is a wonderful movie called The Business of Being Born that (from what I understand) depicts the way birth is being turned into a business instead of a natural phenomenon. I don’t know if I’ll get to a viewing of it, just because of the logistics of dragging the kids along. There is also a study out that has found stem cells in breast milk. Amazing, really, & a great way to circumvent the whole ethics of stem cell research. I must admit that I almost spit my drink out at this part:

Further research on immune cells, which have also been found in breast milk and have already been shown to survive the baby’s digestive process, could provide a pathway to developing targets to beat certain viruses or bacteria.

No, really? I thought those antibodies were only helpful if you squirted the baby on the arm & rubbed it in… *rolleyes* I can see it now, scientists are going to “suddenly discover” that breast milk is useful and start encouraging women to breastfeed instead of touting it as “a personal choice.” /rant

Sorry…that soapbox just popped up under my feet! lol

…on to less controversial topics…

We filed our taxes last week & are getting a ridiculously large return — apparently this employer takes out more than his last one did. Bonus! DH talked me into letting us each spend a percentage of the return instead of our usual $200 or so by pointing out I could get a laptop!! Woot! It won’t be anything fancy, but I’ll be able to get the computer desk out of my dining room & enjoy the soft couch in my living room more. 🙂

I’ve also done a little yarny shopping already… Some GarnStudios Alpaca from Threadbear, to start (color 6309). One of the owners posted on Ravelry last week that Garnstudios isn’t going to have a US or Canadian retailer anymore, so they’re selling off all their stock at awesome prices. Grab some quick if you’re interested — they do actual shipping & are super friendly! I also signed up for a Cookie A. class this September (at Threadbear as well) on sock design…really I just want to meet her, though! 🙂

Because the boys have all been sick (3 weeks of this cold/flu/whatever!!), my plans to visit my sister & get her to babysit while I went to a block-a-month knit-a-long at the lys near her were ruined this weekend. I had planned to buy the recommended yarn (whatever it was) at the store, and also some fancy needles in the appropriate size. I know she (Rae of Rae’s Yarn Boutique) had some glass needles in the past, and it sounded like a perfect indulgence, ya know? Now that I missed the first one, I’m kinda down, so we’ll see if I decide to join in late. If I don’t I think I’ll still splurge on some fancy needles…who could resist with this stellar “no questions asked” lifetime warranty?!

Gee, I was about to keep on rambling, but I just took a look at the length of this post…maybe I could save some for another day, huh? And yea, I really do talk like this IRL. Scary. 😉

PS…how could I forget!  I also picked up this yummy handspun on Etsy!  Yay!

Seriously?!

Pattern: Unoriginal Hat

Recipient: Me — deciding to do something about the huge shortage of “just for fun quickie” knitting projects for me, I decided to make myself a one-day hat; especially since I don’t actually have a hat (a huge sin for a knitter).

Yarn: Landscapes (autumn trails) — I liked the yarn in the ball, knitted up…unfortunately just “ehhh.” Dh likened it to 70’s shag carpeting (but he’s sweet like that *rolleyes*).

Problem: 55 yards of yarn is, apparently, only 2/3 of what you need.

Some days I just want to bang my head against a wall.

Quick links post

Just a quickie. I’m coming across a lot of links I want to look at in more depth, and thought some of you might be interested as well.

Yarny Goodness:

Fun stuff first, right? I keep finding yummy yarn I want to buy…for someone else, I swear! lol I thought ya’ll might like to see some of the smaller indie dyers I’ve come across. Briar Rose Fibers is a Michigan company; their yarn is just stunning. I’m seriously considering buying this and splitting it with my magic ball of yarn pal… Knitivity looks pretty cool, as does Yummy Yarn‘s (<–blog) Etsy shop. I’m starting to hear the siren call of spinning as I really want some of this yarn that’s handspun with 2 different colors like this. Then there’s Susan’s Spinning Bunny (more of that yummy handspun stuff ;)), and Knitterly Things Vesper Sock Yarn (rockin’ cool hand dyed self striping yarns — check out the FO pics on Ravelry).

To be clear, the only one of the yarns I’ve actually handled/bought is the Briar Rose. It’s unbelievably soft for a plied (I think that’s the correct term) yarn, but doesn’t give me the impression that it will pill much. You’d have to ask Ashley about that, though. I know she made a sleep sack with some for her little one last year; my project with it is still in the UFO pile.

Politics:

The official websites for 4 of our major presidential hopefuls: Obama, Huckabee, Clinton, and McCain. Also a site called Grist, which has information on how “green” these politicians are. I think it will be interesting to see what each candidate has to say about him/herself. This should be more clear (at least for me) than those polls are — because I’m finding that some issues are more important to me than others (although the link posted in my comments section had a better poll in it, if you want to check it out).

Parenting:

Someone linked this neat article on teaching your children to argue with you. Very cool. I ended up reading 2 more of their articles immediately, and will probably troll through their site some more.

I found a link to a blog named Graceful Parenting while a thread on Mothering.com (best parenting site in the world, imnsho). It is a Christian POV on parenting & gentle discipline. The thread I was reading involved a woman writing a letter to her Pastor after he spoke from the pulpit in favor of corporal punishment. I found her letter to be, well, pretty darn perfect. Mothering.com asks us not to link directly to or from specific threads, and the author of the letter has given permission for this letter to be copied & sent at will, so I’m going to post it for you all here.

Dear Pastor,

We are so grateful for all of the ways that you have helped us to connect in a closer way with God. This of course has had a profound influence on our parenting. Yet, in light of last Sunday’s sermon, we would like to present to you an alternative Christian view on disciplining children. Christians, of course, are probably the strongest proponents of spanking in the US . It is, so they say, their God given right—it’s what the Bible teaches. That is exactly the point of contention and what we hope to humbly disprove.

Let’s take the Old Testament. Some (our more literal-interpreting brothers) would say that it covers a period of about 4000-6000 years; others (our more moderate and liberal brothers), anywhere between 10,000 to over a million years. Irrespective of which view you hold, it has to be astounding that there is not one example of spanking in the whole Old Testament. This is especially impressive when you consider the large percentage of OT books which are more narrative than didactic. I might also add that there is no example of spanking in the New Testament, even though the time period is significantly shorter (around 100 years) and the majority of the books are didactic and not narrative.
Now certainly there are some didactic passages in both Testaments that can be construed as being pro-spanking, however, they can be interpreted in a different light with, yes, sound exegesis.

Strange, isn’t it, for a teaching that is so adamantly held by so many believers that it is not illustrated once in either Testament. But, even if no narrative biblical passage illustrates spanking, if it is plainly taught in a didactic passage then we must accept it as God ordained. In the Old Testament the only passages that can be construed as being pro-spanking are found in only one book: Proverbs. A good hermeneutical principal is to not build doctrine on poetic passages. The wisdom books are full of symbolism and hyperbole and are often a stumbling block to the more literal interpreting readers. The “rod” in these Proverbs passages that so many see as a license to spank is symbolic. This Hebrew word is normally translated as shepherd’s “staff” or king’s “scepter”. So, if we were to be more literal, a closer translation would be bat and not twig! But that is not the author’s intent. This “rod” is a symbol of authority and guidance, like a shepherd guiding his sheep or a king governing his people (see link provided below for further details).

While the Old Testament is of great value, we recognize that no longer being under the Law changes how we apply some of the OT Scriptures to our daily lives. So even if spanking is Old Testament taught that doesn’t mean it is New Testament endorsed. Throughout the New Testament the one passage used to support spanking is Hebrews 12:4-6. Going back to the original language there, however, also changes the meaning to the importance of discipline and authority in shaping a child, not physical punishment. God certainly disciplines us but He doesn’t physically hit us when he does. Proper exegesis shows that pro-spanking people simply choose to read into this passage the very point they need to prove.

So, if there are no passages in either Testament that truly encourage spanking, then we must evaluate discipline according to other principles that the Bible teaches clearly. Jesus teaches us that we have two goals: to love God with all that we are, and to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Nowhere does He imply that His words do not apply to how we treat children. In fact, His interactions with children showed a special effort to value them and their feelings. He also tells us that whatever we do to the least of these we are doing to Him. Can you honestly say that you would want someone to hit you? I can’t. I can say truthfully that I would want loving correction and instruction if I were doing something wrong, but being hit/spanked/popped/smacked would not be a part of it.

Jesus’ example was that the one in authority had an even greater responsibility to act in love than the one under authority. We are to demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit. Yet how is hitting a child compatible with the peace, patience, kindness and gentleness in which we are called to walk? The Bible is very specific about how we should deal with sin in others: We are taught that in correcting those who disobey to do so gently (Gal. 6:1). Parents are specifically cautioned to not cause their children to lose heart (Eph. 6:4). Having the people you love most in the world deliberately hurt you is pretty disheartening, regardless of any lofty motives they may claim.

The Bible is clear that parents have a responsibility to discipline their children. But discipline and spanking are not the same thing. Discipline is teaching. It is difficult for children to focus on a life-lesson, though, if they are distracted by the anger, hurt, fear, humiliation and resentment that result from being hit. Certainly children need correction. God corrects us and teaches us. But He doesn’t hurt us physically or emotionally, even when He allows us to experience some of the consequences of our sins.

Another important point is that most of us are able to learn best from example–that is why Paul wrote to be imitators of him as beloved children. Kids are expert mimics. Too many children in our nation are learning that the way to respond to an offense is to hurt the offender. “Turning the other cheek” is not supposed to mean baring a child’s bottom. We recognize that in other relationships of authority (employer/employee, police officer/civilian, pastor/church member, husband/wife) that physical punishment is inappropriate, even when correction is needed. Children are even more vulnerable—surely we can find better ways to correct them, as well.

Personally, I find it very interesting that when Christians teach spanking, the majority has several cute euphemisms to describe it and a list of guidelines as to how, when, and with what. There is absolutely no Biblical basis for any of them—they are essentially cultural. Whether you call it spanking, popping, smacking or hitting, they all mean to strike a child in order to produce pain and fear. Why do we feel the need to create so many guidelines: spank only on the bottom or legs, only X number of times, only with your hand/a switch/a paddle/PVC pipe (Michael and Debi Pearl, some of the most popular writers on spanking in Christian circles, advocate plastic plumbing pipe). Is spanking on the bottom any better than the Waorani practice of slapping their children in the face with stinging nettles? Why, if neither results in permanent injury? If parents are following God and God didn’t impose a limit on the number of times we strike a child, who is to say that 9 times is worse than 2? While not spanking in anger is at least more likely to avoid a total loss of control and avert serious physical injury, watching the person you love and trust more than any other calmly and deliberately choose to hurt you is a chilling experience.

I would submit that the reason behind the euphemisms and rules that Christians create is that our conscience is condemning us. We are aware on some level that hurting those who are smaller and weaker goes against the nature of Christ, and feel a need to justify and minimize what we are actually doing.

Another issue with spanking is that as the child grows, the spankings must get harder and longer in order to produce the same level of pain and fear. When do they eventually start to cross the line into abuse? Of course, most parents stop spanking once the child begins to approach them in size and maturity. We agree that then it is more appropriate to use the Biblical admonition, “Come now, let us reason together…”. If the child is old enough to reason, spanking is unnecessary. If the child is too young to reason, then the child is too young to effectively understand what the parents are trying to teach, and the spanking is both cruel and pointless.

The false dichotomy that always pops up is that if parents don’t spank, they are not disciplining their children. That suggests that parents are relying on spanking as their main or only form of discipline. Permissive, lazy parenting is neglect. The responsibility given to parents is a great, even fearsome one. However, in my experience, parents who advocate spanking are actually more likely to be guilty of lazy and haphazard discipline than those who have made a conscious choice to find alternate ways of teaching their children. Spanking becomes a reflex when the parent is frustrated, impatient, or too busy to be bothered. I taught kindergarten through high school for five years, and found that often the children that were angry, wounded, and rebellious had parents who strongly advocated corporal punishment. In contrast, I see families like xxxxxxxxxx, whose children are delightful to be around, who practice gentle discipline.

There are so many alternative ways to discipline that result in harmony and renewed connection between the parent and child. Ever hear of a time-in? (It is the opposite of a time-out). When we as parents obey our directive to treat others as we want to be treated, it causes us to get behind the eyes of the child and deal with the root of the problem rather than just suppressing an outward behavior. It is amazing to see a cycle of irritability and frustration break when the parent chooses to discipline by restoring relationship. Without turning an already lengthy letter into a book, if you are interested in other approaches, we would be happy to explain how we handle specific situations or direct you to sources that have been beneficial for us.

The plan behind redemption is clear. God wants to reconnect with us. All of the history of the Law shows that merely punishing sin doesn’t change the heart. What changes the hearts of our children is relationship. Obedience grows out of love and trust rather than a self-centered desire to avoid punishment. If children obey simply out of fear of being spanked, their motivation isn’t righteousness, but only self-centeredness.

As a child of God, my choice for obedience isn’t based on a fear of punishment. It isn’t a get-out-of-hell-free card for me. It is because I love Him and have learned to trust Him. My children are learning to obey for the same reasons. If my children do wrong and repent, for me to go ahead and hit them seems very inconsistent with the way that God has forgiven my mistakes. I want to show the same grace toward my kids that I have received. It is God’s kindness that leads us to repentance, not His wrath.

The link to Arms of Love Family Fellowship has a lot of information, including an in-depth exegesis of the Biblical passages in Hebrews and Proverbs. www.aolff.org.

In closing, we chose to write this to you because of our respect for you. We know that you are someone who has the courage to look beyond the easy, superficial answers and the integrity to hold convictions that may not be popular. Believe us, in Christian circles not spanking is tantamount to heresy but it is a very worthy cause. We love you and your family and are grateful that God has placed us under your spiritual leadership. May God bless you and your family.

Milestones…

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My baby turned 5. I remember being 5. He’s going to remember this for the rest of his life…hopefully he’ll remember that he had fun decorating his cake!

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And hopefully he won’t remember that Mama was too sick (just a cold, thanks for asking! ;)) to bake him one. I sat tonight, watching him write his name on all the thank you notes, & my heart just swelled right up. He’s such an amazing boy. Later in the evening I thought the same while looking at Aiden. The poor little guy is sick now (yes, with my cold), and has a fever, so he’s been sleeping a lot, but he wakes every few hours for a little mama cuddle, and something to drink. Poor guy. It reminds me that he’s still just a baby, three years old or not!

It’s crazy how that works, isn’t it? How they seem so old & so young, all at once? Last week he did a “big” puzzle all by himself. He was so proud:

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Last time I checked, Ian still had trouble with that square of shoes.

Lest you think I forgot, Spencer is growing up too – he can climb off the couch by himself now (yaaay!). 🙂

My small milestone is buying a book I visited for months. I’m still not certain I *needed* it, but I love, love, love the projects, the pictures & the use of color so much, that I decided to get it anyway. Plus this is an author I’d love to support. Of course you know I’m talking about Itty Bitty Nursery!

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Here are my favorites:

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I can sooooo see my kids playing with the 3 little pigs set. And I don’t know why or how, but I MUST have that mousie mobile. Not that I need a mobile. Or have a crib. But still. It. must. be. mine.

The others are just plain beautiful. They’re on my someday list, although I may have to find babies to knit them for! 🙂

I’m 2 for 2 on the blanket making. Since I didn’t get to do it for Christmas, I’ve decided that this year all my nieces & nephews (and my one small cousin) will get homesewn blankets from me. I’m proud that I’ve actually finished both…although this one was done waaay last minute and when we should have been leaving to drive to said birthday. Oh well, she was happy with it. She’s the oldest girl in the family (6 now, I believe…or was it 7?!), and loved that it was “grown up” looking, I’m told. You can’t really tell from the pic, but I backed it with blue jean material.

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I’ve been a bad blogger of late, and haven’t posted yet about the Vintage Sock Swap package I received! My pal went to great lengths to make me a Scottish themed package, even having yarn sent over from a friend of hers in Glasgow. It’s St. Ives Sunbeam. She made the Child’s First Sock in Shell Pattern for me (Nancy Bush Vintage Socks), but altered them to be anklets. I have some short legs & wide calves, so after trying for calf shaping she decided to play it safe & send these adorable short socks instead. I’m happy!

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She also sent some yummy smelling soap, a bunch of shortbread (some with butterscotch on them too, yum!), a cool t-shirt for dh (not pictured – he liked it so it went straight to the laundry pile for a prewash), a skein of super-soft Wool of the Andes that will probably be longies for Spencer, 6 awesome Celtic knot buttons, a nifty silver bangle (from Pier One…oh how I love that store…), Knit from the Heart pattern book (has some great color combos on cute kids stuff in it), and more stuff I’m missing, I’m sure. Oh, there’s a hilarious “Got Haggis” sticker, too! That will have to go somewhere in my craftroom; it’s too cool! 🙂

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Anywho, it was a fun swap & I’m glad I did it. I’m going to put the kabosh on knitting swaps for a bit though, I’m just too behind in other stuff.

Before I sign off, I have to post a few linkies I’ve come across recently:

Sprite Stitch is a blog with neat charts for 16-bit Nintendo characters & the like. They’re generally cross stitch, but with other fiber mediums thrown in occasionally, too.

I was looking for pics of my favorite river for a friend who wanted river/flowing water images for her birth last week, and found this guy’s Picasa album. The Platte River, Sleeping Bear, Crystal Lake, the Frankfort Piers…these are my childhood vacation places.

Exercise Before Knitting is a blog I keep going back to…I think I’ll be adding her to my expanding blogroll pretty soon. So many great projects & I love the info. on running. I can’t wait to get back to it.

The new Interweave Knits Spring gallery is out, so you can see all the great new projects in the next issue. I am particularly in love with the Cobweb-lace stole. It looks like it was knit in a slubby cotton laceweight…that’s almost a contradiction in terms, isn’t it — both slubby & laceweight?

Through the Loops has her Belvedere pattern out. You’ve seen it before if you read Peaknit’s blog. It is the sock she received from a single sock swap. I’ll be grabbing this pattern as soon as we get paid again…I doubt paypal accepts soda can returns… 😉

Now wish me luck; I have 3 sick kids and am trying to recover myself! At least only one is puking (yes, I did start this post last night & spend all day finishing it up…)!