Friday, October 24, 2008

Thomas, garbage and laundry

There really isn't a lot of exciting stuff to report around here. My current knitting is all secret and the days have mostly been of the getup-work-dinner-tv-bed variety. It is getting too chilly for post-work trips to the playground and it may even be too cold for an afternoon playground trip this weekend - brrrr. Well, it really won't be too cold to go, but it probably will be too cold for Heather's extended swinging sessions. But it might be okay if the sun is out...

Onto the subjects of this post. Thomas, as in Thomas the Tank Engine, is a new Heather favorite. A few weeks ago, she was being restless about watching Sesame Street but she really wanted a "vid-yo", so I decided to try something different. She has liked trains for a while, so we gave Thomas & Friends a try. Not only does she never request that we fast-forward during the train show, she also knew Thomas' name from the first time we watched it. I have to assume that she learned his name at school, because up until R bought the Thomas toothpaste last weekend, there was no evidence of him in our house. (Having Thomas toothpaste has made her excited about brushing her teeth again - we'll take it.)

The other two concepts she's learned recently are garbage and laundry. She knows that discarded items go in the garbage and dirty clothes go in the laundry. The only confusion she has is that sometimes we clean up with disposable wipes and sometimes we clean up with cotton washcloths. So I explain that the wipes go in the garbage and the washcloths go in the laundry.

R and I are both happy that Heather is gated from the garbage can, so she can't make her own decisions about what items are garbage...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Babette Math

The Babette Blanket

A few notes about the Babette blanket. I'm using 10 colors of Cascade 220 that have nothing to do with the 15 colors of DK weight yarn in the original. I didn't want to plan the blanket out, but I wanted a fairly even distribution of color, too.

The blanket is made up of crochet squares in a variety of sizes. Let's call them A, B, C, D, E, and F. They build on each other, so A has 2 rows, B has 4 rows, C has 6 rows, etc. There are 126 squares total.

So to get a somewhat even distribution, I made 12 or 13 size A square in each color to get my 126 total base squares. Then I set aside the 50 squares (5 in each color) that didn't need to get any bigger. (If I was smart I would have started weaving in the ends on these at this point. But I'm not that smart.)

So then I took my 76 squares and assigned them to my ten colors to turn them into B squares. 4 of the colors got added to 7 squares each and 6 of the colors got added to 8 squares each. (4x7=28 and 6x8=48, 28+48=76) I distributed them so that no B square is the same as any other B square. The goal again is a pretty fair distribution of color and somewhat equivalent use of yarn (though that part will fall apart as the squares get bigger).

I have 3 B squares yet to finish. When that is done, I will choose 49 of the B squares to be "finished" and the rest will go on to get bigger. There are 16 C squares, 7 D squares, 2 E squares and 2 F squares. That means I need to make 27 C squares, so each color will be used 2 or 3 times for the next round. Then I'll need 11 D squares, so each color but one will get used once and one color will get used twice.

For the E and F squares, I'm really just going to get to decide which colors I want to finish those off with and probably which color I have the most remaining yardage of. I don't know whether I'll need to buy yarn to finish the squares, but I am 100% sure that I'll need to buy yarn for the border. Color to be determined once I have the squares blocked and sewn together.

I haven't starting attaching any squares yet because I want to lay the whole thing out before I start putting it together. I need to be able to balance the color and try different options.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So happy

I really shouldn't have read my friend's blog about arriving in Guatemala while I was still at work. Looking at the pictures from today almost cause me to start crying at my desk.

Gosh I can't wait to meet that little girl...and I know that doesn't even compare to how her parents feel about finally getting her home.

Monday, October 13, 2008


When we left cracker barrel, heather said 'bye bye rocking chairs'. :-)

Monday, October 06, 2008


...there's nothing like losing half a days work 20 minutes before the end of the day.


(I suppose if I used something like twitter, this is the kind of thing that I would post there. But I have no desire to add yet *another* web thing to my already too busy web life.)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

"I keem"

We went out to dinner tonight after an extended session at the playground. We chose a burger place a few doors down from an ice cream shop.

After dinner we loitered outside for a few minutes because they have some raised curbs around the planters that Heather likes to walk on. (She likes to walk on any raised curb, wall, stone, etc - its a highlight of several of our regular neighborhood jaunts.)

I was waiting to see if she was done walking the wall, and R was looking at something on his iPhone, and the next thing we know Heather starts saying "I keem, I keem, I keem" and pointing at the ice cream shop.

Guess we have to be careful where we hang out from now on. ;-)


On an unrelated note, I think it is awesome that The Yarn Harlot coined a new word that is credited in the New York Times. Unsurprisingly proof of her abilities to appeal to a large audience, not just an audience of knitters. I also think it is cool that Mr. Kinnear called her the Michael Jordan of knitters on national TV, but I think it stinks that he assumes that all knitters are female...

Friday, October 03, 2008


Just stopping into to say hi and expel a few thoughts from my brain:

1 - Next time I make a sweater for myself I need to make sure that I make the shoulders narrower. It is kind of astounding that it took me so many sweaters to figure it out, but something about shoulder width was mentioned on one of the podcasts I listen to, and something in my head finally clicked. I have narrow shoulders. Even store bought sweaters tend to fall off my shoulders. Before, I was thinking that I just need to make the shoulder seams wider, but really it is that the distance from shoulder to shoulder should be smaller. I'm wearing Ivy today, and the shoulder seam is at least 1" past my shoulder bone on both sides.

This doesn't mean that Ivy and my new cardi aren't wearable, but it is a little annoying that the shoulders feel like they want to fall off from time to time, and now I can't wait to fix that issue on my next time out.

2 - Speaking of my new cardigan, it still isn't done. The button band needs to be reknitted and I need to find buttons that aren't as heavy. Babette and gift knitting have been taking precedence at the moment, but I think I'll probably get back to it soon since chilly weather is upon us. The cotton summer bombshell top is on hold indefinitely.

3 - Babette is going well. All of the 126 2-row squares are done and I have about 1/4 of the 76 4-row squares done. I may start blocking the 50 2-row squares that don't get anything added to them this weekend. We'll see.

4 - I'm tired. I traveled for work earlier this week and put extra time in before we left. I went to bed earlier than usual last night, and I feel better today, but I'm still praying that Heather will let us sleep in tomorrow morning.

5 - I'm not finished reading the Mason Dixon knitting book yet, and the Yarn Harlot's book arrived yesterday. It would be so nice if these publishers would space out the releases a little bit! Maybe I can try reading and knitting again and see if it annoys me less.

6 - Heather is going to be sad when it is too cold to go to the playground. We've already had a few evenings that were too chilly, but R and I are hopeful that we can go this weekend. In addition to the swings and slide, she loves climbing on the different levels, crawling through tunnels and asking to do things that are really too big for her. She also likes drinking from the water fountain.

7 - Have I mentioned that I'm going to get to go to Webs next month? I have got to figure out what my strategy is going to be...

8 - It is lovely to have a membership and live near the zoo so you can decide to go on a whim on Saturday morning.

9 - Baby tigers are cute.