Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Love me some Norman Rockwell!

Tomorrow is one of my favorite holidays, Thanksgiving.  Why?  It is a whole holiday about being with family and remembering what in our lives is good.  Plus there is a whole lot of really yummy food around!  Turkey roasting all day, stuffing, The 6 Fingered Man's yams (yes, I really do have an Uncle with six fingers-only on one hand the other got amputated-it's murder on little kids just learning to count!), mashed potatoes with gravy, and oh the desserts!  We get to smell this yumminess all day while hanging out with the family, usually watching football and talking and laughing together, pretty relaxing.  That said, Christmas is a close second with all the presents thrown in too, but on turkey day the focus is on togetherness and gratitude, not a huge haul.

So today on the day before our feast I wanted to take  minute to thank you first of all for reading this, but there is so much I have to be thankful for in spite of the hardships my family has gone through this past year.  I am hugely thankful for Mister Vonkysmeed, without him my life just wouldn't be complete, I mean who amongst us is lucky enough to marry their best friend?  Yes, that would be me!  Then of course I am thankful for my two little blessings, Lil' Miss and Destructo-boy, in spite of driving me crazy on a regular basis I cannot imagine life without these two in it.  Then of course I am so very thankful for the extended family, they are all so loving and supportive and I can say we are lucky enough to be one of those rare families with very little drama, makes the holidays so much easier!

Then of course I am thankful for the roof over my head the food on my table and the support from a certain someone who is ensuring we are taken care of.  With this year of unemployment there is no way we could have survived without that assistance, we are so very lucky for that in a time when so many others are losing so much. 

And on a less serious note, I am so thankful that KTLA 5 has brought back the Twilight Zone marathon, I have missed my day of black and white tv goodness.  I don't get to enjoy it at my aunt's house where we all gather (they like their football, so I bring my knitting!) but in the morning at home, you know what I will be watching!  I wish it were on today too while I do some baking for tomorrow, I am making my very first pumpkin pie (mmmm, pie!) and am making a Cheese Ball with Everything for the big day tomorrow.  I might even bake some dinner rolls from scratch!

So, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving Eve?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

FO Pembroke vest & Turkey hat

Just in time for Thanksgiving!  Known affectionately as Turkey Day around this house, I saw this hat pattern and had to make it for Destructo-boy to celebrate this holiday devoted to eating.  I even finished the Pembroke vest I had started for him to wear on Thanksgiving that I was knitting along with some other members of the Knitting For Boys group on Ravelry.

I lucked out with the color, it's called honey but it looks just like perfectly roasted turkey skin.  The hat was kind of a pain to knit, especially the decreases, I really had to pay attention to keep the goosebump pattern looking right.  But the effect is perfect, it really does look like turkey skin.  It took awhile for me to get to the legs, after fighting with the decreases I wasn't in a real big hurry to do so again on the legs.  It took three tries to get it right.  I started by making the turkey leg seperately with the intent of sewing it onto the hat.  For this I followed the patterns stitch counts and wow did it turn out small!  It was kind of like seeing quail legs on a duck, much too little.  I started again, this time increasing the stitch count by following this modification and tried the technique of picking up the stitches on the hat.  Unfortunately this time I started much too high on the hat, sigh, rip, rip, rip...  I started on last time a little lower and it worked perfectly, so happy with the results!  The boy seems pretty happy with it too.

Turkey hat specs:
Chicken Viking hat by Sarah Mundy, available online from Aloha Media

needle:  US 5
yarn:  Lion Brand Vanna's Choice

The vest was actually a really quick knit, I was surprised when I was suddenly done.  I talked about knitting up the back here, for the front I followed the same modifications as for the back.  Once I had the two pieces sewn together it was time for the finishing of the ribbing along the neckline and the armholes.  Prompted by some questions and comments amongst the people participating in the KAL I decided to look into doing some shaping on my ribbing.  For the armholes I did the following:  on round three I K1, P1, K2tog, P2tog, then knit in pattern until only 6 stitches were left, then I K2tog, P2tog, K1, P1.  This resulted in the ribbing snugging in against the body a little better instead of flaring out.  For the neckline I was inspired by the neckline shaping of the Keene vest, so on rounds 2 & 4 of the neckline ribbing I did a S2KP over the center stitch and the stitches just before and after it. This resulting a much neater looking ribbing methinks.  I certainly like it and the boy seems to be happy with it especially since he grabbed it and ran off to cuddle it once it was done.  Did I mention my kids like it when I knit for them?!

Pembroke Specs:
Pembroke vest by Kristen Kapur pattern available online in Petite Purls, Summer 2009

needle:  US 7 & US 5
yarn: Encore worsted tweed by Plymouth yarn

Saturday, November 13, 2010

First of Many ER Visits...

Destructo-boy fell today, prompting my very first 911 call, and my first trip to the emergency room.  We always knew he would be the one of our kids to go there first being the Dangermouse that he is, I just wasn't expecting it this soon, and while Mister Vonkysmeed was away for the weekend too (although I should have known to be on high alert because things always happen that way don't they!).  What started as a nice little photo shoot with the kids to update my Ravelry projects page turned into a screaming bloody mess. 

See, all I wanted were some pictures of my handknits actually being worn, so I got the kids dressed up all nice, grabbed my camera and started shooting.  Destructo-boy started getting all giggly, spinning in circles to make himself dizzy and ended up falling against the back of the couch.  Now mind you, this is an upholstered couch with the frame well hidden under fabric, who knew the back of a couch was dangerous?  He immediately started crying and I scooped him up as the hit was quite audible, then when the screaming became frantic I got my first good look...I swear it looked like he was crying blood (has someone been reading trashy vampire novels?).  I guess faces bleed heavily as his previous bad injury was tearing the upper labial frenulum (the piece of skin holding the upper lip to the gum) when Lil' Miss knocked him down last year, and boy did that bleed!  No need for an er visit that day, a quick call to the pediatrician reassured me there was nothing they could do for that one. 

But this one. well as I couldn't tell how bad the damage was, and my brain was screaming 'BLOOD!  Blood, blood, blood!' combined with a fear that his eye might be involved I grabbed a towel to hold pressure on the wound and then the phone.  Do you have any clue how hard it is to hear a 911 operator whilst holding a shrieking child?  Yeah, it's hard.  She kept yelling at me and I couldn't hear much of it, until I managed to locate a pacifier, then sudden quiet.  I suddenly realized it wasn't nearly as bad as I feared if he calmed down with just the binky.  But I needed someone to look at it before I was willing to transport him, I'd rather be safe than sorry with my kids! 

Lil' Miss was very excited when the firetruck pulled up in front of the house, I was just glad to have someone to look at it.  By then the bleeding had mostly stopped and they advised me to get him to the hospital for some stitches, but put on some steri-strips to hold it together until we got there.  And once there, well, we waited for awhile, and then we waited some more.  Did I mention I hate waiting?  Of course when they were ready to see him he had just fallen asleep in my arms, figures. 

For the examination and the eventual glueing procedure they swaddled him, mind you this kid didn't really like to be swaddled as an infant so he really wasn't having any of it now (especially not while being held on his back on top of me, who was also holding his legs in between mine, boy can that kid struggle!).  I thought he was loud before but this volume was pretty hairy!  So, they superglued it shut, as it turns out the cut was too shallow for stitches but too deep to be left as is, so glue to the rescue!  Along with some more steri-strips to hold it all together.  I just hope it doesn't scar too badly, I think hoping for no scar is a bit much, let's just keep it small okay powers that be?  And no more ER visits for awhile too, I don't think my heart can take another one too soon!
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