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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Done, done-done-done, done!

A boy and someone else's blanket
The Sleepy monkey blanket is done!  It turned out beautifully, and as you can see Alex loves it.  He's a bit sad that it's not for him but he agreed that I could give it away if I knit his one of his own.  Just one more thing to add to the list, lol.

I have a good amount of comfort worsted left over so I'll have to figure out what to do with it, but it's not quite enough to knit a sweater with or anything.

The blocking hid a multitude of sins, lol.  I did pretty well with the monkey panel, but the circles were pretty wonkey and definitely needed to have a good blocking.  The question came up as to how I was going to manage to block a double-think blanket made out of synthetic materials.  I could have done a full-immersion blocking but I really didn't want to wait around while a two layer thick blanket took it's sweet time to dry (plus there's the issue of chasing Alex away from it).  I usually turn to the iron for cases like this, but again...synthetic.  So I remembered my mom talking about a pressing cloth many years ago, so I pulled two clean dish towels out of the closet, soaked them and wrung them out, and used them to steam-block the blanket.  It worked like a dream, and my blanket is nice and smooth.

folded nicely and behaving
look what's on the other side!
The border even decided to lay flat.  I have to say, the knit border really makes this piece.  It's not nearly big enough without the border, but the border is part of what drew me to the piece in the first place.  I didn't realize that I'd be knitting it twice, lol, but it was worth it.

 The finished project isn't perfectly square, but it does fold up nicely and most of the edges line up.  I don't think the new-mom is going to be too particular about that.  I think she's gonna be blown away!  It's just so hard not to keep it for myself :)

Full-frontal monkeys

Back shot.

The happiest boy in the world!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This is the song (or project) that never ends...

The Boy & his cat
It just goes on and on my friends.  Seriously.  On and on, and on.  Every time I think I'm an evening from finishing the blanket, I have to knit another increase round, or I have to knit another border entirely.  I'm so close to joining these two, but even then I won't be close to done.  It's what a smart woman who's blog I used to read calls "sleeve-island", only this is border-island.  This being said, I'd knit this blanket again in a heartbeat!  Maybe in wool this time.  But not until I actually finish my husband's crocheted afghan, the shop sample, my socks, and let's not forget my friend's bride's shawl for the wedding that took place this past June.  And then there's the new hat for Alex because he's grown.  And the hat & glove combo for The Boy per his request.  It just goes on, and on, and on (my que, that is).  This is the que that never ends...

Dante started school today and came home with the obligatory 5 pages of documents that needed my signature.  It took me a good hour to read through them all, fill them all out, and get them all signed and back on the table for him to collect (or maybe forget) in the morning.  His teacher's aren't messing around this year.  Eighth grade is a big step up from what they've been doing, in an effort to be sure the kids are ready for high-school.  My own classes are getting increasingly more difficult so I'm not sure just how much help I can be in terms of organization this year but I'll see what I can do.  Tomorrow I'm pulling him out of school early to take him in for an 'emergency' appointment with the psychiatrist because the meds he prescribed aren't being covered by our insurance company, so now we have to start again at square one and try to get him on something before we get too far along in the school year.  This appointment is at the same time as Alex's last appointment with his behavioral therapist so I'll have to miss that and take Dante to his, leaving Aaron to handle that one. 

And now that the bathroom is free, I'm finally off to bed.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day weekend

Today, I'll be spending my Labor Day by trying to finish my assigned readings for Unit 2, working on my discussion questions and my project for Arts & Humanities, working on the Monkey Blanket's border, knitting on the Willow sock when I'm not able to work on the other, and eventually going out to pick Dante up from his friend's house.  Yesterday he and two boys from his Young Men's group came over to play for a while and then they all decided to keep the party going by going over to one of the boy's to spend the night.  I wasn't too sure if that would be a good idea, with him starting school in two days and needing to get up early in the morning over the next few days so that he can start to readjust...but then I though about the peace and quiet of his being somewhere else for the night and I just couldn't turn it down, lol.  I know these boys pretty well as I had them all in primary so I know what can happen when they all get together.  I sure hope they weren't too much trouble for that poor Sister.  They probably ate her out of house and home, because they almost did that to me when they were here for lunch.  Who knew how much teenage/pre-teen boys can eat?!  I went through 5 cans of tuna, and about half a loaf of bread just for lunch!  Not to mention the chips and the drinks.  But I happened to be stocked with bread and drinks just in case we got his by Earl (who decided to go elsewhere) so I had plenty.  I guess I got hit by hurricane "Fortes, Gomes, & Washington" instead :) 

This whole think was foreign to me because in my neighborhood, I'm the 'mean mom'.  Kids rarely come to the door to ask if Dante can come out.  We only have one who's brave enough to ask to come over and play.  No one has ever asked to stay overnight.  If I catch Dante doing something foolish, I'll address it (usually inside but occasionally right on the spot), and if the other kids are a part of it, I'll be sure to include them in the scolding.  Last week I had to seriously adjust Dante's attitude and because he's 13 now, he got a little cocky and wanted to know why I wanted him to come inside...so I told him exactly why he needed to come inside...right in front of his little friends.  Then I told them all that they should be ashamed of themselves for their behavior.  So, given all of this, it was a little strange for me to see that so many of the young men wanted to come over to my house.  I only had room in the car for two, and had to promise the third that he could come over next Sunday.  My husband says that it's because the kids at church are totally different than the people who live in this neighborhood (which is true), and because these kids all really know me.  They know I can be strict, but I love them all and I'm really a nice person under the intimidating surface.  It was really nice to see that they were so fond of me.

The whole time I was serving in Primary, I never realized how the kids felt about me or my presidency.  So yesterday was my first day taking Alex down and leaving him there on his own.  Before I could leave, the new president took me aside for a minute and said that the kids were really sad about the sudden change and she wanted to if I would like to do a guest-sharing time in the near future.  I was so excited about the idea and I jumped at it!  I was so tired of sharing time by the time that Heather came back from Utah that I thought I'd be pleased if I never had to do it again...and then I got that wish and was beside myself.  The idea of coming down and teaching sharing time for an afternoon made me so happy that I almost cried.  And then I went up the stairs to class and had to hold myself together because I missed those kids.  And then I got into class and relaxed because I was learning things at an adult level, and I really did miss it, but I think I love those kids more.  I got all of my manuals and I tried to get caught up on the current lessons, and before I knew it it was time to go down and pick up Alex.  And when I came downstairs to get him, several of the kids came up to me and told me all about what they'd done in sharing time, lol.  One boy told me that he'd earned two stickers because he gave both prayers.  Another told me what he'd done in the lesson.  And a third was dressed up in a dress-shirt that used to be Dante's.  He looked so nice in his dress clothes, and I made sure to tell him so, and he looked really proud of himself.  They were all really excited to see me, and I never realized that they'd all loved me like I love them.  It was just like when I come home after work and the boys are telling me what the did that day, even before I have both feet in the door.  So now, I just have to wonder how I can help these kids now that I'm no longer in the Primary.  Other than supporting the new primary leaders by volunteering my time if they need help, I'm not sure what more I can do, but I'm sure that the Bishop will think of something.

And on that note, I'm off to spend the rest of this holiday weekend doing homework.