Open For Testing

My racerback top is finally ready for testers, I am just about done testing my Oma’s bonnet pattern (which needed a complete rewrite) so have decided to go ahead and put this one out there.
This is the pattern that I have been talking about designing almost my entire time on this blog.

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If you have a Ravelry account, you can find my tester call here: Call to Test
If you do not have a Ravelry account, and knit or crochet, why not? It is an awesome site, just saying.

Till next time.

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What a difference a few days can make.

Wow, my husband took the boys out yesterday, and they spent today at a friend’s house, and while they were gone, I cleaned. I just had baby girl, so had a lot of time to clean up. I should have taken before pictures of the playroom, I pulled out a kitchen trash bag worth of garbage, and piled the toys up, and having little guy make his bed, made a huge difference too.

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There is still lots to do, like my clutter catcher desk.

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I’ve made good progress on my sweater too, not all in the last two days, but I want to share, and I’ll have time to work on it, after supper. Here is baby girl trying it on, a week or so ago,

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And here it is today, I have a few rows left on the button band, and the sleeves to do.

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No motivation

I am fighting a lack of motivation, right now, I don’t really want to do anything, when I do things I feel proud of myself, and energized, but getting up, and moving has been very difficult. What I’m actually fighting is probably a bit of depression and a bit of burnout. They kind of go hand in hand for me, I try to fight off an impending wave of depression by working my butt off, only to burn out in a day or two, and crash hard, at that point, I either laze around for days, or I pull myself up by my boot straps, and fight again. I had five days off, and did absolutely nothing for four of them, then on Wednesday I got a call for help from my friend, which suddenly motivated me, and I worked my butt off. Yesterday I went back to work, in the morning, I had to fight myself to get just a few things done, and really wasn’t motivated to go to work either. Once at work, I took the easy way out, and did the simplest jobs to keep me busy, I did my job, but not up to my usual standards, and I was completely distracted. I really desperately need to do better today, this morning is a bit of a bust, the things I’m proud of? Getting my kids and I fed, and dressed in clean clothes, that’s it. I sat for an hr on the deck and knit one row on the toddler sweater I’m working on, and read two blog posts, I don’t know where the rest of the time went.
Well I’ve got 10 minutes to do something before I have to make lunch and get ready for work, my day-home provider invited us to come a little early, and have a tea party. Dh is working late tonight, so I’m bringing one of my heat and eat meals, that DH was supposed to feed the kids tonight, for her to add to their supper, they have been eating there a lot, I guess. I work till nine, and DH has a lot of late nights, so if the kids are there at supper time still, she feeds them. This is why we can’t use daycare

Teaching Kids to knit, and knitting continental

I’ve taken up a couple challenges lately.

Today, like most days, my boys wanted to learn how to knit, Little Guy has his stitches cast on already, in bright orange yarn, on 4.5mm needles, we average a row each time we pull it out, before he gets bored, it is about 1.5″ long now, plain garter stitch, I use the simple, in, around, through, I know through isn’t the right word for what you do, but it’s what stuck, off never did. We are at a stage where he can do it, when my hands are over his, or 3-4 sts in the middle of the row on his own, before he has trouble again. He has learned to pick up his dropped stitches, when his needle falls out, too.

I just cast on for little man today, I thought he was too young, but after showing him two rows, I handed him the needles, and put the yarn over his finger, and through his fist. he lacks any kind of confidence in what he is doing, while knitting, I can tell, because, when I hold my hands lightly over his for in, and off, and take my hand off his for him to wrap the yarn, he can do it no problem. Ok, well he does have one problem, he wants to wrap the yarn backwards, so I have to remind him to wrap it the other way.
I turned to help little guy with a problem he was having, handing little man his needles to hold on to, and he kept going, I’m not sure if he actually managed a proper stitch, while I was turned around, but he did slip two stitches knit-wise. I’m quite proud, baby girl wanted in on the action too, but I had to pass her off to daddy while I gave the boys some quality time, she’s not even two yet, after-all.

And while I’m working on my other knitting projects, test knitting, running my own test, and writing/grading my pattern, I am also starting to teach myself to knit continental, well, ok, to be honest, I’m starting with purling, not sure why, it just feels easier, and I don’t think it’s easy at all, it’s really really hard, it goes against my muscle memory, which is English style.
When I do knit continental, it will be lever style, I think, I learned to knit left handed this way, and it is very similar to crochet, when done left handed. We shall see, once I learn knit and purl continental, maybe I’ll be able to figure out purling left handed.

Since this is all boring, without pictures, here is one, shh, it’s from my latest test knit.

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In this house

I found a song that always makes me want to cry, In this House by the Stellas. If you have never heard the song, you should, her voice is absolutely amazing.
The main part of the song that makes my eyes water, is, “I make room in my bed, even though you’re not there, when I’m sitting a the table, no one sits in your chair, I wait every morning for your footsteps on the stairs, but you’re gone.”
It makes me sad for two reasons, the first is, the thought that I know I would do that, if anything ever happened to DH. The second reason is, in a lot of ways, a lot of those things happen on a regular basis, he’s not there as much as I would like, when I make supper, I don’t wait for him, the kids and I eat without him, because he rarely comes in when I tell him to, sometimes it’s hours. Since I make him breakfast every day, I’m waiting for him, to come eat, while he takes his time getting ready for the day.

Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake

See, I promised, and am now delivering on that promise, here is a very yummy looking raspberry almond coffee cake. My cook tells me that it was yummy. We both wished that we still had raspberry plate scrapers to drizzle over the top of a piece.

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As is my usual task, when I find a recipe I think looks interesting, I have to start by multiplying the recipe, usually by 8. This time I used the sour cream to help me decide, I had 2L of sour cream and this made two of the large cake pans, that I’ve mentioned before. The pans I use at work are about two times the size of your standard cake pan. The comments on the original recipe said that it wasn’t quite enough for an 8″ pan, but doubling it made it very nice for a 9″. I learned long ago, that doubling a recipe for a 9″ pan gives me a nice standard size cake, so I multiply the recipe by 8 to make one large pan, this uses one liter, or 4 cups of sour cream. Since this was to be a snack, one large pan would have done it, but, I discovered we have an over abundance of sour cream, all ready to expire, so two pans it was, 16 times the original recipe.

We only had frozen raspberries, but that was ok, the comments had ideas on that, thaw and drain them first. Well, I don’t have time to thaw raspberries, so I toss them into a bowl, frozen, realize they look a little dirty, so run some water over them, to get the little flower petal things off, don’t tell me how crazy it was, it made me feel better. So I mixed up the batter, adding the wet to the dry, like the recipe calls for, though I always do it the other way around otherwise. It also says just till it’s wet, well that does not look good, I turn the mixer back on, add a splash of milk, and whip it, till it is a consistency I like, and call it good. Toss my raspberries with some brown sugar, and find I nearly have jam, they are mush, oops, oh well, moving on, I think. I spread out 1/2 the thick batter, into the bottoms of the pans, a well oiled hand helps here, or it will just stick, and not sit in the bottom. Then I divided the raspberries between the pans, and smoothed them out. I topped the cakes with the other half of the batter, smoothing it with an oiled hand again (I love the gloves we have to wear at work, and bought a box of the same nitrile gloves at the drug store, to use at home).
I then sprinkled sliced almonds on top, pressed them in, so they would be locked in place, and they were ready for the oven.
It wasn’t until I pulled them out, and saw this beauty, that I decided I had to blog about it, and took a picture, since I’m not supposed to have my phone at work.

And now the recipe, tell me what you think, I left the glaze off ours, to make it a touch more diabetic friendly. this is the original recipe, for an 8″ pan.

1cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2cup sour cream
2 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Filling:
1cup raspberries
3 Tbsp brown sugar

Topping:
1/4 cup sliced almonds

Glaze:
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 tsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Birth Control and Birth

This post isn’t my usual style, if you are squeamish, or just don’t like this stuff, I’m sorry, maybe you shouldn’t read this today, I’ll bring a yummy recipe tomorrow, to make up for it, ok.

I thought Dh and I were done having kids, but last night, DH asked me about using an alternative form of birth control, as he doesn’t like my IUD. I personally really like it, I don’t have to think about it, and it gives me less periods, win win for me, but apparently he can feel it. So I suggested he get a vasectomy, he talked about it, the entire time I was pregnant with baby girl, but I decided that the IUD would give us a few years to be sure. When I mentioned the vasectomy last night, his first question was, “it’s reversible, right?” I ask him why he is worried about that, and he says, “in case we change our minds.” so apparently he’s not as sure about being done as I thought, and to be honest, I’m not so sure anymore that I’m ready to make a final decision on that either.
Now I am sent on a quest, a quest for a different form of birth control, little man, our second, is proof that I won’t take the pill reliably, and after he was born I went on the shot, which after 8 months, I bled for a month straight, and after that, it took another 18 months to get pregnant with baby girl.

I love being pregnant, and even giving birth, I know, most people don’t believe it, but the only experience I didn’t like of my three, was with my first. With him, my water broke 4 hrs before I went into labour, and I was totally stressed about it, and unprepared. With little man, I was no better prepared, but some calm came over me, on the hour long drive from my mother-in-law’s house, and with baby girl, I was prepared, and it was as good as it gets, considering everything that birth is, and I cried when she was born.