Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everyone! My two boys' favorite Easter cartoon is this one - isn't it funny?

We've had a fun, busy weekend. Uncle Steve came over on Friday night for our annual dinner/Easter egg dye (it's always the four of us and Uncle Steve doing this). Very fun - the eggs were really pretty.

We dyed 36 eggs, although I was "missing" a few this morning when I made deviled eggs for our dinner this afternoon. We're having 13 people in all this evening to share Easter dinner with us. The boys are excited because "they hardly ever get to eat ham". Of course we're having deviled eggs, scalloped potatoes and ham, also baked beans and broccoli casserole (DS1's favorite). Our friends are bringing salads and dessert. Yummy!

The cats are umimpressed...

That's Smudge on the left and Oreo on the right. But the boys loved their Easter baskets! I think the chocolate bunnies are already history....

Speaking of bunnies, I'm working on a sweater for myself using the yarn I got at Webs in Northampton. This yarn is by Tahki Stacy Charles and it's called Bunny Print - so appropriate for today! The pattern is really fun - it's a cabled sweater. The pattern looks like this:

I LOVE cables! I also finished the first Monkey sock for my friend, Mirm - that's here:

I adore the Monkey pattern by Cookie A. I made it for myself in another colorway. Here's a closer look at the pattern:

I'm really enjoying knitting the pattern and the yarn. Hmmm - the colors are similar to that of the Bunny Print colors! I guess I need to branch out a bit.

It's time to put the ham in the oven, take a shower, and clean the house a bit more for our friends who are coming soon. Have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

It's Spring, Right?

Well, maybe the calendar says it is! But my backyard sure doesn't think so:

Here's the view from the front window (next to the cat condo). Notice how far up the window the snow is? It's fallen off the roof.

Our schools were on a 2 hour delay; others in the area were closed (reference Math Lady's blog where "Greenland is closed"!).

We have some "outside neighbors" who visit regularly - the turkeys! They like to eat the food that gets dropped on the ground below our birdfeeders. There are 7 of them - here's the gang this morning.

My sock of the month club kit arrived today - yay! It's always like Christmas in April (or May or October) for me. Judy always puts together such wonderful kits. Very imaginative and fun - they definitely get me out of my socks comfort zone. When you open the big envelope (it's always an envelope rolled up so you know it's a sock goodie!), it's wrapped up like this - oh so tantalizing!

And you never know just what it's going to be! This month's offering is just perfect for me - "my" colors and the sock is designed by my favorite sock designer, Adrienne Fong! Does it get better than this? I think not!

I can't WAIT to get started! But first, I need to finish my Monkey sock by my other favorite sock designer, Cookie A. for a critter buddy. Not much so far but such a pretty yarn. It's one of the Dancing colorways by Knitpicks, knitted on a size 1 needle.

It's always interesting to me how the colors pool (make a pattern) even when the yarn itself isn't self-striping or self-patterning.

Off to knit!

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

No more braces!

DS2 got his braces off yesterday. He's had them on for about a year and a half - long enough! His teeth look GREAT! It was VERY hard to find a picture of him smiling with his lips parted. Here's before - DS2 is on the right, DH and DS1 on the left:

And - tah dah! - here's after!

Isn't he handsome? Morine - what do you think? he he he (that's me on the right)

He gets his retainer in a couple of weeks.

Lots of knitting got done in the orthodontist's office!

I just finished my pink "luxury" socks and am really pleased with them. I changed the pattern around a bit - the lace in the pattern went down the back of the socks but I moved them around so the pattern's in the front. The yarn is wonderful! It's Jo Sharp Alpaca Silk Georgette. It's a fingering weight yarn made of 40% alpaca, 40% merino and 20% silk - it's yummy! I knitted it on size 1 needles - 32" circular using the magic loop method. Here's Smudge modeling my new sock.

And isn't the ribbing pretty? I hope the picture captures it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Mapping day!

When a cochlear implant is programmed, it's called mapping. It's quite an involved, long process as there are four programs (maps) in the processor. Today was DS1's mapping of his left ear. He had his first implant surgery in November, 2005. His second surgery, the left ear, was December, 2006. His left ear has been activated about 2-1/2 months.

Today, after tweaking the mapping on his left ear, our audiologist tested his hearing. What stunning results! Our audiologist - the wonderful Stella - was beaming ear to ear! Here are his results from today:

Word recognition: left ear only - 94%
Word recognition: both ears - 98%! The only word he missed was sane - he thought it was same
Sentence recognition: both ears - 100% wow, wow, wow!

I almost started crying, which is just what your 14 year old wants you to do. We've seen such nice changes with the addition of the second implant - much easier to talk with him in a noisy setting, he can directionalize sound. It's so very exciting for him and for us! It's been such a miracle. Just prior to his first implant, in October 2005, his word recognition score with his hearing aids was 4% - quite an improvement, wouldn't you say?

I did get to knit - a little - in audiology. I'm still working on my pink silk sock. I'm in the home stretch with sock #2 - yay! I can't wait to feel it on my feet - I think it will be really soft and comfy.

I'm hoping to get some of my socks pictures up soon.

Monday, April 2, 2007

It's been busy!

I have two boys who are in middle school. My older son just had the lead role in the school play. I'm sure every parent says this, but he did a fabulous job. His character was Elliot, a bullied kid who starts out as a dinosaur-loving geek but as he becomes friends with other kids, comes out of his shell and matures. The play is based on the book The Revealers by Doug Wilhelm. Mr. Wilhelm lives in Vermont and visited the cast and then came to the second night of the play. He told our drama instructor (who directed the play) that it was the best rendition of the play he'd seen. All the kids did a wonderful job. Amazing that it was a middle school production - it seemed much, much more sophisticated!

My younger son had a band concert last week (he plays the sax) and has a choral concert this week. My younger DS also plays indoor soccer. Read: excellent opportunities for me to knit! I just finished my Ocean Vest from the Shadow Knitting book that I'm very pleased with. I cashed in my gift certificate to Patternworks my buddy, Nicole, gave me for my 50th birthday and this is the result:

I knitted it using Baby Ull on size 3 needles. It's GREAT to wear! The colors and the yarn were really nice to work with. Even though the yarn is wool, it's very soft. I have some left over but I'm not sure if it would make good socks or not. A good question for the Socknitters listserve I think.

I've also been working on socks. I have three pairs OTN (that's on the needle for you muggles/non knitters out there!). I'll have pictures at some point. I'm working on a second pair of monkey socks for a critter friend (he he he - you'll have to figure out which one!), light pink, silk socks from Judy's Sock of the Month Club, and a mosaic pair for DH. His feet are bigger than mine so they're taking awhile.

I visited the Northampton MA area a couple of months ago with my critter buddies (you know who you are!).

Two of the other non-muggles and I hit Webs - wow, what a fun place! Truth to tell, it was a bit overwhelming. My socknitter buddy, Charlton, told me about the warehouse - amazing bargains to be had! I found the Tahki Stacy Charles cable sweater I was looking for, as well as Bunny yarn for it. I'm about halfway done with the second sleeve - woo hoo! Just in time for summer.

Gotta go help DS1 with algebra - I'm the algebra expert here, sad to say...