Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Couple Fo's, Boiling Water, and Strep Throat

I thought I'd use a title that really conveyed the essence of the past weekend or two. What do you think? (Above is the beautiful Blogless Amanda....read along until the end to see why she is featured above....)

I've been so behind in blogging that it's getting me down. I didn't even talk about or show pictures of the Grand View trip and that was almost two weeks ago. Needless to say, things have been pretty difficult around here for the House Family.

I think I'll share the abbreviated version, okay?


As I shared in my last post (thank you so much for the people who commented), Ben accidently poured water into our iMac laptop. Luckily, Ian was able to save it and we probably only need a new keyboard (which is on it's way in the mail). If the new keyboard doesn't work right, then we'll need to buy a whole new computer. Cross your fingers for us, k? In the meantime, I have graduated from typing on Ian's homemade arcade machine (which he made himself from SCRATCH) to using a foldable usb keyboard. It's like typing on a sheet of bubble wrap, but it's better than nothing! Here is a pic of the arcade machine so you can visualize me blogging on it. Funny, huh? This is for you, Lora!


On Monday, I woke up to a bizarre, high pitched whining sound. I went downstairs (half groggy) to find out what the heck it was. As soon as I got to the kitchen, I noticed that the entire white room (our big playroom/greenhouse room with full glass doors on all sides, white tile floor and white walls....sorry, no black curtains.) was filled with (what I thought was) smoke. I started freaking out. Ian was away in MA visiting his friend and I was alone with the kids. As I got closer to the room, I realized that the smoke was actually steam. I ran into the laundry room and saw that the smoke alarm was going off and the room was filled with steam and gushing boiling water.

I freaked!

Ben started crying and I was trying to figure out what to do and how to keep Ben from getting hurt. Finally, I was able to get him to sit in the living room while I went to turn off the smoke alarm. I had gathered some of my senses and turned off the boiler first. There was a pipe that was blasting hot water out onto the floor and none of the knobs around it seemed to turn it off. I called Ian (he doesn't have a cell so it was hard to get a hold of him) and his explanations didn't really help me. He thought I was hysterical because I was yelling over the water blasting and Ben's crying, so he started yelling at me! I hung up on him and called my parents in RI. They calmed me down and suggested I call the boiler company, which I ended up doing once I was able to breathe. Once I got in touch with the boiler company and they were on their way, I started putting buckets on the floor to catch all the gushing water.

Finally, after an hour, things were back to normal and it was just a rusted out bolt in the heating thing or whatever. The guy showed me how to turn things off for next time and I was relieved. BIG BREATH and then I could collapse from shock and exhaustion.


After such a stressful morning, Ben started to say that his ear was "on fire" and crying non stop. I was able to make an appointment at the doctor for that day and, come to find out, Ben has an ear infection AND strep throat. This morning, I found out Tim has strep, too. AHHHHH!

After Ian being away all week, me working most of the weekend and then the boiling water thing....this was just too much for me. The poor kids are miserable, cranky and feeling horrible....and I am barely keeping it together. BARELY. The moments not spent giving the kids medicine, cooking, hugging, cleaning or crying myself are being spent on knitting. Just slowly, slowly knitting and using that as my own medicine for calming and centering. Amazing how well it works. Just knitting and purling on my newest project (more on that the next blog post) has really saved me this week. I have such a grand respect for knitting....more than ever.


I was actually able to finish Ben's sweater at Grand View. The collar is a bit too tight and I ran out of the blue yarn, so I had to use the white colorway to make the "B" and the collar, but Ben loves it and it's so soft. I'm just going to redo the ribbing in a bigger needle and bind off a bit more loosely. Ben's got a BIG melon head, I guess.


-6 balls Frog Tree Alpaca in Cobalt Blue, sportweight
-Size 2 and 4 needles
-Pattern-Reversible Crew Neck Sweater by Jacqueine Fee's book: The Sweater Workshop

I'm pretty happy with it and hope it'll keep him warm this winter. It almost matches the socks I knit for him, too. He looks so cute in both. Once he's feeling better, I'll take a pic.


I started working on Tim's sweater again so he'll have a chance to wear it this winter. I got at least a few inches done at Grand View and now I only have two inches to go and then the body will be done. Sleeves next and it's done! I can't wait to see him in it. It's the same size as the one I made for Ian last year while I was at Grand View...except I've added a few color accents to it and am not under the same amount of pressure to finish it as I was for Ian's. Hopefully, it should be done in a few weeks.

LASTLY, The "Amanda Hat" pattern!

I am sooo happy to finally announce my newest pattern, The Amanda Hat!!! Thanks to Sonya, who said that a hat looking like the Radiance Lace Headband in the Amanda style would look very good....and she was SO right! This hat is so cute and, so far, has been flattering to many types of heads.....and is also very, very soft.

I used Malabrigo worsted wool for this pattern in the "Jacinto" colorway and I can't tell you how wonderful it is for this pattern. It may only take 1 skein to make 2 hats....Ericka is going to do the test knitting for me on this. I know it takes less than one skein to make 1 hat in the largest size.

Try it and let me know if you like it! Ben's already stolen mine so I think I might have to make another in pink! Or blue!

Of course, the hat pattern is being modeled by the amazing Blogless Amanda and is named after her as well. I wonder if I can do something with the Jacqueline pattern, too.....what do you think, Jackie ?

GRAND VIEW: Quick and Painless...kinda


-Lovely company, got Ben's sweater finished, laughed a lot on Saturday evening, loved seeing the other things people were working on and ate yummy things....Blogless Sarah, you're kielbasa and salad were awesome and thanks so much for the alcohol-free jello shots! YUMMY! Another great thing....riding in Sarah's van. She is the BEST driver (fast but responsible) and was so generous to drive all 6 of us to GV. Big hugs, Sarah!!!


-Horrible confusion over rooms, uncomfortable sleeping, bad news/experiences for friends of mine, bad attitude of owner, a bit more subdued fun and so much dust that it was almost unbearable.

I'd say more, but I'd really rather not. It's over and we're picking somewhere new and exciting to go on our Knitting Retreat next year!


1. Laurin was looking like the Godfather on the last morning we were there. She was not only granting requests for the extermination of husbands (joking...kinda), but also sharing with us her wise advice for living a knitter's life...."Eh....listen, chickees...you must SHARE the yarn in order to REAP the benefits of the knitting experience. Believe your Yarnmother....and I will protect you. Eh....alright?" (again...making this up entirely....but you get the idea, right?)

2. A peek into one of the nights of my shared room with Jackie and Heather. There was a little more than knitting going on in OUR room!

(yea....sneezing and coughing! LOL!)

So, that's the update. Hope I didn't bore you much and would love you to send some loving and healing thoughts to me and the kiddies. Please check out the new hat pattern and don't forget to spread the word about the Month of Mittens (button on right). Make sure to email me a pic of your mittens when you're done to be in the drawing for tasty yarn! Woo-hoo! Stay healthy and remember to keep knitting.....I know I will : )


Cayli said...

Oh my, it sounds like you have had it unbearably rough lately. I hope that everyone gets better soon. The sweater is super cute and so is the hat.

Hope the computer problem is the easy keyboard solution and the thought of you blogging from that machine makes me laugh.

NH Knitting Mama said...

Oh, my Gosh, Gina! I feel stressed out FOR YOU! What a terrible couple weeks...

Well, I'm sure you all had fun at Grandview, regardless of the quarters - thank God you had some good laughs after the week you just had. I'm hoping that things are already on a major upswing for you.

I love your hat! I have some Malabrigo, too, but it's not the worsted weight. Bummer.... I may have to change that!

Please don't tell me you've had any migraines on top of all this!

kiyomi said...

lots of hugs to you! I would be freaking the hell out if a smoke alarm were going off and steamy, hot water were gushing out of a wall at my house! I'm glad your knitting was more calming than frustrating!

Ben's sweater is super cute (I love the little B on it).

Lora said...

Oh crap! I just posted a long comment and blogger flaked out on me.
so um..what did I say?
Homeade arcade - hilarious!
Steam - sucks
Sweaters - CUTE
Strep - sucks big time
Hat - CUTE
Hubby's outta town - SHOULD BE OUTLAWED!!
I think that was pretty much what I was going for before.

yarnophiliac said...

Holy crap, hun! I wish I'd known! Don't give up on the computer just yet, either. Jim can take a look, too. LOVE YOU! ((((((HUGS))))))

Marion said...

The thing that jumps out at me from this post is that you are one strong capable woman and mother..and a talented knitter, designer. You need to give yourself multiple pats on the back for handling it all. Marion

Jackie said...

Oh no, what a crappy week! I hope the boys feel better soon. The steam thing would have freaked me out too! I hope things are better now.

Sarah said...

So sorry that you've had an awful couple of weeks. Hope the bad spell is over.

noricum said...

I love the hat you designed!