Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh, where did I put that high horse?

I know, I know... I owe you some FOs. I have them, but a work trip at the end of this week is keeping me on my toes and off my ass, which is how i do 90% of my knitting. Today, though, you are being treated to one of Mini's rambles. Complete without photos. Sorry.

*Note: thanks to all the well wishes. My mom and Rascal, the wonder mutt, are doing fine. *

It all started at 6:10am today. I was drinking my coffee and watching for our favorite weather guy: Jeremy Reiner on Channel 7. The newscaster lady said "Spanking to become illegal in MA." Huh? Spanking as an illegal activity? Now, I am NOT an advocate of child abuse or even over-spanking your child, but isn't parenting supposed to be a personal choice? The first thought that popped into my head: I think I need to stop this. Seriously. I don't have children. yet. But, I do have several philosophies on life and childrearing that I hold dear to me: one, children should be spanked for egregious malicious errors in judgment and two, how I raise my kids has nothing to do with you. I do understand the "violence begets violence" argument ( I am not looking for that here, thank you very much), but I also know that mild forms of corporal punishment have been used for ages and up until recently, we had a generation of kids who obeyed rules and respected authority. One of the largest reasons I do not teach ( I am licensed) is this: kids have no respect for property, people or authority.

My favorite example of "PC parenting gone bad" happened to me a few years ago. I was in my hometown, in a grocery store parking lot, in my car. I had checked all around me and began to back up. I saw something red flash in the passenger side view mirror and I slammed on my brakes, popped the car into park and ran out. I saw a 3 year old standing behind my car. By. Himself. His parents were idly waltzing through the parking lot 5 rows away. I asked him if he was ok and the mom freaked out b/c I was talking to him! I asked her what she was thinking letting a TODDLER run loose in a parking lot. Her response? "We don't believe in setting boundaries for him." Well, lady... do you believe in birthdays? Because he almost didn't have a next one!

That parent's skills were questionable to me. (and dangerous to her child) Nonetheless, I have to respect her right to raise her child as she sees fit. As she is the parent. Not me. Yes, I wish everyone taught their kid table manners and not to stick their fingers in my food at restaurants (yes, they weren't even sitting at my table, little Johnny just reached over and fondled my food), but you as the parents have the right to raise your kids as you see fit. I see a very slippery slope here: when does it stop? When does it become a problem to raise your child as deeply religious? What about raising them without faith? What about sending them to daycare? What about not giving them music lessons? At what point, do you want the state in your house saying "umm.. No, according to Massachusetts State Law 901.35 section 2, Kimberly cannot be sent to bed without dessert for biting her sister. That's neglect." Studies have shown that not breastfeeding your child has a potential for different developmental concerns (obesity, poor immune defense in year one, etc). Will the state tell me I need to breastfeed my kids? Honestly, I'd like one of the men on Beacon Hill tell me what to do with my nipples (how's that for a google hit?).

I grew up with a mom who could make 3 rowdy overtired kids instant angels with one look. You know the look. Every mom has one. I always joke that the threat of the spanking was worse than the actual deed and I think I am right. I pray to God that I never have to lay a hand on my child, but should I be sent to jail if I do? And where does it end? Official "timeout" rules? "No more than 5 minutes per child per day??

I don't think child abuse is a laughing matter, but neither is the loss of rights as parents or humans. If you live in Massachusetts and pay taxes (if you don't, keep a low profile!)-- let this man know that you aren't prepared to let him decide how to raise your kids. Let him know that a nurse in Arlington and a "say anything" yes-man from Beacon Hill are not going to decide how you teach your child, raise your child, discipline your child. Tell him "enough is enough!" Stay out of our families!

*Rant ended. Knitting this week. I promise.*

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

And so it begins....

I love the holidays, but something happened yesterday that is unconscionable.

My mom (retired) came home from running errands and the dog park yesterday around lunch to find her back door open and my old bedroom trashed. The police think she frightened the burglars mid-raid when her car came up the driveway and the dog began going crazy in the car (animals always know, don't they?). Needless to say, our family feels violated and exposed. My core belief that people are good is gone. On Thursday, I will give thanks that my mom and the dog were out when the burglars entered the house. I will give thanks for loud American car engines, barking dogs and the police. Nothing is missing... they just made a mess (looking through boxes for presumably cash, jewelry and coins).

I'll post this weekend. I have FOs. I am just not in the mood.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

it's like a hit parade!

With FOs instead of records! (remember records? My first record was James Taylor's "you've got a friend"; I drive past the mental institution where he spent the majority of his younger days twice a day on my way to and from work.)

Pattern: my own, cable from a knitting reference; basic raglan - no waist shaping (size 40 inch)
Yarn: DB Cashmerino, 9 balls
Needles: plastic US8 circulars
Gauge: 4.5 spi
Comments: Love this! It's PC's mom's Christmas gift. :)

Pattern: Mittens from Folk Mittens
Yarn: 100% wool, no bands; worsted weight
Needles: US 2 dpns
Modifications: I hate the thumb gusset thing in the pattern, so I did a basic "afterthought" thumb where I knit in pattern for the palm, placed waste yarn at a predetermined interval and then went back and picked up the stitches. I did a simple checkerboard pattern instead of keeping the palm pattern on the thumb.
Notes: these mittens are for me! And I love love love them! 1 mitten down, 1 to go.

Friday, November 09, 2007

FIber Haul and FO Parade

That's it. That's all the fiber I got at Rhinebeck. Yup. Meager, huh? From left to right:
yellow-y cormo/mohair blend from Stone's Throw Farm; Angora/Merino Blend from Oasis Farm Fiber Mill (I will be back again!), and a "honkin'" skein of chocolate alpaca from Times Remembered. I also got a needle felting kit, a darning egg (needed one! my kitcheners look great now!) and a llama (stuffed) for a friend.

FO Parade:

Wee hat for a wee little friend (A); the same wee one who is also in need of a new sweater. Maybe after Christmas, I can update A's wardrobe.

Another wee one, MC, needed a hat and mittens. She's cold!! So, her hat and mittens are off to see her soon!

The dino mittens needed eyes desperately. Sew-on googlies (thank you Kathy!!!) were the perfect answer. The recipient is recovering from major surgery, so mittens might be puppets for awhile, but they will still be good for riding in the car!

And for all of you who think Pumpkin is just an absolute joy... I present my daily battle with Pumpkin:

"Look Momma! I'm knitting!"

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Pattern: Later Gater Mittens, Stitch N Bitch Nation (D.Stoller) turned into "dinosaur mittens" (*cough* crocheted dino scales)
Yarn: Plymouth Encore, random red acrylic
Time: one day
Modifications: there are some typos and errors in this pattern (especially for the kids sizes)... I used common sense and it worked out.
Recipient: cousin's son... he's 3.
Overall: love them!

More tomorrow (day off!) and some yarn porn pictures... I never did photograph the haul from Rhinebeck-- work has been too busy!

I wanted to share a quick Halloween memory with y'all. When I was young, me and my two brothers would trick-or-treat with my parents. We were allowed to do the neighborhood from our house to our grandparents house (4 streets away) alone (there were enough neighbors then looking out for each others' kids). But, when we were done, we'd run home and "re-stock." Yup, my parents would give us another pillowcase each and we'd head out with mom. We'd do 1/2 of the town with my mom. At a certain point, she'd stop us, we'd find the payphone (pre-cell phone era) and call my dad- who was on candy duty. He'd come down to "swap" with my mom. My mom would take the car home, with our candy sacks and my dad would take us (with fresh sacks!) to finish the rest of the town. Now, my hometown in in Metro Boston, but it's pretty isolated and well, very safe. I think my best memories are from my parents letting us stay out so long and allowing us to traverse the entire town to trick-0r-treat. Every now and then, I say to myself "I want to be that parent." Someone once asked me what it was like growing up in my house. I said "my dad would wake us up after his second job to play flashlight tag in the yard. Some weeks it was the only time we saw him. I still love flashlight tag. My mom would make beef stew in the crockpot and race home after work to take us sledding until it was so dark we couldn't see the hill anymore. My dad would take us up to Second Pond at the golf course and ice skate with us for hours."

From Nov 1- Jan 1... I start thinking of all the reasons I love my family. What do you love about yours? Share a great memory with me...