Monday, February 26, 2007

Purple Haze

Yo! Dude! Clear the air....LOL. Such a haze last week, too bad it was fever induced :)

What do you do while you're waiting for pictures to upload to Blogger? I'm trying them today as .bmp files and I didn't 'shrink' them at all, one is 3112 KB. Is that large? LOL. It's been 5 minutes and no sign of the two pictures. So, I'm going back to the Kodak program to shrink them down a little. Sigh.

This is Lucy's purple and pink striped sock. A sort of chevron pattern on the top of the foot--30sts. Then, after doing the heel, I added a 1/2 repeat on each side of the front portion, so that's 40 sts. The 20 sts left on the back of the leg are a K2P2 rib.You should have seen me trying to figure out how to center a K2P2 rib on 20 sts. Some days I'm blonder than other days. It starts with a P1, then K2, P2, ends with a K2 then P1. I figure that this will help counteract the non-stretchy nature of the chevrons.

But, how should I finish it off? Continue the K2P2 rib around the entire leg for another 6 row stripe? Or just cast off at the end of the pattern row? I thought about a picot hem, but think it'll be too fusy with the ribbing, and it'll take me longer to do than she'll probably wear them.

So, it's Feb. 28. I was hoping I'd get the buttons sewed on one newborn sweater that has been waiting for buttons for over 15 months (ie--since before, long before, Megan was born. She wore it without buttons). But I'm thinking I've really got to write some thank you cards for Christmas. However, I can write in the evening when the light's not so good....I can't machine knit at night cause it's too dark in that corner....


Thanks for indulging me while I go off on parenting rants. It's hard right now to separate the knitting side and the parenting side of my life. I guess it will be that way for at least another 17 years, LOL.

And thanks for the suggestions of colours to go with the purple sock yarn. I think the colour is "Iris". There is a solid "Sage" which I think it was CatBookMom that suggested sages/pale greens. That would be really pretty. I don't think I could dye it myself--I'd be afraid of getting minty green, or having it too dark. Lucky suggested browns/tans, and there is a "Toffee" colour that is nice. I could probably dye tans myself. There is also "Pussy Willow" which is a dark grey, I think too dark though, and "Ecru" which shows on my screen as grey as well. A light grey, or a dark dark grey would also work. Although I am strangely attracted to the "Green Apple" and "Carribean Waters". I wonder if we're going to be passing through Durham anytime soon.... Yes, I could call Buffy and see if she has anything handpainted in those colours, LOL. Although the solid colours are nicely shaded enough that when worked in a pattern would show as 'handpainted'.

I've realized that I don't often post pictures of WIPs. Perhaps I'm afraiding of jinxing myself and they'll become UFOs. Or maybe it's just because of the lousy way we have to download. However, I see now that Blogger will take .bmp files, which is how our pictures end up when we download, until I then go into another program and crop/edit/save them as .jpg. But if they come off the camera without needing additional tweaking, then I might just start doing more :)

Back to Lucy's sock. Which is purple and pink. And the Baby Surprise Jacket which is violet, lilac, periwinkle and grey. Mmmm...maybe that's enough purple for now!

Babywise? Or Babystupid?!

Another member of the Slightly Crunchy Attachment Parenting group sent a link to a website with something about 'Ezzo' and Babywise. His name gets mentioned on the list, and the general consensus is that he knows nothing about the true nature of infants. Apparently he has gotten in trouble for claiming relationships with colleges/universities. All I had heard about his Babywise 'technique' was that babies should be fed on a schedule. Uh huh. I decided to read this link to learn some more, as I am a 'learner'. I was shocked by what I read:

The following is Matthew Hsieh's history as described by his parents, Michael & Michelle Hsieh, April 1999.

The purpose of this letter is to generate public awareness about yet another child who has surely suffered due to following a Christian parenting program entitled Preparation for Parent-ing/Preparation for the Toddler Years (secular versions marketed in stores as On Becoming BabyWise 1 & 2) by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo . We hope that knowledge of his case can be used to promote existing and future efforts to inform communities of the extremely serious dangers associated with following the Ezzos' program, even in its newest editions. It is our hope that, as awareness grows, popularity for its teachings will diminish to the extent that most churches will no longer promote or choose to be affiliated with them.

Initially, we would like to qualify a couple of points. We are both college graduates from prestigious universities. Michelle has a business degree with an accounting concentration from the University of Washington (a rigorous and highly acclaimed program), and Michael has a me-chanical engineering degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He currently works in international sales in the high-tech industry, while Michelle is currently a full-time mom. We point this out to say that we are not uneducated, fly-by-night, take-whatever-we-hear-as-gospel types of people. In fact, we have always prided ourselves on possessing strong common sense, thinking things through in an analytical manner, and distinguishing between right and wrong. Secondly, we want to stress that the classes we attended were, and still are as of this writing, the most up-to-date versions of the program. For instance, the program's infant feeding schedules have been revised to suggest feeding every two-and-one-half to three hours and to incorporate "flexibility," yet the overall message is indeed the very same as in earlier editions (it was shocking to us to learn what they used to recommend!). Major problems still exist with following the Ezzos' parenting program.

Matthew was born March 26, 1998. Just prior to his birth, we took the first parenting class, Preparation for Parenting (Prep), in a series of what was promoted to be the most Christian-based, medically accurate parenting information. We took the second class, Preparation for the Toddler Years, a couple of months later. As first time parents, we were excited about applying the principles, thereby raising our children to be both loving and obedient. The messages were strong and clear, and the boastful claims of thousands of parents correctly applying the principles with only optimum results left little room for debate or need to question the material. A couple of times we remember hearing there was controversy regarding the program, but we were encouraged to dismiss it as coming from parents not using good judgement or incorrectly applying the principles, or as simply "secular" society's attack due to the program's Christian affiliation.

Other than his first week, Matthew's first two months went rather smoothly. His first week was tough, and, looking back, it should have been our first indication not to follow the feeding schedule we were taught in Prep. We should point out that Matthew was a small newborn. Al-though he was full-term and healthy, he was just under six pounds at birth, possibly due to low amniotic fluid levels, which, although not significantly alarming, prompted the obstetrician to induce labor eleven days early. (Induction is a relatively common practice, and Matthew was still considered full-term.)
Matthew was born on a Thursday; we were discharged on Friday, and yet, during that first week of life, we were back at the hospital every day but one. In his third day, he already appeared to be losing a little too much weight too quickly, and he was getting increas-ingly jaundiced. His before/after nursing weights indicated that he was getting adequate amounts of breastmilk, even though he was found to be an extremely efficient eater-normally five minutes on one side, and he was done. However, telling the lactation consultants and nurses that he was fed every two-and-one-half to three hours gave them the intended message (you mean, that while the program is intended to develop loving and obedient children, the adults are encouraged to be deceitful?) that he was being fed on demand. Yet, "we knew better"-demand feeding was unhealthy, and we were using the Ezzos' parent-directed feeding (PDF) approach.

(Me--I just have to acknowledge this point. The parents claim to have strong common sense, and an anylitical nature, but yet the idea that the baby's need for food is to be ignored didn't strike them as odd, or worth further investigating?)

Tuesday his jaundice was severe enough to require hospitalization, and while there our pe-diatrician also had mother-baby compatibility tests performed to see if his body was rejecting Michelle's milk-tests were normal. We were sent home the following day but continued on home photo-therapy for the following couple of days. This required a daily visit from a nurse. Michelle remembers them telling us 1) to be sure to feed on demand, 2) not to press beyond the two-and-one-half- to three-hour mark, and 3) to monitor (actually document) all feeding times and wet/poopy diapers. Again, we chose to ignore the feeding on demand advice due to our "medically supported training," (and a lactation consultant's training is what? From a bubble gum wrapper? The parents knew better because they took a short course offered by their CHURCH?) but we did make sure to feed him in the time frame suggested, as this went right along with PDF. (Ask any mother of a newborn. They nurse a lot more than every three hours. That's the very, very, maximum, and if often a sign of jaundice).

Ignoring this advice to feed on demand (or cue) was our FIRST BIG MISTAKE. However, despite our scheduled feedings, Matthew's jaundice did clear up, and his wet/poopy diapers met the minimum number, although they did seem fairly "weightless." As new parents having no ex-perience to compare it against, we assumed infants just eliminated very tiny amounts fairly of-ten. Things continued this way through his two month appointment, where his weight registered in the twenty-fifth percentile. Although his nursing continued to be short in length, the milk sup-ply seemed adequate, and Matthew was fairly content.

Things slowly began to change at this point. Matthew became more fussy/irritable and Mi-chelle found herself always questioning her milk supply, wondering if he had colic or excess gas (we tried Mylicon Drops) or was just overtired. She began pumping regularly, hopefully to en-sure sufficient milk supply, and also tried supplementing with a bottle, but he repeatedly and vehemently refused, becoming so upset that he would even refuse the breast at that feeding. Many times Michelle's intuition told her that Matthew was hungry before the scheduled time, yet she chose to ignore those signals and instead comfort him back to sleep, due to the Ezzos' scheduled feeding philosophies, which had been drilled into us. Our training specifically said that regularly feeding him sooner than our schedule would interrupt his hunger, digestive, and sleep/wake cycles, causing him to be a snacker, and this would just be unhealthy for him (and how is snacking on breastmilk going to be unhealthy?) (and us) overall. We had no reason to argue with this supposed medically-backed advice (hysterectomies were once prescribed to treat women who weren't acting was medically backed...). On very rare occasions, Michelle would exercise "flexibility" and feed him before "time" due to his uncontrollable cries, but most often he would "submit" to her comforting him to sleep.

It was at Matthew's three-month (possibly between three & four months) check-up that we discovered his weight, in terms of percentiles, had plummeted. He had dropped off the charts altogether. To say the least, we were very alarmed, as he was soon diagnosed as "Failure to Thrive" (FTT). Again, when asked about nursing frequencies, we answered every two-and-one-half to three hours and of the lack of success in getting him to supplement with a bottle. We were told that as long as we had always fed on demand, Michelle's supply should meet his needs. We were told to continue as we were, and to come in for frequent weight checks between well-child appointments. During this time Matthew's temperament had evened out a bit, and once again he seemed fairly content. What we now believe, in fact, to have been the case was that Matthew had become resigned to taking only small amounts of milk-not nearly close to what he needed to "thrive."

We began introducing solid food, which Matthew took to very eagerly. We hoped this would help him to put on some more weight. We again followed the strict suggestions for proper training from our parenting class, and encouraged Matthew to keep his hands down while we spoon fed him. He did NOT like this, but we were encouraged to persevere, as our training had indi-cated that he could and would learn to keep his hands down and out of/away from his food.

This was our SECOND BIG MISTAKE. He did, in fact, learn to submit to keeping his hands down (or our holding them down), but his interest in food was quickly diminishing. At six months, we knew beyond a doubt that he was still getting far below adequate amounts of milk (we rented a highly accurate scale and did before- and after-feeding weights to get his total in-take for twenty-four-hour periods), and felt we had no other choice but to keep feeding him solids as well. His growth had not improved, and he was still off the charts.

More and more, Matthew was losing interest in nursing, while still refusing outside supple-mentation by bottle or cup. It was obvious that nursing was not a "comfort" to him, as Michelle had always read and heard it to be for other babies (a trust issue). It was increasingly common for him to arch his back and display other obvious signs that he did not want to nurse any longer-just a couple of minutes every four hours or so, and he had enough. His back arching was interpreted as a possible sign of acid reflux, so we tried Zantac but experienced no change in behavior.

If we had rigidly been following the Ezzos' advice in this scenario, we would have punished him for his defiant arching. (Punish a six month old?!) However, Michelle was unwilling to punish Matthew for this, in fear that it would cause him to reject nourishment even more. At this time (still about six months) Michelle was placed on Metaclopramide, a generic form of Reglin, to increase her milk supply. It worked wonders. It was obvious through pumping that she now had plenty of milk. However, Matthew's behavior about nursing did not change. For so long he had resigned himself to small amounts, we believe he had learned to feel full on that insufficient amount of milk.

Things continued like this until Matthew was nine-and-one-half months old. He was learning up through this time to supplement breastfeeding by taking formula from a cup, but again, ex-tremely small amounts of maybe an ounce or two. His spoon-fed and fingerfoods were, however, on the decline to the point where he would refuse to swallow the spoon-fed food we did get in, and wanted nothing to do with fingerfoods. Then, within a two-day period, Matthew stopped nursing altogether (apparently due to Michelle becoming pregnant, which changes breastmilk flavor). Over the next week he became increasingly dehydrated, with a fever above 103-104 de-grees. He would take perhaps eight ounces of formula over the whole day, and, still to his dis-like, we continued to spoon feed him until he would protest too loudly or stop swallowing. We felt we had no choice but to push the baby foods, as we were so concerned with his lack of formula intake. With his continued rapid decline in energy/health/weight, he was admitted to Chil-dren's Hospital to begin naso-gastric (NG) tube feedings. He was released from the hospital after 4 days but has remained on the NG tube.

To say the least, these last months with him on the NG tube have been the hardest ever. There were times that he was throwing up so much we didn't know if he would make it. However, with the proper amounts of nourishment, his weight has begun to climb dramatically, along with his energy and disposition. At the beginning of the tube feedings, he was almost ten months old and weighed a mere fourteen pounds, eleven ounces. (If he had continued following the curve he set in his first couple of months, he would've been just shy of 20lbs at this point.) At twelve months, he showed significant progress, weighing in at a wonderful eighteen pounds (still off the charts, but getting closer).

During this time, we spent a lot of time reflecting on what brought a perfectly healthy baby boy to this state of complete food aversion/infant anorexia. He has undergone every test (a gruel-ing process) to rule out medical problems, which left us with an unexplained "behavioral" diagnosis. It was then that a chance reading of an article warning against Babywise in a local paper led Michelle to do a little more research into the Ezzos' parenting program that we had been so sold on.

What we found was astonishing. Matthew is just one of hundreds who have been diagnosed with improper weight gain or "Failure to Thrive" associated with this program. We were not just looking for somewhere to put the blame. We had complete respect for the Ezzos and their methods. Friends have followed through with the program with only "success." In our hearts, we just knew, as we looked back over his history, analyzed medical reports and other articles, that this program indeed was the significant reason for his problems.

We cannot begin to explain the feelings of anger, guilt, and remorse that accompany the re-alization that due to some very improper and unsound medical advice and child-rearing tech-niques, our son has had to endure so much. "Unpleasant" doesn't even come close to describing how it feels to force this unnatural tube down our son's nose as he is held there screaming, only to have to do it again if he pulls it out or, worse, throws it up. And to think that it has been rec-ommended and is quite probable that we will have to proceed with the invasive surgery for the more permanent stomach tube.

It is our firm opinion that the Ezzos lack the background and, therefore, the authority to be preaching about step-by-step methods for raising an infant into a thriving toddler. They allow no room for individual temperament, size (premies, low birth weight babies, etc.), stomach capacity and digestion speed, along with a variety of other factors. When their program doesn't work just right, or they are notified of cases of low weight gain, the Ezzos immediately seem to attribute it to the parents (a guilt trip) for either not following teachings correctly, or following them too rig-idly, which is contradictory. It has been proven that there is a 300% variation among mothers for storage capacity of breastmilk . Those with larger capacities can more often nurse at longer intervals, whereas women with smaller capacities need to nurse much more frequently. Most importantly, it was noted that all women in these studies had the ability to produce plenty of milk over twenty-four hours; what varied was the maximum amount they could deliver at one sitting. It is also known that if an infant is fed on demand, more appropriately titled "cue feeding," during the first couple of months, the mother is much more likely to establish appropriate milk quantities. We were taught to ignore those "cues." Yes, we were told to incorporate some "flexi-bility" when the child was obviously hungry (like crying to be fed), or when it was to suit our own needs. However, the Ezzos' definition of demand feeding as feeding a baby only when it cries is simply wrong. In fact, demand feeding is actually recognizing the child's hunger cues (before crying, as crying is often a late sign of hunger ) and feeding them accordingly. We remember those cues vividly, and yet ignored them and tried to pacify Matthew in other ways until his "appropriate" feeding time. How very sadly wrong we were.

How obviously wrong we were again to choose to follow the seemingly medical and biblical advice of the Ezzos in Preparation for the Toddler Years. Here we were taught to teach our child appropriate "highchair manners" of holding his hands down while he was being fed, and again it was said all children can learn obedience in this area. Health and medical professionals in the feeding therapy arena would all say this is actually one of the worst things one can do. A child naturally wants to touch, experiment, etc.-this is a developmental stage/activity all children should be allowed to experiment with. Is avoiding a messy floor or table to teach compliance worth the possible costs? Yes, some infants and maybe even most will learn to be happy to let you hold their hands down while spoon feeding and then to let them experiment after with finger foods. But, it can be argued, is this really success? Or, is success worth the possible cost of later food aversion? Let us tell you, it most definitely is not! We remember heartily laughing at a friend who, having not taken the parenting program offered by the Ezzos, often had to give her six-month-old a bath after a feeding. "How do you keep him from exploring with the food and keep it out of his hair?" she would ask. We would simply think how much extra work she was creating for herself by allowing her child to be, as the Ezzos might describe, "out of control and sinful." Her child is now a healthy, well-behaved one-year-old, and that laugh was sadly at our own expense.

So, did we have success with the parenting program? Obviously not. Do others have success? Some think they do, as their children learn to be fed on schedules, sleep through the night, and otherwise be "obedient." However, is there a long term cost of this obedience? Have bond and trust areas been unknowingly damaged? We really wonder. There are plenty of good parenting books and classes, but any one of those that comes across as if theirs is the only good way (for it is God's way, right?), not only has a lot of nerve but should be questioned in other areas as well. If readers take the time to do this, we are confident that they will find not only that many of the Ezzos' ideas on parenting are being widely questioned as unreliable and outright wrong, but that deeper issues of integrity, accountability, and honesty are also in question. And, contrary to what we were told about "secular" criticism, much of the questioning has come from within the Christian community.

Please, don't just take our word for it. Do your own research. When you are finished, we be-lieve you will draw the same conclusions we have. We thought we were following sound parenting information and doing what was proclaimed to be in the best interest of our son. We could not have been more wrong, and we will always live with that knowledge. We now believe nursing on demand, especially in the early months of life, is among the most critical things one can do for the long-term health and well-being of their child. The harm that has been associated with the Ezzos' parent-directed feeding schedules is not always easily undone, and is simply not worth the potential risks. No other child or parents deserve to endure what we have suffered.
It is our sincere prayer that as awareness of the controversies and problems with the Ezzos' Preparation for Parenting and Preparation for the Toddler Years (On Becoming BabyWise, books 1 & 2) programs increases, the followers will decrease.

Back to me. Whew. What a terrible thing to go through. But I jsut don' t get how smeone who has such strong common sense could not realize that a baby cries to communicate, that only a baby could know when he is actually hungry. How can an adult think that they know better than the person who needs to eat?
Imagine if there was a "Wife-Lead Marriage Course". Husbands would eat only when their wife tells them that the clock says it's time. And they can't have ketchup on their meatloaf. And they must finish every single vegetable they the wife puts on thier plate. Uh huh. Take that Ezzo. See how long you last with that program!

February is For Finishing

Remember when I said that "February is For Finishing"? Just how many old UFOs have I gotten finished?

I think there's still two of these hats to finish. And I started these:Did I finish any of the FiberTrends bunnies hiding under my desk? Did I finish the alligator also hiding under my desk? Did I finish any of the three Baby Surprise Jackets? Did I sew the buttons on the two baby sweaters? Did I re-vamp the Whirling Stars cardigan? Nope.

But I am doing good about finishing what I start now! Back in early February when I was getting ready to head down to Georgetown for the knitting guild, I was trying to figure out what I had new for show and tell. It seemed everything was a repeat. Two ice scrapper mitts, two pairs of socks for Huey (okay, one pair still needs to be seamed, but it was too large, and I know he's not going to wear them), 3 socks in the red and pink yarn for me (but ended up with just one pair in the end), a pair of ribbed fingerless gloves for my brother, a pair of ribbed tipless gloves for me....

Right now, I am working on pink and purple socks for Lucy. She's just informed me she wants them to go to her knees. Using 2.25mm needles and a chevron pattern. I'm working on another Baby Surprise Jacket--stash busting. I started dismantling the Whirling Stars cardigan and ran into a HUGE issue. I realized that the ball and a half left from Lucy's red/pink sweater could be a hood for it, so she can't wear it backwards. I really want to start some more socks more ME! And I've been meaning to make the felted lunch bag from for Huey...

That picture from the last day--that is a free pattern from! It reminds me of a LionBrand hat pattern from a couple years ago. A black women with big kinky hair was wearing a lampshade hat, red and black, with chevron patterning on the cuff. Perched on top of her big pouff of hair. Cracks me up. Like the LionBrand ad where the kids and Dad are sitting around playing cards, in their matching socks, ties, and MITTS! (no coats, they're inside). Man. I have lots of old old pattern books, and everyone wore their hats perched high and back. Even winter hats. Did you really stick them onto your kids' head with hat pins? LOL.

Huey won a "citizenship award" on Friday, for working hard and not getting fustrated. He has worked so hard at that--not thinking that the world is going to end if something goes wrong with a project. When he first started drawing, he often used a pen--it was easier for him to use; less effort and more consistent. But he would FREAK when he made a 'mistake'. Then one day, I thought, what about a pencil? LOL. That helped, but he just has such high expectations, high persistance levels, and a very low boiling point.

Gee, does Megan look a little frightened, or ill? Perhaps both. She didn't throw up on Friday night and I thought maybe she was getting better, but then she had more diarrhea, and threw up on Saturday night, and then more diarhea. On Sunday, she woke from her nap with diarrhea and a cranky attitude. Then she started screaming. That high pitched sound that makes you think she's cut off her hand. Then that ended. She didn't eat much dinner again. When I was getting her ready for bed, I asked her if she was going to throw up in the night again. She shook her head "No".

She woke up at 5:40 with a scream, but quickly went back to sleep (of course, I didn't), and I had to wake her up to take Huey to school. She is like a different little girl today! Smiling, playing, Exactly one week! My throat is still sore, but I'm pretty much functional again too. Back to life :)

Friday, February 23, 2007


I started writing a post last night about Wal-Mart and Similac, how earlier this month they were promoting obesity, diabetes, ear infections, SIDS, allergies, cancer, and oral malformations, with a link to a series of funny cartoons by the Cow Goddess (I think there's 5 comics in this series, check them out, starting with #1). But then Megan got at the computer and my some stroke of good luck, managed to shut the computer down.

So as I laid on the couch, feverish again, I contemplated what else to write. There's "The Three odd things about my Toyota". No. There's "How to get Puke Stains out of Anything". No. There was "How did Sanjaya get in the Top 4 Boys and How did Antonella not get Voted Out?" No.

Then I watched Oprah and Bob Greene and thought about a long, soulful, deep post about exactly why I'm not at my optimal weight, even though I would say "I just like to eat" and I know Oprah would say "NO!, That's not why! What's your PAIN?!". But I just couldn't do it today.

So, instead, I leave you with some inspiration for your weekend knitting:
You've got to realize something sucks when your model will only posed when stoned!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Something to Think About

Gardasil is not available in Canada yet (oh, wait, a little Google search just showed an article in Chatelaine that says it was approved last July 2006)...I didn't know it had been approved (but I don't think it's publicly funded yet). So, this is even more of an issue! And, some of the other vaccines are also available. Read it carefully. I've added some bolds/italics.
I have stayed away from the vaccine debate, I really haven't looked into it much. I agree with the theory of vaccines, and that they do have some benefits. I agree that there are some questionable ingredients in vaccines. I agree that it seems awfully invasive to be giving infants so many vaccines. I haven't agreed with vaccines causing everything under the sun. But I did read this report someone sent into the 'Slightly Crunchy Attachment Parenting' Yahoo group. Attachment Parenting does not mean you have to be anti-vax, although Dr Sears has a chart if you want to do selective or delayed vaxing. I mean, really, what's the chance of a 2 month old getting injured by something that might cause tetanus? Anyway, read on...

(I somehow lost the main title...blame the fever)

Calls on FDA and CDC to Warn Doctors and Parents to Report to VAERS WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire- -USNewswire/ --

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) today released a new analysis of the federalVaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) reports of serious health problems following HPV vaccination (Merck's GARDASIL) during the last six months of 2006.

Out of the 385 individual GARDASIL adverse event reports made to VAERS, two-thirds required additional medical care and about one-third of all reports were for children 16-years-old and under, with nearly 25 percent of those children having received simultaneously one or more of the 18 vaccines that Merck did not study in combination with GARDASIL. NVIC is calling on the FDA and CDCto warn parents and doctors that GARDASIL should not be combined with other vaccines (you mean, the DOCTORS hadn't known this?!) and that young girls should be monitored for at least 24 hours forsyncopal (collapse/fainting) episodes that can be accompaniedby seizure activity, as well as symptoms of tingling, numbness and lossof sensation in the fingers and limbs, all of which should be reported toVAERS immediately.

"Because Merck only studied GARDASIL in fewer than 1200 girls under age 16 (but Texas made it mandatory for girls entering GRADE 6 ) in pre-licensure trials, it is critical that doctors and parents be made aware of the nature of the initial adverse event reports coming intoVAERS and that they report serious health problems after vaccination when they occur," said NVIC President Barbara Loe Fisher. "There are twice as many children collapsing and four times as many children experiencing tingling,numbness and loss of sensation after getting a GARDASIL vaccination compared to those getting a Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria --acellular pertussis) vaccination. There have been reports of facial paralysis and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

And doctors who give GARDASIL in combination with other vaccines are basically conducting an experiment on their young patients because Merck has not published any safety data for simultaneous vaccination with any vaccine except hepatitis B vaccine."

According to NVIC's report, a majority of GARDASIL adverse event reports to VAERS involved those who suffered fever, nausea, headache or pain; 14 percent were for syncopal episodes with or without neurological signs;and 8 percent experienced tingling, numbness and loss of sensation, facialparalysis or Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Although adverse event reports to VAERS do not prove causation, they can provide an early warning sign that a new vaccine maybe causing health problems that could be important. For example, reports toVAERS of bowel blockage (intussusception) in babies following receipt of Merck's Rota Teq (rotavirus) vaccine prompted the FDA to issue a public warningto doctors and consumers on Feb. 13.

"About 4 reports per day were filed with VAERS in December 2006 for the HPV vaccine," said NVIC Health Policy Analyst Vicky Debold, RN, Ph.D."Some of these girls are being injured when they collapse after getting the vaccine and others are complaining of neurological symptoms that should not be ignored. Doctors and nurses should take note of the patient safety issues relatedto giving this vaccine.

Giving GARDASIL simultaneously with any of the 18 vaccines Merck did not study in combination is not an evidence-based guideline and should involve informed consent and a signed patient release. To avoid unnecessary injuries, teenage girls should be vaccinated laying down, not be left unattended and probably should not walk or drive themselves home from the doctor's office after they get vaccinated (what about telling the ways to lower the risk of getting HPV?).

"NVIC also found that there were several VAERS reports of HPV infection, genital warts and cervical lesions after GARDASIL vaccination. It is unknown if the girls were infected with HPV before being vaccinated or if GARDASIL failed to protect them. One case of HPV infection occurred in a 22-year-old girl who had participated in a Merck GARDASIL trial in 2003 when she had shown "strong conversion to all 4 vaccine types" but "tested positive for high risk HPV" in 2006, according to the VAERS report. In a May 18, 2006 Background Document for the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRPBAC), the FDA staff statedthat Merck clinical trial data indicated there may be "the potential for GARDASIL to enhance cervical disease in subjects who had evidence of persistent infection with vaccine-relevant HPV types prior to vaccination. -" Girls and women now being vaccinated with GARDASIL are not routinely being tested for active HPV infection before vaccination.

The FDA staff also questioned whether the "HPV types not contained in the vaccine might offset the overall clinical effectiveness of the vaccine. "There are more than 15 types of HPV associated with cervical cancer but GARDASIL only contains HPV types 16 and 18. It is unknown whether non-vaccine HPVtypes will become more dominant in the future. However, there are indications this could occur because some of the seven strains of pneumococcal contained in Wyeth's PREVNAR vaccine, which was recommended by the CDC for universal use in all babies in 2000, have been replaced by some of the more than 80 other pneumococcal strains not contained in the vaccine.

VAERS is a passive surveillance system and depends upon voluntary reporting of serious health problems following vaccination, even though safety provisions in the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 mandated that health care providers report vaccine adverse events.
There have been estimates that fewer than 10 percent, even as low as 1 to 4 percent, of adverse events which occur after prescription drug or vaccine use are ever reported to government adverse event reporting systems. "If only 1 to 4 percent of all adverse events associated with GARDASIL vaccination are being reported to VAERS, there could have been up to 38,000 health problems after GARDASIL vaccination in 2006 which were never reported," said Fisher. "How many girls are really having short-term health problems associated with getting this vaccine that could turn into long-term neurological or immune system disorders? And how many will go on to develop fertility problems, cancer or damage to their genes, all of which Merck admits in its product insert that it has not studied at all?

We just don't know enough to be mandating GARDASIL for anyone, much less vulnerable 11 to 12 year old girls entering puberty.

"For a copy of NVIC's Report on VAERS and GARDASIL, references for this statement and information about how to report a vaccine reaction toVAERS, go to HYPERLINK "http://www.nvic. org."http://www.nvic. -org. SOURCE National Vaccine Information Center

Well--I think I've made up my mind on this one! Oh, Megan just puked on the couch...


First. Does everyone else have as much trouble with Blogger as I do? I read sometimes about not being able to post picture, about blog posts that get eaten, etc. BUT today I couldn't even get past the blogger start page, forget about even logging in. Now, something weird has happened, and here I am.
And, just to let you know, there will be frequent capitilization errors. Lucy threw up chocolate milk on the keyboard yesterday. I wedged the edge of a paper towel between keys and got as much as I could, but it was too thick. Then Rob decides to fix it. Now the shift key (right) gets stuck. And, to fix the smell, he sprayed it with TAG Body Spray. Then lit my lavender candle. If I weren't already sick....

So, yup. I am SICK (caps on purpose there). Not just a little cold. Oh no, I have to go and get a full fledge illness. Something that produces a fever. QUITE possibly strep throat. Of course, I didn't get it at Christmas when Lucy did, and Rob was home, and there was no schlepping the kids around. I think the height of the fever has passed, but if I don't get into the doctor's for antibiotics, will this hang around or cause other issues? I just don't have the darn Twonie for the parking. And, well, I kept Huey home as well as Lucy after his early morning tantrums. They are a sure sign that something is brewing, even though he seems mostly fine now. I am having some abdominal pain now though. And the sore throat! I can feel congestion back there too, and it hurts to swallow/cough it out.

But my biggest complaint is just how overwhelmed I am. Trying to keep up with the puke laundry. And then finding half a chocolate chip cookie in with the blankets and sheets. And spilled juiced. Forget about the regular laundry. Rob had the nerve to ask if I was going to unload the clean dishes on Monday I laid on the couch, NOT KNITTING, tossing between being in a sauna and being on an iceburg. And what did he do last night? Yes, he did run out and get diapers, but nothing else that would help me/the house out. Laying on the couch, NOT KNITTING for TWO hours while watching crap TV is a clear indication that I am SICK. Capitals intentional.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My Feet are Warmer than Your Feet!

But first, another shot of the Valentine's Sweater:
Here, you can clearly see how the top of the front is a darker red :( Lucy just happened to put on her bright pink pants yesterday, that was totally unplanned :) Despite having neck shaping, Lucy insisted on wearing it backwards (after the photos). Silly girl.

And now, for some winter warmth!! I haven't handknit socks in forever, or so it seemed. I've done a few pairs on the machine, plain and simple, but I really wanted to get back to fancy socks. I started these on Friday January 26, late at night, and finished them Saturday Feb 10. Basically two weeks. They were my main project, except for something on the machines. I'm not usually project monogomous, but it really makes it go faster, LOL.
The yarn is Shelrdige Farm Ultra Soft Touch 100% Merino. Oh boy are these warm! Much warmer than regular sock yarns with only 75-80% wool. I bought a skein of blue and a skein of purple back in February 2001. I had won a kid's cardigan kit at the Georgetown group, but I didn't like some of the colours. I contacted Buffy at Shelridge, told her I had used odd bits of her yarn at a workshop, and was wondering if she had any odd bits she could sell me for this sweater. I went out to her farm, and she GAVE me small odd balls and bits! I was so pleased, I bought two skeins of the fingering weight yarn. This blue, and a purple of equal intensity.
I have tried over the years to create a sock using both yarns, but there was not enough contrast to really show each yarn off. In September of 2005 I took the skeins to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters Fair, hoping to find a yarn to go with them, as handpainted yarns had become so popular. At Buffy's booth, I found this skein of handpainted Ultra Soft Touch, for an unbelievable $5! Over the past year and a bit, I kept changing my mind which colour to use the handpainted with. I almost wish I had gone with the purple, because I think it would have been easier to find another handpainted to go with the blue. If I had seen this skein knitted up, I might not have bought it (not at full price anyway), but in the end, it's okay.

The blue in these first two pictures is true, the handpainted is pretty close, although there is more of a mustard colour in real life. The colours sort of spiralled, I don't know why one sock is bolder than the other--it was all one skein, one worked from the center out the other from the outside in.

I used "Baby Cable Rib" from Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Socks". Many of these stitch patterns are in other dictionaires, but her book has them arranged by number of sts in the repeat. However...I don't like the charts of gauge/foot size/# of sts. It's okay if you're also going to use the pattern on the foot--there's an extra bit so it balances, but if you're doing just the leg, you can ignore the chart. For example, I was going to do some socks for Lucy using a 5st repeat. The number of sts I needed for her foot (60st) wasn't on the chart, because it meant the pattern wouldn't be balanced on the instep (without doing some additional re-arranging). I think I need to take another picture of the leg part! I ended up with a bit of each colour left over--I could have made the leg longer, but it was at the point that it would need increases, so I didn't want to mess with it. I do still have to fix a little whole that somehow formed at the corner of the short row heel. I did figure a way to add a little bit more to the back of the heel to make it deeper, without using more sts for the entire heel. I love short rows, LOL. I started the toe with the Magic Figure 8 cast on from but I started with only 8 sts, which is what I used to end with when I made top down socks, but these are a little too pointy.

Any questions? LOL. I'm thinking I might buy some of the same yarn in white, and handpiant my own to go with the purple. But what goes with purple? I don't want pink. I'm not really a wild person--I don't think I'd want bright yellow and green, for example. And red....well, I may be going grey, but I don't think the Red Hat Society would accept me yet :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

As Promised

Lucy's Valentine Sweater. Made with just over 4 balls of Fiorito, 80% Acrylic, 20% wool. It is soft, but does have a bit of a plasticy feel. Notice how the bottom of the back, and the top of the front, appear to be a little darker? Indeed, I checked the 4 labels I could find, and one is a different lot. And the almost whole ball, and the whole ball left, are of the same lot as the majority. So, out of 6 balls, I just happened to use the one that was the odd one out! I thought after I bought them that I should just check to make sure, but then said nah, it's all mottled anyway. I didn't notice when it was on the machine because it was a very sunny day, and you work looking at the backside (purl) side, so it gets much more blended. But I WILL check the lots before I use the other colour I bought!!!

The neat thing about this sweater is that except for grafting the shoulders, and seaming, I did it all on the machine! I picked up the sleeves along the armholes and knit downwards. This is great if you're short on yarn and don't mind short sleeves (bracelet length, LOL). It also means less seaming. Here's a breakdown of the steps, much of which can be used for designing your own handknit sweater too.

1) Measured a sweatshirt that fit her. Chest, body length, arm length, armhole depth, cuff width, and neck.

2) Made a swatch. On the machine, I did KP 30 and KP 40. The KP 30 was a tad stiff, the KP (keyplate) 40 was a little too loose. So, I knit it with KP35. I did all the calculating based on the gauge from the KP 30, because Lucy is growing, and I certainly didn't mind that it would work up a touch bigger!

3) Knitted the front. I started with 6 rows for the roll (forgot to take this into account--the roll--when I figured out how many rows, although I KNEW it would roll and had planned that! So it ended up a touch shorter than expected, LOL). Then I did 8 more rows, and converted those to ribbing. This prevents the roll from rolling too much, particularly in the middle of the front/back--it can only roll as far as the bottom of the ribbing. Eight rows was probably two too many though. I left the bottom neck sts on waste yarn.

4) Knitted the back. Again, left the back neck sts on waste yarn.

5) Grafted the right shoulders together. One of these days I'm going to remember to put a marker in so I know exactly where this seam is, so it makes doing the arms easier!

6) Rehung the sweater to do the neck. I started one open edge, picking up 3 sts for every 4 rows, down to the front neck (there were only 10 rows from the start of the neck shaping to the shoulder), put the 'live' sts on the latches, and the same number of sts as the first shaped edge up the other side of the front neck, and the live sts from the back neck on the latches. This is just like if you were HK and were picking up the sts around a neckhole.

7) Knit 6 rows for a rolled neck. Cast off. Seam up the other shoulder and neckband.

8) To figure out the arms, some math. Take the armhole depth times two, and figure the number of sts needed. From MK you know how many rows you did for the armhole (as in MK you work with row numbers instead of inches). If HKing, count the number of rows, times two. Divide the number of rows (the bigger number) by the number of sts needed for the top of the sleeve. You'll get a number like 1.4. This means that for every st of the sleeve, it will connect to 1.4 rows of the armhole. Now, we know that's not exactly possible. In most cases, you are safe to pick up 3 sts for every 4 rows (but look at your numbers from your swatch--you might be able to see the ratio easier from that depending on the numbers. If you have 12 sts and 16 rows to 4 inches, that's a 3st to 4 row ratio. But if you have 12sts and 20 rows, that's a 4st to 5 row ratio. Remember ratios?).
Pull out the number of latches needed as calculated by the number of sts you need for the upper sleeve. Hang the left edge of the armhole on the left most latch, wrong side facing you. Hang the right edge of the armhole on the right most latch. Find the center two latches (if working with an even number), and hang the sts on either side of the shoulder seam (which is why you should mark it when seaming!). From there, pick up the edge sts, both loops, and put on the latches, working with your ratio. If you start at the center, and pick up 3 sts, then skip one (not skip a latch, skip a st on the sweater armhole), and continue, any fudging you need to do will happen under the arm (if it's a 3 to 4 ratio, which is very common).

Figure out how many sts you need to have at the cuff. For kids, most of the decreases should happen in the upper arm, for adults, it can be more gradual. Figure out how many decreases you'll need (don't forget you're working with all the sts when you get this number, but half of those decreases will be on each edge!). Figure out how many rows you need for the arm. How many of those rows need a decrease? There are calculators online that will figure it out for you. Generally speaking, you'll do a decrease on every 4th row, with some plain rows at either end. I usually use a piece of paper and a pencil and figure out every row that needs a decrease. You can get really custom this way, LOL. I ended the arm with 4 rows converted to rib, and then another 6 rows to roll.

Seam it all and poof! It's finished!

One note on Lucy's sweater. I made it drop shoulder, like a sweatshirt, but I cut the body in by an inch and a half (all depends on what works well with the gauge, anywhere from one to two inches) at the bottom of the armhole. This eliminates a lot of bulk under the arm. BUT, you must remember to ADD to the sleeve length, whatever you subtracted from the body!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Step This Way

Lucky's comment reminded me that I wanted to let you all (LOL) know that Step sock yarn is also available at Camilla Valley Farm. It might not be a fun drive up that part of Blind Line this time of year, but it's another great local source to support! I don't see it on the website, but it was discussed on Thursday night :)


Okay, okay. I bought some yarn. Thursday I was supposed to drive down to Georgetown for the monthly Halton Hands in Motion Knitting and Crochet Guild. Once again, the weather was CRAP. So I opted to go to the LYS Knit Night. Lucy had suddenly said she wanted pink and purple striped socks, instead of the marl yarn I just bought from Z. So, I happened to have some purple Headwaters fingering weight, and Sharon says it makes nice socks. So I needed pink. No problem. However, when I tried to cast on for the socks, I couldn't get the magic figure 8 (or whatever it was called) cast on (from to work out. BUT....our wonderful friend who used to own the LYS and now 'just' works quitting! To celebrate, we knitted with contraband yarns, LOL.

But pink sock yarn wasn't all. Oh no. Someone brought in a simple little sweater for her prince Harry. The same yarn was available in a pink print version. Exactly enough to make a sweater for princess Lucy. AND IT WAS ON SALE. Something like $1.63 for a 50g 90meter ball, 80% acrylic, 20% wool. Six balls for Lucy. So that wasn't too bad, was it? How about the other 20 balls in another colour to make something for someone else? Uh Huh. Maybe there'll be some left for me...

What I don't understand about this yarn (and many of the yarns in the store) is the tension given. On the sock yarn, it says 25m on the bottom of the grid, adn 3 gr. along the side! On this yarn I just bought, it says M15 on the bottom, and G18 on the side. But the needle size given is "3.5-4.5". There is no way you could knit this on 3.5mm needles. I might use 4.5mm for a sweater, but I don't think I'd get 15 sts to 4 inches. In my swatching, I got 13 1/2 st and 18 rows, which was a bit loose, and 15 st/21 rows, which was a bit stiff.

I'd show pictures, but I am almost done Lucy's sweater. If Megan had had a proper nap on Saturday, I probably would have been done! I'm doing it all on the machine this time, it's a very simple little sweater. But very cute! Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Ice Scraper Mittens

Should it be scraper or scrapper? LOL.

Here's what I did.

Two strands of worsted weight Classic Merino or other yarn. I used 8mm needles, but I know alot of people say 9mm is better--I don't have any, LOL.
Cast on 20 sts in red. Knit about two inches. Starting in the second inch, begin increasing across the row, every right side row, until you get to about 39 or 40 sts (ie--don't do all the increases in one row or it'll look a little too pouffy. Nice maybe for a frilly girly mitt though). If you don't make it there, keep knitting a couple more rows, or incorporate the rest of the increases into the chart (there is lots of room in the bottom of the flame to fudge it).

I printed out the large flame chart (chart b) from the Hot Tamale skirt. You need it at least this big because it'll be used over a winter coat. On the chart, I started with drawing the bright yellow outline, about one to two sts in from the edges of the flames. Then, depending on how many colours you have, draw in more outlines, remembering that the red you've just knitted is not on the chart, but needs to be carried up into it. Oh, I knitted these flat, so the extra couple sts are for black at the edges.
Knit the chart, cursing your choice words when you have 3 sts left to knit in one colour but your little butterfly has run out. Work the ends in, but don't sweat it. Cast off loosely. Sew up the seam.
Felt the life out of it. Classic Merino felts quickly, the Headwaters Wool, felts slowly. To each his own, LOL. You can defuzz it if you like--Z suggested dog clippers!

If you make one, take a picture and let me know!
Hey, this is my first official pattern on here :)

A link

I normally recommend people go to Rev. Jan's site to find out more about babywearing and making your own slings/pouches/wraps/other crafty things (check out the drop down menu under "About SBP"). However, a link was posted in the Yahoo Slingsewing group for other pouch sewing instructions. I took a look, and they look good. Isn't it wonderful that many 'for profit' sling makers provide DIY instructions? Babywearers are wonderful people!
This website also has a celebrity gallery of babywearers. However, don't look at any of the Gwen Stefani pictures. It's nice to see she's not using the rediculous $700 Gucci Bjorn anymore (isn't it stupid that the Bjorn is usuable only when babies are quite small, but that's also when their hips and pelvis is most susceptable to longterm trauma?), but someone needs to teach dear old Gwen that you need to spread the sling OUT on the shoulder! You shouldn't need to hold on to your baby at all while they're in a sling!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Beware the Quiet Times, #13, 985

Uh huh. When will I learn? LOL. That's a box of pancake mix. Thankfully it was almost empty, and you know how that little flap on the opening gets pushed in? What I can't believe is that she went back for seconds. How can that be tasty? Cooper cleaned it up, and then drank half a dish of water, LOL. I have many pictures of Huey in the same sort of situation. You'd think, that by #3, I would know better!
(That top she's wearing was a dress for Lucy when she was a newborn, but I couldn't find it when Megan was born. When I did finally find it, I thought it might work as a top and it does. She's half dressed because Huey and Jonathon--boy next door--thought it'd be funny to take her clothes off. I didn't bother getting her pants back on--good thing cause they really didn't go with the top!)

It's a Bootiful Day in the Neighbourhood

Yesterday was a rare, 'school closed' day. The kids' school is a 'no bus' school and as such, rarely has 'reason' to shut down. Even when half the teachers 'can't' make it in and they expect (me) the supply teachers to brave the roads, the school is still open. But not yesterday--a day when everybody was up bright and early. Well, early, anyway.

So, Megan is weaned. What a different experience, right from the start, then the other two kids. I had always planned to do the recommended 12 months, but didn't make it with the first two. But I had no plan for what would happen after 12 months, should that occur. And I would never had thought that day weaning would have come first, before night weaning. She's sleeping a little better at night now. Rob even slept with her one night! I couldn't believe it. It was still early; he didn't even try to get her in the crib or by herself on the futon, he just packed up his duvet and cozied up with her! She spent all last night in her crib, which is good, because one morning on the weekend she climbed up the ladder, over sleeping Huey, and played on the top bunk. Of course, he sleeps like a log--still making up for his first six months, LOL.
I'm hoping that this is a true turning point for us. More sleep is going to be very welcomed. The planned breast reduction is the next 'milestone'. Hopefully that will reduce my chronic neck pain, and now I'm not nursing I can take something anyway. I've got to watch what I'm eating though. Between fewer nursings, and not walking to school anymore, I put on a few pounds over the past two months. Easy on, definitely NOT easy off. I didn't lose any weight from the walking to school, but it helped balance my huge appetite!

Today Huey had skating with his class. Lucy, Megan and I got there early--too early! Finally the kids showed up, and with Megan strapped to my back I helped at least 5 kids get skates on. Oh, for the days when just about every mom would be there! Although, it is great to see so many dads at things like this, and picking up the kids after school. Huey really enjoys skating (even though he is still shuffling, not skating). We let him know it was going to be hard, and he did have a bad day once last year, but by the last session last year, he got yelled at to slow down! LOL. I nearly cried. This is the boy who still has training wheels and is afraid of going down curbs. We didn't stay too long, Lucy was bored and hungry, but he was trying to skate backwards! He only gets to go twice this year, and next time is with the afternoon kindergarten kids, so Lucy will be out there too. She gave it a try last weekend, but didn't last too long. It was an outdoor rink, so I had Megan on my back, but no skates. Megan slept through the whole thing. Wish I had put my skates on! But I don't think the arena folk would like me out there with a baby on my back :(

Huey's socks: Not much to say. I finally found the lost one. But he tried to wear them with his skates, and they made the skates too tight. So I don't think he's going to be wearing them. We'll try one more time (not with skates) and if he still refuses, into the craft sale box. Hopefully Lucy will like hers.
The pair I'm HK right now are going SO fast! I figured out a way to add a bit of length to the back short row heel, and I know now to start with more than 8 sts at the toe (even though that's what I end top down socks with). I'm not too keen on the handpainted yarn's colours, and I sort of wish I had paired it with the purple, but I ain't ripping now. The end is in sight! I'm liking this HK sock thing now. It's been so long since I've done a pair by hand. I don't remember them going this fast before. However, I probably had several projects on the go at the same time back then. I don't know that I'm going to become a monogamous knitter, but it sure makes things go faster!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

The Other White Milk

Remember that advertising phrase "The Other White Meat"? Who would have thought the Pork People would be so fowl (foul) LOL.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Bits and Bobs

Memo to drivers: When following a SUV with a spare tire on the back, don't tailgate. The tire creates a blindspot, and I can't see you!

I had the idea that this should be "Finishing February". I've got 6 little baby sweaters that need buttons, among other things. Not to ignore new projects, but perhaps put some emphasis on old forgotten things.

For two nights now Megan has refused to sleep in her crib. She's only 14 months old. This morning she woke Lucy up at 6:20AM. Ugh. What now?!

Rob's going to apply for a Hydro job in Renfrew. Although my Mom has lots of relatives there, I don't know them. It's a small town (10 000 people), about an hour north of Ottawa. The other option is Niagra Falls. We can't get family to visit us here, I can't imagine getting them to come to Renfrew. Or driving through Toronto to go to Niagra Falls. But, that's all still a long ways away. First he's got to do the applying.

Megan has learned finally, to shake her head for 'no'. Hope she doesn't use it too much, LOL. I think she has weaned now. It hasn't meant any more sleep for me yet though.

I really can't think of anything interesting to say today. Had fun last night with the ladies. Wish some more ladies would come out too!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Knitting Nuns on the Run

Maybe they have some knitting machines available cheap?

Musings on a Sock

Oh, woolen sock,
How I love thee.
While others may mock
They won't be as warm as me!

These are the second pair of socks I've made for myself this YEAR. Both were made on the LK150.
I wore them, ahem, a lot this past weekend. I wear clogs even in the winter, and Lucy was behind me. She wanted to know why I had two different socks on. Rob says I screwed up. I tried to explain the difference between identical and fraternal socks, but I think it was lost on a 4 year old, not to mention the almost 40 year old.

And the heel flipper issue. Well, I'd say the foot is definately not long enough, and it's pulling the heel to the underside of my foot. By quite a bit. Odd, considering I figured out the gauge and how many rows I needed for the whole foot, minus the toe bit and minus the heel. I must have done something wrong with the math. And, consequencly, the leg is too short. I tend to make everything too short, but now that the heel is under my foot, the leg is much shorter. If I hadn't done a tublular cast off, I would rip out the ribbing and add more. I put them in the dryer after washing today, for 10 minutes. It has snugged up the leg some, but shortened them even more. And, the seam is really visible now, even though it wasn't before they were washed!! My other socks aren't like that!

I'd offer them up to anyone who wears say, a size 6 (I'm a 8 1/2), but there's one other big, disappointing issue: The pads of the foot felted a lot! Just from wearing! I try not to wear my wool socks on the carpet, so these were in my boots, my clogs, and my slippers. The foot is thickened and fuzzy. They feel better after washing, but they've still felted!

I have a little more (or was it a little less) than half a ball left. So I don't think one more ball would get me a bigger pair. I'm not giving up on machine knitting socks, I've just got to get everything figured out. Like, why does the seam show so bad now?

I started a pair of handknit toe up socks with some Shelridge Farms yarn. Oh, the 100% merino is so nice! I have some heel issues with them too. I did the short row heel over 1/2 the sts, but it doesn't come up the back of my heel high enough. I need 2 1/2" and most patterns I see say to start the heel 2" before the end of the foot = a heel depth of 2" as well. Should I use more sts = more rows? Can I just add some short rows to the top of the heel? Am I just being too picky, or am I becoming one of those knitters who say they can only wear heel flap/gusset socks? Share your sock fitting secrets!

Tonight--I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I love going to Z's place, AND I love going to the store. I've used up all the store yarn I bought just before Christmas, so I could either start on a lunch bag for Huey (from I asked him if he wanted flames or his initial knitted in--he said he wanted monster food on it), or finally start the Flower Basket shawl. Although STARTing a shawl during a knit night is probably not the best idea. Maybe I'll get it started over the weekend and go, next week is Georgetown night, so I think that means I'll being seeing Z tonight! Hopefully one of these nights we'll get some others to come over to the dark side!