Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Christmas Wreath

So since I haven't blogged in, well forever, it's time for a new post.

And why not make it Christmasy? son is getting to that age where he wants to decorate for every holiday.

I am the type of person that well....does not.

I loathe decorating.

Well today he told was the day.  He needed to decorate. 


I went to the store, and bought Christmas lights.  And then realized, this was all I had for Christmas decoration besides tree stuff.  We're not planning on putting up the tree for a while, so I decided, why not make a wreath?

I don't care for wreaths, but I knew my son would love it.

But the question was, how to afford this? 

My max budget was about $30, and yes I stayed on budget for this.

I live in a small town, with only handful of stores in my area.

We first hit the Goodwill.  We found a faux tree looking wreath, plain, some tinsels in a bag, a large jingle bell, an angel ornament, some glass and plastic ornaments.  Everything I thought would look good on it.

We came home and laid out our find, which we got for $20 plus tax.

I then took the tinsel out the bag and wrapped it around the wreath.  To cover the ugly faux tree.

It was then I went searching for the hot glue gun and the hot glue sticks.  And I found ribbon from when I used to make my daughter's bows.  so I wrapped that around it.

I started gluing on my ornaments, and well, run out of glue.

This sent me on the hunt for more ornaments, so I went to the dollar store and picked up some more unbreakable ornaments and some more jingle bells, then I went next door to the Walgreens to pick up a wreath hanger for cheap before going to another store to get the hot glue(I know could of saved lots of trips here but it was worth it.

I then just got to work, gluing everything on.  Trying to maneuver them and glue them on in a way where it would look full but not to full.  To cover most of the tinsel but not really.

And in the end, it actually came out really good.  I'm sure my son will love it when he gets up in the morning and sees it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Knitting through "Dare to Dream" by Boo Knits on Ravelry

So about a month ago, my mother came to me and said she saw this "sweater" she thought it was, in the front window of a yarn shop and she had to have it.  She wanted me to knit it for her and said too that it would teach me a good lesson in branching out, away from hats, and into a harder, more complicated version of knitting.

Knitting lace.

She showed me the pattern and I knew it couldn't be hard.  So she sent me the yarn/thread, I purchased the pattern and got to work.

A little bit about "Boo Knits"

Boo Knits designs patterns, she is from the U.K(I'm guessing because her pattern prices are in monetary forms of GBP).

This is what she says is her motto for designing patterns, straight from her Ravelry page.

"My personal motto is ‘Maximum Impact with Minimum Stress’. With this in mind my patterns are quick to knit, easy to knit and yet look as though they really must be much more complicated! Really - they are not complicated or difficult at all!"

So I knew it, I could do this pattern.

I immediately read through the pattern and started off.  I started off with a circular needle, she recommends that you start with a US size 6, move up to a 7 for the lace portion, and 8 before binding off.

Here is what the pattern should work up to look like.

At first I instantly got confused, I had never worked with thread like this.  The pattern calls for you to cast on 2 and knit 3 rows in garter stitch.  Then to work around the border until you have a total of 7 on your stitches.  Which was impossible to do.  Once I got it done, I noticed it was curling up horribly, there had to be another way to start this without making it so bunchy.

So I took it out, went back to the pattern to start again.  I decided at that time to just keep going.  It had to work, why else would she write a pattern to sell?  Right?

As I worked through the pattern on the circular needles.  She tells you to place 2 markers in the "centre" stitch right off the bat.  She never tells you why, just that it needs to be there.  She also then implies that you should mark every 12 stitches with placemarkers.  But not only that, that you should place a "centre" stitch in each row.

I did all of this, with the exception of the center stitch and thought I would be fine.  My first lace section went HORRIBLY, and when I mean horribly, I mean horribly.  I was making stitches and decreasing stitches and it was looking nothing like the pictures.

I then decided to take it out, call another woman who made it, and ask for help.  I also contacted the pattern writer(with no response back after she told me to message her).  The woman in the store in Mt. Vernon, tried really hard to help me, but she was making no sense to me either, and was telling me not to use the written pattern but the chart!  I had never used a chart!  I didn't know anything.

So back to the drawing board, I went off the chart.  This pattern is truly simple, it's a 12 stitch pattern repeats plus 9 stitches.  Meaning you cast on a multiple of 12 stitches, add 9, and work the chart.

I then decided to just cast on a straight row on straight needles and see if I could get it to work up.  When I reached the lace row, I found it looking nothing like the pictures still.  At this attempt, I was on number 6 or 7.  And getting frustrated.  No one could tell me why my pattern wasn't working.  It's very frustrating mind you that you pay for a pattern just to have it not work(which is why I don't write patterns!).

So, as a last ditch effort, I decided I would knit it EXACTLY, like the pattern was written.  Without my alterations to it.  Surely this had to work right?  Down to the beads, this HAD to work.

It didn't.  My stitches were slanting and the beads didn't even measure up to the pattern and the row below.

So I phoned back to the woman in Mt. Vernon since I still had no response from the pattern maker, and asked some simple questions.  Were the beads supposed to look like the pattern and in the pictures?  Did hers look like the pictures?  Were the stitches supposed to be going in another direction?  Etc.

All of her answers were that the pattern that she knitted looked exactly like the picture and that the beads lined up the way they were supposed to.  So I was STILL doing something wrong.

And in my final attempt, I decided to not even knit this with the thread, which is becoming wearing and tired and feeling rough.  I took out some purple acrylic yarn and knit the 12 st + 9 pattern repeat.

I found the error in the pattern and I'm excited to see if it will work and how it will work with the thread.  And I'm going to tell my secret of how I got it to work.  Even the lady at the store in Mt. Vernon was excited and oddly confused at how I got it to work.  But I did.

I started at the beginning.  I cast on 7 stitches(which is what you start with after you make all the twists and turns), and worked up from there.  It was there that after all this trial and error I found the very first error in the pattern.

There are no sizes in this pattern.  Confusing huh? Yes, you do have to guess sizes.  the sizes are 117, 141, 165, 189, 213

With simple math, none of these stitches work out.  If you were to divide them all into 12, none of them come up with 9 stitches left over.  Yet SOMEHOW, it seems to work out on the needles when you start from a base of 7.

The 2nd error also is the KYOK description.  This stitch is exactly as it's mentioned, it's a knit, yarn over, knit.  Yet her description, it immediately throws you off, she doesn't even tell you what they mean, she just starts explaining how to do the stitch, however I read it instantly correct and got immediately confused with her description.  It makes me wonder if she knows the meaning to the KYOK or does she just like to try to explain it?  And she doesn't explain it well.

There is no way to avoid the curling on the edges.  Unfortunately, even with her "helpful hint" suggestions, you can't avoid puckering.

I added a few extra rows of beads.  I mean come on, every woman wants a glittery beaded shawl.

Next onto the lace section.

 There is a chart for the lace section.  For rows 1-17, this pattern works up with no problem.  As you can see in my picture.

However, on row 19, things start going a little wonky.

Let me start off my saying, I don't know how to read a chart.  I've never knitted from a chart, I've always knitted from a written pattern.  Always.  So when the woman from the knit shop in Mt. Vernon was trying to explain to me how to read one, I got very confused.

After reading through it a few times, it was pretty easy to figure out.  When you knit by the written pattern, you're knitting right to left.  So I read the chart that way, and the pattern flowed just as the written pattern.

But like I said, it all works out fine, until you get to row 19.

On row 19, I always ended up 1 short on the first section, or 1 to many.  How this happened I have no idea.  Here is a great helpful hint to this section.  Your bead placement(which I high recommend you do, otherwise this pattern will make no sense), will always be on the center stitch.  So if you don't do you 3 stitch decrease above that bead, you'll be doing it in the wrong spot.  Because I didn't have beads in there, the first 10 times I did this pattern I had no idea I was doing it wrong until I got those beads in there.

So on row 19 I made some alterations to make this pattern work.  I started off with the basic for the first section before getting to the repeat.

k k 3 k yo ssk yo s2kpsso

When you get to the s2kpsso, that's where the problem lies.  I had to decrease 4 instead of 3, and move the place marker over 1.  (Meaning I knit 3 together in the beginning section and took one from the 12 block repeat).

When I told the lady that knitted it in Mt. Vernon, she thought I was crazy, but if I was going to have that 3 stitch decrease and have it follow the pattern that I laid out before it, I was going to have to move that place marker over on every 12 stitch repeat down to the end of the work, and I always ended with the right amount of stitches.  I had to move place markers over, every 12 stitch repeat, for rows 19-31, at which point the chart fell back into sync and I was able to knit the rest of it without a problem.

Weird, but true.

And sadly that once I knitted all the way through it, I dropped a whole 12 stitch lace section.

So this is to be continued for now.


So last night, after working this for 2 days straight, I worked up to 189 stitches.  Yes one of the larger sizes, but when I called my mother(who this pattern is for), she said at this point to work it as fast and as good as I could.

So this time, I started off with size 7 needles, worked the base, and then switched to an 8 for the lace.

I am just about to start the lace section.

Once I started working through the lace section, I was faced with the same problems that I had before.  Even though the stitch numbers were correct, I didn't have more or less unless I made a mistake, the stitch placement did not fall correctly.  And if I made one more stitch, then that 3 stitch decrease would be off center causing all of my beads to be off and my blocked stitch section to go off in a slanted direction.

The rows where I started having problems was row 19.  The pattern calls for this:
k k 3 k yo ssk yo s2kpsso

The problem lies on the s2kpsso. 

Here's a picture to show the problem.
In order for everything to stay correct and to make the proper 3 stitch decrease, you need to move this place marker over.  Which means that you will need to move every place marker over all through out your piece.

You will need to move place markers over for rows, 19 through 29.  This is where it gets weird.  Magically, this piece goes back to normal and there is no need for moving place markers on row 31.  However, when you work through the piece, at every point where there is a 3 stitch decrease in the beginning you will need to move this place marker over.  This means that when the 3 stitch decrease picks back up on rows 43-57, you will need to move every place marker over to get that 3 stitch decrease in the proper space.

I had wanted to knit up a piece where I could show that I would make the extra stitch in the beginning of the piece and to show how the work will move to the right with every row I have to make that extra stitch.  I just didn't have time to do that however.

I was able to finally complete this piece.  Since it doesn't have sizes though, or even measurements, I accidentally knitted this piece very large.  Thankfully, it's what my mother wanted, so it wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

I am hoping that someone will find the errors to why I had to move the place markers over to complete this pattern.  In saying that, my honest thoughts and opinions on this piece, is that it is truly beautiful.  The pattern maker truly did a beautiful job.  However, with the noted problems that I found with this pattern, the lack of size, and needing to move those place markers, I would truly advice that unless you are an extremely advanced knitter(which I am the first to admit I am not), don't waste your time purchasing this pattern.  The pattern maker may say that she likes to make her patterns easy, this was not easy.  Especially when I had to debunk the errors.  Since I had no prior knowledge of how the piece was supposed to work up, it was extremely difficult.  I really did take this piece out about 15 times before I was able to, solely working with the pictures, to figure out the errors in the pattern to make it look like the picture.  So if you're just a mediocre knitter like me, don't waste your money.  In my honest opinion this pattern needs to be reviewed and more helpful hints need to be made.  The author also needs to learn what a KYOK means, because her description was extremely hard to understand when I could read it just fine, it was a knit, yarn over, knit, all in the same stitch.  But her description extremely confused me.

It was also extremely stressful.  Without that knowledge of needing to move the place markers over, it was very stressful to knit so much, just to have to take the piece out and start over.  Including some heated words between me and my mother.  I wish I could say more to the pattern maker, but I did send her several messages, with she did not return a message.

However, once I wet blocked it and saw all my beautiful work, I was ecstatic.  All the hard work paid off and I was able to see all the beautifulness that I made.  And now that I know what I have to do to make it look like the picture, I can do it easily again. 

Now onto pictures!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Updates on AdriannaKnits

I swear, as soon as September hits, I get slammed.

Gearing up for bazaars, 2 nephews birthdays within a week of each other(one of which I planned, photographed, and made cake for).  Then the Christmas orders that come in, not to mention family orders, getting ready for 2 kiddies birthdays of my own in December, an anniversary, and Christmas.

So I always start in September.  It gives me months to get ready.  At least I hope.

Getting around to updating and keeping up with AdriannaKnits on Facebook, well it's in the back of my mind, honestly.  Which sucks, but well, I'm busy!

So our new updates:

I will not be renewing AdriannaKnits on HyenaCart.
The decision to switch to HyenaCart was based on bringing lower prices to you, and keep me from paying absurd Etsy fees.  Although, the people that promised to purchase from HyenaCart hasn't happened.  I've only had 3 orders since I signed up.  So we will not be returning.

I'll be changing the prefold fitteds.  I think that the size difference between the newborn/small is to great.  Going from a 12x12 to a 16x16 is a great leap.  So I'll add in another option of an actual small size of a 14x14.

I'll be adding a one size fits most option for the prefold fitteds.  This will change the price from 5.50 to 6.50 but it will be a separate option so you can still get your sized and your one size fits most.

I'll no longer be offering a bleached option.  To make a prefold fitted from a bleached prefold I need a size prefold of 18x18 or larger after washing.  Which is impossible to obtain without paying absurd prizes for a toddler sized prefold.  I can still make a small and newborn bleached but nothing larger than that.

I'm making mini top hat for photo props.  Or just for a silly hat.  They will be available for custom orders and for the bazaars.
I was very impressed with the alligator scarf.  There will be one on the tables for bazaars.  It's new and improved and will have better teeth.

Other new things is that I'm working on designing a sweater for my daughter.  It has a pinwheel flower on the back with hearts.  It's a circular shrug.  There will be a blog post on that as well.

I am currently working through "Dare to Dream" by Boo Knits.  I'm very close to actually completing it, and I will be posting a blog on the errors in the pattern so other people will know to make it easier to work through the pattern, or to debunk and correct my errors.  I have already attempted to contact Ravelry and the author of the pattern but they refuse to write me back.  Other people have said the pattern works fine, but I will show you a comparison.

I am currently working on designing a newborn Captain America prop.  Hoping to have these on the tables for the first bazaar in 3 weeks.

The next news, is sad.  After my nephews birthday party, my camera fell out of my car, and then lense snapped off, breaking.  Thankfully the camera still works, but the lense is totaled.  Which sucks because it was the only lense to that camera.  What this means for you, is worse pictures than I have going up now of products.  And I'm apologizing ahead of time for that.

The worst news is now I need to learn shipping.  For those that didn't know, I always did the business, my husband did the shipping.  This prevented me from running to the post office every single day.  However, my husband transferred jobs, and we no longer have this shipping option.  We are currently working on a 2 day a week shipping schedule where I will go to the post office to ship items.  Those details at this time are currently being worked out.

Thank you to all for the continued support for AdriannaKnits.  In November it will be 2 years since I finally gave in opened my Etsy store.  It has grown into so much more than I ever expected it to.  I only did it to please my sister in law, and it looks like now I'm eating my own words.

Thanks to Roshell for pushing me to do this!  And all the beautiful pictures of my work modeled.  You really help me out.

And here's the sweater that I first made for Roshell that started it all.  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Life with an EPI pen.

 All of my kids have some sort of "problem", ranging from Autism, to ADHD, to a behavioral disorder, to food allergies.  Who would of thought that Autism and ADHD would be, by far the easiest thing to deal with?

So my husband has informed me that within the first year of life, all of my children needed some form of medical care and or procedure down.

At only 6 months old, with my son, we opted to have him have an MRI.  They had pulled his shoulder during delivery and it never truly came back.  We documented it for legal purposes but never pursued it.

You would of thought this would have prepared me for all medical procedures in the future.  And it kind of did.  I definitely cried through this procedure and it was heart breaking for me.

So when my 2 months old daughter fell ill.  I truly thought she would over come it.  I thought it was a simple cold and she would get better.  It just so happened that she was 3 weeks early, and classified as a premie, and it was during the worst year for pneumonia and RSV.

So at only 2 months old, she was hospitalized for 8 days for pneumonia and RSV.

I know with that one I didn't really cry.  I just sat through it, and stayed with her.  But it truly prepared me for any more medical procedures that the kids would need.

We made a silent rule, that unless there's blood gushing from a big hole....we don't go to the hospital.  And luckily for the next 7 months, I was able to follow that.  I had an all out freak out moment when my daughter got a hole in her head from a toy being thrown, but other than that, we were able to avoid hospitals all together.

But with the events that transpired Sunday night, truly had me running.  In both my daughter and oldest son's cases, they were emergencies but not necessarily EMERGENCIES.  Meaning I could drive to the hospital, and I knew that in the end they would be okay by the time I got there(except for the bloody incidence).

This time I wasn't sure WHAT was truly going to happen.  And it all happened so quickly.

My youngest son had been showing signs of catching his big brother's cold.  He was sneezing and coughing and fighting a nap.   So I was helping get my daughter down for a nap.  We had been asleep about 30 minutes when I heard the shower turn on.  And about 5 minutes later my husband brought the baby in.  He said he was going to elevate the head of the bed because he had wanted to be sitting up, and then get the humidifier going.  So I said I would nurse him and then he could go to bed.

He nursed the normal amount of time with no problems, about 5 minutes after he nursed, his left eye swelled shut.  Freaking out, I immediately sat up and pulled up his shirt.  He had hives all over his stomach.  I yelled for my husband to bring the benadryl fast(benadryl is something we always have on hand because of all of our allergies), I told him we could possibly wait 30 minutes and then take him to the hospital.  But his face wouldn't stop swelling, and it was getting redder, and it was going fast.  I told my husband we needed to get to the hospital and that someone needed to sit with him in the back seat.  This the one time that rear facing has a disadvantage.  I wouldn't be able to see him if he stopped breathing and wouldn't be able to reach him.

My husband grudgingly agreed, mostly because I threatened to call an ambulance.  My mother in law would meet us at the hospital to grab the other kids, and my husband would sit in the back seat and watch him.  With in 10 minutes we were all in the car.  We live in the "country", so I just prayed we would make it, the nearest hospital was 25 minutes away, 20 if you went fast if there was no traffic. 

My husband kept giving me updates, if he did stop breathing I was the only one who knew infant CPR so I would of had to pull over anyways.  Kept saying, "I think he looks better"

We arrived at the hospital just in time, my mother in law looked at him, and she looked worried and said, "Oh my", and I grabbed him and ran in.

I actually had to explain to the receptionist that he was having a reaction, even though he was swelling up faster and it was going down his legs now(which he only had a diaper on a shirt).  Even the sick people in the ER felt sorry for us.  When my husband sat down, I looked at the baby and told my husband, "I hope they don't make us wait, I really think it's an emergency", and that's when I saw it.  He was turning blue.  His lips were blue, they weren't pink and red and he had turned pale.  I told my husband to notify the receptionist immediately.  He hates it when I tell him to do that because a lot of the time he thinks I'm over reacting.  I practically yelled at him to tell her NOW!

He walked up to tell the receptionist, and she said, "The nurse is coming out for him soon."  That was it.  And that's when the first wave hit me.  Puke, all down my shirt, pooling into my bra, I'm sure at this point my husband was glad I didn't hand him off and tell the receptionist myself.  I practically shouted, "He threw up!" and then the second wave hit, all over my pants, looking like I peed myself.

The receptionist says, "Are you sure he threw up?"

And I stood up, getting a reaction from practically everyone in the ER, he had puked a huge amount for an 18lbs baby.

They told me to come over and sit down so they could triage him, but I was thinking, "Are you sure?  Shouldn't we be rushing back?" and the nurse took one look at him and said, "We have to go NOW!" and we started rushing back, practically running, before she grabbed him from me and started screaming for RT(a respiratory therapist, learned that from the pneumonia episode) to evaluate his air way I'm sure.  He was so swollen and pale.

But after the puking episode, he started to come back to life.  They gave him some IV fluids and some zofran, and EPI pen dose, and some steriods.  I noticed he peed, but I had to tell them no pampers, he's allergic(those are what the hospitals use), and tell him his extensive other allergies to wheat and lactose.  As soon as we got the diaper off, even though he was still swollen, he started grabbing himself down there and itching himself, and we knew he was getting better.  That's just his personality.

Because we don't know what he ate, we now have to carry an EPI pen, and take him to an allergist soon to try and determine it.  I really think it could have been anything.  He swelled up 3 hours after he ate, and 5 minutes after he nursed.  So was it something I ate?  Was it something he ate?  Or is it all the paper he likes to eat?  Who knows.  But now, even after being a CNA for 10 years and being taught to use an EPI pen, I had to actually learn how to use one.  I had to tell the kids that baby brother has to have one now.  And that it's a needle, which freaks out my autistic child because he's afraid the needle will go in his head(because of where the nurses place IV's).

So for that past 2 days I've been monitoring, watching him for another reaction.  Yesterday morning he was unable to eat breakfast which disappointed him greatly.  He also was unable to drink water.  His face turned red again, but luckily was fixed with benadryl and the steroids. 

Now we add yet another medicine to our growing stock pile of things the kids need because they're allergic to.  And I hate seeing it, I never thought in my life, my kids would have so many problems.  Although, they have so many problems, I really don't regret it, or them in anyway.  If they didn't have these problems, they wouldn't be them.  And I love them, just the way God made them.  Issues and all.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The kids 1st day of School

It officially happened.

Today was Jacob's first day of school.

And I was scared out of my wits.  I took more benadryl than normal in the hopes that I would at least try to rest last night.

Still, when that alarm clock rang at 7:15 am, all the worry came back.

The morning went well, I told Jacob no junk for breakfast, to at least add an egg to his breakfast.  And he did.  His lunch was packed and in the fridge ready to go, but I had no idea how or what was going to happen.  He's been in a specially contained room(special ed) for the past 3 years with very little introduction to how a normal classroom functions.  Today that was going to change.

As soon as Jacob was out the door(since he has to go to a school not within our boundaries I don't have to drive him or walk him, he takes the bus to the school less than a mile from our house, I'm serious, and I love being the mommy outside in her PJ's while everyone else is walking to school!), I gathered the other two children back up, and we went back to bed, no questions asked.  They HAD to, mommy needed sleep too, and luckily they all went to sleep no problems.

The only problem with taking a morning nap is great in theory but we got up at noon.  Half the day spent.

So Nat ate breakfast and excited, she proudly put on the prettiest dress she could find.  She was going to start school!  Homeschool!  (Homework she calls it!)

Not only was she excited, I was ECSTATIC.  It's always been my dream to homeschool my children.  To give them a quality education not corrupted by the public school system and their wordly views.  Ok blah blah blah.

My attempt to homeschool Jacob went down the toilet.  It was impossible to get him to learn anything from me.  So in my failed attempt, we realized he needed much more than mommy could offer, and with no other option, he receives schooling from the school district.

But my daughter, she was excited.  I however, am stumped.  What do I teach the child who knows EVERYTHING?  And she really does.  The decision to homeschool her a year early is because she's ready for a 3's preschool, but her birthday isn't until December.

So now the trouble is what do you teach her?  She already knows all of her ABC's, her numbers up to about 18(missing only 1 or 2 numbers), she can count to 5-10 on some days, knows all the important shapes, and colors. 

I decided over all, to teach her how to write this year, it's something she can't do, she can't even draw a straight line, I know that it will come in time, but it doesn't mean we can't practice!  I'm also looking into get a song/chant/finger play book to play with her. 

As for right now, we just have the left overs from Jacob, so we played with that today.  And I truly saw how easy homeschooling really is.  Especially with the right student.  Natalie was excited to learn and to play.

First we attempted to draw lines from baby animals to mommy animals(no go), and second we did our shape/puzzle boards.  They're from Melissa and Doug and teaches her how to place the shapes in the right spaces.  We discussed the colors of the shapes and what the shapes are.  I realize that she made need a little speech class too, which we'll work on because an oval is a "offul".

During this, Jacob's teacher called to say that Jacob was eating hot lunch at school!  And that was something I was worried about.  He had spaghetti, and "chicken nuggets"(I think it was supposed to be chicken parmesean she said), and a salad and juice.  So with that worry over.  Nat and I went back to school work.

We counted to 18 with her princess cards.

And then practiced her ABC's in her picture book

Afterwards, we took a break and watered her new babies.  Decided that the slide was to hot to play on(she didn't want to burn her but), and then checked the garden for fresh tomatoes and zucchini as we do everyday.

Lastly, we settled on painting pretty pictures for daddy, which last much of the rest of the afternoon.

I know we didn't do much as far as "schooling" goes, but I figured it was good for a first day.  I wanted to see how long she could sit there and do work, and start with something she knows.  I plan on doing more with her as time goes on, including planning a weeks work of activities and other things.

I didn't get a phone call from Jacob's teacher for the rest of the afternoon, so I got things done too.  Which was nice.  In addition to cleaning I finished a few birthday presents for my nephews and Natalie of course did more painting before we decided to get the baby up and go sit outside and wait for the bus.

As soon as the bus pulled up I sensed something might of been wrong.  The bus pulled over and stopped, and turned the engine off.

NEVER a good sign.

The doors open, and the bus driver gets up, and Jacob doesn't get off.  Instead everyone inside the bus is moving.  I wait a few more seconds but he's not coming out, I don't hear screaming, so I know that's a good sign, so I walk over and say what I normally say on a bad day and people are looking for something.

"Did he throw something?"

The "something" was his shoe.  And NO one could find it.  Not me, not the bus driver, not the other 2 students on the bus.

So Jacob came home with only one shoe, and he cried as he watched the bus pull away with his shoe.  I told the bus driver to look for it and deliver it to us tomorrow morning.  And all Jacob could think was that I was going to send him to school with only one shoe(I totally would if it was legal, just to teach him a lesson so he's not exactly wrong in his thinking).

After he calmed down he told me all about his hot lunch and how much he enjoyed it and that he was going to eat hot lunch the next day too!( I totally did not send enough money for a month's worth of school lunches!  1 school lunch is 2.25!)  He told me all about the salad that was "Not like the salad you make me mommy, but I tried it and it was GOOD!"  :)

His point sheet was less than encouraging but not terrible either.  He shoved his desk(he didn't throw it so this is an improvement), spit on his desk(also an improvement he didn't spit on anyone else!), and threw papers.  Nothing new. 

So overall both children had an excellent first day of school and Natalie was very proud to show daddy all the homework she did.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Today is one of those days where I hate Autism...

So I haven't posted in a while, this is neither a knitting post, crochet post, sewing post, and it it isn't even cooking related!

This is just a regular post on why today I hate having a child with Autism(ok I semi-hate today)

Most days we have meltdowns.  Meltdowns are HORRIBLE.  They usually end up with things being chucked, and mostly at me, because I won't find something he lost.  Thanks to having ADHD with the autism, my oldest son is physically incapable of looking for anything that he's lost.  Which on most days is not a big thing, he'll calm down and attempt to find it himself.

Today was NOT one of those days.

Today it was his airplane that he built of out legos, which disappeared overnight while he was asleep.

After a massive tantrum, he switches gears, which is a BIG step for him.

But this change of gears is not good.

He comes down stairs and says, "Mommy, I'm just looking for my fire guy."

Ok fine, I'll entertain this idea, it obviously means nothing is going to be thrown at me and he's being polite.

We start digging through the bins.

But first I need to set the scene.  Anyone who has been to our house knows we have an overabundance of toys.  We have an overabundance of toys because we still have practically every toy that Jacob has gotten since he was 2.  This includes most Happy Meal toys, etc...and in order to get rid of ANY toy that Jacob has "lost interest in", it goes into a "quarantine" stage where we gather it up while he's gone and it sits in the garage for a period of about a month to 2 months.  If he doesn't ask for it in that time frame, it's safe to go to Goodwill, or in most cases the trash.  But this can backfire.  Because Jacob knows EVERY toy set he owns, and I'm being serious.  He knows all the pieces to everything.  So if we want to throw anything out, we have to gather all the pieces to that entire set.  If we miss one piece and he suddenly finds a piece to the set we're trying to toss, all the toys have to come back in the house and we have to start over.  And if we throw away a part to a set and he watches, and then finds the rest of the set, it's a hour crying fit or more about how mean I am and need to buy him a new set.  Not fun.

Don't worry, today's set, I've never tried to throw away.  Jacob is obsessed with ImagiNext and I wouldn't be that cruel.  Except for the pirate ship that he tried to make into a water toy, that thing was rusted shut and had to be tossed, he now takes better care of his ImagiNext.

So we're on the task of looking for the "fireguys" They go to the Firehouse, and he's looking for the fire guys and their suits.

So I start asking questions.

"How many are there?"

"3, but I'm looking for one." he says.

He finds one and 2 suits.  Success!  Without any incident.

"I need to  fine one more." he says, " I can't find it"

So now we start dumping out the bins.  Making a HUGE mess.  I start pulling out random ImagiNext guys.

"How about this guy?  You can just put the fire suit on the guy and poof!  He's a fire guy." I say.

"No....this fire guy is brown" Jacob tells me.

Ok so now we're looking for a fire guy with brown clothes...weird, I thought the fire guys wore grey suits.

We've cleaned out the Expedit bins, no fire guys.  I get excited twice because I hear Jacob shout, "I found it!" twice but both times was followed by, "the fire ax," and the "trampoline".

I now move onto the toy bench, another toy box filled with toys...we don't find anything.  I'm ready to give up and keep trying to get him to change his mind that we can use another ImagiNext but this is not flying.  The guy in swim trunks cannot be a fire guy, he doesn't go to that set.  I finally convince him we need to go upstairs to his room and look.

And after tearing apart his room, there on the floor is another fire guy.  I'm completely frustrated and trying to not show it.  I got worked up and there the guy is on the floor, I get anxious because if the search goes on to long, we risk a temper tantrum and someone always gets hurt in a tantrum.  And I tell Jacob there he is!  All proud because I found 2 out of the 3.

The response I get is classic Jacob, "Well I HAD this guy, but I was looking for ANOTHER fire guy.  He's brown, but I guess that's ok."

So we were never really looking for only 2 fire guys, we were looking for the 3rd fire guy who has a brown painted face.  In every ImagiNext set there are different guys, all different colors.  (White, African American, Chinese, Mexican etc...)

Well when I went to clean up the huge mess that he's just made trying to find the missing piece, I found the "brown guy" behind one of the cubes in the Expedit case.  But it's one of those days where I wish I could just convince him that another ImagiNext guy was ok.

But hey, I didn't have a meltdown during the process, and neither did Jacob, so that means it's a good day!  Well sort of!

Friday, August 10, 2012

How to convert a prefold to a fitted.

I have found that there just isn't a really good blog post on how to convert a prefold to a fitted.  There are several post but some are vague and some just don't have enough pictures.

Well this post will have it all.

First off let's start off with sizing.

Sizing goes off of waist around and rise.

A general rule is that a small or newborn is 12-13inches by 12 inches or smaller. (8-12lbs)
A Medium is usually 14-16 inches around and 15-16 inches long. (10-20lbs)
A Large is usually 18-19 inches around and 18 inches long. (15-30lbs)

A small/newborn size is easily achieved by getting a newborn prefold.
A Medium  usually can be obtained by using your largest prefold.
A large is harder to find because you usually have to buy a toddler sized prefold.  I've only been able to find unbleached locally that is long enough to obtain a true Large size.  I have not been able to know yet what a true size weight limit would be on these diapers, so the sizes listed are a guesstimate to what I believe they will fit.  They could possibly fit more.

So let's get started.

This is how I made a large prefold fitted today.

What you'll need.
Snaps or velcro
Serger(can use a zigzag stitch if you must)
template to cut for diaper
seam ripper

First things first.  Cut off the end of the prefold where it was serged and sewn before.  You do this to expose the insides of the diaper

Then get your "template" or pattern or just wing it.  However you do it, cut out contours for the legs.

Open up and you'll see your diaper is almost ready!

You'll need extended tabs for a large and medium.  You will cut those out of the fabric that you cut out to make the contoured legs.

Next comes all the fun parts.  You'll start making marks to sew in elastic and sew your extended tabs to your diaper.  Your extended tabs will be cut out from the fabric left over from where you cut out the legs.  It should be about 2 inches long.  This cut out will have a fold from how the prefold was made.  This fold is nice because it will leave no seams.  You'll lay the folded side of your extended tab over the prior fold from the original prefold.  You will stitch this fold to the folded part of your prefold to make the extended tabs.  Like this.  First pin it. 

Sew one side on the folded end, then flip the diaper and sew the other side on the folded end.
And you have extended tabs.

Then mark the diaper for your elastic. 
You'll put elastic in the legs and in the back.  The elastic for the back is tricky because there's the prefold pad in the way.

Very gently you'll find the stitching that sews the prefold pad into place.  And you'll take your seam ripper and very gently, not to disturb the fragile prefold cloth, you'll take the seams out in the back.

Like this.
After you're done, you'll have an opening to put your elastic in.
At this point you can choose to do elastic first or put in your snaps.  For me I put my snaps on first.  If your doing velcro you could do this step last.

I marked for my snaps
Most diapers have between 8 and 10 snaps, depending on how wide you want the front of the diaper to be.  I am putting in 10 an inch apart.

Here again it can get a little tricky.  Your snaps need at least 3-4 layers of fabric to be secure.  This prefold is a 4x8x4.(4 layers on each side and 8 layers in the middle)  You'll need a few extra scraps from leftovers from cutting the prefold earlier.

On my first side, when I peel apart the layers, I find that I have a little overage. From where the pad was sewn in.  So I don't need any scraps to secure my snaps.  I just put them on.

I peel apart the center pad, dividing them equally and putting my snaps in.  4 layers on the bottom and 4 layers on top where I place my snaps.  If I'm careful for placing my snaps I won't need to take out the seams in the pad.
When I peel apart the other side, I only have 2 layers on top and 2 layers on the bottom.  To secure my snaps, I need a scrap.

I put a scrap between the layers and carefully put my snaps on.  See done!
So close to being finished now!

I carefully pin all my elastic to be cased.  You can also zigzag your elastic on if you need to.

To sew the elastic into the back, I'm careful to sew the middle part of the prefold, the pad, back into place.  Then I carefully sew along the prior lines I made earlier and where I pinned my elastic in. 

So close now I can taste it!  I then very carefully and very slowly feed it through my serger.

Then after I'm done serging, I go back through and sew the casings to seal my elastic into place.  I'll sew as close to the pad as possible.

For the last step.  Mark and place the snaps onto the wing.  Or sew the velcro on.
And your done.

You have just converted a prefold to a fitted.

This may seem long, but the process is actually very quick and easy to sew up.  Happy sewing!