Sunday, March 02, 2008


February's K.A.Y.E. winner was Jenny!

And thus we start a clean slate for March. Of course the January and February entrants will be put into the year-end drawing for a pile of what is already some very decadent yarn thanks to some crazy de-stashing aunts, a stubborn Pole, and a 2007 winner--you all know who you are! Wink, wink.

Not much going on this weekend.

Saturday I went into the city alone to meet with the 19 year old psycho-something or other that handles the "family" portion of Dr. Mad Scientist's rehab.

Now I shouldn't get down on her for her young looks, but she seriously doesn't look old enough to drink herself.

It was um, interesting to say the least. I think she expected me to be spitting nails and steaming cartoon steam out of my ears with fury at Dr. Mad Scientist for all of this.

Maybe I should be, but that was so three weeks ago. I'm past a lot of the rage and anger now. What the hell good does it do me? Nothing can come of rage.

What's done is done. I mean I'm not all skipping-down-happy-trails-sniffing-daisies happy with him, but I'm not as furious as I was.

And then she started asking me a weird line of questioning about how I felt about him smoking (many alcholics it seems like to replace one vice for another). I told her I didn't like it but hey, you're not going to lose your job (unless you work for a company called Weyco) or fall down a ravine and break your neck when you have to pee on your way home walking from the train station in the middle of the night in a rich neighborhood because you're smoking.

"Yeah but you don't like it and yet you give him money to do it...I don't know if I would do that."

Uh huh. Yeah, well I do give him money to do that. Because if I don't--what's it going to drive him to do? Shit, he's kicking the booze right now. Let's tackle one addiction at a time.

Blah. Those couple of things bugged me. But somehow I think both Dr. MS and I misinterpreted what the purpose of this "family" person was. And as a result now we've got to trek into fucking Manhattan (a four hour round trip ordeal that costs $18.50) once each Saturday to meet with this chica for a measly hour every week. Oh and somehow I've got to find and pay a sitter to watch Chunky for the five hours we'll be gone.

I mean don't get me wrong, I'm cool with meeting with this chick, although I think it's still kind of early in the process to be working on "us" I think both he and I need to work on ourselves individually for more than just a month before we dive into fixing us. But this is the one time I'm really regretting living in New Jersey. Such a fucking hassle for one hour of marriage counseling.

I might just drag Chunky in with us. Does that make me a bad parent for making him wait in the waiting room for an hour by himself?

Aye, I'm flashing back to those poor kids at my old office that would be stuck in our lobby when their mom and/or dad were meeting with their divorce attorneys. I felt for them.

Chime in if you have any alternate ideas. I'm tempted to see if Little Miss Psycho-Family Girl could refer us to someone closer in Jersey.

But on the happier knitting front I finished T.'s Pinkley Taurus Scraper Mitt!


Pattern: Ice Scraper Mitt from 101 One-Skein Wonders

Yarn: Peace Fleece worsted weight in Perestroika Pink. You might recognize this yarn as having starred in Russian language yarnos such as War and Fleece or last year's installment of Flash Your Stash.

T., make sure you give Vladimir the hand job he deserves as you scrape your frigid Pinkley Taurus in the mornings.

Needles: US 7 DPNs.

Notes: This was a decent enough pattern. Not the best.

It called for an "invisible" cast on. Me being lazy and stupid, I cast on like normal. Later when it was time to turn the mitt inside out and attach the cuffs to one another it said to "pick up stitches from the provisional cast on." If I had known that an invisible cast on was the same as a provisional one, I would have done a provisonal one.

Ah well, live and learn.

And no, you do NOT have to do a provisional cast on (invisible or not!) to get this to work. I merely took a stitch from my normal cast on, and knitted it together with my live outer cuff stitches. Worked just fine. Less fuss, less muss.

I was also a bit confused by the picture.

The picture in the book shows a mitt with a ribbed body.

However the pattern for the body reads as follows:

Round 1: (P1, K1) continue til end of round
Round 2: (K1, P2) continue til end of round
Round 3: Repeat Round 2
Round 4: Repeat Round 1
Do this for 7.25 inches.

Now maybe I'm stupid and lazy (see above) but that didn't end up looking like a rib. It ended up looking like this:


Now, I don't mind this at all. I think it looks fine.

Upon further inspection via The Place That Shall Not be Named about half of the mitts there have a rib the other half ended up like mine. But about half of the people bitched about the obvious mistake in the pattern.

Ok, I don't feel so lazy and stupid after all.

Kudos to The Place That Shall Not be Named for making me feel a little bit smarter and getting me that lovely discount at my LYS. Beyond that well...we won't get into it.

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Blogger Criosa said...

the scraper looks great either way, but yeah. there's errata out there somewhere to correct the stitch pattern (to a mistake rib, I think it's called). there's tons of errata for that book, should you go for another pattern

4 hours round-trip for an hour? ugh! I hate when commutes take longer than the time I'm there doing whatever and will usually skip it if it doesn't work out to about even timing. I'd go for finding someone closer if that's an option.

9:28 PM  
Blogger IrishgirlieKnits said...

Ah can always leave a smile on my face :) The place that shall not be named...always makes me laugh as that is how we refer to the other place that I used to work at (and despised!). Glad it helped you out :)

Positive spin...the 4 hour trip is prime knitting time hopefully? I don't think its horrible if Chunky goes once in awhile (its marriage counseling..not a lawyer's office where you parents are divorcing..yikes!). Of course, being a fan of bribery, I mean positive reinforcement, he may need something to help him enjoy that one hour (what's he into these superhero toy?, book?, trip to the candy store, or cool ride to the city may be enough?). Either way, hope it helps a bit. I so agree with so much of what you said today!

Have a great week!

9:42 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

Ack! That trip sounds like quite the doozy! I'm seconding the "hate long trips" sentiment. And I thought things were bad with my hour-long, round-trip drive to dance class twice a week :).

I had a friend several years ago who was going through NA. He quit smoking cigarettes and started smoking clove cigarettes. They smelled nicer than the others ;). It was like burning incense whenever he came for a visit.

9:53 PM  
Blogger janna said...

I'd definitely ask for a referral to a counselor in Jersey (maybe one that looks older, too....)

9:59 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

My oldest brother quit smoking for a few years, then started back up when he was going through a miserable divorce from his ex-wife, and never quit again, LOL! I'm with you - I don't like smoking either, but it's better than drinking.

You want come to Cleveland? I have an older sister who's a licensed psychologist who could help you out, and she's 38 too, LOL! Just joking. Seriously though, I know that sucks to have to shell out nearly $20 for the trip, but just think, the public transit system here in the Cleveland area is so crappy, your only option for a trip that long, without a car, would be a taxi, and think of what that would cost! Now doesn't that make you feel better?! : )

If worse comes to worse, at least those 4 hours will give you a lot of knitting time!

P.S. I came across this book today, and thought about you -

11:02 PM  
Blogger Zonda said...

Cool scraper mitt!

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just some brainstorming, but if you cannot get a reference to someone closer, you might want to see if you can use these trips as an opportunity for expanding your universe and make an outing of your journeys to the city. Once you're in NY City, after the appt, go do something free. There must be a book or webpage of things to do for free there, and you can pack a lunch. Go to the NY Public Library and check out their knitting books. Go walk around the Village. Go to the Origami Center (is it still there?). Bring seed and feed some pigeons. See how many paths you can find in Central Park. Aren't many of the museums there free or cheap?

Rather than a babysitter, see if you can trade play days for Chunky, or bring him along with some project for him to work on during the appt. Behaving and entertaining one's self while accompanying parents is an important skill for kids to learn. If Dr. MS is going along too, you could split up after the appt with one of you taking Chunky to something kid-friendly, and the other taking some personal grown-up time in the city.

Is Chunky ready to finger crochet or finger knit? Things like this could be something to do on the train. Or have a contest on the train to see who can spot the most red houses, or ice cream trucks, etc. My husband used to give our kids points every time they spotted things like a Monet, or a gargoyle, etc., in a museum, and they got really good at it quite young (even though they never got anything for the points).

I love your humor and irreverence and wish you the best.

1:09 AM  
Blogger The Curly Knitter said...

I'd totally ask to be referred closer and if that didn't work I don't see why Chunky couldn't sit and color or play or read or something in the waiting room (unless you and Dr. Mad Scientist are going to scream at each other in there or something.)

6:05 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I'd vote for requesting someplace closer to home, and I don't see why you wouldn't bring Chunky. If nothing else, it's a good reminder to the hubby that this affects everyone in the family.

And the smoking? Good grief. I'm with you on that one.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Scraper looks great, rib or no rib.

As far as trekking to the city...I'd be happy to babysit for an hour. I'm sure I can find something to do that's kid friendly, and Chunky will have a friend to hang out with. I couldn't do it every Sat., but I'm here if you need me. I also don't think it's a bad thing for Chunky to sit in the waiting room...I spent MANY hours in a back room while my mom attended Al-Anon meetings, and my grandparents/uncle attended AA meetings. MANY hours. I agree with the other commenter on how it'll be a good thing to remind Dr. MS how this affects the entire family, not just him.

But I would also ask for a referral for somewhere closer to home. All that commuting time, the kid situation, and the already existing anger/resentment would push me over the edge and make the situation worse for me. But I'm just saying.....

8:26 AM  
Blogger Dkswife said...

No I think a bad parent would leave their kid with someone they probably don't know, but I have a thing about daycares and crap like that, so I am biased.

Hey, I like that scraper!

8:39 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

The scraper looks great. I didn't realize there was a book with an actual pattern in it. I thought it was some whacky original Bezzie idea.

Waiting room = time to color or other such activity for Chunky.

8:41 AM  
Blogger Linnea said...

Bezzie, as a young child I got to hang out in the waiting room of a counselor while my parents talked. I remember listening to music on a walkman that my dad let me use and being given "crackers" (they were really Oreos) by one of the doctors. I don't think it scared or scarred me too much. But your commute, on the other hand... yuck!

The scraper mitt pattern is clearly seed stitch to me. And I think I need one for next/this winter.

8:43 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Woohoo! I do like to win things (not that it happens very often...) Thanks for running such a great contest Bezzie. I find it amusing that I've managed to win a yarn from Wales that is being sent to me from the US - that yarn is going to clock up some airmiles...

9:09 AM  
Blogger Cindy in Happy Valley said...

Definitely request a referral. Hell, if it were me, I'd be demanding a local referral. Tony Soprano had a shrink in NJ. Maybe you can get her LOL.

As for the smoking, I admire your philosophical approach. I'd probably be stewing about how the smoking was adversely affecting me and mine.... (that is unless of course he can inhale, and keep it there).

Another example of how you're a much better person than me.

9:10 AM  
OpenID pyewacketsid said...

Hey Bezzie,

I haven't checked in for awhile, and I'm just now getting caught up on your family drama. You have my sincerest admiration for not having strangled anyone or blown up a building. I know you'll soldier on -- and I wish you didn't have to.

I'd definitely pull for a closer referral.

Your knitting creativity and productivity never fails to impress me!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

If Chunky has the kind of temperament that lets him sit and read a book or color or some other quiet activity, I'd say bring him along. Also, a Therapy Hour is only 50 mins, so not quite a full hour.

Bring him along and then do something fun for him as a little reward for behaving well.

Do ask if you can see someone closer to home, though. They may not understand how much of a hardship they're imposing on your family at an already stressful time. A working mom needs that weekend to get herself organized for the week ahead.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Tactless Wonder said...

Congrats to Jenny!

And what a cool gift for your sis, regardless of the stitch pattern...remember only those in the know will care exactly which stitch pattern, etc.

As for the counseling... if you can get a closer office to visit that would be best, as it would only disrupt 2 hours of your and your family's life instead of the 5. (With commute time for the local office as well.) And yeah, if Chunky can color/sit still/nap for an hour it's not a lawyer's office, it's more like a doctor's office...does he read much?

As for too soon? Not really, or rather, too soon for you, but better that than too late. Marriages fall apart for any number of reasons but #1 on the list of how it could have been prevented is more communication. Even if you feel you're doing plenty of it...

As a kind of older brother (almost 40) still blames my mom for being my dad's "enabler" as she budgeted/s for his addiction(s) but hello? What would be the alternative for someone who won't admit that there's a problem? When I read that bit I got a bit angry at your teen-aged-councilor. Is she implying it's your fault? That he wouldn't be smoking if you didn't give him the money? Hmmm, I don't know about that, my dad used "gas" money for cigs many times in my youth.

Good Luck.

9:42 AM  
Anonymous joymama said...

Ok Bezzie, here's another one of my stories on my hubby's rehab. I refused to go to any sessions with him. Period. It was not my addiction to shake and I didn't want to spend my time getting counseling on something I didn't have a problem with (alcoholism and PTSD). As far as marraige counciling..I supported him, didn't kill him, and let go of the anger and hurt. That was the best I could do. He did not smoke, thankfully. He went cold on alcohol and started eating very healthy...vegan for a while, now just vegetarian, started walking and has walked a few 10k races. Dr. MS can quit it all at once and sub a healthy habit instead. Take care.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Miss T said...

They should be able to find you a counselor closer to home--and more useful!

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am with everyone else here take Chunkie along with you and then go do something with him to reward him for being good. I agree with tackless wonder it is not your FAULT that DMS is smoking now. Yes you give him the money but what is the alternative? Being homeless and out on the street.
I have been accused of being an enabler for your father's drinking. Yes, I bought him his beer, but if I had not he would have bought the most expensive beer and would have drank us out of house and home. And in him talking to you the other week he has admitted that he is an Alcoholic also. He has also admitted to when he started drinking, three years before I thought. And on the good side he Thanked me for standing by him and apologized for the crap that he put me through.
We, as women have to think about our families first and how we can keep them safe and going in the right direction.
And now on a lighter note I like the scraper that you made for T. It is much better than the one that I would have given her, the one I would have given her would not have had the mitt.
Hang in there. Love, Mom

12:16 PM  
Blogger Magatha said...

That is hands down the most beautiful ice scraper mitt I have ever laid eyes on.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

I'm wondering what, exactly, this hour of counselling for the 2 of you is supposed to accomplish? I would want to know what xconcrete use the sessions would be. and if they would be useful, then get a counselor closer to home. 2 hours each way is absurd.

Nice ice scraper mitt. Very pink!

2:10 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

The ice scarper mitt came out very cool!

Kudos that you're making the effort to go into the family therapy with Dr. MS.

If you can't find a closer therapist and need a free sitter, I'd be happy to help when I can. I'm not far from Manhattan. My 7 year old is home every other weekend, so Chunky would have a playmate. Between Karen and I we'd have alot of days covered. Let me know if you want to consider it.

4:49 PM  
Blogger T. Budnik said...

It took me two reads to figure out who Vladimir is/was. Where's his sexy gold chain? You know seeing that chain on him made my knees weak.

I will take good care of the scraper and mitt. Today it got up into the 60's.


5:07 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I know NJ isn't as hip at the big city, but there aren't any qualified therapists closer to home? Really? I hope you find a reasonable solution.

5:44 PM  
Blogger Starfish said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with bringing Chunky in - he'll be with you for most of the trip, and one hour isnt unreasonable to leave him in the waiting room, especially if he's got something to keep him busy. I agree with the idea to do something while you're in the city - but I also know how I'm usually dying to get home after I'm there for my required time!

Great mitt too!

7:14 PM  
Blogger Rebel said...

Oh man! Is there no option of finding someone closer? Or someone with more experience? If it's what you need to do for Mad Scientist to get his job back, you know you can suck it up and go.

Take Chunky with you, give him a book or a game to play with in the waiting room, then take him to a park or something else cool on the way home. My dad used to take me in to the office with him sometimes and all I remember is that there was free soda.

Hang in there.

8:34 AM  
Blogger weezalana said...

Interesting. I didn't think it was a counselor's job to tell you what she would do in your position. I've got relatives for that.

I'd ask for a referral for someone closer. You can tell her that it costs too much to see her, and you need that money for smokes. ;)

10:39 AM  
Blogger Stacie said...

scraper warmer! now I have seen everything!! I told my friend to shoot me when I start knitting tp cozies.

Take the kiddo with ya, and make it a family day out in the big city. bring along some stuff for him to do during the wait, and call it a "learning experience"? Good luck and yeah, young sucessful people with no real problems are annoying in any situation!

2:03 PM  
Blogger Penny Karma said...

Here's my idea. Get a webcam, tell El Chunkito to stay where I can seem him, and he'll be fine.

2:31 PM  
Blogger Carol said...

The Pinkley Taurus scraper ~snort~ looks great! Family counseling? It's probably more necessary for them than you guys. I hope she relieves the stress by referring someone close to home. Isn't that her job? To relieve your stress?

3:20 PM  
Blogger Ina said...

Not mad anymore? Except at the therapist, the commute, etc?? If she can get your goat so quickly, it sounds like she knows her stuff. Hang in there!

Now I get the scraper mitt. I thought it was some kind of gauntlet for the person using the scraper! Love that rich purple-red texture.

5:11 PM  

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