Sunday, December 30, 2007

My New Year's Resolutions

For the knitting blog, knitting! The following picture is the first bear sweater with a finished little girl’s sock:



Somehow when I started working on the sock again, I found that I liked knitting them toe up. Sometime last summer I announced here that I just didn’t like doing it that way. I won’t be giving up top down any time soon. Best of all, I learned to graft off at the top. I may fulfill my 5 new techniques for 2007 after all.

My second picture is a book I got for Christmas. I love used books. When I told my pal Hillary that I would really like some poetry for Christmas, I let her know that used books are very desirable. They aren’t someone else’s junk. They are Vintage Treasures. I really like Byron’s poetry. It seems like many people are fascinated by his racy lifestyle these days. Me, I’m interested in the poetry.



How about my New Year’s resolutions? Here they are:

  • Read more
  • Make a toy every month
  • Knit a pair of socks every month
  • Keep on my workout
  • Plan our meals every week

I didn’t do terribly well on my resolutions last year. I did improve my sewing, but my spinning hasn’t gotten any better. I didn’t knit a pair of socks every month and I didn’t drink green tea every day. However, I do expect to have learned 5 new techniques by bedtime tonight. Not all is lost. I make new resolutions for myself pretty often and break them like crazy. Do any of you have New Year’s resolutions?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Snow!

There hasn’t been much sun lately, so I haven't taken pictures of any knitting yet or any of the fun gift I got. It isn’t a craft related gift, just something I wanted to share. I did get this picture today when the sun was shining:



It is an old sign that my husband’s grandfather had laying in his tractor shed. Our property is part of what was once a large ranch. It has nearly all been sold out of the family now.

Tomorrow I am going to post about my New Year’s resolutions. Part of my resolution keeping plan was joining in the National Body Challenge. Hopefully it will help keep me motivated when my enthusiasm for my workout begins to wane. Earlier this month I also restarted my failed President’s Fitness Challenge. Before I had kids, I had no problem keeping with my workout. None. Since then, nothing but troubles. Kids really do change your life SO much.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So Sleepy....

I am so tired. We went to a family Christmas party and I wrapped presents when we got home. At least I’m not knitting on anything furiously, trying to get it done for Christmas. Instead, I am trying to finish up some small projects I have laying around. I will feel a lot better about my knitting when I have all my needles free of yarn.

I’ve also kept up with sewing up some small things for the feel goodness of it. I made the kids aprons and baby doll blankets for Christmas. I have also been going to sleep on the couch every night this past week. Almost religiously. Brent will say ‘How can you stay up this late?’ when I finally get to bed. I then mumble something about being asleep for the past hour and a half on the couch. I should just give up the idea that I will watch a little tv and then go to bed.

A few weeks ago I thought I would be helpful and make my husband a list of things he could get me for Christmas. He took it and bought everything on it. So he says, anyway. I have no doubt he did, because the other day he told me we needed to stop by a store in another town because the one in our town didn’t have something on the list. Obviously, I need to have more extravagant tastes. He also bought me some John Wayne movies that we already own. I know this because he was trying to wrestle them from me while my brother was asking me which ones we already have today. That was probably the surprise gift. I have a feeling that this is the way many men operate. I can see why. If their S.O. gives them a list of things, how can they go wrong? She wouldn’t put it on the list if she didn’t like it AND want it. I know I am not alone in missing the surprise value of getting a gift. But, on the up side, I really can’t remember what all I put on that list I gave him!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knitting Weather

I was going to post a picture of a bear sweater today, but the weather was too gloomy for pictures. It has been rainy all day. Right now it is raining and blowing. Very unpleasant if you are outside. A great time to be indoors and knitting. And maybe eating cookies with a big cup of hot chocolate. I love weather like this if I get to be indoors.

Over the weekend, I sewed up an apron for myself. I made up the pattern myself, and it didn’t take long for me to decide what I didn’t like about it. They are addictive little things. I have half way decided I need to make some for the girls for Christmas. I’ve been sewing small instant gratification things lately. Aprons really fit the bill for that. Last week, I made doll clothes for a naked dolly we had here.

Tomorrow I have to do the last of the Christmas shopping. I can’t tell you how much I hate that. I will have to go in stores that will be crowded with people. The only parking will be far, far from the doors because we have to wait for Knitter #2 to be out of preschool before we go. But there is an upside. We are meeting Grandma for lunch and she is taking Knitter #2 home with her for a couple days. I can’t tell you how I dread the idea of NOT listening to constant fights over toys and who gets the best spot on the couch. Somehow, I will just have to survive it….

Friday, December 14, 2007

Little Red Dress


Is that little red dress cute or what? It is finewale corduroy that I bought this fall and forgot to sew up. I bought it to make the dress I made with it. Sometimes when you buy something and put it away, you end up making something different with the fabric. Especially if it is for a little kid. They can grow faster than sewing ambition can get projects done at times. Anyway, I love the fabric. Corduroy can be a real pain if it is the heavy stuff. This is so fine, it is barely corduroy. I’m thinking about getting some to make myself a big comfy shirt.

I don’t really have any knitting worth showing off, so how about some sugar cookies waiting to have icing poured on them? They were made to take to the Christmas program the dress was made for.



Last night was our first Christmas program ever. We have many, many more years of them. It is kind of hard to believe those horrible hours of labor were so long ago. Our oldest did NOT want to come out. She was 2 weeks late. After we ended up having a cesarean, I told everyone she was just like her dad on the couch. Cozy and warm. Too comfy to be bothered with going outside.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Crinkle and My Mixer

I seriously need to replace some light bulbs in our living room. It actually hurt my eyes trying to knit my black sweater last night:



Not much, but it is a start. The pattern has the sweater knit in lots of pieces. I am not going for that. I am knitting them together until I have to separate for the arms. I am also lengthening it a couple inches.

This is my ergonomic knitting needle with its less ergonomic friends:



And now for some action shots. People have told me how much use I will get out of my mixer and how they couldn’t wait to see what sort of things I whip up with it. Yesterday I made cookies:



Tonight, I made pizza dough:



Tomorrow I have plans for a little red dress AND cookies. I will not use the mixer for the little red dress.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finished Project

The knitting is growing happier in these parts. I finished my Bloom wrap:



I need to weave in the ends and weave some ribbon through it. I need to find some large pieces of cardboard to make myself a blocking board. I just couldn’t stretch it enough on a towel to please myself. If I can get it blocked the way I like it, I might put an edging on it. Crochet never seems as stretchy as knitting, so I don’t think I would want to do the edging before blocking.

There aren’t any pictures yet, but I have started my long awaited Crinkle. I have wanted to make Crinkle for a very long time and bought the yarn last summer. It is in Rowan 39.

I have also discovered a new line of ergonomic knitting needles. I was very excited. They are called Smashed in the Door of a Jeep Liberty. I was excited that the needle wasn’t broken. However, it IS strangely a perfect fit in my hand. I am not going to attempt to make any more like it, though. Maybe I’ll get a picture of it to show you.

Last of all, I have my bird tree:



My grandma used to decorate some branches every Christmas with birds, elves, and tiny Christmas balls. She had a stand for them and my Dad or uncle would cut her some branches from a bush. Mine is an idea I got from the first patterns in Handknit Holidays. The little tree also now has a little star on top of it. The birds are my grandmothers. They are special little birds.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Knitting and Reading

I haven’t been doing too much knitting lately. Last week I couldn’t bring myself to knit because I had this long list of gifts to make and it made me not want to do anything. Last night I came to the decision that the Christmas Challenge is over. What got finished will be gifted. The things that aren’t finished will be gifted if I finish them in time for Christmas this year. For the rest of the year, I intend to work on things that I really, really want to knit. Things I’ve been wanting to knit. I’ve got a long list of those things, too.

I’ve also been thinking about resolutions for the new year. I guess they are resolutions. I want to read more over the next year. This past year I actually started and finished a book. It takes determination to start and finish a book when you have small children. Finding the time to read when you aren’t being constantly interrupted by them is a trial. Or getting up the nerve to tell them ‘go away, I am reading’. I can do that without guilt if Brent is home. Most of the reading I have done over the past 5 years has been children’s books. I love reading about history, and I intend to get a little done in the next year. Right now I am reading The Little Ice Age by Brian Fagan. Next I intend to read The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology. After that, who knows, but I have plenty just lying about. I have The Canterbury Tales tempting me for the past so many years on my nightstand. It and a volume of Victor Hugo have been holding up my alarm clock for FAR too long.

I will have to dig up the post where I announced my resolutions for this year to see how I did. Shameful, no doubt.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Christmas Challenge

The Beast has returned! She didn’t get away with anything, though. She tried to tear some wire out, but it wouldn’t have done her any good. The ducks told on her and woke us up. My husband went out with a flashlight and discovered WHO and WHAT she is. She’s a Bobcat, not a fox. I say ’she’ because someone saw a female with babies around here. She ran away. Her bad habits may cost her, though. My husband is determined to do away with her.

I’ve been working away on my Christmas projects hoping to get some finished by Saturday. I won’t finish them all, but I didn’t really think I would. I am mostly done with the knitting. I have to rethink the sewing projects. Several gifts on the list are being replaced with different handcrafted items. I just can’t help it if I change my mind…

I had some picture taking to do today. There isn’t one work in progress on my Ravelry project page that has a picture. And I am currently violating my rule about how many projects I can have going at once. I still have high hopes of knitting myself another sweater before the year is out. Perhaps I should go knit. Before I do that, here is the first half of Bloom:



If I were only knitting on this, I would have finished it already. I love the pattern. The short rows make it fun and interesting. I love the way the Silver Thaw looks, too. The version on Knitty was made with a different Noro yarn in brighter colors, but I prefer the shades of blue, lavender and gray I am getting with this stuff. I think I am going to have some leftover, too.

Now I will go knit.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My New Toy

I do not usually join in the Black Friday festivities. That said, I brought this beautiful machine home for just $200 yesterday.




We went into a local store to look at televisions. And there was MY mixer for $100 off! In red. I have longed for this mixer for so VERY long. I was saving money for a spinning wheel. I’ll have to start over again, but it is worth it. I love my new mixer.

After we got home yesterday, we spent the day over at my MIL’s house watching football. She wasn’t there, but the satellite was. I spent a lot of time knitting. I worked on this for most of the afternoon:



That picture was taken a few days ago. I am far beyond that point with the mitts now. That is the Bearfoot yarn I was showing here a few posts back.

These are the socks I was working on for my Dad.



There was quite a bit of yarn leftover because I was afraid of running out and shortened the leg of the socks. I have another ball that I am hoping to knit up for my husband for Christmas. I haven’t picked a pattern yet.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

I am going to give you all a list of the things that went wrong this week:

1. Our porch light burned out, and we’re out of bulbs. I can’t seem to remember to buy any when I am in town. Our yard light has been out for nearly a year. Dark times in the country.
2. I lost an entire pumpkin pie putting it in the oven last night. It all slid right down into the warming drawer. Yay.
3. I trudged out to the chicken coop at 9 pm last night with a flashlight looking for more eggs for another pumpkin pie…
4. Our tv quit. Replacement #1 was also quits. Replacement #2 has no sound and will show movies, but not television programming.
5. I burned my fingers at least twice today because I can’t seem to remember things are hot after I take them out of the oven.

In spite of all these little failures, our Thanksgiving was wonderful. I honestly can’t remember a holiday when I’ve had more things go wrong. In the end, the food was all wonderful. My fingers weren’t harmed, either.

And I have two new projects to share about. I don’t have pictures yet, but there isn’t much to see, anyway. I started some mitts from the Winter ‘06 IK. And last night in the heat of my stress, I decided to start Bloom from Knitty. There’s a link in the sidebar. Fortunately, I didn’t find the pattern and start it then. I was too tired to be doing something like that. I just wound the ball of yarn instead. The pattern was right where it was supposed to be this morning. I was just too tired to find it. Anyway, this is the yarn I am using for the mitts:



I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monkey Socks Yarn

I braved the ice cold breeze for the picture of this dress:



It is one I was going on about making before my computer went bad. I used the black to lengthen it and embroidered the leaves to fancy it up. We did an art project at preschool one day and I used the leaves that Knitter #2 and I made as the patterns. I traced them with a colored pencil.

And here is my prized yarn:



The reason it is prized is because I finally found something to suit my taste for Monkey socks. The only Monkeys that I have seen and really, really liked were done in shades of blue. I’ve been looking around for months to find a good candidate.

My goodness it is cold here. If it weren’t for the breeze, it probably wouldn’t feel all that cold. It is finally getting that time of year. Maybe the flies will GO AWAY now. I am sick of them. I don’t think I have ever missed summer and looked forward to winter all at the same time like this before. Winter is nearly upon us and I really need some warm gloves. I’m thinking of making myself the arm warmers from Weekend Knitting, too.

I am rows away from finishing some Christmas socks. Yay!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Yarn Shop For Me

The fox hasn’t been back recently to visit our birds. Not that we know about, anyway. We’ve been keeping them all locked up at night so it can’t coordinate any more massacres.

I got some new yarn last week. I found the local yarn shop that I heard about on Ravelry. If it hadn’t been for Ravelry, I would have continued to drive by it on a regular basis without taking a second glance. Now I have a yarn shop to go to. I no longer have an excuse to be insanely jealous of all the people that have yarn shops near by. There is lots of fabulous yarn and I have only begun to discover their goodies. I couldn’t believe how soft Frog Tree Alpaca is. They had a room with yarn all over the floor and I was sure it was for people to roll in until the owner said she was sorting it…. I promise to take pictures of my new yarn and freshly finished objects tomorrow. Sun or no sun.

Does anyone out there know what sort of pattern would suit sari silk? I have wanted some for a long time and my new home away from home has some and…. I need something to make with it if I am going to buy some. I have heard it isn’t good for garments but works well for bags. I’m not sure I want to make a bag with it. I’m wondering how it might work for some fingerless mitts or gloves. Maybe I will have to spend some time online searching tomorrow. How punishing, I can make up for my online deficit I built up last week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Where Have I BEEN?!

It is SO nice to have my computer back. It is very nice to be able to get online again. I have been more than a week without. Funny how we get dependent on our online world even if it is only 5 minutes some days. The power supply in my computer went out. Fortunately, I have a brother going to computer school. I don’t know what he is learning or exactly what he will be someday, but he can fix my computer. This is good. Heck, he even showed me how to get my ancient laptop online. It refused to make the connection with the phone line until he gave it a good hard stare. Or something.

Anyway, I did a lot of knitting and sewing over the past week or 2. I finished some stuff and will have pictures to show this week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Return of The Beast

The Beast has been back. It tore some wire loose to get in. The vile thing killed 2 ducks and a chicken, eating part of one duck and leaving the others. It just killed them. When I found the grisly scene this morning, I felt like I had let my birds down. I told them I was sorry. Tonight we were able to herd the ducks into what we call The Cage. It’s where we keep the baby birds until they are big enough to go out with the rest of the flock. They will be safe in it. Brent is going to get a trap from his boss, Animal Killer Extraordinaire. If we catch The Beast, we will probably not kill it in the manner I would like to (beating to death with a blunt object). That would be morally wrong.

In nicer news, I did get one dress for the girls cut out today. I may not get to sewing it until Thursday. She should have a nice new dress to wear to school on Monday. I will cut out the other dress when I get the first one done. I’ve learned a little something about cutting out too many things at once. DON’T. Last summer I cut out 3 pairs of pants/shorts for myself and I still haven’t sewn up the last pair. I find that if I overwhelm myself with my sewing, I don’t want to work on it. I will do anything to avoid it.

The Cinchy Hat is going much better now. It is neither too large nor too small. I may actually finish it this week!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Troubles and My First Love

I’ve been having nothing but troubles. I’ve ripped the Cinchy Hat back twice now because of the gauge issue. First it was WAY too big. Then it was WAY too small. I am not ripping it back again. I did a little math after I measured for gauge last night. Hopefully this change will be the last one. How many times have we said we wouldn’t rip something out again? Yeah.

We lost more birds last week. This time I found evidence in the pen. It apparently likes chicken better than duck. Friday night and Saturday my husband fixed all the gaps in the roofline so the beast couldn’t get back in. So far, so good. When he built the roof over the pen, he left the very top open. It was easy access for the fox or bobcat. I think I mentioned recently that something had been killing our birds…

A while back I bought the Vogue book on cables (Stitchionary 2). I am not impressed with it as a resource for doing arans, but it has nice possibilities other wise. If you want a book for doing arans, go with Harmony Guides book. I’ve had it for years and think it is a great source. I think it is too bad that Vogue didn’t include the patterns shown at the fronts of the sections like the Nicky Epstein books do. There are some great looking sweaters pictured at the beginning of several sections of the Vogue book.

And how about the winter IK? It’s got some cool stuff. I always love texture stuff and it has a lot of that. And I love Kristin Nicholas, so I had read the interview first thing. She uses bright colors and embroidery on her knitting. What is NOT to love? Embroidery was my first craft love. I learned to crochet when I was 7 or 8 and to embroider at 9. I stuck with the embroidery for years. I want to do it a lot more, so I have some projects brewing in my head.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Halloween Dresses and Baby Hats

It’s been busy times around here, but at least I’ve gotten some knitting done lately. There was sewing, too. That’s what I have to show you today:



These are the Halloween princess dresses. After they wore them I decided I was not impressed with the pattern. The dresses tend to slide right off them. I think next year we will go with something more fun. I like to sort of leave it up to them what they will be.

I’ve almost finished the hat and scarf set now. I have a couple stripes left on the hat and it will be done. I’m afraid it is going to be way too big for the recipient. The hat just looks terribly big. Like it might fit Brent. He has a big head and 11 year olds don’t really. I’m afraid to check my gauge. I’m not sure I did on the scarf. Usually, with scarves, it doesn’t matter. With most everything else, it does. Perhaps I could give it to one of my brothers if it is off gauge and way too big. I have a normal size head and I figure if it fits me, it should be ok for the person I’m making it for.

Rebecca left a comment asking me about hat sizes for small babies. My kids inherited their fathers giant head. (Sometimes c-sections are a blessing. Thank heavens I didn’t have push those big heads out.)The nurses had to hunt to find hats (large enough) to fit on them. I do wonder what is up with all the hat patterns for babies. As big as my kids’ heads were, the hats I made them were still way too big for them to wear. It is nice that the hats do eventually fit. I checked my books today and the smallest pattern I found was the one that drooped down to the chin of my youngest when she was born. I’m sure with all the baby hat patterns out there, some of them must actually fit newborns. I hope, anyway!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Cinchy Hat

I think after I’m done with all this costume making, I need to make my poor kids some new dresses. My oldest has grown so much since spring that she can’t wear any of those dresses without pants or shorts under them. The younger one is just flat out bigger. It just blows me away how much faster she grows than her big sis did. Anyway, I decided I would use up some old fabric I have. They are fall colored plaids that I bought back in the dark ages. We used to live in the shop at my mother-in-laws property. It is a very nice shop that they used for a business they had at one time. I used the fabric for long curtains to separate our bedroom space and to cover all the tables we used to make our kitchen area. I enjoyed living in an alternative space, but it was sure nice to move into a house and have a bedroom to put our then 6 month old in.

Here is a picture of the Stripy Scarf finished:



And this is the beginning of the Cinchy Hat:



Once I am done with the increases, I have to start making the holes for the ribbon to run through. This hat pattern has 2 sizes, so I am making the smaller size.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I Finished Something!

Well, the Stripy Scarf is finished. I haven’t woven the ends in yet. I am already on the third stripe of the matching Cinchy Hat. It is a piece of cake after the long rows on the scarf. Maybe some pictures tomorrow.

The Christmas sock is going speedily too, but I need to check the pattern and make sure I don’t make the leg too long. It’d suck to run out of yarn wouldn’t it?

I picked up a couple new books in spite of the fact that they weren’t on sale at Joann’s. Only the Leisure Arts books were on sale. I thought that was kind of annoying that my ad didn’t say it was Leisure Arts books, it just said knitting, crochet, and quilting books. If I think of it later in the week I will tell you what I think of them. I haven’t really looked at one of them yet.

Besides finishing up the scarf, I’ve been working on our Halloween costumes. It has gone grand since I got all the little things I needed on Friday. Maybe we’ll get pictures of the costumes, too. And speaking of Halloween, we are nearly out of candy again. Obviously, I will have to get more. Especially since I have a friend who won’t be able to enjoy her daughter’s haul this year. She’s having surgery tomorrow and will be on a liquid diet for a week or so. I told her I would send her a Halloween package after she is able to enjoy goodies. That is so cruel that she won’t be able to steal the kiddo’s best stuff. That’s what Halloween is for isn’t it?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bad Week, Good Dolly

What a pleasant week I am having. A list of reasons why:

1. Some BEAST has devoured 4 ducks and 8 or 9 chickens here in the past 2 weeks. I can no longer let them out in our well fenced yard.

2. A piece of the girls’ Halloween pattern went missing. I have to buy a new pattern to make their costumes.

3. I ran out of red thread and can’t sew my costume.

I am probably getting permanent scowl lines from this week. Something has to go right starting tomorrow. I hope.

Anyway, I made a little doll for my daughter’s birthday. I drew it up one day and then almost forgot to cut it out and get it made for her birthday. Here she is:



Sewing her hair on was the hardest part. I stuffed her with the help of a pencil to push all the stuffing down those long, skinny legs and arms.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Project Progress

I was a bit wrong about the dates of the sale at Joann’s. I can’t get any new books until tomorrow. Yesterday turned out to be a great scouting foray. Lest you all think I left that store with nothing, I did make some modest non-book purchases. They had the IK Holiday magazine on the racks and I made a fun little discovery in the quilting department. They have these kits you can get to make a quilt and they had one that screamed ‘little girls’ bedroom’. I picked up two blocks yesterday and plan on getting a few more this weekend with my handy dandy coupons. Sitting in the Joann’s parking lot is so punishing for Brent. Hee hee.

And I have some project pictures. My stripe-a-day plan is working out pretty well:



My sock picture didn’t turn out as well, but here it is:



I think I am going to aim for an inch a day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Books

So how about some pictures of my newest knitting books. They both have me rather excited:



Handknit Holidays has 3 or 4 things in it that I just HAVE to make. The Nicky Epstein book is like all the other ones I have seen. I love all the examples. It shows various samples before felting and after so ou have an idea of what things should look like. There are quite a few patterns. I want to make all the fruits and veggies for my kids to play with. Yes, felted fruits and veggies. There is even a section about felting sweaters and making things out of them. The Vogue sewing patterns used to make items in that section are listed which is nice. There are also 2 pages of bag handles you can felt for bags. I think it has the how-to’s of felting as well.

The Stripy Scarf is coming along. I’ve been trying to get one stripe a day on it. That is a lot of knitting. 2400 stitches to be exact. Each stripe is 8 rows containing 300 stitches. I’m enjoying it. I don’t usually get much enjoyment out of scarves. I knit for at least 10 years before I made my first scarf. Heck, I’d been knitting for a long time before I knit anything other than sweaters. And I ‘ve only made one dishcloth in all these years. Save the simple things for last I guess!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Please Slap Me

What a busy weekend we had. Our birthday party was followed by a bonfire at my in laws with Brent’s little brother. Saturday his sisters came and we went to birthday party for their uncle. He is 75. My father in law was his twin, but now he shares a birthday with our youngest. It was a fun and touching party. Some people got drunk. I was a designated driver, so I wasn’t one of them. Many of uncle Jimmy’s friends from high school were there. How cool is that?

I have started some socks for my Dad for Christmas with the Trekking. I haven’t used it before, but I already love it. I’m using a pattern from Knitting Vintage Socks called Gentleman’s Plain Winter Socks. I really like the way the colors are looking so far. These socks look very similar to a pair she has in Folk Socks. Ravelry has several pair of them made with Trekking, which made me breathe easier. I kept worrying about running out of yarn.

I am in serious need of a good slap. One of you needs to come by my house and slap the hell out of me. I keep buying all these knitting books. Last Friday I went into JoAnn’s and they had more knitting books. Probably in preparation for the sale they are having this weekend where all the quilting, crochet, and knitting books will be 40% off. I fully intend to go back this weekend and get me some on sale. I’m going the first day so that there is hopefully a good selection. There is one I have my eye on, and hopefully no one snatches it before I get there. See??? I seriously need a slap.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Birthday

Today has been a busy day. Tomorrow is Knitter #3’s birthday. She will be 2. The presents are all wrapped. I sewed up her dolly and finished her poncho today. No pictures. Maybe Saturday. I still have to bake the cake and decorate it. I need to at least bake it and get frosting on it tonight. I won’t have lots of time tomorrow. I have my art class and I have to get balloons. You can’t have a birthday without balloons, ya know.

Anyway, here is some more of my loot:



This yarn is destined to be socks for my Dad and Brent. I got 2 balls of it, in case you might think I am delusional thinking I’ll get 4 socks out of one ball of Trekking.

And then there is this little bit of delight:



I love this book. It is so cute and downright adorable. I want to make the dinosaur sweater and the steam shovel sweater. I am reasonably sure I could talk the girls into dinosaurs, but I am not sure about the heavy equipment. Everything in this book is just so cute and there are even toys. I already know which sweater I am making for which kid for this coming spring.

Halloween is coming. Yesterday we bought fabric for costumes. Saturday we will be decorating for Halloween. We have to make ghosties for our scary haunted tree.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Stripy Scarf, yarn, and books



Here is the Stripy Scarf in progress. The brilliant blue is about the brightest yarn that will show its face on this project. I don’t think the red is as bright. It is starting to go faster now. I find it utterly bizarre that the morning glory it is draped on is growing like crazy right now. It only started to really grow about a month ago. I don’t what it was doing all spring and summer.

This is my new yarn:



This is the Noro Silver Thaw that I ordered from WEBS. It is beautiful and I love it. I can’t wait to knit it up into a shawl. It feels lovely. It is Wool/Angora/Nylon. The sun does not do justice to how bright some of the colors in it are.

Lately, I have become a book ho. I keep buying all these books. I ordered birthday and Christmas books for the kids. Naturally, I had to throw a few knitting books in. They had kids patterns. It was more for them than for me…. Yeah, right. I will show them off a different day. I had these coupons and I was in Joann’s. My local store isn’t a hot bed of knitting books just now, but I did find this one and liked it:



It has been on my amazon list for a while. It has sizes up to 10 year olds. However, I am pretty sure that I can wear something like half of the sweaters in the book. I’ve even picked out one to make just to see.

Remember all those cute little chicks I showed you pictures of this spring? Well, one of them is going to have to be executed. We have this cute little evil rooster. Yesterday he started attacking our daughter. He didn’t even want to back down from me. Until I booted him and chased him with a plastic shovel, that is. We haven’t had problems with roosters being mean in the past. Not to the kids anyway. We’ve gotten rid of roosters that were mean to the ducks or other chickens. We run a pacifist bird commune here, no meanies allowed.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Finished!


I have a bad case of finished object-itis. Painful, but I will persevere. I have finished some Christmas gloves and a couple pocket creatures. I may change the eyes on the striped pocket creature if I can find better buttons tomorrow.



The Stripy Scarf is plodding along. When I make a color change tonight or tomorrow, it might be worthy of a picture. Right now it is just a scrunched up bunch of garter stitch. I am anxious to see how it looks once I get the colors together. The recipient likes blue, so I tried to work in more blue than the pattern actually uses.

Lone Knitter commented that Mariah is a pretty sweater. I fell in love with the cabled sleeves when I saw it. Mine is going to be violet instead of black, though. I think cabling is lost on dark colors. It shows up so much better on lighter colors.

This week my art class starts again. I can’t wait to go. I can get away from both of my children at the same time. Having some time away from them makes me a much better and happier mom. It is just amazing what a few hours free of whining, shrieking, and telling can do for a person.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

More Birthday Knitting

I am currently in a birthday knitting marathon. I have two weeks to complete some presents for Knitter #3. It seems to be going well. This is what I started today:



It is a poncho pattern that must have been one of the first ones they put up. I made it for my niece that year when ponchos were the rage. I am using the leftovers from that project, some fun fur and boucle yarn.

I’ve been doing something I’ve no business doing. Thinking about what I want to knit after I finish my Christmas knitting. Really, I should just leave off thinking about it and just knit. I’d be done so much sooner. I actually do enjoy my Christmas knitting. However, when I start thinking that I HAVE to do something, I start to not want to do it. I want to put it off or not work on it. Anyway, I can’t decide which thing to knit. Accordion, Accordion, Crinkle, Mariah, or Blossom. I want to make 2 different Accordion sweaters. One for a little knitter, the other for an aunt. I better hope I like it enough to make it twice!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Winter Is Coming

I’ve been busy over the weekend. I found a couple new books Friday afternoon in JoAnn’s. One of them was a cupcake book. Knitter #2 helped me try out that book on Saturday afternoon. I also got this book:



It looks like so much fun. Embroidery was my first love. I learned to embroider when I was about 9 or 10. I don’t do as much of it these days as I would like to. I’ve been really enjoying the book. It has some nice pictures and LOADS of transfers. A girl can never have too many embroidery transfers. Much the same way a girl can never have too many knitting books.

Yesterday I worked on this:



I also worked on making a pal for it. They are the Pocket Creatures from Knitty. In the pictures with the pattern, they somehow look bigger. Maybe the girl in the pictures isn’t as old as I thought she was. These things are going to make the perfect sized toys for Knitter #3’s birthday. They are the perfect size for a 2 year old to play with. They will fit well in her little hands. The originals were hand warmers, so I altered the pattern a bit. Little stuffed toys don’t need an opening, so I closed them up and did away with the pocket part that held the little rice bags you stick inside them.

This is what we saw Saturday morning:



There was snow on the mountains in September. Most of it disappeared by noon and it was all gone later. However, there is way more today. I don’t think any of it will stay this early in the year. The snow that stays usually shows up a month from now. We are having freakish weather today. Either pouring rain or sunshine. It seems a little more like spring weather than fall weather.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Almost FO

Today I did something I never do. I bought myself some really nice yarn. I’ve spent to last couple days pouring over yarn at WEBS because I was looking for a nice sock yarn for Christmas socks. I’d been hoping to find something I liked to make Tangled Yoke. At a nice price, of course. Why else do we go to WEBS? We go there looking for a great deal. I found one, but not for Tangled Yoke yarn. I ordered some Noro Silver Thaw to hopefully use for Bloom from Knitty. Silver Thaw isn’t the same gauge as Noro Blossom, but I am hoping since it is a shawl that it won’t matter too much.

This is where I was this afternoon with my second Christmas glove:



Ah, the joy of nearing the end of a project. Even a small one. It is especially nice to know I have finished off some old stash yarn. I think the scarf is going to be a while. It feels daunting to know I have 300 stitches on my needles. Maybe it won’t be so daunting after I get going on it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Couple Sweaters

A strange thing has happened. This isn’t the sort of thing I could have ever imagined happening, either. Yesterday a new Victoria’s Secret catalog came in the mail. I flipped through it and noticed a really cool looking sweater. Naturally, I thought to myself ‘I can make that’. Today in the mail was a Lion Brand catalog. Once again, I am flipping through and what did I find? A sweater that resembled the one I liked in the catalog so much that they could have twins separated at birth. It is uncanny how much alike these two sweaters are. See for yourself:




















I’m thinking about buying the pattern. It would save all that hassle of having to figure out the increases. What really worried me was how I was going to do the sideways bits right there at the shoulders. Heavens, now I can just do it the EASY way!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Autumn!

I am on Ravelry, finally. I got my invite in the night. And I didn’t check my email until noon. All those hours wasted… So far, I haven’t put any yarn in my stash. Some of my pictures came out blurry, so I have to redo them. I did put in some of my books. So far I have spent all my time seeing how it all works and haven’t really looked at stuff.

It is still overcast today. Still gloomy. Nice and cool. It rained most of the night last night. There are times when I would be disgusted at this sort of weather, but at the end of Summer, the first day of Autumn, it is something to celebrate. There shouldn’t be more thunderstorms to make me worry about fires until next year.

The other day, I told Knitter #2 that we would decorate for Fall today:



I made this wreath last year with things from Walmart and JoAnn’s. I’ve only put up this decoration since it is nap time and you never know when decorating with out help will be the end of the world with little girls. I can’t wait to decorate for Halloween. We now officially do that on the 13th of October. It is the day after Knitter #3’s birthday.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Welcome, Gloom!

I checked on my Ravelry wait today and it was at 296 people. That means that I am ever so close to getting in. I celebrated with some picture taking. The light around here isn’t very good because we are having a wonderfully gloomy day. After the heat of summer, I welcome a gloomy day or two. Anyway, no knitting pictures.

What a week we have had. Colds, and then immunizations. If that wasn’t an experience from hell, I don’t know what would be. The youngest really didn’t want to walk back to that little room. I guess she had a bad feeling. She got her shot first. It seemed like the shrieking and tears would NEVER end. Meanwhile, her big sister was behind my chair whimpering and clutching a Dora doll. Finally, I just put the little one down so I could drag the other out from the behind the chair. The nurse tried to distract her from what was happening, but it was still the end of the world. They did stop crying when I told them we would go down the street and get a treat. Candy, of course. Sweets are sort of a cure-all.

I am nearly one with my first pair of Christmas gloves and I am in the midst of casting on a scarf from the Fall 2007 Knitscene. It looks fun and stripey. Hopefully we will get some nice light in the next few days for some knitting pictures.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Colds All Around

We’ve been a houseful of sickies lately, so I haven’t gotten much knitting done. First it was knitter #2 that came down sick. Then it was knitter #3 and me. Last of all, Brent came home from work last night saying he felt horrible. I’ve been in a cold medicine induced stupor for several days.

I finally decided my norse sweater is going to be red and white. I hadn’t been thinking about it much lately, but I woke up from a nap this afternoon and knew it needed to be those colors or I might not wear it. Funny what cold medicine and cold weather will make you think about.

This year, Socktoberfest is going to be sort of a knitalong. There won’t be any contests and you don’t have to sign up to be part of it. I guess you just have to say you are Socktoberfesting it and knit some socks. And that works for me!

Yesterday was my first day of volunteering at preschool. I am so glad that isn’t my job everyday. It was fun, but also tiring. Thank heavens the kids were lethargic yesterday morning or I might not have made it. That cold medicine just knocks me over. It was interesting to see how my daughter acts around the other kids and how she interacts with them.

As of this morning, there are 2,614 people ahead of me at Ravelry. It seems like an impossible waiting time. Maybe I should start taking pictures of my yarn now so I don’t have to waste time doing that after I get on. Not that I have so very much of it to take pictures of. I have no stash compared to some people out there. It makes me feel good and envious at the same time. I don’t have to worry about using it before I pass on (at an exceedingly annoying old age if I can manage it…) but it limits what I can do with just stash yarn. I really feel bad for the people among the over 17,000 who are behind me. I would really, really hate to be one of last 10,000. Yikes. I don’t think the county I live in has 17,000 people in it. I could be wrong about that, so I won’t make any bets.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Finished BSU Sweater

I got with it today and did some underarm grafting, and so we have a completely finished BSU Sweater:



I am so glad to get this little beasty done. When you start having fitting problems with a sweater, it can really be a drag on your knitting. The little Christmas projects should make me feel better about it, though. Nearly instant gratification. It’s always nice to finish a project in 2 or 3 days.

The other day, a commenter asked if BSU was Boise State. Indeed, it is. I went to the University of Idaho, which I referred to as ‘the other school’. My husband’s entire family on both sides are BSU fans. I find it sick and twisted the way a few of them are completely obsessed about that school’s football team. And they were like that before they won the Fiesta Bowl last winter. Most of his family aren’t, um, obsessed. Thankfully.

My daughter is now in her second week of preschool. She loves preschool. When we left and got in the car today, she cried because she didn’t want to leave. I felt so bad, but also amused. Before we left, I talked to the teacher and volunteered myself to be an assistant in the class one day a week. I will be sitting on very small chairs every Monday now.

My bike is turning into a money pit. When my husband got my bike out from under the fifth wheel, I found out that it needed a new seat. My old helmet and tire pump had disappeared as well. On further inspection, I saw that I needed a new tire. Both tubes seem to be shot. And I thought I could get it out, air up the tires and be off. Sadly, this bike doesn’t even have very many miles on it. When we first moved in our house, we didn’t have any sheds for storing things in, so the bike sat outside in the sun, rain, and snow for a while before being stashed underneath the fifth wheel. One of my cousins won it in a drawing, and I bought it from him for $20 about 6 years ago. I haven’t ridden it since before I got pregnant for the first time 5 years ago. I predict it will be good as new when I get the new tubes in the tires and lube everything up. After that, I plan to put some miles on it.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

My Obscene Gloves



The other night, we had these for supper. Fried green tomatoes. Yum.



The other day, the ADD Knitter wanted to know what people were excited about knitting this fall, and I realized I don’t have anything that I am really excited about knitting. I am doing my Christmas knitting, and it is coming along. That leads me to a funny knitting story from today. I was knitting away on this glove, and got to the end of the third finger. After I ran the end back through the stitches to pull the end closed, I laid the glove out in my lap to see how it looked. The middle finger was so long it looked like it was giving me the bird. After I quit laughing, I pulled out a few rows. The person who will be getting the glove doesn’t have a freakishly long middle finger, but they would have been very amused. I love how fast gloves go. While I still don’t have anything I am really excited to be knitting this fall, I did find this cool pattern at Elann today.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New Toys and Petty Jealousy

I have virtually no knitting news. I am approaching the finish on the BSU sweater. Yeah, I didn’t make the second finish date, either. I knitted my way through the game just for my husband, though. Not that they needed the help. They walked all over the team they played. I don’t care about BSU. My husband’s family are all insane fans. I went to the other school AND I think college is where you go for an EDUCATION. My only real knitting news would be the three super saver skeins of acrylic I got for some Christmas presents that need to be wool free and washable. My brother is allergic to wool.

I got a new toy over the weekend. The leaking washing machine turned out to have a really bad leak that involved some seal. Not a loose hose. The machine cost us all of $30, so we decided to just get a new one that can be sent back if it malfunctions. We got an LG Tromm, and I LOVE it. It is a front loader and uses way less water than the old one did. That means I can use it when our sprinkler system is running without any worries.



After reading all my favorite blogs today, I am insanely jealous. Claudia got a new bike so she can run errands on a bike instead of her car. We live too far from town to run errands on a bike. I haven’t ridden my bike in ages. Maybe I’ll drag it out some early morning before the wasps start buzzing around. I think Brent has it hidden under the camper. (calling it a camper is really a joke - the thing is way too big for campgrounds in the mountains) Claudia’s new bike is a beauty and I probably won’t even like mine anymore!

I do have a bit of cheery news. I counted up the money in my can that I have been saving for a spinning wheel and I already have almost enough! It seems to accumulate faster if you don’t count it every time you open the can…

Monday, August 27, 2007

Minimalism

I think I am going to embrace minimalism. I have identified something like 5 pieces of furniture that I am pretty positive I could get to our shed all by myself. Brent doesn’t think I can be a minimalist. He says it isn’t me. I think he is wrong. I discovered Art Deco when I was about 22 and have been in love ever since. Of course, now it is all about proving him wrong. Sort of. We have a small house. It is 1187 square feet with an open, flowing floor plan. I designed our house myself. Our house looks really small on the outside, but it looks much bigger when you get inside. Anyway, things have been feeling cramped and cluttered lately. Some of the furniture interrupts the flow of things, so I am going to get rid of it. Over the past 4 years I have determined there are only so many ways to arrange the furniture, so some things are going to the shed.

On to that sweater. I am binding off the neck edge right now. While binding it off, I am attaching it to the bottom of the ribbing so that I don’t have to sew it down. The way hems are sometimes done. I made a little girl sweater that had picot hem that was done this way. In the first picture below, the stitch nearest the end of the needle is the one I am picking up and knitting together to tack the neck down.





In the picture above, you might be able to see all the orange in the background where I had to weave in all the yarn ends. It jumps out at me, but maybe other people won’t really notice too much.

We’ve had a bit too much excitement and too little sleep over the weekend. Our hunting dog is 14 years old and had some seizures Friday night. We took her to the vet and they gave us medication we are to give her if she starts having one. Brent has been carrying her back in the house every time she goes outside. We leap out of bed numerous times in the night to make sure she isn’t having a seizure. This evening, I managed to coerce her into the house without being carried. She has had Brent packing her around like this before. If he were the kind of guy who takes his dog and has them put down because they can’t get around anymore, she would have died ages ago. Candy is a mere shadow of the fine hunting dog we once knew. It is sad to see her starting to go downhill, but she is very old for her breed according to the vet. And a dog couldn’t have a better life than having been Brent’s dog. He always says she isn’t really a dog.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The End of Summer

In some ways, this is a sad time of year. All the poor kiddies going back to school. Summer coming to an end. Moms sending their little girls off to school for the very first time and wondering how they got to be that old. We are sending our oldest to preschool this year. I can’t believe that she is 4 and starting school. It’s only 2 hours twice a week, but it is the beginning of sending kids to school that will last for close to 20 years. If you don’t count college, of course.

My knitting has been crawling along slower than a snail. This morning I was starting to get with it when I had Brent try his sweater on. Somehow, all the other times I had him try it on, it didn’t look short. It is too short and somehow I have to remedy that. More annoying at the time was that the neck was out of whack. That was the reason I had him try it on, it just seemed like there were too many neck stitches. I ripped it back to the first shoulder strap and tripled them in length. I am back to the neck now and it fits well except for the length. I think I am going to have snip at the top of the ribbing , remove it, and then knit down about 2 or 3 inches and then do ribbing again. As it turned out, the first game is THIS Thursday, and I think I may be able to finish it by then. If not, he’ll just have to suffer…

After my last post, a commenter asked if I lived in Alaska. No, I don’t. I live in Idaho. My husband lived in Alaska for 11 years. Most of that time he lived in the Palmer and Wasilla area. He also lived in Juneau, Anchorage, Homer, and on Kodiak. He and a friend left Alaska for 6 months and went to Hawaii and worked. But then the salmon started to run and they had to get back. Brent only intended to go up for the summer the year he went up. It took him a while to get back…. If I think of it sometime, I will scan a picture of the little cabin he lived in. It was VERY tiny. I should do a post on some of his better stories.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tour de France FO

I think it was Saturday when I finished my Tour de France sweater. It might have been Sunday morning. I can’t really remember, but I know I wore it all day Sunday and I love it, love it, love it. I hope to get Brent to take pictures of it in action, but in the meantime, here is the finished garment:



I threw it in the wash with some fabric this morning and then threw it in the dryer. It’s cotton and not lace, so I see no need for blocking it.

In other great knitting news, I am approaching the finish with the BSU Sweater. I apparently am to have it done by Thursday in time for their first game. We’ll see. It has been flying since I finished the lettering and started the saddle shoulder shaping. If I were to ever attempt this thing again, I would duplicate stitch the lettering. The lettering was so badly puckered, I had to cut all the threads and weave them in. All of them. Every stinking one. There must be something wrong with me, like mentally, for thinking the lettering would turn out fine. I know better than to think long carries won’t pucker. Live and learn, I guess. Pictures when it is finished.

On to our grand August weather. Our weekend was great. It doesn’t seem like it was very hot on Saturday. Sunday and yesterday it RAINED. As in off and on all day. It didn’t even get up to 60 yesterday. Perfect weather according to Brent. He has always felt Alaska’s summers are ideal. Today has been nice as well, but it did get up to 80. Punishing.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Too Much Stress...

It is just being one of those weeks. Stressful and tiresome. Not much knitting going on. Not much sewing going on. Lots of stressing going on. One reason: a leaky washing machine. We haven’t had this machine long and our last machine leaked. This one isn’t brand new, it is new to us. I hate troublesome appliances.

I am almost done with my Tour de France sweater and when it is done, I won’t have an excuse for not working on the BSU sweater that HAS to be done by the end of the month. I am not enjoying the lettering all that much. It makes the sweater into back and forth knitting about 1/3 of the time.

For the past day or so, I have been distracting myself from the knitting and the stress with a magazine I picked up that has lots of inspiration in it. Sewing inspiration. I definitely need some inspiration this week!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Of Yarn, Knitting, and Cats

I’ve been busy the past few days and was surprised when I found a little box in my mail today. I couldn’t believe my package from The Loopy Ewe was already here! I have never gotten yarn wrapped in tissue before! It is Lane Borgosesia Cashwool in the colorway New Cognac. It is 100% merino.




It isn’t as fall toned as I thought it would be. Given the choice, I would take the bright orange shades you sometimes see on summertime clothes racks. I love the bright summery shades of orange. I love loud colors. You guys have never noticed that have you?



I have also been nearing the end of all this sleeve knitting. By the weekend, I should be having sleeve joining parties. The Tour de France sweater is ready to join the sleeves on and the BSU sweater is about 5 rows from being ready. Then I’ll be back to flying along on my circular needles.



Mostly, I’ve been thinking about things I’d like to knit. Making lists. Recently, I have found no less than 5 sock patterns on Knitty and Mag Knits that I would like to make. It must be the nip in the air in the mornings. I have finally conceded to myself that I just don’t like knitting socks from the toe up. I am making socks for the girls like that, and I haven’t even been working on my current sock.

That brings me to my sock washing experience yesterday. I washed my Mountain Colors Bearfoot socks for the first time. To quote Eloise - Oh my Lord. As soon as I dropped them in the water it looked like something bled to death in my sink. After 4 rinses I think it was, it didn’t look much better. That was when I gave up. Does all Bearfoot bleed like that? Or is it just the red stuff?

And now I am going to tell you a tale of shame, cats, and cans of fish. I feel ashamed because for close to a year, my cat has been suffering from a dietary deficiency. I thought maybe her hair was matting because of old age. Like maybe she couldn’t groom herself as well as she used to. Then about 2 weeks ago, I noticed my husband’s cat wasn’t looking as sleek as she should, either. She is mostly black, so it is easy to see on her. I decided they needed some canned food for a treat, so I got some cans of fish cat food. A couple days later, I noticed her hair was matting, too. I got online and looked it up. That is caused by a deficiency in Omega 3 fatty acids! I did feel good about choosing fish based food for them a few days before. They already look better. I feel really bad about not thinking something was wrong with my cat when it started with her. Last winter I was feeling really great about not feeding them canned food when the food was all contaminated. All’s well that ends well, I guess.