Thursday, March 27, 2008

Favorite Color Swap Package

A couple days ago, my Favorite Color Swap package arrived. It traveled here from far, far away. Well, New Mexico, anyway. I was absolutely convinced I would be getting some kind of red yarn in the package. Imagine my surprise when it was fabric. They are beautiful as you can see:





They aren’t fabrics I would have picked out for myself, but I absolutely love them. I’ve been admiring asian inspired fabrics lately and even bought some for a bag.

On to the other goodies. There is a cute little red felt book, delicious chocolate, and a book of little toys.



The toy book has lots of different little creatures you can make. I see a lot of fun in that little book. I now officially have no excuse for not rolling out a toy or 2 every month.

I want to thank Erin for all these wonderful things. You did a great job!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Must Knit More....

I have been in a knitting frenzy trying to finish my Crinkle. I am determined to be wearing it by this time next week. I am just dying to work on my Luna Moth Shawl. Hopefully it will as quick a knit as it seems like. It only uses 3 balls of yarn, so it seems like it would be quick. I am trying to be careful what I say here so I don’t find myself a victim of ‘famous last words…’

Over the weekend, I put the finishing touches on my quilt blocks:



I also cut out the smock aprons I mentioned yesterday:



The mostly pink print is for the oldest. She is very much into pink and girly. Her sister is 2 and easy to please. She also likes to do whatever her sister does. If her sister has a dress, she wants one too. I don’t think Knitter #3 will be quite the priss that big sis is, though.

Tomorrow I’ll show you what came in the mail yesterday…

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Some Sewing Projects

I need to finish some knitting projects around here so I can have something new and interesting to talk about knitting-wise. I think I’ve had the same knitting projects for like 3 months. Seems like it, anyway. I can look forward to projects with somewhat larger needles when I finish Crinkle. I need some faster projects or I will have to quit calling this a knitting blog.

I do have some other projects I’ve finished recently. These are the bunnies that I embroidered for the girls for Easter.



I drew out a pattern for them based on this bunny in Doodle Stitching:



Monday was Hat Day at preschool, so I made the girls some elf hats over the weekend:



These are from Bend the Rules Sewing. I have some other projects from that book planned as well. It is the perfect book for household with little girls. They like their Christmas aprons so much that I am making them the smock aprons that are in the book.

The gardening season is upon us here. For the cold season crops, anyway. I ‘ve spent the last couple afternoons clearing out the garden and burning piles of vines and weeds. My hollyhocks, lupine, and foxglove are starting to grow in the flower beds. Spring is finally really here and I love it!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This and That

Since someone asked, here is where to find the yogurt recipe I used. Not on Wikipedia, but wikiHow. I blame cold medicine for the mix-up.

My voice is nearly back to normal. It is very frustrating to not have a voice. Running through the house to stop a battle between little girls isn’t nearly as nice as being able to yell ‘stop’ and going to see what the fight is about.

Today, I made some easter goodies:




I melted some Lindt chocolate, tempered it, and poured into molds. Some snoopy 4 year old is already wanting to know what the stuff is for. Fortunately she is easily led off topic by talking about baking cookies tomorrow.

For some nice knitting content, how about a finished sleeve:



I started the second sleeve several days ago and it is coming along nicely. Maybe I will be able to wear Crinkle before hot weather sets in…

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Yogurt


Wanna hear something funny? I lost my voice. Today is day 3 and while I feel generally better, I wish my voice would return.

I made yogurt on Sunday. I found a link to the recipe on wikipedia. It turned out great, and I think that I will make our yogurt in the future. It is too easy not to make it.

I have been knitting along on my crinkle sweater and am about to finish a sleeve. Then I will have only one sleeve to go. Then I will do my happy dance. As for my husband’s socks…. I may set them aside when I finish the first sock and make something I really want. A pair of monkey socks for myself.

Since Sarah was amused by my chickens and said they lead Shakespearean lives, I have to tell you something. Our oldest rooster is named Henry. He is large and red. I will have to read the Henry plays and let you all know which one he is.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

FCS Questionnaire

Favorite Color Swap Questionnaire

1. What are your top three favorite colors?
Red, orange, greens/blues

2. What crafts do you really enjoy?
Knitting, sewing, and embroidery are the top 3

3. What products do you really covet?
I’m a yarn and fabric lover. Wool is my favorite fiber for yarn, cotton for fabric. Right now I am probably more into fabric than yarn. Not that I don’t have enough of both…

4. What other activities do you enjoy besides your favorite crafty things?
Painting (watercolor)

5. Is there anything you collect?
Chickens

6. What is your zodiac sign and/or Chinese zodiac symbol?
Cancer, the crab. Not sure about the Chinese zodiac, but I was born in the year of the rat…

7.What are your favorite…

…scents/smells?
Strawberry and vanilla

…types of music and/or bands?
Reggae, rock, folk music Favorite band is U2

…authors?
WB Yeats, but I have most of his writings

…animals?
Not sure I really have a favorite, but I do love dogs and cats. I have a love/hate relationship with my poultry flock.

…places to shop?
JoAnn’s, WEBS, anyplace that sells reproduction fabric

…season?
I love them all, really. Right now I would say spring, in August I would say fall.

…yarn/fabric/paper/other craft supplies?
Need I say I love yarn? Right now I really love print fabrics with red in them - not necessarily as a main color.

…candies or goodies?
Dark chocolate and tea.

8. Do you have any wish lists?
Yes, Amazon

9. Are you allergic to anything?
no

10. Do you have any pets? What are they?
Dog, cat, lovebird

11. Please include anything else you would like your secret pal to know about you- anything that would be helpful in finding you little gifts that you will really enjoy. Also, if you have a Ravelry ID, please include it here.

I am 3grrrlsknit at Ravelry. I love color work in my knitting. I am planning on making some Scandinavian mittens and gloves this summer. This year one of my resolutions is to make a toy every month. I love, love, love red.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sick Week

There hasn’t been much happening around these parts. We’ve all been too sick to do much. We’ve had a horrible cold. Last weekend I was too sick to knit much. When I started feeling better, the littlest knitter needed to be held most of the day. Not really a productive week.

I did manage to finish sewing my quilt squares. It was something I could do that didn’t actually require a lot of concentration. No keeping track of rows, lace patterns, or slipstitches.

A little report on last year’s chickens. Out of the 12 little darlings, there is 1 left. However, one of the little roosters did beget 2 more little roosters with one of our hens. Several of them met with accidents. I suspect they were all hens. Until The Beast came along and began eating all our chickens, we had 4 or 5 little roosters and one little hen. The one little hen is the one we have left. At least the bobcat had the decency to rid me of those nasty little white roosters. The white roosters were mean, like regular bantams tend to me. I had to boot one in the yard one night because it was chasing Knitter #2 trying to peck her. He was going to take me on, but he found that rather difficult when you get nailed with the business end of a boot. Just for good measure I chased him around the yard with a plastic shovel. This year, I am going to wait a bit longer before letting the little ones out so they don’t run into trouble with the adult chickens. Adult chickens can be really vicious with young chickens. I always try to get babies penned up with their mom as soon as possible because I tend to find them floating in the water pans that they could never get into by themselves. I think the roosters do it, but I’ve never seen something like that happen. Back when we had geese, I did see them try to drown a duck. One goose stood on its head in their kiddie pool while the other one (I kid you not) stood look out. I gave them both a couple good whacks with a stick. The geese both died before they were a year old. One got injured somehow and died. The other one died the next day. It moped around the pen and then we found it in their pond. My husband absolutely believes that bird committed suicide. I will now quit depressing you.

Yesterday I started my gardening for the year. I planted lots of flower seeds. Outside, I planted poppies. Inside, I planted a lot of different things. Hopefully, I will start to see sprouts in a few days.

I know that most of you will be able to identify with how my morning was hijacked by bloglines today. I checked bloglines and went to read the ones with new posts. One of them mentioned wanting to make sourdough and someone left a comment about how this group on Ravelry was having a discussion on making sourdough bread. The next thing I knew, it was 5 hours later and I was studying cheese making kits. I am also going to have a go at sourdough starter again AND make some yogurt. I do have to say that during those 5 hours, I did stop and fold laundry, tend children, etc. I have not yet committed myself to making cheese. But I probably will because I have this vision in my mind of my husband coming home and asking how my day was. Fine, I would say. What’s that on the table he would ask. Oh, just some cheese I made. And he would be amazed and tell me how perfect I am. Some people fantasize about yarn or you-know-what.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Chicks and Bunnies

We finally got our baby chicks on Thursday. We are already down to 7 from 8. I had a bad feeling about it as soon as we got home because it wasn’t as lively as the others. That is generally an indication that it isn’t going to make it. The good thing about baby chicks is that if they make it through the first few days, they are going to be fine as long as you take good care of them and keep them out of harms way. Here they are in all their cuteness:



When they grow up they should be shades of gray. I think Blue Cochins are some of the prettiest little birds I’ve seen.

I’ve been a bit bored lately, so I’ve been looking around for some fun knit along type things. This site is a good place to look for such things. Looking there I found the Mystic Light KAL. It is one of those shawl kal’s where you get the pattern bit by bit. I dyed this yarn for it:



On my monitor, the colors are brighter than they actually are. If the orangish bit doesn’t look like the color of rust, you probably aren’t seeing the real color, either. I will be balling up a skein of it today to do the swatch that has already been posted. It is open to join until the 25th of this month. I also joined the Favorite Color Swap. I think this is a nice swap because it is open to anyone. It isn’t just for knitters and you don’t even have to be a crafter at all. You also choose a spending category, so you get matched up with someone who has the same interests as you and the same spending category. It is a very cool idea that I haven’t seen before. It closes today. I think you can still sign up today, anyway.

Yesterday I was wandering my way to the quilting dept at JoAnn’s when I found this:



I have been wanting to get this book for a long time. I’ve read Angry Chicken for a long time and get great ideas/inspiration there. The book looks great, too. Probably one of the reasons I like Amy Karol so much is that she learned a lot of crafting from her mom and grandma just like I did. Plus she has little girls just like me. I always really envy people that learned knitting at a young age, because that was one thing I didn’t learn from Mom or Grandma. I hope to teach my girls to knit someday.

Last of all, I am going to start some easter bunnies for the girls this weekend. They are going to be a sewing project that was inspired by the embroidery book that I’ve been going on and on about here. When I get a little something to show you, I'll post a picture of the inspiration, too.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Taking EZ's Advice

I was really looking forward to having pictures of my new baby chickens to show you today. Alas, no baby chickens. Someone somewhere made a mistake and there won’t be any babies until tomorrow.

Instead of cute little fluff balls, how about a sweater sleeve? Maybe not as cute, but it does grow pretty fast, much like baby birds.



I have also been sort of holding out on you guys. I still have books to show off. These are the ones I consider my little prizes:



I haven’t spent much time with the mitten book, but I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the book on tams. I’ve decided to spend some time this summer knitting mittens and hats for winter. I always think I’m going to do it in the fall, but I don’t manage it. In Knitter’s Almanac, EZ does the next winters mittens in May and some hats in June. I’ve decided to take her advice.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Goodbye February, Hello March

February was a crap month for knitting around here, so let’s hope March is much better. I finished the body of my Crinkle and have started a sleeve.

There were going to be pictures, but the sun left us rather dramatically today. When we got home after preschool to eat lunch it was sunny and over 50 degrees. By the time the kids had eaten lunch, the sun was gone and the temperature had dropped 10 degrees. I let them go out to play anyway. It then proceeded to get even colder and the youngest was dragged in against her will screaming ‘GO OUTSIDE!!’

In the comments, Rima asked about the Doodle embroidery book. I really like it. There are a lot of good inspiration pieces in the front part of the book before you get to the projects. There is a pretty good how to section that includes a bit on embroidering using beads. The projects have a good sized diagram of the embroidery part of the project, how much to enlarge it, and what sort of stitches to use. Among the more interesting projects, there’s a lampshade, embroidered paper bookmarks, and an ID holder. There are lots of your usual type embroidery fare. Pillows, pillowcases, napkins, clothes. But they are more modern motifs. Not the things you envision grandma doing. My favorite thing about the book is the pictures and the encouragement to ‘doodle’ your own patterns. I bought the book for inspiration, not for projects I might find in it. I haven’t been disappointed and there are several projects in it I would actually like to make. If anyone out there is thinking about getting it, I say go for it. Even if you don’t like any of the projects, the how to section makes it worth while. I haven’t seen a lot of embroidery books out there and the few I’ve seen haven’t had as much stitch variety as this one. I am fortunate to have an old embroidery stitch dictionary that my mother had.