Monday, October 27, 2008

Cowgirl Up!

I have recovered from my cold, thank goodness. This weekend I had some sewing to do. This year Knitter #2 is being a cowgirl and Knitter #3 is being Strawberry Shortcake. The sewing is much easier this year. However, I did have to buy 2 pairs of cowgirl boots. And I’ve been told that I can’t call them cowgirl boots, because they are cowboy boots. Whatever, girl. Get your cowgirl boots on so we can go already.

Here is what I worked on over the weekend:



There was even some knitting:



The first mitten is finally growing a twin. Warm hands all around, I say.

Since I told myself I could start that new project if I finished some stuff, I have sort of lost my obsessive interest in starting it. I think I am going to start it when I get all those things finished, anyway. I originally bought the yarn to make that outfit for the oldest child and now am planning on making for the youngest. It is starting to seem like I need to get on it and get it done before she grows too much. I doubt it would be cost effective to just have another baby. And there is always the off chance that my husband might make a boy and then where would we be? Much easier to just knit the cute little outfit…

Thursday, October 23, 2008

King Henry

I have had a rotten cold for a couple days now. And I have this rotten, not so great cold medicine I am taking until I can get something better tomorrow. But things are better with the cold medicine than without. Yesterday morning I woke up so out of it that I baked some chocolate chip pumpkin muffins without a bit of sugar in them. Yup. The really funny thing is they were actually really good! In the future, I may make them with less sugar than the recipe calls for.

How did I do with my knitting weekend? Pretty well, but I didn’t get to knit as much as I wanted to. Other things kept getting in the way. I did finish the sleeves:



And now I’ve moved onto knitting this:



I need to get off my duff and get the second pink mitten knitted for the poor little kid with cold hands around here. She also needs a hat and scarf. She seems to have forgotten that she started knitting a scarf last summer.

In my sidebar, I mention our birds, but I almost never show any pictures of them. This is what I was greeted with when I went to let them out today:



And here are the roosters with a couple hens:



Henry is the only rooster with a name. He is our biggest and oldest chicken. He’s the only one left from the first chickens we bought the year we got married. That was 2002. Henry is the only one who knows what that first winter was like when the chickens were roughing it. They had no protection from the wind, and were barely out of the weather. When they got their chicken coop, they knew they were in heaven. If the weather was bad, they’d come out on the ramp, look around, and go back in. Just because they could. We have 5 roosters because my husband won’t kill them when they are young enough to eat. My answer is to get 20 pullets in the spring. I once swore I would never buy big chickens again. However, they don’t sex bantams, I am sick of being overrun with roosters, and I want to sell eggs. Best of all, deciding what kind of chickens to buy is just as fun as picking out what to plant in your garden.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Next Knitting Project?

I find myself wanting to start a new project. That is kind of in opposition of my wanting to finish up all of my ongoing projects. Many of them are dark colored and are not fun to knit in the evening. I’ve been using my sweater sleeve as my sitting at the computer project. (We have dial-up, so everything is SLOW). Right now, I am promising myself a new project when I finish my sweater sleeve, get to the heel of my first Monkey sock, finish a second pink mitten AND finish the 2nd Critter. By the time I manage all those things, I will probably have lost all desire to start a new project. In case I haven’t, this is the project I am thinking about:



But in this color way:



Yesterday, I decided to over dye an experiment that turned out poorly:



I think the result is much better:



I over dyed with a bright yellow. I would probably not buy yarn in those colors, but at least I could bear to wear socks that look like that. It will be interesting to see what it looks like all knit up. Maybe it will surprise me and look fabulous.

I hope to spend my weekend knitting. Last night I decided I need to have a nice knitting weekend since I can’t fly across country and go to a certain fiber festival. Maybe I’ll finish something, you never know!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

How It All Came Out

Yesterday when I looked at my yarn, I was really disappointed. The red looked very purple and it was plain ugly. Last night I left it hanging on the pantry door knob. This morning I found it much prettier, but still not what I am looking for.



My scarf looks beautiful:



And it was way easier than making a new Clapotis.

Does anyone reading dye yarn? I want to find a red dye that I like better than the Jacquard colors I’ve been using. If anyone has a suggestion for a bright red, leave a comment!

Last week when it was freaky cold around here, I found myself trolling ravelry for shawl patterns. I saw Revontuli and fell in love with the rainbow colors, thinking it was a round shawl. Somehow, I just knew it would be great for snuggling up with while watching tv. I was disappointed to find out it wasn’t, but decided I could use the pattern to make a round shawl with a little help from EZ. Just to prove to myself that I still have self-control, I haven’t started it yet.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dyeing of Anticipation...

I hate waiting to see how my dyed yarn turns out. It makes me crazy with anticipation. I’m still trying to find a perfect combination to dye some yarn for Thermal. And I’m starting to get the feeling that I might not get just the color I am looking for. I also bit the bullet and got up the nerve to dye my Clapotis today. We’ll see how it comes out.

I’m now about halfway through the second sleeve of my Accordion sweater. I will be happy to be done with it and get on with the business of knitting the body. I need a wool sweater to keep me warm. One that isn’t huge, anyway. I have an Elsebeth Lavold coat that is ‘one size’ and made with Lopi. It is very warm, but not for indoor wear. Unless you have no heat, that is. I love it when it is below freezing. Of course, the Accordion sweater may end up too warm for indoor wear, too. I am making it with Valley Yarns Berkshire.

I have pretty much decided not to knit anything for the holidays this year. Too much stress to knit this or that and get it done. I may make doll clothes for the kids. Sewing can be so much easier than knitting something. Note that I say ‘can be’. I met my Waterloo a few years ago with a little dress. To this day it hasn’t been finished. I will be approaching the holidays this year knitting something fun without any pressure to get it finished.

Right now, I am trying to think how I can slip some chocolate cake past Knitter #2. I could use the good old ‘you didn’t eat yours last night’ ploy. Kids can be so pesky when you want to have illicit snacks…

Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Decorating Day

I love this season. Except when it is unseasonably cold like it has been the last few days. It has felt like November. Saturday we had a high of 43 with a howling cold wind. I had to save our bird feeders from the wind it was blowing so hard. And they were full! Well, they were full when the wind started blowing. My bird feeders are pretty heavy when they are full.

Today is Halloween decorating. A couple years ago I decided that the day after the youngest birthday would be Halloween Decorating Day. One of my aunts gave me a Haunted House last year. It is going to be so cool with the Spooky Tree I have. Halloween is probably my favorite decorating holiday.

And I can’t BELIEVE my baby is 3. How is this possible? Children grow up so fast. Too fast. Probably her favorite thing was the birthday cake. Of course, there were handmade presents. It is so nice to be able to say I am done with the Patchwork Tortoise:



There was also this cute little thing:



To me, it looks sort of like an Alien. It is a free crochet pattern that I found on Ravelry. If anyone is interested, they are called Too Cute Dolls. Knitter #3 calls it Critter.

Last week the big freeze came. The garden is gone, so I don’t have that to worry about anymore. The end of the gardening season is always sad, but welcome. This year was better than the last few years, maybe even the best ever. I want more out of my garden, though. We are going to put in some raised beds for next year and see if we can improve things. I think I will clean up the garden this fall instead of waiting for spring. I always enjoy the sort of grotesque look of the garden with snow on the sagging, dead plants. To me, it looks gothic, like something from Mary Shelley. In a way, I look forward to the dark, cold days of November and December when we get fogged in and my feet stay cold for days. When they actually get here though, I don’t like it so much. This all reminds me I need to mend my wool socks…

Thursday, October 02, 2008

October

Since it is the beginning of October now, maybe I should tell you how I did with my summer weight loss plan. Not so great, really. I wanted to lose 24 lbs over 3 months, which is really a stretch. However, I have lost 8 lbs so far. A real victory considering all the eating I did in July when my brother and niece came to visit. My workouts never survive big changes, so I planned ahead for school starting. I don’t have time for a workout every morning anymore, so I started running in the afternoon. My new plan is to see if I can lose the rest of the weight by New Year’s Day. I do feel good about the weight I’ve lost because I’m wearing jeans I haven’t worn since before Knitter #2 was born.

How about that spinning? Sunday morning, I got the bag of things out that came with the spindle and found a bunch BFL all ready for me to spin! And it was a lot easier to spin than my merino. Rebecca mentioned in the comments that it might be that the roving needed to be pulled apart a little and I think she might be right. The merino didn’t look anything like the BFL. I am so glad the spinning is going better now. Knitter #2 wants to learn how to spin now.

Over the weekend, I got to do a lot of knitting and managed to finish the first sleeve for my Accordion sweater. Finishing a sleeve is almost like finishing a project around here these days. It is crunch time for finishing any birthday projects, so I am now concentrating on finishing the Patchwork Tortoise. It would have been easier to follow the directions and knit the edge of the shell separately and sew it on, but I like to torture myself. Thankfully I am now binding off the shell. Next time, I will let you know if I have lived to regret stuffing the body before attaching all the other parts…