Friday, August 21, 2009

My New Best Friend



This is my new best friend. I’ve wanted the Fanny Farmer Cookbook for a very long time. I have the original version, The 1896 Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. It is very interesting and contains my cornbread recipe. I would like to try a lot of the cookies that are in it, but I never seem to get around to them. Last night I used it to bake some squash.

I have issues with plastic. I hate it. When Brent and I got together, I eliminated all of his plastic plates and glasses. Now, with small children, we have plastic cups again. In the dishwasher, they get knocked around and turned right side up and end up full of nasty stuff and need to washed again. A while back I was at a friend’s house and noticed that she lets her kids, who are around the same age as mine, drink out of glass. So I decided to try out trusting my kids with something breakable. It has been working out well. I have decided the plastic stuff is going. I am also thinking about replacing our plastic storage containers with glass. We have some glass storage containers with plastic lids that we got as a wedding gift and they are pretty good. I’m probably not going to get rid of the plastic containers, but when I need more, I will get glass instead. I think plastic is a huge problem for society. It is TOO disposable. When I think ‘plastic bowl’, I also think ‘junk’. And then the health issues… I don’t want to even think what chemicals might already be a part of my future grandchildren thanks to plastic.

Do you feel better? I do.

Check out the backpack:




I was amazed with how cool it is. I changed the straps. They were just sewn in, but I made the straps adjustable for growing kids. Initially, I was worried that the backpack wouldn’t be big enough. When I cut the pattern out, I checked back/front piece against Knitter #2’s old backpack and was pleased that it was the same size. Now for the purple one…

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Backpacks...

This is what I have been working with today:



At this point, most of it looks much different than it did this morning. And boy was I needing a break from it. I think I have most of the touchy stuff done. I am almost done putting the pockets on. It seems like putting the body together should be easy peasy. However, I will not hold my breath. Or count my eggs.



I’ve finished my sweater front and am now working on the first sleeve. I’m thinking it is entirely possible I will have this thing finished by the time the weekend is over. Fast knits are fun. Generally, I gravitate towards more complicated things, though. Like cables or color work. Once again, I let my subscription to IK lapse and missed getting the summer issue. I picked it up at the store yesterday and was amazed to find so many things that I really think I would wear. That’s always what happens when you let a subscription go.

Is everyone having a lot of strange weather this summer? I know the Northeast is, but how about other parts of the country? We are supposed to hit 100 on Thursday and last weekend, we had sweater weather. One thing about all the freaky cold weather we’ve been having is that it is easy on the air conditioning. And it makes you want to knit a lot.

Last of all, this is my crochet project:



It is a project I mentioned months ago that I am doing to use up all my copious amounts of old white acrylic yarn. I am making 2 butterfly afghans, one for each kid. I might even have enough pink and purple to make the butterfly squares. I am sort of hoping to have them done for Christmas, but we’ll see. I am only 6 squares in to a 70 square, 36 butterfly project. Maybe Easter or next Christmas…

Friday, August 14, 2009

I Love Knitting Again

I don’t know if it’s the cool weather, the big needles, or the new books. Knitting hasn’t excited me this much in a long time. There are all kinds of things that I would like to knit and I am even thinking about my 2 sweaters that are still in the design process right now. I’d like to start one of them this fall if I have the time and get some other projects out of the way.

This is the back of my DROPS 100-3 sweater:



You might be able to see the color changes. It isn’t the best picture for that, though. I am halfway up the front right now. I am a few centimeters from dividing the front to work each side.

I’ve been doing some other things this week, too:




These are not from my garden. The grasshoppers have done most of our garden in this year. I haven’t seen grasshoppers this bad in many years. I’ve been picking up produce at the stands in town. The only thing we have left is the tomatoes, pumpkins and Brussels sprouts. And I haven’t been out there in days, so I could be wrong about that. The garden hasn’t had as much attention this year with all the stress I’ve had. My stress levels are improving. There is nothing like your husband’s unemployment and a death in the family to throw you into a tailspin. I really am starting to feel like I’m getting my balance back.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I Won!

I got 2 blue ribbons, 1 red, and 1 white at the fair:







This one won a special award as well as a blue ribbon:



The girls did very well, too:




I am quite proud of them and their art work. I’ve never made a dime off any artwork I’ve done. They’ve both made their first dollar on their artwork. I guess they can officially say they are artists. But not starving artists until they leave home.

We are now gearing up for the school year. School starts officially next Friday for Knitter #2. First grade. Her very first time going to school every day. I started last week working us back into a regular schedule because getting her ready for school last year was such a nightmare. I am also trying to savor the fact that it is still summer. I love summer, but I also love shopping for school supplies. I always have. Preschool doesn’t start until September 1.

Knitter #2 reminded me this afternoon that I had promised to make new dresses for them for school. I already have to get their backpacks made, so it seems like I have some sewing ahead of me this week and next.

Before I do any sewing, though, there is this:

This is most of the yarn that I have recently bought. Part of it has already been knit up into the back and about 1/3 of the front of my new sweater project. I am considering giving myself a challenge to see if I can knit it all before the end of September. A challenge like that always gets me excited to knit. It would almost be cheating because several of the projects are knit on pretty large needles. My current sweater is on size 15’s.
Anyone who really knows me and my knitting knows the challenge is on. My only problem is that part of the yarn that WEBS sent was the wrong yarn. I need to call them and fix the problem before I forget about it. I think I might be able to use the wrong yarn for a sweater I’ve been drooling over for a while…

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Return of the Knitting Mojo

Boy, does our pool get nasty. The past few weeks I hadn’t checked the chlorine like I should, so yesterday it looked like a mosquito infested algae pit. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but you get the idea. Last night I doctored the pool, this morning I stirred the cauldron. I did a bit of skimming last night and thought I had most of the dead grasshoppers out. Until I attached the pool vacuum this morning and stirred up the stuff in the bottom. It seemed this morning like the more I skimmed, the more there was to skim.

Here is my new knitting project:



I am loving the fast knitting of the size 15 needles. This sweater is DROPS 100-3. I have been in love with it since I first laid eyes on it a couple years ago. I am using Elann yarn for it. It is their Pure Alpaca Fina and Super Kydd. Between the alpaca and the mohair, I can’t quit stopping and petting the sweater.

This is my BYOB:



I’ve been working on it forever. I enjoy it, but I am getting tired of knitting cotton. Right now, I am also working on a cotton Patchwork Tortoise. The other day, I ordered yarn for Knitter#2’s new fall sweater. It, too, is cotton. It is a blend, so it will be more pleasant to work with.

To keep my knitting mojo up, I am planning small projects for this fall. I have yarn for a vest ordered and have been eyeing some of the smaller fall and winter projects from DROPS. I may call the yarn shop and ask them which of the DROPS yarns they stock, because they don’t stock them all. I felt some of the yarns one time and they were absolute heaven.

Today I am starting my new plan to get us organized and uncluttered. I found a book at the library that gives you a project for each week. And you start small. This week I will be organizing my mind.

The kids are going to be going to bed an half an hour earlier this week, too. School starts in about 2 weeks, I think. Preschool starts in September. I’ve been trying to get myself ready for the school year. I am not doing workouts on the days that I will be at preschool, to save myself the stress of changing my schedule and losing momentum. I don’t actually know when school starts because I haven’t had a letter from the school yet. Hopefully it comes soon…