Archive for November, 2009

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Love to knit!

I am knitting a lot and am enjoying it so much! I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed it.

I’ve made some progress on the Log Cabin.

logcabinagain1

My initial plan was around 30 inches square, not 40 as I had said earlier. I have one more bar to knit of this “round”, then one more round at which point, I’ll evaluate the size and remaining yarn amounts. To Jean-I’m using Cascade 220.

Over the weekend, I went through the girls’ half of my yarn stash and picked yarn for my first try at brioche knitting.

brioche1

It’s rather fascinating.

brioche2

Abby loves the hat and it looks quite lovely on her, so she’ll get it when I’m done. There are some mistakes here and there, but I’m not stressing it as it is my “learning” project. There’s a cabled brioche pattern in one of my stitch books that I’ve always liked. I think it’d make a warm and pretty hat for my mother-in-law but I need to learn how to do it. I’m following the pattern in Weekend Knits, and I’m about to start the decreases, which look complicated.

In a bit, the boys and I are going to my mother-in-law’s house so I can learn how to make her famous fruit salad at the request of my husband. It’s a holiday tradition in his family and one of his favorite things in the world to eat.

It’s cold and gray here, and it’s about time to start decorating for Christmas. That seems so overwhelming to me right now. Not the decorating so much as the fact that whatever I get out is going to have to be packed up and put back away in a month or so. Not to mention the fact that I have to clean up around here before there’s going to be room to decorate. If it were just me, I think I’d buy a little Charlie Brown tree, stick in in a bucket of water, put a strand of lights and garland on it and call it good. And I’m not feeling grinchy in the least. I’m excited for Christmas, I’m just in the mood to do it small and quiet this year. But the girls will be so disappointed not to have all the “stuff” out.

We’re going to need to come to a compromise, I think.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

Quick post

Sorry, things have been busy. So, here’s a picture Liv took last night of me knitting on the blanket

blanketknitting

and here’s a picture of the blanket so far, well, two pictures. Neither one has very accurate color, but it’s the best I can do this morning.

blanket1

blanket2

To my fellow Americans, have a fabulous Thanksgiving. To everyone, I’ll probably pop back in on Friday. I’m about to take Veronica to school and then run to the store to get stuff for baking a bunch of rolls, pumpkin pies, and that yam/marshmallow thing for our dinner tomorrow, as well as for the party my brother is going to.

If any of you have a recipe for that yam/marshmallow thing that works, I’d love to hear. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it yet.

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Impressed

Last night, I picked up my guitar and started playing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Abby ran and got her ukulele and started playing with me. Shortly after, Liv got her viola. Abby wasn’t familiar with all the chords, so while I was working with her, I hardly noticed that Liv was picking out the melody with no music, no written notes, nothing.

She did amazing. It was really fun to play together like that.

She’s playing a school instrument this year, but wants her own. She’s also talking about working towards a college scholarship. I’m all for that! Go Liv!

viola

I’ve exercised already today (yay me!), and despite having eaten breakfast, I’m starving. The boys and are are going to the grocery store in a few minutes. We’re out of everything.

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Rosebud socks

I finally finished weaving in ends yesterday. That’s about all I was able to do with yarn. It was a demanding day. Today is shaping up similar.

But, here they are, and they’re nice.

rosebud1

rosebudclose

Hand dyed sock yarn. Size 1 needles. Stitch came from the Harmony Guide, Vol 2.

I’m not feeling very interesting today. Everything I type sounds flat. So, I’ll just say that socks are finished. I’m still working on the Log Cabin Blanket and the Esther Williams hat when the boys will let me. I think I’ve picked a stitch (Snails out of this book) for another hat for my mother-in-law, the last I have planned at this point. I’m tired of Clark whacking me in the leg with his head. I’m tired of being perpetually hungry. (Seriously annoying). And I’m just plain tired.

I’m also tired of my body hurting, so I did some physical therapy exercises for my lower back today, stretched for the first time in ages, and did 20 minutes on the elliptical.

It felt good.

My goal is to do a few minutes of something strength building or lightly aerobic every day. And I’m very aware of the little voice in the back of my head laughing her butt off at me for being so foolish as to say that publicly because it’s a long shot. But my body is screaming at me to start taking care of it and it’s getting difficult to ignore.

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I love color

I really do. While interesting stitch patterns are what I like to knit, nothing is more enjoyable to look at, or makes me feel more happy inside than a perfectly combined group of colors. Which is probably why I’m enjoying knitting this blanket so much.

logcabinagain

Liv has knit on one of the light pink/lavender sections. Abby hasn’t shown much interest in knitting on it, but she really likes to cast off edges, so she’s done a couple of those. I’ll get Veronica’s hands in there at some point. We’ve been busy.

Imagine that.

Saturday afternoon, my mother-in-law had her head shaving party. Several of us brought sugar cookies for the grandkids to decorate. My father-in-law, mother-in-law and their six sons all shaved their heads, as well as three grandsons. It was an event. Clark wanted a “haircut” too, but when I asked him if he wanted all of his hair gone, he said no. So, I put up with a bit of crying from him and he still has his hair. He’s been buzzed before, and I don’t really like it on him. Plus, it took all of last year to grow back.

Everyone loves her new hat on her. I’m very pleased.

I’ve knit an entire ball of Cashmerino Aran into most of an Esther Williams hat.

rosyestherstart

Apparently, it takes more than one ball. I didn’t remember that from the last one I made, but I can’t argue with the fact that the hat isn’t done, and I’m out of yarn. There’s more on hold at the yarn store.

Baby acne has hit little Max pretty hard. Poor thing. His face is all rough, and he looks, well, blotchy.

babybumps

As for the blanket. I started the center square with 17 stitches on a size 6 needle. It’s a 3 3/4 inch square. The surrounding bars are 16 rows tall/ 8 garter ridges. I’m going to knit ’til the yarn is gone, hoping for a lap blanket about 40 inches square. If I run out of yarn before then, I’ll get more.

Friday, November 13th, 2009

She likes it!

The handspun hat fit perfect and looks great on my mother-in-law. It suits her coloring well, I think.

Here’s the Log Cabin blanket so far…

logcabinstart

You’ll get a better feel for the color layout when it’s bigger. The colors aren’t balanced yet. But I’m really liking it. Even though it’s garter stitch!

I’ve been up since 3:45 this morning. I was up at 4:30 am yesterday. I’m really, really tired. And have a lot to do today, so I’m going to challenge the fates and take a shower before getting everyone taken care of and out of here.

Oh, wait. Max needs to eat first.

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

One hat done, if it fits

I knit the handspun hat last night. Clark graciously agreed to model it for you all.

hat1

hat2

hat3

It’s just merino wool and silk, but it looks like there’s angora rabbit in there, with the soft halo. You can see it in the pictures. It’s a nice effect, though unintentional.

I’m not going to weave in the tail ’til my mother-in-law tries it on to make sure it fits. It might be too tall for her.

I have two more hats waiting to be knit, and we’ve just barely started the blanket (Cascade 220). I have the middle square done but every time I go to start the next color, Max cries or Clark needs help in the bathroom.

Monday, November 9th, 2009

This is fun!

So, when I couldn’t get to a yarn store, I was trying to think about what I might have on hand to use for a hat for my mother-in-law. She requested a pink hat, in the hopes that it will give her face some color. I have a big ball of pink merino top that I’ve had for several years and haven’t known what to do with. It’s not my favorite shade of pink. It’s a cool pink, and if I may say, rather obnoxious. But it’s what I had, so I brought it up from the basement and stared at it for awhile, trying to think of what I could do with it that would be nice for my mother-in-law. As it happens, I’d cleaned out my knitting basket recently, and had a pile of bombyx and tussah silk top that I’d dyed mahogany still piled on the living room floor. I don’t remember what I dyed it for, sampling for something I’m sure. I decided to try to spin the merino into a slubbed single (lumpy thick and thin bits) and ply it with the silk, spun into a thin, even single.

It’s neat! I like it!

slubyarn2

I plied it a bit weird, going back and forth to encase portions of the pink merino wool, and making “bumps” here and there of the silk. It reminds me of a medieval dress. Since my mother-in-law was on my mind, it made me think of Gueneviere, which is one of her favorite stories.

slubyarn

I ended up having to run the merino back through the spinning wheel to add more twist before I could ply it and it still could have used more twist. I used all three of my spinning wheels for this yarn. I made the slub on my Clemes, spun the silk on my Ashford Traditional, and plied them together with the wild flyer and big bobbin on my Majacraft Suzie. Clark “helped” by treadling the Clemes for me while I drafted the fibers out.

I’ve knit a swatch to get gauge and see how it feels.

slubswatch

Cool, huh?

It’s really, really soft and will be quite warm, but I’d imagine it’d be a bit breezy outdoors because of the inconsistency in the yarn thickness. It’s a bit wild and crazy for my mother-in-law, but I think she’ll like it. And if she doesn’t, I know someone who does… :-) .

My brother met us at the yarn store on Saturday and bought two balls of Cashmerino Aran in different shades of pink for hats for my mother-in-law which is quite sweet of him, as he’s perpetually broke. But he likes her a lot and was happy to be able to do something for her.

My brother, Nate, and Veronica helped pick colors for that Log Cabin blanket I wrote about last week.

logcabinyarn

After drawing out about a dozen ways to arrange the colors, using colored pencils and paper, I’ve decided on one. I’m excited. It’s going to be really pretty. The girls are out of school the next two days, and I hope to get a good start on it, having them knit.

Liv finally finished her hat, knit with the yarn she spun from the wool she dyed way back whenever that was. Summer break, I think. It’s fabulous.

hat

That’s it for today. I’m anxious to spin more slub yarn. It’s fast, fun, and gorgeous. I have two hand dyed fibers already that I think would look great spun up that way. Have no idea when I’ll get to it though…

Friday, November 6th, 2009

A week of Saturdays

Sort of. Abby and Olivia have been home sick all week, and I’ve been caring for them. I’m tired. They’re feeling better now but are still coughing and sniffling a lot, and they don’t have the stamina for a full school day.

Today, Abby’s working on book reports and Liv is finishing her sock monkey we started in September. I’m doing laundry and need to make more bread. We’re on our last loaf.

We’re making our first attempts at toilet training Clark. I don’t know how it’ll go, considering his bowel issues. But he’s been in underwear for a few hours now and it’s been ok.

I’ve finished the Rosebud socks, just need to weave in the ends. And I think I should restart Clark’s sock and make the toe wider. He has such blocky little feet.

I really need a nap though. Maybe I’ll try for one now.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Baby hat

I don’t think I’ve shown you a picture of Max in his hat yet.

carseat1

carseat2

It fits great, and being 1×1 ribbing with a large cuff, it should fit him for quite awhile.