All in a Day’s Work

I diligently finished knitting a sleeve over the weekend, then I wove in lots of yarn ends (the only downside of stripes), then I gave the cardigan a nice bath.

I am using Soak (no rinse wool wash) here, but have no brand preference.
I am using Soak (no-rinse wool wash) here, but have no brand preference.

If you are my non-knitting friends and family, then you may not know how deep the knitting underworld goes, but trust me, it’s deep.  There is knitting lingo.  There is an online community.  And there are (gasp) famous knitters.  My very favorite knitting writer/humorist/blogger is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee…the Yarn Harlot (google her if you wish).  She recently wrote a very lovely post about blocking (making your knitting look finished).  Now, as it happens, I am of the same mindset as the Yarn Harlot when it comes to washing and blocking.  Some people simply steam, but my preference is a full immersion bath/soak unless I am in a great hurry.

However, occasionally, this method can have its drawbacks.  For instance, in last Friday’s post I promised that the Clam Digger Cardigan would be finished, blocked, photographed, and ready for posting today.  I do not break promises…(barring emergencies, catastrophes, and all that).  However, this morning, the cardigan was still soaking wet a little damp.  I always underestimate the amount of time woolish things take to dry, and oddly, even though Colorado has an arid climate, my apartment remains curiously humid.  So after a few interesting attempts to dry it faster (possibly involving a hair dryer and/or poking holes in foam board with a knitting needle), I had an idea.  What could possibly be warmer/dryer than a car in Colorado on a warm, sunny day?  Not much.

So, the damp cardigan ran errands with me and my kids.

There it is on some foam board in my trunk.
There it is on some foam board in my trunk.  Do you see those things at the bottom?  Bonus project.  Matching leg warmers.  Size US 5 DPNs, same yarn, Cast on 40 stitches (would’ve used smaller DPNs for the ribbing, but didn’t have any in the car while knitting).

A couple of errands later, and it was ready for wearing.  The children and I took it to the park.

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Gray leopard print jeans are maybe not what I would pair these knits with, but I’m not arguing with a 6 year-old who agrees to actually wear the things I knit.

We don’t have any oceans (no clam digging for us), but we’ve got lakes, so that’s where we went.

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And as an added bonus, if the day turns a little chilly and windy, you can just rip the leg warmers right off your daughter and use them as hand warmers instead.  I’m practically an evil genius.

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Another project done.  What I need to do now is to sit down and finish the fairy quilt, but I may have slipped and fallen into another knitting project over the weekend.  This one’s for me.

Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty: Spring 2008.  Yarn: Plymouth Yarn, Royal Llama Linen.  40% Fine Llama, 35% Silk, 25% Linen
Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty: Spring 2008. Yarn: Plymouth Yarn, Royal Llama Linen. 40% Fine Llama, 35% Silk, 25% Linen

How was your Monday?

 

 

One More Day

Have I mentioned how much I love new babies?  Well, I still do.  It’s been reconfirmed by a day trip to visit Lena, my new little niece.  She is still so new that she can scrunch up her little body into impossible positions and “sleep like a baby.”  From personal experience that phrase only applies to the newest of babies…then it switches and only applies to dads (the sleeping, not the scrunching).

Lena's mommy, Corrie, gave me permission to post   pics of her cute little Lena.  This is Lena with her new bunny…she's mid yawn in this one.   So cute!
(Lena’s mommy, Corrie, gave me permission to post pics of her cute little Lena.) This is Lena with her new bunny…she’s mid yawn in this one. So cute!

Sadly, the day trip has left little time for blogging today, but it did spare some time for knitting. :)

On the drive there (and back), I finished a (bonus) project to compliment the sweater I’m making for Tilly.  I am trying to use up all the pink (Elsebeth Lavold Cool Wool in Rose) yarn. I’m not showing you what the bonus project is though…it’s a surprise.  I plan on showing you all on Monday when everything is finished and blocked.

I will show you a little of yesterday’s knitting.

I'm hoping (probably against all odds) that this will turn out prettier looking once it's been washed.
I’m hoping (probably against all odds) that this will turn out prettier looking once it’s been washed.

I finished one of the sleeves and even tried the invisible ribbed bind off on the cuff…there’s a very nice video and links to written directions.  I got distracted at one point, so I’m not sure if I followed the directions correctly.  Let’s see how it blocks out once the sweater is finished.  I can always change it later if I need to.

It’s Friday…thank goodness.  My kids will soon be back in school, and that means my crafting and organizing can go at full force once more.  Wait a sec, I just looked at their school calendar, and it’s (absurdly) telling me that they have Monday off too…grrrrr.  (Mumbling to myself: enjoy the moments, it goes by too fast…).

Have a happy weekend! :)

 

Snuggles and Sleeves

Yesterday was good for my (organizational) sanity but not as much for crafty blog updates.  Tilly and I watched “The Princess Diaries 2” with Anne Hathaway and none other than the Captain of the starship Enterprise, James T. Kirk….alright, it was Chris Pine (William Shatner would’ve made an odd love interest for a princess).  It had some semi-surprising twists and turns and some great comedic actors (don’t get me wrong, it had its fair share of terrible actors as well).  It was better than I thought it would be.  We folded laundry, ate popcorn, and got in some good snuggles (great suggestion from the comments yesterday :)).

Then I turned off the TV, kicked my son off of the computer, and we all journeyed over to Red Rocks Park for a small hike.

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It was a busy day at Red Rocks…lots of people.

It’s only a 15-20 minute drive from where we live, and it’s amazing.  For part of the path you get to walk on the rock, and it makes the whole world feel a bit tilted.  The whole walk around is not too hard of a hike for adults, but it can be arduous and long for the little ones.  The dirt/sand makes it slippery, and there are no safety fences to keep anyone from falling over edges.  At one point we were going one way and there was a pregnant woman with two little ones, probably ages 2 and 4, going the other direction, and I kept praying that they came out of the hike alright.  She was there with friends, so I’m sure everything turned out fine, but Tilly fell down at least 5 times in the few moments when I wasn’t holding her hand.  We had a good time though (despite my worrying) and every several feet or so, Dodge stopped to point out some odd bit of plant growth.  Amazing place.

As for the knitting, I’ve finished the edging and started a sleeve.  I like to use DPNs (that’s Double Pointed Needles for you non-knitters).  They are my favorite way to knit smallish things in the round.  captured_by_snapseed_240_1

I don’t know why, but when I knit with DPNs they make me feel like I’m a spider spinning her web (that might be the influence of too many spider characters in children’s books.  Currently, it’s Ms. Spider from James and the Giant Peach).  Anyway, it’s turning out great so far.  Technically, according to the pattern, you should knit the sleeves and then the edging, but it makes no difference to the outcome, and I enjoy knitting sleeves, so I save them for last.

Well, the weather app on my phone said it was supposed to rain or snow today, but so far it’s a big lying liar.  So we’re off to absorb a little Vitamin D.

Have a Happy Thursday!

 

 

Best Laid Plans

I have figured it out.  Conclusions have been drawn from my ‘spring break experiment’, the one in which I see how much I can accomplish with the children at home all day.

Conclusion #1

Children make me sick.  Literally.  I woke up this morning with one swollen tonsil which is an odd and annoying feeling.  I am beating it down with my arsenal of cold-curing weaponry.

Conclusion #2

I had a plan to clean and organize one room/closet everyday for 10 days.  However, I neglected to remember that the needs of children are many during the day and that more meals at home means more dishes.  It somehow also means more stepping on plastic tiaras.  I have broken two.  I am wondering if there is a limitless supply. Curious.

Conclusion #3

Children have their own ideas.  For instance, when I announce the plan for the day, I am combatted with their plans for the day.  This type of nonsense didn’t happen when they were Two and Five.  Six and Nine is a whole different ballgame.

Lastly, Conclusion #4

I have been able to maintain my daily laundry washing.  I have not, however, been able to maintain the actual folding and putting away of said laundry.  Presently, I have two laundry baskets at the foot of my bed (this was done to motivate myself somehow).  The contents of my clean laundry basket have multiplied, but the contents of the dirty clothes basket seems also to be growing, not diminishing as planned.  Now they are both overflowing into one big confusing laundry mass.  Horrifying.

I have learned so many things from this experiment, and technically, I am only 3 weekdays in…well not even a full 3.   So for today, I will fold laundry, keep doing dishes, get my children out of the house for a bit, and possibly, I will sneak in some knitting here and there.  Wish me luck!

Yesterday afternoon, I managed to get my children over to a very nearby park.  I am not proud of this, but I bribed my children with donut holes from LaMar‘s to get them to take pictures of me wearing the Lavender Seed Stitch Scarf.  Dodge (Dodge is one of my son’s many nicknames) actually ran away from me shouting “NO” and flailing his arms.  Tilly was much more willing, but her ability to take camera phone photos is limited by her only having 6 years of life lived.

Anyway, here are the two photos that managed to make me look like a human being wearing a scarf:

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And:

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This one had to be edited into submission.

The scarf will be delivered to its new owner on Friday, and I will also get to see my lovely, new niece, Lena.

Have a beautiful Wednesday! :)

 

 

Color Me Happy

I change my mind a lot…about a lot of things.  I like to think I’m mysterious and unpredictable, but my husband might be more likely to refer to my ever-changing opinions and rules as confusing or maybe even just confused (my words, not his…I enjoy making up things that I think he might be thinking).  Anyway, this “mysteriousness” of mine happens a lot when it comes to color.  I have no favorite color…or possibly I have a different favorite color every five minutes.  Either way, I think all colors have a place and time (and possibly a pattern) that they could live in and make me very happy.

Rewind 6ish years:  I was pregnant with my daughter, Tilly, and I was one of those moms that was a little anti-pink.  Not extreme, like, “I’ll never let my little girl where any girly colors, ever,” but I thought I could limit the pinkness or maybe just have a little influence.  Well, let me tell ya, the power of pink is strong in this world, and it doesn’t like to be messed with.

Sorry if it's blurry.  It's hard to "capture" 6 year olds in the wild.  Get it…"capture"…capture a photo…eh.  (Hey Dad! It really is bad joke Tuesday).
Sorry if it’s blurry. It’s hard to “capture” 6 year olds in the wild. Get it…”capture”…capture a photo…meh. (Hey Dad! It really is bad joke Tuesday).

She picked out her own outfit for today, and this is what she chose.

Needless to say, I have embraced pink.  I actually even like it…it’s very Spring-ish and flowery, and it can be the kind of ‘bright’ that sneaks into your brain and turns everything into happiness and love.  I say all this to prepare you for what I did to the mirror.

I used Martha Stewart Crafts™  Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint.  Colors: Pink Dahlia, Wedding Cake (white), and Pollen (yellow) mixed with a little Granny Smith (greenish) and Wedding Cake to tone town the orange.
I used Martha Stewart Crafts™ Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic Craft Paint. Colors: Pink Dahlia, Wedding Cake (white), and Pollen (yellow) mixed with a little Granny Smith (greenish) and Wedding Cake to tone town the orange.

It is crazy pink and so bright, it’s almost jarring.  I consulted the experts (that would be my children) on colors that might be great in a little girl’s room and this is what they gave me.  Pink and yellow.  Well, at least it’s done, and possibly someone with similar taste in color as my color consultants (that would be my children again) will love it and purchase it for their very own.

Can you handle any more pink?

Knitting the edging…I picked up about 212 stitches up the front around the shoulders and neck and back down the other side of the front.
Knitting the edging…I picked up about 212 stitches up the front around the shoulders and neck and back down the other side of the front.

I promise I’ll throw some other colors in here tomorrow.  Have a great Tuesday!

 

Birthdays and Blog Awards

Happy Spring Break to me!  I got nominated for a Liebster Blog Award by Mistine from CrazyPurls!… but more about that in a little bit.

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It’s cold and cloudy here today, so my kids and I are having a lazy Monday…it’s entirely possible that I’m still wearing pajamas.  Also, 3/4 of my family have a nasty cold.  I am, currently, the healthiest of the bunch, but I can feel my lymph nodes trying to fight it off (I’m sure that’s not entirely medically accurate).

This is my weapon of choice.

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That’s Jasmine Green Tea with a splash of Scotch Whiskey.  Add some honey if you choose, but I mostly drink unsweetened drinks (which is a miracle considering I grew up on Kool-Aid and Sweet Tea).  I don’t think it does much to fight anything off, but it makes me warm. :)  The kids don’t get the Scotch…they get Rooibos Chai with a little milk and honey.

captured_by_snapseed_192_1 (1)And just so you don’t think tea drinking is all I’ve been doing, I have this to show you:

Clam Digger Cardigan.
Tilly’s Clam Digger Cardigan.

That’s the fastest I’ve ever knit the body of a sweater (not counting sweaters for babies and dolls).  Tilly is trying to get me to let her have the sweater with the unfinished sleeves and collar, but we will have none of that.

Besides knitting, cleaning, and painting (I’ll show you the mirror tomorrow), I enjoyed a very long phone conversation with my Mom on Saturday (her birthday). Brace yourselves, it’s about to get gushy.  My Mom is one of my very favorite people and one of my very best friends.  We both know exactly what the other is trying to say even if it’s not said clearly.  We get each other, and that’s not always easy to come by. She is also extremely kind and caring and the most supportive and encouraging person I’ve ever meet.  Also, we have the same eyes.  Thanks for the eyes, Mom! Love you bunches! Happy Birthday! I think you’re amazing!….even if you don’t knit. ;)

Sunday was the birthday of my sister-in-law, Jess.  Jess was my very first best friend (besides my sister) and my first pen pal (yes, we used pens and paper and communicated very slowly…it used to be a thing people did).  She is wicked smart, extremely funny, super ambitious, and the kind of person that could talk you into anything.  Did I mention she’s a doctor?  Yep, that’s what she does for a living.  She and I (besides both being smart and funny ;)) are not a lot alike.  She travels, skis mountains, swims in oceans, that sort of thing, while I knit, raise kids, and watch Murder She Wrote.  There is this children’s book called Hello My Name is Bob.  It’s about these two bears who are friends, but one does exciting things and the other does “boring” things (except, when I read the story I change ‘boring’ to ‘not as exciting’). But despite their differences; they are still good friends…it reminds me of me and Jess.  Happy Birthday, Jess!  Hope it was grand!  Much love!

Well, that was my weekend.  Now, last for today, I would like to thank Mistine of the blog CrazyPurls for nominating me for a Liebster Blog Award.  It’s an award given to (new) bloggers by other bloggers, and it’s a fun and encouraging way to get your (blog) name out there.  More than the award though, I thank Mistine for her kind words. :)  I’m supposed to nominate other new bloggers from my followers for this award, but seeing as most of my followers aren’t bloggers or have already received this award, I think I’ll save the nominating for a rainy day.

These are the questions I’m supposed to answer:

  1. What is your favorite FO (finished object) from any craft and why?
  2. What is your UFO (ugliest finished object) from any craft and why?
  3.  We all have that intimidating project we love and adore but could never imagine actually creating it because we don’t feel worthy.  
  4. What is your favorite crafting tool and why?

EXTRA CREDIT: Post a picture of the above items!

Okay, here goes:

  1.  My favorite Finished Object is a Granny Square Sweater that I made for Tilly a few years ago.  It’s crochet and knitting, and it’s my favorite because it’s my design, and it turned out exactly how I imagined.

DSCF34152. My ugliest Finished Object is a tea cozy that I made for Ben.  He likes it because he thinks it looks like fire.  I think it looks like a weird muppet, and I hated every minute of knitting it (sorry, husband)!

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It was still in the works here, but it’s finished now.
  1.  My intimidating project would be these lace stockings because they go on forever and there are two of them.
  2.  My favorite crafting tool is my knitting needles.  Knitting is my favorite.

Whew! This post took longer than anticipated…I better go rescue my children from themselves.  Have a lovely Monday!

 

If You Can’t Find ‘Em, Teach ‘Em

This morning I went over to a friend’s house to knit.  Yay!

I’ve lived in 4 different cities in the past 10 years, and I’ve been lucky enough to find knitting/crocheting friends in all of them.  One of them taught me how to knit (I’ll tell you that story next week), I happened upon a couple of them by chance, and I’ve taught a few myself.  It’s always a good time.

That’s what I like about knitting…it can be social or personal, stressful or relaxing, difficult or simple.  It’s like a little picture of life that you hold in your hands.  It teaches you things.

Last night it taught me that I don’t like knitting with Irish Oil Yarn, but hey, I’ll keep working on it anyway.  Can’t let good yarn go to waste.

What do I love working on?:

Clam Digger Cardigan by Melissa Schaschwary
Clam Digger Cardigan by Melissa Schaschwary

This.  It’s turning out to be a really fun knit.  I love Raglan shaping and I love these yarns!  I think maybe my life wasn’t complete before, and now it is.

Speaking of complete, here is the Lavender Seed Stitch Circle Scarf. Done

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Do you see that ridge in the bottom photo?  That’s because I grafted it together, but I was too lazy to figure out how to do it in seed stitch.  I did it according to garter stitch instead.  I’m calling it a design feature.  Also, I hope to get pictures of someone wearing this scarf, but it’s still damp, and while I’ll do some interesting things to get a picture, wearing damp wool isn’t one of them.  I bet I can wrangle Tilly (that’s my daughter’s nickname) into wearing it; she’s easy-going like that.

So…next week is Spring Break for my children, and I plan on taking them outside a lot.  Hopefully, we’ll be doing some Colorado outdoorsy stuff if the weather’s nice. Let’s see how many posts I can write next week with my kiddos at home.  It’ll be an experiment.

Have a beautiful weekend! We’re supposed to get snow, so that means more knitting for me!

Also, two people that I love are having birthdays over the weekend, so ‘Happy (early) Birthday’ to my Mom and my sister-in-law, Jess!  It’s probable that I’ll explain how wonderful they are in Monday’s and Tuesday’s posts next week…so deal with it.