In Which I Sneak in Some Knitting

First up, I keep forgetting to post that the lovely Larissa, for whom I knit the Baby Surprise Jacket and the Muti Dress had her baby girl a week and a half ago.  From photos, I have deduced that the baby looks strong and healthy and gorgeous.  Little “Junebug” is gonna get so much love.  :)

Second up, my parents are here for a visit.  Hip hip!  We’ve been enjoying mountains, eating out a lot, visiting some sights, playing cards, and generally having a wonderful time.  We don’t live very close to each other (about a 12 hr car ride), so it’s a treat when they visit.  I love them bunches…and bunches and bunches and bunches.

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Aren’t they cute? :)

 

 

 

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Absurdly though, neither of them knits, so I’m sneaking it in when I can…riding the Light Rail, chatting on the couch, in between turns during card games…that sort of thing.  I’m still sort of just slogging my way through my current projects.  I really want to start knitting something else, but I promised myself I’d finish the lavender baby blanket and the “64 socks” before I start anything new.  sloggity, slog, slog.  I’d share pics, but they look almost exactly the same as before…even though I’ve been knitting on them…slog.

I’ve worked a little on the Paulie cardigan.  20140625_084238_1So far I’m not convinced that it’s going to fit me, but my philosophy is that if it doesn’t fit me, it’ll fit someone else.  I’m usually okay with that scenario.  I can feel that this cardigan is gonna take a while for me to get through though, so I might have to throw another cardigan in the mix as well.  Yeah, yeah, after I finish those other two projects.

Happy Wednesday!

 

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Ch-Ch-Check Me Out

Have any of you been knitting in public lately?  This week is World Wide Knit in Public Week, and it’s meant to convey to the world how many of us there are and possibly help dissolve the stereotype that only a certain demographic knits.

Now, I am a young, thirtysomething,  mother of two.  I am kinda nerdy and probably a little (or a lot) boring, so I’ve been trying to think of ways to make myself seem more hip whilst I knit in public.  (Saying whilst is totally part of my plan)

Amazing List of Ideas to Seem More Hip and Thereby Lure People into My Tangly Yarn Web *:

  1. Grow a beard.  Beards seem really popular and hip right now.  I come from a dark and hairy people; I think if I put my mind to it, it could be possible.
  2. Wear an awesome hat.  Preferably made of straw.
  3. Do something vintage-y with my hair.  I’ve never tried that “finger wave” thing.  Can’t be that difficult, right?
  4. Develop some sort of trending attitude.  Which is more popular with the young ones these days: aloofness or friendliness?
  5. Knit using various forms of the newest technological devices instead of needles.  Someone might think I’m making a statement or being artistic.  Or they’ll just come over to see my awesome new gadgets.
  6. Drink beer while I knit.  Done.  Can’t do Pabst though, reminds me of my college days (Natty Light, anyone?) so I’ll have to stick with my Shiner Bock Ruby Redbird or maybe a pale ale ’cause it’s summer.
  7. Play the banjo.  I admit it would be difficult to knit and play the banjo simultaneously.  Maybe I don’t need to learn to play the banjo; I just need to own one and keep it near me while I knit.  I’ve always wanted to learn though…I have a thing for Steve Martin.
  8. Get a tattoo sleeve.  I briefly contemplated the idea back in 2002 after a trip to Portland, but was too broke to do anything about it.  What about a dress up faux tattoo sleeve?  I could borrow one from my children.

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What do ya think?!  Pretty awesome, right?

If you happen to be around Denver this week, I’ll be the lady knitting in public, spontaneously giggling, and mumbling about tattoo sleeves and looking cool.  That’ll probably help change the image of knitters, I’m sure.  I’m helpful like that.

  • Disclaimer: I am not trying to put down anyone who has or does these things; I am merely pointing out how sadly unhip I am. ;)

 

A Day at the Beach

Okay, truly, this summer vacation thing with the kids + any other work or activity (i.e. cleaning, knitting, blogging, maintaining sanity) requires a little better time management skills than I possess.  Seriously, I was going to blog yesterday about what a great Father’s Day my family enjoyed this past weekend and about the wonderfulness of my husband and my Dad (My husband is a fantastic Dad…funny, wise, fair, handsome, tall and many other wonderful things.  And my Dad made peanut butter cookies with us kids growing up, played catch, is also wise, and seems to be like a fine scotch–getting finer with age. I didn’t get to see my Dad this weekend, but I’ll get to see him soon ’cause my parents are coming for a visit soon.)

But instead of spending time doing anything knitting or blogging related, the kids and I decided to go to “the beach.”  Can you really call it a beach if it’s on a lake/manmade reservoir and not an ocean?

Anyway, we went to the beach, and my kids had a grand and lovely time.

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I had an interesting time.  I took some knitting (still working on the second sock of the “64 socks”), a book, snacks, water, beach toys, life jackets, a weatherproof blanket and more.  I was prepared.  I even took a beach umbrella.  I bought it at the end of last summer for a very discounted price, and I was super proud of my thriftiness.  You can see the umbrella there at the top of the picture.  It was lovely and shady and a little windy.  Then the kids asked if I would go in the water with them, and I was all “sure, of course, right after I fold down the umbrella; we don’t want it blowing away.”  That was when the trouble started.  The directions for the umbrella said there should be a red button you push to close it.  I looked.  I searched.  I reread the directions. I must’ve spent at least 15 minutes trying to figure it out.  There was no red button.  There was, however, a metal thing and another twisted looking little metal thing.  These metal things seemed to have button potential.  I pushed one in, but the other one wouldn’t go…on account of the twistiness.  So I decided this wasn’t a problem; I could just straighten it out. I’m very handy and resourceful.  I had seen an older guy with some tool that looked like giant pliers (my weird description leads my husband to believe that they were “channel-lock” pliers), so I asked him if I could borrow it (them?).  He was kind enough to let me do so, and as I sat with a beach umbrella in an odd position trying to straighten a tiny piece of metal with giant non-spring loaded pliers, and the gentle breeze turning into more of a gust, I thought for sure that I would hurt myself.  But I didn’t, and I gave myself a little mental pat on the back and handed the man back his pliers.

…Then I proceeded to try and fold down the umbrella.  Now, I’m not exactly sure if that little twisty piece of metal was supposed to be twisty, but what happened next made me second guess my resourceful genius because as I went to fold down the umbrella, the little piece of plastic that you push to open the umbrella didn’t go down.  It went up.  It went up and trapped the index finger of my left hand in a death grip.  It was like my finger was stuck in a tiny bear trap.  I could not get my finger out.  I was panicked.  I tried to get it out, but the wind kept catching the umbrella.  It seemed pretty bleak.  I was afraid I was going to rip part of my finger if I just yanked it out, so I kept trying to figure it out.  I thought for sure I was going home minus a finger.  It hurt.  Then finally (not sure what I did) it was free.  My finger was definitely pinched looking, but everything seemed pretty okay.  And today you can’t even tell anything happened to my finger.  It looks perfectly normal.  The only problem, as far as I can tell, is that the end of my finger has now been completely numb for 35 hours.  I can’t “feel” anything with that finger.  Do you think that means something?

Ah well.  At least I can still knit…and type.

I didn’t get any knitting done at the beach, but I managed to finish a few little projects over the weekend.

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That’s the finger that got Umbrella trapped yesterday…looks normal…still numb though.
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Yarn: Patons ColorWul

That top photo is a coaster for my husband to take to work.  It’s just a mitered square.  I made him one a few years ago out of the same yarn, and it’s done its job of holding coffee and tea and protecting desks, but it might be a little stained (at least it absorbed the spills…well done, wool).  So now he has a backup with a little loop.  Just in case he wants to hang it up (I just giggled while I typed that because that’s probably not gonna happen…ever).

The bottom pic is a just a hot pad/oven mitt thing.  It’s double thick, and it will slowly get felted as I use it and wash it and use it and wash it.  Very practical.

I also had time to make the tiniest swatch for the Paulie cardigan that I want to start.

captured_by_snapseed_731_1I can’t decide between using grey as the stripe or using cream.  Opinions?  I’m stumped.

By the way, that red-orange yarn is bright.  It’s almost neon.  I love it.  It would definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but every time I look at it, I let out a little squeak of joy (at least I think I do…might be in my head).

Anyway, I hope you all had wonderful weekends…I can’t believe it’s already Tuesday.

 

Flag Day = Love

I don’t usually post on weekends, but it’s Flag Day here in the U.S.!

Yarn: South West Trading Co…Jezebel.  I'm thinking about making this cardigan with the red and cream and this with the blue.
Yarn: South West Trading Co…Jezebel. I’m thinking about making this cardigan with the red and cream and this tee or this with the blue.

 

Why would I want to post something special on Flag Day, you ask?  Well, while I appreciate all that the flag represents, the real reason I’m posting today is because it’s my Grandma Peggy’s birthday.  I love that her birthday is on Flag Day because it’s pre marked on my calendar every year, so I never forget. :)  (Except for that one year when I mistook Mexican Flag Day for Flag Day here and almost sent her flowers on the wrong day entirely.)

Happy Birthday Grandma Peggy!

I love my Grandma, very much. She’s been through a lot in this life and she’s strong and sensitive and full of love.  She raised 5 kids…including twins!…and a very rascally husband.;)  She loves her family and she loves babies and kids (and passed that trait on to my Mom…thank you for that, Grandma!)   She hates snakes, likes fishing and computer games, and she’s an excellent cook.– There are dishes in our family that are very Midwestern/”Down home cooking” that have been passed down from generation to generation.  Pork chops and white gravy, anyone?…garden lettuce with that crazy good (bacon, vinegar, sugar) warm vinegarette…yummy!  And can I just tell you that my love of coffee stems from the late nights when we would go over to my Grandparent’s, staying up late playing cards and drinking pots of coffee. Good times.  It’s one of my favorite things about my Grandma….she loves to have fun.  She’s hopefully on her way to having fun now.  

Love you, Grandma!  Happy Birthday again, I hope you have an amazing day!  Oh, and the kids say ‘Hi’:

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Tilly and Dodge on the Hippo statue at the Denver Zoo

Happy Flag Day!

 

Gussets are like Hugs

I’ve been trying to knit more socks lately.  I think they’re a really great project and particularly useful (as most knitters have already figured out).  But I didn’t like them for myself until I figured out that I have crazy toes and I need to knit accordingly.  I also want to get really good at knitting them.  There are several parts to sock knitting and they’re all a bit tricky to memorize at first.  So I’ve been training my brain so that I can journey out into the world with a sock on the needles and not have to look at a paper or pattern.  It was all going pretty well until I finished one of the “64 socks” the other day.  It’s a nice sock…a little too manly for my taste in parts, but mostly, I’m pretty happy with it.  When I tried it on though, something was wrong.  Not blatantly wrong; just that irritating, little, niggling feeling, kind of wrong.

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Okay, this is gonna seem really goofy to the non-knitters, but do you see that?  I put another sock there for comparison.

I forgot the heel gusset…that little bit after the heel flap that brings the stitches in all nicely and makes the heel fit really well…like a hug for your heel.  It turns out that a sock can still be a sock without it, but it doesn’t feel as “right.”  Ah well, I’m not going to rip out the sock, so now I need to finish the other one with a messed up heel too.  Socks are tricky little devils.

Sock knitting aside, I’ve also been working more on the little lavender blanket.  It’s to the point that the rounds are really, really a lot of stitches, so it takes awhile to go around.

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I knit on it this morning for Aunt Carol’s sake.  Today is her birthday, and she thinks it’s pretty.  So “Happy Birthday, Aunt Carol!”…I think you’re pretty too. :)  There’s just tons and tons of good stuff I can say about Carol, but this time I’ll just say that she is wise and funny and makes things very stress-free when we visit.  Love you Aunt Carol! Hope you have a grand day!

Alright…the boy is asking to play Minecraft, so I shall let him.  We’re off to play soccer in a little bit, and we get to spend a little fun time with Corrie and Lena.

Happy Wednesday!

Miss Pretty Pretty and the Little Bits

When the kids were little(er) we watched a funny little cartoon, and in this cartoon there was a doll called Miss Pretty Pretty.  For some reason I latched on to that name and whenever I would dress Tilly in a pretty little dress or she would act fussy (or the combination of dress plus fussiness) I would call her Miss Pretty Pretty (and maybe I would laugh a little).

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Seen here being Miss Pretty Pretty circa 2008

My friend Larissa has three boys.  Baby #4 is on the way any day now– possibly any minute.  And Baby #4 is thought to be a girl.  Now Larissa is sometimes unpredictable fashion wise (alternative, punk, bohemian, normal, eclectic, vintage…with the occasional Converse shoes thrown in); and while I don’t know exactly what she will dress her little girl in…I figured one fussy little lace dress (that turns into a shirt as the baby grows) couldn’t hurt.

I give you the secret baby project:

Muti Dress by Taiga Hilliard Designs.  Size 0-3 months. Yarn: Schaffhauser Wolle Mon Amour.  Colorway 28
Muti Dress by Taiga Hilliard Designs. Size 0-3 months. Yarn: Schaffhauser Wolle Mon Amour. Colorway 28

I have to tell you that I had some issues while knitting this.  I am, sometimes, a moron.  (Bare with me on this next part non-knitters…it’s technical-ish).  This dress is knitted from the top down and it starts out as flat knitting, and the top is very clearly (shown here) lace with a stockinette background. I, however, did lace with a garter stitch background.  I also knit the top part (also called the yoke) probably a total of three times because I kept getting distracted, messing up, ripping back, knitting, messing up, ripping back, etc.…you get the idea.  When I finally realized my mistake there was just no way I was gonna rip it out and start over.  Besides, I was pretty sure Larissa wouldn’t care.

So I finished the knitting of it, washed it, and blocked it.

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I used my foolproof drying method of traveling around with it in my car whilst doing errands.  If it's small enough. I pin it on foam board…looks a little like I'm studying a gigantic species of butterfly.
I used my foolproof drying method of traveling around with it in my car whilst doing errands. If a project is small enough I pin it on foam board…looks a little like I’m studying a gigantic species of butterfly.

I sewed on buttons for the back.  Tilly helped me choose.

captured_by_snapseed_701_1The best part though is when I discovered something else I had stashed away for Larissa’s baby awhile back.

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Look! See that! They match the dress!

I’m not usually the matchy-matchy type, but darn it, if that’s not adorable I don’t know what is. — Miss Pretty Pretty and the matching Converse faux shoesI’m in baby dreamland…there might be giggling and contented sighing.

There’s black too because you just can’t beat a classic.

captured_by_snapseed_703_1I hope her little girl will have her own fussy little moments in this fussy little dress.  Perhaps it could even see her through a temper tantrum or two.  One never knows.

Well, I finished the little dress a couple of weekends ago, but this past weekend I just knit on some little bits here and there.

I-cord that's gonna be a trivet, an almost finished pot holder, and I-cord straps for my giant pink slippers.
Gray I-cord that’s going to be a trivet/hotpad, an almost finished pot holder, and I-cord straps for my giant pink slippers.

I also spent time looking through patterns.  I think I’ll start a cardigan for myself soon…and maybe some mittens, and I still need to finish that fairy quilt….hmmmm.  I’ll get it all nailed down soon enough, but now I’m thinking only about dinner.  My husband (glorious man) is making it, and it smells really good.  I’m off.  Happy Tuesday!

 

 

I am (most likely) a Superhero

I’ve finally gotten around to varnishing my bench (no, that’s not a euphemism).  We made a special trip to Lowe’s at the beginning of the week to buy the stuff, and the guy that helped us was knowledgeable and friendly.

Fast forward a few days

We had forgotten to buy mineral spirits for cleaning up the brushes and a metal can for soaking combustible varnish-dripped rags in water, so I made a trip back to the hardware store.  This time I did not go to Lowe’s, I went to a smaller, closer, hardware store (I like to give the little guys a chance when I can).  I walked in the door and strode purposefully over to the paint counter to ask where I could find what I needed.  There were two older men standing behind the counter.  As I walked up, both of the men walked away…one of them walked away while I was speaking directly to him.

I can only assume from their behavior that:

  1. I am an incredibly scary person.  You must divide and make a run for it to confuse the horrible monster (that would be me)…she will then not know which prey to overtake.
  2. I have invisibility powers that I am not aware of.  I vote for this one.
  3. They are both blind and deaf, but amazingly, are able to hold a conversation out loud with other coworkers while staring into each other’s eyes.  Impressive.
  4. They have instituted a tough love approach to customer service.  They would like customers to wander around their store until they either succeed and purchase or fail and leave empty-handed.  They only want the ambitious customers.

Anyway, I found what I was looking for (after yet another male worker walked up to me said “hi” and then turned and walked off quickly before asking me if I needed any help).  And if you happened to be at this particular hardware store today and saw a lady with unruly hair– wearing sweatpants– who may have been talking out loud to herself and mumbling things like, “Fine, I will find the mineral spirits my OWN self” and “I don’t need no stinking man help to find a metal container”– that would’ve been me.  Next time you see me, feel free to walk up and say ‘hi’…I’ll help you find what you’re looking for because nobody else is going to.

Besides having fun at hardware stores this week, I’ve been really enjoying summer so far.  This week the kids and I went to a splash park,  swimming (where I succeeded in turning my legs a lovely shade of burning, hot, red), a couple of parks, soccer practice (really laid back sports camp), and today I’m baking a pumpkin pie just so we can eat it for breakfast tomorrow…with sausage links (not the right season, but I don’t care).  Of course there’s been knitting too.

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Pattern from Vintage Baby Knits: Cleo Kitty Slippers–minus the kitty, cross the straps, no buttons, extra puff. Yarn: Plymouth Neon Now and Caron Simply Soft held together throughout. Color: neon coral

Tilly’s eye-killingly, bright slippers with poms (or tinkerballs— depending on whether or not you are six).

I’ve also gotten a little further on the “64 Socks.”  I am not knitting 64 socks…that is just their name.

20140606_155132_1These socks have no deadline, and therefore, I am free to knit them at my own leisurely pace.  I still have the lavender baby blanket to work on, but what do you want to bet that I’ll start a new project over the weekend?  I bet a million dollars.  Any takers?

Hey, it’s Friday!  I hope you all have really nice weekends.