Thursday, November 30, 2006

Snow day!

Happy to be in the snow!

Dada wants to make a snowman, I want to stomp on the snowman!

The results of a lot of hard work with very powdery snow.

I'm still here

Things have been busy with the Thanksgiving holiday. We went out of town. We arrived back in town just in time to be snowed in for two days. You would think that would be prime knitting and blogging weather, but not so much. It was fun to get out and fun to hibernate.

I have lots of pictures to share and will post soon.

It's almost December!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mittens, mittens, mittens!

I came across this website where they are looking for 300 pairs of mittens for children in New York.

If you can, please knit, crochet or buy a pair of mittens and donate them.

(My skills at html are very limited. The link above will take you to the site, or the button down on the lower left, but I don't know how to make the image in this post link back to the original website.)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

WIPs and stuff

First, comes Storm. I started a gauge swatch eons ago and stopped. Colinette Parisienne isn't the easiest thing to knit with. I bought it with the intent of making a fern lace scarf just like they had at the shop. The more I think about it though, that is not what I want to do with this yarn. I want to make a stole, and I have no idea what the pattern should be. Yes, I already said it was difficult to knit with and I don't have enough to make a stole. So, should I buy two or three more skeins? Should I find a pattern first? I've noticed that when people knit with this or Kidsilk Haze they don't really do too many different stitches. Should I put it in my stash and let it sit for a while? Should I just make the fern lace scarf and call it good? I was even thinking of making one of these (okay, I can't find the link now, but basically it is a cabled neck warmer with some buttons) with it just to do something. I just don't know.

A friend gave me the book, Knitting for Peace, for my birthday. I had been talking to her about all of the amazing charity knitting I was reading about online. I have also wanted to knit a pair of mittens for Fiona. This book has a nice, simple pattern in it. Fiona picked out the yarn color. I would have expected her to pick a bright color, but she always came back to the natural colors. I also picked up the packet pictured below of Brittany US3 dpn. I've become more fond of metal needles lately, but I thought I would give these a try. They seem much smoother than bamboo. I really like them. The yarn I'm using is Lamb's Pride. I should have plenty left over to make a pair of mittens to donate.
This is also my first time ever knitting in the round. I had no idea that it would be so floppy at first with needles going every which way. I almost poked myself in the eye twice! Here is Fiona modeling her first partially complete homemade mitten.
From a different angle...

You can't tell that I am rather proud can you? I just never thought I would be able to do something so cool and useful! I did change the pattern a bit from the book. The pattern says to use US7 needles with worsted weight to get a tension of 4.25 stitches to the inch. I knit up a gauge swatch and it was way too loose for what I thought a mitten should be. I measured Fiona's hand and realized that her hand was smaller than the instructions for the smallest mitten. I kept trying needles until I got the gauge I wanted, 5 stitches/inch and then, decided to follow the pattern. I did stop the ribbing early because it didn't seem quite right, but now looking at the photograph it looks a little odd, but it seems to fit just right.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Posting under the influence

Here is the fourth try at the knitted lace ball that I am making for the ornament swap over at Knit the Classics. I found the pattern here. I was going to do the fancy ball with the mexican lace insert, but like I said this is my fourth try and I have to rip it out. I will try the basic version. Reading lace and short rows in the yarn is hard for me at this point. I don't have enough experience yet to tell where I have made a mistake.

Here are the two finished face cloths. The bottom one is missing the yarn over holes on the decrease. I was going to rip it out, but I decided that I don't mind that it is quirky. The recipient probably won't care either. The green is bound to be two more face clothes for another person. I will wrap them up with a few other yummy bathroom goodies.

The reason I title the post "Posting under the influence" is that I have had a nasty cough for a week and a half. I went to the doctor a few days ago and was given a medication (guaifenesin, an expectorant) that I have had in the past. Yesterday I started itching. Today I broke out in tiny hives all over my arms and legs. So now I am on two different medications that make me sleepy. The doctor said I should stay home for a day or two so I can get well. I can't even tell you how many days of work I have missed lately because I've been sick, or Fiona has been sick. I am a little afraid that this might push my boss over the brink and I might lose my job. Sigh.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The bulbs are in the ground!

I didn't have to garden at midnight, but it was getting pretty dark by the time I was done, and it rained the entire time. I was really afraid I wouldn't plant them and that I would have wasted $50 on bulbs, not to mention all of the guilt and frustration I would have felt. In the October issue of Living, Martha showed how to use hardware cloth to protect your bulbs from squirrels. I didn't go quite as far as she suggested, making a box of the stuff, but I put a large sheet of it over the bulbs, then covered the whole thing up with earth. I think it will work. It was supposed to rain 2-3 inches today, so there haven't been any squirrels scavenging yet, but I expect them to come. I planted tulips, narcissus, oxalis, grape hyacinth and lots of crocuses. Unfortunately I did not keep the packages with the names, nor did I mark where I planted what. I don't care, though. I will have a lovely corner in my garden next spring.

Here, at last, is a picture of the September Month of Softies doll. She was done a while ago, but I never had time to get a good picture. This is actually a picture my husband took.

I think somebody likes her new doll. : )

And last but not least, the Halloween costume. From the front...

And from the back...

I am rather proud of how the hair turned out. I bought some sage variegated roving. I was going to try to do a thick/thin sort of a thing on my drop spindle, but it just wasn't looking quite right. I was sitting in my car waiting to go into an appointment, and I thought, what about felting it? So, there in the car I pulled off a piece, licked my finger and started rubbing the roving between my fingers and then on my jeans. Instead of spit curls, she got spit dreads.

Sadly, I am going to have to rip out half of the washcloth I just finished. I had quickly jotted down the pattern one day, missing a YO and a k2tog. I kept wondering why it didn't look quite right. Next time I will stop and check the original pattern.

Friday, November 03, 2006

"Am I evil...

yes, I am." (Metallica)

On Wednesday, when I took the day off it wasn't completely a whim. It was my birthday. I went to my favorite coffee shop for breakfast, then my favorite yarn store, then a bookstore that I had received a birthday gift card for, then a coffee shop (I live in Seattle, could you tell?), then a fabric store. It was wonderful; however, I received a call at 2pm that Fiona had a fever of 102.1. I had to go pick her up from daycare. I can't tell you how angry, frustrated and selfish I felt at that point. I just wanted to cry. When you are a parent you are never off duty.

Fiona and I have been home for the last two days. She had a fever off and on yesterday, but not today. Her daycare stipulates that a child must stay home at least 24 hours after its fever has broken, with good cause. I was a bad mother and took her shopping at IKEA on Thursday. I didn't let her play in the kids area, but she loves trying out all of the chairs and the beds in the grown-up area. Today we spent the day alternately playing and organizing my massive pile of crafting supplies that were to be found in bags of various sizes all over the house.

We had to go to the daycare center this evening to drop off payment for the month of November, so it wouldn't be late. I had been feeling tired and grumpy all day (I get that way when I am trying to get something done and am constantly interrupted.) On the way home, I decided that I wanted a coffee. I only drink decaf. I ordered a decaf gingerbread latte, as a special treat. They made it larger than I requested, but that was ok with me. I was drinking it, it was yummy and I started to notice that I was feeling "better." Hmmm. Yep, they made it with regular espresso instead of decaf. I think I will be up for a knitting marathon tonight.


As I mentioned I finished Alex's hat. I haven't given it to him yet. I can't wait and will post a picture. I started to knit a swatch of the Colinette Parisienne. It is pretty tricky. While at the yarn store on Wednesday I picked up a couple of skeins of Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille. I am going to knit some washcloths for some lucky folks this Christmas. As I was sorting my craft stuff I came across a scarf that I had started for my sister-in-law last year, but lost interest in, no time like the present. I am doing random rows with super chunky yarn. I like how it is coming out. I also fiddled with the poncho that I knitted for Fiona this last spring. It only has some crocheted (sp?) edges that need to be done.

I bought the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book. I like all of the little projects that I can do. I plan on making the patchwork backing for the glass clip photo frames (bought some while I was at IKEA), putting in Fiona's school pictures then giving them to relatives. Her pattern and fabrics for the oven mitts look like so much fun. I only own one potholder, and it was made by a young cousin about five or six years ago.

I found two used Martha Stewart books at the book store, one on gardening and the other for Christmas. I'm kind of excited about some of the crafty things to do for the holidays ahead.

Ok, it's the caffeine folks. I feel like I could go on and on.

Good night.