Adventures · cute kids · Doozer · Knitting · Lace · life

Well Then.

So it looks like I let 2 whole months go by without a new blog post! And while I ordinarily wouldn’t let it go so long, I think that I must’ve needed the head space, because I am returning to you revitalized and more inspired to write than ever. So inspired, in fact, that I purchased a new blog domain over the weekend which I will move over to eventually. But more on that another time. What today needs is one of those posts where I tell you all about my adventures during the months of my absence.

Firstly, my knitting. Back at the end of March, I finished another utterly random Baby Surprise Jacket.

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It just needs a wash and 3 little buttons. Of course this cute little jacket needed some matching bootees, too.

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And so there you go. Very cute. But in between finishing the BSJ and the bootees, my fibery doings took a bit of a detour.

I finally got off my lazy ass and warped my loom. Seriously, the whole time I was asking myself why I waited so long. It’s not that hard, you guys. Really. It only took about an hour to warp this project and then it was about 2 or so hours of weaving.

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Of course I neglected to get a photo of the finished product before I delivered it to its intended recipient, you’ll just have to take my word that it came out beautifully. And, it was so much fun that I made another one.

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As you can see, I have a lot to learn about weaving still. But first and foremost this project taught me that weaving sock yarn isn’t necessarily the best idea. Plus, my skein of Saami had a lot more orange in it than I remembered. Still, it’s warm and cozy and very colorful and cheerful. I’m thinking this is perfect for E, if I can get him to wear it.

When I was finished with all that weaving, I kind of lost my knitting mojo for a while. To say that I am sick  of the Orange socks is a bit of an understatement. I even tried to force myself to work on them, which we all know never works to endear a project and make it more fun to work on. Plus I was a bit bored with baby sweaters, to be honest. All I could think of was how I wanted to make another lace shawl like the one I’d made for my sis. Ultimately I accepted that there was no denying lace’s siren song. I acquiesced and cast it on.

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It’s actually quite a bit larger than in that photo. I’ve already increased again and am almost finished with this middle section. Then it’s on to the twee little triangles which gave me so much trouble I enjoyed so much the last time. I can’t wait!

Now, on to other things. March was kind of a strange month. My husband went to Florida for business for two weeks in March, leaving the kids and me to our own devices. We celebrated Pi Day:

And I took the boys up to Kent Falls to enjoy the March Heat Wave of ’12.

Yes, they are hot and sweaty and wearing shorts. I think it was like 80° that day. But, as is Connecticut’s wont, the weather turned cold again and we are back to wearing layers and wool.

It was so cold, in fact, that the favors for the outdoor wedding we attended on the 31st of March (the Mister’s cousin’s) were fleece blankets. No pictures of all the frozen attendees, sadly, but I did get a couple of shots of my little cuties in their tuxedos.

 

It was a black tie optional affair, and we optioned the shit out of it. Here we are back at my MIL’s place afterward:

Matchy!!! OMG we all look so tired. Not the kind of regular tired that you get when you’ve been working for a living, but a fancy sort of tired from being strapped into an uncomfortable bra and wearing pinchy shoes for hours and hours. (Good gravy my hair is straight. I know for a fact that I set that shit with hot rollers before we left but by the time we arrived at the wedding it had already reverted to its natural state: straight straight straight. Gah, stupid hair.) We had a lot of fun anyway and we looked damn fine too.

And then it was April. April was a rather busy month here. We celebrated Easter with another family in New York and had so much fun that future Easters have been ruined for us. Here we are setting off fireworks.

  

Because that’s how we roll, bitches.

Hubs went away to Florida on business (again) the following week, but it was too cold to do anything fun with the boys while he was gone. Mostly we hunkered down and got ready for the next week. Remember how I said we are moving to Florida? Well, the day after the Mister returned from Florida, I got in the van with the kids and drove down to find us a place to live.

OMG you guys I loved it down there! I am so much more excited for our move than I was before, I can’t even. Have you seen these beaches?!

This is in Ft. Lauderdale. The sand was soft and deep and the view was gorgeous. The waves are enormous though (well, compared to Long Island Sound). Everyone is going to need swim lessons.

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These guys live in the canal behind our new place (all the water there is heavily managed and so there are canals and man-made lakes and ponds everywhere). Yes, they are considered a bit of a nuisance down there, but aren’t they cute? That big male on the right was making quite a show of himself for the little female that came with him over to us to beg for food. Birds are strange and feral ducks are even more so. We also saw a flock of ibises and tons and tons of little Indo-Pacific geckos. The kids are hell-bent on catching the little things, which reminds me of the alligator lizards which are common in southern California. I spent many happy afternoons with my friend Jen hunting (and failing to catch) one for a pet. Speaking of alligators, we did not see any alligators, although the realtor assured us that due to our proximity to the Everglades conservation area (literally less than 5 miles away) it’s fairly certain we’ll see an alligator in the canal or even our yard at some point. So yeah. And, even better? There is a nature center just around the corner and down the street from where we’ll be living. This move is going to be a good thing for us. I can’t wait. Only 28 days to go!

And here is Doozer because he hasn’t been on the blog in a good long while.

And now you are all caught up. What have you all been up to?

holiday cheer · Knitting · random

Totally Random Leap Day

1. This morning I woke from a dream where I was frantically trying to knit a sharktopus for a boy in a wheelchair who desperately wanted one, but no matter how many stitches I knitted, I was never any closer to finishing it.

2. I have a cardiac stress test today. I’m a little stressed that I have to drive over to the testing place in the snow. I wonder if that will affect my test? Also, I did not know we were supposed to have a snow storm today and so did not get to do any PANIC shopping. Even though we have plenty of food in the house, I am stressed about it. I would call to reschedule my test, but I’ve already rescheduled it once and I just want to get it over with.

3. I’ve been working on some orange socks to use up the last of the 2nd hank of STR from Catkin.

4. Speaking of which, check out the nifty thingamabob my husband got for us to use on our iPhones:

Essentially, it’s a rubber band with a phone-sized lens in the middle. You put it around your iPhone, line up the lens with your camera and it makes it so you can take cool macro photos with your iPhone! Check it out:

4. Hubs and I finally got through all of Downton Abbey. OMG YOU GUYS HAVE YOU SEEN THIS SHOW? I know, I’m a little late to the party. If you are even later to the party than I was, you can check out the whole first season on Netflix streaming. PBS has some (but not all) second season episodes available as well. I’m not sure how long they will be legally available online, though, so you better clear your schedule and make plans to not sleep for a couple of days to get through them all. Or become a pirate. I suppose that’s an option as well. Arr!

5. Leap Day 2008: Finished Object Friday

Knitting · Meh.

Just Stuff

I’m always really bummed when I realize that it’s been more than a week since I made a blog post because I know it means I haven’t been up to much. This month has been pretty shitty like that actually and I can’t even say there has been much knitting. I’ve been laid up with asthma since the end of January which has pretty much sucked. There’ve been so many doctor’s visits (once a week, at least) and 2 ER trips and, quite frankly, I am just so over it. I just want to breathe again, you know?

I did finally get around to blocking my sister’s shawl, which is something I suppose.

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Isn’t it pretty? Can you believe I was actually considering skipping blocking it all together? I’m so glad I didn’t, because it really does look nicer with the lace all stretched out and open, even if that does mean you can see all the mistakes I made that much better. Apologies for the poor lighting, but I didn’t get around to taking nicer pictures of it because asthma.

So yep, the asthma saga continues, but I do have another appointment with my pulmonologist on Monday. Here’s hopin’.

Knitting

Socks: A Story Of Not Getting Gauge

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I’ve blown out the heels in 4 pairs of socks since the weather turned colder this season, and so I have been very determined to make myself some socks this year. Sadly, those feet in that picture are not mine. You see, I knitted up the toes of these socks and measured them for gauge, deciding at once that I would dig out my copy of “New Pathways for Sock Knitters” and make another pair of the Simple Coriolis socks. (The pair I made back in ’08 had been my favorites until the heels blew out.) I measured, I thought, carefully, and knitted away, faithfully following the charts which Cat provides in the book. When the socks were looking rather a bit large, I told myself that it was because Cat likes her socks to be roomy and comfortable and so didn’t build any negative ease into her calculations. I told myself that this was no big deal because, after all, the old pair fit me fine and I loved them. I knitted through the increases and made the heels and about a half an inch of the leg before I decided that they were looking “a little” long and that I should probably try them on.

They were a good 4 inches longer than my feet.

At first I couldn’t figure out what had gone wrong. I mean, I followed all the directions! But then a thought occurred to me and I took out my measuring tape. Sure enough, my gauge was off by half a stitch. HALF! But that half stitch meant the difference between my size and ginormo size.

I was disappointed, yes, but luckily socks are like hats: if they don’t fit me, they will fit someone somewhere. Even better, when I had my husband try them on, they fit him as though I had him in mind when I cast them on. Which was good, because I didn’t want to frog all of that knitting. And there was a lot of knitting. Did I tell you his feet are size 13?

Adventures · Knitting

i’m not dead yet

So just a quick post to say that this has pretty much been a crappy week, asthma-wise. I am still alive, but there has been a visit to the ER and also the pulmonologist. I was feeling relatively better until today when my asthma flared up again while I was out shopping. I am hoping not to have to see the ER again. As a side note: PEOPLE, YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR SNACKS FOR THE SUPER BOWL, NOT FUCKING JUDGEMENT DAY. CALM YOUR SHIT DOWN.

Lastly, here is my sock in progress:

 

free patterns · Knitting

Sprouted Cap

After I finished the garter stitch layette, I was ready for something a little less garter-stitch-paired-with-unusual-constructiony, so I went for Diane Soucy’s Easy Baby Cardigan.

I love this pattern. It’s so quick and easy, and very very cute. I like to make the collared version, so as soon as I cast off, I started thinking about a hat to go with it, and finally came up with this:

Sprouted Cap

And so can you!

Using a circular needle appropriate for magic looping, CO 3 stitches.
Slide them to the other side of the needle as if to start an icord. Make into each stitch a twirly tendril (as shown in this youtube video from Cat Bordhi. Use the the Annie Modesitt way she shows you first). Slide stitches to other end of needle as if for another row of icord. Kfb into each stitch so you now have 6 sts. Begin working in magic loop with 3 stitches on each needle. Knit one round plain.

rnd 1: yo, k1, repeat to end
rnd 2 and all even rounds: knit plain
(don’t forget to knit into back loops of the yarn overs to twist them shut)
rnd 3: yo, k2, repeat to end
rnd 5: yo, k3, repeat to end
rnd 7: yo, k4, repeat to end
continue as established until you have 27 sts on each needle.

Stop increasing and work in stst until the hat measures 3.75″ from last increase round.

To form a picot edge, work one round of yo, k2tog around, then work about 1/2 inch stst stitch. BO loosely and break yarn, leaving a long tail for hemming. Fold over to the inside from the yo row and hem down.

Use this cap to embellish your favorite fresh baby!

Knitting

I’ve been knittin’!

After I finished the Mister’s slippers, the only thing I’ve wanted to knit is wee tiny baby things. Not for any particular reason, mind you, just that I feel like knitting wee tiny baby things. Babies are everywhere and they need to be covered in wool. That’s just the way it is.

I made a baby surprise jacket a couple of summers ago and thought it would be cute if I had a matching hat and booties to go with it. Keeping with the theme of garter stitch paired with original/unusual construction, I first made the hat from the bouncing baby set found in Homespun Handknit from Interweave Knits.

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And then I went with a pair of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s bootees from The Opinionated Knitter.

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Haha, my house is messy. Ahem.

Doesn’t that make the cutest little layette? For someone. Whoever it lands with should be really happy with it.

After that I moved on to another baby sweater and hat, which, Dear Reader, I will share in my next post (hopefully tomorrow) because it will include a new free pattern from yours truly.

Knitting · Weather

Yay Snow!

I know people don’t usually say that, especially those Seattleites last week who just aren’t used to a lot of snow. Today, though, in my little corner of Connecticut, we’re having the first real snow storm since the fierce and terrible storm which blew through on Halloween. We’ve got about 8 inches of snow out there as the storm wraps itself up and we have had about as perfect a snow day as there is. There’s been knitting:

And chocolate chip cookie baking:

Perhaps later there will be pie making? I’m thinking a nice meat pie will hit the spot for dinner.

We are warm and dry and cozy here, and thankfully don’t have to be anywhere any time soon. Best snow day ever! How is your day going?

Knitting

Wonky

So the temperatures around these parts have been more and more consistently in the  “cold” range. Which means, unfortunately, that our house is rather a bit colder as well. Cold enough that even the Mister, who generally eschews foot coverings unless going outside (and then it’s only shoes, no socks), asked for a pair of slippers. And, since I love my husband, and I am a knitter, I knitted up a pair of Felted Clogs for his size 13 feet.

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I’ll be honest, these are the 3rd pair of these slippers I’ve knitted since the weather turned cold, and I have not been happy with any of them.

The first ones I made were for myself. I misread the end of the pattern (I don’t know how that is even possible) and I somehow convinced myself that I was supposed to do something (namely to knit 3, k2tog all the way around) which made the openings too tight and I had to cut the rolled cuffs of each slipper just so I could get my feet in. The second ones I made were for my sis. I must have had the stitch count wrong on one of them, because the shape of it is all wrong and it doesn’t stay on her foot when she walks.  Sadly, this pair for my husband has the exact same problem, one wonky slipper that doesn’t stay on when he walks. I was sure that I was conscientious of my stitch count for these, as I was trying to avoid the wonkiness problem I had with my sis’ slippers, but alas. Still, they will keep his feet warm while he is working/gaming/watching TV and that was their intended purpose so I guess it works out.

Moreover, the first pair I made this season have developed a hole in the sole, because I am too lazy to track down slipper bottoms for them, and should probably cast on a replacement pair soon. /sigh/ It’s a good thing I love knitting!

Knitting · Zombies

Catkin!

At last it’s finished, and I absolutely adore it!

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The colors are so bright and cheerful!

And it is so warm and cozy, too! Now I can’t wait for it to get well and truly cold!

Exclamation!