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.

[ravelry]

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.

[ravelry]

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.

[ravelry]

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.

[wiki]

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?

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Knitting · Lace

Slow Going

Well, I’ve been working on the edge of the Blue Blossom shawl for a few days now. Man, oh man, is it tedious.

The thing is knitted on sideways and incorporates 3 of the shawl stitches into every repeat. I think that means I am doing 100 or so repeats of the edge (6 rows of about 9 stitches).

I’m trying hard not to stab myself in the eye.

Knitting · Lace

THE FFFFFUUUUU…….

I sat down dutifully today with the Blue Blossom Shawl, a bunch of knitting tools, and my camera. The plan was to document my first attempt at lace surgery a la Romi.

Two problems were immediately apparent. One, the lace pattern shifts every 8 rows, making it difficult to see where the beginning of the round is supposed to be. And two, I didn’t know WHAT THE FUCK I was doing. Once I figured that out, I decided to go with my plan B and thread in a life line and frog back to before all those dropped stitches, only about one pattern repeat. There is no picture of this because, while it’s something that seems simple, it was not actually simple. I thought maybe it would be easier to do a life line if I took out the needles. It wasn’t. So at that point, laid it out on the couch and admired my handiwork:

And then I frogged the shit out of it.

Here’s the pile of stitch markers that fell out of it:

So yeah. That was my knitting day. I didn’t even get a chance to take pictures of Ruffled Baktus. Stupid axial tilt!

Knitting · Lace

Upon Further Consideration

The more I’ve thought about it, the more I realize that I need to go back and fix those dropped stitches. Otherwise, this:

is going to bug the crap out of me.

At first I thought I would just put in a life line and rip the whole thing back, but I think I’m going to try Romi’s lace surgery method (LSM) before I do that. Nothing to lose, right? Hopefully it’ll save at least a tiny bit of my sanity.

Knitting · Lace

A Lace Knitting Breakthrough

Remember how I was making slow and painstaking progress on the Blue Blossom Shawl and feeling extremely stressed out by it? Well, I finally got a clue and made myself a crapton of very delicate and very sparkly stitch markers.

I placed them at the beginning of each pattern repeat, and then something just clicked. Suddenly I could see where I was in the pattern and if when I made a mistake I could catch it quickly and easily. I blazed through the remaining repeats of the center section in no time at all and am ready to move on to the next section. For future reference: stitch markers = lace knitting succeed!

Knitting · Lace

It’s a start. Sort of.

So, it turns out that designing lace is really really hard. Especially if you’ve never done anything like it before. I think I’ve gotten a fairly decent start, though. See the references I have gathered?

I think I’m ready to get out some graph paper and start sketching. Have you, reader, designed lace? What references have you used that you found particularly helpful?

Knitting · Lace

Watch out for the lace bug, it bites!

I’ve spent a lot of knitting time over the past couple of weeks, poring over circular shawl projects on Ravelry. And stitch dictionaries. And old doily patterns. Because I am crazy. I want to design my own circular shawl, even though I am lace noob. So consumed am I by my passion for this, that I made a special trip to a bookstore to pick up another copy of book I already own (but is in storage). And now, this morning, in the light of day, I see that the yarn I have selected will not work for this project (it’s too stripey, too pooley), so I am shopping for alpaca laceweight (knitpicks has a nice selection, but I think I want something in a natural color). O lace! Thou temptress! Thy siren song enchants, thy holey stitches entwine! Now, if you will excuse me, I have an itch that must be scratched.