Saturday, April 28, 2007

Who knew?

Who knew that cleaning out the garage on a sunny Spring morning could be so much fun?

Ok, it wasn't that fun, for at least two of us. But the other two could be said, at times, to be having quite a fun time.

Who knew that a well-worn, cracked and broken pink sled could have a different use...when there (thankfully) was no snow to be found?

Who knew that I would suddenly find yet another photo for Project Spectrum? Like the slacker that I am, I hadn't joined until recently. But I put a photo up there yesterday and will do another today.Who knew my kids could be so sweet...when there were two of the interesting item to play with, of course.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Egg Jacket

I refuse to "feel badly" about starting this sweater because, unbeknownst to Blogland, I had actually already knit this in the winter, but I didn't like how it was turning out. I had even started the arms, tried it on, and to my shock it grew--down to my thighs. I had planned for it to be a jacket-length, but to my hips was all I wanted. The garter stitch was stretching like nothing else and I wasn't happy.

So I frogged it. And it sat. I never photographed it.

Now, back, new and improved, I present the Tomten Jacket or, as I lovingly now refer to it, the Egg Jacket. I know, most Tomtens are made for children. The pattern is written for children. I have coveted one for years for myself, living in the great white North. The yarn is Araucania Nature Wool Chunky. Do not be fooled--this is NOT a chunky yarn. That's the problem I had last time. I went for the quick knit and decided to get 3.5 stitches per inch with size 10 needles. Too loose. Now I'm getting 4.5 stitches on size 7s and I like the firmer fabric. It will keep out the wind, that's for sure. I like this yarn in garter stitch because you really don't have to worry about the variegation in the yarn creating a pattern and it lends some interest to the fabric, as well.

I'm calling it the Egg Jacket because I visited a farm with the kids a week ago and lo, if there weren't chickens there laying eggs that were green, brown and pinky/brown. I have had a hard time describing the color of this yarn. Sometimes it's pink and sometimes it's warm brown, but when I saw the egg, that was it egg-zactly.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I received my wonderful treat box yesterday from Cheryl at A Simple Yarn. Cheryl lives in Dublin, Ireland, and so I received a plethora of lovely Irish items, including two special treats for my kids. How thoughtful--thanks so much Cheryl! I was able to take one photo of the box before my camera batteries died. See the gorgeous wrapping paper?
In there, I tell you, was not one, but TWO candy bars. I scarfed one of them down immediately, I'm not ashamed to say. No photos exist of that one. Otherwise included was an excellent pattern book with patterns for men, women and children, a copy of Delicious magazine (the Italian issue, no less!), four skeins of cotton, (just enough to make a nice baby sweater), Helping Hands lotion from Lush (*very* luxurious), a bath fizzer ball smelling of honeysuckle (how great is that?!) What else? I'm not looking at the contents right now so I'm sure I'm missing something. There were two silly straws with sheep on them for the kids (they ADORE them), and a box of Irish tea. Thanks Cheryl! It was also a great teaching moment telling the kids about Ireland and showing the 4-year-old where it is.

I'm a little baffled that I got this package, all the way from Ireland, in 5 days but it appears my package sent to my treatee in Canada more than a week ago still has not arrived. hmph.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

10 years

Ten years ago today, I married a great man. There's not much more to say without getting all sappy.

We were married under the Pergola in Duke Gardens in Durham, NC on April 19, 1997. The reception was at the Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill. We occasionally miss North Carolina--he more than I--usually around this time of year because it's so beautiful down there before it gets scorchingly hot.

Here's to 50 more!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Yarn enthusiast

Here is my son, taken about a year ago. I've always loved this photo for the way the yarn makes his blue eyes stand out and the way he's snuggling the fiber. And also that it marries two of my most favorite things in the world.

One of his favorite games is playing "mail carrier" and he brings me packages (empty boxes). He knows that if he says they have yarn in them, I'll smile and keep the package. But otherwise he thinks it's hilarious to say that he has brought me pickled pigs feet.

He hasn't been doing very well with the sticker chart, but sometimes we need to give him a break. He's only 4. As they say at his preschool, "Little kids, little problems." It was never more apparent to me than on Monday after hearing about the shootings at Virginia Tech.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

All About the Stash

I have yet to 'flash' my stash. I wouldn't really want to, actually, except that I'm making a pledge to knit from my stash for the rest of the year. Yarn for baby items and swaps and socks are exempt. In other words, no big yarn purchases.

This, after a pretty big acquisition last week. After the big 'got' always comes the big guilt, true? I got 16 skeins of Peace Fleece in the mail. Well, I did get them discounted, but still. So here is Volgassippi Blue (left) and Anna's Grasshopper. I am so happy with the colors. I used to have some Volgassippi Blue in the stash years ago, but didn't use it and sold it. This batch looks much more vibrant with almost a green/turquoise cast. The Anna's Grasshopper is amazing. Very hard to describe. So there's plenty for two lovely sweaters this year.

Not to mention the rest that's in here...
Click for notes

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tempting the 13th

Today is Friday the 13th. Why one would schedule elective surgery for today is truthfully beyond me. I am not overly superstitious, but why would you want to even chance it?

My loving husband gets his top wisdom teeth out this afternoon. Let's hope he sails through it. Our 10th anniversary is in 6 days and I sure would like to celebrate it with him.

Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed for us.

ETA: All is well. Nothing a few painkillers, some ice packs, a few gauze squares and time won't fix. Thanks for your well wishes!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cheap (Beautiful, Functional) Yarn

So I think I've mentioned that I'm typically frugal. Well, when it comes to some things. Gifts no (don't worry Knitters Treat Exchange pal! I'm taking care of you!), but I do like a nice yarn deal.

Once upon a time at a store that shall remain nameless, I found a few skeins of "Aunt Lydia's Quick Crochet Denim" on clearance. So, as they were a neutral color and a mostly cotton blend, I picked them up. After I ordered Elann Naturelle 8/8, I realized they are basically the same yarn, manufactured, I think, by Jimtex. Anyway, I've always kept a lookout for more Naturelle 8/8 and Aunt Lydia's at good prices. Who am I kidding? I have two young kids and I don't mind knitting with cotton. This stuff washes and wears well.

Last week I scored. I got 7 skeins of Aunt Lydia's in Plum for $2.97 each from Herschnerrs. There are 400 yards in each! That's 2800 yards of this stuff for under $21. I was pleasantly surprised when I received it, too. Nicely flecked with raspberry, pinks and blues. I couldn't get the photo to represent the color quite right. It's darker than this. I might make another Wallaby for myself...
Work continues on the Log Cabin blanket, as well. Also made with, you guessed it, cheap yarn. And cheap yarn on the cone, no less. I have to put this thing down so I can make three swatches in time for a finishing class Wednesday night. I'm so looking forward to this class. Now maybe I can feel confident about sewing sweaters together. Finallly, after seven years of knitting. I think it's about time, eh?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

It's late.

So maybe you'd like to ponder the universe a bit?

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View?
created with QuizFarm.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Fickle (or, What To Do When a Knit Gives You Trouble)

So, the dress hasn't budged. I haven't even frogged it. Something in me--maybe it's the warmer weather?--said that we need a blanket for our family room. Of course this makes no sense at all. I should be working on the Summer Toddler Dress (made from Schaefer Laurel yarn, by the way). But I have been wanting to try a Log Cabin blanket for awhile now and since it's the kind of thing you can knit for a week, put down for a month, and have no problem picking back up, I thought I'd take a stab at it. As a diversion, it scores high points.

First I created a layout based on this lovely blanket.

Then, just started knitting it, referring to the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. The center patch is Rowan Denim, but the rest is Elann Naturelle 8/8 on cones. I bought heaploads of it a few years ago and I'm happy to say that I love it (I have a Wallaby made from it, too). I washed that center patch before I picked up stitches because the Rowan Denim fades so much in the first wash and I was worried about the dye coming off on the other yarns. The Naturelle 8/8 shrinks the same amount as Denim, so I should be OK.

It's M's second birthday today. We're celebrating with a family party this weekend. She helped me make her cake this morning, so now all she's been saying all morning is "Want CAAAKE!" Two. Sigh.