Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Can't Help Myself

In times of stress, I reach for routines. They make life feel safe, comfortable. That's why I'm going to bore you with yet another child's top-down raglan. BUT, this one has a twist.


I have a goal this year of knitting sweaters for my nieces and nephews (there aren't that many of them, but they are multiplying rapidly) and have one down and three to go. I loved knitting that top-down raglan so much that I decided since I have another skein of light brown Cascade Ecological wool in my stash, I'd use that for one of my niece's sweaters. So then I asked my sister: Brown or pink?

Oh the woosh of exhilaration when she said PINK! I already had the Kool-aid on hand so I went to work.


I was surprised it was fairly uneven. I'm not sure why that happened and at first I was upset about it. But after letting it dry and handwinding the huge hank into a ball and knitting the first inch of the sweater, I do like it. It's almost like my very own kettle-dyed yarn.

This shows the true color. The ball, below, does not.


So Friday morning at the hospital I'll be the nervous mom in the waiting room with mottled pink yarn, knitting yet another top-down child's raglan sweater. Trying to calm my nerves with a pattern I almost know now by heart.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Devil's Lake & Contest Winner

There was a miraculous break in the weather this weekend and we decided to picnic at Devil's Lake. By some ridiculous oversight, we'd never been before, despite having lived in Wisconsin for seven years. We had so much fun. We hiked...

Devil's Lake

Devil's Lake

We picnicked.

On a trail at Devil's Lake State Park

Devil's Lake hike

and I knit while the kids played at the playground.

Nate's Sweater
Photo taken with the help of my Ott lamp, as we're under attack again today by the thunderstorm gods

Pattern: Children's Neckdown Pullover by Knitting Pure & Simple
Yarn: 1 hank of Cascade Ecological Wool
Mods: Added one set of short rows to the back ala EZ

And we have a winner: Bertha, who said, "I think you'll have 15+ yards left!"

Surprisingly, there was plenty of yarn to knit this thing. I didn't measure the leftovers, but in the future I could add on to it with no problem, which is the great thing about knitting from the top-down. When he's 5, assuming my sister hasn't felted the sweater by then, I can unpick the bind-off from the sleeves and the bottom and add a few inches.

So hey Bertha, you want a skein of Curious Yarns' Sock yarn (Ocean) or a skein of Sockotta to add to your stash? Thanks for being optimistic, lady! There was a point when I'd finished the body and still had the sleeves that I felt really dire about the amount of yarn left. Ah, you never know.

Curious Yarns Sockotta

Thursday, August 23, 2007


So by now you probably know that the Midwest is under water. Tragedy has struck. But the Midwest is so huge, let's try to localize this a little. Let's have a look at a backyard in Madison, Wisconsin, shall we?
This is standing water that was much more impressive about an hour before this photo was taken, when it was raining. The photographer did not want to go out into the downpour, however, to take a photo. Bad blogger photographer.

Here's what our radar keeps showing, day after silly day:

A whole week of swimming lessons has been drowned out. On the plus side, we made a volcano today:
And I knit. I'm going through a brown phase right now, so here's what is in the works for my nephew's birthday:
N's pullover
A top-down raglan pullover in Cascade Ecological Wool. Love this yarn. I'm a little scared, though, because the pattern says it takes 475 yards for the smallest (2-4) size, and the skein has 478 yards. Who thinks I'll have three yards left? Let's get a bet going here. Over, under or even? Whoever is right will have a chance to win something. I don't really have this all worked out, but I do have excess yarn and you will get to have a choice of items! By next post I'll have them up, I promise.

This is the longest post I've ever written. In other news, our baby girl will undergo surgery on 8/31 for an unknown *thing* on her wrist that is not going away. The surgeon mentioned a possible tumor. I was not pleased, seeing as the pediatrician thought it was an infection that could be lanced in-office. Anyway, I am very distracted and not quite myself. I am reminded of Elizabeth Zimmermann's words:
"Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crisis."

Friday, August 17, 2007

No Small Feat. Or Feet. Or Both.

My Sockapalooza socks arrived today! I feel like shouting from the rooftop. I am sure my neighbors would appreciate that. They did, after all, hear my son yelling out his window from his room this morning after repeated attempts to get him to stop torturing his sister.

I digress.

Aren't they lovely? Aren't they beau-ti-ful? The best part is that they fit. Yes, they fit my literally huge feet--size 11s that Ann had to deal with here. No small feat. Hah.

Thanks Ann! I love them!

Socks: Fools Rush (pdf link)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Irving Park

Thursday, August 16, 2007

For the Cure

Have you seen these socks? Not only are they stunning, they are helping to wipe out breast cancer. Check out the Campanula for the Cure KAL, donate in any amount and you'll receive the pattern for these socks and help support breast cancer research.

Good mojo all around, in my opinion.

Also a quick SHOUT OUT to Mandy, my Ravelry Tall Knits Group pal, who was mentioned in Yarnival! You go, girlfriend! Watch those blog stats climb and enjoy.

Monday, August 13, 2007

High Five

There has been a flurry of activity here in our house. A boy turned five.

High Five

And he lost his first tooth the day before. His party included "The Banana Lady", who entertained the kids with games, balloon twisting and face painting. The Banana Lady was a show herself, nevermind the other stuff she did.

Banana Lady

And I cast on a new project. I saw it advertised in the Fall 08 issue of Interweave Knits.

Donegal Vest

Although I can't afford the Tahki Donegal Tweed (pricey!), I decided to swatch with Peace Fleece and fell in love almost immediately. I waited to photograph this because while I did get the entire back done already, it's reverse st st, which is pretty boring. Here is the the left front:

Left front of Donegal Vest

Pretty damn satisfying so far, if I do say so myself. High five!

Monday, August 06, 2007

FO: Children's Tunic

It is my tendency, unfortunately, to seek out all that I have done wrong and pick on myself. I will try not to do that here. Because, really, the only thing 'wrong' with this sweater is that it's just too big. When he put it on, he said, "You made it too big, mom." Yes, I did. Guilty as charged. But in my defense, he's growing so quickly that I think I'll be happy it's so big in two years when he can still wear it. The sleeves are rolled up twice. (Oops.)

Top-Down Hooded Tunic
inside, in the air conditioning
Pattern: Children's Tunic #232 by Knitting Pure & Simple
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton 8.25 skeins of misty and .5 skeins of midnight
Mods: I knit it longer than the pattern called for because I wanted to wash and dry the yarn in the dryer and cotton blends always tend to shrink lengthwise. Plus I know my son is not getting any bigger around, only taller. Also the pattern has you knit a facing around the hood that you later tack down and run knitted cord or shoelaces through. I didn't do this, with a nod to safety. There is also a button hole at the neck to close the front opening and I don't foresee ever closing it so I probably won't put a button on it.

Top-Down Hooded Tunic Jogless Join
I also did a jogless join for the first time and am proud of how it turned out.

This boy turns 5 on Sunday. Where has the time gone? How could the days--that seemed to stretch for weeks when he was an infant--be going so quickly now?

He still has the same eyes as when he was four months old.
Yes, he got his first teeth at four months old.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Groovy Gift

Thanks, everyone, for being so supportive regarding giving the "gift of time" as one thoughtful blogger put it. Now if only you were my relatives. We can make that happen, can't we?

Sockapalooza socks are blocking on self-made sock blockers. Blowing in the wind. If there was wind. It's fricking hot up here in the frozen tundra. These were only outside for a short time because truthfully I was afraid that a squirrel would take off with them, ala Yarn Harlot's fleece-stealing squirrel. No way was I going to let that happen.

Anastasia Socks

I thought I would show what else I'm sending. Just a few things...

Like this Groovy Retro sock bag. Totally bright and awesome, like my pal.


And this ORIGINS Ginger Float Bubble bath. Plus a little, unpictured, present for her offspring.


This is from my vegetable garden. In North Carolina the growing season was so fun. I'm sure they've had tomatoes down there for more than a month. Sadly, these are among my first cherry tomatoes, just ripening. But pretty all the same.


Looking at these photos, I think I've caught Mandy's groovy green vibe.