Friday, November 30, 2007

Little Girl Knitting

As it's officially 'crunch' time here, I've been working on finishing knits. The first one is for my niece for her late-December birthday. You may remember I made one for her brother for his October birthday. I used the same yarn, Cascade Eco-Wool, but dyed it with Kool-Aid. And turned it into this:
Abbie's Birthday Sweater - finished
Pattern: Children's Neckdown Pullover #9730, Knitting Pure & Simple
Size: 2-4 (generous for a petite 5yo girl)
Yarn: Cascade Eco-Wool, tan, 1 skein!

Next up were matching mittens for my darling daughter. I made her Ear Cozies a few months back when I was procrastinating on Sockapalooza socks. (Funny how that works, as I'm now procrastinating on the vest I need to finish for my Mom.) I made mittens from this pattern last year for the kids and really enjoy it. Quick, easy and accurate sizing, oh and it's free.
Ear Cozies and Matching Mittens
Pattern: Children's or Adult's Mittens by Sandy's Needle Nook (pdf)
Yarn: Plymouth Outback (1 skein!)

The only way I modified these mittens were to put longer cuffs on them to help keep them on under her coat. It's difficult to see in the photo above, because in the real world, I always put her mittens on before her coat to try to take advantage of the long cuffs.
Peek A Boo
long cuffs

This, unfortunately, was only dress rehearsal for the mittens. My kids are passing around a fever/cough virus, and it's her turn so she stayed home today from preschool. Not that she minds very much. She wore the mittens all morning while watching "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."
Hooray for a matched set

This latest knit is especially timely given our forecast for tomorrow: Winter Storm Warning with 3-6 inches of snow predicted and 1 inch of ice pellets thrown in for good measure. As well as freezing rain on Sunday. This calls for a trip to the grocery, stat!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Plowing Through The Season

How did it get to be that time again? That time between Thanksgiving and Christmas that many knitters look forward to and dread at the same time. That time when it seems there are more recipients for handknitted items than hours in the day. The time we spend thinking about our family and our blessed friends.

Thankfully I checked one project off the list. And with a few days to spare! My older sister's birthday is only a week away.

Carrie's Socks
FO: Carrie's Birthday Socks
Pattern: Short-row toes and heals from "Simple Socks: Plain & Fancy" by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. P1, K4, Cable on the K4 every six rows.
Yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Mega Boots Special (not a good yarn to cable without a cable needle, incidentally. Rather splitty.)

One down, a few to go.

For the past few years, we've gotten our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Usually the weather isn't too frightful and the crowds not too large and there are plenty of good trees to be found. This year we wavered, because Thanksgiving was early and we're always aware of a tree drying out and becoming hazardous by Christmas. But we did it anyway. I love that we're continuing this tradition from my childhood, although I swear we used to drive an hour each way to get our trees when I was growing up, and then they were stuffed into the car with us in the back seat, creating a claustrophobic situation like none other I've experienced. I'm thankful we have a great tree farm within 15 minutes from our house.

Christmas Tree
Him, wearing handknit mittens and her wearing handknit mittens and hat.
Yes, we had just enough snow before Thanksgiving to make things beautiful.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


When I was pregnant with each of my children, I often wondered if they would have any distinctive traits from my husband or me, or possibly others in our families. Our son was born with very little hair, which he promptly lost and didn't grow back for a long time. He didn't need a haircut until he was almost 2 years old. His hair was so light--he definitely resembles me as a child. However, it has become apparent that he's got his father's and grandfather's ability to memorize and learn. He started reading at age 4, and we found out quite accidentally last night that he has memorized 80% of US State capitals. He even knew the capital of South Dakota. Do you? Without cheating? Yeah, he's 5. It's a little scary.

Me, at 3 Me, 3 Boy, at 3 Him, 3

Our daughter, on the other hand, is so sweet and mild-tempered and sleeps so well; she's so much like her father, and definitely has his eyes.

Her and Him

But now I'm wondering...I'm really wondering...if our daughter is going to grow up to be Amy Detjen. I'm serious. She's all about wanting to learn how to knit lately (she's 2!) and just look at the shoes she chose at the Midwest's Largest Shoe Store* yesterday.

Purple Shoes, ala Amy

They're cute, but they're quite purple! Ah well, it wouldn't be all bad, now would it? A prolific, outspoken, funny, kind knitter in the house. With purple shoes.

*Yes, this is the same shoe store that got the Badgers in big trouble a few years ago.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

FO - Socks again!

My lovely Sugarplum Socks are off the needles and actually I've worn them twice. Twice! They are quite warm.

FO Sugarplum Socks
FO: Sugarplum Socks
Pattern: Toe-up from Simple Socks Plain & Fancy with a K3P1 rib, short-row toes and heels
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Not Just For Socks in Sugarplums & Butterscotch
Needle Size: 2

I mailed my younger sister's socks for her Nov 19th birthday and started my older sister's birthday socks for her Dec 1st birthday. I decided to use some Meilenweit Mega Boots Stretch that I got in a trade on Ravelry. It has some nice color changes, will look great with jeans and I can do a little cabling, too.

Carrie's Birthday Sock

This is just a K4, P1 rib with the a cable thrown in on the K4s every 6 rows. I turned the heel today, thankfully. It's a little slower-going than the other socks, but I think I have enough time. This yarn should hold up to my sister's inevitable washing/drying in machinery. I think her husband does the laundry, so we can't blame her!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Veterans Day

This probably sounds stupid, but I thought I'd write it anyway because it makes me angry.

My dad is a United States Vietnam War Veteran. For as long as I have been an adult, I've sent him a Veterans Day card in the mail. I appreciate his service, more so now that I'm a mother of two young children. When my dad went, he left voluntarily to be a doctor in the War and he had a wife and a 1-year-old daughter at the time.

So last year, I went to two Walgreens stores to find Veterans Day cards. Neither had one, and I ended up fuming to the person working there, writing an email to the Walgreens website and finally bought a "Thank You" card and wrote something in it to my dad about the injustice of not being able to find a Veterans Day card at Walgreens.

So this year, I was down on State Street this morning and decided, heck, to go to the Veterans Museum because I figured...they would DEFINITELY have Veterans Day cards and probably good ones, too.

You'd think so, wouldn't you? You'd really think so, right? You'd be wrong. They don't have Veterans Day cards in the gift shop. They said "go to Walgreens."

Finally found one today at Hallmark . I almost did what my husband said to do, "buy two or three of them at least, so you don't have to hunt them down every year." But there was only one suitable one. There was a Vietnam-War-specific card, and it actually referenced the fact that the Vietnam War was controversial for many years. Who wants to send that to a Vietnam War vet? THEY KNOW. Anyway, I thought writing this might help get this off my chest. I still can't believe the Veterans Museum doesn't have Veterans Day cards.

If you know a vet, acknowledge him or her Sunday, Nov. 11.

ETA: Go look at Hallmark's website. Go look. Not a mention of Veterans Day on the home page. What the heck, people?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fall, Unadulterated

This past summer, I spent a few hours cultivating a small garden behind our house. I planted what I could get my hands on, including a few varieties of tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, basil and pumpkins. The pumpkin seeds came from my mother, who is a Master Gardener, and had used a few of the seeds four or five years ago. I doubted they would come up, but two of them did and promptly took over the garden. I had no idea pumpkin vines would spread everywhere. Eventually I got two pumpkins out of them. One of them sprouted over the garden fence, so I couldn't save it from being scratched and bitted by squirrels and rabbits. The other plumped up in our garden to a respectable size. About a month ago, I brought it into our house. It was an eating pumpkin, but I wasn't quite sure how to turn it into a pie. Until I read this.

So yesterday, I baked this:
fall pie

And then I knit a little bit on these:
fall socks

And not to be outdone, the kids had great fun, too.

I hope you also had a (mostly) perfect fall weekend.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Just a quick FO to post (brag) about. These are for my younger sister's birthday. I'm so grateful my sisters both have birthdays during colder months. Oh, and that they enjoy handknits, too.

Sister Socks
Pattern: Toe-Up from Simple Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts using Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch
Yarn: Interlacements Toasty Toes

I also cast on for my second for-me pair of socks...I know I've got a lot on the needles, but I couldn't resist this yarn. It's Farmhouse Yarn's Bo Peep "Not Just for Socks". The colorway is "Sugarplums & Butterscotch". Delicious. Scored from The Sow's Ear in Verona, WI. This is also a sportweight yarn, and knit so tightly it can stand up on it's own. I think this will be a good sock for February.

Sugarplum Sock