Monday, August 27, 2007

one down, one to go

socks, that is.... note to self, when using self patterning yarn that patterns fair isle, don't use rib stitch for sock... looks better in stockinette (check out the toe as opposed to the rest of it) The bottom is in stockinette, but who sees the bottom??? Oh well..

One down, 179 to go. Days of school that is. Today was the WORST first day in my 22 years (OK, I've not had 22 first days cuz of sabbaticals, but.. well you get the picture) Not the kids, they were fine. Machines. As Mr. Slinger from Lily and the Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes says, tomorrow will be a better day (I'm taking my own electronics!)

The good news is I've moved up on the ravelry chain:
You signed up on June 29, 2007
You are #11554 on the list.
1214 people are ahead of you in line.
17438 people are behind you in line.
35% of the list has been invited so far

Another couple weeks and I should be in. Hope I have all the stash labeled in Flickr by then, so I can just upload and play. Of course I'll have no spare time to play, but... that's life

Happy crafting everyone

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Slow progress

I've made some very slow knitting progress these past few days. I did a few rows on the never ending poncho.....guess it won't be done for this fall either :-( I am almost finished my first ribbed sock. If I could have remembered how to do the toe decreases it would have been done... I had it about finished and it looked wrong so I frogged that part... started over, tinked back... then decided to wait until I got home to look.. yes I was knitting in the car again. I found a dropped stitch in the mid-month dishcloth KAL in a cable from the monthly dishcloth group... I frogged the whole thing. I was doing it in Paton's grace on size 5 needles and really wasn't feeling the love, so I rather use that yarn for bookmarks (gifts) anyway! I did finish one block (not yet pun intended) of Lizard Ridge in color 163 Lot D. This was after much tinking/frogging because I kept forgetting to carry the unused yarn up the side.... argh! I love this colorway though :-D

And I spun up a sample of the BFL/BL cross. Actually I spun up two samples hoping the second would be a heavier weight. It seems I am havig real difficulty spinning heavier now... So it would be best triple plied for this vest. DH doesn't want stripes.. so I'm working on plying 2 of these with one of a Targhee mix that I started late last night (i've been in spinning withdrawl lately). The Targhee is white.. not bright white, but looks a bit goofy with the dark brown, so I'm thinking to dye it with coffee and see how it would look plied that way? I'm really winging it here.

I took some pics of the cocoon, but it's hard to see through the mesh siding of the butterfly garden. It's about midway in the pic from top to bottom and is the thick brown piece that looks like part of the stick but is sticking straight out almost parallel to the bottom. (just above and to the left of the white daisy as you're looking at the bottom of the garden) If anyone has an idea how to mark up my picture to circle it or something, please tell me... I'm clueless in that regard. Hope you can tell where it is!

I start teaching again tomorrow. Wish I could say I was so excited I'd pee in my pants, but I'm not. I have everything ready save a few pictures to put up and some great ideas for the year that I want to see how they work, but I rather be home crafting. DD had a project due for tomorrow. It seems that she's the student of the week this week. I think they do it in alphabetical order and our last name (married) starts with A... so she's first! Anyway, I needed a picture of her and the ones we had printed didn't suit the princess... so we had to go searching through 2 computers worth of pictures to find one she wanted. DS1 likes KDG. He's so cute in his uniform. A real heartbreaker! DS2 left me feeling like a terrible mom when I took him to daycare on Thursday. He was fine 10 minutes after I had gone! But the GREAT news is that he's potty trained... bye bye diapers (insert enormous grin here)

I leave you with this close-up of my new baby.. BFL. It's really yummy... shorter fibered than I'm used to, but yummy!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

YIPES... no FOs

lots on the needles, but nothing is finished!

The chrysalis is finished though. The cocoon is so strange looking. I guess the strange part was watching how it developed from the caterpillar. My pictures of it aren't that good because they were taken through the netting of the butterfly garden. But now it looks like part of the stick and if you didn't know there was a cocoon there, you'd miss it. Funny because where the head of the caterpillar was/is there are two protrusions that I'm sure will be the antennae of the butterfly. Right now they look like little horns. It completely turned to cocoon late Sunday/early Monday. It's brown. I've read that brown cocoons winter over, so if that's the case we have a long wait to see this butterfly... if not about 10-14 days.

Yesterday I received a lovely lambs fleece of a chocolate brown BFL cross (crossed with Border Leicester) I immediately washed it and it's just lovely.. hardly any grass or bits of VM.... DH decided that he'd like his vest from this fleece instead of the Targhee that I've been flicking all summer. I hope there's enough.. if not, I may have to come up with some creative stuff... either dyeing or striping or something. I spun up two weight samples.. it's really lovely...

My kids started school on Wednesday. It was DS1's first day of Kindergarten. He looked so cute! I can't believe how fast they grow up. I had to go back on Wednesday as well. But not Friday. The kids where I teach start Monday, and I'm not ready at all. This is definitely going to cut into my knitting/spinning time. Oh well... gotta make a living so I can buy more fiber!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

R.I.P. Genevieve

She's gone to be with her beloved Louie...... You will always be remembered in my heart. I'm so glad that the suffering wasn't as prolonged as the prognosis predicted. Enjoy your resurrected life!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Stash acquisiton and gathering

Well.... today was a banner day. At least for me. First I found out that Little Knits was having a sale on much of their Noro... I went a bit overboard on the Kureyon (think's Lizard Ridge) Then after reading loads in the wee hours of the morning about our 'cat' I decided he needed a proper home that the boys could see but wouldn't destroy once he's in his cocoon. I called my favorite local toy store Toy Magic to see if they had a butterfly garden and indeed they did. So off I went to make a trip. DD didn't want to come, so I took DS2 with the promise he'd be sleeping upon return. DS1 stayed home with a fever (poor guy). I really didn't want to take DS2 into the toy store awake because I feared we would never leave and I had something else up my sleeve.....

My LYS Tangled Yarns is right down the street and I had a gift certificate in my wallet that had it's tastes on some Lantern Moon needles and maybe some Noro. Armed with the colors I had just purchased and the 5 already in my stash, we went in... DS2 wasn't too happy, in fact, he kept trying to escape. I didn't know which size to buy 7's or 8's so the woman suggested I knit a test swatch... I grabbed a skein in a color I would have bought anyway (and did) and tried them both out... I decided on the 8's. They feel better and I liked the swatch density better. While I was doing all that DS2 nursed himself to sleep. I bought my needles and yarn and we both left content!

So the 'cat' has a condo. And with it came certificates to send for Painted Lady caterpillars and food which we'll do in the spring. It started to hail and thunder while we were in the toy store so of course we got soaked and DS2 woke up. I drove around trying to put him to sleep, but all I gained was a stick for the condo. After the rain, DS2 and I went gathering more flowers for the caterpillar to eat. DD has already lost interest in the 'work' part of this. Just more fortification why we don't have a real pet!

This is what our temporary guest looks at while he's lounging in his new digs. Who wouldn't love it?

more 'cat' news

From everything that I've read... I think our caterpillar is in the beginning or near the 5th instar stage and will be pupating soon. Therefore, tomorrow I'm going out to buy a proper place for it to pupate instead of the cereal box. It's eating a ton and pooping just as much. We're going to have to go flower hunting tomorrow again.

As I was eyeing up the habitat tonight, I spotted another crawler on the stem. You have to look at the sock needle (US2) to see this one. I think we had one of these earlier, but in trying to see it, I may have destroyed it, or perhaps this is the same one, but now large enough for my old eyeballs to see. Up to third instar this black swallowtail is supposed to look black with a white band (about mid-page) and this doesn't appear that way, but who knows.. maybe it's just a baby inch worm. Our house is becoming the worm home I think.

I took this picture of our big 'cat' agains the same knitting needles for comparison. The needle is blurry but the cat is clear enough.

In knitting news, I finally finished bamboozled from the mid-July KAL at monthly dishcloth KAL group

Pattern: Bamboozled by Andi Worthy
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Twists
Color: Summer
Needle Size US6

I like the pattern it just took me too long to finish this one. I of course gifted it today to my friend's mom who is returning to Argentina. She was here for 3 months and we all love to see her. This time my family was lucky as we were together several times during her visit. She is a joy to be with!

I like this yarn although it seems to untwist a bit more than S&C and P&C. Perhaps because the 4 plys are 4 different colors? But for my kitchen plans, this color will be perfect. I bought a 12 oz skein a while back at Joann's and this was the first that I used it.

I turned the heel on my sock today and am now officially on the foot. Knitting in the car passes the time, but isn't always the easiest for me on those little US2 bamboo dpns.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

nature discovered

I cut some Queen Anne's before DH mowed the yard the other day. I wanted to put it in some colored water for the flowers to take up the dye. I have some now that are pink and some that are light blue. I was checking on the flowers last night when low and behold I found a caterpillar on the stem of one of the flowers. I hadn't even noticed it when I cut them. I googled caterpillar to find out what kind it is and discovered that it's a Black Swallowtail. Since I have a friend who is known in the area as the 'butterfly lady', I wrote to her to ask her what to do so that the kids might watch the metamorphosis process. She told me how to make a bug box from a cereal box and what to do with it to make a cozy environment for the 'cat'. They like to eat leaves of plants in the parsley family (Apiaceae) including, carrot, celery and dill and ..... Queen Anne's lace flowers. This morning DD and I went on a hunt for flowers to keep this guy munching away happily. We hit the motherlode down along the canal towpath and as I type, our newest member of the family is filling its belly on the scrumptious buds! The DC who seems most interested is my 2 almost 3 YO DS He's thrilled just to watch it move. I'm thrilled to turn my kids on to God's beautiful creation! I hope we can successfully help it become a butterfly

Some FO's to post:

TriOminoes Bag
Pattern: See Below
Yarn: Sugar and Cream
Color: Beige
Needle Size: 7

TriOminoes Bag:

Materials needed: Worsted Weight yarn
Size 7 DPNS (set of 5) or long circular if using magic loop
• cast on 60 stitches
• join in the round being careful not to twist stitches, placing marker
•knit 2 rounds.
• *K1, YO, repeat from * until end of round
• *KI, drop YO, repeat from * until end of round
• knit 2 more rounds

Now begins the stitch pattern based on Tweed Mock Rib from 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar February 21

•Odd Rows: K1, *sl 1 purlwise, K1, YO, psso the K1 and YO repeat from *

•Even Rows: Knit

Repeat these two rows until you reach desired length
I added a couple of knit rows at the end to make it easier for me to kitchner.

•Divide the stitches in half, place each on it's on DPN and kitchner.

For drawstring, either knit an i-cord or more easily take 3 lengths of cotton yarn about a yard each. Tied them in a little knot and braid them until reaching the ends.Thread darning needle with these and pull the drawstring through the holes made for them from dropped YOs. Put a knot in the unknotted end when finished, pull and tie a bow!

Fill with your choice of goodies and enjoy!

This is free for your use only. If you want to share this pattern, please link to this page. Remember copying and pasting is stealing.
Thanks so much :-)

Pattern: The Lucy Bag
Yarn: Mauch Chunky by Kraemer Yarns
Color: Petunia
Needle Size: 10.5

I didn't use the yarn the pattern calls for, but my substitute met gauge. Having said that, I didn't use as many rows for the bag, or it would have been ginormous. It's bigger than I wanted but good for taking along an extra set of clothing for DS2 should he have a potty accident plus my wallet, glasses and a knitting project. I think I'll make the small ball later. I forgot to take a picture before felting, but DS2 could easily stand inside the bag and it came up to his chest..... really big!

Pattern: Lucky Warm Fuzzies
Yarn: Red Heart MacIntosh 50g skein 122 yards
70 Acrylic/30 Wool
Color: 1377 Dublin
Needle: Size 5 dpns

Once again I failed to use the yarn the pattern was written for. The woman I made these for works as a secretary at my school and she is ALWAYS cold.I promised them to her at the end of the year, but my dad took precedence with his felted slipper request. She wanted something machine washable, so I chose this yarn at ACMoore on sale for $1.50 per skein. It took less than one skein and I bought 3, so I think I'll be making some for teachers gifts! They are soft and cozy warm. I'll put buttons on them if I can find ones I like. Need. to. check. button. stash. Hope S likes them! BTW... there are other great patterns on this site, great knit fiction, wonderful charity knitting and firefly's blog is superbly written...

I found my long lost sock needles. They were hiding in my chair. I had looked there at first, but I think they were stuck way down deep. We had to move the furniture to the center of the room when the new windows were installed, so in moving it all back and cleaning, the lost 'lambs' returned. So of course, they were begging to be used. I've cast on another pair of socks. This time I'm using 2x2 ribbing the whole way and Sockotta yarn in black, white, blue and purple. I'm making it up as I go!

I also joined the Love2Knit dishcloth fall exchange. We send a dishcloth and an item of knitted food. I have no clue what to make my pal... couldn't tell here anyway ;-) I'll post a picture after I finish and mail it!

The boys' room is all painted Tango Blue (Valspar brand) with white trim. We're looking for a bed as I think IKEA discontinued the one I had posted about before. We're thinking L shaped bunks that have a dresser under them. Perhaps we'll go for this one but in the light maple finish. I saw it IRL and DS2 was with me and loved it! We're talking about refinishing their floor first though. The poor kids won't make it in there before school starts in 10 days!

DD's room is getting a makeover as well, from yellow to pink and we will most likely buy her a new bed too... downsize to a twin so mom can't sleep there ;-) the only problem is HOW to arrange what furniture would be there. It's a small room. We're thinking Captain's bed to save some room... she's growing up so fast!

School starts next Wednesday for my DC and myself.. I'm trying to get permission to come in late and stay late so I can put DD and DS1 on the bus. It's his first day of KDG after all! He's so ready... and excited. And we found out he'll have the same teacher DD had last year (they cycle with the same teacher for 2 years)

Well I have much to do and little time... I don't even want to think about how far behind I am on Christmas gifts!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

to whet the appetite

this is a short post....I have lots of pics and FOs to show but no time... we got our new windows Monday and Tuesday and I have to finish putting the house back together AND take the kids shopping for uniforms...but here we go.

These first two cloths came about because we went tot he beach for a week and I didn't want to take the computer (with all my knitting patterns on it) with me... With 3 kids and 3 adults we had enough to schlep. So I thought about take my knitting stitches Perpetual Calendar... and I could make cloths from those patterns! So here's what I came up with:

Pattern: adapted from 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar
June 19 Checkerboard
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton
Color: Navy
Needle Size: 7

I was making this in the dark in the car and I lost track of how many rows I had done for each square near the end, so the pattern got a bit goofy.... so I decided to increase the size of the squares as they moved to one end. I was disappointed in the yarn, I came across 2 knots while making this dishcloth..... this never happens with P&C or S&C :-(

Pattern: adapted from 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar
February 21 Tweed Mock Rib
Yarn: Lily's Sugar 'n Cream
Color: Blue Ombre ?
Needle Size: 7

I decided to try this as a cloth after I started making a bag for the triominoes set we were giving to the ILs. Of course we forgot to bring it along to the beach, so I didn't finish that there. My SIL went directly from the beach to the airport. Talk about a long trip home! (especially with 3 little ones)

Next is from the Love2Knit Dishcloth Yahoo Group Summer KAL:

Pattern: GW's Spinning Wheel
Yarn: Lily's Sugar 'n Cream
Color: Patio Pinks
Needle Size: 7

This was supposed to be done on a larger needle. I think because I that, I needed more pattern repeats to complete the round. When the last day came GW said to use the cast on tail to close up the hole. I had knitted the end in as I always do, so had no yarn to cinch the hole shut... oh well... I love the colors though!

And the last cloth is:

Pattern: Lacy Shamrock by Rachel
Yarn: Lily's Sugar 'n Cream
Color: Hot Pink
Needle Size: 6

I goofed this one up a bit... lost track of where I was in the pattern so it looks more like a flower. Oh well!

I finished the Lucy Purse at the beach... felted it at home.. pictures will be forthcoming as will the TriOminoes bag, once it's finished.

Here's one of the sand sculptures we made at the beach. DD helped decorate it and came up with the great idea of using spaghetti seaweed for the hair. Of course the day we made it, the ocean was really rough and clam shells were hard to find, otherwise her tail would have been more complete.

Happy crafting!