family, knitting, living

knitting

Alphabet Lost and Found

For better or worse, I have decided to join the The ABC’s with the Accidental Knitter. http://accidental-knitter.blogspot.com/2011/05/learn-your-abc-new-meme.html  This is a once a week posting theme based on the ABC’s.  We will post a topic beginning with the week’s letter of the alphabet every Monday.  I have been looking for a way to get back into to posting and I am hoping this is just arbitrary enough to suit me.  We were supposed to start last week with A.  Obviously, it didn’t happen.  So, I will post A tonight and hopefully put up B tomorrow.  I have a ridiculous backlog of photos, projects, stories, etc.  I just felt compelled to link the Might Be Giants song Alphabet Lost and Found because it is so cute and it starts with A.

Here’s a cut picture of Allison’s two littlest and my two making some no bake cookies.  Henry and I took Allison’s oldest and ours to the used bookstore today and Mycah bought a couple of cookbooks.  She immediately began pouring over them and located a simple recipe that we could make with many hands!


Second update, Knitted farmyard

Today was craftapalooza at our house…..so named because I had five extra girls and one mom at my house to make valentines.  Yes, you heard me right, I had a total of 7 girls 5-9 and another mom and Henry at my house today.  The picture to the left and the picture below show my dining room table covered in the various and sundry items used in making the valentines.  The girls all go to a school where they are to make the valentines…no store bought crap for this crew.  So, I felt like we would take the opportunity to get a jump on the Valentine making since I had to keep two of the girls today anyway.  The girls had a blast.  Besides the Valentine making, the girls helped make pompoms for the knitted farmyard as evidenced later in the post.  They had more fun making them for themselves, but I did get a few out of them for the farm.  They also had lunch, hid in the back bedroom and whispered, ran around like nut cases and had various little girl dramas all day.  All in all, it was a lot of fun.

This is the photo of our dinner.  I made homemade French Onion soup and used my homemade bread for the toast layer.  Mycah had two bowls, so did Henry.  Grey had a bowl and a half.  It was a big, big hit.  Henry was a little suspect of the idea of French Onion soup.  He likes it, but everywhere we have the soup it is way too salty.  I knew his objection because I have the same one, so Mycah and I both tasted the soup BEFORE adding salt and then added a little at a time until it was perfect.  Henry had bought me these little crocks the other day when I mentioned for the second time that I sure would like to have them.  The girls loved having their own crock with a lid and everything.  I used the Mark Bittman recipe out of How to Cook Everything.   Lori turned me on to him a few months back and I bought his book.  It is great.  The recipes are really good and he discusses substitutions for seasonality, explains lots of things I had not know and give lots of variations for most of the recipes. i also bought How to Cook Everything Vegetarian based on my happiness with the other book and it is a winner too.

These last two photos show the progress on the knitted farmyard.  Henry made the little hay bales for the field of hay. I love them.  I have pinned down the additional fabric for the hay and the grass. The blank spot will be the only latch hooked area as latch hooking doesn’t agree with me.  The pompoms are little bushes.  They are not sewn down yet.  That will be one of my last things.  I have made one chicken and am still working of the dad.  The knitting part of the knitting farmyard should be the easiest for me, but it has turned out to be the slowest and most fiddley.  It’s well on its way to being completed, so I will soldier on.

Have a great, crafty evening and love to my family across the pond, in the burbs, on the ridge and in the hills of GA!


Knitted (sort of) Farmyard

In August our girls started a new school.  The school is a small private Waldorf school.  (for those interested in learning a little more, here is a Wikipedia reference  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education )  There is a lot more to Waldorf education than a Wiki reference, but you get the picture.  Anyway, it is a very small school, only one class per grade in grades 1-8 and two mixed age classes of pre-school and kindergarteners.  The school does a lot of community outreach in order to keep things going as the tuition alone would not float the school.  There are two big fundraisers every year.  The first is the Elves Fair in November and the second is the Gala in the spring.  Part of the Gala is an auction……….I’m sure you can see where this is going……

I have decided to make a knitted farmyard inspired by Wernhard Hannelore.  Her book is here on Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1844482170/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0855325763&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0SERHA50EK428SZ5JS6D

I say inspired because since I really got to looking at the book, I thought that the author had lost her mind.  The entire play mat is made on a base of latch hook rug canvas.  It is hooked and embroidered into the rug.  I had Henry draw out the portions I thought I’d like to have and then we sat down to watch a movie with the girls while I started the embroidery on the pond.  I worked for an hour and then Henry worked for the second hour with very little to show for the time invested.  I was getting vey discouraged when henry said….how about cutting up some Goodwill sweaters.  EUREKA!  I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored some great fabric that had no business being worn in the style in which they were made….so no great fashion has been harmed in the making of this object.  I have started piecing together the different sweater fabrics.  I will still have to latch hook bushes and maybe a field, but most of this will be a lot less labor intensive than I first planned.  The part that will be challenging is getting enough various little animals and people made.  I have several friends at school who have volunteered to knit something and one friend had volunteered to needle felt some animals for the farmyard.  I think the mixture of fiber crafts will make this project even more interesting than I originally thought.  I hope that it brings in some money for the school as well.  I plan to keep you updated for the next month on it’s progress…it should be interesting.

 

 

 

 


Lots of knitting, only one finished object

I have been knitting and crafting ever spare moment…or so it seems.  However, I feel like I do not have much to show for it.  My larger project is a vest for me/store sample, but it has been put on the backburner to craft for the Elves Fair at our girls’ school.  I have made numerous items for the fair, but I can’t show them.  (suffice it to say, the reason is too long to go into here)  So, we are left with the only finished object I have that I can show and they were knit in a flurry. One of  Mycah’s teachers is leaving to move to Chicago.  Mycah is crazy for her and so are we.  We will be very sad to see her go, but understand that she is young and needs to find her way.  I knew I had to knit her some mitts after finding out she was moving to the windy city.  I usually make the Fetchings when I need a quick project, but I have become bored with the pattern and wanted to try something new.  So, I made the Sourwood Mountain fingerless gloves.  I had a small boo-boo in the beginning.  I knit the cuff out of Lush thinking that I could get a second ball at the store, only to complete the cuff and then find out the color I had is no longer produced.  (the yarn has been in my stash for at least 4 years…if not more)  So, I had to start again.  This time I chose Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran.  It has great stitch definition, but I found the yarn to have a number of weak or broken plys along the way.  Very frustrating.  Of course, the day I have them ready to photograph turned into a soggy mess, so Henry had to photograph them tonight in the bathroom as this was the best light in the house.   He did a decent job given the conditions he had to work in!

Here they are….we will miss you Miss Fors!!!!!


Waiting for the leaves to turn

I am waiting for the changes.  Some I wait for impatiently, some I dread, some have to happen, some can’t.  Changes are part of life.  The only end to change in one’s life is the end of one’s life.  I know this, but it doesn’t make some changes any easier.

We’ve spent all summer working on the new house…talk about a change!  The house is incredible and I cannot wait to move in, but I have to wait another week I think.  There are still a handful of things that need to happen and I don’t want to rush in where we are living in an uncomfortable situation.  It’s funny,  I am dying to move in, but I am nervous and worried at the same time.

My sisters are all having major changes happening in their lives.  I am standing on the sidelines waiting to see who needs to be picked up.  My stomach turns and churns watching and waiting for the last shoe to drop in all of these situations.  I know that at least two of the sisters will come out stronger on the other end, but I can’t stand to see them hurt, but the other sis…I’m not so sure about.

My girls have changed schools.  We put them in the local Waldorf school after three years of public school for the oldest and one for the youngest.  This was a very hard change to make.  We fell in love with  the school more than a year ago and have been planning this change for that long, but we still had tears from the oldest for the first couple of days.  It’s funny, she knows that this is where they belong, but she is still homesick for the other school.  They have both started to settle in and seem to really be blossoming.  They are wonderful girls (yes, I am biased, but this is true).  They are creative, curious, polite, full of wonder, adventurous, willing to try, and  good hearted….all of these things seem to help them fall right in with the other children and I look at their classmates and am amazed to find such confident, grounded little beings.  This has been a great change even with the challenges.

Speaking of changes, there are some I need to make (or I should say, Henry and I need to make).  On the health from the two of us are woefully unprepared to get older.  We need to clean up our diets and start exercising.  And I need to find a way to learn to let go of stress or at least not react so strongly to it.  The summer’s stress has caused me a hard summer and at least one minor exacerbation.  I need to get healthy physically, mentally and  emotionally to lull my MonSter back to sleep.  Once we finally get moved, the changes will be coming on that front.

Now I know most of you bother with my blog more for pictures and knitting than for the dribble above, so ask me how I meet all of these changes…  Well, I continue to knit.  As Elizabeth Zimmerman says, “Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.”  I have not exactly produced a ton, but I have managed to continue to knit a little here and there throughout all of this junk and have a few things to show for the effort.  I made a baby jacket for a friend fo a friend and I knitted a big headed monkey for Mycah’s birthday.  I also started a vest for me for winter.  The only downside to the vest is that I have to borrow it back from the shop as Carolyn gave me the yarn to knit it for the shop sample!


Randomness and Catch-up, again, again, again

I am determined to post tonight.  In all honesty I have wanted to post a number of times over the last month and have just become too irritated with the Mac to do it.  See, I have been a PC user until this past Christmas>  I needed a new computer, so Henry bought me the one I wanted terribly… MacBook Pro.  It is awesome, but I did not take a clas…I am not that kind of person, I like to figure things out on my own.  Unfortunately, the thing that would have helped me the most is what I need to post easily.  I need a simple explanation as to where to store things and how to access them easily so that I can load the photos into my post.  Agggghhhhh, I will beat this!

Anyway, onto the blog.  We are in the middle of renovation land at the moment.  The new house has had much work done to her and will have much more work to come.  Henry and I have painted the living room, the dining room, the guest room downstairs, and the girls playroom.  Now, while this may sound like no big deal, let me explain…..our gal is tall!  She has 12ft ceilings which required the purchase of a baker scaffold.  We have not turned on the air as we want the house to air out both the paint fumes and the order that she has acquired before our purchase.  Anyway, it is hot in TN.  It takes me and Henry 2 days per room to lay on two coats of paint.  The dining room took three days because we had to paint the poop-BROWN ceiling.  We still have the girls room, our room, two bathrooms and the yet to be completed kitchen to paint.

In addition to the painting, we will be ripping out the master bath due to some hidden water damage and not hidden hideousness and the kitchen will be finished by the contractor and a library will be built in the other guest room downstairs.   All of this is supposed to be complete by the end of July so that we can move in and get settled before the girls start school.  We are crazy!  We will make it.  Here are a couple of pictures for your enjoyment>>>

That’s the kitchen before.

Above is the before of the dining room.

In news unrelated to the house, I have been doing a bit of sewing, knitting and hand sewing.  I took a class with Lori at Textile Fabrics http://www.textilefabricstore.com/public_html/  .   The class was on reverse applique and was with Natalie Chanin.  http://alabamachanin.com/   It really got me excited about working on ANYTHING again.  I have barely knit in the last couple of months because of the house and because I had gone back to work temping for my old company.  I have been so busy and so tired, I have not felt like doing anything.  It was great to get my hands busy making something again.  The creating bug bit hard, so I took advantage of having Lori at hand and dug out two old unfinished sewing projects.  Last summer I attempted a dress for each girl and made some fatal errors in the construction.  This was before my week long sewing lesson with Lori.  I sheepishly dug them out to show her.  She said it was salvageable and we began to rip.  We ripped out most of my sewing, ironed and repaired.  Now, my girls each have the dresses I promised them last year.  I also cut out another dress for Grey last night and sewed it.  She was pretty pleased with it as well!

I would love to tell you more, but I will save it for later as this stupid post has taken an hour!!!!


Second Great Snow Day!

I am entirely too tired to write some long descriptive post.  So, you will have to deal with photos only.  I am starting a shawl with some local alpaca because I get to go with Lori to the Alpaca convention here.  She has several students who have placed well in their fashion design contest and I get to be her date for the tea!  Oh, forgot to mention….it is at the farm where I bought the alpaca I am making the shawl with.  It is a blend of 5 of their black alpacas.


Snow Days

Yes, folks…we have had a couple of real snow days.  By real, I mean we got about 5 inches of snow.  Now, I know for those friends of mine still in Iowa and now in MN, 5 inches is laughable……but in TN, 5 inches of snow makes the city stop, grown men and women turn into children and causes the grocery stores to run out of milk, bread AND toilet paper!

On Thursday evening, our school system called off school for Friday.  I got up Friday morning to find the streets barely damp.  We were very disappointed, but not surprised as this is par for the course in Nashville.  At 9am it started snowing in a manner that seemed promising.  It was not bad and I had to go to my Nanny’s because she had an ice maker line fail and I (being the busy body, ex-claims adjuster I am) had to make sure things were going as they should.  I wound up spending about 2 and a half hours there calling insurance companies, condo association, er services, etc.  By the time I was ready to leave, we had about an inch and a half.  No problem, I learned a lot about snow in Iowa.  While this is true, I failed to take into account that not everyone in Nashville went to Iowa with me.  I got on Briley Parkway only to find it at a stand still because there were 4 accidents all within 1 mile of each other!

I finally made it home and spent the rest of the day watching the snow accumulate, doing science experiments with the girls, cooking and seeming up a baby sweater while the girls painted a bird house next to me in their craft/toy room.  It was so cozy and lovely.  We had a great time.

We did not go sledding yesterday as I really wanted the snow to get to the point that it was deep enough to sled nicely.  So, this morning we got up ready for some serious sledding.  I planned to drive down to the park a mile from the house, but could not get the car out of the drive because I closed the gate last night and the gate must be dug out before we can open it.  So, we sledded our street, then the green at Waverly-Belmont and then at the park.  Henry and I pulled the girls most of the way there and back.  We did not have sleds because we lost them in the Iowa flood, so I bought inner tubes.  They worked pretty good after getting out technique down.  On the way back home we stopped at the Frothy Monkeys for hot chocolate and a late lunch.  It was a great time.  Now we are in, warm and fed.  I plan to do some knitting and bake some bread.  The girls are enjoying taking it easy after playing so hard and Henry is playing WOW.

I LOVE snow days!

Here’s some pics of our two snow days.


French Socks

On my way to France I chose to work on my second sock of the Nutkin socks by Beth LaPensee.  I had finished the first one over a month ago and just couldn’t make any real progress on the second one.  I had managed to cast on and make the fold down top, but that is all.  I am seriously wondering if I will ever be a sock knitter, as the pair took over 4 months to complete and Wendy is on her third pair of socks after we started together.  Anyway, I knit through a good portion of our flight to France and some on the TGV.  By the time I got to Becca’s I was ready to turn the heel.  I finished the socks after three days of being in France.  I would have finished them sooner…but Christophe was busy making sure I did not miss anything of interest in the south of France.

The pattern is easy to remember and very intuitive, so I did not have t lug out the pattern when I knit.  I only needed it to remind me of the number of repeats.  I did change the heal to an eye of partridge as I had done the short row heel as suggested on the first sock and found it to be thin.  I had to rip that out.  I did not want a sock that I spent so much time on to crap out on the heel. I also did a standard toe rather than her toe.  I like the look better.  Of course, my Kitchener is less than spectacular, so the toe on the pattern would probably have looked better.  I used ShibuiKnits Sock.  Unfortunately I don’t remember the colorway.  The bright sun in the south of France make the variegation really stand out.  In person, the difference in the purples is much more subtle and not so distracting from the lace pattern.  I have not washed these yet, but my girlfriend made her first pair with the same yarn in a different colorway and they faded terribly.  The socks started out as vibrant as mine and after the first cold water handwash looked very dull.  I hope that will not be the case with mine.

Here is the Ravelry link for those of you on Ravelry.   http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Slipping/nutkin

Here are the photos that Becca took in her back yard….doesn’t it look like I’m at a resort!

I wore my socks on the plane coming home.  They are very, very warm!  I had to take them off for the last flight as I was about to pass out.  If I stick with knitting socks, I may have to find a lighter weight yarn!!!

 


grey in feb girly sweater


Mom’s Preemie Project drive


Calorimetry

I forgot to post a photo of Emmy in the Calorimetry I made. 

emmy2


Biscuts and Noro

Another post on the same day…no sleep equals time to do extra things.  Anyway, I was feeling a little less than inspired this evening when super time rolled around, so we had breakfast.  Grey has been asking for breakfast for dinner for weeks.  It’s one of those things that is kind of fun and definitely out of the norm for the girls.  I decided that we needed biscuits if we were going to have breakfast.  Mycah helped me make biscuits a couple of weeks ago, so she was ken on getting to do it again and Grey wanted t since she didn’t get to help last time.  They both have their own aprons for cooking and a different one for crafting.  Grey used her cooking apron, but Mycah used her craft apron because it is short enough for her to keep from tripping!  Anyway, they each cut in  a stick of butter (yes, the recipe calls for two sticks of butter).  I patted out the dough and they used my mother-in-laws biscuit cutters to make a ton of various sized biscuit.  We really had a good time. 

grey-and-mycah-making-biscuts

Me and the girls spent this past weekend with my mother.  While I was there I started and finished a cablomintry out of about 1/2 of Noro.  I wore it today and the girls were kind enough to take a picture of it.  I also made one for Emmy out of red cashmere and a loose spun silk.  I had actually made that one for me also, but Emmy loved it so much that I had to give it to her.  She looked so pretty.  I did make a second one for me, but it is still in need of ties and weaving in the ends. 

noro-cabliomitrynoro-band-2


100th Post and a Give Away!

Believe it or not…I have been putting off making my 100th post becauseI wanted something worthy to post about.  I know…silly.  Well, I have something worthy.  This morning I spoke with an old friend.  D was my best friend in high school.  He is a year older than me and I thought he was soooo cool.  He went to college first and was responsible for me meeting Henry.  D was also my first room mate in my first apartment.  For a while D, Henry and me were always together.  We had the best times.  Then, about 7 years ago something happened and we just quit talking.  I think I was not as good of friend as I should have been and neither was Henry as the two of us got so involved with our lives together and we pushed D….not on purpose.  Then he was pretty unhappy with us and then I got my feelings hurt..and so on and so on. 

Today Henry called him for something else.  They talked and then I talked to D.  He sounded very happy, different, but the same and not angry.  When I actually got to speak to him it really made me realize how much I miss him.  It sounds like the three of us will get the opportunity to try to rekindle our friendship and THAT is worthy of my 100th post.

Just to make sure my knitting buddies celebrate with me….I am going to give away some yarn and a book to go with it.  So…leave a comment and I will have one of my monkey girls choose a name from a hat.  (I have no idea how to use a random number generator and do not plan on learning right now.)  You have until Friday to leave a comment!


Picture of my first plied handspun

I have finally gotten around to taking decent pictures of my first plied hand-spun.  Here’s the scoop.  My first hand-spun was a little iffy…if you know what I mean.  I don’t remember if I even posted a picture or not.  It was a merino tencil blend (50/50) that I had fell in love with at the Fiber Festival in Murfreesboro a few months ago.  My friend, Jan of Daily Fibers, had dyed it and I had to have it.  She was a little hesitant when I told her that I was just starting to spindle spin yarn, but finally let me have it. I will say…this… it was not the right fiber for me to start spinning with.  I did not use my spindlelyn, but started on my wheel.  It was a little slicky and the fibers are pretty short, so it would get thin and I would compensate with too much fiber.  This went on back and forth until I took it off the bobbin and tried again. The second time was more successful, but still really not what I was hoping for.  I feel like I wasted some gorgeous fiber. 

Anyway, I backed up and spun some shetland.  This was some pretty rawish fiber I got at the festival also.  The farm is in White Plein, TN, I think.  Anyway, it was cleaned and combed but minimally processed.  It was a beautiful full, dark chocolate.  There was no dye, it was completely natural.  This was so easy to spin that I thought I was some sort of spinning savant.  I got a really nice fingering to light fingering weight yarn.  Here’s a picture of what is left after I used most of it to ply. 

Then I spun some Louet Blue Faced Leicester.  This was a little tougher and while I wound up with a respectable single, it was a little thicker than the Shetland.  I did not get a photo of that alone.  Anyway, I was itching to try my hand at plying.  I haven’t had a class and am relying on a couple of you-tube videos, so I hope I did it right.  I am actually pretty happy with it.  The nice thing is that I plied the dark brown Shetland with the ivory BFL so I could really see what was happening wile I plied.  The yarn is balanced and does not twist back on itself now that it is plied.  Here’s a shot of it after it was wound.  Wendy hand wound it for me because I made my PVC Niddy Noddy so big that the hank was too big for the swift. 

christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0392

This leads me to the PVC Niddy Noddy.  I found a diy on   http://www.doctordirt.com/blog/niddy.html  .  I used her directions to make myself and Wendy a NiddyNoddy.  The total cost of the two together was about 3-4 dollars.  I decided to make the PVC one rather than getting a wood niddy noddy because I wanted to wet set the twist in may yarn as I had been reading.  The PVC can get wet without it deflecting or eventually rotting.  The brown and ivory yarn above was wet set on the noddy and it worked like a charm.  The only problem as the above mentioned trouble with the size of the hank.  I originally made the main portion of the noddy 18 inches long as suggested, but that proved to be too big.  So, I went back down to the basement and used Henry’s chop saw to cut it down to 12 inches.  This makes one full wrap around the noddy equal to one yard, which is handy and makes the hank manageable for my swift. 

christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0441

The next set of photos is 4 ounces of BFL hand painted by Jan of Daily Fibers.  I plied it with itself and am not as happy with it as I would have like.  My singles were a it over-spun and then the plying is a bit under-spun.  I think it will be fine once the twist is set and I knit something with it.  It is just not as good as I thought it would be after I felt like a super genius on the first plying adventure!  I have wound it onto the niddy noddy for its bath.

christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0281christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0581christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0612christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0661

I sat this morning and pun 4 ounces of Daily Fiber’s Wensleydale top.  It was tougher to spin, but easier to spin than the BFL (I know I contradict myself).  What I mean is that the fibers truly want to be together, so they grab onto each other with ease.  The hard part is that they are so grabby that I have to be sure to do some heavy pre-drafting to make sure I get the weight of yarn I want.  It took more time, but I really like my single. I am thinking of plying it with a commercial yarn.  I have some black lace weight that might be nice.  I have seen people ply with thread, but I think yarn will be more my speed. 

Oh…here’s a photo of my little spinning space.  I spin in the living room in the front of the house.  It is usually pretty full of light and just cozy.  I love it. 

christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0431

One other thing….does anyone have any idea what these things are?  Henry claims his mother used them to wind yarn.  I’m not really sure about that. I would love an expert opinion….anyone…anyone?

christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0471


New Hair, New Hats and Christmas Tree

I have lots of photos to share.  Hopefully they will come out in the gallery and not take too long to load.  The first ones are of our Christmas tree.  We put it up the day before Thanksgiving but did no decorate it until the weekafter.  This is our first Christmas in our new house.  We are pretty settled

and it is really beginning to feel like home.  There is nothing better than hanging out next to the Christmas tree in the morning, turning on the lights, everyone else asleep, hot coffee and knitting in the living room.  Amazing.

The photos also show both girls pre-haircut.  Grey has been begging to cut her hair for months.  Henry did not want her to cut her hair, but finally gave in after months of whining.  His only requirement was that she has to have enough to give to locks of love.  It finally measured 10.4 inches, so she got it cut.   The pictures show the actual snip.  Mycah wanted her hair cut just like Grey’s….so she did.  They are so cute!

The last set of photos show the hats I knit for Henry, Grey and Mycah.  Henry’s is made of Noro.  It has a double layer where the cabled band folds up over the main body of the hat.  This makes a very warm hat.  He really needs a warm one for Iowa.  Iowa is frickin cold!!  The colors are so Henry.  he loves i.  Grey’s hat is made Malabrigio worsted and in the Wooly Wormhead pattern, Meret.  It should be a little baggier, but I was afraid she would not wear it too slouchy.  Mycah’s is special.  She picked the yarn.  I hate the yarn.  The colors are every bit as hideous as they show up on the screen.  The yarn is about 90% artificial crap and shiny as all get out!   She wanted her hat to look like a flower….but wanted the teal color, not green for the leaf part.  I hate it and she absolutely loves it.  She is wearing it around the house.  Oh well….at least she likes it.


Haircut and prizes!

ma-prizeThis is the package I got from jmknitster on Ravelry.  That merino is so soft and the green is perfect.  I love green.  This is from the Monthly Adventures first anniversary celebration.  The group has been  a lot of fun this year even though I only participated in about half the swaps.  This year has been so crazy that I haven’t been able to do all of them.  Anyway, the moderators put a call out a month or so ago asking for prize donations.  Everyday they announce a new winner.  Believe it or not, I am also excited about sending my donation.  I know who she is now and I plan to look her up to see if I need to change her surprise. 

I received this two days ago.  Then, yesterday I got an email from none other than MasonDixon Knitting to inform me that I won enough yarn to make the Emma Peel dress out of their new book.  I am such a dork that I emailed her to thank her and give her my address and did not give her my last name!  I was a little excited….what can I say!

In other, non-prize related news… I had my hair cut today.  I have been letting it grow out a bit.  I am gong for one of those bobs that are angled…short in the back and long in the front.  Anyway, my hair guy decided to see what it would look like straight, so her flat ironed it.  I don’t even recognize myself.  I like it, but there is no way I am going to spend an hour on my hair in the mornings….no way.  Have a look…

straight-hair-2

Sorry about the picture…I did the best I could for taking a phoo of myself with my crackberry.


Kitchen Island and Spinning Wheel

Amy wanted to see a picture of the new kitchen island.  So, here it is.  I am still crazy about it.  I have re-evaluated my hatred of the black and white tile.  It’s not so bad…now.  I think I will paint the kitchen and maybe tile the backsplash and then just live with the floor.  I can do the painting and the tilework, so it should be a pretty cheap fix and I think I will love my kitchen.  (well, i already love it, i would just love it more)

kitchen-island1

kitchen-island-2

In non-kitchen news, I received my spinning wheel yesterday.  I staked out the front porch by sitting in the dining room playing on the computer while waiting on dinner to finish cooking.  I turned on all of the lights in the front of the house and on the front porch.  he UPS man arrived at 6:08 or so.  I had the door open adn my arms out before he got up the steps!  I told him how happy I was that he delivered my spinning wheel….he just grinned….he had no idea what I was talking about!!  Anyway, after dinner me and the girls put the beast together.  It wasn’t too bad, it took about an hour.  I am pretty sure that it would not have taken so long had I not had so much help.  The girls treadled before I gave them baths and put them to bed.  They are really thrilled with the thing.  After they went to bed I stayed up trying to make yarn.  Notice…there are no yarn pictures.  I think I am going to have to practice a lot.  Spinning is not as intuitive as it looks!  Oh well, here’s a picture of my new baby.  Not sure if she will have a name or not. 

my-new-wheel

my-new-wheel-2


My First Handpsun

I am posting pictures for posterity…not because this damn yarn is any good!  Well, it is not terrible and does seem like it will work as yarn…just not what I envisioned. The reason it is two colors is that I was trying two different types of wool.  The brown is Shetland and the white is Blue Faced Leicester.  The BIG wound ball of brown is not my hand-spun, it is Eco-wool by Cascade.  Is that not the coolest thing ever!  It is not dyed, the sheep was that color and there is almost 500 yards there.  It retails for 16.50.  This is a great value and it feels pretty good due to the minimal processing.  The yarn is for Henry’s sweater.  I have been through three yarns and probably the same number of needles, but I finally have gauge and a fabric that we both like. 

I’m a little scattered right now.  The rough draft for Henry’s thesis is due the 15th and I am chief editor.  Ughhhh.  I am having he hardest time focusing on it because I don’t want to do it.  I just want to knit and bury my head in the sand!  Oh well, I’ll get it done. 

By the way….I have now been to the Y to swim 8 times in 2.5 weeks.  I am trying desperately to turn over a healthy new leaf.  I feel like I need to be in the best physical shape I can be in.  I don’t want the next relapse to send me into a tailspin again.  Dr. M says that the healthierI am, the better able my body can cope with the MonSter.  I’m taking him at his word….time for me to get my head out of my butt and take care of myself. 

hpim1120hpim1123hpim1117


One of Connor’s Caps

here is a picture of one of the completed hats that I knitted for Connor’s Caps.  See prior blog post.  It still has to be blocked.  But, it is close enough to show a picture.  It is a little small for Henry and a little big for Mycah….so it should fit the head of a freezing cold 4th grade boy.  I hope. 

I pray that Connor make a full recovery from this cancer.  I pray that his friends are forever touhed by his struggle and that he knows those near and far are pulling for him.  Fight…fight ….fight.

hpim1104hpim1105hpim1107

hpim11061


Short post about a hat

Throughout my life I have found that most things happen for a reason.  Sometimes, we have to search really hard for a reason.  Sometimes, we don’t.  Here’s a no-brainer.  WordPress a feature that I quite enjoy called “tag surfer.”  You can type in tag words and WordPress will go out to cyberspace to fetch any blog entry on WordPress that features a tag that you have shown an interest in.  Three days ago I happened upon ChocolateSheep.  Here’s her blog link  http://chocolatesheep.wordpress.com/  .  This happens to be one I do not remember ever coming across before.  I read her post (amazing as it was one without pics and I usually skip those) about her effort to get knitted hats for her son’s class as one fo the boys in the class has a brain tumor and will be undergoing chemo soon.  All of the classmates have decided to shave their heads in a  show of solidarity with this young man.  She put a call out for hats.  How could I NOT knit these boys a hat???? I had to.  My accidental stumble of her blog lead me to knit a hat for a child I will never know who is standing by his friend.  Things do happen for a reason.

The hat is finished.  I will photograph it in the morning after I steam the raglan decreases (Turn A Square Hat Pattern by Jared Flood) and weave in eleven million ends since I had to get cute and jazz it up a bit.


Tuscany Photo Shoot

Ok, here are the photos of my latest and one of my favorite finished objects. 

Details: Tuscany found in No Sheep For You by Amy Singer (www.Knitty.com)

Yarn: 2.4 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Royal, about 650-700 yards

Needles: Addi Turbo, size 6

Satart Date: Sept 22

Finish Date: October 3

I have to give a shout out to my photographer….Wendy Perry.  She just won a submission contest to JPG Magazine.  If you live in Nashville or the surrounding area, she is an amazing photographer.  If you need a photographer, leave me a comment and I will get her in ouch with you or you can go to her blog: http://takingsnapshots.squarespace.com/    Here is her winning submission: http://jpgmag.com:80/photos/1109077

Anyway, here a few of my favorite shots.

nov000nov003bnov004nov005smnov007smnov013sm


Did you? We did.

hpim1103

PS. If you look cloely you can see that I am wearing my completed Tuscany Shawl.  More pics tomorrow after the polls close and a winner is in place. Here’s to the democratic process!


The Tuscany, She Is Done!

I just finished binding off the Tuscany Shawl.  I doubled checked Ravelry only to find that the shawl took me a little longer than I thought.  I cast on September 22 and finished November 3.  I will say that during this time I have made a puppet for Ms. Silva’s class, separated countless books for her by chapter, had Grey tested and now signed up for Sylvan, went to Georgia to visit David, Lori, Drew and Zoe, cooked and cleaned as normal and worked on another 3 or 4 knitted items.  So, I guess I am saying, I didn’t sit still every day for 4 hours a day and knit on this thing.  Had I done that, I would have been finished in 10 days.  I don’t have a picture yet.  It’s dark outside, light is bad in the house and I look a little worse for the wear today.  I’m going to where it tomorrow to go vote.  I’ll make sure to get a picture then.  I think mine turned out a little bigger than the shawl in the book, which is what I wanted.  I used a fingering weight….made sport weight, Alpaca.  It is so warm and soft and unbelievable.  Pictures tomorrow.

Oh…..if anyone has not told you in a direct…..I’m-pointing-at-you-MR/Ms way…….tomorrow is a very important day for our country. If you did not early vote, please exercise your right tomorrow.  Henry and I will ake the girls with us.  This will be their second time to come to vote with us.  It won’t be their last.  No matter who ou are voting for, go do it.  Have your voice heard and take your kids no matter the age so that they can see you performing your civic duty and exercising your rights.  GET OUT THE VOTE!