Tuesday, December 30, 2008

trying something new

I decided to get a jump start on the New Year's cleaning (don't we all do that?) and enlisted the help of my hubby to clean and reorganize my office/craft room. Actually, it was mostly his idea b/c he was tired of looking at the mess LOL. Plus we wanted to make it more childproof so that the kids can come in here without destryoing stuff.

Here's what it used to look like: (I also had put up curtains after these photos, some teal and light blue ones that were shiny and gave the room an odd blue hue that I didn't like) My shelves were full of stuff that I didn't need and didn't use, half the drawers were empty and I had a lot of breakable stuff on the bottom.

I had my couch against the window with my desk in front of it, sort of in the middle of the room.

Now my shelves are much neater, we threw out a bunch of crap and put a lot more stuff that I rarely use but didn't want to throw out into the garage. Moved all the breakable and messy stuff to the higher shelves. Right now I have a lot of space on the bottom shelves, and will have more when I move my scrapbooks. I MIGHT put my yarn in here in rubbermaid containers, we'll see. I bought rubbermaid containers to organize my stash closet, and if I can fit it neatly in here I will. If not, it will stay in the closet, and I will put kids' toys in here or something. We're also going to put the toddler table and chair set in here under the window.

My desk and couch are now both along the side wall with my desk under my shelf. I can still reach the shelf, at least until my preggo belly gets too big, and it opens up the rest of the room. My hubby was such a trooper, he moved the furniture around all by himself several times until we were both happy with the arrangement.

These are my two favorite decorations in the room. Not a great photo, sorry, it was dark outside. The lighthouse is a stained/etched glass portrayal of my favorite place in the whole world, the lighthouse in Ludington, Michigan. Mom got it for me there last summer. The other one is a butterfly display that I got a few weeks ago in Branson Missouri at the Butterfly Palace, it is a white and black butterfly with 4 orange and black butterflies arranged around it. So pretty!

This is the view now from my door, compared to the first photo. The doors still open all the way but I usually keep the one door closed. As you can see, my dog likes the new wide open space, and I like not having her crawl under my desk to lay at my feet.

I also decided to be brave and try a new sock heel. I usually did short row heels b/c I don't like cuff down and I didn't want to have to do math. Well, my new sock wizard software that I got for Christmas takes the math out of it, and I wanted my husband's socks to have a heel flap so that they were sturdier in his boots. I had already started them and had the foot mostly done, so I just plugged in a couple different gauges until I got the right number of stitches (my actual gauge is about 7.5 sts per inch but the pattern with this # of sts said 7 sts per inch. Close enough) I also had made the foot a bit long so I had to modify the number of sts to add rather than frog back an inch (I'm lazy) but so far so good. Here is my first toe up sock with a gusset and heel flap!! (Dawn and Suna, aren't you proud? LOL)

And before you ask, YES, this is one single sock. I did 2 at a time until I got to the heel but since I was doing a new heel and heels can be complicated, I decided to finish them individually. These are cammo style socks for my hunter hubbyn and they fit perfectly so far. Sport weight yarn is so much faster! I made a pair for him last spring that were fingering weight on size 1/s, they took FOREVER. These are on size 3's and they seem to be moving faster than socks I make for myself even. He likes thte thickness too so I think from now on he gets sport weight socks. That's the only thing that stopped me from making socks for him before, was the length of time. I hope to have this one done in the next day or two so I can finish the other one. I'm working on that blossom shawl for myself and want to finish it before we go to Florida in Feb, so I have something for breezy nights. We're going on a short trip just the two of us (inlaws will keep the kids) so we can have some Us time before baby #3 arrives. I'm really looking forward to sleeping in and not having to come up with creative and nutritious meals for super picky eaters who think they need to eat 8 times a day. How sad am I?? LOL.
Have a wonderful and safe New Year!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

ugh ravelry

A friend of mine suggested yesterday that I should publish my sandwich pattern on Ravelry. I was very flattered that she thought it was good enough, so this morning I spent quite a while trying to do that. Well, I remembered WHY I don't upload things to ravelry very often. TOO DAMN COMPLICATED! I can't figure out how to get a photo attatched to the pattern, then when I went to the "one project listed" (my own) to see if I could somehow figure it out from there, the page said "no projects match your description". SIGH. I don't know if they are being moderated or what, if they have to be approved or something, but who knows. Oh well.
In other knitting (or in this case, crochet!) news, I did my first real crochet project. By real, I mean a complicated (to me) pattern from a book. I was surprised how quick it was! Anyway, it is the Angora Baby Bunny Cap from luxury Yarn One Skein Wonders. Only one slight problem;

It is supposed to be a BABY cap, but it fits my 2.5 year old. Granted she has a small head, but still. I don't think the baby will be wearing this one.

Other than that, I was very happy with how it turned out. No longer will I fear crochet!! It is a very pretty hat. I used the correct weight yarn and hook for the project but oh well.

I bought this yarn a few weeks ago at my LYS, it is georgeous Anne sock yarn. I had started socks with it and was about 4 or 5 inches into them when I realized I was ribbing all the way around--problem was that they were toe up! Oops. I was very upset b/c I really liked the pattern (A diagonal striped rib that I had turned into a sock pattern myself) so I wasn't sure what I was going to do or how I was going to stomach ripping them back. Then I saw the pattern for the blossom shawl in my new book. I thought "AHA!" there is a good pattern for this yarn. It was a huge skein, over 500 yards, so I knew I had plenty and since it is verigated but not self striped it would make a good shawl. Absolutely beautiful colors too, and soooooooo me! I'm 3 repeats in and am supposed to have a total of 14 when done.

See how pretty?? I LOVE this color!!!

I wanted to make a barbie dress for my daughter's doll. I looked and looked online and couldn't find a pattern I liked, so I decided I could design one. How hard could it be, right? I measured and re-measured the barbie all over, I even SWATCHED (and those who know me know how much I HATE swatching) then I did MATH (another ugh for me) and made this dress. I did not take a photo of the back however, because you would see all the laces and running stitches I had to do to keep the dress from falling off the doll. Hmmmm. I don't know where I went wrong, if it was the math or the swatching or what, but it was a bit big. But in the end it looked pretty good especially from the front, and I was proud of it. My daughted said "ooh pretty cinderella." played with it for a minute or less, then gave me the old dress for her and said "Now this dress." I said "what about the dress Momma made?" and she said "I no like it. Want this one." SIGH. Oh well.

At least she liked this, the pillow and blanket I made for her barbie house. I even matched the colors (as best as I could from my stash) to the rest of the dollhouse. Knit in garter stitch with a crochet border, one round of double crochet then a round of single crochet. The pillow was done in garter stitch with a single crochet border.

I have a pair of socks for my daughter (the Emily socks from knitting circles around socks in a hot pink and yellow striped yarn), a cammo pair of socks for my hubby in sport weight yarn, and a brown verigated scarf for my son all on the needles, plus this shawl for myself now. I also have to work on the baby blanket some more. I have like 8 squares out of 100 done. :-D

Hugs! Have a happy New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas socks!

I finished mom's socks just in time for Christmas!! And I do mean just in time, I was adding the trim on the last sock 3 hours before my family arrived at our house! :-) These socks took me FOREVER. I think b/c I did stockinette, which I thought would go faster but it got boring. I finished them on our trip to Missouri, and I called mom to see how high she likes to wear her socks. She said ankle, thank goodness, while my hubby was in the background yelling "Say knee high, say knee high!!" @@. Anyway, I made them anklets and bound them off using a new method where the round before bind off you add extra stitches to make it stretchy. I added a new stitch every 4 sts, but I guess either that was too many or I bind off too loosely or something b/c they ruffeled at the edges. So, I fixed that by adding a crocheted ruffeled edge. The socks were funky to begin with, so this just made them extra fun. :-) they're not for her to wear to like work or anything, probably just game days but I thought they were cute. I have to call her in a bit and make sure she tried them on, she didn't try them on here. I think she liked them though, I hope. :-)
I had a wonderful Christmas, my hubby spoiled me. I got a lot of great knitting loot, and I didn't even have to ask for it. I guess I talk about knitting a lot, and even though he may look like he's not listening, apparently he is :-) I got a digital scale for sock yarn (YAY! No more having to wind it into a ball and then wind it again until the 2 balls are the same!), 101 luxury yarn one skein wonders, (which I had mentioned a couple times when it came out and he knew I had the others), the new knit picks 10" harmony straight needles (I did ask for these), the zippered knit picks binder for circ needles, the sock wizard software, and some new sock yarn, felicity yarn in a really pretty colorway from knitpicks (he knew I had bought that line before and he even called them to check and make sure I didn't have that particular color! What a guy!) He also got me some great bath and body works stuff and a ring. Wow.
My daughter got a barbie house for Christmas, and I'm a bit quirky when it comes to dolls. I have been since I was a kid. The bed that came with the house is all plastic and is molded to lookl ike there is a blanket and pillow but there isn't one. So being the nice Momma I am, I'm using my lovely new needles to knit her a little blanket for it. :-) I'll probably make a pillow too. Yes, I'm weird I know. My hubby still thinks the dollhouse is more for me than her, especially when he heard me tell her "No Meg, the couch doesn't go there, it goes here!" LOL.
We did find out that our new little one is a girl, so I'm going to be knitting some new pink stuff. Yayyy! I found a couple really cute patterns in that new book, including a lace crocheted hat that looks challenging but I'm gonna try it.
Hope you all had a Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pattern for sandwiches

Hope you enjoyed the pattern for the cookies, here's the pattern for the sandwiches.

Materials: size 6 US straight needles, size 6/F crochet hook, worsted weight yarn in desired colors.

I used a mix of red heart I Love This Yarn and Caron Simply Soft. Good, cheap acrylic yarns are perfect for these projects.

For the bread, use desired color (I used white) and cast on 14 sts. Work in garter stitch (knit every row) until it is a square, I fold up the bottom corner diagonally up to the needle to see if it is even. You could also do the more logical thing and use a tape measure, but, well, I didn't think of that until I was done LOL. Once square, cast off and leave the tail very long for seaming.

For the filling: (cheese, turkey/ham/beef, peanut butter and jelly, or whatever you like on your sandwich). Start with slip knot. Next row, inc one by knitting into the front and back. Knit into the front and back of the first stitch on each row (increasing by one stitch each row) until you have 15 stitches. Bind off. Make however many fillings you want, I did one turkey and one cheese for the one sandwich, and one Peanut butter and a jelly for the other variety.

You can also crochet circles (just like for the cookies) for tomatoes, cucumbers (doing the outer round in a darker green for the skin), or whatever else you like on your sandwiches. I did one tomato and stuck it out the middle, you could do 2 and put them on either side. Whatever works for you.

Now, take the fillings and if you want you can use the tails to baste them together in the middle or along the back edge, since that will all be hidden inside the sandwich. Weave the ends and trim, then put them inside the bread so that the bread folds into a triangle around the fillings, with the tail end at one side of the fold (so you can baste around the outer edge without having to cut the yarn and start on the other side). Base by sewing thru the top edge to the bottom edge and back to the top, basically a running stitch or a backstitch, keeping the stitches behind the edge of the fillings so you can't see them. Once done, weave in bread tail and trim. Attatch crust color (for the peanut butter sandwich I picked a brown that was different than the filling) with a crochet hook and single crochet around the outer edge of the bread, avoiding the fold line. Weave in end and trim. DONE!

Friday, December 12, 2008

patterns for my knit food

I've had a few people ask me for the patterns for my knit food, so here it is. Not sure how much I will get typed up tonight, but the rest will follow soon I promise!

*note* these were adaptations from patterns I found online, I modified them for various reasons so as a. not to violate any copyrights and b. to fit the sizes I wanted, as well as making any changes I wanted to, like making the filling easier to fit in the sandwiches, adding crust, knitting the strawberry flat etc.

OK, here is the pattern for the cookies:

Basic pattern (used for the chocolate chip cookies, the bottoms of the frosted cookies, and both halves of the fudge striped cookies).

I'm not great at crochet patterns so bear with me.

Materials--I used various worsted weight acrylic cheap yarn. I Love This Yarn is a good one, Caron Simply Soft is another. Cotton seemed a bit harder to work with so I avoided it.

Crochet hook, I used a size F/6 but that may vary on how tight you crochet. You want a nice tight fabric so that they hold their shape.

Start a circle the way you normally do, I know everyone does them differently. I did a loose slip knot, ch2, then sc 6 in the slipknot. Join together with a slip stitch, ch1, then do 2 sc in every stitch for the round. I use a safety pin style stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round. Round 2, ch 1, *sc in first stitch, 2 sc in second stitch * repeat from * around. Next round, ch 1, *sc in first 2 sts, 2 sc in 3rd st.* repeat from *. This is where I stopped, but you can make them bigger by continuing this pattern, just adding one more sc stitch each round. Fasten off and weave in end. I left the ends VERY long so I could use them for seaming later. Clear as mud? Like I said, I'm not really a crocheter so it is hard for me to explain what I did but if you're confused feel free to contact me and I will do my best to help you.

Chocolate chip cookie: make 2 rounds exactly the same out of cookie dough colored yarn. Add chocolate chips by making french knots on the right side of the cookie, leaving the strands between knots on the back. Do this to both sides then oversew the edges together, with the wrong sides facing eachother.

fudge striped cookie--make one round in cookie dough color, one in a dark brown chocolate color. Use the tail from the cookie dough color to sew them together but leave the brown tail on the outside. Make backstitch lines across the cookie with the fudge color, keeping the ends of the yarn between the cookies and not all the way thru to the fudge.

frosted cookie: make the normal cookie, then make another in the frosting color with one less round so it is a little smaller. I used a yarn with sequins in it, but I did NOT like working with that yarn as the sequins kept getting stuck and made it difficult to make even stitches, especially for a novice crocheter like me. you can also sew beads on for the sprinkles after the frosting is made, or do french knots like on the chocolate chip cookie. Sew the frosting onto the cookie using the tail from the frosting.

OK, hope that is clear, if not please let me know.

I will post more later, it is getting late and this pregnant momma is TIRED. Oh, baby did not show us anything at the last sonogram, but we have one on Tuesday and I'm optimistic that we'll find out if it is a boy or girl then. I will be 19 weeks, and since it is a longer, more detailed sonogram than the last one hopefully we'll see something. I may drink something sugary and caffinated beforehand to make sure the baby is awake and moving. :-) So far though I feel great!

Happy knitting (or crocheting!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Knit picnic items

Hello all!! Long time, no update as usual. Sorry! Life just gets in the way. My mom had a kidney transplant last week, she is doing GREAT. She may come home this weekend after less than a week in the hospital! Me and the baby are doing well too, I'm to the point where I can't see my toes anymore LOL. I'm 15 weeks along and we have a sonogram in a couple days, I'm crossing my fingers that the baby will cooperate so that we can maybe find out if it is a boy or girl. It is a bit early but they may still be able to tell. :-)

I had wanted to get a pair or two of socks done for mom before her surgery but I can't focus on anything lately. I have been able to make these baskets up for the bazaar, they are all really quick easy projects. I found some patterns online but modified them so that I wasn't violating anyone's copyrights or anything. Not that I'm gonna become rich selling these or anything, I only made up 4 baskets, but I don't want the knitting police to get me :-D Do you think these baskets have enough in them? I'm thinking of selling them for $10 each.

Turkey and cheese sandwiches with tomatoes, chocolate chip cookies and strawberries

Peanut butter and jelly

Basket with stuff in it

I'm also trying to make up a basket with lots of cookies and some holiday fabric lining it, like a basket of cookies for Santa. These are a couple I've come up with. The frosted one has sequins on it so they look like sprinkles. I think I have red and green too, so I'll make up some with different frosting. These are crocheted, using the basic circle pattern I always use and then decorating differently. The frosting is one round smaller than the cookie, the chocolate chip cookie is 2 circles sewn (chips put on before sewing, just french knots ) together, and the fudge striped one is one cookie colored circle and one fudge colored circle. Easy peasy.

I think I'm just about ready for the bazaar. Have some stuff left from last year that I need to fix up (replace the chocolates etc.) and make a few more cookies, but for the most part I think I'm good to go. Yay! Dawn has a ton of stuff too. It should be a lot of fun this year!
Hugs to all!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I'm still here!

I promise! Sorry I haven't posted in so long. I hit the 12 week mark yesterday, had my 5th sonogram and my appointment with my perinatologist, who I LOVE. He is great. I had tried seeing another one because my old one was further away, but we really weren't happy with the new one so we went back to Dr. B. He's fabulous, very confident, very competent, and if it werent' for him our beautiful 2 year old wouldn't be here so we trust him a lot. I'm having a procedure done on Friday to [hopefully] keep baby "Grimlock" (named by my 5 year old who loves Transformers) safe and happy until he/she is fully cooked. After my procedure I have to be on "reduced activity" for a couple of weeks (he said act like you have the flu) so hopefully I will have some time to knit! I have seriously barely knit ANYTHING the last few weeks. I'm just too tired and too braindead most of the time to do anything. I started a really simple pair of socks about 3+ weeks ago and am 3 inches or so into them. YIKES! I'm also working on stuff for the bazaar that Dawn and I are doing, I'm making mini picnic baskets and fruit baskets that will be really cute, with knit sandwiches, crochet cookies and various fruits etc. Very cute. I even found some gingham fabric that looks like a picnic blanket that I'm going to use to line the baskets. I will make sure to take photos when I'm done. I found a lot of different patterns online but I'm changing a lot of them to make sure I don't violate any copyright laws etc. Although I really don't understand why designers care if you make up a few items and sell them at a craft show. I can understand I guess why they wouldn't want you selling a ton on like etsy or something, or certainly why they wouldn't want you selling the pattern, but if you're just selling a few things that you made, and you give them credit, why would it be a problem? Any patterns I create, if you make them you're welcome to sell the finished product. Just not the pattern :-) But anyway, it should be a lot of fun. A new Hobby Lobby opened by me, plus there's another one not to far away. I used to be a Michaels person because it was closer, but now that there's 2 hobby lobbys nearby I may switch alliances LOL. Hobby Lobby has a lot more yarn plus they have stuff like fabric and things. They usually have really good prices too. Dawn and I met there one day last week and had a ton of fun browsing. They have nice home decor stuff too, and holiday decorations. Ohhhhh I can't wait to start decorating for Christmas!! I did find when I unpacked the halloween stuff my 2 knit pumpkins. I made them on the loom thing, I think it is called the knifty knitter or something? its been a while since I used it. The kids like to throw them around LOL.

Well, kiddos need me and I have some knit sandwhiches I hope to finish today, so I'm signing off. Pictures to come soon, I promise! Hugs!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

why I haven't been knitting much lately

I haven't done much knitting recently. I've been exausted every evening. Why, you ask? Well, we are expecting a new little one! I told my knitting friends and a few others but didn't want to spread the word until my 1st doc appt, which was today (well, yesterday, more on that in a moment). After I saw the tiny heartbeat flickering on the sonogram screen, I felt so relieved. We are still considered high risk though because we had a lot of complications with my daughter who ended up being born 11 weeks early. Hopefully that won't happen again, and I have several doctors that I have to see, but I'll do whatever it takes :-)

Although thankfully my morning sickness has been very minor compared to my other pregnancies, this time around I'm totally wiped out. I take a nap during the day whenever I can, and usually end up falling asleep on the couch around 10. Not much knitting time! My MS4 has sat untouched for a couple weeks, I'm not even done with the first clue yet and clue 3 came out last Friday. I have a pair of socks started, a pair of footies I just started tonight, and I just finished a production knitting piece for an upcoming book ( I didn't write the pattern, just knitting the sample for the photo) but I'm not tellin' what it is yet, so don't ask! :-D So, if I'm so tired, why am I up at 4 am you ask? Well, I took a 2 hour nap late this afternoon, and fell asleep on the couch just after 10. Woke up at 1:30, woke up hubby who had also fallen asleep on the couch, and then I couldn't get back to sleep. Hubby started watching TV so I got sucked into the show, then once he started falling asleep he started snorting and snoring, (it is allergy season) and it was driving me crazy! LOL. So, now I'm on the PC. I might knit, I might go lay on the couch, not sure. But I thought it was a good time to catch up on my blog! :-)

I really should try to get some sleep though, so good night!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

to block or not to block, that is the question.

I was beginning to think I lost my knitting mojo. Last week everything I was knitting just wasn't turning out how I wanted. Gauge, size, overall pattern, just not going well. For example:

Some socks I was working on. My own pattern, I was hoping to enter them in the LSSK design contest. Yeah, not going to happen. I'm not much of a designer, can you tell? First of all, they were going a lot slower than I had hoped. Plus the foot was smaller than I wanted, which of course I didn't realize until halfway thru, and since I had already frogged them once for being too big I decided to just deal with it and add a few stitiches near the ankle. Well, then I did one heel, thinking I had enough length but apparently not.

They were supposed to have a chevron type pattern, but even that wasn't coming out well. I'm just gonna frog them. Forget it.

So I put down all the projects that were troubling me, put them in time out to give myself a break, and worked on my husband's grandma's shawl

Tonight I was planning on doing one more pattern repeat, which meant 30 more rows (SIGH), but decided it was big enough, so I only did the last 10 rows and bound off.

Luckily it is a mohair blend, and blocks much bigger.

Nana is considerably smaller than me too, she's a very tiny person.

Before blocking. Note the yard stick to compare.

After blocking. MUCH better. I even got to FINALLY use my blocking wires, that I got a year ago and haven't completed a project to use them on since then. I think it will fit her fine. It is the luna moth shawl from elann.com. Done in patons brilliant something from michaels. Very shiny sparkly stuff. A little hard to work with b/c it is so fuzzy, a little hard to see the stitches but I took my time and it came out fine. I'm glad I didn't do one more repeat, nana is only here for a month after all. :-)

My son starts soccer tomorrow, I need to find an easy take along project that doesn't require a lot of thought. I have my special olympics scarf, I'll probably bring that. Have to bring the big balls of yarn for it, but I guess I can take a big beach bag instead of my purse. :-)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

a day in the life of a mom with a 2 year old.

Thank GOD my son was at his grandma's today. I could not have handled both of them! Here's how my day was:

ALL DAY LONG it was one mess after another with my 2 year old daughter. I'm cleaning up the milk and wet cereal she spilled at breakfast, she's in the bathroom sticking her head under the faucet. I'm wiping up the water that is now all over the bathroom, she's in the kitchen filling a toy purse with dry rice, which she then carries into the living room and spills ALL over the carpet. I'm sweeping up that mess and she's taking all the clothes out of her drawers. I'm putting the clothes back in the drawers and she's into the cereal, because apparently she didn't eat enough before she spilled. I'm sweeping the floor yet again, and she gets her second shirt all wet because she's trying to have a tea party with real water (from the faucet, she can reach now, at least it wasn't the toilet water again.) so there goes another shirt (second one already). Finding her another shirt and my son Brendan yells "um, mom, meghan's in the sink!" At least she was naked this time, so no clothes got wet. She was trying to give herself a bath in the bathroom sink. Get them out the door to drop off the boy, go out to lunch, put her down for nap as soon as we get home. Of course, she wakes up from nap, poops in her pullup then reaches in to check. Somehow smears it all over her teapot and her bed before deciding to let me know she's awake. Bath, 3rd shirt, throw sheets in washer, call for reinforcements (I have no idea what I would ever do if hubby didn't work from home!!) to help with the mess. Snack time, sippy cup this time so she doesn't spill. I'm putting her dishes away and she takes out a bunch of DVD's. I'm putting those away and she runs into my bathroom where she tries to drink toothpaste. Lock her out of my room, go to get myself a drink and she pulls my socks that I was knitting off the needles. After dinner (where she spilled a half a bowl of egg drop soup all over her placemat. Which is why I put the placemat down in the first place, easier to hose off than the table, but it still got all over her shirt and pants. I've lost track at this point of how many outfits she's gone thru.) I decided I was going to go outside and shovel some dirt into my garden. Had the big box to fill, and lets face it, I'd rather get muddy and sweaty and do massive amounts of manual labor than deal with another Meghan mess. I got out just in time too, a few minutes later she managed to spill an entire gallon pitcher full of orange crystal light on the floor. It was about 2/3-3/4 full. hubby said it took 4 towels. It was one of those days where I was VERY VERY HAPPY when I got to say "time for Meghan to go Nigh-night!!"

So yeah, I'm tired. Couldn't focus on ANYTHING. Tried to knit a bit tonight, managed to get the socks back on the needles but somehow added about 6 stitches in one row, so it is a short row bump but it is on the sole of the sock so I don't care. I'm just mentally exausted. Hopefully I'll be able to knit more tomorrow. then again, both kids are home tomorrow. I hope I get enough sleep tonight to recover enough for it.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

it is done!!

Mom's wrap is done!! Yayyyy!! I'm debating blocking it but I don't think it needs it. 4 skeins knit pics alpaca dream (bulky weight suri alpaca) in the tiramisu colorway. Love it. SOOOOO soft and warm!!! I hope she likes it. Every tuesday night she has a meeting at church and a friend of her's has a wrap they all take turns with. Now mom will be able to bring her own. :-) And, it is one for my Llympics contest!! Yippie! I have no hope of finishing Meg's blanket by Sunday, so I'll have to dig out something else to work on. Maybe my son's socks that I started a long time ago. I also joined the mystery stole 4 KAL, and got my beads today. Still need a tiny crochet hook for it, but I think it will be beautiful when done with the beads. One of my weekly knitting group friends brought in a GEORGEOUS shawl she had done that was all beaded and lacy last night. OMG we all just fell in love with it. It was huge and looked very complicated but oh so beautiful. She said by the end she had around 1000 sts on the needle and each row was taking her about half an hour. I don't think I have that kind of patience! So, what next for me? Well, I have tons of sock yarn calling my name, but I think I might do a shawl for myself. I have some georgeous heavy worsted weight yarn I got on sale one time, and I have a pattern for a diamond lace one I've been wanting to try. I had tried it in the yarn reccomended, lion brand homespun, but it was too hard to see the stitches below to figure out where I was in the pattern. I think I'm going to try it again in this yarn. Hmmmm. So many things to knit, too little time during the day!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hand dyed hurdles

One of the events I joined in the Llympics is the Hand Dyed Hurdles. I had 3 skeins left from my dyeing party, so here's what I did today:

2 packets Orange, 2 packets Lime, and for the blue it was 1 pack of blue rasberry lemonade and one of the hawaiian punch blue typhoon.

first I did the hawaiian punch blue typhoon and kool aid raspberry lemonade to dye the whole skein, then I made up another batch of the same color and added half a pack of tropical punch to make it a little purple and just used a turkey baster to put it in a few places. This is the knit picks donegal yarn so it also has little bits of red and orange in it, really pretty

This one has 2 packs of pink lemonade for the light pink and a pack of black cherry with a pack of strawberry for the red. This one is cute.

This is how the blue looked in the bowl

This is how I get stripes. I separate the hank into 2 (or 3) glasses in a microwave safe dish and mix each one individually. Microwave just like this.

All 3 skeins together. :-) It will take longer to dry this time since it is rainy and not hot outside. I decided to hang them in my laundry room with the heat lamp on. I think I might save these for the craft bazaar rather than make socks with them, since I have yarn for at least 4 or 5 pairs waiting for me now! :-)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

photos of my current projects

OK, here's some photos of what I've been working on.

Mom's wrap. It is much longer now, it is about 2/3 done. It will look better when it is blocked too. It is just a simple feather and fan lace with knit picks suri dream in the tiramisu colorway. VERY soft and should be nice and warm even though it is light weight. Mom likes it. :-) I do have a pattern for a cabled wrap I may try to do for Christmas, we'll see.

A friend's friend has a preemie so my friend asked if I could make her some hats to give to her friend. One I did the same as my pattern, same colors even, one was my favorite pattern (I saw it on knitty gritty) and then the flower one was my design and I loved it. Kinda patterned it after a daisy hat I did last year, but made it much smaller and did the brim differently and did different colored flowers. I love how it turned out!

my daughter's bedspread in progress. Now that it is mostly done, I wish I had made the panels longer but there's no going back now. Oh well. It can be like a duvet cover :-) I can't really add fringe or anything b/c it will hide the scalloped edge. Other than that, I like how it turned out. Very girly and cute. Still need 2 or 3 panels yet, but I'm working on mom's wrap--I want to finish at least ONE project during the LSSK Olympics!

My friend Dawn also talked me into joining the mystery stole 4 KAL. I have the laceweight yarn from last year that I had planned to use for the SOTS 2 and after 3 clues I realized I wasn't thrilled with the pattern and if I was going to make something for myself with that georgeous yarn (knit picks alpaca cloud in the mist heather colorway, a georgeous light colored lavender) I wanted it to be a pattern I loved. This one is beaded which is what Iwanted. If I end up not liking this one I have a back-up pattern that also involves beads. But since Dawn and Wiebke and Therese and probably a lot of other people I know are doing the KAL, I might as well join too so if I run into problems someone will maybe know how to help! :-)

I also ordered the booklets "pocket pals" and OMG they are the cutest things in the world. I've made a few, one I did on size 2s instead of 1s and didn't like it, so I will stick with the 1s. But wow they are cute. I'm going to make some for the bazaar, and I have all that knit picks pallette sampler yarn plus tons of leftover sock yarn so I should be good to go! :-)

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to leave comments, I notice a lot of people are reading but I have no idea (other than a few people) who! So say hi! :-) Hugs

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Dumb dog!

We have a golden retriever named Rosie (she is in a photo on one of my sock tutorials, I think the last one). Last night my hubby went to let her out at about midnight just before we went to bed. Well, he comes back in a minute later cussing and swearing. Dumb dog had found herself a skunk. Yep, she got sprayed. He tried to tell her "leave it!" but of course she didn't listen. So we're out there after midnight, all the lights on in the back of the house and blinds open so we have a little light out back 'cause it is pitch black out in our neighborhood. DH has his pellet gun loaded to put the thing out of its misery if needed but of course it is too dark to find the thing. We bathed the dog down with some diluted tomato soup (the only tomato thing we had!) and some dish soap. Bathed her three times, then brought her in and stuck her in the laundry room because she still smelled. By the time we took showers and cleaned up some of the mess from bathing her it was 1 am. Not that big of a deal, we stay up late, but I would have rather spent the time doing something else! (get your mind out of the gutter, I meant knitting!!! LOL) She still stunk this morning so we were going to go to petsmart and get some de-skunking stuff but a friend reccomended the mythbusters method of peroxide baking soda and soap. We just finished that whole process, took over an hour to bathe her twice with that and twice with dh's shampoo/conditioner. Then had to walk her so she'd dry, then brush her 'cause she was shedding all over the place. YUCK. She does smell better now though. A little skunky around the face still but overall MUCH better. Oh, we did find the skunk. It didn't suffer, lets just put it that way. Dh removed the thing and threw it into the empty field beside us.

I hope to knit at some point today! The Llympics on my online knitting group started on Friday and I'm making some progress. I finished the 7th panel on my dd's blanket and got the 3 finished panels I had (including that one) crocheted on. I'm goign to do 2 more and see how that looks, that will give me 3 panels of each. I may have to do one more but we'll see. Then I started a wrap for mom that is looking really good, chunky weight suri alpaca from knitpicks, size 13 needles and a simple but elegant feather and fan lace. I have about 10" done. I also have a bunch of kool-aid and 3 skeins of yarn, so I hope to get those dyed and dried soon, if I can distract hubby for a few. He really doesn't like the idea of more koolaid dyeing in the kitchen @@. Maybe I'll just do the koolaid outside and nuke it in the fridge in here, or I can just do it when he has that business dinner tomorrow night :-) hee hee hee. He seems to think I'm gonna paint the kitchen with the stuff! Pthttthhhh he's no fun.

I'll post pics of my projects soon!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Monkey socks done!

It really is a shame that it is 104 degrees here, because I LOVE these socks. They're alpaca though, so they are really really warm, too warm to even wear in the house right now. Oh well. I will probably wear them on Wednesday night though, I want to show them off to my pals at Bluebonnet.

I did the k2tog bind off, where you k2 tog, put the stitch back on the left needle, k2 tog, and keep doing that. I used a size 4 needle for bind off (socks were knit on a 2) and it is nice and stretchy. Looks pretty too, and it was an easy bind off to do. Very quick. Much faster than the sewn bind off. prettier too I think. The yarn is knitpicks imagination in the wicked witch colorway, but I think it should have been called enchanted forrest. either way though, it is beautiful.

Next up, well, I don't really know. I'm going to start a different wrap for my mom on Friday, but I can't start until then because it is a project for my Lonestar State knitters olympics. Can't cast on until after the olympics begin :-) But that's OK, for now I pulled out my dd's afghan and did a few rows on that (it is the envelope afghan) and I think I'm going to start a shawl for my hubby's grandma who is coming to visit soon. She's a knitter too, so I know she appreciates knitted stuff. I made her a shawl when I first started knitting but I think I can do a much better one now. My wrist is feeling better, I've been taking it easy, wearing my brace and stopping when it hurts. I've been able to knit more each day without it hurting so that is good.

Here's some pics from the last few days of the kids being cute. Hubby is really into guitar and sat morning he was playing and the kids decided to join him. Too cute!

My son drives his sister all over the yard most evenings, for at least 20-30 min. She tries to drive too but she can barely reach the petal which means a lot of stopping and starting plus she can't steer very well.

This will be my garden. We're going to add 2 long boxes (these are 4'x4', we're adding two 4'x8' boxes) off the boxes at the top of the photo. They're going to be for the vine plants like pumpkin and zucchini etc.

these are the seeds. Some are doing pretty well but I've had a few die in the last week because of the heat. I'm going to wait until it cools off a bit before replanting. I have squash, rutabega, broccoli, several herbs, tomatoes, green beans, pumpkins, cucumbers, raddishes, all kinds of stuff. I've always wanted a garden, and I finally have room for one which thrills me. :-)

This is our buddy Snape the Snake. He visited the other day and I let my dd look at him (we didn't get close, don't worry) and she was amazed. She thought he was really neat. He came back yesterday so we went out to show him to our son, but the snake was a bit grumpy (tried to snap at hubby, who was too far away) so we went back in and left him alone. He's a yellow bellied tree snake (I think that's what we found online) and isn't poisionous but I'm sure his bite would still hurt so we aren't going to take chances. He's cute though, I don't mind him visiting occassionally as long as the kids don't get too close. I think he was just looking for some shade.

Daughter is waking up, gotta go. Happy knitting!

Friday, August 1, 2008

knit picks

I just placed an order with knitpicks (www.knitpicks.com) I LOVE THEM! Their yarns are all very good quality, beautiful colors, and best of all they are CHEAP! I ordered some more sock yarn, of course, allthough they were out of all the ones I REALLY wanted and won't have any more until September, ugh. But I found some good ones I think. One was a verigated essential yarn in pinks and purples (of course) and one was their kettle dyed yarns, that I have seen in person when my friend Dawn bought them and they're georgeous, slightly verigated even though it is a solid color which really adds to it. (BTW I'd like to say Hi to Dawn's mom, Judy! Thanks for reading! And please don't call Dawn at midnight to make sure I'm OK! Hee hee hee.) Anyway, I ordered a really pretty, are you ready, are you sitting, no it isn't purple, GREEN. Kinda had to, it was one of the only colors they had left LOL. But it is really pretty, and I think it will match my purse. No, I don't go for subtle. My purse is a lime green faux crocodile skin ha ha ha. (Target, on clearance! Woohoo!!!) Anywhoo, I also ordered some suri dream alpaca for moms stole in the tiramisu color. Hopefully it will be super warm but much lighter than the chenille, and since it is super bulky weight it should knit up quickly. I hope. I wanted to get the needle binder but they were out until the end of the month (Why does everyone else buy what I want to buy?!?!) so I ordered the blank pages and since Target has all the school supplies out I will hopefully be able to find one that fits the pages there. Maybe I can find a purple one ;-)

I've been resting my wrist a lot and wearing my brace and it seems to be helping. I knit a few rounds on my socks on Wednesday night but as soon as it started to hurt I stopped. I hadn't knit in 2 whole days before that! Or a day and a half. Something like that. Felt like forever! Anyway, I got a couple rounds done yesterday morning but got sidetracked by the AC repair guy, (had to balance the AC so the kids rooms weren't freezers and our room wasn't an oven!) Then I worked on them last night and got like 5 rounds done without hurting, which was much better than it had been. I did stop there though, I was at the end of the repeat and didn't want to tempt fate. I'm hoping to get one repeat (11 rounds) done each day so I can get them finished before the LSSK olympics. I'm on the leg now so it shouldn't need more than 7 more repeats, less if I get impatient and decide to make them shorter ha ha ha.

Well, gotta go, monkeys are trying to escape. Daddy is going out to mow the lawn and they're trying to follow, even though they are still in jammies. Guess I should get them dressed and take them outside.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Knitting injury!

ARRRGGGGG I can't knit!! The last couple weeks I've been getting pains in my wrist and arm when I knit and it has been getting steadily worse. The last few days I would get them after only knitting for 10 minutes. I consulted the ladies on my knitting board and the general concensus was that I'm experiencing carpel-tunnel-like symptoms and need to rest my wrist, ice it, and wear a brace. I got a brace today and that helped, the ice did a bit too. I did 2.5 rounds on my socks this morning and my wrist was screaming so I'm going to try to not knit at all for a couple days. I have my knitting night on Wednesday so hopefully I'll be able to knit then. My socks are screaming for me though! See how pretty. . .

Toe up monkey socks in knitpicks imagination, colorway "wicked witch" OMG I love this yarn. It's my new favorite sock yarn. Of course I say that about every new sock yarn LOL. But this is so soft and yummy and georgeous colors. my only complaint is the yarn is a bit hairy, as it is alpaca, but I can live with that for the softness. I also have the "looking glass" colorway, and I want to get pixie dust and damsel, but they're out of stock until September. They're on my wish list though, as soon as they have them back in stock I'm ordering, along with some of their kettle dyed yarn that is be-e-a-utiful. They have a purple that is SO me!! :-)

I'm going to try to rest my wrist as much as I can for next week--we're doing a knitting olympics on my knitting board. I've signed up for the sock put, the hand dyed hurdles, and the work in progress wrestling. I hope to get one or two pairs of socks done plus finish at least my pinwheel sweater (just need to rip out the sleeve I don't like and do both sleeves the way I want) then maybe a few other WIP's like Brendan's socks, Meg's afghan (no chance of finishing that in the alloted time though unless I ONLY did that) and these toe up socks if they aren't done by then, which at this rate they won't be. ::::::sigh::::::: I was making good progress on them too, and they are sooooooo pretty!! Since typing and painting also hurt (I've been painting identification signs for my veggie garden, stenciled lettering, cute and whimsical) I've been catching up on my reading. I have several Nora Roberts books I got for super cheap ($1 for 3 books!) at the library and haven't read them yet. At least it will give me something to do when I'm not chasing the kids or taking someone (dog or human!) potty or fixing one of a billion snacks or cleaning one of 3 billion messes each day :-) I do love my kids though. Really.

I'm also going to do some stamping, gotta get something crafty done! Mom and I are having an open house for our Stampin' Up! stuff in a couple weeks. Gotta get ready for that.

Well, starting to hurt, going to sign off this 'puter and put the brace on and go to bed. Good night!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sock tutorial, bind off and finishing.

Sorry this took so long to post! Life has been busy. So has my knitting, I've been working on WAY too many projects! Anyway, here is the final part of the sock tutorial, the bind off and finishing. Sorry about the picture quality, we need to buy a new camera battery charger so these were taken with my cell phone. Gotta love technology!

Here they are, finished and ready to bind off. I got lazy and decided to make them short.

First, knit/rib across the first sock, this leaves it in better position to bind off without having to stop the bind off mid-sock to move to the other one. One sock will have 1/2 row more stitches than the other, but I promise it won't be noticeable.

Here I am introducing a 3rd needle. I'm using a size bigger to do the bind off because I tend to bind off tightly. There are also a few other types of bind offs that are stretchier, I recently tried the sewn bind off from Knitty.com and I like that one too. For these socks I used a regular bind off though.

I bound off in pattern, my socks were a k3p3 rib so I knit 2, pass first stitch over second, k1, pass, p1, pass, etc. If the stitch below is a purl stitch, I purled. Same for knit stitches. That makes the bind off look more even.

half of one sock is bound off. See that needle 1 only has one sock on it? When you get to the end of the needle, just turn the work and continue working on the other side of the sock. This is why you start the bind off on the second sock. see photo below:

Continue the bind off all the way around. When finished, cut the yarn with a 8" tail and pull the last loop straight through. Do not pull the yarn thru the last stitch, just pull the last stitch all the way out. Then thread it on a needle, pass it under the loops of the first bound off stitch and then back through where it came from, making it look like another stitch. This makes the bind off even all the way around. Weave in ends, I even tie a tiny knot just to be safe but you don't have to if you have sensitive feet because you might feel it.

Now you will have one sock left on the needles. Repeat the bind off and finishing the same way.

Tada!! They're done, they're comfy and they were EASY!!

Don't mind my dog in the photo--that's pretty much her normal position 20 hours a day :-)

If you have any questions, please let me know. Again, please send me photos of your finished socks and I'll post them here for everyone to see how wonderful they are. I hope this tutorial was helpful to you! Happy knitting!