Sunday, December 12, 2010

Just Not Feelin' It

You may have noticed, I haven't been blogging lately. No particular reason, except I just haven't felt like it. I was feeling a little bit guilty about it, but I've let that feeling go.

I've been knitting a little. I finished my SIL's socks:
And, I finished socks for my brother (although, I still have to weave in the ends and block them). I've finished knitting slippers for our babysitter, but they still have to be seamed and felted. I've started a super-quick cowl for a last minute gift (literally, this thing is going to take less than 5 hours to finish).

I'm still tracking down yarn to finish Little Boy's stocking, and have to wind the yarn for the Olympic hat my aunt wants. I've given up on the idea of finishing the Celtic Knot Stole, but am putting it on high priority for 2011. I've also given up any thought of korknisse, or any other ornament. I've found a Batman hat I much rather knit for Little Boy.

Thankfully, all my Christmas shopping is done. I'm hoping to get to addressing my cards early this week, and will do a little baking each day. With a bit of extra effort this week, I'll finish up almost everything this week and spend next week semi-relaxing.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Holiday Season Begins!

I hope you all had a wonderful Halloween! My family had a blast! Unfortunately, I don't have any photos of the kids to show you - Superheros have to protect their true identity you know. Big boy went as "An Army Guy", but the little kids all went with a bat theme. We had Bat Girl, Sidekick Robin, and Bat Baby. I made their costumes out of t-shirts, cotton fabric, and heat 'n bond. Couldn't have been easier, more affordable, or I think, more cute!
Today marks the beginning of serious holiday preparations. I've already bought some gifts for Christmas, but I'm starting to form definite ideas and will be looking for sales and specials between now and the week before Christmas. If all goes well, everything will be bought, if not wrapped, by then.

Christmas knitting seems to be going well. I've been working on my sister's-in-law socks. Last night I turned the heel of the first sock, and hoping to kitchner the toe by the end of the week.
Little boy's stocking is on hiatus until I get some more green yarn.

In case you're interested, Cat Borhdi has come up with a cool way to spin and exercise at the same time. Check it out!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


We've had another busy week here. Big Boy's hockey season is in full swing, and the little kids started a learn to skate program. Plus, my parent were here! There was a lot of sewing and running around to get Halloween costumes done. The kids are all set and are very excited for the weekend.

I made us a goat cheese and tomato tart one day for lunch:

It was SO GOOD! (And easy! You can find the recipe here).

My Dad and I went to see the movie "Red" with Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich. If the cast alone doesn't make you want to go see it, it's a really fun action movie. I love going to the movies, and I don't treat myself to them nearly enough!

There was a little bit of knitting this week. I knit up a pair of slippers for Little Girl:

The pattern is from Fiber Trends. I used Patons Classic Wool and some fun fur I had in my stash. The slippers knit up really quickly, and I hope to make a pair for just about everyone in the house. I'm a little nervous about the fit. The first time I felted them and had Little Girl try them on, they were a bit big and slipped off her feet. I put them through the washer a second time, and now Little Girl says they're a little tight. I'm hoping they'll stretch with wear.

I've also knit a bit on my sister's-in-law sock, and started Little Boy's Christmas stocking last night at my knitting group. It looks like the Christmas knitting is on track.

Happy Knitting!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I'm so glad to report that I've made Christmas knitting progress! I just finished kitchner stitching the toe for Little Girl's stocking. I still have to weave in the ends, and put on Little Girl's name, but it feels good to be done with the knitting! (I actually can't remember which side of the stocking I put Big Boy's name on last year, so I won't do that until we unpack the Christmas decorations).

I have a wedding to coordinate at church this weekend, so I'll be casting on for my sister's-in-law socks. I would really rather do my brother's sock, since one is already done, but I still haven't managed to wind the second skein of yarn that I need.

On the mommy side of life, things are...challenging. Hopefully, I'm growing through this process, but right now, I would rather stamp my feet, hide under my covers, and eat ice cream. Nobody ever said being a mature grown-up would be easy, or fun. I'm praying that an attitude of perseverance will carry us through this time.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Christmas To-Do List

Okay, here's what I hope to have done by December 23rd (because I don't want to feel stressed on the 24th, and I REALLY don't want to be knitting Christmas gifts AFTER Christmas).

  1. Stocking for Little Girl (already started)
  2. Stocking for Little Boy
  3. Olympic Hat for my aunt
  4. Celtic Knot Stole for BFF (started a couple of years ago. Really getting ridiculous that it's not done yet)
  5. Socks for my brother (one sock is already finished)
  6. Socks for my sister-in-law
  7. Ridiculous flip-flop socks for our babysitter
  8. Scarf for someone (I have the pattern and the yarn. It might be a teacher gift, or an in-law gift)
  9. A bunch of korkinesse for random people
  10. Slippers for the kids

Okay, honestly, 9 and 10 are not as important as 1-7. I think that it's an ambitious list, but not impossible. I'll keep you updated.

What's on your Christmas knitting list?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

On blogging

I know that I've been neglecting this blog lately. I know that my posts are written quickly, without a lot of thought, and seem half-hearted at best. I don't know what to say. My posts are rarely as polished as I want them to be. Once upon a time, in a former life, I wrote really well, and I wrote things that other people actually enjoyed reading.

I want this blog to be well written, and I want to document my knitting progress, and my parenting struggles, and the lessons that I learn from both.

That being said, life is pretty stinkin' busy around here. Kindergarten drop-off, preschool drop-off, laundry, dishes, preschool pick-up, lunch, naps, time with the kids, kindergarten pick-up, homework, after-school snacks, more laundry, more dishes, cleaning up the house - it all cuts into my knitting time, and it doesn't leave me a lot of energy for maintaining a well-written blog, not that I have a lot of knitting to report on anyway.

So, I guess, this is an apology for writing a half-hearted, not very interesting blog. I'll try to do better, but I make no promises.

I have done a little knitting here and there the last two weeks. First, some Christmas knitting (a list of Christmas to-do to follow later this week):

A stocking for little girl.

I've also worked a bit on phase two of my secret knitting project:

I hope to have a finished object soon.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Perfect Day

A week ago, I was sitting here:

listening to these:

knitting on a Christmas gift.

The kids played in my parents' backyard, enjoying the sunshine and the light breeze.

We all slept really well that night.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Montego Bay

I know, I've been a bad blogger. The end of summer, the start of school, and life in general has not left much time for knitting or blogging or much of anything not related to the kids and the house.

Thankfully, the Montego Bay Scarf is a pretty mindless knit and travels well. It took a couple of weeks to finish, but it's the perfect warm weather scarf, knit out of the bamboo yarn I bought on vacation.

I've also finally gotten around to practicing with my spindle. I've been told if I practice 15 minutes a day, eventually there will be some consistency in my tension.
(Sorry for the awful picture). I haven't found 15 minutes on a daily basis yet, but I'll get there.

I'm leaving for Buffalo right after school gets out today. I have a retirement dinner to go to on Saturday. I'll explain more about that later.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

1st Day of Kindergarten

It's hard to believe that we've gone from this:
to this:

so soon.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Painted Skirts

Dollar Store crafts posted this project for making skirts out of flour sack towels. I know two little girls who love to be crafty and love to wear skirts, so I had to try it out. Basically, you cut a flour sack towel in half, seam the halves together in the other direction, paint, decorate, seam into a tube and add some elastic. Couldn't be easier!

To be on the safe side, I did a sample one for baby girl:

I did use permanent markers from the dollar store, but they ran when I painted over them. Also, I used tempra paint instead of acrylic by mistake. So, the colors really ran when I soaked the skirt. I bought fabric markers for little girl and her little friend to use, and we had fabric paint on hand that I watered down. That worked much better. Here are the finished results:

The girls are SO proud of their pretty skirts! Little boy was also around. Since he doesn't wear skirts, he painted a shirt:

I've been knitting here and there on the Montego Bay Scarf with my bamboo. School starts this week, so hopefully I'll be able to schedule some consistent knitting time.

Happy Labor Day and Happy knitting!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Striped Socks

I decided to participate in the Summer of Socks again this year, despite the fact that I did not achieve my goal in either of the other years I played. This year, I made it really easy on myself. I wanted to knit one pair of socks. Just one. Nothing fancy. Just some socks.

I cast on for these socks on August 1st, while hanging around Connecticut, waiting for the Lilith Fair to start. (I did not bring them into the concert, although a number of other people were sitting on the grass and knitting. Blows my mind that knitting needles got in, but my M&Ms didn't). I kitchenered the toe to the second sock a few minutes ago while watching the Emmy Awards. Here they are:

I'm quite pleased with the way the stripes are lining up. I was a little bit nervous about that part. I thought the yarn (Plymouth Sockotta) was fair isle effect, but it seems I bought the striped effect instead. I just knit a basic sock with a 2x2 rib throughout. They feel a little on the large side, but I think a washing or two will help with that.
We are back home, safe and sound from a great visit with my parents. We visited the Genesee Country Museum (where I neglected to take pictures of the handspun yarn), went rock climbing, and ate most of my favorite WNY foods (Mighty Taco, fish fry, DQ, Tim Horton's doughnuts and pizza and wings). One more week of summer vacation, and then DH and the oldest are back to school, and little girl is starting kindergarten. Sigh. I'm not quite prepared for that, but I'm trying.
The beginning of school also signifies the beginning of the Christmas knitting frenzy.
I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Visiting my Parents, Again

I randomly wound up reading this blog tonight. Is it weird that I've been to all those family vacation spots too? Including Carson City, which no longer exists. Nor, by the way, does the Catskill Game Farm, which was pretty much next door to Carson City. (We won't talk about how much it hurts me that my kids won't have those experiences).

We're in Buffalo, visiting my parents for a week. I've been knitting on a sock, started a scarf with the bamboo I bought in Fort Ticonderoga, and learning to sew skirts for Little Girl. I've been to my favorite LYS, gotten my hair cut and colored, and the three little kids and I have all been to the BEST dentist ever (no cavities!).

On Sunday, we visited the Buffalo Museum of Science, which currently has robotic dinosaurs on display. There is a hanging dinosaur in the lobby. This exchange took place between my dad and little girl:

Dad: "Little girl, that's a pterodactyl."
Little girl looks at the dinosaur for a moment and replies: "I think it's a pteranodon."

We're pretty sure she was right.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Little Sister

I finished the "dress" for Baby Girl the other day. However, it's now a shirt, and not a dress. I'm glad the pattern is worked top down, so it was easy just to end when it seemed like I was running short on yarn. I can't get a good picture of the color. It's a beautiful, bright teal that really highlights Baby's blue eyes. I also couldn't get a good picture of the buttons (someday, I'll get a better camera), but they're really cute little flowers. What do you think?

I have to thank my neighbor Darlene. She's a lifelong knitter and crocheter, and I had to seek her help in the little bit of crochet edging that is around the neck opening. I didn't have the right sized hook, and I just could not remember how to do a crochet edging. I brought it across the street, and Darlene showed me how to do it, and then proceeded to do it for me (which is totally the kind of help I needed at that moment). I did crochet the loops for the buttons and attach them to the shirt.

I'm really pleased with this project. The pattern is well written, and it knits up beautifully. However, I really do need to take the time to learn a more invisible method of M1 besides kfb. Do you have a favorite method?

Currently, I'm working on a pillow for a friend. She was visiting the States from Sudan, and had bought some fabric in a market there to be made into curtains. Her mom just happened to have perfectly coordinating yarn in her stash, and my friend brought it to me and asked me to make a pillow for the couch. I opted for a log cabin style. Here it is so far:

I'm working on the backside now. It won't be log cabin, but rather a flap of the green and a flap of the pink that will button together to form a pocket. I wish I hadn't used the darkest color as the most predominant, but by the time I thought of that it was way too late. I'm hoping to make coordinating Dorset buttons for the pocket, but we'll see. (I've never made Dorset buttons before).

Christmas is approaching much too quickly for the knitter in me. I really have to start to prioritize the projects on my to do list. Once again, joining the monthly Christmas knitalong group has not actually prompted me to do any Christmas knitting. So far, all I have done is one sock! I'll have to make a list after this pillow is done, or start neglecting everything else I have to do except knitting.

How's your Christmas knitting coming?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Yarn Shop Run-Down

I took the opportunity to visit a few yarn shops while I was on vacation. First, I visited The Crafty Ewe in Ticonderoga, following our visit to the Fort. The shop has a nice variety of yarns, a lot of notions and books (including some handmade shawl pins, buttons, and stitch markers), and a "customer computer" so customers can access Ravelry for ideas, or check on yarn requirements. I bought a couple of gifts (shawl pin, stitch markers) and two skeins of MeiMei Bamboo. The yarn is destined to become a scarf or shawlette as a memento of our vacation.

(Sorry, the picture is sideways).

That was the only yarn shop I visited in New York, but I got to three different shops on my way to and from and Connecticut on Sunday.

First, I visited Mt. Laurel Yarn Boutique in Sturbridge, MA. This was a quick jump off the highway (maybe 3 minutes?) They stock a ton of yarns and books, and there are a lot of samples around the store. Nothing really tempted me enough to buy though.

Once I arrived in Connecticut, I still two hours before I could check into the motel, so I visited Creative Fibers. I am IN LOVE with this store. Their stock is enormous! I spent an hour just looking at all the different yarns, including many yarns I've read about, but never actually seen in person. The store also had a clearance section, where I picked up this kit for less than the price of a skein of yarn. I also picked up this pattern. I have an adult felted clog pattern, but I know a couple of little girls who love all things pink and novelty. There were many other things I could have willingly purchased, but I didn't want to spend too much money before the concert. I hoped to get back to the store the next day, but it just didn't happen. :(

On the way home, I stopped in Natick to visit The Iron Horse. I have to say, this shop was a disappointment. They do have a lot of handspun yarn, and a variety of other crafty notions, but nothing really grabbed me. (In fairness, I was operating on less sleep than normal, and had spent an inordinate amount of time in the car over the last three days).

Finally, on our way to the Clambox for dinner, we made a quick stop at the Loom 'n Shuttle. This shop has a lot more fabric than yarn, but the yarn they have is very nice yarn, including a big variety of Noro. I brought home this one skein of Ella Rae bamboo silk in a very pretty color.

I'm not quite sure what this one 99 yard skein will be yet, but the yarn and I are having fun bonding.

Tonight, I'm finishing up Baby Girl's Little Sister Dress. I hope to get to buy buttons tomorrow.

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

8 Random Things

1. We drove to Ipswich today to eat at the Clam Box. The food was worth the hour long wait from the time we got in line to the time we got our food. We stopped at Loom 'N Shuttle on the way. Does anyone else feel obligated to buy a little something when visiting a yarn store, just because you walked in?

2. Yesterday, I biked 18 miles on the Minuteman Bike Path. According to my new heart rate monitor watch, I burned almost 1800 calories. I celebrated by eating a Snickers bar. Also of note, Wild 'n Woolly is located right next to the bike path in Lexington. I could bike and buy yarn - does a better exercise exist?

3. Last night, DH and I put the kids to bed early and had a quiet dinner. Lobster was $4.99/lb, so I bought one. I bought haddock for DH. We ate well, and for under $20. Way cheaper than a real date.

4. I've been trying to focus more on knitting, because I have a lot of projects I want to do. To name a few: Twirly skirt for little girl, Carmen the Monkey from Knitpicks, a couple of hats for winter for the family, at least one, if not two Christmas stockings, and three pairs of socks.

5. My allergies have been causing problems with focusing on anything.

6. Last night I dreamt that I had dinner with three girlfriends - women from my past who I haven't seen in person in years, although we keep up through emails and blogs and stuff. I dreamt the dinner bill was over $1,000. At some point, in the dream, I realized we hadn't actually eaten anything, so I must be dreaming. And then I decided, in my dream, that we would still have to pay the restaurant bill because they had made the food. Does anyone else have these kind of dream problems?

7. Have you seen this Knitmare? It just makes me laugh.

8. I really hope to tell you about the yarn shops I've been visiting, but I haven't had time to take pictures of my stash additions yet.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lilith Fair

Before my birthday this year, I was telling my best friend how I really wanted to celebrate by doing what I did before I moved to Boston - eating breakfast at The Original Pancake House (Dutch Baby for me please), going to the Allentown Art Festival (a Buffalo event conveniently held the weekend of my birthday), and going out to dinner and dancing with friends. Alternatively, I would skip the dinner and see the Indigo Girls in concert. (Which is how I spent my birthday in 1997).

Being a resourceful, smart person, Lisa did a little research and discovered that the Girls were joining the Lilith Fair for some of their concert dates, including playing in Hartford, CT, a scant two hours from me and four and a half from Buffalo. Lawn tickets were ridiculously inexpensive and we found an equally inexpensive motel, and so the plan was hatched, husbands approved, and I left Sunday morning for one night in Hartford.

The Indigo Girls are the only non-Christian band I've ever paid to see more than once*. There was a time in my life when I felt their songs were very meaningful to me. I'm mature enough now to not look for validation from secular works, but I do still enjoy listening to their music. (Disclaimer: I enjoy their music. I do not support the majority of their politics). Since most of you have probably never heard of them, I've included this video clip of their song Ghost.

Lisa and I had a great time! We met up at the motel and had a late lunch/early supper of turkey sandwiches, chips and salsa (chips and salsa being a requirement for most of our get-togethers). The motel was in easy walking distance of the concert venue (saving us $30 in parking fees) and we arrived about half an hour after the gates opened. I opted not to bring knitting, because I had heard the gate people were pretty strict about what was going in. Silly me, since at least four other people on the lawn were knitting away. Sadly, my M&Ms did NOT make it through the gate (although the cookies did!) We visited all the random tents of vendors (thank you Apple for the free iTunes downloads) and then parked ourselves on the lawn, chatting our way through the opening acts.

The concert tickets must not have sold as well as expected, because the venue was selling upgrades from the lawn for $30, and the price went down to $20 halfway through the event. Finally, the Indigo Girls came on! We were excited, and got up to dance and sing along. At this point, we were approached by an employee of the venue (complete with ID badge) who offered us FREE upgrades to seats! (I guess they wanted the final performers to see a packed audience, and not just empty seats in front of the lawn). Lisa and I literally ran down the lawn to get to our seats before the next song. Slowly, more people began to fill the seats around us as the upgrade fairy visited them too. We enjoyed the Indigo Girls and Sarah McLachlan from our seats, and for the finale, all of the artists joined in a rendition of Because the Night (and no, Natalie Merchant was not there. It's a Bruce Springsteen song. DH was very proud that I knew that). GREAT concert!

We walked home, ate some more chips and salsa, watched a girlie movie, and got to bed. We were tired!

This was the first time I'd been away from the kids overnight, except for the nights I was in the hospital after giving birth. You know what? It wasn't all that traumatic for them, and I had a great time. Plus, I came home to extra big hugs! Lisa and I hope we can get away once every other year or so together. (She's taken up knitting in the last couple of years. Maybe a Rhinebeck trip is in our future!)

I did visit a handful of yarn shops over this vacation week, but I'll save those details for another day. I'm trying to knit more and spend less time on the computer and doing housework so that I can start to feel caught up with my knitting to do list!

Happy Knitting!

*Actually, now that I think about it, that's not true. I've paid cover charges more than once to see the Nickel City Pimp Choir, but Silky J is a good friend of mine from high school. I've also paid to see the Canadian band Sloan a number of times. But they've also only played at smaller venues, and I'm pretty sure it's never cost me more than $11. So, I'll revise my statement to say that the Indigo Girls are the only secular band I've paid more than $11 to see more than once.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Vacation Recap

A week ago Saturday, I packed three little kids into the van, along with a whole lotta stuff, and took off for the Adirondacks. DH and Big Boy left later in the day, packed into the other car with a whole lotta other stuff.

After about a 4 hour drive, we met up with a Ravelry friend of mine, Beachsideknitter.

(Little Girl took this picture). We met up at a local park, and the kids behaved AMAZINGLY well, playing on the playground and enjoying snacks. Mary and I had a great visit. She brought some of her knitting, sewing, and quilting projects to show me, and we talked about all kinds of things. Mary is a Christian, so we prayed together before we left the park. I am so blessed by a particular group on Ravelry, and it was a double blessing to see one of my friends in person!

After our visit, the kids and I headed to our cabin. Initially, I was a little disappointed. The cabins are all situated around a giant parking lot, and obviously used to be on motel. However, once inside, all disappointment vanished. The cabin was gorgeous and clean! There was plenty of space for everyone (including my parents, who joined us on Sunday). We spent Saturday night getting settled in, and DH took the kids to Stewart's for ice cream. (I know, those of you who know the area know that Stewart's for ice cream is no big deal. But when I was a kid, we used to walk from my grandfather's house in Nelliston to Fort Plain to make a sundae at Stewart's and I have great memories of that).

Sunday morning we got up early and took the kids hiking up Severance Mountain. This is the longest hike we've done with the kids. We hiked a total of 2.8 miles in just under 2 hours. The kids are good little hikers
and the baby hung out in her new backpack carrier. Although it was a little cloudy, the view from the top was still pretty good.
I loved that the hike was a bit of a challenge, and the kids obviously felt a sense of accomplishment when we finished. On the ride home, we saw the biggest chair EVER.
When we got back to the cabin, we ate lunch and took a nap, and then my parents arrived! We spent the rest of the day and evening visiting with them, making s'mores in the fire pit and finalizing plans for the week.

Monday, my aunt came up from Fort Plain to spend the day with us, and we drove to Lake George and walked around. The kids all got new cap gun rifles (little girl's is pink) and we ate lunch at a restaurant on the water. We spent the remainder of the afternoon at the beach across from our cabin, and had another nice evening of visiting.

On Tuesday, we left the baby with my parents and went to the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves. This was more of a leisurely walk than a hike, and we very much enjoyed the beauty of God's creation.
Tuesday afternoon my aunt and uncle (not technically, but close family friends) came up from Speculator and spent the evening with us. I haven't seen them in a few years, so it was great to get to introduce them to all the kids.

On Wednesday we visited Fort Ticonderoga, thus passing on a family tradition of visiting forts and battlefields on vacation.
The kids took part in a militia drill, which thrilled Big Boy to no end. He's been running drills with the little kids and their new cap guns ever since. Little girl was quite taken with the Fife and Drum corps
and although all the kids enjoyed the gun and cannon firing demonstration, it was a bit loud.
Despite the busy day, my dad and I stayed up extra late to go to the Painted Pony Rodeo. I've never been to a rodeo before, but it was fascinating! Unfortunately, I didn't get any good action shots of the riders, but my dad and I snagged this picture together. Do you like my new hat?
We spent the next two days at the cabin, relaxing, fishing, canoeing, swimming, and playing in the sand. After all those busy days, we needed it!

I drove home with the kids on Saturday after a lovely breakfast at Suzy Q's. We already have plans to go to Buffalo at the end of August, so it was too hard to say goodbye to my parents (I really hate living so far away from them.)

After we got home, I did laundry and then packed up again. I went on a little overnight trip on Sunday. I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.

Until then, happy knitting!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Flies

The July KAL for the Beginning Lace Knitters group on Ravelry was Summer Flies, a worsted weight shawlette. Given all the other knitting I have on my to-do list, I (as usual) wasn't going to participate this month. But, I couldn't resist. I have some Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere in my stash, and cast on on the way to Buffalo for the 4th of July. I worked on it again on the way home from Buffalo and started the bind off 2 days later. 2 days after that, I finished binding off. (Picot bind offs of 400 stitches take a long time.)

I blocked it last week, and finally got around to taking pictures the other days. What do you think?

(I have a better post-blocking picture, but blogger keeps turning it around).

Little girl was thrilled to model for me:

(And she just happened to be wearing her tank top made from the same yarn).

I really enjoyed knitting this. A number of people in the KAL have started a second one, but I'm fighting that urge. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy it as much the second time around, and my have-to list isn't getting any smaller.

This week, I'm working on a log cabin style pillow for a friend. She brought her mom some fabric to make her curtains, and her mom happened to have coordinating yarn in her stash. The yarn got brought to me, and I'll hoping to finish the pillow the first week of August. There will be no working on it next week, because we're going vacation!

On Saturday, we're driving to the Adirondacks to spend a week with my parents, do some hiking and canoeing, and start the kids on a long family tradition of visiting forts on vacation. (We'll be going to Fort Ticonderoga. We could also go to Fort William Henry, but I think that's too much fort for one week at this stage of their fort visiting career.)

Unfortunately, we have to take two cars because my husband has to work on Thursday night. That's about 10 hours (5 hours there and back) of knitting time lost to driving. :(

Happy knitting!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

25 Things I've Learned As A Parent

I saw this on a blog I read, and thought I'd play along.
1. Lunch rarely gets more easy than PB&J.
2. Poop becomes far more important that one could ever dream.
3. Kids need WAY less stuff than the registry at Babies 'R Us would have you believe.
4. Kids accumulate stuff at an astounding rate.
5. Chores can be taught really early. If the kid can walk, he can throw away his own diaper.
6. Never underestimate the power of counting.
7. Most days may start off with the thought "How can I exhaust them so they'll take a nap?"
8. As much as I love them, God loves them even more.
9. Praying for their safety becomes as natural and often as breathing.
10. Eventually, listening to the baby say "Mama" becomes tiresome.
11. Nothing is better than the sweaty baby smell after a nap in warm weather.
12. Sometimes, the baby sleeps in your bed just because you want her there.
13. When it's 9 p.m., and you put your son to bed 2 hours ago, and he comes into the living room to tell you about the moon, you go out on the porch and look at the moon with him.
14. Caffeine can get you through a lot.
15. Sometimes, it's really hard to be patient.
16. It's healthy and normal to do things without your children attached to you.
17. A pedicure can go a long way in boosting morale.
18. You understand why your mom gave you two choices for dinner - Take it or leave it. And you give your kids the same choices.
19. Sometimes, it's okay to bribe your kids so you can do what you want to do (like browse in a yarn shop....)
20. Your spouse will never be able to keep up with all the nuances of your schedule with the kids.
21. The kids survive anyway.
22. Breakfast for dinner once in a while stretches the food budget.
23. Not all moms can leave their husbands to put the kids to bed. Try not to hold it against them.
24. I'm really blessed that my husband can be left at any time with the kids, and I hardly have to think about it.
25. There are never too many hugs and kisses.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been a VERY busy week and a half at the Mommy's house. In the beginning of July, we drove to Buffalo for the Fourth of July weekend. Although we always have fun on the 4th - swimming in my brother's pool, cooking out with the whole family, and relaxing - it's really July 3rd that we love! Every year, the Buffalo Bisons play a baseball game on the 3rd, followed by a performance by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, followed by fireworks. And for our family, all of that is followed by an early breakfast. The kids love being able to stay up so late, and I love passing on family traditions.

I started a worsted weight lace project in the car on the way to my parents. I knit on it some more on the way home.

We got home on Monday night, after stopping for a nice sit down dinner. Tuesday, I did laundry, unpacked all our stuff, and tried to get organized. Tuesday night our Bible Study hosted good friends who are missionaries in Africa. It was great to hear all about the work our friends are doing to bring the message of Christ's love to another culture.

Wednesday morning, we packed up the car again and headed to Cape Cod to visit with my brother-in-law and his wife (her family owns a cottage on the Cape). What a great time for the all of us! The cottage is about a minute from a private beach. The beach has a dock out in the water, and on that dock is a diving board and water slide! Needless to say, the kids (and the adults too!) had a blast jumping, sliding, and swimming. We spent the night at the cottage, and my husband and I got up extra early to enjoy coffee on the beach (him) and go for an early swim (me). We brought the kids back to the beach after breakfast, and then headed home after lunch.

We spent the next three days trying to get extra naps and resting. We were exhausted!

I started to bind off the lace project on Wednesday night. I finished on Friday night. Those picot bind offs can take a lot of extra time! I still have to weave in the ends and block the project, and then I'll tell you all about it.

We have two weeks at home, and then we'll be off for our vacation in the Adirondacks.

Hopefully, August will be more relaxing. And hopefully, we're building great memories for our kids.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Resolution Check-In

1. Knit more for myself. I finished Gail and I love it. I'm hoping to knit at least one, if not two, pairs of socks for myself this summer.

2. Knit 4 baby sweaters. I finished the smooshy sweater last week, so I'm right on target here.

3. Knit more lace. The exact goal was to knit something for myself and finish the Celtic Knot Stole. I finished Gail, but I'm hoping to start back up on the Celtic Knot Stole very soon!

4. Knit 3 Squares for the Great American Afghan. I started one, but then got distracted by my new secret project. I have a feeling this goal is getting unofficially dropped from the list.

5. Assemble Lovefest Squares. I look at them. I admire them. I think about blocking them. Really, there's no excuse for not making progress on this goal.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Difference Between 3 and 5

Our city has a pond with a beach. It's not the ocean - there's no salt water and no waves. Thus, it's the PERFECT place to take little kids.

We didn't make it to the pond at all last summer, so that last time we were there, Little Girl was 3 and Little Boy was 2. Let me tell you the difference two years can make. The kids are taller, and that means they can venture a little farther away from the sand. Also, they're smart enough to just stand up if they fall down and their heads go under water. When we went yesterday, Baby Girl stayed home with Daddy, and that meant that I got to do something I've never really done at the beach before.

I sat and knit.

I'm working on dress for Baby Girl using a yarn called Lyndon by Bristol Yarns. The yarn is a fingering weight blend of pima cotton and silk - perfect for knitting with at the beach. The picture does not do the color of the yarn justice. The blue really pops, and I know it's going to bring out Baby Girl's blue eyes.

Also, I've finished the first part of my top secret project. This is all you get to see for now, but I'll try to show you glimpses of more when I can.

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Knitting Actually Happens

It may seem like no knitting has been going on over in Mommy land, but it has actually happened.

I knit a dishcloth*
.and started another.

And I even finished a baby sweater for Fourth Trimester (although it still needs buttons).

The pattern is from the Sweater Wizard, and the yarn is Marble Chunky. The sweater was originally for Baby Girl, but I didn't finish it before it was too small. It's supposed to be sized for 9-12 months, but I think it's a little smaller than that. The sweater called for one ball of the yarn, and was knit on size 10 and 10.5 needles. Really, it's crazy that I took 8 months to finish it. There's something a little off about the collar - and I know it's my failure to grasp directions. I'm going to pretend it's a design element.

I've gotten some significant work done on Top Secret Project Part A, and hope to finish this part by Monday. I'm not so sure if/when I'll be able to share the Top Secret Project with you, but I'm pretty excited about it.

*Here is the dishcloth pattern, and I found it through this blog. I liked the title. I taught archery at summer camp, and was surprisingly good at it.

Happy knitting!

Monday, June 21, 2010


I had an amazing weekend. The kind of weekend that parents of four young kids should not rightfully have. I scored a trifecta - three nights out in a row, without the kids. Friday night, a friend watched the kids and the husband and I went to a local pizza place and had a meal uninterrupted by a constant stream of little kid chatter (Mama! Mama! Do I have to eat that? Daddy! No! He looked at me! She touched my plate! Mama! MAAAAAMAAA! Why are carrots orange? How many bites of this do I have to eat to get dessert?). We had hoped for a fancier meal to celebrate our birthdays, but various elements in the universe conspired against us. We settled for an hour at the pizza place (with REALLY good pizza!)

But, we still wanted to go somewhere kind of fancy for our birthdays. We looked at our schedule, we consulted with the babysitter, and she was free on Saturday, and so off to a fancy dinner we went. I got to wear a dress and everything! Dinner was delicious and slow, and it felt like a real live date!

Father's Day, we took the kids to the Boston Public Garden after church. We saw lots of pretty flowers.

We rode the Swan Boat.

And we even saw some real live swans.

The kids and the Dad had a great time. We stopped by my in-law's house for lunch, and then, my weekend went off the charts. My BIL is in the ticket business, and he had a pair of tickets to see James Taylor and Carole King that he couldn't get rid of, and he GAVE THEM TO ME!!!! DH was hiking today, and didn't want to be out late, so I called a friend and she came with me.


The seats were great, the concert was amazing, and I can't remember the last time I went out three nights in a row.

I'm pretty sure it's not going to happen again for quite a long time. Trifectas are special because they're rare.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Poor Neglected Blog (A Hiaku)

Busy With Kids' Fun
Secret Projects Can't Be Blogged
Lacking Post Ideas

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Lelah Problems

You may recall that I had issues with this top when I first cast on. Miscounting and all of that. I finally finished the lace section, and made a decision as to how to knit the top with straps - tube tops not being my thing and all. I tried on the top after grafting the straps together, and was pretty happy. Then, I picked up stitches around the armholes and neckline to deal with the stockinette rolling.

Well, I tried on the top again, and the last row of eyelets that should be below the bust for a ribbon, is now right on the bust.

Is it possible that picking up the stitches pulled the fabric up?

It looks nice, doesn't it?
Will contemplate if Cotton TLC Yarn (50% acrylic) will block.
If it doesn't, I'll have to find someone else this will fit, because I'm not jazzed about unknitting this thing anymore.
I've cast on for a pair of socks. They're part of my top secret project, so that's all I can tell you for now.
Happy Knitting!

Friday, May 28, 2010


I've been on a bit of a knitting hiatus the past two weeks. No particular reason, just busy doing other things. Here's a brief update of things we've been doing:

  • Little girl graduated from preschool last week. She was so excited the night before graduation she couldn't sleep.
  • Baby girl has been sleeping through the night pretty consistently.
  • This means I have more energy during the day, and I have been trying to exercise every day during nap time.
  • The weather has been beautiful and we've been outside a lot.
  • Baby girl is getting more and more brave at the playground.
  • Little boy runs everywhere, no matter how hot it is.
  • I'm almost done with my Lelah top, but progress is slow.
  • My top secret project is starting to take shape.

I hope to have a more coherent, knitting related post for you soon!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's Raining, It's Pouring

On Saturday, we went up to the New Hampshire Sheep and Wool Festival. Although it was raining when we left, the weather people said it would only be cloudy in New Hampshire. Umm, not so much. It wasn't even just raining. IT WAS POURING! We were in and out of the festival grounds in 30 minutes. We saw some sheep, and some rabbits, and left.

Although, I did buy one skein of yarn for my top secret project.

Moral of the story? Leave the family at home, and go to the Sheep and Wool Festival by myself.
I don't mind getting wet.
P.S. Shawnee is having a giveaway on her blog. 101 One Yard Wonders. My favorite knitting series applied to my new sewing machine! What could be better????

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Final Pictures

Here are some pictures of Gail after I unpinned her yesterday.

I totally wore the shawl all day today, even though it's almost 80 degrees, just so people could tell me how great it looks.