Friday, January 29, 2010

Rough Times...

It's been rough here the last few days - 5 out of the 6 of us came down with a nasty stomach bug. Baby girl was the first to fall. She was up most the night on Monday, seemed fine on Tuesday, and was sick again on Wednesday. I felt fine up until the moment I puked. I don't think you need more details than that, but I did wind up in the ER on Wednesday night to be hydrated. (And no, those of you who know me, I'm not pregnant. I can actually just be sick all on my own.) The husband, Big boy, and Little Girl followed pretty quickly. Not sure how Little Boy avoided it, but he did. Lucky him!

Yesterday was spent sleeping, laying in bed staring into space, drinking ginger ale, and eating popsicles. Repeat those activities in any order. And today, we all feel fine! We've washed sheets, disinfected every surface, steam cleaned the rugs and furniture, and we'll be our normal selves tomorrow.

Sadly, my cousin was supposed to come visit us this weekend, and now she's not coming. I'm really bummed - we always have such a good time. I also had to cancel ice skating with friends, and a night of knitting.

Knitting has also been rough. Joan has finished her third or fourth sweater for Fourth Trimester, and I haven't even touched my first one. I knit up a fair isle Christmas Ornament that I hate, and my sweater is going very slowly. I need some knitting satisfaction, and I need it soon!!!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fun and Crafty Times

I had a SUPER busy day yesterday, filled with all kinds of crafty goodness. Before I tell you about that though, please allow me to present my first finished object of 2010: The Cotton Kisses Pullover.

I finished this sweater a few days into January, but it wasn't given to the intended recipient until Thursday. Baby John is absolutely adorable, tiny and sweet. He has two big sisters eager to give him attention, and he yawns so sweetly.

The pattern comes with the ball of yarn and duckie buttons. I made the cardigan pattern for baby girl, but I don't love it. The pullover is MUCH sweeter. It's knit flat, and my mom sewed it together for me while we were visiting over Christmas. (She's great like that!)

Yesterday morning, I taught a beginner's knitting class! Our local family network offers free playgroups, parenting classes, and a variety of other programs for families with young children. While speaking with the director of the network at a preschool meeting, the idea of a knitting class came up. We decided to offer a class, including free child care, in an effort to teach a new skill and build community amongst local moms. I've been really excited about this idea, and yesterday I taught two moms how to knit! We're hoping that more people will be signing up, and that the program really explodes to include lots of knitters. We're also hoping that each new knitter will (eventually) knit one item for local families in need. I truly hope that this class takes off!

After a morning of knitting, I spent the afternoon cleaning (and washing dishes. How do dishes multiply so quickly in my sink?) because I had a little beading party last night. A friend from church came and taught 7 of us how to make our own beaded jewelry. I can't tell you how enjoyable it was to sit and craft with friends, and learn a new skill. I really like my necklace, and will try to get a good picture of it later. I'm pretty sure all of my friends were pleased with their jewelry too! Thanks, Jen! We had a GREAT time!

Oh! I used the party as an excuse to make Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Cake (the recipe is on their cocoa box.) SO GOOD!

I plan on spending the day sitting around and knitting a lot (mostly on my sweater.) How about you?
Happy knitting!

Win a Drop Spindle

Phat Fiber is having a drawing! Check out the details here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Note to Self

You're knitting a sweater for yourself. Congratulations! You have plenty of yarn in the same dye lot and you even swatched to ensure proper gauge. You've adjusted your needle size, and you're pretty darn proud of yourself. Way to go!

However, you are not a size XS, so casting on only enough stitches for that size and knitting 5" in a 1x1 rib won't get you very far in owning a sweater you can wear.

I suppose I should offer up some kind of congratulations for realizing your mistake now, and not after knitting the entire back. Unfortunately, it means you've officially accomplished nothing in the past 4 days.


Monday, January 18, 2010


I've had this little dress in my queue since it was first published in knitty. I wasn't planning on starting it, but I bought the wrong yarn for a different dress for the baby. (This turned out to be a good thing - Topaz only goes up to 18 months, and the other dress is sized into the T's.)

I love the color of the dress. I know that blue isn't always a popular color for baby girls, but this baby girl has beautiful blue eyes that positively glow when she wears blue. The yarn is Berroco Vintage Wool. I enjoyed working with it, but I don't think it was a good match for this pattern. The pattern uses a size 9 needle, and every not perfect stitch and decrease is entirely too obvious for my taste. (The trim is Paton's Classic Wool, because I had some in my stash.) I followed some notes from others on Ravelry and knit the dress in the round (why would anyone knit something so simple flat? That's way too much purling!) The pattern lived up to it's introduction by the designer - it is a quick and easy knit, and the baby sure looks cute. I have to say though, I don't love it, and I don't think I would make this dress again.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wasting Time

Seriously, I've spent the past week wasting a lot of time. I should be organizing/cleaning my house. I have taken down the Christmas tree, but there are still three boxes of Christmas stuff in my dining room. I should take them downstairs, deal with the other three boxes of Christmas stuff in the basement, and get everything condensed and orderly so I don't have to think about it until next year.

I've checked out a lot of patterns on Ravelry.

I should be going through my dresser drawers, sorting out stuff, and organizing.

I've read a lot of knitting blogs.

I should be actually knitting on stuff, so that I can start knitting other stuff.

I feel kind of guilty knitting, because I should be cleaning and organizing. So, there's not a lot of knitting happening.

I did cast on last week for this. I used the suggestions on Ravelry to modify the pattern to be knit in the round. I divided for the armholes yesterday. I'm a little concerned that if I don't get it done soon, baby girl will have outgrown it before she gets to wear it.

Last night, I swatched for my sweater. I used a size 10.5 needle, and my swatch was too big. I probably would have known that if I read the pattern correctly - it called for a size 10 needle. Grrrr....

I'm in a bit of a spiritual slump lately. I've spent a lot of time telling my husband "I just can't do this [or that or the other thing] anymore." Our Bible study on Tuesday was really good for me though. We studied Philippians 4. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (v. 13) Hmmmm.....I guess I have to start telling myself that I CAN do all those things, if I'm relying on God. And I have to practice relying on God.

Please remember Haiti in your prayers, and find some practical way to help. Please don't underestimate the importance of prayers.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fetchingly Cute Mittens

A couple of years ago, I started this blog in order to be eligible to participate in a Fall Felted Bag Swap, hosted by Anne. It turned out that Anne was my upstream partner, and she sent me, among other things, a skein of Malabrigo Worsted in blue, which I planned on using to knit myself a pair of mittens. Two-ish years and at least three different pattern attempts later, I have myself a pair of mittens! (Someday I'll take really nice pictures, but this is what I had time for today.)

The Malabrigo was really nice to knit with it, and I'm quite pleased with the mittens. They're not perfect - they're a little big (but I'm hoping a couple of snowball fights will cure that) and I don't really like the ridges the purl stitches make on the inside (but I can live with them) and the kitchener stitch on the right mitten isn't correct, and makes a purl row (which makes it easier to determine which mitten is for the right hand and which is for the left). Despite these imperfections, I LOVE these mittens. The color is gorgeous, and there is just enough detailing to keep them interesting without making them huge conversation pieces. They're just mittens. Warm, wooly mittens. For me.

The mitten pattern can be found here. I really only used it for the decreases at the top of the mitten and the thumb. I stuck to the original Fetching pattern, using a size 6 needle and casting on 45 stitches. Mostly because I had it memorized after the three pair I knit for Christmas.

I have two baby sweaters to finish (one which was started for baby girl, and which she's pretty much already outgrown), an ornament to make if I'm to stay on track with my monthly Christmas knitting, and a sweater to cast on for me. Not quite sure what I'll be working on this afternoon.....I'll let you know.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy to New Year to all of you! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season, and that Santa brought you lots of knitting goodies!

We had a wonderful Christmas. We celebrated at home and with the in-laws, and then spent a week in Buffalo with my family. The kids are all happy with their new toys (and little girl is particularly thrilled to have all kinds of crafty things to do). Baby girl very nicely bought me some pink lace yarn from knitpicks (who knew she could use a credit card?), the hubby bought me Elizabeth Zimmerman's Almanac, and my mom got me blocking wires and yarn. Oh, and my mother-in-law gave me cash, which I promptly used to buy enough yarn to knit myself a sweater. I love knitterly gifts!

Like many of you, I like to set knitting goals for the year. These are mine for 2010:

1. Knit more for myself. I own shockingly few knitted items for the amount of knitting that I do. This year, that's going to change. I started already by knitting a mitten on the drive home yesterday. I used some malabrigo worsted that's been hanging out in the stash for a while (and was designated originally for mittens) and the Fetchingly Cute pattern. (After knitting three pairs of Fetching Fingerless gloves as last minute gifts, I've got the pattern down.)

2. Knit 4 baby sweaters for Fourth Trimester. (I'm a little embarrassed by this goal, since Joan is planning on knitting one a month. I can't keep up with that. I'll add 4 hats or small baby items to the goal to make me feel better.)

3. Knit more lace. Specifically, I'd like to finish the Celtic Knot Stole and knit something for myself out of the pink lace I got for Christmas.

4. Knit 3 Squares for the Great American Afghan. I'm not saying I'm going to assemble the squares as an afghan, but I'm sure I can find something to do with them. I think it's a great way to learn some new techniques.

5. Assemble Lovefest Squares. A truly remarkable set of women knit and exchanged cashmere lace squares. They all sent me a square despite my inability to commit to knitting them squares in return. I plan on making a scarf with them, and I want to have it done to wear by next Christmas.

I have personal goals as well -

1. Read my Bible more

2. Exercise regularly

3. Take more "time-outs" for myself

4. Be a better friend - more phone calls, more cards, more effort into building and maintaining my friendships.

5. Be more organized

2009 was wonderful, but stressful (new baby, Big boy living with us full time, new school for him, later nights for me, etc, etc.). I'm excited for 2010, and optimistic that it will be a more peaceful year for our household.

I'm sure I won't be updated too many pictures of last minute knits on the blog, but you can see them all on my projects page on Ravelry.

Happy knitting!