Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Post 366

I just realized my last post was #365. I've posted a year's worth of posts! (In like, four years, but who's counting?)

I have no pictures, but I wanted to update. I'm still working on the Celtic Knot Stole, although finishing for Christmas still seems within the realm of possibility. Baby girl's stocking is also still in the realm of possibility, but barely.

All of the shopping and most of the wrapping is done. The kids have crafted for grandparents and teachers. They still need to make some cards. I've got 4 kinds of cookies down and 2 more to go.

I'm optimistic that I will be able to relax and enjoy next week. We'll see.....

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Knitpicks is having a contest to win your wishlist.

In case you're curious, here's my wishlist.

I'm still working on the Celtic Knot Stole, I figured out what was wrong with the mittens, and I've started a new traveling project.

My Christmas shopping is almost done, and if all goes well, I'll be able to spend most of December baking, knitting, and basking in the glow of Christmas lights.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weight Loss Update

I have been knitting. I finished a Batman hat for little boy, have knit a mitten that doesn't look like a mitten, started a new mitten that will hopefully look like a mitten, and I've been working on the Celtic Knot Stole. (110 rows plus the border to go!)

I've spent a lot more time exercising and watching what I eat, and....


I'm quite excited.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lace Medallion Socks

This past summer, as in the two summers before, I participated in the Summer of Socks group on Ravelry. I have continued in my streak of not finishing any socks within the designated timeline, and failing to meet my own personal goal of socks knit during the summer.

This summer I did manage to knit one pair of socks before the summer ended, and today, I finished my second pair! The pattern is Medallion Lace Socks and I bought the yarn from the (now defunct) etsy shop Rainbow and Her Magic Dyes. I've had the yarn for a while and have just been waiting for the perfect sock pattern to go with it.

I think that this is the perfect combination of pattern and yarn. What do you think?

I just slid them onto the sock hangers to photograph them. I think once I wet block them, the lace pattern won't be so bumpy and the socks will be perfect! Here's a close up of the lace pattern (you can all share my amazement that my camera didn't go all blurry during the close-up)

I hope to work on the Celtic Knot Stole and a Christmas stocking for Baby Girl. I have to come up with a new traveling project. I'm thinking of this hat for Little Boy. And matching mittens. Because tonight, he asked me to make him some mittens!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Yarn Harlot

Last night, I went to a book reading by the Yarn Harlot. As expected, I laughed so hard that I cried. Plus, it always helps to hang out with people who don't think you're weird for asking to pet their sweater.

I managed to start the foot of my second green sock. I have dreams of finishing it by the end of the week. We'll see....

I'm pretty tired today, and my annoying allergies have turned into a full-blown cold. Luckily, I had some leftover soup for lunch

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Green is the Color....

Of the sweatshirt I've been wearing

Cooler weather has finally settled in

Of the socks that I'm knitting

The August Summer of Socks socks are coming along slowly

Of Little Boy's Cast

He fractured his arm on the school playground by running into a pole

Of the Kitchener Stitch Key Chain my mom gave me

Will come in handy, since I have one of the Summer of Socks socks waiting to be kitchenered

And maybe of me - a little envious of all those attending the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Year Resolutions

Since once upon a time, I was a teacher, and before I was a teacher I was a student, and I'm married to a teacher, and I have three kids in school, the start of a fresh new year is truly September. You've probably noticed that there hasn't been a lot of posting on the Mommy+Knitter blog lately, and you've probably noticed that there is even less knitting.

This is an accurate reflection of my life at the moment.

We had a great summer. I've had a spectacularly busy new school year.

1. Little Boy started kindergarten yesterday. He did great. He loves it. I'm sure he'll have a great year socially, and I hope he pays a little attention in class!

2. I signed up to get Flylady daily digests. Over the last year my house has become more and more disorganized, and I needed a plan. Over the last two weeks, things look a lot better, and that's making me a lot calmer.

3. I joined Weight Watchers. Over the last year I've gained about 20 pounds. That means I weight about 25 pounds too much, and the weight has to go. I've looked into WW before, but it was always too expensive. HOWEVER, right now they have a deal where they waive the registration fee and you get two months for the price of one. I've been working the program for one week, and I've lost 2.4 lbs. Yeah me!

4. I also bought a Zumba DVD set, since I really loved the Zumba class I took last spring, and realized a. my husband teaches the same night as the class and b. I need to exercise more than once a week. The set came with a 10-day drop a dress size plan. I'm sure that's contributed to my weight loss, but it also means I'm really stinkin' tired by the end of the day.

5. After dinner, I've been making an effort to spend good time with the kids, shine my kitchen sink (it's a flylady thing), make 4 lunches so they're all ready for the next day, read my Bible, and do assorted other things that just have to get done. You'll notice, knitting isn't anywhere on that list.

I'm hoping that after we settle into the kindergarten/grade school/middle school schedule, I'll be able to carve out some knitting time. In the meantime, I'm trying not to let it upset me. The yarn isn't going anywhere.

Happy knitting to you, if you have the time to do some!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fairytale Dress

Last night, I finally finished Baby Girl's Fairytale Dress. Actually, I finished it yesterday afternoon, except for the flower, but I had some flower issues. I finally appealed to my neighbor, and she quickly crocheted a flower for me. I sewed it on last night, and Baby Girl wore the dress today!

Not only do I love it, but so does Baby Girl! As of today, it fits her perfectly! (Which her big sister's flip flops do not!)

The yarn is Bristol Yarn Gallery Lyndon Hill. I love this fingering weight cotton/silk blend. It's a dream to work with in the summer, and it washed really nicely in the machine on gentle cycle. (I used this same yarn to knit up Little Sister's Shirt last summer). I did make a few modifications to the dress. I don't like knitting i-cord, so instead I picked up stitches around the armseyes and did a few rows of seed stitch. I also picked up three stitches on each corner of the dress, and knit seed stitch straps.

The pattern does state that the outfit can last for several years, going from a dress to a tank top. The pattern cleverly inserts ribbing along the side of the dress to help facilitate the multiple sizes. I think this is brilliant! However, I didn't check gauge, and right now, the ribbing is pretty much stretched to its limit. I'm not sure how long this dress will fit my fast growing girl (who has skipped size 2T altogether, and is quickly growing out of her 3T clothes. And she's not even two and a half yet!), but I'll make sure she wears it often in the next few weeks!

I've been carrying around my August Summer of Socks socks this week, and I finally pulled the Birthday Pi out of hibernation. I'd love to get both of these projects done by the end of September, but we'll see how it goes.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Waiting for Irene

We're hanging out inside today, periodically checking the basement for water, watching the wind, and waiting for the storm to blow over.
We spent most of yesterday getting ready for Irene - getting anything off the floor of the basement, stocking up on bread, peanut butter, and water. So far, it's rainy and windy, but all the trees are intact. We've had a little bit of water in the basement, but not much. Thankfully, the power is still on. We're hoping it stays that way!
Last night, I finished up the body of Baby Girl's Fairytale Dress, and today, I'm hoping to finish knitting the straps. I'm working on it now, while we watch The Sound of Music.
Happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm an Idiot

I've been knitting the Fairytale Dress for the baby. Today, I bound off the front of the dress, four different times. I had various problems with the give of the bind off, dropping some stitches, and running out of yarn. I eventually solved all those problem and managed to knit the back and bind that off too.

And then I went and read the directions, and realized I had a skipped a whole part of the dress.

I've put the dress in timeout, and will rip it out tomorrow.

How's your knitting going?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


I know, I continue to be a bad blogger. But this time, my excuse is really good! We've been on vacation!

We headed up to my parents' house outside of Buffalo for a week. We went to the beach, visiting the county fair, and had a generally relaxing time as the kids ran around the yard. Even better though, DH and I left the kids with my parents for the weekend and headed to the Finger Lakes Wine Region.

We toured Fox Run Vineyards, during their annual garlic festival. Not only did we get to see how the grapes are grown
and how the wine is made,
we also got to taste some!Besides wine, we learned that there are a whole lot of garlic varieties, tasted some yummy maple sugar cotton candy, and I bought some really pretty beaded bracelets. In retrospect, we probably should have visited another vineyard, just to compare experiences. If you're really into wine and tastings, the Finger Lakes are a great place to go on the East Coast!

The weather wasn't the best, but didn't really interfere with our plans. We moved our picnic to the porch of our amazing Bed and Breakfast
and hiked Watkins Glen in the rain.
We also spent a lot of time on the porch playing Scrabble and Backgammon, walking around Geneva, and soaking in all the uninterrupted conversation time.

I can't say enough about what a treat our weekend was!

As an added treat, I won a contest over at Irisheyes Kathy's knitting blog! She sent me the most lovely skein of sock yarn! Thank you, Kathy!
I recently read something (on Knitting Daily maybe?) about pattern stitches designed specifically for self-striping yarn. Any ideas?

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Didn't This Used to Be a Knitting Blog?

Photo0308 by dorriejean
Photo0308, a photo by dorriejean on Flickr.

I know, I haven't blogged about anything in forever.

I've had a lot to talk about, but very little of it is knitting related. A lot of it is mommy related (or more accurately, step-mommy related), but not necessarily the kind of thoughts that I want to randomly throw out into the universe.

There has been a tiny bit of knitting going on. I finished my first pair of Summer of Socks socks, five days late, sadly. You can see them in the photo above. I knit them out of Maizy, a yarn made from corn!

I've done a lot more reading - Pilgrim's Progress, The Pillars of the Earth, and several beachy, romantic comedy type books, and this, a book I highly recommend to all stepmothers. I seem incapable of reading and knitting at the same time.

I hope to be a better knitter and blogger in the future, but we'll see how it goes.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Stanley Cup

There was a rather large crowd in Boston today.
(Some of us got to hang out above the crowd, which was more pleasant than being in the middle of it.)
All to cheer for the Stanley Cup winning team!

Monday, June 6, 2011

My Lucky Month

I've been pretty lucky lately.

The other week, I won a copy of the current Knitcircus.

Yesterday, we went to a healthy living event put on by our city. While there, I won a baseball through one of the many raffles that were held throughout the day. Now true, a baseball is not a huge thing, but I still won it!

Today, I received a phone call that I won a free week at a local gym, including a personal training session.

I think I should go buy a lottery ticket!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tropical Dolly

One of the Tropical Lily projects I had favorited on Ravelry was for a doll. Since I had some Cascade Luna left, and needed a no-thought project to take the park, I made one for Little Girl's Bitty Baby.

Bitty Baby seems to like it. We'll see if she holds on to it. The Bitty Twin hasn't seen it yet, and she might get jealous.

I altered the back to just have ties around the waist and neck. I thought about sewing on snaps or buttons, but this was much easier.

Little Boy tells me his doll, Baby Al, would like a boy version of this top. We'll see if it happens.

Happy knitting!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Issue with Gauge

I know, as you know, that a good knitter always knits a gauge swatch.

I also know, as you know, that sometimes (or a lot of times), a knitter doesn't bother to knit a gauge swatch, and that often, it doesn't matter.

This is not the case in this story.

I cast on last month for a Tropical Lily for Baby Girl, using some Cascade Luna that I bought on the North Shore Yarn Crawl. I really loved the blues and purples of the yarn, and totally imagined how the colors would bring out Baby Girl's bright blue eyes.

I cast on the appropriate number of stitches using a size 7 needle as called for in the pattern, and I knit. I realized as I was knitting that the pinafore would be a little wide, but I decided that Baby Girl could always wear it next summer. Too big is always better than too small when it comes to clothes for children.

I followed the pattern, except to make a button tab instead of ties at the back. (I just didn't like the bulk of knitted ties). And, instead of putting buttons on the ends of the strap, I put the buttons on the inside of the waistband, and made 4 buttonholes on each strap, so the size could be adjusted as needed. Feeling very clever, I blocked the top, being careful not to add any extra width, but hoping to add a little length.

And as expected, the top is too big for Baby Girl.

Unexpectedly, it is also ever so slightly too large for Little Girl. Thankfully, only slightly.

She wore it to school today.

The moral of the story: Sometimes, when you don't check gauge, it still turns out alright.

Happy Knitting!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hello, Again.

Despite its lack of appearance on this blog, there has been knitting going on.

I've knit two slouchy hats (that story is a blog post all its own):

I'm almost done with a Tropical Lily for baby girl:

And I'm on the start of Clue #4 out of 5 on the Birthday Pi Shawl:

Progress has been kind of slow because it's been pretty busy around here.

My cousin got married in Alexandria Bay, NY.

I made the kransekage, the traditional Norwegian Wedding Cake:

Alexandria Bay is a 7 hour drive through 4 states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York). I used knitmap to locate the yarn shops I would be passing, and stopped at three of them in Vermont on my way to New York. I bought a skein of sock yarn and a skein of worsted weight wool, but I haven't taken any pictures of them.

Little boy graduated from preschool the following Friday, and as a member of the parent board, I had a lot of running around to do to get ready for the graduation after-party. We're so proud of our little boy, and so glad that he had such a positive first school experience!

I've also been very busy meeting with brides and grooms whose weddings I'm coordinating at church. I had three weddings in May, and three more in June. I LOVE doing weddings, but it always makes for a busy weekend.

I'm hoping to make it to my knitting group tonight. I haven't been there in months!

Happy Knitting!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Little Boy

Yesterday, Little Boy turned 5. 5!!! I can hardly believe it!!

My boy is a runner, and has been since he could walk. He hits the ground running in the morning, and runs all day. In fact, the only complaint we hear from his teachers is that he needs to use walking feet more, and running feet less. He is a natural athlete, and we can't wait to see what sports he will pick as his (although DH is hoping hockey and I'm hoping baseball. I have a feeling it might be track). Despite his athletic toughness, he's sensitive, and his feelings are easily hurt.

Of all the kids, Little Boy seems to have the best sense of humor. He's often "jokin' around". And he's lost a front tooth, and the other tooth is a little crooked, and when he smiles, oh my goodness, he lights up the whole room! Little boy is also a hug cuddlebug, and gives everyone a ton of hugs a day.

I know it's crazy, but his first word was "broom". This boy loves to clean! He's a huge help around the house, and loves that he can help out by vacuuming. (I usually give him a quarter to vacuum to the furniture. He love's using the upholstry brush). He's also a tremendous organizer, and has been known to disappear into the basement (storage central in our house), just to "make things neater."

Like most boys, Little boy aspires to be like his Daddy. He wanted a yellow cake this year, because that's what kind of cake Daddy has. He has recently acquired a toolbelt, and has been helping Daddy with a project to fix the bunk beds. He's so proud of himself!

Little boy is far from perfect. He has a hard time listening sometimes, and he can be really impulsive. And he insists on writing his name from the right to the left, which is impeding his ability to get his own library card (and he really wants his own card!) But he's sweet, and friendly, and so full of laughter. I am truly blessed to have been entrusted with this child.

Happy birthday my dear sweet boy. I love you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


You may have noticed I haven't blogged much lately. And, you may also have noticed that I haven't really knit anything since the beginning of last month. I just haven't been feeling like it latley. This is not good news, as I have recently spent a lot of money on yarn. Some of the yarn has been bought in quantities to make baby girl things for this summer. Things that I cannot make it a larger size given the quantities of yarn that I bought.
I should really start knitting.
I have a few projects on the needles - Falling Stars, by Knitpicks. I enjoy the color work, but I find alternating both color and knit/purl stitches tedious, and the chart really requires focus, and I havne't had much of that lately. A top secret project which has been more ripping than knitting, and an Oriental Lily which is kind of boring. Plus, the forever-lasting Celtic Knot stole. Again, the whole chart/focus thing. I'm hoping that my desire/need to knit comes back, and soon. I'm assuming it's missing for any combination of the following reasons:
  • Legitimate family stress that just is, and the process of working through that stress is kind of draining. I think I regularly underestimate the stress of 4 kids. I don't like dwelling on it, but I have to admit that it tires out a mommy.
  • Lack of immediate interest in my OTN projects
  • Apparent inability to start a new project until at least one of the OTN projects is done. I keep reminding myself of what the Yarn Harlot says - "There are no knitting police"
  • Time. Housework can take up a lot of time. The weather is nicer so I'm outside with the kids a lot more, and I'm trying to be more active so I can lose a few pounds before my cousin's wedding next month. All of this takes up time that I could be knitting.
  • The possibility that my knitting mojo has gone on vacation without me.

I'm hopeful that this slump ends soon. I'm hopeful that the Red Sox' slump ends soon too, but I'm not holding my breath.

We'll see how things go.

I do hope that you're happily knitting!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Nothing to Post....

I mean literally, nothing.

Haven't knit at all in the last three days, and not much for the week before that. In fact, last week disappeared in about three minutes.

I'm spring cleaning, I'm tired, and I'm grumpy.

Hopefully, I'll have knitting content sometime next week.

Monday, March 14, 2011

North Shore Yarn Crawl

Part I: How to Prepare for a Yarn Crawl
  • Save every dollar you can for two months leading up the crawl. Stop buying treats for the kids, look under the couch cushions for quarters, and maniacally clip coupons, pocketing the savings
  • Print out Ravelry queue and relevant yarn information
  • Analyze map, planning out most efficient route
  • Assemble queue printout, crawl passport, and map in one place

  • Assemble assorted snacks and prizes to hand out to small children who will be dragged to too many stores in one day.
Part II: Go on Crawl
  • Hit 5 stores in one day with two small children in tow.
  • Bribe children at each store to behave by promising various snacks/treats/lunch*
  • Regularly consult queue and budget and compare to stock at various shops.
  • Repeatedly remind children not to run through various stores.
  • Continually find gorgeous yarn that you love but cannot afford.
  • Buy yarn and yarn related items, almost all related to the queue:

  • Knitting Lace Triangles, by Evelyn Clark. Purchased at Cranberry Fiber Arts, and an item I was actively looking for on the crawl.
  • Louet Euroflax purchased at Loom with a View, designated for a secret project
  • Cascade Yarns Luna, purchased at Sit 'n Knit to knit Baby Girl a Tropical Lily
  • Little Box of Knitted Gifts purchased at The Village Stitchery (for $2!!!). Impulse purchase.
  • 3 skeins of purple Lyndon Hill purchased at Butterfly Knits to make a Fairy Tale Dress for baby girl. I also got the pink tape measure there as a gift with purchase.
  • 1 skein of pink Lyndon Hill purchased at Toni Lee's Knitting Nook to make flowers for the Fairy Tale Dress
  • 1 skein of Malabrigo lace purchased at Coveted Yarns, impulse buy.
Overall, I'm really pleased with my purchases, and I had a great time checking out all the stores. Now, I'm hoping that I've won one of the great raffle prizes!

Part III: Exhaustion
  • Spend two days recovering from fiber overload
Part IV: Knit!

*Before you judge me on the bribery thing, cut me some slack. The kids are 4 and 2. One store, I just expect them to behave. 5 stores, one day, it's a little much. Believe me, they were SO good! Well worth the Fruit Loops, Cheez Its, Candy Store stop, and lunch at MacDonald's.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


This morning, at 8:18 a.m., Little Girl turned 6 years old.

Her birthdays always affects me the most; I'm sure because she's my first. I still remember being scared on my way to the hospital, and the days it took to sink in that I was really a mother. I remember how strange it felt, to hold this little creature in my arms, who for so long had been a part of me. I feel like she was so patient with me, as I learned how to take care of her.

I wish you could all meet my Little Girl. She's wicked smart. She loves to learn just for learning's sake, and she asks questions all the time, but really well thought out ones. She's very artistic, and loves that, in kindergarten, she gets to paint a little bit every day. Little Girl is attentive to everyone. I never need to tell her to make someone a card for their birthday or a holiday. She naturally thinks of others. She almost always says "please" and "thank you" without being reminded.

Sometimes it's hard to watch her navigate the kindergarten social scene. She's not always sure how to handle it when a friend doesn't want to do what she wants to do, or wants to play with someone else. She takes these things rather personally, and has a hard time recognizing that it's often not about her. Thankfully, she gets over things pretty quickly. She seems to have a definite sense of self, and I pray that this helps her to resist peer pressures as she gets older. For now though, I'm thankful for all the moments I get to share with her.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Last summer, I bought one skein of Ella Rae Bamboo Silk. I bought it on the day we drove out to Ipswich to eat at The Clam Box (we go once a year. We often go with my parents. It's just one of those things we do in the summer). It's pretty, and soft, and felt like a nice end to vacation yarn buying.

Last week, I finally wound the skein into a ball, and knit this:
The pattern is Fern Lace Cowl. It's a pretty pattern, although this is a perfect example of how much blocking can do for lace. The yarn is also pretty, and all knit up, it looks nice. Until you put it around your neck. And then, it just hangs there, looking like a bunch of red yarn hanging around your neck. There's no body, and no style. The only word to describe it is "whatever".

I knew that bamboo would have a lot of drape. I had several conversations with knitters well acquainted with bamboo, and they all thought a cowl would be a lovely thing to make from the scant 99 yards of yarn that I had. I'm wondering now if I should have done something with a little cable, or just a solid textured stitch, something to give it some body.

What do you think? What would you do with the cowl now? Would you frog it? Or just hide it a drawer? If you had one skein of 99 yards of bamboo/silk, what would you make?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

11 and 2

Yesterday was Big Boy's birthday. He turned 11. Today, Baby Girl turned 2. They were dangerously close to sharing a birthday, but we worked it out so they each have their own day. Some thoughts on my children....

Big Boy - never, in a million years, did I think that step-parenting would be oh so challenging. I didn't expect it to be perfect, but I wasn't expecting to become your full-time mom, and I certainly didn't expect the plethora and layers of emotions this would entail. All of this compounded by two personalities that do not exactly.....mesh. Well, it's not picture perfect. But, oh, my Big Boy, I'm so glad to have you. You challenge me every day to be more loving, more compassionate, more easy-going, and just plain, better. I've learned to accept that I will never be everything you want, but I strive each and every day to be what you need. I know I fail often, but I hope you know that I intend to keep trying, and hope to get it right more often than I get it wrong. I'm so proud of you. I'm proud of how hard you try in school, and I'm proud of your improvement this year in hockey (and SO proud that I got to see that game winning goal!) I love that you are so your own person, and it's great to see you developing friendships on your own terms. I love your attention to details, and your efforts to perfect all your referee motions. Most importantly, I love you!

Baby Girl - I can't believe you're already two! You are so independent and opinionated! Despite your lack of words, my little Curious George sound-alike, you are marvelously adept at getting your point across. Your unique combination of persistance, sweetness, tenaciousness, and fearlessness makes you the belle of the playground. I love when you sing with me, especially when you do the motions to "Itsy Bitsy Spider". I love that you cuddle with me in the morning, and give lots of hugs and kisses during the day. Your beautiful face is a constant bright spot in my days, and I am more thankful than you will ever know for these days home with you. It's a whole different world parenting with experience, and I hope the lessons I've learned from the other kids make me a better mom to you. I love you, and I can't wait to watch you take the next steps away from babyhood. You are, thus far, a most interesting and fun individual. I love you.

Knitting content to come......

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Oscars

I'm watching the Oscars. I love the Oscars. I love seeing what everyone on the red carpet is wearing, and I love hearing the acceptance speeches, and I really just enjoy the whole show.

I tend to enjoy the show more when I've actually seen a couple of the movies that are nominated. I don't know about the rest of you, but since I've had kids, seeing movies happens pretty rarely. This year, after many years of seeing none of the referenced movies, I've seen two of them. I took my MIL to see The King's Speech for her birthday. She loves the movies. The last movie she saw in the theater was The Lake House, and that's kind of crazy. I also went out by myself a couple of weekends ago and saw Black Swan. I didn't really like the movie, but it deserves its nominations. I was hoping to have a date with my husband to see The Fighter, but we haven't been able to make it happen yet.

One of the things they don't tell you when you have kids is that movie dates are difficult to make happen. Evening showtimes start at 4, and the babysitter is never available before then. Tickets and popcorn (because what's a movie without popcorn) and soda (because popcorn makes you thirsty), and the babysitter cost a small fortune, and that's if you can find a night that both you and your husband are free from other obligations to go. It's rough. It's really rough if you love going to the movies as much as I do.

I just realized that I've seen another nominated movie: Toy Story 3. My MIL gave it to the kids for Valentine's Day. It's super cute!

I love going to the movies. I love sitting right in the middle of the theater, eating popcorn without extra butter, and a large diet coke. If I'm going all out, I'll include a bag of peanut M&Ms. I try to pay attention to the previews, and make note of movies I would really like to see in the theater. I don't mind going to the movies by myself. In fact, I even kind of like it. Maybe next year I'll do a better job of seeing more movies.

And so, I'm watching the Oscars, making a list of movies to watch when they become available on DVD, and the public library or Red Box has them in stock.

What do you think of my list? What movies should I add? Any past Oscar nominees I shouldn't overlook?

  • The Fighter
  • True Grit
  • The Social Network
  • The Kids are Alright
  • The Postman (I think. It's movie from a few years ago. The actor won an Oscar and walked across the seats).
  • Gone With the Wind (I've seen it. I own it. It's hard to find enough time without kids roaming around to watch it.
  • Rabbit Hole
  • That movie Jeff Bridges was in last year
  • Winter's Bone (what is that movie about anyway?)
  • Blue Valentine (I like that Ryan Gosling)

BTW - I'm not knitting. I'm eating popcorn.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Take and Replace Swap

I was fortunate to take part in IrishEyes Kathy's Take and Replace Swap. The concept is brilliant - a box of knitterly fun arrives at your door, you take out of it what you want, replacing each item with some other knitterly item. I've been feeling the need to take part in a swap, and this one seemed ideal for me. I used it as an excuse to go through and organize my stash, and came up with more than a few items I would be willing to trade.

Here's my take:

Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles by Cat Bordhi, Start Spinning by Maggie Casey, an Ashford Drop Spindle (much lighter than the one I already have), Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (the first knitting book I ever read - I borrowed it from the library. I love having my own copy!), and cute "Knit with Love" gift cards.

I can't show you what I put in. Not only would it ruin the surprises for the next person, I never thought to take a picture of it.

Sadly, I haven't done much knitting lately. I have been watching the second season of Thirtysomething. Do you know this show from the late '80s? I watched it in reruns as a teenager. My friends and I dreamed of growing up and marrying someone Michael Steadman-like - responsible, loving husband and father, and ridiculously good looking. You know what? I totally married someone just like that!

Happy knitting!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Princess Mitts

I finished the Princess Mitts last week, but just got around to snapping a photo of them:

The yarn is Aslan Trends Royal Alpaca, and it is SO soft and warm! Overall, I'm pleased with the mitts. I found the pattern to be really satisfying to knit, especially in the nice yarn. However, I do have a few issues with them:

1. I wish they were tighter. If I were to knit them again, I think I would go down a needle size.

2. On Wednesday, I realized that I knit the thumb gussets differently. On one of the mitts I correctly kept the 2x2 rib. On the other one, I did the gusset in stockinette stitch. As it took me four days of wearing them to realize the problem, I'm not going to worry about it too much, but it does irk me a bit.

3. On the right-handed mitt, I bound off in the 2x2 rib. On the left mitt, I bound off knitwise. The right mitt is stretchier at the top, but it doesn't lay as nicely as the left. The left feels like if I stretched my hand enough, I could snap the stitches. If I were to do these again, I'd bind off all stitches knitwise.

None of these issues are significant enough for me to go back and fix them. I don't think anyone else will notice them while I'm wearing them at hockey practice, so I can knit on other things.

Right now, those other things include a mitten, and a sweater swatch. They're both going slow, as knitting time has been limited. The kids have very busy lives, and I have to keep up!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I finished Lia last night. Monday night, I sewed in the sleeves, which was kind of tense for me, but I think they look alright. However, when I put the sweater on, I found that the neckline was MUCH too wide and deep for me. I was kind of bummed, because I expected to love this sweater once it was on. Thankfully, this problem was easily solved by adding some ribbing around the neckline. What do you think?
I'm pleased with the length of the sleeves, and the body length is fine, but I think another inch would have been slightly more fine. Here is a close-up of the cable detail:
Overall, I'm really pleased with the sweater, and very proud of myself for blocking the pieces and successfully sewing in the sleeves. Of the three sweaters I've knit myself so far, this one is my favorite and will probably see the most use.

Here are the details: The pattern is Lia, from Knitty Deep Fall 2010. The yarn is Knitpicks Wool of the Andes. I ordered 7 skeins and used less than 5. (Note to self: I have yet to knit a sweater using the amount of yarn called for in the pattern). Also, the pattern called for size 11 needles, but I got gauge with size 13 needles.

I'm hoping to finish up my Princess Mitts and than move on to some other projects.....

Today was another snow day, but it's sleeting so there's no playing outside. The neighborhood little kids were here earlier making Valentine's Day cards. Things ended a little early though, because ALL of the kids were super whiny. So, it's rest time now. I'm thinking about taking a nap myself.

Happy knitting (or napping!) to you!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Little girl is a little under the weather, so she and I stayed home from church today. So, I used the time to block Lia!

My camera doesn't really pick up the cabling detail on the black, but trust me, it's there!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Knitting Updates

Here (finally) is a picture of the 5 hour Baby Sweater:
I'm really pleased with it, especially in this yarn! I hope it makes some new mommy happy.

I'm getting to the home stretch with Lia. As of right now, I'm two-thirds of the way through the second sleeve. I'm pretty sure I should block it before I sew the sleeves in. I think. I don't really know, since I've never sewn sleeves into a sweater before, and I've never blocked anything in the round. I'll be doing some research on that later.

After Lia is done, I'll be finishing up my Princess Mitts and finding a new traveling project. I think it will be an Oriental Lily for 4th Trimester, but we'll see. I also have a new part of my secret project to work on, another sweater for myself to swatch, and I'd really like to start on the Carmen Banana kit my husband bought me last year.

I have very few thoughts about the mountains of housework that should be getting done, and should probably try to readjust my priorities.

It's really hard.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Olympic Hat

I finally finished the Olympic Hat that I knit my aunt for Christmas. I actually finished duplicate stitching the moose two weeks ago, but I was avoiding weaving in all the ends and making the tassels. I'm pretty pleased with the end result:

It is a little bigger than I would have liked, but it fits my husband nicely. If I were to make it again, I would omit some of the white rows before and after the moose. The good news is, if it's really cold, my aunt could fold the brim under and have an extra warm, still pretty hat.

I started a 5-hour baby sweater the other week at church. I'm pretty sure it's taken me 10 hours to finish. I still have to weave in the ends (do you notice a theme to my procrastination), but hopefully I'll get to post pictures later this week. I hope to start the first sleeve for Lia tonight. We'll see how it goes.

Tomorrow we're back to the grindstone - drop-off, drop-off, errands, pick-up, clean up stuff, pick-up, make dinner, cycle everyone to bed......I'm hoping to actually make it the knitting group I was attending before the holidays. Again, we'll see how it goes.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Eyelet Scarf

For my birthday, my SIL gave me the book 60 Quick Knits and a skein of Cascade 220. My first project from the book is the Eyelet Scarf. it's a one skein scarf, so it's not as long as I would like. If I ever make this again, I will simply buy another skein to make it longer.

The pattern is REALLY pretty, and easy to memorize. I love the bubblegum pink color, and am thinking about making a matching hat (someday).

(That's Buster posing with the scarf)

I really like this book, and hope to make the monkey hat and a pair of mittens from it this year.

I've also finished the front of Lia, and hope to finish the back neck shaping tonight.

In other news, we still have snow here in New England, and there's talk of school being closed tomorrow. The little kids and I have been ice skating a couple of times a week (our city has AWESOME free skating hours! 9-11 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays). Baby girl has double-bladed skates that fit over her boots (please don't comment telling me how double-bladed skates aren't good for kids. She's not even two yet. Just be impressed she's on the ice). She tends to wear them for about 20 minutes, and then kicks off her boots. However, since there's usually only about 5 people on the ice (including us), I just take the skates off and let her walk around on the ice. Little Boy's skating skills are improving dramatically, and he spends his time playing imaginary games as he skates around. Usually, the games are between the Bruins and Sabres, but sometimes the Rangers show up to play too.

I hope you're enjoying whatever winter weather has come your way!

Happy knitting!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snow Sky

This is the view I saw today after sledding down a decently steep hill, hitting a bump, losing the sled, and rolling down the rest of the hill.

We've had two great snow days!

I have been regularly composing blog posts in my head, but actually sitting down and typing them has felt like a lot of work, so it hasn't been happening. I've decided I'm okay with that.

I've been knitting - finished a scarf, am halfway through a 5-hour baby sweater, and just finished the chart of the body of Lia. Maybe you'll see pictures soon.

Happy knitting!

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 - FO #1

Last night, I had my first finished object of 2011 - a Drawstring Hat. I've wanted to knit this hat since I bought the Knitsimple Holiday Issue of 2008, but kept putting it off to knit more urgently needed or "important" things. In this year of knitting what I feel like knitting, and the fact that Little Girl was complaining about last year's hat falling in her eyes, and the fact that last year's hat is hot pink and this year's coat is purple, I decided that I wanted to knit this hat now.

Actually, I started the hat last year. December 26th to be exact. But, I had already decided upon this knitting resolution, and I need something that I could knit in the dark in the car on the way to my parents' house. I used Encore worsted, and adjusted the number of cast-on stitches for the heavier yarn and larger needles (I believe I cast on 88 stitches). I worked the 2X2 rib in the car once it got too dark to work on my aunt's Olympic Hat. I worked the 2x2 rib in the evenings at my parents' when I sat in the dark trying to keep Baby Girl from climbing out of her pack 'n play and go to sleep. I also got some significant length by knitting my way through "Yogi Bear" at the movie theater (thanks to my other aunt, who sent us a check and note telling us to "take the kids to the movies." I got enough time to finish the ribbing yesterday when I took Big Boy to his hockey game.

I started to crochet the edging at the game as well (I used some Marble Chunky left over from my cabled sweater). I didn't get very far - crocheting edging takes me a while. In fact, I only edged the top of the hat, because I was afraid my bad crochet skills would stop the hat from being stretchy enough to fit to Little Girl's head. I crocheted a chain to cinch the top and spent most of last night trying to make pompoms. I settled for the ones you see in the picture, but they're not as nice as the ones my mom would have made. I'll have to add pompom making to my list of skills on which to improve.

Have you finished anything yet?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Although I didn't get to do all of the family things I like to do at Christmas (family craft night? Nope. Family sleep out in front of the tree? Nope. Baking cookies with the kids? Not so much), I did have all the gifts wrapped and bought early enough in the month that there wasn't a lot of stress the days before Christmas.

I love going to church on Christmas Eve - I love the lights, and the music, and the focus on the true meaning of Christmas. After church we go to my brother-in-law's house for a wonderful seafood feast. This year's menu included octopus. It was tasty, but I had a rough time eating the pieces with the little suction cup things.

Both my husband and my mom took care of my yarn needs this Christmas - I have enough yarn to knit two sweaters for myself. The kids seem pretty happy with their gifts, and my brother and SIL seem to like the socks I made them. However, the highlight of my knitting Christmas came yesterday. On the way home from my parents', we had dinner with my aunt and her husband. I made them both hats. I made my aunt the Olympic Hat (although, it's not done. I still have some duplicate stitching to do. But, I let her unwrap it anyway), and I made her husband two plain guy hats. He LOVED them! He told me the last time he had received a handmade hat he was 12. When I talked to my mom later that night, she told me he was wearing one of the hats around the house. Obviously, I'll knit for him anytime!

As always, I have some knitting resolutions for the New Year. This year, I resolve the following:

1. To finish the Celtic Knot Stole (because really, it's getting ridiculous).

2. To knit for myself. I don't mean I'm only knitting items for me to keep (although, there will be a lot of that), but I'm going to knit what I want to knit, and not get bogged down by knitting deadlines or knitting things I'm not super excited about because I think I need to. I'm going to focus on the projects I already have yarn for and keep meaning to get to, and on the things in my queue.

3. To get serious on my secret knitting project.

What are your 2011 Knitting Resolutions?