Thursday, April 26, 2012

Purple Striped Socks

Although there has been a lot of knitting - I've finished a hat, a baby cardigan, and started some baby legwarmers, there hasn't been a lot of photographing going on. (Or blocking, for that matter).

But, at long last, here's a picture of my striped socks:

I knit these while walking the kids to and from school, in line at the grocery store, and waiting in doctors' offices. I LOVE knitting with self-striping sock yarn, and need to have these projects going more often.

The yarn is Berrocco Sox that I won from a contest on IrishEyes Kathy's blog.

I had intended to spend tonight fixing the last cable repeat I worked on my Viking Hoodie, but I can't seem to find my chart!!!! (This is a theme today. Earlier, I couldn't find my copy of 60 Quick Baby Knits). So, I'm working on baby legwarmers, and searching for the chart during commercial breaks.

I'm still not knitting nearly enough to make a dent in my stash before Rhinebeck, but I'm trying. My stash isn't out of control by any means, but I'd like to keep it manageable.

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Disjointed Spring Break

It's Spring Break here, and I have been both busy and exhausted. I haven't posted pictures lately, so here's a picture of the peanut butter pie I made for Easter.
The recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine, but it doesn't seem to be on their website. This is the first time I've made peanut butter pie. It was fine. Not great, but fine. Did not compare to the Chocolate Meringue Cake that I made. Sadly, no picture of that.

I have finished a pair of socks, but still need to take a picture of those. My parents were in town for the weekend, and I took the girls, my mother, and my mother-in-law to tea at the Concord Colonial Inn. It was a lovely experience. I had been once before, but it was nice to take my mom.

While she was here, my mom sewed up the two side seams to my Viking Hoodie, and sewed in one sleeve. When I tried it on, the sweater was slightly small. I realized that while I knit one size, I blocked it to a smaller size. So dumb! I'll reblock the whole thing, but it's also a little motivation to get back on the Weight Watcher's plan. I still need to knit the hood and the ribbing, so this sweater won't be worn until Fall anyway.

I've also been working on a baby sweater (by the way, if I see you in person, and you're expecting a baby, stop reading this blog for a while. You're not missing much) and a hat. The hat is my travel project. It requires very little thinking. I would like to feel that I've made some dent in the stash before Rhinebeck.

BTW - my mom and husband totally laughed at me for my Rhinebeck planning (something about it being a little early for a packing list). I maintain that having to think about 4 little people and myself makes it okay to make lists, no matter how early.

Sorry for the disjointed post, but I hate to neglect my little blog for too long, and it's been a while.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More Dreaming

Fabulous Yarn is having a contest! Write about your dream yarn and you could win a Namaste Bag filled with it!

I've had the Polly Pullover in my queue for a long time now. There's just something about it that I love. It totally fits my every day style, and I think it's the perfect thing to wear on chilly fall and spring days. It's knit with Spud & Chloe Outer, a washable cotton/wool blend. I have hugged this yarn in person, and it's gorgeous! The colors are beautiful! I could easily imagine knitting Polly in Hedge, or Wave, or even Rocket. (BTW, I would be knitting size Large, and I don't own a copy of the pattern).

I'm quite sure I would get a LOT of use out of the Polly Pullover. It's like a sweatshirt - something quick and easy to throw on as I'm out and about with the kids - running errands, hiking, whatever. And in the Spud & Chloe yarn, I think it would also be a little bit luxurious.

Do you have any yarn fantasies?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

May you have a blessed day!

Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Rhinebeck Fantasy

In the Rhinebeck group on Ravelry, someone asked what our fantasy itinerary would be. Here's my response, for your reading pleasure:

I've been playing this game in my head since I booked my motel!!!

Okay, in my fantasy, I leave early Thursday morning (and of course, the weather is gorgeous! Cool enough for all my handknits, but comfortable). Once in the Hudson Valley, I head to the Vanderbilt Mansion. I have a lovely little picnic for one on the grounds, and than tour the house. Since time will basically stand still, I will also have time to tour the grounds of the FDR house, and maybe even Val-Kill. From there, it's on to the CIA for dinner (probably D'Medici's). I'll have an outstanding 6 course meal (appetizer, pasta, protein, salad, cheese, and dessert), and I'll try some new things and exotic things and love them!

I'd check into my hotel (in my fantasy, of course I'm staying at the Holidome! I might even go for a little swim before bed! Because I won't be at all over-stuffed my 6 course meal). Friday morning I'm up early to attend Abby Franquemont's drop spindle workshop. After the workshop, I meet up with my mom and we go somewhere nice for dinner. Then, we hang with all the knitters in the lobby until bedtime. I'll know some people from online to look for, and when we meet in person, it will be like we've known each other forever!

Saturday we'll be up early to be at the fairgrounds before the gates open. We'll shop leisurely, with projects in mind, and find fabulous deals for everything we want. There won't be much of a line for the artichokes, and we'll try them since we've heard so much about them. Of course, they'll totally live up to all the hype. There will also be some awesome lamb kabobs and kettle corn. We'll remember to stayLink hydrated too!

As we leisurely shop, we'll run into Steph, and Anne, and Ann and Kay. We'll greet each other like old friends, and they'll totally know who I am and are thrilled to see me. We'll also run into a variety of other amazing knitters, many of whom are on my Rhinebeck Bingo card. There will be no line at The Fold, so we'll get to see for ourselves what all the fuss over Socks that Rock is about. Before we leave for the day, we'll buy some wine and cheese from the food vendors, and have a little tailgating party in the parking lot while we wait for traffic to thin out. Other super cool Ravelers will have had the same idea, and we'll have a blast comparing purchases, project notes, and giving impromptu spinning and lucet lessons.

On Saturday night, there will be a Ravelry party. Mom and I will have no problem finding a parking spot/getting on a bus/finding a seat. We'll enjoy cupcakes and visiting with our new best friends from Friday night. We'll both win an awesome door prize. We'll leave reasonably early, to avoid the rush back to the parking lot, and get back to our hotel where we fall asleep quickly in them most amazingly comfortable beds ever!

Sunday we'll be back at the fairgrounds early again. Today is about the animals, the sheep to shawl competition, and maybe shopping for a spinning wheel (since money is no object). Today's food includes fried dough, donuts, and maybe even fried pickles. I'll find perfect little gifts to bring home to my kids, and a last minute deal on some cashmere or quivit. (Not that I really know what quivit is, just that I want some).

Because I'll be way too tired to drive home Sunday after the fair, I stay at the hotel for another night. On Monday, I take the time to walk across the Walkway over the Hudson, after eating breakfast at the EverReady Diner. I'll stop at WEBS when I drive through Northhampton, and pick up a couple of sweaters' worth of yarn. The rest of my drive home will be relatively uneventful, although I do pet the skein of cashmere in my lap every couple of miles or so.

When I arrive home, my husband is not at all disturbed by the large quantities of yarn/fiber in the trunk, and he even agrees that buying three fleeces, despite the fact that I've never washed, carded, or in any way prepared fiber to be spun, was a great idea! I put my purchases away in my lovely little craft room, and my husband and children listen with rapt attention while I explain each one's purpose.

I'll go to bed that night knowing that most of what I bought will be spun/knit up by next year, so it's a good thing that I've already made my hotel reservations for Rhinebeck 2013. This time, at a lovely little bed and breakfast....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Home Training

In my teaching career, I worked primarily with children with emotional and/or behavioral issues. While at a meeting for Little Boy's, I asked a special education administrator for a job (which is what I do these days - walk around and ask for a job), and was offered some hours doing home training work.

Home training is a service mandated by some IEPs (Individualized Education Plan), almost always for students with autism or an autism-spectrum disorder. An IEP is a special education student's plan for services. These services often include speech therapists, reading specialists, or counselors. Occasionally, a child needs help generalizing skills taught in school to the home. (Generalization of skills means that a child learns that a skill learned in school can also be applied at home. A very basic example of generalization is the realization that "See Spot Run" always means the same thing, no matter what book it's in, or what font it's written in). A home-trainer is the teacher who helps the child to learn these generalizations.

That's the technical definition.

What I really do? Remind children to listen the first time. Model for parents what to do when their child doesn't listen the first time. Reinforce basic behavior principles - use kind words, don't pick your nose, follow the schedule, wash your hands when they're dirty, take turns.

It's not bad for two hours a week. We'll see how 10 hours a week goes. So far, it's okay. Although, I struggle a little with leaving my own kids to go deal with someone else's kids, especially the days I've come home really tired. It's a little easier knowing my kids are almost always with my husband, and it's a lot easier knowing that God has a plan for me with this job right now, and a reason for me to be working with this particular family.

Plus, it's been good to exercise some of the professional muscles of my brain. I hope that opportunities better suited to our family will present themselves by the fall!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Drop Spindling

I've been trying to spin 10-20 minutes a day. Here's my progress so far. (I couldn't get the camera to focus any closer. We need a better camera.)

The spindle is getting heavy, so I think it's almost time to take the yarn off the spindle. I've looked into Andean plying, but I think for my first time plying I'd rather have two separate yarns. I have to decide if I'm going to put the singles on dowels and use a shoe box as a lazy kate, or if I should wind up two balls and use upside-down flower pots to keep the yarns from getting tangled. (I'm leaning towards the flower pots. It's more work, but feels safer.) Any opinions?

I've started a new job. I'm home training 10 hours a week. (I've actually been doing home training work since last summer, but the regular hours and the number of hours a week is new). The new schedule works out really well in terms of child care - I work after school and most days start late enough that my husband can be home. One day a week the kids will go to a neighbor's house. But, it means I miss dinner three nights and two nights I won't even be home to tuck the kids into bed. This is an adjustment, but DH and I have decided that we can handle it for the few months left of school, and it's a less of a big deal during the summer when everyone is home all day anyway. We're hoping it will lead to something better in the fall. And in the meantime, I'm focusing on being thankful to have a job that still allows the kids to do their activities and keep a normal schedule.

AND, the extra income means that I can take Abby Franquemont's Drop Spindling class the Friday before Rhinebeck! I'm super-excited to learn from such a renowned expert! I'm anxiously keeping an eye out for sign-ups to open.

I hope you all have a blessed Holy Week!

Happy knitting!