School’s Out For Summer

June 17, 2008 at 11:38 am (knitting) ()

So what’s a mama to do when school is out and camp hasn’t started yet?  When you figure it out, let me know.  So far, we’ve got babysitting at the gym so mom can swim.  Then lots of errands.  We’ll probably hit the pool later in the week with some school buddies.

Last week, Husband was off work.  What a blissful week.  We even found time to do some furniture shopping.  Sadly, the new dresser arrives Friday while the old dresser was hauled away last Sunday.  Let’s just say the guest room looks like a clothing rack exploded.

I met up with Sassenach, Laura,  and Linda for  Worldwide Knit in Public Day.  I have to say it was the fastest two and a half hours ever.  Lots of socks were knit on.  I worked on the neverending Pi Shawl.  I suppose it is neverending because I keep working on other things.  Like sewing or Lego Star Wars.  Or interviewing Jordana Paige for the Lime and Violet Daily Chum.  Squee!  She was so sweet. 

To add to WWKIP excitement, some dude in a BMW convertible hit my minivan.  In the parking lot.  And my van was parked.  He was trying to miss the curb.  Yeah.  Luckily, my van had a tiny scratch on the wheel well and the rim is scraped.  His poor BMW fender looks like crap.  Let’s hear it for mommy mobiles!

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The Month that Wasn’t

May 27, 2008 at 11:42 am (knitting, sewing) (, , , )

So, where did May go?  MDS&W was fantastic.  But somehow I never quite recovered from the adventure.

Prime Alpaca

As far as the fest haul, I got 2 skeins of Prime Alpaca at the Misty Mountain Farms booth.  These are so soft and cozy.  I can’t wait to find the perfect wrap pattern (not clapotis, but something else).  I also got two braids of roving, but I haven’t posed them for their close-up.

The rest of May I spent making this:

Crafty tote

I’ve been learning to sew in my already busy week.  The pockets took forever!  But I love my new crafty tote and find excuses to use it everywhere.  The fabric is a home dec and the pocket linings are a coordinating purple.  The colors just spoke to me.

If you had any doubts about that, check out my new project:

Separated at birth?

Pattern:  Mockery Socks from Live2Knit
Yarn:  Tasha from Ruby’s Daughter
Mods:  CO 60 (and managed to mess up the ribbing by doing a 1×1 rather than a 2×2, but I don’t like to think about it)

This yarn was ordered for me by a secret pal when I sent her my fave colors.  That was almost a year ago.  And here are the same colors in my new bag.  At least I’m consistent.

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Knitting Fantasy Life

April 29, 2008 at 3:28 pm (knitting) (, )

 Icelandic Turtle(no more)neck

What is it about impending deadlines that makes a knitter or crocheter take leave of her senses and begin to imagine the impossible?  Nutmeg and I are hitting the road on Friday for Maryland Sheep and Wool.  It’s my first trip to a fiber festival.  Naturally, I ripped and restarted my Icelandic Turtleneck.  And some crazed portion of my brain thinks it will be done by Friday.  Yeah.  Not in this lifetime, baby.  The yarn is Rowan 4-ply cotton.  I decided to forego the turtleneck for a more flattering (for me) neckline.  I simply began the pattern at the first increase round after the turtleneck section.  So far, so good, but I haven’t finished the yoke yet.  Thus, finishing by Friday is probably out of the question.  On the other hand, hope still flickers because I did this much in two days.

I also find myself bargaining on how long it will take me to finish my second summer of luuuuuve sock.  I haven’t started it, but hey, I could finish by Friday, right?  

Another portion of the crafty brain is whispering, “Spin!  You know you want to.”  Aaaaarrrrrgghh!  Too many crafts and not enough time.  BTW I finished Mass Effect.  All this, and I saved the universe, too.

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Bad Blogger, No Cookies

April 23, 2008 at 3:32 pm (crochet, family, knitting) (, , )

So it’s been almost two weeks.  It took me awhile to figure out why I was feeling blue.  The 15th would have been my grandmother’s 88th birthday.  I spent the whole weekend before dreading it, remembering last year when she had a big party.  Remembering all the other birthdays and special things that made it her day.

The rest of the week went in a blur.  The kids and I went to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens on Thursday.  The weather was cool but sunny.  The gardens are gorgeous.  We live about ten minutes away from them, and yet, we’d never been.  Just a few minutes into our walk, I saw the pair of nesting bald eagles.  Then, as I looked down the path, I saw a good friend with whom I’d lost touch.  After much hugging and introducing her to my girls, we set off down the path to find more blossoms, trees, and fountains.

Girls at play

"Earth" Fountain
Fountain

Bald Eagle Nest
Bald Eagle nest (the first I’ve ever seen)
Fiberjinx and I hit the Norfolk Zoo on Friday. Sadly, the rest of the Tidewater community did, too. I counted five different school systems. And it was hot. On the upside, I got to cuddle Fiberjinx’s babysaur. That made it all worthwhile.

And then, suddenly, it was Passover. (Amazing how it can sneak up on one like that) We celebrated our first seder at my in-laws and the second at home. Rosebud does a great version of the two questions (I suppose she’ll learn the last two next year.) And we had more kiddo artwork and sederware than we could display.

We’re halfway through the holiday now. So far we’ve finished Granola-1 batch and Vegetable Kugel (aka Muffins if you are in the preschool set)-2 batches, in addition to other things. The biggest kid hit so far were cottage cheese pancakes. I just made up another batch of granola. No cookies, though.

Knitting Gamer Girl
Knitting Gamer Grrrrl

Old School versus New School
Old and New School Gaming

Long before the holiday, I got this adorable notebook and cute magnets from Greenbeanbaby. It sums up what’s been going on lately: knitting and Xbox. My game of choice is Mass Effect. Sure, Husband bought it for himself. But I’m hooked. I’m level 40 or so Vanguard.

Pi Shawl

The Pi Shawl is coming along nicely. I finally got a shot that is close to the actual color. I have 288 stitches on the needles, and I’m halfway to the next increase section. I love how easy and quick the project is (for lace).

Flower for Rosebud
Pattern: Flower from Dream Toys by Claire Garland
Yarn: Valley Yarns Longmeadow

These are the pieces of the Flower from Dream Toys. Rosebud has picked the colors, and I think I’ll let her decide how to put the petals together.

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Eggs and Pi

April 11, 2008 at 8:00 pm (7 cities crafters, knitting) (, , )

Last weekend, the Norfolk Craft Mafia held some Spring workshops.  I ran a knitted egg workshop.  I whipped up this little guy in about an hour:

Curly Purly Egg
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Eggs and Pis
Last weekend, the Norfolk Craft Mafia held some Spring workshops. I ran a knitted egg workshop. I whipped up this little guy in about an hour:
[IMG_0051]
Pattern: Curly Purly Egg
Yarn: Wooly Wonders by Nada in Paques and Lavender
Needles: Sz 8 bamboo DPNs

So sweet. And perfect for the girls to put on their seder plates next week.

Right before above workshop, Husband and I went to the opera. We saw Lucia di Lammermoor. What a sad story, but a fantastic opera. The soprano had an incredible range. The set and lighting design were fascinating. I may even have convinced Husband to get more tickets for next year.

Since Project Spectrum’s theme for April and May is Earth, several lace projects are clamoring for my attention. I swatched some silk from Sunshine Yarns in Chestnut. I want to make Scheherezade by Pink Lemon Twist. After fiddling with a provisional cast on and screwing up within three rows, I threw in the towel. I keep having the same sorts of problems with lace. My stitch counts are always off. I think the problem is the yarnovers creeping next to a regular stitch on the purl rows. Then, I unwittingly knit the two together.

Rather than sit in a puddle and cry about the perfect lace project and yarn not working for me, I decided to try a very easy lace project. I cast on for EZ’s Pi Shawl. I’m using Knit Picks Shadow in Redwood Forest. I have about 288 sts right now. I think I’m going to be increasing several more times before I get the suggested 70-72 inches across. I belatedly remembered that EZ uses a fingering weight yarn. Ah well. I love the delicate stitches and the gorgeous color. The light was fading when I snapped this shot, so the colors aren’t as rich as they are in real life.

Pi Shawl

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EZ, MS, FO, and yummy

March 24, 2008 at 8:08 pm (cooking, knitting) (, , , , )

What a relaxing afternoon!  I watched/listened to my Knitting Around DVDs.  With the soothing sounds of other more experienced knitters, I blithely picked up the stitches around Giselle.  Then, I purled.  Now, I’m ready for the picot bind-off.  I hope to finish it this evening at SnB.  This picture shows a truer color.  I love my new Canon SD1100!

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/tntknits/2358686831/&#8221; title=”Giselle sleeve flare by TNTknits, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2345/2358686831_dd83c4a7fd.jpg&#8221; width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”Giselle sleeve flare” /></a>

I made bread this afternoon, too.  I got Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I made Granola Bread.  I’d show you a picture, but we have about one piece left.  It truly was easy (and delicious).  I think with practice, the bread will be even better.  It needed more rising time.

I’ve also decided to call my Tulip’s Swing Thing finished.  The monkey fist buttons are not working, and i-cord is not moving me.  Tulip loves her sweater.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/tntknits/2359545830/&#8221; title=”Swing Thing in action by TNTknits, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3036/2359545830_e3cc74c1da.jpg&#8221; width=”335″ height=”500″ alt=”Swing Thing in action” /></a>

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Spinning a Yarn

March 10, 2008 at 8:15 pm (books, crochet, knitting, spinning) (, , , )

This weekend was a flurry of craziness.  I got a cute new cut to prepare for Rosebud’s birthday party.  We had a fantastic time.  And I didn’t have to clean up or anything.  The party was at Rosebud’s preschool, and her fantastic PE teacher was our party coordinator.  The cake had Pooh bear on it, of course.

This morning, I was the Mystery Reader for Rosebud’s class.  The Mystery Reader knocks on the door and surprises the children with a story.  I read Woolbur.  I’ve been eyeing this book since David Reidy reviewed it for Sticks and String.  The book is just as fantastic as he said it was.  To illustrate the important points of the story, I took my drop spindle, my Ashford Joy, my first handspun 2-ply (pics to come), some roving, and my clapotis.  The kids seemed to love watching me spin.  They kept saying, “Go faster!  Go faster!”  I think even the teachers enjoyed it.  Then, we topped it off with cupcakes.

I’m halfway to the cable on Giselle’s second sleeve.  I would have pictures, but my camera is dying.  And the one I want to replace it with doesn’t come out until next week.  Figures.  I also started the Icelandic Turtleneck, but my gauge is off.  Once I find my G hook, I’ll rip and start again.  I love the foundation double crochet technique.

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