Monthly Archives: November 2006


Hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Ours was a nice trip out of the city back to the Skeptic’s family farm. I often forget how nice the quiet is out there.

I returned to some wonderful packages!

First, Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos sent me the best package as a thanks for doing the coffee swap: a sweet note, cute tape measure (which I was in major need of!) and a kickin’ coffee themed CD mix. The Skeptic and I both enjoyed the CD tonight. I love a great mix, and this is the best I’ve gotten in years!!! Thanks so much!

Next, I got a gorgeous package from my SP9:

She really spoiled me. I got Knit Fix, which I’ve been badly wanting since it came out. Some laceweight Misti Alpaca in a beautiful blue-grey, and some handmade soap. I adore handmade soap and this is soem fabulous stuff. Now I just have to pick out a pattern for the alpaca. After Christmas I really want to get started on some lace. These early bedtimes are giving me hope yet.



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No one….

…and I mean no one, gets Thanksgiving until the laundry is washed, folded, and put away. Seriously.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!! (It’s almost put away now. I’m feeling more festive by the minute:-)


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Knittybaby takes on Rocky Balboa

Or at least he looks like he just did. My poor guy, in his eagerness to go places, took a major digger into a pile of Leggos today. Face first. So between his scraped up nose, and the fact that he has a cold, which makes his eyes all red and puffy, he looks like he just got finished filming “Rocky: The Early Days.” Poor guy.

I’ve decided that even though Little Man loves them, Leggos are evil. No matter how hard I try to pick them up, I step on at least one every time I got in Little Man’s room. Their sharp pointy corners hurt bare feet and tiny baby noses, an I’m seriously thinking they just have to go before they end up in a tiny baby mouth. But Little Man adores them, and will sit quietly forever playing with them. I try keeping them in his bedroom which actually works pretty well. But, we still need to go in there sometimes and then Knittybaby has to be watched like a hawk, which isn’t easy these days; he’s getting fast. I think I just need to stash them up in the closet for awhile.

My sweater story is in progress. I still haven’t gotten my picture yet due to Knittybaby’s stuffiness. So I leave you with my sad neglected spinning wheel:

Notice the three year old spinning wheel abuse?


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Blog housekeeping

A few changes around here:

First, if you subscribe through Bloglines, you’ll notice that you are now seeing just the first few lines of this post rather than the entire post (that is, if I made the correct changes). I made this change because of the whole Bitacle mess Chris brought up the other week. Now, when I checked my blog on Bitacle it was credited to me and there was no advertising (recent changes they apparently made). However, I was reading on Stop Bitacle that this isn’t the only place this type of stealing goes on. I really didn’t want to have to make that switch, as I know it’s a lot faster on Bloglines when you can just read the whole post right there. However, it seems that shortening my post is the best way I can prevent it from being swiped, as thievery makes me a crabby Knittymama.

Second, I did add the Haloscan comments so I can now reply to everyone. But I didn’t eliminate my Blogger comments yet; that would mean I would lose all those previous comments since I can’t transfer them to Haloscan. Not sure what to do about that. So in the meantime, if you could use the Haloscan comments that would be great.

I’m also considering a switch to WordPress. My questions for those who made the switch: Love it? Hate it? Worth it? Why? Words of advice? My SP9 loves it and I’ve heard other good things as well. If I do switch it will take my awhile as I want to get everything organized; this blog’s always been a little sloppy! So we’ll see. I look forward to hearing what you think.


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An Unplanned Tutorial of Sorts

We constantly battle the toy game in this family. First of all, we have on old, not so big house. This means we do not have a large playroom in the basement that we can fill up with whatever toys should come our way; I’m not sure we would want that anyway. We try hard to keep the toys in our house to a manageable amount, and those we have we try to keep high quality: no plastic, (except Legos), no batteries, and only things that encourage creativity. We also try hard to make as much as we can ourselves when Little Man shows an interest in something (and then hope that no well-meaning relative then buys him the same store-bought version later on). The result is usually that Little Man gets what he was wanting, learns something in the process of getting it, and feels an immense pride in the toy when it was done.

I came home on Monday to find the Skeptic and Little Man had come up with the best version of this philosophy yet. Little Man and his friends like to play “swords” and I often tell him stories about kings, dragons, knights, and whatever crazy fairy tales I can come up with that involve him and his brother. The whole “do we let him play with toy weapons issue” has plagued us and is something for another day, I’ll just refer you to this issue of Mothering for now.

Anyway, I walked in and found a heroic little knight wearing this:

He didn’t want to sit still to model for me, so you get the display version.

The hat is one I made Little Man for Christmas last year. It is a Minnesota winter hat, which means it is thick, heavy, and made for the toughest winter. I knit it tightly on size 15 needles on some very thick hand died yarn from Blackberry Ridge. The yarn is very similar in thickness to Lamb’s Pride Burly Spun. I pretty much measured his head, got my guage, and threw it together last minute. Somehow, they got the idea to turn it into a knight’s helment.

The Skeptic took a cereal box and cut it into the shape of a visor to go over his face. The Skeptic was going to decorate the plain side, but Little Man liked the outside of the box, which is why you see cereal on the front of the helment. He cut out three slits, and taped one longer piece of the cardboard under the middle slit.

He then attached it to the hat with two bolts, so the visor can be lifted up and down.

He then attached it to the hat with two bolts, so the visor can be lifted up and down. This is why you need a thick, heavy hat. Anything thinner will not hold the bolts on.

Once you’ve got the visor attached, your helment is ready to go!

This is not a finished product (or tutorial)by far. As soon as it get’s cold we’ll need to get the hat back for winter use. But, I envision this as a great project that I’d like to make with a much better tutorial. I imagine knitting this up and felting it to make it even heavier, without the tassles and pom-pom so it looks more like a helment. Then I’d make a more decorative visor by painting the cardboard with silver paint and embroidering some sort of insignia on the side of the helment. Add a cool cardboard or wooden sword and your little knight is ready to go!


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Coffee swap questions

1. Whole bean or ground? Whole bean
2. Fully-loaded or decaf? I probably should mix in some decaf since caffiene keeps me up more these days than it used to, but I still love it fully loaded. Decaf just never tastes the same
3. Regular or flavored? Definitely regular. I used to like flavors like hazelnut or vanilla, but my MIL is on a flavored coffee kick, and since that last batch of cranberry (yes, cranberry!) flavored coffee I vowed to never drink flavored again
4. How do you drink your coffee? In the mornings, black and very strong. Afternoons I like a latte or cafe au lait.
5. Favorite coffee ever? This is tough….I’d say Peace Coffee is my favorite brand.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do? Yeah, I’m pretty fussy. I typically buy fair trade, organic, or from small local roasters. That said, Starbucks also makes a mean cuppa in a pinch as well! But, I’m terrible at actually remembering the blends and roasts that I like. I always forget what I buy.
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee? Chocolate or cookies.
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences? Don’t think so, except that I would love a magic spell that would keep my boys quietly happy for at least ten minutes every morning so I could drink my coffee really, really hot:-)
9. Yarn/fiber you love? Handpainted sock yarn, Malabrigo, Manos, any natural fibers.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate? Acrylics, froo-frooish/fluffy stuff
11. What’s on your needles? Hand mitts, a sweater for Little Man
12. Favorite colors? Just about everything except pastels, although I do love pink. I’m on a big pink/brown or blue/brown kick lately.
13. Allergies? Nope
14. Anything you really love, really don’t like, or just need to get off your chest? I’m loving this swap and am glad I decided to set it up. I really don’t like that you can’t really teach elementary music and drink coffee at the same time. Trust me, I’ve tried.

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The little things are everywhere….

So Knittybaby is on the move. My peaceful existance (did I realy just say “peaceful?”) is over. No longer can I just clear a little area on the floor and plop him down. And no matter how hard I try to contain it, Little Man’s little stuff is everywhere. I think every other word out of my mouth is, “Crap, get that! It’s a CHOKING HAZARD!!!!” as Knittybaby does his beast to devour paper, plant leaves, and the wheels off his big brother’s trains. My ultra paranoia is starting to make the Skeptic a little bit crazy, who being a farm boy and all, tends to be a little less freaked out about things.

When Little Man was small this age was easy. We had one small box of toys for him that were no problem. All I had to do was mop and let him go. This, however, is a new deal. Moms of two? How on earth did you handle this? I keep trying to keep the small toys upstairs but they migrate, everywhere!!!

The sweater story is coming, seriously. But I need good pictures for you all, and I’ve been busy setting up partners for the coffee swap. But that’s done, it’s sunny day, perfect for a photo shoot.

Oh, and thanks for all the comment suggestions. I’m either going for Haloscan or WordPress. In the meantime, you all as ever, totally rock. And sorry if I’ve been awol from your blogs. I’m a week behind on Bloglines…..sigh. I’ll be back.:-)


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Pattern: Fiber Trends Mt. Hood Socks
Yarn: Mieleweit Fun and Stripes (color?) 80%wool/ 20% nylon
Needles: Blue Sky Alpacas, size 1 (more on these later)
Notes: I loved this pattern. Easy to memorize, worked great with the stripes. Not sure I’m too crazy about this yarn. The colors are wonderful and much more vibrant than the pictures show (why can’t I get good pictures? The green looks yellow in these shots; it’s actually a nice lime). The yarn I’m not too sure about. It’s definitely not the softest, and it split a lot while knitting. But, I’m sure it will wear well.

These socks cover me for both Socktoberfest and Sock-a-Month Knitalong Two (pair number two).

As for the needles. I’m pretty torn on these. For $27 I expect greatness. And I will say, I have loved kntting with these. The problem? When I first got them there was one needle that had a little split on the end. Rather than take the time to return them, I decided to just sand the edge down and knit on. They’ve been great since then. What sucks is what Clara had to say in this review. Apparently others have had the same problem, often worse, and the company says these needles should only last 3-5 projects. HUH? I’m sorry, but that is just insane. For this much money I expect better than that. I know wooden needles get bent and sat on and the like, but 3-5 projects? I was so excited about these, especially for their claim to have been made on a “fair trade” basis. That’s important to me and I’m often willing to pay more for that, but fair trade usually means better quality as well (at least in my experience). I’m not sure that I’d invest in another set if they aren’t expected to last. I guess I’ll have to see how these hold up, because I will say they were the best wooden needles I’ve knit with in awhile. If they only last…

On the swapping front, I sent my SP9 her first package and I have to say, I was pretty excited about it. She loved it and it seemed to arrive at a good time for her. As for me, I’m not sure what’s up with my pal. S/he sent me a couple of nice e-mails about a month ago and I haven’t heard anything since then. I’m hoping s/he’s just been busy. SP9, are you out there? 🙂

The Coffee Swap is underway and I’m busy matching members up. I’m excited for the number of knitters that signed up. I think this will be a great swap.

Coming soon: the sweater that made Little Man say, “Mooooommmm, don’t wear that!”


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I really appreciate all the kinds words about Gracie’s health and our anniversary. I really wish Blogger was set up so I could e-mail every single one of you. I often think of switching to another blog program just for that reason. But I do appreciate every comment that each one of you leaves, very, very much!

Gracie is on the way to good health. It looks like IBS is the culprit. She is on three medications now and is switching to a new food. Hopefully this will all take care of it. No accidents this week!

We are going out on our first “date” since Knittybaby was born tomorrow. We’re talking the whole deal here, wine, multiple courses (a second mortgage to pay for it?). Hopefully Knittybaby will do okay with my parents for the evening. As you guys know he’s not the easiest kid to get to sleep, so we’ll be making an earlier reservation just in case. If he goes to sleep, well, then more time for us! Either way, I can promise wherever we go there will no kids menu.

My Socktoberfest socks are getting their toes stitched up tonight, so no photo yet. Here’s some Little Man art to hold you over. Have a great weekend!


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