Monthly Archives: December 2006

Out with the old…..

I can hardly believe how fast this year has flown by. Last time at this year, I was on bedrest, cranking out the baby knits and hoping all those early contractions would slow down so I could just get up. They did, thankfully; I was able to get back to normal and Knittybaby hung in there until just a few days before his due date in March.

I’m actually pretty amazed at how much I managed to knit with a new baby and three year old to care for. I learned how to knit while nursing (hint: use a sling and circular needles!) and knit with a sleeping baby on my lap. I managed to plow through lots of little things this year: socks, dishcloths, scarves, hats, baby sweaters, but no grand scale knitting other than the baby shawl. So my knitting plans for this year (I hesitate to say resolutions) will be to knit (and finish up!) more large scale projects such as sweaters, blankets and shawls and to knit more socks up. A few that stand out are:

1. Knittybaby’s heart blankie. After his last cardio appointment it seemed like it could be quite awhile before he has to have his surgery, but I do want it done when that day comes.

2. My raglan sweater just needs sleeves and the neck.

3. My Color on Color scarf, while still a scarf, is definetly a large scale project that’s been dragging on two years now.

4. The Simple Knitted Bodice.

5. A lace scarf for starters then on to a shawl. Suggestions ofr a favorite lace book?

6. Little Man’s afghan. I’ve decided to make it a blanket rather than afghan, 34 squares rather than 68. I’ve got 8 squares done.

Other plans:
1. Pick one night a week for spinning and one night a week for sewing. Knittybaby is sleeping well enough in the evenings that I should be able to do that. Let’s say that Mondays are for spinning and Tuesdays are for sewing.

2. Try my hand at some dying.

3. Take some classes at the Textile Center and buy a membership.

So there, that’s 2007 for me!!!

Can you guess what this is?

I am slooooow at colorwork. We’re talking a good 10 hours of work here. I’m not joking. I can not find a rhythm. Suggestions?

Well, I’ve got a house to clean. We’ve got little people and grown ups coming over to ring in the new year with us and I’m excited to entertain. I wish all of my blog friends a blessed and wonderful 2007!

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Blessed

Christmas was lovely…


Little Man was thrilled, Knittybaby was teething yet thrilled nontheless, and Molly the cat only hissed at me once in five days:


We had such a nice visit with my parents, grandparents, and brother, and Knittybaby’s first Christmas was a wonderful day! The only downer was that some incredibly nasty person stole my brother’s I-Pod and laptop out of his car on Saturday night. Amazingly they decided to leave the Christmas presents in his back seat. I felt so bad for him, as my little brother is the absolutely nicest guy, yet he’s one of those people who always runs into bad luck. I was so sad for him. Aside from that, it was a fantastic weekend.

We decided to risk being in the middle of nowhere with crabby boys and took the very scenic route home through Minnesota. We’ve lived here now for nine years and have seen relatively little of the state.


We’re talking county roads here. We got lost at least three times and I had to give the map up to the Skeptic.


It was a beautiful drive and the boys slept the entire time. Four and a half hours of quiet.


Home again and enjoying gifts, Little Man is in his shiny new knight’s cape. He calls himself “Changing Man.” We have no idea what that means except that he runs around the house until he’s too tired and has to fall down. We dig Changing Man.

Beautiful handmade gifts:

The hat was a gift from the Skeptic. He purchased it at the Textile Center’s holiday gift sale. The clutch was from my brother and is handmade by his girlfriend’s good friend. Called Sinister Bags (I love that name), she sells them here.

The hat is beautiful, a 1920’s style, and reversible:


The clutch is tough yet pretty, I love it and was actually hoping for one after Angie told me her friend sold them. I had been eyeing them up at Craft-O-Rama. Look at the detailing inside:


The boys gave me yarn:

I was also lucky enough to get Amy Butler’s In Stitches, Shannon Okey’s Spin to Knit, and Ellen Ann Geisel’s The Apron Book, as well as a huge cutting mat and ruler, and a thread box and notions.

I knit two gifts: a hat for my brother which I forgot to get a picture of, and hand mitts for the Skeptic. He wants to get an action shot of them. In true Skeptic fashion he told me they were “nice, but slippery.”

I have some new knitting and a meme to do, but I’ll save those for another day. In the meantime, I’ll remind you to try to get in at least one little “Cap to the Capital.” It’s so important to give these little ones a voice. Mail them by January second:


I’m full of pictures today. I’ll say goodnight and leave you with some Little Man art:

The chicken:

Untitled:

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This is making it hard to stay motivated: Rain a…

This is making it hard to stay motivated:


Rain and mud in Minnesota three days before Christmas is just wrong. I’ve got gingerbread men and fudge to make, laundry to do and a house to clean. Plus gifts to wrap after the boys are asleep tonight. A little snow would give a girl some motivation, you know?

Now I have a stir-crazy three year old and teething baby. (He’s nine months today, by the way. Can you believe that?) The only thing worse than all of us being cooped up today would be dragging the boys around in this muck. I’ve succumbed to the TV monster and given up on the usual “one hour a day rule.”

It’s supossed to freeze. Does it look frozen yet?


As much as I wanted a nice dinner for Solstice tonight, reality has hit and we will be having Pizza Luce instead. I’ll tip extra for making them deliver in this crap.

I’ll be blocking this in a minute:

It’s actually comissioned knitting for the Skeptic’s friend at work. It’s for his girlfriend for Christmas. How sweet is he to think of hand knits for a gift! He even met me for yarn shopping to pick out the colors; they match her shoes. I’m so impressed with his planning ahead and attentiveness.

The yarn is Brown Sheep Bulky, doubled on the scarf along with Crystal Palace Kid Merino. I decided to do a dropped stitch pattern on the scarf and made a simple hat with a few purl rows for detail. Size 17/10.5 needles. I just hope she likes it. I’m a little nervous since I don’t know her, but Nate did a pretty good job telling me what she’d like.

In the time it took me to write this post, the rain turned to snow. I feel better now.

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Just a wee minute…

Most of you, like myself, are feeling a bit frazzled right now. We’ve got just a week until Christmas Eve. Even if, like me, you chose to not to try and knit every present to save some of your sanity, there are still cards to address, cookies to bake, gifts to buy (don’t forget those small businesses!), clothes to pack, houses to clean….I could go on forever with all the preparation we get ourselves into for Christmas. And I do love all of it; as crazy as it gets, it’s a blast. But it’s busy, and so easy to get so wrapped up in the business of it all we forget about what the whole point is, myself included.

So now is when I’m asking you to take just a minute, as hard as it is, because I know you’ve got stuff to do. I nearly didn’t even take the time to write this because well, it’s all there, looking at me, saying, “Come on, get going! Do you know how close Christmas is?” So I’m ignoring it right now. Because yesterday I got together with some amazing friends to share cookies and conversation and “mama support”. I got to come home to my warm , lovely house to two beautiful children and a husband who loves me. I got to tuck my boys in bed, relax and knit on my cozy couch. This morning I was able to watch my son perform in his first Christmas pagent, my baby squeel and laugh through the whole thing, and….you’re getting my point here, right? Sometimes I get these moments when it seriously hits me: how lucky I am, how incredibly lucky I am, considering how many people there are in this world, all the places and situations I could be in yet I’ve gotten to have a life as nice as this.

So where am I going with all this rambling? I’m asking you to take just a wee bit of time for something else in the next two weeks, something that will make a big difference. My Coffeeswap partner, Lia, brought this up on her blog last week: Caps to the Capital. They were written up in Interweave’s holiday issue and I had forgetten all about them. Four million newborns die each year, half in the first 24 hours, for want of basic medical necessities, such as a cap to keep them warm. Not only do these babies need hat and medical supplies, they need the voices of the rest of us to let our politicians know how important it is to help them out.

The group has the goal of sending 50,000 caps to the capital by January 31st and send the message to our politicians that these babies are important and worth our time and money. The sad thing is that Lia reported they are falling short of their goal. This blew my mind, because aren’t we knitters a generous bunch? Shouldn’t we have exceeded that goal already??? It’s time to step up annd make some time for something this important.

Here’s what I’d love to see. Knit at least one hat. Go here for the PDF file and the instructions. Honestly, these babies are so tiny and the hats so small that it will take you about 5 minutes to knit a hat like this. Heck, you could even make a hat swatch for that Christmas gift I know you’ve not started yet. If you’re local, I will even mail if for you. Just e-mail me at knittymama AT yahoo DOT com and I’ll let you know where you can drop it off. If you’re not local, pop your hat in the mail when you’re mailing all those cards and packages. They need them to be mailed by January 2nd, so you could use the hats as the perfect roadtrip knitting. What ever the deal, please find some time to knit or crochet up at least one little hat. Be sure to e-mail Lia as she’s having a contest to keep you motivated! Let’s get these caps to these babies and send this message!!

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Little Man’s sweater, continued….

The boy’s Christmas sweaters still are not blocked. I was just about to do it this afternoon when I decided to give it a second try with Little Man. Here’s how it went:

KM: Can you try your sweater on one more time for Mommy?

LM:(screaming and running away) NO NO NO NO NO!

KM: Can you just tell me what’s wrong with it?

LM: It’s too furry!

KM: What’s that supposed to mean? It’s not furry.

LM: It’s too soft!

KM: What’s wrong with soft?

LM: Let’s just throw it in the garbage….(said very sweetly, as if this was a reasonable statement, as he stuffed it in the bedroom garbage basket)

At this point he was distracted enough by his broken turtle lamp that I managed to get it on him. He noticed about a minute later, took it off and informed me it was yucky. He’s also grown about two feet in the last month and now it’s too short on him anyway.

Knittybaby tried his on and happily babbled away as if it were the best sweater ever.

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What I came home to…

First, the good….

Although I shouldn’t just say good, I should say incredibly generous and absolutely wonderful!!
My coffeeswap partner, Lia, sent me an incredible package! (Notice those little fingers getting in there?)

Look at all the amazing stuff she sent! I am truly a spoiled girl.

See my new handknit coffee holder? The crazy thing is just the day before I was thinking of how much I could use one of these, and here it is! I love the colors and pattern. I put it in my purse right away so I’ve got it for my next stop.


The coffee, from Cornerstone Coffee Roasters, is absolutely wonderful. I’ve been enjoying it with the toffee and chocolates she sent. There was also a cute little magnet.

And the yarn…I almost dropped over when I saw the label: Fruity Sheep yarn! Lia dyed it herself using all natural dyes. I love, love, love the colors.


I almost dropped the yarn when I saw the label. Can you read that?

It’s my very own colorway, Knittymama’s Coffeeshop! How cool is that?

Now remember those little fingers getting in the box? Lia even enclosed some fun things for Little Man. He wouldn’t hold still for me so this was the best shot I got. Tatoos (which was great timing as his last one was just wearing off; he loves these things) and some stickers. He was so excited to be included!

Lia, what a wonderful, thoughtful package you sent to me! Thank you so very much. You really made my day!

No onto the not good. Remember those cute little fingers? They happen to be connected to a very three year old brain. I present my knitting closet:


The depressing close up shot:


I had hidden some clay high up on the shelf for a cold winter day. I thought it was out of sight and to be honest, Little Man usually avoids my knitting closet. Today was just too much for him though and I guess he thought it would be good entertainment. I doubt much would have happened if he hadn’t noticed the clay. The Skeptic’s take on it? “Sorry, I was making lunch. He was quiet…”

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Decorating

It’s taken nearly a week, but I finally feel like we’ve decorated. Usually the first Sunday in December is decorating day for us and although we started on Sunday, it took me all week just to get to this point, and I’m even keeping it simple this year.

It’s hard to tell in this shot, but notice the lack of decorations on the tree?

I have a ton of beautiful ornaments. Many are antiques and others are lovely ones from Europe that my MIL buys for me every year. So far we’ve never had trouble with Little Man and the tree. We put the kid safe ones on the bottom, the nice ones on top, and he took it very seriously. This year, however, he is way too curious. He already knocked the tree over Sunday when we were putting the lights on, and he’s discovered that if he pulls it by the branches on the bottom it will slide across the floor. Cool, huh? He knows this is bad news but it is just too irresistable and he does it at least once a day, until I kindly remind him that’s probably not a good idea. Then he forgets all about it and does it again the next day. So for now, the kid friendly ornaments are the only ones on the tree and I’ve got another 50 or so in the basement, just waiting. We’ve got a deal that everyday that goes by without ornament removal or tree-sliding (seriously, who can resist that?) we’ll put a few of the nice ones on. Knittybaby, amazingly, has only tasted the tree once or twice and otherwise leaves it alone.

I’ve finally decorated the mantle. This is now the cleanest spot in the house:

I love my nativity. It is hand carved out of olive wood from a Palestinian family; I bought it at my church’s alternative gift fair a few years ago. I rarely spend a lot of money on items like this for the house, but it was too beautiful to pass up.


At my friend Rebecca’s suggestion (is your blog up yet?) we are doing a progressive nativity. Rather than set the whole thing up at once we are trying to spread it out all the way through Epiphany, telling the story as we go. Little Man is not quite getting the concept however and he keeps moving them around and changing the story, quite creatively I might add. Right now Mary is hiding behind the pointsetta “because she likes it there” and Joseph is on the kitchen table, mostly because Little Man is just plain confused about what his whole role in the story is anyway, no matter how I explain it. I’m hoping Sunday school will help clear things up this weekend. There are way too many whys right now and he’s not happy with my answers.

So consider this a meme of sorts. What does your holiday decorating look like?

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My haul…

First, I took a trip to Borealis and left with these beauties:

Four skeins of Atacama and a skein of Lucy Neatby’s fingering weight yarn. Once again I’m stuck taking evening pictures so the colors just don’t look as vivid as they do in real life. I love Lucy Neatby’s yarns. I really think the colors are incredible and are a nice change of pace from what I usually see in handpainted yarns in the LYS’s around here. Of course, I love all handpainteds but Lucy’s just really stand out to me lately. They also had added some of her DK weight as well, it’s absolutely lovely.

The boys Christmas sweaters, unblocked:

I still need to bind off the collar on Little Man’ s sweater. Once they’re blocked and I have better shots I’ll give you the full specs.

Best for last, my Aisha Celia handspun:



And hand-dyed:
I really wish I could get even better shots of her yarn. All I can say is it is stunning, stunning, stunning. I had such a terribly hard time picking some out, but settled on the above three. Now I need to come up wioth a plan for all of it. Each of the handspun has about 110 yards and the lace-weight has 880 yards. I can’t wait to get started with it but I’ve got a little holiday knitting to get to. I told myself this year I would take it easy, but I did have a couple of things I’d like to get done if I have the chance. Plus we need mittens around here! Anyway, if you want to treat yourself to something special, check out her yarns. Aisha is an incredibly talented person and was very sweet as well.

As for the boys, we were doing some shopping this afternoon and of course, once again I’m taking too long and Little Man is tired, hungry and crabby, which leaves him to some interesting commentary:

To the lady who was waddling back and forth as she pushed her cart: “Stop walking like that!”

To the twentyish girl with a bad bleach job and way too much make-up. “You look silly! Mom, that lady looks silly!”

The thing I’m realizing about having a three and a half year old is that comments like this no longer yield a chuckle from the recipient. When they’re two it’s obvious that they have no clue what they are saying and people don’t hold it against you as a parent. But at this age, people forget that pre-schoolers can be completely illogical, especially when crabby, and that even though you can have quite the conversation with them their little brains just aren’t wired quite like ours yet. And, they are painfully honest about what they think. Today I got dirty looks. So to the waddling lady, I hope he didn’t hurt your feelings. He really didn’t mean it. To the girl, same thing. (But hon, you did look a little silly. You’re a lovely girl without eight layers of eye liner.)

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Out of reach…

I wanted to take pictures of all the lovely yarn that came home with me this weekend, but Knittybaby is in one of his “I will only sleep on your lap” moods which means all the goodies are out of reach. So I’ll give you the verbal now and a heap of photos in a day or two.

We made it to No-Coast Craftorama on Saturday with my Urban Farmgirl pals. Knittybaby had to join me after only an hour on my own, which made shopping a challenge as the place was seriously packed, but man, the stuff was amazing. I picked up three skeins of yarn from Aisha Celia, who is an incredible spinner. I picked up a few odds and ends as gifts, a silkscreened t-shirt for Knittybaby, and a lovely wool skirt for myself. Also a candle from my neighbor down the street (she makes them in her basement and they are wonderful). It was tough to not buy more, but at least I got a bunch of new ideas to try out, because I’m bored and really need more crafts to try. (Was that a sniker I just heard?)

After No-Coast I picked up Little Man and the three of us headed over to the City of Lakes Waldorf School holiday festival to see my friend Annik’s stash of Lemonade Bags for sale. If you’re still looking for gifts, she’d be one to buy from. Her bags are gorgeous, well made, and she’s a great person. She has them for sale on her site.

The festival was fun. Little Man picked out a little silver dragon, we heard some storytelling and checked out some more cool artists. He was so tired he was asleep by 6:00, which meant that as long as Knittybaby slept I had knitting time. I’m happy to report that aside from sewing in ends and blocking, the Christmas sweaters are done!

Today we went and cut our tree, but got no decorating done as all four sets of tree lights were not working. I also made it to Borealis Yarns to use up a coupon before it expired. I’ll show you what I got as soon as I have a minute to take pictures.

Finally, if you haven’t had a chance to listen to The Creative Mom Podcast, be sure to check it out. I was so surprised and happy to see that we got a mention on Episode 24! I’ve really been enjoying this podcast; Amy does a wonderful job.

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Fetching, aren’t they?


Gee, do you think everyone who’s made these used the same title on their blog when they finished these babies?

Details (terribly incomplete due to the sleeping baby on my lap):
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 in rust and Knitpicks alpaca/silk in blue
Needles: size 7
Guage: um, yeah, I got it
Pattern: Fetching on Knitty
Issues: Now that I finally made them, it’s cold enough that I really need mittens instead.

“The Boys will have sweaters for the Christmas photo” update:


This one is Little Man’s. Still needs a collar. His comment: “I don’t like it because it’s made of yarn.”

WHAT????

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