Monthly Archives: January 2007

Thanks, SP9!!!


How incredibly cute is this package? I love bags, and this one is the absolute perfect size for a small project. Look at the little notions bag! Cute.

Even cuter? The yarn cutter. I’ve always wanted one of these and it’s adorable. And the row counter bracelet? Love it! I need one of these badly. (Note to self, hide from Little Man)


But there’s more! Sock yarn! And roving!! The colors are gorgeous; I absolutely love them both. The yarn is a type I’ve never seen before: Jojoland. It is so soft and practically irridescent.
And have you noticed all the cute little notes? This whole package made my day. Thank you so much, SP9!!!!


Hmmmm…..what on earth could this be? Chris, cover your eyes!!!


My three scarves for the GPA-MN craft sale are done and blocking and most of the donations are here. Show and tell coming soon!

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slow

I’ve barely gotten anything done this week. I had my first “Down and Dirty Pattern Drafting” class at the Textile Center and managed to make myself a basic skirt pattern. Next week we make a bodice and the final week we do fittings and tweak the patterns. The teacher is great and it’s nice to have a whole three hours of worktime. The only bummer is that there is no actual sewing done in the class, that’s all homework. I really have no idea how to sew from a pattern. I’ve been making up my own stuff and just measuring. But I’ve gotten a couple of good basic books so I think I’ll be okay.

I was supposed to get together to spin last night with a friend, but Little Man changed those plans. He’s been really into cooking with me lately and is a pretty good helper, although he really wants to get to work at the stove, which has been my big no-no. Well, despite my many, many warnings of “that will burn your skin right off, don’t touch!!!” he decided to see for himself. He had his back to the sink and was working at the counter. I brought over a pot of boiled root veggies to drain, and before I could say “look out” he turns around and sticks his hand under the water as I’m pouring it out – on purpose!! I thought for sure we’d be off to the ER. The Skeptic got him under cold water and I consulted my trusty Dr. Sears while listening to my poor boy scream like I’ve never heard him. After sufficient monitoring we decided he didn’t need to go in. Amazingly he’s got nothing more than first degree burns. We gave him Tylenol and ran out for burn cream and this morning he was just about good as new, looking like his hand got a sunburn. Needless to say, no spinning was done last night! I’m hoping at least now he’s learned to believe Mommy, but oh, did my poor boy cry.

The donations for the Greyhound Pets of America-Minnesota craft fair have been arriving, and I need to get mine finished up tonight. I’m way behind as I totally forgot it’s the end of the semester and I have grades to do, all 300 students! I’m mostly done so I’m off to finish my scarves. Once I’m done and I’ve got everything ready to get picked up I’ll take pictures and get thanks out to the donators.

Then, maybe I’ll actually get my mittens done.

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Cabin fever

The last few days have been a huge blur and although I had pretty much planned this whole post out in my head while putting Knittybaby to sleep, I’ve completly forgot how it logically seemed to go together. I’ve had one of those evenings where Little Man was asleep by 7 and Knittybaby was asleep on my lap by 7:15. I thought I was home free, but as I was carrying him to bed he totally re-perked. This kid goes from sound asleep to wide awake in seconds. I spent the next two hours trying to get him back to sleep and finally gave him to the Skeptic at nine. At that point I had to break my “no housework after 9pm” rule and mop the floor (because the Skeptic doesn’t know how to clean up a serious mayo spill) and make more laundry detergent (yup, you read that right. I’ll tell you how to make it another day) and then get Knittybaby back to sleep once more. So now it’s 10:30 and I’m going to try to make sense of all these random thoughts.

First, thank you so much for all your de-lurking comments! I was happy to get to know who more of you are and read your blogs or just drop you an e-mail. I was also floored by the number of comments I’ve gotten on the needle roll. I did make up the pattern myself, thanks! I’m not organized enough to write up a complete tutorial right now, but basically I used Wonder-Under to fuse the two fabrics together, folded it up, sewed the slots and added a flap. I plan to make one more my for SP9’s last package (better get moving) another for just sock needles and another for my circulars. I’m also thinking about maybe putting a few up for swaps, maybe for hand dyed yarn or something like that. I really enjoyed making it and have so much lovely fabric to use up. We’ll see where the time is.

We’re already starting to need Spring to come. Little Man is not a “stay home all day” type of guy. I’ve been trying to keep him busy with pre-school, playgroup and playdates, but it still isn’t enough. This boy needs to get out to parks and long walks and bike rides to burn off some of his never ending energy. He’ll do the backyard for about 30 minutes but gets cold and wants to come in. We did have our first playdate with the Heathen Housewife and her crew last Thursday. I had a great time chatting with her; she’s a lovely person and I think Little Man and her three year old daughter had a pretty good time, with the exception of the “He’s smashing me!” episode and the time that Little Man decided to be a dinosaur. Oh, and his most major meltdown I’ve witnessed in months when it was time to go. But the Housewife was swell and helped us all get out of the door without me having a meltdown myself.

So how are we dealing with this cabin fever? Aside from getting out a lot, I’ve decided that organized messes are way better than “I think I’ll sneak up to mom’s closet” messes so we’ve been keeping busy:

Painting a cardboard container. You can get these at JoAnn’s for about $2.oo. Paint it and call it a “treasure box to keep things away from little brothers.”Entertainment time: 45 minutes.

Goop: 16 oz cornstarch + 1.5 cups water + food coloring. I was seriously short on cornstarch so I just gave him a bunch of extra flour and let him mix it all up. Entertainment time: 1 whole hour!!! (Do this before you need to wash your floor).


Little Man’s snack of choice while I’m putting Knittybaby down for a nap:

Yes, I need to hide things better. That was a giant size chocolate bar. And God knows how much sugar he ate.

So I was thinking, seeing how much I like swaps and seeing how many other moms are getting cabin fever with their kids right now, wouldn’t it be fun to do a knitters’ cabin fever swap? Yarn for mom and a craft activity for the kids? Hmmmmm, not saying I’ll commit just yet but it could be fun.

5:30 am will be here before I know it. Good night!

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Pleased to Meet You

So apparently it’s De-Lurking Week, and I’ve been excited to see so many readers commenting this week who haven’t commented before. It’s been so nice to visit your blogs and know who more of you are. I absolutely love this little knitting/crafting community we’ve got going here. I was thinking the other day that if it wasn’t for bloggers, I would most likely still be knitting garter stitch hats and scarves. Instead, I’ve branched out into areas of knitting I never thought possible when I first began knitting: socks, cables, sweaters, colorwork, teeny-tiny needles, lace, my gosh, even spinning and now sewing! I used to think all of these things were “too hard” and I would need to knit for 20 years before I tried it. But here you all are, showing off your work, explaining how you do it and suddenly I feel like I can do it too. And you know what? I’ve found I can.

I hope that my little blog does the same for you. I love all the comments that you leave, every single one of you. Thanks to all my regulars; it’s nice to have your ideas, encouragement and a good laugh. So if you’ve been too shy, or just trying to keep up with reading the many blogs you subscribe too (I know how that is) just take a second to say “hi!” in the comments. I’ll be glad to be able to visit your blog and be able to says “thanks!” Remember, I’ve got two comments sections right now. If you’d like an e-mail from me be sure to comment in Haloscan. (I promise to fix that. I’ve got BIG blog plans coming soon.)

Oh, and I promise to de-lurk a little more this week as well. And Mom? This means you too!

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Speedymama

Now I know why people love sewing.


It’s a little crooked. The thread’s a little blobby in some places.


Under three hours and this puppy was done. And I didn’t even know what I was doing.

I’ll still always be Knittymama first, but dang if that wasn’t a fast project!

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Making the Switch

Looks like I’m trying the switch. I’m currently at Blogger. Visit me there until I’m all set up!

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Keeping it Real

I was reading All Buttoned Up today and was inspired by her messiness and well, normalcy. I’ve been feeling in a funk lately about the perpetual state of mess in our house, torn between just wanting so say the hell with everyone else…no one plays, paints, knits, fixes, putters, or relaxes until this place is clean and organized, OR, realizing that I’m a mom with two little boys and while some semblance of order is necessary, there are more important things in life than living like Martha Stewart.

So, with the thought of keeping it real, here’s the mess that I try to create in:

This was actually a cleaner day today. It’s just me in my dining room, a small sea of toys and Knittybaby meandering in the background. Usually the sea of toys is much larger. Little Man and the Skeptic are downstairs in the Skeptic’s shop, fixing, puttering and other shop-like stuff. I know, you’re thinking, “The Skeptic gets a shop and you’re sewing in the dining room?!?” But our basement is an old basement, built when basements were not meant for sewing/knitting/spinning rooms. The Skeptic often tries to get me to knit down there while he’s working, but it’s not exactly cozy. So I’m happy with my yarn closet and whatever I piece together around my messy yet happy house.

What am I making? Curtains, for the playroom/craft room. I do share an upstairs room with the boys, but it’s mostly playroom with my craft stuff all hidden away in the closet and on shelves. I finished up the last two curtains today and will take pictures the next time we get a sunny day.


Today was a lovely day. The boys were in just the right mood. I got out to yoga class and stopped by the Textile Center to sign up for a sewing class and a full weekend spinning class. I’ve decided that I need some uninterrupted time out of the house to really focus on my sewing and spinning so I’m a bit more comfortable with both. Right now it’s a lot like when I started knitting: slow and careful. I want to get to the point where I don’t have to think so hard about it.

It’s late and I want to get back to my mittens. I started casting on the second last night and don’t want to lose my momentum. Thanks for all the kind comments!

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I’ve Got Rhythm

So I have found my colorwork mojo. After much experimentation I finally got my groove back, knitting like this:

Both colors held in my usual hand. The green I knit just like I usually do, wrapping the yarn around my finger. I had been knitting both colors that way, but that was what was slowing me down; the yarns kept sticking together and when I’d lift up the red the green would come right along with it (Shetland is sticky!). So I started just lifting the red up to knit wrather than wrapping it around. This eliminated the grabbing problem and it’s been pretty smooth sailing ever since.

Can you tell the difference?

This being my first real fair isle project, there are of course, mistakes. I have one squished spiral. Also, yarn dominance came into play here. I had read before about how color will be more dominant than the other, depending on if you are carrying the color in the back or front. I switched halfway through. Can you tell where?

Notice the red line going up along the thumb? See how thin it is and how it changes just past the thumb? That’s where I switched. To tell you the truth I had always thought, “Yarn dominance? Yeah, right.” I really didn’t think it would matter but I am amazed at the difference. Although, I still don’t get why carrying one strand in front or in back should make a difference, it just does. Anyone care to explain?


I think you notice it even more on the palm. See how the bottom looks more green and the top more red?

See the glaring pattern mistakes? I’m calling these my learning mittens. I’d like to do another pair in Koigu eventually. I love the colors but I’m not lovin’ the shetland.

Here’s another weird thing I can’t figure out. After the cuff, the first four rows of the colorwork is done in slip stitches, but it doesn’t seem to match up right and I’m thinking I goofed it up somehow, but I’m not sure how. If you’re making these, do yours look the same? Is that red line supposed to be connected all the way across? I wish I could get a closer shot.

Well, I’m off to try to finish this one up, tonight maybe. I really need to keep my motivation going and get the second one done. My eyes are starting to wander to some other yarn already, but I’m going to push through or else I’ll never get done.

TV report: Little Man currently thinks the small TV is broken and it is going downstairs to the Skeptic’s shop for repairs. On the upstairs TV we unhooked the antaene completely so he gets nothing but fuzz. Amazingly, once he realized it didn’t work he barely mentioned watching all day. I think we’re just going to leave it unhooked for awhile to break him of the habit, then hopefully we can get back to our afternoon Mr. Rogers ritual. I like letting him watch then because I can get Knittybaby down for a nap and cooking shows are on afterwards, so there is no begging for more TV. It was interesting. He was very calm all day long.

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Monday Night Spinning!!


Ha! You thought you were going to see some yarn, didn’t you? Because tonight is Monday, and I had declared Mondays to be spinning night. I had good intentions when I got home from work, but here’s what happened:

Skeptic going to work late
+TV obsessed three year old
+baby who doesn’t realize it’s bedtime
+exhausted mama who stayed up too late every night over vacation and went back to work today

=NO SPINNING!!!!

Knittybaby finally went to bed 15 minutes ago and I just don’t have it in me. Hopefully next Monday. I don’t even have the energy to knit or take pictures, and I really want to show you my mitten, but that would mean walking into the other room and I’m not even sure I can make it to bed.

On the TV issue. It is driving us absolutely nuts. Before Knittybaby was born we had a half hour a day limit: Mr. Rogers. On Sunday he lucked out and got an entire hour of PBS. Lately? Little Man is TV obsessed. Since Knittybaby was born his TV time crept up bit by bit, just so I could manage to nurse in peace or get Knittybaby to sleep. He was at about an hour to hour and a half a day, and while not happy we were okay with it. I figured come summer we’d get back to our 30 minutes a day limit. Now it has crept up to a good two, three, four hours a day and an all day battle.

From the minute he gets up, Little Man is whining about watching “just a little TV” or “just one more kid’s show” right up until bedtime, and I’m not kidding. He has tantrums. He gets sneaky. He whines, over and over and over. He figured out we were lying and there isn’t really a lock on the back, we were just unplugging it. The Skeptic unhooked the antanae, Little Man hooked it back up. We even tried just letting him watch as much as he wanted for a few days to see if he’d just burn out; no luck there. I feel like I am being stabbed in the eye repeatedly. His last words tonight: can’t I just watch a little TV? We are this close to putting it in the basement, which would be fine since we are not big TV people. But we do like our Netflix a few nights a week. But I’m not sure what else to do. We are trying tickets tomorrow. Two tickets a day, 30 minutes each. We’ll see…..

Thank you so much for all of your kind words about Knittybaby. It still truly amazes me what a wonderful, supportive and loving community the knitblogger world really is! Your support means a lot to us.

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We Train ‘Em Young

Knittybaby had another visit with his cardiologist yesterday. I was pretty nervous about it, as lately his heart condition has sort of slipped into the back of my mind. On a day to day basis there’s nothing much to think about. It’s more the long term that is serious and the matter of when he will be having surgery. When we first saw the cardiologist in June, it was looking like the recommendation would be to have surgery this year sometime. Although he was doing great at his last appointment, I was worried that this time the doctor would say, “it’s time” and while part of me just wants this operation done with, the other part of me just wants to wait as long as possible.

Well, yesterday was good news! His coarctation has stayed the same: no big difference in his blood pressure and the pumping chamber is good as ever. His doctor said he looks so good we don’t have to come back for another year!!! Even better, he did say that while more than likely he will have to have the surgery someday, in the meantime it looks like it could be a quite a few years. He just wants to monitor him and make sure that things don’t change. He also said if they do need to operate when he is younger they will probably just put a stent in his aorta rather than do the entire procedure. That way they can wait until he is older and there might be a better way to repair his aorta than there is now. So while that heart surgery is still looming out there, it looks like it will be a long way off, when he is older, stronger and more able to handle it.

Now if that last tooth would just come in.

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