Monthly Archives: February 2007

Breaking News: Preschooler Attacks Yarn

I entered the playroom to clean up tonight to find this:

Upon closer inspection I found this: (You might want to cover your eyes if you’re sensitive)

CUT!!!!

The weapon:

An oh so cute and very tempting flower cutter.

More grisly evidence:


And more:
Multiple cuttings!!

The main suspect unfortunately was asleep at the time of my discovery so I was unable to question him. However, my instincts suspect this is a case of “busy parents/bored child/cool new tools” syndrome. I returned all evidence to the knitting bag for later repairs, as it was too dreadful to attempt tonight.

Anyone know how much it would cost me to add a studio onto the house? One that locks?

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That’s More Like It


Looks a little more like it could possibly turn into a bear, doesn’t it? As it is for new knitters, it’s all about the tension. I’m getting better but this bear will certainly be bulletproof.

Little Man considers himself to be Bob Ross. Seriously. He watches him after Mr. Rodgers every Thursday. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. Unfortunately, Little Man is unable to grow the required ‘fro to truly be a Bob Ross afficionado. That’s a mountain with a storm, in case you were wondering.

Too big? Nah……

The Target Waves are done and in use. We had to roll up the cuffs and they are still a little big but they’ll do. I’m regretting not doing them in a superwash, such as Mission Falls and they are getting trashed in our muddy backyard. White on a little boy’s mittens? What was I thinking? Anyway, here are the specs:


Pattern: Target Wave Mittens, IK Knits Fall 2006
Yarn: Lamb’s Pride in Cream and Steadfast Fibers in Carrot Cake
Needles: size 6 and 7, Crystal Palace
Guage: 4.5 stitches per inch

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Filed under crochet, finished objects, kids

Must Make Amigurumi

Take one first birthday just a month away. Add a cute amigurumi toy needed for that birthday. Do one and a half hours of intense crochet.

Get this???? (That’s a bear butt, if you’re wondering)


My crochet experience is limited to trapezoids that were meant to be squares. Crochet is in my genes, I should be able to do this. I can read directions. So why is it so freakin’ hard???

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A rant of sorts

So we were watching Motherland Afghanistan last night, a documentary in which an Agfhani doctor returned to Afghanistan to train doctors in a womans’ hospital in Kabul (named the Laura Bush Maternity Ward). Nearly one in seven Afghani women die in childbirth. That fact alone blew my mind, but this next part was what really made my head spin.

Knittybaby was under the weather, and I had left to help the poor guy get back to sleep for the 80th time that night. When I returned, the doctor was working in a new part of Afghanistan. The Skeptic brought me up to date:

“So he left the hospital. You know the $300,000 in supplies and equipment he was promised by U.S. Health and Human Services? Then never sent it. Nothing. Then, they go and cancel the program for “not meeting goals.” Then they decided to not call it the Laura Bush Maternity Ward anymore. (Gee, wonder why?) Now the doctor’s at another clinic with some independant group.”

WTF????

So I had to make sure I had it straight. Despite a paper signed by Tommy Thompson himself promising supplies, they got nothing, then were canceled because they couldn’t do anything since they had no supplies???!!!!

This is the stuff that just makes me want to repeatedly bang my head against a brick wall. The stuff that makes me feel so incredibly frustrated and absolutely hopeless. The stuff that makes me crazy because doing things like saving women and babies from death during childbirth shouldn’t be that hard. I went to bed very angry.

But this morning Knittybaby was still feeling under the weather, and decided a nap on my lap was the only way to go, which gave me time to catch up on Bloglines. And I came across this lovely contest, which reminded me to not focus on being angry and remember what I can do, which is support the people who can help these women and women all over the world like them. You can’t beat that.

Okay, maybe there’s one other thing that can beat that. How about over 260,000 knitted and crochet caps delivered to our countries leaders, then on to babies to help lower infant mortality rates worldwide. 260,000, people! They were hoping for 50,000. You can always count on knitters to help.

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Am I the only knitter in the Twin Cities not here …

Am I the only knitter in the Twin Cities not here this weekend?

I prefer to avoid the Wasteland, I mean the Mall of America, at all costs. The Skeptic will only go if he’s been tricked by well meaning relatives who think “you can’t come to the Twin Cities and not go!” (Yes you can. It’s a mall. It’s big. It’s loud. It has a roller coaster in the middle. That’s it.) I will only go when I need a specific item and absolutely cannot find it anyplace else closer, and I definitely will not go there with both boys by myself. I did that once for Little Man’s Crocs and it took me 24 hours to recouperate. I know I sound crabby about it and some people love it, but well, the place makes me crabby. ‘Nuf said.

So while it would be fun to be completely surrounded by knitters and all things knitting, and I’m a little bummed I’m missing some of the events, it’s just not worth the trouble today. So instead, I’m home, winding yarn and getting excited for what will truly be the biggest knitting event here ever. Now that will be a gathering not to be missed!

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Where did these come from?

Oh my gosh, it’s a nearly completed pair of socks!


A better view of the colorway:

I was up to the heel on sock one Tuesday night. The Skeptic’s aunt passed away so we drove back to Wisconsin for the funeral. Since the boys were too little to go I just stayed with them at home all day and hunkered down, out of the cold. It’s amazing what knitting you get done with two happy boys and a house you don’t have to worry about cleaning. Although it was sad occasion and his aunt will be greatly missed, it was nice to see family again.

Isn’t this the perfect Project Spectrum colorway? The Yarn is from Little Turtle Knits, the soaker pattern a freebie at Curlypurly.


Look what arrived while I was gone. Cynthia was giving a huge hunk of her stash away. Yup, giving. All she asked in return was a few squares for Warming Grace. Cynthia is such a gererous soul! She sent me a Fleece Artist scarf kit, which I was expecting, and then surprised me with some lovely hand dyed yarn and a project bag. The squares will be out pronto. Thank you Cynthia!!

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Filed under packages, Project Spectrum, socks

Mittens

Clever titles simple aren’t here today, so let’s just get to the business, shall we?

Eunny Jang’s Anemoi mittens:


Yarn: New England Shetland by Harrisville Designs

Needles: size one double points from Knitpicks

Guage: anywhere between 8-9 stitches per inch depending on where I measured. This was my first real fair isle project, after all!

Started: December 26, 2006

Finished: February 4, 2007

Notes: First of all, let me say this: fair isle mittens are not that hard!!!! I was surprised at how fast these actually went once I figured out how to hold both yarns. Had I not been knitting these past ten p.m. my guage would have been more even and I would have had fewer mistakes. There are quite a few of them; pattern mistakes mostly, and the tip of my right mitten is kind of wonky. If I wasn’t desperate for a pair of mittens I might have taken my time a bit more, but these were learning mittens and to be honest I’m pretty darned proud of them.

So, if you’re tempted, go for it! Eunny’s pattern is very well written. Get yourself one of those magnetic pattern holders and you’re all set.

More mittens:

One the left, the first completed Target Wave mitten. On the right, Little Man’s current mitten. You see the trouble here?

I have completed the request for orange and white stripes again, so that part is good. Size is my trouble. Granted, the old mitten is too small for him; it doesn’t even cover his wrist anymore. But the new mitten is too big.

Options:
1. Finish this pair for later, make another pair that is smaller.
2. Frog completely and start over with the smaller pair.
3. Attempt to slightly felt (but I’m worried they may get too short).

Opinions?

Lastly, they aren’t mittens but I promised anyway: result of my spinning weekend at the Textile Center.

Unknown wool, two ply bulky:

This had just been sitting around waiting to be plied up.

Blue Faced Leicester carded with cinammon tussah silk:


Blue Faced Leicester carded with cashmere:

Jen put together a great sample bag for us, so I’m taking all the tiny samples we got (the above, as well as camel, pima cotton, samoyed (dog) cotton punis, mohair…what else was there? We got a lot), carding them with the BFL and making a sampler yarn of sorts.

This next skeins are wool from the unknown sheep that Jen helped shear a few years ago. The white and brown are natural colors, the red dyed by her. This was my practice spinning since it’s been a year.

These two skeins I spun on the drop spindle and Navajo plied on my wheel.

This was spun and Navajo plied on the wheel:


I’m pretty happy with how it all turned out, and I got so much out of the weekend. While I’ve had the basics down of spinning, I haven’t had a lot of time to really practice it lately. This gave me time to work on my technique and work out the bugs in my wheel. I have an Ashford Traveler and I’m afraid the poor thing has taken quite the beating from Little Man. He has taken it apart numerous times this year, mostly after Knittybaby was born and he was feeling jealous or in need of attention (he knows where to get me!). Anyway, I’m having trouble getting it to treadle evenly. I’m also having trouble where the flyer goes around but the bobbin won’t spin. Anyone ever have this problem? Everything works, it’s just not as smooth as I remember it.

Navajo plying is also very interesting. Tricky, but it gives an interesting texture to the yarn that I think would be nice to make a bag out of. I’ve never actually knit any of my handspun. I think it’s about time.

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Filed under finished objects, handspun, mittens

Love is…

Packages:
I am amazed at all this goodness!

Doublepoints, fabric, chocolates, tea, a notepad, soap, a delicates washbag, two lovely patterns, a button, a gorgeous hankie with crocheted edging that I just want to carry around all day…I hope I’m not forgetting anything because there was so much!!!

And of course, yarn. Some of the most lovely stuff I have ever come across from Zen String. It is Lotus Toes, and is so incredibly soft. I can’t wait to knit with it. And in pink and brown, a favorite color combo of mine!


This all comes from Jenny, over at Mary Janes’ Farm in the Hot Socks Swap. Jenny, thanks so very much for your generosity. What a wonderful package!

More love: A day of spinning class at the Textile Center, taught by my friend Jen.

Rolags and more roving ready to be rolags.


I’ve decided bottom whorl is way better than top.

A year waiting on my wheel, plied!!! It’s seriously bulky, but fun.


Even more love: Finished Anemois.

Specs to come. I’ve got rolags to get ready. I’ve an entire day of class again tomorrow!

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How to beat cabin fever/Whiplash entry

Find an old, beat up child’s table that’s too rough to use. Get the baby to sleep.


Grab a pile of paper in your three year old’s favorite color and grab some scissors and a cutting mat. And your three year old.


Abandon all dreams of neat, geometrical shapes when you remember your three year old can’t cut straight. Have fun anyway, because he thinks it’s the best thing ever and is cutting with wild abandon.


Get the Modge Podge and start slapping down the paper. Be amazed at your three years old’s ability to find just the perfect shape, despite his crooked cutting.

Glue like crazy, since the baby is now awake after only twenty minutes and will only sit in the high chair eating rice crackers for so long.

Realize that despite it’s “non-toxic” label Modge Podge stinks. Glue even faster and stick that smelly table in the basement to dry.

Try to wash all that Modge Podge off so you can make dinner.

The next day…..

Cover that table with polyurethane. Get your husband to do that part because poly is even stinkier and you can’t even handle Modge Podge. Feel sad because in your rush to finish Modge-Podging you didn’t put enough on and the poly has soaked into the paper, leaving a few weird spots.

Realize you still have a great Whiplash entry and your first completed item for Project Spectrum. Decide you don’t give a hoot about the spots. Your three year old has a killer new art table and you had a fabulous afternoon.


whipup
For some reason the code they have to load the button isn’t working, and when I try to load it through my Blogger photos to make the link, all I get is that weird little symbol where the picture is supposed to be. Hmmmmm…..so anyway, above you’ve got the picture of the button that won’t go anywhere and the plain old link below it. Suggestions? I hate when I can’t figure this stuff out. Usually buttons = no problem!

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Filed under kids, Project Spectrum, Whiplash

Growing….

I think what amazes me the most about having children are the sudden changes. For the longest time, they seem to stay the same: same games, ideas, routines, even the pants that they wear. Then all of a sudden, you wake up one morning and the pants are three inches too short and it’s a totally different child standing in front of you.

We’ve had these giant blocks now for about two years and they are a constant favorite. The play, however, has changed. When he was two, Little Man would watch us stack them up, then immediately knock them all down. We’d do this over and over. As he turned three, he started to have have ideas: “Let’s build a house!” “Let’s build a tunnel!” He’d pretty much just watch us build it, helping just a little, use it for a bit, then knock it all down. Yesterday I saw this:

Little Man’s idea; it’s a parking ramp. What’s amazing is that he built it all on his own. He didn’t ask for help, he had a specific plan, and he went for it. Even more amazing? Not only did he not knock it all down, but we had to leave it there for tomorrow. I just sat there watching him, wondering, “where on earth did this child come from? Where’s the boy who needs me to show him how, to help him figure it out?” The four year old is emerging.

The one year old is emerging too. Look who’s cruising around! I’m predicting first steps by his first birthday, as this kid is seriously on the move. You can see he’s trying to climb up the box.

Now, to keep from getting too sentimemtal and to keep up the knitting portion of this blog, I will now answer the question that you are all thinking, that the Skeptic asked when he came home from work: “What the hell is he wearing?”

I give you the close up:


We’ve been in the below zero range in Minnesota lately and we’re all about keeping warm in our drafty old house. So Knittybaby is wearing his soaker, knit in the Picky Pants pattern from Little Turtle Knits, in their hand dyed yarn. To complete the look he’s got on his Babylegs to keep those little legs nice and toasty. He actually wears pants over the whole ensemble but he mucked them up a bit. I have to say, this outfit cracks me up. Love it.

It’s going to be birthday season for the Knittyfamily soon. Four birthdays in five weeks. With that will come the new improved blog, contests, and prizes. Oh yeah people, big plans are brewing, I’d say! It’s getting time to celebrate.

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