Monthly Archives: April 2007

I Dig Toronto

What can I say? Toronto is, of course, great. The past two nights after I was done with my conference sessions, I just walked, and walked and walked. One of the things I love about living in Minneapolis is how you can just walk for miles and never run out of things to see and do, but I never really do that anymore since I always have the boys with me. While we walk back home, it’s never the “wandering, stop in wherever you want” kind.

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So that’s what I’ve been doing. Meandering, stopping, browsing, all over the city. Heck, I even shopped. I found Lush, which I’ve been eyeing online but never ordered and got some nice treats there. I’ve mostly been wandering through the Fashion District, I think it’s called. Interesting people and places. Tons of crazy fabric shops, independent clothing designers, and unique people and places to eat. A posh shop with $200 dresses right next to a run down used book store with dusty old knicknacks in the window. All the things I love about a city, and I actually have some time to enjoy it.

I even bought clothes for myself. I found a lovely boutique called The Fresh Collective which is full of hand made clothing that is so incredibly cute, stuff I hope to learn to make myself someday. I bought a silkscreened hoodie from Cathy Peng and a lovely jacket from The Candi Factory. I even bought myself a newsboy hat since I forgot my hat and it’s chilly here. I can’t decide if I look really cute in it or really goofy, but at least it’s warm. Sorry, no picture of me in the hat!

Of course, there is yarn. I made it to Romni Wools today.

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The place is flippin’ huge, that’s all I can say. Just about every yarn in existence is here, in a billion stacked up bins all over the place, in every nook and cranny. I stuck to my “only buy yarn I can’t get at home rule and bought some Fleece Artist, laceweight and a silk/wool blend. Pics later as my batteries are dead.

Tomorrow I will head over to Lettuce Knit and wander some more around Kensington and Chinatown. Tonight, I have a date with the Swallowtail shawl.

Finally, a picture for Little Man and Knittybaby, who as of last night’s phone call were enjoying pizza and staying up late with the Skeptic, Grandma and Grandpa. I miss them terribly but as I figured, they’re all just fine without Mommy for a few days.

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Cows and a piano stuck to a building:-) I need to get a better, non blurry one tomorrow.

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Cover your eyes…

…if you are easily made jealous. Insane amount of stash enhancement ahead.

But first, thanks for all the love on the sweater set. I’m still trying to respond to all the comments, but I’m so behind from the Coffee Swap madness (madness in a good way, that is:-) These knitters love their coffee! I actually managed to match up 114 people and and send out their partners in two days. Yes, I know I totally rock. Or I’m just a little too crazy. Not sure which one yet.

Before I get to the pictures, are you ready for my major excitement? I’m off to Toronto in two days for an educators’ conference. Three nights, four days all by myself in a knitting mecca of a city. I’m excited but also upset about leaving my boys. I know they’ll be fine with the Skeptic, he has a very tight bond with both boys, but I’m really having a hard time with the idea of leaving them. How I can be so excited to go yet so not want to go at the same time is beyond me, although I’m sure all you moms understand.

So then,  who’s got great suggeestions for places I should hit while I’m there, so I can keep busy and have some fun. Yarn shops? Fabirc shops? Good food? Anything else not to miss? I’m staying right downtown. I don’t have tons of free time but I do have a decent size chunk of it.

On to the pictures:

Yarnover haul (small, ’cause I’m going to Toronto!!!:-)

Shepherd’s Choice sock yarn:

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Peace Fleece, meant for swatching for a possible sweater for the Skeptic

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Spunky Eclectic sock of the month club:

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Now, really cover your eyes if you need to. Remember the contest I won? The sock yarn for FIFTEEN PAIRS of socks? Here is it:

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And more:

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And more:dsc02906.jpg

You can get the whole link-o-rama for the yarns at April’s blog, as well as her motive for such an incredible contest. I am so totally floored at her generosity and thankful for such a beautiful prize! Thanks, April:-) I’m not even sure what to start with!

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Filed under contests, giving, stash

Catching Up

I have so much to post about, I’m not even sure where to start. Knittybaby has decided it’s okay to sleep on his own again. He’s still not quite %100, but at least he wants to play again and get back to normal baby business. He just needs extra cuddling and sling time.

Between Knittybaby’s virus and the swap I’m way behind, so I’m actually backing all the way up to last weekend. I have something I absolutely love to show off!

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I finished the garter stitch baby sweater! This sweater and accompanying bonnet went to my sister-in-law for her baby shower last weekend. I was right up to the wire with the bonnet. Thank goodness she’s not a knitter, as I actually spent last Friday knitting it right in front of her. When my otherSIL asked me what it was I answered, “a purse.” Sneaky me!

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I am in love with this project.

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Patterns: Garter Stitch Baby Jacket from The Baby Knits Book by Debbie Bliss. The bonnet is a free pattern from Hello Yarn.

Yarn: Rowan Soft Baby in Meadow and Claudia Handpaints in Bearded Iris.

I’m pretty happy with the Soft Baby. It feels a lot like knitting with fleece, and the only thing I don’t like about it is that it has that fleecy tendency to pick up every piece of lint and cat hair in a mile radius. Other than that it is a nice baby yarn. The Claudia? Butter.
The pattern for the sweater was easy, but I didn’t like the unfinished look it seemed to have, plus the Soft Baby was crying for some contrast. I also felt that the sweater needed more width in the front. When I went to button it as is, I didn’t like the way it pulled in the front. The crocheted button band allivated that problem, plus I love the look of it.

The bonnet is an excellent basic pattern. I changed the I-cord ties to a side tie with buttons. I think I sewed them on a little too close together.

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I’m happy to say the ensemble got “oohs” at the shower and my SIL seemed to love it.

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The rest of the weekend was wonderful. We spent Sunday down by the creek with the boys on a perfect Spring day. We spent a lot of time just wandering, wondering if we really could ever be farm people. I could go on for pages about this issue…I guess I’ll save that dilemma for another day. I think the bottom line is that no matter where we lived we’d miss what was elsewhere…

Little Man had an exciting discovery, however. I wish I had the camera with us. He and the Skeptic found an entire beaver skeleton buried in the muck along the edge of the creek, pretty much fully intact. I had to get over my “ish” factor but Little Man was so enthralled. I love watching him in moments like these. The best part was we also found where the beaver had been chewing the trees and found quite a few stumps. What an amazing lesson and a wonderful day.

One last thing, since I’m on the topic of wonderful things. Then I’m calling it a night. In my rush to get Little Man to pre-school on Thursday, I left my purse on top of the car and drove off. Smart, I know. In what can only be called our “transistional” neighborhood, I figured it was gone for good. Nope!! Some lovely man found it, called me up and delivered it to my house. Every penny, every check, my phone, all still there. This so restored my faith in my neighborhood and the people in it. I get a little frustrated with the goings-on at times. But here’s a guy, who (I’m only guessing) probably could have used what was in that purse more than me. I wish I could send him something but he would only give me his name. Anyway, thank you Feliciano!!! You made my day. I only wish you were reading this to know how much I appreciated your kindness.

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Filed under finished objects, kids

Sleepy

After three and a half days, I think his fever has finally broken, poor baby. He’s snoring in my lap right now. I’ve never had a kid be this sick for this long. Your heart just goes out to them…
Sleepy

My lovely baby sling? Full of puke. I’ve actually discovered the only down side to the baby sling in four years of using one. When your baby goes into full on exorcist-style puking while in the sling, you’re pretty much out of luck. You’re not getting that baby out in time. Prepare for a good drenching.

Thanks for all the sweet comments!!

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And the winners are….

 Thanks so much for Knittybaby’s get well wishes! He’s no better or worse. Still has a fever of about 102F and is fine as long as he’s on someone’s lap or sleeping next to him. So tonight we’re back to non-stop nursing in the rocker with the laptop on the end table. Thank goodness I’m an excellent one-handed typer!

I finished the Knitting Circle last night. Really, a wonderful, wonderful book. There’s a little bit of the “eclectic group of knitters bonded through knitting!” stuff that appears in many of the knitting fiction books out there, but the writing rises above it and there is no cheesiness whatsoever. Can I just recommend you not read it when your kid is coming down with some unknown feverish bug? This is a serious tear-jerker as it is. I have never bawled so many times while reading a book. But it was worth it. Now go hug your kids.
Okay, on to our winners! The first two receive needle cases, the third yarn.
And the random number gererator says:
1 Set of 3 Unique Numbers Per Set
Range: From 1 to 63Unsorted

Set #1: 51, 37, 42

Comment #51 was left by Tiphanie!!!  You win a needle roll….

Comment #37 was left by Anne! Another needle roll….

Comment #42 was left by Tammy!! You’ve got some Gale Woods yarn coming….

E-mail me at knittymama AT yahoo DOT com with your snail mail, three favorite colors, and if you won a needle case, what style you’d like (regular double points, mini sock needle roll, hmmm….I bet I could even make one for circs). I’ll get to the sewing this weekend and get all packages sent out in a week.
Congrats to the winners! And thanks to everyone who entered. I’ve enjoyed getting to know some new blogs and reading all of your birthday stories.

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Filed under books, contests, kids

Contest Delay…

Poor Knittybaby is sick. He was so tired when I got home from work, I thought he was just worn out from the weekend back at my in-law’s farm. But since I’ve put him to bed tonight he’s been awake about every fifteen minutes. I’ve been lying with him as he sleeps, reading “The Knitting Circle” and sneaking away for a couple minutes here and there to get a few things done until he wakes up again. The last time I went in to get him back to sleep he was running a fever. He goes right back to sleep as soon as I snuggle up next to him.

I’ll get to the contest when he is feeling better. Thanks again for all the lovely birthday wishes!!!

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Mark Your Calendars!!

Many of you have been eagerly awaiting the second round of the Knitters’ Coffee Swap. I’m happy to announce that it will open for sign-ups on April 16th. You can find all the info here.

Our birthday extravaganza contest is coming to an end this weekend on the Skeptic’s birthday. Be sure to get your entry in by this Sunday the 15th. I’ll pick three winners randomly on the 16th and prizes will be sent out later in the week. If you win a needle roll, you’ll get to pick your favorite colors and I’ll sew it up for you.

I promised a finished object and here it is, Knittybaby’s latest soaker, in Project Spectrum colors for February/March:
Soaker

Pattern: free soaker pattern from Curlypurly.

Yarn: Little Turtle Knits handpainted.

Needles: size 8

Guage: Knittybaby is asleep in his soaker as we speak, so needless to say I’m not checking. We’ll just say it matched the pattern’s requirements.

Notes: I love this pattern! No elastic or ties to mess with. Fits snugly and not too bulky. If you’ve read the Harlot’s latest book you’ll notice she sadly calls soakers an endangered species of knitting. So I’m trying to share a little soaker/cloth diaper love here. In my little bubble here in Minneapolis most of my friends cloth diaper and many of them use soakers, but I forget that a lot of people are not that familiar with it. I could write forever about it, but I’m tired so I’ll give you a link to here and here if you want to learn more.

Okay…I will say just one quick thing. We originally decided to cloth diaper for environmental and financial reasons; we just couldn’t see wasting all that money and producing all the garbage. We thought it would be a hassel and something that we’d begrudgingly do because we should, but….I can actually say now that we love our cloth diapers. They are really the easiest loads of laundry to do and they really do seem more comfortable for the boys. Plus, they are so, so cute. I really encourage people to give it a try!

Lastly, the excitement of the day: Knittybaby is walking! I absolutely love those first shaky, hesitant steps and the pride on his face when he realizes what he is doing.

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Filed under contests, Project Spectrum, swaps