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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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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Happy Birthday Little Man!!!

My beautiful, sweet little boy turned four yesterday….four!!! I can barely believe this. This little person, who four years ago was just this tiny little baby in our arms has grown into a sweet, spirited, amazing little boy who delights in everything he sees and does. We are so blessed to have him as our son; everyday he says or does something that completely fills us with joy.

Of course, there was cake:

Cake

It’s supposed to be a monkey. A cake decorator I’m not, but it tasted really good. No cake from a box here folks. We’re talking from scratch with buttercream frosting. Little Man was quite thrilled despite the goofy monkey.

There were gifts:
Sir Little Man


Little Man received a full-fledged knight’s costume. The helment and shield were purchased at Peapods. The tunic and soft sword were made by the Skeptic and myself:
Knight’s costume
I wish I had thought to put together a tutorial on this, especially for the sword. We decided to make a soft sword as he is not quite ready for a wooden one. The Skeptic took some hard foam and cut it, glued it, and reinforced the handle with a bit of wood. I sewed four pieces of fabric to slide over the blade and handle. We sewed it all together in the middle of the handle with a patch, then tied twine over the patched area. It turned out great and no one can get hurt if he gets a bit too wild with it! The tunic just goes over his head and ties around the back. I copied the applique from a cape that he has.
The whole birthday was wonderful, with friends and family helping us celebrate. Happy birthday, my dear little boy!!

Today we celebrated Easter. There were beautiful flowers courtesy of my brother and his girlfriend:

Flowers

The Easter bunny hid eggs in all sorts of places:

Hidden Egg

Knittybaby was too sleepy to help (he’d been working hard all weekend trying to walk back and forth between relatives), but Little Man managed to find all twelve with the help of his uncle:

Eggs

My brother’s girlfriend gave me the lovliest birthday present. She made them herself, aren’t they gorgeous? I just love them:

Earrings

And my Grandmother had her first spinning lesson:

Spinning lesson

It was an absolutely perfect weekend.

This makes three birthdays down, one to go! You’ve still got one week to get your contest entry in!

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The Harlot in the Cities

The Harlot finally had the chance to get some knitterly love in the Twin Cities on Wednesday night, and I got to have a fun night out.

The event was over in St. Paul and was hosted by The Yarnery, who did an excellent job. There were well over 400 knitters there.

Harlot speaking

I went with Mama Grouch, Catherine, and Gwenyth and also ran into April, who I hadn’t seen since a spinning class a couple of years ago. We all sat down in a sea of knitters and then proceeded to laugh ourselves crazy for the next hour. She spoke a lot about the stereotypes of knitting and said one thing that really spoke to me, about how in the last hundred years our society has changed how we value our time and handmade goods. To paraphrase, she said that a hundred years ago(and through most of human existance) it was considered a waste of time and money to buy something you could make. Now, thanks to our overly commercial society, it’s considered a waste of time to make something you can buy. I wish I had more time to write about this…maybe another day when I’m not trying to squeeze in a blog posting.

Afterwards we stood in line and had to chance to chat with Chris and Christy and I got a cute shot of them both:Bloggers!
I also had the chance to meet Renee and got to chat with Shelly as well. All in all it was a very festive line! I waved at Jess but missed the chance to chat with her, bummer!

While standing in line April and I realized we had both brought our soakers, an “endangered species of knitting” as Stephanie calls them in her book. Stephanie was excited to see them, and we both got a great picture with her, her sock, and our soakers:

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Yup, that’s my completed raglan and Knittybaby’s completed soaker. More on those another day, I swear! Little Man just said, “Hey mom, there’s the Yarn Harlot! Make her bigger!”)

After that five of us headed over to the Bonfire Grill. We were dissapointed that there weren’t more knitters there, but apparently they were having communication problems and told other knitters there wasn’t anyone there, or something weird like that. Anyway, we had an awesome time:dsc02766.jpg

See that giant beer? Apparently I don’t know my ounces very well. I wanted a pint.

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Beer with sock for proportion.

I’m guessing it was a pint and a half, which is a lot for me nowdays. But I said what the heck and enjoyed almost the whole thing. Which might be the reason I was talking a mile a minute to Chris and Christy when I ran into them again while getting ready to leave. I promise I don’t usually yammer quite that much, although we did have a great chat about getting the local bloggers together sometime soon.

Little Man is requesting my presence, gotta run. Have a great weekend!

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Pictures

Thanks for everyone’s sweet comments. Hope I didn’t sound like a whiner. I did get to relax and we have had some better days, although the boys are still being a challenge. The weather is one of the biggest problems. Little Man just needs to get outside, and the weather is not cooperating. We had snow today of all things….cruel, cruel, cruel!

Knittybaby’s bear doesn’t care. He has arms, legs and ears now, so nothing else can get him in a bad mood:
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Pattern: Bedfellows Bear, from “Stitch and Bitch Crochet.”

Guage: no idea

Yarn: Wool of the Andes, Lamb’s Pride Bulky, Cascade’s super bulky stuff (the name escapes me now).

Notes: my first crochet project, ever! I’m quite proud, despite the excessively long legs and arms. He’s still cute and Knittybaby digs him.

Next: My birthday gift from the Skeptic and the boys. Carders!!!

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I’m so thrilled about these. I need to put them together yet and then I’ll get back to that crazy mixed bag of colors I’ve got to spin up.

SP10 came through with an awesome birthday package!

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These were just half the packages. Everything was so cute and wrapped so nicely with little notes. Once I opened it all up, I had this:
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Chocolate, coffee, candy, one of my favorite yarns, and a notebook. Can I be more lucky? (Notice the little hand reaching for that bunny?) The coffee is so good, and perfect for a rainy, dreary week like this has been. And of course chocolate is always a great pick-me-up.

Thank you to my SP10!!! You really added some smiles to our house that day!

Next up, Little Man’s birthday. There’s a reason I’m still up this hour of the night! I’ve got until Saturday to get this done.
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Hope to see all of you locals at the Harlot tomorrow!

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Filed under crochet, finished objects, packages, sewing