Monthly Archives: August 2007

Flood Relief Contest

 

I’m sure most of you have heard about the devastating floods that have taken place in Southeastern Minnesota and Southwestern Wisconsin by now. There has been terrible loss of life and property, but one group that has been hit especially hard are the organic farmers of the region. This is a fertile area, and home to a rich organic farming community. I ‘ve recently learned that Wisconsin is second only to California in the number of organic farms.

You can read about the heartbreaking damage to a few of our local farms here. Our own CSA, Harmony Valley Farm, was hit terribly hard as were many, many more. This is an agonizing loss for these farmers. Not only have they lost their crops but they have suffered erosion and equipment damage, and have had to lay off workers as well. While most farms are hoping to make it through the damage there are also many who have an uncertain future.

Organic farming has long been near and dear to our hearts. We sincerely believe that when it comes to our the health of both our environment and our bodies, organic farmers are the folks who will truly make a difference in our future. The farmers in our region put their heart and soul into everything they do, often just scraping by to provide us all with delicious, healthy food. They are leaders in organics, teaching and inspiring others around the country.

When I first got an e-mail from Harmony Valley about their incredible losses, my heart broke for them. Once I began to find out about the losses around our region, I felt helpless but unsure of what to do. But then I saw that Sow the Seeds is doing a fundraiser, and then I thought, “The knitters! The knitters will help!” And so here I am, with both a contest and a plea for you all to help our organic farmers.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Make a donation to Sow the Seeds. You can donate online or send a check. If you are in the region you can can also donate at your local co-op. Donate $5 or $100, any amount will help!!
2. Send me an e-mail (knittymama AT yahoo DOT com) letting me know your donation amount so we can keep track of how much we knitters are collecting for the farmers.

3. Create a link on your blog to this flood relief contest so we can let others know about the need for help.

4. If you do the above three steps, you will, of course, be entered in a random drawing for yarn. (You knew there was yarn coming, didn’t you?)

The winner will have a choice of:

Some beautiful Fleece Artist DSC03724

or Spunky Eclectic Tough Sock (this one is her Yarn of the Month club selection for August, you can’t buy it!)

DSC03723

Edited to add: Be sure to check this post  for additional prizes!

I’ll run this Knitters without Borders style, on your honor. (I trust you knitters.) The contest will remain open until September 29th. On October first, I’ll randomly draw a winner from all of those who donated.

Thank you so much. I’m excited to see how much we can raise this month! Now go and spread the love, people.

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So lately I’ve been enjoying Dottycookie, a fun blog of all sorts of crafty goodness over in the UK. She was sweet enough to nominate me for an award, or actually my choice of three of them. I received the Rockin’ Girl Blogger from my SP10 pal Marsha, so I’ll pass on the other two  awards to some of my other favorite people of there.

The first one is the Nice Matters award; this was started by Bella Enchanted who says:

“This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world! ”

nicematters2.jpg

Next up is The Power of Schmooze. This one is “to reward bloggers who not only blog but also participate in a conversation with other bloggers, creating new communities.”

schmooze_award.gif

I’m so pleased that Val thought of me for these! One thing I love about blogging is the friendship and community that comes along with it. It try hard to leave comments on the blogs I read and respond to those who comment on my blog as much as I possibly can.

So now I get to pass them on to seven other people who do the same thing. So many of you are generous in your comments, your responses and your time that I could make a huge list.  But then I’d be here all night and I do want to go and knit. So, here are seven lovely bloggers who always seem to take the time:

Renee at A Good Yarn

Jess at Mikknit 

Chris at Stumbling Over Chaos

Marsha at First Things First

Jennifer at Craftlilly

Alisha at Tales from a Self Taught Knitter

Harriet at Limedragon

Heide at Serendipitous Opportuknitty

Okay gals, go and share the love!!!

Next post : Flood fundraising contest coming up. I just need to take pictures of the prize yarn!


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Filed under Blogroll, random

Poor Skeptic

Oh dear, I hope I didn’t paint my poor Skeptic in too negative of a light. He really is a sweetheart and his skepticisms are always said kindly; he just can’t help himself. He comes from a community of Central Wisconsin farmers who are, shall we say, practical people. If you’ve ever listened to Lake Wobegon you’ll know what I mean. The accent is a little different but that practical nature is the same. They are genetically coded to notice the one thing that might need some improvement before they notice anything else. The noticing does drive me a little nuts, the fact that he is right quite often drives me even more nuts. Case in point:

1. The bag, as gorgeous as it is, has straps that are too narrow. When I made the bag I originally screwed up the measurement. Being too lazy to re-cut I just thought “Cute! Skinny straps!” and sewed them on.

If the Skeptic had been making the bag he would have thought, “Hmmm, skinny straps on a very large bag would equal uneven weight distribution, cutting off all circulation on my shoulders when the bag is crammed full of junk. I’d better re-cut.”

So now, I’ve been dragging a large heavy bag full of stuff around that keeps digging into my shoulders. And, at least three other people have said to me, “Cute bag. Wow, those are some thin straps. Do they hold all that?”

2. The socks, which he complained were too pointy in the heel and felt too big, were ripped back just past the heel, knit one more time and now fit him perfectly. And, I will be victorious when the garter-stitch rib does not fall down. (Ironically, we were having this debate while his coveted Eddie Bauer socks were sagging near his ankles). As soon as he is not working a bizzilion hours a day I will have non-sagging shot for all to admire.

Anyway, my whole point in this story is that I hope I didn’t sound angry with him. Yup, he can drive me a bit crazy but I think all husbands/wives/partners are capable of that. And the bottom line is that he is the reason I usually do quality work. I tend to get sick of something, want it done, and might not bother to fix the minor mistakes. Then I get mad at myself later when I’m unhappy with it. So when I hear him start to say, “Hmmm….” I tend to give him a listen.

And on the other side of it, I am the reason that things do get done around here. My get busy attitude keeps him moving when he tends to spend too much time thinking about something. He will spend weeks agonizing about some little detail if I don’t step in and get him moving. Bottom line is we compliment each other perfectly, which is the way it should be, right? 🙂

Anyway, enough rambling about the Skeptic and I, although this does make me wonder now, what kind of knitter are you? Do you ponder through heavily detailed, washed and blocked swatches? Do you fix every detail? Do you just jump right in and hope it works out in the end? A little of both perhaps? And do you have someone who keeps you balanced, maybe when you’re freaking out about the 1/16 of an inch difference in swatches, or when you’re insisting that your sweater really isn’t too tight?

Lastly, so this isn’t too word heavy, photos of my recently completed apron.

Calavacas 1

Calavacas 2

And the conditions in which I worked:

Working conditions

I rarely sew in the presence of my boys, as you can see it’s not the ideal set-up. But my mom was here and I was desperate to get this done. Note Little Man’s rockin’ hairdo. He is quite into his long hair, but I do think it’s time for a trim…

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Filed under family

Randomness

Loved all your comments on the knitter conversation. I’m still trying to decide which one of you is right. I’m betting that she has an acrylic garter stitch scarf full of holes in her knitting bag and she was afraid I would see it! As long as she doesn’t think I’m a weirdo who looks in people’s cars I’m OK with whatever knitting sphere she dwells in.

My mom has been visiting us all week, which has been a lot of fun an a blessed relief from some of the more mundane parts of the week. It is so, so nice to cook supper without two children screaming at my feet the entire time. Instead they’ve been busy playing and I’ve had a chance to chill. In fact, my mom is upstairs and putting Little Man to bed right now. Thank you Mom!!!!

I finished up my anklets and one of the Embossed Leaves socks. I got back to work on the Skeptic socks and turned quite a nice short row heel. (Told you I would master that one soon.) He tried it on and the conversation went something like this:

Skeptic: It’s too baggy in the toe.

Me: No, it’s perfect.

Skeptic: I told you not to knit me socks. They aren’t gonna fit.

Me: Yes they are. These will be the best socks ever and you will beg me to make more of them for you.

Skeptic: They’re going to fall down.

Me: No they won’t, they are RIBBED!!!!

How can I possibly live with a person like this? And more so, WHY am I knitting him socks?

And since we’re on the topic of the Skeptic, here is a bag that I sewed at a Textile Center class last week:

lined bag 2

I love this bag. See the lining? Yes, it is lined. I lined a bag…very exciting stuff here.  I got home and the Skeptic said, “Looks like those straps might break.  Oh, honey, but it is really nice… really… seriously… it’s very very nice. I’m sure your straps are just fine.”

Do you all see why he has this nickname now? But I do love him dearly. His glass half empty approach balances out my  glass  overflowing approach to life. Isn’t it funny how people match up like that?

Well, my mom is down, the boys are asleep and it’s time for a movie. One last random thing. (This is a very blabby post). Did anone read the old school/new school articles on the lastest Vogue? What did you think? I’m curious.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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Filed under knitting, socks

I’m a Knitting Stalker

So Little Man was at day camp last week. Its at the same place he has pre-school, but his usual crowd wasn’t there, it was all new kids. This of course means new moms. There was a very friendly mom who’s daughter was really liking Little Man and kept calling him her new best friend. The the mom and I chit-chatted quite a bit over the week during the drop off/pick-up times and all was well. Then I saw the needles.

I honestly was only walking past her car when I noticed the two giant (I’m talking green 14 inch aluminum here) needles sticking up out of a bag on her front seat.  This was great: another knitting obsessed mom! I mean, anyone who has knitting needles just sitting there in a bag, poised for action much be as obsessive as me, right?

So the next day after we dropped off the kids and were heading back to the parking lot, I casually mentioned, “I noticed you’ve got knitting needles in you car…are you a knitter?” This is where I expected the “Oh, yes!!! Are you a knitter too?” Then we would have the exciting knitting conversation and it would be fun.

Instead I got this: “Oh…yeah…I knit.” Then nothing.

I replied that I knit too, and asked her if she had a knitting group (thinking I’d invite her to SnB). She replied that yes, she did, and well, it was only three people and they only met once a month. She then said they were always looking for more people and invited me, but was really weird about the whole conversation, not her usual chatty self. I mentioned my group and that she’d be welcome to come anytime as well, and that was that. See ya’ later.

The whole conversation was just weird and awkward and then I realized there are three possibilities.
1. She’s really just not that into knitting and my enthusiasm for it is just too enthusiastic.

2. She thinks I’m a weirdo who was standing there looking in her car. (I swear, I seriously just walked by a noticed them. She was parked right next to me!! I do not make a habit of walking around parking lots looking in people’s cars. I mean, this is Minneapolis, you’ll get arrested for that here, right?)

3. Both.

And with that, I’ll leave you to ponder it all. The Skeptic is waiting with coffee.

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Progress

So I’m finally on the toe of the Embossed Leaves sock. I’m happy to report that I actually had three nights in a row to knit, three nights!!!! Amazing that all kids were asleep without a fuss by 8pm. Life is good.

I was slightly disappointed Friday night however to discover that this pattern does not use the short row heel but a heel flap. I was ready to tackle it but oh well, another night, another sock.

Here’s a shocking photo. You may all gasp at the danger in this picture:

baby attacks sock

It was a close call but no knitting was damaged.

This is much better:

embossed leaves

And a close up:

embossed leaves close up

I”m not sure how the lace is working with this yarn. I love this yarn so very much, but I’m on the fence as to whether it works with the lace pattern. Either way I’m keeping it, no ripping for me thanks but I’d still love opinions.

I got some sewing done too but I’ll leave that for another post. We’ve got a world record to go and break this morning.

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WIP Update

No pictures, as nothing is that exciting to look at quite yet but….

-the silk lace scarf just needs fringe and blocking, can’t wait to show it off!!

-the boring but practical anklets are only needing one more toe.

-the Embossed Leaves socks are up to the first heel. This is my second attempt at a short row heel. The first pair I made using this technique was a bit holey, wish me luck!

I’m determined to master that heel while watching Miss Marple tonight. I’ve told the Skeptic he’s got bedtime with Knittybaby and I’ve informed Little Man I’m off duty at 8pm and he needs to stay in bed. Think it will work?

Thanks for all your well-wishes, prayers and thoughts sent here to Minneapolis. It’s nice to know that despite this tragedy there is so much positive energy being sent our way. We all really appreciate it.

Have a lovely, safe and peaceful weekend everyone.

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Filed under random