Monthly Archives: March 2010

Spring Break

It’s for exploring the river with Grandma and Grandpa.

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For watching trains.

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For tiring out.
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And yes, because it’s the Midwest, checking out a giant (world’s biggest?) sunfish.
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Filed under kids, outside

The Egg

I had an assignment to complete today.

Weeks ago I signed up for Camilla and Caroline’s photography workshop. As much as I love blogging, my lack of photographic knowledge often leaves me wanting to know more. I admire both these ladies’ photos and was sure they’d have much to offer.

Our first assignment: framing an egg. In a nutshell, we were to take photos of a white egg on a white and black background, then feel free to explore a bit.

I was at my parents house today, so when they took the boys out for a walk I took advantage of the quiet. My favorite images I came up with:

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I was amazed at how the color of the egg changed just by the background and the lighting. It was fun to just play around with something simple, just to take a photo and see what happened. To see what the light did, how the shadows played against it, how one little movement made such a change.

I learned that I won’t become a better photographer until I take the time to really learn what my camera does. I didn’t have the manual with me, so once again I was just experimenting without knowing what I was really doing. For the next assignment I’d like to take the time to read through my camera manual, as well as pay better attention to my choice in settings and the results that I get.

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Filed under Photography

Four

A very special little boy turned four yesterday.

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He is my sunshine child, full of sweetness, light and joy. He is the boy who everyday tells me, “You are my mama.” “I just want you.” “I just love you.” And he asks me to marry him at least once a month….

Such a sweet boy deserves a sweet gift, so his mama stayed up very, very late this past week to finish up Spaceboy and his Rocket to Dreamland. A big deal because first of all, this mama does not usually enjoy “fiddly” projects like toys and the birthday boy kept waking up every night and wanted to “just sleep with youuuuuu.” But I must say I’m really proud of these and they were well loved by the birthday boy.

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Happy Birthday Knittykid! You bring us so much joy every single day. I can’t wait to see what you do next!!

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Filed under finished objects, giving, sewing

About Hats, Part Two

Yes, I was still without a hat. And suddenly it hit me. After all that searching I had a pattern, and yarn, in the right color just waiting for me in my closet. A week of knitting and I had this:

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Here you see the Argyle Lace Hat from Boutique Knits.  An easy knit, enough stockinette to be mostly mindless with just enough of a lace pattern to keep it interesting. So easy, that I forgot to decrease on time and started the decreases too late. So the shaping on top is a little different but I still like it.

This hat reminded me of how nice it is sometimes to just use the yarn called for in the pattern. No gauge issues, no running out of yarn, no endless swatching. Which makes me wonder, how many of you typically use the yarn called for in a pattern (or something generally similar?) With my first hat, if I had just used the suggested yarn I would have been done in two days, not two weeks. But would I have learned as much? I think there are benefits to both.

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Filed under hats, knitting

About Hats, Part One

I’ve had a bit of a hat obsession this winter. Maybe it’s because I splurged on coats in 2009, and when you own a bright blue coat and a moss green jacket, you need wonderful hats to wear with them. I had already accessorized the green jacket last fall, so once the Christmas knitting was complete it was time to move on the the blue coat, which has been crying for nearly a year now for fitting accessories.

It seems a new hat pattern appears on Ravelry about every .078 seconds that I think I must knit. But I’ve also pledged to stick to the stash, and finding the right combination was nearly impossible. My gauge was always wrong. Always. Every pattern, every combination, every yarn I tried. Nothing was working, and the stuff that would work just didn’t fit into my color vision. (When you have a bright blue coat, it does not lend itself to a lot of color options).

Then I thought I’d had it. Ripley by Ysolda Teague,  knit in my own merino/tencel handspun:
Merino/Tencel 50/50

It should have worked. My gauge was close, and I adjusted. But my goof up was that I was also very close on yardage and was afraid I’d run out, so I made it a bit smaller than I should have to save on yarn. Hats always stretch, right? Nope.

I finished and it was beautiful, but tight. It’ll stretch, I thought. I wore it around the house. I put it on and wore it on the 15 minute ride to playgroup. By the time I arrived I had decided that the hat could double as a torture device. The tencel and my tight spinning meant that the hat would not budge. It was stiff as a board and gave me a headache. This was not going to happen.

I complained bitterly to my friends, that a month had gone by and I was still hatless, sitting here with a beautiful hat and three sons, not who would even consider wearing such a girly hat.

Hours later I was still bitter as we packed up and I couldn’t wear my hat. There was no way I was ripping it, it was too pretty, there had to be someone….and then it hit me as I saw my friend’s daughter putting on a hand knit hat. My friends all had daughters! And one of them did not have a hand knit hat.

I mentioned it to my friend; both of us had been thinking the same thing. The hat was totally meant for her daughter. This is a girl after my own heart. I adore her, my boys adore her and she can keep any one of them in line at the park. Plus she loves historical dress up. And this hat, with it’s cloche style and lace edging is just meant for a sweet and spunky little girl in a cloak and a prairie dress.

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And I couldn’t be happier with the match…..

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That’s Better

Too big…
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Too small….

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Just right…

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Just please stop taking pictures, Mama….
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I learned a lot on this project:
-If I set my mind to it I can actually get through a project rather quickly.
-I am a good enough knitter that I can rip down a cable section and re-knit it back up again, all 12 rows, without having to rip out the entire project.
-Always buy an extra skein. I actually cast off the sleeves in a different orange than the Rowan Cork because I was out and the Cork is no more. I seamed up in the contrasting orange and managed to build the tassel from the trimmings of the Cork.
-If I was more mindful of my knitting, maybe I wouldn’t mess it up so much.
-Same goes with knitting while tired.

-Cables really, really should have charts.

-I need to always have two projects to rotate between, just to get a break.

-I’m ready for a sewing binge.

Details at Ravelry.

The boys were very disappointed to discover my medals were only virtual. I’m still quite pleased!

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Filed under finished objects, kids, sweaters

Made it!

I had to cut up the scraps of leftover yarn to make the tassle, the arms and hood could use maybe one more inch but this baby is DONE in time for Olympic Knitting glory!!!

I even have the late night ugly flash picture to prove it:
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Much nicer photography to commence once blocking is done and the sun is out.

I need to go to bed.

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Filed under finished objects, sweaters