Thursday, March 30, 2006

G is for Goggles!

LaLa is really into all sorts of fancy eyewear these days. She's been wearing shades to school for the last two weeks. And she picked these up from someplace in her room (they used to belong to the monkey) and wore them in the bath last night. She has trouble getting that the phone doesn't take "action shots". Gosh. She's going to grow up in a world where it's normal to have phones that take pictures. That is too much for me to comprehend right now.

Here's another rare form shot: Superhero cape (recycled from the monkey's old Superman PJ's), the blue baby, and the Spiderman shades. What could be better?
My caped crusader

So...I made that yarn purchase. I ended up at (Kaleidoscope). Little Knits is one of my all time favorites - I'm still dying to try out Cascade's Eco Wool, but I just never end up buying any of it, and they have a nice selection, they've also got an excellent selection of Cascade 220 Superwash, and they've been super about special orders. Little Knits had the needles I was looking for, but I had a wandering eye in the sock yarn department. Sounds a little defensive, doesn't it? I know I'll be back at Little Knits again, probably before my husband knows it.

I ended up with 2 skeins of Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Potluck - one in Water, one in Brights. the 2 sets of Size 13 needles, 2 skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky (Roasted Coffee and "Midnight Green"), 2 skeins of Cascade 220 (granny smith and robin's egg blue), and 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces in Gold Hill. OK, after googling it and seeing it in pictures "in the wild", I'm not as sure that I'm going to like it, but we'll see.

For the Wiggles knitting tonight, I whipped up a LaLa sized mitten (sans thumb) for Dulaan. I'll post a recipe after I finish the second one. I used some acrylic from a project I wasn't happy with before - a toddler sweater that I only finished the back. I frogged the back, and I think the yarn is much happier as a little mitten. Tres Cute.

I have some actual High-Quality photos on film (of our day out with Thomas, of the Lady Eleanor blanket, and other things) that's been rolling around on the bottom of my purse, still waiting to be dropped at Walgreens. That's just how I roll. With the film slackers.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

You know what is crazy?

I'm having trouble buying yarn! I have really been trying to watch my fiber purchases lately. I've been browsing and browsing on the internets, but I haven't been able to find enough that seems "worth it" to fill up the shopping cart to get free shipping. Here's what's on my list:

  1. Size 13US - 16" circs
  2. Size 13 DPN
  3. Fabulous gormet sock yarn (2 pairs or so)
  4. Wardrobe yarn - yarn that's not specific to a project but is good "shop from the stash" yarn for when a need arises - either a whim or an occasion. For instance, I have some turquoise Cascade 220 Superwash that I just bought because I liked the color and it's a really flexible yarn. I ended up making my mom's Christmas mittens with it and now a matching scarf. IMHO, Brown Sheep (Lamb's pride worsted) and Cascade 220 generally fall into this category.

So far, Kaliedescope Yarns ( has the most potential - they have a nice selection of fancy sock yarns and good prices on the needles. However, it's $100 to get to the free shipping threshhold, so I'm not sure. JimmyBeansWool had the needles I needed and a nice selection of Lorna's laces, but I was really having trouble filling up my cart. Sacrilige, I know. Patternworks and Webs, even less of a match for me. I think I'm going to try Yarn Market and maybe KnitPicks, and if they don't pan out, go back to Kaleidoscope (such an easy word to say, such a difficult word to spell.)

The Lady Eleanor blanket is moving along. It's so pretty. Now I'm hoping it's not too girly. I might give Lady Eleanor a shot when I go back to the wrap for me. It's a fun knit, even in yarn that doesn't change color. The yarn I'm using is light colored and has a sheen and you can see the change in the grain on the different blocks pretty well. The baby will be born by April 14. We'll see if I can get it done by then.

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Monday of Mondays

[If you're here for the knitting, scroll down.] I have had the Monday of Mondays today. And it started early and ran late. LaLa didn't want to get up, so that made me run late. The Monkey forgot his house key, so even though he caught a ride with DH, I ended up going to his school to drop it off. The secretary had a little knowing smile when I said "sixth grade." Making me even later - I got to work at 9:40. At work, I couldn't get anything to "go" - we're in a big push, and I was having a lot of trouble figuring out the bug I'm working on. Had to leave early because I needed to take Josh and Amelia to the Boy Scout meeting - an awards ceremony meeting, which is a lot of fun with a 3 year old. DH was going to a parent's meeting for the Cub Scouts at the same time.

I left work at 4:45 (I hate when I don't get to stay for a "full day") and got into a fender bender on the way home. Ugh. The first thing the lady says to me is, "Where did you come from?" I was going straight, trucking along at 45 MPH. She turned onto my road from a side street - one that seriously needs a light, espcially during rush hour, and she turned right, into the far lane, basically merging into me. My side mirror left a long scrape on the left side of her mini van. She wanted to just let it go - which is what she did with a previous accident, and pointed out the dents on the right side of her van - but I made her give me her info and gave her mine. Continued on towards the expressway and headed home. There's some damage near my right front tire and my right side mirror. The car definitely needs an alignment but I don't know if most of the damage is purely cosmetic or if there's any structural issues. I was driving my Accord, which I am still paying for.

We managed to make it to the various meetings pretty close to on time, and LaLa was mostly behaved. Luckily almost everyone there has had a 3 year old at one time.

I think I'm going to console myself with some yarn purchases. I'm not sure what to do about my car, but I guess I'll deal with that in the morning.

Here is the knitting update: But first, let me say that I have 2 rolls of film in my purse ready to be developed, with some recent knitting photos on them. The Lady Eleanor baby blanket is moving right along. I'm on the fourth tier. It turns out that it's going to be about 38 inches wide, and I'm anticipating needing 10 or 11 tiers. It takes a while to get done with a "row", but when you're done, you've really made an impact.

I turned the heel on one of my pewter socks and am working on the gusset decreases. I think it's really pretty for a gray sock. I really like the feel of the yarn. It has a nice smooth sheeny feel.

I made a garter stitch scarf this weekend, probably for Dulaan. I had been thinking about the 40 days for others knit along and my bins of stash yarn. I really meant to cast on for mittens, thinking I could get a kid-sized pair of mittens done, no problem. But I saw the bulky navy blue LionBrand something or other (Might have been WoolEase Thick And Quick or similar) and used one skein for a 12-stitch wide garter stitch scarf. Fits LaLa pretty well. I figure I'll make a coordinating hat with the othe skein if I have suitably sized DPN or circs. Or I can just make another garter stitch scarf.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Saturday Adventures & Finished Objects

The FO first: I finished my stripey socks. I was a little worried about them because they seemd a little loose. Ran them through the washer, what the heck, and now they're perfect! Happy Stripey Socks that fit in my shoes. What more can I ask? So good that tonight for my Boy Scout knitting, I cast on for a new pair of socks in Lorna's Laces Pewter in basicially the same pattern - the Retro Anklets from Socks Socks Socks.

The baby blanket situation: 1. I had been working on a navy blue garter stitch baby blanket (you know, the giant dishcloth pattern) for my old neighbor's baby. She's due any time now. And you remember my twisted stitch knitting epiphany? Well, the knitting (and it was all knit all the time) was of the twisted variety, and I finally went back to it and I don't remember how to do my crazy old technique, only my crazy new technique. So I did 4 or 5 rows in the new way, and I think it's going to look like crap. I'm thinking I'm going to have to frog it, and I'm really not looking forward to it. On the plus side, I can get a buttload of hats, mittens, and scarves out of this yarn. Or I can try a top down, in the round toddler sweater.

2. I borrowed a little Vogue Knitting Baby Blankets book from the library and saw one I liked. It was an entrelac blanket, along the lines of Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style and Danica from Knitty. I ripped out the pinwheel blanket I started for my sister (which was also using my former twisted technique) and cast on Lady Eleanor to use as a baby blanket. Only instead of having 7 base triangles, I have 10. I'm about halfway through the first rectangle row. When I was about halfway through the base triangles, I realized that maybe there was a reason for having an odd number of triangles, but I think I'll be able to figure it out. I have to say that this entrelac business is just about as cool as the magic of the heel turn. Unfortunately, it's not Boy Scout knitting, but hopefully will be as soon as I get my repeat-confidence.

3. I don't think I'm going to knit a blanket for my friends who are having a baby in July.

Last Saturday we went to A Day Out with Thomas in Taveres. Which, as it turns out, is not far from Mt. Dora. It was LaLa, me, and my mom, and turned out to be lots of fun. I should have pictures next weekend.

The previous Saturday, we went on a City Bus adventure. Now, Orlando is not known for it's excellent public transportation. But, there is a bus route that runs near LaLa's school. We've been talking about the City Bus and how it's different than the school bus. LaLa has been asking for a chance to ride the bus for a while. We finally went. We drove downtown and parked in the garage across from the "big library", crossed a street or two and hopped the Lymmo - the free downtown shuttle. We took the Lymmo for the full circuit, and then went to the plaza in front of the history museum and sat near the fountain. We thought LaLa would like the fake gators, but she only did in retrospect.

Our Lymmo

Riding the bus

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

F is for Fabric

F was going to be for flannel, except I deleted the picture off of my phone. This is a potential small quilt. I think that I cut the squares out when I was pregnant. LaLa is 3 now. Tuesday, I sewed the squares into tuples containing one print square and one solid (either lavender or purple). I had this whole scheme of how I wanted the top to be, but seeing it all laid out (remember I designed this three years ago) [I just looked at the time stamps, and it was 5/31/2004], and having looked at other stuff more recently, I think I like the arrangement in the picture. When I was putting it together, I got out photoshop and put together a block and twirled it around and came up with this design. I still like it, but I'm not sure about the white blocks. DH wasn't sure about how the middle square was rotated. Frankly, I hadn't even noticed that.

The flannel story is that when I was at Joann's without LaLa, I loaded up on flannel to make pajama pants for the whole family. So far, I've got LaLa's "done" (they need a hem and to sew up the elastic, but heck, she's sleeping in them tonight), got DH's cut out, but it was getting late last night and I have to rip out and redo the crotch seam, cause it was getting really sloppy. I made my first buttonholes ever last night too. It turned out they weren't too hard. The sewing machine directions kind of suck, though. Buttonholes and zippers were things that my mom never taught me how to do - but I can sew the heck out of a "straight" line. (I use that term loosely.)

I've been spending my "free" time at work reading about quiliting lately, which has made me want to get back to that quilt top, and another one that I have in the closet. Sewing has come up a lot on my regular reads (BoogaJ just had an entry here, and Grumperina seems to be having an ongoing discussion with her sewing machine). Plus Ann and Kay have a great set of links on the sidebar. I've become a regular reader of Nashville SNB, and jumping from there to the Denyse Schmidt Modern Quilt Along. Others have been apparently putting together little quilts (they all make it look so easy) for impromptu gifts and stuff. I have serious sewing envy.

It's really hard for me to sew with a three year old on hand so much of the time. The pins, the scissors. I don't feel comfortable having these out when she is. And she has some sort of attention radar, where as soon as I get absorbed into something (a phone call, a book, etc.), then she has a crisis of some sort. My knitting in her presence is pretty much limited to garter and stockinette stitch and those patterns that are the same every row (farrow rib, etc.) It's my compromise - I still feel like I'm crafting something that I want to do, but I can sit next to her and let her lean on me and know that I'm there for her. These projects have become known as my "Wiggles knitting". Krista wrote about a similar topic recently, that really struck a chord with me.

So, in order to eek in any sewing, I've begun to treat it like precious computer lab time. I have a two hour block of time in the evenings after she goes to bed. One night, I cut out two pairs of pajama pants (the attention to detail required in setting up the pattern is pretty painstaking to me). Then last night, I sewed up the quilt tuples and 1.5 pairs of pajama pants in two hours. Now I'm at a point where I have some decisions to make and seams to rip, and I could probably cut out another pair of pajama pants (the monkey's are next, I think) before getting out the sewing machine again. Also in my sewing queue are tote bags. I picked up a lot of drapery weight fabric from the remnants bin - I think they'll make fabulous project bags.

Next time, I'll tell you guys about LaLa and the City Bus.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Things have been pretty quiet here

I've been working on my fun and stripe sock. Turned the heel and finished the gusset. On the home stretch now. I'm really happy with it so far, and would have to classify it as "nearly perfect".

I "discovered" a new author, Carl Hiaassen. I'm reading Skinny Dip, and it's very good. Normally, I only like books set in Florida in theory - I want to like them but they're too something. I think this captures the feel of South Florida, as I remember it pretty well. It's a little Miami Vice-ish, but you really do get a lot of fly-by-night operations there. I've often thought of Florida, and South Florida in particular as one of the last frontiers. I also really like the enviromental themes covered in the story.

I'm feeling better, and LaLa seems to be feeling better, now DH has the virus and a sinus infection. Isn't that the way it goes.

Monday, March 06, 2006

So, after that day of knitting I was pretty sore the next day

And it was the day of the bowling party at work. Go figure. I used my repetitive stress knitting soreness as my excuse for bowling a 50 in the first game. I did get like a 102 or so on the second game. I was in 3rd place out of 5 for our lame lane.

Still, the knitting trooper that I am, I managed to crank out the second mitten and get to the heel of the sock. I'm about halfway through the heel flap. The pattern I'm using is loosely based on "Retro Anklets" from Socks Socks Socks.

I started a scarf for my mom. It's cascade 220 superwash in a really vibrant turquoise (DH's scarf, I put through the washer and man is it soft.) I decided to go with a reversible cabled scarf pattern. This one(it's a PDF) (Here's her blog.) I loved the squishyness of it. And reversiable cables. What's not to love? Again, I had to try a bunch of things though to get to the point where I could commit to the pattern. I tried the cabled scarf pattern (well, 2 or 3 rows of it) but thought 48 stitches was way the heck too wide. I tried it with 32 stitches and once I got past the first cable, I could see the merits of 48 stitches. The cable scrunches it up something fierce. Then I tried sand stitch. But you really can't see the stitches that well, other than the gleam of stockinette. So, I went back to the original pattern with the original number of stitches. I think it'll be gorgeous.

I'm trying to shake off a cold, and I'm tired, so I'm going to retire. Maybe I can get a head start on tomorrow. My goodness. I just went on a search for the color of the Cascade Superwash I'm using and ended up at Little Knits. She's got it on sale for $7.50. I didn't froogle it or anything, but that seems like a darn good price. Lots of pretty colors to choose from too. It seems like good "wardrobe" yarn to have on hand, especially if you have it in colors that coordinate. Hmmm.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

A day home with a sick LaLa is a productive knitting day indeed

LaLa was up last night with a fever again. Day 6 of the antibiotics. We went to the doctor to check it out - on the good side, her ears were clear, on the less good side, it's probably a virus and the fever should be gone in 3-5 days. DH is home with her tomorrow. That's really going to put a cramp on my knitting.

You remember those last couple of posts. Remember how I was going to start those mittens next. Yeah. Well, I had an hour to knit last night and I frogged the old pewter socks and cast on for some wild and crazy striped socks for me. Colorful Cathy, remember? Today I really enjoyed working on them too. I got through the cuff and started on a plain stockinette calf. Not sure how tall the socks will be. We tend to be a little wierd about socks in Florida. Taller than footies, not all the way up to the curvy part of my calf. We might call them ankle socks.

Also today, after looking at the cuff of the sock and the calf part, I felt pretty guilty. Cause, you know, that's what knitting the mitten would be like if I had started it. It took noticing that several times today before I actually cast on for the mitten. Took about 3 tries to cast on. First with 36 stitches (too many), then with 30 stitches (just right) and 2x2 ribbing (um. Math Minor. 30/4 = 7.5. It took me a while to figure out why I couldn't get it to end on a purl-2. I kept thinking, "But I have the same number of stitches on each needle!" Then I realized I only had three needles, not four. ) Third try with 30 stitches and a k3p2 rib, which I like quite a bit. In fact, I think it's my favorite feature of the mitten. One of my other favorite features is that I have the first one almost done - I'm on the decreases on the top and it needs a thumb.

I hope my aunt's hands are a little narrower than mine - when I try them on, it takes what I'd have to call, quite a bit of negative ease. I know that they are about a knuckle length shorter, so I'm hoping it's proportional. The yarn color is a little dreary to me - I hope it turns out to be OK. LaLa doesn't like it, but I think she has colorful tendancies. Her favorite yarn is pink LionBrand FancyFur.
In contrast, Here is a photo of the sock in progress and the mitten, nearly complete.
And this is a pretty good representation of the yarn color in "real" life (i.e. taken on a real digital camera and not my phone.)