Valentine..

well a few days later… Hey I maybe on time in real life or just a bit early but my blog? Yeah not so much. I love Valentine’s day.   Some of my favorite things this year:

decorating with pink, red and white,
Valentine's chandeler
Inspiration from here. Kailey and I made these together.

baking cookies or mini cupcakes
mini Valentine cupcakes
(I could stare at these all day since they are so pretty!)

just to name a few things. But my all time favorite part coming up with the cheesy sayings to put with the Valentines.

handmade Valentine's
1. Have a hand-tastic Valentine’s day!, 2. Valentine, you mold my heart <3, 3. Valentine, you blow me away!, 4. ribbon rose

Sometimes though the cheesy saying comes before the idea, or I get inspired by someone or something.
1. Was our gift to the kids teachers, school nurse and secretaries. Allysa came up with the saying. Inspired by Family Fun.
2.  A few years ago we made homemade playdough hearts for Allysa’s class exchange. This year I had a leftover mini playdoughs and had to buy another pack to have enough, but its clear that they are playdough and not food.  A’s in 1st grade and one girl thought the Christmas tree shaped crayons where something to eat.  Honestly. We made little cards that say “Valentine, you mold my heart” get it? Hehe
3. I was blog surfing and read that one mom keeps mini bubbles in her purse for those moments that the kids cant settle in the grocery store and the cashier seems to be moving incredibly slow. I don’t know  what made my mind think “Valentine, you blow me away!” *snicker* and that’s how B’s Valentine’s came about.
4. Corra’s in middle school now and they don’t have a class exchange like they do in grade school, (instead I sent her to school with a bag of mini candy bars). She made this ribbon rose by herself, from start to finish. She said she saw some ribbon roses out while she was shopping with her step mom and thought “I can make that!” (Which totally makes me happy!) She used a stick for a stem and is very happy with how it turned out. (me too!)

My favorite thing? When Corra said to me “I love that we make our own Valentines, I don’t like the ones that you get at the store where all you do is stick a sticker on it and say your done. These are so much more special.” That tween can be so insightful sometimes. *sigh*

PS. Damned baby blanket is done. Ok almost done, all the ends are woven in but they need to be tacked down. I need to get cracking on it since we are going up there next week.
PPS. You can thank me for this glorious Spring weather that’s been blessing the East coast. I started Aidez last week and nothing guarantees an early Spring like starting a bulky sweater now does it?
PPPS GS cookies come in this Sat and you can bet that’s going to take up the bulk of my week. B’s pine car (or is it pine wood? I always get it mixed up) derby is this Sat too.
PPPPS Allysa’s been home sick today and yesterday with a stomach bug, she seems much much better today but hopefully this won’t go through the house since tomorrow is so ridiculously crazy.

A story for you,

There hasn’t been much knitting, my finger is much better now that the stitches have been out for a while and I can bend my finger all the way down.  I’ve been working on the border of the baby blanket for my grand niece. The blanket that my sister bought the kit for, that my mother knit the body of and then begged me to knit the border. Why? Because the border is garter and knitted on. It.never.ends. In *that* way that you don’t count how many stitches are left before the next corner because it will crash your whole world. It surely doesn’t help that this damned sweet blanket is knit on US 4′s. Yeah, so its time for a little break and the boy’s head has either grown since last year or his hat shrunk after all those trips through the dryer (when the kids come in from playing out in the snow I cram all their snow gear into the dryer for 40 minutes. Can’t stand the mittens dripping for hours, that and their coats won’t be dry by the next day if I just hung them up.) When the kid rips it off his hat before his hand reaches the school door its time for a new hat. He wanted the same colors as his old one.  Using the leftovers from his old hat, Us8′s I cast on 80 sts and have about 5 inches so far, hopefully this hat will be done in a few days.

a new hat for the boy

(the green is not as eye searing as this picture makes it seem)

Now the story. I’ve been trying to come up with different things for breakfast since it seemed (read: felt) like my kids where eating too many poptarts. When in reality it was cold cereal every.damn.day. sometimes  muffins but they wolf those down faster than I can bake them and that gets old. I’ve heard that cold cereal seems to be an American thing. I found this recipe for cranberry orange scones a month or so ago and today seemed like a good day to give it a try. My kids are on their second snow day in a row and today seemed like a good day to have the oven on.

cranberry orange scones, mmm good

While I was mixing up the dough a memory flashed back to me. When I was in 6th grade I can remember being given a country to do a project on, I think we worked with a partner. One part of the project was to find and make a recipe from our Country. I remember having Scotland, and being thrilled since I’m part Scottish.

cranberry orange scones, mmm good

This was pre-internet days, so what info we found was at the library. Kids have it so lucky these days. Type what they are looking for into google and bam, easy. No dewy decimal system or card file to deal with, lucky. I remember finding out that scones are from Scotland and that was what I was going to make since the only other thing we could come up with was haggis and that wasn’t going to happen. Somehow my Dad convinced me that english muffins are like scones (they are not). The book said that clotted cream was traditionally served with scones, my dad said cottage cheese was like clotted cream. It’s not, its better clotted cream is ohsogross. But those two things so do not go together. It was disgusting and horrible and I am very thankful that real scones are nothing, nothing like those.

cranberry orange scones, mmm good

If only we had the internet back then the food part of that report would have been much better and my wussy (or smart?) teacher at the time would have tried it. These scones are quite tasty, I think I taste the baking powder in them. The recipe called for quite a bit (2TBSP!) I think next time I will mix it up some baking soda and some baking powder. And I did us 1/2C sugar in these. Using the heart shaped cookie cutter I got 40 scones out of this recipe, hopefully they will last longer than a day

cranberry orange scones, mmm good

I think I’ll hide some in the freezer, cause I’ve already eaten 3 and at this rate they might not last long!

2010, whata year!

Clearly this was the year that I ignored the blog,  ravelry and flickr.  I knit, probably not as much as I have in previous years. This year I definitely  slacked off on taking pictures of finished objects, there is at least 1 sweater, a shawl and a hat that I didn’t bother photographing that I can remember. I’m sure they are more if I look through my yarn stash and remember what I used a certain yarn for. I look at my flickr set for 2010 and its sad, really really sad. This year my biggest goal is not only to share what I’ve been knitting but to blog about it. I miss my blog, I miss hearing your comments and getting inspired by what all you’ve made.
I can honestly say that knitting has taken a back seat the past few weeks. The day after Christmas Mike and I where making breakfast, he was making french toast (the kids favorite) and I was attempting to open a jar of my homemade applesauce while coaxing Kailey down the back steps. Someone didn’t want to come down to eat, someone wanted to go back upstairs to play even though everyone else was down stairs. I was using the “turn jar upside down and bag” technique while talking to Kailey and not paying attention to what I was doing. The middle of the (brand new just bought this summer and never used before) jar shattered as I banged it the second time and I cut my right pointer finger, below the top knuckle on the underside. After 10 minutes it was still bleeding and we went to the ER. Yeah, can I return the “present” of 4 stitches and a tetanus shot? It’s not really what I asked for… Fast forward 2 weeks, the stitches are out and crap the finger still f***ing hurts like a mo-fo and I can’t bend it down the whole way, awesome. Just awesome. So knitting? Not so much. But eventually yes, I do have quite a bit of yarn I would like to turn into finished objects.
I can say pretty confidently that I will be taking more pictures this year, lots and lots of pictures. You see, a week after Christmas Mike gave me a new baby Continue reading

FO: the (almost) Rhinebeck sweater

It’s kinda sad, given my complete and utter love of this sweater the amount of time that it took me to finish it. I’m a monogamous knitter, my mind can’t seem to handle knitting on more than one thing at a time. Really, its true. It might have something to do with all the changes that I make to a pattern and not being able to jump back and forth. Or the draw of something oooo new and pretty! It started back in October of 2008 when I had this notion that I could finish this sweater knit on US 7′s and seam it in 3 weeks, oh and clean the house, pack our stuff and drive 7 hours to my parents house while mothering 4 children one of them a 1 year old. Yeah totally doable. Not. I really did want to wear it to Rhinebeck that year… mostly because I wanted to see how that yarn looked all knit up before I went and bought a sweaters quantity of it again.

FO: (almost) a sweater for Rhinebeck

I did however finish the two sleeves, block them and then put them into a basket along with the rest of the yarn, the pattern and notes for me. Christmas knitting was finished and January rolled in.  Knitting a gray sweater in January when its bleak and chilly doesn’t make much knitting enjoyment. Then Spring came, still in the basket. Summer came along and still nothing (cause really who wants to knit a wool sweater in August?) Rhinebeck 2009 and Wisteria claimed my heart, Christmas knitting and another bleak January. Then onto this year, 2010. My friend Robin (we did a little Pi-shawl knit-a-long together too) suggested sometime in late September that we both pull out our twists and finish them up.

FO: (almost) a sweater for Rhinebeck

If you know me at all, you know that I can’t seem to leave well enough alone. No, I am a pain in the ass and I’m ok with that. If I don’t like something damnit, I’m gonna change it and don’t try telling me I can’t cause, um, sorry I’ll just smile at your while I’m humming along in my head cause “lalalalala I’m not listening”. Twist is written to be knit in pieces and seamed together. Which when I read that I think “ew, seaming, and ew purling. I don’t wanna.” So I pondered, and pondered how I was gonna make my first steek. I poked Cynthia’s brain a bit (I took a steaking class from her during the summer? spring? of 2010). I ended up taking off a few stitches off the body (they would have been used for seaming it together), adding in a 8 stitch steek. I knit around and around in the pattern until I reached my armpits and then I separated the front and back, working the armhole shaping for both the right and left back at the same time. There are much better notes on my rav project page. Steaking wasn’t quite as scary as I thought it would be, I was nervous about it. I had to cut a neck line too so my neck was lower than the front, once I find some good ribbon or twill tape I think I might sew it along my steak edge, just for some cuteness. I will be steeking again, it was quite thrilling and it allowed me to knit the body faster than if I knit it in pieces.

FO: (almost) a sweater for Rhinebeck

stats:

ravelry project page
Pattern: Twist by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn : Greenwood Hill Farm Two Ply DK 7.5 skeins (1,350 yards)
Needle’s : US 6 – 4.0 mm
US 7 – 4.5 mm
Started: October 2008
Completed October 24 2010

FO: (almost) a sweater for Rhinebeck

In hindsight, something I didn’t think about till I got to it. I started my row where the middle of the steek was. I should have started my row on the left front. So when separated the front and the back both the cables would have been on the same number of rows. because you know, when your knitting in the round your knitting in a spiral. One of my cables on the front has an extra knit row. I don’t remember which one, come to think of it, it might not.  Sometimes a seam is needed to help give the sweater “structure”,  and I agree to this to an extent.  Twist has 4 cable panels that will help it retain its shape over time, at least that’s what I think will happen I really don’t think it will get all droopy since those cables will pull in.

Now you might be wondering, why wasn’t that this sweater didn’t make it to Rhinebeck? I had all the pieces done, the steek cut, sewed down. I had to sew the arms in and I asked my mom. (Even though I shoulda looked it up online, sorry mom) She knit many sweaters when I was little, I still have a Mary Maxium sweater with a giant rainbow on the back that my girls have also worn. So I thought she would know. Lets just say I had a very wide neckline. I thought it was ok. I knit and knit and reknit that damned collar. And then I put down the sweater. Thought about it, and realized damnit a sweater isn’t sewn together that way (one would think that after knitting many, many sweaters I would know how to one is pieced together. In my own defense I’ve knit raglan and drop shoulder sweaters. so there) . So I picked everything out, sewed it back together and started on the collar. But it wasn’t done in time. I also forgot the buttons back home, and the Joann’s in Pittsfield reminded me why I don’t miss living in the Berkshires. I’m so incredibly happy with this sweater, it came out perfectly and I’ve been dreaming about different way’s I can tweak the pattern with different cables, ribbing, lace panels because it is so darn cozy and perfect I have to remind my self I shouldn’t wear it every day…

FO: (almost) a sweater for Rhinebeck

PS. I found a new cooking blog that I absolutely love love love, A year of slow cooking.  I’m still learning when it comes to cooking (I love to bake) and dinner is usually frustrating.  Please do share if you have any favorite cooking blogs or tips on freezer meals. I’m also trying to do a meal plan, which in the past I’ve hated because I felt so tied down to it. Because I freeze my meat and would have only thawed what I needed for that meal.  When crockpotting you can cook (if on low for at least 6-7 hours) your meat from frozen. I can change my mind and move meals around if I want. With my kids and I so busy with sports, girl/cub scouts, band/chorus this helps out a lot since I obviously won’t be able to clone myself anytime soon and as much as I would like too can’t sprout two extra arms.

PPS. Last week we had the Apricot Chicken my kids loved it, I served it with white rice and peas. I also made the pizza soup, ended up a little spicy I’m not sure if it was because of the sausage that I used or the spices…. Herbed Garden Chicken was tasty I think I cooked it too long though… When I made the Tai beef I was shocked, all the kids had seconds, Corra who hates peanuts had thirds (!?). Made the Java roast too, but didn’t add the cream cheese into the broth at the end. I took some of the broth out and mixed in some cream cheese and had my kids try the two and tell me which one they liked better. All liked the one w/o the cream cheese (me too).

PPPS now I want so many new cooking things!

sick…

oyi, the one thing that kids are so very good at sharing are germs. Its the one thing you don’t have to yell at them and tell them to share (as apposed to legos or barbie shoes). Probably shouldn’t have said anything to my dr’s nurse last week when I called to ask for more allergy meds, silly me said “I get sick once or twice a year.” Honestly after those words flew outta my mouth I wanted to rewind time and retrieve them. Sunday night it was like a train hit me, and my throat felt like I swallowed a bag of razors, it hurt so much to swallow Tuesday it started to hurt into my ears, and now today I have a bit of congestion, cough, and my sinuses hurt, but my throat doesn’t hurt as much. But you didn’t come here to read my whining, I’ve been loving these handknit socks I finished up sometime this spring,

FO: handspun socks

I dyed the fiber last year sometime using acid dyes, its rambouillet corriedale cross from a local farm. Spun it up on my Kromiski sonata and 2plied it. (after re-reading this I realize that wow, its clear that I’m all hopped up on cold meds. Weeee!)

FO: handspun socks

The socks are knit *very* densely, I used a US3 and while knitting the second sock I broke one of the needles… anyway these socks can stand up on their own (even when they are clean, haha) but they don’t feel like armor. They are incredibly warm & cozy.  It was a little sad, because I couldn’t find them and I thought I had finished them. I looked through my handknit sock basket, the dirty handknit bag, behind the dyer. Honestly there was a bit of a panic.  I found them in a project bag almost finished, just the toes needed kitchenered. Honestly I don’t know why I was in such a panic to find the, because when I was looking for them it was spring and too warm to wear them.

FO: handspun socks

These are my first pair of handknit socks, and man I want more, these socks are so warm and cozy just the thing that’s needed when you feel like the cold truck took you down. Ok along with a few boxes of the good kleenex, a cabinet full of tea and half the drug store in your medicine cabinet…

 

PS I’m not getting off the couch except to cook meals today.
PPS well, what meals that I can’t get away with not making
PPPS the kids know how to use the toaster (there was a few years ago when I first showed Corra how to use it, she shoved a poptart down not knowing about the lever.) this morning they had waffles.
PPPPS. The kids are off of school today, since its Veteran’s day here in the states. I am so thankful to all of the people who have served, and gave to our Country. Thanks doesn’t seem to be enough.

 

Rhinebeck recap

Its hard to believe how quickly time is flying and that Rhinebeck was almost 2 weeks ago.  This week I’m having a very hard time keeping track of what day it is. C plays basketball and has two games this week, both C and I have cadette girl scouts, we our dental cleanings this week, K has her speech appointments as usual, A and I have our first daisy meeting this week too. I’m sure there is other chaos that I’m forgetting too, but hey hopefully I’ll remember it before I was supposed to be there! This is a really long post, but there’s  pictures! ; )

Rhinebeck, oh I how I love thee. Mom and I got ready early as usual and my cousin came over to babysit my kids while mom and I went to the fair. I might be all kinds of crazy but man I’m not bringing my kids on a Saturday. I want to shop and look at yarn and not feel like I’m going to loose someone in the crowd. I’m sure mom thought my head was going to explode, because we ended up taking my van so we needed to stop at the gas station, then she had to stop at the bank, then we stopped at Dunkin Doughnuts. Finally after all that we where on our way. Parking was quick, very very quick this year. And when I saw the line form at the 4-H gate I dragged mom over to the main gate where there was no line. It was a beautiful fall day, even if it was a bit chilly in the morning. We stopped at Jenny the potter,  and while mom was holding our spot in line I um, shopped around Briar Rose

Briar rose fibers grandma's blessing
click here to see the other side, grandma’s blessing I think it would look awesome striped with white for a sweater.
I bought one hank of charity too, and came back on Sunday and bought another one
2 charity
honestly the largest hank of yarn I ever did see, a ton of yardage!

After that I dragged mom over to Greenwood Hill farm’s booth and I almost had a heart attack, because there was no 2ply dk weight pewter. Ok there where 3 hanks which I bought but… but I wanted more than that. The woman working the booth said her partner broke her ankle and wasn’t able to make it to the show with all the yarn So I bought the pewter

3 greenwood hill farm 2ply DK pewter and some white… 3 Greenwood hill farm 2ply DK white

this yarn just makes me swoon. Its my desert island yarn, if it wouldn’t be horribly selfish I would be buried with this yarn. Instead I’ll just try to resist carrying it with me everywhere. Just to be clear its the dk weight plied that I love love love. Yes it has a craptasatic amount of hay in it, most of it falls out when your knitting but some you have to pick out. Part of what makes this yarn beautiful is that its not over processed. Its squishy and soft and zomg awesome. But don’t buy it, its mine. mine mine and its horrible ok? Horrible ; ) and mine. Don’t forget mine.

After that we walked around a bit more trying to find barn 39 and mom found out that my directional skills sometimes revert back to the mad skillz I had when I was young. But with my mom grabbing the map and saying no its this way we found the sanguine gryphon’s booth and I found 2 hanks of this amazing green

2 hanks sanguine gryphon bugga!

and mom was sure happy she grabbed the map. She waited outside while I stood in that looong line and she and knit on her vanilla sock. Which really she was very happy to do.  We made it to the meetup for the first time in years. We found kim and gave her her chocolate (cause, when you see Kim you give Kim chocolate!) she gave me a book I’ve been wishing for for a long time.

Somebunnyslove and myself

then we met up with Karen and her husband for lunch again this year and enjoyed chatting while we ate. After lunch mom and I walked around some more, had some amazing cider and doughnuts

afternoon snackin

We walked around a bit more, and I made my last yarn purchase of the day

7 hanks peapod dorset worsted wool

7 hanks of dorset wool, in peapod from amondale farm. Its this fantastic green yellow heather that makes me swoon. It looks like a worsted but it might be aran weight, if you think of a cabley sweater that you think it would look fantastic in send me the link please!

This year I’ve been knitting quite a bit from my stash, just not feeling the need or want to purchase any new yarn. Now when mom and I got back to the truck I was a little shocked at myself because damn, I bought a lot of yarn. And no there isn’t a good picture of all the yarn together, Mike was home when I was photographing my purchases, the tv was on and if I piled all the yarn up together on the couch I would have to stand near the tv and really he doesn’t need to know that there is more yarn in the house, its best to bring it all in slowly. Man’s got razor sharp observational skills and he would notice. hehe

This year was the first time that I went back on Sunday. Mom was able to stay home with K (thank goodness because I’m sure that my back and hip wouldn’t be able to take it!) After we stopped by briar rose to pick up another hank of charity in blue we looked at the sheep, looked at the animals down at the children’s activities, did some of the activities for the kids, Corra made a really cool corn husk doll while B & A did the hay bale maze over and over and over. We attempted to watch the sheep herding demo but there where too many people there when we showed up and couldn’t see anything. They got to ride a few rides (the bounce house that would NEVER END). After that we went to go get apple cider they where out : ( , looked at the oldest one room school house in New York, and spent a fair amount of time at the Antique Museum village. The kids talked to the woodworkers, and got to try a printing press (very cool) and enjoyed looking at all the different antiques. It was my first time taking my kids to the Sheep and wool when I told them they where going they really didn’t want to go, after we went and they saw that it was more than just a big yarn shop they want to go back next year.

We did have a full trip the week between my sisters wedding and Rhinebeck. We went to the Berkshire Museum, (my pictures didn’t turn out but they all did have a good time even if they thought the mummy’s where super creepy), the Dr Seuss memorial sculpture garden in Springfield, and a trip to the Yankee Candle flagship store in South Deerfield Ma. (which btw is so flipping huge. You need a map huge. But they give you one when you walk in cause they know).

Berkshire trip

It was a very full trip, there where places that I wanted to go do and people that i wanted to met up with that we weren’t able to fit in. Corra had a horrible headache and fever thing which killed 2 days.There where lots of walks (someone had to take the dog out!), even a few around the lake.

kids on the dock

It was a lovely visit, and we did have a great time, but still its always nice to come home

PS When I was adding my last skein of yarn to my rav page it told me I’m adding my 381st stashed yarn
PPS good thing that’s counting the yarn’s I’ve used up too!
PPPS I do have to get on the ball and upload the projects that I’ve finished that I never added at all…..
 

FO: Hopeful Warmth

Quite a few months ago, my sister called me up and asked me to be apart of her wedding. I was more than happy to accept.  My sister sent me what has to be the best bridesmaids gift (ok, I received 2 more hanks than I was supposed too, 1 I used before I found out about it, and then the other, well… lets just say the other you’ll find out about next year ; )

Picture 4239

Now, it must have been the deadline… but there where a few hours at least searching on ravelry before I found *the* perfect pattern. It wasn’t a tiny shawl, it was bigger and hopefully will be warmer knit out of fingering weight. And because it doesn’t involve any purling was just an added perk. I’m not quite sure how it started, but Robin and I started chatting on facebook about the shawls, we had a little knit along of sorts and she knit the camping shawl in lace weight.

Picture 4247

stats-
Pattern: EZ 100th Anniversary PI Shawl: Gull Wings by Mwaa Knit
Yarn : Guilty pleasures, (fingering weight silk and wool) a little under 1320.0 yards (I didn’t weight what was left, there is a little walnut sized ball left floating around this house somewhere…)
Needle: US 8 – 5.0 mm
Started August 10 2010
Completed September 21 2010

This really has to be the *biggest* thing I’ve ever knit by myself. When its all scrunched up looking like a hat with gauge issues its extremely deceiving. It doesn’t look like its going to be that big, there’s no way that it can be that big, then your working the bindoff of 1152 st (the row before you increase so you have double the stitches for a super stretchy bindoff) and holy crap its huge. 48″ or 4 feet huge. Granted I could have blocked it out bigger. But after rinsing all the dye, praying that the synthrapol wouldn’t change the texture of the yarn (never used it before, so I was a wee bit worried) I just wanted the thing to be done, dry and ready to go already. See huge I tell ya

Picture 4235

Jess & RR ceremony was beautiful, very romantic and awe inspiring. There are many pictures here. Its hard to pick a favorite one! The weather was perfect, the sun was shinning, not a cloud in the sky and it was warm, even warmer with my shawl ;) There was something about the beginning of our visit home that had me a little homesick. The beautiful mountains, the weather, the trees starting to change.

Picture 4228

Then after a week of having to go grocery shopping at Price Chopper (could they BE any slower?? Yes there is BigY and no I still don’t get the coin thing), attempting to drive through Great Barrington without my head exploding, and staying with my parents in their wee itty bitty house. How my Grandmother raised 6 kids in that house is beyond me, but with 7 people in it, well, it was cramped. It must have been because Mike had to go back to work after the wedding, while the kids and I stayed up for an extra week so we could go to Rhinebeck.

Picture 4224

This is, by the way, my favorite way to wear this shawl. Folded in half wrapped around my neck. It feels very unwieldy when its folded a little under my neck and most of the fabric is spread out over my back. I’m quite fond of this shawl, wore it to Rhinebeck, great pic of Kim and I here.. When I got myself all bundled up before we left the car I asked my mother if I looked like a homeless knitter she said no, but then again she had more layers on then an Eskimo. But when we walked in the gate a lady talking on her phone stopped me to say “great shawl”.

Have to agree, this shawl did turn out nice, it is pretty great.

PS. Rhinebeck haul coming soon. This year I bought so much more than I thought I would…
PPS that’s after I finish 3 costumes…..
PPPS this is the first year that my kids knew what they wanted to be before October even started, but I didn’t have the time to start until we got back from Mass.
PPPPS don’t talk about the pom poms.

one glorious hour

It was a very busy summer, I really had no idea that it would get so very busy that I would stop blogging. I really didn’t stop blogging, I was blogging in my head which really doesn’t count now does it? I missed blogging, it helped me keep track of what things I made, idea’s I had and things my kids did. Because really, my memory only holds so much, if anything else is put in it might take over the spot something important was like how to start the dishwasher…   But now that my biggest kid has to leave for school an hour before my middle kids have to get up I have one glorious hour all to myself. I can go back to sleep (its my super power, I can sleep anywhere at anytime. Mike hates it), knit, read, take the longest shower ever, or blog.

See this summer was super busy, there where sockpal socks that took around 2 months to knit. And no, I wasn’t knitting anything else but these. There where just so many nights where I could only manage a row before my eyes clonked out.

FO: sockpal sock

which is why I watch tv while I knit, I’ll stay awake longer. Oh when did I get so old?!
There where GS that kept me busy with the planning of their bronze award activities, camp and other miscellaneous end of the year activities. There where baseball, tball, softball then all-star games.

All star softball game

yes I did start to feel that I lived there, and there was gratitude for the concession stand and cheese fries and a coke which helped take the edge off the 4 ball game of the week… I had my first garden! Something that I’ve been dreaming of for years, after last summers giant excavation of the hill which turned our backyard into a dirtland (which I re-seeded and covered with straw all by myself thankyouverymuchly) I finally had my garden. Which I only took one picture of, a week after Mike and I put it in and its on my phone.

last haul

I grew, lettuce which exploded and everyone was getting bags of lettuce, corn (which did really well. I blanched and froze it), tomatoes (again really well, had an amazing amount till I um, killed them), green beans, and cucumbers (which did really well, until I killed them…). I can, froze and pickled a ton. I really do need to count up how many jars of pickles I made because the kids keep eating them like crazy. Did you notice a pattern, yes. I’m pretty sure I killed the cukes by over dusting them for moldy mildew and the tomatoes well, we where gone for a week, and I didn’t water them when we got home either…Mike doesn’t know what to think because next year I told him I want to plant more.  Some squash (he loves squash. hehehe no), I want to trellis the cukes, more corn, carrots and peas, maybe some broccoli and calliflower. He’s thrilled. But he also saw how our grocery bill went down cause we had veggies.

Dutchess county fair 2010

there where fairs that we went to, our hometown street fair (where I “helped” our little league with bingo, there are too many ways to play that game) and the dutchess county fair. Treasures from my Grandma, I asked my Aunt for some blue jars and wow.  My grandmother seemed to line the walls of her storage room with glass jars. They where like insulation. I came home with some beauties and they are mineminemine.

treasures from Grandma

first day of school and the start of a sweater for Rhinebeck.

WIP: twist body

It was a very busy summer, which led into a usually busy fall. But like I said I have this one glorious hour all to myself well as long as no one wakes up early…

Some news and zipper cheats with zipper pouch tutorial!

4 months? Has it really been 4 months since I’ve last posted? Is anyone still here? Sorry for my absence, my life always seems to get crazy around Girl Scout cookie time and its hard to get back on track after that. Don’t worry I’m still knitting, I started and finished a sweater, a pair of handspun socks (do they count as done if I haven’t grafted the one toe yet?), and a sock and a half of my silly sock pals sock. I’ve been having neck pain which I think it partly from stress and a bad pillow. My hands have been bothering me a bit too, I really need to go see a chiropractor..

And another thing, I do have big news! No, no, no more babies. Still big news though! Months ago my Auntie Adair started cleaning out her craft room, her health hasn’t been so great and she hasn’t been able to do as much as she she used to. Also her son and his wife live with her and my Uncle and they want to use my Aunts craft room as another bedroom. Anyway, when I was little and my mom had to work on Saturdays I got to go to my Auntie’s house. I always enjoyed going over, she taught me how to decorate a cake and I’ll always remember the one that we made for Valentines day in my mind. She also taught me latch hooking (still hate it), plastic canvas, and most of all sewing and quilting. She helped me make my first doll dress without a pattern, helped me make my first quilt, and taught me lots of little crafty things along the way. All of this with tea with milk and vanilla sandwich cookies. Yum! Now the news, she saved every.thing. srsly, I’ll never have to buy googly eyes or zippers ever again. Now its more than I can use in my lifetime, and some of it is stuff I know I’ll never use. So I opened a etsy shop, you can find it here http://www.etsy.com/shop/amanda20458 . I’m still adding things every week, honestly I’m going to use a line that makes my eyes roll, I don’t know how other mom’s do it. How they have their own online shops, keep a house, run kids to whatevers. Granted I have Mike’s work schedule which makes it a bit harder, but still! I do hope you’ll visit my shop, I’m thinking about adding some things that I’ve made… do let me know if there is something that your looking for and don’t see, I have three big Rubbermaid totes still to list and there is more coming.

Now if you follow me on facebook, you probably saw on my status Thursday about making zipper pouches for Corra’s friends to give to them as gift bags (filled with some funky socks, lotion, Chinese erasers). Abi asked me if I knew of any good zipper tutorials, and I don’t, but I have a good cheat for them so I made my first tutorial. It includes my zipper cheat and instructions on how to make your own zipper pouch. I set it up as a flickr set so it would be easy to navigate, click on the picture below to go to it.

Step 14
another link here.
you can also find it in my crafty endeavors collection on the sidebar of the front page of my flickr set. Let me know what you think of it, if you have any questions of a part of it needs to be clearer.

Corra’s friend had a blast last night making their pillows from t-shirts, and pjammie pants. More on that soon. Gotta put the livingroom back in order

striped blue and yellow vest for my boy

B has been asking me for a yellow sweater since last year.  This kid loves yellow, totally in love with it.  His second fav is blue followed closely by green. After I knit my stripy sweater B told me how much he liked the stripes.  An idea was born. Especially since I can’t bring myself to knit this awesome kid a yellow sweater.

striped blue and yellow vest for my boy

Last year when Web’s had their annual tent sale I stocked up on some cascade 220 in colors 2404 (navy blue) and 7827 (yellow) to make this vest for B. And of course I over bought, meaning I bought 2 hanks of each color. For some reason I was thinking that it would take way more yardage than it actually did. Waaay more. The yellow I only used a little more than half a ball (64%) and the blue I used 1 ball and 17 yards of another one. I really hate having to dip into another skein just for a few yards. However I’m really happy that I had it. Now it wasn’t until after I was all done knitting B’s vest, as I was weaving in all the ends I remembered, I had knit a swatch. I could have ripped out the swatch for the extra yarn. But then I would have a swatch to cut up for an upcoming class that I’m taking at Stitch your art out on steeking. (Really excited here!)

striped blue and yellow vest for my boy

Speaking of the swatch, that was my starting point for this sweater. I picked two needles I thought would work well with Cascade 220, US6′s for the ribbing so it would be nice and tight and US8′s for the body. I knit my swatch in the round because well I planned on knitting 3/4 of this sweater in the round. While my swatch was blocking I measured B’s waist and chest along with the distance from his hip to his underarm, and from his shoulder down his back to his hip. And drew up a cute little schematic that I didn’t photograph. Moving on… I took my gauge multiplied it by the chest circumference and made the number a little bigger so it was divisible by 4 (since I used k2,p2 ribbing for the waist band, neck and arm bands). See this whole winging it isn’t so hard. I should mention, when it came to figuring out how wide the arm straps should be it was pretty handy to have the kid around to have him try on the sweater.

striped blue and yellow vest for my boy
raveled here.
Pattern: my own
Size: 24″ chest (9 year old boy wears a 7/8) with 1.5” positive ease (so it will hopefully grow with him)
Started January 10 2010
Completed January 18 2010
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) for ribbing and US 8 (5.0 mm) for body
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Wool 1.08 skeins 2404 (navy blue) and .64 skeins 7827 (yellow)

A few little things that I did, first I made the darkest color my main color because well I thought it would look better, besides the dark blue makes the vest feel heavy. And oh, just a tip, don’t change colors after knitting ribbing, it will look messy. I can’t really explain it! Just trust me or try it and you’ll see what I mean. I used a stationary jogless stripe which I put so it was right under the right arm, so I didn’t have a million ends to weave in. Can you see where I switched colors? Its visible, not smack in your face look at me visible. But you can spot them. I started this vest in the round and when I got to the underarms I split the stitches in half. Half for the front, and half for the back. First I knit the back, cause its easier for me to do it that way. Now, I’m not sure if this is ‘right’ or ‘correct’ but hell when have I been ‘correct’ with my knitting, but after I divided the front and back I was knitting flat, still using my circular needle. And since my stripes are 3 rows wide when it was time to change colors the next color would be on the other side, following me here? So instead of cutting the yarn I turned my work, and start knitting with the next color, keeping in mind that if it was a purl row I would purl back. So I was continuing to knit in stockinette. Make sense? Not ‘correct’, my row gauge didn’t change or anything important like that. But it sure as heck worked for me. And I had WAY less ends to weave in. Which always makes me happy. Which leads to a happy B with his new blue and yellow striped vest.

20::365 striped blue and yellow vest for my boy

PS. Somebody, which would be Kailey, turned THREE! Yesterday.
19::365 Happy 3rd Birthday littlest one
Can you believe it? I can’t.
PPS My parents visited this past weekend, it was wonderful to have them here.
PPPS Can you tell that I started this post earlier and am now finishing it up and I’m wickedly tired like a pack of Daisy GS ran me over.