Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Wii for me!

I asked for a Wii for Mother's Day, and today Best Buy got a shipment in and I actually got one! Um, that's really all.

Edited to add: Much fun is being had by all... if by all you mean me. Wii Sports came with the console and I played them all, except I did quit the baseball after a bit because, well, baseball... I'm hoping if I play against D it won't be quite so bad. Now I'm going to try Super Mario Galaxy!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Un-Harloting of Chicago

From 2007 event at Borders in Oak Brook

The plan:
Jen and Mook (her Thai exchange daughter) and Nan were going to come down to my house and from here we would zip off to Oak Lawn for a quick bite at Millie's before we headed to the Hilton to see the Yarn Harlot (sponsored by Nana's Knitting Shop). Lesley said she'd try to save us some seats.

What actually happened:
Jen and Mook came and played with M while I got ready. Nan came, I finished getting ready and packed the car. We left a little before 4pm. It was a little later than I hoped, but trying to sew on the ribbon of the sweater for M took longer than I had hoped... I didn't end up using the silk ribbon because it was not strong enough. I used a pink ribbon I had, but I'm going to try to find a blue ribbon later this week.

Once we got going, traffic wasn't too bad, surprising for a Friday late afternoon. The only time it was bad was trying to exit the Tri-State at 95th St. We got to Millie's (I don't remember exactly when) to get some dinner. Jen met someone she recognized who told us the Harlot would be late. I, of course, forgot my camera in the car, so I missed getting some cute pictures of Jen and Mook and Nan holding M. Dinner was really yummy (they make their own bread) and the apple cobbler I had for dessert was even better. It was a good thing the Harlot was running late, though, because while the service was friendly, it was not fast and we didn't make it to the Hilton until around 6:45pm.

When we got to the Grand Ballroom, Lesley and her group had saved us some seats, but I didn't give her an accurate count, so they pulled a couple chairs up to the side for us. I spread out a quilt my mom made for M and let her roll around.

We weren't there more than 15 minutes or so when Tricia got up to let us know that due to the craptastic weather, Stephanie was still in Toronto and wouldn't make it. We were disappointed, but were having and had had fun. Someone shouted out "Can we stay here?" Tricia said, sure since they had the place until 11. M got some cuddles from Lesley and then I nursed her because she wasn't going to last until we got home. She then got some cuddles from Jesse, who has an adorable boy of her own. She was having fun checking herself out in the mirror. And as you can see, the sweater is a little big on her, which it should be, considering I made the 1-2 year size. Underneath the soft girly blue sweater is the heart of a rocker, she wore her Metallica onesie.

I took her over to see Corey (Tricia's daughter) to show her the sweater, and she got even more cuddles and mirror time.

The heavens opened up while we drove home, but everyone made it ok. I hope she reschedules because I had a great time and would love to do it again.

On the right you see spinning. I moved Peggy up from the basement so I would get more spinning done, and although the picture on the right is from last year, it's the same thing I'm spinning now. When there is progress that is visible I will show you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Garden Tour

M will now lead us on a tour of some of the yard. Now, mind you, most of this came "pre-installed". Oh, and that rain that was supposed to come? Didn't. Maybe it went on down to Sue instead (I hope)? I tried to send the sunshine to Sharon... did that work?

This is a lilac that took the place of one of the wicked roses. I can't remember what kind it is; I didn't realize there were so many types of lilac. I think it will be purple.

These next two are rhododendrons, one will have purple-y-pink flowers, and the other will (I think) have hot pink flowers. They took the place of the rest of the roses, which I dug out all by myself. Yup, I am pretty proud. Makes me feel all homeowner-y. As you can see, I need to get more mulch, but that's the easy part.

One reason I chose rhododendrons is that they are evergreens, so when everything else is brown and leafless, there will still be a bit of green. Also, they are fast growers, and a little privacy around the deck will be nice. Oh, and the flowers are pretty, too.

This is that raft of dwarf iris that had two blossoms on Sunday! It just went mad and I love it! So vibrant. There are a few of these scattered elsewhere in the yard, such a treat. I don't know what the flowers are behind them, but they are pretty and delicate.

Just next to the dwarf iris is this tulip that somehow escaped the rabbits. Looks to be red, can't wait to see!

On the south side of the house I have this hot pink azalea ready to plant, just as soon as the tree that should have been a shrub is out. It's getting there, just have to get M to agree to hang outside and watch me dig and cut roots.

These tulips have decided to give us multiple blooms. Why these and not the others? Don't know. Why haven't the bunnies eaten them? Don't know that, either.

And, while this isn't the garden, it is very evocative of spring. I love the short sleeves on it. I'm working on sewing the sides now. Went to Joann's this morning and picked up some snaps to sew on (the inside "flap" gets snapped instead of buttoned). I promise not to post another picture until I have it on M.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Beautiful weekend

It's been such a nice weekend, even yesterday, when it was supposed to be rainy the whole day (rained a bit off and on, but not too much). We got outside to do yard work, yesterday and today -- don't want to be "those" neighbors, you know, the ones who never mow or trim hedges. That's the hedge out front after I worked on it yesterday. I couldn't finish it because M started to get cranky, and it started to sprinkle. Don't worry, it's finished now. In addition to the daffodils that are blooming, we have some small iris. Two of the iris have actually bloomed, but there is a raft of them and there are more buds just waiting to pop open. There are also other flowers that I can't identify hyacinth that are blooming. The trees and bushes are starting to bud, it is just wonderful! The only pathetic thing is that it isn't even noon and I'm rather beat. Oh, and it was adorable, M took a short nap on the quilt while I was trimming the hedge. Nice life, eh?

I'm almost done with the cardigan for M. I love the way the wrap front/kimono sweaters look, but I keep forgetting how much I loathe picking up stitches along that shaped edge. I actually finished the front right edge, then ripped it out because I didn't like it (this after many starts and re-tries already). The Baby Bamboo holds up pretty well to the abuse it gets from the process. But, someone, next time I see a cute wrap front sweater, remind me how much I hate the edging, and if I still say I want to do it, knock me out and drag the pattern out of my hands, please, for the love of all that's holy, don't let me do this again. In addition to my issues with picking up stitches evenly along a shaped edge, the directions for the edging weren't very good. If you were a new knitter, you might get very confused. However, it looks cute and I am almost done. The left front edge needs to be finished, the sleeves sewn in and the sleeve and side seams sewn; then after the ends are sewn in, I'll be done, in time for M to wear to the Harlot, which was the plan. Wow!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sweater progress shots

In the summer of 2006 when I went to visit my parents, we stayed at a beach house owned by one of their friends. My mom and I took the opportunity to hang out on the deck and dye silk ribbon. I've chosen this teal as the side tie for the sweater. I like it -- I might have like one of the pinker ones, but all those are raw-edged, and I think for a baby sweater that is not the best idea.

This is what I'm dealing with as I write this. She is cute, but OW!!

Springy spring spring spring

It's spring! The daffodils are blooming! Still waiting on the tulips and iris, but hey, I can be patient (Mom, D, don't laugh).

Near these daffodils are two "bushes" that had turned into trees -- leggy and tall. They hadn't been pruned in a few years, which is weird, because the former owners of our house seemed to keep everything else trimmed and well kept. So, anyway, a few weeks ago, I cut them way back, but I don't think they'll bush out at this point, so they need to go. I got some pretty azaleas (one white, one pink) at Costco to replace them, now it's a matter of digging out the old stuff, which I have discovered is way easier said than done. I've transplanted some daffodils that were in the way, but this is not going to be easy. It's so nice out, I actually got sweaty doing yard work. But after this winter, I'm really not complaining... yet.

The wrap front sweater from Little Sweet Peas is almost done. I'd show you, but Blogger is being aggravating and not letting me post any more pictures. Promise I'll show you soon.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

5 Months?

I realize I haven't posted much these past couple of weeks, but it's not been because nothing has been happening. M and I have been quite busy, actually. A week ago Tuesday, Jen came down to visit, and we drove out to Nana's Knitting Shop to pick up our Harlot books and our tickets for her talk April 25th. Nana's is a nice little store with a good selection of quality yarns. Included in the yarns is a good selection of colors of Cascade 220, which Jen and I agree is a wonderful, versatile yarn workhorse. After driving back from Oak Lawn, we went to lunch at Blueberry Hill Pancake House near my house, and had some yummy breakfast. I love me some pancakes anytime of the day or night. M sat with us in her bumbo seat quite nicely, until she didn't, and then one of us held her. Considering how long she was in her car seat, I'm surprized she wasn't screaming to get out.

Then, we missed blogless Carla's birthday celebration at Wool and Co. because my mom came into town! We picked her up at the airport, then went directly to the IQA's quilt show at the Rosemont Convention Center. Two years ago my mom came out for it and we were overwhelmed and unprepared for the vastness, so this year we planned for two days. M came with us and was proclaimed by many to be adorable, and we were told that it was good to start her quilting early. She was amazingly good, but about midway through the second day, she was annoyed, so I went to the edge of the vendors, and while my mom checked out a quilting machine, I spread a blanket on the floor and let M roll around a bit. The carrier is great, but after a while, she wants to move around. Can't say I blame her. I saw a couple people with strollers, but it would have been hell trying to see the vendors with it; the vendors are packed in there pretty tight. On Saturday, I actually saw someone I knew -- or rather, someone I knew saw me! Emily was there checking things out (go check out her periwinkle sweater, it's gorgeous) and happened to see me. If you go to her blog, on the right is a link to her quilts, she's amazing. It was great to have my mom out, even if only for a long weekend. If only the weather the whole weekend was as nice as Monday (and Tuesday and today).

So, knitting? you ask. Well, I've been knitting a bit. My mom's birthday was the Monday before she came, so when she got here I gave her a pair of Irish Hiking Wrist Warmers made from Dream in Color Classy. They are great when she's at work and it's just a little chilly. And the yarn is nice and soft, but not get-in-your-nose fuzzy. And I started a new sweater for M. When I saw the pattern I couldn't resist. It's in Sirdar's Little Sweet Peas pattern booklet. I love the whole booklet and can't wait to make more from it. I'm using their Baby Bamboo in Sleepy Blue to match M's eyes. I really love the yarn, it is drapey and soft with a lovely sheen. It can be a little splitty, but I've seen much worse. The picture lies, because I have finished the back and left front and am almost done with the right front. Then the short sleeves and the edging, then I'm done. Although M just turned 5 months yesterday, I'm making the 1-2 year size so she can wear it a while. My plan was to have her wear it for her first Harlot trip, I hope it's not too too big. I've made a bit of progress on Na Craga, but I need to step it up.

Oh, if you want to see a silly picture of M (and a cute one) go here, to Wool and Co's blog. And I leave you with three generations of artsy craftsy women.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My Princess

This is the smiling face for which I love to knit.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How many of me?

Saw this on Sandy's site and this is how many of me there are with my name as it is now:

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

This is how many are left of me with my maiden name:

LogoThere are
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

There are 36,454 people with the first name Laurel in the USA and it is the 941st most popular name.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Friday already?

We've had a fun week here at the Bean House. It's been a nice week weather-wise and we are taking advantage of it with walks and trips to the neighborhood park (not that M. can do anything there yet). We've walked around downtown Naperville and celebrated Neil's birthday at Wool and Company. It's been quite wonderful to see spring is on its way/here.

I even knit a little bit! I started the front of Na Craga for my dad, mostly to make sure I'm doing the right size. I've made a bit of progress on the Lorna's Laces socks for my friend. I'm in the process of designing a pair of baby booties... nothing major, just a whim.

So, that's really all. Have a great weekend!