Thursday, November 4, 2010


Didn't think it had been that long since my last post.  Let's see, still working on the Citron and the illusion scarf.  Also still working on one of the cardigans from Vogue's early fall issue.  Started a pair of the Octopus Mittens from 60 Quick Knits for Margaret.

Now for a quick summary of finished projects that have been photographed.
 Pair of socks, owed for a couple years now.  Finally finished, just need to actually get to the post to send them.
 The beaded shawl from Vogue Knitting a few years ago.  Yarn is Sophie's Toes in Crimson and I love it.
 Easy Tweedy Cowl in a wool and silk blend that I spun myself. 
Earwarmer headband in Queensland Collection Kathmandu Ultra with a flower in some of my wool/silk handspun.  Just need a button to finish it off.

Margaret and her friend Emma trick-or-treating on Sunday.  Such cute girls :)  Margaret's costume was on sale at One Step Ahead.  I got sparkly gold shoes at Target and black tights and a black turtleneck at Gymboree so she wouldn't freeze.  Luckily it was warmer this Halloween than last, although by the end (and we weren't out that long) I was quite chilly, even with my Hallowig on.
This is a video of Margaret running around our backyard.  She wanted me to take this video.

Sorry this is not a very inspired post, I just figured I should put something up here since it's been over a month.  Oh, I did have my birthday October 24.  Dragging Dave to a birthday movie this weekend.  Do I force him to watch Easy A or The King's Speech or see Red, which I also want to see, but is more of a compromise.  I wish Harry Potter were already out!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shawl blocking and a silly face

 Right now I'm actively working on a Citron and an illusion scarf that I've designed.  I'll talk more about those and post pictures when they are done, but so far, I am enjoying them.  I mostly knit the Citron while waiting in the pick-up/drop-off lines at Margaret's school because except for 4 rows out of 20, it's just stockinette, so I don't have to think about it too much. 

Today, I'm finally blocking a shawl I started about two years ago.  It's the Beaded Shawl from Vogue Knitting's 2008 Holiday issue.  I bought two skeins of Sophie's Toes yarn in Crimson and dark red glass beads to make the shawl.  I loved working with the yarn and seeing it all come together, but after a repeat or so of the second chart section, it languished in UFO hell.  I don't know why, there is no explanation, but there it sat.  Until a couple months ago when I decided it was high time the shawl was finished.  While working on it this time, however, I realized I would not have enough yarn to work the shawl full size.  Considering the yarn is hand-dyed and two years old (even though Emily is marvelously talented), I didn't think there was a possibility of getting more yarn in the same dye lot.  When I thought about it, though, the pattern calls for lace weight and I was using fingering weight and with all the beads, if I did make it full size, it would be huge and really heavy, so, I only did 5 total repeats of the second chart section.  Also, instead of the bind-off in the pattern (which while ok-ish in lace weight, would have been far too bulky in fingering weight), I just did this simple beaded bind-off. 

You can see the shawl in the background of the picture above (Margaret asked me to take a picture of her making a silly face), here are a couple others.  None are great, as the sky outside is rather cloudy.  I'll try to have a better photo shoot when it's dry.

I'm just glad I got around to blocking it, and took it out of the sink in the powder room before Dave got home and wanted to wash his hands.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pictures will tell my story

Yes, it's been a while. I don't even remember what I talked about last and I can't be arsed to go back and read it, so, here are some pictures

Margaret started at a Montessori school in March. The primary classes are for kids who are three, but luckily they have a class for younger children, too. During the spring and summer she was in the Stepping Stones I class from 1-3pm (two and then three days a week). Now she's in Stepping Stones II which is from 8:30-12:30. She eats lunch there and then comes home to take a nap. She LOVES it.

During the spring, Margaret figured out how to pedal her tricycle, but she's a little tall for it (not that she's stopped riding it). So, I got her a Strider bike. It's amazing how quickly they can pick it up. She gets going so fast and loves picking up her feet to coast along.

We went to California to visit my parents in July. The following are pictures from the trip.

Blowing bubbles in the backyard with "Baba Lynn".

Checking out the flamingos at the zoo.

Checking out a sea snail at Irish Beach. She seems to be really tactile and wanted to touch everything from the dead crab we found to every anemone ever created. She was a little unsure of the ocean the first time we went down to the beach, but had a lot of fun by the end.

This was the last day at the beach, it was the coldest.

With "Baba Lynn" and "Baba Brian".

Back in the valley it was much warmer and a couple of friends invited us to swim in their pools. She loved it. We're now taking swimming lessons through the park district (indoor pool, since it's getting to be fall).

She's a ham and likes to make "silly faces".

Here is the closest I have to a before of our front door and porch area. It is also a before of our garage door. The garage door and opener were replaced in February, the door is now white.

After: We ripped out the box shrubs which were looking pretty punk and put in Everlow yews. We also added the railing and the bench. And of course, the crowing glory is a door that is not mostly bare metal with a little green paint left after it bubbled and broke and then was scraped. Next summer I'll add some large pots with some plants to soften the look of the porch, but in the meantime, I am so please with the improvement.

The Knitting (details on my Ravelry page):

Back of a shrug I made for Margaret.

Dorky me, but cute sweater. I've been wearing this one quite a bit.

This picture does no justice to the color, which is a beautiful natural brown, not at all grey like it seems. Anyway, I actually wore this recently, too. I love the cool mornings we've been having.

Here's a vest/shrug I'll be able to wear once I can close it over my chest. I am looking forward to that day because it is soft and squishy and will be nice and warm.

Last, but not least (except in size). Baby booties for the new one coming. Did I mention I was pregnant? Having another girl :) Chicago area yarn stores had a yarn crawl recently (shop hop) and Margaret and I went to 17 stores. We had a great time and I picked up this yarn at Nina's on Division Street.

I've got lots on the needles (and one on a hook), but that's more than enough pictures for now, I'll let your eyes rest until I have something finished to show you... which, I will try to do before the new baby comes at the beginning of December.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Post?

I know, I haven't written in a while... I think the dashboard said November 2009. Quite honestly, the only times I really think of things to write are when I'm really tired, and it either seems like a lot of work to put together a post with pictures and crap, or I'm already in bed -- and I'm certainly not hauling my ass out of bed and downstairs to write a post. Ok, so my last post was November 18, three days after Margaret turned two.
I'm not even going to go into all the new things she does because you don't want to read it all; suffice it to say, I think she's wonderful and funny and smart. She started a toddler Montessori program this March and loves it. She is still going to a Children's Day Out program once a week through May. Also loves that. She's a pretty independent sprite. I love that she's interested in what's around her; the picture on the right is of her lying on the driveway (yes, in her dress and tights after Easter brunch) checking out a bug. She was rather upset when said bug decided to fly away. She also loves to wear sunglasses, has three pairs. If it is sunny outside, when she goes out she says, "Oh, is sunny. I need sunglasses." Cracks me up.
Ok, so, this is supposed to be a knitting blog, right? And, the last time I wrote, I was knee deep in my dad's Aran sweater (based on Na Craga) and hoping to finish it by Christmas. Well, shockingly, that didn't happen. It did get done before the end of February, though. And even though I had to knit the sleeves more times than I can count (that's what I get for changing a drop sleeve pattern in one gauge into a set-in sleeve pattern in a different gauge with a different fit), I really enjoyed it. And IT FITS HIM PERFECTLY!!!!! Yes, sorry for the yelling, but when he tried it on and showed me over Skype, well, proud just doesn't quite cut it. I don't yet have pictures of him wearing it, but here are a couple of the sweater before I sent it off:
After finishing this sweater, I immediately made two hats for myself; a response to the self-imposed 4 month project monogamy of the sweater.

After that, I fell into a bit of a knitting slump. Didn't know what to work on next... should I cast on something new, work on something old? Blah. However, what has mostly worked (the blahs aren't all gone, but I'm working through them) was following the path of Stephanie. I have a rather large stash of yarn, and in recent years have change my purchase habits. When I started, I would buy one or two skeins of a yarn instead of enough for a sweater because I didn't like making big projects. Now, I'm more likely to make fewer purchases, but containing a sweater quantity of a particular yarn. Some of these yarns had a sweater already designated, some didn't. Jen came over a couple Mondays ago and helped me kit up my sweaters-to-be. We made copies of patterns from books and magazines I own and put them with the required yarn into bags. We picked patterns for yarns that had no sweaters and did the same. She organized my Ravelry queue and made a designation for the Sweater Club of Awesomeness (I didn't even know you could organize your queue like that). So, anyway, I'm actually working on a couple of the smaller sweaters (a vest and a tank). I'm mixing the process and project goals for myself.

And, in November, and again this spring I took jewelry classes at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center. I'm taking the class again starting Thursday. LOVE IT. I did some goldsmithing back in NJ, but hadn't really gotten a chance to do much out here, what with Homeowner's Insurance not looking fondly upon tanks of acetylene gas in the house. The classes are great because the instructor is great and helpful, but I can do what I want. Like make a star for the top of our Christmas tree, or a ring for a friend. Or earrings for my mom and friends. The only thing I've photographed so far is the ring. It's not perfect, but I think it's pretty cool.

And now, I've run out of stuff to say. I know, it's a lot, but here's a deal, I'll try to write less next time, but make it sooner than 4.5 months, if you still are actually reading this post, let alone the blog. Danke.