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.