Monday, August 1, 2011

Knitting again

Back in February I took a class at the wonderful Knitche on how to knit continental to improve the speed of my knitting, because although I'm a good knitter, I am not at all fast.  It was a good class and I decided to only knit with the yarn in my left hand after that, to practice and improve and pick up speed.  Well, as it turns out, all it did was kill my desire to knit.  Sure, for a while I dutifully knit with the yarn in my left hand, and while it wasn't slower than how I knit before, my knitting didn't have the same even tension.  I knew the tension issues would resolve with practice, but instead, what happened is that slowly, I just stopped picking up my knitting.  Instead, I spun and crocheted; I like doing those things, so it wasn't a hardship, but I have a lot of knitting projects on the needles and I missed the easy (if slow) relationship I had with knitting.  So, yesterday, I decided, the heck with knitting faster eventually, I want to knit, period.  So, I'm back to my slow but steady throwing technique, and I knit more yesterday than I have for months.
Point Reyes, North Beach

We went out to California at the beginning of June to visit my parents.  Dave couldn't come due to too much work crap scheduled, but Margaret and Alice and I had a great time.  They were even good on the plane.

Reading with Grandpa Brian
As you can see, we went to the beach.  Had to rent a minivan to get us all there, two car seats and three adults do not fit into a Subaru Impreza Outback!  But it was worth it, Margaret loved seeing the ocean again, and Alice got her first taste (literally) of sand.  The first time we took Margaret to the ocean, she was crawling, and so when we set her on the sand, she tried to crawl, and because of, well, sand, her hands slipped out from under her and she face-planted.  I suppose it's lucky that Alice wasn't yet crawling, because she sat there fascinated and then started trying to eat the sand.  Didn't seem to hate it, thought it was interesting.
Rainbow across from my parents'

Swimming at Connie's
 My mom has some really wonderful friends, and one of them had us over to swim in her pool.  We had another offer from another friend, but it was our last day and Margaret was so tired she didn't even want to blow bubbles.  Alice and Margaret both loved the pool!  Margaret has been taking swimming lessons, and you could tell that she was much more comfortable with the water than last year.  She even swam the length of the pool and back by herself with a couple noodles.
 While we had the minivan, we also went to Fairytale Town.  It is such a cute place and Margaret had a blast.
 When we were at Point Reyes, Margaret kept asking to pet the cows we saw, so when she got a chance to pet this yearling, she was thrilled!  She also spent a good amount of time petting a sheep.
 One of the wonderful things about Fairytale Town is that everything is kid-powered.  There are no rides, just things for kids to climb on and play on and slide down.  To enjoy it, you have to be active.  Also, adults aren't allowed in without children, unless they are attending a birthday party and are on the guest list, so you don't just have random people there... it's just for the kids.
@ de Young Sculpture Garden

 One of the days, Margaret went to the Sacramento Zoo with my dad while my mom and I took Alice and went with one of my mom's friends into San Francisco.  There we went to the de Young Museum to see their exhibit "Balenciaga and Spain" and to the Legion of Honor to see "Pulp Fashion".  Nothing I say can really do justice to either exhibit.  Amazing. 

I also really enjoyed seeing some friends and their kids.  I just wish I could have spent more time with them, too!  Andrea and Jodi, bring the families out here!

We were in CA for 2.5 weeks, which was not enough time with friends and family, but a little too long to be out of our normal routine.  Margaret was a little hesitant to return to school, especially since during the summer she has a new teacher in a new room.  She got over her tears quickly, though and has been thoroughly enjoying herself.

Polwarth wool, color Hoarfrost.
Jen and Alice
The Friday after we returned, I went up to the Lake County Fairgrounds with Jen and Alice (Margaret spent Thursday night and Friday with her Grandma Kathy) to attend a class at the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art Fair.  We took Photographing Your Fiber with the always wonderful Franklin Habit.  I had a fangirl squee moment when we walked into the class and he knew that we had met before.  The class was great; some of it was needed review, and some of it was new to me, but it was all fun and I got the nerve to play around with the settings on my camera.  The picture above is one I took at the end of class.  Although I would switch the lighting around a bit, the color is pretty true.  It is a mostly worsted spun combed top that I enjoyed spinning.

As I was standing in line waiting to get into the fair to class, I saw Carol Sulcoski of Go Knit in Your Hat and Black Bunny Fibers walking into the building.  When I happened to see her after class, I took the opportunity to say hi (even though I felt like an uberdork) and she was so friendly.  My darling friend Nan was there, and since I hadn't seen her in far too long, that was wonderful.  I also met up with a friend I only knew online, Diane, and had a blast hanging out with her.  Diane and I introduced ourselves to Abby Franquemont.  Now, I have wanted to take a spinning class with her for quite some time, but with Margaret and then Alice around, I thought it wasn't the best idea.  Well, she basically double-dog dared me to take a class with her that weekend, so when I got home, I signed up for her Blended Fibers class that Sunday morning.  Boy am I glad I did, I learned so much, including that I needed a new wheel.  My Louet S-10 is wonderful, but it is not great for spinning fine yarns.

 I will conclude with a few more California pictures.  I haven't even hit July, that will be coming soon.
Blowing bubbles with Grandpa Brian, Grandma Lynn and Alice in the background.
At the Tempo Park playground
At the "chicken park" in Fair Oaks.
Checking out the horses at Orangevale Park
First ice cream cone.  Strawberry.

One of the first few days when it was cold and rainy.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Long Day

I started this by giving a detailed description of the past two days.  Then I thought to myself, "Self, they don't need the gory details."  I deleted it and you may thank me later (I like yarn and fiber to spin, I will wait by my mailbox).  The upshot is that Margaret is sick and I feel really bad for her.  She's been vomiting and we spent the morning in the ER and Zofran helps, but she had to take another dose before bed and I was really hoping the dose in the hospital would have gotten her over the hump and she would have been better by now.

In other news, I painted her nails for the first time on Wednesday.  I got quick drying polish because if it took long to dry it wasn't going to stay on
Check out my awesome nails.
While she was feeling a little better today, we got our hair cut.  I take her to the same woman who cuts my hair because she got a crappy cut at one of the kid places, and I really like the woman who cuts my hair and she does a great job with Margaret, too.  I'll have to take a picture of her when she's feeling better.

I made the doll, AND the dress.  Crazy.
Margaret with Petronella.
 So, there is the doll in her dress.  Rather proud.  First time I believe I've sewn something on a machine that wasn't just a straight seam.  When I showed my mom on Skype she thought it was nice, but thought my mother-in-law made it.  She was much more appreciative of the awesomeness when she was informed that I made it (because it would have been no great shakes for either grandma to make because they both sew very well).
Pay no attention to the large drop of drool on my chin.
In other news, The Countess is getting bigger and stronger every day.  She was also really good while we were in the ER.  Started getting her to sleep in her own crib and room last Friday and so far it's going pretty well.

Figured out how to stop these entries from posting as notes in Facebook (really not at all intuitive).  Next time I'll show you progress on my Polwarth fiber.

Monday, March 28, 2011


If you are reading this on Facebook, it might seem strange that I was talking about Alice as if I hadn't mentioned her before or posted pictures.  However, I am actually writing this at, my blog, which I've been crap at updating recently.  Somehow, a while ago, I linked things so these posts show up as FB notes, and I have no idea how to change it.  So, there you have it.  I'll have a real post again soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

We've got a new addition

 Since my last post, Alice was born.

Hi, I'm here!
She was due December 3, and I had a C-section scheduled December 2.  She came November 23.  She was 9 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches.

Cuddling with Mommy.
Margaret checks out the new addition.
 Margaret has been a good big sister and likes to help... when she feels like it.

Hanging out on the lovely blanket from Nan.
Alice had her 4 month check up on Wednesday and weighed 16 lbs and was 25".  I can't believe she's only four months old, it seems like she's been here longer than that.  She's a sweet kid and pretty easy, which is good.  She loves Margaret and watches her like a hawk.

I can still get in a little spinning and knitting time, although there isn't much to show for it, yet.  This is some BFL top I spun with a short woolen draw.  Almost two hundred yards.  It is a bit warmer and less grey in color than it photographs.  It's not perfect, but I'm pretty happy with it.  I loved spinning it, it was so silky.  Right now I have a lovely Polwarth on the wheel, colorway Hoarfrost.  I'm trying a worsted draft and hoping it will be about a heavy fingering weight when plied.

Oh, I did sew a dress for the Waldorf doll I made Margaret.  I'm pretty impressed with myself since it is not my forte.  I am planning on getting back to blogging a bit more often, so I'll post a picture next time.  And more recent photos of the girls.