Tuesday, May 30, 2006

A Finished Object

The Snake Scarf is done (at a little boy length so I have enough to maybe make him a matching hat or another scarf for someone else.)

My crochet swatch. The resulting fabric is so much stiffer than knitted fabric. I'm not sure what I'm going to tackle first. I really want to make the bathroom rug in One Skein. I did buy DMC floss and size 0 and 2 hooks to make the flowers on the front of Vogue Knitting's Knit Simple but that's just too small for a first project.

Happy Boy in the sun. We started off with the sprinkler but mud proved more fun.

Wee Girl enjoying the day with us.

And lastly I got Mason Dixon Knitting via the library. I LOVE this book. I am warshcloth knitting away. :)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Garden Pics and Lots of Parenthetical Comments

These are some of the annuals (Shasta daisy, some other daisy JCC picked out and salvia -- man, do I love that orange/lilac color combination) amongst the monster rhododendron. There is some sort of disease (my gardening knowledgeable FIL says it's a fungus) getting rhodes and azaleas (and I've lost half of what I've planted to it, branch by branch) but these old guys seem immune. I bonsaied him a couple of years ago and he's bigger than ever.

This is the ugly half-dead Silver Maple on our tree-lawn (interestingly [at least to me] tree-lawn is an idiom only used in NE Ohio. There is a great Harvard study on colloquialisms. This is the best link I can find.) Anyway, in our wee city (the Cleveland metropolitan area is divided into many baby bureaucracies that suck the life out of you via heavy taxation) the forestry division is responsible for anything on your tree-lawn. After reading this I happily called up and scheduled Mr. Tree an appointment. They will be taking him down in the next couple of weeks. We are also ENTITLED (in caps just because I find it such an interesting thing in which to be entitled -- I guess this is those tax dollars at work) to a new tree if we so desire. I was thinking I wouldn't want any stinking tree they would have for free but a neighbor just told me that her neighbor got a Serviceberry.

Mom, please note how nice the formerly peach house in the background looks in its new sage colored paint.

Chris's lovely edging work on the back bed.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Busy but Uneventful Week

JCC amazed me by not even mentioning Cyberchase this week. He's still watching a lot of videos -- both ones we own and ones from the library but all of the fussing about missing a show or when does Cyberchase come on is gone. Next week we will work on decreasing the video amount. I keep us all pretty busy with playdates and errands so I'm not sure how to fill the need of his to just sit and veg. He doesn't play well by himself at all. Maybe it's time to learn to read?

I bounce back and forth in my homeschooling idea, not doing it vs. not doing it, but in how much structure is ideal for my children and me. I don't know about wee girl, but JCC and I both seem to do best with a pretty well laid out plan. The Classical mode appeals to me greatly (e.g. St. John's aspirations) and I am really enjoying The Well Trained Mind copy I borrowed from the library. However I don't know if I'm ready to start playing school yet.

On the knitting front I am still plugging along on my sweater and JCC's snake scarf. I also got the Debbie Stoller Crochet book and I love the patterns! Now I need to save up my Joann coupons to get some crochet hooks.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Finally Some Pictures

I disconnected our tv's rabbit ears yesterday -- this means that we can watch movies, but no broadcast television. So far things are not too bad but the fallout will come tomorrow when JCC figures out that this means no Cyberchase -- his favorite PBS show. I am bracing for the reaction.

Half of JCC's snake scarf. I just love Morehouse yarn!

Wee house and gardens.

Newly expanded bed along privet hedge.

Giant bleeding heart that is taking over my bed.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Still Raining. . .

And still no pictures. During this lovely rain the following things have bloomed (and looked horrible): tree peony (looks like a green plant with pink tissue paper clumps stuck to it), new orange poppy (small smudge of orange tissue paper), pink azalea (still looks good!), and a variety of sodden irises. I am ready for some sun.

The UPS got a good scare this evening as he opened our back door to put in a package (One Skein) and got met with one big woofing dog. Of course this was as I was putting both babes too bed. Luckily they kept on sleeping. I like One Skein, of course I want to make the baby bolero and baby hat. The kids cardigan is cute too.

I'm starting Don Quixote tonight as part of my St. John's education in a box. (I applied, got in, but just couldn't afford it. They don't give ANY merit scolarships. Bastards.) This is just more procrastination. . .

Monday, May 15, 2006

We're Back!

We drove back last Thursday. Man, did it suck. First there was a ton of traffic all the way from Bmore to past Hagerstown (it usually thins out around Frederick) and then the torrential rains started and then once I finally got through all of that the poor babe decided to be miserable. I ended up giving her a wee touch of Benadryl so we could make it home. It calmed her down within 5 minutes and I made it from then on without stopping. All together I think I stopped about 9 times. For comparison, when it was just JCC or just me, I would stop 1 time. I had thought about going down to NC to see my Grandma but I just don't think I can do another drive by myself until she's older. Bummer.

When I got home I found my garden had exploded. Little man and I planted the plants we bought at the PA nursery and from my mother on Saturday in between the rain storms. I bought 2 coral bells (one a gold, the other a very patterned maroon), 3 lavenders to replace ones that have died, cilantro, chamomile, basil, rosemary, another herb, 2 limelight Artemisias for my big pots, a red poppy (which I have horrible luck with, I don't know why I'm trying again), and a gaura (this is take two on this one too). All for under $30. From my mother I got a very early daylilly, some of a Heavy Metal grass, more blood grass, tarragon, geum, and turtle heads. I haven't had a chance to get any pictures rain free but I will definitely be taking some as soon as it stops. I have a bleeding heart (old fashioned) that's around 6 feet across. Everything looks enormous. It's wonderful, but the weeds are doing just as well.

Tonight I wound up the rest of the 100purewool for my sweater along with the silk and a skein of worsted merino I bought from Morehouse. I've been busy knitting on a snake scarf for JCC in a rusty variegated sport weight yarn. The Morehouse yarn is interesting -- it looks like a single ply with the fluffiness of the Merino. Wound it also looks bigger than it is, e.g. the 2-ply (sport) looks like a worsted until you knit with it and the 3-ply (worsted) looks like a bulky weight. Pics coming soon!

I had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. I got a variety of gifts (new headphones, a pink/orange shirt & hoodie set and a potential ipod) but my favorite is a new pair of Birks! My old ones (two pairs -- purple suede and black leather, both Arizonas) need a complete overhaul. I've had them 15 and 13 years and I have worn them to pieces (literally). The new ones are with thinner straps and have a blue/green print to them. I didn't even know I wanted a new pair but I love them! The gifting was just a small part of a fun day. We went to lunch at Tommmy's (local veg restaurant), hit the Children's Museum and had coffee. Thanks Chris -- it was a pretty perfect day. :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

More Trip Pics

ACC pushing up. I have JCC in the same pose at the same age. :)

JCC in his fishing hat.

My Dad made this cool copper garden structure, I'm petitioning for one for my birthday.

Munchkins and I at the Railroad Museum of PA. We also took a ride on a steam-engine powered train. Pretty sweet! My back is aching from all of the baby slinging -- I usually hold her in it for errands and a nap but down here it's been a festival, a train ride, and every nap. I think I'm going to need a visit to my chiro.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Still in Bmore

We were supposed to come home this evening but have decided to stay another day. Little Man is currently outside planting flowers with Mommom and is planning on doing some fishing later. Wee Girl is crashed out. She learned how to roll-over this past weekend and is now doing it with skill. As is the usual for when I leave Baltimore, I am going to have to de-caffinate myself when I return. We basically drink coffee all morning and then have some water in the afternoon and then switch to Sangria in the evening. It's a good life. :)

This is a pic my aunt took when we visited her on Monday. Too cute. My aunt has requested pics of our house so I'll do a virtual tour when we get back home. Our house is the polar opposite of hers. My mother deems our style minimalistic and that would seem to be a good definition with an added emphasis on strong colors. I guess my aunt's is country antique. It's gorgeous -- she's the artsy type so everything looks put together -- but there's a lot of stuff and not a lot of bright colors. Think shades of old paper.

Above mentioned aunt has requested a pair of felted slippers so I will be putting them on the list (I need to make Chris and I new pairs too as we wore through ours -- I'm going to buy soles for the next ones.) While down here I cranked out a sun hat intened for ACC but it did not shrink as the pattern said it should (and of course I didn't actually knit a swatch and wash it) so JCC now has what he calls a fishing hat. I'll post pics if I find the card reader to get the pics off my mother's camera.

And here's a pic of the three of us:

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival

Man, was it packed. I read that it was busy, but I had no idea that it was this busy. My mother was in shock at the number of people that turned out to see a bunch of sheep and yarn. It was about 45 minutes from when we got off of I-70 until we were parked. It was quite a hike into the festival grounds and we were glad we hit the food stand when we did as we had a *short* 15 minute line. We were both glad that JCC chose to stay with his grandfather (boating, fishing and airplane visiting ensued) as it was packed and there wasn't much of interest to little ones beyond the livestock. Wee girl was in the sling (and was ogled) and we were fine going through the displays but you would not be able to get a stroller through there. It was truly packed. Luckily it was perfect weather -- 75 and sunny.

I did pretty ok shopping wise -- a skein of silk (200 yds), and another of merino (500 yds) at one place and then I hit the Morehouse Farm stall. I Love their style -- simple designs with beautiful soft yarn and I managed to escape the stall for just under $100. I got a signed copy of the book, a snake scarf kit for JCC, a shawl kit for me (in a colorway that will match my camel hair cape) and one skein of heavy worsted merino that I just loved. I saw tons more gorgeous stuff but I am happy with what I bought, especially considering my trunk full of yarn at home.

The rest of the Baltimore visit has been nice!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Secret Pal Answers

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love the merino from 100purewool (ebay seller.) I'm not a big fan of novelty yarns or acrylic in general.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I have a Denise set and then just some dpns that live in a side pocket in my knitting bag. Nothing special.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

I've only been knitting about 1.5 years but am probably on the intermediate or above level. Just about every project I try and learn something new.
4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?


5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

I am addicted to the orange creamsickle smell -- I've never found any bath products like that and the candle company stopped making it. :( But I like anything citrus-y.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

I have a huge sweet tooth. I love chocolate -- Junior Mints are the current fave.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

I'm taking a spinning class this June so that's definitely on the horizon. I'm thinking of taking up crochet too. Other hobbies include photography and scrapbooking (but that's really just to document my children's lives). I am an avid gardener.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I have very varied music tastes -- from dancehall to blues to modern rock. I can play MP3s.

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I am currently in love with blue and brown together, as well as pink and orange. I love strong colors. Really, just no beige/taupe/mauve/peach.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I am married with two children, a 3.5 year old son and a 3 month old daughter. I have 4 obnoxious cats and 1 huge mutt of a dog.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

In Cleveland we are fond of our cold weather gear! Though I don't think I'm the poncho type. (But I do have a cape!)

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

I really like knitting stuff for my kids -- I can try out new stuff and still have a quick sense of accomplishment. Mainly I knit stuff to wear.

13. What are you knitting right now?

I am making the Drop-Stitch Cardigan from the Fall 05 IK for me!

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?


15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I prefer circular needles. I knit mainly with my Denise set -- I haven't explored much outside of that. I do know I don't like metal DPNs.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

I own both.

17. How did you learn to knit?

From the SnB book and online videos.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?

I don't have any. If I don't like it I frog it.

19. What is your favorite holiday?

Any of the summer ones -- 4th of July, or Labor Day. Really I just like having outdoor parties and they are a good excuse.

20. Is there anything that you collect?

Nothing besides yarn.

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

I subscribe to IK. I am looking to get One Skein and Mason Dixon Knitting but I may order them soon. :) I love Lornas Laces but have never bought any.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Oh, I'm always looking for something new. I think spinning is going to be my next technique.

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?

I am not yet a sock knitter. Though I do have some yarn in my stash awaiting the day.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

June 26th