Monday, December 03, 2007

Finally. . .A Sweater

A Simple Knitted Bodice by Stefanie Japel
Started in March, finished in November
Size 3 & 5 KnitPicks Options Needles
Tess's Designer Yarns Silk/Merino (awesome!)

I'm pretty happy with this -- I really would love it if the neckline was narrower which it would have been if I had been able to do it as written. Instead I did one purl ridge and then bound off. The sleeves are also not as belled as written and also only have one purl ridge. Why? Only about 5 yds of yarn leftover!

As for that oh so much smaller Jaywalker, it has been frogged. Apparently now that I'm knitting again I'm knitting at a much more normal gauge. Which is kinda nice, I guess, but really throws off existing projects. Thank goodness I didn't screw up the above sweater.

Goofy Children Pics

Wearing his Joseph Coat!

In small children news, Miss A is talking up a storm and Mr J is in the middle of one of his watershed times (he never learns just one thing at a time) and is learning to read, tell time and do some math. Lot's fun!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Woo Hoo! A Handspun Hat

I finally ripped back and added some rows to Mr. J's hat -- I love it! The pattern is the Earwarmer Hat from LTK. I am very happy with how my spinning is progressing. It's taken long enough!

And now the sock. . . notice the size difference. Any suggestions? I am loathe to rip out a finished sock.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Candy Fairy Visits

In our house the Candy Fairy visits Halloween night and removes all candy and leaves a present for each child. This year they each got a cape plus one wee one for a dolly. A local homeschooling mama made them and while they weren't cheap I am happy to support her and not have to worry about the conditions in which they were made or when they're going to fall apart.

My own bit of happiness -- Hanna Andersson Mary-Janes

There has been a bit of knitting. I'm working on a hat for Little Man out of some of my handspun. I finished the hat but it is a little too small (Is there anyone who can just knit a project without having to rip back? I am envious!) However this is my first project with my handspun that looks good! I'm so happy. And then today I did some spinning and was able to get a nice lace weight that I could ply. Little Man also spun his first lumpy bumpy skein. Sniff sniff. Hopefully the first of many. Pics of the hat coming soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Update with Cute Pics

Still here. Still not knitting. Actually that was true until the other night when I couldn't stand watching another game without something on the needles. For fear of being cursed if I worked on my Jaywalkers (sox you know) I started this cute little baby hat for a friend's three week old daughter. I think this is my 5th or so baby hat out of the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted. My gosh is that nice yarn. The pattern is a cute little cable that's not so easy to see in this pic.

Halloween is sure to be cute this year!

Finished Jaywalker. The mate due sometime next year, sigh.

And in exciting news, I'm going back to work. Well, not really, but sorta. I'll be working a few hours a week for Chris over here DashCommerce. I'll mainly be on the forums and working support. There has been talk of database work but I'm not sure if that's just a carrot to get me over to the dark side. :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Another Great Mail Day

Here in the land of no knitting and very little emailing (hurts to do either -- chiro appt scheduled for Friday) today (as well as Saturday) was a great mail today. I have won two blog contests of late, one from the lovely Tamara and one from the lovely Diane. Due to a twist of fate involving irregular mail carriers and taking a trip across the Atlantic they both arrived today. What loveliness! Thank you both!

Diane sent a large skein of fingering weight silk in an amethyst and sage colorway along with a sample of brightly dyed synthetic fiber. The fiber feels awesome and I love the colors. As for the silk, the new Magknits came out today and maybe Blossom would be a good use for this?

Tamara sent 2 braids of fiber. The burgundy one is superwash and the magenta one is merino. Both are nice and squishy. I'm sure I'll try and spin up some sock yarn with the superwash. I'll have to ponder what to do with the magenta.

On Saturday I received my 3rd installment of Scout's Swag. This time it was dyed by Yarn Nerd. Not my favorite colorway (Chuck T's) but the GoKnit pouch made it all better. I've been coveting one of these for a while. I think it should make knitting while trailing children much easier.

Little Boy turned 5 on Sunday. The party on Saturday was quite fun. On Sunday we continued the celebration by going out to a coffee shop (his request) and opening gifts. It is amazingly hard to find toys NOT made in China. I was even at our local toy store that tries to stock the not so commercial toys. He did well anyway and we've been enjoying the new playthings.

Hopefully some knitting FOs to show next post!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome be Dammned

I'm knitting. And it hurts. My arm aches and aches. Which really sucks as I have a whole lot of work to do. I've taken to wearing a splint while online and knitting and hopefully this will provide some relief. I had taken a summer break hoping the pain would go away with some rest but it's back in full force.

I'm halfway done one sleeve on the SKB.

I'm progressing down my Jaywalker again -- this is going to be a 3-balls of yarn pair of socks. Luckily the LYS had another ball and in the same dyelot too. I swear these are the slowest going socks ever. I knit and I knit and I always have two more inches until I can start the toe decreases. If I were not so in love with the colors and striping I would rip out and start something else.

Next I've started a pair of sidewinders. I've only knit the first part and it is remarkably unremarkable. These will be fun just to see how the sock takes shape.

This morning I cast on for another dishcloth. One can never have enough of these. Knitting on size 6 needles feels like quite a treat after the 0s and 1s for the socks. Even the SKB is on a 4.

Lastly I'm going to cast on a pair of longies out of the Mystic Creations yarn from a few years ago. A friend has asked me to be at her birth (a homebirth) and as they're a cloth diapering family I'm thinking these will be a nice addition to the babe's winter wardrobe.

Little Man is turning 5 this week and on Saturday we're having our last party of the season. They don't really stress me out too much anymore but it will be nice to have it out of the way. Next week begins our Waldorf class (We need more kids! If you're in the area and know of anyone interested please let me know) and I'm hoping to get the Enki curriculum in the next few months with any birthday money I can scrape together.

Cleveland is a great town for local eating this summer. Between our CSA share, the City Fresh share and the farmer's market we've had pretty much all local produce this season. As I mainly cook vegan we're doing pretty good on keeping our food money close to home. I'm not sure how the fall/winter scene is going to look as I haven't canned (next year!) but hopefully Whole Foods won't consume too much of our food budget. Tonight I'm going to try this tomato sauce recipe in hopes of making a ton next week and freezing it for winter.

Unfortunately the running has not been so great. With the mugginess of August I decided it would be best to run in the morning before the kids awake. Unfortunately almost every time I wake so does wee girl. Here's hoping the coolness of fall will let me run in the evening. Now I have to go knit. . .

Sunday, July 29, 2007


I can't believe July is over -- I'm not sure I've even knit more than a row or two. No spinning at all. Instead we visited my family in Baltimore, I exercised a ton and read quite a few books. I'm organizing a Waldorf class to meet one day a week in the fall if you know of anyone that's interested.

Now that Ohio's farms are finally churning out the food we've been spending our weekends eating our way through the local veggies. On Saturdays the kids and I hit our local farmer's market for produce, on Sunday we get our CSA pick-up and the rest of the week I cook it all up. I'm looking to add in one other CSA in the hopes that I can stop the need to visit Whole Foods mid way through the week. While we've been doing many of these things for years, my passion to use the food well has been spurned on by reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I think it presents farming in a pretty idealistic manner, however it was still enjoyable and thought provoking. Last week's lesson -- okra does not work well roasted. Bleh! Tough as leather.

Unfortunately, my own garden has not done well. I think I got everything in too late and then our local groundhog ate many things. Now I'm just waiting for my tomatoes to ripen.

The daylillies are almost over but here are three pretty ones:

Now the missing pics from last post:

Spunky Club Handspun

Cherry Tree Hill Sock Yarn from Melissa

Cascade Sierra bought from a yarn store gift cert. from my brother! Destined to be a Tomato.

On Sunday we did haircuts! This is his Robby (my brother) in training cut.

Muffin batter bowl licking!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Mail Call!

On Monday I received my June Spunky Club shipment and it is wonderful! She has such great colors. This one is called Tulip (and indeed resembles its namesake) but also works as good firefighter colors. I spun up more than half of it last night and I think it will be the yarn for Little Man's winter mittens. One random discovery I figured out while putting away my wheel is that I can spin my much desired thin yarn if I'm standing up. I do have a single treadle so this is possible but not really a comfortable option for long-term -- any suggestions? I'm thinking it's the room to pull out a longer draw that is letting met get down to the thinner gauge.


Today's mail brought the June Scout's Swag shipment. A beautiful teal blue almost solid BFL and a cabled Cookie sock pattern. I'm sure it will be December before I have the two of them done but they will be stunning. I'm still intending on making a pair of Monkey socks out of the April selection. My camera battery is DOA so here's someone else's pic and here's a closeup of the pattern.

In WIP news, I should be casting off the body of the SKB today. I checked and I have two more skeins of yarn (one hidden benefit of losing weight is using less yarn) so I'm going to do the long sleeve version. Which means this will be done sometime this fall, knowing me. Clapotis is coming along as well. I just started the straight section after doing a few extra repeats of the increases.

Tuesday was my 30th birthday and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Sergio's Sarava. We had the full works (drink, apps, soup, entree, dessert and wine) and it was a wonderful birthday present. Wee children were with our new babysitter and it felt like old times. Yesterday we had wonderful weather for a birthday party and it was a great time as well. A friend gave me some scrumptious Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn in electrified sherbet colors that will be the most awesome Melinda socks of all time. She also included some beautiful blue stitch markers which are my first non-utilitarian markers. I will enjoy them Melissa, thank you!

Now I am off to pack, tomorrow we leave for a week in Baltimore.

Friday, June 22, 2007

JCC's Self Portrait and a Tended Yard

No knitting updates (it continues on much the same) but we did get our brush pile ground up this week and I am thrilled with the results. JCC had to take some pics after I did mine and his are priceless.

These are the after photos -- just imagine piles of brush throughout the ravine and you'll appreciate my joy at their absence.

The epitome of a 4.5 year old boy.

Knitting on the SNB (and it's huge size 5 needles) has wounded me -- I have a hole in my finger. Ouch. So instead of knitting I am spending my evening uploading pics of my stash. Fun fun.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

In a Knitting Mood

Finally the urge to knit has struck again and I am busy cranking out the stitches. I picked the Simple Knitted Bodice back up and have just finished the lace band. Working the lace on size 3 needles with a worsted weight yarn leaves my wrist sore but the result is lovely.

Next for easy knitting in the company of others I've started another Clapotis. This time in a sport weight silk/merino named Tokyo by Interlacements on size 4 needles. Both of these projects were ones I decided on last summer and bought the yarn for at Stitches Midwest. I figure I can't responsibly visit another fiber festival until I've caught up with those purchases so I'm hoping to get these finished up over the next month.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Finished Just in Time

Just in time for Father's Day, 4 months late for his birthday. (Those are socks hanging there in case you can't tell.)

And here are JCC and I in the jungle posing by the ferns. I'm laughing as he's trying to get me to sniff the ferns (I have him trained to sniff flowers for photos). Yeah, I know he's cuter.

Lastly I have a drop stitch scarf out of my Forecast handspun. I was running late to my SnB and needed something requiring little thought to work on. This seemed to fit the bill. I can't wait for my next Spunky Club fiber to arrive. It's fun seeing what great colors she creates.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Spinning Away

Spinning has been an interesting pursuit for me because even though I don't do it very often my improvements seem exponential from time to time. Maybe it's because I've been doing some reading and thinking about it in the off time, but the results are getting closer and closer to what I want.

The first thing I spun up was the February installment of the Spunky Club, a merino named Forecast. I tried a technique from The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook (awesome awesome book) and divided my roving by color and spun one bobbin mostly blue and the other mostly brown. I then plied them together. Or at least that's what I intended on doing. The actual result is so loosely plied it's humorous. But that's ok as the spinning itself was pretty good. It's spun enough that it didn't come apart when I was taking it off of the bobbin and yet isn't kinky.

Next I spun up another thing of roving from HPY. This time without nearly the amount of cursing as the last time. I tried a different technique and spun from the fold and found that this made it much much easier to deal with the slippery merino. I was trying different draws on this one and it's not as consistent as I would like, but overall it's strong and beautiful.

On Saturday instead of hanging with my usual knit cronies I visited The Cast on Cafe in Willoughby, OH with a mama friend. What a great shop! Despite my resolve to not buy yarn (ha) I bought some beautiful cotton crepe for some sort of tank. Usually at yarn shops I am amazed at the yarns but sad at the prices but she had some wonderful stuff for decent prices and I will definitely be going back.

I'm currently debating whether to knit Sizzle or a basic tank from the store's pattern. I got gauge and cast on for Sizzle but somehow my gauge in seed stitch is way off from my stockinette. I have frogged and am going to try again with a smaller needle and hope for the best.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Garden Mosaic

Garden Mosaic

The end of May is a great time for a Cleveland garden -- lots in bloom and the deer have plenty of other things to munch.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

That Whole 7 Random Things Thing

Both PCR and Laura tagged me for this . . . I'm not tagging anyone as I think it has to have gotten to everyone by now. :)

1. Both of my children were born on the rug in our bedroom. I will now keep that rug forever.

2. I never willingly touched a worm until the Little Man made me do so. I didn't want to spread one of my irrational issues to my child so I held it all the while inwardly chanting "Eweweweweweweewe."

3. I could eat Thai food everyday and not tire of it. Luckily this area of Cleveland is blessed with many a good restaurant and I've become reasonably proficient at various curries.

4. If you saw my wardrobe you would think it belonged to two people. Half is your basic khaki, navy, black, work acceptable clothing and the other half (mainly pj's, socks, and exercise gear) is shocking pink and orange.

5. I will be 30 years old one month from today!

6. I never had any interest in gardening growing up even though both of my parents do plenty of it (dad has veggies, mom flowers) as they never wore gloves and I dislike touching dirt. When we moved here I bought some gloves and found a new love.

7. Every few years I have a word that I dislike -- first it was "genre", then "utilize" and most recently "meme". :)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

FO: Sew U Skirt

Look at that -- I finished something! Chris has been going to sleep at the same time as the munchkins (he started his own business and is getting up really early as to have more time to work) and to try and to entertain myself in the evenings I finally made the skirt from Sew U. I wussed out on the zipper and darts and subbed elastic instead. This was very, very easy to make. My only real issue was due to my poor cutting skills. I think I may buy a rotary cutter, mat and straight edge to eliminate that problem. I do like the book but would note that you have to be pretty slim to make the patterns -- the above is the largest size skirt and I am way out of range of the shirt pattern.

Many thanks to Kate, Nancy and Stacey for posting their projects, sharing encouragement and advice, and just in general being sew inspiring (groan). I just love bloggers!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Making Up for Lost Time (pic intensive)

Apparently 4.5 years is the age of a rechargeable battery -- in the last few months we've had to replace both the video camera battery and now the digital camera. So, here are a few posts worth of pics.

Chris kindly made me these raised beds for some veggies! They are all planted in the square-foot gardening method and we now have lots of seedlings popping through. I'll go more in depth later.

Close-up of Nasturium growing in above bed.

We put down 15 yards of mulch two weeks ago. It makes everything really stand out.

The new hammock was my Mother's Day gift along with a latte and iTunes card!

The pansies are trying to rally after they were deer lunch.

The tree peony was stunning this year.

This is the tree peony I bought at last year's super end of season sale. Just one beautiful bloom this year.

Bleeding hearts are always pretty.

My mother brought me up the stunning hosta. I Love it!

A kind neighbor let us dig up a bunch of ostrich ferns last year but we thought they had died. Turns out that the first year you move ferns they put all of their energy into their roots.

And finally some knitting! I lucked out a few months ago and got a spot in the Scout's Swag Sign-up. Here is the beautiful yarn (named Lavender Mint) posing with the bluebells. Anyone have any ideas for a non-boring sock pattern that won't take forever? I love the Jaywalkers but it is not a speedy sock for me (have to look at it.) The next pic is one of the finished socks for my father. They were intended for his birthday but as that was in February, I'm now aiming for Father's Day. It's mate is half-way done.

It was close to 90 yesterday and we scoured the local stores for a rigid kiddy pool (the inflatable ones don't last long with outdoor kitties) wee girl enjoyed scooping water onto the plants.