Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday #101

Another Tuesday has rolled around and our home has plenty of opportunities to take advantage of "Tackle it Tuesday"!!!
For knitting related information just scroll down a little bit

I went outside for this one because the weather was so very nice!! It was great fun to clean up the garden and plant new plants - this could also be categorized at Minutes for Mom!!! The kids were playing and getting along - at points helping out and then doing their own things.
Without further ado - the above picture is the before shot of our raised bed. The one below is the after shot. It's kind of sideways but that was the only way to fit the whole thing in so that the plants would show.

Planted in the raised garden are: 3 kinds of tomatoes (Patio, Mr. Stripey, and Golden Jubilee), eggplant, straightneck squash, zucchini, and 2 types of cucumber (regular old green ones and then Lemon Cucumbers). The Mr. Stripey Tomato and the Lemon Cucmbers just looked kind of cool so I decided to try them out. I have never tried to grow cucumbers, but since everyone in our family loves to eat them I thought it would be fun.
On to the next part of the planting:

Above is the before shot of part of our garden to the right of the raised bed. Below is the after shot.

There are two rows there. The top one, closest to the fence has ornamental gourds - I have always wanted to grow these, dry them and have the kids make bird nests out of them. The bottom row, closest to the yard has pumpkins. We grow pumpkins every year and the kids simply love them!! We bake them, make pies, breads, and cookies. We roast the seeds and we carve some of the pumpkins for Halloween. Lots of fun.

This is the scarf for my father-in-law for Hannukah 2008 (HA!! I can plan ahead - just not always that well :o) it matches the Pro Bono Hat I also made him.
Started: March 3, 2008
Finished: April 27, 2008
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun Chunky
Color#: 7126 Lot#: 35772
Neeles: US size 10
Finished scarf measures 12 1/4 inches wide by 74 1/4 inches long

DD#2 at a recent wedding we attended modeling a stole I made. She was having a fantastic time!!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Moments for Me Monday

Today is Monday and I took this challenge. I took a few minutes out while the youngest was napping and sat on the couch and just knit! No chores, No starting dinner, No laundry, None of the millions of other things that I could have been doing.
4 inches on the baby sweater for dh's cousin. It was great to just relax in the middle of the day - kind of decadent ! It was hard to make myself stay down, but now I am feeling sooooo rejuvinated - the rest of todays chores should be a piece of cake.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Coral Bells in our backyard
my favorite

Monday, April 21, 2008

ds#2 bear

ds#2 has a new bear!

Started: 4/8/08
Finished: 4/20/08
Gifted: ds#2
Needles: US#7
Yarn: Bear - Leewards Orlon Sayelle - 100% Dupont Orlon (kinda scratchy)
Color: #1522 Light Cinnamon
Lot: #120196 010
Yarn: Clothes - Berroco Plush Colors - 100% Nylon (very soft :o)
Color: #1951
Lot: #31
I gave the bear to him as soon as it was finished and he hasn't put it down :o) That's gratitude for you!!!

How come I always feel better when I know that someone is going through the same challenges as I am. As if it somehow reinforces that I am not the ONLY ONE with child rearing challenges or home organizational challenges. I am drawn to those who have a fun outlook at the same challenges that I am going through and it somehow helps me to overcome my feelings of inadequacy. For example, over at We Are That Family, she has a truly hilarious way of looking at most things family and child related. Even the sick and vomiting times - I find myself nodding my head and laughing until I think I will fall off the chair because I have been there, but not with quite the same outlook. Then there are the blogs where moms are trying to juggle tons of things along with keeping a home and feeding the family. It is just so nice to be able to relate and know that maybe, just maybe, it will all work out in the end and my husband's family won't mind so much (and whisper to the rest of the clan about my lack of housekeeping skills) when they show up unannounced and find that one of the couches in completely covered in laundry. At least it was CLEAN laundry!!!

Friday, April 18, 2008

It's not my fault.....

Really, it's not my fault!! Well.....ummmm....you see, it's like this. There's this really nice lady at my LYS.....and you see.....it's all her fault. She keeps showing me all these great yarns and great projects and well.....

I kind of fell off the stash/project wagon. Kind of in a big way --- To be fair to myself, this is not all that she showed me and it is not all that I actually saw at the store. I really and truly should be proud of the great restraint I showed!

The above is cotton, but I couldn't make it upload in the correct place so I will explain about this a little later in this post.

Aren't these just so pretty?? They have cool names too - from left to right - Coral, Bubblegum, and Vanilla. I just want to eat them up right now.

Sorry this picture is a little blurry - I just couldn't get a better one. Yes, I cast on for another project. This yarn is so-o-o very soft and it feels very warm - it is a pleasure to knit with.

The yarn above will become this for my dh's cousin who is due in July. My girls are asking for some in larger sizes-hmmmm.....

This I simply could not pass up. Look at those colors!!! It came as a kit for a stole - I have NOT (yes you read correctly, NOT) cast on for this yet. I'm not sure I can hold out much longer. It looks like an incredibly easy quick knit. Yes, I know that if I were to give myself over to just one project at a time, they would all be relatively quick. HOWEVER, I have gone over to the dark side and cannot resist the pull of all this beautiful fiber and new exciting projects.
From Left to Right:
1 skein Abuko in colorway Sunrise on Daffodils (100% Nylon)
1 skein Kilimanjaro in colorway Sunrise on Daffodils (95% Mohair/5% Nylon)
1 skein Kalahari in colorway Sunrise on Daffodils (100% Nylon Ribbon)
2 skeins Shira in colorway Sunrise on Daffodils (54% Mohair/23%sild/18%wool/5%nylon)

This is the project for the first yarn pictured in this post. I really like cotton yarns - I'm not sure why, but there you have it. This yarn is a very pretty color, but it is very splitty. For the swatch, I used a knitted caston, but that was way too fiddly and I had to be very careful. For the project, I used a long tail cast on and that was much, much better. I truly like the way this is knitting up and it seems to be not quite so splitty while I am knitting. The color is a little darker than the picture, but the picture is pretty close.

This is the pattern I am using. It seems pretty straight forward and I can't wait to finish because I belive it is something I might actually wear.

The birthday brownies that I baked for our 2nd grade teacher. I thought smugly that I would make them the morning of her birthday so that they would be nice and fresh and soft and warm. I thought they would be the best ever. Well.....After I cut them, I put the iciing on. Gee, guess what happened - they were still so warm the icing melted!! The brownies were well liked so I guess it was not a complete disaster :o)

AND - Lest you think that nothing but knitting and fun happened around here and I truly am a sloth - the Tuesday challenge job was completed this afternoon!!

All the bins on the counter were reduced to a few inboxes on my desk.

What's left is just a few appointments to be made - on the "to do" schedule for next week, some craft projects and new books to read to the kids and knitting patterns and magazines that need to be filed. Everything else was put away, recycled, or delegated to the filing bin. Now that's a truly scary bin!!!
Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tackle it Tuesday or "Messy Tuesday"

So....I have been reading a site named "5 minutes for mom" and have kind of been drawn in to the "Tackle It Tuesdays". Pick a place or job in the home that needs to be tackled and commit to "fixing" it.

This is my JOB for the week. All the papers that have been accumulating. This is not just filing (that has it's own bin) - no...these are actual things that need attention: bills, phone calls, kids stuf, etc.

I was also sucked in by Shan and Jen as I read about some of their "Tuesday Messes". I decided to jump on the messy Tuesday bandwagon!@!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fun FO's

A couple of weeks ago we had a girls night out at Opalz, a soap making store, and made some cool little soaps!! They smell good too!

The other night (Friday is family movie night here) we watched "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium" and it made a HUGE impression on our youngest. If you haven't seen it yet I won't ruin it for you, but it is really cute. If you have seen it, you will understand my son's hat fetish now!! He now chooses and combines hats at will - very, very funny!! Unless.....you are trying to get out of the house fast to go somewhere that you have to be on time - like school for example.

The first Mother Bear Project finished. The embroidery could be a bit better, but practice makes perfect!! This one has been claimed by DS#1 - I will need to make a few (just like the hats) for the kids before I can give one away. They are quite fun to knit. The construction is very clever - the bear is started at the feet then you work your way up the legs and the torso, then the head and the the torso and legs and feet. Basically it is knit as one piece and then sewn together. I have another one that needs to be sewn together and will post a picture of it before I do sew it.

Another one of the fun hats. This one the top portion is in yellow only and then the variegated was added.

The yarn for this hat is Berroco Plush Colors in color #1975 dye lot# 4701 otherwise known as purple. It was knit on US#7 and the same pattern as for the hat above was used. This yarn is incredibly soft; however the stitch definition does not show up at all. DD#1 does not seem to mind though. As soon as it came off the needles, she claimed it as her own.

Progress is being made on dh's sweater. One sleeve is almost done then the second sleeve, weaving in of the ends and blocking. Sounds simple, but it takes me quite awhile!! Since it looks basically the same, there is not photo yet.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Yesterday, instead of doing this

or this
ds#3 and I did this

and this

and this

and this - we made play dough and had a wonderful morning making pancakes and cookies and cakes and snails and snakes.

it finally did get done around 10 pm

after dinner

what a great way to spend the morning!! Play dough is FUN

Monday, April 7, 2008

A little bit o'knittin'

Some progress on the spiral blanket. There is a bit more, but no updated pictures. Next shape to be integrated is a triangle.

Scarf to match the "Pro Bono" Hat for my FIL. This is about 2/3 of the way done. It is a really simple 2X2 rib with a 2 stitch garter row on the outside to keep it from rolling.
That's about it. I have been sick - the kids were ever so generous in their sharing of the nasty germs around here. Too sick to knit - now that's sick.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

The hole - she is fixed

With lots of suggestions and help from friends near and in the blogosphere the hole has been fixed. Shan, my good friend Charlotte who inspired me continually, knittinghelp.com, other bloggers and Hollis all gave me really good suggestions and help and enabled me to pick the sweater up and do what needed to be done. She is not perfect, but only myself and a knitter (my husband can see it, but it does not bother him) can really tell the difference. I learned so much in fixing this hole.

It's really hard to tell because I am not a great photographer, but if you look closely, the cable on the left does not exactly match the cable on the right. The hole was in the cable on the left. I wound up unraveling those 4 stitches a few rows and EEK knotting the frayed yarn so it wouldn't continue to make the hole even bigger. Then it was a simple matter of picking up those 4 stitches on each side of the hole and knitting up. I was so freaked out that I did not do the cable - I just knit so this one cable is one twist short. After the knitting and the weaving in there were still "gaps" along the sides of the cable which were just sewed together. Now breathing has commenced!!
Another picture of the fixed place - it's a little easier to see that this part is a little wonky. One of the best pieces of advice came from Hollis. After speaking with Hollis and getting some tips, she said that if nothing else worked, I could just unpick the whole ribbing and then knit a new ribbing band from the sweater down. Of course it would have to be something like a 2X2 ribbing, but it would work. Well, that gave me a whole new outlook and an very uplifting feeling. Even if all the "fixes" I had learned did work, I could still just change the whole thing and salvage the sweater. Brilliant!!

Collar - complete!! It also has a facing which is already sewn down.

1st Sleeve - approx 5 inches of 17 complete!!
The biggest obstacle now is that I am seeing so many cute yarns and pattern out there it is hard to maintain momentum and not start something new!! Willpower is not a strong point here.