Sunday, April 24, 2005

Michigan In April

This is a photo taken from our living room about 15 minutes ago. Yes, today is April 24th and it is snowing. Real snow. Fluffy stick the ground make our trip to Grandma's difficult snow. Can I also add that it was 83 degrees on Tuesday? Mother Nature can be cruel at times. Our WalkAmerica walk is a week from today. Pray for a strong warm front to come our way.

What does one do when the Mister is spending quality time with the PS2 and the Peanut is napping? Well, knit of course! I'm still plugging away on the blue baby sweater. I'm veering off the pattern path just a bit. Instead of stopping and doing the sleeves just after the yoke, I put the sleeve stitches on spare yarn and continuing onto the body. I'll come back and finish the sleeves on dpn's when the rest is finished. I have a theory it'll go faster. I'm a faster knitter than purler. So, the stockinette should fly on the dpn's. I also eliminated the last button. For no reason other than I only have two green froggy buttons. I doubt lil' Aiden will mind. The set needs to be finished by Sunday. I think we'll be ok. I've put it into a travel kit to go with me and it keeps chubby little fingers away from it.

I completed the mohair bunny from the Chippettes get together a couple weeks ago. Finally got around to posting a photo of him. I think he turned out pretty well. Next time I'd make him out of a 9" square rather than 6". With all the babies arriving in the next few months, I have a feeling I'm going to get a lot of practice making this little guy.

Speaking of the many babies, my boss's wife is expecting their first baby. They went with a Disney theme in the nursery with yellow stars and Mickey's. I found some really cute Lion Brand Wool-Ease in Red Sprinkles. How fun is that name? I also picked up some super cute yellow star buttons. Should make for an adorable sweater and hat for new little Italian.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Life gets in the way...

The blue sweater met it's demise. It's the first project I've been that far along on and frogged. I debated with myself about being able to save the yoke, but then common sense won out and I just ripped it all out. It felt oddly liberating. I took a few days off and cast on for another go round on Monday. I chose a different pattern (Precious Layettes #1) rather than the boy sweater from the baby sweaters yahoo group. This is coming along fabulously! I'm pretty confident I'll make the May 1st deadline for the layette. I have heard that Baby Aiden's momma has been having contractions. He needs to stay put for a few more days. :) I'm not sure his mother would agree, though.

I was able to visit Knit A Round in Ann Arbor last week. What a great shop. They have a nice open, airy feel. I found a ball of rowan yarn 40% off and another skein of Cascade 220 50% off. Can't go wrong with that. Both will be worked into CIC items to be donated. I also picked up a new pattern book on baby socks. Great way to use up some of my stash. A whole lot of babies springing up around us in the next 5 months. Gotta be prepared. I love babies...

Speaking of babies...Miss Peanut is quickly growing into a great big toddler and leaving babyhood behind. She started pointing out things yesterday to signify that's what she wanted. This is a nice step up from whining and grunting. She's also well skilled in walking. We hit the Detroit Zoo on Saturday and had a fabulous time. She thoroughly enjoyed showing off her walking skills to all of the other patrons. Kid loves attention. She's into the flirting stage, so there was a lot of stopping to babble at strangers. I don't have a clue as to how we wound up with such an adorable kid. Neither the mister nor I are overly attractive people. Sure, we were cute kids...but no where near this cute.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Baby sweater from hell...

I came home to find that Peanut had been playing in my knitting basket. She'd taken a 3/4 lb ball of yarn and made it her own personal toy. I was up until 11:30 unraveling the mess. The Mister kept saying just snip it and throw it away. I told him that would be admitting defeat and that I would unravel the mess. Only one snip made...and now I a giant ball and a tiny ball...but not an inch of yarn went into the trash.

Ok, so the blue baby sweater I've been working on for a month reared it's ugly little head again last night. The blue sweater was also in the yarn basket, but escaped any trauma from chubby little hands. I've worked similar patterns 3x. This is a much more plain version, that should mean easier...but there's something about this sweater that's just not working out right. When doing one of the sleeves, I somehow made a hole. Just how the heck did that happen?? I haven't had a whole in the middle of my knitting for years. There's a hole in the sleeve, the arm pit area is a bit gapier than I would like. Then I look at the the last three rows I've forgotten to do the border stitches. Yeah...doesn't take a genius to see that it'll need to be frogged. Not the whole thing mind you, may be just up to the pattern on the yoke. But..You're goin' down blue sweater! You're goin' down!!

Have decided the purple cascade 220 yarn will be best for a pair of toddler slipper/socks. Of course they'll need to have mohair trim on the cuff. Purple slippers with fuzzy pink cuffs. They'll be donated to CIC, so there'll be some sassy warm feet in Russia.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

A day with the ladies...

No hubby, no baby. What a wonderful thing to try every once in a while.

We visited the craft show at Fenton High School. Lots of beaded jewelry and fun fur scarves. Finally saw one of the so-real babies up close. Very freaky. We then headed out to find Elaine's Yarn in Davison. Not the easiest if you don't pay attention to the street signs. Evidently E. Flint and W. Flint are very similar in addresses. We made it there and it was well worth two turn arounds. What a lovely shop! It's in an old Victorian house. The woman that runs it was very helpful and incredibly nice. I now have natural fiber yarn in my stash. I also picked up one of the famous chibis. $4.95 for a blue one rather than $50 for one on Ebay.

We had lunch at The French Laundry in Fenton. Yum! Who knew a grilled cheese could be even better with the addition of bacon and raisin bread?

The knitting began at Moshel's house after the afternoon out. We all decided to give our hands a try at making bunnies out of squares. This my first project using mohair. It's interesting. I'm bummed the wrong side is so much fuzzier than the right. I may turn it inside out before constructing. We'll see.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Done, finished, out of the ball park......

As of 12 a.m. the sock was finished! I then spent an hour lying bed trying to figure out what I'd done wrong to not make the heel and toe line up perfectly. Just a smidge off of symmetrical. Maybe the second one will offer up a clue. They are cute! They are bigger than I expected. Little Miss will have to have a growth spurt to wear them. Perhaps this fall?

I must say that I was impressed with the kitchener stitch for the toe. At first I was hesitant as I saw some of the stitches seemed to be loose and sticking out like sore thumbs, but as it progressed...well it was just toe magic!! I may just find excuses to substitute that into more of my stuff.

The blue sweater called to me from my basket this morning..."just finish my sleeve" (of course this message is most effective if done in a spooky ghost voice reminiscent of Scooby Doo). I will finish that sleeve tonight! I will fit that in while gathering up toys to take on the knitting play date. Gosh, I'm excited to visit a new LYS. The Mister's Aunt & Uncle are expecting a baby in June. I think the latest female addition to the family deserves an elephant made in some luscious yarn. He's even given the go ahead to acquire it. That's huge in our house! It's like permission to cheat on a diet! Whoo Hoo!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Closet technophobe...

I work in the tech industry, so this is quite a shameful thing to admit. You'd think with a degree in technology and 5 1/2 years of experience in the field, I'd be full speed ahead on trying to figure out how the heck to post photos on this thing. I'm not. I'll get to it eventually.

What have I been doing? Certainly not finished up the last sleeve or the body of the blue baby sweater for Ms., that would be too easy and relieve some pressure I've put upon myself. Instead of being good and finishing a project, I decided to try my hand at something totally new...sock knitting. I guilted the Mr. into making his debut solo appearance in a craft store to purchase me a set of bamboo DPNs and sock yarn. I was on the phone with him from the second he pulled into the parking lot until he was in the checkout line. He kept repeatedly saying, "The only men in here are old men who are just following their wives around!" One of said ladies chuckled at this and began to chat with him. He was quick to explain why a manly plumbing man as himself would be in such a place. Secretly, I know he loved it. He loved the attention and feeling like he was doing something wonderful for his wife. I know that if he could be assured no other living person would ever find out, he'd ask me to learn to knit. Of course, he'd never admit that...but I know.

Ok, so back to the sock...He bought me the magic stripes yarn I've been repeatedly visiting and saying "just too much to spend on a single skein of yarn". But when he buys it for me, it's a gift and not me blowing cash on yarn I do not need. He even got to pick the color and went with the jellybean stripe. It's definitely colorful and festive. I love the bamboo needles. I get a good feeling from them. I'm pretty loyal to metal needles and do all that I can to avoid plastic, but I like the bamboo. I actually found the metal DPNs to be a little too slick with the yarn. Almost felt like trying to herd cats for the first 2" until I switched needles. I have to get into a good rhythm with the DPNs to really enjoy the knitting, though. The first few rows always feel kind of awkward and pointy, constantly jabbing myself but after that...I get a rhythm going and it's good. The socks are for Peanut, which mean they are tiny. Maybe a bigger sock would help with the clumsiness and cat herding feeling...or maybe it would just exaggerate it. Really, who knows?

Really looking forward to Saturday. We're heading up to Fenton to drop me off to spend some quality girl time with other Chippettes. The other two aren't as adventurous as I am with knitting, so we're going to work on that. We'll be visiting their first LYS - Elaine's Yarns, I think that's it. We'll also be having lunch and making fancy dishcloth/hot pads. I will try and persuade them to try their hand at the five hour baby sweater. I think they both have a phobia of pattern reading. I, on the other hand, consider just reading patterns a hobby. I'm weird like that, though.

News on the Peanut...she is walking! Not just walking but trying to walk fast. I love to see her trying to get up steps with that little white leather walker raised. Almost brings a little tear to the eye...almost. Walking is opening up a whole new world...a whole new world where once she wanted to be picked up and carried and has now been replaced with LET ME WALK!! She got angry the other day because I refused to allow her to walk in the street. I know! What a horrible mother to not allow her child the joy of wandering into a street. Shot got over it when I showed her the wonders of an empty diet coke (with lime) bottle in the car. Kid's got a thing for empty drink containers. I don't get it, but it keeps her from whining/yelling/screaming/crying in the car.

Speaking of walking...To show our appreciation for the March of Dimes and all the wonderful things they do for premies (ours included) we've formed Team Lainey to walk at Hudson Mills this year on May 1st. Our tiny Peanut was 7 weeks early and benefited greatly from their research. We can't thank them enough for the miracle that tears through our house and our hearts. That's why we walk!