Sunday, January 29, 2006

Both Sides of

(Peanut's about 5 weeks old here)
Within a 24 hr period, our family was on both sides of On Saturday, we purchased a washing machine to replace the one that I talked about last week. So far so good. It made it through a marathon session of 2 weeks worth of laundry. On Sunday, Peanut's crib went to a new family. A very, very young couple bought her crib for this little darling due in July. I'm so glad it went to a family that really needed it. It's strange to have Peanut in the house but know the crib isn't here. Mister was a little upset about it going, but we both know we won't be expanding the family any time soon. Peanut just waved and said, "Bye crib!! Big Girl BED!!" We installed a safety rail on the side of the big girl bed to prevent anymore late night acrobatics out of it. I think I'll sleep easier now. Funny, the washer and the crib were the same price so it was a wash. (Oh, that was bad...sorry 'bout that.)

Here's a photo of the purple & white blanket I recently gifted to my cousin having twin girls in April. A pink & white blanket also went with this one. I didn't get a chance to photograph it before it was wrapped. Same pattern, just a bright pink instead of purple. I also included 3 washcloths in variegated pink and white Lion cotton. I believe it was the Strawberry colorway. I can't seem to find it on their site. This was done on the USM. I e-wrapped 129 sts, k3r, then did an eyelet row continuing with and eyelet border every 2 rows. 3 rows from the top, did another eyelet row and did a back stitch bind off. The stripes were done every 20 rows. The whole thing was 200 rows and was about 33"x38" when all was said and done. This is the very first blanket I have ever made. I'm quite proud of it. I have matching hats on the machine at the moment, but they're kind of in limbo while I'm training for the Knitting Olympics.

The training is going well. With each row, I'm reminded of how much I adore Cotton Ease and how sad I am that Lion didn't see it for the beauty that it is. I noticed on their main yarn page, they have yet to come out and say it's discontinued. They lure you into the actual page for Cotton Ease before they drop the bomb. Don't toy with me! I fall for it every time. I see the main page and think, Oh! Maybe they changed their mind! down. Anyway, back to the training project. The Larry The Trapper Guy scarf is coming along well. I have 12 repeats done of the Irish Hiking Scarf. I love this pattern. It's simple, I don't have to use a row counter (just a well placed safety pin) and I've got it memorized. If you know me, that's huge. Since Peanut came along, my short term memory is nothing to brag about. I rely heavily upon row counters and patterns. Not so much with this one. I'm hoping I can do the same with Branching Out, but I'm thinking probably not. No problem, if it were easy it wouldn't be Olympic worthy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Knitter In Training

I realized last night that I haven't manually knit a stitch in over a month. I can't embark on my olympic journey out of practice. Since I'll be doing Branching Out, I decided to try my hand at the Irish Hiking Scarf until then. Once it's finished, it'll be shipped up to Rogers City to live with Larry.

Larry is special in many ways. He's my good friend, Mandi's dad. He's a CMU alum and an AKPsi alum. That means that Mandi, Larry and I are Brothers. My favorite road trip was with Larry, Mandi and the family. We drove 8 hours to the Michigan UP State Fair to see Journey in 2002. My dad's two favorite bands were Journey and Supertramp. It was amazing to be able to see Journey live. It was so much fun! Larry had a bit of a heart scare in late 2004. Since then, he has to wear a scarf when it gets below 32 degrees. Larry's a guy's guy. He hunts, fishes, traps and tinkers. He loves to walk in the woods and recently was reduced to wearing Polly's pink scarf. 2 skeins of Cotton Ease in Orangeade + Irish Hiking Scarf Pattern = an appropriate Larry the Trapper Guy scarf.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Only Olympics I'll Ever Hope to Participate In

Ok, I've been convinced. I have to go along with the crowd and join the Knitting Olympics. I have two lovely skiens of cream colored Baby Alpaca yarn I bought from Neighborhood Knits last fall. They need to become something special. I'm torn between the Branching Out scarf from Knitty or the Irish Hiking Scarf. I love cables, but always wind up with holes. I have yet to try my hand at lace. The alpaca might be soft and dreamy enough to be a perfect lace scarf. Ok, looking at the patterns and'll have to be Branching Out.

So here goes, my first lace project and my first scarf for the Knitting Olympics!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Goodbye Mr. Washie...

It's true, the washer is dead. We're going to look at a "new" (used) one next weekend. Makes me really miss the apartment, but only because someone would come in and magically fix it for us. That's the only thing I miss about it, though. Such is home ownership, I guess.

The shower was yesterday. It was nice. I got stuck sitting next to my crazy aunt. Every time they went to open a present, she'd lean over and ask me what it was before the paper was even torn. After we saw each item, she'd say "Things have changed so much that I can't keep up". EVERY TIME. No kidding. My gram & aunts had pooled together some M&Ms to bring home to Peanut. Crazy Aunt tried to squirrel them all into her purse. I think I saw some rolls in there too. Definitely earning brownie points with the man upstairs.

I did finish the 2 blankets and four wash cloths. The two matching hats are on the needles. I just couldn't finish them before leaving. I paired the blankets & wash cloths with a Baby Einstein video and a solid lotion bar. It's supposed to be helpful for pregnant bellies. She seemed to really like them. She got a lot of handmade gifts including beautiful quilts. Really gorgeous.

I love the sweater machine. Still feeling guilty about it, but I love it. In a week, I completed two baby blankets. I've never been able to complete a blanket by hand. I don't know that I'll ever give up hand knitting, but the machine knitting is great for quick things. I can't wait until I have the time to make some custom attachments for it. I think a garter stitch bar and cast on comb would make projects even faster. The cast on comb requires help from the mister. He's been a crabby all week, but finally snapped out of it yesterday. Thank goodness!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Monday, Monday...

My day started off well with a 5lb weight loss for the week. WooHoo! The joy was short lived.

My grandfather's best friend, Karl passed away Thursday morning after battling liver cancer for the last year. We knew it was coming, but it somehow wasn't any easier. I attended the services and luncheon with my grandparents. It was hard to get through. Karl had been a constant in our family's life since the mid 1960's. He danced at my parents wedding and bounced my child on his knee. He was an incredibly special man and won't be forgotten anytime soon.

On the knitting front..the baby shower is Saturday at 1. I have 1 blanket and 4 wash cloths done. I have 2 hats, 3 booties and a blanket to finish by Saturday. I have a feeling the hats & blankets will make it, but the booties may not. They are sewn, not knit. My gram helped me with one today while doing laundry at their house (our washer broke last night). I think I could be good at this sewing thing if I did it more often. The blanket is very pretty. It's too late to photograph, but it will be done before it's gifted. I'm pretty proud of it.

Well, I'm going to cut this short...Mister wasn't quite so understanding about my coming home really late tonight. I'm a little frustrated with the situation. Instead of snacking tonight, I'm dealing with my frustration by watching Flavor Love. My goodness, the stuff they put on TV.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

So This Is January...

It was 50 degrees here today. Yes, that's 5 - 0. You don't see much of that in Michigan in January. I say, keep it coming! Ben (Channel 2) was forecasting snow and cold for this weekend. Someone needs to get him on the unseasonably warm bandwagon.

So yeah...I can't tell you the last time I picked up traditional knitting needles. The sweater machine is getting a work out. None of it's worthy of photographing just yet, but practice makes perfect. My cousin and his wife are expecting twins and their baby shower is next Saturday. Word on the street is that I should be able to knock out two crib blankets by then. Just need to settle on the design. I have to admit, it does feel like cheating to use the sweater machine. The same feeling I had when I switched from my SLR to digital camera. I think it'll be a great tool to knock out some blankets. I just don't have the patience to do them.
We had a nice Christmas. It was a little overwhelming for us all, but nice. It was the first year Peanut was excited about it. We wrote a note to Santa and left him a snack. Christmas morning she kept saying "Santa came!" Santa could have gotten off cheap this year..she fell in love with the Dora backpack purchased on clearance and the pig flashlight from Costco. It was a 2 pack and cousin Justin got the elephant.
Her big gifts were a mattress from me & mister and a whole new bedroom set from Grandpa. Her new furniture arrived on Tuesday and tonight is her second night in her big girl bed. She's not quite as thrilled as we'd hoped to be sleeping in it. She's reluctant to get out of it in the morning, but getting her to stay in it at night isn't the easiest. Again, this is only the second night so I'm sure it'll get better. The number of stuffed animals in her bed has doubled. So have the blankets. She probably has the best place to sleep in the house!

I'm sorry I've neglected my blog the last month. With the holidays, life just kind of got away from me. Things are settling down..just in time to start potty training! OH! Our other big news is that Peanut threw her pacis away Christmas Eve. I discovered they were both broken. We had her walk them to the trash while the whole family watched and announced they were broken and had to go in the garbage. We never had a serious meltdown about them, but she would ask about them a few days later. My friend's little guy is going through serious bink withdrawal. It's so bad that she commented that she felt they were running a Betty Ford for toddlers. I think we were at a place where it had to go soon or it would be a problem. I'm glad we went cold turkey.

I'll close with a photo of the Mister and me at my company Christmas party. We don't have too many of these photos, so I like to show off the good ones.