Oct 24, 2007

Crossing the Finish Line

Phew, all the ponchos are done! Well, I've got to weave in a few ends and attempt to block them. I say attempt because of course these were made of Homespun, but from what I've been seeing as I continue to work with acrylic I feel that anything that was knit needs a good soak to show it's true beauty and work out some of the wonks.

I'm halfway through the wing on MS3. I'm a bit bummed I didnt get it finished before Mystic Waters KAL launched. I've been a busy girl. At least I'm not in a funk :)

I have a favor to ask of anyone stopping by, please take a minute to pray/send good thoughts toward my hometown - San Diego. My sister, an uncle & his fam, an aunt & her dh, and too many friends have been evacuated. So far their homes are all still standing - but they were good and are following orders. The aunt and uncle plus their respective families are all at my dad's so I'm sure things are interesting over there. And my sister is staying with friends and thankfully she's in an area that doesnt have much of the smoke/debris fallout (her asthma was acting up). I'm also very thankful that my mom's place is next to an evacuation center so I can easily check on her safety without calling her all day ;) And a super big thank you to the local ABC station out there for streaming live news on http://www.10news.com/ The Santa Ana winds will hopefully break Wednesday and finally give everyone some relief!

I love you guys!

Oct 14, 2007

Poncho Come Back?

Reviving poncho fever? I dont know if it will - or should - return to poncho fever. But I do like the poncho. Maybe because I'm a mom of small kids and dont have time to keep up with a shawl behaving. Or maybe because I'm in the midwest and appreciate the often more substantial fabric more often seen in a hearty poncho versus a whispy shawl - and yes, I have made a few wraps that are out of worsted so yes they are more substantial. For some reason, when I think of shawl I think of the floaty beauties I'm dying to work on but I've got to get this poncho project finished first.

Along with joining the 3 mystery shawls running right now - and omg, are they all so pretty! - my MIL has paid me to knit up her son's family ponchos for Christmas presents. I was feeling pretty nervous about ponchos now that the fever has died down. But wouldnt you know, I was at the book store Friday and saw a poncho in the Holiday Vogue Knitting Magazine! I feel much better now somehow.

So I'm making a mommy - daughter - doggie version and have started teaching my MIL to knit so she can knit her son a scarf for Christmas! Isnt that so cute!!! It has been so much fun getting together with her and her friend (who is also learning from me) for coffee and teaching them.

And now the Bears need more attention from me as they keep trying to give up their lead - come on Bears!!! you can do it!

Oct 6, 2007

I am so excited, I've started the wing on MS3! It gets more beautiful every row I add and I'm so glad I'm sticking with it :)

I have yet to cast on for my new mystery lace partly because
  • I've been busy running around - my BIL is a HS Football coach and a trip to see his game this morning turned into an all day play with the cousins event - also, it was 90 (f) today in CHICAGO! in OCTOBER!!! we are all slightly sunburnt and sun fatigued but it felt great to get our bones warm one more time ;)
  • I've picked up another commisioned project - my MIL wants me to knit capes for her DIL and Grand-daughter and she's knitting her son a scarf because...
  • I just taught my MIL and her best friend to knit! (that was really fun)
  • technical difficulties...I've discovered the yarn I bought for Chrysopolis is not very evenly spun. Since this is a "mystery" I dont know how well that will work for this project, so I will just have to repurpose it. So I placed an order with Knit Picks, and it came in the mail today - I got my Campfire!
Ok, well back to work
sorry for no pics, too busy...

Oct 3, 2007

Coffee Question

As I was pouring my morning cup of life - 2 kids under 4 = must. drink. coffee. around here.
actually, it's my NEED to have some "me" time that keeps me up til 12:30 and Jess generally wanting a feeding at some point between 12:30 and 6:30 that has necessitated coffee in my life. Before then, it was a casual enjoyment.

I emptied the carafe into my mug. I poured the water into the reservoir for 3 cups, and my mug accepted it all. Now, I don't drink a tankard by any means. And I generally feel that my cup is avg sized.

So the question arose: When people say they drink 2-3 cups a day, do they mean what was measured into the coffee maker? or how many "cups" they poured?

If it's the latter, boy is that a lot of coffee y'all.

Now, mind you, this is my musing as I'm fueling up, so thank you for staying with me here.

Speaking of coffee, I have got to get myself over to Starbucks soon - I hear the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back.

So the lace addiction is being more than properly fed. I am an excited member of Secret of Chrysopolis (in German - and yes, Google Translate is my friend as I do not know German), Secret of the Stole, and Mystic Waters KAL - and am still finishing off MS3.

Secret of Chrysopolis is amazingly beautiful so far - membership closes this Friday; we get clue 1 of Secret of the Stole this Friday - membership closes midnight Thursday!!! and Mystic Waters will be underway starting the 24th - this one releases clues on Wednesdays :)

For anyone stopping by who hasn't tried lace yet - I highly suggest finding a lace KAL. The members go above and beyond to help. If you do a mystery lace KAL, you get the pattern only pieces at a time so you don't feel overwhelmed. And everyone else shares where they struggled and what helped them get through it, and often times I've found myself very surprised at how many people struggle with the same parts I do.

OK, well I'm off to wind some hanks into balls and then the girls and I are off to story time!

Sep 3, 2007

Stash Enhancing

I wrote this last night. As I attempted to add photos my browser crashed on me and said it was time for me to go to bed. The natives have been restless today so this was my first chance to finish this up :)

As I've been attempting to catalogue what stash I do have (when the kiddos give me literally a second), I have been chastising myself that I need to do a better job at waiting to buy nicer yarn instead of instant gratification cheapo yarn.

My DH continually nags at me about the bins of yarn I have when I tell him I'd like to get more yarn. He doesn't get that 80% of what I have I got off a freecycler 2 years ago, and 19% I got when I went crazy at a Joann clearance sale - who can resist half off clearance price? There is very little in my stash that is high quality. I keep trying to get rid of this yarn, but I just cant. For the most part it's great for afghans, charity, and kids wear so I'm afraid I'll miss it if I let it go. I'm a work in progress on the pack rat tendency.

The biggest problem I have is that I keep spending money first on patterns and magazines and I need to start waiting to be able to afford the yarn for the projects I really want to knit instead of trying to force Caron Simply Soft to be my "go to" yarn for every project. Not that there is anything wrong with Simply Soft - I rather like it and for the most part it has behaved as well as could be expected.

Today I finally placed my first order with Knitpicks - I KNOW!!! I cant believe it has taken me so long either. I'm oddly phobic about paying for shipping if I don't have to so I was always trying to put together the $45 order and I finally realized today that paying $3 to ship is not the end of my world. So I ordered 3 skeins of Shadow in Sunset, 4 skeins of Essential, 2 skeins Riverbed and 2 skeins of Tuscany Multi. I just got paid for those blankets so I figured why not get started on Christmas socks too?

So what is the Sunset for? Well, I'm in on the Secret. Will you come join us? Sign up closes Oct 4 and first hint is whispered Oct 5 (2007).

Warning: the group is really bad at enabling further purchasing of lace weight. I am barely resisting ordering more Shadow in Campfire and Oregon Coast. I don't think I'll last much longer, both are very pretty and calling to me.

Also, I must admit that the siren that is Joann got me again today with her Labor Day Sale. I came home today with Bernat Handicrafter Cotton for fall dishcloths,
4 skeins of Patons Classic Merino (2 in rosewood and 2 in regency) for scarves,
Chocolate Covered Berries Scarf
Fall Scarf
and some novelty Caron Simply Soft Boucle for a scarf for Grace - she picked it out and it was clearanced for .97/skein!
Grace's Scarf
this is pretty true to color - she is 3 yrs old after all, pink rules!

And I nearly shopped at Wool & Company today too, but darn it, they were closed for Labor Day!

Sep 2, 2007

MS3 Progress

I forgot to add my current place for MS3 earlier today. I'm on row 225 - mid Chart E. I haven't really reached decision time yet, but it is looming near. I find the idea of an asymmetrical stole very appealing, but am not sure if this particular design is something that will work for me. It would be great to make and drape on a mannequin and call art. I could probably wear it a few times. I just don't know...some of the ones I've seen make me want to really try the wing and then there are a few of the symmetrical one that are just as appealing. I think I have 100 rows to figure it out.

MS3 working Chart E

I have a feeling I'm going to go with how it was designed and see if it pleasantly surprises me. I really like the feather pattern in the wing and wont get to enjoy it if I make it symmetrical. I may still do the lifeline so I have a reference point to decide after I work it up. The Skacel Merino Lace weight has not been very finicky with me so far, so I think it will handle being worked up and pulled back if need be w/out showing wear.

next time I'll get a picture with better contrast for background ;)

Sweet, sleeping babies

Thank goodness, my kiddos are sleeping - at the same time! Hooray!!!

I just got to spend an unheard of amount of time on Ravelry - how do I love thee.

Just thought I'd pop in - since they are still asleep - before I get a few rows in on the library book bag and share the progress photo:

Library book bag

Hope you are enjoying your Labor Day Weekend!

Sep 1, 2007


That was fast...I could swear it was just Grace's birthday (you know, back in June (11))! Well, I guess there is no fighting it, so I'll roll with it. Boy does life exponentially escalate as you add children!

Ok, so time for August wrap up. My awesome MS3 progress was greatly delayed by a commissioned project (sorry, still no pics). I picked up crochet again - and I'm in love. It is really nice to switch back and forth between knit and crochet. Before when a project was getting to me, I wasnt able to shake it off so well because I was still knitting and sometimes I'd feel like the bad mojo would transfer to the other project(s). Since crochet is just different enough, I feel like I'm shaking it off much better. Now I just need to figure out how to read and knit/crochet at the same time - like I'm not already doing too much at once already ;)

I finished 2 toddler size blankets. My own design. And nearly designed a library book bag (I've re-thought the original pattern - yarn matchup).

Jess started also started crawling this month.

Now for September Goals:

1. get pics of gwankies (blankets)

2. finish library bag

3. get patterns written up

4. post patterns and remember to ask for corrections if found (since didnt write up as worked like you planned).

5. finish MS3

6. get some scarves running off the needles/hook to pair with gloves for sale on eBay

7. figure out if should open etsy acct - if do get scarves up there as well.

I think thats enough for one month ;)

Aug 30, 2007


We had a little roadtrip today so I got much more knitting done than I would have otherwise. I've nearly finished the back side of the Princess Tote. Yes, I've promised a pattern for a project that I have yet to complete. As I was nearing the end of the back side, I was reconsidering what I've done for the front. The stitch pattern on the front is not the problem as much as the yarn I chose.

I picked cotton-tots for this project (in Grape Berry). It's from my stash, from a binge at Joann's during a clearance sale - the yarn was half off the clearance price! I used cotton-tots to make my dishwashing apron and I really like it there because my apron is like a large dishcloth and I like that. But I'm not sure how well the texture of this yarn is fitting the pattern I chose.

The front panel right now features the gingerbread castle from Barbara Walkers 2nd Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Which is lovely (and honestly kind of fun) to work, but I'm just not as thrilled with the "finished" look so far - maybe I need to *gasp* block it? Yes, I think I will block it before it eats flies in the frog pond.

I'm off to bed for a fresh start tomorrow :)

Aug 26, 2007

Woo hoo! I'm in!!!

Hooray - I got my invite today! I'm knitting4grace on Ravelry :) I'm so excited, Brianne found me within seconds of accepting my invite - it was cool to see we were on at the same time, and it was awesome to be welcomed by someone I've known for so long (we've known each other since middle school - I have pictures around here somewhere...)

I'm super-duper excited and have had much fun tinkering around. This site is so cool and totally worth the weight. I have a lot of picture taking and inventory to do. Yes I should have started while I was so impatiently waiting...I've been distracted by the blankets I was making and just now realized that they've gone to their new home w/out a picture getting taken! oops!!! This has been a crazy few weeks - a teething nearly 8 month old who's crawling and testing walking along furniture already has been a handful. Along with finishing the two blankets and trying to knit up a tote bag for a birthday present, it's amazing I'm still in one piece ;) I'll try to get a photo from their mom - I cant believe I did that.

By the way, the patterns were all mine for these recent projects...I'm finally converting stitches into patterns of my own!!! Hooray for me :) In celebration of getting my invite, I'll get them written up - well 1 blanket, with 2 finishing options, and then the princess book bag coming soon to this blog!

Until next time - knit something...

Aug 23, 2007

Getting Antsy

Yes, I'm talking about Ravelry, and yes I'm very upset with myself that I didnt sign up forever ago before the buzz got so loud. I think I was intimidated by thinking it was for a richer knitter than myself. And since then I've realized that was just silly of me. I also think I didnt fully get the idea until so many people were telling exactly what it does - I blame it on sleep deprivation. So, at least there are only 385 ahead of me (I think that means I should get my invite next round, hooray!).

...and, yep, I disappeared again. Just as thing were getting exciting with MS3, a friend called me with a blankie emergency. What started as high alert that her kids' gwankies were falling apart, went to emergency level when her youngest's gwankie mysteriously disappeared.

I've finally completed my first pieces for pay, and I think I'm going to go ahead and get my feet in the water and actively look for more projects. I'm going to try to keep it simple to start. So we'll see. I'm not turning it into a "job" yet though ;) For starters we bought a wholesale lot of Italian leather gloves and I'm going to knit/crochet up some scarves to bundle with and see if that helps them move.

Aside from that, I'm back to MS3. I think I'm about halfway through, in the pas de chat section. The wing was nearly what I expected of Melanie. I was cautious about it, and it does look interesting when it is just laid out, but I really like how it looks once worn - and that's where it matters in my book. I'm not creating artwork for may walls/furniture with this one.

Til next time - knit something :)

Jul 17, 2007

MS3 pulls me out of hiding!

Yep, I'm part of the MS3 phenomenon that is raging through the knitting community! But I do want to point out that I have taken part in this adventure from the beginning. Leda's Dream was my first lace adventure and Sheherazade (sp?) was my first zephyr adventure...unfortunately, neither made it all the way for whatever reason, I cannibalized the projects for other lace (in fact I'm using my Leda's Dream choice for MS3). I think sometimes yarn just wants to be something other than what you are trying to mold it into.

In this case for example, the Skacel Merino Laceweight I bought for MS1 was just looking "flat" and I just want happy with it, but now in MS3 where it is being accented with beads...oh, I'm in love again!

It is funny how I'm finding that yarn can be like children, no matter how much you want it to do something "your" way, their way just might be ok too...and sometimes even better.

I am very much loving MS3, I finished clue 2 last night and even found my camera and got some ok pics this morning (we are having a t-storm/flood watch right now, so the lighting isnt the best). As Clue 1 grew to Clue 2, I was still trying to figure out the shape and finally it hit me that it's a taper - which I wouldnt have considered until now as I'm seeing this grow - the taper is really growing on me.

I am so excited that this project got me into incorporating beads in my knitting! I love how it makes this design "pop" and it's kinda fun too :)

I must also confess that I've recently picked up crocheting again! I'm finding it to be a nice change of pace. And is something I can do with both girls up and not have to think to hard about what I'm doing or worry about losing my place. So far I've stitched up a couple bibs for Jess and I'm also working on some dishcloths for my kitchen!

My first adventures with yarn were with a crochet hook in hand, but it used to irritate my wrist and elbow. Apparently all the conditioning those joints got through knitting have made them more ready for crochet again. I just picked up the latest Interweave Crochet and am now in search of the Fall issue with the Josephine pattern. I'm really excited about the possibilities in combining knit and crochet!

So, yes I'm still around. We're just very busy lately with 2 kiddos and Jess still isnt quite sleeping through the night yet...so to cope I've had to let a few of my extra things slide. I think we are finally working things out and I'm getting more "me" time so hopefully I can get back to blogging - I miss it so!
Off to put in a lifeline and start on Clue 3!

Mar 25, 2007

3 in one day?

Yes, it's me again...just cant get enough of you today ;)

I just wanted to take a moment to share that I absolutely LOVE being a mom, and I love my girls very much. Sometimes I read back and see my tone may be read as a bit "down" or "unappreciative" of my girls, and that is absolutely not the case. I guess I just use this medium to vent more than applaud lately and I'm going to try to adjust that ~ I'm also a bit tired lately so I'm not watching my tone like I should. I think it is very important to focus on your blessings.

Jess is the most adorable baby and a real lovebug/cuddlebug, and she's hilarious already! She must know that she's going to be the middle child because she's already going out of her way to crack me up. On top of that she's a talker! I cant quite understand what she's telling me, but we've already had many extensive conversations ;)

And Grace of course has always been my sweetheart and she is an incredible helper. She has adjusted to being a "big sister" much better than I could have ever hoped. We've had a few rough spots of course - she is only 2 yrs old... Still she just absolutely amazes me every day with what she comes up with.

I love my family :)

Ok, I feel better now, Good Night!

Celebrated too soon...oh well

So, UNC let me down...I've dropped to fifth place, but I'm still having fun! Go Ohio!!!

I think I'm getting bit by the Fantasy Sports Bug...this is a lot of fun :)

Sickness - be gone from my house!

So we've gotten better and worse over and over throughout this month - I think we went back to playgroup too soon - but the cabin fever would have killed us otherwise anyway. It has been a long winter in Chicagoland for a 2yr old. With the latest bout, only Grace got it, and not nearly as bad as anyone in the playgroup. The girl's got some good genes from her daddy!

The bummer part of Jess getting sick was she was a monster for nearly a week - would not sleep on her own and dont even think about putting her in either her swing or bouncy chair! Thankfully she's better now and back to smiling and talking to her toy bar on both above mentioned diversions. (or I dont think I'd have any hair left)
Since Jess has been attached to me, I dont have much knitterly progress to speak of although I am 3/4 through the 3rd edge of Grace's blankie so that means I'm nearly there! Hooray!!! Hopefully the blackhole of knitting wont find me on this project.
Oh! I've come across a little "extra" money by being a good girl and I think I'm going to sneak in a trip to my LYS to grab some pretty yarn for Argosy, I'm so excited!

I was all excited to join Nona's Pick em tournament so I could hopefully get lots of knitting time in - foolish me, my 2 month old has other ideas so far. However, I am VERY excited to be in first place right now - who'd of thunk for all the red on my bracket? It's also been fun to see how my picks have stacked against my hubby's - he's not so happy right now (thanks to Oregon), so I'm trying not to celebrate too much ;)

in lieu of a knitting pic, I'll share my littlest one who is getting so big so fast:

Ohio State better keep on winning or my mommy will be bummed!

Please? (Actually she was saying cheese) I cant leave the big one out ;)

Mar 17, 2007

Happy St Patty's Day!

So, I spoke too soon. Jess mutated the virus to include viral pinkeye...she was a handful the next few days and then was so sweet and shared it with me! I've been down for the count since and aside from still feeling like I'm hearing the world from underwater, most of my symptoms are finally gone.

Since today is the first day in a week that both eyes are clear, I havent gotten much knitting in. I have turned the 2nd corner on the edging to Gracie's blankie and since I'm babysitting (after the kiddos go to sleep) tonight, if Jess cooperates I may at least turn the 3rd corner if not finish!

So what's next? I'd like to wear Pebble Beach 2.o soon, so I guess I should work in earnest on that one next. However, I'm being lured by the Argosy Shawl. The yarn I want to use is worsted however, instead of sport weight, so I may have some figuring out to do (or stash enhancement) in my future. And Icarus is gathering dust and crying for attention so maybe I'll get some more work in there as well.

Well, enjoy green beer, corned beef sandwiches, and basketball!

Mar 6, 2007

Inching along

Well, I think I've managed to kick the bug before it got me too bad - hooray!!! Grace and Jess still have a bit of a cough but it diminishes daily so hopefully we are out of the woods. I've also decided no playgroup this week to see if we can finally fully kick it.

We did get out today to play with a friend and had a great time...we had too much fun and spent all day there so there was no knitting today (well I may slip a few more inches of border in later). Over the weekend I finished the last section and started the border; yesterday I finished the first whole edge of the blanket border, hopefully I'll find time for a picture tomorrow.

John's hosting poker night here Thursday night so tomorrow will be a cleaning day (but I'm sure to slip a few rows in here and there) - I'm crossing my fingers that the kiddos cooperate so I can get a lot done and not have to stress too much on Thursday. I'm getting so much closer to a daily clean house and I'm working on a Spring resolution to almost always have my house visitor ready on a daily basis - I'm so sick of clutter!

Mar 1, 2007

Batteries down!

So yesterday was an interesting day - both girls were out of sorts which equals mommy getting no knitting time. We have been fighting off a virus spreading through our playgroup and now hubby must have blended an office virus with what we're carrying and he was down for the count Mon night through Wed and now it looks like I may be losing the battle but I still refuse to surrender. Thankfully Jessica is still hanging tough aside from random congestion.

Today I finally got Grace down for a nap and Jessica is happy in her swing for the moment so I hurried up and laid out G's Log Cabin blanket and had to use the flash since we are having yet another snow day here in the midwest - the snow is "falling" sideways by the way because of the wind.

This is the only shot you get because it is the only shot I got between the battery low indicator coming on and the camera shutting itself off. Oh well, you'll see more of it very soon as I'm nearly done. Yes that little bit of pink signifies the last wedge being worked and all that's left is the border, blocking, and weaving in the ends. And yes, the green looks a bit wonky because it was salvaged from another project and I was too much in a rush to see how it looked to properly reset it, hopefully it will block out after it has been washed.

Nothing much planned for this weekend aside from lots of decongestants, kleenex, movies, and hopefully plenty of knitting and recovery. With a 2 month old I have no way to plan my knitting time, but I do plan to recover as best I can ;)

Feb 28, 2007

What I've been up to lately

Knitting (and blogging) has been a bit neglected since the arrival of this:
Jessica Leanna was born Dec 28, 2006 at 6:59pm she was 7lbs even. She's a wonderful, healthy, sweet baby, and her big sis has really enjoyed her so far and we are all adjusting very well.
And yes, I realize I havent blogged since July, and I never really shared my wonderful news and just sort of sprung her on you...but the new condo, chasing a 2 yr old, and being pregnant really took a toll on me. Plus my camera was really bugging me and I finally got a new one for Christmas - silly excuse, but that's all I have to offer. I'm back now for real! My life was just a bit too much for me in 2006 and was just not a good year for blogging.
Obviously, she is a wonderful reason to not have much knitting to show. I'm slowly working more knitting into my days finally, but I have to be careful to not plan on having knitting time as those days seem to be the days she needs me all day long.
I do have a pic to share today of Jessica's log cabin blankie:

Tomorrow I'll share progress on Gracie's log cabin blanket since she wanted one too ;)