Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WIP/Yarn along

I decided to participate in the Yarn Along I've read about on several blogs. You can be a part, too. Stop by Small Things to read about it. (Though she's not posting it this week - I just couldn't resist.)

Those two balls of yarn? I dyed those over the weekend. They didn't end up the same shade. And I'm okay with that. Turns out that my dye jar just isn't big enough for two skeins of bare Wool of the Andes. Oh well. Lesson learned. My step-mother wound them on her ball winder. I love the way they look. If I had the contraptions necessary, you can be sure all my balls of yarn would be neat and stackable like these!

Right now I'm knitting some more longies. I'm using the Kanoko Pants pattern on Ravelry again. With luck these will fit the Beast. They look tiny, so I expect they will. I'm using Wool of the Andes in Cobblestone Heather. As though I'm a Knit Picks ad, I'm also using the Harmony wood interchangeable needles that my step-mother gave me for Christmas.

And of course I'm reading another book in the Pink Carnation series - The Betrayal of the Blood Lily by Lauren Willig.

Friday, December 24, 2010

{this moment} - Solstice

A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Infant arm warmers!

Well, I finished the arm warmers/fingerless gloves for the Beast. He's been sleeping a lot today so I had a very short time in which to coerce some modeling. I thought I'd be pushing my luck with his happiness factor if I tried to change his shirt first. So he's wearing the knitted sleeves *over* regular sleeves.

Here's how I "designed" them:

Roughly measure upper arm. My yarn/needle combination gets me five stitches per inch. The Beast's upper arm was something like seven inches. So 35 stitches, except that I needed a multiple of four to get the 2x2 ribbing. Knowing that wool stretches, I went with 32 stitches. In the round I knit seven rows of ribbing (basically, until it looked good enough). THen I knit in stockinette until it was long enough to reach his thumb (something like 41 rows, I think). Then I stopped knitting in the round (though still using circulars) and knit back and forth in ribbing for about four rows (until the hole looks big enough for a baby thumb). Joining back into the round, I knit about four more rows of ribbing and then voila! You're done!

I've never written out directions for knittine before, so I apologize if that was gibberish. (:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yarn Along and Solstice Gifts.

I decided to participate in the Yarn Along I've read about on several blogs. You can be a part, too. Stop by Small Things to read about it.

I'm knitting wool arm warmer/fingerless gloves for the Beast. Basically, arm warmers with a thumb hole. The idea was that he loves to chew on his sleeves. Well, once the sleeves are soaked I have to change his shirt because it's much too chilly for him to be soggy. Only, I keep running out of long sleeve shirts. So, I figure I can knit several of these and just swap them out as they get wet. Not sure how well it'll work out, but that's okay.

I'm on the fifth book of the Pink Carnation series. It's called The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. I've been looking forward to this one. The most recent book in the series was sort of a Christmas special and it takes place in this book. There were bits that I didn't remember clearly, so it'll be fun to see where the "special" fits in.

Also, we celebrated Solstice yesterday. This year we bought family toys instead of toys for each specific child. I'm *so* glad we decided to do it that way. I'd posted months ago with questions about what I should buy. Well, here's the bulk of what I ended up with.

The barn is by Finns and Flowers, the sheep (with removeable "jacket") is by Green Mountain Wee Woolies, and the rest of the animals (including a goat that was hiding behind the playroom door, apparently) are by Dad's Wooden Toys.

The boys were so excited when they "opened" (read: took the silks off) them. I sanded the edges of the animals with a dremel because they were a little sharp - nothing bad, I just know my clumsy kids.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Cowl!

It's done! Three skeins of yarn later and it's done! Woohoo!

I took pictures of me wearing it. But they looked bad - and not just because I hate pictures of myself. I apparently need longer arms to do that whole self-portrait thing.

Besides, the Elf is way cuter.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yarn Along and Swaps!

I decided to participate in the Yarn Along I've read about on several blogs. You can be a part, too. Stop by Small Things to read about it.

I'm still working away on that cowl. It's nearly done but will likely be late for Solstice. Ah well. I'm now reading the fourth book in the Pink Carnation series. It's called The Seduction of the Crimson Rose. It isn't my favorite - probably because Mary Alsworthy (one of the main characters) annoys me greatly and because I remember this book quite clearly - more so than the others.

I participated in a Waldorf Yahoo group swap. My package came the other day. This (horrid) photograph was all I could manage before my kids ran off with various pieces.

The Imp took to the lavender scented bean bags and the play silk. The Elf mooned over the bracelet, the acorncap baby, the horse reins, and the bag. The Beast hasn't yet been overly interested in the snuggle doll, but it's there for him. I've ooh-ed and ahh-ed over the gorgeous needlefelted creations. All in all, a spectacular swap!

I also participated in a swap held by Jen of Sewn Natural and MommaRae. This is what i got from my partner (it also included a bookmark that the Elf ran off with and a long description of the basket's contents).

The short story is that it's meant to represent the forest floor where she lives. Oh, and the creator of said amazing basket is Gloria of Lolailo.

And now the babies are all awake and I must run.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Giveaway winner!

The Elf (in the midst of his finger knitting) picked a name out of a hat for me. And the winner is.. Wabi-Sabi Wanderings! Congratulations and thank you everyone for entering!

I have two more tins (roughly 4 ounces each) of butter/salve/whatever that I'd be happy to swap with anyone interested. I'm also always happy to knit up some mushrooms or dye some yarn (I just got my Knit Picks order! Whee!) - the sky's the limit and all that.

Anyway. Happy weekend, all!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blurry moments in the kitchen.

A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yarn Along!

I decided to participate in the Yarn Along I've read about on several blogs. You can be a part, too. Stop by Small Things to read about it.

I'm knitting a cowl for a friend in Michigan. It's based on a pattern that called for a bulky yarn - which I don't have. So I'm following the stitch pattern but winging the size.

The book I'm reading is the second in a series. I lovelovelovelovelove this series. It's a guilty pleasure of mine. Any book that I can still laugh out loud with after reading it several times is a keeper. Besides who can say no to dashing English spies during the Napoleonic wars? Sappy love, swashbuckling adventure. Perfection. The name of the book is The Masque of the Black Tulip and it is by Lauren Willig. The first book in the series is called The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Giveaway time!

I spent this weekend working on yarn for a giveaway. I am by no means a master at the art of dyeing wool yarn, so it isn't perfect. It was lots of fun, though - even if my red turned out rather pink.

So here it is, a giveaway to say thank you to the universe and to all of the lovely bloggers out there. Everyone is welcome to leave a comment to be entered. I'll pick a random winner on the 11th.

Here are the goodies:

Two attempts to photograph the one skein of yarn. It's just a hank of Lion Brand Alpine Wool that I dyed - it's what I had on hand. It is considered (according to the label) to be a bulky yarn made of 100% wool and is about 93 yards. I dyed it using food coloring and drink mixes. The idea was to have it fade from yellow to orange to red (rather than have smaller variations). But my red turned out pink. Oh well.

Calendula cream. Butter. Salve. Whatever. I've never understood what distinguishes those terms. It's a mix of calendula infused grapeseed oil, beeswax, vitamin e oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil. I've been making variations of this to soothe the Beast's eczema and my callused feet and psoriasis.

So there you go. Enter if the mood takes you.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

WIP Wednesday.. sort of...

I took this picture this morning. I've been working on these longies for a little while now - to make up for the pair that was way too big for the baby. I didn't use a pattern but I think I'll take a look at some to find a better way to do the cuffs.

I was lucky today. The poor wee teething babe slept while his older brother napped. Two decent naps in one day? Before 5pm? Excellent! Of course, I didn't finish binding off until just before dinner. But one whole leg in one day?! Woohoo!

I had to resort to using the flash, so the picture isn't great. The next pair of longies I make for the Beast will be slightly wider and longer. These fit him perfectly right now. So I expect they won't last long. I've also decided to try a different way of sewing the waist so that it'll stretch better.

So yes, I'm learning.

Next up is a swatch for a birthday/Solstice gift.