Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Too Tired to Knit Today...

**eta: brief update here... still recouping myself... and busy with my beavers. I'm about halfway through an Easy Raglan that I cast-on last week, and that little sundress just needs edging, and some matching bloomers... pics soon...

It's been a tough week. Our 5 yr old daughter is having another battle with the problem known as asthma. It turned to pneumonia fast and furiously Monday night. We ended up in the ER early Tuesday morning (her O2 was down to 84% overnight and she wasn't responding well to her nebs). Her O2 level came up, and then dipped back down, but not as far, while we were there, so she wasn't admitted this time (to be on oxygen). She did, however, get yet another chest x-ray to confirm the presence of pneumonia in her left lung, upper lobe. We were sent home to add antibiotics and oral steroids to the inhaled steroids, allergy meds and bronchodilators she was already on.
I hardly slept Monday night, slept a bit Tuesday night, and about 3 hours Wednesday night, or more technically, this morning. We ended up going back to the ER last night after her stats dropped back down into the mid 80's. (We have a pulse oximeter at home, thanks to too many trials like this one.) They used a different med in a neb at the hospital and her stats stayed up a bit better, so we came home around 4:45 this morning... (though the pneumonia had spread to now 3 lobes of 2 lungs) and with 5 more children at home all day, every day (we homeschool) I was up by 8, though I would have liked to have slept until noon...

I think I'm too tired to properly grip a knitting needle. I'm sure I'm too tired to comprehend and/or follow a pattern of any more difficulty than a garter ridge scarf, in bulky, which I'm probably too tired to hold up for more than 3.2 seconds. Sigh... I am so close to finishing the little sundress, just seaming and edging left. I'm nearing the heel on that second Cable Rib Sock. I started a cardigan. So many projects to choose from, and so little energy to knit, or purl, for that matter... here's hoping for an uneventful, plenty of time to sit and knit type of weekend.

Knitting content to return after I get at least one good night's sleep!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Still a Little Time to Wear it...

We interrupt the regularly scheduled blog post for what can only be described as a very bad joke...

Somebody has got to be kidding...
I mean, seriously...
What IS the deal?
This is getting ridiculous. It IS the 26th of April, after all. At least, that's what my calendar says... My hilarious 8 year old son heard the forecast on the radio yesterday and, without missing a beat, let out an exasperated "does Al Gore know about this?!"

Guess what I got done earlier this week? I got the last of the kids' winter coats washed and packed away... sigh...
Anyway, returning to the regularly scheduled blog post, I still have a little time to wear my Eyelet Cardigan. Like, maybe, a week or two... but hey, it's done. (excuse the cottonball and tape- I just had blood drawn and totally forgot to take that off! Oops!)

This cardigan really should've been my top priority during my attempt to finish ufo's in January. Not only have I missed some nice, light, short-sleeved sweater wearing kind of days, but I will soon be of a shape that is not quite as ideally fitted for this design as my usual shape & size... I was 16 weeks along yesterday, that's almost halfway- woohoo! I'm just starting to notice the lack of a waistline, (I am typically somewhat 'scrawny' as my family would say...) so this is me, halfway through pregnancy with number 7, no tomatoes please, I'm tall and 'have a lot of room to hide baby' according to the midwives...

I pulled it out last week and finally seemed and set the sleeves. I picked it back up this week and finally got to the button and button-hole bands. Then there was light blocking and some cute little buttons. I love wood (even a good wood-look imitation will do) buttons, especially paired with an au natural color such as this.

The pattern, as originally designed, is a bit short. I knew I would like another inch or 2, so that's precisely what I added- an inch to the bottom ribbed section, and one extra patern stitch 4-row repeat before the bust shaping, as I am rather long-waisted...

I knit mine in Drift, just like the original, simply because I loved it, and I didn't have a single sweater in my possession in white or off-white, unless an old ivory maternity turtleneck sweater off the Target clearance counts... nope, doesn't count. (I won't even be able to wear it- I'm due early October, when it just starts getting cold. Being largely pregnant over the hottest months like July, August, and even September will require short sleeves, cap sleeves, or no sleeves even...) I'm sure I will eventually end up knitting a second one, probably in Expresso or Toffee- I love browns, especially anything that resembles my favorite candy bar, which I can't seem to get enough of lately...

Ehem, back to the knitting. My second Cable Rib Sock is well under way and might've been done by now if I was given to inclinations of project monogamy...

Here is one of the pairs of cute little baby socks I've been mildy obsessed with. I knit the first one while listening to the Yarn Harlot herself. It snowed a lot that night too. That night was in April too. Isn't it supposed to be 'April showers bring May flowers? Short spurts of kitchenering several times over the course of a week enabled me to memorize that technique. Fun stuff, that kitchenering.

I knit half of this front piece to a little Girl's Sundress for my 18 month old while waiting at my first midwife appointment yesterday and it was going so well that I just kept going and finished the piece shortly after supper last night. I'll probably cast on the back and get it underway today and try to finish it up tomorrow- what an easy fun knit. Baby and toddler knitting is so much fun for those of us with short attention spans...
I changed the colorwork to give it twice as much color. I love bright colors on little girls! It's no wonder why the Hanna Andersson outlet has become one of my favorite stops...

I know I've bombarded you with a great many pictures, but this was just too cute...

Happy knitting-


Spring to-do List, Part 1

  • cull old shoes that don't even fit any kids here from overflowing entry closet
  • nature walk with kids
  • knit something
  • remove turtlenecks and various warm long sleeve shirts from too-small closets of often overheating children who will not need such clothing for at least 3 or 4 months
  • set up pool for kids
  • knit something
  • remove too-small clothes from speed-growing teenage son's overstuffed dresser drawers so he can actually put away the clothes that do fit this week
  • take kids hiking
  • knit something
  • clear years' worth of collected junk/stuff from junk/stuff room downstairs, throw most of it away, store leftovers in attic to be thrown away 10 years from now- that room is needed for children to make way for a new addition this fall...
  • explore a new park with kids
  • knit something else
  • plan garden, buy seeds, locate tools like rakes and hoes
  • drawing/sketching outside with kids

  • knit something
  • dream about getting chickens
  • read a classic book out on a blanket in the sun with kids
  • knit something more
  • go through pantry, eat or throw food nearing or past expiration date, restock pantry
  • bird watching with kids
  • knit something
  • clean some windows
  • try a new cookie recipe
  • knit something new

  • plan summer field trips
  • have fun with kids
  • knit some more...

If you notice a week pass with no blog activity, assume that I'm working on my list!

Happy knitting-


Friday, April 18, 2008

It Could Happen

Guess what I did... won the lottery? Nope. They say "It could happen.", but that's only true for people who actually buy tickets. Fixed the hole in that little orange teddy's head? Nope, not yet, but it is on the agenda to tackle today.

I did something that will really not impress serious sock knitters, those with years of socks and dozens of pairs under their needles. But for a recent sock addict, who's knitting has consisted of more sweaters than anything else, this is huge. Ready for this? I kitchenered the toe of my Cable Rib Sock last night, without looking at any directions. That's right. I did it by heart. Woohoo!

I was excited. I put on my one sock, strutted like the proverbial proud peacock over to my husband and teenage son, stuck my foot near their faces and beamed. My husband was impressed with the cable running all the way down, on both sides even. My teenager asked, "Where's the other one?". Teenagers. Enough said. I gave him a quick "Watch it, boy!" and tried to give him the sternest look I could muster up while trying not to crack up at the little stinker grinning back at me with that mischievous smile that silly kids can do, oh, so well.

I actually cast on for this sock quite a while back... and then set it down and forgot about it. When I remembered it, I couldn't find it. That's how deep my pile of ufo's is at times... It would take me some serious and laborious hours of data entry to let the world know (via Ravelry) how much I really have going on at one time. Anyway, I'm hoping to cast on and finish the second sock in much shorter order than the first. My hopes and dreams don't always pan out, but a girl can try...

I'm actually having way too much fun with little baby socks, which is cool because there seem to be babies being born all around me. Gotta think up some matching hats and sweaters, etc... If only there weren't so many other things to do each and every day... mental note- train more kids to cook!

Speaking of cooking, we recently celebrated our anniversary and received a wonderful knife set from my family. I was slicing potatoes for some homemade garlicky oven fries, and I realized how careless I had become with my practically useless old knives. I wielded those things with no fear. Brushing against a finger had never hurt before... hehehe... I'm one of those peel towards your thumb even though the Home Ec teacher told us not to type of peelers. Sharp knives do make a difference. I now have a couple very tiny paper cut-like breaks in the skin of my right thumb, a new found fear of/respect for sharp knives, as well as a new found fear of young children chopping vegetables to help with dinner. I must get over that last fear if I am ever to get my little sous chefs to take over my kitchen so I can sit back, eating peeled grapes and knitting... "It could happen."

Well, it could...

Happy knitting-

*eta- 2nd Cable Rib Sock is cast on and underway!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Do you hear that sound? That is the sound of ultimate suffering. My heart made that sound the day Count so-and-so murdered my father. The Man in Black makes it now."
"How do you know it's him?"
"His true love marries another today, who else has the cause for ultimate suffering"
-something like that from The Princess Bride...

Well- did you hear it? The sound of my ultimate suffering? The sound of my groaning when I ran out of thread without finishing a single skirt for my girls... who knew that 12 little tiered skirts could use so much thread? Well, I woulda known had I taken a moment to think about it. The funny thing is, I was being all organized and assembly line about it, so I sewed all the side seams and then got to work with those 2 rows of basting stitches to gather the tiers... on every tier... and then ran out of thread after attaching 2 tiers of the first three-tiered skirt I was approaching completion on... If I'da been all non-organized and assembly line about it and just worked one skirt at a time, I'da had several done. But no, I've got nothing.

My mom had a good suggestion- for next time, sigh- to use some extra contrasting thread in a weird color leftover from something. You just waste those stitches anyway; they get pulled out after attaching the tiers... That is years of experience speaking. I've been sewing a while, but that woman has been sewing since before I was born, and that's getting to be quite a few years now...

My main point is that I have no cute finished skirts to show- a shortfall I hope to remedy very soon. Perhaps I can get one or two done tomorrow in between the reading and the writing and the math, science, and history that should be going on here between the violin and piano practicing and the petty little things like dishes and laundry. Or perhaps I can get one or two done instead of some (or all) of those other things... Maybe I can sew and answer math questions at the same time- this could be one of those silver linings on the cloud that is the fact that I do not have the wonderful sanctuary sewing room that is in the dream house in my head. That's it, the upside of having the sewing machine out on my dining room table is being right there with my kids while they toil over their schoolwork and color masterpieces while I toil over my textile creations which I then force them to wear, with a smile for the camera... I mean, hey, if I have to hang all their pictures on all of the flat vertical surfaces of my house, it's only right that they should have to wear my works of art on all the surfaces that are themselves, right?! (Back me up here...)
I did finish the Baby Shrug, but neglected to have a memory card in my camera on the day my daughter wore it on our field trip to the Bell Museum of Natural History. Ugh. I stopped at Best Buy on the way home remedy that situation and I now have a spare memory card for the times when I remember to bring my camera but forget to take the memory card out of my laptop... My friend got some great pictures, even one of me holding an African Giant Centipede, if you can believe it. That thing was huge, freaking, crazy, huge- the stuff of bug nightmares. In fact, I think those were the featured bug in a nightmare I had as a kid... I digress. No pics of the shrug either. I am so bad.
Made some cute little cabled baby socks. Guess what? No pics yet. Hehe, now I'm just being mean.
Okay, I do have some pics- these are the artistic action shots my husband took on Saturday while I spent a little time working on my Cable Rib Sock, as I am being a good girl and working on my list of Spring Knitting Goals, despite all the extra knitting ideas that float through my head every day, especially now that the pesky ADDknitter had to go and mention that friends' activity page on Ravelry... oh my... oh man, I just checked, they've added more...

Hey, it's almost a sock!

Dizzying, isn't it?

How many sts per hour is that?

Well, that was fun...

Yep, I know I hold the yarn wrong. If you're a purist, anyway. I'm not. Whatever works for you... whatever works for me... what doesn't work for me is having the yarn wrapped around fingers sliding by giving almost a fingernail on chalkboard or fork on plate type of sensation- I guess I have sensory issues... anyhoo- sock number one is nearing completion. If I neglect all of my other responsibilities tomorrow, I could get it done. I'll probably get another inch or two further down the foot and nearer to the toe. Then it's cast on another time, because I haven't yet attempted 2 at a time. Way behind the times, I know. But I did get a book (visual learner, no time for a class, not to mention no yarn shops within 30 miles) and have that on my summer list...

Oh, and in other book distraction, I recently acquired a copy of "Knitting for Baby" by Melanie Falick and Kristin Nicholas and have added far too many projects to my must knit list. oi. Need. More. Time.

Happy knitting-

*If you haven't watched the Yarnery Family Singers clips yet, scroll down, push the play button, enjoy- that's an order.

**Would you believe that I just noticed the spellcheck feature on Blogger? Hehe, this will come as no surprise to my sister... I also just noticed why Melanie Falick's name is kinda funny, in a junior high humor sorta way... it was highlighted in spellcheck, and suddenly, it was so obvious. So sorry Melanie. I really do love your work. Love it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Let's Hear it for the Yarnery Family Singers!

Ravelry rocks! You all knew that, I know, but I just had to say it. Thanks to Ravely, I actually heard about an event before it happened... and, managed to score not only a ticket for myself, but tickets for one of my dear friends and my knitting sister. We braved the blizzard (and the University of Saint Thomas parking ramps), yep, I said blizzard... and enjoyed an evening with The Harlot, herself.

The ride home was treacherous. What should have taken 1 hour, took 2... there was fishtailing, there was near zero visibility at times, and there was a large snowplow in the middle of the highway coming way too close for comfort, despite the fact that I was as far over onto my unplowed shoulder as I dared to be, considering the deep ditch just beyond... I was thankful for modern technologies such as traction control.

I'm still recovering from the stress of it all (that's excuse-speak for 'been to busy to compose a brilliant, or at least slightly above average blog post') but I had to take a moment and share these brilliant clips from the evening's pre-Stephanie entertainment. The folks at The Yarnery were/are fabulously clever and talented, and I'm so glad someone captured these moments on video! Enjoy!

Yarnery Family Singers- part 1, posted by Shelly Kang

Yarnery Family Singers- part 2

Yarnery Family Singers- part 3

Yarnery Family Singers- part 4

These clips make me giggle, a lot.

That's it for tonight, I'm falling asleep.

Happy knitting-

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Spring has Sprung

A sure sign of spring- mud, mud, and more mud.

Lovely, isn't it?

Spring is off to a crazy start here in our cozy part of Minnesota. The first day of spring was our first nice day, sunshine, highs in the low to mid 40's... it was a good day to get locked out of the house and have to sit and wait an hour and a half to be rescued by daddy (I'm glad I had my cell phone, and it was charged, I'm not always so good about that...) The next day, not so good for such adventures. It snowed. And it snowed almost every day from the second day of spring until the first day of April- it was a grand April Fool's Day joke- 6 or 7 inches of snow...

The view out my bedroom window. There will be grass someday.

Most of the post season snow has melted, leaving us with our first real signs of spring, mud & allergies. With 2 young asthmatics and chronic sinus issues myself, I forget to really appreciate our long winters until the wheezing and headaches of spring hit. Ugh. With recent news about Singulair's side effects, and looking in to side effects of steroids like prednisolone (which my girls end up on when the bouts of wheezing get bad) and frequent use of albuterol and sudafed, I am on a renewed hunt for some natural allergy help... so if there are any health nuts (herbalists, naturopaths, etc...) reading this blog, feel free to leave any advice you can come up with.

We moved the cats outdoors and the girls aren't allergic to our dog, but airborne mold spores are nearly impossible to avoid this time of year... I'm wondering if there is a natural way to 'neutralize' the reaction or something like that...

In knitting news- there was much last minute (well beyond last minute, actually, yikes) new pattern design finishing touches going on early in the week. Here's a peak...

So... the Baby Shrug is not quite done. I'm still thinking it looks like it will fit my large-for-her-age 3 year old better than my average-size 18 month old. I may need to quick knit a second one a size smaller, probably in a bright color next time... I'm just about to seam and trim, or trim and seam, as the case may be with this one if I follow the pattern like a good little knitter. I'm really thinking of being rebellious and seaming first and then adding the trim all around at once with a circular needle. Either way, I'm thinking of doing the trim in Shell (the shrug is in Drift) for a delicate pink touch for my little lady.

Baby Shrug trim will probably have to wait for tonight, or perhaps for the van ride tomorrow, as I plan on spending a good chunk of my Saturday making some fun skirts for my daughters.

Fun stash fabric, gifted from my sister a while back after she couldn't decide what to make with it. I'll be adding the ribbon to bring out the orange in the print and brighten it up for my girly girls.

If there's anything that competes with stripes for my attention and affection, it's dots. How cute are these?!

And these coordinates were too fabulous to pass up. I may need to go back for more of the brown for something for myself, not sure what yet, not a tiered twirly skirt like my girls, but perhaps a Half-Circle Wrap, or a longer version of the Asian Dream skirt from "Sew What! Skirts"... Hmmm...

I'm not sure if I have enough for 4 skirts of each of the fabric combos, but we'll see. I may have to get creative and just make some coordinating things with patches of matching fabrics for the 2 youngest, if supplies run short. It might be fun to embellish some matching t-shirts too... now my creative wheels are turning. My biggest obstacles are the clock and the guilt about all the spring cleaning I should be getting to- did you see the dirt on those boots?!

Not sure if my girls will have something new to wear by tomorrow morning, but the sooner I get off the computer, the better their chances will be, know what I mean? Hehe...

'Till next week,
Happy knitting, and a little sewing love to you all as well-
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