Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Scarves, Legwarmers, & Monogamy

What to knit? What to knit?

If I were a monogamous knitter I might not have this problem. Of course, I might not have this much fun either. You know- the fun of forever casting on yet another project, the completion date of which you don't dare to predict? I know you know the fun I'm talking about (ehem, Heather, I'm looking at you) that is, unless you're one of those rare monogamous knitters. At least, I think they're rare. I don't know any, well, I don't think I do.

I worked my tail off getting many of my ducks in a row before soccer practice last night, so I found myself preparing my bag a bit early, with 2 almost done projects looking up at me, calling my knitting name, I was torn. Then I looked at the clock- I was ready to roll with over an hour of 'spare time' (you know there really is no such thing in my life, but I like to pretend I have nothing else to do sometimes) and so I did the only logical thing, this is the way logic works in my head, I parked myself on the couch while the kids watched an episode of MythBusters* (commercial-free, we like our Netflix instant watch! I'm sure that counted for science, well, that, and following up on the Google Doodle, that one counted for science AND history) while I knit away on a legwarmer, thereby leaving soccer practice knitting time for my scarf. Brilliant! (humor me)

The legwarmer almost flew off the needles (it helped majorly that Baby J was napping while I was couch sitting knitting), but the scarf had to battle for my attention against a hungry baby and a toddler trying to climb up the slides and across the wobbly hanging bridges of the jungle gym that hosts my children during soccer practice. A few inches of progress were made, and that will have to do until Thursday night's practice, and then maybe there'll be a finishing job over the weekend. I said maybe.

So, are YOU a monogamous knitter? No? How many projects do you have going? That many? Okay, but how many of them are you actually working on this week?

Happy knitting-

*we learned why it is that your voice sounds like a funny little cartoon after you inhale helium, very interesting! I say your voice because I would never do something like that...

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Stripes & Stripes Forever Coming Soon

I teased about this one earlier, and then I dropped the ball and got busy with 101 other things... Well, in the spirit of letting bygones be bygones and picking oneself up by the bootstraps and getting back in the saddle, er, whatever, I'm teasing again, haha! Just kidding, I hope, I mean, I hope I'm not teasing, because I hope to have this pattern ready to go by the end of this week.

It's really just a matter of staying up late one night to get everything laid out and edited, and, well, big blocks of time are kinda hard to come by around here, especially right about now, as we are gearing up and getting back to our homeschooling adventure (this is why it requires some night hours). I had things almost ready to go way back before Miss G landed herself in the hospital again, which threw me majorly off my game, this time taking me quite a while to get back into the swing of things, what with living my summer and all... (sorry!!)

I have another set almost done and my girls can hardly get enough of them, even with the heat & humidity-it's not the heat, it's the humidity (this is Minnesota, I'm required to say that) we've had around here lately (actually, it's been an awesome summer so far!). I imagine they'll be even harder to keep off of their little hands when things cool down- good thing this new yarn is washable!! Do you know what happens to yarn when peanut butter & jelly (or pizza sauce) residue is allowed to build up while you wait to get around to hand washing? Either do I, and I don't intend to find out.

1 skein each of 2 colors Spud & Chloe Sweater
Needles: I'm on a size 7 US
The rest: Coming soon!

Dear Husband turns 32 on Wednesday (our birthdays are exactly 3 weeks apart, and I'm a couple years older, not saying how many, hehe) and I just figured out what else he needs for his birthday, I'm so brilliant, or not, but I am so practical when it comes to adult birthday presents that I have to try to remember not to suck the fun out of it all with my getting things people actually need and will use and won't just waste time, money, and space in a closet somewhere... but don't worry, I already ordered a little something extra.

Our next birthday is right around the corner. My oldest turns 16 in September!! If you never hear from me again it may be due to the shock of it all...

Another couple inches to go on another legwarmer, some kid play, some kid work, some kid learning, some errands in town, and soccer practice await me today- best get scooting.

Have a good one!
Happy knitting-

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Another 4 Squares

I absolutely adore this quilt, so when AmandaJean, of Crazy Mom Quilts, posted about another 1 a day quilt-along, I had to jump in. I can handle 1 a day, or a couple every couple days, right? In a moment of fabric passion, I grabbed a pile of fat quarters that caught my eye, and dashed home to get started, or maybe it took me a week or two to get around to cutting my 1st strips, maybe...

I think mine will end up being a queen size, rather than her twin, so I'll need 90 blocks, rather than her 70, and I'm pretty sure it will end up taking me longer than 90 days because I'm a 15 minutes here and there kind of gal, but so far, so fun!

I'm making 2 of each of the first several blocks using my favoritest fabrics from the bunch set aside for this one. I'll probably do a bunch of singles later on, just to keep things feeling a bit more random.

The next several blocks are cut and waiting for my next several minutes home, with nothing to do but quilt. Yeah, like that ever happens. Well, my next several minutes that I decide to put off anything having to do with cleaning, set down the yarn & needles, and let myself get sucked into the sewing machine vortex.

Enjoy your weekend!

Happy knitting (and quilting)-


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It Has Begun

Soccer season has set in. 2 hrs (+ drive time) on practice days, longer on game days, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and occasional Saturdays, from now until the end of October. The weeks of menus have been planned, many groceries bought, crock pots dusted off, all that remains now is the running, and the soccer knitting, also known as keeping my hands busy while paying rapt attention to my teen on the field, always keeping my eye on both him and the ball, and never missing the perfect shot with the camera, er, yeah, that's it. It's kinda hard to hold the camera and hang on to the needles so I hafta become sort of a quick-change artist; it helps me stay limber.

Currently on the needles is this simple scarf using 2 colors of Blue Sky Alpacas' Alpaca Silk (I'm using Amethyst & Plum- yummy!) I'm calling it 'Just Beyond the Garter Ridge', and that pretty much sums up the stitch pattern. As of today, I'm at 42", and I have a lot of yarn left. I probably could've cast on a few more stitches and gone wider, but I kinda like the idea of a dainty little & long scarf that I can wrap around a couple times, or perhaps wear really loose and drapey. We'll see what mood I'm in when I get done! 2 more practices this week, that should give me several more inches...

Towards the end of last night's soccer practice there was a nice little damp chill in the air, the kind of slight damp chill that reminds me of late summers gone by, back-to-school almost fall days setting in, and the sweater wearing weather that accompanies it. The sweater knitter in me was stirred and I decided it's about time to cast on another full size project.

I also decided that it's about time to get some pictures of my Drops Jacket that I love so much but totally neglected to photograph finished. Must remedy that situation as soon as this cold rain passes on.
I've got my teenager working on his first thesis statement of the year. Topic- why every boy needs a dog. We're starting off nice & easy with this one. It's supposed to be an argumentative paper, maybe he can convince his dad that it's time for a new dog... and maybe we can get a yippy little house dog and then I can start knitting cheesy little sweaters for him or her to wear, or, maybe not, I'm not ready for the cheesy little sweaters, no offence meant to those of you with cute little dogs in cute little doggie sweaters, but I'll stick to cute little baby sweaters, for now...
Happy knitting-

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm All About the Brunch

See that? I finished something recently! A simple washcloth for my mother-in-law. Don't you just love her sink/faucet?! You should see the rest of her kitchen...

It's official- rhubarb and Amish friendship bread* work well together (was there ever really any question?), especially when served with good coffee, or tea, if that's your thing, sometimes that's my thing too...
Baby J, trying really hard to NOT touch the dvd player.

I was feeling restless last night, not wanting to go to sleep until I knew my asthmatic one was going to be good for the night- it's been a rough week with the heat & humidity combined with high pollen counts- and I had been putting off making another batch of Amish friendship bread, so... I started baking, at 10 pm. The air conditioner has already been working double time just to stay on top of this latest batch of heat and humidity (not looking forward to the next electric bill, if the last one was any indication...) so, why not run the oven? That, there, is classic Ali reasoning for you.
Still trying, can you see the inner struggle?

And as long as you're baking (after 10 pm), why not make a double batch? Oh, and remember how you wanted to make it a bit healthier and try it with fresh ground whole wheat? Now's as good a time as any, right? Can you hear the compulsive overachiever talking? Yeah, that side of me is hard to live with sometimes, but then, it's also the side of me that actually gets things done, so I let her stay.
Looking away, moving away, now that's self-control,
if it were only that easy to train myself that well...

Out came the Whisper Mill, and, since it was after 10, and despite it's quiet name, this mill sounds nothing like a whisper (it's all relative, apparently other mills are even louder), I headed to the garage to grind my wheat. Yep, the garage. I'm weird and compulsive like that.

Not that baking is weird, even if it is a fermented batter, nor is grinding my own wheat, I've been doing that for years, though not exclusively, and not usually in the garage; but put all of these factors together and remember that I was baking after 10 pm, and, well, that was weird.
End result- I occupied my time in between checking on my 6 yr old, who needed several rounds of meds to keep her oxygen level up in the night (really trying to stay out of the ER for a while) AND AT THE SAME TIME, I made 2 big pans of yummy sweet bread to eat for brunch this morning while I stay behind, home from church due to tiredness and several coughing kids.
In between eating and licking my fingers, I'm working on the finishing touches of a couple pairs of mittens, then it'll be onto the pattern editing, yay!
There are so many things I want to knit right now, I can hardly stand it. Teen's soccer season starts tomorrow, so it's time to pack a good bag- yarn, needles, pattern, and snacks, can't forget snacks. Have you ever tried to sit and knit while watching 6 young children for 2 hours while your teenager has soccer practice? My secret is snacks, lots of snacks, oh, and the jungle gym right next to the field, that helps too.
I hope you're all enjoying what's left of this summer- it's the last summer you'll get this year!
Happy knitting-
*this recipe link for Amish friendship bread is my favorite because it calls for all natural ingredients (no instant pudding mix) so I don't have to buy anything extra to have on hand, and the variations on the sidebar, check those out, who knew there were that many things you could do with Amish friendship bread?! I just added a bunch of chopped up rhubarb to mine, because, well, I had a bunch of chopped up rhubarb and it sounded good... it was!


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Making Me Smile This Week 8.7.09

  • handmade Birthday cards, and a birthbay card to boot (too cute!)

  • realizing that on Wednesday, I was really only 1 day older than the day before

  • all American chocolate cake, it was seriously rich & just drenched in dark chocolate, yummo! (nope, I didn't make it, sorry, no recipe!)
  • 10 yr old son off to camp for the first time!
  • little girls and kittens
  • listening to teenager fiddle with his violin teacher (I told them I'm bringing the video camera next time!)
  • garden fresh cherry tomatoes
  • too much zucchini, guess that means zucchini bread in our future
  • knitting more mittens! I know, I know, I may even have something ready in time for the appropriate season... how cool is that?!
  • packs of hot rice (re-heatable) on my neck, would anybody be interested in a pattern/tutorial for that? I'll be making some more very soon and could document the process...
  • Baby J, 9 months old, cutting tooth #8 and eating more solid food
  • 10 yr old safely back home, with animated stories to tell

We're off to the in-laws this weekend. Considering the 2 1/2 hr drive, I'm hoping to be able to get some good knitting in. 3 cheers to my chiropractic neurologist- a couple years ago I couldn't knit while riding, or read, look at a map, etc... I pretty much couldn't do anything but look straight ahead in a moving vehicle, without severe nausea, since childhood. It was awful, and I was resigned to living like that the rest of my days. Then a new chiropractor worked some neurological wonders, and I'm pretty much a new woman. I can even sit in a room with a ceiling fan going- that used to bring on severe migraines, the kind that left me crying in pain and vomitting for 10-12 hours, followed by 1 or 2 days of migraine hangover, yep, from a ceiling fan... (there was a visual connection, not just a motion issue) Weird, I know, but that was my life before chiropractic neurology. I'm not really sure why I'm telling you all this, except that maybe there is somebody else out there who has given up hope of ever getting over such issues and could maybe benefit from a visit with a chiropractor specializing in neurology. So there you go.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Happy knitting-


The Mittens Are Coming, The Mittens Are Coming!

Gratuitous summer fun pic, just because...

Maybe it was the recent cold snap, who ever heard of highs in the 60s in a Minnesota July? We may be known for some blustery winters, but we also have our fair share of hot and humid (for a few short weeks) every summer (it's not the heat, it's the humidity, hehe).

Whatever the reason, I had an urge to make some mittens. Here's an in process shot-

I'm loving them. The new Spud & Chloe Outer is so soft, this must be what it would feel like if mittens could be made out of clouds. Ok, maybe not, but it's seriously soft. I can't get over it, talk about excessive yarn petting.... It's begging to be made into many baby things, just begging, I can almost hear it. Next up, though, will be a coordinating hat for the new mittens. Bring on the global cooling!

Sneak peak at a new Spud & Chloe project. Must wrap up the writing, like yesterday, or the day before.

Son #2 (10 yrs) was seen off to camp on Monday, for the very first time, deep breath in, let it out... (Susan promised that Wisconsin would take care of him for me!) It will be an odd week without him, and I'm sure it will fly by way too fast, especially for him. Son #1, teenager, heads off next week. Then, suddenly soccer season will start and we'll dive into our homeschool year (still gathering curriculum...) With kids in 10th, 5th, 3rd, 1st, and K4, and a preschooler and a baby, this will be my busiest season ever. Lots and lots and lots of planning is necessary to pull this off, so I am in major listmaking mode. Writing lists, changing lists, typing lists, tweaking lists, you name it, I'm listing it, or it just won't get done, not a chance.

I just remembered it's my birthday tomorrow, there goes that Time, flying away again... I'm off to make the most of this August! Are you making the most of yours?
Happy knitting-


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