Saturday, November 24, 2007


It has been so busy lately that I hadn't checked my email since Tuesday morning. I was almost scared to see what Google Reader had in store for me!

About 15 minutes after my last post about the too-big socks I found Thuja in my Ravelry Queue and noticed that I had noted that Sarah's yarn would be perfect for it. Great! So I cast on the 56 stitches and went to town. Halfway into the heel I started wondering if this sock might just be too loose but kept on with it thinking that it would be better to try on the sock after finishing the gusset decreases. True to my word, I tried on the sock after decreasing and it was too big. Way too big, in fact. The sock would probably even be a little loose on Bryan!

The yarn is perfect with that particular pattern so that won't change but there's no way I'm casting on 56 stitches. It's a seed stitch rib with a 4 stitch repeat and I'm thinking that if I remove two repeats for a total of 8 stitches that I should be just fine.

This morning we woke up to snow! The weather has been swinging between beautifully warm and beautifully cold. A 4am trip to Wal-Greens for a feverish Ailish made me so thankful for warm knitted scarves! Ailish definitely needs a cute knitted hat. Any suggestions?

P.S. Secret Pal, I got your final package today! Expect a full post on it Monday!!! :D

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Either way it is not good

I finished Bryan's Christmas socks and started digging around in the stash to find the next sock! Last year I purchased some of Sarah's hand dyed yarn from Simply Fibers and it has marinated to perfection. It is a heavier sock yarn and it looks great on size 2 needles so the socks will be a quick knit.

Last night I found the pattern I wanted to use in the Knitting Vintage Socks book by Nancy Bush. The Heelless Sleeping Socks but with a heel would be just about perfect so I cast on and worked 2" of the pattern after which I stepped back to take a look at it. I didn't like it! Okay, so it was late and not the best lighting so I decided to wait until the morning to see what I thought.

Here's what I found:

Right side: Bad. I don't know that I like all the purl stitches. The knits look amazing in this yarn, though... which made me think to turn the sock inside out.

Wrong side: Bad. Now it just looks like I don't know how to knit in the round and made a bunch of mistakes.

Back to the drawing board!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Making the effort

I've been making the conscious decision to not procrastinate. It's an easy thing for me to do. "Oh, I'll just knit one more row and then I'll unload the dishwasher." "During the commercial I'll put the laundry into the dryer." "I really need to deflate Owen's blow up pool and put it away but I'll do that when he goes down for a nap."

When I decide to be honest with myself I realize that I put off way too many things. How much more effective would I be in my life if I just got off my tush and did whatever it was that needed to be done instead of fooling myself into thinking that I can really just knit one more row and not make it 1.5" of knitting before I reluctantly get up and attend to to the task at hand. And you know what? My house looks better and I'm less stressed out. Now I'm working on clearing out some of the clutter in my life and it is therapeutic to say the least.


And just so that you all can see something knitting related:

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
Take this quiz!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The View From Here

I have to admit that one of my favorite things about going to my parents' house is their amazing views. Every single room has plenty of windows with which to admire the surrounding nature and every single room has a beautiful view. The front door opens to the living room and here's what you see from the balcony outside of the living room.

Isn't it breathtaking?

This is Wisp and while it doesn't look like much right now, I can already see the potential. Today I started my second repeat of the lace pattern and I love it. This is some Misti Alpaca laceweight in Sea Mist, knitted on size 6 US Brittany's. The combination of the soft alpaca yarn and the warm wood needles is heavenly.

Monday, November 12, 2007

This weekend was a big one! As I mentioned in Saturday's post, I got to see my knitterly girls which was quite a treat. I need good pictures of each of you to keep in my knitting bag so that I can pretend to have conversations with you while I'm knitting in the car in front of work. Just kidding, sort of. In any case, I finished Ailish's pants while at Tammy's house!!! Yay!

I am cute, no?

The pants are a bit on the large side but that
just means that I can wear them for the whole winter!

My Mama rocked the short rows. The tush on these pants fit me just right!

Sunday I drove to my parents' house and spent the day with them at church and at home to celebrate my brother Jared's 13th birthday. He's 13 years old and taller than me with a voice that is lower than our dad's. Scary, no? We had a great time! I love spending time with my parents and brothers and they love having us around. My kids enjoy their grandparents and uncles so much and it's something that I want to continue encouraging especially since we don't have much family in the area!

With so many people to play with Owen and help keep an eye on him and to hold Ailish, I get so much knitting time in! I had made a deal that when I finished Ailish's pants and Bryan's socks that I would start a fun new project, but I just couldn't wait and cast on for something a bit more challenging than stockinette in the round. Details tomorrow!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Fun times and loofahs

Tonight we all got together at Tammy's house for a little knitting time... and by we I mean Tammy, Sarah, Kate and myself. Tammy's sister, Kathy, was also there for a few minutes and I had the kids with me for a little over an hour until Bryan picked them up after work. We were also joined by Hayley, Kate's step-daughter, who was learning how to knit! Tammy gave us a tour of her yarn cave and I was impressed! The girl has got it together!!!

I love getting together with the girls and miss being able to see them often since I work evenings and that's when their weekly knitting time is. Thankfully, we email each other and plan little evenings like this so I'm still able to be involved.

If you want to have a fun time make sure you invite me because it is inevitable that I will hear something in correctly and then hilarity ensues. For example, I stayed behind after the rest of the girls left and Tammy and I watched an episode of American Idol Rewind. During that show Simon tells this guy, "You're like a Luther" meaning Luther Vandross. I heard, "You're like a loofah" and was more than a bit confused why that might be a good thing. Tammy then corrected me and we spent the next few minutes laughing over it.

Ailish also finds me to be quite amusing

Come back next time for more on the pants!

Friday, November 09, 2007

3 days per week

On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays I pack the kids into the car and meet Bryan in the parking lot of his work so that we can make The Great Kid Exchange. While I wait for Bryan to come out I knit for a few minutes and listen to whatever music Owen dictates. Once Bryan emerges from the building, he sits in the car with me for a few minutes and we talk about our days before I give him the run down of when they ate last and napped last. After 10 or 15 minutes I take the keys to his car and go to work.

Ah, 4:07pm. Bryan should be out any moment! Hello, pants.
My green shirt matches you today!

This is grumpy Owen making his debut on the blog. Owen did NOT want to see Dad and spent much of the drive and wait time making that very well known. It's hard to see but in this picture he's pointing out the window telling me that he wants to "Go this way!"

Ailish woke up about five minutes after this picture was taken and cried. She was still crying when I escaped left Bryan with the kids.

When I get home from work both kids are already in bed. If I can I'll sneak in a little more knitting time before I wake up Ailish at around midnight so that she can nurse. Owen generally wakes up some time after that to come into our room and sleep on a sleeping bag or make a place for himself in our bed. No crying then! Just kids who are happy to see their Mama and ready for some cuddling.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Note to self

10:30pm is not a good time to take pictures. You'll never be happy with the results.

Almost 5" done on the body of the pants.

I am, however, very happy with how Ailish's pants are turning out. The short rows that I added to the backside are perfect! They're creating a cloth-diaper-tush-pocket that the last pair of pants I knitted for her lacked.

Take a good look at the effect of the short rows. The back of the pants gained 10 extra rows.

I'm going to add a little extra length to the body of the pants because our girly has a long torso and since I'm hoping she can wear these for at least 4 or 5 months. I'm not sure how appropriate low-rise pants are for a 5 month old but I'm pretty sure it's still not okay when you are 10 months old.

I wanted to share another picture from our wedding because I think our photographer, Grant Usell, did an amazing job. We love our pictures even 7 years later!

Bryan and I decided to meet before the ceremony and have a few minutes to pray and remember what all the fuss was really about. A family friend, who also happened to live next door to my parents, kindly let us use their beautiful backyard for that time.

Bryan waited in the garden for me with his back turned. I got to see his reaction close up when he turned around and saw me in my wedding dress. The photographer took pictures from far away for just a few moments and then let us have 10 minutes together. Those pictures are by far some of my favorites from the whole day.

Sometimes breaking tradition is a good thing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I know why the caged bird sings

wAnd I know why I don't post every day. Why? Because it would be very boring, indeed. The pants pictured yesterday are exactly 2.5" bigger today. That's it. Tomorrow I'll have more done and then I can amaze you with the difference that 5 additional inches makes! Exciting!

The holidays are coming up and my parents are going to Ohio to spend Thanksgiving with my sister and brother-in-law who will be celebrating with his family. This leaves our little family here to celebrate on our own or with my aunt and uncle who live down the street from my parents. It's an odd thought, that I won't be with my parents on Thanksgiving but considering that my sister hasn't had Thanksgiving with my parents for the last 2 years, I think I can let her have a turn!

I love it when my whole family is together. There's something so perfect about it. Not that we're a perfect family, but it feels different. We mesh together in a lovely way.

This is one of my very favorite pictures from our wedding. The photographer had an assistant with them and they had two cameras. One camera had color film and took the more traditional staged shots and the other was a black and white that took pictures of whatever was going on. I love those black and whites infinitely more than the color pictures because they show US. He somehow managed to capture the heart of my family and our wedding.

From left to right you can see the edge of my sister, Heather, then comes me and you can see the top of Bryan's head above me. Next to Bryan is the older of my brothers, Jared, who turns 13 years old on Sunday, and then there's Isaac who was only 1 and a half years old when we got married. Holding Isaac is Bryan's best man, Shane.

Perhaps tomorrow I'll share more wedding pictures if you're interested! For now I'm going to make a cup of hot tea (thanks, Secret Pal!) and cuddle up next to my honey. It's another cold night!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Proof of the Legs!

Here we have the legs of the Baby Bell Bottoms! (Forgive the odd picture.) Last night I finished the second leg and then joined the legs to start the bottom of the... well, bottom. As of this moment there's about an inch and a half of the bottom and I've worked my first short row on the back of the pants.

Tonight I showed the pants to a coworker. She's a sweet grandmotherly type with lots of energy and a love of crafts, the perfect person to show the knitting to. Right? Her response was, "Huh. Isn't that interesting. You know you could just buy her some pants." Guess who I won't be showing my knitting to in the future.

She's right, though. I really could just buy her some pants. The thing is that I love being able to custom-fit them! Also, how cute are these?! Plus, wool pants aren't the easiest thing to find in the store and they'll be so warm for the winter. As if I need to justify my knitting to you guys?!

Monday, November 05, 2007

She's got legs!

I ran home after work, excited to take a picture of the progress that I've made on Ailish's Baby Bell Bottoms only to find that the batteries in the camera need to be charged. Oh well! There will be pictures tomorrow, but I can at least tell you that I've finished both legs and am now ready to put the first leg back on the needles and start knitting the body/bottom/top??? of the pants.

Now is when the thinking is required. No, not for the attaching of the legs because I left the stitches of the first leg on some waste yarn so those stitches are still live. I'm talking about short row booty, here. This is going to require examining some of her pants and seeing how commercial designers work this out.

In other news, have you all gotten the new KnitPicks catalog yet? The back cover of it has sock samplers and I'm so in love! I can't decide if I like the warm sampler or the neutral sampler better, but I'm leaning more towards warm right now. As of late I've been drawn towards warm colors and have even added a deep orange sweater to my wardrobe this season... a color that I'd never wear in the past!

Alas, the sock sampler will have to wait until after the New Year. What with Christmas coming along and babies growing out of their clothes, the budget is not allowing for frivolous sock expenditures no matter how much I try to explain to it that I need solid colored sock yarn for the lace patterns I want to try out. Stupid budget.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A little help from my friends

I'm calling out to the blogosphere for their wisdom!

What would you do with a knitted garment that has become too big? Would you keep it or give it away? Or would you rip it out?

This is my dilemma. Last spring I finished the In Full Bloom cardigan and while I love the color and the design, the sweater no longer fits me as well. I put it on this morning to wear to church and had about 4" of extra fabric everywhere. In an act of desperation I snipped off the buttons, overlapped the fronts by quite a bit and used a sweater stick to keep it closed in front.

Let me know what you think! Were this a sweater that was sitting in your closet, what would you do?

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Knit, Mama!

My daughter loves to watch me knit. I sat her in her bouncy seat and knit away on Bryan's sock for about 15 minutes today. At first I was trying to keep her attention by making silly faces and singing silly songs about her. Five minutes into this concert I stopped singing when I noticed that she was not even paying attention to my face or the songs, but her eyes were glued to my hands. I stopped knitting and moved the sock around a bit to the left, right, up and down only to watch her head and eyes follow every move it made!

Ailish has now begun her informal knitting education. I talked with her about what I was doing and about all the different kinds of needles, fiber and yarn weights that are available to work with. The next lesson will be all about the dpn vs magic loop vs 2 circulars debate since I didn't want to overwhelm her at her first lesson!

And in case you were wondering, 15 minutes of knitting gets me halfway through one big stripe on Bryan's socks. That is approximately 6 rows of knitting in 15 minutes, when knitting at normal pace. I have one and a half more stripes to go before I start the heel and then about 150 stripes on the foot because my man has big feet. Okay, so it's not really 150 stripes but it sure feels that way!!! Ah, the knitting math!

Friday, November 02, 2007


Ailish will be 6 months old in 2 weeks and thinking about that got me thinking about Owen when he was that age. They even look similar in their own unique ways.
Ailish (5 months old) and Lolly at the new house. October 2007.

Owen (7 months old) and Bryan in San Luis Obispo, CA. April 2004.
The handsome Owen at age 4. October 2007.

Do you ever wonder where your knitting will be in a few years? There are some knits that will probably go to that great yarn store in the sky, like much loved socks. And I know that I'll be packing away Owen's brown sweater (my first sweater!) after this winter and will tuck a note in it to tell Owen how much he loved it and how much I loved making it for him. Where will my next favorite project be in 10 years? With any luck, the majority of the things that I've made will have been loved to death and found their happiness in fulfilling their knitted destiny!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Is it possible?

November 1... how can that be? I'm shocked about how quickly this year is passing! It has been a whirlwind of a year, to be sure.

While talking with Mom on the phone this morning I came to the realization that I am going to be ripping out the red shrug. I was telling Mom about how I need more clothes that I can wear to work because my last 2 jobs were at places that I wore jeans to work every day. Now that I'm in a dressy work environment I'm finding that my wardrobe is a little more limited that I like. I told her about the dress code and we talked about body types and what we feel comfortable wearing and what we feel good wearing. As I made the bed and stared at the shrug that was sitting on my bedside table I realized that it was not something that I could wear to work and it really didn't qualify as something that I would feel comfortable or good while wearing. So why make an item of clothing that wouldn't make me feel good about how I look?

Now that I have 3 skeins of red Cascade 220 available I'm thinking of pairing it with some black Cascade 220 in my stash and making a red sweater for Owen that has some colorwork on the yoke. Time to search Ravelry!