Saturday, October 31, 2009

Knitting Content

I did end up finishing both hats and scarves for the boys to wear with their scary skeleton costumes, but it was about 70 degrees so they didn't need them. Which is good, because we couldn't find DS2's green hat anyway. I was mildly disappointed (but more thankful for good weather) and now they each have a hat and scarf for Winter, which probably is going to show up sometime soon anyway.

365-3: Halloween

At this moment, the thing I am most grateful for is that Halloween is over and done with for another year. :)

Many reasons for this, the main one being that my darling oldest boy is far, far too much like me for comfort, and the anticipation for this night has been building and building for a long time. Most of the evening was quite fun - we met up with "the gang" and did a bunch of ToTing with them. Unfortunately, his Halloween ended on a disappointing note. There is a house on a street that we drive on frequently that does it up for Halloween, including a huge blow-up purple spider and a huge blow-up vampire over the door. My oldest has been *so* excited to trick-or-treat there. We went all around the neighborhood with "the gang" and then took a special trip over to this house. The blow-ups were blown up, thank goodness, but instead of being able to trick or treat, they had left a bowl of candy on the front steps.

And the bowl was empty.

Poor kid was deeply disappointed (I think his brother mainly just wanted to go home and really didn't care), and my oldest is one who feels things, deeply and passionately. He managed to recombobulate a bit when I promised he could pick an extra treat out of our stash at home but it is *so* hard to see your child be so excited for something and have it not live up to his expectations. I know, in the grand scheme of life's potential disappointments, this isn't huge, but he's six, you know? My heart broke just a little for him.

We decided that *next* year we'll go over there really early. Before supper, he thinks would be a good idea.

Friday, October 30, 2009

365-2: Not too tired to feel grateful today.

It's funny, thinking about what (and when) I was going to post today, I realized that there are so many things, big and small, throughout the day that I am grateful for. Today was a day where I was busy non-stop from morning until night, including having people over for dinner when we weren't home much at all today, so not much time to get the house semi-in-order or make dinner.

So, today I am grateful for my Crockpot which allowed me to make a meal that was both simple and really good! Our friends seems to really like it too! I did a big batch today - 3 cans of corn, 2 cans of black beans, 3 12-oz jars of Trader Joe's Peach Salsa, and 2 packages of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I rinse the corn and beans, mix them with a jar of salsa. Then I add the chicken, top with more salsa. I cooked it on high for about 3.5 hours, then turned to low, and about an hour before I served it, I turned it to warm (I put it in at 1, and we ate at about 6:30). I served this over rice with shredded cheese and sour cream, though you can also toss a block of cream cheese into the mix about 45 minutes before you serve. Not pretty but so tasty! I served with salad and corn bread and red wine. YUM.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

365-1: No Time Like The Present

What really made me think of this project was that I had a small but irritating interpersonal situation this morning that bummed me out. Then I read about a friend's situation who has been in the hospital for *four months*, much of that time spent on a ventilator. I don't know all the details but that just sucks. And it put things in perspective for me.

So, today, I am grateful for my health.

Why I Blog

I read a fair number of blogs - mostly knitting and infertility, and unlike the ones I read, my blog (since I have all of about two readers! Thanks guys!) is really more of an archive for myself - mostly of my knitting (duh) but a bit of my life as well. I do blog much more life stuff over at my LiveJournal account, but since this is more public, well, I try to keep it more anonymous. Not truly so, of course, but I don't name my husband or kids here (for example). I love having this blog, even if I'm updating it more rarely, and even if no one else reads it. I love having the history of my knitting here, I like going back and reading about different projects. This blog keeps me honest in some ways about what I'm working on, and also helps motivate me to finish things so I can blog about them! However, I'm thinking of undertaking a different sort of project. I'm pretty sure I didn't invent this idea (a quick Google confirms that yes, this is not a new idea), but I'd like to try and focus on all the wonderful things in my life, all the blessings, all the things I am grateful for. I try to live an appreciative life, but I find it's easy to get caught up in the annoying minutiae of every day life. So I'm going to try and post something every day that I am grateful for, for 365 days. Can I do it? (First I'm going to need a good iPhone app for posting to Blogger, that's for damn sure.) I'll still be posting the knitting stuff (okay, annoying minutia #1, why is my spell checker no longer working?), and these posts will be separate, but I'd like to try. And for my own sanity, it's not like I have to come up with something different and unique every single day, but rather just something in that day, that moment, that I am grateful for. Maybe sometimes I'll explain more as to why I am grateful for this thing, maybe it'll be self-explanatory, maybe it'll not make sense to anyone but me, but that's okay.

I am nervous about posting this because what if I fail? What if I can't do it every day? Maybe it's a good thing I don't have a lot of readers! :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Knitting Roundup

I've been inspired to do some knitting - it got cold for a bit, so I knit another hat. I've got several hand-knit hats now (including my Fetching Inspired Hat, which I can't find, boo) but one can always use another, right?

This is a replacement for the Foliage that I ruined. I did that one in the Malabrigo Chunky which I loved, and this one in the Malabrigo Worsted, which I also love. :) I picked this color (193 Jacinto, though my skein had much less variation) simply because it's pretty and I like purple. I started this on my KP Options, Magic Loop (of course), and then switched over to my Denise needles so I could just knit it in the round. I *really* wish the KP Options had a short length option than 24", even 20" would work for adult hats. I also didn't do all the lace repeats. The worsted weight version calls for 3 lace repeats, but I did 2.5. Now, historically, I need to make my hats longer, so it was odd to me that I needed to make this one shorter than called for! Not typical. But I am glad I did, because if the same thing happens with this one that happened with the green chunky-weight one, it'll grow a bit. It's fine now, it could be a bit longer, but definitely not 6 rows longer. Since I live in NE, and winter is coming, I do need a hat to cover my ears.

I also went through and organized my knitting basket. OH! I forgot to tell you, I found my missing knitting! It was deep in the knitting basket, hence the need to reorganize the thing. *phew* Such a relief! (Unfortunately one my kids made off with a pair of KP tips on a 32" cord, so I need to find that.) Anyway, I packed up a bunch of leftover yarn to stick in the closet, and some sewing projects which didn't materialize (*hangs head in shame*) and then looked at what's currently in flight:
  • DS2's Halloween Scarf (MUST FINISH THIS TOMORROW)
  • Sister's Swallowtail Shawl
  • Wicked Monkeys (one completed, #2 not cast on yet)
  • Lorna's Laces Purple Sock (halfway through the foot of sock one)
  • KPPM Socks (one completed, #2 not cast on yet)
  • STR Grandma's Flower Garden Ankle Socks (moving through Sock #2, fearful that I won't have enough yarn)
  • A random dishcloth but I can only find one of the needles for it. Argh.
  • And then NOT in the knitting basket I have a couple of shawls in progress.
Okay, that's way too many projects going on. And, for our preschool auction, I signed up to donate a Hat and Scarf, so I'll need to put everything on hold to get those made once that happens. I really want to get my sister's shawl done for Thanksgiving because we're going up to be with my family for that weekend.

It's nice to have the energy to knit, but where am I going to find the time to get all these things done?? NO MORE CASTING ON ANYTHING UNTIL I FINISH SOME THINGS!!

When I was cleaning out the basket I also came across some crochet projects that have floundered for quite some time, and I'm trying to figure out when you draw the line and just frog the project. Given how much I invested in tools and supplies for some of these crochet things, I really need to get back to them!

And, in non-knitting news...well, there's not much. I'm thinking about going back to work. Not this year though, maybe next year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


So I went to a new knitting group (this isn't the argh part). A woman I'm getting to know asked me to come to the neighborhood ladies knitting group. I decided to go, it's informal, just at people's houses. It's all women about my age all with kids about the same age. It was really fun and I definitely want to go back! I walked over with my friend, and left before her, so another very nice woman gave me a lift back to my car. I *think* I left my knitting in her car! Two bags of socks. So, two completed socks, two in process socks and yarn. I don't know her last name, and the woman I am friends with gave me her email which isn't working. ARGH. This is *exactly* the sort of thing that tweaks me, you know? I can't find something, which I hate, it's stuff I made, which is important to me, and it's money and time. (It's a skein of STR, two skeins of KPPPM, and two skeins of Lorna's Laces, so that's somewhere in the vicinity of $70 of yarn and many, many hours of my time).

I am torn between hoping I *did* leave it in her car, because somehow I'll be able to get in touch with her and get it back, and that I didn't and it's just somewhere unusual in the house.

That's about all that's going on here. I am way, way too busy - this is one of those weeks where I am out every night, I haven't had a conversation with my husband in days, and I'm just exhausted.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

From Yarn Purchase to Blog...

Just over 4 hours. That's got to be a record for me. :) There's even a picture!

So, my daughter has this really cute jacket from Costco. It's a fleece/windbreaker thing, reversible, and it's a really pretty purple fleece, with the windbreaker material being a dark purple floral. I'd take a picture but it desperately needs to be washed. Maybe tomorrow. :) Anyway. We're at that awkward stage of Fall where you don't really need a heavy winter jacket, but a hat can be good, especially when it's windy. I decided I wanted needed to knit her a hat to go with this adorable coat. She and I were out this afternoon, so I swung by the yarn store. We got there just before closing and stumbled upon a SALE. Hmmm. Very interesting.

I found a few different things that would work, color-wise, and settled on a skein of Tahki Torino Bulky, in 228. It was on sale for $4.80, and I came home, pondering hats.

I decided to just make a simplSo recommended gae little hat, and thought about size. I did my usual method of swatching, which is to say, I didn't. I looked at the needle size and gauge on the label: 13 sts over 4" on 10 1/2 (US). I measured my daughter's head: 18.5". I did a little math, and decided to go down a needle size to 10s and make it a bit big for her, and came up with c/o of 66 stitches. I did a few rows (6 or 7) of a twisted rib, 1x1 then switched to stockinette. As I knit, I began to get more and more nervous that I was going to run out of yarn. Now, this is a worry of mine, but I really was getting low. It's a 50g skein, but only 55 yrds. I tried it on my daughte and I think it's going to be a bit big but fine in terms of diamter. Unfortunately, she had to go to bed before I was done so I was definitely winging it for length. I did a sort of off decrease pattern. First, I decreased by 2 stitches, to get down to 64. Then, on the next row, I started decreases in blocks of 8 (so knit 6, k2tog, then knit 5, k2tog, etc.). I did 3 decrease rows in a row, then switched to knitting a row, then decreasing a row, until I was down to 8 stitches. Then I decreased down to 4 stitches and knit a tube long enough to knot. I bound off, knotted the tube, and wove in the other end, and voila! Hat is done! I don't actually know if it fits the girl or not, we'll see tomorrow. (I'll try to get a picture then!)

The yarn is quite nice, very lofty. I think it's a four-ply and it's a bit splitty so you have to take a bit of care when knitting because when you split it, it's pretty noticeable. Oh, and I did cut it pretty close. I cut off a short chunk at the beginning because of a knot, and I didn't end up using that, and I had enough to maybe do 1-2 more rows of the body of the hat. I really hope it's long enough because I really don't want to pull out the top and make it longer.

Friday, October 09, 2009


That's pretty much where I am, creatively at the moment. It's funny, the boys had a friend over today and her mom hung out and was so flattering about my knitting (she fell in love with my Wicked Monkey socks). It was really nice, but it also made me feel guilty about my lack of motivation at the moment. I've got some blocking to do, I finished one scarf for Halloween and need to finish the other, I need to get my sister's shawl done by Thanksgiving (the next time I go home), and of course, I need more socks. And I have yarn for another Noro Striped Scarf, I have some gorgeous Malabrigo to attempt another Foliage, and did I mention that I have my weight in sock yarn? That's a lot of yarn. So many little me to do them.

Even though it's October, I'm still feeling like I'm getting used to this new schedule. I find having my oldest in Kindergarten is actually really tiring - for both of us! It makes lots of things much easier, but I also miss him. The short days are really short, so I don't get much done. Actually, that's not so much because he's only gone for 3 hours, but more because I never have a time without my kids, and my extremely energetic and spirited almost-17 month old runs me ragged most of the time. She's a love, a joy, and a terror, really. :)

There's a couple of things on the horizon for me professionally that are feeling really exciting, and makes me wonder if I am thinking about easing back into work. I don't know, really, but it's sort of fun to think about!