Happy Valentine’s Day

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Wheesh! What a weekend. We got over a foot of snow here! Crazy, crazy, crazy! I got absolutely NO knitting done over the weekend. None yesterday, either. It was a snowday and that required me to be outside with the boys. There is so much snow here that almost 3 year old Duncan cannot walk in it. So he flops down onto the snow and then asks me to pick him up. Continuously. Flop, ask, flop, ask, flop, ask, flop, ask. Mom runs shrieking as it is just too Groundhog Day for me. What is that old joke…man it is tickling my brain…Something about it not being Groundhog day but it being Ground Hog Day. Like sausage. Man I remember it being funny I just can’t remember where it came from. Ah the fading brain. We took a bunch of picture pre-dawn Sunday morning. Above is one of my favorites. It was taken by the Hubbalicious. It was adorable, he was out there in a coat, his shorts and snow boots wielding a tripod. I would love to show you but if I did, all I would get is this face…


That would be the serious and grumpy face.
Today being Valentines, you can imagine the candy is through the roof here. I still am doling out Christmas candy for crying out loud. Children in Angus’ class we giving out goody bags of candy like it was their birthdays. Thank goodness we have a sitter coming tonight and she can deal with the sugar crash. So Duncan got a box of candy hearts from one of his teachers….this box in fact…
You may enlarge the picture (just click) to read it, but one of the hearts says “Fax Me”! Fax me? Holy cow? Fax me? For Valentines? For a not even three year old? Fax me? The most ridiculous thing you could ever put on a valentine heart. Ever.
While no knitting happened this weekend I did get a new book today. Delivered to my door by Steve, our friendly UPS guy. Yes, I know his name. We see him a lot over at Casa LWIM, what’s it to ya?


Inspired cable Knits by Fiona Ellis ISBN #1-4000-8271-4 It arrived the day it was “released” on Amazon. That is fantastically cool. This book is really very beautiful. In the big rush of knitting book that have come out recently there are very few that I really love. This is one. The sweaters are timeless. There are only 2 or 3 not to my liking. Not that they are ugly, just not my style. Sleeveless tanks, um, no. I am thrilled with this book, there is so much here to work with. Fiona Ellis has worked hard and it shows in these patterns.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Yea, I’m a lemming

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Ten Top Trivia Tips about LookiewhatImade!

  1. According to the story, Pinocchio was made of lookiewhatImade.
  2. LookiewhatImade can jump up to sixteen times her own height.
  3. Louisa May Alcott, author of ‘Little LookiewhatImade’, hated lookiewhatImade and only wrote the book at her publisher’s request.
  4. The pigment Indian Yellow was manufactured from the urine of cows fed only on lookiewhatImade!
  5. LookiewhatImade is the only one of the original Seven Wonders of the World that still survives.
  6. It takes more than 500 peanuts to make lookiewhatImade.
  7. LookiewhatImade can drink over 25 gallons of water at a time.
  8. A cluster of bananas is called a hand and consists of 10 to 20 bananas, which are individually known as lookiewhatImade.
  9. Worldwide, lookiewhatImade is the most important natural enemy of night-flying insects.
  10. To check whether lookiewhatImade is safe to eat, drop her in a bowl of water; rotten lookiewhatImade will sink, and fresh lookiewhatImade will float.

I am interested in – do tell me about

Yes, folks, there is lots and lots of good stuff going on over here- I am just a bit busy. I promise, next week, the phoning in of the blog posts will stop. Have a great weekend and pray for snow! Thanks for stopping by. Oh and I was all set to sign up for the Knitting Olympics and I, um, missed the cutoff. So go, Olympians go!

Love me, love my ironing board

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Okay, fellow bloglanders, you are the few, the select , the proud, and the truly appreciative. Only you are obsessed enough to savor the absolute geekiness of this. I have created what may be the ultimate ironing board. Do you find regular, store bought ironing boards lacking? Do they not satisfy you in a way that you want to be satisfied? Do you find them too small? Awkward? Too cumbersome? Not cumbersome enough? Geographically undesirable? How do you really feel about the ironing board in your life? You can tell me, it is okay- really. I am a vault and can keep you ironing board woes to myself. Confession is good for the soul.

May I introduce you to my new, yet un-named ironing board…



I think it is a he but I am not yet certain. He acts like a Murphy bed. He stores up like you see above, and he is flexible, really, an easy going kind of guy. Here he is reclining comfortably…


He is feeling a wee bit naked- his legs need upholstering. Here is a view of his top. This is the same fabric I will be using for the curtains. Why shouldn’t everybodies ironing board match the curtains. I tell ya, it should be mandatory!


Here is my favorite part of the pattern repeat…


And my favorite touch on the overall design are the copper canvas tacks that I used to fasten the layers to the table. I have stretched MANY a canvas and much prefer the copper tacks to staples. Plus the colors look so beautiful against the copper. And I got to use my rubber mallet, which is always fun.

I intend to use him for ironing, pressing, blocking and general appreciation. He was VERY simple to make. One sheet batting, one sheet ironing board fabric (the silver kind), the top fabric and a kajillion copper tacks. Oh and he measures a whopping 32″ x 54″. It is amazing what can make a girl swoon, isn’t it.

In praise of Emma

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There is a gal named Emma

She is a real gem-a

We love her to bits

She is truly a hit

And if you cross her, you are a twit!

Okay, really bad “poetry” aside, I want to thank you Emma for such a fantastic gift. It was completely unwarranted and completely appreciated. Here we have a bag of Minstrels, (“milk chocolate captured in crispy shells”) which the hubbalicious & I loved, and ten, yes 10, balls of Rowan 4ply cotton, and a card which reads: “I want less email and more he-male”. This card had us in hysterics. Thank you.

Emma also mentioned that I should/might make Martha from Rowan 37 with this beautiful red cotton yarn she sent. I love the pattern suggestion and the yarn is, of course perfect for it. It gives me pause to make a pattern called Martha out of a color called “Vamp”. My hubbalicious thought my concerns were absurd. I suspect a quasi-perverse fantasy at work here. A Marion the libraian lets her hair down kind of thing. He did also say that he thought Martha would look great on me and that Emma was completely correct.

Thank you Emma for such a kind, thoughtful and, um…husband pleasing gift.

You are so wonderful.

Thank you.

Scatter Brained

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Whew! What a week. Times absolutely flew by last week. Many things were accomplished. I have been trying to get to post every day and failing beautifully. Right, we made some people a few years ago and they require attention and care. Lots. As it should be. I often forget to factor into the equation of my productivity, the small hollering boys. Sometimes I wonder why I do not get more done in my day to day life. Then I remember, children!

So I am going to try to hit all the high points of a very busy week. Bullet points seem to be needed, so here we go:

  • Started using a new blogging tool, Anconia Rocket Post and I love it. I love being able to easily upload boatloads of photos. Upload Boatload. Say that ten times fast! I am still learning what it can do. Love love love it!
  • Many, many repairs have been made to the house and yard. Things that have been on the list for a year. We love our friend Bill. He can fix anything and believe me this past week he has.
  • There is a complete redesign of the sewing/creating/hide from the small hollering boys room. There will be the reveal when it is all complete. To say I am excited is the understatement of the century. A space of my own, where I can have breakables and nice books and sparkly things and not worry that these objects not be mamed? Oh dear god, pass the smelling salts. Here is a before shot
  • Hubbalicious threw his back out Friday morning and has been in bed ever since. Poor guy.
  • Duncan woke up limping Sunday morning. Then, he slammed his finger in the door so hard it instatly turned purple.
  • Oh yes, I went to the yarn shop to pick up some new needles. Shh! No really, that is why I went. Stop that, I did so! Then some sock goodness just had to come home with me. Look! And look how big Frog is at 6 months!
  • Went out to dinner Saturday night and it was lovely. I love good sushi. Went to Paulie Morimoto. (Sorry, no link)
  • Bought some fabric to make new curtains, very very lovely. You will see it when I do the reveal on the sewing/creating/hide from the small hollering boys room.
  • Here is what has me so scattered brained. I pulled into the driveway to see a Police Car. Bad. Panic. Park and RUN REALLY FAST. MY BABIES ARE HURT. MY HUSBAND IS INJURED. RUN RUNRUNRUNRURNRUN RUN. WHERE IS MY FAMILY?????????????????????????????????? THE KIDS WERE PLAYING OUTSIDE WHEN I LEFT, WHERE ARE THEY???? The husband with the thrown out back, the 2 boys, the baby sitter(who was outside with the kids whilst I was out & the hubbalicious was nursing his back), and a Policeman were in my kitchen. Apparently one of our “neighbors” was concerned that my children were too cold. It was a nice day and they are little boys. You can figure out what they were or were not wearing. They are fine and thought it was great to have a policeman here. He was very kind and professional to us all. He thought it was a ridiculous call for someone to make, but you have to respond, especially if there is a child involved. Did I mention that our yard is fully fenced and gated and that this particular babysitter is never more than 3 feet from them. So all is well, but we are a bit worse for wear. Luckily, we do not know, nor do we want to know who made the call.

And to end on a really happy note, pictures of the boys after having eaten Cheetos

 

Sharp Turns Ahead

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Auntie Alice’s first sleeve is almost done. I am about to start the ribbing. The sleeve measurement is 25.5″ from shoulder seam to end of arm which seems very long to me. To counteract this, I am going to follow Ann Budd’s directions with the amendment of making the ribbing an extra 2 or 3 inches longer. This way Auntie Alice can fold up the cuff or unfurl it at her will.

This change in decreases looks very severe to me, especially from this angle. And from the proper view, with the mitred decreases under the arm, it looks perfect. The instructions are, as I have said, are from the bottom up and knit flat and then seamed. I am going from the top down and in the round. So I cast on 130 stitches, then every fourth row SSK, Knit 1, K2 TOG- 26 times. Then every 2 rows do the same thing 11 times. It is by going from every four rows to every two rows that gives it that sharp turn. It makes me a bit queasy to look at, almost as if somebody’s limb was in a position it shouldn’t be. I will get a modeled shot for you, so you can see that it looks great. I am also thinking that I will wash this baby before I seam it and then put in under the sewing machine. Cotton loves to grow, so the more stable I can make the seams, the better.

I just got an invitation to Auntie Alice’s 85th Birthday Party. I am not sure if I will attend as I would have to haul two small hollering boys 3000 miles; however, I know a certain garment that will make the party girl shine. This is even more motivating than the Olympic Opening Ceremonies deadline, and well of course her birthday is after the Opening Ceremonies. Cough.

And in other news, there is a certain almost three year old who is 6 days into potty training, the last 2 days without any accidents at all. He is really doing beautifully. Except he may have been bumped sown a few steps by his big brother and he may have hit his head on a concrete planter. He is fine and was only in tears for about a minute (which for him, is an eternity). Here is the result:

Ordering from the menu

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Sometimes I forget that I am hungry. Or rather, I ignore the signs and then end up ravenous and nothing is the thing I want to eat. Those who are close to me have witnessed this phenomenon a lot and know to just give me something to eat, STAT! The worst is when I am really hungry and in a restaurant. The menu completely baffles me and nothing appeals. I read it and re-read it all the while I am getting hungrier and hungrier. Finally, I just pick something, anything, so I don’t eat my own arm. I know this happens and I know what the right thing to do is. Put the menu down, sit quietly and think about what I want to eat. Then I order that or the closest thing to it on the menu. Presto. Simple. Done. Arm in one piece and loved ones safe from the beast.

This is a lot like picking a new knitting project for me. I begin itching to knit. Excited about the wool, the color, the act of making something beautiful. I begin to pour over my knitting books and magazines, searching. The itch grows and grows. Well, I like that one but intarsia doesn’t appeal right now. Oooh, look at all those cables, how pretty. Yes, but look at all those cables. Aha! Fair Isle! That is it! What, am I crazy? I am the slowest Fair Isle knitter on the planet. The itch to begin is pretty enormous by this point as this deliberation has more than likely gone on for a few all consuming days. Because while trying to decide, that is about all I am doing. Not knitting just searching. It does get a bit fre
netic at points. Must choose! Must choose! This is a knitting desert and I need knitting sustenance now! I can’t find what I want so I just cast on for something, anything- oh, I know, I’ll just make it up as I go along, at least I am knitting. I cannot tell you what kind of garbage I end up with when I try that. So it is a doubly brutal result: garbage knitting and the itch is gigantic. Plus there is that pit in the bottom of my stomach because I know I could have avoided it all by sitting quietly and figuring out what it is I really want.

The itch is appoaching – I am not going to ignore the signs this time though. Hands off keyboard, eyes closed, deep breath. A cardigan in rowanspun dk, color: goblin, from the stash. Knit for myself.

Presto! Simple! Done!

The Squish

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Here we have about half of the first sleeve of my Auntie Alice’s sweater. The fabric is nice and has a bit of squish to it. We like the squish. We way prefer this squish to the one that visited our house on Sunday night. That squish involved Angus getting sick all over the kitchen, me and my beautiful Tony Lama boots. Man, I am his mom and I love him. But vomiting on my Tony Lama’s is just cold. (He is fine.)
The GOOD squish must be the 15% cashmere in the Debbie Bliss Cotton Cashmere. While there is a squish in the fabric, my hands are hurting from the yarn. The funny thing to me is that the hand that hurts is not the active hand, but the gripping hand- the left one. Pattern you say? Oh yes, that. I am using Ann Budd’s Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. She wrote the charts for flat knitting, which I did not want to do. I thought I would treat myself to less seaming, so I am knitting it in the round. What I should have done is knit the body, pick up the stitches and then knit the arm down. Eh, big deal-so I have to seam armhole, it is still less seaming. Usually I like to seam but my mattress stitch looks revolting in cotton.
I am knitting it from the top down and using a mitered decrease. I like the look of the mitered decrease, decorative and useful. It’s a two-fer, really. I also am enjoying the decreasing number of stitches. Getting smaller toward to wrist makes it feel as it is going faster. Being that I am making a fairly plain sweater, so I want to make the details extra special. The right buttons, lined pockets, lined button band, extra long ribbed cuffs so she can stuff her hanky in her sleeve.
With all this Olympic Knitting fever going on, I am getting pretty excited to be a joiner. Did I actually just say that? ME? What the hell is happening to me, becoming a joiner? First, I go ahead and join Secret Pal 7, then I finally made it to a new (to me) knitting group on Sunday, and now I want to join the Olympic Knitting Frenzy? Holy cow, I think that motherhood has seriously addled my brain. Me, a joiner? Yikes. I guess this SP & Olympic Knitting Frenzy are the ways I like best for me to be a joiner, I get to be a part of something and don’t have to go sit in a room full of lovely people who gossip. Me, I am not so hot with the gossip. Makes me feel uncomfortable and makes me wonder what the heck people are going to say when I am not there and I do not like that. I know that they are called Stitch N Bitch, but it still made me uncomfortable and a bit sad. I haven’t found a new group since we have moved here and this was my maiden voyage to give it a try. Funny, my family and I had lunch beforehand and I noticed I was a bit nervous. Angus asked me where I was going after lunch and I told him that I was going to go knit with some ladies and hopefully make some new friends. Further, I explained that it was a play date for Mommy and it was very important to always try to make new friends. And it is important. What I did not explain were the ups and downs and false starts. Omitted also, were the folks who you like but really just want to be acquaintances with as well as the simple fact of human nature.
Wow! That was certainly a digression.
Back to the knitting content. So, I am barreling through the Auntie Alice Sweater because my goal is to have her wearing it by the Opening Ceremonies so that I can cast on for a yet undecided project for the Olympic Knitting Frenzy. I just started the sleeve on Sunday- I wanted some easy knitting for the new group and had nothing on the needles that isn’t making me crazy. The Franken-vest has been blocked and the neckband done. And I have to re-do the neckband because it is too high and looks a bit stuffy. Right, there is also the part where Hubbalicious has to shove his noggin through it. Big brains plus a small neck hole = Ick. I will frog it and maybe do an applied I-cord. Clearly, not stress free knitting at this point. The only other item on the needles is the Billy Boy Vest from Rowan 22. Easy peasy knitting. If, and it is a mighty big if, you can find the %$^*%$&(%^( pattern book. I can find every other Rowan I have but NOT that one. I am certain I put it someplace special to find easy later. Feh. That worked really well.
With the sleeve progressing nicely, I think that I am on target to get Auntie Alice in her sweater in time.
Now where is that Rowan 22?!?!?!

Do right woman

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Remember the recent hat mania here? I made each of my boys teacher’s and their teaching assistants hats for Christmas. Okay two were for New Year, one was for Christmas and one was for Ramadan, but I digress. Anyhow, three of these ladies loved their hats, tried them on immediately and thanked my profusely. It wasn’t the thanks I wanted, I wanted them to know that I appreciate what they do for our children and our family. I wanted to see them be excited that I thought of them and in this day and age took my time and energy and made something with my own two hands.
Remember a few sentences ago when I said four hats and three excited people. Yep, you read right. One of them unwrapped it, did not say thank you, and put it aside. Ouch. I do not care if it is the most ass-ugly piece of monkey-shit colored whatever, you look the person in the eye and say: “Thank You.” You really don’t even have to say it is nice. You could pull the old fake compliment by intonation or obfuscation: “Wow! Thank You. Now, THAT is a HAT!” You have done nothing but state the obvious and the gift giver feels great that you appreciated the gift. I didn’t even get the look in the eye. Herf.
So a couple days later, without having said anything previously about the lack of manners, etc. I asked her if the hat fit properly or could I fix it in anyway for her. Okay, I was only fishing a wee bit. Then she let me know she hadn’t tried it on yet because it hadn’t been cold enough yet. Yea, lady- it is seeming pretty frosty in here right about now. Luckily, next year we are not in her class so I do not have to give her a lump of freaking coal.

You know, I had an experience last year about this time I had a similar but different experience. Did I learn? Nope. Not at all. There was a gal I had met upon moving here and we became friends. Making new friends is hard. I am an outgoing social person and it is hard. It is like dating- you never know which one is going to be the psycho. You go out shopping, have dinner, pal around with your new friend. You decide that she is really okay and that you have things in common and could build a friendship. Once you let your guard down- whammo! I will not detail here how my new friendship did not work out. I will however tell you one of the contributing factors. I made her a scarf for her birthday out of the last of a cone (from the stash) of Chinchilla in a beautiful taupey, german silvery, and warm cocoa all mixed together color. That is it, up top!
I wrapped it beautifully, using extra yarn as ribbon. Even remembering to include a thoughtful card. Upon opening it, to her credit she did say thank you and give me a hug and a kiss. Then she let her 3 year old daughter wear it to school every day for two months. In the middle of winter. Dragging it through the snow, mud and muck. Letting her take it to bed with her.
It is my firm belief that once you give a gift it is out of your hands. All that fly and be free crap. Really I do believe that. But it still smarted.


Okay, it is an eensie weensie FO, but a FO none the less. And the 3rd FO of 2006. Yes, this is a little scarf is a gift. Meant to be worn right under the chin, tied and the ends should give her about a foot extra on each end. Perfect, as she is petite. My friend (this is proving to stand the test of time) had seen the yarn over the summer. We were on a short trip our kids and upon my buying the yarn, she flipped over the colors. So this little scarf is more about color than anything else. I hope it gives her a nice lift in February when everything else is grey.
It is Katia Ingenua & Cascade Eco + held together and no where near a full ball/skein of each. The colors were nearly identical- it was amazing. I gave her a good soak in the guestroom bathtub with some soap (okay, fine it was baby shampoo) for a couple of hours, pinned her out and added fringe.
I did get to spend a heap of time knitting today and my next FO just needs a good blocking, seaming and neck & arm bands. I am really enjoying getting all these UFO’s off the needles whether it be by finishing or ripping. Off to bathe the next item in the shoot!

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