Saturday, December 31, 2011
I'm not sure if I'll get a real post in before we're back home and settled, but we'll see. If not, have a safe and happy New Year celebration, and here's to 2012!
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
... and Happy Hannukah and Joyous Kwaanza and Good Festivus.
It's been a good holiday so far, lots of fantastic, and a little bittersweet. In a couple of days, once all the in-law obligations have been met by my brothers, we'll all be in the same place for the first time in over three years, so that's in the win column. My mom's cat is still with us, and it looks like he'll hang in through the rest of the trip, but I fear he's not long for his kitty mortal coils. 16 is a good run for a cat, though.
My Grammie is in good health, physically. It's just the damn Alzheimer's that keeps marching on. It's not too bad, until it is. But, we'll get through it.
Merry Merry to everyone, I hope you and yours are healthy and happy, and that 2012 is even better than 2011. xoxo
Saturday, December 17, 2011
I think I'll finish my party make-up, get N. a snack, and see if anything else pops up...
Friday, December 16, 2011
- Had a great day
- Successful preschooler dentist appointment, didn't even need to sit on Momma's lap
- Thesis defense for labmate was successful
- Packing has commenced in earnest
- Will likely post when we're at the 'rents place, safe and sound.
Happy Winter Holiday of Choice!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
So, without further ado, I present N.'s nap blanket :)
Fully open, with extra large blanket for snuggliness:
And all rolled up:
Tonight consisted of quilting the main pad, stuffing the pillow, closing it up, and attaching the hook velcro to the straps. It took a total of 15 minutes :)
Now I just have to hide it... I'll be using it to bribe him to sleep on the drive up north, which will involve one night in a motel.
Tomorrow, final 6 dozen cookies and packing...
Monday, December 12, 2011
My dad is now showing up on Thursday morning, which means I'll have an extra evening of babysitting services while I go through everything and finalize the packing. Should be interesting to see how this all goes :)
I think tomorrow will be sewing, and hopefully some photos, and then Wednesday is my last knitting class with N.'s daycare teachers. Thursday Dad is here, Friday will be more packing, Saturday is the lab party, then Sunday we're outta here!
But now, bed.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Yesterday, N. was invited to a birthday party at the science museum down the street, so I jumped at the chance to bake for the lab party that's tonight. This morning, I sent them to church while I baked cookies to give to N.'s teachers. In the past 24 hours I've made 15 dozen cookies. I'd have another batch of dough going except for the fact that I forgot to take extra butter out to soften, and I am utterly unable to soften butter in the microwave.
Dad should show up on Friday morning, and we have a second lab party on Saturday evening. We'd leave before it, but it's to celebrate a good friend who's defending her thesis on Friday.
I still haven't packed yet, but it's all organized in my head ;) we'll see how many nights I'm up late this week getting everything straightened out.
Friday, December 9, 2011
A couple of things that I changed this time around:
1. instead of using commercial double-fold quilt binding, I used satin blanket binding. I couldn't find double-fold in black when I ordered, and the single-fold wide bias tape doesn't work.
2. low-loft batting... should be easier to sew up (that's what I have left to do)
3. I sewed the blanket binding on using a decorative stitch on my new machine... not sure what it's called, but it looks like prairie points. It's a bit tricky to get even without practice, but I didn't do too bad.
I'm hoping I can get it done tonight, along with baking some cookies ;) Photos to come when I get it done and can get decent light when N. is not around.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
no time to knit (for gifts)
no time to pack (for home)
but I'll figure it out :)
I usually plan and pack over several weeks when I'm heading anywhere for more than a few days. I cleared out space in the back hallway to try and get that started. the problem? N. knows now what suitcases are for. We've been trying to keep things quiet for the time being, at least until Dad is here, since N.doesn't understand what it means to wait. To him, there are three kinds of time: today, tomorrow, and last week. But tonight he saw the bags laid out and wanted to know what they were for. I'm thinking I"ll have to hide them again!
I'm so looking forward to this time off. working in the lab full time again is so much fun, but it keeps my brain from recharging. I need some me time, and some family time.
And now, I need some sleep time. I hate writing such scattered posts, but if I don't get back in the habit somehow, I'll never write at all. So, scattered it is. Night, all.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
1. I am now a permanent resident of these here unitificated states! YAY! A wholly stress-filled process, not inexpensive, very very much a pain in the butt, but it's complete. And it means I am now free to travel.
Which brings me to my second point:
2. WE'RE GOING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS!!
Sorry to shout, but I haven't been home in a year and a half, my niece is growing up without me, and I need to see my grandmother. We haven't spent Christmas with any relatives in a few years, and even though I typically like the whole not-travelling part, I miss the madness that is my family.
I now have 2.5 weeks to plan, pack, teach my thrummed mitten class at Knit, get gifts made for N's teachers and everyone else around here, keep working at the volunteer position I picked up a couple of months ago (in a lab, hopefully leading to something else), then treck up north. It's going to be hell.
And I can't wait.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Hopefully I'll have more time soon, and I'll be back at it. I miss regular progress, and WiPs and FOs...
Thursday, November 3, 2011
And... because he's here with his car, I got to drive to an appropriate shopping location and get... a new laptop! I still have to figure out how to transfer my files from the old mac, but I'll get there. I don't need to harass Hubby to check my email anymore! YAY!
The only problem is that I haven't knit in over a week, and I only did a little bit of crochet on Tuesday... and I'm going a little nutsy for it. Hopefully we'll settle back into a routine soon. Which, come to think of it, is a hilarious thing to say - Christmas is just around the corner, so routine is a ways away :))
Sunday, October 23, 2011
And now, since my Dad's sleeping, and N. is sleeping, I'm going to get ready to watch some New Jersey Housewives reunion and go to bed myself.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I've been working on a few projects here and there, but am thoroughly enjoying being back in the lab full time, especially because it's a full house (and I like everyone) instead of me working by myself in a room with no windows, like my last job. Sure, it's only volunteer for now, but I feel at home, and that's what counts.
We've also determined that we're not taking a trip up north this fall, which means settling in for holiday prep. My dad is coming down this weekend, and staying for a couple of weeks hopefully, and that should break up the long stretch of not seeing anyone. I miss them all terribly, but I can be grateful for not having to travel right around Christmas. There's always skype, after all :)
OK... off I go to Lowes or Home Depot... picking out carpet... whee!
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thank you for all of your comments!! I'm behind on responding because I've started volunteering in a lab full time while waiting for all kinds of paperwork and grants and things to potentially come through. I LOVE being busy, but it also puts a serious cramp into knitting and blogging :)
The verdict on the hat? Love it, but had to fudge. I had to leave out two rows of stockinette on the last section after the final braid to have enough yarn. It doesn't make much difference in the fit, but for someone like me with a huge head, it's important to be able to make the largest size as written. I'd definitely make it again, though.
Head to Tami's Amis for more FOs :)
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
It took just a quick store visit and one TV show's worth of time to get to this point:
I'm making the largest size, and I'm not sure how the yardage will work out - the pattern is one-skein, so we'll see.
And since we're all feeling better these past couple of days, off I go to be productive :)
For more WiPs, check out Tami's Amis!
Monday, October 10, 2011
I'm not even sure why I'm posting at this hour... I'm delerious, and this is likely to be TMI, so consider yourself warned.
Last night I thought I'd be domestic, because we'd had a great day, and N. had been terrific. So, I chopped up a whackload of onions and set out to make french onion soup for Hubby. Fast-forward to 7:30pm: Trying to get the child to bed, and I'm trying to finish the soup. During my first deglaze (which is something I do all. the. time.) I got splashback. Burned my right hand all over, and I'm still not sure if it was steam, broth, or grease. I spent the entire evening with my hand in a bowl of icewater. Luckily no blistering, but it BURNS like the fires of HELL.
Fast-forward again to 12:45am: I'm trying to doze while keeping my hand in a ziploc baggie with icewater, a facecloth, and some chunks of ice. Then the *ahem* party downstairs revs up. My bloodpressure spikes, I go down and scare the shit out of them with four little words, "Dude. Shut. It. Down."
Sunday was calmer - more ice compresses, a long walk outside with some froyo. I cooked a cauliflower pasta recipe that I found last week and it was delish. The child went to bed at 8pm (which is early, but he was happy). Push that good old FF button: 10:30PM: Child wakes up. Claims his whole body hurts. I'm not sure it's a nightmare or illness, but he has no fever (whew) and very little tenderness anywhere (swatted me away from palpating his belly, but more from annoyance, I think). I'm guessing he has gas, but he doesn't want to potty. All he wants is to sleep in my bed.
He was so sad and tired, so I tucked him in and got ready to climb in too (it's about 11:10 at this point). Unfortunately for me (apologies for the TMI), it turns out that I'm sick. I'm pretty sure it was the assault of the cauliflower pasta (which included copious amounts of garlic, chilis, and anchovies, none of which I've had lately), but I've been battling things since that point. It's been the longest two hours of my life.
I think I'm finally ready to climb into bed, and I just heard what sounds like kids firing off firecrackers and cherry bombs in the neighborhood. Which reminds me, they've started playing knicky-knicky nine-door lately, and it's really pissing me off. Sigh. I'm just a barrel of laughs tonight. Possibly going to delete this tomorrow when I'm lucid.
And now that I've gotten that stream of consciousness out, I think I'm going to go lie down... We're supposed to have a playdate tomorrow with our neighbors since daycare is closed. I'm desperately hoping that N.'s episode is temporary, because he loves the park and loves these kids.
Ellie, over and out.
Friday, October 7, 2011
The roll-up nap blanket for my niece :)
This was tremendously easy, all straight seams. The only hitch was convincing my machine to sew through three layers of high-loft batting... that took some encouraging. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was big enough - the finished size of the pad is 20"x50", and the blanket is approx 36"x38".
It has kid-approval: N. obliged for a photo, but when I told him I was putting it away to send to his cousin, he was heartbroken; not the 'I'm annoyed because you took my toy away' kind of upset, but the "But I truly love this thing with all my 3 year old heart" kind of upset. It was rather cute, enough that I ordered some Cars flannel and matching red fleece to make him one of his own for Christmas :)
As always, check out Tami's Amis for more FO's :)
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I did have a fun little excursion last week - Stacey and I went on a fabric-and-grocery expedition, and had a girls-night-supper in between. I scored a good length of Dora fabric for my niece, and since it was the end of the bolt, I got 1/3 of it at remnant price. I'm making her a roll-up nap blanket for Christmas, and this was the status this morning at 11am:
In this photo, it needs to be quilted on the main body, and the pillow section stuffed. The attached 'blankie' is some 50% off polar fleece with quilt binding. (I'm cheating a little, it's mostly finished right now, and I'll feature it on Friday... note to self: use two layers of hi-loft batting instead of three, and watch the fleece while sewing, because it stretches).
While I was home wheezing last week, I also knocked out a pair of Duffers slippers, because I had two skeins of Cascade Pastaza, and they do wear through when you spend your evening sliding on the linoleum like a 6-year-old:
These are still a WiP because it's pre-felting state; I also did one size smaller than last time, because I wanted to see if I could get them felted down in two laundry cycles instead of the five it took my previous pair.
That's it for me today; for more WiPs, visit Tami's Amis!
ETA: Tutorial for the roll-up nap blanket is here; 2nd note to self: use 28-30" of webbing instead of the 27" lengths for the straps.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
I managed to get 3 repeats of the silk shawl and probably about 10 rows on the Charlotte's Web done, mostly on the train. We spent so much time sightseeing (SIL only hit two of the relevant sessions at the conference; the rest weren't applicable to her research, so she came with me) that there was little time to knit. Combine that with some great shopping (mostly 'window'), and we came home happy and with sore feet ;)
Alas, I now have to get the house back in order and catch up on the laundry.
But, I now know the value of doing a 'girls' weekend every once in a while... for very little money (food and train tix) we had a wonderful time, and determined that we're actually quite a bit alike. So, a win on all fronts.
Sorry for the choppiness of it all; I'm still recovering from four very early mornings. Hopefully I'll get back into the routine very soon...
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Sorry for the late post... crazy day today :-)
Here are some better shots of the Charlotte's Web shawl, mostly consisting of the first two colorways. The color accuracy isn't the best, but it shows how the second colorway blends in and introduces the purple from the robins egg blue. Still loving it, and it's just more proof that my ideal yarn/needle combination is fingering on size 6/7.
Hop on over to Tami's Amis for more WiP Wednesday :)
Monday, August 29, 2011
38 hours without power. No damage to the house. Lots of walks in the neighborhood. Everyone helping everyone else.
Not too bad :)
More soon... since the power is back, I'm going to bed. Sweet, air-conditioned bed.
Friday, August 26, 2011
If you're on the East Coast, stay safe, stay dry, and assuming we lose power, check back when it's restored.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Sorry for the short post, but today is going to be very rushed, and the new camera card still hasn't been dumped... This is the yarn that's slowly becoming the Charlotte's Web. I'm into the third color, but magical shawl calculating tells me that I'm only somewhere around 17% finished, not including the potential crocheted edging. Still liking it, though, and the incremental increase in purple is very motivating :)
As always, visit Tami's Amis for more WiPs :)
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Although today I'm posting just for the sake of posting because the boys are at the corner market and I have a few minutes to myself after a busy day. I managed to do three loads of laundry, met and spent some time with our new neighbors who have an adorable baby (and are leaving on a four month sabbatical and we won't see them until December), go to the farmers market and get fruit and veg for a few more days, bake up some chicken for the week, and get the child to 'rest' without actually sleeping for an hour so Hubby could get some work done.
I didn't get any knitting done today, but I got six rows of silk in yesterday morning and some felt crafting yesterday evening. I'm hoping to do some more tonight, since no actual nap means early bedtime. I'm loving the felt crafts partly because felt is so forgiving, and partly because I have many Christmas kits that I'm plugging away at. The original tree skirt kit from months ago is moving slowly because it's so large that it requires the entire kitchen table; it's not worth taking it out unless I have a huge chunk of time to spend, but it's moving slowly forward. I started the matching stockings because they're only 18" and I can easily park on a corner of the table while Hubby does data analysis.
The camera and I are slowly getting to know one another, too. I didn't have much time yesterday because Hubby had to take a crash course in order to photograph some of his experiments, but I'm guessing Monday will see me running around outside and in, figuring stuff out. So far, I like that the low-light capture is better, it's about 1/3 the weight, and much more streamlined.
And now off I go to fix dinner while the boys come back with milk, eggs, and possibly some form of cheese :)
Friday, August 19, 2011
A second set of felt flower clips that are on their way to my niece... this pic was one of the last taken with my old camera (RIP Flashie), and my new camera is just out of the box waiting to be figured out.
For more (and possibly knitting related) FOs, as always visit Tami's Amis :)
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Yet another pic from Stacey :) This is the main body of the shawl, showing off the stitch pattern and the nupps (which I modified from 7-stitch to 5-stitch; they're sort of invisible without a beastly blocking). I was on fire today, and managed to get two entire repeats done (24 rows! Six times what I need to do in a day!) in between parent-teacher events.
The Charlotte's Web is still chugging along, although no pics yet - I have to try and get them off the old camera before the new one arrives next week :-)
Want to see more WIPs? Head over to Tami's Amis and check some out!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
I logged into Amazon this morning with the full intention of ordering the camera that we'd been eyeing for a while. Different make, but better optical, good reviews, cheapest on Amazon (we'd tracked it in 3 other places). As of 9:30Am, they'd jacked up the price by $30, and it was no longer being sold directly by Amazon. I have issues with 3rd party sellers, so I decided to check out the mighty big box website, just for kicks.
There, I found a camera BUNDLE for LESS than the original price of my desired Amazon camera (with no accessories). It's also back to the brand that our old camera is, it comes with a Li battery instead of chewing through AAs, it includes both a memory card and a case, plus a tripod for good measure, and the reviews are comparable (and seem to meet our needs).
However, none of this helped when I had to photograph the hairclips I finished, that are being mailed out tomorrow to my niece. So I dragged out the old beast, because sometimes it cooperates... I've been messing with it occasionally, because I can often get it to power up by plugging it into the computer... This morning it powered on, no problem. I took a couple of pics, and while it was sluggish writing to the card, it managed. Then it powered off no problem, which it hasn't done in ages; usually I wait for it to go to sleep, and it shuts off within an hour (I watch for the lens retraction). A half hour later, Hubby came home from his music practice (he's playing organ at the church one block over). I showed him the new option, explained why Amazon sucks, then brought out the old camera. Power on, power off. Power on, power off. Mr. Miyagi would be proud.
Bottom line? I don't trust it. I'm still pushing to order this new one, hopefully today.
Knitting-wise, yesterday was a bust. Friday night I did get a lot done on the Charlotte's web, eight rows to be exact. If I have time today, I'll bring out the silk, but if not I'm not stressing. I have to switch gears this week to teacher presents, for when N. graduates to the older classroom at the end of the month - since I don't have time to make everyone scarves or mittens or some such, I'm thinking maybe more box bags, because they're cute and somewhat impressive to non-sewers ;)
ETA: the camera stopped working again. With my hairclip photos and my Charlotte's Web yarn progression photos still on it. Will wait for it to turn itself off in an hour, dump the card, and give the heck up.
Friday, August 12, 2011
I have nothing to show for FO Friday partially because I didn't finish anything this week, and partially because I'm still cameraless. I think we know which one we're getting, so we just have to order it.
I haven't gotten any sewing done this week, but I'm hoping to get a chunk in soon... but the weekend is family time, and we're planning on doing the farmers market tomorrow :)
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
It's coming along nicely, I have nearly 11 of 31 reps done, plus the edgings are complete... I'm just knitting til I'm out of yarn, no real calculating involved, because I don't have to save yardage for a bind-off.
I also succumbed to internal pressure and cast on for the Charlotte's web, although there are no pics yet. I like a nice, basic triangle and this should be really entertaining when it comes time to shift the colorways.
Thanks to Tami's Amis for hosting this theme, and Stacey for inspiring me to get involved :)
Friday, August 5, 2011
This is N.'s little crocheted monster, from a freshstitches pattern :-) I also made the project bag in the background last Thursday.
I also managed to get these in the mail to my Goddaughter:
I used eco-craft felt (recycled! pretty! lots of color choices!) and three colors of the Valdani embroidery thread I ordered a few weeks ago from Purl Soho. At first I thought that thread was going to be just a fun indulgent purchase, but it turns out that, yard for yard, it's approx. the same price as DMC floss. It's two-ply, non-splittable, fairly hearty (I think it's size 12, it's definitely a little finer that size 10 crochet cotton), and really great to work with. You have to invest in a lot of yardage per color (instead of DMC's 8yd put up) but I'll definitely think about more in the future.
I did six rows on the silk shawl today; I've been typically getting a whole 12-row repeat done per session lately, but today between the weather and the allergy meds I had to take, I'm pretty zonked. Maybe more tonight...
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
So, my camera is weird. Now it turns on, but won't turn off. No matter what I do, I have to wait for it to go to sleep, then somehow it senses that it's been sleeping for hours and then turns off. The upside? I can take photos...
This week I'm working on a present for my Goddaughter's birthday, and I'm having fun with felt. An hour in, I have the makings of 15 flower hairclips that hopefully will go with her entire wardrobe.
I also managed to get 18 rows done on my silk thread stole yesterday... which means I've banked somewhere around 17 days of knitting on it if I keep up with four rows a day. If I look at it another way, going at this rate means I might be done in six weeks instead of three months (although this pace is a little steep).
All this, and laundry is in too ;)
Friday, July 29, 2011
But, ever the optimist, I have a plan. Once we're back from this weekend (short road trip to NH for a family birthday), I'm going to get my butt onto Amazon and Overstock and track down a nice, affordable point-and-shoot. Until then, I'm going to describe everything :-)
I crocheted two mini-amigurumi monsters this week, from the newly released Rainbow Amigurumi e-book (you can also get the individual pattern here). The first one is for a family birthday party (a little girl who's turning 1), and is pink and purple. N. saw it and decided he wanted one in red, thankyouverymuch, so the second one was born. Super easy, super cute result.
I'm also working on a stole from the BMFA Silk Thread I mentioned a post or two ago. I decided on a pattern from Knitted Lace of Estonia, and while it's not a FO yet, I've managed to get both edgings and four full repeats done. I'm enjoying it, but it's a little hard on the eyes because the thread is both fine and dark. If you search on Blue Moon's site for the Raven series, you'll get an idea of the colors - very saturated black-plus-color. Gorgeous, but very dark.
And finally, yesterday Stacey wanted to have a bit of a sewing bee, so we got together and after a little over an hour's worth of work, we'd each sewn a box-bag, complete with lining. It was quite the enjoyable afternoon, and nice to have company while I sew (which doesn't happen often).
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Looks like two different dye lots, doesn't it? Strange thing is, the second skein wasn't started until about halfway through the light section... so it makes no sense. Luckily it's not hugely noticeable in natural light.
Total repeats: 17 plus edging. Don't ask me about the 18th that got knit and ripped out because I didn't have enough :-P
I really like it, and would totally do another. The pattern is really easy once you get going, and still works even with this semi-variegated yarn...
Friday, July 8, 2011
I'm still working on the SoQS, and think I'll get 17 reps... so that could conceivably be done in a week if I work on it every day for a bit. I'm now back to debating the next project, after I thought I'd settled on what I wanted to do. I have STR MW set aside for a garganutan Charlotte's Web minus fringe plus crochet edging, but last night (in an effort to distract myself from the abovementioned paperwork), I dug out the one skein of laceweight I own, some BMFA Silk Thread. I tried to do an Aeolian last year, then I tried to do a Print O' the Wave, and I ended up with a tangled mess; last night I spent 25 minutes untangling the mass of knots, and re-wound it.
I have an important family wedding to go to next year, and I have 11 months, so I want a really good, big shawl to wear. The STR Charlotte's Web will be warm, but the wedding is in a chilly area - they're barely getting in the high 70's in the past couple of weeks. But a laceweight stole could also be nice. I'm having an existential crisis about this - I want to start something that'll be fun to knit and go fat, but I don't want to start one only to realize I should've done the other. Maybe I'll leave the decision until after I finish and block the SoQS.
Quick! Random kid photo!
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
I don't believe it for a second.
So, I'm going to put a lifeline in after 15 reps (already did at 14), and re-weigh my remaining yarn and do the numbers again. Would it be fantastic to get 17 reps? sure. Do I think I will? Meh. I just want the SoQS to be as big as possible, and for it to be as finished as possible. Like, yesterday.
In other news, I broke down and got some real wool felt, after playing around with synthetic for a while making things for my niece. Holy natural fibers, Batman, it is SO FREAKIN SOFT. While I'm a fan of eco-recycled-felt that makes use of my old soda bottles, the wool is so nice to the touch. I'm thinking of saving my pennies and ordering a little more some time in the future.
And that's all the news that's fit to report for today... we'll see what tomorrow brings. I'm going to get ready for dinner now and debate whether to knit a bit on the SoQS, do some felt work, or just buckle down and get dinner ready :-P
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
I'm nearly done a Flower Basket Shawl, and have to make the decision on # of reps soon. I'm trying to maximize two skeins (total 900yd) of Chugiak Sock from Pagewood Farms, and it's tough. The pattern is one of these nebulous requirement ones, and says 11 reps for 600 yards, and 16 reps for 1100 yards. (those don't include the edge lace, which is approx the same as one lace rep - they're both 10 rows).
So, the pattern calls for the following in fingering weight:
11 reps + edge = ~12 reps with 600 yards
16 reps + edge = ~17 reps with 1100 yards.
HOWEVER, I got 13.5 10-row reps with 450yds. So the options are:
- Plow forward and try to do 15 reps + edge = ~16 reps with 900yds.
- Lifeline after 14 reps and knit the edge, then rip out and reknit if there's enough yardage left for another rep.
- Lifeline after 14 reps and do a 15th then the edge, then rip back to the 14th if there's not enough yardage for the edge.
Ok, enough rambling about yardage... onto the photos!
Random hydrangeas, because I love them, and everyone around here does a great job at growing them.
A friendship bracelet I tied last week, because I needed a change... like my basil? ;)
And that's all I have for now... I'm working on some paperwork on campus, in a part of the med school next to the daycare... I can look up and out the window and see the kids playing in their sprinklers, and it's so cute. I miss those days when all I needed was a wading pool and a sprinkler and life was bliss... and if your mom brought out freezies, you were convinced life couldn't get any better.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
We've also been spending more time outside, natch, and have gone to a free outdoor concert (in the same series as the Yo-Yo Ma one), as well as becoming addicted to froyo as our treat of choice... delicious and much better than cafe muffins or icecream.
And now I have to get back to my oven... I'm baking treats for the daycare teachers' staff meeting this week, and the sooner I can turn the oven off the more comfortable my kitchen becomes.
Friday, June 17, 2011
It's super cute, from one of my little Aranzi Aronzo pattern books (worth googling and/or picking up if you like to make cute, marginally useful things for kids). Took about 20 minutes, and I didn't have to change thread because I used my invisible nylon (LOVE it).
Now if only the Canadian postal strike would end, I'll be able to get this in the mail to her.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
- Managed not to laugh at Hubby when he came home a drowned rat from the Yo-Yo Ma concert (he did say it was totally worth it).
- Worked on the 2x2 ribbed scarf for Little Bro that's been plaguing me for months, and got another 2" completed.
- Finished drafting the silk caps, and started a mitten with an ultra alpaca cuff (so I don't run out of silk). Pics soon.
- Decided to sew a project bag for my super-secret Little Bro project instead of keeping it in an old beat-up ziploc (not that ziplocs don't have their place). Ditto with pics.
- Slept a total of 12 hours because of a stupid migraine that's screwing with me in new and torturous ways this time.
- Dealt several times with a preschooler who, when he doesn't want to do something (all the freakin time), takes my face and turns it to his and says, "I! DON'T! LIKE! THAT!". Which seemed weird until I realized when he misbehaves and tries to avoid me, I gently turn his face to look at me and say, "Momma doesn't like it when you do that. Please stop."
Saturday, June 11, 2011
We left the house relatively early with the intention of going to a short viewing at a children's film festival downtown, but by the time we got there the auditorium was filled to capacity. Planning on going to the second viewing (at 2pm), we hung around downtown and had an overpriced (but very yummy) brunch, only to have the weather conspire against us. We could stay for the 2pm show and get rained on while walking home, or head home and veg.
Ever the dainty melting flower, I suggested avoiding the rain and heading home early to veg. The preschooler didn't like it and proceeded to act out all freakin afternoon. He doesn't need the nap, yet he needs the nap. He's starting to appreciate logic - "I ask Momma to do something, and she says no... so when Momma asks me to do something, I can say no too".
So I'm doing what any good mom would do - parking him in front of the TV to watch Monsters Inc. while I bake banana bread with my old bananas to keep myself from going bananas.
Truth be told, I'm a little jealous of Hubby right now. The city is having its annual arts and ideas festival (hence the kids film event), and tonight he's off with his labmates to see Yo-Yo Ma play an outdoor concert... I'd go but for the fact that all my potential babysitters are in Hubby's lab, so they're either at the concert or out of town.
So I will have warm banana bread with butter for my late supper, the child will go to bed early, and I'll either finish drafting the silk (i'm about 2/3 done the second full cap), knit on my demonstration BSJ to keep up for class on Wednesday, or maybe do some felt crafting.
(and yes, it's still raining here on the East Coast... and those kids and Hubby are going to stand out in the rain for the entire concert. and I won't laugh when everyone comes home like drowned rats. Promise.)
Monday, June 6, 2011
If you can forgive my dorkiness, here's how to split and draft silk bell caps:
Now I should probably learn how to upload to Youtube....
Saturday, June 4, 2011
QUICK! DISTRACTION!! SILK!!!
(Click the botton pic to embiggen the little swatch... it's sparkly delicious)
ETA: I've only done about 3/4 of one cap, and have a second one. I'll try to get pics of the cap-separation process if I can manage it in the daylight ;)
Friday, June 3, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Yesterday we spend the day at the aquarium in Norwalk, which I have to say was much more enjoyable than Mystic. We did Mystic last year, and it was totally overwhelming. I think maybe the facilities are newer, but they're poorly laid out. The Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk is easier to navigate, had much more hands-on stuff, and (gasp) was cheaper. Even with N. paying admission this year, and a 3-D movie/ride tacked on (where the chairs make you think you're flying around!) the admission for all of us was about $25 less than last year at Mystic.
(The cafe was better and cheaper too, and the gift shop was fantastic).
Ok... enough of my unsolicited endorsements ;-)
Dad and Hubby are out - Hubs is taking pipe organ lessons and is showing my Dad the church where he practices. N. and I will meet up with them shortly, assuming there are no meltdowns.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Combine that with the much improved weather these past few days, and it's just about a perfect Saturday. I'm hoping to get either some knitting or embroidery done later on, but that depends on the child's bedtime. These days, afternoon nap = 10pm bedtime.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
- Got the flu.
- Realized the flu was just a really really bad cold.
- Slept a lot. A LOT.
- Decided to revive knitting mojo by not knitting.
- Sewn two replacement pillow covers.
- Embroidered a set of seven tea towels.
- Ventured out of the house to take the child to daycare.
- Came home exhausted after #7.
- Debated stamping another set of tea towels because sitting and embroidering is nearly as fun as sitting and knitting.
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Hubby is out for a run, I've loaded the dishwasher, and I just got a parcel from BMFA... I ordered some yarn for my cousin sans internet, and got some pretty fluff for myself. After sitting on it, and listening to one of the ladies at my lys talk about it, I ordered some silk caps to play around with. It'd been on my to-get list for a long time, but then there was some sort of run on them early in February. I'm not one to bandwagon-jump, so I decided to wait, but since I just happened to be ordering for my cousin, and I try to limit my BMFA orders to one a year, I threw them in.
The colorway is Gertrude Skein, and in the silk it's totally different, but in a good way. The brown in the superwash merino is a really rich orange/rust, the drab olive is brighter, the pink is intense fuschia, and the off-white in the righthand side of the skein photo is a deep creamy ivory.
I'm not sure what I'll do with it, but I'm feeling the need to stash a bit. I'm still unemployed, but a birthday combined with Mother's day combined with my mom taking care of N.'s clothing needs means I had a little extra discretionary income. I'm also not blind to the fact that we will likely be moving back north of the border in the not-unforseeable future, and things are much more expensive to order and get shipped.
My mom always said I could justify anything ;-)
I've put down the Mrs Beetons I mentioned a couple of posts down, and I'm pissed at myself for giving up on them. I made one without beads, because I had none that coordinated. Then, when we had the car after dropping Mom off at the airport, I picked up some that looked pretty good. I then cast on for the second one using the beads, with the intention of making a beaded pair before going back and finishing the mate for the first, unbeaded one (I'll be able to get three pairs from the yarn, since they're not too big).
After finishing the first beaded one, I cast on again with the beads for its partner... and screwed it up. I ripped it out and tried again. And again. And I discovered that ripping out mohair that's been strung with size 11 seed beads is enough to make you go batty.
So, I'm embroidering tea towels instead. ;-)
Saturday, May 7, 2011
A BSJ from last year, and one just finished this year for a baby of as-yet-unknown gender... the blue/green one to be mailed and the pink/yellow one to be held onto, since I have yet another friend who hasn't found out the gender yet, and she'll get it if it's a girl...
I've also started another as an instructional piece - one of N.'s teachers who's in my knitting class was desperate for a project that wasn't just a plain scarf. I knew she was up for some beginning shaping, so we're doing the BSJ together. She lets me know before each class what row she's on, and I knit to that point. That way, she can stop before shaping that confuses her, and we work through it together.
This was a pattern testing crochet project for my friend Stacey at Freshstitches. Totally love that he has shaped tail flukes :D Her toys are very do-able, and not a huge time committment for some very cute results...
We had an early Mom's Day brunch today, because church tomorrow will preclude going out to eat... and I have some lovely pink tulips that may bloom in another 24 hours. Combine that with a preschooler who, while he refuses to nap at home, is napping and going to bed at night with minimal fuss these days. I'm quite surprised he's quiet right now, but I'm not going to complain. I think I'll clean up, and get stuff ready for him to do an art project later tonight; they're on a tissue paper art kick at daycare, and I have some stashed away. Nothing says 'fun Saturday night' like arts and crafts with your rambunctious 3-year-old ;-)
Thursday, May 5, 2011
This is N.'s new "I'm 3!" sweater... made by Grammie with yarn she bought on his 2nd birthday. The color is a bit lighter/brighter than in the photo - more what I would call a 'cadet blue', between a neutral and a bright. I love it, and N. has worn it a dozen times so far.
We had a pretty great week with Grammie visiting... more like a week and a half, since she was on the ground an additional three days this year. It started off as it usually does, with outlet shopping to get N. his summer clothes (and I may have bought two pair of shoes... but you can't prove it). Then we had an amazing visit with Grammie's cousin and her husband, something I look forward to every year. She's crafty like my mom and I, and her husband is hilarious. I made french onion soup, corn chowder, the mocha cookies from Gourmet, and we spent 7 hours laughing, eating, and chatting.
(I should mention that I also ended up with laryngitis that weekend; there would be rousing conversation, then complete silence while everyone shut up so they could listen to me whisper. It was hilarious.)
Then, of course, the birthday. It was quiet, there was playdoh and DVDs, and the cake (which required no less than 10 different bowls of frosting:
The cake was a hit, and after the birthdays were done, we had nothing left to do but knit :-)
I'm sure over the course of the week, Mom and I spent about 10-12 hours at Knit, buying yarn and "doo-hickeys" (which is our word for the little notions and things that you never knew you needed until you saw them), and just sitting and knitting. Mom got more clearance Mission Falls and finished nearly 2 sleeves of a 4-5 year old sized v-neck pullover for N. and I started a pair of Mrs Beeton wrist warmers from Knitty, made from some luxury Swans Island organic worsted and Cascade Kid Seta mohair-y goodness.
Then, of course, there's the inevitable post-visit letdown... Luckily N.'s old enough to understand that Grammie went back to her home and didn't come back to the apartment looking for her every few minutes, but it's still too quiet for my liking.
Luckily, today Hubby's Godparents are coming for a lunch visit on their way from FL back up to the northeast, and my dad is thinking of coming down at some point this month. Now if I could only get off my duff to get things tied up so we can go on vacation later this summer, and I'd be all set.
For now, though, lunch isn't going to make itself, and the defiant 3-year-old is miraculously quiet at the moment, so I should get prep started.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
It's raining, so I'm just going to go back to my laundry, then head in to teach my knitting class at daycare later on... more soon, promise promise.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
So flickr+blogger is now doing this posting thing in a pop-up window.... just when I think something works, they go and frig with it...
In any event, we here in the Sciency household are very tired. Instead of preparing for Mom's visit next week, we've been doing Hubby-family-stuff. And, regrettably, it's not for good reason. One of his aunts passed, after a short illness, and the wake, funeral, burial, etc. were all a 30 min. drive away. We don't see this branch of the family often because they typically winter in FL, and the "kids" (middle-agers that are Hubby's first cousins) are scattered, but we love them, and we couldn't not go.
The good thing in all this is that N. got to see lots of new people, and they all fell in love with him. And if that wasn't enough, he was a complete angel the entire time. Four hours of a wake on Friday (broken up by a supper break), then more on Saturday, a funeral, the cemetary, then a sit-down lunch at a country club with about 80 more people (which was a surprise to me). No tantrums, no yelling, no crying, no nothing. Happily snacking, reading books, talking to people. The whole. freakin. time. He was so good that we literally stopped at Ikea on the way home just to get him a piece of chocolate cake to share for a reward ;-)
(And I'm not sure if I'll get flak for it, but yes, we brought a three-year-old to a funeral. He did NOT understand what was going on, and wasn't curious, either. He didn't see anything out of the ordinary, we didn't hang out at the casket for overlong periods, and he was as respectful as can be for a little kid. I had age-appropriate explanations ready, but didn't need them because he didn't ask.)
(and yes, I rewarded him with food. I don't do it often, but I wanted some too, dammit.)
We also took advantage of our car rental to get some of the errands done before we had to return it. And whoopee, we're getting another one later this week to pick up Mom from the airport. Still cheaper than parking and insurance, though. I managed to get pretty much everything for N.'s birthday, as well as ingredients for a cake for Hub's labmate's Easter Egg Hunt Extravaganza :-)
We were home at a decent hour last night, and N. went to bed early, so we tried to watch Harry Potter on Comcast. Tried, and were so tired that we shut it off until tonight.
And now, having taken advantage of the early nap to get that cake baked so I can freeze it for decorating, I'm going to see what other little jobs I can do before wake-up. I figure N. was so good in the past few days that he'll act out for the rest of the weekend ;-)
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
It's raining, and my mood fits it, so I'll try to turn it around by catching up on good things...
The BSJs are finished, buttoned, blocked, etc. etc. I took the time to weave in ends of the one I'd made previously, and sew its button on, so I now have a pink one and a bluish one awaiting the arrival of my friend's baby. They're so cute I almost can't bear to part with them, but M. is one of my oldest friends, and I can't wait for her to have it.
The mocha cookies from the other day are GONE. I sent most of them to the lab with Hubby, and they disappeared - even people who don't like mocha proclaimed them the best cookies in the universe. The book is here, and you can even search the index. After modifying that recipe to include 1c instead of 1/2 cup of flour, I can say that everything I've tried from the book works and tastes delicious. The mocha cookies are like the best chewy brownie gooey cookies that you get from a cafe. The Gourmet Live blog posted the recipe here, and I highly recommend it. If you make it as written and the batter is liquidy after waiting the 15 minutes, add extra flour and let it sit for another 15 minutes... it should be scoopable and stand up almost like dough. Don't overbake, and they'll be perfect.
The countdown to my mom's visit is in the final stages; we've got our car booked and our shopping planned. I just hope the weather improves between now and then ;-)
I also have no idea what to knit or crochet next, so I'm hoping to be struck by inspiration soon. I'm working on a shawl from last year in the meantime...
And now it's time to seek out decaf, hope the rain lets up, and get home to continue cleaning and organizing and maybe knitting.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
N. is getting his bath, and I just finished my second attempt at some mocha cookies... I should have linkies but I don't, because I have a headache from taste-testing all the chocolate. Suffice it to say they're very tasty, I did have to add an extra 1/2 cup flour to the recipe to get them to be cookie batter instead of pourable ganache, but they're good. I'll see how they hold up after cooling down :-)
I've finished the BSJ, but again, no pics. I swear, I'll catch up. It just might not be this week - we have a daycare potluck, I'm doing storytime, I have to be interviewed by one of the teachers for a class she's doing for her certification, and we need to figure out how we're getting to a funeral of a close family member that's a 40 minute drive away, once we figure out when said funeral is taking place.
So, it'll be a week. Combined with the fact that Little Bro, with everyone's blessing, has finally thrown out all of Grammie's old furniture and he and JL are bringing in there own, is making me a little melancholy. I think I need another cookie.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Not much to report... less than two weeks before Grammie arrives, and I'd say we're about 2/3 ready. I still have to do some organizing and putting away, but I've done the big cleaning jobs, and all that remains is maintenance sweeping and bathroom upkeep ;)
I don't have any pictures either, because Hubby has the camera to finish up work and I'm too lazy to ask him to bring it back... but the BSJ in siren song is up to the buttonholes, and then it's three garter ridges and an annoyingly long icord bindoff. I also succumbed to the temptation of pretty patterns when I was at Knit yesterday, and picked up a copy of the A-B-C-SJ. I've been wanting to get it for a while, was planning on ordering it online because I thought that was the only source... but J. brought it out for another customer while I was there, and I couldn't resist. I have some worsted in my stash that would make a perfect child-size one, but I'm not so good at sizing up using EZ math yet. This also has row-by-row instructions, and one of N.'s daycare teachers who knows how to knit but wants something other than a scarf is going to give it a try, I think.
In other news, my bronchitis is finally better, but Hubby is sick... and I can't be certain that I'm not coming down with another bug. Combine that with being at work helping out again because I'M JUST THAT NICE, and I'm tired and crabby.
But, I'm NOT sick yet, and I have knitting waiting for me, so I'm off to finish the DNA sequencing. Yay for science! ;-)
Saturday, April 2, 2011
I decided yesterday to take out the tree skirt of doom again, and it dawned on me that this is likely not going to get finished before Xmas 2011. I'm ok with that, I suppose; I just wish I was faster at sewing little tiny pieces of felt on one by one ;-) I have learned how to sew with my left hand, though; makes it easier because I don't have to turn the skirt around to do the back side.
And I think I just heard N. fall out of his bed... off I go...
Friday, April 1, 2011
- taxes are done. owe the state, owed by the feds. net gain for us. whooppee!
- had parent-teacher updates for N. While he is the youngest in the class, and sometimes follows the older kids when they stir up shit, he's also the kindest, most cooperative, loving and happy child they have ;-)
- I spent the afternoon at Knit, which is excellent on its own... L. was teaching a customer how to pick up evenly around a collar, and the lady was having trouble... I mentioned that I usually screw it up the first time too, and L. told the lady, "See? You're doing fine - it's even tough for an experienced knitter like her!". I love L., for calling me an 'experienced knitter' :-)
- The pinkeye was very mild, and I did NOT catch it!
- I have two huge pans of veg roasting in the oven, with garlic, and it smells yummy in here.
- My boys are being dropped off by the bus as I type this :-)
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I'm pretty sure this photo is going to end up some wonky ass size, not centered, and ca-razy, but I'm not logging out of my other gmail account to fix it, because I'm trying to keep in touch with Hubs. It's touch-and-go because this poor little computer is on its last legs, though.
N. and I are home today, after two days of back-and-forth to the doctor. I made the mistake the other day of saying, "gee isn't it great that I made it through this winter without getting bronchitis?" Sunday night - WHAM! breathing difficulties and nothing but an expired inhaler in the house.
Yesterday I brought N. to daycare so I could go and get fixed up, then sleep for a couple of hours, but I got the pinkeye call at 4pm. Too late to get him seen at the doc, of course. We got up crazyass early this morning to make it in for the first appointment, and it's either not pinkeye or the mildest case ever in history. We're treating just in case.
I also get to go into non-work tomorrow to work on some more loose ends that we found. I just hope that everyone who's sick today isn't sick tomorrow. Luckily N. will have had 24 hours of treatment by tomorrow morning and I can drop him off to get that stuff done.
I haven't gotten much knitting or crochet done in the past few days... I finished the Taiyo Boteh but didn't take pics yet, and cast on a Baby Surprise Jacket for a friend who's having a baby of as-yet undetermined gender. I have a pink and yellow one done, so this one will be green-blue-grey-yellow (STR Siren Song for those keeping track). It's not really boyish, but a very nice neutral, so it should do either way.
And with that I'm going to pick up the table and maybe do some sewing... I think I need a few days to recharge my yarn mojo after churning out those vests and that scarf ;-)
Saturday, March 26, 2011
went for a bagel with my boys, to get fresh air.
started the major clean-up that takes place before Mom shows up.
My clean-up consisted of organizing the messiest place in the apartment - my yarn and craft area. I spent/wasted a great deal of time re-winding the ends of balls, so I could pack them away neatly. I have a lot of worsted, a lot of STR, and a lot of shit ;-)
Time to cook dinner...