Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor



Dear Apple:

I would like to thank you for making my job as House Goddess much more tolerable. Your invention, the ipod has literally transformed my once mundane, thankless house duty jobs into a beep-bobbin' fun lovin' fantastic good time. Laundry will never be the same: who knew you could enjoy putting all of that laundry away!! I would even venture to say I look forward to spending some good old fashioned quality time with my buds the Indigo Girls, Dixie Chicks, Peter Gabriel, Flo Rida, and Matchbox 20. You have literally transformed the dreaded time period of 3:30 to 6:15 pm for my children. You see, I fear if it were not for the ipod's impressive ear plug-in system, I would still be able to hear the nit picking and arguing that continually occurs until my Beloved comes home.

For my sanity, my children's safety and my overall happy feeling a big Thank you.......

And now back to the knitting/crochet....

I finished the bag portion of the Noni Bag....it looks huge, I am excited to see how this felts:


I also started to work on the shawl in the Misty Alpaca Hand Paint Lace, I only had time for a few rows last night, but it is a fun and mindless project and it feels so good in your hands:


I am happy to report that son#1 is feeling much better and is back at school, I hope the rest of us are spared this time!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Just When I Thought Today Was Going to Stink!

You all know how I feel about Mondays.....tired, cranky and missing Mr. Fantastic (I wish he could just stay home with us all the time) Today is no exception, it's a good thing it is sunny, but it is only 54 degrees - it feels more like fall than spring.

This weekend was great for knitting/crochet, but not much else...it seems that son#1 has come down with a raging case of strep throat. I have not seen him this sick in a long time......poor fellow. With the rain on Friday all Saturday games were canceled and I stayed home with sick son #1 while the rest of the crew went to a christening party. On Sunday, it was make up game for son #2 and again, I stayed home with #1 while Mr. Fantastic drove son #2 to his game and to a birthday party. I had lots of crochet/knitting time. I finished the Sprung that I frogged

This one is in Fleece Artist Somoko. What a great feeling yarn! I have to make myself one in this yarn. I also started and finished a child's version for one of my favorite little girls: Lady S.....I will be giving it to her mom this week, so I don't want to show a picture of it here....it is so cute and is made in the same yarn, but in a beautiful pink/purple/orange colorway.

I started my first Noni Bag, I am enjoying it so far. The bag is mindless knitting in the round I am using Ella Rae (instead of cascade) in black and I am making the largest size. This will be a gift for a woman I met at a First Communion party.......and her name is Noni......cool huh? Here is the pattern picture

The colors that I picked are pretty much the same as the large bag in the picture. I have a front loader washing machine, so I will be going to the laundry mat to felt this one. I am about one third of the way done on the bag...I will show pictures pre and post felting.

I am just in one of those blah moods, you know, just kind of moving through my day, I was just about to start blogging when the door bell rang, and do you know what it was? My very first pair of Fluevogs! Look at how cute they are, and soooo comfortable, they feel like butta!!!! I love them and they will not be my last pair.


This may be the first great Monday in a while.....now I need son#1 to feel better.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

If I Were A Superhero

If I were a Superhero (I am already the Queen) my Arch Enemy would be this:

The Laundry......no matter how far along I am, how caught up I am: there still will be 5 sets of clothes to wash that night (well really 4 because I am a firm believer that you can wear something more than once without it being washed and not have your skin fall off! That theory, however, does not apply to undergarments...)

My Hero these days is, yep, you guessed it.....Mr. B


We are friends again and ready to make some progress. Look at him, he looks so proud! I have started the herringbone jacket again and am almost finished with the first sleeve, I want it finished this weekend....we'll see, first I have to grab my cape and head into the pit of laundry......

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Some Day's Peanuts......

Some day's Shells........my mother uses that expression a lot. And you know what? Today is a shell day. I give you exhibit A:




This device is almost always my good friend. For my family and friends out there that have no idea what it is, it is a ball winder. It winds yarn from hanks (which you would have to roll into a ball manually - picture the old days with children sitting in front of their mothers and/or grandmothers holding their arms open with yarn around them). It always is an exciting time for me, I am usually starting something new and am filled with anticipation of beginning.

Today, however, my good friend Mr. B (ball winder) is like an executioner.......look at how solemn he looks, two victims today....... Exhibit B:



This is another Sprung (are you sick of them yet?) that is a gift for a good friend. Mr. Fantastic and I cannot make her party, so I wanted to make her something special......Didn't I write the bloomin' pattern? Why did I get so far (I was on the edging) and run out of yarn? It is supposed to be completed and blocking today! What an idiot!!!! Exhibit C:

The Herringbone Mesh Jacket.........I already discussed the reasons for this and to frog it is really an act of mercy, not really an execution.....but it still stinks!

Mr. Fantastic has informed me that on his way to work, he chipped his front tooth and I feel all snozzely (I hope it is just allergies - not that I really have any, but I can pretend, right?) I think Dumplin has it right. This morning she woke up and informed me that she didn't feel real pretty and needed to get into the bath..........




She just may have something there.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Helping Each Other

Yesterday I posted about the herringbone jacket, and yes, I went to the shop to get another opinion....and we decided that we needed more info. Since the pattern is available through Ravelry, I contacted the designer Amy through email and she emailed me back right away.........I love that!! It seems that the yarn I was using was shinny and flat, and the sample garment was in a tweed. The sample garment did not "show everything".........so I will be frogging (that's a fiber term for ripping out) the piece. I love the yarn, but I think it wants to be something else. Isn't it so cool that the designer would take the time to respond to little old me.....it's so nice when we help each other.

I went to the shop to get an opinion, and I came home with: a new bag for my projects in a Fall color. (I just bought one about a month ago and it is for Spring/Summer). The DVD for the baby surprise jacket (I know I have already knit 3 of these, but I am powerless to anything EZ). Oh, I did get my opinion on the jacket, and.............I bought more yarn to make another one.........ouch! PRETTY EXPENSIVE OPINION!!

Here is the swatch that I came up with for the Misty Alpaca hand paint lace

I love it! I think a rectangle shawl. I can also change the counts of the pattern and presto.....a scarf! Two for the price of one......or free, maybe.

This morning I walked into the boys room to wake them for school. What I found was so cute I had to run downstairs to get my camera...




Do you see them all in there? All 3 of our children........everyone in Son#1's bed! It's seems that there were way too many scary noises in the house last night (we live in an old Victorian) and they all felt better together..........it's so nice when we help each other!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

To Squeeze Or Not to Squeeze

Today I am having my first mammogram. I know, I should have done it 2 years ago. I am nervous and did not sleep very well. Why do I tell you this? Because last night I stayed up with nervous fingers and finished this
It is the herringbone mesh jacket, and I'm not sure if I care for the finished product. My jacket looks nothing like the sample. I think I will bring this to the store and get another opinion, I am teaching a class on this one, and I love the way it looks, but I don't love mine....maybe I used the wrong type of yarn...I don't know, stay tuned.. Maybe I am being a bit 'nit- picky' because of my day (I almost said 'nip-picky', but I am trying to keep this blog PG!) I'll let you know the outcome....

I am starting something new today, an idea that has been percolating. I think it is going to be a free pattern for the blog. I have this idea for a shawl with a ruffle edge, I think it will be nice and I can also write the pattern for a scarf. Last week I got to feel this


and I can't get it out of my mind. It's Misty Alpaca Hand Paint Lace and feels like baby hair. It is so soft and I love the colors (yeah, I bought other colors!) This particular one is color 27.

I will show my progress on this project as I go......

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday..........

Mondays are not my favorite. This Monday, coming off the high of being The Queen on Mother's day is especially crappy! It is rainy and cold (only in the 40's) I had a 3 year old visitor in my bed last night who's only mission was to stab me in the ribs every time I drifted off to sleep. When Mr. Fantastic left for work, I moved said 3 year old to the other side of bed was drifting off to dreamland, when son #1 woke me to let me know that son #2 is throwing up in the hallway.

Nice. The cherry on top is the 5 loads of laundry that I get to fold and put away......SWEET!

I need some Yarn love..........................here it is:


I am making the Herringbone Mesh Jacket in this yarn. Pattern can be found here I love the color, isn't it pretty? (oooh, I'm feeling better) Wait here is the money shot

I am having a nice time with it. I had a great time with the Baby Surprise Jacket. It took forever to dry in this weather. Here it is



I love making these, you can head on over to Schoolhousepress and purchase the pattern or even a DVD. I made this one on a size 6 needle, but I have made these jackets with different sized needles and yarn to make them bigger or smaller. I only seamed up one side of the jacket because this is going to be a store sample and the funky construction of the piece is a little confusing the first time you make it. Here is what it looks like open on one side


Cool Huh? I am going to disinfect the house now (don't be jealous!)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

My Dad retired a few years ago, well like 5 and my mother had a party for him. As part of the festivities, my mom asked her 4 children to write a few things about our dad. It was a hit at the party and I'm sure my dad remembers the nice things we had to say about him.

My mom, who never had a retirement party, never got to hear lovely speeches about her. One time in passing she said to me, "the only time people are going to say great things about me are at my funeral, and it would be nice to hear things when you are alive".

Well, Mom, here are a few things I will say about you at your funeral..........

I love how we are referred to as 'the twins'

I love that I am raising my children in the same home you and daddy raised me in (the world is a circle, after all..........)

I love how you have all of the pattern books I have designs in out in full view (even though you don't knit or crochet)

I love that in 1984, you went on strike (as a housewife) and set the tone for me as a mother to not let my family walk all over me.

I love how growing up you dropped us off at school in your housecoat and docksiders.

I love going to antique stores with you.

I love how special you made me feel when I FINALLY needed a bra (even though I really didn't need one yet, but everyone else had one!)

I loved my wedding

I loved when you would drive to my college to take me out to lunch.

I love how you made up that game of trying to see how many people we could get to smile ("It may be their only smile today, honey")

I love how you make Christmas special for so many people.

I love seeing all of my children sleepy-eyed in your bed in the morning.

I love spending the summers with you.

I love how you are my Hero..........


When I was growing up, I thought my mom was the most beautiful mother on earth. It's funny, now that I am a grownup with children of my own and a few years behind me I can say.......my Mom is the MOST BEAUTIFUL PERSON on the earth......


This is my all time favorite picture of my mother and me. It was just after Mr. Fantastic and I walked down the aisle as Man and Goddess.....no matter how old you get, you will always be your mother's little girl.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Twirling Girl

Yesterday was the Mother's Day Tea at Dumplin's school. I had a wonderful time. Remember when your mom used to come to your school? I used to feel so happy, like my heart was skipping, or as Dumplin' would say....."you know, mom, sometimes you just gotta twirl" And you know what? If there was room in that classroom, I would have twirled - I was just that happy. There were tea pots


There was Mother and Daughter in Rockin' crochet sweaters (mine is from the spring Interweave crochet)


And there was singing and dancing


I didn't need the Scotch after all (I didn't need the two cupcakes I consumed either, but oh-well!). It makes me sad to think that one day Dumplin' isn't going to coordinate her outfits to maximize her twirl....but while she is........I'm going to savor it!

video


Happy Mother's Day

Friday, May 9, 2008

The World Is A Circle

I have very little time this morning, I have to get ready for the Mother's Day tea at Little Miss Dumplin's school. After the battle we had this morning on getting the right dress and shoes and hair style, along with waiting for her to put perfume on.....I'm hoping they are serving Scotch (single malt preferably).

Yesterday, when I was finishing up the BSJ, Dumplin' and I were in the "knitting room" when I snapped this.....


She really does play with my button jars. Did you know that if you sing into the empty jar it sounds like a microphone?


Yep, it does. Notice Elizabeth Zimmermann in the background? She is never too far away......


This, my friends, is Paulie. Paulie was one of my 4th grade knitting students at the after school program held by our Elementary school. Paulie learned to knit in about 10 minutes, and is now knitting so much, his piano teacher has let his mother know that knitting is taking over too much of his time!

Last night our oldest (he is on the left) and I went to Paulie's house to deliver some of my stash...Paulie acted as any fiber lover would, touching everything, explaining what he is going to make with what yarn (no patterns for this boy)....and it made me swell with pride. It seems that Paulie is making jewelry with yarn and selling it at school.......I asked his mother to remind him of me when he is a famous designer!

Here is the kicker: I learned to knit in 4th grade at the very same after school program at the very same school.....the world is, indeed, a circle.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Perfect Man

A little background: My husband and I grew up in the same town. I first saw him in Middle school, I was in 6th grade, he in 7th (dating an 8th grader, I might add) It was, for me, love at first sight. I saw him by his locker, he didn't notice me until 11th grade. We dated for years, and then we didn't, and than we got married (OK, I called and asked him on a date!) That's the very, very, very short version....(your welcome!) Why do I tell you this? Because after all these years of being with him; this year, in 2008.................he...........drum roll please....................asked me to make him a sweater!!! Who did I turn to for this momentous occasion? Yep, you guess it...........Elizabeth Zimmermann. Here is her Seamless Hybrid



The yarn is blue sky alpacas sport weight. I used 11 skeins and a touch of a 12th. This yarn feels so beautiful and soft (I can't keep my hands off of him when he wears it!) and blocked like a dream. My favorite part about this sweater is the back, I love the detail

The front is also nice, I like the collar, but I think next time I will start the opening a lot earlier....


I didn't put any buttons on it or anything....I like the simple line of contrasting color on the placket.........I also put that color on the inside of the collar and a touch on the cuffs.




Check out how the back of the sweater is about 1 inch lower than the front, yeah, that's all EZ. My man will not have to pull down his sweater in the back....the things we do for love. This pattern is so easy. I was afraid when I started doing the shoulders that it wouldn't work, but if you follow the pattern, it magically works. If you want, head on over to brooklyntweed and read about his, it is beautiful.

Well, I am almost at the 3/4 mark with the Baby Surprise Jacket, I will show some pictures when I am finished, I like the way it is coming out.

And so, in closing, I will leave you with this....I am the luckiest girl in the world. I married my friend who is smoking HOT, an unbelievable father (you never know what kind of father for your children you are going to get when you marry a man) he does do dishes (when he doesn't give it up for Lent) and laundry (although he refuses to fold and/or put it away). He puts up with Yarn coming out of every available space I have, will go outside after dinner so I can get a blog photo, and, he likes his sweater..............that, my friends, is My Perfect Man........

ps Mother's day is this Sunday (I just sayin')

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

EZ like Tuesday Morning........

I love Elizabeth Zimmermann. If you don't know who I am talking about, Google her, find out about the genius that is EZ. I have read and re-read all of her books and I watch her DVDs (with her daughter Meg Swansen) while I am knitting, to, kind of keep me company and to learn, learn, learn. My first Elizabeth Zimmermann inspired sweater was this one. It is one of my all time favorite things to wear. It fits like a coat, and is one of the warmest things I own. I even bought the yarn from schoolhousepress


I knit the entire sweater in the round, learned the crocheted steek to cut my knitting, and learned so much. The whole experience of knitting this sweater was so enjoyable. Look, here is the side....


I love that ribbon cable! I have so many EZ inspired projects.....right now I am making another Baby Surprise Jacket (BSJ) as a sample for Knit knack.


The yarn is Babe from The Fibre Company. It feels so soft and I love the colors. This will be my first BSJ that has stripes, I have made 2 others in one color. I started last night and got a nice amount done.

More EZ to come....

Monday, May 5, 2008

Let the First Communions Begin!!

We had a fabulous weekend, jam packed full of things to do!
Friday night was the school fund raiser, you are never going to guess who won Sprung.....are you ready.......My sister-in-law!!! I wish I had my camera (beginner blogger - I'll get better!) It was so funny to stand up and read the ticket and have it be my SIL!!! Well, she really wanted it, so I am happy she got it (not to mention I can borrow it if need be!)

Saturday sports were cancelled due to weather (and SAT testing), so we were off to our first communion of the season. This is the beautiful Lala.......she really looked stunning.

The party was held at a restaurant that was attached to a mall, the food was delicious, and Little Miss Dumplin' even scored and new pair of sparkle ballet flats! She wore her Easter outfit including the sweater I designed and made for her, but of course would not put it on for the blog photo.....

Isn't the color so pretty? It is Louet Gems and is so nice to crochet with. the fabric became nice and smooshy...so comfortable to wear. I am getting around to writing the pattern for this sweater in sizes ranging from 2T to XXL....I think I am going to submit it to a Magazine, let's keep our fingers crossed on that one. I was, however, able to get pictures of Miss Dumplin' as she headed off to school today. The sweater she is wearing is an old staple of mine, I have made several of these sweaters. This particular one is made in an acrylic by Reynolds called Utopia. It has been washed at least 50 times, and still looks great. The pattern is by Carole Prior from Leisure Arts. The buttons are, of course, from one of my button jars.....

Pattern and yarn can be found at Knit-a-bit.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Olympic Top

I have received permission from NY Yarns to post about an upcoming pattern this Fall. It was a whirlwind project, but I love the results. I really think that I work better under pressure. I received an email from the company on Monday, I accepted the challenge and received the yarn on Wednesday. The pattern and sample were due the following Friday (I think). Pretty darn quick. I was lucky, though, NY Yarns and the staff at Tahki/Stacy Charles are wonderful to work with. I also was given a rockin' sketch which made things very easy for me.

The yarn is called Olympic and it is a wool/acrylic blend. It was super soft to work with and blocked like a dream. Doesn't the ribbing look knit? Nope, this baby is all crochet. I can't wait to make myself one! I even LOVED the color for the sample (notice how beautifully she matched my house!) The color on the band is 02. I'm not sure that will help, but I am sure it will be listed on the pattern. Speaking about the pattern, I have been told that the pattern book is called Olympic, Vol 2 (#NY-039). It will be available on their website August 1st http://www.nyyarns.com/
Wholesale the pattern books will be available the 2nd week in July with delivery in store within a week. I have been so excited about this sweater!! It feels good to show it to you!!

Today was a great day! I had such a great time teaching the Sprung class this morning. Everyone is doing great and the colors of the shawls are all so beautiful; I can't wait to see everyone's finished work. A special thank you to the class for rescheduling next week - I wouldn't want to miss the mother/daughter tea at Dumplin's (that is my mother's nickname for our daughter, she is almost 4) preschool. Tonight is the Spring Fling fund raiser for our elementary school. I made a Sprung to donate. Tonight I will see who wins it - too much fun.