Tuesday, February 27, 2007

parts is parts

I'm truckin' along toward the finish line...

Lookit! All the parts of Firth are done. Well, ok not entirely done because there are 100 or so ends to weave in. 100 or so, for real. That's a lot of weave-age. I might cry. But once that weaving is done I can sew it up, knit the collar, sew in the zipper and voila! I will have a new sweater. Oh, who am I kidding, those last 3 steps could take as long as the knitting of all the parts put together. I had hoped to get this done before the end of February, but I doubt I can finish it in, what, less than 36 hours? Ha.

I'm going to go ahead and toot my own horn for a second. This is my first real attempt at fairisle, and while I realize it's not a complicated pattern (not by a long shot) I am still quite proud of how it turned out. I was able to keep my tension nice and even and I didn't screw up any color changes. At least I don't think I did. This is also my first-ever raglan style seamed sweater (I have made lots of top-down raglans) so I'm really challenging myself with some of the elements of this pattern. We'll see how the actual seaming goes. If all is well I am definitely considering knitting one for Daughter, but in different colors.

Want to see the fairisle again? Oh, indulge me:

Off I go to start weaving ends...

Friday, February 23, 2007

summer look #2 and an SRI

Summer outfit number 2:

1-2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8-9, 10-11-12 ladybugs came to the ladybug picnic!
They had 12 sacks so they ran sack races
And they fell on their backs and they fell on their faces
Ladybugs 12, at the ladybug picnic!

Ok, I'll stop.

This is, of course, the ubiquitous jumper.
New Look Kids #6578, size 2 but adjusted to the size 4 length
Fabric: According to Daughter this is "Ladybugs, mommy!" from Joann Fabrics

I like this fabric but as with much of the stuff on the wall at Joann's it is flimsy and thin. I hope it
holds up after being washed a bunch of times. When the fabric is only $3.99 per yard you know it's not going to be the best, but oh well. Also, I biffed when deciding how much to buy. Silly me, I forgot I'm not buying fabric for the wee tiny size anymore. I asked for 3/4 yard but it turns out that wasn't enough for facings as well. I found a yellow fat quarter in my stash that was starting to fade, so I put it to use as facing. I often use a contrasting fabric for the facings of these little dresses, but I prefer to do so with a solid fabric and a print facing. This was a solution born of desperation, but I think it's ok. Here's a closeup:

The facing is just a lighter yellow with white stars. I don't love it, but anything darker would have shown through this flimsy fabric. Oh well, it is what it is and I'm happy with the dress. Sheesh, I could make these in my sleep at this point. And there are 2 more cut out and ready to be stitched! Obviously I have a problem. I was thinking about why I'm so obsessed with making all these cute dresses for my child and it occurred to me that I'm bracing myself for her to turn out like me - after about the age of 4, getting a dress on my body was darn near impossible. In fact, in all my first communion photos I'm wearing a very pretty dress and a very un-pretty scowl. In almost no photos will you see me wearing the veil, oh heavens no. It was jeans and a ponytail or pigtails from just past toddlerhood until...well, until now, I guess. I'm still not a huge fan of dresses. So I guess I'm afraid the day will come when she'll refuse to wear little adorable girly things and I have to get while the gettin's good.

And I seriously hope she grows in the next 4 months because all this size 2 stuff is looking hy-ooge.

Oh - I know there are no buttons on the straps yet. I think this dress demands either biggish ladybug buttons, or if that's overkill perhaps large black plastic circles would be cute. Something a tad over-the-top to go with that outrageous yellow. I'll have to think on it.

While making the pants outfit on Wednesday, I gave myself a sewing related injury (SRI). My sewing machine has an AC motor and when you push the pedal it doesn't start as smoothly as the computerized electronic machines with DC motors. It kind of 'jerks' to life, but I'm used to it and it never bothers me. I was preparing to start sewing a seam and lining up my fabric with my foot resting on the pedal, and the silly thing is so sensitive that a tiny bit of pressure from my foot sent it into motion. The needle bar came slamming down on my left ring finger and took such a chunk out of the tip I couldn't even believe it. It wasn't the needle itself (though I have stitched right through my fingertip with an embroidery machine...I don't recommend it), it was the actual needle bar with the apparatus that holds the needle in place. Holy expletives, batman. It really hurt. And bled! Whoa. So let that be a lesson to you - keep your foot off the pedal till you're ready to sew. Accidents happen. Ouch.

Knitting News:

Firth's front has a friend:

I finished up the right front last night (you can see what blocking does for this pattern). Due to my SRI, Thursday was kind of a loss. We went to Grandma's house and hung out because I couldn't sew or knit much anyway. My finger felt better last night so I went to town on this piece of my new sweater. Hubs kept telling me it was time for bed, but I stayed up till midnight to finish. If I don't get to do any crafting during naptime, I feel all unsettled at night, so I stay up too late doing my thing. Dumb, because I'm super tired in the morning, but whatever, that's what coffee is for.

I hope to finish up the sleeves over the weekend, and the back early next week. Will this be ready to wear on March 1? I just know you're on the edge of your seat. Well, I'm hoping it will be done. Have a lovely weekend, all. I hope it's warming up wherever you are. We're finally making it back into the 30s and the chunks of ice are slowly melting from our gutters. Still 3 feet of snow in the front yard though. Bah!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

the 2007 summer collection begins

Daughter's first summer look for 2007 is runway-ready.

Ok, not entirely. The shirt needs a button, but we'll get to that in a minute.

The pattern is McCall's Stitch 'n Save #M5371, made in size 2. (Please make a note of the pattern number if you want to make this outfit. People are always asking me for the patterns I use and I always tell that information when I show a finished piece of clothing.)

The shirt is view B, and the pants are sort-of view D. The pattern calls for view D to have a few rows of trim on the cuff area of the pant, but I didn't want that as this fabric seems to speak for
itself. The fabrics are: solid cotton in "parchment" from Joann Fabrics (whatever was on sale over the weekend for $1.99), and Keepsake Calico called "apples and pears" (I think) from the calico wall at Joann's. It was a teeny splurge at $7.99/yard, but they were on sale for 30% off, so I went for it. I have to admit, I got this fabric because I saw it made into pants on Amanda's adorable baby girl and I HAD TO HAVE IT TOO.

I have several knee-jerk reactions I could share about this pattern, but I think I will wait to talk about it until I make another outfit. I have another one planned and ready to go, and now that I've been through the directions once I should be able to evaluate it more accurately. The first run-through of a pattern is always frought with difficulty for me because I tend to think I'm smarter than the pattern. I'm usually quite wrong about that. C'est la vie.

Anyway, the top is super easy but time consuming because it is a wrap top, self-faced (I think that is the correct term...?) and there's a lot of pinning involved.

The top buttons on the left, and snaps closed inside on the right. I think I bought some small clear plastic snaps last year. Do any of you know where I put them? Cause I sure don't, and now I can't even remember if I really bought them, or just held them in the store for a minute and then changed my mind.

The directions call for the front facing to be slip-stitched over the side seam allowance. Shyeah, right. I whipped out my edge-stitch foot and just zipped along the side from underarm to hem.

I will share one gripe about the pattern in relation to the shirt - nowhere does it tell you to trim the seams or clip the curves. Well, good luck getting anything wearable if you skip that step! Luckily I have enough experience to know I had to do that, but if a total beginner picked up this pattern they would be extremely frustrated trying to press out the armholes and neckline.

The pants. I love these pants. I want these pants for myself. Alas, I don't know if I could pull off the fruit look. If these look a little stumpy, that's because they're capri pants. But they could easily be made into full-length pants with the same pattern. There's a 2-inch hem allowance. Weird.

I know the fruits don't match up. I don't have the patience to line up my pattern pieces with individual motifs. These will be worn by a 2 year old. Who cares?

This was my first time making pants with a waistband. I always feared the waistband. Why? It is super easy! And it adds a really nice finished look.

The back of the pants are elasticized, for pull-on comfort. Also incredibly easy to do.

Now I just need to know which color button to put on the shirt. Please vote!

Knitting News

Aaaaaaaaaaaand,,,back to winter. I finished one front of Firth.

I really, really, really like knitting this pattern. It looks much more complicated than it really is, and that fairisle section is knit on size 9 needles, people. FAST. I changed my color selections after knitting and ripping and knitting and ripping and agonizing and knitting and ripping some more. My original color choices made the sweater look like it came from 1987 (too bright), so I switched them around until they made me happy.

I realize that hit of leaf green might not be everyone's cup of tea. But I adore that shade and cannot wear it, so I snuck it into this sweater for fun. As my Daughter would say, "I lllllllllllllove it!"

Weaving in all those ends is going to stinkety-stink, though.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

love her madly

I love my kid so much. That may seem like such an obvious thing to say, but sometimes in the day-to-day struggle to keep everyone in the house clean, fed, and occupied the important feelings get squelched underneath frustration and exhaustion.

Until they come roaring back to the surface, that is. Yesterday was one of those days when everything Daughter did and said was adorable and surprising and sweet and hilarious. At her age (22 months) she is unpredictable, so I am always bracing myself for questionable behavior. Sometimes I am simply amazed by how wonderful she can be.

I took her to Joann Fabrics for the big Presidents' Day sale (isn't that what all good patriotic Americans do on federal holidays? Shop the sales?) and she wasn't too happy about it. As I was putting her in the car and driving away she kept whining, "hoooooooome," but man, we needed to get out of the house and stop watching videos. The outside temp got above freezing yesterday for the first time in weeks so darn it, we were heading out. And actually, I did have good reason to be going to Joann Fabrics in the first place - read Karen's post about an excellent charity sewing opportunity. I needed to get the skirt pattern for this project.

At the store I let Daughter walk partway through the parking lot, holding my hand. When I got her out of the car she stood next to me while I got out the diaper bag, and when I said, "don't touch the dirty car," she did not. She just pointed to the tires and said, "ABCs, Mommy!" Yes, yes, sweetheart, there are letters on the tires. You're right!

We got to the door and I said, "ok, how about you ride in this cart?" And she said, "cart? Ok Mommy!"

I let her carry my little swatches, which are from fabrics I bought last year. As the solids were on sale for $1.99 I was trying to match some for little coordinating tops/bottoms. I took them from her one at a time to hold them up against bolts, saying, "hmmmm, let's see. Does this one match? What do you think? Let's check this one..." And after a few minutes, she started doing the exact same thing. Holding the swatches against bolts on the wall, saying, "hmmmmm. Check this one!"

When I would pick out a bolt I liked, I would lay it across the bar of the cart so she could see it. I would say, "I like this one, what do you think?" And she would yell loud enough for the whole store to hear, "Oh, I LOVE it, Mommy! I LLLLLLLOVE it!"

As we walked down the wall of calicos she would holler out what she saw, both color and pattern.

"Ladybugs, Mommy!"


"Oh, flowers!"

She is unbelievable. My kid. What did I do to deserve such a great kid?? I figured she surely deserved a treat for being so well behaved, so I asked her if she'd like to go look for some playdough before we went home.

"OH! Playdough! YES MOMMY YES!"

We got a 6-pack of playdough, oh yes we did. She talked about it all the way home. When we got home she refused her snack. It was playdough time. She asked me to cut out a "girl" and a "guy" (guy?), so I did it with my gingerbread cutters. When I rolled the dough with the rolling pin she said, "try? try!" so I gave her the pin and she tried, grunting and exclaiming the whole time because she couldn't push hard enough to flatten the dough. When I cut out the girl, she said, "try? try!" so I gave her the cutter and she pushed too.

She made the girl dance around, and when one of the arms came off she immediately stuck it on the girl's head, and told me it was a hat.

I cut out a "guy" and she started pulling bits of playdough off a hunk of a different color and pushing them into his body. I asked her what it was and she said, "jammies on!" People. She was putting playdough jammies on her playdough guy.

The child played with the playdough for AN HOUR. We haven't had that much fun in ages. I even had enough time to wash and dry all the new fabrics we got. She was so blissed out that when I said, "I'm going in the laundry room to switch the stuff to the dryer," she flipped her hand in my direction and said, "ok, bye."

I know, I know, this is cheese-o-rama. And believe me, sometimes Daughter can be a booger. Not too often, though. She's really a good kid. I just wanted to write this out to help me appreciate it. I love her madly and can't wait to see what adorable things she comes up with today.

Enjoy your Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday/Pancake Day/Pazcki Day. Buffalo is still multi-ethnic enough that you can't walk 10 feet today without tripping over a pazcki or a fastnacht, so Daughter and I may just go out and find one of these tasty sweets.

Photos of our fabric adventures to come...

Friday, February 16, 2007

off the wagon...ish

Well friends, I fell off the wagon. But not too badly, I have to say. However, I am in danger of going back and doing more damage this weekend when Joann Fabrics has their President's Day sale, what with the whole 10% off your entire order business. What can I say? I love the Tutti-Frutti fabrics and would happily buy yards and yards of them for Daughter's summer wardrobe.

I went out with the sole purpose of getting some pattern-ease, so I could use the patterns I have but make bigger sizes. Those of you who sew - do you use this product? I started using it when I realized I could get a lot more use out of toddler patterns if I didn't hack them down to size 1, thus
ruining sizes 2-4 forever. Now I can't imagine ever chopping up a tissue pattern again. It's so cheap - $1.99 per yard, 46" wide - and you just write on it with a sharpie or whatever. It's much firmer than tissue so the traced pattern will last and last, and once you're done with the pattern (ie: when your kid grows out of it) you can pass along or sell the original tissue pattern in un-cut, perfect condition. Try it, you'll like it!

So I tried to get some at W@lm@rt in the craft department, because I have been trying so hard to stay out of Joann Fabrics. The willpower, it dissolves in that place. But WM didn't have it. However, WM did have some excellent new toddler patterns for summer from my favorite company, McCall's easy stitch 'n save:

I don't know if these are actually new or not, but they are new to me. They are M5371, M5370, and M5351. The bottom one starts with size 3, so I guess we'll wait a year on that one. But maybe I can take it in a little and make it work this summer. My favorite is this one:

When I saw that little wrap top with the ric-rac on it, I freaked. LOVE!! As you know by now, I adore simple, simple, simple clothing for children that can be accented with trims and buttons. This pattern is perfect for that. Imagine the possibilities!! I adore view A with the coordinating pockets and trim. Can't wait to dive in and make this one.

Well, then I had to hit Joann's for the pattern-ease. I tried to just get it and leave, but you know how that place is. I managed to bypass the fabrics, but got hung up thinking about ric-rac and trims. After having a weird conversation with the lady at the cutting counter (Me: 5 yards of pattern-ease, please. Lady: so...you do a lot of pattern tracing? Me: yes. yes I do.) Daughter and I hit the trims. Lookee here:

These are some Tutti-Frutti fabrics and some cottons I got last summer on super-sale. There will be some sundresses, but also some shorts and/or tops, which will now have coordinating white pants or shorts or maybe a little jacket or whatever with perfectly coordinated ric-rac trim! The photo doesn't even do justice to the perfection of the matchiness. Yeah, watch out for some major ric-rac on this here blog...I have scads of it from my grandma's crafting stash and suddenly I'm liking it. Egads.

Moving on, luckily Joann's didn't have the yarn that I needed on sale, and I totally don't buy yarn at full price, like ever, because I think it is just silliness to do so. If you need it and can wait a week or two, inevitably one of the major stores will have a yarn sale. This week it was NOT Joann's so I got away clean yesterday. However, I am making myself a sweater and it needs a yoke, so I had to come up with some yarns.

I started Firth, from Rowan's A Season's Tale, a week ago today. I decided to buy the book sight unseen and knit the sweater based on Siri's gorgeous version, seen here. Luckily I had an Amazon gift certificate laying around and I was able to get the book used for a cheap-o price (it doesn't look remotely used, though, and has many, many awesome patterns, so it was totally worth buying). Thankfully Firth calls for worsted weight yarn, and I happened to have 5 skeins of Paton's Classic Merino, my go-to yarn for all worsted wool projects, in my stash. They are multiple dye lots of dark grey mix, but I had 2 the same for the sleeves and 2 the same for the fronts, and a solo skein for the back. I don't think there is much difference but since I didn't use multiple skeins for each piece, I can't see any problem. Here's the sweater and my chosen yarns:

Knit on US needles 7, 8, and 9, this sweater has been so fast to crank out. Here is where I am as
of this post:

Two sleeves knit up to the colorwork portion, the back also knit up to the start of the colorwork, and the start of the left front.

I really like the original colors you see in the picture from the book, but a gal with my coloring cannot wear that pea green without looking corpse-like. Also, hello, this was supposed to be a stash-buster. Which it still sort of is, but I did go to Michael's today, where Paton's Classic Merino is currently $3.99 (you're welcome, broke knitters like me! Go stock up!) and I grabbed one skein each of new denim, leaf green, royal purple, and natural mix. The red skein may be crimson, I'm not sure. That's a partial skein from my stash and the label is long gone.

Now, normally my knitting mantra is "texture, not colorwork" but in this case I am making an exception out of sheer loooooooooove of the pattern. This is a sweater I will wear until it falls apart, I just know it. Simple styling, soft yarn, beautiful patterning. And did I mention FAST? It will slow way down now that I've hit the fairisle portion, but I still think I can knock this one out by the end of February (don't hold me to it, though).

Oh, and also? There are directions for a child size Firth. Daughter and I could be matchy-matchy! Ok, maybe that would be pushing it.

Have a great weekend, all! Stay warm!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

my funny valentine

Do you have moments like I do when you wonder if your spouse knows anything about you? Moments when you think perhaps he has been asleep for a large portion of your marriage? Because how could he not know that you hate onions on your sub, don't like rose-scented things, dislike bubble baths, and no, this shirt is not new, you wore it on one of your first dates...

...but then your faith is restored when he shows up after work on Valentine's Day with something like this:

Coffee ice cream (which he hates so I never buy it), orange chocolate milanos for which I would sell my soul, Ghirardelli dark, dark chocolate with orange and hazelnut, and le petit ecolier cookies in dark and super dark chocolate. People, not only does he know me, he knows me well. And it is all for me, me, me. Well, ok, I will share. It would be kind of gross to eat all this myself. So who's coming over? I'll put the kettle on. Wear boots, it's really snowy out.

Sorry the blog has been wholly uninspiring lately. The truth is, between Daughter and I being sick and the general malaise of February, I haven't been too creative. Drunk on the excitement of finishing a sweater for myself, I started another and it's coming along. Photos when I get a bit further in the pattern. I have managed to get a couple sundresses cut out for Daughter:

I want to get more garments cut out before I set up the machines, but I've run out of pattern tracing material and need to hit Joann Fabrics for more. I haven't set foot in a craft/fabric/yarn store yet in 2007 and I hate to break the streak. Once I go in ugly things might happen and I've been so good using stash and saving money...but if I'm going to sew more summer clothes for Daughter I'll have to be strong and just shoot straight for the cutting counter. Wish me luck.

To answer April's question from the comments yesterday, ten years ago I was "studying abroad" in Australia, which is code for "going to the beach every day." Haha, just kidding Mom and Dad! I was studying hard! (Ok, not. But I made dean's list and that's good, right?)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

hot kool-aid

Ten years ago on Valentine's Day I was floating on my back in the Indian Ocean, roasting in the unbelievably intense Australian sun, slathering on the sunblock, laying on the sand, scooting back into the tepid water when I couldn't take the heat any longer, and laughing at the folks back home who were shoveling snow.

If you've been following the national weather scene, you know, as I do, that there is such a thing as karma.

In honor of V-day, I am dyeing some yarn red on my stovetop. The kitchen is filled with the stank-nasty aroma of hot kool-aid. Mmmmmmmmm.

Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours.

Monday, February 12, 2007

6 months

Today is the 12th, so it has been exactly 6 months since I said hello and goodbye to baby Elizabeth. Interestingly, it has also been almost exactly 1 year to the day since finding out I was pregnant with her.

I'm feeling pretty reflective about the whole thing today, trying to put words to my emotions. I've pretty much kept my grief and healing process off the blog, and that was a conscious decision. Rather than sitting here typing a bunch of angry or sad words, I've chosen to work through it myself. Yes, I know I am free to write and share and all that, but after the initial shock began to wear off, I chose to grieve quietly and personally. It has been working well, I think. I guess I just want to bring you in for a moment on this day, 6 months later, to let you all know that I am doing fine. 'Fine' is a relative term, of course, because I am still sad and sometimes angry and often hurting, but I can honestly say I don't feel straight-up awful anymore. And that is a sweet, sweet relief.

Last month, on the 12th, I was sitting with a friend and having lunch with our kids when she asked me how I was doing. She said, "you know, it really hasn't been that long." And that struck me, because truly, what is that long? What's a long time in this situation? 5 months certainly isn't long, but then again 5 years isn't that long either. When August 12, 2011 rolls around I will most likely be sitting against a headstone and weeping for my baby. And I know it will feel like it just happened. That's the nature of this whole thing. It never, ever goes away. It just becomes easier to work with the memories and get through my days. I think of my baby every single day. But I have come to a point where I can focus on her, on her tiny sweet face, on what it felt like to hold her in my arms, rather than on what I felt like. I can think of how beautiful she was, rather than thinking about the looks of pity and sadness on the faces of everyone around me. I can remember the things I said to her, rather than all the things that were said to me.

I think often about having another baby, as the idea of pregnancy slowly moves from 'terrifying' to 'exciting,' though I'm not there yet. And the thought will always scare me now, at least a little. We'll see what happens with that.

Hubs is good. He deals with it in his own way, though he doesn't like to talk about it. That's ok with me, as I know he is willing to discuss it if I need to. He just chooses not to bring it up.

And Daughter. Oh, Daughter. Love of my life, joy of my days, bringer of light and happiness in our home. I thank God she will not remember any of what went on. She drives us totally nuts in her almost-2-year-old way, but oh, how we adore her. I sit with her every morning at her request and we watch "It's a Big, Big World" and "Sesame Street" in our jammies under a blanket. I kiss her head and inhale her smell until she wiggles away. I treasure every kiss and hug she chooses to give. If nothing else, the experience of losing one child has made us a thousand times more grateful for the other.

So that is that. I just felt the need to say something and now I've done it and I feel better. Back to the regularly scheduled lightness and mild sarcasm in a day or two. Thanks for once again reading and understanding and supporting me.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


This. Badly. Right now.

Oh man, and these too.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

can't think. brain frozen.

Friends, you're going to love this. I wore the legwarmers today. For real. It was eleventy-billion degrees below zero and we had to go grocery shopping. I bundled my poor child up in her snow pants and boots and heavy coat; it only seemed right that I should be bundled as well. So I pulled on the legwarmers under my pants. They were rad! I was quite warm. To give you an idea of just how freezing it was today, I wore a hat. I never wear a hat - I am as vain as the next girl and I don't like the coiffure to be smushed. Not that I technically have a coiffure...but still. You know what I'm saying.

Luckily Hubs came through with the snowblower last night. His best friend helped us pick it up (with his truck) and they stood outside making the appropriate manly noises, blasting the snow. We have a tiny driveway and a front walk, and it still took them an hour and a half to clear it all. It's a good thing it works so well and Hubs likes using it, because now I'm not getting a new mattress and box spring for a long, long time. Darned homeownership. Costs too much.

I took advantage of the cold weather to put Daughter in her new sweater. When I originally knit it, I bound off the neck too tightly, which seems to be a trend around here. I don't know what my problem is...I have to remember to do a stretchy castoff from now on. I fixed it last night while the men did their thing outside, so she wore the sweater today.

Hallelujah, it fits!

Also of note: the sun is shining! It's not snowing!

That is all.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

cabin fever

It's snowing again. Ummm, God? Are you listening? This is enough snow, ok? It's pretty and all, but we'd rather not break our backs digging out of it. So you can stop hurling it at us now. Deal?

Hubs is heading to Home Depot after work to check out a new, very large snowblower. Which is awesome, because I was just thinking about lighting $1000 on fire and now I don't have to.

There is little choice, however, as there is a solid 4' X 4' block of snow in the driveway behind his car (thanks plow), another solid block at the end of our front walk and surrounding the mailbox (thanks again, plow), and did I mention it's coming down like gangbusters again? We managed to get my car dug out yesterday (Jeep) so Hubs could go to work today, but that leaves me with no
car. And even though it is 7 degrees F and snowing sideways, I still want my car because cabin fever? It is setting in. If Daughter and I don't get out of the house soon we will both go nuts. In the last 3 weeks I have been out 4 times. 4. FOUR TIMES. Target is going to go under if I don't start getting out again.

It is so bad that I am actually finishing projects I don't care about.

Wee minty green sweater. The pattern is from an old book (1940s) that once belonged to my great aunt. From what I have heard she was an amazing knitter who made full suits for herself and back then they did it with size 1 needles, peeps. None of this chunky and bulky weight business. And that is what you find in the baby pattern books from that time as well. I love and collect old pattern books, as I think it's worth it to make a dainty baby item from fingering weight yarn. It doesn't take that long and the result is so delicate and sweet.

This sweater is supposed to be a 1-year size. I don't know if it really is because my 1-year old will be a 2-year old in about two seconds, so I have no one to try it on. The yarn is some sort of cheesy fingering-weight acrylic, which I often use for baby items because hey, it's soft, and also machine wash-and-dryable.

Needles used: US sizes 1 and 3

It has no buttons yet, and it hasn't been washed. It came from the needles straight to you, internet. I'll wash it and slap on some buttons, and then pack it away for whenever.

And then there's a project that I do care about.

Behold! This is the mighty Kinsale, sweater of doom that has haunted me for years. I think the timeline goes like this:

Late winter 2004: Get Elsebeth Lavold silky wool for birthday gift, cast on for Kinsale
Spring and early summer 2004: Knit happily on Kinsale using (US) size 3 needles. Finish front and back. Begin sleeves.
August 2004: Get pregnant. Forget about Kinsale, won't be able to wear it anyway.
April 2005: Have baby. Ignore Kinsale. Summer is coming.
Fall 2005: Ignore Kinsale. Can't wear it while breastfeeding anyway. Besides, there are way too many cute kid sweaters to knit. Feel a bit guilty about Kinsale anyway because that yarn was pricey, yo.
Winter 2005: Make half-hearted effort to finish Kinsale. Complete sleeves.
Late winter 2006: Get pregnant. Forget Kinsale. Again.
Summer 2006: Well, you all know that story.
Fall/Winter 2006:
Knit neckband but bind off too tightly so it won't go over head. Become disgusted. Throw it in a heap.
Winter 2007: Realize 3 years is quite a bit too long and finish the stupid sweater already. Undo the neck cast-off, redo it with a larger needle and a stretchy method. Sew up the sleeves and underarms over 2 nights of lousy TV. Sigh contentedly. Post to blog.

Pattern: Kinsale from Alice Starmore's Fishermen's Sweaters
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold silky wool. I don't know what the color is anymore - granite, maybe? In some light it is very gray, in other light it is greenish. I had either 8 or 10 balls and used almost every last yard.
Needles: US 1 and 3 circular
Mods: Mine is a tad shorter than specified in the pattern because I am short-waisted and didn't want it hugging my hips and bottom. It hits me around hip-level and I like it. Good thing I did this, too, because I would have run out of yarn otherwise.

Also, silky wool is technically a sport or dk weight yarn and size 6 needles are recommended. However, it knit up very nicely on smaller needles and is not stiff at all. In retrospect this was not the best yarn choice for the pattern. It's very slubby and nubby and does not show off the stitches very well. A disappointment, to be sure, but I didn't know enough at the time of purchase to disagree with the yarn shop owner who recommended it. That just goes to show you, ladies and germs...don't always assume your LYS is offering the most appropriate guidance. Take a more experienced knitter with you for help if you can. I wish I had. Oh well, I like the sweater and I will wear it. If nothing else I'm happy to remove this particular albatross from around my neck.

Only one more silly little languishing knitting project to finish up, and then I can make something all new! What to knit, what to knit.....well, heaven knows it will come from stash yarn because I can't get to the store, and also, all our money will be sunk into that new snowblower by the end of the day. Boo.

Monday, February 05, 2007

snowed in

Greetings from my snow igloo...er, I mean, my house. Which you can barely see because it is covered - covered - in snow.

This is the view from my family room window yesterday afternoon. That's a fence and 2 cars. Can you see them? Yeah, no kidding.

Here is Hubs making his way from the back door to the shed to get the snowblower out. That's the grill in the foreground. Turns out the snowblower was useless against this much snow anyway. We just spent the last 1.5 hours digging out one car. Just one. I am typing this with my arms pressed against my sides because if I lift them my muscles all scream at once. Ow.

Wind chills of -10 = too cold to play outside. So we brought the snow inside. This is Daughter's snowman. She plays happily in a tupperware container of snow until she suddenly declares it "too COLD, mommy!"

There's plenty of time to knit when you can't get out of the house. I have 2 finished sweaters (!!) to show, but I can't move enough to get off the couch and take pictures.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

light reading for the weekend

I forgot to write about this last week, and since no one posts on the weekend - I mean you can practically hear yourself echo across the internet - I thought it might be a good time to share.

Daughter before:

Daughter after:

Yes, we cut off the baby mullet. I used to think it was cute, but it had gotten so long in back that she looked messy all the time. It is still extremely fine and flyaway, but we think it looks much nicer this way. And yes, we did it ourselves, which was a little risky but it worked out.

My little baby is growing up.

Friday, February 02, 2007

nothing to say

I got nothin' today. Still sick, but slowly getting better. No ear infection, hooray, but I had my ear 'flushed out' yesterday and can I just tell you how disgusting that was? Yeah. Eew.

If you are a brave soul and you think poo is funny, go read this. I will be back next week.

(Also, hi, I am not bright. I couldn't get my fonts to change on that last post because I was in Edit Html mode instead of Compose mode. Duuuuurrrrrrrrrrrr.....)