It’s been a while…

I haven’t been feeling the urge to blog, lately. Maybe it’s because all of my knitting projects are long term ones? Not that I mind that. Just the other night I happily sat down to a cute chick flick with 4 different projects & knit on each one for as long as I wanted **the baby slept for 3 entire hours alone!!!***

My Noro socks are plodding along — I might have another inch before the heel. The chevron scarf is about 13 inches long, and I’ve finally started working on my sister’s Mingus socks again. I also knit (most of) a white sunhat for Spencer…except it ended up fitting me! Of course the “bucket” is too shallow looking, so it doesn’t quite work for me either. I’m going to have to rip all the way back to the top to re-make it for Spence, or all the way back to above the stripe for me (I really think the stripe needs to be at the bottom of the bucket part). Ugh. Heavy/slubby worsted weight cotton knit on 5’s…my fingers are starting to cramp up just thinking about it…here it is in it’s present state:

sunhat 1

I have dreams of similar ones for both of the other boys (and myself, lol) with different stripes…orange & green, light & dark green… I’m not sure if I’ll ever get to it, though.

In other news, I’ve been reading some great parenting books. The first was “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline,” and the second was “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk.” The former is good, but aimed at slightly older kids, but the latter is simply amazing. The same authors wrote “Siblings Without Rivalry” which I’ll be hunting down soon. I really enjoyed the easy format, little stories (even cartoons in them, lol), and non-preachy style. They pretty much verbalized my parenting philosophy, but also gave me resources & ideas on how to practically carry them out. Now to just get the energy to do so! DH is going to be reading the “How to Talk..” book now that I’ve finished it (a bit unenthusiastically). I’m really hoping that it will give him some insight into our 3 year old so he doesn’t get so annoyed with him.

Oh! Check out said 3 year old’s new “do!”

aiden haircut

Also please note the 2 different sandals. This is deliberate and a carry over from a winter of purposely mis-matched socks. Ah well, different drummers & all that, right? I actually think it’s kinda cute! Ds1, on the other hand, has just adapted the 2 shirt style; I think he’s been watching too much Zach & Cody. 😉

Here’s a look at my gorgeous niece, Haley & her Mom & Dad (my sis & my bil).

haley

She is such a sweet, squishy little thing — almost 10 months old & crawling around & trying to pull up all over. I bet she’d come visit more often if Spencer stopped bashing her in the head with toys…

On the stash accumulation front, I have only a little to share. I received the last of my Zen Yarn Garden “subtle solids” sock yarn collection:

zen string "bling yarn"

This is “bling yarn.” Hmmmm…. I’m not much of a bling person, but still — the color is nice, & I do have a couple teen-aged sisters… All in all it was a fun club, but I won’t be re-upping. Maybe I’ll try another club this fall when the holiday present money comes in.

On the non-yarn front, the local Artists market started up a couple weeks ago. I love it, but I feel guilty that I can’t buy more, you know? This week I’ve saved up my money to buy a pottery bowl from the nice boy who just graduated high school (I think) who’s saving up for a kiln. In the meantime, I bought a couple little things…

artists market

That face just makes you smile, doesn’t it?

And then I made the “mistake” of wandering by the Artist’s Co-op on Main St. and saw this in the window…it’s the reason I was broke last week & couldn’t buy the pottery bowl then!

glass

I have to show ya’ll this stuff because when I show my dh, he makes charming comments such as, “this is what you spend your money on?” Humpfh…lol.

Anywho, I’m off to knit a few rows/rounds before bed, or maybe read another chapter in this Obama biography…interesting, and not entirely complementary, but quite honest (sounding). I’ll let you know when I’ve finished.

If anyone has any recommendations, I’d be interested in reading up on McCain, as well (erm, not that I see myself voting for him, but still — I like to be educated, you know?).

G’night!

Chevron

chevron scarf 2

I know, I know…not quite the red you envisioned, right? Well, I started with the gorgeous red & brown & it ended up looking…red & brown. It was really pretty, but also really stripy. So I dug through my stash & found this skein of Sereknity’s Sock Options in “Triple Scoop.” It’s the skein I won from Tiennie last Christmas/Advent during her wonderful giveaway. The colors are coming along beautifully — I really think the key is having one color in common between the two different yarns, and at least one should have some noticeable contrasts (i.e. the white in the triple scoop).

I’m not certain this will become my “perfect” scarf when it’s finished, but I’ll definitely enjoy wearing it (I mean after I rip it & cast on for the 48 st. version instead of the 36 st. one I’m doing now…).

Warning: picture intensive post ahead!

Where do I start? Why not open with a crazy 3 year old who wanted his picture taken. I made the mistake of asking him to smile… lol

aiden 1 aiden 2

aiden 3 aiden 4

aiden 5 aiden 6

aiden 7 aiden 8

Yea, our hands are full with this one…and when did his hair get so long? He & I are currently in negotiations regarding a hair cut. He seems happy to follow big brother’s lead & get his hair cut…when he’s 5, like big brother… No problem, right? Embrace the hippy? I’d be on board with it, but he’s also declining to have his hair brushed or washed

On to more pics…my Mom & her new husband are currently turning 2 homes worth of stuff into 1. House 1 has been lived in for about 18 years & house 2 for a good 50 years (childhood home). The week before the sale she invited all the kids out to come & take what they wanted. I tried to control myself, but failed miserably. I came home with 2 garbage bags of old blankets & sheets, 2 dressers, and a bunch of miscellaneous things as well.

033 034
I’m totally keeping the Smurf stuff! I’ll probably pass the Strawberry Shortcake stuff on to a friend, though.

hankies
Aren’t these hankies pretty? I’m seeing a pretty summer quilt with these appliquéd like faux squares.

But here…here is the best part:

sm socks box

I was innocently digging through 20 year old McDonald’s action figures, old fair tickets & hot wheels when I found the box, so I wasn’t expecting much. But lookie here!!

sm socks

“Oh,” my Mom says, “we have some more of those, if you’re interested.”

Interested; me? What gave it away? My gasp of pleasure, or the happy dance I did?

dozen sock monkey sock pairs

That’s a dozen pair — and one pair is green. The plastic packages have instructions for the monkeys — or an elephant. I was even considering keeping a couple pair to wear…

sock monkey socks!

But my toe ends a good 1/2 inch before the white toe of the sock begins! Maybe I’ll get ambitious someday and cut & graft them to fit me.

When I tried on the sock, I found this little paper in the toe — I’d be surprised if you could find a company that would offer this kind of a guarantee anymore…

sock monkey socks guarantee

What really got me was when my new “step-dad” came in and got all nostalgic about his Mom making the sock monkeys when he was little. Of course I offered to make him one, but he almost made me teary when he said he’d rather I made one for his Mom. (all together, now) Ahhhhh…

Yea, my Mom got a good one this time. 🙂

Weak…so very, very weak…

chevron scarf yarn

It seems that just yesterday I was thinking that I had plenty of yarn & was getting kinda geeked about knitting what I had for a while. And then, while enjoying myself at my lys’s knitting night, innocently petting new arrived yarns, I spotted that gorgeous red. “Really Red.” Yum. I don’t know if you noticed, but I’m becoming slightly enamored with shaded solid yarns & I’m a down-right sucker for a nice, deep red. Still, I would have passed by if I hadn’t spotted the very reasonable pricetag & the generous (or at least very respectable) 450 yard put-up.

Before I realized what I was doing I was sitting beside the Pagewood Farm cubby pawing through all the gorgeous hanks rationalizing thinking that I had been wanting to make a chevron scarf forever, and at that price, I’d be a fool to pass up the opportunity. 😉 With Jill, Ashley & Martel‘s (Martel seems to be blogless, but this is her ravelry page) input, I decided on the red to go with the “Mississippi Mud” that is perfect for the scarf.  If I hadn’t been trying to be responsible (I only went $5 over my weekly budget, lol) I would have walked out with the gorgeous orange shaded hank & probably the green/teal/ocean one as well!

I had a great time at the knit night, but I’m going to have to put blinders on or something!  I’m actively trying to forget that she has the exact colorway I’ve been looking for on & off to complete the yardage for a sweater for moi.  Really.  I didn’t even notice it.  Until next week when I have a little more cash, at least.

Finito!

I’m going to feel really dumb if I spelled that wrong… lol Anyway; here is the first pair of finished shorties for my friend.

leah's shorties 2

leah's shorties 1

And look, they match my overgrown green onions… 😉 Stats:

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Needles: size 5 & 7 16 inch circs, size 5 dpns
Gauge: 5 sts/inch
Pattern: my own — in short hand below…
Finished Measurements: waist: 14-22 inches; hips: 20 1/2-26 inches; thigh cuff: 9-12 inches; rise: 18-21 inches (measured from drawstring to crotch)

CO 80 sts on size 5’s

*k2, p2* 5 R
*k2, yo, p2tog* 1 R
*k2, p2* 6 R
k 1 R

switch to size 7’s
*k13, inc 1* k2
k 1 R

repeat these 2 R 3x’s =98sts

k til front is 8 1/2 inches & back is 9 1/2 inches (3 sets of short rows — 1st one after 1st set of increases, 2nd & 3rd set about every 9 R after that)

Move preceding 24 sts onto dpns, then k next 25 sts onto dpns

join new R

*k1, ssk, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1*

k 2 R

repeat these 3 rows 3xs

switch to 5’s

k 1 R, k to last 3 sts, inc 1 =44sts

*k2 p2* 6 R

BO

join yarn for second leg, leaving a tail to sew up hole in crotch, repeat leg instructions.

For drawstring: hold 2 strands of yarn together & crochet a chain about 34 inches.

I knit these to the measurements of my friend’s little girl, but I was off a little bit (apparently my 1 inch guage swatch didn’t get it done as well as it could have… ;)). The great thing about baby clothes is, an inch (okay, okay an inch & a half…!) isn’t necessarily a big deal. In this case, it just means that the cover will have a bit of negative ease over the diaper. I have a few knit covers like this & it doesn’t seem to be a big deal. Still, once baby actually tries these on, I’ll tweak my pattern. I have enough yarn to do about 3 more pair of shorties, should they be wanted.

It was nice to get these started & done so quickly — 3 days & they were finished with ends woven in. I did a rudimentary stitch count and realized that the number of sts is about equal to knitting the cuff, leg & heel flap/turn of my Noro sock. Sort of puts things into perspective. I knit much more quickly on circs (when not magic-looping, anyway) & with a nice combo of yarn weight & needle size. I’ll have to remember this next time I want a bit of instant gratification. I’m sure not getting it with the Bucket hat I’m knitting — heavy/slubby worsted cotton knit on 5’s…ugh! Anywho…

I also received my 2nd installment of the Zen Yarn Garden semi-solid sock yarn club a couple weeks ago!

zen yarn garden bamboo

This is called “Bamboolicious Yarn” and it’s a 70/20/10 superwash merino/bamboo/nylon blend. The color is Pine Grove. Love it! This one has less variances than last month’s pink — which I’m happy about. Hopefully I’ll get to actually knitting it up sometime soon. Although I might finish up some of my partial socks first & repair my other 2 pair.

Oh, and just so ya’ll can join in the impatient waiting…Knitty‘s Summer edition will be up any day (minute…second) now! Can’t wait to see what they have for us this season. 🙂