Here, kitty, kitty, kitty…

The boys still seem determined to play with/carry around/love on the kitties every chance they can. I’m waiting for them to start visibly shaking when they see a child approaching, but it hasn’t happened yet! In an effort to bribe the boys into giving me a few minutes of piece the other day, I handed them the camera. They came back 1/2 hour later with all the memory used. My favorite was a series of pictures taken of one the kitties — Sabertooth.

sabertooth 1

sabertooth 2

sabertooth 3

He is a pretty kitty…just as serious as his expression (do cats have expressions?).

Anywho, all this time gave me a chance to finish up these:

buttknits soaker 7

buttknits soaker 4 buttknits soaker 5

buttknits soaker 6

This gusset is awesome. 🙂 I love how trim these are — the gusset really allows you to keep the front quite low.

buttknits soaker 8

Now if I can just convince my dh that they aren’t capris…they’re “board shorts!” 😉

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I’ve finished some things in the last week…

mmmm!
MMmmmmm! The orange one was pretty tasty, too…

oops!
This was fantastic (and, for the record — the work of 3 evenings); very, very mellow. If you haven’t been able to find a red wine you could handle, start with this one!

But seriously…I have finished some things…

books
These 4 books were fantastic. The midwives books were fictional, but filled with tons of “truth.” Both amazing reads. The Siblings book is, quite simply, an essential for anyone with more than one child. I’ll be buying it for my own library (along with the “How to talk so kids will listen…” book by the same authors). And if anyone has heard of Flylady, then you probably recognize Sink Reflections. I’m not big on joining things with big lists of rules, but she has a great way of helping you organize yourself.

Wait…this is a knitting blog, huh? Well I haven’t finished any knitting, but I do have some decent progress:

buttknits.com front view buttknits.com side view

I am LOVING the stripes — I swear stripes make me knit faster! The short rows in the back were no problem — I just made each stripe one complete set of rounds (i.e. k 5 rounds then 1 short row round). We’ll see how they fit — they feel a little short in the rise, but the excellent gusset may take care of that.

dr. who scarf 6

I’ve finished around 730-odd rows out of 1042…I’m ahead of schedule (how many times have I bragged about that? lol), and still enjoying picking it up every few days — probably because I’m still enamoured with my new knitting bag. 🙂

None of this is what I’m most excited about, though. What I’m absolutely thrilled about, is my baby. My baby (okay, I suppose at almost 17 months he could be considered a toddler) has taken another step away from total dependence on Mommy (dangit, now I’m tearing up).

After dinner today, I skipped out and headed over to my lys for knit night. I expected a call to come take care of Spencer after 1/2 hour or so as he had a super early nap, but my dh kept him (and his brothers) occupied for a good 1 1/2 hours. Then, after calling me so I could start back, he pulled out the final weapon in our arsenal of distractions. He took them for a walk with the baby in the stroller. I returned home to an empty house & had time to unwind for a few minutes before I heard them coming up the walk. But that isn’t the exciting part. Oh no. This is:

DH brought baby back asleep. Not just asleep in the stroller, but asleep as he picked him up, carried him into the house & laid him on the bed. Spencer proceeded to sleep for 1 1/2 hours before waking to nurse!

Dude. The possibilities are endless…I’m becoming giddy at the thought of the possible freedom I’m seeing glimpses of…

What’s one more?

Project, that is…

Buttknits soaker - testknit

I’m test-knitting a wool (cloth diapering) shortie/longies pattern for Buttknits. I had planned stripes with these 3 bright colors (LOVE peace fleece); but now I’m a bit stuck on how to work them in a (visually) pleasing manner when there are short rows all through the back. Hmmm… I probably shouldn’t be making such loud shorts — he won’t have any shirts to match…too bad — I like loud striped clothes on boys!

Here are a couple of the other missing pictures… dh & I got all ambitious last weekend did some of those “easy but possibly annoying” projects that end up taking only a few minutes:

knitting bag fixing knitting needle

Better yet, they both work! I sanded down the glue residue & have been knitting on the needle happily, and the knitting bag (don’t you love dh’s improvised 4th clamp?) is happily holding my (currently 8 foot, 1 inch) Dr. Who Scarf.

I also finally finished my sister’s Christmas bag (Christmas in July, anyone?). I hope she likes the end product.

Alleysha's bag

Alleysha's bag Alleysha's bag

My daisy blanket isn’t finished yet, but I’ve got the petals sewn down & it’s all ready for my next child-free-before-11pm sewing opportunity. Hopefully it won’t be covered in dust before that chance arises.

daisy blanket

*************************
Ugh; no staying power… I hit midnight & all coherent thought fades away. Anyhow, here are this week’s random links:

Knitty Summer Surprises are up — I kinda like Teach. A new (at least to me) online knitting mag has an issue going live August 4th — I’m really looking forward to seeing them — that cabled table runner is lookin’ pretty cool… Finally, I’m playing at doing a bit of designing & found this nifty knitting chart creator.

G’night, all!

Picture-less progress

I’ve been getting so many things done lately, that I haven’t wanted to take the time to load, edit & post all the pictures of them! Soon though, very soon… you will see a (hopefully) beautiful blanket destined for Etsy (if I can bear to part with it), a terribly over-due bag all finished for my sister, great progress on several different knitting projects, and some fun little buys at this year’s River Days (colonial America reenactment). I’ve also started a cat bed made from braided (ahem…to-be-braided) strips of fabric; the boys have helped with the strip ripping/cutting.

I found these two links for info on how to make the bowl/bed/rug part here and here. I also came across an article from Times magazine on the benefits of insanely expensive gasoline. It was actually interesting.

Okay, off to work now. The baby’s having a nap, so I need to do something constructive while I have the chance — dh is gone all week on a business trip; ugh!

A blog sin…

I have committed a blog sin. I spent a beautiful evening at an area beach with my gorgeous children, a pretty new knitting project & yummy food…and I forgot my camera! There were so many golden moments. Spencer just walking right into the water (up to his knees, at least) and bending down to examine the stones in the sand. Ian & Aiden’s hole digging, moat building & sand fights. All three of my little angels with the sun shining through their hair as they smiled & pointed at the (not too) brazen seagulls. Specifically for ya’ll, I wanted to capture the shot of my own silhouette in a sunhat with my knitting needles & project clearly shown against the beach blanket; very cool looking. It was definitely a nice outing that we’ll take again.

If you’re near me, you can check out the park and beach here. They just put in a spray park that is awesome, although my kids only watched & ran around the outside; none of them like getting water dumped or sprayed on their heads & faces.

Since I’ve no pictures today, how about some Linkie Love:

Here is a Mercola link regarding rBGH in cow’s milk — scary stuff. I regularly buy organic milk, but organic cheese is harder to find since we boycott Horizon products. I need to take the time to search for some better dairy sources. A newsletter/email from Mothering.com sent me a link to a study regarding food coloring & it’s effects on kids .

And just for the heck of it, a shout out to Pandora — a great (free) music streaming site. The first time I used it, I typed in an artists name & song I was in the mood to hear & after playiing that it proceeded to play other songs it thought I might like. Whenever I feel like it I can press the “love it” or “hate it, don’t play it again” buttons to help the site learn my preferences. You can also skip songs w/o it “learning” if you aren’t in the mood for a certain song at that moment. I understand you can create different “stations” if you want different sounds/styles at different times. I only have one right now — a laid back country station, heavy on the Travis Tritt, Clay Walker & Garth Brooks. It’s great to work in the craft room to. 🙂

I’m hoping to have a few craft room updates for ya’ll soon, if I can tear myself away from my new knitting project.

Do you ever have those days…

…where you do really dumb things? Many really dumb things? Every time I turned around I seemed to do something else that was just, well, dumb.

The first one caused me to utter a very naughty word.

broken needle

I hopped onto the couch where I had (lazily) left my knitting bag. My knee landed right on the middle of the needle. GRRRR… My pretty Peace Fleece needle (that my cheap self actually paid full price for instead of waiting for a co-op). I’m going to attempt to glue it & then sand it down a bit, so maybe I can still use it.

One the up-side, I’m really happy with the blanket so far. I’m using the same yarn & colors Rae used in her original blanket (ravelry link, sorry — I couldn’t find a pic on her blog) — there will be 2 blocks done in each of 6 colors (I ran out of money before I had a chance to purchase the last color – orange, I think, lol).

extravayarnza block blanket

I think my pic captures the depth of the pics a bit better than Rae’s finished blanket pic (but hers shows the patterns a lot better). The yarn is “Rustic Wool” from Queensland Collection. It’s a bit expensive (for me) — but it’s so beautiful, soft & yummy, that I don’t mind. I’ve finished 2 squares — you may remember the 1st one from a post back in February or March.

block 1 block 2

Here’s as far as I am on the 3rd:

block 3

There are 7 blocks “out” so far, so I have a bit of catching up to do, although these have been easy enough for me to complete in a couple days of casual knitting time. Once I have two needles again, that is. *rollseyes*

The 2nd dumb thing I managed today had to do with carelessness with the razor. Sadly this is not the first time in my life I’ve whipped my hand a bit too near my body and come away with a nice razor cut…it’s probably good that I handed off the apple peeling to dh today!

Thankfully there was only 1 more less than intelligent event today, although it could have been much worse than just dumb. I think Mom’s of many will agree that once you have 2-3 little ankle biters you start forgetting (sometimes) just how little the little ones are, and expect more of them than you should. My big one is expecting the baby to not only understand, but follow my instructions.

I could smack myself upside the head for today’s comment of “don’t play with that trike right there, drive down the sidewalk a bit, honey.” ‘Right there’ being on the sidewalk in front of the driveway, which has a nice incline (decline?) into the road, of course. I then compounded things by turning away to water a plant & not turning back until I head the neighbor’s “Whoa, buddy – stop, stop, stop!!” and running footsteps.

My heart was saved from stopping outright only because during the interminable run to the baby (who came to a natural rolling stop in the gutter beside the road) I could see that there weren’t any cars coming (we live on a pretty quiet street, thanks to the small blocks & frequent stop signs). Spencer was fine — other than being slightly ticked at being taken out of the road — which seems to be his ultimate goal whenever we’re in the front yard. (I soooo cannot wait for THAT stage to be over!)

Anyone else care to admit to any moments they’re less than proud of lately?

PS… Linkie for those who asked about Tunes by the Tridge & the Artists Market

…and a cute baby pic (to prove he’s unharmed! ;)). Don’t mind the messy craft room — it’s actually much, much cleaner that it was a couple weeks ago…I’ll finish it up eventually!

spencer in craft room

Momma 0 – Kids 4,542

Peaknit wrote about it last month…those days when the kids “win.” It’s been like that lately. I feel as if I’m fighting them for everything some days & yelling at them for fighting with each other (which totally works *rolleyes*). Really, I think we just need some direction. They’re great when they’re engaged in something:

grandma's house
— it’s boredom (or excessive TV time) that brings on the aggression. We also need to work on some clear-cut rules (that we can actually enforce) regarding some new members of our family:

new kitties
Blog; meet Sabertooth & Boots (yea, those names match wonderfully, huh?). Sabertooth is the short-hair in front; he’s shy but fierce when cornered & loves to play pounce on his brother (he also would love to be left alone most of the day, but that is not to be his lot in life, I fear). Boots is his longish-haired brother who is very friendly & puts up with a LOT from a certain trio of young boys (although getting his leg pulled made him less than happy today). Boots was almost named Mary Jane, as his white feet in front have that look, but dh quickly commented on “MJ’s” other meaning, so Boots it is.

In “other” news, Spencer has finally stopped smackin’ his little cousin up side the head…now he’s forever lovin’ on her. Hugs & kisses all the time…

spencer & haley 1

She doesn’t seem too traumatized…

spencer & haley 2

These pics were taken during our July 4th visit with family. We stayed with little Miss Haley’s Mom & Dad (my sister), then all drove over to my other sister’s house for fireworks (she lives next to the fairgrounds) and the birthday of one of my nephews. I’m proud to say that not only did I finish his blanket on time (i.e., I wasn’t 2 hours late to the party!),

braxton blanket

but I also made & delivered the blanket for my other nephew whose party we missed last month:

willie blanket
That is a fireman’s hat in the center, there. I’m sure you would have known if you’d seen the center fabric up close — it’s Curious George & fire trucks. The 3 is in reference to his age. Both boys really seemed to like their blankets, so I’m happy. The niece I made the blanket for back in January or so actually pulled hers out to sit on during the fireworks, as did my older nephew with his flames blanket. It’s so cool to make things for kids that they like. 🙂

Now I only have 2 nieces left to make blankets for — and my own kids, of course (and I just realized that all 5 of those blankets have been started already!). I’ve pretty much held to my initial challenge of using stash fabric. I bought several yards of yellow to have matching backs, as I said I would; but on the 3rd I realized I didn’t have a large enough blanket for my 9 year old nephew (dude is TALL!), so I had to go buy some black to trim it in. I almost had a fit when I realized they didn’t have any black flannel (come on, Joann’s — if you’re going to stock flannel with flames & skulls & crossbones, you need to stock some black, too!). I ended up finding some clearanced “crinkle cotton” that wasn’t “crinkled” at all. It has a similar weight & color/tone, so it worked out fine. Plus it was only a buck or two. 🙂

On the knitting front, I’ve been plodding along on all my projects, just a bit at a time, in between cleaning up my craft/sun room, going through old paperwork, and sewing. I’m hoping to have some progress pics soon. Especially of Mingus. It’s a beautiful sock. I’m trying to do several rounds every evening. It has a chart that you have to read 2 different spots on (twice) for each round, so it isn’t all that great for tv knitting, and I’m usually pretty pooped by the end of the day. I’m also making nice headway on my chevron scarf, although it looks awfully wrinkled… I thought I was knitting too tightly so I started knitting more loosely & it hasn’t really helped. Hmmm… I blocked the end of it at 8 inches along & it was okay, I should try again now that it’s closer to 2 ft.

I don’t have a lot of links today, I really haven’t been at the computer very often, lately. But Knitscene’s Fall magazine has released it’s online preview, and there are some really neat patterns in it. I particularly like the Opulent Raglan, which I now see was designed by Knit & Tonic‘s Wendy Benard. Of course — she does great work. 🙂 There are a lot of other things I might knit, too, so I’ll probably pick this issue up when it hits newsstands.

I also found this new cardie from Berroco while surfing Ravelry last week. It’s amazing & is screaming for me to knit it — for me! Of course, although I have yarn for 2 different (yet to be determined) sweaters, I’m pretty sure the gauge will be wrong on both of them for this pattern. And there is the simply stunning scarf that I just *must* try someday. It’s so unusual looking — and pretty, without being “cutsie” (which I abhor).

I’m off to pay some bills & knit a bit — I think I deserve a break after today (did I mention dh had to work a 12 hour day, today? Thank God for fast food or I think I would have turned into the little old lady who lived in the shoe!). I may just have to open that bottle of Pinot Noir that jumped into my bag at the corner store, today…

And of course…gratuitous cute baby shot:

spencer @ grandmas 1