Spring has sprung…

and I am apparently obsessed with market bags…

girlfriend's market bag market bag 2

market bag 3 market bag 4

The last one pictured is finished & I’ve started a fifth one…in my defense, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside, and the work there is using up all my mental energy. These bags are perfect no thinking projects, and if you keep them small (less than 2 skeins of sugar n cream), they they are interesting (love me some stripes! lol) and fast. Just when you are tired of the bottom, you move onto the lace pattern. Then you switch back down to your gorgeous 7inch knitpicks harmony dpns for the top band & the strap. Best of all, if you keep it smallish, it won’t stretch down to your calves (or, if you’re me…ankles!). The green and white one ended up too big, and I imagine I was quite comical to watch at the farmers market last week. I may have already posted the pattern link, but if not, it’s the grrlfriend market bag pattern. This is a ravelry link, it looks like that’s the only place it’s offered, sorry! I have to admit that I didn’t look that closely at the pattern; it’s mostly intuitive. So when it came time to graft the handle it didn’t even occur to me to check the pattern to see if there were instructions. I ended up searching the internet and finding the wonderful Woolly Wormhead, who was kind enough to post tutorials on both reverse stockinette and garterstitch grafting. I think I’d figured out reverse stockinette (which is just the exact opposite of regular stockinette), but garterstitch left me scratching my head. Thanks, Woolly Wormhead!

As to my outside work…I repaired the damage from my huge truck (our almost 100 year old house has a predictably narrow driveway, so I had to park a little on the yard if Tim and I both wanted to be able to open the doors to our vehicles while parked). Of course I have a pretty van now (well, pretty as long as you don’t look at the interior — why can’t they match interior carpet to the color of ground up pretzels?). I could have probably just waited a couple years and the grass would have grown back, but we needed a little path there anyway. As a huge bonus, this was a free project — Tim found the bricks (over 11 dozen!) in one of the crawl spaces under the house! Now we need just a little grass seed to finish it off. 🙂

pathway

finished brick pathway

I’ve also succeeded in building cages/covers from chicken wire to go over my 2 “square foot gardening” boxes. I cleaned them of weeds a couple weeks ago, and the cats promptly began using them as their outdoor litter box. Now that the boxes are protected, I can de-poop them, and plant some veggies! I’d planned to do that today, but it wasn’t very nice out — a tiny bit chilly with a cold wind. Plus it was just an *ugh* kind of day. Do you ever have those? Crankiness prevails throughout the house, and every potential good thing is just a little bit off. Ugh. It’s good that it’s done, I think.

Hmmm…that was depressing — I think we need some pretty spring pictures to make it better, right? lol My boys & I picked these a week or two ago — the grape hyacinth were spread all over the yard just the same as the dandelions. 🙂

spring bouquet

Every year we have more; it’s great. 🙂 This photo shows the….Forsythia? bush outside my craft/sun room window as well. The pretty yellow blooms are already gone, unfortunately. At least I have a pretty new header to remind me of it!

spring bouquet 2

Possibly the ultimate of all spring events — my youngest sister graduated from high school…isn’t she a pretty, sweet girl?

Ellen -- the graduate!

Of course my family all attended…we were the loudest cheering section there (with the exception of the people with the fog horn…cheaters!).

my tiny family

This is what I consider my immediate family — my 4 sisters & 1 brother, along with their spouses & children (and mine, of course), my mom & her husband, my grandparents, uncle & cousin (all from my mom’s side). This picture is actually missing a few people — half-sisters & their families, and my cousin’s daughter. It makes for interesting holiday gatherings, let me tell you!

Good gracious! I almost forgot my most exciting knitting news! I finally, finally finished up the baby sweater for my friend’s baby. Just in time for summer in Florida, naturally. Ah well — it’s really only the weight of a heavy t-shirt, so perhaps it will get some use. And as she’s done a little knitting here & there, I think she’ll recognize it for the gift of love & affection that it is.

Jamiee's baby Sparrow's new sweater

and a close-up of the ram symbol:

Ram

Astrological signs are important to my friend too, so I thought she’d appreciate this. Of course it reminded me how much I hate detail work…I’m still trying to convince myself to embrace the uniqueness of the finished product & to stop expecting perfection. Mostly though, I just don’t look too close! lol

I’m hoping that Jamiee gets a chance to take some better pictures — this yarn is truly beautiful & deserves some better showcasing. It’s Blue Heron Mercerized Egyptian Cotton lace weight — I’m pretty sure I used half or less of this skein — crazy!

Well, the laptop is about to die, and it’s about midnight, so let me pass on my random links before I run out of time! Here is an awesome link about Goodwill/Salvation Army and recycled clothes — did you know they even want your ripped up & useless stuff?! Awesome — the less that hits the landfill the better. 🙂 My other links are huge time wasters…but they’re funny! Tales from Labor & Delivery, Cake Wrecks, Passive-Aggressive Notes, and the one that’s had me laughing my tush off all week, Not Always Right. I’m on page 164…no wonder the laundry isn’t done!

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Look Ma, I sewed!

mb's b-day bag 1 mb's b-day bag 2

I had no choice, really — I needed something to put my friend’s 30th birthday present in! Mary Beth is one of my best friends; we met in 6th grade and by 7th were inseparable. So for her birthday I loaded the bag up with some of our old treats…crazy stuff like pickles and oil & vinegar chips — we used to watch the same movies over and over and over again. Anyone remember Kuffs? Man in the Moon? I’ll never forget the day we were watching Michelle & Romy’s High School Reunion and her (very conservative) parents came home. I swear we flinched every single time they swore; if you’ve ever seen it, you would know we probably looked like we had some seizure disorder…it was very, very bad. lol

Of course, being my best friend, she was also able to pointedly bring up her Christmas present…the daisy blanket I started sewing about a year ago.

daisy blanket

I may have to pull it out and finish it…or be razzed relentlessly (the things people can get away with when they’ve known you since you were 12).

On the knitting front…I’m avoiding 1: some finish work, 2: a heel turn, and 3: (most pathetic of all) picking up a piece of paper to write on so I can keep track of another project before I move on to the next part of it.

Instead I’ve been knitting an awesome market bag that hardly requires you even look at the pattern.

girlfriend's market bag

Just in time for Farmers Market season! 🙂 I’ve already cast on & knit about 1/3 of another one, although it may end up being a gift.

I only have a couple random links tonight. Knitty’s Spring Surprises came out last week — I think Target is pretty darn cool! This other link is an absolutely beautiful homebirth that my La Leche League Leader found on YouTube. Be aware that although artfully done, it does show, well…childbirth — if this isn’t your kind of thing, then please don’t click! lol