Busy, busy bee!

I’m proud to announce that I finished all 3 birthday presents BEFORE the party this time…but less than proud to admit that the blankets were meant to be last year’s presents — last year was “the year of the blanket” for my nieces/nephews/second cousin…I finished 4 of the 6, but crapped out on these last two!

haley's blanket
for my 2 year old niece

Mikey's blanket 1

Mikey's blanket 2
Notice the crazy crooked trim? That’s to make the ridiculously uneven squares look purposeful. I have NO idea what happened here — I must have had one too many glasses of wine when cutting these squares last year! But it ended up fun in the end, & I’m sure my 6 year old niece will like it. It’s crazy & BRIGHT — just like she is, lol.

Alleysha's Harry Potter socks finished
Here are my sister’s socks — she loves Harry Potter…and is turning 21 — maybe I should have made her HP beer cozies? lol

Just a couple random links — we have a triple birthday party to attend in about 13 hours! Twist Collective‘s fall issue is live (and beautiful, as always), and here is a hilarious cosplayer outfit my husband came across in his online ramblings…g’night!

It’s almost gone!

Where has the summer gone? We are fast approaching our last week of summer, and I’m still wondering where all the time went!

We’ve had some fun, so it isn’t terrible, but…wow! How quickly these Michigan summers go – you would think I’d be used to it by now. My favorite summer trip was last weekend — the annual family camping trip with all 5 of my siblings, our mother & her husband, and all of our husbands & kids — we numbered 20 in all, this year. I forgot to take many pictures, again, but I pulled out the camera during our afternoon on the beach in Frankfort. This is some of my favorite beach weather — cloudy with a breeze, but not cold…perhaps Michigan is the perfect state for me, after all! 😉

camping 11
Ian

camping 10
Aiden (those are temporary tattoos on his head)

camping 12
Spencer

camping 6
Harry Potter sock (see the lighthouses in the background?)

camping 7
My flip-flops (Ian did this & I thought it looked pretty cool! It’s currently my Ravatar) 😉

It truly warms my heart that my sons are growing up enjoying camping in the same places I did growing up. 🙂

I may have created sock monsters…

harry potter sock 1 done

This is 1/2 of (one of my) sister’s birthday present (Harry Potter Opal colorway – Ron). I may have made a mistake when I brought up to our family reunion to custom fit the length, though. Her gushing about the comfort caused my Mom to try it on…and I noticed a gleam in my Grandma’s eye…I think I might have to get crackin’ on the sock knitting!

As soon as I finish some other things, of course…like the first of my five Christmas stockings; this was supposed to be finished in July — and can I just say…stranded knitting across a 16 stitch pattern SUCKS! I’ve reknit this half of the argyle portion no less than 5 times. Ugh! Still love the pattern, though — this will just be the “product” knitting portion, rather than the “process” knitting portion.

ian's stocking

Sorry about the lousy pic! My camera doesn’t always play nice (I’m sure a certain 3 boys dropping it way too often has nothing to do with that!). But hey, they’re cute, aren’t they?

spencer & rowan 4

Okay, so the one on the left doesn’t belong to me, but the pic was too cute to pass up! My friend and I realized we both needed to stop at the grocery store on the way home from the yarn shoppe (where, I am sad to say, I bought nothing…), so we decided to make it a joint trip as well. The boys had such a great time, the giggles & squeals drew smiles from patrons all over the store — and great big ones from their two mamas — I hope they keep getting on together so well!

I’ve a couple more projects, but only one more that I can show right now — it’s a diaper soaker (cover).

audra's soaker

Thanks to Facebook, I’m getting the chance to chat with high school classmates, and discovering neat things I have in common with some of them. Among other “crunchy” leanings, this old friend had a homebirth with her little one and is now making the switch to cloth diapers. I was telling her about wool & before I could say “boo” was volunteering to knit her a few covers — it’s been a while since I’ve made one, and I’m loving the ease of it — yummy Briar Rose yarn, 16inch circs and a pattern I’ve pretty much memorized…zoommm.

Did I mention how pretty & yummy the yarn is? The next time I’m shopping for sweater yarn, it will be at Briar Rose — the last time I ordered from there they were super friendly and also answered the phone after hours (I thought it would go to voice mail!). I know there’s beautiful dyed yarn to be found out there, but this Michigan based company’s is some of the best I’ve seen (Malabrigo and 100purewool come to mind, although the latter doesn’t always deliver the colors they advertise).

I’ll leave you all with the random links that WordPress ate the other day…

Knitting links: I’m still in love with Netherfield — I really hope I get the chance to knit it soon. If you peruse Twist Collective you’ll doubtless find many more fabulous (very knittable AND wearable garments) items. I just came across a ravelry member who knit the Sylvi coat cables onto an afghan — gorgeous! Speaking of gorgeous knit coats, the Interweave Knits fall preview is up! And if you live in the New Jersey area, you are very, very lucky! A traveling yarn shop…can you imagine?! Be still my heart!

This may be a duplicate link from months ago, but I forgot to add it to my blogroll so I thought I’d give it another shout out. Norah Gaughan is one of my top 5 favorite designers — which is quickly making Berroco a company whose designs I drool over the way the Mason-Dixon girls do Rowan. I may have to move this next designer into the running, though — I stumbled upon her while researching KnitPicks new City Tweed. I wanted to make sure the yarn was hardy enough to use as one of the diaper covers for my friend, and found this amazing, squishy, cabl-icious cowl…I’ve already plotted how I’m going to manage to buy the yarn to make myself one when I order the yarn for my friend! I’ve learned that when I like one pattern by a designer, to look at the other patterns, so I was delighted (but not surprised) to find a few other great pieces. Yesterday, a funky, fun purse/bag, and two other great patterns for purses.

Non-knitting links
: I only have a few tonight. The first is one my LLL leader forwarded on to me — a “breastfeeding” baby doll. The concept is great, of course, but I’m a bit puzzled about the necessity of the halter for the “mommy” to wear with flowers on it (in place of nipples). Why can’t the girl just use her own (gasp) nipples to pretend to feed the baby? It’s a bit like handing a girl a fake foot to put her dress-up shoes on… Really I think it just reinforces that breasts are for sex and shouldn’t be messed with (even to practice/pretend about what they’re REALLY for). Unfortunate.

Last (no really, I will stop! lol), I stumbled upon the official site for Janet Evanovich — it’s just as clever and fun as you would expect! I realized that I haven’t read the newest book so I’ll have to see if I can get it from the library tomorrow. Of course that reminds me that Diana Gabaldon‘s latest book will be here in just 7 short weeks!!

Okay, really, I’m done! Back to knitting!

It’s a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood…

…not to rip off a beloved child “entertainer,” but it really has…

thrune park 5

This is my favorite neighborhood park.

thrune park 4
(there’s actually a sand pit there)

thrune park 3 - spencer thrune park 2

thrune park 1

Fenced in all around, a nice little wading pool, a sand pit, great shade, a restroom & a water fountain…what more could a mom & 3 little goobers ask for? Oh, did I mention it was within walking/bicycling distance? Yea, we’re spoiled like that. 🙂

My little ones have been manning the camera of late, so I’m heavy on pictures of matchbox cars & cute little boy toes, and light on knitting pics…but there are a few!

tea cozy
Pattern: Vine Leaf Tea Cozy
For: My (half) sister’s Mom (she sent me a bunch of crochet cotton!! So I’m warming up some of her tea pots!)
Needles: Boye size 11’s — it was kinda fun knitting with huge & fat metal needles
Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable 100% acrylic worsted weight (held double) — this stuff actually did *squeak* it wasn’t pleasant to knit with, but I got used to it — plus, it’s such a quick pattern that I finished it in less than 1 day. I think I want to check my acrylic stash & maybe use this pattern as a blanket — I’d need bigger needles, though — this cozy is a bit…stiff? lol

housewarming gift 1
Look! I finally knit a ballband dishcloth…and loved it! It took me an entire pattern repeat before I “got it,” but after that, I was off. This was a wee housewarming gift for a friend in my knitting group. The basket looks pathetically empty…what can I say? I ran out of time, lol.

housewarming gift 2

After much putting off, I finally tried out the library in the next town that my friend has been bugging me to visit. Turns out it’s a wonderful place, very young child friendly…and they have a different knitting section! lol I checked out a couple “Knit Lit” books (which have moved me both to tears, and to bouts of snorting laughter), and also “25 Beaded Knits” where I found this blanket:

blanket - 25 beaded knits
I don’t know that I’ll ever knit the exact blanket, but I love the color play & the squares combination & don’t want to forget it!

I have several projects going on right now (4 within arms reach), but not many photos — I keep forgetting to take pics…so I’ll update you later on those. I now intend to flood you with cute kid(s) pics. Feel free to skip to the random links at the end for knitterly links. 😉

ian at home
Ian chillin’ on the…dining room floor?! The boys took this picture;

and I took this one

aiden long hair

before Aiden’s haircut

olivias bday 6

after Aiden’s haircut. The bangs came out pretty bad (badly?), but otherwise it’s okay. He likes it, and it doesn’t look so dirty/unkempt…but I miss the shaggy do! Ah well, he likes it (which is a miracle), so we’re good.

Even Spencer got his bangs cut

spencer & truck

though he almost didn’t. Luckily, he *thinks* he can negotiate. I said “please, can mama make just 5 snips?” he responded with, “NO! [insert image of hand being held over head here] TEN cuts!” lol. I think it took 4 — we just wanted his hair out of his eyes, really.

Can I just say that I adore this photo? Or maybe it’s the outfit? White t-shirts are so cute on little boys (I know, you’re laughing, and I know, you’re right — see the big brown stain in the middle of it?)…especially if they’re with jeans. I’m going to have to keep my eyes open for more yard sale ones, so my pocketbook doesn’t suffer!

dress-up
I snapped this shot a few days ago…cute, aren’t they? I always wanted to have a dress-up chest for my kids…I’m glad to see they enjoy it!

…I think you’ve all been spared — I just lost over 1/2 dozen “random links,” more pictures, and more chatter. Ugh — some days! 😉 Talk to you all again, soon.