Long Time, No Blog

I haven't blogged in a while because I haven't been doing much knitting lately. You know how it is... 2 kids, different schedules, not a lot of consectutive hours of sleep, outpatient surgery, food shopping, going to the post office, taking care of the dog, cooking dinner, volunteering at the preschool, remembering to brush my teeth before leaving the house. I haven't even bought the yarn for the Zig Zag sweater - the knitalong that I'm hosting. These are may not be my finest hours but I am having fun and trying to enjoy every day. My To Do list still has items on it that aren't crossed out and my carpets need vacuuming (and my shelves are dusty) but I still cuddle with my newborn, do arts and crafts with my preschooler, sing them both lullabys, and read them wonderful books so life is going well.

Today I have a second so here's a tote bag from (pattern from FiberTrends) that I started a looong time ago and work on a little bit at a time when I can. The bag is knitted, as is one handle.

Here's a closer look at the way the Eros looks with the Lamb's Pride.


The documenting has begun. Here's a page from my knitting journal.

And another...


It's time to get organized. With so many projects being completed and going on and with my brain turning to sleepy mush I decided to pull out my knitting journal and get started recording them. So I'm curious, how does everyone organize or keep track of their projects?

Here's the picture of my Secret Pal package. Thank you again Secret Pal.


It's a crazy, crazy Jessi sock. I did a anklet since we always end up folding her socks down. She loves it and wore this one sock around all day.


A Secret Pal Thank You

Thank you Secret Pal!!!

I hope you are feeling better. I've had a few sinus infections and they're painful and awful. I wish you a speedy recovery.

You are so thoughtful for sending a little toy for the baby and a coloring book for Jessi. And then, of course, there's the stuff you sent me: two yummy recipes (Spicy Baked Shrimp - will try this in the next 2 weeks - and Seriously Yummy Coconut Macaroons), tons of packets of Kool-Aid in all sorts of colors... umm I mean flavors, a skein of Lamb's Pride in white for dying with the aforementioned Kool-Aid, self-striping sock yarn, dpns in size 3, and my favorite candles (how did you know!!) Yankee Candle (the best smells around) in Vanilla Caramel. I've never bought this scent before but I *will* when I've used this one all up because it smells so good I want to eat it!

I can totally appreciate that you sent the card seperately by accident because I've done this before (um, twice in the past month - oops)!! Very endearing.

Thank you again.

Trying to Crochet

I pulled out my Stitch N Bitch book the other day and tried to learn to crochet. Here's what I came up with. I'm hoping that my aunt can give me a lesson when she comes for a visit in a week and a half.

This might be a bit fuzzy but does it look like anything official in the crochet world?


New Cookbooks

After being mostly nauseated or uninterested, then disinterested in food during the nine months of pregnancy I'm getting back into loving food (and planning meals, reading my cookbooks and magazines, and cooking). I just found out that there are 4 new cookbooks either already in publication or coming soon that look GREAT! 2 are vegetarian, even though my husband eats almost no vegetables (clearly those would just be for me to read and think about - and try a few for lunches for Jessi and me).

  1. Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen
  2. Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food that You Can Really Make at Home - by Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa)
  3. The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion: The Essential Cookie Cookbook
  4. Jack Bishop's A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen : Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends

Yum!! I will likely try to check out the vegetarian ones in the library first but the other two... can you say holiday wish list??!


Jessi's poncho is almost finished. I decided to add the fringe so that I can make it a little longer.

Here's the first of Mike's socks finished. He tried it on and made a big deal of having a custom, handmade sock (thanks for the ego boost, MC!), gotta love that guy.

and the reclining angle!


Finding the perfect apple.

Getting it off the tree.

Testing out the picks.

Sitting out to take a rest.. with an apple.

Here's Ryan with his basket.

Two finished objects in 2 days. I'm on a roll. This sweater was my first project after learning to knit and making a few garter scarves. It's been knit forever - since before June (btm - before the move)... It had been waiting for buttons. Then I found buttons (again btm), then I lost them. Last month I found them again while organizing my knitting needles (putting them all in a bag upstairs in my closet instead of in multiple bags in the basement and my closet). This morning Jessi is not feeling well so we're watching Between the Lions and Sesame Street so I pulled this project out and finished it off. Sigh... I feel so much better. I hope it's not too small already. Jessi didn't even feel good enough to try it on so model shots will have to wait. Off to enjoy the day. :-)

And now for the button close-up.


Klaralund by the light of the sun. I finished seaming but still have all the ends to weave in. I tried it on and my lactation area is really amplified by the two blue and one grey stripe area... and this is one place that doesn't need any more attention at the moment (the other place being my belly of course). So when things get regulated with me and the baby in the lactation department I will try to get a picture of me wearing the sweater.

And here is the better picture without all the drama.


What to do with the koigu? I am going to do it - rip Charlotte, that is. Anyone up for a rip-along? I have mentioned before that I have made a mistake in almost every row. There is no doubt in my mind that this shawl will look horrible if I continue on (due to sleep deprivation there would be multiple errors in each row!). Now is not the time for the multitude of yarnovers and complicated patterns. I just couldn't get this right. Yes I am frustrated with myself. Bad, bad knitter! The truth is that I love the Koigu KPPPM yarn and want to use it for something that I can drape over me! Maybe the Gypsy Shawl over at Kerrie's Place. Please post your ideas in the comments about what I can do with this gorgeous yarn! Hmmmf...Defeat admitted.


I finished the back to Imp. I don't think I will be trying to cast on for the front anytime soon. The US 3s are just too small for me to feel any sense of progress right now. Maybe in a few weeks when I am getting more sleep.


the Princess and the apple

Here's a picture of my two girls since the pictures from the weekend are still on the camera... and who knows how long they will be there!

Yesterday Jessi went to her first Princess birthday party. It was for an older girl... a 4 year old (and boy does one year make a difference). The party was in our neighborhood so Jessi donned her blue Princess dress that our wonderful cousins gifted her with and headed on over. When we got there the other girls (ages 4-5) were starting phase 1 - getting their nails and makeup done. It is at this point that Jessi, being my daughter, asks, "Mom, what's makeup?" I love it!! See, although I could benefit from the effects of makeup I usually don't use any. I do *have* makeup (Bobbi Brown and MAC are my favorites) but I don't actually use it unless it's a very special occasion. So this was so cute. I'd love for her to be tomboy, into sports, and not obsessed with her body. I don't want her to diet or feel she needs to meet somebody else's ideal. I want her to eat everything in moderation and be confident. It is because of this that I signed her up for another gym class and opted out of ballet at this point. I do want to expose her to a variety of things so she can pick what she likes to do... but she's already a perfectionist and I thought ballet would send her over the edge. I'd rather her play a sport where she can appreciate how her body works as opposed to what it looks like. Phase 2 of the party involved stuff Jessi loves - arts and crafts! We decorated a bear (with adorable princess dress and tiara to boot). And I also felt a connection with my daughter when during the entire makeup demonstration and 5 times during the craft she kept asking where the food was! She's hysterical. I looked at Mike and said with a embarrassed grin, "I have no idea where she gets this from". Well she was in heaven when we finally got to go upstairs and find the food! Ice cream in princess goblets and birthday cake! Shrimp with cocktail sauce, veggies with dip, and bruchetta for the grown-ups! She repeatedly said that she didn't want the party to end. It was so much fun. We got to meet some people in our neighborhood and got a glimpse of what 4 year old girls are like. Is there a way to skip over the princess phase or are we already going to be in it now?

Today we went apple picking at one of my favorite farms. It was a beautifully crisp day with tons of sunshine. We met up with some friends in our old neighborhood and got some lunch before heading over to the farm. We got some awesome apples with which I will make a yummy apple dessert this week. I'm not an apple pie sort of gal (although I tried it last year just to make sure); I'm more of an apple crumble or crisp - or whatever it's called - the one where there is butter and brown sugar and steel-cut oats on top baked in the oven. This over vanilla bean ice cream is sublime. Oh and the real reason I wanted to go to the farm: caramel apples of course. And I got one - and it was GREAT! I spent most of the farm time feeding the baby in the car, but Mike got some great pictures of the kids. I'll post some pictures sometime this week.

Tomorrow Jessi starts a new preschool and she takes a few weeks to adjust to things so I may have my hands full (as if I don't already).

In knitting news, I'm making great progress on the red poncho (I shall call it Little Red Riding Poncho) due to the long drive to the farm. One hour there; one hour back. This is the most knitting I've done in the last month. Hurraaaay!! I should be finished later this week.

Also, the Lion yarn that looks the most interesting to me is Watercolors and Incredible. See, I'm so NOT a YARN SNOB!


Yarn Snob No More

I recently looked over my yarn spending habits for this year (we're Quicken fanatics) and realized things are out of control. I have spent way more on yarn (and my new sewing machine) than I really wanted to and if things continue as they have my family will need to subsist on rice and beans... and my husband doesn't eat beans so he will either eat dinner elsewhere, wither away or divorce me. Okay so none of this will happen, but I decided to shake things up. My need to knit projects that are interesing hasn't waned. I still want to make my daughter a poncho for the Fall and there are gifts to knit for the holidays which I will need to start before most normal people because of my limited time with a newborn. So I went to Michael's today in search of some red yarn for Jessi (because is there really any other acceptable color in her eyes?) and found some Lion Brand Wool-Ease. I also bought some purple Jiffy for a poncho for a gift (with some Paton's Cha-Cha for a fluffy border). While I was there I notcied that there are some nice looking yarns (mostly by Lion or Bernat or Patons) that would be good for the gift giving season (scarves and hats I'm thinking). So I will challenge myself to make beautiful gifts with affordable yarn. I really like the Lion Brand Landscapes yarn as well as some others but didn't buy anything for myself because I was focusing on my poncho goal.

The pattern I'm using for both of the girl's ponchos is Joanna's Poncho, a simple poncho knit from the top down. I cast on 66 stitches instead of the 42. I'll have to see if this will be too big. If so I'll pick up stitches along the top and bring it in a bit.

The final price at the register was nice to see for a change!