Thursday, September 29, 2011

Random Thursday

1.   In the hustle and bustle of getting myself and the boys out the door,  I forgot my work bag at home today.  No notary stuff, no flash drive, no book.  Damn, it's a good book too.  "Couldn't Keep it to Myself" by Wally Lamb and the Prisoners of York County Prison.  It's stories written by the women of the prison, from a workshop that Wally Lamb facilitated.  Riveting stuff.  I love Wally Lamb anyway, "She's Come Undone" will always be a favorite of mine.  Anyway, I just hope that the bag is actually in the house and I didn't leave it on the front porch.  Or worse, in the driveway, in the rain!

2.  I abandoned a pattern the other night.  If it takes a bazillion tries to get the cast-on correct before you get to the body of the thing that you are knitting, perhaps it's time to pick a different project, yes?  I gave up during a commercial break and by the time the show came back on, I'd picked something else.  And the new "something else"  (i.e.  Christmas secret) is turning out to be something that I am loving to knit.  It might even be my favorite finished object later on.

3.  Sean is really starting to say things.  I still can't understand a lot of what he is saying, but I've figured out that he calls Will "Bubby" because he can't say Will.  Every night when I pick him up, he is thrilled to see me, yelling MOMMY!!! and comes running to me.  And as soon as we are in the car and I'm backing out of the driveway, he proceeds to ask me over and over, "Mommy?  Where's Daddy and Bubby?"  And if I don't say "Yes, honey?" in between those two sentences, he will keep saying "Mommmy?  Mommy?" until I acquiesce with "Yes Honey?" 

Those are your three random facts for today.  You're welcome.  :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yarn Dyeing Saturday!

A group of friends and I got together at one of our houses on Saturday to play with Kool-Aid and yarn.  I've had a lifetime of staining stuff with things like Kool-Aid, so I was really intrigued to see what happened when you spill it all over something on purpose!

First of all, you need yarn made from animal fiber.  It's impossible to dye cotton yarn in your own home.  No matter how long you soak it, the Kool-Aid just won't take.  I used Knitpicks "Bare" from their catalog.  It's 100% worsted-weight wool.

First, the soaking.  We all had brought dutch oven pots, and the yarn had to soak in lukewarm water for at least 20 minutes.  (We ended up going outside on Kristina's deck and enjoying the surprise summer weather, we kind of forgot for a bit that there was yarn soaking.  No harm, no foul.)

Then, the process of adding the Kool-Aid.  I added the powder directly to the pot....if I ever did this again I would make the dye first and then add the yarn.  Oh well, I do like the variegated version that I ended up with, which took a whopping THIRTEEN packets of Kool-Aid!

Then it's off to drain it, making it look like the worst spaghetti ever!

Someone had taken a picture of all the used Kool-Aid was an impressive sight!  Unfortunately, it wasn't me.  Kristina's kitchen smelled like fruity Kool-Aid and wet wool.  BTW...wet wool stinks.  But the Kool-Aid is rather nice.

Here's the end result, coming out of the pot.  That's my friend Kim next to me, she is dyeing hers green.  Green is her signature color by the way, and mine in case you couldn't tell, is purple.

All of our yarns on the drying rack on the deck.  (thank goodness for that nice "summer" weather!)  Danielle went for a bright blue, and Kristina and Kim also made some variegated on the bottom rack, using a turkey baster to distribute the different flavors/colors of Kool-Aid.

The yarn came home with me, still wet and tied in a plastic grocery sack.  I hung it on a hanger and let it finish drying on the shower rod in the bathroom.  For two days, my bathroom smelled faintly of grape Kool-Aid.  And now that it is wound up, it still smells like Kool-Aid and probably always will.

The finished product.  Gorgeous.  :)

Now, what do I plan on doing with this yarn?  I'm thinking the Arroyo Shawl.  For myself, of course!

Thanks for a fun day, ladies!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Welcome, Autumn

We took the kids apple picking yesterday.  What a difference from last year!  This time last year, it was over 80 degrees and I was wearing Sean in a baby bjorn.  This year, nice, cool beginning-of-fall atmosphere.  And now we have a big bag of apples to make delicious things with.  Can't wait!

Attempting a picture in front of the pumpkin patch.  We didn't take any pumpkins home this time, we'll go again in a couple of weeks hopefully. 

Yum!!!  My own little apple.

Will's a professional apple picker now.  

Gala?  I think I like this better than the McIntosh!

Pumpkins need hugs, too.

Posing in the pumpkin patch.  But NO, I won't look at the camera.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fearless Friends

 Last week, my friend Kristina asked me how the progress went on Ditto.    Sadly, I had no update, as two weeks ago I messed it up and have 3.5 rows to rip back.  It has been chillin, sitting in a tied-off Target bag in my living room ever since.  I give it a sideways glance once in a while, still sick with trepidation of ripping back those 3.5 rows.  (Yes, the .5 is worth mentioning, since there are 323 stitches across each whole row!  That's a lot of stitches, man!) 

Kristina just looked at me, and said "  You know, you're not that far from being done with that sweater.  Bring it in next week, I'll rip back the rows for you.  Then you can finish it and be proud of what you made"  She could see that I was stuck, and is throwing me a lifeline.  I couldn't believe her generosity.  I wish I had her fearlessness regarding ripping out knitting!  I graciously accepted her offer, and asked where she got this courage and she just said "You have to believe that when you're done ripping it out, you'll have as many stitches that you started with."  Hmmm.

So, tomorrow night.  The adventure continues.  Will I be fearless with her, or will I be in the corner biting my nails as she rips back the rows?

I choose to think positively.  Let's go!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dear Brian......

Happy Birthday to the best husband and father!  I know that you aren't crazy about your birthday, but we love you more than words can say!  So here are some of my favorite pictures over the last year.  Enjoy your day, babe, even if it is a Monday!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Fine Line

One lesson that we have to stress with the Big Kid is about strangers.  He is quite outgoing, and for a long time he would have no problem just approaching anyone with a big "Hi!  My name is Will!  What are you doing?"  It could be a bit unnerving, because you want to teach your kids that strangers are bad, but you don't want them thinking that everyone around them that they do not know is someone wishing them harm.  School has helped a bit with this, but still, there have been times where we have been shopping in Target and Will begins to announce "There's a stranger in this aisle!  Mommy....stranger!" While I applaud that he is realizing that his world can be a dangerous place, I don't want him afraid of everyone.

The dog had a grooming appointment, and Will begged to go with me to drop him off.  Afterwards, we wandered off towards Michael's, where I could spend hours by myself.  :)  We headed to the yarn aisle (naturally) to look for some yarn for a swap that I am participating in on Ravelry.  

There was a woman in the yarn aisle, older than me and wearing jeans and a pink cardigan sweater.  She sees us looking at the yarn and Will asking for me to teach him to knit, and says    "Excuse me....could I ask your opinion on this yarn?" This is not the first time that this has happened to me, I enjoy talking to other yarn lovers in places like this.  We got to talking, while Will hid behind me a little bit.  Her name was Debbie, and she is a bus driver in a town nearby.  She was going to make a pink and white blanket, and wasn't sure the two yarns that she picked out worked together.  (They didn't.)  We were in the baby yarn aisle and I suggested a brand and asked if she was going to make it for a baby.  She said no, that she was crocheting it for her daughter-in-law.  Then the bomb dropped---the daughter-in-law is 23 years old and has recently been diagnosed with ALS.  (Lou Gehrig's disease.)  She said that she hadn't crocheted in years....but wanted to do something to think about something other than the awful cards that the family has been dealt. I can understand that.... as I often turn to my knitting and yarn when I need some soothing.  

I recommended a yarn to her for her project, Lion Brand "Pound of Love," because it is durable, soft acrylic and can be tossed in the washer and dryer.  And hey, look at that, it's on sale!  However, there was plenty of pink, but no white.  I suggested that she ask if Michael's has some in the back room, and she thanked me.  Will and I made our way to the other yarns.  We ran into her later, and she said that they had no more white.  After a second to think, I handed her my business card and told her that if she still wanted to make it in pink and white that I had a big ball of white Pound of Love at home that I wasn't using.  She almost burst into tears, and probably didn't believe that this stranger in the yarn aisle could be so nice.  She took the card and said that she would call.  

When we got to the car, Will of course called me out for talking to a stranger.  (He did warm up to her, by the way, and tell her that his name was Will.)  I explained the exact thing that I have been thinking what our teaching about strangers has been missing.  "Sometimes you have to show a stranger a little kindness, if that's what they need."

Showered with Love

Tomorrow is my sister-in-law's  baby shower!  Many blessings and happiness to Mommy, Daddy and Baby Girl.  :)

Kim gets itchy with wool so I used Lion Brand Vanna's Choice for these items.

I found this hat pattern some time ago and was just waiting for a lil girl that I could make it for.  The flower is crocheted, and truthfully I did not make it, my Mom did.  Thanks Mom!

I was looking for a simple baby sweater pattern and I found Theodora on Ravelry.  Although I like the stripes, I opted to make it all solid color to go with the hat.  However, I will make this again with the stripes someday.  This sweater came together so fast, it was shocking.  I started it on a Wednesday night, and was done in less than a week.  (That pesky thing called "life" got in the way, otherwise I'll bet it would've been a 2-day project!)  The buttons are little pink elephants and oh-so-cute.  They were an impulse buy at Joann Fabrics, I knew that they would "speak to me" and tell me which garment they wanted to be a part of.

I've had so much fun making these things.  And having two boys, it is such a pleasure to knit for a baby girl!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finished-Object Friday: All About the Babies

Today's Finished Object Friday will focus on all the baby things that I've made over the last couple of months.  Man, I know a lot of babies being born this autumn!

 I didn't like the flap design on this earflap hat for a baby boy.  So I improvised my own using i-cord.

The finished product, using Swish DK from Knitpicks.  So cute!  I'd definitely make this one again.

Purple baby-girl sweater for my friend's step daughter, due with a girl sometime in September.  This came from the One Skein Wonders book and all I can say is, one skein my eye!  It did come out really cute though, and I love the heart-shaped buttons.

Since I found myself with "extra" orange and green yarn, I whipped up a little Pumpkin hat.  So cute, and it knit up in one night!

Last but not least, a "swirl hat" for a baby girl.  When this yarn came in from Knitpicks, I was expecting a lighter pink.  (It's so hard to pick colors online.)  When it came, I could see where the name 'Summertime Blooms" came from, because it reminded me of geraniums!  I love it!  There will be a little pair of leg warmers to go with these as soon as I can put them together.

You will notice that there's no mention of anything for my sister-in-law, who is due with a girl in November.  Never fear---her shower is this weekend!  Mommy and Baby are so special, they'll get their own blog post.  :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: End-of-Summer Adventures

This past Saturday, we took the boys to the Providence Children's Museum.  It was a great little museum and off the beaten path a bit.  And the coolest surprise:  Bank of America cardholders got in for free.  :)

Friday, September 2, 2011


Today is Will's last day at daycare.

We began sending him to a home daycare when he was three months old, when Mommy had to return to work after maternity leave.  Since then, he has grown and bonded with this daycare provider, who he calls "Auntie."  At first, I wasn't crazy about the fact that he called her Auntie.  But all of the other kids called her that so I figured not to rock the boat.  For almost five years, he has played there, learned and slept there, and grown up a bit in that house while Mommy is toiling at her desk.  It's the end of an era.  Today he is a bit sad, spending his last day at her house, but he is happy that he will still visit.  And, as he said, "There's always Skype, Auntie!"  :)

He's been in part-time preschool for a year now, and starting next week he will go full-time, to get ready for kindergarten next year and to get more time with kids his age.  To that all I can say, is I can't believe that my "baby" is going to be five years old next month!!!  He is growing up in leaps and bounds.  Every once in a while, I look over at this boy and say "gee, you were in a bouncy seat when I glanced last at your sweet chubby face, where did the time go?" Today he is an energetic, full-speed ahead kid, with tons of imagination and creativity.  And I know that some of who he is, is thanks to "Auntie."

Thanks for five years of taking good care of my boy!