Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Guess who found the camera cord!

So my friends, when I'm not doing homework, or unpacking, or cleaning, or working on the Cascade blanket, or any of the hundred other things I'm supposed to be doing (that I'm not), I'm working on this.  This is my top-down pullover in Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn in colorways S315 (the rainbow) and S269 (the neutral).  My plan is to knit the pullover and then steek it to make a cardigan.  Now you might be wondering why I don't just knit a cardigan in the first place if that's what I want.  And I'll tell ya...you can't ever get Noro's stripes to match up unless you plan to do a ton of cutting and weaving in the ends.  It's an absolute nightmare!  The only way for a person like myself who likes harmony in their handknits is to knit the piece in the round and then cut it.  Right now you're probably wondering what I plan to do about the sleeves...and to that I say "I have no idea".  If I can get them to match up, then I'll knit sleeves.  If not...I guess I'll do short sleeves and wear it with long sleeved shirts.  I'm completely winging this one.  (And sadly yet...that's really what my body looks like...except the silver part).

In other news, I finally joined the last skein of Cascade Eco Wool to my blanket and I'm in the home stretch on this baby!  You have no idea how excited I am.  This piece is monumental!  Right now it's measuring 46" long and I need to get it to about 56".  I just hope that it doesn't shrink too much when I block it out (it's going to get wider, and that pulls up the length a bit).  I want to finish this before the full heat of the summer comes, but I have to say that I've been surprisingly comfortable knitting with this giant blanket on my lap.  It comes down over the end of my feet right now, lol.

And lastly, I want to thank those of you who weighed in on my dilemma from the last post.  I just spoke to financial aid and confirmed that I could take one class without affecting my financial aid...so that's what I'm going to do next term.  This way I take some of the pressure off without getting completely out of school mode.  I think it's a good compromise and I feel good about this decision. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I could use a little advice.

So, today was a pretty rough behavior day for my youngest.  He's just not getting to sleep early enough and he's getting up entirely too early, so the sleep deprivation is finally catching up to him and he's just defiant and unruley.  This happens every few months (as thouse of you who've followed the blog will know).  I need to get him back on track soon because he's got that outpatient surgery coming up in a few weeks and who knows what affect that will have on things.

Aaron's still trying to get some idea what the doctors plan to do for his thyroid, and still dealing with the issues that come from it being out of wack.  Dante is getting close to finishing school and heading into high school.  I still have class and I'm nearing my finals (again, sigh).  The shop is prepping for the big yearly sale and there will be more hours available.  And I've been called for another position at church, which means additional responsibilities.  If you're wondering why I'm telling you all this, here's the deal.

I'm thinking about taking a semester (or more accurately, a term) off from school to get my family situated.  I'm still living with boxes, and that's because my husband needs my help and I haven't been able to give it to him.  He could really use my full attention to help keep an eye on these kids, while they rebalance his thyroid.  I'm thinking about how I could really use a break.  I'm starting to burn out and in the last two terms I've made a careless mistake on an assignment that cost me big points.  I don't make those kinds of mistakes, and when I do it's because I'm just too tired to notice.  I have been taking two classes every ten weeks for the last two years, and I think that a ten-week break would allow me to be there for my family while big things get sorted out, and would recharge my batteries for school.  This is something I prayed about and it's not a decision that I'm taking lightly, so...I'd like to hear what others think just so I can get an objective opinion.  It's possible that I might just need to power through my last year of school and that the rest will sort itself out (although I don't think so...), and it's also possible that I'll have a difficult time coming back to school after that much time off (which is a genuine concern for me).  So, any advice is appreciated.

Oh, and the Noro sweater is demanding all of my attention right now.  I love the sweater...I hate Noro yarn...I love the color...except for that one color that they always throw in.  You know the one.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Peaking my head up

There is just so much going on right now and I needed to peak my head up from under all this mess and check in.  Blogging is therapeutic, lol.  It's been a trying week.  My husband is dealing with some thyroid issues, and that's caused several complications to our daily routine as these things will.  I'm having a difficult time adjusting to the changes and I need to remember to be more patient with him, like he was with me when I was dealing with some hormone-imbalance issues.  My little guy is facing a minor surgical procedure that's not going to be too fun after the fact, and it's stressful.  He's trying to break into the little click of kids in our new backyard, and it's not going so well right now.  It's truly hard as a mother to watch your bright, cheerful, outgoing little child not be accepted with open arms by the other children who don't understand that just because he's as tall as you doesn't mean he's as old or as mature, and he needs a break.  My oldest is being a teenager.  I had to register the little one for kindergarten, and quite frankly I don't know how I feel about it.  I'm not ready for him to go to school, and he's totally ready to go.  My apartment is still at least half-full of boxes, and not for a lack of trying to unpack.  My husband had been working his little fingers to the bone and I just haven't had time to help unpack it because I'm in the middle of my term and I've had projects every week.  The X-box won't read disks anymore, (so no games or DVD's...try explaining that every day to a 4-year old).  And my stash has grown out of control.

You know that idea I had about a stash sale?  Well I know that won't work because I just don't have enough readers for this stuff to actually move.  How do I know that??  Because the stats say so.  And that's cool, but it doesn't make for a very effective stash sale, lol.  Thankfully I've been given an opportunity to take some of the stuff and include it in this years "make room for more" sale at the yarn shop.  I went through my stash and was able to easily part with an entire box full of yarn.  I was reminded that anything I got from the shop that was still in original condition could be returned...and I did return lots of stuff (although I kept lots of stuff, lol), and I got a hefty store credit, that I cashed about 1/3 back in for some Noro Silk Garden Sock.  Now I know what you're going to say..."you don't like silk garden sock!  you don't like sport-weight socks", and you're right.  But!  I do like sport-weight sweaters.  I'm going to make a striped noro cardigan.  I've wanted a noro sweater for a long time.  It's just one of those things I've always wanted.  And the money was already spent so there was no guilt.  That being said, I have one more skein left for my Eco Wool blanket and once that's done I'll be casting right on for my brand new cardigan.

Wow.  I feel better now.  See!  I told you blogging was therapeutic :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Introducing Shelby- A handknit tie for little boys

Remember that pattern submission that I sent in to Knitty for their First Fall 2011 edition?  Well, I finally heard back, and although I didn't make it into the issue, they were very excited about the pattern, loved the photo selection (thanks again Heather!), and I was encouraged to submit another design in the future.  It was quite possibly the nicest rejection I've ever experienced in my entire life, lol.  I came away feeling totally jazzed about my effort and validated that the editors of Knitty liked my first effort and want to see more from me.  So, with all of that positivity flowing through my veins I decided to go ahead and self-publish Shelby through my Ravelry shop. 

Shelby is a hand-knit tie that blends the best features of a traditional adult tie with those of a child’s tie. I replaced the clip-on feature with a button collar to more closely resemble the look of an adult tie. It features two slip-stitch faux-seams that create a natural “fold”, allowing the tie to lie flat once it is seamed closed, and it is knit in three separate pieces that combine to look like a tie with a Shelby knot. The button collar can be lengthened and extra buttons can be added to allow the child some room to grow, and the tie can be lengthened by adjusting it so that the back is higher than the front. 

Special note: If you substitute yarn, I highly recommend that you choose a yarn with rayon, silk, bamboo or sugar cane fibers that have high shine and drape, or the tie will not behave like a silk tie would.

Project Details:
Sizes: 18 months-3 years [4-6 years]
Finished Length: 18 [20] inches
Gauge: 28 sts/36 rows = 4: in stockinette stitch
  • 1 [1] skein of Berroco Seduce (47% Rayon, 25% Linen, 17% Silk, 11% Nylon; 100yd92m per 40g skein); sample knit in Hardy Fuchsia.
  • 1 set US #4(3.5mm) straight needles
  • Notions: 2 stitch markers; one 1/2" button; darning needle
The PDF features schematics on the last page, which can be printed or omitted if you decide that you don't need them. 

Price: $3.99

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rhodes and Crescent Park are now available for PDF download

Rhodes Sock:
The pattern is written for the two-circular method, and includes charts and written instructions. It fits an 8” foot circumference but can easily be sized up an inch at a time by adding another pattern repeat.  The sole is knit through the back loops to provide additional cushion and durability, and the toe is worked in a slip-stitch pattern to match the heel.  To knit the pattern, you will need to be comfortable with stranding, following a chart, and basic sock construction. You will also need:

  • two 50g skeins of ONline Linie Supersocke Silk (included in the kit)
  • two sets of US 2 (2.75mm) circular needles (for knitting with two circulars at a time; or one set of US2 (2.75mm) DPN; or one US 2 (2.75mm) circular, at least 24” long, for using magic loop
  • stitch markers
  • darning needle
individual PDF download is now available online for $5.99 (Ravelry account not required)

Crescent Park Beret & Hand-warmer:
The beret is a chevron-striped hat with garter stitch accents and eyelet details. It’s knit with three colors of Cascade Heritage yarn worked at a sport weight gauge to make it light and airy.  The matching hand-warmer is knit at a gauge of 8 sts per inch, and can carry you through three seasons of wear.  You will need:

  • 3 skeins of Cascade Heritage sock yarn
  • Needles: Beret- one pair of 16" US 4 (3.5mm) circular needles and one set of US 4 (3.5mm) DPN, or size necessary to obtain gauge.  Hand-warmer - one set of US 2 (2.75mm) DPN, or two sets of US 2 (2.75mm) circulars, or size necessary to obtain gauge.
  • Stitch markers
  • Darning needle
  • Scrap yarn
individual PDF download is now available online for $7.99 (Ravelry account not required).

Beret and Hand-warmer patterns will also be available for separate purchase soon.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Well, we found the computer...

I am exhausted!  I had some really great people come over yesterday to help move us into the 3-bedroom apartment.  I spent the entire time packing up the rest of the apartment that wasn't in boxes yet, and they all loaded up the U-haul and brought it all over to the new place.  There's still some odds & ends that I need to bring over, and my old apartment is an absolute mess (which I'll spend a few days cleaning), but it's basically done and we spent the night here in the new place.  Alex has a new bed with a new Thomas The Tank Engine comforter, and a floor rug.  He's pumped.  Slept the entire night in his room alone and didn't have any problems.  Dante's room is a work in progress, and our room is basically set up.  My friend Denise came over after she got out of work, and she helped me move some of the boxes to the rooms that they belong to so that we could dig the couch out and finally sit down at 10pm.  The tv isn't picking up any signal at all so we weren't able to use it.  We did, however, locate and set up the computer so I could let my instructors know that my homework isn't going to be on time this week... what with the husband spending two days in the emergency room, and then having to move my family.  I lost my pantry and some cabinet space in the move, so I'm not sure how things are going to fit into my new kitchen.  I also have no earthly idea where I'm going to store my sizable stash.  It's huge.  I'm a little embarrassed.  I may have to have a stash sale if I can't find room for it all.  Check back...I'll let you know.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My son, the athlete

Hey everyone!  My son Dante just qualified for the State track meet in the 100 meter!  Isn't that awesome?!

As you were.

Finally, the referral appointment.

Eddie curling up with my knitting.
Today is finally the big day...we're taking Alex to the pediatric urologist to see if we can figure out once and for all what's been causing him all the trouble.  Part of me prays that they'll find something so we'll finally have an answer, and the rest of me hopes they don't find something because I don't want him to have to deal with something bad.  I guess we'll know in a few hours.

In the mean time, I've got a giant afghan made out of Eco Wool that needs a crochet border (sorry, it's not my afghan...it's a piece of finishing work for a customer).  All other knitting is on hold for now as this giant blanket is due tomorrow.  I've already spent two hours on it, just blocking the edges and working a row of single crochet across one side!  It's huge.  So I guess all other knitting is on hold for a little bit while I tackle it.  I can report that I've worked through the heel-flap and heel-turning on the test sock for Chrystee, and I'm now working the gusset.  I also decided while I was knitting that sock, that I wanted to rip out the heel flap on my BIL's socks and use a short-row heel, which will allow me to reinforce much more of the heel.  Now, I better go get dressed so we can leave.

Monday, May 2, 2011

sneak peak: Fabre socks

Fabre socks
This has been a tough school week.  I've got a project due this week and my reading was 40 detailed pages on Piaget and Vygotsky.  Sometimes, child development kills me!  Add to this the fact that I'm still catching up from the 40 rows I had to rip on the blanket last week, and my time at the gym.  I'm still working on the whole 'balanced life' thing and I've got to say...I'm way less productive, lol.  But I feel better and I'm off of the energy drinks. 

Saturday we went to a birthday party for my great-nephew and then to the gym.  We were out all day long, and when we got back I was exhausted.  I wanted to take a nap and then start work again on my project, but I passed out and my husband woke me up to send me to bed a midnight.  Then Sunday I pulled my neck out and spend the day hobbling around like an 80 year old, in major pain all day.  Today I woke up with better range of motion, but Alex got up with a racing heart and got sick so I had to take him up to the pediatrician to have some tests done.  This is the second time this has happened in the last few months and we think he might be having some trouble with hypoglycemia.  He was a real champ about having three vials of blood drawn, and we're celebrating by letting him play some Kinectamals.  It's that super cute game with baby jungle cats that play with you and respond to what you do.   It keeps him busy, and all the body movement helps him burn off some energy.  I only let him play once every few weeks as a special treat, and today seemed like a good day for it.

So now, I'm working on the reading for my other class and I got antsy so I decided to take a quick  break and upload a photo of the socks that I'm knitting for my brother-in-law.  I'm using Play at Life Fiber Arts Boundless Sock in a one-of-a-kind colorway that's perfect for my brother John.  I love this yarn!  The colors are fantastic and the stitch definition is amazing.  The yarn feels nice in your hands as you knit with it, even when knitting tight stitches, and I happen to know that the yarn is truly colorfast.  No bleeding at all when I washed my swatch!  My buddy Chrystee is the genius behind this yarn, and if you haven't done so yet, then you need to run right over and check out her etsy shop.  You might remember her yarn from my Night of the Lepus design.  This is going to be my second design in her yarn, and for a compulsive yarn/pattern jumper like myself, that's saying something!