18 December 2013

Baby's Room!

I went over to Ali's on Sunday to see Zim's room! There's been a lot of work in the past couple of months getting this once very dark room in shape for a new baby.

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Things that can't be seen, such as insulation and heat, have been added, along with some new windows, flooring, and lighting.

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In a pinch for nursery wall decor? Frame a gift bag. Seriously. This one and the one next to it (above) are gift bags from the baby shower. "Poppies" is an original painting by Aunt Maddy!

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She had a cute arrangement on one of the window ledges, but it's since been replaced by this:

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A wonderful stained glass window that was Sharon's. It's been hanging at the coffee shop, but now it'll warm the morning light for Zim. Lovely!

When I was there on Sunday, the crib was in pieces on the living room floor, but my busy-bee daughter went to work and here are the photos she shared on Monday:

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Um, yeah. READY!!

 

17 December 2013

Smooch

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I miss you every.single.day.

Sharon Jean / June 15, 1960 - December 17, 2010

 

16 December 2013

Cloche Divine

I love cool-to-execute knitted-in details, such as this bow:

I love cool-to-execute knitted-in details. #knitting

I started this hat on Thursday and finished on Saturday night. I always forget how quick hats are to knit!

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I have no modeled shot. I knit the smallest size and it's a wee bit small for the recipient, but that's okay! No. 2 will be knit in-the-round and it'll be so much quicker.

I'll also knit the brim just a few rows deeper.

 

15 December 2013

Wedding Photos

I accidentally wrote "Weeding Photos," and it's not far off the mark. Culling through hundreds and hundreds of photos to make a reasonably sized and priced photo book is PURE TORTURE. And, yet, that's how I (almost always) gladly spent most of my weekend.

View larger here (patience).

I didn't even have to take the photos -- granted use of the images taken by my niece, J(ena) Schleis Photography -- it's still an enormous undertaking. For months I've been promising my mother that I'd put together a book for her of photos from Ali's & Rod's wedding... and I finally buckled down.

Such is the glamorous life in photography: I left the house exactly once all weekend; ate cereal for supper on Saturday, tuna out of a can for lunch on Sunday (and a very late lunch, at that, pretty much negating the need for supper); finished a little knitting, watched 5 minutes of the football game, and now...

Waaaaa! I need more weekend!

 

13 December 2013

Whoooosh!

Hear that? It's December flying by at a mile a minute!

Bookmarking The Yarn Whisperer for later listening. I was unable to listen live when Clara Parkes spoke with Anne Strainchamps on 45 North/Wisconsin Public Radio this morning -- the show should soon be posted at the link!

I am looking forward to a fairly low-key weekend. Except for yoga with Ali on Sunday morning, there are no obligations or parties, so I can hunker down and get to some of the other things on my list -- things that I didn't even mention on Tuesday's To-Do List!

  • Finish Cloche Divine -- this project flew in under the radar! I cast on last night, using Rowan Softknit Cotton and, oh my, it is definitely soft! I'm just a few rows in for the main body of the hat, about to begin "bow gathers." It's very fun, so far, even though seed stitch is pretty much "torture" in my book.
  • Dye some yarn!! Or at the very least reacquaint myself with my wool and dye studio -- and get a grip -- there are projects in the hopper!
  • Plan (and possibly begin to make) some cook-ahead meals/soups/stews for the Zim family, and some Lactation Cookies for the new mumma!
  • Knitting Yarns is on the way to Carrie, winner of the random drawing here, but I still have some other mailing to do!
  • ETA:  I need to design and order a small book of wedding photos for my mom! (My sister Ann's photo calendar -- the 3rd or 4th I've made for her -- was finished & ordered last weekend!)
  • I also need to do some sewing!!

Speaking of Zim... I can hardly believe we're on the downhill slide. A month to go!! It's been about that long since we've been to yoga, and Ali said that it was amazing how different her body feels now. Oh, it was so good, though... for both of us.

The baby's room is also nearly complete -- new floor (partially heated), new windows, some insulation, fresh drywall and paint, wall decor -- I can't wait to see it all finished! A nice, comfy couch will be moved in and it's going to be so warm and cozy.

I'm still working on Pepita, but ripped a bunch after discovering that my gauge was off even worse than I thought. I guess I knit about a million stitches per inch with fingering weight yarn on size 0 needles! I did a little fudging so I didn't have to completely rip it out, and the math to figure out how to proceed, but it is slooooow going. After the finishing flurry of November, I feel like a real slacker.

Heh.

Hey, have a great weekend!

 

10 December 2013

Ten on Tuesday: To Do!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things On My To-Do List Right Now!

1.  Yoga! Tomorrow morning right before hair appointment? Maybe. Thursday evening & Sunday morning with Ali, for sure! I really need to get back in the groove.

2.  Mail call! There are two or three packages to ready for mail pick up.

3.  Book club! Party tomorrow night.

4.  I need a book for the gift exchange at aforementioned party.

5.  Knitting group! Party next Tuesday night.

6.  I need a gift to exchange at that party, too; it probably won't be a handknit!

7.  Shopping! Maybe? I think there are a few things I need to buy... It's another nontraditional holiday season around here, and it's sort of hard to wrap my head around it and get a grip on everyone's timeline. There might be one day after the New Year when all three kids are here, so I guess I need to figure that out and plan around it.

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8.  Finish our little remodeling project! Framing is done, drywall is up, plastering is underway. Unfortunately, circumstances (ductwork) dictate that there will be only two doors, not three as I'd hoped and dreamed. If there's one thing I've learned in all these years of old house remodeling, it's how to roll with the punches and understand limitations and pick my battles. That's more than one thing. It could probably be done... ductwork can be moved... but in this particular instance it's not worth it. You can't always get what you want. Don't worry, be happy.

9.  Baby stuff! The childbirth classes are over, the baby shower is over, and now all that's left is the waiting... knitting, waiting, knitting, waiting... it's a HUGE DISTRACTION! I wouldn't trade it for the world... already the world is revolving around this baby!

10.  There will be life after Zim and, as much as I hate the thought of being away from him/her, there's a vacation to the Scottish Highlands to plan! Spring or summer? I'm leaning toward spring... later than our last visit to the UK, but not yet full-on summer tourist season. Oh, I do love to plan a good trip.

06 December 2013

US 0

US 0 needles... I have quite a few but this may be my first actual project using them. #knittingforzim #imaybeinsane

I have an amazing number of size US 0 double-points, considering that I've never finished a project that uses them!

Looks like that'll change! It's Martina Behm's Pepita, using the little bit of leftover yarn from the baby leggings and some of my dyed sock yarn.

 

04 December 2013

The walls come tumblin' down

Indeed. Here's the before:

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That's a drawing of Sharon on the left that Maddy did about 3 years ago; a collaborative project of Katie's & Rusty's from several years ago on the right. Until last week, there was a tall Globe Wernicke Art-Mission bookcase between them.

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I'm really glad we placed those recessed lights correctly for this project that, at the time, we had no clue was coming.

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The plan was for three french hens doors (I couldn't banish the thought of Harvey Wallbangers this morning, either) but, alas, and as adamant as I'd like to be, measurements and, more importantly, duct work, dictates that it will only be two.

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Or an inch taken off of each side of all three doors in order for them to fit. The one on the right? Someone lopped off a big hunk at the top and then crudely stuck it back on... so that one will be eliminated. I don't know -- I go back and forth. I really wanted three doors. These are 1st World/Old House problems. There will be some reconfiguring.

Meanwhile...

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I think that gypsum board was scented -- it was very perfume-y.

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I was in charge of clean up.

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And the views!! Trippy. We've never ever.

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Naturally, there are artifacts! It's one of my favorite parts of remodeling an old house.

From the quality of the work, it's been decided that the original doors were removed and the hole closed up a) in a hurry and/or b) begrudgingly. It's the poorest workmanship we've seen here... and we've seen a lot!  :)

Stay tuned!

* * * * *

CONTEST HERE!

* * * * *

03 December 2013

Ten on Tuesday: Hit the high spots

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Housekeeping Shortcuts

This may seem like a silly topic to some, but it occurred to me late last week when I was in the throes of cleaning my house, coming down to the wire with a million things to do, and feeling desperate... so I suggested it to Carole.

You see, not only did I throw a baby shower on Saturday, I had the BRILLIANT idea to invite all of the families up to our house afterwards -- most of them for the first time!

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Though I grumbled and wondered how I could do such a stupid thing, I realized that it actually was quite brilliant because now my house is clean and spiffy and ready for the holidays! We'll dirty it up a little tomorrow when we bash through a wall, but the dust will soon settle (and, plus, that's so exciting!!).

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My house is actually cleaner and more put together now than it's been in years. We've had an extended period where the kids -- and their stuff -- have been fluid and unsettled, shifting between living situations, and a whole lotta stuff landed in temporary storage at our house. With only so many places to go, a fair bit ended up invading our living space and, well, it didn't look that great.

Nor did it inspire.

My mother keeps an immaculate house -- with help; at one time "the help" was my siblings and me -- so I've been very well trained. That training has served me very well over the years, but I use it as seldom as possible. I love a clean house, and sometimes get in the groove, but I generally hate housecleaning.

Even with a house that to most of us would seem ready for a House Beautiful photo shoot at any given moment, there were (and are) times that my mom's house was less than perfect, so every once in a while, when company was on the way and time was limited, she'd give us each a room and say...

1.  Hit the high spots! We'd do a quick pick up & dusting of the things most visible -- only the tops of the tables, not the bases or legs.

2.  Clean off & wipe countertops. I've been using Meyer's or Watkins spray cleaner -- wonderful scents!

3.  Load the dishwasher.

4.  Sweep/vac the floor and shake the rugs. We have mostly hardwood and four cats. Regular furball battles are a given.

5.  Gather up everything in a room that doesn't belong. Part of my battle was/is finding a place for everything. We've removed some storage in readiness for wall-bashing and, while I'm a firm believer in "a place for everything and everything in its place," getting there can be torture.

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6.  Related to the above, if I pick something up and have to think too hard about it, I get rid of it!! My constant companion has been a bag/box/basket designated for giving away, and we've made a ridiculous number of trips to various donation sites. I also took a load of books to Half-Price Books and walked away with some cash!

7.  Multi-task. After a morning flush, I squirt in the toilet cleaner. I wash up & brush my teeth, apply powder/blush/mascara. Before leaving the room, I swish the toilet bowl and flush again -- hardly any extra effort.

8.  I've also been wiping the bathroom sink & mirror with more regularity. It seems to help.

9.  Oh, I'm exhausted!

10.  I think my next shortcut is going to be hiring some regular help!! I've had it in the past, but it's been ages. Now is the time!

* * * * *

CONTEST HERE!

* * * * *

02 December 2013

It's December -- and a contest!

It's on to other things! I've actually been reading something other than -- or, rather, in addition to -- books about childbirth and labor support. 

Knittingyarns

I recently received two copies of Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, edited by Ann Hood -- one to keep myself and one to give away! I was only vaguely aware of this book a while back, and then read Barbara Kingsolver's "yarn" in the November/December issue of Orion magazineWhere It Begins -- I love this part about friends:

It begins with the circle of friends. There is always something beyond your beyond, the aged parents and teenager who crack up the family cars on the selfsame day, the bone-picked divorce, the winter of chemo, the gorgeous mistake, the long unraveling misery that needs company, reading glasses and glasses of wine and all the chairs pulled into the living room. Project bags bulge like sacks of oranges, ripe for beginning. Cast on, knit two together girlfriendwise. Rip it, pick up the pieces where you can, along the headless yoke or scandalously loose button placket, pick up and knit. Always, you will have to keep two projects going: first, the no-brainer stockinette that can run on cruise control when the talk is delicious. And the other one, the brainer, a maddening intarsia or fussy fair-isle you’ll save for the day when the chat gets less interesting, though really it never does. Knitting only makes the talk go softer, as long as it needs to be, fondly ribbed and yarned-over, loosely structured or not at all, with embellishment on every edge. Laughter makes dropped stitches.

"Cast on, knit two together girlfriendwise...."

I never thought I'd like knitting in a group with other people, and now I can't imagine not knitting with friends! My knit night attendance has been scarce of late, but that's life... and it will change.

Anyway, the list of authors is amazing, naming a scant few more of my favorites: Elizabeth Berg, Jane Smiley, "our own" Ann Shayne, and even Andre Dubus III! I've barely begun because, you know, there's still childbirth and labor support happening in a few weeks, but it is a nice respite from that -- even, in a way, a part of it because many of these are stories about knitting and how it helps us get through.

I am pretty sure I'll be knitting while helping Ali through her labor and delivery and, then, in the following days, I'm sure it will help to keep my head and heart from exploding all over the room as the reality of my first grandchild sinks in... that I'm a grandmother, and that Ali is a mother, too. Ka-BOOM!

Alphabet-scottieOne more shower photo - a slightly better look at the adorable alphabet sleeper and scottie dog hat direct from Aunt Kate in Edinburgh!

So, it's a wonderful book and I am savoring it, and I can't wait to share! With five knitting patterns by Helen Bingham, as well, it would make a wonderful gift for a knitter -- and I'll get it to you in plenty of time for Christmas giving (or to keep for yourself).

And there will almost certainly be yarn.

* * * * *

LEAVE YOUR COMMENT ON THIS POST!

Share a tip for a new mama & papa AND/OR tell me your favorite holiday movie!

Deadline is Friday, December 6th at 11:59 pm CST.

A winner will be drawn at random from all comments on this post.

Tell your friends.  :)

* * * * *

(Meanwhile, I can't wait to hear whether LoLa will be in The Big Game!!)

01 December 2013

Baby Shower

While I could have drowned Ali with the handknits at her baby shower, I decided to include only the projects I've started *and* finished since learning about Zim!

Not the ones I've knit & stashed over the years.

Not the ones I started years ago and finished in the last 6 months.

Not the ones I've started in the last 6 months but haven't finished.

(There's an alarming number of all!)

There was a minor panic when I couldn't find all of the items that I wanted to include in the shower gift -- with all of the shuffling and rearranging around here, I put them someplace "safe." I knew they were somewhere and persevered, finding them all together in the yarn cupboard. So, meeting the criteria, there was this:

Chevron Baby Blanket

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garter yoke baby cardi

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Chunky Hoodie

I chuckled to myself as I finished the bonnet and sewed the buttons on the hoodie the other night, Kay's recent comment on an Instagram post echoing in my head while I added them to the stack.

"I'm worried this child will not have empathy for those who wear ordinary clothes."

And I must admit, even I began to wonder whether having a grandmother who likes to knit is really such a good thing!!

I've given it some thought over the past few days and have concluded that until Zim can voice his/her opinion and/or make his/her own wardrobe choices, IT DEFINITELY IS A GOOD THING!!

I will take full advantage of my woolly window of opportunity.

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The shower was so much fun! I've only ever been to two and barely had one, myself, so I just winged it with input from Ali and inspiration from Pinterest. Maddy helped me with putting together favors and prizes, decorations and decorating, and it all turned out quite nice.

I really do have fun planning things... whether it's a trip to Vegas or Scotland, a wedding or a baby shower... find a theme, set some guidelines, and GO!

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Here's one photo of Ali from the shower. She's holding a little knit cap that Katie sent from... why, Scotland, of course!! In her lap is an ADORABLE one-piece with the ABCs all over it. Katie wrote that she couldn't resist, and that it reminded her of the sort of thing their Nana would buy for them. So true. My mother always found the cutest clothes for her grands.

 

30 November 2013

It seems only fitting....

...that there are two FOs today -- just in time for Ali's baby shower this afternoon!

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Katie left this yarn behind when she moved to Scotland, so I looked for a project. I loved the color and sometimes chunky looks so cute on little. I knit the jacket in the 12-month size, and found the buttons in my stash.

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The bonnet is knit flat with a small seam up the back; the chin strip worked separately and attached. It's apparently both vintage & modern! I like that. Either way, warm baby head.

Happy St. Andrew's Day!

VoteLoLa.com!

NaBloPoMo is a wrap!

OK! I'm off to make final preparations!!

 

29 November 2013

Chevron Baby Blanket

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  • Project:  Chevron Baby Blanket from Whit's Knits at The Purl Bee
  • Yarn:  Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller "Washable Ewe" (discontinued) - 2 skeins each of Dragonfly, Robin's Egg, and Duckling
  • Needle:  US 8
  • Start to Finish:  July 29 - November 27, 2013

Chevron Baby Blanket

I suppose that if I was the very best Nana in the world, I'd give Parcheesi to Zim; instead, we'll snuggle under it together at my house.

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The overall size is 28" x 38" -- basically "stroller" size. It's shown atop my queen-size bed.

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I knit an entire skein each of Dragonfly (dark teal), Duckling (yellow), and Robin's Egg (light teal) to begin; I then knit up another skein of both Duckling and Robin's Egg in a random stripe pattern; finishing with another skein of Dragonfly -- two skeins of each color.

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I've already washed it and dried it -- using cold water and the Permanent Press cycle in my front-loading washer, and medium-low heat in the dryer. It softened up a little and even has a little bit of halo.

Chevron Baby Blanket

 Beanie Baby giraffe for scale. And because he's my favorite.

 

28 November 2013

Thankful

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Happy Thanksgiving to all of my U.S. family & friends!

Happy Thursday to "the internationals."  :)

 

27 November 2013

Soup's on!

We are doing Thanksgiving completely out of order this year, what with making the spatchcocked turkey already on Sunday, and tonight (Thanksgiving Eve) there's turkey soup on the stove.

Tomorrow, it's lasagna on our Thanksgiving table again. That's twice now -- not in a row, and not with full approval, but that's what's happening. We have the turkey thing covered!

Cara told me once that if you do a thing three times in a row (like go to Rhinebeck) then it's a tradition. Almost, not quite... I really wouldn't mind.

There will be pumpkin pie. That's the most important tradition! :)

* * * * *

I started my day cutting out paper onesies for baby shower decoration.

I made turkey soup.

And two trips to two grocery stores, one to Target, and other various stops.

Picked up Mom and took her to physical therapy (an issue with her shoulder -- it's getting better), and then to do a little shopping.

Did a lot of cleaning -- Maddy's here and what began as your basic cleaning/organizing has now turned EPIC.

She also helped with me with a BUNCH of baby shower stuff.

Soup's on and I'm hungry.

Hope your day went well!!

* * * * *

VoteLoLa

Once a day (voting ends on Dec. 1st):   VoteLoLa.com!

 

26 November 2013

Ten on Tuesday: To Be Thankful

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things For Which I Am Thankful

1.  I am thankful that I have a husband who can -- and likes to -- do things... and who indulges (most of) my little whims, even when it means bashing a big hole through a wall. We have been do-ers together from Day 1!

One of my goals for today, getting the soon-to-be-installed French doors from the other side of the wall to this. They'll need some time in the basement before all is said and done, but this is good for now. #remodeling

There will soon be a hole in the wall where those doors are leaning -- for those doors to be installed!

2.  I am thankful that Katie is able to follow her dreams (and earn her Master's at the same time) in Scotland. And that she'll soon be home for a visit. And that the possibility of visiting her there next summer is still very real.

3.  I am thankful that Alison is a happy married lady and soon-to-be mum. To see and feel her happiness is... always amazing.

4.  I am thankful that Maddy has found her path. It's a little longer than she'd like and there have been some bumps, but she is getting it done. Her excitement about teaching is infectious.

5.  I am thrilled -- and thankful, of course -- that I will not only become a grandma as the new year begins, but that I will have (hopefully) helped & supported Ali and Rod through the process, and that I will be part of Zim's welcoming committee.

6.  I am thankful for ALL of my family -- parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Due to the natural ebb and flow of relationships, there are various measures of connectedness at any given time, but we are connected to the core and I wouldn't be the same without every last one.

7.  I am especially thankful for the makers among them, and for their inspiration. I am grateful that from an early age I had a full arsenal of tools at my disposal for making all sorts of things -- and people willing to teach me how. Sewing, embroidery, knitting, cooking, painting, quilting, basket-making, furniture building... the list goes on.

8.  I am thankful that my mother taught me how to knit. Where in the world would I be without knitting? I bought an Elizabeth Zimmermann "Quote Tote" from Schoolhouse Press a few years ago: Knit on with confidence and hope through all crises. It is so true! My tote is a little different from the current version, and I think quite a bit bigger, so I only use it for big projects -- but those are exactly the types of projects I choose when there's a crises to knit through!

9.  I am thankful for blogging, which stems directly from knitting, and all that it's brought to my life. I am thankful for you, dear reader. Thank you for following along... reading, writing, and often encouraging me with whatever my whim-of-the-day, including spatchcocked turkeys!

10.  I am thankful for my hearth and home. I have been wrangling quite a bit lately with stuff and trying to reconfigure things -- not easy -- but I am grateful that I have a home that I love, near to so many of the people that I love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

25 November 2013

Golden deliciousness

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The process is not for the squeamish, but I channeled my inner Julia Child and muscled through. A good, sturdy kitchen shears is a must. That's the turkey right out of the oven. I transferred it on the rack to another pan and tented with foil, as directed, and after a :20 rest began to carve.

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I will never cook a turkey any other way again. It was SO quick to cook, with none of incessant basting & worrying -- and I didn't get sick of it while it was still in the oven -- and it was SO much easier to carve, as well. Unless you're a family that makes big show of the carving-at-the-table (and we never ever were), I can't think of a good reason to roast a turkey any other way.

A co-worker told me today that he spied spatchcocked turkeys for sale at a local grocery chain; I have previously seen spatchcocked chickens available there.

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In other news, I've begun the last color/section of Zim's knitted blanket and should have it finished just in time for the baby shower on Saturday afternoon!

 

24 November 2013

I have...

SPATCHCOCKED!

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Therefore, I must BE.

Crisp-Skinned Butterflied (spatchcocked) Roast Turkey: here. The slideshow immensely helpful -- doubt I'd have tried it, otherwise.

It's still in the oven. That's a fresh 13-lb turkey and it will cook in about 90 minutes. I haven't done all the pre- stuff, because I haven't been very good lately at reading *all* of the directions and fine print, but I'm confident that it will be amazing. It sure smells amazing in here. I also have the beginnings of an awesome soup (not gravy) on the stove.

I love trying new things in the kitchen.

 

23 November 2013

Busy!!

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I just remembered that I need to NaBloPo today and if I don't do it now, I might not do it at all. I've been holed up in my room all morning and foresee the same for the afternoon. Hopefully, things will be fairly roughed-in at the end and I can concentrate on other things tomorrow -- like spatchcocking and cooking my turkey!

VoteLoLa

Once a day (voting ends on Dec. 1st):   VoteLoLa.com!
 

22 November 2013

Eye Candy/Flashback Friday

Playhouse

Rusty made my birthday card, as he often does, this year using a photo from a small forgotten pile he found stashed in the basement, and enclosing the rest. I love this one of curly haired, standing-on-one-leg Kate, rough-and-tumble Ali, and our at-the-time neighbor Luke. They're standing at the playhouse door -- by the looks of it, the fence had been just completed.

Always a little late for Throwback Thursday, at least there's Flashback Friday!

 

21 November 2013

Randomly, as one does.

And does it get any more random than Andy Gibb on the cover of a knitting magazine?

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It's a "Jacqueline Special" from 1984, "Knitting For Your Favorite Men." Within? The likes of William R. Moses (Falcon Crest), Timothy Murphy (Dallas), John James and Geoffrey Scott (Dynasty), Ted Shackelford (Dallas and Knots Landing), Carlo Imperato (Fame), and a few others.

Prime time soaps RULED in the 80s! They all seemed loosely related, too, didn't they? Lots of spin-offs. Not unlike the CSI and Law & Order "franchises" today.

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It's not that I was a huge fan of any of those actors, or even those shows (outside of a few seasons of Dallas), but that little rag has so far been spared. I did take a bin full of mostly knitting books to my local Half-Price Books yesterday, where Katie used to work; while I didn't recognize a single soul, I did walk away with some jingle in my pocket. And a universal bike mount for my phone.

There's all that time to kill shop while they're figuring out their offer. As they do.

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Hello, my name is Vicki and I have a scrap problem. My sock yarn stash wasn't nearly as embarrassing once the scraps and partial skeins were removed! I have since organized it in bins, more or less by color (ROY G. BIV style), and I believe it may be time for another scrappy blanket! I am considering something along the lines of Cornerstone Blanket, A Light In The Window, or Mitered Crosses -- all three patterns currently being offered (through Sunday, 11/24) by Kay at Mason-Dixon Knitting for a $20 donation to Mercy Corps for Philippines relief. As she does.

I am happy to make a donation to help with relief efforts, whether or not knitting patterns are involved, but was nonetheless saddened to discover that I already had all three of those blanket patterns in my Ravelry library, which can only mean that we've had way too many disasters.

Baby-blanket

The boys were so sweet yesterday, helping me get a progress shot of Zim's blanket! I'll continue randomizing the yellow and light teal, bookending with another section of dark teal. It won't be long, now, and I even wove in ends last night!

Oh, I miss those boys already. Mack is such a heartbreaker -- he knows just what the girls (especially his mom, aunt, and grandmother) want to hear. Addy was so excited when he thought there was a possibility that I'd be going along to Rio. It's sure going to be tempting in a couple of months.

Except for the squishy little bundle of joy that will automatically warm up our January.

IMG_20131118_194855Adorable plush bear made by Alison

Oh, and Addison thinks the baby should be named Addison Junior!

VoteLoLa 

Once a day:   VoteLoLa.com!

Even Michael Pollan tweeted (@michaelpollan) yesterday in support of Locally Laid! So cool.

 

20 November 2013

Meanwhile...

Would you be surprised if the parade of finished baby knits carried on?

garter yoke baby cardi

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I love the sophisticated, vintage buttons that  Alison chose at Soutache.

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This little sweater is a free download on Ravelry, and I'm sure I'll be knitting it again!

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 The color is called "Grandpa's Jeans" -- old, faded, dark denim. Comfy.

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* * * * *

I'll be taking Ann & family to the airport this afternoon, as their impromptu, unscheduled, week-long visit comes to an end today... or, for them, tomorrow when the plane touches down in Rio.

Dinner-and-a-movie

So much bittersweet.

* * * * *

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19 November 2013

Ten on Tuesday: 5 + 5

Ten on Tuesday:

5 Favorite Sweater Patterns +
5 Favorite Yarns To Use 10 Things!

SWEATERS

Here are the last 5 sweaters I pinned to I Don't Have Enough On My Plate:

1.  Firth o' Forth by Kate Davies

2.  Maude by Carrie Bostick Hoge

3.  Sweatrrr by Asa Tricosa

4.  Spaghetti by Valentina Cosciani

5.  Faro Pullover by Amy Christoffers

YARNS

I'm not really trying to match yarn to project, but I'm dreaming and it just so happens that...

6.  My Kate sent me about 1750 yards of Belle Epoque lace-weight yarn for my birthday! On a clear day, she can see the actual Firth of Forth from her kitchen window, and it's just natural to my mind that this yarn and that pattern would make a wonderful pairing. I'm about 350 yards short but there are options:  a) I could make the sweater a wee bit shorter, b) I could make the sleeves shorter or possibly even eliminate them, c) see if Kate can pop over to K1 Yarns to see if there's one more hank in this color/lot.

7.  I like the idea of unpretentious Cascade 220 for Maude. After my weekend of moving stuff around, I am quite familiar with some aspects of my stash -- worsted-weight being one of those aspects -- and don't think I have quite enough of any one color. I love the everyday comfy vibe of this sweater!

8.  Low Tide is ready to rip. I ran into it over the weekend, tried it on, and it hasn't magically shrunk... it's still too big! That background color could be interesting for Sweatrrr... and there is no shortage of scrap fingering-weight yarn 'round here. I'd play around with making it a cardigan, though.

9.  For Spaghetti, I like the idea of saturated color... Tosh Merino or something similar.

10.  And for Faro, I have a cone of aran-weight yarn that could be anything at all!

Wow, perusing my Pinterest board beyond those five... there are SO MANY great sweater patterns out there! How does one even decide anymore?

 

18 November 2013

Weekending

WomansWorld

There's been a three-panel french door leaning against a pillar in the living room for months. It was a "summer project" to get it installed. Ahem.

It seemed an overwhelming, almost insurmountable, project to begin at times; bookcases -- five of them -- and all of their contents needed to be shifted around in order to clear the space. I guess it's a testament to just how much I want those doors restored that I finally began the process over the weekend! Annie & her crew were visiting family in Madison and, well, if I want them in by Christmas (which I do), it has to happen now. Also, the place where they were leaning is sort of right where I like to put the tree!

Anyway, a move like this is like busting open the archives. I have found a bunch of stuff that I no longer need, stuff that tugs at my heart, and stuff like the knitting patterns shown above. Ripped from Woman's World magazine, I knit both the sweater and the girl's dress, ca. 1984, sitting in my little apartment on the Wilson River in Tillamook, OR.

They were both very interesting knits -- the dress, in particular, with pleats, ruching, bobbles and lace! That little dress had it all and I learned so much! When I think of my early projects, and my progress as a knitter, it's this little dress that made me a knitter.

Annie's still here 'til Wednesday, I took an extra day off today, and we're having the first "Thanksgiving" of the season tonight, so I'm in the middle of this epic project that's just going to have to sit for a little. And that's fine. The hard part is over!!

 

17 November 2013

Wild & Crazy Baby Legs

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There are short rows and increases in the behind to provide the added fullness needed for a diapered baby butt.

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These leggings are knit in one piece -- as seems to be my theme for recent baby knits -- with one seam up the inside of each leg, continuing up the front from where they meet at the crotch to the waistband.

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And, of course, finished with the lovely machine-knit I-cord.

Baby Legs

Being a winter baby, I'm pretty sure Zim will make use of these!

* * * * *

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16 November 2013

I-cord all the things!

OMG, that was so FAST and so EASY!

Wool Soakers

Gotta say, that Embellish-Knit Machine is some of the best money I've ever spent! The boys weren't quite as excited and intrigued as I'd hoped, but you should have seen Joe! My stepdad is a mechanical engineer and, well, he was fascinated by the mechanics! The Embellish-Knit recommends sport- and fingering-weight yarns, but I didn't have any problem with either of the worsted-weights I used.

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I started with the smallest size and have worked my way up the sizes, knitting one of each of the first three, so far, all from the same skein of wool. I've also used some of that skein for some baby legs and I-cord, and there's still more. The first/smallest soaker weighs approx. 45g with I-cord.

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 This is the second size, I-cord is made with some leftover Encore Worsted.

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And this is the third size; I-cord knit with some leftover Socks That Rock Lightweight. You'll see much more of that tomorrow!

The soakers are knit all in one piece with some grafting/kitchener to finish, and two tiny little seams to sew. I did as instructed on the first but, of course, had to change it up a little... and I tried a three-needle bind-off on the other two. The binding off is perhaps not quite as elastic, but I'm thinking that if that was the designated "front" of the soaker, where stretch isn't quite as essential as in the back, it would be okay.

We'll have our verdict in a few months! And then I'll knit some more!!

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15 November 2013

Eye Candy Friday

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Taking a break from the parade of finished objects, the light illuminating the flowers on my mother's kitchen table the other day was breathtaking. While the awesomeness is not fully captured in an Instagram photo, it is nonetheless quite beautiful.

The boys from Brazil (and their parents) flew in on Wednesday for an impromptu and surprising week-long visit, and I'm thinking they are just the manpower needed to crank out the yards of I-cord needed to finally call a few projects finito! (She thinks. Hopeful that the novelty lasts long enough.) I figured out the set up & operation of my Embellish-Knit Machine last night and it's ready to go!

And, with that, we're half-way through NaBloPoMo. Stay tuned!

Oh, and don't forget to VoteLoLa!

14 November 2013

Secondly - Le p'tit mousse

With perfect buttons!

Le p'tit mousse

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This is another garter stitch baby sweater -- a pullover this time -- knit all in one piece and requiring only to be finished with one long side/sleeve seam on each side and, of course, buttons! In this case, the buttons are purely decorative. 

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Naturally, that clever little pocket drew me in, but so, too, the flippy little sleeve detail. The pocket could easily be done in another color -- complementary, contrasting, the possibilites are endless.

This was also a very quick knit, the long pause between start & finish mainly due to procrastination about seaming up and, then, the buttons.

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Yes, more to come!

 

13 November 2013

The first of a few -- Stitch!

To get the party started, I sewed the seams of Le p'tit mousse the other night and then couldn't find the buttons I'd bought for it a few months ago.

So, I stopped at my LYS yesterday on the way home and, of course, found buttons I liked even better! Phyllis at Iris Fine Yarns has a wonderful collection of buttons!

But we're actually not going to talk about that today. Today we're going to talk about this:

One-Stitch Baby Sweater

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I put the start date on Rav as November 1, 2010, only because there's not an option for "a million years ago." I have no idea when I started this, but it's been finished for almost as long, with coil-less pins marking five spots and awaiting only buttons all this time.

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Alison picked the buttons herself last week at Soutache, and they are perfect -- the light blue buttons with the pale yellow yarn gives a nice vintage-y feel.

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I'm unsure of the size -- it will probably fit 9m to a year or so, depending on the baby.

Aptly named, it's knit entirely in garter stitch (my favorite stitch) and all in one piece, finished with one long side/sleeve seam on each side and, of course, buttons! Cotton Ease means easy care -- one of the best and most affordable there is. This would be perfect in all seasons.

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Voila! Ooooh, I can't wait for a squishy baby!!

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There's more to come... stay tuned!

* * * * *

And don't forget to VoteLoLa today (and everyday)!

 

12 November 2013

VoteLoLa.com

Local Chicks Are Better!

VoteLoLa

Locally Laid Egg Company, Duluth, MN, is in the Final Four of Intuit's Small Business Big Game contest -- the one where one small company wins a big commercial spot during the Super Bowl!

It's a great story (not to mention the BEST COMPANY NAME EVER), but I especially love the part where my cousin Gail is great friends with the owners of Locally Laid, Jason & Lucie Amundsen. Gail's sons work with LoLa on a regular basis and Gail, an architect, designs cool chicken houses for Jason and is involved in many other chicken-y projects with them.

LoLa

Do me a favor, will ya? VoteLoLa.com -- once a day, everyday, thru December 1st. There's no registration necessary -- just click the link, VoteLoLa, and be done. Once a day, everyday. It would be so cool to see them win... I really want to see that commercial!!

 

11 November 2013

Thanks!

Rusty-in-Vietnam
Direct from his "Vietnam and Other Tales" scrapbook, my then 22-year-old husband in Vietnam. First a company clerk, he later directed an arts and crafts program where soldiers could work on making models, jewelry and other art, instead of, ahem, enjoying other types of R&R popular at the time.

Thanks, Rusty, and all veterans! Happy Veterans' Day!

 

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