Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A place I called home

If at first you don't secede ...

When I lived in Seattle, I started out in a small Mother-in-Law-Cottage in the Interbay/Magnolia neighborhood. I spent a lot of time just across the street (and over a bridge) in Ballard, even after I moved to the north end of the city. In my mind, I still go to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks about once a week as I did when I lived there. Ballard felt like home in that big city when I was far away from west Michigan. Every so often this little place comes up and I know I won't be back for a long time.

Knitting? Where?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm getting some knitting time in, not much, but what little I manage to sneak in is a great break from the never ending piles of dishes and laundry. It seems that's all I do these days, and nursing a 4 & 1/2 month old. She started her first solid food yesterday, I was hoping to hold it off another month but lately she's nursing all the time and not satisfied. She ate the whole bowl of cereal - maybe 2 tbsp - and had the hang of spoon feeding by the end of it, and was finally full and satisfied for a few hours. Phew!

I try to think of anything worthwhile, amusing, or witty to share but right now there just isn't anything outside of baby stuff and housework, being very tired and sometimes forgetting to brush my teeth. I know I shouldn't worry if the bed doesn't get made or if vacuuming gets put off another day, but it bothers me. I'd like to get more done, not be tired, and have half an hour a day to knit. But I don't, so I'm a little more crabby these days even if I try not to sweat it.

I don't have gorgeous photos of the lovely meals I've lovingly made for my family, it's getting hot and I don't like cooking much in the summer. I tried a recipe for Southwestern corn and shrimp cold soup from the latest issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, but it wasn't for our family's tastes. It was "interesting" and I'll leave it at that. I'm trying to gather more vegetarian recipes, seasonal and summer (read: little or no stove/oven time) recipes, anything that won't take much time to prepare. I love cooking and baking when it's cold out, but these Virginia summers are more than this northerner can bear. Tonight I'll make a pasta salad, I'm just feeling rather uninspired and too tired for anything else.

My son turned 8, it seems like 8 going on 14. Where did all the time go? He isn't my Wee One anymore, he'd probably be mortified by that title now. Yeah, he's begun to have second thoughts that I'm really a cool mom. I'm already a mean mom for things like bedtime and teeth brushing, but I've been able to hang on to "cool mom" for quite a few years. Soon there will be eye rolling and instructions to walk at least 6 feet behind him out in public.

All in all, I'm ok. Tired, but ok. It's not quite spring and not quite summer, we're anxious for more carefree days. In a few short weeks the kids and I will fly back to west Michigan for a three week trip to be with my parents at my childhood home. I look forward to it as much as they (Jonah and my parents) do. We will swim in the lake and roast marshmallows over campfires, swing much too high on the poor backyard swing set. We'll go to the farmer's market for peaches and corn and run into everyone I knew from growing up. It will be good to get back for a while.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Raspberry Pie


I seamed and stuffed this piece of raspberry pie while watching LOST last night. My mother called me this morning, she was very confused about the show. The pie pattern is Dad's Blueberry Pie by Jennifer Tallapeneni and found over at Magknits. I used Sugar n Cream in Wine and Jute. I have so much of this yarn, 2 grocery bags full, for kids crafts, knitting, tying a roasting chicken together and you don't want to know what else. It's the duct tape of yarn.

Fun pattern, just do as it says and don't worry too much. I've been sleep deprived and generally tired of going to see doctors and hospitals so my reading comprehension is running on empty. I also have hypnogogic hallucinations before/while sleeping since sleeping in itself must not be fun enough. The crust part of the pattern threw me for a loop until I stopped thinking about it and just made it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The baby and I have been sick with colds this past week, I wanted to make a pie but didn't feel up to it and my husband has been gone with field work which means less pie eaters around here. When there are only 3 pie eaters in this house, one gone is a big cut in pie consumption. Here's some knitted berries instead.

I just received my invitation to Ravelry! I haven't had a chance to poke around it yet, I will have to wait until my wee ones are in bed tonight.

Also, if you haven't seen it at Hello Yarn, she has made the most adorable baby hat ever, period. It's not her own pattern, and it's not originally in English. I saw the original pattern while Hello Yarn's was a WIP, and couldn't wait for the translation to go up. Here it is, Sweet Baby Cap at
Grosblog (pardon if I don't have the title correct, I do not pretend to comprehend Norwegian). So darn cute. I may not be Norwegian, but I have a little Dutch baby who will need one of these hats this winter.

My Dutch baby is not to be confused with the Dutch Baby Pancake.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

While I love our '00 VW Passat wagon, I can't get enough of this VW Rabbit commercial. The "spotted" Rabbit is so nifty:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

More Dish Cloths

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm churning out a few more dish cloths, they've been easy and quick to complete. I hope to have more time to sit and concentrate on the cabled raglan cardigan, but I'm just not up for it now and not up for ripping back any mistakes I'd make due to not being up for it.

So dish cloths it is! One is for my secret swap pal, I'll reveal her name after she's received her package. The pattern is Little Tent Dish Cloth, which I thought was appropriate for summer. Can you see the little tents in the upside-down V's? This is such an easy and fun pattern, I think I'm going to make one more before I get into my sock yarn (yeah, yeah...and finish the other few WIP's I have left over). Medical things are settling down a bit, we only have 3 appointments this week and none are in DC so I won't be driving farther than Fairfax.

I've been testing various short row techniques for sock toes and heels, and I'll share more on that later. No use doing any tutorials, there are so many good ones out there and I'll link to the ones I found most helpful when I get my stuff together on short rows.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We're back from our long weekend getaway to Philadelphia, it was good to see my husband's family since the 2 who live in Philly are usually very busy and the other 3 are far off in Montana. Martin and I plan to take the kids out there next summer. Now we're home, the VW has quiet brakes now, and all my post-trip errands have been run except for buying new stamps and a few 1 cent stamps to add to my old ones. The post office was swamped with others doing just the same and there was no parking. I went to the library instead to return a dvd and check out some books on vegetarian cooking. I'm cutting back on meat, but still want to include fish and chicken in our diets (along with eggs and dairy). I need to find some recipes that don't involve 2 hours of prep time and chopping vegetables into tiny pieces. The summer is coming on shortly and I also want to find more no-cook/little-cook/don't-even-think-about-turning-on-the-oven recipes for when it's over 100 degrees.

Oh. The photo. I have done no knitting (outside of maybe 2 rows of a garter stitch dish cloth) since a few posts ago. This is from the other week, where I'm getting frustrated at myself for not thinking how twisted stitches behave. All of the twisted stitches by themselves and to the right side of the garter "ladders" are perfectly fine. It's the twisted stitches on the left side of the garter "ladders" that are wonky. I'm just going to leave it, give it a good blocking when it's done and be happy that hardly anyone will notice, and fewer will care. I love this color and hope I get to sit with it some more soon.

Right now, there's laundry to be folded and the baby will be up from her nap shortly. We have the next few days to do our home thing, then we are back in DC to the ear/nose/throat doctor to evaluate her thyroid. I'm getting better at this, even though I'm thoroughly tired. The kids and I may still get to go back to Michigan this summer if the doctors can agree on holding off any invasive procedures. Most of the time everything seems normal around here, until I'm at yet another doctor or running errands and strangers who see her coo at the sight of a baby then gasp and ask what is wrong with her. I'm getting better at that, too, but it's annoying to be truthful. Just take things one day at a time, I guess. So, all in all, today is pretty good.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I might be taking a break from here, or at least not be posting much for a while. Family and medical issues have my attention now and it's hard to say how long this road will be or how difficult things will get. For those who do know what's happening, thank you for all your kind comments and prayers. I signed up for a dishcloth swap and I'm going to see it through since I don't want to disappoint my pal and it's not a very involved swap anyway.

I hope to be updating again more frequently if only as a sign that things are going well here.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Not much knitting progress, or nothing much to show

Mark with bold the things you have ever knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest:

Garter stitch
Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down
Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn
Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down
Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL
Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn
Graffiti knitting
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca

Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies…)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items) on one or two circulars
Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting
Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Freeform knitting
Short rows
Cuffs/fingerless mits/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair
Hair accessories
Knitting in public

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Summer Dishcloth Swap Questionaire

1 When did you learn to knit? Who taught you?
I learned to knit when I was 15, from an old "Learn How to Knit" pamplet that my mother had once learned from. I taught myself for the most part, but Mom helped with the casting on even though it took her a while to remember how.

2 What was your very first completed object? Your most recent?
It was my first "swatch", a very large one that sort of turned into a small stockinette lap blanket. My most recent FO to date is the Snakes and Ladders gansey.

3 What was the very first thing you sent to the frog pond? (pulled out and started over) Your most recent?
That first swatch/blanket needed to be ripped back a few times when I didn't have the hang of it yet. Many dropped stitches. The most recent ripped out items were an unfinished piece or two I found while sorting my stash and found my tastes had changed.

4 What is currently on the needles for you?
A cabled raglan cardigan for my daughter, some dishcloths, and a baby blanket that I swear I'll complete before the baby is 12.

5 What types of needles do you enjoy working with? What have you tried and hated?
I generally like bamboo knitting needles, in DPN's or circs (but I avoid crystal palace circs - I hate their join, and it is not new and "improved"). I am always in need of needles US 0 to US 3 in DPN's (sets of 5) or 16" circs for socks. I'd love to try the knitpicks circs.

6 Have you knit dishcloths before?
1. What was your favorite one? No favorite pattern
2. Least favorite? I ran across a pattern that says "House work sucks" on it, but I like doing chores.

7 Do you use homemade dishcloths or face cloths yourself, or give them as gifts, or both?

8 What are your favorite and least favorite scents? (For your body, such as soap/lotion/etc)
I don't like a lot of heavy scent. It has to be light, clean, and preferably "natural" in some form (organic is nice, but not necessary). Nothing too heavily floral.

9 What are your favorite colors?
I love brown, especially dark chocolate/coffee brown, I like blues and combinations of light blue and dark brown.

10 What colors (if any) are your bathroom and kitchen decorated in?

11 What other hobbies and crafts do you enjoy?
I quilt and sew, and other miscellaneous crafts with my kids.

12 Chocolate: Dark? White? Milk? Ew?

13 Do you like salty treats? What kinds?
Yes, most kinds.

14 If you could go anywhere in the world for one day and spend the day any way you wanted, where would you go and what would you do?
Scotland. See where some of my ancestors came from, walk the land and just sit and look about. Shortbread would be good, too.

15 Do you have any allergies? (Yarns, foods, etc. that might impact what your pal can send)

Maryland Sheep and Wool

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Driving to Maryland.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Over the (Potomac) River and through the woods. Well, it was through the woods and over the river.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I dragged the crew along with me. Baby's first big outing, she hated it.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Wait, is this the same as the Monty Python Cheese Sketch?

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

So many sheep, so little time. I want one.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I want a Border Collie even more, but then I'll have more excuses to get sheep.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I could have watched this all day.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Bit of Blue

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

My mother sent me my old rag dolly for my daughter to have, it arrived in the mail today. Here are some peeks at the current WIP's, but I'll be mysterious and leave you guessing, then put them away in the blue trimmed knitting tote. See some of you at Maryland Sheep and Wool! Bye!