Monday, June 29, 2009

Working thru the Stash

It always makes me happy when I can use up some of my stash that's been sitting for awhile. I bought some Red Heart Carefree Cotton awhile ago on clearance at Wal-Mart. It's a cotton/acrylic blend and very soft. There were 4 left and I bought them all up. I wasn't sure what I would make with it, but I knew I could make something for Baby Girl.

I was surfing on Ravelry one night, checking out some yarn I was interested in and seeing what other people made with it. I came across a pattern that I really liked and thought Baby Girl would love. It's a Lionbrand free pattern, Fresh Picked Color 3/4 sleeved cardigan. The yarn wasn't a perfect match but I got close to gauge. Since it's a loose fitting cardigan, I figured I'd be fine.

Turns out it's actually a little big, but Baby Girl loves it and that's all that matters. I LOVE the feel of the cardigan (so does she), but I'm not sure how well the yarn will wear. I've already washed and dried it, and while it didn't pill, it did fuzz up a bit, esp around the eyelet areas. But it got even softer and like I said, BG loves it and will wear it, which is the biggest reason I knit for her. Here she is wearing it.

Here are my stats:

Fresh-Picked Color 3/4-sleeve Cardigan
Date Start: 4/25/09
Date End: 6/27/09
Total Project time: 2 months
Yarn used: Red Heart Carefree Cotton color #6752 Hot Pink
3 skeins
9.2oz/468yds used up

I'm not one to change patterns around so I knit it pretty much as written. I only changed the yarn (from the recommended Cotton Ease) which made me go up a size in needles (to a 9) to get *gauge*.

I've been working on a couple of mindless projects because while my rash is gone, I still don't feel great. I'm pretty sure it's stress. A job we thought for SURE the IO would get, didn't come thru. Some days you're the pigeon, some days you're the statue. Let's just say it's time we grew some wings....... Or at least get washed off!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Itchy and Scratchy Show

I have started two different posts to describe what's been going on here, but I've deleted them both. Basically I've finished a book, a sweater for Baby Girl and have been sick since Wednesday. I've had body aches, fever, oh yes and now a full body rash. It's either stress or viral, nobody knows for sure yet. I'm on benadryl, cortisone and xanax. Such a lovely cocktail of meds. At least it has helped a bit with the itching. THAT is the worst part of it all. Hopefully it will be gone by tomorrow.

I will post pics and details of Baby Girl's sweater. Remember how I thought it would be too small? Well it's actually a little TOO big! But it works fine and Baby Girl loves it!

Meanwhile Lucy says:

Don't come any closer! These lasers are NOT set to stun!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Officially Summer

Now that the parties are over and the out of towners have gone home, I finally feel like summer break has started. Over the wknd I started going thru some of the piles on the side of the bed to reorganize it a bit. I've been working a lot on Baby Girl's sweater, but will take pictures of it when I'm finished. I'm getting REALLY close and I'm hoping it will fit.

I also did some reassigning on some projects. I had a Warm Woolies sock that I ripped out. I forgot to turn the heel, but decided to keep ripping until it was all out. I was happy with the cuff (nice and stretchy) and the colors were blending well, but I really hated the yarn. It was a single ply yarn that I got in a JoAnn's felting kit. I figured it was great for charity knitting, esp when it went on clearance, but I didn't realize my aversion to single ply yarn until later. My 8 skeins will be sold on eBay.

As I was pulling out these skeins of yarn, I came across some remnants of wool yarn that I wanted to get rid of as well. So I cast on for another WW vest. I started yesterday and just kept working on it until my hands were sore. I made some good progress too!

The other WW vest that is in progress got switched out to different needles. I was using some circular needles out of the same felting kit, but the cord was bent in such a way the stitches wouldn't move smoothly over them. So the vest was knit to my Denise needles and the kit ones were thrown out. It's moving along too.

Reading is happening as well. This month so far I've read two books by Katherine Hall Page, The Body in the Big Apple and The Body in the Moonlight. I started reading her in the late 90s, but stopped once I started having kids (not as much time). I got back into her when she attended a local library function. While I wait for the next couple in the series from the library, I started the new Maggie Sefton, Drop Dead Stitch. So far so good.

Let's see, knitting and reading; THAT'S what summers are for. Now if I can just figure out a way to get the laundry to do itself.....

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday Sun

With the way the heat feels today, I feel like I'm ON the sun! Here is my temp around 3pm.

Don't let the 92 fool you. The heat index was 114. How did we go from such nice temps a few weeks ago to the middle of the sun?!?! Here is my sky.

Yes I took it from inside the house. It was too hot to go outside. I couldnt even convince the kids!

However later Baby Girl did decide to go outside and swing. It had cooled down to an index of only 105. See?

She had to put on pants to keep from getting a chill...

After grocery shopping this AM, I sequestered myself to the dark cool cave of my bedroom, pulled out some knitting and am making progress on Baby Girl's sweater. Do you ever get those feelings as you knit that it's not going to fit?? I'm getting those feelings as I knit this shrug for Baby Girl. I'm making the biggest size, but with different yarn and needles. I checked gauge 3 times and have gotten something different each time. It's close and I'm being optimistic that it will be fine. I figure even if she can't fit it, I have another niece to pass it down to. But I REALLY hope it fits.....

The IO grilled some swordfish and steaks on the grill and I nuked some potatoes to go with it. Add some fruit and there's dinner. Add a Mike's Hard Lemonade and you have the wknd!

Wonder if it will have an effect on the knitting???

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Could it be?!?

YES! Actual knitting content!! First of all, I have located all missing knitting projects. All are safe, sound and accounted for. And I do have a finish to report!

This is a charity pair for Warm Woolies with some leftover bulky yarn (the toes and cuffs) and some KnitPicks Wool of the Andres. I started this back in May when I had a few minutes back stage, but I never finished them until June. Here are the details:

Purple Charity Socks
32 row socks using size 7 dpns
Sock #1: 5/23-25
Sock #2: 5/28-6/6

I have 6 knitting projects going right now, but only 2 are really being worked on. Here's my kitty shelter blanket.

I switched needles and its moving along a LOT faster now. I'm probably abt 1/2 way done with this. It's the perfect thing to knit on when #1 Son and I watch Ace of Cakes at night.

I'm also working on a light weight sweater for Baby Girl.

These are the sleeves. I have another 6" to knit before I'm done with them. They get attached to the sweater by knitting them right in. It's hard to explain but a great way to not have to attach them later! Makes the pattern flow better as well.

And here is where I'm at with Too Pooped.

The cat's done and now I'm working my way up the tree. I'm meeting my stitching group tomorrow, but I think I'm bringing something else. Not sure what yet.

And remember all the opened candy wrappers? I finished my grad hats in time for the party. All I can say is that working with chocolate in the summer is NOT fun! The melted chocolate kept hardening up too quickly (because of the fan I had blowing on me), but the peanut butter cups and chocolate bars kept getting soft (because it was the afternoon and my house tends to get warmer than it should). But when all was said and done, I think they came out pretty well.

This is one set of them, the other is further down the dessert table. Toward the end of the party they were grabbed by the teenage crowd and were eaten while dancing. No songs were interrupted for this snack!

***Edited to add***
I forgot to repost the website where I got this idea from. Go to Bakerella, more specifically here, which will give directions on how to make these fantastic grad caps along with other great ideas.

We may only be in week 2 of summer break, but we've already been to 2 parties. My hats were for a graduation party on Saturday and the day before was a pool party. Fourteen boys and Baby Girl. No worries yet since the avg age of the boys was around 12 and Baby Girl is 7. However she is not one to be pushed around. She did her own thing while the boys were doing cannon balls or throwing a ball or just being boys around her. If they were in her way, she'd just swim around them. No screams, no tantrums, just doing her own thing. That girl makes me proud!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Heat Wave

Today can make anybody a firm believer in global warming. My thermometer says this

but it feels MUCH hotter. My local Wunderground weather station (which is down the street) says it is 92 with a heat index of 105. That is ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE DEGREES!!!!!! It's no wonder that I feel like I'm withering away.....

Here is what my sky looks like.

Do you see that middle tree-like stalk with branches coming off of it? Something that looks like it belongs in a Dr Seuss book?? It's some kind of cactus that will bloom and eventually die off.

The above picture is what you can see from my backyard. The house it lives at is 4 houses down. Here is what it looks like from the front.

Isn't it a cool plant?? It really is that tall too. I'm not sure of the name of it, and my neighbor wasn't out to ask. He told the IO, but he can't remember. Once I find out I will pass it along.

Meanwhile I am doing something that requires these

and these,

and leaves behind these.

More tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Follow the WiFi

Normally I blog from the comfort of Happy Acres, but we're experiencing some technical difficulties and I haven't been able to access the web in over 24 hours. Not having access to 24 hour news, emails and blogs is not a good look for me so the IO sent me to our local McDonalds. I have to say it's kind of nice to be surfing out of the house!!! I'm tucked away in a corner away from the normal hubbub of the lines and people**, plus I've got some great music being piped in. However the only odd thing is that while the music is in English, the commercials are in Spanish. And I'm not even in Miami.

I took some time for myself over the wknd to kind of recoup from last week and worked some more on Too Pooped. I've completely finished the kitty and am working my way up the tree. I'd show you the pictures, but they are still in my camera which I left at home. I also finished a pair of charity socks and cast on for another pair. Also in the camera. I've been working on my charity socks because my other projects are MIA. The house is a bit turned around and I can't find my malabrigo socks, #1 Son's socks ~or~ Baby Girl's jacket I'm working on. I know they are in one of my many piles that I'm trying to work my way thru, it's just a matter of picking the right pile. Until I find them, I will work on charity socks. Warm Woolies is having a summer contest, Six for Six. Six items to fit 6 y/os and older. The deadline is around Sept (not sure if its the beginning or end), and once they receive your package, they send you more yarn. I LIKE this! I really do enjoy the mindless knitting of charity. I don't have to worry if the recipient will like the colors or not or if they won't look *cool* or *trendy*. They are happy to be warm.

(insert charity socks picture here)

So now that school is over, I should be relaxing, right?!? WRONG!! This is the week before a surprise graduation party and my friend is going nuts! She is really worried that it's not going to work out well. She is stressing BAD! However it doesn't help that she has decided to paint, redecorate the living room AND re-landscape the front yard all before this party. She has friends coming in from out of town that haven't seen the house in awhile and she wants it to look good. The IO calls her house the resort. Its landscaped and decorated better than some B&Bs I've been in. I tell her she can go into business if her dh ever loses his job.

ANYWAY we've been busy going to the party store, Michael's, JoAnns, Costco and a few other places. We were working on the party favors yesterday. She still needs to finish them and also wrap the silverware in napkins with curling ribbon. Since this is a surprise, she's limited as to when she can work on the party because her daughter lives at home.

(insert picture of stressed out friend here)

It is going to be a really nice party, and as usual, I will post pictures (hopefully) this wknd. If not at home, at least I'll get some quiet time at McyD's.

If you thought this was going to be a photo-less post, you would be wrong! I did upload some pics over the wknd. Some of you are familiar that we have a lake near our house. A little over a year ago I posted some pictures of it when I was participating in the ABC Along, D is for Drought. Here are those pictures.

Since we've been having so much rain (it's raining as I type in fact), this lake has really filled in. Here is what it looked like this past wknd.

I don't think I've ever seen it so full. What's nice abt having it so high is that the wildlife have returned to the area. We've got a family of ducks, a couple of sandhill cranes and a few other native birds I don't have names for.

(insert wildlife pictures here)

Hopefully I will have my connectivity issues fixed soon. If not, I will be visiting my library more often as well (my McDs only gives you an hour limit).

Now I'm off to read some of my blogs and emails before I run out of time and battery power......

**Ok apparently I'm not far enough away. I had one woman stop by and comment on my computer skills (as in I can type on one!). However it was hard to follow the conversation since she had her lips so filled with silicone, it was hard not to stare. And now I just had 8 kids with 2 adults sit at the seats RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!!! Now I'm having conversations with them abt the quality of the connectivity. The connectivity is fine, but the concentration is now SHOT!

YIKES there are more coming!! Apparently a local high school soccer game has just finished. Hmmmm, I guess seeing the woman typing furiously on a laptop doesn't signify a busy person.....

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Saturday Silence

It's quiet right now at Happy Acres and it's NICE! The IO took the kids out this AM leaving me the house to myself, which is wonderful after this past month. I woke up yesterday for the first time in a long time without an agenda ahead of me. It was the last day of school which meant there were no PTO meetings or awards or recitals or field trips to attend or get ready for. No more baked goods to prepare. So what did I do? I went to Dunkin Donuts for coffee with another mom who is also celebrating the end of school. And they were having a special, if you buy a beverage, you get a donut for free! We killed 2 hours w/o even realizing it.

Yesterday was also my blogiversary. I've been doing this for 3 years already. It's fun to look back and see what's been happening in the past few years. It also reminds me that I need to ditch the scrapbooking idea and just go back to photo albums. I was SO much better at keeping them updated before I decided to scrapbook for the kids. It's one of my goals for the summer (actually it's been my goal for the past THREE summers. Lets see if I can reach it this year)

In the afternoon once we were all home, I decided to reacquaint myself with some of my projects. I knit on this for a bit

then pulled out Too Pooped. He hasn't seen the light of day since February. This is where he was left off.

and as of last night.

I love the way the color changes make him look so good, but they are a pain to stitch. He may see some more action later today. His tail is done but I really want to finish that dangling foot. Then he will be done. Which means I can work on the tree. All. That. Brown.

Last but not least is my sky. This is the only blue patch up there. Everywhere else is cloudy.

Now I'm off to make some breakfast. I need my energy for all the stitching I plan on doing today.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wednesday morning update

Yes I'm still alive, no I'm not knitting.

And the knitting part is killing me.

It's been hectic here at Happy Acres. My sister who came out for Baby Girl's performance over a week ago is leaving today. She's trying to move up here from Miami so the wknd was spent looking around at houses. We found the development she wants to move into, but now it's just seeing what's available.

So far this week we've had award ceremonies

and field trips.

Today I work in the AM and then fit in a hair cut for #1 son before I start on 36 cupcakes. Yep, I'm making them again. Apparently they were such a big hit, they are being requested again, except for #1 Son's class. Tomorrow is his awards ceremony followed by a pizza party with snacks. Since parents will be there as well, his teacher wants to be sure we have enough cupcakes for everybody.

And Friday. Friday is the last day of school. I'm torn between being in Baby Girl's class one more time and staying home. Still not sure on that one. The IO and I are also trying to come up with a fun way to kick off summer break. It may include a trip to the beach.

Hopefully by next week we will return to more crafty blog posts. I'm itching to get back into the game......