Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Yarn along - keep knitting along

Joining Ginny and the other ladies of the Yarn Along today.

 I am still working on my slightly dizzying sweater for Butterfly. She loves it. I am finding it hurts my eyes to work on for too long. The yarn is soft and well balance but the color just is not fun for me. Naturally, that makes progress slow.

 Still reading Wild Color and playing in this Yummy cookbook. We had homemade ravioli this week and for lunch the next day I pan fried the leftovers, two days of amazing. 
A good chunk of my time has gone into this I am thinking I will end up with three skeins of what I am calling Tree Butter, acorn dyed yarn. The kids had Friday and Monday off of school and we had lots of cuddles and fun.

What's in your workbasket?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Yarn along - a sprinkles the sweater

Joining with Ginny and the Ladies of the Yarn Along today, combining our love of reading and knitting. Check it out and get some creative ideas and book suggestions.

 I started this sweater for Butterfly. This picture is very dull, I am blaming the lack of sunlight. I made the yarn, it is a three ply of hot pink mixed breed wool, teal merino, and chocolate alpaca. It is very soft with a WPI of 10. It is bright and busy. Maybe too busy for me but she loves it. The sweater is based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system but as I found her sleeve ratios problematic with Badger's sweater I am expecting to have to radically increase the % in the arms. Her key number is 112 and the gauge is 4 stitches to the inch on sevens. My mother in law made the yarn bowl for me.
 My weather blanket continues nicely, do you see that grey stripe, today I have to add another. Grey is 0-4 degrees. I really like the blanket, the weather not so much, but it warmed up enough to snow briefly today. A very lovely, picture book kind of snow.
 The bottom one is a magazine, Where Women Create Business, but it is so sturdy it feels like a book. It is focusing on different women and the businesses they founded. There are some tips and advice but a lot of how they got there, and what their business is about. I am really enjoying it. The other is a Dyeing book, I have only glanced at it so far, but it is very pretty. One of my favorite fiber-y things to do is natural dyeing, and the gathering of the dyestuff, with family.
Inside of the magazine and my nightstand reading. I really like the way she builds her characters, they feel like actual people and she includes lots of local history for whatever area she sets her story in. Dead on the Dance Floor by Heather Graham.

Hope your projects are going well and your book is hard to put down.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

An old project and a new one

In the interest of getting some WIPs done I pulled out my green baby blanket. I really did not like the yarn with the pattern lacy panel that looked like leaves, it made the not terribly soft but very pretty yarn kind of rough and scratchy. I decided to work on it for a week and decide then. I made it a night. I really didn't like it - not the pattern or the yarn - but the combo. When I found that I had made a mistake before it languished in my work basket, that would require me to frog back in lace... I frogged all the way back. I will not be restarting. So I am looking for a new project to just the yarn for. 

Armed with that sucess...urhm...failure. I dug once more into the pile. Out came a square for my wedding quilt. We had people sign squares instead of a guest book. For some (crazy) unknown reason I decided to embroider all the names and to had stitch the entire thing. I have been married for more than 11 years. I have slightly more than 2 rows done. So I have been stealing bits of time to work on it.
Some day I will steal some time and refinish that table!

Last night the girls and I worked together to make pickled veggies. Badger Loves pickled cauliflower. Like jumping up and down excited that she was going to get to learn hot to make it. I haven't made any homemade in a long time so I hope she likes mine - Jacques Pepin's. We had a blast making them. Both girls want to learn to cook, although Badger is more likely to want to ten minutes into doing it than her sis.
We got three quarts done last night! So the new project is working on teaching the kids to cook. Badger already knows how to make waffles. And popcorn on the stove - although she has never done it she can talk through how. And now pickled veggies. Butterfly did a great job pealing the carrots and needed only a little help chopping it.

Hope you are having fun!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Surgery around here

What does a mom do when her children are upset? When a stuffie is in need of rescue and emergency surgery? Why this of course...

The patient, belongs to Butterfly, it's name is Flewbie. She needs a eye transplant as the colored on eye is no longer allowing her to see properly.

Her family observes the entire procedure to make certain Dr. Mom does her job correctly.

The surgery prep table with all tools and the replacement eye at the ready. Butterfly's favorite color is pink, so naturally, Flewbie has selected a pink replacement eye. The little pocket knife belonged to my Grandma and came to me after her death in an old Altoids tin with some pins, needles, and stitch markers.
Flewbie in the recovery room with her family standing by. Butterfly was very pleased that the surgery was a success and Flewbie was back to her cuddling duties by evening-time.

Hope you take the time to really enjoy all the little and big things you get to do as a parent!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Yarn along - the weather.

See that white, that white is 5-9 degrees. I haven't spent a lot of time on knitting or crochet this week. I did finish Butterfly's second glove just in time and she no longer needs to wear the brace! I have been working on unfinished projects, my craft business, and finding my studio under the mess of Crazy Christmas Crafting.

Reading The History of English Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill and Beneath a Blood Red Moon by Heather Graham. I like her work by this one is a bit slow.

Joining Ginny for the Yarn Along.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The list

Every year I dig out last year's list. The WIPs I did not get too, I mark off what I got done and add what I started over the year. Some years I have made great progress other years not so much. In the interest of self-esteem, this year about 3/4 of the way through I decided to make a second list. A list of all the things I did finish over the year.

This year I am going to do both.

Finished this year list will be posted each month, but here is one thing:
Doing the Fandom in Stitches block of the month patterns for the Hobbit. Actually I am doing it twice. One set for my MIL done up as place mats, one set as a quilt for my dad.

Carrying list:

7. doll
8. kilt
9. my wedding quilt
11. Keira's quilt
16. Carol's quilt
18. Sailboat.

That is what I had left on it. 

Here is the new carrying list:

  1. doll - needs hair sewn on, a face, and a dress.
  2. kilt - needs finish work and belt loops.
  3. my wedding quilt - We had guests sign squares, I decided to hand embroider all the signatures and hand stitch the whole thing. I have slightly more than two rows done.
  4. Butterfly's quilt - was suppose to be a QAL. I fell way behind, I think I have twenty of one hundred squares done.
  5. Cousin's quilt  - Needs sash, backing, and binding. Was done in lap quilt style so it is already quilted.
  6. Sailboat - I have the plans. This has been on my to do list for almost 15 years now. I will do it. Hubby has asked that I wait for cabin to be built first now. WIPs in my house are not called albatrosses they are sailboats!
  7. White cotton sweater for me. - Have to the shoulders starting at the neck.
  8. Green leaf baby blanket - may actually frog this.
  9. Sign for dad's business - likely 30 more hours.
  10. upcycle sweater - half done.
  11. drop spindle lace weight yarn. Continuing until I run out of wool.

Monday, January 11, 2016


It is funny how differently we see ourselves from how others do. How the image we have of something is completely different from the mirrors and from the image others hold of us.

I am way thinner in my head. I am stronger in the heads of my friends and capable of anything in the eyes of my kids.

I often feel less as a stay at home mom in this world of working. I work hard. I chose this life. I would choose it again. I love being there for my kids. I love that the idea of me being there or taking care of whatever, right then, is ingrained in my kids - mom can fix it - that the entire family never questions it. I love that my youngest want to be just like me. I love having the flexibility to go to random school events during the day or take day an just there for a friend. I love that our lives allow me to be present in such a full way in all these relationships.

But sometimes, like when a conversation is all about the wonderful/terrible things going on at work, I feel excluded from the world. I can relate. I remember that world - I held my last job for almost nine years - I know what it is like to do business well, to live in the cube-world and all the dramas and joys of it. But really, my stories are old and nostalgic, not fresh and frustrating. I am removed from all of this, left out.

And sometimes, like when a friend asks 'so you just have the house all to yourself all day?' or says something about being just a mom. I hover between guilty and envy. You dress up and go somewhere and have adult things to say and a schedule to keep. You make money in a capitalistic society. You... a thousand things I imply about your life.

We would not have more if I was working, we would have less. Less of me for my family. Less activities for the kids. Less chances to go camping, because the weather was good on Wednesday and I can get everything for the weekend and we can just go. Maybe we would be able to buy more, or save more, or I would have stories, but my choices were the right ones for us.

Sometimes, I think of myself as a list of things. Who I am as a list of associations and things I do. I've sold my crafts for a few years now, mostly sporadically, a business that is part hobby, part outlet, part dream. Imagine the start I got when at the bank the other day - Beaver got a job and needed a different account to have his checks deposited into - and they list me a working woman, owning my own company. I do. It is correct, but it is not how I think of myself.

Maybe I should. I am all of those thing, maybe I should give myself credit for being all of them. Maybe I should be easier on myself. And Just maybe I should enjoy it all more.


Friday, January 8, 2016

My intentions

aka list of resolutions. We as a culture make the list every year, most of us - enough that it is a worn threadbare joke - don't stick to them. Why? How can a idea that is so ingrained in our consciousness a "We here Resolve..." can come to mean, in general, I am going to diet for a week and clean "All the things" for awhile then slide back into terrible habits? I am guilty. I expect most people are. Well this year, I intend something different, but maybe it isn't really all that different, this year I am RESOLVED (picture me signing my name in a white wig) to change a few things.

I am resolved to take care of myself this year. In specific I mean work at losing weight and exercising more, I eat lots of healthy stuff but need to eat less and lose that bag of candy that lives in my purse. I don't mean that I am going to go crazy starve and stress until I fit some magic outfit. I am thinking more Flylady here - not that I mean I am following her plan - just that everything I do to take care of myself is a blessing (Every task you do to clean you home, even if you do it imperfectly, blesses your home and family. I am paraphrasing.) I am going to do things that help me, improve or enlighten me, and generally make myself feel loved.

I am resolved to take better care of my family and my home.

I am resolved to be a better friend.

I am resolved to spend less and to spend more mindfully.

I am resolved to write more.

I am resolved to put more of myself into my business.

I am resolved to set a better example.

I am resolved - this one will actually be the hardest - to craft for Christmas throughout the year so I am not scrambling in December.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Yarn along - fingerless magic and the weather

Joining Ginny and the other ladies at the Yarn Along!

 I am doing a Weather blanket this year, so is a friend so we have a little crochet along going on. I am using the high temp for the day so I add yesterday's temp each day. I am assigning my own color choices to each five degree block, Peacock is 25-29 degrees and Violet is 30-34. This picture is not as bright as the yarn is in person.
The week before Christmas I decided to cast on a sweater for Badger. The Monday after I finished it. It is my first Fair Isle. She loves it! It is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Seamless Fair Isle Yoke Sweater.
As I was frantically trying to get that sweater done before Christmas, my Butterfly looked at me and asked for finger-less gloves for Christmas. She was completely serious. I told her I didn't think I would get her sister's sweater done in time. She replied with complete faith, "you can do it, you always make everything." I was nearly in tears at having to dissuade my daughter from her belief that her mom could do anything. She took it completely in stride, but really wants the second glove in time for her doctor's appointment tomorrow when she get her brace off from breaking her arm. I think I can do that!
My parents got this for me for Christmas. The History of the English Speaking Peoples, The Birth of Britain by Winston Churchill, KG. Dad pointed out there are four volumes so he may have a plan... It is a very entertaining read so far. Very British, well written, arrogant, pro-civilization, and a well researched (circa 1930 though the war got in the way of him publishing until the 50's)

looking forward to seeing what is in your workbasket,

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


a diet and exercise program. I really want to be healthier and bendier than I am. I am planning a backpacking trip with my husband and sister in law and a few friends. SIL is super healthy and in shape, and while I am certain I can hike for three miles, I am not so certain about doing carrying 40lbs on my back or enjoying any part of the rest of the trip especially not if trying to keep to the pace she sets. I don't want to worry about it and I don't want to hold the rest of the group back. I also want to be able to relax and enjoy the area, which if I am exhausted I won't. Hence the diet and exercise.

I told Beaver, he plays football and weight lifts for fun. He worked up a work out schedule for me. Cringe. So I got through the first work out and did not die. He was very sweet about only laughing at me in his head, but he is a very expressive boy and I know him well. 

That is my before picture. I hope there is a nice after or even a couple alright during pictures. (& I swear that is a stack of clean laundry!) 

Off to fold Laundry,

Monday, January 4, 2016

Tiny Ones and tiny knits.

At long last I am posting this picture of the baby knits I made for my friend. Her baby is here and all is well! I caught a terrible cold over the holidays so I haven't met her yet, but hopefully, I will get down there this week. I plan on making some soup and a loaf of bread to take with me. 

I also made two of these sweaters for my sister's baby who I will call Beluga here - that is my sis' favorite animal. Little Beluga arrived in October. I got to go visit them for a while this past month. I rode the bus for 20 hours to get there. Buses are an interesting way to observe society, but not necessarily the best way to get to somewhere. I wanted her not to have to drive to a different town to pick me up and in that at least I got what I wanted. If I ever want to write a paper on how to pay to be irritated and inconvenienced I may ride the bus again. I think I'll try the train next time. My sister and family are looking to move back closer to home, which I couldn't be happier about. I cried on the way home at the thought that my nephew wouldn't know who I was the next time I see him.  Hopefully, we can use technology to circumvent that a little bit. 

Oh the sweaters... Well it seems that my thinking that my sister - who knits and crochets - would be safe to make the sweater out of wool for... yeah I neglected to consider my brother in law - who also crochets, I'll point out. He washed it. In the university's machines. I had asked my sis how they fit, she told me, while I was knitting the long white stripe one, that he had already outgrown the one. I was so worried that the sweaters I had made for my friend's baby wouldn't fit! Nope, the sweater is now sized for a doll. Maybe I will make Belgua a doll to go with his sweater! 

My younger three decorated this tree in the yard.