Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Top Ten Things I Wish I Could Preserve in a Specimen Box
10. Chocolate (so I always have an emergency stash)
9. My childhood nature collections (so I can remember how amazing the world really is)
8. Little Man's newborn feet (so I can always remember the awe I felt when I realized how amazingly tiny they were)
7. My "good job" moments from past jobs (so I can remember that even though I choose to be a stay-at-home mom I am a smart and successful person)
6. Patience (so I can pull it out next time my stranded project becomes a mass of tangled yarn or Little Man dumps his box of dominoes right after I finished cleaning them up for the upteenth time)
5. Myself, pregnant or nursing (so I can remember that once, very briefly, I had some nice curves)
4. My knitting firsts: first scarf, first sweater, first blanket, first softie, first stranded work (so I can see how much I've grown)
3. My "good mommy" moments (so I can pull them out when Little Man and I are having a rough and grumpy day)
2. My husband's love letters (so I can always remember the passion and naivety of our dating years)
1. Little Man's laughter (because it never fails to make me happy)
Edit: I forgot the sound of the ocean, a nice summer breeze, a night in during a great thunderstorm. There are so many wonderful things I would love to be able to preserve in a specimen box so I could have them whenever I needed them.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Just a thought. I still need to test her out with Little Man in the tub. I'll let you know how that goes. I've done a garter stitch baby blanket that is knit from the corner and decided that would be an easy way to start this blanket buddy. It ends up that the free pattern maker had the same idea. I basically followed the original pattern (with a few minor changes) for the blanket portion, but started changing it when I got to the neck and head. I really wanted a seamless blanket buddy so I picked up stitches and started knitting in the round for the head. I also wanted a little more shaping so I tried some short rows on the face, but am not thrilled with the results. I was not originally aiming to make this buddy a cow, but that's just what she looked like with this particular head pattern. I wanted to pick up stitches for the ears and knit them directly on the head, but it wasn't working so I knit them separately and then attached them. I'm not 100% satisfied with this Blanket Buddy so there will probably be another version in the future when I need a break from sweaters and other larger WIP. Anyway, if you like how Bessie turned out, please feel free to use this free pattern. Let me know how it turns out or if you have any questions. Thanks!
Bathtime Blanket Buddy v. 1 Bessie
Yarn: Less than one skein of Sugar N' Cream Cotton or any worsted weight of your choice
Small amounts of other yarn for face details
Needles: Size 8 straight or circular, Size 6 double point
Small amount of stuffing for head
st = stitch
K = knit
P = purl
yo= yarn over
k2tog = knit 2 together
k3tog = knit 3 together
SSK = slip 1 as to knit, slip 1 as to purl, slip both stitches to left needle, knit together in back
SKPO = slip 1 as to knit, K1, pass slipped stitch over knitted stitch
WT = wrap and turn
wrap and turn directions (from Alexandra Virgiel's Pasha the Penguin pattern)
On a knit row: slip the next stitch purlwise, bring the yarn to the front of the work, and replace the slipped stitch back onto the left needle without twisting it. Turn the work around to begin working back in the other direction.
On a purl row: slip the next stitch purlwise, bring the yarn to the back of the work, and replace the slipped stitch back onto the left needle without twisting it. Turn the work around to begin working back in the other direction.
Pattern (Starting with the bottom of the blanket)
With larger needles, cast on 1 st.
Rows 1-6: Knit into the front and back of first st, knit to end of row. (7 sts at the end of row 6)
Rows 7-41: K3, yo , knit to end of row. (42 sts at end of row 41)
Rows 43-44: Cast on 12 sts for Paws, knit to end of row. (66 sts at end of row 44)
Rows 44-47: Knit
Row 48-49: Bind off 12 sts, knit to end of row. (42 sts at end of row 49)
Rows 50-63: K2, k2tog, yo, k2tog, knit to end of row. (28 sts at end of row 63)
Rows 64-65: K2, k2tog, yo, k3tog, knit to end of row. (24 sts at end of row 65)
Row 66: Switch to smaller needles, k3tog across row. (8 sts)
Row 67: Knit
*Pick up 8 stitches across the k3tog row using a second doublepoint needle (you will be able to see the tripled loops).
You will now have 8 stitches on your first doublepoint needle and 8 stitches on a second doublepoint needle. Begin knitting in the round.
Round 1: *K1, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K4, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K1* repeat. (20 sts)
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: *K1, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K6, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K1* repeat. (24 sts)
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: *K1, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K8, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K1* repeat. (28 sts)
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: *K1, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K10, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K1* repeat. (32 sts)
Round 8: K27, (begin short rows using wrap and turn method described at the bottom of the pattern), P6, WT, K6, WT, P6, WT, K6, WT, P6, WT, K6, WT, K5.
Rounds 9-12: Knit
Round 13: *K1, SSK, K26, k2tog, K1* repeat. (28 sts)
Rounds 14-15: Knit
Round 16: *K2, k2 tog* repeat across round. (21 sts)
Round 17: Knit
Round 18: *K1, k2tog* repeat across round. (14 sts)
Round 19: k2tog across round. (7 sts)
Cut yarn leaving a 6"tail. Using a tapestry needle, weave yarn through remaining 7 sts.
Add any desired embroidery for face. Fill head with stuffing. Pull yarn tight to close up 7 sts and weave yarn tail in.
Tie "paws" into knots.
Ear (Make 2)
Cast on 5 st.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K1, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K1, knit into the front and back of the next stitch, K1 (7 sts)
Rows 3-10: Knit
Row 11: K1, SKPO, K1, k2tog, k1 (5 sts)
Row 12: Knit
Row 13: SKPO, K!, k2tog (3 sts)
Shape ears by folding in half and sew onto head where desired.
Hope someone enjoys making their own Bessie Blanket Buddy. Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback on this pattern. It would be much appreciated!
My two on-the-needles WIP
Monday, July 23, 2007
2. Eating chocolate or ice cream or better yet chocolate ice cream. My favorite pre-mommyhood treat--eating ice cream while taking a bubble bath. If you have some free time, I highly recommend it!
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Saturday, July 21, 2007
"Finished what?" you ask. The new Harry Potter? Nope, no plans to buy it just yet, but I had to mention it as it's EVERYWHERE right now. Well, I finished my first phonics workbook so that's exciting. (Just to clarify, I just finished writing my first phonics workbook. I'm not a 30 year-old woman who sits around doing phonics workbooks. Actually, I'm not a 30 year-old woman at all, I'm 31, but that's besides the point.) I'm hoping the next one will go a little faster, but not bad for my first week working from home. I was worried that I wouldn't even get one done with Little Man's new one-nap schedule, but with a little extra time put in after he went to bed I managed to get it done. I even had a little fun doing it and managed to come up with one major idea to improve on the initial template my boss had designed. Go me! But let's not get too excited, I have lots more to go. Oh forget that attitude--go me!
And, even with all that work being done, I still managed to finish this:
My niece's Wonderful Wallaby. She's only two, but I went ahead and made the size 4. She's somewhat tall, but kind of thin. It's going to be big at first, but it should last her a little longer. Hopefully, it won't be too overwhelming on her.
This is my third Wonderful Wallaby and I really like the pattern (the actual pattern, not so much the way it is written--does that make sense?). Anyway, I did this one pretty much the same as the other two, but made a few minor changes. First, following the tricks that I learned by reading the Placket-Neck Pullover pattern from LMKG, I went ahead and connected the sleeves to the body as I finished them. This way I could skip the "transfer to holder" step. It's minor, but saved a little time. I also decided to do the three needle bindoff for the armpits. I've had issues with the armpits on my first two Wallabies. The holes on either side of the Kitchener keep opening up on Little Man's so I tried to do them extra tight on my nephew's--so his just ended up looking kind of wonky. I like how the three needle bindoff worked on this one. However, I still did the kitchener on the hood.
Doesn't it look nice? Love the kitchener! I'm not sure how to do the kitchener in seed stitch (the knit-with-waste-yarn-and-follow-the-path method just doesn't work for me) so I did garter stitch kitchener for the hood edging and then stockinette for the rest.
So long and short of this finished project:
Modifications: seed stitch for all edgings
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft in Soft Blue
Needles: Size 6 and 8, doublepoint and 24" circular
Begun: July 7, 2007
Finished: July 19, 2007
It's going to be a blanket buddy inspired by this photo I saw on Flickr that was made from this free pattern. I'm not sure what kind of animal mine is going to be yet, but probably not a rabbit. We will see. I have lots of ideas, but have no idea how they will turn out. More to come on this soon.
Happy Weekend, Everyone! Did I mention I'm finished!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
10. If you work on your blog ideas in the car, your husband will want to help.
Honey, hope you like how I incorporated your ideas.
Little Man with my honey, Brian
My two year-old neice
My two year-old nephew
9. Part C. If you're staying in a hotel room with a one year-old, you'll be in bed by 8:ooPM. He'll still be awake.
Little Man clinging to me as he checks out all his crazy relatives on the first day of the beach trip.
My oldest nephew (almost 4)
Need I be gross enough to explain? Luckily, this year was an improvement over last year. This year it was just wet (and warm).
Little Man with his first shell
Our attempt to get a picture of all four children in the matching suits their Mooma bought them.
Starting to gather for the family reunion photo in our matching hats.
Brian and Little Man in the ocean
Little Man being silly in his new hat
Little Man, me, my twin sister and her children
Little Man playing with a piece of plastic in the car. This fascinated him for at least 45 minutes.
Little Man in the sand
Hope this installment of Top Ten Tuesday has been as fun and informative as my vacation. Please feel free to leave comments with your own vacation lessons or suggestions/requests for future Top Ten Tuesday topics.
Monday, July 16, 2007
My little guy has moved to one nap a day, but seems to be doing okay with it. I miss morning naptime to do things, but enjoy the longer afternoon nap. Will see how this affects my ability to get everything done.
Swimsuits my mom bought for all of her grandchildren.
I got most of a my neice's size 4 Wonderful Wallaby knitted at the beach and on the drive home. (Sorry, no pictures yet.) I would have finished it if it wasn't for the time wasted on the Placket-Neck Pullover (see this week's Top Ten Tuesday for more info.) My goal is to finish the Wallaby this week, but with work I won't have much knitting time. Also, I felt guilty that I was making Wallabies for my sister's children and not my brother's son, so now I'm making him one, too. Luckily, my sister-in-law liked the color I was using for my neice's and I have extra left over. Very nice!
I'm enjoying it, but am afraid posts may become more scarce with work starting. We will see. Thanks for those of you who read this and thanks even more to those who comment. It's encouraging to get those nice comments.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
It's been a fun week in Virginia. Little Man has had tons of fun with his cousins including a 4th of July trip to the James River.
My mom with my nephews and niece and my sister-in-law (pregnant with triplets)
I've had fun knitting during naptime and after Little Man heads to bed at night. No cooking and cleaning is great! My contract just arrived a few minutes ago so no work yet. Oh darn.
Little Man on the boat
I "finished" my nephew's Wallaby, but when he tried it on I decided that the hood is a little too short. So I un-kitchenered it and am going to add another inch or two. I'm kind of excited because I wasn't thrilled with my original kitchener on the seed stitch border. Hopefully, the second time will go better.
My nephew in his Wallaby
I also finished another ribbons hat to give as a baby gift.
I leave Virginia tomorrow and head to the beach for a weeklong family reunion/beach vacation. I will be staying in a cottage on Oak Island, NC with my husband & Little Man, my parents, my sister & her almost 4 year-old son & her 2 year-old daughter, and my brother, his wife & their 2 year-old son. I can't wait. Also within walking distance of our cottage will be 3 of my uncles, 3 of my aunts, 6 of my cousins and their spouses, and 10 children (Little Man's generation) ranging in age from 5 years-old to 18 years-old. We've been doing this for the last 7 years. It's always a little bit crazy, but always a lot of fun.
Family reunion photo from 4 years ago
I've actually been going to this beach since I was three years-old. My grandmother loved the beach. She loved everything about it--the sand, the water, the fish, the shells, the birds. She would rent a cottage for a month each summer and each week different parts of the family would come and stay with her. Our family and at least one or two sets of aunts and uncles with their children were always there the week of 4th of July.
Everything about the beach reminds me of my grandmother. She would get up early in the morning and go for long walks collecting shells. She taught me to pay attention to the different kinds of shells and how to know if you found an especially good one. For example, my favorite shell is the scallop shell. I love the pink and red ones, but the orange ones are the most rare. My grandmother's favorite shell was the olive shell. She had quite a collection of them ranging from teeny-tiny to several inches long. She only kept the ones that were whole and unchipped. She'd been collecting for years, she could be as picky as she wanted. My grandmother taught us to appreciate these intricate products of mother nature.
My grandmother with my brother (1975)
My grandmother also loved pelicans and she would count the groups of them as they flew overhead. To this day, my family members call pelicans "Grandmother's friends."
My grandmother with me (1996)
My grandmother passed away 7 years ago, but we all think about her all the time--but especially when we get ready to head to the beach each summer. We know that part of her is there waiting for us. We know that our love of the beach is somehow tied to our love of Grandmother. And we feel so thankful that we have had such a powerful, loving influence in our lives.
Hope you all have a lovely week next week. I will be computer free and enjoying the simple life of a family beach vacation. Can't wait to catch up when I get back. Happy Summer!