July 29, 2011

Fiber Friday!

I've been fibery busy this week! Not only did I finish this adorable baby hat (Finished post with pattern here) I also cranked out a hank of yarn! Ok it was half way spun already, but I did finish it.

Behold! About 185ish yards of sort of sport weight merino wool in the colorway "Thistle". I absolutely love spinning merino. It's so soft and I've been so happy with the yarn I have gotten out of it. I need to order some more.

I'm not sure what I'll make out of it. Maybe a hat? Or a cowl? Or maybe I'll just sleep with it under my pillow...

I've also been (slowly) working on the Anniversary 11 shawl. I just finished Clue 3 and started on 4... I think it's going to take a bit longer though because I'm just not feeling it that much. The baby knitting... it calls me. :)

Happy Friday!

Finished Knit: Baby Hat in Blue

Have I mentioned how much I love baby things and how fast they knit up? Ben told me that I was going to jinx us knitting all this pink stuff, so I told him I would do stuff in blue too and cast this on.

I wanted to have something extra in it so I just did a little Fair Isle motif with some red.

Unfortunately I've run out of blue yarn so I don't have enough to do booties. I'll have to order some more because a baby can't go without booties!

Why yes, I am modeling it on a lamp. Turns out it's the size of a baby head.

Pattern: Top Down Pi Hat by Meg (pattern to follow)

Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll in "Dusk" - 17 grams/78 yards, with a bit of Knit Picks Palette for contrast

Needles: US 2/2.75mm Harmony wood DPNs

Knitline: July 24th - July 28th

YTD Mileage: This wee thing added .04 miles putting me up to 2.84 miles. 

Bonus! Here's the pattern I've been using for the hat. I'm using EZ's Pi Shawl technique and adjusting the numbers to become a hat (not a shawl) and fit a baby head. This turns out a hat that will fit a head around 14 inches.
Top Down Pi Hat
CO 9 stitches and join to work in round. (I use the Emily Ocker Cast On)
Knit 1 round. 
On next round double the stitches by working k1, m1 all the way around. - 18 stitches
Knit 3 rounds. 
On the next round double stitches again. - 36 stitches
Knit 6 rounds. 
Double stitches again. - 72 stitches
Knit 12 rounds. 
On 13th round increase to have a total of 108 stitches by working K2, M1 all the way around.
Knit until the hat is desire length. Bind off. Put on a baby!
~ Add embellishments like eyelets or Fair Isle wherever you feel like. Knitting to the end will produce a rolled brim, adding ribbing at the end will keep it flat.

Happy Knitting,

July 27, 2011

Spinning And Things

My little un-helper
Debbie has been talking about spinning, and it was just the bump I needed to pull out my wheel. I was finally able to finish putting the merino into singles. The merino that has been half spun up for I believe a year now... Tomorrow I will be able to ply it, then the next day I can wash and thwack it and see my final product.

It has been so nice spinning. I forget how relaxing it is and how I get into a trance. The rhythmic motion of the wheel, the back and forth motion of my hands... The wonderfully delicious smell of the wool. Thanks for the reminder Debbie! :)

Ben order a cord of wood Monday and when I got home from grocery shopping yesterday there was a pile sitting in our driveway. Ben surprised me by coming home early and we got the whole thing moved into the backyard - Mostly on the wood rack he built and the rest that didn't fit is stacked behind the shed.

A whole cord is a lot of moving. Especially for just two people and one wheel barrow. But now we are set for BBQing for a long time and our favorite activity of sitting outside in front of the fire during the winter. I'm very excited to have so much wood. He got apple and almond which should make very good eats.

I went out this morning to inspect plants and I saw that our biggest flower is almost through producing seeds. Don't they look wonderfully plump? I bet they will be really tasty!

Happy Wednesday,

July 25, 2011

Finished Knit: Baby Gear

Hello, I'm here to kill you with cuteness.

I finished the baby hat on Friday and I think it turned out pretty cute. I should have put the eyelets for the ribbon up a bit higher, but oh well. I tried it on my niece and it was very adorable, even though it was a bit too small for her (it's less pointy on a head). I started from the top using Elizabeth Zimmerman's technique for the Pi Shawl, increased to the stitches need to get the circumference I wanted, then just kept knitting until I felt like it was a good length.

I had some yarn leftover so I decided to make these completely adorable things

Are these not the cutest stinkin' things you've every seen? They're even cuter in person because they are so very tiny. So. Very. Tiny. I giggle every time I look at them. Just so cute.

I used this pattern for the booties and it is such an easy pattern I finished them within a few hours.

Too cute.

Pattern: Improv Pi Hat & Christine's Baby Booties

Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks in "Fancy Free" - 22 grams/84 yards each

Needles: US 2/2.75 mm Harmony wood DPNS

Knitline: July 16th - July 24th

YTD Mileage: 169 yards total for both projects puts me at 2.80 miles. No where near my goal for the year...

Happy Knitting,

July 21, 2011

A Post for Thursday

I wanted to say thank you to everyone for your sweet thoughts, comments and promises of prayer. You all mean so much to me and I am so blessed to have you as my friends. I do not have many worries for this little one, but it is so nice to have the extra support. :)

Still not a whole lot of knitting as I'm trying to finish library books before they have to go back. But I did start a baby hat! I needed something to take with me the other day and baby things are so terribly satisfying in how fast they knit up. I just grabbed the first yarn my hands touched. I'm about half way through and just pick it up and knit on it when I have a few minutes to kill. I rather like the patterning and I have an idea to add eyelets near the end to lace some ribbon through.

There has been a lull in the output of clues for the Around The World Shawl and I really should take this time to catch up. But Little Women is just so much more interesting that knitting right now... ;)

Have a great weekend!

July 15, 2011

Nearly Fiber-less Friday - Or How I'm Completely Boring

A late blooming surprise - Gladiolus, I think...

I realized that it's been an entire week since I've posted anything. I've had some wonderful people asking how I've been getting along and my sister was bugging me for a post because she's bored and needs something to read. Well here ya go baby sister... I'm here to save you!

This is the only fiber related thing I've been working on - the Market bag. That mesh part is only about 4 inches long and I'm going to run out of yarn. Oh well! I'll either get more and then finish with the green top, or just have a squat little bag with a green top.

I've been terribly boring, so I don't have much more than that to show you! I've been reading and sleeping mostly, in between feeding children and doing the normal chores. Exhaustion, exhaustion. It surrounds me. I haven't had morning sickness and I'm not sure I will. I didn't have it the last two times, but you never know.

I do have a prayer request ... For a safe, healthy, full term, boring, uneventful natural pregnancy and delivery. Everything went as it should last time, so I am praying it will be that way again. I've been through a bad and a good pregnancy so I'm ready for both, but of course I prefer the good. :)

Another sunflower has popped out, and again it's facing the fence. The two more that are soon to bloom are pointing that way too. I've learned that they like morning sun since that is the way they are leaning. *sigh* Oh well, at least I can see a little bit of yellow from their backs.

Another baby canteloupe
Has housework ever made you want to cry? I have a hard time mopping my kitchen floor on a regular basis because it seems like every time I do mop it, something gets spilled or tracked in as soon as I put the mop away and I get discouraged. Today I had just finished and not 5 minutes later my son dropped a mud encrusted car onto the floor, splattering mud for 2 feet all around it. I don't really mind cleaning up messes that much but boy do I wish they could wait at least an hour.

My children..... They are weird.

Happy Weekend,

July 8, 2011

Random For The Weekend

I started Little House in the Big Woods today and I have completely fallen head-over-heels in love with Laura and her family. I'll probably finish it tonight. I've borrowed all the other books from Ben's mom and I'm sure I'll devour them all before the month is through.

I've started a market bag for taking to the Farmer's Markets with me on the rare occasions I go. (I wish I could go more often and am trying to do so.) It's bright red and I'll continue it with a mesh pattern on the sides. Hopefully I have enough to do the whole bag, but I figured if not then I have some dark green of the same yarn and I'll make it a strawberry!


I have a BAJILLION little green tomatoes. But I am terribly sad (almost heart broken, actually) to report that I have been finding blossom rot on a lot of them. I know what causes it (lack of calcium in the soil) and how to fix it (add calcium to the soil... heh). Unfortunately the way to fix it requires me to do so before the plants go in ground. I did try putting a bit of eggshells around the plants when I put them out, but having not really planted tomatoes before I know now that I didn't put nearly enough, and I just scattered it on the soil, not mixed it in. And to be honest I didn't understand why you needed to put the eggshells, I just heard it was a good idea to prevent the blossom rot. Now I know. Live and learn and try again next year. I'm hoping the farmer's market and maybe my grandmother can supply me with enough tomatoes for canning this year.

A question for those of you who know plants: We have quite a bit of shaded flower bed in our front and some in the back. Do y'all know of some flowers we could plant that like mostly shade? I'm not particular about the color, I'd just like something I can stuff my beds with. Hopefully a low-to mid height plant since we already have tall covered. I am hoping for plants that will give more flower than green leaves as we have a bunch of green now with the lilies. 

Canteloupe. Ants for scale. Hehe.

Everyone has asked when I am due, and I've been trying to email and reply to everyone. But for those I have missed/haven't gotten to yet: This little one should come in early March! The twins birthday is on the 13th, so maybe we'll get three birthdays in one day? ;)

Happy Weekend!

July 7, 2011

It's Not About Clean Dishes

Our Sunflower has emerged! Unfortunately, it's directionally challenged.

My kids ask me on a regular basis "Mommy, you wanna wash the dishes." I usually smile and say "Yes, I'm going to wash the dishes" (or if I'm feeling snarky I'll say "Well no, I don't want to, but I'm going to anyways since they need to be clean").

After they asked me that question last night and I stood at the sink washing dishes (our dishwasher is my two hands) I was thinking:

It's not about having clean dishes.

That's not our house it's pointing at. :(

They don't care what they eat off of. It's about the routine, the schedule, the solid aspect that every night (well, almost) mama is going to do the dishes. It's something they can count on.

When I do laundry it's not about clean clothes. It's a guarantee that every Monday is wash day. They can base their days on it.

They get excited when I clean the bathrooms or vacuum the floor. Not because they care about them being clean, but because mama is just doing what mama does and that gives them comfort.

I love doing my job - bringing a peace and relaxation to the house when Ben gets home and giving my kiddos a state of  solidity and dependability . Because it's not about the clean dishes.

Lately I've been pretty exhausted and have found myself sitting and reading most of the time. And they've been a little more chatty, asking me if I want to clean such and such because I think it makes them a bit edgy that the schedule has changed. And mama says no baby, not right now. Mama's very tired.

And they'll have to deal with the change in schedule for a bit longer.

Because we found out Sunday that baby #4 is on the way! :D

And that's why life is not about clean dishes.


July 5, 2011


After a fear of not getting the 4th off, and then working extra long on Saturday to create insurance that he could, Ben was home this Sunday and Monday for a two day weekend! Yay!

We had a nice lazy Sunday and another nice lazy Monday. Our usual Sunday dinner became Monday dinner, and then we moved outside for the show.

This is the first year we have stayed home on the 4th in our married lifetime. Ben was determined to light off his own fireworks in his own drive way with his own neighbors and I have to say I'm so happy we did. It was a very nice fourth and it felt so right for our family.

He spent two days gearing the kids up for the fireworks this year so they wouldn't be terrified like in past years. He started out with the little things you throw on the ground, gave them a few sparklers, and lit off one of the little firecracker chains. By last night, there were chomping at the bit for more. It was a genius Daddy move. One firework would finish and Ty would rub his hands together in a maniacal fashion, eyes huge saying "Can we light off more fireworks???". And I would wait for the evil laughter.

After our show was done we wandered over to our neighbors to watch their 3 finales and chat. The night ended with my yearly ritual of praying the illegals don't burn our house down and slipping into bed just after 10. And then not falling asleep until midnight because of the darlings behind us who lit off bottle rockets every 5 minutes. ;)

It was such a good night and now I can't wait until next year!

Happy Day After,

July 2, 2011


On Friday I acquired 19 pounds of plums from my mom-in-love. Yerp. 19. So in a fit of panic genius inspiration, I asked my mom if her and Mimi (my grandma) would want to come help me pit and can the delicious purple orbs.

Luckily enough, they said yes. And today we spent 6 hours pitting, chopping, jamming, chutney-ing and canning and it was SO MUCH FUN. (Well, you know. Aside from the heat.)

It made short work of pitting - seriously about 5 minutes. And it was so nice to have people to talk to and hang out with while the work was getting done.

We stopped in the middle to have a wonderful lunch of sandwiches on homemade french bread full of homemade pesto, tomatoes fresh from Mimi's garden (oh my goodness, best tomatoes ever) and mozzarella (not home made, sadly).  Delicious.

Today produced two batches of jam which gave us 7 pints, 12 4 ouncers and 1 6 ounch jar. And 8 pints of chutney.

We've already talked about doing this again for peaches I have in the freezer and the upcoming crop of tomatoes for sauces.

I think it would be an awesome thing to do with women from the other half of my family, since it was such a nice way to be together while still getting something done.

And now I feel like I can enjoy the weekend without the fruit hanging over my head.

Happy Upcoming 4th!

July 1, 2011


It's summertime.

Happy first of July, from my garden to yours!
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