Friday, November 21, 2014

Success

It was cold(ish) again today.

The sky was the most lovely moody grey.  The children feared it would rain on them as they walked to school.  But I knew better.

It rarely rains on the surface of the sun.

While I carefully wrapped the baby in a blanket to run to Lowes (another day, another repair to the sprinkler system) I didn't need a coat.  There was a delightful chill(ish) on the breeze, but a light sweater was all you needed.

And I've got an entire shelf stacked high with light sweaters for such an occasion.  Today I wore Walpole.  And I looked fabulous.  Nevermind the fact  that I haven't washed my hair in five days.  Which might be why there isn't photographic proof of how fab I looked.  In my defense, my hair goes to the bottom of my butt and takes forever to dry.  I'm too tired to deal.  See yesterday's post about being up from 3:30 to 5:00 AM.  Repeat uneartly sleep schedule for almost a year.  And yes, that means yesterday's pictures were taken on day four of unwashed hair.  Go ahead and scroll back down to look at them.  I'll wait.

I was rocking the slicked back look wasn't I!

Just keeping it real around here.  Maybe tomorrow I'll show you my dirty sink full of dishes.  Confession:  I don't have a dirty sink full of dishes.  I make the kids wash the dishes every.single.night.  Parenting has to have a few perks right?

Anyways...the chill(ish) in the air also meant it was time to bust out the hand knit socks.  And I just so happen to have a recently knit pair just waiting for this day to come.  It took some doing but I did manage to take some pictures of my feet.  No shampoo required.


Pattern:  Easter Bunny Socks

Yarn:  "Easter Bunny" self patterning sock yarn by knitpurlgurl.etsy.com

Needles:  Size 2



Modifications:  Not really a modification, but the main yarn self stripes into bunnies.  You use coordinating yarn to knit the ribbing, heels, and toes.  I was given green and pink coordinating yarn.  I decided to stripe them for the rib, heels, and toes.  It looks better in real life than it does in photos.  I do like how my heel turn is pink on one sock, and green on the other.  In hindsight maybe I should have knit one sock with pink ribbing/heel/toe, and one with green ribbing/heel/toe.  I probably would have loved that.  I'm starting to hate hindsight.

Review:  These socks are AMAZING!


This yarn is "self patterning" so as you knit the bunnies were supposed to magically appear.  I'm not a huge fan of gauge but for this project having spot on gauge was not just important but freaking vital to the success of these socks.

Luckily for me, I had spot on gauge.

Unluckily for me, my spot on gauge was useless.

I tried and tried to knit perfect little bunnies, but the pattern kept shifting to the left, leaving the bunny ears flapping in the wind, and making the faces look slightly melted.  Not a good look.

But I could not be defeated.  After all...BUNNIES!


The pattern suggests you should tug or tighten just a little to line up those bunnies.  I tugged and tightened my heart out, and magically...BUNNIES!


Worth every moment of frustrated tugging.  In fact, once I got the rhythm of it down, those socks flew off the needles.  I finished the second sock in one day.

True Story.

The Greatest saw me casting on for it during the Queen's first nap.  And later that night he watched me put on my finished socks.

"Wow, you are a really fast knitter!"

It came as a complete revelation to him.

It is like he doesn't know me at all.

Good thing he is so darn good looking.

Otherwise there are days I could cheerfully strangle him in his sleep.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Chilly (ish)

I got up with Queen Bean the other night around 3:30.  In the darkness I fed and rocked the evil baby who tortured me by giggling and giving me kisses while she deprived me of sleep.  At 5 am I crawled back into bed and shivered under the covers.  It took me a few moments to realize what this unnatural feeling was.  I was cold.  I would have turned off the ceiling fan but in order to do that I would have had to get out of bed again.  Instead I pulled the comforter higher and shivered back to sleep.  It might finally be winter(ish) on the surface of the sun.

To celebrate the arrival of the chill(ish) in the air I wore a hand knit scarf to the grocery store today.


Cause I'm fancy.

Pattern:  Wave

Yarn:  The most delicious handspun on the face of the earth from The Escaped Goats

Needles:  Who knows.  6?   Probably 8.

Modifications:  Knit until I ran out of yarn.

Review:  I knit this yarn at least a half a dozen times, and each time I frogged the item because the pattern just wasn't good enough for the yarn.  It wasn't lacey enough.  It didn't showcase the depth of color enough  It lacked some undefinable thing that I could feel but couldn't name.  It wasn't right yet.

I flove the blue green shades in this yarn.  It feels like the sea.  And I wanted a finished object that felt like the beach.  With lacey something, reminiscent of a fishermans net.  I wanted something that made me feel like a mermaid caught in a fisherman's net.

No pressure Ravelry.

I scoured the patterns, and swatched, and knit.  But nothing felt right.

I can't explain why this pattern feels right.


But it does.  I love it.

I took several cheesy pictures of me in my scarf


Then I remembered my vow to only model in "Blue Steel."


Fierce.

I hope it's cold(ish) again tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More of the Cuteness

Poor Queen Bean.

She just can't catch a break.

Someone mentioned how nice the dark blue of Sweet Pea's (still unblocked) sweater would look with Queen Beans eye.  And ever since I've been obsessed with the idea of knitting her a tiny dark blue something to wear.

For her eye.


Good thing she doesn't seem to mind my hand knits.

Pattern;  Whirligig Shrug

Yarn:  left over blue worsted weight stuff

Needles:  Size 8

Modifications:  Since I was using worsted weight yarn and larger needles than the pattern calls for I cast on for a size smaller than I normally would.  I also did a seed stitch edging around the front instead of the rolled border.

Review:


I love this pattern.  I don't know why, but I do.  I've knit it at least a dozen times over the years.  And I love it every time.


Something about it is so dainty and cute and wearable.


I think it might be the flared sleeves.

Unfortunately, I'm not sure changing the front bands to seed stitch really improved upon the original.


And I overshot the mark when I upsized the with the larger yarn/needles.  It is falling off her shoulders.  It isn't a total loss.  She'll be able to wear it next year.

But in the mean time I'm contemplating buying more deep blue yarn so she can have one to wear now.

While my budget and I argue it out, I've cast on for yet another baby sweater.


I finished all that YESTERDAY!

It might be time for an intervention.  My personal philosophy seems to be "Baby sweaters, you can't knit just one."  Queen Bean can breath a sigh of relief, this one isn't for her.

Monday, November 17, 2014

More Tiny Cuteness

So I was a busy girl yesterday.

Once the Queen Bean made it clear she would put up with my photographic shenanigans no longer I turned to my knitting.

I've recently made a sweater for Sweet Pea.  She came home from school one day and declared her favorite color was now BLUE.  And could I dye her hair blue, and could I knit her a blue sweater?

I told her I didn't have any blue hair dye, but I did have blue yarn.

So one blue sweater I knit.

All I had to do was sew in the ends, and add buttons.  She choose the cutest round yellow buttons as a contrast to the plain blue sweater.  Now I just need to block it.


Right after I pry it off her body.

And since the button tin was out I pulled out some buttons for a sweater I knit Queen Bean earlier this year.  It just needed buttons to be all done.  I'd even blocked it at some unknown time.

I really suck at follow through don't I.

Unfortunately for the Queen, once her sweater had buttons I required another photo shoot.

A cute baby's work is never done.  She shall have her revenge at 3 am.

She wasn't feeling another shoot by the tree.


But once we moved to the upstairs hallway she was all for it.


Pattern:  Carousel

Yarn:  Leftover cotton from my Dream Stripes Shawl

Needles:  No idea, maybe size 5, that's what the pattern recommends.

Modifications:  None that I recall.

Review:


This sweater is seriously cute.

I was unsure if I was going to like how the front is higher than the back.


But I think it works.

I also love the little lace detail.


I think my original plan was to knit this sweater for the three younger girls, and then the adult version for myself and Pork Chop.  But then I remembered that I am bound by the laws of the natural universe.  I only have so many hours in a day, and I would like to sleep at some point.

So one tiny 12 month size sweater will have to do for now.


I know!  Look at her standing.  I am so not ready for this.

And here's the sweater in action.


My favorite part of this is the dog photo bomb.  She knows she is not allowed upstairs.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I Should Never Be Left Alone

It is that time of year again.

The Greatest has begun decorating for Christmas.

How can I tell?



I have my ways.

I am not allowed to participate in the annual lighting of the house.  This is The Greatest's show, and I am to stay out of the way.  If it sounds like I am complaining, believe me, I am not.  This works out well.  I get to sit and be pretty while Christmas magically appears around me.  

The flip side of that is leaving me alone to my own devices can be a very dangerous thing.  I have a Christmas tree.  I have a camera.  I have the World's Cutest Baby.

What could possibly go wrong?

At first nothing really.


She is adorable.


She is mesmerized by the tree.


She only undecorates it a little.


Sweet Pea shows her how to work the lights.


And it is good.

Then Mommy looks on Pinterest and decides the baby need to be naked.

And at first it is good.


But it turns out naked babies aren't very modest.


And some strategic cropping is required.


And some strategic light placement.


Lots of strategic light placement.

I tried to get a picture of her looking up at our 12 foot tree.


But she was over it.

She peed on the tile.

Three times.

At least it was on the tile.

On the plus side, I have spent almost an entire year trying to capture her beautiful blue eyes.  Part of her Down syndrome diagnosis includes Brushfield Spots.  And they are the most beautiful eyes in the world.  We are all jealous.  I didn't fully capture them.



But I came close.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Look More Knitting!

Sometimes you get a skein of yarn that is just so lovely there is nothing you could knit it into that would improve upon its beauty.  It is simply so pretty all twisted in a hank that you can't bring yourself to make it into something.  It exists simply to sit and be beautiful.  It is not meant to be knit, to be transformed.  Just being yarn is enough.

I once possessed such a skein.

Then my dogs discovered my pretty skein of so-pretty-I-can't-knit-it handspun yarn.

Twice.

Does anyone remember that?

Frankly I'm surprised I still have dogs.

I attempted several time to turn the remains of the yarn into something I could love.  But my attempts always fell flat.  I could not love my knitted object as much as I loved my decorative yarn cake.

Then I made these hats for my girls.



Seriously, those girls could not be any cuter.

I became a tad obsessed with the idea of a squishy slouchy garter stitch hat.

But alas, I used all my red/pink yarn on the hats for the girls.

But what if I made a more adult version.  A more grown up hat.  What if instead of bright reds and pinks and purples I used muted browns, and deep reds, and cream.  A more sophisticated color palette.

I cast on for my grown up hat in September.


I know I've shared this picture before but lets just take a moment to admire how gorgeous my nailpolish/bathrobe/knitting needles/yarn all look together.  I wish I was so organized and had my life so put together I could say I planned that.  But no.  Just a happy accident.  On the other hand maybe I should be relieved I'm not that anal.

My hat was knit in record time.  And it was everything I hoped it would be.  Squishy, and slouchy, yet sophisticated.

And then my hat sat.

And sat.

And sat.

Untouched. Unworn.  And unloved.

Not because I didn't want to wear it but because I live on the surface of the sun and I don't want to die from heatstroke caused by wearing a wool hat in September.  Or October.  Or November.

Sometimes you just have to say screw it and have an impromptu photo shoot in your bathroom so you can show off your hat on your blog.


I am rocking my resting bitch face.  No more cheesy posed smiles for me.  From now on all my blog pictures will showcase my "blue steel."  I look fierce.  Especially considering I am once again wearing my bathrobe.

In my defense it does match my hat.

And the obligatory awkward shot from behind.


My favorite part of this picture is my bunny, just chilling in the corner.  She does not even have time for my nonsense.  She isn't a lop.  But look how she is holding her ears.  I wonder if she is wearing the bunny equivalent of bitchy resting face.

And finally the artsy shot.


I have learned that the key to a good smoky eye is to wear your eyeliner/mascara for three days straight.  By then it should be melted down to your cheek bones for an authentic heroin chic smeary look.

Ta da!  There is my beautiful hand knit hat.  My hand spun has finally found new life in squishy garter stitch.  Now if only the temp would drop down into the 70s so I could justify wearing it outside my bathroom.

I'd even put on real clothes.

Monday, November 10, 2014

An Autumn Moon

I know you're all waiting for a Halloween rundown.

And it is coming.

And you're waiting for me to republish my rant to the world.

And that is coming as well.

But for today, just for today, I've got some knitting to show off.

First let's get the standard poses out of the way.

Yup, I'm super comfortable in front of the camera, and not at all cheesy and awkward.

Let's make it even worse.


There is no way around it.  I simply can not find a way to showcase the back of a sweater without showing the back of my body.  In other words:  there's my butt.

That's ok.  Boy dog decided to come to my rescue to break the tension.


At least he looks happy.

Pattern:  Clare de Lune

Yarn:  Recycled cotton yarn

Needles:  Size 8 Caspian needles

Modification:  Not a modification really, but I did accidentally knit three repeats of the lace pattern on the left front, and only two repeats on the right front.  I can't decide if it looks delightfully asymmetrical, or if it looks lopsided and I need to go fix it.  I'm leaning towards delightfully asymmetrical because I think I'm to lazy to go fix it.  We can just call it a design feature right?

Review:  How FREAKIN fantastic is this sweater!  If you haven't guessed I flove it!  (not a typo, flove is a real word, cause I say it is)

The construction was very fun.  It was knit in a huge rectangle with arm holes.  It was magnificent.  When I first sat down and read the pattern it was hard for me to visualize the steps and how it would flow together.  But if you just knit it as written, one step at a time, it all falls into place.

It is flowy, and lacey, and romantic, and just warm enough for the desert Autumn.  I can't decide if it is actually flattering or not.  It might make me look a bit wider than I actually am.  But I'm still carrying a bit of baby weight so my perception is all skewed.  Am I that wide?  Is it the sweater?  How long can I call it baby weight before it is just my weight?  My self esteem does better if I don't think about it.  But on the plus side this sweater is fun to wear, and that feels important.

And here are some shots of the sweater in action.





I know you're only here for the baby anyways.