Archive for May, 2008

Blue Jeans socks finished!

Blue Jeans socks finished, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

Yay! See, I can actually finish things. Sometimes.

Cut it a little close though. This was laceweight yarn, and I just didn’t think it wanted to ne a shawl. The color, named Blue Jeans, matched my jeans perfectly, and I just knew it had to be socks. But, I wasnt’ sure how laceweight would hold up to sock knitting, and the smallest needles I have right now are 1’s. I didn’t think that would work. Plus, I had like 440 yards. I know I only need like 200 or so yards to make a nice pair of anklets, so, I thought, if I double the yarn, that’ll make 220 yards, and that’s enough. So, instead of my normal dividing the yarn in half by unwinding it all over my bed, I actually had to do it twice. Cause once to find the haflway poing, then again to wind them up into 2 balls using both ends. I did it so that the middle of the yarn of each ball was on the outside, and didn’t cut it, so that loop was the first stitch I pulled through my crochet cast on for the short row toe.  So then when I finished the sock, I had the 2 ends poking out.  On the first one, there was about 12-18 inches.  On the second one, I actually ran out on the bind off row, and I didn’t want to frog that back, so I tied the 2 ends on from the other sock, and finished it up that way.  Sure, a couple more ends to weave in, but that was quick work with my teeny crochet hook.  I just did in in the pack side of the purls on the ribbing.  I literally had inches left.  I should have taken a picture.

Then, I thought, those little balls don’t look very big, I hope there’s enough there, so I decided to make up a little yo pattern to hopefully make the yarn stretch a little, and it worked beautifully. The pattern, if anyone’s interested, is down several posts, on one called “Lost my sock mojo, Found a sock pattern”.

Cool thing, I had done a few gusset increases before the heel part, and then didn’t decrease them all the way back to the starting number before doing the rib part. And the yarn striped! Even double stranded. I just love them. I wore them last night to Russell’s soccer party at Zonkers, which I survived, thanks for asking.

I made the team a big toll house pan cookie, but with those teeny baking m & m’s instead of chocolate chips. They’re cuter. Then, I dug out my Wilton box, and painted the inside of the frosting tube thing with some burgandy dye, and plopped in the frosting, and piped on Go Dragons, with some swirlies and stars and whatever else I could think of to use up all the frosting I put in there. Didn’t think to get a picture, but then again, it’s not one of my better works.

Now, I’m off to hun down hat patterns on Ravelry. I started a new Grandpa 60 hat, and with all the ribbing I’ve been doing on my socks (don’t ask how many pairs right now), I’m looking for something to add to it. I’ll probably end up making something up, adding a cable in there every once in a while or something.

David as Jim Thorpe

David as Jim Thorpe, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

So, the 4th graders did this Hero report thing. The teachers all put many many hero’s into a hat, and the students drew a name and had to research their hero. David drew Jim Thorpe. I’ll leave it to anyone who’s interested to google him and research him for yourself.

David had so much fun figuring out how to dress. Because, after they turned in their reports, they got to do a wax museum. Each student wrote out a snipet of their report that they could either memorize or read aloud, going over the basics of their hero. They were encouraged to dress the part. All the 4th graders lined the gym, and each one had a piece of paper taped to the floor in front of them, with a button drawn on it. You were supposed to go up to the student, press their button, and they would recite or read their thing. It really was very cute.

Without going into a ton of details here, Jim Thorpe was a bit of an athlete. Running, baseball, football, etc, etc. We found in the closet a unitard thing that Steve bought to do a triathalon in. He didn’t, but it fit David surprisingly well. He wore his soccer shorts to make it look more authentic to the time period. He also wore his soccer shoes because they look a little like the shoes from then as well, at least compared to his regular tennies. Then he added some of his soccer and fair medals and ribbons, to represent the Olympic medals. And we hunted around until we found the baseball mitt and the mini football. The only thing missing was something to represent the Indian heritage of Jim Thorpe. The only thing either one of us could come up with was to stick a feather behind his ear or something, and we didn’t have a feather. We sort of gave up on it for a little while, then David came running into my room.

“Mom, would this work?” He was holding a suede pouch that he had bought a while back over at Missouri Town. It was perfect. I knew I had some yarn in my stash that I could chain a belt with, but David had a better idea. He had some of my leftover alpaca, from that shawl, and even though it’s not done, I had given him the leftover from the first half. He chained a belt, and looped it through the pouch, then went and found this dreamcatcher key chain that the ring had broken off of, and threaded that through as well. There were feathers hanging from the dream catcher, and together with the suede pouch, it looked just right.

Tomato boxes, spare bedroom yarn storage

Here’s the upstairs portion of my yarn storage. We won’t talk about the stuff in my bedroom. See those nice tomato boxes? They’re from my dad. He calls before he comes down to visit, to see if I need any. Then I can place my “order” with him. Sometimes, I can get them down here, at the Target. But none lately. Good thing he called though, these are pretty full. The empty ones are still in the basement, waiting to be filled and stored on the shelves down there. I may save a few though, for when we go visit him in a month or so. They’re so handy for the kids to keep their clothes in, and they fit perfectly in the back of the minivan. I just give one box to each kid, write their name on the side there, and tell them to put in like 5 each of t-shirts, shorts, underwearn, nightshirts, a couple pairs of socks, and their swimtrunks. That way, I’m killing 2 birds (I always hate that) with one stone. The packing’s getting done, not by me, and they’re learning how to do it. Sometimes my anal side kicks in, and I want to put the shorts on the bottom, cause they’re bigger, and neatly stack the t-shirts next to them, even taking the time to match them up, so they can grab them in order, and they’ll go together, and so on. Then I relax, and say, if they don’t do it themselves, how are they going to learn? If I tell them to do it, then after they’re done, do it over again for them, what’s that going to teach them, other than, whatever I did isn’t good enough, Mom still had to do it anyway, next time she asks me to do something, why should I when she’s just going to re-do it anyway? I’m trying to learn to relax a little. I still pack the cooler and food though. Don’t want the sandwiches under the water bottles, now do we?

We’re not sure exactly when we’re driving over there to see them. I’m thinking of waiting until gas goes up to $5 a gallon. The plan is, to leave here in the morning, around 8 or 9, get past Des Moines by lunch time, to stop at the Amana Colonies for a picnic, and maybe buy some yummy cheese, then go the rest of the way towards Chicago and get to my sister’s in Aurora by supper. I can usually call her when we’re like an hour out, and she starts fixing something so it’ll be ready when we get there.

Don’t know how we’re going to make it down to FL in Sept for our Disney cruise. If we fly, it’ll be $$$$$$ for 5 tickets, plus the extra $ for however many suitcases too many we have. I heard there’s one airline that’s already charging for even 1 checked bag. I think we’d be alright on the way down, the boys’ stuff is small, and we might be able to cram it in a carry-on size (I wonder what they’d say if we brought the clothes in tomoto boxes on the plane…HA), the problem would be ont he way back. We’re going on a Disney Vacation Club Members Only Cruise. Now, I have discovered that I am not at all a cruise person. I don’t get sick or anything, it’s just the activities and things. I’m not a social person. At all. If I had my way, I’d pretty much be a hermit, I think. The thing is, the kids aren’t. And Steve too. As much as I shun other people, they thrive on it.

The good thing about the Disney cruises, and the members only in particular, is 3-fold. First off, the kids have so much fun, you won’t believe it. There’s a reason why they charge almost as much as the adult fare as they do for the kids. There’s these kid’s clubs, and we almost don’t even see them the entire time. There’s activities, experiments, games, playing, movies, stuff I don’t even know about. Secondly, this member’s only cruise is going to Castaway Cay 2 times. It’s Disney’s own island, and it’s beautiful. I’m also not a beach kind of girl, and I love this place. Thirdly, because it’s a members only one, we get presents. I don’t know exactly what to expect, but the one we went on a couple years ago oh my gosh. It started with these cute collapsible boxes that contained a sketch pad, pencils, a Mickey alarm clock, and some other things I don’t remember. But, we got 5 of them, even though Russ was like 9 months old. He had a ticket, he got the goods. There was a gift every night of the cruise, one of them being, planned out I’m sure, a nice zipper top tote bag, or rather, 5 of them, which we ended up needing to get all of that stuff home. You can actually see the bag there in the left side of the closet…it says I know the secret. I think you can make out the “w the …ret!” part of that. We also got special pins, which I wasn’t all that thrilled about, but hey, they’re gifts, and ginormous beach towels, and lithographs and I can’t remember what else.

Now, before you all go thinking that I have money coming out my rear end…let me explain. The only reason we can afford this is because we joined the Disney Vacation Club years ago. It works sort of like a time share, in that, officially, we own a piece of property over at one of their resorts. We have a deed for mortgage purposes and everything. We have never stayed there. What we get is a certain # of points to spend each year on whatever. There’s point charts for each of the Disney resorts, and the # of points that it “costs” to stay there varies, on season, and popularity of the resort. For example, and don’t quote me here, since I’m not checking the charts…it may cost 12 points a night to stay in a one bedroom over at resort #1 if you go on a weeknight during the low season, like August, while it may cost 50 points to get that same room for Christmas or Thanksgiving. The rooms have kitchens and dishes and everything like that, so it’s great to bring your own food and save $ that way. There’s also many non-Disney places that have an agreement with Disney so we can use our points there as well. A few years ago, we got to stay at Grand Hotel on Macinac Island, the hotel where “Somewhere In Time” was filmed, and last year we stayed at Hotel Del Coronado, where I can’t remember which Marilyn Monroe movies were filmed there. There’s a famous dining room there called the Crown Room, and Frank Baum designed the chandeliers. Both places, I looked at the room rates, and almost choked. There’d be no way we’d ever be able to afford the cash to stay there. Thank you Disney.

Russell just came up here and announced that David got himself overheated and just puked downstairs. I really hope he made it to the toilet.

Update… he did. Must go fix pallet now and turn on the fan for David. More on him later. I have to write about the wax museum.

Edited to add, remember yesterday, my friend who’s making the boobie pillow? Forgot to mention, she also makes jewelry, and she’s going to put a nipple ring in it. Nice, huh?

Knit Night

You know how some nights you just don’t need the beer?  This was one of them.  My neighbor and crochet friend Heather came along to get help to work on her boobie pillow.  See ravelry.  She had never crocheted in the round before.  Julie brought leftover cupcakes and beer, which stayed in her car last night.  Virginia brought her Peruvian wool pillow/hank.  It was a very pretty brown.  Shalva brought her Lorna’s Laces, and other yarns she had bought in Israel, and her non-knitting friend from work, and when she came, they both promptly left for Chipolte for margarita’s, I think.  I made her friend feel the cashmere before she left though.  She had that look on her face that said, well, now at least I know Shalva’s not the only one…

Took the boys to the zoo today, until the complaining and whining told us they were ready for the drove home.  I’m pretty sure they all fell asleep.  I did.  But, in the mean time, I got to the ribbing on my Blue Jeans socks, the second one.  If I get my act in gear, I may just finish up the pair today.

Steve is trying to convince me to get a booth at the Maple Leaf Festival in the fall, to maybe sell a few things, and more likely, he thinks, to get future orders.  I just don’t know.  I don’t know what to price things.  I don’t want to price them too low, and completely undervalue my efforts and the amount of time I put into them.  But, then again, who seriously would pay anywhere near an hourly wage for something?  If I priced them by the hours it took me, you’re talking about a $400 pair of socks.  Not that I’d make socks for anyone and then sell them.  If I do this, I’d do washcloths (go green, you know), shawls, hats, scarves, mittens maybe, and possibly some baby blankets.  We’ll see I guess.

More later, I’ve got to figure out how to get a good picture of some of my tomato boxes.

Summer Vacation

Today is David’s last day, and I think I’m gonna cry.  They do this parade thing at the school for the 4th graders.  Next year, he’ll be in middle school.  They have all the underclassmen (1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders) line the gym and the 4th graders parade through them while they’re all clapping and wishing them well.  Then, the 4th graders are supposed to parade down the hallway, which is supposed to be lined with the parents, and they leave the school for the last time.  I’m tearing up just thinking about it.  Am I just a big baby?  Can I get away with blaming it on my allergies?  What’s the pollen count for the day?  Why’s the alphabet in that order?

Yesterday was Patrick’s last day.  They put on this cute little performance that almost made me tear up, but it was sort of worse, because I could not stop yawning, and it kept making my eyes water, and Steve kept looking at me with that “Are you seriously crying at this?” look, which I wasn’t.  Last night was Patrick’s soccer party at Zonker’s, a Chucky Cheese sort of restaurant that doesn’t serve beer for the parents.  This party was way easier than ones in the past though, because Steve arranged it with his church practice people that if they really needed him there, they were going to have to wait until 8:30 for him to get there because he promised he’d be there for me and Patrick’s party.  All together now… Awwwwww.  Steve has had to miss every one of those parties because of practice.  It was so much easier having him there; he took Russell, and I took Patrick, and we let David wander around by himself, and I even had fun for a few minutes playing air hockey with Patrick.  And, in case that wasn’t enough, we get to do it all again on Tuesday for Russell’s soccer party!  Oh joy and rapture unconfined.

Been alternating working on the alpaca lace shawl and my socks.  I gave up on finishing the Horcrux socks before school got out.  I started turning the heel on the second sock of my Blue Jeans ones last night, and the short rows seemed to be going on and on and on.  I stopped and looked, and it looked not quite right, and I checked my notes, and it looked like I did what I thought I did.  Problem was I didn’t take real good notes.  I always do that.  I think, well, I’ll be doing the other one right away, and I’ll just jot down something real quick, and I’ll just remember the rest.  Yeah, right.  What I finally figured out I did was that I did a few gusset type increases, which I wrote down, and started them on the same row.  I did, I think, 4 on each side.  Then when I started short-rowing (is that a verb?) I thought I used ALL of those stitches, including the little increases.  Apparently, I did not do that on the 1st sock.  So, after getting all the way to where I should start short-rowing back up, I had to frog.  One entire hour or so of sock.  When am I going to learn?  Maybe it would help if I didn’t have like 47 different projects going at once.  Nah.

Knitting night tonight.  I’m so excited.  It’s so much fun to get together with them.  They’re all so interesting and fun and it’s so neat to see what they’re working on, how far they got (or didn’t ) since last time, what new stuff they bought since last time, and turns out, they sometimes have problems with their kids too!  Go figure!  I feel like I’m in a special little yarn club.  I almost wish I could go every night, but then I think it wouldn’t be as cool.  One of the ladies wants to do a morning thing.  That’s dangerous, I think.  If I get there that early, I can totally see us all staying there pretty much all day.  Would that be a bad thing though?

Nah.

Knitting, bananas, and trains

I love it when my dad visits. We go places I probably would never otherwise go, and he buys my gas and groceries, and he comes up with a reason we need to go to the store pretty much every day, so he can get just one more thing.

Yesterday it was bananas. We were almost out, so he went, and bought like 20 lbs. Or it seemed like that. In reality, it was enough bananas to just about equal out the weight of a 6 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper, 24 oz bottles. At least he was balanced. Tonight, we’re cutting them in half, the bananas, not the pop, and rolling them in slightly melty peanut butter, then in crushed up honey roasted peanuts and mini chocolate chips. His idea, not mine. But, I’m seeing many variations here too. Cheerios, magic shell, all sorts of stuff.

We went to a train show yesterday after church, and a train hobby shop this afternoon. He loves trains. He used to work for the Burlington, and now he does the modeling, HO scale, if anyone’s interested. The kids had fun looking at everything.

Knitting, let’s see. Still chugging along on the Stargazer. I did a few rows on the alpaca shawl that I may enter in the fair. I started on the other Blue Jeans sock, and I’m about 20 or so rows into that. I finished the one Horcrux sock and started on the other one, but, let me be honest here, the chances of me finishing it before school gets out so he can wear them to school once are looking slimmer and slimmer, considering the last day is Friday. We’ll see though. I started on an interesting rib pattern on those Lorna’s Laces ones, but I think I don’t like it, and I’m going to frog it and go back to the regular 2 by 2 rib.

Bananas are calling…

Knitting or naptime???

Alpaca and Cashmere, originally uploaded by YarnDork.

A lot has been happening the past few days.

My dad has come for a visit, which is fantastic. He got to see my boys play their last soccer games, which he doesn’t really care about, but it means a lot to them to have him here. He bought David a new bike for his birthday, which was in January, but he couldn’t get down here then. He even took care of all 3 of them last night so I could still go to my knitting night when Steve’s meeting thing ran over. He’s not leaving for a few days, and we have some fun stuff planned.

My cashmere from Steve came on the same day my dad did. I’m happy to report that it coordinates beautifully with the alpaca from my sister! So, I think it’ll be fun. I’m looking at a sweater pattern called ANGST, for Abigail’s No Gauge Swatch Top. It’s on Ravelry, and I’m planning for the center panels to be the alpaca part and the outside part to be the cashmere. Steve made me promise though, that I finish the angora sweater first.

On that front, the Stargazer is coming along quite lovelry. I’m almost to the part where I’m going to start the feather and fan pattern all around the sleeve. Right now, there’s only 3 repeats across. It sure is fun to knit.

Today was the last soccer games for the boys, and we’re all exhausted. It didn’t help that it was 83. I’m not ready for summer yet. I hate all that sweaty weather. I wish it’d just stay around 65 to 70. Someday, when I rule the world, …

Right now, though, I’m going to go lay down. Naptime wins.


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