Archive for April, 2009

Why, yes, I have been knitting

Why do you ask?

The weather here’s been very odd.   One day I’ll be so glad we left the flannel sheets on the boys beds, and the next day we’re arguing about turning on the air conditioner in April.

Here’s a couple of things I finally finished.  First off those Serpentine Mitts.  These were so amazingly cool to knit up.  The only thing I’m going to do differently if I knit them again, which I’m fairly sure I will, will be to center the thumb gusset in between a K2, instead of having it sit next to a K2.  It works fine, I just think it looks a little off.  But the cabling was so fun, and the way the writer had the pattern row # line up with how many stitches you have on the thumb gusset was genius.   If I ever stopped and lost my marker for the cable chart, I just counted up my thumb gusset st, and there’s the row #.

Serpentine MittsForgive my short fat fingers, these really are fantastic.  I gave them to the lady who cuts my boys’ hair.  She’s fantastic too.

Also, I finished up those slippers for Maureen.  Here they are just laying on the bed after I sewed them up and added the flower and border.  Don’t look much like slippers, do they?

Thneed slippers flat

Well, check this out:  Ta da!

Thneed slippers on the footThat’s the top view.  The middle part of ribbing is where you put your foot, and it stretches out to cover the whole bottom of the foot.  Then the triangle parts overlap on the top of your foot, and the long garter parts criss-cross in front and then tie on back.  Here’s one  more from the side:

Thneed slippers side viewMake sense now?

Just found out too that a good friend of hubby’s from college just had her first baby, and it’s a girl.  Figures.  But it at least gives me a chance to knit or crochet something frilly again.  I’m thinking of the February Baby sweater and a matching hat a booties, or maybe just a blanket.  They live in CA, so it’ll probably have to be something not too hot.  Perhaps I’d better just make a quick visit to a yarn store to look for inspiration…

This is normal, right?

I finished off those fingerless mitts yesterday.  I should have done them long ago, as I only had to do the ribbing at the top, 12 rows, and then pick up stitches for the thumb and do 5 rows of ribbing there.   I already soaked them and they’re drying on a towel by my window.  I wanted to get them done so I could give them to the lady who cuts all of our hair, and the boys have an appt tomorrow.  Whew.

So, to celebrate, after I went on a 2 mile walk/jog (WAY more walk than jog; I hate the jigglyness of jogging), I cast on for a February Baby sweater with some new stuff I got at Hobby Lobby that wasn’t on sale.  It’s called Rainbow Wool, and I picked out the green.  I thought I had such a fun time knitting up the baby surprise jacket a few years ago for the fair, and almost wanted to do that again, but then thought, hey if I ever am blessed enough to have just one more baby, wouldn’t it be adorable if we could both wear our February sweaters?

Mine’s still trucking along, I’m on the first sleeve, and frankly, I think I’m almost done.  I had originally toyed with the idea of making them full length, but having seen it live in person, I sort of like the 3/4 length.  I do think though, that I don’t like it so swingy on the sleeves, so I guess I’ll taper them in and do a garter stitch cuff.  I’d really rather have a ribbed cuff, but it totally would not go with the rest of the sweater.

The sock for Maureen is almost done as well.  I thought I was ready for the ribbing, but I tried it on (we have the same size feet, pretty much), and I think it needs to be a little bit longer.

I’ve also been feeling guilty since finishing up my $12 sweater because poor David still doesn’t have his done.  It’s just got hours and hours and miles and miles of 2 x 2 rib to go.  I’m frankly praying that he doesn’t have a ginormous growth spurt this summer and then it won’t fit him by fall.  Actually, before I go any further, I’m going to make him try it on.  Rib is stretchy and all, but if I need to increase the chest circumference, I’d rather know now than later.

Just a thought, back to the baby sweater, I can enter that in the fair if I get it done in time, and if it looks cool.  Then it’ll just wait for a baby…

$12 Coat of Many Colors

I whipped that one out, didn’t I?

Coat of Many ColorsMy sweater jacket, lovingly (I hope) renamed the Coat of Many Colors by hubby, then re-named the $12 Coat of Many Colors by me when I realized I was going to finish the thing using only 6 balls of the 9 I bought!

Here’s the pattern I used, and it was fantastic.  There was minimal math involved, and the only thing I changed was that afterwards, I thought the collar where I cast on was a bit loose, so I sc’d around it to tighten it up a bit.  I toyed with the idea of somehow adding on a collar, but then didn’t.  I still have a handful of the yarn left too, in addition to the 3 balls.

Here’s a close up of the colors.

Coat of Many Colors, close-up

This was a great pattern, the yarn was super soft, and now I have to get back to work.  I’m almost done with the February Lady Sweater, and I really have to get cracking on those things for the sisters.

Oh, and I’m running away for the weekend in a couple months.  I’m going to visit my sister, all by myself, no kids or anything, and we may even go yarn shopping!  I’m so excited, and looking forward to it will be half the fun!

Happy Birthday Mom

You would have been 65.

I would have made you a way better cake than the sand castle one.

I miss you.

And we have cake

Sand Castle cake, Patrick 2009This was by far the best cake I have ever made.  I had fun doing it, the kids had fun making the sea shells, and the party guests had a really fun time eating it.  There’s still a plate of graham cracker crumbs down in the kitchen with a spoon on it, since the kids keep asking me if they can have one more bite of sand.

In a nutshell, here’s what I did.  I mixed up 2 cake mixes from the box, adding in a small box of instant pudding to each.   3/4 c oil, 3/4 c milk, and 4 eggs plus a mixer gets you a nice thick pudding like batter.  That’s per mix, not total.  I put one mix in the big round cake pan I have from my days of taking the Wilton class back in FL.  The other mix went into these mini bundt cake pans that either my sister or my brother got me years ago for Christmas.  I use them quite often, as it’s rather neat to make a cake, but have each person get their own little cake.

Sand Castle Cake, Patrick 2009 (2)

Here’s another view.  Hubby majorly humored me and took about 5 or 6 pictures from all angles.  So, the mini bundt things have straight edges.  I have another pan that has the mini bundts with the fluted edges, but a sand castle calls for plain, I think.  I had originally thought of cupcakes, but when I turned the cupcake pan upside down on the cake pan to get an idea of how it’d fit together, it just looked too small.  I thought of perhaps using 2 cupcakes, but I thought that’d just look too lanky.  Then I remembered the mini bundts, and it looked great.

For the top, I bought sugar cones, and my oldest son carefully and patiently make teeny flags with tabs and taped them onto toothpicks.  He even wrote Happy Birthday on them, and make them out of orange construction paper to be Patrick’s favorite color.

As for the construction and frosting and decoration, I found that piping the frosting on and then spreading it a little with the spreader was way easier than attempting to apply the frosting directly with the spreader.  I put on the big star tip, and tinted the frosting with a little bit of brown, in case some of it showed through.  After cutting off the rounded tops of the bundts, I marked where they’d be on the cake with toothpicks, then removed them so I could pipe the frosting in the center of the cake and in between where the bundts would be.  Way easier to do that then to try to squeeze the frosting bag in between them being already on there.

After the frosting was on there, I started grinding up the graham crackers.  I just bought plain ones, the 6 pack, and ended up using 4 packets.  I just put them in the food processor, which I think I haven’t used in about 4 years.  I can’t believe I found all the parts.  I put some of the crumbs in a big bowl, then used a drinking cup with the lid from a sour cream container as a stand.  I put one mini bundt on there, and slowly turned it as I piped the frosting on, starting at the bottom.  The good think was, I sure didn’t have to worry about being too neat, as I was not only going to be smoothing it out a bit, but also covering it up with crumbs.  After I got the outside all covered up, I took the spreader and smoothed it, then got a fork and poked it into the top, which was a little awkward, and carefully lifted it off the lid and turned it sideways and rolled it in the crumbs, and then let it gently plop onto the cake where I had marked out for it to go.  Repeated that 3 more  times.

I then frosted the tops of them all, then did the sides of the cake, and let the older boy spoon on the crumbs.  Can’t really mess that up.  By the time we got to it, the sides of the cake were starting to dry, and the crumbs weren’t sticking that well, so I ground up even more, and we literally pushed them into the frosting by cupping our hand around some.  The cones were the messiest part.  I had to frost them with a finger, then roll them in the crumbs, then gently apply the toothpick flag by sticking it in the frosting and smushing it on there.

The boys then make more shells, I put toothpicks into each one before popping them in the fridge for 10 minutes, then we popped them out and I let each kid do 6 or 7.  I put the toothpicks in there so that we’d be able to apply the shells to the sides as well.  I figured they wouldn’t stick so well with the crumbs and all.

Sand Castle Cake, Patrick 2009 (3)

And voila, I give you the sand castle cake.  Ta da!

Here’s a couple more shots of the boy having fun with his friends and opening up presents.

Patrick's party 2009, outsideThat’s them playing outside.

Making the sea shell creatures, 2009, Patrick's partyThat’s them working on their sea shell creatures.  Other view below.

Other side of making shell creatures, Patricks party 2009And one last one…Patrick opening up one gift from a friend that he’s obviously thrilled about.  Big brother has one of these, and loves it, and now Patrick has one too.  Yay Patrick.

Patrick and the 20Q, 2009

Knitting content will resume tomorrow, since late last night I finished up one sleeve of that super bulky yarn jacket.  Steve caught a glimpse of it and dubbed it my “Coat of Many Colors”.  I might be able to finish up the other sleeve today and then put a few rows of seed stitch on the bottom and weave in the ends.  Hoo yah.

Forgot a WIP

Dulcie's Friday scarf

How did I forgot about this one?  It’s the Friday scarf pattern, free and very easy.  I made this one for Steve’s mom, and the yarn is that Mirasol Nuna; bamboo, silk, and merino.  Very soft and smooth and luxurious.

And since I don’t have time today to write all about the birthday party and the sand castle cake, here’s a little teaser picture to keep you going until I do…

Patrick's sand castle cake, 2009

It’s late, but official

David's cake, 2009

I was all set to write about Patrick’s birthday party yesterday, then I remembered, I never put up the picture of David’s.  That was right around the time the computer pooped out and wouldn’t let me post pictures.

David wanted a blue cake.  With marshmallows.  I baked the cake, chocolate with some swirly chips mixed in, and I tinted the frosting, and frosted it, and he did the rest.  I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but along the top border of the cake, the marshmallows are separated by the swirly chips.  Then he put a star of marshmallows in the center.  It’s a 5 pointed star, which worked out really well for the age, he put one candle in each point, one candle in the center, and one between, for a total of 11.  I’m still trying to accept the fact that I’m old enough to have an 11 year old.

Somewhere I have pictures from Russell’s birthday, which I should probably put up as well.  But, tune in tomorrow for the sand castle cake from Patrick’s party.  It went so well.

On the knitting front, pretty much nothing happened yesterday.  I did work on a neck warmer thing at a dinner we went to last night, and bound it off (without cutting the yarn) this morning.  I tried it on, and it’s not blocked or anything, but I think I may re-knit the neck part.  I really don’t like how loose it feels around my neck.  I don’t want to destroy the pattern though, it’s a nice chevron think, so I may experiment with possibly some 2 x 2 ribbing in the back and keep the pattern in the front and sides.

Tonight, I’m working on the sleeves of that super bulky thing and my February Lady sweater.  I’ll try to get a picture of that bulky one later on.  Oh, and I decided what to make for the charity toy thing at the state fair!  More on that later too.  Sorry this is such a teaser post.  I’m tired.


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