Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Alison: The Ballerina

Gearing up for Summer Knitting

I'm still trudging along on my Tasha bag, but have to wait until our next knitting night to make sure I've got the cabling right. Since I didn't just want to abandon it, I cast on for the other 9.5" x 9.5" Stockinette side - it kind of makes my pinky hurt to hold the little yarn.

My birthday is just a couple of weeks away, so in an effort to not buy the things people may have purchased as gifts I've been coming up with a list of new things I want to make and buying the supplies. I'm proud to say that this week I placed my first online yarn order, then my second a day later - it's kind of addictive and I'm guessing my stash is going to grow exponentially if I'm not careful.

Here's the plan:

I ordered some Knit Picks Simple Stripes in Sweet Tarts to knit the Girlfriend Shrug for Alison. I really hope that its a good replacement yarn for the impossible to find Lang Yarns Bebe Jacquard that the pattern calls for. Ali picked out the color and I think it's going to be a cute project that hopefully she'll wear every day. I'm going to knit the size 4-5 so that it'll fit once it starts not sweltering in say January of 2007.

My next order was from elann. I got some Sonata Print - 2 balls of Rose Garden and 2 balls of Lilac Sachet. These are to make two different versions of the Short Snort Girlfriend Tank. I am in love with all of Wendy's designs and it's nice that her girlfriend and my Ali have similar tastes and sizes. They can grow up together on opposite coasts wearing the same clothes - but her's will be knit a lot faster.

Last night I got together with some knitting friends and painted some pottery. While Jessica and Nicole accomplished detailed stenciling and lettering - I painted stripes. And I didn't even challenge myself to paint straight stripes, they're all wobbly-edged. So I commend my friends, they are braver than me. I painted the not-too-technical-stripes on a coffee cup for Wayne for Father's Day - at least that's the plan, if it turns out crappy, I painted it for me. I'll post photos after I pick it up.

Monday, May 29, 2006

5 Senses: Extreme Holiday Edition

Or, Sorry-I-Didn't-Get-to-it-Until-Monday edition. :)

Wayne sewing
Alison's beautiful dancing on the big stage
Lots of flashy dance costumes

cupcakes - what can I say, I like to make cupcakes.
hospital cleanliness
dryer sheets

lots of ultrasound goo - they use it for NSTs too
Ali getting kicked in the ear by Emily
Wayne holding my hand at the movies

Ali singing 'Ballerina'
Wayne's hacking cough
crazy dog barking

mall Chinese food - yum!
Canada Dry Cranberry Ginger Ale (diet) - its not too sweet


Not too much to report on the knitting front. I got a little burned out and have just been picking up Emily's star blanket here and there when I find a minute. Hopefully I'll start (or finish) something interesting soon.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I'm a Barbie Girl

. . . who can knit up Barbie clothes. Lion Brand came out with this whole line of patterns called 'Chicks with Sticks' that is full of Barbie clothes and knitting/crocheting accessories. You can make a variety of tops and then fill Barbie's basket with mini-skeins of yarn, catalogs, knitting needles and crochet hooks.

My Barbie attended SnB with me last night and had a lovely time. :)

Last night I also received an amazing gift from Secretary Eve. While she was in Tenn. she met with a friend of the family who makes hand-crafted rubber stamps and had some NYGK logo stamps made up. It's absolutely divine and the detail is incredible. Here it is in action:

After all the things I finished this last week were finished, I wasn't really sure what to do next. I reached into my very organized knitting basket and the first thing I grabbed was my Tasha bag project. I considered finding a sock pattern for the Tahki Cotton Classic that I am supposed to use for it and after fruitlessly searching for about 1/2 and hour I decided maybe I should just knit the bag.

So far I've finished the bottom in monotonous 2x2 rib (actually that was finished during my disgraceful Knitting Olympics) and one side in monotonous St st. Today I may start the cabling which makes up every other piece of the bag -- but first I need to figure out how to purl into the back loop.

Monday, May 22, 2006


Wayne was sick with the flu-ish all weekend so we spent a good amount of it at the house being quiet and relaxed. But all that downtime led to some amazing things. First, I finished Alison's Pink & Purple socks while visiting with my parents on Friday night.

A little modeling and some action shots for your enjoyment.

The best thing I finished this weekend though, was the Color Bar Blanket for Carlin!!! I pieced and pieced and pieced and finally this afternoon it was all put together in color bar wonderfulness. I even learned some things, like if your sewing together black squares and using your great big pregnant belly as a table, it's not the best idea to be wearing a black shirt. The same is true for white. I also think I've dampened any future desire to make something as huge as a 140 square blanket, no matter how cute it is.


And while such an accomplishment is great, the best part of the past couple of days was not at all craft related. Wayne stayed home from work to make sure his sick was really gone and got to go to my Non-Stress Test with me. A whole hour of listening to Emily's heartbeat and kicks with Wayne. It was wonderful and made me a very happy mommy.

I will however bring a knitting or crochet project with me next time 'cause I'll be by myself and that's valuable crafting time. :)

Friday, May 19, 2006

5 for Friday

emily's foot
my favorites winning on at least 2 of my favorite shows - good job aras & hippies!
alison's blooming fashion sense - she's been dressing herself a lot lately.

something sweet blooming in the front yard
the grill - i lit it all by myself :)
coffee i didn't make on mother's day

soft baby blankets - while putting them away in the baby's room
lots of snuggles
brewski who begs for love

a happy and hopeful nicole - thanks tom!
ice cream truck
ashley parker angel - i'm very lame.

cranberry ginger ale - diet, of course, but still wonderful
winter garden pizza twice in one week
lemon sandwich cookies


Yesterday I did a lot of finishing on the blanket, I'd say it's about 50% finished with finishing. I got into a good groove with it and Ali was easily distracted with Play-doh and art projects so I could just sit with her and work. Here's a picture of the bulk of what's done, there are some other little pieces that haven't been attached, but good progress nonetheless:

Last night, when I could sew no more, I finished Ali's first Pink & Purple sock and then cast on for the second one. I'm really starting to enjoy sock knitting. It's just interesting enough, but not a huge project so you can feel accomplished.

While cruising craftster this morning I stumbled upon yet another fun-sounding Knit-a-Long. The Yarnmonkey is hosting a Knitting World Cup -- I don't think I'm going to do this one due to the baby's due date and how awful my performance in the Knitting Olympics was, but it sounds cool.

On a baby note, I've begun thinking about what I should pack to take to the hospital. With Alison I was horribly unprepared -- I had a list and I packed those things, but once there I needed several other things which Wayne would diligently schlep in when he'd come to see me and which in the end would not all fit back into the original bag because it was overflowing -- so I want to do better this time.

But everytime I start thinking about it, all I can think is 'I'm going to need an extra bag for yarn.'

Thursday, May 18, 2006

One more thought

About two weeks ago I got this fancy-schmancy site monitering thing set-up that tells me that people actually read my blog. It's very exciting and I'm happy you stop by.

I was just wondering if you'd like to leave a comment every once in a while??? That would be even more exciting. :)

An Evening of Crochet

And sadly no piecing, but I just didn't have the concentration for it. While watching my DVR'd finales or ANTM and The Amazing Race I did manage to keep my hands busy and start on a star blanket for Emily.

I'm hooking it out of some very soft Caron's Simply Soft and love the way the stripes look together. These first 7 rounds went quickly, but with the legs getting longer I've already slowed down a bit.

When we bought this house, we painted every room the first weekend before we moved in. Wayne and I went back and forth about a lot of things, but in the end I got my Pottery Red living room wall and my Daredevil Red bathroom. What I did not get was Alison's room painted pink and green. It turns out that Wayne hates this color combination.

O how the tables have turned though with Emily on the way. Emily's room is the former office. Wayne's office, which he painted a pretty sage green. And he doesn't want to paint it again. End result, all of Emily's blankets, sheets, room decor, etc is pink and green and I win. :)

I've gotten a little ambitious and involved myself with two new knitting endeavors. The first is organizing a local event for Worldwide Knitting in Public Day 2006 on June 10th. I'm keeping it simple and just hoping people show up.

Secondly, I joined the Summer of Socks knit-a-long that Zarzeula is starting. I'm hoping to get at least 3 pairs of socks done between June 21 and Sept 21 which could be an outrageous goal depending on when Emily is born and how crazy things get. I could also end up on bedrest and knit millions of socks, so 3 seems like a good middle of the road goal.

Today should be a good day for piecing -- Wayne's truck is in the shop so Ali and I are homebound.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006


Today I completed hooking the squares for Carlin's Color Bar Blanket. Now I have until the end of the month to put it together in time to ship it for her June 6th birthday. But I've been working on that a little too and think I'll be done with plenty of time left.

How did the white yarn situation work out?? Well today I started working a square with the Jiffy I had purchased under duress and quickly figured out that there is no way it would work as a replacement. The yarn was much bulkier and very fuzzy. I was pissed.

Then I found some almost white yarn that had been given to me by someone in our group for our booth at the Fair -- I didn't have a ton of it, but enough to make 3 squares. It's not quite cream, but not quite blinding white like the rest, but it's the only option I have left. So I made the last 3 squares and called it finito.

The pieced together pieces.

Pile of pieces to be pieced.

Three of these things are not like the others. The color difference isn't as noticeable in natural lighting.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Happy Mommy's Day to Me

I had a lovely Mother's Day courtesy of Wayne and Alison. They even collaborated on an art project for me.

It's a lovely treasure box that they spray painted and stenciled and lined with sparkly felt on the inside and then decorated. By they, I mean mostly Wayne but Alison was there. :)

They also took me out for a lovely lunch with my Mom and Dad at Chili's - which suprisingly enough did not have the two hour wait time of the Cheesecake Factory (my first choice). After that there was one more suprise -- a new digital camera!! Notice how clear and evenly-colored the above pic is, that's the new camera in action. I love it! I can even take pictures of things up close now, so prepare to be dazzled by all the little things I'd love to comment on.

Friday, May 12, 2006

5 Senses Friday & Much, much more...

an almost finished baby room
aeon flux
little flower buds on my tomato plant

baby powder
smoke from the never-ending burning of this state

hugs from great friends
Alison's hiccuping belly

great 80s tunes
Jany and Ali banter
laughter at my baby shower

lots of cake
french onion dip a la Mom
water, water, water

Alison's pink and purple socks are growing quickly - I'm just about to finish the heel on the first one. And suprisingly enough, my attempts at dyeing self-striping yarn are producing stripes. Big wide ones that we love.

I went to store #3 in search of Lion Brand Wool-Ease in White and was once again faced with defeat. So I bought some Jiffy instead. Its fuzzy and acrylic, but the same weight and I'm hoping it won't stick out like a sore thumb, but I'm out of stores and need to finish this blanket. Notice the ethereal ball of Jiffy next to the not-so-fuzzy Wool-Ease square.

And lastly, remember my brilliant 'middling' idea?? I started piecing together some parts of the blanket and it's not as bad as I had feared. A good episode of Survivor and I've got 8 squares attached to each other. Watch The Office with Wayne and there are 6 more done. So slowly it's coming along.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Back to knitting

After a frustrating trip to 2 stores in search of the yarn needed to finish the blanket, I gave up and took a knitting project to knitting last night. I cast on (and cast on, and cast on - I couldn't focus at the beginning of the night) Alison's first pink & purple sock. Considering I was there for almost 3.5 hours, I didn't get very far, but the conversation with my girlies was delightful!

And Alison has mastered first a fox. :)

Monday, May 08, 2006

Frustration thy name is Wool-Ease

Remember a few days ago when I was so excited to be down to 2 colors left on the Color Bar Blanket. All my excitement went down the drain when I realized that one ball of Wool-Ease is not enough to make 21 squares and put them together, in fact I could only make 18 squares and have three inches of yarn left. So now I have to go buy another ball and I'm a little worried that the black isn't going to make the 17 I need from it.

And everything was going so well...

Friday, May 05, 2006

gratuitous cuteness

5 Senses Friday & A New Look

lights on the midway
the best episode of the race, ever

a kitchen full of cupcakes
wayne's sexy deoderant :)

satin hands
sciatica :(
hot, hot heating pad

happy birthday sung to nicole
club music at pleasure island
new telephone ring

diet grape soda - yippee!
the best dinner ever at pf changs - beef a la sichuan
peaches and cream oatmeal

So I updated the look of my blog because I got the impression that the rainy one just wasn't me. I like this look, I'll keep it for a long time. I hope you like it too.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Update: 140 Square Blanket of Death

Some of you may be wondering 'what happened to that very ambitious blanket Megan was hooking??' Prepare to be answered - and hopefully dazzled.

I took a one-week hiatus from the blanket because I had packed it for the Fair and did not feel like climbing into the very back of my cavernous truck to unpack between our two engagements. I also took a break to knit SockS! and Cupcacke Hat. But I have been working as is evidenced here:

That my friend is 104 squares out of 140 completed. I only have two colors left - black and white and I need the most squares of these two.

I hate finishing things - sewing up seams is not my style for some reason and that it all comes at the end only further paralyzes my process. So, I think I'm going to start piecing this blanket together now a little bit at a time, more 'middling' than finishing. Perhaps it will be less daunting that way. We'll see.

I found this cool thing on Lolly's blog today and had to try it myself. It makes a cute little table of your fav music.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A cupcake a day

Or in two days will give you arthritis. Which I do not recommend on top of pregnancy. Luckily, my fingers seem to be back to normal and Nicole loved her hat.

Sorry for the funky coloring, but the camera is crazy and this pic was bright red madness originally.

I knit the hat modifying the pattern from Chile con Yarne. She had only listed baby and kid's sizes so I had to take a stab at knitting it bigger. I started it on Monday at 11:30AM and wove in the ends at 3:30PM on Tuesday - speed knitting at its best. It could use a little more length in the frosting section, but Nicole loves it so I will not fret.

It reminds me of those Arby's commercials where people have Arby's hats over their heads when they're 'thinking Arby's'. It sounds a lot more fun to be 'thinking cupcakes'. :)

Speaking of cupcakes, Wayne organized a little birthday bash for Nicole on Tuesday night and we ate cupcakes. And looked adoringly at cupcakes. And got some cupcake up our noses.

Happy Birthday Nicool!!