This Moment – Exploring

A Friday ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

IMGP8612Have a great weekend! 

 

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Thirteen

Thirteen things that I love about my thirteen year old.

IMGP85971. She is helpful and responsible.

2. She is fun to talk to and has interesting things to say.

3. She is so very smart and such a joy to homeschool as she devours every subject with a voracious appetite for learning.

IMGP86074. She is so practical and does not get lost in frivolity.

5. Though she has entered her teens, she still sees the world with sweet innocence and curiosity.

6. She is trustworthy and honest.

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7. She continues to amaze me with her artistic ability.

8. Everything she does, she does well. She strives for excellence in all things.

9. She has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh.

IMGP851510. She is so fun to watch movies with – she squeals and jumps and laughs outloud and fully enjoys every minute.

11. She makes an excellent macaroni and cheese.

12. She is careful and does not rush into things without thinking it through first.

13. She is so beautiful.

Happy Birthday to my teenager! I love you more than you’ll ever know!

 

 

 

Combo Spin

The Spunky Eclectic Group on Ravelry is having a Combo Spin Along. This is a new thing for me. You take one pretty braid and another, different pretty braid, and you spin them up and ply them together to make something totally new and unique. This is a huge challenge for me. I mostly prefer to let someone else choose the way colors go together, and then I just make the yarn. But I can rise to a new challenge, and this sounded really fun. Besides, since being sick, my fiber stash has grown and I have been itching to spin it – all of it! (to participate in the spin along, at least one of the fibers has to be from Spunky Eclectic, Southern Cross Fibre, or Hello Yarn. See actual Ravelry thread for more details)

So, I started with these. The fiber in the top right is BFL from Dear Husband, colorway Country Fair Girl and the fiber on the lower left is falkland from Spunky Eclectic, colorway Aurora Borealis.

IMGP8402I spun a full bobbin of each.

IMGP8441I confess that at this point I almost chickened out. I am not really impressed with the colors in the Dear Husband fiber. I didn’t like them when they arrived in the mail last summer and I still don’t. In contrast, I am completely enamored with the Spunky braid – and the purples and blues of that colorway were utter perfection on their own. How could I blend them with a lesser ply? Fortunately, I recieved three braids of this particular months club, so it didn’t hurt too bad to sacrifice one for the sake of experimentation.

And I am glad that I did.

IMGP8452Now, the Aurora Borealis was a little bit bleedy, if you know what I mean. My fingers turned purple while I was spinning it (to which The Princess inquired, “Why are your fingers purple? Can I dye mine green?”). There had been some discussion in the Spunky Ravelry club about this, so it wasn’t a surprise. I knew it would bleed into the water when I washed the finished yarn, and I knew that the flashes of yellow and white might pick up the blue and become greenish and blue. But, at this point, I was in experimentation mode and was just going with the flow. I love the way it worked out, even without the yellow and white.

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It’s going to make great longies!

 

 

 

Inspiration Strikes! And I am Helpless to Resist!

I don’t do ultrasounds. In seven pregnancies I have had a total of four of them, three on the same baby, and all were medically necessary at the time. (I won’t bore you with the why’s, just google “dangers of ultrasounds” and you will know.) The consequence of this is that the baby’s gender is always a surprise, and I like it that way. When, after hours of pain and toil, a baby finally makes it’s way into this world, the most beautiful sound after the newborn cry is the declaration, “IT’S A GIRL!” (or BOY!, but I haven’t heard that one very often) Once we did discover the gender pre-birth, with The Munchkin, and it was weird to me. It felt artificial and wrong to know what was cooking in there. But, that is not the point of this post.

The point is, we won’t be finding out what we are having until we have had it, which makes for less than inspired baby knitting. Gender neutral baby knitting is not really very exciting. I know I can knit fast, and I plan to churn out heaps of knitted pink ruffles or blue robot longies as the case may be once we know who it is that I am knitting for, but I want to knit a blanket while I gestate.

So, there I was on Ravelry perusing blankets. I did lace for The Fraggle, but this time around I feel weaker and sicker and I don’t want to bother with complicated knitting. Simplicity is my middle name these days, so I was looking at striped blankets. Not terribly exciting, but then I found this: (photo used with permission)

BillowBlanket3(See Ravelry Project Page here and related blog post here)

To be honest, I am not sure what it is that I love about this, as far as a baby is concerned, but it sparked an idea that I couldn’t let go of. Before I knew it, I had placed a Knit Picks order and was waiting on pins and needles to get going on my own version of the above masterpiece.

Billow is a bulky, thick and thin, 100% cotton yarn that is softer than I expected. And the colors are perfect. I used all of the colors pictured above and threw in some purple because that is more “me”. When the yarn came, I was so excited that I snapped a quick picture with my iPad before balling it up and casting it on right then and there.

IMG_0572And once the knitting began, I was really cooking. Nevermind that I have months to go before there will be a baby to wrap in it. This is perfect pregnant/sick knitting.

IMGP8439My version differs from the inspiration blanket in that I am throwing in a purl row every seven rows and it will be smaller. I am going for crib size, which google tells me is 45″x60″.

I might have to order more yarn.

 

 

 

 

Making Yarn is Too Much Fun

Mosaic Moon is one of my favorite dyers. This is a BFL/Silk blend in the colorway “Colibri”. IMGP8436

I decided to navajo ply it preserve the colors. This is my favorite way to make yarn these days. I love the structure of the three ply, how round and bouncy the finished yarn becomes. And the smooth motion of chain plying is both soothing and interesting.
IMGP8437I wonder what it wants to be knit into?

Easy Peasy

When I don’t feel very well, easy knitting is the only knitting that I can do. So I have a new pair of socks! 🙂

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My own pattern in Yarn Love Elizabeth Bennet Romance with Knit Picks Stroll Tonal Sock Eggplant toes. Ravelry Project Page here

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This is my super easy made up sock pattern. I can just churn out socks mindlessly following my little formula (written out on the Rav project page if you’re curious).
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This yarn comes in 50 gram skeins, but I like the contrasting toes, so I don’t mind running out of colorway before the end of the sock.

I have already started the next pair. I can work on it in the evenings when I am so exhausted that all I can do is stockinette in endless circles. Plus, we are watching the Lord of the Rings Trilogy this week (it takes us six days with the extended version!) and I need something to keep my hands busy while the good guys slaughter orcs!

Scaling it Down

My little girls are little princesses. When sent upstairs to get dressed in the morning, they choose to don themselves in the most beautiful dresses they can find. They raid the dress up box for scarves and necklaces and anything pink, lacy, and frilly. When the dress up box doesn’t contain just the right accessory, they invade my closet, searching through my silk scarves and handknit shawls. This gave me a great idea for stocking stuffers last Christmas.

One of the girls favorite shawls is this one –

Photo_on_2010-05-06_at_14.50_mediumThis is the Impasto Shawlette that I made three years ago (Ravelry Project Page here). It is knit in cotton (Unique Sheep Pima Petite) and can be thrown into the wash. It is also long enough for the girls to use it as a wrap to tie their babies on as they run outside to play house in the garden. It was an easy knit and gets more use than any of my fancy, lace shawls that are too delicate for hard use.

I started making mini versions of this shawl just as the morning sickness started to set in. Knitting made my stomach churn, but I kept imagining my girls on Christmas morning with their very own shawls and I kept going. Somedays I would knit only a few stitches. Somedays I would press into it with the determination only a mother’s love can muster. And I did it!

The Princess got a teal mini Impasto:

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Ravelry Project Page here. In short, I cast on roughly 2/3s of the original pattern and then just worked out the rest of the pattern from there. It really helped that I had knit it through once as written and knew what the instructions intended.

IMGP8360And The Munchkin got a pink one:

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Ravelry Project Page hereIMGP8357I didn’t get around to taking photos until a few weeks ago, so they have already seen some wear. They are beloved handknits. What knitter could ask for a better outcome?

Why Do They Call it Morning Sickness When it Lasts All Day Long and Late into the Night?

And where did the lie that it will be better in the second trimester come from?

And why would an ailing body that is trying to build a new baby constantly crave awful things like Coca-cola and Cheetos?

And why can’t I feel like knitting while I lie on the couch for weeks at a time?

These are a few of the questions that have plagued my mind over the last five and a half months as I have suffered through yet another difficult pregnancy. But with the arrival of spring relief has come and I am slowly coming back to life. I have even taken the kids to the park this week. Sure, I was nauseous and weak for the rest of the day, but it was nice to get out of the house.

I am knitting again, too. The first project that I tackled when the knitting fever came back over me was to finish The Man’s christmas present. Poor guy only got one sock in his stocking with a promise of another to come. I don’t feel too bad about it, I mean I am making more offspring for him, after all. And the one sock was a heavenly merino/cashmere/nylon blend that is fit for kings. His foot was swathed in luxury. Sure the other one was left in the cold, but I thought I would remedy that in January. Well, better late than never, and I whipped out the second half in March.

IMGP8312Regular Guy Toe Up Socks in Handmaiden Casbah Ebony Ravelry Page here . Pictured on my feet, so a little baggie.

Pardon the horrible photography. I still don’t feel like getting off of the couch very much!

Three things about this knit –

1. The yarn is fantastic! I have already knit socks for me in it and it is fabulous. Hard wearing, unbelievably soft, and gorgeous colors. Well worth the price.

2. The pattern was free and easy. I didn’t do the short row toes as instructed, but preferred to use Judy’s Magic Cast On. More details on the Ravelry page.

3. The man has long feet, but at least they are narrow. One hundred grams made a nice, long, skinny pair of socks, leaving a very small ball for darning when needed.

There has been progress on other things as well, but I have got to save some things for later. I don’t know if I am back completely, but I sure hope so. I miss my friends in bloggyland and look forward to getting back into the swing of things here as well as in real life.

And, just so you don’t think I have been faking it – here is my progress on Encore Baby so far:

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