Monday, March 30, 2009

Mindless Monday

(Caution: no knitting content whatsoever. Proceed at your own risk.)

I went shopping at that big popular box store today. Had to get the usual things:
paper plates, OJ, milk, toothpaste, TP

Normally this is not anything I spend time thinking about, since my mind is busy thinking of ways to keep kidster #2 from having a major meltdown. Usually we make our way through the store at a pretty good clip, and most of the time I can grab what we want off the shelf without having to really stop. We make car and truck sounds, rev our engines, and often times put on the brakes quick so we don't run anyone over. Sometimes we do this because I just want to get out of there quick, and other times we do it just to have fun (and get out of there quick). Yes, we must be a sight to see but at least it works and we both have a little fun doing something completely mundane.

Well, the problem came in with the last item on the list. Arrived in the toilet paper aisle and our usual brand was gone. Big, empty space. I hate it when that happens because now I have to stop and compare, and keep kidster interested in what is going on. And I have to at least look around a little because I'm not going to spend $12 on something that gets, well, you know.

Do you know how many thing there are to compare on TP? Besides the usuals like cost and quantity, there is softness, quilting, doubly ply, triple ply, cushiness ("don't squeeze the Charmin!") and then the real kicker....

double rolls, triple rolls, mega rolls!

And don't forget the toilet paper accessories that you have to buy if you want to use these souped up TP's. You can have Mega Rolls that are like 18 rolls in one, but not unless you buy the $5 roll-holder-extender. Or I guess you could just leave the roll on the top of the tank. But in my house, with the 3 boys, well, I was having visions of what would happen to that. Plus I figured having a Mega Roll in the bathroom with an almost potty training 2-1/2 year old (we want him to, he doesn't want to...another post I guess) probably wasn't a good idea unless we wanted to put a plumber on contract. Which we don't.

And then I have to decide on buying a four pack, 6 pack, 12 pack, or 24 pack. If I was in a different kind of store I could easily decide between a six pack or a 12 pack, but this is TP for pete's sake! Geez, I wasn't prepared for this. I didn't pack a lunch.

So here we are, the two of us in the TP aisle. My auto-pilot brain awakened to do some super fast math and figure out what to buy all the while answering the very cute (to someone else) questions of a curious toddler.

"Why'd we stop?"
"What does the blue one say?"
"Why's that baby on a cloud?"
"Why don't we have toilet paper at home?"
"Wow, look at that big one!"

I'll talk about knitting next time, promise.
Hope I'm leaving you with a smile on your face:)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Everyone is safe

I am happy to report that there were no knitting under the influence incidents last night and that all people, pets, and fibers are safe. I have "turned the corner" (so to speak) and joined my sides so now I can just knit, knit, (purl a little), knit and make happy cables!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Around About Free Pattern

It's finished! Also available as a free Ravelry download, or a printer friendly link is provided at the bottom.

Around About
A round bag, knit in the round,
perfect for hauling your stuff about!

Skill Level: Easy
Not extremely important since this will be felted.
Yarn: about 450 yards of worsted weight
feltable wool
as pictured: "Chocolate Covered Raspberries"
Patons Classic Wool
1 skein Petal Pink
1 skein Rosewood
US 8 (5 mm) circular knitting needle
US 8 (5 mm) double pointed needles
Markers in two colors
double pointed needle(s)
k2tog knit two stitches together
ss stockinette stitch (knit every round)
sts stitches
Finished Size:
Approximately 8” diameter by 9” tall.

Bag Body
Using solid color yarn, cast on 136 stitches.
Place marker to indicate beginning of the round.
Join to work in rounds.
Rounds 1-6: knit in ss
Round 7: knit 32, cast off next 36 sts, knit 32, cast off next 36 sts.
Round 8: knit 32, cast on 36 sts, knit 32, cast on 36 sts.
Rounds 9-14 knit in ss
Change to contrasting color or variegated yarn.
Continue knitting in rounds until yarn is used up (or until bag measures between 10” and 12”).
Change back to solid color yarn.
Knit 5 rounds.

Bag Base
Setup round for decreases: *knit 34 sts, place alternate color marker*, repeat two more times, knit 34 sts.
Decrease round 1: *k2tog, knit to next marker, pass marker*. Repeat three times.
Continue decreasing per round 1, until there are 12 sts remaining, switching to dpns (or Magic Loop) as required.

Cut a long tail from yarn and thread onto needle. Pull needle through remaining sts as they are dropped off the needle and pull tight. Sew in securely in the inside of bag.
Sew in any ends from cast on and color changes.
Felt. There are lots of tutorials out in cyberspace. I would be happy to help, so drop me a line if you have any questions!
Find a nice big plastic container or plate to put in bottom of bag for shaping while drying. Use it to draw a circle on some sturdy cardboard or plastic canvas for your base. Cover in pretty fabric or leave it out for a more natural appearance.

I would be thrilled if you would send me a picture so I can add it to the photo gallery.

Around About
by Amybelbags

This pattern is offered for personal use only. The pattern, photos, and products made from this pattern are not to be used or sold for personal monetary gain without the written consent of the designer. Do not copy, cut, or paste this pattern. Links back to this pattern are always welcomed.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


No, I haven't turned into a pirate (although kidsters would probably get a real kick out of that). I thought knitting was supposed to be relaxing? What happened to my relaxing knitting?

I'm working on my sage cabled purse, that's what. I have knit and frogged the base out at least four times already. I think that I would be almost done with the body by now if I could just keep knitting in a continuous line instead of knit, rip, recalc, cast, knit, rip, recalc. Arrrgggh! I'm not liking this new mantra.

I'm determined to get past it and onto the body of the bag with the designs before Friday night. That gives me about 2 hours to get straightened out. Friday is beer night and beer and knitting go just fine together but add in aggravation and it could be a real problem.

Monday, March 23, 2009

New yarn added to Stash Busting!

I'm doing some yarn spring cleaning and posting yarns for sale. I apologize for my picture taking skills in advance. If you want me to try again just let me know!

If you are interested you can click the pretty Stash Busting link up in the nav bar or visit my Ravelry-stash-trade page. These are the items posted in the Yahoo! group KnitSwap.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Finally finished!

After our little tour last week, I decided to bite the bullet and get something finished. So I picked the easy one. Hey, baby steps! I am happy to report that the blue camo bag is officially an FO!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Done swatching!

Yes, I am still here. I haven't had much to type about since all I have been doing is swatching. I managed to get the second one just about where I wanted it, but wanted more definition in the cable. So then came the third swatch, my "hybrid". I made a cable panel and two test patterns for the handles, since I didn't want to be going back to swatching again once I get started. I can finally say that I am done swatching. Yes, it was helpful. Yes, I couldn't have continued without it. But if I ever decide to do it again, please PLEASE try to talk me out of it.

I also took a little time off this week to be with a friend who's father suddenly passed away. Her mother has been ill and it is striking everyone very hard. I just want to remind everyone to give an extra hug and kiss to those around you that are special to you. Call your mom or dad or whomever means the world to you and let them know. I know that I get very wrapped up in my day to day stuff taking care of the two kids, husband, school, groceries, errands, etc. and sometimes forget to stop to take a minute to do just that. I'm off to call my Dad right now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My craft room

I have a "craft room". Really a bunch of rooms, or a bunch of crafts, all rolled into one. I'd like to think that this room is a haven all to my own where I can go and be one with my crafty pursuits. Unfortunately, it's the room affectionately known by everyone else as Grandma's room. And it's really just piled with my clutter and projects that I don't have the time (ok, energy) to finish. Except when Grandma is here, then the piles find a hiding place. I really go there to escape the hollers and screams (joy or pain, it doesn't matter) from my darling hubster and two wonderful kidsters (2-1/2 & almost 5). Let's face it. Boys need to be boys. Mom is not one of the boys. Not only don't I want to be, but I am just not physically capable of "roughing it" the way they do. It's boys against Mom, and they win out.

So let's escape to the craft room! I thought you might like a little tour, since it's in pretty decent shape these days. Let's see what we have. In the far corner over there is the plant that my cats can't stay away from. This thing has been chewed to within an inch of it's life and bounced back at least twice. Now it lives in here where the cats are forbidden from entering. Next to that is my sewing area. Rather plush, don't you think? Behind you is the bureau that holds everything from a hot glue gun to window clings. My mother has been relegated to one empty drawer to stuff all her things into. And it's the top drawer. You know, the skinny one.

There are some projects going on. The favorite bulldozer PJ's with the blown out knee. I think I'll make them PJ shorts for the summertime. Realistically, I might not finish in time for the older kidster, but hopefully the younger one will get them. They are perched on top of some plastic canvas. It's probably going to be the base reinforcement for the magenta fuzz bag, but still brewing that one.

In front of that is a random purse lining. I made it before I made the purse. I was making the lining for the blue camo bag (below) and had just enough material left over. I whipped it out while I was in the mood, since usually the sewing part is the part I never seem to get to. Still haven't made the purse for it yet. Go figure.

The blue camo bag is done except for adding the magnetic buttons and attaching the lining to the purse. Should take about half hour, right? Ha. It's been this way for about a year now. Yes, that is a newly abandoned high chair invading my space. At least it has a usable flat surface!

On the cutting board is the fabric I just cut for the pockets to add to the lining of the magenta one affectionately known as the fuzz bag. Which is over here on the ironing board.

Thanks for taking this little tour with me. I have completely forgotten about all the screaming. But is has reminded me that I need to get some things finished around here. So if you have unfinished projects too, don't feel so bad. If you don't, well, to heck with ya!
No, really, how about some encouragement?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The s word

I never do it. Why would I? I make felted purses, why in the world would I want to or even need to? But I have never felted cables before. I've seen tons of patterns with felted cables so I didn't think I had to do it. I almost didn't do it. I don't know what came over me, but I decided I should give it a try.

I did it. I really did. Yes, I (gulp) swatched. Please don't wash my mouth out with soap! And don't tell the folks over in Ravelry's Anti-Swatching League or I might get kicked out.

Here is the result of my swatch. Not too good I know. "Where's the cable?", you say. And to think I only ran it through one cycle. When I'm doing a bag I almost always run it through twice. In case you're wondering, yes it is the same kind of yarn just a different color. It's a good thing too, since I don't know how many more of these I will have to do to get it right. Maybe it's because the yarn I'm using practically felts when you breathe on it. Hmm, back to the drawing (aaack, swatching) board for me. There goes another night without productive knitting.

Baggu Grosgrain Guest GIVEAWAY!!!!

In keeping with the theme this month, here's a good one.

Go Green!

Baggu Grosgrain Guest GIVEAWAY!!!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I have a new look!

Taaaaaaaaa Daaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Welcome back to the new and improved Knitting in my Backyarn!

Summer and I have been working hard on this brand new look. Well, she has been working hard, I've been making a lot of changes!

Roam around a little and then grab my button for your blog. Leave me a comment so I can go check out how it looks on you!

Do you get the pun? You know, me talking about knitting in the setting of my backyard? I hope it works for you. And if it doesn't, it's still cute, isn't it?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back to girly knitting

February was the pitts. I realize that I was not too happy last month. Who could blame me, with the endless cold and snow? Combine that with not too much knitting and any fiber friend would understand. But I believe that I have left that behind in February. Now that it is March it's time for me to stop thinking about making hats, mittens, and scarves for anyone and everyone. March is a month full of hopefulness. Spring is just around the corner (well, maybe), the days get longer and hopefully warmer, and lest we forget St. Patrick's day. A wonderful day to wear my favorite color and drink my favorite beverage, red hoppy beer! March is going to be my time to start focusing on what really matters.

Knitting for myself! (Oh, and a beer or two every now and then isn't so bad, is it? Yes mom, the kids are in bed.)

Or at least knitting something that I want to knit. And here it is! Ok, it doesn't look like so much yet but it has great potential. My next Amybelbag. The sage green cable tote. Green in honor of March. Plus, I thought it was a nice springy color to lift my spirits and the spirits of my good readers (all three of you!). My plan is to have cables on the front and back panel that lead up to the edge and continue into the straps. My brain has it all laid out.
The question is whether or not my fingers can make it happen.
And I am going to keep track of what I do and write up the pattern.
I'm sure I can manage both of those feats as long as I take it easy on the red hoppy stuff!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Wools for sale

Christopher Sheep Farm $4 each or all three for $10
Barley, 2 skeins

Light Sheeps Brown, 1 skein

Tahki Windsor Tweed $5
gray w/ green/purple/pink flecks (color 918)

Patons Viking $6 for both

New Zealand wool in Ice Gray $10
1 cone, approx. 1 lb 7 oz (including cone) 2 ply,DK weight.
About 900 ypp so this would be about 1170 yds.
It felts like a dream and takes dye beautifully.

All of these items are also listed in my Ravelry-stash-trade page, which has dye lot and yardage info. If you don't have Ravlery, e-mail me and I will provide you with the details.

Nitty gritty: Price does not include shipping. Will ship best way with delivery confirmation. Payment is via paypal, credit card OK if you cover fees.

Monday, March 2, 2009

$1.00 Acrylic destash

Price reduction! A buck a piece!
Will make a deal for multiple purchases!!!
Joanne Sensations Splendor in:
Splendor Berry, 1 full skein, 1 half skein ($1 for both)

All of these items are also listed in my Ravelry-stash-trade page, which has dye lot and yardage info. If you don't have Ravlery, e-mail me and I will provide you with the details.
Nitty gritty: Price does not include shipping. Will ship best way with delivery confirmation. Payment is via paypal, credit card OK if you cover fees.

Yup, you guessed it...

a snow day. School cancelled.

My world is once again white.

And cold.

And windy.

And crowded!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bernat Baby Coordinates yarn for sale

Price is $1.00 each skein

1 skein white

1 skein yellow
(ball band is slightly ripped, but still in tact)

All of these items are also listed in my Ravelry-stash-trade page.

Nitty gritty:

Price does not include shipping. Will ship best way with delivery confirmation.
Payment is via paypal, credit card OK if you cover fees.

Check back soon, I am destashing lots more until the end of the month!

The suspense is killing me!

I think I have watched 30 weather reports in the last 12 hours. How much snow are we really going to get? When you live in the "southcoast" section of Mass, you pretty much get everything there is to get in a winter storm. Rain, freezing rain, sleet, and then some snow. This year has been the polar (as in freezing cold!) opposite in that we have gotten snow, a lot of it! The ground was covered in multiple inches for the whole month of January and into the second week on February. That is remarkable for around here since most of our snow storms end in changing over to rain to pretty much wash everything away. So tonight the snow should be starting around midnight. Where the rain-snow line is will decide it all. Will it be 3-6", 5-8" or 10"+? What do you think?

Hubster already has declared that there will be school.
Let's hope so, I have a plane to catch in June!

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