Saturday, May 30, 2009

Win Knitpicks needles and yarn!

Things Moms Like is giving away four balls of cotton yarn and a set of Harmony Needles! Wow.
But today is the last day to enter, so you better head on over there right away! And if you don't enter, cross your fingers for me because I would love those needles. And I can think if a few things to do with the yarn too!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My new cable needle!

My birthday was last Friday and I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day than to do some knitting in my backyard. I think I got in about 10 minutes. But it was a good time to take some photos of the cable needle necklace I won from a contest on my fiber friend Darcy's blog, Darcy's Knotty Knitter. It was made by Darcy's friend Leslie Wind. It is a sterling silver butterfly and it is engraved on the back with my "name".
The shape works in my fingers perfectly and I love how it is heavy enough to actually drop in the front or back of the work instead of poking around getting in the way like my old needle. It's easy to knit from too, so no troubles there either.And the best part is that I don't have to hold it in my teeth throughout the whole cable round for fear of dropping it into the unknown!

When I received it I called Leslie right away to thank her and let her know that her handiwork is beautiful. She was very happy to hear from me. Turns out she's from MA too! We had a nice conversation and friended each other in Ravelry. Her Rav comment to me has left me with a lasting impression. I'm sure she wasn't trying to be profound, just truly sincere. So I leave you with this, from Leslie:

"Email will never equal the sound of another human speaking."

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Imagination Award

Darcy gave me another great blog award! So I have started an award garden. Thanks Darcy! Now to pass on this great award.
The Rules:
Tell 5 things about your crafts you like the most...what inspires you to make home made gifts.
Send this award to 5 bloggers.

My Five things:
  1. I like that I can do my knitting while spending quality time with Hubster after the kids go to bed.
  2. Some days I feel like my mothering skills are nonexistent. Knitting makes me feel like I can really accomplish something, and is relaxing enough to make me want to do it all over again the next day.
  3. I love making something beautiful and useful.
  4. I love it when someone is using something (one of the purses) I made, because they want to!
  5. I love dispelling the myth that knitting is just for your Grandma!

My five awardees:

c'est Moi! the tink-n-frog

Monday, May 25, 2009

Two new projects

Right now you are looking around befuddled. It looks like the same blog. Yup, picket fence, green grass, but how could that be? Did she just say "two new projects"?

Yes, your ever faithful monogamous knitter is doing a little two timing. On purpose.

See, the last time I went to ladies night, I brought my sage cabled purse to show off. Well, my two girlfriends just loved it and wanted their own. And they weren't just doing me lip service either, since Pat practically pulled out money right there and then. Plus, she had already said that she wanted a summer color bag. The other one I had made for her was her winter bag. So, I am adjusting the pattern ever so slightly, and trying to work on them "at the same time". I can't really show up to our next gathering with one done and the other one not, can I?

The blue one is much further along and the sit-down-at-night-keeping-track-of-your-cable-row project. (Yes, that's the cable needle necklace I won. More on that next post, I promise!) The tan one is the outside-in-the-backyard-while-kidsters-play project. It tends to get put down a lot. I'm lucky if I can finish a row before I am needed to attend to bug catching, swing pushing, hole digging, or other boyish adventure. So it may end up that one gets done before the other one anyway.I haven't told the blue one about the tan one, or vice versa. I wouldn't want either one of them to feel slighted. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Door Thongs Free Pattern

Exotic name for a simple gadget.
I can only wonder what the search engines will do with this one! Sorry, but this is only a knitting pattern ;).
I made these last summer out of necessity. It was hot and the A/C's were on in our bedrooms. I had to be able to open and close our sticky painted doors at night without waking up the kidsters. They've stayed on the handles ever since, quietly hanging out, waiting for when they get put into action again. And they have lots of other uses (ask me how I know)! They are great for:

  • Keeping toddlers from getting locked in their rooms when they can't quite do the handle thing yet.
  • Keeping kidsters from locking themselves in their room when they do have the handle thing down and start experimenting with the lock.
  • Saving a mother's sanity when kidsters decide to have a door slamming contest.
  • Keeping the door from getting blown shut by open windows (and leaving the cats stranded far away from the litter box!).
  • And the original intention, air conditioning door helpers!
I kept calling them Door Things, but Hubster thought they looked more like Door Thongs. The name stuck. Oh cast on, you know you want some!

Skill Level: Easy
Gauge: 6 sts = 1”in ss (but not overly critical, knit 'til it fits!)
Yarn: scrap amounts of worsted weight
as pictured: multi: an acrylic blend, green: wool
Materials: US 4 ( 3.5 mm) double pointed or circular needles
k knit
k2tog knit two stitches together
kfb knit into front and back of the stitch (making an increase)
p purl
ss stockinette stitch
(knit every round)
sts stitches
Finished Size: Approximately 2.5”w by 7” long including loops
Easily adjustable to fit your type of door and handle!

Measuring for the Base
To figure out the size you need measure from the edge of the door hardware on one side, wrapping around the door, to the edge of the hardware on the other side of the door. You don’t have to be exact, your yarn will stretch just enough. See pictures below to see how it should fit.

Cast on 8 stitches onto one needle.
Row 1: knit
Row 2: knit (creating garter stitch)
Row 3: *k1, kfb*, repeat to end (12 sts).
Row 4: k1, *kfb, k2*, repeat 3 times, kfb, k1 (16 sts)
Row 5: knit
Row 6: k3, p10, k3
Repeat rows 5 & 6 (ss with garter edges) until piece is 1” less than desired length, ending on a right side row.
Next row: (on wrong side) knit all stitches.
Start decrease rows:
Row 1: k1, *k2tog, k2*, repeat 3 times, k2tog, k1 (12 sts)
Row 2: *k1, k2tog*, repeat to end (8 sts).
Row 3: knit
Row 4: k3, bind off 2, k3

Place last three stitches on a holder.
Working with the first three stitches, knit an I-cord 5” long (see tips below).
Knit one row straight.
Kitchener stitch these three stitches to the three stitches on the holder.
For other end, pick up the first three stitches onto working needle, and the last three stitches onto a holder.
Repeat as for first loop.

You might want to check the I-cord on your door handle a few times. You want it to be able to fit around the handle with just a little stretch. If you have a lever type handle, you should make a longer body and shorter loops.

You could use wool and lightly felt it to fit.

Hang from the inside handle when not in use.

Door Thongs
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.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Ohio weekend

The pool liner replacement went amazingly well considering we lost about 4 hours to rain. A few minor things to finish up when Hubster gets home today and we'll be all set! Of course the water is barely 50 degrees, so no swimming for quite some time!

I just found out that the same weekend I'll be in Columbus, OH for the Clapton concert is the Summer Needle Arts Market by the National NeedleArts Association. Has anyone ever been to this event or heard about it before? Would love to get the scoop! Comment or e-mail me, please!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Prepping for summer

After three days of rain and a gloomy morning today, this afternoon is beautiful. Just beautiful. All is finally right with the world. I am headed out for Ladies Night tonight and am really looking forward to it. Tomorrow I was hoping to be able to make a tiny wool & fiber festival in RI, but with a T-ball game at 9:00am, a 25 minute drive each way, and Hubster leaving for a previous family commitment at 12:30pm (not a kidster type thing, hence the need for me to be home) I don't think I will be able to make it. Too bad, as I've never been to one and I want to. Instead I will try to plant my tomato plants on the deck and the annuals I just got today in the garden.

Sunday is the ball game I've been mentioning. Our babysitter, Auntie, has something going on in the am, so we really wont be there much before game time. Sure hope I can get there before the swag bags are all scooped up. Ok, I'm being nice, what I really mean is that I hope the knitters and crocheters are the only ones taking the bags and not hogging four just because they bought four tickets to the game so their kids could come too. Sorry, I digress...

Monday Hubster took the day off. We will be installing a new liner in our leaky pool. Hopefully it will go well. It should go well, as long as there is only one person in charge and the other person listens to the person in charge. And we all know who that should be now, don't we?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Back to normal

I thought I'd start you off laughing :)

The pirate invasion has ended and they have sailed off to find deserted islands. It was loads of fun and the weather held out, just barely! I managed to get everything done in just about a week!

I built a ship out of cardboard that they could climb into for photo ops (we have this awful brick fireplace thingy, so really I just wanted to cover it up!). No time for sails, unfortunately. Maybe next time. I did manage a few flags for the yard though.
We had tattoos, made Oceans in a Bottle, had a "Dress Like a Pirate" scavenger hunt (complete with corny made up rhymes from yours truly). They had to find parrots, hooks, eye patches, sashes and gold beads. I had some eye patches and bought the beads but made the parrots, hooks, and sashes. It's hard to see the parrots in this pic since they are falling over, but you get the idea.
Then they used their hooks to fish for pretzels! That was so cute. After that we had to stop our rival pirates from cannonballing our ship. The Pop the Cannonball game was as hilarious as promised! After some pirate playtime it was time for pirate cupcakes and presents.

Overall it was a fun party and I think the adults were entertained, too! Not my goal, but certainly a nice outcome.
On the knitting front, I finished another hat for the charity baseball game on Sunday. I had started before I spent the week making pirate stuff, and finished it Sunday night. So even though I didn't finish it in two days, I did finish it in two days! Let me know if you like it in Ravelry!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Knitting in childrens' stories, part 3

Happy Mother's Day! I'm a little pooped from all the party planning (and the actual party) and hopefully being pampered with pancakes and little kisses, as opposed to soggy cereal and brotherly "wrestling". So instead of some spontaneous post about my knitting I bring you a scheduled post. Sorry. I will return to regular programming next time, I promise.

More Sheep!

After my last book post, I just had to find out if there is more knitting in the other "Sheep" books, and I am so glad I did! I ordered these two through my inter-library loan system.
The first one is a funny adventure but other than one tiny picture of my little friend knitting on the first page (and you have to look closely to tell) there is no other reference to our craft.
But as I suspected this one does not disappoint! The sheep are looking at a calendar of May (!) and have to go birthday present shopping (for me, perhaps?). They have their usual antics in the store and then find out they don't have enough money to pay for their present. How do you think they did it, hmm?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Goin' Pirate

Aye me hearties! Been piratin' around the briny deep. Shiver me timbers! Look what treasure I looted. Get ye very own swashbucklin' pirate name! Have fun ye ol' seadogs, or be off to feed the fishes!

Cap'n Elanor Bluebeard
aka Pirate Helga the Well-Tanned
(Knee deep in pirate party stuff, with fingers unglued now.)

Did you know you can go pirate on Facebook? I just did it and it's hilarious.
I really get into my planning, maybe too much (\;0

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Googly boogly

I know those googly eyes are around here somewhere...I can't seem to find them ever since I hot glued my fingers together.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My new job...

This week, I've got a new job. I'll be spending it figuring out how to turn my backyard into a Five Year Old's Pirate Birthday Adventure for a dozen preschoolers. The ideas in my head look so great, now it's just a matter of being able make it happen in real life. I'm thinking ships and sails and flags! But remember about my stick figure dysfunction? Aye, matey.

Oh please, please, please don't let it rain.

This was last year. It was a "Build Your Own Ice Cream Sundae" Party. A trip to Home Depot for a roll of construction tape that we put everywhere, a dozen balloons, and a few signs seemed to do the trick. We decorated our toolbelt aprons and had a scavenger hunt to fill them up (with kidsters' play tools).

Then we played Stick The Tool In The Toolbox. I put some paper behind play goggles as the blindfold. (Don't you just love duct tape?) The pinata didn't work out so well, as the first child (mine) pulled the magic string and opened it up. Instead of a five minute time killer it was over in one. So we wont be doing that again this year.

Oh please, please, please don't let it rain!