Friday, October 30, 2009

Another Reason Why Sewing is Stupid

That is my finger. Do you see it? Take a closer look. Those two little red dots?

Those are entry and exit points. The one on the top right is where the DAMN NEEDLE went INTO my finger. The one on the bottom left is where the DAMN NEEDLE went OUT of my finger.

I was attempting to move the thread under the presser foot and out the back of the machine when my foot slipped. My finger was under the needle at the time. Let's just say my kids learned a few new words. As soon as I knew what happened I moved my foot, only to realize that my finger was stuck. So I had to manually move the DAMN NEEDLE up and slowly pull my finger off of it.

I didn't actually know it had gone all the way through (happened rather fast and the blinding pain was blurring my sense of reality) - just thought it had stuck me - until I turned my finger and the exit wound was there, oozing as much blood as the top.

Yeah. Totally done for the night. I'm getting a glass of wine after the kids go to bed.

Why I Am Most Likely Not Going To Finish Halloween Costumes

I have kids. That's why. "But, isn't that who you're making the costumes for?" you might be thinking. Yes it is. Unfortunately, they've become accustomed to things like eating. Which takes up time. Add in the fact that I can't really sew while the wild ones are awake because they get into everything when I'm not looking, and that duder really has to be held right now apparently... Not getting any sewing done!

There is still a very small chance that I might make it, but since I like to be with Ben when he gets home and not off doing whatever, that means I have 2.5 hours left and 1.5 costumes to complete in that time. Haha. Plus Ben has been recording some of his songs at night and I don't think the sound of the sewing machine would make for very good backing tracks. And tomorrow I have to go get candy and maybe do farmer's market. Maybe I'll just tie fabric around their heads, give them swords, and call it good.

Next year - totally putting costumes together from stuff we already have. No more of this sewing crap.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Warm and Cozy

This is how Ben and I watched the news this morning. As much of a pain in the butt as it was, and how irritating the run around was to finally get it installed, I really like our insert. We'll have to see how well it works when the house is really cold, but it seems like it will work very nicely. It is supposed to be cold this week, so hopefully we'll get a lot of use.

In Blanket news, I am 1/8th of the way done!

I am doing a pattern from Elizabeth Zimmerman and I have to tell you that woman is a genius. A goddess among knitters. If she were still alive, I would eat up any opportunity to meet her. I highly recommend "The Opinionated Knitter" for anyone, even if you're not a knitter. It's filled with not only her patterns (reprinted from their original newsletters), but many stories from her journals and her daughter Meg. It's a great book.

I'm doing this blanket on US 10 1/2/ 6.5mm needles. My gauge is about 3.5 stitches an inch so it is FLYING. The only thing I have to do today is make bread, so hopefully I will get lots of knitting time done. Might even get another section completed.

The boys are knocking on their door and the little man is talking rather loudly from our bedroom. Guess it's time to go!

Monday, October 26, 2009

FO: Pumpkin!

This is the pumpkin I gave to Mom. I love it and think it's adorable, and if we had a mantle at the moment then I would make a whole family and put them on it. But we don't. However, our fireplace is now in (finally) so we will hopefully be getting one soon. 

Pattern: Viney Punkin by Meg

Needles: US 6/4mm 20" circulars and same size dpns

Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver (100% Acrylic) in "Pumpkin" - small amount
Caron One Pound (100% Acrylic) in "Leaf Green" - smaller amount

I will (eventually) make a PDF pattern for this, for anyone who wants it. Stay tuned for the FO post on the squid...

Mission: Holy Crap I Hope It's Possible

My paternal grandfather's 80th birthday is this November and we will be traveling to LA county to visit with the family for the occasion. I decided I wanted to make Grandpa a blanket. So yesterday I got the yarn (Lion Brand Homespun - makes AWESOME blankets) and I cast on. I have 4 weeks. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fiber Friday

Happy Friday, friends! It is a wonderfully chilly day so far. It's supposed to warm up a bit into the 80's but that's not bad.

I've decided to name Fridays "Fiber Fridays". That way it works for knitting, spinning, sewing, whatever might go along with fiber. For today, it will mostly be sewing. I have Halloween costumes to work on. I got them cut out yesterday and started in on one last night. If you don't hear from me in a few days, please email or call or comment with something along the lines of "Have you finished those costumes?! You have (x) days left! Hurry it up!!"

I'm also creating something that Ben had an idea for last night. It makes me laugh. I will share when it is finished, but you're welcome to guess until then!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Whole Ton of Pictures

I hope you're ready for this, I have a ton of stuff today. I'm sure you're thinking "Well, good! It's about time slacker..." So let's begin!

Firstly, more bragging!

Those of you that know the Drama of the Insert know that we supposedly had to get tile up before they could put it in. So Friday night we went and picked out something we liked. Monday night my crazy talented husband put it all up and it looks GORGEOUS. This picture does not do it justice. It's incredible and I'm so proud of him.

Secondly, I finished this:

Isn't it cute? I made this for Mom (Mom = Ben's mom, Mum = my mom - just for future reference. I am so blessed to have a mother in law that I can call my mom.) and gave it to her yesterday. I'm so happy she liked it. She is always posting pictures of pumpkins on her blog and I wanted to make her one. I will be posting a separate post on how I came up with it later.

Thirdly, I received this yesterday:


I asked Mom to make me a tea towel apron and she did! I love it. I've been using my cooking aprons but they were just too big to wear all day. I'm using it to carry my cell phone, my little scissors and Chibi (tapestry needled with a bent tip) and the small bit of yarn and needles I'm using right now for making leaves. It's perfect for carrying it all. She sent me the link for the pattern and I might just make a few in different colors for whatever mood I'm in! Haha!

Finally, I've been working on that scarf I was talking about earlier:

I'll go over the exact details later when it's completely finished. Those leaves I'm making will be going on it for some extra embellishment.

It's Thursday and that means my brother is coming over today. I am hoping to start cutting out fabric for the boys' Halloween costumes today while he is here. Since it's a week away. My fabric is washed and dried so now I just have to lay it out, cut it up and get to sewing. Shouldn't take me long once I finally buckle down and do it. Only problem is... I would rather knit!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Year's Resolutions: Revisited

Before I used Blogger I used Live Journal. And over on said journal I posted a New Year's Resolution post at the beginning of the year. Seeing as how there are only two and a half months left of this year I figured I would revisit them and see how I did, and see if I can do any unfinished ones before the year is up.

"1. Clean out stash closet and organize."
- Done! I had done this one originally at our apartment, but it looks even better here!

"2. Knit more from stash! Don't buy anything for a project that I could use stash yarn for. This will be difficult as I seem to be drawn to yarn shops like a moth to a flame. Also, try to plan projects around stash yarn, rather than have to find yarn for a project. "
- Mmm... Ok I haven't done too great on this one. I've been trying, but there was the time Knit Picks had the sale on lace, and I wanted to make dishcloths so I needed cotton, and Mom was getting stuff so I wanted to get some too so we could get the free shipping, and....

3. "Spin more! Use up the fiber I have and practice more with my wheel. Get more fiber if the budget allows."
- Spin more I have. Since the beginning of the year I've spun two whole hanks of yarn and started in on the bamboo. That's not a ton for 10 months. But that's not bad considering I've been busy with kids and house. Haven't gotten more fiber as I can't justify it while I still have some (funny that doesn't seem the apply to yarn...).

4. Have Das Bebe! I can totally keep this resolution.
- Check! Beautiful and happy baby boy.

5. Try to be a better house keeper. Not that I'm bad now, but to do things in a more timely manner and procrastinate less. (Read: Don't clean up 30 minutes before Ben gets home.)
- I say I've done a damn good job at this. I get my chores done in the morning, keep to schedule (laundry on Monday, etc.) and keep a very clean house so that if anyone comes over all I have to do is tidy up the toys on the floor.

6. Try to cut our grocery budget even more. Right now we shop about once every two months for the big stuff, which has drastically reduced our food bill, but we know we can do even better.
- I think we've done really good at this too. I've been careful about how we buy things like meat and I stretch them as far as I can by filling in with cheaper things like rice, beans and pasta. I've also made sure that I supply us with just about all our bread.

7. Take time to chill out, not stress, and that ignoring things is ok if it means spending time with the people I love.
- Well, if you read my post about Fridays then you'll know that the last few weeks have had me clean-stressed. But I've calmed down since then and have remembered that no one else will really notice that spot of dust on the floor and if it's clean and presentable for Ben and company then it's OK. I've relaxed quite a bit over the last year, especially since duder was born. I'll say this is a successful resolution.

8. This is a joint deal rather than a personal resolution: Buy a house. We're close!
- YES! We moved into our wonderful home in April and we love it! It's so nice to have so much room and the freedom to do whatever we want to our space. Ben has been very busy fixing up the yard, building gates, redoing the fireplace, and various other things to make it perfect for us. We still need to find decorations we like, but it's getting there. What a great feeling.

Well then. With the exception of the not buying yarn *cough* I've done pretty good! We'll have to see what my resolutions will be for 2010.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Productive Weekend

Good Morning! It is wonderfully overcast today and we have a forecast for a small amount of rain. (Sorry M-i-L, saw the news this morning and it said only 1/10th is scheduled for today/tomorrow and that's it. Hoping they're wrong.) I got quite a bit of knitting and knitting things done this weekend.

Like I said in my last post, I completed CP2 aside from some extra finishing. Very excited about this one, think the recipient will get a lot of use out of it. Actually thinking about keeping it for myself...

Second, after working a bit on the Christmas Tree Skirt, I decided I didn't like the way the cables were going in the same direction on each side. So I did some reworking, charted out my new idea, inserted a life line at the point before the cable section and ripped the whole thing back to there. I have finished a repeat and like it much better!

The cables are now mirrored, instead of going the same direction. Much better orientation if you ask me. I've also changed some of the knits to purls for better distinction between sections. Realized I really don't like the yarn at all (cheap Red Heart acrylic) but keep telling myself that it is for under a tree once a year. Not a big deal what it's made out of. Plus I need to use it up.

I am also working on a scarf design that is about half way done. Am hoping to get the pattern done this week - not sure if I want to offer it for free, or sell it. I will have to see how much work it takes me.

Finally, Ben parents came over Saturday to bring his younger brother for guitar lessons and Mom brought me this:

Isn't it beautiful? I love it! She also brought me some little candy corns she made out of wood. I'm so excited to be decorating for fall. I asked Ben yesterday if it was too early to put the Christmas tree up. He laughed and said it wasn't even Halloween yet. I am just so excited to be having Christmas in our own house and being able to decorate however we want. So awesome!

Well, today is Monday which means cleaning day. It's not bad, just tidying up, laundry and vacuuming. Hopefully I will get done shortly and get to knit some. Have a great day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Story of the Microwave

Aaahhh. My day of knitting went excelently yesterday. I finished CP2, with the exception of a little bit of finishing work. But the bulk of it is done and I am very happy about that. I spent all day just knitting and today I feel blissfully happy and relaxed. I even got extra time since one of our friends came over to play guitar with Ben last night.So I sat with them while they played. I like this Knitting Friday idea. It took away some of the frustration I've had about not getting things finished. Since I can't show you any pictures of the presents because the recipient reads the blog, I shall give a picture of something totally different, along with a story!

A few months before we moved to our current home, our .. um... darling two year old children figured out how to open the microwave and pulled out the glass plate, shattering it on the floor. At the time, they were really short so don't ask me how they were able to reach it. So we have been living without a plate in our microwave for quite some time. It worked just fine for awhile, we just had to set anything we wanted to heat on the plate turner (for lack of a more appropriate name). You know what I mean, the three legged thing that has a shaft reaching into the underbelly of the microwave that has gears and it turns your glass plate.

For months we searched for a new plate - I even looked online at the manufacturer's website - with no luck. So we just kept making it work. Well, about 3 weeks ago I noticed that the turner wasn't, well, turning anymore. Since this is a vital part of the whole microwave process, our food started to become.... "crispy" in some spots. It would get hotter and more concentrated on certain parts of the plates of food. For the last few days I had been having to stop the cooking halfway through and manually turn the plate 180 degrees just to insure the food would be edible. Needless to say, I was getting a little irritated.

Last night Ben wanted to make popcorn. So he placed the bag in the slowly dieing microwave and stood there waiting for it to pop. It got about half way through the cook time when the bottom of the bag exploded and angry, burned popcorn came rushing out of the hole. From the kitchen he yells to me "Hey, you wanna go get a new microwave?" "YES PLEASE!" So off to Best Buy we went, picked out a nice shiny Micro-Hood and now we have this:

My favorite part is it is the partner microwave for the oven, so it matches. I love it. We haven't cooked anything in it yet, but it's beautiful. I love that it is up away from the imps so they can't break it. I love how now we can get a hutch where the old microwave was. And I especially love my manly man husband for putting it up without any problem. Seriously nice having a strong capable man around to do stuff like that.

Today he is going to be working on posts for the gate of the family friend and I ... will be knitting of course! Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day O' Knitting!

Happy, happy Friday! It's been such a long week and I'm really glad the weekend is here.

Today is my day of knitting and "doing whatever I feel like". I have gotten part one of Christmas Present 2 done, and am hoping to finish the second and final part today. I also would like to work on the Christmas tree skirt a little bit. I might get some sewing done too, as I really need to get my butt going on the boys' Halloween costumes.

Ben has a project this weekend - a gate/fence for a family friend. Which means I might get more knitting done this weekend because I like to sit out in the garage with him and knit while he works and the kids are asleep.

I made a sourdough starter yesterday and now the house smells deliciously of bread. Hopefully in a few days we will have a loaf  or two to eat.

Now, on to my knitting!

Monday, October 5, 2009

A New Plan

Happy cold day! I love how the weather goes from crazy hot to deliciously cold just about over night. I'm so happy it's October.

If you're looking for some kind of knitting update... well... I got four rows done of the current Christmas present? Kinda sad, I know. The thing is I've been so busy. For one, the kids have been sick for about a week now. It started with just runny noses and grumpies. Now it's full blown glassy eyes, staring at random objects, and snuggling with blankets. So I've spent a lot of time holding sick boys. Duder was so stuffed up last night that he started gagging. He's ok, but it kept waking him up. Funny thing is though, he's still in a great mood. He got up at 3 and when I lay him in bed to use the nose sucker thing Ben woke up and looked at him, to which he responded by beaming up at Ben. It was really cute.

In addition to that I've been crazy about house cleaning. I keep a pretty clean house. With the exception of the inevitable toys scattered on the floor throughout the day, everything is in pretty good condition. Clean house is my sanity. My normal schedule was laundry and general house tidying on Mondays, and then small bits of every day things the rest of the week (like dishes, etc.). But for whatever reason for the past few weeks I have kept thinking that the house is not clean enough. Even when I've done everything I still go back and re-tidy rooms, find small things to put away. I wind up spending all day cleaning, and I realized I'm driving myself crazy because I feel like I get no break (and the house is clean beforehand!).

So I have a new plan. This comes from talking to my mother in law who said she has picked Fridays for sewing. That's all she worries about that day and I think it's a fantastic idea. So, part one - I will reclaim naptime as my free time. For awhile I would do whatever I wanted once the boys went down because the house is quiet and I don't have to chase them. Then I started cleaning during that time. No more! I shall have my relaxation time to do as I please. Part two - Fridays will be for knitting. Since I get most everything done on Monday then the rest of the week can be spent doing other tidy things if needed, but Friday... Friday will be my day of worrying about nothing but yarny goodness. I shall knit as much as I want. If I get to knit during the rest of the week, great! But Fridays will be set aside especially for that.

I'm hoping this way I will not only a) get Christmas presents under control, but b) find some of my sanity and fun again, and c) have more progress to show you guys. Because even I am seriously disappointed in the lack of interest on this blog!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No, I'm Not High - Why Do You Ask?

Good morning lovely readers! It is the first day of October and it is deliciously chilly and it just plain smells good outside. Ben told me this morning that the weather people are saying if the weather keeps going like this, then we will have November like conditions next week. I could go for that!

I am in a ridiculously good mood today. Why, you ask? Because I got up and made my husband breakfast this morning. A routine that I had sadly fallen out of. Now, some of you might be saying "Well, that's nice dear" or "Why on earth would you do that?" or even "What does this have to do with anything??". For me it has to do with everything because it makes me feel wonderful! But I digress. Let's get to the pictures!

Heh, you didn't actually think I had something DONE, did you? Silly reader. This is a very close up, non-disclosure shot of a Christmas present that is in progress. It's ribbing. That is all you shall know for now, but this is using the twisted knit stitches I mentioned the other day. See how clean it looks? I love it.

I think this shall become a Christmas present also.

Just not sure what, or who for. But is has been calling out to me from the stash for awhile now.

I feel like today is a day for hats. I want to make lots of hats. Hats for the babies, hats for my nephew and niece, a hat for the neighbor who is having a baby in February, hats for me, hats for Ben. I don't know why. Maybe because they are small and quick and instant gratification for knitting. Or maybe because it is getting colder and there's nothing like a nice warm hat over your head and ears. I think I shall knit a few hats if I have time today.

I also had a kick arse idea for a shawl while I was laying in bed last night. I'm hoping that will come to fruition sometime soon. But I need to remember to focus on the Christmas presents before I start anything else really big. Plus I will need to get some beads for it. Intrigued yet?

Today my brother is coming over to hang out while mom is at work. I think it will be fun. He's really good with the kids. I'm being summoned by my smallest one now.

Have a beautiful day!