Thursday, June 30, 2005

Gratuitous Willow

Gratuitous Willow Posted by Hello

Someone was asking me just how curly Willow's hair was... there you go. It's a nice picture of her eyes, too. On first glance they look brown, but when you get up close, they are a dark hazel green.

I had good news from one of my closest friends today - she is pregnant with her first baby and due in December. This means I now have two friends having babies within a few short weeks of one another... I better get my ass in gear trying to get baby presents finished. You can add to that the two friends who have babies this summer that I have promised knitted things when the weather gets more woolen-worthy. I have a pattern to make a baby cardigan out of the self-striping sock yarn that I may try. Knitpicks has two machine-washable varieties that look interesting.

I started Andrew's Green Mountain Spinnery sweater and the more I work on it, the more I think I am going to have to rip it out and proceed with a heavier weight yarn. Currently I have Wool-Ease in heather blue, but I can't get anywhere near the 16 X 24 gauge on size 7s. I went up to 10.5 and it looks like it will be so loose. Oh well. Since I have 10 skeins of it (bought on sale) I know I can make something else. I have a partial ball of Encore here - I may try to work up a gauge with that - if it works I'll buy the yarn and start over.

I finished reading Charlaine Harris' Dead as a Doornail last night - good book, but no nooky! Maybe it is a backlash against the semi-porn-ness of Laurell K. Hamilton's books, but I was expecting a little action... I also read S. M. Stirling's "Blood Wolf" story in the Bronze Age Heroes anthology and Jennifer Weiner's "The Truth About Nigel" in the American Girls About Town anthology. I felt a little guilty about not reading the entire volumes, but I have so many books out of the library right now that I know that I have to read because I won't be able to renew them, such as Janet Evanovich's Eleven on Top and Kathy Reich's newest (so new I can't even remember the title!). At work I am reading (listening) Ann Brashares' The Second Summer of the Traveling Pants.

Okay... I need to think about making dinner...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Scant Knitting Content

Why is it that I always seem get off work on Friday and then I turn around and it is 4:30pm Sunday afternoon? Oh well - at least I was able to sleep this weekend. Andrew said he came into the bedroom at 8:30pm last night and I was fast asleep with the lights on and my book on my chest.

The book... I finished L.A. Banks' Minion - a vampire hunter story. This time the vampire hunter is a young black woman named Damali (cool name). This is the first book in a series, and interesting enough for me to read the subsequent books. The only complaint I have encompasses not only this book, but other vampire mysteries or romances I have read - the entire book spans only about 3 days. Three days does not character development make.

What else have I read? Joanne Rock's Wild and Wicked - Harlequin Blaze romance. It was okay - unfortunately, the romance of the secondary characters in the book was more interesting than the main story!

I think I should start recording all the books I read to Willow in here - that would be another 20 or so books in a week! We have a hilarious book out of the library right now called Knuffle Bunny by Mo Collins. The art within is neat, too - cartoons drawn on top of black and white photos of New York City. We also read "O is for Orca" (Pacific Northwest alphabet book) - I am trying to get her excited about going west later.

And to close with minute knitting content... I bought yarn to make Andrew a sweater, but am doubting my choice as to get gauge I had to move up from the size 7 needles recommended to a 10.5 - and even that was a bit of a stretch. I know you should be able to use any yarn as long as you get the correct gauge, but I am worried that the sweater will be all loosy-goosy if I have to go up so many needle sizes. Can anyone assure me that this won't happen? I have tight tension to begin with, so maybe this has a bit to do with it. Help??!?

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Courtesy of Auntie Teri

Summer Outfit de Tante Teri Posted by Hello

This picture is for my sister, Teri - who gave Willow this outfit while she was visiting us but didn't get to see Willow wearing it. You'll have to excuse the morning hair... the mad scuffle to get her to sit in a chair so I can brush her curls into pigtails hadn't happened yet. God help me, Mom - I actually told her, "It hurts to be beautiful." For those of you not in my family, that is what my Mom used to tell me when she used to brush my once nearly waist-length very curly hair.

I found a pattern for a sweater that I would like to make Andrew - it's from the Green Mountain Spinnery book and it is cabled! Okay - cheater cables - they are only on the front and only mid chest and higher... now I am trying to decide what yarn to use. Andrew likes throwing everything into the wash willy-nilly, so I think something like Plymouth's Encore, while not the nicest stuff around, may be the smartest and safest choice. He picked Blue Bonnet blue and Tomato red as colours he liked. I think I am going to have to make an executive decision here 'cause I don't want to be looking at those colours for weeks on end as I knit through the sweater. It's too bad - I was really looking forward to placing another order to Knitpicks...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

... And Now (well, relatively recently)

Willow and Papa Posted by Hello

At Christmas I snuck this shot of Daddy (Papa to Willow) reading to a rapt Willow and keeping her out of everyone's hair while we made Christmas dinner.

Papa, Willow loves you, too!


Baby Jo and Daddy Posted by Hello

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!

Yes, I am thirty-two years old and I still call him Daddy. This picture was taken when I was about 6 months old, which made my Dad a green twenty-six year old. The thought just occured to me that I have six years over that man in the photo... and I am not sure I like that thought. I love making stuff for my Dad because he, above all others, will appreciate it. I gave him my first pair of knitted socks (which I later learned were a bit small but he wore them anyway) and last year for his birthday I knit him a red alpaca toque... which he accidentally felted and now says he likes it better that way. My Mom made him more than one 'Ukie' (as in Ukranian) sweaters when I was a child - I swear it was made every every single leftover ball of whatever she had from making other people stuff - but he wore it out.

Daddy, I love you!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Look what Mommy bought at the farm!

Willow and my purchases Posted by Hello

You didn't think I had an ulterior motive when I went to the farm this morning? Granted the ice cream was delectable, but I found out last week there would be spinning and weaving demonstrations there... and that means wool! Quite cheap, too - these three, averaging about 160 yards at sport weight, came to less than $18 altogether. I wound them tonight while watching the second episode of "Into the West" on TV and I am still loving my colour choices. The lighter red colourway has a dark burgundy swath about 1/5 the way into the skein which I am very interested to see how it plays out in whatever I knit from it... probably hats.

Since the blueberry poncho is finished, I cast on a small bolero cardigan for Willow in lime green cotton for Willow. I can't say I love knitting with cotton - wool and wool/acrylic blends are so much softer and nicer to hold.

Poncho Accompli

Willow in her poncho Posted by Hello

Luckily today was only in the 70's, so Willow didn't mind putting on the newly finished poncho for a few pictures so I could show off my efforts. The pattern is Knitting Pure and Simple's Child Poncho and I used 2.25 skeins of Paton's Canadiana yarn in Blueberry Ombre. I decided to not put the fringe on it 'cause I'm just not a fringey kind of person - I don't even have bangs. I'm wondering if the poncho is going to loosen up a bit in the wash - I made it to gauge in the 4-6 size and it fits her well now.

Willow Honey Bee

Willow at the Woodside Creamery Farm Posted by Hello

We went to the Woodside Farm Creamery's 'Day at the Farm' this morning. I wasn't sure exactly what I expected - probably something more 4-Hish than the multiple pamphlet tables we saw. Oh well - the ice cream (homemade at the farm) was lived up to the 'creamery' name. And we did get to pet with the friendliest border collie ever - he was was white and auburn with one amber eye and one ice-blue one; I told Andrew that is the kind of dog I would like someday.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Après le piscine

Okay... I think I got it right. It's supposed to say, "After the Pool." We finally received our pool memberships this past week and so have been spending a lot of time in the water... which is a good thing since it has been a stinky 85'F+ for the last week or so.

Not much to report - I'm still working on Willow's poncho - I would say it is about 70% finished. I noticed this morning that I had made a mistake on it and I was so mad and didn't want to rip it back. But, when I worked around to that place again, I figured out how to fix it (I had increased where I shouldn't have) without ripping it! Whew! My mood greatly improved after that. I bought a child's sweater pattern - it is almost bolero-like - at Garden of Yarn this afternoon. I didn't buy the DK yarn it called for because I figure I have enough of that around here. I know for certain I have some lime green cotton stashed away in the closet. I know I said I would work on something for myself but it is too hot right now to knit something adult sized. I now have the pattern for the Celtic Knot sweater - so maybe I will start on that when the weather gets cooler.

On the book front, this week I finished Robin Schone's Awaken my Love (time travel romance), Karin Kallmaker's One Degree of Separation (lesbian romance), Ann Brashares' Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (coming of age tale), and I'm in the process of listening to Nora Roberts' Northern Lights (murder mystery/romance) on CD at work. I picked up about 5 novels and a few more audiobooks from the yesterday and will be digging into them soon.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Who could resist this smile?!?!

Big Smile Posted by Hello
Where on earth has my baby gone? I can't believe how close she is to being three. Today after dinner we sat up and read a Dora the Explorer cloze story (where occasional words are represented as pictures so a pre-literate child can 'read' along) and she seemed like such a big girl! I am almost tempted to start reading her Harry Potter...

Girlie Willow

Girlie Willow Posted by Hello

I'm afraid that my daughter is turning out like me - is only willing to wear a skirt/dress once in a blue moon. But, every once in a while she pulls out every pink piece of clothing she owns and insists on going to school as a girl. I wish I could say I had knit this sweater, but it was a gift to Willow from my former boss.

Ribbon Shawl on the way to Pete and Charlotte's wedding

Ribbon Shawl on the way to the wedding Posted by Hello

It turned out quite nice if I do say so myself - kind of makes up for what a pain in the ass it was to knit! Pete and Charlotte had a wonderful wedding and reception and Andrew has so happy to see so many people he hadn't seen since high school and college.

Potential Poncho

Willow's Poncho to Be Posted by Hello

Here is Willow's poncho-to-be. The yarn is Paton's Astra in Blueberry Ombre and I love how the colorway is producing the wavy zigzag in the middle of the poncho. I only have about 4 inches still to knit at the bottom, and the finish the hood. It's too bad that we are in the midst of a heatwave this week (it was around 90'F today) and it will be a long while before Willow can wear it.