Saturday, November 17, 2007

Forget NaBloPoMo

(This post was actually published on December 4, 2004, but I don't know how to correct the date. Oh well!)

As if I were a candidate for NaBloPoMo. I posted once in November. A good portion of this post was saved as a draft on November 17th. And, I don't think my life is even that interesting. I spend half my day in the bathroom helping my (semi-? partly? mostly?) toilet-trained boys (they generally can get themselves in but need varying degrees of help wrapping up), or asking them who needs to go. Can you post from a bathroom? How about having at least one boy who needs to check out the bathroom at every place we visit? And, if we're not in the bathroom, I'm traveling to various doctors for various issues.

By the way, if you're looking for anything remotely related to knitting, skip the next 8 paragraphs, please.

So here's how my week of November 12 began. I was basking in the joy of my completed Halloween socks (don't even ask for pictures, not a chance). They turned out really well, if I do say so myself, thanks to Caroline Schurch and that little tidbit from Lucy Neatby about making the sock length approximately 1/2 inch less than the length of your foot. I'm thinking: boys will be in school from 9-3 on Monday, Baby Girl will be in school from 9-11:15. I can take a few photographs then, no problem.

And then Monday rolls around, Boy M's cough is really not better (he'd been to the pulmonologist twice already and had a course of steroids), so Monday morning, I drive him the the pulmonologist, who's about 30 minutes away. He doesn't like the way Boy M sounds, so he sends us for x-rays. I fight with the insurance company over referrals to the pulmologist and radiologist (don't even ask about my problem, I used to represent insurance companies who were sued by policy holders, and yet, this problem cannot get sorted out despite the involvement of various representatives from my husband's employer, both doctors and the employer's insurance broker), and I'm totally stressing about what's wrong with Boy M. Which turns out to be nothing more than some asthma (what a relief our radiologist is our friend).

Tuesday, I got to take everyone to the pediatrician because I HAVE HAD IT with all this sickness (Boy M wass just along for the ride because he'd already been seen and was on antibiotics). Four children under four years old at the pediatrician is not my favorite way to go. Boy E had a sinus infection. Boy J was holding is own and was able to avoid antibiotics. Baby Girl was being felled by allergies, not illness, so she got antihistamine. I created a major chart to track all medications.

Wednesday actually began as a quiet day, because I was able to drop the boys at school and actually go to my gastro appointment, which is the only appointment I ever refuse to cancel, especially because I have had several flare-ups with my GI issues in the past month. Of course, the antibiotics for my upper respiratory infection did me no favor except to nearly cure me of the upper respiratory thing and make me otherwise so sick that my GI miracle drug no longer works. I rationalize taking care of myself by reminding myself that if I'm sick, I can't take care of the children. After school, I take the boys to my so-generous parents. After a few hours of quiet play, Boy M complains of pain in his right arm when I incidentally touch it gently. There are no marks, no swelling, no memorable incidents, no crying, so we let it go. Until after bath, when Boy M gets hysterical when we put his pajama top on and take it off again to examine the arm (the thing is practically skin-tight due to fire-safety regulations for children's sleepwear). Again, no marks or swelling. I call my should-be-sainted parents, who have whatever upper respiratory thing we all have, to come over and check out the boy, and we make a joint decision to skip an all-nighter in the ER in favor of a trip to the pediatrician in the morning. Forget about any thought of the discovery that my babysitter, the daughter of one of my husband's clients, regularly visits my bedroom when I am not home and the dawning realization that she has stolen a number of items, the most significant being the earrings I inherited from my grandmother. But back to Boy M.

The next morning, in response to his pain on palpation of the arm, the doctor forestalls further examination in favor of an x-ray. Of course, our friend (and anyone else we know there) is away, so we don't get the results until we return to the pediatrician. He tells us it's broken. What??!! When I broke my leg at 14, the pain kept me up all night. The kid doesn't even cry unless you touch a certain spot. I'm killing myself with guilt. I shook that arm to get the pajama top off and the arm was BROKEN! At this point, after spending about six hours between doctors, we get an orthopedics appointment for the next morning and head off to the drug store for a sling that will fit a three-year-old.

Now, understand, I live in the small town I grew up in. I have been getting prescriptions at this pharmacy all my life. I'm in at least two times a week for the children. I know them and they know me. So we go, and everyone is so kind and helpful, but they have to bring in the sling from somewhere else. Boy M is fried, uncomfortable to a certain degree, and finally throws a full-out tantrum, on the floor, kicking, screaming. I'm shot myself, exhausted and nearly overcome by guilt because I don't even know what happened to him and his arm is broken. Then this woman standing there looks at me and says, condescendingly, "I think he's tired." I didn't even have it in me to say something, I just gave her this 'are you effing kidding me?!' look, and bless the pharmacists, they gave her a dirty look and say that he's had a hard day. Sometimes, people really surprise me. Like the woman who saw me out with two boys and asked me if they were twins. When I replied that they were triplets and one was home, she gave me a dirty look and stalked off. Did she think I was being smart with her? I mean, I didn't even tell her about Baby Girl!

But back to Boy M's arm. Of course, I'm so wound up, I don't sleep well. We go to the orthopedist first thing, and guess what? The arm is NOT broken. In fact, it's FINE. He's not even favoring it! What looked like a fracture on the x-ray was a combination of Boy M's anatomy and the angle of the x-ray. The conclusion is that Boy M's elbow popped out and at some point, popped back in (perhaps during the fateful tantrum). Go figure.

Since then, everyone's been ok, except for a minor adult medical scare that occasioned a morning in the ER, gave everyone terrible anxiety, but apparently has turned out to be nothing. The kids are working through colds, and our big cold snap has triggered Boy M's asthma cough again, but I'm on him like a hawk.

And knitting. I am finding my projects unsatisfying. As much as I love my Woolgirl sock club, which is the best yarn club I've been in, I'm struggling with the project. The pattern calls for gauge on 2.50 mm needles. Unfortunately I need 2.00 mm (US 0) to get gauge. Apparently, I'm knitting more tightly then usual (is it any wonder?). On top of that, I had defective US 0's (nicks in the finish) and had to wait for the replacement set to arrive. I've knit maybe 7 rows of k1 p1 rib using the new needles and already one is starting to warp. I don't mind small needles, but I think I'd rather not knit with US 0's. And I always find the ribbing at the beginning of a sock to take too long. I think I'm just impatient and want to jump into the pattern stitch. But I'm giving it a go, sort of.

My Blue Sky Alpaca sweater? Well, I screwed up the ribbing and since I hadn't knit more than six rows, I ripped it out. Except when I tried to slide the yarn off my needles--my brand new needles from Knit Picks Harmony Options set, received as a gift--the needle came out of the join. Not the join separating from the cable, but the wood coming out of the metal that gets screwed into the cable; I saw the glue and everything. I stuffed the needle back into the join and haven't touched it since. I haven't even gotten to call Knit Picks, because it was a Sunday when it happened, and I put it aside.

I did pick up the "Clap" and enjoy it when I get going, but my hands are so dry, they spontaneously crack and bleed, and then catch the yarn. I'm not in the mood to bleed all over yarn, especially a silk and wool blend.

I have apparently lost my Summer Solstice socks. Tell me how a whole project bag disappears. Just tell me. And it's my first and much-loved Piddleloop bag. I'm sure it's around somewhere. Maybe my ex-babysitter took it when she took the earrings I inherited from my grandmother. Again, that's another story for another time; suffice it to say this was all going down while we were dealing with Boy M's asthma and arm injury, and now I don't have a babysitter. But back to knitting.

I decided to swatch my Lanas Puras Melosa yarn for the "Cabo Hoodie Sweater which I bought, I think, last spring. First, I actually had trouble winding the yarn with my swift and winder because the yarn was, well, sticky. Then, I didn't have the right needles, as if that's possible. I've been knitting for twelve years. I have tons of needles. But it's a top-down sweater, and I need 16-inch circulars to knit the neck/collar and then you join and knit in the round, and I don't have the two or three sizes I possibly need to get gauge. I just haven't been able to sit down and figure out what I need to order or raid from my mother's needle cache. Ridiculous!

What else? I realized that my mother and I were both delinquent in knitting winter hats for the children. So about two weeks ago, she gave me one of Jacey's monster hat kits (they were custom-made for my mom), told me not to bother with gauge and use whatever size needle to knit whatever hat size she told me. Suffice it to say, I've ripped it out three times for being too big, and don't have the heart to swatch just yet, even though the yarn is fun and fast to knit, and the felted monsters (or pirate-ish faces in our case) are totally awesome! (Yes, I'm a child of the '80's, and I slip sometimes).

I haven't been in the mood to start up again with my Rosie's Popover Mitts. Baby Girl's doll languishes too. It's clearly not going to be a holiday gift--maybe I'll finish it for her birthday in August? I never even cast on for the projects I bought to knit for holiday gifts, and Hanukkah is upon us. That's kind of pathetic, since I planned some of the gifts almost a year ago, and had all I needed to make the gifts purchased by June. In fact, I should be clearing off my dining room table for tomorrow night's holiday dinner. Which takes place just after we get back from NYC for Boy J's surgical consult for the hernia we thought we saw six weeks ago and have never seen since. And even the Hanukkah gifts I ordered may not arrive before the end of Hanukkah. And I have to pack for our first family trip before my nanny takes her 2-1/2 week vacation. Ugh. I think I need to go upstairs, go through my stash and find something to wind and swatch. You think?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Just in time for the Fall chill...

The Lobster Claws are done! Here are my usual bad photos:

Pattern: Mac & Me Lobster Claws
Yarn: Lobster Pot Cashmere in Salt Rose
Needles: 4.0 mm (short) and 4.25 mm (long) --you need two sets of needles (as the pattern is written) and that's how my US 6's converted
Buttons: Moving Mud

The mitts are fun to knit, although there were a zillion ends to weave in because you have to pick up stitches for each finger. The next time I make these, I would pick up two extra stitches at the base of each finger and then decrease on the next round in order to avoid holes that I stitched when weaving in ends.

Also, I spent a lot of time working and re-working the fingers. The pattern calls for the last three rows of each finger to be knit as follows: rnd 1: k1p1 to end; rnds 2 and 3: knit; rnd 4: bo.

Initially, I couldn't get the fingers to roll down to the k1p1 row like shown in the picture with the pattern, plus the k1p1 row made my knuckles look deformed. So, I knocked myself out with all sorts of variations which were not appealing, but the final judgment (thanks to the knitting committee) was to stick with the pattern and roll the ends down myself.

Oh, I also finished one Halloween sock and have cast on the second. (I know, Halloween's over, but I'll be ready for next year. And I have never made sock orphans, and am afraid to go down that path). I'll take bad pictures another time.

And here's the best news: I'm an aunt! My niece was born last night! Yay!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Yes! I've finished the Waterfall Socks! Here they are in as much of their glory as I could capture while watching three overtired 3-1/2-year-olds play trains/fight over trains on the back deck in the late afternoon of this beautiful, mid-70's-degree day:

I think I'm going to start my Halloween sock kit from Woolgirl (see it here). Fat chance I'll finish it before Halloween, though.

I've had a major breakthrough in my sock knitting this weekend. My primary trouble (other than the pattern glitches that pop up periodically, or that 'failure to read the pattern closely' problem) is I can never get the foot length right on the first, or second, or often the third try. So I spend a lot of time ripping out and re-knitting the toe until it works. This happens despite my frequent trying-on of the sock and my foot measurements taken a zillion times during the course of knitting each first sock (of course, it's figured out by the time I get to the second sock). I believe I have found a cure for this problem.

At Stitches East, I bought a Lucy Neatby sock-knitting DVD from Shelridge Farm. I'd been having trouble with a sock I was knitting from her Cool Socks Warm Feet book, so I bought the video. I watched it this past weekend with Mom, who's tackling baby socks, and was half-listening to Lucy Neatby talk about foot measurements when she said to make the sock about a 1/2 inch shorter than the length of the foot. What?! That's my problem? Never even occurred to me. If it's mentioned in her book, I missed it (again, that "not reading closely" problem). All the sock patterns I recall instruct the knitter to knit (generally) to 1-1/2 inches less than the desired length to start the toe. I didn't know the desired length was less than the length of my foot. Is that intuitive? Anyway, I know what to do for the next sock.

All in all, it's been a quiet day. The boys were in school from 9a-3p, the baby was in school from 9:15a-11:15a. I had a quick trip to the dentist, a 1/2-hour nap, took the baby to pick up the boys from school, played in the little playground and had a low key afternoon. Things picked up at bedtime. First, I got to call to Poison Control: while I was brushing Baby Girl's teeth, Boy J climbed on the toilet behind me, grabbed the (fluoride-free) toddler toothpaste, and began sucking on/licking the tube (which was nearly empty, but still). The stuff is safe to swallow, but I wanted to be sure. He's ok; Poison Control said it may make him nauseous (which is probably not a bad thing). And then, after I put them to bed and started cooking dinner, the boys all began screaming that I had to come up because their pajamas "came off." Came off? Like a Harry Potter spell: a swish and a flick pj's? Well, after helping them put the pj's on and showing them the "baby" pajamas they'll wear the next time they strip (goodness knows if they'll fit--they're last year's one piece, zipper pj's that I used to put on backwards so they couldn't unzip them), they seemed suitably chastened and went right to sleep. Of course, that meant no dinner until 9p for me, so now I"m going to finish up, download a few podcasts, and go upstairs and knit. Maybe cast on something new? Oh, didn't I do that last week?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stitches Photo Op

Remember how I mentioned that if you saw four women dressed alike with the same bags, you saw us? Well, we were spotted by the women at Modern Yarn wearing their t-shirts (for the second year in a row, and we did not even discuss our outfits in advance), and they snapped a picture. If you're interested in checking out our family of knitters, click here and scroll down to the second photo. I'm on the left and Mom is second from right; the other two women are my sisters (Stephanie on the far right, and Elizabeth second from left between Mom and me). Do we look like we're having as good a time as we were?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Here's the tally

I've been meaning to post, but things got kind of crazy. The stats for the time period beginning Sunday, October 14, 12:30 p.m. to Tuesday, October 16, 12:30 a.m. (2.5 days) are as follows:

Number of spouses/parents (father) away on business: 1

Fevers (children): 3

Visits to pediatrician (in 24 hours): 3

Number of children who visited pediatrician (in 24 hours): 4

Number of children who made repeat visits to pediatrician in 24 hours: 1

Number of calls to on-call pediatrician (in 24 hours): 1

Infections/possible strep requiring antibiotics (children): 2

Child fingers shut in screen door requiring pediatrician visit: 1

Likely hernia (child): 1

Gas leak: 1

Number of children woken up at 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday night and evacuated from house due to gas leak: 4

Number of children who thought waking up at 10:30 p.m. and sitting in car with Mom, Grandma & Grandpa for 45 minutes was a good adventure: 4

Number of children who did not want to go back into house and bed at 11:30 p.m.: 4

Number of children who wanted to go to Grandma's at 11:30 p.m.: 1

Number of children who wanted to go for a ride "somewhere" at 11:30 p.m.: 1

Number of children who needed entire pre-bed catalog of books re-read in exact order and then screamed for 20 minutes after being put to bed: 1

Number of children who were awake at midnight: 4

Number of parents (me) up past 1 a.m. sniffing for gas: 1

Number of finished objects: 2 (!)

Number of new projects cast on: 2

In fairness, the gas leak was late Tuesday evening (actually ongoing from the afternoon and we thought the faint odor was, as per repairman, due to his running of the gas during installation of a new part in the oven, and he said he checked for leaks and found none), and I finished the Morehouse Huckleberry Sweater and the SeeJayneKnitYarns Frankenstein Hat before then. Of course, no pictures yet: the sweater is waiting its turn on Mom's blocking board, and I have to weave in hat ends.

The Lobster Claws are still in progress. Something's funky with the length of the fingers, and I get frustrated and put it aside. I'd like to finish them in the next week.

About those projects cast on:

(1) a doll from Toys to Knit by Tracy Chapman. After I bought the book at Stitches, my mom said she had read reviews that warned of errors in the patterns in the book. The patterns don't even have a gauge (!) and give the amount of yarn needed in weight, but I don't really care: it's a doll, I can fudge it. So I'm knitting it in pretty pink Koigu and bought golden brown yarn for the hair. We'll see how it goes, I'm totally not concerned and it's mindless knitting. I've already knit the front and back of the head and am now knitting the legs.

(2) Blue Sky Alpacas' Cropped Cardigan, which I'm knitting in a gorgeous purple Misti Alpaca yarn which I bought at Stitches from Rosie's Yarn Cellar. (We LOVE Rosie's!) I had trouble getting gauge, but I think I just had to figure out how to work with the yarn. It's soooo soft!

Oh, and the kids...they're apparently feeling better: antibiotics kicking in, finger is fine, surgical consults scheduled, but no other complaints (from them). However, they're running me ragged: whoever coined "the terrible twos" clearly hadn't hit the threes yet. Oh my!

And my mother's trying to talk me into going to Rhinebeck. Ack!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Stitches East, Here We Come! And There We Go!

I'm just back from a whirlwind trip to Baltimore for Stitches East. This year, the whole family (I mean the knitters, not the children) made it. If you were there on Friday and saw four women in knitting t-shirts and North Face fleece jackets carrying the same pocketbook, you saw us--Mom, my two sisters and me!

There was definitely good shopping--I'm too embarrassed to post pictures of all that I bought. Suffice it to say, we filled up the car (as usual) and had a great time. I bought yarn to make sweaters (!) for me. And sock yarn, of course. And sucked my two sisters into buying sock yarn and starting socks (that's you, E!) or a Chevron Scarf (I can't imagine SLM will go for socks, but she did ask about the Socks That Rock Club). I mean, who can resist Socks That Rock or Lisa Souza for that matter.

One of the neatest things was meeting people who I've read about, and/or lurked on their blogs/shops (Lisa Souza) and/or listened to their podcasts (Wendy). Everyone was so lovely. Lisa Souza was warm and gracious, and gave E good advice on where to start with socks (i.e., don't start with the patterned ones). I had a lot of laughs with Wendy (you stayed at the Norman Bates Hotel at Rhinebeck last year? We stayed at the Shining on our girls trip to France!) I found the Interlacements booth--I have been eyeing the sock yarn for the past year at various sites--and met Judy who dyes the yarn and who was just lovely and friendly. Of course, I bought gorgeous, vibrant yarns. (Maybe I'll have to post yarn bit by bit).

I have lots of good projects to start, but way too many on the needles, so I told myself I had to finish one before casting on something new. So today, I broke out the Morehouse Farm Huckleberry sweater which needs a second sleeve and I'll definitely finish it today.

I brought the Lobster Claws fingerless mitts with me to finish on the trip. After consulting with my knitting committee, I'm going to work the k1p1 row that makes me look like I have bulging knuckles and then roll down the bound-off edge and stitch it down so it looks rolled. I just got so fed up Thursday night doing different variations that I didn't have the patience to come back to it. Maybe tonight after finishing the Huckleberry sweater.

The only down part was that I had a flare-up of my GI issues on Saturday; hopefully, it's just a blip. And getting lost on the way out of Philadelphia and hitting more traffic on the way home, but that 's for another post. Oh, and at lunchtime today, two boys started running low-grade fevers. Well, if they're too ill to go out, that means more knitting time for me, right? (I am ever hopeful).

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Taking the plunge

I think I mentioned I signed up for the Fingerless Mitts for Fall knitalong. Of course, I hadn't picked up either pair of unfinished mitts from last year until last night. I had wanted to finish my Woolgirl Waterfall sock before taking on (or reviving) another project.

Well, last night, I "finished" my first Woolgirl Waterfall sock. By "finished" I mean finished the toe but for the grafting, tried it on, found it to be 2-4 rows too long, and promptly ripped out the toe. At that point, being after 10 p.m., I wasn't really in the mood for knitting, trying on and reknitting the toe the usual 3 or so times it takes me to get it right (despite having my foot measurements and measuring the sock for accuracy), so I decided to pick up the Mac & Me Lobster Claws fingerless gloves. In short, as I discussed here, I knit the left mitt wrong and have to rip it all out. I almost have the nerve to do it, now that I've started the right (as in "right hand" and "correct") mitt. It's a fast knit, so I'm not so nerved up about it. Here are some photos.

First, the left and wrong mitt (the pattern says to knit the first six rows and then join to knit in the round, while I knit it all in the round, which makes it difficult to knit the ruffle, which is also knit flat):

Next, the right and right mitt (notice the split at the base of the mitt, which is where the ruffle and button closure will be):

That's another one of my yummy project bags from Piddleloop.

Oh, and for added fun, the pattern calls for knitting the hand on US 4 (4.0 mm) long dpns and the fingers on the same size short dpns (while keeping the hand on the long dpns). It actually is fun except when one discovers at 11 p.m. that one's long dpns are US 4 (4.25 mm) and the short dpns are US 4 (4.0 mm), even though I apparently never noticed that when I knit the first mitt. And after swatching, I get gauge on the 4.25 mm and am a little short on the 4.0 mm. So I decided I'll just knit the fingers a little looser. But from now on, I'm definitely going by metric measurements for needles (I'm already sensitive to the issue with socks, so it's not a big deal).

By the way, the Lobster Pot cashmere is a dream to knit with!

And on a completely different topic, the boys have given up their nap, Boy M runs hot in temper, temperament and temperature (the boy was beet red and sweaty in our unseasonable heat, never mind the angry and demanding attitude), and all three are deciding to test their independence and explore oppositional behavior. You know, things like Boy M angrily shouting "Mom!" each time he wants my attention and stamping his foot to punctuate it; Boy E biting his brothers if he does not like what's going on; and Boy J crying when his brothers get disciplined for something like biting or kicking, or willful disobedience, and while doing so, trying to convince me that the egregious behavior did not occur (although when offered the option to stay home with Boy M who could not run an errand with us as the consequence of naughtiness, he quickly stopped crying and arguing--a lawyer in the making, that one, guess it's in the blood). I'm exhausted, but relieved I can escape into my knitting!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Club junkie

I admit it: I have a problem. I love knitting. I love yarn. I love accessories, especially bags (just ask Jen over at Piddleloop). I looove sock clubs. I belong to several (I'm not up to admitting how many).

It began last fall shortly before Stitches East. I was coming off of a nearly three-year knitting hiatus (two pregnancies, 4 children--triplets and a singleton 17 months apart), and, among other health issues, I had a kitchen accident in early October and lost part of my left ring finger. I was traumatized, anxious, stressed out, and my mother took me on a yarn crawl to Montclair, NJ, where we visited Stix-n-Stitches and Modern Yarn. The point of the yarn crawl was to get me out of the house. But then Mom bought me a project--a felted tote--that was knit on big needles (US 11? 13?) which we both thought was manageable despite the finger issue. The point of the project being, of course, to distract me and help me relax. Of course, it did and it reminded me how much I missed knitting and how much I enjoyed it.

We decided to go to Stitches East basically at the last minute, maybe a day or two before it began. Not the easiest trick, considering I had to get child care coverage and all hotels were booked, except for one that was one block away (where we're staying this year, too). It was fabulous. I loved the market and marveled at the changes (I think our first Stitches East was 1996 or so). I bought that Rosie's Poptop Mittens, figuring I'd need them because my finger would be very sensitive to cold, which it still is. I also got a yen to knit socks, which I hadn't done in about 8 years. I thought: only one skein of yarn, lots of different things (cuff, heel, gusset, instep, toe) to switch it up and keep it interesting. I saw the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth (I knew nothing of the passion for Socks That Rock because I wasn't yet aware of the online knitting explosion and knit blogging). I wasn't concerned about small needles--I figured that by the time the yarn arrived in January/February, the finger would be well enough to manage smaller needles, or at least, I wouldn't be wearing a ridiculously large bandage, soaking it in diluted Betadine several times a day, visiting the plastic surgeon every week, etc. So I signed up. And got a gorgeous package every other month, and have yet to knit a sock. But I'm still hooked.

Fast forward to now. I'm a member of the Woolgirl Sock Club; I've posted about the Waterfall socks. In fact, it's the first sock club sock I've started. Here's my progress on the first sock:

(Goodness, those are pretty unappealing pictures, aren't they. I better get to taking pictures outside in natural light soon).

I think the ribbing on the cuff is too loose, and will probably knit the ribbing on smaller needles on the second sock. But that's totally not worth ripping out the sock.

But back to sock clubs. Jennifer at Woolgirl also offered a Halloween Sock Kit: yarn, pattern, sock project bag, goodies. It had "me" written all over it! Except I was too late to sign up. I accept my fate in these situations--I've spent the last year making up for three years of no stash enhancement--and assume it was not meant to be. But then I received an email: there were two more openings, I was at the top of the wait list, and was I still interested? Of course! And look what came today:

The kit is called "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." The yarn is White Oak Studio tv yarn, "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." The sock bag has Lucy dressed as a witch. There is a teeny tiny adorable pumpkin stitch marker that's too small to be captured in any detail by my camera with my inadequate skills. The orange pumpkin bag is one of those goody bags we used to put together for trick-or-treaters when I was little and is filled with lots of good candy. The pattern is awesome, too--the orange contrast yarn is for the toe! And everything was beautifully wrapped in orange tissue and tied with purple ribbon. What a fabulous treat! Now I definitely have to finish the Waterfall socks so I can justify casting on these socks!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Project mojo update

Well, I ran into a little trouble on the Waterfall socks, but nothing I would consider to be another full-out departure of the mojo. I had trouble figuring out the last two short rows turning the heel. So I emailed Jen at Woolgirl, and she was ever so helpful, as it took two emails to figure out the problem. Or mostly figure it out--I pretty much just fudged it. But after I turned the heel and knit half the gusset, I realized I knit the heel two rows less than the pattern called for, and I felt I needed those two rows. So I worked my way backwards, and along the way, dropped a yarn over somewhere in the instep and ended up having to rip back to the almost-beginning, specifically, the five rows of stockinette that precede the start of the pattern on the cuff. But I didn't feel that bad about it, I mean, it's sportweight, so it knits quickly, and the pattern isn't that hard, and I'm enjoying it. So now I'm working my way down the instep; I think I'm about halfway to the toe. And I'm LOVING the yarn! Unfortunately, I have no pictures. Today's excuse is that I have a new computer--I've gone iMac--and I have to figure out how to download pictures into iPhoto in a way that makes sense, as opposed to the way I did it the first time, which produced an album of 300 or so photos.

Next project: the Tulip Cardigan. I'm working the applied i-cord trim on the sweater. I'm just about to negotiate the turn from the left front to the bottom, and I need to be clear in the head because I think there's casting on and slipping stitches involved, which doesn't seem that complicated during the day, but this project has become a strictly after-11 p.m. project (the only time I have to give it undivided attention), and I'm definitely not clear in the head at that time. Fortunately, I haven't made too many mistakes so far, but most of them happen as I start to fall asleep over the needles. But I've got to get going: there's another baby due in November that I have to knit for. And we don't know what it is, so I'll likely have to knit two sweaters. I'm jonesing to cast on the Wee-one Welcome Set sweater--I have boy and girl colors in Cider Moon--but I have so much else on the needles, I don't feel like I can justify it.

The Popover Mitts and the Mac & Me Lobster Claws fingerless mitts are both on the to-do list; I even joined the Fingerless Mitts for Fall knitalong. But I can't bring myself to start them. I have to find my place on the Popover Mitts (and I had found some errors in the pattern last fall when I started them), although I'd like to have them done by Stitches East, since I bought them last year at Stitches East. And unfortunately, I have to rip out the finished (or nearly-finished) Lobster Claw because I knit it wrong from the beginning. If I recall correctly, the first 5 or so rows should be knit flat and then joined, and I started off working in the round, which I would ignore, except the ruffle is knit flat and closes with a button, and I think it would be hard to pick up the stitches for the ruffle if the mitt is joined in the round. I haven't had the heart to rip it out yet, but I'm getting ready, especially because I know it knits up really quickly. I just hate to totally frog something.

The Summer Solstice socks are languishing. The project bag just sits and looks at me every time I get into bed. I'll be back!

The Decadent Fibers baby blanket saw some knitting time last week, but it's back in the ongoing project basket. Baby sweaters move more quickly.

And I've just about committed to totally frogging my Scarlet Fleece sock. It's a big deal--I've never totally frogged a project. I find the idea scary--I'm assertively abandoning a project--and intimidating--it's been dormant on the needles since March or so, and the yarn will be all crimped. Will I have to wash it?

I'm also going to frog the Perchance to Knit Irises sock. I need to switch needles, I'm sure I'll have to re-swatch, and I'm just not in the mood. But I'll just cut off the inch or so of ribbing and throw it back in the back with the yarn, to be used if only I run low on yarn.

The Morehouse Farm sweater still needs its sleeve, and it's almost cool enough to knit. It will be a quick knit, too--I've just got to get to it.

So, I think I got most of what's on the needles. (No, I'm not counting the Mountain Colors Cardigan that I bought approximately 10 years ago that's sitting in the attic, or the Babette crochet blanket, also in the attic). Goodness, is that 9 projects?! I definitely have to finish a Waterfall sock so that I can justify casting on the Wee-one sweater! And I have to finish one set of fingerless mitts before Stitches East. Even though I want to cast on for fingerless mitts in Halloween colorways! I think I have a problem.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Baby Knitting--lots of FOs!

Here's the moses basket we (really, Mom) put together for my sister-in-law, whose shower was last Sunday:

(yes, the first picture is blurry)

The edging and most of the contents were not knitted by me so I can't really lay claim to all those FOs.

Here's the story of the basket edging. My mom saw it in the Mason-Dixon Knitting book (she's hooked on their Log Cabin blanket) and wanted each of us (my mom, my two sisters and me) to knit a section (for this basket, there are 4 sections). I measured each section, and Mom and I cast on one evening in early summer. But I kept screwing up the pattern. And I wasn't big on the yarn (linen). And, most significantly, I was in the throes of finishing the Milestone Birthday Afghan (it was right before my mom was going away and I realized I had to block every afghan square in her basement while she was on vacation). So I dropped out, and my mom knit the whole thing, although she tried to lean on me to do a section, and I couldn't tell her why I was dodging it, so I looked like I was dodging it because of a little pattern problem (mine) and not loving the yarn, neither of which is an acceptable excuse for knitters like us, because there was nothing wrong with the pattern, and the yarn was only a little annoying and not truly offensive. If anyone's curious about the process of the edging, I'll have Mom guest blog about it (I'm sure she's fainting as she reads this).

Here's the guide to the contents (unfortunately, some of the knitted gifts are wrapped):

Starting at the left, the variegated purple hat and sweater are from the Knitting at Knoon's Wee-One Welcome Set, knit by me in Cider Moon Glacier in Titania. (By the way, I love this pattern and the yarn and will shortly be casting on again in Cider Moon Glacier for another baby). The hot pink hat with the tulle topping is from Itty Bitty Hats and was knit by my sister Stephanie. The chartreuse roll is a cashmere scarf with dyed beaver trim knitted by Mom for the mom-to-be from String. The moss-colored hat with the button is Larissa from Stitch Marker's Meathead hat. The folded knitting in pink to the left of the Meathead Hat is an Alchemy silk blanket knit by Mom. To the left of that blanket is a Lucky Wang baby kimono in a cherry blossom print (obviously not knit by me, lol). The black flower print roll behind that is a changing pad that I bought at Tippy Toes in Princeton, NJ. The vintage print package behind the Meathead Hat and silk blanket contains a blanket knitted by my sister Elizabeth that is fabulous in lavender--I can ask if she has a picture. Mom also knitted baby socks, and I'll ask her to fill me in the the rest of the wrapped contents--I remember an EZ baby surprise jacket in a deep red-pink, and a ballet pink garter baby kimono with a pretty ribbon tie.

I'll try to get links posted later on--the boys are no longer napping (ack! ack! ack!)--and my days are long and very full. There are two good things about no boy naps: (1) they fall asleep fairly quickly without shouting for me to attend to various and sundry needs designed to get me in their room and/or one or more boys out of bed for the first 1-2 hours of bedtime; and (2) quiet play in the house during their former nap time gives me some knitting time (but only for straightforward projects, but who's complaining).

And about that mojo: it's on the way back.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Who needs a new project?

I'm not sure that I've mentioned it, but I also stitch (needlepoint). I started about 5 years ago, more or less. I made a significant investment in equipment and tools (frame stands, laying tools, etc.) and canvases and thread. I have a needlepoint stash, for sure. However, needlepoint is seriously time-consuming (a cabled afghan has nothing on a needlepoint canvas) and requires me, at least, to have a large block of time to sit and work. I'm determined to stitch tallis bags for all my boys by the time they have their Bar Mitzvahs, so I started one about a year and a half ago (I have all three canvases). I haven't made much progress, but I figure I can allot 4 years per bag. Then I'll have to turbo through Baby Girl's in a year, but they'll be in school full time by then, right?

So, anyway, about a year or so ago, I got a yen to learn to quilt. Of course, Mom (my partner in crime) was interested too. We'd talk about it periodically, usually while knitting or on the way to a yarn crawl. Then, a month or so ago, we were checking out the sewing classes at Purl Soho because also part of that 'learn to quilt' conversation was learning to sew backings on knitted blankets. I must say, we were put off by the hand cutting (my mother swears she can't do it) and hand sewing, but we thought we could be candidates for the basic sewing class so we could learn some things that would be useful in our knitting finishing. (I haven't used a machine since my 8th grade home ec class). But we thought about asking for a private class because, you know, our schedule is a little crazy, what with the 4 toddlers and all, and I'd need to make some hard-core set-in-stone child-care arrangements to attend a multiple-session class, plus traffic to NYC is unreliable--it could take 35 minutes (Saturday, early morning, summer), 45 minutes (Saturday, early morning, January-June, September, October), 2+ hours (any day, time, season). And we spent an afternoon researching sewing machines on the web (with my dad, as accustomed to our follies as he is, rolling his eyes).

Once we read about the hand-cutting and -sewing, we gave up the quilting idea (besides, do we need another stash?!), but still talk about sewing blanket backing (mostly my mom). But then, this morning, I was reading Knit and Tonic and a quilt hit me smack between the eyes.

Here's the email I sent to my mom:
Check this out at knit and tonic:

and it only took her 4 hours! We could do 4 hours! Together, it would probably take two hours!

We need that sewing class and a machine, I think.

Let me know.


I think I'm in trouble.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Mojo, is that you?

I feel rotten. I'm running a fever somewhere between 100 and 100.7F. All the little hairs on my body hurt. I'm freezing (for now). I can't believe I have to use up the boys' last school day until next week by going to the doctor tomorrow.

On the knitting front, I'm just cooking along on the Woolgirl Sock Club sock. Here it is:

It's Miss Babs yarn in Waterfall, an exclusive club colorway; the pattern is also called Waterfall, and I believe it was written by Miss Babs, too. The yarn is 100% merino sportweight and is a dream to knit with!

I've made pretty fast progress: I got gauge right away on US 3 (3.25 mm) and just turned the heel. But I have to rip it out because my stitch count is off, I think. That's what I get for breaking my cardinal rule of heels: turn the heel in one sitting while doing nothing else (other than mindless tv in the background). I got cocky (perhaps deluded by fever) and turned the heel while booking flight reservations and car (huge SUV) rental for our first family vacation. I must have been distracted by things like the car rental agent telling me that the computer didn't allow her to enter more than three car seat rentals for the SUV (we, of course, need 4, for the 3 3-year-olds and our one 2-year-old), but she went to a supervisor and got it taken care of. But I have to call the actual rental location to confirm. Nice.

I used the occasion of this new project to break out a new project bag from Piddleloop. I'm a Piddleloop junkie and coveted this bag for a very long time. And then my mom bought it for me, and Jen stuffed it full of extra goodies and treats--way cool!

See the fish? They have names! Like Robert, Swimmy, Bjorn--who could resist! The inside is lined in an orange water droplet print. And my accessories pouch has the fish bagged, but still with names. And Jen threw in another bag with fabric that looks like rippling water, with stitch markers and other things. She totally gets me!

By the way, the stitch marker in use is also the zipper pull for the bag; the stitch marker is made by zer0 and was included in the bag by Jen. The club included a beautiful coordinating stitch marker made by Sereknity for the sock club, which I used until I started the lace pattern; when I knit in the round, I like to have a stitch marker that I can actually hook into the first stitch of the round.

I'm also super excited about this arrival:

It's Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop yarn. Handspun. I read about this stuff on some blogs a few months ago and was really interested in trying it out. But I always missed the boat--that stuff goes in the blink of an eye! I finally made it last month, and it's here! I'm not touching it until the mojo is solidly back--no messing up the handspun! But it's amazing. The color, the plies, I just want to look at it.

I think that's the fever talking. I'm now hot hot hot (nothing like alternating chills and hot flashes) and am going to sign off and climb into bed with my Waterfall sock. I hope I didn't ramble too much or sound crazy!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Mojo, oh mojo, where can you be?

I wrote this Sept. 16 and am not sure why it didn't post--I'm sure it's that mojo thing.

I've lost my knitting mojo. Sad but true. As of Wednesday night, every project on the needles had a problem, and I wasn't feeling like knitting/fixing any of them.

I'm still mulling over the issue with the Summer Solstice socks.

I picked up my Scarlet Fleece socks (remember them from the winter? Check here) to fix the garter stitch toe that was too wide. When I tried on the sock to determine how far to rip down, I realized the whole instep was too wide. Ugh, I don't have the heart to rip the sock yet.

I haven't gone back to the Decadent Fibers blanket yet, just not feeling it.

It's been too hot to do the second sleeve of the Morehouse roll-neck sweater, but today just might be the day to do it if I get to it--it's 52 degrees F this a.m.!

I fixed the problem in the Dream in Color Tulip Cardigan (knitting increase rows while falling asleep is a problem) but it's not flowing on the needles for me right now.

I signed up for the Fingerless Mitts For Fall Knitalong because I have two pair to finish from last year--a Mac & Me pattern in Lobster Pot Cashmere (but I have to rip out the one mitt I finished, I think), and Rosie's Yarns pop-top mittens in alpaca--but I'm not in the mood, and certainly not in the mood to rip out the Mac & Me mitt because it's almost done, even though it knits quickly.

I even thought I could get my mojo back with this cool Frankenstein hat from See Jayne Knit that arrived on Friday. You know, bulky-ish yarn, larger needles...but I couldn't get gauge! Of course, my sister reminded me that I shouldn't knit a gauge swatch in the middle of the night. Silly me--but it's the only time I have to knit!

But Woolgirl sock kit came

Friday, September 7, 2007

Summer Solstice waning

I've knit about 1/3 the length of the instep,

and I'm still worrying about this heel:

I think the heel is too narrow, but it's hard to tell--I can't figure out if the heel is too narrow while it's still on the needles, and I don't know that I want to put the stitches on waste yarn, or just rip it out and find another heel that will be more comfortable.

And on a marginally related note: that blob that ate my knitting corner in January is back! And I'm trying to get it out!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

FO Pictures!

Here's the milestone birthday afghan in as much of its glory as I am able to capture:

How I wish I could take better pictures! Maybe a photography class is in my future, say, when all four are in school full time. That would be 2011. I'm not wishing the kids' early years away, but goodness knows, I can't make that kind of commitment yet!

Back to the blanket. You may notice it does not have a border. I've run into border trouble as mentioned in my previous post. Of course, my mom understood and offered to help. Can you believe the woman told me today about a possible border other than the one I've knit? I think she meant Ann's garter stitch border, but my brain fogged as soon as she mentioned it. I mean, I only knit enough of the border to sew to one long side of the blanket and the first corner, but still--it's cabled and took a long time! And to switch to what, 18 rows of garter stitch on each side?! But I'm not complaining, really--she'll even help knit it (I think)!

That pink thing in the square in the lower right hand corner of the blanket: it's a felt heart embroidered by my sister with our initials (the three daughters) and, I think, the year. It's awesome--she did a great job! (Note to self as per sister: in future, be sure to embroider wording before sewing heart to blanket).

And a final note: you see how the blanket seems to grow wider as it gets closer to you? It's not an optical illusion--that's how we were able to finesse the different gauges of the different knitters, all of whom purportedly had the same gauge in their gauge swatches. Go figure! Ahh, that's the beauty of a handmade item, right?!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Secret Project Revealed!

Bet you thought I'd have pictures! Soon, soon! But I'll tell you all about it: it's a sampler afghan made out of Hunt Valley Cashmere. Gorgeous! Just gorgeous! My two sisters and I knit it for my mother's milestone birthday. I can't believe it slipped under the radar!

My mother bought the yarn 4 or 5 years ago at Stitches East, and even knit 5 squares (it has 20 squares). When we hatched our plot to knit a blanket for my mother, and my youngest sister was caught looking in books for afghan patterns, my sister said she was knitting an afghan for herself, so my mom offered her the yarn and completed squares. I mean, who turns down a jump start on a project in cashmere. Not to mention I saw the completed blanket at Stitches East and it was to die for.

It is not a FO, but an almost FO. We don't have a border. I started the cable border from the Great American Aran Afghan pattern, and it is fabulous, but our dimensions don't fit the Aran Afghan dimensions due to variations among different knitters (shocker). I have to tinker with it, plus it knits more slowly than I expected. I need a knitting consult, and after youngest sister consulted with me, we both agreed we needed the expert: Mom. The problem with knitting a gift for your knitting consultant is that you can't consult/troubleshoot with the knitting consultant. So now that we gave her the afghan, Mom is going to help us with the border.

Other news:

1. Baby Girl is TWO! We had a fabulous birthday party (family only) and she loves her gifts...just about as much as her brothers love them! Fortunately, she now says "[My] turn!" You gotta assert yourself in my house!

2. Boy M had his first encounter with bees. He must be sweet like honey because four bees stung him. Not fun, but he is ok. I now carry Benadryl melt-aways in my purse and diaper bags (as per the pediatrician). Because I need more to carry with me.

3. We took the triplets to the shore (the beach for those of you not from NJ) for the day and we had the most glorious time on the beach and at the aquarium. They just loved it, and behaved beautifully and obeyed us (nothing is as terrifying as being outnumbered by children who are misbehaving near large bodies of water or swimming pools, and fortunately, they didn't).

3. I'm plugging away on the Summer Solstice socks and just finished the gusset on my first sock. When you see the afghan, you'll understand how it sucked up my summer (my sisters did 5-6 squares, I knit 4, but because one sister doesn't crochet, or seam crochet, I did most of her share of the crochet borders on the individual squares, redid the crochet on the squares knitted by my mom, half the seaming, sewed the halves together and wove in all those ends (roughly 2-2.5 hours worth) from all the seams.

4. Preschool starts on Tuesday! Yay!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fresh on the needles!

Because I didn't have enough WIPs on the needles, I cast on two more projects.


It is a gray and rainy day, there is no good light anywhere, so these pictures are extraordinarily bad. I saw the online tutorial on building your own light box, but I'm not even deluding myself that I can get around to doing it before, say, the kids go to college.


Summer Solstice socks in Yarn Pirate Rum Runner:

I've only done a few pattern repeats on the leg, but so far, it's a fun and easy pattern. It's also easy to remember, which helps when you're up all night in two ERs trying to get treatment for your sister who has a rapidly spreading infection (don't even ask, but she finally got treated, and after allergic reactions to at least two antibiotics, she is slowly getting better).

Clapotis in Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in Iris Garden:

I'm having a good time with this, too, but it seems really wide, and I'm not a shawl kind of girl. I'm trying to thing of it as a really wide scarf. I'm almost done with Section Two, the increase rows; I think Section Three is where I get to drop stitches. Woo-hoo! (And yes, that is Doc Hudson, the Fabulous Hudson Hornet, keeping the work from curling in the photo).

I have new stash, plus two great small project pouches from Piddleloop that were a gift from my mom. No way am I taking pictures today! But they are awesome!

And despite horrible craziness the past two weeks, we have a joyous occasion: Baby Girl is TWO on Wednesday!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Monkeys OFF my back!

FO ALERT! I have finally finished the Monkey socks (actually, mini-Monkeys a la Cara at January One) in ShelbyB's Nymphadora Tonks colorway. I have pictures, but they're worse than usual. That's what happens when you can't take photos until 8 p.m. at which time the sun has basically set. Here they are anyway:

Of course, I finish my first pair of Summer of Socks socks when my group leader (who reports on everyone's progress) goes on vacation. Typical. Now off to block the socks (just because they're on blockers doesn't mean they've been blocked yet!) and swatch something else...maybe Yarn Pirate Rum Runner?

Monday, August 6, 2007

One down, one to go

Check this out:

Could it be? It's a Nymphadora Tonks Monkey sock that fits my sister's foot. It FITS! (Ignore the ends to be woven in; I refuse to weave until I know it fits, plus I may have to redo the grafting).

But what could that be next to finished sock no. 1?

Yes! It's sock no. 2 in progress! I've finished the four pattern repeats I'm doing for the cuff and am about to start the heel flap. I like to do the heel in one sitting, so I may not get to it until nighttime. Oh, and that cool purple gadget is a dpn holder I got at Woolgirl and it's great!

And who could resist yarn from Woolgirl? Not me!

Tippy Toes from Whimzy Pimzy to make booties for my niece-to-be:

Union Center Knits in Kitty's Eyes:

(I'm thinking of getting coordinating skeins in Green or Not Pink for heels and toes).

The Painted Tiger self-patterning Stars & Stripes Forever yarn:

(I've been ogling this on etsy since early July).

And my recent purchases from The Loopy Ewe:

sKNITches Syncopation self-striping in Collegiate:

and Beardsley:

and Yarn Love Juliet (I've been dying to try this) in Shipwrecked:

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Summer of One Sock -- The Endless Toe

Ok, I've finished the Tonks Monkey Sock. Twice. And ripped it out. Twice. The toe was too long. Twice. And it's been four rows too long. Twice.
How does that happen? I swear, if it's too long this time, it's going into hibernation. The good news is that my sister won't be back until the weekend, and the toe is only 18 rows. But man, I am getting out of the mood. And silly me, I cast on the second sock before she tried the first sock on again. So, when the sock was too long, I had to take the second sock--all four rows of it--off the needles to finish the first sock. Poor planning. Especially since, now that I think about it, I could have just knit the second sock, finished it, then ripped out the toe of the first. Ack!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

More Gnuman Gnome-y action

I've posted several entries at the Knitting Gnome Swap blog about our mostly non-knitterly adventures with Gnuman. Feel free to jump on over, since I'm unlikely to post more here, unless I cut and paste from that blog, which is not particularly original, but still....hmmmmm.

In the meantime, check out Gnuman and the treats he brought with him!

Isn't Kelli the coolest!

And, Gnuman also had the good fortune to arrive on the same day as my Yarn Pirate Booty Club package! Look at him hold that yarn!

And here he is with an almost finished Nymphadora Tonks Monkey Sock:

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows--NO SPOILERS

I finished! It was immensely satisfying, and I'm going to re-read it, probably starting tonight, although I need to give Gnuman the Gnome his turn (to read about Gnuman's recent adventures with me, go here and here). But I'm not saying anything else, because I assiduously (and successfully) avoided any possible spoilers, and I wouldn't want to ruin it for anybody.

I also got out to the movies last night and saw Hairspray. It's infectious and impossible to resist the music! It's the first movie I've been to in many years where people clapped at the end. I'm a long-time devotee of the John Waters original, and did see Hairspray on Broadway with the original cast. I must say, though, that I did not like John Travolta's performance: the accent was annoying and distracting, his affect was cartoonish, but boy, he can still dance!

Between Harry Potter and Hairspray, there was no knitting yesterday. My sister did, however, try on the Tonks Monkey Sock, and it's too long, so I'll have to rip out the toe and the last round of pattern repeats and re-knit. It won't be too hard, though.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

SOS - Summer of One Sock?

I bet you thought SOS stood for Summer of Socks. For me, so far, it is Summer of One Sock. Here it is:

Well, I apparently didn't upload the picture to flickr, and I'm not at home, so you can't see it, but I finished the first Nymphadora Tonks Monkey sock, just two days before the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. My sister is coming out to visit this afternoon, so she'll try it on, and then I'll cast on for the second sock. I figure I can finish it before the end of the summer...hopefully.

I have several other projects on the needles. I'm two rows away from finishing the baby sweater from Knitting at Knoon's Wee-one's Welcome Set. I'll have to take a picture of that, too.

But now, it's time for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. That's the nice thing about living in a small town: when you pass your mailman who's been your mailman for 30+ years, he'll go back to the truck and give you the book.

Oh, and if anyone's looking for me on Ravelry, I'm Jennifersm3. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Harry Potter all around

I'm making progress on the Tonks Monkey socks. I have about an inch or so to go before I decrease for the toe. I did have to spill to my sister that I was making them for her (I hadn't mentioned it because I think she is just about my only regular reader) because I was not able to finish even the first sock in time for today's opening of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Which, in accordance with our tradition (going back to 2001), we saw today. But I was able to give her a set of Hogwarts House stitch markers, custom-made for us by Shelby to tide her over. And now that she knows, I can break out my own set!

Oh, and I finished Half-Blood Prince last week, so I'm all set for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I'm very excited, especially because the movie Order of the Phoenix was just not that good. Of course we (my sister and me) liked it, and the sets and effects are excellent, but we didn't like the way they modified the story for the big screen. (Not to worry, no spoilers here). I mean, they hardly mention the Order of the Phoenix, and if you hadn't read the book, you wouldn't have a clue. And it's the title of the movie!

And back to knitting (because I'm all over the place these days), I finished the body on the Wee-one baby sweater. Now, I just have the sleeves to go, and fortunately, they can be knit in the round. It's been a lot of fun to make so far, it's just so small. I forget how small newborns can be. Ironic, because by triplets were 4-4.5 lbs. at birth, and man, they were really small. We have pictures of us holding Baby J, who dropped below 4 lbs. after birth, and he literally fit in the palms of our hands. By comparison, my daughter was 8 lbs. 5 oz.

And big news: I got into Ravelry! Hot damn! Off I go to enter something!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Knitting and Adventure

So, Summer of Socks (aka "SOS") has begun, but I have not started my socks. I'd really like to finish the two pair I have on the needles (the Tonks Monkey socks and the Scarlet Fleece with the garter stitch toe problem), but the rules require that the socks can't be started before 5 a.m. EDT June 21, and obviously, I started these before then. But I have a bunch of other stuff on the needles (but no pictures due to a full memory card and my inability to buy a new one since CompactFlash has apparently been phased out) that makes me reluctant to cast on one more project:

1. Morehouse Farm Huckleberry sweater. I have one sleeve left to do, but it's starting to be too hot to knit it. I wanted it for our holiday photos (I was going to make one for each child) but it will be too hot to wear on the date of the photos. It's really cute, easy and fun--nothing like knitting in the round, a three-needle bind off for the shoulders, and picking up sleeves and knitting in the round. No seaming!

2. I've picked up the secret project and have made more progress--I'm more than halfway done!

3. I'm going to be an aunt! To a darling baby girl! So I cast on for a baby sweater--Knitting at Knoon's Wee-one Welcome Set--in Cider Moon Titania. It's great to work with and the pattern is so much fun, and well-written! The sweater is knit from the top down, and you can pick up and knit the sleeves on dpns. I'm not even done, and I'm definitely making this again. I'm up to knitting the garter trim on the body, and then will have to knit the sleeves and button bands.

4. I located my Perchance to Knit Irises socks that I need to rip down to the ribbing. I only knit about four rows of pattern, but I just hate the Pony dpns and I have to switch to my Knit Picks dpns. But again, these won't qualify for SOS.

5. That Decadent Fibers blanket I had trouble with at the beginning of the year. It would be a good gift for my niece.

That having been said, I am somewhat tempted to cast on another pair of socks. I just received my next installment from the Socks That Rock Sock Club. What hot colors! And I scored Duet Sock Yarn in Army Girl from The Yarn Grove (and Jane is just lovely to deal with). I bought two skeins in case I wanted to make another Wee-one sweater, but I'm actually thinking of treating myself to a pair of Army Girl socks. The pattern is interesting, too: toe up with an after-thought heel. Both techniques would be new to me.

And of course, I've been sidetracked. Boys are no longer napping. The days are really long, and they require a lot of activity. We have camp three mornings a week, and come July, 4 afternoons a week. We have triplet swim lessons two days a week. The pool opened, so we have some "swimming" (wading in the baby pool and scaring the daylights out of all of us in the pool with them). Baby Girl locked herself in the hall bathroom while I was in the shower, and my husband had to break the door down.

Oh, and on the Harry Potter front: no progress on the Tonks Monkey socks since the photos were posted, but I'm now 1/4 of the way through Order of the Phoenix. I just might be able to finish Half-Blood Prince by the time the last book is released.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Nymphadora Tonks Monkey Sock in progress

It's a dark and gloomy day. It's cold and rainy, or almost rainy. Today was the fourth day in a row I've been to the doctor's office (yes, Baby Girl has caught the bug, too), though on the plus side, the boys had a good report from the pulmonologist. I've been up for two nights dosing sick kids, not having slept more than three hours straight. Yet, I am using up naptime to take poor quality pictures of my Nymphadora Tonks Monkey Sock in progress. Unfortunately, the colors aren't as vibrant as they are in person, due, most likely, to poor lighting and poor photography skills, not necessarily in that order. I'm sure I'll take pictures outside on a sunny day when they're done. Besides, I finished my May Socktopia socks in May, and still have to photograph those, too (and maybe take the toes out and make them longer, but that's for another post).

Without further ado, here are the pictures:

Off to a little knit, and hopefully, a big nap.