20081209

Actual Knitting Content

There is so much knitting content that I'm dreading typing up this entry, believe it or not. First off, my yarn came from the Loopy Ewe. As you might not be aware, the Loopy Ewe promises small gifts with your first five purchases, and then you become a "Loopy Groupie". What came in that first package with my single $11 skein of yarn? Two samples of yarn -- Mountain Colors Bearfoot and Fiesta Boomerang.

Loopy Ewe Swag


I also received some cards for helping me to track my needles. Eh -- I threw them out as I didn't need them since I have Ravelry. I never impulse buy knitting needles of any type. This was still a pretty nice little set of gifts for one skein of Lorna's Laces.

I was extremely happy that I got the yarn, as I managed to finish Helen's Socks (ravel it)!! I met Helen on Saturday, and gifted them to her, and she allowed me to take some quick shots of them.

Spiral Boot Socks


I was so amazed by my ability to do a sock in a pattern that I immediately cast on for a pair of Pomatomus with my Socks that Rock yarn that I bought at Rhinebeck. I have only just finished the ribbing on the first sock, and the pattern is looking a tiny bit wonky now which is making me nervous.

Pomatomus


In much, much, much more exciting news, Sophy is visiting Philadelphia this week! We got together, along with Helen, and Sophy's sister Sophea. Sophea was awesome to meet, too, but I wish I knew her Ravelry name.

Mosiac


As you can clearly see, we also took a trip to Loop! I didn't purchase much, just one skein of Malabrigo's Silky Merino and one skein of Koigu Mori.

Koigu Mori Ooo, Silky Merino


After we went shopping, we went to Helen's place to knit, which is where I started my socks and worked a bit on my Slytherin Scarf.

Slytherin Scarf


All in all, it was a great day, but the best part of it was actually getting to meet Sophy! I'm glad that Bryan directed me to her blog while I was sick this year.

This was a photo-intense blog entry, and I'm not even finished. I have so much more to add this week, including some adventures in sewing, and another package I got in the mail!

20081204

Podcasts, Sewing, and Knitting Projects

This is certainly a hodgepodge post coming up. First up, podcasts -- had to give up on Cast On. I had been listening to it and I found it acceptable, if not great. Then, in one of the early episodes, the podcaster starts to rant about someone who gave her podcast a negative review on their blog, stating that that person should do their own podcast and how she, the podcaster, was being brave putting herself out there. Blah. It is tough to put yourself out there. I agree. But, I feel this is the same argument authors make when they get a bad review on Amazon. They feel perfectly justified in arguing that bad review.

Listen, a bad review is not the worst thing in the world to happen to you, folks. If someone hates my blog, they hate my blog. If someone hates me, they hate me. It's an opinion. Listening to another person's opinion does not make it fact. For instance, I'm giving up on Cast On because I feel the podcaster is too thin-skinned and she intersperses too much music with her podcast and her knitting content does not thrill me. Does this make her a bad podcaster? No. Does this mean you shouldn't listen to her podcast? Not unless you dislike thin-skinned podcasters, too much music, and we have the exact same knitting tastes. If this is true, don't listen to her. Otherwise, give her a try. She's popular. I might be wrong.

Next up, knitting. Okay, it's boring. Again, I ordered the third skein, and I await it to complete those socks. Secondly, I'm knitting on my Slytherin Scarf again. I know! I forgot it existed too!

Lastly, the exciting stuff! Around a week before Thanksgiving, Paul said that I should sew some nice napkins for the dinner for six people we were having. Slightly intimidated by the idea, I decided to try it. Looking around, it appeared I would need a rotary cutter, self-healing pad, ruler, a yard and a half of fabric, another yard and a half of fabric, bias tape maker, and two yards of fabric for the tape.

After putting that all, plus some fabric bolts, into my cart at Joann's Fabric, I realized I had roughly one hundred dollars worth of goods for six napkins. That's ridiculous, especially considering the pure number of sales that Joann's has! I put everything back but the fabric bolts and the ruler. I went and got some tailor's chalk. Then, I asked for one and a half yards of two of the fabrics and asked for the third to be taken back. I was sadly surprised to learn that my first print choice (a set of leaves and pumpkins on a neutral background) only had one yard left, so I bought a half of a yard of my third fabric choice. After this, I went to the bias tape section and looked through the paltry selection for some matches to my fabric.

I was right to do all this, because now I have a coupon for 50% off of a single item to Joann's which takes my self-healing mat from $50.00 to $25.00! A $25.00 savings for patience. I like!

Anyway, I got home, and started chalking up some squares and cutting 'em out. This was hard for two of the fabrics which had enough stretch that the squares are more square like than perfectly square. The third, nearly thrown away, fabric had no stretch and was lovely.

The next night, I pinned everything together and started to sew! I'm fairly happy with how things came out, and now I want to do way more of these. I want a Christmas set, a winter set, a birthday set, a Halloween set, and more! I want Easter sets, summery beach sets, spring flower sets. I love them. I also want to make them for everyone I know.

Thanksgiving Napkins


Seriously, I am going to use these until I make more. And now I want all those expensive tools!

Thanksgiving Napkins

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

20081202

Doing Much of Nothing

I've been very fake busy lately, with the holidays and all sneaking up on me out of nowhere. I've not been crafting a lot. I've done some stuff, which I'll be posting about later, after I've taken pictures, but nothing horribly exciting.

My knitting has been sort of tossed to the wayside. Poor Helen's poor socks. I should have known it would happen. I've... run out of yarn. An inch before the toe. The bad part? I'll have nine/tenths of a skein left after I finish these socks. The good part? This calls for a purchase at ♥the Loopy Ewe♥. I'll be honest and say I was so tempted to buy more lovely sock yarn, but I limited myself to the skein I needed and a gift certificate for someone else. I'll get the sock yarn I want next time when I've worked through the yarn I've currently got stashed. Plus, this way, I can become a loopy groupie faster.

I've been really slow with this second sock. As most sock knitters know, once you know you're going to run out of yarn, you do one of two things. You either knit so quickly that it hurts, hoping that the pure speed of your knitting will prevent you from running out of yarn. Alternatively, you stall. You never knit on the project because you know what's coming.

What have I been doing then, you ask? Caring for a baby and reading blogs mostly. The baby has the sniffles and the blogs have a lot of posts. I've also been up and about, which is better, visiting people, lunching, whatnot. I've done a bit of sewing.

Here's some cute little 0-3 month booties for my eldest cousin's soon-to-be-arriving baby.

Baby Booties in Cotton


As the little girl will be arriving in April, I thought that some nice cool cotton booties might look sharp. My mom has asked for several more sewn items for the baby such as bibs and/or burp cloths.

Anyway, that's it for today. This is just meant to be a quick update. I'll update my next post with more pics of what I've been doing, hopefully, and include some of my future crafting plans!

20081125

RIP Beloved Socks

I finished a pair of socks this year out of Artyarns Ultramerino 4 that I loved. They were finished during my first hospital stay of the year. I LOVED THEM. I can't even describe my love adequately. As soon as those socks came out of the dryer, they were on my feet. I wore them every day in the hospital after my delivery. I wouldn't wear them outside the house because they might get dirty in my shoes. They were basically thin slippers for my house. I wore them too much, washed them too much, and didn't consider that I probably should have reinforced the heels and toes with some nylon thread.

Two nights ago, while wearing them, I noticed that my normally cozy warm feet felt a little draft on my heel. One sock had a hole in the heel. On close inspection, the other sock's heel had gotten dangerously thin. It was with a heavy heart that I threw them into the trash bin last night. I loved you, socks. You did a good job. I'm going to buy more of the Artyarns, and I'm going to reinforce it this time, but it'll never be the same. You were with my during both my hospital stays and you are the first pair of knit socks I wore out.

R.I.P.

Most Recent Socks

20081120

Sewing Makes Me Cry

As everyone knows, blogs without pictures blow. Sorry for those bloggers who don't use photos, but this is like a universal truth. It's also why blogs with great photos get large readerships. This is how I know that my photos need work. If I had great photos, I'd have a ton of readers even if I posted once a lifetime.

Anyway, I've been photoless recently, with a ton of podcast reviews, and whatnot, but, if I want people to read, I need to post. I've been sewing more than knitting recently, and after knocking out a few bibs and burpcloths as seen in the past, I decided I was a more confident person who was going to move on to sewing booties. Wow, my first pair sucked.

Fleece Booties


Those booties are coming apart. You can probably see it if you zoom in on the large size. I didn't cry, however, because from doing it that first time, I saw where my mistakes were, and planned a second try. I also decided that it was clear it was time for me to move on to patterns. So, I went to Joanne's and bought five (for five bucks)! There were some cute patterns there such as a baby bunting and a cute dress. The highlight purchase, however, the one I would start with, was Sewing for Dummies pattern 4178 for bags.

On the good side, I don't appear to be a dummy. On the bad side, I appear to be even more stupid than dummies. I opened the pattern hopefully, and started to read. Shortly thereafter, I became all "notches", "Sel?", "WTF!?!"

Sewing for Dummies Too Smart For Me


I would keep flipping to newer and more complicated descriptions of what to do.

Sewing for Dummies Too Smart For Me


I'm not sure if I'm meant to sew, people. This shit looks hard to do. I mean, I see a knitting pattern, and there is no panic (unless it includes putting in a zipper which is a matter of sewing). I open up a simple sewing pattern and I have a breakdown.

I tried to pull myself together, but I think it might actually be time to start buying some of the books I've wanted regarding sewing. Next paycheck, I'm going to plunk down some money on one of the more conversational ones. January, I'm going to get myself the Reader's Digest guide. I'm going to work through their stupid little projects too. I clearly need to.

20081118

Podcast Review Thursday

It's that time again! Review time for crafting podcasts.

Knit Picks Episode 73: Eh, it was a decent episode. At least it wasn't another damned interview! Kelley talked a lot about fair isle projects which doesn't really interest me. She also talked about how she doesn't like to be too organized with a "project interest" notebook because half the fun is in not being too organized, and she lost me with that. I'm the exact opposite of this woman, I think. It got better when she got to book reviews and her personal life knitting. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep with this podcast just due to the pure number of interviews she has and the fact that I don't care for her interviewing style.

Knitter's Wading Pool Episode 15: This was an interview with the author Maggie Sefton. Ms. Sefton writes some mystery books centered around a knitter/yarn store. I started to listen to the interview, but after ten minutes I lost all interest. I'll hope the next episode is more interesting to me.

Never Not Knitting Episode 9: As usual, Alana just discusses her experiences with yarn and has some stories about projects. Loved her discussion of how she shops because this is exactly how I shop. I also tend to pick up a bunch of stuff from the shelves, and then, slowly return them to the shelves after feeling guilty for picking them up, leaving a store empty-handed. I also got overwhelmed when I went to Rhinebeck and then I bought yarn because I felt I had to. I also never know what to do with gift certificates! Still love this podcast.

Manic Purl's Episode 18: BLAH! BLAH! It's all spinning all the time. I still love this podcaster, but I hate that everyone is so focused on spinning.

SockTart Episode 11: Knitting for Victory. This episode spent a lot of time discussing Rock Band and the latest World of Warcraft expansion. This is absolutely fascinating to me, but if she has trouble gathering a knitting audience, I would not be surprised. I'd be sad as well. Oddly, some of her comments about World War II sounded anti-United States, as did some of her comments about recent events. This is kind of disheartening. Can't you all just like us now that we voted Obama into office?

Welp, I'm giving Cast On another try and I plan to start at the beginning, so that'll take a long while. Anyone else have some recommendations for me to try? I'd also gladly welcome any sewing podcast recommendations.

20081115

New Publications

As Sophy already announced, both Twist Collective Winter 2008 dropped, and Interweave Knits announced its preview for the Winter edition.

I always like to pretend I'll actually knit items from knitting publications, so shall we play "Kitten's Knitting Pretenses"?

I'm in love with Victoria's Yoke Pullover and the Dainty Stripes Pullover. I'm also always unable to resist adorable mittens and socks, so there's one of each in Interweave that I adore. As a bonus, the mittens are made of Pastaza, a yarn I already know I adore and want to buy more of. Sure, it sheds like a bitch, but it has such pretty stitch definition and it feels so nice.

For Twist Collective, I'm pretending I'm a girl who's ever knit a hoodie, because I fell in love with Vivian. I'm also in love with Rebecca, but they biased me towards it by showing it knit in a beautiful red. (Secret way to make me love any knit pattern that's halfway decent: show it knit in forest green, gorgeous reds, or a rusty or pumpkiny orange. I will fall in love.)

Now, I must be off. I have sewing patterns to cry over. Sewing -- it's so (HAHA! PUN!) hard. Sigh.

20081111

Podcast Review Tuesday!

It's that time, folks... The time to talk about crafting podcasts. (Notice how I casually have moved from 'knitting' podcasts to 'crafting' podcasts? I am smooooth.)

Well, last time I wrote about podcasts, I said I was going to listen to Knaked Knits and give you my impressions. Well, after six episodes, when I looked at my podcasts and realized I had at least ten more or so, my heart sunk. The next time I went to turn on my podcasts, I just couldn't face it. Any time I avoid listening to a podcast and feel it is my duty to listen to it, I know it's time to remove that podcast from my list. There was nothing bad about it, just nothing I cared much for either. I didn't find it to be too interesting. Your mileage may vary, of course. I found that my knitting habits and personal life didn't overlap very much with the podcaster which probably caused my disinterest.

After that, I started Never Not Knitting. After the first episode, I knew this was one that I would add to my permanent rotation. After the second, I was telling Paul how the podcaster was really good at podcasting: entertaining, lively, funny, and able to use her podcasting equipment smoothly. Furthermore, she works at a yarn store teaching classes and does finishing work for the customers there. She tells stories of her past failures humorously and is able to tell funny stories about her job without being mean. At one point in the second episode, she has a great fake conversation between her conscience and herself. It had me laughing which is very rare. I have already worked through half of her existing episodes (only nine) very quickly, and I hope to be through them by Thursday. Love this podcast! Again, I can't recommend it enough. It might be my new favorite.

I've started listening to a sewing podcast called Sew Forth Now. I haven't listened to it enough to get a serious feel for it, but I'm not in love yet. I'll give it several more episodes and perhaps skip ahead a bit since it started two years ago.

As for other podcasts you know that I listen to, Stash and Burn's Episode 65 is all sweater based and has great info on sweaters you could possibly knit very quickly. I was intrigued but I'm not doing any sweater knitting soon, so it was not the best episode for me. The latest Knit Picks' Podcast was another damned interview, so I gave it a skip. Too many interviews from them recently and I've not listened to a single one. I hate her interviewing style.

This is a picture-less post, but I thought I'd give you all a quick update on my knitting. The Slytherin scarf (ravel it) is at a standstill, but Helen's socks (ravel it) saw some major work done today. I'm working on the ankle pattern now! Sweet!

20081110

Linking to a Giveaway or Etsy Store

I hate to do this because I hate pimping out my blog to attempt to win stuff at other blogs, but I'm going to do it. I hadn't been going to, but when I visited the Etsy store I was going to link to, I fell in love a little. The store is Jojoebi's Etsy Store. If you are interested in sewing yourself, the post for the giveaway is at her blog.

Anyway, the real reason I'm linking to her store is that she has basically let me know through this giveaway that Etsy users sell fabric! This rocked my world. For instance, I could make Nathan the cutest little bib or burp cloth or pak'n'play cover from this awesome fabric. Or maybe I could make MYSELF a pillow case out of this adorable autumnal linen/cotton blend.

Okay, I'd post more, but I have got to go search Etsy for other fabrics now. I want to make, in the next several weeks: Booties for Nathan, a Pak'n'Play cover, and holiday pillowcases. Sewing has opened a whole new crafty world for me. I mean, just look at this bib I sewed for Nathan.

Another Bib Another Bib


Awesome!

20081109

Sewing, Sewing, Sewing!

Everyone in the world is participating in some kind of weird November promise to post every day, or write 50,000 word novels, or knit a sweater, and I've dropped off the face of the Earth. I'm so mysterious.

Perhaps you've wondered if I've dropped dead. Perhaps you simply don't care what I've been up to. I mean, I have about two subscribers, and both of those people I talk to on a regular basis. Hell, I live with one of them. I'm going to soldier on with this blog, regardless. If you wonder what I've been up to, I've been minding this little handful.

Perfect Pumpkin


Love him though I do, some days it is hard to blog or craft or relax too much. (Did you notice my gratuitous use of cute baby photos to entice you all to read my blog?)

Last week, I went nuts, however, and sewed up a storm. Okay, a small storm. A tiny storm. Look at these cute bibs and the burp cloth though!

Bib Set Bib
Burp Cloth


That is some cute cupcake flannel, isn't it? Here's the story behind it all. Two weeks ago, I was bemoaning the fact that I haven't sewn anything with my new machine and that I appear to be terrified of it still when I came across a nice little bib pattern. After a lot of reviewing the pattern, I decided it appeared relatively simple and that I was going to try it. Then, the same night, I found a free pattern for a burp cloth that looked pretty simple. I read those simple patterns about fifteen times each, before making a list of things I needed.

The next day, courage and Nathan in hand, I went to Jo-Ann. A nice employee there asked me if I needed help, and my voice nearly cracking, I told her I had no idea what to do. I showed her my list of things I needed to get based on the size of the finished items, and she took me to the flannel area. I asked her if I was just supposed to bring her the bolts of cloth, and she told me yes. I brought up several of the bolts and told her to cut me a third of a yard each, and I also bought a fat quarter of the cute pink cotton on the one bib. (I had the green cotton from a previous trip, and I had done nothing with it.)

The people at the counter were all very encouraging when I told them this was my first time sewing a pattern. When I got home, and Nathan went to sleep, I started to cut out and piece together the patterns. I messed this up several times before coming up with my patterns. After I finished this, I start the long arduous process of cutting these bibs. I expect that an intermediate sewer could have whipped these bibs out in seconds, but I was so inexperienced with it all, that I would keep wondering if I was screwing up.

I then started to sew. (BTW, in case you think I'm a complete moron, I did pre-wash the fabrics and press them with our suck-ass iron.) Well, my first bib and burp cloth were presentable, but only barely. I took the curves of the bib too fast and they were more pointed then gently curved. The burp cloth I didn't turn fully inside out and it is oddly flappy at the edges due to that. This had taken me roughly eight billion hours, so I put everything away, and decided to continue the next few nights.

The next night, I made Nathan a bib and burp cloth set that are not pictured in this post. The burp cloth was such a monumental failure, though Paul liked the tiny cupcake I had stitched onto it. I ended up with a burp cloth with one wrong side facing out, even though I would have sworn that I had sewn that together with the wrong side facing out prior to turning. Sigh. I was too disheartened to rip the whole thing out. I just finished it up.

On the last night, I finished the green bib above, and that's probably my best bib. It has relatively nice stitching due to my figuring out a good way to round tight corners. I tried to blind stitch the opening together with a bit of success. All in all, I'm happy with my efforts, and I think it's time I moved onto other sewing patterns, though, I'll probably whip out a few more bibs in the future for other babies (and possibly more for Nathan if I have some flannel scraps or if Christmas or other holiday flannels come out).

I'll have pictures of the other set next post (which will be five years from now, roughly).

As for knitting... Well, I guess I got past the top of the leg of Helen's second sock. I just need to buckle down on those socks, but I got so distracted by sewing last week, that I only worked on them one night. Bad me! I'll try to post later this week with some updates on podcasts. I found a new one I love and a new one I didn't like so much. Look for my reviews later.

20081107

Months Five and Six

THIS IS SO LATE NOW. Sorry!

From Month 5:

Honey-bunny, you're so grown up now. You can't even sit up on your own, but I feel like you're almost a toddler. You've done such crazy stuff this month. For instance, you ate some 'solid' food, called rice cereal. Man, I'm telling you, the people who named this particular food as solid are total liars. It is not solid at all. It's barely thickened liquid. You love it, though. You see the spoon and open your mouth and lunge at the spoon. Sometimes you try to grab the bowl we are feeding you with. If the spoon comes anywhere near your mouth, you shove it in and look angry if there is no food on it. Sometimes, after you get the food, you hold it in your mouth as if confused. Other times, you just let it dribble down your bib.

Food Time


We also totally had Halloween! You were a pumpkin. And a black cat. And you had two different 'my first Halloween outfits' and some Halloween socks. Your mommy is kind of crazy. She wants you to have so many special moments that she kind of overdoes it. But you were the plumpest, cutest pumpkin that was ever in existence. I didn't spend the day of Halloween with you, though. I went to the parade for the Phillies, also known as the 2008 World Series winners. I'm sorry. We didn't take you because you would have been smooooooshed. Then, I would have killed the person who did it, and I'd be in jail. However, you brought those Phillies the luck they needed to win! Let's see you work that magic for the Flyers and Eagles, baby. I got back in time for Halloween night, if it matters to you.

Perfect Pumpkin


There was some snow in the last month, but it was really weak, wet snow that didn't count. We didn't take you for photos in it since it was such lame snow. We'll wait for a better snow and make that the first snow that counts.

You have found your feet. In fact, you like to hold onto your socks or your booties and tug, tug, tug! Most of the time you tug your socks right off your feet and then try to tug your pants up like some kind of weird baby rap artist.

My Mobile


You're also blowing raspberries. All the time. Daddy and I love to imitate you when you do this because it is adorable. You blow raspberries while you eat your solid food, while you take baths, while you're getting your diaper changed, while you're watching the Backyardigans. Tummy time might as well be called raspberry time.

Pfft


Daylight savings time came and went. Wowee, did you hate that. Six forty five rolled around and you declared us the worst parents ever for not letting you sleep right then and there. You threw a gigantic fit when we finally put you in your crib to remind us that you were not to be put down later than you desired. Of course, that was the only night you cared. Two days later we were back on our normal sleep schedule with no more screaming fits. Thank God.

I took a trip to a yarn festival without you. Your mommy loves the yarn. It's how she makes you the knitted goods. I ordered your daddy to send me hourly pictures of you because I was so sad. I cried when I left you, and I cried to myself that night, and I tried not to, but I couldn't stop myself. I hated being away from you for more than 24 hours. I would look forlornly at the little phone camera photos I was getting the whole time.

And you are just so aware now. Instead of weakly rattling your toys, you try to tear them apart. You grab them and throw them and slide them and consider them. They are now objects to you rather than things to flail with.

Playing With a New Toy


You're so amazing.

Month 6:

Damn. Damn. You rolled over several times, but you seem not to like doing it. Also, the only time you rolled over from back to tummy? I totally missed it. I was off making coffee to keep myself awake. And you were rolling. Why didn't you tell me you were going to roll? I could have hung around for several minutes. That coffee wasn't so great. We could have just been hanging around doing our thing, and you were all, "It's okay, Mommy. Go get some coffee." And then, when I turned, you rolled!

You love to see other children. You become so excited when it happens. You try to tear them apart. I'm not quite sure why, and we need to work on that. I'm not sure your slap-happy leg-shaking excitement is appropriate, even if you are happy and not mean. You even get that way at the mirror or when you see pictures of yourself. You start to bounce, hitting as hard as you can to get to other babies. Every time we pass the bedroom mirror, you stare at it and laugh, even when you're sleepy and cranky.

Two Nathans


You really need to work on dealing with other children though. Poor Isaac, and Thanksgiving.



I found out that you're 50% weight, 40% head size, and 95% height. Honey, are you going to be the tallest? While I don't want you to outgrow me too quickly, it's going to be awesome when you are super tall. You can make up for my super shortness. You'll be the cutest, tallest boy ever.

Cutest Photo on Earth


It's clear you already have the cute part down pat. (Look at you sitting up! All on your own!)

20081028

No Rhinebeck Stories For You

I know. I know. I was going to post about Rhinebeck. However, I never got the photos from Christy, so I have no photos of Rhinebeck to post with. Sue me! I'll post some stories from Rhinebeck and leave others.

Let's start with an update on my knitting. I finally finished one of Helen's Socks (ravelry). It looks awesome, and I say that with no humility. Why be humble when your work rocks? Check out this sock!

WIP for Socks


I promise, Helen, I'll wash it before it gets to you! I already cast on for the second sock, but I have not knit very far into it. I'm still at the cuff.

Also, thank you to people who gave me their opinion on the toes. I decided that I'd just knit until I ran out of yarn and then buy more yarn if needed. I know I'm going to end up buying a third skein of this yarn for what amounts to an inch of knitting in the round, so if anyone out there wants some sock yarn or would like anklets for small feet, let me know. I know I can get a pair of size six and a half anklets out of a third skein, if I got one.

I also have been knitting on my Slytherin scarf, as Paul and I have driven a fair bit recently and it is ideal for being a passenger, even if it is dark out, because it is all knit, knit, knit. I got past the first stripe sequence, after ripping out my screw up from the Rhinebeck drive.

And that's it for knitting updates, folks! I didn't knit much. I prefer to spend time on the computer reading knitting blogs. I think on my next post when I run out of podcast reviews, I might do some blog reviews. As for podcasts... Well, I finally dumped DoubleKnit from my lineup. I just never got too excited about the show, and I didn't really care for their reviews of books and movies. When I last listened to the show, I literally thought, "Let me get this one out of the way and then enjoy some Manic Purl." After listening, I went to iTunes and removes my subscription.

As for Knitter's Wading Pool, I skipped about six episodes and found the newer ones to be a little more palatable and a little more my own speed rather than being too basic. I'm going to stick out this podcast for another three or four episodes and then rethink my subscription.

I'm currently listening to Knaked Knits, but I've yet to make any conclusions on the show other than I want to listen to several more. I'll update with my decision on it later.

BTW, Helen, tell Bryan that the only two D&D podcasts I listen to and can recommend at this point are not live play podcasts. They are The Tome and Dungeon's and Dragons. The latter one did have several podcasts of Penny Arcade and PvP comic creators playing some D&D.

For those of you interested in spinning, the latest episode of Manic Purl dealt with her new spinning wheel. The latest episode of Stash and Burn was of interest to all sock knitters, I'm sure.

And, now... a quick Rhinebeck story. While wandering the fairgrounds, a lovely woman came up to Christy and asked her if she could photograph her Clapotis. She told us she was trying to photograph all the Clapotis(es?) she saw at Rhinebeck. Christy nodded, but quite nicely pointed out that I also had a Clapotis on. It's not very Clapotis looking as I made a skinny scarf version out of Golden Chai.

Trying To Photograph My Clapotis


See, would say that's very Clapotis looking, would you? Either way, the lady kindly asked me to get photographed as well after she asked me what yarn it was made out of. I nodded and got my photo taken, and she was talking about Ravelry a bit, when I noticed her Ravelry button had the name somebunnyslove on it. I immediately geeked out and told her I was in her ISO and destashing group! We got to chatting about the group and her blog, and I'm now sure she believes she has a stalker. Sorry if I scared you, if you should read this. I swear, I'm not a stalker, I just happen to love your group. It makes me want to buy yarn all the time. It was really awesome recognizing her and talking to her in real life. She showed me a skein of Wollemeise that I had almost attempted to buy from her since the colorway was named Paul and I saw her post one minute after she posted it, which is the only way to get Wollemeise. Unfortunately, I did not buy it, and it was signed by the Yarn Harlot at Rhinebeck. Bah!

Lastly, for the other crafts, I took my "Learn to use your Sewing Machine" class this week. I learned how to do a blind hem, how to make a buttonhole, and how to sew on a button. I'm thinking of taking the beginner's class since they teach zipper installation and gathering. Today, I took the time to repair Paul's pajama pants and my own Banana Republic dress. Both were successfully fixed though my dress was more obviously skillfully fixed. Paul's pants look kind of wonky, but I figure they are only pajama pants and I want to make him some new ones anyway.

That's all from me for today!

20081020

Back from Rhinebeck

So, this is just my initial "Back from Rhinebeck" post, in which I tell you about my new stash, but not my experiences at Rhinebeck. I'll also update you guys on the latest project work.

Well, let's start with my acquired goods.

Rhinebeck Goodies

It is definitely quite clear that I was in love with red yarn. I found this slightly mystifying since I've been in love with buying green yarns for the last few months and I had thought I was entering an orange phase. I picked up and fondled both orange and green sock yarns at Rhinebeck, but all that I purchased were red. As red as my love for them.

So, did I buy a ton of indie yarns? No, sadly. I fell in love with quite a few, but, stupidly, I didn't buy any on Saturday. By the time I came back around on Sunday, most of that which I loved was gone. I did decide that my favorite combination of fibers was wool and silk, though I did find one wool/silk/bamboo that was decidedly delicious. Christy and I stopped at Decadent Fibers fairly early on. The last time I visited one of their booths, I got my mother-in-law a nice felted pumpkin kit. This time, I couldn't be bothered buying anything. I think I'm over the crazy variegated yarns. They still had great prices, but they didn't tempt me at all.

Oh, damn, I'm getting into the experience rather than the stash. Back to the stash! I bought some pretty red wool that is kind of mysterious. It has no name on its label. It's apparently a chunky superwash wool. I got two skeins at a little cash only booth near the back of building 22. If anyone knows what booth I'm talking about, please tell me! They gave me a nice pattern and I promptly lost it and my heart is breaking about that now. Sigh.

Red Mystery Yarn

This yarn's destiny is a hat/scarf combo for my darlingest darling, Nathan. As I told Christy, "I'm looking for the softest, warmest, most beautiful red yarn in existence for him. Also, faeries must have spun the yarn." She mocked me resoundingly for this, but I held firm. Near the end of Sunday, I had mostly given up hope for finding my fantastic yarn. (Indies do beautiful dye jobs, but they mostly fail when it comes to red yarn from my experience at Rhinebeck.) When I came to this booth and saw this yarn, my heart rose in hope. Then... I felt it. It was so soft. So smooooooshy. It was gorgeous. It was one hundred percent wool. It was perfect.

I also bought two skeins of sock yarn that I could probably buy on the internet, but I don't even care. I had never felt them before, nor seen them in person, so I willingly plunked down some cash for them. What do you see down there?

Schaeffer Anne


Schaeffer Anne, in a gorgeous red/brown colorway. I was afraid that the mohair would make this yarn 'icky', but I liked the feel of it better than I liked the feel of Heather (which contains silk instead of mohair). This is why one visits as many yarn stores as possible.

Folks, I also found a place selling Socks that Rock. At first, I was saying to myself, "But I hate photos of their yarn knit up. And I can buy this online." Then I found a Rare Gem colorway that only used one color.

Another Shot of Socks that Rock

Next thing you know, I'm at a counter paying for stuff.

Christy and I had a lovely drive up to New York. The autumnal leaf colors were out in full force. We got to chat. We got to stop at the world's largest rest stop (two floors, FTW!) and get some Starbucks. We listened to my music and I introduced Christy to several singers and bands I loved. We got to sit in traffic at Rhinebeck. I received several messages with photos of Nathan from Paul. I had ordered Paul to do this.

My next post will not come soon, probably. I need to get some photos from Christy as I stupidly forgot my camera. What will that post include? My experience with a snotty bitch of a stall owner, my meeting with Somebunnyslove from Ravelry in which she ended up believing she had a stalker, the approximately eight billion Clapotis (what is the plural of Clapotis?) and Ravelry buttons seen, how I completely fucked up my damned Slytherin Scarf, and, last, but not least, meeting Kate Gilbert! EEEEE! Seriously. I totally met the creator of the Clapotis.

Peace out, my friends. I end with a picture of the ubiquitous Ballband Dishcloth pattern knit out of my Sugar'n'Cream.

Ballband Dishcloth I

20081013

Months Three and Four

Baby, I'm not going to say much about your third month. It was not my finest month. I was a weeping mess for some of it. So were you.

Hey, Daddy Sitting Up
Hand to Hand


Since month two, you've gotten a lot of firsts in. You started to giggle a tiny bit. You got your hundred day party, which Koreans like to do.

Evil Villian Look


You were totally saved from sin. I got your soul baptized, sucker.

Nathan's Parents and Grandmoms


And you outgrew some awesome outfits. Your butt will never fit into this again:

Giraffe Butt


But... let's skip to month four. Woah! Since month three, all kinds of crazy stuff has happened. You decided that holding up your head was no longer the worst chore on Earth. If I put you into a Bumbo substitute, you decided to give it a try.

Sitting Up


Mind you, you do slump over pretty quickly in it and then kind of fall to the side. You decided to laugh at me. That was the best ever. EVER.



One day soon, when I die of exhaustion, I will not blame you, and only because of the way you laughed at me when we played Peek-a-boo. You're lucky you have the best laugh in the universe.

You started a sleep schedule! It's amazing because you do not appear to hate it. We give you a small amount of food, a bath, a book, and we sing to you, and then you go to bed. Since we started a week and a half ago, you've only flipped out once. Most of the time, you go to bed approximately five minutes after we first put you into the crib. You just roll to your side, get a small backrub, and zonk out. Most nights, we don't even have to pick you up out of the crib. You're amazing at night.

During the day? Well, at some point in the past, you've started associating naps with torture. If I miss your nap, or if I don't, around two hours after you wake up, I started to hear this noise. "EHHNNNN! EHHHHHHH! WWWWWHHHHHEEEHHHHH!" It doesn't matter if you're in the car, or if you're in the crib, or if you're in the living room, or if you're taking a walk, it's always the same, "EEEEEEHHHHHH!" Then, about five to ten minutes later, you start to give it your all. The tongue starts to show and it's all downhill from there. You start to scream like I, or your daddy, or your grandmom, or whoever is in the vicinity, is tearing your little baby toenails out. Sometimes, when we are lucky, you then take a pacifier and fall into a deep sleep. Other times, you continue to cry until anyone near you is exhausted, including yourself.

You're also shoving your hands into your mouth like crazy and you're also trying to shove my hands into your mouth. It's like you want to determine if they could possibly taste as good as you think they taste. Sometimes, you grab my hand, shove it into your mouth, and then shove it away, and then repeat. You also like to rub your feet together as if you were a cricket or grasshopper.

You're babbling a ton nowadays too. I like to answer you. We coo or grumble at each other a lot. Our conversations are a lot like "Agoo! Agoo!" "Agoo? Agoo?" "GOO-AAAHHH!" "Goo-ahh?" "Aggoooooo!" Daddy joins us in the conversation too. Other people don't know that you're telling us that you love us. A lot!

You got even cuter, if possible.

Do Not Be Fooled Puppy Time


We dance a fair bit around the house. Your favorite song is still "You Are My Sunshine" but that's a bedtime favorite. During the day, you like "Shake That Booty" and "Hey-Ya", but you only like them if you're being shaken. I know I promised that hospital I wouldn't shake you, but you love bopping along to music. You smile and giggle and play shy when I shake your booty for you.

Your second favorite song of all time is "Hey There, Delilah." Wow, I'm glad I like that song. If I didn't love that song prior to your birth, I'd hate it now. See, sometimes, when we are in the car, and you're cranky, I can play that song, and you shut up. Only, it doesn't work with other songs. When we're returning from a day out and you're cranky, and we're five minutes into a long ride, I turn on the song, and you quiet down. I then proceed to a Weezer song or Ben Folds, and you're all, "WWWAAAAAAHHHHH! What is this lousy song?!!!!!!" So I return to "Hey There, Delilah." And you shut up again. I keep trying new songs, you keep crying. I return to our favorite tune, and you quiet down. Sometimes, you and me, we listen to that song TWENTY times in a row in the car. I could sing that song in my sleep now. I barely even like it anymore. When you have children, Nathan, make sure that you play them music you only love to the extreme. God help me if you had become attached to some country music song. I might have killed myself four or five repetitions in.

We got a big month ahead of us, Nathan. Halloween is coming up. You're probably going to roll over fully anytime now. We are probably going to start you on rice cereal sometime soon. I promise I'll love you during this next month. You just continue to smile at me like I'm the most awesome person who has ever existed.

20081012

Okami -- Dreams Come True

As some of you who read might know, my ultimate dream in life is for Paul to discover a deep and abiding love for Japanese RPGs such as Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy. Then I shall be able to knit or cross-stitch or whatnot while he plays the game for me. I get the story and the crafting! Sadly, Paul shows little to no interest in spending several weeks leveling up characters so that they can upgrade their cute clothing, pets, or hair to do more massive damage. Oh, Paul... Nowadays, when Paul gets home, however, we often put Nathan down to bed, and then I veg out on the computer.

Paul loves to spend time with me after he gets home, and I've been greedy. He'll ask me if I want to watch old episodes of Friday Night Lights or Buffy, and I'm all, "Nah... I'm just going to read my blogs." Well, this weekend, Paul pulled out all the tricks. He asked, "Do you want to sit and knit and I'll play a Japanese RPG?"

I paused. I tried to be nice and protested, "But you don't like Japanese RPGs." He said, "What is this Okami?"

I had to think about it. Where did I get Okami? I had wanted it. I knew that, but I had not felt justified in purchasing. Then, it hit me. "Bryan let me borrow it when I got the blood clot, only I sucked and never returned it. Oh, well, he's too busy nowadays anyway. No time for him to play video games." (Sorry, Bryan, I'll return it. I promise.) I paused and added, "It's supposed to be a critical favorite."

So, Paul started to play the game for me while I knit next to him. Helen's socks, which had been languishing and never growing, have now been knit to the first of the toes. Only, I'm stuck.

Sad Sock


I ran out of my first ball of yarn at the toe. I had been all prepared to buy a new skein of the sock yarn since I thought I would need a third to complete the sock, but to buy a skein to get two toes basically? That's a bit much. Do I try to find someone else online who has one fourth of a skein of Lorna's Laces in Douglas Fir? Do I simply buy a cheaper Knit Picks yarn in a coordinating color and finish the toes with that yarn? Do I buy another Lorna's Laces in a coordinating color and finish the toes with that yarn and then knit either Nathan or myself some socks with the remainder? Any opinions, guys? I really need to pick one of these options, only I am not sure which to pick. Until I pick one, I'm not making any headway on these socks, either. Sigh. Do you think this yarn would look good with a dark brown, an ecru, a sage green, or a pink? Either way, I've shelved this project until I get that yarn and that might not occur until Rhinebeck or beyond.

I also shelved my Slytherin scarf (ravelry) for now, perhaps. I think I want to work on it in the car on the way to Rhinebeck, if Christy drives.

What am I doing, then? Well, I bought some lovely dishcloth cotton.

Dishcloth Cotton Dishcloth Cotton


I'd like to make some Ballband Dishcloths. (Dishclothes?) I love knit dishcloths, as they do a fantastic job for wiping counters and cleaning floors, but I don't normally have the patience to knit them. I find knitting socks and scarves and tanks more rewarding. However, when I went to Joann's Fabric today, I felt like a total failure due to my fear of sewing. To bolster myself, I bought some yarn which I know I can bend to my will.

Lastly, check out my awesomely awesome (ie, crappy) sewing skills!

Headband


It's the headband cover I made for myself. Folks, I'm going to take some sewing classes. I think I might need to.

20081008

Erk. Podcast Good. Casted Bad.

I love listening to all my knitting podcasts, but if I hear or read one more person use 'casted on' or 'casted off', I'm going to throw my iPod or shove my monitor off my desk.

The past tense of cast is cast. In other words, yesterday, I cast on for my Slytherin Scarf. I did not casted on.

(Also annoying, when people switch the words waste and waist in a blog post. It sounds disgusting and wrong when I read, 'Then I casted on yarn for the waste.')

Not that I'm judgmental. So, Podcast update!

I gave Doubleknit a try. I'm keeping it on my list for now, but I'm not too positive it'll stay in my subscribed section. It's a dialogue between two ladies. Both work at a yarn store if I'm listening correctly. They discuss knitting, books, and movies. Unfortunately, I'm not very interested in their book and movie discussions which is souring me on the podcast, as I find their knitting discussion very interesting. I don't get involved with knitting podcasts for movie reviews. If I find my taste overlap with the podcasters', I can forgive this. I do not have overlapping opinions with these podcasters.

Speaking of overlapping hobbies, opinions, and whatnot... SockTart! I spent a lot of time listening to Socks in the City several months ago, and I was loathe to let it go. The combination of that podcaster's overly enthusiastic voice and her very slow output of podcasts recently, however, encouraged me to drop it. I was fairly sad about the whole thing as I love to knit socks. Luckily, SockTart filled it's spot in my heart and then some. Maire plays World of Warcraft, quotes Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (Discworld) on her site, and has a nice calm voice. Win! Best of all, she highlights sock patterns I've never heard of and informs me about Sock Knitting News I'm interested in. Thanks to her, I joined Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravelry. As I plan to buy massive amounts of sock yarn at Rhinebeck (what I consider massive anyway), I hope to compete in future Sock Knitters Anonymous events. With all that said, I did not like her only dialogue episode, but that was due to how off-track it got and the quality of the sound.

My latest listen is Knitter's Wading Pool. This is a cute podcast, from a single podcaster. Again, I reiterate, it's terribly cute. I'm just not sure it is for me. I feel that the questions she has and answers are fairly basic. I think this is the podcast I should have listened to when I started to knit. Those first few years when I feared knitting, this would have been ideal for me. I'm going to give it several more listens, but if you're a new knitter? Please check it out. This podcast will help explain things to you, and the podcaster has a lovely calm voice.

Lastly, Craft Mentality. I wanted to like this podcast, as I need a good sewing podcast to listen to now. This was not it. I, in fact, got angry while listening to the first podcast. This does not happen that often. It's a dialogue podcast between two individuals. I gave up on it almost immediately, and I don't regret this. This was partially a cooking podcast too, which helped me to drop it more quickly. While I love to bake and would listen to a baking or cupcake podcast, I have no time for cooking, that most hated of activities. To put it bluntly, I'd rather sweep the whole house and do all the laundry and clean the bathroom than make any dinner more complicated than "I followed the two steps on this easy mix meal box. Added water and brought it to a boil. Voila! Instant meal!"

So, what am I still listening to that is not mentioned above? Knit Picks Podcast (though it is on my shit list with all the damnable interviews), Stash and Burn (LOVE!), Knittingatnight, Manic Purl (LOVE ALSO!), and Pixie Purls. You might think to yourself, how can she listen to so many podcasts? I drive a LOT. I also listen to podcasts while I feed my baby. And while I clean. People, I'm listening to podcasts of D&D games that are being played. I listen to podcasts at least three hours a day.

20081006

BTW

If you are wondering why I'm posting about my baby and announcing my love for him all over the place today? It's because today is the day we discovered peekaboo and all of its glories. I need to get that video of peekaboo up on Flickr. Nathan thinks his mommy is the most hysterically funny mommy that has ever and we played peekaboo for about half an hour today. Most of the time, Nathan and I spent the time laughing somewhat maniacally. He would shriek with laughter which would cause me to shriek with laughter and then we'd just be laughing with each other.

After this rousing game of peekaboo, Nathan took a bath, got read a bedtime story, listened to a few nice rounds of "You Are My Sunshine", "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "Hey There, Delilah" (sing what you know), and then he got put into his crib instead of his Pak'n'Play. He whined a tiny bit, got his pacifier, turned onto his side, and fell asleep.

He's old enough to fall asleep on his side. Nathan, you totally promised me you'd never get too big and you are getting too big. How are you going to stay my itty-bittiest baby if you keep growing like this? You are growing so fast that I feel like you'll be in high school tomorrow, and you'll be sulky and angry and hate me. (Paul thinks I'm crazy for thinking this as he had no emotional problems in high school, but I hated my parents in high school like most normal teenagers.) Now I am paranoid there's going to be a day that comes when I can't nuzzle my nose into your neck, or that there's going to be a day when I can't kiss your checks until my lips hurt, and that day is going to be, like, tomorrow.

This is totally why some woman keep pumping out the babies, I think. I want a never ending string of baby necks to nuzzle, and I hated pregnancy. If I were a glower, Paul and I would eventually have fifty babies or something, and I'd never sleep again.

20081005

four months old. already.

Remember that this was once a knitting blog? Back in the day? Oh man, those days changed. Then this was my blog blog, where I blogged stuff. When I was funny, I'd type stuff here. When I wasn't funny, I also typed stuff here. Now, I type stuff here about my child.

If you want to read my funny stuff, you can visit my future to be blogged at space: The Dialogue Project! That is where I will hopefully be funny in the near future. If you want to read about crafts (and I craft way more than I joke apparently), you can go to: Ninja Kitten Knits. Join my on my voyage to blog about knitting, sewing, and cardmaking, but mostly knitting!

If you want to read about my baby, you gotta check out this blog, though. See, I'm going to blog about my perfect baby here.

Tummy Time


What? You didn't know I had a perfect baby? Sadly, I didn't blog all of my child's beginning moments, so one day, when Nathan asks me what I thought during his first three months, I'll simply respond that I was thinking, "I hope this baby sleeps soon so I can get some rest." Maybe I should do a recap.

Mom and Nathaniel

Week One:

I wonder if anyone knows I have the cutest baby on Earth? Will they try to steal him? I had better take all the anti-theft baby advice they give me in the hospital so that no one ever steals him. I love him too much. I love him more than I ever thought I could love anyone. I think I might die for love for this little being. I wonder what I should name him? All these people coming here better think this is a cute baby. What if all my friends think I have an ugly baby and are lying to me? How can they think this baby is ugly? Maybe they're blind. Damn, I really really love him. More than Paul loves him. I'll tell him that one day. Baby, whose name I do not yet know, I love you more than your dad does. If he tells you he loves you more, he's a liar. Who lies.

PS. Breast-feeding is totally hard and impossible and people who say otherwise are lying liars as well.

Cute

Week Two:

This having a baby thing is way way easier than anyone ever told me with the exception of feeding. I'm going to knock this out of the park, and I didn't even like babies before. I really wish Jade and Inigo liked Nathan more, but they'll eventually deal with it. All this baby does is sleep while we go places like Barnes and Noble or Dairy Queen. I wonder why I'm not losing any more weight. Breast-feeding is still impossible and now I kind of want to give it up. Why won't my Nathan bond with me? I don't understand it. Maybe he doesn't actually like me. I hope he likes me. Is it normal for his head to be at that angle in the car seat? That really can't be comfortable. I can't believe he's supposed to fit into this clothing. It's huge on him.

At Home

Week Three:

This is still the smallest thing on Earth. I cannot believe he is this tiny. Why is he so red and why are his eyes still gray? Paul and I are both pale pale people with brown eyes. What if this isn't really my son and he got switched at the hospital? I kind of love this one now. I don't think I'd give him back even if he weren't my real son. I hope he passes his hearing test. I want my baby to go through life with no problems. Clearly I have to protect him from everything. He sleeps so much still. Only, he kind of cries a lot when he's awake for those five minutes now.

Sitting Up
Found Hand
Oooo

One month:

He's still so tiny tiny. Why isn't his belly button healing right yet? It was supposed to be 14 days, but it is still kind of oozing, rather disgustingly. I'm glad Paul cleans it and I don't. It's yucky. I have to be so careful with his head nowadays. This whole taking care of baby stuff is kind of harder than I thought it'd be now that Paul has gone back to work and Nathan wants to be awake more. I still love him a lot though. Man, he's super awesome. I wish I wasn't basically wearing pajamas every day and all day long. I wonder if I should call my mother so I can get a two hour nap. Oh man, two uninterrupted hours of sleep. SWEET. Oh, damn, he just smiled at me. He smiled at ME. ME. He thinks I am awesome when he's awesome!

Hooded TowelHAHA!

Month Two:

Okay, so babies aren't supposed to be up so long as I've been keeping him up. Babies get tired roughly two hours after they wake up. I wonder why that's not in a manual somewhere? I wonder why they don't make baby manuals that include stuff like, "Wiggle baby's legs to get rid of gas" and "Baby will try to step in his own poop during diaper changes" and "Spit up will often be explosively hurled over your shoulder during a burping? That would have been useful rather than that stupid "Don't shake your baby" information. I still love Nathan more than I thought humanly possible. LOVE HIM.

(Next post: Month three and four thoughts. This post will occur AFTER his fourth month birthday!)