20091127

Felting!

I have finally, finally finished a long-promised pair of slippers for bda, and learned to felt in the process! One of my knitters, upon hearing that I had pay machines in the building, advised that this was a project I probably wanted to do at my parents' house. So, I brought my supplies with me, and got to knitting once I put the turkey in the oven. And not a moment too soon...

leftover yarn

Good thing bda's feet aren't a size or two bigger! But I finished them, stitched them up, then had him try them on for size.

slippers, pre-felting

I thought about just stopping there, so he would have room to grow into them, but the felting bug got the better of me.

I'm glad I took Amy's advice and felted at the house. It ended up taking nearly 30 minutes in the hot water for the slippers to get their felt on, and I reset the washer's agitation cycle twice.

Post-felting, I stuck a pair of shoes in there to block them, then had people try them on for size.

I don't think these are my size.

They weren't quite the right size for Patrick, but they were a pretty close fit for bda.

majestic slippers

Overall, the felting process was pretty easy, and went pretty smoothly. I ended up turning the slippers inside out, because I thought the shape was a little smoother, and the felt a little less fuzzy. I see some errors in the shape caused by errors in the execution (I started the decreases on one side too soon, so there's a bulge at the top of one of them.) But bda seems pleased enough with his new foot covers, so we'll call this a successfully completed project!

slippers!

20091125

Actual Conversation Overheard

FLIP FLIP

At the Oxford Valley Mall, there is a play center which is great for toddlers and young ones. It's basically a tiny little area for parents to relax for a small bit. Today, we went in, and Nathan ran for a group of children. Two of the girls (one approximately 9 and the other approximately 7) in the group immediately ran towards him and started talking about how cute he was and they tickled him and petted his cheeks. One of the other boys, much younger, also started to tickle Nathan. Nathan laughed and laughed at everything that happened. The following conversation ensued.

9 year old girl: "What's his name?"
Me: "His name is Nathan."
9 year old girl: "Nathan, would you like to be my little brother?"
A little 4 year old boy: "I'm your little brother!"
9 year old girl (in a very irritated voice): "I know. Nathan, do you want to be my little brother?"

This girl followed Nathan the entire time she was there, helping him into and out of various cars and rocket ships. She would help him climb the slide stairs and then help him slide down. She would point out things and talk to him about them. Nathan responded by running and screaming like normal. Finally, her brother, angry about the whole situation, followed her around, trying to get her attention. He resorted to kicking her after she had slid down the slide herself. Which led to their mom coming over and saying, "If you're going to be jealous over a baby, we're leaving!"

The little girl pouted and asked Nathan for hugs goodbye. He would not humor her, but gave her a few farewell waves. After that little girl left, another three year old came in and promptly started to try to follow Nathan around. At one point, she was in a rocket ship and telling Nathan, "Come 'ere! Come 'ere!" He promptly ignored her too.

The ladies! They don't hold Nathan down. Not even the ones who dance with him at weddings.

20091124

Autumnal Anklets

Anklets

So, I've been wanting to post about these damned anklets for about a month or more now! I've been holding off to allow me time to go outside to photograph them against the beautiful backdrop of autumn leaves. Dudes, if I held off photographing them any longer, you were not going to see them until 2010 or later. So, tonight, I snapped snapped snapped some photos and came back to my computer and promptly uploaded them.

I knit these suckers using size zero needles. It was my first time knitting non-baby socks on such tiny needles and I found it to be slow going, but I ended up loving the look of the tiny knit stitches so much, I might be a size zero needle convert. The evenness of my stitches. The perfection of my stitches! It was amazing. If only I liked this colorway or yarn more. I ended up not loving Schaefer Anne yarn, sadly. I find it slightly scratchy while knitting and slightly fuzzy once knit up. You can see the halo of the yarn a little better in this picture.

Anklets


I'm quite happy that my remaining untouched sock yarns are all semi-solids as I've been unhappy with my variegated yarns recently. I will say this for Schaefer Anne yarn -- it goes through a washer and dryer beautifully. While sick, I decided to toss them into my wash to see what happened. They bled hideously and I now have a slightly pink (previously light blue) tee, but they held their shape perfectly and are now soft enough for wearing around the home comfortably. They are also one of the few sock yarns I've worked with that make gorgeously thin socks that fit perfectly into my shoes.

Anklets


As for the fact that they are anklets, as are most of the socks on my site? I have a horrible confession to make for a sock knitter. I hate socks. I only wear anklets at all (machine made or hand knit) and I mostly only wear them into bed. The anklet size allows me to kick them off once I get warm and sleepy enough. If you're wondering why I hate socks, it's all about constriction. I hate clothes that make me feel constricted. I also dislike tight clothing, shoes with backs, and turtlenecks. Dear God above, I really hate turtlenecks.

Saying all this, I'm still tempted to work some Cookie A socks next with my semi-solid yarn. That is, I'm tempted to do so if I ever get my scarf done. Chances of that? Slim to none.

Love you all and I hope to post soon. I am actually crafting once again!

Halloween 2009 -- The Yoda Year

I keep thinking to myself that I should write a post about Halloween this year before I forget what it was like, and I've finally decided to do it before the end of November since I was supposed to write fifty thousand words this month anyway!

This year, about one week prior to Halloween, we decided on the costume of Yoda for Nathan. I really held off on buying a costume this year, but, luckily for Nathan, it didn't hurt his Halloween enjoyment. I also bought him a little plastic pumpkin even though I believed we'd only go to one house to trick or treat since Nathan is still so small!

After Paul got home, we quickly got his dressed in his costume and we gathered all of our bags of candy and stuck the candy in the car. We also put a few of his Thomas the Tank Engine trains in his pumpkin to ensure that he would not drop the plastic pumpkin. Nathan went next door to our neighbors, Walt and Dot, and he successfully completed a trick or treat, though he was awfully shy about the whole thing and unappreciative of his Jedi sleeves.

Happiness Is Loot


To help him like the whole thing a lot more, we went back to their porch, sat down for a short bit (since it was still about four in the afternoon), and let him eat his treated goodies.

First Treat!


I later heard from Dot that her husband, Walt, told all the visiting parents about Nathan. They treat Nathaniel, as they call him, like an honorary grandchild. I should make them some baked goods for being sweet to him! I like people who like Nathan. After this, we packed the little man into the car and drove to his actual grandparents (ie, Paul's parents) for more tricking and treating. Nathan had kind of grabbed the idea of what was going on by now and was more confident in his tricking and treating.

Pumpkin Bucket and Costume, Check!


After a quick visit, we went back to the car to go to my mom's house. There, we took him up and down one street for more tricking and treating. He loved it! He got very excited and quickly realized that if he held out his pumpkin, people would drop items into it which he could then shake. At some houses, people would offer to let him pick up candy and put it in his pumpkin, which he happily did. Sometimes, he'd take a little too much candy and we'd have to put some back, but no one seemed to mind. (Not surprising since I let little toddlers rob me of candy mercilessly on Halloween. If you're a cute toddler dressed like a bumblebee, make sure to hit my house. If you took all of the candy I had, I'd probably just go 'AWWWW'.)

After returning to my mom's home, my mom and I gave out candy to the hordes of children that attacked her house. No lie, we gave out about five bags of candy and we closed out early. By the third bag of candy, Nathan had figured out what was going on with the knocking children, and he started to pick up candy and give it out! I had no idea he knew what was happening until I saw him drop a candy bar into a little girl's treat bag. It was the best. After that, he gave out candy instead of us, which elicited a lot of "How cute!"

After everything was done, we all relaxed with some burgers, and Nathan practiced his Jedi mind tricks on us.

More Obi-Wan Than Yoda Here!


"This is not the baby you're looking for!"

20091110

Finished Object, FINALLY

So, I know it's the usual cool thing to apologize for not writing, but... dudes. For the combined months of September and October, Nathan and I experienced about fifteen colds between us. We were like germ factories, constantly cuddling new colds onto each other. Paul managed to luckily avoid most of the bad, but the last cold I got was the worst. Remember when I was all, "I'll post when I get better"? Yeah, after that I got better for one week, during which I did things like clean our house and get laundry back into normal shape. Then, Nathan got another cold, and I got a killer cold/cough. It was hideous. Yesterday was the first day in roughly two or three weeks in which I don't sound like I just got home from a really smoke filled bar.

But, anyways. I told you I had two finished objects to tell you about, and, guess what?! I didn't take pictures of my anklets yet. That's okay -- they're boring anyway.

Isaac's Blanket (ravel it!)
Pattern: Sweet and Simple in Leisure Arts #3219
Yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton (?)


Isaac's Blanket

I did get pictures sent to me from my friends Tom and Paula! See, they used to live in Philly and it was awesome and we saw them all the time. Paul and I miss them horribly still, but they have moved on to bigger and better states, apparently. I hope to go visit them soon. Well, approximately early summer of 2007, Paula announced to us that she was pregnant. We, of course, got very excited, and I promised to make a blanket for the wee little one (code name Pom Pom at the time).

Since I did not sew at that time, and my crochet is crap, I decided to knit a blanket I've done once before. I ordered up some beautiful yarn, Rowan something or other, and it was machine washable, and peach. Why peach? I'm really not sure. I think I should have picked green, in retrospect, but, since I can't go back in time, let's appreciate its peachly majesty. I got the yarn, started on the blanket, and promptly got pregnant myself.

Unfortunately, my pregnancy was both mostly hidden and nauseating. You know how some women 'glow'? Yeah, not me. I was more of 'tired sick mess'. This left me little time to knit since I was still trying to keep our house perfectly clean and plan our babymoon!

This was a very simple simple pattern. The most complicated part of it was probably the fringe. I enjoyed knitting on it once I felt better, and while it looks pretty and lacy, it can be done (by a non-beginner) knitter in front of the television. It's also very fast, though I believe I did finish it post-baby delivery. I will state, the first time I knit this (half a year into casually knitting) the constant changing number of stitches threw me off so badly that I ended up with a gigantic knotted hole in the blanket, the memory of which embarrasses me to this day!

Isaac's Blanket


Here's the little baby (my Godson!) that got the blanket.

Isaac is Adorable


Yeah, he's cute enough to deserve a better blanket! Maybe I'll quilt you one, someday, kid!

Also, hope to talk to you all soon.