20101223

Want Tutorials?

So, I wanted to clue you in on the two crafty things that I did discover this Christmas season. 

One, I've figured out how to turn my multitude of wrapping paper into paper bags.

Paper Bags


Not the most useful thing this year (except it works for cookie deliveries), but I suspect that when I have a child at grade school, it'd be neat to send in lunches made out of wrapping paper or such at Christmas time.

Two, I finally learned how to make a damnable bow out of wired ribbon.

Wired Ribbon Bow


For years I've lusted after this ribbon, only to reject it, because it was nearly useless in my wrapping efforts. Now, I buy this ribbon ALL the time. That's my new Christmas wrapping rule.

Any one want tutorials on either of these items? If so, let me know. I think I'd enjoy putting those online.

Stories For Memories

I want to add some more memories to my life. Some of these are Christmas related, others not:

1. N has been really worked up about Christmas this year. He has some grasp of what is occurring and realizes things are working up into a fever pitch of cookie making, Christmas lights, and presents. As such, we've started to let him on to the fact that Santa brings presents for good boys and girls. Now that he realizes that Santa brings stuff, he's started to think of Santa as a slightly scary but mostly awesome individual. The first time we met him this year, he was SUPER excited. It was chat, chat, chat. However, since then he has not wanted to sit with Santa.

We'd beg him to look at the camera with a smile, and he'd just look over at us slightly peeved that we had interrupted his conversation. Anyway, Santa came around to visit on a fire engine, and then we went to visit my brother-in-law and his darling wife and Santa was there with a fire engine. Each time, he screams "Hi, Santa! HI! Hi, Santa!" His hand is out waving and he is yelling. The second time, Santa came and visited the children and would sit with them. I asked him if he wanted to sit with Santa and I got a resounding NO! Then, I pointed out that Santa was giving out candy canes and books. He paused.

Again, I asked. This time, the answer was a muffled yes in my neck. He watched fascinated as the other kids sat with Santa and got candy canes from Mrs. Claus. I told him that Santa's wife was giving out candy canes and he said, "Grandma give out candy canes."

I asked, "Grandma?" He confirmed it, "Grandma Santa!" He sat with Santa and got his candy cane and was excited.

2. We've also been hyping up the 'giving Santa cookies' routine. We have told him that he has to leave cookies for Santa, a carrot for the reindeer, and his book told him to leave a piece of cheese for Santa Mouse. We quiz him on this since it does help him with the concepts of giving and that Santa won't be around when N is awake. However, it's very important to him now because people will ask him about it. At the library today, the librarians and security guard listened to him talk about Santa. Then they asked him what he'd give to Santa and he told them cookies. I asked him about the reindeer and he told them about the carrot.

I walked away at that point, while holding him. Over my shoulder, he yelled out to them, "Mouse cheese!"

3. N has managed to grasp the concept that "I love you" means something. He will deny loving me if he is angry at my brazen dictatorship of the household. However, sometimes when he's sleepy, and we giggled our way into tired napdom, he'll hug me tight while blinking his eyes open and say several times, "I love you."

Or, he might just say, "No kissing! Sleep time!" if he is annoyed with snuggles.

4. There is some severe cookie making love in this household. Apparently, nothing beats mixing up dough, pouring in sugar and butter and eggs and flour, and eating dough. However, an extra loved step is rolling out cookies for the most difficult cookie I make -- the rolled sugar cookie. Today, after his bath, he came out to find me making cookies, and he was shocked and dismayed. "Make cookies?" he asked.

He began to tug on the chair he uses to stand on while we cook, and he was yelling, "Chair! Chair" at me. After we mixed up the cookies, I laid some out to roll out, and my husband came over. N graciously allowed his daddy to push him up to the area to see the rolling out better before telling him, "Living room, daddy. Watch football." That's right -- he told him to get out!

Forget Resolutions

Look at this face, at this child!


WHOOSH!


We haven't been blogging because we're too busy to blog! Always on the go, always moving about!

Okay, that's not true, unless you count the pediatrician's office as a destination. Our household has been fighting illness since September. My husband and I are tired of, and N is definitely tired of it. I don't blame him. I feel horrible on the nights he wakes up in pain from ear infections. He feels horrible because he is in pain. I can't take the pain away so I just have to sit up next to him while Motrin or Tylenol start to work.

I mean, imagine him making this face at night and crying and without the adorableness of the Batman costume to mitigate it.


NATHAN HATES HIS BATMAN HOOD


But I keep thinking about my blog. I want to blog. I'm dying to blog. I internally made resolutions for the new year about blogging. Then I realized this was dumb because I was waiting to blog. So, I said to myself, "Self, just blog." So, that's what I'm doing.

What am I up to nowadays? Cookie making like you would not believe.


My First Batch Of Rolled Cookies


In the last two days, I've made a batch of snickerdoodles, a batch of chocolate chip cookies, a batch of meringue cookies, a batch of peanut butter cups, and a batch of rolled sugar cookies (which I need to ice). I'm cookied-out! Not really. And the house smells delightfully of cinnamon.

What have you all been up to?

20101122

Amazon, You Know I Already Love You!

As anyone who knows me in real life can tell you, I'm obsessively in love with Amazon. The phrase "If you love Amazon so much, you should marry it" has no meaning to me, because if I could marry Amazon, I might try.

Anyway, this leads me into the fact that they're giving away $3 to be used for MP3s on their site. I know it is not much, but it's more than nothing, so click away!

20101119

Slow Song Of Calming The Hell Down

My husband is obsessed with the TED talks. Just as I'm always babbling about what some mom blogger said or what some sewing blogger did, he's always going on about some TED talk or other. I tend to listen with a bit of interest, but rarely do I listen to the talks. The other day, he basically begged me to listen to a tidbit of one of the talks, and am I glad that I did.

We listened to the story of Ze Frank making a song for a young girl who was scared of something or other. Her father wrote in to Ze Frank, who made a little ditty for the girl to sing to herself. I was immediately taken by the little song, but didn't think much of it.

My husband asked me to listen to just a tiny bit longer, so I could hear of a song that Ze Frank had done for a girl who needed to calm down due to depression and stressing. It was a little slow, and a little sad sounding, but it was gorgeous. Then, when I thought I knew where it was going, a young girl's voice kicked in.

See, Ze Frank had put a call out to people to sing this and record it, and he took their voices and put them into the final song. It's beautiful. The lyrics are something I have been singing to myself when I'm stressing about the day I'm having. "Hey, you're okay. You'll be fine. Just breathe."

I recommend giving them a listen if you need to take a breather and you feel overwhelmed. (And if you, like me, have an obsession with songs that have a different lyrical connotation than the tempo and key would normally indicate.)

20101109

CHOO CHOO!

My creation


Ugh, so much to say here that I feel overwhelmed! So, this is the choo-choo shirt I bought material for about eighteen hundred years ago. In fact, when I originally planned to make it, it was going to be size 2T. Guess what? I made it 3T!


Bad Ass Look


Why do I have so much to say about this shirt? Because, it is my sewing introduction to many things such as collars, buttonholes, plackets, and setting in sleeves! I mean, I just learned so much about sewing and so many things I did with this shirt came out well.

The pattern is from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing. I am going to admit that I like the finished look of this shirt, but this pattern was kind of a bitch. The collar was all kinds of messed up and you can tell when you look at this shirt!

It took me four or five tries to get that collar done and I'm still not pleased with it. Also, though I did not find any errata, I could not at all get the collar and shirt to line up. I had to undo the sewing I did on the collar and cut it up prior to attaching it to the shirt correctly.

And the drawings Ross did in the book don't really look like the pattern pieces. Occasionally, I'd look blankly at the instructional drawings and just pause and examine the pieces I cut out. I'd re-open the pattern pieces to make sure I had really cut everything correctly!

In other news, I'm not recommending this pattern. Try to find another button down shirt pattern for young boys. I hear Oliver + S is offering one, and I'm considering buying it since I do love the look of my son in a button down shirt that I've made him.


Cute Pose


I am pleased with the sleeves since this was the first time I've set in sleeves! I was most worried about doing that and I flipped out while pinning since I was sure that my machine was going to walk the sleeve faster than the body of the shirt such that I ended up with too much sleeve. However, it all looked great in the end. I think the sleeves might be the nicest part of my work on this shirt, though the placket also turned out pretty.


Outdoor Hanging!


I'm rather tired right now, so I'm going to cut this a little shorter than I originally expected. I finished the work on Sunday while Nathaniel was awake. He was fascinated by my sewing machine, begging to sit on my lap. He talks a bit about the shirt, telling people that his mommy made him a choo choo shirt. In fact, one evening after a nap, he woke up and stared at the scraps of fabric I had thrown away, and he panicked! He said to me, "Choo choo shirt!" I had to reassure him that his real shirt was in the living room, waiting for him to wear it.


Bribed By Candy Corn


I really enjoyed sewing this, but I'm getting a little gun shy about sewing from this book. I think it might be time to move to some Simplicity patterns.

I Finished Something But This Isn't About That

I promise that I'll be posting about my finished (sewing) project this week, and I might even have teaser pictures tomorrow, but I have a link to a great tutorial for hand picked zippers today. I've been hearing a lot of my dressmaking blogs talk about hand picked zippers and I'm always made WTF face at my computer screen trying to figure out how you would even do one.

Turns out Sewaholic could practically see my WTF face and she decided to tutorialize the heck out of the sewing!

Oh, I can't resist a grainy, blurry teaser pic of the finished project that I shall parade before you later!


Oh, Mom!


Do you appreciate the way that my son is already hideously embarrassed by this all?

20101105

Coming Out Of Hibernation

To tell you that I'm excited about three things.

Japanese Washi Tape Lovely Pinks


One is my new secret obsession. Japanese washi tape. I mean, I'm obsessed with office supplies in general. However, the cuteness that is washi tape kills me. Seriously, the store Cute Tape is making me flip out. It sells cute stickers. And cute labels. And cuteness. It might as well sell kittens.


Oliver + S is going to publish a book of patterns. I'm no secret admirer of Oliver + S. I think the children patterns they put out are adorable, modern, and sweet. I just can't justify the cost of one or two or EIGHT BILLION when I don't sew enough.

Turtlegirl has posted a tutorial for an adorable twisted garter cuff for a sock. It makes me want to knit that pair of socks right now. Maybe if I didn't have two pairs of Cookie A socks on the needles right now.

20101025

Watercolor Memories!

Swinging!


I did this once before, but N makes new sweet memories every day.

1. "Wants Mommy!" "Holds Mommy!" The inevitable call of my son right before he lunges out of my husband's arms, or while he stands in a parking lot or store, plaintively lifting his arms to me.

2. The dedicated manner in which he tries to kiss me when I try to ward him off, jokingly.

3. The way he loves the zoo! "More animals?" Along with the desperate use of the sign language for more.

4. He keeps telling me about the motorcyclist that is on hayrides and then asks to go on a hayride himself.

5. "Let's go, Flyers. Let's go!" Along with some lisping and clapping.

6. Sometimes I'll wake up to hear him singing softly to himself, "Bouncing, bouncing, onnnnnnnn my knee!"

7. Parks are now just places where he can fly down the longest, scariest slides! It's both thrilling and terrifying to watch him come shooting sideways out of a particularly twisty one.

8. Every nap time is proceeded by at least four "Buzz, bee!" actions. This is where I put my finger high up in the air, and start to say buzzzzzz. When the finger slowly buzzes to him, he grabs it and buzzes either himself, me, or stuffed Nemo on the nose. I'm required to say bee at that time.

9. His Indian food eating is still amazing. How can anyone that small put away that much mattur paneer?!

10. He loves bubbles and blowing bubbles so much, that all I have to do to get him to go outside is ask him if he wants to play bubbles. He then jumps to get the bubbles from the kitchen.

20100928

Let's Not Lie To Each Other

I've disappeared. I'd like to blame my son's asthma (which flared) or my cats (who got fleas and colds and liver problems) or my mom (who decided that she hates surgery and will let her knee fall off). However, the real problem has been laziness, weird weather, a slight cold of my own, and Vampire Diaries. Have you people even seen that show? It's like crack. You know, if crack were deliciously handsomely evil with gorgeous eyes. I'm going to recommend you all watch it if you like teen dramas (and that includes all you Veronica Mars and Buffy fans). Power through the stupid first three episodes, with all their Twilightesque silly drama, and get to the part where crazy stuff goes down.

Anyway, every night I say to myself, 'I should sew', or 'I should knit'. Instead, I check out my computer, watch an episode or two of television, and then go to sleep. Well, I've been reading more sewing blogs. There are so many gorgeous ones our there with people making clothes that make me weep with envy. And I've been surfing Gilt Groupe and ModCloth. Actually, I've been avoiding ModCloth, otherwise, I end up with roughly thirty some tabs open with dresses like these.

My creation


Darn you, ModCloth! I want ALL of your dresses because they make me weep with joy. Either way, all that awesome dress web page surfing makes me want to sew, but I need more incentive! Well, I got that incentive today. I have had the fabric for my son's train shirt sitting on our dining room table for months now. Today, my son saw it and went crazy over the fabric. "Choo-choo! Choo-choo!"

I asked him, "Do you want a choo-choo shirt?" His enthusiastic reply was all I needed to feel a little energized. So, I wanted to say hello again before I cut out my fabric. I hope to talk to you soon. (Maybe I'll start processing my digital photos again so I can show you the cute new sweater tights I bought to go with my imaginary ModCloth dresses.)

20100914

What Do I Want To Do

As you know, I'm already working on a pair of socks and a blanket (both super slowly right now due to my latest obsession), but I'm planning ahead too! I want to knit other things, so here's the first of my hopeful queue.

1. Monkey Socks





I'd like to make these for my mother-in-law out of the pumpkin colored Gloss sock yarn I have.

2. Auto Vest



For my darling Nathaniel.

I'll add to this later, but isn't that vest the most darling thing ever?

20100908

Wordless Wednesday #14 -- Peaches and Cream

Cream And Peaches

I'm Crafty, For Reals, Plus WIP Wednesday!

So, it's crafty.ninjakitten.net! Thank you for the feedback, and you should see this in any feed readers you use due to my new found love, Feedburner.

Are you bored by that blog business? So am I! Here's my "What I Did On Summer Vacation -- Crafty Edition" essay. Well, as I think I might, or might not, have mentioned, we went to the shore last week. (For those of you who don't live local to Philly, the shore is synonymous with the beach in my area. It normally indicates the Jersey shore, but I visited Ocean City, MD instead.) Thinking that I'd just knit knit knit all night, I brought along the nub's blanket and a lot of yarn. I don't know why I thought I'd knit so much, but mostly I slept every night because I was so darned tired. I did get some knitting done, though.



For The Nub


And, because I love to ask for trouble, I visited Salty Yarns while down at Ocean City. They bill themselves primarily as an embroidery shop, but what right minded person names their store Salty Yarns and doesn't sell any yarn? Not the owner of Salty Yarns, luckily. I wasn't going to go in, because they did have an extremely sparse yarn collection, but I spied something special through the windows. That's right, Lantern Moon needles! They had Sox Stix! The next trip to the boardwalk, I was there to purchase myself a nice set of size 1 needles in rosewood. I know it's extravagant, but they make me so darn happy when I'm knitting and that makes a difference. (As an aside, I got pretty indifferent service at Salty Yarns. Perhaps it was because I came in late just prior to Labor Day, but I was not greeted especially warmly, and the person who was at the register seemed both unaware and uninterested in what Lantern Moon needles they had available.)

Excited by the needles, I came home and wound up some very special yarn for a pair of socks I've been wanting to try from Cookie A. I'll leave the particular pattern nameless to surprise you all later! The super special yarn was Sundara Sock! I've been dying to try either that or my Madelinetosh, but when asked, Paul said he thought the pink of my Cranberry Mousse colorway worked better with the pattern. He helped me wind it and my heart sunk like a stone as we did. It went from being beautifully pink and cream in the skein to being a tiny bit like...


My Newest Socks In Progress


Grape juice vomit. I wanted to cry as I stared it, but I held myself together and decided I needed to use it anyway. I asked myself, somewhat crazily, what drew me to grape juice vomit yarn. I was angry at Sundara who was 'supposedly' a great dyer. I was cranky and tired and mean when I cast on, but what a difference a few rows can do.

Only half an inch later, I was back in love.


My Newest Socks In Progress


The yarn slid easily and beautifully from sharp pretty needle to sharp pretty needle. It knitted up tight, but not too dense. And, best of all, it was knitting up into a pretty petal pink. Some areas are slightly lighter, others darker, but it's as if it was a flower petal, all gentle flows of color. I apologized to whomever Sundara's dyer is, in my head. This is the reason people camped out on the Sundara website to try to get a skein. It was perfection.

So, now I'm knitting two different items for the first time in a while. I've mentally committed myself to working on the blanket half the time to try and crank it out, and working on my other stuff, including some sketching once again, during the rest of the week. We'll see how this all turns out.

Bye-bye, from one crafty ninja kitten!

20100907

Fabric Stash And My URL

Okay, first up, prior to my boring you with my babbling about how awesome my husband is. I finally managed to figure out how to change my damnable URL for this blog to use my personal domain without losing all my feed traffic and readers. It only took me a year. Anyways. I am using blog.ninjakitten.net for my family blogging. (You know, the stuff that would bore you so I shunt it off onto some sad sack blog.)

That leaves me looking for a URL for this blog. I was just going to go with crafts.ninjakitten.net, but I was wondering if crafts sounds too... 'arts and crafts' as in macaroni and popsicle stick stuff. Then I thought, brilliantly, crafty.ninjakitten.net. Then I was worried that was lame. knitting.ninjakitten.net is out since I sew. clothing.ninjakitten.net seems a lie too since I'm not really discussing clothing so much as my making of items that might or might not be clothing.

What do you all think? Any suggestions? attack.ninjakitten.net? i-am.ninjakitten.net?

Anyways, let's forget about all that for now. Let me soothe you with some delicious silk my husband picked up for me at Mood while he was in New York city. Again.

Interestingly, my husband got me a yard of each which has left me browsing for cute, but short skirt patterns and for tank type tops. I bought a few Simplicity patterns during a Joann sale, but I'm too afraid to cut into silk!

Three Silks From Mood


That's actually much hot pinker in person. While it's my least favorite pattern of the three, I suspect it would actually be the most versatile made into clothing. Just goes to show that you should shop with other people and that you should consider what the finished item will look like.

Three Silks From Mood


I really love love this stripe, but with one yard of it, I'm at a complete loss. I mean, I've never matched up stripes before. Maybe I should use this as the bodice of a dress? Or just the short skirt of a dress?

Three Silks From Mood


The second I saw this one, I fell in love. Paul was mystified about what made this my favorite. I think that I like that it is slightly whimsical while still having a deep red to it. I am saving this one for last for use because I love it the most and am most afraid of it.

While picking up patterns at Joann, I also picked up some corduroy for myself.

Could Not Resist


How adorable are those owls? I definitely want to make a skirt out of that fabric and wear it every where. Because that would be the definition of autumnal fun -- wearing that skirt with my cute new J Crew tee and a cute pair of shoes that I do not currently own. Perhaps I could wear it while picking out pumpkins for the display I am planning for my front porch.

Okay, so, peeps, get back to me on that URL, please? Also, try not to mock me for having the fashion sense of a ten year old. I like my whimsy, okay?

20100906

Winter Hat In August

Wow, I'm back from vacation and better then ever. Why, you ask? One, the iPhone is revolutionizing my life. I take more photos and videos nowadays than ever before. My Facebook wall is getting updated all the time with new pictures of my son. Two, for my birthday this year, my in-laws and Paul splurged on me and got me Photoshop CS5. I'm not going to lie, I didn't want something so fancy before getting it, but now I'm in love. (I mean, I can actually post the pictures I've been taking.)

Well, let's get on with the program. I knit something in August!

Hi, Photoshop CS5


Project: Kitten's Awesome Winter Hat (ravel it!)
Pattern: Feeling Fuzzy from the Yarn Girls' Guide to Simple Knits
Yarn: GGH Soft Kid
Needles: Already Forgotten

The things I do for you, peeps. It was eight hundred billion degrees out when I took these photos, but do you see me? I'm wearing a hat and a hoodie to make it look more authentically cold out.

Adjust Hat


We're all lucky I didn't die of heat stroke getting that photo taken.

I'm going to come out and say this about the hat of awesomeness. It's awesome. I love love love love it. It's soft, it's warm, it's pretty, and it's a gorgeous color. It's a hat I would not think to buy, but would be pleased to receive as a gift. It's luscious. It makes me think of winter berries and snow and happiness. I am probably going to use the heck out of it too because it's just so versatile with my wardrobe. The only way this hat could have been better was if it had been knit in the round instead of seamed up the side. I don't know why the Yarn Girls had me seam it, but I followed their advice unfailingly.

If you get a chance to knit this hat with this yarn, do it. You'll end up with an adorably awesome hat.

Don't wear it in the middle of August heat though.

My New Knitted Hat

20100905

So Very Here

Mowing Dance

Writing for a blog is hard. Let's go mowing. I might as well have said that a month or two ago. A lot of my personal life seemed to be falling apart and every thing I wanted to write sounded like I was super depressed or complaining. There were some medical problems in my honey's family, and then my computer blew up in my face, and then Paul's poor phone died leaving us to move phone companies.

When I finally got a new computer, it turned out that my old old version of Photoshop was doomed and could not be used for my Flickring purposes. After all that, we had a vacation which we sorely needed. Upon returning, I received an early birthday present. Photoshop CS5.

I think it might be time to return to blogging about N and my family and my crafts and my reading. Let's see if my new blog URL allows my old blog URL's feed to update in Reader. If so, it might be a good day to start again.

20100823

I'm Very Confused Right Now

Pro: Got my iPhone and my new laptop.

Con: Lost my use of Photoshop due to the fact that CS2 can't be used with Windows 7. This means no new photos for the blog unless they're kind of crappy iPhone photos.

Pro: Sewing and knitting a bit!

Con: Lots more stuff I want to sew and knit and cross-stitch.

Con: Not enough due to this new laptop.

Pro: Saw Scott Pilgrim Vs The World. It rocked my world.

Con: No cons on this one besides it'll be a while before I see another movie I like as much and I can't go to see it again immediately as I'm a responsible parent.

Pro: I'm going to the shore next week. Lots of knitting time for the nub's blanket!

Con: The yarn I am using, while reasonably soft and machine washable clearly has production issues. The most recent skein I've used had three knots and a weak spot that broke when I tugged on it. Each of those knots was cut out and I just started with the remainder of the skein so that there would be no knots in this darling baby's blanket. That means an extra eight ends to be woven in for that single skein. Stupid Bernat Cottontots. That'll teach me to get yarn because it looks nice yet not overly expensive.

Pro: I'm going to Helen's tomorrow for baked brie.

Con: I always have a hard time leaving our house when my son is awake.

Well, until I decide if I'm going to break down and buy another copy of a more recent version of Photoshop, you might be getting less frequent photo updates of my life. Because, as we all know, why bother if you don't have photos? (If you read this and don't use photos, please excuse my jerkiness. I probably still love your blog, and at least you know you have good content.)

20100817

Babies, Autumn Is In The Air

So, I'm back to blogging now that I have a working computer that is mine, mine, all mine once again. Perhaps, if you follow me on Facebook or Flickr, you've already seen hints of how busy I've been recently, as I received my iPhone a full two days prior to receiving my laptop. Sadly, my post today will be forced to make use of my iPhone photos since my gorgeous new laptop is unable to use my mother-in-law's copy of Photoshop quite yet, which means that my new hat will continue to go unblogged. Let's ignore that sadness, and get going!

Since I've been Crafty McCraftsAlot while I was gone, I got back into sewing. I know, I know. I'm finally going to make use of those eight billion fabrics Paul bought me, right? WRONG. I finished up a project I was working on eighteen billion years ago, instead. I'm normally a one project (in a particular craft) type of girl. I can't help it. I wanted to do new stuff, but that bag was taunting me. It was saying, "You last worked on me when you were a YEAR younger, Kitten. What up with that?"




Weekend Away!


Check out the gorgeous low quality of that photo. I decided to whip the finishing of the bag out, but that didn't really happen. Though sewing is, indeed, faster than knitting, it's never as easy as I think it will be. First, I got to get my sewing area ready, then I need to pull out my ironing board and iron and clear a space on the always dumped with stuff dining room table for that ironing board. Then, after all of that, I always am pinning. I know some people hate pattern cutting, but my least favorite part of sewing is the obsessive pinning. I must have pinned that bag together about eight hundred different ways to make it work and you can see all my shoddy workmanship still. Also, it kind of looks like a boring toaster cover in that last picture, no? But, surprise!



Interior Of Bag!


Cute bag interior! That's the same fabric as I used for the awesome boxers. Back when I originally intended to make this Weekend-Away Travel Bag from Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing book, I had also meant for this bag to go to Helen as well. My disappointment in the bag's finishing (and its lack of interior pockets) means that it will stay at home with me instead. Sorry, Helen. I'm working on something else for you, though! The only thing I am proud of with this bag is the slip stitches I did on one side of the bag. The other side, however? Let's not speak of it.

Lastly, remember, Helen's baby requires a pretty blanket. Knowing Helen's rather decisive nature regarding items, I let her pick both the pattern and the color of the finished blanket. I might not have started it promptly, but I'm already a skein and a half into this eight skein blanket!

Baby Blanket


Lovely, no? I'll keep you all updated. So, hello again. Let's hope my computer is back up to what I consider normal soon.

20100806

Definition of Irony

You are probably wondering why I'm so silent after being so chatty on this blog for a couple of months. It is not the normal reason of me losing interest in crafting or writing or gardening. My computer is down and out! I'm using our television computer (I'll explain that at some later date) to write this post.

The really humerous part of this is that due to the fact that I have no easily usable computer to read blogs and surf Etsy and view pretty pictures on Flickr, I've been crafting up a storm, so I have a ton to blog about! I have new fabric to show you, a new finished hat I've knit, and a new baby blanket that's been started. PEOPLE. I need a new computer stat. They better be building my laptop right now.

If the situation gets really desparate, expect some new iPhone blog entries. No, seriously. My husband ordered me an iPhone. I'm getting a laptop and an iPhone in the same month. It's like I'm finally catching up with the technology of the naughts.

Well, as soon as my new shiny red laptop gets here and I install Photoshop, Firefox (or is it time to move to Chrome?), and Flickr Uploader, I'll be back to this blog. Maybe. That might be the week I go on vacation! :)

20100730

Admiring The Master

My husband and I currently play at gardening, but my mom is killer at it. Come spring, the flowers start to flow in, filling her yard with bright colors such as tulips and daffodils and lillies. Her bushes start to blossom and she starts buying truckloads of dirt for her little property.




My creation


Then, come summer, she hits her stride. The flowers start coming fast and furious and she is busy planting, weeding, re-arranging, and complaining about my rather hideous gardening. ("Do you ever water your plants, Jennifer? Do you weed?" No, and no.) Her vegetables and peppers start to hit in late summer, and that's when I just am shamed.




Mom's Garden

Mom's Garden

Mom's Garden


That right there is a tiny collection of her pepper plants. My mom grows enough peppers, mint, and green onions such that she never ever buys any. You might not be impressed with that, but consider this -- she eats five to six peppers with every single meal she eats at home and her patch of green onions is continuously harvested spring through autumn. For a while, she was also fulfilling her watercress needs by growing that in the creek in my backyard!

Normally she also grows all the squash and pumpkins she can eat, as well, but this year, there's been a small land war with a bunch of groundhogs living underneath her neighbor's shed. She has been extremely bitter about this, blaming them for everything including the ruining of her pea plants. However, don't worry, once autumn comes around, she will forget them when it comes time to renew her enmity with her old foes -- the squirrels.

See, years ago, my mom planted a chestnut tree, and that sucker has thrived. But, in the early years, the squirrels would kick my mom's ass when it came to that tree. They'd harvest it night and day, and she'd come out to find empty chestnut shells littering her driveway. This led my mom to leave a giant stick next to the tree which she would beat the tree with. This would both scare the squirrels away and drop the chestnuts whole onto the driveway for her to stomp and peel.

I would laugh except for the fact that I'm a die hard chestnut fan and I eagerly await the bags and bags of whole unroasted chestnuts she gives me each year. Last year, she gave me five gigantic ziplock bags and I'm hoping for more this year. Look at them!

CANNOT WAIT

CANNOT WAIT


Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, indeed!

But, in the meantime, if you're ever around Trevose, PA, and you need some hot or sweet peppers, let me know. I can hook you up.

Chance Is Weird

I've been following a certain local knitting blog for ages. Knitting Zeal was one of the first knitting blogs to catch my eye, and when I took a break from blogs and came back after having my son, I remembered her and started to follow her again only to find out she had also had a son in a very close time frame. Humorously, as did I, she started to branch out into mommy blogging, and I read laughingly as we went to many of the exact same locations with our respective child.

Today, as I sat begging my recalcitrant son to swallow his bite of apple, at the Please Touch Museum, my friend turned to me and said, "Jenn, do you know that woman?" I looked up, and there was Diane! She introduced herself with her blog title (as appropriate among bloggers) and I was stunned for a few seconds before I managed to talk to her. I'm pretty sure I babbled incoherently and scared both her and her friend and their children.

Either way, it was a neat happenstance, and I like the fact that blogging has allowed me to have this little moment. This is the first time I've ever met a blogger in real life without it being planned!

Diane, it was neat meeting you, and if you'd ever like to hit up the Little Treehouse, let me know!

20100728

Terrible Terrible Twos

I remember a little baby boy I had who was willing to eat whatever I suggested, snuggle whenever I wanted, and do whatever was ordered. I miss that baby. To say we've hit the terrible twos is underselling what has happened. I think this is the year that makes parents 'unhappy' to be parenting. (Sidenote: this study is kind of odd. I would never say that I have more choices, money, or free time for being a mom, but I've also never before experienced the pure crazy love of having a little boy ask for a kiss just because he loves me so much or of a toddler snuggling into my arms because I am literally the only person on the planet who can drive his nightmares away. I think I know a greater depth of love for being a parent.)

However, back to the tantrums. I feel like overnight, I went from this:



Nathan Tries To Outcute


to this:



POUTY FACE


And I'm going to come right out and say that this is not cool. I've had fights over toys, getting in the car, eating, and sleeping. Today, I watched him roll around on the floor screaming "Lawnmower" with buckets of tears streaming down his face. I left him there for five minutes to go fold laundry and came back to find him in the same location still whining uncontrollably, still saying, "Lawnmower" forlornly. I know this too shall pass, but it's kind of crazy making to watch it happen.

I'm faced with questions such as, "Will my son ever eat fruit again?", "Is it better to let him eat only hot dogs or to fight over trying to get a veggie in him now and then?", "Is he just more tired?", "Do I really want another child?", and "Should I feel guilty for letting him roll on the floor?"

I'm putting this post out there to let any blog readers I do have know that sometimes I find my son exasperating, and sometimes entertaining, but I always love him. Also, do you know any tricks to getting your child to eat anything besides crackers?

20100726

Toast

Pretty Close Up


Project: Fingering Weight Toast (ravel it!)
Pattern: Toast
Yarn: Koigu Mori
Needles: Size 2 DPNs

I'm a t-shirt person. I wear t-shirts all year long, even in the dead of winter, though I do occasionally layer them then like I'm Dr. Sheldon Cooper. In fact, I might wear as many superhero t-shirts as he does, which is a little embarrassing. Not that this will stop me from wearing them.

However, I don't always want to wear layers in the winter, especially when I'm just typing away on my computer or watching television. So, I decided to knit myself a pair of Toast to wear while I do things like type or watch television or drink coffee out of doors like I'm some sort of person who stands casually out of doors.





Various Action Shots


What a lie. I hate the outdoors. It's filled with bugs and dirt and yuckiness that might get in my coffee. The 'great' part of the 'great outdoors' is a lie. (At our next house, I'm considering a deck, which I might go out onto simply because it's outdoors, but higher up than the ground, so it's sort of removed from the part of the outdoors I hate.)

I'm partially pleased with these arm warmers. They are a nice fit, and they are super super soft and silky, but they kind of look like grape juice vomit, which is the second time that I've had this problem. They aren't as grape juice vomity, so I think I can wear them out with no problem, but I'm really tempted to kick any variegated yarn I have to the curb.

I'm pleased that I knit them as long as I did (the full eleven inches) because I used up all my yarn and they will keep my full forearm warm in the winter. I am not pleased that I knit them as long as I did because it prevents me from pretending more fully that they're Wonder Woman's golden bracers.



Various Action Shots


I do that a lot. I'm reflecting bullets, in my daydreams, left and right.

If I had a little girl toddler, I'd probably knit her a pair of legwarmers using this yarn and this pattern, but adding a little ribbing at both ends. I mean, look how adorable this is on my baby.


Leg Warmers?


Want to see a close up of the face he's making?


POUTY FACE


Haha, pout all you want, son, but you're still being made a photographic subject for my crafting blog. Sucker, that's what you get for being born to me and your Daddy who is not going to stop me from exploiting your adorable face for this blog and any others I might write on!

Will be back soon with stuff I've cast on. Hopefully!