Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween! I love to decorate for it. I love to dress up for it. I love to make the kids costumes for it. Carving pumpkins!

I did none of those things this year. I was getting ready to throw myself a big pity party. Then my kids decided to make some cute Halloween decorations and get out some of my favorites. They made vampire potatoes. Hee-heeee. Don't let the lack of pumpkins stymie your Halloween spirit. (Oooooo, spirit. Heh.) And I'm going to go to a movie this weekend with one of my very favorite people.

I may have just ordered a "begin to spin" drop spindle kit on etsy. *whistle* And that may have required me to sign up for the etsy account I was avoiding getting. Too dangerous! Of course, it may spur me to make some things to sell on there. I'm going to think about that.

(The cross-stitch pieces are a small sampling of my Halloween pieces over the years. I've stitched way more for Halloween than for Christmas. Even if I don't have real pumpkins, I'm going to have virtual ones!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Did I show you my blanket?

I finished it a few weeks ago. The children have heeded my warning not to try to to sneak it off to their bedrooms. This is officially a couch blanket. Only to be used in the living room. (Otherwise I would never get to use it.)

It's based on the Mason-Dixon Knitting log cabin blankets. I used an applied i-cord border. Quite nifty. Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in the old colors. Less than three balls each of six colors used.

And for a bonus picture, my sock drawer. I was having trouble getting it closed, so I cleaned it out. Wonder why it was so full? Could it be all these hand-knit socks that have been added in the last two years? I got rid of about 15 pairs of regular old socks that I just don't wear anymore. You can see a few of the regular ones left in the top right corner there. I cropped out the pile of running/workout socks. I'm counting 20 pairs of hand-knit socks. I think they were all in there. All of mine, that is.

I think if we ever finally move and get the rest of the furniture out of storage, the hand-knit socks will get heir own drawer and the other socks (mostly workout socks) will go in a drawer with the workout clothing that is threatening to take over the undie drawer.

I need to knit three of the four kids a new pair (of socks, not undies) since fall has arrived. (M already has her Monkey socks.) Q has requested General Lee socks (the car, not the man.) Luckily, I don't have to dye the yarn this time. Twist has orange sock yarn the right color! So happy to have a LYS.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Secret of the Stole

Part one:

Parts one and two:

It doesn't look like much yet. I'm interested to see how this looks once it's blocked. I generally prefer my lace to be more, well, lacy. There's a lot of solid stockinette here. Hopefully, this will cure me of the whole "mystery knit" thing. :p

The next portion comes out tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Alpine Lace Shawl

I joined Secret of the Stole a while back. Two clues have come out. But back before the first clue was released, I knew I needed to finish the Alpine Lace shawl that was on the needles I needed for SOTS. Voila!

Here are two pre-blocked images.

And one post-blocking. This is why we have kids, right? To hold up the knits for us for blog pictures? ;)
The pattern is in Victorian Lace Today, the Alpine Lace Knit Scarf, or something similarly inspiring. Gorgeous lace in that book, but boring names!

I've finished both clues for SOTS, too, and taken pictures. But blogger won't let me add any more pictures right now. Error! :p

Friday, October 12, 2007

I really planned to have the lace shawl ready for today's post, but the pictures are still on the camera, we had a house showing yesterday which required far too much cleaning time, and I'm having a birthday party for my son Q tonight. He's 8 today!

So you get a lame-o blog quiz again. :p I don't know why I like these things so much. I always liked tests in school, too.

You Are 5: The Investigator

You're independent - and a logical analytical thinker.
You love learning and ideas... and know things no one else does.

Bored by small talk, you refuse to participate in boring conversations.
You are open minded. A visionary. You understand the world and may change it.

At Your Best: You are sharp, inventive, and creative. You have the skills to lead the world.

At Your Worst: You are reclusive, weird, and a bit paranoid.

Your Fixation: Greed

Your Primary Fear: Being useless or incompetent

Your Primary Desire: Being competent and needed

Other Number 5's: Bill Gates, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Bjork, and Stephen Hawking.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Burnt Popcorn

My daughter just burnt microwave popcorn. Don't you hate that smell? I think that is just the worst smell. (Yes, I know there are much worse things to smell, but it's got to be in my top 5. Blech.)

Burnt popcorn really has nothing to do with today's post. I just smelled it as I opened up this window. Speaking of open windows, we finally have our windows open in the afternoon today. High of 76 is what the weatherman said.

This morning we went out and bought M a new mattress. She has been complaining for a long time that her mattress is uncomfortable and she can't get to sleep. (This girl really knows how to complain, too.) We had tried two of those foam toppers plus a deluxe mattress pad, but nothing helped. The mattress really was worn out. She wasn't just complaining for no reason. So, today we went several different places and had her try some out. At the last place, with the mattress she wanted, we got an "inventory deal." I'm pretty sure that's code for: "They're walking out. Do anything to get them to buy!" They weren't really doing inventory. But we had already shopped around and we know we got a good mattress for a good price. Now M is doing her schoolwork on her bed, she loves it so much. Hee. I hope she's that excited about it at bedtime.

My second training walk/run was this morning. Feeling good! Two out of three brothers, one of their wives, my sister, and my dad have confirmed that they will be running the 10K with me. My dad made an amazing diet and exercise spreadsheet for himself, and he's sharing it with everyone. I have one brother designing t-shirts for us. He's doing several designs for us to choose a favorite for the group. I think this is so cool!

I'm still doing my beloved workout videos on off days, but I think they will will be trending toward more pilates and less long cardio/weights. I'm going to take one day a week completely off.

Now for some knitting. I promise I will get the pictures of the blocked lace shawl off the camera before my next post. For now, you get a hat I knitted for an old friend's baby shower. A is wearing it. Yes, she's 6, but the hat has a lot of stretch. Hopefully, the baby will get a lot of wear out of it. Knitted with small amounts of 6 old colors of cotton-ease. Pattern is "Cotton Stria hat" form Itty Bitty Hats. The mother-to-be was thrilled with it. They passed it around at the shower and everyone was turning it inside out. It's so funny that even non-knitters want to examine how it was put together.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Monkey see, Monkey do, Monkey run

These are M's Monkey socks. Knitted with Cherry Tree Hill supersock on US size 0 DPNs. I started these after seeing just about everyone in my KIP group knitting them. I couldn't resist! I may actually knit another pair for myself sometime.

I'm training for a 10K run in May (the River Run, for those in the know.) I've challenged my siblings and their significant others, as well as my parents, to join me. My sister and one brother and his wife have joined me so far.

Today was day 1 of my training. I've never been a runner, so I'm starting slow, with an 8-week beginning to run program. Once I can run 3 miles, I'll start a 12-week 10K training program. I have 31 weeks until the run.

I've never been an early riser, but I'm trying not to feel superior for having gotten up, gone out and gone for a run, and checked my e-mail before my husband's alarm even went off this morning. I think this early morning running will help my homeschool stamina, too. I'm certainly wide awake, and you can rarely say that about this night owl before noon. Yes, I would be up long before that, but I wouldn't feel this energetic, that's for sure.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Hat for an 85 degree day.

Does the weather realize it's October and I shouldn't have the air conditioner running? I keep trying to turn it off, but by mid-day, it's back on. I school the kids in the sunniest room of our house, and it just gets too hot, and with four kids being taught by one mom, that makes for too much crankiness. AC it is.

Here's a picture of me wearing the the hat I knitted my sister for her birthday. She's 22 now, the baby. I gave her a card that entitled her to "one hand-knit item, within reason." She asked sheepishly if she could have a hat with a big pom-pom on top. Ask and you shall receive! Isn't it nice when you have non-knitters who love your stuff and ask politely even when you have already offered? She even came to the yarn shop with me and picked the yarn. She wanted a neutral that had a little interest, so this heathered gray was perfect. She said she wanted a neutral so she could wear it with everything. Now, if it will just cool off, she can.

Pattern is from Interweave Knits Fall 2007. I made it a few rows longer and worked a few more decreases to smooth out the top and cover the ears.

(I don't know why my hair is so weird in that picture. It's Kansas. It's windy. Whatever.)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Still alive and kicking!

Just busy, as you may imagine.

We went to the State Fair for a family field trip a few weeks ago. How can you resist these young farmers? Hee.

Knitting content is promised in the near future!