NaBloPoMo Day 1: Apparently, I’m a giver

It’s National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo for short) and I will be posting every day, or trying to do so. As Phoebe so aptly put it, my Novembers are well documented.

We’ll start, as I think we usually do, with a finished object round up.

There were teacher gifts…

Clapoktus

French Press Cozy

A gift for my mother-in-law

finished magrathea

A bunny for a new baby

more bunnies are better

Chemo caps (I only knit the top one and a couple others, a lot of those were knit by friends of mine. Thanks, friends!) donated, again, to The Breast Cancer Connection in Palo Alto.

Chemo Caps

A mouse for my son’s friend

Mouse for W

A scarf in UNR colors for a friend whose oldest son is going there

Husky Stripes

And, finally, a couple of things for me…

A Lintilla scarf

Posh Lintilla

And a Dark Side cowl.

ArtFibers Brogue Cowl

Wow, seven out of the last nine projects here were gifts. I think the last two I finished before this were also gifts. I am either selfless or stupid or overrun with knitting. Anything is possible.

I am not making any promises for this year’s NaBloPoMo. Last year I wanted to post a picture every day but I started Project 365 this year and bailed on that, so no promises from me!

Here’s to a postastic November! Hopefully we won’t have to talk about dryer lint at all this year. Again, no promises.

monkey!

I went to another first birthday party today. (All the little knitter girls are turning 1!) This one was for Bella and her party invite and stuff were all monkey themed, so I decided she needed a crocheted monkey.

bella's monkey

The pattern is just called Crocheted Monkey and is from a Japanese crochet site (Ravelry link).

I couldn’t get the arms and legs stuffed in a way that didn’t make them too stiff so I added pipe cleaners to both to make them bendable and beans to the legs (since they were bigger they squished too much with just the pipe cleaners). She can kind of hang from a tree, so I think it worked pretty well!

bella's monkey

The skirt was my idea and I love how tutu-like it turned out to be.

I hope Bella loves her!

more bread, two WIPs and and FO

I am really getting into this bread thing. I made a  batch of the Oat Flour Bread dough, also from Artisan Bread, a few days ago. The recipe said to make it in loaf form but I wanted a round loaf. I'm not sure it turned that well. The crust was good but the crumb wasn't great.

I may not have cooked it long enough. I'm still getting the hang of this. Today I made the rest of it into two loaves (which were only 1 lb of dough each instead of 1.5, for some reason, so they are on the small side). I haven't cut them yet, but the look nice.

I also made a batch of the light whole wheat dough because I realized that I am blazing through the inherited white flour but haven't touched the whole wheat. I think after this one I will try the 100% whole wheat bread which has honey and milk in it and sounds yummy.

On the subject of knitting (and crochet), I finished a toy crocheted grocery bag for a friend of Stefan's. (We got her some wooden food for her birthday so I made the bag for her to carry it.)

I finished to top of the mermaid costume that I'm making for the little sister of the recipient of the previous mermaid costume. I finished the tail portion of the bottom but I think I've twisted the cast-on stitches for the rest of the skirt so I'm going to have to go back a bit. Boo.

mermaid topmermaid tail

Rill is still waiting for sleeves or for the body to be blocked, or both.

Last weekend Purlescence had a sale on Rowan Revive, which I have been wanting to try. It was 50% off! I could not resist. I have 12 balls of it, close to 1500 yds of DK weight yarn. I'm thinking about another cardigan. We'll see if I can finish this one first, or maybe one of the two cotton tops that I have knit that need ends weaving in!

And on a totally random subjsect: one of our silkworms made it through his/her lifecycle and the kids named him/her Silkie. Sorry the photo is blurry.

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the schedule problem

After NaBloPoMo I made a resolution to blog at least once a week, preferably twice. I haven't posted in two weeks now. On Christmas I got a Wii Fit and have been using it every day and getting up early in the morning to walk before I do the Wii Fit exercises. The side effect of that is that I really need to go to bed earlier or I can't get up to walk. The side effect of going to bed earlier is that I have a lot less computer time, which is probably not a bad thing.

So I guess I'm back to my sporadic posting schedule. I expect that everyone understands why. Exercise trumps blogging, right?

I have a lot less knitting and crocheting time but I have managed to finish a couple of things recently. A new crocheted bathmat for our downstairs bath.

And a pair of fingerless mitts for Niels to wear while scootering to school. They are styled after the mitts Ash wears on Pokemon.

I haven't destashed at all yet, but we do have a destash party planned with my BobaKnit group. The week after that Purlescence is having a yarn swap so if anything is left we can all take it over there.

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legwarmers, butterfly, return of the chaos

Mom's legwarmers were delivered on Christmas. I was a little nervous about how well they'll stay up. We'll see how it goes!

I finally got a photograph of the snail outside his home. He's dirty now because he was taken to the park one day.

I then made a butterfly in a strawberry for Stefan. Again, too stinkin' cute for words.

butterflystrawberrystefan and the strawberry house

Finally, my house has descended into chaos again. We got a new TV and all the components had to be pulled out so the new stuff could be put together but nothing works immediately, of course, so everything is spread around the house. Also, the boys went and slept at my parents' house and brought back bags and bags of stuff with them. I don't get how the smallest people require the most stuff. Actually, I do get it but it gets frustrating.

I'm hoping that a) all the new electronics will play nicely with each other tomorrow (once we get the right cable) and we can start sorting out what needs to go and where it can go.

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snail in a pear, living room

For some reason I don't want to work on big projects. I go through this at times. I usually end up knitting dish cloths but this time it's amigurumi that have caught my obsession attention. I was going to make another snowman but instead I decided to make a snail in a pear from a pattern called Little Toys and Their Homes. Niels had asked for it and I started and gave up on a seahorse and robot (the yarn wasn't right in both cases) for him after make a turtle and a seahorse for Stefan. So, here's the snail in his home, the S.S. Leaf (according to Niels).

Isn't he too stinking cute for words?

smiling snailpear

I just realized that I need a picture of the snail out of the pear. I'll get that tomorrow as Niels is currently sleeping with the snail.

I've also been thinking a lot about my living room. (I know, exciting!) We had a Hannukah party this weekend and it got me moving to get the living room, dining room and kitchen into much better shape. Big parties will do that. I'm still not entirely satisified with the state of the living room, though. I would like to replace the giant white Ikea monstrosity that surrounds our TV.

You can only see part of it here. There is another of the four-cube pieces to the right of the TV as well. It is useful in that it has a lot of drawers and closets, however as you can see from the state of the pieces on the far left, the drawers and doors have broken off a few of them. I wanted to get the TV stand that goes with our new bookcase in the corner but I don't think it is big enough for the size TV we want to get. Our couch is a fair distance from the TV and the flat TVs are wider so we'd need something bigger. Erik and I are still discussing. Anyway, here's a couple more photos.

yarn cornercurrently christmas tree corner

I occasionally consider putting the kid's play/train table in their room but I think it would take up too much of the room, so I'm not sure what to do. I have to say this: the room is much nicer when everything is put away. The new bookcase really helps with that.

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NaNoSweMo and NaBloPoMo and gift knitting

Because I'm crazy, I've decided to participate in NaNoSweMo (National Sweater Knitting Month?) and NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). I am going to try to post on my blog every day in November and I cast on today for Anhinga, by Norah Gaughan, which I am knitting in All Seasons Cotton, of course. I am having issues with uploading and there isn't much to see so there's no picture yet. Hopefully I will work out my upload issues. Having pictures would certainly help my blog posting too. We'll see how that goes.

Since I last posted I finished a cowl for a friend's birthday.

A baby turtle for Stefan.

A robot for my friend's son's second birthday.

A top…

a bear in a hot air balloon…

and a blanket bunny for Kristi's baby.

 

I have to send the bunny off soon, she only has about a month left to go although I know, from experience, that the last month is the longest.

The BobaKnitters also made her this beautiful blanket, which I designed with in put from Cookie. I didn't knit on it but I did most of the seaming.

I also finished a gift for a friend who preparing to battle breast cancer. The day I found out I cast on for this gift because that's what knitters do, we cast on. I hope that my gift and the warmth it provides help her in her fight. I don't have a picture to show you because of my aforementioned uploading problem but that's probably for the best since I think she reads my blog and I haven't given it to her yet.

Wish me luck in my endeavors!

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bleeding dye, broken hooks and socks

Last year I dyed some yarn. This week I tried to use it. I knew I was going to have to wash the item afterwards because the yarn never rinsed clear but I didn't realize just how much I was going to have to wash it. I washed it in the sink with textile detergent (the Dharma version of Synthrapol) then I soaked it in vinegar and washed it in the machine with hot water and the textile detergent. It's still bleeding. On everything. I'm very frustrated. Dyers out there, any suggestions on setting this crap? It's procion fiber reactive dye on a cotton/rayon yarn. It's frustrating because I think the color is pretty and I loved how it looked in this pattern (the darkside cowl – Rav link).

Another frustrating thing happened when I was crocheting a baby sea turtle for Stefan.

Cute, right? Yes, but this happened.

Sigh. I have to say I'm not having much luck with the Kollage square needles and hooks. I have an I and J hook that are solid wood and work very well but this one, clearly, has issues. Or had. I glued it with Erik's model epoxy (my go to, must stay glued, glue) and it seems to be holding so now I can make the legs for that little guy. Then Niels wants the robot from the cover there.

Last, but very much not least, a pair of socks in the self-patterning cotton sock yarn I got at Sock Summit.

This picture is from a few days ago, I'm almost to the heel already. I was making the Upstream architechture from Cat Bordhi's book but I decided that I'd rather have the increases on the foot so I'm flipping it over and making it a Foxglove sock instead. Gotta love Cat's genius socks. And they aren't even bleeding or broken!

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*blink* *blink*

Where have I been! It's been more than a month since my last post. Sorry about that. Although, in my defense, that last post was written the day after school ended for Niels, so things have been off-schedule, in good ways and bad challenging ways.

What have I been working on? Well, I crocheted a coaster because I couldn't resist a ball of Sugar n Cream Stripes at JoAnn.

Then I crocheted a boy in a dinosaur suit for a girl who likes dinosaurs.

dino boydino boydino boy

And after that I crocheted a seahorse for Stefan because he fell in love with my friend Linda's unfinished project of the same.

charly seahorsestefan named him Watery

I'm working on another one, this time in a thinner yarn so it can be the "baby" for Niels, by specific request. Right now it's just a head, though.

And just today I gave my friend Victoria a mitered square towel (an Excellent Lady Gift according to the Mason-Dixon Knitting book where I got the pattern). I guess that means Victoria is a Lady, or I am, or possibly both.

Apparently, I've mostly been crocheting. Okay there is also some knitting going on. The pucker sweater is growing but I've hit the wall with it for some reason. My Hempstream is still on time out for not going together smoothly, somehow. Also, I coordinated and knit some of a blanket for the aforementioned Linda the pattern for which I submitted to Knitty. I got a rejection email a couple of days ago which I actually found to be very unexpected. I thought they would like it. I need to pick myself up, brush myself off and get the pattern together in PDF form to sell on Ravelry instead, I think. I am working on some other gift knitting but I can't talk about it, or post photos, for obvious reasons.

The other knitting related thing that happened was that I gave my mother my February Lady Sweater. I just didn't like the way it looked on me. I don't like having to fasten my cardigans all the way to the top so a cardigan that only fastens at the top is just not a good plan for me. I'm not sure now why I thought it was. I got swept up in the February Lady Sweater excitement, I suppose.

I haven't had many editing clients recently. I don't know if fewer people are publishing patterns because fewer people are buying patterns because the economy sucks or if everyone else is as swept up in summer as I am. I'm hoping it's the latter so that in the fall when the kids are back in school maybe I'll have more to do. Time will tell, I suppose!

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elder god for the younger son

I got out my copy of Creepy Cute Crochet to look for instructions on how to make the general body shape I wanted for the Mystery Animal. Stefan had other ideas, though. Stefan said he wanted "the green guy", otherwise known as Cthulhu. Luckily, he's a lot more friendly looking in a small crochet version.

Obviously, he needs eyes. I didn't have the right sized safety eyes so I figured I'd find something after he was finished. Unfortunately, I'm having trouble embroidering them on. I might take a page from Janice's book and get some felt.

The part that amuses me about all of this is that Cthulu (yes, without the second H) was Erik's screen name on the MUD where we met so I feel connected to that name. Stefan still calls this "that green guy" though, which is super cute. Also, he doesn't seem at all bothered by That Green Guy's lack of eyes.

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