Last Thursday we went out to dinner with family. While I was in the restroom, I heard a bit of a song I just couldn't place. So I took a video to record the sound so I could figure it out later. Then I promptly forgot all about it and went on with life as usual.
This morning I woke up with a song in my head, seemingly out of the blue, and by the time I got into the shower, I knew that it was a Pete Yorn song that I hadn't thought of in years and years. I looked it up on YouTube so I could hear it and then I remembered the song from the restaurant, played the video on my phone, and it was the same song.
Funny how your brain works on problems when you're not paying attention.
One week to Baby H. I have all kinds of thoughts on this, but no time to really think them. So hopefully my brain is working on it while I'm paying attention to other things.
Well, howdy! I've been a busy bee, dyeing up yarns. I think they're right pretty and ready for spring knitting. I can't wait for you to see them!
I'm having Baby H two weeks Monday (unless he has another idea, obviously!), so this will be the only yarn shop update this month. It'll be on Tuesday, March 20th (first day of spring!), at 10am Eastern.
If all goes according to plan, I'll keep the shop open until March 31st. Sometime on that day, I'll change each listing to "Coming Soon," which means you'll still be able to look, but won't be able to buy until I can reopen.
Fingers crossed, I'll reopen sometime in mid- to late-April. We'll just have to see...
We can't wait to meet him! You'll get to meet him too - just watch this space sometime the first two weeks of April.
Yesterday I went out in the back yard with V. The weather was perfect, with just a slight cool breeze.
V did lots of things.
She checked on and fixed up her Cat Lodge.
She's hoping a stray cat will take up residence there so we can adopt him/her.
She blew bubbles.
There was some chalk out there from the other day.
So she drew on some trees and the fence.
The cat drawing is so that the stray cats will know to come use the Cat Lodge whenever they need a place to stay with a ball to play with, a soft mossy bed, shelter, and greens to eat.
Today we're supposed to put a bowl of water out for them too.
While she did all that, I contemplated my baby belly. Which is huge. And three weeks to go.
Do you see my feet? Neither do I ...
And I knitted a pattern repeat on my socks.
Then I had the idea that V should collect some pine cones so we could make bird feeders. But we don't have pine trees in our yard; we have sweetgum trees. So we used those with peanut butter and birdseed.
V says these will lure the birds to our yard, so that they will lure the cats, who will want to catch the birds for their meals when they stay in the Lodge.
After that we contemplated the violets peeking through the leaves at the very back of the yard.
Just looking out back, I didn't think there was any color back there, but once I started looking I realized the violets are everywhere.
As of Monday, I'll have 3 weeks to go. I keep trying to imagine what it's going to be like to be a family of four, but I really can't. We've been three for 6.5 years.
Here are Zasha and Roxy trying to nap within just mere inches of each other. About 30 seconds after I took this, Zasha left the room. They play so well together, it's hard for me to believe they don't show each other a lot of affection when they're not playing.
Lately, V has written her first poem and her first two songs. Here's her poem - you should know that she prides herself on being a sneaky sneakerson and swiping any candy she might find in the house - or anyone else's house!
so here we are,
my crimes long far,
i'm still at it today,
eatin' candy from
the kitchen, par-tay.
And then she drew a picture of herself sneaking candy from her grandmother's kitchen. One of her songs is about falling down and scraping her knee and the other one is about puking. I'd say that perhaps reading her Horrible Science books for a good 1-2 hours every night before she falls asleep has something to do with it, but that was pretty much her sense of humor before she got them. I never knew puke was so funny!
Just wait until she gets it from Baby H - we'll see what she thinks then! Ha!
My friend Kim sent me some pretty thread.
When I was a kid, my mom drew a little girl on an empty wooden spool and I played with her all the time.
Today I've felt very tired, like I'm walking through sludge. Or like I could sleep the afternoon away. So far I have knitted a bit on my socks and gotten totally confused about what work I'll be doing over the next four weeks. I've had a kitty beside me for some of it and V beside me for all of it. R has been working hard all day, preparing things. Not a bad day, but I'd love a shot of energy.
Roxy always manages to make a nest.
We have 5 weeks and a couple of days until Baby H arrives. We've got a to-do list as long as my arm, yet I'm afraid I'm not much help because I'm slowing down. But I'm really looking forward to meeting him. I want to knit some baby booties, but haven't been able to settle on a pattern. If you know of the perfect one, please leave me a link! I'm a whole lot of indecision sitting right here...
Soooooo things seem to have gotten slooooooow around here. I am moving slower, thinking slower, and needing to rest more. Comes with being preggers, right? Oof!
I'm not used to it and it's making me a little lot impatient! I intended to have more yarn for tomorrow. Some nice worsteds and stuff.
But the show must go on! So tomorrow we have a shop update! With some really pretty yarn, if I do say so myself.
There will be Muscadine Sock and Emeline Sock, mainly in jewel tones. It's not very cold here this winter, but the trees are leafless and the grass is brown, so I thought some bright spots of color would be nice.
It's Caturday once again and we're all very excited about it. R is sanding the front steps to paint. I'm measuring Baby H's window and picking out paint. V is ... well I'm not sure what she's doing but I need to go check on that!
Here's Zasha, sitting on the banister. Until recently she never jumped up there, but now she does it all the time. Her raw diet is still agreeing with her. A couple of weeks ago, a friend was over and Zasha came up for pets. She commented that she thought Z would be the kind of cat with coarse fur, but it was really very, very soft.
I know when Z first came home with us, she did have coarse fur. Not anymore! I love it.
This week I was taking yarn photos for the update and Roxy got inside my light cube when I had to leave the room for something. I usually go to great lengths to ensure she doesn't get in there because then I have to go get the tape roller and roll away any fur she might happen to leave behind.
But this time I thought that since I had everything set up and would have to roll it anyway, might as well take some photos of my sweet, inquisitive girl.
The cube isn't big enough for her to do one of those show cat poses and neither is my camera lens long enough to get her full body without ruining the magic (you'd see the whole light cube just to fit her in the frame), and she wasn't likely to pose once I showed up with my camera because she's really a very good cat who knows she ought not be in there and so she jumped out almost immediately.
But I'm happy with what I caught.
Once upon a time, I was pregnant with a little girl baby. And I knew exactly what kind of child she would be. First off, she'd have curly hair (like me) and dark brown eyes (like her father). She'd have a calm disposition. I read up on Attachment Parenting, thought it was lovely, and hoped I'd be able to incorporate some of its ideas in raising my daughter.
Then my straight-haired, blue-eyed V was born and any ideas that I might ever be able to tell the future flew out the window during the long, sleepless nights of the "colic" that lasted an incredible 14+ months (and even longer with the sleep issues). Attachment Parenting wasn't a nice idea, it was the only reality that even halfway worked.
Tee hee. (of course I'm thinking of these things now, with #2 on the horizon, wondering if we'll get any sleep at all over the next 4-5 years...or perhaps he was the curly-headed, brown-eyed baby in my vision)
Before V was born, I bought a set of blocks and used them to spell out her name for her room.
Today, V tells me that she's changed her name. To Lo Gixx.
So Lo Gixx and I are going to spend our afternoon jumping off the sofa repeatedly, making cat lodges in the yard (to catch stray cats so we can take them in. all of them. because we can't ever have enough cats. hundreds of cats are what we need.), and climbing on kitchen counters in search of marshmallows.
Nothing wrong with that!
Meghan Jackson has designed the most perfect shawl to knit for Spring!
The colorway shown is brand new, called Frosted, which is a very pale purple.
From now through the end of February, I'm offering a dye to order listing of yarn in support of Meghan's pattern. You might choose Frosted, or your favorite colorway. More details in the shop!
This morning I was working toward photographing the yarns for the next update and glanced over to the living room where R just brought V's play kitchen upstairs and I thought, hey! I should take some yarn pictures there!
So I did. What was kind of comical about it was that sitting on the floor is not my best option at the moment, with this baby belly I've got going and a touch of sciatica.
I say a touch just to be polite. The reality went more like ... [camera clicking] snap snap "Ouch!" snap snap "Ouch!!!" snap snap "OUCH!" Only add your choice of foul language into the mix as well.
But I like the pictures.
For this update, on Wednesday February 1st at 2pm Eastern, I'll have something a little different, just for fun. Four skeins of Philomath Worsted in an honest-to-goodness color palette. Plus a couple of other semi-solid colors. Though semi-solids are what I'm drawn to, sometimes a girl just needs to mix it up.
There will also be the usual suspects (skeins of Muscadine Sock) in a couple of new colorways.
And Spinners, I haven't forgotten the roving! It'll be coming your way in a rare Sunday afternoon update - February 5th at 2pm Eastern. Hope you can make it!
Take a look at Foster.
Foster is a top-down knit with a couple of options - you can knit the cardi so it opens on the left or right side, and shape your waist or not. I love the asymmetry of the cable in front, and then there's a centered cable in the back. Beautiful.
Terri designed this in my Tanis colorway, but since I like for folks to have options, I'm offering to dye this up in a sweater quantity for you in your choice of colorway. You can read more about that here - feel free to ask me any questions you have. Just keep in mind that sometime around the beginning of March, I will have to put that listing on hold until I get back in the swing of things after Baby H arrives in April.
So what do you think? Isn't it gorgeous? It looks like the perfect cozy knit to me. I think Terri did an outstanding job!
Hola! Here's the info on the next shop update.
I'll have mainly Julep Sock, plus Navarre Sock in the three colors above. Hope to see you there!
These photos are from Christmas day. Here's Roxy enjoying the pretty lights.
I've been feeding the cats their raw food diet for more than a month now; R and I are impressed with the changes we've seen. They were never hugely overweight, but they have slimmed down beautifully. The other day R said what I'd been thinking for a while - that they are softer with shinier coats. They play together more often and more energetically. They even play alone more often too (especially Zasha - Roxy has always had more energy than Zash).
Roxy has not peed anywhere since she started eating raw. And before I started feeding her this way, her breath smelled really bad. Like really bad. It wasn't her teeth; I felt like it was a sign that something was about to go very wrong. The bad breath is gone, as is Zasha's chronic dandruff. It takes a little time to make it, but I can make a week's worth or two (or more, if I had the freezer space) at a time. I may sound like crazy cat lady, but I don't care. To me it's better than having to take Roxy to the vet constantly for antibiotics and catheterization, which I believe is the direction we were headed. I'll happily take on the name crazy cat lady.
Since we're all about the cats here, let me tell you the tale of this little Beanie Baby. Thanks to Maiz telling me of them, one of V's favorite series of books is about Jenny Linsky, a shy little black cat who has many adventures. Jenny wears a red scarf that her owner, a retired sea captain, knitted for her. No one makes licensed Jenny Linsky dolls, so I decided to put one together as best I could as a special present from me to V this Christmas. I found a black Halloween Beanie Baby that had the closest Jenny-look about her and cut the collar off her. Then I knitted a red scarf for her and tied it around her neck. I ran out of time to make the little baubles that go at the end of the scarf and planned to do this later, but V says she likes Jenny just as she is.
So I was dyeing some yarn this week and had an idea for one - greens and blues and turquiose, but darkened by gray.
So I did up 4 skeins of Julep Sock in turquoise. Then added some leafy greens. Next was to come the gray, but when I pulled them out of the pot they were so vibrant and beautiful I couldn't cover them all with gray.
So I did two and left two alone. Here's one of each.
I love how the gray glazing changes their personality. Some might think it makes them even more beautiful, while others might prefer the more vibrant version.
So I'll have two of each of these - I'm calling the vibrant one Aoife and the other one Dark Aoife - in the next shop update this Thursday, January 12th at 10am Eastern. Hope to see you there!
Finished my first pair of socks for this year!
Five pair to go. Now I'm going to knit a pair for me as soon as I find the right pattern - the yarn will be my Muscadine in Tanis. This time I'm going for less simple, more pretty.
Let me know if you have any suggestions!
Julep Worsted is my new yarn base - it's the same squishy blend as my Julep Sock - superwash Merino + cashmere + nylon, but it's a heavy worsted skein of 180 yards.
I think this one is my favorite, Rainforest.
Yummy yum yum! I'll have five colorways coming tomorrow, but not in sweater quanties. If you fall in love and find you need enough for a sweater, just send me an email after the update and we'll talk!
Happy New Year!
Who doesn't love a fresh, new year? The other day I was thinking of some crafty things I would love to do this year. Here's the list I came up with:
1. Knit 12 socks (6 pair)
I dye and sell sock yarn, yo! I should be knitting with this yarn too. Right?! There never feels like there's time, but I have come to realize that the first thing I do when I get up in the morning is go sit on the sofa with V for about a half hour before we get on with our day. Surely I can use 15 minutes of that time to work on a sock.
2. Knit at least a couple of Christmas gifts for this year
Not everyone I know would appreciate a hand-knitted Christmas gift, but I can think of at least three off the top of my head who would. So I'd like to pick 3-5 projects and decide on when I will knit them and see if I can't get that done this year.
3. Learn how to thread my sewing machine
My friend Kim was kind enough to find this sewing machine for me at a thrift store, clean it, oil it, and fix it up for me. I've made exactly one thing with it. Partially because it's down in the fiber studio - out of sight, out of mind - and partially because I am really intimidated by it. But I really want to be able to make simple things with it, and I want her to know how much I appreciate the gift by actually using it! V has an idea she wants to bring to life this year and it involves sewing. It'd be so much quicker for me if I could sew it on the machine rather than by hand.
4. Sew a tote bag
Seems like an easy enough first project.
5. Sew winter PJ pants for the whole family
This is something I've always wanted to do - make PJ pants for everyone annually. I think that'd be a wonderful family tradtion.
6. Make an Advent calendar
This year just felt so very busy. And every day V would ask me how many more days until Christmas. It's time to get this family tradition started. I want to find something cute and get it together before the end of November. Any suggestions?
7. Plan a few newborn shots for when Baby H is born
I've always wanted to take newborn shots - now here's my chance! I have a couple of ideas already, but I want to keep my eye on a few photographers for even more inspiration.
8. Take at least one roll of black and white film with one of my vintage/toy cameras
I had an idea for 2011 that I wanted to take a roll of film per month. In the end, that just felt too overwhelming and I gave up before I even got started. So I'm going to make it easy on myself and just try to take one roll of black and white film. It's something I really want to do. If I can do more than that, great. But if I just get the one done, I'll feel I accomplished something photography-related this year.
9. Work with V on her business idea
That's right, V has an idea for her own business. She's been talking about it for a good month now and I told her we'd get started on it after the new year. Of course she needs my help for it but she has already come up with ideas for two products and the name for the company all on her own. Of course it's all just fun for her, but I want to make sure I give her the best experience possible with it and to handle it all in the right way, as appropriate for her age and skills.
To keep up with all this, I have started a board on Pinterest. My intention is that it will become a mixture of inspiration and my own completed projects.
So, to get my crafty 2012 started off with a bang, I've begun my first pair of socks (here's my Rav project page for all the details).
Everything else I think I can do, as long as I plan when to do them, gather the materials sometime before the last minute, and possibly print and keep a copy of this post in my datebook.
I have a couple of other resolutions I've made too, but those aren't as fun. One is to floss my teeth every day in 2012. I used to do this, but fell out of the habit. I'd also like to get back to being plant-strong. That's my eternal struggle, apparently. And getting much, much, much more organized. I plan to do this with help from a book I found through Ginny at Small Things. The book is called Organizing Solutions for People with Attention Deficit Disorder. While I don't have ADD, my life is sufficiently busy enough that I get pulled in 20 different directions throughout the day and end up accomplishing maybe one thing when I should've finished five. This book has ideas for organization that just make sense to me. They're not always pretty, but if it's easier to clean up my house, I think it'll get done that much more often.
What about you? Any resolutions, crafty or otherwise?
I joined a sock knitting group on Ravelry - 12 socks in 2012. It starts on January 1st and the goal is to knit 12 socks next year. To some I'm sure that means 12 pair of socks; to me it'll very likely mean 6 pair of socks for 12 socks total. Still a worthy goal, I think!
So today I got everything together for my first pair. I wanted something simple because I've never actually completed knitting a pair of socks before. So I'm going with the Ribbed Socks for Kids pattern (Rav link) from the lovely (and prolific designer!) Susan B. Anderson (219 designs! I'm in awe.). I've been wanting to make these for a while with this specific hand-dyed yarn, for my girl.
I gathered everything I need together. I've got my madbird project bag and pattern wallet, with the pattern already inside. I've got my DPNs and stitch markers. Then I threw in some small scissors, a tapestry needle, and my tape measure.
I'm so very not good about keeping up with large or ongoing projects like this. Life just feels so busy. But then that's what I like about knitting - it slows you down so you can enjoy the little things. Like the perfect pair of handknit socks. I figure I'll just take it one at a time and do the best I can. The goal is to have fun, after all.