Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sad, so sad

What could it be? Theoretically, it's supposed to be the head of a little teddy bear. Unfortunately, it looks like a upside down baby booty. I had to have another quick crochet lesson from GFM (we had a secret meeting in the middle of an Open Gym full of preschoolers this morning. Don't ask - those little kids are really anti-crochet!) and figured out my stitch issues but, obviously, I don't have the "count your stitches in between increases/decreases" issues put to rest yet.

ON the knitting front, I took my baby sweater with me this weekend and, in between bouts of intense cross country skiing, crochet and swimming, I finished the two sleeves. I'll be working on the body this week. And, once I get this lumpy bear head ripped out and re-crocheted, I'll be working on the Little Teddy Bear pattern from Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts' Amigurumi.

Back to working on Lumpy the Bear.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

No kool aid will be drunk . . . but I am taking the plunge!

Between these cute little beasties . . .

and this podcast . . .

I have been inundated with crochet lately. Miss Marley over at Yarn Thing really makes it sound fun, too! So, I am taking the plunge. This weekend, while at my church's winter retreat, GFMelissa will be teaching me to crochet. After that, I'll be rushing back home on Saturday in order to pick up the World Travelling Daughters at the airport. Then, on Sunday, my first masters swimming meet at the University of Minnesota. I'll be swimming backstroke in a relay and, if there's time, the 500 freestyle.

Then, the Minnesota Knitters' Guild is having it's Winter Tea. So, when I was complaining about not having a social life, the Big Guy Upstairs must have heard me!

Since its likely I won't be around a computer on Saturday, I am posting my Saturday Seven early - without a picture.

While looking for suitable crochet yarn in my stash, I weeded out all my needles and yarns and got together a box of: two sets of straight needles, three skeins of Rowan Big Wool in pumpkin, three skeins of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed in the color Sigh, one skein of something unknown - worsted weight, a sock pattern and several tools like yarn bras, etc. It's a collective seven that's going off to Interim House for use in their substance abuse programs.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday again?

Sorry about the quality of the photos but my camera is currently traveling to Italy with these two ladies! See you next Saturday, girls - take lots of photos!

And my Saturday Seven photo is pretty poor pickins' as well - a package of baby wipes and another of disposable training pants left over from Youngest Child's baby days, two butcher knives and a cookie press from my late Mother-in-law's kitchen, a polo shirt from my DH's closet and a flannel shirt from my Youngest Daughter.

I must be saving up my mojo for tomorrow - the big day at Knit Out 2008. Good Friend Melissa will be riding shotgun again - she'll be the one giving me the giggles!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Burn, baby, burn!

Last year, I mistakenly mentioned that I enjoyed doing "Sudoku." And I got three books of puzzles for my birthday! Since then, I've been skipping back and forth between books, doing one or two puzzles at bedtime, and finally, finally, finished one. So, I burned it in triumph.

With two more half-filled books to get done, it's enough to make me give up puzzles.

This week, I did give up on that green sock but - not on the yarn! I have three skeins of Steinbach Strapaz Cotton in the 03/kiwi color and I am looking for a new pattern to make them up for myself.

Instead, I started a new pair of simple ribbed socks for Youngest Child. That's easy and mindless - just the thing for taking to the Knit Out 2008 at the Mall of America.

Yep, it's that time of the year again and it looks to be really fun! I am hoping to hear author Debbie Macomber speak but the whole weekend's events look good. Just in case you check it out, I'll be working at the Minnesota Knitters' Guild table on Sunday. Stop by and say "hello" in person!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Farewell friend!

I couldn't stand it anymore - I ripped this sock back and returned it to the stash. I like the yarn but the pattern was just too much "stop and start" - I couldn't memorize anything. I am really disapointed - this seemed like a perfect pattern until I actually began to knit it. Instead of a simple cable, there's a single purl stitch in between. Remind me to avoid this particular design feature in the future!

I am tuning up for another pattern - something simple - for Youngest Child. I just need to catch him and actually measure his feet! I'll use the Knit Picks sock yarn I bought so I could keep the Merlin the Cat yarn for myself.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

"Don't forget the bag!"

According to Guinifer, I should keep the red bag and stow it in my trunk for last minute shopping trips. Today's Saturday Seven would have fit in quite easily. I was trying to get out my sewing machine to make some baby bibs for a friend's upcoming baby when I decided to clear out some of the clutter. Five quite dated sewing patterns, a small embroidery kit and another Girl Scout Song Handbook. Man, my house must be awash in these! Where are they all coming from??!

Youngest Daughter deigned to hold this scarf for me. After a heavy social schedule so far this weekend (a slumber party and a Girl Scout outing), she's feeling fatigued and can barely lounge on my chair and watch television. Notice the frog pajama pants!

I've begun marking the start of each repeated set of rows. There are supposed to be something like 29 sets - this is about five or six. So, instead of Kelley Petkun's "An inch a Day" for her socks, I am hoping to work on a set a day. That would make this finished in, oh, March. Which is still way ahead of the June Birthday deadline. But, not really bookin', I guess. Do people still say "Bookin?" I spent some time over at Crazy Aunt Purl's blog and she was lamenting leaving the 1980s behind and that is defininitely an '80s word.

And if that's hasn't given you a little flashback, check this out:

Ahh, remember watching videos? We have started recording "Pop Up Videos" on TiVo and every time the show is over, Mr. Daisy sighs.

Friday, February 08, 2008

It's in the bag.

Oh, come on, you didn't see that coming? I wanted you to see how it all folded up into a little clutch bag. I had a great time picking out at button today. They were all gorgeous at my local fabric store. I might have to start a button stash as well as a yarn stash!

Now, on to the "Paws to Remember" scarf and a busy evening watching Mr. Daisy and Youngest Child play the Wii. What an exciting life we lead.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Not a loser!

See! I didn't let it beat me! I finished this bag while at our local caucuses last night. Now, I still don't have a button on the flap for the inner bag (the only one I had that fit the loop had "Izod" stamped on it!) but the whole bag is knitted, ends sewn in and washed once. This yarn requires a soak with vinegar to set the color but I washed it in the sink, soaked the bag and, then, wrang it out and ran it through the dryer with a towel. Beautiful!

I tried to take a picture with items in the bag to show the amount of stretch in the design - it's not a lovely photo but it does show how far the stitches stretch when items are in the bag.

As I was having my problems with the pattern, I emailed the Oat Couture people and got a very nice reply. Annie at Oat Couture reassured me when she mentioned that the picked up stitches on the bottom corners were somewhat "fudged." So, I just did what I could. I think I ended up using up extra yarn on the bottom - I ran out of Cotton Fleece and had to pick up another skein for the top. Maybe I'll make another for myself!

Oh, and the caucus was very neat - crowded, lots of political signs and discussion - but they needed better room signage. We were part of a small group of attendees wandering the halls looking for our precinct. Eventually, we found them and got to vote. Then, we went out for coffee and dessert. That's a combination I can support.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Everthing old is new again . . .

And I mean more than the Saturday Seven.

My daughters' school has an Oldies Dance tonight - they actually have two dances a year and this is the only one open to all 9th-12th graders - and we have had quite a time coming up with costumes this week. One daughter is going as an 80's club girl (complete with pressed jeans and high heels, pearls and flashy clothes!), Middle Daughter is dressed in 1970's attire - a lovely patterned dress, books and an up-do. She's make a nice bank teller or teacher a la 1976. Youngest Daughter is going as "Miss Chickpea County of 1947" complete with sash and bouquet of roses. We wanted her to be the "Queen of Non sequitur" but she felt that was a bit much!

Mr. Daisy and I are going to get to see them in all our glory as we are working the event. In costume. We are going as beatniks.

I was hoping for more of an "Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face" rather than the Maynerd Krebs kind of look but we'll see.

Today's Saturday Seven was all culled from one dresser drawer: a pad of football shaped sticky notes, a paper punch, a pair of sunglasses, a Girl Scout songbook, a bag of American Girl grin pins, a de-fuzzer and (get those minds out of the gutter!) a FOOTROLLER from the Body Shop that I got as a Christmas present from one of my kids. Now, there is much more room in my pajama drawer for what's really necessary.