Saturday, April 28, 2007

Random Ramblings

Well, it only took me about an hour of picking, pulling, detangling then winding to clean up my yarn barf to end up with a nice ball of yarn. I cast on my second sock Thursday night and got about a third of the cuff done yesterday. This one seems to be going a lot faster. Then again, the second sock always seems to go faster. I think that's why I like making one at a time because I can work out all the kinks on the first one then soar through the second one.

Speaking of socks, in my surfing yesterday, I found a simple pattern for toe up socks. I was so excited, I almost frogged the sock I had just finished and started over. I managed to quell my excitement long enough to find a good deal on some Regia Crazy on Ebay. It's a gorgeous colorway, I can't wait for it to come so I can try out this toe up pattern. It'll probably come on the same day that my Knitpicks order comes and then I'll hard time deciding what to work on first.

Travis and I met with his advisor after school yesterday and registered him for 10th grade. They have a crazy schedule for next year. Currently they are on block scheduling where they have eight classes total which are divided in half. One day they go to half of the classes for 2 hours each and the next they go to the others. Next year, they will only have 7 classes but will continue to have this block scheduling on Mondays and Fridays and have all 7 classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for 1 hour each. Everybody is going to be SO confused.

I cleaned the kitchen yesterday and accumulated several packages of bread--buns, loaf bread, English muffins, etc.--that were old and told Hayden that when Daddy got home from work, we could go feed the goats. He proceeded to carry the bread all around the house until Patrick got home. We went over to feed the goats and I handed him half of a hamburger bun to give to the goats. I turned around and he was standing there eating it! It wasn't molded or anything, just stale. I kept encouraging to handed to a goat but he wouldn't. Then Phoebe stuck her head through the fence and took it from him. He was so mad!

He continued to enjoy playing in his little play area again yesterday. He was up before I left for work this morning and Patrick said he begging to go out by 7:30. I think we've created a little monster!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Raspberry Blue Socks

Today, I finished my first sock of my own design. I am very happy with the results. I used hand dyed yarn that I bought from Sarah House. The striping on this yarn is incredible. It was hard to find a pattern that suited it so I made up my own. I didn't want anything that would hide the striping. There are more pictures on my Flickr page that do the stripes a little more justice.

Now, I'd like to follow the rules and cast on immediately for my other sock but just as I got the end of the first sock, my yarn barfed. So now I have to rewind this mess before I get started on the twin.

He Speaks!

Yesterday, Hayden said his first real word with purpose. He's been saying things like "uck" for truck, "birr" for bird and making animal sounds for a while now but yesterday he said "bubba" in reference to Kyle. Last night, every time we told him to say bubba he would repeat it very clearly. This afternoon he was outside playing with"bubba" and he came saying "mama" and "daddy" clearly and with purpose! We are so excited! It was beginning to seem like he was never going to talk.

He loves his new enclosed play area that Granddaddy finished for him yesterday. It was really intended as a dog pen for Little Bit. It's a fenced in area enclosing the back porch so all I have to do is open the door and let Little Bit go out. It's also a great place that Hayden can play without me having to worry about him wandering off. He only got to play in it for a few minutes last night. It was very cloudy when we got home from taking Travis to school this morning so I didn't mention playing out there. He was happily playing on the floor when he suddenly jumped up, gathered up as many trucks as he could carry and ran to the backdoor. I helped him carry the rest of the trucks outside and that's where we stayed til nap time. It was great!

While we were out there this afternoon, I met with my contractor, i.e. Kyle, about a new deck and a new roof. He took measurements for everything. I just hope the prices he quoted are accurate. He got up on the roof and said that it has to be done first, which I knew. I really want the new deck but the roof will come first and hopefully soon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Progress Bars

Woo hoo! I am so excited that I made a progress bar that works. It only took me about 2 hours and a dozen or so different internet resources. I took a little info here and there and copied code from a couple of different sites and I got progress bars!

For the rest of you out that want to add progress bars to your blog, this is how I did it (I am by no means a techy or a computer geek but hopefully I can make this clear for you). These instructions are for the new Blogger, I have no idea if they will work with other blog servers.

Important Note: Every [ and ] noted below must be replaced with <> respectfully in order for your code to work. I find it easiest to cut and paste the code into Microsoft Word and perform the find and replace action under the Edit tab.

1. Log into your blogger acount.

2. Go to Layout.

3. Click on the Edit HTML tab.

4. IMPORTANT: Click on the Download Full Template before you go any further. This will save your excisting template to your hard drive in case your changes don't work.

5. Cut this:
[link href='css/style.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'][style type='text/css']

.prog-border {
height: 15px;
width: 205px;
background: #fff;
border: 1px solid silver;
margin: 0;
padding: 0;}

.prog-bar {
height: 11px;
margin: 2px;
padding: 0;
background: #C9DDEC;}

6. Scroll down until you get the first entry of
(This only about 8 lines into the HTML text)

7. Paste what you cut in #5 above below [head] and above [b:include data='blog' name='all-head-content'/]


9. Now click on PAGE ELEMENTS under the LAYOUT tab

10. Select add new ADD A NEW PAGE ELEMENT from the side bar.

11. Select HTML/JavaScript.

12. Paste the following into the content box:
[li]Name of your project here:: percent complete here%[/li][div class="prog-border"] [div style="width: 85%;" class="prog-bar"] [/div][/div]

13. For each project you want to post just repeat from [il] to [/div]. Besure you have [ul] at the very beginning of your HTML and [/ul] at the very end. These do not need to be repeated for eahc project.

14. You change the color of border and your bar by going to Visibone's Color Lab and changing the code background in #5 above.

I hope this works for you and makes it easier that what I had to do. My references are: Man Bites Hollywood, Knitticisms, Blogger Help

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Concrete Truck

Hayden had a very exciting day today. As soon as he finished his lunch, the concrete truck arrived at Grandmama & Granddaddy's house so we quickly put our shoes on and headed across the street. The sunroom addition that they are building is right off of the living room so he could stand at the living room windows and watch the concrete come down the trough. He was mesmerized by it, saying "uck" over and over again. When the truck left, he stood at the living room windows until he couldn't see it anymore then ran to the bedroom window to watch it until it was completely out of sight.

I am making decent progress on my sock. I finally finished the cuff, completed the heel flap, turned the heel, and did the gusset. Hopefully, I can get this one finished tomorrow. I really like the way this yarn is striping up.

Monday, April 23, 2007

My First Socks!

My first pair of socks! The pattern is Monkey from Knitty Winter 2006. The yarn is Knit Picks Memories in Rocky Mountain Dusk. I knit them on Knit Picks US#2 32" circs using the magic loop method. They are fraternal twins because the 2 skeins of yarns didn't match. Of course, I only kept 1 ball band after I wound them so I couldn't compare the lot numbers but the repeats of color in the 2 hanks were not even and the color is slightly brighter on 1 hank. At first, I was really upset that they weren't going to be identical but the lacy pattern makes it not as noticeable. Besides, they are socks after all and most of the time they are in my shoes anyway!

I have to say that even though the hanks didn't match, I love this yarn. It's 100% wool and oh so soft. I couldn't wait to wear them so they were worn twice before I took any photos so they are a little felted on the bottoms and have a little piling where they rubbed in my shoes. There are more photos on my Flickr page.

While this was my first pair of socks, it wasn't my first sock. My first sock was made sometime last year. It's Lion Brand Magic Stripes and I completed 1 sock. I made it on US#3 dpn. I found the dpn to be rather cumbersome and, even after I got the rhythm down, I was still knitting much slower than I usually do. I used Susan Bates aluminum needles and I think that was part of the problem. I kept grabbing the wrong needle at the end of a round and pulling out the one with the working stitches on it. Very frustrating. The cuff of the sock was 8" of 2x2 ribbing and I got so bored with it. I have to say I learned alot making that sock thought. It was the first time I had used dpn, worked short rows, or tried the kitchner stitch. I used an excellent on-line tutorial to learn how to make a sock. Even if I didn't end up with a pair it was still an invaluable experience.

After that first experience, I knew I didn't want to make socks on dpns again. I decided that I was going to make Patrick a pair of socks for his birthday. I knew I didn't have a lot of time because I couldn't start on them until I finished my Christmas knitting. I googled and found directions for two socks at one time on 2 circs. I got going on them and they were working out fairly well but still felt cumbersome with the needles hanging there amongst 2 balls of yarn and 2 cast on tails. I spent as much time untangling things as I did knitting. I googled again and decided to try my hand at 2 socks at one time on magic loop. This went better but still lots of tangling. When I got to the heel, I just couldn't figure out how to turn it and I thought the sock looked too small anyway, so off the the frog pond they went.

That probably would have been my last attempt at socks except for the fact that I had gotten some sock yarn for Christmas. The more I read about Monkey, the more I wanted to give these socks a try. They knit up great, a pattern that really grabs your attention. So, I cast on 1 sock on the magic loop. Once I realized how to visualize each part of the sock as needle 1, needle 2, etc. it was so easy. I know everybody has their preferences but magic loop is definitely the sock method for me.

I ordered some hand dyed yarn in a colorway that I had been looking for. I quickly cast on for my second pair of socks then I got stalled. The yarn is great and I love the colors but it has very long color repeats so I've had a hard time finding a pattern that it fits. I have to say that she did a great job with yarn because it stripes perfectly, better than any mass produced yarn I've seen. I finally just made up my own pattern. It's working out good but the pattern is mostly stockinette and I'm just bored with it. I do want to be able to wear them to work next week so hopefully that will motivate me to finish them soon. I'll post some photos soon.

The summer preview of Interweave Knits is up and there are several things in it that have me excited. I can't wait to get it. It's on newsstands May 15 so maybe I'll have mine by the end of May. In the meantime, I swatched up some Knit Picks Shine Worsted for the Ruffled Surplice that's on the cover of the Spring Issue. The stitch pattern looks great in the Shine Worsted and has a great drape to it.

I placed a Knit Picks order today. I ordered the Shine Worsted, a pattern and yarn for Hayden, some solid colored sock yarn, some miscellaneous stuff, and some sock yarn to dye. I can't wait for it to come.

I also emailed an inquiry about purchasing the pattern for the Felted Stained Glass Fan Bag. I haven't heard back from her yet. I am very anxious to start on this one too.

So much for being a project knitter. It looks like I'm about to have a whole bunch of WIPs!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Florida Bag

Pattern: KnitPicks The Florida Bag (discontinued)

Yarn: KnitPicks Shine Worsted in Watermelon, Sunflower, Green Apple, Crocus, Blush, Reef, Coral, and Batchelor Button.

Started knitting: April 6; Finished knitting April 8.

This is a great pattern. I'm sorry that KnitPicks discontinued it. It's no longer on their website so I guess it's sold out. Each color is a different stitch pattern. It was fun trying out new patterns with all the different colors.

Big thanks to my mom for doing the lining of the bag. I am certainly not a seamstress, even cutting fabric makes me nervous. She made the lining out of some great fabric we found at Hobby Lobby.

It's lined with fabric covering double sided stiff interfacing so it has a great shape. I found the handles at Wal-mart. I was most disappointed that Hobby Lobby (at least my Hobby Lobby) no longer carries purse handles. You can see the fabric thru the blue and purple yarns and it coordinates great.

This is my first non-felted bag and I really like it. I wish I were more comfortable sewing so that I could do the lining myself.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Our Little Escape Artist

Travis got up before I did this morning and found Hayden standing on the stool in the kitchen eating chocolate chip cookies! I didn't hear him get up and neither did Travis. After we got home from taking Travis to school, I put Hayden in his room and closed the door. He was out in the hall in about 30 seconds! So Granddaddy is going to buy a door knob cover for his room this morning. I'm afraid that we're going to have to put one on all the doors though because we keep all the other doors closed to keep him out of places he shouldn't be!

Happy Easter

I know it's a little late but Happy Easter to everyone. I wanted to post a photo of my dollar and a half cardigan with the skirt that my mom made. It's dark though, so the skirt is not clear in the photo. It's navy with small purple flowers, the same color as my cardigan.

Speaking of Easter, we had a great time even though it was so cold. We had record lows on Saturday and Sunday (a week after we had record highs--gotta love this weather). Julie brought eggs and the kids had a rather chilly egg hunt after lunch. Travis, being the great big brother that he is, helped Hayden.

Not only did he help Hayden find eggs but on Saturday he helped Hayden dye eggs which was quite an adventure. Things got a little crazy with the puff paint.

Here's Hayden's Easter basket (which he promptly picked and threw on the floor, breaking all the eggs). Every thing is hand knitted. The sheep and bunny are Fiber Trend patterns and the basket is from the March 2006 issue of Creative Knitting.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

My $1.50

Pattern: Dollar and a Half Cardigan from IK Spirng 2007
Yarn: KnitPicks CotLin in Royal Plum
Started March 8, 2007 Finished March 30, 2007
I changed the fronts and did them both in the lace/ rev St st pattern. The yarn is incredibly soft after washing blocking. I think I need to lightly steam the sleeves though. It was hard to block the sleeves without making a crease down the side.
I never thought I'd have this finished in time for Easter so Tuesday was a mad dash to Joann's for buttons and fabric for my mom to make me a skirt to wear with the sweater for Easter Sunday. I'm so excited to have it done!