25 March 2008

Surprise, it's a jacket!

I finished my first, and probably last, baby surprise jacket this morning.
It still needs buttons, but that will have to wait until the next sonogram. The result is pretty impressive and I think it will be a great little sweater. BUT. . . I had no fun knitting it. People say you either love or you hate the EZ style of knitting. I wouldn't say I hate it, but I'm definitely not lovin' it. I had to keep track of what row I was on for the color changes and then how many stitches were on the needle for the pattern. It was quite annoying. I would have much rather just needed a row counter. It really slowed me down to have to write in my notebook after each row. And then when the pen would fall and I'd have to get off the couch to get it. . . well, ask Gloria about how easy that is!
Even putting all that aside and blaming my fussiness over the pattern on my shear laziness (I should really have been knitting a scarf given my mood the past 2 weeks!), the real reason I did not enjoy this knit is the garter stitch. I'm not a fan of garter stitch. It seems like it went on forever and barely grew.
All that negativity aside, I love the end result. The neck opening seems pretty small, but this is for a small person so I'm sure it will fit. And the yarn looks just fantastic. It's another Lotus Yarns project. She's my new favorite indy dyer. This is knit out of the deep water and blitzkreg bop in worsted weight. I love it, love it, love it. Now, if only that baby would get here so I can try it on. Actually it's probably going to fit when he/she is a year old.

24 March 2008

Puppy post

The poor dogs have been sick the last week. Who knows what's wrong with them. They do have a vet visit this week for shots so I'll ask and I'm sure they won't know, but it's worth asking. So, they have been the focus of my life the last week. Cleaning up vomit, specially cooking chicken and rice for them, and being the doorman to the million of visits they have to make outside. Here's some pictures of the little guys.

Here's the boys soaking up some sun. It was a gorgeous day and they would have loved to be outside, but they were so sick they just wanted to cuddle with each other on the soft bed.

When they lost the light they moved here, not as soft, but much more sunlight.

Yesterday my sweetie and I died easter eggs.

I knew I had eggs at home when I bought the kit, but didn't even think about the fact that they're brown eggs. Luckily most of the colors still worked. They had to stay in the dye for a long time, but they turned out pretty vibrant (and it gave us a chance to play the matching game that came with the kit).
My sweetie went with the basic approach and dumped his eggs into the 3 darkest colors (his are on the left). I was a bit more adventurous and wanted to see if the yellow would have any effect on the brown eggs and then overdyed with other colors when it didn't (mine are on the right). I'd have to suggest the basic approach when trying to dye brown eggs.

By egg dying time the dogs were feeling a whole lot better. Cooper heard the camera and had to come be a ham. You just have to say "Cooper pose" and he tilts his head and looks straight at the camera.

Trapper has to be enticed to stand still for 2 seconds with some food.
With the pups feeling better and 2 whole days without rain or snow, I'm in quite a good mood too!

20 March 2008

Just pics

I'm a little swamped today. I need to run to the grocery store and get some chicken to cook for Trapper cause he's pretty sick and can't seem to keep his dog food down. Plus I'd love to get a walk in since it's not snowing or raining right now. Then I get to sit and wait for the phone guy to come. So, today is just pics with no explanation. But that's ok, I think I explained what they all are in the last post.

First, a present from my brother and his girlfriend:
It's free samples, but it's still the first baby-related package I've gotten.

Baby Surprise Jacket:
I'm not understanding how this will make a jacket, but I have faith in good ole' EZ.

19 March 2008

I don't like my knitting

Right now none of my knitting is making me happy. A super secret project is just boring the crap out of me. My baby surprise jacket is taking forever and I'm seeing barely any progress (I hate garter stitch). And there's no way I'm going to pick up the stockinette hell that is my sweetie's sweater. I know everyone always feels guilty about the amount of WIPs they have, but I am publicly declaring that I'm a multi-project gal and I love it!! I don't care if I have a million and one projects on my needles, if I look through my many project bags and not a single one is making me happy then I'm going to cast on another. Ah, I hear you asking, why not just frog the ones you don't like. Very simple answer to that, I'm a very fickle person when it comes to my knitting. I may despise a project today and absolutely love it tomorrow. For example, my jaywalkers. Just over a week ago I hated them, they were boring to work on, I only had one sock done, and I didn't like the way the pattern looked. A few days later I felt the urge to knit them and finished them a few days later. Now I have another awesome pair of socks that I would never have if I frogged. Anyway, the moral of the story. . . I love to knit, I may not love every project all the time, but I love to knit. It's my hobby, it's not my job or my means of supporting my family, so why should it be stressful. Why should I care how long it takes me to work through 10 miles of sock yarn or how big my stash is? And why in the world would I care how many WIPs I have? As long as I have a place to hide it all when I'm not working on it, I don't care one bit.

Right now I'm just declaring my knitting as whimsy not work. . . basically I'm just justifying casting on another project. It's too late tonight to pick out a project to cast on, but I'm thinking quick and easy for some instant gratification. Stay tuned for a new project and pictures of those jaywalker socks and the beginnings of the baby surprise jacket.

15 March 2008

Blizzardy goodness

The last week has been great. Gloria came to visit. We did have a few things go wrong, like starting the week off with 20" of snow and then having plumbing problems that kept us from showering so we could leave the house. I don't have much time to write since I have to catch up on tons of house work and lots of laundry! But, we did lots and lots of knitting and we watched lots of Gilmore Girls and we went yarn shopping and we ate lots of chocolate. I think that about sums up our weekend. I didn't think to take any pictures, what a bad blogger I am!! But here's one of a dog in the yard after the blizzard:
He's a pretty tall pup and the snow came up to his belly. It's was funny watching them hop around out there. It was also nice to have them a little worn out after just 5 minutes outside!

And here's a picture of the hat I made while Gloria was here:
I also worked on my jaywalkers a bit, but mainly the hat (once we went and bought the yarn!). I'll have more details on the hat later, it was test knit for someone so I'll let you know when the pattern is available. I love it though!!

OK, I'll post more later about our visit. I just wanted to get those pictures up before I lost them (long story, but pictures wind up in many different folders on my computer).

07 March 2008

Will it ever stop!!!

Yesterday was a great day. It was close to 50 degrees, all the snow melted, I took the dogs for a nice long walk, and I found a letterbox I've been looking for since we moved here! 12 hours later, and boy has it changed around here! We're stuck in the house while the wind blows and the snow falls. The snow started 3 hours ago and we have over 2 inches of snow already. They're expected 3-5" today and another 2-4" overnight. Luckily Cooper is still wiped out from that walk yesterday, long walks are tough on him since he has a bad knee and arthritis. He's only 5 but he acts much older than it sometimes! Trapper, on the other hand, has a bit too much energy today and has been taking it out on some tennis balls, the quilt I'm working on, my arm, and pretty much whatever will fit in his mouth. Ok, onto some pictures. Here's the stamp I got yesterday:
I walk on this trail whenever I can, it used to be everyday but since the snow started it's been once or twice a week. I looked this clue up before we even bought the house and started looking for it then. I looked for 3 months and couldn't find it, then yesterday I walked by and saw the bright green top of the box from 50 feet away and got so excited. I had to go back home, drop off the dogs, pick up my letterboxing stuff, and come back out to the trail! The box was probably placed before some serious pruning had gone on and there were tons of big branches around the base of the tree. I thought I'd never find it. It made my day and now I want to go find more!!

Now onto something depressing:
My yard, after 3 hours of snow, and it's still coming down fast! Yesterday the deck (this is a picture of my deck, by the way) was completely free of snow and ice for the first time in almost a month, it was even dry! This crappy weather has gotta stop sometime, I'm getting very impatient!

Now some knitting content on this knitting and quilting blog. I have been working like crazy on my quilt, but I'm finding the quilting to be much less enjoyable as time goes on, so I think I'm going to quilt half the blocks and then tie the other half and the border. I don't care what it looks like at this point. If I try to quilt the whole thing I'm either going to hate quilting soon or it will never get done. I can only quilt during the day though because the light in our house isn't good enough for night time quilting. At night I'd been working on a super secret project, but the cable needle broke! Knit picks is happily sending me a replacement, but it has yet to get here. So, in the meantime, I picked this back up again:About time I made some progress on this, huh? The first jaywalker is done and when I picked this up last night I just had the ribbing done. I'm a very slow knitter, so for me that's some serious progress for one night!!

OK, I need to get another quilt block done before my sweetie gets home from work. He's also bringing a friend over for dinner so I should probably clean a little. Tomorrow is going to be a prep the house day cause my sister is coming to visit on Sunday!! The room she's staying in is the future baby's room so there's baby stuff on the bed, piles of books that are waiting for bookshelves, no furniture except the bed, oh and there's no lights yet! It will be ready by Sunday though. Gloria has a list of things we have to do while she's here and I will make sure that they get done!!

01 March 2008

The perfect day

Did you ever spend all week wishing for the prefect weekend day. You know, the day where your sweetie is home from work with you, but manages to stay in the other room playing video games so you can watch a marathon of America's Next Top Model and knit your brains out. Maybe on this perfect day the dogs will behave and occupy themselves with ripping apart one of their dog toys and not a couch. And maybe, just maybe, on this perfect day the sun will shine, but it will still be so cold that you don't feel guilty about staying inside and knitting. Well, I almost had that day today. I knit my brains out and watched Eva win ANTM (many, many seasons ago, I think). Just as the last episode was wrapping up I finished weaving in the ends of this baby:
It's a Koolhaas hat and it's the coolest!! I just love it, it fits perfect and I didn't even do a gauge swatch. I don't even know if I had the correct weight yarn.

So, the perfect day continues. My sweetie suggests that we make maple sugar candy from scratch since we couldn't find any in the store last time we went looking and he knows I LOVE the stuff. We happen to have all the ingredients we needed, maple syrup and vanilla. We start it a-cookin' and watch a movie. All is going well. We remove it from the heat and let it cool for 1 hour as the directions say. All is still well. Then we go to beat it until it becomes light in color and stiff. It quickly becomes a beautiful light caramel, but it just won't get stiff. 10 minutes or so with the mixer and I decide to get a look at this recipe. We were following it to the T but all other recipes online say to mix it with a wooden spoon a few minutes after it comes off the heat and not to let it cool for an hour. And the change in the mixture will be so quick that you have to be careful to not let it set up in the bowl before it gets into the molds. We gave up. We took what looked like pancake batter and poured it into the tiny molds we had and we're hoping it will set up at least a little. In the meantime, I'm getting rather fussy because my pancake batter was dripping all over the mold and I'm a bit too anal to be able to just shrug it off. My sweetie picks up on the fussiness (actually I was yelling at him about something, maybe he was breathing too loud, I don't remember) and decides to go check on the beer he's brewing in the basement. He gets downstairs and I heard quite a few expletives. He ran upstairs to inform me that the downstairs toilet, which we have never used, exploded. Since we have one of those oh-so-convenient home warranty things we have to wait until Monday to even schedule an appointment with someone. We're not quite sure what the problem is since our septic was pumped a month ago, so we don't even know if we can use our water right now. Where oh where did my perfect day go!!! To end on a positive note though, I've convinced my sweetie that doing the dishes will use too much water so we should really go out to dinner!