30 April 2008

An Overdue Thank You

About a week ago I received a great package in the mail but I keep forgetting to post the picture. I set up a little swap with someone from Ravelry, Silja, if you listen to She-Knits or Yarn Thing then you've heard of her! Well, she's over in Norway and doesn't have access to some of the things in the US, like Knit Picks yarns since they don't ship internationally. I offered to order a couple of skeins of laceweight yarn for her and send it to her and in exchange she would send me something. I just asked for anything she thinks I wouldn't be able to get in the US. She came through big time!!
She sent me a skein of yarn in grays that looks like it's going to work up just gorgeously. And it came just as my lace obsession is really getting into full swing. She also sent a wide variety of stitch markers, a few regular ones, a few that clip on to the work, and one that says "JOIN" for anything in the round. And what I think is my favorite thing (well, I haven't actually knit with the yarn yet so it's not fair to say yet), a needle holder. It's got one large pocket and then lots of small ones, perfect for my knit picks options tips and cables! I love it, love it, love it! Some of the stuff she sells on her Etsy shop so go check it out.

So, what's on my needles at the moment. Another February Sweater. I finished all my grocery bags and I'm using the same needles for the February Sweaters as I am for the Branching Out Scarf. I'll get back to the scarf eventually, first I have lots of sweaters to make. I'll be casting on for the Voyager Lace Stole as soon as I get the yarn mailed to me from my parents (I'm not holding my breath for that one!) And I got the yarn to start making Starsky, but since I'm making it for post-baby and post-diet, I'm not in any rush to start it.

26 April 2008

February Sweater

I finished the February Sweater and it's gorgeous! I love, love, love it! I went yesterday and bought some buttons and I'll hopefully get them sewn on today. This sweater is for my cousin's baby. His wife is pretty old school so I got buttons that look like little pearls. What do you think?
Changes I'll be making for the next one, or three, I make:
- I'm going to do the sleeves in the round so there is no seam at all (although I think I did a fantastic job seaming the sleeves!)
- I will remember to start in garter so there isn't a roll at the neck, but the roll may increase the cuteness factor, so I may go back to the roll once I do one without it.
- I'm going to play around with the buttons. I want to do one with 3 buttons near the top and then none on the bottom and then maybe one without buttons and instead do it Mintyfresh style!

Other than that I've been working on some more crocheted grocery bags. I have 4 now and I'm almost done with a 5th. I should be able to get one, maybe 2, more out of the cone of cotton that I bought. A few went on their first grocery trip last weekend and they were very effective and we didn't get any weird looks from the baggers. And my sweetie was able to get them all inside in one trip (very handy when there are 2 rambunctious dogs waiting on the other side of the screen door for you!)

I bought yarn to make myself a goal sweater. It hasn't arrived yet, but once it does I can't wait to start knitting Starsky. The plan is to make it in a medium and then it will be my incentive to lose weight after the baby is born. I've gained back just about all the weight I lost on Weight Watchers and really want to get back to being skinny. Of course I'm not allowed to diet while the little one is growing inside me, but once she's out I'm going back to WW. I think a hand knit sweater would be pretty good incentive. I haven't knit a sweater for myself yet and the short time I was skinny I wasn't at the point in my knitting where I would consider knitting a sweater. The good thing about doing this with Starsky is that it's a tie front cardigan so I don't think it has to be knit to the "just right" size to fit me. I think a little big or a little small and I'll be able to get away with wearing it. I really wanted to order some green yarn, but I've been told all I knit is green so I got brown instead, that should go with just about everything.

24 April 2008

Check out my Widget!

Isn't that the coolest thing ever! I'm hoping it updates itself every week, we'll see in a few days. The February sweater is almost done. I'll post pictures in a day or 2. All the knitting is done, just have to sew up the seams and weave in ends. I've got yarn on the way for 3 more, one for my girl, one for a college friend who's having a girl and one for just in case. I've still got 2 friends that don't know what they're having yet. One already has a boy so I'm hoping she has a girl this time around.

23 April 2008

Earth Day

Yesterday was Earth Day and in honor of that I was electricity free until my sweetie came home from work. It was a very nice day until the pups started acting up. I think there was something wrong with one of the horses in the field behind the house and it was very upsetting to the dogs. Hopefully the horse is all better today and hopefully a nice long walk will exhaust the dogs a little.

Yesterday morning was spent in the yard cleaning up some leaves in the corner that I don't think have been touched in years. It was at least 9" of leaves and the bottom layer was pretty well decomposed. It took quite a while, but it got done. While I was working hard, the pups were soaking up the sun!
Poor Cooper gets so hot because of his dark coat, but he still lays out in the sun instead of finding a shady spot!

After lunch, they started getting fussy. I made them take a little nap with me. Usually it calms them down, but instead it seemed to fuel the fire and they were bouncing off the walls. I had a killer headache after a couple hours of barking, whining, and clicking their nails on the floor so I retreated to the porch and knit.
This is my progress so far on the February Sweater. This one is going to go to my cousin who is having a girl a month or so before me. I am placing an order soon for more yarn, I'm getting the same yarn in purple to make for my little girl and I think I'll stock up on some more pink and purple to make for some other friends who I'm not sure what they're having yet. I think that this will be my standard baby girl gift from now on. Once I figured out what the heck EZ was talking about in her pithy directions, it's a very easy knit and not in the least bit boring (like I thought the baby surprise jacket was!) I've only got a couple more inches left on the body. I may be able to finish it by this weekend.

I forgot to take pictures of my package from a ravelry buddy. That'll have to wait until the next post, but it's really good!!

20 April 2008

Who Am I?

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

19 April 2008

Crafty plans

With the news of a little girl, all my crafting plans have changed. I can return to the quilt I started, then put on hold since I was convinced she was a boy. That's going to be quite a project and will take up tons of my time. But I also want to knit at least one girly thing since everything else has been boyish. I'm going to make a February Sweater and depending on how I like it and how easy it is to make, I will either keep it for the little girl (I need to find something to call her!) and make another for my cousin's baby, or I will just give it to my cousin's baby.

My sister gave me a great idea the other day. I was complaining about how she hasn't finished my graduation shawl yet and she said she would get to it soon and hopefully she could get it done cause it would make a great nursing shawl. Now, I don't know what she's thinking cause that thing is alpaca (I think) and the baby will cook under it! It'll be great in winter, but not so much when she's just born in the fall. So, my brilliant beyond brilliant idea is that I'm going to knit myself a nursing shawl. I have some gray lace yarn in the basement that should be enough for a shawl and I have the Victorian Lace Today book. I just need to pick out a pattern and start knitting. I should probably finish some of the stuff on my needles first so I don't have too many projects looming over me, but I know I won't!! That's not how I roll!

18 April 2008

IT'S A. . . .

GIRL!!!! Let the girly-girl knitting commence!!!

16 April 2008

How do you solve a problem like a Cooper?

We just had some real excitement here! I was finishing up some gardening when the neighbors dog came to the fence and the owner called from next door that it was ok to let him in. As I was opening the gate Trapper sneaked his big old body through and was quickly followed by Cooper. They both knew exactly where they were going. Trapper had his eye on a toy of Fox's (the neighbor's dog) and went straight for it. Luckily he's easy to fool and if you pretend like you're going to through a ball he'll come sit right in front of you and wait for you to throw it. Cooper, on the other hand, had other things in mind. He went running behind the neighbor's house to the horse pens where the big horses are let out. The gate was slightly open and he went right in. By that time I had caught Trapper and handed him off to the neighbor who walked him back to my house. Cooper decided that the horse pen was a new dog park. In dog parks I don't exist. He runs and hunts until he's exhausted then walks to the gate to let me know he's ready to leave. I can yell all I want but if we're in a dog park he somehow doesn't hear me. After a few minutes of looking like a complete idiot in front of the neighbor and the constructions people working on the horse arena, someone came in the pen to see what was going on cause she wanted to let the horses out. Of course Cooper pretended like he was a great dog after that and ran right up to her and let her grab him. The worst part is that he looked so proud of himself. On the way back to the house it was like he was saying, "Hey, did you see that new dog park I found? It's the greatest!" How can you really punish them for having a little fun. The time to yell and punish would have been right when they went through the gate not when they are back safe and sound.

11 April 2008

The Williams Household Goes Green!!!

Being a SAHW, I now have no excuse to not run a green household. I have the time to figure it all out and get the new green system in place. I'm hoping I can into a nice routine before the baby comes. These are the 2 small changes we've made so far that will hopefully make a big difference in the amount of waste that we produce.

1. We're no longer using paper towels (except to clean up dog throw up). Instead we're using microfiber towels. I got a pack of 25 on clearance for $8. And instead of the intense chemical cleaners, we'll be using vinegar and baking soda with the occasional bleach wipe down to disinfect.
2. I'm making us grocery bags out of cheapo cotton yarn. The bag looked so small, but it stretches a lot and can really hold much more than I thought. I fit a gallon of milk, 3 jars of peanut butter, and a jar of honey in it and it could have fit more but it got too heavy!
I'm still reading abut setting up a compost heap. I want to make sure I do it right so we don't have vermin around it or a horrible smell coming from it. I really want it going before the end of the month though so we can get it functional before baby comes.

One green thing that we've always tried to do is reuse the grain from my sweetie's beer brewing. Recently he made 2 batches, which meant about 15 pounds of grain. It's all sitting in the freezer waiting to be used, but the first of it has been made into puppy treats. They love these things! Although given the very high fiber content, more than 2 a day is not a good thing!
That's it for now. Keep watching for more greenness and tune in on Friday to find out the answer that you've all be asking. . . is it a boy or a girl!!

08 April 2008

The baby has a room!!

The last week my parents were out visiting. It was nice to have some family around, but they wore me out! We hit all the local quilt stores, toured Amish country, went to the Longaberger factory, took Chopper to an agility class, and even made a trip to the Tractor Supply Company. It was a lot to cram into 3 days! While they were here they bought a few things for the baby:
A lamb hooded towel, lamb rattle and lamb booties! And my dad just had to get the John Deere socks! Hey they'll work for both a boy or a girl, we do live in Ohio now! Although I'm still convinced it's a boy. . . we find out in 10 days!!!

Today I feel good because the baby officially has a room. If something were to happen and this kid comes 5 months early, I'm ready! The baby's room was being used as a guest room, but that has moved into the 3rd and smallest of the bedrooms. It's basically just the bed but there's room to walk around it on each side and room on the opposite wall to put a trunk or table for our guests to put suitcases on.
We went out this past weekend and bought the crib and changing table for the room.
And there's still plenty of room for a glider, which I really hope I get (hint, hint) and lots of other stuff!
It obviously needs a nice rug, but we'll wait until we know what we're having to get that. It's nice to start getting some of this stuff done. We're going to register as soon as we find out what we're having. And I'm hoping that we can buy some bookshelves in the next few months, if finances allow, since I just took all the books and knick knacks off the floor and threw them into the storage area.

Not to be outdone by the baby, the dogs have staked claim on their own room. With the temperatures in the 60s and 70s the last 3 days and no way of opening our downstairs windows, we've opened up the porch:
If the pups aren't outside in the gorgeous weather barking at the horses, they can be found right here:
They don't seem to be a bit phased by the whole baby's room. I guess the house has been in constant turmoil for the past 4 months we've lived here and they're used to things changing. Plus Cooper seems to love having the guest bed in a new room where he can sit on the bed and watch the horses!