Soaker

Jun. 1st, 2010 03:52 pm
norsegirl: (Default)
To all that asked, this is a soaker:

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It does not fit terribly well. I made it way too large, tried to felt it down and while that worked for most of it, the legs are still really large. I might try to put elastic or a dart in them. Or I might just not worry about it, we'll see. In that picture she was just trying it on over her clothes.

I made another one on smaller needles and the results are here:

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As you can see, it fits a little better but is still not maybe as tight as it should be (which is fine as I was aiming for it to fit for Pennsic). She's actually wearing it as a diaper cover right now. She's been up napping for a bit so it's time to check and see if it actually performs well as a diaper cover or if those hippies that use wool are just on crack. (she's sleeping on a waterproof mattress pad, so now was the perfect time to check)

I've also knitted another one based on a different pattern and I'm nearing completion on that one, so we'll see how that behaves.

Off to see how G is doing...
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I think I found the sale to end all sales. Yesterday I found a pink puffy jacket in size 4T (yup, she won't even be able to wear it for 3 more years) for a whopping $0.99. A $50 jacket for less than a buck. That was it, the culmination of my bargain hunting career. I will never be able to outdo that find.

Also managed to pick up more of my beloved Sweet Pea diaper covers, which means I can retire all the inferior ones in the stash - yay! And to all that asked "what's a soaker?", it's a bit like wool undies for baby. You coat them with lanolin to make them water-repellent and they work like a diaper cover over cloth diapers. In our case, I'm using them to protect us from blow-outs at Pennsic when we're using disposables. I won't have enough garb to be able to do a second change any day and I want to avoid laundry, so we're going with back-up protection. Also covers the ugly that is sposies. Still not entirely happy about the fact that we'll be using disposables at Pennsic but being unwilling to do laundry on vacation I can't really see a way around it. I'll bring a day's worth of cloth with us just in case the disposables go badly (cause rashes or something) but I'm really just hoping it will go well for the week. Anyway, I'm one cuff away from being finished making my soaker and it looks like I've made a soaker for a 5 year old. Fortunately wool shrinks, which was my plan all along. I figured better to make it too big and felt it down than try to make it the right size and be stuck with something too small. I'll post before and after pics of this experiment. Wish me luck.

Georgia is moving comfortably over to solids. I'd say she's going about half and half now. Every morning she has a first breakfast of milk before I'm ready to get up. Then when I have my breakfast she has a half a banana with a handful of cheerios. Then at lunch it's a bit of whatever I'm having, which if we're at home is omelet for me, 1 yolk scrambled egg with cheese for her. Dogs get a lot of that, which makes them happy hounds. Sometimes if we're out and I'm not eating something baby-appropriate (chai frappucinno is not really a baby food) then she's back to milk only. And at dinner she sometimes has a bit of what we're having or I'll steam her some veggies. And throughout the day there are still a bunch of milk feedings, culminating in a last one to lull her to sleep at bed time.

Photographed some finished projects today while Georgia napped.

The mobile I made for Georgia. And yes, I am aware that the butterfly in the middle is a bit over-the-top tacky, but it's meant to entertain a baby and she seems to like it. I guess from that one could draw the conclusion that babies have no taste.
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The scarf I knitted for my sister for this Christmas (nice early start on the gifts this year):
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Bamboo scarf with bamboo background:
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Also uploaded a pic from a few days ago. Anna has decided that the best place to sit and survey her yard is from my lounger, especially when I leave the pillow on it.


The yard is coming along nicely. Nothing dead yet and the only thing that I have caught the dogs eating was today when Anna sampled some of the grass that is invading the flower bed between the bamboo - good dog helps me weed! Interestingly, while it looks to my eye like everything is thriving and growing before my eyes, the plant that has really taken off in a noticeable way when compared with the pics from immediately after it was finished is the pomegranate tree! I know, I'd have put bets on the bamboo too, but it just looks like it's greened up, not gotten larger. The pomegranate has put on inches though, and has at least two little fruits developing on it already!

Temptation

May. 24th, 2010 03:01 pm
norsegirl: (Default)
So I've made a new friend down here and we're getting along very well. She's in the SCA and we share many of the same interests. I've also got her tempted into trying the cloth diapering thing and when we went shopping last week I discovered that they've come out with a brilliant little kit that will get you enough for 2 day's worth of diapers for a mere $100. Wish that was around when I started. That said I do enjoy trying all the different kinds of diapers that are out there. Anyway, this weekend while I was trying to clean the temptress sent me a pdf with a knitted soaker pattern. It's not like I've never seen these patterns before. And it's not like I could use the particular pattern she sent anyway (it was for knitting rovings, not yarn so the gauge would have been all wonky) but she tempted me and now the house isn't clean like I wanted it to be and I've got a soaker 1/3 knitted on the needles. I'm very easily distracted, especially if it gets me away from the crappy jobs like cleaning.
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Finished a project last night that has been on the needles since January.





G seems pleased with it.

Off to make banana bread and then spend the weekend refinishing patio furniture.
norsegirl: (Default)
Today has been ups and downs. We started the day very early driving Jason to the walk-in clinic. He's just got a bit of bursitis in his elbow. No big deal, but a bit of a crimp in our schedule. On the bright side, Jason is being treated and we have a new family doctor (our last one moved out of the city and closed her practice here a few months back).

After dropping Jason off at work Georgia and I headed down to the local yarn shop for their monthly sale. Today it was anything in balls. I decided to take the plunge on some expensive Noro. I don't really like the feel of this yarn but I'm hoping it feels better once knitted, and to get the bright colours I was looking for this really was the only way to go.

This evening I wasted an hour or so doing what I always do when I buy a yarn without a very precise idea in mind. I know I want to make a scarf, but that still leaves it open to a lot of possibilities, so I stash the yarn in ravelry, and then look and see what other people have done with that same yarn. Sometimes you get an "ah hah!" moment where you see the PERFECT application. But more often than not you see a lot of examples of women grinning ear to ear in frumpy, mishapen knit disasters. It appears that it is a rare woman that can admit, after wasting hours of spare time, that what she has produced is in fact an atrocity that should not be allowed out in public. My personal favourites are the boldly and horizontally striped sweaters/coats/tunics/shells/shrugs/tank tops. Horizontal stripes are rarely flattering, make them a riot of mutiple colours and it is even less so. There's a special place in my black little heart reserved for the woman who knitted herself a large and unflattering sack 4 sizes too large and in her notes stated "Need to wear this with slim black pants/capris or a slim black skirt." Oh honey, that is soooo not going to help. Then there's the women who knit themselves "shrugs" that just look like they are re-purposing a garment stolen from their 4 year olds, complete with stretched-to-breaking fronts held together with a single button that is threatening to ping off and re-create that moment from the Incredibles trailer. Bonus points if their profile pic is of an adorable toddler, to whom they should probably return their "shrug". I'm tempted to post photographic evidence, but I'm not quite cold-hearted enough to mock a fellow knitter by name. Talking about these poor, tasteless, misguided souls in a general sense is one thing, but identifying them, even if they never saw themselves here, is a bit low even for me. Totally tempted though...

After the yarn shop, it was a beautiful day so I tossed my coat in the car, secured Georgia in her Moby and headed off to walk the strip. South Congress is an interesting place in which most of the stores give off a painful "trying too hard to be hip" kind of vibe. There's a lot of junk (they call it "vintage") shops, and stores selling crappy imported stuff (cheaply made jewelery and nick knacks), and then there was the back-alley record store that slavishly sold only vinyl. There's also the local food scene, which varies from nicer restaurants down to trailers flogging everything from tamales and BBQ to cupcakes and pies.

Most of the stroll was quite enjoyable, but I have learned an unpleasant thing... I can no longer shop in thrift stores. It's not that I ever did terribly well at these places. I lack the patience to sift through rack after rack of strange smelling garments for the perfect pieces. I did get my sewing machine from one of these places though, and at $35 for the machine and the table it was mounted in it was a total steal. I think I've been using it for 3 years now without so much as a single tune-up. Based on that success I keep holding out hope that I'm going to snag a really nice desk, dresser or mirror, so I poke my nose in if I happen to be close to one. In the length of time it took to walk from one end of this store to the other (just walking, not stopping to look at anything) I had 3 people try to touch Georgia. Complete strangers just sauntering up and trying to pet her like she was a chihuahua in my purse or something. The first woman simultaneously touched her sleeve and reprimanded me for letting her head flop forward (she's asleep, comfortable and none of your damn business lady). The second came out of nowhere and without saying a thing to me reached for Georgia's face. She barely brushed it before I swatted her hand away and she then shot me a look like *I* was the rude one in this exchange. As I passed the counter on my way out an old lady behind the counter exclaimed "she's so cute" and started rushing out from behind the counter. I high-tailed it outta there as I can easily outpace a senior citizen, even with 15 extra pounds and a door to contend with because the look on her face (and of course the bolting out from behind the counter) made it quite clear that she was wanting to reach out and touch.

I would never DREAM of touching anyone's child if they were not someone I was familiar with. What on earth would make these people think that is acceptable behaviour? Outside the thrift shop many people complimented me on how pretty she is (people especially like her eyes and eyelashes) but not one of them ever got within a foot of her. They didn't even bend down to get a better look much less reach for her. And some of them I even chatted with for a while!!! And right now, while we're dealing with the whole swine flu thing (we still have it here, Jason's bosses were both sent home for 2 weeks last month to recover from it) do they not get that physical contact with strangers is ill advised to say the least, especially for the young with their immature immune systems? The ill manners and over-familiarity must be something to do with the common background of these people. There has to be a pattern to the 3 attempted touches in 5 minutes I was there vs none in the other 3 hours I spent on the street and in other shops where I actually spoke to people. The only pattern I can discern is that we were in a religious charity shop. So it's either socio-economic class or religion. Am I more likely to encounter this kind of over-friendliness if I go to a Goodwill or a church? I don't spend a whole lot of time in either of these places so I wouldn't have had a chance to notice a pattern myself. And of course this is the first time I've set foot in a charity shop with a baby. So can I still comfortably wander into thrift stores if I confine my hunting to Goodwills?

Oh noes!

Mar. 1st, 2010 05:39 pm
norsegirl: (Default)
Bought not enough yarn. Not my fault exactly... I bought the sole ball of a pretty yarn, and even though it didn't look like enough I decided to try something lacy and see if I could stretch it into a scarf. The answer to that question is no, I cannot. I'm all out of yarn and it is a mere 2 feet long, so I don't know what to do with it now.

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I'm going to try asking around on Ravelry then I'm outta ideas. If anyone happens to find a lone ball of Berroco Zodiac in "Libra" (rainbow and black) I'd be delighted to buy it off you so I can finish this project. It's discontinued, so my hopes are not high. Until I find more I might as well just hibernate it. I'll give it a year before I frog it and try to figure out what else I might do with it.

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This was one of my Ravelympic projects, but as I cannot possibly finish it I untagged it and won't worry about it. If I'd had the yarn I might have been able to finish. As I do not and don't seem to have an easy way to obtain more I'm going to chalk it up to "equipment failure" and disqualify it.

So what did I manage to finish in Ravelympics? As discussed in the last post, I finished a sweater for Georgia and a set of booties and posted the pattern for the booties online. I started a maple leaf purse, but didn't manage to get it done as I got distracted by the booties and the scarf that I cannot finish. I decided not to tag that either as I only started on Saturday night and didn't honestly think I could finish it, I just wanted to start on something new and patriotic so I'd have something Canadian to work on during the hockey finals.

I watched most of the game, but when it went into overtime and it was almost dinner I wandered off to have a shower. They won while I was out of the room. I came back in time to see the medal ceremony. Interestingly, while the goal that tied it up was replayed here a zillion times, they only showed the winning goal once. That's shitty American coverage for ya.

My favorite sport to watch this year was definitely the speed skating relay. I'm not really that big a fan of speed skating, but the relay has just enough chaos that it looks a bit like derby and gets the blood pumping. Didn't hurt that we won it. I was also a big fan of the snowboard-cross. I missed the ski-cross, but will make an effort to watch it next time around. Figure skating kind of bored me, but we had it on most nights just to listen to the music in the background.

This morning Georgia and I went to the library to pick up a book I had on hold. I put her on my coat on the floor and she lay there making happy "pterodactyl baby" noises. I thought she was going to get us kicked out but people were remarkably tolerant of her happy screeches.
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I got a flyer for a clothing store this week. Let's just say the 70s called and they want their fashion back.

No one should ever buy anything called a "romper" or a "jumper" after they are let's say 7. Though even at 7 I think you could count on having your ass handed to you on the playground if you wore one.

This charming example is a "romper":
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Jason thought this "jumper" was just slightly uglier than the "romper":
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"Classic Plaid" my ass. If you aren't 70 and hitting the club house after a rousing 9 holes of golf, you have no business sporting plaid shorts.
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And finally, the piece de resistance on the back cover was this charming party dress fresh out of the early 90s. I guess I should be thankful that they've paired it with hair from a different decade. The 70s Farah flip isn't great, but it beats the pants off the hairsprayed wave of bangs that marked pre-teen fashion in the early 90s.
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Jason commented that this flyer really was counting on buff models more than wearable fashion to sell their clothes. I really hope no one is clueless enough to buy this unflattering stuff because I don't think my eyes could take seeing it again. And yes, I had to share my pain with everyone.

In other news, Ravelympics is going well. I've finished a sweater for Georgia (need to block it and then I'll get a picture of her in it). I almost finished a pair of booties for her (just need to weave the ends in on one bootie). And because I couldn't find a bootie pattern I liked I ended up designing my own and posting it as a free pattern on Ravelry. In the first 24 hours it was posted it was added to 17 queues and favourited 60 times *warm fuzzies*. I wasn't planning on doing any design projects, but there ya go. Now I'm just wrapping up a scarf that I think will turn out too short. We'll see what it's like once it's finished and blocked. I may be able to stretch it into a useful shape. Or I may have to go hunting for another source for more of the same yarn. This was one of the balls I pillaged from the closing of a local yarn shop last week and it was the last one in that shade. It didn't even have the correct label on it, so who knows it might have not been a full ball either as someone may have used a bit and returned it. Ah well, for $4 I can't really complain much.
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Had a Rec League roller derby game today. I played for "team pink". It was a wonderful game. Low-stress because I wasn't really invested in the score. We lost by a landslide but I didn't really care. My goals were to keep up, get some good blocks in and have a good time. I succeeded on all counts. I had one GREAT block where I came from the back of the pack and knocked a jammer right out. On several occasions I was in the right place at the right time. It was awesome. I usually feel so useless out there, so this was a nice change. I wasn't like an all-star player or anything, but I didn't make a complete fool of myself.

It was a "closed-door" game so spectators were not invited. Georgia (and Daddy who had to come to watch her) were the only exceptions because of the breast feeding thing. Georgia happily slept through the first half of the game and then woke up and just LOVED watching the second half. Brightly coloured girls going in circles are AWESOME! She was totally silent for the whole thing. She smiled at every roller girl that came up to chat with her, and then babbled in the back of the car all the way home. It was like she was telling us about what she'd just seen. It was super-cute.

In other news, I have started my Ravelympics project... my very first sweater. I am kinda cheating in that I am making it for Georgia. I just don't feel any real desire to make a sweater for myself. Seems like a lot of work for something that might not end up fitting any better than something I could buy. For me I'll stick to hats, scarves, mitts and fun little things.

Any other knitters or crocheters out there, or if you just want to see what I'm working on, feel free to check me out on Ravelry.
norsegirl: (Default)
Best way to write a recipe ever!!!!

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/

They write recipes like a chart instead of a list of ingredients and then the instructions. It is BRILLIANT! I can't wait to try one of their recipes and see if it really does work as well as I think it will.

In other news, we're less than 24 hours from the lighting of the flame. Are you doing anything special during the Olympics? What sports are you excited about?

I must admit a certain nostalgia for Canada is coming out during these games. I was miffed during the last Olympics what with them holding them in China and refused to watch even a minute of coverage. But with these games being held in Canada I find myself saddened that I will not have the opportunity to view the Canadian coverage, which concentrates on our athletes. It will be interesting to see what the American coverage is like, though I'm sure we had access to it when I lived in Ontario.

Anyway, I am interested in snowboard stuff, it's always pretty neat. And I'm celebrating the Olympics by participating in Ravelympics. The idea is you cast on when the flame is lit and you try to be done by the time it is extinguished. You're supposed to attempt something challenging but not impossible. I still haven't decided what my project will be. Must make that decision tomorrow.
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Sewing again. This time nothing that urgently needed doing, just something I wanted to do for a while and today I finally picked the appropriate fabrics out of my scrap stash. It's not something I need for the event tomorrow and it's not even related to the SCA! Which of course means that I had it finished hours ago with no pressure. I wanted to make a needle case for my double pointed needle set that I bought a few weeks back. Dropping them all in a shoe box with all the rest of my tools simply wasn't working for me.

Hacked up a skirt that a friend of mine bought me years ago (I may have still been in high school) but that was always fiercely ugly on me and has never been worn and used lining from my gambeson as lining. Ribbon from the Christmas bag project finished it off. Totally thrilled with this project. Now just need to make a case for all the other miscellaneous knitting crap so it's completely organized and I will be happy. Desperately need to organize my other hobbies too. Sewing room is quite the disaster right now.


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Originally uploaded by Evilyne Tensions


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Originally uploaded by Evilyne Tensions


Also making good progress on sock v2.0. v1.0 was frogged when I realized I hated the pattern. It was boooring. I was getting very tired of doing nothing but knit stitches and it wasn't looking terribly interesting or flattering so I frogged it in favour of working on something more interesting. Sock v2.0 is toe-up so I can make it the length that works on me, and is cabled so it's interesting enough to be worth doing. I've already used more yarn than I did on the v1.0, which I know because I had to re-ball that portion of the yarn separately from the store-ball. I'm about half-way up my arch. Here's hoping I can avoid the dreaded second sock syndrome. I think the second finished pair of socks will probably be done using the knit 2 at once method. I've already bought enough yarn for 3 more sock projects.

Anyway, off to bed. Event in the morning.
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I now officially have more finished objects than WIPs. And even the WIPs are mostly done. Georgia's doll needs a dress, but that's going to be sewn, not knitted, so the knitting is done. The rollerbooties have been re-purposed as Christmas ornaments so they've moved to low priority. The one mitten I made for Georgia doesn't fit great so I'm not sure I want to bother making a second one. My hat just needs a pom pom. The socks and bags are still legitimate long-term WIPs.

That said I'm thinking of taking a week or two off knitting to tackle some other projects. I've got fabric for baby gifts for the neighbour and I really should get those done before the shower.

Speaking of the neighbours, they came over yesterday and the day before and I am really suffering as a result. They own cats and of course that set off my allergies. Also, on Sunday when they came over Greg was wearing too much cologne and it's rubbed off on the couch where I always sit, so that's setting me off too. Not to mention I hate the smell. I'm torn about whether to say anything or not. It's unpleasant for me to smell this days later, but it's also one of those things you're not supposed to criticize. A few months ago my family confronted my Nana about her over-perfuming and she was genuinely and deeply hurt and felt like it was a personal attack (and no, I'm not just thinking that's how she felt, she was very clear with all of us about the subject). I wasn't there for the confrontation and she did ask me my opinion about it later. I can't remember if I stood by them or sold them out on that one.

In other news, Georgia hates when I sneeze while she's feeding. Pulls off to glare at me for interrupting her meal. And heaven forbid I cough to open the lungs a bit (seems to help me breathe when the asthma sets in). She's settled very nicely into Jason and my schedule. She likes to go to bed some time between 10:30 and midnight and wakes between 6:30 and 8 depending on how hungry she is. She plays in her crib by herself for a while every morning (we can hear the thumps of her kicking and sometimes she squeaks her giraffe or gets the music toy going) before calling for us. Life's good. I'm settling into this whole "being a mom" thing. The laundry is piling up, the kitchen is rarely clean and I haven't vacuumed in weeks if not months. But I'm happy and so is Georgia, and I'm thinking that's all that matters in life.
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Not exactly a splurge, but I've figured out that I really like this knitting thing, so I might as well invest in it. Rather than buying needles as I need them I decided in investing in some sets. Managed to find a full range of 7" double pointed bamboo needles on e-bay for only $20 (14 sets of needles when I usually pay about $7 per set, so that was a fantastic deal) and then I invested $30 in an interchangeable cable needle set, also on e-bay. This is about the best I was going to do for an interchangeable set, and while I like bamboo for double pointed needles hands-down, I kind of prefer the slip of metal for circulars, so that's what I've got now. Still undecided what I prefer for single pointed needles. I really like the acrylic I was playing with last week, I really dislike metal and I haven't tried bamboo or wood yet. It's quite fun playing with all the different types of needle materials and finding out that my preferences change depending on the type of needle.

Still working on the massive felted bag. There's about as much knitting as there would be for a sweater I think. No fitting, but the sheer volume of stitches is impressive, at least to me. Yesterday I charted the horde symbol for the front of the bag and today I'm hoping to get a start on it. Very excited about attempting my first intarsia.

Also have a massive headache - sigh.
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My weekend was ugh. That's all there is to it. Jason had a holiday so we had all kinds of nice things planned, but alas the universe and my immune system decided not to cooperate.

Saturday started out reasonably well. I finally got the pictures hung up in Georgia's room, I finished mum's scarf, I hung up my necklace organizing hooks in my bedroom closet (at last). I wanted to get more done in the cleaning and vacuuming department, and I had intended on working on the main floor more than upstairs, but somehow when it came time to actually do stuff there I was working away on the wrong floor. I figured no worries, I have the whole rest of the weekend to hit the main floor. Saturday ended with a trip to the Ethiopian restaurant with a few of Jason's co-workers. One of the couples owned a cat, so I spent all of dinner and a good part of the next day with an asthma attack, but that's a small thing compared to the shit that hit the fan the next day...

Sunday morning I woke up and felt a little funny, so I started the day off slowly. By mid afternoon I was calling next door to cancel our dinner plans. I had really been looking forward to it, but I didn't want to risk giving Rhonda the flu I had suddenly come down with. I spent all day moaning on the couch as every muscle in my body ached and my digestive tract plotted a mutiny. Needless to say I accomplished nothing around the house. I did manage to finish up the holiday hat I was working on though. Just have the pom pom to make and I can set that sucker to "finished". We also sat around and watched the "Being Erica" marathon. I quite enjoy that show and as it turns out we'd seen almost all of it. In fact, we'd only missed one episode that season. So of course, when that episode aired this weekend we had to have a blackout that lasted most of the hour - sigh. On the bright side, said blackout landed right at the time I would have been cooking dinner, so it was a good thing I'd canceled. Unfortunately, the blackout hit right in the middle of re-heating some lovely homemade stew Jason had pulled out of the freezer. I futzed around, fed Georgia and wasted as much time as I could in the dark until my hunger overcame me. We pulled the Coleman stove out of the garage and set it up on the porch, got it all hooked up and warming up, I transferred the stew out of the microwave bowl and into a pot, and as I stepped outside to put it on the Coleman the power came back. Just in time for me to dirty a pot. I remember this happening in Edmonton last time we had a long power outage too. As soon as I drag out the Coleman and dirty a pot the power springs magically to life. Maybe I should learn and drag it out sooner.

Monday I tried to make up for the lack of progress Sunday by cleaning the kitchen and making waffles for breakfast, but after all that was done I was overcome again and the rest of the day was lost. Georgia had a bath, but other than that nothing at all got done.

It would have been nice to get a little more work done with Jason being home and all, but I suppose it was nice to have him around to pick up the slack while I was sick. Being ill and dealing with a baby would kinda suck.

Today I'm on baby-minding duty so nothing much getting done yet again. Keeping an eye on her to make sure she's not catching this thing. So far so good, but who knows how long it might incubate. Back to baby entertaining and knitting...
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I've done some poking around on Ravelry this week and it is a really amazing site. It's just incredible being able to look at a pattern and then see what other people have done with it. The amount of variation you can get from the yarns available not to mention the modifications people make to patterns makes for a truly incredible source of inspiration and knowledge. It's also wonderful to be able to preview all the patterns available in a book you're thinking of buying and finding free patterns so this hobby doesn't have to cost quite so much. And further to that, to see the results of the patterns other than just the images in the publication. It's absolutely fascinating to see that sometimes something just looks good because the photographer was skilled and no one else seems to be able to make a wearable garment from the pattern.

Today's finished object is a birthday gift for my mum:

I'm absolutely delighted with how it turned out. She's been very attracted to that color family lately. I hope this particular version wasn't too bright. It was hard to find a super-soft yarn in the exact color I wanted, and in the end super-soft won out over perfect color. It feels AMAZING knitted up and I am very pleased with it. It's a surprise for her so I hope she likes it. Need to mail it off this week so it gets there in time.

This coming week I hope to make a dent in my other knitting projects ahead of the Ravelympics. I'm not sure if I actually want to participate in the Olympic-themed knitting thing. I do have a bit of a moral objection to the Olympics, as I expressed when the last one was running. At least this one isn't happening in a state controlled by a ridiculously oppressive government, however it still represents a great expenditure of public funds that benefits few people. That and I find it boring as hell so I probably won't be watching it. Maybe I'll watch the opening and closing as that is more "arts" than sports. Anyway, the Ravelympics is just having a goal to cast on something as the flame is lit and finish before it goes out. The item itself does not have to have any sort of Olympic tie-in and you are not required to watch any of the Olympic coverage at all. It's really just choosing a project, setting a goal and then achieving it. You can work in "teams" so you can discuss your project with others online and maybe get support. The idea is to choose something that will be a challenge, but one that you can achieve. At this point I don't really have enough experience to know what will be sufficiently challenging to fill 17 days of my time. I don't want to try for something too easy and be done in half the time, but I also don't want to set a ridiculous goal and feel bad if I don't succeed. There's also the Georgia factor. On any given day she can suddenly decide that she NEEDS to be held and I'm simply not going to be allowed to do anything else all day.

I'd like to get at least 2 of the current projects finished before I tackle anything new; the hat for me and the felted tote. The socks are going to take forever and I don't need those needles for anything else, so I'm happy to let those drag on for a while. Next I'm thinking I'd like to attempt a sweater for Georgia. There's a felted purse with a maple leaf I could make as an Olympic tie-in for the above mentioned Ravelympics, but I wonder if I'd actually use it or if I'd just be making it out of patriotism and wouldn't do anything with it when it's done. I've also got my eyes on some felted alphabet blocks for Georgia that would be really sweet.

In other news, we spent today working around the house as Jason was home so we could take turns entertaining Georgia and do some two-man jobs as well. Moved the small desk out of the living room and up into guest room #2, or "the blue room". Right now it's just the room where furniture that is unwanted anywhere else has gone to live, but it's a big room, so it still doesn't feel crowded at all. It just doesn't feel decorated either. Moving the desk out was meant to make room for the swing, but right now the spot is awaiting vacuuming, so there's just this big space there making the living room feel oddly off-balance.

I also hung the prints I got for Georgia's room back before Christmas, so that was excellent. All the bookshelves are finally bolted to the wall and I find myself in the unusual position of having more storage space than stuff to store! I'm sure that won't last long. Also hung my necklace organizers in my closet today. I've really missed being able to see all my jewelery and it has definitely resulted in me wearing it less often. Now I just have to find it all. I have quite a bit hung up right now, but I KNOW I'm still missing some of my favorite pieces. I imagine they are packed somewhere for a trip and never got unpacked as I didn't have anywhere better to put them.

I also did a neat modification to a cheap Ikea clock that I am rather proud of:

The red second hand was really jarring when I held this clock up against the wall in Georgia's room, so I decided I'd try to snap the cover off. As it turns out it popped off quite easily. I took some lime green acrylic paint to it and I'm rather pleased with the result. A splash of paint on the second hand and a few dots on the face of the clock and suddenly a $3 Ikea clock looks like it was designed for her room!

Need to spend tomorrow doing some hard-core cleaning as we've invited the neighbours over for dinner. The main floor is a mess, so it will probably take all day. I'd be elated if we got it all done though. At the very least I'll have to get the last of the Christmas stuff sorted away and get the kitchen cleaned.

And now a little photodump of all my babies:

Georgia has decided that the fuzzy blanket is the best thing ever.


Sophie the Giraffe makes a pleasing squeak when you chew her. Not from the squeaker but from her gums working on the rubber.


Beagles still get photographic attention despite the new addition. At least when they're being super cute.

yarngasm

Jan. 14th, 2010 11:17 am
norsegirl: (Default)
Yesterday I took the car and Georgia and I headed out to Hill Country Weavers on South Congress. OMG YARNGASM!!!! It was a converted turn of the century house (so lots of tiny rooms and doorways too small to easily maneuver the stroller) that was completely stuffed with yarn. I don't know where to start. It was amazing and I was completely unprepared. I went to pick up some yarn to make a blanket for Georgia, but was overwhelmed by the choices and started thinking of excuses to buy other stuff to do with the lovely yarns I was confronted with. I'm quickly realizing that with this hobby, like so many others, that there are more ideas in my head than I will ever have time to complete in a lifetime.

I grabbed a bunch of Berocco vintage (not the exact colours I had in mind, but it was the softest washable wool) for Georgia's blanket. A few skeins of some lovely merino to make a scarf for my mother for her birthday. A few skeins I couldn't resist to make a scarf for me (I am as yet undecided what the exact design will be there). And a big ball of acrylic (I know, synthetics are evil) that was soft, cheap and will make something for Georgia out of it as it will also be washable.

I started on the scarf for my mother as soon as I got home. Browsed patterns online and eventually settled with what I had in mind as soon as I came up with the idea to make a scarf for her. Im about 1/4 of the way through it, but when G cried this morning and I put it down to pick her up it fell off the needles, so now I have to do some investigating and recovery work - sigh.

That makes 4 unfinished projects on the needles now. The awesome bag is coming along nicely, but will probably require another week or two to finish (bags are big). My hat has been hibernating in favour of more interesting shinies. The sock is painful. I've changed out the needles as the ones I had were a shade too long to be reasonable and that makes it slightly better, but it is still going to take a lifetime. I'd estimate at this point that I have about 1/4 of one sock done - sigh.

I also decided to set limits on myself when I started this hobby. I bought a box from Ikea and decided that my yarn stash was never to exceed this box. As of yesterday's shopping trip I have now officially filled the box to capacity. So this is it. No more yarn shopping until I get some of the existing yarn used up. I will admit that I am liking this limit (and the organization inherent in said limit) and may move on to set limits on some of my other project supplies.

Busy week

Jan. 11th, 2010 11:56 am
norsegirl: (Default)
I've now got 3 projects on the needles. I'm not sure if it's a better idea to do something start to finish before starting something else, or to have a lot of projects on the go so I can rotate when I get bored. I guess we'll have to see how many of these actually get done and then I'll be able to tell.

I'm still working on the black holiday hat I'm making for myself to match the one I made for Georgia. It's about half way done I think. Haven't even seen it since Wednesday.

Wednesday after the knitters meeting I stopped in at Jo-Ann's for more supplies and cast on my first pair of socks. I got this lovely merino/bamboo/nylon wool for that project. Took a long time to find a sock yarn in something other than acrylic. And while that would be good and washable, I'm pretty sure acrylic would not be good for your feet. I'm working on ity bity #2 needles so it is taking FOREVER. Because of the time involved I'm thinking these might be the only pair of socks I ever make. In two solid evenings of knitting and a little bit of extra time here and there I've only managed about a quarter of one sock - sigh.

In a reactionary move to my frustration at the slowness of knitting the socks, on Saturday I cast on the beginning of a felted bag. It's a lovely thick wool that I'm working on #9 needles, so it's going relatively quickly. It is also a massive amount of knitting compared to previous little projects like hats and mitts and ornaments so I have no idea how long it will take. I'm taking a photo every evening so I can track my progress. I'm hoping it will make a good diaper bag. I've tried two diaper bags now and I'm just not sold on either one. I'm not sure exactly why I don't like them though, or what I would rather have in a bag, so it's hard to decide what I should make or buy for myself to solve this problem - sigh.

Also in the queue in my brain are "podster" mitts for myself (with a flip-back flap on the thumb so you can ipod with your hands covered) and version 2.0 of rollerbooties for Georgia. I'm also tossing around some ideas in my head for designing my own pattern for a baby blanket. If I come up with something really good on that last one I might even try to sell the pattern as that would be a nice little side-project. Even if it just paid for supplies it would be a help.

This week I'd like to maybe visit some of the other yarn shops here in town. I've given myself a one-box limit for my knitting stash and I'm just a little over half full right now, so I'll have to be careful what I buy. My craft room is a complete disaster from all my other passions and projects, so I think it's good to set some limits on myself right from the get-go this time.

This weekend we got a love seat on sale for cheap at Ikea, so we finally have proper seating for more than just the two of us in our family room. I think I'm also going to move my desk out of there and up to Lauren's room as planned so we have a bit more breathing room around all the baby stuff. There's all kinds of half-finished projects all over the house. Time to list them all just so I can wrap my head around it:

- secure bookcase at top of stairs to wall
- hang organizing hooks in my closet
- move desk upstairs
- filing
- hang new pictures
- hang clocks in Georgia's room and the game room
- finish putting away Christmas decorations

The kitchen is also an unholy mess, so maybe now while Georgia's napping is a good time to address some of this stuff.

Oh, and FYI, with the holidays and all I have fallen WAY behind on my friendslist reading. I went back with a few of y'all (mostly new moms who don't have time to post ;) but for the most part I think I'm giving up. If anything important happened that I should know about, drop me a line.
norsegirl: (Default)
I've become a bit knit-obsessed. Lots of finished projects. I have of course posted about my hat and the hat I made for Georgia. The rollerbooties still aren't finished as I'm still a bit daunted by crochet. Georgia's doll is still needing a dress. And I've got one half of a pair of mittens for both Christmas ornaments and Georgia still waiting to be finished.

With all that unfinished stuff you'd think I'd made no progress, and yet the list of completed stuff keeps growing. While my family was here I made my first pair of mittens. Alpaca yarn that was really soft as a ball in the store, but which I'm thinking might be a bit itchier than I'd like once knit. I'm going to try blocking and I'm toying with lanolinizing them to get a bit of waterproofing (that will probably be nice for my skin too). I made them as simple as possible because I was trying to make passable substitutes for naalbinding. Something that would be appropriate for my SCA-persona, but which I find tedious to do.



knit Christmas ornaments behind the cut )

And just for the heck of it, here's a shot of the glass fusing that I've completed to date.



The bottom two and the one on the right are mine, the top two were Lauren's. I'm only really pleased with the green one as the first two were basically playing with the materials as I got a feel for it so I had picked the glass I liked the least of the glass assortment that came with the kiln. Still need to sand off the rough edges on all of them and then figure out what I would like to do with them.
norsegirl: (Default)
I knitted my first item using "Fun Fur" complete misnomer there as it is neither fur nor fun. Especially as I was working with black. It was impossible to see what I was doing, so there are at least a few mistakes in my knitting there. Fortunately if you can't see what you're doing, you also can't see mistakes in the final product. Making a pom pom out of it was also a bitch as it shed profusely for about an hour of me shaking and pulling at it, and tiny amounts for the rest of the evening. The final product was all worth it though as I had a lovely holiday hat for Georgia to wear to the party which she got lots of compliments on.



I took a bunch of other pics, but really, that is the best one so I'm going to be kind to everyone's bandwidth and if you're really interested feel free to cruise over to facebook or photobucket.

Yes, in the end we did decide to attend the party. While not being a kid-centered event, it also is never the kind of drunken revelry where people would feel awkward letting their hair down because of a child in the room. We ate dinner and stayed right until the end of the party. Georgia was popular, happy and well-received, so I think it was the right decision. She spent dinner in a car-seat between us on the floor and the rest of the evening strapped to me in a Moby, facing outward so she could see all the action. People were surprised that she was handling all the sensory overload of a party okay, I guess she's a bit of an extrovert like her mum. We won't bring her next year though as that would be inappropriate. Not sure if I'll attend or if we'll send Jason on his own. We'll cross that decision-bridge when we come to it.
norsegirl: (Default)
It's a sweet bit of irony that posts get less frequent when you get busy because you'd think that would be when you'd have more to write about. That really hasn't been the case here though. We've mostly settled into a routine here where Georgia keeps me busy all day accomplishing nothing, and Roller Derby is on break until the new year.

Georgia continues to sleep through the night. We have our good days and bad ones. Actually I think it would be more accurate to say that mornings are always good and the bad starts any time between 1 and 7 and sometimes it stops in the middle of the afternoon and sometimes it goes right to bed time. Mornings are good, nights are good, the rest of the day is a crap shoot. I continue to get little done. This morning I woke up with a sore throat. I think I'm coming down with something, and that something is a knitting addiction. Because night time is the only time I know is all mine it has become my time to get whatever project done I've been obsessing over rather than sleeping. I know that I need sleep, as evidenced by the sore throat, headaches and general run-down-ness, but if I don't get something done I'll just lie in bed thinking about it, so might as well stay up.

So far I have started roller skate booties, but they are not finished as I'm still trying to figure out another way to make the "wheels". When I followed the direction on the pattern I got something blocky and asymmetrical and not at all wheel like. I tried crochet, but I h8 crochet. Felt circles are unsuitable as they would not be washable. I'm going back to the drawing board... I've also completed a doll, but have not made clothes for her yet. And I've whipped out a few cute christmas ornaments for the tree. I'll be making a lot more of those I think. Will post pics when I have a set of them.

This weekend we were supposed to get the "box room" all cleaned out and ready to set up as a second guest room. We made a small dent in the mess, but it is still a long way from being cleared out. I might tackle more tonight. We also put up the Christmas tree, which was not part of the plan exactly, but my mother was doing it at her place so I felt all inspired and Jason was home to help, so we went for it. Still have a bit of ornaments to put up and need to tidy up all the ornament packaging, but it's looking festive. Not having quite enough purple for my taste is what inspired the ornament knitting.

This week in "products I love"

Used up the last of the gift certificate Jason's office gave us at Babies R Us. Among the spoils of my shopping adventure was a Mothers Minder wrist band for myself. Best product ever. I no longer have to remember when she was last fed or guess which side feels more full. Great product, and cheap enough to toss into a gift bag for pregnant friends. Wonderful thing, I will be sharing this at baby showers in the future.

I got a hand-me-down Boppy and a My Brest Friend from one of the other roller girls. I will admit that I didn't "get" this item in the store, seemed to me like any old throw cushion on the couch would do the job just as well. The Boppy in particular felt uncomfortable when I tried to fit it around my waist. But they really do the trick when you rest the baby on them. If you are the parent of an infant and you don't have one, you should get one. I prefer the Brest friend as far as a positionner for feeding, but the undoing the velcro can wake a sleeping baby and the Boppy makes a better "baby nest" (place to rest the baby on the couch next to you, under close supervision, yes I know about infants and pillows). I'll be keeping and using both I'm sure.

Last week I also finally managed to get a used Bumbo from a used baby stuff store. I paid less than retail but more than the average Craigslist price. Got it in Purple which was one of my 2 preferred colours though, so I'm okay with paying a bit extra. Georgia LOVES this. She watched us put up the Christmas tree in it, she watched me make dinner, she watches TV with me. It's allowing her to interact with the household in a whole new way. Wonderful item! I also got the play-tray with my purchase. I'm not as sold on that, but I guess we'll see if I ever find it useful in the future.

Also discovered this week that Gerber sizing is just plain wrong. Put on a 3-6 month long-sleeved onsie for the first time today (she's a few weeks over 3 months now) and it was already super-tight in body length and the sleeves are 3/4 length. 3-6 months my ass.

Anyway, need to go pick Jason up from the office. We were supposed to go out to eat tonight but Georgia didn't let me shower and my shirt is covered with baby barf and in trying desperately to calm her this afternoon I managed to sit in my lunch. Not feeling like going out in public with butter chicken butt.
norsegirl: (Default)
It's official, at 2:30 this morning I finished my first ever kitting project. I am not apparently the fastest knitter in the world as one little hat occupied all my spare time for a week. And there are a few tiny mistakes in it, which is to be expected I think.


The pattern is an interesting one. The skulls and crossbones are well executed, but the other X and line shaped blobs I think are supposed to be swords (the theme of the hat was pirates) but they didn't look much like swords either in the chart or in the final product. I do like that it is reversible, so you get 2 looks for your efforts.

Neither Hobby Lobby nor Michaels had the exact yarn recommended in the pattern, so I had to take a guess at what I figured would be closest and was pleasantly surprised when it fit.


If I were to attempt this pattern again in the future (and I might since I was only able to get charcoal, not black, and I might want something other than red) I would get rid of anything that wasn't a skull and crossbones and I would add 2 more lines so it went a little further over my ears. I'm also toying with the idea of making a scaled-down one for Georgia. Overall though I think I'd like to call this one a success.

Yesterday, to reward my near-completion of this project, I picked up yarn for my next 2 projects and a stash of wonderfully soft alpaca blend (it's blended with acrylic which is unfortunate, but I'm thinking of making SCA stuff out of it, so being washable is good). I don't have exact plans for the alpaca yet, but I'm about to start on project 2. Yet again I couldn't find the exact yarn requested, so this will be another crap-shoot and hope I guessed correctly. Eventually I should seek out a yarn shop so I can have access to the nicer things not carried by mainstream, big box stores.

And thus begins the "knitting" tag and a whole new fiber arts addiction. As if I needed another one.

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