Wednesday, April 27, 2011

First Easter

Yarn Along- She's the color of sunshine!

Another Chloe- size 4
I haven't finished sewing up the sleeves, but the knitting is done. It will be perfect for the little sundress from Hawaii.
Sewing up the sleeves is my least favorite part of this project so of course, I started a new project (see below).  I am a total slacker!

The yellow matches those lovely flowers perfectly!
Little T was much happier when I took the little shrug off and she could go play with Sammy's birthday balloons.  Can you see my yarn basket in the background?
I wanted to make a baby hat using sock yarn.  So, I headed on over to Ravelry and found the Swirl simple and satisfying. I really like sock yarn, but I don't really want to use it for socks right now.  I have spent a lot of time this week researching patterns for children's sweaters and hats using sock yarn.  I'm almost finished with The Wilder Life, Garlic and Sapphires and I just got Organized Simplicity from the library.  I noticed it's popular among the Yarn Along group.  Well, that's it for now. I've got to keep my Yarn Along adventure short this week.  Little James is requiring my attention now.

Please go and visit Ginny at Small Things for more exciting knitting projects and books!

Holding Hands

 When I put the twins side by side, they always grab for each other's hands.  It's absolutely adorable and I can't help grabbing the camera so I can document such cuteness. I took these pictures today right after Sammy opened his birthday presents.  Sammy was happily playing with his new army men close by while I snapped some photos of the twins.

Birthday Boy

Sammy is 6!!!!
Don't ask why Obi-Wan Kenobi is battling a dinosaur. This is how he wanted his cake to look. Sammy helped to bake his birthday bundt today.

Sam has really grown up over the last year.  He looks like such a big boy.  It looks like he's lost the last bit of baby-ness.  It's official.  He's now a big boy.

Here's Sammy with a big boy book for read aloud time.  We're moving beyond some of our picture books now, but I hope you won't completely grow out of them. 

My dear sweet little boy, I beg you not to get any bigger.  I love your deep golden-brown eyes and your big smile and you in your little red cap.  I wish I could hold onto these days forever, but I know I can't. So, I'll try to remember you like this always. Happy 6th birthday, sweet boy!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quiet about Lent

I know it seems that all I think about is knitting, but it isn't (completely) true.  I've been quiet about Lent this year.  I didn't mean to appear to ignore it. I've just been quiet about a lot of things this year. Yes, I've been writing about knitting a lot, but I have found a treasure trove of life lessons there- perserverance, generosity, etc. I found peace and prayer amidst all those stitches.

 I can't believe it's Good Friday already.  It has felt like both a long and short Lent. Does that even make sense?  Life moves pretty fast with 5 kids no matter how much I try to slow down life. I didn't do much of the reading I had planned, but I did something I've struggled with my whole life. I let myself off the hook. I didn't beat myself up for not accomplishing everything that I planned during this Lent.  This year, I didn't want to feel like I failed at Lent.  I just picked myself up, tried not to whine (too much) and acknowledged how I weak I am without Christ. I mean, that's the whole point, right? It's been successful in much smaller ways than I expected. As Lent draws to close this year, I take away, more than ever, my desperate need for Jesus in everything.

Blessed Good Friday to all my friends and family!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Yarn Along- In which I abandon last week's projects, tear out the green hat and start a yellow one

So, try as I might, I can't seem to blog about anything else other than knitting these days although I really want to talk about other things like our recent basement remodeling.  Over the past several weeks, we took the plunge and decided to hire contractors to turn our single car garage into extra living space.  It's going to give the bigger boys and well, all of us some extra needed space in our cozy conifer cabin, but more on that later.  Back to knitting.  Last week, I wound (by hand!) three hanks of Spud & Chloe yarn to knit another Chloe to match the cute little Hawaiian sundress.  I blogged all about it on last week's Yarn Along, but then I decided that I didn't feel like knitting stripes after all and I wanted it all yellow. Although I didn't want to buy more yarn for this project, I headed over to my local yarn shop and bought Plymouth Jeannee Worsted (51% Cotton/49% acrylic)  in a bright yellow. This is economical yarn around $3.50 a skein.  I proceeded to cast on and I put the Spud & Chloe away.  I was also working on the November hat in Green.  There's a picture on last week's Yarn Along as well.  After three attempts, I ripped it out, wound the yarn back into a ball and hopped on Ravelry to find a new hat pattern
Now, the November Hat isn't difficult at all, but you can't make the tiniest mistake or be off by even one yarn over or it ruins the overall effect. I know this  because I just kept making mistakes and then I wouldn't notice until a round or two later. This would happen to me about three inches in and I just couldn't fix it.  I'm going to try the November Hat again in different yarn that isn't so fuzzy.  Anyway, I found the Dogwood Hat and I liked the simple lace pattern.  So, I cast on and although this hat is more complicated than the November Hat, it just knit up so easily,  quickly and without frustration.  Two days later, I was done and I was just  happy to get something completely finished. After all the knitting, I would stay up even later reading.  I'm operating on a severe sleep deficit the past few weeks, but I love reading late at night, but I need to catch up on the rest!
I'm more than half-way done reading The Wilder LifeWendy McClure immerses herself  into what she calls Laura World and embarks on a great adventure into all things Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The world of the Little House is so multi-faceted and that's what makes this book so engrossing.

I take way too many pictures in front of this door. I can't wait to introduce Laura and Mary to this little girl.
I knit this fun hat up in Sunshine Yarns worsted in Butterbeer.  It has a lovely candle glow warmth to it.

Tess thinks that this is her hat.  I think she looks lovely in yellow.
 Don't forget to head on over to Small Things for more knitting and book adventures!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yarn Along- knitting, sewing and lots of color inspiration

A wonderful friend brought this bright happy fun dress from Hawaii for Little T.  It's a lovely orange which I think is a
great color on my little girl.  Of course, I thought that I should knit up a little shrug to match. So,  I went digging in my yarn stash and pulled out three hanks of Spud&Chloe in Sweater weight.  I'm thinking about another  Chloe because this pattern is already written for Spud&Chloe yarn. 

Should I knit it in stripes or solid yellow?  If I decide on a solid, I will have to buy more.  I'm definitely on a de-stash mission right now.  The minimalist in me won't let me have too much yarn around.  That hank of yellow above is Firefly.  Isn't that a perfectly delightful name?  The dark red is Firecracker and the light orange is Pollen. 
Here's the little sundress up close.  Doesn't it look lovely with that hank of Firefly?  Maybe I should just knit another shrug in one color! 

Here's another project that's kind of related to knitting.  With the help of my best friend's Auntie Arlene, I learned to sew this little dress over the past week.  So, I've devoted more time to my sewing machine than my knitting needles in the past few days.  I've always wanted to sew a dress, but sewing clothes just seemed daunting and challenging.  I have to laugh at the notion that this is a difficult sewing project though.  It's probably one of the easiest dress patterns out there! As a quilter, I'm no stranger to my sewing machine, but this is a very different type of sewing.  So, how is this dress project related to knitting you might ask?  Well, of course, Little T will need a lightweight sweater to wear with this, right? 

Aren't those apples sweet? 
I started this hat this week.  It's an easy pattern to memorize, but beware of getting off by even one stitch.  I've already had to pull it out once after knitting three inches or so.  It's a free pattern on Ravelry. 
As for reading, I'm perusing my latest library haul.  I'm still working on The Forgotten Garden for book club as well.  Please join Ginny for more knitting and reading adventures!

6 months already! How can that be?

Today the twins are 6 months old and I can hardly believe it.  The time is going way TOO fast.  I'm often asked if I notice differences in their personalities.  The short answer is no.  They are super smiley babies.  Really, the only thing I notice is that Jamie is so much fatter than Liam.  Liam feels compact and light compared with James who feels solid.  I know that James is about a pound heavier and that makes all the difference.  I recently pulled out some 6 month clothing that Sammy and/or Luke wore and it's still too big.  Those 6 month onesies are still loose all over.  I keep trying little jeans on them, but they are all still too big.  I love their crazy almost-strawberry-blond hair and their dark blue eyes.  Twinklers! I have baby twinklers!  Liam and James adhere to a strict 6 O'clock bedtime.  Liam is a better sleeper in that he will go to sleep at 6 and usually wake up at 6 or 7 in the morning.  Isn't that awesome?  Jamie wakes up around midnight demanding to be nursed ( I guess I know why he's a pound heavier) and usually snuggles with us the rest of the night.  Sometimes, I wish Liam would wake up so that I could snuggle with him too, but one should never wake a sleeping baby, right? The boys are developing well and they are beginning to enjoy tummy time more, but they still haven't rolled over yet.  I was a bit concerned since my other three flipped over at the beginning of five months, but the twins will flip in their own sweet time.  I know that they will change so much by the time they reach their first birthdays. I do hope it won't fly by as quickly as the last 6 months, but I know it will.  I just hope I can capture all these beautiful fleeting moments with the twins. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Yarn Along- more sweaters for little T

I literally bound off the sleeve minutes before trying to get little T to model her new sweater for me.  Okay, I bribed her with a cookie, but she certainly did not stand still for any of the photos.  This is the same sweater from last week's Yarn Along.  This time I used almost two full skeins of Plymouth Encore Colorspun.  Although I used the exact same needles, this sweater came out much larger than the red one knit with Berroco Vintage Worsted.  I call this sweater the chubbymaker.  It makes little T look well, not so little.  I didn't do any knit gauge. I just cast on and went with it.
It's amazing how different yarns of the same weight knit up completely differently.  I am partial to the red sweater.

I would have been done with this sweater two nights ago if I hadn't made a huge mistake.  I bound off on the
second sleeve. I had woven in the ends and that's when I noticed a dropped stitch. That one little stitch
threatened to unravel my sleeve.  So, it meant un-doing the bound off edge, pulling out a few rows, securing all the sleeve stitches on the DPNs and doing it all over again.  It happens.

She will grow into it although the neck opening is already too small. 

I didn't want to push my luck and make her change her long-sleeve tee, but it's really distracting with all those stripes.
This is the Chloe sweater that I've been working on when not working on the pink pullover sweater. I just need to weave in the ends and find a closure for the top.  I'm thinking about a clasp of some sort, but I did buy a button as
well.  I'll think about that later.
Temporarily, I used a stitch marker to keep it together.  Can you see that little light blue plastic safety pin?
Here's the back of the Chloe shrug.  I knit it a lot longer than the pattern notes. I really enjoy knitting with Spud&Chloe
yarn!  The colors are vibrant, soft and perfect for children's things!
As for reading, I just started The Forgotten Garden last night. This novel is for next month's book club.  It was very late, after midnight, when I opened the book.
So, needless to say, I know I read less than five pages.  Now, I'm trying to decide what to knit next.  Maybe the Easter eggs?

Please visit Ginny's for more good reads and yarn adventures!