Thursday, July 3, 2008

Not Quite

I started decreasing as soon as I switched from the ribbing to the blue, and then did "knit 4, knit two together" as my first decrease round. I think it decreases too sharply and could use a little more depth. I might have been tempted to do the embroidered stars and throw it on the table at market anyway, since any size will fit someone - but notice the two big fat purls in the middle of my white knit column? This is not to be tolerated.

So, I ripped it back to the first blue decrease, then dropped and picked up those white stitches to correct the error. And I'm adding 4 rounds of blue before the first decrease, and then decreasing two stitches in a set-up row before starting with "knit 5, knit two together" for my first decrease row. It should help. For a little project with no particular intended recipient and a limited cash return for my effort, this is taking a lot of work. But it's cute.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hat for an Independent Baby

Okay, after a few false starts, here's my progress on the stars & stripes baby hat. 72 stitches on size 4 double-pointed needles (cause that's what I had handy), with about 3" of two color rib. I'm up to the crown now, and will let you know how that goes tomorrow.

By the way, I'm pretty open about my life and my family, and assume that readers will either have positive thoughts for us or keep their opinions to themselves. I started moderating comments after spam links started appearing there, and this morning I found a rather snarky - and anonymous - remark about my son. And so,
Dear Anonymous,
On the topic of acting mature and being responsible,
please remember the first thing your mother taught you:
If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all.
A Mother Who Is Very Proud Of Her Son

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New idea

So I need to do a couple of baby-sized beanies. And I just got the Debbie Bliss book of classic kid patterns (impulse purchase - my bad), which includes a sweater with two-color ribbing. And I have remnants of cotton in all the right colors, so I started thinking that for the 4th of July I could do a baby hat with two-color ribbing in red and white. Once I get to the crown, I was thinking about switching to blue and putting in colorwork "ticks," the kind you would see on the outside of a thrummed mitten. But it occurred to me on my morning walk that the crown is full of decreases, which would make it tricky to have nice even rows of ticks. Hmmm - I'm considering doing duplicate stitch, which is something I generally avoid. I'll play with the concept tonight and report back.

Meanwhile, I finished the "brainless knitting" shopping bag. That's not it's real name, obviously. The design came from a blog called "Yarn Over Manhattan" or something like that, and I'm sure it's google-able (when did that become an adjective?) if you're curious. It uses cast-offs and picked-up stitches to control stretching in the handle and top edge, and dropped stitches to get the open effect. I wanted it to replace my "smart bag," which lived in luxury on the bottom of my purse and was put to wide use for about 3 weeks, after which I misplaced the durned thing. I'll let you know how it does.

That's it for now. The garden is blooming, my professional life is becoming something of an extreme sport, Rick is due back from Little Rock tonight, and things keep moving on.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Lessee - - my brain is so fried by the work craziness, interspersed with the weekend-prep craziness and the "farmer's market with a last minute vehicle change and rising winds" craziness that I'm not quite sure how to bring you up to date. Let's try a list of goals and accomplishments.
1. I did make it to farmer's market. Isaac got up early on Saturday to remove the large wheel and various pieces of vehicle from the bed of his old truck, then helped me stretch a tarp over the assorted petroleum products which had coalesced as a film across his truck bed. It's a full-sized truck with no bed tool box, so I'm not sure why I had trouble fitting everything in. Maybe I fit more in the back seat of Rick's truck than I realized. In any case, it's just as well that Spencer decided not to come to market with me, because after I packed the cab full of all the stuff I didn't thing was well enough protected in the bed, I was lucky to fit myself in.

2. I did make it through farmer's market. Set-up seemed to take forever, and somehow I forgot the basket at home which contained most of my small prints and the various hooks and mini-bungies that I use for displays. But I had my knitting, which means I was able to tie several small things up for display with spare cotton yarn. (Peaches 'n Creme cotton yarn - duct tape has nothing on this stuff!) But it sprinkled on us a few times, which might have been problematic for those little prints anyway. And then the wind picked up and I spent the last hour or so literally hanging onto my canopy and easel in between customers, making sure neither went airborne. I absolutely must start bringing weights that can be bungie'd to the canopy for ballast! Teardown went smoothly, and because I left the bins of Bill's sweatshirts until last, I unexpectedly moved $60 of shirts at the last moment.

3. Rick did make it home. Apparently the car rental place tried to charge him $14.00 for gas because he didn't produce a receipt proving that the tank was full - which was nice, because it gave him a chance to really blow up at someone and let off some steam.


4. Luc didn't clean his bathroom or spot clean the rug. I told him to do it - twice - and even posted the Resolve where he would have to trip over it. He says he thought I'd done it when I cleaned the rest of the downstairs. Argh. Eventually he'll get tired of the computer and the television on security lock, and he'll do it to earn his privileges back.

5. Kate and Christy did make it across the lake. What a pleasure to have them and Kate's kids with us for the weekend!! Austin and Lydia even went to church with me on Sunday and helped me do Children's Sermon. (We were talking about Abraham having to sacrifice Isaac and trusting God and all that. I demonstrated the "Trust Game" - where you fall backwards and trust your partner to catch you - and then told Austin and Lydia to catch me. I feel confident that if I'd gone through with it, I would have easily squished them both flat. But I'm told that when I turned my back and acted as though I was going to fall, Lydia got a determined look and braced for impact. She was going to catch me!)


6. It did pour on Saturday late afternoon. We'd put up the canopy in the yard and started setting chairs under it, when Kate pulled up the radar image on her phone (which, just for the record, is much cooler than my phone) and warned us that we'd better go in. Now. But we had enough room inside to make do, and the weather cleared up enough to allow us a bonfire later in the evening. And somewhere in between, Isaac and the kids got into a waterfight in the yard which was pretty amazing to watch. And a good time was had by all.

Wrapping up, the Fremont set had to be back on the ferry by Sunday, but we managed a decent brunch before they had to set off. Then Luc, Mom and I went to see WALL-E, followed by a nap and an excellent Chinese dinner at my favorite hole in the wall.

Today, more work-related insanity. And I am, as expected, horrified by how I look in some of the weekend's pictures. Sigh. Oh, and Rick and Isaac were up and gone by about 2:30 this morning, and will be in Little Rock now for a few days. Theoretically they'll be home on Wednesday night, so we'll spend a quiet holiday at home together.

And knitting? I had a chat with Luc about how knitting was therapeutic and made theta brainwaves and all. But the fact is, except for a few breaks at farmer's market in between customers and before the wind kicked up, I haven't been near my knitting needles in days. No progress on the leaf edge lace, precious little progress on the market bag I'm carrying around as "brainless knitting." And although I sold one of the cotton skull caps at market on Saturday, I keep getting disappointed looks from people who pick them up expecting them to be baby-sized; so, apparently I need to crank out a few baby beanies over the next few days.