Saturday, August 31, 2013

Pattern Sale!

I am currently offering a 60% off discount on my Little Blossom Mom and Baby winter head wear pattern!

This discount is only available on my Ravelry store since the hat pattern can be purchased at that price separately through my Craftsy store.


Mom's headband is perfect for personalizing and embellishing.



If you have baby girls in your life that you need to knit for this winter, this is the perfect pattern.

I will have this offer available to celebrate the Labor Day holiday. It will be original price again on September 7.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

It's Not Second Sock Syndrome... I Promise

Another week has flown by. It's been way too hot in my neck of the woods so I haven't been doing a lot of knitting. However, I still made progress this week.
I got to the end of my first gray skein of Regia Angora Merino. I've firmly resolved I will not connect the next skein until I finish sock #2. This yarn seriously rocks. Oh. So. Soft. So luxurious! Hurry up winter, I want to wear this!

I think I discovered why I dislike sock making so much. The hand cramps. The tiny size needles, in addition to how short they are, leaves very little for my man-size hands to hold on to, especially when cramming them into the length of a DPN. My sweater is only knit on a needle one size larger--2s--and my hands never cramp because there's more to hold on to with the circular.

So, the sock progress has been slow and very painful... literally.
I'm still (slowly) reading Silas Marner and still enjoying it.
Also reading Fr. Z a lot.

See more by clicking below.
  



On an unrelated note, now that you have the option of subscribing to comment replies I do my very best to respond. So if you don't want to remember to check back for a reply, select "Replies" in the drop-down tab on the comment form.

And if you want to see more of my projects, you can use the Ravelry link on the sidebar or the finished projects pages above.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Knitting Memes

Another group of knitting memes just for you.
Another one of my desperate attempts at knitting humor:

And another along the same line of thinking:


And a Phineas and Ferb original (I didn't do this one):


And here's one that I found on Pinterest the other night, because I think we can all agree I have a terrible time thinking of these on my own:
Source

Friday, August 23, 2013

I took two toddlers to NYC and lived to tell about it

New advertising for the Big Apple? You decide. I should definitely get that on a t-shirt.

My grandfather loves visiting NYC and happily serves as an excellent guide through such a large city. We went on a Tuesday when the weather was absolutely perfect. Comfortable humidity, 80° temps, and even a slight breeze.

Now, for a two-under-four years survival guide for a day in the city.
-Snacks and water sippy cups will determine the success of your visit. If you are potty training or your child is newly trained, it is essential to plan out your toilet stops after you decide where you're going.

-My three year old loves museums. Our first stop was the Intrepid at 11AM. We took a bus from a park and ride shortly after the morning rush hour was over. Children under six? Seven? Are not allowed to go in the submarine so only my husband went in. The kiddos hung out with my grandfather and I and had snack time on nearby benches.

-Most people walking around the city (on a Tuesday) are probably tourists like you so people are very friendly and understanding. Also, there is not much English spoken in side conversations. I've never noticed that before the trip this summer.

-Make sure you know where you want to go and a general idea of how to get there. This will save you money on taxis in case you need a ride (we took a taxi from the PomPom Diner to Rockefeller Plaza. Grandpa informed us of how easy it is for a dishonest person to add a couple extra blocks to the trip if they know you don't know your way around.)

-Be prepared to carry your little ones for your day. Strollers are a nice idea just as long as you don't plan on seeing Times Square, Rockefeller Plaza, or any other hot spot. Rockefeller Plaza was ridiculously busy around one due to "the natives" being on lunch breaks/business lunches/lunch time for tourists.

-Unfortunately (or fortunately?) St. Patrick's Cathedral is undergoing renovation. We stopped to see anyway. It was so breathtaking I almost cried. True beauty will do that, even under major repair.

-We went to the Top of the Rock. Most beautiful view of the city, hands down. I've been on the World Trade Center, Empire State Building, and now Rockefeller Center. Top of the Rock has three observation balconies, the lower two of which have 10-ft glass walls to keep people from, you know, falling or jumping.

The third and highest observation area does not have glass so you can get phenomenal photos (photo below taken from that spot). The three year old did have multiple meltdowns once we ran out of quarters for the binoculars but overall it went pretty smoothly.
Empire State building just left of center.
In the Hudson River mid-photo of just right of center, Ellis Island
can just barely be seen.

-Times Square was our last stop. We took a subway during rush hour. Because if anyone in your family has never ridden a subway, it's NYC tourism 101. Yes, even during rush hour. Gotta get in a subway ride. The boys loved it. Then we were in Times Square during rush hour. I really don't recommend it. I've been there in the middle of the day and it was chaotic and swarming with people then. #1 freaked a little. It was also the end of a long day without naps in a crazy and unfamiliar place. I also don't think we would have left the city with both kids if we didn't have a third adult.  (I'm kidding, but how else would we get photos? My oldest listens to my grandpa very well, and my grandpa has the same child rearing methods we do, so when #1 started getting defiant, he would still follow rules if my grandpa was there.)

I threw my son on my shoulders and we began speed walking to the Port Authority, maneuvering threw hordes of people. My son began saying, "Mommy, me scared. Not like this. Scared Mommy!" He clutched tighter to my neck. I kept reassuring him that Mommy was taking him back to"great-grama's" and that he was safe because he was with me, and that it would get better soon. The baby was super chill about the whole experience.

-Snacks did not help the meltdown waiting for the bus to come. Fellow bus riders (businessmen, primarily) were very nice and commented on how they had kids and missed that age. You know. Making us feel less embarrassed about the tantrum.

At any rate, given all possibly terrible outcomes the trip could have had, the experience was not nearly as stressful as it could have been. I owe a lot of that to my grandfather's knowledge of the city, and good snacks. The overstimulation of everything going on had our little one napping as we waited for almost an hour to go up to the Top of the Rock.

My advice? It will be stressful. Be prepared, bring snacks, and don't forget the weather forecast! Plan out/actively locate bathrooms before going to your sightseeing hot spots. Lastly, seek out places where the kids can sit on a bench and snack or just stop for a minute to help them process everything around them (especially if they are not used to being in a huge city).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sock-riledge

I'm sorry guys. I have to confess something. I hate making socks. I get a vibe that sock knitting is assumed essential for knitters. I also get the impression that everyone who talks about sock knitting must love it; it seems like an untouchable subject in the knitting world. So now my title makes sense, right? It's the one thing I hate making every time I try. Granted, this is only the second time trying. And I have a legitimate pattern this time. I still hate it though. My husband has been asking me to make him socks since we got married. I finally found a pattern I thought he might like (he loves the pattern, he saw what I was knitting on Sunday).

Maybe it's the tiny needles. Maybe it's the slow progress. Maybe it's the fact that my one year old keeps finding ways to climb into my knitting bag and repeatedly pull out the needles. Maybe it's personal. That's probably it.
I'll probably make this sock pattern twice and then never ever make socks again. Because the pattern is definitely not the problem. I love the pattern.
So there you go. I'm the only knitter in the world who hates sock knitting.

Also on tiny needles is my fair isle sweater, which seems to be progressing much faster than the sock. Because I don't hate sweaters I guess.

I'm still reading Silas Marner and still enjoying it.

See more by clicking below.
  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fruits of the Summer

A glimpse of my garden so far:
Over-producing apple tree!

Peas. Beans not pictured.

My only carrot.

Invasion of the squash plants this year. I'll definitely be sharing with family and friends.

The largest watermelon I've found so far. About basketball sized.

My garlic survived and thrived this year!

My raspberry bushes love us. They produce so much every year.

The grapes grew this year. Last summer we didn't get fruit.
The yield from just one bush this morning. From the bush pictured above.
Three rogue tomato plants made an appearance scattered in all the squash.
We had over 20 plants last year but I didn't plant any this year. It was a nice surprise.

All I do is nothing. I weed maybe three times during the summer (I know, I'm terrible) and let the sun and the rain do the real work.
Hopefully your gardens are just as abundant.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tradition

Are you thinking of Tevya's rich voice singing and dancing around in the barn? Let me help you love your day a little more as I jog some memories (2:20 is when he starts the song):

Thank you YouTube.
My grandmother passed on her late mother's unfinished knitting to me since I found the written instructions for the pattern she always used. For everything she knit. Everything. (Read: afghans. I'm convinced that is all I will see made by her. Zillions of afghans in every color imaginable.)

The bottom scarf strip was still on the needles when I visited last week so I think I'm going to go the Neapolitan ice cream route and lengthen it with pink and brown since the yarn is a New York Vanilla color, shown accurately above. I'm not going to bother lengthening the scarf on top, even though my grandma sent the rest of the yarn home with me.

Cool story: in my wild search for the pattern last summer, I came across a blog where a blanket in the stitch pattern was featured linked up to Yarn Along, which is how I discovered Yarn Along (and subsequently WIP Wednesdays) in the first place.

And for my current work in progress, my fair isle sweater:


I picked up Silas Marner: Weaver of Raveloe by George Eliot again. It was recommended on someone's Yarn Along post at the beginning of the year. I put it in my Google Books library right away, read 50 pgs and forgot about it. I'm enjoying it now though. Classic literature never disappoints.

  

Monday, August 12, 2013

Yarn Review Monday 8: Lion Brand's Fisherman's Wool

What is YRM: I honestly believe there are good things and bad things about every type of yarn, no matter how much you save or how much you break the bank. 

This is for the lay-knitter, not professionals. This is for people like me who might not necessarily be fiber experts despite being a crocheter or knitter for a long time, but need an honest opinion about yarn before they dive into a project with it.

Last Yarn Review, it may have looked like I was really hating on Lion Brand. But really, I just didn't like that particular yarn they happen to carry. So this time I'm reviewing a yarn from them that I really liked.

The yarn: 
Fisherman's Wool by Lion Brand
100% wool
8oz/227g - 465 yd/425m
Maple Tweed colorway



The projects: Adult Surprise Jacket (scroll down a bit for pattern), Aviatrix, and my own design for cabled children's mittens.



 
What I liked: I love how soft it is when knit, although it felt pretty rough in the making. It is incredibly warm and feels very light as a garment. Has a nice plush, almost bouncy feel to it after it has been knit also. Gets fuzzy, but hasn't pilled yet, even after extended wear as mittens. Good for cold weather play here in the north Midwest.

What I didn't like: The yarn was deceptively scratchy during the knitting process. During long periods of knitting (2+ hours) I would get what seemed like a rug burn on the finger I use to keep yarn tension. I'm pretty sure they only carry natural colors right now, which is not a bad thing. I'm not entirely sure I like it though, because I don't dye my own yarn, don't have time for it, and that limits me a little.

Where you can buy it:  I got mine at JoAnn's. You can also buy directly from Lion Brand (link provided below), and I'm guessing most big craft stores that carry Lion Brand will have it. I also found it for sale from various websites after a quick search.

Affordability: $12.99 from Lion Brand. JoAnn's is currently having a 30% off sale. (As of 8.9.13)

Overall rating:



It's tough, it's versatile, it's incredibly warm, what's not to love?



Disclaimer: I was not compensated for this or asked to review this yarn by any store or the company itself. Opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Knitting Memes

Anyone want to put their witty knitting humor to use?
A month or so ago I found some photos of knitting in pop culture because I though I was funny and creative enough to get some good memes going for you. I'm not though.

But here is one I just thought of tonight. It's a bit pathetic, I'll admit, but it's a start. The picture is from the new Health Partners commercial that came out over the summer.


Or maybe this one appeals better to your sense of humor:


And if you want to make your own, here is the picture. While I can't stand it when my photo edges spill into the sidebar, I'm making this one extra large so it looks nicer for you when you edit/resize it.


Have fun!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In Which: I Geek Out

The first time I picked up a Harry Potter book, I was in the third grade and the first three books were already bestsellers. I got The Sorcerer's Stone at a book fair after the parent teacher conferences.
 Thus, my love of Harry Potter was born. I was sucked into every book. I would barricade myself in my bedroom during my summer vacation and read read read. My birthday present from my parents was always a month late, because they would get me the newest book fresh off the bookstore shelf. They were always released here in the U.S. in July.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. Knitting Daily emails me this:

I know. I know. But I didn't buy it right away. Impressive, right? I didn't think the man of the house would appreciate me spending $20 to indulge a childhood obsession.

Twelve hours later I came to my senses and bought a hard copy.

Fast forward to last night when we came home from vacation to find my package from FedEx curled into thirds vertically.
The binding on my magazine is damaged. I couldn't look through it last night because I had to flatten it under some heavy books. I'm a bit peeved but I got some photos for you to drool over anyway:







I WANT TO MAKE IT ALL! MUWAHAHAHAHA!!!!

I was not endorsed or asked to review this by any outside entity.