Friday, August 21, 2009

D'em Endz, d'em, endz...



those bulky yarn ends!

Have you got the bulky end blues? Are you DREADING weaving them in because you know they are gonna *POP* later? Bummed out? Don't be...I'm going to offer you some "tips" on those bulky ends.

Spud & Chloƫ Outer yarns have 2 plies. Carefully separate those plies when you are ready to weave the ends in. One ply gets weaved in one direction. The 2nd ply gets weaved into the back in the "OPPOSITE" direction. Not only does this save you bulk on the back, it also gives that "end" 2 directions to make that weave more solid. It will blend more evenly with your knitting too.

Backside-weaved


Front side-weaved

You ends will be fragile like--if you pull on your separated plied ends, they will stretch and eventually break. So care is needed when you are weaving not to pull too hard on them with your tapestry needle.

If you are working with a bulky yarn that does not have plies--you can carefully separate it and still weave the two in opposite directions. It takes more time, just be patient and try to separate them evenly.

Another thing is after weaving your ends, stretch the fabric a bit both horizontally and vertically to make sure those ends move with the fabric.

A perfect ending!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Progress and Fun Stuff

I can't believe how fast this little hoodie is knitting up!
I have a little more work done on it than what this picture shows--and I haven't spent alot of time on it...(feels that way!) and yes, I know it's a "SMALL" sweater, a size 4T, but it is flying off my needles! I have the hood to go and then seaming. I plan to use the zipper instructions found in the current Knit Simple Fall issue magazine...have you checked this magazine out? It has some knitter friendly (READ: regular mod MOM-type knitting) patterns and lots of tips and tidbits. I liked the bit in there about zipper pulls...I ordered one from Purl for this project here. I have a zipper in hand and am going to tackle installation with all the grace of a non-sewer and the gumption of a "wanna-be"...

Speaking of shopping...

I did a little armchair shopping from home yesterday (still have sick children...:SIGH:) and found this from Roseknits: Bee Bag. Can you say CUTE?! I love bags. I stash all kinds of things in them because when I am on the go, I can grab that project quickly as I am notorious for losing things. Actually, there really is a black hole in my house that just randomly sucks things up never to be found again. My oldest son is victim to this also. Funny, that black hole doesn't pick on anyone else in the house. I digress...

Those of you on Ravelry, I wanted to alert you to another Blue Sky Alpaca Swap that is open for sign-ups but closes after today. Check that out here. I am participating in this round as it involves a "magic yarn ball" theme and I've never done one of those. Sounds fun! And as many of you know, I love to spoil people. I have many fun goodies in mind in addition to stuff that my secret knitter pal may like.

Need some fun podcast listening while knitting today? Check out nevernotknitting's recent offering here: Episode 22. She offers lots of reviews and fun stuff. She's a busy one!

Looking for some sweet children's patterns that are FREE?

Yes, that lovely word...FREE. :HAPPY SIGH:

Petite Purls has some really cute offerings...I am stalking their site currently as I know soon their fall issue will hit the net waves! So check back with them often!

Lastly, I want to mention the current issue of Cast On magazine. If you like technical information, learning new techniques STEP by STEP, this magazine really does fit that bill perfectly. They have re-vamped their format and style and have really "upped" their offerings for the knowledge seeking knitter. I do save my Cast On magazines because I know the information in there is timeless. Styles come and go--fads are just that, fads. But the techniques never change. They may be modified or evolve into something NEW...but the basics are still there. Check them out!

On the home front, we have a new puppy!

Yes, we are going to subject ourselves to all that wonderfulness new puppies add to a house. A busy house. A house bursting at the seams with busy children. We miss our furry friends we lost this past year and the grieving is over now. Time to bring in a new furr ball.

She will join us sometime in September, as she still needs to be with momma dog for a little bit longer. We will make a road trip to go get her as soon as she's old enough. The kids have a name list a mile long. She is a red Pointing Labrador and will double as a bird hunting buddy for the dude of the house. He's tickled. I have 2 boys that are determined to teach her to "guard" the new fort. I will share pictures soon. I have 2 girls determined that she will be sleeping in their room at night...and arguing with the little guy over it. He says he gets her at night because he's "the littlest"...already playing that youngest trump card!

Have a great knitting day friends!

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Non-Knitting Week Recap

Why no knitting, no crafting, no reading about crafting, not even a swatch this week?

The horse show was one big reason. My girls were off at camp last week doing all kinds of horsey things. No, they didn't thoroughly enjoy cleaning out stalls, washing down dusty, sweaty horses...getting up in early the morning barely able to walk out of bed because of soreness...stinky, dirty boots and clothes at the end of the day, sunburns and rope burns...falling off of horses riding bareback, no they didn't enjoy ANY of it at all...


In fact, you can see the suffering they endured all week here...

No, they didn't thoroughly enjoy any of it...poor girls, they were absolutely IN LOVE with it ALL!

Ever see an 11 year old IN LOVE? I mean head over heels, can't think of anything else...IN LOVE?

Times that by 2.

NO, I'm thankfully not talking about BOYS. YUCK! We're not in that stage yet...no this love is more powerful. This is horse love.

These girls got home from camp every day last week and after a quick shower to wash the horse smells off (I INSISTED) would draw their horses on paper in every medium, talk about their horses, wonder about their horses, pack a LUNCH for their horses (carrots and apple treats) and do everything with their horses in mind. They brought ribbons for their horses manes for grooming time. They read books about their particular horses' breed. They DREAMED horses at night.
They cried on Friday after the horse show. Not because they fell off. Not because they were so happy to be done with hard stable work in 90 degree heat, not because they were relieved to be done with horse camp this summer...because they were going to miss their horse loves. And they were convinced their horses would thoroughly and most devastatingly miss them too. Ahhh....summer love.

Yes, these are my daughters.

And, yes, I can totally RELATE. When you fall, you fall hard.

But I had horses.

I worked my horses each day. I know the pain of leaving them (or selling them) and the pining an 11 year old does for their "love". I also know the cost, the work, the needs of having a horse. I wish I could give them a stable full of them. But for now, we'll have to see about maybe joining the equestrian team when they are 12 yrs. old.

Oh, the pains of young love.

:GIGGLES:

On the home front, hive boy, aka my "little guy", got rid of all his hives as quickly as he got them. We had 3 days of "itchies" and "scratchies" and we have a few scabs now as war badges. But they are gone. As of Sunday night, I now have 2 girls sporting high fevers, so this virus has not left our house yet. :SIGH: And you all know who is going to get this bug last...after everyone is well and ready to resume life at full throttle...

In other home front news...

Hubby has decided our family is ready for a hunting/family dog after losing our two wonderful dogs in this year. We've had 5 mos. without furry friends and are missing them but in a less "grieving" way. So off to the library we went on Saturday and came home armed with doggie books.

Research and planning, my specialty!

Looks like the next furry family member may be of the German Shorthair kind. And I get to do the obedience training classes, while hubby gets hunting training classes. Oh boy.

Puppy versus older dog?

Breeder versus rescue dog?

Female dog versus male dog?

We are weighing the pros and cons of each.

One factor is little guy. He'll be 4 yrs. old this fall and thinks anything furry is his best friend. He respects space, but he would be crushed if an older dog didn't just adore him. And he seems to think our next dog NEEDS to sleep in his bed. With him. Only him. Not anyone else, he says.

Anyone have experience with this breed of dog?

The other time eater this week-end was Fort Knox. Yes, the big "kids" :AHEM: fort in the back by the creek is pretty much done. A few minor details (chairs) and a screen on the door, is all that is needed. We spent some time having fun with it--all of us can fit in there at once, which was kind of cool. I'll have pictures of that up later...was too busy counting butterflies and birds from on top to go down and get my camera. The biggest kid (the DAD) seems to think this may double as a hunting stand in the fall...funny, when I hinted at that in the planning stages of this project not much was said. Now, after it's been built, it's A GREAT IDEA. LOL! And a certain almost9 year old is anticipating sitting out there with dad watching and waiting.

Hubby power washed the siding on the house as well. I did a ton of gardening. I am going to have pumpkins coming out of my ears come this fall! I thinned and removed several vines that were threatening my green beans. It was an invasion! I have it down to 10 possible good ones that are started. What I will do with 10 pumpkins I have no idea. Probably freeze some for later in the year?

My cucumbers and tomatoes are now in full swing and we enjoyed both all week-end and just about every meal! (Tomatoes in scrambled eggs are WONDERFUL!)

I hope everyone else's garden is coming into fruition and the harvest is plentiful for you too!

With our strange, cool summer we've had this year, I am amazed at what IS and IS NOT coming out of the ground right now. NO watermelons, not much for lettuce, and the herbs are pretty much puny. But else where in the country I know that hot and dry has been the norm. That will mess up your gardens too...

OH, and for those wondering, the war has been won (Me WINNING of course!) on those chipmunks.

:GRIN:

No sign of any chippies now in 3 days. BUT...there is a strange smell coming from under the steps...

I now have my flower garden and landscaping by the front door back. I will have some perennials to replace this fall.

Back to my regularly scheduled knitting projects...happy Monday everyone!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

MIA...

My little guy...remember him?

He's the happy dude around here, usually just giving us the giggles when we least expect it. My blog has been quiet lately because he's been fighting a virus. Two trips to Urgent Care and the Doc for high fevers for 11 days finally brought relief...or so we thought.

Yesterday, we experienced hives like I've never seen before...



Face, legs, body, hands, feet...very, very ITCHY! (see hand scratching)

So I've been spending alot of time not doing much other than what I should be doing...taking care of lil' guy.

On the plus side, I do have "The Cat in the Hat" re-memorized.

Funny, those books are like riding bikes, once you do it again, it all comes back to you. "Green Eggs and Ham" is another favorite.

I have watched the movie "Cars" about 6 times in the past 2 days.

I have the "Nemo" characters all sorted out and I even know what kind of fish they all are now. Impressed? My kids are!

I have a new respect for parents that deal with chronically ill children. Mine are so healthy--we've really been blessed. This long sickness has really thrown my mommy remedies for a loop. Nothing seems to really be working on this tough bug. Doc says their meds won't do much either...just wait it out. Keep 'em comfortable.

Off for another oatmeal bath and some cortisone cream!

Have a great week-end knitting friends. I'll be back on Monday!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Soccer Socks

Soccer practice started in June and just ended in July. I had 3 hours of soccer sitting, 3 hours of baseball practice sitting. I needed something that would be mindless, yet keeping my fingers busy and getting another TO DO project done. These plain stockinette socks fit the bill perfectly!

Not only did I get a pair done-I also got to use these socks to teach 2 other moms how to knit socks! One mom has her pair almost done. We met for coffee last night and I got to show her how to finish her toes. So soccer socks turned into lesson socks.

Notice the leeetle bit of red at the tips of my toes? EH, not so crazy about that. Notice the variance of stripes in SPITE of my attempt to make them similar? EH, not so crazy about that. But you never know how a skein is going to knit up when you have those stripes involved.

These socks were intended to be a Christmas present for a relative. Turns out she got a peek of the socks unintentionally and she wasn't so crazy about the stripes. (can I blame her?)

You know how sometimes it's hard to love people for who they are? But we try anyways. We love them for all the things they REALLY are in our eyes.

Sometimes it's hard to love sock stripes for what they are. But I'm going to try anyways.

Presenting...

MY new pair of socks...


Unless this winds up under the tree for one of you at Christmas time???

Have a great week-end friends!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Hit Gauge...

Have swatch... Have yarn and pattern...Need: TIME