Monday, January 29, 2007

So Very Sleepy

I've been running a little short of sleep these past few nights, so I haven't been too motivated to knit. I just started the second sleeve of Nick's sweater, but it is out in the Jeep right now, so it won't get any farther until tomorrow night. I did felt my snowman a little more this afternoon. I was going to embroider some eyes on it until I realized the knit stitches were still too loose for it to work well. So, I unstuffed it and hand felted it some. It is quite a bit smaller now. Maybe the hat I knit for it will actually fit now. I am going to try to finish the snowman up this week. Andrew really wants to have him for a toy. up I did wash a lot of sweaters today. Mine seem to keep getting spit up on and Andrew keeps getting food on his, so now I have a table full of damp sweaters. It will be nice to have my red cabled sweater clean. It is so much nicer to wear than my bulky sweatshirts.

I also went to the library on Thursday and have been reading The Edison Trait by Lucy Jo Palladino. It is very interesting. I can see Andrew in the book, but I also see Tim and myself. It makes me happy to see that some of the suggestions in the book for dealing with discipline are thing I already do. Reading books like this make me feel like I am not the only one with a child who seems like too much to handle sometimes. It gives me hope that through reading books like this and remembering my own school experiences, I can help Andrew avoid some of the negative experiences Tim and I had in school. I am torn in my decisions about school for the next couple years for Andrew. The schools that seem like they would fit best, are also schools with pre-K everyday and all day kindergarten. I am pretty sure that Andrew, while being very smart, is not ready to have that kind of schedule. He just doesn't have that kind of attention span unless it is something he is really interested in, and he is likely to just get into trouble. Preschool has been fun for him most of the time and he has made a couple friends, but I know that it has been hard for him behavior-wise. I also have heard him being teased about his speech a couple of times. Thankfully Andrew doesn't realize it and we will be doing something to help his speech soon.

On a lighter note, Tim started a new job at G&K today. His contract at Children's ended because they ran out of money and couldn't hire him on, as was the original plan. It was nice having him work so close at Children's, but there just aren't that many IT jobs on the east side of the metro area. So, once again, Tim is driving across the cities everyday. Tim was very happy with how his first day went and thinks this job will help solidify the direction he wants to take his career.

Nicholas has news too! He got to eat his first cereal Saturday. I was going to wait longer, but he sits with us at every meal and tracks our food from plate to mouth and tries to grab any food or cup that comes near him (and maneuver it to his mouth if he is successful in the grabbing). He was so excited to get the spoon into his mouth and then eagerly sucked the cereal off the spoon. He was quite upset when the cereal was gone and was only happy when given the spoon to hold.

Well, time for me to get Nicholas back to sleep and try to get some sleep myself.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

My Birthday Weekend (and the turtle)

I just thought I would mention a couple things going on the weekend right after my birthday (2/17-2/18). First there will be the knit out at the Mall of America. I think I might go Saturday late afternoon or Sunday afternoon. I am curious just what will be there and think it would be fun to see other knitters. The other thing I have planned for that weekend is a Pampered Chef party on Saturday at 10:30. I picked February because their stoneware is 20% off. I especially want a muffin pan because when they are seasoned they are pretty non-stick and I need to replace my pans. Every time I use them more of the non-stick coating comes off - some of it on the muffins. yuck! I also broke my glass 9x9 pan a while ago and could really use a replacement. You can find more info about the products here. If you are in the area and want to come send me an email at aprilandpets @ comcast dot net (minus the spaces of course). It should be a nice time to get together and have some lunch. I might even have cake.

You may have noticed the turtle Andrew and I recently adopted. Andrew chose its color and helped me with the name. Feel free to feed him some worms(click on more), take him for a swim (click on the water), and be careful not to frighten it (click on its head).

A Day With Daddy

Tim is taking a photography class this semester to fulfill a humanities requirement. His first assignment is to find three subjects and take pictures from different angles. Andrew loves anything having to do with pictures, so Tim took him along and let him take some pictures with our old digital camera. These are Tim's pictures and these are Andrew's pictures(he had a little help on a couple).

Andrew also had an appointment for a speech evaluation that afternoon. I sent Tim and Andrew alone since they were running late and Nicholas was asleep. Tim was told that the school district admits the lowest two or three children evaluated for therapy and that Andrew would definitely be one of them. We will be getting more info within the next couple days, but it sounds like he will be starting some program soon. We will also need to decide if we want to apply for a speech-preschool through the district or go to one of the two possible preschools through our church synod and do speech therapy outside of preschool. I am glad that we addressed the issue when we did though, because school application starts in February. I will be busy looking at schools next month.

On a knitting note- I think Andrew wore his Anchors and Fishes sweater for the last time Wednesday. He loves that sweater so much, but it is just getting too small. The sleeves are too tight and it is too short in the body. I think my next project will be a new sweater for Andrew. I have some grey Bemidji Homespun (since Andrew has been asking for a grey sweater) and an aran design brewing in my head. I have the front and back of Nicholas's sweater done and one sleeve started so it shouldn't be long now.

Tomorrow should be interesting. I am going to help with Andrew's preschool field trip to the Children's Museum. Interesting because Andrew has never has a time limit on an exhibit and usually spends an hour or more playing in an exhibit. Also, I will be with fourteen preschoolers all morning. I'm not sure that is really a good idea. We will have to see.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Monday Night Jazz

Andrew has decided he likes to listen to jazz since he gets to listen to jazz in the Jeep with Daddy sometimes. So, when we found out that a local coffee shop, The Coffee Grounds, has live jazz we decided we should check it out. Tim mentioned the first time we went here. We went there again last night. Andrew loves listening - the ice cream treat doesn't hurt either - but mostly he listens and plays with the toys they have there when they aren't playing. Nicholas wasn't quite as happy, but then he was just tired. Amazingly he did fall asleep while the music was playing. I was plugging one ear and he had the other pressed against me, but it still wasn't that quiet. Tim thought I should show up to play sometime. Andrew would think that was pretty cool to have Mommy playing jazz. Maybe when I have a little more free time.

I mentioned that I thought I might start a sweater for Nicholas Friday and I did.
From 12307

I finished the back Monday night and am about a third of the way done with the front. It is so fun knitting for babies because the things go so quick. Although, I mentioned to Tim that it is like a race to see if you can get the item knit before the baby grows out of it. I think I am winning this race. It helps that I am knitting a 12-18 month size, so it will be a little big, but at this rate I should have the sweater done in the next week or so.

Andrew had fun at tumbling again today, and he even followed his teachers directions (at least for the first 20 minutes). He loves tumbling, but sometimes he takes creative liberties with the things they are supposed to be doing. Things like when he decided that his crab walked on his tummy, he was going to leap in between the circles instead of on them, things like that. Oh well, the main thing is that he is having fun and using some of his energy. He also thinks learning the forward roll was pretty cool. He also liked playing Thomas cards today.
From 12307

This post made me hungry for chocolate chip cookies, so when Tim asked this weekend if there was anything I wanted, I of course mentioned the possibility of making some. He wasn't too hard to convince. Nicholas wishes he could have some, but he will just have to make due with his fingers for now.
From 12307

He has really been watching us eat lately. He tracks our food from our plates to our mouths and then puts his hands in his mouth. He is just practicing.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A Finished Soaker and Some Spinning

I finished the soaker I started a couple days ago. It is funny how the knit things take more hours to make than sewn things, but the knit things get done faster because I can bring them with me and work on them little by little. The soaker is just a little on the long side, which is perfect. That way I can fold down the ribbing now and have it fit for a long time. My method of measuring is to stick a fitted diaper inside the soaker as I am knitting and eyeball how long the soaker is compared to the diaper. Not very exact, but it seems to work for me. To recap, I used Nearly Nazareth yarn in Spring which is a little heavier than I have used for soakers in the past, but it makes a nice heavy soaker when knit on size six needles. Here is a picture of the soaker.
From A Soaker and ...

I also did a little spinning yesterday. I have been wanting to pull the wheel out, but always felt like there just wasn't time and lots of other things to do. So, yesterday when Andrew noticed the wheel and the wool hanging from it, he asked me to make some yarn. The kid is enthralled with wool, anything he deems "woolie" is very special. This includes polyfil. He recognizes the basic appearance, without realizing that other things can look woolie and not be wool. I spun up some domestic wool I got when I had my intro to spinning class at Shepherd's Harvest using kind of a supported long draw. I have just been using this wool to play with and spin different ways. I did manage to ply the bobbin I spun and it is very soft and light, approximately a bulky gauge. I also plyed a bobbin I spun this summer of the same wool. I am glad I had been reading blogs about spinning, because I would have really underplyed it otherwise. Because the singles had been on the bobbin for so long, they didn't have much spring any more. So, when I plyed it seemed over twisted. As soon as it hit it's bath it settled down and came out very balanced. Yea!
From A Soaker and ...

It seems like this week has just flown by. It is probably due to having some activity everyday. Andrew is really enjoying his swimming and tumbling lessons though. He seems to like knowing that it if is Tuesday, that means he has tumbling. He was much better at listening to his teachers at both lessons this week - although I did have to leave the gym during tumbling for a little bit because he was paying more attention to me sitting on the side than to his teacher. I think the activities are good for him since he likes them and it gives him a focused way to use some of his energy rather than just being crazy in the house. Although, today he had so many things he wanted to play with his toys that he kept himself busy all afternoon. Tim had his first week of classes so he was gone two night this week but I didn't have choir. Next week is the first week both things are going on. Bedtime gets a little tricky, but it has been going better than last semester since Nicholas is a little more predictable.

Now for some knitting time. I just have to decide what I want to work on. I am thinking about a baby sweater pattern I found a year or two ago. It had a three month and a twelve month size so I wasn't sure about making it, until I put some nine month sized clothes on Nicholas today and found they fit very well. He is just growing faster than I can keep up with.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Nice Day

Today has actually been a pretty nice day. Andrew behaved at preschool. He was good all day actually, except for a little craziness when we got home from preschool. I got some cute pictures of Andrew and Nicholas sitting together after I put Andrew's shoes on. Looking at them together makes realize how much Nicholas has grown. It's pretty amazing.
From A Nice Day

We went to the Children's Museum again and had a chance to really play in the new Bob exhibit.
From A Nice Day

From A Nice Day

We played in My World and the nature exhibit too.
From A Nice Day

From A Nice Day

(Yes, we get a lot of use out of our membership)
Then we ate dinner, watched an episode of Backyardigans and Andrew took a bath and calmly went to bed. Nick on the other hand has been to bed three times already tonight, but you can't win them all.

I thought I would post a "finished" picture of my pirate mittens, even though I still have a few ends to weave in.
From A Nice Day

They look finished anyway. They are from this pattern. I omitted the year, but otherwise followed the pattern. They were knit with wool-ease on size 4 Brittney Birch dpns. They fit my long skinny hands, but probably will be too small for a guy. They knit up pretty quick since I started them Tuesday evening last week and other than stalling with the end weaving were finished Monday. This really is quick since I really only knit at night after both kids are asleep lately and that doesn't give me much time.

This is the soaker I started last night.
From A Nice Day

I am done with the ribbing and working some short rows on the back now. The colors decided to stack when I started the stockinette stitch. The distance around the soaker must be about one color repeat. It doesn't look bad to me though and the short rows will change things up a little.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

When all else fails...

Cast-on something simple that you have made a dozen times, but do it with a new twist. I am really almost done with the pirate mittens, only a few ends to weave in on the second mitten. I have either half or one and a half balls of yarn (I don't remember what Tim and I decided on right now) on Tim's black scarf. The snowman would be quick to finish too. It is just that none of those projects are really needed or have much left I could be creative with, and so seem kind of boring but require concentration to work on. And after my afternoon (Andrew managed to fall down the stairs at the Y after tumbling class - he isn't badly hurt, just a bump on the head since he managed to roll sideways most of the way - he settled down quite a bit after that) they just aren't what I am looking for. So I cast on for a soaker. It is something Nicholas actually needs (I have four covers cut out and waiting to be sewn up - I just haven't sat down at the sewing machine to do it). It is something I have made many times before. I have even sold a few. I don't use a pattern any more. Soakers are my comfort knitting. I am using the Naturally Nazareth yarn I picked up last May. My twist this time, instead of cables like I have done in the past, is twisted ribbing. I am hoping this will help with the fact that the ribbing always seems to stretch out, no matter how small a needle I use or if I use fewer stitches for the ribbing. Right now it is 76 stitches (usually 80 for a med, but I ran out of tail on my twisted german cast-on) of k2 tbl p2 ribbing for about 2 inches - until I used up the yarn barf from finding the center of the skein. The yarn has really short color sections so no obvious patterning yet. It will be interesting to see if that holds true when I increase for the body of the soaker and switch to stockinette stitch.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


We are members at the Minnesota Children's Museum for the second year (thanks to my parents), and no matter how many times we go Andrew is excited to be there. And, being a three-year-old boy he also loves Bob the Builder. So, when I found out the museum was going to have a Bob the Builder exhibit I figured Andrew would love to go. The exhibit opened yesterday, and they offered a members only event to check out the exhibit and say hi to "Bob" last night. The info I read said they were going to limit the numbers so I expected it to be a smallish amount of people there - mostly to see the new exhibit. Instead, the place was packed. There was barely space to move, much less play, in the Bob exhibit and plenty of people in the other areas too. We did get a picture of Andrew with "Bob".
From Bob at mcm

Nicholas was able to visit the Habitot exhibit for the first time. He was very interested in the water-filled mat/pond. He was even able to sit by himself long enough for me to get a picture.
From Bob at mcm

Sorry about the quality of the photos - we only had our cell phones with us.

The space I have been working on this weekend is my basement. Our basement isn't a pleasant place to be. It is an old (1909), partial basement with limestone walls and who know what stored in the crawl spaces (we see that there is stuff left from the previous people that lived here, we just haven't been brave enough to dig it out) and no heating but the pipes running to the radiators. Because it isn't a great place to hang out, we try not to spend any more time down there than necessary. That means that stuff that is stored down there isn't always put away as well as it should be. There is also stuff there that we need to get rid of so we have more room to walk. I decided that with Christmas things being put away and out-grown baby clothes that need to be stored again this was as good a time as any to do some clean up. In the time I have been able to spend cleaning I have one corner organized and found some things we could use for Nicholas, as well as a book Tim can use for his writing class. Unfortunately, I still have a way to go. One thing that needs to go is three (big) boxes of Barbie stuff from my childhood. I have tried to give it away to a few friends that have girls, but no one has wanted it. I would love to give it to someone I know rather than drop it off for Goodwill to sell. There are Barbies (some in better shape than others), lots of clothes (many made by my mom), a car or two, a couple horses, an ice cream shop (I think), and probably more. My parents kept the stuff hoping the grand kids would be able to use them, but since I had a boy (at the time) and my sister probably won't have kids for a long time, they decided they needed the space. I took it before I knew Nicholas was a boy and have decided I need the space more than keeping it on the chance we decided to have another and it turns out to be a girl. So, if anyone is interested in the lot or digging through to see if they find something they want let me know. Or if you know of a place that could use them I would be happy to donate them.

Mitten update: Both of the mitten bodies are knit as well as one thumb. I only put seven stitches on waste yarn for one (for some reason or another) so I had to do a little fixing, but it turned out ok. They are still a little smaller than I was hoping. I will have to see what happens when I wash them. Pictures of finished mittens tomorrow.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Delivery For Andrew

Andrew loves getting mail of any kind, so he was thrilled when a package came yesterday.
From Delivery For...

(click on picture to see more photos)

Thanks Mom and Dad for taking care of returning the loader and getting the crane. I know it would have been nice to find one when you were in the area and save the shipping, but Andrew really loved getting a package and was even more excited about the crane. He will have quite the construction company in the sandbox this summer.

Nicholas was content to watch and work on some teeth.
From Delivery For...

Today has been long (mostly due to the teeth) so I am going to do a little knitting - my first for the day- and then go to bed. Hopefully Nick decides to cooperate.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mittens - Pirates and Bunnies

Andrew had his first swimming lesson at the YMCA today. He had a blast. He maybe could have stayed by the wall a little more when he was supposed to, but he was just so enthusiastic. Nicholas had a good time too. It seems that he is very interested in the water and all the people moving around in it. At the end we went upstairs so I could feed Nicholas, and after eating for a minute he noticed that we were overlooking the pool. After that he just watched the sunlight on the water until I decided we would just go. After the lesson I asked Andrew if he used up some of his energy and he said no, and then ate a huge lunch when we got home and didn't have any complaints about going upstairs for a nap.
From Mittens - Pir...

I thought I would share a picture and some info about the angel I cross stitched. I bought the kit a couple years ago thinking I would make it for my Grandma. I got a little ways into it and realized that the light blue-grey fabric and pastel thread made it really hard to see what I was doing in the dim living room where I usually work on things like that in the evening. It also disqualified it as a project I could work on in the car (the other place I tend to work on projects). So it rode around in my knitting bag for a long time before I decided to pull it back out and finish it, now that we have had a new light fixture in our living room for almost a year and I have a floor lamp by my spot on the couch. I am glad I finished it. I have to admit that I was happier with it before adding the french knots, but that could be because I'm not very good at making them. Most of the french knots were also done with shiny gold thread and I like things a little simpler. Now I just need to put it in a frame and find a time to drive to Mankato and give it to my Grandma so it can join the angel I made a few years back.
From Mittens - Pir...

I accomplished a lot on my pirate mittens and decided to join the knit-a-long. This is where I was yesterday afternoon.
From Mittens - Pir...

And this is where I am today.
From Mittens - Pir...

I haven't knit the thumb on the first mitten yet either, so it isn't quite done.

The week after Christmas, Tim found something for me on Craig's list. Two listings for vintage angora yarn.
From Mittens - Pir...

Each box should be enough to make a pair of mittens. The red is definitely for me, but I'm not sure about the pink. Andrew was really excited about bunny yarn, but then I would want to dye the yarn if I was going to make him mittens. Or, I could make them for a gift and figure that Andrew wants pretty much everything I make so it won't be a big deal. I might make mine first and gauge his enthusiasm. I suppose I could find a different color on eBay. And for those that don't know me and think I am overlooking the simple solution of making the pink for myself, I don't like pink - and Andrew has decided he doesn't like red (in general, not specifically this red yarn).

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Back For A New Year

I'm finally back to blogging. This fall was just too crazy. I realized that I could either get the projects done I wanted to finish or I could blog about not getting anything done. So, since I blogged last, I finished a baptismal gown,
a red velvet "C*aptain Mor*gan" coat (sewn),
From Back For A Ne...

a sweater for Andrew, two pairs of felted clogs, five washcloths, a pair of socks, and one cross stitch angel. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of most of that. Tim also went back to school (again) and had class Monday nights. Plus, of course, getting used to having a baby in the house again.

I don't think the winter will be much better activity wise, but I have a better handle on my schedule and not so many deadlines. Tim will be at class two nights a week pretty soon, plus I have choir once a week. Andrew is loving preschool and was very happy to be back. We also added a tumbling class once a week at the YMCA (to give him a chance to run around a little this winter) as well as swimming lessons once a week. He has been so excited to go swimming and loves being in the pool. I figured we would try some lessons and if Andrew enjoys them that is great and if not that is okay too. The YMCA offers you a free land class (non-swimming) per session - and swimming lessons are pretty reasonable- so we might as well see what they are like since we aren't playing outside much.

Project wise... I really want to do some spinning, but don't really have time to pull the wheel out. I have a scarf almost finished. It is black, worsted weight alpaca in a basket weave pattern. I also have Icarus started and one pirate mitten half done (started yesterday). The mittens are being knit with wool-ease and size 4s so they will fit a guy's hand. They are going very quickly since they are interesting, but not complicated.

I'm not sure what to start next. I really want to design a sweater for Andrew and have a sweater I want to make for Nicholas (which would probably go pretty quickly) and a couple other bigger projects rolling through my head, but I might do a couple quicker things first like make some soakers and mittens and hats. I guess it will probably come down to doing whatever I am most inspired to start when I finish the current stuff.

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