Friday, July 20, 2007

Three Cheers for 3 Kittens

I mentioned that I won blue ribbons for my Ramsey County Fair entries and the champion ribbon for Icarus. When I picked up my items and prizes, I also received a gift card for 3 Kittens Needle Arts. The gift card was really the reason I decided to enter. I figured that I couldn't win it if I didn't enter. I think it is great that 3 Kittens offered prizes for the fair. There are a number of yarn shops in the county and they were the only ones to offer any prizes. 3 Kittens is rapidly becoming my favorite yarn shop in the area (not just because I won a gift card). Since ownership changed at the store it is so much easier to take the kids since it is less cluttered (if Andrew could just leave the alpaca alone we should be good). They have a great selection of yarn, helpful employees and lots of parking.

Friday Night Check In

It's Friday again. Another busy week, but much more pleasant. Something about having a puppy makes things a bit happier. If nothing else, the puppy antics are worth a chuckle. We have been to two different dog parks, been on a number of walks, picked everything off the floor regularly, and asked many times "what are you doing now Kap". Kapik and the kids are getting along well. This afternoon we played fetch. I started playing with Kapik (and he did really well too) and then Andrew wanted to play fetch too. He found another ball and I took turns throwing the balls for Andrew and Kapik. Nicholas sat nearby and thought the whole thing was so funny Kapik kept stealing Andrew's ball though, which Andrew didn't really like. I kept explaining how that was how puppies play, but he still didn't like it much. Thankfully, Kapik got tired and then just Andrew played fetch. I know it sounds bad that I played fetch with Andrew, but it used up Andrew's energy, it was what Andrew wanted to do, it kept Nick entertained and it was that hour before Tim comes home from work and I just needed something to keep them busy. Right?

Not much knitting, spinning, or sewing has been done. I did move my sewing table with sewing machine and serger down to the dining room. I really need to get some diapers made, and it just wasn't going to happen since Nicholas sleeps in my sewing room. I have gotten behind on MS3. I am still about eight rows into the third clue. I am going to get some work done on Andrew's gansey this weekend before I can go back to that. I really want to enter the sweater in the state fair and I only have a couple weeks left. I know it won't take too long to knit the sleeves, but I do want to get it done soon so I feel like I can move on to other things.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Sleepy Puppy

Kapik is very smart. Last night was his first time on a leash. We went for a walk early this morning and he walked like he had been going for walks all his life. He slept well in his kennel, realized where he was supposed to go potty, knows his name, started to respond to the command come, and loved playing with Nicholas and Andrew. He acts kind of like Nick is another puppy, but without the play biting. We went for a walk this evening and he wanted everyone to be together. If someone lagged behind, he would look back and wait until everyone was back together. With all the walks and other activity he was a worn out puppy.

Not a whole lot of knitting was done. Probably not too surprising.

Friday, July 13, 2007

What A Cute Puppy

We brought home a puppy tonight. We decided to get a Siberian Husky for a couple reasons. Bullet was very much my dog. Tim has wanted a Husky for a long time and they tend to not be one person dogs, so we probably won't end up having a dog that is mostly mine again (it happens since I am the one home all the time and possibly just since I have spent more time with dogs in my life). There also don't seem to be that many reputable breeders of Rottweilers in the area, and those breeders have their puppies spoken for very quickly. There is also much talk about breed specific laws in the area. In my opinion, I would much rather have a Rottwieler than an older cocker spaniel as far as chances of someone getting bit. I say that because working in Vet Medicine, I learned to be more cautious of the little dogs than the big ones. There are always exceptions though.

We named our puppy Kapik. Tim was looking for a name and found that Kapik means coffee in Inuit. If you know Tim, you know that he likes his coffee. The breeder we got Kapik from does dog sled racing. She has an outdoor kennel so Kapik has never been inside before tonight. He was going to stay on the porch and look out the window, so I brought him into the living room to hang out with Tim and I after the kids went to bed. Kapik is starting to settle, but he isn't sure about the piano. It will probably take a bit to get used to his new life, but he seems happy. He especially likes Nick. Anytime Nick was sitting on the ground tonight, Kapik came over and gave Nicholas kisses. Nick loved it. We will get some more pictures tomorrow after Kapik has a bath.

The kids and I spent the afternoon at the Ramsey County fair. I had to visit my knitting. Andrew and I searched the Exhibit Hall for my things. We got to the knitting and saw the green soaker. It had a blue ribbon on it. We looked some more and found my hat. It had a blue ribbon too. Andrew was getting really excited because we had already talked about the ribbons and which color was what place. Then we saw my shawl. It had a blue ribbon and the purple champion ribbon as well. Andrew was really excited about that. Remember, this is the shawl that had the slightly larger row of yarn overs because I had an extra stitch that I dropped to get the right amount of stitches when I knit the next chart. It isn't that bad, but it is there. The shawl was also displayed with the purl side out instead of the knit side out. I was excited about winning the champion ribbon, but I thought my hat was better knit than the shawl. After the shawl we found Nick's blanket. It also had a blue ribbon on it. Andrew was so excited that I had four first prize ribbons. It is really cute because he usually says 'surprise' instead of 'prize'. The moral of the story is; enter your knitting into the local fair. You will likely win a ribbon, or two or more, and most prizes have a few dollars to go with them.

WIP round-up tomorrow

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My Car Is Toast...Burnt Toast

First the knitting-

I entered four items in the Ramsey County Fair. I entered the Snowflake Hat, Estonian Lullaby Baby Blanket, Icarus, and the green soaker I finished up yesterday. I decided to buy more green yarn after all. Now I am casting on for a hat with ear flaps for either Nicholas or Andrew (depending on how big it turns out - I'm not using a pattern and I don't really care to swatch right now). I finished clue two on MS3 and I am really happy with it so far.

I was going to work on Andrew's Gansey, but it is in the trunk of the car, which is still at the dealer.

So, about the cars. The Jeep seems to have sustained minimal damage and we found out that it has fewer miles than most Jeeps from that year. Now we have to find someone to fix it. The car is another story. We got a call back from the dealer and they told us the fuel pump went out. We didn't think that was too bad and said they should fix it. They had to order the part and it was in today. After they replaced the fuel pump they told us the oxygen sensor and the wires around it were all fried. The part and labor combined with the fuel pump were going to be close to what the car was worth, plus we still are trying to look into why we go through spark plugs so fast. So, we are looking at cars. I just can't get too excited about it though. I was kind of spoiled the last couple days though, driving our loaner Suzuki XL7 around. Today we are test driving a Subaru Outback until tomorrow evening. I'm not sad to the car go, it wasn't quite the same after Tim rear-ended someone (driving a Jeep Cherokee) with it. I was just enjoying not having any car payments for a while.

Tomorrow (or Friday) is there a new puppy in our future?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Snowflake Hat

Pattern: A chart from here (the chart I used isn't on this page though) mixed with a general adaptation of this hat pattern. I made the hat wider and added a border with a third color.

Yarn: Dale of Norway Hauk - This wasn't that strange to knit with even with the teflon. It would probably be more enjoyable at a more appropriate gauge, but I wanted a hat that would keep out as much wind as possible. I lined the hat with lace weight silk held double.

Needles: Size Ones - I don't remember exactly which ones, but probably Inox (the grey ones). This is probably not the best size needle for this yarn, unless you want to give your hands lots of breaks. It will be warm for this winter though.

I am very happy with how this hat turned out. It will be warm and I am looking forward to wearing it this winter. The silk will feel nice against my forehead and ears too. I am curious to see how the Hauk yarn will be different from non-teflon coated yarn when I wear the in the weather.


Top and Side

The strike is over. But.....

Nick decided to nurse again. On Saturday I managed to get him to nurse once after a nap again (while he was mostly asleep), but nothing else. I even tried waking him up an hour after he went to sleep to get him to nurse. He didn't even wake up. So I brought him to my bed and snuggled up next to him hoping he would stir eventually and forget he was on strike and just nurse. He did, and nursed about three times that night. I was happy that he was nursing and didn't even mind that I didn't sleep much. Sunday was just hot. It was 85 degrees in the house in the morning when we woke up. We decided to take our chances with the kids at the theater and went to Ratatouille. There were only two seats in the front of the stadium seating, near the door (where I wanted to be in case I needed to make a quick exit with Nicholas) so Tim and Andrew sat farther forward. Andrew did ok with the movie. He snuggled with Tim during the "scary" parts and pronounced the movie to be good at the end. Nicholas ate a few goldfish crackers at the beginning of the movie and then made a nose dive towards my chest - which is usually his signal that he wants to nurse. He ended up nursing/dozing for about 3/4ths of the movie. I was so happy. I honestly didn't expect to watch much of the movie. Even after he stopped eating/sleeping, he was happy to snuggle which was so nice since he hasn't even wanted to be held anywhere near a cradle hold during the nursing strike. He seems to be back to normal as far as nursing goes, although he wanted to nurse all night last night after being down to just nursing around 4am or 5am and then going back to sleep for a couple more hours before the strike. It was just so strange that he had a nursing strike. He is so happy-go-lucky about most everything. He has been trying to stand and cruise a bit and he will fall right on his face, I will pick him back up, he will look at me for a minute, and then he just goes back to what he was doing. No crying, no complaining, stuff just doesn't seem to be a big deal to him. I'm not sure exactly what caused the strike probably the things I mentioned in the previous post though.

So, now that the strike is over... we managed to have a really bad car day today. My car died on the freeway while I was on the way to taking the kids to the beach. At first I thought I just managed to kill the car by slowly going around a curve from the construction - I have a manual and it does happen, although I haven't done that for a long time - but then it wouldn't start up again. Thankfully, I had my cell phone and called Tim who left work and picked us up. Then, Tim and Steve went to tow the car to the dealer since we still have a few more than 10,000 miles left on our warranty. On the way there a guy tries to turn left at a green light thinking he had a green arrow. He ran into the Jeep. The Jeep needs some work, but no one was hurt and they were still able to bring the car in. The other guy's car needed to be towed. The other guy's insurance should cover the damage (although he still thinks it wasn't his fault). It would be nice if they just total the Jeep since money-wise it might be more to fix than it is worth and then we don't have to deal with selling it (since we were thinking about replacing it relatively soon and it is paid for), but we will have to see how much damage there really was.

In knitting news, the snowflake hat is almost hemmed (a good use of my time waiting on the side of the road while the kids were playing happily in the car). The plan was to take it to the Ramsey County Fair tomorrow and enter it since 3 Kittens is giving away a gift certificate for one of the winning entries, but we will see now that I don't have a car. I also started a pair of socks for Nicholas using leftover Step yarn and I bought more green Malabrigo to finish the soaker I was working on. I also finished half of the second clue for MS3. Pretty good since I went to bed early Saturday.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wow is it Friday already?

What a week. Andrew was much better this week, but Nick decided to be the troublemaker this week. He decided to go on a nursing strike Monday night and has only nursed once since then, when I woke him up from his nap today and he was still half asleep. He hasn't been overly cranky, but he has teeth coming in (I think the eighth will pop through soon and he is working on others too) and he hasn't pooped much until tonight. I think that he will be fine when the teeth start feeling better, but I think the tylanol and ibuprofen that help his teeth feel better is what is causing him to be stopped up. I tried some orajel today. Nick thought it was odd at first, but it seemed to help. Tonight Nick was fine with snuggling after he had the orajel, but he didn't eat. Maybe tomorrow. If not, I'm going to have to rent better pump. The one I have works better than the manual Avent I had when I was nursing Andrew, but it isn't that great. Nicholas and I did get some one on one time today since Tracey took Andrew over to Como Zoo. Andrew had a great time.

On the fourth we all went to Afton State Park, had a picnic near the river, and did some swimming. Since Nicholas was in need of sleep, Andrew and I went to fireworks that night. We went to Central Park in Roseville, walked down the path a little way, and set up our chairs. We sat next to a very nice family that offered Andrew a slice of watermelon shortly after we sat down and introduced ourselves. Andrew enjoyed watching the sunset and snuggling with me during the fireworks. He was an angel the whole time.

Andrew did have one other very exciting event this week. He got a new bike.

He is very happy to have a bike and has said thank you many times already. He was a little shaky at first, but after a few times around the block he started picking up speed.

I did get a couple things done this past week.

On Saturday, Tim made beer and I made soft pretzels. They turned out well, but next time I won't put in as much butter. They were pretty rich.

I had clue one of Mystery Stole 3 done by Sunday night.

Now I need to start on clue two.

I felt like spinnng for some reason this week (maybe it was my desire to avoid ripping out the sleeve of Andrew's sweater and redoing it). I finished spinning and plyed the Rabouillet and plyed the wool/silk that has been waiting for a while. They aren't wonderful, but at least I did finish and I need to do some spinning to get better.

I started spinning my sample of hand dyed superwash merino from my Hello Yarn fiber sampler. Superwash merino is very slippery, but then, also easy to draft and spin thinly.

I found myself with a finished pair of socks.

Pattern: Wendy's generic toe up pattern
Yarn: Austermann Step - I don't remember the color - I am probably the only person that doesn't like this yarn. I found it to be splitty and not really that soft. Holly Jo asked if it made my hands soft. I didn't really notice that they were any softer. I will have to see how my feet feel after wearing them for a day. That probably won't happen for a while given that it is going to be 97-100F tomorrow.
Needles: Five double pointed size ones - I started with Pony Pearls, but didn't like them and switched to the ones from the Susan Bates sock set.
I think the socks will be fine. They fit and they will be warm. I'm glad I tried a new kind of yarn and new needles, even if they didn't turn out to be my favorite.

I knit most of a soaker, only to discover that I was short a little yarn. I tried to use leftovers from skein I used to make pants for Andrew. Help! Anyone have a little Malabrigo Vertis left over from a project? This will probably sit for a while.
that gap is what I have left to knit

Other than Andrew's gansey and the snowflake hat which haven't changed and maybe the best of show socks that will probably be frogged, that's it for projects. I hope to get more knit on the stole and start something mindless this next week.

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