Saturday, November 30, 2013

I Really Don't Listen

In today's crafting, I made a huge dent in turning my tiny tiny triangles into tiny squares.

Two thirds down.  One third to go!

Then of course I have to turn my tiny squares into big quilting squares.  And then the big quilting squares will need sewn into a quilt top (times two).  And then the quilt top will need made into a quilt sandwich (times two).  And then the quilt sandwich will need quilted (times two).  Then the quilted quilt will need bound (times two). 

And then I'll be done!

There is absolutely no chance I will have this done before She-who-has-not-been-named will make her big arrival.


But I try.

I am not without help in this hopeless endeavor.

Sweet Pea loves "helping" me make her quilt.  Not that I would exactly call her contributions "helping" but I do enjoy her company, so it is all good.

I was showing her all the tools and talking to her about what I was doing and why.  I told her to be very careful with the rotary cutter because it was sharp and could cut her.

Then I sliced off my fingernail.

On the same finger that I gave a second degree burn with hot glue yesterday.

Then I sliced off a second fingernail.

And on a third finger I skipped the nail and just cut the flesh instead.

I'd like to blame my clutsy crafting on the pregnancy, but no, that's just par for the course for me.

I am my own worst enemy.

On the knitting front I've moved onto the bottom section of my Hitofude.

This is the part where I should try on the sweater to check the fit.  It is looking pretty big.  But as we've established, I like to live on the crazy side of life.  Instead I just knit away.  

Ignorance is bliss.

Friday, November 29, 2013

I Should Listen To My Own Advice

Thanksgiving was a wonderful day.

As planned, we started the day off with pie, and hot chocolate.

I think this needs to be a new Thanksgiving Tradition.  I am happy to report all three pies were delicious.  Yay Me and my mad pie filling skillz!

The children had their beloved veggie tray

complete with sparkling cider.  The rest of the food didn't even matter.  Which is good.  Because I forgot to make rolls.  And we couldn't find the vegetable peeler anywhere, so we decided not to bother with mashed potatoes.  The rest of the meal was basically ham.  We had ham, a veggie tray, and pie.

Lots and lots of pie.

It was a good day.

Despite all my best intentions I didn't get to go shopping for potential yarn today.  My shopping partner's son came down sick yesterday.  He wasn't doing much better today.  So no shopping for her.  Which turned into no shopping for me.

Suck monkey.

Instead Pork Chop and I sat down with this mess.

And we made some new flower clips for their hair.

And Christmas Bows.

And Pork Chop made a very special bow to wear with her favorite Jack Skellington T-shirt.

And then we took all our favorite baby outfits...

And made matching bows.

Cause I'm going to be THAT Mom.

I've come to peace with it.

I did manage to burn a patch of skin off my arm with a glue gun.  And I have a second degree burn on the tip of my finger from accidentally touching the hot glue.  Pork Chop actually listened to me when I told her to be careful, hot glue is hot.  She managed to escape our crafting adventure unscathed.  So all in all not a bad day.

I'm now going to sit down with my Hitofude, and knit myself some bliss.

I have decided what disastrous turn my blissful knit will take.  I'm pretty sure it will have something to do with the sweater not fitting.  It is looking a little large, and I'm expecting it to grow a bit with blocking.  I'm too scared to actually do something like check my gauge to see if adjustments need made.  That would be the smart thing to do.

We all know I tend to shy away from the smart thing.

No, I'd rather knit and cross my fingers and hope for the best.

I've come to peace with this too.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Close Enough to Home made

I FINALLY did it!

No I didn't sew together a bunch of triangles into tiny tiny squares.

It wasn't that productive a day.

No, today's accomplishment was all about pie.

Long time readers will remember that Meaty LOVES pumpkin pie.  He lives for it.  All he wants, with every fiber of his soul, is an entire pumpkin pie to eat all by himself.  That is the missing experience that would make his life complete.

And for the past couple of years I have wussed out and bought his pumpkin pie at Wal-Mart.

Which is gross.  So very gross.

He doesn't seem to mind.

I do.

But not this year.

This year I was going to actually make my little man a pie.  No excuses.  I faced the day with grand plans to FINALLY conquer my nemesis - Pie Crust.  Full Disclosure - It is my hatred of and inability to make pie crust that causes me to resort to Wal-Mart pies year after year.  I had a "no fail" family recipe from a friend that I know to be delicious when she makes it.  I had high hopes.  While I wasn't expecting the same tasty results my friend created, I was expecting something passable.  Gotta keep my goals realistic.

A constant ache in my lower back was enough to make me quickly abandon my pie crust plans.  I'm not ready to have this baby yet.  I have plans to go shopping for potential yarn on Black Friday.  Anything stressful felt like it might push me over the edge from gearing up for labor to actual labor.  And make no mistake about it, my body is gearing up for labor.    Nope, all things considered, standing in my kitchen stressing over pie crust did not feel like a reasonable thing to do.

So I sent The Greatest to Wal-Mart.

For ready made pie crust.

It is close enough.

Close enough counts.

So now I have a mostly home made pumpkin pie just waiting for Meaty.

Ok, it isn't very pretty, but the filling batter was dang tasty if I do say so myself.  Meaty ate the left overs with a spoon.  His Thanksgiving will be complete, even if I am making him share his pie.

There is also an apple pie for The Greatest.

And a pecan pie for me.

I've already decided that we should just start the day off with pie and hot chocolate for breakfast tomorrow.  Why wait until after the ham to have pie?  And yeah, we're having ham for Thanksgiving this year.  I'm just not up for stuffing a turkey right now.  And since The Greatest is working the holiday he won't be around to make the turkey for me.  As depressing as it is, he is better at turkey than I am anyways.  So ham it is for Thanksgiving.  I'm going to buy a cheap turkey on Friday and have it for Christmas dinner when The Greatest will be around to cook.

It's a solid plan.

Speaking of Christmas

My house is looking especially Christmas-y.  It is my happy place.

In knitting news, because I sometimes pretend this is a knitting blog, my Hitofude grows.

I love this pattern.  I love the way this pattern is playing with this yarn.  I'm so delighted and so in love with this knit that it is sure to take a disastrous turn for the worse at one point or another.  Until it does I sit and knit my beautiful stress free knit, as not to over exert myself and throw myself into labor.

It's a solid plan.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Little Bit of Everything

The triangles...

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they taunt me.

All those little triangles that need sewn into squares.  Then they need "squared up" with a ruler and a rotary cutter to ensure they are exactly 3.5 inches.

Which is entirely too small.

I keep asking myself why I didn't pick a pattern that was all squares.  Preferably 12 inch squares.

I would be done by now.

But no.  I like to make things complicated.  And if anyone is truly paying attention you'll notice that this is the fabric that I purchased in 2010 to make matching quilts for Bird and Sweet Pea.  The two twin size quilts which, despite my lofty dreams and grand intentions, were obviously never finished.  So now I'm trying to make a twin size and a crib size quilt.

Should be easier right?

After all, crib size is WAY smaller than twin size.  I should be able to whip these out in no time.

But the triangles.

The tiny tiny triangles.

I'm starting to hate triangles.

On the knitting front  we have two sleeves!

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And a hood!  Nothing left to do but finishing work.  So of course, it has gone to join the other Weasley Sweaters in The Abyss.  Christmas is still a month away.  Theoretically it is plenty of time to finish the sweaters, but I'm sure I will be found Christmas Eve sobbing with exhaustion while I frantically weave in all those ends.  

I like to live on the crazy side of life.

I'm having trouble deciding on a yarn/pattern for Sweet Pea's Weasley Sweater.   I loved the hoodie pattern I used for Bird's Sweater.  I'm considering making one for Sweet Pea.  But I don't have any yarn on hand that would work.  I have big plans to go out on Black Friday looking for new sweaters to cannibalize for yarn.  I had so much fun last year, I'm so looking forward to doing it again.  I'm hoping to find something I can use for her sweater then.

In the mean time I've cast on a little something for myself.

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Who says I can't have a Weasley Sweater?  

I know it doesn't look like much, but that blurry fledgling knit is hoping to be a Hitofude Cardigan when it grows up.

In total randomness

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My bedroom tree makes me very happy.  I think it is the most beautiful tree I've ever seen!  The Greatest truly missed his calling by not becoming a Professional Christmas Decorator.  I'm so lucky I get to sit around gestating and he magically makes Christmas appear!  

Speaking of gestating, I'm 36.5 weeks.  I am in the home stretch.  She-who-has-not-been-named is making motions like she is ready to come out, but I've had a stern talk with her about how she needs to stay put a few more weeks.  She is supposed to be a Christmas Baby not a Thanksgiving Baby.  Plus, I've got big shopping plans for Black Friday.  Plus ALL THOSE TRIANGLES.

Yeah, she needs to stay put for a few more weeks.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Unexplained Absence

Lots of random crafting going on around here.

But very little actually achieving completion.

Too much to do and not enough time to do it in.

Story of my life.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Seen Around The House

Why yes, that is a 12 foot Christmas Tree in my bedroom.  One part of me thinks it is ridiculously large.  The other part of me loves it so much.  Random fact:  All those lights from the 12 foot tree actually generate a surprising amount of heat.  I think I can heat my bedroom all winter from twinkly lights.

Sweet Pea thought the baby needed eyes so she could see.  Who am I to argue?

It makes me happy to see all my favorite board book lined up on a shelf just ready for another go round.  They are tattered, and some are held together with tape, but that just means they have been well loved.  They are ready to be loved anew.

I also love washing tiny baby laundry.  I'm wondering when the shine on that will wear off and it will no longer be "awww, look how cute and tiny" but "*sigh* more freaking laundry."  For the moment I'll just focus on the love.

In knitting news I am on sleeve island with Bird's Weasley Sweater.  I think I'm going to have just enough yarn to squeak by.  But I'm in too much pain to take a progress picture.  I've been nesting like a fiend.  Before The Greatest left for work yesterday he told me not to over-do it.  If by that he meant wash all the walls and door jams, and scrub the kitchen cabinets, and do laundry until your sciatica flares so badly that you can't walk the next day?  Then mission accomplished.  I'm happy proud to serve.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Declaring Defeat

Picking a perfect knitting pattern can be hard work.  Do I want cables or lace? Pullover or Cardigan?   It is a delicate balance between choosing something that will be interesting for you to create, and creating something the recipient will actually enjoy wearing.  You can narrow your choices down if you already have a yarn, but then if you don't find something you love in that category you start looking for something, anything, in any yarn, any shape, any pattern, that a 9 year old girl might deem worthy to put on her body.  A girl who, if allowed, would just wear her favorite sweatshirt and jeans every day of the week.  She owns many sweatshirts, and more jeans than what safely fits in her drawer, but these specific items?  They're special.  And she would wear them ever single day.  What to make for Bird that will be compare?

After, and I am not exaggerating here, HOURS of Ravelry searching I finally decided on a pattern for Bird's Weasley Sweater.

Sort of.

Fiona's Top.  It was a cute vest/smock type of pattern meant to be worn over another shirt.  But the pattern only went up to size 6.  Bird is on the petite side, but she still needs at least a size 8, if not larger for some room to grow.

It just so happens that I own a version of this sweater meant to be knit for a Build-A-Bear.  I bought it for Pork Chop years ago.  She has a half-knit Build-A-Bear size sweater in her closet somewhere.  I don't know where she gets that from *whistles innocently*

I decided that since I was going to have to do some adjusting of the pattern to make a Bird size sweater, why buy the Human pattern, when I can just adjust the Bear pattern that I already own.

Cause I likes to live life on the edge.

And I'm cheap.

Throwing caution to the wind I used worsted weight yarn instead of sport weight, and size 6 & 8 needles instead of 2.5 & 4.

Boldly I cast on.

Without a gauge swatch.

That's right.  No gauge swatch!  I did no additional math.  I did no measuring.  I did no planning to see if this was going to work.  I just cast on and knit.

I am a Knitter, hear me ROAR.

And magically it worked.  The yarn played nicely with the pattern.  It is draping beautifully.  I even know it fits because I tried it on her (I told her it was for my friend's daughter who is slightly smaller than she is, and I wanted to check the fit.  She suspects nothing!).  The lace pattern is easy to memorize, so I could read while I knit (all of this year's Weasley sweaters have been brought to you by the Outlander Series.  I'm on book 4).  I have a mental plan on how to handle the increases for a human and not a bear.

It is a perfect knit!

Only the voice in my head tells me she will not love this knit.  What she likes to wear are hooded sweaters.  What she would wear over everything she owns is a bright pink hooded sweater like the Kerra For Kids pattern that just screams her name.  She would like the pink lacy smocked top, because it is pink and I made it for her.  And she would wear it if I pulled it out of the closet and reminded her she owned it.  But she would cherish an obnoxiously pink hooded sweater.

I'm declaring defeat.

As soon as I am done crying I will frog my magically perfect knit.  There is no point in knitting something she will not love.  I'm going to buy the Kerra pattern.  And cross my fingers and pray I have enough yarn to squeak out a Bird size cardigan.  Or that I can get my hands on more of this yarn.  But since I bought it at Big Lots last spring I'm not really feeling hopeful about that.  They don't tend to keep a consistent stock of yarn.  I'm sure that is part of a conspiracy against me, but so far I can't prove anything.  Those sneaky S-O-Bs.  *shakes angry fist at Big Lots*

Here's hoping I don't trade a perfect knit for a knitting disaster.  I'll keep you posted.

Friday, November 01, 2013

It Doesn't Feel Like Progress

So last night I got to go trick or treating with my peeps

That would be Cinderella, The Fairy Queen, a Mighty Hunter (or Duck Dynasty:  The Early Years), 2 Demon Hunters, and 1 Fearsome Demon.

The Cinderella dress Sweet Pea is wearing is a dress my Mom sewed for Pork Chop.  And the Fairy Queen costume on Bird is one my Mom sewed for me when I was a little girl.  It made me happy to have these tiny pieces of her that remain and continue to touch the lives of my children.  *Sob* I miss my Mom.

In a less depressed strain, even She-who-has-not-been-named got dressed up.

We're a "Mummy."  Get it?  Mummy!

Yeah, I crack myself up sometimes.

The Greatest got dressed up in his uniform, and then he went to work.  He's also working Thanksgiving this year.  I am such a holiday widow.  With any luck he'll be on paternity leave for Christmas.

In productive knitting new, I had to rip it out three times

But I think I finally came up with something I can live with.  Turns out if you follow the pattern and don't accidentally miss an decrease, thus adding a few additional rows, the short rows fall in a much nicer part of the diamond pattern.  Who knew following the pattern exactly could yield such flawless results?

I then pulled out Pork Chop's Weasley Sweater

And knit the final belt tie.

I then knit two sleeves onto She-who-has-not-been-named's sweater

And even though it wasn't on the list of things to be done, I knit a cute pair of coordinating pants

Yup, I started and finished these yesterday afternoon, because...BABY PANTS!  That's why.

I still need to weave in the ends and block everything, but I'm gonna put that off until next week.  I'm telling myself I'm putting it off until the kids will be in school several days in a row, to give everything plenty of time to dry without discovery.  But the truth is, I'm just putting it off.

So three sweaters down(ish), two to go!  I've got the most obnoxiously bright pink yarn to knit a sweater for Bird, but I'm having trouble finding a pattern I like.  I've found a pattern for a hooded sweater that screams "BIRD!"  But I don't think I have enough yarn for a hooded sweater in her size.  Nothing else has caught my eye.  So I see lots of Ravelry searching in my future.   I haven't even begun to think of what to knit for Sweet Pea, neither yarn not pattern.  But I'm sure I'll find something.  The Greatest does not get another Weasley Sweater until I see him wear the one I knit him last year:  a vision of a sweater that took over a decade to bring to fruition.  I know we live in the desert, but he has not worn it once.  Not ONCE!  I'm starting to think he is not knit-worthy.  I love him anyways.

And because I'm feeling especially round today

33 weeks.  I'm too lazy to pull out my tripod, so you get a dirty bathroom mirror picture.  Just keeping it realz around here!  I am loving how my  Darling Emma looks belted over my beach ball belly.  Theoretically I could wake up one morning, a month from now, and there will be a whole new person who didn't exist the day before.  But I'm hoping she takes just a bit more than a month to make her grand entrance.  I'm not nearly ready for this.