Weathered

Sandy has come and gone. She destroyed a lot of trees in my town and left a lot of people in the dark for most of the week. It could always be worse and my heart just breaks for the people in New York City and along the Jersey Shore. Connecticut took a beating, no doubt, but we are getting back to normal with minimal wear and tear. I think we may have been more prepared than most, we weren’t taking any chances after last years storms.

I thought I would be able to get a lot more knitting done. I just couldn’t though – the schools have been closed all week, so with two little ones underfoot and being distracted and exhausted, I couldn’t get much accomplished. The projects I planned on were fingering weight – what was I thinking? At night when I finally was able to put my mind to knitting, my projects were all fingering weight! Not the best idea when knitting by camping lantern. Oh well. I did finish one Jelly Bean sock and have cast on for the second. This sock is so comfortable! This is my first time using Spinnery Sock Art – Forest, this is the Grape Swirl colorway. I hope I can push myself to finish sock #2 because I know I will wear these with everything!
Sock 1

I finally got going (after a few restarts) on my Syren Scarf KAL. I’m using The Wool Dispensary Useful Poison, an MCN blend, and it is lovely to work with! In my storm prep, I did print out the pattern but that’s not so helpful when you have someone who likes to take the paper. It crumples! It makes noise!
Paper taker
Syren scarf wip

Halloween was postponed due to the storm, but luckily the local apple orchard had a Halloween parade last week, so the little ones did get to wear their costumes.
Halloween

I did a little bit of Halloween knitting, these eyeballs for a Halloween swap – I found some greeny-grey-zombie-flesh colored yarn in my stash (it might be malabrigo) and I love how they turned out.
Zombie eyes

I also received a special request asking me if I could help make a baby’s 1st Halloween costume. Mom wanted the little guy to be Peter Pan, could I help? I am never one to back down from a challenge and I am powerless against the baby knits. I ended up crocheting the hat (from this pattern) & booties (from this pattern) and am very pleased with how they look! They were a big hit! And my small Yarn Pop bag was the perfect size for this project!
Peter pan set
Now I’ve got to play catch up! Stay safe, stay warm!

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Happy Halloween

Hard to believe that I can look outside my window and see foliage on the trees and snow on the ground! On Friday we went to a local orchard’s pumpkin patch for a Halloween parade:
my little witch
My little witch.

Horse in the pumpkin patch
Prize-winning “cow” (he’s really a horse, the outfit has a mane) – he won for best animal costume!

And then on Saturday we had to switch to a costume of a different sort:
pre-halloween snow
Crazy. I’m in the middle of making the Lorax a new winter hat. She did well with the mittens, but this year she’s big into picking up the snow, so I need to find some better “play in the snow” mitts.

Today we will be rocking the costumes to the grandparents and that is about it. Given the fickle nature of a pre-schooler, I did not bother to make any costumes this year, except for Jackson. He doesn’t complain or change his mind and is properly motivated by cheese. Inspired by this, “My Pimp Paw is Strong, I made Jackson a new hat and chains. It was meant to be – I found exactly one feather when I went looking in the craft supplies!
d-o-double-g

May you have more treats than tricks!!

Fall Weekend

What a weekend. The weather here was decidedly chilly, but there was sunshine for a bit. Lately the Lorax seems to have boundless energy so we are trying to get in a good dose of running around outside each day. On Saturday we were doing just that and then realized that there were quite a few leaves in the yard – it might be fun to make a leaf pile for the Lorax. Generally our yard really doesn’t get much in terms of leaf litter, but one section of the yard was just right.
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We started out just dropping her in the pile (not the best move. There were tears. oops.) – after a bit of each of us running through the pile with her, tossing leaves and raking it up again, we almost couldn’t get her out of the leaf pile! Success!

Saturday night we watched It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. We were both surprised that the Lorax really seemed into it – there’s a lot of dialogue and the action is slower, but she has requested it multiple times now. In a few years I am looking forward to watching The Worst Witch with her…

I was hoping that all this Halloween prep (attending a Halloween Costume parade at the local apple orchard, watching the Great Pumpkin / kids in costume) would help convince the Lorax to wear a costume on Halloween, given her general stubbornness if I want her to wear something particular. We have been talking it up all week – and in the end, she was a Halloween-Ballerina-Dancer-No-Tutu-But-With-Halloween-Necklace-Tiara-and-Wand! I consider it a success.
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We “trick or treated” at the grandparents houses and then stayed at my parents for dinner and to give out candy there. The Lorax seemed to get into it – shouting “Happy Halloween” at the kids. As the night went on and she saw more costumes, she did get a bit overwhelmed or scared by some of them – she said she didn’t want to give candy to the “Maskers” (people in masks) – but she would readily give candy to kids her size – a cow, a dinosaur, a ladybug, etc. And then after giving out some candy she raided my mom’s candy basket for some candy of her own. And this morning she asked for candy for breakfast. Again, Halloween success. 🙂

On to November….

Belated.

Hello November! I had grand ideas of trying to do the blog post a day like some people I know (and admire them for doing it!) or even a daily gratitude entry for the month of November. But, all of a sudden it’s midweek and I finally have my thoughts together (and some time) to actually make a blog post and here we are. Sure, I could just go until December 4, but I have enough on my plate currently to keep me busy: knitting, Thanksgiving (we host), Christmas, birthdays: Lorelai, Dan, Mom; my uncle is donating a kidney, tutoring, knitting. I am thinking of ways to ramp up my blog posting and I do have big plans but they are all in my head. For now. So, we’ll play catch up.

Halloween has come and gone. We attended a wedding out in NJ – it was a nice time and I even wore the bat shawl! If anyone noticed the bat motifs, they kept it to themselves. That’s fine. I’m proud of the shawl, it did the job and malabrigo lace was just the right weight. We did get one (low-quality iPhone) picture of the shawl in action:
Wearing the handknits!

The Lorax spent her Halloween with my folks. While I tried to get her into her costume (a gingerbread person) with some coaxing and practice,
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She wanted no part of it.
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(Another picture of my crying kid – remember when this blog was full of really cute pictures of the little one?)
My folks had no luck with the costume either. But she had a good time with them, giving out candy to the trick or treaters.

And then, go figure, last night she starts playing around with the witch’s hat (which for the life of me I couldn’t get her to put on at all during October).
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Excuse the cookie crumb face, this was after dinner. And then again this morning on her way to the table to eat her Cheerios she put on the hat again. I have not yet given up hope that I will get her into that gingerbread costume.

Knitting-wise, the needles are clicking away. Many many many projects going on here. I have a renewed love for seams, thanks to knittinghelp.com – something finally clicked and look at this:
Seams!
Pretty seams!! This is a little girl top for knit one, crochet too.
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My other projects in progress are either under wraps for the time being or aren’t much to show off at this stage.

While I’m knitting, Lorelai is still having a grand old time with the buttons – we’re finding buttons everywhere. Usually I see the buttons like this:
buttons scattered
Scattered. The other day I noticed the buttons on the floor and then noticed there were some buttons in the jar.
Buttons collected
Um. It’s all blue and purple buttons. No outside encouragement from me on that one, seriously! Interesting.

Time to Decorate

I was waiting on pulling out the Halloween decorations – today seems like a good day to tackle that. We’ve been given decorations to add to our own stuff this year and they are just sitting on the table. And I made a new little decoration, this little bat:
Bat Cave
He’s in a bat cave! No not really, that is a wine holder made out of rock – my brother gave that to us for a wedding present. Great for wine (it will naturally chill the wine if you have it outside) and also great for bats, thank you Matt 🙂

Test Knit - Bat
Actually this was a super quick test knit project – Little Bat Ornament by FickleKnitter on Ravelry – I used leftover sock yarn (Lenore appropriately) and it could be done in less than a day. Also could be a great finger puppet if you only seam and do not stuff. The pattern is free for the month of October, so go make one or a bunch and you’ll have a colony!

Lorelai has her costume, so that’s good. Jackson does too actually – he won a ladybug costume, but today I’m playing a bit and made him a chef hat.
My dog is such a good sport!
My dog is such a good sport!
Good thing he doesn’t hold a grudge.

My Dog is Such a Good Sport (Part1)

I’m so “one of those moms” – you know the kind that get all Martha Stewart about stuff? Yeah, it’s in my genes. My mom did it and I love it – still do, I’ve already started a file of magazine pages with ideas for costumes / parties / decorations / crafts for when Lorelai is older. But, let’s not forget, Jackson, my “furbaby” was here first. So he’s the one with the hand-sewn costume. And last year I knit his sweater. Because he’s special. Yes, I lugged out my sewing machine, a recent issue of <a href="
http://www.thebark.com/home.html”>Bark magazine and some felt:
I sewed this collar!
We’ll just ignore the fact that I forgot he’s 6 inches off the ground and the flower petals are 6 inches long!

Jackson is such a good sport. Love ya buddy!

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Stay tuned for tomorrow – both babies in costume!

Halloweenie-fest ready!

Even though the astronaut costume didn’t work out, I did manage to finish the zebra sweater for Jackson. Apologies to Steven Pastis – author of my current favorite comic, Pearls Before Swine. I especially love the crocodiles – the males speak in this “barely articulate” manner, and greet their zebra neighbors with a great “Hullooo Zeeeba Nay-bah!”. (Hey it’s almost Rhode Island (see the culture entry)) That gets said a lot around this house. So, Jackson’s Halloween Costume for 2008 is dubbed the “Zeeba Sweatah”.

Zebra profile

Hungry Zebra

The design came from the “Dashing Dogwear” booklet “Created for Leisure Arts by House of White Birches”. I used Red Heart and Caron Simply Soft. Jackson has a chest measurement of 18.5 inches, so modifications were needed. I worked between the chest sizes 16 inches and 24 inches. I cast on 71 stitches, worked 18 rows before the leg openings, worked to row 30 before casting on the other side of the legs, worked to row 42 and placed markers. Then I followed the chart for the back shaping for the small size. Didn’t add ribbing at the leg openings. I’m quite pleased on the whole.

We’re off to the town dog parade and dachshund rescue Halloweenie festival… more later!