Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Y is for Yucky Yarn

Won't this make a sweaty baby blanket?

Maybe I could make a scarf out of this and it could freeze to my neck.

But it's still in my stash... I want to use it up so that it's not "wasted." Issues I tell ya, issues.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

X is for the "X" through knitted Chrismas gifts that are not finished

I know a bad idea when I say one. "I will make my dad socks and finish my mom's sweater for Christmas." I hadn't even completed those thoughts before I know it wouldn't happen.

I tried to order the rest of the yarn for "Amused," but when I found out that the yarn was backordered until January... well, what's a knitter to do?

I consulted Ann Budd's "Getting Started Knitting Socks" to see what would be required to make men's size 12 socks. I immediately bought something else for my dad.

I don't always enjoy knitting (knotted yarn? tinking back?), but I don't like to get done with something and know I half-assed it.

Take for example, the world's worst felted item: my crochet hook case

I didn't do a gauge swatch, and didn't read any instructions on felting, and eventually this ended up in the garbage.

"Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything." - Xenophon

So I bought Christmas gifts and will make the knitted items in good time. And hopefully I'll have some fun doing it.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

W is for Washable Wool

I have recently made an Executive Knitting Decision that I will only use washable wool for projects that could come into contact with water and are expected to survive.

As I understand it, superwash wool is chemically treated to alter the scales of the fiber to prevent it from felting. In my mind, "hand knit" and "chemically treated" belong in two separate realms. But this, like unleaded gasoline and caffienated beverages, has become vital in my world.
Both the hat that I crocheted for DeuceDad and the hat I knitted for my dad were washer victims this year. I can't be angry. I know I've ruined my fair share of hand wash items using my washing appliances. They both were more disappointed than I was - apparently the hats were hits.

So they're both getting new ones made of Cascade 220 Superwash:

Using that as a lesson, I've been much more careful about my yarn purchases lately: Plymouth Select worsted, Dream in Color classy, Knit Picks stroll sport, and sock yarns - all beautiful, all wool, or mostly wool, and all washable.

"Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes." Oscar Wilde

Monday, December 21, 2009

V is for Variegated

I love variegated yarn and I've added some to my stash recently just as treats to myself. I'll use it too, but you can't deny the pretty.

U is for UFOs

UFOs - Unfinished Objects!

I just have a crazy number of partially done projects in every corner of the house, and my yarn projects are no exception. This is "the afghan" that I started for my Grandma Anne's 90th birthday 2 years ago. I bought a pattern book, about 15 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver, because this thing is a yarn eater and that was the only way I was going to be able to afford to make it, and got to work. I worked feverishly evening after evening until I sat back and realized that I only had 12 inches done... I would never get this thing done for her February birthday. So I abandoned ship and crocheted something quick - which she totally loves!
Why am I hanging on to this UFO I don't intend to finish? No good reason. Maybe it's time to toss it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Birthday Presents for Moi

I did a little lunch-break yarn shopping and got some birthday presents.

This is some Plymouth Select Superwash Worsted that is fairly new and very fab. It's very tightly plied and springy. I bought it for heavy socks for DeuceDad but then I remembered some extra-nice sock yarn I just bought for him... decisions decisions.

Okay, this loud mess is going to become 2 Summerlin's for my friends twin baby girls. I'm going to do a 3-6 month size so they'll be small. I loved the vibrant things some Ravelry users had done, so this is *L*oud.

And this, is mittens in the making. It's Dream in Color Classy (yes, cheesiest yarn name ever) in Ruby River. Love. They will coordinate with my fav cowl from Carly last year, and it's just a great big hank of awesome.

And I know DeuceDad got me too many presents, AND I'm going to see the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra's Holiday Pops! What a birthday!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Let's Talk About My Birthday

This Sunday is my birthday. Most years I have a significant crisis around my birthday regarding my lack of accomplishments in the previous year, or the greatness of the previous year and the bleak outlook for the rest of my life.

Yep, Crazy Town.

DeuceDad is gearing up for a major crisis this year, because I'm turning 29. He is helping by reminding me that 29 is almost halfway to 60. He is a lunatic and driving me to the brink of insanity with his moral support.

That said I am a scant 370 days from turning numbers-that-start-with-3 (after which the apocalypse occurs? I'm not really sure). It's time to move 30 Before 30 to the front burner!

I started my "bucket list"* in March 2008, so going on two years ago, and haven't made a ton of progress. I did reread my posts though, and I'm proud of my perspective. I think the idea of making the most of my 20s is a good one, and I've spent some time acknowledging my accomplishments. I'm not sure I've dreamed a lot of big dreams either, but instead identified some things that I want to do to consider my life whole and successful.

Of course, this is my personal definition. There are definitely some short putts on there (flying a kite? Seriously, never done it before this year). But they are things that I think will be fulfilling to me.

Something I would like to do is to identify some kind of must-do thing to kick off my 30s. I'm certainly open to suggestions, and luckily I have over a year to think about it!

So head over and check it out. I'll be updating and posting there as the year goes on.

* Please note: I do not intend to kick the bucket at 30

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Saturday 5

I follow this really cool blog called 5 Things, and it really is fun to read all random 5-item lists.

It also inspires me to have a cohesive thought for once.

So here's 5 for a Saturday - 5 ways not to waste my Saturday

1. Get up early

I love sleeping. More than any other activity, bar none. That said, I can get so much done in those first couple of hours.

2. Do something with the family

Today's pick was breakfast with Santa!

3. Have a treat

Luckily the house is ridiculously stocked with Christmas cookies!

4. Spend some time by myself

Still on October issue of Creating Keepsakes and haven't run out of inspiration yet!

5. Keep the evening free

There's no hard and fast rule that I always want to go out on Saturday night. Friday night - I always want to go out. But Saturday, I like to not make any plans and go where the night takes us. Maybe making cookies, maybe Christmas shopping, maybe rent a movie, who knows!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Updates and thanks Jen!

I have Jen from Our Journey to thank for the cute blog facelift - she showed me The Cutest Blog on the Block, and their designs are super cute!

Also, I wanted to quickly follow up on the car seat search:

We bought the Graco Nautilus, in Wilkes - tres chic for the truck!

I have to say that I like this seat a lot more than the Britax Marathon. It's more 30-month friendly - it sits up straighter (although it can recline), has arm rests and a cup holder, and the straps extremely easy to adjust. Specifically, the buckle that the two arm straps goes into is better. Each side clicks in separately - on the Marathon you have to get both buckle pieces in before it will click, which has caused problems for us.

Picture of the dudes in the truck forthcoming...

So much other news, but break time's over! Mommy's on the clock!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The pre-Christmas toy purge

I'm just picking up where I left off... hope you don't mind :D

There comes a time in the life of every mom when she wants to start shouting "ENOUGH WITH THE TOYS ALREADY" and bulldozer everything into a dumpster. I've been fighting this urge a number of ways.

First I removed all the toys from the living room. There can be toys in Deuce's room, and toys in the family room, bu toy storage in the living room too was just pushing it a little. That really helped because at least I can open the front door without kicking Mr. Potato Head aside.

Then I was rotating the toys, half in the basement, half in the family room at about 2 week intervals. That lasted about 1 rotation before Deuce figured me out and would just come downstairs and get what he wanted, tossing everything else over his shoulder throughout the basement.

Over the summer I set up some baskets and boxes with pictures on them to help Deuce sort his toys - trucks, music, play food, blocks... and I got to thinking about when I bought this one enormous basket we have and I thought (so sweetly naive) "I'll keep all Deuce's toys in here." Ha. We're up to 3 baskets, a toy shopping cart, the blocks wagon and 3 diaper boxes. And then there are the free standing toys.

While packing for our Thanksgiving trip to the ILs, I approached the toy pile to choose some things to take with us. I vetoed anything with 100 small parts immediately (toy food, megablocks, Potato Head), grabbed some books and art stuff, and then... what does Deuce play with? Some trucks. Um... Yeah. That's about it. He's outgrown most everything he has. He uses the toys still, mostly to cram the parts into other toys, or throw things into boxes like free throw practice.

I spent some time this morning boxing things up and putting them away. I doubt he'll miss any of it. But putting away the stacking rings and the linkados I feel like I'm packing up his toddlerhood. For Christmas he's getting a train set (the brio one, not even the Geotrax), art stuff, sports stuff, games... not so much primary colored plastic as in past years.

I hear him moving upstairs, time to get him up. Let's see if he notices half his toys are gone!