Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: Super Bowl Party Foods

Since I don't usually watch the Super Bowl, I'm going to read this week's ten on tuesday as my favorite snack foods.

1. Chips and Salsa
2. Potato Chips and Shrimp Dip
3. Carrot Sticks or Sliced Cucumbers
4. Pigs in a Blanket
5. Apples and Peanut Butter
6. Popcorn
7. Pretzel Sandwiches (with kisses, but with rolos especially)
8. Homemade Pizza Rolls
9. Cinnamon Rolls (to counteract all the salty)
10. or almost any treat from Gus and Pauls (local shop)

Monday, January 30, 2012

silk spinning

Looking back through my blog posts I estimate that I started spinning these silk hankies in July 2009.

That's a long time...

Even if you figure that it'd been a back burner project.

Even if you take in to account that I'm trying to spin it pretty thin so it takes longer.

Even if you remember that I have to have smooth hands to work with it, so anytime I have a catch on my hands I don't take it out.

Even with all that, almost two and a half years is way too long to have this 'in the works'.

So I think this silk is about to get some attention and hopefully get finished soon!

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Grey Spinning

I am working on the spinning still!

I decided to finish as much of the grey as I could before moving on to something else, so, of course, I estimated how long that would take.

I took the next braided skein and divided it into 4 long strips. The first one took me about 3 hours to do, and then the second (when I did less random web and kid stuff) only took me about 2 hours. So I figure that I'm looking at another 5-6 for the second half of the first skein and then somewhere between 8 and 12 hours to spin the third one. Of course, these are each 8 oz, so I'm not feeling too bad about that speed. I just need to keep putting in my ear buds and spinning to my audio book.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

working on second pink sock

I've been working away on this second sock and as you can tell I'm actually almost done. There's about 12 more rows and then the ribbing.

The only problem is I don't like how the ribbing is on the first sock, so I think I'm going to try something different on the second sock and then rework one of them so they match. Hopefully soon you'll see finished socks and I'll be moving on to something else!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

finished pink sock

I finished one of the pink socks!

You remember these, right?

Well that one is completely done, and the second one is already past the heel! Update on it soon...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: Movies I Want to See

10 movies I want to see, in no particular order - if you are normally a person I recommend movies to, do not take this list as a recommendation, as I usually think hard about specific people and their tastes before I do that. This is just a list of movies I want to watch personally.

1. Crazy, Stupid, Love. - It's on my counter right now from Netflix, no clue if it's good or not but I am wanting to see it.

2. Down with Love - an old favorite that I purposely put in the middle of the netflix queue a while ago and it has almost crept up to its turn.

3. The Princess Bride - ever since an accidental reference to it during a spelling bee more than a month ago (marriage, followed by sword, come on, you have to make a joke) I've been meaning to watch it but haven't yet.

4. Anne of Avonlea - my youngest girl finally read the first book so we got to watch the first movie, but this second movie actually covers (kindof) the next two books - so I won't get to watch it with her soon, but I might watch it by myself some time before then!

5. Homeland - damian lewis and mandy patinkin in the same show? and I know it's not a movie, but when I get a disc from netflix (or give in and order it on amazon or something) then it is like a movie, and it would be hard for a show with that combo to be wrong...

6. The New Star Trek movie - the sequel to the most recent re-imagining of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. It won't be out until 2013 but I'm interesting in how it turns out.

7. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey - nothing more needs to be said.

8. The Hunger Games looks really good.

9. RED - can anyone see the trailer for the new GI Joe movie and then not want to rewatch RED?

10. The Vow - looks interesting!

Monday, January 23, 2012

An old finished yarn

This is a yarn I finished a while ago during the blog silence and never showed off.

I spun it entirely on a small turkish spindle and then plied it on the wheel because I was impatient.

The small spindle looks like this:

and can be found here. I like it because it's nice enough to really use and small enough to fit anywhere (since it comes apart into three pieces).

I spun most of this yarn while watching tv, waiting for kids, sitting at the library, or some other way half-occupied.

Once I plied it and washed it, I measured it and the yarn looks like a sock weight! It has been a while since I've had a true sock-weight yarn (rather than a slightly thicker but will work for socks), especially one that is three plied.

blue/green turkish spindle spun and plied on the wheel

Friday, January 20, 2012

Socks done!

I've been working on a pair of socks for my friend Ericka. Actually, I've been working on two different pairs of socks, but one of them I have to follow a chart, and the other one is just plain knitting - which do you think is almost done?

Hmmm... even the photos give a clue: one has a picture of one lonely sock, the other of two almost done lovely socks. Yeah, that would be the pair:

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Gray Spinning

A while back I read a blog post (I think by the yarn harlot) where they mentioned that you should never knit with grey during the winter. I think that might be my problem with my spinning. I did, however, begin this when it was not grey outside. I just need to hunker down and finish at least the one skein (I have another two to do sometime). Or maybe I just need to make sure all my knitting has color and move to the spinning wheel only after I am color-saturated.

Actually, I am pre-writing this post and I have a couple of days before it will be published, let's see if I can finish this skein and maybe even have it plied and washed before this posts.... but considering all the other things I want to do this week, perhaps not.


I did finish spinning the first skein. I even plied and washed it:

Pretty right?

...but I won't know what pattern to start until I know how much yarn I have, and to do that I still have two more skeins to spin...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fingerless Mitts for Painting

When my friend Laura heard I was trying to get our upstairs finished and asked if she could do anything I joked about painting, and she looked at me seriously and offered to help again. She ended up using several buckets of spackle, a couple gallons of paint, and many many mornings. I watched her kid while she worked, but then we worked out a deal that she would get 3 knit projects (within reason) done for her. This is the first (I have yarn for the second, and the third is still up in the air).

While trying to decide what she wanted me to make I was showing her the different yarn I already had on hand. I also showed her all the yarn I had spun without a specific project in mind, and she just loved this yarn:

(also pictured here)

I did an advance search on ravelry and found that that skein of yarn was enough to make these mitts, which are lovely.

I had to finish some christmas and personal knitting before I could get started, but once I cast on each mitt only took two or three days of my knitting time and they are done!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Ten on Tuesday: Things to Do Inside

When it's too cold to go outside you can:

1. Read a book
2. Cook or Bake
3. Clean the whole house - or just one room
4. Knit, knit, knit
5. Spin some yarn
6. Play a game
7. Do Paperwork
8. Make sure the kids' schoolwork is done
9. Have a fire in the fireplace
10. Watch a movie

Monday, January 16, 2012

Some Family Goals for 2012

I won't list all of the family goals for 2012, as I didn't get permission from the family, but some of the ongoing goals to be accomplished daily are to write in journals every night and go make sure the sink is clean each night before bed.

We are also trying to have some theme nights regularly (movie night, game night, talent night, etc) and to plan some family adventures each month!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Goals for 2012

Now that I've held myself accountable for my 2011 goals it is time to list my goals for this year.

Goals for 2012:

1. Move at least 20 minutes every day
2. Get my Goodreads to-read list down to a 3 month or less wait
3. sew piece one clothing for each person in my family
4. read my Sunday School lesson each week
5. 2 vegetarian meals each week

So far I have moved 20 minutes each day except for one Sunday.

My oldest book on my goodreads list was put there April 2011, and I started with 43 books on my list (one week in I'm at 45 books).

I will hopefully do lots of other crafting, for myself and others, from a variety of crafts - but it's time to make myself pull out my sewing machine and use it.

I did read my Sunday School lesson for week 2 (week one was Jan 1st and I hadn't made the goal yet). I also read my lesson for Relief Society. It helped that I had read the lesson for Sunday School though, as I was able to step up and sub for a teacher. I've also started the lesson for week 3.

The two vegetarian meals will be something I am not necessarily doing every week from the start but something I can hopefully build up to and then maintain.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Two quotes

I was reading Sheepish, by Catherine Friend. In it she quoted Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland:

"Quitting is fundamentally different from stopping. Stopping happens all the time. Quitting happens once. Quitting means not starting again - and art is all about starting again."

...and from The Winter of our Disconnect by Susan Maushart
pg 70
"The belief that a stimulated child is an advantaged child is so widely shared we rarely bother to articulate it. So too, of course, is its corollary: that a bored child is an at-risk child. In fact, the moral imperative to keep our kids occupied or suffer the consequences is one of those unexamined articles of faith that has helped to make modern parenting such a minefield of misplaced guilt and misdirected resources."

Not at all connected to each other really, but they both struck me in my reading so far this year

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Goals from 2011

I had five goals last year, so it's time for some accountability:

1. Make a habit of daily scripture reading
2. Read a majority (average a book a week) of my goodreads list
3. Spin at least 60 oz over the year
4. Go through toys - donate/toss/keep and in 1 or 2 places
5. Deep clean each room twice

1. I did make it a habit, as long as I was working on the New Testament. I read that a chapter a day, most days, and finished it in September, and then I kindof stopped and need to get back on that wagon.

2. I started the year with 68 books on my list, some having been added as long ago as June 2009. I read 215 books during 2011 and I had 43 books on my to-read list as of Jan 1, earliest from April 2011.

3. I spun 28.9 oz
8.5oz attack of the green (vest)
69 grams (2.43oz) batt for noah
4oz azure dragon
200 grams (7oz) blue chili char stone
7oz gray superwash alpaca

That is not as much as the 60 I was aiming for, but seeing I somehow lost the summer (due to weather and weirdness) it's not as bad as I thought before I started adding them up.

4. We did go through the toys. There is now a dollhouse and 4 barbies upstairs, and a toy corner in my son's room, but otherwise they are all in one place. Unfortunately I feel like I need to go through them again now that they are finally gathered, but that might wait until spring or summer.

5. I did not get to deep clean the rooms like I was hoping to, but each room was gone through and cleaned thoroughly. Some rooms even got emptied and freshly refilled, as we finally managed to get the upstairs done and the girls moved up.

So I didn't get the goals all done the way I wanted to, but each goal was achieved in the spirit of the goal and in each case more was done than would have gotten done if I hadn't made the goal and aimed for it!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fall scarf

I finally decided I needed a project for me in the middle of everything, so I found a pattern I liked for the yarn I had spun during the summer, and a week or so later I bound off the last leaf on this scarf/shawlette:

Of course, that was the same day that the snow started and we lost power for a week and didn't celebrate Halloween, so I ended up wearing it randomly throughout the week.

I didn't block it then (no heat = use scarf; not get it wet on purpose) and I still haven't - I would like to some time, but it won't be any time soon.

Sorry some of these pics are a dark - figured it was better to get it done than to wait for great light!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Christmas Sweater

When we had a October 29th snow storm it knocked down many tree limbs and we lost power for a full week. We kept warm and made sure we had enough food and it would have almost been fun if we had known for sure when the power was going to be back on. During the week I realized that the Little Tomato had no sweater. He had outgrown all of his sweaters and sweatshirts and similar items. He had a poncho and a jacket and a coat. While I did like seeing him run around in his poncho, I figured he could use a sweater.

Soon after power was back on I dug out some yarn and started a sweater for him. I had some superwash (machine washable) wool in a color he was willing to approve, it was just a little thin. I tried a swatch with it held double and it was almost close enough to work - so I paid attention and used the stitch count for the size larger than I wanted and all was good. I worked on and off for about 3 weeks and then finally finished.

He refused to put it on and then when I finally got him to wear it he insisted on wearing it every day for over a week. This, however, is the only picture I could get of him wearing it. (It does have a hood that he can put on, you just can't see it in the picture)

Friday, January 06, 2012

Brown Java Socks

I started these in April and didn't finish them until October. They didn't really take that long (although they are a bit fiddly), it's just that they kept getting put aside while I'd work on other things.

This is a pair of socks for my husband. Most of the ones I make for him are plain knit and rib, but every once in a while (once a year maybe?) I try to make him something a bit more complicated.

I knew this pattern would be crazy enough that it would need a very plain yarn for it. I had to buy two skeins so there would be enough to make a tall pair of socks, and in the craziness of looking for the yarn on ravelry I actually ended up with three skeins, so at some point I might make a pair for me!

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Black Hood

Back in the early part of last year my sister-in-law asked, politely, if I'd be willing to make a scarf/hat for my brother for his birthday. Since his birthday wasn't until fall and she was willing to pay, I said, sure, I can do that. After looking at prices and materials we decided she would buy good quality yarn and pattern and I would donate my time cuz I love them and they like handmade things and treat them well.

We decided on this pattern that has a hood and an attached scarf....

In a color that can't go wrong with my brother, and can't help but improve his look.

It was a fun knit for me with a slightly different construction and (for those who understand knitting:) an I-cord edge that is knit at the same time as the scarf! So simple, but had never thought of the method.

I had my son pose with it so I'd have a picture of it on someone before I mailed it off. He, being three, was not so impressed.

I did have it finished and mailed before his October birthday, but I did cut it a little close!

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Christmas Slippers

This year I made slippers for my girls using a pattern that is not meant to be felted. They seem to prefer this kind of 'sock slipper' more than the clog slippers they have had before. I managed to finish them before christmas and so I wrapped them up, even though each girl had seen me working on them.

I also managed to make a pair of slippers for my husband. I worked on them during the day while he was at work and then hid them each day before he got home. He knew I had bought the yarn, but was under the assumption that I would be making them after Christmas when things were calm. I still need to sew some fabric on to the bottom so they won't be slick, but they did felt to the right size!

And, not to be left out, the Little Tomato was also given slippers for Christmas - not made by me though! Lily had decided to make him some and stepped up the crafting time in order to get them done and under the tree before the big day.

That left me as the only family member without new slippers, but since I have two pairs that both fit and are still in good shape that was quite alright.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Rainbow Shawl

I still had a couple of slippers to finish for Christmas, so of course I pulled out the Rainbow yarn and shawl pattern I wanted to make for one of my girls and started that instead.

I did end up finishing this on the Wednesday *after* christmas, but since Curly didn't know it was for her that was not a problem. She had commented how much she liked it several times while I was making it. I had implied that the finished shawl would be for me.

I wove in the two ends and was planning to block it this week, but she *Really* wanted to wear it January 1st to church, and she seems to like it unblocked, so I don't know if I will. I'll plan to leave it for now. (For those who don't knit lace, blocking is when you would wet the shawl and stretch it out, pinning it to something and let it dry that way. It really helps to finish it off and let you see the pattern and enjoy a flat (rather than chinese noodle looking) shawl.