30 March 2009

FO: Market Bags


I finally finished the last of the three market bags! The first and second bags have already been proving their mettle at the grocery store and co-op. I love them, but I find that they seem to scare the baggers at our small-town grocery store. I'm not sure if it is that they are shaped differently than the cheap-o Roundy's bags or that they don't want to hurt the handmades (as if...these things are VERY sturdy! They will be around long after the Roundy's ones fall apart). They hold a ton of stuff...practically more than I can lift without complaint. The set of three bags took slightly more than two skeins of each color, so I have almost enough left for another set of three (I got four skeins of each to start). However, for the sake of variety, I might do some different bags or change up the stripes or lace panel. We'll see. I think I have had enough bag knitting for now...

The lost is found!

Last December, we had some issues with the Kitty Man socks that led me to "hibernate" them indefinitely. This was my note in Ravelry:

12/08 - Hibernating for now. I had been carrying them around in my purse, but rarely working on them. Then one sock got separated from the sock bag. I worked on that one briefly, then the circ got fatally bent. The project bag with the other sock and the other circular seems to be MIA so I can’t work on either. It will turn up Perhaps after the holiday dust has settled…
Well, apparently there was a lot of holiday dust. But before anyone tries to cast (too many) aspersions on my housekeeping skills, I will say in my defense: I found them in a box of stuff that was completely random (like Bean embroidery, newspaper clippings about bats, drawings from the kids) and nothing I would have put together, so my suspicion is that Kitty Daddy may have done a pre-holiday sweep of things he didn't think should be laying out any more and stuffed the box in a corner of the combination guest room/mama's studio.

Finding them today was especially auspicious as I am wearing a Kitty Man orange long sleeved T-shirt that matches the socks perfectly!

26 March 2009

Wacky Week

This is the story of the little rhinovirus that could (with apologies to Watty Piper).

Once upon a time, the little rhinovirus said, "I think I can, I think I can." The baby got sniffly. Mama said, "Nuh-uh, no way." The little rhinovirus said, "I think I can, I think I can." The four-year-old got sniffly and Mama got a tickly throat. Mama said, "Nuh-uh, no way." The little rhinovirus said, "I think I can, I think I can." The Mama got stuffy, the baby and the four-year-old got coughy and sneezy and snorty and snuffly. Mama said, "Nuh-uh, no way." The little rhinovirus said, "I think I can, I think I can." The four-year-old got hoarse so no one could understand what she was saying. I didn't really matter though because the Mama's head and ears were so congested that she couldn't hear what the four-year-old was saying anyway. The baby continued to produce his body weight in snotters. Mama said, "Nuh-uh, no way." The little rhinovirus said, "I think I can, I think I can." The six-year-old went on a field trip, the snuffly four-year-old trailed along, while a stuffy (and somewhat cranky) Mama carried a snorty baby on her hip in the sling. Mama said, "Nuh-uh, no way." The little rhinovirus said, "I think I can, I think I can." The six-year-old woke up the next day coughing and sneezing, the four-year-old were still snot-encrusted, the baby was blowing snot-bubbles of Olympic caliber, and the Mama discovered that she had put out her back carrying the baby around. Mama said, "Dude, I give up. You win, you nasty little bug." The little rhinovirus proceeded to get prissy and strut around announcing, "I knew I could, I knew I could," until Mama smacked the snot out of the little brat.

Other than the stupid cold, we have been having a nice week. On Tuesday, Bug went to the Aldo Leopold Nature Center to learn about Maple Syrup. They got to taste sap and syrup and my little connoisseur was the only one in the group that preferred the fake stuff to real maple syrup. I guess the bright side is that means he has beer tastes on a beer budget, right? He also got to carry a yoke with buckets and drill in a log with a brace and bit, learned how to identify a sugar maple in bud (sharp buds), and saw trees with sap collection buckets. I think we will go, as a family, to the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center on April 4th for their Maple Syrup Festival so the rest of us can check things out!

I got about 20-25 rows into the February Lady Sweater yoke and discovered that I had dropped a stitch about ten rows back so I frogged back, got all the stitches back on the needle, noodled around to get all the stitch back where they belonged, counted and recounted the stitches (and recounted a few more times) and accepted the inevitability of missing one stitch somewhere. I couldn't find it, though my best guess was in the buttonhole. Since I was (a) one stitch short, (b) thought the first buttonhole looked a lot wonkier than the second buttonhole (which vanished when I frogged back to reclaim the dropped stitch), and (c) was not convinced by the order (left leaning vs. right leaning) of my increases for the raglan, I decided to start over. None of these three alone (or probably even in pairs) was enough to convince me, but all three apparently pushed me over the tipping point. So far, I am just past where I was when I took the picture early in the week and am MUCH happier with both the buttonhole and my increases, so it's all good.

We also got our tomato seeds into little peat pellets to start them on Tuesday night. It will be fun watching the little seedlings grow and getting ready to start a real garden! We have also spent an unusual amount of time playing Lego Star Wars on the Wii and watching videos and reading and otherwise laying low to let our bodies fight the virus. We all seem to be on the mend, so we just need to let the darn thing run its course.

23 March 2009

Feelin' the St. Patrick's Day love

Late Night Knitting was on Friday, and in honor of St. Patrick's Day, all green yarn was on sale. There may have been a bit of an incident involving some green Peace Fleece, a loyalty card credit, and a moment of late night giddiness...

It is already on the way to becoming a February Lady's Sweater. In March. Well, Kitty Chai likes it anyways!

Other than that, a fairly quiet weekend. Beeb started with the sniffles on Friday and Bean and I joined in over the weekend. We gave the boys spring hair cuts. The standard buzz for Daddy, a trim around the sides and back for Bug and an awful buzz for the baby. He got tired of the process about halfway through and I managed a few more swipes with the clipper before he escaped, but I just didn't have the heart to sit on the sniffly baby for the sake of a tidy haircut. Fortunately, he has the cutes to pull it off.

We also got almost finished with our three-bin composter. We put polyurethane on the untreated wood except for the second side of the plywood lids. So we just need to finish those and then put the lids on with hinges. Oh, and haul the behemoth into the back yard.

Meanwhile, we are thinking gardeny thoughts. I ordered a couple of kinds of tomato seeds from Seed Savers Exchange that arrived this weekend so I think we will try and get them started today or tomorrow. Although I have a notoriously black thumb, I am cautiously optimistic as we have recruited our friend and adopted grandma as a garden consultant. She is currently enrolled in a Master Gardener programs, so we have an expert-in-training on our side!

20 March 2009

Spring Cleaning

Whoa! How did it get so dusty and cobwebby around here? I hope the chirping crickets have kept you company while I was away.

Of course, away is figurative. We have been here doing much of the same-old same-old. I figured I had finally better pop in and get back in the blogging groove (well, if not in, at least near...will being on the same landmass be close enough? same planet?). At least we are finally getting someplace close to being adjusted to daylight savings time. Clearly a flexible, roll-with-the-punches kind of crowd. Anyhoo. What have we been doing?

Knitting, of course. Lots o' stuff happening, but not a lot to show for it. The only finished objects that I haven't blogged about is a wonky little hat for the Beeb (in Peace Fleece that coordinates with his blue longies and mitts) and the February dishcloth from the Sow's Ear Dish-Cloth-Along. Then I missed March's due to a crabby mood and an illuminated engine light on the van (which has since been fixed). The close, but no cigar pile is immense right now. The third market bag is very close...just a couple more rows and then working the handles in and doing the top edge. The first Raspberry Charade sock is getting close...about 10 gram of yarn left on the leg and cuff. Bug's and Bean's hats are also almost done. Bean's is technically done, but they eyes keep falling off and Bug only has the tail, fins, and eyes left.

Spinning. I have finally been spinning again, semi-regularly. Perhaps quasi-regularly would be more accurate. Last August was my last "Spin my Spindle" check in, so I'll update since then.

Spin My Spindle

September 2008February 2009
Activity: SpinningPlyingSpinning
Fiber: TargheeTargheeTarghee
Spindle: Schacht 3"
Schacht 3"
Amount: 9 grams25 grams5 grams

That is actually more spinning than it looks like. I have been spinning the Targhee quite fine and the singles are about 9 yards (27 feet) per gram. So I'm lucky if I can get through a gram or two at a time. Plus, having put it down for a while, I just don't think to pick it up sometimes.

Planting and thinking about planting. Our Fast Plants are going great guns...going to seed already! The gory details are here. The kids and I have been reading about plants and pollination and all that a lot a bedtime. We are also working on planning a small garden in our yard. We're going to grow some beets for pickling, carrots, radishes, onions, and maybe garlic for cooking and eating and freezing, herbs, and lots of tomatoes. We are also planning to put a couple of pumpkin vines in the landscaping rock beside the house so they can spread without taking over the whole garden and lawn! We are also deciding what to do for a CSA this year too. We did JenEhr last summer and loved it, but are thinking about trying something a little bit closer to us. With the kids, I really like the idea of driving to a farm to pick up rather than to someone's garage and I know there are some closer to Stoughton. However, the drive to JenEhr was just stunning, so I wouldn't be completely opposed to sticking with them. The local CSA open house is next weekend, so hopefully we will be deciding soon.

Organizing. Still chipping away at the chaos that has accumulated with three move and three small ones over four years. I have finally made headway with my recipes. I had started a three-ring binder to organize recipes I had typed up, but fell sadly behind and had to dig through folders and files and other piles of crap to find recipes I was looking for. I finally tamed the piles, printed out things that I had on my computer but not in my binder and have started formatting and printing other things that I want in my binder (goes pretty quick with recipes copied from the internet and a scanner with OCR!). I just do a couple at a time out of that folder and eventually will be caught up. I am also planning on sorting the other piles of recipes by type in an expanding folder, so I have a place to go looking when I need inspiration.

We found out that we have guests coming in early May, so there is some additional inspiration to get my studio/the guestroom organized. We also need to get loft beds built for the bigger two so we can move the old futon down to the guest room, so there is an actual place for them to sleep!

Missing out. A certain knitting celebrity was in town for the Madison Knitters' Guild annual knit-in. I did the responsible thing and stuck to the budget rather than dropping everything and signing up. I'm clearly an idiot. Rumor has it that it was even cooler than I imagined. Damn you, recession and fiscal responsibility...