Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Random Wednesday

Picture from NYC's website. I can tell it is their cabin. Look at the mess behind them!

  • I have a lone marigold that I started from seed. It is over 5 feet high and is just now starting to flower. Think Sunflower but it's a marigold. I planted it in my square foot garden to help keep away pest. I'm starting to think I have the greenest thumb in the world.

  • Joy #2 yesterday went on a rant about not sharing a bathroom when he is grown with any women. We have one bathroom ( well, a bath and a half) and he is always complaining about hair in the tub or in the sink. I laughed and told him his wife would be very happy not to have to share a bathroom and that not wanting to share a bathroom will make him a more desirable bachelor.

  • I ordered the yarn for Joy #1's Sweet 16 sweater.Yeay money! I chose the pattern 28thirty. Don't worry she doesn't read the blog. She thinks it is weird that I blog. Peace Fleece in a dark green, Hemlock Poashja colorway. I am looking forward to casting on for this sweater! Once again, she is so lean that it is like knitting baby clothes. Well, maybe except the sleeves. If all goes well with this sweater I may make another one for my niece who will turn 18 in Oct. Wow, I can't believe she'll be 18 that is crazy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Christmas in July

Be careful how you comment on Happy Handwork or Barb just might send you something! A few posts ago on Barb's blog she was talking about making something out of watermelon and asked if we could guess? I of course in all my smugness guessed watermelon salsa and was correct. Jokingly, I told Barb that I deserved a prize for my spot-on guess. Now, Barb has such a big heart and I gather, loves doing nice things for people took my joke seriously and sent me a package. Not a small token of friendship and fun, but a fabulous package that had me dazzled and jumping for joy. My friends, she sent me a skein of Briar Rose Fibers, Grace!!!
It is beautiful yarn! 450 yds of 60% superwash wool, 30% bamboo, 10% nylon, hand dyed with gorgeous blues and greens. Ack, and no camera for me to show the beauty! I hunted online and this is the closest I found. Lovely isn't it?
Barb also sent me WhipStirs Raspberry Lemonade that Joy #2 and I tried out last night. Very yummy.
Barb, you made my July. Thanks for your generosity. I hope to pass on the spirit of going overboard forward! Now off to Ravelry to find a project for that perfect skein of yarn.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Small Steps

I wasn't up for working on any projects that I had to invest more than 30 minutes toward this weekend. VBS was the biggest thing I worked on this weekend. It lasted 5 hours. Joy #2 and I were tour guides for the 2-5 year olds, Asteroids, as we Blasted through the Bible's past. We enjoyed our group of kiddos but was totally exhausted when we were done. 9 toddlers will do that even when they are well behaved!

Small bits of accomplishments
  • Knit a white baby hat to match booties
  • Finished the final thumb on helical mittens
  • Knit a striped baby hat using the helical method (again)
  • Reknit a Saartje bootie. My dog at one of the first pair so I needed to replace it. I think the buttons drew her in.
  • Weeded flower bed #2 and remulched
  • Weeded flower bed #1
  • Hand washed 3 wool sweaters and 3 pairs of wool socks
  • Started planning further knitting projects

I am dying to order more yarn. August 1st cannot get here soon enough. I've had to be very careful with the budget in July so we could do all we wanted to and still pay the bills (hence small baby knitting with existing yarn). I am eyeing a fair isle vest project for myself and a sweater for Joy #1. She will turn 16 in December and I'm going back and forth on what I want to do for her.

Well, I think this will be how I roll this week. Tackle anything I need to do a little bit at a time.

Sidebar,as if this post was anything other than random. Camera battery is dead and the charger is with Joy #1 in Nebraska. I'm going to check with the neighbor girl to see if her charger will work on our camera.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mind Boggling Booties

I crocheted this pattern 3 times before I "got it". I was hoping to make more but I think I just want to put it away and go back to my knitting needles. I "get" them.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Welcomed Noise

As you can see the noise is back. Thank goodness! Joy #2 is so entertaining in general, can you tell? He was getting our dinner started. I think it is so funny that he starts it out "Hey YouTube". I had to let the wind out of his sails when I told him I was only putting this on my blog. We did a second cut that was better visually but he was a lot louder in this one.

Thanks for the feedback on the crochet booties! I did manage to complete 2 more last night. I think these are going to make the cut. I still have to sew up the bottoms and weave in the ends. I kinda did my own thing with the cuff though. They were too big crocheting by the pattern, imho, so I chained a few less. Not that I counted on #3 for #4 but they look close enough. I'm no Yarn Harlot, I go with the flow! I'll post the FO soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Baby Bib

I knit this baby bib last night while listening to a book on tape (Tricksters choice). I did clean the downstairs and then started to work on this bib. Joy #2 is home now so no more worries about needing noise. Thank goodness.
Up next in my knitting queue is a crochet baby bootie. I have tried to crochet this twice. The second time went better once I figured out that the granny square instep is supposed to be the top of the foot not the heel, or bottom. It looked more like a bootie but not good enough to gift. I am hoping 3rd times the charm. I refuse to be defeated by a simple baby bootie pattern. I'm starting to think that I could have knitted a baby sweater in the time it is going to take me to figure out this pattern. should crochet this so I can ask you what I'm doing wrong.
We are going out to the farm to do our CSA pick up soon. I can't wait. Fresh produce is awesome. I'm also looking forward to putting those cute booties in Kristin's CSA box!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OK, I officially miss them...

Both of my kids are gone AGAIN. Joy #2 went to Herman, MO with his grandparents last week, was home for 3 days and managed to get invited to his granddad's house in Gladstone,MO. He left yesterday morning and will be gone probably until tomorrow afternoon.

Last night I realized that I am tired of being home alone. I have stuff to keep me busy but I miss the noise. Gracie and I just aren't noisy people. (Ha, I hear you laughing out there. You know what I mean.)

I did manage to finish a pair of booties. I have 4 babies to knit for so I thought I would get cracking. I knit Christine's Baby Booties out of my left over Lorna Laces Huron colorway. I want to try crocheting some booties but I haven't found the right pattern yet. I did buy a cute bib pattern yesterday.

Well, one more night by myself. Maybe I'll go get a book on tape so it won't be quiet and do some housework. That's what normal moms do when the family is away, right? Housework.

Monday, July 21, 2008


It was tempra paint. Go figure, I'd have never thought it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A full day

  • Early morning trip to the farmer's market. Everything was plentiful and good.
  • 3 loads of laundry and blackberry pancakes.
  • Knit 1 bootie
  • Swimming at Gran & Papa's pool
  • Bug discovery hike @ Weston Bend state park
  • Reading underneath the shade
  • Nap
  • Live Outdoor music by the Missouri River with the hope to finish bootie #2

I hope your day has been as lovely as mine.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I'm sure there is a story behind this picture*. I'll have to wait until August 2nd to hear it though. I hope she won't have forgotten the details.

*Picture on Nebraska Youth Camps website. Joy #1 will be there without me for 2.5 more weeks.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Built by Jennifer-Skirt Edition

I finally got around to making the skirt out of Wendy Mullin's Sew U. I picked this fabric up while thrifting and thought it would make a great summer skirt. I think I was right! I am very pleased with the pattern and Wendy's great directions. I put in my first zipper on this skirt, something I have been avoiding for awhile now. I love the fit and the fact that it matches my new sunhat! The other thing I love about the pattern is that there are endless variations. Drawstring, zippers, elastic, pockets, short, long... I'm off to plan...

EDIT 6 PM: Skirt #2 finished. Fabric and bias tape both thrifted. I started to make this one a draw string but if I want to get it over my bum nicely, this style needed a zipper. I picture this skirt as a casual skirt to wear to the beach. If there were beaches in KS of course. It falls just below the knee. Another wearable skirt!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


I was on ravelry yesterday looking at sunhats and cloche hats. I thought I'd give this one a try. 2 hours later I was done. I really dig the quickness of crochet.

I edited the pattern to my own specifics. 1 more crown increase, less length and a more floppy brim. I'll try to get an action shot today. Finished just in time for the rain!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Helical Mitten #1

Look ma no jogs!

Glimmer of Hope

There are times when Joy #2 is so stubborn and strong willed that he makes waves everywhere he goes. There are even times when I have to remind myself that God gave this particular child to raise for a reason. He is special and needs extra care. As frustrating as he can be sometimes, there are other times when he amazes me, impresses me. He is so industrious, hardworking, and we have so much fun!

Yesterday was one of those days. I came home from lunch and fussed at him for this and that. Gave him the standard lecture, "Until I see a huge improvement in your attitude you'll be doing nothing!" Then back to work I go. About 4 pm I get a phone call asking for the ingredients for dough. What kind of dough I ask? You can find everything you need in the Betty Crocker book, I say. I expect a mess but am not really concerned.

I come home to this.
Pizza dough rising. He has decided to make pizza for dinner. And not just pizza but bbq chicken that Joy #1 has talked him into making. I asked him if we have ingredients for bbq chicken because I don't think we have any bbq sauce and he says,"Can't we just make some?" Sure! Google it.

Here is the finished product. Very good pizza that I could have passed off as my own. BBQ Chicken with homemade BBQ sauce. And he did everything himself but cook the chicken. I did that for him while he was researching recipes. Turned out great didn't it?
And to top that he spit shined his room. Glimmer of hope, I call it. I truly think that his adult life will be so rewarding to him because he can do what he wants when he wants to. It is frustrating for us strong willed ones being bossed around all the time as kids. Not that it isn't proper or that we don't need it but because we truly think we know what is best for us. Only 7 more years and he'll call the shots. I hope I last that long!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Helical Mittens

As a reader of Grumperina, I was amazed at the socks she recently knit, Helical socks. At first I couldn't wrap my mind around what they heck she was doing. How could you knit using 4 colors in every row and it turn out to be stripes? She has lovely diagrams and such but I didn't want to stretch my brain that far. It has something to do with spiral knitting, which is what you are always doing when you knit in the round. You just don't notice. People have praised helical method for helping get rid of small amounts of wool, not big enough for a project but combined enough to work.

I let the helical approach peculate in my brain and then one day when I was looking at my "stash" (not really a stash, just left over project wool) I noticed that I have several balls of Telemark wool. Single balls, lovely colors but not enough of one color to make anything I was interested in. Telemark is my go to mitten yarn. I love, love, love it for mittens. Then it hit me. Hey, I maybe I could take these single balls and combine them using the helically thing.

I casted on and blindly and followed the directions. And whaddayaknow. I have perfect stripes. The first row is mismash but the rest is perfect! And that first row isn't even noticeable. Awesome, and I can't quite stop knitting. It is too tempting just to get to the new color, just one more round...

Now with all that said, I'm tempted to frog. I think I should have gone down a needle size on the ribbing, but I don't want to stop helicalling long enough to make a decision. Maybe I'll just wait until knit night tonight. I love frogging a project in front of Laura. She gives me a shocked look every time! It makes me feel like a rebel.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


My garden is flourishing. I love the square foot method. I haven't weeded in weeks...2 weeks to be precise. With everything so big the weeds don't get sunlight to grow. It's awesome.

Raised beds

Grape Tomatoes Roma Tomatoes
Tiny Watermelon
Cherokee Purple
More Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
And yet more Cherokee Purple Tomatoes

We have a bumper crop of tomatoes and little watermelon pop up everyday. I am very pleased! I've spent about oh 5 minutes in the garden this week. Have I said how much I love the square foot garden method!? It's genius. I plan to add more beds next year!

Monkey Socks Part Duex

I completed my second pair of Monkey Socks this morning. Yesterday evening I knit the whole foot and started on the toe decreases. This morning i finished it up. Amazing how quickly socks knit when you actually KNIT them. I am please to add another pair of socks to the sock drawer. This is pair number 5 for myself.

So...I took a few pictures. How is it that those in blogland take pictures of their socks and it looks perfectly normal? I can't take a good sock picture for anything. Maybe if I tried the self timer and put it on the floor.

This one is ok. Natural light and you can see the pattern quite well. I used Lorna laces Huron colorway.

This one is in the house. Pretty poor lighting.

Now this one is my all time favorite. How I managed to take this picture upside down and capture the dog is anyones guess! pictures!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Road Trip 2 of 4

Friday morning I headed out (again) to Nebraska Youth Camp. I got permission to come out early and enjoy the fireworks with my kiddos. NYC is 5 hours from Leavenworth. I have never minded the drive although I don't enjoy going there and back in one day. I was there less than 24 hours but long enough to visit, rest, enjoy the fireworks, and pack everyone up to come home. It was a good, quick road trip. And as I predicted, once Joy #1 & 2 were home I found a surge of energy. They have none but I do. I started cleaning my room. This is the first step into getting it ready to paint right? While cleaning I took some pictures for you. My finished afghan.

Ignore the messy shelving. I'm getting to it. :)

And embroidered pillowcases that were crafted and gifted to me by my dear friend Cheri. I love them! They are perfect.

She did a beautiful job. I will cherish these.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Afghan & Tractors

I love my afghan. Quite a bit more than I thought I would. The last couple of nights it has stormed and gotten chilly. The afghan has been the perfect blanket. Not too heavy to make me hot and large enough to cover my whole body. And it is sooooo soft.
I laid it on my bed when I was finished to check the sizing and wound up leaving it there and using it. I haven't weaved the ends in yet either! Oops. That is the plan for tonight during knit night. Weave in the ends. I used simply soft acrilyic yarn since living in this house I know that you must be able to launder blankets easily. Gracie sheds all year long. I still like the colors but now I like it so much that I'm kicking myself a bit for not using something else, paranoid that the acrylic yarn won't hold up and it will fall in apart in a year or so. I should know better. Thrift shops are filled with afghans that have held the test of time but I'm still a little paraniod. But not paranoid enought to stop using it before the ends are weaved in.
Camp update: I went online to see what the kiddos were up to yesterday. Looks like cabin activity were tractor rides. Can you spot Joy #1?
And this picture reminds me how handsome Joy #2 is. I forget when I'm around him all the time. :) Older women stop him all the time and admire his curls.

I'll be with them tomorrow! Man those 5 days by myself went fast!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Day 3 without the kids

I have been alone in the house for 2 days. Well, alone except Gracie the dog, but she doesn't talk much. Some folks may be under the impression that I am lost without Joy #1 & #2. Not really. I am perfectly fine being at home alone. It is quiet and I like it. I like only being in charge of myself. Now I am perfectly fine being alone because my kids are out having a great time at camp. They are not even thinking twice about me because they are so busy. There have been very few times where both Joy #1 & #2 have been gone at the same time. This is the 2nd extended amount of time that I can think of. Last time was when Gran & Papa took them to Disney World in 2005 for 9 days (or something like that). I also think that because the camp uploads pictures daily helps. I see what they are doing and they look happy and healthy. Actually, I'd love to be out there this week too, but there is no one to do my work when i am gone. Sigh.

And true to myself. I haven't done much other than watch a few movies and finish the afghan (pictures next week when the camera gets back). Of course it has only been 2 full days and I needed one to recover. I did wash dishes last night which is more than the night before. Man I can be lazy here at home. If you could have seen me at camp I could redeem myself. Oh well.
Time for more coffee and to think about getting ready for work. I live a really good life.