Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Time to move on, time to get goin'

What lies ahead I have no way of knowin'
Under my feet, baby, the grass is growin'. 
Yeah, it's time to move on, time to get goin'.

Tom Petty pretty much sums it up: things are changing for us!  The first change is that I'm taking a leave of absence from my job for one year.  I have a pretty stressful job, and just the thought of a consuming job and two young children was overwhelming.  So our lifestyle will change a bit, but I think it will be worth it, especially for such a short time.

We made that decision last December, and thought that would be a big change.  But then, pretty much immediately surrounding Baby O's arrival, we learned that my husband was being transferred.  So now we're moving!  We'll be headed about 220 miles north, to Parkersburg, WV.  It's a smallish town on the Ohio River.

We have a small bucket list of things to do before we move.  Over the weekend, we went up to an old country store and saw some cloggers!  Little A was very groggy since she'd fallen asleep in the car, and Baby O is still too small to be interested in anything but ceiling fans and eating, but it was a beautiful day and it was nice to be out in the sun.  It was on top of a mountain and offered some beautiful views.

So we're packing up and looking forward to getting settled in a new place with a new routine.

It's time to move on, time to get going.

Monday, May 27, 2013

FO: Brynna cardigan

I don't know how, but I finished a sweater.  This sweater pattern, Brynna, was all over Ravelry a couple of months ago, and somehow it jumped the queue.  I think it's the color.  I unconsciously chose a color very similar to the pattern sample. The yarn is Valley Yarns Longmeadow, a cotton/microfiber blend that I got during last month's sale at Webs

This sweater wasn't without it's stupid new-mom mess ups.  Everything went fine until I got to the collar.  I knit all rows instead of purling 3 of the rows.  I know exactly why I did that.  Baby O was asleep on my shoulder, and I didn't have my pattern in front of me.  But I thought I knew what to do, so I went ahead, trying to take advantage of the precious baby sleep knitting time.  Sixteen rows later, something didn't look quite like the pattern.  I ripped it out and did it again. 

I improvised a little frog fastener by sewing two toggle buttons together, then linking them with a crocheted chain loop.  I can pop the back button through any of the eyelets, adjusting them in or out or up or down.  This way, as I lose pregnancy weight, the sweater is really adjustable.  

I like this sweater, but I'm really anxious to get back to my pre-pregnancy proportions.  Le sigh. 

Raveled here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mr. Postman, bring me some yarn ...

In terms of yarn in the mail, it was a banner week!  Webs has been having their annual sale, I treated myself to a special Mother's Day yarn present, and, most excitingly, the May installment of the Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Club arrived! 

This is the pink lable, 100% merino laceweight.  There are 1000 yards in this one skein!  I love it.  This colorway is called Moonmist.

Swatch on size 2 on left, swatch on size 3 on right

I'm having a hard time deciding on the needle size, even though I knit a couple good swatches.  The problem is that I blocked the smaller swatch more aggressively, so I actually got the same gauge on both size 2 and size 3 needles.  That was dumb.  I think I'm going to go with the 2s and not block so aggressively with the FO. 

I am so loving this club.  I'm not sure I would have picked either this color or this pattern on my own, but I love this process of trying something new.  I pretty much love all Tanis' colorways, so I feel comfortable trusting the mystery and surprise. 

There are a lot of changes approaching rapidly in our family, so it's great to have a big lacy project into which to escape!  More about those changes soon ...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

FO: Windsor Cardi

I started this sweater before Baby O was born, and I started the sleeves after we brought him home.  I worked on it so long that I forgot why I started knitting it in the first place.  Once I got the buttons on, though, I started to feel pretty good about it!  It's a great sweater for this cool, wet Spring so many of us seem to be having. 

The yarn is Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic DK.  It has unfortunately been discontinued, which fortunately meant I could get it at a great price.  It's a blend of 50% wool and 50% cotton, a blend I'd been wanting to try for quite a while.  I knit with cotton pretty sparingly because it just doesn't have any stretch or memory to it.  It makes for hard knitting on the hands, and cotton knit garments are notorious for losing their shape.  Wool has amazing bounce and memory, and it's a dream to knit, but wool is just too warm for summer knits.  A cotton/wool blend yarn takes advantage of each's best qualities.  Also, the wool and the cotton take the dye a little differently, so there's a little shimmer to it.  I really enjoyed knitting with it, and I have some more for another summer cardi. 

The lace pattern on this Windsor Cardi is very stretchy, and lots of Ravelers commented on sleeves being too long.  I added extra length to the sleeves and the body anyway, and I'm glad.  As I get back to my per-pregnancy weight, it should get a little longer! 

I'm not very impressed with my job on the buttons.  While they're all exactly 13 rows apart, they don't look like they're spaced out equally, do they?  I need to study up on button bands.  But perfect is the enemy of done, so I'm living with it.  (We took these pictures while the last two buttons were still on back order.)

Ravelry project page here

Hooray for finished sweaters!

Monday, May 13, 2013

What's wrong with this picture?

At least the stripes match, right?  This is what happens when you try to cut something out in a hurry because you only have 45 minutes during the little ones' nap time.

Amazingly, I had one section of scraps that was just big enough.

Also amazingly, the stripes almost match!  These pieces are on their way to becoming a McCalls 6073

So crafting moms pay $9 for buttons and cut out two left fronts.  What else do crafting moms do?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I'm still here!

There's something about having a baby that makes me want to go outside a couple times a week and shout, "I'm still here!"  And then there are other times when I'm glad that having a new baby means I can hunker down at home and not have to worry about my normal responsibilities, and just take care of Baby O.  My knitting and sewing have fallen right between these two poles.  My knitting and sewing are still happening ("I'm still here!"), but at a slower rate (just hunkering down). 

So here's what's slowly creeping off the needles:

This is the Windsor Cardi, which I started before Baby O was born.  I started the sleeves a week or two after he was born, and I slowly started to hate the sweater, mostly because I thought it would never be done.  Now that it looks like I might not actually be working on it during the little one's high school graduation, I think I like it. 

Yesterday I took the little one out and we bought buttons.  We bought them quickly, because he started crying ferociously not long after we got there.  The thing is, Joann's only had six buttons, and I needed eight.  These were perfect buttons, so I arranged for an interstore transfer, which meant I have to pay $7 shipping on $2 buttons.  And I had to give them my address while holding a screaming, angry infant.  While shouting over his crying, I thought, This is what it means to be a knitting mom.  You pay $9 for two buttons because you have 3 minutes to finish this project, and if you don't fork over the money, you won't get your sweater finished.  I want it finished, so whatever about the money.  This sweater will be done soon!

I also started a Brynna, a sweater that I see ads for all over Ravelry.  I really like Bonne Marie Burns' patterns, and I'm thinking of knitting another Cinnie for the summer also.  You know, with all the extra knitting time I've got piling up.

I have fabric to make another McCalls 6073, but that hasn't happened yet.  Maybe tomorrow.