I've noticed that we watch a lot less tv when Huz is away. When he is home I think he feels guilty for having to work or help around the house so instead of letting the kids feel bored he puts on a show or something. I skip the guilty feeling and let them stay bored because guess what... in 10 minutes, they usually aren't bored any more, they'll have found something to play with or think about or write on or sit in. Like right now... KaBean is sprawled out on the floor "writing invitations and contracts for Uncle Duncan's Birthday." The ManChild is working on figuring out the kid digital camera and riding in the dolly cradle like a sailor lost at sea. We're all waiting around for lunch to cool itself. hmmmm... maybe i should get on that. Boredom is a very important part of developing imagination and independence. I love watching these Little Ones of mine work out new things, explore random things in the house, act out elaborate stories with the bears and critters all over the place.

The problem comes when we've been too bored for too long. Stuck in the house during the hottest weeks in Vegas and our car's air conditioner went out, plus it's passed time to get her just checked over and oil changed and things, so we haven't really been able to go anywhere. Each day we do an art project, we talk about plants or cooking or magic or whatever. We read stories, we wrestle and rough house, we take hours long baths... but still, we get bored, we feel cooped up, we can't wait to hit the road.


Jane Austin, Zombies, and Ginny's Yarn Along

This week, again, I'm joining Miss Ginny over at Small things sharing what I've been reading and knitting. There are always some really inspiring links, so you should go over and check out the whole list...

Now we all know about my latest pattern book obsession, Jane Austin Knits Summer 2012. But did you know about this book? Pride and Prejiduce and Zombies. It's amazing. So, I've been knitting out of Jane Austin Knits, reading a Jane Austin inspired zombie book, and drinking tons and tons of Organic Darjeeling Tea out of my very fancy tea pot with matching cup and saucer. Enjoy...

Knitting needs more access to Zombies. When the zombie apocalypse comes, I will be prepared to knit you warm garments and gracefully behead the unmentionables.

This book is rad. Much of the dialogue remains the same as in the actual Pride and Prejudice and a lot of the plot points are the same, but there is awesome dialogue about unmentionables and samurai training and then zombies bust in in the middle of the ball at the beginning of the book and oh my goddess, I can't wait to get further in the book. 

My beautiful hand spun, hand knit, lace collar, shown here with with the handspun silk I'm hoping to use to make the matching...

Mitts! I totally love this pattern, but there is a huge problem. Massive. The stitch gauge for the mitts and the gauge for the yarn are different by 10 stitches. So since there are no thumb holes in this pattern, I was thinking I'd just remove 1 of the 12 stitch lace repeats and go from there...? Maybe maybe?

Here's the Hat. It's done. It's wonderful. It makes me head look like a Penis. But the girls at knit night were all nice enough to say it doesn't. But it does. They can't fool me.

This pretty pretty lace weight yarn will become that beautiful shawl which for some reason they designed in the horrible horrible orange. Problem with this pattern? It calls for beads, and I'm not sure I have enough yarn, or even the needles I need to get started. 
Pretty, yeah?

My reading stack, it includes Elizabeth Zimmermann for good knitting measure.


Knitting Update.

Here's what I've been working on:

The EZ Baby Surprise Jacket. I'm concerned that I might run out of yarn (Lorna's Laces Worsted in 912 Kedzie, lot 1747... in case you have it). Hopefully, I'll be able to find more soon.  This is what it looks like so far, I added a panic thread, in case I have to pull back to incorporate a new dye lot or something. I think I marhed the pattern where I place the thread, so I don't something twice, or not at all. It Looks really funny to me but ...

This is the drawing I've been presented with in the book. Helpful.

The Paternal Twin Shawl A is coming along quite nicely. The rows are getting longer, at this point there are 11 repeats in each row, then there will be 12 then 13 until I run out of yarn. Honestly, I love it. I was frustrated with everything, wait till you see what I have next, so I picked this back up and finished a whole section in 1 day.

It turns out that you can use a gram scale to make sure you have the same amount of yarn per Mitt. LeAnne from knit night brought her scale (and cupcakes!!!) so I could divide my hand spun for the Jane Austin Mitts. LeAnne asked me if I had my own digital scale last week and I looked at her for a long moment before responding "no...? I'm not a drug dealer...?" The whole table started laughing so hard I thought we would get kicked out. LeAnne replied, "neither am I, they are useful to knitter too!" huh, learn something new every day!
I seriously was having way too much fun being the human swift. The yarn kept pulling off and then I'd laugh and look a little bit manic. It was awesome.
All my balls on LeAnne's scale. I'm trying to tell you, Knit Night is so much fun, I'm surprised Huz lets me leave.

That's Wanda in the back enjoying her cupcake a lot, the Las Vegas Spin Fairy and I love her. She brought me the yarn featured in the bottomest photos. LeAnne brought them because I was came to knit night the week of my birthday and no one knew and she needed an excuse for cupcakes. I provided said excuse. They were from a place here in Vegas called Nothing Bunt Cakes and they were the most amazing cupcakes I've ever had.

This sweater went from here...
...to here...

...by way of her. Lol. KaBean had a lot of fun helping me frog the Borealis Sweater. It felt really good to get that yarn back...
...there was a whole lot of it, and I love it, and it's too pretty to be stuck in a UFO that will never get finished.
I just thought this was too cute. Love this girl!

Wanda gifted me with some gorgeous, custom, hand painted yarn in my perfect colors. Probably a little less than 250 yards of beautiful. I chose to do a really neat Moebius Lace pattern, but as I knit along, I realized that I really really hate the purl side of the pattern and need to rework the whole thing.

I LOVE the top, the lace pattern shows really nicely on the knit side, but I feel quite sure that there has to be something that will look better for the bottom section. If you don't know anything about the wonder that is Moebius Knitting, stay tuned, I'll have a whole bunch of posts about it coming up, it's the most amazing, frustrating, tricky things I've learned in a long time.


Jane Austin Knits Summer 2012

You need this. Really, you do. No, all of you. If you knit, if you know a knitter, if have thought in the past about knitting, if you know nothing of knitting, but have love Jane Austin or Collin Firth- you need this. Honestly. There are 31 patterns in this book and I honestly believe there is a realistic chance that I might knit half the things in here. Dude, the first pattern is a tea cozy. And for a knit book or magazine, that's a lot. I usually get to one or two patterns per book. But there is so much in here! I'm already on my second project. In a row. I finished the collar I started at Knit Night Last week and right away cast on a hat.

Blocking the first half before picking out the provisional cast on (the pink, obviously)

HaHA! It's working! sort of. Darn Pink Cotton

In the bath because I was horrified by the way increasing 100's of stitches in a matter of 2 rows look. ah, the magic of blocking.

the center has been pinned out in this pic, but the ends are still all crazy pants.

See? Red pin, blue pin, no pin? Hella not cute looking.

But behold. It's perfect. I have tons of finished pics of this and the Martinmas Shawl And NN2R1x1 Scarf. and probably a hat. but you have to wait for them

The official name of my "Collar to Warm Me in the Desert?" is Evergreen Lace Scarf, and it is totally worth knitting. Totally. It took me 8 days from learning to cast on to blocking it on my floor to being folded and in my pile of impractical knitwear. I changed the yarn, I used some of my handspun from before we moved, so the gauge was off a little, but not really enough to change the size, but the drape and texture looks totally different from the picture in the magazine. I also changed the the garter stitch in the beginning to to stockinette because the handspun felt too stiff. I love it. When I blocked it, it got so soft, so smooth. It bloomed. Like wooly, ocean colored flower. Finishing the Collar was really nice. I used up some yarn that I made with my own hands and I'm really pleased with the result.

Now I've cast on this Hat in this Yarn and I love it, and I'm already done with the band. yay! more later. I hear children in the kitchen.


Happy Birthday, ManChild

My son just turned 2. He officially ended his second trip around this sun. He came out of me and is still nourished at my breast. His expressiveness and happiness impress me every day. He loves his big sister and wants to be everywhere she is and she does amazing with him for the most part. This little boy, my ManChild, is one of the best things about waking up every morning. Actually, I think the silence before he wakes up is the best, sshhhhhh.... I want to right about the things that have been important to me in the past, I even just listed them out, but even that felt like too much. But I feel this year, I am just so happy he is mine, well ours. I love him. I love him and his father and his sister and our unit. We are so blessed.

I love you, my little ManChild. Happy Birthday.

He's absorbing the knowledge. Education thru osmosis. Resting under to books works the same way the Fibonacci Baby Blanket will make that baby good at math. 

I know he looks asleep, but he actually told me that Lighting McQueen needs boobies. And also that McQueen likes boobies.  

And apparently, Tow Mater really likes boobies too. 

Best conversation all week when Huz came home from a shoot,
ManChild, "Hi Daddy!!!! Hiii!!!!!"
Huz, "Hey kiddo, I missed you, what did you today?"
MC, in the most excited 2 year old voice you ever heard, "Got BOOBIES!!! Daddy, GOT BOOBIES and switched SIDES!!!!!!!"
Huz, not as excited but still a lot excited but not enough, "You got Boobies?" 
MC, kind of disappointed in Daddy for not being properly stoked but still personally thrilled, "Yeah, Daddy, Boobies, switch sides. and Mater and Queen boobies, too."

My boobies are great fuel it seems. 2 years, going strong.


Super Trooper

So I took my laptop back to the Mac Store today seriously worried that they were going to look at me and tell me I just have to buy a new one, this one is so screwed up. For real. My palms were sweating, I almost didn't knit (but i did, you knew that).

Jane Austin was cast off while I waited for my Genius to be ready. A very nice young man noticed I was knitting and made the mistake of asking me about it. I tried not to gush about learning the Crochet Provisional Cast On, or the fact that I spun this yarn... Ok, I might have mentioned that. He pretended to be impressed. It was a good trip for me.

When I got a seat at the Genius Bar I found myself sitting to a young woman turning her (bigger, faster, newer) laptop in to get it's trackpad replaced. I sort of chuckled under my breath "that's why I came in the first time, now my battery is broken." She looked frightened and left. When it was my turn the Genius assigned to me listened to my tale of woe and said "oh, I bet they didn't reconnect the battery all the way when they put it back together." But he explained he still had to plug in the diagnostic equipment any way, just to make sure he said. So he stood there pulling up Mac Genius Diagnostic Menu Windows and let out the Low Whistle. You know the one. They did it to my last computer. They sorta did it to me last time I brought this one in. The Low Whistle, followed by the words "this is some sort of record."

think about that

what could that possibly mean?

what the hell.

"This must be some sort of record, most of these batteries last at most 4-440 full recharge cycles. At most 450. See this number here? This says your battery, in this computer, has been thru 1,062."

1,062 full charge cycles. One thousand.

And because I am a mathematical genius, especially when the AC is out in my car during the hottest week of the summer, i haven't told you about that yet have i? I said, out loud, in front of people "that's like more than double." He didn't even point and laugh, he just said "yeah, by a lot." Then he took it to the back room, where the Geniuses give the computer over to Santa's Elves. They were gone a while, during which time I catted up a lovely old lady about how our computers are sentient beings who can feel our love and devotion. It started when I told her I thought my laptop might be breaking up with me and she sighed and said "Mine too." We had the same Genius, I think he might have thought we were both insane. I don't think the knitting helped. Anyway, the Old Lady and I jumped everytime someone came out of the Bat Cave until finally it our Genius with my laptop. He told us, because Old Lady and I were now a team, that all he had to do was readjust the battery and voila, it would take a charge! It is totally fixed! I'm so stoked. It works. I can sit where ever I want and work on my laptop.

My hero.

So now, with my new camera and my working laptop, I can commence with the knitting and kid pictures! yaya!



The Not-Noro-2 Row-1x1 Rib Scarf. This was a blast to knit, but I don't think I'd choose it on purpose... It's good for using up large amounts of leftovers. Although, I don't know when else I would have so much left over coordinating-ish, color changing yarn.  
I know I said there would be no pictures of the finished Martinmas? Well, there won't. This picture is not a picture of the finished Martinmas, this picture is a picture of 2 unblocked projects made out of the same yarn. This picture is a picture of the really cool colors and the frequency of the silk blobs in the Mushishi. I would use this yarn again, but only if I had the perfect pattern for it first. Next time I use this yarn for something, the ends would be woven in almost immediately, not quite at the beginning, we all know how often I have to frog and start over cough*everytime*cough, I noticed that the longer the ends were left exposed, the rattier they became. Not a good look. 
My 4 year old daughter picked out the purple sparkle yarn. She really needs a purple-sparkle-fluffy hat to make the world amazing. That's all.

This is the Borealis Sweater. I thought I would love it. I thought it would be amazing. I thought that using a baby sweater pattern with much larger yarn than called for would produce and interesting, proportional adult sweater. I was wrong. I don't love it, it got boring. The colors make my brain hurt. The sleeves look fat and stupid. This might be my first real UnFinishedObject.

Jane Austin Knits Summer 2012. Go now. Buy it. You really need this knitting book. I love it. I actually pick it up to read it. Everything in it is beautiful. I think I will actually end up knitting more than one thing out of this, and that's saying a lot.
This handspun yarn and this pattern, in Jane Austin, fell in love with each other in my mind and when they met in person, it was destiny. Problem: What the hell is a Provisional Cast On? This, this is not easy. Enter Sin City Knits, the Las Vegas knit night I found on Ravelry. I took the yarn and the pattern and the question and left with a simple explanation and demonstration of the crochet method and the first row cast on and knit.
Saturday sees the whole first section finished and blocking so that I can more easily see the 20 stitches I have to pick up and knit at each end of the Provisional Cast On. Problem: The pink cotton waste yarn and the blue/green wool kind of mated and didn't want to part from each other and refused to come apart gracefully.
In the end, I am victorious and today, Monday, sees me on the very last lace row before the Cast Off. Then the final blocking and finding a button and yay! I might get to bring it to the next Knit Night!

This odd little thing is more stash busting my handspun. I gathered all the little puffs of wool leftover from my first spinning projects and carded them together and spun it out into and interesting single. There is silk and orange and super wash and tons of blue and red and wool and rabbit (not fancy rabbit, just very very very special rabbit). It looked flimsy so I spun out a bunch of the practice wool Helen gave me and then plied them together and got this. Turns out I was just short having the same amount of white as of blue. So instead of spinning more white, I pulled out the blue, bent it back on itself and let it ply. There was just enough for a little stripe of blue and I love it.
The pattern is based on the technique Susan B. Anthony uses to make the petals on her Flower Pacifier Clip. I've modified it to be much bigger, to hold my new camera!
And look at that, finished in 2 days, very simple, really neat how the K1, Sl1 back and forth makes a hollow piece of knitting. After knitting on for a while, I flipped it right side out and bound off half the stitches and then just kept the stockinette stitch going until the flap of the pouch was 2 times longer than the pouch itself. I'm going to use some more of this yarn to crocket in some reinforcment then slightly felt the whole thing to make it a touch smaller and the fabric a bit thicker. This was a really interesting practice project and I think I'll be keeping this technique tucked in case I need to pump out any more little pouches. Yay, for easy knitting.



Hi, I'm back. I tried to post new pics from my phone in my beloved laptop's absence but this stupid house hates cell phones. Which in the scheme of things is probably a good thing. At some point in the last two years one of my beautiful children (not, it wasn't me.) got the track pad stuck. Probably from touching food then the computer (i swear! i learned my lesson after i poured juice on my last one!). It's all better now, and even though it sure wasn't free, it also didn't cost as much as a brand new one. That's what happened to the last one. We took it in and they sort of whistled and laughed and said "it will cost more to repair this one than get a brand new one with some bells and whistles. i can't belive this still works-ish." So, I'm back. Huz got me a brand new point and shoot camera and I'm so in love with it! I can't wait to sit down and plug it in and get some nice pictures up here. 

In kid news: The ManChild is going to be 2 in 4 days! I thought I was lame for forgetting my birthday, but I almost forgot his too! There goes my MoY. I have no idea what we're going to do... I want to do something that celebrates his presence in our family... I have some bizarre dislike for birthdays but I really don't want it to carry over to my kids, but here we are in this strange city, no friends his age so no one really to invite... typical birthday party setups are depressing when there aren't at least some other people... I have to figure out an alternative to the Birthday Party and do a Life Celebration. He is so amazing and special and having him in my life has deeply changed the way I see the world. He wanted me to knit him the Piglets from Spud and Chloe, but I promised Huz I wouldn't buy any new yarn until we move...

Oh yeah! We're moving again. Las Vegas is not us. This is not a place we can raise this family and grow into ourselves. So we're leaving. We have a little bit of a plan, which is more than I can say for when we moved here. We're all excited to go to the next place, and the packing and sorting has (sort of, not really, shit. i'm already behind. awesome.) begun.

The only thing that has really started is the stash busting. I'm determined to get rid of yarn I don't love, wont use, forgot buying. It has to go. I want my stash to fit in ONE large tupperware bin. Except for the 2 large bags of bulk fiber. I'm sorry, I am not parting with that pound of alpaca or whats left of the merino top. No. and you can't make me. I love it. I'm trying to cast on and finish as many things and humanly possible without completely neglecting the children. That being said, I haven't started anything new since finishing Martinams. Oh yeah, I finished Martinmas and it's blocked and it's beautiful and you'll love it, but I'm not posting any pics till it gets to it's new home. (it's? its? grrrrrr) Oh snap, I finished the Not-Noro-2 Row-1x1 Rib scarf too. And the hat Hat I tried to start last week at knit night got frogged soo.... let's review...

On needles right now: 
Pereptual First Socks
EZ Baby Surprise Jacket (but it's stalled for a moment, I think I might run out of yarn)
Paternal Twin Shawl A
KaBean's New Spud
Oh, that ugly sparkly mess of a Hat for KaBean
well, the old stand by of that Borealis Crop Sweater, but I sort of hate it... honestly, I feel horrible, but I might frog it, but that yarn hates that, maybe I'll just bind it off in random places and call it a day, I can get rid of the rest of that Borealis and call it a day.
and Grandma Pam's Shawl Blanket thing. I'm still out of yarn on that, so it is on hold as well. yay.

Ok, tonight at Knit Night I'm learning the provisional cast on. Watch what I do.