Tuesday, October 28, 2008

in the autumn

Hey you!

Yeah, you. Have you played in the leaves yet this fall? It's a lot of fun.

We've had plenty of leaf kicking, pumpkin baking (muffins, cake, bread, pancakes...), family visiting, and craft making the last few weeks. Little Mina turned 3 last Sunday, and she's been walking around singing "hap booday ti you!" every day since her party. Over the weekend I made her a bright red tutu, which she refuses to model for a photo. (I'm working on it.) The plan for Halloween was a ladybug costume, but I couldn't find polka-dotted satin or bug antennae at the craft store. She was in a particularly rambunctious mood, so a pair of clip on devil horns came home with us instead. What can I say. At least we are replacing the typical pitchfork with a sparkly gold star magic wand.

This tutu is really much fuller and puffier than it appears - the light was coming through it when I took this photo. I used three yards of red tulle and these general intructions. I used one-inch elastic for the waist rather than ribbon, and my strips were several layers thick. It didn't take long, and I think it's the cutest tutu ever.

One day last week I suddenly decided that I NEEDED to start making my own bath and body goodies, so after a few days of research and recipe collecting, I headed to a local soap supply shop and brought home two bags full of goodies. Two successful experiments later I have enough body butter and lip balm to last one person for a year. And I've only used a fraction of the supplies I bought.

The body butter is firmer than a cream but the oils absorb quickly. It's doing wonders for my ragged, dry hands. What I really wish I could share through the internet is the fabulous scent! I combined green tea and kumquat oils and ended up with the fruitiest, brightest, most uplifting scent ever. I'm just a little in love with it. I'm also in love with the process of making this stuff, so expect to see a lot more of it in the future.

On the knitting front, I have a finished Ingenue that needs blocked and a so-close-it-isn't-funny cowl pullover. I've also finished a few small items that have never even been mentioned, so hopefully I'll get photographs of everything soon. I'm doing what I think of as my typical fall "thing," where I have a ton of inspiration and things I'd like to do, but the realities of diminishing daylight and accompanying loss of energy (pain, fatigue, etc.) send me into super hibernation mode. Fortunately we've had some gloriously sunny days and the colors this year are amazing. I sit in pools of sunlight, soaking it up like a cat. I'm doing my best to keep my chin up. Maybe with intentional focus on a few choice projects I'll make it through the winter more easily this year.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

not quite

Does Ingenue look finished to you?

Yeah, me neither. This proves that under normal circumstances, I cannot actually finish a sweater in under a week. It was a good experiment, though.

I am still planning to see Wendy Bernard this evening, but I won't be wearing this sweater. That's ok. I have a backup.

Snow White has been finished for months, but I haven't shown you yet, have I? I had been planning to take two or three inches off the bottom, but after wearing the sweater for a day I decided against it. Overall I really like this sweater - the yarn (RYC Cashsoft Aran) is soft, the design is lovely. It is very tight though. It has to be a high confidence day for me to feel good in it. I also wish there was just a bit of extra room in the armholes. I tend to tug at them throughout the day, and the tight armholes combined with super-clingy ribbing wears on me after a while. I heave a sigh of relief when I take the sweater off. But, that doesn't mean I dislike it! Now that the temperatures have dropped (it dipped below freezing last night!) I'll be wearing this quite a bit. Including this evening.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

progress report

As of 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Ingenue looks like this:

Normally I would consider this excellent progress. I began knitting late Saturday afternoon, giving myself a deadline of one week later. I'm planning to see Wendy Bernard when she visits Third Place Books in Seattle to sign Custom Knits, and I decided it would be fun to wear one of her designs when I go. One week isn't unreasonable, right? Then this afternoon I remembered that I'm going to need time for the sweater to dry before Saturday afternoon, which in this rainy season really means that I need to be finished knitting on Thursday night. In order to do that I would need to finish the body of the sweater tonight, and then knit one sleeve over each of the next two days. Since I can't really neglect my job or my family, that leaves just three evenings over which to knit... a lot. Really a lot.

Some pluses and minuses: 1) I knit sweater bodies quickly. My fastest knit of all. 2) Sleeves are slow. 3) The ridge stitch at the collar, hem and cuffs is slow. 4) I can probably get Mina to sleep relatively early this evening, leaving several hours of uninterrupted knit time.

We'll see. At this point I'm a little skeptical that I'll be able to finish in time, but I'll definitely try my best. There's nothing like a crazy deadline to make me focus and get things done, and after my last post it should be fairly obvious that I'm generally lacking focus (big time).

Enough analysis, I need to get busy!

Monday, October 06, 2008


that I am either very busy or very crazy. Probably both.

Five sweaters. From top to bottom, that's Blossom from Knitting at Knoon, the Cowl Pullover from Norah Gaughan's Knitting Nature, Lily by Marnie Maclean, #11 Forestry by Veronik Avery from Fall 2008 VK, and a swatch (which is now almost an entire collar and yoke) for Ingenue from Wendy Bernard's Custom Knits. Yes, five. And those are only the sweaters. Or how about this?

These books are all "current" in some way - library books, recent purchases, things I've started reading. And the stack doesn't include the three knitting books I just got with a gift certificate, the library book on my desk at work, and a couple other random things. Add to this my full time job, keeping the house in some semblance of order, and a preschooler who is constantly on the go -

and I am very busy. Or crazy. Or both.

(Also, I just sort of announced to the world right here that I would have Ingenue finished to wear on Saturday. Busy (crazy), indeed.)