Sunday, February 28, 2010

Knitting Mistakes

Hi,

These socks started off as the "Serpentine" pattern from Socks from the Toe Up.

However, after getting to the gusset for the first sock, I realized that I had skipped half the "serpent" in one of the early repeats, and it looked more like a cable than a serpent. After considering ripping back, I decided to continue with more of the cable-looking pattern. (No one will ever notice except me, and perhaps an extremely observant knitter.)



It turns out, the "half serpent" pattern is almost exactly the "Sea Weed" sock pattern from Wendy Knits. The only difference is that I mirrored the pattern in the middle. I think I like the "Sea Weed" pattern better than "Serpentine." Hmmm. Maybe that's just because I found it easier to see what  I was doing.



The yarn is Fiesta's Baby Boomerang in the Clematis colorway. I used size 1.5 needles.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blueberry Hill

Hi,

I "suggested" to Mitchell that we might visit Blueberry Hill, today. Then, he took up the idea with his dad. It worked beautifully.



Blueberry Hill is just a few blocks from Knitty Couture, Thi Miller's yarn store in The Loop. It was written up in the latest "Where Women Create," which is a fun publication from Stampington and Company, who also does the "Artful Blogging" magazine.





I picked up some yarn, of course.



Mitchell ate his chicken and french fries like a champ. We're easily pleased, I suppose. We like to see him eat.

And, of course, I like to make yarn shop trips, so it was a good day! I hope you, "Found Your Thrills," this weekend, too.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, February 26, 2010

Opening Day

As mentioned last week as an upcoming event, Bobby's Custard opened, today.


It was pretty cold. After we took this picture, we went to sit in the car.


One of my favorites is the "crunch" concrete. It has rice crispies and chocolate hard shell. Yum!

We took Daddy a raspberry concrete, at his office, too. I get a gold star for the day!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Digital photo frames from CottageArts.net

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Early Signs of Spring

Hi,

It got up to 54° F, today, and Mitchell and I were singing a song from the "Little Bill" TV show:

Spring is here!
Spring is here!
It's the best time of the year!

While Mitchell napped, I took my camera outside to try to find some signs of Spring.

The purple-leafed plum tree is budded out.


The lamb's ears are growing new leaves (some of which are a bit frost bitten, already. Go figure.) And we're supposed to get more freezing rain and snow over the next few days. It was a gorgeous day, today, though!


And I got an email from the local custard shop, Bobby's, saying they are opening for the season next Friday. That seems early. But then, they only closed in November...

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mallow Sock Done

Hi,

I finished the February Sock.


The stitch pattern is very pretty and interesting, though I found it fairly impossible to memorize. I prefer a pattern where I can "just go" and not keep looking at the chart.


I had enough yarn left over to make two pairs of booties.


I used the Checkerboard Gansey Bootie pattern, but I replaced the stitch pattern with the "I Heart Toe Up Socks" stitch chart from "Socks From The Toe Up." The only other modification is to cast on one extra stitch, because an odd number is needed to center the heart. After the toe, start the first heart chart. Then, do four plain rows and start another heart. Start the gusset on the sixth row of the second heart, and do eight plain rows after the second heart, for a total of 30 rows. (Each heart is nine rows.) Then, do the heel per the pattern. No heel modifications are required because the instructions to "work to the last nine stitches" don't care about the extra stitch.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Friday Shopping

Hi,

Almost every Friday, I meet Grandma E and Mitchell for lunch and some quality time... frequently, some shopping. Today, we went to Border's books. Mitchell likes books, and we also go to the library every three weeks to get a new stack and turn in the last batch.


Mitchell also likes to explore, as most little boys do! He hid in a little nook behind the magazine racks.

Of course, many enticements capture attention besides books. This week, the Easter chicks and bunnies made their appearance.


We always have a lot of fun on Friday! :)

Happy Knitting!
Lisa Kay

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Hi,

We had a great Valentine's Day, mostly around the house, with lots of snow falling outside. Here's our sunshine:



Every Sunday, we have the grandparents over for dinner. We've been doing this for a couple of years, and it seems to work out well for everybody. Since today was Valentine's Day, it was a bit fancier than normal. My mom brought me flowers.



We had a family favorite, lasagna, which my mom taught me to make years ago. Yummy. I think all four grandparents were a little less than eager to have their picture taken...



My valentine for Mitchell was gumballs. He is a big gumball fan. He likes to get one out of the quarter machines at the mall on Fridays. Now, if we could just work on where he puts it when he's done...



Chris gave me a new pocket camera as my valentine. The idea is to be able to take it with me more and shoot more targets of opportunity... like last summer, when Mitchell found a frog on the lawn at Grandpa W's house, and I didn't have my camera. Bummer!



And, for comparison, here is what I usually use. It is a nice compromise in simplicity vs. size/complexity. Even at it's middle ground size, I don't take it with me unless I have plans to use it. Thus, the new pocket version...



I hope you had a great Valentine's Day, too!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Digital Photo Frames from CottageArts.net

Friday, February 12, 2010

February Sock

Hi,

I knitted a bit this week, even with stitches in two fingers, making progress on my second sock in the February SFTTU KAL. This month, the pattern from outside the book is Mallow Sock from Wendy Knits. I'm using something new for me, Lakewalk sock yarn in the color "Deep Blue" from Northwoods Dyeworks (NorthernDyes on Etsy). I ordered a green one, too. They are very versatile semi-solids. Much of my stash is handpainted...


I got my stitches out, this morning. My fingers are healing up very nicely. :)

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Digital Photo Frames from CottageArts.net

Monday, February 8, 2010

Favorite Things: Mail

...and wool in the mail.

I don't know why, but I've always loved getting the mail. Even when I was a kid, when the mail was usually for my folks, I'd run to the mailbox to see if I had a letter from a pen pal. In college, I checked the mail religiously, even though it was usually empty, hoping for a letter from home or a shipping slip saying there was a care package being held for me at the front desk. Now, even though the mail is full of bills and ads that don't exactly twist my crank, I hurry to the mail box to see what's in store.



My mailbox these days is a a brick affair that is even more crooked than it was the summer I constructed it, having been plowed over by a neighbor and re-erected using a backhoe. Still, it is a little project from my own two hands, and usually full of promise... Promise of knitting magazines or a yarn catalog.



I used a sturdy aluminum mailbox instead of a cheap tin version. (I could never understand building a fancy brick mailbox with a cheap mailbox insert that rusts out. Why scrimp, when you're building with brick? It's like investing a year's worth of hand-knitting using yucky yarn.)



I haul down the front cover, to unearth my treasures... on a day such as this, my subscription to Zen Yarn Garden's Art Walk Sock Club. It explains my eagerness to check the mail.


Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Digital photo frames can be found at CottageArts.net.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Warrior Turtle

Hi,

Mitchell has a small collection of what he calls, "velcro-handed animals." Grandma E. often brings him a new one on Friday. Last Friday, it was the turtle. Mitchell named her Shelly. I thought that was a clever play-on-words, for a four-year-old. He played with Shelly all weekend, alternately referring to Shelly as either he or she, and I'm not quite sure which it is. Either way, Shelly is a warrior.


Note that there is a quiver of arrows peeking over Shelly's right shoulder. The item on the left shoulder is a torch. The ball on the rubber-band-belt is the mace head from a flail. The loop on the back of the mace is slightly broken, so it keeps coming off of the flail. Mitchell finds that quite handy, obviously. All the little weapons are part of his Playmobile knights set.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Digital Photo Frames from CottageArts.net.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Apple Corer Mishap

Hi,

I recently attended my first Pampered Chef party, and I bought several of their tools. One of the items is this apple corer. This shot shows it with the blade cover in place on the sharp side.


They mentioned at the party that it was extremely sharp, and I took this as a good thing. I'd used something similar in the past, and it was dull and almost impossible to use. When they demonstrated it, I thought, "Ahah! They have one that works!"

I used it for the first time last night. It worked like a champ, and I was extremely careful with it, due to the warnings. Getting a finger curled underneath it when chopping an apple would be sort of a finger-guillotine. All went swimmingly cutting the apple, but a mishap occurred doing dishes. I washed it carefully and put it in the dish drainer. When I picked it up from the drainer, I got a hold of the business end.


The emergency room gave me a tetanus shot, a Vicodin, two shots of anesthetic (one at the base of each finger), seven stitches, and some fancy bandages. They cleaned it with three different solutions, too, which is probably the most important part. They also gave me a dishes-reprieve for about a week. (No dishes until the stitches are out. Silver lining!)


We moved the apple corer/wedger and the larger-but-similar pineapple corer/wedger out of the bottom utility drawer, up to a high and inaccessible (to four-year-olds) location. Sheesh. When they said it was sharp, they weren't kidding.

When Chris loaded me in the car to go to the ER, I said, "This isn't going to be good for my knitting."

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Snuggle TV

Hi,

Mitchell still likes to sit on someone's lap and watch TV.


We'll miss this when he's older!


Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Digital Photo Frames from CottageArts.net