Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Twinkle Toes Tutu

Twinkle Toes Tutu
by HelenHue

Our little girl has been dancing up a storm. So much so that I am beginning to wonder if my womb came complete with a DDR. I really hope she is this spry and energetic when she’s finally out in the real world. This skirt was knit in less than an evening and is perfect for all that novelty yarn that’s sitting in our Stashes. Berroco’s Tutu is a triple stranded novelty yarn containing one tulle material eyelash type strand, one colorful paper material eyelash strand, and one strand of thick and thin boucle. If you can’t find Tutu in a nearby sale bin, I think this pattern will work with three strands of novelty yarn pulled together. Experiment and see what interesting combinations you can make. One yarn I’d like to try is Ironstone’s Pizzazz.

The construction is simple (it’s a tube) and great for beginners who want to break out of the novelty scarf rut. In terms of fit, there is a LOT of give in the waistband. A ribbon belt is woven through the eyelets to cinch the waist for fit. The size of the waistband can be easily changed by adding or subtracting sts in multiples of 2. If you want this to grow with your girl, consider lengthening the skirt; it could potentially start at her ankles and eventually come to her knees as she grows taller. Master Blackhead did provide a little practical (and future looking) caution… she might love this skirt so much she’ll wear it as a tube top in her teen years. A definite no-no in our house, but hey… you might not feel the way we do.

Waist: 14-26 inches
Length: 7 inches in the sample, but whatever you want (you’ll just need more yarn)

MC: Plymouth Yarns Platinum [50% Rayon, 30% Nylon, 20% Angora; 99 yards per 50 gram ball]; color: White; half a ball

CC: Berroco Tutu [80% Nylon, 10% Wool, 7% Acrylic, 3% Cotton; 36 yards per 50 gram ball]; color: White Multi; 2 balls

2 yards 1.5 inch wide satin ribbon

1 20-inch US 8/5mm circular needle
1 20-inch US 15/10mm circular needle
1 removable marker
darning needle
1 crochet hook for pulling tulle strands through to RS (optional)

18 sts = 4 inches in stockinette stitch with smaller needle

With MC, CO 90 sts and join in the rnd, being careful not to twist the sts. Place a marker to denote the beginning of the rnd.
Rnds 1-5: [K1,P1] repeat until end of rnd.
Rnd 6: [K1,P1] repeat until 1 st remains. DO NOT WORK the last st. It will be knitted together with the first st of the next rnd
Rnd 7: Knit together the last st of rnd 6 and the first st of rnd 7. Place marker to the right of this k2tog. [YO, K2tog] until the end of the rnd. YO.
Rnd 8-13: Knit all sts. Break MC and join CC.

Using larger needle and CC, continue working stockinette stitch in the round for 5 inches or until skirt reaches desired length. BO off very loosely.

Weave in ends. Using crochet hook (or your fingers, mine worked pretty well), pull the tulle strands on the WS through to the RS. Please be patient with this step (and yes, it does feel like it takes forever). The skirt will look fuller if you do this. Take the length of ribbon and weave it through the eyelets in whatever pattern you think looks cute. I skipped over three eyelets at a time. Slip on your little ballerina, tie a pretty bow, and send her on her merry way.

Here's a picture of the WS once the tulle strands have been pulled through to the RS.

Advice from Mama Blackhead: dress her in all the bows and frilly things you can possibly get before she develops her own fashion sense and knows better.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Successful Knitting Marathon

Last weekend, Master Blackhead and I had 5 whole days to ourselves. I figured it gave me plenty of time to start and finish the Linus Project Security Blanket from Knitting for Peace. I paced myself at one ball of Comfort per day (about 200 yds), yielding an estimated time to completion of four days. After 3.5 days, Linus was done and the ends were woven. I love this blanket. It's wonderfully squishy and bouncy. The pattern was simple to remember: a three row repeat consisting of one row of all knit, one of all purl, and ONLY one of lace stitches. You can find the pattern free at Project Linus.

Name: A Linus for a Lucy, 30" x 30", easily stretches to 36" x 36"
Yarn: Berroco Comfort, Peach
Yarn Source: Amazing Threads, Maple Grove, MN
Needles: US 9 32" Addi Turbos
Pattern: Project Linus Security Blanket from Knitting from Peace, free online

I also finished another baby sweater. Initially, there wasn't enough Hacho to finish the raglan sleeves, which was quite serendipitous. I went back to LYS and got some sublime merino to finish it. I really like the results and will be posting the pattern here at some point.

Name: Daisy-ed and Confused, 18 month
Yarn: Mirasol Hacho Fuschia, Sublime Merino dk Navy Blue, spare sock yarn in hot pink
Yarn Source: Amazing Threads, Maple Grove, MN
Needles: US 5 32" Addi Turbos
Pattern: My own

Two nights ago, I started the Debbie Bliss Ribbed Baby Jacket. I'm almost done. All that's left is the collar and seams. Here's a mid-project progress picture.

With this next upcoming long weekend, the Hemlock Ring Throw (free at the Rainey Sisters' blog) is at the front of the queue. I ordered some yarn from Webs and hope it arrives in time. I picked a closeout merino, di.Ve's Zenith.

Despite all my "no-pink" talk, I really like this soft pink. I'm not opposed to soft pink, it's the cotton candy pink that drives me bonkers. Cross your fingers. Let's hope slow shipping doesn't get in the way of my knitting marathon.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy 2009

Yes... the best presents still come under the tree.

If all goes well, this will be the last Christmas where it will be just Master Blackhead, Hex, Jynx, and me. To honor the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another, we're staying home this year and just enjoying the moment. The only real noise will be the sound of Starcraft gurgling on the computer. We've both long since learned to tune out the clicking of knitting needles. There's no hectic Christmas dinner rush, getting the place cleaned before everyone comes over, cleaning the place again once everyone leaves, loud family members sqwaking away about where to buy the cheapest item in bulk (you'd have to be Chinese to fully understand how loud that really is), and best of all no airports crowded with angry people. Of course, we miss our family, but one year to ourselves before all Hell breaks loose in a fit of diapered cacophony is surely a true treasure.

Speaking of Chaos in Diapers... the legwarmies are done. They are super cute. Hopefully they will also be very useful; especially, since I plan to make several more pairs. I really liked the TajMahal for this project. Usually variegated yarns pool in the ugliest ways and even more so when knit in the round. This yarn was subtle enough that the pooling gave interest without that "ugh... that's awful" look.

Name: Legwarmies, one size
Yarn: Filatura TajMahal
Yarn Source: Amazing Threads, Maple Grove, MN via MamaSara's Stash
Needles: US 3 9" Hiya Hiya

Next up is the Upside Down Daisy Hat from Itty Bitty Hats. This will be the third one of these that I make. I made the hat part about a year ago and put it away after making the petals got tedious. Hopefully, I'll get to finish it this weekend.

What I am really going to be concentrating on is the Project Linus Security Blanket from Knitting for Peace. The modified feather and fan pattern is pretty easy and relaxing to work. I'm using Berroco's Comfort, which has been a surprise and a half. I expected going into this that I'd absolutely hate the yarn: It's totally synthetic after all. Surprise surprise... it's been great. It has really nice elastic bounce, which almost mimics a nice wool. It's soft and non-itchy too. It does have a tendency to split. I can see how a fast or tight or both knitter would hate this. This hasn't been too big of an issue for me seeing as how I'm just an average knitter (both speed and tension) ... just call me Joe the Knitter.

I have this entire lovely long weekend to work on this. Hopefully, it's enough time to finish, but not too much time. If I finish too soon, then I'll be itching to get to my LYS, which might not be open. I've been eyeing the presents under the tree and hoping with all my heart that there's yarn in one of those packages. Not that I need more, it's just nice to know it's there. To all of you who are wishing the same thing, Merry Christmas and may your tree be pregnant with balls and balls of yarn.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

First, this is why no one, not even the Little Blackheads should ever EVER over-indulge on Thanksgiving. Even if it is just some "harmless" catnip.

You never know who might have a camera while you're drowsy with food-coma and sitting on the couch with your pants undone. Hex is OK now. It did take a little while to come down from the high, but he's back to his weird, bathtub-obsessed, normal self.

I love the holidays. Master Blackhead and I haven't reached the point in our adult lives where the holidays are a time of stress and frustration... yet. We still like the decorating, eating, and gift-receiving... and I still LOVE the gift-buying/making. I fully recognize that in about 5 years, when I'm standing outside of ToysRUs at 4:00AM on Black Friday, trying to score an elusive "toy of the season" (e.g. Tickle Me Elmo or Furby), and crammed in line with other obsessed parents that I will undoubtedly hate gift-buying. I just hope at that time, while I'm busy cursing Mattel or whomever, that I just remember one thing: that this freakish holiday rush is a blessing because Huellen's here and the biggest crisis in my life is getting her a toy.

This year we've been busy eventhough we're pulling a Crichtonesuqe Christmas-Skip: no presents will be exchanged between Master Blackhead and me. We did however still manage five key tasks:
1. send out hundreds of holiday cards
2. get / make presents for our most beloved friends and family
3. hang up lights outside
4. decorate inside
5. host a knitting party

It's been fun so far, well until yesterday afternoon. I head to my LYS for a few hours of jolly knitting with my friends and what do I hear? This.

Seriously, this woman has no sense of what it means to knit something for someone. It takes careful planning, pattern selecting/designing, finding the perfect yarn, sizing (sometimes), and most of all KNITTING the gift. Ultimately what I find most disturbing about this article is its flagrant demonstration of what most people have known for years: journalistic integrity is on the decline. If she had done her research (which I thought journalists were supposed to do), she'd realize that crafting is a pretty nonsensical way to try and save money. Take for example a seemingly simple pair of socks. At the low end of the price range are socks in Target's One Spot section for $1 a pair... at Neiman's a pair of cashmere socks will cost you $33. At the low end, sock yarn for a pair of socks at JoAnn is going for $4.49... cashmere sock yarn at Webs runs at around $36 or Koigu's silk Mori at just under $55/pair. These don't even factor in the cost for needles (from $5 for dpns to $30 for two Addi circs) or time (16 hours x $6.55/hr = $104.80). Yes, crafting is a great way to make gifts on the cheap. Yeah right!

Moving on, here are two handknit sweaters I designed and knitted just for the baby. The pictures suck, I know. When I post the patterns, I'll have better ones.

Name: Prima Donna, size 12 month
Yarn: Shepherd's Wool in Pink Heather and Cascade 220 in Khaki
Yarn Source: Amazing Threads, Maple Grove, MN
Needles: US 5 32" Addi Turbo, Size H crochet hook
Pattern: My own.
Comments: Shepherd's Wool is fabulous. I love the elasticity and it is so soft. If feels more like a merino yarn. The price was fabulous too: $7.50 for 260 yards. I can see why this has been a bestseller.

Name: Creamsicle, size 6-12 month
Yarn: Karabella Aurora 8 in Peach and White
Yarn Source: Amazing Threads, Maple Grove, MN
Needles: US 7 32" Addi Turbo, Size H crochet hook
Pattern: My own.
Comments: This is awesome yarn and I'm sorry that Bobbi doesn't carry it anymore; however, I think Berroco Pure Merino would make for a nice substitute.

Anyway here are some pictures of what's been happening lately.
Party favors for the knitting group.

A really cool sunrise.

Another baby sweater has started and stalled. I ran out of yarn! Ahhhh! Must go back for more.

Here are it's fronts and backs. I think I'll get some navy blue for the sleeves and side gussets.

Starting some legwarmers in the meantime. This is Filatura MajMahal, which is discontinued. That's a real shame because this is truly luxe yarn.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby Says Hi

It's official. Mama Blackhead is always (as in 100%) right when predicting a baby's gender. She called it two months ago: girl. Last week the ultrasound showed... you guessed it... a girl. She's active and can't stay still. In one of our first images of her she said 'hi.'

This was absolutely unbelievable. I know that it happens everyday in hospital around the world: moms and dads-to-be see their baby for the first time. Nonetheless, this was the coolest and most amazing thing I've ever seen, and definitely trumps anything I've ever seen on a TV screen too.

All this giddiness and happiness is spreading (Aren't babies wonderful that way?) to all our friends and family. Today, Baby Blackhead received her first present and it was even made by hand. Behold, booties crocheted by quateryrd.

So this just about lit a fire under my prego behind. I have yet to start knitting for the baby. I'm working on a top for myself and still have about half way to go. Plus, this is my own design, which means added work time. For those of you who are saying, "well start something for the baby anyway," you must understand that I can't. I knit on one project at a time. If I put down a project to start another, it is the kiss of Frog for the first. Did I mention that this top is being knit out of mohair, which is almost impossible to frog? I know lots of knitters who bounce between projects, but I personally hate it. I feel so distracted. So I just plod through one project at a time. Sure, I've put projects aside with the intent of finishing them someday, but who are we kidding... they're really just living their last days in the Frog Pond.

Now I need to get cranking on my mohair top, write the pattern, and trouble Thor to proof it for me. Thor really helped me with my last pattern. I learned so much, but suspect that I still have LOTS to learn.

In the midst of all this baby stuff, the Little Blackheads are still a prominent fixture in my life. Jynx has been feeling under the weather and just finished a 3 week course of fluids, anitbiotics, Prednisone, and antioxidants. He's such a good sport and doesn't really ever fight. I think it might have something to do with the baby food he gets to eat during his drip. Now, when I go into the laundry room (where he got his IV) he follows me in anticipation of baby food. You'd think the very sight of the room would send him running, but the last week of fluids we didn't even have to carry him into the room. He came all by himself. He's looking much better. He's put on some weight and his coat has returned to its natural shiny state.

When I told a neighbor about his ailment and treatment course, she asked if we would put him down instead. I just about fainted. It wasn't like he deteriorated beyond available therapeutic modalities and was in constant excruciating pain. How could I even think of euthanasia? Absolutely not.

Hex, not to be outdone, continues in his role as Box Cat. It's amazing how driven he is to squeeze himself into boxes half his size. It isn't the best picture, but you can get the point.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Voted

Today is going to be a defining moment in our history. Participate. Get out and vote. It's totally painless.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Should I Keep Going?

I'm not sure I like where this is going. In fact, I know I don't like where this is going. Then again, it doesn't look too bad in the pictures. It needs 1.5 sleeves, some woven in ends, and its done - c'est fini. Almost. I just don't know if I like it enough to keep going. You can't tell in the picture, but it's HUGE in the back. There's enough fabric back there to make me a matching scarf. And yet, I made this with 3" negative ease AND got stitch and row gauge. WTF?

So, it's just sitting in a bag awaiting a verdict. Should it stay or should it go?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Venus Published in Knitty

Many thanks to Knitty, its staff, and Amy Singer for including me in this season's edition of Knitty. Thank you Thor (from Amazing Threads) for all your help editing this pattern and whipping it into shape for submission.

Looking through Ravelry, I know there are some questions out there about the pattern. I'll try to answer them as best as I can.

1. The skirt is from Anthropologie a few seasons ago.
2. I'm 5'4" and have a 47" bustline. The 7" negative ease is what makes the garment shorter on me (losing length to width, some of you might remember Poisson's ratio from your materials science classes). My guess is that a garment closer to your actual bust measurement would be proportionately longer.
3. Malabrigo Silky Merino is classified as dk, but it fluffs up a bit. At the 16sts x 20 rows gauge, it's a pretty stretchy fabric. Here's a close up of my gauge swatch.
4. Yes, the collar is just supposed to roll like that. If you don't want it to, adding a bit of ribbing should help, but I haven't tried it.

I hope this helps. Happy knitting.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pale Pink Pimple Sweater Almost Done

The Pale Pink Pimple Sweater needs only sleeves to be complete. This ribbed and seed stitch top down raglan pattern should have been a cinch, then again it is a Vague pattern rife with errata (like missing sets of sleeve increases.) I've decided to stop following the pattern and wing it with the sleeves. I made the size 44" bust thinking it gave me about 3" of negative ease, but instead (despite getting gauge) it looks like I have about 6" of positive ease. Master Blackhead said that it would be good as a maternity sweater this winter. Yes, I love my ever practical husband. Unfortunately, every time I look at it, I think "zit factory." Maybe bulky pink yarn wasn't such a good choice for a seed stitch sweater. Can we say benzoyl peroxide and salicyclic acid five times fast?

Anyway, I'm sure I'll like it when it's done.
Anyway, I hope I like it when it's done.
Anyway, I better like it when it's done.

Ok, weird. Some guy just drove by my house and took a picture of it. This would be the second "some guy" to drive by my house and take a picture of it. The first one said it's because he thinks the brick work is really cool, which it is. Nonetheless, it's still creepy for people to come by with camera in tow. So here's a picture of the brick in case you are wondering.

I just found our recently from our HVAC guy that the mason was pretty talented and wanted to try something completely different. He finally found a builder who let him go hog wild. I wasn't that keen on it when I first saw the house, but I love it now. Mom loved it at first sight.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Little Girl January Purse Pattern

Little Girl January’s Purse
by Helen Hue

One of my closest friends, Little Girl January, will be graduating with her PhD very soon. In honor of that momentous occasion, I have created this purse for her. This bag is knit in two pieces and then seamed on three sides using a three-needle bind off. The strap is simply a large number of sts cast on and immediately bound off. While the zipper and liner are optional, I highly recommend them for a more functional and sturdy purse.

8 x 9.5 inches

South West Trading Company Bamboo [100% bamboo; 250 yd per 100 g skein]; color: Plum; 1 skein

1 set US 2/2.75mm straight needles (for three-needle bind off)
2 32-inch US 2/2.75mm circular needle
stitch holder
darning needle
7” zipper (optional)
sewing needle (optional)
thread (optional)
8” x 10” cotton fabric for purse liner (optional)

32 sts/48 rows = 4" in stockinette stitch

Row 1 (RS): K
Row 2 and every WS row: P
Row 3 and 5: P8, k4, p3, k4, p15, k4, p3, k4, p8
Row 7: K
Row 9 and 11: P6, k4, p7, k4, p11, k4, p7, k4, p6
Row 13: K
Row 15 and 17: P4, k4, p11, k4, p7, k4, p11, k4, p4
Row 19: K
Row 21 and 23: P2, k4, p15, k4, p3, k4, p15, k4, p2
Row 25: K
Row 27 and 29: As Row 15
Row 31: K
Row 33 and 35: As Row 9
Row 36: P

The strap is made by CO a number of sts and immediately BO those sts. To do this, first, determine the desired length for the strap. In the sample shown, the strap is 48” in length. Multiply the desired length by 3.5 and add another 12” to yield the approximate length of yarn needed for the tail of your long tail CO. CO until 12” of the tail remains or you have enough sts for your desired strap length. BO all sts. Cut yarn and put aside.

Body (make 2)
CO 55 sts.
Setup Row (WS): P
All RS Rows: K1 (edge st), work Diamond Ridge Stitch, K1 (edge st).
All WS Rows: P to end.
Work Rows 1-36 of Diamond Ridge Stitch a total of 3 times; then, work Row 1-6 once more.

With live sts on top and RS facing you, PU&K 86 sts along the right edge starting at the lower right corner. K sts from needle. PU&K 86 sts along the left edge starting at the upper left hand corner. – 227 sts

With the 2 body pieces held together with RS facing, join yarn and seam the pieces together with a three needle BO. Break yarn. Weave in ends. Turn bag RS out.

Using a darning needle attach an end of the strap to each side of the opening. Sew in zipper (optional). Sew in liner (optional).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mama Blackhead is on her way with Mr. Whitehead

OK fun and excitement are planned for the next week. Will I be able to keep up with them?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pan Handling in the Knitting World

For those of you who haven't met MamaSara, you need to know one thing: she is prolific and talented. Common sense would indicate that such a combination yields a person who is both fiercely determined and fiercely loving.

MamaSara has struck again. While this post is long overdue, I know that you will admire MamaSara's work as much as I do. In fact, several people have commented that this blog is more of a MamaSara bragbook than a Lady Blackhead knitting journal. In my defense, my skill and output are not nearly has prodigious as MamaSara's. I am simply very grateful for her contributions to my life both real and virtual.

Heading up this bragpost is my favorite totebag in the whole wide world. It is so me. It is reversible. It has 4 HUGE pockets. Can you imagine how much yarn I can get in here? I love everything about it. If you even hint you want it, I will bite you.

MamaSara never forgets about Master Blackhead and always thinks of wonderful things for him. Usually it involves some sort of foodstuff with lots of butter and sugar (mmm... apple pie), but this time she wanted him to laugh. She made a set of panhandlers just for him. They even have a golf theme. And since she loves me most, she snuck in a few ladybugs (a favorite motif) for luck.

Knowing full well that I would never bring Master Blackhead his present unless I had one of my own (yes I am a brat... I did threaten to bite you after all), MamaSara made me some panhandlers too. The color is so bright and warm that I like to just hang them from my cabinets so I can see them. Aren't they sweet? The tag says that these are made just for me by Auntie Sara.

Last but definitely not least, as a house warming present, MamaSara quilted a set consisting of 4 placemats, 2 panhandlers, and a hot pad. They look amazing in my kitchen and really pull together the color of my countertops and flooring. The placemat stripe sequence is even in a Fibonacci pattern! Check it out.

We've really been enjoying these wonderful gifts. They are so functional and yet so beautiful. My favorite combination of traits. I can't wait to get the house all done and unpacked so MamaSara can come visit.

Before I sign off to get ready for a celebratory dinner (the kitchen is finally done). I just had to share a Cute Hex moment.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Calmer Project?

After hearing about the wonderful and unique properties of Rowan's Calmer, I finally got some for myself in a lovely Robin's Egg Blue... at half price. Woohoo! And like many knitter's with Stash, I sat there thinking well now what? I have to find a project worthy of this uber-yarn. Months of searching ended yesterday. The project I have selected is fabulous in its simplicity... or will just be hours of dk-weight Stockinette Hell ? I'm not really sure, but after finishing several dk projects, I've sworn that there will be no more dk yarn added to Stash. After all, in two swatches of the same size: one with aran, the other with dk; the dk swatch has twice as many stitches!

Here's the project of endless Stockinette. Twelve and a half inches by 311 sts of Stockinette. Yeesh! But it's cute, you know?

The pattern is from the premier issue of Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine, and is boorishly termed Collared Sleeveless Top. Yet I shall not be deterred. I will persevere and finish it... eventually. See I even have a decent start.

Hex, naturally, is violently upset that I have selected another large project. For him, anything larger than a sock warrants several yowling fits of jealousy because there is not enough room for him on lap + project.

On a separate note, while I was in Albuquerque earlier this month, SisterB and I stopped by the Fiesta Yarns Outlet. Admittedly, it wasn't the HUGE warehouse that haunted my dreams, but there was a decent selection. No Baby Boom or Boomerang, though. :( Anyway, I did find something sumptious to bring home. A skein of La Luz in a fabulous light chartruese. All for $8. Yup 8 bucks. Tee hee!

It's so pretty. I don't think I want to knit it. It is perfect just the way it is. Soft silkiness that is just so happy. Or is it just me that is happy? Either way happy is as happy does.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bad Hex: At the Public Fountain

Thanks to Master Blackhead I have this lovely memory of the cat who likes to sleep in my underwear basket. Ick. Can we say laundry redo?

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Other Two Little Blackheads

Here are pictures of the two Little Blackheads that kept me company in Albuquerque.

This is Pixel. She's a sweetie.

This is Midnight. He's an elegant flopper.

I'll post more details later.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Home Home Sweet Home

I'm home. Master Blackhead is making me dinner. The Little Blackheads are following me as if I was a giant tuna steak. It would appear that I was missed. That's good. I missed them too.

Friday, August 29, 2008

So Much Sun

Albuquerque is so much hotter than I thought it would be. All the years living up north has really thickened my blood. Despite the heat, I'm having a fabulous time. Seeing SisterB and her boyfriend has been a most wonderful treat. The time away from Master Blackhead and the Little Blackheads has been a lot easier to handle with the two Little Blackheads here. Midnight, originally adopted by SisterB, is a sweet boy. He likes to flop on your feet and get his butt scratched. Pixel, originally adopted by SisterB's boyfriend, is a bit more elusive. She does like to be pet, but can be a bit skiddish. I think she's warming to me.

Well, I'm off for a midday cool down shower. There's a BBQ party here tonight and I get to meet some of my hosts' local friends. I can't wait.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Two More Blackheads!!

My visit at SisterB's is going great. She even has two Little Blackheads of her own. Hopefully, I'll get a good picture of them and post it. The socks I made her fit well (whew) and she likes them (yay). OK off to plan tomorrow. We might even hit up a yarn shop. Woooohooo!

Monday, August 25, 2008

At Last, A First Glimpse at the Little Blackheads in Their New Home

The camera cord has been located! Yay! Thanks to looking in completely nonsensical random places, I have found it at last. Here are some pics that I have been promising. First, Stash and its new home.

OK, I know that by some knitter's standards this isn't the most impressive pile, but its my Stash and I think it is bloated. Ideally, it would be about half of this. There is so much knitting to be done. :-/

So one thing I really like about the new place is that some of the windows are closer to the floor. Hex is a bit to stocky to jump up onto a high windowsill, but he can still look out the windows here.

Windows aside, I think the Little Blackheads have taken a real shine to the house. It certainly hasn't interfered with their beauty sleep.

Speaking of beauty sleep. I should try and get some for myself too. Night night.

Trials and Tribulations of Moving: Where's the Camera Cord?

Camera: yup
Batteries: yup
Battery Charger: finally
Pictures of the Little Blackheads and Stash: definitely
Camera Cord to Transfer Pics to Computer: nope, not a clue

So those of you who have been waiting to see a picture of Stash in its new home are just going to have to wait until I find this itty bitty little cord amongst the mongo jongo pile of boxes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trials and Tribulations of Moving: Where's the Battery Charger?

The agony of not having internet at home has finally ended. We got internet again! This means I can once again bore you with the minutiae of my life and all the bad things the Little Blackheads have done.

Speaking of the Little Blackheads, they love the new place. There's so much more room for them to explore and they are definitely taking advantage of it. Naturally, when the one of them gets lost, he hunkers down and starts crying. Master Blackhead and I have to call to him at the top of our lungs and seconds later we hear both of them galloping towards us. At this point, I think it is more of a game than a distress call to the Little Blackheads. They like to do it even when we are in plain sight.

So moving means packing and unpacking, which means lots of packing materials, which means this...

It took all my will power not to pack them in a box (just to teach them a lesson) that I lost will power in every other aspect of my life. I dare you to ask me how much junk food I ate. Hint: I even went to McDonald's... gasp!

Now that things have settled down (and I actually did pack the Little Blackheads in a big box, and no they did not learn their lesson) and we're eating better again. Fish and broccoli are on the menu tonight.

I'm looking forward to my trip to Albuquerque next week. I'll be visiting SisterB and scoping out her new home. Guess how excited I am? I'm brimming with energy. Seeing SisterB again will be so rejuvenating. I just know we'll be up late at night chatting away. Good times ahead. Master Blackhead won't be coming along, which has me kinda bummed. On the bright side, that leaves him to do all the unpacking. hehe

Eventhough we've just moved in, MamaSara has been busy supplying me with all sorts of quilted kitchen goodies. Once I find the battery charger for the camera, I'll post a few pics. She's also made me a reversible tote bag so I could carry things between the two places while I was cleaning the new house. She's very thoughtful that way.

On the knitting front, I've actually managed to squeeze in some knitting between the packing, moving, and unpacking. I finished one sock made from Fiesta's Baby Boom, which was a giftie from Jelly. I love the soft sandy colors. Once I get the second ball wound, I can make the second sock. And, once again, I'll post pictures once I find the battery charger.

Well, enough chatting back to work. Gotta find that battery charger.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Little Blackheads Have Moved!

They love the new place. More room. More sun. More cobwebs to eat. Ick.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Healthy Dandelion Harvest

My hands are sore and my back is crooked, but alas, it is not from knitting. My new hobby, dandelion farmer, is turning out to be quite lucrative. Seeing as how it cost me nothing to establish my crop other than buying a home that was unoccupied for 10 months, this is a great deal.

The last two evenings, I have spent about 3-4 hours (per evening) weeding. Ugh! My sidewalk was littered with dandelions as I pulled them with my new neighbor's super cool weeder that sold out at the home improvement store in 2 weeks and they won't restock it (argh!!). Some little kids on their bikes referred to said litter as "ooooh a jungle." Gee thanks.

My new neighbors are self-described as "tight knit." Many stopped by to offer a word of encouragement or two. This is much appreciated since after all these hours of labor, the lawn still looks the same: brown and weedy. Several suggested I just use chemicals. I wish I could, but I can't. It would kill the fledgling grass and most likely leave the weeds untouched at this time of the year. So the most I can do is pull the weeds and ask the neighbor's boy to mow... for a charge of course. They aren't that "tight knit."

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Bad Hex

This is where I keep my undergarments.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Introducing Cheeper

A new honorary Blackhead has joined our family, at least for a little while. Yesterday, the HVAC guy came back to install a few parts and while I was waiting for him to finish I looked out the porch door and saw the saddest little sight. The night before, two of the baby barn swallows had fallen out of their nest and died. The last chick in the nest was huddling against the wall of the house on the ground, but he was alive!

I had to act, but what to do? I got the HVAC guy out of the house as fast as I could when he was done, called Mom for a consult. Since I don't have a phone book at the new place or internet, I didn't know how to reach animal rescue. She gave several phone numbers. Long story short, I finally got a hold of someone. They told me to try and put the chick back in the nest if I could reach it. If I couldn't, then I should construct a new nest using a plastic (not cardboard) box near the original nest. Next step, watch (for a very very long time) to see if the parents are still interested in the chick. This all happened at 11:30AM. By 8:00PM, I had two confirmed feedings and numerous surveillance fly-bys.

Since I didn't have a plastic box at the new house, I had to call my neighbor. She brought over a sterilite plastic bin, gloves, and some garden tools to move the chick. I told her she could take back everything but the bin. She looked surprised and said how would I move the chick. Well with my hands of course.

Let me dispell this myth now. Handling chicks does not cause their parents to abandon them. Making a nest for the chick with a spring green plastic bin, a few twigs, bright yellow paper grass, and light blue rag, is perfectly acceptable to barn swallows.

When Master Blackhead met me at the house, I had to show him the new Tiny Blackhead, now dubbed Cheeper. When I peaked into the basket, Cheeper didn't seemed scared of me at all. When Master Blackhead took a look... it was a different story. I told him, that Cheeper knew I wouldn't hurt him.

This morning, I went and checked in on Cheeper. The second he saw me he started cheeping and opening his mouth for food. Oh that made me laugh. His parents even seemed OK that I was looking in on their chick, but the second I tried to reach in to adjust a twig they started swooping. I left the twig.

I'll have to get a picture of the new nest for all of you to see. I think it is quite chic. haha