Working Spinning Wheel!

At some point in the last two years, my monster sweet darling, adorable, tiny, innocent little boy decided to take my wheel for a spin. He stood on it and bent the rod that holds the treadles in place. I have always had issues with the rod walking its way out of place but after my son decided to ride on it, it has been near impossible to use. I decided then that I needed to just wait until I could come up with a good fix for it or buy a new wheel entirely. Yesterday we made a family trip to Lowe’s. My hubby needed to pick up some pvc to make fishing rod holders for his kayak and I decided that we would search for the right thing to replace the rod. I should mention that I tried cotter pins, but they walked themselves out just about as fast as the rod did. I finally found the fix. I purchased a 3 foot length of threaded metal rod. Basically it is like a screw without a head on it. I just cut a foot off of it and it works perfect!

I realize that it has been a little over 6 months since I last posted. I have had a lot of things happen in that time. Quick update. My dad passed away December 16, which was just a few days after my last blog post. I miss him very much. Some day I am going to make a big long post of memories with him, happy thoughts, and all that, but I am not there yet.

We also decided to purchase a house here in Hot Springs Village! I love our house. We have a neighbor right next door and beyond that, we are surrounded by woods. We are really settling in the area. I am starting to meet more people and making new friends. I still miss all my NWA people, but I do love it here. We are talking about converting a good chunk of our garage into an art studio/wood shop plus we have an office as well. We have also added to our family. We knew someone who had a kitty that needed a home so we brought home Lily the day before we moved into our new house. A week later we found out she was pregnant. We are now outnumbered by animals. She had two babies, a boy that I named Sebastian and a girl I named Daphne. We are keeping both.

In all the craziness of things going on lately, I haven’t made much time for knitting or anything. I have finished a shawl, save for blocking. I also have a cat toy to bind off and stuff. I have completed an entire pair of socks plus another sock that I will be casting on the second sock very soon. Since this is a lot of updates, I am going take some time over the next week or so to go into more details on things. For now I will leave you with a picture of a pair of completed socks for my husband and a sock that I started for my son. I have not finished the kiddo socks yet.

Sock family

Sock family

Let it snow!

It’s been a while, but we’ve had a lot going on. Where to begin? Well let’s start with the most recent events! We have snow! I believe we got about 8 inches here in Northwest Arkansas but that is not an official number.

20131206-210932.jpg I am not a fan of cold weather but something about snow turns me into a giddy little girl again. I played in it twice. Jonathan has inherited the love of snow. That would be awesome if coming back into the nice warm house wasn’t a huge fight, but he’s 2 so I don’t expect any different.
What is the best thing to do on a beautiful, snowy day? Knit and drink the hot beverage of your choice while curled up on the couch in a cozy blankie. What did I do today? Sadly not knit. I have become obsessed with Pretty Little Liars and finished the second season today. I haven’t touched my knitting much since the obsession began, but luckily I will be done soon and life can go back to normal. I’m shooting to be done this weekend.
My birthday was last weekend (November 30). I got to start my birthday a little early with some shopping with my mom on Friday! Our first stop? The yarn shop!!! I couldn’t decide on what I wanted because I don’t have my next project picked out, but I did go home with a new set of needles for sock knitting. After we went and picked out a new top for me, I went home and ripped back to the cuff on my socks. Now that I am almost back to the heel, I’m thinking that should start all over, but we will see. Since I haven’t made that decision yet, I’m not really in a big hurry to knit on them.
I have worked a little on the cardigan for my handsome hubby. The back is completed and I have started on the right front. I’m a little past the ribbing but I’m a not real happy because it’s an odd number of stitches and it’s a knit 2 purl 2 rib. I’m beginning to feel like it would have been so much easier to have knit it as one piece. If I didn’t already have the back finished, I would. And despite the fact that the back is done, I may still rip it all back. I hate being indecisive about this kind of thing because it makes me not want to knit until I can figure it out. Maybe that will be a good thing to do tomorrow.

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A Slice of Knitting Heaven

20131019-222122.jpgWhat better way to spend a Friday evening, than a sleeping household, coffee, Netflix on my phone with earbuds in (sleeping household remember?) and finishing my Citron shawl? Not many better ways, that’s for sure and they all include my family and/or the addition of a glass of wine. I am a fairly monogamous knitter which makes binding off very bittersweet. On one hand, I have a beautiful, almost complete new addition to my wardrobe and on the other hand, I have no more knitting.
Do you remember The Fog sweater I knit for my husband a few years ago? No? Go back and and do a search on my blog for Fog. I finished it in Jan 2010. It is a lovely sweater. And thick. I’ve been threatening to frog it for months or longer. As soon as my sweet little guy goes to bed tomorrow, it will meet it’s fate. That means my no more knitting will be solved very soon.
In addition to knitting a new sweater, I have 3 socks worth of sock yarn to knit. After listening to Jasmine from the Knitmore Girls podcast talking about her sock drawer and seeing all the sock drawers posted on the Ravelry thread, I took a look at my own sock drawer. I have 2 pairs and Jim has 1. How is this possible? I am so jealous of all of everyone’s pretty hand knit socks. I need to purchase new needles for this because my smaller sets of needles met a terrible end. That’s the bad thing about wood needles. Two brand new pairs of wood needles snapped when the bag they were in got stepped on. I may have cried. I really would like to take the 52 pair plunge starting in January, but I don’t know if my yarn budget will allow me to purchase that much yarn. I may see what I can do. I have much to think about.

Knitting in my sleep

Maybe I don’t actually physically knit in my sleep, but I do occasionally knit in my dreams. In my dream last night, I was knitting i-cord lanyards for work. One to match every outfit. I don’t particularly care for knitting i-cord, but I do like the idea of hand knit lanyards. I am not trying to decide how I want to go about this. I have several different ideas in my head that I need to write down so that I can look back at them tomorrow when I have a little more time to work on this. I am not sure exactly what I want it to be made out of fiberwise. I am thinking that since it will be around my neck, I want something soft and cool, but I don’t necessarily want to be stuck to cotton. I am not the biggest fan of knitting with cotton. I am also trying to decide how I will attach my badge to said lanyard, since I want to be able to change out the lanyard. I am thinking that since it is on a clip I could put a key ring on there to attach it to. This is a work in progress in my brain too, obviously!

I took a picture of my second Ribbelmuster sock and post it later from the mobile app. It isn’t real exciting. It is about 2 inches or so and looks just like the other one only backwards, but I will at least post my extremely slow progress! I hope to get some knitting done on it tonight and tomorrow. Since moving around is getting more difficult for me and I prefer to just relax on the couch anymore, I plan on actually getting some knitting done. I really should try to finish the book I am reading too. In addition to the Ribbelmuster picture I will post a picture of the scarf out of handspun that I am knitting.

Also on a dream side note, I am pretty sure that the Wizard of Oz was the main theme of my dream last night. You know, the dream where I was knitting the lanyard. Yeah.

It’s a BOY!!!

I slept for 4.5 hours last night. Why? Because I get off late and I woke up at 6:30 this morning W I D E awake in anticipation of our ultrasound this morning (at 9:30).  We got back into the ultrasound room and they gooped up my belly, which I am pretty sure is the medical term for it, and we got to see a cute little squirmy baby on big screen. They get to poking around and there he is!  A little boy! My baby Jonathan! I am so excited. I was hoping for a girl but I am very pleased that he is a boy. Maybe I don’t get to buy cutesy little frilly dresses and all, but this will probably save me a ton of money in the long run! LOL! He almost sucked his tiny little thumb for us. I can’t wait to go home and watch the DVD and see my little guy in action again. Am I going to wear out the DVD? Yup! Now I get to start shopping. I think we are going to do a sort of pirate theme in his room, but I may change my mind to something easier to find. Now I get to start seriously picking out baby knit patterns and get to work! I can’t wait to hold my sweet little man! I also can’t wait to stop being so flipping emotional. I didn’t cry at the ultrasound but writing about it about has me in tears. I am not sure if I would be like this or not, non pregnant.

In other life news, we move to our duplex tomorrow. I am ready. I am going to miss my nice new(ish) apartment, but I am so sick of all the crazy neighbors and parties and poop on the floor and pee in the elevator. I guess people don’t believe in picking up after their dogs. At least I hope it was a dog that made the mess. Since today is my wonderful husbands birthday and my mother bought him a grill for his birthday, we are going to grill out! I can’t wait. I am ready for our 3 day weekend, even if we are going to be moving.

I got the Hermione socks mostly finished. I still need to weave in the ends, but other than that they are done. I am not happy with the Kitchener stitch on the second sock, but I don’t think it bothers me enough to take it out and redo it. I will have to think about that before I weave in the ends. I am getting ready to start the Ribbelmuster Socks in Trekking XXL. I may try to cast on tonight. No promises. If not tonight then definitely this weekend. I am starting to look at baby boy knits, but there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of them.  Maybe this will keep me from starting too many projects. As soon as I can I want to get some yarn to start on a baby blanket for my little Jonathan. I still have some of the purple Knit Picks Shadow so I may start another shawl before too long. No particular plans on which one yet, but I do love knitting shawls. I will post pictures of the Hermione socks as soon as I get the ends woven and all.

Staying awake

I really should be knitting, since there is pretty much no more work for the evening, but I am blogging instead. Enjoy.

I guess I will start off with knitting since it is quick and if you are just reading for the knitting, you can skip the bulk of this post. I forgot that I haven’t blogged in a week! So my knitting date with Jessica, Bethany, and Rachael was wonderful. I am so blessed to be able to call these ladies my friends and even more so that they all knit. I think that we are all probably at different levels of knitting. Bethany and I have both been knitting and spinning for a while. Jessica is fairly new to knitting and I believe that Rachael may be as well, but you can’t tell in their workmanship. Anyway we had a wonderful time drinking coffee, knitting, and talking. I guess we weren’t all knitting. Bethany was stationed at her wheel which REALLY made me miss my wheel.  Plans are in place to get the rest of our stuff from Georgia (hopefully). Since I had finished the Bitterroot Shawl the evening before (which STILL hasn’t been blocked), I had casted on (again) the Hermione socks. I didn’t get a whole lot knitted, but I did get some. I haven’t worked on them much since then. The first sock is a hair over 5 inches long (oddly about the exact size of the baby growing in my belly!) and hasn’t seen any progress in the last 2 days anyway. Or maybe 3. I did find several repeats in that I somehow read the chart upside down. I don’t know how I did it, because I have never done that before, but I did. Oh well. No big deal. It is just now the upside down hermione sock. I think it will be just fine.  In other fiber related news I found a link for some sewn cloth diapers. I am only thinking that I will risk making the actual pre-folds, but we will see. I don’t think I am advanced enough to make an actual diaper that will fit! But that is pretty much all my fiber related stuff for today. I need to change that for my next post so it will be a little more interesting! I will probably not add any pictures of the hermione socks at this point. You will know if I change my mind.

So this week my husband and I decided that we are pretty well unhappy with our current residence. We love the apartment, but hate it too. Let me explain. We live in a college town, and live fairly close to the college. Our apartment is a little on the nicer side and we figured that would probably keep some of the college kids away. Wow. That makes me sound SOOOO old. I do not generally despise college kids. I know several and in general have no problems with them, however I would not choose to live in a college dorm and was not expecting my apartment to be basically a dorm. The first week we lived there was amazing. It was quiet and besides the fact that we live on the 4th floor and at the end of a very long hallway, I had no major complaints, and we have an elevator so I don’t even have to deal with stairs 10,000 times a day. Well we moved in the Friday before Spring Break. So now that Spring Break is over, the parking lots are full and I can hear people walking down the halls and opening/closing doors. Nothing major. I can live with that. Well the closer we get to summer, the more problems we are having. Trash has been a major issue. Pizza boxes, drinks, general trash in the elevators, hallways and “dog park”. Oh and speaking of dog park, apparently I am one of the few responsible pet parents. Someone who has a VERY large dog does NOT clean up after their animal. I have a Yorkie. Her poo is tiny, think tootsie rolls. Granted I wouldn’t want to clean up after a horse either, but that is part of it and they even provide bags and a trash can. Keep in mind I am pregnant. The smell of the “pet park” would normally make me gag, but now its 10 times worse. That I can deal with. I pick up other peoples trash and deal with it, no matter how much I hate it, so that I don’t have to live in filth. I don’t pay the amount of money that we pay in rent (it really isn’t that much but still) to have trash every where. The biggest complaint that I have been having lately is very interesting to me. The doors to our apartments are inside. We have hallways that look similar to a hotel. Pretty much you can hear what goes on inside of apartments in the hallway. This does not work the otherway. Aside from being able to hear doors and heavy footsteps, sound does not travel into our apartment. I like this. A lot. However all the sounds outside are a totally different story. I get home a little after 12:30 in the morning. People should not be outside yelling and carrying on at midnight. There is just no sense in that. This has been a reoccuring thing and it is different people all the time. That being said, when people are having parties in their apartments and you walk by, you can hear them. Loudly. I am still not sure what exactly was going on at the party one down and across the hall from me, but I heard some talk in the hallway that pretty much secured the fact that my 14 year old stepson does NOT need to be walking around this place. My husband feels the same. The last major thing that I have an issue with is the fact that the dog area is not lit at night. I get off work at midnight and when I get home I take my dog out. I feel that with all the cute little college girls around, a dark dog park is probably not the safest place for me to be at 1 AM. I have seen these girls laying out by the pool. They wear next to nothing and none of them are under 5’7 and probably weigh 130 lbs (another reason my stepson does NOT need to hang out by himself) and while I am neither tall nor skinny, I still don’t want to get mistaken for some cute college girl and get attacked. Really I don’t want them to get attacked either, but still! Anyway all of this has sparked the need to find a different place. And we would like someplace cheaper. While we make enough to live where we live, we do have a baby on the way and have things that we need and want and would like to be able to get. So we have found a duplex that we are thinking of moving to. We would be giving up quite a bit of room, but I think that what we will be trading will be good. I will miss my pretty apartment. We have 14 ft ceilings and such, but I would still rather have a “dumpy” place and have enough to keep my phone on all the time. Hopefully more updates on that later!

Easter weekend

Well today marks 2 years since my oldest stepson passed away. As with everything else, it seems like just yesterday and at the same time like it was forever ago. We made it through the day, it seemed like everything reminded me of him more today than on normal days. I think we all managed to hold it together, though I will say I had to choke back tears several times. James, we will always miss you.

On a lighter note, I finished chart C of the bitterroot shawl today. I wish I had longer size 6 (I think that’s what I am using) needles because I can’t stretch it out completely so you can see the pretty pattern just yet. I am going to attempt to add pictures to this post so if I am able to, it’s the purple shawl. I have 55 rows left to go and this project will basically be done. So far my thoughts on the shawl:
1- the pattern is super easy to memorize. I only really have to look at my first several stitches of the pattern rows.
2-the cast on/set up rows were different for me, but once I got them done, I really love the way they turned out looking.
3- I will only use long, sharp needles for lace from now on. These needles SUCK!
4- knitting lace while tired is not so bright.
5- I am understanding more and more about how lace works. I mean I can follow a pattern, but the actual construction makes way more sense.
6- I absolutely love KnitPicks Shadow yarn. Beautiful to touch, look at and knit with.

On the non shawl front, I frogged my Hermione socks. I don’t remember if I blogged that last time, but I did, I’ve decided on doing them over with an afterthought heel. The only real reason is that I ended up messed up in the pattern before. Two reasons for this. First I am pretty sure I misread the pattern somewhere along the way and second, I think I took too long making the heel flap and all that I kind of lost where I was at and then I tried to fix what wasn’t broken. I ended up one stitch short and I have NO earthly idea where it went. I didn’t see any place I had lost the stitch. With all the tiny mistakes that no one would ever notice plus a missing stitch, frogging soon ensued. It was freeing to frog something that had given me so much grief. I don’t blame the pattern, although I do question one row in the pattern. Maybe I just read it wrong. Oh well.

Speaking of socks, I found some lovely bright yellow yarn about a year or so ago that I fell in love with but didn’t buy at the time. The LYS that carried it went out of business before I could make a trip back and buy it. I didn’t even remember the brand, just the beautiful color. Well last weekend my best friend, Jessica, her 2 kids, her mom and I went to their local fabric store, The Rabbits Lair, which now carries yarn. I was petting the Malabrigo (I think I spelled that wrong) and turned to a shelf that had sock yarns. There it was. The lovely yellow yarn. It’s a neon color, with bits of orange and green. Very citrus. So I now have me a skein. By the way it it Trekking XXL. I fought with whether or not I should buy it, but eventually it came come! :0) I haven’t picked out the pattern, but they are probably going to be toe up.

More to come later. I am hoping to get a good portion of the chart E done today, but make no promises! Happy Easter!

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