Archive for February, 2010

The agony of defeat

Well, the Knitting Olympics sweater did not get finished.  I was taken out by a week of sick tot, a snow day, and my unwillingness to drive 225 miles on 2 hours of sleep.  Well, I knew the challenge here wouldn’t be the actual knitting but rather finding the time to finish it.  Also the fact that I lost several days while waiting for the rest of the yarn to arrive.  But we’re pretending that didn’t happen.

I’ve got the sleeves and the back sewn up.  Now I just have to sew on the two fronts and do the edging for the neck.  I’ll have it done soon.  And it really is just so pretty, so even if I didn’t finish the (self-imposed and completely for fun) challenge, at least I’m getting a sweater I really like out of the deal.


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self portrait dipt

Me on the left, Anna on the right.

I had all kinds of creative ideas, but between a sick tot and snow days, none of them really panned out. This is a photo I took when trying to document for my friends the giant gash I got on my forehead when the blinds fell off the window and bashed me in the head. I was a little bit concussed but I could still knit, so I figured I didn’t have to go in. Hmm, turns out the process of coming up with a photo for the week was kind of a self-portrait as well.  At least Anna looks so pretty to balance out Pirate Mom!

Visit Megan and Melody for more.

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Snow day

We got snow in Central Texas – actual fluffy snow, not just the sleet that we sometimes like to call snow to feel better about it. The tot enjoyed it in short bursts and the dog thought I’d betrayed him. But it was gorgeous to watch those soft peaceful flakes drifting down.


I may have gotten  a little trigger happy.  I’m not clear on just how many pictures of birds at the feeders I need to take through the kitchen window.  But it’s clearly a pretty high number.

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The yarn is here! Now all I have to do is knit the arms and the edgings and sew it all together. I have until Sunday. Totally doable. But only because we are going to Grandma and Pa’s house tomorrow, so I don’t have to do the dishes.

There is something quite hilarious to me about this huge pile of yarn that is halfway through being made into a sweater. That is just an awful lot of effort for a sweater. I know this, I see the crazy plain as day, and yet I love it. Thank goodness for knitting.

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We are struggling so much lately. There is so much push and pull, so much need for closeness and so strong an urge to grow away a bit. She longs to be held but then sobs not to look at her. Poor Little Owl, in a constant fight with herself. Tired but can’t sleep, hungry but won’t eat. Scared of she doesn’t know what, stretching for accomplishments but too frustrated to focus her effort. She’s like a snake shedding its skin; she can’t help but grow, but dang does it make her grumpy.

Tonight I was determined to get some giggles out of her. As much fun as we had in the nice weather, today just had too many sad moments.

We went upstairs for bed but instead of the usual angst, we played for a while. First I crawled around on the floor pretending to be a puppy dog trying to lick her toes. Funny stuff. Then she said, “You’re such a silly Mama.” I replied, “You can call me silly but you better not call me Englebert.” “You’re Englebert!” “You can call me Englebert, but you better not call me Snarglewop.” Hilarious. We kept that up for a while. Then I watched her fall over for a bit and pretended to be horrified by it. Uproariously funny. Then she started a game about a giant gross scary mean bug. She had to run away so it would eat me instead. But then she had to save me. “Shoo away from my mama, you darn bug!” So I pretended to be a mean bug, buzzing around the room looking for a little girl to eat for dinner. Except every time I would find one and try to eat her up, I would miss, fall over face first into the blanket right beside her, and try to take a big bite of it. Then pretend to be really mad that I had missed. This was the funniest thing in the history of time.

And then she went to sleep, happy as can be. Well, after a bit of fussing. “Whoo whoo! Whoo whoo! I’m Little Owl! I need to sleep in a tree.” And a bit of yoga nidra and some guided meditation, but that’s to be expected.



When all is said and done, I think probably the thing that might let me claim to be a good parent is the fact that I am completely silly.

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Move along

There’s nothing to see here.  I am making good progress on my Knitting Olympics project.  Except for the fact that I picked the project the day before the flame was lit and of course couldn’t buy enough yarn from my LYS.  So I blithely started with what I had and ordered more.  Then I knitted manically until I used up almost all the yarn I had.  So I have the back and the two fronts finished.  Now I am waiting with a great deal of patience for the rest of the yarn to arrive so that I can finish the arms and the edging.  I’m only checking the tracking updates about eleventeen thousand times a day.  I think that’s pretty reasonable.

I just wanted to make sure it was really a challenge.  Yeah, that’s it.

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We’re not quite clear on what this is.  Could be a spider, could be an octopus.  Either way, the tot was heavily involved in the design.  The whole concept was in fact her request – a friend has a birthday coming up and something had to be made.  I love that she wants to make presents rather than buy them.  And I will love it even more when she can implement these fabulous ideas all on her own.  She is pretty much in love with it.

If I’d had my druthers, it would have been a little more Cthuluesque.  Because I find that hilarious.

Here’s the pattern…
This is knit flat, because that’s easier for me to manage while playing outside with a preschooler.  It would work perfectly well knit in the round.

Patons Classic Wool, US size 5 straight needles.

CO 5 st.
Row 1: Kfb each stitch
Row 2: (Kfb, k1) rep to end
Row 3: (Kfb, k2) rep to end
Row 4: (Kfb, k3) rep to end
Row 5: (Kfb, k4) rep to end
Row 6: (Kfb, k5) rep to end
Row 7: (Kfb, k6) rep to end
Row 8: (Kfb, k7) rep to end

Knit 8 rows in St st.

Row 17: (K2tog, k7) rep to end
Row 18: (K2tog, k6) rep to end
Row 19: (K2tog, k5) rep to end
Row 20: (K2tog, k4) rep to end
Row 21: (K2tog, k3) rep to end
Row 22: (K2tog, k2) rep to end
Row 23: (K2tog, k1) rep to end
Row 24: (K2tog) rep to end


Sew up and stuff.


Use US size 4 dpns for the I-cord appendages.  For this, I picked up stitches around the bottom, at the beginning of the decreases.  I used the ridge of garter stitch as my guide. 

So… Pick up 4 st and knit 15 rows of I-cord.  Repeat 8 times, all the way around the body.

If you’ve never knit I-cord before, it’s easy-peasy.  Knit  a row, then slide it to the other end of the dpn.  Pull the working yarn up behind and knit another row. Rinse, repeat.  It will magically curl itself up into a perfect little creepy crawlie’s leg.


This one I knit on US size 4 needles in all garter stitch.  It isn’t quite as nice, but the tot seems to like it, given the number of times she freaked out that I hadn’t finished it yet.  It’s a little more spidery, as I spaced the legs a bit differently, grouped on either side.


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