Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chunky Knit Blahs

Flush with success over my butterfly cardigan, I immediately cast on for Cosima by Berroco using a bag of Gedifra Living that I had in my stash. This is a really quick knit, being chunky yarn, but I'm not enjoying it. Its simple enough even with the mods I'm doing but I'm just not feeling it. After thinking about it for a while I determined that the problem is not the yarn or the pattern. Its that I just don't like chunky knits. In my mind they are like the chunky crayons they make for toddlers...quick and fun, but ultimately amateurish and unsophisticated. In the future I think I'm better off sticking to lighter weight yarns. More work, but I really do like the look and feel a lot better. But I will still finish this project up anyways. I like the color and the finished garment looks cute. Plus I really want to use up some of my older stash and this will clear up a whole bag full!

While I've been working on it I've been dreaming of other, more fun projects. Socks out of some of my pretty new yarns or small shawls out of the many, many skeins of beautiful laceweights that I have squirreled away. But I have resisted the urge to cast on anything else. I find that if I have more than one thing going at a time one of the projects invariably ends up in the bin, never to be completed. So its nothing but faithful monogamy for me :(

But that doesn't stop me from wasting my time with other things! One thing we are really big on in this household is jigsaw puzzles. The girls and I love to work on them together, usually 750 to 1000 pieces. We have a whole bunch of games built around our favorite "competitive" sport...ranging from trash talking to covertly hiding a piece so that it can be put in last and the hider can declare themselves the "winner" of the puzzle. Youngest is particularly fond of this one, lol.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Butterflies are Free!

Victory is mine! Full series of pics and project details here on Ravelry.

First there was sewing:

Then there was cutting (gasp!):

And, finally, one very happy young lady:

It feels good to get this one done!

Friday, April 16, 2010

A Bit of Progress

Today I am helping little butterflies emerge from their wooly cocoons:

After all the embroidery I have to sew in the million ends, then it is on to the steeking!

The weather has turned very warm and sunny here so Youngest probably won't get much wear out of her new sweater. Thank goodness I decided at the 11th hour to add an extra inch to the body and sleeve lengths! Rumor has it that children tend to grow at an alarming rate....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Birthday Baby

Today is youngest's 8th birthday. A special day for a special girl. We have lots of birthday surprises planned, starting with a few gifts upon waking this morning and ending with a family dinner out tomorrow evening. We don't do the kid party thing due to my social anxiety issues...instead we make it an extra fun day for the birthday girl. She gets to choose her cake, some flowers, and all her favorite meals for the day. We also stretch the gifts out rather than give them all at once because kids just seem to get too overwhelmed when they have a big pile of stuff to open. This year we are focussing on art supplies and reading materials. She is at that age where toys just aren't as important as they used to be (except for a few special ones) so gift giving has become more of a challenge! Thank goodness she thinks gift cards to Chapters and Claires are the BEST. THINGS. EVER!!!!

Anyways, here's my favorite picture of her from when she was two (darn it..why do they have to grow up and lose that cute baby chub?!?):

On the knitting front I finished up K's socks and yes, he loves them! After that I decided to start a sweater for youngest that I have had on my mind for a while:

It is a Lopi design called Firildaslo from Lopi book #27. This is an adventurous knit for me because it will be my first baby toe in the extremely shallow end of steeking! The plan is to do the body in the green wool (a nameless aran-weight mill-end I've had forever) and the butterflies in the Noro Kureyon on a cream background. After sewing and steeking (eek!), the bodies and antennae of the butterflies will be embroidered on with black. I'm really excited about the colourwork..not so much about the cutting, lol. I should be finished up the boring body and sleeve sections by tomorrow and then its on to the fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beautifully Ugly

I started a pair of socks for K. a few days ago with some Fortissima sock yarn that I have had stashed for at least 5 or 6 years:

Funny story about this particular sock yarn. When I originally saw it in the store the colours jumped out at vibrant, so contrasting! It was like nothing I had seen previously and, because I had only been knitting bland "man-coloured" socks at this point, I had to have it. When I showed it to K. his immediate reaction was a firm "not a chance in hell!". Sadly I sighed and put it away in my sock yarn bin. After that, every couple of months or so, I would bring it out to show to him again all hopeful. Each time he gave me the same reaction and each time I would fondle it wistfully and put it away again. Then a funny thing started to happen. Slowly his reaction moved from the first "no way in hell!" to "maybe if there are no other socks available" to "its ok, but not my favorite". Last week when I was deciding what socks to cast on next the ball jumped into my hand yet again. This time I couldn't put it down. Something about it just tickled me and I immediately cast on, thinking to myself "well, too damn bad if he doesn't like it!". When he got home that night he looked at it and, as if he had never seen it before, said "I like it for me?" WTF?!? I guess it (and him) needed to wait until the right time before they could come together like they were clearly destined to be!

While I have been enjoying the sock knitting I have been planning out my next sweater project. I want to do something in chunky so I think I've decided on Cosima by Berroco out of some Gedifra Living I got at a deep discount from Elann last year. I have a bag of chocolate brown and one of pinky-purple to choose from. Right now I'm leaning towards the purple (big surprise).

On the non-knitting front I'm still fighting the good fight with Eldest's school work. She is slowly coming around but there is still stuff I'm finding that she needs to get done but forgot to work on or even bring home. I was angrily going through her desk after school yesterday to find everything we need to work on over the Easter break (there's a lot) and a couple of other moms started chatting me up and told me that they have the same problems with their kids. The consensus is that it is a combination of the age of the kids and the laid-back style of the teacher. One of the moms even told me that she doesn't care what kind of mark her kid gets just so long as he passes grade 4 and gets into a new class next year! I'm not that ready to give up but it is good to know that I'm not the only one struggling with my kid. I think what bugs me the most about this whole thing is that they just do fun stuff in class and are expected to take home all the "real" work to finish. Some nights we are doing 3 hours of home work! Poor kid..she's only 9! I can only hope that all this homework will help her to be extra disciplined with her school work next year.

Well that's it for now. Happy April Fool's! And happy Easter for those who observe. I'm hoping the Easter Bunny leaves lots of candy, especially something from Purdy's..hint, hint...