My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Back in the swing of things.

As I mentioned before - it's good to be home. It's nice to get back into your old routine, etc. Now that the house looks somewhat normal, I feel I can get back to knitting, blogging, etc. I've also started exercising again, so after putting in an hour at the gym, I feel I've earned some time on the computer. Did I mention that road-tripping is not very aerobic? Yeah - sitting in the car for several hours a day and/or eating great food w/great friends & family does wonders for the waistline. No more - off off darn pounds!

Yet I digress... Part of putting the house back to normal included hanging up art in our bedroom we finished painting just days before our epic trip. I love art as much as the next person, but felt our room needed something special, unique, and priceless. Thus - I present some originals created by my two boys:

This was painted by my eldest son as a present to me for Mother's day. Look carefully... what do you see in the vase? Why - a skull & cross bones. Yesiree - nothing says "Happy Mother's Day to the woman who endured 26 hours of labor" than a skull & crossbones. I couldn't resist having this framed - I laugh every time I look at it.

This is a creation by my youngest. No special occasion for this one - it just 'spoke' to me, so I had to have it framed as well. The red mat & frame truly do it justice & red happens to be his favorite color. The colors of the paint faded a bit as I had this art in my car for several weeks before I actually got around to stopping by the framing store.

In addition we spent yesterday evening making our annual batch of jam. We picked as many raspberries as possible from our overgrown raspberry patch (does anyone in the Anchorage area want some raspberry and/or strawberry plants?) & added some blueberries to make one batch. Since the blueberries were on sale at the store, I also made a batch of domestic blueberry jam. Wild blueberries should be ripening soon, so I see another batch on the horizon. With two young boys, we go through lots of jam - usually I make enough in August to last the entire school year.

On the knitting front I finished my Monkey socks for the August Sock of the Month4 KAL and as a gift to a good friend, Margaret. She spends lots of time knitting socks for others & I felt she deserved a pair of socks knit for her as a belated birthday present. Happy Belated Birthday! :0) So - when she reads this blog, she'll know what to expect. I'm wondering if I should block these or not. Certainly they deserve a bit of a soak in some wool wash as I've tried them on several times during our road trip. These are quite the international socks - they were started in Carlsbad, CA. Sock #1 was finished at the family cabin on Palomar mt. & the 2nd sock was started while driving through Canada. I just wove in the ends this afternoon.Details: Monkey Sock pattern from knitty.

Yarn: Lorna's Laces in the colorway, Somerset. I love this yarn - it is very soft. It is aptly named as the colors reminded me of a sunset. I think this yarn worked extremely well for this pattern - I was tempted to keep them for myself. Overall - very quick knit!

Needles: Size 2 Addi-Turbo using the Magic Loop method. I've had a couple of questions regarding what 'magic loop' really is. Rather than the traditional 4 or 5 dpn, you use a long (I prefer 40") circular needle. Instructions for this & other knitting questions can be found here.
Modifications: Instead of the heel flap called for in the pattern, I used a slip stitch heel flap. I felt the slip stitch added more texture which went well with the texture of the pattern itself. I also used a star toe rather than the traditional decrease for a toe w/kitchner stitch. I thought the star toe continued the 'v' shape nicely & allowed me to avoid grafting the final stitches together - a skill I have yet to perfect. The directions for the star toe were taken from the Embossed leaves patter in Interweave's Favorite Socks book.

There was plenty of yarn left over from the 1st sock to knit these:These are similar to the Class Sock found in the Sensational Knitted Socks book. I used the Garter Rib pattern. These will be a gift to my friend's newborn daughter when they move back to AK this fall. I think I'll knit a similar pair with the remaining yarn from sock #2.

I haven't forgotten about my Jaywalker - still need to knit up its mate. However, I have several UFOs that need tending to. In particular:This is Cindy from Berroco pattern book #240. I'm knitting up using Ultra Silk. Ahhh - I can't wait until I actually finish this sweater as the yarn is so yummy & of course, silky. Since I avoid sewing up seams like the plague, I've vowed to finish knitting the front (the back is complete - on left side of photo) & the sleeves & then sign up for a finishing class at our LYS. This sweater is short sleeved & knit on 10.5 needles, so there really isn't any reason besides my own procrastination why I shouldn't finish this soon. Keep on me about it - I love the pressure.

I also want to work on some gifts for Christmas, but first things first.

Happy Monday to all! Ciao~


IrishgirlieKnits & PashyKnits said...

Those look great!! One of my favorite patterns!

Holly Jo said...

The skull and cross bones are HYSTERICAL. :)

Mags said...

Thank You! You are so nice, I'm so lucky to have you as a friend! Oh, and no blocking necessary! Why add extra steps if you don't need to! I love the artwork - the skull & cross bones is absolutely hilarious. And Iain's painting reminds me of a butterfly. Hey - I thought the SAM KAL3 ended in July? Not that I'm the best authority, I only got credit for my April Socks - I fogot to post my June and July socks - silly Margaret! I'll have to do better if there is a SAM KAL4.

tiennieknits said...

Great monkeys! I bet it is nice to be back in the swing of things!

jessica said...

hi I'm saw your socks on the sam kal4! love them, pretty colourway and love that pattern! I just started it for the first time, but had to put it on the back burner for a pair of swap socks!

Lisa W. said...

The skull and crossbones are a hoot! nothing says i love you like that! Your sox are awesome! love the way they turned out. Those types of trips are so much fun and create such "interesting" memories for kids...just ask them what they remember about it in a couple of's amazing the things kids think are highlights (and lowlights!) stop by and say hi sometime.