The Last Day

…of Spring Break, that is.

I didn’t accomplish everything I had hoped to do over the break.  I had wanted to go to the gym every day, instead I went to Lake Tahoe and crashed down the stairs.  The gym, along with sitting and standing, was not to be thought about again for at least a week.

Knitting, however, was not off the list.  So I knit a lot.  I started a sweater, first while up in Tahoe, then I ripped it out and started again here after finding a better pattern.  I’m following the top-down raglan pattern found here (called Pioneer), but I’m not making it so tight, I’m using a different gauge, I’m making it a long sleeve cardigan, and I’m taking out the cables.  So really I’m making a different sweater entirely but I am using the basic sweater recipe she wrote, with modifications for my petite (read: short, not slender) frame.

Oh yeah, and more booties (again, following Saartje’s pattern).

ladybug booties!

ladybug booties!

I don’t know what to do with these booties.  Bill suggested I start selling them but I was worried that would be a bad idea since I didn’t write the pattern.  I checked on Etsy and other people are making and selling these for between 16 and 22 dollars, so I am considering it.

They really are adorable, aren't they?

They really are adorable, aren't they?

I also made a pair for Bill’s nephew, Jack.  I did try to give him one of the pairs I had made earlier but they were too small.  So I made a larger pair and was hoping to get them to him this weekend.  It doesn’t look like I will be able to get these to him but I do want those booties on his feet before he outgrows them.  These are made out of double knit baby alpaca yarn in gray and a heathered gray blue.

Jack's botties

Jack's booties

I also started planting for spring.  My bell pepper plants from Verna are doing well and I got a cherry tomato plant, as well as a strawberry and squash plant.  I picked up some basil and mint seeds that I might grow in the kitchen so that I have some fresh herbs.

My adorable little bell pepper.

My adorable little bell pepper.


Darby likes the little patio.

Darby likes the little patio.


Darby is tired from investigating all the new plants.

Darby is tired from investigating all the new plants.

Saturday I am off to the zoo with my cousin which is absolutely fun and exciting.  In the morning I’m going to do day 2 of my “Couch to 5k” program.  I’m hoping one day to be able to run a 5k, preferably before I turn 30 in September.

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Lake Tahoe February Lady Beret

While up in Tahoe, before electing to walk down stairs wearing socks and break my tailbone, I started making a February Lady Beret (free pattern link to sock pixie) with some yarn I had originally purchased to make the awesome baby mohawk hat a couple posts back.  Anyway, the original February beret was done in something like a double knit yarn (like smaller than worsted weight) and my yarn was thicker than regular worsted yarn, so I did some magic math in my head and cast on.

Now, if that had worked I would have had a finished beret by my second day in Tahoe.  *snort* I mean really, does measuring and using my mad algebraic skills really every work the first time?  Maybe, but this time it was not to be.  I finished the ribbed part of the hat, which looked great, and using basic algebra again, did increases around the edge to being the number up to create enough stitches to repeat the gull lace pattern 9 times.  knit knit knit It was looking good if not a little big, but then again, you have to make it big so your beret is floppy, right?  Started decreasing even though the amount of yarn left seemed a little scant.  I had maybe 8 decrease rows left when the yarn ran out.

*Sigh

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Bill didn’t want me to frog the hat after seeing all that work go into it.  He even suggested we find more yarn (we will see how long that lasts).  I however, really really wanted to frog that  bugger and knit it up smaller.  So I did.

Here my eyes look like a gold brown color, which they aren't usually.  In pics with the green sweater my eyes have a green outer ring.  Funny.

Here my eyes look like a gold brown color, which they aren't usually. In pics with the green sweater my eyes have a green outer ring. Funny.

I am not sure about the color, even if gold is supposed to be a good color on me.  I am, after all, an Autumn. 😉

Oh yeah, I did actually check out Lake Tahoe.  Bill and I investigated the North Shore.  it was chilly out.

Do you recognize the hat on top of that cute head?

Do you recognize the hat on top of that cute head?

I am really trying to sneek up on those geese.  I did get within a few feet but they knew I was without bread to offer them.

I am really trying to sneek up on those geese. I did get within a few feet but they knew I was without bread to offer them.

March of the Booties

I’ve discovered the joy of knitting baby booties and set out to make a slew of them to send to my sister, so that she can find pregnant people to give them to.  I don’t think her cats would be so interested in wearing them…

All lined up for inspection...

All lined up for inspection...

I’ve made seven pairs so far and have sent six of those pairs off to my sister.  The materials used varied, left over bits from other skeins I’ve long lost the label to, fancy alpaca yarn, silk, and baby acrylic.

My favorite booties were the teeny-tiny alpaca ones I made.  Having seen a baby or two since those were made I suspect that those booties would fit only newborn babies or preemies.  I wanted very much to keep them for myself, but since I have plenty of yarn left and have found some super-cute buttons I know there will be more to make.

If only you knew just how small my hands are.

If only you knew just how small my hands are.

For comparison, these pink booties are about the same size.  Here is one on top of a standard size post-it note.

tiny-pink-bootie

Teeny-tiny bootie on a post-it.

There was one pair I didn’t send to my sister.  They are the light purple pnes and somehow one of stitches on the wrong-side row was purled instead of knit.  That and I think they look a little poorly constructed, so I’ll find someone here to pawn them off on.

I made all the alpaca booties while on the way to and while at Lake Tahoe.  That was meant to be a vacation…anyway, that did not go well at all.  I’m not going to air it all out here but I can tell you that I still have a wonderful, patient, sweet boyfriend who will run and check on me after I fall down a flight of carpeted stairs and can’t sit down for the next three days.  He, however, is related to a person who would shout “Is there something wrong with the stairs?”   I will never do a vacation like that again…and I don’t mean the stairs.

Darby stayed with Bill’s mom while we were away.  I know Bill’s mom is an awesome person and I don’t even worry when I leave Darby with her, but she was still happy to see me when we got back.  Darby slept in my lap the next day, happy to be home.

Darby enjoying the sunlight

Darby enjoying the sunlight

Speaking of that trip down the stairs.  That happened a week ago and it still hurts to sit and stand and move about.  I visited with a Nurse Practitioner yesterday (for a previously scheduled engagement) and she was very blase about it “Well, if you broke it there isn’t anything they can do for it anyway.”  Wow, thanks for that info….  Kaiser is being really helpful… and as an aside, they must have gotten rid of their cleaning crew to save money because it was pretty gross in there, especially when it’s supposed to be a medical facility.

Lady Bug Buttons!!!

Lady Bug Buttons!!!

Okey, so on to something positive.  I found these little ladybug buttons and am going to make some more (surprise!) Saartje’s booties in red and black with these little buttons.  They should be the most adorable things ever.

Traversing the Lands

Spring break has sprung and Bill and I spent the first week of it traversing California and Nevada.  Last Saturday we went to the Sonora Celtic Fair, which I expected to be more like the Renaissance Fair.  I was a little disappointed, what with the lack of Highland games and fun stuff.  We did see some good bands, but the most awesome part of the day actually occured outside of the Celtic Fair.  Walking through Main Street of Sonora was the MOST AWESOME YARN SHOP!  Bill, being the sweetest guy, let me wander around in there until I was contented and then he even ran my yarn back to the car so I wouldn’t have to carry it around all day.  The yarn shop, for those of you who are interested, is called By Hand Yarn.  If you are within a hundred miles you should go. Seriously.  It used to be a pharmacy, like in the 1800’s and has wonderful hand built cabinets and all these awesome little details from the original building.

Bill is being very patient while I buy yarn and gawk at even more yarn.

Bill is being very patient while I buy yarn and gawk at even more yarn.

We finally got to the Celtic Fair and wandered around a bit.  But more important, lots of great pictures!

Using a drop spindle at fair.

Using a drop spindle at fair.


Crack me up, a kilt couple!

Crack me up, a kilt couple!

We saw a hammered dulcimer player, who had taken Metallica music and was playing it on a dulcimer with an amp plugged into it.  I can’t describe how awesome and amazing it was to hear nor can I describe the crowd gathered around him with their mouths agape but rest assured, it was just about the most breathtaking music, hauntingly familiar and beautiful.  Scott Williams, check him out.

Very last, we hung out with a group who had brought their Irish Wolfhounds, who are such nice, massive huge animals.  I got a great picture of one, which I plan to make into a drawing and send to the group, the Northern California Irish Wolfhound Group.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

Now my sister (Hi!) is saying that she is checking my blog more often than I actually write, so I’m going to save the stuff from Lake Tahoe and the ridiculous amount of knitting I’ve accomplished since spring break started a week ago for another time.

Impending Doom?

This week, I am waiting for doom to rear its ugly head. My students have been really aggressive and the district is handing out its pink slips this week. I’m waiting to see if I can make it to spring break (4 days away!) unscathed. Then I will be able to provide you with more fabulous knitting and puppy related content.

Baby Mohawk Hat

We go to hockey a lot.  Bill’s friends have season tickets for maybe 8 or 10 people and always have extra tickets for us to use.   Bill’s friend Dax has a wee tiny baby named Maili (sounds like Mylee) who they bring to hockey with blankets ad ear protection so it isn’t too loud for her.  Anyway, I wanted to knit something for Maili after noticing how many of the ladies at the hockey games wear hand made uggo fun fur scarves.  Always up for a challenge, I spotted a kid wearing a hat from the fan shop with a yellow mohawk down the center.  I immediately wanted to make one and needed a willing victim *cough* er, someone to present the lovely finished product to.

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Obviously Maili needed an earflap hat with mohawk, posthaste.

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I used the earflap hat pattern found here, by Julie, altered the stitch count a little bit, divided it into equal sections with a strip running up the front and the back that wouldn’t be decreased at all so that I could kitchner them together at the top and then latch-hook in the mohawk top.  For reference I looked at the mohawk hats from “Punk Knitting” and some other similar hat before coming up with my own solutions.

She thinks her hat is hardcore baby punk awesome.

She thinks her hat is hardcore baby punk awesome.

I think this is the proudest I have been of an object in a while because this was something new for me.  It took a pretty good amount of effort, some planning, some color matching and 6 hours of cutting and putting in the yellow mohawk part, one stitch at a time.  All in all maybe 10 hours or more of work, but the decreases worked out the first time I did them and I didn’t have to pull it all out and start again..and again.  Next time I will use wool and felt it, which is what was done in some of the book patterns (which I found out only after readng about people’s projects on ravelry).

Finished Project and a Sneak Peek

My mom commissioned me to make 2 dog sweaters for a friends dog.  I finally got started and whipped them out quickly so that she could give them before it is too warm to wear a sweater.  I used the stripes creating program at Biscuits and Jam.

Dog Sweaters

Dog Sweaters

The dogs were 5 and 6 lbs and were named Shady and Dusty, although I don’t know if either dog were shady or dusty in actuality.

I used Vanna yarn by Lion Brand, not that I particularly like that yarn or anything, but the colors were better than my other choices.  If you ask me though, the colors seem kinda 1970’s.  I used silver blue, white, pink, and dusty purple

I used #8 dpns

Cast On 48 with silver blue yarn, divide evenly over 3 needles (16, 16, 16) and knit 2 rows in 2×2 rib

2 rows in stockinette

Increase round: knit 4, kfb, knit around to last 5, kfb, k 4

I do sleeves by knitting 9 stitches, casting off 8 stitches and knitting to the last 18, casting off 8 and knitting 9.  On the next row I cast back on the stitches i got rid of.

Repeat in the following order until 64 sts are achieved (should take 9 rows)

Continue knitting in stockinette following your stripe pattern from Biscuits and Jam’s website until the Sweater is long enough to your liking (Mine was about 9″ from beginning) and then do a couple rows in2x2 rib.

For the other sweater I did the same thing but with less stitches, I think 8 less stitches than the above sweater.

A sneak peek of what I’ve been doing all week.

preview of things to come

preview of things to come