Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!

Baskets ready? Ready!

Go get 'em, Snake and Dollface!, Mork and Mindy!, and darling Peanut!

Happy Easter, blog friends!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Of knitted cats and bunnies...

I am a fairly competent knitter. No, really. I am. But, when I decided to knit a blue kitty, I did run into a little trouble...see what I mean?

I mean, it was a very easy, fun-to-knit pattern, and it turned out pretty cute...but it doesn't look much like a kitty. Even Dollface, when she saw it the first time, said, "Ohhh! It's sooo cute!"
"It's a cat," I answered.
"Oh...," said she, deadpan. "Maybe you should just tell them it's a mouse or something."

Oh, well. "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," is what they say, so I did. But attempt number two looked more like a gremlin (from the 1984 movie) than a kitty...

...the tail helped. It helped a lot. Now it looks like a cat, Dare I say that it's even cuter than a gremlin? I do dare...

That tail turned a gremlin into a cat, and it redeemed my kitty-knitting self just enough that I thought I'd even try something new...tiny bunnies for Easter. (By the way, these were designed as catnip toys, but mine are for a toddler, so I left the "herbs" out completely...) Just like the cats, this pattern was really easy, and well-written, but flat-and-double-knitted just isn't my thing. So I decided to knit it in the round, diving right in, without thinking about it too much...but that first bunny turned out very tall.

In my head, I should have instinctively known that I only needed to knit half the rows listed in the pattern, since I was knitting in the round. Instead, I messaged the designer and accused her of penning a poor pattern (mind you, I did this as politely as possible)...and she answered quickly. I was apparently not the first accuser (I told myself over and over again, perhaps to ice down my bruised ego a bit), the fix was easy (only knit half as many rounds as rows), and her answer was gracious. Thank you!, and I'm sorry for doubting you, dear designer! Armed with my mental edits, I knit a second. And a third. And a fourth, fifth and sixth!

They flew off my needles, multiplying like, rabbits! (If you include the first, tall rabbit, there have been seven.) And they all ran outside to play...

Laughing, and jumping in the ice-crystal diamonds, sparkly leftovers from an early spring snowstorm...rabbits can be CRAZY!

Note: I am a fan of the faceless's totally up to you how they feel when you play, and that encourages creativity and story-telling, two of my favorite things! (That, and I am a  little lazy sometimes.)

I hope that my darling Peanut will enjoy finding them in my bag on our next trip to her far-away home...they are so good for tossing and hopping and counting and practicing colors, I can't wait to share them! Patience is not something I am good at when it comes to seeing my it's a good thing our visits are not too few and far between! Yay!

Another "Yay!" is that Easter is tomorrow. I guess I better get to the basket-making...and hiding! I hope that you have all your ducks in a row, and that you will have a nice celebration, if you celebrate. :)

I also hope that the holiday will afford you at least a little bit of knitting time! Knit in Good Health, friends!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Decluttering Distraction

Did you ever declutter?
Do you get distracted?


The last time I started to declutter, I got distracted. I don't know why I suddenly felt the urge to clean out the attic, but a couple weekends ago, I put on my warm sweatshirt and headed up there. I didn't get very far before I ran across the file boxes of the kids' artwork and school papers. You know what I found in there? I found a happy family...

...Mom, Dad, Me and B (for "brother," I assume) were all lined up on the lawn in the artist's memory (this one was Dollface) and we have no necks, pets included. (By the way, the land of no necks exists in every artist's development, or so I have been told...) Here, a neck-less Dad and Mork play catch, for Father's Day (Mork's artwork, of course, not Dad's)...

...and here, a neck-less Mork and Mom (and some, random soccer player?) become stick puppets!

At some point, most of us did start to develop necks, and this was good...
Poor dog and cats are still! Mork was some artist!
But you know what I like even better than necks in a family drawing? Love, like in this one...

Awwww!, Dad and Mom are holding hands! Sister and Brother, you will notice, are standing a fair distance from one another. I mean, they have always loved each other (I choose to believe), but they do have their boundaries...

I guess we all have our boundaries! You know, even despite the distraction, I did manage to declutter three trash-bags full from that attic, and a full-grown person can once again get in there to take down the Christmas tree next year!

And I even learned a thing or two. Listen up, Moms and Dads:
If your kid makes something with macaroni, and you decide to keep it for posterity (or whatever), put it in a plastic baggie before you tuck it into that box. The pasta eventually disintegrates (after 20 years or so) and while the picture is still pretty cute...

The macaroni makes a mess (and it attracts bugs...ewwww)!

No knitting this post...I hope that you'll forgive me...but now that that job is done, off I go to grab some yarn! I hope that you'll be able to do the same at some point today!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

In the PINK!

When you think of pink, what do you think?

I think of cartoon panthers, and cotton candy and cutie-pie granddaughters. =D

Lately, I have had pink on the brain, and it has led to this:

Pink, crocheted scrubbies, for that darling Peanut...

My!, but these were fun to work up! I made the first one, and realized that it was almost too big for MY hand, so I downsized it to better fit into her hand. The variegated one is the smaller of the two, and there may be more coming...who knows? Sooo, sooo cute!

And beautiful, handspun yarn...wound onto the niddy noddy to be measured: 

I am just loving how the Navajo ply turned out... is very fine! I came up with 27 WPI (wraps per inch) on my first measure! Since I could barely believe that it was that fine, I rechecked and came up with a mere 22 WPI on the second go-'round, which is still a fine lace-weight...jeepers! I think it will become a light, lace scarf...but I haven't chosen a pattern yet. For now, I am just enjoying the freshly washed and twisted skein of pink and white!

So, as you can see, I've been in the pink all week! I hope that the weekend will bear out more of the same, for both you and me. =D 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Short Socks

When I started knitting, somewhere in the early 2000s, I didn't really like it very much. I know! Shocking! Right?!? Then, somewhere 5 years or so after that, I decided that I had to know how to knit socks. I didn't want to knit a sweater. I didn't want to knit a blanket. I wanted to knit socks, and thanks to a wonderful invention known as the Internet, learn to knit socks I did! 

(I am sorry to report here that I do not have photos or any other record of my first pairs of socks. This was before Ravelry, and I was not very good at keeping knitting records and/or notebooks. Thankfully, with the advent of my favorite social knitworking site, I have logged all of my knitting since October 2007...I love the Internet! You can find me on Ravelry as PKJewelry, and you can see my first pair of socks recorded there. I still wear those socks...I wore them just yesterday! Aren't you glad you asked?)

These days, I still love to knit socks, especially for feet that love them! One of my biggest dilemmas came when my daughter started dating (and eventually married) a boy with men's size 11 feet. I have women's size 9s, as does my daughter. My son and husband have men's 9.5s, and my daughter-in-law has smaller feet than mine. When Dollface brought this giant-footed young man around, I started to get a little worried. 

Over time, I've learned to embrace the large socks. I know that I will be casting on 80-88 sts, and knitting an 11" foot, but Snake loves hand-knit socks so much that I just can't help but love knitting socks for him. =D A few weeks ago, he noticed a pair of socks Dollface was wearing. They were ankle socks I had done as a test knit and given to her because I prefer a longer cuff. He stared in amazement, then said, "Your mom can make short socks?!?"

Hmmm, apparently he prefers the shorter cuff. You know what that means? It means I can knit his socks with just under 100g of sock yarn. It means they don't have to take a month to knit. It means that I can "crank out" (relatively speaking, of course) men's size 11 socks for my son-in-law - Hooray!!!

So, here's Snake's first pair of short socks finished...

Short socks for the happy couple, and (as my good friend Cozy likes to say) less carpal-ly carpals for the knitter. Yay! How long do you like your socks?

Thanks for stopping by, and knit in good health!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Suffering Fluffy Brain

From the Urban Dictionary, a brain fluffy is (apparently) the inability to focus. This is a condition I am all too familiar with the last few years. I've blamed it on being a woman in the middle of life. I've also blamed it on the brain cells that were strangled by worry while we raised two children (who turned out very well, by the way...what was I worried about?). And, while I was at it, I've blamed my fluffy brain on being too busy, being too bored, eating too much, working too hard, and doing too many things at once...the blame game is nothing new in my world. So, why not add another thing to blame? This time, let's make it something THIS:

I've taken out my spindles again, and I found the fluff that came with them (two 18g bags of superwash merino, nylon, and some shiny stuff thrown in for good measure, one bag with each spindle), and I've been spinning my little heart out! The yarn is coming out very fine and thin, and I am more than halfway done with the first 18g...

The first bag is a gradient...white to pink-and-white to pink. The second bag is just 18g of pink-and-white, so I am thinking I will either spin both and make a 2-ply with the two sets of singles, OR I will spin each bag, and Navajo Ply (chain-ply) each one to itself. The Navajo Ply is a 3-ply, so I would get less yardage, and a thicker yarn...I'm still deciding. You know what? It's giving me more fluffy brain!

Considering that this is the first time I've taken out the spinning since 2010, I think I am just going to keep spinning, and not worry so much about the plying decisions today. Overall, this yarn is coming out WAYYY better than my first couple tries, so I'm just going to enjoy it. =D Bonus, my spindle matches this lovely fiber!

Thanks for stopping by, and I now return you to your regularly scheduled knitting (or spinning, if you prefer).  What gives YOU fluffy brain?

Knit-and-Spin in Good Health!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Are you a Man or a Monkey?

So, last week I blogged about Bananas. There were many masculine modifiers (he, him, his), and I really didn't think I had done anything wrong at all. As a matter of fact, I even made "him" a little monkey-girlfriend, Mango...

She was so pretty, with her ears perfectly placed, and her sweetly jointed arms and legs, that I even made her a couple of wardrobe changes! This is where it all started to go horribly wrong...

Do you see what's going on in that picture? I mean, that's Mango on the left, in her stunning green frock...but who is that in the pink ruffles? Wait...could it be? It is!!! 

Gasp! It's Bananas! 

And, just for good measure, he...she...oh! That monkey tried on several of the new dresses!

Not that there's anything wrong with that...I guess. I mean, he...she...oh!'s just a toy monkey! Right?!? I suppose it really doesn't matter. A gentle gender-reassignment really shouldn't be that big a deal. Right?!? Especially since they have gone to live in their new home with a darling little, curly-haired, blond Peanut, I'm hedging my bet they're all pretty happy with whatever arrangement they've happened to work out...and it looks like Mango and Bananas don't mind sharing the dresses...sooo, that's a good thing.

Man or a monkey? Who cares? I'm just one silly knitter making toys for the sweetest little blond Peanut in my world, and loving every minute of it!  =D  I hope that your knitting (or whatever it is you love to do) is making you smile like a monkey!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

(Ummm, don't tell Mork and Mindy what's going on, k? What they don't know certainly won't hurt them, right? What's that? Oh, yeah...Internet. hmmm...)

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Where the Birds Are

Well, it's official. Dollface is all growed up. Maybe it happened when she married Snake. (But she still came "home" to do laundry.) Maybe it happened when she moved out. (But they still came "home" to do laundry.) Or maybe, juuuuussst maybe, it happened this January, when Snake and Dollface BOUGHT THEIR FIRST HOUSE!

Moving Day - it still looked pretty rough!
Now, I am not gonna lie...the house is very close to ours (yay!), so for the first month or so, they still came "home" frequently to do laundry, or just to hang out. But over the course of that month, they have painted walls, replaced flooring, added furniture and accessories, and also bought their very own washer and dryer! 

(And the crowd goes wild...well, the parents' washer and dryer goes wild anyway!)

Seriously, though, we are so proud and happy for them. It's fun to watch them settle in, and there has been no shortage of little gifties to warm their new home! There was an afghan...

A trip or two to Home Depot, Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Pier One...and of course there have been various food and snacks when we come over to hang out...
These are chicken puffs...easy and way yummy.
I really need to get the recipe up here someday. =D
But my favorite gifties, by far, have been the Birds
Birds on the windows...

Birds in the bathroom (gasp! don't look!...just kidding!)

Birds as part of the laundry-warming gifts...

The birds are everywhere, welcoming them home! And it's been fun to hang out with Snake and Dollface, and the grand-kitties, AT THEIR HOUSE!...which is (for the record) looking much more put together every day! 

By the way, check out the lower-left side of the photo to see the afghan AND a pair of Snake's hand-knit-by-his-MIL socks, and just to the right of my head is a bird on a window! These kids are sooooo knit-worthy! 

Thanks for stopping by (she says from the comfort of Dollface's sofa), and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

This is Bananas!

I wanted to write a long post this morning, but my life has been just bananas lately. (Luckily, I am not buried in snow...none here at all actually...this one totally missed my neck of the woods - yay!) But, despite the good weather outside, and this brand-new monitor on my desk at work...

...this big, beautiful monitor, accompanied by a lovely new computer, as well as a new server for the office, all very GOOD things...keeping my office functioning has become a flurry of crazy! Running  from office to office (and computer to computer), checking connections and changing settings has been on the agenda for the past few days, and today will be no exception. I am no expert at this stuff, and I freely admit this. Still, I do know a thing or two, and I think I am pretty handy when it comes to this sort of thing, but this transition is starting to really  kick me in my geeky butt! (Ouch! Luckily there is an expert in charge, to answer questions by phone and spend hours in the office doing what I can't and holding my hand. Thank you Jim!) But, it's getting so that when I finally settle onto the sofa in the evenings, I don't even feel much like knitting on my current projects...

All together now, one...collective...GASP!

But I did manage one new little project, and it's Bananas...see?

I wanted to get a better closeup for you, but Bananas insisted on going "in cognito" if I took any more photos. He said that either a disguise or a pair of overalls would help him cope with his embarrassment, so I did what I could:

Bananas is happy to announce that he will not likely be an only monkey, and I hope to have many more monkeys to show you in the near future. For now, though, I'm going to have to step away from the Bananas to work out some of the bugs! I hope you are enjoying whatever brand of "bananas" life is throwing at you today, and that you will have the time (and the inclination) to Knit in Good Health this week! (Especially if you are one of the ones buried in snow today!)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Regular Life (and a little yarn)...

The other day, just before the Anniversary Post went live, I was reading backwards through the blog. I do that sometimes, don't judge. So, as I was looking for typos (hsit happens) and admiring my writing style, I started to notice you see it?

I guess I've always known it, and I suppose that I kindof see through it most of the time, and I am not really sure how I feel about it...but my house looks, wellllll, it looks a little "lived in" at best, and trashed at it's worst. I remember a couple years ago when I joined the "Get the Crap Out of My House" challenge (is that what it was called?), but that was an apparent fail, because cluttered-background, disheveled photos like this are still showing up on the blog, and on Facebook, and actually they're showing up just everywhere...not to mention the cat photos...

There is only one explanation for this, and here it is:
I would rather play with yarn than clean and fix up.
I would rather hang with my peeps than declutter a closet.
I would rather photograph my cats than free their fur from the furniture.
I would rather walk for two hours in the fresh air (and then complain about being sore) than move the mop.

Wait. Was that one explanation? Or four? It doesn't matter. It is what it is, and it will be what it will be, and you and I will continue to see pictures of this all over the internet...

Oh, and you'll see stuff on my cats. 

Because I'd clearly rather admit to being a failed housewife than to stop playing with yarn and showing off my dust, debris and cat hair. I sure hope you're not allergic... =D

Speaking of yarn, I have been working on some stuff, but I have not been blogging it well...but there were a couple of birds, a cowl I test knit last week, and a couple of socks on my cat. That counts, right?!?

What have you been doing lately? 
Cleaning your house? Oh, I'm sorry. 
Wanna come over and play with yarn instead?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!