Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

We are not giving out candy this year! I decided we would take Baby K to see her grandparents, and I wanted to dress her up. My original plan was:

(no that's not really her, just some other cute baby model.) I ordered online on Oct. 20th, and paid for 3-5 day shipping, because the estimated arrival for regular mail was Oct 31st. I added some colored pencils to my order, too, because I didn't want to pay 50% of my total bill in shipping costs! (yes, these little details ARE important to the story!) So, last Wednesday - Oct 25th - the box arrives and B calls me at school and says, the outfit isn't here, and by the way, did you order pencils? I check my order online, and lo and behold, the costume is backordered. GRRRR...I just paid exhorbitant shipping for colored pencils! CRAP. So, no cute costume for Baby K's first Halloween. I'll do better next year, I promise!

oh darn - inspiration just hit! I have some really wide ribbon that came on one of her shower gifts...I could make a beauty queen banner for her! My other idea was to dress her in red as Tickle Me Elmo...she laughs at everything.

As for me, I went with my standard "stupid math teacher joke" - a Pumpkin Pi t-shirt. It's fun to watch the lightbulb go on in the kids' heads as they think it over.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday sewing

My brother kindly informed me this week that "Just because you are working full time does not mean you can stop posting baby pictures every day." Well then...here you go!

(Baby K is looking in a mirror. This is major entertainment for an 11-week old!)

And now the details of my Saturday adventure. I went to the mall! Now folks, this is big news, because it only happens once or twice a year! B. was working at the church clean-up day, so I packed Baby K in her stroller and cruised the mall. The primary destination was JC Penney's since they had a sale...I felt like I went crazy and I was pleasantly surprised with my total bill. I did not see anything cute in terms of a baby Halloween costume...(my online shopping fiasco will be a post on another day...say Tuesday?!?) Interesting fact: The Disney Store target customer is four years old. But, I did find a beautiful dress for our Christmas portrait, which we will take in the next week or so.

Then I came home and B. said, "I hope you don't expect me to watch the baby while you quilt this afternoon." DOH! Guilty as charged! I have store samples for my mother that are piling up at the longarm and I was anticipating a free Saturday afternoon at the machine. But, B. had a midterm to work on. So, I got baby K. settled in her swing in front of the longarm and started to pin a quilt in place. The phone rings, and my friend Lisa wants to catch up on my first weeks back at school. yada yada, half an hour later it's time to feed the baby. Finally, the baby is down for a nap and I can go back to pinning, and winding bobbins and getting the pantograph in place. oops, there's the baby crying again. Get another bottle ready...luckily she's sleepy this afternoon and goes back to sleep immediately after eating. I managed to get 3 rows quilted, then it was time to meet some friends for dinner. At this rate I'll be lucky to finish one quilt a month!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Finally a quiet moment!

Well, not really quiet. Baby K is in her rocker next to me and she is babbling non-stop! I had to have a photo session in this gorgeous dress. It was supposed to be for her christening, but that is three weeks away...

Here is the progress so far on my Jaywalkers:

it's a fun pattern, I just have very limited time to work on them! Every time I think I have the baby settled down, I get about 2 needles-worth knit, and she fusses to be picked up. I'd have alot more time for my crafts if I didn't need sleep, LOL.

Here is a wild shirt B. found on our Hawaiian vaccation a few years ago. Baby K. loves to sit on his lap and look at the bright, bold patterns. I just wanted to share something fun and colorful since there is very little quilting going on!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Working Mom

No, I did not fall off the face of the earth! I just went back to work...ughhhh. In the few spare minutes I have to be crafty, I have been knitting a few rows on my Jaywalkers and finishing the hexagons for my One Block Wonder quilt. Tomorrow is session 2 of the OBW class, so I should have some great photos of kaleidescope designs.

Baby K is doing just fine. She is home with Daddy while I work. The saddest part was last Thursday when I was at school all evening for conferences. K. was asleep when I got home and only woke up long enough to eat! She does wake up with me in the morning, so I get some cuddles before I leave.

Daddy and I are in a routine of evening walks now. We load up the stroller and hit the pavement for about 30 minutes. There is a nice park at the end of our street, with wide sidewalks, a jungle gym and lots of grass. It will be a wonderful place to play when Baby K. starts walking.

One of these days I will have time to download and post new pictures. I have grand intentions, but it's very hard to work at the computer when K. wants to be held all the time. And, B. needs to get his homework done (online masters degree) so I am in charge of baby care in the evenings. It's really cutting into my computer time!! But, I know that all too soon we will be saying "Remember when she was just a baby..." I'm enjoying this time immensely.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Get Lucky

Friday October 13th...it's been a perverse pleasure throughout my life to have my birthday on the unluckiest day of the year! Of course, it was a bigger deal in elementary school, not so much as a working adult.

I pulled out some Halloween decorations last night.

The yarn is Scout's Socktoberfest colorway...I'd love to make some knee-highs with contrasting heel, toe and cuff. maybe someday! Which brings me to Lolly's questions about stash.
How big is your stash? Do you collect yarn or just buy for specific projects?
I generally buy yarn for projects. I try to do this with fabric also, but occasionally (during shop hops or quilt shows) I will just buy some that I love with no purpose in mind. I participated in the One Skein Swap this summer, so I have a few full skeins in my stash now. And I have some untouched kits buried in there too!

I'll leave you with a picture of my "middle child" - Tony. I mentioned that we keep a ladder under the tree...this is his favorite spot, he can climb up and be "close to nature." Someday I'll get pictures of how he climbs...he puts one paw up and hooks it over the next step, then climbs to the next one. So cute!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


As promised, here is Baby K with her bunny. Amazing how big she has grown! She is in the 97th percentile for height and weight. The nurse was very quick with her shots this morning, so it wasn't too bad. Her lungs got a big workout though!

Here is the finished quilt for my longarm guild challenge. I did everything freehand, with some markings. You can see the central pinapple design. There are some parallel lines in the black background. The pink and yellow border has flowers. The blue area is where I practiced the wineglass background (kind of like a double wedding ring pattern). I finished with some half-circles and spirals in the outer border. I need to write up my own critique and see if it matches the judge's comments. I know there is lots of room for improvement, but overall I am pleased that I could take a design from paper to fabric!

Other than that, I am happily working on kaleidescope hexagons and the Jaywalker sock :-)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Last days of freedom

I go back to work next week, so I've been busy finishing up projects. Several quilts are in the binding stage, and I am ready to add borders and quilt the batik beauty! I was going to take the easy way out and use a pantograph, but as I look at it more, I have ideas for free motion motifs.

Here is my first jaywalker! I mentioned in my previous post that I needed a row marker so I didn't have to use paper and pencil to check off my progress...well, you can keep track very easily if you learn to READ YOUR STITCHES! My first knitting project was a checkerboard baby blanket with alternating squares of seed stitch and stockinette. I messed up early on, and took it to the expert knitter at my mom's shop. She drilled into my head the necessity of reading stitches. It makes knitting much easier...you can find your mistakes faster, you can pick up your project and find your place right away. I used Debbie Stoller's book as a tutorial - she has good pictures of the knit and purl stitches. So here I am with my Jaywalker - round 1 is knit, round 2 is the pattern. So, I "read" the needle with the stitches I just finished, double check the previous row on the needle I'm working with, and off I go!

For anyone who was missing Baby K...here she is! Daddy was reading to her, and she's trying to get her whole fist into her mouth - we'll try to separate the thumb next week. Tomorrow she will be two months old, and you know what that means...a bunny picture! Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

What I've been up to

Everyone must be wondering how I have time to quilt and knit with a two-month-old in the picture. I have to give credit to my dear husband, B. He is also a teacher, but he took the year off to be home with Baby K. So, he cuddles with her while I pursue my hobbies! But that will come to a screeching halt in 10 days (trying not to panic!) when I go back to my teaching position. I had lunch with some friends yesterday and the conversation was dominated by descriptions of all the extra paperwork we are now doing for special ed inclusion, english-language learners, and to get our "professional pay" salary bonuses. (I have another friend who describes teaching in public school as a volunteer position...sometimes I agree!!)

Back to my craftiness... Have you seen the new craze: One Block Wonders?? Kinda like stack-n-whack, but with hexagons. I got these two blocks done last night in class. I am using a fall fabric with leaves and berries. My mom is using a fantastic Alexander Henry print in black and white geometrics with red and blue flowers. Hers will be stunning!

Here is my batik Strip Club block. There are 32 blocks total, to be put together in a pinwheel layout. I am going to cut the setting triangles today and lay it out on my bed...easier than the floor when you don't have a design wall!

And in honor of Socktoberfest 2006: I present the cuff of a Jaywalker!! I have knit about 3 rounds of the zigzag pattern. I was thinking last night of a way to keep track of which round I'm on, without using pen and paper. My brilliant idea was a marker that I could either clip on the project bag or leave on the table...I'd have a different marker for each one, and just leave the marker out for the row I had finished. This may devolve into a sticky note that says "Round 1" or "Round 2"!!
Blogger wouldn't let me upload more pictures today...I'll send baby pictures in email, or you can check back tomorrow for a glimpse at chubby cheeks!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sock update

And so, I will be casting on for the FOURTH time. (note to self...double check the cast on stitches before beginning the leg. k2p2 after 76 stitches should end in a purl...that was my first clue!)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

A good spot to take a break

Progress is being made on my alpaca vest. I hope the stripes line up a bit better once it's seamed and blocked! A year has passed between the first and third panel, and I *hope* my knitting has improved in that time, so maybe that accounts for the variation! One more panel, a back wedge, and the edging. Maybe by February it will be done?!?

I thought this would be a perfect stopping point, since it is now SOCKTOBERFEST! I picked up the Jaywalkers that I started at Stitch-n-Pitch a few weeks ago. After about 8 rows of ribbing, I decided to try them on. They seemed waaaaaaay to big around my leg. So, I ripped them out and cast on my usual 68 stitches (usual...hahahaha, I've completed one pair of socks in my knitting history!) Then I adjusted the pattern for fewer stitches. I worked for a couple rows, then decided to see if there were any notes online for the pattern. I found messages from last winter's Jaywalker Knit-along, and Cara noted that she usually knits socks with 68 stitches, and the Jaywalkers turned out fine as written with 76 cast on. RIIIIIIIP yet again! So here it is, the first day of SOCKTOBERFEST, and instead of having a head start, I am just joining the stitches to begin my second-ever pair of socks.

Here is my angel baby, sleeping sweetly this morning:

There won't be baby pictures everyday anymore, the grandparents are back from their vacation now! I'll post pictures occasionally, probably the monthly bunny/growth shot, but we're back to regularly scheduled crafty posts from now on!