Monday, March 19, 2012

Early Spring

Spring hasn't officially arrived, yet it already feels like early summer.  On our trip to Buffalo, for Maddy's big championship swim meet, we saw crocuses and daffodils in full bloom.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the opportunity to take any pictures.  The flowers were seen as we made our way back to our hotel, which was on the route of the St. Patrick's Day parade.  We had to walk a couple of blocks through drunk holiday revelers and being nearly trampled pushed picture-taking far from our thoughts.

Maddy didn't win any ribbons during the three-day meet, but she made some of her best times.  We're so proud of her.  The competition in these things are getting fiercer as the kids are getting older and bigger.  I know Maddy won't ever be a super-star swimmer, but she's always loved to swim and I love seeing her big bright smile when she's at the pool!

I got quite a bit of knitting done during our weekend away.  Alyson's Andean chullo hat is off the needles.  I just have to make and attach the tassels.

I started another stranded colorwork project.  After working on the colorblock stocking for money, I was inspired to make a better one for my own daughter.  Maddy is the only child in my family without a handmade stocking, a fact she reminds me of every Christmas.  It's not that I didn't want to make her one.  The rest of the kids all received cross-stitched stockings.  (During my pre-knitting years)  They were designed by the same person and all look similar in style.  I don't think the designer made a fourth one.  I was planning on stitching the same stocking for Maddy as I did for Alyson with the exception of a few color changes...  that never happened.  I checked out a Fair Isle book, Fearless Fair Isle Knitting, by Kathleen Taylor when I came across the Reindeer Romp Christmas Stocking.

Reindeer Romp Christmas Stocking
Maddy fell in love with it  and asked that I knit that instead of cross-stitching her stocking.  So far, I think the reindeer look more like moose.  I just realized I have to stitch Maddy's name in the stocking.  Maybe replace the first row of stars?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Forgetful Knitter

I completely forgot about my knitting!  Well, no.  I couldn't forget all about my knitting.  With all this moving turmoil, I forgot to mention the knitting that was completed prior to the frenzy of house-cleaning.  My younger children had their mid-winter break during the 3rd week of February and I was able to finish Alyson's apres-surf hoodie!

Doesn't she look great?

I also started and finished a Christmas stocking an acquaintance asked me to knit for her.  Laurie and I have a lot of friends in common.  Her son, Jack, and my Emily are the same age and attended the same elementary school.  Anyway, she facebook messaged me asking whether I'd be interested in replicating a stocking.  Her daughter is getting married this year.  Wouldn't nice if son-in-law had the same stocking as the rest of the family on their first Christmas together?  I said yes.  Knitting for money?  Gotta love it!

I was very excited when Laurie told me she'd drop off one of her original stockings in my mailbox.  I was imagining a multi-colored fair isle stocking, maybe with a couple of prancing reindeer (we have a couple of those), a gingerbread house or snowflakes?

I was a little disappointed when I received the stocking.  The stocking is acrylic and knit in really wide stripes.  The foot is knit in the round but the leg is knit flat.  I don't understand why because the design is attached with duplicate stitches.  Another odd thing is that the design is on the front of the leg, so you can't really see it when it's hung over the fireplace.

You can't see the designs!

I had a hard time finding the exact colors.  I couldn't find a yarn line that had the right red, green and off-white.  If one line had a close red, it didn't have any appropriate green.  Another line had a good green but the only red was more like fuchsia.

Hopefully, Laurie will like the end result.  I drop it off tomorrow.

I also started Alyson's Andean Chullo hat on the last weekend of the kids' break.  This is the kit the I got from Knit Picks.  Personally, I like the blue version better, but the red one will go better with Alyson's winter jacket, the jacket she's hardly worn this winter because of the mild season.  Hopefully she'll get more mileage on that jacket next year.  And, she'll look really spiffy with her new hat

right earflap

Sunday, March 4, 2012

March Madness

We finally had our first snowstorm of the winter.  Ironically, it was on the first day of March, the month we look forward to spring bulbs and peruse seed catalogs.  Nevertheless, we made good use of our snow day.  Madelyn spent the whole morning outside with her friends sledding, building snow forts and rolling around in the white stuff.   I spent the time making fabric boxes for my kitchen desk cubbies.

Forgot to pics in progress, but I think they turned out well.

The sad thing is that I made these boxes because we're selling our house.  I know that doesn't make a whole lot of sense but I'll get to back to the boxes.  Hubby has a new job out of state.  We're all very distraught over this life-altering decision to move.  The last week or so I've wiped many a tear (mine and the kids) while the closets have been sorted and family photos taken down and boxed.  Right now, I'm taking a break from clearing out the basement.  

About the fabric boxes... With our house going on the market, I didn't want  my bills and correspondences laid out for all the world to see.  So I went to Michael's, JoAnn's, Target, Lowes, and Marshall's.  I couldn't find any baskets or boxes that would fit the cubbies.  Of course, that meant that I had to make something for myself.

Now, back to clearing out the basement.  Anybody want a twenty-year-old potty seat?