Friday, July 5, 2013

This Week

With leaving our baseball schedule behind for this season, this week has felt so very quiet! No practices, no games, no making sure that all the uniform pieces are together and clean and ready to go...

I worked a little, we played a LOT and yesterday was a lovely celebration of Independence Day and a recounting of the Revolutionary War with our boys. Unfortunately we ended up missing the official fireworks last night- I came into contact with something and had an allergic reaction. I'm heading to my doctor early next week to see about an epi-pen for myself and to discuss the next steps I should take, as this is the second time in the last 3 months I've had an allergic reaction to an unknown allergen and this reaction was far more severe. Today I'm left with hives that will hopefully fade in the next few days.

Our next door neighbors were doing sparklers and some smaller things out in the street when we got home, and they invited our boys to participate. Ellie and I went to bed and Brian and the boys went outside to enjoy the celebration.

On the Needles...

I shared pictures of a new cardigan for Ellie during Wednesday's Yarn Along, and I'm sorry to say I haven't knit on it since Wednesday. I worked all day that day and then yesterday I used every available moment to spin. It was time well spent, but I do want to get back to knitting a bit in the next day or two. 

I read...

An article on digital dimentia that got me thinking again about our screen time limits. Our family rules have always been that everything else should be done first before screen time- even for the adults. Have you been outside? Have you been creative? Have you read? Have you helped around the house? Is your room clean? Have you used your brain?

Most of the time this plan leads to no t.v. for anyone, particularly during the regular school year. But this month when we've *technically* begun a new school year but are *officially* on a break, the screen time does come in. We have just in the last few months allowed the boys to earn time on the Xbox 360, and they rarely use a computer, but I know that should change soon so they can keep up with the world around them. Not yet though. Still trying to decide when that point will be.

Just Keep Spinning…

I've been spinning every day for at least 15 minutes for Tour de Fleece and yesterday I spent most of the afternoon spinning while we picnicked with family. I've made some great progress I think and I'm getting better at catching and fixing mistakes. 

This is just what I've spun in the last 7 days- it seems like a LOT to me in my beginner state, but after looking through the daily threads I know this is barely anything compared to the more advanced spinners. I'm so happy to see this much complete! I also have another "bobbin" that I had finished before the tour, so I'm up to 3. Then I need to watch a few videos to remind myself how to ply and look up more information on plying with a spindle.

Learning all the time…

We officially started summer break almost 2 weeks ago and it has been lovely! We got our copy of the summer science special from Alphabet Glue and the boys helped me choose books off the reading lists to order from the library. Next week we will have our books and will dive in to the science issue's experiments.

Watching (Spoiler Free, of course...)

Brian and I are working through the DVR on the episodes of Once Upon a Time from this past January-May- I think we have 9 left that have just been sitting there waiting to be watched all this time.

Garden Things...

We have a lot of beautiful green tomatoes going and a few teeny tiny peppers, but nothing ready for harvest yet. We did get to pick 2 little cherry tomatoes off of my mom's tomato plants yesterday, but nothing from our own yet.

This weekend...

A little boy is turning 6 and going to enjoy a baseball game with "the guys"- and then coming home to feast on cupcakes I think. There might have to be legos. I have rehearsals and a performance, and there's a final baseball get-together Sunday night for a picnic with t-ball buddies.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Yarn Along: Little Cardigan

{Yarning Along with Ginny}

I finished knitting the gray shawl I was working on last week and I moved on to working on another little cardigan for Ellie that she can wear this fall, and maybe even next spring depending on how fast this little girl grows.

I'm almost through the yoke and then I have to really plan how I want the striping to work. I'm have a general idea of what I want, but sometimes my mental plans don't work out as well as I think in reality. Feel free to suggest striping plans in comments. I'm planning thin stripes emphasizing the purple over the blue and leaning toward the simple side of things.

Truthfully I'm not knitting very much over the past week because most of my crafting time is going into spinning for Tour de Fleece, but I still want to make progress on this cardigan around my TdF participation. My aim has been to spin for at least 15 minutes a day and I've gotten close to an hour each day so far.

It took a little longer than I had anticipated to finish Game of Thrones so I'm just in the first chapter or so of Ready Player One. Maybe I'll find a little more reading time this week!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

FO: Gradient Gray



The Boneyard Shawl by Stephen West


Wolle's Yarn Creations, 100 grams of cotton. Colorway: Coal


Size US 6 circulars, bind off with a US 8



Cast On to Cast Off:

about 2 weeks (June 12-27)


I love this shawl- it is deceptively simple but high impact. I have had this yarn for over a year but couldn't find the right pattern. I'm glad I didn't try to force a match sooner- this yarn and pattern compliment each other beautifully.

Things I Learned:

I really really love the M1R and M1L increases. I have used these increases on one or two projects before, but this time around having to use them on every right side row I found myself admiring the beautiful way the increase fits in with the surrounding stitches. It's a wonderful choice and I'm not really sure why more patterns don't use these increases. I'm sure I'll find myself using these often in patterns that ask you to increase generically.


Wonderful! I'm planning to make another larger one in the future since it was such a lovely knit. 

Now off to give it a good blocking.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fiber Tour

It's Tour de Fleece time! This is my first time participating, since I just learned to spin in February. I'm spinning for practice still, but this is my progress as of Saturday. This fiber is Mauch Chunky (wool) and my goal for the tour is to spin for at least 15 minutes a day working on consistency and gaining more experience. I am getting more flow to my spinning and not having to park nearly as often so yay for progress! I'll try to share pictures of my tour spinning here every few days. 

After drooling over Nerd Girl Yarns and their clever names for both yarn bases and colorways for some time, I put an alarm on my phone for the day the Who's Your Doctor club sign-ups would open. I wanted in. I've never participated in a club like this before and to be honest the mystery of the colorway was a little scary- after all, what if it wasn't really my taste? I decided that I knit for many people that like different things and I would surely find someone to knit for if the yarn wasn't to my personal taste in colorway. 

{Nerd Girl Yarns. Base: w00t. Colorway: Stringy, But Tasty All the Same.}

My first club yarn arrived June 21, and it's that pretty green and silver skein up above. I had the hardest time photographing this green accurately. It has so much more depth and vibrancy than I captured here. While I don't tend to pick out greens, I really like this one and I like the way it is going to expand the colors I tend to knit. I plan for this yarn to grow up and become a Kernel as soon as I get my hands on some appropriate beads.

The kids and I went to Makers Faire over the weekend and came away with so much inspiration! There was a pretty exhaustive collection of artists, craftsman, inventors, and anything else that involves making. We ended up hanging out for a long time in the robotics area (definitely an opportunity we need to check out for Ender in the near future!) but we also got to explore all the other booths- we watched a potter at his wheel for a long time working on a small bowl, we watched a spirograph at work, we learned how to make our own paper, we watched wood workers, tried rubber band guns, and stood for a very long time with a paper artist who shared a few awesome tips with the boys about how to make moving parts in their paper art. Both of the boys talked all the way home about how to make different things and some supplies to add to our art cabinet (I never knew straws could do so much!)

We also found our way to the Nerd Girl Yarns booth where two women were spinning at wheels. It was kind of awesome to hear my boys talking to each other about what she was doing since they know a lot of the terms. Some NGY fibery goodness may have followed us home.

Ezra's choice:

{Nerd Girl Yarns. Base: <3 Heart You. Colorway: Fantastical Fascinator.} 
[He doesn't yet know what he wants, but mittens are likely.]

My choice:

{Nerd Girl Yarns. Base: Bounce and Stomp. Colorway: Blue Box Exploding.}
[This yarn is intended for socks]

Ender's Choice:

{Nerd Girl Yarns. Base: Polwarth Wool, 4 oz. Colorway: Firebending.}
[I told Ender he may have to be the one to knit this after I spin it. He looked shocked and pleased at the same time.]

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