Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Road Trip

I learned something yesterday that may change my life forever.
You can put a center-pull ball in the cup holders in your car and knit without fear of your yarn rolling around on the grubby ground.
This came in handy yesterday when we decided to take a Memorial Day trip in our new (to us) minivan.
Our first idea was to visit a Fur Trade Rendezvous a little south of the Twin Cities. However, we didn't print out a map, so we ended up just driving around through the lovely bluffs and valleys of mid-southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.
We had a picnic lunch in Red Wing, and then came home.
The Hubby enjoys a long drive, while I get sleepy, so it's not the best idea for me to be behind the wheel.
This gave me the ample time to knit up a couple of swatches on the trip.
I loved Coastal Knits the first time I flipped through it, and I knew it would be a go-to book for many different projects.
I have already finished one sweater from it, and yesterday I decided that I needed to begin another.
This Gnarled Oak pattern is just too wonderful. I love everything about this one. The wooden buttons, the yoke, the color, the story behind it. Each pattern in the book comes with an essay about the inspiration for the design, and there are lovely photos of a forest which inspired Alana Dakos which, in turn, make me want to drive to California to see that place and be with those trees.
The next best thing, I suppose, is to just go ahead and knit this sweater.
So in the car yesterday I worked up swatches of a couple of yarns to decide which I should use.
The green on the left is Tracie. A wool yarn that is very lofty and soft as a cloud.
The brown on the right is Thirteen Mile. Naturally dyed, it's also quite soft.
I decided to go with the green. It may have been the power of suggestion, since the original is also green, but the Tracie just spoke to me with this pattern.
The Elder liked the brown, maybe a kid-sized one for her is in the cards?
So last night, during a marathon of The Walking Dead (we haven't finished last season, nobody spoil the ending! We have 2 episodes left) I cast on the ribbing and was able to make a little headway.
The Singers are going on another road trip in June, this time to Chicago, so I'll have a long bus ride during which to get some serious knitting done. Hopefully I'll be able to complete this sweater on the trip.
Joining Nicole for Keep Calm and Craft On.
Also joining Ginny for Yarn Along.
What are you making lately?

21 of 52

Better late than never, joining Jodi for 52 portraits again this week.
The Elder and Younger swinging together.
The Youngest out for a lilac walk in the backpack.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

20 of 52

Week 20 of 52. Portraits of my kids once a week.
The Elder and Youngest at the Capitol.
 The Elder (another two-fer!) picnicking in the very hot heat.
 The Younger also picnicking.
Joining Jodi for 52 portraits.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Spring Walk

This is the magical week when everything starts to bloom. 
The crab apple trees are just popping open, there are huge azaleas everywhere, creeping phlox, violets, tulips, it's just a feast for the eyes everywhere you turn.
Yesterday the Youngest and I went for a long walk and just drank it all in.
 I loved this chalk drawing of the cathedral.
 The view from the Fifth Lamp.

These patient buds are waiting for my mom to get back from vacation before they pop.
This tree belongs to my neighbor and I don't know what it is, but it's always quite spectacular in this first week of real Spring.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Weather Whiplash

We had falling snow 2 weeks ago.
Yesterday it was 90 degrees.
Today I am wearing a wool sweater and it's looking like rain.
However, despite these crazy mood swings that Mother Nature is working through, spring has finally arrived.

How soul-stirring to see green and bright flowers again.
I had this thought yesterday that Winter is a little like childbirth.
It feels like it will never end while its happening, it's painful, it's messy, but when it's over you have something beautiful and you can't really remember the details of how you got there.

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny for a Yarn Along this morning.
Along with finishing the stripey sweater above I have, slowly and steadily, been working on the yoke of my red sweater. A row here and a row there and I have been making some small progress.
It came off the needles for the photo shoot, but all is well now.
There hasn't been much time for reading lately, though I have been picking up Songbook by Nick Hornby from time to time and reading a chapter.
It's quite enjoyable.
What's on your needles today?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Love is the Law

This evening our Governor signed a bill into law that makes marriage equality for everyone a reality.
It was such an exciting event, I packed us a picnic dinner and the kids and I hoofed it over to the Capitol to see it happen live.
We were pretty hot, so we stuck to the shady areas on the lawn. It did mean we weren't part of the main crowd, but we could still hear everything and it just felt great to let my kids be a part of such a joyful celebration.

There were lots of kids there, so despite the 90 degree temperatures they all got up and played tag.
The Youngest decided that she does not enjoy eating cantaloupe, chicken salad, bean salad, or fresh bread. She will, under extreme thirstiness, deign to take some lemonade.
I hope the kids remember the joy of this day their whole lives.

We Sang This All Afternoon on Saturday at the Sheep and Wool Festival

Keep Calm and Craft On

Joining Nicole today.
This Mother's Day my Hubster brought The Elder and The Younger to our local Children's Museum and I stayed at home with The Youngest so she could get a nap and I could sit back and knit away.
I managed to finish up this sweater that I started in 2009 for a friend's baby.
Sorry I never got that finished, Krista!
But now it just happens to fit The Youngest like a glove.
I think I must have chosen button when I picked out the yarn, because I had 2 perfect little lime green jellybean buttons, but in the past 4 years I must have lost one.
So, the top button is a little hedgehog left over from The Elder's Easter dress from 6 years ago.
This weekend was actually chock-full of fiber experiences, we spent Saturday afternoon at the Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool festival.

There were so many sweet furry friends. We didn't get a photo of the alpacas, but they were by far, my favorite. They make this little humming sound that was too adorable for words.
Each of the big kids tried their hands at spinning. I didn't get a photo of her, but the daughter of that woman in the tie-dye jacket up there was 10 years old and they were doing a mother-daughter spinning demonstration. The Younger had a little more success with the spinning, the Elder's yarn kept breaking.
What's on your needles lately?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Crossing My Fingers

This morning I dropped a good friend off at the Capitol Building in Saint Paul so she could be on site for the historic vote going on today.
I have been on the verge of tears since Thursday for all of my friends who have waited for too long to have their families recognized by their government.
Now I am crossing my fingers that the MN Senate will do the right thing today and legalize same-sex marriage.
Minnesota is the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage!
I'm so proud of my state and my legislators.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

19 of 52

Joining Jodi for the 19th week of 52 Portraits.
The Younger watering his jalepeno plant.
The Elder teaching herself to play guitar.
The Youngest hanging out with Mr. Frog in the garden.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Keep Calm and Craft On

It's been a while since I joined in with Nicole for KCCO.
We've had a rough couple of weeks, illness-wise. It's been almost all vomit-related, with a lot of snotty-face-baby thrown in.
As a result, I haven't had that much inclination or time to do much crafty stuff outside of work.
During the 3-4 day lull last week when no one was puking in my face (that did happen) I did get in a little knitting.
I have started that striped green sweater in Jan of 2012, while on a trip with The Singers. I finished the fronts and back, but lost steam when it came to the sleeves.
I recently was reminded of that lovely yarn and pulled out the sweater to knit up some sleeves.
I am doing top-down set in, pick-up-as-I-go sleeves.
It makes for less seaming work, but also I have to lug the whole sweater around with me as I knit the sleeves.
I don't know if the one benefit is work the draw-back.

The red sweater has been on the needles since Jan of 2010 by my ravelry posting.
I have been undecided about how to finish up the yoke for some time, but I think I have finally found the right collection of colors and patterns.
Who knows, I may change my mind again, but if I do, I think I'll have to hand this yarn along to someone else.

What's on your work table today?

Sunday, May 5, 2013

18 of 52

Slow weekend.
The Youngest has her first cold. It's been rough.
The Elder and Younger snuggling together. Always a welcome sight.
Joining Jodi for 52 portraits.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oh, So Lusty

Despite the horrifying weather forecast,
I will not be deterred from enjoying my favorite day of the year.
Happy May!