Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We're back!

We were away.  Where? 

You get one guess...

 The Happiest Place on Earth!

 Seriously, I don't think these kids stopped smiling the whole time.

After putting it off for years (yes, I confess, I kept putting my husband off about taking this trip), Rob just up and booked the whole thing--flights, hotels, parks, even dinner reservations.

 I'm so glad he did.  Did you ever experience something with your kids and you just know that it will be one of those memories they cherish forever?  We just had four days of that!

It was even better than I had imagined it would be.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Works in progress

Time for a little show and tell.  I finally finished my Aran mittens.  I just love the design.  I learned quite a bit about following a chart--namely to color code the various cables.  Life was so much easier after I color-coded the chart!  I started the first mitten...back in September, I think?  And then they went into hibernation.
 My only gripe?  They're HUGE!  Like, super-large man-hands huge!  I'm considering felting them ever-so-slightly (is that even possible?), or just putting them into the closet until inspiration strikes.
On to other hibernating projects: these are legwarmers for Caitlin.  They were supposed to be a birthday present.  Last March.  I have brought these back out, and they're going to be a Valentine's present.
 And here's Libby.  Back and Left Front done.  Working on the Right Front.  Also a Valentine's present.
 Hey, I made a hat--back in October?  It's for Caroline.  I haven't given it to her yet because it's suppose to coordinate with some mittens.
 These mittens.  The first stranded knitting projects I worked on.  In August or September!  They're done--but the ends are not woven in yet.
 See all these ends?  This is a Kristin Nicholas pattern, and that woman is not at all afraid of weaving in loose ends.  It's ridiculous how many loose ends there are on one mitten!  That is why these lovelies are still in the knitting bag.  Maybe by Valentine's Day...
And for two out of three of my kids, that should be more than enough homemade love for Valentine's Day.  I'm feeling guilty about my little man, though.  Especially since he has ASKED me to knit him something!  (Actually, he wants me to teach him to knit so we can make it together--isn't he the cutest thing ever? )  I have wanted to make him a Tomten jacket for a while, but I don't think I could get it done in time.  Maybe I'll take him yarn shopping and let him choose the color.  He can be surprisingly picky at times--and after I've knit the thing up is not the time for picky.

So that's me right now: knitting up yarn that has been lingering.  Next up: girl scout cookie season.  See you all in a week.

Monday, January 10, 2011

First sweater of 2011: Lia

So, it's done.  Here's Lia.

 Five skeins of bulky yarn. 

Size 11 needles.  Knit from the bottom up.

I'm pretty happy.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Derby Surprise

Last night was the Pinewood Derby for Bobby's Cub Scout Pack.  Rob and Bobby have been working hard over the past few weeks to create the car.  There were many trips to the hobby shop and the hardware store.  Books were checked out from the library.  Many coats of paint were applied.

 After I almost sent the precious car crashing into the refrigerator, I was banned from touching it.  When we arrived last night, Rob was getting tips from other dads (like glue the axels or they'll pop out during the races) and adding weights.  When he wasn't camped out in front of a scale, he was applying more graphite powder to the wheels.  This was serious business.
 The boys just ran around the cafeteria.  Until race time.  Then all eyes were on the track.  That super-shiny black car on the right is Bobby's.
 It was also pretty fast.  Bobby placed second among the Tiger Cubs, and third place overall!
 Rob is already planning next year's car.
Congrats to the Evans men!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A new year!

Happy new year to you!  This year, I'm going to give the 365 project another try--last year I took 250 pictures.  Not even close, really, but a broken camera mid-year will do that!  I'm going to shake it off and keep on going.
 Here's how my "tube top" is looking now. I have one sleeve completed, and I started the second sleeve a couple of nights ago.  This sweater is knit on size 11 needles, and my hands really do not like working with needles that big, so I'm giving myself permission to take it slow.
I wanted to thank you all for the encouragement and compliments on the hats and mittens that I made for Christmas.  Getting positive feedback during that process really kept me going!  And if you're thinking about trying stranded knitting, my advice is just jump in!  Mistakes can always be frogged--but you'll never know unless you try.  Start small--I think hats are easier than mittens.  Kristin Nicholas has some beginner projects in at least two of her books (whose names are escaping me right now).  I do not knit with both hands--it's recommended that you learn to carry a color in each hand, but I think that's more hard-core than I need to be.  [For the record, I am a left-handed "picker."]  I alternate the colors of yarn in the same hand, and occasionally I have to stop and un-twist the skeins, but it's not the end of the world.  As much as I enjoyed the end result, I am ready to put stranded knitting on the back-burner for now.

As I think about this year's knitting projects, I am firmly in the grips of a cable obsession!  As of now, my next couple of planned projects involve cables.  And now that Christmas is behind us, I am thinking of Valentine's Day and red and white material...