Archive for January, 2007
I’ve been a very good mommy this week. (That is until today when Agent K needed to use my computer and thusly made me quite snappy.) Can I say that I caught myself being good? I didn’t want to go, really. It was cold with lots of wind chill and I thought — this is crazy we are going to freeze our buns off. But we went and it was wicked fun — I had forgotten how much I love ice skating. It was so fun that not only did we skate after school on Monday, but we went after school on Tuesday also. It is a good thing that we went the second time too, because now we have snow cover.
It is very rare to have all the things align in our favor to do something like ice skate together on a pond. As a matter of fact, I think this is the first time that it has ever happened. All 4 of us had skates that fit, the pond had a good 8 inches of ice, there was no snow cover, and the girls did not have after school activities. The last one is probably due to the fact that because Dave is studying so much and basically non-participatory in our family, I have drastically limited the amount of after school activities that they can do this winter.
I brought my camera on the second day we went skating. I wish I had it on the first as there was a beautiful sunset that evening, but I guess since clouds are more typical around here, Tuesday’s photos are more representative of life in Connecticut.
Here are a couple others:
I don’t know why but they really wanted me to take this photo too:
Can anyone guess what tomorrow is???
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Posted by: Tamara in dyeing
Hypothesis: It would be fun to try to tie dye some yarn!
Results: Yes, 1 out of 1 participants agreed that it was fun to try to tie dye yarn!
I’m such the scientist!
Anyway…I have been itching to try some dying experiments. Last spring I made a sample garment out of Garnstudio’s Ribbon in white and I wondered how it would look with some color. So finally, yesterday, months later, I bought a ball before leaving work. (I told Knitcole it doesn’t count on my yarn diet because it is for an experiment. (And yes, ultimately and more more importantly, it will give me something to write about on my blog.)) She kind of gave me a strange look like she wasn’t really buying it. But it is my diet, my rules, right?
Here comes all the info:
Yarn: Garnstudio Ribbon yarn color 01, 45% bomull, 45% viskose, and 10% lin which I think to be cotton, viscose, and linen.
Dye: Dharma Fiber Reactive Procion Dyes in New Emerald Green, Clear Yellow, and Periwinkle.
Method: This was just a quick test so I didn’t do everything that I always do in tie dying. The dyes were already mixed from the GS T-shirts in the fall and I even used the same Soda Ash solution so there could be some deterioration of the chemicals. I also didn’t rinse in Synthrapol like I do when I tie dye.
I wrapped the skein of about 20 yards of ribbon yarn with elastics:
I soaked it in the soda ash solution for about 1/2 hour. Then I poured the dye on it to saturate the yarn. I place the yarn in a plastic bag and let it sit in the warmth behind the woodstove overnight. In the morning I brought the yarn up to the utility sink, removed the elastics and rinsed it with warm water. This is the yarn just prior to rinsing:
This is the yarn being rinsed and hung to dry:
and here is the swatch again (knit on size 10 needles):
I think it was a pretty successful experiment. An easy and fun way to color to otherwise plain ribbon yarn. (OK, and I’m also fishing around for a potential fun thing to sell in an Etsy store, you caught me! Though I’m pretty sure that you can’t resell a “brand” of yarn – Dharma Trading also sells a large variety of undyed yarns and there has to be other source out there right?)
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A few days ago, I wrote a post about children’s literature. One of the series that I mentioned reading over and over was Cherry Ames, Student Nurse. At the time I read the books, I wanted to grow up and become a nurse, I was even a Candy Striper when I was in High School. I never ended up being a nurse, and as anyone in my family, can tell you, I would make for a really sucky nurse. “What? You want chicken soup? Make it yourself!” Ok, really, I’m not quite that bad, but close! Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time around nurses and watching what they do and they are truly fantastic! To be a nurse, you have to be really good at the technical/medical parts AND you have to be a fabulous people person!
I get to try my hand at a little nursing for the next month. I am lucky that it is the technical part and not the people person part! LFG, my darling sister, brought my Dad home from the hospital yesterday, and even though he is back to being himself, he is not quite well. He has to receive his medicine through IV therapy for the next 3 to 6 weeks. Today I had my refresher course at IV administration. (I say refresher, because we also went through this in 2004.) Anyway — both the home IV nurse and visiting nurse were at my parents house today. They are fantastic! We also have a bit of an extra benefit in that the IV nurse lives across the street from us. I guess that is both convenient and a little ironic too. The visiting nurse that he is going to have on Monday is also a former neighbor who is quite fond of him and he may also have a visiting PT who is from town. For such a small town, we must have a very high percentage of health care workers!
Well now that I have all that updated, (Dad out of hospital, no more driving to Hartford, not quite well yet, but we are hopeful…) I can write about knitting and spinning!
I finished my Spin to Knit swap yarn. The photo below is just a little snippet. Although I think the chances of my pal reading my blog are slim, I should at least attempt a bit of discretion, right?
Mary Kay from the Mamascrapalotta blog sent me a lovely skein of handspun in the mail. Very pretty, don’t you think? I think this yarn may want to be the handwarmers for which Agent J has been asking.
And this is something interesting, in November, I wrote this post in regard what they are calling a new trend in moms drinking at their baby’s playgroups. Yesterday, Melissa, from Suburban Bliss was actually on the Today Show! (See where blogging can get you?) She is so adorable. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, here is the link. I wonder if Melissa would like me. I can roll my eyes with the best of them, right? I really hope that if my girls were of the playgroup age again, I would get to be in Melissa’s playgroup and not in the playgroup with that Janet Taylor person from the video. She scares me. No way I could live up to her mothering expectations! Let’s all just take a deep breath and clear her out of our minds…
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Posted by: Tamara in spinning
From my Secret Spin to Knit Swap Pal! Thank-you Secret Pal!
She wrote a nice note on a Mary Englebreit card (How did she know I love her designs???). She has gorgeous handwriting, btw…
Here is the scoop on the yarn:
Top: Singles, wheel spun, hand dyed Corriedale/Columbia blend roving. Jacquard acid dyes. Gorgeous! I don’t usually spin singles so this is really cool!
Middle: Superwash Corriedale, handpainted, fingering weight. Absolutely gorgeous colors. The photo does not do them justice.
Bottom: 2 ply spindle spun African Fine roving. Colorful and soft! And it smells good too!
Thank you again, Secret Pal!
How am I doing with my spinning for my secret pal? Well, I am done with the spinning, I just need to set the twist and wait for it to dry. I spun a main yarn and a companion slightly novelty yarn to go along with it. I also bought a little chocolate to mail out with it – but can you keep a secret? I’m not sure any of it will make it til mailing day. Well – I guess I could always run out and get some more, right????
OK, I have this awesome song I want to share with you! (Even though we don’t usually agree on music, I think you may like it too, Agent Crops a Lot!) I was listening to Cast On With Brenda Dayne while I was spinning and she always finds the best podsafe music. I don’t know how she has time to listen to so much music to always have such great songs ready for her podcasts. Anyway — the song that she played is called Skullcrusher Mountain by Jonathan Coulton. You can either listen to the latest Cast On Episode (#44) to hear it or you can go right to his website. The song is located about 1/2 way down the page in the section called Where Tradition Meets Tomorrow. Just click and listen! I’m cruising through some of the other songs now like That Spells DNA. Really catchy!
We are going to be getting some really cold weather starting tomorrow. Perhaps it is time to start planning our CA trip itinerary? Just 5 more weeks and we are off to LA! Oh, a vacation is so much what we need right now! I’d much rather shop for bathing suits than snow boots! Hoops and Yoyo are pretty excited too. Have you noticed how much they have been languishing lately? Poor guys — not much to keep them busy lately. They haven’t even seen a real snow fall yet, but that’s ok — we will soon be off the land of sunshine!
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Posted by: Tamara in reading
I saw this Children’s Book Meme on Chappysmom’s blog last night and I just can’t resist!
1.) How old were you when you first learned to read and who taught you? I remember learning how to read for real in first grade. I remember reading a book about a Burro and learning a song called “Mr. Rabbit.” I also remember reading a Charlie Brown/Snoopy book over and over again at home until I could read all the words. I think mostly I taught myself. The first chapter book I remember reading was Robinson Crusoe (a children’s version) from the school library. When the Junior Agents started school and I was a library volunteer, I checked to see if the book was still in the school library and it was!
2.) Did you own any books as a child? If so what was the first one that you remember owning? If not do you recall any of the first titles you borrowed from the library? My mom signed us up for a book of the month club so books just came in the mail! We still have some that we have read to the Junior Agents. One of my Favs was How Fletcher was Hatched. Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew and the Oobleck was also pretty cool. The books that I used to take out of the public library (some of which they also still have) were Nancy Drew books, The Dana Girl Mysteries, Cherry Ames, Student Nurse books, and the very popular at the time Judy Blume books. Oh wait and how could I forget Madeline! I loved the Madeline books. The production of the Madeline movie and her popularity when the Junior Agents were little was timed so right! What could be better from a mother with 3 little daughers than Madeline books, videos, toys, games, songs…
3.) What was the first book you bought with your own money? I think it was a book on baby names. I loved to look at all the names and their meanings and daydream…
4.) Were you a re-reader as child? If so which books did you re-read most often? Thinking back, I actually was a re-reader, which surprises me because I’m not a re-reader anymore. (I could be very easily though since I’m such a forgetter!) Some of my favorite books that I read over and over included all the Little House books, the All of a Kind Family books, Heidi, The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, and A Wrinkle in Time. My mom read us Little Women aloud a couple of times.
5.) What is the first adult book that captured your interest and how old were you when you read it? I guess it all depends on the definition of adult book. I think I read Judi Blume’s Forever at too young of an age. I guess my mom just thought that all her books were meant for children. That was probably around 6th or 7th grade? Also for English class in 7th grade we read The Once and Future King and Goodbye Mr. Chips which I think probably fall in the adult category. Freshman year we read Something Wicked This Way Comes which I loved and had marked up extensively. My mom borrowed it to read and lost it. Although she replaced it, it was never really the same for me as having the original. (Note to self: Be really careful of Junior Agents’ books.) I think I also went through an Endless Love phase and a Flowers in the Attic phase.
6.) Are there children’s books that you passed by as a child that you have learned to love as an adult? I have to admit that I passed on The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe. My sister read it and I always felt that it was “hers.” Even now with its reemergence in popularity and with my children reading the Narnia Series books I still haven’t read any. None of my girls have really been big Nancy Drew fans either and I haven’t enjoyed reading them aloud. That doesn’t really answer the question though, does it? Let’s see — oh, The Phantom Tollbooth is something that we have read that I never read as a child. That was pretty good and I can’t think of anything else right now, though I’m sure there are many that I missed.
So that ends this meme, that I mistakenly thought would make for a quick and easy post! For anyone keeping up with my driving to Hartford saga, guess what????? I did it!!! I did it, I did it, I did it! I drove myself to Hartford Hospital!!! Whoo hooo!!!! I did not go on the highway and I did not go in the parking garage (I contemplated it as I drove by but felt a little queasy). I used the valet service instead which was really easy and I don’t know why no one told me about this before! I think my mom should start using it. It is really only a couple of dollars more than the parking garage but without all the stress. Anyway — my dad will be there for a few more days at least. He is starting to get a bit antsy to come home. Please, if you will, keep him in your thoughts. He needs all the good thoughts and prayers that he can get.
Well, time to get the Agents ready for bed. I don’t usually blog in the evening and it has been a bit crazy so I’ll have to come back later and check for what is probably an exorbitant amount of typos and grammar errors. Just cover your eyes for me, ok? Have a great evening!
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…and I can’t even interpret the bus schedule…
IHA wasn’t so thrilled with the bus idea anyway. Although the more he protested, the more I really wanted to take it. But, that is all irrelevant as I can not decipher the silly thing to save my life! I just want to get from the mall to the hospital, is that too much to ask? Really? Well — I may attempt a drive in — I can take some back roads, avoid the highway, lock my doors, and use the valet parking to avoid the dread parking garage.
I took a group photo of all the projects on which I am supposedly working on at the moment. It is not a great photo, as they were very uncooperative and they would not all smile pretty for me at the same time. Perhaps it’s a conspiracy.
Starting at 12 o’clock and going clockwise we have Endpaper Mitts, Universal Toe-up Socks from Knitty.com in Dancing which I think is discontinued, the first bobbin of singles to be plied for my Spin to Knit Pal (hand-dyed fleece of some variety that I need to look-up before I send it off to her), and finally some felted swatches. I had a brainstorm this weekend and I think I have an idea for a felted bag. This one will be for Agent J. I bought this Lemon Ice Wonderful Wool from Steadfast Fibers for a her a few months back (I did buy it from my LYS, not the link listed). Yellow is her favorite color and I was going to make her hats and mittens, but Dara said that the yarn was probably too scratchy (and I agree), so I’m going with a bag, I think. I’m still working on swatching though because I want to mix a few other things in like beads and stuff. So, that’s it for craft stuff. I do have a couple of interesting links I would like to share and then I’m off to continue my putzing around the house. It is a tough job, but someone has to do it!
These links were sent to me by IHA, this one is interesting for people with school age children and this one is interesting for crafters (in one of the photos from the Dec 26th entry, she shows an egg with a cut-out window. My aunt used to make these when i was little and I have a couple — they are uber-cool. She used to get different size eggs too and she made some that were super small and some that were really large perhaps Goose eggs?)
Well, I’m off…
*“Looks like somebody forgot about us, standing on the corner, waiting for the bus…”
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Caught being good photo!
Who? Agent K
Caught for: Being kind, caring, and empathetic!
(She called me from school one day this week just to see how I was doing.)
It has been such a crazy long week here. Sigh. Dad has been transferred off to the Big City Hospital. I’m not such a great Big City driver so I printed out a bus schedule. I have no clue how to read it. Do people really take buses? Are there people you can pay to translate the schedule? Who writes these things anyway?
Quick update on Dad: He was sent off to Hartford for more testing. Testing, testing, and more testing. I’m not sure he is going to have any blood left when this is over. He is doing quite well as of this moment, but we will see what the testing results bring. Without going into too much detail, his problems all seem to stem from his 2004 heart valve transplants. Please keep him in your thoughts.
Craft-wise, I did not get to start the scrapbook project that I wanted to this week, but I made a lot of progress on LFG’s Dancing socks, and bit of progress on Endpapers. I also started swatching for a felted bag idea. Oh yes, and I spun a bit more fiber for the yarn from my Spin to Knit Secret Pal. Does anyone know if there is another website or blog for this swap besides this one? Is there a place to go where we can see all the yarn that is being swapped and stuff? I’m not sure I’m getting the complete story here? The last swap I did there was a central blog where people could post all the yummy packages they received or maybe we can’t quite do that until February because the pal must stay secret for 2 months?
So — I must get back to studying the bus schedule — LFG and I are thinking of trying it out today so I know what I’m going during the week, and thusly, I can return on time for the school buses.
Have a great weekend!
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Posted by: Tamara in Uncategorized, tags: mitts/mittens
I’m doing it! Still working out some kinks (like how hard to pull between needles), but I’m doing it! These Endpapers are not going to beat me!
Pattern: Endpaper Mitts by Eunny Jang
Yarn: Knitpicks Palette colors blush and wood (I think – I can’t find the labels right now…)
Needles: US sizes 0 and 3 Chiaogoo (I love these the best!)
Gauge: I’m aiming for 8 stitches per inch and I’m still getting about 9 – but I can slide it on my hand so I think I’m ok.
The sun is out (see the shadows in my photo?). I had forgotten how bright it could be! Cold but sunny – that beats warm and gloomy any day in my book. Well – I’m off for the day — to work and then to visit my dad. Hope you have a good one!
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Check her out! Agent B in her new Kanga sweater!
Pattern: Kangaroo Duo from The Purl Stitch, page 82, Child’s 6-8. (I’m not so sure I like the name of this pattern as I only knit a singleton. It sort of leaves you with an uneasy feeling by just knitting one — like you need to knit another so the first kangaroo is not so lonely.)
Yarn: Hand painted worsted weight wool from Briar Rose Fibers. The loveliness of this yarn made this sweater experience. I used almost the entirety of the 850 yards that I purchased at Rhinebeck.
Start date: November 19, 2006
Finish date: January 10, 2007
Pattern mods: I don’t think that I changed anything. I used some different techniques to do the finishing which you can read about here.
Project notes: This sweater was simple and fun. The pocket was integrated and really easy. I love the drop sleeves. I think they look really nice on Agent B. The seaming took a few hours, but I was watching TV and the time flew by. Sometimes I like to knit sweaters in the round and sometimes I like to knit them in pieces. The benefit of knitting them in pieces is that they are much more portable. For example, SKB really wasn’t easy to just grab and run out the door. Whereas with Kanga, I could just grab whatever piece I was working on and go with it. I think Agent B really likes the pouch – for the whole photo shoot she would not remove her hands! (For more photos see Finished Projects 2007.)
So what else has been happening here since I last posted?
I haven’t been able to post much this weekend due to the dreary weather. I feel like all I really had to talk about was how I wished with all my heart that the sun would come out. Well, it is still not out, but at least, today; we have hope. There have been some ups and downs with the girls and IHA. There was a part in a play that went to someone else other than Agent K, but on the same day she also received her signed photograph of Orlando Bloom (I just have to love that guy now!). IHA accidentally left his laptop power cord at the library for the long weekend. Agent B found out that we will be away for the Learning Fair. IHA and the girls went to BJ’s Warehouse without me and everywhere I turn I see ginormous packages of strange things, some of which I do not think we use. This is definitely a note to self moment, so please excuse more for a moment. Important note to self: Remember under no circumstances to never again share BJ’s card with IHA!!!!!
I have also been swatching for the Endpaper Mitts. I think I’m getting the hang of the pattern, but now I need to get the correct gauge which means buying more needles. In my spinning world, I am working on my yarn for the Spin to Knit Swap. There will be more on both these things in future posts. I am also currently all caught up with my HTML class. I have been using what I learned to beautify my Garden Gallery webpage. I shall be re-publishing that soon too.
The most difficult part of the weekend was that I had to bring my dad back to the ER for a fever. I haven’t written much about this on my blog, but he has been in and out of the hospital quite a bit in the last couple of months. He keeps getting these FUOs and this time they think his fever caused a small heart attack. Once I finally finish this up, I’m off to sit and visit and knit if he is not coming home today.
Well, I better grab my knitting and run. I’m sure to report back later. Let’s all think in some sunshine! (please?)
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Altered Photo Boards
Materials: (All purchased from New England Scrapbook Company)(except the Podge)
Junkitz Decor Boardz 8″x8″
Fancy Pants Designs Big Board Chipboard Scrolls
Making Memories Scrapbook Colors Paint, Bordeaux
Chatterbox Scrapbook Walls, Strawberry Stripe and Secret Greenhouse Blossoms
Chatterbox Graffic rub-ons, Woodcuts
Project notes: This project was a Christmas present for my friend Liz (Hi Liz!). I hope that she likes it!!! Anyway — it was fun to make! I do have to admit that I should have taken some time to look at how these boards were “organized.” Even though they are square – they are not symmetrical and it caused me to have a few perplexed moments!
The first thing I did was to paint the edges of the boards using a foam brush. Then I adhered the scrapbook paper to the fronts and backs (The back is just one design.) using the podge. After it dried, I remembered that Crops-a-lot taught us in her altered clipboard class to sand the edges so the paper doesn’t stick off over the edge. Sanding off the extra little bits of paper makes a huge difference — it really just gives the edges a more finished look and it also adds some distressng which I love. I went back over the edges with the scrapbook paint and added some more distressing. I also painted the chipboard pieces. I attached the chipboard with glue dots. I added the photos frames where Liz can later attach her own photos to the boards. I applied the rub-ons and then a couple coats of Mod Podge. Later I added the ribbons. And that’s it! Fun fun!
Other scrapbooking related stuff: Yesterday in my comment sections, Jenny from Crops-a-lot, post a link to the blog, Perfect, Just the Way You Create. The blog author, Donna Downey, unbeknown to me until yesterday, is a famous scrapbook personality. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t know these things! Look at this post. She had a day like we had yesterday, Jenny! Anyway her stuff looks fabulous and her classes look fabulous – maybe it is time to stalk some Scrapbook Artists too!
This week I’m also going to start working on a little album (board-book style with the podge) as a gift for a friend who just moved away. I’m just starting to gather all the stuff, but I’m hoping that by writing it here, I may actually get hopping on it!
Oh — once again — running short on time. I must dash off to get ready for work! Have a great day!
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