Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Special Occasions

Yummy 1st Birthday cake!

I finished Trellis (on the car ride there) in time for my nephew's 1st birthday. I failed to get a close-up picture though. Becket is leaning in to try out some of Patrick's new blocks while he's not looking.
Monday was the first day of school. Moms all looking happy, Becket excited to be part of the big parade of kids, Kenton making grumpy faces, and Caleb staying several steps away - it is so uncool to walk with your Mom when you're in 4th grade. I spent the afternoon installing baby gates. Without the big kids home to help run interference I was worried Becket would get to the stairs too easily. He's fast and determined and squeals with delight as he speeds up to get away for his adventures.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mmmm Summer

Summer is almost gone, school starts on Monday.

But for now, nothing is better than a blue-sky-80deg day, a filled pool, soft grass, and a fist full of watermelon.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Must. Knit. Faster.

Why when I feel like I'm about to run out of yarn, or am nearing the end of a ball, do I knit faster? As if I can outrun the impending doom of not enough yarn. This time I did outrun the doom - but not by much. As I was knitting up the collar of Trellis I wasn't too sure I would have enough. As it is I may need to use bits to finish my sewing up. That little pile and some tails from ball changes are all that's left!

In a great moment - Becket gave me his first kiss. We were sitting and playing, then he leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. He laughed and was so pleased with himself. So of course we got a bunch more and Caleb and Kenton ran over for theirs. Here is one that Mark caught.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Inspired by a blueberry picking picture on another blog, I thought I'd post some of the fun we had picking berries a couple of weeks ago. (With the long drive I had been able to knit up most of the back of Trellis!)

Kenton ate more than he put into the bucket.

Becket had his first taste of blueberries. I tried picking while holding him on my hip and this is what happened.

It would have been better if I hadn't been so worried about them being a choking hazard. Not to mention he also picked green ones, leaves, and at one point was gnawing on a branch. I bit the berries in half for him to eat before we stopped for a picnic lunch that Gram had brought. After lunch Mark entertained him in the shop while I did some serious speed picking with Caleb and Kenton. When all was done we had about 40 pounds of berries for eating and freezing. Here is a sculpture Caleb made of the berries awaiting the freezer. I thought it looked like Gandalf and his army!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Zoo Here and There

We went to the zoo this past weekend - first trip for Becket. He really seemed to be interested in the animals. First stop was the big cats and they were moving around. Here was Becket as he watched his first zoo creature - the tiger came down and jumped in the pool for us:

The car trip also means knitting time when Mark does the driving. I was going along quite well on the Trellis sweater, but found a small mistake when I got home. As I was tinking back the cable that needed fixing, the zoo creature here decided to join in and create a knotted mess I had to untangle.

I did make it through the back and left side - so now I'm in the home stretch with the right front, but that means button holes. The pattern calls for a simple yarn over, but my buttons are just a bit bigger and I also wanted something with a little more structure. So, I pulled out Elizabeth Zimmermann (read about her - she's quite interesting) and decided to try her 3 stitch button hole. I've decided that the hole is too large and will rip it back and try it with 2 stitches. I love the buttons I found, pewter with a rope-like cable around the edge that is similar to the sweater pattern.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Fiber, The Fiber!

You will notice, as I continue to add my past completed knitting projects that I thought to photograph, that most are for either myself of Becket. There are two big reasons for that: I know I will appreciate whatever I made for myself ("You spent how much and how long on a sock?!") and second, Becket is too small to complain about the fiber.

After I had been knitting for a little while and felt confident in my skills, I decided to make a Dale of Norway sweater for Caleb. They are so beautiful and a fun challenge to knit. Besides, I want a cool ski team sweater for myself and thought it good to practice on a small scale first. (I started one for Mark once - but that's another story) So, I knit and chart follow and knit until I finally have all the pieces done. Then comes the scary part - I had to CUT my knitting. It's called a steek, and you machine sew a groove, then CUT in that groove to insert the sleeves. I put it off for quite a while as I researched this cutting online. I finally got brave and did it. I spent a lot of time looking like that as I sewed the arms into the gaping CUT holes.

At last it was done, and was a thing of beauty.

But Caleb won't wear it! He had it on for about 2 minutes as I tried to take a good picture of him wearing the sweater and he started pulling on the neck and yelling - The Fiber, The Fiber!

As you can see here, Becket doesn't seem to mind the fiber in the Dale of Norway sweater I made for him. He will be in all kinds of knit things from the start. I am determined to have at least one child that will wear the wonderful woollies I produce. Not to mention it is quick and fun to make these little baby things!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I admit it, I'm a Geek

I'm loving this blog thing, as well as my SmugMug account that is finally getting updated and utilitzed. With Becket sleeping only about 9 hours total in a 24 hour period, little has been accomplished around here. Now that I've been creating this blog - which includes looking at all the other blogs I enjoy and peeking at their source codes to see how this HTML thing works - my brain is saying 'Hey, thanks for remembering that I'm here for use!' I think that's why I love knitting so much. You plan and follow charts and steps and carefully count and measure. I am slowly adding the tings I knit while I was waiting for Becket to arrive on the side there. I will try to pull together the photos of things I've made over the past couple of years as well.

In the last week I have created another tool for myself that certainly qualifies as geeky. I use Outlook for all my email, but have started making use of the calendar feature over the last month. And now it is helping with dinner! For several years I have done menu plans - I map out our dinners for a week or month+ at a time. If you don't do it, you should give it a try. Nothing is worse than sitting there in the late afternoon, staring at the fridge, and wondering what in the world you're going to have for dinner. With the menu you shop for those meal items each week and theoretically have everything ready to go - you just look over and say - It's grilled chicken night. The trouble comes when that chicken you were going to grill is still in the freezer. Or perhaps I was going to have something in the crock pot - since I can't warp the time-space continuum yet, 8 hours in the crock pot would make dinner ready at about midnight. So, this is where the Outlook calendar comes in handy. I actually added dinner to the schedule for each night instead of having it on a seperate piece of paper. Then, Outlook lets you color code your appointments. So I assigned dinners that have parts in the freezer as an icy blue, and dinners that use the crock pot as orange. Then I can quickly see if I should get out the crock pot that morning. I also put a 2 day reminder on the freezer stuff so a message pops up to remind me to get the thing out to defrost a couple of days before it is needed.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

How to get some Quiet in 5,000 easy steps

It only took me 3 online hour-long chat sessions with Dell eventually updating and messing with the BIOS, 2 calls to the graphics card chip maker, 1 call to Chris and Dad, and a total of about 8 hours working time - but I did it. I upgraded the graphics on the kids' computer and it now runs the coveted Star Wars Lego video game. I haven't seen the kids for the last two days since. If they weren't reminded to eat I don't think they would ever come up from the computer room in the basement. The only time I hear them is when one of them runs up the stairs as fast as he can and into the bathroom, barely making it in time. Then before I can see who it was, a race back down the stairs so as not to miss any action. If only Becket was old enough to enjoy to game, then I could really get some knitting time in.

As it is, Becket is starting to take a decent afternoon nap, so I can knit for a little while. I'm working on Trellis on a deadline and have the sleeves and most of the back done.

Becket also got his first hair cut yesterday. Not much, just a trim where it was getting all crazy hangin in his ears. With some cheerios for distraction it went quite well. He also got his first bubble bath. Bubbles are fun to explore!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Discovery Fun

Today was a fun trip to the children's museum. Becket got to crawl around the young explorer area and grab whatever he wanted without me having to say 'no, don't touch'. He loves balls and that was confirmed today as he went straight for the pile of them and played with every type of ball they had before moving on to other stuff. It was so neat to watch him discover the fun of looking in a mirror. This is the first time he has been able to crawl up to one and see all of himself up close on his own. He smiled and touched and finally leaned up for a taste?

Caleb and Kenton did lots of water exploration, played with air currents, and created wooden sculptures in the building hut.

I think I'll join so that Becket and I can go there during the school year - he'll be so lonely here at home without brothers around to join in the fun.

This should be Easy.....

In my former life I was a mechanical engineer, designing all sorts of tiny electronic components for Motorola. I'm hoping that being a mother hasn't destroyed all my brain cells - althouigh that's what it feels like on most days! That is the only way I can explain why I can't seem to get this spell checker to work. And believe me, even before the boys I absoultely needed the spell checker. I colored that word above in red, as I know it is incorrect, but the spell check button doesn't seem to do anything.

I'll try to add a photo and call it a post - my little Hummer is scooting off and I should make sure he isn't poking a finger into any electrical sockets.