Friday, April 28, 2006

Party Preparations

So tomorrow I'm throwing my first non-family kid birthday party. That is, there will be no family coming other than our immediate family. All of the birthday parties up to now have been almost all family members.

I don't know why people don't R.S.V.P.. I put down my phone number AND email. I still had to call everyone. Sigh. At least now I know that there will be AT LEAST 14 children in my house tomorrow afternoon. I'm not sure how many adults, but I did invite the parents to stay as well.

I invited seven of Gillian's classmates, figuring that because of the late notice (I didn't get my act together and get the invites out until Tuesday) about half would already have plans. So far every kid is coming. And the constant rain today means there's mud outside, so kicking them out of the house into the back yard is out of the question, not to mention that it's supposed to rain tomorrow as well. It's going to be wild!!

I should be cleaning right now but I just can't bring myself to do it.

Here's a picture of what I've put a lot of energy into today:

It's rather amateurish, but I'm O.K. with that--I'm NOT a professional cake decorator by any means. I'm pretty happy with it and I think DH was surprised. He wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out when I told him what I was going to do. He really wasn't sure about it when he walked into the kitchen and a naked Barbie was sticking up out of a cake. LOL!!

The important thing is that DD loves it. I used two cake mixes so it is one heavy cake! I'm going to have to bake another cake, just a simple sheet cake, to have enough to feed everyone though. That's also what I should be doing now. But oh, no, I'm blogging instead. Anything to avoid housework.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Diamond Fantasy Finished and Blocked

Just in case you missed it, here's what my Diamond Fantasy Shawl looked like on February 2nd (I think this photo was the night I started it):

And here it is this morning:

And of course, as soon as the shawl hit the floor, DS had to come and step on it. It's now had the "Kid Stomp of Approval" as every one of my projects seems to need. LOL!!

I'm just thrilled with the way a severe blocking worked with this yarn. I'm getting VERY spoiled by it. What kind is it, you're wondering? It's wonderful, inexpensive, luxurious 100% merino fingering weight dye your own from KnitPicks dyed using Wash Fast dyes from ProChem. I used all but a very small bit of two hanks, so it's just under 860 yards. Whew!

I did a very cool thing to block the shawl, although I didn't do it on the top edge. I threaded crochet cotton onto a yarn needle and ran that through each point, then used that to pull the points out. I LOVED it. Much easier than trying to line up all those points using pins! It's not my original idea, but I can't remember where I first heard of doing that.

Project Specifics:
Pattern: Diamond Fantasy Shawl from Sivia Harding
Yarn: KnitPicks' Dye Your Own 100% Merino fingering-weight yarn using a dye recipe from Primary Fusion book and dyes from ProChem
Pattern alterations: I only did 9.5 repeats since I was worried about running out of yarn, and I didn't purl back before starting the I-Cord edging (which rocks! It doesn't pull in at all, since you're not binding off with a stitch that will restrict the stretch in any way).
Time to make: started February 2, 2006, finished April 25, 2006. In between I made a few other things, of course, having CADD (Craft Attention Deficit Disorder LOL!!).

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Lucy Bag knitting done

I finished the knitting portion of my Lucy Bag project--now I just need to wait ever so patiently since they just emailed me and said it'll be three more weeks for the backordered dyes) for my dye order to arrive. Once it's dyed, or more accurately, once I've made up my mind how I want to dye it, I'll felt it. I'm really looking forward to that!

Here is a picture of the before-dying-and-felting-bag, modeled by my wonderful Mom for scale:

And of course I won't post any pictures of the finished bag for a month or two. :-(

In other knitting-related stuff, here's a picture of my Mom's sock:

Isn't it looking great? It's her first one. I can't show you the socks I finished or the ones I'm working on now, so I have to show hers instead. :-)

I can show the yarn I dyed (and the yarn I bought) for the current sock project though:

The big one on the left is the one I dyed. It's KnitPicks Color Your Own 100% Merino fingering-weight yarn, dyed by me in blue and black, basically. The one on the right is Koigu KPM, which was hella expensive compared to what I'm used to using. This pair of socks is going to run about $37 by the time they're finished (gasp!!! Don't let my husband see that!!), while my last pair was under $8 including the beads. Yeah, that dye needs to get here. I'm not going to purchase already-dyed sock yarn again unless it totally knocks my sock off! (Sorry, couldn't help it!!)

My wonderful Mom bought the yarn on the right and the new or will be if it ever GETS here dye. I see some custom-dyed yarn in her future.

So on the needles now, I have:
Christmas stockings for the kids that I'll be lucky to finish before Christmas 2010;
Non-Henley that's going to be ripped at some point;
Mirror Mirror scarf that I WILL finish, despite the yarn being a total PITA;
Socks I'm testing;
Diamond Fantasy Shawl that I'm ridiculously close to finishing;
and the eternal Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl.

I think that's it, anyway. At least on the knitting front....

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tempted by Pi

I was easily resisting making a Pi shawl up until just a little while ago.

Do I need to start another shawl? No.

Should I finish some projects I have going before I start new ones? Of course.

Will I actually finish some before starting a new one? Probably not.

AND, I finally found a copy of Interweave Knits Spring 2006 that has the Trellis Shawl. I'd flipped through it on the newsstand and it totally didn't catch my eye--the photography for that project was less than stellar. However, I saw it on someone's blog (can't remember who's blog, unfortunately. Can I find it again? No!) and decided it had to go on my "must do" list. Like I need yet another!

My parents were visiting for the weekend and we had a great time. I wish we lived closer together, but at least this way we really appreciate our time together. My Mom is staying through Friday, and DD is LOVING it. :-)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Shawl Pins

I got a little creative the other night and made up some shawl pins:

They're actually on a white piece of paper, but you can get the idea. I'm going to make some more since I need a smaller, lighter one for the mohair shawl I just finished that's incredibly light.

My parents are coming for a visit, arriving this afternoon, and I'm really excited to have them here. It's going to be too short of a visit as always, but it'll be fabulous to see them. And of course the grandkids love them so everyone's happy. :-)

I hope to get pics of the Kiddy Print shawl (the mohair shawl mentioned above) soon--maybe I can get my mom to model for me....