Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Simo Dress

So here's a project I actually did complete:

Bribe her with a sucker? Why, yes I did.

Pattern: Simo by Cirilia Rose
Yarn: Berroco Weekend (75% Acrylic, 25% Cotton; 205 yds, 100g)
Needles: Uhh...8 maybe? I finished this thing like two months ago, I'm a bit fuzzy...
My Ravelry page for it is here. 

This thing is so stinkin' CUTE. And it was pretty easy. I think it only took me 6 or 8 weeks, carrying it around and working on it here and there - at a birthday party, as she ran amok in the children's museum, or while yelling "DO NOT STAND ON TOP OF THE MONKEY BARS OH MY GOD PLEASE GET DOWN BEFORE I HAVE A HEART ATTACK" at the park.

It's not written to be worked in the round, weirdly enough, but I did it that way anyhow, because given the choice between all that purling and turning and then some awkward join-up of yoke and sleeves and THEN two huge seams to sew vs. barreling right through in the round, only one piece to keep track of, a much-less-awkward join up of yoke and sleeves, and only a couple ends to weave in...duh. Of course I took the easy way out. It did, however, take me four freaking days to figure out how to sew up the sleeves. The very last little bit of finishing, and I was so stuck. In the end it was pretty obvious (sew the tube to the armpit), and I smacked myself upside the head for not figuring it out sooner.

There is a scarf included in the pattern, which I made in a violently bright pink color specifically requested by Piper. She wanted the whole dress made in that Barbie-vomit shade, but I persuaded her that a pink scarf would be cooler. Unfortunately, it never seems to be near the dress when I have my camera. Hmm, now that I think about it, I haven't seen it in a couple of weeks, not since she was using it to tie up one of the cats.

This was a nice yarn to work with. It's cotton-acrylic, in that mutlti-strand way, so I had a problem here and there with snaggy loops when the yarn bunched up, but it wasn't too bad. I normally avoid acrylic, but I thought 100% cotton might be too heavy or stretchy, so I gave this a go. I finished this a couple days after Easter, and she's worn it a few times. It got quite a bit of use on our recent visit to Michigan, when I discovered I had packed for 90-degree weather but they had 65-degree weather.

It's really too hot to wear it these days, but that doesn't stop her. She LOVES it, which makes me unspeakably happy.

Friday, June 24, 2011

2 Projects Per Month: 2011 Halfway Tally

As an alternative to my usual lame New Year's resolutions, I vowed that this year, I would power through my backlog of knitting projects by completing two items per month. I had almost no rules - the projects could be totally new or polishing off a work-in-progress, there was no particular order other than that dictated by holidays, birthdays, or swap requirements. Now that we're halfway through the year, I decided to take stock.

The news is....not good. I am not even close to meeting my goal. Take a look:

January: Grandma's Hat, Yet Another Milo
April: Bunny Nuggets
May: Simo Dress & Scarf, Pink Poncho
June: Do the four things I've started and frogged count?

So, if I totally power-knit for the rest of the year and finish three projects per month...hmm, that idea is so ludicrous I'm just going to stop right there. Most of the projects I have managed to finish this year remain unblogged, because it's gotten difficult to find time to take the photos, upload them, then sit down to write about the finished object.

Part of the problem is that I have been pulling apart as much as I've knit lately, sending myself back to zero on a weekly basis. And despite the magic of Ravelry, I still feel like my to-knit list is super disorganized. I'm having trouble putting a pattern into my queue more than once, so even though I'm making multiple items with the same pattern I can't put all the projects into once computerized list. I think I am also falling into the trap of "too many things on the needles at the same time," splitting my focus and forgetting where I'm at with each project.

In other news, we've had exactly two showings of our house. The only feedback we got, from one showing, was that "the house showed well, but buyer decided she wanted a two-story home." Our realtor had an open house and not a single buyer came. It's sort of depressing.

Even though the neighborhood (and not-from-this-neighbhorhood) kids are out in full force now that school's done, thus making me a nervous wreck and thoroughly miserable most of the time that I'm home, for the moment it's okay if the house doesn't sell. My husband got a new job and will be doing training for the next few months, after which he'll be assigned to a permanent post. The likely locations for that post are on completely opposite ends of the city, and not near Piper's school, so we won't know the best location for us to move to until the fall anyway. Even that could change during the late winter/early spring, when we'll know where she will be going to kindergarten. We are not sending her to the neighborhood school here, and most of the other public schools in this district are not so great either. We will be making the rounds of lottery drawings for charter schools, or possibly finding a way to send her to a low-cost private school on the north end of town. Since the north end is where she goes to school now, and that's where all the parents with school-age kids I know are, I know almost nothing about the schools on the south end of town. If we have to move to that area I'll really be in a pickle.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Grandma's Hat

Back in January, when I heard my grandma was not doing well with her chemo, I decided to make her a hat. Something soft and fuzzy and WARM.

I was still working on the Torture Tomten (which remains unfinished and is so horribly screwed up that I think it will have to be frogged) so I had all this fuzzy pink acrylic stuff sitting around.

I used the Felicity pattern (also seen here), some slightly bigger needles to accomodate the bulky yarn, and after a few days I had a fuzzy pink hat.

Hello, welcome to my dimly-lit bathroom. 

Fuzzy and pink is not normally my thing, but it turned out pretty cute.

I sent it to her with a nice little letter and some of Piper's artwork from school.

My grandma passed away about five weeks after I sent this, but as far as I know she did get it. I hope it brought her at least a little comfort.

Friday, June 03, 2011


Yesterday was her birthday, my baby girl is now a whopping FOUR years old.

Unlike last year, where almost everything was handmade (including that quilt sewed entirely the night before her birthday), I did not make any gifts this year. I also did not make her cake or cupcakes, because she told me she didn't want me to.

(sniff, sniff - cue one mama's heart cracking just a bit)

She told me, "No, I don't want you to make the cake. I don't want cupcakes." She wanted "a pink and blue Hello Kitty cake from the bakery at the store," a sugar-laden mountain of frosting she had seen at our local mega-mart. So, rather than bust my ass making the totally-from-scratch, blueberry-filled, topped-with-homemade-blueberry-whipped-cream cupcakes I'd planned, I ordered the cake.

It was pretty good, actually.

We also did not do the party at our house this year, because it was just too HOT. She has many more friends this year, 11 classmates plus a few others, and even if each kid only brings one parent, that's still 20 extra people to cram into my house. Last year it was about 100 degrees the day of her party and this year promised much the same thing, so we just invited some school friends to the Monkey Joe's closest to where they all live. It was totally easy, all I had to do was show up with the cake, and absolutely worth the money. The kids got to run around in air conditioning and have a blast, she got to have her best birthday yet, and I did not have to cram 20-30 people into my house. Which turned out to be a good thing, since we have gotten a couple calls to show the place, including one yesterday which only gave us 20 minutes' notice. I am so happy people are finally looking at the house that I can't say no, but I also cannot imagine trying to evacuate over a dozen party guests and clean the place with 20 minutes' notice. Yesterday we were gone when they called, out having family birthday fun, so we'd left the place not exactly pristine, and my husband worried that nobody was ever going to show the house again because the beds weren't made and there was wrapping paper on the floor, but I assured him that a crock-pot soaking in the sink and a few scattered birthday cards were hardly the worst things a real estate agent could've seen.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

First Day of School/Last Day of School

One of my friends saw this and said "She went from having baby arms & legs to having big-kid arms & legs!" It's true. She's all limbs now.