Monday, August 29, 2005

A story

This is a story about a pair of socks. Once upon a time there was a daughter and her mother. Her mother would always compliment the daughter on her knitting and loved to borrow the daughters knitted socks. The mother would wear them so proudly, the daughter finally asked the mother if perhaps she would like her own pair. Excitedly the mother asked for a pink cotton pair so that she could wear them in the summer too.
The daughter then went to meet her knitting buddies at her LYS (Local Yarn Store). Together they picked out some pink Fortissima cotton yarn. The daughter wanted these socks to last forever, so she looked for some size 0 needles. Sadly the LYS did not have any bamboo needles in that size, but they did have metal Skacel ones. The daughter gleefully purchased these items and started to knit her mother's socks.
Slowly it dawned on the daughter that she hated metal needles. She falsely believed she hated cotton sock yarn too, but that was proven false when she knit a pair with bamboo needles. Still the daughter knit on, telling herself that this was a labor of love. Afterall her mother had done sooo much for the daughter without asking for anything in return.
Then came the day when nearing the finish line, the socks were put in the corner. They sat there for 1 1/2 years.

Then one day the daughter pulled these socks out and decided to finish them. But she realized that she hated the metal needles even more now. So the daughter and the mother took a little trip and bought the bamboo needles that were not available locally:

The bamboo needles did there job well and the daughter finished the socks in an afternoon. The mother put the socks on and they fit perfectly:

The mother has not stopped wearing her new socks. The daughter buried the metal needles far, far away. (Ok, in a corner of her closet).
The end.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Birthday time

My baby turned 7 today. It just doesn't seem that long ago that I took this picture:

This is one of my favorite baby pictures of him. He loved to sit and watch his older brother play. He was a very quiet, content baby. He did, however, wake up every single hour all night long, just to make sure I was there, until he was a year old. But that is part of what I love so much about him: he loves his Mommy.
M has had many challenges in his life, but he has done so well in overcoming and building character through it all. He is very creative, very smart, and incredibly kind-hearted. He is happiest at home drawing, building, or reading. It's amazing watching him grow into his personality. Both of my sons know that I hide presents in my closet. M told me last week that he would probably peak in my closet, but 'please hide my presents really good Mom, cause I don't really want to know what I'm getting until my BD'. I've also learned that I can trust him. When told no, he might get mad and sulk, but he will not disobey me. After spending a year with a teacher who chose to judge him based on his skin color, he recently told me that she was a good teacher, she just couldn't see who he really was. M also notices the kids who may not have friends and will become their friend. He becomes deeply upset when he realizes someone has lied or done something wrong. (He cried last summer when he realized that a neighbor child had lied to her father).
I consider myself incredibly blessed to be M's mother (as well as his big bro's Mom). He is the one who is most like me. We both love to read. We both have a huge pile of books next to us in bed (along with a bag of snacks...hehe). We both feel strongly, but are very shy. We both love puzzles and lazy days snuggled by the fire watching movies. M will always have a bit of a struggle in life due to some disabilities, but he has done a wonderful job finding the plus sides and enhancing our lives.
Here are some highlights of his big day:

Lunch at Burger King.

Waiting for party guests to arrive, while big brother tried to entertain him with basketball tricks.

Playing with his new castle.

Big excitement that all his Uncles & Aunts, and Oma & Opa got him his own gameboy!

And the SpongeBob cake that turns into a deck of cards. It was a fun day for a fun boy.
Thank you everyone for the compliments from the last post. And much to my excitement, my big brother even left a comment. (Hi Mark!).

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Socks for my pal

After being excited about the yarn I found for my sockapaloolza pal, I messed the yarn up. Ruined it. Yeah. let's not talk about it. So, I searched some more for the right yarn and was just not finding anything. Then on Sunday, as I was searching through my stash, I realized I had some NatureSpun that would work. Sitting right under my nose the whole time. Then I realized this yarn would also work great for the Friday Harbor socks (knitting on the road knit-along). I wanted to do this sock toe-up and re-figured the numbers some. Here is the result:

Ignore the little blue string by the toe. That's my life-line. Having those makes it so much easier to frog and re-do or change the patterns.
Is this sock-pal worthy? I can't tell my thoughts on choosing this, because my sock-pal may figure it out. I do want her to love her socks though.
I thought I would also include a silly pic of my son. This was at the wedding (back in June). He was the ring-bearer and I admit I was worried he would not sit still during the ceremony. Silly me. This is my creative kid. Upon finding himself bored, he simply took off his shiny shoes and had fun looking at himself.

Thankfully this was one of the favorite parts of the wedding for my brother and his new wife. And it has become one of my favorite pictures of my little boy who is growing up way too fast. Sigh. I promised I wouldn't cry this year when he starts 2nd grade. But as soon as that bus pulls away, I think there will be tears.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

In need of some bliss

Ever have those times when you want something exciting to knit along-side the numerous projects you already have going on? You know the knitted item that allows you to fall in love with it and that when you finish it, it is just like you dreamed it would be. The colors are heaven, the yarn behaves, and the pattern allows it to be exactly what it was meant to be. My sisters socks did that for me. I loved them. Since then I've been working on gifts, knitted items we need (=socks for the boys), and other little things. But I've been craving that love-affair again.
So I cast on some socks for me. But I didn't use the pattern that I used for my sister, because that would just be too easy, right? And I did not like any patterns I have tried so far. (and believe me I'm sparing you the many ones I tried and frogged). The patterns are nice, but they are not mixing with the yarn in the way I wanted. (to all you non-knitters: you probably will just never understand this, it's a knitter's thing).
Here are 2 examples of non-knitting bliss:

The yarn is gorgeous, the patterns great, but yet they are just not doing the magic thing. So sad.
Then during my weekly visit to the library, I discovered this:

I never thought I was a vest person, but now I want to knit all the vests in this book. They are gorgeous and as a history-freak, I love their stories. I narrowed my first choice down to the Bookworm vest. (Let's just say that I've probably gotten my brothers to seriously consider disowning me with the number of books they've had to move for me on my various moving days in my life.). I love this vest (sorry I can't find a pic of it on-line). I tried a little bit in some green encore I have and then a little swatch in this tweedy-type encore. I'm not sure about the colors. The green encore should be saved and be made into a sweater for one of the boys. And there is something about the colors of the tweedy encore, they just don't seem right. I think it should be an afghan or something. Which leaves me still hanging for the right yarn for this.
I'll just keep working on socks (sockapoolza and ones for the boys). My knitters bliss will hopefully find me soon.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Vacations and memories

This past week/weekend my parents went to their cabin. They took my oldest son along with them and were joined there by my brother and his wife. My youngest son, grandmother, and I joined them on Sunday for a bit. It's always fun to see everyone and having my grandmother along made it very special. (I will also admit that I had to go see my son, whom I missed alot!!!)
Here we are (minus my mother who was taking the picture):

We were roasting marshmallows. Certain ones did not pass my youngest sons inspections:

How funny is he?
This week I have also been sorting through old boxes. I was delighted to find the box of my old baby clothes/doll clothes. My brother and sons did not share in my excitement, so I will share some of the clothes with you:

The two dresses I wore as a child. They are hand-embroidered. Isn't that little pink bootie cute?

I love all these little booties that someone made for my dolls. (I'll have to ask my mom who that was). The set on the left are rollerskates with pom-poms. I love the dirndle - another example of my roots in Germany/Austria.

And here is proof of my early knitting. I made the top one and the one on the right. The white one on the left someone else made for me (when I was a baby). That one has matching bottoms, which I guess I forgot to add to the photo. Notice the top one has 3 cables. Who knew I knew could cable that young?
I'll leave you with a beautiful view of the sunset at the cabin. I only wish I would have included one of the socks I'm working on in the picture. (hehehe - think Yarn Harlot).

Friday, August 12, 2005

Surprise!! It's socks.

Thank you for to everyone who has been leaving me comments and compliments! To answer Pinkstockings: there are a couple of reasons for getting lots of socks made now: 1. I can not stand to be sitting anywhere without doing something. It drives me crazy. So I knit almost all the time (sitting at the park, doctors office, watching TV, reading e-mail, etc). 2. Because it's summer and it's hot, I'm now knitting socks pretty much exclusively. 3. School starts soon for the boys and I must make more socks for them. We all know that laundry sometimes only gets done once a week. 4. With my on-going health struggles, it comforts me to watch something beautiful appear from my hands. My various muscles are usually always sore, and I'm sure knitting contributes somewhat to that, but again....look at #1. I hate just sitting. 4. I'm secretly very afraid of making my Sockapoolza socks. (will they be 'good' enough? Will my sock pal like them? Am I choosing the right pattern or color?) So, I tell myself I'm practicing with all these other socks. (hehe)
On that note, look how my 'bottle' socks went wrong:

The sock underneath is the bottle sock. The one on top is a new sock for my oldest son. The bottle sock should be the same size, yet look at how much bigger it is. I'm sure it's the pattern, so these socks are put aside until I have a few quiet moments to find my brain and either change the pattern or find a new one. (those of you with boys know that a few quiet moments may not happen. ever.)
But my now very favorite way to make socks worked it's charm again and a sock found it's way to my son's foot:

Upon getting my camera out, he asked me why I always took pictures of his feet. I then of course had to break it to him that it was not his feet I was really after, but the sock.
I grabbed the 2nd ball to start the 2nd sock, and look what I found:

Ick. Right in the middle of the ball. This could cause a problem, since there was not much left over of the 1st ball of yarn.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

My bottle arrived

After being sick for the last couple of days, I was very surprised to get my bottle package early. It really cheered me up!! Kim did an amazing job picking things out for me:

The bottle was a gorgeous what I think is a wine-holder. Inside were 2 different sock yarns: Sock Garden from Knit Picks in the Star Gazer Lily colors (which I had just decided was my favorite colorway of theirs) and Froehlich Wolle yarn with reinforcement yarn included (this was the yarn I've been seriously wanting). Also in the bottle were Brittany needles (size 1) - I love these!; some beautiful stitchmarker, a neat bead counter (perfect for my short-row heels), sock-shaped point protectors, a perfect little needlegauge, and a neat little stitch keepers for my DP.
This totally made my day/week! Thank you again Kim!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Can we keep one?

This has been a busy week. I'm struggling alot with my health issues, so I can't knit as much as I'd like. But I did finish these socks:

My first pair of Sockotta socks. They are knit on size #1 needles; toe-up; 3-1 ribbing; short-row heel; then continued until I ran out of yarn.
Now I'm knitting a pair of fun Lorna's Laces socks for my bottle swap partner and trying to finish my Mom's socks so I can use the needles for my Sock-pal's socks. It's seems to be sock month here. (hehe).
The boys and I got to see the new baby kittens born to my parents neighbor cat:

They are so tiny (2 weeks old) and sooo cute. We wanted to just sneak one home:

(the kitty turned his head just as I was taking the picture. Perhaps he is shy?). We finally pulled ourselves away and went home to our looking-very-huge-now cats.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Back from a fun get-away

We are back from our fun mini-vacation. We managed to do a lot and had a great time. My sons are now even more in love with their new aunt, who, along with my brother, spoiled them with lots of walks, trips to the park, and even got on their skateboards. (she is much braver than I!)

My brother took us to a new museum, where we found a fun table:

and upon looking closer I found this:

and this:

Knitted food!
We were very spoiled all weekend by much better tasting food:

And the boys even enjoyed helping with dishes:

My friend Dee stopped by to see us too and someone got early birthday gifts:

He was a very happy boy, who is now counting the days until he turns 7.
I was able to wander through 2 knitting shops. It was fun to see the different yarn, look through books, and get my brain dreaming of new projects. I found the yarn for my sockapalooza socks and the needles I needed to finish some socks that have been neglected.
But after a very fun time, it was also good to be home again.