Saturday, July 25, 2009

Does This Zucchini Make Me Look Fat?

One day the garden zucchini is just a wee fingerling on the vine, the next you discover a zucchini so large that you beg it to be merciful to your children when it becomes your Benevolent Overlord.
The measuring spoons are provided for scale. I should have used Henry, but he was out with Peter when this photo was taken.

I'm not sure that this has any useful purpose anymore or if it should head straight for a position in politics, but I'm going to try shredding it and freezing it for winter, per Rachel's suggestion.

Also, I'm still interested in toe-up sock patterns, so if you have one, please feel free to give me your suggestion. I've been on Ravelry and I've found one potential pattern, but I have to wait to read through it before I'll know if it's going to work.

I'm back to my garden now. It's been sadly neglected this past week, so who knows what other surprises await!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Knitting Request

I have a request for the Knitters.

I have some leftover sock yarn--about 40 grams--and I would like to use it to knit my Anna a pair of socks. I think that the best way to ensure that I leave enough yarn after the first sock would be to knit the socks toe-up. That way I just knit the foot and make the leg bit as long as I can before the ball of leftover yarn weighs 20 grams.

I'm wondering if any of you have recommendations as to which toe-up sock patterns you've had the best luck with, specifically for children. I've never done toe-up before and I'm eager to try!

Thanks for the help.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

23 Weeks and A Year

Last year at this time I was 23 weeks and 3 days pregnant with my third pregnancy. My pregnancies are labeled 'high risk' because Thomas was born prematurely, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened with this baby. Even though I had experienced PPROM before, I was entirely caught off guard when my water broke so early.

I thought I was going to loose my baby. I should have lost the baby. Statistically, most women do. At 23 weeks, no one was terribly optimistic.

But, I didn't loose the baby. What happened next wasn't fast and it wasn't easy, but he stuck it out and the next six weeks gave us our little Henry. He may be small, but he is mighty. And I am so glad.

Knitting Stuff

Zucchini bread is proof that no matter how questionable things look in the beginning, things can always be improved if you add enough sugar and fat.

My dear Rachel came over yesterday and brought us some zucchini bread that she had baked in her tiny little kitchen. We ate it today for snack and I marveled again that something so tasty could come from something like the humble zucchini.

Rachel is an art specialist in the public schools and so she also did an art lesson with the kids. They drew things like lions and rabbits, houses and people. During their lesson I kept thinking, "Look! You're being enriched! We're having Enrichment Activities!" And after that I took the kids to their swimming lesson. I can't tell you how suburban this makes me feel. When I was growing up in the country our 'activities' basically consisted of weeding the garden, avoiding work, and learning how to shoot a gun. My kids are so soft. Thomas doesn't even know how to pluck a chicken.

In any case, there was some interest expressed in what I've been knitting this summer. Here's a brief synopsis:

Socks. Socks for ME! For a change.

I used Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Basic Sock Recipe from her book Knitting Rules. Bless that woman's heart. With that book I can knit anything, without a pattern. I used Ty-Dy sock yarn from the Knit One Crochet Too company. I don't know how it will wear, but it is the softest yarn ever. I'm not usually a sucker for The Soft, but this was like knitting with water. And I really love the colors.

I am also knitting a Baby Albert for little Henry (who by the way is not so little any more--little giant, more like). This photo doesn't do the yarn any favors. It's a very rich, jewel-tone blue and green. The green is more of a yellow-green than a blue-green and is much richer. It's the best picture I could get, sadly enough. It's a schooshy merino wool that I bought at Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool festival. I wonder how it will wear, but only time will tell. It was dyed by a local woman who had an amazing palette. I'd give you her contact info, but her etsy shop has been empty since the festival.

I've also finished a February Baby sweater (another) for a friend who is epecting her sixth intallment in September. I've started working on a matching hat, but who knows when that will be finished?

I've ALSO started a Christmas surprise for my father-in-law. I think he lurks here so that knitting project will have to be under wraps for the time being. I was lamenting to my mom that whenever you knit a gift it doesn't LOOK like anything. The yarn itself could cost $20 or more, plus all of your free time for weeks and weeks, but in the end all you have is a pair of mittens or socks or a hat to show for it. Oh, well. It's the thought that counts, right?

I've ALSO started a project for my mother-in-law. This one is a little more difficult since it involves lace and therefore requires more attention and concentration. I'm not sure it will be done in time. Can you believe it? Six months in advance and I'm still not sure. But now that the lace baby sweater is done, perhaps there will be more attention for this?

And, lastly, I have just begun a little white sweater for Anna. There was a fair bit of confusion surrounding this project since I didn't think I'd be able to get the pattern I wanted, so I got another pattern, then I ordered yarn for the second pattern, found the pattern I had preferred at first, recieved the yarn I'd ordered for the second pattern which turned out to be more off-white than I wanted, so I took my First Pattern and just bought some white Cascade 220. For Lord's sake, I've had enough. And she probably won't wear ANY of the sweaters I knit her anyway. I'll have some pictures of this eventually, when there's enough to photograph. At this point you'd only have a nice picture of some white Cascade yarn with my Addi circular needles. I've finished about two inches.

I've also, at Rachel's insistance, begun reading Depletion and Abundance. I was aprehensive at first, because I have enough stress in my life already, for Lord's sake, but it turns out to be a better read than I had anticipated. However, it may yet leave me wanting to stick my head in the oven, but reluctant to do so because the energy usage would be so bad for the environment. I'll keep you posted on that, too.

Looking at this list of knitting projects it occurs to me that I have way too much free time. I am properly ashamed of myself, I assure you. Maybe I'll only knit a few rounds on Dad Edstrom's Christmas present before hanging out the laundry and only a couple of rows on Anna's sweater before making lunch.