31 August 2011

We've got a Bookworm!

Yesterday after school, Tyler and I popped in to the Pinedale Library (Dangerous business that--Having a library, with great hours just a hop, skip and a jump between school pick up and home). We found three Magic Tree House books that Tyler wanted to check out and headed home. Now, keep in mind that our house is about a block away from the library. Tyler asked to read on the way home....great...no problem; it's not very long, but if you want to that's fine. Then we went in to get dinner ready and Tyler settled in here:

He read the whole time I was getting dinner ready whilst munching away on his lunch leftovers. Once he noticed I was taking a picture, he gave me this look:
But the really funny part was that when I told him that as soon as I was done making dinner, he would need to put the book down and spend time telling me about his day. His response to that was, "I would rather read!" In a very sassy, "Mom-you-are-soooo-unreasonable" voice. The book was apparently a page turner, because he read for the whole hour between getting home and getting ready for bed time in order to finish the book.

28 August 2011

Stashy Sunday--3 week mark!

This week I worked (and worked and worked....) on 2 projects. It's very strange for me to be so monogamous with my knitting projects--usually I just from one to another then another. But now this week! This week I was so enamored with the 2 I was working on that I stuck with them. This week's stashy success all started when PG&E decided they needed to change a power pole at my work. They did this last Friday and because of it, our power at the office was down pretty much all day. I could go into all the details, but suffice it to say that my computer was down, which left me with few options as to how to be productive. I decided to clean my desk and I found a started project that had been languishing(because I forgot all about it!). I fell back in love with the project and the yarn so have been knitting away on it this week. Because my gauge has changed a little bit since I last knit on this, I can see where I picked it back up this week. I've made about 5 inches of progess!! One day soon, this will be a finished sweater!

The other project I worked on is a secret one, and since I have a helper blogger today and forgot to take pictures yesterday, I will have to post pictures later. Suffice it to say that it will look a little something like this:

I also consider the fact that I gave away two skeins of this:
To be able to be counted as a Stashy Success!

26 August 2011

Dr. Who Swap--Part Two

I was so surprised to learn that my swap partner would be my sister that I burst our laughing in the middle of Starbucks knitting group and about half the buildings occupants gave a concerned look at the lady laughing maniacally in the corner. Surprised, but REALLY happy. She's so crafty and creative that I just knew I would be excited to receive whatever she cooked up. And boy was I! Here's a picture of all my "loot"! She made me Puppy Chow (one of my favorite snacky/desserts) for K-9, the robot dog companion of The Doctor. Also included are Tea, Popcorn and a banana (because the Ninth Doctor likes bananas). She knitted me up so TARDIS Coasters and bought some "Waters of Mars" Geek Chic yarn. It's such a great color and I am thinking of making another Hitchhiker scarf like the purple one I just finished.

She also made me some Doctor Who return address labels (one of the perks of having a swap partner who knows me is that she can make me things with my address!) with pictures of The Doctor and my favorite companion, Donna Noble. Sooo fun! I've already used 4 of them and each time I did a little wiggle dance of joy. The people receiving them might not have any idea of why my address labels have pictures of other people on them, but it makes me happy to think of some poor unsuspecting Letter carrier/processor getting a kick out of my Doctor Who labels.

Probably the most labor intensive thing she made me (by far) was this bag:

It is a fabulous project bag made to look just like the TARDIS (basically, The Doctor's time/space machine). Now, one of the drawbacks of having a swap partner you know (and spend a lot of time with) is that it's trickier to be sneaky. So I would hear at work about how Kim slaved away all evening, several evenings, many lunch hours, part of the weekend, etc., working on this project. I was starting to feel really bad that she was putting in all this time and effort into a present for me. But only a little bad--I was also really excited to find out what she had up her sleeve. Here's a picture of her working on the project:
I think at this point, she was a little disenchanted with the project and wanted it to just either be done, or for it to jump off a bridge and die.

She also made me some amazing stitch markers with pictures of Who related things (The Doctor, Donna Noble, the Sonic Screwdriver, Weeping Angels, etc.) paired with quotes from the show. They are currently being used in my Tilting TARDIS Cowl and they make me smile every time I come to one of them.

Overall, I think I was pretty lucky! I have some spectacular new Who related things and some tasty snacks. Thanks KIM!!! I would swap with you any day!

21 August 2011

Stashy Sunday

I spent some time this week working on my Stashy projects and I'm happy to say I've made some great progress. I finally finished these monsters that were a special request by Tyler after listening to the Never Not Knitting podcast where she talked about knitting her daughter some. I must say, I am completely charmed by them. So fat...so monstery...Love! Tyler hand selected the colors, specified which would be stripey, which solid... and he also hand selected the buttons out of my button jar. He also seems to be pretty happy with them so I count them a success. I also continued to work on my Tilting TARDIS cowl. I know it doesn't look like much, but considering how little time I've had to knit on it this week, it's really quite impressive. Are you impressed??? My last Stashy project was designed to use some fabric I had set aside and already cut for a magic pillowcase for me. I don't remember why I never actually sewed the dang thing, but I decided that it was time! Now all this little baby needs is a good wash and it's going on my pillow.

Now that I've dazzled you with my Stashy successes, I can tell you about an alteration in my Stashy plan. I am adding a caveat to the Stashy Challenge that allows for purchasing yarn that will be used to make a gift for someone else (birthday presents for myself don't count!). In pursuit of this endeavor, I decided to buy some destash yarn (where other knitters post their stash yarn that they want to sell--Usually for less than what you'd pay at a yarn shop) to make Tyler a Perry the Platypus hot water bottle cover. Now...before you call me a freak, let me assure you that Tyler does in fact LOVE hot water bottles. He loves to snuggle them, sleep with them, sit with them on a chilly winter morning, etc. He also is really loving the show, Phineas and Ferb, right now--most especially Perry the Platypus/Agent P. Stay tuned for updates on Perry as the yarn should be arriving this week sometime.

16 August 2011

Dr. Who Swap--Part One

One day whilst roaming around Ravelry, I stumbled across a Doctor Who Swap that had just opened up for sign ups and couldn't resist signing up to participate. One of the requirements was that you had to give your recipient yarn, something handmade and any other assorted goodies you wanted to include. Of course, I was hooked! I managed to talk Kim into signing up with me (but really, I didn't have to talk to hard...she was game!) and in a small twist of fate, we were assigned as each others swap partner. It was such a fun process! Just thinking about what I was going to make...what other goodies she would like...how she was going to love love love this gift, etc.

Here's the package of Doctor Who lovelies I put together for her:
I learned how to make a box bag using this great tutorial but I also added a handle on the end. Let me tell ya! Finding a zipper to match this odd color of fabric was tricky! I also did a cross stitch with a very Who saying.

We are lucky enough to have a local indie dyer called Geek Chic who stocks her yarn with The Knit Addiction in Clovis who is very fond of The Doctor.
I also learned how to make stitch markers so that I could make Kim these cool "disappearing TARDIS " baubles to mark her place. I really feel like I need some too!

But probably the best unveiling was when Kim opened the Jammie Dodgers just because they were sooo unexpected. The Eleventh Doctor (played by Matt Smith) is very fond of his Jammie Dodgers, but thus far, I haven't ever seen them before. One day last week I went into Cost Plus World Market because Valerie told me they had great jewelry...and THERE they were!!!

Stay tuned for an upcoming post on all the goodies I received!

A very special houseguest...

is making her way to my house!!!

14 August 2011

Stashy Sunday

This week was a Stashy Success!! I finished my stash project and I'm sooo happy with it--The color, the shape, the feel...Everything about it! (Please excuse the wild and crazed look in my eyes--I am clearly NOT photogenic.)

I am moving on from there to a project that I've been working on for a while. (Well...mostly I started it a while ago and then it got pushed aside for something new.) I have been on a Dr. Who kick lately and in that spirit, I started a "Tilting Tardis Cowl". It's a project that I decided would be perfect to use another yarn I've had in my stash for about 2 years.

It doesn't look like much yet, but I'm planning to work on it a fair bit this week so I hope to have more to show next Stashy Sunday.

And speaking of Dr. Who....stay tuned for a post documenting a FABULOUS Dr. Who Swap that I participated in on Ravelry. Spoiler: Kim (my sister) was my swap partner! She's very clever AND crafty so I was completely spoiled by her package. (Disclaimer: I'm not a total nerd. I just have fandom tendencies.)

12 August 2011

Xue Xiao 2011

Tyler had an amazing opportunity this summer to attend a one week Chinese School. I think of it like a Chinese Culture VBS. This year the theme was Chinese Games so the kids learned Chinese Jump Rope, Chinese YoYo, martial arts, jacks and shuttlecock. They also learned about various cultural aspects of Chinese--a bit of the language, stories, history, songs, etc.

At first, I was a little hesitant to sign him up because the kids would be there from 6pm-830pm. Tyler's normal bedtime is 7pm. However, he was quite insistent that he really wanted to participate so we signed him up and I'm so glad we did. He had a fabulous time! He was so enthusiastic about all of the activities that he got to try and would chatter the whole way home about the new things he had learned.

One night I decided to stay a little late (rather than simply dropping him off) to see what they were doing. I was approached by several people who told me (without Tyler there with me--apparently my blond hair blue eyed kid stood out in the group) how well behaved Tyler was and one lady mentioned that she was impressed with the "intense focus" that Tyler had for all the lessons. Turns out, if he's really interested in something, Tyler can give things his full attention without acting like a squirrely boy for a long stretch of time.

He asked me one night if he would be able to go to the Xue Xiao again next year. When I said yes, his reply was, "Oh good, because I already told them I'd be there!"

09 August 2011

One Last Huzzah...

So, remember when I mentioned that as soon as I started contemplating my Stashy Challenge, I purchased two skeins of yarn? Well, one was in person, but the other was an Etsy order that just arrived today! I really LOVE LOVE LOVE this yarn! I really feel that if I had to have one last yarn buying huzzah, I am happy that this was the one I bought. It sends me out with a bang!
Joelle at Wandering Wool was very friendly and fast at shipping my yarn out. Its colorway is Cranberry Bog. Did I mention I'm in love?

07 August 2011

Stashy Sunday

I once read an article all about stash. The basic premise of which stated that some people collect rocks, some prefer stamps or coins, others still choose dolls or sports trading cards. Many crafters choose to collect a STASH. When I began knitting and quilting, I took this article as a mantra. A hearty approval of my choice in collections. A suitable way to show my true devotion to the craft. As such, I have worked hard for about 2 years to "build the stash" (although, let's be real here...it was not at all hard work and more about "Oooooo! I LOVE that! I must have it for myself!").

However...I have a new incoming roomie who also knits and quilts and has her own stash. Since we're going to be sharing a craft room, I feel an urgent need to challenge myself to "Craft from the stash" instead of adding to the stash.

Of course, the instant I began contemplating this challenge, I had a perverse need to buy two new skeins of yarn...Yeah. I know--I'm a loon! Anyways--starting from NOW I am going to challenge myself to see how many weeks I can go knitting just from stash yarns. I have a lot of really nice yarns that I had completely forgotten about! I was sorting through bins of yarn looking for a certain one and it was like falling in love all over again. I'm not calling this a "stash diet" as some would, simply because I know that then I would feel like it was hopeless and I should just give in now. So instead, I am making it a loose agreement with myself (and my blog reading accountability group) to just give it a go and see where it takes me!

In the spirit of my first Stashy Sunday, I have a project to show you! I've been knitting up some really lovely yarn that I got about two and a half years ago--back when I was a super new knitter and I ran into a lovely indie yarn dyer at Starbucks. She sent her husband home to get some yarns to let us buy from her and I found several skeins that were just to my liking. I knit the first one into a pair of socks, but the others have just sat languishing in my stash. Well! Languish no longer! Instead one is quickly turning into a "Hitchhiker" scarf. I love it!