Saturday, December 17, 2011

 I cut off all of my daughter's hair today. Wow, I have been threatening to do it for a long time and today I followed through. Both Rasty and I always tell her that if she doesn't start brushing her hair everyday that we are going to chop it off. Today she was whining and complaining about it when I asked her to brush it, finally I said that I would brush it for her, and she whined and complained even more and so I said, "that's it!" I went and got the hair scissors from the closet, came back and grabbed her hair into a ponytail and then just chopped it off.
This was the length of the girls's hair at Halloween

 Neither my husband nor I could believe that I did it and Susanna was so stunned that she couldn't say anything. Later I felt a little bad and saw that she was holding back tears, but she and her little sister Mariana both learned a lesson from it. After lunch Mariana didn't make a peep when I asked her to brush her hair. Later she was a little jealous though so I gave her a little hair trim as well. Ah well, I love my daughters, and I think that this will make all of our lives a little easier now... ;)

After the chop
So yeah, I'm a frazzled mommie sometimes but in the end it all worked out and the girls were happy with their new haircuts. When papa came home later he wasn't that freaked out to see how nice they turned out either. The girls posed by our half-way decorated tree for me and Susanna wanted to make sure that we got some views of the back.

Papa and the birds

Oh and just to find some peace at the end of it all I finally frogged a few more zombie knitting.... I don't even remember the last time I worked on some of these. It's been years at least. Check them out at Ravelry, my username is riamiabead of course.

We're all good

Frazzled Mommie

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Sweaters for Penguins!

Do you want to do something different to celebrate the season? I came across this really neat article about people who want to help out some unique creatures in need. If you knit or crochet check this out! 
It might be a little late, but even so, wouldn't you want to knit a sweater for a penguin? Here is the blog that has more info about this:
There is also a pattern! This pattern's original website can be found out at Skeinz. Supposedly they have had enough sweaters made already to help the penguins but there are other ways that we can help and they also post updates about what they are doing to help. Lastly if you are strapped as to what would make a good gift to give you can order one of their plush penguins wearing one of these handmade sweaters. What a neat idea!

Penguin PJ's Patterns
Penguin Pj's Knitted and Crochet

Penguin Jumper in 8ply (Dk or Light Worsted) 
1 pair 3.25mm US 3 , 1 pair of 3.75mm US 5 needles , 1 set of 3.25mm dpn’s or circular
Cast on 36 stitches using 3.25 needles.
K1, P1 to end of row.
Repeat this row 7 times. 
Change to 3.75mm needles and K2, P2 rib. Work 4 rows increasing at each end of every row. (44 sts)
Continue until work measures 15 cms.
Decrease 1 st at each end of every row until 28 sts remain.
Decrease 1 st. in middle of next row (27 sts.)
Leave on needle.
Make second side the same.
Transfer the 54 sts from both pieces to 3 of the set of 4 3.25mm needles.(18 sts on each.) and work a round neck in K1 P1 rib for 10 rows.
Cast off.
Stitch up sides to decreasing to 27sts (opening for flipper). Add elastic to the top and bottom to prevent the penguins getting out of them. Top: 15cm of elastic; bottom 17 cm (knots allowed). Flat elastic OK

Crochet Version
Using DK (8ply or light worsted) wool with a 5mm hook:
Jumper body
Base: Chain 25
Row 1: Single crochet (sc) into base chain, turn.
Row 2: sc 6, front post single crochet (fpsc) 19, turn.
Row 3: fpsc 19, sc 6, turn.
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until the piece measures approximately 2.5cm wide, ending on a Row 2.
From a Row 2, without turning, chain 10 (increase made). Turn.
Row 4: sc 10 into your chain. Fpsc 19, sc 6, turn.
Row 5: sc 6, fpsc 29, turn.
Row 6: fpsc 29, sc 6, turn.
Repeat rows 5 and 6 until the piece measures approximately 10cm wide, ending on a Row 6.
Row 7: sc 6, fpsc 19, turn (decrease made).
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until the decreased section measures approximately 2.5cm wide, ending on a Row 2.
From a Row 2, without turning, chain 10 (increase made). Turn.
Repeat rows 4 to 6 until the entire piece measures 20cm wide. Bind off.

Neck and Finishing
Fold the jumper in half and seam along Base Chain.
Now we will add the neck. Starting in the centre back (if your Penguin Jumper has a back), fpsc to flipper hole.
Chain 5 (this may vary, depending on your gauge) over the flipper hole. Fpsc over front; chain over second flipper hole and fbsc to centre back. Join to your starting stitch with a slip-stitch.
Back post single crochet (bpsc) around. Make three decreases (bpsc; skip one fpsc; bpsc), evenly spaced around.
Continue making rounds without decreasing, alternating fpsc and bpsc.
When the neck measures about 5cm high, bind off, and thread a piece of elastic through the waist. You’re done!

Oh yeah it's go time! I have been visiting Ravelry almost every day and am so inspired by all of the beautiful things I see people knitting, spinning and crocheting. The result: I feel like I should be knitting 95 mph to make mouth watering gifts for all my loved ones before Christmas. CHRISTMAS!!!!! Yay. But seriously, where has 2011 gone? Sometimes I still feel like it's 199... something.
Ok, well I am going to make my first New Years resolution now. First I promise to blog at least once a month, and... (ok so I will make a couple) to check Ravelry at least once a week. Other things that are on my mind are more yarns spun and fleeces and yarns dyed. Also I wish that I could do some paper crafty things. Any ideas? Still one of my favorite places in Minneapolis is MCBA, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. I had a couple of classes there and absolutely love papermaking and embellishing. We also went there for a field trip when I was taking my bookmaking class.
 I am participating in a swap. It's my first time and I think not too hard. We have to make Christmas cards to swap with several other people. This is a good idea because we could all use some fun mail in our box these days and we spread some lovely holiday cheer. Lastly we receive some holiday cheer in return. Lovely handmade Christmas cards shall be displayed presently.
Meanwhile I dug up some pictures that I found of several of my handspuns and dyed for your entertainment.
Camel Silk

Angora from Thunder and Lightning

Hand dyed from Thunder

A dolly I made for Sammira

I'm always buried in crafts!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ode to Fall

Here in Minnesota we are lucky if we haven't started wearing long underwear by the end of October. This has been one of those mild pleasant years where we can't complain. The weather has been absolutely beautiful this month and rarely have I seen such bright colors in the leaves since I've lived in here.
Two weeks ago my daughter Teresa had her Baptism and that weekend I was also surprised to find out that my sister was in town. My brother flew her in from San Diego and he and my husband decided to keep it under wraps until the day arrived. We had such a blast! It was really great seeing her after such a long time. I made Teresa's dress from a pattern that I found in a small pack of several from the thrift store. How satisfying it was to end up with a gorgeous heirloom garment from an envelope marked with a .37₵ sticker.

Friday, October 21, 2011

To frog or not to frog... that is the question...

This year I have, with tremendous effort been attempting to keep track of all of the projects that I have started. From past and present I am getting them all together so that I can either finish them or recycle them. I started with my sewing projects and am now going through my knitting. I have already frogged a couple of projects...
Now I still have a few that I am contemplating the future of.
This is my knitting project bin. I love my bin. The yarn on top there is from Slovakia. My teta (husband's aunt) gave it to me with love. She is so cool and loves everything needlework like me. OOooo speaking of needlework, I finally made it over to Needleworks Unlimited in Minneapolis. It was really a cool shop but I have to say that I was surprised, I expected more non-knitting needlework stuff such as more embroidery  canvases and maybe some yarn and thread specific beading items. Also they could really have a bigger crochet section. And besides those things there really weren't any other needlework equipment goodies. For what it says in the name it was a disappointment. But as a yarn store it is pretty decent. I still like Borealis and The Yarnery better.

Okay. So who is going to help me decide? 

 First item up is a sweet soft cotton sweater that I started several YEARS ago! *hiding in shame* I forgot what the yarn is called, I think it is cotton tots or something like that. It's actually very soft and cute and bumpy. Despite the longevity of the projects formation I still have faith that it has potential and I started it sorta big to begin with so it will fit someone when it is done. Part of the problem however is that I wasn't using a pattern to create it and I ran out of steam in ingeniousness when I got to the front button area. Originally I would make some button holes and sew on some cute buttons but now I am thinking maybe it needs a trendy shawl collar or something?
 Yeah, I really don't like where it was going here. Most likely I will at least take off the right front that I already started and try something different. I could also use some ideas on the sleeves which I have yet to knit. It will look really cute still I think, and now I have one more girl to pass it down to someday.

This one I am thinking frog material. It was supposed to be a purse that eventually I would full in the washer. It still could happen but I'm not sure there is enough yarn to complete what I was trying to do. You are looking at it from the bottom. It was started like a toe-up sock and then given lots of fullness on the sides as I knit up and around. The yarn is Malibrigo so it may not recover well from frogging...
Hmm. For fear of creating a rediculously long post I will start a new one for some of the others. Cheerio!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back to Blogging

Part of the problem with getting back to blogging when you have been absent for a while is trying to remember your login info. Sheesh. Ok so I am going to try reeeaaally hard this time to make frequent posts.
Hmm... how many times to post a month... or a week? Not sure exactly what my new commitment should be. I will see how things go I guess.
Meanwhile I will give a snapshot of some things that have been going on around here. Kind of a recap of the past two years.