American Wool Series

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


This is one of Little A's Christmas gifts that I didn't get finished up until yesterday. She's been dragging it around the house already and giving it all the love a two year old has to offer. Yeah, it's a little rough but it's looove. I'm not a huge fan of knitting toys since I hate sewing all those little pieces together but this one isn't bad and the outcome is worth it.

Pattern: Giraffe from Itty Bitty Toys by Susan B. Anderson
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Daffodil & Orange
Needles: US #5 Clover
Mods: I knit all the pieces on a long circular using the magic loop method. After knitting the body and the head I sewed them together and then picked up stitches from the body and knit the legs down so I wouldn't have to sew them on. It worked pretty well but the lower legs are a bit splayed. All other pieces I knit as written. I used a 1 & 5/8 clover pom pom maker for the mane, horns, and tail. After sewing all the pieces onto the head I went back and reinforced the neck seam for added strength since the extra weight on top was making him a little floppy. The spots are definitely worth the added time to knit separately and applique.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Little A's birthday just happens to be Christmas Eve. I've found Christmas the last couple of years to be a lot less interesting now that I have a little one's birthday to celebrate the day before. This year we had balloons, a taco bar, and a tasty cake with ice cream. It's no small feat to come up with something everyone can eat - vegetarians, the lactose intolerant, and the gluten-free. Tacos just happen to be A's favorite so we had corn tortillas, beans, rice, and a myriad of taco toppings and fillings. Delish.

She got a lot of good presents. Good as in the day after the party she's still playing with them and having a great time.
I knit the sweater, Prudence, from Rowan Miniature Classics for her second birthday and while I'm very proud of it she's a bit reluctant to wear it. I managed to wrangle her into it for about 10 minutes on Christmas so I could snap some photos. Let me tell you, wrangling a toddler for pictures is not the easiest thing to do when there are people and presents and food around. Happy Birthday, Little A!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Just a little knitting before I launch into my latest debacle. It involves baking.

I knit this slouchy hat for my Mother in Law for Christmas. She's allergic to wool but may possibly be able to wear alpaca so I dug out a skein of Cascade Pure Alpaca in a nice red and cast on. The pattern is Ripple by Wendy Bernard and I loved knitting it! This is the worsted weight version but the pattern also includes a sock weight version which I'm contemplating for myself.

So. Baking. Little A's birthday is tomorrow so I attempted a birthday cake. I am NOT a bad baker, in fact, I have a pretty good track record with the oven. My problem is egg whites. They hate me. I do research and follow tips and treat them as I would a fragile work of art and... they fail. Every. Single. Time. Granted, I was working with a Martha Stewart recipe (usually these work great for me) which I found to be over complicated. You know, extra steps and hard to find ingredients where regular ole grocery store ingredients would do and stuff like that. But really, the cake just did not rise more than 1/4 inch and was far too sweet and and and I should have known when I saw the batter that resulted from following the recipe. No good. In steps google and I found a super easy and fast recipe that turned out as batter-y as a cake batter should be and not too sweet and just came out of the oven deliciously golden and birthday cake smelling.

There you have it. Two cakes in a little under three hours and I need to pick up more vanilla for the strawberry frosting. Phew.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I'm finding it hard to concentrate on studying for my final that is scheduled for this evening. Little One has been in her bed but NOT sleeping for the last couple of hours. She won't sleep but she also doesn't want out and how is a girl to study with all the noise going on in the other room? I counted on this afternoon for a good solid few hours of refresher/studying before I head off to class and it's just not happening. Reflexive verbs what? Conjugate who? It's just not sticking today and that is a bad bad thing.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Vespergyle Mittens

Take that corrugated ribbing! You don't got nothing on me! I started these mittens way back in July and finally pulled them out again to finish them up. Corrugated ribbing is my mortal enemy so it's not really surprising that I was about 2/3 of the way through it when I called it quits - sometimes you just have to say ENOUGH and chuck a project in time out for a while. It only took a few days get things all smoothed out and ready to wear. They still need a good blocking but in the meantime they're actually getting worn.

Pattern: Vespergyle Mittens (free!)
Yarn: KnitPicks Palette in gray & sky blue
Needles: US #1 1/2 bamboo
Mods: I knit these on a larger needle than stated in the pattern and did a shorter decrease section with a more squared-off tip.

Friday, December 3, 2010


After trying all of the tricks on the Apple website to get my computer to boot up I tried the installation disc. Yep, my computer ate it. Off I went to the Apple store Genius Bar where they booted up my computer and ran diagnostics. Hard drive - FAILED - in big yellow scary letters. Well, it was nice to see something on the monitor besides a gray screen. The computer is not totally shot but I left it at the store to get a new hard drive (an improved one since the one I had isn't even made anymore)and the good news is that they'll have it fixed between one and three days so I should get it back Monday at the latest. I love/hate technology.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Broke Down

My lovely Mac is trying to commit suicide and I'm trying to talk it down. Things will be a bit quiet around here until I can solve the problem or buy a new computer. Eek. Not the best thing to happen around the Holidays but there is hope that the computer is salvageable and all my stuff is recoverable. We shall see.

It's hard living without a way to watch movies and keep connected and it's only been ONE DAY.