Wyatt for Davey

I’ve started a sweater for Davey.

I’ve never made him a sweater.  I started a couple, but one was absolutely huge, and the other had 8 million cables that were starting to drive me crazy.

I take that back.  I did knit him a really sweet little hoodie when he was about a year old.  I made this right after I started knitting again.

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This time I am going to knit a Brooklyn Tweed pattern.  It’s called Wyatt, and I am knitting it with Ella rae superwash wool.

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Davey helped me choose the pattern.  There are not an incredible number of patterns to choose from for little boys.  Most have some design element that is just a little much, or they have intarsia knit animals which Davey won’t go for. Luckily, there are several nice patterns in the new Brooklyn Tweed for Kids collection, and Davey seemed to really like this one.

Since I am knitting a sweater for a growing little boy, I really needed to knit a swatch.  I don’t know why I always fuss and act like a swatch is such a big deal.  It’s so not a big deal.

I knit a swatch in the main pattern stitch which is double moss stitch.  I really like this stitch.  It knit up really quickly, and then I washed it and dried it.  Creating a finished swatch makes me feel like a real knitter.

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Trying to count the stitches in this swatch was a challenge.  The dark blue was really tough, and my eyes are not the greatest.  The fact that it was this double moss stitch did not make things any easier. I went outside into the bright sunshine so I could see what I was doing.  I had the swatch laid out on the grass so I could really see.  People driving by probably wondered what the heck that person was doing kneeling and looking intently at the ground.

My swatch was just about right on though.  I had gone down a needle size knowing that I am a fairly loose knitter.  It’s still a little loose, but it should work out fine.

I really enjoy Brooklyn Tweed patterns.  They are written so clearly.  This sweater has a “tubular cast on”.  I may have done this before, but I don’t remember it, so I will be headed to youtube to figure it out.

Hopefully this sweater will result in something that little Davey will enjoy wearing!

Sunday Lake Outlaws

Today Davey, Buster and I headed over to our little local lake.

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Buster did some serious “busting” through the water.  He got me soaking wet with his jumping around.   Davey tried leading him around in the water.  No easy feat for a little guy.

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We had a little picnic of Nilla Wafers and strawberries, and we chatted.  Davey has become very very into Pokemon, and he enjoys explaining how it all works.

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Buster learned about Pokemon as well.

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I had brought some acrylic paint along because I thought Davey might want to paint some rocks.  He told me that we could not do that.  “Mama, you are an outlaw!”  (I’ve discussed the possibility of yarn bombing with him as well, and I get the same response.)

He watched me paint a rock first.  I get very intricate and fancy in my painting.

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He decided it might not be too “illegal”, and he decided to paint too.

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We went to work on several rocks.

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I enjoyed it. I think Davey liked it too.  He particularly enjoyed the placement of the rocks.  We wanted to leave them for someone to just happen to find. I placed them like this.

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Davey was not satisfied with my arrangement.  He went to work.

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He thought this was much better.

We splashed around with Buster, painted rocks, and experimented with what floats and what doesn’t float.  He also enjoyed watching another dog swim out and fetch stick after stick.

I took several pictures.  He told me several times that I should not put them on facebook. My blog is ok though, he said.  I am not sure that I mentioned to him that I have the blog set up to share the link with facebook.  I think he’s ok with it though.  For now.

 

Lavender and Wool

I’ve been fascinated by weaving lately.  The other day I came across a picture where fiber had been woven into stems of lavender.  I kept going back to this picture, and I felt the need to give this a try.  We just happen to have lavender growing in our flower beds. Turns out I also just happen to have some yarn as well.

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I had to think a little about the best way to approach this.  I decided to line up several stems of lavender on a piece of cardboard.  Taping down the stems somewhat messed up the aesthetic for me, but it was the most practical way that I could think of to begin.

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I have quite abit of Knit Picks Palette yarn from awhile back.  It’s basic wool and I have some colors I thought would work really well with the lavender. So after I got the lavender taped down, I started weaving.  I used a tapestry needle which worked really well.

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I find knitting relaxing, but I think I find weaving equally relaxing.  It is very repetitive, but since I was working with the lavender, I had to pay attention as well.  I worried that I might break the stems, but they were very sturdy.  I had to pay attention to avoid catching the wool on rough spots as well.

I just changed colors whenever I felt the urge.

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Not only was the weaving relaxing, but the scent of the lavender was nice too.  So I had the weaving combined with aromatherapy.  I’ve learned that lavender promotes calming and stress relief.  It may help cognitive performance as well.  I am all for that.

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A lot of the fun for me is also to take pictures of my progress.

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I wove until I decided I was done.

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I took more pictures and more pictures.

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I decided that I needed to add one more color so I wove a little more.

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I kinda think I didn’t need the extra color, but I decided to leave it.

I will try to recruit Davey and David to join me next time.  I’d love to see what design they’d come up with.  It would be great for building fine motor skills and we’d all feel very calm, content and cognitively boosted as well!

A Sweater for Lila

About a year ago I started a sweater for my niece.  It was a simple pattern called Daisy Chain, and what I really liked about it were the embroidered daisies on the front of the sweater.  I knitted about 2/3 of the sweater in Cascade Sport.  I was enjoying the yarn, the pattern, and I was looking forward to the embroidery part.

Then I set it down and I guess forgot about it for over a year.  Why do I do this?  I picked it back up a couple of weeks ago and decided I should finish it.  I couldn’t believe how far I had gotten on it and then had just set it aside.

I finished up the knitting, and then it was time for the embroidery.  When will I learn?  I always love the idea of embroidering on knitting more than I actually like doing it.  I really want to bring two things that I like to do together, but I just never like fiddling with embroidery on soft knitted fabric.  I started the embroidery, but I didn’t like the way it was looking so I took it out.  Then I fiddled with it a little more, and I decided I really liked it without any embroidery at all.

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It’s a simple design, and I had just known this color would be pretty on my niece.

I just happen to have a picture of her modeling it.

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This is Lila’s grin these days when she’s asked to smile for the camera.  I love it.  It is impossible not to smile when I see it. I just want to knit for her 24 hours a day!

And finally, I have too much fun trying to get interesting pictures. They don’t always quite work out the way I hope.

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A few things about my garden

I am learning a lot about gardening this summer.

Not all of my plants are big and green.  For example, I think I could win an award for puniest most pitiful dill.  It’s supposed to be a weed I think?

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It’s so spindly it can barely be captured in a photograph.  I attempted a close up.

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It’s trying to go to seed already.   A friend told me that hers sometimes does better when it grows from having reseeded itself.  So maybe it will be better next year.  I also think that my soil may not be great.  I’ve noticed that the tomatoes in this part of the garden are not nearly as big and thriving as my tomatoes in containers.  I need to figure this out.  I’ve heard I can take a soil sample to a master gardener.  I will probably do that in the fall.

Our cucumbers somewhat freak us out.  They are so ALIVE!

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They send out these little feelers and wrap around the wire.  It’s craziness.

My basil is looking nice.  I am just waiting for my tomatoes to ripen so that I can make caprese salad.  I hope my tomatoes are good and that there are lots.

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It looks like rabbits or something have gotten into my kale, but it’s just David.  He goes out in the morning and gets some for his omelet.  He’s about wiped it out, although it keeps making new leaves.  I planted some more a few weeks ago so that we will hopefully have it through the fall.

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Davey’s kindergarten teacher sent them home with seeds for the moms for Mother’s Day.  I planted mine in the garden, and they are beginning to bloom.  Zinnias?  I am not sure, but I love the little yellow stars in the center!

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I write like I am the only one who has ever gardened ever, but it’s my first garden so it kinda feels that way to me.  I am amazed how all these things that I started from seed are these big green sometimes strange and slightly creepy plants.

I’m already planning my garden for next year!

 

 

Rock Island Begins

I am a great admirer of Brooklyn Tweed and Jared Flood’s patterns.  My favorite one of his patterns that I knitted was Girasole.

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His patterns are clearly written and easy for me to follow.  I’d actually love to knit Girasole again one of these days.

There is another Jared Flood pattern that I’ve dreamed about knitting for almost three years. It’s called Rock Island.

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For a long time, I was kinda scared to start it because the pattern looked too difficult for me.  Instead of purling on the wrong side rows as is done in many lace patterns, there is lace written for both sides.  This really intimidated me.

After three years of looking at the pattern, I finally decided I was ready for it.

I never in a million years would have thought that this pattern would begin with an 8 row repeat that I would have to do 71 times.  I am knitting a strip which about 14 stitches wide.

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The first row on each right side is a yarnover, and these are the stitches I will be picking up to start the main body of the shawl.

71 repeats.  It seems like I have been working on this for 100 years already, and I am only on repeat 21.  Actually they do go fairly quickly once I get rolling.

I didn’t do myself any favors with my needle choice.  If I had any sense, I would have chosen some nice Stiletto tip needles such as these.  Aren’t they beautiful? These must go on my wish list.needles

 

The yarn is laceweight and a little slippery, and I am using bamboo needles which don’t have a very sharp tip.  I could switch needles but I’d probably mess up my gauge.  I could start over, but I just don’t want to since it has taken me 100 years to get this far.

I have adjusted to these needles and it’s going pretty smoothly so I think I will just stick with them.

I have never knitted a pattern with this kind of construction before.  I wonder what will come next?  (You’d think I might read ahead, but I don’t want any spoilers!)

 

 

 

 

The USA as created by Davey (with some help)

Davey really likes maps.  When we go to the zoo, he likes the animals, but he really prefers to look at the zoo map.  Before we moved to Ellensburg, David picked him up a fun map of the town, and he loved studying it until we moved here.  It’s now hanging on his wall.

So I thought he might enjoying making a topographic map.  I’d been searching for map activities on pinterest, and I came across a website with a recipe for salt dough and some guidelines for making a 3d map.  This included a link to yourchildlearns.com.  This is a cool website where you can print out maps in any size you want using 8.5 x 11 paper, and then you can tape them together to create your map.

I printed out a USA map, taped it down to some posterboard, and we mixed up the dough. Then we started forming our map by following the outline of the taped down map.

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Davey had great fun making the mountains.  He got very tickled.  Let’s just say they are Davey mountains and not necessarily topographically accurate.

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He identified the following mountain as Mt. Shasta (in Northern California).  It’s a little massive.

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He ended up decreasing Mt Shasta’s size as we decided it would probably break when it dried.

Next we had to let the map dry so we could paint it.  I am glad I got a picture of Davey’s sculpted letters as they fell apart when they dried!

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We kept it pretty simple when we painted it and limited our colors to blue, green and brown.  Davey was once again in charge of the mountains.

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He strategically left parts of the mountains white for the snow.  He had fun painting.  So much so that he enthusiastically got a lot of paint all over him (thankfully, I’d had the sense to take off his shirt and have him put on old shorts before he started).  I tried to get pictures of him with the paint all over him, but he was being resistant.

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Our USA is very green.  My Great Lakes are very small (I am missing a couple as well), and the Salt Lake may be overly large.  It was still great for helping Davey learn more about the US.  He identified where we live.  He pointed clear across the country to his Oma and Opa’s, and he found the almost center where his Nanny and Pa are.

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Now we need to decide what country to try next!