Archive for March, 2009


March 29, 2009

If I could fit into it, I would wear it.  I love this baby dress!


The pattern is the Kaia Babydoll and it was a fun, easy knit.  I used Lionbrand Cotton Ease in Lime and Berry, but these photos don’t show the true colors.   The green and pink are much  brighter – very springy looking.   I knit the newborn size.    I think it looks a little bit big for a brand new baby girl, but then again I haven’t had a baby around in a long time.  I have no idea how big newborn babies are.

I had a hard time deciding how I wanted to finish the bottom of the dress. I didn’t love the lace border that was called for in the pattern.  My sister suggested a picot edge, made with yarnovers and knit2togethers, then folded and hemmed.  I tried it and it looked so pretty, but the hem was just too thick.  I put google to work for me and found a picot edge bind-off that looked pretty, but it was a thorn in my side to knit (took forever!) and it was curling up something fierce. I only bound off about 1/6 of the way around before I backed it up and settle for a simple garter stitch border.

I crocheted a chain and wove it through the eyelets to make a bow.  I’d planned an i-cord instead, but it came out too thick and although it fit through the holes, it was way too bulky.


I’m really happy with this little dress and I hope this new baby’s mommy loves it.  I’m sure I’ll knit another babydoll.  Lots of babies on the way.  It’s a baby boom out there.

To prove my point, here’s a baby blanket I just started for another friend who is having a boy.  The shower is a week from today so I’ve got to get crack-a-lacking on this one.  It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to knit.  I needed something fast and easy – big needles and two strands of yarn for sure and I wanted it to have a hood.  I searched Ravelry for a pattern, but I didn’t find anything I loved.    I searched for stitch patterns so that I could just do my own thing, but kept finding myself drawn to lacy patterns that seemed too girlie.  I hunted through the 365 Stitch Patterns a Year Perpetual Calendar and found what I wanted.


It’s December 17 – the Bee Stitch.  It’s the stitch I used on a few of my neckwarmers at Christmas-time. Should have thought of that one by myself.  I’m using Lionbrand Vanna’s Choice Baby in Little Boy Blue.  The top photo is close to the color.  I started with a few garter stitch rows and I’m keeping a three-stitch border going along edges.  And yes – two strands of yarn on size 13 needles.  According to my calculations, I’ll need to knit about five inches a day for the next six days and then on to the hood to have it done for Sunday.  Piece of cake.  I think.


Here are a few of the latest chuckles from school.  I gave the kids a journal prompt, asking:  Would you rather be a caveman or  a pirate?  (It just came off the top of my head five minutes before school started. Really.)  Although there were a few caveman defenders, most of the kids thought the pirate life was for them.

My two favorite responses:


I would rather be a pirate than a caveman because pirates get to steal ships and do bad things like rob treasures, shoot guns, and swing soards.  As for cavemen, they can swing thier clubs hit them self then they lay flat and go duhhh!  Argh! is more like it!  At least pirates get to fight to live.


I would rather be a pirate then a caveman because pirates have a lot of booty (tresure). And pirates have a lot of food so I would never starve.


(Pirates) get rich by stealing other peoples booty, while cavemen steal raw meat.

Don’t cavemen know that meat grows on trees?


March 23, 2009

I haven’t had much to say lately. Nothing blogworthy at least. There may have been a few stories I could have told, but I’ve been either too busy or too lazy to do it.  Tonight I’ve got the time, the energy and some things to share.

First, as you may have expected, I knit a cover for my Kindle.  After dropping a chunk of change on the Kindle, there was no way I was going drop any more on a cover or case.


I chose some yarn (blue – what else?) and swatched.  (I swatched?  I’m a swatcher?)  I started with 36 stitches, using the magic cast-on to get started bottom-up so I could avoid seaming.  Then I just winged it (wung it?) magic loop style, knitting stockinette in the round until it was long enough to fit the Kindle.  I bound off half of my stitches and continued on to knit a flap with a garter stitch border and decreases so it would taper.  I didn’t want to put a button onto the body of the cover because the button might get pressed against the Kindle’s screen, so I attached the button on top of the flap and crocheted a button loop to attach to the bottom.


It’s a snuggy sleeping bag for my new favorite thing.  I love it.   Right now I’m reading two different books on it – The Gate House by Nelson DeMille and My Horizontal Life, by Chelsea Handler. I know that it’s not the most economical way to read. I rarely buy books.  I borrow them from family and friends or I get them from the library. But I just love reading on this thing. I love laying in bed and only having to hold it with one hand, pressing a button with my thumb to turn a page. Reading is an activity that shouldn’t require any energy except for brain power, so I’m happy that I don’t have to find a way to prop up a big hard cover book and turn the pages. I know. I’m lazy. I’m the Queen of Lazy and I’ve got the butt to prove it.

In other knitting news, I finally finished off my Toothpaste Liesel sweater.  The ribbon tie around the waist was met with mixed reviews, but the don’t-like-its spoke the loudest.  I decided to go with the button and a button loop plan – just one right at the top. I may add a second button a few inches below the first, but the thought of actually doing it makes me tired. I love the knitting, but I hate anything that requires me to thread a needle or weave in ends.


On the 3rd grade front, I have a few things to throw at you.  We’ve just finished the Connecticut Mastery Test.  It’s a 7-session-over-3-weeks torture fest for 8-year-olds.  We did a whole lot of pre-torture in order to get the kids ready for what they’d see on the test.  Reading comprehension is a big focus and some of the questions require the little test-takers to support their responses with information from the text.  For example, they may read a story about a knitter named Knelley who realizes that she dropped a stitch 6 inches ago on a project knitted with dental floss on size 00 needles. Knelley drops down onto the floor, puts her face in her hands, and sobs until her face is blackened with her runny mascara.  They might be asked: How do you think Knelley was feeling when she screwed up  her knitting? They’d need to write something like, “I think Knelley was sad because it in the text it said that she puts her face in her hands and sobs until she’s really ugly.”  They have to make inferences and draw conclusions (and I don’t even want to discuss the difference between those two things because I don’t always get it myself) about things the author doesn’t tell.  Geez.  That’s a lot of back story to get to the good stuff, which will in no way live up to the introduction.

I gave the kids a last-chance practice activity to get ready for the CMT.  Here’s a cutie’s answer to a question about whether or not she thought the main character was a good friend.  The directions say, “Be sure to use details from the story to support your ideas.”


She didn’t miss one single word. Love her.

That brings me to the work of another little girl I love. Love.  This girl is the sweetest little thing you’d ever come across. She’s got a soft little voice and she writes notes to herself to plan her outfits for the week. Love.

We started a story-writing activity with fill-in-the-blank descriptions about strange, fictional animals.  The kids had to choose adjectives for each blank to help write descriptions of what their odd animals looked like.  These animals were to become the creatures who would chase them in an “Animal Chase” story.  After writing the description, the kids had to draw their animals, showing where they lived and what they ate.  This one lives up the the build-up:


What’s that in the tree?  What’s falling from the tree like a leaf?  Yes, it’s meat.  Meat.  I know.

I was stumped.  I looked.  I laughed.  I looked some more.  Then I had to ask.  I brought the picture to the artist and we had a conversation:

Me: Tell me about your picture.

Her: It’s my animal and that’s where he lives and that’s what he eats. He eats meat.

Me:  Nice. (Pointing to the tree branch) And why is the meat . . . here?

Her: (Bending close and dropping her voice to a whisper) He eats meat and I didn’t want to show him killing another animal for meat so I decided to make the meat grow on trees.

Me: (Crickets.) . . . What a good idea.  And what’s this? (Pointing to brown oval labelled “BeB”)

Her:  That’s his bed.

His bed.  Conveniently located under the meat tree.  That’s reasonable.  I’d like to put my bed underneath the vanilla ice cream machine at Dairy Queen.

Another Snowy Day . . .

March 2, 2009

. . . gives me more time for knitting and some time to catch you up on the latest.

I knit a new, better Pilot’s Cap for one of the baby girls who will soon make an entrance.  I like it so much better than the one I showed you in my last post.  This hat will definitely sit on a baby’s head the right way and will make the baby’s face look like a little ball of cuteness.  This pattern is from Little Turtle Knits and although I hesitated before spending $8 on one little tiny hat pattern, I think it was worth it.  I’ll make lots of these and the pattern is sized from newborn to child.  Good stuff.

Since I didn’t have a real baby head to model it on, a ball of gray yarn had to act as a stand-in.



The construction of the hat is really clever.  It starts from the bottom/back and increases to form the top and sides.  Very cool.


Instead of i-cord (pure laziness), I crocheted a chain, attached it to the bottom of the hat, single crocheted across, and then continued the chain.  100_0345

The hat was knit with Lion Brand Cotton Ease in Berry.  Love the yarn and I’m happy with the hat.

I’m also happy with the Manly Slipper Socks I knit for a manly man.


I stuck with Lion Brand again, this time using Wool Ease in Grey Heather.  These socks are meant for a man with really cold feet who can’t stand ankle socks.  They had to be mid-calf and super warm.  I knit them with two strands of yarn held together, so they knit up fast and they’re going to keep his piggies nice and toasty.  I really love them.  The socks, I mean.  Not the piggies.

Another love of mine . . . my new Kindle 2!  Love!  I treated myself with a little (well, not so little) chunk of my tax refund.  I’m really in awe of it.  It downloads books wirelessly (don’t even need a computer) and the cost of the books is much lower than the actually paper and ink book.   Because I’m a dork who wanted to read a book on her Kindle as soon as it arrived on the doorstep, the first book I bought was the same book I’d just taken out of the library and started the night before.  Dumb when the actual book was right on my bed, but I really wanted to test out my new piece of technological goodness.

It’s easy to use and it’s so great to be able to read in bed while laying on my side and not having to struggle with propping up the book and turning pages.  Just press a button with my thumb while the Kindle rests against my hand and voila –  the page turns.


Another cool thing – when shopping for books, Amazon will give you a free sample.  They’ll send you a few chapters to read, so you can decide if you’re interested before you purchase.  I’ve gotten samples of Revolutionary Road and The Reader.  Look at this other feature:


A built-in dictionary.  You can move the cursor to any word and the dictionary definition pops up on the bottom of the screen.  Now I know what an architrave is – and you do, too.  (Well, Yankee, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you already knew that.  This benefits only those of us who aren’t archidorks.)

Off I go now to, as my sister Kathy calls it, K and K.  Knit and Kindle.  Knelley Knits ‘n Knindles?