April 27, 2011

Catching up

It's been a while since I dedicated a post to just knitting and nothing else (or joined Ginny's Yarn Along, for that matter). Mostly because April has been such a busy month for us, I just didn't have enough hours in the day for either blogging or knitting. Instead of sharing current projects today, I'll dedicate this post to Baby Surprise Jacket (or BSJ, as it's often referred to in knitting world), since I finished it about a month ago, if you don't count the fact that it remained button-less for almost 4 weeks.

This project was so fun to work with for a couple of reasons. It was my first time knitting with EZ's (Elizabeth Zimmermann) ingenious patterns. The term 'pattern' is used very loosely here. No dry boring charts or row by row written directions. In fact, there's nothing boring about EZ' writing. And she's pretty entertaining to watch in "Knitting Workshop" even for someone like my husband, who has no interest in knitting unless it produces an object he can wear or admire (or when it works as a sedative on his wife).

And did I mention that EZ is somewhat of a knitting genius? Who else could come up with an idea to knit something like this:

that can transform into this:

Fun pattern aside, I also ended up underestimated how much yarn I would need, so I had to dig through my bins with yarn and look for leftovers from other Noro Kureyon colorways. There was a lot of alternating between the balls, cutting out certain color repeats in order to have colors that would go well with one another. But it was all worth it. Once the jacket was done, it became our go-to piece of clothing for Ivy whenever we took her outside, buttons missing and all.

I added a few finishing touches to this BSJ to make it a better fit for Ivy. Even the seaming, that I was so nervous about, turned out to be easy and neat looking (you can find more details and links to helpful tips, like seaming, on this project's page).

And here's the only photo I have of Ivy wearing it (so far). Notice, it has buttons!

Ivy with her great-grandma

April 26, 2011

Easter weekend

Our birthday marathon is over, and there's a lot of photos I need to go through. For now I'll start with most recent happenings, Easter and the days surrounding it...

On Friday we spent our evening with friends, decorating eggs and just having good slow stress-free time. Amy is always full of creative ideas and knows how to utilize every scrap of paper or fabric around her house, unlike me, who often thinks that a 'fun' project involves shopping for supplies which may not even end up being used for the said project, but instead stashed away into my ever growing collection of yarn, fabric and miscellaneous 'cool' stuff. After all, you never know when I might need that Speedball linoleum carver, right?

why buy confetti when you have paint chips laying around?

On Saturday we went to celebrate Grandma Lemon's birthday, and ended up visiting Mark's parents for a 'quick' impromptu egg hunt. We planned to stay for just one hour, so we could get home with enough time to clean our house in preparation for Easter. But for some reason I can't resist taking a nap at the farm, there's just something about the house that, as soon I cross the doorstep, makes my whole being let go of rushing and stressing over small stuff, and my body refuses to cooperate with me unless I lie down and let it rest for a bit. This time both Mark and I fell asleep and ended up snoozing away for a good hour and a half. Luckily, kids got plenty of attention, not to mention a break from us.

after bath
bathed and dressed up, waiting to go see grandmas

Later that night, after we got home and kids were sound asleep, I got to work, trying to get some projects done before Easter Sunday. No, I wasn't trying to put up fancy decorations, or finish making coordinating clothes for all 4 kids (although I kept entertaining the idea of making linen pants for Elijah up until 3 a.m.). We didn't even get our house cleaned like we wanted to. But in the end I did get a few things done. Like dyeing more eggs with onion skins, blueberries and turmeric (because 1 dozen of dyed and decorated eggs is not enough?), felting some eggs (for no real reason other than giving it a try and seeing what happens), turning my old sweater into a cardigan (had to spice up my usual t-shirt and skirt outfit somehow), and dyeing a silk scarf that I found in one of my bins with sewing supplies while I was looking for linen fabric (for those pants that never got made). I used leftover 'dye' from the eggs and the color turned out perfect, bright and sunny, all thanks to wonderful turmeric.

In the end, our Easter day was not perfect by any means. Our house could've been cleaner, our children could've had newer and somewhat matching outfits, I could've been more rested, and our dinner could've been more festive. And maybe in someone else's eyes the lack of all those things meant that we didn't celebrate Christ's resurrection properly. But in my eyes, I see things differently. I see that we spent time with wonderful friends, enjoyed visiting with family members, went to Church full of kind and beautiful people. But the best way to help me feel the spirit of Easter was Ivy's clever idea to spill crayons all over the floor at the very end of the Sacrament meeting. After all, picking up those crayons was what got me caught on my knees while attempting to sign 'He Is Risen' with tears of joy streaming down my face.