It's in the blood

I posted a photo of the kids' cardigan on FB/IG yesterday and my Aunt Arlene (who will be 93 in a few months) commented, "You knit just like your Grandma. Maybe more."

(I might have to print that quote and frame it!)

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Here's Junah modeling said sweater. Lordy, it's going to be handed down to Ginny pretty quick, I think! The kids are all growing so fast.

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And a better view of where I'm at. It's been super busy around here, but I managed to steam block the buttonhole band, collar, and pocket trim, and I got half a sleeve sewn in.

Ann & I shopped for buttons last week but the selection was not very plentiful nor inspiring, and I think the ones I settled for are too big, anyway. I'll be headed to BOSTON (Cambridge) with Annie next week for a long weekend -- some of it work-related for her, but all pleasure for me! It dawned on me this morning that there are probably some pretty nice shops there that have buttons. I've already added Gather Here and Mind's Eye Yarns to my list (both are within a few miles of our hotel) and would love to hear suggestions if anyone has any. Hopefully, I'll have made some progress with the sewing up by then!

We had a birthday celebration for Junah on Thursday at Ann's.

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I just can't believe he's 9 already!

Yesterday, everyone came over to my house for another get together (do 'em while we can!).

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It doesn't take long for the place to get trashed (in a good way) (and they clean up... eventually) and this was before Lincoln Logs were wedged in.

The girls have been finding their own spots -- Ginny favors the space under the stairs and Malina had herself pretty well set up in the cardboard playhouse.

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The Garden Room was quiet enough for naptime. So sweet!

Creativity has been flowing, too.

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Ann gave the girls some "crafty" gifts on Thursday and Malina sat right down to work on hers!

Ginny came in our back door yesterday, spotted something that she wanted to draw, and immediately got supplies together. She's kind of blowing us all away... she's only 6! My girls were always a bit advanced in the area of art -- IT'S IN THE BLOOD -- but this is beyond, and to that I give credit to the internet for all the amazing tutorials that are out there, and to the pandemic for super-sizing what's available.

Rusty & Addie are teaming up to build a Little Free Library to install at Ann's house! They drew up some designs, decided on a plan, and have been working on it for a couple of mornings, so far. Eventually, it'll be painted to match the house. It's going to be so cute!

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Grafting a Collar

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday!

KNITTING:

Oh boy, it's getting exciting now!

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The collar was knit with German Short Rows for shaping and it turned out great... after a couple of tries and a pause. I had to begin twice -- I was almost at the halfway point when I dropped a stitch (one of the GSRs) and couldn't recover. Fine & dandy, I was a lot more confident the second time and, of course, it knit up quicker. At the halfway mark, though, I struggled a bit with what I was reading in the pattern and how it would actually be done. I put it down and took a break -- two episodes of Ted Lasso (finally!) allowed my brain to calm down and I told myself what I always tell myself in these situations: "Just do what it says!" When I actually picked it up and DID it instead of just reading it... VOILA!

So it looks great and then the pattern said to graft the collar stitches to the picked up stitches. I went a tad further and picked up NEW stitches in the original stitches picked up for the collar because I thought it would be much easier to graft live stitches, and because I thought it would look neater... more finished. It was kinda fiddly but I did it.

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I went with the flow and what felt/looked good, so there were about 9-10 fewer new stitches picked up -- the stitch markers are where I'm fudging an extra stitch so that it all evens out. 

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I'm also grafting 1x1 ribbing to stockinette... and decided to do it in regular kitchener stitch (stockinette) and I think it's going to work out great! I did about 1/4 of the grafting this morning. I'm using the video from City Knitting in Grand Rapids that Kay posted the other day at Modern Daily Knitting. So smart!

READING:

I'm still reading The Miracle of the Bells, by Russell Janney, and listening to A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders. Actually, I haven't been listening much at all lately! With all the people in/out and car shuffling in the past month or so, I didn't even have my car for quite a while... and that's where I do the majority of my listening.

Hope you're having a great week! I'm off to pick up Ann and run a few errands.

 


Unraveled Wednesday: Closing in!

I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday!

KNITTING:

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I'm about to begin armhole shaping for the right front, which is the last major piece of the cardigan! I'm excited for the blocking/taming of all those pieces because, man, are they ever curly!

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That's 5 Point Bomber central right there -- all my MDK Atlas yarn & tools (more needles than I need!) in one place! I tuck my iPad in there when I go over to Ann's for laundry/knitting... very portable. This Sunday will be the last of that for a while, except for a guest booking over New Year's, because they arrive on Sunday night and will be "here" (back & forth to Madison in various configurations) until early February!

READING:

I just finished reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (pages) for book club. I'd enjoyed Daisy Jones & The Six (audio), also by Taylor Jenkins Reid, so it didn't seem like too big of a gamble! Indeed, it's a pretty easy "beach" read and I sped right through it -- not great literature but a fun diversion and I was surprised at the end!

My listening has been spotty for various reasons... currently: A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders. I am really enjoying it, and love listening to George Saunders.

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I picked up Kate last Sunday and she's here for about a month... though she just left (in my car) for a quick work-related trip to Chicago & Madison. She hasn't even seen the kiddos yet because Ginny & Ali have been sick. I think Ginny finally went back to school today after being out for a week! Everyone else is holding on over there, so hopefully we'll all get together soon.

Hope everything is good in your neck of the woods!

 


Weekending

On Saturday morning, I wound most of the rest of the MDK Atlas for the kids' sweater.

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Then I hauled it all over to Ann's, where I spent the afternoon doing laundry and a little cleaning -- but mostly laundry -- along with knitting, sipping peppermint tea, and watching a little TV. There'd been seven guests there for the Thursday night football game, and to visit family (the parents grew up on the same street in the '40s & '50s, and Grandpa's old house is just at the end of the block)... there was a boatload of laundry!

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The main knitting goal was the striping on the left sleeve. The original design for the 5 Point Bomber (Rav) has a series of narrow stripes in the contrast color separated by wider stripes of the main color. I wanted more color, of course, and ended up doing slightly narrower stripes of six colors separated by narrow stripes of the main color.

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I really like how it turned out. And as of last night, that sleeve is finished!

The bright blue cuff is straight from Malina's design. Interestingly, Malina & Ginny made the stripes a contrasting color, but Ali is the only one who used more than one color, and Ginny is the only one who needed the symmetry of stripes on both sleeves! You can revisit all their designs here. I am considering stripes on the right sleeve, but on the upper arm instead? So many questions... the same sequence? reversed? mixed up? all the colors? wider stripes of just a couple-few colors?

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Anyway, I spent the entire afternoon at Ann's and it was glorious!

On Sunday I was thinking about the upcoming week and cooking and cleaning. I started by cleaning the sink with the intention of doing a deep clean of the counters and the top of the "Depression Glass Cupboard" that is one of a few catch-all spots in the kitchen. I ended up doing a deep clean of one of the upper shelves in the kitchen to put away the cake stand I'd taken down for my birthday cake. It's been sitting on one of the counters for a couple of weeks now, because that shelf & everything on it was filthy... I just couldn't put it back, even though no one would ever know if I did! I even washed some of the glass panes. I'll tackle another shelf or two next weekend. It's just not fair that the inside of a mostly closed cupboard can get so dirty!

I did the top of the cupboard, too, but never got around to the counters. There's still time... and that's a lot easier in comparison!

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I only broke two things in my frenzy, one of which made me sad... the smaller of a couple of nesting bowls that Kate found in Fife. I happened to talk to her yesterday, and it happens that she needed an excuse to visit that shop again, and she'll find a replacement for me.

Tomorrow night I'm meeting Ali at Ann's to prepare for guests arriving for Thanksgiving. At this point, I have a few quiet weeks at my Airbnb, though I really know enough by now to be prepared for last-minute arrivals... especially now that I've said that aloud a couple of times. Anyway, the plan is that she'll come over for a little crafting time sans kiddos, too.


Unraveled Wednesday: Color My World!

For the first time since September, I'm joining Kat & the Unravelers today for Unraveled Wednesday!

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This is the colorbox of MDK Atlas yarn that I'm working with for the kids' sweater. I have enough of the main colors (Navy & Clementine) that I could knit this 5 Point Bomber in two colors per pattern specs but, based on preliminary discussion with the kids about their favorite colors, I also threw in Barn Red, Citron, Pear, Seaglass, Mallard, Lapis, and Tutu.

(Watch for coordinating hats & mittens with the leftovers!)

SNEAK PEEK JUST FOR YOU!! I played around in Photoshop (to the best of my limited ability) (see left sleeve cuff, front view) to color in Holli's sketches per my plan -- subject to change! 

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In fact, there's already been a small change. And there will definitely be more stripes -- somewhere -- and maybe bigger. I've incorporated every color -- the kids' favorites -- and I don't know how it's going to end, but this is a great starting point.

It's certainly not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but I love it!! 

You may have seen my recent post on IG showing progress as of Monday night*. So far, there are two pieces started and I'll be casting on a third today. Rather than hunt around for stitch holders for all these bits & bobs, I just culled a few of my US5 needles from my collection! haha.

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*Lately, and especially now that the days are short, I've been heading straight over to Annie's on Monday nights after work to get laundry started. Laundry is the most time-consuming part of running an Airbnb; it's not so bad at my house/Airbnb, where the laundry room is conveniently located where I live, but I was stopping over at Ann's in the evening (once or twice, depending), again in the morning on the way to work, and again after work. So much stopping! I decided a few weeks ago to just stay. One night, I watched the first episode of the first-ever season of The Great British Baking Show... and wished I had my knitting. Another night, I watched Dancing With The Stars (almost live), and had some knitting but didn't get much done (lost a DPN... rearranged my stitches... and then found it again just as I was leaving). This week, I packed up my slightly-more-portable (than the temperature blanket) 5 Point Bomber, and then spent almost all my time trying to find/watch Yellowstone S5. Good lord. We don't have cable TV, it wasn't on Paramount Plus (to which I subscribe), and who the eff knew that Paramount NETWORK was an entirely separate thing? (I didn't.) I ended up watching E1 (free) on my iPad, and I don't know what I'll end up doing for the rest. Will probably just have to put that out of my head until it becomes available on another platform. So dumb.

But I'm really happy with the sweater!!!!

 


Rainbow - my new favorite letter

When the kids were over a few weeks ago, Malina was drawing/writing on the big chalkboard. She was showing me and saying, "D - O - and the letter RAINBOW!"

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It's my new favorite letter! I smile every time I think of it.

In related (colorful) news... There's a big new project in the works! For Modern Daily Knitting's new I Made It with Atlas series (previously here and here, so far), I'm knitting a sweater for the kids... NOT a sweater for each kid, as some might be thinking (at least that's not the plan right now), but one that'll fit Junah right now (with a little room to grow) and that all the rest will eventually grow into. There's nothing quite like seeing all the knits I've made for one cycle through all the others -- sweaters that I made for Mack (graduating-high-school-this-spring Mack!) that Davy's wearing now!

The pattern I've chosen to make is Holli Yeoh's 5 Point Bomber (Ravelry). I considered a few others, but kept coming back to the Bomber because of what other makers had to say about it (all links to Ravelry project pages):

As of today, there are only 17 Bomber projects on Ravelry, and 14 in the Project Gallery -- to read such positive comments on nearly half of those made it a pretty easy decision! I have made one of Holli's patterns before, the very colorful JUNEBEAN from her Devan pattern, which I love.

I bought the 5 Point Bomber pattern three months ago today and have been mulling over ideas ever since. I knew I wanted more color, and probably more stripes, but exactly how... that's eluded me. I finally emailed Holli and told her of my grand plan, asking if she might have some sketches that I could use to help solidify my ideas. She sent me PDFs of her original design sketches in a few different sizes -- and suggested that the kids color some, too!

We did that on Sunday when they were over for my birthday (64!) and, well, it's a RAINBOW world!!

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They had a blast! And they're SO FUN!!

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Ali has always loved fashion and color, so she did some, too!

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She also understood the brief and asked pertinent questions about how the knitting is done (is the button band separate, etc.).

So many great ideas! I've already knit a swatch and will cast on as soon as I decide which way to go! haha. I'll keep you posted!

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Things are still crazy at work but beginning to settle a bit. My trip to London was SUPER fun! My birthday was great, too. Obviously, I'm not doing NaBloPoMo this year... I thought of it at the end of October and then again on the 2nd or 3rd and considered "catching up," but it's not happening. Oh well, 13 years is a damn good run! Hope all is well with you.