Saturday, April 28, 2007

Post-Blocking Peacock Shawl

Here is the blocked Peacock Feathers Shawl hanging in my dirty window! Because it is so big it was not as easy to hang to get pictures and unfortunately the way I had to fasten it up, so that the weight wouldn't pull it down, made the left edge curl. :o( Don't look at the dirty windows. We live just a block (as the crow flies) off the freeway and it is always dusty here (and part of the reason I struggle with my asthma here).
A close up showing the crocheted cast off edge.
The point of the shawl.
A closeup of the point.
More of the shawl. If we were just another month or two down the road, I could get better light for pictures, but the sun isn't far enough south yet, so I think they are pretty, but not quite what I was aiming for. It feels good to have this done. When the girls got up from their "room time" (Nap?! HA HA! I wish!), A said, "Good job Mommy!" LOL
We have our tradition with shawl ministry shawls...each one has to be worn and photographed...that's the hug that gets sent with each one. So I'll have hubby take a picture of me in it and I'll take a picture of the kids wrapped up in it and since he did it for my cousin Nancy, I'll probably even twist hubby's arm to have his picture in it, since it is for Grandma after all! :o) The things we do for love!
Thank you for stopping by to look and thanks for the lovely comments everyone. This was a fun knit!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Blocking the Blob

Well, it's blocking. I guess I didn't get it pinned very straight or symmetrical. When you are on the floor pinning it, it seems like you are straight and then when I stood up, it's a little wavy. Honestly I don't think this will have any adverse effect on the shawl once it's unpinned because you don't see it this way, you see it gently cascading from the shoulders. It's very large, about 100" across. This is because I doubled the yarn.

I used 6+ skeins of Knit Picks Shadow in Jewel. I had to use a bit of the 7th skein to do the crocheted cast off. I used a size 6 US Knit Picks needle, which I have to say I hated, mainly because no amount of tightening would keep the needles on the cable all the time. I have to say that once I tried out my new Addi Lace needles, there will be no looking back. More on them later. I used a size F crochet hook for the chained crochet cast off, which was kind of fun...something different. Oh, yes, the pattern is Peacock Feathers Shawl from Dorothy at Fiddlesticks. I love her patterns which are well written and charted and beautiful.

Next week this will be off to my Grandma Doris as part of my shawl ministry. She has had a particularly rough year, losing her daughter Josie and son Dick just a few weeks apart as well as some health and other challenges. I felt she needed a fibery hug. Her last name means peacock in German and she loves blues and purples so I thought this would be fitting.

Tomorrow I will take some pictures of it in the window with the afternoon light coming through so you can see what it looks like when it is finished. I hate blocking but I love the end result!

Big Blue Blob

Finally! It's finished! The Peacock Feathers Shawl. I am hoping to block it tonight and get it ready to send to Grandma Doris for Mother's Day. At the moment it is still a big blue blob! Yesterday it was in the 80s so as I was finishing it, I was very WARM! I made some mistakes in this which were found too late and had to be "fudged" however they are things you have to search for to find. So, overall I am happy with it. It does not have the light airy feel that the original pattern calls for using Zephyr silk/wool because I used Knit Picks Shadow which is a Merino laceweight and I doubled it in order to make a larger shawl. I did go up a couple needle sizes and feel the needle size was approprite, but still having it doubled gives it a different feel. I can't wait to see how it blocks out. More pictures and specifics to follow. Now today's task is to find the new blocking wires I got and wash them so that I can use them tonight. This may be the biggest chore of the day since there are still boxes piled around from the remodeling project, since we have all been sick since then. (And they are on the list for this weekend when it might hit 90*, Yuck!)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gardening, Ears, Rashes, Kitties and Birds

Well it has been quite the week already and it's only Tuesday! The end of last week D had a rash as a reaction to Sulfa, just like his Mom! :o( The itchies are gone now but he is suffering from allergies in general and has almost lost his voice. Sac is just not healthy for any of us! After ten days of ear pain and spending the last two nights in tears and waking up with bad ear pain, I finally decided to start the Amoxicillin for an ear infection. Forty years old and I have my first ear infection. Last night I slept through most of the night and woke up with only minimal discomfort. The extreme swelling both inside my throat and on my glands has decreased significantly and I feel like I am finally on the road to recovery!

The last couple days have been exhausting though. Yesterday the kids and I went to Walmart to get some medicine and we spent about $15 on annuals which they had out on sale. Everyone got to pick a color of petunias to buy and had fun. Then I went to Whole Foods Market with the kids and did some shopping there. I don't do all my shopping there but every 6-8 weeks I go there for a few things. They have THE BEST peanut butter, their storebrand and it is cheaper than other natural peanut butters. It tastes like fresh peanuts. Also got some Kefir to put some probiotics into my system since I am taking antibiotics.

Today I'm pretty wiped. But we did spend the morning out cleaning out our flower pots and pulling the tulip and daffodil bulbs for next year and deadheading a couple hundred roses! Then we had fun planting. Once the planting containers were cleaned out, we each took turns picking which color petunia to put in next! Some of the planters needed to be fully replanted, others needed just a few spots filled in here or there to brighten the place up. The pansies will not last too much longer because we are supposed to be in the upper 80s again later this week. Yuck! Once summer hits here, it hits full force. I guess it's good we were out there and enjoyed spring today while it lasted! :o)

Hopefully next week I will have some pics to post. I have about 6 more rows to go on the Peacock Feathers Shawl but the rows are over 500 stitches so it is taking longer and longer to get done, even on the plain rows. I was hoping to finish and get it blocked before Mother's Day.

Gerber Daisy
One of the new kittens born under the neighbors trailer, shyly peeks out!
Kids playing with the toolsets Gr and Gr got them, tuning up their "motorcycles"!
Some of our planting efforts
D, J, A, my helpers watching me and helping me pick out petunias...the girls always look in the camera as if they think there is some little person in there doing something and they want to figure out what! LOL
A Western Goldfinch cropped out of one of my bigger photos, not enough light to get a good close up.
Queen Elizabeth Roses

Saturday, April 21, 2007

My Home

There is not too much that is glamorous about living in a 35 yo mobile home, however, I am so thankful for the roof over our heads that God has given us and through the years I have had to learn over and over to "bloom where you are planted" and to make lemonaide from the lemons.
One of the things that brings me joy at our home is how beautiful the roses grow every year, no matter how far I cut them back.
One of them routinely grows over 8 feet each year!
Occasionally all or most of them bloom at once. That is so pretty. That hasn't happened yet this year, but this shows what it looks like when half are in bloom.
This is the sunset view from our mailbox.
And this is looking the opposite direction from our mailbox, a beautiful double rainbow, but only one shows in the picture.
This is a wide angle view with our roof at the left in front.
Coming down our steps to the mailbox I see the beautiful Queen Elizabeth rose bush in nearly full bloom
This is the Gemini Rose that I planted in memory of Grandma Hopkins since she and I share June birthdays. It is sometimes this color and sometimes mostly creamy with a tinge of pink blush on the tips. It was fun to catch this one with a lady bug on it!

Palm Sunday

D watching the choir director and holding his Palm.
D dressed for church.
J on left and A on right
On Palm Sunday the kids at church had a special song that they sang. There is a wonderful lady who works with the kids, she is a school choir director and volunteers her time with the kids. D loves it, even though he is a little young to follow all the time and we have noticed quite a bit of difference in his ability to sing on tune/key since he has been having choir practice. The girls picked out their own dresses at Target and Aunty Kathy gave them the Easter hats for their birthday.
As you can see I am catching up. If you are visiting here expecting knitting or spinning content...I'm sorry. We have all been sick and exhausted but not much going on. But since my family all live out of state, we put a lot of the kids up on the blog, so you will have to bear with me or surf on over to another blog if you get bored seeing kid/family pictures because the next few posts are here so Grandma can smile! :o)

First "Real" Haircut

We never thought our poor little baldies would ever grow hair! So, last August they had their first hair cut when we were at Grandma and Grandpa's. It was mainly a bang trim so they could see. But lately the hair has been looking pretty scruffy with lots of breaks from the girls removing their own pony tails, so we thought before the summer we would get a clean cut and then let it continue growing. Their hair is baby fine and A's is wispy...she always looks a little waif like. J's is fine too but she has more hair. She is in the yellow and A in the white...this is a before picture.
Here is A looks a little silly because you know how it is right after you get your hair have to go home and re-do it to get it the way you want! :o) Her bangs look much better now and they were most enthused by the sucker they got at the end.
Here is J afterward...not a dramatic change, just a little more professionally shaped. Also having it cut blunt at the ends makes it look fuller. They both have quite a bit of natural wave which changes depending on humidity, when their hair was washed, how they slept on it etc. These pictures don't show any wave as it has been washed that day.
Here is A in the chair getting ready for her trim. She had about 4-5 inches cut off of her hair.
Oops! Sorry I forgot to turn this around, this is J. You can see on the right what has been cut and on the left what will be cut. She got about 3 inches off of hers.
J in the chair.

Handy D.

D loves watching Disney's "Handy Manny"! He is fascinated with tools and is always running around saying things like, "Oh, that looks like it needs a philip's head screw!" LOL When we put together our Ikea bookcase, we decided to let him help and he had so much fun!

Why I Never Get Anything Done!

J in light pink, A in dark pink. D calls down to me in the bedroom, "Mommy sisters are coloring on themselves." I should have stopped then to go see but I am assuming coloring crayons and correct them verbally. A few minutes later I come out and discover that D's markers were out. Obviously D had enjoyed watching his sisters for quite some time. He chooses when he wants to tattle tale! LOL This is funny now...but it wasn't with a fever and an ear infection. It was not on my list for the day. Diaper wipes took off half of it but the rest has had to wear off.


I had to brag on my boy a bit. D. painted this freehand! I don't think I could have painted Mater freehand! I don't think I could draw him either. This is done from memory. For those without kids, Mater is a tow truck from the Cars movie.

My Sidewalk Garden

I couldn't remember if I had posted any pictures of my flowers or not. It is not possible to do real gardening here so I try to bloom where I am planted. The flowers always give me a little boost! I plant pansies every spring.

March Miscellaneous - Still Catching Up

These are dishcloths I made for my Life Overflowing Exchange Pal Judy. I got them online, but I can't remember where. When I was weaving in ends I saw a couple mistakes! OUCH! You can't frog at that point so I just left it.

This shows the three crosses like a Christ's resurrection.
A lighthouse.

My hubby is really good at playing with the kids and also getting them out of my hair after a long or difficult day. We got the girls a T-ball set for their birthday and hubby took them to the park and they had fun trying it out. J, who is a South Paw like her Papa Dan, took to it pretty seriously. She has always been the most physical of all three kids. Of course it was only the first time out, but let's just say we need some more practice! :o)

Here's D watching A's technique. If you ever need something beat with a stick...I think she's your gal! LOL

D took it pretty seriously and even made sure he brought his Blue's Clue's baseball hat that Grampa and Grandma gave him so that he could play "right". :o)
I had to include this picture. A in the purple and J is bursting into the scene. This is just so typical of J. The other two think about their physicality more or hold back. J just rushes in full of vim and vigor. Mom, made me think of Grandma saying, "Here I am you lucky people!" LOL
This cracked me up too. Who knows what Miss Bossy Finger (J) was saying, but it looks like it should be captioned "I call the corner pocket"!
A didn't beat it well enough the first time, here we go again.
Here's J again, ready for a swing!

D looks like he is amazed he hit it!

Aunt Shelley gave the girls Toys R Us gift cards for their birthdays and they bought these dolls with them. They also had some money from Great Grandma so they bought these little strollers (which they have managed to break already because they played HARD with them!)
A kisses her baby
J giving her dolly a drink