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Showing posts from 2009

Some Cute Stories

Sunday, Gigi and I were driving around with the Little Guy in the back seat. He was back there, humming away, when he said, "Mommy! Mommy! I am singing with my mouth closed!" and then he hummed some more.

Gigi said, "You know what it's called when you sing with your mouth closed? It's called 'humming'". The Little Guy replied, "NO Mommy! I am NOT humming! I am NOT A BIRD!"

Last night I talked to him on the phone and I told him I loved him and for the first time ever he said, "I love you too, Mimi". So sweet!

Super Secret Knitting

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I am working on a super secret knitting project. I worked on it while I hung out with the Little Guy on Friday. He asked if he could help me with my yarn, so I gave him some yarn and one knitting needle. He seemed to enjoying wrapping it around and around and around. He said his mommy would be so happy when she saw it.

I am using some Twinkle Soft Chunky from Classic Elite Yarns that I bought last weekend while in Milwaukee, en route to Chicago. Puppy was kind enough to pose for a photo.

This project is done on Size 13 needls with a bulky yarn, so needless to say, it's much more enjoyable than the cardigan I'd been working on, which has sort of been languishing. I'm not entirely sure I'll pick it up again. We'll see.

Triathlon Tuesdays

Yay! So, turns out trying to write every week about my triathlon prep is not very interesting. I ran. I swam. I ran some more.

Did I mention that the other week I rode the exercise bike at the gym for about 15 minutes? Oh my gosh, was that ever boring! That kind of made me decide that for the winter I will focus on running and swimming and wait until summer to hop on the bike again.

I had a good swimming lesson Saturday...with D. I've kind of given up on my actual swimming lessons. I'm still going, but I've given up that they will be useful.

So, Saturday D and I went to the pool and he gave me some tips on keeping my head down so my body stays horizontal and then we worked on flip turns. That was really fun. I know I won't do flip turns in the triathlon, but it still was fun to work on them. I'm going to head to the pool again tomorrow and work on some of the pointers he gave me.

Other than that, I've just been running and lifting weights. Good times!

What was I thinking?

I realized it is going to take me forever to knit the Ripple Cardigan. Why? Because it is an adult size sweater knit on size 3 needles. Whoever thought knitting such a thing would be a good idea? Oh wait...me! The brim for Matilda is also slow going as it is many, many rows of stockinette.

Basically, I've got two really boring projects on the needles right now. I might need to add something to spice things up a little.

Gigi told me how the Little Guy went to a birthday party yesterday and got a balloon, which then got loose and blew away. Poor Little Guy was so upset! His dad explained to him that the balloon would fly far, far away and another family would find it and take really good care of it. He wanted to ride his bike really really fast and go find his balloon. Awww....

David and I headed over to my mom's this afternoon, where the Little Guy was visiting with my brother, wife, and their four little ones. So, we stopped at the party store on the way and picked him…

whhhhoooo.....whhhhoooo

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That's the sound I make when I try to whistle.

I'm more successful when I knit a Wee Willie Whistle Sweater.

I knit this from Lion Brand Cotton Ease, which has since been discontinued and replaced by Lion Brand Cotton Ease (new). I bought these skeins about five years ago, then it was discontinued, and now it's back. It's similar to Rowan All Seasons Cotton but cheaper. I'd say the Rowan is a little nicer to work with, but if I'm knitting a baby sweater that is going to be thrown up and drooled on, I'll go with the cheaper yarn.

I discovered as I finished this up yesterday that I really don't like attaching sleeves. The armpit area feels like a mangled mass of seams. I actually would not let myself go for a run yesterday until I had finished seaming this sweater. Yes, knitting was the "dreaded activity"; running was the reward.

I think this little sweater turned out quite nice. Now I just have to decide who to give it to. I have a thought …

Blue Sweater

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I thought for sure I would finish up the Wee Willie Whistle sweater yesterday since it was my day off. Unfortunately, I wound up spending half the day at work and since it was such a nice day I then went for a run. By the time I got back from my run, the sun was setting and I knew I wouldn't be able to get a good picture of the sweater even if I did finish it. So I didn't even try.

I am a knitting quitter.

Quitting is probably an exaggeration. I'm a knitting puter-offer.

Regardless, I did work on it and completed the shoulder seams and the neck. Now it's just side and sleeve seams. I dislike seaming so much that quite often I'll wind up doing one seam a night, which means it would take me four nights to sew up a baby sweater. I'll do my best to be a bit more speedy than that.

Anyhoo, here is the progress so far. Pretty cute, eh?

She Is Trying To Kill Us!

About two minutes into my most recent swim lesson, I began to think that this whole triathlon idea was C-R-A-Z-Y! That swim instructor is trying to kill us, or at least make us hate water.

We started out with more kicking. When I got to the other end of the pool, she told me to kick faster. The rest of the class was lined up behind me like I was the jerk doing 55mph in the passing lane.

Then she made us swim six laps. SIX! SIX! BTW, a lap is once down the pool, 25 yards. We had to do two laps, 15 second rest, two laps, 15 second rest, 2 laps. I know someone out there is a swimmer and is thinking, "Whatever, Michelle. Get over it". But for me, who can barely swim one lap, this was as though someone told me to run a marathon after I've finished my first 5K.

I'd get to the far end of the pool, look back, and there she was, motioning with her arms and saying, "Come on. Come back!" At one point I actually said, "I don't want to".

By the e…

Knitting! It's Happening Again!

I can tell the weather is getting colder because I have been spending time in earnest searching Ravelry for patterns that can be made with what I have in my stash, making plans for what to knit next, and actually spending a good deal of time knitting.

I am on to the sleeves of the Wee Willie Whistle sweater. Ya know what that means? It's almost done!

I've been actually spending time on Ravelry lately and noticed that the Interweave Knits holiday issue was out. I checked it out and immediately saw the Ripple Cardigan and thought, "Finally! Something that I can knit with the TEN skeins of mohair I have!" Maybe not all ten skeins, but I'll take what I can get.

While I was at Barnes and Noble, I spotted Debbie Bliss knitting magazine. I had no idea she had a magazine. I picked up a copy because there are some nice tweedy sweaters that I think I might be able to use some of my tweedy yarn from Ireland to make. Pretty sure I don't have enough for any of the pa…

Triathlon Tuesday

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Another update in my quest to complete a triathlon in August!

Sunday I had my first swimming lesson. I mentioned in my last update that I can swim a half-mile doing the breaststroke. Judging by the look on David's face, this is not impressive AT ALL. The look said, "a two-year old could do that blindfolded and with his arms tied together." Although I am still proud of this, I know that I'll need to be able to swim a half-mile doing the front crawl, hence the swimming lessons.

There are eight adults in the class, and everyone was very friendly. Nothing like having strangers witness you flailing through the water to bring you closer together. The first thing the instructor had us do was just kick, with the kickboard, for 100 yards.

Boy oh boy, am I not a good kicker. I barely moved. Apparently I am kicking all wrong. Even when I tried to kick correctly, I still barely moved. Very humbling.

Then we worked on the front crawl and the back stroke for a bit. At one…

Remember When?

Way back when I started my blog, I took a survey to help me decide which of many UFO's I should finish up.

The choices were a mitten, dragon hoodie, yellow sweater, Wee Wilie Whistle sweater, and an intarsia square. The mitten won...I promptly finished it...and forgot all about the other items.

Now they are making a comeback! Even thought the Wee Willie Whistle sweater was not a winner, I have started on it again. Ripped out what I had and now have the back complete (again) and have started the front. I think now that I have started, this will be a quick knit.

I'm not sure how the progress will go on the other items. Since I'm trying to use up stash yarn, I think finishing some of these projects makes sense. On the other hand, there is a lot of other yarn in my stash as well..in addition to a few new UFO's. Some things never change in knitting.

Triathlon Tuesdays

As most of you know, this past August David and some of his friends did a triathlon as a team. Being there and seeing all those people left me feeling a bit inspired and I thought, "I could do that". I have decided that next summer, I would like to do the same triathlon, the whole thing, myself.

I have not officially committed to it...haven't paid a registration fee or anything, but I've told enough people about it that I'm as good as paid. Besides, it seems more realistic than the other crazy goal I had about the same time which was climbing Mt. Rainier.

I've decided that I will devote my blog on Tuesdays to updates on getting ready (I'm not at a point yet where I feel like I can say I am "training") and other miscellaneous information.

The triathlon I will be doing is a sprint distance. It will be a 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and a 5K.

Where am I at?

Swimming: I can swim a 1/2 mile...doing the breaststroke, which is not the speediest way to get…

What Season Is It Anyway?

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This weekend David and I headed to Chippewa Falls for Fall Cabin Weekend. On the way there it felt more like Winter Cabin Weekend. The snow was falling thick and heavy as we entered Wisconsin, the fields of cows were covered with the fluffy white stuff, and soon we fell into that quiet sort of driving where the driver is concentrating and the passenger is trying to be as little of a distraction as possible.

We did make it though and had a lovely time. Saturday morning was blustery and a little damp, but the weather was fine for football and walks. The fireplace had a warm glow all weekend. And when the nine children under the age of seven that were there all took their naps at the same time, a peacefulness came over the cabin. Rest and relaxation. Perfect.

I also finished up these little hat's for David's twin nephews. This is the only lousy picture I have of these! Before I got a chance to take another we had wrapped them up and were off to the baptism.
David and I did …

"Say Cheese, Tunnel Bean!"

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This weekend I went with my mom, sister, and the Little Guy to Chicago. I did take some knitting with me, but didn't get much done. I know...there are a lot of people out there who somehow manage to get lots of knitting done in the presence of a three-year old, but I am not one of those people.

We visited with family while there, visited the DuPage County Children's Museum, and took a train ride downtown to Navy Pier and then over to Millennium Park to see "Cloud Gate", known to most people as the Bean. We told the Little Guy we were going to see a great big jelly bean, and I was a little worried he'd be disappointed that it wasn't a big yellow or purple or red bean.

I need not have worried. He went nuts for the bean. As soon as he saw it, he shouted, "It's a tunnel bean!" and wanted to go under the bean. He ran in circles, hopped around on his little legs, shouting and laughing the entire time. Pretty cute.

Then he wanted to take pictures. …

Snow and A Sweater

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At long last, here is Flair. And a bit earlier than I would have liked, the first snowfall of the 2009-2010 winter season.

That would be the Little Guy in the background shoveling his swing set.

Pattern: Flair, from Knit and Tonic. I found the pattern on Ravelry.
Yarn: Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Garnet
Size: Small
Needles: Size 6 circs from my grandma's interchangeable Boye set for the body (I'm sure they are older than I am), Size 6 DPNs bamboo for the sleeves
Started in July 2009, Finished October 2009. I am slow.
Buttons are from the Yarnery.

What I liked: I love the Malabrigo. It's wool, but it is so nice and soft I can have it against my skin. This sweater is a raglan, top-down which I love, love, love. No seams! The sleeves are done in the round, so no seams there either. It's an easy, cute pattern. I'd recommend it if you need something easy to work on, or are working on a first sweater.

What I don't like: Well, I messed up the spacing on the buttons. An…

Go Twins!!

I just got off the phone with my sister and she told me to update my blog. Problem is, there isn't much to update. I'll give it a try though.

I finished the knitting on Flair last week. It is amazing to have an almost finished object. Saturday afternoon D was kind enough to take me button shopping. We went to the Yarnery, where I laid the sweater out on the floor and set different buttons on top. The buttons I really liked were $2.75 each, which seemed a bit extravagant to me, so I settled on some square, ivory colored buttons that were only $1 each. I think I'll sew them on today, then block the sweater.

With the money I saved on buttons, I bought Made in Brooklyn. Such lovely patterns, such lovely photos. The woman who rang up my purchases asked me if I read his blog, and I said yes and commented on how I love the pictures. She then informed me he is a photographer. I had no idea. That explains a lot.

Button buying was just one part of a very busy weekend. F…

I Say It's My Birthday,,,

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It's My Sister's Birthday Too!

That's what happens when you have a twin. Many years ago, my sister and I grew tired of duking it out in the womb for room. She shoved me aside and emerged into the world and before she could warn me that it was cold and bright and loud out there, I followed her.

And now we celebrate.

First stop for birthday celebration was Psycho Suzi's on Friday night, where some friends joined me and David for large drinks and little pickles wrapped in cream cheese and ham.

That's me with my very large, flaming drink. At first it seemed awfully strong, but I got used to it. As a birthday present, the Tiki gods smiled on me and allowed me to wake up the next morning hangover free. Yay!

Saturday we headed to the 'burbs where my Dad and Kathy took us to a Japanese steakhouse, where we were serenaded while wearing this odd mask.

That was fun.

Here's all of us, full of steak and shrimp and salmon and lots of fried rice.

It was fun evening, and cappe…

Biking, Biking, Biking

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There hasn't been too much knitting or blogging going on around here lately. There has been a lot of biking, so I'll update you all a bit about that. I know my brother and sister-in-law are into biking, so this post is sort of for them.

Labor Day, David and I and our friend Kym headed southeast-ish along the river towards St. Paul, crossed the river, and then headed back towards home on the other side.

It was a beautiful day for a ride and we were lucky enough to see this bald eagle enjoying the day as much as we were.

I think we biked about 30 miles that day. The day was capped off with lunch at the Longfellow Grill in Minneapolis. I should have taken a picture of the area around the Grill. It is right along the bike trail along East River Road and gets a lot of bicyclists stopping for drinks and food. It was crazy how many bikes there were!

The next week, September 13th, we rode in the St. Paul Bike Classic with Kym and Michael.

The St. Paul Bike Classic is so much fun. W…

New Uses for Knitting Books

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Did you know, that in a pinch, a knitting pattern book can serve as a bedtime story? When Gigi and the Little Guy spent the night Saturday, he was not interested in the book Gig brought, so I searched on my shelves and could only come up with this.

Turns out, the Little Guy enjoyed looking at the pictures of little kids and animals...

counting birds...
and the truck blanket was a hit.

And here is where I am with Flair. I got to this point last week and just have not been able to get any further. Hopefully over the weekend I can get some sleeves on this thing.

State Fair, Take 2

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Can it really be that I have not updated my blog since August? Why yes! It can. It's been a crazy last few days of summer around here: multiple trips to the State Fair, more biking and swimming, gearing up for the always crazy first day of classes at the fourth largest university in the nation (well, last year anyway), thinking about knitting.

Sunday, Gigi, David, the Little Guy and I headed to the State Fair. We were there about 7 a.m., which is a great time to go to the fair. There are hardly any people there, and there is breakfast to be had!
We passed by the Giant Slide on the way to Machinery Hill.

This is one of my favorite things at the Fair and Gigi and I went down while the Little Guy waited with David. As soon as we got off, the Little Guy ran up and wanted to go down the slide. He decided he wanted to go with me so we climbed the stairs and he was so excited all the way up. I thought for sure when we got up there he would change his mind, but nope...I held on tight …

Exhausted

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I am utterly exhausted after this weekend. It was all about food and fitness. The fitness was needed to counteract the food.

For those of you who only read my blog for the knitting content, I will tell you that I finished the body of Flair last night. Now it's just sleeves, collar, and buttoning. By the time I finished, it was too dark to take a photo without the flash, so I don't have a visual to share. Soon though, I promise.

Now that that is out of the way, you don't need to read about my other adventures unless you are interested. Well, you may want to continue to see some sheep pictures.

Saturday morning, David and I biked up to St. Thomas where we met Kym and Kyle bright and early for a run. We ran about 2.5 miles with them, and then the two of them continued on (they are training for the Twin Cities Marathon) while David and I hopped back on our bikes and to the Mill City Farmer's Market. We had breakfast there (goat cheese omelets with cucumber and some o…

Ah...The Smell of Wet Wool

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My mom took the day off today and since it was my usual day off, I headed to the 'burbs to dye yarn with her. She had purchased some dye and cheap yarn and considered this a "test" run for when she gets the yarn from the yarn crop share she is a part of.

The yarn soaked in her very deep sink for part of the morning. Looks like noodles.

It was then was added to the dye on the stove top. The color is cantaloupe. After simmering for about 30 minutes, the yarn was ready to be rinsed and hung up to dry.
At this point, the house was filled with the smell of wet wool. Delightful. I'm not really sure if that should be read with a slightly sarcastic tone or not...I don't think wet wool smells great, but there is something sort of comforting about it.
The only complaint I have about this process is that the instructions say to constantly stir the yarn in the pot, so that the color distributes evenly. Granted, we stirred gently, but I think we all know what happens when you com…
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(the post immediately below shows the map of our bike ride...if you are feeling so inclined, you could open it in another browser window and follow along as I describe our day)

A Monday off in August is a wonderful thing. My office is crazy this time of year, even more so on Monday, so if I can avoid just a little of the crazy, I'm happy. David and I had originally intended to go camping this weekend, but the triathlon got in the way of that plan. Instead, we decided to go for a bike ride around The Cities (as Mpls/St. Paul are affectionately known in these parts).

David was at his place, so he got an extra four miles of biking in in order to meet me at the synagogue about a 1/2 mile from my place. From there, we zipped down Mississippi River Blvd, across the river, and then up Minnehaha Parkway to Mel-o-Glaze Bakery donuts for some coffee and carbs.

My donut was a bit too much - glazed, then glazed again with chocolate. A bit too sweet, but the coffee helped. We enjoyed our tr…