Thursday, July 21, 2011

Aestlight Shawl

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It is finally finished! My two circular needles can breathe a heavy sigh of relief to be off the needles *finally* after nearly two full years of hibernation! I checked out my Ravelry page to only find in disbelief how long ago its been since I have casted on for this project. About one month before I got married, September '09.
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Above, pre-block. The lace really, really needed the blocking to open up the bird's eye lace, as well as the eyelets were I picked up stitches. I used my little packet of Eucalan wool wash in grapefruit to give it a much needed soak. Makes me sad to use it up because I only have a few that I bought when I was still in college in a small yarnshop in Iowa. I've been reminiscing about the college days and how I wish I were back for a month or two.
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The shawl being pinned. The soaking and blocking was done right before bedtime. (The only time to get stuff done.) I even convinced my husband to help me pin the edging because a blurry, tired eye is not the best eye for opening up and straightening out lace!
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It's a beautiful shawl. I've been saving my "Anne" Schaefer Yarn for quite some time now for a worthy project, and I'm quite pleased with the results! I bought it at what used to be a yarnshop in Lake Forest, IL. It was relatively close to me, but it eventually went out of business...just like the yarnshop that was under 10 minutes away from me in Prairie Crossings. Sad.
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I really was soo close to finishing the shawl way back before hibernation, but for some reason, I didn't have the heart to reach the end. I could place bets on the reason being a bad case of "startitis." I have three shawls that were on the needles at around the same time. Two are still in the closet.
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I plan on wearing this shawl to a wedding shower and reception on Saturday that I have to "double dip" on. I was going to wear it with my Vera Wang dress that I USED to fit in, pre-pregnancy...but I found out in horror that it doesn't fit right around my ribcage anymore post-twins. *sob*. I had to buy another dress, a black one that is cute and has jewels on the straps and under the keyhole on the chest.
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Victoria, ever the model.

PROJECT: Aestlight Shawl by Gudrun Johnston
YARN: "Anne" Schaefer Yarn, 1 skein of colorway 906
NEEDLES: US 7
PROJECT STARTED: September 7th, 2009
PROJECT FINISHED: July 20th, 2011
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Feels really good to finish something of this size. The last BO stitch almost called for celebration because it took so many nights to finish the stinkin edging because I had to stop every two rows or so! Now on to finishing up the knitted toys and maybe keep tinkering away at the afghan? I know I've said this before, but I feel good. I feel almost back. almost.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Powerless

It started off as a weird day. The babies and I went for a short walk at 6:3AM because it had already been getting hot and plain old muggy. Not long after, I noticed that it started to get pretty dark out. That's when I noticed that the wind was picking up. And when I mean picking up, I mean 80 miles per hour. Within minutes, our backyard seemed to be hurricane-blown, the trees bending over, broken off branches and leaves blown everywhere. Garbage cans toppled over into the streets. We had to vacate the family room because it was in the line of 3 story tree fire. What did I save? Well, babies of course (saved first, for those who might ask). But after that...things we couldn't live without in the Mal house. Tv? No. (Can't live without it, but when you compare it to the things I DID save you'll see why.) Cameras or purses? No. Einstein jumper, activity chair, baby gym and basket of toys? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. What else? Laptop? No. The WIP Rippled Afghan that took dozens and dozens of hours and thousands of stitches? Heck YES. Boy do you see my priorities, huh?!? Besides the knitting, our life seems to be a "Ground Hogs Day" worth of bouncing the kids from activity jumper to swing to toys and the like every 15 minutes. They have a lot of toys and activities, but man do these boys get bored fast. Almost as quickly as Sam is going from non-mobile to rolling, crawling, help-standing to even trying to walk despite his near 9 month old body (adjusted, 7.5 mos).

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We got lucky. Real lucky. While our neighbors got hit hard in the roof or had their mature trees split to the point of no return, ours held out and we only had to worry about raking up up loose branches and a yard full of leaves (didn't realize it's Fall already). Oh, and that tinsy tiny problem of NO POWER.



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Not just one day, or two days or three days or four days...but FIVE full days of Amishhood.In the Summer heat. With two babies. and NO GENERATOR. The first day was miserable. We lost power by 9am. Even with the windows down and the blinds shut, it got pretty humid and gross. The second day was a little better. By the third day, it really cooled off...which we were soo thankful for. We ended up loosing nearly everything in our fridge and freezer. For the few things that were salvageable, we kept a cooler going.
Our routine of washing out the bottles and making 16 bottles for the next day turned into washing and making a couple on-the-fly.



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It's kind of funny because it seemed like the "Survivor" show the way some people reacted to the power outage. No TV? OMG. Let's go out and buy a generator! My tv usually is always running in the background during the day. The silence was a little strange, sadly enough. However, it was nice to be released from the bondage a little bit. And not being able to run fans without the air was also greatly missed, but we some how survived. We usually use them as white noise for the boys as much as we use it to break up the stuffiness.



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Anyways, to make this long story short, we finally got our power back late Friday, being in the last 200 houses to receive power in my hometown (large population). Probably didn't help that a truck picking up one of the trees on the side of the road knocked down a light pole holding electrical wires while I was going to a morning stroller ride.



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We are glad to have power- light, electricity, air conditioning, etc. We love it all, even more so now.



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Photos really doesn't show the entirety of the situation. Every house had a huge pile of tree limbs and branches for the trucks to take. I had more photos, but my other camera's USB cord is MIA, so these will have to do. I'm guessing our neighborhood was on the news since it got hit one of the hardest because of all of the mature trees that have become very brittle from drought-like weather these past few years.




I have some knitted toys to share with you all later on, and the shawl is waiting to be soaked and blocked. Interesting things to come this week. Visit back soon.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pretty little things

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Well, I am half was through the edging, which means that this shawl is on it's way to F.O-itude. The shawl really has forest green tones to it, but you know how lighting works. It'll look like a much different shawl after it's been blocked and shot at again during the next photo shoot. And boy does this shawl need to be blocked. I worked the larger size, yet it looks much smaller than the pattern's example. My sockyarn must have been much thinner. The edging looks like ca-ca right now, so I'm looking forward to blocking the socks off this shawl. tee hee.


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Here's a cute pic of the boys around the fourth of July. They are sitting in their little Bumbo chairs in the baby pool. I have to say that they do love their water dosage. Splish-splashing is in their blood.

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And I'll leave you off with some beautiful photos of my blossoming flowers in my garden. The last owner really picked out some great perennials. When I went to Walmart yesterday to get some fertilizer, I noticed that they had these lillies for 50 percent off, so I bought myself the pink and the red version to but in my backyard (these are in front of my house).


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Not sure what these purple flowers are called, but they are pretty. They sure like to fan out though. The ones below look like sweet-peas...but not sure of the names Either. Any gardeners reading?

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Saturday, July 02, 2011

Forest Necklace

forest necklace

Dear Blog,
Here's another necklace, dubbed the "forest necklace" due to it's colors. Instead of using crocheter's yarn, the necklace is crocheted using gold wire. I watched a tutorial online from a website called "Auntie's Beads" and whipped myself up something similar.

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Do you remember Victoria? She decided to model off another KUAS project even though she has a lack of a neck.

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The only problem with crocheting these puppies up, besides putting a bigger dent in the wallet is that my little boys find them WAY too appealing and I can't really wear them! When they see them around my neck as I hold them, their eyes light up and their little pudgy fingers reach out and tug on them first thing. Oh well. I still will continue to craft away at these necklaces because I have more ideas storming around in my head. I even want to venture out to real beading without the hook.

But, dear blog, alas...I have not completely forsaken the needles. Do you remember my Rippled Reading Afghan? I have dragged it out from the dark depths of my closet and have continued to knit those long, long rounds. (It probably takes more than 10 minutes each round now.) The colorway is so vibrant, so beautiful, I can't help to do a round here or there. Since that picture it has grown maybe 6 or more inches. I am on my last skein, so I had to order up some more skeins or the afghan will be much too small for my liking.

I have also dragged out my "Aestlight Shawl" that I started over a year ago. I don't recall posting about it. Could be wrong. I dragged it out of hibernation as well, surprised to find it just about done. Story of my life, right? I got really scared when I couldn't find the pattern that I checked off where I left off. The middle of lace is not the time to guess. I think there's only a few more rounds of lace left besides the edging. More on that later.

The boys turned 8 months several days ago. They are eating solids, trying to scoot/crawl (Sam actually crawls backwards because he still hasn't figured out forwards) and are very vocal, arrr---baaaa---maaa and blows razz's. Can't believe they will be 1 years old in under 4 months!

Gotta run. Have a great Fourth of July to those in America! I'm thinking about knitting up the boys diaper soakers in the striped Red-White-Blue cotton colorway. If you're bored, this pattern was Fourth of July festive from '09: Let Freedom Ring.


-Yours truly.

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