Thursday, August 14, 2014

Pacific Northwest Friends - and Two Hats!

My 4 year-old, Camden, is social, to say the least.  The girl loves her a good time, enjoys getting out with her friends, playing dress-up, lounging in a pool, all-around having some laughs and running around like a crazy person.

She has some great friends here in Bend.  We spend a bit of time with one friend in particular, Greta, because she and Camden attend Birding on Mondays and Story Time on Tuesdays - and they've been so lucky to take a couple of free classes at a local farm, which is great!  It also works out that I get on well with Greta's mom, as we have very similar lines of thinking on a few topics.
I believe this was Camden's FIRST birding trip!
A day at the farm
After said day at the farm, LOL
Another farm day

Paying soooo much attention to their birding instructor
Another local friend Camden loves is Elora!  She actually first met Elora when she was perhaps 1 and a half, as I met Elora's mom in an on-line group.  Camden loves to play dress-up with Elora, and they've been able to enjoy berry picking and go trick-or-treating.  And as with Greta's mom, I get along super well with Lisa and love to spend time with her - and she's been so nice since I've moved here to Bend!
Everyone needs a break, right???
Birthday party!
Dirt times!
A little river visit!
One of her sets of faraway friends includes Ben and George!  They are the boys of a mom I also met on-line way back when I was pregnant with Camden.  She and Ben are mere days apart in age, and our two families have managed to meet up a few times since her family's move from George to Seattle!
Hillside chats
LOL - cupcake time!
Smiles....of a sort!
Zoo times
Another faraway friend, also now in Seattle (transplanted from CA) is Stephen!  He, too, is the same age as Camden, and she has only had the chance to meet up with him once, though we hope to remedy that in a couple months!  Something I love about Camden is that she is easily able to pick up from where she left off with friends she rarely sees!
And hand-holding???

Camden also has friends from low places....the valley of Vancouver, LOL!  When I started working on my fitness back in the summer of 2012, I was going to the gym and taking classes, and somehow, the lovely Kim and I started chatting it up.  She has kids she was always checking into the gym daycare - twins the SAME age as Camden, yay! - so, it was clearly meant to be, as we were both stay-at-home-moms, and she is SUCH a great mom and fun to hang out with.  Camden got on well with Lizzie and Jack from the get-go.  Those two are hilarious, and the three of them together???  YIKES!  They get so loud and giggly, and they race about like nobody's business.  I was sad to discover, mere months after settling into a friendship, that we would be moving a few hours south, but we've managed to so far keep the friendship alive.  Camden, Lizzie and Jack still enjoy meeting up when we get up to Vancouver, and most recently, they made THEIR way down to Bend, which was awesome!  I sadly didn't have my camera on a couple of our outings, so, I missed photographic opportunities (and simply had fun, LOL).
Here in Bend, just a week ago!
Ahhh!  They look so YOUNG!  :O
One of their first story times together
Hot chocolate party!
They wear each other OUT
Adventure, LOL
Other friends back in Vancouver include Piper, Bennett, Addy and Bella.  They are all older, and these four have always been great about taking care of Camden when she hangs out with them!  It always makes Camden happy when she has older kids with whom to giggle.
How'd they get up there??

Pumpkin patch time - 2012!

Oh, gosh - so long ago!

Lastly, this post DOES include some crafting ;)  Of my holiday knitting, I've so far managed to finish two hats - the Oaked pattern by Alicia Plummer (blog), which is just gorgeous!  I knew as soon as I saw this green Madelinetosh that Lizzie needed to have it (project page)!  I was behaving and pulling from yarn I'd used in my stash, and Jack's hat is an upsized version of the Otis baby hat, which includes fun cables and is knit out of Mosaic Moon's Maclir colorway on Gaia worsted.  Both hat patterns are wonderful/easy to understand.  I experienced some fiddly moments on the Oaked, but I got over it, and it worked out just fine!  I DO wish I'd gone down another needle size on the ribbing on Jack's, so, it'd fit slightly snugger, but whaddya gonna do?

All this to say... Camden has friends all over, and I'm sure I missed some in this post, but she truly enjoys the amigos in her life and values, I think, any time she is able to spend with them!

Stay tuned for the next post on family!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Hike in Bryce Canyon....Minus the Hike: A Shawl

Omigosh - super excited about my second-ever shawl!  Well....let's not get hasty - it's a shawlette, more specifically - a teeny, tiny thing, to be truthful.

I used some awesome-possum MarigoldJen yarn, a 50/50 merino/silk in the colorway Greenridge (my Ravelry project page).  It is a fingering weight yarn, and it was simply divine.  Speaking of MarigoldJen, the Jenny behind the yarn is SUCH a sweet lady - sooooo nice and to work with (which means super patient with my 50 convos on Etsy, LOL)!!!  If you are not already in her Ravelry group, you need to join!  In fact, I was doing this shawl with her yarn as part of a KAL in the group...and I started to get quite worried I wouldn't make it!  Thank goodness I did!

The shawl pattern, Bryce Canyon by Very Busy Monkey, is written super well and is wonderfully easy to understand, but - you guessed it!! - I naturally had a couple of simple questions while knitting it, and one of the knitters in the VBM group was super helpful throughout!  Thanks, Nadja!

I tried to block aggressively, but I'm guessing I don't block as aggressively as I should, because I feel badly pulling on the yarn, aha!  I say this because my shawl is likely shorter than it should be, because of my row gauge.  My pre-blocked stitch gauge was right on, and I knew that would hopefully grow, but because I'm a loose knitter, I always go down a few needle sizes....which then makes my ROW gauge too tight.  Eff that, but whatever.  The shawl is a cute little thing on me - but quite a lovely size for Camden, LOL.  It was dry this morning, so, I was happy to wear it to the library today for story time - and Tiberius was happy to chew on it at said story time ;)
Fits camden well, aha!

Also, for the washing of the shawl, I used my Tuft Woolens (FB page) Lanolin bar in the Royal Apiary scent, which is part of the sample set you can purchase on Etsy - not sure it's my favorite smell, but it's the one I had already opened up, and it's a lovely wash!  I can't wait to dig into the others, and she is also a lovely woman to work with.  Snap if this shawl doesn't have a lot of good vibes tucked into it from all the wonderful people I worked with!
Not sure if this picture captures the color better/differently
You must know by now that I'm, of course, going to sneak in pictures of my kids!  Tiberius is getting huge, and Camden is a bit more "into" him now, which is nice - he loves when she makes him giggle :)
Loves her Tiny Titans comic books! 
Playing with his dad in a fun onesie knit up by my friend at That's What She Crafted (FB page)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Seuss Rides Again: A Modkid Bailey Romper

For some reason, Camden LOVES the Modkid Bailey romper.  She adored it the first time, and she was super excited when she could change out of her yellow dress INTO this romper.
Circa Spring 2013
The new version is just as fun and was just as easy to sew (I mean unless you count all those annoying rows of shirring, aha!)!
Weirdo girl!
In this 2014 version, I made sure to lengthen the top, as I found the first time, the bodice was too short.  I lengthened it a smidge, and I may or may not have used a smaller seam allowance where the bodice meets the waistband (I also used a 1/4" to 3/8" SA on the cuff attachment).  It fits better than her last one did.  Also, the only other thing I changed was in using a button hole this time around, rather than sewing on lame snaps.  I don't have cool snaps and a snap press or anything, so, when I did it the first time, I wasn't super pleased with the wee metal snaps.  I do NOT love the D-ring, but in Bend, I only have access to Joann Fabrics and the like, so, I used what they had, though I'd prefer a rectangular ring.

As always, I love Modkid patterns, so, I have nothing fancy to say about this one - though I stilllll wish people would stop going PDF-only.  I want more paper patterns :(  Just thought I'd throw that out there, LOL.

Telling me she wanted to pose

Funny how the difference of a chair sure spiffed up that smile!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Silk Shawl - Say WHAT??!!!

Ladies and gents, I introduce you to my first-ever shawl - the Beithe by Susanna IC on Ravelry.
ME????  How did I make it into a blog post???

This yarn is definitely a stash yarn - something I picked up years ago in Seattle at The Weaving Works.  It was the first silk I'd ever purchased (since then, I've only purchased silk blends), and it's a single ply....which is something NOW I'd never buy, as single ply is basically against my religion.  Single ply unto itself can be grabby/splitty, and the fact that it's SILK single ply...????  Yikes.

All turned out well, though.  I knew going into the pattern that this yarn wouldn't best represent, so to speak.  But I wanted something easy for my first shawl, and I didn't have a yarn that would work well for any pattern I could find in the right yardage.  I used Colinette Tao in colorway Marble, and it's lovely, though I'm not sure the photos capture it as well as they could (well, and my CRAZY GENIUS photography skills do NOT come into play, naturally).

The pattern is super easy to follow, and starts out with the lace edging then moves up through the stockinette with short row shaping.  I have NO idea how, but i miscounted at some point (I can only assume) and didn't have my short rows correct.  NO WAY/NO HOW was I going to rip out and figure out where I'd messed up - so, I fudged it and figured nobody would notice ;)

One SUPER SCORE from a weekend or so ago was a set of rubber mats to use as blocking mats.  I naturally printed out some Joann Fabric coupons and sprinted with the kids yesterday to buy T pins (and D rings...well...and a square of chocolate) for blocking.  I soaked the silk in plain water and blocked it out as best as my lazy self felt like can tell I'm no expert, and I don't own blocking wires, but I figured I was fine without those at this time, anyway.

I do have to say that I might wear this one a few times, but as it's white-ish and 100% silk, it might also be something I save for a special occasion for Camden down the road.  I'm glad I did it - and in record time:  12 days!  I am nervous to think about how long it'll take me to do the Bryce Canyon shawl, pictured below, for the marigoldjen KAL over July and I also would like to join the KAL in Lete's Knits in August...lawds.  Too much to knit!