Wednesday, November 28, 2007

sorry... template issues!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fun with bankers

We opened two new checking accounts today at lunch. Gary already has his business accounts at this particular bank, and we'd decided to switch our personal accounts over.

As our friendly rep was walking us through the online bill pay setup, he showed us how we'd be able to transfer money easily between accounts.

"You can also name them whatever you want," he mentioned. "Just type the name of the account in here."

Gary said, "We can name them anything?"

"Sure, whatever you want."

Gary looked at me. "We should name one Peter," he said. "And the other one Paul."

This is why I married him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dogs don't get birthday cake

Gert and I were cuddling on the couch before school, and Finnegan wandered into the room. He came over and set his furry little dog chin right on my knee.

"How's things, Bud?" I asked him.

"Rough," he said.

I skritched his ears sympathetically.

My little baby Gert is six today! She's such a smart and sweet and funny little human. No wonder Finnegan is a little sad to see her growing up.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Homemade Apple Pi

Did you need a quick and fun gift for your kids' teachers? Because I did…

Apple Pi

Apple Pi
A felted apple cozy with leaf drawstring

Less than 1 skein each Elann Peruvian Highland wool (or other feltable worsted wool), dark red and white or natural (off-white)
A few yards of worsted weight green yarn (example uses Reynold's Signature wool/acrylic)
Small amount of NON-WOOL scrap yarn
Size 4 DPNs (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Size G crochet hook

Gauge: 5 sts/inch in stockinette stitch, before felting

Bottom of apple:
Using red yarn, CO 6 sts onto 3 needles. Place a marker and join for working in the round, and increase every stitch by knitting into the front and back (KFB). (12 sts)
*Knit one row. KFB every other stitch to end of row. Repeat from * 3 times.
Rearrange sts over 4 needles when desired.
Knit one row.
KFB every 3rd st to end of row (54 sts).

Apple body:
at this point, if you do not wish to include the pi symbol, continue to "drawstring shaping" by knitting 21 rows plain.**
Knit 8 rows.
After marker, k 5 sts and then begin working chart at row 1, working each row from right to left:


9. - - - - o o - - - -
8. - - - o - - o - - o
7. - - o - - - - o o -
6. - o - - - - - - - -
5. o - - - o - - o - -
4. - - - - o - - o - -
3. - - - - o - - o - -
2. - - - - o - - o - -
1. - - - - o - - o - - (← begin chart here)

After row 9 of chart, knit 5 rows plain.

Drawstring shaping:
Next row: *K2, k2tog. Repeat from * to marker at end of row. (42 sts)
Knit one row.
*K2, yo. Repeat from * to end of row, ending with a yo.
Knit 3 more rows.

Picot point bind-off:
BO 2, *slip lone stitch left on right needle back to left needle. Cast on 3 sts to left needle using backward loop method. BO 5. Repeat from * to end.

Thread non-wool scrap yarn through drawstring holes and felt vigorously, using the felting method of your choice.
Reshape and allow to dry.

Leaf drawstring:
Using green yarn, crochet a chain approx. 12 inches long. Break yarn and pull through loop to secure.
Remove the scrap yarn from apple and thread the chain through the drawstring holes. You should have both ends exiting from the same hole.

Leaves (make 2):
Using green yarn and 2 needles, CO 3 sts, leaving a 4-5 inch tail.
Next row, slip 1 st knitwise, KFB to increase, k1. (4 sts).
Sl1 purlwise, bring yarn to front and KFB next 2 sts, p1. (6 sts)
Sl1 knitwise, KFB, k2, KFB, k1. (8 sts)
Sl1 purlwise, purl to end of row.
Sl1 knitwise, ssk, k2, k2tog, k1.
Sl1 purlwise, purl to end of row.
Sl1 knitwise, ssk, k2tog, k1.
Sl1 purlwise, p2tog, p1.
Slip 1, k2tog, psso. Break yarn and weave in end.

Knot each leaf's CO tail to each end of the crochet chain, and weave in ends securely.

Apple Pi

Friday, November 09, 2007

Siblings of the night

Gert had a half day at school yesterday, so I met her at the bus for a lunch date at McDonalds.

A bunch of kids from Gert's school had had the same idea, so as we were waiting in line for McNuggets and fries, she pointed out to me which kids she knew.

One set of blonde-haired kids accompanied by a grandparent looked about the same age, so I asked Gert if she knew if they were twins.

"Yes, they are!" she told me. "But they don't look exactly alike. They're nocturnal."

The twins looked directly at me with innocent smiles, and their pale eyes flashed red.

Monday, November 05, 2007

I'm sorry... WHAT time is it?

Hello, it's Monday. It's November. Daylight savings time has officially kicked in, and with it my annual holiday freak out.

I'm not knitting Christmas gifts this year. I'm not! Except for the seven that I haven't started yet. Seven is actually a lot more than zero, I guess, if you really think about it. Thinking about it is where I draw the line.

Thinking about things leads to thinking about more things, which leads to a big, fat anxiety spiral. But that's another topic.

The Christmas knitting involves things I really do want to make, so I'm looking forward to that. Just not the rest of it.

Every time I try and let things go, I end up feeling twice as worthless because of all the things I could have done but didn't. So that's not the answer.

Maybe this will help. I printed the checklists, forms, and countdowns on this site, and put them in a neat little binder. The more tasks I check off, the more sane I feel. So maybe that's a good thing.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Genome Map Socks

Hooray, hooray, it free pattern day!

I'm really excited about this one. Not only does it start the month off on a deliciously geeky note, it gives you the opportunity to "play" with the louder and brighter colors in stripy sock yarns. So here we go...

Genome Map Socks

Socks knit from the cuff down in self-striping yarn, applying different stitch patterns to certain colors to achieve distinct areas of color that resemble a linear genome map.

Genome Map sock

Yarn: 400-500 yards of sock yarn in a repeating colorway that contains one predominant color or hue, and 1-3 accent colors.
Needles: 5 size #1 DPN’s or the size needed to achieve gauge.

7 stitch = 1 inch in stockinette stitch

Women’s S(M, L)

Cast on 52(56, 60) sts and divide equally over 4 needles. *Purl 1 row. K 2 rows. Repeat from * 3 times to create garter stitch cuff.

Begin stitch pattern:
Designate one accent color as Color A, and a second accent color as Color B. If you want to designate a third color (Color C), it can be worked in the same way as Color B.

Work in st st (knit every stitch) until the color of the yarn changes to Color A or Color B (or Color C, if applicable). When working stitches in Color A, *yo, k2tog, repeat until the yarn color changes again, ending with k2tog. Resume st st in main color(s). When working stitches in Color B, purl every stitch until the yarn color changes again. Resume st st in main color(s).

Continue in stitch pattern until length of cuff measures 6-1/2(7, 7-1/2) inches or desired length.

Work heel flap:
Knit across 26(28, 30) stitches for heel flap, and arrange the remaining stitches on the other needles to be worked later. Turn, and purl back across heel flap. Continue heel flap as follows:

Row 1: (RS) *Slip 1 stitch wyib (selvedge stitch), k1, repeat from *.
Row 2: (WS) Slip 1 stitch wyif (selvedge stitch), purl to end of row.

Work heel flap until you have 13(14, 15) selvedge stitches on each edge.

Turn heel:
Row 1 (RS): Knit 15(16, 17) sts, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 2: slip 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn.
Row 3: sl 1, k to one st before gap, ssk, k1, turn.
Row 4: sl 1, p to one st before gap, p2tog, p1, turn.
Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all heel sts have been worked.

Knit across heel sts, and pick up and knit 13(14, 15) along heel flap. Work 26(28, 30) instep sts in established pattern. Pick up and knit 13(14, 15) along other side of heel flap. Total sts: 68(72, 78).

Decrease gussets:
Round 1: K to 3 sts from instep, k2tog, k1, work instep sts in pattern, k1, ssk, work to end of round.
Round 2: k to instep sts, work instep sts in pattern, k to end of round.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until sts are decreased to 52(56, 60) sts.

Arrange stitches on needles: 13(14, 15) sts on needles 1 and 2 (top of foot), and 13(14, 15) sts on needles 3 and 4 (bottom of foot).

Work sts on needles 1 and 2 in pattern, and needles 3 and 4 in st st until foot measures about 6-1/2(7-1/2, 8) inches, or about 2 inches less than total desired foor length.

Begin toe decreases:
Decrease round: On needle 1, k1, ssk, k to end. K to last 3 sts on needle 2, k2tog, k1. On needle 3, k1, ssk, k to end. K to last 3 sts on needle 4, k2tog, k1.
Knit 1 round plain.
Repeat decrease round and knit round until you have 6(7, 7) sts on EACH needle remaining – 26(28, 28) total.
Repeat decrease round until 8 sts total remain (2 sts on each needle).

Graft 8 sts together using kitchener st.