Monday, August 29, 2011

Love/ Hate Relationship

In the last few years I have had several people give me older magazines of knitting, quilting and other crafts. While flipping through the pages of Knit It! by Better Homes and Gardens from 2006, I found a cute little sweater that I thought would be adorable for Abigail.
Here is a link to one made by michbrum. (I didn't find any real name or information on the knitter.)
Yes, I'm trying to look at the photo objectively instead of hurling fiery darts at the knitters perfect lace patter.

The body of the sweater is all knit in one piece, back and front sides from the bottom up. After a few rows of the lace pattern, the fun begins. I was to do several stitches, bind off a few stitches for the armhole, stitch across for the back, bind off some more for the other armhole and then continue with the side front. The problem I ran into was that I didn't know where in the lace pattern I was to continue on each row to make it look fluid.

After ripping out the back 5 times, I decided that I needed to chart the rest of the pattern. Once I had that done, things went much smoother. I still ran into some snafus (I've only worked from a knitting chart once before.), but finally finished the body of the sweater. I am now working on the first sleeve and having fun trying to chart the pattern and figuring out how to do the increases. If I didn't think this pattern was so cute, I would have thrown it out long ago.

I'll be glad when this sweater is done!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Socks and Shoes

It has been my project all summer. I began it just before AWANA and Community Bible Study ended for summer break. Wherever I went, my knitting basket (and later my bag) was by my side. While I traveled, watched TV, visited with friends or family I knitted. I quickly discovered that these socks required a little more concentration. This was my first project to use cables and a few of them are facing the wrong way or extra long. Good thing these socks are black and for me. :)

My knees have been in a lot of pain for over a week and a few people suggested that it may be because of bad shoes. I must admit that my shoes are pretty old. There is a shoe store in Bend that will do custom fitting to find the exact shoe, so I gave them a call. The look at your stride, how you run and measure your foot. Then they will fit a shoe to you. This is free (included in the price of the shoe). So, I asked how much the shoes cost. Any where from $100-$150 and on up. There is just no way we can afford $100 for a pair of shoes, so I went to Walmart. After trying on just about every shoe and walking around in a few for almost an hour, I found a shoe that fit well, seemed to have good support and felt pretty good. And what was even better was that they were on sale for $15!
Now, I have shoes and am looking forward to getting back to my exercise routine. I will let you know another time how I'm changing that up.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Missed Stitches and Painted Rooms

I am thrilled to have a newly painted room! It is so fresh and clean looking. And now the walls don't clash with my quilt!

Yesterday afternoon I noticed a posting on Craigslist for a meeting for a local knitting and crocheting group. They were going to host their first meeting that night at Sam Johnson Park. That's about a half hour walk with the kids and Arthur likes the playground, so off we went.

I got there 10 minutes late for the 6:30 meeting time, but didn't see any knitters. At a picnic table right near the playground was a loud, smoking family. Under the pavilion on the other end of the park looked to be a family reunion. So, I sat in the shade while the kids played on the playground and got out my bad to knit. Around that time two couples pulled into the parking lot and got out with a dog and walked past me. I didn't think anything of it until they had already passed me and I overheard the word knit. At that time, however, Abigail decided to go down a steep slide and scared herself. Meanwhile, the knitters ended up going to the extreme far end of the park and I couldn't convince the kids that they wanted to run around in the grassy area. But I spent my time at the park pushing Abigail in the swing and her laughs and squeals of delight beat out any knitting group any day.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

While the Cat's Away...

Every summer, Brian is the videographer at a camp for a week in July and August. That is the time that I take on the big projects at home.

In January I finished a long awaited for quilt for our bed.

It's red, black and white and is being used as our Fall and Winter quilt. In June, I finished a Spring and Summer quilt that has large white areas and splashes of cheery 30's fabrics.

I love the quilts and am thrilled to have them on our bed. But now, the room looks way too busy. Do you remember the walls from last summer?

I never was totally thrilled with how they turned out, but lived with it. Now, they just look awful and clash with the quilts. So, time to paint!

I finished priming the walls this morning and now have one wall finished. I'm really looking forward to having sane bedroom walls.

Sunday night, I finished my first project: a window treatment for my sewing room.

Originally I was going to turn these blocks into a wall hanging. The blocks looked to busy without sashings which made the quilt too large to hang on my wall. I soon discovered that it would fit my window with a little wider border. I lined the quilt top but did not add any batting. I didn't want it getting too thick. Then I quilted it and put binding on 3 sides. The top side is wrapped around a mounting board. I added rings and cord to the back and now have a nice roman blind. I just love the stained glass effect when the sun shines through the window treatment!

This evening I also repaired our sliding screen door. Our cat got it into his head to start scratching on it and created quite a huge hole the last two years. I took down the door, pulled out the screen and gave it and the tracks all a good scrubbing. I then put in a new screen and reinstalled the door. I'm getting that spray bottle full and ready for when that cat begins to show his claws.

I think once the bedroom is painted, I'll focus my energy on organizing. I do have some other outdoor projects I'd like to do, but they can be done when Brian is around and underfoot much easier than when I'm sorting things. Right now his office and the living room are cluttered with the bedroom things.

I'm excited to get this done!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Running Elephant: Me

This week (Has it only been one week? It feels so much longer!) I started training to run a 5K in November. I came across this site that claims it will take you from the very beginning (sitting on a couch) to running a 5K in just 9 weeks. It's called Couch to 5K and I began the program on Tuesday.

Three days a week, I do interval training. Interval training is when you switch back and forth from walking to running. This week I run for 60 seconds and walk for 90 seconds, repeating that for 20 minutes. I did pretty well on Tuesday. I was winded and it took a while to recover my breathing and for the heat in my face to cool down. Thursday was a different matter.

Brian and Arthur were gone overnight, so I had to take Abigail with me. Since I couldn't go down the stairs into the dry canyon with the stroller, I took the longer route which included a hill into the canyon. Going down the hill to get in was just fine. Turning around to come back, however, was a different matter altogether.

My body was tight and sore from the run on Tuesday, even with full stretching before hand. I'm not sure if the stroller was a help or hindrance. It was nice to have something to kind of lean on, but it was more awkward to check my stopwatch and push the stroller and swing my arms, and it was heavy. The last 60 second run came up when I was pushing the stroller up the hill to go home. I was still gasping to catch my breath from the last run spurt 90 seconds earlier. I was dying! Sadly, I had to forgo that last run-minute.

I did make it home without dying, but it was an embarrassing exercise. I don't think it could really be called running, more like lumbering. My legs felt heavy, I could barely lift them off the ground to take the next step. I'm surprised I didn't trip from dragging my feet along. Tomorrow is the third and final run workout for the week. I'm really hoping to end it well.

I don't want to be a running elephant anymore.