Category Archives: Family

February. Sigh.

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The February blahs are knocking on my door. It’s been soo cold lately! And not too sunny, which can combine to pack a lethal punch to even the sunniest of dispositions–and I’m not saying mine is.

However, HOWEVER! There was a bright little burst of sunshine last week. I have a new niece, Brooke, who was born last Tuesday. And she’s just everything a snuggly little newborn should be: Tiny, fine-featured, rosebud lips. Just a sweetie. And Aunt Lindy got to knit her some fun things, which is also lovely.

My youngest daughter also turned 4, and I’m going to say something moms never say (ha): WHEN did my little curly blonde spitfire get old enough to attend preschool?

In other mom cliche news, in less than one month, my baby boy will turn 1. So, what did I do this morning to make that transition easier? Apparently, I had a spurt of temporary, February-induced insanity and cut his hair FAR SHORTER than I should have or wanted to. I’ve been walking around handwringing ever since. In my best Kenneth Parcell, “What is WRONG with me?!”

So naturally I took a bunch of pictures to try to convince myself that he’s still my little chubby baby, even if his dip of a mother gave him an accidental buzzcut.

And really, that’s pretty much the bulk of it.

What I’m knitting now: A cabled afghan that I started over a year ago. I have got to finish this thing. Maybe in time for next winter? Who knows, miracles do happen from time to time.

In the meantime, there are a few other babies making their grand arrivals this spring, and I’ve been having fun making bibs for them. I love the cotton yarn that’s out there, and adding some buttons always seems to complete the look. Plus, they’re a quick knit, and don’t get lost in the Work In Progress Limbo, where the afghan has been these many months.

I’ll try to stick to knitting, rather than haircuts, to keep the winter doldrums at bay from here on out, mmmkay?

Handy knitting techniques to survive motherhood

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Laugh all you want. Tell me I’m being hyperbolic. (Cuz I sort of am.) But there will come a day when your son tells you the day before he’s going to dress up as Julius Caesar for Egyptian Day at school that you wish you knew how to MacGuyver a costume out of a white sheet, a pipe cleaner, and some yarn. Yep! Some gold-colored yarn.

After figuring out–thanks to handy internet video tutorials, natch–how to tie a toga, and after Linus had made a laurel for his head out of said leaves and pipe cleaner, his costume was still…missing something. It needed tassels! And a belt. He needed to look more regal, I guess.

My brain said, “i-cord with tassels!” So I whipped out my double pointed needles–which are necessary for making i-cord, and went to town. All concerned were satisfied with the results. Knitting saved the day!

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For those of you tittering nervously, asking yourselves, “Was Julius Caesar…Egyptian?” No, of course not. But he did have a love affair with Cleopatra, so Linus reasoned that this was close enough. [Note the picture of “Cleo” he is carrying.]

There are all sorts of fantastic things one can do with i-cord. Staci at Very Pink Knits has a great i-cord tutorial. Oh, and a great tassel video. So easy, a caveman could do it. Or a sleep-deprived, harried mom.

 

The first snowfall! that I’m trying to be excited about.

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I’ve gotta be honest: I know housework is neverending, but the laundry situation at la casa Borer is bumming me out. It’s always there, beckoning me to come fold it or put it away or start it, or….aaahh!

But I have a great way of dealing with it. If it starts getting too out of control, I leave the room and head into my chair (everyone ought to have their own chair) to knit, naturally! Knitting to escape reality! Again.

I just finished a birthday hat for my nephew, Sam, who loves Angry Birds. (Who doesn’t? Well, me, I guess–but only because I’ve never played the game. I’m too busy knitting, you see.)

angry bird 2

This was fun to knit, but I think sewing on the face took longer than knitting the hat. Just because I’m such an awesome sewer. No, a sew-er, not a sewer. What?

Anyway, enough of that for now. There are more exciting things happening today on the farm. Like the first snow of the year!

I documented it. And I’ll review these photos in March when snowfall is not nearly the joyous event it is right now, in November.

I took some pictures last night of the fall foliage because I had already seen the forecast and wept.

burning bush

favorite fall shrub, the aptly named burning bush

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garden shed

our garden shed is an old chicken coop. our chickens reside in a different shed. it makes perfect sense.

garden cat

our prodigal male cat, Guthrie, who returned to us both happy and female.

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snowy hat

snow on knitwear is so nice, is it not?

amelia snow

don’t hurt yourself, sweetie.

amelia shawshank

amelia’s best shawshank impression.

I’d keep on blogging, but I have laundry to ignore.

****Remember to visit the facebook page to see the knitwear I have for sale!

Happening today

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It’s Friday!

I’m making a valiant effort to get all my ducks in a row for a weekend visit to my parents’ house. (And by valiant effort, I mean drinking coffee and blogging.)

We’ll be celebrating my nephew’s birthday and hanging out. And by “hanging out,” I mean chasing after crawling baby and toddling toddler, and energetic three year old (two of them) and the older two. You know the drill. So, doing the packing thing, eventually.

I’m hoping to make it to the yarn store this weekend–and perhaps do a bit o’ thrifting? Oh, that’d be nice. And if I could get in some knitting, I’d be one happy girl.

Happening on the farm:

deer

we had a couple of sunrise visitors, one shown here

gulliver cat

and a sleepy gulliver

hector

as well as a very alert and magnificent (if he does say so, himself) hector cat

Happy weekend!

It’s an earflap hat! And a caterpillar quest.

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I knit Simon his hat for the winter, and we got to try it out last evening. There’s something about a baby in an earflap hat, with a little red, wind-chilled nose and rosy cheeks that is just irresistible. Mmm mmm mm!! (It just took me 4 tries to spell “irresistible” correctly. I’m such a credit to my English degree. Ahem.)

We got to try it out because the harvesting “crew” was here combining the corn on our quarter, and my second oldest was along for the ride, her favorite thing in the world. She chirps along merrily the entire time. Which comes as a welcome diversion to the work-weary combine and grain cart operators, I’m told. She penned (on her own) the lyrics to The Sound of Music’s “Doe, A Deer.” I’m her mother, so naturally I think this is precious:

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i especially like the descending dos at the end. you’re singing it now, i just know it.

So, yes, there we were, outside waiting to gather Eliza, with Simon’s hat, and Simon himself, and Amelia, who was concerned not by the beautiful, pinky-purple sunset, nor the chickens, nor the harvest commencing in the field, nor the billions of rust red corn hulls flying through the air. She was determined to create a suitable habitat for her pet caterpillar by searching for the p-e-r-f-e-c-t leaf and stick for its bowl. It was a success: Any caterpillar would flourish in such a dwelling. However, she did not actually have a pet caterpillar. Β And, to her dismay (and I’m always the one who has to break news like this to the kids) there were probably no caterpillars around on this chilly, fall evening.

She was crestfallen, but not down for long, thank goodness. I always say to myself how I’d love to have three-year-old problems, but then I have to reprimand myself for being a jerk. We all started out with those types of problems, and they ARE big problems to three-year-olds. (Or two-year-olds. Or nine-year-olds.)

Earflap hat: So much fun to knit. I didn’t use a pattern, so I can’t link to one. Eliza would like me to knit one for her now. And you know I’ll only be too glad to do that.

simon 2 c

Happening today on the farm: Breakfast, soon. And probably some more coffee. And maybe I’ll finally get around to putting some photos in an album. Maybe.

Simon models for me.

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simon c

I had so much fun yesterday with Baby Simon. Babies love any sort of attention, even if it means having your mom put girl hats on you and take pictures. They just don’t care!

I just wanted to put a couple photos of my hats–that are for sale!–over on the ol’ Facebook page, and really, who doesn’t love a baby in a hat? I certainly can’t resist one.

Happening on the Farm: Making egg salad. Making some cookie/brownie bars. Playing with the kids. Laundry. And coffee. Always, coffee.

Don’t fear the Double Pointed Needles!

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Howdy, howdy. It’s Tuesday, right? It’s sort of been a long weekend and Monday. Family pictures were a success–at least, I think they were. Everyone smiled and cooperated. So, yes, I suppose success. But getting everyone ready, clean, fed, napped, and together until the photographer arrived at our house was challenging. It was rill challenging, ain’t gonna lie. I needed a drink after it was all over. And the photographer even came to us–how do people travel with kids TO a photographer? People are so amazing.

Okay, I’m omitting the freakout I had for about 25 minutes on Saturday morning. I’d mentioned before that the baby was up during the night for awhile with a fever. Well, you can’t SEE fevers, so I wasn’t too terribly troubled. (Yes, yes. At the time all that mattered was How This Thing Was Going to Affect Family Pictures. Sad, I know.) But you CAN see a rash. And Simon woke up with a rash all over his face. Between Benadryl and the photographer’s assurances of the magical powers of Photoshop, my major fears were allayed. So. We shall see.

Do you want to hear about knitting? I don’t know who my audience is, really. I’m going to pretend you’re all me, or where I was, when I was starting out knitting. Okay.

DPNs. Do you know what those are? Double Pointed Needles. What the heck are those and why would any individual want to use them? Funny you should ask. It took me three or four tries of trying to cast on a little pair of legwarmers for Eliza onto the smallest circular needles I had before I realized it wasn’t going to work. Three or four tries. Looking back, I can cackle at my stupidity, but hey, how was I to know? The pattern I was following said to use circular needles, and to this day, I don’t know if the pattern was faulty or what, because I just don’t think there’s any possible way to knit legwarmers on circular needles unless they’re a neat pair of elephant legwarmers or something. Because they’re going to be too big.

Maybe I should back up. Basically, one would use dpns for when one is knitting in the round, and the circumference of the knit piece is small, like for a baby item, socks, or legwarmers. They usually come in sets of five needles, and you can knit off of either end, see?

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left: my Denise circular needles right: Stitchberry dpns

See the legwarmers started on the right? See the small circumference? Dpns. Can’t be done with circular needles.

So, I finally realized that I needed to bite the bullet and get some dpns, only I bought a set of metal ones from Walmart. Don’t do that, at least not when you’re first starting out. Since then, I got a set of dpns from Stitchberry that go all the way from the teeniest tiny size 0’s to size 13. They’re bamboo, which makes them really smooth and nice to hold. Highly recommend the Stitchberry dpns.

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While I’m talking about needles, if you’re looking to get a set of really good needles that aren’t dpns, you can’t beat a Denise set. David got me my set for Christmas two years ago. (Yeah, that’s right.) They’re great, And they don’t make that annoying clickety clack sound that annoys husbands during movies. So, another bonus!

I’m writing about dpns because I just cast on a pair of legwarmers for my friend’s daughter and it takes me back. Don’t be intimidated by them. They’re great! They take some time to get used to, but you’ll find that the types of things they allow you to knit makes up for the initial cumbersome aspect. The Knit Witch on YouTube has a bunch of great knitting tutorials, and I’m pretty sure she showed me how to use the dpns.

Today on the Farm: It’s a windy, cloudy, cold day. Harvest is at a standstill after yesterday’s 2.60″ of rain.Β Β I suppose I should make some soup. And do some laundry. There’s allllways laundry.

Tell me about your first experience with dpns–I’d love to hear all about it!