Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lots to say lots to say

I am already feeling a bit better from 2 doses of the penicillin (that stuff is a wonder drug).
Princess B's bithday was great--she was so excited to go to her friends house that she told everyone in the parking lot, the post office etc etc.

We had some play-time, including the largest battle of wills from my son and then had a nice fun dinner and dessert.
Princess B was very excited to receive her gift from Ben, Eli, Mary, Janna and Steve and kept beaming (this is not her normal smile but she knows how to turn it on for the camera)

After trying to settle the kids to bed we started our craft night--which included a new sock knitter!

My kids weren't settling together so Princess B decided to sleep on the playroom couch and then all was quiet.
Janna taught me how to so and I-spy bag (her post here)...and it turned out really well.
I have some wonky seams and places where it's not very straight--but for a 2nd sewing night I am proud of myself--and Janna is a good teacher.

We had card makers, knitters and sewers, some warm brie with jam and crackers, good coffee and lots of laughs.

Not too much sleep happened, but the kids were happy and we played for part of the morning and came home in a wind storm.
I knew I still wasn't 100% because I kept falling asleep w/out knowing it--sitting up, with a book in my hand etc etc.

We picked hubby up, I put him in charge, went to bed at 7pm and slept until 7:30am the next morning.
Apparently I was tired.

Looking forward to next weeks craft night!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Good Mom or Bad friend??

Which would you rather be??
That was my dilemma this morning, but i have since resolved it.

My throat has been sore since Friday but I didn't really think anything of it--until I looked at it this morning. I will spare you the details but if you want to see something gross, do a google image search for "strep throat" --see the white one?? that's what mine looks like.

so, Princess B is due to have a sleepover at my friends house while the ladies have a craft night...
It's Princess B's birthday today!!
My Princess is 5 years old!

I told her about the sleepover last night and we delivered the cupcakes to school--she was so excited despite the fact that it was a freezing rain day and there were only 3 kids in her class..
So, I called the Dr (who couldnt' see me for a few days) and went to the ER.
Dr took one look, said "Ewwww yuck" and wrote the prescription.
I was wrestling with not going to the sleepover for fear of making other kids sick--but according to the Dr unless I am sneezing in their face or drinking from the same cup I am fine.
I was dreading having to tell Princess B that we couldn't go--but now it's all fine.

And I got to work on my Jitterbug sock for the 1.5 hours that I was in the ER.
Wahoo sock knitting.

So, another post without pictures--but there will be tons tomorrow.
Birthday pictures, craft night pictures.
I will save you the pictures of my tonsils--I do love my readers and do NOT want to scare you away!!


Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Monday

So good to me.

Okay so this Monday was better.
We got up at still dark o'clock and drove hubby to meet up to carpool to a retreat for 3 days.
They have 4 little boys in their family so the Mom invited me in for coffee and a play date.
It was a nice way to start the week and I love having a change of pace.
(I also love that I have the car)

A fell asleep on the way home and Princess B immediately put herself down for a nap (I don't believe she has ever willingly had a nap in her life). So cute.

After some sleep we ran errands, went to the Post Office and grocery store where she told EVERYONE she saw that tomorrow is her birthday.
I am making cupcakes for her class, will have another little play date and then after school we are off to Janna's house for a sleepover/party and another knit/sewing night.
Princess B is so excited she can hardly stand it.
She is convinced that she will be both "older" and "taller" tomorrow. For her being "older" means doing "harder work" at school--or so she's been telling everyone.

We took her to a play place on the weekend that is basically a gigantic indoor play structure: ball crawl, slides, tunnels, castles, rock climbing wall etc etc.
Little man ran around so hard that he was red in the face, hungry and tired.

So, knitting update: I had to frog the 2nd half of the 2nd Jitterbug sock.
I was so close to being finished when I realized that I hadn't been carrying the pattern up the back of the leg.
What is wrong with me?
These are another pair of socks that have not been treating me well.

Oh well.
Tonight I will be making cupcakes for school, a cake for the party, doing laundry, eating grown up food and hopefully some fun fibrey stuff.

The only fun picture I have is of some bamboo that I spun and listed in my shop:

Thursday, January 24, 2008


(Maniacal laughter)

So a friend of mine has been asking me to teach her to knit.
She and her family will be moving soon (sniff sniff--i'm in denial) and her hubby is living in another city while they wait for their house to sell.
So, she is super Mommy by day to 3 kids under 5--and at night she is SuperWoman (keeping the house ready for showings, blowing out the driveway etc etc etc).

We decided to bring a craft night to her and we had a lot of fun.
My other 2 friends who I have addicted to sock knitting were there, a card maker/scrapbooker and another friend who is not crafty but desperately deserves a night out with the girls.

My friend Janna taught me to sew and I made a little Christmas gift bag from some fabric that had been gifted to me.

Janna is hard core--she had been knitting about an hour when she uttered the phrase:
"Okay, just let me finish this row"
I laughed--and knew she was in!

She has perfect tension and even wanted me to show her how to "tink" (Janna that is knit backwards) back to fix her mistakes.

Take a look at her blog and look at her sewing and quilting projects. She made Princess B one of her Sermon Savers for Christmas--and Princess B asks for it before we even get into the car to get to Church!
Next craft night we want to make something like this:

Now I actually am inspired to break out my old sewing machine and learn something.
I started a small quilting class when pregnant with Princess B (read 5 years ago) but only went twice and didn't ever finish.
It's a simple pattern (which is good b/c I don't even have the pattern anymore)--of a 9 patch and then some triangles (?? quilting terms) put together--so I hope to finish it.

I think I will start with a couple more bags and then mending some things from around the house.

We hope to try to make the craft night a weekly thing--for whomever can come--until she moves. (sniff sniff)

Anyone have any free favourite sewing patterns??

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


:The number of fights between Siblings before 10am

: The number of ketchup bottles that were dropped and exploded all over the floor

: The number of parcels that came today (yeah!)

: The number of healthy people in this family

: The number of skeins of yarn I dyed today

: The number of skeins of yarn Princess B dyed today

: The number of boxes of beads that were dropped ALL OVER THE FLOOR

: The number of times a little Princess had to be sent to her room for being too angry


All in all a good/bad, happy/sad, fun and frustrating day.

I received some dye and yarn in the mail. The dye makes me happy.
The yarn is for a test knitting project that I need to get working on.

Princess B wanted to help dye yarn so I used a new method that would be safe for her and she helped dye "rainbow yarn".
Her colour choices were interesting--but they are for socks for her--so she can have whatever she wants.

My other skein is for a special request and I think it turned out well.

Other happy stuff:
I cut up the soap into bars--one batch Monday night and the other last night (as it didn't seem hard enough).

I'm happy with them. I think there is some oil/fat that floated to the top as there is a whitish goo that is now on the bottom--but for a first try--I'm happy.

Now the waiting begins.

Tonight will be fun. I'm teaching a friend to knit and some other knitter friends are coming too!
My friend is going to teach me some sewing tricks so that I can hopefully some day actually use my sewing machine for something!
Wish me luck!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tell me why?

I don't' like Mondays
and now it actually is a Monday.

Mondays are a hard day around here lately. In hubby's old job Monday was his day off and we ran errands and did stuff together.
Now Monday's are his hardest days and there are times he doesn't come home for dinner and is gone from 9am-11:30pm.

Princess B is loopy as she has been home since Thursday and desperately wants to be at school. She had a sleepover on the weekend, went to a baby shower and had a Daddy/daughter movie date--which was great, but she hasn't had a good nights sleep in more than a few days.
Little man is sick with a cold that brought a raging fever on Saturday. He and I basically couched all afternoon as he was having trouble walking w/out tipping over.
He's fine now--in full form and pulling out handfulls of his sister's hair this morning.

Did I mention I don't like Monday's.

Anyways--let's make this a happy post okay?

I had a knitting afternoon with a friend yesterday and we finally figured out a heel turn that had been causing us grief. I've actually knit the pattern but it was last summer and couldn't remember what I had done...yeah for figuring out patterns.

I have a good dent into the 2nd Jitterbug sock and that is making me happy.

I have another project I will finish today (my BIL's Christmas hat. Yes CHRISTMAS hat--that needed lengthening and then I promptly forgot about it).

I have also arranged a craft night with some friends this week to teach another friend how to knit!
She is a really good sewer and is going to teach me some stuff..

OH--more happy news;
I got a BIG BOX of sewing thread off of Freecycle.
I have been wanting to make some fun and funky yarns and ply with thread--and this thread will be a nice addition to my fibre world.

Another happy thing:
I FINALLY got to make soap last night.

I took some pictures:

Soap Making Materials
Originally uploaded by thechickswithsticks.

(Flicker picture--click to see the notes)
I bought a book from the Yarn Pirate's destash and the instructions are very simple.
We live in a small town so it took me a little while to find all of the ingredients--the lye being the hardest.
Apparently you can use lye to make crystal meth, so some stores don't shelve it anymore.
Who knew?
I bought drain-o crystals--but found out later they really aren't 110% lye as they say they are--there are bits of aluminum in it (What??)

So, I had pre-measured all the stuff I needed last week--bought some cheap disposable loaf pans and got to it.

I told hubby that he might want to leave the room when I mixed the lye as it makes for caustic fumes (which are neutralized once you actually mix it and make the soap--so never fear)
It stunk!

Then I waited for the oils/fats and lye mix to cool and mixed them:

Nice soapy goo.
Now, the book says that it will trace in about 25 minutes after mixing--but mine didn't seem to want to.
After more than an hour of stirring, mixing and checking--I decided to just put it in the molds.
(The book says to do this if you are sure that your measurements were correct)
So, this morning it looks as though it has set--and now the hard part.
I have to wait a month before using it!

Anyone else ever made soap??

Friday, January 18, 2008

Is it Monday?

It feels like a Monday.

Sing with me: "I don't like Mondays. I don't like Mon-day-ays"

Today is just not going well.

I didn't even get a chance to post yesterday--but it was full of happy--finishing stuff etc.
Today--I had to frog the finally finished socks...frogged into oblivion.

Sorrow. Lament.

After getting 4 hours of sleep, taking the shaggy dog son for a hair cut that didn't happen (he was hitting the hairdresser...grrrr), said son broke Princess B's brand new beaded necklace (think HUNDREDS of beads on the floor)...I frogged the socks.

Let's tell the whole story of the socks:

I won the yarn from a blog contest--here:

The socks were held by the Yarn Harlot:

The skin became horrifically knotted and would take about 4 hours to get enough yarn to knit 10 rows:

The socks took from October 2006 to August 2007 (yes you read that right) to finish:

I wove in the ends yesterday (yes, you read that right again--I wore the socks all this time with ends hanging inside):

Woke up and put them on again today and found this:


So, some coffee and some chocolate and some supplies:

and now they are frogged and sitting in some warm soapy water to be washed.
I told my friend this morning that I had to rip them (I was just at her house last night helping her with knitting the Leaves of Whimsey Socks)....
so she sent me a card.

Go here:

It's the wooly/sheep category and she sent the sorrow one in the top left hand corner.
The sheep is knitting orangey-yellow socks!

So, the socks are gone and I'm not sure I'm going to re-knit them.
I will make the Embossed Leaves socks again--but with another yarn.
This yarn--I don't' know what to do with.
I'll just let it sit for now.

Farewell old friend....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No knit policy?


Oh, not that kind of knit.

The other one (as in Pediculosis).
Princess B was sent home with "nits" yesterday. She doesn't actually have it (lice) but we have to treat her just the same.
(If your kids have never had it--just doing some research is scary enough--not the lice itself but the products that are used to treat it. (Central nervous system damage, leukemia, chemical sensitivity etc etc---yuck)
I found a safe treatment that should work without having to put insecticide on her head.
Enough of that talk.

I forgot to post a picture of a yarn that I had dyed which my friend looking for the "smokey blue" actually chose.
She thought the other one too light and chose this:

It's a little crazy but she thinks her daughter will like it.

I am almost finished Princess B's socks--got to knit some at a Mommy's group yesterday.
I will then have to follow through with my promise to resurrect the Ribbi Cardi sweater.
I need to get something accomplished and this will make me feel better.

No soap making yet. Although I have had the ingredients since the weekend--the other things (laundry mountain, hubby's work etc etc) have impeded my ability to play)
Maybe tonight??
Stay tuned.

Thanks all for the comments!
It's neat to read where you all have found me and nice to hear from some lurkers!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Dyeing up a storm

I have been all about blue lately (maybe since there are no blue skies??)

I had a friend call Saturday night and ask if I could dye some yarn as she wants to learn to knit socks--she asked for "smokey blue".
Not being too sure what colour that would be (I know she didn't want pastel or anything bright) I asked some fellow dyers on Ravelry, got some tips and set out to play last night.
I don't do well with hand painting--I always forget to add more dye and end up with a pale, water logged mess.
So--to the pots.

Well--I did get a really good smokey blue but then the colour that I added broke and left it looking rusty. Like accidentally left out in the rain rusty with blue.
So, I over dyed it with Emerald Green and it came out very interesting.

I fiddled around a bit more--didn't like skein number 2 so over-dyed it and it became this:

I finally got it right (I think) now I present:

I also finally got a good picture of my Sugar Plum Roving:

and Hero Handspun:

I will be dyeing up some Merino/Tencel tonight--and actually might dye some for myself (shocker) for a knitting project.

I also want to make soap tonight.
I have a book that I bought from the Yarn Pirate and am loving reading about soap making and how you can make it in your kitchen.
There is a caustic ingredient (lye) so I need to do it when the kids are sleeping and use care--but the acids neutralize when the soap is made, so the clean up is not heavy.
The big problem was finding the ingredients in our little town.

The other big problem will be the wait--you have to wait about 4 weeks to "cure" the soap and I'm not very patient. Suprised?

I enjoyed this little you-tube video as well.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Whew--it's the weekend already?

Busy week.
Princess B went back to school and actually went 3 days this week (the Friday school day I was actually thinking as an Urban Legend)
I went to the hospital with a friend, went to see my Dad to get our new car serviced (7 hours driving), had a medical appointment myself--hospital with another friend because her husband (hubby s good friend) was there for an emergency (Thank God that he is okay now!)

Not a lot of knitting done in all that however I did finish one of Princess B's socks.

I did some more dyeing:
Sugar Plum

I've had some more sales (which is good) and put a good chunk of $$ back into the family bank account (which feels nice).

The kids have been whiny today but I actually got almost 12 hours of sleep last night (fell asleep on the couch after supper and slept until little man got up at 6:45 this morning.

This weekend will be very busy but I hope to get some cleaning up, freecycling, and general getting rid of stuff done to make me feel better.

I was so busy I had no idea it was de-lurking week.

So, I'm asking all of you out there who read this blog who have never, or seldom comment-- to de-lurk!
Let me know how you found my blog, how long you have been reading.
If you'd prefer not to put that down for all to read, you can send an e-mail too
sprouty25 AT gmail DOT com.

I just want to hear from you!!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Spinning like a maniac

In less than 24 hours I spun up 8 full ounce of fibre and fixed a skein of handspun sock yarn.
Wheel on fire.

I finally spun the Spunky Eclectic November "Pie" Fibre
(not a great picture, it was taken at midnight)

and some more which was spun from a roving in my shop:
"Hero" (Superman colours of Blue and Red)

It came from this roving:

hubby think's it looks girly and said he thought it to be pink and blue.
There are some spots where the red faded where spun--but I still think it has strong colours.

Anyways--I have had fun with it and the chunky was fun to do.

I am planning on doing a lot of dyeing this week and have had some good sales in the store.
This is my favourite one this week (already sold!)


I'm having fun.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


I can't believe I have never posted these pictures....hmmmm..

I heard about letterboxing sometime last year from knitblogs and from listening to Lime and Violet.
I looked up and searched under my hometown and actually found local boxes.
(I had searched early last year on another site and had not found any...)

For those who don't know--letterboxing started many years ago (1800's???) in England where a gentleman left a business card in a bottle for someone to find.
Current day letterboxing is like treasure hunting where you have clues and go searching for stamps and logbooks and log your finds.

So, basically you set out with a clue and start location, bring with you a stamp, inkpad and logbook and try to find hidden boxes.
My MIL was visiting for the weekend and we decided to go looking in a local park for a child-friendly box.

There is a park in our town that has birdhouses that have been designed to replicate local heritage sites, restaurants (McDonalds included), the post office etc etc.
We ventured off to "Birdhouse City" and found the box with no problem.
Princess B was somewhat confused that there was no real "treasure" to take with us, but had fun following the clues and she actually found the location herself with us reading the clues.

Here she is running for the location:

The die-hard letterboxers will carve their own signature stamp and have special logbooks--but we just used a winter stamp that I had on hand and a piece of paper.

Littleman wanted to be in a picture too:

So....long story short--for Christmas, my MIL gave Princess B some stamps, a stamp pad and a little logbook of her own to continue on the quest.

There are at least 25 other boxes for us to find within a 1/2 hour drive and I can't wait for the snow to melt to find more.

So, if you haven't checked it out--you should.
Karen S--your kids would love this!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

First FO for 2008

Okay so it's not a totally finished object--but it's a sock that has been on my needles since about October.
I lost my sock mojo somewhere in there and just never worked on it. It would sit in my purse and sometimes on Tuesdays Mommy group I would do a few rounds....
Finally this afternoon after Spinning Guild, the kids were happily playing and I sat down only to figure out what it would take to get it finished--and knit a few rows.
I knit a few more while waiting for the pots to boil for supper.
Knit a few more while the kids watched part of a movie after supper--and it was done!!

Oh and for anyone wondering if you can get a pair of socks out of 1 skein of Colinette Jitterbug--you totally can.
This is one full sized sock in a ribbed pattern with exactly half a skein.
I left a little bit to save for mending.
It's a horrible picture with bad lighting, but I was just so happy to have it finished!!

Speaking of mending:

I finally mended the hole in my handspun sock. It's sort of duplicate stitching/mending--I used this tutorial.
It felt a little bulky at first but it has felted down a bit and I can't feel it anymore:

So happy.

I also have the Guild wheel for another month. The President wasn't there today (actually we were very short on numbers--for a while I thought I'd be the only one there) and there was no one else who wanted to take it home--so It's with me.
I spun up some more bamboo last night--pictures tomorrow when we get some light.

My other bamboo sold in my store
and this one might end up there too....

Now it's off to cast on the second sock and do some house cleaning. Not being home for almost 2 weeks has made a big mess...
At least all the laundry around is clean and folded--but the Christmas gifts need to find their proper home, decorations to go away etc etc etc.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

We are finally home.
It is a 4 hour ride--it took us almost 6.
The snow is crazy--and the weather reports--crazier.
They SAID the snow would be coming later. Silly weather people.

Here is a picture of us with pretty snow behind us:

Here are the snowbanks from my window:

We saw about 10 cars in the ditch in the first 15 minutes of driving south on the highway.

We saw tons more and one car that was on its side a few feet past our exit.
THe kids did really well considering they only slept in the first part of the drive and were awake for the rest.
I had some podcasts to listen to and they listened to Monsters Inc and Bugs Life audio books and shared blankets and pillows.

We couldnt' get in our driveway for the snowbanks so after carrying the kids and getting soaked up to my knees, hubby dug us out and I put little ones to bed.

Crazy weather.

8 in 2008

Well I am not as ambitious as some, like Miss Violet who has taken on 101 things to accomplish, but I thought I would take a stab at some resolutions. Some are spiritual, some familial, some knitting related, and some personal.
Here goes...
1.Put God in His rightful place as first.
My devotions for today started with Genesis 1:1 "In the Beginning God...". The author encouraged me to put God first, just as He was in the beginning. First in my life, first in my day, first in my priorities. What that means for me will be spending more time in devotions and most importantly in my prayer life.
2. Invest more into my marriage.
Instead of wishing we had more time/fun/happiness together, I need to put more in. I receive a daily email about being a more generous wife and will be trying to put more of those ideas into practice.
3. Move.
I am not going to set up unrealistic goals to exercise every day, but I need to move more, and somethings that will mean moving away from the cookies!
4. Sleep
I am such a night owl, it is hard for me to turn out the lights before 1am, but to get up at 6:30, go and day, there is no way I can do that and have the energy I need to devote to Giraffe, Hubbo and myself. I know what Giraffe needs an early bedtime and I need to self-discipline there too.
6. Knit from my stash.
I know you've heard that before and while I will not say no yarn in 2008, I need to dig around more often to see what I have, fall in love again and just cast on. I have just joned Ravelry and I know I can find projects there to match my stash. This goes for my beading too- I have so much!
Kelly from the knitpics pod cast took out her stash, assigned a project for each skein and bagged the skeins with the pattern assigned. I am not sure I want to go that far, but I do need to fondle the stash til it tells me what it will become.
7. Try something new.
I am not adventurous enought when it comes to my knitting. I have tried some new things in the past 2 years (entrelac, using a drop spindle, lace, socks) and I need to keep trying to stay fresh and challenged. Don't want to live in garter purgatory.
8. Take it Easy.
I spend a lot of time comparing myself to others, Christian women I want to be more like, be a better housekeeper like, be slim like etc. If God can love me as I am, I need to try it too. I can always be a better housekeeper, more organized, a better wife and mother, a better whatever, but God isn't keeping score and neither should I. I need to treat myself with the same measure of grace and forgiveness I would extend to a friend.

That said, I am off to do some Pilates, put away from laundry, pack some lunches and turn out the light early. Happy New Years all.