Monthly Archives: June 2015

Summer Reading

I’m sure y’all remember the Summer Reading Program at your public library? Kids compete to see who can read the most books during the month of June. It can get pretty heated*.

Princesses like to read too.  (Sorry, QUEENS.  That's Elsa's dress.)

Cynthia Rylant is the hands down favorite author. We’ve got a whole shelf just for her.

Ellie set herself a goal of 100 books and completed it in a week and a half. So we did some math, factored in camps and trips, and she set a new goal of 300 books by the end of the program.

Tent is from Ikea.  You can fit a lot of books in a tent.

The tent is from Ikea. You can fit a lot of books in a tent.

She read 345 (partially because I numbered an entire page wrong and she had more on the list than she thought she did).

Ellie not only won her category (2nd grade girls) but she also won the medal for Top Overall Reader by about twice as many as the next highest reader!

It's fancy and ENGRAVED!  oooOOOooo

It’s fancy and ENGRAVED! oooOOOooo

The best part (for me) is that she didn’t spend a whole lot more time reading than she usually does, she just chose “short books” instead of her typical chapter books. Ellie says she is glad to be back to reading for fun and that she has retired from “Competitive Reading.” Other competitions would be OK.

*More about competitive academics another time.

Travel Time

Last week was an out of town week. Ellie and I visited my parents and sister in Peachtree City. I made a Hippo.

Shadyside Farm Studio's angora/wool.  I've got a stockpile of it.

Shadyside Farm Studio’s angora/wool. I’ve got a dwindling stockpile of it.

Then we came home, I washed a bunch of clothes, re-packed, and we went to spend the night at Mary Esther. I finished that Elephant.

Nature's Choice cotton.

Nature’s Choice organic cotton.

And knit a longer tail for the Ginger Cat.

This Cat came back.  That's never happened with a Cat before.

This Cat came back. That’s never happened with a Cat before.

So this Cat came back because he was too small for his intended purpose. I suspected that would happen – but what I did not suspect was that the customer would want me to make a bigger version. With this same yarn. So I’m doubling the hand spun from France (be still my frugal heart) and using US8s and (according to the math) he’ll come out with a 20″ middle. It’s going to be exciting.

When Mega Cat is finished, I have had an epiphany and am ready to start a new pattern. I am very excited! It’s way more fun to start a new project than go back and problem solve for the one that’s making you crazy…

At Long Last

He’s done.

Acting all casual.

Acting all casual.

I can hardly believe it.

I een remembered to attach his tail.

I even remembered to attach his tail.

I’ve been working on this guy since May sometime. There were so many interruptions (and chenille is sooooo sloooooow AND I kept running out of yarn) that I really started to think I would never be done. Now that he’s all finished, I’m sad to see him go.

He gives really good hugs.

Making Changes

I’m making a few changes to the format over here. Cause sometimes you need a little color.

It’s not done yet so y’all please hang in there while I break stuff.

It’ll get fixed.

Probably.

I really hate that the comment link is at the top. That’s just silly to make people scroll aaaaalllll the way back up to comment after they’ve read a post. I hope that’s fixable. Edited to Add: THANKS, DEAR

Girl Scout Camp

Ellie is off at Girl Scout Camp this week with her BFF. Just for the days – neither one of us is ready for overnight camp. It’s good to have something to look forward to anyway.

GSCporch

On the front porch of the Dining Hall.

GSCtwins

Tuesday was Twin Day.

Up until Wednesday they had a great time. Wednesday: “Boy Scouts came and all they did was talk all day it was super boring.” I said to be sure to put it in her evaluation. (They didn’t just talk all day, there was a ‘nature walk’ with disposable cameras to record stuff.)

These long long days with both hands free has finally given me the time to finish the sheep.

sheepears

Just need to decide on the ear color.

I’ve never run out of yarn on a project like this before. It makes me feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I understand running out of chenille (it knits so much bigger than the listed gauge) but I should not be out of that dark grey. If my customer wants dark ears, I have to order more. The last scrap is in that too small example left ear.

I also mopped the whole house.

It’s been an eventful week.

Stuff

The sheep I’ve been working on since around book fair time is close to finished. He’s only missing a head and ears. Oh, and a tail.

sheeppieces

Disassembled toys can be confusing to look at. Or maybe just disturbing.

I used Henry’s Attic Pigtail for his wooly bits. While I like the effect, I’ll need a great deal of incentive to work with chenille for a toy again. Pigtail listed as an Aran weight yarn, but that’s got to be a mistake.

pigtail

It only shed when I wound it up.

This stuff is thick with plush – the sheep’s body has ended up enormous and actually ran out of yarn and ended up needing to order more for his head. I should have been able to make two sheep out of 194 yards! Even with that frustration, Pigtail still wins the award for Best in Chenille. The woven core (instead a central ply) means absolutely no worming*! The finished fabric is dense and heavy but not stiff. And it’s very very plushy. Working with it is still hard on the wrists, but might not be so bad on a much larger needle as a throw or something.

When this sheep is finished, I’ve got another Ginger Cat to make. Then maybe I can get back to the pattern I abandoned months ago…or maybe not. Maybe I’ll start something new.

Speaking of cats.

IMG_0019

Big Grey Kitty

I never told you that we figured out where Big Grey Kitty is! Someone from the subdivision back of us came over a couple weeks ago looking for her neighbor’s dog. We hadn’t seen him, but I told her that if she came across a fat, grey cat with a bad eye and a flea allergy to please let us know. She knew exactly where that cat was – Big Grey Kitty shows up on her porch for supper every night. I sent Big Grey Kitty’s Other Mother home with flea stuff. Big Grey Kitty is due for shots this month so I’ve got to go over and see if we can round her up.

*Worming – think about a disposable straw in it’s paper wrapper. Now think about how the paper scrunches up into a wad as it slides down the straw. Like when you wrinkle straw straw paper on purpose if you were going to do that thing where you get the scrunched up paper wet and watch it expand into a wet wormy mess on the table? Here’s a helpful Youtube video if you have no idea what I’m talking about. That’s what many chenille yarns do when you knit with them: the fuzzy outside scrunches up as it slides down the ply in the center so you end up with a skinny bit where you’re working and a fat mess of fuzz at the other end of the yarn.