Tag Archives: knitting


Pile of Legs

the yellow spaghetti mess is a pile of birdie legs

I haven’t made birdies in ages. This set of three is for the hospital’s fundraiser – there’s a silent auction.

(I’m also checking to see if my RSS feed is still hawking questionable pharmaceuticals since I updated all the plug-ins.)

Open Call

I’m auditioning yarn for a new project.

I need something stiff that will keep it's shape.  Linen might be the thing - it won't be washed.

I need something stiff that will keep it’s shape. Linen might be the thing – it won’t be washed.

I know I haven’t finished the Mermaid pattern yet. Ideas are not concerned with the status of other ideas.

Weekly Wrap-Up: Disneyland!!!1!

Every now and then Michael has to go “to the office” out in Santa Monica. This time we went with him. Mostly because we could (yay homeschool + frequent flyer miles) but also because Disneyland!

Ellie and I knit on the plane.

Goofy met us in the lobby of the Disneyland Hotel.

Our room had its own fireworks.

Captain Hook met us right inside Fantasy Land.

Ellie had tea with the Mad Hatter and Alice.

We also saw a couple shows (the new Frozen show is excellent), the Haunted Mansion was all dressed up as the Nightmare Before Christmas (we went through a second time it was so cool), we watched three parades, rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad four times, and experienced 102°F without the humidity (it’s different). Disneyland during the school week was outstanding – we didn’t wait more than 20 minutes for anything.

After that, we switched towns and visited Michael at work! There was candy! And lunch!

Then Ellie and I hung out in our very nice hotel room with a deck, went to the beach,

rode the ferris wheel that was there, completed a puzzle, lost a tooth (Ellie did, I still have all mine), played games at the office, did one school assignment,

read some Anne of Green Gables, and ate a lot of veggie bacon. Oh, and Ellie opened the Disney Store on Thursday morning!

Ellie bought her Halloween costume at the Disney Store this year. It’s not what you think.

Now that we’re recovering from lack of sleep and jet lag, I feel that I have enough perspective to say that it was a pretty great week!

Weekly Wrap-Up: Lesson 4

This week was a challenge. Every day there was something that interrupted our school time: coming back from the beach on Monday, Girl Scouts on Tuesday, piano at a funny time on Wednesday (Monday was a holiday), she was part of a Flag Ceremony on Thursday (Girl Scouts), and Friday was the bi-monthly play group. This week was another lesson in just how important rhythms are to our everyday and that ‘scheduled’ does not always mean ‘convenient’. Flexibility is a Life Skill.

Frog Collages are also a life skill.  I'm glad I never recycle All Animals!

Frog Collages are also a life skill. I’m glad I never recycle All Animals!

Ellie finished the first of the two provided Grade 2 Readers and we wrapped up the first Language Arts story series. I hope the new Main Lesson Books I ordered get here quickly – she’s only got room to fit one more lesson in the Language Arts book. Next year, I think we’ll use high quality, spiral bound, artist’s sketch books with hard covers instead of the traditional Waldorf-style Main Lesson Books so that everything will fit in one book. I think this will work better for the science journals too; field work and finished work can all be together in one place. (Honestly, a big part of me wants to make the transition to sketch books RIGHT NOW before we get in any deeper.)

More mancala, lots of Anansi, mirrored drawings that cross over the line, and a little science research project (on frogs) were some of the activities that filled the rest of the week. Edited to Add: The puppet show! Ellie’s puppet show was brilliant. I don’t know how I forgot about it. She made the puppets we didn’t have.

action coloring shot

action coloring shot

Music is a big part of the Oak Meadow curriculum. Songs, verses, and rhythm activities have all made appearances in the first month. There is also specific learn-to-play-an-instrument instruction with recorders. The lesson books are easy to use; we worked trough the first half of Beginning Recorder over the summer. However, we chose to substitute piano lessons for recorder instruction this year. Ellie did have the recorder out to play ‘Hot Cross Buns’ a couple times this week, so I think I’ll learn a few more notes to pass along.

The frog that started all this is on the stump.  If you look close you can see him.

I wanted to post a video of Ellie playing ‘Old MacDonald’ but she said NO WAY. Here’s a picture of a frog on a stump instead. Look closely.

Lesson 4 brings the end of the first month of school. Lesson 4 also brings the first time we submit work to Ellie’s Oak Meadow teacher. I’ve got to take extra time this weekend to sort photographs, scan lesson assessments, label files, and figure out how to work Google Docs.

Ellie is knitting away on her scarf. I’m knitting away on a pig. The sample card for Mermaid skin is here and I think it will work well! Now I’ve got to pick colors for her hair and her top.

Mermaid Yarn (thought process)

I’m going to ramble about yarn. Brace yourself.

I’ve ordered the tail yarn for the mermaid for the pattern example. Berroco Espresso – this time I got Pistachio. I’m waiting to see it in person before I order the rest of the yarn for her top, skin, and hair. Espresso is a 50/50 cotton/acrylic. This violates my “earth-healthy yarn” code. I’m using it anyway because it is a) perfect and b) novelty yarns are typically a compromise. While a hand-dyed wool would work beautifully, I’m trying to find readily available yarns for the Mermaid. She’s such a mix of yarn types, I don’t want people struggling to make her ‘look like the picture’ because they can’t get ahold of the yarn I used.

Her skin color is problematic. Once you factor in a less popular yarn weight (chunky) and my earth-healthy preferences for fiber…there’s not a lot left. I’d like a smooth organic cotton (not a fluffy one like I use for animals). It would be nice if I recommended a yarn that didn’t need doubling and one that is relatively easy to find (not a custom yarn from Etsy). Finding skin tones is just tricky anyway. Everything is dyed in beautiful, bright, clear colors right now. There are very few browns, tans, neutrals, or whatever the pale shades are called (haha ‘ecru’) available right now. I may end up with Pakucho held double. I’ve ordered a sample card so I can see it in person. Pakucho is color grown cotton which means lots of cinnamon, olive, and tans. Unfortunately no dark browns, but I’ll keep looking. I have to use a lighter yarn for the pattern example so that the stitches show up in the pictures, but people come in all kinds of colors! A doubled worsted does give people more options to fine turn their mermaid’s pigment so this might actually be better than a chunky that’s only available in a couple colors.

Are you following my thought process? All that to say, I will go with doubled, non-organic cotton yarn if one has a variety of ‘neutral’ shades. If anybody has a suggestion? I’ll include other recommendations in the pattern notes no matter what I actually knit her with.

P.S. Ruth has pointed out a couple South African yarns that look great but don’t have retailers in the US yet: Nurturing Fibre and Vinni’s Colours. I don’t mind international shipping, but neither of the companies has color cards with the yarns actually attached. It’s a big gamble to take if you’re trying to match colors, so I’m not ordering for the Mermaid I’ll keep you posted (Nurturing Fiber is first on my list: bamboo/cotton chunky).


She can sit on her own!  Even with all that hair.

She can sit on her own! Even with all that hair.

I am really happy with how she turned out!

I am really happy with how she turned out!

Her wig is knotted on through her scalp (like blanket fringe) and then tacked around the bottom of her head. It worked great. This one’s hair has three different yarns since I was using scraps, but I’ll find something for the pattern example that will help me get a more accurate idea of yards needed. I’ve also got to locate a line with skin tones (I’m thinking EcoButterfly but it’s floofy so I’m on the fence). What I used for this one (KnitPicks Simply Cotton in Ginger, doubled) has been discontinued. But I looooove her tail (I’m so glad I though about that little picot edging, it’s a great detail) and will use it for the pattern. That one comes in other colors so I’m trying to decide which way to go for he pattern example’s tail.

Two Arms to Hold You

I finished her arm! And then I started messing around with her hair! And THEN I thought, “Argh I forgot to take a picture!” So I took one:

From my phone.  Yes, that is a bird's nest on the table behind her.

From my phone. I wasn’t paying attention to my background, but I probably should have been.

I’m trying something different with her hair than I did with the Girl’s hair. So far it’s not too heavy.

Kitty Knitting

Just a sneak peek at what went on the first week of school:



The little kitty pattern can be found at The Magic Onions. When I saw that post, I knew the scarf would just have to wait a week. Our only modifications were to seam flat across the top of his head (to make ears with the corners) and i-cord on 3 stitches for the tail. Ellie insisted that her cat have eyes.

Also: I totally framed her first knitting.

So fancy.

So fancy.