Archive for February, 2008

Blankie Friday – the Wrap-Up

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

I can’t believe this is it – the final Blankie Friday. The culmination of what seems like forever, but really in the long run has been a simple blink in the eye. The blankie has been a huge part of my life these last 20 months. It has led me to many new friends, most far, far away in the computer, but a few real, in-person friends. It has been a constant companion, growing in my lap. It has been something to photograph and write about, to dream with. And here it is all grown up.

Let’s start with a few fun facts:

The finished dimensions are 53″ X 72.5″, or 134 X 184 cm (diamond point to diamond point.)

The finished weight is 2 lbs, 13 oz or 1.282 kg.

That’s about 5960 yards/5450 meters – or 3.3 miles/5.4 kilometers of yarn.

512 sts per square times 736 squares (counting each of the large squares as four) adds up to 376,832 stitches in the squares alone.

Each square took about 25 minutes to knit, and if you add five minutes to that for picking out the next color and weaving in two ends, half an hour per square adds up to 368 hours of my life just knitting the squares for the blankie. That over 20 months, start to finish, comes out to an average of well over one square per day, which was my original goal for progress on the project.

The Timeline…

Blankie was started at the beginning of July, 2006 – it first appears on the blog here, leading me to believe that I started it right around the first of July, 2006.

Just a few days later, I wrote a post that sparked a flood of gifts, sparked on by the Yarn Harlot’s post here. It is hard for me to believe, in retrospect, that so many people so generously sent me their yarn on faith based on the tiny little start I had going in this picture.

Note the tiny basket of original yarn scraps. That was the sum total of my own scraps that I started with.

Lots of people were interested in knitting a similar blanket right away, and I felt like the least I could do to repay the huge response of yarn-scrap gifts was to write up a little tutorial. I do seem to be unable to write a blog post without embedding my family in it, so it’s a long, rambly tutorial, but it gets the job done. Start Here, Then Read This, Then This, and Finally This.

Before I knew it, I was inundated with packages, and it was like Christmas every day for a while there. I spent hours and hours opening packages, photographing them, and thanking the senders in the blog. That was probably the most fun part of the entire project, except perhaps the last five minutes of applied i-cord knitting.

Before long, I was pretty darn well buried in yarn. The cats loved it…

Some of that yarn went to other blankie knitters, more of it went to charity knitters – my favorite was Jo-Ann in Ontario, who knits bears for various children’s charities.

The blankie (and I) have gotten to meet the Yarn Harlot once in Eau Claire.

And again in St. Paul

And hopefully we will get a third picture with Stephanie when she comes to St. Paul again in April. She has been so gracious in the past, I’m really looking forward to thanking her one more time with a final product in hand.

And before we get to the pictures you’ve really been waiting for, I’ll announce the
Contest Winners…

Part the first was sock yarn identification.

Sock yarn C

was the most contentious, and at least a couple of people guessed that it was Fortissima Socka color Mexico 9072 Sundown. And it’s funny because I actually knit a sweater for Julie when she was little (and which Sophie still wears sometimes) and a pair of socks for myself out of that color, or one in the series.

Sorry, but that ain’t it. Fortunately, ikkinlala came up with what I believe to be the right answer, which is Opal Brasil #5001. She even found it available here, which is great, but I chose to order a skein of it through an e-bay seller because I found the whole “every fifth stitch is for g*d” thing a little creepy, and also her ordering system was kind of confusing.

Sock yarn A

turns out to be Trekking #131, correctly identified by Razor Knit Girl. Thanks for the help, RKG, and I left a comment on your blog asking you to e-mail me. On further reflection, I’m not sure that I’m going to order that one after all. As much as I enjoy looking at those colors playing together on the blanket, they are totally not colors that I would wear. So I will at least hold off on them for a while.

I’m a little disappointed that nobody even guessed on squares B

or D

because those are probably my two favorite and I would totally buy them if I could get my hands on them. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? I’ll extend the offer of a set of notecards and a little surprise to the first person to comment with good information on what these yarns are.

The second part of the contest was giving away the remains of the blankie scraps. I did get a few responses on this one, including an offer to buy some of the yarn. Sorry, but there is no way my conscience is going to allow me to *sell* yarn that was gifted to me! But there is enough to pass along at least a little something to everyone who responded with a link to a picture.

Sandra is churchlady on Ravelry, and is blogless, but has a teeny little beginning to a blankie.
Sopranospinner linked to her latest picture on Flickr.
Jesse has pictures of her newly-started blankie up on Ravelry
Knit & Purl Mama showed me her little chunk of blankie
Alice debuted her blankie on her blog just for the contest.

All of you are winners! E-mail me with your mailing addresses and color preferences (I’ll do my best – there is an awful lot of blue, brown, black and white in the mix). I’ll get some packages in the mail soon-ish. Just remember – you’re taking on responsibility for the care and wellbeing of this yarn – don’t neglect it!

Okay, and finally the “show me the blankie!” portion of the contest…there were 116 entries, and the random number generator chose 53, which turns out to be StaceyK, aka moonlightknitter, aka moonlightknitter on Ravelry. Stacey, e-mail me your mailing address and I will get a fabulous package out to you soon!

Thanks to everyone who spewed happy comments on last week’s post – it was so much fun reading them all this week, feeling your excitement along with my own.

Now for the real goods…

The photos speak for themselves, no? Happy Friday, everyone! Blankie Fridays are over for now, although I’m sure Blankie will be showing up again from time to time. I will enter it in the Minnesota State Fair this year, and I will bring it with me when I go see the Yarn Harlot in April. Oh, and I’ll probably have it with me at Yarnover this year as well. If you see me with it, come say hello and give it a squish.

What Next?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

What next is the question that several of you lovely readers have asked me, and indeed the question that I have been asking myself in more than one way these last few days. Of course, you all are asking me what I will be knitting next now that the blankie is done.

Indeed, the blankie *is* completely and totally finished. I didn’t end up knitting the very last bit of i-cord edging till Saturday afternoon while I was teaching my class at the store. It had occurred to me that some of my students might like a demonstration on applied i-cord, even though it wasn’t part of the fair-isle hat class that was ending that day.

And I have to stop right here to brag on my students. They totally rocked! They all got it, they all produced nice hats. One student in particular, who happens to be named Shelley also, even agreed to have her picture taken for the blog – I really love her hat, and she sort-of by accident made it to match the trim on her jacket perfectly. Thanks for sharing, Shelley!

Here are a few of the others in their near-finished states:

All beautiful! All designed by my students themselves. Lovely. And my students were really cool about me finishing that last bit of i-cord while they worked their tubular bind-offs. They were in fact interested in seeing the demonstration, but they also seemed genuinely excited for me that I was finally finishing such a giant project. I – I was practically high on the endorphins. It was fun.

I blocked the blanket Saturday night, and I decided that the best way to do it was by sticking the whole thing into my front-loading washing machine (yes – the same one I use to wash dirty diapers in!!!) and run it through on delicate cycle with the tiniest bit of Eucalan. I smirked a bit when I thought of the horror I might see on some of your faces at the sight, but I can tell you now that all ended well. Even though all the yarns involved are superwash, I didn’t put it in the dryer, but laid it out on the queen-sized guest bed, upon which it barely fit. The washing really relaxed it a bit, and it grew somewhat. Which is totally fine. Pictures on Friday, I promise.

We’ll get to the what-next of knitting in a moment. But first I have to show you pictures from Sophie’s birthday party. It’s a bit belated, as Joe’s parents and aunt and uncle were out of town on a cruise and just got back last week. We ordered a giant load of Famous Dave’s barbecue and had everyone over for dinner. After all the sickness and general stress that’s been floating around here the last month or so, I just didn’t have it in me to cook a big meal for everyone right now, and I wanted to try and relax and enjoy the party some.

Nobody complained. We had a ton of food – here’s a picture of what was left over because I forgot to take a picture before we ate.

I did bake another cake – any excuse to bake a chocolate cake. And Sophie got to blow out candles again. I think my facial expression in this picture is hilarious, and I wish I always looked so young and skinny these days.

Look at that happy face. Okay, look at those happy faces.

I handed Sophie off to her grandfather so that I could eat my cake in peace for just a moment, and they both loved that.

There were presents too…

Unfortunately, the what next to that event was another night of projectile vomiting. It’s crazy. She puked Friday night, was fine all day Saturday and all day Sunday, then barfed her dinner just after falling asleep Sunday night. This shit has been going on for a month now. I dragged her in to the doctor’s office again today, and the pediatrician checked her out and thinks that she’s just gotten back-to-back stomach viruses. There *are* multiple stomach viruses working their way around town right now, and Sophie has apparently been lucky enough to catch them all.

Poor thing. She was fine today, though, and so far tonight knock on wood. I just don’t know that I dare ask what next on the family front right now. I need a bit of peace and happy quiet.

On to the knitting front. For the moment, I’m working on a quickie project – something else just for me that I’ve been desperately wishing for these last few very-cold weeks.

An everyday scarf. My poor neck has been cold, cold cold. I lost the very-nice scarf that I had – a cashmere one that Joe had bought for me a few years ago – last winter, and hadn’t found time to replace it. Yes, I know I have that beaded silk/cashmere waiting to be a scarf, and I also have an alpaca-silk lace thing well started. But I needed a nice sturdy something that I wouldn’t mind dragging around while I’m schlepping the kids. I don’t know if this will be done in time for the next cold-cold spell, or even if we will have subzero temps again this winter, but it will certainly fit the bill.

The yarn is handspun Blue Faced Leister wool by Aisha Celia, and I bought this particular skein at a craft show in December 2005. It’s been aging in the stash, waiting for me to find the right project for its loveliness. It’s been a little tough because there are 267 yards and no more, so I’m really hoping I can get a wearable scarf out of it. I went for a rather narrow lacy pattern in the hopes of stretching it out. The color is more accurate above, but below you can see the lace pattern a bit better.

I had been thinking of knitting it up in the Argosy pattern, but I started it on Sunday afternoon once the cleaning was all done, and wasn’t totally enjoying the process. So I swatched out a Barbara Walker stitch pattern or two and came up with this, which I think may be slightly less attractive than Argosy, but which is much more of a pleasure for me to knit.

I don’t think it will take more than a week to get through this ball of yarn, especially since I’m hoping/planning to have some quality knitting time on Friday. After the scarf is done – well I’ve got several projects screaming at me to work on them. I think it’s going to come down to either the other lace scarf or perhaps a sweater – two are in contention. I do also need to make a new hat and glitten set for next fall, but I don’t feel quite ready to work on those just yet. I am leaning slightly towards a sweater for now while the weather is cold and a big piece of wool in my lap will feel nice.

For tonight what next involves watching a movie, eating a piece of leftover cake, glancing at my happily finished blankie now and then, and maybe working on that purple scarf for a while before bed.

Blankie Friday – the Penultimate Edition

Saturday, February 23rd, 2008

I had a really tough decision to make this afternoon.

The i-cord edging on my blanket has been going incredibly quickly. I had been dreading it a bit as I approached the end of the blanket, because I was afraid it would take longer to work than I had remembered from the first chunk I worked lo these many moons ago. But it turns out I was able to get up the right side, across the top, and down a good chunk of the left side in the last few days, leaving only a handful of diamonds’ worth of edge unfinished by this afternoon. Only an hour, two at most, worth of work left to do.

I went ahead and took pictures during daylight hours, still hoping that maybe just maybe I would have it finished this evening. But then we decided to make cookies instead of watch a video, so I had no couch time before the kids went to bed…and Julie had a melt down at the end of dinner, so there was no time to knit while they were in the bath…and yet I still held out in my mind – I could hold of writing up this post until later tonight when the blankie is – dare I say it – done. I can really hardly believe it now that I am to this point. The blanket will, one way or another, be complete later this evening. But I made the decision to post early, finish later.

A few weeks ago, Wannietta asked me if I would feel sad or a little let-down when the project is finished, after being attached to it for so long. At the time I didn’t answer her, but I laughed to myself and thought “yeah, right.” But I knew what she meant at the time, and the question has stuck with me. The answer is yes, I will – a little.

So I will assuage that feeling by holding on to the Blankie Fridays for one more week, and next Blankie Friday we will go out with a big bang. There will be contests! Rules in a moment. The blankie will be blocked and spiffy, not rumply and covered in cat hair as it is right now. We will come up with some creative ideas for pictures. I will take you on a little trip down memory lane and we will give the blankie a little blog-party. I’ll outline the contest in a minute, but first let’s look at some pictures.

There is no big-picture picture tonight. I did take some big-picture pictures, but I’m going to hold back for a couple of reasons. First, the blanket looks so much different now with a nice straight edge across the top. It looks almost like a finished project, and I don’t want to steal next week’s thunder. Because it really is beautiful, if I do say so myself. Second, the blanket really needs to be blocked. As you may be able to tell in some of the close-up pictures in a moment, the corners aren’t very sharp right now, and the i-cord is wanting to roll a bit. The edges need to be told who’s boss. Sorry about that, but if you really need a big-picture fix, go look at last week’s Blanket Friday. It’s pretty close.

I will show you the one remaining edge awaiting it’s i-cord application.

At the top is the ball of yarn, attached and waiting its fate. At the bottom is the start of the i-cord, and one of the last two tails remaining to be woven in (yay!) It has been so gratifying as I work my way around the blanket to get rid of all the nasty little dangling ends and bits of scrap yarn holding my provisional cast ons in place.

Here are the close-ups of the final week’s worth of square knitting (for those of you who love spotting the yarns you sent in).

This little shot I took after the main photo session. I’ve got all the remaining provisional cast-on stitches loaded onto a 000 Addi Turbo and am cranking away on the last bit of I-cord. Can I confess that I’ve been watching old episodes of 30 Rock on Netflix Live in the evenings, and they go together perfectly. It’s very entertaining, but doesn’t require much eye contact. You can see in this picture that I’m working my way up the side that doesn’t have live stitches. At the end of each i-cord row, I pick up the next stitch along the blanket edge that gets knit together with the third i-cord stitch each time around. The live-stitch edges are about twice as fast to knit as the pick-up stitch edges.

Okay, now to the contest. There will be several parts, but for all parts I must emphasize – I *must* have a way of contacting you via e-mail, or don’t even bother entering. The last contest I had, I was incredibly frustrated by the number of people who, despite my request, didn’t leave their e-mail in the comment and had their Blogger profile set to private. I need to be able to e-mail you to confirm that you want the prize so that if you don’t I can offer it to someone else. It’s that simple. Also, it’s really frustrating on a regular basis when someone leaves a comment asking a question and leaves no contact information. Would it be so bad to set your blogger profile to public and list an e-mail address there? I’m even okay with sending a message on Ravelry if you just give me your Ravelry id, if you’re worried about spam.

Part the first: I’ve been wanting to ask this question for a long time – there are several yarns that people sent me that I really love. Ones that I’d like to make pairs of socks out of some day. So following are pictures of the squares I made out of them. The first reader who identifies each yarn and sends me to an online store that carries it in the colorway shown gets a set of my notecards with closeup pictures of my projects on them, and maybe an additional surprise in the mail.





Part the second – in Ravelry alone, there are 90 projects listed for my blankie pattern/tutorial. I know there are more out there. For those of you already knitting blankies who could benefit from additional chunks of leftovers, please comment with a link to a picture of the current state of your blankie, and let me know if there are any specific requests for colors. I will give away my remaining stash of superwash wool/nylon fingering weight just like what went into my blankie.

I want everyone who considers taking any of this yarn to understand something, though. When I started this project, before I was flooded with gifts after the Yarn Harlot linked to me, I thought it was going to be a 20-year project. I wasn’t planning to make it my main knitting obsession for a year and a half. But then I received all these gifts and I realized that I now had a responsibility to show all the people who had generously sent them to me that I appreciated them and that they were being well-used. So I knit them up. I did not hoard them in my stash for an indefinite period like so many other yarns I own. If you take some of this yarn, I expect you to take on some of that responsibility as well. Depending on the number of entries, I will split up what I have into reasonable packages and draw names randomly.

Part the third – this one is for everyone. Simply leave a comment (separate from any other comment entries) saying “Show me the blankie!” (those exact words, please – I’m going to use an automatic sorting feature in Outlook) and you’ll be entered for a prize package including a skein of my hand dyed yarn, some note cards, a set of my favorite Pony Pearl knitting needles, a sock project bag by Messie Craftie (no affiliation – I just love her bags and want an excuse to order another for myself as well ;-) , and a copy of one of my favorite sock knitting books – your choice of Nancy Bush’s Folk Socks, Interweave Knit’s Favorite Socks, or Lucy Neatby’s Cool Socks – Warm Feet. It’ll be kind of like the Secret Pal package I would send to myself if I were my own Secret Pal, only the winner will get it instead. I guess I’d better throw in some chocolate as well.

Alright, that’s it. Um, if you’re out there and you’re reading and you have a blog – send your friends here for the party next Friday. There’ll be lots of pictures and fun facts about the blankie. A huge thanks to all of you who have hung with me on this and seen me through this far. I’m off to fire up the 30 Rock and have one last knitting session with the blankie.

Editing to add – comments closed because the contest is over. Check out the wrap-up post for final blankie pictures.

A Little Urpy (still!)

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Either this is the longest – acting GI virus ever, or we have somehow
been exposed to yet another of the multiple GI bugs going around our
fair suburb at the moment. Or, if I'm lucky, it was just too much cherry
yogurt for midmorning snack right before naptime.

Because Sophie woke up in a pool of you-know this afternoon, curtailing
our plans for a visit to the library. It would also have meant
cancelling our playdate planned for tomorrow had it not already been
cancelled to to the GI bug currently hosted by (hopefully only) one of
our little friends.

I am so tired of winter! I hardly got any blankie-time in last night
because Sophie didn't go to sleep until 11 last night because of some
other tumy problems.

The good news is, she seems to be feeling fine now, and is spinning
herself silly at the moment. (Auxilliary barf bucket just out of

I'm sneaking in this post now in the hopes of achieving a complete
evening of I-cord knitting tonight – it's going really quickly when I do
have the chance to work on it. See you for blankie Friday tomorrow.

Adventures in Hot Glue and some other stuff.

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

I really have to share with the world all about my latest non-knitting “crafty” project, which I think is hilarious because even though I am totally obsessed with knitting, I don’t tend to think of myself as all that crafty a girl, especially when it comes to that kind of crafts which involve hot glue, store-bought felt (even if it is the all-wool variety), cardboard and ribbons. And yet here we are.

Yesterday morning I set the girls up with little art projects of their own so they would give me a few minutes to heat up the old hot glue gun.

I chopped a couple hunks of cardboard off a box left over from my recent Internet-credit-card extravaganza.

I cut a couple pieces of felt just a little bigger than my cardboard chunks.

Then I used insane amounts of hot liquid plastic stuff to secure them all together, along with some pretty pretty ribbons.

And then I did the whole thing again, in between trips to the potty with the girls, fetching additional art supplies, and refilling sippy cups. In the end, we had a new organizational system for the crazy jumble of hair clippies and barrettes that were taking over the house.

Who me? Why yes, I am indeed a glue-gun wielding suburban minivan-driving housewife mother-of-two. Oops!

Oh, and speaking of Internet-credit-card extravaganzas, the last package from my recent excursion arrived today. A lovely skein of this stuff, all the way from Australia.

It’s sock yarn, it’s luscious, it’s a little on the thin side, and I think it might end up making something lacy when it has aged in the stash long enough.

I really should not be allowed to keep my credit card anywhere near the computer. This really was an impulse purchase, made partly because it’s really nice yarn, but mostly because I was already on a roll.

And further speaking of Internet-credit-card extravaganzas, I may have had an additional falling down this afternoon while the kids were napping. (Well, Sophie was napping – Julie was having enforced quiet time in the hopes that she would be fresh for ballet class.) This package will be on its way from Germany in the near future. At least I only bought the one thing I wanted today and refrained from buying the Bohus kit from Sweden, which I also strongly considered.

If you’re still here, still reading…guess what I did right before typing up this post? You’ll never guess. I’ll have to just tell you. I knit the last freaking square on the damn blankie!!!!!1111!!!!one!!! That’s right, baby! Tomorrow night – i-cord. I have nine more days to potentially finish this thing in February, and if I don’t, there is always March. But it is going to be d-o-n-e soon. Let’s all have a virtual happy dance, shall we? Photos on Friday – yes, you have to wait.

Knit Out 2008

Monday, February 18th, 2008

I’m not sure exactly where to start with this post, except maybe to point out for the millionth time that, in case you hadn’t already noticed, I am a big ole dork and a huge knitting geek, who can be kinda clueless sometimes. The 2008 Knit Out was held this weekend at the Mall of America, here in the Twin Cities.

We’ve had knit-outs here in the Twin Cities in the past – I went last year and it was an okay time – a chance to glimpse and even meet-and-greet some big-name knitters (designers and authors and magazine editors, among others). The big yarn companies show up and have display booths and put on demos and hand out freebies. It’s a good chance for the knitting world to show up and raise awareness for the craft, and it’s fun to just hang out where there are so many other knitters.

But here’s the dorky part. I didn’t realize that the Craft Yarn Council had made the Minneapolis event the main one for the year. The national speed-knitting competition was held here yesterday. They had whole panels of authors up on stage discussing stuff. And the most embarrassing part for me is that although I read the blog of Canada’s fastest knitter, and although she’s been talking about coming to the Knit-Out in America for weeks and weeks, I didn’t realize until yesterday that she was talking about *our* knit-out. And I was horrified when I realized that Wannietta, who also reads here and comments regularly, and who I highly respect, was going to be *IN TOWN!!!!* and I hadn’t made any effort to meet up with her!!! Well, I sent her an e-mail and hoped for the best, and in the end it worked out really well, as you’ll see.

Confessions aside, let’s get to the story. I was teaching a class at the store on Saturday, so today was my day for the Knit-Out. Can I just tell you what a wonderful husband I have – who volunteered to stay home with the girls for a second day in a row so that I could go have some fun? Well he did, so I headed out the back door towards the car, just as my friend and neighbor Laura was headed out her back door, coincidentally, to the Knit-Out. We had talked about the event last week, but hadn’t made any plans to go together because I wasn’t entirely sure whether I would get to go and/or whether I would have to drag the kids with me.

Fate was on my side today, though, and Laura and her friend Rachel agreed to let me tag along with them at the Mall. We all got coffees, then milled around looking at the displays – there were huge lines for getting freebies at most of the booths, but we skipped the lines and just got looks at stuff without picking things up at first. We got to meet the Lion Brand Lion at their booth – quite friendly, really, and (s)he was hanging out with the shark from Underwater Adventures, but agreed to take pictures with me and Laura…

And speaking of Lion Brand, I have to mention something that might surprise you and to be honest really surprised me. They have an awesome new sock yarn coming out in the next couple of months. It’s a self-striping wool/nylon fingering weight, in really nice colors. There were a couple of colorways that I was practically drooling over. In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a bit of a yarn snob, and I had a nice little chat with one of the ladies at their table about how Lion’s catalog is, frankly, much less laughable than it used to be. I think the big yarn companies are listening to the real die-hard knitters out here in the world and responding with the kind of yarn and projects that we want. And even though I’m not generally in the habit of buying my yarn at big-box craft stores, it makes me happy for knitters overall, especially the ones who may not have local yarn shops in their areas. They’ll have a chance to go see and touch some decent sock yarn in the stores they do have. I’ll tell you what – I will be watching for that new sock yarn in the store, and I will probably buy some when I find it.

We strolled around some more, and eventually made our way back to the Rotunda, where the main stage for the Knit Out was set up. And guess who I spotted there? Wannietta! I was really pleased to see her and I went and caught her attention, and thankfully she recognized me after a second and I think was happy to see me too. She was so nice to talk to, and took a bunch of pictures with me and the blankie…you can’t tell in the picture very well, but Wannietta has some awesome bright-red highlight streaks in her hair that suit her perfectly. And she was wearing a really cool denim knit sweater that made me wish I could stand knitting with cotton.

And oh-my-gods I had been carrying the blankie around all folded up in my bag just in case I ran into someone who wanted to see it. But when I pulled that sucker out, it was like a magnet. Suddenly there was a little crowd of knitters standing around asking questions and I was blushing something fierce. I mean, it was exhilarating to have strangers excited to see what I had made, but I really am a bit of an introvert and it’s a little scary too.

So Wannietta and I stood around chatting for a few minutes, and I asked her about yesterday’s competition – she got third place in the international competition! She is the third fastest knitter in the world! And I was standing there all gushing over her, and she said “Well hey, let me introduce you to the fastest knitter in the world. She’s right over there.” So she went over and got Miriam, who was very sweet and photogenic and chatted with me while I got all gushy and fan-girl on her.

And she admired the blanket, which made me feel very warm and fuzzy.

And I got all super-dorky and made them let me take a picture of the fastest-knitting hands in the world. (Oh, and although Miriam came in second at the competition here, she does hold the Guinness Book of World Records record for most stitches knit in one minute.)

Oh, and they were getting ready to do a show-and-tell thing up on stage, and the guy from the Yarn Garage was MC-ing it. He happened to be standing there when I pulled the blankie out to show Wannietta, and he came over and asked me to show it off up on stage. Ahem. So I did. I was nervous as all get-out, but I am also somewhat shameless.

Thanks to Laura and Rachel for taking the day’s pictures for me!

Finally, it was time to come home. As sometimes happens when I am not here, Sophie had failed to take a nap. So she was super-tired, and while I whipped up some corn bread to go with our dinner, she fell asleep in her high chair.

But she did wake up in time to eat a bit, and take a bath before bed.

Oh! and I can’t close without mentioning how very excited I am that Stephanie Pearl-McPhee will be coming back to St. Paul in April. When I was at the Yarnery on Saturday, one of the managers mentioned that people have already called in and reserved half of the 600 available free tickets. If you are interested in attending, git yerself over to the store and score some tickets!

Blankie Friday and Valentines Wrap-Up

Saturday, February 16th, 2008

I know you’re just here for the blanket pictures, but I’m too lazy to do two seperate posts tonight, so I’m going to make you sit through my Valentine’s Day pictures first.

I’ve been waiting months for this. I saw this totally amazingly yummy-looking chocolate sauce at the co-op a few months ago and thought how perfect it would be with some strawberries as a special Valentine’s Day dessert.

And oh, my. It was a terrific Valentine’s Day dessert.

The girls loved it. I loved it. Even Joe, who normally does not get into desserts, seemed to love it.

And then Joe surprised me with not one but three awesome VD gifts…

A Takashi Murukami mouse pad to protect my new desk from the laser in my mouse, which left a big old faded spot on the surface of my old desk. Hee hee. I love it.

This funny little guy, which is so totally something Joe would buy. It’s a wind-up toy, and the little plastic heart beats in and out as it swings the clear plastic circle around like a hula-hoop, making the ball bearing inside go in circles, producing a rythmic clacking against the ridges inside. It’s hilarious, and the girls wanted it for themselves. I said no. But I did let them watch it several times.

And finally, a t-shirt, which is also so totally Joe’s sense of humor – it’s an ugly doll, Jeero, wearing a surgical mask. Funny.

And I know you’re all totally “C’mon, give me the blankie pics!” But I can’t resist showing you a couple more chocolate-mouth pictures from today, when we had some friends over for lunch and shared the leftovers with them.

You have to admit that happy chocolate-covered kids can be pretty cute.

The blankie is looking pretty good this week. See those top squares over on the right? That’s the freakin’ top of the blanket. Oh yeah, baby! I knit 33 squares this week, and there are only 24 more to go. I really think I have a chance of finishing the whole damn thing, i-cord edging and all, by the end of the month.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

I've been having trouble posting today from my computer, so hopefully
this Sidekick post can get through…

Happy Valentine?

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Hey, this is just a test. I’ve been trying to put up a post all day and Blogger can’t seem to connect. Will this one?

Happy Valentine’s Day

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

From all of us.