family life


This past week was really difficult. A couple I am very close to and work with lost their toddler in a very tragic way.  Most of the week, I was in a bit of a daze. For two days, I couldn’t even focus long enough to work on simple projects.  I finally started to come out of it, and being able to craft became very comforting to me.  As a result, I was able to get a lot done.

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First up, my DH’s birthday surprise blanket!  I decided to do this a few days before his birthday. I told him that I was going to make it for someone else. I had him help me pick a pattern to go with the yarn. I thought that it would be so fast because it was bulky.  It was not. In part, it took me a long time because I decided to make it so big!  So here are the details:

Project: Secret Blanket

Pattern: Marshmallow Crochet Baby Blanket

Hook: Size N

Yarn: Bernat Blanket in Mallard Wood (7 skeins)

Started: April 24, 2015

Finished: May 15, 2015

Modifications and notes: I started with a chain of 103 to upsize this to an adult blanket.  It came out 41″ x 56″. I didn’t expect it to take so much yarn, so there are several different dye lots. Only one stands out as very different.  I should have gone up another hook size. This is a little stiff. That being said, my DH has used it every night since it was completed to cover his legs while watching tv (that was what I had intended it for).

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You can see the stripe of the differing dye lot in this picture. My husband didn’t really notice (or care), so that is all that matters. This blanket is super soft and warm without being stifling (it is breathable because of the pattern).  I really like how it came out!

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On Saturday, my husband’s little cousin announced that she is pregnant. My husband gets to see her once a year, so he asked me if I had anything for him to take up for the new baby. I didn’t, but I had been seeing the Wee Fast, Wee Speedy, and Wee Sweet patterns on Ravelry and Craftsy.  I quickly glanced through and picked Wee Fast. I happened to have a skein of bulky yarn on hand. This wee sweater is so cute and took me around 2 hours to complete (that is a guess given the number of interruptions I had).  The pattern is simple. It would have gone faster, but I used bamboo needles. That never works out well for me!  It slowed me a down a lot.  So here are the details:

Project: Wee Fast

Pattern: Wee Fast

Needles: 10 1/2 and 11

Yarn: Lion Brand Baby First in the Honey Bee Colorway (about 1/2 a skein)

Started and Finished: May 16, 2015

Modifications: My only modification was to start with a size 10 1/2 instead of a 10. This was because I grabbed the wrong needles and was not intentional.  I used a button from my button jar.

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The school the boys attend does a little clay project for Mother’s Day in Kindergarten and First Grade.  In Kindergarten, it is a little pinch bowl. In First Grade, it is a turtle.  Yesterday, Wyatt brought home his turtle for me.

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It is the one on the right. The one on the left is the one I got from Logan three years ago.  He was so excited, he simply couldn’t wait for Sunday!  He had to give it to me.

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So, today was a little photo shoot. Then he made his way to his “forever” home on my bookshelf!

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I love these little reminders of my kiddos while I am working.  Looking at them throughout the day reminds me that I am loved. It also reminds me of why I do the work I do.  I am doing what I can to make the world a better place for those that I love.

I have been making my own cleaners for several years. I ran out of a few of the essential oils I use regularly a while ago, and let my husband replace my cleaners with store bought stuff.

Yesterday I got my Young Living kit. Today, I got rid of some of the yucky stuff that had made it’s way into our house and made new stuff.

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I started with bug spray. This is a 2 oz glass bottle. I put 15 drops citronella, 15 drops rosemary, 10 drops peppermint, and 15 drops lavender. I then fill the bottle 3/4 of the way full of witch hazel, and the rest of the way with water. I had the citronella and rosemary oils on hand. We have used this in the past, and it works well. It should also keep ticks away with the addition of peppermint! I have read that you can make a good bug spray with Purification oil (a Young Living blend), but I know this one works and has most of the stuff on hand.

The next cleaner I made was an all purpose/bathroom cleaner. I used the same size bottle (I have a ton of them). For that one, I put 15 drops of Thieves oil, a splash of witch hazel, then I filled the bottle 3/4 of the way with white vinegar, and the rest of the way with water. It makes my bathroom smell like Christmas!

In the past I have made my bathroom cleaner with Castile soap and tea tree oil instead of Thieves oil. The Thieves smells better and doesn’t leave a soap residue that has to be rinsed. I am very happy with the new recipe. I will probably invest in some of the Thieves household cleaner in the future. I also need bigger glass spray bottles.

That was my big Saturday project. After I made my cleaners, I cleaned all my bathrooms. I then took my baby and the dogs (we are dog sitting a friend’s dog, so I have two dogs this weekend). We put the bug spray on (a little goes a very long way). It was a lovely afternoon!

Well, given the week I had, it is probably not a surprise that I didn’t complete any blocks last week. I did complete a swap for mini skeins for wee little blocks!  I posted a picture of the mini skeins that I sent last week for the Yarngasm mini swap.  I got my package from my swap partner!

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My package was so full of goodies!  I got some chocolate squares.  I sent identical squares to my pal, so I laughed out loud when I saw that!  She should enjoy what I sent since it what she also sent!  There is also some tea. The Candy Cane Lane tea is some of my favorite!

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Of course, she also sent some really lovely yarn!  One of the little skeins (the blue that is almost at the end) is her own handspun! She says it may not be fingering weight, but I am going to add it to my blankie anyway!  I love it.  The yarns are lovely and fun. I hope she enjoys what I sent as much as I enjoy what she sent. I should have some new blocks next week now that I have replenished my supply with some yarns I am really excited about!

Last week was rough. My husband was out of town for a conference.  Millie had a potty training accident that required me to bathe her and mop the floor. Then Wyatt had a tummy troubles which caused him to have an accident. I had to wipe down walls and floor and kid.  My sister’s husband started drinking, kicked her and her children out, and posted about it in a very scary way on social media. She lives a long ways away, so that was how I learned of it.  I thought he had hurt her when I first read it.  I also had to do two things that cause me enormous anxiety (get my car serviced and go to the dentist).  By the time my husband got home on Thursday night, I was wrung out. Friday, I took half the day off. I went shoe shopping, went to Michael’s (and started a new project), and bought some stuff at Bath and Body. I also got my hair cut and got a massage.  I was feeling a bit more like a human again. Saturday morning, I went to Young Living party. It was nice to hang out with grown ups. I love essential oils, but have been dissatisfied with the brand at my health food store, so I am pretty excited about my order!  We then had a family day. I finally felt refreshed again.

Needless to say, with all that was going on in my life, I wasn’t knitting on my Temperature scarf. I did jot down the high from the day before each morning.  This weekend, I was able to get caught up with the knitting part.

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Despite how rough my week was, we really did have lovely weather.  Lots of 80s.  Yesterday and today, it is getting cooler again. I have been  hoping for warmer weather (something I would never do otherwise) because I would love to see a new color added to the scarf!

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While my husband was in Las Vegas, he won some money.  Given that I had such a rough week, he gave me most of it (he is really sweet). I had a little shopping spree on Friday.  I ordered two Amy Herzog books.  One is a Kindle book (Knit to Flatter), so there is no picture.  The other is Knit Wear Love.  It just arrived last night. I am super excited about it! I haven’t read either yet, but I will and will talk about them later.

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I also made a little order on Gnome Acres. It is a grab bag of 10 mini skeins for my sock yarn blankie! They came packaged so cute and had a little temporary tattoo with them!

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Aren’t they lovely. You can’t tell, but a couple of them are sparkly! They also arrived last night. I am hoping to wind at least one tonight.  I am going to have to do a little digging to figure out what colorways I have, but they are so fun!  I had a massive migraine last night. Seeing all these cute little bundles made me wish I could stay up and knit even though I was hurting!

Some of the progress on my blankie is progress you can’t see.  I spent time this week winding little mini skeins into tiny center pull balls. I had a bunch of mini skeins from a swap back in 2009 or 2010 (a long time ago either way). I hadn’t wound them.  Now that I have been working through my jar that contains the balls ready to be knit into wee blocks, I decided it looked too empty.  So, I wound a bunch. The problem is that I love them all and can never decide what should go in the jar and what should go in the project bag to be knit with next!  I keep around 10 little balls in the bag and reach in blindly to pull a new one. Then I decide where it will look best on the row that I am working on.  Next week, I am going to try to get pictures of all the storage for my mini skeins and balls for the sock yarn blankie. Until then, I did finish two blocks this week.

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I don’t know any of the information on either of these yarns. I got them in a trade a long time ago.  Block 1 is purple and red and green and blue. It is so lovely.  I tried a number of times to get a picture that picked up all of the colors, but it was impossible. The color changes were super short and blended together in places.  It made for a really fun yarn to knit.  It is beautiful, but in person it is even more so.

Block 2 is blues and greens and pinks and purples.  It reminds me a bit of the Winterberry colorway on the cotton yarn that my mother-in-law really loves.  Again, I could not get my camera to pick the yarn color up.  I was taking these photos at night using my Ott light, but the color changes are so subtle.

My block total is up to 108. Since the last week was spent mostly on the ripple blankie or winding yarn, I should have more to show next week!

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My little scarf is actually starting to look scarflike! It is getting longer!  This last week, we had a pretty big dip in temperature (the dark green) followed by two very warm days. The next row will be another green (lower temp)! The fluctuations are crazy, but they are making the knitting so much more interesting!

The color on this picture is not great. I had to take it after the kids went to bed, so no natural light. This week, I am a single mom. My husband is out of town for a conference.  My normal routine is to look up the previous day’s temperature when I get home from work. I add my row (while nursing the baby) while my husband cooks dinner. Because he isn’t home, I have had to cook dinner. While the baby nurses, I am signing homework and helping the boys with little stuff my husband would usually handle. The knitting  doesn’t happen until everyone is in bed.  I am so glad I have a supportive husband!  I can’t imagine doing this full time by myself!  My hat is off to the women who do just that.

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