Saturday, March 28, 2009

They know me so well

I'm really easy to please in the gift-giving department. Just stick with a knitting theme and all will be well. My birthday this year, was a particularly good one for many reasons, including the fact that I got 2 knitting books, a long coveted EZ knitting DVD, and a very generous gift certificate to my lys.

Here's how it all went down...

Drew headed to said lys, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on my birthday. The minute he walked in there, it was apparent that he was shopping for someone else, and he was as he puts it "set upon by every woman in the store." He looked and looked for the perfect book for me. He was given advice and was very particular, finally settling on the book French Girl Knits. Good choice, Drew. This is a book that I probably wouldn't have thought to buy for myself, but I'm SOOO glad that he did. It has many beautiful, classic patterns, 3 of which I've already queued on Ravelry. He was also advised to buy Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac, but he thought if he bought that one as well, I would complain that he spent too much money. This is probably due to the fact that he has to constantly keep his book collecting habits in check in order to avoid bankruptcy, and he knows I give him "the look" every time he's eyeing a new purchase. But two books for ME, I can handle that!

So, I was frightfully close to not getting my EZ book, when our friend Patrick saved the day and offered to buy it for me instead. Yea! I've been reading through the Knitter's Almanac, and well, I probably don't have to convince any of you knitters out there about how wonderful it is. We all know EZ rocks.

And, sticking with the EZ theme, when my mom called and asked what she could order for me through for my birthday, the first thing that came to mind was Ez's Knitting Workshop on DVD. Again, because I'm fairly frugal, especially right now, this isn't something I would have spent my own money on. Oh, but how I've wanted it! I've heard knitters on several podcasts go on and on about how great it is and now that it's in my possession, I cannot wait to watch it. In fact, as soon as I post this, my plan is to pop it into the computer and watch it until my son wakes up from his nap. Perhaps I'll have more to say about it after I've watched the whole thing.

Lastly, if you'll look up again at my photo, you'll see some very lovely yarn. This yarn is courtesy of an incredibly generous gift certificate to Churchmouse that my Mother-in-law sent to me. Wow, and thank you, Carrie! I took in my project list this morning, sent my son off to wander around downtown with Drew so I could shop at my leisure, and bought yarn for 3 projects. I would name the yarn and the project they are intended for, but time's a waisting and EZ is calling. As the projects hit the needles, I'll get more specific, but till then: Two of the yarns are for French Girl Knits sweaters (Wrenna and Paloma) and one is for the Pure and Simple Baby Pullover from Weekend knitting. That last one will be the first up, since I've got to finish it in time for a baby shower in exactly two weeks. Gotta go cast on now...

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sheep Sheering '09

For all of you sheep enthusiasts, here are some pictures and a video from the sheep sheering that took place yesterday (my birthday!).

Blu is the sheep getting sheered in the first 2 pictures. That's our house right behind Silas, so you can see, we were right in the middle of the action.

This is Bart. All of the sheep, including Bart, seem to dislike laying on their sides, which takes place towards the end of the process, much more so than being flipped into a sitting position. When sitting upright, they more or less go limp.This is Azure, pre-sheering, in all his woolly glory:

And the after shot:Last but not least, here's a video detailing much of the process (as well as the voice of my neighbor's son trying in vein to get my kiddo to play with him).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Silas' Knitted Farmland: the big reveal!

I finished the Farmland...finally! And just in time for Silas' birthday, which is today, in fact. In the end, I'm very happy with how it turned out. It's not perfect, mind you. The many different yarns of varying textures, gauges, etc., were not always easy to piece together. And I'm still planning on adding a flannel background to make it more durable (it's holding up well so far, but it's only day 1). But, I love it, and more importantly, as you can see below, Silas loves it.
This pattern was inspired by another knitting, blogging mama, who had started a farmland of her own a while back (which, sadly, has since been frogged). Once I had the idea, I just sort of ran with it, making things up as I went along, and trying to incorporate as many stitch patterns as possible, in order to keep things interesting.

As much as I love this play blanket, I'm oh so glad to be done with it. It's time to move on to my next project, which is already on the needles. So, if you've been bored stiff reading farmland postings and not much else on this blog for the past several months, never fear; there'll be something new to write about soon enough!

Monday, March 09, 2009

"Making farm"

I was surprised to discover that Silas actually knows all of those squares can be put together to make a farm. I'm glad he's already having fun playing with his knitted farmland!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Only 2 more squares to go!

I've been too afraid to count my farmland squares this past week because I thought I was really far behind. But no! I've got 62 squares completed, which means I can easily finish the remaining 2 by tomorrow's self-appointed deadline. That way, I'll have the full week to piece it all together and do the border. Hopefully, I won't be rushing or burning the midnight oil to finish this project.

And hopefully, I won't hate how it looks when it's completed.

Yes, that is a fear of mine. I've been so close to this project. I've worked on nothing else for 3 months. To be honest, I am getting tired of it. Sure, each square is different, and I've improvised and made things up as I went along, which has kept me from becoming utterly bored. At the same time, other projects are beckoning to me. I have patterns, I have project yarn. All I have to do to start on them is finish the Farmland. But because I live and breath the farmland, I'm afraid I can't give it the distance it needs to see it for what it really is. Right now, I'm looking at it as something that needs to be done by my kiddo's birthday, instead of as a unique project that I'm really in love with. I'm hoping that I have an "aha moment" when it's all pieced together, rather than an "ohhhh moment," if that makes any sense. It will be quite unpleasant if I end up hating something I invested so much time and energy into.

Chances are, though, it will be just fine, and I'll be glad I did it, and even gladder that I finished it!