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just a typical saturday night

Any major knitterly repairs had to wait until tonight, since we had a birthday party this afternoon. One of my best friends’ son turns 2 this week, and our little family was invited to his party. I’m not going to post photos of them since I forgot to ask permission, but I am going to post a different photo (hi Debbie!) to my friend Debbie who is one of the very few non-knitters who reads my blog.

Jakob’s friend Taylor was at the party too, since we’ve known her father since high school, and her mom for the last few years. Taylor is exactly one day older than Jakob.
Hey baby…come here often?
After supper tonight I decided to brave the Superman repairs. I took photos and will break down what I did, step-by-step. It turns out that while I’ve councelled others to do this same repair, I don’t think I’ve actually done it myself before. It was much easier than I’d thought!
First I took a circular needle and wove it through the stitches, making sure to pick up the left bar of every stitch, and verifying that I had the correct number of stitches on the needle. You can also pick up the right bar, it doesn’t matter as long as you consistently pick up the same side of each stitch.
Next, I grabbed a dpn and “picked up” stitches 2 rows below the one on the needles. I only picked up 6 sts at a time so the fabric wouldn’t pull too tightly. Once I had the first 6 sts on the needle, I CUT one stitch on the middle row…the one in between the two rows on needles. I used a spare needle to unpick the yarn from those 6 sts, then took another needle and picked up the next 6 sts, unpicked the middle row, etc… (Yes, I left the scissors in the photo on purpose. Looks ominous, huh? LOL).

Once I’d done that all the way around the row I had the two parts of the leg separate. I was then able to add another 12 rows (1.5″) in length to the foot part of the leg.
With the knitting done, I “tidied” up the two parts by arranging them on 2 dpns each, making sure that I had the front and back aligned properly (wouldn’t want to sew the foot on crooked!). I left a really long tail for grafting, then cut the yarn.
Finally, I Kitchenered (grafted) the foot part to the leg. You can kinda see here how much length was added. I’m breastfeeding (and don’t drink anyways) so I had a cup of Earl Gray as my fortification instead of the typical glass of wine. 😉 I was about to do the second leg when Yannick suggested that I wait until after Jakob wakes up tomorrow so that I can try it on him first and be sure that I didn’t add too much…or need to add more.
So there you have it. One leg lengthened by an inch and a half, with my first not-too-sucky graft. One more leg to go.

You can use this type of repair for any knitting that’s too short and you want to add length, OR you can use it for knitting that is too long.  Follow the same steps to separate the work into two pieces and then unravel the side that goes in the opposite direction of your knitting for the required length, plus one row.  If using my costume leg as an example, I wouldn’t be able to unravel the top piece without picking out each stitch one by one, as I’d be unravelling in the same direction as I’d knit and it would be very time consuming.  I would unravel down the lower (leg) piece as that would be going opposite the knitting and would frog easily.

So if I had a leg that was 10 rows too long, I would separate the work onto two sets of needles and then unravel until I’d removed 11 rows.  The grafting row will account for the difference, “putting back” one row as it joins the two halves together.


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two legs

For some strange reason I find this photo adorable. 🙂 Two legs down, a body and two arms to go! My goal for tomorrow is to get the tighty-red-y part of the costume done…the underwear? bathing suit? short shorts? part. I’d like to say I’ll get done all the way to the belt, but I think that’s pushing it, since we have playgroup and stroller walking tomorrow. There IS good Thursday night TV though, so I’m hoping for a marathon knitting session.

Oh, and Lindsay…I think in all fairness, I DID ask people to guess, and you DID guess correctly, and that DOES deserve a prize! So if you can send me an email (off the blog) with your email address, and letting me know if you live in the US or Canada, then I can get your prize off to you! 🙂


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$%*&

I’m so mad. I’m SO mad. I have no one to be mad at but myself, but I am really, really so f*ing mad.

On Friday I ran a load of laundry before leaving the house for the day. I wanted to wash all the blankets and such that all the babies had touched/used during the playgroup, plus Jakob had spit up a few times and I didn’t want to leave his clothes in the hamper with milk on them. I also had the finished Montego Bay Scarf that I wanted to wash then let air dry before I gave it away. I ran the load, left for music class, then went to my parents’ house, and completely forgot about the laundry until I got home around 10pm.

Luckily (?) my mom had bought us some long-sleeved onesies in Plattsburg and Jakob had spit up again, so on Saturday morning I threw the new stuff into the washer with the old, damp load, refilled the machine and ran it again. I never looked at the clothes until I pulled them out of the washer on Saturday afternoon, ready to toss them into the dryer. I was eagerly waiting to pull out the Montego Bay Scarf to see how the Online sock yarn had held up to the washing… when I saw this:
And this:
&%**. I had accidentally left a velcro-closing bib in the laundry. I NEVER wash the bibs mixed in any more, I only do loads of ALL bibs, because I’ve had enough of the velcro getting caught and making a mess of our stuff. And now, the one time I forget to double-check it ruins not only a hand-knit, but something that isn’t even for me! It’s for charity! I’m SO mad. I will do my best to pull out the slack and weave in the end that got caught in the first photo, but there is nothing I can do for the run in the second photo. The yarn is actually torn. I will have to cut it just below, pick it out slowly and bind off, losing the extra foot or so in length. As a small miracle, the scarf grew in length after being washed, so losing the extra foot won’t really matter. What does matter to me is how fuzzy the scarf looks now after having velcro run along it. It doesn’t look “new” any more and I’m afraid they will think I’m donating a used scarf. I’m so mad.

In other knitting news, here is a project that is going well:
Yup, this is Jakob’s Hallowe’en costume progress.
C’mon, by now you should know what it is!
I couldn’t resist this shot of him modeling the work so far…you can see all the best parts- baby feet and that adorable grin. 🙂


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i thought i was done

The running around to cook and prepare food was supposed to end on Thursday after the playgroup. But no.

Yannick’s parents are leaving for a month in Florida this week, and whenever they come and sleep over, they usually only get here after he’s already in bed for the night, and they leave in the early morning while he’s napping between feeds. This time we asked them in advance to leave their dinner plans for Saturday night free, and they came over for supper. Then Yannick’s sister invited us all to brunch on Sunday, and asked me to prepare a “famous” dessert recipe that I got from my mom. That meant that Saturday morning I ran to the store (leaving Jakob with Yannick) and bought a lot of groceries, and spent my entire day standing up and working in the kitchen. Literally the whole day, just ask Debbie who came over and helped out immensely by playing with Jakob so I could keep working- thanks Debbie!

Yannick ran to Costco and picked up the meat for our supper- 2 YUMMY packages of lamb chops that have already been marinated and are ready for the barbeque. Everything else that we ate was up to me, so let me present the feast of food:

This mix of peppers, tomatoes and onions…

…was thrown into a Ziplock. I also poured in about 3/4 of a cup of olive oil, a ton of garlic and some salt, and let it sit, flipping the bag over every few hours.

In the meantime I soaked some wooden skewers in water, then right before the meat went on the grill I “kebabed” the veggies. I made 16 skewers, WAY too much for 4 people, but now I have leftovers!

I tried out 3 new recipes too. First was this one for Toasted Cheesy Nibbles. The cheeses got mixed together (ignore the garlic, that was from another recipe) and rolled into the seasonings and nuts, which led to…

…this. There were originally 15 cheese balls each of the nuts, chives and paprika. I forgot to take an earlier photo.

Another recipe that was new and turned out really great was this one for Garlic Butter & Pine Nut Tarts. Cut a circle from the whole wheat bread for the tart base, mix up the pine nuts, butter, garlic and leftover bread, garnish with some olives, and…
…4 really yummy tarts. I would make these again any time, they were delicious and only took 15 minutes to prepare and 15 minutes in the oven, plus I was able to prepare them early and leave the tray in the fridge until it was time to bake them and serve.
They were really, really good. 🙂
The last new recipe was one that I decided to make up. Last minute I realized I didn’t have a dessert planned, so while I was buying the ricotta cheese for the balls I saw the mascarpone and decided to “whip up” a tiramisu (Yannick’s favorite dessert). I had made one a few years ago with a recipe from an old coworker and it was hands down the best tiramisu either of us have ever eaten. Unfortunately I lost the recipe, and the coworker’s name. I decided to wing it and try and invent a new recipe.

I had the right ingredients (I decided to skip adding egg yolks and alcohol ‘cus I’m breastfeeding) but to be very honest I wasn’t happy with how it came out.
It was eaten anyways, and we brought the second half to the brunch on Sunday where more was eaten, but I wasn’t thrilled and wouldn’t remake my recipe. I think I’m going to try and find my old coworker on Facebook and ask for the recipe again! (Gotta love Facebook…LOL)

Finally was the “famous” dessert for Sunday, the Skor Trifle. Only 4 ingredients (I forgot to take the Cool Whip out of the fridge for the photo) and so easy to make when you can actually find Skor chocolate bars to smash. I couldn’t find any, so I cheated and bought bags of the Skor Chipits instead.

Of course, I forgot to take a photo of the finished dessert, and there is never any leftovers so I can’t even show you that. Just picture a nice, clear trifle bowl, with decadent layers of brownies, chocolate pudding, Cool Whip and toffee bits, repeated over and over until the bowl is almost overflowing, and all topped with a final sprinkling of toffee. I don’t like chocolate, and I love this dessert too.

Since this IS a knitting blog, here’s an “in progress” shot of where Jakob’s Hallowe’en costume has been stalled since Friday night.
One red foot.


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playgroup and knitting

It’s been a really hectic week! We are part of a playgroup that meets every Thursday at a different mom’s house. This week was our turn. With a baby you don’t want to leave stuff for the last minute, so on Tuesday I made my lists of what I needed, and picked up all my groceries. On Wednesday after the movies (we saw The Feast of Love…it was a tearjerker but which was totally NOT for kids…lots of nudity and sex and stuff…) I went home and began to prepare whatever I could prepare in advance. Finally, on Thursday at lunch time, everything was ready. We’d locked Sam in the basement, vacuumed, cleaned, set out the food, arranged all the furniture and toys for maximum space, and voila- this was how my house looked:

This is the view of our dining room from standing in the living room. Normally the table is in the middle of the room and there aren’t any toys in there.

Each mom who hosts provides the food so no one has to bring anything. We usually provide finger foods because it’s a bit unweildly to wrangle a baby and a knife and fork. I put out pasta, Caesar salad, cold pizzas, veggies and dip, nachos and salsa, and 3 different kinds of cheeses, cubed, with crackers.

This was the “dessert” area, LOL. In the bowls there are Smarties, tropical dried fruits and Ringolos, then popcorn, then a platter with 3 different kinds of cookies.

This is the view going the other way, looking into the living room.

And this is how that same view looked a few hours later! In this photo there are 11 moms and 12 babies, and by the end of the day there were a total of 15 moms and 17 babies (2 sets of twins). Whew!

It was a lot of work to get ready, it probably doesn’t look that way but each time I’d get in the middle of something, like slicing veggies or boiling water for the pasta, Jakob would cry and need to be held, or fed, or changed, or I had to make dinner for Yannick and I…it’s a lot of “stops” and “starts” with a baby around, but in the end it was all worth it. I love to entertain so we had a really good time having a house full of people. Plus I’d invited my neighbor (literally 2 doors over) who has twins 6 months older than Jakob, and it was the first time we’d gotten together since we’ve moved here, so it was nice to get a chance to get to know her a bit more.

On Wednesday I’d finished the Montego Bay Scarf. Yay! I was really, really happy with how it came out, and needed only to wash it and it would be ready to give away.

Here’s a closeup of the stitch pattern.

Finally, on Thursday night I started swatching for the Hallowe’en costume. No one has guessed it yet… 🙂