Yarn Along (duck booties & more balloon pants)

My needles have been busy this past week (not having my daycare child for the month of January has proven good for knitting, apparently).  I am currently in the knitting throes of a toddler sweater (not pictured) for Coralee’s homeschool teacher, the adorable pictured Baby Duck Booties for Harmon before his tiny feet finally decide to elongate (I completely forgot about my Quince & Co kit for these until I stumbled upon it cleaning out my closet), & a second pair of Balloon Baby Pants for Harmon in Quince & Co Chickadee in the colors Delft, Frost, & Carrie’s Yellow.  I’m planning the yellow for the band & cuffs and the Delft/Frost for stripes. I went with a size smaller needle this go-around & cast on less waist stitches than his Christmas pair.  The ribbed waist in that first pair is proving too loose on his non-existent belly.

I’m currently reading my dad’s manuscript for his first novel.  Isn’t that exciting????  He writes a monthly column for a Midwest hunting magazine & has had a short story or two published previously, but a whole novel is quite a feat!  Perhaps someday you will be able to find it on your local bookseller’s shelf. 🙂

Joining in with Ginny.

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Yarn Along

We are still still still still STILL knitting on the second Wee Envelope in Quince & Co’s Chickadee (colorway Belize). I almost have the second sleeve done & then I know (hope!) the body will fly by & it will be all ready for Harmon to wear…just in time for Iowa’s 90+’F heatwave & practically 100% humidity! Ha!  I’m so on the [knitting] ball around here.

After re-reading Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring with Coralee this past school year, we both listened to the Science Friday Silent Spring Book Club podcast from the summer of 2012. The author of the Rachel Carson biography On a Farther Shore was interviewed as part of the podcast. I’m only three chapters into William Souder’s bio (reading snippets of it while Harmon nurses to sleep during the day), but I am definitely finding myself fangirling Carson even more now.  Her childhood was tough, but almost seems magical in a way.  I am getting the feeling there was a higher power at play in her life, leading her down all the winding, but purposeful paths to eventually end with the extraordinary feat of writing that is Silent Spring.

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Joining in with Ginny (finally! at last! once again!) & not a moment too soon–new baby to arrive shortly!

Yarn Along {a baby cap that fits, finally! plus a giveaway}

I finished Harmon’s Aviatrix No.6 at last and it fits!  So glad to finally move on to something else in the knitting department…I do love this pattern, but six is definitely enough for now.
  
I am a few pages shy of the end of Kingbird Highway (great review of the book).  I better hurry up, too, as I’ve run out of library renewals on it & I’ve already amassed over $10 in library fines lately.  Fail, I know.

I’m hosting a giveaway on the blog for Harmon’s Aviatrix No.5 until Friday.  Completely free!  Participate here!

Joining in with Ginny.

Yarn Along {my baby is a yarn snob, but he got a ‘sprinkle’ anyway}

I finished Harmon’s third Aviatrix cap over the weekend–made with Blue Sky Alpacas 100% sport weight baby alpaca in a now-discontinued yellow-green shade.  He did not like his first Aviatrix in Knit Pick’s Peruvian Wool.  Not at all.  Ok.  I knit his second in Quince & Co Chickadee–he liked that well enough, but it was just a trifle small.  Cap #3 fits great with room, but, well, below has been his reaction EVERY.SINGLE.TIME I put it on him…  He screams, rubs his face and head on stuff, tosses about…generally acts a fool until I take it off.  I’ve put his Quince & Co Aviatrix (in the colorway Belize) on his large noggin every time we’ve left the house over the course of the past week–which amounts to dozens of times due to school runs, band runs, jazz band runs, grocery runs, library runs, doctor runs…my body could use an actual run at this point–he hasn’t had an averse reaction to it once.  Not once.  So he likes his Quince & Co cap, but it’s too small…
So, of course, I cast on another Aviatrix.  Harmon’s fourth (not including the two I knit prior to his birth for his going-home outfit).  This time I’m using Quince & Co Chickadee in the color Peacoat & knitting one size larger than his Belize cap.  I also have a skein of Quince & Co Lark in Peacoat (& one in Honey) waiting in the wings.  Hoping to knit up a couple Cobblestone Baby Vests once Harmon finally has a cap that fits.  And doesn’t make him scream like an adorable banshee.

I’m about halfway through Kingbird Highway and I am hooked.  It’s a great read.  I hope to write a review of it next week.  If you like to bird, you will love this book.  If you want to go on an armchair adventure, you will love this book.  If you tend to find that the ride is often more fun than the destination, you will love this book.Here is Harmon after I took off his third Aviatrix on Tuesday.  No harm done, but never again.  I guess being a Quince & Co yarn snob isn’t so bad…it sure makes my life fantastic!  My baby will only wear my favorite yarn!   Such a problem to have… 😉
My knitting group friends (and mostly former coworkers) threw a surprise “sprinkle” for Harmon & me this past week during our knit night.  SO SWEET of those ladies!  I love them all so much.  A “sprinkle,” I have learned from BabyCenter, is a light shower–instead of “showering” a new mother with gifts, you “sprinkle” a been-there-done-that mother with a few gifts.  This did not exist with any of my other kids. Harmon received a wonderful selection of board books & several outfits.  Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA by Jimmy Fallon is hilarious.  Fallon has said of the book: The thing about this book is there’s no real point to it. … It’s a selfish thing.  I just want the baby’s first word to be ‘dada.’ I don’t care if she’s smart. I have one agenda.  I loved Fallon on SNL so it makes the book all the better for me.  June has been “reading” all the new books to Harmon since the morning-after the shower.  She thinks all her “knittin’ ladies” are awesome.  You ladies so are, thank you!!!! xxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxxoxoxxx
This is my good friend Marty at the shower (in our homeschooling loft) when she noticed Harmon was wearing knit fingerless gloves.  Shut the front door!  Needless to say she was impressed.  I know what I’ll be knitting when her next daughter pops out a grandchild!  Marty’s so cute.  I love her.  Wish I had taken more photos…  June had a tea party yesterday with her knit dolls.   The red haired one is named Ella Mae.  I knit her for Coralee when she was like 3 or 4 years old and she’s still kicking!  I’ve knit three others since then for the collection.  One is named Gloria and one is named Charlotte, but the newest one doesn’t have a name.  I asked June to name her.  She named her June.
Ella Mae enjoying her tea with June (the person) & me.

Joining in with Ginny.   

Yarn Along {another aviatrix & the littles bond}

 I knit another Aviatrix cap for Harmon this past week.  My Quince & Co Chickadee in Belize was just too tempting to ignore anymore, plus Harmon did not like the yarn I used on his Aviatrix cap from last week.  It was a fairly scratchy yarn (a Knit Picks Peruvian wool), but I liked the color so much I took a chance.  Nope.  He screamed until I took it off, several times, but had no trouble wearing any of the other hats I had knit for him prior to his birth (all in softer yarns).  His earlobes stick out a smidge from this new cap (he’s got fairly big ears), so I cast on a third Aviatrix in some baby alpaca from the bottom of my deep stash.

Picked up a new book at the library for Coralee to read–Kingbird Highway, but it looks so good I’m reading it first.  Here’s a great review of it from Smithsonian.com:

This book is only tangentially about birds. Kingbird Highway is really about monomania. It is 1973: psychedelically painted VW vans pump out Jefferson Airplane tunes. Drivers flash peace signs. Beside the highway stands a Jesus look-alike, thumb out.

Kenn Kaufman certainly had the au courant long hair and beard, and hobo couture. But he did have one peculiar appurtenance: around his neck hung high-powered binoculars, painted shiny gold. His ornithology fixation had already set in by his ninth birthday, when Kaufman’s family moved from South Bend, Indiana, to Wichita, Kansas. En route he discovered hitchhikers, those traffickers in his future modus operandi. “Was there something wild, something from outside my comfortable world, in those faces?” he wondered. But mostly the boy in the backseat scanned fences, wires, the tops of elms. He had “a mission, a passion: I was watching for birds.”

Other boys idolized halfbacks or shortstops. Little Kenn’s hero was Roger Tory Peterson, the bird-book man. Kaufman was an honors student. But at age 16 he quit school to chase birds. Among the few rules his trusting parents imposed was “no hitchhiking.” But birding via Greyhound palled. He soon joined the roadside thumbers.

I’m itching to begin reading, but haven’t found the time yet.   Harmon’s face is loads better this week!  Most of that awful rash is gone, now he just has some peeling skin.

June has been such a good helper lately.  Harmon is starting to interact with us more & June loves it!  She will sit with him in her lap for as long as Harmon will cooperate, playing with his feet, his hands, singing to him, “reading” to him, tell him stories.  Makes your heart melt watching her.
  
  
  Oh, hi Mom!
She really tires him out sometimes!  Once Harmon starts to fuss, June will instantly say, “Mom, Harmon needs to eat!” & we end up like this again.  Newborn snuggles.  I’ve got to start remembering to leave my knitting within arm’s reach..

Joining in with Ginny

Yarn Along {snippets & a chick pic!}

I’ve only had time to read snippets of most of these books in the past week. And my knitting on June’s Bitty Breezy has amounted to even less than a snippet–a snip? Like one row, maybe two. I ordered a few skeins of Quince & Co yarn several months ago when my pregnancy was confirmed–all in the Frost (gender-neutral) colorway. Hoping to start something for this baby soon…still having a really hard time getting my hands to want to knit anything.
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Blue on Blue by Dianne White is a lovely book. June has asked me to read it to her everyday. The words flow much like the illustrations. A small family farming beside the sea in what I perceived to be Maine. I picked it up at the library without flipping through it, thinking it was about the prairie. I wasn’t too far off–the prairie rolls so much like the sea.

Soul Gardening is always enjoyable.  It’s like a Motherhood hug.

A Chicken Followed Me Home! was also picked up for June, but all of my kids have enjoyed reading it as they prepare for Fair this week.  No chickens being shown due to the bird flu outbreak, but Coralee & Merritt will both partake in the “Poultry Quiz Bowl” that is being substituted for the Poultry Show on Friday morning.  The book is very informative (& accurate).  Each page contains not only the story (a Rhode Island Red hen followed you home!), but also a set of facts pertaining to an aspect of chicken care.

Darwin’s Armada by Iain McCalman because I am obsessed with Darwin & have been for over a decade.  Homeschooling Coralee has only furthered my interest.  I have literally only read three pages of it, so I can’t really give a thumbs up or down at this point.  The book begins with a very detailed description of Charles Darwin’s death & funeral preparations.  It’s quite fascinating only several pages in to be sure.

What to Knit When You’re Expecting: I NEVER check out knitting books anymore…Ravelry, with it’s insane amount of free knitting patterns, has basically made this pastime obsolete for me.  This book caught my eye from the display shelf at the library last week & most of the patterns really are quite enchanting.  I hope to knit something with my Frost Quince from this book soon.

IMG_5195[1]And look at The Real Frost!!!  She’s grown so big!  June calls her “the big chick.”  She peeps like crazy.  I love her feathered feet.  We are almost 100% certain she is a Belgian Bearded d’Uccle (bantam) in the Porcelain color.  Fingers crossed “she” really is a she!

Joining in with Ginny.

 

Yarn Along {with chick}

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I’ve made it to the bottom ribbing on June’s Bitty Breezy.  We have chicks now–three in all.  This is Frost (Coralee’s chick) hanging out on our dining room table with me (& Coralee) this morning.  (We moved the chicks to their garage digs last night so cute photo-ops in the house are less frequent now.). Her Porcelain coloring is getting prettier each day & more feathers are coming in.  My older kids have become a bit obsessed with Tintin comics lately.  I was reserving said books at the library for them online and the search function also produced this book by newcomer Hannah Tinti.  It has amazing reviews, so I checked it out, too.  Hopefully I can start it this week.

Joining in with Ginny.