llama llama mad at mama

(We took this book out of the library today - very cute story, love it! - even though the dress is merino / silk yarn and not llama, that's all I can think about after the photo shoot.)

Pictures speak thousands of words. Words such as: It's been a long day - Dan's off to Long Island for a wake / funeral today / tomorrow. I stayed home with Lorelai - who has been not 100% this week, and I noticed today that she is indeed cutting her next set of molars. She was not in the mood to try on new clothes. I have an idea for a black and white photo using white Christmas lights, so I'll give it a go in a few weeks. Otherwise, this will likely be entered in the town country fair.

llama llama mad at mama
I'd rather be back in the crib than wear this handknit dress.

llama llama mad at mama
I'd rather wear something from my dirty clothes basket than wear this handknit dress.

llama llama mad at mama
Mama, please. Please.

llama llama mad at mama
I want my regular clothes.

Sigh. Details are on Ravelry, but this was test knit for Malabrigo - Book 2 is coming out soon. I used 3 skeins of Malabrigo Silky - a dream to knit up, the color is Rupestre - a great ruby shade.


Bits of Stuff (there's knitting this time!)

The weather has turned nice, and then WAY too hot, and now it's back to nice again. I introduced Lorelai to the sprinkler to give her a good soaking (maybe not the best mom move ever - she's been a bit under the weather this week, running warm, but not feverish - sure, let's get wet and run around outside in the heat... whatever. She loved it.)
Sprinkler fun

Here's the garden, with Lorelai for scale:
We've got two raised beds and they have worked out quite well each year. After we took this photo she helped me pick cherry tomatoes - she was quite good at it. I was convinced she would squish them!

Chalk is a new favorite toy this summer.

We move our art around as needed.

Jackson keeps an eye on us at all times.

Malabrigo Test Knit
The Malabrigo Dress is all knit and seamed! I'm deciding on buttons - hopefully tonight at SnB a decision will be made!

It fits!
This is the current state of my sweater for the sweaterKAL I'm doing with some of the SnB gals. I was quite nervous I wouldn't get it over my head, but now that fear is put to rest. Thank goodness - I have a back-up plan (Snow White) ready to start at any time, but I don't feel like swatching :)

That's the current state of this nutshell. I'm thisclose to starting the Bat Shawl - Dan's cousin is getting married this fall. Halloween to be exact! I'm going to wear the purple dress from my brother's wedding and I would like to have a shawl. Dan has approved - I may go hunt for yarn tonight!


Food. HFCS. Corn. Sigh. (no knitting)

I've been thinking a lot about food lately. I usually think about food in a "OMG, I love food" sort of way, but as I've read some things and watched others I get to thinking a bit more. Some random and probably rambling thoughts on food.

I recently watched King Corn - it was good, a bit slow in parts (they could have cut out a bit of the inbetween parts - them playing wiffle ball in a cornfield for example). Interesting - did you know that 90% of the corn grown in Iowa is inedible without processing?! Inedible. No just grabbing a husk of corn off the stalk and munching away.

After watching that documentary I've got High Fructose Corn Syrup on the brain. I am all for product development, engineering, advancing science to benefit the greater good, but this is one that has gotten a bit out of control. Recently I went to buy applesauce at the grocery store - Lorelai is getting into it and the last jar I have from when I made it last fall is rather watery. I picked up Motts. A brand I have known since I was a kid and of which I (used to) think positively. Know what's in applesauce? High fructose corn syrup. HUH? I was livid. I started looking at the other brands, the grocery store's "organic" line as well and then had an internal debate over paying more for less product that didn't have the HFCS... and luckily I found the Mott's Natural line. No HFCS. Apples, water and one other thing (ascorbic acid maybe?) Crazy. I also heard from another blogger somewhere that Jell-O individual cups have HFCS in them but the box stuff you make yourself doesn't. You really have to pay attention if you want to try and avoid it. Full disclosure: As I still here and type and ramble, I'm nibbling on keebler E L Fudge cookies - their ingredient list says it has less than 2% HFCS. Hrm. Well that's probably better than HFCS being the first ingredient. These were a complete impulse buy.

There were two great blog series over at ReadyMade.com (as if they didn't already provide so much inspiration for all sorts of projects!) - Amy went a week without processed foods...great links in there! And Katherine did a week without plastics. So interesting - imagine your daily routine and what would change if you went without plastics or processed food. I would love to try it for a day, maybe. Toddlers make things like that even more of a challenge.

Have you heard about the latest BPA issue - I'm quite annoyed - I bought 2 SIGG bottles thinking I was doing a good thing and because they were promoted as being BPA free. They have the old liners in them. I'm working on an email to them; what they did is very much not cool.

On the positive side of things I am able to grow my own food - some produce at least. No plastic, no processing (actually coooking, with minimal ingredients), no chemicals added. I think in the end, all my garden veggies are a variety of the $64 tomato!

No Blight Here Potato Harvest
No blight here!!

I've harvested my potatoes - I will certainly do these again - we've had them smashed and roasted and probably will have one more meal with them - I've even given 2 bags to my parents and in-laws. I've got cherry tomatoes all over the place - likewise - I've given them to my parents / in-laws and just been popping them as a snack. I am thinking about trying Wife, Mom, Knitter's roasted tomato sauce... Even with all that other environmental hoo-hah, it is satisfying to know that I can provide a little something for my family to eat. And it tastes better too. I even got my husband the tomato hater to eat more than one cherry tomato!! That's something!

Knits next time.


Assume Nothing at Home or Abroad

This latest stretch of blog silence was brought to you by my vacation to Martha's Vineyard. We (me, Dan & Lorax) spent a week in a house with 8 other adults and one child. Dan went to college with and roomed with 3 of the guys who were there, the 4th guy went to my college, and the girls we've known equally as long. The little boy is two weeks older than the Lorax. It was crazy, it was fun and I'm glad it is done!

We figured when friends of ours started talking about this that it would never come to pass. We would never get everyone on the same page, schedules are all different, money is tight for everyone. Well, back in February there was a flurry of emails all in one day and tah-dah. Our trip was arranged and we were all in.

This was "home" for the week. We stayed in Edgartown, across from the Katama Airfield. It was a pretty good spot - the backyard was big and open and the kids stayed where the adults were. It was a quiet area, half mile from the water, 3 miles from the center of town.
Lorelai likes to review where her chin is.

The first night there was a bit of a challenge. After the car ride (maybe 2.5 hours - amazingly, no traffic) to Woods Hole, we found a playground for L to run around a bit. She was getting overtired and the ferry ride was not so much fun. Once we were at the house we tried to stick to our "routine" but there was just too much that was new and different. We put her in the pack and play and she did not sleep. Not at all. When we went in to go to bed we heard "mama? mama? mama? hi mama? hi daddy?" We tried to ignore it and hope she would go to sleep but she's determined. Eventually I brought her into bed with us where she promptly passed out and so the rest of the week she slept stuck to my shoulder or kicking me in the side.

On Monday we laid low as Dan and I were zonked but did go for a drive to see the island. Tuesday we hit the beach (a "real" beach compared to what's here in town) and L loved it. She's such a waterbug, I can't wait to get her swim lessons.
(I'm too lazy to edit the photo right now to get rid of that spot. There's something funky going on with the lens or inside the camera. Cleaned it multiple times. It's not even something crazy like a shark. They did film parts of Jaws where we were.)


It was really nice to get out to the water - I'm a beach girl at heart, Dan is not. (Again, another reason why we thought this wouldn't happen - he's not a beach guy). On Wednesday I nudged us out to the West Tisbury's Farmer's Market - I knew that's where I could find yarn! (This is still a knitting blog after all). Time was short as Lorelai was tired and cranky, and the tables / stalls were busy, but I did meet Susie, of Martha's VIneyard Fiber Farm - I babbled a bit about Ravelry and LibrarySarie and tried not to drool too much on the yarns (which are so very very pretty!)
I think that green skein is the skein I bought! Ireland, worsted weight, pretty - I'm thinking cowl. And a no-tag skein of purples. A little heavier than worsted. hat maybe?
photo.jpg photo.jpg

Pretty flowers - another customer at the MVFF booth was holding these as she made her purchase, so pretty!

Thursday it rained so we took the little ones to the Library for storytime with Curious George. I have to say I was a bit disappointed with this - certainly it was not the first rainy day on the Island. The staff just seemed a bit unorganized and kerfloofled by the turnout. And apparently who ever was Curious George could only be in the suit for a few minutes at a time. We left without a photo there and that's ok, L is still a bit too young for it. We walked around town a bit before the rain started.
Look, there's a lighthouse in the background!

Friday I found another yarn option on the Island, Island Alpaca - this place was neat. (We should have taken Lorelai here - there were more animals to see than at the Farm institute again, I think it was more that she was too young. She liked the goats, though she thought they were sheep.) Those alpacas have great faces! I didn't think it would be such a great photo op, so the photos are from the iPhone.
Happy Knitters Wanted
If I lived closer I would totally sign up for this.

I think one of the yarns I bought is from that black alpaca with the white face, Zora!
You walk along the alpaca pasture area, in through the barn (where many of them were staying cool) and into the farmhouse / shop.
This is a grey/tweedy color, soft, alpaca / silk blend. Says it's ~300 yards, but I'm a bit skeptical.
This brown fingering weight is made from the fleece of their fiber co-op. Nifty! I have no idea what to do with it. Need advice!

I did visit one more yarn / sewing shop but the yarns there were nothing I hadn't seen before. They did have some local wool, but it was quite scratchy, so I passed as I did have the lovely MVFF skeins.

We took L to the Flying Horse Carousel - she watched very closely until it was her turn and when I went to put her on the horse she screamed. So we sat in the seat for our ride.
And then she screamed to when it was time to get off as well.

So, traveling with a 20.5 month old is quite trying. The time when I thought I would be knitting was spent chasing her to be sure she wasn't getting into trouble or trying to get her to sleep.
(Took this when I went in to get her up from a nap. Heaven.)

I brought 3 projects with me out of fear I would finish something and not know what to do with myself. Figures. I worked on one hush-hush project (sock test & sample knit) on the car ride there and one afternoon on my first grown-up-toe-up sock:
View from the porch.
(View from the porch, looking at Katama Airfield)
Sock Mojo!
Better photo of the sock. I have really enjoyed knitting this - maybe because it was toe-up so my brain didn't go on autopilot. Another knitter from SnB wrote the pattern, the yarn is Sunshine Yarns "Fresh" colorway from a sock club a few years back - it makes me think of farmer's markets and vegetable gardens (all that green with the colors popping out). I'm quite pleased with it, and it's just about done. Time will tell if I will suffer second sock syndrome.

And now we're back home. I've not knit any more stitches on my sweater for the KAL so I might be working on that at SnB to ensure that I do it! I finished the back of the Malabrigo Children's dress, have to do the front and I'm dreading the bobbles that are waiting for me there. I've had a job interview that I'm waiting to hear back on, in the meantime I've been looking into day care for L (the job is part time, one day a week. Pay is pretty good for part time, but day care is $$$$). Anyone looking to hire a knitter / technical editor / proofreader / science tutor? Life moves onward.



Did you know that Romney Ridge Farm in Maine has a Random Acts of Yarn Club? I participated for the month of July - the money raised ($130 I think) went to dachshund rescue, so yay on that, and double yay for a fantastic color. I was pretty much obsessed with making the Shalom pattern having seen another Raveler's version with Romney Ridge Yarn. I followed modifications that were in the Malabrigo Junkies Ravelry Group - the sweater is to be knit with a chunky weight held double - now that would be a cozy sweater! I wanted to knit it single stranded and the modifications by SFCorgi were spot on! This took less than a week to knit - it was straightforward and yet kept my attention. I plan on wearing it with a long sleeve shirt underneath, but did not have the energy for that today - it's too hot and humid, even inside with A/C.
Shalom Front
Shalom Side
Shalom Back

These photos better represent the color:
Button take 2
The button was bought at Saybrook Yarn - I think it was Cindy that helped me find just the right touch!

And now that one sweater is down, I'm on the the next one, but it looks like a blob for now so maybe in a few posts I'll have something to say about it. But I did start it for the SweaterKAL! I have also apparently found my sock mojo (in toe up socks! wow.) and I'm working on a test / sample knit for a sock club for the Unique Sheep and the test knit of the Malabrigo dress - I was hoping to be farther along in that, but I had trouble counting in the beginning. Slow and steady.
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