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Happy Craftentine’s Day!


For those of you who celebrate – Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope your day is filled with lovely things like chocolate and flowers (or wine and knitting, if that’s your thing). I would have loved a day like this one that I’d clean forgotten about, but instead we are recovering from colds and all spread around the house doing our own things.  Ah well.  Some other year perhaps.

This year Uptown and I made valentines for his Kindergarten classmates.  In previous years I slaved away hand making valentines for his co-op preschool friends and Uptown was rarely interested in deciding what they should look like, much less involved in making them (2013, 2014 – no post, but we made these2015).  To be fair, “slaving” is hardly what I did.  I loved his co-op and all the folks we knew there and it was truly a labor of love to make fun gifts for all the kiddos (and often their siblings too!).  This year he has been so excited by the whole Perler business going on in our house that I thought he’d like to make fuse bead valentines for his class.  So I hit Pinterest hard core and looked for the perfect idea. After some discussion we settled on this pattern and this tag. By using glow-in-the-dark beads we combined a tag he liked with a pattern I thought was cute and easy for him to do.

He was into it – at first. But once I had all the supplies assembled (a week and a half early mind you!) and he realized he was actually going to have to make them himself, the light went out.  A week and a half of grousing, bad attitudes (on both our parts), pestering, lecturing, and whining (on both our parts) ensued, during which time only two valentines were actually completed. And then, as happens to even the best prepared moms (a group in which I am never included), we were slammed with a doozy of a cold. Two days before the class party and still only two valentines were ready.

So we suffered through it.  I cajoled and extolled the virtues of starting a project on time so “these things won’t happen”, he leaked boogers and sneezed virus everywhere while plopping teeny tiny beads on a little pegboard with feverish fingers. I’m the worst mama in the world.  But I was going to make him keep his word (he’d promised!) and I was NOT going to do it for him. We survived – barely. The valentines were made. But Uptown had to miss the party due to his fever. Was it worth it? I don’t know. Will I do it again? Hell no.  Next year we’re going to ruin the planet and buy some of those insipid, cheesy, impersonal paper valentines and he can write his name on them and be done with it.

I’m out.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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 Happy Valentine’s Day bloggy peeps!

Of course it wouldn’t be a true holiday if I didn’t create some kind of fiendishly stressful deadline for myself by deciding I needed to make a gift for everyone in Knittymunchkin’s preschool class.  And never mind how, in the spirit of love and kindness, Knittymunchkin asked me to include everyone’s siblings as well.  How could I possibly shy away from showing him how much fun giving can be just ’cause I’d rather be doing something much more glamorous than crocheting 25 heart pockets out of dishcloth cotton?  Just kidding.  You know I totally love doing it. Why else would I suddenly be wondering what the hell I’m going to do with myself when he goes to kindergarten and I can’t possibly expect to actually make gifts for each kid for each and every holiday.  Heaven forbid I find an actual household chore to accomplish with my free time!

We filled these little heart pockets with a mini bag of m&m’s and a paper valentine that Knittymunchkin had picked out a couple weeks earlier.  Leave it to my son to eschew the Spiderman, Ninja Turtles, and even Phineas & Ferb valentines in favor of cute puppies and kitties.  But that’s Knittymunchkin for ya.  I actually think it’s pretty sweet.  And many of the parents thanked us after the school party for including the siblings in our gifting.  I don’t know about Knittymunchkin, but I felt pretty warm and fuzzy spreading the love around this Valentine’s Day.

Hope you and everyone you love is having a wonderful day today too!!

5

Febru-Very

February was very:

 

Toothy…..

 

Knittymunchkin's 1st Dentist Appointment!

Knittymunchkin’s 1st Dentist Appointment!


 

Valentiney…..

 

Hand Knit Valentines for Knittymunchkin's Prescchool Friends

Hand Knit Valentines for Knittymunchkin’s Prescchool Friends


 

  • Pattern: Little Hearts by Teresa Fox (Ravelry link)
  • Yarn: Random ancient Hot Pink wool from stash & Scraps of Valley Yarns Stockbridge in “Deep Red”
  • Needles: Size 9, 32″ circs for Magic Loop
  • Comments: These came out super cute!  I feel a little guilty because I had the fun of making them and Knittymunchkin really wasn’t that involved, but he had absolutely no interest in making valentines this year.  I had him stick stickers to the gift tags we attached and that was about all I could convince him to do.  I figure his class is getting pretty sick of my hand knits by now, but I did get a very sweet photo e-mail from one of his classmates’ moms telling me that her son had been hugging his heart all day.  Awww!  Gave the teacher the lone red heart and the kids all got dark pink.  I didn’t felt them because I didn’t have time, but maybe next time I’ll give it a try.

 

Swappy……

 

Back in September, I joined a swap group on Ravelry called Ewe LaLa Swap, mainly because the first swap they set up was one in which you swapped a handmade project bag and a ball of yarn and I was hoping to sort of force myself to learn to sew a project bag.  It didn’t come out too badly (I used this free pattern) and my partner seemed to really like it.

 

My First Handmade Project Bag

My First Handmade Project Bag


 
This year I did the January-February Box of Color Swap in which our partner picked a color theme and it was our job to make and send them items to fit this theme.  I amassed a big collection of stuff to send, which was really fun.  But the best part was making some handknits for my partner.  Her colors were a combination of red/orange/pink/ and a little dash of purple (here at design-seeds – which, by the way, is so much fun to browse!).  Of course I went a little heavy on the pink and purple!
 
Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts Express


 

  • Pattern: Hogwarts Express by Susan Ashcroft (Ravelry link)
  • Yarn: Hazel Knits Artisan Sock  in “Blacklight”
  • Needles: Size 6 circ
  • Comments:  I love how this turned out!  One of the things I have always wanted to try, but have never gotten around to, is adding beads to my knitting.  It always seemed so intimidating, but I thought this would be the perfect way to try it out, as you only add beads to the “eyes” of the owls.  My swap partner loved all things owl, so this was the perfect choice.  It was a pretty speedy knit too, and I got to use some beautiful HK Artisan Sock from my stash.  The pattern was a little loosey-goosey for my taste and therefore a bit confusing for me at first, but I got it down eventually and this was a really pleasant knit.  I was actually tempted to make one for myself once I tried it on, but then reminded myself I don’t really “do” shawls (at least not yet) so it would just be silly to make one for myself.  The nice thing about swapping is getting to make things and then give them away!

 

I also made this for my swap partner:

 

Mosaic Pouch

Mosaic Pouch


 

  • Pattern: Mosaic Knitted Pouches by Kate Sharaf (Ravelry link)
  • Yarn: Noro Iro scraps in color #9 & random purple aran weight wool from stash
  • Needles: Size 7 & Size 9
  • Comments:  I am disgustingly pleased with myself for using random scrap stash yarn to make this.  It was a bit tedious to add the zipper and the lining and, in fact, getting up the resolve to do that portion of it took a lot longer than the actual knitting.  I had to seam one of the sides too and that kind of got me kerbobbled, until I actually did it.  And then I had to pat myself on the back for how easily I was able to match everything up.  Not too bad.  I hand sewed the lining and zipper in, figuring I could do a neater job by hand than with my machine.  I’m still a little zipper-phobic.  But it looked nice and it worked!  Bonus.  I almost (almost!) want to make some more of these….

 

Knit-Along-y:

 

Malabrigo Lace in "Continental"

Malabrigo Lace in “Continental”


 
On February 14th my friends Jess, Troy and I bravely began a laceweight sweater knitalong.  I’m knitting the Cloudette Cardigan with this lovely blue Malabrigo Laceweight that I have had in my stash for eons.  It’s actually going a lot faster than I’d expected, but I’ve had to put it down for a couple weeks because the purling is driving me bananas and I’ve been inadvertently pimped out to other knitting recipients by my Mom (more on that later).  I think I’m going to love this when I finally do finish it though!
 
And, as expected, March has come roaring in like the lion it’s supposed to be.  Meaning, I finally have an explanation for the bone-crushing weariness that has been plaguing me since November.  Yep.  I have a nasty little abscess hanging out next to my crown on tooth #30 and I gets to have me a big ole root canal on March 22.  Fun.  I hope this means I can expect March to go out like a lamb…..

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Valentimes

This year there were no flowers, no chocolates, no expensive dinners, no jewelry, no dressing up, no gifts & not even a single card.  But I don’t need all that tradtional stuff when I get to spend the whole day with my sweetheart, celebrating the day of love in our very own special way.
 
Instead, there was some cuddling, a couple coffees & some breakfast burritos, about 80 miles of pavement and some knitting, $7 for parking and a two block walk to this………
 

Seattle's Iconic Space Needle

Seattle's Iconic Space Needle


 

……..then there was some waiting in line, admission, sitting in a giant chair, a smooshed penny, a visit to the treasures of Ethiopia and a glimpse of our ancient grandmother Lucy – majestic under glass, the butterfly house……

 

Inside The Butterfly House

Inside The Butterfly House


 

……where multi-colored beauties fluttered in the sunshine, then fish & chips, more coffees and this……

 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!


 

…….back to the car, breathing in the sunshine, finding the gigantic REI and a darling sculpture on the way…..

 

If Only Pacific Northwest Rain Was This Lovely!

If Only Pacific Northwest Rain Was This Lovely!


 

……an hour in the REI playground for R. Darling, then back to the highway, killing time in the Sephora and Borders, 2 tickets for admission to Coraline, 1 large popcorn & 1 large (real) coke, then shivering in darkness, the car ride home, curling up in bed, cuddling and blissful sleep.

 

Thanks for a beautiful day together sweetheart!

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Can you really meet your true love in first grade?

First Grade Photo

I never would have imagined it, but I did.

Maybe not right away, but keep reading.  You’ll see.  If you’re prone to cavities you better stop reading now because you’re guaranteed to get a few after exposure to this sweetness!  Yeah, it’s sappy, but I can’t help myself…. I want to tell everybody.  It’s that sweet.

We met for the first time when I was six and he was seven. I don’t remember it, and I’m sure he doesn’t either.  I was the new kid so the teacher probably just marched me up to the front of the class, told everyone my name and called it good.  No feel-good-help-the-new-kid-fit-in PC kind of stuff like they’d do these days.  If you didn’t get beat up the first day, then you fit in fine.

It was the 70’s so he and I had the same haircut. You know, the one where your mom puts a bowl on your head and then cuts around it. My mom called it the “Dorothy Hammill” but I just called it ugly. There we are staring out of our first grade class picture. Me in my hideous plaid jumper with my gap-tooth smile and monkey face, and him in his white fisherman’s sweater looking the most normal out of our whole class. We don’t remember each other, but he claims a roving pack of girls with lipgloss attacked him on a daily basis and he’s pretty sure I might have had something to do with it.

Time passed.  We got older, made it through different elementary schools, middle schools, friends and fads.  Fast forward to freshman year of high school.  He’s dating my best friend.  They don’t have lunch together so he eats lunch with me at our (mine and my best friend’s) locker instead.  Two weeks later, they’ve broken up but we’re still eating lunch together.  Clueless nerd that I am, I don’t wonder about this.  I figure we’re just friends and he maybe feels sorry for me, queen dork of the universe.  Besides, I’m not supposed to think about how cute and sweet he is, right?  I mean, he’s my best friend’s ex!  High school has rules, right?  A few months later he asks me to a dance and I say “no”.  I couldn’t bring myself to go to a dance with someone who was asking out of pity (or so I thought).  Next year he’s gone.  Junior and Senior year he’s back.  But he’s much much cooler than me.  He wears a leather motorcycle jacket and listens to Def Leppard and Motley Crue.  I go as far as the Def, but not much more.  I read, he parties.  I have acne, he has dates.  We don’t really talk anymore but I still have a little crush on him.

10 years later I go to my reunion as promised to my good friend (not my old best friend).  The first night at the social hour I walk in and there he is looking exactly the same as 10 years earlier, minus the leather jacket and mullet.  He’s still cute and still sweet and we talk.  A lot.  Turns out he had a bit of a crush on me way back in freshman year.  Next night his friend convinces him to go the the fancy dinner and dance thingy and I go with my friend too.  I’m flirting with him hard core and we end up making out in the lobby of the hotel after the dance.  I don’t go home with him, but I kind of wish I had.  He makes me promise to come see him the next day before I leave town.  I do, and now almost 6 years together later (2 1/2 of those married), we still feel like we’re on our first date (which wasn’t really a date since he didn’t ask me and we didn’t go together, but that’s beside the point.  We still call it our first date).

Looking back I think we were meant to be together, the times just weren’t right.  But maybe having those memories of our friendship gave us something solid to build on when the stars finally did align themselves in the right place at the right time for us to be together.

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone reading (if anyone’s reading!).  Hold out for your soulmate.  You never know who you may find and where or when you may find them.