Thursday, April 26, 2007

And Now We Wait

...for the baby to arrive! I finished the Kenyan Baby Sweater last week, and I blocked it this morning before I went to school. As soon as I install the snaps, I will try to find the camera to take a picture before it's gifted.

The sweater is intended for the baby to be named later of two missionaries in Kenya our school helps to support. T&L have been home on furlough for almost 8 months now, and they are returning to Kenya next month. Before they go back, the school is hosting a baby shower for them after our weekly chapel, and the sweater will make its grand entrance then. I made it large enough for a 12-18 month old because I want them to have things for when the baby is older and for next winter. I know they will have plenty of newborn things from Grandma, the Moose's teacher.

My inspiration for the sweater was Staci's Letterman-Style Hooded Baby Cardi. I only changed a couple of things: I knit it with stripes instead of the "varsity jacket" sleeves, and I used a crocheted cast-on so I could pick up live stitches to knit a different style hood. My hood has an i-cord pull string so it can be snugged up under the baby's chin when needed. Everything else is just the same, and I think it's a great pattern! Go check it out!

I also finished my Nodding Violets socks this week. I wore them to school on Tuesday, and they are some of the most comfy socks I own. I do love STR! I used the Rainy Day pattern over at MagKnits, but I changed the needle size so I could have a much smaller gauge. They're beautiful no matter what size!

(Edited on July 22, 2007 to add picture of the finished socks.)

I have started working on my second Rockin' Sock Club Upside Down and Inside Out Monsoon sock. I actually had knit the entire leg down to where I needed to start the heel when I realized my picot hem had too many stitches in it. Of course, I had to pull it all out and start over, because it would have bothered me intensely to know one sock had a larger hem. (I really do admire knitters who can tolerate such unique differences between socks--they just make me insane.) I'm past the first cable crossover and I intend to finish the leg tonight if I can.

The main reason I'm determined to finish the Inside Out sock is because my new Sock Club kit arrived today! After being one of the last few in the last round, I was thrilled to see my kit arrive so quickly this time. I'm posting no details for at least another week because I refuse to be a spoiler. You'll love it when you see it though! I can't wait to get started on the new pattern with my new oh-so-squishy yarn.

My other project in queue is Hanami by Melanie over at Pink Lemon Twist. I had seen it a few days ago and really wanted to try it out, and then when Kay over at Mason-Dixon Knitting picked it as a project, I just knew it had to be a good one. I picked up some Alpaca Silk laceweight from BBF, and I knew it's deep pink tones would forever remind me of the centers of cherry blossoms. It's kind of fitting since I did manage to survive this year's trip to Washington, DC. I can't wait to get started on it!

Pictures are forthcoming!

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'll Fly Away!

My Icarus is done! It really does look like wings when it's all blocked out. I finished it up last Wednesday, and I blocked it on our bed on Thursday. I finally got around to taking pictures today. Let's recap, shall we?

Here is my first attempt at Icarus. It was knit on a US size 4 circular needle, and I was running out of yarn way too soon.

On New Year's Eve, Scout challenged everyone to "Just Froggit!" if there was a project that just wasn't turning out right. Remember these before and after shots?

On Valentine's Day, the new swift and ballwinder turned the above ball of yarn into a yarn cake.

During the last week of March, I found my US size 3 circular and started off. Icarus and I spent the next week wandering around Virginia and Washington, DC. After a few days spent recovering, I went back to work and finally finished off this beauty.

Isn't she lovely? I tried to get the Moose to take a picture of me with it, but his photographic skills require more development (ha ha!). Instead, I snapped this shot of Icarus with our favorite Platypus in his natural habitat. I have plans to wear Icarus very soon when the right weather presents itself here in SoCal. Here is what is left of my wonderful Black Bunny laceweight. Even though I was on 3's, I came right down to the wire! I don't think I've ever been so nervous about a project before.
I'm sure you're wondering about the Platypus by now. This particular Platypus (Platy, for short) joined our family when the Moose was just a few days old. He lay untouched in the crib for nearly five months until the fateful day when the Moose grabbed him on his way out of the crib after an afternoon nap. They have been nearly inseparable ever since. Some kids have blankies; we have a Platypus. We actually have several Platypuses (Platypi?) roaming about our home now, and they represent all colors of the spectrum and all sizes imaginable. Who knew there could be such Platypus love? The Moose has informed us that he's going to be a zoologist specializing in monotremes and that he's moving to Australia to take care of the Platypuses in their zoos. I'll keep you posted if his plans change.

When I downloaded the Icarus shots, I also downloaded the DC shots. If I have any good ones, I'll be sure to share so you can see all the places Icarus, the sock, and I got to visit, even if there are no pictures of us there!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Here I Am!

So, I've been busy. The DCA let you know some of my recent activities--like the middle school trip to Washington, DC. I've also been obsessed with finishing Icarus, and that alone is enough to keep me from my blog!

My knitting did, in fact, accompany me to our nation's capital. Unfortunately, I failed to take any sock or Icarus pictures to document their visit. I have lots of photos of major landmarks, and as far as I know, I, myself, only appear in two of them. Try to follow along as I recap the trip.

March 29: We departed SoCal for DC on the red-eye to Dulles. The almost-non-reclining seats, the noise, general discomfort, and screaming child kept most of us from resting.

March 30: We arrived way too early for our personal liking at Dulles, and my mother-in-law surprised me by meeting our group in baggage claim just to say "hi" because she was volunteering at the USO that morning. After we collected the bags, we hopped on our tour bus and headed south to Colonial Williamsburg. My parents met me there, and I spent the afternoon with them while the kids, staff, and chaperones took the nickel tour of the town. We all collapsed into bed at terribly early hours realizing that the red-eye is a cure for any jet lag we might have experienced otherwise.

March 31: We spent the morning in Jamestown and the afternoon in Yorktown. I was still enjoying my parents' company until we headed west on the bus to Richmond for dinner and on to Charlottesville for the night. My parents headed east to Virginia Beach for the rest of their weekend.

April 1: We visited Monticello in the morning after our tour guide sweet-talked our way into an earlier tour than scheduled. We spent a couple more hours on the bus afterwards and drove up to Luray Caverns. After we saw the underground wonders of God's creation, we headed north to Manassas for dinner and our new hotel.

April 2: We visited the Capitol in the morning and were subjected to only minor brainwashing by the congressional staff assigned to our tour during our hour-long wait in the security line. Thankfully, it didn't take. From there, we hit the mall, and my small group and I made our way over to the National Museum of the American Indian. I wish we had more time there, because there is so much more I want to see. It is definitely top on my list of things to visit when we go back to visit again. From the mall, we went over to Arlington National Cemetery and saw the changing of the guard and a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. We also stopped by the Kennedy grave site. After dinner, our group headed south to Potomac Mills shopping mall, and the moms in our group were able to get a shopping fix.

April 3: We drove out to Mount Vernon in the morning, went to the National Museum of Natural History and to the National Archives in the afternoon (no, the movie wasn't filmed there), and had dinner at Union Station. After our late dinner, we visited the National World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. It was well after midnight by the time we went to bed that night!

April 4: We visited Ford's Theatre in the morning to hear about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, stopped by the Supreme Court, drove up Embassy Row on Massachusetts Avenue, and then stopped by the Washington National Cathedral. On our way out of town we made a brief stop to grab a quick lunch at the Wisconsin Ave. location of Booeymonger (a personal favorite from my college days) and headed out to Dulles. We made the plane right on time and arrived safely back in SoCal that night.

The trip was exhilarating while we were there, but I was completely exhausted when we returned home. I spent last Thursday trying not to break down in tears from the sheer tiredness.

The sock in progress (a twisted rib in STR Nodding Violets lightweight) made only a brief appearance in Jamestown. Throughout the rest of the trip, I worked almost exclusively on Icarus during all our rides on the bus and times standing in lines. When we got home, I only had to do one more repeat of the main body pattern and the decorative edge charts.

I've been nearly silent the past few days because I'm anxiously knitting away and waiting to see if I have enough yarn to finish or if I'm going to have to rip back to where I was when we got home from DC last week. I have three rows left in chart 4 and the four rows of the edging to do. I get more and more nervous every time I look at what remains of my yarn cake.

Stay tuned to see if I actually finish Icarus or if I have to break down and send it on a temporary visit to the frog pond!

No, I Haven't Hidden The Body

For the readers out there, have no fear... HoyaGirl has not come to any harm nor permanently checked off the net. After surviving her trip with 6-8 graders to Washington D.C. (knitting in hand of course), she will be back soon with new updates and tales from the stash. Maybe even some pictures!


Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Lord is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!

The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia!

(I don't miss the current state of politics in the Episcopal Church, but I sure do miss some of the fancy words and rituals of my youth.)

This morning we went to the Sunrise Service and celebrated His resurrection. I love getting up early to welcome Jesus every Easter. (Hush, DCA, I was just grouchy earlier because I wanted my turtleneck and needed some coffee.) It just puts me in the right frame of mind for hearing the Easter story.

Nothing amazes me more than the knowledge that Jesus died a horrible death for you and for me and returned to life three days later to prove He was the Son of God and had conquered death and the grave forever. What an awesome miracle!

The Resurrection

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: 'He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.' Now I have told you."

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. "Greetings," he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me."

Matthew 28:1-10 (NIV)

Take some time today to think about the wonderful gift of salvation we've been given, and say thank you to the One who made it possible.

Happy Easter, everyone!