Sunday, February 12, 2012

Short and Sweet...

This post is going to be short. There really isn't much to talk about from this past week. I have spent most of my time studying for classes. Since school started back, it doesn't leave much time for knitting or spinning.

  • I am still working on my Knittarati socks. I have one finished and I have just turned the heal for the second one.
  • I've spent time working on the Winter Blanket and started block 6 last night. It continues to be my mindless knitting that I pick up when I need a break.
  • I started a new little cardigan. I'm calling it Longing for Spring since we are in the dead of winter and I am really looking forward to the blooms that spring weather brings.
  • I have finished spinning my Janurary fiber from Into the Whirled and I am now waiting for the coordinate to arrive and be spun up so that I can ply the 2 together. I think it will make for a very pretty yarn once finished.
The kids have been kids this week. We have had our ups and downs. One of the best things that the new therapist has taught us about is "strong sitting". Watch the video and give it a try. It is working great for us!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I know I said it would be crazzzzy but...

On the homefront...

Well, the first week of classes has come and gone. I'm already feelingoverwhelmed with all the work I have to do this semester but I know it will all be worth it.

The only other thing that I have to report on homelife is that amost everyone is coming down with some form of the flu. That is why this post is going to be short and sweet. But I wanted to post the winner of the January 11th question I posted on the blog.

Katiebell was the winner with a great comment. Thank you Carolyn and Katiebell for your great comments and words of wisdome. These things are nice to read when I'm having a tough day.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Finally some finished items!

On the homefront...

This week has been a little different at home. We started with a new therapist for the kids and my husband and I are getting the help that we need for them. He is giving us a lot of new tools to use and explaining them as we go. The techniques he uses is mostly from Nancy Thomas and her methods for parenting children with RAD (Reactive Attachment Disorder). We have been reading a lot of books and learning new strategies. One of the most useful things we have learned so far is to have the kids "strong sit" when they are doing something that they aren't supposed to do. This entails them sitting with legs crossed, arms crossed with hands also crossed in front of them, head held at a neutral level and shoulders relaxed. As the therapist explained, it engages both sides of their brain to be able to sit in this manner but it is also a very relaxed sit that they can keep for a long period of time if they choose to. They are to sit in that position until they are ready to take responsibility for their wrong action and do something to make up for it. Their :restitution can be anything from a shoulder rub to making the bed for a sibling...depending upon the misdeed. So far, this is working for one of the older children. I think it will take longer for the other one.

Other yarny goodness...

I have finished a couple of projects since my last post. My Coastal Waters Cardi is off the needles and I have worn it already. I absolutely love this pattern. The simple cables were very easy and it would be a good project for someone learning to cable. I made this from Madelinetosh MCN (merino, cashmere, nylon) in the Robin's Egg colorway.


The Mira's Cowl that I knit out of my handspun is also off the needles.
 


I have also finished the Tappen Zee. I love this one too. I love the color and the yarn is so squishy soft. It is made from Classic Elite Yarns Magnolia, which is a blend of 70/10 Merino and Silk. If you are looking for a simple cardigan syle sweater, you might want to try this one.

 



I'm still workng on my Knitterati socks and have the first one almost complete. I received the first shipment from my Dyeabolical Fiber Club and was surprised to find some Portugese merino fiber that I had not tried before. It spun up great. I decided to try something else new and plied it with an alpaca, bamboo, merino blend that I had in my stash. I really like the outcome.


I finally took some time to restart the Stripe Study Shawl that Knitting in Circles Podcast group on Ravelry is working on. When I first cast this on, I started it in Briar and Denim from Madelinetosh Pashmina. I wasn't happy with this combination and wanted a darker graty. I got Thunderstorm from a destash on Ravelry and like this much better. The picture that I took shows up much more purple than the Briar really is so you will have to use your imagination.


Classes...

Well, tomorrow I start another semester of nursing school. This will be my last full semester. I will be taking Maternal Health, Leadership in Nursing, and Senior Seminar to start the semester. I'm looking forward to a successful semester and a satisfying career!
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Don't forget to enter the contest from my January 11th post. You might just win!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Taking Advantage of Some Quiet Time...

On the homefront...


Here it is the weekend again but something is different this time. We didn't wake up to kids running around or arguing about who is going to watch what cartoon on the television. We actually were able to sleep in this morning past 7:00! Why you say? Well, let me tell you. When you have foster children in your home, you are given some time off that is called "respite". This means that if you can find someone who is licensed through the foster care system to provide care for foster children, you, as their full-time foster parents, can get some time away from the children to refresh and regroup. We have not utilized this time for over 6 months.


My husband's birthday was earlier this month and we were not able to go out or do anything to celebrate. We took the children to a respite provider's home last night and decided to go to one of our favorite little Greek restaurants. We had a fabulous dinner and some great wine. It was quiet, cozy, and relaxing. We came home to a quiet house and were able to relax for the rest of the evening. This morning, my husband is meeting up with his 20 year old son and they are going to see the new George Lucas movie, Red Tails. Tonight, I am taking my wonderful husband out to our favorite seafood place for his birthday.


We will be picking up the kids tomorrow afternoon, hopefully refueled and ready to go again.

Other yarny goodness...

It seems that I have had a lot of knitting time this week. I got more done on my Coastal Waters Cardigan and I am now working on the sleeves. I think I am going to really enjoy wearing this cardigan. I love the color and the all over cable pattern looks great!


I also received my Knitterati Sock Club package this week. I couldn't wait to start the sock pattern since it has been awhile since I've knit a sock other than a simple vanilla pattern. This is the first time I've done a short row heel and I think I really like it. It was pretty easy once I got into the wrap-and-turn routine.


I've had to put the breaks on a couple of my other projects and work on the ones that I really wanted to finish and wear soon since I'm gearing up for my final semester of nursing school.

This week also brough a great package from my Loopy Ewe swap partner. The theme this time was "Winter Wonderland" and I think she captured it perfectly along with all the things that I like. Thank you Kelly0706 for a great swap! She included some great coffees, a yummy chocolate bar, some pretty note cards, a beautiful shawl pin that has a very organic style (my favorite), a very pretty little bag that will be perfect for notions and what not, some beautiful yarn from Gale's Art (I love the colors!) and last but not least, a super soft, squishy, lacey cowl that is in one of my favorite colors!


Don't forget to leave a comment on the January 11th posting. Just answer either question for the contest and you might be picked the winner!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Gearing up for the Weekend!?!?!?

One the homefront...

Well, I was hoping to get some news for our kiddo situation this week but it didn't happen. We have yet to get a therapist for the kids like they need. We have yet to get something set up for solutions to problems we are faced with too. I'm hoping we can get through the weekend without too much drama.


Spinning...

I started on the second bobbin of Rambouilette fiber last night. My plan is to spin fine singles and ply them together into a DK weight 3-ply. This will be my first sheep to sweater endevour but I have high hopes. 

Here are a few of my other skeins of handspun.


Other yarny goodness...

Each night after I get home from work, I spend a couple of hour with my projects. This is usually when the kids are getting their chores done or after they have gone to bed. Thank goodness for early bedtimes for kids!

I took pictures of some of my projects. First, this is Mira's Cowl out of my handspun from Highland Handmades. The colorway is Fratelli's out of Falkland fiber. I'm not far from having it off the needles.



I'm still working away on my Coastal Waters Cardi from Coastal Knits.

And what would I do without my helpers?
Don't forget to leave a comment on the January 11th posting. Just answer either question for the contest and you might be picked the winner!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So Many Things...

It’s been over a week and so much has happened in the Crazzzzy house. But let me start with the fun stuff…

Spinning news
Last March I bought my spinning wheel. I bit the bullet and got a Schacht Matchless double treadle and I have enjoyed every inch of spinning I have done. It took me a little while before I felt that I was spinning “good” yarn.  You can see my spun yarns here.

I bought a few fleeces last year too. I bought an 8 pound Warhill fleece from SeptemberSmiles on Ravelry; another 7+ pounds of Rambouillet Targhee Polypay Cross from Ranching Traditions on Etsy; and 3.5 pounds of Rambouillet and CVM/Romeldale cross from SisterSheepColorado. My processer, Spinderella’s, blended these together in one batch and left the Warhill by itself in another batch. In the processor’s words, the Rambouillet and CVM/Romeldale was very sound, soft and little to none VM. The Rambouillet Targhee Polypay Cross was not as soft as the first but still a nice fleece. The Warhill was nice but was the coarsest of the fleeces I sent them. They blended the Warhill and the longwool together in one batch and left the Warhill by itself for a second batch. Since the Rambouillet and CVM/Romeldale from SisterSheepColorado was the nicest of them all, they prepared it into roving by itself. I have started spinning it and I can agree, it made a very nice roving to spin from.


I have again signed up for Crown Mountain Farms Fiber Club. I really enjoyed this club last year and it exposed me to fibers and colors that I would not have picked out myself. I am also continuing in the fiber club from Into the Whirled. Cris has such an eye for color combinations and I didn’t get a single one last year that I didn’t like.

Other Yarny Goodness
I guess 2012 is the year of clubs. I have signed up for Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club. I should get my first shipment soon. Janell Laidman’s Knitterati Sock Club caught my eye this year too. I think the first shipment for that one will be in February. And of course, who could forget my membership with Tempted’s Yarn Club. I have received three wonderful yarns so far.

On the home front
Lately, my husband and I have had to battle with the Children’s Division for our foster children. We are in the process of adopting a sibling group of four but one of those children is classified as having elevated behavioral needs. You can say that again. Back in November, the team met to decide things about this group. One of the decisions made was to place this one child in a residential facility for a 30-day psychological evaluation. We waited and waited for that day to come. After about two months of waiting, we were finally given a date of December 28. He was there for just a week before we got a call from this child’s caseworker that the division had decided that they no longer wanted children under the age of 12 to be placed in a residential facility for any reason. So, we trotted off to pick him up. Let me just say that the following weekend was one of the worse we had experienced. My husband had to excuse himself from the house a few different times to literally cool off (in about 20 degree weather outside). We are now in the process of working with the Children’s Division to get what they call “intensive in-home services” set up so that we can keep all of these children together and in our home. I don’t know exactly what these services will be but something needs to happen soon. We really want to do everything that we can so that this adoption is successful. We truly love these children!

A contest!
I want to see how many people are actually reading this so I’m offering a prize drawing. I will draw on January 31. I have Spinning Wool:  Beyond the Basics and a skein of sock yarn that I am going to send to someone chosen through random number generator. To be eligible for this drawing, just leave a comment on one of the following:

1.   Let me know which project on the needles I should finish first and why.

2.   Give me an idea of what you do when you are about to lose it with your kids.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New Project

So, I’m sitting here at work where I’m supposed to be doing what…oh yeah, working. But instead, all I can think about is the lovely Rocky Coast Cardigan that I was knitting on last night. I really like this pattern. It’s a pretty easy knit and is nice and relaxing when I have the kids crying in the background (they didn’t want to go to sleep last night).

I brought the two littles up to my room and told them they could “camp out” on the air mattress. That seemed to settle them for a few seconds. Then, when I turned the light out and went to my little knitting corner (still in the same room) with a lamp beside my chair, they started up crying again. After awhile, they settled down to a good night’s sleep and let me knit in peace and quiet.
This morning, I asked the boy little if he wanted to “camp out” again in mommy’s room tonight. He was all excited and told his sister (girl little) that they were going camping again tonight! They both shouted yay! We’ll see what tonight brings.

Ok, back to the Rocky Coast Cardi. I am making this out of Madelinetosh MCN Worsted in Robin's Egg colorway. I think this will make a lovely cardigan to wear into the spring season to come.

After spending time reading some project note and posts on the Rav boards, I think I might have to start this again in a bigger size since there is supposed to be so much positive east in this design.

Oh well...back to the needles now.