Archive for May, 2009

I’m sitting at my newly cleared off kitchen table with the patio door open, a nice breeze coming through, and Miyagi stealthily stalking the birds outside (through the screen door).

home - locust tree
The locust tree to the south of my patio, very shady

Everything is still, for the most part, even at 10:30am.

In an hour I’m going to take a good friend to a yarn store. After that NinjaHusband and I will head out to my Aunt’s house for my cousin’s graduation party. After that, knit night!

What a delicious Sunday.

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There it is.

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Where did my sidebar go?!

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Project 365: 138-144

Even though it doesn’t feel like a Monday (because I just posted the previous week’s pictures a few days ago, and because I didn’t have to work today), here we are again.

Last week seemed to be the week of the baby animals. If seeing two baby animals counts as “week-of-the-baby-animals” or, you know, maybe not.

May 18, 2009

As I walked to my work on Monday morning, I saw this baby bunny just hanging out in the grassy area between the sidewalk and the street. I tried to keep back pretty far so as to not freak her (him?) out and got this really nice shot. I had forgotten about this moment until last Saturday when I started downloading pictures.

May 19, 2009

On Tuesday I wore these earrings, which were a gift from one of my best friends, Margaret, for being in her wedding two years ago. They are malachite, green, and dangly. I like the motion in this shot.

May 20, 2009

Wednesday, I walked to lunch in the beautiful day and thought this angle on the historic Egyptian Theatre in town was pretty nice. Decent.

May 21, 2009

Continuing the baby animal theme (if you can have a theme with only two objects). We’ve seen this baby robin outside our front window for a few days, hanging out quietly, not flying. It seems to be assessing its chances. On Thursday I caught it sitting next to our sump pump discharge pipe early in the morning. This picture is taken through the front window (likely very dirty).

May 22, 2009

On Wednesday NinjaHusband and I bought bikes (!) and on Friday we finally got out and rode them and discovered that DeKalb has some amazing bike trails. What? Seriously. This is my bike, and it’s very comfortable. (On a side note, my helmet is the smallest available size for adults. The guy at the bike shop called it “doll-sized”)

May 23, 2009

On Saturday we went to a wedding reception for some really amazing friends. It was at the groom’s parents’ house, where the four of us used to hang out on Sunday nights and lift weights in the basement (does that sound weird? it sounds a little weird to me, but it was a nice way to hang out and work out at the same time). This is their garden, and they’ve done such a beautiful job. I’m inspired now to plant a million hostas in my tiny little yard.

May 24, 2009

Yesterday we drove west out past Rochelle, Illinois, to get to a bonfire at our friends’ house. The party turned out to have been cancelled, but the drive out gave us this amazing sunset to look at. I took this picture with my phone and I think it turned out pretty well, surprisingly. Of course it didn’t capture the exciting variety of colors but it did a good job. We ended up going nowhere and turning around and driving back, and it was such a nice time.

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It’s been a busy few days here at House of HookOn, purchasing and riding bikes, attending a wedding reception and bonfire, almost attending another bonfire, and cleaning out the garage/organizing the basement.

Three-day weekends rule.

Now I have such a drive to get going on more things, like knitting for my three friends who are due in September (and who are all expecting boys, which is going to be way fun), and putting up art in the living room and in my office. Energy is so much fun to have.

Before I get to all that I thought I’d recap the Violet Stripe Cardigan experience, although I don’t really want to think about the first attempt at the button band and my epic failure, so it’s just this:


Pattern: SuperNatural Stripes by F.Pea / Ravelry link / My project page

Raglan increases

Yarn: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Wisteria, Banana, Peridot & Prosperous Plum

Sleeve with cat
Man, screw those bamboo dpns. Not nearly pointy enough.


Needles: 4.0mm / US 6 and 3.5mm / US4


Modifications: Many. I used smaller yarn and needles so had a finer gauge than called for in the pattern, so I made the 2-3 year old size, with the assumption that it will fit the baby at 12-18 months. I did not try it on a baby to see, having no baby immediately to hand. The stripe sequence at the yoke was shorter, only one repeat of colors, but I added a stripe sequence at the bottom of the cardi, mostly because I was getting incredibly bored with knitting stockinette stitch in the Wisteria color. I also changed the way the stripes were added; in the pattern the color change is made on the wrong side, giving a really rustic look. I wanted something a little more tailored, but still interesting, so I chose my very favorite stitch pattern: seed stitch.

Violet Stripe Cardigan

How Long? Amazingly, this project took me 11 days. Eleven. Apparently I can be awesome and get things done on time if I really want to.

Violet Stripe Cardigan

What did I learn? I learned how to pick up stitches for a button band, how to knit a top-down raglan sweater (this is my first completed sweater of that type), and how to attach a button loop (self-taught, it may come apart in the first washing of course). This was a really good pattern, very clear, and I plan to knit it again, maybe like the original. It’s really versatile and open to a lot of experimentation.

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Project 365: 131-137

I am falling down on this job. Here it is Saturday, and I’m just now getting last week’s pictures up. Blogging FAIL.

On the upside, I have been busy doing exciting outdoor stuff, which feels pretty awesome. Hooray for nice weather!

May 11, 2009
Misty Mountain Farm Organic Cotton

This is one of the yarns I bought at Maryland Sheep & Wool festival, Misty Mountain Farm Organic Cotton. I have several ideas for this pretty pretty yarn, but haven’t done anything with it yet. Baby blanket? Baby cardigan? The possibilities are endless.

May 12, 2009

The City of DeKalb is doing something big, noisy, and disruptive to the downtown area. This is Third Street, looking north through very large equipment.

May 13, 2009

This picture is for my sister Maribeth, who loves tulips. On my walk from the parking lot to work, I pass this little plot of tulips in front of the Lutheran church, across the street from one of the amazing grand old houses we have in DeKalb. It had rained early on Wednesday and the tulips looked especially pretty. Getting down to a tulip’s eye view didn’t hurt either.

May 14, 2009

On Thursday I, with the help of two enthusiastic boys, put in a sweet basil plant (right), a spicy basil plant (middle), and cilantro (left). The planter was left here by the previous owner and I have taken it (and the other three planters) over, making it into a kitchen garden. I hope to put more plants in the other boxes — parsley, maybe some rosemary. I love having herbs right outside the patio door! And it was great to have the boys’ help.

May 15, 2009

The baby cardigan, part way through. Friday and Saturday were completely full of knitting.

May 16, 2009

Proud mama-to-be with the Violet Stripe Cardigan on the baby bump. She loved it! I worked from 7:15 in the morning to 1:30 in the afternoon to finish the thing. Initially I put in the button band entirely wrong — I picked up too few stitches and the whole thing was puckered and awful. Of course I didn’t notice this until I had completed SIX ROWS of the garter stitch band and had bound off. Let me repeat that. I HAD BOUND OFF and thought I was done, then I looked at it and saw that it was complete crap. All the while NinjaHusband was cleaning the house around me, waiting for me to finish the gift so I could pitch in. So I had to take out the button band, pick up (more of) the stitches again (which is so very annoying), knit the button band (only four rows this time) again, sew the button on and crochet a loop. Epic. But it was finished on time and presented well and it was loved. Awesome.

May 17, 2009

The day after the baby shower, the father-to-be ran his 9th marathon. This picture was post-race. A bunch of us drove around to various points of the race to cheer Jason on. It was so much fun.

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In which much knitting took place.

May 4, 2009

I took this through my windshield while driving through the foundry/industrial area of DeKalb. Safety first, of course — I didn’t look at the picture as I composed it. I like the foundry area, it’s got a lot of textures and character.

May 5, 2009

Femiknitter gave me these sunglasses when I went out to visit her. They are huge, absurd, and cover most of my face. I love them. (I cast on for the cardigan on Tuesday)

May 6, 2009

The elusive cattus domesticus. She’s taken to hiding behind the old recliner and leaping out at passersby. It’s entirely hilarious. (More knitting happened)

May 7, 2009

Looking up at two trees, one leafy and one not leafy. I was taking pictures of the stripey baby cardigan outside the library on my lunch hour, and lay back on the bench to see this. Taa-daaa.

May 8, 2009

NinjaHusband and his best friend CornBred (I’m not giving him a cute blog nickname for privacy reasons, that’s really what we all call him). CornBred had just graduated with his Master’s degree and we were all super gleeful. (Not much knitting happened this day)

May 9, 2009

On Saturday we went to Starved Rock state park with our friends Ryan and Lindsay, and had a great time. We hiked for 2.5 hours, had a picnic lunch, and hung out. This waterfall is in one of the canyons … no idea which one. I love being there, and being outside in all the green was awesome. (Very little knitting on this day)

May 10, 2009

The baby cardigan. I knit from the underarms all the way to where the knitting stops yesterday. Lots of knitting. With 80% cotton yarn. And today I only knit two rows. My poor hands. But the sweater is almost done. Woo! Also, Happy Mother’s Day!

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