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Anders

Well. That was an unexpected radio silence. We’ve been having issues with our DSL internet getting slower, lagging more and more, and sometimes outright giving up the ghost since January. Last week we got tired of it all and finally ditched that provider. But the problem with living in the middle of nowhere is that we don’t have a lot of other choices. We’re back online now, running our data through our cell plan. But I’m not sure how affordable that really is…

All this is the long way of saying, if you need to get in touch please be patient. I’m doing almost everything through a smart phone these days. (and it still looks more like living in the future than living in the past – even with the desktop playing the part of a word processor)

Had enough with the technology talk? Me too. Let’s look at some knitting:

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This is Anders. It’s the little brown and white baby sweater I was knitting from Mrs. Crosby Play’s yarn. It was gifted to the new mom-to-be two weekends ago, so I’m happy to finally have the pictures uploaded!

anders finished

This is a really well written pattern. I buy a lot of PDFs to see how other designers do their thing. This one has a layout that makes me wish I had time to re-do all my own patterns. Not that THAT is likely to happen any time soon.

anders angled

It was also my first experience with the Vikkel braid – the horizontal line of stitches around the hems. It’s cute, and not really hard at all! A great finishing touch.

anders sheep

Oh yeah, and the sheep. This new mom is also a knitter, so I wanted to put something sheepy into the pattern. The Anders design includes just the tree chart, but I added the sheepies. I always have to modify something, apparently. Check out my project on Ravelry to see more details.

Side Projects

A friend of mine has a kombucha that’s been perking along happily, and she finally felt confident to split off some of the scoby and pass it my way. We’ve just about finished drinking my first batch, and it’s really yummy! I occasionally treat myself to store bought kombucha, so I knew what I was getting into – the drink is a bit vinegary and not everyone likes it. But the home brewed stuff is much smoother, and mine is flavored with black currants, so I think it’s a bit fruitier than the commercial stuff too.

kombacha

That weird sludgy thing in the big jug is the scoby. It’s a combination of bacteria and yeast and it is what ferments the tea. After a week or so in the big jug I pour off the tea into secondary jugs and add fruit. After about 4 more days it’s ready to drink.

The great thing about this is that it’s not time consuming. Steeping more tea is much faster than brewing a batch of wine (to reference another hobby of mine that’s taken a serious back-burner these days) and if something ferments for a couple of extra days there’s no harm done.

I really enjoyed my sourdough starter one summer a couple of years back. I’m curious to see how long I can keep this going.

Have you tried any live culture sorts of kitchen projects?

The state of things

Spring is slowly creeping into Vermont (we had snow again this week, and there’s more in the forecast) and I realized yesterday that the only seeds I’ve started are the mixed handful that Windsor and I threw into a pot of soil two weeks ago. My garden plans are sorely limited compared to some previous years.

It’s not just living with a toddler, have I told you my current schedule? I used to work 8 hour days, and take lunch breaks online. Since maternity leave ended I’ve been working 9 hour days and taking lunch breaks with Windsor. The combination means a lot less time for everything. I miss reading other blogs, I miss digging in the garden after work, I miss many things. There’s plenty I don’t miss (I don’t really care about the dishes, or the sweeping) but all life is a balancing act. And right now I feel like by blog is as neglected as my garden.

grassy stone

Do you feel like our blog conversation is covered in weeds? I apologize! I hope you’ll stick around, because I hope to be back soon. This summer holds some big changes for the Herrick family. Neil will soon be done with grad school. We’re looking forward to him having a regular schedule, which will let my schedule level out – finally. I have some new designs that should be out this year, and someday I’ll even get some garden and chicken pictures for you!

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Someday Spring

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3 minutes of peace

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Every other friday I stay home with Windsor. Today we played with blocks, colored, and read 3 books – all before breakfast.

I do not regret the lack of knitting time at all. But I do still like it when I find a couple of minutes to sit with my current WIP. Especially since I’m hoping to have this little baby sweater done in time for the recipient’s baby shower (in 8 days)

This is the Mrs Crosby Play’s yarn – the brown and cream are perfect for this little design. Hopefully I remember to take some pictures of the finished project before giving it away. (the little red and yellow Mustill never got it’s final shoot, these things happen)

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Tulip sunrise

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Sleep baby, sleep.

She turned 18 months old this week. But sometimes, when I’m very lucky, she still falls asleep nursing. Other nights it’s daddy who helps her with bedtime. Most nights she still wakes up once, maybe twice, and needs a little comforting. I hold her to my chest, I sway, and I sing. I feel the tension from waking up drain out of her as she clings to my shoulder. Then slowly, gradually, the weight in her head grows, her arms drape instead of cling, and she slips back into sleep.

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She is, in so many ways, a toddler. She wants to do things herself. She dresses up with hats and bracelets. She climbs and runs and tumbles and squeals. These nights, these times when she still clings to her baby-ways, they might seem inconvenient on the surface. I could be doing so many other things with my precious hours before my own bedtime. But between daycare and sleep I already see so little of her each day. I will continue to help her whenever she needs me. The hours may seem long, but already I can tell the months and years are short.

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Oh dear, what can the matter be?
Dear dear, what can the matter be?
Oh dear, what can the matter be?
What can the matter be, dear?

I promise I’ll buy you,
a pocket of posies,
a bouquet of flowers,
a garland of roses.
I promise I’ll buy you,
a bonny blue ribbon,
to tie up your dusty blonde hair.

A yarny miracle

I’m all lined up to knit another little baby sweater. I’d picked the pattern first (anders) and I knew I wanted to maintain the fine detail- which meant I wanted a sport weight yarn. But it turns out I have very few machine washable sport weight options in my stash.

Any excuse to buy more yarn, right?

I poked around on Webs and settled on Mrs. Crosby’s Satchel. It’s a lovely machine washable merino single which will be perfectly soft and fancy enough for the sweater I knew I wanted to knit. I picked four colors and went to check out.

And then I was faced with an internal dilemma. I seriously considered paying for overnight shipping. We’re driving for Easter and I thought how nice it’d be to work on my new sweater project in the car. But I’m also a cheapskate and couldn’t justify anything beyond first class mail. It’s not like I have nothing else to knit while I wait.

So imagine my surprise when the yarn arrived on my doorstep 22 hours after I ordered it.

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Sometimes the universe rewards my thriftiness. And apparently Webs not only packs fast but made a shipping label error in my favor. But even 2 day shipping arriving overnight is pretty cool!

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The brown and cream are all wound up and ready to go. The gold and berry I think will be next. I’m a little enthralled by the idea of using all four in a toddler sweater…

Another sneak peak

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On the needles

I’ve started sneaking knitting back into the little corners of my life again. It’s a sign that I’m not quite as exhausted as I was when Windsor was tiny. And it means I’m back to my old habits of having multiple WIPs each for a different situation.

The travel sock.

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Its native habitat is the cup holder of my car. I work on this any time Neil drives or if I’m just sitting and waiting for Windsor to wake up from a car nap. It’s also available any time I go out, and find myself waiting unexpectedly without a project at hand. This particular sock is even more travel sized than usual because it’s a tiny toddler sock. Not sure if I’m following the Breamish heel again or trying a short row heel this time.

Next the meeting sweater.

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Its native habitat is my desk drawer at work. The stripes were perfect for knitting during monthly meetings. The cable trim is going ok. Or it was until I started the trim on the body without remembering I needed to knit the hood first. Order of operations is a classic mistake for meeting knitting. The pattern is Camden and I’m very glad I chose to start the 24 month size when I started back in December.

Finally the bedtime blanket.

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Its native habitat is lurking under the corner table by the couch. This mitered sock yarn blanket is perfect for finishing a mindless square or two after all my evening tasks are complete and before my own bedtime. Long (long, loooong) term readers of this blog might recognized this project. It has been in and out of hibernation more times than I can count. Cast on in 2009, this blanket turned SIX this month. My WIP is a kindergartner and it’s no where close to being done yet. At this rate it’ll make a nice retirement present for Neil (note: he graduates from grad school in May.)

Those are my three main projects, at least for now.
What is your project for the “in between” moments right now?
And do you have a WIP even older than my sock yarn blanket??