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Archive for May, 2009

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Last night we had an impromptu knitting hangout session at our regular haunt, Teapouro. It was just a few of us, but we made up for it with our loud mouths. Thanks to the ladies for listening to some of my drama, and thanks to them for sharing some. It definitely makes me realize all of humanity is in basically the same boat.

Oy, where to begin? Well for starters, I’m currently working on a dress for my 18 month old, Veronica. I am doing the two year old size, because I was worried by the time it was finished, she’d get to wear it for two seconds. Seeing how she is on the small size, and what this is turning out to be, she’ll be wearing until she’s three. Which is OK! I made Evie a sweater when she was 3 and she wore it for a month before she got too big. I kept it though. I’ve kept the two sweaters I made for Evie and I kept the baby sweater I made for Veronica (complete with ladybug buttons) just for sentimental reasons. Veronica will be able to wear the Evie sweaters, so that will be fun to see them worn again. I just couldn’t bear to part with her little baby sweater though. It’s made out of acrylic, so it should last forever. Hopefully these two will give me some grandchildren so I can pass it on. Burton and I have already said that we’ll be really hacked off if we don’t get any grandchildren. I don’t think I’ll ever get to be an aunt, so BUMMER. I know I would be a really bad-ass aunt to have.

Anyway, the dress is made from some 3 ply baby yarn from Tamarinda. It is FREE yarn from awesome blogger and fellow knitter, Stephanie. She graciously gave it to me when she was clearing out her stash of unwanted yarn (some of which I used on Blanketa). I never thought I would use it, but one afternoon while at my friend Jeana’s house for a playdate, a pattern was found and a book was borrowed. You can’t get much better than free pattern and free yarn. I love when life works out that way. Not to mention Veronica’s favorite color is yellow. She walks around saying it ALL the time. “Yeh-whoa.” Say it aloud. That’s how she says it. The skirt is lace, and then it goes into a stockinette tank with seed stitch edging. I’m getting very close to being down with the 27 4 row pattern repeat for ONE SIDE. I’m hoping my resolve doesn’t fail me. It’s on size 3 needles and has 156 stitches cast on for the front. Yes. Holy hell that is a lot. Here’s a picture:

Sweet Little Dress

Sweet Little Dress

In other news, I finished another pastel drawing probably 2 months ago and just haven’t got it up yet. This one was from a photo of Evie in our back yard with this huge Polyphemus moth I found while raking leaves last May. It really was that big. Burton lovingly referred to it’s body as a “dog turd with hair.” It was pretty freaky looking. Again, the picture in person is huge. It’s 16×20. Hope you enjoy it.

Evie and the Ploythemus Moth

Evie and the Polyphemus Moth

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Right here, dummies. Basically all my free time has been taken up with either exercise, actual knitting, or GOD FORBID, parenting. Eldest daughter Evie has successfully finished kindergarten and her last day of school was Wednesday. Today we walked down to South Park for some play time. She did pretty well on the walk there, but on the way back, she acted as if her legs were going to fall off. They didn’t. I am working extra hard on my patience skills and really did quite well today. This could be the beginning of a kinder, gentler Lora. We’ll see. No promises, folks.

This morning, Burton discovered a fluffy baby robin by our garden and took Evie out to see it. I didn’t go out to take a look, but I was informed that it was CAAAAA-UUUTE. Today, as we were leaving to take our walk, I decided to go through the back yard to check on how the garden was doing. (Very well, thank you.) An adult Robin was freaking out around us, and kept hopping up to us and chirping and then slowly hopping away. I figured she was Mama Bird and Baby Bird was still close by. It took me forever to spot it. It was pretty well camouflaged. But it WAS cute. Mama bird wouldn’t let up with us and I was worried Evie might get pecked if she got too close. We went on our merry way. When we came back about an hour and a half later, the baby bird was still in almost the exact same spot, except it had climbed up on Burton’s garden hose nozzle. We went up and said hi to it and it would barely open it’s eyes. I’m sure it was scared. This time Mama Bird wasn’t around. I told Evie we should go inside because we didn’t want to scare it. The whole time I had a bad feeling. I figured if Mama wasn’t protecting it anymore, it probably wasn’t going to make it. A few hours after lunchtime, I looked out our bedroom window and saw it laying on it’s side with flies already buzzing around it. It was really sad. Nature can be so heartbreaking sometimes. I had to tell Evie. Lord, did she cry. Poor girl. She said, “That Mama should have protected it!” And I had to explain sometimes there’s nothing you can do, and birds don’t have the same emotions as humans, this is nature’s way, etc. I explained a stronger sibling might have kicked it out too soon so they would have more room to grow, it could’ve fallen, blown out, been sick, whatever, and at least it didn’t suffer long. Burton was pretty bummed when I texted him about it. He will bury it tomorrow.

Wow. Debbie Downer. Anyway, Evie drew some pictures of the birds. I thought they were cute and sad. She is such a sweet little girl.

Evie's BirdsNotice she drew the Mama bird’s other wing in the picture. Just thought it was interesting. Also, baby bird is not smiling.

I will be blogging again tomorrow, as my husband is going out to see a movie. I have some new artwork to share, as well as a piece of knitting in progress.

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Omaha

Lora, Lisa, and I took a trip to Omaha a couple weeks ago and I am just now getting around to posting the pictures I took at the zoo.

Lora with the animals.

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Lora lounging.

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Cool butterfly sculpture.

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These next pics are of the hotel decor.

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We had a great time and even visited a couple yarn stores although nothing was purchased.

I am halfway done stuffing my dress for and should have pics soon.  I can’t wait to try something on it.

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Duct Tape

This past weekend I hosted a Duct Tape Dress Form Party (where we made duct tape dress forms) in my mother’s garden.  She has a giant and beautiful garden that I like being in, so that is where I decided we should gather.  My mother has also made duct tape dress forms before so I thought we could use her for help.

I realized the night before that ripping duct tape was not going to work for me so I didn’t do much helping, but I think the day was successful.  We all got our dress forms made by working in pairs and then switching the torturee.  I am pleased with mine (my mom taped me) and hope to stuff it this weekend.

I threatened everyone at the party that their pics would be on the blog.  So here they are:

Lisa showing her strength. (I think she was trying to scare me? and I know she was threatening to beat me up.)

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Emily wrapping Wanda (This will be the last time Wanda’s arm goes that high for awhile, the duct tape is restricting.)

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Jeannie in that hat and Lisa contemplating exactly where the next piece of tape should go.

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Wanda getting ready with more tape for Emily.

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Me looking like a goon.

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You don’t realize how shallow you have been breathing until you cut the thing off.  I can’t imagine what it must have been like to wear a corset daily.

Here they all are in a row.

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I am very very excited about the prospect of having a perfectly me sized dress form to try my sweaters on.  It will also be great for taking pictures of my knitting.

I do need a name for my dress form.  Suggestions?

For more pics check out Jeannie’s site here.

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Uh oh

Dear Pair of Ducks Knitting blog,
I am so SORRY that I am totally lame and have not updated in over a month. I really like you, I’ve just been really busy. It seems when I focus on one area of my life (lately getting healthy) other things that I love start to slip. I am trying to learn balance. Please be patient with me.

Love,
Lora

In other news, I have discovered that I have a love for walking. I decided to marry that love to another love I have, charity! I am participating in the Douglas County Cancer Relay for Life. On June 12th, me and my teammates will walk all night long for your donations. One member of our team has to be on the track all night long and walking! It’s going to be a lot of fun, and also it will do a lot of good. Cancer blows. In January, we lost Burton’s grandfather to cancer. He was a really strong, vibrant octogenarian until cancer, that had been in remission for a few years, started to take over him like a wildfire. Fortunately, he did not languish for years in pain like some do and passed away within a matter of months. But NO ONE deserves to lose a loved one to cancer. No one deserves to have a sick mother, father, sister, brother, child, or friend dying of cancer. We have the means to further research through our donations. Please consider donating to my Cancer Relay for Life effort. We never know what the future holds, it could be your donation that furthers treatment or even finds the cure. Thank you!

Sincerely,
Your fellow knitter,
Lora

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learning to knit

An update on my knitting:  It is going very slowly.  I have found that I can knit a few rows at a time and have been slowly working on the front of my raglan.  It looks exactly like the back so no picture yet.  I am hoping to have it finished in the next year or two.  (Sorry, slow knitting is almost as frustrating as no knitting.)

Without any real knitting substance I thought I would throw out another question.  How did you learn to knit?  Did you have a teacher or any outside guidance?  How was it in the beginning?  How long did it take to learn to love knitting?  What was your first project?  What do you wish you had made for a first project?  Ok, that was more than one question, feel free to answer any or all of them.  My answers:

How did you learn to knit? My grandmother taught me the knit stitch when I was about 8.  I didn’t cast on or bind off and made a bright, stop sign red square (a potholder perhaps?)  That is all I ever made, it was a very short lived knitting career.  I used to have the square but I can’t think of where it might be now.  If I get adventurous I may dig through my closet later.  In the fall of 2003 I decided I wanted to learn to knit again and taught myself using a tutorial from the internet.  I knit almost everyone I knew scarves for Christmas that year.

Did you have a teacher or any outside guidance? The first time, my grandmother, the second time, the internet.  I have asked my mother’s coworker for help and taken a couple classes on more advanced techniques since then, but in the beginning it was just me really.

How was it in the beginning? My dad will still tell the story of the day I was trying to cast on for the first time, there was a lot of frustration and maybe some swearing (you’ll have to ask dad I try not to remember that day.)  After figuring that out, knitting was going fine until 2 months later I  read a pattern that included the instruction to “knit through the back of the loop.”  I was already knitting through the back of the loop on accident.  Oops.

How long did it take to learn to love knitting? I really enjoyed knitting almost right from the start, it was functional, kept my hands busy, the lovely yarns, new things to learn and make.

What was your first project? The second time, it was a garter stitch scarf for myself.  It is too wide and short and I have found I do not wear scarves.  It is now for the cats to sleep on.

What do you wish you had made for a first project? A garter stitch scarf is an ok first project, but it can be long and monotonous.  I think a non-garter scarf, a hat or even a cowl would be better.  You could finish something quickly without getting bored and learn more than one stitch.

Thats all I have for right now, I am interested to hear what you all have to say.

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