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The times, they are a-changin’. June 13, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, kidlet, photography.
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Last week the traveling carnival was in town, the kind assembled by drunk guys with screwdrivers and then crammed into a tiny parking lot. I’m always fascinated by them, the portability of such a huge and elaborate setup, the way they’re able to shoehorn everything into small and/or awkwardly-shaped spaces. There was a whole village of RVs parked out behind the carnival where we would see the carnies sitting out on their steps in the evenings before the show opened, entire families of them. I wonder what those children think of their nomadic existence?

I don’t trust the big rides, never go on em. The kids’ rides are kind of a joke, too, with safety restraints like pieces of rope loosely cinched around them. We put Michael and Katy on the motorcycle ride which just went round and round for three minutes – kidlet wasn’t too pleased to have some other strange kid seated right behind him. The strange kid looked perplexed, too. He spent most of the ride trying to look too cool to be riding it. Katy seemed mildly pleased at first, and by the end she was so psyched by the whole experience!






Neither of the kids were interested in the bounce house – I can’t imagine why.

Bounce house

Mim was a little out of it, suffering from a food coma after a long day playing.

Zoney Mim

Zoney Mim

Would I ever get on this? Not on your life.

1000 Nachts

Kidlet turned down the uppy-downy-spinny plane ride, which had charming machine guns mounted on the front and back for each child.


Kidlet watching the Zipper.



The last time I ever rode this ride was when I was eleven and had just ingested a large sausage sandwich piled high with fried peppers and onions. I spent the entire ride home staring miserably out the window thinking, “Don’t throw up, don’t throw up,” to myself over and over again.



It was a momentous day – kidlet is finally tall enough to go on rides by himself.

A momentous occasion!


Lamest. Slide. Ever. Not a single rider was able to make it to the bottom without having to push themselves with their hands. This sucker needed a liberal application of Pledge, stat.

Lamest. Slide. Ever.

Leonard thought lying down would make things go faster. Wrong.

Lamest. Slide. Ever.

Bumper cars

Bumper cars


I would love to have a job finding and replacing all the burned out light bulbs on carnival rides.

I am so excited that Joy will be here in two weeks. I can’t believe that the last time we saw her, Mim looked like this:

Teh Bebeh gets into stuff.

And now she looks like this:

Mim, cute yet incredulous

The times, they are a-changin’.


Spinning, cat, socks December 17, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in kidlet, knitting, spinning.
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Spun some Shetland top and navajo plied it.

Shetland top


Finished kidlet’s socks. He loved them so much he immediately wore them to school.

Kidlet's socks

Kidlet's socks

Kidlet's socks

My Ravelry project page: Socks for The Boy
Pattern: Child’s Sock Pattern by Lucy H. Lee (Ravelry link) | (non-Ravelry link)
Yarn: Regia Color 4-Ply, color #4737 (Ravelry link) | (non-Ravelry link)

The socks are knit toe-up so the heel is just a flap with a gusset, only the stitches are being picked up along an extended sole instead of the heel. It’s wicked easy and looks nice. Kidlet’s feet are bigger than the pattern allows for so I came up with some modifications as I went. They’re listed on my Ravelry project page but in case you’re not able to make it there here they are:

1. I used Judy’s Magic Cast-On for the toe because it’s awesome and I love it.

2. From the toe I increased to 44 stitches total instead of 40.

3. I started the heel flap at 4″ as instructed, but then because my son’s feet were bigger than I remembered and too big for a 6″ sole I went to 8″ before starting the heel shaping.

4. This made the heel gusset larger so I picked up 16 stitches instead of 14 for a total of 64 stitches – it worked out to picking up every other row along the flap.

5. I then decreased back to my original 44 sts for the cuff.

6. I used the Elizabeth Zimmerman Sewn Cast-Off which made a nice stretchy cuff.

I got them to match as kidlet didn’t want tall socks, and the height he specified just happened to end the first sock right before the pattern repeat for the skein, so it really was serendipity. I may even have enough of the skein left to make a wee little pair for Margaret :)

Judy’s Magic Cast-On is so totally worth learning if you knit socks. It makes a perfect, beautiful toe that requires no seaming. I hate seaming. You can even knit your loose end into the first row so you won’t even need to run it in – just snip it when you’re done! Couldn’t be simpler. The cast-off is extremely easy, too, and worth it as I always tend to pull too tightly.

I chose this pattern as I was looking for an easy, basic sock pattern in childrens’ sizes that used fingering weight yarn. This was deceptively difficult as there are tons of wee baby socks made from fingering yarn, or childrens’ socks made from sport or worsted weight yarn. Perhaps if I ever became a knitwear designer I could find a niche in the 4-to-11 year old sock arena.

O Tree December 15, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in kidlet.
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O tree

A few things December 11, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in knitting, spinning.
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A new cabinet! For my fiber studio. Right now it won’t fit in the actual room so it’s in the dining room. Marden’s got a huge shipment of furniture from that Crate & Barrel fire in Boston, so I got this at an amazing salvage price. There are a few dings on it and the glass needs to be cleaned up, but otherwise it is perfect and well worth the money. I’ve put a couple of skeins of yarn into it just to see how they look. :)
Things that make me happy.

Someone asked me what I’ve been knitting and I actually have been knitting, though it’s going painfully slowly. I am very nearly finished a pair of socks for kidlet.
Socks for the boy

Yarn: Schachenmayr nomotta Regia Color 4-ply /4-fรคdig, Color 4737
Pattern: Childโ€™s Sock Pattern by Lucy H. Lee

I am extremely pleased that the striping worked out just so.

Tons of crafty and kid photos. November 19, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, dyeing, Etsy, kidlet, Ravelry, spinning.
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I finally have a good bunch of photos of what I’ve managed to work on lately.

First, let’s start with a cheesecake shot of the yarn I had laid out on the table.

Cheesecake shot

Ahh, yarn. It looks kind of neat like that, and even neater knowing I made all of it.

Here’s all the yarn packed up and ready to be shipped out. The white box is half a dozen whoopie pies from Labadie’s – because I’m sorry but a whoopie pie just isn’t authentic unless it’s from Labadie’s. I find it funny that on their website they sell them for $24.95 a dozen (plus shipping) but if you buy them from the retail bakery they’re $0.50 apiece for six or $5.00 a dozen. Nom.

Packed up

Here’s the box! All told it was about nine pounds, so if you take out six whoopie pies that’s still a lot of yarn.

Boxed up

Joy received the box just fine today, whew! Here’s some excerpts that made me laugh. D is her coworker:


Joy: D is rolling around on the floor in my office.

Joy: WHOOPIE PIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joy: Woot!

O.k. I’ll stop yelling now.

Joy: D is freaking out.

Joy: O.k. so D is kind of totally fucking freaking out. (this one made me guffaw for reals)

Joy: Hehe, so the mail guy is standing there and he puts the box down and I grab it and make a run for it and he hollers “Wait! Wait wait wait! I have to scan that!”

I lurve her. :D :D :D

Moving on – some of you may remember the big fluffy pink and orange batt I cranked on Joy’s drum carder.

Fiber from my MT trip

Last night I wanted to do some spinning and that batt was speaking to me. It said, “Spin me slubby!” Now I’ve never spun a slubby yarn on purpose, I tend to be somewhat anal retentive and as a result can’t relax and spin anything that isn’t as close to perfectly uniform as I can get it. Which frankly pisses me off about myself. So I tried really hard and managed to spin the slubbiest single I’ve ever spun. I think it came out really pretty – I’m not sure if I should ply it or just leave it the way it is.


I think I like it – it was definitely a LOT faster just going to town on it and I enjoyed the process. I’ll have to do this more often and get better at it.

I also buckled down and finished the teensy bit of that purple merino I’ve had sitting around forever, it was literally about half an ounce left sitting in the basket.

On the bobbin

I plan to ply this with another single of the same thing. I’m not sure if I’ll spin another 4 ounce bump or just ply this one on itself, in any case I’ve set it aside to work on later so I don’t get burned out.

I ALSO also practiced Navajo plying. I had a couple hundred yards of single on a bobbin with no home so I cleared that off and tried to get the hang of a new skill. It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t post detailed closeups, so here you go:

Navajo ply practice

Navajo ply practice

Okay, that last one looked good but here’s the reality – I had a few trainwrecks. You can see I even got my own HAIR in it. Nice.

Navajo ply practice

Overall though I think I’m starting to get it. I need to slow down as the resulting yarn is extremely kinky. Maybe I’ll ply something else around it and make aht yahn.

Last but not least, what is to come! I got some amazing, AMAZING rovings from The Loopy Ewe that were made by Creatively Dyed – what a fantastic customer service experience and what incredible rovings!

Ugh, they’re so pretty I can hardly stand it. 70% superwash merino, 30% seacell fiber. These are 8 ounce rovings, too, which means they’re HUGE.

Be Mine:

Creatively Dyed roving

So In Love:

Creatively Dyed roving

I have a second bundle of So In Love since I adored this colorway so much – last night I slivered it up to get it ready to spin. I discovered that it twists and kinks very easily due to being so soft and floaty, it was tough to split it the entire length but I managed all right. I can’t wait to see how it spins up!

Creatively Dyed roving

So, that’s it. I hope that was enough photos for you fiber enthusiasts. I do have one last photo – I had placed my wheel in front of the window to take photos, then moved it over when I was done. I looked down and thought it looked kind of artsy and the light was better so I took a few shots of it next to my table. The plaids of my cheapo Goodwill tablecloth and my tattered fug chairs clash a bit but overall I like it.

On the bobbin

Erm, ignore that Cheerio.

Last but certainly not least, I was browsing some of my other Flickr photos and came across two of my kids that I thought bore comparison. My finest works in progress: