Goodbye, new friends

My friend is moving. 12 hours away. I am sad.

We met just a bit more than a year ago, but I feel like it’s been way longer than that. This has been coupled with yet another good friend potentially moving and I am doubly sad. The former friend’s husband had been looking for more satisfying work for a while now and has finally found it, which I am happy for. The latter friend’s husband lost his job and is now searching all over the country. Former friend leaves around Thanksgiving; latter friend has until the end of the year to find work before they’re totally broke.

Former friend has a son just 6 days younger than Lily, and I’m loving watching their interactions. We played at the park yesterday…

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They ran up and down a little hill together for way longer than I would peg an 18 month old’s attention span 🙂

Latter friend has the potential to move east of here while former friend is going west. At least latter friend could pick me up on a road trip out to former friend? *sigh*

CAMERA!!!

I’m back, I’m back, I’m back! I feel like I’ve found a long-lost limb!

NEW CAMERA!!!
(Lunch)

That’s one of the first shots straight out of the gate. I got a kit lens, which I wasn’t anticipating, and I must say I’m a fan of the whole set up. Oh, this was no editing to boot. Actually, all of the subsequent photos were simply cropped at most.

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(Talking to her naked dolls)

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(Grandpa stopped by on a break for a little walk)

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(A quick game of golf)

A great big giant THANK YOU to my parents for this wonderful refurbished Canon Rebel XS. I couldn’t be happier to have a DSLR back in my hands!

Of photos, fitness, and cleanliness

I know, I know, I haven’t been writing regularly. Call my uninspired, but with no camera to document our lives, well, I am just that: uninspired. But have no fear! By a generous gift from my parents I have a refurbished Canon Rebel XS on its way to me for a discounted price in exchange for my broken 300D. Canon has a nice “loyalty program” (despite me buying the old camera used off of Ebay) which makes up for the alternatively high repair cost. So, since I’m sure my few readers are just itching to see something, I will share with you Lily’s cheap-o 18 month photos (how I love JC Penney for these)…

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Seriously, how cute is my kid? I’m in love with the ones of her with the ridiculous fake flower. She spotted that prop and wanted it instantly–“More! More!”

In news not as cute as my kid: I’ve started Couch to 5K and Fly Lady. Thank you, dear internet, for providing me with free motivational programs to better my health and home! The running has unfortunately been put on a temporary hold as I’ve developed some nasty Achilles tendonitis from weak calves? ankles? inadequate of stretching? I’m trying to remedy all of that while I heal and once there’s no pain I’m going to continue on! I’ve never enjoyed running like I have been this try. Seriously, I have NEVER enjoyed running, and I was actually looking forward to each session. I’m very sad my ankles are preventing me from continuing right. this. minute. But I know if I let them heal it will aid in preventing re-injury, which I definitely want to avoid. So, bike riding in the mean time is filling a little of this need-to-move urge, along with lots of gentle stretching and strength exercises. I don’t know where this fitness bug came from, but it bit Art too, and I’m thankful for it.

This Fly Lady business though? I’m all over that right now! A few of my friends have challenged one another (complete with a virtual “reward chart” through Google Docs). This week is a warm up. Next week it’s on! I’ve gotten into the habit of emptying my sink each night; now to just find those 15 minute breaks throughout the day to start some de-cluttering and I’m set. We’re such dorks; there are even going to be bi-weekly prizes based on our point system we set up.

But here’s to clean and organized houses! And fitness! And a new camera! And a super cute kid! (And parenthesis and exclamation points!)

Broken camera

*sigh*

My old stand-by Canon 300D has finally bit the dust. The shutter is sticking leaving half of all of my photos black and sad. The cost to repair it is too much, and the cost to replace it is even greater. I’m trying to work extra to raise the funds, but I just don’t see it on the horizon any time soon. Boo.

Round Yoke Toddler Sweater

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If you’re anything like me you’ll use this pattern more as an inspiration than an exact science. Well, I hope so anyway, because I’m no professional pattern writer! I love top-down sweaters though, and if you’ve done one before this will be familiar and you’ll likely just need the basics to get rolling. Have fun! I’d love to see some other variations!

Size 10 US needles
Approximately 130 grams of Knit Pick’s “Comfy Worsted Yarn” (75% cotton, 25% acrylic – machine washable!)

Yoke is worked in garter stitch using as many colors as you like. I used 4 and changed them every 2 rows. The body and sleeves are worked in stockinette with garter stitch edges.

Yoke:
CO 39
Rows 1 – 5: k across
Row 6: k4, [k1, k1f&b], repeat inside [ ] across until last 4 st, k4
Rows 7 – 9: k across
Row 10: k4, [k2, k1f&b], repeat inside [ ] across until last 4 st, k4
Rows 11 – 13: k across
Row 14: k4, [k3, k1f&b], repeat inside [ ] across until last 4 st, k4
Rows 15 – 17: k across
Row 18: k4, [k4, k1f&b], repeat inside [ ] across until last 4 st, k4
Rows 19 – 21: k across
Row 22: k4, [k5, k1f&b], repeat inside [ ] across until last 4 st, k4
Rows 23 – 25: k across
Row 26: k4, [k6, k1f&b], repeat inside [ ] across until last 4 st, k4
Rows 27 – 29: k across
Row 30: k4, [k7, k1f&b], repeat inside [ ] across until last 4 st, k4
Row 31: k across

Without knitting, count 25 stitches from both left and right sides and place a marker. Count 31 more stitches from the left and right marker and place another marker. The inside of these markers will become the sleeves.

Row 31: k to first marker, place sts on holder to next marker, k across back to next marker, place sts on holder to next marker, k to end
Row 32: k4, p across untill last 4 st, k4
Row 33: k across

Repeat rows 32 and 33 until body is desired length (mine is 6.5″ of stockinette from the bottom of the yoke)

Garter stitch edge: k each st for 7 rows, BO

Pick up 31 stitches for a sleeve and work in the round in stockinette with DPNs or magic-loop technique (I prefer magic-loop) and k each row until sleeve is desired length (mine is 6″ from the edge of the yoke)

Garter stitch edge: k one row, p the next for 7 rows, BO

Do the other sleeve, weave in the ends (stitching up the inevitable holes in the armpits), and you’re done! I added a crochet border to create button holes and cover up my color changes, but you can also add button holes along the way if you prefer, or it doesn’t even need a closure.

My finished garment is around 12″ long from neck to bottom and 10.5″ across the chest. It fits my 18 month old daughter (and likely would have fit her at a year, as well as continuing to fit until 2 or so).

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My model just woke up from her nap and is being bribed with cartoons on my iPhone. She is also wearing the most mismatched shirt, diaper, and Baby Legs. Even still, the sweater and her are cute!

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Yarn and pattern giveaway…

Check out Icelandic Gardening, Knitting, Grad Student, Mom for an awesome Malabrigo yarn giveaway, plus a pattern for a cowl. I’m so excited for the opportunity to win such fantastic fiber!