Sunday, December 30, 2007

Updates & Such

Well, the Christmas season has come and gone. It was such a wonderful Solstice & Christmas time.
There are a few projects I have been finishing up. I have more to add but there is only so much light available here to get outside and photograph (that and my LM is not always a willing model).

Here are the crayon rolls I made for a ton of little ones in our lives. They are fairly quick and fun to make. They seem to be a hit with all the kids so far. I got the instructions for making them here:

Great instructions! I can see making a ton of these for birthday parties and such.
Go make a few for yourself!

Monday, November 19, 2007

To mom's everywhere

I saw this on another blog and had to put it here. If only so I can keep reading it and remember.

I'm invisible.

It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I'm on the phone and ask to be taken to the store. Inside I'm thinking, 'Can't you see I'm on the phone?' Obviously not. No one can see if I'm on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, or even standing on my head in the corner, because no one can see me at all. I'm invisible!

Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more:

Can you fix this?

Can you tie this?

Can you open this?

Some days I'm not a pair of hands; I'm not even a human being.

I'm a clock to ask, 'What time is it?'

I'm a satellite guide to answer, 'What number is the Disney Channel?'

I'm a car to order, 'Right around 5:30, please.'

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books and the eyes that studied history and the mind that graduated summa cum laude - but now they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again. She's going ... she's going ... she's gone!

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel she stayed in. I was sitting there, looking around at the others all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself as I looked down at my out-of-style dress; it was the only thing I could find that was clean. My unwashed hair was pulled up in a clip and I was afraid I could actually smell peanut butter in it. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, 'I brought you this.'

It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe. I wasn't exactly sure why she'd given it to me until I read her inscription:
'To Charlotte, with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.'

In the days ahead I would read - no, devoured - the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
(1) No one can say who built the great cathedrals - we have no record of their names.

(2) These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished.

(3) They made great sacrifices and expected no credit.

(4) The passion of their building was fuelled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, 'Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it.'

And the workman replied, 'Because God sees.'

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, 'I see you, Charlotte. I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you've done, no sequin you've sewn on, no cupcake you've baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can't see right now what it will become.'

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride. I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who show up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don't want my son to tell the friend he's bringing home from college for Thanksgiving, 'My mom gets up at 4 in the morning and bakes homemade pies, and then she hand bastes a turkey for three hours and presses all the linens for the table.' That would mean I'd built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home. And then, if there is anything more to say to his friend, to add, 'You're gonna love it there.'

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we're doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.

God Bless You as you build your Cathedrals! (Author Unknown)
Picture is of my beautiful Grandma. She built a great foundation for my cathedral.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gift Crafting Underway

(The picture is the last of the season's flowers. Usually these are the last in August but fall just arrived here.)

Some serious crafting has been happening here at the littlepeep household. Halloween costume just needs some finishing touches. As usual I have gone overboard on the costume. I think in hindsight it would have looked the same if I had simplified it. And of course, in the true nature of two-year-olds he no longer wants to be a bird but would rather be a witch. I knew I should have bought a back up costume. Here's hoping I will be able to show the costume on the LM.

I have been canning the rest of the season's yumminess. Not exactly crafty but time consuming.

3 knitting projects are off the needles, seamed and soaked. They are drying and blocking now. Am I the only one amazed that when you wash the finished knit item that they can really be filthy? Is it my hands that are that dirty or is it the wool?

Next up on the needles Thuja socks from in Duets Nob Hill.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Warning--- Woolgirl Sock Club Spoiler Ahead

Jen from Woolgirl can sure organize a party. Her Woolgirl Sock Club has firmly established itself, in my mind, as THE sock club of all time. And it is just the first month.
The yarn awesome! The extras-- oh my the extras. I used to think I just joined sock clubs for the yarn but this one sets a whole new standard! This installment of the sock club was like having the world's best sock swap package. Quality, value, awesome extras. I love it all.

Spoilers straight ahead. . .

Miss Babs Sport Weight superwash wool-- Waterfall. I love sport weight. I live in the cold north country and these are much appreciated. Cute handwritten note, crystal stitch marker, chocolate mint lip balm (smells good enough to eat, need to keep out of little hands), awesome woolgirl sock club journal and pen, beautiful pattern and already a contest!

I can see I am going to have fun with this!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

New Monkey Socks

Pattern: The famous monkey socks from Cookie A. on
Yarn: Claudia Handpainted Sock, fingering weight; 2 skeins
Needles: Size 2 DPNs
I made these for bigger feet than mine. I think they will be a perfect fit. First time with this pattern. After I got the pattern memorized these seemed to fly off the needles. I really liked this yarn. So cheerful. I did one less repeat on the leg because I was worried I didn't have enough yarn. I think I would have been fine.
These are part of a Christmas present. One down, many more to go. Not all knit, some paintings, some sewing.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Yarn Stash Swap & Favorite Quilts

I just finished participating in the Yarn Stash Swap 2007 hosted by Kyle Knits! at I had a really nice package in the mail waiting for me when I came back from vacation.

(Sorry for the toes in the picture. They do help explain the missing candy though.)

I got a big skein of Sugar & Cream cotton-- I love dishcloth cotton. 2 skeins of Sirdar Snuggly in a nice bright pink (I can't believe these were the least favorite yarn in her stash, wait till you see what I sent.) 1 skein fuzzy turquoise blue novelty yarn ( I think this would make a good Dr. Seuss Thing 1 hat). Some yummy samples and a pomegranite scented candle. What fun!

I also thought I would show off one of my favorite vintage quilts. I don't even remember how I got this one but I love that it is so scrappy. The repairs and rebinding of it really make it special to me also. My DH and most of my family think I have awful taste in vintage quilts. I love them scrappy and mismatched and patched and repaired and loved and worn. I hope the quilts I make suffer a similar fate. I hope they are loved to death.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Back From Vacation

Finally we are back from vacation. What a great time the family had in Disney world, Florida, at the end of July. Yes it was really really hot and humid. Thankfully the conference I attended was held at one of the Disney resorts. It was really a nice resort with great pools for LM. My parents went with us as babysitting vacationers and I really think they had a great time.

LM learned early on at the resort to be unfailingly polite to everyone he met because this generally resulted in free toys, crayons or stickers. We had quite a bit to bring home so he must have been quite the little gentleman when I was in conference. We went to Disney's Animal Kingdom. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more LM or DH. I also had a great time but one Disney park for the week was plenty enough for me.

On an afternoon I did not have to attend the conference we travelled up to New Smyrna Beach and the Cape Canaveral National Seashore. Well worth the trip. The loggerhead sea turtles had been hatching, the space shuttle was on the launch pad ready to blast off and the beach was near empty because of some drizzly rain (it was still 85 degrees out). Perfect!

If your family loves to visit national parks, forests and seashores I highly recommend getting a National Park passport. I have been to quite a few parks and this was the first time I have seen one. I think it will really grow with LM and be interesting for him. National Parks are much more our speed than Disney.

I progressed a bit on the Chevron scarf, now at 4'. Not much point in taking a picture since it looks the same as before. I will say that I am feeling the blue/brown strippy love for it finally.

I recieved some amazing trades and gifts (and a few new purchases.) But I will save those for another post.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I Can never Again Say . . .

That I never win anything. Now that statement spoken aloud would be completely false.

Look at what I won

WOo Hooo. I have never tried Malabrigo or this awesome scarf pattern so I am so pleased that I have won. I cannot wait to make this!

I also have been adding to ravelry a bit slower than I thought I might. I was hoping to be able to work on it more. I have a bunch of things ready to add so the big chunk of that work is done. Although I have been trading with some really great people so that is definitely helping my focus.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Weeds are just a matter of perspective

I don't even know where to start with today. So many things filling up my brain. This blogging thing is a bit odd because it is a journal, but not the journal I keep just for me. I don't know if that makes much sense.

Happy news-I got my Ravelry invite this week. I am littlepeeps if you are so inclined to add me as a friend. It is a bit lonely with the friends 0 staring at you from the screen. What to say about ravelry. I could get so lost in a giant time vacuum on that site if I am not careful. Lots of yummy yarn pr#n, inspiring projects, fun knitting talk. I am going to use ravelry to my utmost advantage. I really would like to catalog and organize my stash and this site is the perfect way to do that. I have far more yarn than I know what to do with and I need to start busting a hole through it. So, my DH put up all kinds of shelves for me, bought me small see through totes and I will be photographing,cataloging and such for a few weeks at least. I am going to assign my yarn to future projects in queue, destash it or, in rare instances, keep it until I know what I would like to do with it. Projects may change but yarn must fall into these criteria. Hopefully this will get me past the daydreaming stage and using up the really beautiful yarn that I already have.

I also need to start working on one of my other passions, quilting. I have culled my fabrics and quilting books for the last few years so I am left with all kinds of things I really want to work on. My sewing machine is calling my name.

Next post:Finished Monkey Socks, my 1st pair.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cure for UFO's

Apparently for me it is going to the lake. DH and LM go out fishing and playing. I sat in the shade enjoying the cool lake breeze and working on my knitting.

Finished: Saturday Market Bag

Yarn: Peaches & Cream worsted weight cotton. Color: Peppercorn Ombre
Needles US 15
Pattern: with modifications here I made my handles a bit larger (for throwing over the stroller handles since it is a few miles walk with a two year old to farmer's market on Friday's in my village.

Quick, fun knit. More of these are definetly in the works. I love me some kitchen cotton yarn, this colorway--not so much. While I thought they were pretty in the cone nothing I have knit with this colorway has been pretty. I have been using up this yarn on these bags and some dishcloths. These cones have a lot more yardage than I gave them credit for. I have gotten a ton of compliments on the bag at the supermarket and the farmer's market. They fold up quite small but hold a great deal.
Next nearly finished project:

Mason-Dixon Baby Kimono
Yarn: Sugar and cream dishcloth cotton scraps.
Needles: Whatever was called for in the pattern.
Mods: I made it more of an extended cardigan than a kimono due to yarn shortage.
I thought I had enough of the yellow for the entire kimono but I ran short. I am going to reinforce that curling button band with ribbon and have hidden snaps. I was thinking of knitting a big star applique for the back and a few small ones for the front to balance it out more. The good news is I used up a bunch of little scraps lying around. Now I just need to find little star buttons.
Work in progress:

Well I have been work on this last minute knit for quite some time, off and on. This is the infamous chevron scarf. I keep going back and forth about deciding if I like how it is coming out. The brown semi-solid is a fab yarn from and the blue (which is a bit thicker) is from Great yarns but I have to say again Fearless Fibers yarn is dyed to perfection. I think you would be hard pressed to find a better semi-solid sock yarn out there. I am almost 1/2 way done and I am just going to keep moving along. It is supposed to be a Christmas present so I need to pick up my pace a bit.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Anyone want to trade

Anything in there marked destash is up for grabs. So far I have been going through my knitting stash-- next up quilty stash.

Trade list:

2 Skeins Rayon Rick Rack yarn in fingering weight. 650 yds a skein. Colorway: coral from an etsy seller. Impulse buy. I don’t wear anything yellow.
Patons Divine- 2 full skeins in charcoal gray color. 80% of the cream left (not knit with but wrapped in a loose ball.) 50% of blue (not knit with but in a ball.)
9 skeins Fantacia Cinese from Italy. 70% viscose 30% cotton Color 121 navy blue. Each skein is 50grams approx. 93 yds. Aran weight.
2 skeins of Lion Brand chenille yarn—ball bands missing. Dark green and cream. Maybe a yard or two missing from each.
Fan Pel fur type novelty yarn. 8 skeins. Blues, tans, cream.
½ cone of light DK weight rayon chenille.
2+skeins of NY Splash multi-color yarn. 2 full skeins 1 small remnant. Left over from an infant sweater.
1 ½ skeins Lion brand Moonlight Mohair—blues.
5+ skeins Moda Dea Ricochet. Color: soul.
4 skeins ICE gold novelty fur type yarn. Great for costumes, maybe?
4+ skeins Moda Dea Ricochet. Color: Salsa
1 skein Crystal Palace Iceland Yarn. Not sure of color.
2 skeins Precious unger yarn. Yarn: Precious unger 50% camelhair, 50% lambswool 1.35 oz. color 1 handwash. supersoft. Not sure what the yardage is on these.
Handdyed fingering weight from Etsy. This is a rayon/cotton/poly blend 400+ yards. It was advertised by the etsy seller to be fingering weight. Color: Wild Piazzi 3 strands twisted together.
Noro Yoroi 2 skeins Noro Yoroi 87% wool, 7% cotton 6% silk. Color no. 5 lot no.A 100grams 120 meters. Gorgeous new yarn.
Sunny Yellow Rayon Rick Rack Rayon Rick Rack fingering weight. From an etsy seller. 625 yards
Noro Himaraya 8 skeins. Discontinued very similar to noro kureyon but with less colors in the ball and longer color repeats. Felts great.
Destashing 2 skeins French sock yarn Bergere de France. A tweedy gray-green color with flecks of tan. Cablenyl—230yds per skein.

Photos here:

Looking for:
Indie sock yarn
Cotton/cotton blend yarns- esp. Tahki cotton classic, brown sheep cotton fleece, d. mumm, rowan calmer
Berroco plush
Or Baby knitting books—try me.
Rowan cork

Heather Ross or Heather Bailey fabrics

I have a ton more to trade but it will take me a few days to get the rest together. I do have dogs, cat, and an angora rabbit but they are not allowed near the stash.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Thoughts of Independence . . .

I think I could write entire novels on my thoughts and philosophy of independence and freedom, especially how goverments warp these to fit their needs. But don't worry-- I won't do it here. Except to say that I had a huge tag sale this weekend (over 4 full-size truckloads of stuff). What didn't sell went to my local fire department for their annual auction. I am relieved to say it is gone, gone, gone!

I am legend (well at least in my own mind.) I am the packrat of the family, as well as the historian- geneologist- crafter- fixer of all things fiber, you get the idea. Those aforementioned truckloads were just things I have been picking up around the house and shoving into boxes for the last 6 months. No deep cleaning of the house or closets or dressers or attic or garage. Are you starting to see my packratting compulsion.

Anyway, these truckloads have been pretty inspirational for me. Time to start cleaning house. I started with the most important space in the house-- my studio. Anyone interested in trading with me. I am going to start my wish list here on this post.

All things up for trade will be listed here:

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Strawberry Moon

Since I love strawberries it should come as no suprise that this time is one of my favorite moments of summer. I took LM and DH out strawberry picking. We picked about 25lbs. I have a bit of jam and pies to put up but quite a few get eaten fresh. Lm can eat berries faster than I can pick them. Again this year he decided that it was far easier to pick from my basket then from the plants. Well, I guess it does have a certain logic.

I have been working on a new quilt project and finally joining the cheveron scarf craze. I am about a foot into it and I can't decide if I like it or not.
Things I want to remember:
-- LM doesn't say birdies he says "bwwdys." He loves animals and for many of them know their name, the sounds or action they make and where you can find them living. Not bad for two.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Wild Stripes and Surfing Monkeys Unite

Project: Wild Stripes baby blanket from (

Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style-- all colors called for except substitued the coal for the cornflower color.

Needles: Size 5 circular-- 32"

Fabric: Cotton Flannel-- surfing monkeys. I am fairly certain this came from Joann's. Red binding.

Receipent: Little Man

Time: This was one of my first knitting projects. I thought it was a great first knitting project. Nice but not pricey yarn, repeated knit and purl but with color changes so it didn't get dull. And best of all for me it contained my love of quilting into it. All in all a great project. This took me about 6 months to complete off and on.

Notes: This is not perfect by any means. My first rows are funny to look at. I think I must have been twisting my stitches. I left them in so I know where I started from, yep that's it. LM is only two. He loves it and doesn't seem to mind the imperfectness of it. He just loves that mommy made it for him. (Don't you wish everything was that simple.)

I did the entire thing with hand stitching because I wasn't getting the control I wanted with my sewing machine. It still would not totally square up, I'm not sure what the technical term for this is.

I can see the benefit of using a striped or plaid fabric. I had no choice. I asked LM what he wanted in fabric and he said "moky" so monkey fabric it was. The colors on the flannel seemed right for the project also.
Also, I didn't always follow the right number count on the stripes. This was a travelling, car, playground project and well, it has to be said, I screwed up even the simplest pattern.
I have quite a bit of leftover yarn but I am not sure what to do with it yet. Any suggestions?

The Not so Itty Bitty Football Helmet

I should start by saying that there isn't a hat in the Itty Bitty Hats book that I don't like. I have completed a few of the marley's but they get swooped up by friends for their children the second they are off the needles. Sure they promise pictures but I haven't seen any yet. This book is one of my current obsessions. Usually with knitting or quilting books there are one or two patterns that I feel I must make. This book, well, I must make all the hats-- maybe more than once. In various sizes.

The low down:

Project: The football helmet

Yarn: substitued yarn. I had some Debbie Bliss DK cotton sitting around not planned for any projects. The crochet trim, the football and the top sprout were random pieces and partial skeins of cotton yarn that I inherited.

Needle size: I used a size 6 CN and DPN's

Size: Largest-- 2 years and up

Problems: I am a fairly new knitter so I think the problems I had are all my own and are due in no part to the pattern or the pattern writter. I take full responsibility. My gauge was a bit off. I was getting 5 stitches to the inch vs. the 4 1/2 stitches to the inch called for. My hat came out huge. It is to big for me. I see no point in making a gauge swatch for a hat that only takes me a few nights. I know this is one of my problems and I accept this. The other problem I had was getting the seed stitch ear flaps and the hat brim to line up properly. There is still a line of stitches from the join that doesn't line up. This only bothers me enough to make the hat again but not to rip it out. (So you're starting to see what kind of a crafter I am. If you need to leave now I understand.)

New skills: Crochet edge. A simple edging treatment but it felt like an accomplishment.

Sorry about the model. Poor grumpy bear was all I had at the moment. LM was taking a nap.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Mother's Day Contest

So I am a little late to post this but there is still one more day. has some incredible mother's day giveaways started. Go sign up!

More posts later when I get a model. I have been working my way through Itty-Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson. Such a great book. I have gifted a few of these hats and they have been a huge hit. I made a rainbow marley hat and bought this t-shirt to go with it. It was the hit of the 1 year olds party. The dad wants the hat also but I have no idea how to size it up to adult.

Okay, pictures later.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Brief Introductions . . .

Right now I envision this blog as my daily diary and motivation. I am a quilter, crafter, sewer, fledgling knitter, mommy to an awesome little boy, wife to an amazing husband, rug maker, archaeologist, home remodeler, awful decorator, environmentalist . . .

I love seeing all the craft blogs and the projects. So much inspiration everywhere. I'm hoping this blog will be my crafty outlet since I am sure my family is sick of hearing all about my projects.

I will open with my very first knit sweater that I just got off the needles. I am so excited to have finished that I had LM (little man) wear it right away. Be kind.

The sweater is from Adorable Knits for Tiny Tots by Zoe Mellor, the Robin Hood Jacket pattern. I had a lot of problems in the beginning deciphering the pattern. The problems were all me, 1) not a good choice for beginner knitters, 2) no idea how to do cables, 3) I had only knit hats before this. I think it turned out really nice. It is knit from Rowan Cork which I love love love but it is discontinued. I am on the hunt for more if anyone wants to trade.