aelfie: (tattoo)
Bit the First: How I view some people and I knit for them to show them I love them.

Lets see:

Last weekend I went to a baby shower for the daughter of one of my oldest and dearest. The thing that truly amuses me is that this "child" is the same age as [livejournal.com profile] mollygm (i.e. near to 30). Molly I view as a peer. Jenner is my peer's daughter and I tend to think of her when I first met her 18 years ago, rather than the capable young woman she is. Regardless, I'm very happy she's having a wee one, and I knit a sweater for him. It came out so cute. I just learned how to do cables and it knit up very quickly.



Bit the Second: Scenes from Cultural Elitism

(hat tip to [livejournal.com profile] oxymoron67 for the subtitle)

The children are finally getting old enough that we can buy memberships to more interesting museums beyond ones specifically for children. Yesterday I took them to the California Academy of Sciences and bought a membership. There were two new exhibits since the last time I went. One was a place to worship the size of Larry Ellison's penis (it was something about speed in water, blah, blah, blah, but focused in the end on Larry's America's Cup team. See? I have a boat!)

Anyway.

The other one was on Earthquakes. It's San Francisco. Of course there's an exhibit on Earthquakes. It was a short video and then an Earthquake room. The room was made up to look Victorian and out the window was a scene of the Painted Sisters. First, we got to feel Loma Prieta (1989 quake for those not keeping score at home), which lasted 15 seconds. Pretty much what I remember. Then the lights went out, the picture of the Painted Sisters changed to 1906...the sample only lasted 30 seconds...which was only one third of the total time of the Earthquake. Damn. No wonder it did so much damage. (That and the lack of proper Earthquake prevention in the buildings/water supplies (fire did MORE damage than the quake itself. Lack of water was the main problem. The pipes broke in the quake.))

While in line there was a green screen and a nice helpful person took your picture. Elli and Gray went with me to this exhibit. So they got their picture taken. I love it. It's just perfect. I can't get over how awesome Elli's expression is.



It was a good day and we will go back. This is one of our favorite museums. We actually got up to the roof this time. Pretty cool looking close up.
aelfie: (the motivator)
I'm lucky enough to live where there a weekend of yarn porn.

Stitches West from the Knitting Universe is a Yarn Con. Yarn, fibers, and more yarn. *sigh*

I decided to take a couple of market classes (1 hour learn something specific classes that are cheap) so if I had been so inclined, I could have gone to the pre-public market opening Thursday night. I decided after spending a day at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and I was already planning to spend both Friday and Saturday at the Con, I'd go home.

Friday morning we got up and go moving. The girls and I dropped Gray at KidsPark and we went to the shopping. We didn't have to waste time in the LONG ass buy market tickets 'cause I could go in anytime I wanted as an attendee and the girls are under 10 so they didn't need badges. And we shopped. And shopped...and shopped some more. Stitches West is held at the Santa Clara convention center, which has something like 100,000 square feet in the big hall....the yarn show takes the entire big hall for the market. It took us a couple of hours to go through the market. And even then the girls gave up before we saw it all. Gwen found a skein of really pretty loopy yarn in her favorite colors and then they found a new craft. Punch Needle Rug Hooking. If you've ever seen punch embroidery, same concept, except for using rug yarn on monk's cloth. The booth ladies were oh so kind enough to let them try and they got hooked fast (Ha!). So I bought 2 kits. Not bad priced $15.00. The punch needles on the other hand.OUCH. $35.00 each. Being a smart mom I bought 2. Which turned out to be a good thing because once I got those kits home and showed them to Ike and Joe they both asked for a kit too. The three big kids spent all of today (Sunday) passing the two needles back and forth. Those of you who know me well may ask..."why didn't you get a kit for yourself Jen?" Because I have a huge chunk of Monk's cloth in my stash and I figure by the time the other four get through their kits, there will be plenty of rug yarn left for me to use for my own project. And as a note, I got though Friday's shopping expedition without buying a single thing for myself. (please be impressed)

I went back all by myself Saturday morning. Took a class, shopped for an hour, took another class, shopped for another 2 hours. I came home with 1800 yards of sport/dk weight alpaca yarn. (Lovely stuff, so soft) 750 yards of a camel/silk blend in more dk weight, 750 yards in lace that's a linen/silk blend (lace "should" be soft, but they had a sample and OMG it looked so beautiful, the lace was just so crisp and easily seen) and 200 yards of this fancy silk/metallic blend from one of my all time favorite supplies of stitching silk.  I was just wandering around the show and I come across this little booth the title is "Victoria Clayton" from PA. And I'm like hrmmm...how many Vicki Clayton's from PA can there be. I wander into this tiny booth and see some lovely shiny yarn. Hrm...maybe not the same Vicki Clayton. I look around a bit closer and see in the back her signature silk ribbon. And I turn around and go "OMG! This is Hand Dyed Fibers! I love stitching with your silk!!! When did you move into yarn?" We had a great conversation and I was the third stitcher she met this weekend. And the second mom who picked up knitting 'cause it's portable (unlike stitching). It was so cool to meet her!

It was a good weekend. I didn't buy too much yarn and the stuff I bought it stuff I've never stitched with before. I want to try different things. And I'm just SO glad we picked up yet another yarn craft, but I am glad it's one that Elli seems to enjoy. (cause she hates to knit)


   
aelfie: (tattoo)

Today is the first day of Stitches West. Since I am taking classes, I got to attend the pre-public market. Lots of walking, lots of shopping. Freeway home is a parking lot. Stopping for food before I pass out...hoping this kills the massive headache I've got.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Yarn Dying

Oct. 19th, 2011 06:18 am
aelfie: (Default)
In August, after I finished knitting sweaters for Elli and Gwen for their birthday, Ike comes to me and says "Mom, you've never knit a sweater for me. Why not?" I thought about it and realized he had a legitimate beef, I pulled out a pattern for the next sweater I had planned to knit for him and said "How about this one?"

He liked it and we talked about yarn. What colors, etc, etc. Then I remembered that I had purchased a bunch of superwash blanks from Knitpicks 'cause not only do I like their yarn, but the blanks are CHEAP!!! We then talked about what color dye I had. We went back and forth for awhile and Ike made his decision.

We pulled out my canning pot, filled it, and put the it on to boil. We pulled out my dyeing tubs and set them up on the lawn. The water boiled, we poured it into the tubs, mixed in dye, and put the yarn in. And it came out like this:



I was told later that if I had wet the yarn in hot water first the yarn would have opened up and the colors not only would have been more brilliant, but they would have crawled up the yarn and blended in the middle (which was my intention in the first place). Oh well, I think it came out quite nicely.

After it dried, I put it on my yarn swift and used the winder to ball it up. Then I sat down and started knitting.
aelfie: (bad fangirl)
Almost a year late, but finally I finished it!!!

One knitted Dalek.





Extermiknit! Extermiknit!!!
aelfie: (Default)

LifeWays believes in having real work for the adult to do around the children. It also believes in handmade natural toys for children to use. Towards this, we are “required” to learn how to knit, and then put those knitting skills to use. Hence, the Year Long Knitted Farm Project.

I dislike going forth on such a large project without a plan. The programs plan is that everyone will create 16 squares and then put the farm together to form a playmat. With everybody using their own imagination on how its going to turn out. I need more planning than that, so  I pulled out a LARGE piece of drawing paper, folded it so there are 16 squares and plotted out what I wanted in each square. Since I have a nasty habit of losing things like this…I’m posting my plan and the materials needed so I have a backup. Not a bad idea huh?

If you are really interested in reading what I’m going to be doing, feel free to read behind the cut…’cause its long!

TLDR )

aelfie: (Default)
I thought I might do some writing/musing

Will Development/Weight Management
I am a sugar addict. Oh hell, I'm a food addict. But sugar is the biggest problem of all. I get on that roller coaster of highs and lows and its just awful. I have managed to stay away from sugar for almost three weeks. This is big for me. I want to be healthier, but most "diets" have you cutting everything out at once. And it doesn't work. So right now I'm focusing on sugar. Baby steps will win the race. I don't know if I've lost any weight or not, but my Mom says I'm not as puffy as the last time she saw me. And my scale in the bathroom doesn't automatically go "TILT" when I step on it. It actually has to think about it before it does it. So I see that as a vast improvement.

Sleep
Oh my god do I need some. For the last four nights Gray has gotten up in the middle of the night for a couple of hours. I finally figured out he's probably teething, so I've been giving him ibuprofen. Problem is that it wears off in the middle of the night. So my night is really broken. I'm crispy. Thank god I'm not eating sugar to make it worse!

Homeschooling
Has actually been going well. We do better on the days we stay home all day, but overall school is going well. The other day Ike said to me "Mommy, I love doing school here. J (boy down the street) has to go to school all day, has homework when he gets home, and we're done by lunch! I get a lot more time to play" Smart boy. We are working on American Tall Tales right now and Melisa is right as usual, when you read a book the lesson goes flat. So I will be telling the next couple instead of reading the cool picture books I found. I'll save those for story time (which is something new I've managed to institute. I read to the kids for about an hour every afternoon). He's also found pencils are much easier for him to write with than using crayons. So we are making headway there.

I did a lot of thinking and meditating this summer on how to approach teaching this year. I gave myself permission to not beat myself up because I can't manage a Waldorf School experience at home. I'm Homeschooling! Not Schooling at Home. So I'm not going to kill myself trying to squeeze in everything. I'm working on stories, some writing, handwork, singing, penny whistle, verse memorization, and some painting. Which is still a lot. And I'm not even going to bother teaching Grammar this year. Ike doesn't read! It makes no sense at all to me to teach a non-reader grammar. I'm also not going gung-ho on teaching him to read. He's not frustrated enough yet. He's starting to get there, but he's not there yet. And when that frustration sets in, then I'll work on turning him into a reader.

I also got inspired by another Homeschooling Mama of 9(!) kids. So, in addition to focusing on less things, I'm leaning a bit toward child-led education. I'm giving the kids the option of a lesson (but they have to finish a lesson they start). And if someone expresses an interest in a subject, we'll look at it as appropriate

Steiner did say once that not having to go to school to age 12 would be a good thing...so I'm still schooling them (I'm not that brave to not do "anything" until age 12), but I'm backing off on forcing the issue. There's no rush. Everything will be covered in due time.

LifeWays
I had my first class on Saturday. Awesome, but long day topped off by a Stupid Tax courtesy of SFPD. (Not only was I blocking someone's driveway, I forgot to curb my wheels. Whoops! I'm glad they didn't tow it.) We started the day with singing, then Steiners Ages and Stages (going whole to parts, of course), lunch, sewing, and knitting. My kind of day!

The knitting component was starting on our year long knitting project...the knitted farm yard. I've gotten the first two squares done. I had to rip out what I did in class 'cause it was messy and uneven.  And I didn't like the needles we were given at all! Bamboo makes for really slick needles and it just drives me up a wall! I'm completely sold on my Knitpicks wood circular needles. They are perfect in my book.

Autism
So I'm finally doing some major reading on autism. When Ike was diagnosed a year ago, I just wasn't up for any reading. Now that I'm finally feeling like my head is out of the water since I got pregnant with Gray, I've got the energy to read. (yea, I know I read a lot. But this is a different type of reading. I just wasn't ready). Things I've figured out/found out. Kids with Autism have fewer mirroring neurons. Which is why a baby smiles back at you when you smile at them. The fewer the number the more pronounced the autism. Ike has problems with Executive Processing. Which is not only causal relations (i.e. if I hit my sister, she'll get hurt, then I'll get into trouble) but sequential thinking (i.e. first I pick up, then I dust, then I vacuum). It also impairs his ability to take verbal instructions. He just can't do it beyond a certain point.

I also found its quite common and expected for younger siblings to mimic elder siblings behave. In due time, as they mature, they outgrow it. (Thank goodness!)

Handwork
Oy, am I knitting up a storm. I've been focusing on my shawl. I'm finding I have an urge to make something. I've been cleaning out my work basket. (Where things are put to be repaired) so far in the last week or so I've repaired 2 Heavy Babies and I've finally put together a Gingerbread Man I knitted up last year. Turned out really, really cute! Gray will enjoy it for Christmas!

I'm starting to look toward Christmas and decide what needs to be made by then. I want to make the kids their own Hobby Horses from Santa. I have 5/6 of the material I need (I need to find a co-ordinating fabric for Ike's Horse, which is red of course) I need to set up my sewing machine as I want to make the girls their Halloween costumes on top of everything else.


So that pretty much sums up everything going on with me. How's things with you?
aelfie: (Default)
http://www.amautalab.com/works/broadcast/independent/blindness.html

Okay, its a short film where the actors are covered in full body KNITTED costumes. Not only is there yarn people having sex...it throws in a bit of beastiality.

WTF? There are some sick Mothers out there!
aelfie: (Default)
I wanted to post a picture of the proud knitting boy.

aelfie: (MnM Ike)
Ike has been going to the Waldorf school full time last week and this week. He was invited to participate in the class play and I was more than willing to invest in the time. I taught Ike to knit 'cause that's what first graders learn in Waldorf World. He's been working on a very simple pot holder in fits and spurts since last fall. The first grade class has handwork twice a week. So Ike took his knitting with him to school. Today his teacher told me that Ike voluntarily stayed inside during recess to finish his pot holder! That's my boy! Makes me so proud!

Books

Feb. 8th, 2010 08:59 pm
aelfie: (Default)
21. Beyond this Horizon. by Robert A. Heinlein.
Early Heinlein. And one I hadn't read before. It was kind of actually a hard read as the writing wasn't as smooth as his later work became. Interesting read, but not one I'll seek out.

22. The Pleasure Palace by Evangeline Anderson
When I'm feeling really brain dead, I read romance/smut. This qualifies as smut. Bad smut. The sex scenes were BORING. And the plot, although an interesting premise, was kinda dry. Definitely a waste of time

23. Knitting without Tears by Elizabeth Zimmermann
I just got introduced to EZ by another blog I read (soulemama). The Sweater she knit for her baby (slightly older than Gray) was fascinating. She took a before picture and it was a blobbish rectangle. According to Amanda Soule, it took some clever folding and 1 seam across the shoulders and it turned into this adorable sweater. So I requested the one book SJPL owns, and after reading promptly ordered a couple of patterns (including that neat one) off her website (run by her daughter). There's another pattern in this book I must try (The tomten jacket) Amanda Soule just posted pictures of one she just finished on her website and it looks totally cute too. I'll need to buy this one I think.

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