Friday, August 19, 2011

Fingerless Handwarmers

Hi, everybody!

As promised, I am finally posting the other knitting project I whipped up during my stay at Kathy-neechan's:

Fingerless Handwarmers
This is actually the second pair of these that I've made.
The first went to my dear sweet friend Shannon to keep her wrists cushioned and hands generally warm while she types at her keyboard. I have to remind her to send a photo to see them in action! ;)

I got the pattern from the lovely Lynn L. from the Corvallis Newcomers Handwork Lovers after I saw her make a pair in a beautiful wine color (same color that I used for Shannon's pair).
And I'd like to share the pattern I used with you too!
Please read below:

Sizes: Women's small, medium and large
Yarn: 2-ply acrylic yarn
Needles: Double-pointed #3 or #4

Cast on 36/40/44 stitches loosely.
Join and knit 6 rounds in rib pattern (k1, p1)
Knit 45 rounds or however many as will get you the desired length to beginning of thumb gusset.

Thumb Gusset:
Knit 1, place marker, increase 1 stitch (work increase as follows: with left-hand needle, pick up yarn between stitches, then knit through back of loop over needle), knit 1 stitch, increase 1 stitch, place second marker, knit to end of row.
Knit 2 rounds.
Repeat these 3 rounds (increasing in round 1 after first and before second marker, then knitting 2 rounds) until you have 13/15/15 stitches between markers.
Next round: knit 1 stitch, place the next 13/15/15 stitches on small stitch holder (paper clip works well), then knit to end of row (pull yarn tight after first stitch to avoid gap).
Next round: knit 1 stitch, increase 1 stitch by picking up yarn (with left-hand needle) between stitches and knitting through back of loop over needle.
Knit an additional 10 rounds and finish with 6 rounds in rib pattern (k1, p1).
Bind off loosely.

Put stitches from stitch holder on 3 needles and pick up 1 stitch between first and last stitch.
Knit 8 rounds and finish thumb with 6 rounds in rib pattern.
Bind off loosely.

Repeat for second handwarmer.

And there you have it!
You may have noticed that my two gloves have a variety of different colors in them, yes?
That is because I would run out of one yarn and just move onto the next.
Oh well! They are more for function than for fashion for me.
And I can't wait to give them a good work out come chilly Autumnal weather!!
I take that back. I can wait.
Please, Summer!! Don't gooooooo!

Bye-bye, everyone, and Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

DIY Fly Trap

Howdy-ho, everyone!

Boy, the days are sure getting hot here.
And you know what the heat brings? Flies.

Well, at least at our house. (Why is that...? ;_; )

At least we are dealing with those flies and in a way that I'd like to share below!
If you are having fly problems and would like to know how to make your own cheap but effective fly trap, please read on:

Step 1:
Gather your supplies

Empty jar with wide mouth, tape, scissors, wire mesh

Step 2:
Cut the wire mesh into a circle, and cut out a triangular piece of an appr. 45 degree angle

Looks like Pac Man!

Step 3:
Roll the circular wire mesh up, overlapping it so that it creates a nice tight cone

Make sure the tip of the cone is small but not so small that flies couldn't get through it

Step 4:
Put some kind of "fly bait" at the bottom of your pickle jar.
In this case, I had some old liver we weren't going to use.
I've also used pineapple chunks + juice in the past (makes for less smelly bait)

Step 5:
Prop the conical wire mesh in the jar, tip side down.
Viola! Done.

I added some leaves of nori as an afterthought...

Flies get in but they are so stupid, the cannot find the way out again.
Sure, some might prosper quite well in the meaty paradise you've created for then, but the larvae aren't about to get out either and if you wanna drown the whole kit 'n' caboodle, just fill it with water.

That wraps up this little tutorial.
Good luck to you all and Happy Fly Trapping!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Recent Development

That's right.

Though she needs a little push at the beginning, it seems Ella Rose at least has the concept down of pushing on the pedals of her little tricycle to move herself forward.

And for the record, we found this little tricycle abandoned on the curb, fixed it up and then rainbowified it this past spring. Lovin' it!!

Happy Pedaling, everyone!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Blackberry Picking

One of the first things that I loved very much about Corvallis was the bounty of wild blackberries you find everywhere.
Just around the corner from our house last year was a real jackpot of blackberry bushes running alongside Dixon Creek.
We discovered it very early on after moving in, and immediately set about picking, pie-ing, pancaking, and all other manner of enjoying blackberries. :)

The tradition continues on this summer too with the first family outing to pick blackberries just this morning!
We hope to bake them into pies, give away to friends, and freeze to enjoy over the winter.

Hopefully I will remember to take pictures of all the things that our blackberries turn into.
Until then, Happy Blackberry Picking!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Knits for Sis

Hola, again!
So some of you may remember me mentioning (wow, that's a lotta m's!) some knits I made for my sis, Kathy-neechan.
The first was from way back in this past Xmas '10, made to match the scarf I made her from this post.

I know, I know.
I always do legwarmers...
But they're just so darn easy! And adorable. And fashionable. And functional!!
Usually, it's for the babies, but here we have one that fit her long, slender adult legs.
It gets chilly in that San Jose area, so they come in handy! Or should I say...leggy -- ;)

Okay, onto knit number 2:
A knit pot-scrubber/tawashi!

This little baby is nice 'n' knotty and a great way to use up old acrylic that is hardening sorta, 'cuz it's good for scratching clean plates!
The pattern I used for it can be found here.

In other knitting-related news, a good friend of mine is going to have a baby so she wanted to learn how to knit so she can knit some wool soakers!! I'm gonna help her best I can and hopefully they will come out better than the one I made for Ella Rose! XD

Well, that's all for now.
Have a great weekend and happy knitting!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Day at the Beach~

In Dash's own words, on Wednesday we "hit the jackpot" when we decided to make an impromptu day trip to Newport for some Pacific Northwest beach fun.
The weather was superb, the kiddos were happy (we ended up taking sweet Douzen-kun along!) and none of us wanted to leave when 4 p.m. approached.

Bringing the very much underused beach umbrella was a really good move.
What is usually a chill and gray coastal beach, was sunny and hot!
Not to mention, it shielded us from some kicked up sand from the wind.

Even Tak'e Dog came along! He had a most excellent time~

Here's the whole gang enjoying the sand in their own way.

And Ella Rose discovering the joys of becoming a sand mermaid.
As you've probably guessed, she didn't want to have anything to do with the water itself, let alone the sculptable sand that comes with it...
Douzen-kun, on the other hand, had a blast running through the freezing water - brrr!! :D

So there you have it!
We all had a lovely time, then topped the trip off with a tasty treat at an ice cream parlor -- yum! ;)

Hopefully, that won't be the last trip to the beach.
And for those of you thinking of hitting up the coast too -- Happy Beaching!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

DIY Tutu!

Hi everyone!

Wow, I am on a roll with posting, aren't I?
Let's just see how long this keeps up for though, ne? ;)

Today, I'd like to share with you a tutu that I made with Ella Rose today.
It took maybe about 30 minutes, and is already a fast favorite.

The total cost was $10.47 and only required the following items:
(though the only thing I had to buy was the tulle -- scoooooore!)

- 3 rolls of 6" x 10-yard tulle (colors: white, pink, magenta -- all sparkly)
- 1 baby fabric headband
- 1 canister of Trader Joe's French Roast (or something equally cylindrical and large)
- scissors
- ruler

Now for the steps (sorry I didn't take photos!!):

1) Unroll tulle from the white roll, measure to 36" long, and cut

2) Repeat this step to all the rolls
(I didn't keep track of the number of strips this gave me, but I believe it was about 9 per roll even)

3) Stretch your baby headband around the coffee canister

4) Fold a strip of tulle in half, feed the head of it behind the headband, and loop the ends over and through it, tightening
(Your skirt will now be about 18" long -- half the length of the original 36", see? ;) )

5) Repeat all around the headband with the rest of the strips of tulle

6) Enjoy and spin around with all your heart!!

I really am happy with how easy, quick, and satisfying this project was for the both of us.
I alternated the colors as such: white --> light pink --> magenta
Going for a gradation effect ;)

And the sparkles really light up when the sun hits it.

Looking forward to many a puffy, shiny, sparkly day with my little Fairy Ella Rose. ♡

Well, that's all for now.
Happy Tutu-ing!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Collapsable Solarpowered Clothing Dryer!

A.K.A. our clothesline ;)

With summer here, drying your clothes outside is the way to go in terms of energy saving, stain fighting, and adding lovely outdoor fragrance to your laundry.
But what do you do when your property is .12 acres total -- like ours? ;)

Well, when I realized that the backyard was far too tiny for one of those permanent hexagonal (?) clothesline fixtures I'd always dreamed of, I knew it was time for some creative problem-solving.
Hence the trip to the hardware store that racked up a total bill of $6 or so.

Below is a little run-down on how it came to be and what it looks like.

- 3 eye hooks
- 1 cleat hook
- 1 double-headed carabiner
- long rope
- two permanent poles/walls

Step 1:
Locate two sturdy poles/walls that you will give you adequate space to hang a load of laundry. And ideally in a location that gets lots of sunlight.

Step 2:
Screw an eye hook to one of the posts, high up but not so high that you can't reach a line hung from that height.

Step 3:
Attach one end of the carabiner to that same eye hook.
Tie rope to other end of the carabiner.

You'll have something like this so far (sans the bag of clothing pins)

Step 4:
Screw the second eye hook into the pole opposite the first, at the same height as the eye hook.

This is what it looks like with the rope fed through it

Step 5:
Screw the third and last eye hook into that same pole as above, approximately 3 feet below the first. Pretty much so that it is high enough off the ground to not let clothing hung from the line touch the ground, but low enough as to give the clothing hung from the line above adequate room. Like this:

Step 6:
Screw the cleat hook into the first pole (opposite it), at the same height off the ground as that last eye hook.
You get the picture? Pretty much, the three eye hooks and cleat hook, are creating a square shape, and the rope fed through them all create a sideways "U" (sorta).

Wrap that rope around tight!
 Step 7:
When the rope has been fed through the two eye hooks, and then wound tight around the cleat, you have your two-tier clothesline!

What's is nice, is that when you are not using that space for drying your laundry, simply feeding the rope back through the eye hooks, and hanging it around that first one with the carabiner frees it back up again with only some non-obtrusive hooks giving the whole thing away. ;)

So far it's been working very well, though we are considering utilizing another set of poles under our carport to double or drying load.
Well, we'll see~!

Until then, enjoy this lovely sunshine and Happy Laundering!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ukelele Ladies and more~

Hi everybody!
I just got back from a week-long retreat to my sister's in San Jose and I am feeling refreshed and so happy to be back!
The point of my leaving was to snip the laaast lingering thread of breastfeeding Ella and I had going on. That one breastfeeding session first thing in the morning...
Don't get me wrong, it was a lovely and cozy time for us, but toward the end there it was getting a little brutal with long nails and pulling and general lack of "lovely and cozy" feelings.
So! I hopped a train to San Jose and enjoyed a week with my sis doing the following things:

- knitting!! (photos of projects done there coming soon!)

- baking, cooking, fixing up the house

- running a half marathon in the San Francisco Marathon in place of my sister! (2:20...not bad?)

- eating out at all sorts of great places! (In 'n' Out, Indian buffet, Buca di Beppo, sushiiiii~)

- listening to a lot of NPR... :)

And now I'm back to find my little girl's...really grown!!
Things she and Daddy have been up to while I'm away?

Building a kite from scratch for one!! :)
Hopefully I'll post a shot of this thing in action, because boy can it fly~!

It also turned out that there were doing a little guitar shopping, and Daddy was able to trade in one of his electrics, for two adorable Ukeleles from the Fingerboard Extension!

It's far easier for Ella Rose to handle than a regular-sized guitar, and we've had a couple fun sessions of singing to the finger-plucking goodness of the ukelele. ♡

Just wanted to pop in and give some updates.
Hope you all have a lovely weekend, and Happy Ukele-ing~!