Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Winter is for Knitting.

Okay, well, thr truth is that as far as I'm concerned, every season is for knitting.

But winter is especially good for knitting because your hands don't sweat on the fiber.

And knitted items make great Christmas gifts.

And somebody always gives me a gift certificate for my favorite local yarn store.

And everybody knows that yarn store gift certificates will certainly burn a hole in the pocket or bag in which they are stored if left there too long. So they have to be used quickly.

I did, actually use one of my certificates today, but that's a post for another day. Today, I'm sharing pictures of the slippers I made for Riley (age 2).

I call them the Tweet-Tweet Slippers:
I knitted them with a strand of Splash and a strand of Encore worsted. The splash makes a great effect for a kid-project, but it was not very fun to knit with. It's hard to see the stitches, and Lord help you if you have to rip it back for some reason.

Now I'm working on some blue dog slippers for Tyson. I had hoped to finish them this year, but the knitting is slow with the novelty yarn, and I'm quite certain that I couldn't finish them by Friday night... even if I did absolutely nothing bu knit between now and then.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I can't believe that I haven't posted here since July!

Has it really been that long?

Well, I guess it has something to do with me misplacing my knitting mojo.


I think it must have something to do with having kids. My opportunities (and desire) to knit were seriously curbed when Riley became a toddler. He was toddling all over the place, getting into everything & I needed to be alert & ready to move at any second. I had to have both hands free so I could lunge across the room & rescue Riley/the dog/the furniture/etc. from those little fingers.

Now he's two, and I still need to be alert & ready to spring into action at any given moment. I still need both hands free to rescue Riley or the dog(s), but now I also need them to soothe tantrums, bring the independent determination down to a safer level and empty the little potty.

Thus, my knitting is often limited to knit night. Since I am a slow knitter & knit night consists of only three or so hours, that equals very little progress to share.

I had gotten out of the habit of posting progress pictures because I thought they were maybe a little boring. (You know, serving as a non-narcotic sleep aid.)

But given the fact that progress is all I seem to have lately, perhaps I should reconsider. I miss my knit blog, and I miss keeping up with the blogs of other knitters.

Yes, I think I shall set a goal for bloggy goodness.

Henceforth, I will do my best to post some sort of knitting content to my Keowdie Knits at least once per week.

And I will hope I still have at least one or two readers left who might enjoy it!

Monday, July 26, 2010

13 Years...

A guy rang my doorbell today.

It was the FedEx guy, and he brought this:

I haven't received a box like this before.

This is what I found inside:
Delicate (and perhaps suffering from a touch of heat exhaustion... but they're already looking peppy-er)


And the card?

13 years ago today, Matt I promised to love each other in sickness & in health, in good times & bad... as long as we both shall live.

Thank you, Matt. These flowers are beautiful.

I love you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


One of our favorite outdoor activities is chucking rocks.

We find a place on a gravel bar where there aren't any other people. Then we wade in a bit and start letting the rocks fly. What boy (old or young) doesn't want to here the words, "Well, for pete's sake, throw that rock!" I think it's interesting to watch my boys approach this activity in their own ways.

There is some tandem wading,

...usually at first as everyone gets used to the cold river water.

And then they sort of do their own things.

Tyson enjoys the feel of the water on his feet:

He likes to search for interesting rocks and share them with us:

He is fascinated by the skipping of rocks, and he both loves to watch Matt & my dad...
...and "teach" his little brother how to skip rocks:

Riley takes a completely different approach.
He loves to watch the boats go by:

And other than that, well, Riley just loves the

...and complete...
...that comes from chucking rocks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Family That Camps Together...

...stabs eachother with hot dog sticks.

I'm just kidding! We love camping, and every camping trip is a happy one... with no stabbing of anything other than hot dogs & marshmallows.

Summer is for relaxing, slowing down and recuperating from life's crazy pace the rest of the year. The best way we know how to unwind from the hustle & bustle is to grab the pop up trailer and head into nature.

So, what do we do while camping? Well...

We relax. I know it looks like a whole lot of nothing, but there is some serious rejuvenation going on here.

We read. A lot. This is my dad. What you don't see in this picture are Matt, my step-mom, my step-grandma and myself, all reading while the boys chase bugs nearby.

We eat fabulous summer foods. Watermelon, foil dinners, hot dogs roasted over a fire and s'mores are our favorites.

And we sleep. All that fresh air makes for some tired boys and long slumbers.

And yes, sometimes one of those tired boys leaves the campfire (on his own) to commence with the slumber... with unbrushed teeth and s'mores still on his cheek.

We also enjoy chucking rocks, but you'll have to come back tomorrow to find out what that looks like.

What do you do to relax in the summertime?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Journey to the Center of the Earth

Okay, we didn't go all the way to the center, but we were pretty deep:
Last weekend, we went camping at Onondaga Cave State Park, in Leasburg, MO. This was our second trip to this particular park, and this time we decided to take the tour of the cave.

The tour was 90 minutes, and took us very deep under the park. Despite the fact that I'm not crazy about small places, and I might be a complete sissy little afraid of the dark, I love cave tours.

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I love nature. I love anything that has to do with the outdoors (or in this case, the most natural of "indoors" possible).

My love of the outdoors is closely related to my relationship with God.

When I am out, in the parts of the world that have hardly been touched by humanity, I feel the closest to Him. I feel free to marvel at His power, His grace, His love.

I love that He put in us ~ as part of our humanness ~ curiosity, wonder, and appreciation for beauty.

I think that when God created this earth, He delighted in leaving for us interesting places to explore...

...interesting treasures to discover...

...hints of His power...

...and beauty to stand in awe of.

I found comfort in that big, dark space.

Because looking at these wonders, I was faced with the reality that God has always been here...

...and that He left his footprint, this beautiful reality of His power & might, for us to find.

And I'm certain that as I delighted in each new sight, He delighted in my curiosity, awe, and appreciation of the beauty He put there.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Knit-serverance Pays Off... Maybe

I have been knitting the same "quick" project for what seems like for. ev. er.

It's a baby sweater for a friend. The baby was born a while ago and I am still knitting this sweater. In all fairness to the sweater, this particular version is not the first of it's kind here. This one is actually my third, third attempt.

The first time I cast on too many stitches. Okay, that was my fault for trying to cast on, watch TV, and prevent a cranky two-year-old from destroying the world as we know it  house, all at the same time.

The second time I cast on the right number of stitches, but I neglected to swatch. The dreadful thing was nearly 7 inches long before I realized that my gauge was horribly off, and that sweater would probably have fit a preschooler. I'm all for making baby knits that babies can grow into, but I like for that to happen before they start kindergarten.

I have finally finished the body...

It's a little wonky, I know... but it is knit beginning at the bottom of the front side, up, over the shoulders, and down the back side.

And I picked up the stitches for the sleeve:
This was no easy task, since even though I swatched and got gauge, it lied as gauge swatches tend to do because they are pointless and evil my gauge is off anyway. This sweater is still too big, which made the measurements for the picking up of the sleeve stitches way off.

Argh! I did a little knitmath (ugh...) and I think it's going to work. Of course, it did involve math, so there is a chance that this sweater will only fit a baby that is shaped like a bowling ball with pencils for arms. Whether it does or does not, I will finish this stupid precious sweater soon. I need to get this thing off the needles. Need.

In my frustration, and with a road trip coming up this weekend, I might have caught a small case of startitis. There is a chance that I might have sort of cast on a pair of socks...
This was another risky move. This particular yarn has been started into four other pairs of socks, and has been ripped back each and every time.
 The colorway is lovely, but the changes come up so quickly that I'm having a hard time finding a pattern to compliment it. So, the four failed attempts were really due to my own pickiness. That, or this yarn is cursed.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

In Which Keowdie Dreams...

Since I finished the Bible in 90 Days ( 143 days... ahem.) I've been looking through my book shelves for books to read. I've got a couple of new ones to read, but they are all pretty long, and... well, I just don't think I'm ready to commit to another long read yet.

So. I'm re-reading some of my favorites. Last night, I spen about an hour reading this book before bed:
Don't "click to look inside," by the way. That came with the image I copied & pasted from

Anyway, the past part I read was her brief story about the woman who knitted plastic grocery bag strips into bags.

And then I had vivid, colorful dreams about knitting bags from bags all night long.

I really must be more careful about what I read before bed. Maybe I'll crack open that new Stephen King novel after all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Happy Summer!

Summer vacation is finally here. This means homeschooling with the boys, a (hopefully) large garden and lots (& lots & lots) of time for knitting! Also, it means that a few of my creative monkeys can be used for writing blogposts.

It's an odd paradox for me. When I was self employed & had much more time on my hands, my knitting tended to drop off in the summer months. If you've ever been to St. Louis in July, you know why. It's hot. It's humid. It''s not at all uncommon to have many consecutive days with highs in the upper 90's and humidity at 80%. That doesn't exactly make one long for wool. Or cotton. The only thing those conditions make a person long for is a pool (we don't have one) and a cold, fruity drink (alcohol optional).

But now that I am employed by a local school district, just about the only time I have for knitting is during the summer. There's no stress from work. There is a lot more free time. These are things that make me want to knit! Even if the air conditioner has been running all day and the shingles on my roof are melting.

In this last week alone I've made more progress on the baby vest I'm knitting that I did in the last month of school. It's a gift. A gift for a baby. A gift for a baby who is now nearly a month old. That's okay. It's never too late to welcome someone to the world! Here's what I've got so far:
I know. It doesn't look like much right now. I had the hardest time figuring out this completely wonky pattern wrapping my brain around the general workings of this unique pattern. This is my third attempt at this pattern. The first problem I had was that the pattern called for "Number 10 needles." So, although this seemed awfully big for a baby sweater, I hauled out my US 10's. Three quarters of the way up the front I realized that this sweater would fit my baby. My baby is two years old.  So, I hit Ravelry & found that most people had knit this pattern on 4's and 3's. I ended up on US 5's. Then there were other issues. I couldn't find the instructions for knitting the back. I couldn't figure out how I was supposed to attach the left front yolk. I wasn't really understanding the sleeves from just skimming over the pattern.

Then, yesterday, the light bulb went on, the heavens opened and angelic choirs sang a perfect G-major chord. I realized that I knit up the front, cast on a bunch of stitches for the back neck, attached the two sides at the shoulders, and am now knitting down the back. I think the sleeves start with picked up stitches & are knit down from the shoulder as well, although I'm not there yet, so I'm not entirely sure.

This is what it looks like if I fold it at the shoulders:
It still looks like an amoeba. But an amoeba that resembles a sweater. Sort of. If you squint at it. A lot.

This is what it is supposed to look like:

Of course, if I get frustrated with this wonky pattern, I can always work on a sand dollar for Riley's blanket that was supposed to be done by Christmas...
I'll be posting much more frequently now that I'm knitting more. And now that all my creative monkeys aren't completely preoccupied with writing songs about money, letter sounds and toilet training. It's hard to write blog posts when all your creative resources are focused on work.