Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap day leap

For leap day, the Pixie leaped into her own room!
It had to be done. We woke up this morning and she wasn't in her bed. John found her sitting in the beanbag in the living room, wearing safety goggles. I tried to get a picture of her with the goggles on, but she wasn't having that.
So anyway, here's her new room! It's 10:30 when I'm writing this, and she's still wiggling around in her bed not sleeping. She'll be a tired girly tomorrow.
And I can't tell you how strange it is in our room with her crib gone. I've been reading in bed using a lamp instead of a book light. Crazy times!
I still need to get things hung on the walls, and will probably eventually paint in there, but for now, here it is.

An extra day

I won't ever forget something that I saw when I was a foreign exchange student. My host brother had a picture of himself and his wife sandwiching their son between them in kiss. It was the sweetest thing, and had an inscription on it about it being one moment for all of time. He explained it to me, that the world clocks were off by the barest fraction, and that small bit accumulates and eventually gets to be large enough to be measurable. An instant for all of eternity. How would you spend yours?
This is a definite contender.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Toddler called Jayne

My friends pestered me until I finally broke down and watched the Firefly series on Netflix, and now I'm with them. What a great show! I really wish there were more than the 14 measly episodes we got from Fox.
But now I'm in the know, so now I know exactly what a Jayne hat is, and how wonderfully awful it is, and I had the opportunity to make one.
My friend has a chance to go to a comic con, and Adam Baldwin will be there! Jayne! In person! And she just happens to have a toddler who has Jayne as her middle name. That's TWO reasons for a Jayne hat. I offered, she accepted, and I looked around for a pattern.
There are lots of Jayne hat patterns on Ravelry, but all of them were written for adults, or newborns, or even smaller. Nothing in the right size, and most of them used a bulky yarn instead of the worsted I'd gotten. So I figured I should go ahead and write my own. I've made ear flap hats before, but this one is extra easy because you aren't supposed to worry about fixing the flaps so they won't curl. They're supposed to!

Jayne Hat - Toddler size (approx 19" head)
Materials - Worsted Weight Yarn.  I used Vanna's Choice in brick, rust, and golden yellow.
16" circular needles, and DPNs in whatever size you get gauge (I used size 7)
Gauge: 9sts for 2" in the round
Abbreviations: SSK - slip 2 sts knitwise, place those back on the left needle, knit those 2 together
P2togTBL - Purl 2 together through the back loops

How to do it:
Using orange, cast on 76sts. Join to knit in the round.
K1P1 for 3 rounds.
Continue knitting in stockinette until orange stripe is ~3" high. Change to yellow yarn.
Continue knitting with yellow yarn until yellow stripe  is also about 3" high. 
K2tog all the way around. Change to DPNs when your circumference gets too small.
Keep on with the K2tog around and around until you have about 10sts left on your needles. Ma Cobb wasn't picky about the crown shaping.
Cut yarn and thread the tail through the 10 remaining sts. Snug it up and tie it down.

For ear flaps:
Ma Cobb wasn't picky about placement either. Your ears are a little ways to the back of your head. To figure out where the flaps go, lay the hat flat and mark the sides.
Then you'll pick up about 15 sts along the side for the ear flap. Just pick up one leg of the cast on edge, so the outside of the hat stays looking nice and cunning. 
Make sure you pick up 5 or so stitches on the front side of the marker, and the other 10 go toward the rear of the hat. By the way, you might want to mark which end is the front of your hat so you'll remember when you get around to knitting the other flap.
Knit in stockinette stitch until your flap is about 2" long, ending with a wrong side.
Decreases: Right side - K1, SSK, Knit until 3sts are left, K2tog, K1
Wrong side - P1, P2tog, Purl until 3 sts are left, P2togTBL, P1
Continue on in this fashion until you get to a purl row that only has 5sts left. P2tog, P1, P2togTBL
Bind off those last 3sts knitwise. Leave that string hanging and thread another one through the end there and tie it in a knot. Trim it up so it looks real nice.

I'll assume you know what you're doing there. I figured since there wasn't as much red in the hat, there should be more red in the pompom. I used a cereal box flap to make mine, and wrapped a layer of red, a layer of yellow, a layer of orange, and then another layer of red. That seemed like enough, so I tied it, cut it, and gave it a hair cut.
I'll be sending this one on tomorrow so the toddler who needs it will get it in time. I have a feeling that my own little one is going to be looking for it, so I'll likely be making another one pretty soon.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Practice practice

I'm still going on with my Photo 365 project. I think I'm getting better. Of course, it's not too hard when you have such good looking subjects!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How I win wife of the year

Two words - Bacon Roses.

Oh yes. Bacon roses. One of the greatest ideas ever, with step by step instructions found right here on the trusty internets. So simple. So perfect for the man who would never want flowers but who would always want bacon.

I love my mini muffin pans though. I didn't want to destroy them. Lucky for me, my friend, Jenn, just moved. And in her move she found this old and battered mini muffin pan. She's such a good friend, she gave it to me for the bacon rose project. I don't have pictures of me drilling the holes. I did that outside and used a concrete block so the part I was drilling would be over open space. I also learned quickly that if you have both hands on the drill and no hands on the muffin tin, it will spin wildly when the drill bit goes through. The Pixie thought that was really funny.

Then it was on to the bacon baking. For some reason, the fake roses I got at the dollar tree had 15 flowers. The muffin tin only had 12 spaces, so I had to improvise. I figured little aluminum foil girdles would do the trick. Why not? And now if anyone ever googles "aluminum foil girdles" this site should be one of the first one that pops up.
Bacon, pre-baking, aluminum foil girdles in place
I baked them for about 30 minutes, and it worked just fine. I didn't try lifting the bacon out so the fat could drain like it suggested on the site. I forgot about that because it was lunchtime and I was hungry. But the aluminum foil girdles worked so well, that I would try it again just using those! No lifting involved, and the bottoms were crispier. This would be important if your person likes crispy bacon.
After baking. It worked so well!
Then I assembled the flowers. I'd washed mine ahead of time by swishing it around in a glass of hot, soapy water. I figured since food was going on it, that would be best. It was a slightly gross job, because bacon is greasy. It also made some of the stem bottoms slide down a bit, so I had to figure out how to get them to stay put. Note: tape does not stick to things covered in bacon grease.

But I managed to get it to work.
I can't wait for John to get home!


John's reaction:

When he first came in he said, "Pretty flowers! Where did those come from?"
And I said, "Why don't you come a little closer and smell them?
But before I even finished talking, the scent of bacon hit his nose and he said, "They're BACON!" and started laughing.
Blurry, laughing John.
Happy Valentimes!

More pics!

Yep. He likes it.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines - 2012 edition

With two boys needing 30ish Valentines, it can get pricey. I saw an idea on pinterest and ran with it.

Some Tootsie Pops, some construction paper, and a little scissors work and we're good!
It's supposed to make it look like you have a mustache when you're eating your lollipop.
And they all say, "I mustache you to be my Valentine." Good times.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Pinewood Derby, 2012

This year we have two cub scouts, so we had two little guys who made cars for the Pinewood Derby. Today was our pack's time trials, where they ran 6 different races with the top three in each group advancing to district level.
We learned something from doing it last year with Rowan, and that's that creativity can really slow down your car. This year they went for aerodynamic design.
Rowan decorated his with stickers.

Niall decorated his with rub on decals.
Both boys were very satisfied with their cars. John had to take them so they wouldn't get broken before the actual races.
Niall did pretty well. His car came in 4th place for the Tiger level races, and he got the 2nd place award for best design.

Rowan did very well this year. His car came in 3rd place in the Webelos I level races, and he got 1st place for most unique.
Because he came in 3rd, he will also go to the district level races in about six weeks. John is somewhat concerned about this, because while all of our pack does the cars as a father/son build it together thing, he's heard that other packs in the area have the dads doing all of the work, or even ordering fully built cars off the internet. So we must prepare for, as one of the other dads put it, being a Pinto in a room full of Cadillacs. No matter, Rowan's still a big winner in our book.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Spelling? and science, too

Helping Niall practice his spelling words, I say, "Bright. The moon is bright."

Instead of spelling he says, "The moon is bright, because the sun shines on it and it reflects. So it's bright."

Smarty pants.