Sunday, September 23, 2012

new dress (and a haircut)

I made another crochet top dress for Kate, using the yarn left over from my sweater.  I wanted the bodice to be shorter than the pink one that I made, but I crocheted it pretty loosely, so it stretches quite a bit with the weight of the skirt, and ended up being just as long.  I think the hang is nicer, though, and I like what I did with the skirt.  It's two tiers, and the bottom one is two full widths of the fabric.   

I love the fabric, and the whole thing looks good together, but after she wore it to church I realized it just isn't going to work right now. When she moves around her shirt rides up underneath, and then she gets this weird gap. So I either need to add something to the bottom of the shirt to keep it down, or just wait until next year and hope that it fits better when the bodice isn't quite so long on her.

I got Kate to model the dress for me along with her new haircut. With hair-brushing sessions becoming increasingly unpleasant, we decided a short cut was in order. (It ended up a little shorter than I was expecting, but it's cute!) Kate likes it, and we have a lot less trouble getting ready in the mornings. This is good.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Andy Goes to Preschool

Andy started preschool!  He's going two mornings a week for two-and-a-half hours, and he gets to ride the school bus, which he thinks is great fun.   (Buses are cool!)

Here he is all conked out after his first day.  All that excitement is exhausting.

We had Andy evaluated through Child Find for his speech issues (I'm not exactly clear on what Child Find is, but something through the schools) and he qualified to get some help through the preschool program. What he has isn't technically a delay, since delay means that the child is still developing normally but behind schedule. In Andy's approach to communication he seems to be trying to come at it from the other side. He's reading like crazy, and he chatters away reciting things that he's memorized (over and over and over), but it's more like he's practicing talking than actually using it to communicate. If we want him to say something we have to write it down and get him to read it. This is definitely atypical. At school he'll be working with a speech specialist.  We hope he enjoys it!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

16 years

Doug and I have been married for sixteen years. (Yes, our marriage is old enough to drive!)

Lisa Benedict came over and took some pictures for us. We do this every year--sometimes it works out better than others. We actually got Andy looking at the camera in a couple.  Score!

Color correction was a little tricky, but I love the light!  (Kate is doing moose antlers.)

I think this is as long as my hair has ever been. (It's more "fluffy" than normal from being twisted up in a hair clip all day--it doesn't do that by itself!) I need to get it evened up.

What goofy kids we have.  They keep things interesting!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Second Grade!

Our little girl is a great big second grader!  Here she is, all excited and ready to go on her first day.

She's been wearing this jacket for three years now. It's not as big as it used to be!

Kate has been somewhat less than enthusiastic about going back to school, but we went to the open house the night before to meet her teacher and see the classroom, and then the excitement kicked in big time. In fact she was so excited that she couldn't get to sleep, and I eventually had to put on a boring audio book for her. (Well, boring to Kate, anyway!)

Kate got to start out her year with P.E. on her first day.  That's probably her favorite part of school. We got her some new shoes for the year (not purple this time), but they're still very stiff and they were rubbing on her heels, so when we found out she had P.E. I went home and got her other shoes. We'll have to work on getting the new ones broken in.

Here's to a good year!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Pineapple Crochet Shawl Sweater

I finished another sweater! I first saw this one on Catheryn's crochet blog (which doesn't seem to be there anymore, alas!). That's what got me interested in these Japanese crochet patterns in the first place.  I'd tried it once before in #10 thread, and it came out too small, so this time I used the same rayon thread that Catheryn used, from Elmore Pisgah.  Unfortunately the company is out of business now!  (I know... I'm still upset about that.) 

The back panel is interesting and fun to do.  The rest of the pattern is pretty tedious  (lots of five-chain loops over and over).

I like the hang of the rayon.  It might be just a bit big.  I was keeping a pretty loose tension on this one. 

It's got wings!  I've described the design as "like a shawl with sleeves," which is confusing but pretty accurate.

This one is from the Japanese series Let's Knit vol. 9. It's a very clever design but the pattern is kind of confusing.  Even though I'd done it before, it had been long enough that it still took me a while to figure out what went where. 

I had the sweater in progress but hadn't done anything with it for a while (because I was on the boring part), but then I realized that the deadline for Puyallup Fair entries was coming up.  I spent a few days in a mad flurry of crocheting, and then still had a week for blocking. (Rayon dries more quickly, I think.)  I was all set to take it down to the fairgrounds, but then realized that I had missed the deadline for online registration.  (I knew they were starting online registration this year, but didn't know the registration deadline was earlier than entry day.)  So I didn't get to enter this year.  I was briefly bummed about this, but figured I'll just save it for next year.  These tend to be pretty long-term projects.  I can wait. 

Thanks to Doug for being my very patient photographer!

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Painting Stanley

I've been helping Anne Marie Corey paint the octopus over at Chambers Bay Playground. The octopus was installed a year ago with the rest of the playground, but has been naked since then. He's finally getting some paint! Anne Marie named him Stanley.

We've been going out early in the mornings to get some painting done before the playground is teeming with children. We do block off the area with caution tape, but we still do get to field a lot of questions.  "What are you doing?"  "Are you artists?"  "Can I paint?"

The back side of Stanley's grotto. There's a hole for kids to put their faces through to take pictures, and Anne Marie thought it would be fun to have something on both sides. We've been mostly working on this  side, putting the background in and deciding where the pieces go and getting them screwed in place.

I got to put the detailing on the seaweed. (Anne Marie painted all the other pieces at home.) I'm also going to add a hermit crab coming out of one of the shells.

Stanley will be a great addition to the playground!