Friday, May 29, 2009

Baby Things

The babies that are here now ...

See them in action -- with momma and poppa!

and for those still to come ...

Pattern: Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap (free pattern)
Yarn: Rowan Cashsoft 4-ply (blue) and Dale of Norway/Dalegarn Baby Ull
Needles: US 2½ / 3.0 mm and   US 1½ / 2.5 mm
Size: 1-year
Modifications: none

I love this pattern, but had the worst time getting it right at the beginning. I'm sure I ripped out more rows than I knit before I remembered all the M1s.  Maybe knitting in the car had something to do with it.

It used hardly any yarn, and I think it's adorable.  Will be even cuter when I take the stitch marker out of the end. :)  I'm going to make another one for a different neighbor; first I should wash this one and figure out what size it really is.

The robin pictures are from a few days ago and they already have many more feathers.  Mama and Papa have been very attentive.  There are four of them!  The mother doesn't look all that happy about having to sit on them to keep them warm; maybe they're not happy about it either.

Sometimes when the parents aren't around and we open the door to the porch, the babies hear the sound and shoot up out of the nest, mouths wide open, waiting for someone (anyone!) to drop something in.  They're just so stinkin' cute!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

The Robin Saga

Our robin is back! I am so inordinately happy. And this is SUCH a crappy picture, and my professional photographer is at work. Boo.

I haven't blogged forever, so I'm sure all 2.1 readers I have left (if that) are thrilled to have me come back with pictures of a robin they can't see. I do have some knitting to show! And a semi-good excuse for not blogging. But first,  the robin.

We've had robins nesting on our back porch for several years now -- sometimes they have babies and sometimes they don't. I assume it's the same robins -- they always come back to pretty much the same place: the open ledge under the porch roof. Only this year we got our porch redone, because it was about to fall down, and in the process, the open ledge got closed up. The builders tried to give us a little ledge anyway, but when the robins came back it turned out it wasn't deep enough. There are failed nest attempts in every single alcove of that ledge! and incredible amounts of debris on the floor of our porch. Very distressing!

So of course I had to rush out and buy a nesting box at the bird house store. (Yes, we have a bird house store, it is pretty wonderful.) I must make clear that I did first suggest to my husband that we nail up a piece of plywood to make a ledge, but I was met with a noncommittal, skeptical, "I'm-not-nailing-a-piece-of-plywood-to-my-new-porch" type grunt that did not suggest action, so I had to go buy the nesting box. This robin has eggs to lay! She'll take them somewhere else if she can't make a nest here! The nesting box cost $30, which gave my husband new perspective on the merits of the piece of plywood, but TOO LATE.

I went up on a ladder and screwed in the nesting box and put in some of her nest fixings ... and waited. And the next day, the robin was back to build her nest ... right on top of the $30 nesting box. I could have called that. It's just like the kids who play with the wrapping paper instead of the present. BUT I think the box gives the ledge the tiny extra edge it needs for the nest to stay put, so it's worth it. And maybe her babies will move into the duplex below next year, you never know.

In the below picture (and on either side of the nest in the top picture) you can see one of the many, many failed nests she started along the ledge (apparently she couldn't just measure and see they were all the same), as well as the black streaks that are now on every roof beam of the porch ... maybe from her carrying dirt back and forth and not aiming so well? Or she was just mad and vandalized the place. 

Yesterday morning Auden and I got to watch her pulling up dry grass and flying back to the nest with her mouth stuffed absolutely full, then shimmying to get it in the right place in the nest. Today she seems to be sitting more -- maybe the eggs are on their way? We need a mirror on the roof so we can see what's going on.

Anyway, I have been knitting, mostly on endlessly in-progress things which aren't too exciting to show, but I did whip this off in two nights and I love it:

Auden wore it to her cousin's wedding and was very cute, if I say so myself.

Pattern: Cloud Bolero by Ysolda Teague
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Needles: US 10

I made the XS size in worsted weight yarn ... I probably could have even gone up a size.

And finally, the main reason I haven't been here is I started a web site for Rochester city school parents, and it's been VERY time-consuming, though I love it. I've wanted to do this for years -- set up a place where city parents can support each other and exchange information and experiences. The response has been great -- we were on the tv news and had a meeting with the superintendent -- and even though I panic every time posting slows down, I think it's going very well.  

It's at if anyone wants to drop by.  A friend designed us a logo, but my tech guy *cough* hasn't gotten it up yet.  He's too busy vetoing plywood ledge projects.

Oh and I am working on a monster freelance project, so that might be the other reason I haven't been here. And why I shouldn't be here right now!  But I was afraid if I didn't post soon, I might never post again.  And the robin, she just needed to be blogged about.  Spring, and the cycle of time, and all that good stuff. See you next time!  

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This and That

Do I still have a blog? Why do I still have a blog? On the other hand, Ravelry gives me no place to ask deep searching questions like that, so I guess I will ask them here. (And what about Naomi? Does anyone else remember Love of Chair?*)

So. To business.  I have been knitting – it's serious keep-warm-knit-and-watch-tv weather here in Rochester – but going out of my mind with boredom with my cabled cardigan.  Maybe I need to learn to cable without a cable needle.  Anyway, I polished off this Noro stripe scarf, which I love, though it might not have been my first choice in colors.  (I made it with my Fetching leftovers.) I flirted with the idea of giving it away, but couldn't do it.  Given how many knitters have made this scarf, I'm amazed that I don't run into people wearing it at the grocery store. What everyone says is true: it is lots of fun to knit and watch the colors change.  I can almost imagine knitting a scarf like this forever.  As opposed to my cables, which just feel like I'm knitting them forever.)

Pattern: Noro Striped Scarf by Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 205 and 201 
Needles: US 7s

And then Auden told me she wanted a hat, so I made one for her and Rose:

It's a lovely pattern, easy to whip off in a night.  I downsized for Rose by using fingering weight yarn.

Auden's hat
Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Worsted, Bachelors Button, less than one skein (I ran out before the edge but I had less than a skein to start with.  I think one skein would be enough.) Edged with Dalegarn Stork held double
Size: small
Needles: US6

Rose's hat
Yarn: Dalegarn Stork, blue and green.  Not very much.
Size: large, but I think the small would have fit better.
Needles US2

Speaking of Auden, she has her own Ravelry account now, which I hope I don't regret at some point in the future.  She only has one project (see below) but she would be most pleased if you visited and gave her some hearts or comments. Her Ravelry name is: Fairyflower  (Why? Because she's six.)

She has a short attention span; after asking me each day if her invitation had come, she lost interest almost as soon as I'd logged her on. Much like the sweater she's knitting for Rose, which has stalled after one row. But never mind. Maybe Ravelry will motivate her to knit more. (Or maybe to spend more time on line ... hmmm.)

Back to the salt mines cables. Stay warm, everyone ... spring will come someday!

* I just learned from Wikipedia that the mysterious Naomi of "Love of Chair" was Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal's mother!  Now if that isn't excellent useless trivia, I don't know what is.  I also learned how to spell Gyllenhaal.  What about all those a's?