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Having fun

Handmade dollhouse, made by hubby for the girls.

Handmade dollhouse, made by hubby for the girls.

Yup, the unthinkable has happened: I’m actually enjoying needle knitting. How did this happen?! I can’t even think of it as an “old lady” thing anymore, because I know too many people who are much younger than I am who knit, and do it a lot better than I do!

So, this past week I added more yarn to the stash–as if eleven tubs full weren’t more than enough–and some knitting books, by taking a trip to my favorite yarn store up in Black Forest. And a trip to Wally World netted a few more skeins of yarn and some more straight needles, because, well, they were inexpensive and shorter than the 14″ needles I had been struggling with. And I also sat down with YouTube and learned to do double knitting on the needles, which is turning out not to be as difficult as I had anticipated, and it allows me to do a little bit of colorwork. Go, me!

The first attempt, while successful, was made with a pair of yarns that I’ve decided I really don’t like. They’re not soft enough, and kind of rasp against your skin. So I put that one aside and tried again, this time with some Caron yarn, which is more than soft enough. In fact, it may actually be too soft. It frays very easily, and I’m not happy with that either. I’m still going though, because despite that, they’re both acrylic yarns, which means they’re cheap enough to use for practice runs like this. Once I get it down pat, then I’ll break out some of the good stuff!

Annoyingly, the blanket I made for Bryony on the longest of my Spanish knitting looms is coming apart. I don’t actually know if it’s something I did wrong, or that Bryony is that hard on her blankets. It’s been suggested that I might have missed a stitch somewhere, or dropped one, and that’s causing the problem, but I would have sworn I hadn’t. I was so careful, but I suppose it’s possible. It’s so annoying because her original two blankets are still intact, and I crocheted those for her older sister’s birth more than nine years ago! Okay, yes, some repair work to the edges has been done, but that’s it, and it was easy work. The main bodies of those two blankets have never come apart, which is why it pisses me off that this one has. It’s only a few months old, in comparison to the nine + year old crocheted pair, which have been washed repeatedly, dragged all over creation and back, yanked on by dogs, and slept with every night for three years.

Needless to say, Bryony has commissioned me to make her a new blankie. Also needless to say, since the new one will follow in the drag marks of its predecessors, this one will be acrylic as well. I just have to find the perfect color for her, or let her choose them. That’ll be fun for her. She’ll drive me crazy until it’s done, of course, but she’s four, and driving mama

Front of double knit fabric

Front of double knit fabric

crazy is in the job description of all four-year-olds.

Speaking of my children, hubby took it into his head this past Christmas to build them a dollhouse, and he has done an outstanding job! We weren’t thrilled with what we saw in the toy stores as far as dollhouses went. The last one the girls had cost about $125, and was horribly flimsy. It was made of very thin MDF and plastic. Hubby took $60 and went to Lowe’s for 1/2″ plywood sheets, trim, and some 2 x 4s.  This dollhouse is enormous. It’s 4 x 4 x 2. It’s a lavender/pale pink castle, complete with drawbridge that works, and three floors, counting the roof. It takes two people to move the thing, and it isn’t quite finished yet, but the girls are already using it. We haven’t yet attached the chains to the drawbridge, and the girls have decided that the interior walls to create separate

Back of double knit fabric

Back of double knit fabric

rooms are unnecessary for them. Well, okay, if that’s what they want, so be it. The floors are all perfect heights for 12″ Barbie dolls, and the girls are thrilled. They’re not the only ones. I’d like to be eight again, with a massive, hand-built dollhouse to show off to my friends!!!

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