Archive for December, 2009

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

I’m here, I’m here…

…though it doesn’t look like there’ll be much time for posting ’til the girls are back in school next week. Here’s a Christmas Eve picture for you

eve1

That’s so weird. I have a picture not unlike this one from a couple years ago where Clark is the screaming infant. Now, he’s just a dinosaur (hence the bizarre facial expression in the pictures).

eve2

Christmas was very nice. When we went to Barnes and Noble on Saturday to use our gift cards, I picked up this little book that I’ve been wanting for months.

doodlebook

It’s delightful. Abby and I are working on a couple of little sample designs on 4 inch hoops to learn the stitches.

I’m having visions of girls hand embroidering on cotton skirts dance through my head, made more practical by the acquisition of a new steamer we picked up last night using more gift cards. I couldn’t justify making cotton skirts before now as I totally don’t iron. But with that obstacle out of the way… I wanna sew some cotton skirts with the girls!

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

I’ve got some work to do

The body of Clark’s stocking is knit

stocking

however, there’s a consequence for ballistic striping…

stockinginside

a lot of ends to weave in. Mercy!

Veronica is helping out by finger knitting a loop to hang it with.

vhelping

Still not sure when the stars will make it on, but he has a stocking for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Hillbilly Christmas

That was the theme this year. It was very fun. I’m giving up on my cookie cutters though. The kids’ houses always collapse. The roof needs a flatter pitch and the sides need to be higher so that the big, heavy roof pieces don’t have to be so big and crush the rest of the house. I guess I’ll have to make up a pattern.

But we had a good time,

group1

and my internet shy friend scored loads and loads of cool candy/decorations for us to work with, highlighted by the edible snowflakes.

vandjhouse

Nate’s was my favorite this year

trailer

trailerporch

But Dennis was by far the most creative. Full on pretzel chairs, fire pit, outhouse, wire spool table and all…

dennishouse

Clark had fun sticking candy to his house before it collapsed

clarkhouse

and Veronica and the daughter of my internet shy friend made a house

vhouse

Abby and Olivia had their own house, and I thought their idea was brilliant.

uphouse

They wanted to make the house from “Up”, complete with Dum Dum balloons out the chimney. We colored frosting, and they were doing a great job but it imploded before they could finish.

Yay, team! I spent the night running around helping everyone, trying to rescue falling houses, making frosting and refilling the decorator bags. My internet shy friend held a rather fussy Maxwell.

I’m plugging along down my list of things to finish before Christmas. Doing rather well. Clark’s stocking needs 16 more rounds before I can start decreasing the toe, and that won’t take long. I’m not sure if it’ll have stars on it before Friday, but it should at least be functional. I made a gift for my brother this morning. Most everything is wrapped already…

We’re trying to think of something small we can give to the 17 or so cousins (I lose count) this year. Any ideas? They range in age from 18 months to 11 years old. We’re currently thinking about baking something.

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Here we go again…

gingerbreadstuff

Oh, the things we’ve made! (Ok, Dennis mostly).

And a couple more, for kicks.

Friday, December 18th, 2009

A little bigger

I worked on Clark’s stocking a bit last night after the kids were in bed. It knits up really fast.

stockingbigger

I like it a lot, but I’m not sure if white stars are going to be the right adornment. We’ll see.

Today is the girls’ last day of school before Christmas break. The older two want to paint their bedroom over break. I hope we get it done, just so I don’t have to hear about it anymore.

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

pictures

I made some progress on Clark’s stocking

stockingstart

Here are a couple sweet pictures. I wish we could combine the best of both. It’d be priceless.

baby1

baby2

I need to shower so I can go out today. Costco run. Clark is crying because he wants to put his toys on my chair, and none of the other 6 barstools in the immediate vicinity are good enough. Max is screaming in the swing because he wants to be held.

Ah, mornings.

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Oy!

It’s been a productive week, and I’m dying for some down time.

Yesterday, I was scheduled back to back from 9 am to 9 pm. And I’m not even kidding. But, we got some Christmas shopping done, and that’s good. I’m close to finished.

Over the weekend, I dyed some silk for a hat that’s so pretty, it makes me want to cry. It’s a honey blonde color. I desperately want to spin it, but haven’t had the chance.

I now have a plan for Clark’s stocking. We’re going to do stars. I’ve picked the colors, and knit 4 whole rounds on it so far.

I have laundry to do, gifts to wrap, Christmas boxes to put back in the garage, etc. I don’t know if I’ll get time for anything fun today, but I’m going to try.

Oh yeah, now that I’m mostly healed up from a biopsy, I need to start exercising again, too.

So, Nate cleaned out the “cupboard under the stairs” over the weekend, and uncovered a box that NEVER should have been there in the first place.

A box I’ve spent hours looking for since we moved into the house 3.5 years ago.

A box full of yarn. And needles. And lots of other stuff. It was the “throw everything lying around the living room into a box because I’m pregnant, and sick, and tired of packing” box.

That one.

It’s the box that had Hayden’s Harry Potter Sweater yarn in it. She gave me her sweater for Liv, and I promised her my yarn, when I found it.

The bad news… it reeks. The cupboard under the stairs gets no air circulation at all. Everything that was in it (which was supposed to be empty boxes and wrapping paper) smells musty, and it’s gross.

Abby tried to wash a pair of knee high boots that she now nearly fits into. It didn’t work. I’ve thrown away the shoes and over half the yarn. I think the needles will air out eventually. But the nice yarn… Silky Tweed, Lopi, Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece, and something wildly colorful, tho’ I don’t know what it is… I can’t bring myself to toss. So it’s been sitting in my hall for a few days.

Any ideas?

I think the felted bags are ok. I washed them with my towels in hot water, heavy soil setting. They shrunk more, but that’s not a problem. Is there some safe way to wash my yarn that’ll get that gawsh awful smell out? The lopi, being a softly spun single is the least likely to survive, I think.

Max is crying, gotta go.

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Uh-oh!

Somebody…

clark

just noticed that he doesn’t have a stocking.

Dangit.

I’d brought up the bag o’ stocking yarn a week or so ago from the basement with the intent to finish his. I have about an inch of it knit from a couple years ago. Now, I DO have a stocking for him, it’s even one I made, it just isn’t part of the set that the girls hung from the kitchen island yesterday.

stockings

It’s still in the garage with the other misfit stockings that we don’t use anymore. They’re cool, but they’re huge, mismatched, and a few years ago I decided I wanted to make us all smaller stockings (easier to “stuff” and Santa is appreciative) from a single color palette, so while they’re all different, they clearly belong together.

I have plenty of yarn, but as with most other things I’d like to do, lack the time. However now that it’s been noticed, I need to move it up on the priority list.

The kids decorated our tree yesterday. It looks pretty good. I still have boxes of ornaments in the garage, but I’m not sure if they’ll make it out this year. As I’ve said a lot recently, I’m tired and it’s just not that important to me. The white poles in the kitchen are candy-cane wrapped with ribbon. The poinsettia garland is up. I’m not sure what else we’ll get done before Christmas. Maybe we’ll save setting up the nativity for Christmas Eve? That could be fun.

On Saturday morning, Nate and the kids watched the Charlie Brown Christmas Special on the laptop in our bed.

movie

I am not a fan of the Charlie Brown holiday specials. I can’t get over how mean everyone is to each other, and most especially to Charlie Brown. Verbally abusive and belittling. It makes me sad. But my family enjoys it, and that’s ok.

Here’s a cute picture of Max from this morning.

maxasleep

Brandy, we’re really enjoying the blanket you made. Now that he’s a little bigger, it’s perfect for a good, sturdy swaddle. Thanks!

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Pretty blanket

It’s finished. I will still need to wash and block it at some point, but it’s serviceable and I want to get it out to my mother-in-law. It doesn’t match my house one bit, but isn’t for my house, and it’s pretty.

finishedlogcabin1

finishedlogcabin2

6 skeins of Cascade 220 with plenty leftover, but not enough to make another 2 rounds of color pattern, and 1 more round would look incomplete. I checked.

Size 6 bamboo circular needle.

Despite it’s small size, it’s quite warm. A convenient knitting project for our sub-freezing weather.

I want one.

It’d have to be superwash to be practical in this house.

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Cold

It has been really cold here. Hasn’t been above freezing in days and seems to hover around 20 degrees F, which means it takes a lot of effort (attention and frequent thawing) to keep the hummingbirds fed and happy.

Shortly before this big freeze, the pump on my goldfish pond stopped working, so there’s been a solid sheet of ice on it for days. I can see something reflective that looks like it’s laying on the bottom of the pond. I’m hoping it’s not a casualty, but I can’t imagine what else it would be. That makes me sad. I wonder who it is.

I’ve had somewhere to be every day this week, (which makes me grumpy), so we’ve had to go out and brave the weather. This has given me an excellent opportunity to use the lovely blanket Carol crocheted for Max. Isn’t it cool?

maxinblanket

Despite the weather, I haven’t been cold. Everyone else I’ve talked to is freezing their tails off, so I feel like a bit of a freak.

Nate and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary today. I love seeing the years pass by. Life gets so much better with age. It’s bittersweet with the kids because they’re passing through ages and stages they’ll never be in again, and though it’s great to see them grow into fine young people, there’s a sense of loss for their “little-ness” as well. Fortunately, marriage is the opposite. I wouldn’t go back to the “young married” days for nuthin’! They were certainly great in their own way, and we were happy.

But this is so much better.

Happy anniversary, love! Being a deadline day, I hope you’re able to come home tonight.

I am half way done with the last bar on the Log Cabin quilt. My mother-in-law’s next chemo session is tomorrow, and I was really hoping to have it done by then but this week has been SO busy! Running errands takes a phenomenal amount of time. There’s a reason I don’t make a habit of it, I’d never get anything done! So, I’m still aiming to have the blanket done by tomorrow afternoon, but it won’t be blocked ’til later.

It doesn’t lay completely flat without a little coaxing. It’s not bad, but if I were to do it again, I’d pick up 9 stitches along the short side of the perpendicular bars instead of 8.