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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ice Storm Knitting

You may have heard about our little ice storm this week. We had a bit of snow, which was pretty, but it was hard and dry and there was lots of ice all around. The kids got two hour delays a couple days, and Rich got phone calls to go deal with gates, runways, etc. at 3:00 a.m. Here he is heading back out into the fray on Tuesday morning. This was at about 8:00 a.m. after being out since 3:45 and returning home to shower.

Notice our open dishwasher in load mode behind him and the messy counters.

Being cold and not wanting to do much outside, I have been knitting quite diligently. So, what do you think we have here?

Why, it's Amira's Keepsake Baby Stocking, from Interweave Press' Christmas Stockings book.

All is knit, all ends woven in, but I will be making twisted cord tonight for the loop.

Since the feast of Saint Nicholas is rapidly approaching, I need to get the embroidery done on Elijah's stocking as well. Initials, down the front, with french knot and running stitch snowflakes.

I cast on for Amira's Toddle, which will not have an accompanying hat. It turns out that she has about five winter hats in various colors and materials. And though she would like me to knit her a hat, I think the scarf will make her quite happy. Especially now that she has discovered that she has handknit mittens as well (which were made for Dominic about four years ago, and have been worn each winter by him, then Elijah and now Amira).

Since I have decided to count that first attempt at a felted fish slipper as a stocking for Jerome (it even has his present in it already, St. Nicholas was running early), and with the removal of the hat obligation, when I finish the two stockings (tonight?), I will have 10 out of 16 gifts finished. I am trying to resist the urge to add more knit gifts to make. Especially since one of the people for whom I am itching to knit needs it done early enough for me to mail across the country. Considering that two of those 16 gifts may either turn into Epiphany gifts or be crossed off the list to be resurrected as birthday presents, I don't need to add any more. I do however, need to get cooking. There are the initial cookies to bake for St. Nicholas, breads and candy to make for Christmas gifts, cocoa jars to put together, and cookies to make for the family.

I am not making cookies for other people this year. There have been too many years in which I had to tell the kids that they couldn't have the cookies because those were going to be mailed or those were for so and so, and so they had to wait and get the stale ones. Any cookies we bake this year are going to my children first.

Monday, November 27, 2006

This Monday, I Mean

Remember how I said I'd try to have pictures up by Monday? Well, it's Monday. I didn't say which one, after all.

Since Cass objected to my posting the booties without their soon to be owner's feet in them, here are a couple pictures of Jerome wearing the stockings.

The stocking on the right is the one I sewed together for Elijah (from my own pattern template with no supervision!), the one on the left is Amira's, from Christmas Stockings from Interweave Press. It's the Baby's Keepsake Stocking, only using a different fluffy yarn, because I could never find the other one, and in burgundy and pink. Oh, and I'm not doing the ribbon and photo thing. Also, if you follow their directions, the braid won't show up right, so I turned the knitting inside out when I finished the cuff and started the stripe rounds in the other direction to make it work.

This one is of him smiling and wiggling around, it is blurry.

I can't keep my photos current with my actual progress, though. So, this is where I was last week when I took the picture. I have turned the heel and am doing the decreases on the gusset.

And here is a detail shot of the cuff and braid.

I'm also working on a design for myself in a nice, sprucey, foresty green. It gets tossed aside when I am in a crunch for gifts, so it will be some time coming before it is finished, I'm sure.

The wall o'yarn and the Christmas projects looming and the UFOs and the WIPs and the embroidery for Elijah's stocking, and...did not stop me from picking up some lovely Baby Soft from Lana Gatto in a coral color and some Dubai Stretch from Needful Yarns in pale pink and white (to go with the deep pink and black I already have) to work on a couple designs. There was a sale, and I had been planning the purchase anyway. One day, you will see them here.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Stockings & Surprises

Well, I completed a sewing endeavor with nobody there to help me! I sewed and cut Elijah's stocking from the felted sweater, and it even looks somewhat normal. I am going to embroider his name on it, and possibly add some snowflakes also. Yay!

I started Amira's stocking and am about a third of the way through it, because we had a long drive down to Marilyn's house in Olympia for St. Martha's today. Marthie drove, I knit, Denise listened to us rant. I was surprised there by a welcome baby Jerome shower! Which is funny, because I pumped enough milk for Rich to keep him, so I wouldn't have quite so many bags coming with me, so Marthie, Denise and Kelly wouldn't have to hear him scream all the way down (like he did the week before going to Rachelle's shower for Kyrie) and so I could have my hands free to knit.

We played one of the few baby shower games I like, one in which you write out the child's full name and use the letters to make three letter or longer words and eliminate them from your list like you do in Boggle. I won, mostly because it was between me and Marthie and she brought the prize. However I earned mad props for coming up with ukelele out of the letters in Jerome's name.

Rachelle came with Kyrie for a little while, so we got to coo over the newer baby, and there was a baby present at least for the baby shower. However the meal she went home with was not the meal I made for her last night that is still in our refrigerator. We had so much leftover brunch food, that we sent it home for her dinner. Dale, who made the quiche, remembered that Rich really liked quiche, and so he made an extra one for me to take home to him, which was really sweet.

Anyway, with church and Laudate tomorrow, I doubt there will be any blogging, so I'll try to post pictures of Elijah's stocking and my progress on Amira's Monday.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Atlantis, We Have a Problem

I wove in all the ends on the fish slipper. I felted it Monday. It is too small. Way too small. The cuff, ankle and heel fit, but the main part of the foot is too tight for a four year old, let alone a four year old with wider than average feet anyway. So, I am going to make another one, on larger needles, with more sts and use stripes instead of stranded colorwork, so there won't be the double thickness there. I'm also going to move the fins back a little bit on the sides. Here is our tiny St. Nicholas stocking for Jerome, then, which will fit a rattle in it quite nicely.

I did, however, finish Jerome's Santa Booties last night. The good thing about making something for a baby is that you can try it on him, and it doesn't ruin the surprise.

That is seven out of sixteen gifts made. Or eight out of seventeen, if we think of the "stocking" as another gift.

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Friday, November 10, 2006

Ask Me Why I'm Posting at 5:30 a.m.

Jerome slept a long time tonight. And so did we. On the couch. Me, missing most of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for the third night in a row. So, when we woke up and debated going to bed in our room, where we might wake Jerome, we decided to let him sleep and just stay in the living room. But I was awake.

So, I got up, did some dishes, started a load of laundry, contemplated cleaning the bathroom, read blogs, and finally changed and nursed Jerome who woke up at around 4:00. He had a nice conversation with the chandelier in the living room, who is his newest friend, and I kept looking at crafty sites and blogs and downloaded a pattern for a Regency era bonnet from Simplicity. My new idiosyncrasy is going to be wearing period and vintage clothing all the time. I just have to figure out how to nurse in them.

Oh, and I tried to renew a couple books at the library, but it seems they are serious about this whole two renewals only thing. (I put them on hold again, so I can drop them in the box on the way out to run errands and pick them up from the library on the way back home, ha-ha!) Well, Jerome fell asleep again about 15 minutes ago, so I put him back in his little crib, and I am wide awake. And noticing how much traffic I have been getting lately from Turkey. I also have a reference on a Czech page, but I'm not sure if it is a "Go look at this knitting blog" type reference, or a "Get a load of this crazy American" type reference.

So, anyway, merhaba to my Turkish readership! Rich spent some quality time in Çakmakli (sp?) about 15 years ago, and we enjoy many of the items he bought at the Grand Bazaar while he shopped his way through Desert Storm. He always corrects me that it was afterward that he was doing the shopping, they were locked on base for nine months. Anyway, he spent a lot of time buying copper, brass, gold, alabaster, rugs, crystal, you name it. There was a girls' orphanage nearby, run by Catholic nuns where he and the other soldiers went to help out, and we wanted to adopt from there, but it turns out they closed the orphanage.

So, now that it is about 10 to 6:00 and we need to be getting up in less than half an hour, I will sign off. Fortunately for me, the boys don't have school today, while my veteran husband has to go to work (figure that one out), so after making breakfast, I can go back to bed while the children run amok.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Forgive My Proud Mama Moment,

but Alexander is going to play Tiny Tim in the Christmas pageant at school! I stayed home with the three youngest this morning while Rich took the boys to school, so Rich heard the news first. He told me that the third and fourth grade teacher pulled Alexander aside in the hall and said she needed to speak with him. He said it sounded like he was in trouble, and Rich was trying to figure out how he had gotten in trouble with another class's teacher, it also looked to him as though Alexander were trying to decipher that himself. She said that she had been impressed with his projection as one of the Magi last year, and wanted him to be Tiny Tim. I am so excited!

We need to hurry up and finish reading The First Four Years and get started on A Christmas Carol. Fortunately, as a Christian school, they won't be knocking out the religion and the piety of the story, and particularly this character, as the movies have mostly done. Of course, in our area, it's only the private schools that could put this play on at all, since it was banned from several of the public schools for being too religious a text to even be present in the school building.

Anyway, this all reminds me that we still need to scan the boys' school pictures, so you can see them looking handsome in their birthday sweaters.

P.S. For all the shrieking about overpopulation, 12 schools in our area have been shut down (with more scheduled) because there aren't enough children living in our state to warrant keeping them open and paying the staff.

P.P.S. At least six of those schools are in "crowded" Seattle and the other six are in another larger city, lest anyone think I am speaking of rural or suburban areas.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day Musings & Charity

If you are eligible to vote today, please do so. I will be taking the three youngest with me to vote in about an hour. I will also have this

with me to work the ends in while I wait. It is the first of Elijah's felted fish slippers, pre-felting. I am glad to vote, because I think it my duty as a citizen and as a Christian, (and because it gives me a right to complain about my government) but I will be SO glad to have the bazillion political phone calls a day ended. I think they should be outlawed. I also think those lawn signs should be outlawed anywhere but on actual lawns of actual people who ask for them.

Anyway, a few days ago, I finished the knitting on Jerome's Santa Booties, I need to sew up the seams and crochet chain ties. Does anyone have a good method for sewing up this type of bootie? Using mattress stitch looks funny, I've already undone it. Should I just sew the sole with the wrong sides together and an overhand seam?

Since we recently had some great news about a friend who just had a daughter, I whipped up a very girly, ruffled, shades of pink baby hat last night. I won't give too many other details, lest the mother read it here and guess for whom it was made. I used this pattern, but used a size 10 needle for the ruffle and size 7 for the main part of the hat. I also haven't decided if I will add any flowers to it. What do you think?

I think I am too late to really organize a good campaign to raise knitterly items and money for a charitable organization this year, so I will instead point you toward this. Lynne is collecting mittens for a ministry in Buffalo, NY. Although they can use money for a new van, and other things, the pastor who leads it has said that the kids to whom they minister are in great need of mittens. I haven't read of where to send the mittens yet, but it isn't too early to start knitting, she needs them by December 10th.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

One More Christmas Gift Finished!

Alexander's Christmas gift is finished. That leaves 10 gifts to finish for St. Nicholas, Christmas and Epiphany. I'm trying to just be happy about the six things made, the jams already lined up and the other presents I had bought throughout the year. Anyway, here is the hat.

And here are two things that were finished in June.

There are seven and a half knit projects to make, a felted wool sweater to cut into pieces for Elijah's stocking (Rich donated one he had that was already a little felted) and sewn and a Church doll to cut, sew and embroider for Amira.

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