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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Yarn Along: It's Here!!!!

Saint Nicholas is here and the Gift-a-Long is here! Hurrah! I am so excited to be involved this year, both as a designer and a knitter. There are 334 other designers from every continent but Antarctica contributing to the sale and the KALs/CALs. I've discovered so many new to me designers and great patterns that may have jumped into my shopping cart. You will see some of their designs in my knitting and featured on the blog over the following five weeks. I have cast on what I'm calling Desert Pines, which is a hat by Miranda Grant, called Coniferae. I'm making it in more neutral colors, and it is to be a gift for someone. Now that I'm finished with Saint Nicholas, I'm allowing myself some time to knit in the GAL for fun.

Also, you really need to check out the stockings that people have made and are working on right now. Their color choices and their modifications are great! I'm always so pleased to see what people do with my designs, and they did not disappoint me at all (people are still linking up their projects, so it make take some time, but if you search for Saint Nicholas in projects on Ravelry, you should see some). I'm offering it for 25% off through the feast of Saint Nicholas! No coupon required for this, the price will go up to its normal cost at 12:01 a.m. PST on November 7.

If you are not already excited about 2016 Indie Designer Gift-a-Long, or don't know what it is, click that link and check it out. I have eight patterns that will be on sale with the coupon coupon code giftalong2016 through 11:59 p.m. EST on November 30. I hope you join us! There are prizes and games and camaraderie with fellow crafters and conversations with your favorite designers and new designers to meet.

All single patterns I sell are eligible for the KAL, but the bundle of patterns will be offered at 25% off during the sale.

Between knitting furiously, editing patterns, promoting the GAL, shopping and cooking for Thanksgiving, finishing up school with the kids, and getting ready for Nutcracker, I have done just about no reading except through the discussion threads on Ravelry and looking through patterns that are part of the sale.

Take a look at Doireann - Achtung Kurve / Dangerous Bend, by Barbara Lösche. This is such a lovely shawl. I have it in my library and am looking for the right yarn to make it.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On.

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Menu Plan: First Sunday of Advent

Advent is here again. We are anticipating the spiritual growth that is sure to come in this season of preparation. We might also be looking for the physical benefit of eating more modestly. Our fast is not as stringent as our brethren in the East, we are still easing into it as a family. However, if you are learning about this discipline, and wish to have some ideas for meals, I pray that these menu plans will assist you. This year, we are eating meatless for four days a week, with the more stringent rules on Wednesdays and Fridays. You will still see fish, eggs and dairy on most days. I understand that wine and oil are not restricted during the Nativity fast in the way they are in the Lenten fast, but would be glad to be corrected. On the days that we are eating meat, we are still trying to keep it pretty simple and use the meat more as a garnish than a main course. Always, we keep in mind to stop before we are satisfied, and that, as Amira explained when she was little, the reason we fast is so we can better pray. This is a great season for almsgiving, as well, and I will try to post some ways for you to give to organizations we support, if you are interested. In the Church, fasting is always a trinity of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving. The Church Fathers called a fast without prayer, the fast of the demons, for they do not eat, and they do not acknowledge the Lord. We pray to be spared from such a fast.

May your Advent be holy and blessed and full of joy!

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

Menu Plan: Thanksgiving Week!

Thanksgiving week is here again! I'm not doing quite as much as I normally do, and our friends are bringing more. Since it is the first weekend of Nutcracker performances, too, we are busier than ever this week. Yasmina's name day is Friday, and I'm trying to think of something to do to mark the day, since it will be otherwise taken up with dress rehearsal.

We are on our final week of feasting before Advent, too, so we're living it up.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Menu Along: 2016 Gift-a-Long

I called it Friday night (that photo is my progress from Friday night). I probably could have gotten the pattern for Saint Nicholas released in time to be included in my sale bundle, but it would have meant staying up until around 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., so I decided it was better to sleep enough and release it this week as I initially planned. The goal is still to release it Thursday, but I'm having a couple hiccups, so it may be Friday.

However, I am officially participating in the 2016 Indie Designer Gift-a-Long. I have eight patterns that will be on sale with the coupon coupon code found in my bundle description and on the Ravelry group between 5:00 p.m. PST on November 22 and 8:59 p.m. PST on November 30. I hope you join us!

All single patterns I sell are eligible for the KAL, but the bundle will be offered at 25% off during the sale. It's only a week away!

As for books, I read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child this week. I enjoyed the story and the development of characters in it. It was a quick read. I started and finished it in one day.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Fanatic.

The harvest dinner was a great success this year, which pleases us quite a bit. It's always nice to get a good response to our invitations.

I shook things up and roasted squash wedges and made Nantucket cranberry pies. Or rather, Rich did, because I was out all day with two girls who had a Nutcracker rehearsal, knitting and running errands and so on. It was great to see so many neighbors, and to share in the great food. Someone made the best lemon bars, they were a layer of crisp shortbread with tart lemon curd and lemon icing over that. So good!

We are knee deep in Nutcracker rehearsals and preparations. Oh, and Thanksgiving, too. So, it's busy around here. Also, poor Dominic is getting a reprieve from school work, but not for anything fun. He got a scratch on his eye from a flying Pikachu toy, which healed, but developed into iritis, and he looks terrible and is in tons of pain. When I called our doctor, she said to call the eye doctor, as we were fairly certain that it wasn't pink eye, and she wanted to make sure that if there was scarring or infection that his eye sight was preserved. Blessedly, the abrasion had healed and there was no infection, but his iris and cornea are essentially a giant bruise right now. So, he's on anti-inflammatory drops and lots of ibuprofen. We're heading back to the eye doctor later this week to see if enough progress has been made with the medicine and rest.

Today is the fifth anniversary of our losing Rayan. Five years ago, it was a Tuesday also, and we were a week from Thanksgiving. This is always a hard time around our house. Rich and I share the memorial each year, and both of us find ourselves a little more depressed at this time of year. We would be blessed by your prayers.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Yarn Along: All St. Nick, All the Time

Have I mentioned that I'm crazy? I initially planned to release Saint Nicholas on the 17th, but since I want to include this design in the 2016 Indie Designer Gift-a-Long, I am hustling to get it finished and photographed by November 12. Like I said, crazy. If all else fails, I can still publish when I originally intended, but I'd really like to promote this with the GAL this year. It might give it the boost I need, to have a new release for sale as well as a 25% discount on it. (25% off, folks!)

In case you missed it, Marine Layer has been published in Knotions Magazine's November 2016 Issue, which thrills me. The whole set is free, and I can't wait to see what people do with my design.

I have read a bit of fluff this week. I finished Attachments and Christmas Caramel Murder. Rainbow Rowell is an author with whom I'm sure I would disagree entirely. I'm positive of it, in fact. I really enjoy her writing, though, she captures human character and thought and experience in a way that is realistic to me. Her writing is smart, interesting, touching and funny. I've read three of her books, and I'm interested in the other two. The other book was just a happy little murder that I knew would be light and fun. We've had a rough week and light was really all I could handle. Our family could use prayer.

Rich and I are still reading Hillbilly Elegy, sort of. I think we've read one more chapter. And we have finished Life, the Universe, and Everything with the kids. We're taking a break before moving on to the next book.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Fanatic.

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Sunday, November 06, 2016

Menu Plan: November 6 - 12

We had our pork delivered this week, so we ate ham and our own home grown corn with steamed peas for dinner instead of the plan I had for Saturday. That was not the only menu change we had this week, either. I had planned on making cream of onion soup, but forgot that we were out of milk and didn't get it in time.

Rich and the kids gathered the absolute last of our main garden (Jerome still has some carrots and turnips in his garden box) and Rich used it to make a hash with the leftover ham from last night's dinner. All of it except for the salt and ground pepper was home grown: The ham, the tomatoes, the potatoes, the corn, the peppers, the crookneck squash, the scallions. That was pretty cool, making a meal that was almost entirely raised on our property.

Our neighborhood has an annual harvest dinner, and this is the week. I've been bringing the same dish for the past three or four years. I'm trying to decide if I want to mix things up this time.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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Saturday, November 05, 2016

Marine Layer, Live and In Pictures!

Models: Julie Ellis and Yours, Truly. Photography Credit: Kris Emerson from Special Moments by Kris (used with permission).

You guys! You guys! Marine Layer, the cowl (and scarf) and the mitts are up on Knotions' November 2016 Issue! The patterns are free, too!

Go check it out and knit lots of them for yourself and your friends and family! Don't forget to make project pages and share your photos with me. I want to see what you do with this design.

I cannot say enough good about working with Knotions' editor, Jody. She was prompt in replying, she was helpful and nice, she did excellent work in editing, formatting, making schematics, promoting, and so on. I've never worked with anyone so responsive. (She even did a huge favor and changed something I didn't notice until the magazine had done a soft launch for the issue. Even though she had already had her "Phew, that's finished!" glasses of wine.) I'm still new enough at third party publishing that I was thrilled when I saw (four or five!!!) of her promotion pages and posts featuring photos of my designs and told everyone I knew. If you have something you have designed and think it might fit their magazine, I encourage you to submit. I'm not a big name designer, and I've only worked with two third party publishers, but I've been blessed to have great experiences with both. Knotions is definitely on my list of publishers to keep in mind for future designs.

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Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Menu Along: Thriller, Saint Nicholas and All Saints

While I wish I could say I finished Nejat's blanket, all I've been working on is Saint Nicholas. Aside from the fact that I need to get a finished photo to the editor, I realized that I wanted to include this design in the 2016 Indie Designer Gift-a-Long, and that means it needs to be published no later than November 12. Yikes! So, I'm hustling. In between taking care of the eleventy billion things going on at home, with the kids, in our neighborhood, and so on. This also means that my photo is from this past Saturday instead of yesterday or today, so there is actually more knit now.

Rich and I are still reading Hillbilly Elegy. It's slow going, because we are reading it aloud in bed, and only when we are not too exhausted to read.

After finishing Persuasion with the kids for their literature, we took another turn at Life, the Universe, and Everything for fun. We're just about finished, and will move on to the fifth book of the increasingly ill named trilogy.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Fanatic.

We have been slammed over the past couple weeks months, who am I kidding? The past year. However, in the past couple weeks, we've been preparing for Amira's ballet studio dancing the Thriller routine four times at our local Halloween trick or treat event (which was so amazing!!! If you "know" me on Facebook, take a look at the videos posted), along with preparing for Nutcracker (even Alexander has been roped in to play a party parent), Alexander has some make up work to do from things he had missed that have a hard deadline, our neighborhood is set up on irrigation ares, kind of like a grange system, and Rich and I are in charge of getting the invitations to events made and sent out, and that's on my list to finish up today, I've had design work that is pressing, and I'm still slogging through trying to get it completed, plus getting ready for that GAL I mentioned above, which means knitting, organizing, promoting, editing photos and patterns, then being available to be involved during the event, plus I'm teaching a knitting class at our co-op, and my normal, weekly, knit night here, and our monthly dances (which we talked about doing twice a month, but just can't figure out how we'll manage that), Rich is doing his first oral prep for his defense today (please pray for him), and I've been helping him quiz and having him take more time away from home so he can study, so I'm picking up a lot of what he normally handles here, on top of normal homeschooling and homemaking, and life. I'm just thankful that the hard winter has held off so far, and we're instead of ice and below freezing temperatures, mostly getting rain and clouds. It's the greenest I've ever seen this desert. It has also bought us some time, as our winter firewood isn't completely chopped/split and stacked, and there is still one row of potatoes to harvest.

Today, though, Kim is on my mind. Along with all the people we love who have died to this world in the love and faith of God, she is on my mind especially on this All Saints' Feast. We are thankful for all those who have gone before us, who lived as examples of the life of Christ, and whose work continues as they pray for us in the presence of God. We also pray for all those who have passed that they might find eternal rest and joy in the resurrection. One thing we always try to do is to listen to the Litany of the Saints. Our children love to listen for their names. They usually hear the litany at three liturgies of the year, unless there is a funeral mass. But each year we play it on the feast of All Saints.

O Almighty God, who has knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; Grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys which thou has prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

What is on your menu this week? If you want a recipe, ask and I will provide it as soon as I can. If there are any starred recipes, I will follow up separately with a weekly recipe round up.

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