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Monday, January 31, 2005

NYC Knitters

Did anyone in NYC knit at a knitting group which met in a Starbucks either Tuesday or Wednesday (Jan 25/26) and run into a friendly Hispanic man with a bunch of high school girls who asked about the group? My priest is a school teacher and they took a trip to NYC last week and he told me about the group he saw at a Starbucks there, and that they had a website, but he couldn't remember the name. He wans't wearing his clericals, and his wife wasn't with him, but he was in a group of high school girls, so might be memorable for that.

Gave the Christening Cap to Amanda

I can say her name now! Amanda's shower was yesterday, and she loved the cap. She immediately said that Flora would wear it to her baptism at Easter. I put together a basket of things for both Amanda and Flora. I had some newborn diapers tied with a chiffon ribbon, a box of nursing pads, some lansinoh, some body wash and a puff for when Amanda finally gets to take a shower, hair clips and a headband for Flora and the christening cap. We had a lot of fun, and ate too much!

I worked on my sleeve while I was there so the picture I have:

is actually not as far along as I am. I am about half a diamond away from reducing the sleeve to the saddle portion. You can barely see the cabling on this, so you'll have to take my word that it's there.

I promised some photos of Amira, so here are a few of her Saturday night, after we put the boys to bed.

Here she is drumming on her cookie tin drumset. She also has a wooden rattle with a bell in it that she uses as a drumstick.

And here, posing for the camera. Note the fashionable drool spot on her pajamas.

This is Amira playing with all the toys in the downstairs toy bucket at once.

This is the last one, of her climbing up on the dresser to get into stuff she's not allowed to touch.

Isn't she the prettiest little girl in the world?

Quick Note

I received a postcard from my secret pal this weekend. Just to let you know I did get it and enjoy it.

I'll be back later to talk about other stuff, I'm off for now.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

I Have a Secret Pal!

I received my secret pal's name today! I already have two presents and some pretty note cards to send. I'm having a lot of fun snooping around to learn more about her. It's too late to mail something today, so I will get a card out on Monday.

Just in case my secret pal is snooping to learn more about me, here is the link to my survey answers: Survey Says!

I had a lovely time knitting and reading at the library today. I'm about halfway up the sleeve on my Cross Your Heart, I would be farther along except I found an interesting book and read it while I was there, and about four people kept talking to me about my being able to knit and read at the same time, or about the book they were reading, and I am too polite to ask people to leave me alone. One woman was a knitter, though, and she and I talked a little bit about what I was making and I showed her the pattern and said what I was doing to change it.

Last night I undid and restarted the colorwork on Elijah's sleeve, only to realize that I hadn't made a mistake, and so was just doing it twice for practice. I shouldn't knit or make knit decisions when I am sleep deprived. Who am I kidding? I'd never do anything if I limited myself to time when I wasn't sleep deprived. I've been sleep deprived since 1998 with a six month respite in 1999.

I was thinking that it has been a while since I have posted pictures of my adorable children, especially Amira and Elijah. I will rectify that soon. I have some great bath shots, but I won't post those in such a public place. Besides, then you'd see our gross tub. The finish has worn off and there is nothing we can do to make it look clean. I'm always explaining to people that it looks gross, but it's really clean.

So, instead of kid pictures here are some pictures of sunset from our driveway.

This is from the top of the driveway.

And this is through the trees in the island.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

I do!

I was jealous of all those other blogs with their own buttons, and I am not, not, an artist, so I used Rich's drawing and the nice fonts on my word processing program to come up with this:

What do you think? I tried putting some Arabic script on it, but everytime I pasted it in, my computer froze up. I gave up after the third try. It wasn't the charm. Anyway, that is my contribution for today. I am on the 19th round of the second lace pattern on my Pi, have undone the nasty moss st (which I don't hate, just on this sweater where they have it on the sleeves) on my Cross Your Heart and will be redoing it in st st, and I have to redo all the colorwork (only 4 rows) on Little Boy Green sleeve #2, because I did it on automatic pilot and started it in a different place than I did on sleeve #1.

Thursday, January 27, 2005


I finished the Christening Cap last night! Here it is in all its glory:

Instead of doing the triple crochet around the neck as the instructions said, I picked up 75 sts, did two rows of k1p1 ribbing, a row of eyelet (p2tog, yo, rep), then two more rows of ribbing and bound off. I threaded some lavendery (more on the pink side, but not quite pink) ribbon through the eyelets and voila! Ready in advance of the deadline date, and my first FO of the year.

Pi Shawl:

I worked it out, if I knit on this for 45 minutes a day, I can have it finished by the end of March. Yeah, right. So, sometime this spring, I should have it finished.

Cross Your Heart:

I'm not thrilled with all the moss st on the sleeves. I checked the photos in the magazine to see if I had somehow missed it, and they just don't show the sleeves that well, so you don't see all the pock markey moss st up the arms. I am seriously considering changing it to st st, as that is how I had it pictured in my head and I think it will look better.

That's all for now folks!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Progress Photos

Hello All! Just to keep your interest, I have some photos to share.

Here is the Christening Cap, sans ribbing, and the ribbon I will use for the tie.

I think I will be finished with it either tonight or tomorrow. As for progress with Little Boy Green, I have for your perusal the finished sleeve and the unfinished sleeve.

Also for those of you tuning in from the EZ as Pi Knit-a-Long, I have two pictures of my shawl. The blue is a little darker in real life than in the photos, but I still can't make my camera take unblurry pictures without the flash. The first pictures shows some of the second lace pattern emerging, I'm on row sixteen of the second lace pattern, and the second picture shows the shawl as beret.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Christening Cap Almost Finished!

I finished sewing up the seams tonight. I was going to try to pick up the stitches for the neck, but thought better of it, because I am exhausted. Tomorrow night, though, I have my group reunion, so I will bring it there and very likely finish it up.

I will try to post a picture of the bonnet as soon as it is finished, as it will be out of my hands soon. I also keep meaning to post a shot of my Pi Shawl, though it looks more like a bunched up hat, since it hasn't been blocked. Maybe I'll get that done tomorrow.

The Cross Your Heart is moving again, I am part way up the first sleeve. I have reason to believe that Little Boy Green may be a finished object by next weekend; I'm over halfway through the second sleeve. When it is sewn up, I will pull out the Zig Zag pullover I started for Dominic almost two years ago. It will still fit him, so I'd like to finish it while he can wear it. Otherwise it will go to Elijah, and I'll have to find something else for Dominic.

When I am finished with the Cross Your Heart, and cross your fingers that it will be finished in time for Madrona, I can get started on Lara, finally. I've been dying to make it since I first saw a photo of it in the Patternworks catalogue. I did not spend the insane amount on the Alpaca Silk, however, I do have a gorgeous alpaca, wool and rayon blend in the stash which knits at the same gauge and I have more than enough.

This weekend my mother in law and Rich's aunt are coming to visit with us. I'm taking the Saturday off to go knit and read in the library. I hope to make some good progress on my sleeve, maybe even start the second one. My first deadline was February 13, because I wanted to be able to wear it for Valentine's Day, but my extended deadline is February 17, so I can wear it to Madrona. I'm still trying for the 13th, though.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Secret Pal Survey Answers & a Thank You

Thank you to Marguerite who directed me to a Christian Knitblog Ring!


1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer high-end/natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I am somewhat of a yarn snob. I prefer natural fibers, but do not look down on inexpensive yarns. In fact, I am a great shopper and love a bargain.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I just learned to spin last year, but haven't progressed much.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

Smoke, dogs.

4. How long have you been knitting?

19 years.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes, a link is in my sidebar. Here is a link to make it easier: Amazon Wishlist.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Citrus, pear, melon/cucumber. I also like light florals, but I am pickier about those. I do not like most vanilla or cinnamon scents (prefer the real thing).

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

For chocolate, caramel and sweet and sour candies. Otherwise, I am mostly a salty and crunchy snacker.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I am learning to sew in exchange for teaching a girl at our church to play the violin. I love cooking, baking and preserving. I am a dancer, mostly ballroom and latin. I adore reading, I always have several books going.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I like Big Band, Salsa, Salsa, Salsa, 80s pop, classical, some R & B, some contemporary Christian, really anything except rap, country, banda or vulgar lyrics. My computer can play cds, but I don't know if that means it will play MP3s.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer?

Red. Deep, true red. Blues of various sort, think oceans, skies, flowers, anywhere from the green end to the violet end. Yellow from butter to lemon. Rose and raspberry pink, but not much else pink.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I am married and have four children; three boys ages 6, 4 and 2 and an almost 11 month old daughter. No pets.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

I'll stay out of the ethereal here. I'd love to have about 30 acres on which we could keep a good sized flock of laying chickens, an apiary, a huge kitchen garden, an orchard and angora rabbits.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Natural fibers, soft yarn, especially polwarth and merino wool, alpaca, angora and silk. I tend to knit between sport and aran weight yarn, except for socks, shawls and small projects for which I will use fingering or lace weight yarn.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I guess I'll say acrylic, even though there are some that I like, like Microspun from Lion Brand, because I'm so picky about it. I'm not a huge fan of most of the novelty yarns, but a little glimmer or something like boucle is fun. I do like loopy mohair, it and baby mohair are about the only mohair I like.

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

As always, cables. Any texture knitting, lace or fair isle.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Pullovers, shawls and baby sweaters.

17. What are you knitting right now?

Cross Your Heart Gansey for myself, a cabled and pseudo-fair isle (it uses three colors in some rows) sweater for my youngest son, I'm finishing off a vintage lace christening cap for a couple who is having their first baby soon, and I'm getting my Pi Shawl ready to work on again as it was a UFO from last year.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

I have found very few of which I have a good opinion.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

In general I prefer circulars. However, for projects like the lace cap, I like 10" straights.

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

In order of descending preference:

Nickel coated aluminum
Bamboo/Other Wood
Steel or polished aluminum (hate the brushed aluminum which is scratchy sounding and grates on my ears)

21. Are you a sock knitter?

I have knit socks and plan to knit more, but I am not a rabid sockster.

22. How did you learn to knit?

My mother taught me how to cast on and knit and purl while my teachers were on strike when I was in the 5th grade. She couldn't remember how to cast off or anything except basic knit/purl, so she brought me to a friend of hers who showed me how to cast off. The rest I learned from books and magazines.

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

A baptismal gown that was meant for my second son, for a baptism that was almost 4 years ago. It's now planned for a grandchild.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

Hmmm...Wallace & Grommit, Chicken Run (really most of the Nick Park stuff), Veggie Tales anything. As for animals, sheep, of course, though chickens are pretty close.

25. What is your favorite holiday?


26. Is there anything that you collect?

Yarn and patterns, books.

I'm really looking forward to finding out more about my secret pal! I already have some ideas of what to send.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Back to My Regularly Scheduled Knitting

I finally finished the cap again last night. I am blocking it. I will likely sew it up tomorrow or Saturday, pick up the neck for the ribbing and eyelets and finish it off by Sunday. I never mentioned Rich's comment about the bonnet the first time he saw it all laid out. He said it looked like a thong. Just add some ties on the sides, and there you have it, lingerie!

I was able to knit on the sleeve of my Cross Your Heart again today. I will probably work on the second Little Boy Green sleeve tonight after we put the kids to bed since Rich picked up the Chicken Run DVD and we fell asleep before we watched it last night.

Anyhoo...There has been a discussion on the knitlist about project lists we knitters come up with and I am ashamed to say that my wish list for projects to do far exceeds my lifetime. Ah, well. I have actually started paring it down, I look at things that I thought were fabulous before, and now that I am a better knitter, I can see which details I like and think of how to incorporate them into another project. Or, I see that although I like the eight bazillion shawl patterns there are in the world, there are a few types I really love, and there are only so many variations on those that I feel compelled to knit.

However, even though I have a subscription to Interweave Knits and pick up Vogue Knitting and Family Circle Easy Knitting every now and then, I really already have a library of knitting magazines, books and patterns that should keep me busy until the Second Coming. Not to mention all the free patterns I find online. Not that this will change my knitting purchasing habits in the least.

I am looking for a webring of Christian knitblogs. I don't know if such an animal exists. If you have any leads, search terms or ideas, please let me know.

Monday, January 17, 2005

How to Destroy Over 16 Hours Worth of Work in Less than 5 Seconds

I am so sad. Last night I was sewing up the second seam on the christening cap, when I just couldn't get over the look of the first seam. So, I finished the second, and decided to redo the first. It just wasn't even enough, and the second one looked so much better. Well, I snipped the wrong strand. Right on the edge near the bound off part, and basically unravelled all the knitting at the end. However because of the fact that it was already washed and blocked, was kind of fuzzy from the alpaca, and where I made the snip, I pretty much had to undo it all and start over. At least the lace edging was a separate piece.

I cried so hard last night. Rich tried to save the day with ice cream and holding me tight. Alexander came to the dining room and said that he thought I was pretty, and Rich started listing off all the other great things about me and getting amens from Alexander. Then, he said, "So, why don't we go out to celebrate Mommy!" This helped me get my head clear so I could start over on the bonnet again.

It was very sweet of Rich to comfort me as he did. He cleared the kids out of the living room, sent them to Dominic's room with several games, started making dinner and in general took over for me so I could just cry and be devastated in peace. He looked at me and told me that although I made it look effortless, he knew how much work went into each project I make, especially after he tried to knit the other night and saw how much work went into his straight knitting.

So, I restarted the bonnet last night, I am where I was last Saturday, and I don't think I will have a sweater to wear to the fiber retreat, because all of my knitting time will be put toward this and Elijah's sweater. At least I was two weeks early on the bonnet, and this didn't happen the night before the baby shower. In two weeks Rich's mom and aunt are coming to visit, so he said that I should take that Saturday off to go knit on my sweater, to make up for the time I will lose while I work on this.

The one bit of solace I take from this was that there was something on the back of the bonnet with which I wasn't entirely satisfied, so now I can do it exactly as I wanted it, and now I know how to best seam it, and not to finish off my seaming until I am perfectly sure that I am pleased with the results. I've never had something like this happen before, and I've certainly seamed a lot of things, and made mistakes I had to go and redo. I am still pretty depressed.

As for my Cross Your Heart, I am almost finished with the first cuff. I have finished the first sleeve on Elijah's Little Boy Green. I was going to make a pair of gloves for Alexander as my next small project, but that will also be on hold. If I don't start them soon, too, there is no point in making them for him until the Fall, since we will be out of cold weather in about two months. Since I will be frantically working on my sweater and Elijah's sweater when I get this bonnet done, I won't have time for a little side project.


Friday, January 14, 2005

Finished with the Front!

Woo-hoo! I have finished the front of my Cross Your Heart and have started a sleeve. I know I said that I would do both sleeves at once, but that is crazy. These things start pretty wide and then get wider, and they are saddle shoulder. So, I'm just keeping notes on where I do the increases. I have also finally started the raglan shaping on Elijah's sweater. Now, for the weekend, my assignment is to sew up the christening cap, get Elijah's first sleeve finished and make some good progress on mine.

We actually have a weekend that isn't packed from morning to night, so I might actually get all this done. Rich has set his projects around the house, too, which may now include KNITTING! He asked me to teach him to cast on and knit last night, and has done a row and a half with minimal help. This is so cool! He has always been interested in learning about the techniques I use and the mechanics of knitting, and has gotten pretty good at identifying stitch patterns and different kinds of knitting, but he never was interested in actually doing it himself until now. He is really interested in making me a swift and a spinning wheel, and was always more interested in yarn construction than using the yarn to make something else.

We've always had a deal where I would learn about his interests and he would learn about mine, and we really enjoy that. I do know a little bit about flying from before him, because I learned to fly before I learned to drive. However, after my first set of lessons, I never continued, so Rich has encouraged me to really learn if I want to do it. Since I am married to a CFII, I may take him up on that offer. We'll be the flying, knitting, spinning duo.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

FYI & Epiphany Jokes

Hi Kat and Fr. Tanner!

First to Kat:

The pattern for the bonnet is from Vogue Knitting on the Go Baby Gifts. For anyone else interested, I always list the source for my patterns in my WIP list in the sidebar. I hope that helps.

Fr. Tanner:

I have been discovered! Fr. Joe talks about you occasionally, as we often discuss Touchstone articles at the coffee hour after church. I checked out your blog coverage of the Convocation this past summer, and I read Mere Comments, so I feel like I know a little bit about you. Now, you can learn a little bit about me and my family. Rich and I are really enjoying serving as leaders for our Laudate group here, and we're so blessed by the family of God at Christ the Victor. We are still a small congregation, but that is wonderful, as it really builds a sense of unity and family within the parish. Our feasts are legendary, so if you get a chance, come on out and join us!

I am getting so excited about the ladies' retreat in April. I finally checked out the Highland Springs Resort website, and I am awed. It will be a wonderful time of relaxation and learning. I am really looking forward to seeking the Lord on a deeper level with my sisters in Christ in such a beautiful expanse of God's world.

My knitting is coming along well, I am now at the neck shaping on my Cross Your Heart. I am hoping to have it finished by February 13, so I can have it ready to wear for Valentine's Day and for the Madrona Fiber Retreat that week. I'm a little nervous about the deadline, as I still have both sleeves, sewing and the neck to finish in a little over a month. We'll see. If I don't have it finished in time for Valentine's, I may still be able to get it done for Madrona. There is a tiny little thing on one of the heart cables in the front that is annoying me. I'm sure nobody else will notice it, but I may do some duplicate st to make it look right to me. I'm not going back 8 rows to redo it. It's not a mistake, the stitch just kind of looks odd and left a little gap. Blocking it may correct this, so I'll see how it looks at that point.

That's all for now. I will be back soon with more on the knit progress. Oh, before I forget, I told an Epiphany joke at the Epiphany service last Thursday:
We know the Magi were women, because they remembered a birthday, asked directions and brought gifts.

Fr. Jonathan countered that they couldn't have been women because if they had, they would have been on time, helped with the delivery and brought food.

Since we are in the Epiphany season, I thought I'd share those with you.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005


Last night at our home group, after we finished with the study and had a bit of sustenance, we pulled out yarn and needles and got to it. I had two women, two girls and one of the priests learning how to cast on and knit (one even got to purling). They were quick studies and seemed to be enjoying themselves. We may have ourselves a knitting congregation soon!

Three of the people last night already knew how to crochet, so it was a matter of learning something a little different with yarn. Fr. Jonathan learned how to knit as a little boy, but hadn't done anything with it since then, so he took off right away and was knitting continental, even though I knit English, and was doing just fine. He said it was just easier for him to tension the yarn that way. Marthie had also learned to knit and purl several years ago, and she just had to relearn it. I am so excited that it went so well.

Marthie is coming with me to the yarn market and talk in February, so I'll be her pusher then. Marthie, Kelly and Denise are all coming on the ladies' road trip down to southern California for the Church Ladies' Retreat, along with another woman or two from our congregation, so I'm sure there will be late nights of knitting and chatting while we're there. The only things not included in our registration fee are horseback riding and the masseuse. Rich figured that with only three days there I wouldn't care about the riding, but wants to find out how much the massages are, so I can get one. What a guy! He made sure I could go, is taking time off of work so he can be home with the kids and is looking out for me to get a massage and relaxation time while I'm there. I'm a fortunate woman.

Anyway, not much to report on my own knitting. I had to tink back two and a half rows on my Cross Your Heart, because I missed two double increases and there just wasn't enough yarn to drop down to those sts and put the increases in. I'm back on track, though, and this close to finishing the front. The bonnet is blocking and I'll be sewing it up this weekend, and putting on the ribbing for the neck. I need to find a nice color ribbon for it, as the yarn is a natural color, and the ribbon I have is either deep green or blue, lavender or white. Nada on Little Boy Green. I fell asleep before I got to it the other night.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Progress Photos

First off, I have to tell you how excited I am that people are reading this blog and posting comments. I feel a little less like I am talking to myself. I'm even more excited that a fellow knitter is commenting, and thank you for all your compliments.

A couple things I didn't mention in the last entry: I also use butter instead of vegetable shortening in the bagel recipe, and I ended up making the most amazing "blondies" for St. Martha's Guild. They were an experiment that turned out quite well. I had a blondie recipe from Fine Cooking, but really, all bar cookies need chocolate. Well, it called for dark brown sugar, and I only had golden brown, but I did have a little muscovado sugar, so I used a third muscovado to two thirds of the golden brown, then tossed in some bittersweet Belgian chocolate chips when I stirred in the pecans. They were quite chewy and rich and tasty. I will definitely make these again.

I had planned on finally making some progress on Alexander's baby book at St. Martha's, but left all the pictures and baby book at home. However, I brought along the christening cap, and made quite a bit of progress on that. We had a lot to be praying for, and lots coming up this month as well for the families of our church.

Since I am usually so bad at posting progress photos, I thought I'd toss a couple up here. This first one is of the first sleeve on Little Boy Green. I am just now at the raglan shaping, I will begin it tonight.

I had quite the knitty day on Saturday, first at St. Martha's Guild in the morning, then at the restaurant on the airport while I talked food with the owner and chefs, then that night at an Ultreya. By Sunday night, I had finished all the knitting on the main part of the cap. I need to block and sew the sides, then do the neck. The pattern says to do this triple crochet, but since I am so pathetic at crochet, and I can accomplish the same thing with K1P1 ribbing with an eyelet row for the ribbon, I am doing that instead. Here is the cap all layed out:

And here it is folded up so you can see a little bit of how it will look when it is sewn:

The pattern was marked for experienced knitters, but I haven't run into anything really difficult or complicated. The shaping is fairly basic, the lace is all simple repeats, nothing that can't be memorized, and it moved quickly. Either they figured anything on size two needles was for experienced knitters or anything lace was, or I am an experienced knitter. Yikes!

I have enough of the yarn left to make another one in the larger size, and may do so for Amira. I could probably make two more, really, and give the other to the NICU for a very special baby.

Oh, oh, oh! I have finally taught someone the knit stitch! I have helped enable other knitters who had been away from knitting before, but hadn't yet taught anyone to knit. There is a lady at our church who is part of St. Martha's and she does embroidery and needlepoint, but was interested in learning to knit. I had an extra set of needles and another person had some yarn, so I cast on about 50 sts for her and showed her how to knit. She did great! She really caught on, and is excited about learning. I was going to bring her some bigger needles and worsted weight yarn Sunday, but forgot, so I have them ready for her now along with a copy of Family Circle Easy Knitting and this year's Knit It!. I have them by the door so I remember to bring them to Bible Study tomorrow night to give to her then.

Poor Rich fell ill again this morning, so he stayed home from work. We're both pretty exhausted, so I think I will sign off for now.

Friday, January 07, 2005

Silky Wool & Vintage Lace

The other night I was tired, grumpy and had a headache. I thought I would relieve this by winding up a ball of Silky Wool that I had bought to try out. No real project in mind, just liked the feel of the yarn, thought it would relax me. Well, it turns out that this soft and lovely yarn is diabolical yarn. It wants to tangle up and turn into knots, it enjoys it. Rich saw me struggling with it after an hour and said that yarn never would have tangled up before the Fall.

I spent almost two hours untangling the mess. I finally got to the last foot or two and saw the other end, had to pull it through a loop to untie it and just the process of it running next to another strand of yarn was enough to make it not only tangle, but actually tie itself into a knot that was tiny and I had to take out by spearing it with a size one knitting needle.

I really love this yarn, it is soft and crisp, has beautiful color, is quite rich looking, but unless Elsebeth Lavold comes up with a new put up that doesn't allow it to tangle quite as easily, I don't think I will be buying it to use on the lovely camisole from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts with which I have fallen in love. I have six balls of Dale Svale in a gorgeous cranberry color, it knits to the same gauge as the La Luz, only it is in my stash and didn't cost $25 a skein. If anyone wants to gift me with three or four balls of the La Luz in either the iris or cranberry red or even the golden color, I will gladly accept. It does look gorgeous, and I've heard it feels quite nice, but $75-100 for a little camisole is a bit steep for me.

Anyway, I am almost finished with the lace edging on the christening cap:

Here is a slightly blurry, but closer look at the pattern:

I have two more to go, then I pick up along the edge and knit the cap back from there. I don't know if you can see the reflection from the shimmery strands in the yarn. I can see them, but I know what to look for. This is quite a lovely yarn, and if the alpaca lady is at Madrona again this year, I will buy more of it. It is fingering, but works up at dk-worsted doubled up, so can be used quite nicely in other ways.

Tomorrow is our first meeting of St. Martha's Guild for the New Year. We are to bring photos that we want organized and we are going to work on that, but I think I will bring my knitting too. I am at the raglan shaping on the first sleeve for Elijah's sweater. Next time I do a raglan sweater, I will do it in the round. I have done them top down that way, is it possible to do them bottom up? The fair isle bands would have been so much quicker had I only been knitting and not purling. I can do two handed color stranding, but this uses three colors in many rows, and on the WS I get to learn why continental knitters hate purling so much, it is a royal pain. I also know I am not going to enjoy sewing this up already. I will go on, though, I want him to be able to wear it. Since it is a blend of wool and cotton, even with the extra bulk from the stranding, I think he will be able to wear it through the spring and possibly on cool evenings in the summer. I still haven't decided if I am going to make it a crew neck or go ahead with the semi-turtle neck as it is pictured in the magazine. I guess we'll see where I get tired of ribbing.

I have not admitted to making a purse for our neighbor yet. I brought the bagels over to our neighbors today, though, and they have been pronounced fabulous. I use King Arthur's Sir Lancelot Hi-Gluten flour and the recipe from Baking with Julia. I have modified the recipe a bit, though, I include minced onion in the dough, and I skip the egg wash, as it glues them to the pan and the water from the boiling seems to keep the poppy seeds and salt on quite nicely. I need to get another order in on this flour, and on the French flour and artisan flour. Actually, I need to see if our grocery store will order them for me, since they have an account with King Arthur and then I can just pick them up at the store and not pay shipping. The Sir Lancelot also makes incredible pizza dough with some semolina in the mix. We are already planning our next grilled pizza party. We enjoyed them so much this past summer.

As for food for the St. Martha's guild, I'm thinking something like corn muffins with onions and peppers in them. Something relatively simple and quick, since I'll have to make them tonight after we're finished with Laudate and the kids. We are studying St. Nicholas tonight. We skipped him in December, because of time conflicts, but we thought he'd be fun to start with this month.

Well, I am off for now. I have to print out the Saint Study sheets and make rice for dinner.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

End of Year Tally & Knitting Resolutions

You may have noticed that my 2004 FO list is missing from the sidebar. They are still available in an album that is linked there, but I have started my 2005 list. It has a big fat whopping nothing in it, but that will be rectified this month, I hope.

As for my final count of FOs for 2004, I finished nine things. This is down from a record of 39 things in 2002 and even down from 2003's 16 finished objects. However, I didn't have four children running around then, wasn't on the road for two thirds of my day and didn't have Amira before. All three of the boys took less time than she does, but she is so sweet and cute I don't mind terribly.

I don't know if I have mentioned this here, but I made a big deal to Rich before we had Amira that I didn't want to stress the appearance of any female children we might have, it was fine that they would be pretty, but there was more to a girl than her looks and I didn't want her to think that was all she had to offer anyone. Well, that went out the window as soon as I saw Amira. I can't shut up about how pretty she is. Besides, let's face it, we don't know how smart she is, but we do know how gorgeous she is. We are beginning to suspect she is brilliant as well as beautiful, though, as she recognized the kiss of sleep rather early on (when both Rich and I kiss her on either cheek at the same time), and she kicks like fury when we put her pajamas on, because she knows they mean bed. She also recognizes the words: princess, pretty and beautiful, and will cock her head and smile when she hears them.

Anyway, on to my FOs:

1. Origami Baby Kimono for Amira - Kaleidoscope (Jan 4)
2. Charcoal Bonnet for Amira - Diamante (Jan 5)
3. Baby Bootees for Amira - Cream Attitude (Jan 8)
4. Bob Hat for Elijah - Red & Green Naturspun Sport (Jan 13)
5. V-Neck Cardigan for Amira - Purple Waikiki (Jan 21)
6. Lace Bookmark for Mrs. Debby - Hand Dyed Merino (Sep 18)
7. Felted Bootees for Friend's Baby- Yellow Lamb's Pride (Oct 14)
8. Santa Sock for Dominic - Stahl Volare and Teddy (Dec 5)
9. Fancy Purse for Barbara (although I don't think I will give it to her, it is terrible, I have made them a batch of bagels, though) - Purple Touch Me (Dec 30)

As for my knitting goals this year, I would like to finally tackle an intarsia project and a beaded knitting project. I have some things in mind to accomplish this, but we'll see.

Oh, and I might just take you up on that offer, Jennifer. I will see if I still have your e-mail address and send those photos to you.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Christmas Pictures

Here are a couple pictures of our family after Christmas Mass.

I couldn't get the red eye out of Rich's eyes because I cannot figure out how to make that function work on our photo program, so he'll just have to look scary.

I don't normally pitch the books I'm reading, just list them and hope someone takes notice, but I am really enjoying Fewer. Fewer is a great look at the actuality of population change in our world, including the poorer and less developed countries, in contrast to the population explosion hype that has been on for the last 40 years. It's a good look at why there are 5 billion people missing (we were supposed to reach 11 billion people by now). I also highly recommend Amusing Ourselves to Death, it was published in 1985 and almost seems prophetic now.

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Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Holiday & Knitting Update

Intrepid readers who have waited for my long coming new post, I am here at last. Sorry for being so haphazard about posting.

Christmas was very low key and nice. It was just our family at home, we normally host everyone, but pulled way back this year after being so sick. I was a reader at church for the Christmas Mass, and most of our day was spent with our church family.

After church we went to the NICU where Elijah was treated to deliver a couple loaves of bread and some boursin to the staff as a Christmas present. We figured they were sugared out, and would appreciate something savory. I made them pain au citron and pane all'olio. They seemed pleased.

It was funny, when they asked who we were there to see, we told them we came bearing gifts and the lady asked immediately if we were "graduates." I thought that was a little odd, but we figured that only those who have had to be in the NICU probably come with presents for the staff. I didn't have any handknits for the babies this year, because I just haven't gotten much done with my knitting since Amira was born, but I was glad to have something for the staff and visit with them. All the kids came in with us, and some of the nurses and one of the doctors who worked with Elijah were there. That was great for us, but also nice for them. They got to see Elijah run up and down the outer hall and dance around for them and wish them all a Merry Christmas. We imagine that it must be nice for them to see such a wonderful outcome from a difficult case, since so often they have tougher cases and lose babies or don't have them recover quite as easily or fully.

I became rather emotional seeing the staff who helped him, I just wanted to wrap my arms around them and thank them and sob, but I restrained myself. For one, I didn't want to freak them out, and for another, they'd have to scrub up again before going back in to the babies. I didn't think I would still get emotional visiting the NICU, but even the walk down the corridor to the entrance was quite a walk for me. We spent a lot of time talking about "do you remembers" as we made the walk. It has been a year since we were there to visit, two and a half years since we were there as patients.

Anyway, after we made our visit and drop off, we headed to our priest's home where we had a potluck Christmas feast and played games. Fun was had by all, and we stayed up too late, but made it home just fine and tumbled into bed. I normally decorate our tree Christmas Eve, but nothing was on it but the lights and I thought I might decorate after we returned home. Not this year. I was just too worn out and the next evening we were preparing for the kids' godparents to arrive and it didn't happen then, and then I was violently ill with some sort of stomach bug.

The godparents had great timing, though, they arrived just in time for me to be sick, and they took over the housework, cooking and care of the kids so I could ride it out. It turns out that one member of each family from our church gathering got sick at around the same time that early morning, and we all got over it quickly. It was good we had a week break from Home Group and Youth Group, as it gave us all a chance to recover and not pass it back to each other.

The godparents arrived with their son and one of his friends. We really enjoyed our time with them. They were a blessing to us, as well as just fun to be around. As an early anniversary gift our neighbors gave us the stay at their garden house. The godparents did an admirable job with the kids so we could have a nice, romantic night alone. We needed it and really appreciated it.

On New Year's, our actual anniversary, we had our priest's family, a friend of theirs, another couple who had gone to our church before and a friend and her son come over for food and more game playing. We played Taboo through the New Year, and when our priest said that it was about that time, we all did a super fast countdown from ten to one and went back to our game.

As for my knitting, I am not going to have an Epiphany present for Elijah. I am almost finished with the first sleeve and have the second, the sewing and the neckband to do still. As there are no major feasts really close and his birthday isn't until March 25, this will just be a late Christmas present.

I did finish the purse for our neighbor, but it has a great deal of bias in the fabric, and I cannot fathom how to correct it. I've worked with this yarn many times before without this being an issue, so this is a disappointment. I'm trying to think of it as a design feature, but it's not working. I may get a picture up so you can all mock the purse. It's really awful.

I also restarted the baby bonnet for our friends who are due in March. It is a lovely vintage lace Christening Cap, I'm using a yarn called Glimmer which is a fingering weight alpaca with a tiny bit of shimmer in it, polyester plastic looking strands. It is so soft and very pretty. It is also cream colored so can be passed down if they have a boy later. Even though it is a lace pattern in fingering yarn, it moves pretty quickly, as it is so small. I've done three out of ten pattern repeats for the edging around the face, and that took me about an hour and a half.

As for my Cross Your Heart, I am making steady progress on it, I'm almost finished with the front. I can't wait to get the sleeves started and finished, because I really want to have it ready for Valentine's Day. Actually, the way the weather has been around here, it would have been useful over the last couple days.

As always, I am behind in posting photos. I will get those up as soon as possible. My New Year's resolution is to post more frequently and get more knitting done.

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