Friday, December 31, 2010

Out With The Old

It has been an eventful year. My youngest has gone to all-day school. I began a blog. I began designing.
My kids are still alive and healthy. My man is great.
What will 2011 hold? I'll answer that in a year.

On the micro-level, today was a very strange day. It got up to 52F, at least. I scrubbed the garage floor (there's a first time for everything). And I planted my Spring bulbs. Thank you, God, for providing this day for my procrastinating! We had a thunderstorm in the middle of the morning, which freaked out two of my chicks. And I started sorting the landfill which is my desk.

Here are a few more pictures of, at least, the last few weeks in review:

This is a moebius cowl of my own design, knit in Colinette Iona. I simply love this yarn.

Here is a hat I designed for my friend, Molly. This is the Christmas present for her, I believe I posted about when I began it. Here it is all steamed and blocked and ready to mail her. Although, I harbor a deep suspicion that it will be too large on her.

Here is my friend Mary Catherine, fellow knitter, crocheter and attender of one of my circles. She did this afghan in Tunisian Crochet. Isn't it beautiful?

Finally, here are some more festive picture of the family in celebration:

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Yesterday I stripped and changed the sheets and met with an unpleasant surprise.

A giggling bedbug!! I tried squishing her, but it only made her giggle louder.

On another note, I began a lovely braid trim hat for my friend Molly for Christmas. It's not here, yet!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. And, three clarinets and a sax, please!

It is Winter Solstice and I have resurfaced. It's been almost two weeks since I've posted, and in that time, I have had two kids gain a year, all three sprint through the final stretch of school before break, and we all endured a band concert. Most importantly, we have survived at least two days of break!

My youngest is back on antibiotics after one of his emerging boogers requested statehood. His ears have not been checked lately, but here's hoping the antibiotics clear up his hard-hearing. Otherwise, I must put it down to male pattern selective hearing.

The email is acting up. Many pictures won't download. I almost didn't post this. Rather than try for too much (or wait too long again), here are two videos of the band concert. One is great, the other not so much. I'm not telling which is which. But I will say, in the first video, the guy who walks in late is our mayor. This was the third song in the concert!

General consensus in these parts is that the baritone section is stunning, both in tone and execution.

I know I am more old-fashioned than many, but it still bugged me that through the whole concert, the middle-aged woman next to me was texting. She had a three year old sitting next to her. What can she say when the girl is wanting to text during a more formal setting? Of course, I was knitting. Is that activity on the same level as texting? I can pay attention mentally to something else when my hands are moving. Hmmm.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


A friend called this morning and said the kids and I were on South Bend's channel 22 11 0'clock news last night. Yesterday, my friend and the kids and I had all gone up the the South Bend Chocolate Company's Downtown Cafe Store to see Karolyn Grimes, the child actress who played Zuzu on It's a Wonderful Life. She said the shot was of our family posing with her -- the photo below, and of her signing my IAWL snow globe.

I must confess, I brought the rose that is sitting on her signing table. I thought and thought about it, and decided, by golly! If her stage teacher can give her a rose, so can I! She was so kind! She jumped up and gave me a hug and reassured me that she does still like roses.

An unusual Wednesday, but lots of fun.

As for today, I am making soup for a friend who had neck surgery two days ago. Potato and leek. Yummm. As well, I am gearing up for birthdays. I have several things for bake for a carry-in tomorrow. As well, in our home one birthday boy requested hotdogs and apple slices for his special dinner. And store bought snack cakes to take to school for his treat. Let's hope his tastes improve with age.

As well, I am continuing to work on the sweater. Past the armhole shapings! I'm glad there haven't been any major problems so far.

I'm back to working out. Youngest still has plugged ear tubes and is deaf as a doornail. Makes for interesting conversations.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

What Santa Really Does At the North Pole

Caught in the act.

And, he's got good taste in projects!

Monday, December 06, 2010

December Can Be a Low Month, Too

I saw one of the saddest sights of my life the other day, and I've been mulling it over ever since.

Keep in mind, the woman who types this baked homemade three-kind-of-chocolate chip cookies, apricot bars and lemon bars before eleven am today.

O.K. There was a woman in Kroger toting a three year old child who was...

...wait for it...

buying no-bake cookies.


One can't even say, "maybe her oven went out." Buying them.
I had no idea stores even carried them.

They are disgusting, and I hate them. The only thing they are good for is a sugar fix in case of emergency. And doorstops. I did, however, make them yesterday for my eldest to take to youth group. The are middle school fodder, and I almost understand how someone might want to eat them. But, buying? No Bakes?

I wanted to rush up to her and offer sympathies. I wanted to give her the recipe. I thought, maybe I should give her the 2-1-1.

I seriously need to think awhile longer to try to come up with the best possible scenario. Any ideas?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Winter in Indiana

...can be crazy

White on Green

Green on White

Yellow on Green and White

Thursday, December 02, 2010


December 1 it snowed. Someone must have pushed the button. It has been quite nippy since then, and the snow has never completely left.

Little ones fight with me over coats, hats, scarves, mitts and boots. Official notes have come from school assuring all that these things are necessary. When I went to pick the littlest one up today, his ears and nose were red from just having come in from recess -- without his hat.

Bad weather and feeling ill has driven me to more knitting, surrounded by hot drinks and netflix. I have two and a half of the bands done on the fair-isle sweater. It is so much fun, and I just love the Jo Sharp yarn.

Well, it's 8:10, and bed is calling. Tomorrow I shall try to upload pictures.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gnut has joined the family, the kids are back in school, and I started anitbiotics.

The weekend remained uneventful, except for a tree and decorating.

I frogged a nasty cowl, and finished some mitts for baby girl:

I wasted most of the morning finishing the ribbing on this crazy fair-isle sweater and starting the body of it. I forgot to change needle sizes. This afternoon I ripped it, and this evening caught back up.

I'm going to bed!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Knitting .500

Cloistered with a germ-bag, as my father has affectionately named the little ones, has given much knitting time. And yet, I'm knitting .500.

Finished a gift cowl. It's alright. Knit another for myself. It looks like fiberous poop.

Knit a gift for hubby while he's been gone. Nasty and ripped it.

Now I'm knitting a swatch for a gnome.

Besides the typical medicines one administers in times like this, we have been administering steady doses of technology. For those of you who don't know us, we have no TV. We still manage to do adequate brain rotting via computers and DVDs.

What're you doing?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Stalked by the Silent P

Pneumonia has entered the house.

I will be disinfecting today, caring for the wee one, coughing, disinfecting and knitting on my first moebius. Seems appropriate.

For those interested, the yarn is Colinette Iona, and the cast on is a la Cat Bordhi's youtube video. One casts on a double sided circular row with a half twist in it. You end up knitting an endless twist circle, kind of like something M. C. Escher would have drawn. Pretty amazing.

Someone, usually me, always seems to be sick on Thanksgiving. One year, I was bearly able to walk. We went to Kroger and bought sliced turkey lunchmeat for our meal. Quite depressing.

This year, I am to cook a ham for 15. And today I am to cook a meal for a friend who had an operation last week. We'll see how that goes!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Proud Bearer of New Scarf

Self design, I call "Five for five" for my little guy:

He is the cold carrier in this house, and, by golly, he needs to cover that throat and mouth, if for no other reason than to save the others here! The wool is Malabrigo, and oh! so lovely and soft. The "W" in Briggs and Little anniversary edition just seemed to set it off, and hopefully keep it out of the lost and found TRASH BARREL this year. Yep. His school used to have a lost and found table. Now there are two giant trash barrels full of winter coats and single mittens. You could lose a first grader in one of them!

I hope we all sleep well tonight and continue to heal before we are cloistered together for Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Home

So, I'm still sick.
I made some chicken pasta soup, and asked Chris to taste it to see how it was. I didn't want to stick my spoon in it, you know?
His comment? "The chicken is spongy."

Saturday, November 20, 2010


The last bit didn't take long at all. After grafting the last 6 stitches together, the sturdy shawl took a soak in some soapy suds. Rinsed in running water, and blocked on the board.


As stated before, the irritation (dust?) washed out, and the yarn did soften a bit with the soak.

Still, it is an outerwear kind of yarn, too scratchy for delicate wear.

Starting to swatch for a funky fairisle now.

My honey was out of town today. I inherited a rip-roaring cold from the son who gave me about 20 smooches yesterday, complete with, I believe, a nose-blowing on my cheek.

One child is at Harry Potter, and the other two did this:

As always, the question is, who will put it away?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Things Nordic

I continue on my Scandanavian jag today, ranging from knitting on the Faroese shawl,

to making a "Danish" dessert,

to receiving a letter from Sweden!

Monday, November 15, 2010


All my knitting seems so far away.

Gave to friend the Dr. Horrible project: her mum died and left these sweater pieces, which are truly horrid. She doesn't want to wear them. No. She wants to put them on a scarecrow.

I pieced them together, repaired a couple holes and did the neck and waistband.

Didn't even weave in the ends.

I hope it doesn't give you nightmares.

Then I finished a headband type of hat for little girl. Will have to post the picture later...

Finally, on to working on my Faroese Shawl, as (incorrectly) charted by Meg Swansen. Downloaded the errata, and we're off! I bought the real Faroese yarn from a booth at the Nordic conference. I have learned that the sheep on the Faroe Islands are raised for their meat.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Here are a couple pictures to tide me over till I have brain power

A handsome young man running:

And a beautiful Fall day:

Monday, November 08, 2010


And I'm packing it up.

For Valor Gjertsen:

He must have been a very good boy.

And, in remembrance of Baby James and Dora:

Friday, November 05, 2010

Fourth and last in an installment: Nordic Knits, the Final Run

Picking up where we left off... Day one was fab with Ruth Sorensen. The cocktail hour and presentation by Ulla Karin Hellsten was lovely. Day two was masterful with Carol H. Rhoades and Finnish Medley of Stitches. Nancy Bush's Keynote presentation at the Banquet Saturday Night was a lovely overview to the Estonian specialty of knitting gorgeous lace shawls in the coastal town where the industry began.

The first few pictures are of some of the lovely shawls walking around on their human hosts. The last shawls are just some of the fantastic works of the Estonian artists that Nancy met and interviewed.

The presenters and organizers posed for a shot together. They are Karin Lowe, Alex Butler, Patricia Brunner, Carol H. Rhoades, Ruth Sorensen, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Evelyn Clark, Nancy Bush, Britt-Marie Christofferson, Ulla-Karin Hellsten and Stina Cowan.

The final day dawned bright and beautiful.

I, unfortunately, did not.

Fall arrived with a vengeance. It was Washington's first day with frost, I believe, and Erin's first frost in forever! She was ecstatic. But, once we got to the museum, the heat was out. I was wearing my sari, because I could, but it got all covered up in knitted goods. And I wore a hat, and covered as much of myself in wool as I could. And my feet in garage sale-d shoes!

Britt-Marie was brilliant: very knowledgeable, soft spoken and cheerful. She handed out bright packets of stitch guides from her second book she has written. As far as I know, it is available only in Sweden currently. The first stitch was a Halkruus -- a second peek of color showing through a window of the first, and all done with slipped stitches. And, of course, Ulla Karin's yarn in bitty bundles of melodious color made the swatches sing.

A reporter from the Seattle Times showed up taking lots and lots of photos down the line. He stayed long enough for us to start acting normal again.

By the second class, my wagon was draggin'. Erin and I were chatting about what we would do that night, our only free night, and the Seattle-rs chimed in. What fun! They debated what was open, where the Salmon were jumping, and which restaurants were the best. We decided to do the ferry to Bainbridge island, as one of the ladies declared she had never seen a more beautiful sight than the sunset reflecting off the Seattle skyline on the return voyage. That sold me. We took off a half hour early, eagerly taking our yarn samples, and hustled downtown to find a parking place under some of the overpasses.

We made the 4:40 ferry just in time. As we went across the sound, the sun gradually changed colors on Mount Olympus to the South. The Olympic range to the West was masked a bit by the sun, but the skyline of Seattle remained solidly before us to the East.

We touched down in Bainbridge. I touched the sweet mother earth with my toe, and we bundled up and headed back to the mainland. It was freezing cold and we were underdressed. Once there, we ate greasy fish, oysters and lovely chowder, and went back to the home we were staying in.

I had to do quite a bit of sitting on bags in order to get all packed up.

The next morning at the airport, we remembered to purchase the Seattle Times. There we were on the second page of section B. What a riot!

We shared the paper with a man who was killed by a mountain goat at the Olympic range (no news whether it was angora or pygora). Just below our photo was a story of a woman who blinded a man after she cut in front of him at a hotdog stand. We were the only normal news, it seems.