Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
My girls had a good Christmas, gifts they knew they wanted, delighted gasps when they received something equally wonderful they didn't even know they just HAD to have....
I'll get pictures uploaded soon, one more week of weird work schedule, and then time to settle into the long winter. No trip to focus on to Dallas this year, instead I will have to hang on until we go to Florida for my niece's wedding in July. But much knitting will take place between then and now.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
2. Parking spaces available in the front row. No parking in the second lot waaaaaaaay in the back, or sneaking into the intraoffice parking section. Nope, today I breezed in and scored a spot in the front row.
3. Total silence in the cube filled world I work in. Instead of hearing phone conversations, meetings, copiers humming, phones ringing, today it is nearly total silence. That happens when less than 10 people are here on a floor with normally over 60 people.
4. Time to really dig into those projects that you've been stalling....umm saving, ya that's what I meant, saving to get into.....or just move piles around on your desk to help foster that look of I'm working here people!
5. Getting to leave early at 2, so by not taking a lunch, you can head out at 1!
I tried but I don't think I will finish the second mitten tonight. So I will wrap up the completed one and tomorrow will show Kyle's Anna the partial second one. I know I can finish it probably even tomorrow night, but I'm not staying up all night tonight to finish it.
But the fact is, tonight is Christmas Eve. The girls and I will head to church so I can work in the nursery for the 4 pm service. Mom will stay home and get a lovely dinner of crab and other wonders ready for us. After a quick clean up, let the present opening begin!
We will then attach our Santa key to the front door (Santa left us a magic key, this can be used for homes without fireplaces, and even to alert Santa when you are not at home for the stocking fill up to occur. Who knew it had a GPS chip in it. We hang it on the front door of where ever we are and when the girls wake up on Christmas morning, the stockings are full of wonders from Santa!)
Tomorrow morning we will get up and load the van and head out to the wilds of Wisconsin to spend a few days with my sister and family at her log cabin on the lake.
I wish you a Merry Christmas.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Yesterday was my Anna's 12th birthday. TWELVE years old. My girl is amazing. Funny, goofy, and such a good kid. Since the weather was awful we did not go anywhere yesterday, but we had a nice time just the four of us. She loved her presents, especially when her grandma handed her a sizable chunk of cash to spend on anything she wants. Loved the open mouth, wide eyes look. Of course I look back in my mind to her first birthday, when she was baptized on her first birthday. We had been home from China for only a month and I could only dream of what our life together would be. But it is because of Anna's joyous happy soul that we became a family of 3, her love for me encouraged me to pursue getting her a little sister as well as another daughter for me.
I remember walking into daycare the 3rd day she started there, the other days she seemed indifferent to me picking her up at the end of the day, but this time it was like she got it, she knew I was ALWAYS coming back for her, I wasn't leaving her in another orphanage, she saw me that day, squealed and lifted her arms to me. The first time she did that. And always, every night when I would come pick her up, she would see me, her face would light up and run to me, arms wide open, hurling herself into my arms for a hug and a kiss. When I pick her up now from church or school, she may no longer hurl herself into my arms, but her eyes gleam with joy and there is always a smile on her face. This is the child that I was blessed to receive a little over 11 years ago in China. The best Christmas present I have ever received.
So I wish everyone a wonderful blessed Christmas. I'll probably be back before Christmas, hopefully to show pictures of the completed socks as well as mittens.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Today is one of those challenging days in MN. The temp this morning was -8, -30 windchill. No matter what, that is cold. My normal commute of 35 minutes took over an hour. Just no fun, it wasn't white knuckle driving, just slow, plodding, creeping along driving. The rest of the week will be challenging, but slowly warming up (warming is used loosely here). And to top it off, we are getting 1-2 inches of snow each day this week. oh boy, we know how to party here!
I guess you could say we are just getting our outside ready for Santa to feel comfortable in! Welcome Santa, the snow bound frozen tundra is here in MN waiting for you!
Friday, December 12, 2008
And hard as it is, I'm desperately fighting the urge of spinning. I simply can't break now. I have 13 days to finish both socks and a second Norwegian mitten. Both the socks and the mitten are fair isle so I'm not as fast as I could be on "plain" knitting. But I'm pretty sure I can still get these two gifts done.
And watch on the day I get home from celebrating Christmas at my sisters, I'm betting I will be online picking out a couple new batches of roving to send to me from Etsy. smile....see that is only 16 days away. So while one part of me is wishing time would slow down so I could knit faster, the other part of me is wishing time to fly by so I can get to spinning! No wonder I'm in such a quandary.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
All is not lost, just merely delayed. I wouldn't want to be cocky and just fly through those socks. No, I'm much better at working under pressure. Let's see, from today, I will have 16 days until I must have 2 completed socks under the tree. TWO....not one, not one and 1/2. But two. And I'm sure I will do that....see here is how far I got....still sock one, but heh! I'm through with the cuff part and flying on the plain section. Tonight's plan is to stop with sock one and start the more labor intensive part of sock two.
But guess what is calling my name....
Darn if I don't have more roving....and more room on the spindle....sigh...I'm hopeless....well after all I still have 16 days to make a pair of socks. I'm sure if I have 15 days I can still make a pair of socks!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I made good progress in just about 2 hours of knitting last night. I'm on row 19 of the 44 row section of the cuff. Then it is plain knitting for the entire rest of the sock. Since I also will drop down a size in needles at that time, it will be easy for me to immediately start again on the second cuff and churn out the fair isle section again. My fear is I will be knitting late into the last few nights and mistakes in fair isle are much more likely when I'm tired versus knitting plain stockinette row after row. So my goal is that by the end of next week, I will have both cuff sections completed. We will see.
I also think it will take at least a day to weave in all the ends, good grief, do you see that mess? But I'm also loving the pattern and the yarn. I haven't knit on socks for the last couple months and I really miss it. Between using Addi turbos and lovely sock yarn, there just isn't nicer knitting around for me.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Yup, I think I'm in the phase of knitting delusion that the Yarn Harlot talks about. But man, I'm sure I can get it done! Stay tuned.....
Monday, December 1, 2008
Lumpy bumpy it may be, it was still something I made. The drop spindle works quite well although I admit I'm not great about letting it remain spinning while I'm drafting etc and pinching the yarn to move the twist up. I tend to send it spinning and then clamping it between my knees while I work the twist up the roving. Maybe with more practice I will get more confident on that part.
So after working on half of the roving I had 3 balls of lumpy bumpy designer yarn.....so I started again and look what I ended up with this time!
This looks much closer to regular yarn to me! Still have sections that are lumpy than the rest, but I'm quite proud of this. There will definitely be more spinning in my future. I might have gone online to Etsy and purchased a couple more batches of 4 ounces of roving. smile....can't wait to get it and start spinning.
But in the mean time I have some Christmas knitting to take care of.
I'm about 2/3 done with the first mitten for my nephew's fiancee, Anna. Although my knitting was slowed this weekend because I tweaked my back. But I'm much better and think I can handle sitting for the amount of time I need to get some knitting done.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
The biggest surpise I think was that very few of the ornaments went. I thought having things priced underr $8.00 would make them simple gifts for teachers etc. nope. Only a few sold. But that is fine as well. They will become MY girls teacher's presents and family presents. So nothing lost. And I like them, so I'm sure a few will end up on our own tree.
The biggest news I have is I've learned to drop spindle. I took a course at All About Yarn and I'm very happy with the result. I worked last night and spun up half of the 4 ounces I got of roving. My spinning has really improved. However, my plying has not. That is my big hurdle at the moment. But what I may do is go ahead and sping the rest of my roving and take it to help night on Monday at AAY and my teacher is there so maybe she can help me figure out what I'm doing wrong. But I fear I really REALLY like spinning. smile.....now where can I stash ROVING!
Most of our family is coming to our house on Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to it. And more than anything I'm looking forward to a break from my hectic schedule. And finally FINALLY I get to start my Christmas knitting.....I think I'm just going to do 2 presents, a fair isle pair of mittens for my nephews finacee and a pair of fair isle socks for my mom. Seems to be a theme. I think that is pretty doable in a month. We will see if I'm up late on Christmas eve, weaving in ends!
I hope everyone has a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Sunday I hope to knit the mate to one mitten, or I will have to hope I find a one handed person interested in buying a lovely mitten. The same problem exists for a kid sock, I have one 90% done, down to the toes, so I will need a one footed toeless person in need of a striking blue sock.
So between now and next Friday morning I need to finish 20 ornaments, 1 mitten and one sock. And work full time, take a 4 hour CPR course THURSDAY night, take care of my girls and sleep. Yup, I can see that all working out oh so well.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
After talking with our doctor, I'm having my youngest scanned re Melamine issues. Emily came home from China a little over 4 years ago. However, notices are popping up in the adoption community that several kids in that age range have shown up with some issues attributed to Melamine. So one more test for my child. At least it is an easy one. Not expecting any problems, but want to be sure it is noted in her chart at least.
My knitting has slowed to a crawl it seems. And I need it to move along...holiday knitting is fast approaching! I may need to revise my list, but I still mathematically believe I can do it. Stay tuned....I've been up before at midnight sewing the last stitches or quilting the last section of various gifts in the past, so I'm thinking knitting will be no different. smile....
Monday, November 3, 2008
I went to TWO yarn shops this weekend. I know, I know, I said I was knitting my Christmas gifts from my stash. Well I decided on what socks to make my mom and they are Latvian and so I needed some specific solid or semi solid yarn to do the fair isle cuff section. So I went to the LYS closest to my home. I go there once in awhile, but it is not my favorite, but since I was going to be in the same parking lot to take my girls to see High School Musical 3, I thought I would try and hope they had the colors I wanted. Well no such luck. I literally have more sock yarn than they stock in their store. I went once before looking at their sock yarn and mentioned that I belonged to a sock of the month club, and the owner was surprised since wouldn't it get boring after awhile. sigh...so after leaving, my girls thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
The second yarn shop was hit on Sunday after I took my oldest daughter out just the two of us to celebrate her 11th Gotcha Day celebration. 11 years ago on November 2, I was in a tiny crowded room in Chang Sha, China and a smiling, laughing little girl was placed in my arms. So we celebrate every year on their Gotcha day.....I truly was blessed when Anna was given to me. And again a long 7 years later when again I was given a little girl named Emily. My family was complete.....but I digress....I ran into my favorite yarn shop http://www.amazing-threads.com/home.htm, two minutes before closing and Bobbi very graciously helped me find yarn that will be lovely for mom's Christmas socks.
I'll try to take pictures of my choices when I am home with daylight...with daylight savings changes not sure when that will be. So stay tuned...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Do you see the size difference? I know I changed from bamboo needles to metal needles, but swear the needle size was the same. However, as you can see the second mitten (still waiting for its thumb) is clearly SMALLER. sigh....so this means I still have 2 mittens to make. One in the larger size and one in the smaller size before I will have a matching set of mittens. Thankfully I have plenty of yarn to make the additional pairs, but it wasn't what I had planned. but I do love the colors, and I especially like the ruffled cuff with the tight ribbing to keep cold and snow out of the hands.....
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
We took a cruise of the Duluth Harbor and nearby bays, windy, gray day.
One of my favorite things we did while in Grand Marais was to walk out to the Lighthouse along the cement barriers created to protect the harbor. You can see the people walking along the tops to get out to the lighthouse. It is reasonably wide enough except when you meet and have to pass people as you are coming and they are going. The girls are surefooted as goats, me, not so much. But there we went, and the view was spectacular and worth the moments of sheer terror as you look down and see waves lapping over jagged rocks...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Of course I have not packed or even thought about what the girls and I will need other than our suits for the waterpark. So there will be laundry done tonight and packing straight out of the dryer into the suitcase. This alone will ensure that clean clothes will be available for the trip. We will also need some hats and mittens as the weather will be cool and with the breeze off of the lake, it will feel cold.
While I have not packed clothes, I have figured out what my knitting projects will be. I'm bringing two socks, one is a second sock that is torturing me. It is a plain brown stockinette and it is taunting me, never seemingly will it be finished. The other is a much prettier blues kid sock that I'm sure will be finished before the mocking brown sock will be!
And who knows what new yarn will sing its siren song to me at Yarn Harbour that will easily shove that measly brown sock aside. Mock me indeed! And if I'm really lucky, I'll be able to squeeze a trip into the Little Red House at Grand Marias, another lovely little yarn shop.
So a well deserved fun weekend is ahead....stay tuned for pictures!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Through all the upheaval I remind myself, I'm blessed. I have a job. I have my girls. I have a safe place for us to live. Thanks to my mom's shopping skills, we have enough food to eat in our house that if we did not go shopping for a month, we would survive. Of course we wouldn't have milk or eggs after a short while, but we would survive. So even as I moan over the stock losses, I well realize many people are dealing with much harder things than I am.
Tonight, Anna heads off for her first over night church retreat. I will snuggle in and play some games with Emily before knitting and falling asleep....hopefully not clutching needles...tomorrow we will drive for a family get together before returning home to pick up Anna. All things considered, a nice weekend.
So I will stop listening to the Chicken Little's of the world, hug my family, watch my pennies, and knit from my stash. I can live with that.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
I'm starting to plot Christmas gifts. I'm leaning towards socks and mittens in all shapes and sizes. I've made fingerless gloves before and they worked well. I made these cabled mitts for my sister last year.
I also made these brown mitts for both my BIL and nephew. They were made from Silky Wool, I loved how they looked rustic but still felt nice against your skin.
This year I'm hoping to do some Scandinavian type mittens....a new challenge for me.
In an effort to be able to do some stealth sock knitting, we told family members that my oldest daughter had a math problem. We said she had to find out each person's foot size by tracing them on a sheet of paper, add up the total inches in length and divide by the number of people to get the average foot size of our family. So everyone gladly had their foot traced on paper and sent it to her. Which gives me the perfect way to make socks that should fit nicely. smile.....I'll let you know how that works out.
Monday, October 6, 2008
On November 2 is Anna's 11th gotcha day, the day we celebrate that is the anniversary of when she was placed in my arms in China, so we will do something extra special this year, just the two of us....I haven't decided what it is yet, but will come up with something fun.
I was pretty tired out on Sunday and for the first time in a very long spent a lazy afternoon, knitting some on a spiral hat (free pattern at Ravelry, called Odessa, designed by Gumperina). I finished it Sunday night, turned out good. Will make some both for church gifts and regular presents.
We are going to go up north in a couple weeks for a long weekend, we will stay in Duluth for 2 nights, I'm going to look for a yarn shop there and possibly see what I can find maybe in Superior. Then one night in Grand Marais, where I hope to go back to the Little Red House, a neat yarn shop I found on our last visit. Hopefully between time in the water park with the girls and driving through the pretty scenery, there will be time for knitting....
The weather has turned so I can start wearing my hand knit socks I worked on during the summer. I'm ready to repair any as needed as I found a wooden darning egg and some directions on line for repairing heels etc...I am going to reinforce several of the heels prior to wearing them, as that is where I have worn through my first pair I made last year. I wore them a lot last year, hoping to help out the wearability both by having more pairs to rotate through as well as better choices in sock yarn.
In these times of financial uncertainties, I think it is interesting I'm going back to things that were regular everyday chores back in the 30's during another financial crisis, knitting socks, darning socks instead of throwing things away and buying more. Instead I'm trying to be more frugal, reusing what I can, not being as quick to toss things aside. I think a really good habit to get into....although I don't think I'm going to go as far as washing out plastic bread bags or washing aluminum foil and reusing it several times. I remember my grandma doing both of those things. I also remember her never using a dryer, but would hang the laundry out almost all year round, sometimes when it was so cold that the jeans and overalls of my grandpa would be stiff as a board when they came in from the winter cold. Then they all needed to be ironed before wearing. I do like most of my things to go through the dryer. I may get one of the wooden drying racks though, and see what I can do to reduce our items that we put through the dryer. Easily will work for my hand knit socks and I'm sure once I start with it I can find other good uses for it.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Then we traveled to Needlework Unlimited. http://www.needleworkunlimited.com/ This is a chock a block full store, I can wander up and down, side to side and still not see everything. The employees are friendly and nice. I look forward to coming here, but it is only once in a while since they are over a bit too far from my house for a regular habit to form. But when I do expand my journeys, this is where I like to go. I also found a different weight yarn there from Mountain Colors
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Emily is healing beautifully from her surgery. I'm so happy we are over that hurdle and nothing new needs to happen until next summer. The people at Children's hospital were all wonderful to us but I'm glad we don't have to go back until summer.
My knitting is slowing at the worst possible time. I have a craft fair in 6 weeks. I sell baby socks, hats, scarves and mittens. I try and use up my left over sock yarn, it helps pay for the yarn, and the timing of the show helps me pay for Christmas gifts. The last couple weeks have been heavy with family medical stuff and I've been so tired at night, I'm lucky to do a couple rounds on a sock or a simple rolled brim hat. I'll keep working. I'll update with pictures soon of the craft fair items.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Emily did great and got through her surgery fine. She has had very little pain which is wonderful...she even agreed to model a hat I finished a while ago...
I was really proud of her. I knit on her sister's socks while I sat in the waiting room. But I wasn't able to concentrate very easily....but all is well now.
Anna is modeling another hat I made, I got the pattern from smariek's blog at http://www.smariek.blogspot.com/. She has many lovely patterns and great ideas....
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
These are currently my favorite pair, waiting for cooler temps....
Monday, September 1, 2008
This is a work in progress. I'll be adding pictures, keeping track of my WIPs and see where it leads.