Well, a little over a week until the Christmas stockings need to be finished. I'm still feeling optimistic. Christopher's cuff is done and I'm moving on to the leg. The darker color is showing through more than I like, but I am hoping that with a gentle washing the white will "bloom" and hold its own. ♥
The Cuff of Christopher's Stocking knit with Rauma Gammelserie
Despite the fact that we have had no snow and are not likely to have a white Christmas, which is a source of painful regret to my children, it is shaping-up to be a pleasant Advent/pre-Christmas season.
My two children who are living with their Dad this year went to the Penance Service at their Church last night, making this mother's heart proud and happy!
Yesterday we made Christmas cut-out cookies. Today. we're eating them. I don't have pictures of the latter event, but I do of the former:
Making Christmas Cookies
Now, I'm listening to Christmas music on Pandora Radio and knitting Christmas gifts like crazy!
So, the kids and I have been reading an advent reflection each evening at dinner time ( Five Minutes with the Word by the Word Among Us). Every year I say that we will do this but this is the first year that we've actually made it through the first 3 days. Sad, I know. But, so far so good. This is as much for their benefit as for mine, since I am in danger of seeing Advent as merely my "Christmas Knitting Time."
Speaking of Christmas Knitting:
Ginny's Aran Pillow
FYI: It's very weird to knit an Aran weight project at the same time as a lace project.
The 2011 Advent Scarf Knitalong started on December 1st! So, along with my other Christmas knitting, as well as the other Advent Scarf, I'm knitting this beautiful lace project with over 2000 other knitters from all over the world! The knitting is going well so far and the chatting on the Ravelry group page is lively and entertaining.
Each day of the scarf is a different type of lace stitch and each day's instructions are given the evening before. Like opening a door on an Advent calender each day before Christmas!
I dyed a small cone of Jaggerspun lace weight yarn with my Pro Chemical and Dye Spearmint and Mallard dyes. Lovely! And I bought Toho beads to match.
Here's What we've done through Day 3. And the kids and I still managed to put up the tree and throw some decorations around, too!
Hi! I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!
This year, I am participating in an Advent Scarf knit-along. The designer will post a section of the lace scarf pattern each day of December. Each day's section is different, like a lace sampler. There are almost 2,000 people from all over the world participating through Ravelry. I am so excited! I can't wait to start!
I didn't participate last year, but the pattern is still available. Some of us who are terribly impatient for December 1st have started knitting the 2010 Scarf while we are waiting. Here's what I have so far:
Hello! It's 11-11-11 but nothing much exciting has happened today. I suppose that could be good thing! I am working on a Christmas stocking for Rebekah right now, so no pictures of that yet. I do have a picture of another nice cable/bobble mitten. It's mate won't be knitted until I am done with Christmas knitting.
Is it already November? It has been weeks since I have written! I have been knitting a blue streak, whatever that means. Remember last year when I said I'd knit a stocking for each of my kids by this Christmas? Well, it is going to happen this year! I just finished Sarah's and I am working on Tim's now.
Blogger is being weird and won't let me insert pictures. Sigh!
Hello! Our roof is being replaced as I type. As a mother of 6, there isn't much that I cannot tune-out. However... I think the constant banging for days on end is affecting my nerves. I don't mean to be ungrateful. I just keep catching myself daydreaming about being on a deserted island.
Here's another recently finished object. It isn't cold enough yet for a wool cardigan, but when it is, I will be ready!
Fiona Cardigan knitted with Jamieson's Soft Shetland
I frequently tell my children that they will have a great sense of accomplishment when they work hard on something and finish it. It's really just something I say to try to get them to do their homework. Well, I am very proud of finishing many projects that have been sitting around, causing me guilt:
Here are the mittens that I started in July. The yarn is Nashua Julia which is half-off at WEBS right now. Temptation! I over-dyed mine. I'm a little fixated on Pumpkin this year.
Here are the Hermione Mittens that I started in the spring. My friend said, "I thought you finished them a long time ago." Sort of anti-climactic.
New Mittens. Because I can only finish so many projects before the urge to cast on overwhelms me! These will be felted when the mate is done. As you can see, I am in a mitten phase.
I have more pictures, but I'll save them for tomorrow. Peace to you!
Hi, all! Today has been a work day for us; catching-up on the reading and assignments for school. I am ready for a trip to a yarn shop!
During the past two weeks I have been reflecting on the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It has been very powerful for me. Whenever I think that I am suffering, I say, "My sorrows are as nothing compared with yours." I found a prayer card in a drawer that has the 7 promises of Our Lady to those who practice the devotion and the 7 sorrows, so I have been keeping it by my knitting corner to remind me!
I have been working diligently on my unfinished projects and am proud to say that I have finished four of them! Pictures will be forthcoming. For now, here's a photo of a yarn that I call "Play Date."
Hello, my friends!
Today is the feast of St. Pio, as in Padre Pio. Just thought I'd mention it because he is so great. Today's Magnificat reflection is something that he wrote and it is very challenging! He has quite an inspiring perspective on suffering!
I am currently on day 6 of the Master Cleanse. I've said it many times, but: I love the cleanse! I feel amazing and I have a ridiculous amount of energy! If you need a physical re-boot and your doctor says it's okay for you, I strongly recommend it. My experience from one cleanse to the next is always a little different, but always a wonderful thing for my health!
The official book of the Cleanse
It is raining cats and dogs, so instead of walking today, I am taking my energy out on my unfinished projects. I have many. Lately I told myself that I would finish a bunch of my projects before starting any new ones. So, naturally, I have started many more since then. Today, I dug out all my hibernating projects, found their pattern notes and charts and jumped right in. Feels great, too. Like cleansing my project pile! Here is one of the little dears that will soon be finished:
Fiona Cardigan knit with Shetland Aran Yarn From Jamieson
Hi! Since the weather is becoming autumnal here I was inspired to knit a hot water bottle cover. Last year, an online friend of mine from England sent me some mini hot water bottles. They are awfully cute! You can take them along anywhere! I am giving this one to my niece who is just as crazy about her hot water bottles as I am about mine!
Mini Hot Water Bottle For Christina made with Paca Peds Sock Yarn
The hot water bottle cover matches the pair of socks that I knit for her, too. How cute is that?
Today is the first day of the novena that ends on the feast of St. Therese. We'll see if I can make it through all 9 days this time!
Hello Friends! Did any of you read the reflection for yesterday in the Magnificat? It was a great reflection on the Gospel reading, contemplating the fact that everyone doesn't receive the same graces from God. Why? Well, you have to read the reflection to find out! We cannot all be roses; God's garden needs flowers as well as grass and even pebbles. And after all, it is no small thing to be a pebble in the path of Paradise! Sometimes I feel like just a pebble, when I really want to be a rose! I will try to be content being God's pebble!
Here is a picture of some yarn that I dyed which I call Cedar Point. It is fun and happy, like a day at Cedar Point!
Hello all! Happy feast of the Holy Name of Mary! Great reflection in the Magnificat today. I am inspired to call out to the Blessed Mother for her assistance all through the day! Here is some sock yarn that I dyed after being inspired by the photo on page 87 of Andean Folk Knits:
"Andean Blanket" Sock Yarn
And here is the first sock knitted out of this yarn:
My nephew and his new wife Kristen have been missionaries in Mexico and Ecuador. I am going to give this pair to Kristen.
Bought the supplies to do my fall Master Cleanse. I know, right? You may think I am crazy, but I LOVE the Cleanse!!!
I am knitting my second pair of Skew socks with another skein of my hand dyed yarn. I am also listening to Treasure Island this week. Jim Hawkins just met Long John Silver and despite his one leg and his being seen with Black Dog, Jim likes him and isn't worried about his being the cook on their treasure-seeking expedition. Love it! Here is my progress so far on Skew #2:
Skew Sock Knit With Hand-Dyed Yarn. I call it "Backchat."It looks very collegiate to me. Makes me want to sail or row or something.
I did manage to mow a bit in the sweltering heat yesterday. Then I came to me senses and I had the teenager do the rest of it.
Happy September! I am settling in to the school year and anticipating the approaching autumn. It is 92 degrees today and uncomfortably humid. My grass is high enough to start drawing notice, but I am just recovering from my headcold. My teenager brought the mower out as a first step toward mowing, but is now playing Xbox. Sigh. I finished my first pair of Skew socks, my new favorite sock pattern. I am very pleased with them!
Skew Socks Knit With My Hand-Dyed Yarn
This pattern is free from Knitty.com. The designer says that although quite a bit of high school algebra and geometry went into the design, you only need to be able to count. I would add that the ability to follow directions comes in handy as well as a memory that extends the length of time it takes to complete an entire row. I have a tendency to forget what I am supposed to be doing by half way through a round.
Here's the back view:
This was yarn that I had named "Berries at Midnight"
I have one of those annoying summer colds today. Or, as Tolkien put it in the Hobbit, "I hab a head code." Thankfully, I am not too sick to knit and listen to literature. I was listening to Shakespeare's sonnets and wanted to share one. I want my love for God to be this passionate:
Being your slave, what should I do but tend
Upon the hours and times of your desire?
I have no precious time at all to spend,
Nor services to do, till you require.
Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,
Nor think the bitterness of absence sour
When you have bid your servant once adieu;
Nor dare I question with my jealous thought
Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,
But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought
Save, where you are how happy you make those.
So true a fool is love that in your will,
Though you do any thing, he thinks no ill.
Isn't that awesome? It's #57.
I found my new favorite sock pattern this week. It's called Skew and it's FREE on Knitty.com. When I complete my first pair, I will borrow a camera and show you. They are super-cool!!!
I have read in gardening books that peppers planted in very nitrogen-rich soil will produce fabulous greenery but less-than-fabulous peppers. I think my peppers illustrate this theory. Mind you, these aren't chilies, they are meant to be green peppers:
A Photo of My Mini Peppers for My Friend Sam
I just finished reading "The Remains of the Day" which I really enjoyed. Just because I was seen crying off-and-on immediately following the completion of the book doesn't mean I didn't like it!
I started listening to "The Scarlet Pimpernel" this week. Despite this being my sister, Cathy's favorite book I have neither read it nor seen the movie. I am a few chapters in and am resisting the temptation to call my sister and ask, "When is it going to get good?" Some people react badly to their favorite books being criticized. I am one of those people. Better read more before calling. I have, no doubt been distracted by my knitting!
This morning, I dressed for my daily walk (that I don't really take EVERY day), ran out to take the trash to the alley (moments before the garbage truck drove by) and found that it was raining. Bummer. I was tempted to pull weeds, though, the harvest calling to me from the other side of a 4-foot high jungle. So instead of walking, I weeded in the rain and enjoyed myself thoroughly! It was also fun to brag at lunch time that several items in my salad were from my garden! Today, while listening to Pride and Prejudice for the millionth time, I finished a pretty little pair of socks:
Nutkin Socks in Paca Peds H&T in Colorway Deep Sea
I won't bother mentioning yesterday's earthquake as it has been fully canvassed elsewhere by just about everyone. I am pleasantly surprised by the solidness of my house; we didn't feel a thing. Kinda wish we'd felt a little something so we could have joined in all the hoopla!
Hello! I am listening to the Count of Monte Cristo right now while knitting a pair of socks with the yarn that my daughter, Rebekah dyed with me. She designed the stripes and colors and I am knitting the Jaywalker pattern for her. I am coming to the end of the book and the end of the second sock, enjoying both, although the book is dark and tragic and the sock is bright and cheerful.
I am really hoping that Maximilian finds out the truth about Valentine before he does himself harm. Why doesn't Dantes tell him???
After having been on vacation for ten days and afterward having been busy catching up on things (and by "things" I don't really mean anything important like going through mail or cleaning the house or preparing for back-to-school), my garden has been quite neglected. Seriously neglected. It's unreal how high the weeds can get in just a few weeks! All of you gardeners out there have had the experience, I am sure, of going out to the garden to find freakishly out-sized veg:
Just a few of my extra-large veg
The flavor of the fresh tomato on my tuna fish sandwich this afternoon... Mmmmm! It was something to blog about!
Hello, all! Hope your summer is going well! 3 of my children and I were able to have a vacation with my sister last month. First we were in the D.C. area for a week and then we went to Ocean City for a few days. It was such a blessing!
Being Crazy on Vacation
This month, I've been dyeing some more yarn, doing more puzzles, and knitting some socks.
Desert Stripe Sock with my Hand-Dyed Yarn
I've been going to daily mass more regularly again and am so glad!
Getting ready for back to school. Not sure how I feel about that!
Hello! I have been checking out a lot of books from the library about dyeing yarn. Often, the authors will write about looking to nature or other sources for color inspiration. So, I was thinking that I would look to sacred art for inspiration, being a Catholic knitter and all. I thought that I would choose colors of Our Lady. Browsing around on http://catholictothemax.com/, I noticed that common colors in icons and paintings are blue (obviously), and usually a dark red and some yellow-gold. Now, I am not a color theorist. I am also not too bright. I never foresaw that these are the primary colors and that when applied to my yarn it might look like this:
Blessed Mother Yarn
It doesn't remind me of Our Lady. It reminds me of Bozo the clown. Oh well. I thought of dyeing over the yellow sections with tan, but my son keeps encouraging me to leave it, saying that it will probably look good when I knit with it. Hmm.
Well, I suppose it was likely to happen at least once. I felted a batch of fleece that I was dyeing. I am especially sad about this because I am very careful and am not sure what I did wrong.
Felted Fleece. Very Sad
I have dyed 6 batches so far. The other 5 were done using the "cold-pour" method. For those of you not familiar with dyeing, I put the dye stock on, wrapped it in plastic wrap and steamed it.
For this fleece, I used the "hot pour" method. I used the book "Twisted Sisters' Sock Workbook" by Lynne Vogel. Since this involves bringing a dye bath up to 190 degrees, and since I haven't had felting problems with the other method, I assume this is where I went wrong. As I say, I was extremely careful, so I am pretty leery of trying again.
On the raw food side, I am really enjoying my fenugreek sprouts. I was introduced to them by my friend Angela last summer. Otherwise, I wouldn't have ever come across them as I live in a raw-food-black-hole and have to search out sources for these things. They are delicious and easy to sprout in my Easy Sprout. I have two Easy Sprouts and keep them going on a rotation, growing all kinds of sprouts. My favorite is fenugreek. Try them. You'll love 'em!
Hello! Well, I borrowed my father's camera for a little while. Don't worry, I will pace myself and not over-whelm you with huge quantities of pictures. Here are two to document some of my summer activities. A little bit of puzzle-doing, a little bit of dyeing wool and a little bit of learning to spin wool into "yarn."
Here's the first puzzle of the summer along-side some hand-dyed fleece.
Here are my first little hand-spun darlings. The picture needs to be rotated, but I have to go make tortillas.