I finished these socks on pi day, March 14. They're knit in worsted weight yarn so they're nice and warm, but not too heavy to go with clogs. When Grandma was dying and I was visiting often, I brought these, and she wore them for her last couple of days.
Thanks to Stefaneener for patiently repeating the name of this great top-down pattern she had recommended for probably 2 years before I managed to give it a try. Now I can't seem to knit anything else.
Ryan has been snatching and threatening to permanently tangle, I mean play with this bright orange cotton yarn since I bought it in the fall at the Wool Gathering. Finally used it for the first top-down sweater and it was a joy to knit, even in cotton, which I don't usually love.
After it was knit up, the bright orange looked even brighter, but it's perfect for the kid who likes to run off in public regularly. The cotton is right, too, because he always runs very warm. Sometimes he wears the sweater alone. This is Ryan on his fifth birthday.
Since December 19, at least one person in the house has been sick in some way. We've had respiratory, intestinal, throat issues, etc. No one has been terribly sick, but we've all been sick enough to stay in most of the time. We've all done a lot of this (well, the youngest four of us have)...
The cat is not the only one who appreciates a good nap in the sunny living room.
The kitchen has been busy. I saw an idea on a blog (tried to link but I can't find it now for the life of me) to cut foam or heavy paper into shapes and design a robot - very simple cutouts... Instead of attaching them, we put magnets on the backs of each piece (cut up that magnetic calendar the realtor sent us) and built the robot on the fridge. The pieces can be mixed and moved to customize the new robot each time. A great excuse to get out the pipe cleaners and button jar. After the robot, it was decided that a snowman would be fun as well. This kept my crafty 4.5yo busy for over an hour.
We also got behind in consuming our precious local raw milk. So I decided to make butter, and (oh, dear internet, how I love you) found some great photos of the process. I'm sure some of you know - in the scheme of organic food buying, organic butter is so expensive. This homemade butter-making was a joyfuldiscovery.
Yes, KitchenAid, I love you too.
And some of the wackiest knitting I've ever done. These "pocketbook" maryjane slippers are so much fun to make, and very quick. I don't know where I found this hideous yarn, but it is actually so horrible I love it, on my feet, in the privacy of my house.
We all had a lovely Christmas this year. There were a few small mishaps and sources of anxiety (which cousin was last puking and who did they breathe on?) but it all went fairly smoothly.
I was hoping to make these nice tree images into a new blog banner, but I couldn't figure it out in time. I love this old elf ornament from my childhood. The crocheted stocking in the center was made this December for Myrtle. The stocking second from the left was made last year for Ryan.
After we moved, it took us many months to get pictures on the walls and other decorative stuff out. One of our favorites is this fabulous branch Ryan found in our yard at the old house. We hang seasonal treasures, art work, and nature items.
Some socks I made for Kelly last week.
Four balaclavas for four sweeties, to use while sledding, shoveling, walking to school or bus. You would think that getting a group picture wouldn't be so difficult with only 1/4 of their faces showing. Still, eyes can be crossed, hair can go in the eyes, we can look down into our laps... it took a while as usual.
My friend Lizz at ZooLoo Naturals made these custom carvings of the boys. Aren't they cute? Her wooden animals are lovely and her children do some beautiful felting.
A couple of highlights... rescue safari boat, "Mammoth" crocs for the toddler...
And not pictured here, #1 son, not the slightest bit impressed with the crack of dawn christmas, declined to be photographed but was happy with some new shoes, jeans, iTunes card, and an incredible large canvas from Grammy. [note to Grammy and Grandpa: can we get those photos off Grandpa's camera and into email?]
My camera cord is missing. I don't seem to be able to blog without photos. I've ordered a new one from ebay, so in a few days, get ready for a flood of updates. Briefly, though...
Evan - writing christmas story, watching a lot of football (winning his work pool, no money at stake), enjoying Risk and "that's what she said" jokes with older boys
Jamie - still sculpting, beginning to offer lessons in Photoshop, reading, schooling, PC gaming, playing piano
Jeremiah - suddenly turned on to music, his taste is a unique combination of 80s (eye of the tiger, seriously) and 60s, Beatles, Rolling Stones, etc. Just completed several large school projects related to their study of Egypt, played in his first school band concert, the object of no small amount of female attention, but don't even think about bringing that up.
Ryan - excited to be almost 5, excited about the holidays, coming out of a very long respiratory illness and seeming to respond well to daily allergy meds, which bums me out, but we had to do something. Protective of Kellen, affectionate with all smaller children, enjoying 2x/week play time at Laurie's, can count to a million... not really, but can count high - somewhere between 40 and 80 I think. Still very interested in writing and letters, hasn't expressed an interest in reading. Still extremely, seemingly-uncontrollably curious and "grabby" - so many broken objects. So. many.
We also went to a local holiday shindig - pancakes and santa and crafts - ryan loved that.
Kelly - in a "pretending to be a baby" stage, having little meltdowns daily - loud but not long - when I run out of milk (fairly quickly these days :-( he says "this one's not working." lol.
Amy - still busy with Threshold Choir, NVC group, trying to hang on to my connection with the dharma center but it's just not happening. knitting - I finished that red sweater and the finishing and resulting object was so dreadful I can't even post it, can't even try to correct it. I am knitting hats and toys all winter. And also socks, definitely. Enjoying old seasons of Six Feet Under.
K: nursing less (plugged duct/infection to show for that), talking more, daddy-love all the time, can spend long periods at the kitchen sink playing, never forgets his vitamin.
R: scared of the dark and shadows, enjoying the Baha'i children's class - he does so well in situations like this - so compliant and joiner-y, but in a cooperative, contributing way, very different from at home, where we still experience daily surprises. Learning letters, is remarkably quick to understand simple arithmetic, has had a cold for weeeeeks. Will not blow his nose ever. Planning to be Jedi for Halloween.
JJ: writing a 4-page story for school, starting a tumbling class at X YMCA with his friend E, spending a lot of other time with same seemingly-best friend, although he assures me his "group" at school consists of about 14 friends :-)
J: still struggling with sleep, working with AR weekly on amazing sculptures, worked last weekend at her studio for the studio tour, maintaining As and Bs.
J and JJ's team finished in 2nd place in rec league soccer this fall - it was SO close! They tied and went into penalty kicks. Great to see the brothers on the same team again - it's been years since they happened to be in the same age groupings for soccer.
E: traveling more than we'd all like, seems to be weathering the financial situation at work, enjoying participating at the Baha'i Center, listening to Marshall Rosenberg, watching the bizarre foods and fighting shows, cleared out our shed (yay!).
A: injured back, trying out a new meal routine - repetitive but much easier to maintain, enjoying the NVC group and Threshold Choir, absolutely cannot keep up with laundry, setting goals to hang curtains and art by J's birthday, planning to offer some community service in the form of computer help for seniors, considering whether to homeschool with R next year - kindergarten age.
Spinning/knitting: still working on red sweater, spinning about every other day for 20-30 min. Finished these bullseye mittens a couple weeks ago - yes, the color combo is just as horrid in person.
Nearly finished... hoping that a good wash/iron will improve the wonky shape of this vest. I've decided I do not like this yarn one bit - some kind of cotton from which I've long ago lost the label. I still have quite a bit of it left but I think it's getting passed on.
This is my contribution to a group effort in creating a dozen knitted farmyards. Each member knit twelve of the same square. Eventually, I'll get one of each of the others, and can construct the whole mat/blanket.
For many (many,many, fartoomany) months, I've been doing very little knitting, and when I do knit I work on these 10x12" squares. They are part of a knit farmyard swap (eventually to look similar to this) and it's nearly finished. My assigned square is the sheep pasture, which involves a smazillion garter stitches and 36 crocheted silver boulders. I'm crocheting boulders now... ("what are you making?" "rocks" ::silence::)