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Minnesota, United States

27.12.07

Post-Christmas thoughts

We had a picture-perfect Christmas this year. The snow is so pretty and really set the stage for the holiday. Speaking of the holiday--my guys liked the socks, mittens, and hat (for Ben). Now I have to go back and finish writing the pattern for the hat.
Because we almost ran out of cookies, I baked another batch of cut-outs using Grandma's large pig cookie cutter and my little one. This time I flavored the butter cream icing with mint. (We still haven't hammered our peppermint pig, yet!) We had supper with friends on Christmas eve, went to church (it was fun to play bells at the candlelight service) and actually waited to open presents until Christmas day. We took lunch over to Mom, and then came home to get ready for company. I finally made Roladen, potato balls, and red cabbage yesterday, so we managed to get our traditional food in!!
I hit the stores for bargains--nothing much impressive, though. JoAnn's had some cute wood ornaments that make great gift tags, and the trays are better than tins for cookies--I was happy.
The Faye is almost sewn together...no rush...it'll be done when it's done! I'm contemplating buttons right now. Also, when it was sunny, I observed the landscape and color--the Christmas money may go toward yarn for a Lopi cardigan (with steeks--can't avoid them forever) in winter landscape colors. I made sure to write them down, and the possibilities are endless for combinations of the six colors I chose.

Photo from Lopi book #16

25.12.07

MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Danish--Glædelig Jul og godt nytår English--Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Faroese--gleðilig jól og eydnuríkt nýggjár! German--Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches Neues Jahr! Icelandic--Gleðileg Jól og Farsaelt Komandi ár! Irish--Nollaig Shona Dhuit Lithuanian--Linksmu Kaledu ir laimingu Nauju metu Norweigan/Bokmål--God Jul og Godt Nyttår Pennsylvania Dutch--En frehlicher Grischtdaag unen hallich Nei Yaahr! Scots Gaelic--Nollaig chridheil agus Bliadhna mhath ur! Swedish--God Jul och Gott Nytt År Turkish--Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun Ukrainian--Veseloho Vam Rizdva i Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku!

19.12.07

Baking cookies

Mm mm...I know it's Christmas when I've made the cut out cookies. The brown sugar recipe is great because I can work the dough right away without chilling it first. I'm waxing nostalgic today, as the puppy dog cookie cutter and candle holder were my grandmother's. (The puppy dog has mini-chip eyes, a cinnamon nose, and a dusting of cocoa powder/sugar over chocolate icing.) When I was little, I loved those angels because they had my haircut! The cookie cutters (there's a pig, cat, dog, and polar bear) were made by a tinsmith in Baltic, Ohio. One Christmas Mom decorated the tree with cookies in addition to the other decorations. She wrapped them and tied them on the tree with red ribbons. Of course, we four kids couldn't resist the temptation of all that goodness, and we nibbled on them every chance we had! That was the Christmas I got my Blue Willow tea set in a little wall cupboard. I was a tomboy, but I did love to serve tea (I highly recommend the Boiled Buttons)!
Anyway, on to the knitting. I wrapped Ben's mittens from Knit One, Felt Too. Jim's bed socks are also wrapped, and I'm working on some mittens for him. Yes, the Faye is still not sewn together. I have other things to do...Ben still wants an ear flap cap and I found a fun motif (VW) to incorporate into the design. So many projects--how do those elves do it every year?

17.12.07

MMMMMmmmmm...cookies!

Little spinner in the snow village.

It's that time--time to bake cookies! I've made the cranberry chunk, old school peanut blossoms (with stars, not kisses), and chocolate bar cookies. Tomorrow I'll do the cut outs. I want to include gingerbread people this year. The house smells soooo good.
If you look closely, you can see the shep
herd and sheep ornaments. The tree is so pretty and the stump will make a nice Santa this year.
Now all I have to do is finish the laundry! I finished a pair of socks for Jim and Ben's mittens. (I didn't take photos before I wrapped them.) One of Ben's mittens felted shut, which really ticked me off. I took a scissors and 20 minutes of carefully slicing to open the mitten. They look wonderful and you'd never know I had problems with one of them.
The boys took third place overall in the invitational swim meet over the weekend. Ben got third in the 100 breaststroke and was part of the 200 medley relay that took second. It was really fun to see how excited they were--you'd have thought they took first place.
I'm still stitching together the Faye. I got bogged down finishing gifts for the boys. Now I have to start Jim's other gift. I found a great hat pattern for Ben and will alter it by adding ear flaps.
I'm done at work for a couple of weeks, and now I can relax and knit for fun, and bake, and read, and sip cocoa in front of the fire, and knit some more...

10.12.07

Diving in head first!

Swim season began with a big splash! On Saturday the boys took third place in the conference relay meet. It's wonderful, because they came in behind two of the toughest teams in the Northwest Suburban Conference and ahead of two of their rivals! That's a great way to start off the season. Jim and I volunteered during diving, so we spent most of the day at the pool.
Now, let's back up a bit. On Monday, I finished the cards. Tuesday, I braved the snowstorm to finish up some last-minute shopping and took lunch to Mom. On Wednesday, I wrapped the gifts and packed them for mailing, which I did in the early afternoon (of course, that means waiting in line and being captive of some old guy attempting to engage me in a conversation about the crappy current state of the world--sorry buddy, not gonna happen). I was so happy to be finished mailing (although I have to finish translating some letters to German). That evening, I had the brilliant idea to invite the swim team over for a spaghetti supper on Friday. By Thursday, that idea fell under the "what was I thinking" category. Friday I spent cleaning and cooking. The boys that came after practice really enjoyed it. We had a good time, and it's a great way to begin the season and prep for a party in January and the big spaghetti dinner we will be hosting later before varsity sections. The boys will be in taper by then and pretty squirrelly. Sunday we played bells for two services (being ready to set up and practice at 7:30 am), Jim and Ben ushered the second service while I dashed home to change so we could cut down our Christmas tree before my classes. I walked into the shop around the stroke of 12, just in time. Whew! The trees (we got Ben a real one this year) are up and at least have lights on them. That's as far as I got last night.
The Faye is blocked, so I'll use it as a teaching tool today for seaming today.
Kathy, check out my mittens in the photo!

5.12.07

Decreases




Decreases, we have decreases! I love the cables in this pattern, and it's going to become a favorite--I can feel it.

About last night...the weather was like the photo on the left, but my evening was made delightful by
the photo on the right! This morning it's beautiful--the perfect day to head to the post office and mail the gifts, and then I can work on gifts for my knitting buddies, Jim, and Ben. It's fun to knit for knitters and my guys.
The ornaments for Morning Break need to be finished for our Christmas brunch. The theme is gingerbread. I Swiss darned gingerbread boys onto 20 small 9st X 11r stockinette stitch rectangles. (I need to make 5 more.) I'll mount them on felt and we'll see what happens!

4.12.07

Still knitting the sleeves...

Well, as the title states, "still knitting the sleeves." The fronts and back of the Faye went so quickly and this is like watching paint dry. The increases are finished, so now it's just a matter of a couple more inches before the sleeve caps. I can't find the camera today, so no photos. I did, however, post a photo of the Lopi cardigan. Maybe that will inspire me to finish it. Every time I open my blog I'll have to see it glaring at me. This one has some history--I was happily knitting away on the body and got to the shoulders, when I realized I didn't split for the sleeves. (No, I'm not into steeks, yet.) Anyway, it's been on the needles ever since. In fact, I started the sleeves, so it should go quickly (again, famous last words). The colors match the model, which for me is rare. Depth of Field in Minneapolis had a sample and the chocolate, green, and cream are really lovely together.

The photo is from my outing on Saturday at Shepherd's Choice.

1.12.07

Let it snow...and snow...and snow

Saturday--There's a winter wonderland outside my window. I just got home from my outing. It was not a very good day for all the driving I had to do, but it was good to visit with friends and then go see the sheep at Shepherd's Choice.
Naturally I couldn't drive all that way without coming home with some yarn--sooo I got some Cascade 220 in black tweed. Enough for a little cardigan.
This is what has fallen since this morning. Eevee has a trail. Jim likes using the big snow blower. It's a guy thing.
It's Sunday, and here's a nice view from my room. I particularly like the little pine tree on the right. Ben and I ushered
at church today, and on the way home we saw Jim running the snow blower for one of the neighbors.
Well, here's the yarn I couldn't resist yesterday. I got six skeins, so I'll be able to do the body with this and add color from the stash. The wheels are turning, and I'm sure to come up with something after I finish the Faye, Lopi, and red cardigans...oh, and the socks...and the bed socks...and the snowmen...