Monthly Archives: December 2008

Blessings

I meant to pop in to say Merry Christmas, but wow the week flew by and suddenly it was here and gone! What a lovely Christmas it was, and here it is, New Years Eve already! The poor Skeptic is at work tonight, the big boys asleep, Spinner snuggling on my lap, and I thought I’d take this quiet time to share a few gifts and moments from the last couple weeks.

We stenciled, painted, sewed, cut, baked and knit our way to the holiday and amazingly, most of the list was done. The major casualties? A skein of Malabrigo that had an untimely injury (sorry, Mom. I think the bag I got you from Annik was better anyway!), the Skeptic only had a sock and a half by Christmas morning, and my father-in-law received a neckwarmer still on the needles since I left the second ball of yarn at home. But aside from that, gifts were wrapped, food was made, little boys were thrilled, and Christmas was beautiful.

Baby-lovey

Pencil rolls

Little Man's Owl

stenciled shirts

Owls by Little Man

Squirrels

Disaster

Cookies

The Guy Next Door Neckwarmer

Stollen

Blessings, peace and joy to you all on this New Years Eve!!!

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Can’t Blog

Must… knit… faster!

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That Pesky Control Thing

Yup, it’s back again. Complete creative license for the five year old vs. my need for order, neatness and a vision fulfilled.

I signed Little Man up for a handmade international kids’ card swap. Very cool, he’s excited, I’m excited.

Option #1: Plan the design of the card ahead of time. Gather needed supplies, give instructions, make ten cards all pretty much the same way. Let him do te work, but still participate fully.

Option #2: Hand out 10 blank cards, glitter glue, yarn and fiber, and the “odds and ends” box of stuff. Tell him to “make some cool cards” and then try to do my own project at the same time while interrupting very few minutes with “watch the glue!” and “hang on a second” and “maybe you could try to be a little neater?”

Guess which one won out?

DSC05109

Yup, Option #2

Probably the most interesting set of cards I’ve seen all year. 🙂 And I will say that they are full of heart and 100% his.

It’s funny, I can really see value in both options. I love sitting down at the wheel and spinning whatever I feel like. However, if I had never made yarn before and someone gave me some fiber and said, “make some yarn, have fun!” I’d be more than a bit frustrated.

When Little Man started the cards, he really didn’t know what to do with all that stuff and became frustrated himself. I also got frustrated because while I wanted him to have fun and be creative, I also want him to learn to take his time and do his best work, especially when making something for someone else. For example, it’s probably best not to eat cheese puffs while you make cards. (Am I publically admitting I have cheese puffs in the house? Hey, at least they were organic!) And if you get cheese puff dust all over the card you should probably make a new one. (Yes, even if you wouldn’t mind receiving a cheese-dust laden card yourself.)

A battle of wills again, and again, I think it’s somewhere in the middle that we need to meet. Are you making gifts with children this year? What’s your approach?

We’re using freezer paper to paint t-shirts next week. Definitely doing that one step by step. (Ask me how I know. And why I’m I painting t-shirts anyway? Didn’t I just have a baby???)

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Good News/Dyeing, Part One

It’s strangely quiet here tonight. The boys are asleep and for once I don’t have the radio on. A few cars driving by, that’s it. So different from our loud, loud days of late. Giggles from Spinner, his first real baby laughs that are so sweet to hear. A constant stream of facts from Little Man: the habitat of squirrels, black bear food, Venus and Mars…he is a constant fountain of information lately. And then there is this dear child:
Sept-Nov 2008 057

Caught in a moment of quiet here (it lasted about 5 minutes) my dear Knittykid is, well, in that very rough transition stage. Ending up year two, getting ready for year three. It’s huge, and hard, and made even harder by the addition of a new little brother and a favorite big brother who has to go off to school every day. We spend our days glued together (he is sleeping next to me as I type) and I must hear, “Mama, I want you!” at least 50 times a day. That, and the meltdowns about paint and fudge and  not being able to eat in the living room. But wow, is he sweet, so sweet. And when he says things like, “I’m so excited to be having Christmas!” as we get ready to set up the tree, my heart totally melts and it makes up for the screaming about paint from earlier this morning.

I’m excited to share a good report on Knittykid. He had his annual visit with the cardiologist yesterday regarding his coarctation of the aorta. If you’ve been reading awhile, you’ll remember that we discovered this defect when he was two months old, and were told that heart surgery was imminent and to prepare to have it done within the next year. Terrifying, absolutely terrifying to think that they would be cutting into my baby’s heart. But as we had tests done and doctors conversed about his case, we were told it was a minor coarc, that we could wait and see for awhile, which we’ve been doing for the past two and three quarter years.

So the good news now? His coarc is staying minor, his aorta has not gotten any more pinched and his heart and blood pressure are great. So great that his doctor is thinking he may never need surgery. No promises, of course as things could change. But for now, it looks really, really good. Needless to say, we are thrilled!!

So the dyeing? Well, this Christmas I’m trying to keep my gift making simple and inexpensive. But I also want to do some stuff with the boys. Enter iDye and Dharma Trading Company’s great deals on t-shirts and silks.

I-dye

Freezer paper stencils and playsilks. That’s where it’s at this year for us. (And knitting. There is also secret knitting!)

I am in love with the iDye. It works brilliantly and is so easy. Toss in the washer with some salt. Dry. You’re done. I dyed a bunch of new shirts for gifts and I also dragged out all of our older, stained and worn looking shirts. They look brand new! The only odd thing was that while the cotton shirts came out nice and bright, the silks came out more pastel-looking.

Here’s the scarlet and kelly green on the silks:

playsilks

I wanted them brighter for my nephew but I was out of dye. What next? Koolaid, of course!!

One pack per silk, one cup water, microwave 2 minutes, (watch carefully!) cool, and rinse.

playsilks

The green turned out great. The red is still not to my liking. I might try kool-aid round two.I’ll have the finished gifts up in a few more days, if certain small people choose to cooperate!

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Gifts

The gifts are flying off the needles right now. Most I can’t post about quite yet, but these two are gifts that were already given away the other week. I made both our midwives as a thank you for all they did in helping our family to have the homebirth of our dreams.

The first is the morning sun scarf from Spin Off Summer 2008:
Sept-Nov 2008 002

MAJOR scare before I gave this to her. Both our midwives were here for our final follow-up appointment. Midwife #1 was admiring Spinner’s longies, when Midwife #2 said she wished should could knit them, but she had developed a wool allergy and couldn’t wear or knit with it anymore!! Immediately I thought of her scarf sitting on the table in a gift bag….what do I do??? Yikes!! Then I remembered it was knit with Atacama Araucania… alpaca!!! I chanced it, gave it to her, and she loved it. She reported back later that she wore it all day and not and itch!

This was a quick knit. There is a similar free pattern on Ravelry if you’re interested.

Sept-Nov 2008 003

Next up, for my other midwife, is the Crown Mountain superwash merino I had shown you on the wheel a few weeks ago. I plied it up and it ended up being somewhere between a worsted and bulky weight; maybe a size 9 needle? It turned out lovely and pretty even. A few thick or thin sports here or there but mostly the same thickness. And the color was so nice. I wish it had been sunnier when I photographed it.

Sept-Nov 2008 005

Both of these women are such generous, amazing people. I couldn’t imagine going through another pregnancy and birth without them!

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