Saturday, December 26, 2009

And so this was Christmas, 2009

Looks like Santa has arrived!

Christmas morning brunch. (Hurry up and eat so we can open the presents!)

Menu:

Bacon & Egg Casserole, Sausage Casserole, Stuffed Blueberry French Toast, Hash Browns, French Toast Sticks, Cereal, Juice, Coffee, Bagels, English Muffins, Croissants, Toast

At the table:

Steve, Scott, Steven, (me)Jacob, Jayson, Diana, Tori, Jordyn, Trevor, and Casper (under the table begging for scraps.

The Annual Family Christmas Photo:


Front Row (l to R) Me, Scott, Tori, Diana, Jordyn. Back Row: Steven, Steve, Jacob, Casper, Jayson and Trevor (Jordyn's boyfriend).




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Knitting furiously!



Trying to finish up Christmas gifts. I'm afraid there will be some IOUs under the Christmas tree (or more appropriately UFO's!). Some things I am working on are this Smock-a Rouche Scarf from One Skein Wonders for my DD, The Ilene Bag for a friend (bet you are wondering if you are that friend - if you are I'm afraid this one's going to be an IOU!), some teddy bear clothes for my granddaughter, and a felted clutch that just needs to be seamed and felted.


I finished this prayer shawl for a friend of my daughter's who has been diagnosed with a rare from of stomach cancer.

Sorry, have to get back to my knitting!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A few FOs

Things have been a little (well a lot) crazy around here lately, dealing with health issues that I won't go into right now - but I have been knitting (obsessively!) and here are a few completed projects. The snowman is a project from the Ravelry Group - Lisa's Designs. He is crocheted from Caron dazzleaire yarn, which is a little fuzzy and sparkly (doesn't show up in the picture).

The hat is a very simple pattern but the yarn it is made with is so very soft! It is Bernat Bamboo (who would think that bamboo could be so soft!) It's a bulky yarn and the hat is knit on size 10 needles. CO 60 - knit in the round for 7 - 8 inches, then decrease every other row until there are 5 stitches left.

This is my Baktus Scarf (Ravelry pattern) knit with Noro Kuryon sock yarn. It would seem like a boring pattern - all garter stitch (knit) increasing every fourth row for half the scarf and then decreasing every fourth row for the second half, but the color changes in the Noro yarn made it interesting enough to keep going! I love the scarf - hoping it will block out just a little bit longer.
And I think this puts me over the 52 in 52 top!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Rememberance Day


A day for remembering our Veterans, praying for the safety of our Active Duty Military and above all, a world without war.



Saturday, October 31, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

Check out the cool HIGH top sneaker Little Red Riding Hood is wearing!




Friday is my volunteer day at the school so I didn't miss the Halloween parties! The kids marched down to the end of the road and back up again, played games and of course ate goodies (although healthy snacks are encouraged!)








First Halloween parade at the new school!




And some more Teddy bear clothes - a pumpkin hat for Halloween (Tori will get that in her goodie bag tonight) and it will also come in handy when her bear goes out to play during hunting season!


And a hat to match the sweater I made last week. I think he's going to need some snow pants now!




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What I Love about Wool

If it comes out too small, you can stretch it, if it comes out too big, you can felt it! I actually swatched before I knit this beret and got gauge. The finished hat turned out to the right measurements, but when I soaked it so I could block it on a dinner plate to shape it - it grew at least 4 inches! So, it had to go into the washer for a little bit and it did lose some of the stitch definition but at least it doesn't look like a giant frisbee!








I don't know who is going to wear this beret - not me! But I just had the urge to make one.







My sister is visiting from Maine and we went to Bar Harbor this week - great time of year to go. A lot of the stores are getting ready to close for the winter and are having big sales.
And of course I can't go to Bar Harbor without stopping at the yarn store there. It's a tiny store, but full of really yummy yarn. I didn't need any yarn of course, but walked out with a skein of OnLine self-patterning sock yarn in purple shades. Not sure what it will become (not socks!) but I couldn't pass it up.
On the needles: Another Old Shale Smoke Ring Cowl
Reading: The Beekeepers Apprentice by Lauri R. King
Listening to: Everywhere that Mary Went by Lisa Scottoline


















Saturday, October 24, 2009

Why There are More Girl Teachers than Boy Teachers or Using Both Sides of your Brain

I subbed in 2nd Grade on Friday and while I was working with a group on some math problems one of the boys asked my why the teachers are all girls and no boys. I said that was an interesting question - we have only one male teacher at our school right now and he is the technology teacher. So I turned it back to the group, like I love to do, and asked why they thought all the teachers at the school were 'girls'. One boy said he knew why - "It's because girls think with both sides of their brains and boys only think with one side." I don't know who told him that one - but I wasn't touching it LOL. Another little boy in the group said "It's because men really didn't like being around a lot of little kids all that much." Hmm..... could that be it? Then a little girl in the group spoke up and with complete confidence said she knew why. "It's because men like to have more money." I think she wins, hands down! No one becomes a teacher to make a lot of money. Although I am going to tuck away that both sides of the brain idea for a time when I can use it!



Today I went to a Christmas Card making workshop - a fun get-together including a pot-luck lunch.
These are some of the cards we made. Also brought home the materials and instructions for making 20 more cards. I think I used both sides of my brain today - and nope - no boys at the workshop!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knitting Update


Back in June I went to a Farmer's Market and bought some handspun, hand dyed alpaca from a vendor, and it's been sitting in a basket looking pretty and waiting for the right project to come along. When I saw Stephanie Pearl McPhee's one row handspun scarf I thought it would be perfect for this yarn. I had to laugh when I started knitting, the yarn looked like my attempts at spinning. It went from fingering weight to bulky weight and back again, had pieces of twigs or something still in it, and a definite scent of alpaca. As you can see, the striping is all different widths - with the natural alpaca being the first color on the bottom. In spite of all that - I loved knitting this scarf and love the results. When I bound it off, the scarf was only about 4 feet long, but after a soak in soapy water and a rinse I hung it up to dry and it stretched to almost 6 feet - perfect!
On the needles:
Another Old Shale Smoke Ring Cowl - love knitting these an will be giving them as Christmas gifts. I'm knitting this one with Araucania http://www.araucaniayarns.com sock yarn in fall colors.
Cabled Beret knit with Killarney Irish Fisherman's wool (thanks again Roni!).
Fingerless mitts from the Holiday Mystery Gift-Along Yahoo Group
Listening to: The Shack by William Young
Reading: Secret Admirer by Patricia MacDonald
On the Shelf: The Beekeeper's Apprentice by Laurie R. King

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Maxine


If you don't believe me - check out the sale at Little Knits!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Organizing




That's how I spent my morning - organizing my knitting projects. I'm always searching for a certain yarn, (which tote or bag is it in?) or a pattern, (where did I see that - on Ravelry? in a Magazine? in a book?) or the right needles, (located in different kntting bags all through the house. So I picked out a dozen projects that I want to make or finish and put them in zip lock bags along with the yarn and needles to knit them with. I put all the bags into a large tote bag along with a little plastic case with the essentials. Row counter, stitch markers, tape measure, etc. So now I am all set to plug in an audio book and knit. I'll let you know how it works out!



And a couple of finished projects - A simple pair of fingeless mitts - one of my project bags has the yarn and patterns for several more of these.

And another Teddy Bear sweater from the Knits for Bears to Wear book. Love this yarn - it's self-patterning Plymouth Encore sock yarn in worsted weight, 300 yards per skein. Think I'll make a little hat to match and some socks if I have enough left.

So, that's how I spent my morning - how did you spend yours?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Knit The Season by Kate Jacob's Giveaway


Darcy is having a contest on her blog to give away a copy of Kate Jacob's Knit the Season which is due to be released in November.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Knitting for Bears

Another Mystery Knit from the Holiday Gift Along Yahoo Group. This started out as a fingerless glove - below - then the last clue gave the option of making it into a regular mitten. So clever!



The fingerless version was just a little too big for me, and so was the whole mitten, so I felted it just a bit and it is perfect now. Except that ....yes, I have to make another one! It's a beautiful pattern stitch and was fun to do.





Another fun project - clothes for bears! My granddaughter is obsessed with "Build-A-Bears" and their accessories. So I'm making her bears some clothes for Christmas. The book is "Knits for Bears to Wear and has some really cute outfits in it, including a mermaid outfit, which I know Tori will love. I'm thinking I need to get my own Build-a-Bear to model the outfits! I still need to sew the buttons on the dress and put the hook and eye closures on the hoodie.

Also OTN some more fingerless mitts (perfect for texting) for the teens on my Christmas list (and their mom too!)

On the todo list: The Ilene Bag (market bag) using the Louet Euroflax yarn I received in my Whoduknit Trick or Treat Swap package from Bonnie, along with the circ. needles to knit it with, A Book "Where There's A Witch, a box of Godiva chocolates (Gone!), a cute little Beanie Bat, and the "trick" a little jeweler's box with a fake spider inside!
On my bookshelf: Laced With Magic by Barbara Bretton, Where There's a Witch (above), Ghost Stories by Peter Straub (are you seeing a theme here?) and In my CD player - MAX, the 5th book in the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson.






Sunday, October 04, 2009

Rainy Sunday






I've been a lazy poster lately! Spending too much time on Facebook and Ravelry. If you are a knitter or crocheter and you haven't joined Ravelry yet, your missing out on a good thing! If it has to do with knitting you can find it there - plus a group for every interest imaginable.

I got a surprise package in the mail yesterday from my niece who lives in California. She was wishing me a happy retirement and sent some great teas, along with the most awesome mug - can you see the cable stitching on it? Also in the package was Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's new book "Things I Learned from Knitting whether I wanted to or not." I love her books and I didn't have this one yet. And the biggest surprise - the beads, which I had sent her from Morocco when we were stationed there 38 years ago (she was a little girl then of course), and which she had kept all these years!
Thank you Linda - what a day brightener this was!


Seems like I haven't been finishing much lately - but here is one FO. The hat pattern is called "Megan's Braids" and it's One Skein Wonders.
It's a darker purple than is showing in the picture and the mittens below that go with it are really purple too, but for some reason they came out blue in the picture. This will be a Christmas gift for one of the little girl's on my list.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Answer to What is it?

It's a 'coffe cup pincher'. Something to hold a hot styrofoam cut of coffee with. But I loved all of your guesses!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mystery Solved


Even after finishing the last clue on the Holiday Mystery Gift-Along I did not know what I had made! What do you think it is?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Licensed to Drive

The twins both got their driver's licenses on Monday. Hard to believe!
And such a mixture of emotions, from happy and excited for them to nervous and scared for them!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Holiday Mystery Gift Along


The Holiday Mystery Gift Along has begun, and the first mystery knit starts today. I just finished the first clue. All I know is that it is not a sock!
It's not too late to join. Just sign up on their Yahoo Group . It's like Christmas morning every time you get a message saying a new file has been uploaded! Some are mysteries, some are not. The first two patterns uploaded on Saturday were for a back scrubber & cloth set, and a crocheted lace shawl - both great patterns.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

What Are You Reading?

When I'm not knitting, I'm usually reading. (Well, I do a load of laundry and run the vacuum now and then too). So what am I reading?
I mentioned the James Patterson Maximum Ride Series in another post. I've read or listened to the first 4 books - there is one more in the series. These books were written for the teen crowd, but I've enjoyed them very much. Maximum Ride is a 14 year old girl who, along with Fang, Gasman, Iggy, Angel, and Nudge were created in test tubes with a mixture of human and avian DNA. They have wings and they can fly! They escape from the lab, and set about trying to save the world, although it isn't until the 4th book that they find out what they are saving it from.

I recently discovered a new author (for me) - Jeffery Deaver. His books are all page-turners! I've recently read The Bodies Left Behind, The Coffin Dancer, Speaking in Tongues, and just started reading The Vanished Man.

When I'm knitting and when I'm driving, I like to listen to audio books. Greg Isles is another favorite author of mine, (Sleep No More, 24 Hours) and I'm listening to his Third Degree now.

I like to read "Cozies" too. Cat on the Edge a Joe Grey Mystery by Shirley Rousseu Murphy, complete with talking cats and shapechangers, Maggie Sefton's yarn shop series, and other knitting and craft related mysteries.

I could go on and on - so many books, so little time! What are you reading?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Morning Visitor

I think there may be a squirrel in my house. DH is getting ready to paint the house and is doing some work on the shingles. He had to take off the outside door in order to get to them. This morning I went out to get the mail and when I came back in left the inside door open, like I usually do on a nice day, forgetting that there was no outside door. In the mail was my Lionbrand Catalog, which I promptly sat down to browse. When I looked up - there was a little red squirrel sitting there looking at me! I scared him and I think he ran outside.....but I'm not sure....he may still be here. Maybe hiding under my bed?


I did find some projects in the Lionbrand catalog that I'd like to make. Like these felted slippers




And this round crocheted afghan. The patterns are free at http://www.lionbrand.com/ , along with tons of other free patterns.
And since I have finished almost all of my UFOs (unfinished objects) I can start some new projects.


The Scalloped beaded necklace is from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders and takes a very little bit of one skein. This is one of those 'betcha can't make just one' kinds of projects.
The felted bag is a larger version of the little pink one I made and has two pockets inside. The flower is pinned on and was made by cutting the shapes out of some felted projects that went wrong!
The Shawl is an adaption of the pattern Gabriel's Wings and is made with leftover self-patterning sock yarn with rows of solid sock yarn in-between. This is a project I made for one of the books we read on the Whoduknit Group - The Angel Experiment, by James Patterson. I got thoroughly hooked on this series and have read up to the third one so far.
Okay squirrel - where are you???



Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fibery Goodness

Last Friday, on a gorgeous fall day, I drove to the Fiber College on the Penobscott in Searsport Maine. It is always held the weekend after Labor Day at the Searsport Shores campground on the Penobscott Bay. This year I took a couple of classes. Another spindle spinning class, which was very interesting because the instructor approached it in a different way than in the last class I took. Maybe if I combine the two methods I can get that spindle to spin! The other class was a fun one called 'weaving bits and pieces'. And that's exactly what it was - bits and pieces of yarn and ribbon woven on a handmade loom.



This is my finished masterpiece! Now, what do you do with these bits and pieces weavings? The instructor used hers as pockets on handmade tote bags. I think with a backing, lining and zipper it would make a great change purse. And, a bunch of these sewn together would make an awesome scarf. But for now, this one is sitting next to my computer and being used as a mug mat.
After the classes I walked around to check out the vendors and their beautiful yarns, fibers for spinning, handmade items, etc.

And for a completely different kind of fibery goodness - a Fruit Torte! It's easy and especially delicious when served warm with ice cream. I brought this one to a fun night of Bunco with some old friends and some new. This recipe made more than enough to feed twelve ladies with some left over.
FRUIT TORTE (DOUBLE BATTER)



6 Cups flour

1 ½ Cups sugar

4 egg YOLKS

Pinch of cinnamon

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 lb butter or margarine – melted

2 cans Comstock fruit

1 15/10 cookie sheet



Blend all dry ingredients, then add egg yolks and melted butter.



Use half of mixture for bottom of pan. (smooth down in pan)

(Remainder of mixture for top)



Spread 2 cans of Comstock pie filling over bottom of pan.

(I uses 1 can apples and 1 can blueberries.) One can on each side of pan.



“Crumb” remaining “dry mixture” over top of fruit.



Bake at 375 degree oven for 40-45 mins or until slightly browned.



DO NOT USE WHITES OF EGGS,

THEY WILL NOT ALLOW MIXTURE TO “CRUMB”.



ENJOY.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where have you been?

I've been told I haven't updated my blog in a couple of weeks -nice to know I was missed!

Even though I retired from teaching in June, I couldn't stay away from the first day of school. It wasn't just any first day of school, it was the first day of school in our brand new beautiful, state of the art school! Well, it will be state of the art once everything is working, like the phones and the Internet - but minor details!





Peninsula CSD
My favorite place - the Teacher's Lounge. It is much appreciated after not having one for the past 6 years (every available space was being used for instruction in our old school). The PTC supplied the fruit for the first day of school.

Stephen and Tabatha King donated $20,000 for new books and supplies for our new library! I'm going to enjoy volunteering in here!


State of the art computer lab (once it's hooked up to the Internet that is)



2nd Grade Classroom - complete with 2nd Graders! The school has an innovative heating and lighting system state-of-the-art technology and a multipurpose gym stage and cafeteria (we ate in our classrooms in our old school) And..it comes complete with 200 students grades Pre-K - 8!
I have already subbed for a half day in Kindergarten (still say it's the hardest job in the world!)
and 2nd Grade (my old class) and have more days on my schedule. Hmmm - doesn't feel like retirement!

You can see more photos here.





Monday, August 31, 2009

16 + 16 = SWEET!

16 years ago these two sweet babies were born!


Still sweet after all these years!
Happy Birthday Sweet 16s

Monday, August 24, 2009

Some FOs and a Prize for Me!

Another clutch - this one knit with Paton's Merino and needlefelted flowers on the flap.




This cute little bag is based on "A Little Bird Told Me....." on Knitty.com. I knit it in the round instead of flat and used an i-cord for the drawstring and strap, and needlefelted the heart on the flap. Which leads to the next picture .....while I was looking through my needlefelting wool, I realized that I have somehow developed a stash of roving, even though I haven't learned how to spin yet. Looking at this will give me more incentive to learn!



And the prize.............









I won a drawing over on the Carefree KAL and got to choose two skeins of Crystal Palace Yarns. On the left is Merino Stripes - a fuzzy, soft, wool, that I think might become a cowl, and on the right is Taos that will probably get felted into a small clutch. What a cool way to get to try out two new yarns! Thank you CPY!