Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Illness and getting better

My eldest and I are fighting off a dreadful virus. Our doctor tells us it is not the flu but it sure feels very flu like to us. She's certainly experiencing the worst of the symptoms. I'm trying to keep her hydrated and nourished as she fights this virus. A perfectly timed late season snow storm has given us well needed snow days off from school. This welcome break has made taking care of her so much easier. Favorite blankets, warm tea, homemade get you better chicken noodle soup, and lots of movie time are on the list today. Meanwhile I'm trying my best not to succumb to the germs.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Cambrian Cowl part 2: Done

I finished the Cambrian Cowl and just in time considering the upcoming snow storm. It is knit in Cascade Yarns 128 super wash in the color way called Silver. This was a discount skein of yarn that I bought on an impulse. Ok, so really, it's not hard to get me to buy bulky soft yarn in gray. I love gray so I'm going to always find a reason to get more gray yarn. It just so happened that this yarn was perfect for the project. The story is I went to the local yarn store to pick up a skein of yarn to work on another baby gift project. At the checkout the book where this pattern came from was on display. I knew right then that I needed that book! It took me 3 seconds of flipping through it to determine that the book was going to be a welcome addition. Anyhow I had noticed the gray yarn in the discount basket and added that to my pile. 

The most difficult part of any of my projects being fully finished is always the quest for buttons. I am drawn to statement buttons, particularly if the project has only a few buttons. In those circumstances I see the buttons as adornment to highlight the hand made garment.

 The trouble I was having was size. I needed GIANT buttons for this cowl. I had no luck at the nearby yarn store. They tend to not carry many interesting to me buttons. Their stock tends to lean towards the cute, utilitarian, or boring old fashioned. Some old fashioned buttons can be amazing but these they stock, they are not. Mostly they look more like buttons that belong on something drab. 

I found these giant blue buttons made from coconut shells at another sort of local yarn store. It's a store that I have been recently visiting, a bit further away, but the people are so nice and really with it when it comes to the knitting/crochet community. Of course they are because they carry a good variety of buttons and they really have a nice eye for the statement buttons. I love these buttons! At first I thought they would be too big. I am so glad they ended up being the only ones big ENOUGH! The coloring reminds me of peacock feathers. I don't know who made them, if these are some hand made buttons the store sources, I didn't think to ask. All I know is that at first sight I knew right away they were just what I was looking for to add some jazzy flare.

Now I'm ready for that snow storm to come along. New cowl ready to wear I'm hoping for a few good cold days. 

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Astronauts in a box

These two have been using this box as a space shuttle all week. I have been adoring this little exhibit of imagination. Boxes and children. The best way to spend an afternoon is playing in a huge box. I am loving the extensive use of imagination. Makes me want to find other large items to order just for the box!

Monday, March 06, 2017

Little Blue shrug

I love it when I forget about knits I made that get pulled out of the dresser to be worn. Yesterday sweet Lady A put on this shrug. The pattern is called: Quick Knit Baby Shrug. I used Madeline Tosh Vintage in Button Jar blue. This color is so fantastic! I bought that skein so long ago only because the COLOR was just beautiful. Initially I knit this shrug intending to gift it as a baby gift but I lot track of my increases and the shrug ended up growing too large. Rather than unravel it I pressed on knowing that I had at least one little girl it could fit. I ended up making something entirely different for the baby girl so it all worked out in the end. 

Friday, March 03, 2017

A Hat and a Cowl

My model/daughter showing the two things that have become labeled done. First the cowl that was never gifted. This cowl was knit with the intent of it being gifted to the director of the preschool. In the fall she was swooning over a raffle item, a cowl in this exact yarn and color. I did my best to replicate the pattern based on my photos and mental notes after scrutinizing it. Turns out the director ended being gifted that very cowl and the one I made for her for Christmas has yet to find a home. I wanted to photograph it on a person as that tends to showcase it better than displaying it on a table. 

The other knit is what I had been calling the Hermione hat but I now realize that there is another hat by this name that has been a hot knitted item. Officially this hat pattern is called: Hermione's cable and eyelet hat. This is the second one in the same Mini Mochi yarn I have knit for my daughter. When she requested another hat in a larger size I knew I needed to get started. I hoped to have it done in time for Christmas. That didn't happen but still she was so happy to have it. In fact she was so eager to wear this hat I tell you that she hardly let me sew in the ends before running off with it. Thankfully the weather here has been cold enough to allow her to get some use of it before being tucked away for next winter. I have to say that this pattern is really one of my favorites. An easy cable knit this is a lovely and elegant hat for a teenage girl, or the teenage girl in all of us. 

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Fox in Socks

One of the most favorite days of school is the one where the students are able to dress up as a story book character. My girls always want to be princess something or other. I was very surprised to hear the various suggestions Adelynn had for her costume ideas. We were planning on one thing when she requested to dress as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. My heart sank a little. So it was going to be a princess again this year. In the end I decided that was likely going to be the easiest option.

And then......

We could not find the beloved most perfect Belle yellow ball gown. The costume that we have had for 7 years the same one that her big sister Leah wore nearly every day. It was lurking some where who knows where in the basement playroom mess. I went looking the night before. No luck. Not in the costume trunk, not in the toy bins, not under the couch, in the closet, behind the blanket chest.....not a trace of that dress.

Since we didn't plan on having to go to plan C we were nearing panic mode. I asked her if she'd like to choose one the many other princess dresses. Nope. Could't convince her to wear any other gown. Then it hit me that night as I read bedtime stories. Lately we have been reading Fox in Socks.

And that's what she agreed to be. So glad we didn't find that dress because this costume was just the cutest. It just so happened that Leah had the fox ears and tail so this was the perfect fit for our Fox in Socks loving girl.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Lenten Sacrifice Jar Challenge

Preparations for Lent have been underway here for a few weeks now. Like many I ponder about what I want from this season. Do I want to focus on sacrifice or spiritual improvement? In my journey to develop a plan for my own personal enrichment I also look for what the children in my life can do. Each year I look to challenge my catechism students to make Lent a meaningful season.  I typically have them fill out a calendar where they color the days based on the activities they have done. For example use yellow to indicate they helped someone, purple if they went to church, pink if they read the Bible... 

This year I was searching for something in addition to the calendar. Partly because I am looking for ways to fulfill the three pillars of Lent at home with my own children ranging in age from 3-16. Getting my own girls involved takes more thinking due to the span of ages.  In my research I was inspired by many people; Priests, friends, fellow mothers, and my children. I concluded that this extra something needed to be optional but also could inspire the other family members at home, even the adults. I came up with my Class Lenten Sacrifice jar challenge. 

Inside are cards with a challenge to complete. Some are easy such as reading the Bible or another faith based book. Others will require family involvement such as help pack meals at a local meal packing event. And others will really be hard for the children (and adults who are inspired) to do such as showing kindness and humility to everyone even people who are rude or mean to us. 

This afternoon I will be introducing my class to the jar and I'm looking forward to seeing how my class reacts to this challenge.