Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Thou hast given so much to me, Give one thing more, - a grateful heart; Not thankful when it pleaseth me, As if Thy blessings had spare days, But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise." ~George Herbert

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sneak Peeks

Shhhh!!!! Don't let *** and *** know I am busy at work on gifts for them. I thought I would tease them a bit and offer up some sneak peeks of things to come. And since I haven't revealed the lucky recipients the suspense is heightened in my little mystery peeks. So be nice to me- these could be the start of special gifts for you!

My son entertained me by coming up with word scrabbles for me to decipher while I crocheted. Where was Mom and Rebecca (word masters extraordinaire) when I needed them?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mending Day

Today was mending day. I am trying to keep my mending basket empty but with two young kids (what is it with boys and blown out knees!) this seems to be hard. I like sewing- not so much mending. I am finding that having a mending buddy seems to make an unpleasant task a little more enjoyable. My daughter volunteered for the job. Seeing me have soooo much fun mending one day, she decided to get in on some sewing action (or “knitting” action as she likes to call it). I set her up with a small heart shaped piece of plastic canvas, a little scrap yarn and a blunt needle. Her heart is stored in my sewing box, so every time I sit down to mend, out comes the heart. It has been nice to have someone to sew with, even when I am being asked a thousand questions and I have to rethread the needle a gazillion times. Today I mended a wounded doggy and she worked on her heart. Afterwards she wanted to help take a picture of our work for the blog- so enjoy a picture of our handiwork taken by my daughter.

Friday, November 14, 2008

How To: Making a Scarf into a Hat

My grand knitting adventure has come to an end. I set out to finish a knitted project and I did it. Though my grand plan was to knit a scarf, along the way my scarf started talking to me, and it said "I want to be done!" Now just so you don't think I'm a little messed up in the head, the fact of the matter is I was getting tired of knitting the scarf and getting short on yarn. I decided to dream up an end to this madness. Something that wouldn't involve me pulling all my stitches out. My scarf plan has now turned into a "How To: Finish a scarf before it's done." Follow me on this crazy journey....

The scarf pattern I started with is the Meandering Rib Scarf. It was knitted with chunky yarn and size 10 1/2 needles which is different from the pattern. But since this is a fly by the seat of your pants type of "How To" it doesn't matter what patten you use or what needles you choose. Be crazy and spontaneous, it might just work even better than you think (that is what happened here).
My finished scarf (knitted scrap) was 11"W x 20"L. Along with this you will need scrap yarn and a crochet hook.

Fold rectangle in half, with right sides together and pin up each side.

With crochet hook, start at open edge and single crochet up one edge.

Then, match crocheted seam with pinned seam and execute a squash fold (think origami.) After squash fold, seams will be running along the center front and center back.

Turn over and insert hook into top edge and make a single crochet that pulls the top two stitches from both seams together. Now continue single crochet down other edge. Weave in loose yarn.
Turn right side out and roll up bottom edge.

Add your own crazy additions!
Alternative ideas: Add loop and button for a neck warmer. Fold rectangle in half and seam sides, add handle and you have a bag. With folded rectangle seam one edge and you have a fun elf hat! Share anymore ideas you might have- what can be done with a knitted rectangle? Thinking... thinking....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanks to the Indians

It was a perfect Indian summer this past weekend. Nana and Papa came up to visit and the house was full of activity. When they come it seems to get all of our creative juices flowing. There is always a long planning session of all the cool things we could build or do if we had a month to be together. Then reality sets in, they are only going to be here for the weekend so we need to just hit the highlights of the plan and hope for more visits.
The “summer” days seemed to last forever this weekend. This was a nice change from the usually gone in a flash weekday I am so used too. Every one found some creative outlet and it kept us busy all day, Saturday.
Papa and the kids enjoyed the back yard. Papa was mowing (he is a good Papa to travel all this way to mow our lawn) and the kids played “Lord of the Rings” and other such made up on the spot games. Then Papa enticed the kids into helping rake leaves (did I mention what a great Papa he is?!). The thought of a towering pile of leaves is powerful enough to get a kid to drop what he is doing and rake.
Nana and Josh sat on the porch and painted. Our plan for the weekend had been to paint the porch but with the arrival of the Grands it changed to painting fish instead! I am no painter so I joined in the conversation on the porch and worked at my scarf.

Weekends that seem to last forever are sometimes too quickly forgotten. I think this is why I was reluctant to write this post too quickly, trying desperately to slow the progression of this week.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

God made dirt, dirt don't hurt!

Got dirt? No? Go get your daily serving of the letter "D"! Just make make it chocolate flavored with a little Oreo mixed in! You won't be disappointed. And don't forget the gummy worms! This is a good dessert to eat while reading "How to Eat Fried Worms."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Fall in Picts

"The North Wind came along one day,
So strong and full of fun;
He called the leaves down from the trees,
And said, 'Run, children, run!'
They came in red and yellow dress,
In shaded green and brown,
And all the short November day,
He chased them round the town."

-Emilie Poulsson

This is our visiting friend. I hope he stays for a while!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The autumn of your soul

(Josh Post) It’s November here in Northern Virginia and the trees are all ablaze in their fall colors. For many people spring is their favorite time of the year and while I love spring, with its bright feelings of hope as things emerge from the earth, fall has always been the season that captures my imagination. Fall has what I call “a quiet melancholy” that always seems to inspire my mind and draw my attention away from the hustle and bustle and out into the wilds, into stirring leaves chattering with animals making their final preparations for winter colds, and out to the lake where the wind ripples across the water and the fish make one more strike at the line. In our society we seldom notice the seasons. With supermarkets and all of our modern conveniences we no longer need to put up feed for our animals and make sure that the produce of the garden is canned and safely stored away. Few of us stack the wood pile anymore to make sure that we remain snug through the winter, or oil and sharpen the tools before storing them away for the year. Yet even with all our activity there is still a feeling to fall that makes room for thought and contemplation, there is beauty, yes, with the Maples looking like living torches and the Birches gracefully pointing to the sky, but sadness too in knowing that soon the beauty will blow away and winter will come to stretch its cold hands across the earth. Fall, like life, blazes brilliantly for a little while and then fades away but rather than regret the shortness of the season, pause... and enjoy the wonders all around.

“...It was not yet very cold, the mild melancholy of November still lingering gold in it, in falling leaves and slanting amber light. All the apples were in the loft, all the corn milled, the hay long stacked, the sheep turned into the stubble fields. A time to pause, to look round, to make sure nothing had been neglected, no fence unrepaired, against the winter. He has never before been so acutely aware of the particular quality and function of November, its ripeness and its hushed sadness. The year proceeds not in a straight line through the seasons, but in a circle that brings the world and man back to the dimness and mystery in which both began, and out of which a new seed time and a new generation are about to begin. Old men, thought Cadfael, believe in that new beginning but experience only the ending. It may be that God is reminding me that I am approaching my November. Well, why regret it? November has beauty, has seen the harvest into the barns, even laid by next years seed. No need to fret about not being allowed to stay and sow it, someone else will do that. So go contentedly into the earth with the moist, gentle, skeletal leaves, worn to cobweb fragility, like the skins of very old men, that bruise and stain at the mere brushing of the breeze, and that flower into brown blotches as the leaves into rotting gold. The colours of late autumn are the colours of the sunset: the farewell of the year and the farewell of the day. And of the life of man? Well if it ends in a flourish of gold, that is no bad ending. – Ellis Peters “Brother Cadfael’s Penance”

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"T" Time

Friday was brought to us by the letter "T"! To celebrate the new letter of the week (because every letter should have some celebration!) my daughter hosted a "T" ParTy! This project was perfect for my fairy tale minded daughter!! We sat down the day before and made a check list of all she wanted to have for her parTy. She set to work making a invitation that was to be emailed to Grandma. Grandma gladly accepted and so Friday morning was a buzz of parTy preparation. This was a very low key affair but high priority in her eyes. "T"s were cut for the table and place settings. All of our play dishes were Tastefully arranged. She felt that we needed to pile every dish up as high as we could. "This is to remind us of the Tower of Babel," she said. The Tower of Babel is our Bible topic of the week. Very fitting for our week of "T"s! (You could say that I planned it that way, but I wouldn't;) Our menu for the affair was Tuna salad on biscuits, Chocolate Chip Tookies and of course Tea.

"Terrific....", "Tantalizing...." , "Triumphant.....", "Tasty..." these are just a few of the reviews that were given of the event.