Monday, April 7, 2014

All of March in one

My temari spent the months of February and March hanging out at the library. It was difficult to get pictures of them on display; I either caught the reflection of the skylights, or of the florescent lights.

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I got many lovely comments, and I will be teaching a beginning temari class there towards the end of the month.

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C and I finished a blanket for her teacher's new baby. Today being the first day back after spring break, C reports that baby Evelyn was born on Wednesday and is doing well.

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DD1 set a wedding date! We spent a Saturday at Macy's shopping for dresses (successfully!) and then had lunch at the Walnut Room. (The dresses will be unveiled at the proper time.) The girls' grandma always talked about eating at the Walnut Room at Christmas when she was growing up, but we had never been there. DD1's face lit up when I suggested it, so we went, and had a lovely time.

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The room is elegant, with a very retro feel. The food was wonderful, the service was fine.

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I applied for a job, and have an interview later this week.

I have finished a couple more things that I still have to get pictures of, but other than that, I think you are up to date!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Christmas presents

I can tell I have been remiss in my blogging since I haven't even shown you the Christmas presents I made. I put together about a dozen of these baubles. They each have a teeny tiny mari in the center.







I had so much fun picking out colors!

They are very like a c10 temari; dodecahedron geometry. They use "Tila," peanut, drop and seed beads. After the first bauble I haven't had to look at the pattern again. They are very logical to put together.

I also finished the Citron Grande shawl for my mom in chambray/denim color.



I used some of my binary stitch markers to mark the increase spots, so I didn't have to count (and count and count) my stitches; plus it turned out a lot more even than mine. I did run short of yarn, and had to stop after 9 pattern repeats instead of 10. I love how it turned out though. Now I just have to get it to my mom... can someone stop the snow?


Monday, January 27, 2014

Trying to Stay Warm

It has been so cold here this January that the schools have cancelled 4 days, not for snow, but for cold! So I have been working on keeping people warm.

In December I was distressed to discover that C did not have anything to cover her cold fingers! I found a free pattern on Ravelry for 2 needle mittens with pretty cabled cuffs; C and I perused the stash and decided on a pretty sparkly yarn, and I started knitting the smallest size of the pattern, that said it was for children to adults. There was no size or gauge information in the pattern, so I was flying by the seat of my pants, and the first mitten turned out big enough for me!

So I started over. I had C trace her hand on a piece of paper so I could check my progress, even while she was at school. I removed 1 or 2 repeats of the cuff pattern, several inches of length, and at least 4 stitches in the thumb and ended up with this:

 

 They are still not any too small. I went ahead and finished the 2nd mitten in the larger size, and put them aside; when C & P's Meme came to drop them off (She has been living in Florida) I was able to give them to her.

 I made these some time ago, I don't remember if I showed them before or not:

 

 I had finished the knitting a couple of months ago, but I had never sewn in the ends, with stranded mittens there are usually quite a few ends, and they got shuffled to the bottom of the pile. I felt awful this morning when DD2 was leaving for work, and looking for something to cover her fingers (it was below 0, she did need something) and the mittens were not ready, so today, I took advantage of my knitting time and sewed in the ends. I think they turned out so pretty!

 In January I have been participating in a mystery KAL (knit-a-long) in my "I make mittens" ravelry group. We got the first clue on January 1, and the 7th and final clue last Saturday, and I finished them today! They are by the same designer as the mittens above; which is why I knew I would like the pattern without seeing it ahead of time.

 

 They were inspired by the book "The Secret Garden" and were a lot of fun to knit. Quite a few people on the group site took pictures of their mittens with their pets, so I decided to join in as well.

 

 (I got Danny and Jake to cooperate by holding treats in my hand. I don't even think they noticed the mittens.)

 I also made a warm beanie for DFSIL for Christmas, but it left the premises before I got a picture, with a request for more. I also have a request from C for a pair of slippers, and a scarf, mitten, and hat set for an indoor snowman, so as you can see, I'm behind.

 I better get knitting!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Try to catch up

Hi! We are still here... I have a few items to share since I've been gone. The break was not for any specific reason, just that I got out of the habit... not good!

One of the big things we did this fall was P's science project.


 Here's the scientist. You can see that we already had the Christmas decorations up. His thesis was that more dense woods would burn slower and make a better fire. We got to burn stuff!


 P did say that next time he wanted to pick something he could do inside! It did get very cold by the end of the 3 experiments. We sat inside and monitored the fire through the window by the end, it was almost freezing.

If you are wondering, the woods were Pine, Oak, Pinion, and Birch. Oak was the final winner.


 We are so proud of the work P put into this. His school had a very good system of requiring the intermediate steps along the way, so there was no last minute panic. He got 97 out of 100 on the report!

After the report, he had to prepare a Power Point presentation (in sixth grade?). There too, we worked at it a little at a time, making one slide each evening. By the end he was doing all the steps by himself, except for asking how to make the slides fade one into the next. He got an A on the presentation! And he was only one of 4 who was asked to enter his project into the Science Fair, with a chance to go on an extra field trip. Unfortunately, he is not available on the day of the fair, so he cannot enter, but he was considering it, which I found amusing. He was quite worried that his original paper not go over 2 pages, because anything over 3 pages was going to be considered for the fair.

We are so proud of him, he is doing so great in school!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Memorable Sunday

Yesterday was a memorable day, so I thought I would write about it.

We woke up with thunder storms (This IS November... thunder storms are not usual). Danny-dog did not like them and tried to climb into bed (and was rejected) but this was just the beginning of the weather.

Church was good. The sermon was about Sampson, and how to not be like him.

P had Youth Group after church, so we went to the nearby Culvers for dinner. When we got there, the tornado warning sirens were sounding, but the sky didn't look too bad, so we went in. While we were eating the weather news was on. The Bears game at Soldier Field was suspended and all the players and fans were moved into sheltered areas. It was organized and orderly, they did a very good job. I understand the fans continued the party while the storm went on.

Back at Culvers the sky got darker and the wind got stronger. One of the managers announced that since there was a tornado warning no one would be allowed to leave, and they moved everyone away from the windows. They also mentioned there was a room in the back where we could go if it got really bad. DH and I were not really too upset, but C was getting a little worried; her hands were shaking! It did feel safer to sit on my or grandpa's knee with our arms around her. so we did that. We did talk to the people at church as well, and found out they were continuing their meeting in the basement, and so were also safe.

At one point the wind and the rain were so strong we couldn't see across the expressway. There was a lot of rain. When it let up we slipped out and drove the mile back to church. By now there was a blue spot in the sky, so we were feeling much more comfortable. We waited at church with another couple whose son was also in Youth Group. There is a "living room" area in the basement with very comfortable furniture where we waited, and we couldn't hear any weather at all. In fact, it was so calm that C started to get bored, and wanted to join the fun with the other kids. (Earlier she had been in line for lunch with them--before we left for Culvers.)

When we got home, our alley was blocked off with a fire truck because of a downed electric line! It was no surprise to find out that we had no electricity at home. Because of the power line trucks came to work on it quickly; unfortunately the fix wasn't quite so quick.

We spent the time finishing the reading of The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis. It is the last of the Narnia Chronicles, and we had been reading it, on and off, for quite a while. We had to use a flashlight to finish reading. We walked down to supervise the repairs several times, and were encouraged that each time we went down there there were more trucks, except at one point the parade of repair vehicles went down the street and there was no one in the alley! (Shortly afterwards they were back, so it must have been a supper break.)

The lights came back on, and we were settling in for a comfortable evening, but 1/2 hour later they went off again! We ordered pizza after finding a place that was open. They said it would be an hour wait, but we didn't want to open the fridge more than we had to, so we placed the order. After an hour and 15 minutes DD1 checked the website and we were shocked to see "Closed Because of Weather"! It said the same thing on the phone answering machine. By now I was getting a little hungry, and a little crabby too. We decided to go out and find some food. We had to make a detour to get around the repair trucks. We tried to duck through the alley, but there were still lines down there too, so we backed out of the alley and went around.

We found an open Subway store, and picked up some food and came home, just to find the pizza delivery car in our parking spot! So we had a choice of suppers. I ate some pizza stuffers (too salty) and my cookie from Subway, and I have a sandwich for today. I felt much better afterwards.

For the rest of the evening we mostly read; DH still had power in his iPod, so he was listening to music. I had a paperback book that had been languishing next to my bed for some time.

At bed time the power was still not back on, so DH had to go to bed without his C-PAP machine. He woke up gasping for breath... and was extremely happy when the power came back on after 1 AM and he could relax with his mask on. I made a circuit to make sure most things were turned off (had to adjust the light that was on a timer, and turn one or 2 things off, including the TV) and we are back to normal!

It just takes one day like that to be so thankful for electricity, and all the things it does in our lives.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Family Turkey Craft

Last week C came flying home with a large piece of paper with a pattern for a turkey. It was for the whole family to work on together, and she knew I would love helping her with it.

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I went shopping in my craft room, and we came up with a whole bunch of stuff. We used 6 different fabrics for the tail feathers. C stuffed all of them.

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The wattle is on foam-core; and is kind of cool. It is white glue with salt encrusted in it, and then water color soaked into it. C painted it orange and then red, and it turned out great.

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C got a rubber band loom for her birthday to make bracelets, and that gave us the idea for the feet: rubber bands around pipe cleaners.

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We made the base for the whole bird out of foam-core as well, and painted the edges and the background so the white wouldn't show through. C did the painting.

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The beak is made from a pistachio nut shell, the wings are made with real feathers, and--crisis adverted--we found a googly eye in the button jar. We tried a bead, and we were talking sequins, but the googly eye fit the bill.

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We are very pleased.

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We hope the teacher likes it as well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

October knitting and Halloween

I did get a little knitting done in the last month or so. These mittens were a KAL (knit-a-long) on the "I knit mittens" Ravelry group for July. DD2 likes them and they fit her, so they are hers. I didn't start them until the end of the month, after I had seen the finished product; I tend not to like mystery projects.

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C was Dorothy for Halloween. (She did have ruby slippers, but didn't have them on for this shot. She also had Toto in a basket.)

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Everyone greeted her as Dorothy; she was really cute. P did have a Minecraft Creeper head, which he did like; but since it was almost raining, and his "head" was cardboard he decided to stay home and help hand out the candy.