Thursday, February 25, 2010


The rain all around us.

Two recent Goodwill finds - a near-perfect wedding ring quilt for a few dollars and a new mug (with nettles tea... oh so good for pregnancy).

A new stash of library books. And I'm really enjoying them.

Eloise try and sleep while the boys run around her yelling and playing.

Thinking about

Homeschool perspectives and loving her thoughts
Acquiring more of these
Remembering this, always
How much the boys would LOVE to be here

Dreaming about

A bedroom in white
A cozy kitchen with a blue table
A window seat I could spend all day in
A brick wall fireplace
An outdoor space that makes me happy
Another kitchen I want to cook in

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Knitting 101... try, try again.

I'm realizing, not too late I hope, that everything that's worth learning takes time and sometimes involves many do-overs. With knitting, I find that I have to start over more often than I'd like to but I just tell myself that it's one more lesson learned and next time it will be easier. This was one of those times when I thought I knew what I was doing but the finished product turned out pretty bad. I mentioned before that I was working on a bulky blanket for the baby. It's pretty straight forward and I've been knitting for awhile now so I didn't think there would be any problems.

The biggest hitch came when I was knitting the green edge in the round. Meaning that I used circular needles so I couldn't see the shape of the blanket until I was completely done with it. And this is what I saw when it was all finished... ruffled edges because two of the sides had twice as many stitches as the other. I knew right away what I had done and it's a rookie mistake which is frustrating when my time to sit and knit is so precious. The blanket is supposed to be perfectly square but as you can see it was not.

And each of the corners were off kilter and looking more rounded then square. I put it away for the night but decided I loved the blanket and yarn enough that it was worth another attempt.

Thankfully I had just bought a new yarn winder a couple of days before so taking out my work was easy. No loose yarn to deal with and wind back up by hand.

Once I got back to two perfect skeins of green yarn I cast on again and started over. It was much easier this time to pick up the stitches on the uneven sides which is where I went wrong the first time. It's easy to edge something when you are following the next stitch on a pattern... not so easy on the sides of the pattern where it's less obvious where the next stitch will go. And that was my problem.

But a day and a half later, baby's blanket is finished... correctly.

I love the way the pattern calls to fold over the edging and bind off which not only makes the edge thicker but also cleans up the look.

Each corner squared out nicely. The yarn is an incredibly soft wool/organic cotton blend from Spud and Chloe. I used the Outer yarn in Flannel for the bulk of the blanket and the Sweater yarn in Grass for the edge. The best part is that it's washable.

Sawyer says he approves and I hope baby G will love it also. Only 6 1/2 weeks to go!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Birthday in pictures

Our earlier crafts...Window stars hanging just below the birthday sign.

And star lanterns made of watercolors painted by the boys.

Guests dressed in their finest

And new baby cousins to squeeze and kiss

Lots of help unwrapping the presents

Wonderful gifts, handmade and bought, that will get a lot of love.

Blowing out 5 candles this year

And becoming Indiana Jones.

A perfect birthday.

Friday, February 12, 2010

birthdays and birds

Valentine's Day? Around here it's known as Ian's birthday. We've gladly pushed the chocolate-giving, love-enducing holiday to another time. Every year I think about doing Valentine's crafts but the bigger of the events takes over and we never seem to mind. So this week we've been planning menus and thinking of birthday decorations that we want to have around the house. We are celebrating with family and friends tomorrow morning and there is a lot of excitement in the air.

Donuts are out the window (the smell of heated oil was too much for me... ick. And gluten-free dough just doesn't have the same hold as regular flour dough and the combination did me in). Instead we are doing muffins and salads and egg dishes, lots of coffee, and a huge chocolate cake to top it off.

We've been busy with little birthday crafts here and there.... watercolors...

tissue paper and glue....

and they are turning out pretty cute. (Finished craft pictures to come...)


The other event that's happening this weekend (no, not the Olympics although I'm giddy they are starting too). It's the Great Backyard Bird Count. We started it last year and we've carved out 15 minutes today to just sit and watch. We've got our bird books, hoping to identify some of them, but mostly hoping to see a few even though it's raining. It only takes 15 minutes and a few moments online to add your own bird count and then it gets included in the national total.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Birthday planning

We are beginning to plan for a birthday party around here. Ian will be 5 in 12 short days! He helped me write his invitations this morning and we've spent the past week talking about food and cakes (chocolate for sure... and he's adamant about it). We've decided on a late morning/ early lunch get-together and we knew right away that donuts must be on the menu. It will be an easy run to the donut shop for everyone else and for those of us with gluten intolerances, I will be making some homemade ones. I'm sure the boys won't be too upset to try my practice donuts this week. We almost have a 5 year old in the house!

And if today couldn't get any better with talks of birthdays and donuts... the sun is out. The windows are open and we are soaking in the sun and the fresh air. Our chickens were happy to have some company in the yard and clucked around our feet picking at bugs and grass. I know it's a few months away still... but Spring is definitely in the air today.