Thursday, November 29, 2007

Christmas Knits

It seems that I'm cruising right along with my Christmas Knits. I'm still a little concerned about getting a few projects done on time, but hopefully I'll get it all done. I have a lot of knits to be shipped out to loved ones who live out of state, and this year I've just given myself permission to finish those and ship them out after Christmas. This usually happens anyway, and giving myself permission to do so has relieved a LOT of my holiday stress. I do have several things finished...

The Concord Socks:

  • Concord Socks
  • Pattern - I didn't really used one, though I based them on the Yarn Harlot's Basic Sock Recipe.
  • Yarn - Lamb's Pride in Iris
  • Needles - Size 1 circs.
  • Other info - I'm happy with these socks. They are a gift for someone & I am confident they will fit perfectly. I tricked her into trying on the first sock when it was almost done... she thinks they are for someone else!
I also got one washcloth finished:

  • Lace Washcloth
  • Pattern - I just used the "Light Tulle" stitch I found in my handy-dandy stitch dictionary
  • Yarn - Sugar & Cream in Ecru
  • Needles - Size 8 straights
  • Comments - This is the first of several that will eventually be shipped out of state. The stitch pattern was really simple, but turned out to be a bit time consuming. It's really pretty, but I'm not sure I'd do anything larger with it. Oh, and speaking of size, it got seriously shorter as soon as I bound off. I think the weigh of the piece hanging off the needles while I was working on it gave it a bit more length.

I have also almost completed 2 of 4 felted bracelet purses I'm knitting for the holidays.

I won't share all the specs yet, since they aren't finished yet, but I will say that I got the pattern from Crazy Aunt Purl's book, and I love it. I knitted each of these in a couple of hours over a few days. The one on the left still has to be felted; the one on the left, obviously, has already been felted. I just LOVE felting... don't you?

So, what's on the agenda next? I balled this up last night (while watching House on the DVR):

It's getting turned into some socks. I'm casting on tonight. This is the only project that really has me worried. The recipient lives here in St. Louis, and I will be seeing her at some point during the holidays. I really want to get them done, but I have only a month... The Concord Socks took me 6 weeks to finish... I don't have 6 weeks until Christmas... so wish me luck on this one.

In other news, I got a little yard work done today. It was sunny and almost warm, so I took advantage of a cancellation in my schedule and got the porch looking a little prettier. It was seriously sad looking since I had not yet removed all the dead vines and plants. I also raked the leaves and trimmed the irises down to the ground.

This was all just prep-work for tomorrow, though. It's supposed to be cold and rainy (with a possible wintry mix) all weekend, so I will be spending the better part of my morning tomorrow putting up the outside Christmas lights on the house. Yay!

I am SO READY for CHRISTMAS this year!!!!!

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Special Day...

Five years ago today, this little guy was born...

Two days later (on Thanksgiving Day) we brought him home...
I cannot believe Ty is FIVE YEARS OLD today. Didn't he just arrive yesterday???

He was very excited to have his birthday party on Saturday, and was practically buzzing with excitement when he woke up this morning. He ran into our room and asked (very loudly), "Mommy, am I 5 today?" He then jumped up and down and clapped his hands when I confirmed that, yes he is, in fact, five now.

I'm a little more weepy about this birthday than I usually am. I blame it on the pregnancy hormones, though I suspect it's really just because I can't believe how quickly he's growing up. On one hand I'm so excited to see the great person that he is becoming, and on the other, I wish desperately that we could slow time down... just for a bit... to give me a few more moments to enjoy and savor.

Ugh... I need another tissue.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

It's A................

I'm sorry to have kept you waiting for so long. I've received a few emails that expressed concern over my absence, and I want to thank those of you who sent them. Everything is fine with me, and with the baby. I wanted to post the results of the ultrasound and some other stuff, but I really just haven't had time.

We were out of town for two weekends in a row, and every work day in between I ended up working in my office until 9 or 10 o'clock at night. I can't figure out where all the extra work is coming from... I complete things on my to-do list every day, and yet it seems to grow longer every day.

So, without further ado, I give you...

Our baby BOY!!!!!! Yes, yes, yes. I know I said I was sure this baby was a girl, but the ultrasound tech was quite confident that the baby does, in fact, have a penis. We are all really excited (especially Matt & Ty, who wouldn't know what to do with a baby girl if one fell out of the sky). I'm not disappointed, as some people have suggested. I never said I wanted a girl. I said I thought it was a girl. I absolutely ADORE being the mother of a boy... well, two boys, now.

I must pause in my post to pay homage to my Grandmother. G-ma, you were right & I was wrong, and I'm just really glad we never made a bet on the gender of this baby. Because I would have lost. As usual, you have shown your wisdom and intuition to be far superior to mine. You may commence with the gloating...

Now all we have to do is decide on a name. If you have any good names that you would care to share, I'm all ears. We have a short list, and so far Jonas is leading the pack, but we've still got a ways to go, so who knows what his name will end up being.

And now onto knitting news.

I have no real knitting news. I finished a washcloth... one of several that will end up being a Christmas gift set. I also cast on for, and have almost finished knitting, a bracelet purse, for a special little girl for Christmas. It was a very quick knit, and should be quick to finish after I felt the crap out of it. I love felting, don't you?

I do have some spinning pics, though. It turns out that I don't suck at it as badly as I thought. Oh, that's not to say that I'm good at it yet, but I'm just not as bad as it seemed. I hauled out some better fiber and things have been going much better. I haven't had a lot of time for spinning, since we've been out of town lately, and since I'm not spinning any Christmas gifts, but it is on my list of things to do this holiday weekend.

Not bad, huh? I'm pretty pleased... it looks pretty much like the pictures I seen on some of the other blogs, so I think I'm doing alright.

Oh, and now for some more exciting news. I got to spend the last two weekends walking up and down this road:

Isn't that so gorgeous? I took a bunch more photos, but this is one of my favorites. Since our St. Louis weather has been so warm and dry, the leaves hadn't fallen off the trees yet. It was beautiful. And one of the greatest things about this was that the nearest town (which consists entirely of two houses and a Quick-Mart) is ten whole miles away. We are not talking State Park here, people. This is serious "Drop-Off-Point, Missouri." "Middle Of Nowhere, Missouri." No rangers, no police, no cars, no cell service. (Okay, my iPhone got 3 bars every now & then...). No nothing.

Except for this:


He's a button buck. Yes, he's a little small, but food has been scarce this year. We had a serious frost in the late spring that killed all the little acorn buds on the trees. That was followed by a very dry summer that left us over 4 inches short in rainfall. The deer haven't had easy access to food or water, and as a result they're all a little scrawny.

My dad got a deer that same day, and I'm sorry to say that Matt did not. He had two chances, but didn't get a shot off the first time, and took a bad shot but missed the second. Poor guy. Since only the three of us went hunting, Matt was the only one who didn't get one.

Out of deference to the faint of heart, I have omitted the more explicit photos of the as-close-to-perfect-as-it-gets shot and of Matt field dressing my deer. (Normally I would have to do that part, but my doctor has advised me against that type of activity while pregnant. COnvenient for me, huh?)

I took it to the processor and will probably end up with a couple of small tenderloins and some summer sausage. Matt will go pick it up on Friday (while I clean house in preparation for Ty's birthday party on Saturday). Mmmm.... I can't wait.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a great weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

You Can Run...

...but you can't hide!

Yes, my knitty friends, it is that time of year again. This Saturday is the greatest holiday of the year. Well, I guess it's not an official "holiday," but to us it is. The State of Missouri will open the 2007 Deer Season this Saturday morning, exactly one half-hour before sunrise.

I am so excited, I might just go into labor! That was totally a joke. This baby had better NOT make an early arrival. Deer season comes but once a year, and lasts a scant 8 days.

My awesomely warm insulated pants do not fit right now. Well, they fit, but I can't get them zipped or buttoned, so I have to buy a pair of suspenders tomorrow morning. I will still be wearing them , of course, since it gets really cold out in the forest this time of year, and I HATE to be cold. Thankfully, my bright orange parka does still fit, so I should be pretty good to go.

Tomorrow is exciting for a bunch of reasons. Not only are we leaving for the "deer woods," but we have our ultrasound and checkup appointments. We will go first to the ultrasound, where we hope to find out what we are having. We're taking Ty with us, since it's his baby too. Then we will head over to the doc's office for the monthly weigh-in & check up. Oh, and I'll have to pee in the cup. Don't you just LOVE that part? Then Matt & I will be taking Ty to school, packing up the car & heading out.

To stalk, shoot at, and hopefully bag us a Bambi.

Don't be mad at me. I know, I know. They are beautiful, majestic and gentle creatures. I get that. I always get a little sad about the thought of killing one. But our state is currently in danger of being overrun by them, and that leads to a fate even worse than being shot. At least being shot is quick & mostly painless... If their population becomes too large, our forests won't be able to support them. They will end up perishing, en mass, by disease, starvation, or automobile. We are simply doing our part to control the population.

Also, did I mention the summer sausage & deer chili? Mmmmm.

Monday, November 5, 2007

It's fixed! It's fixed!

I'm very happy to say that the wheel is fixed. After a small amount of frustration (and the mild curse words that accompany) I finally broke down & asked Hubby to help. I'm sure Matt would have helped sooner, but he knows I'm very much a "I can do it myself kind of girl). He fixed it by noticing a screw that was missing. Okay, so I'm usually very detail oriented, but this trait can very quickly become completely eclipsed by my short tolerance for frustrating things.

I got to do some spinning on Saturday night. It took some time to get all my body parts coordinated, but I finally got into the rhythm. I learned a very important thing: I suck at spinning! I'm not upset or frustrated. I know it will come with time and practice, and I think with some better fiber. I did not expect to pick it up and be turning out fine handspun yarns on my first try, but, WOW, I am much worse at this than I expected.

I plan to try again tonight, with some different fiber. We'll see what happens.

In other news, we reached that totally AWESOME time in the pregnancy where, not only am I feeling GREAT, but I'm feeling the baby move all the time! At various times during the day I'll get bumped a few times... after I eat, after I work out... it's cool. And the bumps are sometimes strong enough to be felt outside my belly. Of course, this baby refuses to cooperate when Matt or Ty is around. I'll be sitting there, and I'll few a couple of strong bumps, and as soon as either of them puts a hand on the belly, the baby stops. I think Matt & Ty have both pretty much given up on feeling any movement for now.

Four more days, and then we get to see if Sweet Pea will cooperate with the ultrasound tech so we can find out if she's a boy or a girl... Did I say "she?" Yeah, well, my money's on GIRL. Despite what my very sweet and wise G-ma says. Sorry, G-ma... I think you're mistaken this time!!! I see pink dresses in our future!

Thursday, November 1, 2007


...Spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby, right round, round, round...

I am giddy as a school girl! This came in the mail (from the Netherlands)last week:
This was inside:
Despite some really crappy assembly "instructions," I managed to get it to look like this:
Now I just have to learn to use it. Oh, and I think I messed up one little portion of the assembly. I can't get the pedal-thingy to stay attached to the arm-thingy. (The instructions did NOT include the names of the parts of the wheel...) And, I don't really know how to use it. I have some fiber. I have a wheel. Now I just have to learn how to use the wheel to make the fiber into something I can knit with. Does anybody have Rumpelstiltskin's phone number or email address?
I am half-finished with a new Christmas Knit. It doesn't look like it from this picture, but I actually finished this sock last Wednesday. I'm calling these the "Concord Socks," because this is grape-harvest season in the Missouri Wine Country, and this yarn is almost the exact color of concord grapes. This was my fastest sock yet... completed in about 8 days.


We had a great Halloween yesterday. Tyson had fun at his preschool party, and loved going trick-or-treating last night. He was pretty shy at first, but after he received a few pieces of candy for his efforts, he was crazy with the doorbell ringing! (Check out that puppy dog costume... sewed by yours truly...)

We also had a great time camping over the weekend. I took the camera, but like a dope, ended up leaving it in the car all weekend, so no pictures. Ty got to go trick-or-treating around the camp ground and ended up FILLING up his pumpkin bucket. He has more than enough candy to last his until Easter... provided I can keep Hubby from raiding it when Ty's not looking.

Oh, and we will hopefully find out if Sweet Pea is a boy or a girl next Friday (Nov. 9)!!! I am COUNTING THE DAYS...