Monday, August 27, 2012

Taking Our Time

We left our temporary home last week and have been working our way west to my in-laws' home. The time has been full of the outdoors. The kiddos have enjoyed running, jumping, hiking, fishing and getting all kinds of dirty. We swam in the waters of Pennsylvania and explored a fall in Canada. So far, all is good on this next adventure of ours.
Eamon has been in charge of the campfires

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Getting Over Myself


The doll from last week is almost finished. It is adorable. Once I accepted the yarn and tiny needles, it moved rather quickly. I just had to get over myself. The knitting is still a bit persnickety. Such a tight gauge in cotton worsted with small needles can get tricky. I find my hands need little breaks, so I fill in with my red garter sweater, which is slowly growing in length.

I think my mom will be pleased with it as a gift. I had really hoped to have it finished before we left DC, but I still have a leg to knit. So close! Aine has requested that I forget about her grandmother and give the doll to her. She really loves it. She is only appeased with promises to make her one. She is eager to pick out the colors for it. Later Eamon held up the doll and asked for his own. It appears to be a winner. In addition to their dolls, I plan to make a couple more for the holidays. I have a few nieces who just "need" one.

Reading has been intermittent this past week. I have been busy planning our next leg of this adventure. With a few days of camping ahead, I hope to return to the written word. I finished Plainsong and thoroughly enjoyed the story. I thought the character presentation was quite good and interesting- such a small peak into the lives of people. I started a beach read recommended by our local library entitled The Castaways. I have only just begun, but it has quite a bit of drama in just the first few pages.

Linking up with Ginny again for more yarn and book goodness.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saying Goodbye

We spent our last day here with friends at the park. It has been a wonderful experience in the Washington DC area. The kiddos have made some great friends and so have I. With these friends we have visited many of the local parks, picked blueberries, swam, and had oddles of fun. The homeschoolers here have welcomed us. Each one has made us feel at home. They have shared local events and must see activities. It was hard to say goodbye.

As we left the park each of the kiddos talked about the amazing people we have met. Eamon mentioned not only having friends among the kids, but also the moms. Aine realized how close she had become with the children and lamented running out of time to play at one friend's home. Even Benton talked about the friend he had at the park and the moms who fed him yummy snacks. We have been very fortunate.

As the car approached home, I realized we had left our rope at the park. It isn't just any rope, but a rope given to us by one of the families. It is a magical rope. Immediately there were calls to turn the car around and retrieve it. I really didn't want to drive back to the park, but I did. Our rope was still there hanging in the tree. I reached up and untied the knots bringing our link to these great people and this place home with us.

Friday, August 17, 2012

{this moment}


{this moment} - Joining Amanda in a Friday ritual. A single photo capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Powerful Motivator

Last year I finished up a doll that I had started several years prior. I hated the project. The yarn split and the needles were fiddly. However, the end result was adorable. Too adorable in fact. My mom saw the doll when she went to visit my sister and promptly requested one. She wanted to give it to her grand-niece. I complained. She assured me that it would be easier this time. I ignored her requests and offers of money. I claimed to have too many other projects. I hated the project that much.

Finally after enduring the guilt of ignoring your mom for five months, I succumbed to her pleas. I realized she and my dad would be traveling east and visiting with her intended recipient. I couldn't ignore her anymore. So last week I started another doll. I had leftover yarn from the last doll, and I firmly believed I had enough for this one. Not even close. I whipped up the panties for the doll with the old yarn. They went really quickly as did the hair, and I began to think my mom may have been right. I tried to cobble together enough yarn from the remaining partial skeins, but I soon realized I had to buy a skin tone yarn for the body and some for the dress. Since I was running out of time, I had to try the local chain craft store.

After hemming and hawing, I bought some cotton yarn. It is horrible. I am back hating the poor doll. The needles are small, and the yarn hurts my hands. I am halfway through the dress, and it is huge. Of course, I didn't check gauge this time (I didn't last time either). I am just hoping the increased size will translate throughout the whole project. This doll will definitely be much bigger than the last. I hope my sister realizes what a great gift she received, since this one may be a bit wonky in size. I would love to make two more for my new nieces, but I don't see that happening unless I find better yarn. Dishcloth cotton will not work.

When I have not been complaining about the power of guilt and my dislike of this project, I have been reading quite a bit. I am still working through Amanda's recommendations. I finished When God Was a Rabbit. I liked the characters and story, however the last half was not as good as the first. It seemed a bit disjointed. My next read is Plainsong. I feel as if I have read this in the past, but I don't think I have. I am enjoying the diverse characters in the book and the way the people are presented to the reader. It is a quick read, and I am over halfway through it.

Of course, this Wednesday I am linking with Ginny's Yarn Along. A Quick doll saving question -for those of you who knit with cotton, do you have any suggestions for this doll. Someone at my knit night mentioned cotlin from Knitpicks, but also said it hurts her hands. I would possibly like to make another, but I need better yarn. Would a superwash wool be just as good? Help! I am knitting on size one needles with yarn that I dislike. I need ideas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mama, It's Snowing


 
A gentle breeze moved through the trees as we sat surrounded by library books. Soft violet petals drifted on the breeze over the area. Benton and Aine ran in separate directions to play in sand and climb. Engrossed in his book, Eamon paused to look up. With utter delight in his voice, he exclaimed, "Mama, it's snowing!"

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Time for Dates

This weekend was spent dating. Every month Dave or I take each kiddo out on a date (on their birthday date for easy remembering). It is a big deal. Dave missed his dates last month, and I missed mine this past week. The kiddos have not let us forget. So this weekend was set aside for makeups.

Our dates were full of:
* breakfast out
* wandering Old Town Alexandria
* waiting patiently while mama perused the yarn store
* picking out a special color yarn for a shawl all ones own
* spotting a sign for chicken noodle soup and heading in for a bit of lunch
* taking the metro
* hitting all the cancel buttons on the vending machines hoping for a bit of money to be returned
* walking through downtown D.C.
* talking about art at the National Gallery
* bemoaning one's shoe choice
* wondering about nudes and period attitudes toward the human body
* marveling at the beauty of impressionism and noticing all the seemingly random brushstrokes
* discovering the beauty of all those random bites and how they contribute to the whole masterpiece
* deciding a little art can go a long way
* walking home with bits of treasure, holding hands, skipping and talking
* movie watching
* candy store
* trips on the metro and getting turned around
* finding our way
* returning renewed with that feeling of being so very special in the midst of this bigger whole.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Medalling

This time around, I did it. I medalled in the Ravellenic Games. Last time, I was overly ambitious and had a wee small baby. This time my goals were more realistic. I signed up for two events (corny, I know). I entered the Shawl Sailing event with plans to make the Ziggity shawl from Kirsten Kapur. It practically flew off the needles. In under a week, I had a gorgeous shawl in a smoky gray and black navy. Again, I have to say I love the yarn (Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light). I have a wee bit stashed to make a sweater, and I am eager to start. I blocked the shawl fairly aggressively and love the drape. It is a bit longer, so it wraps really nicely.
My second event was the Modular Medley. I came upon the event by accident when I read about someone else's project. I figured the backlog I had of granny squares would qualify. As soon as I cast off for the shawl, I picked up the crochet hook. I was able to catch up from week 4 on my granny square sampler afghan. Blair posted week 12 on Friday, and I plan to finish those three this morning. My goal was 16 grannies, and I easily have made 19. Those little squares are a great lesson in crochet. I have made so many cute patterns. Today at the park, the young girls were oohing and aahing over my collection. My kiddos love picking out the yarn colors from my bag for each square.

As soon as I finish my last granny squares, I will be picking up my mystery shawl. I have the final clue to complete. It is different from my usual style, but I am starting to really like it. Hopefully I will show it off next week. I have also been plugging along on the body of my red cardigan. It is a bit slow going on the body just good meditative garter stitch.

I am still reading When God was a Rabbit. I quickly picked up the newest Sookie Stackhouse book since my hold was available at the library. I only have a few more pages in that. It is good light reading about vampires. Crazy since it is not my usual pick, but a friend suggested them a few years ago and I actually liked them.

I am linking up again with Ginny this week for the Yarn Along. What has flown off you needles this week? Did you medal in the Games?

Friday, August 03, 2012

[this moment]

{this moment} - Joining Amanda in a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Ingenuity

Just a little rope and a bit of imagination are all that is needed to make park day a little more interesting.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Some Quiet Time

This weekend, Dave set off for a bit of an adventure with the kiddos. They had a wonder filled time and were gone just long enough. While the apartment was quiet, I caught up on the mystery clue for the Stephen West shawl. I am liking the design more, but still not sure I will ever wear it. I am curious about the next clue, which will be the last. I really wonder how the designer is going to end the shawl since I just did an i-cord bind on on the main section.
I also used the time to begin my Ravellenic Games project. I am knitting Ziggity out of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. I truly love this yarn. It is so very pretty. The pattern is flying off the needles. I have finished three of the four lace repeats. I think the result will be so nice when it is done. This one I will probably keep.
I am still reading When God Was a Rabbit. I am enjoying the work and it moves along quite quickly. This is a plus in my current life where reading comes in snippets. The kiddos and I started Farmer Boy (Little House) after finishing a quick chapter book that Aine received as part of the summer reading program. We listened to a bit of the Spiderwicks and Eamon had read the rest of the books in the series. We are now listening to some Cornelia Funke in the car.

So, what are you knitting and reading this week with Ginny? Are you participating in the Ravellenic Games?