Friday, December 14, 2012

At Play

Here's just a small peek into some of the creativity and play that's been happening around here this week. The boys have been hammering and drilling away some little wood projects -I'm not sure exactly what yet...

The smallest as learned to carefully line up my old cabbage patch and strawberry shortcake dolls and then march through their freshly created order like Godzilla, growling. Her older brothers insist that this wasn't taught, and that she's just naturally awesome. I think she's pretty awesome too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Yarn Along

I decided a few weeks ago to make up a few of these stars-
not as a garland like the pattern suggests, but just as individual ornaments for gift toppers, or a little something to hang on a bottle of wine etc.
 I used utility twine which isn't very pliable so the stars don't have a real "point" to them, but I like the way they turned out regardless. I'm not even 100% certain that this twine is even cotton or acrylic...i'm thinking it might be paper, It's really hard to tell.
I might make up a few more though in something different just to see how it turns out.

I'm also making a few of these for gift exchanges-owlie coffee cup cozies. In order to fit in the whole owl these do turn out a little long, so maybe they're not suitable for a small coffee cup, but lucky for me, I don't think I have any friends that would actually order only a small. Yeah, not happening. I still need to block this out and add some peepers!

I really wish I had bought more of this yarn though-it was a really cheap clearance sale early this autumn. At first glance it looks like grey marl, but then if you look really closely, there are tiny bits of colour running through it, like little pieces of bakers twine. I only bought one skein of this colour, and another in pink. Definitely kicking myself now.

I have a few other projects on the go that i'd love to post but i'll have to wait until after Christmas so I don't give anything away!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Wind All the Things! A Daybook Entry

Outside my window: a grey morning with drizzle. It's warm though, maybe we'll take a walk later.

I am thinking: of my daily tasks and what order I should do them in. Our living room is in shambles after getting some furniture out of the house and some new (used) furniture into the house. I've finally gotten my Christmas decoration bins out of the living room and put back in the basement.

I am thankful: for my new yarn winder and also a new serger! (I may have gone a little overboard with the yarn winder but I couldn't help myself.) A friend at church gave me the serger and I can't wait to set it up.

In the kitchen: I haven't started today's bread yet (well, tomorrow's) but aside from bread, I'm hoping to make some of these Lemon Ricotta Cookies. I've never made them before but I happen to have a huge tub of Ricotta cheese, and I've been wanting to try these for a while. If they're good I might include them in some Christmas baking for gifts.

On the needles: I have too many projects going on right now, but in short, working two pairs of slippers for the boys. I'm making them with leather soles and crocheting the tops. Also working on two cowls, and one hood/hat for gifts. I'll explain more tomorrow for yarn along.

I am wearing: The most comfortable yoga pants ever, cushy thick socks, a domo t-shirt and a knit cardigan. My hair is up in a twisted bun, held up by a paint brush. I may not look classy, but i'm cozy!

I am creating: Later today I hope to work on a little set of wooden peg people for Lotte for our nativity set. All the people that came with it are glass and not very play friendly, and I really want her to be able to play with it. Growing up we had an antique plastic set and the heads came off, and my sisters and I used to switch Mary and Joseph's heads. We were horrid children.

I am wondering: how long Lotte will nap today-her sleeping has been horrendous again lately.

I am reading: I have been getting some crafty (and yummy) Christmas inspirations though from a few fun magazines, like the British Country Living Magazine.

We are learning: About India. We had friends visiting over the weekend who are missionaries in India. The boys soaked up all the tales from far away and are so fascinated by them all. As I tucked them in to bed they were still rattling off some of the details of the stories, just in case I had missed out. I smell a homeschooling project coming on.

I am listening to: Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. What would the Christmas season be without these two?

P.S I was recently inspired by a friend who used some prompts for her blog post so I'm borrowing her idea and tweaking it a bit with a few of my own.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yarn Along

It's getting to be that time of year where I can't post much about what i'm working on because I don't want to spoil gifts for anyone!
All I can say is that presently, I'm using this wool to make something on the "chunky" side. Not that this wool would ever be the makeup of anything may as well be roving! 

I love the colour, it's a deep moss, but it has tiny flecks of rust and indigo here and there throughout the strands.
I'm also crocheting a few pairs of these slippers for the boys and Lotte. They look so cozy that I might have to make a pair for myself!

I'm not really following the pattern that came with the soles. The pattern suggested working the ankle and down. I would rather start at the bottom and work my way up, so that's what I've done and they've turned out well. Using chunky wool, I can polish off a pair in just a couple of hours, provided that i'm not interrupted. a true rarity. Someone is always needing something!

I'm going to put elastic through the sides around the tongue like a real shoe for easy removal, but so they stay comfortably secure while wearing. I also think i might put a button on one shoe and a button hole on the other, so when they're not being worn one can stay attached to the other. There always seems to be someone wandering around with one shoe asking where the other might be. Whether or not they'll actually use this system is yet to be known.

Lastly, I'll leave you with this sweet video..

Since 1955 Loes Veeristra knitted over 500 sweaters and stored them in her home, they have never been worn untill now… 

                     Het Verzameld Breiwerk van Loes Veenstra from Christien Meindertsma on Vimeo.

Monday, November 19, 2012


our weekend started with a slower saturday
breakfast out with church ladies at a new local restaurant that serves breakfast all day long
afternoon visit with the new babies 

who smell more amazing each time I sniff them
home to my own babies for lots of cuddles and snuggles and a movie night
high hopes of some uninterrupted illustration time

i'm a bit behind
grand mal household failure as our water intake began to leak
cleaned up, taken care of

and half an hour later our furnace sputtered sounds of death and dispair
space heaters rounded up and hauled in, blankets unfolded, socks doubled
furnace part ordered
the next 3-5 days will be furnace free, luckily we aren't in the heart of winter yet
need to find things to bake each day to keep the kitchen warm

I don't think we could (or even should) eat that much bread

I've been meaning to share this video of these talented girlies for a little while now-m
y nearly photo-free weekend (gasp) calls for perfect opportunity. enjoy!

playing along with amanda in ::weekending::

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Yarn Along

With the race being on to finish some Christmas knitting, I have several projects on the go right now. Some have only been cast on, some are a couple rows in. 
I like to have a few different types of projects going on so I can knit them depending on where I am- the ones that are less portable, or require the most attention I keep at home, but others I take with me in the car, or to waiting rooms and other similar places.

I cast on this lace cowl (a gift) about a week ago with the intention of it being the "keep at home" project. I'd never knit lace anything before so I thought it would require some more devoted attention. As it turns out though, the repeated lace pattern this cowl calls for is incredibly easy to memorize, and it's been easy to pick up and bring with me various places.

The only thing that's been a bit of a challenge is purling the yarn overs with these needles. I love my wood interchangeable circulars, but the tips just aren't quite pointy enough for lace.

Say what? Could it be true? Could I need more needles?
I've actually got it sort of figured out a way to make it work in an unconventional sort of way that seems to be doing the job thus far. And I don't know if I really want to go buy lace needles if I'm not sure i'll be knitting more lace. 

This is a fun cowl, but it's a gift. I don't know if lace is my thing. Who knows, maybe i'll fall in love with it, we'll see. I also said a while ago that I didn't have much interest in learning to spin etc, but.. opinions on that have changed.

Also, I've never blocked lace, so i'm counting on blocking to work every bit of it's supposed magic to make this cowl look like more than just a clump of yarn. I see the pattern in there, but it doesn't look like 'lace' yet. 
I'm really hoping it turns out though, because I used one of my favorite yarns for this one.

My reading has been curtailed significantly this week. I was partially through several good books this week (including the Yarn Harlot) when my ereader decided to retire young and move to Hawaii. I'm not entirely sure what happened to make it's screen turn into what looks like a 1984 "Etch-a-Sketch", but until I replace it, I can't finish those books. So sad.

Instead I've been listening to a lot more of a prairie home companion and some pod casts while I knit late at night. I'm enjoying some of the Knit Picks pot casts especially, they're full of good ideas and tips.

Monday, November 12, 2012


our weekend was spent completely (involuntary) in the comfort (?) of our own home.
the local flu hit us like a ton of bricks 
that brief but intense form of flu that leaves you wondering what's real and what's not
the "i don't remember how to knit, or even write my own name" type of flu
first me, then the boys
the littlest has been spared thus far, and i'm more than alright with that.
mark made sure that we were all well looked after with gingerale and dry toast
we had such lofty plans for this weekend, some of them recreational, 
like a birthday dinner for mark's brother
with my mother in law's amazing homemade lasagna
i'm really sad to have missed that

but then some of our plans were more necessary errands...
that really needed to be completed
like getting some fresh produce into this house
and babies can have their one year portrait taken at thirteen months, right? 
will her great grandchildren who one day admire her sweet baby portrait ever know the difference?

church was also missed which also throws our whole week off balance
throws me into some form of infinity loop
and makes me wander through the week as if dreaming
searching for a 'reset' button of some form

sunday afternoon the temperature rose to golden warm
the nausea began to slow, and the windows were all opened
there was a short, but much needed trip outdoors
into the freshness
and then back inside
where i finally got to admire and play with some of my recently thrifted yarn
tidy up a bit (goodness knows we needed it)
and then to curl up together as a family
and watch a movie 
only to discover, shortly after...

it's mark's turn
time to get some more gingerale!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

{Yarn Along}

Over the last couple of weeks I've been on a bit of a hiatus from the online world. It wasn't really planned, or completely intentional.
I had a few quiet days following an oral surgery and didn't bother with the computer much because I wasn't feeling up to it. Then things around the house needed caught up thing led to another and here we are, a little over two weeks later. Funny how that happens.

In the knitting realm though I've been quite busy. Lotte happily plays at my feet and wraps me to my chair with my balls of yarn. She loves to get into my knitting bag and unload it's contents and then pack it all back up again for me.

I could probably knit faster and more efficiently without the help of a toddler, but that wouldn't be any fun now, would it? I just don't think I'd enjoy it quite as much without my busy critter.

Here are a few of the projects that I've made/finished during my little break.
This hat, and this hat, for the new babies, and little sleep sacks

This was my first time cabling and I loved it. I can't wait to make more owls on a few upcoming christmas gifts. 

Addie has already christened her little sleeping bag with spit up.

Yes...we do family pictures at Ikea *all the time*. This was Addie and Joash's first venture on this sweet, Scandinavian pilgrimage though, so it needed to be thoroughly documented.

Also, I was finally able to photograph Lotte in her "Lovey Dovey", which was long over due. I finished this back in September, but I waited until her mid October birthday to give it to her since it was supposed to be her first birthday dress.
It turned out just as I hoped.

I think she's rather pleased with it too!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

{This Moment}

an evening autumn rain storm
the wind tosses crisp, coloured leaves against our house.
noses pressed up to the window, 
excited by the mixture of warm and cool waves of air gusting through the screen.
Then- through the rain, 
fire glowing sky 
lit by a coral evening sun, 
God's promise arching right over our house. 
two fold, 
one band of colour right over the other...
so large that I couldn't capture both rainbows. 


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yarn Along

Comin' into the game a little late (again!) but finally here. Illness has plagued our littlest and she, out of all of our children, has proven to be the most suitable prize winner for the most-pathetic-when-sick award. 

So it's sufficient to say that my knitting has been regretfully neglected these last couple of days. (and don't get me started on reading...)
Which is a total shame, since I've just been sitting anyway while holding a sick baby-she wouldn't have any of this knitting/reading nonsense though...
I decided to start this  cozy little owlie bag for my new infant niece, and hope to do one right after for her equally sweet twin brother-I think i'll make his in teal, I already have the wool and i'm eager to  use it. This was my first project involving cabling, but what can I say, I'm in love! I can't wait to do another cabling project.

All that's left of the first is the stockinette stitch and decreases. Plain stockinette stitch gets a little boring after a while, but it's a good travelling project. I really hope to finish these before they get too big for them though, they're growing quickly!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Better than Never...Some Late Weekending

This weekend was loaded with blessings:
a first birthday party with family
cupcakes with pretty pink frosting and little girls in birthday party dresses
little boys in handsome clothes...bigger boys to entertain
good movies, complete with popcorn and cuddles with Papaw
new baby dolls for the babies to cuddle
new babies for the mamas to cuddle
getting to know their apparently, already, quirky wee personalities
babies weighing enough to finally come home!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One Year...and a Yarn Along

One Year ago today our lives were changed forever when this sweet little girl came into our lives at just shy of 6 am, weighing 8lbs ad 3oz, on Thanksgiving Day.
I can't believe that a year has gone by already...too fast.
It feels like it was just yesterday that I was holding skin to skin, examining that precious face for the first time, in awe of just how much she looked like her Daddy and her brothers.

Smelling the top of her head and kissing it, marking her territory on my heart forever. 
A roly-poly ball of pudge, full of those sweet newborn creases, and dark, gentle little eyes that only opened when the lights were dimmed, and soft, sweet breathy coos and sighs, content, full-belly yawns and snuggles.
The middle of the night conversations we'd share, getting to know each other, tying our bond. The whispering in her tiny ears of all my love and promises.
She's grown so much, and has turned into my very own little baby doll. I can't imagine our lives without this precious creature! She brings us such joy and happiness, and it's so rewarding to watch her learn and grow into the sweet, happy little girl that she's becoming. 

I wanted to make her a quick, last minute birthday sweater, something light for early Autumn. I chose the plain vest for it's simplicity and it worked out perfectly. Not too hard, and took less than a day. The decreases were a little tricky to work out since the pattern doesn't specify, but it was a good learning experience.

Lotte enjoyed modelling her new sweater for me, I think she was just about as pleased with her little sweater as I was!

 Mark thought that the sweater better be tested for flight as well, so they gave it a quick spin in the air, in a game of Daddy tosses baby. Normally this game makes me kind of nervous, but trying to focus the camera during this event gave me something else to well,, focus on.

I've cast one a new project, and hopefully will be able to get it done quickly. I needed to make something for the two new wee babes that arrived recently, but it took me a long time to figure out what. 
I've decided on the little owl sleep sack, I think i'll be able to get two of those done pretty quickly. I've never cabled before but I've just started and it looks like it's all working out right.

These sweet babies have been gaining well and will be coming home soon and I want to be able to give them their little snuggle bags when they do!

Monday, October 1, 2012


Our weekend was loaded, but oh so blessed.
It seems like only yesterday that we were
welcoming my new baby niece and nephew into the world. They've grown so much, and are doing so well. They bring us all such joy and laughter, and now I can't imagine our family without these sweet souls.

This weekend we welcomed two more babies, born to my other sister, again boy and a girl-
this time not as early, which is pure relief, but early enough that they still need to *bake* a little longer. I haven't been able to meet them yet because I've had a cold and didn't want to bring them that kind of a present. 

This is a joyous occasion, and our family is celebrating the arrival of two more tiny blessings, however, it is bittersweet. While we did welcome two new babies, there was also a third babe who was scooped up in the arms of God and taken to heaven to live with him, much earlier than anyone can comprehend.

This verse has been in my mind all weekend as I rejoice and give thanks, but also weep for my sister and her husband...
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” ~job 1:21

I'm trying to let go, and stop trying to understand.


If we could easily understand God, and all that he does, and his great plan, he really wouldn't be the almighty God, would he?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

{Yarn Along}

I decided to avoid the many projects that I have to block by starting another on the weekend. Makes sense, right? However, I feel like I can't take a photograph of my finished projects until they are I'm going to try to get that done this week.
I started the
Honey Cowl that I wanted to make for my sister. She saw the yarn on my table a while back and while she's not a knitter, she has an appreciation for beautiful colours.
This knit up super fast because I used a much bulkier yarn than the pattern called for, and obviously cast on fewer stitches.
I'm at the very end though, and have half of it bound off. Here's the kicker though. I don't think I have enough yarn to finish binding off, so I'm playing chicken with what I have left. I'm at that point where I think I'm going to rip it back a row and bind off there (which I can afford to do, because I accidentally knit an extra row anyway and left it.)
Or, i could pick up a really close bulky strand and bind off with that...I'm not sure I have anything that would blend well though. I'm going to have to dig.

No massive reading accomplishments here this week. I'm almost finished "one thousand gifts" which is proving to be a slow, but good read.
Looking forward to seeing all your projects this week.