Mar 28, 2007

The Seduction finally begins

I've always wanted to say something like that! What I refer to isn't relational, it's fiber-a-tional. Am I allowed to make up words here in the blogosphere? I hope so (although I have great family and friend relationships, I have begun to relate to fiber as well).

The Seduction part is the staff projects at Interweave know the lingerie ones. Well, Ann Budd didn't do anything racy. In fact she gave us a sock pattern called "Seduction". I felt I had to try, wanting to join in for Tammy's KAL for IWP, but it was expensive yarn.

So I substituted a yarn that might produce a similar gauge and had a simlar look. I chose The new Panda Cotton yarn by Crystal Palace made of bamboo and cotton is such a new sensation for me (I am a fairly new knitter so please bear with me as I continue marvel). It is really squishy, spongy and full of body. It is also verrrry stretchy. Now, I have knit with cotton before. Cotton and silk, yes. Wool, and wool blends. Alpaca too. Never have I knit with anything this squishy and stretchy. I feel a little like I am learning to knit all over again, with tension being a new world. However, I really, really like it. It's a little like loving Vanilla all the time, then finding that chocolate is fabualous, too.

I was given a book to borrow from a non-knitting friend and I just finished it last night. I think I started it yesterday. It captured my attention very easily. It is entitled "Knitting" by Anne Bartlette. Check it out. I heartily recommend it to all my knitting friends. It is literary and relational and knitting. What more could a fiber-lover want?

Mar 27, 2007

More than the shelves can hold? No!

Well, this has been a glutton of a book month for this house.

"The Wind and the Willows" by Kenneth Graham was the order of the day for our Girls Book Club at my friend Rena's house. We've been running book club together for several age groups of either girls or boys. I love teaming with Rena; she is so creative!

She also told me about some wonderful children's books about nature, by Margaret Williamson. Although they are out of print, I was able to get two of them for me and one of them for her collection. Aren't they lovely?

This one is another out of print book from an Amazon seller. It accompanies "The Child's History of the World" by Hillyer that we already know and love. I highly recommend this author for children's history for clear, charming and accurate presentations of history and art and even architecture.
I ended up at the local Education resouce store and couldn't hold myself back. See? The group here is what I came home bearing: more Drawing books, Ancient Greece and Rome coloring pages for the kids while I read to them out of "The Odyssey" and other fun (and gory) ancient books.
Of course, we also ended up with the Ancient Greece game and the solar system coloring pages.

Mar 24, 2007

Spring Skiing

Yesterday was our family "Ski Day"

As you may or may not know, any good homeschool curriculum allows time to provide proper Physical Education. Sooo...we really felt we had to go skiing.

We just couldn't help it! At least that's what we told ourselves as we joyously went trekking to the only local mountain left with snow.

We followed an old family tradition from my own growing up years and stopped at the doughnut shop on the way there. Memories. Good ones.

I got to bring my knitting bag and do a little knitting, too. Perfect day, really. If only we didn't have to get up at 4:30 am to get there. Oh, and the throw up moment wasn't too nice either. I'm not naming any names, though.

My littlest athlete is 5 years old and had never been skiing, but within two hours of entering the ski school, they had her independently skiing. On the lift. Even able to go on the intermediate runs. Wow. I guess they are good.

At the end of the day, I had four happy children, a happy husband and a finished sock. Not bad for some great phys. Ed.

Mar 19, 2007


Have you ever raised butterflies?

It happens so quickly!
We got ours, Painted Lady Butterflies, from Having just hatched from their eggs upon arrival here, they were almost too small to see. Within a couple of weeks, they were huge and hairy! Suddenly each one crawled to the top of the cup and hung into a J shape and ...within 24-hours became a crysalis, then emerged several days later. I wish I could get a good picture of them. This is the best I could do. Yeah, I know, the picture is not worth it, but your should see how cool this is. Really.

More kids over here today, this time for play dates and I am so glad! More knitting to be done!

This is a dpn holder from Kaity's Handmade, an online little store. I love it.

I am facing having to frog the Lady Eleanor Shawl. How long can I avoid the inevitable? Maybe till next week at least? The problem is an oversight on my part. I purchased 11 or 12 skeins of the Noro Silk Garden #88 for this great project. Then I went ahead and added 4 extra courses of the pattern to the project because I wanted to be assured I'd not have another shawl that I can't rally wear (shades of Ella haunting me here). So far so good, right? Well, adding the courses would be fine if I had an unlimited supply of the yarn, but now I hear they are not going to make it anymore in the color #88. Akk@!

Oh, and Books! I am falling in love with another set of George MacDonald books, Adela Cathcart, in three volumes from Amazon. This man is a master of good storytelling!

Mar 17, 2007


Babysitting and knitting are two profitable ways to pass the time.

When we occasionally take care of other people's children, something nice happens in my house. My (four) children get along better. They do more active things than usual, even. They speak more kindly and they learn to care for others. These are all benefits I am going for.

Oh, and the benefit of being able to knit most of the time the children are here. Here's what I got done while caring for a couple of wonderful kids:

This is a Children's Tunic by Knitting Pure and Simple. I am using 24" circular in size 8, with a great cotton.
Thanks for the OTS (Opportunity To Serve), guys, I thouroughly enjoyed the time to sit and knit.

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Mar 12, 2007

Lady Eleanor Shows her Stuff

First things first: My mother-in-law has an unaccountably fast heart-rate and is in the hospital, admitted since last night. I would appreciate any prayers for her full recovery and for love and peace to fill her.
My dad is still lingering in a sad way, and has a hard time eating some days. Please remember my mom and dad.

I have been receiving more books: "Scarf Style" was followed by "Wrap Style" and "Lace Style". "No Sheep For You" had also graced my doorstep.

This is my beginning portion of the Lady Eleanor Stole from Scarf Style. This is the kind of shawl I can REALLY wear. Cuddly, like wrapping myself in a blanket, almost.

I am awaiting the release of "More Sensational Knitted Socks", but consoling myself with "Favorite Socks" in the interim.
The yarn here for lady Eleanor is Noro Silk Garden color #88. I love the major color variations, but all in neutrals.
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Mar 6, 2007

Spring is here....

Spring has definitely sprung here in So Cal. My daffodils are merrily blooming and the Spring Eggs Wreath has officially been placed on the front door.

The only problem is that Spring doesn't really happen all that much here. Case in point: the weather forecast for Monday is 90 degree weather.

Tammy and I finished a Log Cabin Blanket for our friend Keri in honor of her soon to be born son. I'll get a picture asap!

Mar 5, 2007

Books for us!

I found some more room in our bookcase last week. All I had to do is move 35 books or so UP.

Yes, on top of the bookcase is plenty of unused, although dusty, space. Now I have more room for the long overdue knitting book purchases. Major Bonus!

You can see, at right a small section of books that have made the move, and look at all that room in the shelves themselves now. I even added a small SECTION now for the knitting books.

The UPS man has been busy coming to our house. Not only did I get three knitting books, but I also got some great titles for our household as well. "My Side Of The Mountain" by Jean Craighead George is one we've yet to try as a family, and I hope we get to reading it soon. Also received lately were two George MacDonald books, "Diary of An Old Soul" and "Sir Gibbie". I am in heaven.

Mar 3, 2007

The Big Fisherman, Imitation, Rebecca and Hatshepsut

This book was loaned to me by a friend who had just finished it and said it was a must-read. I agree. Who would've thought the same old story could be so new? I was watching the whole thing with new eyes, relishing the simplicity of the events and seeing them through several different players' viewpoints. I highly recomment this book, especially with Easter coming soon.

I have also been looking into Thamas a Kempis's "The Imitation of Christ" which is mind-bogglingly simple and so very important to me. This version is re-wrtitten and updated by Harold J. Chadwick and I hope he didn't maul the original to come up with this gem. I don't think so, as he puts notes all over to describe what he did and why. You never know, though.

Lastly, I am scampering through "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" and wondering why I never got to this book as a child or a teenager. I thought I had read all the typical "girl lit" available for serious young ladies. I didn't know such a gaping hole existed until now. What a joy. I like Rebecca better than Anne and better than Laura. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Oh, and Kenya. I am bgoing to have the pics soon, and much more about it in this blog.

For now I have been absorbed in our history co-op's play on Ancient Egypt about Hatshepsut, the only major female pharaoh. Although the play has been overwhelming at times with rehersals, costumes, props and sets, I have loved it and I am so very glad that Rena has kept the momentum going with it.

Costuming has been such a joke at our house:
The picture on the right is an UPSIDE-DOWN sewing machine. I was so frustrated; the fabric we chose wouldn't work with the machine. New needles, nothing worked. I even tried to read the directions, Tammy! I upended it to try to fix it, and suddenly the hilarity of the situation struck me, relieving much tension.
We sewed by hand. Done. Four egyptian costumes finished. Tomorrow is the day. All four kids are in it, and are having fun!