Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yarn Along

My Yarn Along knits for this week are not much different from last week. With the Thanksgiving holiday and family in town to celebrate, I didn't get as much knitting (or reading) done as usual, although I'm certainly not complaining. :)

I did receive a new book from my brother and his wife while they were in town. Although I enjoy cooking elaborate meals from scratch, it's nice to have some simple one-dish meals in the repertoire. I'm planning to try one of the recipes this evening, actually.

Even though the Yarn Along knitting looks largely the same, I have gotten quite a bit done. I'm on the last sleeve of this little baby sweater. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the stitching over the next 2 days so I can gift this sweet sweater over the weekend.

I'm also on the home stretch of Finn's stocking-stuffer socks. I've turned the heel on the second sock, and I'm halfway down the foot.

I have to say that I'm very happy with where I am on the Christmas knitting so far. I can always add more to the list, but I've accomplished more than I had this time last year. I should take a picture of the whole pile of Christmas knitting when I'm finished. I imagine that I would be surprised to see exactly how much I have accomplished when all of the handmade gifts are piled together. How is your holiday crafting coming along?

Monday, November 28, 2011

her handmade gifts

For many years now, the kids have watched me knitting, felting, baking and otherwise crafting Christmas gifts for various family members and friends. And every year when they ask me what I want for Christmas, my typical answer is something along the lines of "whatever you want to make for me". I always get the sweetest gifts that way, especially when Paul gets involved in helping the children make a gift for me (like last year when he took them to a bead studio and helped them each make a necklace for me).

Now that Elizabeth is almost 11, she really can make some pretty neat things on her own. She was just gifted a beading loom from my brother and his family, and she has really taken to making cool beaded bracelet designs. She began thinking of the family members who she might make a bracelet or beaded key ring when she decided she needed to make a list of all the crafting talents she has and a list of family members who might like a gift from one of her talents.

One of the other crafting items on her list was a potholder woven on her potholder loom. She only had enough loops left for one potholder design so she requested I buy more loops this week.

She also designed these knitted headband/ear warmers which are really a hat knit in the round then cast off when it was time to decrease. She thinks those might take too long to make for too many people so she's saving those for the end of her Christmas crafting endeavor.

Also on her list, but we still need supplies or she hasn't had a chance to begin, bead buddies, crocheted bracelets (which she dyes with food coloring and vinegar), dipped and rolled candles and origami animals. I think she has a great plan, and she's very dedicated to crafting as much as possible over the next month. I can't wait to see everything that she accomplishes!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Friday, November 25, 2011

{this moment} - cuddling with cousins

{this moment} - 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. See Soulemama to play along.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope your Thanksgiving is full of delicious smells...

butter shakers...

and candle makers...

Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yarn Along and holiday crafting

For Yarn Along this week, I'm still reading the same book, probably because I've spent all of my spare time crafting. I'm working on the front of the sweet little sweater I started last week, but I've got a bit of knitting ADD because I'm also working on a pair of socks for Finn, amongst other things. The socks are made from Stroll superwash yarn from Knit Picks in Riviera, a colorway that was discontinued last year, and I snagged several skeins for $2 each. I'm using the same Easy Toddler Socks pattern that I've made several times, only Finn's feet are getting a wee bit bigger so I'm making a few adjustments, but I'll post my notes on ravelry.

In other crafting, I spent the majority of last weekend working on Christmas gifts. For my Disney-loving nephews, I made pillowcases of Christmas Mickey fabric. (We'll be celebrating Christmas with my brother's family over Thanksgiving weekend, so my nephews will have a month of Christmas pillowcase use before Christmas actually arrives. Perfect!)

I followed the pillowcase tutorial that I've used before with the two contrasting fabrics at the edge of the pillowcase. I think this style looks so nice. I chose a Ho Ho Ho! fabric and a simple green stripe to go with the Disney fabric.

I also made this little knitted rug out of some scrap yarn (Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in Flame Rainbow, I do believe) to go with a tree house for Finn's birthday. I have much more crafting for this little gift so I'll share the whole thing when it's complete. :) The little rug is knitted in a linen stitch to look kind of like a woven rug.

I also found out last week that my father apparently had some expectations around receiving a hand-knitted hat from me for Christmas. So, I jaunted out to my local knit shop and found this soft Spud & Chloe worsted weight yarn in Lake and quickly knit up a basketweave hat for him. (Paul was kind enough to model!)

More to come as I busily elf together the rest of the crafting gifts! Handmade Christmas presents just make me so happy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

a visit to Bright Star

Elizabeth, Finn and I were invited to join Bright Star, a Waldorf-based nursery school started by a couple of friends from our Waldorf festivals community, this morning since Elizabeth's school is out for the week and one of her school friends, who is also part of our festivals community, would be at the school this morning. We headed over to our friend's house, where the school is held, with a pan of gingerbread, a craft for the older kids, and hearts thankful for the generosity of this little nursery school to share their morning with us.

When we arrived, the children were already busy chopping vegetables for the morning snack.

Finn brought his chopper and joined right in. What a beautiful sight! So many colorful veggies and children's hands lovely caring for their snack preparation.

Following the veggie chopping, Elizabeth began reading to one of the little girls, and quickly had a room full of quiet children listening to her story.

We had a brief circle time of singing, including Jump Down Turn Around Pick A Bale of Cotton, which I proceeded to hear sporadically for the rest of the day!

After a few songs, we headed to the backyard to take our veggie scraps to the compost pile. One of the older kids, turned the compost pile a few times while the others scattered to find other outdoor work.

The little ones brought bucket upon bucket of leaves to mix into the compost pile.

A couple of the older kids raked the leaves.

{random beautiful shot of sweet toddler}

The bulbs and plants were watered.

More leaves gathered and piled around plants to tuck them into the ground for the winter.

And some leaves left over in which to jump and roll around.

After a few races across the backyard, we headed indoors again.

While the snack was prepared, the younger children played.

And the older children worked on a cornucopia craft.

We then ate our simple snack of quinoa with sauteed veggies.

A helpful little elf washed all of the dishes when we were finished!

A sweet story time with the background music of the kinderlyre followed our snack. The sweet music and gentle story captured the little ones attention while their tummies digested.

Then we took a short walk to a nearby park where the big kids decided to become trolls under a bridge.

And the little ones relished their role of billy goats! Trip, trap, trip, trap!

Shortly it was time to return to end our morning and begin lunch preparation.

We had such a wonderful morning with the participants of Bright Star! I'm so glad they included us in their special day. I really believe there is such a gentle nurturing to the Waldorf method of early childhood schooling (and parenting!) that is simply lovely to behold.

Friday, November 18, 2011

{this moment} - John Hancock

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single double photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. See Soulemama to play along.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

::right now::

::creating Thanksgiving cards::

::making pilgrim paper dolls with Grammy::

::casting on Christmas present after Christmas present::

::reading Aesop's Fables::

::drinking tea now that the weather is cooling again::

::playing with trucks on a gray day::