Tuesday, December 25, 2007
O Christmas Tree....and dinner's in the crock-pot
Most of the presents are wrapped and one isn't because I took the beautiful red ribbon off the hank of glorious sock yarn. I made it into a cake and stuck some bamboo needles in it. The red ribbon said, "Proud to be an American".
The rooster and hen are in the picture because I forgot to send them to my mother. How could I forget to do that?
Well, I placed them in the condo like decoration and....well....forgot. I'll send them before the new year.
Christmas dinner is cooking in the crock-pot, too! I'm having a non-traditional pork loin and sauerkraut dinner. Besides beef roast, this is a very favorite that I grew up with. I don't have potatoes but I do have a sweet potato to place on top about an hour before I want to eat.
Is there anyone else who is having a non-traditional dinner? Tell me about it!
Monday, December 24, 2007
A New Christmas Story
Halfway through December we were doing the regular evening things when there was a knock at the door. We opened it to find a small package with a beautiful ceramic lamb inside. We looked at the calendar and realized that the 12 days of Christmas were beginning!! We waited excitedly for the next night's surprise and only then, with the gift of a matching shepherd, did we realize that the lamb was part of a nativity set. Each night we grew more excited to see what piece we would receive. Each was exquisitely beautiful. The kids kept trying to catch the givers as we slowly built the scene at the manager and began to focus on Christ's birth. On Christmas Eve, all the pieces were in place, but the baby Jesus.
My 12 year-old son really wanted to catch our benefactors and began to devise all kinds of ways to trap them. He ate his dinner in the mini-van watching and waiting, but no one came. Finally, we called him in to go through our family's Christmas Eve traditions, but before the kids went to bed we checked the front step-No Baby Jesus! We began to worry that my son had scared them off. My husband suggested that maybe they dropped the Jesus and there wouldn't be anything coming. Somehow, something was missing that Christmas Eve. There was a feeling that things weren't complete. The kids went to bed and I put out Christmas, but before I went to bed I again checked to see if the baby Jesus had come-no, the doorstep was empty.
In our family the kids can open their stockings when they want to, but they have to wait to open any presents until Dad wakes up. So one by one they woke up very early and I also woke up to watch them. Even before they opened their stockings, each child checked to see if perhaps during the night the baby Jesus had come. Missing that piece of the set seemed to have an odd effect. At least it changed my focus. I knew there were presents under the tree for me and I was excited to watch the children open their gifts, but first on my mind was the feeling of waiting for the ceramic Christ Child.
We had opened just about all of the presents when one of the children found one more for me buried deep beneath the limbs of the tree. He handed me a small package from my former visiting teaching companion. This sister was somewhat less active in the church. I had learned over time they didn't have much for Christmas, so that their focus was the children. It sounded like she didn't get many gifts to open, so I had always given her a small package - new dish towels, the next year's lesson manual - not much, but something for her to open. I was touched when at Church on the day before Christmas, she had given me this small package, saying it was just a token of her love and appreciation. As I took off the bow, I remembered my friendship with her and was filled with gratitude for knowing her and for her kindness and sacrifice in this year giving me a gift. But as the paper fell away, I began to tremble and cry. There in the small brown box was the baby Jesus. He had come!
I realized on that Christmas Day that Christ will come into our lives in ways that we don't expect. The spirit of Christ comes into our hearts as we serve one another. We had waited and watched for him to come, expecting the dramatic 'knock at the door and scurrying of feet' but he came in a small, simple package that represented service, friendship, gratitude, and love.
This experience taught me that the beginning of the true spirit of Christmas comes as we open our hearts and actively focus on the Savior. But we will most likely find him in the small and simple acts of love, friendship and service that we give to each other. This Christmas I want to feel, again, the joy of knowing that Christ is in our home. I want to focus on loving and serving. More than that I want to open my heart to him all year that I may see him again.
Don't forget the reason for the Season.
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Get a sandwich....this is a long read
I miss my father:
My mom and dad divorced when I was 6. I am the oldest of 3 girls.
He would visit us each weekend and make us dress up nice. We were reminded about where to place our feet when we got in his car.
Even if the cup was too big or the liquid too hot, we were not allowed to hold it with two hands or "slurp". He was very strict and almost everything I did irritated him. I got to thinking he didn't like me.
I turned 19 and lived a few streets from him. That's the year he disowned me (it's now been 30 years). I wrote him a while later and got the letter back with his handwriting on it - "Refused. Return to sender."
It was unopened.
Like a glutton for punishment, I wrote him for the next 5 years without a return address label. I didn't hear back from him.
Just two years ago, I made a birthday card for him with a picture of me (when I was 6) on the front. Inside, I just wrote that I loved him and missed him. I included my address.
I didn't hear back.
I miss my first husband:
Mike and I married when I was 21 and he was 34. Two months later, he turned 35.
He was a nice man and we were always interested in what the other person was interested in. Here's one of many stories: He was a city boy and I, a country girl. We had some chickens and he asked me, one day, where the egg came out of the chicken. I was giggling inside when I took him outside, picked up a hen and held her upside down. Her little bottom was right there for all to see and Mike gasped with disgust saying, "Oh, that's disgusting! I'm never eating another egg!"
Well, he did eat eggs after that. :)
Why do I miss him? I realized that not all men were like my father. Mike was nice, caring, protective and loving. I lost a part of my life when he was shot and killed 2 days before our 5th wedding anniversary. He was a deputy.
I miss my first child:
Jacob was born to me in 1985. I remember when I was leaving the hospital and sitting in the car waiting for them to place him in my arms. I was thinking - I don't know how to take care of him and they're trusting him to me! I was so scared but things worked out. He was such a good baby.
I got to have him for 3 1/2 years until his father legally took him from me. I was moving to another state and he had me served with papers preventing me from taking Jacob out of state.
I was already packed and just leaving when I was served. I looked around in shock and then noticed Jacob's father leaning against his car grinning and waving.
Another part of my life was lost.
Lots of stuff happened in between after I moved. I was also going through a divorce from my second son's father who left us when our son was a month old.
My heart hurts to this day with the loss of Jacob. I can never get it back.
I miss my attorney friend:
I met Randy Walker, after I became a Reserve Police Officer, in 1990. He was the prosecuting attorney for the City. We just hit it right off and had a long platonic relationship.
He divorced years later. About a year after that he met and rekindled his friendship with a widow that he knew in kindergarten. How cool is that?! He asked me to knit him a pair of kilt hose in his clan colors to wear in his wedding to Pam. He bought the yarn and pattern and I was more than honored to knit them up. Just about 2 years later, at the age of 56, he made Pam a widow again. I think I cried a long time and not just for myself. Sure I miss my dear friend but I can imagine the loss Pam felt. They were so good for each other.
Well, that's enough for today since I have started crying!
Another day, I'll write what I am thankful for (which is a great deal!).
Thank you for visiting my blog. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
After a snow storm....
......you just never know what might move in.
I was walking around and saw we had two squatters.
I don't know how long they will be around but we will all be keeping a close eye on them.
So far, they're pretty quiet and keep to themselves.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Not the same Mr. Greenjeans I grew up with......
The pattern can be found at Knitty.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Longies are finished!
The pattern is called Nether Garments in "Knitter's Almanac" by Elizabeth Zimmermann.I knit them with US sz 6 needles and flew through the Non-Pithy directions. :)
Will I make another pair?
I am waiting for my order from School House Press. The yarn of choice is Canadian Regal (a very close substitute for 'fisherman' wool). This time I will cast on more stitches at the ankle to incorporate a tapered look on the sides. Oh, I can't wait!
My wool order also includes Sheepsdown to knit the 'Hurry-Up Sweater' for my son. That, too, is in the same book.
Once you have the book, you can join the group, Elizabeth's Year, that finally encouraged me to finally start knitting from it.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Now you know what color my longies are
I never thought these would be easy to knit.....but they are! The instructions can be found in "Knitter's Almanac" by Elizabeth Zimmermann. This pair is knit with Knitpicks Swish Worsted Superwash, in Dublin, using US sz 6 circular needles. I started out with dpn's, then 16" circs and graduated to 24" circs.
I plan on knitting another pair with some wool from School House Press.
If it's cold where you are, you just gotta try a pair. I've got to get back to knitting! Bye!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Garter Stitch Hat - in the round
I have rarely worn a hat since it doesn't get that cold where I live and I'm not out in the cold that long.
Well, in my daily brisk walking I realized the winds have picked up a cold front!
After that walk, I came in and turned to my trusty computer to find something to knit up to wear around my little ears.
This "Cold Weather Hat" is perfect! It's knit in the round with two strands of worsted wool. I searched through my stash and found these two skeins........
.......and knit them into this.
It was a quick knit and I did one thing different - on the even rounds [of the decrease rounds], I purled them so as to keep it looking, well, like a garter stitch hat.
Well, I'm off now to take my brisk walk in the brisk cool air.....and I won't worry about my little ears getting cold.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Socks for Kevin
THAT part of the sock knitting put these on hold for way too long. I don't know what I was so afraid of!
These socks went to Kevin, my son's friend. The green pair represents Tri-Force and the red pair represents Power Rangers. There are probably several of you who knew who those characters were. I had to learn. :)
I love the way they turned out and Kevin was ecstatic when he received them last night!
These were knit with Dale Baby Ull.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Fair Isle sweater swatch made into a cap
Sunday, November 11, 2007
My Alpine bag
I did a few things different: I used a 3 stitch I-cord method to bind off the top, knitting extra I-cord for the knot in front and then making a small opening at the back (for the closure). Next, I knit the handles 60" long with a 4 stitch I-cord using two strands. After felting and drying, I weaved the cord in and out in different directions.
Did I mention ~ I LOVE MY BAG??
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Leisure socks ~ a gift
The pattern was easy to memorize and I found that I needed to increase the circumference by 6 stitches more. Even going to 72 stitches would still be okay since the pattern draws in.
.....yes, that's another one of my old doilies. ;)
Just found out that the handpainted yarn can be found at: Ladybug Sewing-Knitting, 121 Center St W., Warren OH 44481-9313. Phone: (330) 847-9965
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
The Sweater my son wants me to knit
Two doilies made for my mom
I took these pictures a couple years ago but made these more than 15 years ago while visiting at my mother's place in Colorado. I always have to be making something so these were it.
I believe the top doily was from an Old World/Old Time Crochet magazine and
Sunday, November 4, 2007
My son loves my socks!
The yarn is DG Confetti 100 superwash, color 14.04.
I am a loose knitter and have to resort to US sz 0 needles when using fingering weight yarns. It's a bummer when I read how others use sz 2 or 3!
I think I'd like to knit some fingerless gloves with this yarn to match his socks. Hmmm.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Fresh Corn Tortillas
Masa, a little salt and water make up what's in the bowl covered by a damp towel. The damp towel keeps the mixture moist.
Then to the right of the bowl is my press. I place about a tablespoon of the dough, slightly flattened, between a Ziploc bag with 3 sides cut off. I have my cast iron pan, hot with low-medium heat and use a metal spatula to turn them.
This picture shows what it looks like when it's flattened. It comes off the plastic bag real easy.
I melted cheese on the corn tortillas and ate them with my own salsa.
I have a feeling I might wake myself up in the night with garlic/onion breath.....but ohhhh, it was worth it!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Did anyone know I was gone?..and The Road Trip
Pictures are of Mt. Shasta with a hint of sunset on the top; The full moon; the full moon and Mt. Shasta; and then the blood red sun setting in Barstow.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
A new book, mug and something special
Saturday, October 20, 2007
My 3 Scarves are HOT!
(Jalapenos given to us from a grand couple we know, who grows them....and they are hot and delicious!)
Monday, October 8, 2007
A Double Rainbow
Isn't it supposed to bring good luck when you see one of these?
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Icelandic Lace Shawl update
Monday, September 24, 2007
A meager beginning on a lace edging...
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My Swatch(es) for Secret of the Stole
Here is my first swatch using Jaggerspun Zephyr - knit with US sz 4 needle.
Here is another swatch using Knitpicks Bare - knit with the same needle size.
Did I forget to place a ruler or some sort of measuring device with the swatches? Of course......but I'm not feeling well so I have an excuse......right?
So...which do you all think looks good? Scarlett says the dark one. :)
I also forgot to mention: You, too, can join Secret of the Stole by Nautical Knitter! She told me there are 17 days.....and counting, before it starts! Membership closes October 4th.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
I taught my son well.
It brings tears of warm fuzzy feelings to my eyes each time I look at it. Of course, he isn't that little anymore. He's in college, stands at 6'3" and weighs in at 190 lbs.
You know the things I wrote in my profile? Well, I taught many of those things, that I learned, to my son. I taught him to read and write; to be kind to and respect others; to respect women; to tell the truth; to not spend what you don't have and save for a rainy day; to try new foods and to eat right; to knit; to love animals; to fish; to ride a bicycle; to drive; to change the oil in our truck; to read about firearm safety BEFORE I would teach him to shoot; to have an imagination; and many more things.
So, how is he now that he's basically on his own? He eats well and works out to keep in shape. He doesn't eat sugar, drink soda pop/alcohol or smoke; knit me a scarf; loves to read; wants to learn other languages; likes to fish; tells the truth; spends only what he has and doesn't touch what he saved to cover the deductible for his car insurance; is a good driver; has good work ethics; respects others; and he is kind, especially to me.
I love my son.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
MS3 finished.....and finally blocked
Saturday, September 8, 2007
My, oh, my.....the yarn feels so nice. It's JaggerSpun Main Line and feels like some of the lanolin is still in it. I got it from Sarah's Yarns and she is a wonderful person to do business with.
I am a loose knitter and I'm using Addi Lace Needles in US sz 4. So far, I like the way it looks and feels.
The pattern is from Knitting Daily or you could join the Icelandic Lace Shawl KAL. The KAL is warm and inviting with lots of help. It's kind of nice to know there are others working on the same project you are.
I've got a few toes to do the "Kitch" with on my BBS before I can resume knitting on it.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
One of the best places to visit......on the web
Monday, September 3, 2007
Here is the yarn before I started to "untangle it".
Here it is the next day - today - after I worked on it for a couple of hours yesterday. Is it progress?
Well, yes, in a way since I finally found the ends. Notice the 2 ziploc sandwich baggies with the little rolled up ends in them.
We'll see how far I get today.
If anyone has a better/quicker way to untangle such a lovely yarn, please let me know. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. My e-mail address is on my side bar.
I forgot to mention - it's Cherry Tree Hill. No, I didn't buy it this way. Someone had it and now I have it. :)
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Socks from my mom......for me
Friday, August 17, 2007
So The Thing is........Blog
The one entry that really got me was "Socks and Life Lessons".
I don't have time to read books (stories) unless they are about knitting, however ~ I have time for her writings. I wish I could write like her so I could really say something that would perk your interest so you WOULD subscribe. She's fantastic.
Oh, did I mention she also knits?
Sunday, August 12, 2007
When you look straight on at the scarf, it looks like it has just a striped design. It really is an illusion.
I designed and knit this in Cascade 220 a few years back when we DID have a Harley V-rod motorcycle.
I have seen illusion knitting on Knitty Gritty and visited various sites on the web. I just found a really good place, here, with FREE patterns. A really good book called 'Shadow Knitting' by Vivian Høxbro is a good source. The author really liked my scarf!!
There's even a yahoo group with almost 1000 members!!
Thursday, August 2, 2007
My name is Maria......and I'm a Bag-A-Holic
This is my bag after felting, adding stars and a handle.
It's fun to knit a purse every month but it's not a requirement.
Come join the group! Not only can you see the materials list for my cute bag for July ~ you should see the project for August! Wow!
Besides......what would one more project on the needles hurt? ;-)
Many, many thanks to Terry Ross, a fabulous designer.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Mystery Stole Clue #4 finished
Another thank you to Melanie, the designer. She's incredible. To be part of the next one, click on her name and join so you can be informed of the details!!
Before I start to knit lace, from a chart, I like to count the plain knit squares and write that number to the far right from where I read the chart. In other words, when there is a symbol and then blank squares - I write the number of the blank squares right after the symbol. That way, I don't have to scan across the row for the number and quite possibly lose my place - it's right there and waiting.
In order to keep my place, I place a magnetic strip ABOVE the row I am about to knit. I do this so I can see what my knitting should look like right below that row to make sure I place a yo in the right place, etc. I can catch errors much quicker that way.
I can breathe now as I wait for Friday and "Clue #5"......and knit on some other very important projects. I have bunches of socks for soldiers to knit and a summer sweater (or two) by Sally Melville.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Icelandic Lace Shawl
So what are you waiting for? Come join us for a light and friendly group! There's still time!!
Oh, yeah ~~ the pattern is FREE!
Friday, July 27, 2007
My socks match.......by color
Monday, July 23, 2007
Yes, I knit lace... but I can knit cables, too
I used a cable cast-on with this fingering yarn and US sz 7 needle.
I have worn it so many times and it's light as a feather.
Shades of purple call me all the time so, naturally, I knit it in this lovely shade of lilac.
This Aran Cardigan was knit for DH a while back. The pattern can be found on page 36, in "Two Sticks and a String" by Kerry Ferguson.
I used Cascade 220 and knit it longer than the pattern stated. It is a beautiful cardigan to knit. I need to knit me one, too, now that I have the experience. ;)