Saturday, December 27, 2008

End of the Year

Well, Christmas has come and gone again. I think the kids had a good time. It was a little disappointing; as no grandparents could come as planned. The weather was just too harsh.
But other than that, we had a great time. :-)

YS got some Knight Dress-Up, which seems to be one of the favorites this year. I love the way he wears the helmet, it cracks me up!

DD got her wishes- an umbrella and a stuffed horse. For whatever reason, she loves umbrellas, and promises to take better care of it this year!

ES is very happy with his little hand-held Cars game. I am so glad he figured out how to turn it down!! :-)

And Joel liked his gifts too! I designed this Ivy Cap on the "knit" as it were, and it worked pretty well for only having pictures to go by. It's a prototype, though, and I will be improving this pattern for sure before I put it up for sale!!

(He's so sweet to let me take pictures!! He really doesn't like it...)

And this is the dk basic black beanie. It turned out absolute perfection!!! I am so incredibly happy about it!! This is another I want to duplicate. I need to get better about writing the pattern as I knit it.........
Now I am working on a gorgeous merino scarf for Joel and some socks for me. I need them!! I have 3 pairs of socks now, and some of those have holes. I'd rather use my yarn and make some than go spend more money on socks....
One of my Christmas presents was the new Skatechurch T-shirt. Check it out here. It's exciting for me, b/c that is my husband on the shirt. That picture was taken on the Canada trip- the original shows my name on the board. Fun!!! I think it's cute that my husband who tries so hard to not be in pictures is now pictured on a shirt. :-)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Week

Portland is covered in snow. It's been snowing off and on for a full week. The last 2 weekends church has been cancelled b/c of weather conditions. Crazy. I'd never heard of CHURCH being cancelled before- and I'm sad. I miss it.

The kids sort of enjoy the snow-- for about 5 minutes at a time. It's just too cold for little city kids. Joel and I laugh, b/c we grew up in the country where the whole winter is like this- but our kids just don't get it. It snows like this in Portland once ever 10 or more years. The news is comparing this to 1994--it hasn't been this bad since then. Mild climate. This year, we're getting wind, snow, and freezing rain. Last night, the wind blew the snow around and we actually have drifts. Check it out:

YS couldn't go anywhere. He got a bit scared.

Joel offered 10cents to the first kid who jumped in the snow drift, so they both tried.

It was pretty cute. They are so light, they didn't even go in. Until they stood up, that is. ES enjoyed it for 10 minutes. Then it was too cold. DD helped Joel shovel for awhile, but even with 2 pairs of socks on, when the snow gets in your shoes, your feet get cold!

The snow drifted right into the center of our backyard. The edges were barely covered. The kids are on top of the one big drift.

It'll be all melted by Tuesday. It's supposed to rain all next week. So wild! When I was DD's age, I lived in Montana- and this would have been a half day's storm-worth. The snow would have covered the bouncy horse, and I'd have been able to walk over the fence on the snow after a full week of it!

The kids have had the last week off of school. We haven't been going anywhere, really, b/c of the snow, so I've had lots of knitting time.

This is how far I've progressed on the Entrelac Socks. I'm thinking I might be about done, as they are starting to feel tight. Knitting one little block at a time takes so much longer than regular socks!! I'm about over it. But I will finish them this month!

I also made a hat/headband for my FIL- but I don't have a picture of it yet. I had to do it twice, the 1st time the earflaps were at the back of the head. Oops.

And I finally finished Joel's double-knit beanie. I had to frog about 3 inches--Dude, frogging dk is hard. It took me over an hour to get it back on the needles and knittable. I like dk knitting, but I never want to frog it again! That pic will have to wait for after Christmas b/c it's already wrapped.

We went to go see the Nutcracker Ballet yesterday! Unfortunately, my In-laws, who purchased the tickets, were unable to come b/c of the crazy weather. That was sad. But we invited some friends, and all the tickets got used. I love watching the kids when we go to something like that. They get so into it! YS actually stayed awake and almost still for the whole thing!! I think they really enjoyed it. :-) It is amazing what those people can do! It almost makes my feet hurt just thinking about it. There were a lot of young kids in the show- I never realized that. They did so great! Kids are amazing. Especially mine- but I'm not biased or anything.........;)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It has finally begun.....

Even though it is only December, and the Lord of the Rings Sock Club doesn't start until February; here are 2 "teaser" patterns for sale!!

Hobbit Feet:

And The Prancing Pony:

I loved designing these socks! I am so excited to finally get to share some of these patterns with you! If you go to the link above, it will take you to more information about the socks, and links to purchase the patterns. Kits are available, and b/c of the yarns and colors involved, I highly recommend the kits. These yarns are amazing. I so enjoyed working with them, and I am sure you will too.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The First Week of December

What a week it has been!! Which I should have expected, as the weekend before was quite wild....but I didn't.
Thanksgiving weekend was wonderful! We got to be with my family (even got to stay overnight!) on Thursday and Joel's family on Friday and Saturday. Since Joel's family celebrated Thanksgiving on Friday, we got to have 2 Thanksgivings!! I loved it. I think we all did. There is so much to be thankful for!

The kids had such a wonderful time. They love animals so much, but with mine and DD's allergies, we rarely get to be around them.
YS got brave enough to pet the dogs, but he was initially very scared of Grandpa's new puppy. He tried valiantly to run away from her, and managed to fall down right on top of her!! I wish we'd had a camera in hand for that one!

DD had her very first riding lesson; and loved every second of it! She can hardly wait to go back for another. ES had a short one too, but I think he had more fun rolling around in the dirt with the new puppy while DD was on the horse. :-)

I was so busy on Friday and Saturday, I completely forgot to take any pictures. Which was lame b/c Cousin Owen was there, and I didn't get any photos. I'll have to ask Uncle B for some copies....

So last week, the kids and I got back into schoolwork (which was harder than I expected for some reason...) and swim lessons, and PE Co-0p. With the kids being completely worn out from the trip, and myself not far behind them, it was a busy week. YS finally got caught up on his sleep yesterday-- his first nap in 2 weeks! Ya know, my first 2 didn't prepare me for a child that would be done with naps immediately after his second birthday. *sigh* I wish I had their energy and rubber-quality body capabilities sometimes!!! *wink*

I was hopeful that yesterday would be calm and relaxing and quiet. We actually intended to go to the Portland Children's Museum, as we finally got a pass from Multnomah County Library (you can actually put them on hold, and get them when available!!), but- this is what we did instead:

My brand-new-used washing machine.

And this is why:
This is the motor of my old washing machine. See the 2 little white things in the foreground? They are supposed to be one little white piece.

This is where those pieces came from.
So Happy Birthday to me-9 days early!
I have to go to church now. I'll tell you about the knitting another day. ;-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Yes, I know I'm a day early- but I won't be on the computer tomorrow, I'll be enjoying my family. So Happy Thanksgiving a day early!

We are planning on spending time with both my family and Joel's. It should be a fun and busy weekend. The kids are so excited there is no way they will sleep today- and I know they will be up at 6am tomorrow! I'm excited that we are actually taking a holiday in which Joel is not going to be working!!!!! That hasn't happened for awhile, and we are looking forward to it. ;-) Normally, the only way we can escape the city and visit family is for Joel to work for them when we get there. Which means the kids and I are relaxing and trying to stay out of his way while he replaces floors, toilets, or whatever else needs fixed. While it is wonderful that he can do that- and help out and we get away from the city, it is a bit sad that he doesn't get to join in the vacation part. So this is an exciting holiday for us. ;-)

As I mentioned before, I love Thanksgiving. It is such a joyous time. When you think about all the things you are grateful for, it's hard to complain or be sad about anything. I love it!

So, I am thankful for my family---my strong, healthy, well-clothed and housed family. Especially my amazing husband who works so hard to keep us that way. I am thankful for Gods' provision. So many times this year-again-He provided for us in unexpected, much-needed ways. As I sit here and type this, I am listening to my children in the background, and I am thankful for the laughter of children. I am thankful that we are able to worship our God openly, homeschool our children and not miss a minute of their growing up, and vote in our country. (Sometimes it feels like my vote doesn't matter- but I still get to vote!) ;-)

And I am thankful above all, that God is in control of everything. I have nothing to fear, I am a child of the KING.

what are you thankful for????? (yes, I know I asked that already- but I know you can add to it!)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Unventing is a term coined by Elizabeth Zimmerman- an amazing knitter/designer(for those of you who don't know about her- for those of you who do, you know what I'm talking about). My understanding is that it has to do with Solomon's comment: "There is nothing new under the sun". So a knitter in Maryland can be teaching herself a new technique, and wind up with the same pattern a knitter in Alaska comes up with in her designing time. Nobody broke a copyright, nobody plagarized; they just wound up with the same thing far apart and maybe even around the same time.

That happened to me today. I sent a pattern to Knitty a few months ago that was rejected; I just found a very similar pattern in the new Twist Collective. I want to jump up and down and scream, "I did it first!!!!", but that wouldn't change anything. And technically, I don't know if it's true or not.

Anyway, here is MY Entrelac Beanie:

Which, if you really like, you can contact me, and I will send you the pattern in exchange for $5.00.

In other news, we are looking forward to our Thanksgiving vacation (Joel actually gets paid vacation this year!! This is a first!!) with as much family as we can possibly be with. Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year- even over Christmas. I just love the family time, the sitting around and sharing- the thankfulness. We have so much to be thankful for. I just love this season.

What are you thankful for??

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Already. I say this every time- but time just flies by so fast!!
I haven't been posting as much b/c I've just been too busy. B/w homeschooling, knitting, and driving the kids around, I don't have as much time to be on the computer. Joel teases me that I've become a "soccer Mom" overnight. Well, the kids are doing soccer in their PE Co-op that we go to on Wed afternoons; and they are doing swimming lessons twice a week in Gresham, so all of a sudden, we're driving more. It's been really good for them. They aren't nearly as worried about getting water in their faces anymore. YS is still too young for the swimming lessons, but in January he should be able to get involved as well.

I have been knitting as much as possible too (although I confess that I have also been playing our new Wii that Joel won at the Company Picnic last summer- it's been a long time since I played video games!!!). But since everything that I've been knitting for the past month are Christmas presents, you will have to wait until after Christmas for the pictures.

I got another rejection notice for pattern submissions yesterday. I've gotten to the point that I just recycle my design submissions. They're rejected here, I send them there. You get the idea. I figure if I do that for the next 10 years, they'll be in style at some point, and someone will like them. ;) ha, ha.

The other day, DD asked me if the books stay in the library when the library is closed. "Yes, of course". "Well", she answered, "if I was a book, I'd be scared that a pirate was going to come and steal me!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Green Leaf Coat

I promised a free pattern before November- here it is!!

The Green Leaf Coat. Full- length view to the left, bottom border below.....

On the sleeves are traveling vines. I elected to put some contrast color music notes in the vines b/c my MIL is very musical. ;-)

Green Leaf Border Coat

Design by: Lobug Designs

Skill level: Easy

For a Small to Medium size woman- lengths adjustable.

Materials and Tools:
5 mm(US size 8) circular needles in 16” and 29” long, or size to obtain gauge
stitch markers
tapestry needle or crochet hook for weaving in ends

16sts = 4”/10cm in st st.
Always take time to check your gauge.

Special Abbreviations:
Back twist: k thru back loop of 2nd st on LH needle, k thru front loop of 1st st, sl them off together
Front twist: k front loop of 2nd st on LH needle, k 1st st on LH needle, sl both off together
Ktfbl: k thru front and back loop of st.
M: marker
Pm: place marker
Sl: slip
Slvs: sleeves
Pattern sts:
See Charts Below

With Long Tail Cast On, c.o. 72 sts. Work in 2x2 rib for 2”.
Next row, set up row: k1,p1,k1,p1,k9, pm, k10, pm, k26, pm, k10, pm, k9, p1,k1,p1,k1.
There are 5 sts of seed st patt on each side for selvedge. Place buttonhole every 2” on RS row with k1,p1, yo, k2tog. Maintain the seed st patt on edges throughout!
Row 2, work selvedge as est, p across, sl m when come to them.
1st inc row: Work selvedge, k to last 2 st before 1st m, ktfbl, k1, sl m, ktfbl, k to last st before m, ktfbl, sl m, k1, ktfbl, k to last 2 st before 3rd m, ktfbl, k1, sl m, ktfbl, k to last st before m, ktfbl, sl m, k1, ktfbl, work to end.
Rep Row 2. You will rep last 2 rows for raglan patt until separate sleeves and body.
Next inc row, set up vine patt on slvs: work to 1st m,*sl m, inc, pm for beg of chart, work chart, pm for end of chart, work as est to 3rd m, rep from *, work to end.
Work est patts until measures 12” from cast on edge.
Separate sleeves and body: work to 1st m(no inc on this row): remove m, place sts and chart markers up to 2nd inc marker on 16” needle or st holder, remove 2nd inc marker, joining underarm, k to 3rd inc m, remove m, , place sts and chart markers up to 4th inc marker on 16” needle or st holder, remove m, joining underarm, work to end. Separation complete.

Body: maintain selvedge and buttonholes: work WS Row.
Next row, begin leaf patt chart: Work 5 selvedge sts, work leaf chart, work to last 24sts, work leaf chart, work 5 selvedge sts.
Work WS row, maintaining patts
Rep last 2 rows for 3” shorter than you want coat to be.
Next RS row, maintain selvedge, work repeats of Leaf Chart all the way across- check the numbers: you may need to have extra p sts between repeats to fill the whole border- this math is not done for you.
When done with Leaf Chart, work 1” of garter st, bind off loosely.

Round 1: join yarn, work across, maintaining vine patt, at underarm, pick up and k 1 st from body join, pm for beg of round.
2: work to last st before m, sl st, remove m, sl next st, sl 1st st over st just slipped, move st back to LH needle, pm.
3: work around in patt.
Maintain patt around: every 11th round is a dec round: k1, k2 tog, work to last 3 sts, ssk, k1.
Work until sleeve is desired length, p one round, k around for 1”, bind off loosely. Turn sleeve under at p round and st down for hem.

Weave in ends, place and sew buttons.

This project was knit with 11 skeins of Mary Maxim Starlette in Kelly Green.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Well, Fall is here. It is beautiful! I had to change my Title Picture to show the right season. ;-)
A few weeks ago, the kids were playing outside; and came running in to tell me that they could see a fire. So of course I ran outside to see what they were talking about. They were looking through the trees at another tree whose leaves had turned a bright fire red. When I told them what it was, they laughed so hard they almost fell over. It was great. And what a pretty picture of the bright red through the green! Sometimes, all you can say is "Wow, God! You make beauty."

I am finally working on the Entrelac Socks by Eunny Jang. It is going better than I had hoped- but at the same time, I am a bit disappointed in the yarn I am using. It is acrylic- not that I mind- but it is a bit of a rough acrylic. I think it will be fine when it is knit- but all this knitting for The Unique Sheep has spoiled me. I am getting very particular about what I knit with!!
So I am taking pictures of my progress with this sock, as I find it very interesting (I should say these socks, as I am actually making 2 this time). So when I get the film developed, you'll get to see a play-by-play.

I did actually finish MIL's coat, but haven't had time to write the pattern- homeschooling etc, taking a lot of time right now. Sorry, will try to get that up before November.

I am also working on another pair of socks of my own design for a Christmas present. It was originally for my Dad, but I discovered 4" into it, that I didn't allow enough room for the cable, and they are too small for him. So I could frog them and make them bigger, but I REALLY don't want to. So I am going to finish them, post the pattern here for you, and give them to another member of my family for Christmas that I know they will fit! And make a different pair for Dad. I was kind of wondering anyway, at 2" into these socks, why I was putting so much effort into a lovely cable for socks that will be worn in boots at all times--- well, now they won't, and I'll do a pattern more appropriate to boot-wearing for Dad. ;-)

Happy Fall! Enjoy the cooler weather!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Middle of October

Already?! Good grief, I can't believe it's already been so long since I posted last! Time just flies sometimes.
Well, we've gotten into full-time homeschooling again. At last. We should have started the first part of September, but there was just so much going on, that we had to wait until the last week of Sept instead. So now we are going full steam ahead!
DD is working 2nd grade in all but Math. We had a really rough time with that last year and just left it for a while. I don't think she was ready for it at the time- or I didn't know how to teach it- or something! It just wasn't working out. So we did just Math over the summer, and she's finishing up K math now.
ES is doing Kindergarten. Language Arts, Math and Reading. We finally got in a niche that works for him. He's loving it. It's good to see at least one of my kids enjoying learning!
YS pretty much hangs out and plays cars while we do schoolwork. Sometimes he'll come over and sit with me and we'll sing the ABC's, but he's pretty mellow and happy to play alone. He usually does anyway- although the older kids are starting to get a little better about including him.

3 weeks ago today I exposed all the kids to the chicken pox. Today is supposedly the last day of the virus incubation. I am thinking we may have exposed them too late and they won't get it. It may sound odd, but I am a bit disappointed. I was really hoping for them to get the chicken pox and be done with it. If DD doesn't get it before she turns 10, I'm going to look into the immunization. I don't want to- it's not as good an immunity, but after that age, I don't think I want her to actually get the disease. The thing is, the chicken pox vaccine is not irradicating the disease, it's making shingles more common. Not cool. Okay, off my soapbox now.....

On Saturday, I finished making my MIL's coat that she gave me the yarn for last Christmas. Sheesh! Almost a year ago. Pathetic. Oh well, at least it got done, right?
So I started working in earnest on another LotR sock that I really need to get done and get the pattern tested. I knit a lot on Sunday. 3-4 inches (on "toothpicks", so you know it was a lot of knitting!). And Sunday evening, I frogged it. Ugh. For some reason, this design is proving a lot more difficult than I anticipated. I know what I want- and I absolutely LOVE the color Laura and I came up with for this yarn- but getting what I want is a different story! But it seems to be coming along now. I'm a day behind on it, though, which is a bit frustrating; as I sat down this weekend and listed out the Christmas knitting I need to get done this year. Whew! I am going to have to "get my knit on"!!! I didn't realize I was this far behind! I'm usually about done by now, but I think I've been doing some different/extra knitting this year, and it's taken time that I'm usually making Christmas gifts in.
So as usual, I have no pictures. I will be taking pics of MIL's coat this weekend, and hopefully writing up the pattern. As soon as I have the pattern and pics, I will post them. Yes, the pattern, for free on here. But I'm not going to resize it. Not that that would be hard for anyone to do........

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


We're back. What a lovely weekend!! DH and I went to Astoria, OR and stayed at a nice B&B for 2 nights with no kids. It was so relaxing! This is my only real vacation of the year. When we go off for a few days with the kids, it's actually more stressful than being at home. Sleep is difficult for young kids away from their beds- which makes it difficult for the parents too! Anyway, we had a lovely time! We walked Saturday- for 4 hours- just exploring the town and the Maritime Museum (I could never sail- I would be so seasick!!! ), (we even got to hear the sea lions- we couldn't see them very well, they were out on the buoys; but we could hear them!) the Astoria Column (lovely bit of history with the most amazing view!!), and lots of little stores. I got a little bit of Cascade Fixation yarn for my souvenir- and the 4 book Tolkien set (which I've wanted for years!). It's good to be home, though. The kids are tired from playing with Grandma all weekend- my house needs cleaned- I've got to get school organized! There's always something more to do. When I get the film developed, I'll post some pics of the amazing scenery.

I got some film developed last week, so I can share some of my projects that I've been doing in between the LotR socks.
These are Over the Knee Baby socks. I got the yarn and one sock from a lady on Ravelry, but I absolutely could not match her gauge. So I just knit both of them. I'm not sure what happened, but my gauge didn't match on the 2 I made either. Very weird. But they turned out cute, and I gave them to my new nephew. (that's fun to say! :D)

This bag is a felted bag I FINALLY finished. The handle took 2 months b/c it was 208 sts for 11". I would have finished it sooner, but it was my purse project and I only worked on it for 2-4 hrs a week. I finally pulled it out of the purse and punked it out. I'm not sure I like felting very much. Knitting something 3 sizes too large and then shrinking it feels like a waste of time, I guess. It was worth it this time. I gave it to one of my best friends for her birthday (which happens to be the same day as ES!!).

This is the Fabulous Filigree Scarf from One-Skein Wonders. I made it originally for my SIL, but when I washed it to block it, it wound up in the dryer. It will only fit a doll now. Actually, it's the perfect size for the American Girl dolls. So if anyone wants to buy it from me- I'll sell! It's very pretty, and I like how it turned out, but it is too small for anything bigger than a doll.

Okay, so these pictures are not of my projects (you get all my pictures at once, b/c I use a 35mm film camera and have to wait for my pics until I use all the film and get it developed onto a CD).
This is my wonderful MIL (mother-in-law). When she came over for Baby Owen, she hung out at my house and cleaned and tuned our new piano (apparently, it was really out of tune. I have no ear for music at all!!). I didn't know you could safely take out all the keys!! I was quite surprised! The result was lovely.

I had to put this pic in. Those are the two lovingest dirty little boys ever. They had been playing in the Dirt. Laying down and pouring it on their bellies. Which quickly degenerated into just dumping it all over each other and rolling in it. I had to hose them off outside, and the mud poured out of their hair! But aren't they adorable!?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

24 hours

I can remember the last time I stayed up for 24 hrs straight. Yesterday. The last time before that? I have no clue whatsoever. But last night- I remember vividly. And I probably always will. Last night was the first time I got to see the Miracle of Birth. That may sound odd- as I have experienced that 3 times- but I never saw it. Experiencing it and seeing it are very different. Both wonderful, amazing, shocking, astounding, fantastic, absolutely awesome. But very different. What I am getting at is that my lovely Sister-in-law had her son today. At 3:15am. I was honored to be allowed to be with her and my Brother-in-law through the whole ordeal. Their son, Owen, was 8lbs, 4oz, strong, healthy, and lovely. They were all amazing. I must say- for me, it is easier to experience than to watch someone go through. Wow, what a strong woman.
Really, there's not much more I can say. Other than: we're tired. We're going to sleep now.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Thank God It's Friday!!!! Wow. The last 3 weeks have been positively crazy. I'm not entirely sure why; but I feel like I've been through a whirlwind! Joel came home from Canada (the week he was gone was just wild); and we had a very busy week. I got to get my teeth cleaned for the first time in 8 years (terrible, I know, but when you don't have a lot of money, the root canal and crown come before the cleaning!!)--thank the Lord for big companies with Dental Benefits!! :-)
Joel and I had our 8 years Anniversary on Tuesday the 2nd. It wasn't really very exciting. We got to see each other for all of 30 minutes. (Tuesdays are busy.....) But! We have reservations for 2 nights at a B&B in Astoria the end of the month for our anniversary "honeymoon" (Thank you, Grandma, for babysitting- we love you!); and we are really looking forward to that!!!!!!!! Just a couple extra !!!!! so you can see how excited we are ;-) Then Joel's parents came to town last Thursday (the 4th) b/c Wednesday (the 10th) was my SIL's baby's due date. Well, we are all still waiting. Babies just don't arrive on other people's schedules very often! ;-) We are very excited about this baby.......
So we have been having wonderful times with the family- oh, and Joel's on call this week as well, which makes it extra hairy, since he gets paged in the middle of the night- frequently- and we are exhausted.
And........*drum roll, please* tomorrow is ES's Birthday!! He will be 5. And he is so excited, he can hardly think! :-) So fun. We are having a wee party in the AM- and hopefully some time with family in the PM. Although- it is the Knit and Crochet Show this weekend- I might have to skip out for an hour or 2 of "mama time". ;-) We'll see.
Knitting news? Well, I am rolling through the LotR sock designs again. With a brief 2 day hiatus to make some Over The Knee stockings for an upcoming baby. (No, I don't know which one- I know of 3 imminent births, so I am just trying to be prepared!!!!) Sorry, no pics today.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

One Hundred Thousand Welcomes

We have a new scanner/copier/printer/fax!! Not that I know how to use the fax, or care to as yet- but I am loving the other 3 aspects of it! Oh, and it was FREE. I really like Freecycle!!! ;)
(the picture is a cross-stitch I did years ago.)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Next Generation

I am learning a little about the Next generation and what they know compared to us. Last night, Joel said to DD: "you can do that faster than you can say 'Bob's your uncle'!" She instantly replied with a puzzled smile, "Bob's not my uncle. Bob's a tomato!"

Thursday, August 28, 2008

busy busy busy

It's been awhile since I posted! Time is just flying by! Last week, I was spending as much time as possible with Joel before he left for a week in Canada; this week, I've been trying to stay busy while he's gone! I've succeeded! ;)
The kids and I have been doing "Fall Cleaning" in our house. We've managed to do all of it- top to bottom- except the closets and the laundry/mud room. That room just seemed too much to tackle yet. I would do it tomorrow, except I HAVE to get ready for the school year! DD will be in 2nd grade (except in Math--1st grade), and ES will be starting Kindergarten. So I've got a bit of organizing to do in the next few days! There is just so much I want to do with them; I need to sit down and figure it all out clearly.
In the meantime- I have actually been knitting in small moments of spare time. I took a brief hiatus from designing the LotR club socks to get caught up on some of my Christmas knitting. I actually finished 2 gifts, but one of them promptly got shrunk (accidentally, of course) but being put in the dryer- so I am having to redo it. *sigh* Oh well. So at this point I have 2 projects on the needles (undisclosable, sorry) which I need to finish, and then it's back to LotR! Which is getting a lot of unexpected mention!! We were actually mentioned on the Daily Chum! Very exciting. I'm very excited. Are you very excited?? You should be excited. This is very exciting, you know. ;-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New designs for sale

I recently designed 2 bath sets for the Unique Sheep with their new yarn, Pima Petite. Here are the results:

I absolutely loved doing this. This is the ultimate in cotton yarn! Soft and easy to use. Not elastic- cotton isn't- but still easy to work with. Go here if you are interested in these patterns!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Here is what I got with my coupon! Koigu KPM for socks; BabyBoo in 2 colors for colorwork socks; and 8 skeins of Tahki Cotton Classic for a tank top. I am actually planning on making all these for me. It seems very selfish- but I want you to know that in 5 years of knitting, I have only made myself 3 shirts (that I kept). I have done a lot of knitting, but not for me. And I do intend to keep that up- but I also intend to find out why some of my family keep asking me for handknit socks. Why are they so much better than purchased? I believe it- but I want to test the theory myself ;)
There is that, and there is the fact that I was pleased with the silk tank top I made myself early this year and want to see if I can make a better one with cotton. I am a bit low on tank tops nowadays- and they are my favorite summer wear.
Besides, if I get to this "selfish" knitting before Christmas, I will be shocked. I have so much knitting that must be done before Christmas that anything not intended for a gift is very low on the list! But I am enjoying looking at my new yarn and feeling how very soft it is! :) So wild. It's still odd that I actually won a drawing.

Well, other than that, it's been a normal busy week. Keeping up with the kids and working on the LotR sock club sock patterns-- as well as keeping my house clean.......which reminds me...........I gotta go now. ;)

Enjoy the eye candy!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

I am in shock!

I can't believe it! I just got a call- I actually won something!!!! I always put in my name for a drawing whenever I go to The Yarn Garden, but I never win. I actually won this month!! A $100 gift card to the store. It doesn't seem real- maybe it will when I go and get the card this afternoon. Hmmmm............what am I going to get?? I really don't know. I am so busy with the LotR sock club that I haven't really thought of what other things I want to knit right now. I'm going to have to go look through some pattern books and think about that for awhile.:) What a fun thing to think about!! :)

Monday, August 4, 2008

Secret Knitting Partially Revealed!

So I finally get to share what I have been working so very hard on the last month! I can't show you pictures, b/c that is still a secret; but I can tell you------ I have been designing socks for a new sock club for The Unique Sheep. It is very exciting, and I must say, I am REALLY excited about these designs! They are all inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings. The club starts in February, but for the purpose of providing the best possible quality, sign-ups are limited. Go here for more information.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The meanings of words.

I love the way children understand words. They are so literal-minded. (I lead in like this so I can share examples. I think it's called a segway. ;D) The other day, ES was talking to DD about coffee. They wanted to know why only Papa drinks it in our house. ES finally informed his sister that it's "called coffee because it makes you cough". That would make sense, I suppose. Do you know why it's called coffee?? Short of the fact that it's made from the coffee bean? B/c why is it called "coffee" bean?? We really didn't have an explanation for him.
Then yesterday, they got to have a wee bit of soda- uncaffienated. And they got to talking about the "brown" soda (Coca Cola). ES was very emphatic to his sister: "You can't have the brown soda." "Yes, I can." "No, you can't, you're allergic to it!!" "I am NOT allergic to it!" "Yes, you are! It has caffeine in it, and caffeine comes from calves!!!" (really I should spell it calfs-that's how he said it) At this point they both looked at me- one for verification and the other for assurance that that was NOT true. So of course I had to explain that it does not come from calves- but I have no idea where it does come from......there seems to be a lot of those kinds of explanations lately.............

On the knitting scene, I have recently realized that my SIL is going to be having her baby very soon, and I have yet to make anything for little "Critter". So, instead of whipping out the baby yarn, I get out sock yarn to make socks for my MIL. My reasoning being that I have promised socks to MIL and she will be coming for the birth of "Critter" and I need to prove that I am doing what I promised (since I promised her 2 pairs of socks and a jacket). So I have been frantically knitting socks so I can get to the baby knitting I need to get done! I finally finished them last night--can I just say I am thrilled with them?? I don't have a digital camera (I know you've heard it before) so don't have pic's yet, but be assured that when I do get pics I will post them. I used Panda Cotton. Ever heard of it? Amazing yarn. Definitely must get some whenever I get around to making socks for me. I LOVE this yarn. It is almost a rival against Unique Sheep yarn--only because it has no wool, and I can't wear wool on my skin. .....Although, the Unique Sheep has a new yarn out: Pima Petite. I got to design some bath sets with it, and I can tell you, it is some of the softest, nicest cotton I have EVER used. Gorgeous yarn. And in Laura's colors.......oh, luscious!! Seriously, 2 new yarns you need to check out: Panda Cotton, and Unique Sheep's Pima Petite.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Free-- a good 4-letter word

We are getting a free piano. I am so amazed at what we get for free sometimes. Really, one doesn't need to spend a lot of money to furnish their house--unless you have a really specific color plan or something like that. ;) We have been fortunate lately to have gotten 2 free couches (thank you Freecyle!) and Joel was able to pay for a large, solid oak roll-top desk with 2 days of work! (I can't remember if I posted this before, but I have wanted a roll-top since I was a skinny wee girl. So this was very exciting!) Now, someone at Joel's job is offering us a free piano! Really, we shouldn't take it-- we don't have any more room in our small (1000sqft) home---but I have wanted a piano for a long time too; and the kids (at least the older 2) are at an age I would really like them to have lessons. So for now, it will go in our garage (which is full of Joel's work-out stuff and tools, and mold which he has no time to clean up). I am hoping to get it out of there quickly, before anything bad happens to it. For sure I will have to find a better place for it before the Fall rains bring the mold battle back. But for now, it will be in the garage, and we will try to talk Grandma into lessons whenever we get to see her. :-)

Monday, July 21, 2008


Today I took my DD to the ophthamologist and we got Good News!! We've been dealing with some inflammation in her left eye for about 8 months now--although it was probably there for a lot longer as we only found out about it when she started getting scar tissue in her iris. It affected her vision; but there wasn't anything really visible-no redness, etc. Anyway, today her vision was the same in both eyes (around 20/25, I think), and the retina specialist said there were no actively inflamed cells and it looks really good. We are so happy!! No more eye patches for the rest of the summer. She is thrilled! God is so good! :D :D
A great big Thank You to those of you who have been praying for her. Your prayers have blessed us!
Her next visit to monitor the state of her eye is in late September. We will have to make regular visits to be sure that the inflammation doesn't pop up again--and her vision continues to improve. But at this point, we are just so thankful. The Dr's were worried about cataracts and permanent vision impairment, but none of that happened. Again, God is so good!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Hurray for Friday!

It's Friday already! I am so glad. It means I get to hang out with my husband this evening and see him more tomorrow and the day after!! He's been working a LOT lately. He has his normal 7-6 job (that includes drive time), and has been working after work trying to finish some side jobs he accepted. He's also been working Saturdays, so we haven't seen him as much as we want to. But since Friday is our "date night" he'll come home after his normal job and not do any extra work. Even if our date is just playing chess after the kids go to sleep, it sure is nice!!

Yesterday, my sister-in-law came over and taught me and some of my friends how to make Blueberry Soup. Sounds wild, huh? (It was actually good! My DD liked it and she's a picky eater.) Apparently it's quite normal in Poland to have fruit soups during the summer. I guess the Polish eat soup every day, so they have to have quite a variety of soup--and who wants to eat hot food when it's hot? So they have cold soup--fruity kind.
This is the 2nd time my SIL has come to teach us about Polish soups. One of my friends suggested it, and it has been such a great idea! The cooking part really only takes about an hour, but the talking and having fun part takes at least 3 hours. ;-) I'm telling you, you're missing out!! ;)

I've recently switched my youngest son to cloth diapers instead of disposable. I figure he's almost done with them anyway, but the price of everything is going up so much--if I spend on cloth diapers in one month what I spend on disposable--it'll save me $35-50 on each following month. So I did. I bought hemp diapers. Ever heard of them? I used cotton on DD when she was wee, and I am so impressed with these hemp ones! They are way softer, more absorbent, and apparently easy on the environment. This is where I got them. This is a place with some more info on them. I'm only using them at nap and night time now (we're potty training!! I can't believe I am so close to having no children in diapers after 6 1/2 years of changing diapers!!), but they are much nicer than spending so much money on disposable!!

Not much I can say about knitting today. I am doing some secret knitting and it is coming along well, and I can hardly wait until I can share it. Other than that-- well, I really haven't had much time for it. As it is, I need to go clean my house and take my kids for a bike ride.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How fast goes the time!

I am so amazed at how quickly the time goes by. Especially in the summer with 3 busy kids. I am finding that there just isn't as much knitting time anymore! I used to be able to whip out a baby hat in a day, a sock in a week, fingerless mitts in 2 days. Now a sock is taking 3 weeks, a baby hat 4 days, and if I tried to do mitts- probably a week. So what am I doing at the computer?? I'm not sure. I do know I wanted to share some of the funny things the kids have said lately.......but of course, now that I'm here, I can't remember most of them.

I do remember that the kids were sitting at the table the other night, very excited about the meal (one of their favorites-I like those nights; no arguments about eating), and ES asked DD what it tasted like. She responded, "like 60 hundred cakes with sugar and salt and chocolate chips on top!" Really that sounds awful to me. I think she was so excited about food (summer busy-ness helps this too), that she just named off some of her very favorite things. :-)

My Elder Son has been in great need of a haircut lately. I wish I had a good picture to show you. This one was taken a good while ago, but you can still get a good idea about how very curly his hair is. At least, I think you can. Through the dirt. Maybe?
(This is after he and his brother had a particularily good time playing in the dirt after having been asked not to. He was very sad he was in trouble for having a good time. Hence the amazing chocolate brown puppy dog eyes that he so effectively levels at his parents.)

Anyway, we had gone to the paternal grandparents church on the 4th of July weekend, and a great number of ladies commented on how very cute the little boy with the excessively curly hair was. A few days after getting home, I asked him if he wanted a hair cut. "NO!!" "Oh," I said, "I know why- you want more people to say how cute the little boy with all the curly hair is!" He immediately responded, "Mama, I need a haircut."
He got one last night.

On the topic of knitting, I really have been knitting- just (as I mentioned) not as much as during the winter. I have finished some baby gifts:

Sorry about the blurriness, I forget how I cannot get close-ups with the 35mm camera we got for a wedding present. It's a baby hat with elf-like leaf edging. Really very cute.

The other is a baby blanket. I like having these things available for baby showers as there seems to be so many of them lately.:-)
These hats are preemie sized. I intend to see if the local neonatal care unit would be interested in them. I actually made them accidentally, but just couldn't bring myself to frog them. After all 4 weeks of double knitting on size 2 dpns is just too hard to give up!!Really, I was trying to make myself a pair of self-striping socks, but once again discovered the wisdom of swatching by NOT doing it. One would think I had learned by now. Let me reassure anybody who cares: I always swatch and block for my designing! (At least for those patterns I intend to sell!! I confess to not swatching a hat I designed recently- but it worked perfectly anyway. At least, the recipient liked it.)

Speaking of designing, I'm afraid I will not be able to post pictures of my current knitting projects as I am in the midst of some very fun and exciting designing for the Unique Sheep. The designs are secret, so I cannot share photos until they are posted on the Unique Sheep site. But I promise to share them as soon as I can. For now, I'll just say I am extremely excited about them, and I hope you will be too. :-)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Home Again

It is true: there is no place like home. I am so glad to be back!! We had a good time, and it was a nice break; but there just is nothing like your own home.
We got to the Grandparent's at 1:30am Friday. Of course my daughter woke up with the sun as usual, so sleep was a bit scarce that day. We got to go to the parade in town---the kid's first parade! They were so excited! They couldn't believe it when they had candy thrown at them. "You mean we can just go pick up all the candy we see and keep it and eat it!!!!!!!??" We came away with a plastic shopping bag half full. Yes, half full. We have enough candy to last us until next year, thank you!
Then we went back to the Grandparent's so YS and Mama could try to get some sleep. The kids played baseball in the yard with Grandpa, picked up the pears that fell off the tree, watched a movie, and had a lovely weekend.
Joel did some handyman work around for his folks and got to spend some time chatting with his Grandma. Yes, his Grandma. The kid's Great-Grandma. She'll be 91 this month. :-)
I had a fairly relaxing weekend. Which was good, b/c I just now feel recovered from the through-the-night driving. ;) I didn't have to cook, I didn't have to clean-much, and I got to enjoy the family. I even got some good knitting time in!! I have been completing quite a few small projects lately, but the pictures are all on 35mm film- so you have to wait until I get it developed. I am working on some more designs for the Unique Sheep, as well as some designs for family gifts. I am hoping to submit some of the family designs to Knitty or to some magazine, so I won't be able to show you new designs, but only patterns followed.
I am hoping to introduce to you some of the Unique Sheep designs in the very near future. More about that another time. :-)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Crazy Monday

Oh my! Yesterday was absolutely overwhelming!! I am sitting here typing this because I am determined to take it a bit slower and calmer today.
I have been having really bad allergies lately, so yesterday I set out to eliminate some problems. At least I hoped so, b/c I really didn't know the source of the problems! Anyway, I decided to start in my bedroom. So I did my usual Monday work--vacuumed and mopped all the floors (we have all wood and vinyl flooring); then started on the bedroom. I took out everything from the shelf and floor of the closet, cleaned and reorganized it. Pulled all the bedding off--including the mattress allergy cover---and washed it all and replaced it. Pulled everything away from all the walls, wiped down the lower part of the walls and baseboards, vacuumed and mopped the entire floor (which of course necessitated moving everything). Put the whole room back together. And discovered that I was allergic to the floor cleaner. Seriously. It was ridiculous. Then I fed the kids and put them to bed.
I was so stressed out, I had to work out even though I was also very tired. The workout was good--it actually gave me some energy. Which was very needed for the rest of my day.....In which I washed everyone's bedding except YS'; folded all the laundry and put it away(7+loads); sorted through the kids clothes, putting away winter stuff, so they could close their drawers; set up the pool for them outside; cleaned the kitchen and did dishes at least twice; dragged the children back in the house to scrub all the dirt off them; fed them; and decided that was enough!
I sat and knit and read silly novels for the rest of the evening that I wasn't talking with Joel and making snack for the kids.

I am not doing that today. I did discover that part of the allergy problem is that I am REALLY allergic to the soap Joel uses. To the store for new soap today. I intend to take it easy today and only clean the kitchen and bathroom. ;D

We have also started the fun process of toilet training YS. I got some cloth diapers to try to speed up the process as well as try to save some cash on diapers. He's doing ok. It's very new and hard to remember for him right now.

Well, I am off to call my naturopath and see what can be done about my allergies before we go to Eastern Oregon and visit the paternal Grandparents for the 4th of July. Hope you have a happy 4th!! And that it is quiet when you want to sleep ;D. I for one am looking forward to being in the country for the loudest night of the year!!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Well, I think the temperature was over 96 degrees today (since it was 96 at 10am). Oh, I am so glad for air conditioning!!!! Joel worked today, so the kids and I spent the morning grocery shopping and the afternoon sitting in front of the air conditioner. The kids then went out this evening and actually got cold playing in the wading pool. Water is so fun!
I have to tell you a funny story about my 4-yr-old(the Elder Son). I went in the other night to wake him up to go to the bathroom (night-time potty training). He's on the top bunk, so I stood on the lower so I could reach him; and pulled him over to me. He immediately starts talking----"I don't want................I don't want pig..............I don't want pig.............I don't want Piglet............I don't want Piglet.............I don't want Piglet....................I don't want Piglet on me!!" It was a bit sleep slurred, but I'm pretty sure that's what he said. Sometimes I wish I knew what they dream about!!!!! It was so hard not to giggle at him; I don't think I did very well. He's my most avid sleep talker. He always has been. There have been nights where he has awakened Joel and I with shouts. We run in there and ask what's wrong....if we get an answer it's slurry, mumbly, and makes no sense. Other nights, very clearly, I've heard him say (vehemently!) "NO, it's MINE!! Stop!" DD on the other hand; if you open her door, she instantly starts intelligent conversation with you no matter how far into sleep she was. Ok, so that's an exaggeration--but not as big a one as you think! ;-)

I've been knitting a lot this week. I've been trying to catch up on knitting baby shower gifts-I really like having some on hand, because it seems like I go to them fairly regularly. So I now have a boy baby gift, a girl baby gift and a gender neutral gift. Now I am working on a hat I promised to make for a friend 4 months ago. And a Christmas gift for someone special who reads this blog, so I can't say any more about it. When these things are done, I am designing some things for the Unique Sheep, so "stay tuned" and check them out!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Busy World

I know I'm later than usual in my posting. I have been busy, but when I think about it, I can't think what I was busy doing that is worth mentioning! Just doing life, you know? It was really a fairly quiet week last week. I got to see my Dad and Sister on Saturday, that was pretty cool. My sister is back East somewhere, I can never remember where (I ask her, and try to remember, but within minutes it's been driven from my mind) amazing people with her math skills for a few weeks.
The kids have been busy as always. The sun has finally come out in force the last few days, so they are loving it and begging for water in the wading pool every day.
I didn't knit a lot last week. I'm not sure it was a good idea to take time off from knitting. I thought it would help my hands/arms, but it just made me feel weaker. I'm getting into the swing of it again now, though. :-) I've made 3 baby hats. Granted 2 were preemie hats, but still....

One thing I must mention--and I encourage you to check out on a regular basis--is my husband's new blog! Joel works for Skatechurch on support-based pay, and has started a blog to keep his supporters and anyone else who is interested informed about what he is doing. You can check out his blog here. There's also a link to it on the side of my blog. It is really a very important ministry; please check it out.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


It is finally done!! The Celtic Icon took me 3 months, but it is done! And I actually like it on me. :-) I have knit a lot of tops that did not work when I tried them on, so I am extra happy that one that took this long, looks nice. The sleeve length is absolutely perfect! This is the best-finished project I think I've ever done. I learned how to do nice seams on this one- at last. :-) So here it is:

I've decided to take a small break from knitting-as my hands are really starting to hurt lately. But I can't just sit I've decided to go back to the roving I got at Thanksgiving and barely spun a wee bit--and spin it up in the meantime. Here is the start:

My spindle is hand-made and so not the best balanced, but it works, and I am having fun learning how to do this. It's very lumpy and bumpy, but I think I will get better.
I am hoping that after a few days I will be able to get back to knitting, as I have a long list of things that need to get done. I will be test knitting a pattern for a designer, as well as having her test knit a glove design I have recently completed for the Unique Sheep (more details on that in the near future).
So I will spin for a few days, and then get back into the swing of knitting again.

Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public day. One of my friends and I went out and knit outside a nice coffee shop in SE Portland. It was very pleasant. In fact, it was actually sunny!! It hasn't been very sunny here this spring, so it was a nice change. I am obviously not used to it--I sat half in the shade and burned one arm. :-D It looks a bit odd to have one white arm and one red one. I am hoping the sun will stick around for a few more days so I can even out a bit!!

It was gorgeous for Father's Day. I think DH (Darling Husband)had a good day. He went out with the kids this afternoon so they could bike and skate on the road. Our youngest really doesn't care to bike, he much prefers the skateboard. He figured out today how to go down the driveway; this was very exciting for him! Usually he just stands on the board stationary and taps it up and down. Motion is a bit scary. But he did this (picture) for an hour. Non-stop. He is very persistent, and doesn't mind falling down. I do believe we have another skater in the family!! :-) He cares a lot about what he wears for a 2-yr-old boy as well. Note the hat: he won't go outside without it anymore. :-) It's his "work-hat" or "skate-hat" as the mood takes him.

Who needs TV when you have kids!!!?