Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesdays with Winston & More

Yes, I've been gone from the blog. We took a little family vacation for some fun in the snow and had our first trip without Winston.

No one wanted to say goodbye to the cute little pup. Just look at all that yummy hair (remember Cockapoos have hair, not fur).

This is how he looked when we picked him up. I think I screamed when I saw him. Ethan announced that he looked like a Chihuahua (okay, maybe not, but we think he looked like he had been in rehab or juvi). Madison is allergic to dogs so he was supposed to be "trimmed" and washed before we picked him up. The groomer obviously didn't listen to a word I said. She did, however, get to listen to quite a lot that I had to say the next day.

While on our trip I did work hard on a project and have almost completed some yummy fuzzy mittens for me, but have one thumb left to do so show and tell before the weeks out.

I've also been busy this week with a couple of projects for samples for classes I'm teaching at the Black Purl. One is the Citron Shawl and the other is the Tapestry Cowl (double knit). Will head upstairs to finish the last couple rows on the shawl tonight and after blocking will post pics later this week of that one. It's such an easy fast knit. Took me around three days. I worked on it while watching "24" DVDs. Love, love, love, that show. Don't you find knitting is the perfect thing for catching up on tv watching?! Somehow I feel more productive that just sat on the couch.

I never did post some blocks I had to do for December and January for the Tethered Threads Block Party. I "heart" paper piecing. I just love doing it. Maybe I should pull out the paper pieced quilt I started more than two years ago and finish it. Maybe....

Here's my dilemma: I have the month of February for the Block Party and I'm struggling to decide on a quilt and need to get everything sent out this week. Do we like this quilt? Any other suggestions? Please, please, please. I love suggestions. I don't want overly traditional. A lot of the quilters around here that I know like to do the more traditional quilt styles, which I enjoy, but want something a little edgier. And what exactly is Zakka style quilting? Questions, questions...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wednesdays with Winston

Found the coolest thing at the pet store the other day.

You take your old mismatched socks, sweaters, blankets, towels and put them in this nice washable mesh bag.

Then take this lovely Molly Mutt Duvet Cover....

and insert mesh bag and zipper up. Then you have this lovely "green" doggy bed.

Here's a blur of Winston discovering his doggy duvet/bed.

And finally here's a picture of the dashing Sir Winston Humvee the First proudly sitting on his throne. Okay, it's a dog bed, but humor me.

He is a crazy, militant, naughty, wild puppy who loves to try and chew his mummy's knitting, but how could you not love that face.

Must share a funny Ethan story though: Today at dinner Ethan was begging for soda. We rarely let the kids drink soda (dad is a dentist and mum is a soda addict) so I told him No, he could have milk or water. He said "Well, I WANT a Sprite", which Caleb immediately followed with "Well, I want a million dollars". I said "Me, too.". Ethan said "I want a million dollars too, so that I could have my very own puppy to taunt!!!!" Followed by a wink in my direction.

Should I be scared or impressed that my four year old knows the word taunt and has such a dry sense of humor?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Wrapping Up 2009 and Opening 2010

To start with a bit of unfinished business:

Follow up for those who asked: Thanks for your kind thoughts towards Declan. He is doing well since his procedure. It did show some problems that initially were rather scary, but the biopsies have come back negative. He has some issues to work through, but nothing we/he can't handle. We are so proud of him for his strength and attitude of just doing what needs to be done. ..

Declan on procedure day - poor baby! Even though we have so many nice blankets and quilts in our home, it's the cheap $15 blanket we bought in Mexico sixteen years ago that he wanted to drag to the hospital. Whatever makes him happy!

And to show you how fast he bounced back! This was the next day, when we went to go and cut down our Christmas tree.

Back to his old tricks! While Caleb tried to hurry us along so that he could go skiing, he claimed he was the perfect (yoga) tree and there was no need to look any further. Dec offered to cut him down for us. Which resulted in......

Caleb attempting to bury him alive. EB helped out, but tried to prove he was a little angel immediately following, just in case he'd get in any trouble.

Mummy's little angel! How could I ever be mad at that face?

Finally the perfect tree was found. Unfortunately the guys thought it was hilarious to leave Madison and I holding the very heavy and VERY prickly cut tree while they wandered off for a mini-snowball fight.

It was one of many fun filled days this holiday, with lots of my favorite kind of weather - very cold and lots of snow! Pure heaven!

Christmas was a lovely time with just our immediate family, although I have to admit I was dreadfully aware that this time last year we were visiting my Mum and Dad in England. I missed them terribly this year and worried about Dad and his health. A visit has to happen by summer this year, I've decided. Somehow I must make it happen.

We had friends over for a New Years Party/Get-together and we had a blast. Steve and I crawled into bed at 4:45am. I woke up with a froggy throat as some of the girls and I formed our own awesome "Band Hero" band on the Wii and we played and sang our hearts out. I think we should take the kids Wii and Band Hero to Knitting Camp next year. That'll liven up the evenings and keep everybody awake - or give them a raging headache.

New Years Day was exactly what the doctor ordered - I'm stayed in my pj's all day. I relaxed, knit, napped, played with the kids, watched movies and, of course, ate. Our November and December was so incredibly busy this year. The Sunday evening before Christmas was literally my first evening home since before Thanksgiving. Needless to say I've been a bit burned out.

This year, I plan on clearing out the many wip's that are languishing in the knitting and sewing closet (room). I plan on being realistic and know that I'll cast on new projects before all the wip's are done, but I do plan on trying to whip out at least two of the ufo's a month in addition to any others that I'll be starting. It feels like a reasonable enough plan and certainly not over ambitious.

I also plan on doing a project for the Winter Olympics, but haven't decided quite what yet. I do have a project or two in mind though, so more to follow.

I do, however, plan on trying to reduce the stash. It overwhelms me. I feel suffocated by all the yarn and guilty if I want to start a new project and need to purchase yarn for it when I have so many potential projects and materials already on hand. I plan on taking a much closer review of what's in the stash and what needs to move on to others and free some space.

I won't make a firm promise as to blogging regularity. I hope to blog regularly, but am realistic that I am a busy mother of four children and involved in many things that demand my time. To be honest, if I have to choose between finding time to work on a project that day or blogging, the project will win. Does that make me seem rather bratty and taking you readers for granted? I'm sorry to say, so be it! I'm sure you understand.

I don't want to set a lot of goals for the year as if I've learned nothing else from 2009, things change and priorities are required to shift. However, I do have some shorter term goals for this month.

  • Complete two of the long term knitting projects that have been languishing around the house and two sewing projects. To do this, I will knit at least one inch on an old project every day or sew one seam before working on current project.

  • Begin journaling on a regular basis

  • Have already knit two hats this year and expect to knit two more this month.

  • Cook at least one new recipe each week and blog about my kitchen adventures

  • Blog at least twice a week (wait, didn't I just say I wouldn't make any promises - oh well, I told you things change; obviously sooner than you thought)

  • Begin some destashing - will post items on ravelry groups

  • Need to get together my materials and pattern for Tethered Threads Block Party 2, and send out by end of month. February is my month. Any ideas???????
It's a good start!

Friday, January 01, 2010

It's a Hatty New Year

The cold has hit Wisconsin and the requests for Ski hats has flooded in from the kids (their friends are asking for them now also).

One Fusili Scarf knit in Manos Silk Blend for a friend. I'll admit I loved the colors of this scarf and had a hard time giving it up. (Look how pretty it looked on my tree, it could have been a pretty garland on the tree)

All four hats were knit in Berroco Pure Merino. I love this yarn. It's a joy to knit with, wear and take care of.

Happy New Year!