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January 29, 2015

Snow, Snow, and More Snow

I hope all of my friends here in the Northeast are safe and managing okay after this week's storm. About 16 to 18 inches of snow fell in our area, but I know many living south of us received a great deal more, with amounts being measured in feet rather than inches.  We spent our day cozied up in the warm house, making music, playing games, and sewing. We fortunately did not to lose our power, and today the sun is shining brightly and snow is melting and dripping off the roof.  The Littles are having a grand time digging tunnels in the first real snow banks of the year and are packing down new sledding trails.  I was beginning to wonder if we would see much snow this winter, as most of our precipitation this year has been in the form of rain and sleet with a small amount of snow mixed in. Well, it looks as though, we are going to have a proper New England winter with two more storms coming our way over the weekend.  We are planning to ride them out with lots of firewood, hot drinks and merriment.  We must take advantage of these cozy days when we can all be home together.

January 26, 2015

Hat Like a Wheel

It seems my posts lately have been predominately related to crafting, but during the bitterly cold New England winters, sewing and knitting keep my hands (and mind) busy. With such cold temperatures one cannot have too many hats, so hats have been flying off the needles. After covering the heads of my big boys, and then making two more for Little #7 and #8 out of the left overs, Little #2 decided it was her turn for a new hat.  Being a teenager, she was very concerned about style, and was quite particular in her choice of pattern and wool.  She knew she wanted a slouchy beanie, which seems to be quite popular right now, and it had to have a pompom. So after browsing through the patterns on Ravelry, Hat Like a Wheel seemed to fit the bill perfectly. She then had the overwhelming job of choosing the right yarn.  I pulled out my Quince and Co. color cards and Knit Picks catalog, and after much deliberation, she finally decided upon Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed in Heather Oyster. I think it was a lovely choice.  The light creamy color matches most everything in her wardrobe, and the tweed gives the hat the organic, rugged touch that she was looking for.

The pattern was actually quite simple, even though I frogged to the ribbing three times.  I concentrated so hard on following the cable pattern, but the smallest things would distract me, and I would forget where I was. For some reason, I could not figure out what to do and ended up ripping it out.  After the third frogging, something just "clicked ", and suddenly the pattern seemed so simple, and I was binding off in no time. I laugh at myself whenever I think about how foolish I was in making the pattern seem so difficult.  It was like a switch was turned on, and I suddenly could "see" the pattern and read my stitches, knowing exactly what was coming next.  I could even work on it in a room of roudy Littles with no difficulty.  Have you ever had that happen to you when working on a project?  Something that seems to difficult and frustrating all of sudden presents itself as being quite simple?

Joining Ginny.

January 20, 2015

Finished Quilt

This quilt is complete, and making it for this little boy of mine was quite rewarding.  He was so happy to have his own "bwanket", and since it has a light weight blanket tucked in between the layers in place of the batting, it keeps him quite snugly warm on these very cold nights we have been having. Hubby has commented on the "perfect weight" of the quilt several times after covering this little one up at night.

After seeing his little brother's quilt, Little # 5 decided that he should have one too.  He has asked me almost every day since Christmas if I have started his quilt yet. I guess I know whose quilt I will be starting on next. I have been searching for ideas of designs that might be suitable for an eleven year old boy, and a couple of designs on Pinterest caught my eye...this, this, and this one.  I thought the one with large stars would look great in plaids (maybe from old flannel shirts) and chambray or maybe make the stars black or navy. The options really are so endless.  I would like to be able to use what I have in my fabric stash without purchasing anymore fabric, so we shall see what I come up with.  I did purchase a lovely cotton sheet for $2.00 at a local thrift store to use as the backing, and I may use a mattress pad I have in storage for the batting.  I do love using what I have and recycling items for use in my quilts.

I am excited to get started on, because I am really enjoying quilting, and two, because when Little #5 asks me again if his quilt is started, I want to be able to walk into my sewing room and pull out a freshly made quilt and say,  "It's more than done, Sweetie.  Here it is!"

January 15, 2015

No Internet in our Neck of the Woods

Just popping in very quickly while I have, literally, five minutes of Internet service.  For the past few weeks we have had almost no connection to the Internet, one of the few drawbacks to living as rurally as we do.  I keep hoping each day that I will have enough connectivity to create a post, but, alas, no such luck.  I am sorry for my absence, and I hope to be back to posting regularly very soon. Blessings to all!

January 7, 2015

Handmade Christmas (Part 2, Sewing)

It seems kind of late, I know, to still be sharing photos and content relating to Christmas, but this will be the last Christmas-related post; I promise.  I have been trying to publish this post for a few days now, but we have been having issues with our Internet, and access to the Internet has been quite spotty.  It is working this morning, so I am going to try and sneak this post in before we lose connectivity again.

Little #3 came to me before Christmas asking that we resurrect the tradition of Christmas pj's for everyone.  We used to do it when our oldest children were small, but as they grew older and our family increased in size, the tradition kind of fizzled out.  I did make Christmas nightgowns for the two littlest girls last year, but that was the extent of it, so I decided to honor my daughter's request and give it a try this year.  Outfitting ten children in newly purchased Christmas pajamas would be a huge expense, even purchasing enough flannel for everyone would be a burden on the budget, so I knew I would have to get creative.

I was generously given a bag of boys' clothing, and in it I found three pairs of lovely Christmas pajamas in the just the sizes I needed.  Okay, three more to go.  Well, in the bag I also found a brand new, LL Bean, plaid, flat sheet.  Bingo!  Enough flannel to make a nightgown and two flannel pants. Now I needed shirts to go with the pants, and a trip to the Goodwill was in order.  I was able to find the perfect tops to go with the newly made pants and three more pairs of pants for the older girls and even a pair of flannels for Hubby.   Little # 1 helped me tie-dye a few men's t-shirts with green and red dye to go with the pants purchased at Goodwill for my teen-age girls. Nine sets of Christmas pj's done!  I only needed a nightgown for Little #6 and purchased just enough flannel to make her tiny little gown.  Whew!  I could check "Christmas pj's" off my list.  Thanks to a bag of hand-me-down clothes, a flannel sheet, and a trip to the Goodwill, I was able to outfit everyone in Christmas pj's for very little money. Mission complete!

Joining Nicole.

January 2, 2015

This Moment

I have been inspired by SouleMama to take a moment ...

{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."If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."


December 31, 2014

Handmade Christmas Gifts (Part 1, Knitting)

It seems like ages since I have come to my little corner here.  The rush of the holidays and ten very excited children kept me quite occupied.  I did miss you, and it feels so good to be back.  I do hope all of you were blessed with a very happy Christmas and are continuing to enjoy the holiday break. I always look forward to the days between Christmas and New Year's, when I can take a deep breath and savor the slower paced days. It has been nice being able to putter about the house drinking coffee in my pj's until, well, whenever I feel like getting dressed, stopping to play dolls with Little #9, fixing a train track for Little #8, and looking forward to the end of week when Hubby will be home with us.

I wasn't sure where to begin with catching up, so I decided to begin with sharing the knitting projects I worked on for Christmas.  I already shared bits and pieces, but now I can share the finished items. They were small, fun items, perfect for a beginner such as me, except for the Little Bud's Sweater. I am so relieved to have this project completed!  I have been calling it the "sweater of imperfections". I frogged and fixed and frogged and fixed and eventually stopped frogging and fixing and kept knitting.  It's done, and I am ever so glad!  Little #9 is pleased with it and doesn't care a bit that it buttons on the wrong side or that the eye cording is wavy in spots or that the underarms are bit wonky.  It's warm, it's her favorite color, and she is content.

On to the more fun projects...cabled boot cuffs. I used this lovely (free) pattern and Chroma Worsted in Vermont, Sugar Cookie, and Wildflower.  This was my first time working with something other than solid colors and I found it quite fun.  I would, however, like to make a few more boot cuffs in solid, neutral colors for a different look.  

Of course, the men needed warm hats.  Hubby wanted a replacement for the one I made for him last year since it shrunk after accidentally going through the washer and dryer, and both of the older boys were in need of warm head gear.  Hubby's hat is a Regular Guy Beanie, and the boys' hats are London Beanies that I sized up.  I am currently working on a smaller London Beanie for Little #7, using the left overs from his older brothers' hats, and hopefully I will move on to one for Little #8 soon.
Finally, there were headbands for the older girls...all made from left over wool.  I'm so pleased with the way they turned out and especially happy that the girls found them both stylish and warm.  

So, that is a wrap up of my Christmas knitting for 2014.  Like I said, they were mostly simple, small knits, but I am so excited to have learned enough over the past year to feel confident in giving my finished projects as gifts. I already have my eye on a few projects for next Christmas (some a bit more involved, so I better start early).

Wishing you all a very happy New Year!!!

Joining Ginny today.

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