Friday, December 31, 2010

Try This On For Size

Ten stitches made all the difference.

The fingerless mitt on the left had a 60 stitch cast on with size 3 US needles.  The one on the right had a 50 stitch cast on with the same knitting needles.

My husband claimed the left mitt and the other one is mine.  Now I have to make two more in the same (differing) sizes.

Maybe I can find us purple matching polyester running suits, and then we can wear them with our mitts when we walk the dogs. 

On second thought...not.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Moebius Cowl

This is my second knitted moebius scarf with the free download of the Cat Bordhi pattern found here.

One skein of a chunky yarn and a 47" circular cable was used (thanks, Natalie, for the use of your cable).

Here is some information from the Berkeley Lab about the moebius, which has no beginning and no ending:
Möbius symmetry, the topological phenomenon that yields a half-twisted strip with two surfaces but only one side, has been a source of fascination since its discovery in 1858 by German mathematician August Möbius. As artist M.C. Escher so vividly demonstrated in his “parade of ants,” it is possible to traverse the “inside” and “outside” surfaces of a Möbius strip without crossing over an edge.
Once the cast-on is mastered, it is just a matter of knitting in whatever pattern you like; infinite possibilities, of course.

Here is Bordhi's video explanation of the Moebius cast on:

 I'll definitelyt knit this pattern again.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Thought on Being Thankful

What is it all about?

Go here for a ponder.

Rudy Favard, 17, cradled Sammy Parker, 8, as he carried him upstairs. (Essdras M Suarez/Globe Staff)

Christmas Blessings to all, especially to the caregivers among us who often give more than gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Father Plough Shares at Christmas

This is taken from a series of homilies written and compiled into a spiral bound book "Father Plough Shares" by Fr. James Plough of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Grand Junction, Colorado:
...What did Joseph and Mary hope for on that first Christmas?  Remember that they were on a journey; they were away from home  They faced an uncertain future.  They lived in darkness.  The story of Bethlehem inevitably suggests a comparison between that moment and our own.

Our moment is a time of darkness, to be sure.  We face an uncertain future from weapons of mass destruction and shadowy networks of international terrorists.  Has the world ever known a more dangerous time than now?  The holy family had less to fear from the wicked King Herod than we do from today's radical extremists.  The holy family trusted that God's word to them would be fulfilled, that Mary would bear a son to be named Jesus.
...The story of the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem, taken in a particular place and in a particular moment of time, reminds us each year that our personal lives and the communal lives of nations are also journeys, moving always into an uncertain future, remembering the past and renewing its wisdom, but never simply repeating the past, a journey made in faith and trust, confident that the final word of the story will be one of light shining in darkness and life triumphant over death.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hey! Granny Square Afghan Finished

...and I am not even a grandma!

In all its glory:
The husband does not like all the colors.  And I can just hear my mother saying "...if you would make one in off-white and beige, it would look better with my decor"...  But I like it because it makes me happy.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Awkward Family Photos

Some of the best Awkward Family Photos can be found HERE.  You must, absolutely must, peruse this site for plenty of guffaws.  They are even having a "Best Family Photo Submission with Holiday Spirit" that is open for submissions until midnight December 22, 2010.

A few holiday favorites:
by Brad

My submission the the 2010 Awkward Family Photo Contest (my daughter in 1971 on the lap of a boozy Santa):

Another priceless photo can be seen on my husband's blog found here.

We laughed for an hour over these photos. 

Merry Christmas !

Monday, December 20, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Carving on Cottonwood

The man of the house has been encouraging me for several years to take up carving.  He may be wanting me to try this new hobby because a while back, he gave me a Dremel tool set that has not been getting much use.  Brother John bequeathed me wood carving tools and a heavy hand turned solid wooden mallet from a white elephant exchange a few years ago, so why wait further to begin a new hobby, right?

Having all the appropriate paraphernalia (including several pieces of tree wood, the Dremel set and wood carving tools, sandpaper and paints), inspiration was all that was needed.

My first thought was to try and carve a forest gnome from this "raw branch" from the wood pile we use as fuel for our fire pit:

But wait!  My analytic side said that a web search on wood carving was also needed.  A refresher course on the Dremel tool for wood carving was found here; carving on wood information was found here; more basics on how to carve were found here.  And finally, rules for carving faces from Gene Graham were found and can be accessed below the page break.

This rescued branch had an outgrowth of small twigs growing from it. After a bit of finessing with the Dremel sander and various small drills, it began to resemble an open mouth. Those twigs were filed down and refined and lo and behold, they began looking like big old teeth!

This is what the "Christmas deer" or gnome, or dog is looking like, but he still needs lots of work on his ears, forehead and temple.

It is a warm Saturday, so more carving refinement might be on today's agenda.  And it will need paint!

To read more about carving heads from Gene Graham:

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Christmas Angel from Nebraska

This is a Garrison Keillor writing appropriate for the season:
...My own Christmas vision appeared three days before Christmas, in a deli on 10th Avenue in New York, where a rather elegant young woman was managing a herd of eight teenaged boys, ordering their breakfasts from the lady behind the counter. The boys spoke Spanish, which the young woman translated into English for the counter lady. I'm standing there, waiting my turn, observing. The boys are docile, cautious, soft-spoken, and then it dawns on me that they are so because of brain damage, mild retardation, however you want to put it, and the young woman is their hired shepherd. A teacher's aide, perhaps. Probably minimum wage. She is lovely, green-eyed, dark hair spilling down on a puffy parka, red wool scarf, and her English sounds very Midwestern to me.

The boys want muffins for breakfast except one boy who earnestly desires a sesame bagel, toasted, with cream cheese, but the deli is all out of sesame, and this is a cruel disappointment to him. He really was counting on it. When you are 14 and so desperately vulnerable in the big city, you do pin your hopes on certain small pleasures. His face crumples and he is about to melt, and the elegant young green-eyed woman puts her head down next to his where he sits slumped on the deli stool. Her pale cheek against his cheek, she murmurs to him and a string of his enormous tears runs onto her face and she wipes it away and says something in Spanish that makes him laugh. And then I notice at the end of her red scarf, the word "Nebraska." Nobody would wear this in New York except a Nebraskan.

I might've asked her a few questions, but she had turned her street face toward me, and so I didn't bother her. A girl from the prairie using her Spanish to care for damaged boys in a callous world where, contrary to everything the Savior said, the poor and powerless get short shrift -- in the U.S. Senate and elsewhere — and she is sharing the tears of the sesame boy and making him laugh. She's my Christmas angel. I hope she gets to go to a party and sing and dance until 3 a.m.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Granny Squares Galore

Having chosen nine different colors of yarn that roughly mirror the colors in the painting previously posted here, granny squares are being crocheted.

This free pattern for a granny square afghan requires 30 granny squares with dimensions of 9" x 9". So far, I have 14 finished.

A few pictures of some completed crocheted squares:

Then the question of how to join them together comes up. How to do this?

Mikey knows! (method 1, the single crochet, is the favored method):

saga to be continued of Granny Squares Galore...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Heifer International and a Podcast Drawing

Listening to Clothed in the Lamb on her recent podcast, subscribers learned that Janeen not only talked about her "fiber adventures," but also gave an incentive for those contributing to Heifer International.

Janeen says about this program:
What Heifer International does is they give animals to impoverished communities. They teach them all they need to know about how to raise the animals, breed them, and use and sell the products of the animals. I’m talking about goats, cows, pigs, rabbits, chickens, bees, llamas, water buffalo, and of course sheep!

Here’s what they do with, say a sheep. They go into a community and choose a family to train about how to care for sheep. When the family is ready, they give them a healthy female sheep, making sure there is healthy breeding stock nearby. Through the next year, the sheep provides the family with wool which they can use to clothe themselves or which they can sell. In time, they breed their own sheep, and give one or more of the offspring to another family in need. This new family agrees to do the same, and so it continues. With the gift of one sheep, a whole community is helped.
The Recycled Lamb in Lakewood, Colorado is the sponsor for this yarny give away.  So how about helping out Heifer International and join in with a sense of community spirit?

All the details about the contest can be found here.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sage Remedy Top

Remember the "Sage Remedy" Ravelry sweater with capped sleeved and a lace pattern that first showed up on this blog here?

This is a picture of the yarn while in progress:

And here it is completed:

It knitted up fairly quickly and is warm enough to use as a light sweater outside, yet comfortable enough to wear indoors.

Sunday, December 5, 2010