Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

A blessed and joyous Christmas Season to you and yours...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Advent is a Special Time

Christmas is nearly here and I have to say it is getting a bit exciting, isn't it? It really is a magical time of year. The waiting has taken on a new meaning to me this year. Our priest gave a wonderful homily at the beginning of advent explaining that it is a time of waiting. Waiting in line at the post office, waiting at more stop lights as traffic increases, waiting in line at the stores and of course, waiting for the birth of our Savior. How true... He encouraged us to use that time of waiting in a different way than we may have had previously. He told us to take a few minutes and pray, enjoy the wait. I thought that would be a bit challenging for me as I tend to be a Type A personality. I'm always moving; even when I'm sitting, I'm moving. My mind is always thinking of more than one thing at a time. So yes, it was challenging.. but I gave it a whirl. I am so happy I did. I am learning to wait PATIENTLY! And it's GOOD! I even LIKE it! I am waiting in line patiently, saying a little prayer for one need or another or for someone in line that looks like they need one (and who doesn't?). I have said many prayers of thanks; when I see someone that can't walk very good, thankful that I can walk, when I see an expectant mother, how grateful I am to have my own family and hope she enjoys the same with hers, how grateful I am to see a new day, the sunshine or the cold on my skin because I am able to breathe in the cold air outside, and on and on... I encourage you to give it a try. It's a practice I hope to carry with me beyond this wonderful season of advent.
We've been busy cookie and candy making... some for a cookie/candy swap and some just because it's a fun tradition. We've also made pieogre too, as we do every year.

And of course, I've been getting in some last minute gift-knitting. This is a ruffle scarf I made in a couple evenings. I saw it in my local yarn store made in a variagated yarn. Oh, so pretty. I made this one for Corey's fiance in a beautiful shade of purple. The yarn is Cascade Yarns Baby Alpaca Chunky. It's deliciously soft. I'd like to make one for myself so maybe after the New Year I'll settle in and make another.
I still have a couple more things on the needle... I'll keep you posted of my progress. I hope you, too, are enjoying this special time of waiting.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Some Christmas Finishes

I feel the time crunch. Do you? Every year I promise myself that I won't stress about making a few Christmas gifts, but when the time is near I always find myself in a bit of a tizzy, trying to get it all done. Baking, pieogre -making, wrapping, cleaning and decorating... it seems the list goes on and on.
We got Kaleigh a Kindle and I thought I would sass it up a bit with a pretty cover. The fabric is an Amy Butler print with matching insides below...
I should have used the next bigger size pattern because this one is a little on the small size. Still usable but I had to take out the two upper corners to make the thing fit in. What a disappointment. After Christmas I'll make her another that will fit. I think I'll let her pick out her own fabric, too. That way she'll have two and one that fits and she really likes.

I started this piece last year. It's a free pattern from Gailpandesigns called A Christmas Wish-Free BOM. I believe it has nine blocks but I only completed four. My impatience didn't allow me to stitch all nine or to leave them as unfinished so I made a small table topper from it. Below is what it looks like being used.
Well, not too good of a pic, I'm afraid, but you get the idea. It really does look nice with a candle flickering atop. I told the kiddoes not to eat or drink on the coffee table while I have that out. I don't really want to have to wash it if I don't have to. As you can see, Billy, our dog taking his place on the couch. No matter how many times we tell him to get down he finds his way back up there again.

One other small finish; an Ipod cover for Cassidy. She is forever borrowing mine so we thought she should have her own. I thought a cute cover would go nicely and help protect it just in case she drops it.
Hope you are enjoying some snow...we haven't had any significant snowfall yet here in Massachusetts. I'm sure we will though...soon enough!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010 Me, Anyway

I read the Granny Miller blog every time she makes a post. She's educated, sassy and is a source of abundant information on many topics. I've learned so much from her. Today she wrote about Wal-Mart's recent venture into Homeland Security. I was shocked. I wrote Wal-Mart an e-mail of my opinion and irritation at the whole thing. It reminded me of the books 1984 by George Orwell and Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. Eerily similar! And scary!
We've had so many around-the-table dinner discussions at my house referring to both books and how life is today. If you haven't read either books, I highly recommend both. If nothing else, read Granny Miller's post today. You may be just as shocked as I am. My next post will be something crafty; promise!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Scarf for a Manly Man

I find knitting for a man to be difficult. They don't want anything the least bit scratchy, nothing too matchy, and something that must be useful. I racked my brains trying to think of a gift our sweet piano teacher, Mr. B. When one of my friends brought over a finished scarf to show me, I knew that was it!
I really liked her scarf because it was soft and it wasn't long. It had a hole on one end to slide the other end into and it hung just on the chest. It wasn't long and taking up coat room in the chest area. Actually it's called a Keyhole Scarf. I knew I had to make one. So the above is the finished gift for our piano teacher. The color kind of looks like a piano, doesn't it? The coloring is just perfect. I bought the yarn and pattern kit through Herrschners using Curly Q Yarn by Red Heart. It's "cheap" yarn but machine washable/dryable, reasonably priced, knits up v-e-r-y quickly and makes a great gift. I ended up buying four more skeins of other pretty colors so I could make three more for gifts and one for myself. I like it that much!