knitted, gifted :: The Fisherman’s Wife (Cowl) + Whitefish Point Armwarmers

20131226-112114.jpgThis is my stepson’s adorable girlfriend and she rocks so hard. In addition to many other things I love about her, she also has a true appreciation for things that are handmade (as a massage therapist, she understands the care and energy that go into working with your hands). So when my stepson showed me a picture of a cowl that she had indicated on Facebook that she liked, I knew what to do.

First, I got to work reverse engineering it – I thought perhaps it was a neck warmer from a store, rather than a handknit; the picture on Facebook didn’t indicate. But before long, I found a pattern for it – The Fisherman’s Wife on Ravelry.

The Fisherman's Wife

The Fisherman’s Wife

This knit is about as fast and easy as they come. I rarely knit with super-bulky yarn, but when I do, I am astonished all over again at how quickly it knits up. If you don’t mind the feeling of knitting with tree trunks, it’s pretty fun. I used Cascade Magnum, which I’d never used before, and I really liked it.

After that, I decided to create some armwarmers to go with it, so, as I’ve already mentioned, I designed these Whitefish Point Armwarmers.


I think she likes them:



I also designed some boot toppers (pattern coming soon), but I only managed to get one of them knit before Christmas (so the gift is coming soon, too). This continues a long tradition of mine, of giving partially-knit gifts. Sad but true.

aren't they adorable?

aren’t they adorable?

It was very fun to give gifts so well-received. Her gift to me included a gift certificate for a massage, so as you can imagine, that was mighty well-received, too!

Merry Christmas!

With apologies for the radio silence this week (as I’m sure you understand, many obligations have overtaken my time, and I couldn’t manage to keep up with my blogging plans), I’m just popping by to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and a happy Wednesday (if you don’t). We’ve had a wonderful day and hope you have, too.
requisite goofy shot

Tradition :: Love Actually


It has been a full and crazy week and I am behind in everything (including blogging our Advent activities, obviously). But tonight, a tradition: curled up next to the Christmas tree with my husband, my cats, and my knitting, watching Love Actually. Happy Friday night, y’all!

crafted :: Advent Calendar

Advent Calendar 2011, originally uploaded by earthchick.

The simplest one I’ve made so far, and my favorite.

– wee square glassine envelopes from Amazon
– free printable numbers from here
– tiny clothepins from Joann’s (reused from last year)
– hung on white yarn attached to 3M Command strips

It’s not fancy, but I like it.

Advent Calendar 2011

I found some cute stick-on snowflakes from World Market, and each day we open a number, I put a snowflake on it to show that that day is passed (I took this picture last week, obvs).

I’m not going to photodocument this year, but I do want to remember what we did which day. So far:
Day 1 – pick out and bring home a Christmas tree
Day 2 – bake Christmas cookies – some to eat and some to give to the church youth group concession stand
Day 3 – stay in your pajamas all day – look under the tree for new pajamas (Muppets “Animal Rocks” pjs)
Day 4 – hang the special ornaments on the tree and put the star on top (we had already gotten the ligths and other ornaments on)
Day 5 – make (and eat!) S’mores
Day 6 – finish making your Christmas lists and decide what you’re getting other people for Christmas
Day 7 – set up the nativity set – see if you can tell the Christmas story while putting it together
Day 8 – watch Christmas classics – look under the tree (I had gotten a 2-disc set of classics like Rudolph, Frosty, etc.)
Day 9 – have a family movie night
Day 10 – help mom make marshmallows – eat some in hot cocoa

We haven’t done as many things focused helping/giving to other people yet, but I still hope to. The boys are at an age where that’s a little bit of a harder sell – I mean, they are happy to do it, but it’s not an exciting thing to find in the envelope, you know? Tomorrow Is going to be one that they aren’t going to be as excited about, so I’ve tried to prepare them. We’ll see how it goes….

holiday planning :: trying to manage the chaos

Christmas Planner, originally uploaded by earthchick.

So this picture is from last year, when I put together a Christmas planner from this tutorial , along with the free downloadables. It was kind of bare bones compared to some of the planners I’ve made in the past (like the one from, but I liked that because it gave me flexibility.

I’m not usually a papercrafts kind of girl, but making this was ridiculously fun. It’s not perfect – I had 6×6 scrapbook paper on hand, when I really needed 12×6 (which I now have, thanks to Martha Stewart), but it was a fast, fun, and functional craft.

I made this last Thanksgiving weekend, and it was my first Pinterest-inspired craft. But not my last!

There doesn’t seem to be an updated version of this planner for 2011, so I guess I’ll just wing it (and reuse the downloadables that are not date-dependent), but I’m wondering if any of you have any planner ideas you use or like. I’m overwhelmed with the minutiae of holiday planning already, so I could use all the help I could get.

planning :: Advent calendar

I had sort of thought I might skip the Advent calendar this year. As some of you know, the last couple of years I have done an activity-based calendar. You can find my previous calendars here: Advent 2009 , Advent 2010 . Anyway, I thought maybe the boys were getting too old to enjoy it. Also, I’ll admit it: it kind of wears me out.

A few weeks ago, Tiny Dancer started talking about how excited he was about our “Event Calendar.” It took me a few minutes to catch on to what he meant. Oh! Advent Calendar! Right! Now every day he gives me more suggestions for events, activities, and surprises we could do for the Advent Calendar. There’s clearly no way I’m getting out of this.

I’m going to try extra hard to plan well this year so that it’s enjoyable for them but manageable for me. This week’s Kids Craft Weekly had some great ideas for activities, including some I haven’t done.

My boys are already counting down the days for Advent. And I couldn’t keep them from going ahead and wearing their new Christmas jammies. Especially once I saw how darn cute they look in them.

Seriously, how is a mama supposed to say no to that?

I Made. I Gave. I Got.

(yeah, I know that’s not the meaning of Christmas; it’s just what I’m writing about today)

A review.

What I made:
Sock monkeys? No.
My Old Man’s Zippered Raglan Sweater? No.
Dove garland I insanely started 2 nights before Christmas? No.

The middle one I knit for MIL. Don’t ask about the pointy toe. It’s a design feature. 😉
The ones on either side of it are the ones I sewed for the boys. I’m quite proud of them.
(I didn’t make the two outer ones.)

Christmas gift for CJ?
Sort of.
I did finish a Scrunchable Scarf for her, in Malabrigo Brown Berries.
But it was also going to have a pair of matching Voodoo Wrist Warmers.
Soon, CJ, I promise!

Yummy Christmas candy? Yes.
A ridiculously huge Christmas Eve meal for only three adults and two toddlers? Yes.
An utter mess of my house? Oh yes.

What I got:

Here’s the yummy undyed Shetland Wool (dk weight) My Old Man’s son, C, brought me from England. It came from sheep raised not far from where C lives. How cool is that? I don’t yet know what I’ll make with it, but I love this yarn, and I love that it is the exact same colors as the sheep it came from. When I hold this yarn, I’m transported to the rolling green hills of the English countryside. Love it.

Yarn for Tubey!

And a new lens!
(the kitty was not a Christmas gift – she’s just posing for me to show off the lens features)
After drooling over the shots Grumperina was taking with this same lens, I put it on my Amazon wish list immediately, and my folks got it for me.

Aside from giving and getting, the holidays were both great and draining. An eight-day trip (six days of which included driving anywhere from 3 hours to 8 hours), 2500 miles on the car, two sick boys, and two sick parents doesn’t make for the most relaxing “break.” But now it’s January. I love January. I love a fresh start. Hope your year is happy!