It’s cold and rainy here today, which is perfect knitting weather so I’m not complaining. But I’m hoping that my knitty friends at the Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck are enjoying clear skies (and fried artichokes). I inaugurated the weekend with warm cinnamon sugar doughnuts from the Dexter Cider Mill, so that I could be at Rhinebeck in spirit.
Speaking of Rhinebeck, have you seen photographer Gale Zucker’s most recent blog post? In 2010 and 2012, she was at the Sheep and Wool Festival inviting people to pose in their handknits for what has become a really cool photo project. She’s turned that project into a book! The book isn’t quite ready yet, but in the meantime, she’s assembled this really cool video sneak peek:
(If the video doesn’t show up, try this link: http://youtu.be/R78v6DyiuL8)
My crew and I are shown in the last minute of the video. (If you watch closely, you’ll even get a glimpse of me in the walking cast I was sporting for my broken ankle!)
Watching the video actually brought tears to my eyes – it’s such a joyful feeling to see so many amazing people wearing beautiful handknits that they crafted themselves. As Gale writes, “It … feels like a home movie. For a very large & covered-in-knitwear family.” That it does. I’m very happy to be a part of this family.
I hope wherever you are this weekend – whether at the Duchess County Fairgrounds or at home or elsewhere (or in front of Game 6 of the MLB ALCS tonight, as I will be) – you have a lovely, yarn-filled time.
She sits in my lap while I knit, and beside me while I spin. She waits on the toilet while I shower, so that as soon as the water stops she can hop in and lick the sides of the tub. She lies on my chest as I wake in the morning, poking my chin with her paw until I wake up and pet her. And this is what she does when I write.
She is such a sweet companion, but she sure makes it difficult to get my writing done!
On the other hand, she is also quite the taskmaster:
We hadn’t tried these before. I found the recipe in an Advent family devotional book and thought it looked easy and fun – and it was!
1 C cinnamon
3/4 C applesauce
1/4 C glue
Mix into dough. Roll out 1/4″ thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Use drinking straw to make hole for hanging. Put in dehydrator, on highest setting (160 degrees), roughly an hour and a half. (Alternatively, put in 200-degree oven for ~2 hours, or let air-dry).
I love how rustic they look! (And they smell great, too!)
The boys had the idea to make a couple in the shape of their handprints, too, so we did. Fun little craft!
My guys have decided they want to learn to spin. My wheel is rarely available (I usually have some precious fiber on it), but I’m between projects right now and put some fiber on for them to play with it. Little Buddha has gotten very serious about it and really wants to learn. For now, I’m giving him only a little instruction, and mostly just letting him play around with the wheel and the fiber, fixing problems as they occur. He’s having a good time.
He did, however, cut a little chunk out of his hair, with the idea that he would spin it. That part wasn’t as heart-warming, but I have to admit – what spinner hasn’t looked at every possible source of fiber in the house and wondered how it would spin? (he was also eyeing the cat with spinning intentions)
After a good bit of spinning, he then found his old potholder loom (an Advent activity from two years ago), with a partial project still on it. He picked it up and got to weaving. He has plans to to weave a few squares to sew together for a sleeping bag for his favorite stuffed animal.
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.
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….
I never did find a new Christmas Planner option, so I went back and used the same tutorial as last year (but without the downloadable piece for the cover, since it’s out-of-date). I bought this Martha Stewart paper at Joann’s last year, and I love it so much.
I’m using it to keep track of Christmas lists, Christmas cards, menus, to-do-lists, and thank you notes. Love it!
I saw this sweet embroidered tea towel calendar kit light up my Pinterest a few weeks ago, and I had to have it. It reminded me of the tea towel calendars my grandmother used to have (except hers weren’t embroidered and they always featured cats). Unfortunately, the kit was sold out, but I got on the email list to be updated when it was back in stock, and when I got the notification that it was restocked, I snagged it right away.
I’m very excited about this project, which I plan to work on over the Christmas holidays – something fun to look forward to. I expect it to take me longer than it should, because I am very slow at embroidery!
This cross-stitch pattern has been all over Pinterest this season, just like it was this time last year. I bought it last year when it was on sale for Black Friday (as all her patterns are again this weekend – 20% off!). I worked on it off-and-on it December and January – and then I lost it! I’ve been wondering for months where it was, and have been looking for it a lot lately. I have felt so sad every time I’ve seen it pop up on Pinterest, knowing that I was more than halfway done with mine but might not get to finish it in time to hang for winter.
Then today, when I was looking for something else, lo and behold, there it was! I’m so excited to finish it! I’m very happy that I saved the deer for last – that’s the part I’m most looking forward to doing.
The pattern is from sewingseed on etsy. She has many cute patterns. I have two more of them (including one that I got as a kit), but I had wanted to finish this one first, so I haven’t cracked into those yet.
Cross-stich was actually my first craft. My 6th grade math teacher taught our class how to do it as part of a combined math/social studies project. We each had to pick a country we were interested in, then graph it out on graph paper, and then cross-stitch it. The teacher got hoops for all of us, and we got to pick out what color embroidery thread we wanted to use.
It looks like the dye lots of my thread didn’t match up well, and I also didn’t cross all my x’s in the same direction. I still love it, and I think that teacher was pretty cool for assigning this. The local newspaper thought it was pretty cool too – they actually came to the school and did a story on the project, and my picture was in the paper, stitching (I still have a copy somewhere).
It was another seven years before I took cross-stitch up for real, and until this little deer pattern, I hadn’t done it in more than five years. I’m enjoying dabbling in it again!