Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Originally uploaded by Wordpurler
Christmas eve is...
...hunkering down in a honest-to-goodness snowstorm
...playing carols on a real-live piano.
...agreeing that the Baby Jesus wouldn't have wanted us to endanger ourselves on the snowy snowy hillside trying to get to church
...cracking open the wine, beer, and Jameson's now that we have no church duties to perform
...two blonde cousins playing jump on the bed until their cheeks are as pink as two Washington apples
...sledding down the hill and commiserating with a five-year-old who has never once before in his life suffered the indignity of snow down his pants
...not caring that half the presents are stuck somewhere in UPS limbo
...being with those we love celebrating the holiest day of the year and the return of light to the world. And cookies.
...finishing a quilt for your daughter and hearing her say, "My mommy made that."

Happy holidays to everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Let it Snow!

Knitted the wild.

The snow has been coming down for a week or so here...two snow days from school last week, and now we're on winter break. This just doesn't happen that often here--every few years or so, I'd guess--so it's pretty exciting.

And for me it was really gratifying to bundle everyone up and realize that we were all wearing at least one handknit.

Now if the pass will stay reasonably drivable until we can get over to Spokane...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

tagged: 4x4

Toni tagged me for a picture meme...

The rules:

* go to my 4th picture folder
* go to the 4th picture in the folder
* tell you 4 things about that picture
* tag 4 more people

I don't keep my photos in afolder, but in one big huge glob in iPhoto , so I picked a random set. Here's the fourth of that download:

This picture is from St Patrick's Day 2003, when Mr. D was 2 months old. (Hence M's shamrock-themed shirt and the corned beef and cabbage.)

  1. He loved to stand on stuff so M was letting him stand on the table. You can't see it from this angle but he was cracking all of us up around the table because he was staring crazily and intently at our friend Kristin (at right).
  2. St Patrick's Day is one of our favorite holidays. (I am all about the holidays that require much consumption of food and little other family or gift-oriented pressures.) We usually have people over and make the traditional corned beef and cabbage.
  3. According to Wikipedia, corned beef and cabbage is not a traditional Irish meal at all, but is actually American. Also, Ireland and St Patrick were associated with the color blue, not green, until the 1750's. "The wearin' o' the green" referred to wearing a shamrock, not green clothing. And the pinching? Please.
  4. Speaking of green, our wedding china, seen in the photo above, is Oxford Green by Royal Doulton. We have nine place settings. I like to use it for special occasions because why not?
I will tag: Megan, Janet, Jo, and Alana.

Faith in the unseen

Nope. This is not going to be a schmaltzy spirit of Christmas post. Frankly, after watching the crappy new Muppets Christmas special last week I think my Christmas spirit is lying dormant and won't reawaken until I actually light my candle and sing "Joy to the World" at the midnight service on Wednesday. I have a most serious case of Grinchicus Scroogifimus, and don't blame me if I go in my bed, draw the curtains, and don't wake up until the last bell rings.

Instead, I stretched my faith by trusting in my washing machine.

I've not done a whole bunch of felting. The whole "make it big, then shrink it down!" aspect seems a little counterintuitive to me. I have made Mr. D an arrow quiver, and three pairs of felted clogs, but that's it.

Miss E, being the second child, has less handmade stuff than big bro does. Just a fact of coming later, I think. So since this is the first holiday season she has really been aware of all the excitement, and since she has only a crummy store-bought stocking (that I think was actually bought for Mr D and not even for her, so double the bad mom factor), I decided to knit her her very own stocking--and felt it. Because there's something so...floppy...about a hand-knit stocking unless it is felted.

I checked Ravelry for felted stocking patterns, and chose an easy and free one. I probably could have figured it out on my own but I wanted to trust someone else's math.
I then freely and with great loving care cribbed a stripe pattern from my Secret Yarny Boyfriend, Mr. Brooklyntweed, from his Turn A Square hat pattern. I am somewhat obsessed with this neutral/Noro Kureyon combo, having knitted two hats and a sweater for Miss E using this same stripe combo.

The knitting progressed like wildfire as I churned my way down the leg (90-ish rows of 64 stitches) in dribs and drabs over the course of the week. Heel was turned (short rows, not so scary when I know they'll be felted) AND entire foot/toe finished during Hellboy II (cool effects, story not so coherent, can't wait to see what Guillermo del Toro does with The Hobbit!) and the sucker was huge. With huge-ass holes in the short-row heel.

And I took a deep breath and said to myself: felting covers a multitude of sins, and then I took a photo,

and then I felted it...

And it was good.

So those little scales on the wool fibers? Unseen, indeed. Tiny, but powerful.

And the holes in the heels? They closed up...
Christmas magic? you decide.

(Yarns: Patons Classic in Charcoal and Burgundy; Noro Kureyon in color 124. Needles: size 10.5 16" circular.)