Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I'm dancing with Happy Feet!

Last week Andrea, from Life on Laffer, wrote to say that I'd won some yarn. It arrived in the mail today and I'm so excited. I can't remember when I've won anything! Once when I was little my mom won a case of frozen waffles from the grocery store, but that's about as close to hitting the jackpot as I've ever gotten. The yarn is beautiful, just take a look....
Two skeins of Happy Feet called Berries. They are going to make the BEST pair of socks! Thank you Andrea!! (Don't forget to check her blog and enter the "Bark in the Park" raffle for some other great yarns! - My luck has run out with this win, so friends go for it!)

But then another score! A friend at school had ordered some yarn intending to make hats for her family. She hadn't realized that it was DK weight and so she gave it to me. Her disappointment is my delight! Thank you Kay! It is bamboo and cotton yarn. I've never knit with it but have heard many great things about that winning combination.
Two skeins of black, red, and blue Schachenmayr Yiplanqing Yarn. They are going to be socks too!

Wow, what a day! These feet are really doing The Happy Dance!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A gift from hubby...

I asked for a "swift, deer",
 NOT a "deer swift."
This fits my house perfectly!
Thanks to ravelry for the laugh!

Weekend mismatch....

I haven't had a cold in a long time...years maybe. I fought the good fight most of the week, trying to keep the dreaded cold at bay: lots of sleep, plenty of liquids, and extra vitamin C, but nothing could keep it from invading my body.  I think it's the worst cold in history, but probably it's because I haven't had one for a while, cotton stuffed head, eyes that feel like the are about to swell shut, ears bordering on hurting, runny nose and sore throat.

I'm trying to put on a good front, it's the weekend after all, the weather is picking up, the sun's out and warming us up.  So in goes a dose of cold medicine, out come the flip-flops and off we go! Heading back home I begin to think that I'm feeling better, the head's clearing and the nose not dripping so much - but my feet don't feel quite right........
Dang!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Memories of happy pills....

Yesterday's newspaper had an article about an old fashioned five and dime. A photo of pink lozenges brought back memories of my grandmother. My father’s mother became a widow when my father was 12 years old. Her sister, Emma, said that when Grandfather died, my grandmother went into their bedroom, climbed in bed, and stayed there for three days. Times were tough for them to begin with, and I’m sure Gramma had no idea what she was going to do to provide for three young children. Aunt Emma was an old-maid schoolteacher in Wyoming. She came to the rescue by opening her house to the troubled family of four. In return my grandmother cooked and kept the house. As her children grew up and got married, they each began taking a six-month stint having my grandmother living with them.



Perhaps it was just a young girl’s perception, and I don’t deny it, but our six months with Gramma every 12 months were interesting times.  Being the only granddaughter of eight grandchildren, you would think that I would be a favorite – or at least in the running, but not so. The honor goes my brother, Steve. She always had on hand those little pink lozenges that she called “Happy Pills” but she kept them hidden. These candies come in pink or white, and taste like flavored chalk. But the fact that they weren’t particularly good was overshadowed by the fact that, periodically, I would see Steve sucking on something. I’d ask what it was, and his reply would be, “Gramma gave me candy.” It wasn’t long before my great detective abilities came into play, and I was able to deduce where she kept the candy. High in the kitchen cupboard! If I stood on my tiptoes, on the counter, and reached behind the cereal, I could steal take a piece or two at a time without being detected!

Our house in Seattle had a long room that my mother divided into a living room/dining room by putting the couch in the center. She would not sit with us but sat behind the couch in the designated dining room on a straight back chair next to the floor lamp where she would quietly crochet.

Gramma loved the weekly TV series, Perry Mason. Perry Mason was a trial lawyer that solved murder mysteries but not before they were in front of the jury. Really, by standards back then, it was an adult show. The living room layout was this: TV, three bored, twitchy, children laying in front of the TV, two adults sitting on the couch, one gramma behind the couch crocheting. The hour would always include warnings to be quiet, and much throat clearing on my Gramma’s part. One particular evening we must have been very quiet for an extended amount of time, because all of a sudden, there was a crash behind the couch. When we turned around to see what had happened there was NO Gramma! A stroke? A heart attack? My father’s weak voice could be heard, “Mom?” She popped up like a gopher’s head out of its hole, from behind the couch. She slid back into the chair, laughing. She’d fallen asleep and fell onto the floor! She was fine and we all had a good laugh!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Learning to knit

When knitting out in the "real world", I often get asked how long I have been knitting. The when makes little difference to me. I've been knitting since I was a little girl, actually, the spring of my fifth grade year in school.
It's the how I started knitting that I enjoy relaying. Bea, a lovely and glamorous lady who lived in a house across the street, was teaching my mother to knit. I spent quite some time watching the two with their heads together, casting on, putting the right hand needle into the loop on the left needle, twisting the yarn around and then pulling it off. As they were finishing with the first knitting lesson, I gathered up my courage and announced that I would like to learn to knit. Mom said that someday I could learn to knit, but right then I was to young. I was truly disappointed and gathered a small ball of yellow yarn, two pencils and went upstairs to my bedroom. Hours later, I came down to show my mom not only one but two doll booties! I had knit four garter stitch L shapes, and had hand sewn them together to form baby doll booties. Mom took one look at the booties and in amazement said that perhaps I wasn't to young to knit after all! I was soon a better knitter than my mom and three years later I was the one to make my baby brother a sweater!

PS. Bea was the first "career woman " that I knew. She shopped at the nicest stores in Seattle and had things delivered to her house. Beautiful suits, and even high heeled shoes! I recently wrote thanking her for the life long skill that she shared with me. She called on the phone in return and we had a lovely chat. (She still drives to the grocery store and such - she's only blind in one eye. Oh, my!)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Birthday Wishes!

It's our wonderful Sadie Lou Who's birthday today!!!
Sitting pretty!
Showing off the new chompers....
On the go...
Happy first birthday!
"It's a long way to Montana, but we sure have fun when we get there!"
First day of kindergarten...
"I'm missing some teeth!" (thanks Tiger!)
Gramma's sweet girl...
Have a wonderful day.
I can't wait to see the pictures of your birthday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A quick knitting tip

I've been working on an Irish knit sweater for the "California Girl's" Christmas gift. I love knitting all those cables! One thing that I often do when knitting a sweater is to knit the two fronts or two sleeves at the same time. That way each piece is exactly the same as the other!
 Notice the white feather on the ceramic cat....it's from our wild albino turkey! Yep, she made it through the winter!
This sweater is from Paton's Aran Knits for the Family. When my nephew Joe was little I made several sweaters for him from this booklet. I also made a few Aran knit buntings that the babies looked lovely in! If anyone knows of a good book of Aran patterns, please leave a comment. I have five more Aran Christmas sweaters to do! I may try designing some Aran Sweaters to keep from getting bored!
 The California Girl
 The Mandy look a like
The Prince 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My pot of gold is filled with...

One Hubby who loves me, who I love and want to grow old with.

Two son-in-laws that are generous with their holiday time so that I can have outstanding memories to carry me through the entire year!

Three well adjusted and loving daughters who like to spend time with me and vice versa.

Four beautiful and active grandchildren who keep me laughing even when it's just thinking about them.

Many Irish ancestors who came to America and gave me the Luck o' the Irish!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hubby's Favorite...Banana Oatmeal Cookies

I made Hubby’s favorite cookie, Banana Oatmeal, last weekend. My mom always thought his favorite cookies were the Almond Crescent Cookies she made for him each Christmas. For years I thought that hubby loved Chocolate Chip Cookies the best. It wasn't until recently, when I gave him a choice between The Tiger's favorite banana bread or these cookies, that I found out Banana Oatmeal are his top choice. These cookies are fairly healthy because they contain oatmeal and bananas. At our house we love to eat cookie dough, always have and probably always will, but these always taste better warm from the oven!

Years ago I got the recipe from a coworker at the Savings and Loan in Billings. She was a great lady who had raised several children on her own with a very tight budget. No food was left uneaten, even those brown bananas! Enjoy!
Banana Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup Crisco
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup walnuts
Combine crisco, sugar, eggs, and bananas. Then add dry ingredients. Refrigerate 30 minutes before baking, so dough will not flatten out when baked. Place in a 350 degree oven on lower self for about 3-4 minutes then on top shelf to brown (about 8 minutes total)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hello Baby!

I knit two fast projects today for a friend's baby. The first is a bunny hat and the other is called a "cocoon". If this little baby boy is anything like D#3 when she was a newborn, it will be in constant use. As a brand new baby D#3 would think she was "free falling" unless she swaddled as tight as could be!
 (Edit 4-3-10...baby's here and a much better model than the old doll!)

The baby won't arrive for another week or two so I thought I'd put it on a doll that was my mother's when she was young.
Yarn: Stashed Red Heart
Patterns: Bunny Beanie by Noe Knit
               Laurel Love Cocoon

The baby doll doesn't show off the cocoon well... but she does show off the dress that my mother-in -law made as a baptismal dress for my husband. I don't know if they used it or if it was a dream dress for the girl they never had...
Hubby is the third son in the family. Had he been a girl he would have been named Carol (a tie to being born in December and Christmas Carols.)

The doll was made by Horsman Doll Co. and has the old mark: E. I. H. CO. INC. on her neck.  She is an 18" baby dimples doll, made in both composition/cloth. She is from the 1920's.

PS. Colton Robert was born on March 15th at 12:38 in the morning! My knitting vibes weren't off at all!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A couple of great blogs...

Recently I have come across two fun, fellow knitting bloggers.  Life on Laffer is a fellow teacher, knitter, blogger, pet lover. Go to her site today, leave a comment and enter to win two beautiful skeins of yarn. (Also, take a look at some older posts. She is holding a fundraiser for a quantity of yarn to help the local animal shelter - a good cause.)

Another blog that I found is Yarn on the House  this site gives away free yarn on a weekly basis! Check it out!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Spring break...

I'd been feeling lost since the finishing of the UFO sweater. Treading water for a week, wanting to start on the half dozen annual Christmas Sweaters that I knit each year but not having the yarn. To keep myself busy, I found a vintage baby hat pattern and did a little needle experimentation, my original thought was that it would be a small gift to a friend. It is a lovely pattern but the fingering yarn called for should have been lace yarn. So the "small" gift turned into a rather large hat and not a gift at all, only a great experiment in Amish knitting.

Then, I received a phone call from Julia, friend and owner of the LYS. Julia told me that my order of Encore yarn had arrived. After school I went to our Friday night knitting group, also picking up the yarn. Then off for a lovely dinner and shopping with Daughter Number Three before picking up Daughter Number Two at the airport.  The next morning I pulled out the yarn and showed D#2 the sweater pattern that I wanted to start. She gave me the go ahead and I was off... I 'd forgotten how I do love a good Irish knit pattern!
Although Irish knit sweaters are knit in wool, these two sweaters will go through the washer and dryer multiple times and will last longer because they are knit in Encore yarn! Wool in California is just to much for everyday wear.

I’ve knit from this Paton pattern book several times in the past and love the clear directions.