Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Knitting Review

Socks: 10 pairs
Mittens: 1 pair
Fingerless Gloves: 13 pairs
Sweaters: 16
Shawls and Shawlettes:8
Scarfs: 3
Baby Blankets: 2
Misc: 3
Neck warmer: 1
     Grand total of knit in 2011:  64 items

Favorite knitted item: The Pirate's  pirate sweater II, because he loves it so!
"Looks the same."
"Smells like Grandma."
"What's better than having a pirate sweater? Having two!"
Favorite photo of a knitted item: Because it was such a totally dorky thing to do!
Hawaii 2011
Craziest thing knit this year:  No need to explain!
Craziest remark about my knitting: When asked what her parents are like the California Dreamin' gal says: "Well my dad kills rattlesnakes with a bow and arrow and my mom knits sweaters for her ipod!"
Favorite handspun item: Because they were my first attempt at spinning.
Monkey mitts and Miss Sadie's scarfette

Friday, December 30, 2011

Whim knitting

I love this time of year for many reasons...
Christmas with the family,
Staying at home - nesting,
Crisp, cold weather under a big blue sky,
Great meals,
Reading good books.
Being able to knit whatever I desire.

I rummage through Ravelry like I did the Sears and Roebuck Christmas Catalog as a kid. It provides hours of entertainment....
"Maybe I'll knit this."
"No, I want to knit this next."
"This would be just perfect!"
Then it's off to the stash bin to see just what I can plunder!

The projects that I do after Christmas usually are small and quick. And this year is no exception. I've been looking at Jared Flood's Turn a Square Hat for sometime and now just seemed like the right moment to knit it up. The striped yarn is a little bright but what I had in the stash. The hats were fast to knit up, took very little yarn and will be warm for the recipients!

Pattern: Turn A Square
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers, Patons Wool Classic
Colorway: Vinci,  Palais
Needles: US 5 and 7

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Sweaters on Parade, 2011

First to check in with their new sweaters:
Chloe A Little Bit
The Pirate
Grandma gets the second set accounted for:
Sadie Lou
The Tiger
And the last two are looking good!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas holiday winds down

The NorDak Family are on the road home. It's been a fun holiday, here's a quick snapshot of the happenings: (I'm just beginning to get used to my new camera!)
Frosting Christmas cookies for Santa.

Sadie with Aunt Kate.
Sadie Lou and Isaac wrote a book about their Dad.
Grandpa and The Tiger
Sadie Lou
Showing off their new sweaters.
Winding down with Mom.
We're ready to go but there's not much snow!
Watching a movie with Bluie (II or III, I'm not sure).
Nikko honors The Tiger!
Grandpa gives advice to the newbies!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Multnomah Number 5

I think this may be my last multnomah - I’m running out of people to gift. The daughters are just not buying into these! I love them BUT I’ll once again go out on a limb and say shawls and shawlettes are fashionable in the knitting world but not so much in the real world!
Pattern: Multnomah
Yarn: Bits and Pieces of leftover sock yarn (75% wool, 25% nylon) and Red Heart Heart and Sole
Colorway: Ivory and various
Needle size: US size 5

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The children were nestled all snug in their beds...

My girls grew up with a great tradition that has been passed on to their kids. 
The kiddos are allowed to open one package each Christmas Eve,
It is picked out by their mother,
and the package always contains...
a new pair of jammies.

 The kids never seem to catch on!

"Hitchhiking" to California

Last week as we traveled to the California Dreamin' Family I worked on two knitted projects:
Pattern: Hitchhiker
Yarn: Knit that Puppy, hand dyed yarn
 Colorway: Grays and Purples
Amount: 490 yards
Needle size: US size 4
Yarn: Twisted Sisters, hand dyed petite voodoo
Amount: Less than 3 skeins, about 500 yards
Needle size: US size 4

This was a fun pattern, and an unusual scarf resulted!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A quick visit to California

We had a great time in San Francisco last weekend! When Chloe had ballet practice, I had a little one on one with the Pirate. Then when the Pirate and his Grandpa went to the aircraft carrier, I had time with Chloe! Priceless!

Chloe did a great job at The Nutcracker. I love that ballet and it was made extra special to have Chloe perform...


On the way to the Raider game...
Another Wonderful Holiday Memory...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Anniversary

We've been married 40 years today!

Don't know what I'd do without you!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Getting your birthday wish

Today is my Mom's birthday.  She was a great mom and others saw what a great gal she was, too. Mom was often the recipient of heartfelt gifts both large and small. One of her most memorable birthday gifts came from a complete stranger.

In Montana your driver's license expires on your birthday. It's supposed to be a silent reminder. This particular year Mom's license was up for renewal and being a good citizen, down to the office she went. The gal behind the counter was surprised to see her on her birthday and asked what she wanted for her big day.

Without missing a beat Mom replied, "To be five years younger!"

They both laughed and agreed how nice that would be.

Several weeks later when the new drivers license arrived in the mail, Mom opened the envelope and was delighted to see she had received a late birthday gift, the gal behind the counter had given Mom her wish - she was indeed five years younger!

Mom never changed her birth date to the correct year. I think it was one of her favorite gifts, it certainly gave us chuckles over the years and a smile on her face every time she pulled out her license!
A little cheese cake in the 40s

Monday, December 12, 2011

Santa's Workshop

The workshop was busy this weekend, Mrs. Claus started and completed a pair of fingerless mitts.

Pattern: Mendocino Heel Stitch Fingerless Gloves
Yarn: Jojoland Tonic
Colorway: Rose
Needle Size: US 5 and US 7

She finished another Multnomah.
Yarn: Red Heart &Sole, 2 skeins, tag ends of sock yarn - 75% wool, 25% nylon
Colorway: Ivory and various bright colors
Needle Sze: US 5

Mrs. Claus completed a pair of socks that have been the bane of her waking hours for the last month,
Pattern: A off road sock lesson from Lala, Judy's magic cast on, The KnitGirllls after thought heel, Cat Bordhi's reinforcement of the heel, and Jeny's Surprisingly stretchy bind off!
Yarn: Malabrigo Sock Yarn
Colorway: arboi
Needle Size: US 1

I did some off road knitting, starting with Judy’s Magic Cast On with 10 total stitches and increasing every other row to a total of 84 stitches.

The top of the sock has the pattern of:
Row 1:k3, p3
Row 2: K1, sl1, k1: P1,sl1, P1
To 2.5 inches before total foot length.

I added mohair to the after thought heel for strength.

The top of the sock was cast off using Jeny’s surprisingly stretchy bind off.
The heel will be done with an added bit of mohair - this is to reinforce the heel.
Knit 2 rows,
Decrease every other row until 10 stitches remain.
The decrease row is as follows:
Row 1:K1, slip next 2 stitches as if to knit then ktog, knit to last three sts, ktog, k1
Row 2:Knit one row

Then Mrs. Santa sewed buttons on a sweater, wrapped a few more packages, and started ANOTHER Multnomah!

Mr. Santa hopped into his sleigh and dropped off the packages today to be delivered to family soon!

It feels like snow tonight...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spinnning update

Over Thanksgiving, Sadie Lou Who wanted a spinning demonstration and I was happy to oblige. I spun two ounces beautifully and was rather proud. After the family left I thought I'd spin the other two ounces and promptly realized I'd lost my mojo, for five evenings I left the wheel frustrated. Monday night I gave it another try and was pleased with the results! The yarn is now spun, plied, whacked and wound.
Encroaching Forest
Hand Dyed Falkland
4 ounces
From Fiber Fancy

I'm going to try to find a solid yarn at the yarn shop today to knit my handspun into this shawlette.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Duis Sisters

Just a bit of advice, label the photos you have!

In the box from my aunt there were several photos of young girls, taken in Bruning Nebraska. This is where my Grandmother grew up. Her father, Jurden Duis owned and ran a store in Bruning over 100 years ago.

I believe they are several of the Duis sisters.

Tetje(Katie) Duis Middendorf, Altje(Ollie) Duis, Emma Duis, Margaretha (Maggie, Margaret) Duis Murphy, Maria Helena Duis Wilhelms, there were other sisters who died at an early age: Christina (9 years old when she died), Ida (16 years old when she died), Linda (11 years old when she died). Unfortunately I have no idea who is who! I would appreciate any help!

I believe these are photos of my Grandmother, Margaret Duis Murphy:

(I was told that this is a photo of Margaret and now have an original.)
This is how I remember my Grandmother:
She grew up speaking German but refused to speak the language around us. My mom encourage her to teach us but she refuse to because she spoke "low" German.

Her mother's maiden name was Schmidt. However during WWI the family changed it to Smith.

Grandma would rotate from one of her children's families to another, spending 6 month stints with each. When she came to our house I would move from my bedroom, it never bothered me until my tiny little room was painted a lovely lavender, with a white bedspread, and Priscilla curtains. Oh, how I loved this bedroom - just big enough for a twin bed, and dresser! (When we sold the house I was furious to hear the man who bought it say to his wife that the only room in the house they'd have to paint was MY bedroom!)

When I was in the 6th grade Mom worked part time, Saturday, Sunday and Monday afternoons. When Grandma came to say she'd do the cooking which would usually include sauerkraut and mashed potatoes for one meal of the three days.