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thursday, august 11

looking ahead

Summer's almost over. We've visited Oma & Opa in Germany and wee has stood at the hedge again and looked out into the future.


This picture makes me happy. Many things have changed since last year (there's a ladder in the hedge and I'm blogging elsewhere now) but some things stay the same.

posted by alison at 12:27 am | in vacation 2011 | comments (10)

monday, february 7

the sound of one hand clapping

I had three weeks of knitting between the holidays and the start of the spring semester. I taught a mittens class at the store and decided to knit something along with my students. Except I went with dk weight instead of bulky yarn and gloves instead of mittens. Unsurprisingly, mine took a little longer. And they aren't quite done yet (now two weeks into school!).

pinky up!

I do love the yarn though. Frog Tree alpaca... dreamy. And the purple is so lovely. I'm kinda into purple now. In addition to my purple ruffly scarf, I also got a beautiful crocheted scarf from Garnet Hill for Christmas.

With two purple scarves, I suddenly felt like I needed something purple for my hands. (And my head, which is next on my list.)

So I ignored the little voice in my head saying, You'll never finish ten tiny fingers, and went for it! And, I'll have you know I've knit five fingers already. One of them was even good enough to keep. So there. Okay, lesson #1 learned: I have weird hands. I had knit all four fingers of one glove and then after starting the thumb, I realized it was way too high for my actual thumb. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to knit A LOT of extra rounds after my pinky before beginning my ring finger. Who knew?

Now the little voice is saying, You'll never find the time to finish these! I hate that little voice. Especially when it's right.

posted by alison at 11:33 pm | in 2010 winter knits | comments (17)

monday, january 17

where are they now: frances

Here's what Frances (from Laines du Nord Simple Knits #5) looked like in November 2007:

Yes, you read right: two thousand SEVEN. That was over three years ago. That was so long ago that this is what wee looked like then:

This little cutie was to some extent responsible for the disappearance of this lovely pink sweater. When she started walking and grabbing things, I had to move my yarn stash out of her room. And in that process, a lot of things got stuffed in bags and into a closet. Bye, bye Frances.

After recently going through my chest of knitted sweaters, I remembered Frances and started a search for what was left of her. I dug up a bag of unfinished projects and there she was, untouched, looking exactly like she did back in 2007. Now, however, she looks like this:

Front and back complete. And I've cast on for a sleeve. Let's see if I can finish her in this decade.

monday, january 3

starting the new year with some knitting

Attention! Attention!

Actual knitting content!

Since school's been out (my school, that is, and I still got three more weeks off!), I've been a regular at knitting group again. And wee's been coming with me! It feels so nice to hang out with the gals again and actually do some knitting. Before the Christmas holiday, I finished my Cha Cha scarf.

I've worn it a lot since and have gotten so many compliments on it. People can't believe it's knitted. For my fellow Cha Cha newbies, one hank made a 6 ft. long scarf that I can wrap around my neck twice. I cast on 12 sts. so it's not very wide, but I really like the narrow width. And it's warmer than I thought it would be. It is, after all, almost 50% wool! Don't forget to watch the video about how to work with the Cha Cha yarn. One thing not in the video, however, is a clear explanation about how to bind off. Thankfully, my knitting buddies helped me figure out some way of dealing with the final stitch, but if anyone knows the secret, do tell!

As you can see in the picture above, I'm not the only one sporting a new knitted item in the new year. Wee's stripey hat is also finished. Santa brought me exactly the Spud & Chloe yarn I needed to finish it. That Santa is a real mensch. Now we have a matching set!

And I've already picked up a new project. Well, it's an old one, but it's new to this decade! All will be revealed next time on where are they now....

posted by alison at 3:24 pm | in 2010 winter knits | comments (7)

sunday, december 26

wishing you a merry christmas and a happy new year!

posted by alison at 10:52 pm | in just blogging 2010 | comments (16)

friday, december 10

a little christmas, a little math, and even a little knitting

Christmas season is underway here at Hansel house. Nikolaus has already visited from Germany, dropping his regular booty of candies and toys in the kids' boots on the night of Dec. 5th.

And, of course, my handmade advent calendar is up. The boys have been enjoying special little presents every day. I kind of thought they were getting too old for this, if only because dollar toys are slightly less exciting to 9 year-olds than they were for 6 year-olds. But hubby said I should keep doing it, so I had to come up with some new ideas. I decided I could swing some bigger gifts if they were divided up into parts: one part one morning, one part the next. Last week, the boys had a three-part chocolate pretzel gift that kept them stumped until the very last day!

the pretzels were delicious!

This week it's a three-part LEGO surprise!

They had no clue on day one, but after day two - this morning - they were on to it. They're looking forward to playing Lava Dragon tomorrow!

Wee is ecstatic over this year's Playmobil advent calendar. She picked out the fairy one, with flowers and magic wands and fairy princesses.

seven days in and it's already so pretty pretty

She loves this thing so much that every afternoon, she'll suddenly look up at me and say, 'is it the next day now so I can open another box on my advent calendar?' Sorry, babe, not yet.

In the meantime, when we are not spreading early Christmas cheer, the kids are busy with their usual things and I'm bogged down with final papers for school. I have begun my three-year quest to become an elementary school teacher by taking a math class and a psych class. Math has been by far the more interesting class. In fact, I find myself doing math with wee all the time now. Here we made a bar graph of the different Hello Kitty noodles wee got in her pasta.

we have more flower noodles than Hello Kitty noodles

A few weeks ago, when wee wanted to eat her dessert before she'd finished her lunch, she suggested a pattern (making and recognizing patterns is a very early pre-algebra skill), so we drew it out and she got to eat her food as follows:

Two nachos, one chocolate ball, one nacho, one chocolate ball, two nachos, one chocolate ball, one nacho, one chocolate ball.... Math is yummy.

Also very very yummy, is this faaaabulous little yarn from Trendsetter, called Cha Cha. It makes the most delightful ruffly scarf ever.

Can you believe that this this is knitted?! I couldn't believe it when I saw a sample being knit up in the store. All I knew is that I loved it! And I loved the rich purple color too. I was slightly less in love after watching the silly video about how to wind the tricky ribbon yarn and knit the first few rows, but once I got past the starting difficulties, I've really enjoyed working with it. Part of my enjoyment is due to the rosewood needles I borrowed from the store while starting the scarf. Mmmmmm, rosewood. I didn't even mind that they were straights. Yes, you heard right, straights!

I may have to sneak some more Cha Cha and some rosewood straights into my own Christmas stocking on the 24th!

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