My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Roberta Gloves

I am proud to offer my very first Original pattern for sale!

I made these beautiful fair isle gloves for my Grandmother Roberta for Christmas. She is the most wonderful woman I have ever known, and as such, deserves a pair of stunning, original, hand made gloves.
The pattern is written for a woman's medium, with adaptation instructions for fingerless mitts.

Pattern Requirements:
Fingering weight wool yarn
215 yrds Off White (135yrds for Fingerless mitts)
50 yrds Brown
Size 1 circular or double pointed needles

I highly recommend that these gloves be knit on either magic loop, or 2 circ method because of the fair isle pattern. There is a separate chart for the back of the hand and for the palm. I find it much easier to keep track if these sections are on separate needles. If you prefer dpn, however, I recommend 5 dpn rather than 4 so that the palm half can be on 2 needles and the back of the hand can be on the other 2 needles.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Let it Snow

We had the most fantastic blizzard blow through here this past week. The snow started Tuesday evening and didn't stop until mid day on Thursday. It is now almost a week later, and everything is still covered in snow. We didn't even manage to get any cars out until Saturday afternoon. DH and my 2 shoveled for over 4 hours on Sunday to dig out our enormous driveway far enough for 4 cars to park for Christmas Dinner yesterday afternoon. In all, I think it is fabulous and got to keep my husband home for a big 5 day weekend for Christmas :D

Without further adu, please enjoy pictures of our fantastic snow!

In areas without drifts, the snow is about knee deep, but with all the out buildings, etc, the snow piled up in beautiful flowing drifts all over the place. Our front door was swept clean by the wind because we face West.

Notice that the drift curves around our house? My uncle commented that it looked like a the wake that a ship creates as it's moving through the water. The funny thing is, though, it wasn't the house that was moving ^.~

My Grandma who lives next door, though, wasn't so lucky. Her house faces north.

One would think that since the wind was coming from the north, that the drifts would be at the north of the house, but they weren't. This is our shed at the south of our house.

The snow drifted up and hugged all the cars like a nice white blanket. This was beautiful for the camera, but not so nice for trying to get them out!

Alex absolutely adored the snow and the first day we went out (Thursday afternoon) he was jumping, sliding, climbing, and generally romping in the snow. By the end of our excursion, his mittens looked like this:

This is the North side of the barn.

This is the South side of the barn! Wouldn't that make a fantastic sledding drift?!

See that little opening there? I had to turn my head sideways to squeeze through to get in the barn. All of that snow came in through that tiny little opening!

At least the poor horses in my Grandma's barn have a nice warm stall to hide in, because check out that first step outside! The poor horses next door didn't appear to be as lucky :(

And of course, no snow storm is complete without a little game of "Plop" with Daddy!

Here's wishing all of you some beautiful snow of your own!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Here comes Santa Claus

Friday night was our church Christmas party. DH was working, but the kids, my Grandma, and I all went and it was absolutely wonderful. Our ward is much smaller than our previous ward and I find that I really like it. It is large enough to have friends about and people to chat with, but small enough that there are actually enough chairs and tables for everyone to sit down, and that you don't just get lost in the crowd.

Santa came in when all of the children sang Jingle Bells as loud as they could.

I'm afraid that Alex and Shaya didn't quite know what to say to him, but they both agree that he was VERY nice!

I'm trying to actually put up the backlog of saved posts, so please bare with me :D

Monday, December 11, 2006

Same old Same old

I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself this morning. DH now drives 50 minutes one way to and from work every day. I really don't feel like taking him to work and then spending a total of 4 hours in the car if I don't have to (2 hours round trip twice a day), so I've let him take the van and I've stayed home with the kids. This means that I do in fact get 1 hour less with him every day. I know, an hour really doesn't seem like much, but for some reason I'm feeling it this morning. Maybe I'm PMSing or something.

The kids have been playing nicely together for the most part, though, which is nice. Right now the big kids are playing with the train set in Alex's room while Brendan is trying to eat the play tools that are strewn all across my family room floor. It is a bit amazing that the baby isn't permanently stuck to my leg. He seems to be that way some times. After holding him wrapped up in a blanket for a while this morning, I am beginning to wonder if half of that is not so much that he's tired, but that he's cold. I know I was cold this morning. I had to put on socks and a sweater because my hands were so stiff that I couldn't type. I'm seriously considering some of those fingerless gloves that I've been seeing everywhere because I think for the first time I see a practical purpose. My sweater sleeves are pulled down to my knuckles and it does help a lot.

On the knitting front, it has been all Rogue all the time. This is the 1 project that I absolutely HAVE to finish by Christmas and it's looking like that shouldn't be a problem. I finished the body and hood on Friday, and finished the first sleeve last night. That means that I only have 1 more sleeve to go and then to seam them onto the body and it's done. Totally doable. I think it's really turning out beautiful. It's a little loose on me, but otherwise fits perfect, so I think it'll fit snugly on my mom. I did take it over to have her try it on when it was to the arm pits, just to make sure, so I think we're a go.

My biggest concern is not finishing, but being able to wash and block the darn thing since we have now been in our new house for 3 1/2 weeks now and THE WATER STILL ISN'T FILTERED! This means that I'm still hand washing every single dish (ok, so we've reverted to plastic cups, plates, and silverware when possible...) so that I don't ruin my brand new dish washer. We are able to take showers, although if I fill up a bath I can see that the water is mirky and yucky, I hope the soap takes care of most of it. My Grandma who lives next door has let me bring over laundry to do, which is nice, so that I haven't had to go to the laundry mat. We do have a washer, but I don't want all that dirty water ruining it, plus, how clean do you think clothes would really get in that?! Luckily we have finished the water tests and it appears that there are no bacteria in the water (thank you 2500 ft deep well), but it definitely has some stuff dissolved in it. We think it's going to cost over $1500 to get everything filtered which seriously sucks, but you've got to do what you've got to do.

There has been no work at all on the ebay front because of the same water considerations. I'm not about to try to wash yarn for other people with this water. That makes that $1500 all the more expensive. It has given me lots of time to knit, though, which is good. Once Rogue is done, that leaves me with a pair of fair isle gloves that I need to design and make for my Grandma as well as finish the scarf for DH, and hopefully knit a hat or something for my dad. The last few years I've made him some cabled hats, this year I was thinking a tighter knitted simple fair isle type thing. We'll see. Now the baby has decided that I'm neglecting him, so it's back to mommy world. With that I'll leave you with a pic of Shaya and her cousin Sam jumping on her bed.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Mitten Love

Mittens, hanging and dripping snow in the new mudroom of our house.
Do you think that they feel loved by their child sized owners?
Do you think that the romp in the snow for the very first time filled their little fibery mitten hearts with joy?
Do you think that they see the ice crystals formed on their perfectly formed stitches as a badge of honor?
Congratulations brave little mittens. You have fought your first snow ball fight bravely and kept tiny hands warm and safe. Thank you.

We went outside today and romped in the snow for a bit. I remember as a child that I hated knitted mittens because they always got totally soaked within minutes, and they collected great balls of snow on the palms. Remembering this, I have no idea why I feel the need to knit my children mittens. Do I really think that because the mittens I made are made of wool that it will make these problems go away? I may have to make myself a pair just to see. One thing I can say, though, is that these little things dry FAST. After 2 hours of hanging on the rod in the mud room, Shaya's mittens were completely dry and Alex's were just a little damp. Alex's mittens are made of Paton's Classic Merino, while Shaya's were made of my own 100% handspun. It is not merino, although, I can't remember what kind of wool it is. I wonder if merino absorbs more water because it is so much softer...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Artwork on the Cheap

Years ago DH and I visited his oldest sister and her family. I believe that I was pregnant with Alex at the time, but I'm not sure. Anyway, She, like me, is was a stay at home mom and living off of 1 income seriously limits your budget. She had some large, stunning, pictures up in her family room and in the kids' rooms. They were glued together puzzles. "What a great idea!" I exclaimed. That same day, we all went out and picked out about 4 puzzles and some huge bottles of plain old Elmer's glue. We even completed 2 of said puzzles while still on vacation. Each puzzle cost only a few dollars and then a poster frame was maybe $10 more. At the height of our puzzle making career, DH and I constantly had puzzles going. In fact, we even put together and framed puzzles for our friends for Christmas. This all stopped not long after our kids were seriously moving about. Little fingers and puzzle pieces don't mix very well. Several of our artwork on the cheap languished in the back of our closet because they lacked a frame, or space to hang it.

Enter the new house. We have finally reached the stage where we are hanging art on the walls. The long forgotten puzzles from the back of our closet got pulled out and added to the ones that had previously been hanging on the walls. We have 3 more rooms to decorate now! A few still need frames, but all of them will get to see the light of day hanging on a wall like they were meant to. Come take a tour of our art gallery!

This is a picture by one of my all time favorite artists Greg Olsen. He makes absolutely stunning paintings of Christ and children and other religious themes. In fact, we have a print about this size hanging in our living room that was given to us one year. I remember seeing it on the wall at the store for well over $100. This picture is called "Bon Voyage"

This one of my favorite puzzles that we have done. I love the happy warm yellow in it. It's going to hang in my kitchen so I can look at it every day.

This is my second favorite picture. I'm afraid that I don't even remember who painted it, but I have a feeling that it might be Greg Olsen as well. I have a strong fascination with trees, and if you look closely at this picture, you'll notice that there is a whole world of tiny houses and stair cases in this tree for tiny little people to live in.

This picture previously hung in the kids room and now resides right over Shaya's bed in what we refer to as the "girl room".

This wonderful picture is called "Lords of the Moon" by Lynn Lupetti. It hangs right next to the tree in Shaya's room. I love how the block castle turns into a real castle and how the whole court of characters comes out of the moonbeam as the little boy is sleeping. Can you see a theme? I really like these little whimsies.

On the opposite wall hangs this fantastic fairy. She is part of our "Glow in the dark" puzzle period. These puzzles have larger pieces and the whole glow in the dark thing is just too cool. My only complaint is that the printer must have been off just a touch and the glow in the dark part doesn't quite match up with the actual picture, so it all looks a little fuzzy.

Next, we have my favorite picture in the "Glow in the Dark" series. DH and I actually put together 2 of these wonderful wizards. 1 for our friends, and then one for us. I believe that this picture hangs in both our little boys' room as well as our friend's little boy's room. Isn't the combination of deep blues, purples and golden yellow stunning?!

This is the final piece in our "Glow in the Dark" collection. It also hangs in the boys' room. All of the glow in the dark puzzles had sat in the back of our closet and now get to see the light of day with expanded wall space. This hangs next to the wizard, and will some day be joined by our friendly dragon shown below.

This is the friendly Dragon, and neither DH or I actually put it together. One year for Christmas, we sent this puzzle to the SIL mentioned at the beginning of the post and she put it together for us and sent it back. Apparently she really didn't like the picture so it took her a while.

The friendly dragon needs to be repaired (1 corner broke off) and needs a custom frame job. It is too big for a standard poster frame. Someday, hopefully he'll join the others in the boys' room.

Which brings us to my latest insanity. You'd think that after putting together 7 different poster sized puzzles, DH and I would be done, but we realized that we still had puzzles in the closet and wall space to fill, so last night we pulled out a puzzle that we had previously started and then packed away. This will also go in Shaya's room when it's done.

It's another Lynn Lupetti picture, here's a close up.
Maybe sometime I'll show you all the wolf stuff that DH brought to the marriage. We have 2 large, stunning wolf pictures in our family room.

So now here's your challenge... What do you have hanging on your walls?