Saturday, December 29, 2007

A Real Beauty

I don't think that I have ever found a vegetable " beautiful." That is, until now. I have never seen Romanesco broccoli before, and when it arrived in our harvest box from Los Poblanos Organics I seriously had no idea what it was. It looks too good to eat! I will be preparing it tomorrow with some shrimp and olive oil--nothing too strong, I want to be able to savor the taste of this beauty!
Yesterday I met a good friend in Santa Fe. We were planning on walking around the plaza, but it was frigid outside with a bitter cold breeze. So, we ended up staying in Borders for an hour and a half time looking at books and drinking coffee. While we were there, i was able to pick up these:I have been really interested in sewing lately--ever since I made those cloth Christmas bags. There is so much I don't know how to do, but I'm very interested in learning. I'll keep you posted on this new fiber adventure!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I Couldn't Stop Myself

I just had to start the Lady Eleanor Entrelac Stole from Scarf Style (if you're a Ravelry user, there are tons of beautiful examples of this project). The beautiful Noro Silk yarn had been burning a hole in my closet for close to a month now, and I have been a good girl with finishing my Christmas gifts (except for one that I won't talk about just in case I start to feel a bit guilty). This is my first time knitting entrelac-style, and so far I am really enjoying myself. It doesn't need my attention like colorwork, but it's much more interesting than stockinette. I love the way the colors fit into nice little triangles and rectangles. I also love the feel of the yarn--so silky smooth, yet natural and earthy. The colors are beautiful as well--purples, teals, creams, and greys.
I forgot to include a picture earlier of Matthew's stocking, so here it is. It matches his daddy's stocking, except for the name and color. Someday I'll have to make myself one (the dogs, cats and I have store-bought). :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Matthew's First Christmas

We had such a wonderful Christmas this year. On Christmas Eve my parents, Pat's parents, and my brother came over for a soup supper. We then went to the children's service at our church (there was no way Matthew could handle the midnight service), then my parents and brother came back over and we opened family presents. Of course, Matthew wasn't spoiled at all. :) Santa came on Christmas morning, we visited with Pat's parents, and we went to my parents' house in the afternoon for dinner. Matthew's first Christmas was a time of laughter, family, and of course celebrating the birth of our Savior. It couldn't have been more perfect.

My favorite gift was the camera these pictures were taken with! Yay! Here is another great gift from Santa:
Pat didn't seem to mind too much that his sweater didn't get finished. I'm still working on it, though, and I'm trying not to start anything else before I finish it. I have new projects, complete with yarn, in sight, and I'm trying not to be too tempted. It's so hard!
I hope that everyone had a terrific Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Check, Check, um...

Cloth bags: check
Finished scarf: check
Finished mittens: check
Finished Pat's sweater: um...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Not a Seamstress

Well, I thought I'd take a break from the craziness of this week and update my blog. I do have some crafting news to report, and this time it's not all in the knitting realm (this is both good and bad). I decided this year to make cloth gift bags that can be reused instead of wrapping paper, so on Tuesday I got started on them. I am by no means a seamstress, but I found the endless cutting, pinning, and ironing of little squares and rectangles strangely therapeutic. While working on my second bag I started to really enjoy the almost-instant gratification on having a finished object that I rarely get from knitting (the instant part). Then, my sewing machine started acting up. Again and again and again. The thread would clump, or come out of the needle, or do something that I wouldn't know how to fix. After much cursing and ripping of seams I decided the put the sewing machine away...or I was seriously going to throw it off of the canyon across the street. Luckily things went much more smoothly the next day, and I now have eighteen cute Christmas gift bags. I don't know how i fixed the problem, but at least the sewing machine was working better--and I was working better--the next day.

Matthew's stocking is also just about finished. All I have to do is the last "T" (for MATT) in duplicate stitch. It's red with a white snow flake that was completed intarsia-style. I also want to put in a lining, but if that doesn't happen before Christmas then that's ok. Sadly, I really don't think that Pat's sweater will be finished before Christmas. I hope he still loves me...

I hope that you all have a fabulous Christmas! This pic graced our Christmas cards this year:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Excuse (Like I Need One!) to Wear New Mitts

I had my advising meeting this morning at Santa Fe Community College and am signed up for my first course, "Exceptionalities and Placement." It's an online course and will start in January. I am excited for a new educational opportunity. I'm also happy that I worked for a couple of years prior to seeking additional endorsements. Hopefully having spent some time teaching will help me keep perspective and have some experiences to draw from. This will be my first online course, so I hope that I have enough personal willpower/motivation to get everything in on time.

It's been pretty cold here, so the snow from a couple days ago hasn't completely melted away yet. The cold weather gives me the chance to wear these fantastic mitts that I wrote about earlier in the week from my swap partner:
And here is the rest of the contents from her package. I am one lucky swap partner! : )'m on my way to a hot bubble bath, a glass of wine, and a new book (that I'll blog about after I get into it a little more). In closing, here are some WIPs that better be FOs by tomorrow evening if I'm to stay on schedule!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A New Endeavor

Right now (Tuesday morning) it looks like a winter wonderland outside. We finally got some snow--yippee! I say "finally," because the last couple of weeks the precipitation has been in the form of rain. I've lived in New Mexico for 17 years and never remember it raining in December (and they say global warming is a hoax--ok, I won't get political : ) ). The schools are on a 2-hour delay, but I wouldn't be surprised if they have a snow day. I know Pat would love that (as would I, for his sake)! So, Matthew's sleeping, Pat's shoveling, and I'm working on my blog. Sounds good to me!

Yesterday I was not in a very good mood due to being up most of the night with Matthew, when my package came from my mitts swap partner. It instantly put me in a good mood! Angelika sent me some AMAZING fingerless mitts. I don't have pics yet, but will post them as soon as they're downloaded. I'm wondering if she created her own pattern? She is incredibly talented, and I am fortunate to be on the receiving end of that talent. :) She also sent me a mug with chocolate-drink goodies, a sheep keychain, mini sock ornament, stitch markers, sock yarn, an oven mitt and yummy brownie mix. I have had a very positive experience participating in a swap, and I look forward to doing another one soon.

I also realized yesterday that there are only TWO weeks until Christmas instead of the three I thought there were! Yikes! I have no idea what I was thinking--wishful thinking, I guess. Now I'm a bit panicked because I have a number of knitting projects to complete. I'm mostly worried about Pat's sweater. He's been waiting for over a year for its completion, and I promised him it would be done by Christmas. Here is a little schedule to push myself a little more:
1.) By Friday evening: have WIPS (mittens and scarf) finished
2.) By next Tuesday: have Matthew's stocking complete
3.) By Christmas morn: have Pat's sweater complete.
Now that it's in writing, you need to hold me to it!

For a couple of years now, I've been seriously considering going for an MA and/or certification in special education. Since I have some time now, and need some intellectual stimulation, I've decided to pursue a special education licensure (the only masters programs are two hours away, which would be very difficult to do at this time. The licensure program can be done online). It's 21 credits and through Santa Fe Community College. Hopefully I'll be able to set up an advising program for next week so that I can start a couple of courses in January. I'm very excited for this. I've always been interested in special ed, have had some very positive experiences with the students in special ed (particularly severe needs such as Down Syndrome) who have been in my class, and it would also give me a way to (hopefully) would part-time when just having an elementary licensure wouldn't. So, wish me luck on this new endeavor!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Swap Mitts

My swap partner received her package safe and sound. I did mail it priority, but it still amazes me how quickly it traveled from New Mexico to Georgia. Sure beats the Pony Express! Anyway, here are the mitts and stats:

The mitts came from the spring 2006 edition of IK under the pattern, "Pom-Pom Fingerless Mitts." I've always liked the geometry of the pattern, and I had a lot of fun making them. I used DK Swish from Knit Picks in "cornflower." My gauge was a little too big, so I omitted one of the 12-stitch cable panels. I also made the thumb-hole on the bottom of one of the mitts so that the mitts would be symmetrical (the cable going in opposite directions instead of the same direction as originally found in the pattern).
In other knitting news, yesterday I finished a felted bag for a friend. It turned out a lot bigger than other bags I've made from the same pattern. I even kept it in the washer for a longer amount of time. I wonder if it had anything to do with yarn being black? Now that the bag is done, as well as the mitts, I'm feeling a little more confident about finishing all of my Christmas gifts on time. I started some mittens last night for a very special somebody and am already half-way done with one. I have several stocking patterns here, but love this one for Matthew. I'm pretty sure I'm going to order the pattern. One issue I always have is getting yarn. It's a 45 minute drive to a yarn shop in Santa Fe, and it's just a bigger ordeal now that I have Matthew. It's a little late to order from Knit Picks, especially since my last order took almost two weeks to arrive! Oh well, we'll figure something out.

Speaking (typing) of Matthew, he's on the verge of crawling!!! He is now supporting himself on all fours and rocking back and forth, sometimes pretty vigorously. When he tries to move forward, though, he falls flat on his belly. It doesn't seem to phase him, and he just gets up and tries again. He was six months old yesterday, and he really is growing so quickly. Everyone told me he would, and now I can really see it!

As far as the lonliness issue goes, I'm feeling much better right now. On Monday Pat came home right after work (instead of going to the gym), and I went for a swim. It felt so good! Swimming is one of the few athletic activities I actually ENJOY doing and can do for a while. It was a good workout, and I'm looking forward to going again. I also went to a play group at our church yesterday. Matthew enjoyed getting out and doing something different, and it was really good for me to have some social interaction with other moms. I ran into one of the La Leche League leaders yesterday and she told me, "moms aren't meant to be at home by themselves all day. They were meant to sit around the soup pot together and talk while the little ones play together." Oh, how I wish it were that simple! We're having some friends over Friday evening, so I'm having fun planning for that. I think that I'm just going to have to make a conscious effort to get out of the house and do some things for myself sometimes. It really does make me a happier person and a better mother and wife.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Two Down, Many More to Go!

On Wednesday I finally finished my mitts for the Fingerless Mitts for Fall KAL swap. My swap partner is Angelika, and I sure hope she likes the mitts! I'll be sure to post pictures, along with the details about the pattern, once sue receives her package. I'm excited to receive her package--it's like an early Christmas present, plus I love surprises!
Im feeling a little stressed about the holidays and getting everything knit up in time. Last week I whipped these up for the baby next door:

They're "Mary Jane Booties" from a little knitting brochure I picked up at the grocery store a couple years ago. They probably took me about two hours to do. I used one of my favorite yarns, Debbie Bliss Baby Casherino.

I've been feeling a little lonely lately. I try to get out of the house with Matthew, but this past week has been pretty cold and rainy, so we haven't gone on many walks. I can definately tell a change in my mood/additude when I'm not able to get some fresh air. I love snow, rain, and grey days, but since I've always lived in the southwest I don't think I could handle living somewhere where it snowed or rained a lot. I've never had the opportunity to experience it, but I wouldn't be surprised if I would be one to experience seasonal depression.

I love being home with my son, and I made the decision to do so, but sometimes I really crave some social interaction. I think that it's been especially difficult because I had an extemely social occupation as a teacher. I feel like I've gone from one extreme to the other. My day was also very scheduled as a teacher, and I find myself trying to make some kind of schedule at home. Of course, I don't force that schedule on Matthew, but it helps me to have some kind of plan for the day. I'm been reading the blog, Yarnstorm, lately, and I love how she focuses on the daily small blessings in her life (as many blog do). I'm also interested in her book, The Gentle Art of Domesticity, but it's only sold out of the UK right now.

I thought I'd wrap this post up with a family pic from Thanksgiving:

(I can't wait to get my own camera so that there won't be such a delay on posting pictures!)

Have a fantastic week! :)