Saturday, January 23, 2010

Catch up with January Knitting

I finally found my camera battery charger AND the skein of pastel yarn that I thought was lost, so now I can post some pictures of what I've been doing and what I'm currently working on.

December and January were busy months for knitting projects. I made Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Pretty Thing neck warmer out of some beautiful angora blend yarn that Lynne gave me. The colors don't show up very well in the picture, but it's a gentle lavender and pale green. I had so much yarn left over that I made a headband to go with it.

I also made another neckwarmer. I decided that my pet skein of yarn, 50% silk and 50% merino in ocean shades, needed to finally be knit into something. It used to live by my desk and get petted a lot. Now it's become a neckwarmer. I used the Meine Kalte Liebe pattern that I've used before and liked.

When I was in Florida with nothing to do but knit, read and relax, I made three hats for felting and I felted them when I got home. The first one was red, the second one was purple and the last was is a wee beanie made out of the leftovers from the red and purple hats.

Last, but not least, my current project is a little baby hat for Maria and Eric's new baby, Caroline. I finally found the lost skein of pastel yarn and I started making a little hat from this pattern. After knitting about three inches of ribbing, I took a good hard look at it and realized that the hat would hardly fit a Barbie doll. Then I looked at the pattern more closely and realized it was for preemies. So, that hat took a visit to the frog pond. I started again with this pattern and it looks closer to the right size now, but the colors are pooling pretty badly. I'm officially taking the position that it doesn't matter.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Christmas at the Landen House

Florida is still chilly. I got up to see the sunrise again this morning. Even in the brisk weather, it's still beautiful to see the sun rise over the ocean.

So, I've got a cup of hot coffee and I'm going to share some pictures of our family Christmas. Kate and I decorated the tree early this year so we could enjoy it longer and I wrapped all the gifts in the same paper -- at Kate's suggestion -- to make a prettier display. Kate made a bunch of paper flowers out of tissue and we put them on the tree branches to add to the festive look.

Ally and Kate woke up considerably later than when they were little. In fact, Jeff and I beat both of them downstairs by at least an hour. When they got ready to come downstairs, we caught them on film and they hammed it up for the camera.

We all opened our stockings and then had a breakfast casserole that I had put together the previous evening from a recipe I got from Mom. Then the four of us gathered around the tree and opened all of our presents. In recognition of my Spongebob mania, Ally gave me a Spongebob throw and the 1st season of Spongebob on DVD. Kate gave me some lovely wooly slippers that I had been looking at admiringly. In addition to other things, I knitted both of them some wool socks and was proud to see both of them wearing them while we were on vacation in Florida. Jeff and I gave each other laptops for Christmas, so we're super high tech this year!

Later in the day on Christmas we had to get ready for an early departure for Florida the next morning. We got our last laundry done and packed our bags and got ready to go.

The next day, after a thankfully uneventful flight, we arrived at the Disney Vacation Club at Vero Beach. Kate got this picture of Jeff and me at the kitchen table in the condo.

Our friends the Neacks shared our vacation with us and here is a picture we took on New Year's Eve (Kate was in her room and missed the shot). We had a great vacation. Larry took Kate kayaking one day and they saw at least nine dolphins, some as close as three feet away! The next day, Larry took Jeff and Ally on a six mile bike ride -- which he thought was no big deal, but Ally and Jeff thought was a major ride. The rest of the time we relaxed and hung out. We missed Mom and Dad, who usually come down to Florida with us after Christmas, but Mom wasn't feeling like coming this year. We talked to them on the phone several times.

So, that was our Christmas. We were blessed with time for family and friends. I hope your Christmas was just as nice.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Presents Day in Louisville

I'm still in Florida, but the weather is hardly Florida-like! It got down to 28 degrees last night! Since I have plenty of time but no pictures of Florida to post (because the camera is out of battery), I'm going to write about our Christmas.

We loaded up the car to celebrate "Presents Day" with my extended family. "Presents Day" originated through the wisdom of my mother who didn't want to fight for Christmas Day with all of our conflicting schedules and so each year we designate a day for all the family to get together and exchange presents. This year, we celebrated fairly late -- on the 23rd-- because three of our four college students weren't getting out of school until late.

Amy and Frank, my sister-in-law and brother, hosted us this year because Frank was on call and couldn't leave Louisville. Amy had the house decorated beautifully and was all set up to present a holiday feast for all of us. We brought dishes to help out, but Amy really did the lion's share of work and it was lovely.

Everyone but Kathryn's husband, John, was able to come. Here is a picture of Kathryn, my sister and her son, William.

Here, my brother Frank watches my daughter Kate opening a present. Frank is sporting a yellow bow tie that I gave him belatedly for his October birthday.

My daughter, Ally, is sitting on the couch with my husband Jeff and my Dad.

Ally was tickled when she received a canvas bag for transporting her stuff to and from college. The surprise was that it was filled with her favorite snack foods!

Here's a pretty good picture of my Mom, enjoying the day and having everyone together.

Kate, my daughter, was eager to unwrap her gifts, which turned out to be some terrific cooking implements to foster her passion for cooking. She was especially thrilled with the "pinch bowls," just like on her favorite cooking shows.

Here's a group picture showing (from left to right) my nephew John, my sister-in-law Amy, my niece Mary Beth and my sister Kathryn.

Frank and Amy's two sons newly home from their college in California helped their parents play host to this year's gathering.
And, last but not least, we see Jeff displaying his gifts -- a tie and a wallet -- while my Dad looks on approvingly.
Next up, our family Christmas at home.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back in the Sunshine State

Well, there's good news and bad news. The good news is that after our annual Christmas break vacation to Vero Beach, Jeff said I could stay for another week. He's taking care of everything at home -- getting the girls back to school and everything -- and letting me relax for another week here at a luxury hotel on the beach. The bad news is that my camera is out of battery and I can't post any pictures of the beautiful beach or anything. Apparently, I left the charger at home, so I'm out of luck. So everyone will just have to imagine the green/blue waves breaking outside my window, the white breakers and the rhythmic roar of the ocean.

The sun is shining brightly, but the weather is cold -- and is predicted to remain cold all week. It's beautiful, but it's not swimming weather, or even weather to sit outside in the sunshine. Fortunately, I have a lot of fun things to do indoors. I'm listening to an audiobook, taking a DVD course in Impressionist Art, reading a novel and knitting a hat.

I wanted to post a picture of my most recent finished object, but I guess that will have to wait until I get home. I knitted Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's "Pretty Thing," a lacy neck warmer, out of some beautiful angora/merino fingering yarn that Lynne gave me. It's a lovely lavender and green and turned out pretty well. Kate has been looking at it with a longing eye.

When I learned I would be staying here in Florida, my primary concern :) was that I didn't have any more yarn or a project to work on. After a lengthy search (Florida doesn't seem to be big on knitting), I found some wool yarn and I'm knitting a red hat for felting. It's going quickly; I may need to buy more yarn before I leave on Saturday!

I'm looking forward to starting a new class when I get home. I'll be working on a Masters Degree in CIT and taking a course on Scripting. I'll be finding out more about it, hopefully, when the class gets started. At the moment, I'm completely in the dark.

Since I don't have any pictures to share, I'll use the pictures I have. In the next blog entry, I'll be reporting on my Christmas with my extended family and my nuclear family and my first week at Vero -- I have pictures of all of that. See you soon!