Monday, March 28, 2005

Jesus is risen and the world rejoices!

I love Easter and all that it means. The wages of sin are death and all have sinned and earned death. But rather than be separated from His creation for all eternity because we are dead in our sin, Jesus came to take our place. He lived a perfect life and then willingly died for all who would choose His sacrifice to serve in place of our own earned death.

Unlike the doctrine of human devised religion which looks at the good works a person can do in his feeble attempts to deserve heaven, in truth, eternal life is all about Jesus. It is all about what Jesus has done to redeem us from our justly earned fate. All we have to do is accept this precious gift. And on Easter each year, we celebrate the new life only Jesus has earned the right to give!

On Easter, brightly colored eggs symbolize new life. And Gregory and Gabrielle love to dye Easter eggs!

Gregory could barely wait while I set up the dye.

Gabrielle loved coloring on her eggs with crayon before dyeing.

In the end, Gregory had multicolored fingers.

We have a hard time trying to get a natural looking smile from Gabrielle. Once the camera is out, she distorts her face in all sorts of ways. So, we went for what we could get.

Of course, I have my own Easter dyeing ideas. I grabbed some of the Shetland wool I've been spinning and poured the left over Easter egg dyes onto it. Then I wrapped it up, put it into a large ziplock bag and microwaved it for 1 minute, rested for 10, microwaved for 1 minute, rested for 10, over and over for a little over an hour.

Here is the dyed Shetland wool drying on a towel. I think it is quite pretty and very Spring like. Kurt wanted to know what I planned to make with it. . . Duh, yarn. I think I am starting to lose some of my "product centeredness" and am becoming a little more of a "process centered" person. Just a little.

I managed to finish the heel of my Christian Artisans knit along sock this week.

This sock has certainly been an adventure, but I am glad I did it. I think I will probably stick with cuff down socks in the future. I don't really mind grafting enough to make the change to toe up. Now all I have to do is finish the cuff and top it with some basic ribbing, then off to the second sock!

Monday, March 21, 2005

Well, I am still pregnant, and I still can't believe it. It just seems so unimaginable that I could be having a baby at 40. I am over 11 weeks along in my pregnancy, and I told myself I would have to get used to the idea when I hit 12 weeks and was past my normal miscarriage point. It looks like I am going to have to start getting used to the idea, at least after Friday.

Now keeping in mind I have absolutely NOTHING for babies or pregnancy, a normal person might pick up maternity clothes, a book on pregnancy or baby names or even start shopping around for cribs. Not me. Here is my initial baby shopping:

I picked up 4 knitting books with baby patterns and some wonderful baby silk yarn from Elann.

We started a sock knit along on the Christian Artisans list. We are doing a toe-up sock and it is my first. To make things more challenging, I decided to try a cotton/elastic yarn blend for the first time as well.

We are using an online sock pattern. One of the benefits of knitting socks toe-up is that you aren't supposed to have to swatch. But since I was using a funky yarn, I thought I'd go ahead and swatch anyway.

Keeping up with the ladies on Christian Artisans is a challenge. But it has got me knitting more, which has got to be good. So what if I never get all our paperwork into the insurance company, right? At least I will have socks to wear.

Here is my progress as of yesterday. I made up a simple cable pattern for the top of the foot and will carry it into the cuff. I like the way it is turning out even if I had to frog the toe 4 times before I got it to work.

The women on the Christian Artisans list are the most wonderful women I have ever "met." They are kind and thoughtful and generous, in addition to being talented and all around amazing. Lynn, knowing I like greens and golds and Silkworker silk, sent me this beautiful surprise:

I've just never met ladies like the ones on this list before. I am so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group!

We had Amanda's baby shower on Christian Artisans last Friday. I made another play quilt tote bag.

The bag is a quilt where baby can play. Then it folds up into a bag to take with you and for carrying some toys.

This was my first sewing project since the hurricane. I made it on my very old Sew Easy 250, since my nice Designer 1 failed to survive the battering storm surge that destroyed our house and most everything in it. What a difference! While my older sewing machine is nice, there is nothing like sewing on a top of the line machine!!! I miss my Designer 1.

I finished another pair of socks.

They still need to be washed and blocked. I wanted to hurry up and get them off the needles before starting the Christian Artisans sock KAL.

I finally sewed up and blocked the chemo hat I made for my grandmother.

It turned out nice. Now I just have to get it into the mail. My grandmother is back in the hospital and probably dying this time. I don't even know if the hat will get there while she is still alive. I'm so sad about my grandmother.

What happens when you give an 8 year old boy a set of tools?

Eventually the tools and a toy or two end up in the same room.

And when that 8 year old boy thinks his pregnant mom is napping, he starts wondering how his helicopter works.

Actually, I was delighted that he wanted to take apart his helicopter to see how it worked. Gregory has autism and there was a time when such a task would have been beyond desire or ability. He actually got the entire thing into a pile of pieces and was able to work some of the computer chips with is finger. Once Gregory saw how complicated the helicopter was on the inside, he decided it was still a cool toy after all, even if he has had it for as long as he can remember. So Kurt got stuck putting the whole thing back together on Sunday. I was quite surprised that he managed to do it.

I've been thinking a lot about my loom again. I really want to get it fixed.

So after several emails and pictures sent back and forth with Leclerc Looms, I have a starting shopping list of parts which I am going to order. Kurt said he would help me fix the loom once I get the parts so hopefully I won't damage it further with my efforts!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

I have been positively distracted this month. A couple of months ago, a dear internet friend turned 40 and then found out she was pregnant. I laughed and thought how much better that it was her and not me. Then I turned 40 on January 27. And that very same weekend I found out I was unexpectedly, unthinkably, undeniably pregnant too. It is obviously a tough year for turning 40!

Some time ago, Stasia made a beautiful baby sweater for someone who was having a baby. It was darling so I bought the book she used thinking it would be a great source for shower gifts. Little did I know then I would be using the book for inspiration for my own child.

It is amazing to me that a doctor can look at a little smudge on an ultra sound and determine the day which your child should be born. For me, this little one is due October 8, 2005. (Using my superior math skills I had calculated an early September due date and was devastated to discover I would have to be pregnant for a whole extra month.) However, I have a poor medical history with pregnancies and my doctor and I have already decided it would be better if I was not permitted to go into labor. So we will choose a date for delivery by c-section sometime before October 8.

I spent the last month tired, sleeping and dealing with morning sickness. So I haven't accomplished much on the fiber front. I did manage to finish Gregory's watch cap about a month ago.

One of our favorite shows to watch as a family is Star Gate SG1. Gregory has wanted one of the black watch caps worn by Teal'k and Col. O'Neill for awhile.

He wore it constantly for the first couple of weeks after I finished it.

About the same time I found out I was pregnant, I found out my grandmother had cancer and was probably dying. She lives in California and there is no way I can get out there right now. But I could knit her a chemo cap.

I knit her the Creatures of the Reef shawl a couple of years ago and she loved it. I just wish this project wasn't for such a sad purpose. All I have left to do is sew up the back seam and finish it off.

After "fixing" my tri-loom (and creating as many problems as the hurricane with my poor tools skills), I am weaving a plain weave shawl from some Polworth fiber I picked up at the Destin Spin In last year and which survived Hurricane Ivan in a bin high in a closet.

It is hard to tell, but the colors are primarily teal, fading to a sea foam green and to a misty purple. There was more vm in the roving than I would like, but the fiber is nice and soft.

I recently splurged on some luscious old fashion Corriedale fleece from my dear friend Cary.

Isn't it gorgeous? I also got a couple partial fleeces in other colors too. Cary's fleece is softer than, or at least as soft as, merino and is just incredible! I just don't believe she has enough sheep in her flock! The waiting list for her fleece is pretty long, but it is so worth it if you can get some of it! I am still trying to figure out exactly how to wash and dry this fleece since our present living quarters are pretty small. But I will figure it out!

I am almost 9 weeks pregnant. I am hoping in a couple of weeks I will start feeling better and will be able to work on my various projects again. Right now, I'm just trying to keep the family fed, the laundry clean and the kids in school. However, I am scouting for baby patterns and baby yarns. I've never been a pregnant knitter before and want to explore the possibilities!