Wednesday, March 15, 2006

My step daughter, Alisha, flew in from Belgium for a visit. She has been with us for two weeks now.

Boy did we have a good visit. In addition to enjoying her excellent company, we had lots of fun. The kids especially had a blast. The played Karaoke Revolution on the Gamecube (Alisha is the only one of us who can actually sing), hosted picnics in the tree house, they hung out and they went swimming.

Alisha left a snow covered Belgium for a couple of weeks in the Alabama sun.

Despite that it was cold by our standards, the kids enjoyed being in the pool again. Even Alisha ventured into the water eventually. Kurt and I, however, stayed warm on dry land and retain our weather wimp status.

Alisha spent a great deal of time with the kids. I gave the kids their Spring Break so they could enjoy their sister's visit. And she spent lots of time holding Michael which allowed me to be much more efficient.

In addition to getting the housework done easier, I managed to do lots of fun stuff.

I got much of the cuff done on my Mom's second sock. I have one more cable round before moving onto the heel.

I started a sweater for Michael. When I first found this Dale pattern for a "car sweater," I wanted to make it for Gregory who loves all things transportation. However, the pattern only comes in baby sizes. So, once I had another boy baby, I had to knit it. This is only my second stranded sweater and working with multiple colors really isn't that difficult so long as I focus on one row at a time. It would probably be even easier were I to use stitch markers, but I didn't think of it until I started the orange cars and by then it seemed a little late.

Gabrielle outgrew the dresses I last made for her long ago. However, she loves them so much and continues to try to wear them. Thus, I promised her a new Easter dress. I was able to start the stitch work on the fabric I intend to use for the bodice of her dress. It is hard to believe how time consuming this is to do. Of course, I am still figuring out how to use my Bernina. And considering I gave up the rest of my brain cells to Michael in utero, I couldn't remember anything I had learned while I used my machine right after I first got it back when we lived in Pensacola. Hopefully some of my newly reacquired sewing knowledge will stick this time.

I also managed to spin a second bobbin of the wool and mohair I'm planning to use to weave a shawl for my mother in law. I also plied most of it. It isn't quite as thick as I wanted it so I think I will use this for fringe and will spin the next batch thicker.

Kurt took some time off while Alisha visited our family. In addition to spending time with her, I convinced him to start back to work on my floor loom.

So many bolts are rusted and the wood is damaged. He finally took it all apart to fix it right. Of course he admitted to me later he isn't sure he can put it back together again. Sigh.

Alisha left this morning after breakfast.

We are all going to miss her very much.

I took a couple of pictures of Michael a few days ago so I thought I would throw them into the mix.

This is the look I get when I try to put him down. However, he now weighs 19 pounds and is too heavy to carry around as much as he would like. I don't remember my other children weighing so much at 5.5 months. Sheesh, his car seat only accommodates babies up to 20 pounds. I will need a new plan soon I guess.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Today I am doing a tribute to two shawls. The first one has been with me (in my knitting bag) for years. At first I thought I would post in excrutiating detail my memories of this knitting. However, Michael woke from his nap early and joined me at the computer. He forces me to be succinct, which I suppose is for the best.

Here is the Legend of the Shetland Seas stole on the blocking frame Kurt made for me.

I love the intricate lace pattern.

Especially now that I am finished. Where is Dot who got me into this project in the first place? There I was a perfectly inexperienced lace knitter with only the Creatures of the Reef on my list of lace accomplishments and Dot convinced me I could do the LOTSS. Oh well, I suppose she proved to be right ultimately since I did finish it - finally.

I blocked the shawl with corn starch.

How amazing to see it hold its blocked shape so well. I keep looking at it.

After so many years I can hardly believe I am finished. A friend of mine from the Christian Artisans group gifted me with another kit for the LOTSS fearing I had lost mine in the hurricane. While I had lost the pattern, I now have the yarn for another LOTSS. Will I make another one? Perhaps. One day. Our new church could use a prettier alter cloth. . .

I also finished Michelle's Pi shawl.

Here Gabrielle models it before blocking.

I can't believe how perfectly it fits Gabrielle before blocking. I think she was hoping I would notice and let her keep it.

However, once blocked it grew to an adult size.

Gabrielle modeled it again for me.

It sort of looks like bat wings here.

But all in all, I think the Pi turned out to be a very lovely shawl. I wanted to have it to my sister before her latest medical procedure, but since she had it yesterday, I didn't make it. However, Michelle's Pi will be on its way to her shortly.