Merry Christmas-Some Gifts I Gave

I know. I’m still behind! But at least everyone I saw in person got their gift on time! Ok, ok, so that isn’t saying much this year because we are all seeing less people than usual. These hats went to a few nieces. One of them even wore their hat for a little while (until they got too hot). The purple one I made at the beginning of the year and went into a timeout because I was really unhappy with it, but couldn’t bring myself to rip it out. When I found it, I loved it, so, gift it is. The other two I just made up as I went with some bulky yarn I had left from other projects.

I was also able to go see my dad for a bit and was able to give him an original of mine. This is a hat I sell at the massage studio where I work, called Artemis. The Stag being one of the goddess’s symbols. I added the stag horn cable on either side for this one, just for my dad. He really likes the fit, which makes me happy.

Then I reached into my knitting library for some more quick gift ideas. I made my mother-in-law a headband from one of these magazines and some cowls from the Highland Knits book. I have a difficult time knitting for my MIL. She never really seems to appreciate what I’ve made her in the past and once complained to my husband I never make her anything nice. She seemed very underwhelmed by this gift. I want to knit for her to show her how much I appreciate all her help this year with the kids and all of my husband’s health crisis stuff, but I can’t bring myself to put any real effort into it because she still doesn’t seem to appreciate it. I have made her shawls, cowls, hats, fingerless mitts, and none of it good enough. I only ever see her wearing the stuff she crochets herself. I guess I need to just let it go.

This knit was going to be a gift, but I fell in love with it once it was done. The yarn was originally meant for a project for myself anyway, so I kept it and quickly made another one in black and grey to gift. I’m not sure if she liked it yet, as the recipient was not feeling well and I was not able to give it to her myself. I have no doubt she will at least appreciate the effort.

I have a few more projects in the works for a couple people, but most importantly I need to get to work on my husband’s sweater. I bought the yarn back in March or April, but got busy with a lot of other things and it’s just been hanging out in its plastic wrap. I think he’s getting a bit jealous too. So I’ll be knitting it in secret. Shhh.

Happy Solstice

I’m a little behind, but Happy Solstice! The kids enjoyed their gifts from Mother Winter, who visits our house the evening before the Solstice. She usually brings them something cozy in preparation for winter. This year it was slippers, hot cocoa, mugs, and a board game.

We talk about how this is the longest night and that the days will begin to get longer. This year the conversation led to how Mother Winter doesn’t visit everyone (which was a surprise to my girls). Then we talked about how Santa doesn’t visit everyone because there are lots of people who believe differently than we do. We also talked about how even Santa can be different for different people and what he is changes through time because people change and so the way they believe changes. Some of the holiday movies we watch touch on that idea and seemed to make sense to them. It’s been fun having these kinds of conversations with our kids as they get older.

Here’s hoping you all had a lovely and restorative Solstice and blessings on whatever comes next.

And it’s Done

It’s done! Assembly began to get messy, I’ll admit it. I thought about all the ways I could attach the strap, but by the time I got to it, all I had the energy for was to tie it on with a whole lot of crazy knots. To hide it all, and give it a little more durability, I crocheted a circle with a strip done in short rows, and a second circle and stitched them in. Oh my, was that a bit tough. The sense of accomplishment at the end is worth it, though.

Good Morning

Well, I stayed up late crocheting the hood for my middle one’s sweater. I was really on a roll and am anxious to get it done. I also managed to get the purse mostly done. It’s a little rough on the inside, so I’m crocheting a liner to sew in and hide all that.

While I was sitting here, hooking and drinking my morning cup, I decided I needed to do some yoga. I enjoy this video quite a bit. It’s soothing without making you tired. The instructor’s prompts are right on target for what I need and aren’t annoying. I also appreciate that its 20 minutes. Usually just enough time to help me feel more open.

I will admit, I skipped about 5 minutes, or so, towards the end. It’s been too long since I’ve been in a regular routine and I’m easing myself back into it. The kids joined in for a little bit too. Remote learning (Zoom classes at home all day) has the girls feeling a bit cooped up, so I’m hoping to help get them moving a little more too.

Back to crocheting. I really want to finish this purse so I can get back to the hat I’m working on for my sister.

Three Granny Squares: Progress is Tough

The farther along I make it with these sweaters, the less time I have to work on them. It’s one thing for the kids to see the squares as I make them. It’s another when I’m stitching them together and it’s starting to look like an actual piece of clothing. So I’ve got some late nights in my future.

I’m also working on a purse for my 5 year old niece. She likes Frozen, like my youngest, and I was inspired to start making this one day. I always seem to forget just how long it takes to cover the plastic. Now I get to have fun sewing it all together (that’s not sarcasm; I love this stuff). I’m going to make a strip to go across the top and work as a clasp, and I’ll crochet a strap too.

I Like Christmas?

I’m actually really getting into the Christmas Spirit this year. It’s quite a shock. The holiday is usually so overwhelming, I tend to turn into a short-tempered grump. Not this year. All the decorations were up the day after Thanksgiving. Unheard of! My husband even put up some extra lights around the house.

We’ve done some crafts and watched a few movies, even had some hot chocolate and holiday chocolate chip cookies. Simple and delicious. It has been really nice to have a toned down, quiet version of Christmas this year. Everything just seemed to keep getting more and more extravagant (not necessarily in our house).

So I’m wishing everyone a merry and calming holiday season!

A Little Spice

I don’t mess with my morning coffee. Medium strength coffee with some French vanilla creamer and I’m a happy girl.

Afternoon coffee, however, is a different story. Since buying a coffee grinder and a frother, I have begun experimenting a bit more. This one is for the Christmas season. I use my oatmeal cookie oat creamer and cinnamon with a dash of nutmeg. Perfect.

Quick Granny Squares, hahahahaha

I’ll just make a bunch of squares for each kid and then simply sew them up and be done. They’ll be really cool, simple, and quick. Riiiiiight.

Of course I can’t just make them something with a simple design. I can’t just follow someone’s pattern. Nope. I’ve got to play around with how to fit them together to make a garment that best fits not only their individual style, but they’re personality.

This is the front for my youngest’s. I’m really planning on getting another inch in dimensions after blocking. Her’s will be the only one completely made of squares. No real frills, although I’m going to find a pretty hem for the bottom and the sleeves.

I have not begun sewing anything together for my middle kid’s sweater yet. Her’s is not as far along as the other two. I sort of regret the square I chose, but by making all three at the same time, it keeps it interesting. I’m just finally far enough along with my oldest’s squares to start designing and the sewing and here I sit at 12am, sewing. I foresee many late nights sewing with granny squares in my future.

Quick Hats and Goofy Kids

It all started with me buying yarn to cope with grocery shopping. It was a big stressful trip and the yarn made it much easier to get through. I swear.

It was chunky, and a deep purple, with flecks of just the right bits of white and brown. Such a comforting deep plum purple. I’ll share what I made with that (which I went and bought more of to make a whole set!) when I complete the final touches.

Anyway. I decided to make myself a hat, mitt, scarf set. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a set I like. I got to designing them as I went along and was so happy with the hat and how quickly it worked up, that I decided to make new hats for the girls.

If only the lighting in my house was better. This one is purple with a tinsel purple running through to give it some sparkle. A pink pompom for the top as requested. Next up was the youngest one’s hat. I strung some regular pink yarn along with some chunky white. I’m pretty sure the pompom is dark pink, but it may actually be red.

Then I got to the oldest’s hat. She, of course, had picked out a black pompom. I used a tweed I had on hand and was working along quite nicely, when I suddenly noticed I had mis-crossed in two places. I have always marveled at those who can rip back a cable section and get it all back together. I have never been able to wrap my brain around it. I can handle ripping down a lot of other things, but not cabling. That is, until this hat. Thankfully it was only one row down, and with the purl stitches crossing, it made it really easy to see. Crisis averted, hat saved, and she seems pretty happy with it (even if it doesn’t look like it).

Two days and four hats! (I made one for my husband as well). It was a nice bit of accomplishment right before my nutty Christmas gift dash. I’m working hard at them all, but am totally fine with sending a few gifts off in January. I find enjoyment in ways many don’t understand.

What’s For Dinner?

Ah, breakfast. It’s my favorite meal any time of day. Naturally, scrambled eggs are one of my go to’s, but I do enjoy pancakes. I just hate cooking them one at a time, or a couple of small ones a batch. Then keeping them warm in the oven, while starting the next round. So I thought, maybe I could bake them in the oven. Sure enough, it’s possible. Just mix, pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes. Barely a fuss and almost no mess!

The first time around, I made my usual cinnamon pancakes. A few days later, I made chocolate ones with cocoa powder, cinnamon, and brown sugar, which were topped with powdered sugar. Definitely a recipe to repeat.

I also love casseroles for dinner. I throw a bunch of stuff together and it bakes while I can go about my business with only a minimal amount of attention from me. Egg noodle chicken casserole is one I often make. Dry egg noodles, canned chicken, frozen vegetables, chicken broth, and cream of broccoli or potato soup. I let that all cook up, then I mix it and add cheese and bake a little longer. This last time I got all the portions right and the spices. It was my best version yet.

This casserole was me scrapping the bottom of the barrel in our pantry. A bag of bread crumbs for stuffing. Canned green beans, chicken, and yams. And a whole lot of chicken broth. I just kept mixing and adding broth every 10-20 minutes for about an hour. Something to think about for Thanksgiving leftovers, which is exactly what my daughter said it tasted like. I honestly had no idea if it was going to be any good and was delighted to find it quite a delicious surprise.