« December 2013 | Main | February 2014 »

13 posts from January 2014

30 January 2014

Updates!

Aviatrix-1

I'd been going a little bit crazy for a while at home, looking for a pile of baby sweaters & knits. With the remodeling and other changes at home, they were moved... someone moved my cheese! (I'm sure it was me!) I even ran across them not too very long ago and thought to myself, Aha! Remember this location!!

Puerperium-2

Among them were hand-me-downs I'd made for Mack & Addy: Wee Weasley, a couple of Wallaby sweaters, Opptuna, Baby A.

Puerperium-3

Also among them were the baby knits that I'd made/began before I even knew there was a baby on the way (the ones not given at the baby shower): Fiddlehead, Puerperium, Boy-O-Boy, Hug Me, Demne, Vintage Baby Cardigan, along with some hats, a bib.

Puerperium-1

Not an insignificant number of handknits!!

Puerperium-4

I finally spotted the bin last weekend and pulled out a few items for Junah -- Aviatrix and Puerperium, for sure, because they're perfect for a newborn!

Junah-me

Big bonus for this knitting grandma is the opportunity to update Ravelry project pages! So far, Parcheesi, Soakers, Aviatrix, and Puerperium! Some of these knits -- years old -- have never been worn by a baby!!

Oh, how things change: There were two photos of Junah & me to choose from, he looked good in one and I looked good in the other... heh. LOVE!

 

28 January 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Accentuate the Positive

As I sit here in the middle of the 2nd Polar Vortex of the year, which, in simpler terms, means that it's fucking freezing here right now (again), Carole tests with her ToT topic.

Today

Screen shot this morning.

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Things I Like About Winter

1.  Gigantic snowflakes.

2.  Deep fluffy snow.

3.  Snow days!

4.  Christmas!

5.  Wearing my handknits... and more knitting!

6.  It's the best time of year to make & eat soup.

7.  It's also a great time of year to snuggle in and catch up with TV shows & movies. A friend is taking it one step further and holding an informal (but themed and quite organized) Film Festival at her house on Wednesdays in February & March.

8.  A frosty landscape.

9.  Sometimes the light... I love the "blue period" at dusk, when the sky and the snow -- everything glows BLUE! Also, sunny days. Sunny days are usually crisp and cold but, hello, LIGHT! It reflects everywhere and, at this time of the year, the sun is slowly rising and feeling warmer. Slowly, slowly, the days are getting longer.

Rio

10.  Vacation -- either going on one (to someplace warm, which I've only ever done once) (definitely not the last) or planning one (Scotland in May)!

 

27 January 2014

Laundry

I had an email from my husband last week with "LAUNDRY" as the subject line.

Um......

I did not rush to open it.

He doesn't usually complain about laundry... doesn't usually give much thought to it, actually, except to occasionally thank me for doing it, as I thank him for doing dishes.

I wasn't expecting a complaint... I didn't know quite what to expect.

All I knew was that an email about LAUNDRY from my husband wasn't setting my heart aflutter... or anything even remotely like that.

When I finally did open it, here's what I read:

I was dreading getting dressed because of the cold, but then the undershirt and heavy socks I wanted were on the bed and still a little warm from the dryer...
 
Thanks!
 
Love you,
R.
Aw. It's going to be SUPER cold tomorrow morning. Maybe I'll warm up his long johns!
 

24 January 2014

Eye Candy Friday

Junah1

You expected anything else?

Junah2

I had a little deja vu, remembering the first time I used that little cocoon I made for a newborn photo -- back in 2008! It's hard to believe that Little Man will be 6 this summer.

Junah2
Junah2

Junah5
Junah5
Junah5
That might be my new favorite photo of Parcheesi!

Have a great weekend, y'all!

 

21 January 2014

Ten on Tuesday: Breakfast of Champions!

Ten on Tuesday:  10 Favorite Breakfast Foods

1.  Eggs. I have an egg for breakfast almost everyday.

2.  Corned Beef Hash (with an egg). I haven't had this in ages, and hardly ever actually had it at breakfast... and I think this is what I want for supper TONIGHT. I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since it popped into my heard earlier today.

3.  Bacon. Self-explanatory. Goes with everything.

4.  Leftovers. Fish, some steak, half a bratwurst, a meatball, veggies of all sorts... yummy for breakfast (along with an egg).

5.  Cereal with fruit & nuts. Cheerios with bananas & pecans. Rice Chex with raisins & walnuts. The barest minimum of milk. Liberal sprinkles of cinnamon.

6.  Oatmeal. Good chewy stuff, with raisin and pecans, lots of cinnamon.

7.  Greek yogurt. Plain, with honey, pineapple, and peach were my faves.

8.  Toast. Regular or french. Good bread, good eggs, good syrup.  :)

9.  Pancakes with maple syrup & sausage links.

10.  Waffles (ditto).

I mostly only eat #1, 3 & 4 for breakfast, lunch or dinner these days; the occasional #5 for a supper on my own or a late-night bite.

I get to smell toast regularly and, like fresh baked bread, it still smells good.

One of my favorite things about making pancakes & waffles were the stray little drips and bits that would get super done & crispy -- little pancake or waffle chips.

I like things crispy.

Speaking of breakfast (food), it's been a while and I could use a system reset, so I'm thinking about and gearing up for a Whole30 in February, I think. I ran across Melissa Joulwan's "food plan" and that's a good jumping off point. As has been previously documented here, I love her recipes!

 

20 January 2014

What a difference a year makes...

...or 29.

Us

Twenty-nine years ago today, in our little house near the beach at Cape Kiwanda, Pacific City, OR, we got married!

From sugarloaf

A year ago today, I was standing atop Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, with a stop at the Hippie Fair later in the day!

There's another polar vortex bearing down on us, they say, and 84F in Rio sure sounds nice right now.

Junah-1wk

The little man marked a week on this earth yesterday, modeling with the little bear that Ali made for him and also rocking the handknits! There's plenty of room to grow into even the smallest of the Wool Soakers that I made!

 

17 January 2014

Well.

About 12 hours before Junah Michael Lee was born, I had a teary little pow-wow with Kate before she began her long journey back to Edinburgh. I'd had a few days off when she first arrived and we all spent a lot of time together. It was a great visit.

My first message was to Katie and, with only about 5 minutes to spare, I was able to relay the message, "It's a boy!" before boarding began in Chicago. I wasn't able to respond to any of her messages before departure, but at least she knew that the baby arrived and could relax a bit on the ride over the pond!

JML and Non
And on Tuesday I took my mom over for a visit and we had a 4-generation Skype chat with Auntie Kate! Are they adorable, or what?

Jun

I was originally going to take the week off of work to help Ali, but I went back on Thursday at noon.

JML

I'll get some cuddle time tonight, and will probably take some "good" photos sometime over the weekend.

5 Days old already!

2014-01-17_1389925190

Ali had felt the first pangs of labor on Friday morning. I started sewing the Alabama Chanin baby blanket on Friday night and worked on it quite a bit over the weekend. I also knit my first stitches (not very many) (on Pepita) of 2014 while Ali labored! But I sewed instead of knit at Knit Night last night (the first one I've been to in AGES) and I'm almost half-way with the applique part. I sort of dove right into this project, so now I'm starting to think about the edges and how to finish them.

Oh, there's a Craftsy Flash Sale This Weekend - 1/18-1/19 with up to 50% off -- perhaps you'd like to hear Natalie Chanin talk about the physics of sewing, and why and how you should love your thread... I could listen to her all day long! And I could, if I wanted, because I bought that class and it's mine forever, to listen & watch on a loop 24/7 or just when I want a refresher on a specific technique. I'm not sure whether Natalie Chanin's Hand Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Applique, Beading, and Embroidery will actually be on sale, but it will be eventually. It's a great learning platform.

 

13 January 2014

Welcome to the world!

1526726_10202369945985959_440349344_n

JUNAH!

 

It's a boy!

I'm so tired I can't even see straight.

I know now that I will never want to work professionally as a doula, but I will gladly and wholeheartedly help to guide any of my daughters through the process again... and again and again and again.

So, yes! Ali gave birth at home to a 7 lb. 14 oz. baby boy on Sunday, June January 12th at 8:31 p.m.

I am so proud of her!

Maddy was there to help and witness the birth -- amazing!! Katie helped along the way with labor but, unfortunately, missed the birth by about 10 hours. I was able to get the word to her, though, before she left the country and I'm very happy about that.

More details to follow, and probably a photo or two or maybe I really will blow up Instagram with photos of my grandson.

Grandson. Grand. Son. GRAND!

It is now 1 a.m. on Monday, June January 13th and I've had approx. 5 hours of sleep since Friday and it might be showing, so I think I'll go to bed now.

Also, PERFECT.

* * * * *

What can I say about writing June instead of January... I WAS TIRED! While Alison certainly did more physical work than I in delivering her baby, I can report that assisting through almost an entire (long) labor and delivery is mentally exhausting if not as physically demanding (but, damn, my legs ache today).

Also adding to my befuddlement is the bairn's name...

08 January 2014

Ten on Tuesday: 2013 Favorites

Ten on Tuesday Wednesday:  10 Favorite Moments from 2013

2013-01-24_1358986017

1.  Rio in January!

2013-03-11_1363034738

2.  Chicago in March... and August... and November!

2013-05-13_1368407307

3.  Mother's Day with my girls.

4.  And Mother's Day when Ali confided to me (and me alone!) that I was going to be a grandmother! Such a great present... and I loved holding that little secret for a while.

2013-06-16_1371341660

5.  That moment on June 15th when I became a mother-in-law.

2013-11-20_1384910377

6.  Visits with the Boys from Brazil -- in January (here and there), in July, and in November!

2013-09-30_1380558115

7.  A couple of get-aways with Rusty -- to Milwaukee in May and to Lake Geneva in September.

Shower1

8.  Ali's baby shower and furthering the fun with a big family get-together afterwards.

Garteryoke

9.  Knitting production! Totally amped up and motivated by the notion of a January baby, I didn't stop until I heard the words, "There might be enough sweaters." (It may be true.)

10.  The installation of French doors in the living room by Christmas, just as I'd wished for! There's a little finish work to be done on the non-living room side... no biggie.

IMG_5153

11.  Savoring everything about becoming a grandmother for the first time and helping my daughter in her journey to motherhood. From listening to the baby's heartbeat for the first time (and each time), to attending childbirth classes, to reading everything I could about being a doula/good support person for Ali. I feel both blesssed and honored that they want me so involved in the event that's undoubtedly going to be #1 on this list for 2014!!

* * * * *

Katie's still here 'til Sunday... which is Ali's due date. Maddy was home over the weekend, Ali's not scheduled at work, and we've been having lots of fun -- visiting, shopping/thrifting, taking in some shows (art, museum, movies), and checking in at all of our favorite restaurants!

Did I say it was cold outside? Holy crap.

I have yet to knit a stitch this year. There are a couple of projects underway and I'm sure I'll get to them but the sewing bug has definitely bit. I've done two bibs so far, giving me the confidence to tackle the onesie -- and that may be finished tonight.

 

03 January 2014

Baby, it's cold outside!

Katie had stops in Paris and Minneapolis before reaching home yesterday, and it was fun to track her flight over the ocean. From what I could see, that flight usually takes a predictable "straight across" path over the Atlantic; yesterday's storm in the east caused a much more northerly route -- nearly to Greenland, over Newfoundland, Labrador, Quebec and Ontario, and finally to Minneapolis, skirting around Wisconsin entirely. She flew across the entire state on her last leg.

We had a little back-and-forth communication when she was in Minneapolis. She was excited about her 2-hour layover, reduced from 4-, and that's when I learned that her flight had been changed and she'd be arriving in Green Bay two hours earlier than planned! It's a good thing that yesterday was an "early release" day for me. I called Rusty a few times and stopped home on the way, but wasn't able to reach him (he was teaching yesterday afternoon), so I stashed my stuff and left for the airport. I could get up to the airport and back before we'd even have originally planned to go!

Rusty's reaction when I walked in the door and hollered my "Hello!" -- with Katie's echo -- was pretty great.  :)

She's arrived in time for some of the coldest weather of the year! The high temp on Monday is predicted to be around -12F/-24C. We'll slowly warm up to 30F/-1C by the time she's on her way back over the pond.

Brrrr.

 

02 January 2014

I began

...as I mean to go on.

I don't think I did a single thing that I *had* to do yesterday. I took the "holiday" part of New Year's Day to heart and did only things that I *wanted* to do. That is something that I will strive for more this year: occasionally, a day off can be just that!

  • I slept until I woke up.
  • I had a nice breakfast with my husband.
  • I puttered in my PJs most of the morning.
  • I grazed for lunch.
  • I watched football.
  • I visited with my mother.
  • I sewed.
  • I embroidered.
  • I drank a beer.
  • I drank another beer.
  • I enjoyed a nice dinner with my husband.
  • I filled in the gaps from my erratic watching of Luther.

I had done some sewing just before Christmas, finally sewing up some burp cloths for the baby -- the materials for which I bought in JULY! They're made from a variety of fat quarters, cut and pieced, cotton terrycloth backing, stitched and turned, with some simple "stitch in the ditch" to join the pieces together.

2013-12-23_1387837882
2013-12-23_1387837882

I wasn't too terribly particular because, um, BURPING! It was fun to use my mother's old Singer Slant-O-Matic -- the ROCKETEER... it pretty much sews at the speed of light.

1-Alabama-Chanin-bib

Yesterday's sewing was quite different, and has also been in the wings for quite some time -- ever since I purchased and watched Natalie Chanin's Hand Embellishing Knit Fabric: Stenciling, Applique, Beading, and Embroidery last MARCH on Craftsy.

2-Alabama-Chanin-bib

Since then, I bought the fabric & supplies to make the coat featured in the class, and recently fell hard for the Onesie & Baby Blanket because... well, for a lot of reasons, but the main one being ZIM!

Officially, 10 days. Unofficially, IT COULD BE TODAY! Probably not, but... waiting for Ali's labor to begin may be worse than waiting for my own! Haha. Not really. (That was a long time ago... I can hardly remember that part.)

Thanks to my fairly recent birthday and also Christmas, my collection of Alabama Chanin books is now complete (new books are in the works, but for now I'm up to date). I am well read on the subject and recently reviewed pertinent parts of the Craftsy class (one of the greatest things about it), but I still didn't want the coat -- or even the onesie or baby blanket -- to be my very first hand-sewing project. There's a whole page of free downloadable resources at Alabama Chanin, including a pattern for a baby bib (general assembly instructions here). I finally cut up some clothing items that I'd set aside for just this type of thing.

3-Alabama-Chanin-bib
3-Alabama-Chanin-bib

The printed fabric is from a pair of yoga-lounge pants -- the print is the "right side" of the fabric but was hidden on the inside of the pants! The black fabric is from a knit cardigan that's too big. I didn't realize 'til I was cutting that the cardigan was actually a ribbed knit fabric, but again... BURPING, ETC.! I also have a gigantic dress from J. Jill (oh, it's the background in the photo above) in the "cut pile," but I didn't like the gray with the brown of the pants.

5-Alabama-Chanin-bib
5-Alabama-Chanin-bib

 

I think it turned out great! I couldn't be happier. And I did the whole thing, start-to-finish, while watching the Wisconsin Badgers lose their bowl game -- cutting up the pants/cardigan, marking & cutting the pattern pieces and pulls, loving my thread, needling my thread, and sewing up!

I knew I wasn't going to cut this piece in the signature Alabama Chanin style, but that print was screaming to be embroidered, so pulled out my floss (it's been ages!) and did a bit of embellishing in the evening.

7-Alabama-Chanin-bib
7-Alabama-Chanin-bib
7-Alabama-Chanin-bib

So flippin' fun. I have another already cut and ready to sew... and it will be cut! Practice makes perfect. I love that I can make tiny useful things from clothing I'd otherwise discard while practicing my stitches and other techniques. From now on, cleaning out the closet will be done with a completely different eye!

 

01 January 2014

As we begin again

Rusty and I visited the local pub for a mug and a burger early last evening, planning to spend the rest of the evening in... quiet and cozy... because, baby, it's cold outside! Maybe we'd watch the ball drop, or maybe I'd finish watching the episodes of Luther currently available on Netflix, or maybe we'd hit the hay early.

Then I had an invitation from Ali to go see Saving Mr. Banks at 9:45 -- it was $5 Tuesday at the movies! A date with one of my girlies, plus free popcorn and $2.50 sodas? Perfect!!

I loved the movie. I cried and laughed and cried some more! Tom Hanks & Emma Thompson were terrific -- they nailed it -- all the cast, really. And I enjoyed the back story -- though I couldn't help but think of some parts of the story that were left out, mainly about P.L. Travers' bizarre adoption of one twin but not his brother. But it is, after all, only a moooovie, and an enjoyable one -- as is Mary Poppins, one of my favorites -- flaws and all.

Today, I am doing laundry and making up the bed for KATE! She arrives tomorrow evening, fresh from Hogmanay in Edinburgh! She'll be here for about 10 days and, with any luck, will help to welcome Zim before she departs again. It'll be close.

2013-12-25_1387981605

Some knitting and maybe some sewing, a little New Year's Day football (Go Badgers!), a visit with Mom... it'll be the usual around here today and, really, that's just fine!

 

My Photo

My Other Accounts

Facebook Flickr Google Plus Instagram Pinterest Twitter Instagram Follow Me on Pinterest Rav_link
free short rows knitting class at craftsy.com
Online Knitting Class
Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 03/2004
Victoria Mothes (knitorious) participates in affiliate advertising programs. Some of the links herein are designed to provide a means to earn a small percentage in advertising fees.