"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Knitting for Christmas and This 'n That

This year's and last year's Christmas preparation was all about knitting gifts. As I mentioned in a previous post, Fiber Snob, I have had a new world opened up to me in the way of yarn. I had always knitted from hand spun until I took that Faire Isle knitting class last October and had to purchase yarn for the hat being taught. Before that class I rarely gave knitted gifts to extended family and friends. I was always spinning with a big sweater project in mind for my kids, husband, or myself. And it was always a major undertaking.

But once I made the hat from class with store-bought yarn in about 2 days, I took off. I gave several Faire Isle hats last year and then early this January, I began knitting lots of things for gifts for this next Christmas. I've made a few a few of these bags, quite a few of these hats, and have just recently decided that my mother needs one of these. So here's what greeted me this morning:
It's another Faraway, So Close shawl - I have really enjoyed making them - this is #3. The yarn is by Grignasco knits and is Loden yarn. It is 50% wool, 25% alpaca and 25% viscose. Very nice! I picked the color Rose but it looks a bit more mauve than I had hoped. But still, I think Mom will like it.

I'm thinking I might make one more of them.

I should also confess that with the increase in knitting, there has been a proportionate decrease in "house keeping" around here. The dust and mail piles will attest to that. But won't Christmas be FUN - if we can navigate around the clutter. 

On another note, we were greeted yesterday morning by something entirely different as we were leaving for my ROOT CANAL appointment. We got up early and just after I sat up and was rubbing my eyes and yawning, the wind and rain picked up dramatically. We got over an inch of rain in about 15 minutes. I was noticing how hard the trees were blowing and wondering if we were in the middle of a tornado. After checking out local forecast, it said "severe thunderstorms," so we figured there was no tornado. Then our power went out and shortly thereafter the 60 mph winds died down. Then we saw this in the front of the house:
Our biggest shade tree in the front had its biggest section, right out of the middle, leaning top side down against it. I am really sad and am going to miss its beauty and the great shade it gave our house against the hot summer sun. Our house faces south and this tree blocked a good deal of the sun. No more.

This is the same tree (actually 3 trees were topped off) and right under all the debris is a bed of flowers, including several beautiful columbine plants. I am really hoping they survive and will be back next spring.

But in the grand scheme of things and compared to even the strong earthquake that struck California this past week, it is a minor loss and we are so thankful nothing fell on our home or on any of us. Thank you, Lord. Still, I will miss the giant oak.  (My husband said that oaks do not bend so when a strong wind comes through, they snap and break. Hmmm, there must be a sermon [or a blog post] in that somewhere.)

And one final item that is sure to bring a smile or maybe a "tsk-tsk", every year at the end of the summer, the city swimming pool hosts Doggy Dip. It is the last day for swimming and is open to dogs! After that day, the pool is closed, cleaned and prepped for winter. There is an admission fee which goes toward the maintenance of the local Dog Park. It is a great event!

Well, while there with our golden doodle,
we spotted this little visitor - she was moving quickly so the pics are not great but:

This little cutie had on a two-pieced BIKINI! I wonder how she did her "doggie duty"??? But she was mighty cute. Say, I bet I could spin her fur.


  1. Having the ground shake under you while you sleep is no picnic. I'd rather have the thunderstorm. I miss thunderstorms (and home, which was not far from you in southern Wisconsin). We've been in the San Francisco Bay Area now for two years and this was our first major earthquake...and I hope to never experience another one. Ever. You can predict thunderstorms; you can't predict earthquakes.

    With that said, it's really funny to see some of these native Californians when the (extremely) rare thunderstorm hits. They freak out...kind of like we did with the earthquake.

    1. We find the same humor when we visit my parents in Tennessee and they get an inch of snow. All the schools are closed and no one goes anywhere. Of course, they don't have the snow removal equipment that we have in Wisconsin (or the very high taxes that go with it), nor the experience driving in snow. But we still giggle, all the same.

      I'm sure earthquakes are terrifying. The damage that can happen, from the very foundations up are crazy scary. I'm glad you are safe, Renee.

      I would miss thunderstorms, too. Love them. I love to sit on our covered porch in the porch swing and listen. 60 mph hour wind, not so much.

  2. Such a pity about your tree but thankfully the damage was no worse. You're well ahead with your Christmas knitting! I plan to do some too but have only done a little bit so far. I want to make decorations this year for the tree - knitted, crocheted or hand made in some way. Time is running out or we're going to have a very sparsely decorated tree. You probably could spin the dog's fur - rabbit fur is used for spinning so why not?

    1. Apparently some folks do spin dog hair, Gillian, but I've always avoided it because I hear that it always smells a bit like a wet dog, especially when it is wet. But lately I've been saving our golden doodle's tail hair. I think it might be nice in some two colored knitting in, say, hand warmers or something else small - but it will take awhile to get enough to make any measurable yarn. :)

      I have not made any of those cute little Christmas stockings or teeny-weeny sweaters for the tree but I'm thinking about it. Maybe next year. They are soooo cute. I used to sew ornaments but that was a long time ago. I do love home made ornaments with homemade cranberry/popcorn strands. Ooooo, love Christmas. Be sure and post some pics on your blog if you make any decorations.

  3. Wish we could all get together for coffee and chat.


Thanks for the encouragement of your comments.