Monday, December 26, 2011

It Knits Us Together

The two weeks before Christmas I knitted like crazy to get these three monsters made. All three are designs by Rebecca Danger. The black and white one is Cecil the Computer. I actually made him quite a bit bigger. I added 30 stitches to his body. The purple and green monster is Charlie the Ceiling Monster. He is a very small monster and while I did not add stitches to his girth, I did knit a lot more rounds. And finally, there is Louie the Lovebot. I made him for Gavin since he likes robots.
I sewed Charlie together late on Christmas Eve, but they were all made and waiting for the kids in the morning.

Since we didn't have the funds for extra Christmas decorations, I used an idea a friend of mine had to make a wreath. It is made with a dollar store wooden wreath form and bow and a lot of plastic grocery store bags. I cut the handles and the bottom seam from the bags then cut the bags into strips. Each bag was tied to the wreath form. It's not fancy but I like it and it only cost $3 and a bit of my time.

This year I set our table with the place mats that my mom made years ago. Even the candles are from her house. Her husband loved the Bullfrog Candle place and bought a ton of candles there. These had not yet been used so I set them out on our table.

The small tree decorated the island in the kitchen along with the gingerbread houses made by Irene and Gavin. The gingerbread house on the right is a plastic canvas kit my mother made. It used to sit out at Christmas for many years.

And, of course, the dog tree which is also my mother's. It was important to me that the house be decorated this year. I wanted our first Christmas in the new house and new town to be a happy one for the kids. Our transition to this new town has not been easy. I want the kids to look back on this time as not just a place we landed but as a place we made a home.

In my last post I was afraid that Santa would not be able to visit the kids this year. There really was no way I could figure out to get him here. Thankfully, I am blessed with a generous knitting friend. Sassafrass is the first person I made friends with on Ravelry and her blog was the first I started following. I loved looking through her finished projects and adding a lot of them to my project list. Granted, I don't know her in the "real world" but that has not stopped her from being kind, understanding and thoughtful. After she read my last post about the state of our finances and Santa's not being able to find our house, she and her husband graciously decided to help us with that. They sent us the money to buy the children gifts. We were able to get them each two gifts, coloring books and crayons and some goodies for their stockings. We even got the dogs a chew bone each.

Christmas morning started with my going to bed rather late...or early. Irene woke me up at 4:30. She then went upstairs singing carols and woke up Henry. I finally had to get up and tell them to go back to bed. At 7:30 Gavin woke me up by throwing up all over me. Yuck.

Still, the morning was so much fun! The kids were so pleased with their gifts and even liked the knitted ones. We had Christmas brunch with ham, potatoes delight, broccoli, cauliflower and fruit.

We are extremely grateful to Sass and her husband, whose name I sadly do not know. We were able to give our children a very Merry Christmas because of you! Many thanks and warm wishes to you both!!!!

Gavin taking a quick break from playing with his new Little People bulldozer.

Irene showing off Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder.

Gavin posing with some candy stuck to his face.

Henry and one of his Legos.

Knitting has brought some fantastic people into my life. This Christmas would not have been possible with out the help of one. We are so grateful! My next post will be about the kind knitters (also from Ravelry) that are trying to help my husband get a job. Once again, it is knitters giving a helping hand.

Does knitting make people nice, or do nice people knit?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Teacher Gifts

This week was the last days of school before Christmas for Henry and Irene. They wanted to give their teachers gifts. I wanted them to be able to give their teachers gifts but we have no money (like the "we can't even give our 3 kids gifts for Christmas" kind of no money) so I dug through my small yarn stash. I found several balls of Loops and Threads Country Loom in a pretty purple/blue/green colorway. It is considered a super bulky weight and I knew I could knit a couple of cowls fairly quickly. I took a look on Ravelry for a pattern. I found the Super Simple Superwash Scarf pattern. I think it turned out quite nice and the yarn is very soft. The cowl is large enough to be wrapped around the neck twice. I made one for each teacher. Henry gave it to his teacher yesterday and she was very happy with it. She made a point of showing it to all the other teachers and sent a thank you card home for Henry. Irene took her gift in today. I hope her teacher likes it!

I know I dropped that "we have no money" thing here in this blog. If you want the knitty gritty details and want to read my whining about it you can visit my Williams Family blog by clicking here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2 Hats and a Cowl

In keeping with the a hat for everyone knitting theme I seem to be on, I made a hat for Henry and Mark. Henry's is made with Caron's Simply Soft yarn. I wanted to make him the dead fish hat or a shark hat, but after letting him look through all the patterns he decided on Adrian's Skull Cap. I was going to make it using shades of green to match his winter jacket but he was adamant that it be black and white.
I was so nervous about doing the skulls. Why? I don't know, it turned out to be easy! It makes me want to do more involved designs.

Mark finally asked me to make him something. This hat is the first thing he ever wanted me to knit for him. I let him pick out the pattern and since we couldn't afford to buy yarn I decided to be kind and use my Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool for it. I love this yarn (it's Michigan made!) and I don't like to share it. This particular color I have three skeins of and was planning on making a shawl for myself with it. Instead I made Mark's hat and I'm going to make myself a hat and perhaps a cowl with it.

Mark decided on Todd's basket weave hat. It's not my favorite hat pattern and not the one I thought he should have, but he wanted it so that's what I made. He is happy with it too, although it doesn't look like it in the picture. He was trying to look serious but was actually trying not to giggle ;-)

Since my yarn budget is no more, I've been trying to knit things using only my very small stash of yarn. I had two balls of Rowan Wool Cotton that has been waiting to be used for a cowl. I had tried to make the A Noble Cowl pattern before, but every time I would set it down I would forget where I was. It was a big mess. This time I put in stitch markers every 15 stitches. Success! I have a beautiful cowl that I love.

I will be starting Gavin's Roar hat next. Happily, I was gifted some lively green yarn and am now able to do so. I have one small project to finish up first. After Gavin's hat I am going to make mine and then I am going to try to make each child a monster for Christmas. Yeah...not sure if I will actually get them done by Christmas but I am sure gonna try! I was gifted the patterns to make a robot and two other monster patterns. I have some Red Heart yarn that will be perfect for them. Wish me luck!!