Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End of the Year

Christmas knitting: the ones I managed to photograph before I gave them away, anyway. I made my MIL a neckwarmer and wristwarmers in a beautiful handspun aran yarn she picked at the Local Yarn Store that did not get photographed, but trust me, they were awesome! Here are the wristwarmers I made for my sister to go with a thrifted coat that I bought at the Goodwill. I really wanted that coat. I loved it. Unfortunately, it was a couple of sizes too small, (Not that I didn't manage to button it over the girls and wear it a few times) and a petite (I just said that it had three quarter sleeves! Pathetic, I know). Anyway, I knew, I just knew it would fit my fabulous little sister perfectly. And it did. I'm really, really glad for her. And really, really sad for me. Aaaanyway, her wristwarmers:

Fetching, no? Well that just happens to be the name of the pattern!

Now, this.... THIS makes me super, duper happy! I made my mini me a sweater a la Elizabeth Zimmerman percentage system I've mentioned before. This is it, and I'm so happy with it. It fits her nicely with lots of room to grow and goes with most of her current wardrobe, which is largely shades of pink and purple.

Here's a close up of the yoke, which turned out beautifully, I thought.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Welcome Home

We're busy decorating for Christmas here. I felt that a new fresher color palette was called for in my home and so last year I bought a whole bunch of shatter proof ornaments for very, very little after Christmas. So, here's the tree:

Also, I wanted to show you a picture of my front door's wreath. I think it's so sweet. I love natural decorative elements, and am hoping for a few houseplants to warm up MY nest this year for Christmas.

On the needles: a pair of socks for Hubby, still working on the mulberry EZ sweater, and a pair of mittens for my second boy, who, sob, doesn't have any mittens, and could I please tie them inside his coat so he doesn't lose them anymore? I'm just not much enjoying the mitten knitting.

We're gearing up for St. Nicholas Day (December 6), which is when we do our stockings and do something for others anonymously. I love the Saint's Days and I'm not even Catholic or Orthodox. Spice cookies, eggnog, and the ubiquitous fruit and nuts, also a stuffed roast (to symbolise good things done unseen by others) are traditional for us. I sort of started new traditions in our family because I think traditions are wonderful, as long as the meaning behind them is made clear.

We're making paper snowflakes to hang EVERYWHERE, and busy wrapping and making and sending gifts. What are you all doing?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Piedmont Hunt

If you look way into the middle ground of this photo, you'll see some people on horseback. They're part of the Piedmont Hunt here in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties, and they're fox hunting. Oh, yeah, hounds, guy in red coat blowing a horn, and lots and lots of people in riding habits on beautiful horses jumping across our bucolic countryside. It's oh, so Jane Austen-ey. It's like they're wanting this to be the US version of the British countryside. That's fine with me, it's wonderful, picturesque, and they actually just chase the foxes, and try not to let the hounds kill them, since killing the fox would make it impossible to chase! This hunt was on Thanksgiving morning, and we had wanted to watch it leave from the farm down the road, but we all were just too tired to leave in the morning. To my surprise the Hunt Master (I think that's what he's called) appeared right in front of our house and blew his horn at the hounds, who were baying in the pasture behind our house. I was so excited I made my sister get out of the shower to come look, poor thing.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Big Plans

I remember planning my life out when I was a girl. My dreams changed, but I was very particular and specific about them, at least till I changed my mind. My eight year old daughter pronounced that she wants to have 13 children and fill up a 15 passenger van the other night at dinner. The next night she said that she wants to sew all the clothes for her family in "Prairie Style" and weave the cloth herself and spin all the yarn herself. I think she's been reading Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Pretty much she's saying she approves of my ideals and choices, but she's gonna do it all better than I do it. Well, good plan, as far as I'm concerned. I'd like to do it all better than me, too!

She's such a little even tempered thing, too! She probably could handle 13 kids no problem, she already mothers the youngest two children all the time. I have to forbid her to hold the baby during school because she'd much rather play with him than do math. I know she probably won't have 13 kids or weave all her family's fabric for clothing, but I'm proud that she understands what a privilege and honor it is to be a homemaker. She understands already how it is a hard job, but one that has scope for so much creativity and inventiveness, joy and challenge. It makes me proud to inspire her, cause she's gonna be quite a woman no matter what she becomes. I take pride in my roles as nurturer and inspirer, educator and nourisher, comforter and mentor. I know that the better I get at my job, the more I invest in the people in my life, and in the care of that which I've been granted, the more power my actions yield. The act of smiling in spite of the hard work, and even because of it, can inspire my girls to serve with joy, and to love being useful.