Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kid Stuff

Last summer when we looked at our new house for the first time we were struck by how much storage there was. Closets, and cubbies, and built-ins and more tucked away spaces than anyone would imagine.
When I saw this grubby spot under the stairs in our basement my first thought was "What a great spot for a reading nook!"
Then I took a breath, and realized it would take some serious doing, and I relegated the space to storage.
Flash forward six months, and I am finally getting serious about my crafting/sewing space which abuts the cubby under the stairs. 
I put out a call on facebook for friends who would like to help me clear out and organize and my lovely friends have been coming over to give advice and sort fabric and all sorts of things. It's been great.
When I confessed my reading nook dream to my friend she encouraged me to go for it. So, I moved the storage out, painted everything a nice, clean, just off-white, and filled the space with pillows and a leftover crib mattress.

It's just as I imagined it, and has kept The Youngest occupied for hours on end already.
The other thing making me unreasonably happy are these puzzles that the church cleared out this week.
I think the reason they got the boot is that the pieces don't have peg handles for the toddlers to assemble, and the older kids don't really do puzzles in Sunday School.
They're mostly from the 60s and 70s and they are spectacular.
What's new at your house?

Friday, January 15, 2016


I've been a little under the weather these past few days. Not at death's door, or anything, but low energy and sniffly and coughing and a little dizzy, etc.
So on to the back burner go the big projects: painting The Youngest's bedroom, laundry, cooking, and in their place come reading and knitting. 
I finished the book club selection (probably the first one in six to eight months) Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff. I really enjoyed it. Lots of interesting characters and surprising twists in the story of a marriage.
This morning I revisited Nick Hornby's Songbook, which is a collection of his favorite songs (at least his favorite songs of the early 2000's when he wrote it). Man, can he write. I made up a spotify playlist of the songs in the book, and listened along. Perhaps because I am feeling gross, or because reading about it made me look deeper at its beauty, or just because I have always loved it, I sat in our sun room, knitting away, listening to You Had Time by ani difranco and bawled like a baby.

 What was I knitting, you ask? Well, The Youngest's winter hat is a hand-me-down from a few years ago, and after a few washes is it just too small. Since she has a new scarf, I thought she should have a matching hat. I asked if she wanted this one to be a cat hat (like the old one) or a rabbit hat. Rabbit was her immediate response, probably due to her recent discovery of loony tunes. She asked for green eyes and black eyelashes, and I got to work.
I used Cascade 220 chunky for the white and Blue Sky Alpaca cotton for the pink. 
It should keep her tiny ears warm for the rest of the winter. 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Visit to the Falls

This morning, The Youngest and I spent a few minutes at Minnehaha Falls, one of our very favorite local natural wonders, and saw something pretty exciting.

The weather was a little warmer today (in truth, 20 degrees felt like Florida today) and the water was running freely under the ice.
Then we heard a tremendous crash and a giant chunk of ice fell off of the falls. 
There were lots of people out today; climbing on the ice, taking photos, power walking in the milder weather, and we all looked at each other in wonder and awe at the power of nature.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Knitter's Children Have No Scarves (until today).

When one lives in Minnesota, there are a few givens.
Friendly people, lots of knitting shops, disappointing sports teams (too soon?) and it gets pretty cold up here.
Since one knows it's going to get cold, one might assume that all of one's children have warm weather gear. 
Unfortunately, this knitter hadn't made scarves in a while and The Youngest was without one of her own. Since I had so much fun with these stockings and I wanted to make it as appealing as possible to wear, I covered her neck warmer with pink hearts.
Everything is from my stash, the pink and white are pure alpaca (so cozy) and the lining is cotton. 
I was very methodical at the beginning, I increased the number of stitches when I changed to stranded knitting to compensate for the snugging up that happens when you have yarn pulled behind. By the end of the project, though, I forgot that particular step and didn't decrease back down. So, the top is a little poofier than I would like, but it'll keep her warm. 
Yesterday was negative 6 at the bus stop, and today won't be much better. 
I don't think she'll actually go outside today, as it happens. But, if she does, her neck will be very warm.

Joining Nicole this morning. 
What's on your needles today?