Sunday, December 30, 2007

Home again

We made it home this morning at 6 am. We left Utah at 11 am Saturday morning.
It was snowing when we left, but the only slightly challenging driving was across Wyoming, where the wind is always blowing. And blowing snow across the highway in winter.

We skied Snowbasin and Powder Mountain.

Snowbasin was busier and more groomed. The Olympic downhills were held at Snowbasin in 2002. Paul and Ben skied the men's and women's downhill runs. Girl of the House and I took it a bit easier.

Powder Mountain was wonderfully wild and snowy. They leave more of their runs ungroomed, and there was fresh powder.

Here's Paul and GotH at Powder Mountain. We three skied together. Ben and Harlan skied more challenging stuff.

Coleen stayed back at the condo and snowshoed for more than 2 hours, taking fabulous pictures. (She's extraordinarily talented! Go see her photos here - Little C Creations)

The temp stayed around 0 the day we were at Powder Mountain. Ben got very frosty.

On the way to Snowbasin, I almost completed my Rambling Rows afghan. Unfortunately, I only brought the one ball of yarn. I was so SURE I had enough. But, as you can see, I was a bit short!! It still made a great lap afghan for the car!

It finished out at 45 inches by 48 inches. I left out the centermost blocks, as I could see I would run short of yarn. It weighs 3 pounds 14 ounces, so it's not light. It is cushy, drapey, and heavy. I love it!

On the way home, I finished Paul's Cobblestone pullover. (Well, I didn't do the underarm grafting in the car.) It fits great! Now, just to block it and graft those last little seams.

It was a great pattern to knit, very clear and easy instructions. I made the 43" size, and used approx 1200 yards of the Harrisville Highland yarn. The Highland knit to gauge on size 7 needles.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas from Snowbasin, UT

Merry Christmas from Snowbasin, Utah.

We've been having a great time with Paul's brother Harlan and his wife, Coleen. (Check out Coleen's blog!)

Christmas day we skied all day. 16 inches of new snow. You just can't ask for better weather!

Today, we're having a more leisurely day. We've played cards and took a lovely walk to a nearby geocache.

Harlan and Coleen got some snowshoes. Perfect snow for trying them out. The kids tried them, too!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On the road!

We're off to Snowbasin, Utah!

We left this morning at 7:30. (I was on call til 7) The truck is loaded to the top

We drove through some really crummy weather in Minnesota. We had checked out the weather before we left, so we headed to Sioux Falls SD, instead of DesMoines. Still it was very slow going to get out of the state. Once we hit South Dakota, it was easy going.

Tonight we're in Cheyenne, WY. We'll head the rest of the way in the morning. Looks like snow in Utah - yay for skiing, boo for driving...

The boy came home last night after making a discovery. It IS possible to stop a toboggan with your face.

He looks like our enforcer.

"Don't mess with us, we'll 'sic' him on YOU! You should have seen the other guy!"

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Our very own santa

Ben bought his own Santa hat. Here he is, getting ready to go sledding with some buddies.

He bought this hat Tuesday this week, first thing, while we were shopping. He wore it the rest of the shopping day. Ordinarily, people are always smiling and nodding at him. He's very good at acknowledging and engaging even casual passers-by. Wearing this hat, very few people even made eye contact.

Now, I expect a few strange looks when he's out with his mohawk. (Yes, this is how he came home from college.) But a santa hat, now that's pretty mild, isn't it?

However, if you ever want to be truly invisible, go to the grocery store with your 13 year old son with his newly dyed electric blue hair. I could have been totally naked - no one even saw me. It was great fun watching all the reactions, though!

Woke this morning to snow.

It's my call weekend. I worked til 10pm last night.

I've been to work and back this morning for a c-section.

Yes, when you need to be preparing for a trip, and have a million things to do - that's when you'll have to be away at work the most!

No knitting in the past few days - work, work, work...

I'll have lots of knitting time in the truck on the way West, though! YAY!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A few small simplifications to box bag sewing

I LOVE making these little box bags. Box Bag Tutorial
She makes it so easy. I've done a few small things to simplify the sewing.

Rather than sewing the fabrics to the second side of the zipper in the same order, I sew them one at a time.

First, fold back one of your fabrics and attach it to the zipper as you did on the first side of the zipper.

You can see I've been using up some of my stash zippers. This one is too long, but that is an easy correction. When you sew the top seam, you just cut off the excess. (Make sure your zipper pull is inside your bag, however!!)

Then, fold the other side in the opposite direction, and attach it to the zipper.

You will end up with two tubes attached to the zipper.

Just pull one inside the other to make your bag more recognizable!

Rather than sewing a partial seam at the top and bottom of the bag, I sew all the way across.

I then cut squares off the corner.

For the 12x16 piece of fabric called for, I cut 1.5 inch squares from the corners.

This is the easiest way I have found to keep the corners even and straight.

This allows me to realign the the corners by opening up the squares and flattening them to sew.

Try it, it's easier to do than it sounds - really! I wish I were a better descriptor!

From there, I continue on my happy way, following drago[knit]-flys directions.

I just LOVE making these bags!!

I've become quite enamored of these little pencil bags, too! Great tutorial here -
Pencil Bag Tutorial

They are really quick to make up, and I was able to get a box bag and a pencil bag out of 2 fat quarters, with a bit left over. Thrifty, eh?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Last minute secret


I've still got a few last minute secret gift projects. Here's one, almost finished. I picked up one more skein today, for the 10 yards of yarn I needed to FINISH!

Then I have only one last project, cast on last night.

We had our holiday celebration with Paul's family on Sunday. It was a lovely time. Everyone is growing so much...

When we returned for the evening, we put up our own tree.

Every year, it seems we put up fewer holiday decorations.

We've been going on a ski trip over the holiday the past few years, and much of our energy goes into the trip.

We do still enjoy having a tree.

We waited til Ben was home from college to put it up.

Luckily, it's artificial, so we don't have to worry about it while we are gone!

A quick look at Paul in the Dale Salt Lake City sweater I made for him in 2003. He wears it quite a bit. (We keep the house pretty cool in the winter - 63 day, 55 night - since propane has become SO expensive. It gives us an excuse to wear all those sweaters!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Red Birds

I was trying to do an update on the instructions for those cute little box bags. However, blogger has a different idea.

I'm unable to get the pictures to load in an easily usable (for me) form.
The fonts don't want to load, either.

All in all, too complicated for what I had in mind.

So - for your viewing enjoyment - a few of the cardinals we had in the yard this past weekend. At one point, we had six males and four females in the yard at the same time. Unfortunately, they don't seem to want to pose in ONE photo frame for me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

One more cool box bag

I DID make another box bag (tutorial link here) to wrap my coworker's holiday gift.

These get easier and easier. I made a couple of modifications that simplified the sewing. I plan to post those sometime soon. (12/21/07 - I've got an update here!)

She seemed to be pleased with her gift.

We all had a great time at the party.

Had the day off today. I caught up with a few more things, and I sat and knitted another square on my Rambling Rows.

It covers my lap wonderfully, and it's still getting bigger. YEAH!

Girl of the House had basketball scrimmages today. I actually got to attend!
(She's number 40.)

It's crazy to watch these sixth grade girls play. They are totally into it.

Title IX didn't come in til I was almost finished with high school. I had several friends who did play basketball. I stuck with the tried and true. Um, yes, I was a cheerleader.

I LOVE the fact that my girl has all these athletic opportunities. It doesn't matter if she continues each specific sport into the future. She has tried them out, and can learn which sports suit her. Keep what shes likes and continue to play. Our hope is to encourage a life-long active woman.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Peekaboo Mittens

We just hung out all weekend. It was quite relaxing.

Girl of the House made a pumpkin pie and some cherry crisp. We ate it ALL! Might as well start off the holiday season with a bang.

This morning, I'm off work. I dug out the holiday dishes. We'll use these til Jan 1. They set the mood, as it were...

I finished the mittens for my work giftee.

These are the Peekaboo mittens from MagKnits Feb 07.
I made several of these mittens earlier this year, and I forgot how much I like them! The yarn is Tahki Donegal Tweed - left over from my Central Park Hoodie. They will match her wool coat. Took less than a skein.

Our party is this evening. I think I may have time to sew up a pretty gift bag. Maybe one of those box bags?

I sat in the sunshine yesterday morning and spun up one more bobbin of the Shanghai nights fiber. I'll probably get one more bobbin out of this. I have a pound of it to spin. No - no clue what I'll do with the yarn when I'm through.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

No "Christmas at Luther" for us this year...

This afternoon, we were going to Luther College, in Iowa, for the Christmas at Luther concert. Ben is in Cathedral Choir at Luther, and they do a fabulous Christmas concert.

Due to the weather, we have elected not to go. We have 4-5 inches now, and its still coming down. Looking at the national weather service, and speaking to Ben, it's sleeting in Decorah.

The concert is at 7:30. It takes us more than 2 hours to get to Luther, and coming back in the dark and ice is not in the cards today.

I LOVE to see Ben perform. He LOVES to perform. (Well, I guess he's going to perform whether we are there or not, isn't he...) The concert has been sold out for some time - no chance of seeing it tomorrow, in better weather.

I'm bummed.

However, it is beautiful here.

Girl of the House went out and shoveled the sidewalk for us, unbidden. She played in the snow with her little dog.

This is the first accumulation of snow Chip has seen. He seems to love it, eh?

We're settling in.

Paul's making his most excellent chili.

We'll have a fire. We'll all snuggle in. I'll knit. Paul and Girl of the House will read. There will be good music.
Good wine. Yummy chili for supper.

It will be good.

But I'll still miss Ben.