Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Thursday, January 24, 2008
And from this ...
It looks better than the first one, don't you think? It fits much better.
Wool Winder suggested redoing it. I knew I should, but I didn't wanna. Whine whine. I hate redoing things. It all stems from my lazy nature. I knew she was right, though. My mom's voice was in my head saying "Renna, any job worth doing is worth doing right". Yeah, yeah, Mom. I know! Sorry. I reverted back to a 14 year old for a moment. Both Wool Winder and Mom were right, though, and I did redo it, and I'm much happier with the results.
I altered the pattern in a couple of ways.
I went down two needles sizes to size 6 dpns to cast on the 30 stitches and knit the ribbed cuff.
I shortened the cuff's ribbing from the pattern's instructions of 2 3/4" down to 2".
After switching to size 8 dpns, instead of beginning the increases for the gusset immediately following the ribbing as the pattern instructed, I knit straight for 2" (stockinette st) before beginning the decrease rows. I like it better and it fits better.
I made it a little long, but the niece I decided to gift the mittens to has long slender hands and fingers, so I figured she might need the extra length.
One mitten down and one to go. I just need to knit a couple more inches on the scarf ('til I run out of yarn) and weave in it's ends, then the gift will be ready to mail. I'll then have only two projects to finish before I can begin Leyna's sweater. If she's lucky, she might even get it before winter is over!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Saturday, January 19, 2008
And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. 2nd Chronicles 20:21-22
Friday, January 18, 2008
Meanwhile, someone isn't speaking to me. Mommy's knitting as fast as she can, honey!
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I realize good picture taking is very important if you're going to blog, but I'm not a very good picture taker..er..photographer. The ony decent light I've found in my house is in front of my computer screen. The only willing subject I've found to hold my knits as I photograph them is Garfield, but you knitters will appreciate that Garfield is a cat in sheep's clothing. Next time I'll get a picture of more than his head so you can see what I'm talking about.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Knitting did not come easy for me. It's something I've wanted to do for as many years as I can remember. My mom was a crocheter. I dabbled at crochet, learning enough to keep myself in more potholders than I'll ever use in this millenium. I've never cared as much for the look of crocheted garments, preferring the look of knit. Items which have been hand knit look smoother and less bulky, and more like fabric. At least that's my opinion.
I live in a small town, which back when I was learning to knit had no craft stores or yarn shops. To show you how pathetic I can be, I would go to the yarn section of Wal-Mart and just 'hang around' in hopes that a real live knitter would come there to buy yarn, notice my pitiful yearning look, ask me if I knit, and if not, would I like her to teach me to knit. Like I said, pathetic.
After many wasted hours in Wal-Mart's craft department, and them finally telling me to either get a job there or hit the road (no, not really), I moved on to the internet. That's when I discovered the Knitting Help website, and it soon became a regular hangout for me. I watched the free knitting videos there over and over and over again. I actually begin to knit a little. As time went by, I noticed other knitters there who'd just learned to knit that were making fabulous looking items, while I was still puttering away on scarves, and taking an inordinate amount of time to complete even them! I felt so jealous and well...dumb. It's sheer perseverance which has kept me going as it still doesn't come easily for me, though I trust in time that it will. Please don't let my struggle deter you, though. I'm not atypical!
As I began my knitting journey, I spent countless hours scouring the internet for free patterns, patterns that I could understand. I am very much a visual learner. I learn by seeing rather than by reading. If you are learning to knit or wanting to learn to knit, and if you are like me that you need to see things done, I would recommend the following two resources:
She knits many of the garments you see worn by stars in movies, as well as for stars themselves. Her website is very interesting, plus she even has a couple of free patterns listed. If you're needing help getting started knitting, you'll love her videos!
Monday, January 7, 2008
Actually, this is the view from the back of my house. I didn't feel like making the quarter mile trek around to the front.
Looks like my poolman's slacking off on the job. Look at all those leaves on the water. Tsk, tsk.
~Care for a mint julep, anyone?
My flower gardens
Someone should really sweep the walkway. Just what am I paying the gardener for, anyway?
Okay, so I told a teenie weenie white lie. It's not really my house. I'm betting you guessed that, though. Or maybe you thought you'd stumbled onto someone with great wealth. Um, yeah, that's why I'm using a free blogging service. Not that I'm saying anything against Blogger. I'm just sayin'.
The truth about the house? It's Glensheen in Duluth, Minnesota, also known as the Congdon Mansion. My husband and I took an awesome tour there back in the fall. My good friend, Vicki (who's blogless) is a tour guide there. She and I met on the Swap about ten years ago. We met in person last October. It was akin to meeting a long lost twin separated at birth and adopted out to a different family thousands of miles away. We even look identical. She's tall, slender, and beautiful. I'm not quite tall, not exactly slender (okay, I'm not even close) and not quite beautiful, but other than that, we're mirror images!
Vicki took us on an extended tour of the mansion. She's a walking Glensheen encyclopedia. If you've got a question about Glensheen, I promise you, Vicki can answer it. Those who've heard of it may also have heard of the notorious murders that took place there back in the 70's. Vicki has read everything that's been published and available on the subject. She's a natural as a tour guide. She not only held us all in rapt attention but had us in stitches with laughter as well. Yes, she's funny and beautiful. Like I said, identical twins.
It wasn't that long ago that tour guides weren't even allowed to discuss the murders at Glensheen. Though they still can't bring up the subject of the murders, they can now answer questions if asked, so we discreetly asked Vicki if those were blood stains we saw on the wall and floor in a particular location. They were. They weren't really gruesome to look at so much as gruesome in knowing what the stains were and how they got there.
The 39 room mansion was unlike anything I'd ever imagined. Talk about wealth (which we were), a phenominal amount of money was spent to build the house early in the 20th century. The Congdon couple who had the house built were neither one born with silver spoons in their mouths, either. I could go on and on and on with many fascinating facts about this family, about the mansion, and about the murders. I won't, though. I am not well enough informed to do the story justice. If you're interested in that sort of thing, do some research. I assure you, it's all quite fascinating.
There is a book about the murders which my friend Vicki highly recommends, titled "Will to Murder: The True Story Behind the Crimes & Trials Surrounding the Glensheen Killings". She loaned me the book. She sent it all the way from Duluth, Minnesota down to Texas so her good friend and long lost twin could read it before going on the tour, but I never got around to reading it. I have no excuse. Fortunately Vicki is forgiving. After all, she is my twin.
It goes without saying that the murders were a tragedy (though I'm saying it), and I don't know if the house would be as famous otherwise, but I think it would definitely draw people in to see it's beauty on it's own merit. It's a marvelous structure which was way ahead of it's time in the modern conveniences it contained, and it is positively gorgeous, like my friend, Vicki.
There's always color to be found in nature, even in winter. The stark background contrast adds to the color's brilliance.
My husband and I hiked a long trail of drab overgrowth before we happened upon this little beauty. I don't even know what it is, likely an overgrown weed of some kind. The effort it took us to find it was worth it. That's the way it is with most things of worth. They take effort to obtain, but the work pays off in the end.
Reading, studying, searching God's Word takes effort. The nuggets you dig out make it worth it, though. Are you having trouble hearing from God? Do you need solutions? Do you need encouragement? Dig in God's Word. If you have trouble comprehending it, ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten your understanding as you read. Our Heavenly Father longs to show Himself to us in His Word.
Next week, there will be knitting pictures. I have some knitting fo's to post. It's nothing fancy or elaborate, but it will be knitting!
Saturday, January 5, 2008
Friday, January 4, 2008
Brrr.....it's cold outside. I always feel sorry for the birds in winter. Isn't it amazing how God miraculously designed them to survive the elements, as well as provided for their needs?
Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Matthew 6:26
I know He loves me, and you, and all mankind more than He loves the little birds. Jesus gave His very life for you and me. I have no need to wring my hands and worry what the future holds. My heavenly Father sees ahead for me, and He's made provision for all I need.
Tell your Father what you need. Thank Him for meeting your need. Look expectantly, in faith, for Him to do so. Don't dwell on your problems. Fix your eyes on God and trust Him, truly trust Him to meet your needs. Remember, fear and faith cannot co-abide. If you're in fear, you're not in faith.
Be blessed, stay warm, and throw out some breadcrumbs for your feathered friends!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
I originally set out to make this a knitting blog. Then I realized knitting blogs are actually supposed to be about ..well..knitting. Though I haven't exactly mastered the craft, I do love to knit. I just don't seem to finish too many projects. I suffer from KADD (knitters ADD). Seriously. I start new projects all the time. Many of them are near completion, but when it comes to that last stretch, I lose interest and move onto a new one. Other than knitting a couple of pairs of wristwarmers for my daughter and my niece, I did no gift knitting this Christmas. And I dare to call myself a knitter.
For me, knitting, as with whatever my current hobby, is something I tend to do in spells. I'm the same way with reading. I get on a reading kick and I can barely stand to be without a book in my hands. When I'm knitting, I want to knit around the clock. Now, why can't I be that way with exercising?
I knit the Kitty Pi felted bed last year for our cat, Puddy. This is the one and only time she got in it, and even then, only with bribery. I propped her within good eyeshot of the birdfeeder. I figured since Puddy didn't really care for the bed, I'd give it to our new little Min Pin, Leyna.
She looks pretty cozy in it, doesn't she? She likes that it's small enough for her to drag to a sunny spot for her nap. Did you know Min Pins are extremely cold natured? Since she discovered I have a heated mattress pad on my bed (dh doesn't turn on his side), she's become my new best friend at bedtime.
Back to the cat. Apparently there was a trace of jealousy on Puddy's part. I found said bed in the living room tonight bearing the distinctive odor of cat pee. I mean it STUNK. There is nothing so distinguishable as the odor of cat pee. Puddy hasn't peed in the house since the day we brought her home from the vet to have her spayed, well over ten years ago. I'm guessing she wasn't too happy about that, either.
Sigh. I'll have to wash the bed tomorrow and reshape it to dry. I've never washed any of my knitted-felted items before, other than for the initial felting process. I hope it doesn't felt more. We don't have any smaller pets on hand.