July 2005

One last post before we leave. Well, one last post before the last post. I’m taking the kids to my parents’ in the States and I’m going to fill my 3 1/2 empty suitcases with all sorts of good things. I’ll let you know when we return what we’ve succumbed to buying. Oh what fun! We might even hit the beach. I can’t wait to see my family. I may have time to post, but that’s not really likely, so I will see you all, or better said you will see me, in 3 weeks. Emily will be taking care of this place, the cats and my husband, who can’t come with us this time.
Before I sign off, I’d like to show you what I worked on all day yesterday. Can you guess what this is?
Ok, I’ll post tomorrow with the answer. (hint: more gifts)

I’d like to let you in on a little secret of mine. You may have asked yourself, how could I sew, knit, cook, bake, play with the kids, take care of the cats, take care of my husband (that counts double) and still stay sane? Do you really think I could do it all myself? Well, I just couldn’t keep lying to everyone, I have to get this secret off my chest and tell you, I’ve been deceiving you too long.

Her name is Emily. Emily is the one that does it all; I just take credit for it. I just knit and sew while Emily does the rest. I can’t cook or bake, was that a cup of salt I just put in that meatloaf? I don’t play with the kids-they think I’m a big sister in town for a visit who doesn’t want to be bothered. You can usually find me on the couch with my knitting on my lap watching a good movie. I sometimes even eat chocolate while watching, it soothes those stressed nerves.

Let me tell you the story from the beginning. Emily came to us about 2 years ago. I was wandering around the Christmas market when I saw her sitting at a stand with all her orphaned brothers and sisters.
brothers and sisterThose big warm eyes and amusing smile just called to me and even the sweet smell of roasted nuts and cotton candy couldn’t turn me away, I just had to talk to her. After finding out that she was without a family and very sad, I decided to take her home. We went home, warmed up our hands, started talking and getting to know each other. She’s been with us ever since and the kids just adore her. She’s integrated very nicely into our little family and began working almost from the start. I couldn’t imagine a day without her. I’ve taken some pictures of her working around the house; yes, I got up from my knitting to take these pictures. (Remember click on a picture to make it bigger)
Emily cleaning the toilet
Here is Emily cleaning the bathroom. She’s holding her nose but she really does enjoy working in here.
Emily cookingEmily dishwasher
Here she is cooking dinner for all of us. Every morning she asks what we’d like and then heads to the grocery store to buy the ingredients. She, of course, empties the dishwasher happily.
Emily ironingEmily washing
She never complains about ironing Martin’s shirts. She likes him to look well pressed for work. Of course, she’s washed and dried them first.
Emily catsEmily feeding Alida
The cats always sit still while she brushes them, which they don’t do for me. She feeds the kids, too!
Emily windowsEmily reading
Of course, when she’s finished with the windows, I let her relax a bit with my knitting magazines, and she usually has great ideas for new sweater for me to knit.
Emily at the computer
Without her computer genious I would never have been able to change my template for my blog to look just the way I want it.
So, now you know my little family secret and I’m sure the better for it. Just don’t tell anyone or they’ll be at my door asking to borrow Emily for the weekend, and then the week, and then the month, oh it would never end!!

I’ve been chugging along in Harry Potty and the Order of the Phoenix; I’m on page 320! I know that might not sound like much, but for me it sure is and I’m now to the point where I don’t want to put it down. Did you know that there is a bit of knitting in this one?? Hermione is knitting for the house elves. She is too cool. In every good book or movie someone is always knitting, it was just meant to be.
Anyway, now to some sewing news. This weekend, not only did I finish my Moths-stay-away-from-my-hand-knit-wool-sweater pillows, but I also finished this little flowered tank that I’ve wanted to work on since the beginning of the summer.
flowered tankCan you tell I like flowers? I used a stretch cotton and wasn’t sure how it would be to sew. Contrary to my worries, it sewed up super, which could have also been contributed to my great machine. I also made major alterations so that it would fit better, which in the end turned out well, but to be perfectly honest the reason I put it off so long was because I wasn’t too willing to try it. I made the neck smaller and the shoulders thinner. I could have made the whole thing a bit more fitted, which would have looked better, but I like to have a bit of play in shirts so they are comfortable and I can wear them all the time, even with the kids and I don’t feel ‘trapped’. I ask myself on this one, why use a pattern?

I’ve been knitting too. black miniI’ve started my black minisweater and I think I’m going to make major alterations on that one, too. I bought lots of yarn so I can make it longer and maybe even lengthen the sleeves. It won’t be a minisweater anymore at this rate, but it should look good. I don’t like knitting with black, but because it is such a practical color, I thought I’d knit it anyway. We’ll see how it turns out. Black is slimming, which is a very good characteristic for me!
I have a question for you. I saw these great minisweaters by Tami and I love what she did. You have to scroll down a bit to see her purple one. She used different patterns to lengthen them. I don’t know if I should knit stockinette stitch, lace or something else? I hate these kinds of decisions and need your advice. Ugh. Now it’s your turn, what do you think? Thanks in advance.

All you hungry wool-eating moths out there, you have found your match!! It’s the Moths-stay-away-from-my-hand-knit-wool-sweater pillows that I’ve made to keep you at bay. Here they are ready to be filled with dried lavender, which is what I’ve heard to be a big no-no in the moth community. pillows
My family has sweaters and they are woolly, that’s why I’ve decided they need these Moths-stay-away-from-my-hand-knit-wool-sweater pillows as gifts. Unfortunately it doesn’t show in my picture, but when the pillow is stuffed with lavender you can see it through the lace.
Let me know what you think of these and I’ll try to make a pattern and tutorial and put it in the sidebar. But only if you sign my guestbook! I know this is childish but I have to resert to these things. Now, be good and sign the guestbook and let me know what you think of me, this blog, or anything that tickles your undersides. Did I say that? Could be. 😉

Cupcake hat
I just thought I’d whip up this little cupcake with the leftovers from the last two sweaters I knit. I don’t really like to knit with the Lana Grossa Multicot I used for my minisweater, it splits and gets caught on everything, but I do like the way the finished product looks. I completely ran out of pink Multicot and had to use the rest of the fuzzy pink Estivo which I think makes it look yummy on the top. I saw this originally on Tami’s blog and just had to have one. I love anything that uses up leftovers. Click on pictures to see them bigger.
Alida in cupcake
Notice how Alida is wearing a sweater I knit for Alexander when I found out I was 6 weeks pregnant with him. Yesterday I took out some of the sweaters I’ve knit since the kids have come along for my photo album, which is unfortunately still in the works, and she insisted on wearing this one. She even wore it to bed! This sweater is size 6 months but I guess I made it big enough for her. She loves the duck buttons. You can see it in things knit under pages on the right.Alida in her sweater

books This is what we are reading right now. We are big Harry Potter fans!Yes, I’m reading book number 5 and Martin is reading number 6. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but two years ago when Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out I was only able to read about 130 pages and didn’t continue because of the sleep factor, or shall I say lack of sleep factor. I kept falling asleep every time I attempted to read. This was about the time Alida was born and I really didn’t get much sleep, so I decided to put it down for later and promptly forgot about reading until now. I’m staying awake much better now, but I do find it difficult to decide what to do: read, knit or sew. I wish I could do it all simultaneously. Rachel astounds me; she can knit and read at the same time. How? Some of us are talented and others just aren’t, so I’ll stick to reading or knitting separately.
Thank you all for your great comments, it’s great to see that people are interested. Thanks!!

So here they are, the last of the bag presents for my family lounging on the cat tree. My sewing machine was going all weekend pumping out these babies. I quilted them which took the most time and by the third one, I have to admit, I was ready to move on to the next step, but all in all I think they turned out pretty well. I’d like to keep them, but they are gifts, so I’m trying to be good and not forget to take them with me to the States. I just love the blue and yellow ones, although the pink suits me well. Hmm….maybe another pink one for myself would be in order when I get back. Remember click on a picture to make it bigger.
bagsbag close
Here are some of the details; I put a large pocket on the inside and a Chinese button closure which I just love.
bag insidechinese knot
The next thing are potpouri pillows, more gifts, and then I really want to get a tank top sewn which has been staring at me all summer long. I just have to do so many alterations on the pattern that I haven’t had the desire to tackle it. Maybe this weekend. I just have to keep in mind that dissapointment is a learning experience. Ugh
Here is just a really cute moment I just had to catch on film disk. Alexander has been reading to Alida lately. He says he can’t read English so he finds the German books, they climb in my bed, and he ‘reads’ to her. Now, how cute is that? Am I needed here anymore? Now I just have to get him to make breakfast for me in bed. kids reading
Regarding Teddy and Baby in the last post, for those of you who don’t know it already, these two dolls are not just any dolls; they are Teddy and Baby which is synonymous with family. You see, without Teddy and Baby life stops in our house. These two precious family members do not leave the house; they sit around and answer the phone. That’s the only way I could convince Alexander when he was little not to take Teddy with him everywhere he went. That’s why they get THE treatment. Hey, at least I know they won’t be growing out of the sweaters I knit them.
Don’t forget to sign my guestbook, it would make me a very happy blogger. 🙂

I’ve designed my own pattern. I did it, now I’m going to write a book about it. I’m sure to have book signings in your area. Knitty.com here I come! My design is unique and just plain amazing. I’m going to be famous. $$$$$ I’ll be able to send the kids to private school. I’ll be worshiped for my knitting skills and people will call me the Knitting Guru. I’ll have to wear sunglasses and a baseball hat so as to not draw attention to me when I’m out and about. I’ll have security guards to travel with me….

Ok ok, back to reality, Teddy was a bit cold, so I knit him a vest. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just any old vest; it’s a train vest with train buttons and a train blowing steam on the back. Notice the funky colors? Alexander’s doing! He wanted fusia acrylic for the vest but I convinced him this funny green cotton was better. So, Alexander and I designed this ourselves and we’re quite proud. Originally, two years ago, I had made Teddy a yellow sailboat vest, but Teddy just didn’t feel it was right for him, so now Baby wears it with pride. It fits her well, don’t you think? It’s not pink but it will do.

sweatersweater back

Click on a picture to make it bigger. You can’t see all that well, but there is a sailboat on the yellow sweater and a train on the green one.
Don’t you just love a geek?

On Saturday he went to the yarn store and bought six balls of this(on sale)…
but he wasn’t sure what to make out of it…
…one day those knitting needles came along and turned Stash into a beautiful…..
minisweater AlidaAlida
Alida thought she needed to wear my minisweater; I think it’s still a bit big for her though. Notice the red bruised right eye; we went to Peacock Island again and a bug bit her right under her eye which swelled up to look like she had been punched. It looked really miserable! This is just the end of it and it still looks terrible to me.
Well, here is my finished minisweater:
I used 300 gr. Lana Grossa Multicot 60% Cotton, 40% Microfiber-so soft. I knitted 10 more rows than called for in the pattern before separating the sleeves from the main body. I also added holes for the ribbon to pull it in a bit. I still haven’t found the right button for the front but that shouldn’t take long.
I really like this pattern and I learned quite a bit. This morning I went out and bought 400 gr. in black to make another one (hey it’s on sale!), but this time I’m going to make it longer, so I can wear it with more things. I think I’ll also depuff the sleeves on the second one, although I really like them, it is just a bit too romantic for an everyday type sweater.
Last week I said I would be sewing, didn’t I? Well, this week I will be sewing. It’s just that when I get into my knitting craze, I can’t quite stop. There is so much to knit out there and I’ve got to do it. Ok, Pfaffy your sleeping days are over, here I come.

Just a quick hi to let you know I’m working on my template, and I am still trying to figure out which photo album I like best, so I can show off all the things I’ve been doing the last few years. I’ve updated my pages and I’ve included a guestbook for you to sign. You don’t even have to write anything; just leave your name and maybe blog address. I’ve got lots to do before I leave for the States in two weeks, so I’m off to work, but I will have some things to show soon, I’m making quite a bit of headway through my stash. Geeks rock!!

First and foremost, do I have to tell you all to click on a picture to make it bigger? Well, if I do then please remember this for future reading; Please click on a picture to make it bigger, always.

Last night I actually sat down at my sewing machine, who has been quietly dozing for weeks in the corner trying to cool down in this heat-that’s why I haven’t been sewing, poor guy I’ve got to give him a break, he’s a family member;-). Anyway, I decided to sew a bag for a friend of mine’s little girl’s first birthday. I haven’t wanted to pull out my machine for a while but I knew I had to get it done, so I spent 45 minutes and made this…
Marlene's gift
… which I intend to fill with the Playmobile next to it. Well, I went to bed last night thinking oh well, it’s done, although I wasn’t absolutely happy with it but thinking it would work. Does this happen to anyone else: you wake up in the morning with great ideas and have to do them right away? Well, all of a sudden lying in bed this morning I thought ribbon, and before you know it I was at my machine sewing this cute pink ribbon around the top. I love it. It looks so much better and I’m glad I thought of it.

Why does my brain only function in the morning?

On the knitting front, I’ve been working on this minisweater which I’ve loved since I saw it the first time. Love at first sight? Anyway, I’ve finished my wrap and have nothing to do, yeah right, so I thought I’d start this baby with some of my pink yarn, I don’t have any other colors so it has to be pink. Here it is so far…

I’m working on the lower edge and I think I’m going to put in some holes to thread ribbon through. I’m off to knit and find the kids, I think they’re in the kitchen making their own breakfast; I better go there first and clean up the chaos.

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