Saturday, January 14, 2017

Well Hello Winter!

It's been winter 24/7 now.
And no, I expected no less than that.
We've seen temperatures as low as -26F (that's -32C).  And yes, I hope that's as cold as we get this winter but we'll see.

There's been a lot of this:


Frankie can't get close enough to the wood stove at times.

We're still going on walks.  It's been beautiful outside.





We don't often see the deer but they're around.  Tracks are everywhere.



Home sweet home.


I have been doing some knitting.



And if you're interested in knitting, or just want to listen to my slight lisp, I've begun a short, short, knitting podcast on youtube.

https://youtu.be/PTzSaiIUXAY

Otherwise my advice is to follow Frankie's example and stay warm!


Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's The New Year!

Well, almost.  It's quickly approaching, that's for sure.

A lot changed for Kim and I this year.  We figured out a way to retire a year early (thank you, soaring housing prices), and moved permanently to our home here in Montana.  Which meant leaving behind our daughter and her family and all our friends and starting over 500 miles away.

It's been something else.  Thank the internet gods for skype.

I'm also thankful we managed to buy a large enough home that allows me to have my own "room";  to be known from this point on as my knitting room.  I love it.  And I knit in it.  A lot.  I wasn't planning on knitting presents for Christmas this year, moving kept us busy enough, but I found a pattern I liked....and that's the end of that story.

So here are the things I knit for presents this year:


Gloves.  I like gloves.


I hadn't knit many gloves before but once I got into it:


So mittens had to happen for the grandkids.  Mittens with faces.



And a child sized cowl I couldn't resist making for my granddaughter to match those polar bear mittens.



"Scrappy Socks" made from my leftover sock yarn for my niece.  I made three so she can send one back for repairs when she wears a hole in one.  I love these socks.  Can't wait to make some for myself.  They're super cozy.  And sooo colorful.



So what did I knit the rest of the year?  Well, there's been a few things.
Socks for instance.  I really enjoy knitting socks.





Made myself some gloves.  The pattern is "Froot Loop" by Natasha Sills.



Made a baby blanket for my new grandson who arrived in November.


And a cardigan with a matching hat for him.


I also made him a "Chunky Monkey Vest" which his sister insisted go on her "baby".  This was before the real baby arrived.  Big sister is wearing a vest I made for her.


I made matching vests for each grandson.  Such a sweet pattern.  It's the Chunky Monkey Vest by Elizabeth Smith.  You can find all these patterns on Ravelry.


Another cute vest for Grandson #1.  This one is "Peanut" by Tincanknits.


The "Peanut Warmers", pattern by Taiga Hilliard.  Such a cute and easy pattern and I made hats to match.



My #1 grandson, Russell, and his cousin, Stella, modeling theirs.


And "Wee La Nina" vests for them also, again a pattern by Taiga Hilliard.


I really enjoyed making the "Seed Pearl Shrug", again by Taiga Hilliard.  I made a few of these as gifts.  This one fit my granddaughter really well.


I also got better at making toys.





And Russell wore the bee outfit I knit for him as his Halloween costume this year.


Yes, it's been a lot of knitting.  And I do like to knit.  But I also think I do it in order to make some sort of lasting effect on my family and friends.  To leave a bit of something of myself.  And I think that's OK.

And why am I looking back at all my knitting?  I guess it's a way for me to analyze the past year.  To see how far I've come in some sense.

Here is an interesting read about New Year's.  And a few excerpts.

"It may be that the symbolism we attach to this one moment (New Years) is rooted in one of the most powerful motivations of all—our motivation to survive."  

"The celebration part is obvious: As our birthdays do, New Year’s day provides us the chance to celebrate having made it through another 365 days, the unit of time by which we keep chronological score of our lives. Phew! Another year over, and here we still are! Time to our raise our glasses and toast our survival! "

"New Year’s resolutions are examples of the universal human desire to have some control over what lies ahead, because the future is unsettlingly unknowable. Not knowing what’s to come means we don’t know what we need to know to keep ourselves safe. To counter that worrisome powerlessness, we do things to take control. We resolve to diet and exercise, to quit smoking, and to start saving."

And we knit?  Maybe.

"Interestingly, New Years resolutions also commonly include things like treating people better, making new friends, and paying off debts. It's been so throughout history. The Babylonians would return borrowed objects. Jews seek, and offer, forgiveness. The Scots go "first footing," visiting neighbors to wish them well. How does all this social "resolving" connect to survival? Simple. We are social animals. We have evolved to depend on others, literally, for our health and safety. Treating people well is a good way to be treated well. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," it turns out, is a great survival strategy."

"Everywhere, New Year's is a moment to consider our weaknesses and how we might reduce the vulnerabilities they pose—and to do something about the scary powerlessness that comes from thinking about the unsettling unknown of what lies ahead."

Sometimes it feels that this coming year more than others is full of uncertainty.  There have been some surprising events this past year, that's for sure.  But I do like the idea of a resolution to "treat others as you would be treated".  Sounds like as good a resolution as any.  And I'll continue to knit along the way.

Here's wishing you all a great new year.  Stay safe.  And don't forget to include some silliness!








Friday, December 23, 2016

Tis The Season

Yes, it's that time of year. 
I've finally finished all my Christmas knitting projects, and mailed them.  Now I can relax a bit. 



Kim and I cut a tree this year for the first time.  Our cutting area was about 10 minutes down the road from us, in the Flathead National Forest.


After quite a bit of looking around this was our choice.


And the final result!


We've been enjoying all the snow.



Frankie's not so sure...


But he and Felix are in love with Santa.




The big news has been my newest grandson, Perry, who was born last month near Seattle.  Isn't he a sweet looking baby?  It's not just me, right?


I am missing this guy.  Scarface used to enjoy the Christmas tree so much.






Chicken Update:  Brazil is back in the chicken coop and doing well.  The hens have survived -24F so we hope they're getting acclimated to Montana weather.

Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/whatever you celebrate to all!!!