Ho, Ho, Ho

My Christmas present arrived today. A new screaming-fast Dell computer with 23" HD monitor, Windows 7, and wireless mouse and keyboard. Can't wait to get all my files and programs transferred so I can play!



Ornament #5 is done and gifted. I'm still enjoying these patterns - never thought I'd take up thread crochet again but these have been a lot of fun. Still planning to make a set for us to keep, after I finish the last two gifts.



Another great Christmas is in the memory books, after lots of food, presents, laughter and best of all - togetherness.

PopPop and Leia

Naia and Miles

Playing 'airplane'

Gary and Samantha

Paul and Marie

Almost overwhelmed by all the presents. Almost.

Leia learned to open presents. This ball was her second favorite gift.

Can you guess what her very favorite toy was?

Miles loved his Razr big wheel.

Chris and Naia

We loved having family around us all day.

Excitement carried Leia through most of the day but she finally had had enough.

From our house to yours, Merry Christmas to all and to all a Good Night.


Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

The tree is decorated and so are the presents
Our outdoor decorations - a light-tree
Paul and Marie(looking shorter than usual) waiting for Helicopter Santa


Gifted FO

I finished this one Sunday night and gifted it Monday night. The recipient seemed pleased with it, which pleased me. This is my Fisherman's Fan scarf pattern using Noro Silk Garden that's been in my stash for 5 or 6 years. I bought it on Ebay and hung on to it both because I loved the colors (especially the orange) and because the labels were in Japanese. (Noro yarn is from Japan but the American-market labels are in English.) Glad I finally found the perfect project for this special yarn.



Naia, happily working a floor puzzle
Leia, deciding that Naia needs "help"
Naia, trying to persuade Leia to not "help"Naia and Leia, sisters and pals


Christmas Baking

Today was the start of Christmas baking season. I finished the first batch of zucchini bread - a big family favorite since my MIL gave me the recipe years ago - and tonight I plan to make peanut butter fudge - another family fav made from my mother's recipe.

I love traditional holiday foods and recipes, and occasionally - not often - I'll find a new one that just has to be added. Like these 'cheater' cinnamon rolls. Not sure where I got this recipe but I'll be making these often - Dick and I ate the entire batch this afternoon. So easy, so tasty, so gone.

Cinnamon Rolls
8-oz. package refrigerated crescent rolls
2 T margarine, softened
1/2 t cinnamon (I plan to add more next time)
2 T raisins (I left these out; hubby's not a raisin fan)
3/4 c powdered sugar
3-4 T milk (I substituted water - and a lot less than called for)

Unroll dough into one large rectangle; seal all perforations. Spread margarine evenly over dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle evenly over dough. Sprinkle raisins over sugar and cinnamon.

Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from the longest side. Slice into 22 pieces. Place slices on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (my rolls were almost burnt after 17 minutes.)

Combine powdered sugar and milk (or water); drizzle over warm rolls. Enjoy!


Christmas FO's

Want to see what I've been working on, almost exclusively, for the last 18 days? After today's gift exchange with my fiber buddies I can finally post these super secret projects.

It's been a long time since I've done any thread crochet - working with such tiny hooks makes my hands ache - but these ornaments were too pretty to pass up. They are done with Size 10 cotton thread, a 1.75mm hook and the patterns in 'Scented Ornaments to Crochet' by Anne Halliday (Ravelry link). The center is a fabric bag stuffed with batting since I elected to make them unscented. Each ornament is approx. 4.25" in diameter and the front/back are identical. There are six patterns in the book and I'm working my way through all of them. And even though my hands do hurt, I'm loving these ornaments and the intricacies of threadwork.

The ornaments were actually my back-up plan in case my original idea flopped on the loom; I'm thrilled that that didn't happen. These are the overshot potholders from the May/June 2005 edition of Handwoven. All six were done on the same warp but I changed the treadling for the second in each color, giving them a different pattern. The potholders with the "X" in each corner (right side below) are treadled 'Star' fashion. You can see a diagonal line running between the top and bottom corners.
The other pattern - more rounded, without diagonal lines connecting the elements - is "Rose" fashion. I love that something as easy as changing the order in which you raise the shafts can give such different results. These were all woven with off-white 8/4 cotton as warp and pattern weft and Lily Sugar & Cream worsted cotton - good old kitchen cotton from Michael's - is the supplemental weft. I need to make a few more of these - at least one set for me - but I goofed when I took these off the loom. The idea was to cut these off and then tie on a new warp to save having to re-thread the heddles (the most time consuming part and the part most prone to error.)

Unfortunately, I forgot to release the tension before I cut the warp threads. Did you know that threads under tension can spring all the way across the loom, coming out of not only the reed but the heddles too? Not funny - and a definite rookie mistake. One I won't be making again, thank you very much.


FO - Finally

Finally got a picture of it, that is. I finished - and wore - these while we were in Colorado but forgot to take a 'finished' shot when we got home. This is my Malabrigo Mittens pattern with minor modifications. I used the smaller "G" hook throughout, rather than changing up one size as the pattern suggests, because I wanted to stitches to be tighter. Still loving the pattern, the yarn and the mitts.


Holiday Disney

Disneyland was wonderful. Great weather, fairly small crowd, fast lines - perfect. Whoever thought up the 'free on your birthday' promotion is a genius; we probably would not have gone had it not been for that. And there were literally hundreds of people all over the park sporting 'birthday' buttons.

The longest line we were in all day was the one into the parking garage. An RV got stuck trying to get around the entrance booth - and of course that was the line we were in. Dick stood outside the car for awhile, watching the (eventually successful) maneuvering. Mildly entertaining but I was ready to be inside, having fun.

There were more people than we expected for a Tuesday but we were able to walk right on to most rides, including Indiana Jones - which promptly broke down. It had been closed for repair when we first walked by; apparently they didn't get it fixed on the first try.

'Behind the scenes' on Indiana Jones. Sounds better than 'broken', right?

We sat for 6-7 minutes while the engineers worked, but it was fun to see 'behind the scenes'. And the bonus? We got to go around again rather than get off at the end of the interrupted ride.
The park was decked out in holiday finery, especially the castle, and there were new jokes on the Jungle Cruise (one of my favorite rides.)We got to see two new attractions - the revamped riverboat with its Princess and the Frog theme - and the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. We'd never heard of that one before but the line was short so we went in. And it was a blast, literally. You fire laser guns at targets along the ride's path, with each person's score showing in front of them on the car. I'm happy to report that Dick's years of SWAT training finally paid off; he had about 1,000,000 more points than I did.

Dick's score was 1,468,900 - about 1,000,000 points more than mine.

After the parking snafu, the rest of the day went in our favor. We got a parking spot right by the escalators; boarded the tram - coming and going - without having to wait; got taken out of the looooong ticket line and lead to a newly opened ticket window; twice had ride lines divided just ahead of us so we got a shorter wait; had no one in line ahead of us at the restaurants and stores we visited; and got to the Golden Horseshoe - Dick's favorite - just as the show was about to start and there were seats still available - that never happens. It was like it was my birthday or something.
All in all, a perfectly magical Disney day.


New Scarf Pattern

Just posted a new-to-Ravelry pattern - the Reversible Cabled Scarf. I've been making and teaching this one since 2007; not sure how I missed publishing it before now. The bulky yarn and a size P/10mm hook makes it a fast project and the Baby Alpaca Grande makes it luxurious. And it's easy - I use this pattern to teach cables to beginning crochet students.

And now, we're off the Disneyland!



I'd just started putting a new warp on the loom, which is why I grabbed the camera instead of the cat. Lily decided it would be fun to help me out. But I'd rather know how curious she is about the loom now, rather than wake up one morning and find a completed warp damaged. She might not live through that one.


Only 11 days til Christmas???

I've finished three of the four gifts I need for the Spinster's gift exchange on Friday. Won't be able to work on the last one tomorrow - Leia will be here - or Tuesday - going out of town with the hubby. I'll have to really buckle down on Wednesday and get it done and wrapped. Pictures next weekend!



Turns out that little Lily - aka Pica (pain in [the other] cats a**) - is a lap-hogging lovebug. She's spending her nights, and any time we aren't home, shut up in Gary's room, at least until we know she knows where the litter box is - and that she isn't going to beat up on the other 2 cats. They outweigh her by at least 9 pounds each, but she's got the ignorance of youth on her side. So far, AJ and Snickers have been tolerant but that won't last forever. . . .

Marie and I took turns holding her last night. Today, Lily's been asleep on my lap all afternoon.
AJ's nose is a bit out of joint since she wants to be in my lap too. And while there's room for both, neither is going to be the first to admit it. Marie will take Lily after dinner and I'll make amends with AJ. I wonder if Lily will stay this cuddly? Or outgrow it as she gets older?