Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Little Behind

Somehow I got behind.  I'm sure I had time during the day to post, but it just didn't happen.  Which leaves me with a lot of stuff to share from the Advent swap.  Instead of a post a day about what I sent and received, I'm going to share it all at once.  Today I'll share what I received and over the next couple days I'll share what I sent (which may take a few posts since I knit several things...).

I left you with Day 8 last time, so we start here with December 9.  Smarties and Kinder chocolate.  Not the Smarties like what you find in the US - oh no! :)  Much like M&Ms, but just a little different.  They're very yummy and I've only had them twice.  These didn't last too very long in our house!
December 10: A Wiggles Christmas CD which is great for traveling.  Squishy loves listening to music and although he doesn't know anything about the Wiggles, he'll still enjoy the songs.
December 11: Christmas buttons!  Stockings and teddy bears.  These remind me of the buttons on a dress I wore as a little girl.  I will smile every time I see them!!
December 12: A set of felt Christmas tree ornaments - a Santa, a star, a penguin and a reindeer.  Mandie told me she found these at a country market, made by an older woman.  They are beautifully handmade and fit my tree perfectly!
December 13: My day for notions!  Duck stitch markers, marking pins and a retractable tape measure.  These are terrific - I always love having more notions!
December 14: Two little bags made with Christmas fabric - fun and festive, one can never have too many!
December 15: 2 skeins of Rowan Handknit Cotton in two shades of pink.  I've got some of this in my stash in a pretty blue - I think combining them all together will be very pretty.
December 16: A barrel of monkeys for Squishy!  'Nuff said!
December 17: A plush toy for each of the kids.  Squishy received a holiday puppy and Lovebug got an Eeyore toy. :)
December 18: Baby's First Christmas bib for Lovebug and a holiday elf hat for Squishy.
December 19: A della-Q "The Que-i" needle case.  I put my DyakCraft interchangeable needles in right away!
December 20: Christmas tree kitchen towels - these are pretty and practical.
December 21: An Aussie Christmas coloring book and book of sparkly Christmas stickers for Squishy. :)
December 22: The Santa Baby Ornament - one of the required swap knits.  Squishy immediately found the perfect place and hung it on our tree. :)
December 23: The cutest little reindeer snow globe.  Squishy played with this all day long.  Unfortunately, it got dropped and the globe broke.  The inside was not damaged, though, so we've save it and put it on a higher shelf where we can still admire it and remember where it came from. :)
December 24: Two pretty red stockings to decorate for the holiday season!
And the grande finale....December 25!  Mandie sent me two skeins of Knit Picks Imagination in Mermaid Lagoon along with the pattern Cedar Leaf Shawlette.  This is a lovely pattern and will be beautiful in this yarn!
Mandie - you made this swap so much fun!  You included something for everyone and Squishy loved helping me open the gift each day.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 7 & 8

This is going to be short and sweet...I am behind on posting for the swap and want to get it done before Little Man's bedtime and before Lovebug gets hungry again...  So here goes!

Dec. 7: Nina received a set of Christmas window clings.  She mentioned she has some glass at her place of work and so she was going to take them in to decorate a bit.  I'm really pleased that they'll be getting use!  They looked so fun!
I received a reindeer dishcloth on the 7th. :)  The yarn is the softest red yarn and the cloth is beautiful. (A knitted dish/washcloth was a swap requirement.)  These dishcloths I've received are so pretty it makes you not want to use them...but I love me some knitted dishcloth so they went straight into our kitchen linen drawer. :)
Dec. 8: Another requirement was "something with snowflakes."  I found a fun little metal pail with a snowflake cut-out.  I think it's fun to have little containers like this.  Nina mentioned that her daughter has just gotten some new markers and they were trying to decide how to store them and then she received this.  So perfect!
On Dec. 8 we received 2 new ornaments.  A reindeer and a polar bear.  They are soft and loveable and they talk and sing to you. :)  Squishy really enjoys playing the music (when you push their belly).  They're great because they're kid friendly - it doesn't matter one bit if he takes them off the tree and tosses them around a little bit (as he's prone to do...)
Thanks, Mandie!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Days 5 & 6

I decided it was probably silly to have a separate post for each day, they're small enough I can combine them. On with the show!

Day 5 brought "something yummy" to the holiday cheer.  I love looking through the Christmas candies (Easter is fun too).  They always have such neat and different things that you can't get the rest of the year. I debated between a lot of things but finally settled on a hot chocolate cone, filled strawberry candies, a peppermint Christmas tree, a chocolate reindeer ornament, and some flavored hot chocolate packets.

Our day 5 brought us the Tiny Elf.  He's so cute!  He's still waiting for his smile...I've been meaning to do so but trying to stay caught up with some other stuff has me forgetting that it needs to be done.  I was planning on keeping him for myself and maybe situating him in the tree to guard the pretties and the presents, but Squishy has already found him in my knitting bag once and inquired as to whose it was.  I fear that even if this little guy WAS taking up residence in our tree, he wouldn't stay there for long!
On day 6, I sent a little gift for Nina's daughter.  A cute little cup that you can shake and watch sparkles & snowflakes fall (sort of like a snow globe).  She may not be ready for using the cup yet - I'm not sure if she's using open cups or still using a sippy cup, but this will remain fun for the future.  Otherwise, it's hers to play with!
My day 6 brought the pattern, Jingles by Debi Birkin.  I've been eying this pattern for awhile and I've even considered purchasing it in time for the holiday season.  I'm glad I held off for just a little while!  I can't wait to knit him - he's just so darn cute!

Day 4

Day 4 gave Nina her "something red" to open. I found a neat peppermint pot holder and snowman pot holder & dish towel.  :)
Day 4 on our end included a set of Holiday Greeting Cards.  I haven't opened the package yet but I've seen Christmas stockings and Christmas trees...I look forward to finding out if there are more designs!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 3

Marching forward in the Advent Swap, we have arrived at Day 3.

I hope Nina's little girl enjoys this one as much as she did her mom's knitting.  Another requirement is the Santa Baby Ornament by Susan B. Anderson.  Nina's daughter had adorned Ken Doll's head with the one her mom made - perhaps he'll have a new hat soon?
Knit with Country in Claret and Cascade 220 in White, this little hat ornament was finished in a matter of a couple hours (not even!).

For Day 3 in our house, Mandie sent the book "Happy Christmas, Spot!"  A wonderful flip book that Squishy is enjoying. In fact, it went to nap with him the day it was opened!

Great pick Mandie!

Day 2

I'm playing a bit of catch-up since my package was a few days delayed in arriving. So I'll be adding a couple posts a day until I've caught up.

So Day 2 you ask?

Another requirement for the swap was an ornament of some kind.  Nina received a little painted Santa jingle bell.  There were a couple different designs and I thought they were all neat - with a rustic look which I think looks phenomenal on a Christmas tree. :)
And for me?  Well, Mandie is already showing us how much we'll be spoiled.  I got an Australia magnet (oh yeah, did I mention that Mandie's from Down Under?), an Australia keychain and a package of pink baby mittens for Lovebug.
Thank you, thank you, Mandie! :)

Advent Swap 2011

Yep, that's right, I'm joining in another swap.  Some might think that's crazy after just having a baby, but I couldn't resist.  (And can you believe that Lovebug is now 1 month old?!  I am having a hard time coming to terms with that!!)

So the point of this swap was so send a package to your partner to arrive at the beginning of December.  Packages are to be numbered and one package opened at a time, one for each day leading up to Christmas Day, with one big package for Christmas Day.  So I figure I'll combine posts and I will share what I sent my swap partner and what my partner sent me. (No, it's not the same person.)

The package I put together went to Nina (Maegwin on Ravelry).  For Day 1, I sent her a handmade Advent Calendar.  I'm pretty proud of this one.  I put a lot of time into replicating the Advent Calendar that my grandmother made for our family.  I chose to put a different backing on it and to do the pockets differently, but I think it turned out beautifully! :)
The tree & ornaments are felt pieces.  The ornaments are put on the tree one day at a time (24 ornaments) leading up to Christmas.  The pieces are held on by velcro.  Grandma's version had sew-on snaps but I knew sewing on 24 pairs of snaps would drive me crazy.
Most of the details on the ornaments are made with fabric paint - wonderful stuff!!

With a holiday fabric creating the back of the calendar and the pockets to hold the ornaments, I can't wait to finish my own. :)
And what did I receive on Day 1?  Well, my package came all the way from Australia.  Mandie (MisMoo on Ravelry) has done a spectacular job identifying things we'd all love.

Here are all the goodies wrapped and waiting to be opened.
And the card that accompanied it all.  (The pooches are knit - which is awesome!)
So Day 1...the Christmas Mouse!  I loved knitting mine (knitting this mouse was one of the requirements) and knew Squishy would hate parting with it.
So it was no surprise when he snatched up this one and claimed it as his.  As much as I'd love to set him on the shelf with my other knit friends, watching Squishy enjoy him and play with the mouse is just a great!
Come back soon for Day 2!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Few things in life are truly perfect. 
But a brand-new baby all wrapped up in a hand-knit blanket?  Yep, I’d say that qualifies…
Lovebug, born November 4, 2011 at 11:43am, 8 lbs 4 oz, 20 inches

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Everyone! I know I've been MIA for a few weeks, but hopefully you expected that. Our little girl has arrived and certainly holds a lot of our attention. :) I promise to post details soon. Anyway, just wanted to pop onand say Happy Thanksgiving to you all out there! We're having a very quiet Turkey Day this year with immediate family and my grandpa at Mom's house. I'm bringing the potatoes...our family likes a good dish of sour cream potatoes and I'm happy to oblige. Remember to take time today to stop and reflect on all those things you're thankful for. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Are We There Yet?

It's November!  And I'm in the final days of my pregnancy.  Within the last week I have become increasingly uncomfortable.  Everything is bearable, but knowing an end is in sight makes it easier to complain about.  I'm ready to have my body back - mostly my mobility.  At this point I just sort of waddle everywhere I go and it takes me at least twice as long as it would if I weren't 9 1/2 months pregnant!

As we reach the final hour, nesting has most certainly kicked in.  The last month or so I've been trying to space out what I want to get done each weekend.  And every week, I'm able to tick a few things off my list.  But this last weekend I was in overdrive and felt like there just wasn't enough time.  I probably overdid it a little bit - by Sunday evening my feet were the size of balloons and Monday I was so sore from my head to my toes.  In all reality, we are ready and anything that's not done or not purchased can be done after the baby arrives.

Aside from home organization, though, I'm also feeling the countdown in my knitting & sewing.  All of a sudden I feel as though there were all these things I wanted to make and, darn it, there just isn't enough time left to see them through.  I've known all along what I wanted to make, or at least a rough list.  But I think I was a bit delusional thinking I had more time than there really was.

So this week I'm spending time tidying up and preparing our house and lives for the arrival of the fourth member of our family, but I'm also trying to take time each night to sit and knit.  Because it's relaxing and because I know I won't have time/energy/the desire to do so for a little while after we make it home.

With all that being said, I'll take this moment to mention I'm not sure when I'll blog next.  Perhaps one more time this week, but I'm not making any promises.  Certainly once we are home from the hospital (I'm very anxious to share her with all of you!).  But beyond that, I can't even being to guess what my days will look like.  So expect a bit of a blogging break and I'll talk with you all when I return!

Monday, October 31, 2011

This is MY Box

I feel a bit like Squishy saying that.  He's very much in a MINE stage.  Everything is mine, mine, mine.  We're working on the concept of sharing.

But...I don't feel bad claiming this as MY box of goodies.  You saw the box I sent to Canada filled with knits and sweets and other treats.  This is what came in the mail for me!

My good friend, Lyndsey, had my name for this swap!  We both think this was pretty cool since we know each other outside of the Ravelry world.  Although I'm sure Lyndsey felt a bit of pressure to make the box "worth it," I don't think there really was anything to worry about because she did a fantastic job.

*Just a side note - even though I'm claiming this as MY box, I have shared items within with the boys.  I'll get to that in a bit.*

Starting with the main element of the swap, here is Elefante.  Squishy immediately claimed this as his own and loves that he has two to play with.  They get swung by the tails and frequently crash in to one another.  Boys.  I believe this elephant is knit with Cascade 220 so he'll be very durable and withstand Squishy's rough play.  (See, I share!)
Next, there was a horse dishcloth.  This is fantastic because I love horses and Lyndsey knows it.  Actually, anyone who walked into our home would know it because they're everywhere.  I'm glad Mr. Man doesn't mind seeing them every direction he turns...
And to top off the knits, there was a gorgeous purple and pink sweater (Lyndsey used the Coffee Beans Cardigan pattern and added an elephant motif to the bottom - awesome!) and matching cabled hat in the coziest, softest yarn ever!  I had guessed it was made with Knit Picks Comfy Worsted and I was right!  I've knit with their yarn enough to know it immediately upon squishing. :)  This cardigan and hat are the perfect size and will likely be one of the very first sweaters Lovebug wears.  (Did I forget to mention that part?  These are for Lovebug...)  I really appreciate Lyndsey taking the time to do some additional knitting to include something for our little girl.  Didn't she do a wonderful job?
I would have been happy if the package stopped there.  I mean, that's enough, right?  But of course, there was plenty more to discover.  On top of the knit goodies, there were also goodies for my own knitting pleasure.  There were four, yes FOUR skeins of yarn.  Three skeins of HPY Merino Worsted, 2 in red and 1 in a blue-green.  As well as a skein of Spud & Chloe Fine in what I believe is the Wildberries colorway.  I've been wanting to try Fine for awhile, now I have that chance!  I also got the pattern, Meg Pinafore.  This will be a sweet knit for Lovebug.
Lyndsey also sent me stitch markers - a sushi stitch marker, and a set of tiny dice stitch markers.  I love them all.  The dice are so tiny and light, they will be great for lace or socks (if I ever get around to knitting myself some...).
Squishy and Lovebug also got 2 children's books and Squishy has a new elephant bath toy and jungle bath book.  This was the first thing he saw when I opened the box and he had it out and opened before I could even see what it was.  I'm glad he enjoys these surprises as much as I do.  Lovebug will also be sporting a cute pink and gray elephant sleeper after she arrives.
There were some sewing goodies for me, including elephant buttons and jungle fabric.  There's also a really cute, green, reusable owl tote.  I think this may become Squishy's new library bag because it's sturdy, bright and colorful.

There was a stash of candy and hot cocoa which I am sharing with Mr. Man - including gummies, dark chocolate and Twizzlers.  Yum!
A wall hook for our home, flower seeds for the spring, Scrabble magnets spelling out our last time, a beautiful framed piece of dictionary art and Peanuts (as in Charlie Brown) notecards top off the remainder of the package.
Thank you, Lyndsey!  You did a spectacular job and I'm enjoying it all.  I can't wait to knit with my new yarn, and especially to see the little lady in her new sweater and hat!