Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yarn along - sweater and baby blanket.

Thanks to Ginny At Small Things for hosting the yarn along!

This week I finished the chicken for my niece.  Then started a baby blanket for my husband's cousin, using up leftover baby yarn, I had a lot of yellow, a tiny bit of pink and some purple. So I decided I would garter stitch a strand of yellow with a strand of first pink then when I ran out purple and plan to get blue and green (and more yellow) for a rainbow shimmer effect.  The pink looks pretty the purple mixed with yellow looks odd. Hopefully, when I add more colors that will fade.  I have another baby blanket to do after this but I am thinking of trying a brightly colored sock yarn pattern ideas welcome! 

I also picked back up the sweater for Butterfly's birthday, I have until October 9th to finish it.  It is going faster, I am knitting faster in general.  Thanks ladies!  I have been knitting on larger needles for a while now so it is weird and too tight to be knitting on size 6's with yarn that specifies size 9.  The sweater is tightly knit on purpose though and looks nice. The green sweater in the book is what the sweater will look like.

I am reading more in the Amelia Peabody Series by Elizabeth Peters.  Soon classes resume and I plan to only read non-fiction during the term - much easier to put down.  We will see if that actually works!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Birthday season.

It has begun, Birthday season! My four kids', one of my nieces', my mother's, and my birthday are between August 31 and November 27.  Tomorrow my little Badger turns 3.  We had her party on Saturday.  Just family and close friends but that meant that we had more than ten children running about the house!  I stayed up most of the night before making a Dora cake in fondant - I'll rephrase - a mutant Dora cake!  I was horrified, Badger thought it was great, except the Boots I drew in frosting and fondant next to her was too small.  I really think she just likes him!  Then I got the crazy idea that I needed to make a sweater for her doll that matched the sweater I made for her.  I got this idea at 12:30 in the morning.  I got to bed after three and the doll now named Monkey looks good in her purple and pink sweater. She loved her knitted owl, hugged it right away and said thank you mommie.  A dear friend gave her a felted Totoro, which is so cute, but she has only seen the Anime once so she does not know him.  Time to fix that, maybe the library will have a copy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Surprise trip

Sunlight reflecting on the Tidal Basin on the walk to the Jefferson Monument

Capitol Building on the first night.

Julia's kitchen.

The door the the Smithsonian Castle.

The feeling in the Lincoln monument is amazing.

The monuments are amazing.
Every year my husband and I trade off planning our anniversary, this year was my husband's turn.  He had to travel for work a lot last year and ended up will a flight voucher and lots of hotel reward points.  He asked me what I would like to do and I told him I would like to go to museums or go hiking.  We decided to keep the destination a secret from me, until we got to the connecting flight.  He had gotten us a hotel one block from the Smithsonian.  We stayed for a long weekend touring museums and visiting national monuments.  He picked the best possible destination he could have chosen, yet not one I would have thought of.  I love him, and love the fact that the person who is supposed to know me better than anyone in the world, not only does but knows me better than I know myself.   

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Attack of the scones

I am one of those people who gets into trends making something.  I mixed up a batch of scones last week for a quick tea party for the kids.  They asked for more yesterday.  So I made a batch with dried cranberries and orange oil, then we 'needed' desert so I made up a batch of scone with cranberry, candied lemon peel, lemon extract and orange oil.  I cut them up small and drizzled chocolate on them.

Today I made Chocolate Peanut butter scones.  (Instead of lunch.) this madness must stop!!  right after I finish chewing....

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Yarn along - frog

Joining Ginny again this week for the Yarn Along.

I finished the frog for Mouse's birthday last night.  Mouse wants him to have a hat yet so I will have to figure out how I am doing that.  I also started working on a pig for Butterfly.  She wanted pink of course. I was using these projects as a way of using up left over yarn, but I did not have pink.  I am really trying hard to stick to a budget and craft using stuff I already have, so I decided to look for cheap yarn at Goodwill when I stopped there to drop off some clothes and old toys.  I found the coral (we won't tell her it is not pink) yarn for .99 cents.  The wrapper is in the photo, it is very old yarn!  I am a bit worried about using it and maybe having it break but so far it is working out.   The patterns are from the Knitting Amigurumi Animal Friends book by Michele Wilcox.  The owl worked out perfectly but the frog had a lot of errors.  We shall see about the pig. The patterns are all very easy!!!!  I pictured my next two books this time as I finished a book yesterday (4th in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters) and have not started a new on yet.  How the Government Got in Your Backyard by Jeff Gillman and Eric Heberlig looked interesting and The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan for my book club.

Can't wait to see what you are all working on!

Red Currant Jam?

My husband asked me what the red berries were by the porch.  I went out a looked and decided they were red currants. I did not plant them.  I consulted a gardening friend and the internet for second opinions, then harvested the berries.  I got about two cups but wanted to make jelly anyway.  Debating the idea of buying another berry to fill out the quantities I decided not to.  I followed an internet recipe that basically said to heat the berries with some water to soften them, run then through a food mill then weight out the puree and add and equal measure of sugar.  Off I went.  Here are the results.

Aren't they pretty!

Softening on the stove.

Through the mill.
One.  That's right one,  beautiful half pint jar of jam.

Cliff Dwellings

Here are some photos from my trip out west this is the Cliff Dwellings at Manitou Springs.
Looking down into a Kiva.
Looking out from inside a dwelling place.

View of a few dwellings.

My parents and sister where on this trip with me.  We got to playing dueling photo shots.  My sister won this one but my picture is pretty good too.

I won for bark shots.

Grinding stones in one room, I wonder what the conversations the women had in here each grinding corn to feed her family.

All in all it was a wonderful section of my trip, Colorado is a beautiful place.  The park is small but you can walk through all of the buildings and see what it felt like to be in them.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Garfield dig spring session

The Mongerson Lab - sorting surface collections.
Whole watch found in surface collection
Sometimes, people and places come into your life and you just know you will learn a lot from them, sometimes you set out to teach something and end up teaching something else entirely.  I had a wonderful time at Garfield, I am again struck by the potential of the place and embittered by what is not being done.  I have learned so much there and from the people I work with down there.  Somethings are surely not the lesson they intended to teach, but I welcome the knowledge none the less.  I can both praise and rant about this place for hours.  I feel as if I am coming home every time I step on to the property.  I have long struggled with my involvement because I wonder if I too would be looking at it to further only my own goals and because I get so upset at the things I view as mishandled.  Is it worth the extra stress and worry in my life?  Is my idea really any better?  Can I control my temper and frustration level enough to have those whose opinion has weight listen to me or will I just be wasting my time and effort? 

I believe in this place, I believe the people who spend so much of their lives intertwined in the running of this place truly want it to be as great as it can be.  I can be of use and of value to them, but I need to stop thinking with my heart only. 

The inter-workings of of the clock all cleaned up, this had been encased in mud and took 45 minutes to clean out.  
Digging units in the morning.

English Gun Flint I found at the end of the first week.
We dug for ten days, finding mostly more of the same stuff we had been finding in previous years.  No new features where uncovered.  I got to catch up with Jamie and Maggie and live with Cheri and Betsy at the farm house.  Beaver came down and crewed with us for three days.  He loved it!!  Maybe he turn out to be an Archaeologist, though I think he would rather work with the animals next time. 

I will be doing my internship with the museum over the next year and look forward to having a chance to learn more about the running of a museum.  Of course the idea of making and wearing a costume to docent for them really works for me too! 

The Gun flint I found was really exciting too.  I called my Grandpa right away to tell him.  He is a hunter and interested in gun and old flint lock rifles. He was excited for me and told me in great detail how it would have been used, he has been so supportive of my career choice.  

Hello again and Yarn along.

I have been away awhile, in part due to being busy and in part due to being exhausted and heart-sore.  Garfield Farm Museum Dig, RA-ing the Field School, a trip to Colorado, my cousin's wedding, grandma going from being the healthiest strongest woman I have ever met to being in hospice in slightly longer than a month. I am feeling broken and tired and lost and confused.  I will write about all of these events and try to work out everything they brought into my life, how they where a discovery making me stronger and weaker, less and more, but that is for later. 

Today I am craving normal, so I am doing what I do on Wednesday and joining Ginny at small things.

I am reading everything in sight, part escapism part sanity.  This week has been two Kim Harrison novels, The Good, The Bad and the Undead and Every Which Way but Dead, Linda Howard's Kiss and Tell, Heather Graham's Killing Kelley and Elizabeth Peters' The Curse of the Pharaoh. 

Knitting wise I have been working on the little owl awhile but only a little at a time, suddenly it all came together and I finish this weekend.  It will be for Badger's birthday. About once a month, I host all the crafty types in our circle of friend over to the host, everyone works on whatever they want and we chat, inspire each other and get projects done.  I started in on this little frog for Mouse, he chose the colors, for his birthday.  Butterfly wants a pink pig - must remember to buy pink yarn - and Beaver wants a horse. The pattern book does not have a horse pattern but we both think that changing a few things on the skunk will result in a horse.