Friday, December 19, 2008

Oops, I Did It Again......

No, I'm not talking about any pop-princess drama.  I just waited too long to post again.  

It has been simultaneously busy and not-so-busy around these parts.  The busy part is, of course, getting ready for the holidays and keeping the kiddies busy for an extended winter break.  The extended winter break caused by the "Arctic Blast of 2008" as the local news shows are calling our winter storm.  The winter storm has caused the not-so-busy schedule of no school and sometimes no driving.  I have no problem with sitting on the couch in my jammies with some knitting in my hands and a movie in the DVD.  A little boring for the kiddies.  The Incredible Digit Boy and Girl have been having loads of fun in the snow, though.  We're expecting a large dose of snow and freezing rain this weekend so that should give them a little more entertainment.  

I was very lucky that my Mom arrived for a visit before the snow.  While she thought the snow was pretty she really had no desire to walk around in it.  This was as far as she wanted to get.  

We moved to Southern California when I was a baby so those New England winters are a long forgotten memory for her.   We had a lot of fun while she was here.  I wish the visit was longer.  I was not-so-secretly wishing that we would get more snow on the day of her departure.   

We have had some other visitors.  The local little critters and birds have been partaking of some water from the fish pond.  I always leave the little bubbler fountain on so the water has a bit of fresh air.  So, even though the 22" deep pond is covered with a 4" layer of ice, there is still water bubbling out of a small opening at the top.   This morning I saw two finches standing on the ice and drinking out of the bubbler.  Plus, there's been a few larger birds and the ever-present squirrels hanging around.  I figured I'd better add some bird seed out, too.......kind of like a round-the-clock Vegas buffet.  

I do love how the neighborhood looks in this weather, though.  It makes all the houses look like little colorful packages in the snow.  When we had our house painted a little over a year ago, we chose a kind of bright shade of green.  I wanted to see a happy shade on the house....especially during our sometimes (mostly) gloomy winters.  That choice has paid off this past week.   The green walls, red door and colorful lights have made me smile every time that I am outside.  


Monday, November 24, 2008

How to Embarrass Your Children

Save pictures like this to share with your childrens' friends during their formative teenage years.
I thought there were only two of the dolls when I took the first picture.   This was not the case as clearly evidenced by the second picture.

As I moved his blanket and opened the curtain for more light, the Incredible Digit Boy moved back to show the true number of his little Barbie harem.   At least he's not lacking in confidence.  

Monday, October 27, 2008

Little Feet

I have not posted much knitting progress lately.  Mostly because just about all the projects I'm working on are of the "super secret" variety and I cannot share any info as of yet.  Once I can, though, there will be some nifty stuff to see.  Take my word for it.  

There is, however, a particular project that I have not mentioned.  I am lucky enough to collaborate with the amazing Sharon of Stitchjones.  She of the dazzling handpainted yarn and fiber.   We worked together recently on a new product she is offering:  The Little Feet Kids Sock Kit.   

Sharon has created a series of fun colorways for little people (my daughter has already chosen her favorite).  My contribution?  Four fun sock patterns to mix and match for girls or boys.  Click on the links to check them out:  Bows & Arrows and Chutes & Ladders.   

These are fun and fast projects that will keep little feet and toes toasty warm.  And, most importantly, will take a ride in the washing machine thanks to the Superwash sock yarn.  So, if you'd like to surprise a little one or a knitting friend, keep these kits in mind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Birthday Girl

Our smart little cookie is now six years old!

Her Dad and I are so proud of her.   She's such a talented kid.  She's been doing so well in school and, most important, really enjoying her class time.   We're so happy that she loves to read.  If I can't find her, she's usually sitting in a comfy corner somewhere in the house or in the back yard reading a book.  The Magic Tree House series is her absolute favorite.  

All proud parent bragging aside, she really lives up to her blog name:  

The Incredible Digit Girl!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

What The Heck Has She Been Doing?!

Making a baby quilt for a cousin in San Diego.

Building a pond in the backyard of the aforementioned ranch.  Still needs to be painted.

Walking to the school bus stop.

Taking my children to Karate class with Sensei Marilyn.

Enjoying the joint birthday party of the Incredible Digit Children at the Portland Children's Museum.  We couldn't keep them out of the water room.

No, I did not make this cake.  
The talented baker at the Fred Meyer Bakery made this cake.......and it was goooood! 

Spinning with my fellow PDX Knit Bloggers at the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. 

Brought the Incredible Digit Children the next day to check out all the furry & woolly creatures.
They liked the Jacob sheep with their four horns instead of two.  Although the Incredible Digit Boy looks pretty ambivalent about the whole scene in the picture, he really did have fun.

Enjoying a little "Glow In The Dark" Bowling at a children's birthday party.  Believe it or not that picture was taken at roughly 4:00pm.  Seems like it should be 10:00pm. 

and, finally, watching my children climb trees in our backyard.  If I focus on taking the picture, literally and figuratively, then I don't focus on wondering if they're going to fall.  Nobody fell.

And that is what the heck I've been doing all this time. :-)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Four Years Old !

The Incredible Digit Boy turned four years old today.  He's grown so much and has changed so much in the last year.  It's hard to believe the time goes by so fast. 

For his birthday lunch, our son requested that we all go to Chuck E. Cheese.  We ate pizza and there were plenty of games.  Both the kids had a great time and it was fun to watch them enjoy themselves. 

Once we got home it was time for naps.  Not only so that the kids could be rested but also so that I could make the Incredible Digit Boy his birthday cake.  He requested a dinosaur theme so I went a little overboard (as usual) and included a lake and lava-erupting volcano.  Luckily, there were plenty of plastic dinosaurs around the house to decorate with (after being washed, of course).  

Next on the agenda was a few gifts.   A variety of race cars and much needed clothes (he grew over an inch in the last three months) from his lovely grandparents on the East coast.  

And a wonderful book from his Godfather and Auntie in New York.  This book has some really incredible artwork by Basquiat and lovely poetry by Maya Angelou.  Plus, it has dinosaurs(!) so our boy was very happy.  

It didn't take long for him to say he couldn't wait until he was five.  To which his father and I both responded very quickly that it is very nice just to be the age you are.  He didn't seem very convinced.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First Day of School

The Incredible Digit Girl is officially a Kindergartner.   She attended her very first day of elementary school today.  I dropped her off, went with her into the classroom and got her all settled in.  She even got to ride the bus home.  Since we're the first stop from the school it wasn't a very long ride.   I asked her how she liked school.  Her reply? 

"Recess was awesome!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm Still Here

The Other Side of the World, Pt. 2 is coming soon, I promise. That post will have to wait just a few more days, though, because I'm doing this.  Go ahead and look.  I'll wait.  

Yes, this is definitely a very ambitious undertaking.  I will honestly say that I could have (and should have) trained more.  But our team is making the effort to complete the race, support our team-mates and have fun.  I will be walking a total of about 11 miles which will be broken up into two sections.  I'll try to get some pics posted soon (after the second half of the New Zealand update, of course).   Wish me luck and strong ankles!!

And last, but not least, our team name:  Will Walk For Wool.  

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Other Side of the World, Pt. 1

We were recently lucky enough to enjoy a wonderful vacation in the beautiful country of New Zealand. The Incredible Digit Husband's family (on his father's side) get together every few years for a family reunion and New Zealand was the destination for this reunion. I am happy to say that both of the Incredible Digit children did great on their first trans-pacific flight. 12 hours plus another 2 hours on a plane is not easy for a three- and five-year-old but the in-seat entertainment screens helped a lot.

We started out in Christchurch. We saw this tower during a walk in town.

The next day we started our official tour in the coach. Since we had a large group of twenty we were able to have the coach to ourselves. Plenty of room for knitting.

Unfortunately, we didn't get to see more of town as it was overcast and rainy. There is a very nice Arts Center, lovely gardens, and beautiful canals that one can "punt" down in boats. Maybe next time.

One our way from Christchurch to Dunedin our Coach Captian/Driver, Brian, asked if we would like to make our first snack stop at the Ashford Cafe in Ashburton. I, of course, said yes (probably a little too loudly) because "they have spinning wheels there". They also have a very nice selection of yarn, spinning fibers, coffee and treats. The lovely woman below helped me in my selection of some very soft possum-merino spinning fiber. I also indulged in a tussah silk-merino blend, as well. The rest of our group enjoyed some hot drinks and sweet pastries in the cafe. As they say, a good time was had by all. Our next stop was Oamaru. A charming coastal town which reminded me a bit of Astoria, Oregon. The town is also home to a colony of blue penguins that can be viewed in day or night tours. The buildings in the area are just beautiful. Plenty of older architecture that has been lovingly cared for and restored. The four of us from the Digit household had a very enjoyable lunch in a nearby park (or garden as they call it in NZ) across from one such building....a lovely church.
Our final destination on this day was Dunedin. Our first stop was at the Cadbury factory. We got a tour and a great explanation of the different steps in processing of the chocolate. We also got lots of samples! Since we were the last group of the day our group leader was being very generous with the chocolate. So much so that the Incredible Digit Boy wound up with a bag full to overflowing. I would fly back to NZ in a heartbeat just for the Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate bars.

During our time in Dunedin we were able to see two historic homes....Larnach Castle and Olveston House. Two amazing homes with fascinating histories. The story of Larnach Castle is steeped in soap opera style family dysfunction. It would be too much to list here but, trust me, it's worth reading about here. Our guide, Winnifred, truly made the story come to life. We really were hanging on her every word.

After the tour we were treated to morning tea in the grand ballroom. The scones with cream were soooo good.
Now, unfortunately, Olveston House did not allow any photos to be taken inside so here's a shot of the front with most of our group (minus five who were exploring the grounds). The unique thing about this location is that all of the original items used by the family/owners of the house are all still there. The surviving daughter of the family was the last to live in the house which was willed to the city after her passing. Not to be missed. To be continued..........

Thursday, July 24, 2008

We're Back.......

......and still getting used to being home.  Between the time/day change and being gone from our home for three weeks, it's taken more time than we would have thought to get back on a normal schedule.  Photos will be forthcoming soon.  New Zealand was our destination and was absolutely beautiful.  Lots to share about the trip......including a pic of a muscled sheep shearer (maybe named Nick) for Bobbie and Sharon. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

That Which Can Now Be Named

I know, that was very Harry Potter of me.  But I'm so excited now that I can post about a few of the "secret" projects I have worked on recently. 

First off, are two patterns that I tested for Gardiner Yarn Works .  Both are for the upcoming line for Fall of 2008.  

#1 - The Star Mesh Scarf
Fantastically modeled by the Incredible Digit Girl, this scarf is lace-y and light yet warm from the soft wool of Shibui Sock yarn I used.  It is only a four row pattern repeat but has the look of a more difficult design.  I will definitely knit this pattern again and might even use the yarn called for in the pattern -  Handmaiden Camelspin.  

#2 - Kids Stripey Raglan 
This pattern was just a blast to knit.  I actually completed this project fairly quickly and, thanks to the great design, had only two small underarm seams to sew.   This particular sweater is a size six and being modeled by the son of a good friend.  I plan on knitting another in a size four so The Incredible Digit Boy will have one to wear this coming winter.  I used Ella Rae Classic yarn for this project.  It was a good choice.  A nice worsted weight with good stitch definition.  

Now the next project was very exciting for me.  It's definitely not a pattern I would have chosen for myself.  It's the Flow Motion sock by Cat Bordhi.  This is the first of her patterns I've tried and I have to admit I was a little intimidated by the design (lace-y, toe-up, and two at a time).   

I'm happy to say that the socks came out very well and can currently be seen here.   Just goes to show that all types of yarn can make lovely socks.  

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Nothing in Particular

I'm nursing a little bit of a cold and am not in the most creative of moods. I blame the extremely crappy weather we are experiencing here in the Pacific Northwest. I was watching a newscast last night that described this month as June-uary. We're definitely more winter than summer right now.

So, since I'm lazy, here's a few recent pics from the Digit household.

The Incredible Digit children standing proudly in front of their Nana's artwork hung in her own home.  
Group photos from our visit with family in San Diego.  One of my husbands lovely cousins, Carla, graduated Summa Cum Laude from SDSU with a degree in Nursing.  We are all very proud of her.  
Another group photo of the more immediate with my husband's parents and brothers.  It really is so nice when we can all be in the same town if only for a few days.  
Following the family visit, the Incredible Digit Husband travelled to Yokohama Bay, Japan for work.  It was a very short 48 hour stay, but his hosts there did take him out for a bit of sightseeing.  This beautiful statue is one of the most impressive of the sites that he visited.  
It is the Great Buddha of Kamakura.  According to Japan-Guide.Com:

"The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a bronze statue of Amida Buddha this is located on the grounds of the Kotokuin Temple.  With a height of 13.35 meters, it is the second largest Buddha statue in Japan." 

The site goes on to explain that though the statue was originally housed inside a large temple, a tsunami tidal wave in the 15th century destroyed the building and the Buddha has stood in the open ever since. 
While I did miss him during his trip, I wish that he had been able to stay another day or two and explore the area a little more.  Oh well, we'll just all have to go as a family one day in the future.  

On the knitting front, several of the projects I'm working on cannot be discussed in this forum yet.  I was lucky enough to get pattern for the Malabrigo Slippers by CoCoKnits.  They are adorable house slippers that can be customized with different accessories on the front.....including a separate panel made to look like penny loafers which can hold an actual penny.  Too cute.  I have some Izu yarn by Shibui Knits that I'm going to use.  I'm also going to check out the stock at Stitchjones yarn for some additional combinations.  

But now I'm going to relax on the couch, drink the tea that my wonderful husband made for me and, most likely, doze off for a bit.  Cheers!