Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving and Control

Oh, the control issue. Ouch!
This was a big deal Thanksgiving week. 
Dinner for 30, with a dislocated collar bone, messed up shoulder, and not being allowed to stir, chop, and lift turkeys in and out the oven!
My 17 yr old son and 13 yr old daughter made dinner. 
We rented a church dining hall since I also can not vacuum! (best idea ever)

Steam apparently makes someone's curls go a bit crazy!
I had invitations, place settings, all our worship music copied... ( we do after pie, coffee and worship in the evenings).
When we arrived at the church all of the long tables were gone!!! Some one (turned out to be one of the church elders) borrowed every "good" table. 
This of course lead to a freak out. 
The one thing I thought I had control over, seating arrangements and decor,  was "ruined".
This could have ruined the entire day. I could have wallowed in fact that I did not have control over even a place setting.

We wound up finding old heavy tables with peeling layers of veneer. Pieced together a seating arrangement for the tables we had and discovered that only 24 people could sit in the best configuration. Where were the other 6 going to sit?!

Another freak out moment, and then my husband who hates Thanksgiving due to a childhood tragedy around the holiday, had his own freak out moment.
So here we were in the kitchen, less than an hour til guests arrive, "whisper fighting".

Thankfully,  we stopped and prayed together, the two of us- control seekers who were losing control.
There were unexpected changes. We got several calls to cancel. We had exactly the right amount of seating.
The day was not perfect, but the food was great and the company was wonderful.
But, the day wasn't done with us.

We started getting texts from our old youth group 'kids', now grown and having dinner with their children and spouses. One of our boys from those youth ministry days was in a very, very bad accident. His passenger died. He was paralyzed. Lives shattered and out of control.
In the calming of panicked, disbelieving hearts, some of "our kids" even dropping in after dinner, we sang and prayed together.

While I had a plan and an idea for the day, G-d had another plan. He knew how many seats were needed. He knew the tragedy that would strike. He knew who needed to be there.
We heard over the weekend from several guests, that it was the best thanksgiving they had ever had. Here we were, feeling impoverished in our idea of a feast, and several of our guests had never experienced such bounty.
We really are blessed more than we can imagine.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Family-Friendly Knits

Family-Friendly Knits is a book that I have been really looking forward to. I am so glad to have received this copy to review. It is one of the few books that has multiple projects that I will actually knit up for my family.

At the time of posting, it is 35 days until Christmas, and 16 days until Chanukah. That is not a lot of time for knitting. However the good thing about 8 nights of Chanukah is that if it isnt done by the 1st night, you have a week to finish your project. You can get the ebook HERE  and start your holiday knitting right away.

Family-Friendly Knits is packed full of wonderful, giftable items to make. Plus some wonderful, comfy winter items. When I knit for myself, I look for complicated stitch patterns or patterns to challenge my skills. When I knit for my family, I want it to be something they will actually wear!

Courtney has created sweaters that will not only allow freedom of movement, but become the everyday favourites in your home. The collars and cuffs are unconstrained, and the children's sweaters have ease to allow some room to grow. Which, if you are like me, is needed so that from the time you start the sweater, until you finish it, IT STILL FITS.

Some of the projects: Most of the projects are pretty straight forward, these few that I want to share with you have some extra special details.

Must Have Mitts- A quick knit that will hold your attention. These mitts are in a range of sizes. Do not be fooled, they look simple but have intriguing details for the shaping. I love palm gussets, and these mitts have built on that technique. pg 47

Cuff to Cuff socks- These are a bit unconventional. Designed to defeat Second Sock Syndrome, you are literally making 2 socks from one tube of fabric. you cast on at one cuff knit thru the first sock and into the second socks toe, binding off at the second cuff. You will want to get the book just to try this out. pg 121

 Aileron- This is another project one of my daughters has fallen in love with. It is a sideways knit sweater with shoulder shaping so it fits well.
"The Aileron (French for “little wing”) is named for the angel wing cables between the shoulder blades. This is a great introduction to shawl cardigans because it’s just a rectangle with openings for the armholes; sleeves are shaped using easy no-wrap short-rows." pg 39

"Knitting is a test of endurance, and for those with less experience, larger pieces should be worked up to; however, I stress to new knitters the importance of pushing themselves and attempting a pattern that speaks to them even if they aren’t confident in their skill. As a knitting instructor, I am always pleased to see the spark behind knitters’ eyes when they realize how capable they truly are."
 -Courtney Spainhower

Interweave/F+W; $22.99

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Pleasantly Surprised by Dressed in Knits

I have to admit that I judged this book by its cover.
It wasn't until I took the time to sit down and read the book that the title and project as a whole came together. I am glad that I did. While the cover did not appeal to my personal taste, the content was rich and housed a creative spirit.

Like taking the time to put an outfit together from its foundation garments to the accessories,  Dressed in Knits takes the time to teach fit, technique, and how fiber content could make or break the garment.

My grandmother taught me to set a table properly, everything in its own dish, nothing with a label made it from fridge to plate. This goes back to when everything had a recipe, those who made their own mustards and relishes. We take so much for granted in buying our sauces and condiments. By purchasing ready made, we are recommending and promoting a brand rather than the cook who made the meal.

Similarly, ready made garments say barely anything other than that the person shops well. While a hand made garment speaks volumes. The act of dressing is a method that can be lost in a generation obsessed with yoga pants and geeked-out tshirts.

 "Dressed in Knits in a collection of nineteen chic garments and accessories that are modern takes on classic feminine silhouettes. "

I love how the theme of dressing carries over into the chapter divisions such as "foundation garments".

Alex encourages the knitter, "And like the perfect shade of lipstick, the attention to detail and the couture finishing of these designs allows you to step out of the house with confidence."

My favourite garment, Asciano, shows the body of the work from the fit, construction and the finishing details of installing zippers and buttons, making the piece complete.

Interweave/F+W; $25.99

Sunday, November 01, 2015

NaKniSweMo (National Knit a Sweater Month)

November has arrived which means it is officially NaKniSweMo!

This is year 9 ( I believe this was started in 2006 by Shannon Okey...but don't quote me on that.)
"How it works with NaNoSweMo: knit a 50,000-stitch sweater in a month. Or therebouts. I’ve never actually thought about sweaters in stitch count terms, that’s crazy talk. But if you divide your chosen sweater pattern’s rows or rounds by 30, you’ll have an idea of how many rows you need to knit each day to make it."
So I have charts and swatches for my sweater! I am really excited about this. Tomorrow I will be at the yarn studio picking out colours and finishing the charts. I HOPE to get it done by the end of November.
I have NOT actually finished a sweater in November. :)

Are you participating? What are you making?
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