27.11.10

Thanksgiving

Dear Laura,


I have celebrated thanksgiving for over a decade but only in recent years have I joined the masses of people filling buses, trains, cars and planes to swarm across the USA to spend a relaxing weekend with family and friends. Like you we had a flurry of snow and I woke to find my first snowy scene of the winter.
With a hive of activity in the kitchen and the idea that too many cooks spoil the broth I went to hide in the living room. I attempted to watch the Macy's parade, however, I was bombarded with adverts for black Friday, a day when throngs of people stampede shops at 5am, or so I am lead to believe. This was too much for me and left at a loose end I suddenly realised that I had time for some knitting! I went to investigate what I had brought with me, to find only two balls of wool. One was the wool I bought last week but I realised that I hadn't wound it so that was out. The only thing left was the black merino wool I had brought with me to mend my hand warmers. I considered what to make and noticed my itouch case which I made a while ago.
Just as I was about to begin I was called for lunch. A luscious feast where we are encouraged to eat as much as possible.
Full of turkey, corn pudding, sweet potato and marshmallows, cranberry sauce, and green beans I was ready to do nothing but knitting. Below is my glutinous and slothful creation (the button is not yet sewn on as I don't have a needle with me, that will have to wait).

And so in the tradition of thanksgiving, I would like to give thanks for R's family welcoming me warmly into their home and for my friends and family who always bring me so much joy and happiness.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

Lots of love 
Annie


26.11.10

first snow

Dear Annie,

We're having our first snow of the winter...



Love from,

Laura x

23.11.10

figgy pudding

Dear Annie,

Thank goodness you are safe and sound!

I just loved your beautiful wool! It made my fingers positively itch to be knitting. With several presents still to be knitted, there's certainly plenty  to be done.


There have been other festive preparations here too. It was 'Stir Up Sunday' this weekend, and for the first time, three generations of us were together to make the Christmas pudding.
  
There was squeezing and zesting...



crumbling and mixing...

whisking and measuring.
  

Everyone stirred and made a wish, from the youngest to the eldest,
 

and soon the bowl had been enthusiastically cleaned and the puddings were ready and waiting for their initial steaming.

I also managed to beg, borrow and steal enough quiet moments to sneak up to the loft and complete the sewing project for baby R that I mentioned in my last post. Here it is:

 Did you guess what it was going to be?

I'd been planning something with appliqu├ęd patches, but in the end I decided to let the stripes speak for themselves, and just added my treasured French ribbon. (I'm not sure if you can see it, but the yellow ribbon is patterned with a schoolhouse design like those used in schoolhouse quilts.)  

Not the most elegant shaped stocking, perhaps, but ready to be filled with toys and treats. 

The red stocking with the stars is the one that I made for S when he was a baby. 

I'd forgotten how soothing I find the whirr of the sewing machine and the rhythm of the needle. Hopefully I will be able to steal another hour or so soon to bring it out for another outing. 


Love from


Laura x

20.11.10

Bruised Knees

Dear Laura,


My week was rather a dramatic one, due to being knocked off my bicycle by a car. This meant that my mode of transport has shifted to Metro, bus, or just plain foot. This had rather a pleasant outcome on Thursday. On my way home from work I walked through the Fresh Farm Market by the White House. This is always filled with sizzling meat, bountiful autumnal produce and beautiful blooming flowers.

Thursday was clearly my lucky day because there was a stall there I had never seen before, it was full of wool. I have a bit of a habit when it comes to wool and fabric, in that if I see some I will end up buying a lot. The wool was lovely, all home spun and home dyed. The two ladies at the stall were really friendly and helped me delve around in their "scraps" box for these bits and bobs I ended up with.



I couldn't help thinking of you as I was spinning around the wool enjoying the colours and the feel and potential of it all. The ladies run their own business and their website is www.solitudewool.com



I bought the flowers there as well, not only do I find it hard to resist wool, I also find it hard to resist fresh flowers (locally grown of course). I am not quite sure what I will make yet, but I need a thanksgiving project and knitting is much easier to transport than sewing. The colour choice was inspired by the bruises on my knees.

Lots of love

Annie 

16.11.10

the goose is getting fat

Dear Annie,

It's that time of year again; the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting colder and in our house, the countdown has already begun. It's too soon to bring out the advent calendar, definitely too soon to start counting 'sleeps', but Christmas is definitely on our minds!

 When I'm not answering queries about Father Christmas ( "Where does he live, Mama? What's he doing RIGHT NOW? How do the reindeer fly? Will he bring me a train...?") there is always some knitting to be done. So many projects on the needles and all needing to be finished in just over a month's time.


There's also a special piece of sewing to be done. Something essential for baby R's first Christmas. I've searched my stash and gathered fabrics, ribbon and thread all ready to begin stitching later this week. A selection of treasures that I've hoarded away for just the right project; there is striped fabric from Freecycle, teddy bear fabric from a local table-top sale, fat quarters that came free with Cloth magazine and some treasured ribbon from the wonderful Le Bonheur des Dames, a craft shop which nestles under the Viaduc des Arts in Paris.


Can you guess what it's going to be?

Love from,

Laura

PS: For a sneak knitting preview, there are details of my knitting WIPs on my Ravelry page.



13.11.10

Summer Dress

Dear Laura,


I very much like the idea of a dancing hat, and shall now dance in the hat you made me whenever I wear it. Fall is hitting DC now with low temperatures and startling leaves. The one thing that DC gives us in the fall is bright bright sunshine which is just beautiful on these shortening days. I have just been reintroduced to the rubix cube and so my sewing has taken a back seat whilst I obsess over solving it. Therefore this post is about a dress I made a while ago, it is my favourite sewing project ever! It doubles up nicely as a dress for the autumn and winter too (over jeans and with a big jumper).


The summer version (taken on the isles of scilly, hence the overcast sky)




The winter version (taken on the isle of skye although it was still summer, August I believe)

I love this dress, and have worn it endlessly since I made it, often mending it as I wear it out. Originally it was an idea for my sisters wedding, but wasn't smart enough. There is an underdress which allows the outer fabric to flow more.



Lots of Love Annie

5.11.10

A dancing hat

Dear Annie,




Now that Autumn has really arrived, the weather has become rather chillly of late. S has grown out of last year's woollies and I realised that I had a little boy with a cold head. Thankfully, I also had a basket of leftover yarn. A striped beanie hat in autumnal colours was quickly knitted up. Not quickly enough for S, who must have asked me twenty times if I had finished yet. He had an inaugural outing planned for his hat- a trip to Westonbirt Arboretum for a friend's birthday, with a gaggle of toddlers and their families.
 

Having knitted on straight needles, finishing was the awkward part. I'm not the neatest seam-sewer at the best of times, and- in a desperate bid to have the hat ready in time- I ended up sewing it together in the car on the way to Westonbirt. Luckily, small boys don't examine their knitwear closely, and as I turned to hand the (wonkily!) finished article to S in the backseat his face lit up into a beaming smile.


The trees at the arboretum were at their glorious, luminous best. There was good company for all of us, bright sunshine, and yet another apple cake to be munched.

 Some of us avoided the muddy puddles...
 ...and some of us didn't!

After a day of frenetic activity, the hat eventually became redundant and was discarded,



but it was not forgotten. The next day, S and I were listening to one of his jauntier CDs. As he so often does, he broke into a spontaneous little dance... and then he suddenly stopped:

"Wait, Mama, I need my hat!"
"Your hat, darling?"
"Yes, the hat that you made me. My dancing hat!" 

Surely knitted headwear can be given no higher accolade! Well, not by my two year old, at any rate.

Love from,
Laura


PS: Details of the hat are here on Ravelry









2.11.10

Cameras and Colbert

Dear Laura,
It was the 'Rally to Restore Sanity' and the 'March to Keep Fear Alive' this weekend. As you are well aware my obsession with Stewart and Colbert knows know bounds. So I wanted to somehow put them into this post. This is what I came up with:



Well that is a pretty camera case, I hear you say, but what is that behind it...



Yes this really was my best effort. I did make the camera case however and I love it. It was also present at the rally keeping my camera both protected and warm. The rally was really fun, the beautiful autumnal sun meant that I had to remove the hat you made me pretty quickly as it was warm and bright. 

The case is easy to make and one day I write a pattern but for now I will show you one more picture of it, and then have supper.

The chickens are my favourite. 

Lots of love

Annie 


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