Tim’s almost 4 years old now, and we just moved him out of his crib into a bed. The guideline is to move a child out of a crib as soon as he or she is able to climb out of it, since at that point it’s no longer a safe haven. Most kids move out by the time they’re 3 or so, but Tim really loved his crib and was reluctant to go to a big boy bed. So we talked it up, dressed up a twin bed with a Thomas the Tank tent, and bought Thomas sheets, then after a couple of weeks he warmed up to the idea. Last week we finally made the switch, and he was really excited!

DSC_0045

Turns out he doesn’t want the tent, but he loves the sheets. That blanket is his beloved “purple cozy,” a quilt made by Grandma Judy’s friend, Anita, who is also a knitter!

Tim's new bed!

Of course he sleeps with all of his “friends.” His allergist would be appalled.

This weekend, Baby Andy and Auntie Pat came to visit, so the two boys had fun jumping and goofing on the bed.

DSC_0073

Also, I introduced Pat to my wheel. She got the hang of it pretty quickly!

DSC_0085

Here’s Tim giving Daddy some affection.

Love Daddy

I finally got back to Chris’s sweater. The body is now long enough, and I’ll be starting on the sleeves soon. He was grumpy about being photographed, but I told him – if you ask for a sweater, you’ve got to be on the blog! 🙂

Hubby Sweater body finished

Advertisements

My sister Pat, her husband Rob, and baby Andy, my Mom visiting from Thailand, and my Papa, all came to stay with us for Christmas. We had a great time together. The preparations involved tons of gifts for each other, and for the two little boys.Lots of presents under the tree

They were so excited they woke up at dawn. The rest of us were tired from staying up late preparing everything!

Early morning Christmas excitement

Here’s Tim eating a leftover Linzer cookie from Santa.

Mmm!  Linzer cookie!

Since Tim is allergic to eggs, I took two different Linzer recipes, one with egg and one without, and combined the best parts. I also baked some of the little shapes cut out from the middle to make mini cookies.

Linzer cookies!

Okay, so my sugar powdering skills could use some work. But they were delicious, if I do say so myself!

Of course, Tim and Andy had the best gift hauls. Thomas the Tank was Tim’s big theme this year. I have to say, having a kid obsessed with a certain character makes the gift shopping sooooo easy. He loved everything!

Thomas dinner set from Grandpa Dave

Grandpa Dave sent some Thomas dinnerware, as well as a Big Wheel! Uncle Natty sent this 3-headed dragon.

Three-headed dragon from Uncle Natty

Chris and I expanded his Thomas Duplo set with James, Percy, Gordon, and Spencer with Sir Topham Hatt! He wouldn’t even look up for a picture, he was so busy playing.

Tim's new trains

As for me, my spinning wheel was my big early Christmas gift, and then I got a digital scale from Pat for my yarn and fiber — I’ve always been terrible at splitting skeins of sock yarn in two, so that will help! I also got The Knitting Workshop DVD by Elizabeth Zimmerman from my MIL Judy, and I got a subscription to Spin-Off Magazine from Nat and his family. Yay! Pat also got me Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (and So Can You!). I love him, and think he is an absolute genius. (Okay, so now you know where I lean in terms of politics.)

Chris also got me Mouse Guard figurines. Unless you’re a comic geek you may not be familiar with Mouse Guard, which is a complex and beautifully illustrated series, and of course I can’t resist the cute characters. They aren’t cutesy though, they’re actually pretty realistic. If you’re interested, the first series has been collected in a hardcover edition which I have, of course! It is brilliant.  We are also fans of Osamu Tezuka’s Phoenix series, and have been collecting some of the English versions.  I didn’t have time to read them much during residency, but now Chris bought a bunch and has caught me up to all the ones that have been released to date.  It’s great reading.

Here’s our Christmas dinner spread:

Christmas dinner

We had beef oven roast wrapped in bacon, brussels sprouts with bacon (hey, Tim and I like bacon), and Yukon gold baby potatoes. I watch the Food Network a lot but rarely make anything from it, but Rachel Ray made the potato dish which looked soooooo good, and it really turned out well. It involves chicken stock and butter. Tender on the inside, browned on the outside! For dessert, I made a chocolate ganache pie topped with fruit and whipped cream. Mmmm!

After dinner we did some more photos, here’s one of my favorites:

Christmas nuzzle

Here are the two silly hubbies goofing off:

Goofing husbands

There are more Christmas pictures on my Flickr account, for those of you (Mom) who want to see some more. This is already a pretty long blog post!

Merry Christmas

Happy Holidays!

Yesterday was my sister Pat’s birthday, and I gave her the fingerless mitts I knit out of the first yarn I spun on my wheel, which I have been keeping secret. They can now be revealed!

Pat wearing handspun fingerless mitts!

  • Pattern: Lace Mitts from Too Much Wool
  • Yarn: My handspun from Spunky Eclectic BFL in Mahogany, 2-ply, 15 wpi
  • Needles: Bryspun circular size 4
  • Gauge: 5 stitches per inch in stockinette
  • Mods: Changed yarnovers to M1’s for slightly warmer mitts, changed stitch count to 36 around, used Ann Budd’s “Handy Book of Patterns” for thumb gusset structure

The yarn was somewhat thick and thin, and underspun in places but knit up beautifully. I finished them on 11/9/07, and as expected, they are fraternal in terms of the color changes. I did take out some sections of yarn that were glaringly different and would make them look unrelated rather than fraternal.. And the thumb is longer on the second one than on the first. I always have trouble getting pairs of things to match exactly when I don’t knit them at the same time..

As you can see in the picture, she likes them! I thought they’d be good for cold New England evenings when she has to do a lot of computer work. Here they are close up.

Finished handspun mitts!

I also gave her Woolpets needle felting kits that I got from The Loopy Ewe. One bunny and one sleepy sheep, which we’ll do over the holiday break. Here she is with her hubby Rob, me, and her kitty cat, Ghirardelli aka Sweetpea.

Pat with Woolpet gifts

Happy birthday, sister!

In addition to delightful Thanksgiving family time, I had some good knitting time. My sister Pat is the one who bought me yarn and needles with the Knitting for Dummies book, and taught me to knit for Christmas in 2005. Since then, she had a baby, and her life has been very busy, so she hasn’t knit as much as she would like. So it was nice to be able to sit with her for some fiber time. I brought a spindle and some roving to continue our spinning lessons, and she did great once again! She spun a 2-ply from hand-dyed Corriedale, then swatched it up into a lovely fabric. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo but I’m hoping she will take one soon! While she was spinning, I made some progress on Chris’s hubby sweater.

Hubby sweater detail

I think the dragon scales are turning out nicely. Soon I’ll have to decide on the upper body construction. As for the Clapotis, I didn’t work on it during the break because my mother was around, but I’ve made some progress in secret.

The Clap grows!

I wasn’t paying attention and increased one repeat too many, but that’s okay. It’ll just be a tad wider than it’s supposed to be. But I was very excited to start dropping stitches!

First dropped stitches

The bamboo yarn is nice and drapey, and the stitches dropped nicely, as expected!

Also, my sister gave me this from her stash:

Malabrigo stash from my sister

Some luscious Malabrigo worsted merino in Verde Azul and Brown Berries. Two sweaters worth! Actually, she was intending to use the brown berries for me, but she doesn’t foresee enough knitting time to make use of it. So after all my holiday knitting is done, I’ll find something fun to knit with it. Thanks, pal!

We spent Thanksgiving weekend with my sister and her family, along with my mom visiting from Thailand, and my dad from New Jersey. We ate lots of food and had lots of fun. Here’s part of my contribution to dinner:

Cupcake!

Tim has an egg allergy, so in addition to my pecan pie (which looked like the usual pecan pie and thus was not photographed), I tried an eggless cupcake recipe which used water and cornstarch in place of eggs. I used Ghirardelli chocolate, mmmmm! The icing and sprinkles were store bought, but a big hit with Tim. The outer parts of the cupcakes turned out a little crunchy, but the insides were nice and moist and tasty. He loved them!

Tim loves cupcakes

Tim also had lots of fun with cousin Andy and Grandpa:

Fun with Grandpa

Diaper box bumper cars:

Diaper box bumper cars

Here’s Tim with Auntie Pat. This is his version of “smiling” for the camera:

Timmy and Auntie Pat

Little Andy Man in his tunnel:

Andy's tunnel

There are lots more cute Andy and Tim photos from Pat’s camera, which are posted on her blog!

I managed to finish only one knitted gift in time for Christmas (2005), the Soft Cables Mobius from Heartstrings, for Patsy. She chose the color, and I picked out some nice, soft Classic Elite Inca Alpaca. I think it turned out rather pretty! Please pardon the unmade bed and the crap underneath. Here’s a much nicer picture of Pat wearing the scarf.

Doesn’t she look cute?