Hand knits from Norway

These are for some dear friends in Norway.  The beautiful pink sweater was hand knit by Turid, and the lovely pink and cream socks came from Ellen, Jan & Berit’s daughter.  The socks are a perfect fit now, and there is much good wear in the sweater to come.  They are both family heirlooms now.

P.S.  Have any idea how hard it is to create a new blog post,with pictures, with a wriggling baby in your lap????

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(that’s what Juliette had to say!)

Catching up

Sometimes the best way to let people know what’s going on is just to give lots of little snippets …

1.  Friday morning came and I decided I didn’t have it in me to work another day.  I took a day off just for me.  I ended up calling Marsha, a fiber friend (read all about her here (http://tinyurl.com/dylso6) and went to the American Craft Council show in St. Paul.  On the way home, we stopped at Cosetta’s to do some Italian grocery shopping.

2.  I made a wonderful pasta dish on Friday night for dinner using Cosetta’s Italian sausage and tiny little meatballs.  It made for an excellent lunch on Saturday, too!

3.  On Saturday morning, I picked up my MIL and SIL and we went the Yarnover event sponsored by the Minnesota Knitter’s Guild.  I finally joined the guild.  Their monthly meetings don’t do much for me, but it will be good to be well-connected to an organization devoted to knitting.  I bought two socks books I’ve been wanting, some natural fawn colored yarn from a local woolen mill made from Minnesota sheep (enough to make a generous sweater for myself), a kit for a Bohus hat (I’ve been dying to do some Bohus work since seeing the exhibit a couple months ago at the American-Swedish Institute), various cool knit-knacks, and a book of traditional Scandinavian knitting patterns.  This was my one “splurge” I allowed myself after getting my tax refund.  Best of all, I discovered Black Water Abbey Yarns, based out of Aurora, CO.  They import the most marvelous dyed wool from Ireland.  All three of us ended up buying patterns, and getting their color cards for their whole line.  I woke up yesterday thinking about the men’s vest pattern I bought and how I wanted to make it.  Maybe I will buy the yarn soon.

4.  Saturday afternoon we spent opening up all the flower beds because they said it would rain Saturday night/Sunday morning.  We got all the work done, but I’ve been sore for two days.  Geez I am out of shape.  But I love looking out on the bed and seeing green things coming up and all the dead brown growth cleared away.  Right now we see tulips and hyacinth and daffodils coming up, along with peonies and hostas and lots of other stuff.  Spring is most welcome!  Oh, and the hawks seem particularly hungry this year, thinning our population of squirrels and rabbits, which is good, but we don’t like the evidence of the killings we keep coming across.

5.  Saturday night, we went out to eat with H’s parents and sister at Mort’s Deli.  We had fantastic food and good laughs with the staff.  We’ve been there enough they’ve all taken to greeting us when we walk in and treating us like really valued customers.  We like that.

6.  We went to the ACC show in St. Paul, since Harald was working Friday and couldn’t go then.  That was our Sunday morning worship – seeing all that glorious creation!  H bought a gorgeous glass object d’art for the living room.  And I bought a pottery wine coaster and a new clipboard (made of laminated colored wood) for my crosswords.

7.  I was in the mood to make Indian food last night.  I ended up cooking Rogan Josh (a northern Indian braised lamb dish – only I made it hot with chilies) and Aloo Gobi (potatoes and cauliflower) and a fruited rice made with cashews, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, garlic and coconut milk.  We ate like kings last night and enjoyed every bit of it.  I don’t cook Indian very often – it seems like it is as labor-intensive and time-consuming as Chinese food, but the results are so worth it.  We both agreed I need to develop a repertoire of Indian dishes since we both love it so much.  After dinner, we drove to the Edina Creamery for ice cream.

8.  We are both doing much, much better.  I sensed we both felt ready to face into the week this morning.  That is good.  We haven’t had any crying jags for days, and we are both feeling more positive and upbeat and our interests seem to be renewing in the areas of what we love.  It’s all good.  We are still bumping into neighbors and others who are extending their warm hearts to us, but it doesn’t sting to talk about it anymore.  Thank God.

9.  This week is employee appreciation week at the firm.  We get to wear blue jeans on Monday and Friday.  I’d be a new man if I could wear blue jeans to work every day!

Socks for Jennifer

I just put the last stitch in when I got home from work tonight, so they aren’t done a day too soon.  These are socks for Jennifer for when she goes into the hospital.  I hope she enjoys wearing them as much as I enjoyed making them.  The pattern is Nancy’s Lindberg’s basic knit-to-fit sock pattern, but I used a crosshatch lace pattern from Charlene Schurch’s More Sensational Knitted Socks for the calf and top of the instep.

My first fully completed sweater

Although this isn’t the first sweater I’ve begun, it is the first one I’ve finished. I’m still working on that dang Einstein coat. I must admit what at first seemed like a good idea (miles of garter stitch) quickly turned into some form of tedium. I’ve got the body of the thing done, but I have to do the sleeves to finish it. Anyway, back to this green beauty. It’s made out of Cascase 220 which I must tell you I like very much. The picture doesn’t do the yarn justice – it has these marvelous flecks of blue and yellow mixed in with the yarn, but the effect is very subtle. I’m glad I got this sweater done. I learned a lot of things in the process, the most helpful being those things I would do differently now that I know about them. But it is what it is and it will always be special because it was the first sweater I ever finished for myself.