Friday, December 30, 2005

Knitting for a New Baby!

Since the Christmas rush is over, I can now concentrate on making things for my step-daughter's new baby. She is going to be delivered in February, so that gives me enough time to make quite a few things. I bought tons of sewing patterns on sale for 99 cents each at Hobby Lobby, so now I just need to find the appropriate material for making lots of pretty dresses and hats. I'll be making casual day-to-day clothes as well, but it will be nice to finally make little dresses. I had three sons, so I never got the chance to do that!

I've already knit a few things, and just started making a lovely pink afghan.

I think it's going to be just beautiful. I've already made some hats and booties, but I'll be making more. This is so much fun!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Not a Normal Christmas This Year

Well, the Christmas season is finally over, and it was not an average Christmas by any means. We didn't even put up our tree this year! I was sick for the entire month of December, eventually discovering that I have developed asthma. My allergies began in earnest about 7 years ago, and since that time, I've had several other health problems, including arthritis, a thyroid disorder, and several upper respiratory infections. It's been a real drag. But enough of my whining.

The Christmas program at church went well. The choir eventually learned all the notes that were put down on manuscript paper 300 years ago by Pergolesi or one of his contemporaries. "Magnificat" was beautiful, with a string quartet and organ (by yours truly) accompaniment. The text had to be performed in English, because our choir just wasn't ready for a proper Latin performance. Oh well. It was still a nice treat for the holidays.

I missed all the holiday parties because of my illness. My first sign of sickness was the last week of November. I had a cold, with fever, sore throat, runny nose and eyes, sore joints, coughing, and a splitting headache. Over the course of the next four weeks, I went to the doctor 3 times. Including my copay and prescriptions, I spent about 200 dollars on this "cold". Now, I'm using an inhaler every night and running a vaporiser to help me sleep. I'm also taking prednisone every day for the next week. I even had to get a shot at my last doctor visit. Ouch! I'm just glad that the cough has slowed down.

There I go whining again. As you can see, this sickness has really bummed me out.

So, since I didn't get to go to a single Christmas dinner or party, I feel like Christmas never really happened! Since Christmas Eve was on a Saturday this year, and Christmas morning was on Sunday, my entire weekend was taken up with music at church. My husband left on Saturday morning to visit with his family. I couldn't go because of my church organist responsibilities, so I spent Christmas Eve and morning all by myself. : (

I saw Josh and Noah on Christmas Eve at their dad's house. I gave them their Christmas gift and got hugs. Then, I spent that afternoon buying a small gift for my sweet husband. We didn't have a lot of money this year for Christmas, because I didn't make enough money this month. I had to cancel so many piano lessons because of my sickness. Bummer!

But it was still a decent holiday. I made Christmas cookies when I wasn't absolutely miserable.
Cutting Out Christmas Cookies
Lots of Christmas Ginger Cookies!
World's Easiest Christmas Cookies Ready!
I had already finished knitting lots of scarves, and ready to give as gifts. Thank God! Each of my students got a box of cookies and a scarf. I let them pick the scarf they wanted from a large basket. I gave cookies to friends at church, and scrounged around the house for other gifts. Books were given to some family members, because we have so many books in our house. The only shopping I had to do was for a few family members, so it wasn't that bad.

I saw TJ yesterday at my Mom's house, and we were able to spend about 3 or 4 hours together, so that was very nice. I gave him the orange hat and mittens, and he really liked them! I should have taken a picture of him wearing them, but I forgot to take my camera. Boo hoo!

When Marvin went to see his family, I sent him with a boxful of gifts for them. "The Cat Who..." books for his mom and sister (I'm addicted to that series by Lilian Jackson Braun). Gift cards for his brothers. And a new knitted hat for his dad. Here's a picture of it, as well as a picture of him wearing it. It was so thick and warm. I hope he likes it. I know that Marvin does. I had to make one for him too!

We got some nice cards and gifts from friends and family, so it was enjoyable. I'm looking forward to using my gift card at Hobby Lobby today or tomorrow! (Josh got that for me.) I gave Marvin a computer program for learning to play guitar. Now all he needs is the actual instrument. lol

Monday, December 19, 2005

A Prayer for Noah

My son Noah had a bad night a couple days ago. He is going through so much emotional turmoil in his adolescent years. He was reaching the end of his rope the other night, so I had to intervene and get help for him. He was very mad at me, but I know I did the right thing for him. He is still lashing out and pushing me away. Hopefully, the end result will make up for all this.

I'll keep interceding for him, and pray that he sees hope in his heart. I appreciate your prayers for him as well. He is a sweet guy underneath all his anger, so his life could be super if he concentrates on the right things.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Preemie Baby Santa Hat Knitting Pattern

Preemie Baby Santa Hat with Roll Brim
Designed by Sandy Davis
SIZE: Medium Preemie (You can make your hat larger by changing to larger needles, or smaller by changing to fingering yarn)

Sport Weight Yarn – 1 skein Red, 1 skein White
Size 4 Double Pointed Needles
1 size 5 straight knitting needle
Tapestry Needle for sewing in yarn ends.

Gauge is not important, since hospitals need hats in various sizes. You can make several of these hats with different size needles and different weights of yarn, so that the hospital will have several sizes to choose from.

Using White yarn, and the size 5 straight needle, Cast on 61 stitches. Slip stitches (purl-wise) onto 3 of the double point needles (21 on 1st needle, 20 on 2nd needle and 20 on 3rd needle).

Join: Being careful not to twist the stitches, slip the first stitch from the 1st needle to the 3rd needle, and tighten the two strands of yarn that are hanging from the stitch. Using both of these strands of yarn, knit the first two stitches together. (This secures the beginning strand, as well as joining the circle)

Knit every stitch, until you come to the two strands again. This is one round.
Knit every round, using the two strands as your “marker”. Knit a total of 11 rounds with the white yarn.

Cut the yarn about 4 inches from the knitting, and tie on the red yarn, close to the last stitch.

Knit every round with the red yarn for 11 more rounds. You have a total of 22 rounds completed now. Continue using the red yarn.

Round 23: *Knit 8, Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.
Knit 2 rounds
Round 26: *Knit 7, Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.
Knit 4 rounds
Round 31: *Knit 6, Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.
Knit 2 rounds
Round 34: *Knit 5, Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.
Knit 3 rounds
Round 38: *Knit 4, Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.
Knit 2 rounds
Round 41: *Knit 3, Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.
Knit 4 rounds
Round 46: *Knit 2, Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.
Knit 2 rounds
Round 49: *Knit 1, Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.
Knit 2 rounds
Round *Knit 2 together – repeat from * around.

Cut yarn about 8 inches from knitting. Using tapestry needle, run this yarn end through the remaining stitches and pull tight. Push needle through to the top point to the inside of hat. Turn hat inside out and secure yarn with a few stitches at the point. Weave in ends and clip. Turn hat right side out.

Make a pom pom with white yarn and sew securely to the top of the hat.

You’re done!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Sick of Being Sick

Bummer. I thought for sure that I would be over my cold by now. I got sick on Tuesday, November 29th. Now, it's Monday, December 12th, and I'm still in a fog. I went to the doctor last Monday, and of course I had no fever on that day. antibiotics were prescribed.

My fever has come and gone over the past two weeks, but it's never been that high. I just feel lousy is all. Sore throat, sneezing, coughing, tired all the time. It's a drag.

One good thing happened though. My new sewing machine came in the mail! I was so excited to finally get it. I spent the day watching the video and learning all the stitches. I finished sewing together all the preemie outfits for charity, and now I'm cutting out another maternity top for my step-daughter. It's nice to be able to sew again. My other sewing machine died, after giving me more than 20 years of service. It was a good one. I hope my new machine will last as long.

I wasn't able to teach piano lessons for the past two weeks, so my income for the month has been severely cut. No sick pay for piano teachers! Figures my income would be sliced in the month of December, when I really need the money for Christmas gifts for my kids. Oh well. We always make it somehow. The Lord always provides.

I've been knitting a lot, since I wasn't able to leave the house. I made some mittens and a hat for my youngest son. His favorite color is orange, and I found some appropriate yarn, along with some free knitting patterns on the internet. The set turned out very nice.

Now, I'm working on some more hats, scarves, mittens, socks, and afghans for the rest of my family. I guess it's gonna be a homemade Christmas this year, cause I don't see how I could possibly afford to buy gifts for anyone.

Oh well, at least I have the ability to make things! Thank God for that.