Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Knitting and general summer update

Although I've been quite quiet on the blogging front lately, my life has been far from it. We are enjoying summer with beach visits, swimming in the pool, eating outside and we even managed one camping trip to the Eel river. As usual I keep knitting to unwind and relax. My most recently completed project (finished them  a few weeks back) are these Spotted Sox (Spring Fling by Karen Neal from the Joy of Sox ) for Conrad.

Of course I am already working on the next project, but more about that in another post.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Great America

Yesterday was Phil's company summer picnic, but because of his health issues he didn't feel up to going. Instead he offered for me and Conrad to invite one of Conrad's friends to come along for a day of fun in Santa Clara! That was a great idea and together (the two moms and the two boys) we had a fun and thrill filled day at the amusement park. The boys kept count and at the end of the day we had gone on 26 rides! It was a perfectly sunny day with almost no lines and a small breeze to keep us from getting too hot! Of course the water rides also helped to cool us down - Brr!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Challenge!

Conrad has struggled this spring with skin rashes, hives and some lip swelling, but on Monday afternoon the glass flowed over. we had just got the results back from some allergy tests (blood tests) that he had done two weeks ago and they were all negative - shows no allergies when this happened:  

Needless to say he was very unhappy, especially since he got even more swollen than what the picture shows. After almost a whole bottle of Benadryl, many hours at the allergist's office and an injection of epinephrine, we came to the conclusion that he probably has a sensitivity/intolerance to Salicylates. 

Salicylates are the chemical compounds found in Aspirin and many other pain medicines, but it also occurs naturally in almost all plant material (read fruits and vegetables). A sensitivity is different than an allergy in that with an allergy you will react to the smallest amount of whatever you are allergic to, but with a sensitivity you first need to reach a threshold. For some people this threshold is much lower than for others. It now falls to us to try to find Conrad's tolerance level. The first step is to try and avoid as many Salicylates as possible, let his system reset itself and then slowly reintroduce different foods one at a time. Food additives, dyes and medicines containing Salicylates will be off-limits for a very long time, maybe forever. For now his diet is limited, but he is taking it like a champ. I think he realizes he already feels better, for the first time in months he is completely free of rashes and hives - of course that might have something to do with the prednisone he is taking right now.

On a much more cheerful note. Kajsa is off on her Europe adventure and she seems to be having a fun time with her friend exploring, sightseeing and just enjoying being young!

Monday, June 14, 2010

College Graduation!

Yesterday the whole family, grandparents included, drove up to Davis for Lars' college commencement. He now holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis.
It was a very special day with several thousand people in attendance during the commencement ceremony. The atmosphere was both celebratory and festive but my emotions ran the whole spectrum from happy and proud to sentimental and sad. When Lars walked across the stage to receive his recognition I cheered, smiled and cried all at the same time! I am so very proud of him, he has grown from my precious little newborn into a wonderful, responsible and capable man. I don't know how or when that happened, but it did and now he is truly an adult.

Things move at a fast pace at our house and early this morning I took Kajsa to the airport and now she is on her way to Barcelona for her summer of train travel in Europe. She was very excited and I must admit that I am a little envious of her, I think she will have a great time!

Lars is going camping with friends this week and perhaps next week as well, before he starts to move his stuff back home from Davis. He has secured a job, starting in August, and at least to begin with he will live at home.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

High School Graduation!

It's hard to believe, but our little girl has graduated from high school!

During the graduation ceremony she performed the Alma Mater together with six other graduates.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Knitting - More Money for the School

The woman who won the bidding on the pink baby blanket I made for the school silent auction this year asked me I if I would please knit a little matching something to go with the blanket. She wants to have a nice set to give as a gift at an upcoming baby shower. i agreed and it didn't take me very long to knit up a rather cute little baby hat with a matching pair of socks. I didn't use a pattern for the hat, just cast on 72 stitches and went for it! The socks are Sherie McNaman's Simply Sweet Socks  pattern

Maker Faire

Sunday was Conrad's turn to spend the day with me. (Saturday was filled with prom preparations with Kajsa). A little after nine in the morning we headed off to San Mateo and the Maker Faire . We spent over 6 hours there, exploring everything from robots and rockets to legos and spindle spinning. I think that even if we had spent more than twice as long there we could not possibly have seen everything. One of Conrad's favorite things there were the marshmallow guns! I think he will probably build one in the near future.

Monday, May 24, 2010

High School Prom

Saturday was my daughter's High School Prom.
Isn't she beautiful?!

She had a lovely time.

Ravelry Meet-Up

One week ago a friend and I headed to San Francisco for a day of knitting. We drove to Fremont and took Bart (the train) from there - for maximum knitting time! Once in the city we met up with  a couple of hundred other knitters and just enjoyed each others company. There was a potluck and we even received a complimentary hand massage!

I had finished my new shawl,  Traveling Woman the Thursday before the Meet-Up and as you can see I wore it proudly! Proudly,  because this is the first project I have knitted from yarn that I have spun myself.
This is what the yarn looked like
I spun it from two different colors, one 100% merino coral color and the other a fuchsia colored merino/tencel blend. I call it Pink Audition because I picked up the roving in Solveng on the way to one of Kajsa's college auditions.

School Auction

This year the school auction was a great success. As usual I knitted something for the silent part of the auction, this year a pink garter stitch baby blanket from odds and ends I had laying around.

I also worked with the third graders and helped them with their class project - a beautiful ceramic platter.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Friday Fun with Fiber!

Alison and I headed to Stitches West on Friday for a day full of color and texture overload!
I went without a shopping/wish list and it could have been easy to go overboard, but I think both Alison and I restrained ourselves pretty well - our husbands should be proud! I came home with some yarn, spinning fiber, a few gadgets and lots of inspiration! After the six hours we spent wandering the halls at Stitches we headed home in the rain, surprised over how quickly the day had passed.

I spent the rest of the weekend catching up at home with the family. Phil and I did quite a bit of gardening on Sunday in the lovely sunny weather. Our yard has really suffered from the "winter neglect" that we have inflicted on it. it is going to take quite a bit of more hard work to get ready for spring.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More Mother-Daughter Time!

Kajsa and I drove back down to So-Cal this weekend. It is nice that she can take her turn driving now! That way I am able to knit while she is driving - makes the trip more enjoyable! This time she had an audition at CSU Long Beach and we also squeezed in a campus visit to CSU Fullerton. She thinks it went well at CSULB. Now we have four days at home before we head off to Flagstaff and the next audition.
Even though it isn't much fun to drive that far weekend after weekend it is nice to have all that time together. Sometimes at home things get so hectic that before we know it, a couple of weeks have passed since we last really talked. These last few weeks with all the traveling that we have done, we have really been able to catch up and just enjoy each other's company.
Kajsa took some interesting pictures with my phone during the drive along I5.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Warning!!! Another Completed Knitting Project!

Last Tuesday I wrapped up and finished the last couple of rows on my tweed sweater. I am very happy with how it turned out and I have worn it several times already. I didn't use a pattern but rather improvised as I knit and I kept trying it on. For the first time ever I used short rows to shape the bust area and the upper back, will definitely do that again. I knit it from the bottom up and it has raglan sleeves.

Solveng - Santa Barbara

Last weekend Kajsa had her first college audition. She and I left home early on Saturday morning and drove to Santa Barbara to be prepared for her Sunday morning auditon and open house at UC Santa Barbara. Kajsa was very happy with how her auditon went and she liked what she saw and heard at the open house

On the way down we stopped in Solveng and I bought some fun roving at the Village Spinning and Weaving . What a wonderful store! Walking around in Solveng makes you fell like you have entered a fairy  tale and both Kajsa and I enjoyed our little stop-over. We picked up some danish pastries that we shared with Margie and Lauren (relatives, who live in Santa Barbara) when we visited them later on Saturday afternoon.

We also had time to visit the beach. Beautiful! Even though the temperature was in the low 50's we saw lots of students on campus wearing shorts and flip-flops! Kajsa thinks she can get used to living in Santa Barbara. We will have to wait and see!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

What's On My Needles

Well, I finally got tired of trying to use up the Pound of Love I had leftover from Lars' Afghan and cast on something else.  Last week on Tuesday night at knitting group Madoka was giving away some stash and I ended up with nine balls of Naturally Tussock (a 10 ply aran wool and polyester blend). Thank you Madoka and Diane (who had previously de-stashed this yarn to Madoka)! I think I have found a use for it. I have a vision of a sweater in my mind and I am making up the pattern as I go, We'll see how it turns out. Maybe I'll end up frogging it and starting all over, but for now I enjoy working with this yarn.

As I was trying to link to Lars' Afghan I realized, I have yet to post a picture of the finished blanket. Well here it is:

Rain again off-again

Just in time for the rain the other day we an got an automatic gate-opener installed. We are still trying to work out a few bugs, but it sure is nice not to have to get out of the car on a stormy night to open and close the gate.
It rained off and on all day yesterday but the sun kept coming out in between (and sometimes during) showers - Beautiful!

One lone and, I assume, very confused Banana Slug spent the night on our family room window. This morning he/she had had enough, turned around and headed back down.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hats and More Hats!

How many hats are too many hats? So far this year I have knitted four hats (the earflap hat and three World War II hats) ! I am trying to use up the Pound of Love that I have leftover from Lars' Afghan, but I still have quite a bit left after one Manitou Passage Scarf (finished before New Year) and two hats. What else can I make from this blue yarn?

Shopping Fun!

My friend Alison had "a few" items to return to IKEA last Friday and since I am always up for a trip to "mini Sweden" I tagged along. Thank you Alison for a fun day! We strolled through the display rooms, filled our bellies with Gravlax and our shopping carts with "must have deals". I stocked up on X-mas wrapping paper and added to Conrad's ornament collection. Believe it or not, but at age eight he has already wondered about how he is going to decorate his first Christmas tree. This year he is starting his own ornament collection (the one I got him and a few he begged from Grandma).

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

"Almost Pattern" for Earflap Hat

This is the first time I am making a pattern of my own design available to others!
I call it "Almost Pattern" for Earflap Hat, because you can use almost any yarn in any gauge and you knit it to fit instead of blindly following the pattern. It is available as a pdf download on Ravelry or you can just click here.
Happy Knitting!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy Birthday!

Today my baby girl is turning 18!
No longer a baby, child or girl but a beautiful young woman!

She is spending her big day with her friends, getting her belly button pierced. Then tonight she will attend to more serious matters, she will record a CD for her UCLA college application.
In the picture her friend is wearing a hat that I designed and knitted for her (she has asked me to knit her something for quite some time now). This hat is my first project of the new year. I even wrote up the pattern and it will be available on Ravelry as a free PDF soon.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tiiiiimber!!!! and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Welcome 2010!
My very industrious 8 year-old son decided to welcome in the new year by chopping down a tree! As I went to investigate what the thunking noises were that I could hear from the kitchen, he happily informed me that "Dad is letting me chop down this tree!". He worked on it for about an hour and in the end the tree hit the ground and Conrad did not stop smiling for the rest of the day!