Sunday, November 25, 2007

TaeKwonDo Demo

For Tom and Sam's second degree black belt project, they decided to organize our school's participation at the Headrest Action Fair. They had an information booth about their TaeKwonDo school and did two demos. it went really well!

This is Steve, Hugh, Tom, and Sam setting up the booth:

Tom and Jack warming up. Thanks to Jack's mom for working the booth as well!

Sam and Sawyer, both of whom are black belts "warming up" Alex. I'm amazed Alex didn't keel over!

This is Henry being Henry - such a cutie! Thanks to Henry's dad for manning the booth as well.

Here's a picture of the whole group during the demo, doing kiban. From left to right starting with the front row - Tom, Sam, Sawyer, Alex, Marwan. Back row: Derek, Owen, Jonas, Henry and Jack.

The younger belts doing their kiban - Owen, Jonas, Henry, and Jack

Black belt poomse (forms) - Tom, Sam, Sawyer. Sawyer is a poom (under 13) black belt so his belt is black and red. That will change to all-black when he turns 13 next year.

Paddle drills are so much fun!

Breaking is fun and impressive!

Tom demonstrating his sword kiban

Here's a group shot - front row is Owen, Jonas, Marwan, Alex, Henry, and Jack; back row is Derek, Sawyer, Mr. Hopkins, Sam, and Tom.

A special thanks to Mr. Emerson and Ms. Fearon for coming and helping with the table and taking pictures. And of course to Uncle Steve (Mr. Hopkins) for help from beginning to end.

It was a fun day...

November projects

I've been busy this month with projects - as usual. I've been working on holiday presents and others.

I LOVE these candy cane socks! It's a free pattern called Ruggles Candy Cane Socks. They are working up fast as it's knit with DK yarn on larger needles. The yarn is Plymouth Encore DK - it's very soft and the socks will be nice and toasty warm!

I'm making this dressy scarf for the boys' audiologist, the wonderful Stella. It's pretty hard to say how much we appreciate all she does for us.

The Green Monster socks are finally finished! I started these in - yup! - October as a knitalong (KAL) with others to cheer on the Boston Red Sox. Our good juju obviously is what made the difference. I made these socks for my favorite 13 year old Red Sox fan - Sam. The pattern is Jaywalkers by Grumperina. I used Opal Prisma yarn on 2.25 mm needles. The trick to successful fitting Jaywalkers is to make them bigger than you'd think necessary. I made the larger size and they fit Sam quite well - they're not too tight at the heel.

The October SOTM club offering is this lovely sock - A Little Twisted Sock. The yarn is Soft Sea Wool by Reynolds. It's a thicker yarn as well and is making up nicely. It should be a warm pair of socks!

I finished a scarf for my partner in crime at work, Nicole. She wanted it in Panda wool but since I'd be knitting a scarf in fingering yarn until the next century, I found the colors that (I hope) she likes and made them into this scarf. The pattern is Nana's 91st Birthday Scarf - it was a really easy, fun pattern to knit.

Lastly, I'm making felted clogs (it's a Fibertrends pattern by Bev Galaskas) for holiday presents. Here's a (giant) before picture of a pair that is destined for felting for a friend. The yarn is Jojoland Rhythm, colorway M28. I've not felted with it before so hope I have a happy ending to report in a week or so.

IHappy holidays, everyone!

Giving Thanks

We had such a wonderful Thanksgiving this year. When you live far away from your family, you make your own - we are so thankful for our friends. First, there's Ethan

Ethan's greatest desire is a place of prominence on our blog - your wish is my command!

Tom and Sam both helped a bunch this year. Tom helped Hugh with the turkey, which, per tradition, Hugh smokes in the Weber grill. It's fabulous! Hugh also smoked a couple of Cornish hens.

This is the hungry kids waiting for dinner - Sam, Ethan, Tom, Gabe, and Oren plus Susan, Dean, Tom, and Jane in the background.

Here are the adults - minus Dean - at the table - from left to right Tom, Susan, me, Steve, Jane and Hugh.

And here's a picture of some of the spread!

We are thankful that you all could share this special day with us.

Monday, October 15, 2007

October projects - finished and in progress

I'm now part of Ravelry - woo hoo! It's a kind of knitting/ handcraft community that's very fun. I've been posting new projects there but realized I need to do them here for folks who haven't yet seen the light that is knitting.

I've been busy! I just finished the luxury sock of the month club offering from The Knitter - aren't they lovely? I hope you can see the design of the sock. The pattern is called Scattered Leaves. The yarn is Cherry Tree Hill supersocke merino in a color that was made especially for this sock club. I wish I could describe how wonderful the socks feel made up - very soft but substantial.

As always, I have a few works in progress. This first is made from Opal Neon yarn, the pattern is called Tidal Wave. I'm LOVING the colors in this yarn! I have one sock finished and have started on sock #2.

This is the Embossed Leaves pattern that everyone and their - er - sister is knitting so I hate to sound like I'm a member of the flock but what can you do? Isn't this pattern gorgeous? I have a wee confession to make. I received this month's SOTM club offering from The Knitter - loved the yarn and like the pattern but it's not one I think I would wear. The yarn "spoke" to me and really wanted to be in this pattern and so it will be. The pattern is from the book "Favorite Socks" by Interweave. The designer is Mona Schmidt. The yarn is Sandnes Garn Sisu #7133 - man, I love the seafoam color!

This is sock #1 - it knitting up really fast.

And now I bring to you - tah dah! - Ruth Sorenson's Kauni sweater. This is another pattern that many people seem to be working on right now. I think it's lovely! This will be a cardigan sweater for me. The yarn is Kauni rainbow and it's completely addictive. Each time I'm knitting I think I'll put the knitting down and then think "oh, let's see what the next color will be" and I continue.

This one might take awhile - but it's so much fun to make.

Last month I showed you the socks I knitted for Sam. Here are Tom's socks made with Patons Classic Wool Merino yarn in the Camoflage colorway (zzzzz on the colorway - not what I would have chosen!). The pattern is my own simple design of K3, P1. Tom really loves them so I guess that's what matters.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Apple Butter

So what do you do with ALL the apples you've picked? Why, make apple butter, of course! It's something we always had growing up in West Virginia so a number of years ago, I decided to try my hand. It's an easy recipe, it mostly takes time and patience. Here are the steps:

First, you need to peel the apples. I peeled 15 lbs today (I tripled my recipe - it's what my pot can handle!).

Next, you combine the peeled, cored, and quartered apples with spices and apple cider.

This is what it looks like with all the spices added. Mirm - no need for a Yankee candle today! It makes the whole house smell like heaven. Or at least like fall!

Once the mixture has cooked down to the desired consistency, you pack it into canning jars. I generally use pint jars - it's a nice size for gift-giving.

Once in the jars and sealed with lids and rings, process in a water bath for at least 10 minutes, then check as the jars are removed from the water bath to make sure they've sealed (if you hear a "pop" noise and can't push the lid down, it's sealed).

Here's the final product!

Here's the recipe:

5 lbs of apples (I weigh them before peeling and coring)
2 C apple cider - boil the cider separately until it's reduced by half
4 C sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg

It's fabulous, if I do say so myself!

Columbus weekend

It's been such a glorious, fall weekend! Just exactly what fall should be, especially today. The temps are in the mid-60s and there's not a cloud in the sky. This past week was Sam's birthday as well as mine. One thing we always do is go apple picking - usually at Poverty Lane Orchards.

I've never seen so many apples on their trees as this year! You literally could stand in one place and pick nearly a bag. So fun -so yummy!

After picking apples, we drove to New London, NH - Sam had a soccer game.

We had to get to the game early so he could warm up, as is usual. So *I* snuck away and found a yarn shop! Imagine ME finding a yarn shop! It's called - of all things - Yarn of New London. I came away a happy girl with a fatter stash. Very nice owner - her name is Leslie. We both shared tips with each other - very fun!

We had dinner at the Flying Goose in New London with Sawyer's family. We've been there before - excellent food, lovely atmosphere.

All in all, a wonderful birthday-day for Sam and birthday week for me!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Happy birthday, Sam!

Happy birthday, Sam - I can't believe you're a teenager now!

It seems like yesterday, you were a cute, little guy

But now you're such an accomplished baseball player

Martial artist

Not to mention a juggler and good all around guy.

And you were nearly MY birthday present! The best ever...