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Friday, September 19, 2014

Diagonal Stripe Stroller Blanket

A friend of mine is having her first baby girl anytime now. She has picked out the beautiful name, painted the nursery, and is ready to be a mama! Her baby shower was a few weeks ago, so I can finally put out the pattern I used for her baby blanket. I got this idea from the beautiful hooded blankets that my mother made for my boys when they were due. My first confession is that this is not a hooded blanket nor is it nearly so intricate as my mother's work. I wanted to design something that would be reasonably quick, easy for beginning knitters, and could be made with the yarn I already had.

I picked up some lovely ivory and peach yarns at the thrift store, so I wanted to use those for the blanket. I agonized over what to make for ages! Like, the entire summer until almost August! I finally decided on a wide stripe diagonal baby blanket. Due to my limitations in needles (can't find my circulars), I was limited to what I could do with the needles I had. So rather than a full-sized blanket, I decided to make a stroller blanket--perfect for those quick outings where a full-size blanket would be too big in the stroller or car seat.


You'll notice that this one is a wee bit lopsided with some extra ivory on one side. That's completely intentional! Well, okay, I ran out of ivory a few rows early. But I like the look anyway.

Diagonal Stripe Stroller Blanket

Materials
1 ball each of two colors worsted weight yarn
Size 8 28" knitting needles, preferably circular

Pattern 

Cast on 4 st with the main color.
Row 1: K2, yo, k2. Turn. 5 stitches on needle.
Row 2: K2, yo, k3. Turn. 6 stitches on needle.
Row 3: K2, yo, knit across. Turn.
Continue row three until you have 49 stitches on the needle.
K2, yo, knit across to last stitch. Switch yarn colors and pull second color through during final stitch. Turn.

Continue row 3 with second color until you have 100 stitches on the needle.
Knit across for next two rows.

Next, begin the decrease:
K2, K2tog, yo, k2tog, knit across. Turn. 99 stitches on needle.
Continue until you have 51 stitches on the needle.
K2, K2tog, yo K2tog, knit to last stitch. Switch yarn color back to main color and pull the new color through during the final stitch. Turn.

K2, K2tog, yo, K2tog, knit across. Turn. 49 stitches on needle.
Continue until you have four stitches on the needle.

Bind off and weave in ends.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Creative birthday card

What? Two blog posts in one day? Yes, it's a special day. That and I couldn't figure out any other way to show what I'm about to show you.

My oldest son LOVES to draw. He's an artist at heart and he has been saying for years that he wants to be a cartoonist when he grows up. (I asked him why he wanted to wait that long.) So here is the card he made for me, which is actually more like a book.

If your kids are as much into Minecraft as mine are, then you probably recognize this as Steve from the game.
They like to play in creative mode, just discovered this week.
At least one of my men gave me diamonds for my birthday. :)

But Minecraft hasn't completely dwarfed his love of Yoda or Origami. Particularly together.
And he likes giving out the real thing. Finger puppet!
He's always been funny, but this made me truly laugh!
He asked me a few days ago which was my favorite of his comic book characters. He made a few for me. 

Some are tougher than others, but they all arrived eventually. 


 I hope you enjoyed reading that card as much as I enjoyed getting it. He spent so much time on this last night and it really means so much to me. I love my boys. They spoil me with such cute creativity.


What is over the hill?

My dad. Not looking much different from 40.
So today is my birthday. If you are my "friend" on Facebook then you probably already figured that out. Today I'm reminded of a picture that used to hang in our finished basement den in Summit, New Jersey when my folks and I lived there. It was a picture of my dad, in his U.S. Navy athletic shorts, sitting (leaning really) on a balance beam. Underneath he had a caption posted: "Forty isn't over the hill." I'm also reminded of a poem that my dad wrote (to his little brother I think) that used to be posted in my uncle's old bedroom at the grandparent's place. I can only recall the first line, but that has always stuck in my head with its own little melody, like a song. "Forty, that mystical imaginary borderline..." I think the reason that my dad comes to mind when I think of the age of forty is that it was a big deal to him. He had something prove at that age--that he was still in his prime at the age of forty. (My mother, by contrast, has never seemed to truly age or pay much attention to age.)

While I will confess that I already passed that milestone awhile back, this image came to my mind today. I still do not think of either of my parents as being "over the hill." So by extension I can't be either, right? What do we mean when we think of particular ages as being "over the hill?" What is this proverbial hill, anyway? The thought seems to be that life is a hill that we climb and climb, trying to prove something about ourselves. At various ages we ask ourselves, "Am I over the hill?" "Am I going downhill from here?" The idea seems to be that after you go over the hill, life is all downhill from there. In a good way or a bad way I think is up to you, though most folks seem to think it's a bad thing.

So if you have reached the top of that hill and you are looking down at the rest of your life to come, do you see an easier life or a deteriorating life? Are things going to be worse from here due to aging? Or are you about to go on the ultimate downhill roller-coaster ride and have fun? I know which I prefer.

At this stage in my life I have just begun a new adventure. I've started graduate school and am learning so much! If there is anything in the world to which I could be addicted, it would be learning. You can ask my STC colleagues, if there is a new technology out there, I like to go learn about it and then teach it to others. If I learn something new, I want to share it with everyone I know.
What's important when you conquer that hill? Someone to share it with! This is from my husband's recent grad school graduation.

And one thing I know today: I am NOT over the proverbial hill. I have much climbing yet to do. Perhaps life is not just one big hill, but a series of small hills that lead to the ultimate mountain. I've gone over my share of bumps and hills throughout life. Hills can be something to trudge up and dread or something to conquer. I choose to conquer. In fact, we're climbing a hill right now that took us entirely by surprise. But with God's help we'll climb this hill, too, and reach the other side. Then it's roller-coaster time!