Well I met so many sweet knitters last week, that I thought I'd give a yarn along a whirl again, even though I don't have much new to show, but merely follow-up. (Next week I promise I'll have something cool on my needles!) The idea of a yarn along is from Ginny's blog "Small Things" where everyone shares what they have been knitting and reading that week. Really...that's my kind of crowd! I'm a bit bummed I can't show you the gorgeous (if I do say so myself) Christmas presents that were finished this last week, and will be blocked today. I can't spoil the surprise, though. I promise to take pictures of them and post it after Christmas.
For knitting, I redid the heel and toe of the little one's Christmas stocking that I showed last week. (Does that mean she can come now?) I can't believe I just went off pattern and finished it my own way like that! I can't tell you the feeling of accomplishment that gave me! I also added the little loop for hanging and hemmed down the cuff. All that is left is blocking, so that along with the surprises, my dining room table will be full of wet yarn today! The foot part of the stocking was probably redone 3 times, and although the toe looks short to me, I measured it against all the other Christmas stockings we have, and it was right on. At any rate, I'm washing my hands of this project and declaring it done. I don't have any more patience for any more frogging. Then of course, I got the little avatrix hat done this week for the giveaway yesterday. (Congratulations again, Rebekah!) It was a really quick knit that I got done in one evening from casting on to weaving in ends, so I will definitely be doing this one again!
As far as reading, Silje and I finished a simply sweet book, Mountain Born from her Sonlight curriculum. This was by far, the most difficult read aloud book that we've done, and was the first read aloud book that we've encountered that is much out of her reading level. That's kind of the purpose of the read aloud books, most of which she could read with our without me.
It's a story about a boy growing up in a sheep herding family. While many of the books we read are silly, or having talking animals or something, this one was very real to life. What I loved about it was how descriptively it was written. It would spend pages describing this boy laying on a hillside and staring at the clouds. Then there was the heartwarming friendship between the boy, Peter, and his leader-sheep, Biddy. Maybe it's the knitter in me that loved hearing how the sheep were sheared, dipped, and set to pasture. Then the process of turning those fleeces into a coat for the boy. The author took her time describing all of this with no hurry, and it was a very peaceful and inspiring book to read.
Silje had to warm up to it, but ended up loving it in the end. It's just so different from the books she normally chooses, and the chapters were pretty long. I had to stop at the end of about every page to explain what I had just read, or to confirm that she understood. However, I will restate that she did end up loving the story in the end. She's a huge animal lover and loved reading of the strong bond between a boy and his sheep, and hearing tales of each of their heroics really touched her heartstrings.
I would also like to share one very special treat for me this last week. You see, Knut and I are at the point in our lives where we can't always surprise each other for Christmas. I mean, if we're going to spend money on each other, we have to be extra certain that it's exactly what the other person wants, because we simply cannot afford to buy something that won't get used, or will just sit around. The last couple of Christmas' we've gotten into the habit of just telling the other person what we want to get for Christmas. I mean, if I were to go into a ski shop and buy wax for Knut, I would have no idea what colors/temperatures etc. he would need. My head would be spinning.
Likewise, if I were to tell Knut I would want something crafty, he would have no idea where to start. I told him I wanted a set of interchangeable needles this year. So I did the research and decided that I'd like the set of small needles made by Hiya Hiya. (They have a set of large needles too, which I would eventually want, but I thought I'd use the small ones more immediately.) I hate having to tell him what to get me, and prefer a surprise, but I have to admit...I was pretty excited to get this set.
So Knut went to the yarn store to pick these up, and the lady there talked him into getting me both sets. Gotta love a good saleswoman, right? While it was way over budget, he did it, and even got me one other present at another store just so I'd have a "surprise" for Christmas. I mean, seriously, my man is awesome.
Oooooooo...mystery present! Now we just need a tree to put it under!
So why, you ask, do I have a picture of the smaller set when it's not even Christmas yet? Well, it's because there's snow on the ground, and Knut got a new waxing iron from me for Christmas. He said he "needed" to use it before Christmas, as he certainly wasn't going to wait until after Christmas to ski. So I negotiated that if he got to use his present early, so did I. Well, he's only giving me the small needle set early, but that was enough to satisfy me.
On a quick side note, I love that my needle set is called "Hiya Hiya." You see, when I was a teenager going on mission trips, I went with an organization where we met under a big tent for a rally every night of training. We sang songs and there was one song in particular lead by this 80-something year old woman who was the darling of all of us teenagers. She was known as the "Hiya Hiya" lady as she lead us in a song that went like this:
"Hiya hiya, hiya hiya hiya hiya,
Hiya, hiya...liftin' Jesus hiya."
I have to admit, whenever I see my needles here beside me, her little tune goes through my head...liftin' Jesus hiya.