Monday, January 2, 2012

Catching up

I didn't mean to take such a long break from the blog -- it's been so busy this past almost two weeks!  Three days of Christmas, several days of home improvement, two nannying days, and New Years.  Whew!  Luckily, there was no last minute shopping or knitting mixed in there, since I/we got that done ahead of time (for once).

On Christmas Eve Paul and I went to my sister's in Connecticut:

 with Mandy in tow:
I worked on my long-neglected cabled sweater (started in March) in the car:
More on this later (hint: I finished it!!!).

Knitted gifts were all a hit but only got pictures of the mukluks for my nephews:
They loved them, immediately putting them on and then disproving my attempt at non-slippage by sliding across the kitchen floor (after I told them I had put the stuff on the bottom so they wouldn't slip).  What can I say?  I tried.  And left them with a warning to be particularly careful on the stairs.  But they wore them all day and that leads me to believe that they were warm and comfy.

Lots of cooking going on at my sister's:
Making sugar cookies (and adding sprinkles to look like Aunt Liz)

More sugar cookies...

More sugar cookies (we all took turns at icing and sugar)

The biggest food hit - pigs in a blanket
Mmmmmm.....dessert! (including a yummy gingerbread trifle)
Christmas day we spent at Paul's mom's opening presents and having dinner with some of his family.  Forgot the camera, but she liked the knitted dishcloths I made for her!

Home Improvement #1:
Paul wanted to tackle a couple of projects during his time off from work.  The first was changing our fireplace into a wall-with-mantle-and-heat-shield-so-we-can-use-the-stove-and-put-the-tv-on-the-wall.    Here it is when we first moved in 4 years ago:
That white section used to have a piece of metal over it. Blech.
We got a wood burning insert,  painted the walls and then we painted the brick so we could live with it until this day came...
Another use for the level
Paul put up some framing things so we could attach drywall:
ANOTHER use for the level (straight edge for cutting drywall)

Top on Paul's priority list was hiding the tv wires...
And now it looks like this:
Just a little bit left to do... putting in some side wood to complete the mantel and then, after heating season, putting stone or tile over the brick.  We. LOVE. IT!  (That black thing directly under the mantel is the heat shield that is required if you have a wood stove that sticks out of the fireplace. We might take it down in the summer.)

Home Improvement #2:
The stairway. Ugh.  We've been dreading painting the stairway/hallway/ceiling area since it is very high up and required changing the light fixture.  We are both a little leary of heights and don't have a ladder tall enough etc.  So, Paul built this:
Which meant we had to hurry up and get this done unless we wanted to keep climbing under this in our pajamas for several evenings.  It was fairly sturdy and we cranked out the light change and the ceiling and wall painting in about 24 hours.
That's the new light.
Knitting News:
In the car on the way to xmas eve and then in the several days after, I finally finished my Brigid Jacket from Vintage Modern Knits: Contemporary Designs Using Classic Techniques:
Sans buttons, of course... and the sleeves ARE the same length.  They just don't look it in this picture....

 I love how it came out.  This book has several patterns that I'd like to knit eventually. BUT... see my ramblings later on in this post.

And at The Spinning Room on Saturday a new knit-a-long started, which I joined in on:
These will be the Socks of Kindness and I'm making them with the Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors sock yarn in the Rhinebeck 2011 colorway.

And finally, I started the Sycamore Vest by Hannah Fettig using the Cascade 220 Sport:
I thought it would be a great springtime piece.

Here's my problem now:  I've started two more things.  I have many other things started.   Those of you who are knitters will likely be able to relate.  So, I feel the need to come up with some sort of plan.  Something like.... work on these for a little bit, then work on something already started.  Like my Dahlia Cardigan.  Which i love!  And I've only gotten the back lace piece done.  And my Froot Loop socks.  I love them too! And of which I have the leg of one sock done.  And my Umaro blanket by Jared Flood.  I have almost one repeat done of that.  And I love it!  But I love these new things too.   Ugh!  Decisions decisions.  Any suggestions?

I also read two books recently but will save those for the next post since this one is already ten years long.
Happy New Year!


  1. "2012 . Here we go." ! :0) [thank you, cousin Brian O'H ].

    EXCELLENT fireplace work !!! Now maybe Paul can come and do some home improvement down here ... guess not, huh? And, the stairway looks gauauauaugeious! Those two projects make quite a difference :0).
    Pics of you and Paul and the kids are FUN :) - and then there's cutie-pie Mandra in the back seat - love love love them. It was such a nice evening at Carolyn's ...xo, me

  2. WOW! You guys don't mess around, seems like you got those projects done very quickly! that stairway painting did look "scary" and everything looks so NICE.

    really like your pictures.....esp of you and Paul and your nephews! I guess if my boys are growing so are they!

    I am with you on the knitting problem....and crochet....and reading......and then there's always sewing options too! and then there's the socks that Jr. took the needles somewhere (they don't even look like Lego pieces! - but I guess they maybe could fit in with the playmobil) only left me with 2...and lots of unraveled stitches to pick-up. so you see I wouldn't be any help in the suggestions department.
    Happy New Year!

  3. Hey Lizzy I enjoyed this blog soooo much! I wish I could have been with you all on Christmas Eve and you filled some of it in for me with the great photos, loving the boys' mukluks:). I just finished repainting our downstairs rooms, so I can appreciate the amount of work you have done with your renovations. That fire place change is incredible and beautiful, you guys could have a show on HGTV :))) Can't wait to see any more renovations you might decide to tackle. Have a wonderful 2012 and hopefully we'll see you sooner rather than later! Love you both, Chris

  4. Happy New Year!
    Your house projects are so 'pro'. They look great. The fireplace transformation is fabulous.
    Love the Christmas photos, too, especially the boys all in a row with their mukluks.
    The Brigid Jacket came out great - can't wait to see it with buttons (ha!).
    I read "The Rules of Civility", a novel over New Year's weekend. It was a gift. Very well-reviewed, writing is excellent - I didn't like it. : (

  5. YIKES!!! I'm laughing so much my face hurts LOL! Kathy's comment about Jr. Taking " the kneedles ... they don't even look like Legos..." hahaha! :), And Libby's review of The Rules of Cibiliy ...yikes! again :O))) LOL ...verrrrrry civilly hysterical ! ... And yes! - your house projects ARE so " pro " lol :))).. P.S. your pigs in a blanket are my favs ! ....... me

  6. Hi Liz,
    The fireplace looks wonderful!
    Prioritizing knitting projects - here's what I have done:
    1. Organize each project (yarn, pattern, notes, etc) into a bag
    2. Place "big" projects in one area, and "small" projects in another
    3. I alternate between big and small projects - one of each at a time.
    4. No new projects until something else is complete. There are always new projects to be done.
    5. Amazing how many projects are getting finished - emabrrassing how close to done I was on a few of them!

    Finished the Baby Surprise Jacket - I decided to give it a bit of finish at the end - and did a single crochet around - looks very finished. Now waitng for the baby to arrive (due date today - no sign of dialation yet). Great class!
    Thank you!