Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Winter Mouse is Finished!

The Winter Mouse is Finished!

Yesterday Nathan picked up some stuffing for me, so I was able to stuff and sew together the Jean Greenhowe Winter Mouse that I have been knitting.  I am so pleased with the results!  Cosette absolutely loves it, which of course makes me even more  happy! 

Things I learned

This doll was just as easy to make as the little bunny that I recently made (also a Jean Greenhowe design).  It uses the same techniques of increasing:  knitting in the front and back of one stitch.  I learned a little more about knitting flat pieces that fold into little objects, opening my eyes to how creative you can get with knitting, and making sculptural type pieces.  For instance, the hat is a strip of knitted fabric, rolled up and sewn together.  It was so fun to see this little mouse come to life!


The only thing that I did different from what the pattern calls for, is to leave off the hand warmer muff and the little gift that the mouse is supposed to carry in her hand.  I thought that my two year old would enjoy it a little more if the mouse's hands are free because she can make the mouse do more things with her hands. 

I cut out the little cardboard circles to go in the bottom, but they seem to fall out pretty easily (and they are the right size, too).  When the circles come out, then all the stuffing in the large skirt portion is exposed, and with a toddler, this could just be asking for trouble.  So, I think I may knit some fabric to sew into it, or maybe just use some felt.

Great Project!

Just like the bunny, knitting this little mouse boosted my self confidence with knitting.  It really gave me a sense of accomplishment, and helped me to be encouraged to do more.  It was a fun little doll to knit, and I must recommend it to anyone who wants to knit something a little different, something for a child, or something that does not take much time to knit.  With or without the gift and hand warmer added on, this little doll makes a very attractive Christmas decoration as well.

May you all have a Happy New Years!

Monday, December 28, 2009

A Great Christmas, despite walking pneumonia

Diagnosis:  Walking Pneumonia

Hello!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  Ours was great, despite the fact that I am sick.  I found out the day after Christmas that I have walking pneumonia.  This could be a real downer, but instead, my spirits are up.  I have had a great time spending Christmas with my family, and all-in-all don't feel too horrible.  I have felt a lot worse with other illnesses, and it sounds like the medicine that I am taking should knock this out relatively quickly.  However, I am not taking this lightly, and am just laying around visiting with my family, knitting, and watching movies.  That part has been fun!  :) 

I will only be contagious for another couple of days, though it could take a month for all the symptoms to go away.  We are now in Birmingham visiting my Mom for Christmas, and since my Mom, husband, and daughter are already exposed, we decided to stay put until I am no longer contagious, and also so that I can get some rest.  (The doctor said that I am "very" contagious.)  Hopefully no one else will get this.

A Great Christmas!

On the bright side of things...We had a wonderful Christmas!  It was so fun watching Cosette open her presents this year!  She was able to open all her presents herself and to really get into it.  She seemed to enjoy it a lot, as well as decorating the Christmas tree.  It has been so neat watching her enjoy the Christmas lights and have so much fun this year!  She is a true blessing to my heart!

My husband and I decided to spend only $10 on one another for Christmas, focusing on stocking stuffers.  This turned out to be so much fun!  I was able to get him a neat magazine about the upcoming National Championship (Roll Tide Roll!), his favorite Giordelli chocolates, and a small bottle of Chardonay from the World Market.  He loved them! 

He got me one of my favorite movies:  Far and Away, some white chocolate truffles, and the winter Interweave knitting magazine, which he knows I love!  They were perfect!  I think I enjoyed this more than when we got bigger gifts for one another!  It was great!

It was also fun watching my Mom open her gifts, too!  This year, I was able to give her homemade knitted gifts:  My very first finished knitted project:  the dishcloth that she helped me start that really got me into knitting.  I especially wanted her to have it.  She said she is going to save it and not use it since it is so sentimental.  I also knitted a dishcloth in "gumdrop" for her, which was pretty.

I also made my Mom a little knitting-related gift.  She is always kidding around with me that her yarn stash is my inheritance...So, I made her this little gift, which was so fun to make for her.  She loved it!  :)  I also included a $10 gift certificate to, a wonderful website that she introduced me to.  It has been so neat sharing with her the joy of knitting!

Another one of the bright points of this week has been the sheer joy of getting to knit...a lot!  I have also really enjoyed getting to knit with my Mom, which I don't get to do nearly as much as I would like.

I have been knitting a little winter mouse for Cosette since Thanksgiving break.  I started and finished the skirt in one night, but got sick right after Thanksgiving (I guess with walking pneumonia, though I didn't know what it was at the time).  Anyway, I wasn't able to work on it anymore until now.  On Christmas Day, Nathan took Cosette to a family party for a little while, so Mom and I sat here knitting.  :)  I also worked on the mouse while waiting at the doctors office, and yesterday I finished the last two pieces:  the two little ears.  How exciting! 

Now all I have to do is get some stuffing.  I have no stuffing with me, and haven't been able to go get any since I am sick, so I am hoping to convince my husband to go to Michael's for me.  ;)  He seems pretty willing, so I am hoping to stuff the little mouse by tonight or tomorrow.

Here are the pictures of the unstuffed mouse:

These are the mouse's ears. 

I also finished another dishcloth for my Mom while waiting at the doctors office, and yesterday I made a dishcloth for our Aunt Lue; and I made Cosette a little mini-dishcloth to use on her play dishes.  She said, "for me?  for me?"  : D  This gave me the best feeling in the world!

Doctor's waiting room dishcloth for my Mom (some of her favorite colors).

Aunt Lue's dishcloth (this is called "chocolate umbre").

Cosette's Mini-dishcloth.

Well, even though I am pretty sick, I am enjoying time with my family, time knitting, and time really contemplating what is important in life:  God and my family.

May you and your family have a wonderful Christmas season, and a Happy New Year! 

Thanks for reading!   

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmastime, My Finished Bunny, and A New Business

It's Christmastime!!!

A picture I took of a bird near Constitution Village last Christmas season.

Long time, no see!  It has been a while, but I just have to write something before Christmas arrives.  I could go into all the ups and downs over the last month or so since I have written, but I don't even know if I could remember all the details to share with you.  Needless to say, it has been a blur. 

What I will tell you, is that I have had back trouble that is better now, and my husband is finished with his fall semester, thank goodness!  His next semester will be his last for his degree, and he will graduate in May.  Yay!  I am so excited that we have almost completed our goal!  It has been challenging for us, but I know it will be worth it.

Now we can enjoy Christmastime, and all the wonderful things that it brings.  I just love walking down a sidewalk on a cool, brisk winter day, enjoying the outdoors.  (That is what we were doing when I captured the picture above, last year.)  I love Christmas trees, Christmas lights, and watching children's faces when they see such things.  I love going to church events, singing Christmas songs, and remembering the true reason for the season:  Christ's humble birth, and the greatest Christmas gift of all--new life.  I hope you all enjoy the season as much as I do! 

As for knitting...
I don't think I have yet gotten to share with you my knitted bunny.  I finished it in time for Cosette's birthday and she loved it!  I gained a lot of confidence by knitting this bunny.  It was a lot of fun too!!! 

Here are some pictures of the various stages of knitting and sewing the bunny:

My Favorite Picture: 
The one of my daughter, Cosette, opening her bunny birthday present.

Some things I learned by knitting this bunny...

I learned how to increase by working in both the front and back of a stitch. This seemed difficult to understand until I looked at an online recording of it. It is really simple once you see it done by someone. I am glad to have learned how to do it.

It is also my first time to sew a knitted object together, so I learned the difference between backstitching and oversewing.  I had to redo the seams at one point because of this. (The first time I wasn’t backstitching, and I didn’t sew far enough down on the knitted fabric, so it stretched out and didn’t look very good.)

I followed the directions for the eyes and nose, though I used different colors (blue for the eyes and pink for the nose and mouth. Black seemed too harsh for this bunny.) I came up with my own mouth. I liked the way it looked rouned instead of in v’s. I have a little stitch holding it down at the bottom of each curve.

I didn’t follow the pattern for the twisted yarn bow. Instead, I improvised an I-cord scarf. I remembered how to do it from memory, as I had read about it in one of my Mom’s book, or somewhere, I can’t really remember. (It was really late when I was finishing this up, and the internet was down, so I just decided to try it out.)

The only problem I have noticed since I gave it to Cosette, is with the eyes.  She pulls on them sometimes, and I have to repair them with a crochet hook.  Otherwise, the little bunny is doing well! 

New Projects

I have been working on dishcloths (of course) and I started on a Jean Greenhowe Winter Mouse.  You can see which one I am talking about here:  I started and finished the skirt over the Thanksgiving holiday, and haven't been able to do more since.  My goal is to finish it by Christmas, which shouldn't be hard given how quickly I knitted up the skirt portion.

Today I finally got to work on Nathan's scarf again.  I sure hope I can finish it by Christmas!  I will be on a knitting marathon from now until then.  Hopefully I will have it ready to go under the tree by Christmas Eve. 

I would love to hear from you all about the Christmas gifts you are knitting, and about your status on finishing them!  Please write me and tell me about them! 

My New Iron in the Fire

While this has nothing to do with knitting, I really want to share it with you before I go.  I started my own Discovery Toys business!  :) 

In case you have never came across them, Discovery Toys makes high quality, safe, educational toys.  I was really impressed with Discovery toys a few years ago, when I came across them at a Christmas market.  I am picky when it comes to my child's toys, regarding their educational qualities and their safety standards.  Discovery Toys met and exceeded all my expections. 

Recently I was trying to figure out how to make some extra income with my crazy schedule, I thought of Discovery Toys.  It is a great fit for me! 

You can visit my website at

Well, I hope you all have a great Christmas!