Saturday, December 08, 2007

45 lbs! Merry Christmas, Mom!

45 lbs down
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

This is the first time I've allowed a full length picture of me to be seen in years. Maybe a couple decades even.

Mom always worried about my weight and though she didn't nag me, she did say she wanted me to try to get healthier for the children... to be around for them.
Merry Christmas, Mom! This is for you just as much as it is for myself, and my children.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Snow Shoveling

Snow Shoveling
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Andrew was eager to get out after preschool today. Our first real snow so far this season. He grabbed the small shovel and went to work straight away. I'm so proud of him. Poor guy needs new snow pants. These are WAY too small... maybe 2 sizes too small... and snow boots. He's wearing rain boots and 3 pairs of socks! Hehee. But he was bound and determined to convince me he'd be ok.

I think he deserves a cup of cocoa and a coin for his piggy bank!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Abi in preschool?

Eeek! Andrew's preschool director informed me last month that she's going to do a class, starting in January, for 2.5-3 year olds. It will run for the second half of the school year. She really wants Abi to attend. Honestly, she's been saying for Abi's whole life that she can't wait to get her hands on her. In the best way of course. ;)

So we decided to do it! She'll be going one morning a week from 9-11am, and I think my girlfriend K is going to enroll her daughter as well. So the gal-pals will have school together.

Its bittersweet though. I remember enrolling Andrew early... not even 3 yet, because Abi was born and he needed something new and exciting for just him. And here we are again. I guess when you look at it like that though, she's only starting at an age thats 5m younger than he did.

Wow. How does it all go by so fast?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Front Page!!

Front Page
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

I'm on the front page! Crazy.

A couple of weeks ago, my SnB was interviewed as we knitted at Barnes & Noble. We knew the journalist was doing an article on younger knitters but we had no idea it would be a feature! On Thursday of that same week she sent a photographer! Here is the article as it appears in yesterday's paper.
Here is the write up as it appeared in the "Your Life" section of our local afternoon paper. On Tgiving weekend no less!

In The Loop

Several of us were quoted!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Mama and the Elves

Mama and the Elves
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

A bit of early holiday cheer!! This is pretty fun... a friend sent me the link...

WATCH US DANCE: Mama and the Elves

You can make your own. Elf Yourself!

Friday, November 16, 2007

40 pounds!!

40 pounds!!
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

I haven't said much here on my blog because I've been afraid to put it in print, but I've been working really hard on getting healthy. Afraid because I've just given up so many times before.

But. In early June I started walking with a friend, meeting her at the high school track at 6am so we could get a mile or two in before our husbands went to work. I also started eating more sensibly. Avoiding excessive processed and high-glycemic carbohydrates. As its gotten colder we moved to walking at the mall the last couple weeks. And the pounds have been slowly and steadily going away. 40 pounds now! In 5 months time.

Today, to celebrate reaching my 6 month goal more than a month early, I joined a small gym here locally. I did a little time on the treadmill today while Abi made herself with the childcare room, where she did great (of course). On Monday I'm going back for an orientation session with the trainer so I can learn to use all the machines and contraptions. I'm thrilled I'll be able to step it up a bit now.

Thanks to all of you who have encouraged, inspired and cheered me on! I can't do this without you! Mwah!

Pilgrim Hat Cookies

Pilgrim Hat Cookies
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Today was Andrew's special sharing day at preschool. That means he gets to bring something special from home to share with his class. It can be a book, a toy... pretty much anything he wants to share with his friends. We can also bring a special snack.

I glanced at the calendar on the wall earlier in the week and noticed they would be having a lesson on Pilgrims today. So I came home and Googled "Thanksgiving Snacks" as well as brain stormed with my playgroup moms, and came up with these Pilgrims Hat Cookies.

Instead of buying the cookies, as the recipe suggests, Andrew and I went to work during Abi's nap yesterday and baked some chocolate brownie cookies. He loves working with me in the kitchen and it was nice to know what went into the cookies, and to have his expert help.

They turned out so cute and just perfectly yummy! I'm so glad we took the time to do something special.
My Pilgrim

Monday, November 05, 2007

Monkey Socks Complete!

My creation
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

These yummy socks took a while with a long hiatus in the middle. Just as I finished the first one I cast on a couple Christmas knitting projects. But I pushed and got them finished this weekend.

They feel SO good, though I do wish I'd chosen size 1 dpns instead of 2s. They are not TOO loose, but they are definitely roomier than I'm used to. Though my last Socks that Rock yarn did draw up a bit upon washing, so maybe they will turn out perfect in the end.

I love the fall colors of the Cracked Canyon colorway. The pattern was way easier than I'd anticipated. I thought they would be SO hard. But its true as knitters say... there really are only 2 stitches to learn... the knit stitch and the purl stitch. Its all just what you do with them.

Yarn: Socks That Rock in Cracked Canyon, medium weight
Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A, from Knitty

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fall Into Fitness

We Finished
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

I can hardly believe it! I walked in a 5K race today! I did it! I finished and wasn't even last (barely). LOL

My friends and I got up early and braved the cold this morning to Fall Into Fitness at Overlook Park. There were lots of power runners present and others like ourselves, just begging to get healthier. It was a lot of fun, and loads of laughs. Good thing we can laugh at ourselves!

My goals were to a) finish and b) finish in under an hour. I did both! Walking all summer, my friend and I had been averaging between 20-24m a mile and I wanted to do the 5K (3.1 miles) in under sixty minutes. I finished in 55:44. Pretty sad if you look at it from a true runner's prospective, but pretty darn good if you look at it from where I was early summer.

I'm so glad I did it. I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Siblings Are Great

Reading Curious George
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Just a couple moments from our days this week. As Abi gets more and more verbal her relationship with her brother is getting more and more special. Andrew is so good about sharing things with her. Yesterday he wanted to read to Abi and he picked out a set of Curious George books my grandmother gave him several years ago.

Racing MarblesToday they are in the kitchen playing with the Marble Run that suction-cups to the side of the refrigerator. Andrew asked me to put it up while she napped and then pulled a stool up for her as soon as she woke up. He loves playing with Abi. She loves doing everything Andrew does.

I love that they get along so well. There is only one thing missing... and she starts with MG.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Andrew and Jack

Andrew and Jack
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Andrew painted this pumpkin at a birthday party last weekend. He decided that it was the one (of the 4 on the front porch) that he wanted to carve. My boy does NOT like messy jobs like this, but he was a willing sport.

We found a fun website on Better Homes & Garden's site that lets you pick your pumpkin face then print out the template. So this guy is totally designed by Andrew.

After we finished Jack up and put him out on the porch, we toasted pumpkin seeds with olive oil, Worcestershire sauce and garlic salt. Makes me think of my mom. She always looked forward to nibbling on the pumpkin seeds.

Miss you mom.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cables To Frog

Cables To Frog
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Well, with good intentions I cast on a sock for hubby, trying cables for the first time. I love the look of this, a simple 8/10 cable repeat 6 times over 72 stitches. BUT... the cables, making it not-so-stretchy, are keeping it from going over his foot. So... back to the drawing board.

He's napping now but I'm going to consult him if he wants the same sock with 2 more cable repeats OR if he likes the look of this Gentlemen's Sock by Designedly,Kristi... we shall see.

The yarn is Trekking, ProNatura in chestnut... trying 2 circs for the first time. So far so good!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Crock Lovin'

Crock Lovin'
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

In a house with small children, you never know what you'll find when you turn the corner.

Now. How these two ended up like this, I have no idea. But when Don walked in on them in the bathroom the other day, you can see that they were just as suprised as he was when he captured them in their moment together.

Really guys? Right there in the middle of the pony-tail holders?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Andrew is 5!!

Veggie Tales Cake
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Click HERE to see a slideshow of all the birthday pictures.

Happy Birthday to my Andrew, who turned 5 yesterday. Where has the time gone? I just can't believe it.

We celebrated with a back yard full of about 30 friends and a Veggie Tales theme on Saturday. It was beautiful weather for October so we just let the kids play while the adults chatted. I made a pot full of chili, pasta salad, veggies for dipping and some snacks for the kids. We finished off with a Bob and Larry cake, that I made as per Andrew's request.

Andrew got lots of crafty presents, DVDs, playsets, Planet Heros and a new Hot Wheels bike! He was thrilled with each gift he recieved. He said to me yesterday that he wants to have a thankful heart about his birthday presents and not just be happy to get more stuff. Seems that Madame Blueberry Veggie Tales movie is sinking in. Hooray!

Click HERE to see a slideshow of all the birthday pictures.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Papaw and Nayna Visit

Papaw Nayna Abigayle
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Click HERE to see more!

We've had a great week of family time. Dad and Dana made a trip to see fall foliage and grand babies! They drove the length (south to north) of West Virginia and caught the leaves through the senic passes in peak. They also made a trek up into NY state, to the town of Oxford, to do some poking around and look for some info on dad's ancestors. Then they came down to our house and visited for 3 days. We enjoyed them for dinner on Sunday night, then all day Monday and most of the day Tuesday.

Dana has fallen in LOVE with Roots. They went home with the car packed full of goodies. But not straight home! When I spoke to them on Thursday morning, they had taken the Blue Ridge Parkway for more than 250 miles of sight seeing on Wednesday and were on their way to Gatlinburg, TN... and weren't sure when they might make it back to Alabama, or where they might stop on the way!!

I'm so glad they came. It gave Don and Andrew a chance to meet our new grandmother, as dad remarried this summer. And we are all truly in love with Nayna (Dana). What a wonderful woman. I'm not sure how my dad managed to have someone as wonderful as my mother love him for 42 years and now after her passing, find another woman that is so kind and generous. Most people don't find that even once in a whole lifetime. He's a very blessed, and pretty special, guy.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Whole Haul from Stitches East 2007

Whole Haul from Stitches East 2007
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Click the picture to see the details!!

Hooray for a Saturday full of friends, shopping, yarn, knitting and great food!

Yesterday 4 knitting friends and I ventured down to Baltimore for Stitches East 2007. We met at Bob Evans for a delicious breakfast at 7am. We were on the road, headed down to meet a 6th friend, by 8:15am. It was a seamless journey until we hit the the Baltimore Marathon road closures around inner harbor. That was not a surprise though, as we had anticipating it. With a few detours, and some creative driving on my part, we found our favorite parking garage next door to the Baltimore Convention Center by 9:40am. We hurried over and got our tickets and made it to the door to be some of the first shoppers in at 10am. Weee!

My haul as pictured above:
Market Guide
2 Addi Turbos, US#1 in 16" and 20" to try socks on 2 circs
Adorable knitting magnet for the Mama Van from Uncommon Threads
3 hanks of STR (Faulty Dyer, Jonagold & Pink Granite)
1 hank of Cherry Tree Hill (Earth)
Trekking Pro Natura (Brown)
Regia 4 fadig (Blues/Browns)
Regal worsted by Briggs Little and dragon fly button for a Lucy Bag - already started

PLUS yarn for my Secret Spook Exchange with my local SnB

After a fulfilling day of shopping, spending and giggling, we finished our trip with a delcious meal at Carrabas in Hunt Valley, MD on the way home. Ahhh... it was a lovely and FULL day.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blue Ribbon Socks!!

Blue Ribbon Socks!!
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Inspired by my girlfriend, Alyssa, I entered some knitting in the Manheim Farm Show Fancy Work competition. I was so proud to learn that Don's Lozenge socks won 1st place in the adult sock category and Abi's hoodie won 2nd place in the children's sweater category.

The Show is this week and the kids have really enjoyed spending time over there, just a couple blocks from our house. We've already been twice and have plans to go back today and at least one more time before it concludes on Friday. Tonight is the big Farm Show Parade that we look forward to every year. Its not fall until Farm Show time!

Click here to enjoy all our Farm Show pictures.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Injured Leaf

Injured Leaf
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Andrew found this turning maple leaf yesteday and brought it in to me. He loved the vibrant yellow but as we inspected it together I noticed that the leaf was damaged and had dried and browned in that area. Around the damage there was a halo of red. I almost couldn't believe my eyes. It looked just like a scab on Andrew's knee. Brown scab, redness surrounding it. Amazing really. He thought that was super cool.

I love that Andrew looks forward to fall. I'm sure it has much to do with an October birthday, but he really loves the change of the season. He loves being able to get back outside after the heat is gone. And I do to. I always hope for a long fall and we are really getting a heaping-helping of great days right now. As we kiss September goodbye today, we are hoping for a mild October full of days like we've had.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Trike Girl - Riding is SERIOUS

The Trike Girl - Riding is SERIOUS
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

This girl can peddle!! I'm so proud of Abi, she's such a self starter. Peddling came at age 3.5 for Andrew and Mary Grace really never mastered the bike. Abi hopped on this little trike last week and after 3-4 days of pushing it with her feet she decided to try peddling. And it was just that easy.

We've had a long string of beautiful days in the last few weeks and we've been outside for hours and hours on end. I suppose time behind the wheel has everything to do with mastering these kinds of things. She has certainly used her time wisely.

We actually have a small 12" bicycle for her and I think she could probably peddle it. But its on loan to Andrew at the moment... he finally wore his bike out last week. To many skid marks on the sidewalk wore through the rubber... then the threads. Finally he was down to the tube and that was it for the back tire. His birthday is in 4 weeks, so he'll get a new, bigger-boy, bike for his birthday. We'll have to put the training wheels back on Abi's bike and let her take it for a spin.

Why do kids have to grow up SO stinkin' fast? It pains me to see her grow so fast, but I'm super proud of my baby girl.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Monthly Dishcloths

Monthly Dishcloths
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Its been a few months since I updated on the dishcloth knit-a-long that my local knitting group is doing.

Top Right is the Stepped Ridge pattern in Sugar n Cream Stripes, American Stripes.

Top Left is the Pebble Stitch pattern in Sugar n Cream, Lavendar and White.

Bottom is the Bambo Variation patter in Peaches n Cream, Seaside (I think).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

LCMK is 5!!!

Founding Members
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

View the slide show:
LCMK's 5th Anniversary Picnic

Goodness, I can barely believe it. The small group of 12-15 women that started in September of 2002... when I was pregnant with Andrew... has grown to a group of over 40 strong and wonderful women. Plus all of our families. It makes me teary.

We've been through so much in that time. From a meager start of one playgroup per week. To what is now practically a 5 day, 2 night offering of activities per week. Just amazing. I'm so proud of each and every member.

There has been a lot of water under the bridge. Some bright and sparkling, some brown and murky. But most of us have stuck it out, worked through the tough moments and hung in there for the sake of our children. What a blessing for everyone involved.

Pictured above are me, Keir and Heather... all founding members. To see the slide show of the 5th anniversary picnic held today, click here LCMK's 5th Anniversary Picnic. A huge group of us met today for a cookout, playtime, arts and crafts, face painting, bubbles and a pinata party. Woowoo! What a great way to celebrate on a perfect day.

I wish my mom could see these. She met and heard about so many of these fantastic women and children. I hope she was looking down today enjoying it too.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hooded Sweater Complete

Hooded Sweater Complete
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Yay! Abi's little top-down hoodie is all done! The yarn was a dream to work with and the pattern works up super fast. I just adore it and so does she!

This picture makes me misty eyed... she looks so much like mom.

Can you guess what this is?

Do you know?
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Look closely... salivating yet? I am!

Its one of my favorite foods in the whole world. I can barely get my hands on it up here, above the Mason Dixon line. One of my mommy group friends brought it to me yesterday. I could just kiss her!!!

Its okra! I washed it, sliced it and blanched it right away. I have a big old ham steak waiting to go with some fried okra and biscuits.

Its a good day.

Andrew Gets A Duck Call

and a valuable moment with someone going the extra mile.

It is a beautiful day this fine Sunday and we had several options of how to spend it. We finally settled on going to the Middle Creek Wildlife Conservation Area in Kleinfeltersville, PA for a nature art show. We enjoyed a spectacular demonstration of hunting dogs that were retrieving ducks and taking direction from their trainers. These animals are truly amazing. We saw so many beautiful paintings, carvings and decoys and got to talk to people in the waterfowl conservation world.

The highlight of our day was when we were at the Susquehanna River Waterfowl Association's booth. Andrew and Abi were mesmerized by the duck calling demonstration. With stars in his eyes, Andrew said, "I wish I had one of those!" One of their members jumped right on that opportunity to give him a duck call and teach him how to use it. Andrew was thrilled and was surprisingly good at it! It was a blessing to see his enthusiasm met by this man's desire to teach him.

I'm so glad we decided to go. The weather and family time could not have been more perfect. I wish every day was paced so slowly and filled with together time.

Click HERE to view all of the picture from Middle Creek.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I've been blog linked

What a nice treat... I'm very flattered. Homemadeoriginals, one of my flickr contacts, contacted me about using one of my pumpkin blossom pictures on her blog. She wants to start a Friday Favorites sort of thing and post about her favorite picture from her flickr contacts each week. I had the honor of being the first!!!

You can see her post here: Home Made Originals.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Memories Bowl

Memories Bowl
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

This was a 2006 project... I knitted 3 of these Memories Felted Bowls for Christmas last year. As I walked past mine today, I realized I'd never taken pictures of it because I didn't want to reveal them last year before gift giving time.

It was a fun knit, much like painting or making pottery, as you control the color as you knit down the bowl. Its a sock weight yarn, held doubled as you knit in the round. Super cool. The turn is achieved by knitting one purl bump then beginning the decreases. I stretched it over a round glass water pitche to get the nice clean shape.

Memories Bowl BottomThe pattern calls for the Knitpicks yarn, Memories, hence the pattern name. But I wasn't too keen on any of the colorways so I searched out another yarn, which was discontinued, but I found it on Ebay. Its called Lanscapes and is a very similiar yarn to Memories... also 100% merino and felts up so nice.

Yarn: Landscapes in Mesa from Knitpicks (discontinued)
Pattern: Memories, felted bowls from Knitpicks

Fairy Pumpkin

Fairy Pumpkin
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Have I ever mentioned how great my neighbors are??

The pumpkin fairy has been to visit this week. I am not sure which neighbor it is, I have 2 in mind, but one placed a small, beautiful pumpkin underneath our pumpkin vines in the last couple days. We have a monster plant out back but so far its been fruitless. That beautiful blossom and baby pumpkin in my photostream from last week rotted off into the grass. I'm assuming its the wet weather we've had.

I've been worried that Andrew may not get a pumpkin from this summer-long project and was talking to the neighbors about it, on and off as they commented about our monster vines out back. One of them decided to take the matter into their own hands... on my children's behalf. I love that. I love that people do still care these days. And I love my neighbors.

Andrew hasn't seen it yet. Its very hard to wait. (bites nails)

Monday, September 10, 2007

One Monkey Down... some knitting progress

One Monkey Down
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

I've been working a little, all along on 3 separate projects. The Monkey socks in STR Cracked Canyon are halfway done. I've cast on the second sock but its just been sitting since before my trip to Alabama last week (more on that in another post). I'm loving the crazy pooling and electric colors though. I can't wait to get them done for our first fall cool snap that should arrive in just a few weeks.

Lozenge Progress Also, I have Don's second Lozenge sock on the needles finally, after a break this summer. I put the project aside to work on some summer projects but have it back on the front burner as cool weather approaches. They are in Lornas Laces, Shepard Sport, the colorway is Aslan.

One Arm DoneAnd finally, Abi's hoodie for fall is almost done! One arm to go! I'm hoping to finish this up tonight! Yay! Is such a super fit and the fabric is just to die for. Thanks go out to my good friend, E, for finding this pattern in a LYS. Hooray!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Super Andrew

Super Andrew
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Here is my little man modeling his Halloween costume a little early. Yes, I said Halloween! For those of you who know us, you know we've not participated in Halloween in the past because of our beliefs and desires to abstain from things we feel are openly evil. But all it took was Andrew, after handing out candy last year, saying, "Daddy, I'd really like to dress up next year and go trick-or-treating."

Daddy is a softy and he can see, now, the fun and childish side of Halloween. We are not of this world, but we do have to live in it, as the Avalon song, In Not Of, says. I must confess, I'm thrilled... THRILLED... that the kids will be dressing up and going out. I have very fond childhood memories of Halloween growing up. My big bubba, Randy, was a holiday decorating extraordinaire. And although we won't be putting any tombstones in our yard or hanging ghosts from trees, we can enjoy the lighter side through our children's eyes.

I'm very happy about it.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sizing Up The Top Down Hoodie

Sizing Up The Top Down Hoodie
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

This morning Abi tried on her Artyarns Little Hooded Top Down Sweater in Supermerio #127 for the first time. It seems like the perfect fit, in size 4, for outerwear this fall. Weee! I'm so happy with it.

I'm working on the trim on the bottom now, splitting off into front and back to make the side vents and garter finishing. Then I'll pick up the sleeves on dpns and knit them down. That should go fairly quickly since they only have about 7 inches left for each. Then its seaming the hood (THAT'S THE ONLY SEAMING... I love this pattern!!!) and weaving in ends.


The Could Be Siblings
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

We had a lovely visit with family last week. Don's sister came for a visit from Ohio, staying with their parents. Me and the kids had a nice day catching up and enjoyed lunch with them while Don was working. Then they came over for a visit at our house for a short while, then we all went out for dinner at Willow Valley Family Restaurant. Its a nice smorgasboard here in our area.

The kids really enjoyed the visit. Andrew is drawn to our neice, Grace, and completely dotes on her. It makes my heart swell. And the just look SO much alike to me, they could be siblings instead of cousins. I wish he had a chance to see them more often. Travel is so hard... for everyone really.

Abi really had a great time getting to know her Aunt Linda. They shared some sweet moments together, including this time drawing for each other on the magnadoodle. Super fun.

Aunt Linda and Abigayle

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Etsy Love for Knittin' Pretty

My SnB girlfriend, Heather, has been only been spinning since May-ish and has really found her gift. She has been working on some lovely yarns and just opened her Etsy store, Knittin' Pretty.

I'm just so proud of her! When the woman decides to try something new, she does it with a passion. I plan on asking Santa for something exquisite from her very own hands. IF I can be lucky enough to time it right... something tells me her yarns are going to be flying out of her Etsy shop.

Congrats and good luck, Heather! Your yarns are just lucious!

Heather with her new goodies
Heather at Maryland Sheep & Wool 2007
with some of her first fiber purchases.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Day At Overlook

Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

We found a fantastic new park, less than 5 miles from home. Its brand spanking new, not even landscaped yet for the most park, and its PEFECT for Andrew's age at the moment. We'll be frequenting it over and over. There are 2 play areas and this huge rope mountain maze you see above, as well as rocks and rock walls to climb. Ultra nifty and every 4 year old's dream!!!

Don chased Abi around a good bit while she enjoyed the play and I sat and knit a bit in the beautiful sunshine and cool breeze. I love family Saturdays. Heck, I just love my family.

Click the picture to see a slideshow of our day there.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Monkey Cracked Canyon

Monkey Cracked Canyon
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Socks That Rock got 7 votes, and Cracked Canyon got 4 votes specifically... plus it is Andrew's fave.

So Cracked Canyon it is... I cast on (size 2 dpns) the Monkey sock by Cookie from I've been eyeing it up for a long while and decided to give it a go. I'm 2 repeats of the lace detail into the leg and LOVING IT. Here is the WIP resting atop my hand wound center pull cake. This lace pattern that seemed very intimidating is WAY easier that I'd guessed, and I'm very pleased at how its knitting up in this autumn colored yarn.

I originally started this sock on size 0s Friday evening while watching The Weatherman with Nicholas Cage (most depressing movie I've ever seen, don't bother). On Saturday some of my SnB girlfriends and I spent the day at the Mannings in East Berlin, PA... the closest thing to a yarn mecca I've ever seen.

We sat out in the cool breeze, with the heat wave FINALLY breaking, under the pines and knit, seriously, all day long. With fun conversations, yummy snacks and serious yarn shopping at hand it was simply a slice of heaven. I knit on this sock, along with Abi's hoodie, through the day, only to find out that the darn thing was too small. So a frogging I went and ripped it all out this morning with the kids in my lap and coffee in hand. I bumped up to size 2 dpns (just what the pattern called for... yeah, smack me on the head) and its been smooth sailing all day. The stitches are much easier to get into on 2s, so its moving super fast now. And I'm loving it!!

September IS around the corner... they will be done just in time for hayrides and pumpkin patches. Ahhh, I can already smell the season coming.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Ahh... to be a squirrel

The Squirrels Will Be Happy
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

We were at Don's parents over the weekend and out playing with the children... I happened to notice how large the acorns are this summer. Astounding really, because its been a pretty dry for several months now.

The trees are really laden with nuts... a good year to be a squirrel I suppose. They should be fat and happy all winter. I think the old wives tail says this means a lot of snow.

Snow would be great right now. The heat index today was over 100 degrees farenheit. (faint)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sock Stash... HELP ME!!

Sock Stash... HELP ME!!
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Help me decide which socks will be next! I want to do them all NOW!!! but I must choose.

Which would you reach for FIRST?? L to R:

Vesper in Afterglo
Regia in Rio Red, self striping
Cherry Tree Hill (cake) color unknown
Lorna's Laces in Vera
STR in Farmhouse
STR in Flourite
STR in Cracked Canyon

Little Hooded Top Down Sweater WIP

Little Hooded Top Down Sweater WIP
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

I cast on for a fall/spring lightweight hoodie for Abi this week.

My girlfriend knit this adorable hooded sweater for he son in the spring and I was so smitten with the deliciousness of Artyarns SuperMerino she was using I quickly found some things to sell on Ebay so I could generate some paypal. LOL

I snagged this gorgeous yarn from Sarah's Yarns (gotta love Sarah's deals), color #127 in muted pinks and limes so I could make the same sweater for my Abigayle. I'm about 5 inches into the hood, knitting the size 4 so she can wear it as a top outer layer, and I just can't get enough of it!

I can't wait to see my girly sporting this sweater once the weather cools down.

Regia and Pumpkins

Regia and Pumpkins
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

I'm all done with my consolation socks, after loosing a zipper bag containing my Peaks and Valleys socks between a playdate and home (don't ask... maybe they fell out of my purse?).

I cast on these Regia sport weight 6fadig Crazy Color #5264 Lettuce in a simple 56 stitch, double ribbed socks just 2 weeks ago. I wasn't so sure when I started how I'd like the sport weight sock, but they are so yummy and delicious and promise to keep my tootsies warm around the house when the cold sets in in the late fall. Hopefully I'll be wearing them when these pumpkins are ready to pick and decorate my front porch in October.

Andrew's fall pumpkin, which he decided not to carve, from last year gave us a back garden nook full of vines and the bees are super busy pollenating the blooms. COME ON GUYS... grow us some lucious pumpkins!!!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Andrew's Marigolds

Andrew's Marigolds
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

This is a follow up to a previous post (Marigold Class Project) to report that Andrew's seedling marigolds have grown in to the most beautiful pot full of orange marigolds. ORANGE! His favorite color. He could not be happier.

I am so proud of him. The make our porch cheery and greet us with a smile each time we go out.

Willamsburg Vacation 2007

Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

We've been home almost a week now and we're still recovering from our summer vacation. It takes a week to get ready, a week to be gone and a week to recoup when you go away.

All very much worth it however as we all thoroughly enjoyed every moment of our trip down to Willamsburg, VA last week. We had intended on spending some time at Colonial Willamsburg, but the kids were just so smitten with Busch Gardens and Water Country, USA that we decided to put the historical portion on hold until Abi and Andrew are a bit older. No one felt slighted however... it was a total blast.

Both parks are designed with family in mind with plenty for the little ones, like Abi and Andrew, to keep busy with while the older ones have 5 of the most fantstic roller coasters around to keep them spinning. Including the brand new Griffon, which opened last month, the world's tallest dive coaster sending the riders on a 205 ft plunge straight toward the ground. Mary Grace just loved all of them as well as the water rides and virtual 4D rides. So much fun.

You can view all of our vacation pictures by clicking here.

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Monica, a pattern from

Abi in the Monica from Knitty - Back
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

Abi, modeling her new haltar top that I knitted for summer. Its a little big to grow into but better big than small I suppose. I really liked this quick knit and altared it to knit in the round instead of 2 pieces... it just made sense to do it this way.

Pattern: The Monica by Knitty
Yarn: Shine Worsted from KnitPicks in Sunflower and Watermelon

Also completed last week, the june knit along discloth: Baby Fern Stitch from Dishcloth Boutique in Sugar'nCream, over the Rainbow.

Baby Fern Dishcloth

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Sunday Morning Picasos

Sunday Morning Picasos
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

My 3 this morning, painting with water colors. The action starts early over here. Andrew wanted to paint, then MG joined in. Of course little bit couldn't be left out. There were some tense moments when colors got mixed, but no one came to blows thankfully. We did suffer one fat lip when Abi stood up and then fell off her chair. But she's a trooper and has already forgotten about it.

Abi: Cars picture of Sally and Lightening McQueen
Mary Grace: Bratz dolls (cringe)
Andrew: 2 Buzz Lightears from TS2... his current fascination

Terrible lighting, but the moment was to beautiful not to share. These 3 on the same task at once is a miracle in itself!

Friday, June 01, 2007

My first Project Spectrum inspiration...Complete!!!

Summer Cotton Low Roll Sock Complete
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

I pushed myself to finish these summer cotton socks as part of Lolly's Project Spectrum II. The colors for project inspiration during the months of April and May were pink-green-yellow. I had this yarn, from my birthday yarn extravaganza, and it fit, perfectly incorporating all three colors. Hooray!

A pair of socks in two weeks seems like a real accomplishment to this mom of three, so pardon my pat on the back. Its so nice to set a goal for yourself, even if it is a small one, and succeed. Funny how a simple pair of knitted socks can make you feel so fulfilled.

But enough about me... the socks!!! The pattern is a simple 64 stitch cast on, fingering weight on size 1 double pointed needles, slip/knit heel picking up 17 for each side of the gusset. I adapted the rolled top from a pattern in Knit Socks! by Betsy McCarthy. The yarn is cotton from Norway by SandesGarn, Mandarin #2406, SO soft and luxurious. They are the perfect sock for summer heat and for wearing with Crocs. These happen to match 2 pairs of my own. Weeee!

All that said, there is something troubling me. I finished these socks yesterday, May 31st... the last day of this color triad for Project Spectrum II... and wore them to my knitting circle last night. I was showing them to two friends and of course they were happy for me... its what we knitters do. When another knitter, who is a bit on the fringes of our group (hasn't come very often, hasn't made an effort to really get to know anyone) asked, "you're wearing socks?" with a bit of a snarky face. I replied, "yes, I knit them in light cotton, just for the summer. She let out this most evil laugh and tossed head back, "socks in summer? hahahahahhahahaha!" I was floored. First of, I know I'm not the only person that puts socks on in the summer time occasionally, BUT that someone who is coming to socialize and supposedly strike a common chord with a group of women would be so rude to belittle another person. And openly, for crying out loud!! It was quite possibly the most eye-opening event of recent days for me, regarding the spirit of some people.

Many of us in our very small SnB have tried hard to get to know her, and have been hurt by her snide personality on several occasions. It just makes me sad that someone can be so cruel and manipulative. Its a good thing I'm a fairly confident kind of gal... or she would have crushed me like a bug! Perhaps that was her intent. What a meanie!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

She's Growing Up

Watching Little Sis
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.

I often ask myself how I can possibly have three children. I was SO done when Mary Grace was born. I was in my mid-twenties and deep in a career and a social life. Having a baby really threw me for a loop. I knew immediately I didn't want any more.

Fast forward 11 years. My baby girl, precious and perfect, is racing toward adulthood, more than halfway there now. (tears) How can Mary Grace be 11? And how can it be that I have two more children now? I mean really, how can all of this be?

I was just saying to Don that she is becoming more graceful, after a few years of tween clumsiness due to radical growth spurts. She's looking more proportional to me, more and more lady-like.

Of course and I type this, she's upstairs playing with her two younger siblings, laughing hysterically and squealing. There is still a lot of kid left in her... but less that I'm comfortable admitting.

She's growing up. How does that happen?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bucket Back Sack

Bucket Back Sack
Originally uploaded by wenjomatic.
Pattern: Felted Bucket Bag
Yarn: Debbie Bliss SoHo

For Christmas, I knitted this Bucket Bag for Mary Grace. I never did get a picture in the chaos that was going on with the holiday and mom's passing.

So here it is now. I adore how she's personalized it with her softball photo keychair... she played outfield for the Summerdale Cardinals this spring. *big proud mama grin*

I added the single strap to turn it into an over the shoulder backsack. This was the start of it, way back in November:
Bucket Bag