Saturday, December 27, 2008
Santa did come, despite some concerns that he might leave only coal... Here I am modeling my princess pirate ears as chosen by the boys.
We ate too much, but it was good (thank-you WholeFoods!). Finlay now knows the figgy pudding song so was able to sing in the pudding!
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The yarn is Hand maiden 4-ply cashmere in the Rose Garden colour. I used the Beech Wood pattern from Ilga Leja that used to be available as a free pattern on her website. Its was a nice easy pattern which gives a great textured effect, but not so much activity as to overwhelm the handpainted yarn. I chose the colour to coordinate with my green winter jacket and am pleased with the effect.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
and walk on the giant ball:
All the boys managed to walk on the ball for some distance and were all very pleased with themselves!
They finished with a giant bouncing walkway for flips and bounces.
We wrapped up festivites with cake and ice cream and and glitter painting and then sent home 19 overexcited but exhausted children with juggling sets!
If you are looking for a party location in the bay area I can recommend the JCC parties: we had only to provide drinks and goody bags and were able to walk away from all the mess!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
The plan had been for Nigel and Adam to go with the scouts, and for me to take Finlay to watch the parade. However Finlay immediately negociated with the scout leader to join in with the cubs and so I saw none of the rest of the parade but the boys had a great time. They particularly loved their friends in the crowd calling out - and waving to other friends who were also in the parade.
They swapped about on the karts, but ended up with both our boys on the kart. The parade route was pretty long, and we were a long way back in the running order. By the time we got to Main St Nigel was pushing them both. We revived ourselves with brunch at the California Cafe. The boys were unanimous that this was the "best parade ever".
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
We finished up our little vacation with a stop at the beach where the boys reenacted the jedi show.
Friday, November 28, 2008
I made several modifications to the pattern, some more succcessful than others. I replaced the folded hem with a 2 x 2 rib which I think looks better. The collar is less successful, I winged it with a straight folded collar which in retrospect would have benefited from some decrease rows. But, overall its not too bad and meets the requirement (keeping warm in the office).
Knitted in Cascade 220 on my lovely lantern moon 5mm needles. The red is 220 Paints in colour 9926 and the sleeves and collar are 220 Heather in 9449, I used 4 skeins of the red and 3 of the blue. Navy separating zipper came from Hancocks.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The boys hit the rink to practise thier triple salcos...
Afterwards we headed into Chinatown for some Dim Sum.
The boys still struggle with chopsticks, and the restaurants only provide forks as an accomodation - no knives - but they tried everything and love the jasmine tea.
Friday, November 21, 2008
He was packing up his loom as I was collecting Finlay from school and Finlay insisted that I go and look at the weaving that the school had created. Both my boys were pretty excited by the project and we talked to Travis for a little while. He told us about the instructions on his website for making a loom out of cardboard and gave us a card loom that he has developed for use in schools.
We used both his card loom, and made our own out of card. This rather blurry photo shows the weaving process. We tied one end of the warp to the coffee table, and the other to a pencil. I held the ends firm while the boys used an elastic bodkin as a shuttle.
We used a variety of yarns for our weaving, but the best results were using Noro yarn for both warp and weft threads. Here are the bookmarks that the boys made:
They were really pleased with thier bookmarks, especially as they achieved pretty good results in a short time.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
We walked for about 1 hour 45 minutes, we got as far as the Goat Rock formation before turning back. We were rewarded by some great views across the coastal range hills. The trails were quite steep and required some scrambling, of course this added to the appeal for the boys.
Monday, November 10, 2008
It was a lovely clear day, not too hot and we stopped and had brunch before we come home. Finlay was particularly pleased to make it all the way there and back. It's a 7 mile round-trip from our house and the longest ride he has done on his own bike.
This is Adam - an action shot from my own bike (at considerable risk to life and limb!).
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Here they are walking in the footprints of Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins. We managed a tour of the flight deck, the hangar deck and some of the lower deck. There is a lot more restored since we last visited, but the best part is still the docents, who are largely veterans, many having served on the Hornet itself. They have the stories that really make a visit come to life.
After the Hornet we headed off the Naval base and towards Washington Park. We got on our bikes and headed off along Shoreline drive. There is a bike trail all along the beach.
There was a slight drizzle during the ride - but in this photo you can see Nigel and the boys on the bike trail, and in the distance, wreathed in mist, San Francisco.
We had not really seen anything of Alameda previously, apart from the Hornet, and it looked really nice. It was great to be able to ride alongside the beach and the whole area had a real vacation feel to it, rather like Bournemouth we thought!
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Im going to knit the body in this red: Cascade 220 paints in colour 9926, and the sleeves and collar in Cascade 220 in grey (8400) which is left-over from my Loppem cardigan. This colour is apparently very hard to photograph as it's really not pink or purple at all - but a deep red.
I've already modified the pattern and am knitting a 2 x 2 rib in the body colour rather than a contrast folded hem. I've knitted more since I took this photo and am at the underarm decreases already. Hopefuly it will be a quick knit and he can have it before ski season, as requested.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
I decided to stick at 24 squares and keep the blanket for use as a throw - or maybe in Adam's room when it gets cold. I knitted an i-cord edge in Mission Falls Dk weight wool in a dark olive green. The boys were sitting under half of the blanket watching Star Wars on Saturday while I finished the edge.
I really enjoyed knitting this - and it was much quicker than I expected. The squares mostly could be finished in a couple of hours of knitting. It took me 3 evenings to seam it and about the same to knit the i-cord edge. I decided to sew the squares alternating the direction of the pattern, ie sewed each 'strip' with the same direction, but alternated the direction of the pattern when sewing the strips together. This gave a more patchwork look rather than the wavy pattern continuing across the blanket.
I managed to get most of the Kureyon with some discount or other. I used 22 balls, two of the squares were patched together from left-overs. I had plenty of wool left over and could have made up more squares - but my colour combinations just were not as nice as the Noro ones so I decided it was worth buying the additional balls...Im sure I''ll find a use for Kureyon scraps sooner or later.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
The boys wore the skeleton costumes they made last year. This year they are posing in our garden...we got some new Halloween decorations because the boys complained that all our decorations were smiling and not scary.
Here they are with their swag...before the usual candy-for-lego exchange!
Saturday, November 01, 2008
On the whole I am pretty pleased with it. The yoke/front does not seem to sit quite right in these pictures, but I think it's mostly to do with how I'm standing. I'm also sure it would look better with a different top underneath, maybe a roll-neck. However, the weight is perfect for a Californian winter...where it never really gets cold enough for 'heavy duty' knitwear.
I obtained a 2nd edition of the Norah Gaughan Vol 3 book, without the errors that apparently plague the 1st edition. I found the pattern easy enough and quick to knit. I used Cascade 220 from my stash, just over 3 skeins I think. The buttons are pewter globe buttons from Green Planet Yarns in Cambell. I didn't make any modifications to the pattern, although I did knit it 4" longer than specified from hem to sleeves. I have 6.5 repeats of the cable pattern. If I were knitting this again I might also make the purl rows on the hem into a larger hem of garter stitch. The back of the top rolled like mad and I had to steam the living daylights out of it to get it to lay flat. The sleeves didnt seem to have the same problem.