Monday, January 31, 2011

Rugger buggers

The boys were all psyched up for their first rugby game of the season - but the opposing team didn't field a team in their age groups.... Still, they looked pretty good in their game strip.

They didn't look quite so pristine after the practise. They are playing with the Santa Clara Youth Rugby Club.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

More dolls

I have had my eye on the PaperDolls sweater from Needled designer Kate Davis for a while but thought I would warm up by knitting my two Dollheid tams as I was not sure I would have the patience for a sweaters worth of dolls. However the tams were so much fun to knit that I started the sweater. On 2.75mm needles it was rather time consuming, but actually I had more trouble with the black stockinette than I did with the colourwork.

I didn't knit the corrugated rib around the bottom of the sweater as I didn't feel I needed a horizontal band around my hips. I would have knitted the i-cord cast-on, but I was afraid I would run short of wool so knitted a plain 1 x 1 rib. I had thoughts of an applied i-cord hem, but this has not materialized and the sweater does not seem the worse for it.

It's knitted in Jamieson's Shetland Spindrift which has the authentic scratchiness of real shetland wool. I used Black, Grey, and Chartreuse colours. I got the black from a Ravelry sale, and ordered the other colours from Schoolhouse Press.

Part of my desire to knit a yoked shetland sweater was based on the sweaters my Nana knitted for us when we were children. I particularly remember one with maple leaves around the yoke - so this was partly a sentimental project.

I knitted it for the pleasure of knitting rather than in expectation that it would suit me, however I actually love it and have already worn it twice. I had no plans for more dolls, but after being afraid of running out of wool, I actually have 3 balls of black, 1.5 grey and 1 green left - so maybe an other doll tam is in my future. I could knit those little dolls in my sleep now!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Home made hockey

Adam has roller blades, when Fin wants to skate he wears my old blades (which have been in a cupboard for at least 10 years). On Saturday they decided to play street hockey - we have a single street hockey stick from somewhere or other. Lack of ingenuity is not a problem in this house... Fin found a piece of redwood and asked Nigel for help with sawing and screwing... and made his own hockey stick.

They played hockey on the 'pavement rink' - a small car-park at the bottom of the road. A sporty neighbour offered Fin a real stick - but Fin declined preferring the stick made to his own design. They played for hours all weekend.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kerstin hat

When Kerstin looked after my spinning wheel last year (before she bought her own - haha) she gave me a bump of hand-dyed fiber.

I spun it into an aran weight 2 ply. I just split the bump into 2 equal lengths and didn't make any effort to match the colours.

I decided to use Kerstin's Almost Pattern for an Earflap hat . I did a little ripping back: first time the crown came out too large so I frogged an inch or so, and I also added a couple of purl bands to highlight the yellow section that randomly came out as I finished the crown. I didn't use the stitch pattern on the ear flaps as I decided the hat was lively enough. I finished it with a couple of pom poms.

Adam agreed to model the hat as the photo taken of me in it was so terrible! He now wants one similar - but without pom poms. He does, however, want the i-cord dangly things.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter sunshine

Monday was a school holiday here for Martin Luther King day. The sun was shining and so the boys and I headed out for the beach. We went, as usual, to Rio Del Mar beach in Aptos. I didn't take my wetsuit but I wished that I had. It was mid-60s on the beach, with a lovely clear blue sky.

The boys boogie-boarded and skim boarded for about 4 hours!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

December round-up: knitting

I didn't do a lot of Christmas knitting this year - and apparently didn't take photographs of all that I did knit.

I made my mother a Dollheid tam like mine. I chose the colours online and they are not quite a subtle as I expected - but I think the blue will look nice with my mum's colouring.

Maybe I can persuade my father to take a photo of her in the hat? Perhaps I could get him to photograph the other hat and scarf I made for her (poor woman was the recipient of most of this year's hand-made gifts!)?

My sister was in receipt of a flat hen - she admired my hen doorstop so I sent her a doorstop kit rather than send Nigel back to the UK with 2lb of sand in his luggage (tempting though that was).

This is the same pattern and chart as my chicken but knitted in Cascade 220 which worked better as it created a tighter and slightly felty fabric that I think is better for a doorstop. I made a hole in the base for stuffing rather than the usual construction. I decided that kitchenering live stitches was too much to ask a non-knitter. Right Gill?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

December round-up: Christmas

Christmas 2010 was full of some of our now traditional activities:

The LG Christmas Parade with the scouts in the go-carts kicked-off the season. Fin and Carter:

Adam and Jacob:

The only sad part of the parade is that we no longer get to watch the other entries - but the boys apparently get so much fun out of being in the parade their mother has to make that sacrifice!

We also went up to Castle Rock Tree Farm to cut our Christmas tree. This year the boys did the cutting themselves.

We all decorated the tree - which is why all the fragile glass ornaments are at the top and the lego and playmobil ones around the bottom.

Here is the tree on Christmas Eve. Christmas day we had our usual dinner - I notice here that our nice reindeer Christmas china is hardly noticeable, yet the pyrex jug is front and center. Don't ask me about the pudding...

I just want to clarify that although Adam looks like he is brandishing a beer bottle, it is, root beer. After dinner the boys played with their presents.

Boxing Day is not observed here in the USA, but Nigel marked the day with the tradition of a Boxing Day swim!

Finally, for Gill, our outside decorations. I think much more restrained than in past years, I might even say tasteful!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

December round-up: Skiing

School broke up on the Friday and we immediately headed up to NorthStar. We made it up just at the beginning of a large storm system moving through so our first two days were very snowy. The payoff came when the sky cleared and we were rewarded by feet of fresh snow.

We used to ski at NorthStar a lot (before we had to work around school holidays) and it was really nice to be back in the village, although it has changed a lot since we first came here 13 years ago. This is the view from the apartment - when we stayed here in 1998 this same block of apartments had a view of the ski slopes!

The resort has an excellent ski school and we enrolled both boys for a couple of full days lessons. Fin decided to make the switch to snowboarding and got off to a good start. After 2 days instruction he was able to go with Adam into 'The Stash': a snowboard terrain park in the trees.

This is Fin leading the way down one of the easy slopes. They were so keen that we even made it onto the slopes before the lifts had opened on the last day!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

December round-up: birthdays

So it's 2011 and I have not blogged for a month... I guess I need a catch-up post or several.

December is a busy month for us, as well as Christmas, we have 2 birthdays and our wedding anniversary. Add to that the LG Christmas Parade and various end-of-term things at school - well, blogging took a back seat!

December saw the boys turn 8 and 10 - Adam now in double digits (which he is inordinately proud of).

Fin had a birthday at school which he seemed to like - they sung to him and all signed a big card. For his birthday he requested a lava lamp!

Followed by cake at home.

Adam celebrated his birthday in NorthStar where we went for a few days skiing. He spend the day snowboarding, followed by cake of course!