Saturday, July 10, 2010

Yeah, I love these people

It's been a pretty crazy week here. My parents are visiting, as well as some cousins of mine with their three-year old daughter. Rascal always rolls out the welcome mat.

Needless to say, I've had very little time to myself this week, apart from a few minutes here and there. I'm not complaining. Mom's been cooking and cooking and cooking. Dad's been fixing almost everything he can get his hands on (the floorboards, the door locks, the fume hood, the gate...). And the three-year old, well... I'll let you know once she stops talking!

In the meantime, my hands have not been idle, despite the fact that my cousins insist on washing the dishes all the time (sigh, I love these people). I decided to finally tackle a couple of projects which have been languishing in my basket.

First, I decided to make a plesiosaur for my friends, Tyler and Kelly and their little boys, who all came over a few weeks ago and repaired our rotting deck. We walked past their house one day, and Kelly said, "We're coming over to your house today."

I said, "You are?"

She said, "How's 11?"

I said, "Um, ok."

And, two hours later, we had a deck again. (Sigh. I love these people, too.)

Since the birth of their second boy, I had been thinking and thinking about making something for him, since I made a Nautie for their first boy.

This plesiosaur was made from the Loch Ness Monster pattern from Amigurumi Knits by Hansi Singh.

Most people (that is, people who work with yarn) think of amigurumi as being a crochet project, which it normally is. I much prefer knitting amigurumi toys, as I find it easier to make it a nice, tight knit. This time, however, I found it a lot harder to keep the fabric tight. It's probably because of the way I was doing my increases, which, when they are made in a flat garment, don't show the changes in tension as much as they do in a stuffed toy. It wasn't easy, but it was good practice, and I was pretty pleased with the result.

I got the sweetest thank you card from them a couple of days later... with a picture of their older boy cradling this thing in the most loving gesture ever. I tell you, I tear up a little each time I look at it!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, in an effort to give my mom something to do while my dad tore up the kitchen when installing our fume hood, I asked my mom to help me out with my beautiful towel project. My friend, Sarah, had suggested making it into a throw pillow, which was an excellent idea, but I just had not got around to it.

"Mom, how would I sew this to make a pillow?"

"Get me a thread and needle and let me see if I can remember how to do this stitch..."

Five minutes later, and I looked over and saw a row of perfect, hand-sewn interlocking stitches. And when I got home from work, she had sewn around the whole thing, leaving a space to put the stuffing and zipper in.

A couple of days later, while they were off in the mountains for a little visit, I stuffed the pillow, and put the zipper in by hand.

Nice, eh? My stitches aren't nearly as nice as Mom's. But not everyone can sew like her. This from a woman who has had two cataract surgeries and has to wear sunglasses outdoors, no matter what the weather.

To top it all off, my friend, Emily, braved the madness of the Calgary Stampede crowds to buy a t-shirt for my brother, at his request. Not something I'm quite prepared to do at the drop of a hat, but something she undertook happily.

All in all, it's been a crazy, but very pleasant week... and a great reminder of the wonderful people around me who have been willing to help out without fanfare.

Now, excuse me... I have to go eat again.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

Oh Adriene--it sounds like you are having a wonderful time with your family! I love the knitting and the sewing photos--but more than anything else, I long for a visit with people who fix things in my house! (When does that happen? How can I sign up!?)

Here's the answer I posted to you on my blog about Nanking Cherries. It sort of depends on your handiness in the canning department as to whether this is helpful. :)

Hi Adriene--
I have no particular recipe in mind! Last year, I heated the washed cherries up with a bit of water until they were soft. Then I used a Foley food mill to separate the cherry juice and pulp from their pits and skins. Then I combined what I had left with raspberries, and made a cherry/raspberry jam. (using lower sugar pectin, sugar, and the recipe in the Certo box). This year, if I have enough cherries, I might do old fashioned canning and measure out how many cups of juice, match it with an equal amount of sugar, and go from there. (No pectin is necessary because I'll use a lot more sugar and cook it longer--assuming I don't find some raspberries to combine it with.) I think if you search online for Nanking Cherries, you may also find other recipes. Good luck! I hope this is helpful!