What a bad blogger I've been. I haven't posted since the 13th, and frankly the posts before that have been a smidge rushed. Life is getting a bit crazy around here. Nothing major, just life…before Christmas, for a Mama who wants to make all the gifts, and all the food, and run the homestead…My camera has finally made nice with me and my computer, so I put pictures up again!
The guineas are gone. We have been having to corral them in at night, and at least a couple have stayed outside to roost a couple nights, and my guinea raising friends tell me that means they will keep roosting outside until a predator finds them. That is not going to happen, for a couple reasons. No matter what your view on killing animals, humans are the most humane of all the options. Being eaten alive in the wild, is no way to go. Then there is the matter of having fed and cared for these birds for months,so letting some wild animal come along and dine on my hard word seems counter productive. With all that in mind, Tuesday the guineas were harvested.
They are missed more than any of the other animals who have found their way to the freezer. In part because there are no more like them. We still have chickens, rabbits and ducks, but all the guineas went at once. Also, the homestead is much quieter. There is no guinea sqwacking, as they make their way around the property letting all who will listen know what they are finding. Yes, the guineas were a very entertaining bird to have, and are missed.
I've done some sewing lately. I made a dress for Mini from the book Carefree Clothes for Girls: 20 Patterns for Outdoor Frocks, Playdate Dresses, and More (Make Good: Crafts + Life). I want to make another one in red cotton velvet, for Christmas, so I needed to make a test dress. I don't like to make any pattern, for the first time, with special fabric. I prefer make one with good fabric, but fabric that can be replaced easily. This pattern was new to me, and it didn't have the seam allowance on the pattern, I had to add that, so I really needed to make a test. It came out great, and fits her wonderfully. I need to add buttons down the back of the bodice and on the front, but otherwise it's done. The fabric is a cotton flannel, and oh, so, soft! A great winter frock. There are a lot of garments in the book I'm looking forward to making, it's a great book, with decent directions. I do wish they included the seam allowance in the pattern and am never sure why patterns don't, but what I did worked well, and I now have the pattern, with the allowance, for the next dress.
The baby needed a snow suit. I didn't like the store options, so I decided to give it a try, on my own. I used a pattern by Burda, . It worked up very easily. I used a wool/cashmere blend for the outside and lined it with the same flannel I used for Mini's dress. It's so cozy. When we take her out she's nice a warm, so I'd say it is doing a good job, in addition to being adorable. I'm trying to figure out a way to "girl it up" a little, as the neutral colors, and predominantly red lining makes it look a bit boyish. Not a big deal, and for now, I think it's going to be the way it is, but after Christmas crafting is done, I'm going to try something like what I have in this pic, for the front.
To go with the little snow suit I whipped up a pair of thumbless mittens. They are together for the picture, but have not been together since. I wanted to put a cord to attach them, and when I went to grab them to do so, only one remained. I'm looking at possibly needing to make a third…happily I still have the yarn, but now is not the time of year that I really want to remake something! Here is the pattern I used…I made it up, it's pretty basic, and simple.
Sport weight yarn
Needles: 40" Size 6 (knitting top down, in the round on one needle)
- Cast on 16 stitches, 8 on each needle, using a "toe up" technique.
- Round 1 and each alternating row: Knit
- Round 2, 4, 6, 8: K1, M1, knit to last stitch on needle, M1, K last
stitch on needle, K1, repeat for next needle. (Increase of 4 stitches)
Note: keep increasing until you have enough stitches to accommodate
the width of the wearer's hand, for my baby, that was 16 on each
needle, or 32 stitches total.)
- Once you have 16 stitches on each needle, work even, knitting each
row, until it's the length of the baby's hands, for my little one (9
months) that was 23 rounds.
- Switch to 2×2 rib, and work to desired cuff length. I went long in
the hopes it would help keep them on her little hands. It should also
help to keep her arms warm, too. I went for 26 rounds, then bind off.
- Make another.
- I have a cord to attach them, inside her snow suit, hoping to keep
from losing them…like when she does pull them off, in the car.
- Note, you can really make mittens for any size baby or toddler,
using this method, simply keep increasing until it's wide enough for
the wearer, and then knit without increasing until they are long enough
for the hand. Since there is no thumb, this is really best for a
little person, but if your baby is not the size of my baby, this will
still get you there.
A few days later Mary hurried to the hill country of Judea, to the
town where Zechariah lived. She entered the house and greeted
Elizabeth. At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped
within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed
you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored,
that the mother of my Lord should visit me? When I heard your greeting,
the baby in my womb jumped for joy. You are blessed because you
believed that the Lord would do what he said.”
When it was time for Elizabeth’s baby to be born, she gave birth to
a son. And when her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had
been very merciful to her, everyone rejoiced with her.
When the baby was eight days old, they all came for the circumcision
ceremony. They wanted to name him Zechariah, after his father. But
Elizabeth said, “No! His name is John!”
“What?” they exclaimed. “There is no one in all your family by that
name.” So they used gestures to ask the baby’s father what he wanted to
name him. He motioned for a writing tablet, and to everyone’s surprise
he wrote, “His name is John.” Instantly Zechariah could speak again,
and he began praising God.
Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had
happened spread throughout the Judean hills. Everyone who heard about
it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out
to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way.
Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,
“Clear the way through the wilderness
for the Lord!
Make a straight highway through the wasteland
for our God!
Fill in the valleys,
and level the mountains and hills.
Straighten the curves,
and smooth out the rough places.
The Isaiah verse talks about John the Baptist and his role in
preparing the hearts of men and women to be ready for the coming of
Jesus as the Messiah.
that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be
taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken
when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own
ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a
descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s
ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in
Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously