Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Lost Hat

Remember this hat?  I knit it in April - it was a one-size fits all kind of hat... see...

A nice, soft, warm hat that both my son and I liked to wear.  In cold weather it was easy enough to pull down over your ears.  My ears always get cold so I like a hat that I can pull down over them if I want.
Except - a couple of weeks ago - I lost it. 
Today, while we all were walking down the street a group of school children were walking the other way.  And in that crowd there was a little girl, about the size of my son.  And she was wearing... my hat!  I KNOW this was  my hat.  I mean really - a hand knit item is really one-of-a-kind and you just know your own hat when you see it.  The yarn was slightly varigated making it even more unique.  I am pretty sure I lost it at my son's school, and if so - it went into Lost and Found and someone found it - just not me.   It's OK.  She probably needed a hat and now she has one - a nice one too!  I can always knit another - a simple K2, P2 pattern - happy mindless knitting that works up quickly.
But really, in a city of almost 300,000 - what do you think the odds are that I actually saw my lost hat going in the other direction?  I was laughing about that.

Then later this afternoon Omi (DH's Mom) came to visit and she brought me something...

Can you guess?  ... her box of knitting needles, since she no longer knits.  The box says Stricknadeln and is full, full, full of needles.  Coincidence?

And - a photo of a few of my little Christmas tree collection (I have 11 altogether and each one is different).  I just love these sparkling little trees! 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Doll Quilt Fling

18.5" X 24.5"
I think the last time I made a doll quilt I was about 12 years old.  But, 2 days ago my son came home with a birthday party invitation for a little girl.  Hummm.  2 days to get a birthday gift.  Now mind you - to go to the store it is at least 1 1/2 hours round trip and bus fare.  You can only stay 1 hour at the shopping center or you have to pay the fare again.  And I hate crowded shopping centers anyway.  Nope, I decided to just  make a doll quilt.
Granted, I already had a great head start - here is a photo of a larger quilt that I WAS working on - just wedges at this point.  I am not sure why I just love small blocks on big quilts, but I do.  The more pieces in a block, the more I seem to like it.

I thought this was looking pretty good.  But you know - I don't have enough of the "right" fabric or batting on hand to finish it... so once these blocks were complete it would just be sitting for awhile anyway until I could make more that sort-ov match what I have already done.  Hummm.  Looks like I can divide this work in progress into 3 smaller doll quilts with a few pieces to spare.  And I actually have a long, narrow scrap of batting on hand that is the perfect size for 3 doll quilts.  And my son actually does need 3 doll quilts to give as gifts this month.

The blocks finish at 6" each.  And I made a great discovery about quilts this size - you don't need much yardage for a backing!  I think that this was a 1/2 yard cut that I never could figure out how to use in a quilt - makes a perfect doll quilt backing, don't you think?  What little girl isn't going to love butterflies and flowers on a light pink background?  There is still some left over for another project.  And I have a few other similar 1/2 yard cuts for the other 2 doll quilts.

My dear sweet son - goes to school the next day and asks the girl if she plays with dolls?  Does her doll want a quilt?  He comes home and announces that the girl would love a doll quilt, so this is "perfect".  Never mind the fact that the girl does not speak English very well and my son does not speak German - this is how my son interpretes their conversation!  A funny thing is that many parents have told me that their kids say that my son DOES speak German and then I tell them that my son says their kids DO speak English!  Eventually the language understanding will emerge, but the important thing is that the friendship blocks are already solidly in place!  They seem to be able to communicate the important things by pantomine.  The parents and teachers tell me that my son is well-liked among his new classmates and that makes me very happy for him! 
I  hand quilted it. I quilted around every other square and then every other square I quilted the light wedges.  I would have put more quilting in if I had the time (if for no other reason - because I enjoyed the process), but I think it still looks really, really  good! 

It was really so quick and easy - and very relaxing to just sit at night with needle, thread and thimble and stitch away.  Who knew?  Why in the world don't I make doll quilts?  I think that this little Doll Quilt Fling just might become a full blown Doll Quilt Love Affair! 

In anycase, 1 down, 2 to go.  My son was very happy to be carrying this little wrapped present when I dropped him off at the party awhile ago.  I think he is so brave, so many big changes for him lately.  I really hope that he has fun. 

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A Happy St. Nicholas Day!

Here in Austria it is St. Nicholas Day.  He arrived in the downtown square on a horse drawn wagon and handed out candies to all the kids.  I noticed that the sleeves on his shirt look like hand-crochet trim...

See the Christkindle Market behind him?  We steered clear of there because the crush of people is unbelievable on a weekend night.  Interestingly enough, Austria shops stand firm on being closed on Sundays so all of the shops were closed today - just the Christkindle Market was open - and still downtown was packed!
In years past, St. Nicholas has been accompanied with his side-kick Krampus - he looks like a demon.  I don't know why he wasn't there this year.  Usually the kids get matching chocolates of St. Nicholas AND Krampus because they are a pair.  Also - the bakeries make special breads to look like Krampus.

There is also a little "train" that goes through town.  It is about a 15 minute ride and cost 1 Euro.  A great way to see some of the decorations and shop windows!  The line is brutal though - you have never seen people push and shove so much - it was as hard to get OUT as it was to get in the train.  The earlier you are the better off you are.  We were fairly early - it gets worse as the night goes on.

My son was thrilled to see this amthyst - it is the largest one discovered and is over 2 million years old.  It was found in 1980 between Brazil and Hondurus.

And when we got home - look, St. Nicholas had paid our home a visit as well.  He brought the traditional gifts of oranges, dates, peanuts and chocolates and candies.  Yum.  There might even be a few coins in the bottom of that dish somewhere...  in anycase, my son was sooo excited to see this sitting out when we came home.  I just looked at the photo and realized that it doesn't look like alot of clementines, but there is an entire bag in that bowl!  Funny.

All in all, a fun time.  We were only gone for 2 1/2 hours, but outside in the cold - that was plenty! 

Saturday, December 05, 2009

A High Fever

This week has been as busy as ever with me once again going back and forth to the hospital, this time with my son.  He had a fever which was nothing for too much concern - just needed to be watched and I was giving him Motrin for it.  He actually was scheduled to go to the doctor that afternoon - the fever had come on during the night and I called for an appointment that morning.  And then it spiked up to 40.5 (104.9) and he had a small convulsion and trouble breathing.  Straight to the hospital, I tell you!  Of course, I was home alone when this all happened (DH was at his own DR's appt) so getting him to the hospital was a bit of an adventure with my limited German speaking skills, but get there we did.  A series of blood tests ruled out any virus or flu, no infections either.  Just a high fever. 
The children's rooms are bigger than the adult rooms.  My DH's room had 3 beds to a room, all very close together.  The kids have 4 beds to a room, but with space in between the beds for the "Momma beds".  So, I was able to spend the night.  Not that I slept well, but I was thankful for the Momma bed - much better than sitting up in a chair all night because believe me - I would not have left him there all by himself.  At least I was able to stretch out and doze.  They kept the fever in check, but it went very high again during the night.  But by the next afternoon he was ready to go home  - the picture is of him waiting for the doctor to come make the afternoon rounds to approve a discharge.  He had to go back the next day for a brain wave scan, but I am not too worried about that - eventually they will call me with the results, I am sure.  So all ended well, phew!
Just a note here for those of you with small kids that run fevers... the doctors told me NOT to put him in a lukewarm bath to bring down the fever - this is too much of a shock on the circulation system going from so hot to a lukewarm bath.  I never liked that idea anyway - no kid with a fever wants to get in the bath, but I know some people think it is a good idea.  My Mom always put wet, cool faceclothes on us - and this is what the doctors recommend at the hospital too for high fevers.  And don't overdress them or put too many covers on them - just 1 lightweight blanket.  This is hard because of course they feel really cold and cry for more blankets, but it is for the best.
I still did get a bit of sewing in this week... a little here and there does add up.  I am making progress on my Maple Leaf Logs.

I actually made good use of those little leaf/log blocks I drew earlier - made keeping track of which way I wanted to sew the logs on easier.  And this is what it is looking like so far... the bottom row I need to seam rip the 1st logs off at least 1, maybe 2 of those blocks - I got them mixed up a bit, but on the 1st strip so it isn't a big deal.

This afternoon I am just catching my breath.  We had a lovely afternoon family tea time with a sweet treat!  Everyone in my household is healthy and that is cause for peace of mind.