Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Just a few more details to sew up before it’s ready to wear.

Pattern: Willow

Yarn: Avalon Springs Farm 55% mohair/45% wool in Peacock colorway

Yarns last known address: here

Some snuggly mohair-wool to wear before it warms up around here.

WNY has been in the 20’s at night – unseasonably chilly!!!


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What do you do with all those little bits of yarn that you snip off after weaving in your ends?

We have been saving our yarn bits & pieces for the birds. I remember reading over the summer from either a wonderful blogger or a magazine article (so sorry I can’t cite it) about how the family would save up theirs and then come spring time stuff them in an inexpensive suet feeder hang them in a tree for the birds to pluck out to line their nests with. One of the Monkey’s suggested we weave some of the longer strands through pine cones to be hung up on the trees too (great idea if you don’t have a suet feeder).

Our neighborhood birds will have a great selection of colors and fibers to choose from this spring. I can’t wait to spy the nests.

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I’ve had knitters block. Don’t have a project on the needles, not sure what I want to knit next, wish I had some spring/summer weight yarn in the stash to inspire me. So… the eldest Monkey and I have been experimenting with dye. We’ve started slow, just Kool-aid and an inexpensive wool. Very easy to do in the kitchen with kids. Within a few short hours we had a great color selection.

I highly suggest using the microwave method with kids. I used the stove top method to over dye the less than desirable combination below (also our first attempt).

This was so fun and addicting we have dyed each available night until we ran out of kool-aid! We researched a few sites and especially liked Knitty’s because it showed results of each flavor(gotta love a kool-aid color card) and this blog had some great practical advise.

Hand painting !

We enjoyed the process so much we made a special ‘cherry’ skein and handed out mini-hanks to all our friends during our last Woolly Book Worms meeting. Everyone loved them, even the local author who came to share her experiences about writing, researching, and publishing a childrens book.

They are almost too pretty to knit, ALMOST!

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We have been hard at work researching bird’s eggs coloring and sizes. After many sketches the Monkeys have decided on a few to replicate for the center piece. It was complete for the vernal equinox, but slow to post has been my speed lately.

The first coat of paint, then wait (this part was the hardest, everyone wanted to get started on the details)

I really could not stomach another Easter of bright un-naturally-occuring-in-nature eggs. when I expressed this to the Monkeys, they were all on board. Monkey Boy even knew right where the bird book was, excavated it, and all began to discuss the possibilites.

Some of the Monkeys just dove in and others really consulted the sketches and book.

They even got a bit sneaky. See if you can detect the imposter in this post. They thought it would be a great test to my readers to see if anyone can figure out which bird egg is their own creation. Leave a comment with your guess.

We don’t homeschool, but would love to. My husband and I really love supplementing our Monkey’s education with wonderful experiences and research. A close friend who homeschools was amazed what we do with the Monkeys and calls me an After-Schooler, another calls me a Beyond-Schooler. I like those terms they certainly seem to fit.

Can you tell which egg is the Robin? Ostrich? Gyrfalcon? Golden Plover? Blue Row-Cup? Glossy Ibis? Emu? Crested Tinamou?

Leave me a comment with your educated guess of the faux egg!

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Pierogi Time!

Time to gather the Polish matriarchs of the family and the those in training (me).

First the dough, Gram has this recipe down. I needed to learn so I got to document this.

Next, the rolling out of the dough. Aunt Kathy is a veteran at this job, please take note of the rare and expensive circle cutter. This tupperware cast off has actually been the official size for many years.

Next up: the filling and the egg wash for sealing.

We only make two fillings: cheese and sauerkraut & mushroom.

My favorite is the sauerkraut & mushroom.

The fork sealing was my job this year.

I did well, only a couple leaked… oh darn, guess we’ll have to eat those.

Mom was in charge of boiling. Then they had to cool, and Dad was in charge of packaging up for the freezer! Yeah, I know, all that hard work and no meal?

Gotta save ’em for Easter.

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Our centering light has been lit during most dinners this winter. It has become a ritual for us, a light in the winter darkness, a focus during our prayer before dinner and a source serenity. It began with our advent wreath and the count down to Christmas; we all missed lighting a candle after the holiday. So it was a joy to use the beautiful center piece the eldest Monkey created in Girl Scouts last year.

Our meals can be chaotic, but the candle reminds me to focus on the time spent together and to ask the monkeys to reflect on their day. They can always expect me to ask them to name three great things that happened in their day, and I share my greats too.

As the vernal equinox approaches I envision a Mama & Monkeys project creating a new candle center piece to celebrate the season.

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