Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lots of Thankyness (Thankiness?)

Here at the Underhill House we are thankful for a happy, healthy baby, a warm house, good food, good friends and a fast internet connection. And yarn, of course.

A few things - help out your economy and community. Join the local movement this year and do your shopping with small businesses as much as possible. Here is a nifty site that makes it easy to track done small businesses in YOUR area:

If your area includes Western Massachusetts come and join the fun with Artisans of WMASS  - There are sales, specials and some great artists to discover!

Gah. Enough shopping stuff. If I'm being honest, this Black Friday stuff makes me shake my head and want to never buy anything ever again.

But then our cats would be hungry. Like this. Wow. He is thinking:

1. I am in a chair where food is delivered. Turkey would be nice.
2. I will now get food.
3. Otherwise you die.
4. Numbers 2 and 3 are not mutually exclusive. Timing is key.

I'm thankful my cat has not murdered us yet. How about you?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Twisted Minuet Wrister Pattern

Happy Sunday and start to the holiday season - in honor of the giving spirit I've finally transcribed my pattern for the companion wristers to our Twisted Minuet Scarf. You can still find the scarf pattern HERE - enjoy the new wristers and please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions!

If you like these wristers but aren't quite sure that knitting them yourself is your style... They can be made to order! 

Twisted Minuet Wrister Pattern

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Remembering Greener Days...

It is about 40 degrees, gray and drizzling today in Massachusetts. We had to get out of the house. E and I had some fun this morning visiting friends at the vet clinic and doing a little second hand shopping. This girl is growing like a weed, and even though she has her 3 month birthday tomorrow, she is already wearing 6 month sized clothes! We found overalls - overalls are awesome and she will be rocking them as soon as they get washed...
Brand new overalls for $4. We love the consignment shop.

I feel a little nostalgic for the garden today - probably because of the weather. I never posted pictures of the garden this summer, so I think now is a perfect time for a time lapse series of our raised beds. Today we'll do the cold crop and onion bed - with beans and cucumbers later in the season.
April - Broccoli, Onions, Kale


Late June

Late July. Hooray!
After this point... baby E came along so we don't get the slow decline into weeds and brown foliage - the garden pictures stop at the height of their beauty. I'll add some of the other beds in future blog posts. This really cheered me up!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A little baby knitting

I'll admit it, I've taken full advantage of knitting for a wee one over the past year. How could I resist when there are books like Kristen Rengren's Vintage Baby Knits? The book is full of updated, adorable patterns... I finished E's pixie hat and immediately cast on some purple yarn for a sweater. I'll let you know how it goes.

Our little pixie
In case you had any doubts that these were legitimate vintage patterns... here is E's great uncle modeling HIS pixie hat back in the '50s.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Shop Handmade!

Remember to shop locally this holiday season! Follow the link to join a group of folks who are dedicated to handmade vs box store gifts.

Here is a fun collection of items to get you started - a baby boy treasury in honor of our good friends from Michigan who welcomed a healthy baby boy into their lives yesterday!

You can also find a great group of artists at www.artisansofwmass.com - for all of your holiday gifting needs. Shopping handmade! Woot!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Baby Wipes - Tutorial

We try to be reasonably green around here... and I like to keep the chemicals touching my baby to a minimum. We cloth diaper as much as possible and I wanted a way to use plain water to wipe the little baby bottom. Although we ended up with several baby washcloths from a variety of sources, I didn't really like them for wiping. Most were just not squishy and absorbent enough to do the job.

I grabbed some 100% cotton WASHABLE worsted weight yarn and went to work.
This is the easiest knitting pattern. Ever. I mean, seriously, if you can't knit a scarf but want to knit your friend a baby gift? THESE ARE PERFECT. And if you can knit decently, they'll just go really fast.

I used size US 9 needles... I happened to grab my trusty dps, but straights work just as well.

Cast on 16... or 18, or 20. Your wipe will just be slightly larger.
Knit back and forth in garter stitch until the wipe measures 2 inches or your desired width. This is about 16 rows. No purling, just knit. See how easy?

The finished product! These wipes are also great for facial cleansers... not the same ones as the baby wipes of course... perhaps color code?

So they look pretty freshly made, but you may wonder how they hold up. The following is a picture of some wipes after heavy use and many trips through the washer (Hot water!!) and dryer (Hot air!). They actually become MORE absorbent the more they are washed... just like cotton cloth diapers.

Happy Wiping!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

By Candlelight

Dawn on Sunday morning

Trees down in the backyard
We were in the epicenter of Saturday's October snowstorm and are just starting to get back to normal. We currently have power (probably because there is a warming shelter on our street), internet (just got that back tonight), and heat (wood stove... never lost this!), but many of our local friends and neighbors are without all three.


Saturday night was very strange - thick, heavy snow falling quickly with occasional green flashes, the cracks of falling trees and branches, and pink flashes and sparks as transformers blew. Quite surreal. We kept ourselves occupied by lighting candles, keeping the stove stoked, and trying to keep the basement from flooding. And we learned that beans and toast can be prepared quite well on the wood stove!

It will be quite some time before the area will be back to normal. Our thoughts go out to all of those still in the dark - stay safe and warm!

The view went from this...
To this!

Here are a few more stories about the storm from local friends...