Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Hello all - it is reveal time for SP9. My spoiler was Jessie - she was a great pal for this round. Heatherly was my hostess with the mostess and my final package, filled with goodies went off to my spoiler on Monday. I hope she gets her package today!!

Work has been extremely busy, thankfully! I have to get to work now - have a good day all!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

On the Fair Isle!

Hello Everyone! It has been a very hectic week here at the Christensen Huis - I worked a lot and went to knit night on Thursday - there were not enough hours in the day. Last year my daughter saw the Fair Isle bag in VK and she really wanted me to knit it for her - so I had gotten the yarn to knit it up for her - but with all the Christmas knitting - I did not even think about starting this project - that topped with the fact that I had NEVER done Fair Isle - it got put on the back burner. Well, she asked about the bag again this week - so I went and dug the yarn and the pattern out from my stash closet and headed down to my LYS for some Fair Isle pointers. I can knit continental - but the bottom of the bag called for stockinette and was not knit in the round. I cannot purl continental - I have tried - it is an excercise in frustration - and not something I want to do for 1 row much less the 15 rows I'd need to do to get the bottom completed. So, Rose taught me Norwegian - no, not the language - Norwegian Purl to be exact! I can Norwegian Purl!! Woooo Hoooo! So, Fair Isle is sailing right along!

I shall post photo's later on.

I am sending out my final package for my SP9 pal tomorrow - I got her some lovely stuff! Touch Me lace weight yarn, some soy silk roving, and some treats for her and her family. She was such an awesome pal - I hope she likes her last package.

I am also sending out the package for the Luxury Fiber swap I am in - that package will be heading to Washington State tomorrow as well. I will post what was sent later in case the recipient reads this blog.

Hope you all had a great weekend. Here is hoping this week is not as insane as last week was!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Heifer Project

Hello everyone - hopefully your week is moving along smoothly!

I broke a resolution this week - I confess I bought some yarn to knit this after being inspired by Chris to take on the challenge of knitting a Moebius! Well, cast on I did - and around and around I go!

With all the chatter in the blog world about the Colts and Da Bears - I thought I would share with you a Super Sunday Twist! I am joining in with my LYS gals in a "knit in" on Sunday afternoon. I am taking pledges for my knitting time! I will be there from 1 - 5 PM knitting squares for "Warm Up America" - and your pledges will go towards the purchase of a Knitting Basket from Heifer International. If you are interested in sponsoring me - please leave me a comment and I can accept paypal pledges! You would be helping 2 great causes - how awesome is that! Or should I say SUPER! I like the idea because there is no looser in this contest - only winners all around!

Well, I am off to work for the day - please leave me a comment and a pledge! If you'd like to knit a square or two - that would be welcomed too!

Have an awesome Wednesday!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh Canada!

Hello everyone - Canada arrived here in Michigan yesterday - both with the weather and with a wonderful surprise from Erin (blogless - I think). She was my partner for the Luxury yarn swap from Swap Bot. She sent me some amazing sock yarn - dyed locally in British Columbia! It is gorgeous - shades of blues, purples, greens - just beautiful and sooo soft! I think that I might use this yarn for Bloomin' Feet which starts this weekend - I believe that Mr. C is working on the matches for Amanda - this yarn reminds me of crocus' and iris' - those beautiful spring blooms. She also included some yummy dark chocolate - made locally as well. So you see Cananda arrived on my doorstep yesterday!

We are also getting some "Canadian cold air" via the jet stream - along with some lovely "lake effect" snow. Right now out my window it looks like a lovely snow globe - flakes falling steadily down. A beautiful day to knit!!

Thank you so much, again, Erin for the amazing package! I love it!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fourteen year old boys and birth control...

Hello everyone! How do you like the title? Well, it has been an interesting week here at the Christensen Huis - get yourselves something to drink, pull up a chair, and get ready!

About 2 weeks ago, my son - Sam - came home with some paperwork from his life skills class. He either had to write a 5 page essay on adoption OR he could have "Program Baby" for 2 days and 2 nights. Sam and I had a long discussion about all the people we know who have either been adopted or wanted to to adopt... it is a good list, varied - some in state and some out of country adoptions. Sam though felt that 5 pages were, well... F - I - V - E know LONG and lots of work. And, even though I cast my vote for the essay - last night he came home from school with his new baby "Max". Max who fusses, cries, needs to be changed, attended to - and quite franky - slept as much as most new babies do. Sam got very little sleep last night - how he managed to not wake me up is something I am still wondering about! Well, anyway - if any of you have the priviledge of having teenagers in your homes - you know that they need a LARGE amount of sleep - kind of like babies themselves, now that I think of it!! Sam had a bit of a reprieve - he could drop the baby off to the life skills class so that he could attend his other classes today - but he had to go get "Max" at the end of school today and once again - the new baby is in the house again tonight. Although I helped Sam a bit after school so he could get his homework done. This baby has some kind of monitor inside it - if it cries for any length of time - it is registered and how quickly you respond to the cries is registered as well. So, we have "fed", "burped", "changed diapers" (although this is an odorless - messless process - this would be nice in REAL LIFE!! LOL) etc. This all needs to be logged by Sam to turn in to the teacher. Sam was not his usual self at the breakfast table this morning - he informed me that he WAS NEVER having kids! I am not sure what brilliant teacher thought this up - but Holy Cow - they deserve an award! Sam and I had an indepth conversation this morning about the consequences of sex - something we had talked about before, but it had new meaning this morning - my son is growing up - he is not my baby anymore. I am proud of him (as I have always been) - but I am seeing him through "new eyes" and hearing him with "new opened ears" as well! I know that a 5 page paper would have never have taught him what he learned these past 2 days - I am glad that he did NOT listen to my suggestion!

Hopefully, this baby will "sleep" better here tonight than he did last night - but I am so glad he is here in our home!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Urgent Reqeust!!

Hello Everyone. I have a very special request for all of you out there. I have participated again in SP9 and the end of January is when we are to reveal ourselves to our spoilee.

If it is not too much trouble - I was wondering if you all could stop by Kimberly's Blog and tell her that someone sent you there to say "hello". Please do not reveal who sent you - she has been such an awesome pal for SP9 - I want to make the waning days of the swap special for her. If you all could stop by and increase the mystery as to how you all found her - I'd be so grateful.

I intend to reveal myself to her in the last week of the month - so help me out in bringing her some good cheer!

Thanks to all of you - you all are the best!!

PS - I got a package from my pal - Thank you so much!! I will try and have my daughter take a picture and post it here later this week. It was filled with some great goodies! She did not let me know who she was though - hmmmmm - am I supposed to figure out??? Help me out here pal!! :-)

Thanks again to my pal and to all you pals out there!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

It is going to be a very Special Year!

Hello everyone! This is a special post - I would put this as a link on my sidebar, but hey - I have no clue how to do that! Hmmm, this could be something to add to my "learn list" for 2007! Anyways - I am a very, very honored member of Lynne's Special Swap. This should be a great deal of fun and I am looking forward to getting to know my other swap partners better over the course of the swap!

The weekend was pretty good here at Christensen Huis - I did some paperwork for a class I am teaching on Monday at work. It is a class for new Realtors at Greenridge - and I am spending some time tomorrow morning talking about the mortgage process. From First Time Homebuyers to Credit, from FHA and 100% financing to the application process - I will share with them the knowledge I have (it is really not a vast amount people - honestly - I just have been doing this job for awhile!). Now, if I have not bored you all to tears - how about some exciting knitting news!!

I am working on a hat for my eldest daughter - Rachel - for her birthday. And, I found a great idea for some yarn from my stash that I intend to whip up a small shawl for her birthday as well. Photo's will be arriving this week - I promise.

I will leave you with some pictures from the Holidays -

The "top half" of our Christmas Tree - I know - it was HUGE! We have a vaulted ceiling in the living room area. And, yes - it is almost touching the ceiling! Okay - so I am not the best judge of heights out at the tree farm! :-)

Here I am with Heidi and Sam - sans Rachel. She was with us on Christmas, but just for a couple of hours. I have some pictures of her, but none with all of us together. Don't you love Sam's hair though? So, like the bottom half of the tree? Hee, hee, hee! You should have see us taking this baby down!!

Miss Noel - the Christmas Kitty! Yes, this was after she dragged the tree skirt out from under the tree and had pulled down a strand or two of the lights from the lower branches - and here she is curled up taking a "cat" nap under the tree! Isn't she sweet?

Now, here is Copper - he is a bit smarter - picking the sofa for his resting spot!! You can see that he brought is stuffed animal with him - see the blue dog in the corner of the sofa? He has to hide it from Penny! Copper does not like to share his toys!!

Sleepy Penny - she could care less what toys Copper has. LOL! Penny is the only dog I know who can sleep sitting up!

Have a great Monday everyone - more later!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Knitting Backwards 101

This is now normal purling looks like - see needle in front - normal purling. But, when doing Entrelac, constantly turning your work back and front to knit and purl makes for wasted energy. You can work your entrelac from one side with very little turning except for when you need to pick up your stitches to go on to your next square. What follows is a "knitting backwards lesson". If you have questions - you can email me at for more help!

When working backwards you do not turn your work - see the yarn coming from the left side of my work? This is a purl row and I am working it from the right side (or knitting side) of my work.

I insert my LEFT needle into the BACK of the stitch on my RIGHT needle. See - the yarn is coming from the LEFT side of my work.

Wrap the yarn counter clockwise around my LEFT needle as above.

Pull LEFT needle forward through the stitch on the RIGHT needle. This is your new stitch, sliding the stitch from the RIGHT needle off that needle.

Now work your next stitch. I found this technique incredibly easy when working with a small number of stitches. I don't know why you could not use it on a longer row, but when you are knitting 20 or more stitches it does not make as much sense.

Here is your lesson for the day! Now I have helped you learn a new technique! Have a great weekend everyone

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday fun!

Hello everyone! Did you all have a great week? How are you all doing on your resolutions??? Still hanging in there? I am proud to say that I have 2 bags of clothing going to Goodwill - 1 bag in the "garage sale" section - and - drum roll please - I have 4 bags of things that went in the TRASH!! My closets are cleaner, more streamlined, organized AND - I love it! I also worked on my "stash" closet - I now have my yarn on the shelves - organized - I know, be still my heart!! I also have my sewing machine and sewing related items in there as well. AND - I have some paper craft things in a clear plastic box - all ready for me when I need to make a card quickly!! How about that ladies!! It felt so good - this weekend I am going to tackle my kitchen cupboards and the pantry!

I also brought some magazines I wanted to save for various reason downstairs and put them in a book shelf I was not using - decluttering is happening at the Christensen Huis!

I even worked on my half pi shawl this week a bit. I am almost done with section 2! And!! I went to SNB last night and had fun laughing with the ladies at Friends of Wool. It was Sue's birthday and she brought goodies to eat!! A fun evening was had by all. The Afgan Class of 2006 was there with all their squares to work on assembly - I have to tell you, I was amazed with how beautiful their squares were. This caused me much excitement, because the Afgan Class of 2007 will meet in 2 weeks to start on their afgan journey - and I have a ticket for that trip!! There are several techniques that I do not know how to do that I will be learning this year! So, this class will continue to help me with my resolution of learning!

I did have a small breakdown on the yarn front. My daughter wants me to make a "shawl" for her birthday - I truly tried and swatched some yarn from my stash, but I did not have anything that I could get the perfect gauge with. I had to buy 2 skeins of yarn - but - I found it on sale at Friends of Wool - so I only paid $8 for it!! This did not break my budget at all!! I will be so excited to see my daughter's face when she opens her gift! I shall try and post a photo of said shawl and daughter #1 after the 6th of February - which is her birthdate. Hold the phone - she will be 18 years old!!! I cannot believe this, because I swear she was just learning to walk yesterday!!! Where does the time go??

We are getting close to "reveal" time in SP9 - I have been having so much fun with my spoilee - I have been dropping hints the past couple of weeks - and we have been laughing and having so much fun together. She is an awesome pal! I am working on the finishing touches for her last package - she is a SAHM and she home schools her children! AND, her husband is in the Army. As the end of the month gets closer, I will post the link to her blog and ask you all to pop over and say hello to her!

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Friday, January 05, 2007

First Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome to the First Friday of 2007! This is surely something to celebrate, right? How did Week 1 go for all of you? So far - so good here.

I have printed out my resolutions and put them in several places - in my planner for work, on the mirror in my bathroom, on the fridge in the kitchen. I think that this will help me stay focused on what is important to me this year - what I need to accomplish - where I want to go!

How are you all doing? Did you all fall the the Resolution Wagon? That is okay - get back on and try again! Be your own best supporter - not your worst enemy!

I am excited to have made it through a week of this New Year! I actually got out some yarn from my stash and cast on something for ME! I had gotten a gorgeous skein of Lorna's Laces - Helen's Lace last summer to make the Half Pi Shawl and I cast on this week! I have the first set of the pi completed and have started on set 2! I am in love with this yarn - it is amazing. I selected the Vera colourway - and I am so happy with my selection!

This picture does not do the yarn justice - it is knitting up beautifully - burgundy's, rich browns, some amazing greens, and a dusky khaki - dyed perfectly! I will try and have my daughter get a picture of it next week and post my progress. If you have not knit this pattern - it is definately on my must knit list! I am flowing through the sections easily and can even knit while watching TV! So, I was so happy to pull this out of my stash and treat myself to this little gem. I did not realize that I had such a nice "stash store"!!

Speaking of "Stash Store" - on my plate for the weekend is to clean out and organize my stash closet - and my bedroom closets. There may be some destashing going on here next week, so be on the lookout for that!

So, there is my week one synopsis - drop me a note letting me know how you are all doing.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's a New Year or Starting off on the right foot....

Hello everyone, Is your year starting off right? Or do you need to start again on the other foot? In an attempt to use the correct starting foot this year I have written down an actual plan. I know, stop the presses! This coming from a "shoot from the hip" kind of gal is a big reality check! I am a make no plans, go where you wanna go person. Well, that wasn't working too well for me - too much lack of structure makes for too much room for error. In looking back at what worked in 2006 and what did not work - there was alot more that did not work than what did. Thus I knew that I needed some drastic changes. Now, I said to myself - this is the one thing you do well - change. So, go for change and do it right!

Now, how do you go from "fly by the seat of your pants" to "structure city"? Did I really want to live in "structure city"? Was there a happy inbetween place between the two? I believe that there is, and starting out with a plan is a good place to start!

I have divided my plan into two parts, the "me" part and the "homelife" part. I believe that by working on the things in each part, life will be so much better. After all, I am now 46 years old and I need to "get a life" or at least work on a new and improved one.

I will start with the "me" list:
1. I resolve to listen more and talk less!
Where did this come from you ask? Well, on New Years Eve - I discovered how much my kids and their friends had to say - and what they said when someone was really listening. I am sorry to say that I was a poor listener to my kids; oh I listened, but I knew what they were saying - or at least I assumed I did. No more assuming for me - I am working on listening - actively listening to what my kids are saying. You know the old addage - this is why our Good God gave us 2 ears and one mouth - we were supposed to use one more than the other. Lo and behold - I think I am getting it! This listening part also is going to help my spiritual life - I am going to listen more for what God is saying to me. I think that this focus will help me with my other resolutions.

2. I resolve to value me more!
This is going to be a challenge for me, but one that I will embrace. I need to become more healthy - no this is not a diet - I have failed at those for years. It is always the first resolution I have always made and the first resolution that I have always broken. I am not making a list to set myself up for failure - I am making a list to track my success! I want to be more healthy in many aspects of my life - from health and wellness to spirituality. I believe that resolutions 1 and 2 go hand in hand. I want to be fit mentally, physically, and spiritually - and this won't happen without some work. My friend Lynne sent me a book last summer that I read and then did nothing with. She sent it for a reason - she knew what it was. Now, I am working on my prayer life - with a purpose - more value of me for me!

3. I resolve to knit an afgan for DD #1.
My Rachel will be leaving for college in August - and it will be here all to quickly! What better way to spend the time than knitting an afgan for her when she is far away. Something knit with love to wrap around her. I have signed up for an afgan class for some kindred spirit support and the inspiration to finish this afgan - there is a time frame to the class!! Which will lead me right to resolution #4....

4. I resolve to learn something NEW every day!
I know that it will be a challenge for me to go from "wherever the wind blows me" to "this is the plan" so in order to help my "free spirit" attitude - I have added in the importance of learning - and I will incorporate this into all parts of my life. Home and work, family and faith - there is so much to learn!

This moves me on to the "homelife" resolutions. These were not as fun as the self improvement ones - or maybe these are just more visible, measurable, verify-able!

1. Save more, spend less.
Simply said, incredibly hard to do. I am not a great saver - but I sure as heck am an amazing spender. With the changes in my life recently, I have discovered that one needs to have a measure of all things in their life for balance - and in order to have a balanced checkbook, one needs to spend less! I am working on this and have set in place the following things to help me accomplish this one important resolution!

2. Organize my knitting stash and knit from it!
No purchase of yarn, no exceptions. I have a good sized stash, and I am going to whittle it away. I have committed to this, and thus far it is working! I have pulled some fun yarns out and have been looking over patterns. This is so much fun - what I thought I would do when I bought the yarns and what new possibilites for that yarn are tremendously fun!!! I know my LYS will not be happy with this - I am sorry ladies - truly I am. This is important to me. When I have knit ALL my stash yarn, I will gladly buy more.

3. De-clutter my home.
Garage sale, donate, and toss are the categories! How freeing this will be!! I have alot of things that we don't use, need, or want - I am going to find homes for them or sell them or throw them away... but they are not staying a the Christensen Huis any longer!!

4. More home cooked meals!
This will help with a healthier life style and with a healthier wallet! And, I will spend time listening to my kids as we prepare dinner together!!! I love how this plan is coming together, don't you???

5. Prioritize time better.
People, I am the Chief Procrastinator! There is some sick part of me that believes that it is better if you are in a panic to complete a task. No more - there is a plan and I am sticking to it! As with budgeting money, my time is going to be budgeted as well. I have been working on this since the 1st and I know that after 30 days, this will be so much easier. This time management will help with all the other resolutions - and will help me be successful as I move forward into 2007.

I am excited and a bit anxious for what lays ahead - I shall keep you all posted on my progress.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Good Morning One and All! Hopefully none of you had too much New Year's Eve cheer last night and are bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning!

The New Year dawned here gray and dreary outdoors but we are sunny and bright here inside at the Holland Huis - at least those of us who are up are bright and sunny! I hosted a small New Year's get-together for my kids last evening. The ladies are up and the boys are still snoring away. I even got a good nights sleep - so there was not too much commotion last night! I have fresh turn overs and juice awaiting the sleeping giants!

So, it is the day of resolutions! Are you all ready? I know I am not! I have some that are easy, but others that are hard. I will share shortly - I have to get them from my brain onto paper!

I read a really great New Years post this morning at Felt Like Knitting so I thought that I would share my "Top Ten Reasons I Like Knit Blogging" - drum roll please.....
10. Podcasts!
9. Journaling - I have found this to be a wonderful way to keep track of thoughts and ideas.
8. Swaps, Exchanges, and KAL's. This has been so much fun! I have especially enjoyed SP8 and 9 that I participated in in 2006. I have also met some awesome knitters in this process and I cherish their friendship! 7. Meeting other bloggers! This past summer I got to meet several fellow knit bloggers at Threadbear in Lansing. Laurie, Handknitter Sarah, Lynne from New York, Sharon, West Michigan Laura, and Susie all traveled over to Lansing for a day of knitting fun. I am hoping that 2007 will allow for meeting these lovely ladies again and that I will have the opportunity to meet more of my Knit Blogger Friends!
6. Discovering Etsy shops online! This has been amazing as I have found wonderful sources for amazing yarns. You are all so talented - and I am honored to be able to buy your yarns and knit them into something lovely for myself or my loved ones.
5. Stash explosion - see above!
4. Teaching knitting classes and taking knitting classes- although I am not in the same league as Handknitter Sarah - I have discovered that I love helping other knitters learn a new technique. I also have discovered that, while I am a fairly new knitter - I had my 2 year knitiversary in 2006, I love learning new techniques. On my calendar for 2006 is to join a group to knit an afgan one square a month and to tackle lace!
3. Discovering all the knitting helps there are online! From to all the other knitting help sites - what a treasure trove of amazing information.
2. Finding comfort in the camaraderie that exsists in the knitting community. This is a giving group of people - I am amazed. Here is to making 2007 as amazing!
and my number 1 reason I liked knit blogging this year...
1. Being inspired, sometimes amused, and always touched by reading what you are all doing in your lives. Thank you all so much for sharing!

Have a most Blessed New Year!