March 29, 2012
Remember the baby cocoon that I mentioned making with my handspun yarn a few weeks ago, followed the next week by making a hat for Gus and beginning another hat for Feathers with the remaining yarn? The day before Aurora went into labor I stayed up late finishing Feather’s hat so I could give it to her the next day.
She too loved her hat. I’m sure it’s the crochet butterfly that won her over. (Sorry for the blurry pictures – my camera has been dropped a few too many times; it’s getting increasingly harder to take a sharp image without a tripod.)
Sadly Gus hadn’t worn his hate to the hospital that morning so I wasn’t able to take a picture of them together wearing their matching hats. Here’s the picture from the previous week.
When making the hats I deliberately used more of the blue/grey sections of the handspun yarn for Gus’s hat and the red/orange sections predominately in Feather’s hat. I had grand plans of a picture of these three grandchildren in their matching handspun wools. Alas, it was not to be. Unexpected circumstances had made MJ come to Oregon two weeks earlier than she’s originally planned and by the time Aurora had Violet our son had flown out here so he could drive back with MJ on Saturday. They only had a brief time Saturday morning with Aurora and Violet before they headed for the long trip back home. Aurora hadn’t packed the cocoon for the hospital and I wasn’t about to make a big deal out of trying to make it work.
Try to picture the two children above wearing their hats, sitting together with Violet/
The Baby Cocoon, officially known as the Eskimo Kiss Hooded Cocoon, pg 94 of Welcoming Baby Home by Tricia Drake. I used a N/10mm Knook that Ed made for me for the Cocoon and a J/6mm Knook for both hats.
When Violet was five days old Aurora put her into the Cocoon. She loved it! She’d been a bit fussy but as soon as she was snuggled into the cocoon she relaxed and fell asleep.
That afternoon friends stopped by to see Violet and visit. Nine month old Baby Ava was very intrigued by this real doll.
I modified the pattern with an opening at the bottom and the drawstring for quick diaper changing. We also found it easier to slip the cocoon over Violet’s head.
In the early stages of Aurora’s labor I spent some time with my newest spindle, a cunning sweet Sycamore Aegean. The plan is the spun Newhuehandspun Bamhuey, Moon Beams colorway, fiber will be made into something to give to Aurora. I have no idea what it’s to be though I’m spinning quite fine.
March 23, 2012
Posted by Wanda J under Food
| Tags: Community supper
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For the past couple of years Ed has been helping at a community dinner in Silverton. What began as the third Wednesday commitment morphed into weekly last fall.
The village we live in is small, just over 300 people, a small convenience store, the Friends Church and the Holy Rosary Catholic church five miles up in the hills, a Post Office and elementary school. We go to Silverton, and occasionally Salem or Portland, for gas, shopping and all the other errands that can’t be met in this small place.
Silverton is an average American town with local colors and characters, most of them decent and hardworking. The economic downturn hit here as it did across America. People who’d once had secure jobs, a house mortgage that seemed manageable, kids growing up in a relatively safe, small town community suddenly found themselves out of a job with no prospects and never ending bills. Seeing there were many hungry people trying to make a dollar go as far as possible (how many remember buying a soda along with a good sized candy bar for the sum total of .15 cents?) a couple of the churches in town decided to offer weekly meals with one church taking Monday nights, the other, the Christian Church (henceforth CC), Wednesday night. The first week about 50 people showed up and the people who organized, cooked, served and cleaned felt that it went very smoothly and they looked forward to the next week.
Three weeks later they were feeding over 100 people and the good folks at CC realized they couldn’t do this alone so they put out a call for help at the next monthly ministerial meeting. A good thing they brought others in to help for in no time three hundred people were being fed every week. Several churches signed up for the once monthly rotation which is how Ed began to serve. It wasn’t long before he found his favorite spot: serving the milk and water.
This year they’re averaging close to 500 people with over 525 for the Thanksgiving and Christmas Wednesday dinners.
Every one is welcome, no questions asked, no money expected. There is a donation basket at the last table but no one says anything about it or directs one’s attention to it. There is no preaching or evangelizing. The pastor of the CC is always present mingling in an unobnoxous way with the people and sitting to chat at various tables. People move through a serving line where servers put generous portions on each plate (yes, they use real plates and flatware). Three dessert tables line another wall with the portions served on smaller plates.
I took Feather and Gus both weeks they were visiting, so they could see Grandpa serving and we could eat together.
People come to eat but also to socialize and to be a part of a bigger, mixed community. Many senior citizens love this time of gathering and getting some great home cooking.
Yes! It’s all cooked on in the large church kitchen. A regular set of people prepare the food every week, two retired woman who were cooks at the elementary school bake all the bread, even the rolls that were used for the Sloppy Joes. On the Wednesdays when there are mountains of potatoes to peel Ed will go in earlier in the day to help peel them. He loves the camaraderie of the people from the various churches, the easy laughter and joking while working for the common goal of providing a good meal.
Wednesday, after visiting Aurora and Baby Violet I stopped to have supper with the community and sat at the table with several of the cooks. I’m slowly getting to know Ed’s friends there and contemplate helping out other than sending a cake or two, or a couple pans of brownies with Ed every week (I’m known as “The Cake Lady”).
What a delicious meal that evening! The head cook is recuperating from knee replacement surgery, Ed had gone in at noon to help prepare the food. The local, independent grocery store had donated several boxes of vegetables that morning. The cooks looked at that odd assortment of vegetables and wondered what on earth they’d do with it. The chicken for chicken enchiladas was cooked and ready but what does one do with yellow squash, carrots, asparagus and butternut squash. They weren’t stymied for long.
Chop them up and roast them! They spread the chopped veggies onto cookie sheets, drizzled them with olive oil, some salt & pepper and garlic powder and roasted them about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. It was so good that I made it again (minus the butternut) last night for supper from the extra unused squash and asparagus that Ed brought home. I added an onion cut into large wedges and served the roasted vegetables with black bean soup which I’d set soaking then cooking on our wood stove yesterday morning. Warm satisfying meals for cold snowy days.
All day Wednesday huge, heavy flakes drifted down. For a long time the wet ground melted the snow but by afternoon it began accumulating. Driving home, the big flakes drifting in front of the car lights were so pretty. Yesterday morning we woke up to several inches on the ground – we’re only about 300′ above sea level, just up the road the snow still lay on the ground when I went for an early morning walk today. The knowledge that this was a fleeting storm, soon to be followed by more temperate (most likely fickle!) real Spring weather made the snow a delight.
March 19, 2012
Celery Stick! Yep, that’s the name Ed told the new parents they should name the wee baby girl.
Aurora and Hayman decided long ago that they wanted to meet the new person to see who she was before saddling her with a name that possibly wouldn’t fit once they saw her. So wise! They did narrow their list of favorite names down to their top ten or so which they took with them to the hospital on Friday as the contractions became regular and closer together. Violet was a top choice, until they met her. Violet didn’t seem to quite fit but another name on the list was perfect. They murmured her name and tasted it on their tongues, waiting until Sunday to officially declare her given name. For the blog she will be known as Violet.
Our son, his two kids and Ed spent the day waiting. Feathers and Gus were little troopers! Every time I poked my head in they were playing happily (and quietly) or watching a video. At one point Son took them to the town park so they could run off energy.
Aurora had a wonderful support team of Hayman, MJ (Son’s wife), her best friend- Kay, I and nurses. Friday evening wee Violet made her grand entrance.
All that hard work!
Sunday afternoon was her homecoming. The day was raw and windy but the sun shone through the south windows lighting, and warming, up the room. Ed is one very content grandpa.
Isn’t she a sweet Violet!
March 13, 2012
Preparations are steadily moving forward in anticipation of the new granddaughter. After making the cocoon I dug the Baby Yours sweater out of the bag and worked steadily on it until it too was finished, right down to the cute little buttons Ed and I found when we visited Twisted in December.
Look how tiny it is! My thumb just fits into the sleeve.Pattern: Baby Yours by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill, Superwash Merino 4oz/420 yards Colorway: Jade
Needles: #2 – Ed’s needles
This pattern is worked flat and seamed together when finished. By the time I started on the arms I was eager to be finished so I worked both arms side by side on the same circs (not in the round). It was a bit of a challenge to remember which direction and which side I was on and there was a time that one sleeve was suddenly 6 rows longer than the other one. After that I used a stitch marker at the beginning of the right sleeve, front side to help me know which sleeve was which. Otherwise it was a fun pattern to knit.
As soon as Baby Yarns was blocked and drying I spun up the rest of the Crown Mountain Farms Rising of the Phoenix roving hoping to get enough yarn to make a couple hats. Spinning for a worsted I ended up with only 78 yards. Not wanting to find more roving that would work with the RotP yarn I looked through my stash of handspun yarns and found a happy surprise – the CMF roving, Locomotive Breath, that I spun last fall made a suitable complimentary yarn. Though it’s a three ply yarn and the RotP is a two-ply they are about the same thickeess and have been behaving very well together.
Taking up a J/6mm Knook I cast on 4 loops and crocheted the first few rounds then switched to knooking the rest of the hat.
I had to do a bit of ripping out and adjusting to get the size right since I was flying by the seat of my pants without a pattern – jotting notes as I went. I’m very happy with how it turned out.The colors are pretty true to the yarn in the two pictures above. The one below is washed out.
Little buddy loves the hat that grammi made for him, and it fits great – with room to grow!
Yes! The two grandkids drove to Oregon with their mommy so they could be here when Aurora has her baby!
As soon as Gus’s hat was finished I cast on with the remaining yarn a hat for Feather. This time I’m making it from the bottom up and am about half way finished. I am sure that it will be finished in the next day, or two – depending on how much knooking time I get. The plan is to take group pictures of the three grandkids together with baby in her cocoon and the cousins in their hats made with some of the same yarn. It’s a race between getting work done, knooking and fiddle practice.
Crooked Finger Band has a St Patrick’s gig in Milwaukee on Saturday and there are a couple pieces I’d like to work up a bit more speed under my fingers and bow. I’m hoping that the baby will not decide to send her mommy into labor that Saturday.The imminent arrival would leave the band without their fiddler, but a new baby to admire and love.