Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Wednesday!

Here in Muslim Land, we don't celebrate Halloween, but Wednesday morning is a good thing to celebrate - the week is half over, and last night's earthquake was a reminder that nothing is certain. Another plus - even though I was running late, I made real (Peet's) coffee :)

Last night I got to do a few rows on the Ahmad sweater. I am working out how to enlarge the pattern for Zaahir - hope it works. I love the striping of tweeds in Ahmad's sweater - wish I could do the same for Zaahir, but it has to be for his uniform. Maybe I'll sneek in a subtle light blue stripe among the endless rows of navy blue. I'm due for some pictures - will try to do those tonight.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ahmad turns one, and a contest (or two).

Go to Megan's Blog for a fun contest: Mention you saw it here and we both get another chance!

I heard about it from Cass at who also blogged about Robin's contest. Go sign up and oggle her beautiful shawl!

Ahmad is one today. I can't believe it! It has been an exciting and difficult year, but it feels like we are over a hurdle. As of a couple of days ago, he started connecting more and showing his personality. He likes to make jokes! I put on the hat pictured at the top of my blog, and he pulled it off and started laughing like crazy. Then he handed it back to me so we could repeat the joke about 10 more times. Sure do love those boys of mine!

Knitting update:
Almost Argyle is growing steadily but slowly.
I casted on last night for an Ahmad sweater; Zaahir's sweater is on hold while he decides whether he wants a pullover (I hope) or a cardigan "like the other kids". So it wasn't a total disaster that I made the hoodie too small. I hope he makes up his mind before the cold weather sets in!
The sweater for Ahmad is a pullover raglan from a Debbie Bliss book:

but I am sick of light blue baby clothes. I started with a green tweed, and am making stripes with blue and red tweeds at the bottom of the sweater and the sleeves: 3 rows green, 3 blue, 3 green, 2 red, 2 blue, 2 red, 2 blue 2 red, then back to green. We'll see how it turns out.

Maybe I will make Zaahir's from the same pattern just to make it easy on myself. But I'll add ribbing to the bottom like the one I had already started. I'll go surf around for an easy cardigan just in case. Happy knitting!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Knitting Withdrawl

Arghh!!! I didn't knit all weekend! Just cooking and cleaning for me...and 2 days later the house isn't even that clean, (is it ever?!). I clean the kitchen and my older son comes behind me and spills juice on the floor, spreads craft supplies all over the table, and dumps out his box of dominoes. I fold laundry, and leave the room for one minute only to return to a gleeful baby buried in clothes on the floor. Life is good - even when I don't have time to knit.

Somehow, I did have time to buy yarn! I stole away (ALONE) to get a blood test, and sneeked off to the yarn store on the way back. Two balls of lovely sock yarn will insha'Allah become fingerless gloves,

and one ball of olively greens for experimentation:

I also bought sets of wooden Brittany double-pointed needles - 0's and 5's. Nothing like addin' to tha stash to put me in a good mood!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

If my head weren't attached....

I try, I really do. But sometimes, I think I am going to lose my mind - over little things like lost socks and because my son won't brush his teeth (No, really, it's been three days!). My dream is to throw away everything and start over. My husband knows this - he found me crying into the laundry basket this morning and comforted me by suggesting that we donate his books to a library. That's love in my house.

I think that if I had less stuff (except yarn of course), then I could concentrate better and have a more organized brain. I wish that I could apply my academic brain to housework - somehow it just doesn't transfer.

On a related note, the principal at our school gave upper graders a lecture yesterday about the importance of being on time and not wearing coats in class. I showed up late and don't want to take my coat off because the only blouse that didn't need ironing is slightly see through! I hate man-made fibers, but I might just have to give in and buy some polyester (Uhh, I can barely even say that word out loud!) for the days when I wake up 10 minutes before I am supposed to be at work.

Haiku of the day: Knitting, laundry, and getting it all done.

Crying over socks...
How do some women do it?
Try again today.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Almost Argyle is on its way. I love this green and blue yarn!

Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap! Pop on over to to sign up! Registration starts Wednesday, October 24th!

I sure love winter! One day, I would love to take a vacation to Norway or Alaska in the winter and be really cold! Or maybe, stay in that Ice Hotel in Canada. No time or money for a vacation this year, but a coffee swap is the next best thing!

What are your favorite kinds of coffee? Peet's French Roast and Italian Roast.

Do you prefer whole bean or ground coffee? Ground - no grinder.

This time of year, there are often Holiday Blends available, and many flavored coffees - do you drink flavored coffee? I make Arabic (Turkish) coffee flavored with cardomom every morning for my family. Do you enjoy special blends? Peet's Holiday blend is usually pretty good.

How do you take your coffee? Cream and Sugar? Straight up? Straight up and caffinated (otherwise, what's the point?!)

Do you prefer drinking from a nice thick mug, or a matched cup and saucer? Definitely a mug for American coffee. We drink Arabic coffee in tiny espresso cups.

What is your favorite part of Winter? The cold.

Do you celebrate a holiday in December, and if so, which holiday? I am Muslim, but it happens that one of our holidays falls in December this year.

Would you enjoy items related to the holiday, or would you prefer a Winter themed package? Winter themed would be great - I do love snowflakes.

Do you collect anything? Nature photographs - especially snowy ones.

Are there any holiday or winter-themed items (Snowmen, Angels, Snoflakes, Santas, etc) that you collect? I am not much for knick-knacks, but I love snowflakes and reindeer. (I guess it's the Norwegian ancestry)

Do you wear scarves? Mittens? Hats? Love mittens!

What is your favorite holiday or winter treat? In addition to coffee, I love anything chocolate!

Please share a favorite Winter or Holiday memory. One year my family had a reunion in Kansas City in my uncle's four-storey house. The week was filled with cookie baking, snowball fights, and talent shows - it was magical!

Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long? Knit - on and off for three years.

Do you like wooden, metal, or plastic needles\hooks? Wooden

Circular or straight? Circular or double-pointed.

What sort of projects do you enjoy making? Anything that isn't a scarf.

What are your favorite types of yarn to work with? Natural fibers.

Do you spin or dye? Not yet!

Do you do other crafts such as scrapbooking or needlepoint or anything else? I love to sew/quilt and embroider when I have time.

When is your birthday? August 3rd.

Do you have any children? Two boys, ages five and one. Oh, and a hermit crab.

What are your favorite colors? Greens and Blues - ocean colors

Do you have any allergies? No.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Alhumdulillah for little boys

I would like to take a moment to appreciate my hilarious, sweet, adorable, destructive sons. Yesterday, on a visit to my old job, Zaahir (the 5-year-old) reached his attention span limit (after exploring each fragile objet d'art in a friend's office) and literally pulled me down the hall by yanking on the front of the stroller. Ahmad (the baby) was cracking up, and we must have looked so funny as I called goodbye to my friends over my shoulder.

Today we got home and Zaahir immediately opened a gift from his best friend - a lego fire truck with about a million pieces that had to be assembled. I told him I would help him with it after the baby went to sleep. The kid with the attention span of a humming bird sat in the SAME PLACE for TWO HOURS and finished it by himself. I am in awe of my children and so blessed to be a mom. I never pictured myself as a mother of boys, but now I can't imagine my life any other way.

Knitting update:
My first sock is too big and might become a puppet.
Zaahir's sweater is too small and I have to start over.
I haven't even LOOKED at the bag I am supposed to knit for knitting club.
My solution to UFO's? Buy more yarn of course! I just bought yarn to make wash/dish cloths. I am going to try the "Almost Argyle" dishcloth on

Knitting haiku of the day:

What's up with dishcloths?
Cheap yarn, trying new patterns
Okay, I get it.

Big Fish

Today I threw the kids in the car and drove up to SF and the Steinhart Aquarium. It had been so long since I had been to an aquarium, I was as excited as the boys! Ahmad went crazy for the penguins and Zaahir got to touch seastars, snails and crabs. Then we went on the carousel across the street.

Sometimes I wish I had the patience to homeschool. The boys and I could have so many adventures!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Family Day

Yesterday we continued our Eid celebration with a day at home - my husband bought the big skateboard he had promised Zaahir, plus an over-the-top water-squirting big wheel-type vehicle. Zaahir went bananas! He was even more excited about the blue big wheel than he was about the book I gave him! He spent most of today riding around our apartment complex squirting plants.

Last night Mohamad's cousin came over for dinner:

Eid Menu #2
Yesterdays meatballs in pea pod stew (from peas we picked this summer)
Roasted chicken with potatoes and eggplant
Rice with garbanzo beans
tomato cucumber salad
berry soup parfaits (this time made with cranberries and 2 kinds of blueberries)
Arabic coffee
We Do Eat Well

Berry Parfaits

Apricot and Strawberry Butter Cookies

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Happy Happy Eid

Yesterday we went to the Eid Fair in San Jose. Zaahir met up with his best friend (Ahmed) and they went off with my husband to enjoy the rides while Ahmed's mom and my mother-in-law and I had tea. What a beautiful day! So sunny and so clear from the rain the day before. On our way home we stopped to pick black figs from our favorite tree. Then we made dinner:

Eid Menu #1

Okra stew
Berry Soup with whipped cream

Simple and Yummy!

After tea we snacked on figs and chestnuts.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Long time no knit!

Eid mubarak to all the Muslims knitters! It's been awhile, but I am back! After not having reached even one of my summer knitting goals, I was a little down in the dumps. Then I started a knitting group at the school where I work, and that did the trick. Currently on the needles: The drawstring bag from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (which all the girls in the school group are making), a uniform sweater for Zaahir, and a sweater for Ahmad that will have to be for some other baby because he's growing so fast, and my first attempt at a sock, which is big enough to fit my husband - too bad it is hot pink! I'm hoping I can felt it (and it's future spouse) into slippers. I am also trying to finish that grey scarf shown in my first post, but I took out the pink so that I can give it to my husband for Eid. Yes, I am trying to finish it tonight!

On a sweet note - I baked (so far) three kinds of cookies for Eid - tiny chocolate chip (Zaahir's favorite), thumb print butter cookies with apricot jam, and butter cookies rolled in almonds and cinnamon and sugar. Krumkake is next in the wee hours of the night when the question will be, "To dip or not to dip in chocolate?!" I also made some kickin' fruit soup - all berries - which will be layered with cream parfait style tomorrow. I am making the traditional Palestinian rice and chicken for dinner tomorrow, so I had to represent the Norskies for dessert :)

Enjoying the rain as I knit...