Monday, December 29, 2008

100th Blogiversary!

Happy 100th Blogiversary to me! I knew I needed to draw the winner of the contest before New Years so here are the stats: 400 entries, 75 contestants, and tons of fun! I tallied the final points today and went to my random number generator . Here are the winners...

Grand Prize Winner: Monique B
Second prize: SJ
Third prize: Elaine

Please send me your addresses (choochooknits@hotmail.com) so I can send out your prizes!

In the meantime I've been busy trying to get Nana's sweater done and am confident I'll have it finished in the next day or so. The only modification I made was to the sleeves...she only wanted them a certain length (fine by me...less knitting!).

Here's a shot from last Tuesday (1 week in)...

therapi sweater for nana december 2008 002

Now I didn't knit on Christmas day or Friday afternoon/evening (story below) or most of Saturday morning which is why the second week wasn't as productive. Here's where the sweater stands at the moment (almost 2 weeks in)...

therapi sweater for nana december 2008 010

therapi sweater for nana december 2008 009

Christmas was busy for us. We opened presents with the kids at 8:00am. Went to my in-laws around 10:30. Opened more presents and played with new toys (including Papa's new computer - so nice). Drove to my parents at 12:00. Opened more presents, played with more toys, ate lots of hors d'oeuvres. My in-laws came over to my parents around 3:15. We ate around 4:00. After dessert we rolled ourselves into the car and drove home with sleeping children. What a long day.

The awesome gifts I received from my hubby (and kids) included: knitting software, k-yarns gift cards, the sweater design book I wanted, interchangeable needle set, "nite-lite" needles, and a new "gems" short needle set. Unfortunately, I already have my interchangeable needle set from knitpicks, I didn't think I would really use the nite-lite needles, and I didn't need the gems short needles. The thought, however, was tremendous. My parents gave me a stitch pattern book - love it! My sister, who lives in Kansas, sent me a k-yarns gift card as well - which I was very touched by! It was just such a swell Christmas for me - I am truly blessed!

Friday morning we left the house around 11:00am to return the above mentioned (yet well thought out) items to Michaels and to stop at Home Depot to look at insulation for our attic. Our house was built in the late 1920s. When we moved in back in June 2005 we had to redo the roof, ripping three layers off, the bottom of which was probably original. Our house has its original plaster walls and ceilings with the exception of the kitchen, half bath, full bath and finished part of the basement. There were no ceiling lights in any of the bedrooms until we installed them and upgraded more of the electricity. Last summer we undertook residing the house and insulating the outer walls - which are still plaster and lathe with cedar shakes underneath (it was best to leave it all on). The windows had been replaced sometime in the past 15 - 20 years so that will be the last big project on our "cosmetic" list in the next 5 years. However, in order to help save on heating costs, we needed to insulate the attic once and for all. Apparently, when we went to Home Depot on Friday - that was the day and that was the time! So much for a relaxing day of recovery and knitting! We bought 35 bails of eco-friendly, blow in, insulation and rented a truck to get it all home along with the blower machine. At 3:00pm we were back home with the rental truck returned to Home Depot and my husband betting me he could finish the whole job in 4 hours. I said "you'll be completely done in 4 hours, or you'll be done for the day in 4 hours?" Yeah, I'm a smartass kind of wife. Luckily, my mother-in-law stopped by (thankfully unexpected) and rolled up her sleeves to help out. I sat inside watching Casey for the first hour as Matthew and Nana worked out the kinks of the machine operating and Ken yelled ON/OFF from the attic. Did I mention he had to rip up old planks every 4 - 5 feet to blow in the insulation? Yeah, it was all sorts of fun. I finally gave Matthew the option of watching Casey or standing out in the cold as the sun went down. He gladly chose to babysit his sister. Nana and I finally got a rhythm down for how to "mulch" the insulation into the blower so that it didn't jam. We also learned the sounds of the machine when Ken was nearing the end of a beam section. At 7:00pm I went inside and ordered the kids a pizza. At 7:15 it started to sleet. At 7:30 Ken wanted to call it a day and Nana and I told him to keep going. At 8:30 we were finished. The driveway was a mess from all the dust. Our face masks were gross, Ken had inhaled almost 100 years of dust and eco-fiber, and my right hand was sore from "raking" the insulation. Not to mention my toes were frozen - although I was SO happy to be wearing a pair of socks I had made so they were cozy if nothing else. Here's a photo of the beginning of the process...

insulation for the attic december 26 2008 003

Tomorrow morning we leave for New Years in Vermont as has been our custom for a number of years (in fact, it's about my 7th - out of 9 - NYE in VT excluding the year Ken and I went to Boston and the year Casey was born). The old tradition included going into Burlington to the Brewpub. The new tradition includes dinner out, beers at "home", and sledding in the backyard. The evening also includes knitting, toddlers and lots of snow.

I wish you all the happiest of new years and want to take a moment (yes, another one) to thank you for your "friendship" and laughter over the past few months! Cheers to another great knitting year ahead!!! Big hugs all around until next time!

Karen

7 comments:

MoniqueB. said...

Karen, you did it! 100 blogposts. Good for you. Look at what you've shown us, learned and laught with us all.
Happy to read your loved ones gave thoughtfull presents.
The insulation story reads like a cartoonmovie: I see you running around with a lot of noise, somebody getting stuck. We insulated our attick with prefab blankets, though your way is more fun. (and hard work).
And:
Oh My God.. I've WON! YESSSS..
I can't believe it. Thank you.
Congratulations to SJ and Elaine too. I'm so happy!
BTW: whát did I win???

Elaine said...

I had to run out to my mother's house right after I saw that I won -YIPPEE.

Hey - it sounds like I live in the same house - built in the 20's no insulation in the outside walls, real plaster walls. About 10 years ago, we took up every floorboard in the attic and put down insulation. It was a big job.

We converted from oil to a high efficiency gas furnace some years ago. The oil furnace was the original furnace that came with the house that had been converted from a coal furnace. We still have high heating bills and the outside walls have never been insulated.

It sounds like everyone got the message that you are into knitting. Lucky you, and lucky you that it was returnable/exchangeable.

Hope your New Year's trip is terrific. Thanks again for a fun contest!

Elaine said...

And I forget to say how great the sweater looks. Lucky Nana.

Happy new year again.

A Homely Heroine said...

Congratulations on your 100th post! And congrats to the winners, I envy you!

Dora said...

Wow, what a great holiday. Next year I am going with you to VT for New Years. We do NOTHING so it would be fun to go somewhere. :)

Now, for the realistic look at your Christmas... You can stick to your 2009, the year of the stash. How you ask... gift cards don't count when you use them to buy new yarn... Yippeee.... so when you get the urge to get new yarn, just pull out the gift card.

You can do it ! ! ! !

I am going to plan a girls knit weekend at my house in CT. I'll keep you posted on the weekend and maybe you can come for the Saturday.

Dora the Lawya'

SJ said...

Wow, I never win anything! So excited!

Sounds like the insulation was a real adventure. Glad to hear that you finished it all by the end of the day -- and I'm super impressed that you did it all yourselves. (I come from a family that always called someone who knew what they were doing to do stuff like that.)

Hope you had a great new year in Vermont!

Alyssa said...

I know you hated the yarn but the yellow sweater is pretty!