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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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)...
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)...
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...
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!