My husband recently signed up to participate in a wellness program through his employer. He brought home, just for me, a little gadget. I believe it’s called a pedometer. I thought, wow, what fun? I decided to wear it attached to my waist band during the course of a regular day. At the end of the day, it read 19,449 steps. Hmm. Wow. Really? On a slower day, it was 2,492.
It has become a bit of a game between my husband and I as to who gets the most steps in during a day. Silly, you think? Well, yes, it’s a silly game. But, it’s fun and it’s proving to be good for our health. Some days, my husband, Bert, rides his bike the 14 miles between our home in Mantorville and his work place and comes home with over 20,000 steps. Other days, we’re both in just a few thousands. We’ve taken lots of walks together, which adds up to lots of steps and many good conversations.
This week is Vacation Bible School for my kids. Maddy, Sam and Rachel are participants, and Hannah and Lydia are youth workers. Ben and I man the nursery together. A few weeks ago, we were asked to help create the name tag bags. It’s a simple little bag with a bias tape strap that finishes the edges and creates a strap that enables the kids to wear them upon their necks (Rachel wears one below). There’s a pouch with a zipper, so they can keep their little daily book with Bible verses. Our friend, Lori, who also operates a Bridal and Prom Dress Shop in Byron, Minnesota, had 300 bags completely cut out, zippers installed, and pinned ready for the bias tape to be attached.
My oldest girls were asked to help with 100 bags. They had a great time with this and managed to finish 99 bags. Just one zipper lost its zipper head during construction, an occupational hazard. It was a simple project, but a good experience for the girls to complete such a task under a tight deadline. A step toward bigger things.
It’s turning into a great summer here. The temperature reached the high 80s today, and we enjoyed the sunshine (after several cold and rainy days). It’s a brand-new kind of summer for Ben. He’s 20 months old now. There are so many new things for him to do. I’m enjoying watching his new abilities, climbing ladders at the children’s park, walking across the play set bridge, sliding down the small slides almost all by himself, learning to throw (or not to throw) things like sand, or a ball. His first useful sentence was “come me now.” His other super cute phrase was something sounding like “how are you?”… “good”.
This summer I’m working on an Aran fisherman’s sweater (or gansey) for six-year-old Sam. With two qualified baby sitters in my house now, I enjoy working on this project while Sam and Rachel attend their weekly piano lessons, or while traveling to Waseca to prepare our previous home for the real estate market. Can you see the “S” for Sam in the picture below? This is really my practice run. My plan is to eventually create one for my husband. However, size 6 seemed like a good first step.
I’ve actually made a little more progress since this picture was taken. I’m up to Sam’s underarms now! The gansey is knitted from the bottom up beginning with a Channel Island cast-on. It is created custom-made, based on the wearer’s measurements, rather than from a standardized pattern. A great feature of the gansey, I’m told, is a gusset at the underarms which makes the sweater fit better and stay in place when the wearer lifts his arms.
I’m working through Beth Brown-Reinsel’s book, Knitting Ganseys and using a 3-ply Aran yarn purchased through the Kerry Woolen Mill. The color is “light Jacob,” reflecting the natural colors of the Jacob sheep from which it came. Knitting Ganseys is a wonderful book which includes a “sampler” gansey that is only about 7 inches in length. It’s a great little lesson in knitting a gansey. Beth walks the reader through all of the characteristics of a gansey, from the Channel Island cast-on, the definition ridge, an underarm gusset, drafting an Aran pattern, and more. I decided to create my sampler just a little bigger so that Sam could enjoy it this winter and so that I could try my hand at creating a custom-made sweater. Ironically, the most difficult part, so far, has been to keep the diamond pattern at the center going well.
We’ve also had some fun creating slacks and capri pants this spring. Rachel created her own pair!
This is what she does during Sam’s piano lesson and my knitting excursion.
Hope you’re enjoying the summer!