Tuesday, December 16, 2008

knitting update

I took this picture of the girls tonight. Arianna wanted me to post one of her knitting since the last one was crochet. She is doing great.

Ellen's is getting longer too.
The girls started out a while back holding my hands while I worked. I showed them how to crochet a long chain. You can't do much with a long chain though. Recently they showed interest in learning to knit since I've been doing so much knitting myself. So, then I sat next to them while they worked on their own pieces helping them as they needed it. I have been working a few rows every once in a while just so that they feel like they are getting somewhere. If you've ever knitted before you know how long it takes. It is so slow. I want to help them finish this project. Finishing is key! I'll go back and fix the problems and probably clean up the edges a little with my crochet hook. I hope that they will wear their little scarves with pride.

I remember learning to crochet from my grandmother when I was in elementary school. Even though I didn't practice for years I never completely forgot how to do it. When I started again a few years ago it all came back to me. It's kinda like riding a bike. I hope that even if this is the only project they work on for a while they'll have fond memories of the process and be able to pick it up again one day.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Crafty Christmas

We've been doing a lot of crafts lately. We will be giving homemade Christmas gifts this year. It's not a new thing since I've been making gifts for the past few years. I've knit hats, scarves, and wash cloths. I've also crocheted wash cloths and oven mitts. We've made ornaments too. This year the girls are very involved and love making things for people. I can't give away too many details so I don't spoil the surprise for the few who read this!

Here's what the girls and I have been doing all weekend. They have both learned to knit and crochet. I'll post a picture of these pieces later because they are already a lot bigger than they were when I took this one.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Kruidenier Christmas Bonus

I (Daniel here) like to listen to the RedBank Bar and Grill Show on WUSC Saturday early afternoon. Take a look at playlists and even consider a trial webstream here, although it is only possible to stream whatever WUSC is playing, not particular archived shows. I am not a huge country/folk/Americana fan but I am always intrigued and impressed by the performers "Uncle Gram" has on the show. He hand selects really great music. Maybe I am becoming a fan. The other day I was listening in the car and heard of a FREE Christmas concert featuring local legends and a few nationally known singer/songwriters on a Sunday evening. I took note.

We drove out to the Red Bank United Methodist Church Sunday evening and didn't really know what to expect. What we received was a wonderful array of Christmas songs performed by seasoned musicians. It was really nice. I note a few for you: Danielle Howle is a unique songwriter who we have tracked since we've been here. Check her out here. Watching her perform is a true musical experience. I won't attempt a description, but she is worth checking out. Mark Bryan, of Hootie and the Blowfish fame (a Columbia band), played some tunes from his more recent work, and last Sarah Lee Guthrie (daughter to Arlo Guthrie) and John Irion finished out the night with a never-recorded Woody Guthrie song pulled from the Woody Guthrie archives by his granddaughter. These last two performers had been at Carnegie Hall playing with Pete Seeger and "swung down" to join the festivities. What a treat.

Lots of beautiful guitars, beautiful voices, and the Christmas spirit. The girls and I "rated" the singers who were each allowed 2 songs, and I was happy that the line-up included many talented female artists for them to feast on. We haven't been to church much since the girls were born and I had a giggle when the offering plate was passed around for a local interfaith charity. The girls made a donation and then literally turned in their seats and watched others as the plates made the way back through the aisles. Something about it really intrigued them, as if they were thinking, "Holy cow, they just pass that thing around and folks dump money in it? What is going on?" They are familiar with generosity but not with wads of cash floating by. Aaah Christmas.

Here are Irion and Guthrie singing their lasts few lines of a song called Peace. It was beautiful. They persuaded the congregation to sing along.

Here's a picture of the Mark Bryan from Hootie and the Blowfish.

And last but certainly not least here is Danielle Howle: