Balmy

As I write, we’re about 4 hours (and 4 inches) into a nice proper snowstorm.  (The picture was taken yesterday when the porch was free of snow.  At the moment, it’s rather a lot more snow-covered out there, and I feel no obligation at all to go out and document it for you.  You’ll have to use your imaginations instead.)  I’ll be alright though, as I have a lovely and hugely warm new hat.  See?

That, plus a bit of work on The Boy’s sock, was all my knitting over the birthday/holiday weekend.  The rest of the time was spent cooking, eating, playing board games (we got a new one called Morels that I will have to tell you about soon), and bringing order to the chaos of my knitting/craft closet.  The result was a very relaxing and enjoyable break, and I hope you all had just as much fun as I did.

One final reminder, the birthday buy one get one free sale expires tonight at 11:59 pm eastern time (scroll down to the Birthday Laze post for all the details).  You can still swoop in and take advantage if you’re in dire need of something to knit with any yarn you may have found in your stocking!

Not Quite

You’ll recall that this whole star thing started as a way to make it snow.  It still hasn’t worked, but apparently my furnace heard about my concerns and wanted in on the act.  So last night, when it was just the tiniest bit nippy outside (even if it wasn’t snowing) he stopped working.  Well not quite, he kept blowing air, he just stopped heating that air before blowing it on me.  Very refreshing.

I responded with stoicism and wool.   And another star.

My office windows are now full, so it’s likely time to stop.  I’m sure the snow will arrive any day now.

And because you guys really do seem enamored of these, I’ve done a bit of looking around, and I’ve found a few more links for you.  Here is someone who has made them with just tissue paper and has instructions for a few basic stars in English.  Here is a place to buy the sort of paper I’m using (or something close to it, I’ve not ordered this so I can’t say for sure, but it sounds the same).  And should your own dexterity/time/energy not quite be up to the task, here is a place to buy the completed stars.

Now this evening, my goal really is to get the second of those cabled socks on the needles.  With any luck at all, we should return you to your regularly scheduled woolly goodness very shortly.

Easily Amused

Huh, ok, you guys like the stars.  Honestly, I’m a little surprised.  I find it ever so slightly shameful that I like them (they’re paper…folded paper…there should be fairly low amusement value here).  I’m downright shocked that you guys do.  I was expecting some folded arms and foot tapping and a little gentle prod back in the direction of the yarn.

But who am I to argue?  The first round of stars didn’t do it (no snow yet), so now I’ve added a yellow one to the mix.  It might be my favorite so far.  I’ve got one more window in my office, so I may well need to do one more star tonight…just for symmetry you understand!

If you’re really itching to try your own, there are some directions (in German, but you’re looking for the pictures anyways) online.  You can likely make a fairly simple one out of tracing paper if you just want to practice.  It won’t be quite the same, but enough to know if you like it.  There are some directions for one here, and another here, and one more here.  If you put ‘fenstersterne anleitung’ (window star instructions) into google, you’ll find more!

My Misspent Youth

Earlier this week, I opened the windows in my house.  Yesterday, I went to the grocery store wearing sandals.  Something has to be done.  It’s December, it’s Ohio, it should not be in the 60s.  I need to make it snow.  This is traditionally done by hanging either straw stars or paper stars in the windows.

Now, let me back up.  I’m not sure either of these things is a very traditional holiday craft in the States.  But I grew up in Germany, and making both of these was always part of the season.  The straw stars make a huge mess and are not kitten friendly, so last night I decided to go with the paper ones.

It starts with a paper cutter, the instruction book (optional, you really can just wing it) and some fancy colored translucent paper.  I’m not sure this stuff is available here.  It’s not tissue paper like you’d use for a present.  It’s more like tracing paper.  I think it may actually be what’s called glassine paper.  If you want to buy your own, the closest I’ve found seems to be the stuff called kite paper.  I’ve got a fair bit left over from years ago though, so I just dug around in the closet.

Then comes some folding.  And a bit more folding.  And one or two more folds.  It’s not hard at all, just tedious.  I suggest doing it in front of the tv.

Each individual piece looks like this (had to hold it up to a lamp as it was dark outside, sorry about that).

Then you tape them all together (this is the part I usually botch up) and hang them in your window.  When it’s light outside (which it’s not terribly here, but hopefully this gives the idea), you can see all the different layers as differing shades of the color.

I made a little orange one too.

And of course Levon had to come supervise as soon as he heard the camera.  He’s helpful like that.

Now, I just have to wait for it to start snowing.  I’ll make a few more to hurry things along, but I don’t see how this could fail to work.

What about you guys, does anyone else make these?  Does anyone else have any sure fire ways to make it snow (or stop snowing…which I’m sure I’ll be interested in come February)?

Getting Old

I’m apparently reaching the stage of crotchety-old-man-hood characterized by the liberal use of the phrase ‘when I was a kid…’  I’m actually fairly comfortable with this, but I do find it amusing.

Trick or treat was…anti-climactic.  We had somewhere around two dozen kids or groups of kids over the course of two hours. I feel like we’ve had more in previous years and that they were more polite in the past.  I get cranky when the kids don’t participate in the ritual…I want to see a costume, I want to hear ‘trick or treat’ (super duper bonus points if they’re little enough that it comes out ‘twick owr tweat’), and I want the kid to say ‘thank you’ at the end.  I’d say about one kid in four managed all three, and maybe half managed the thank you part.

In any case, it was an excuse to sit on the porch, eat candy, and knit for two hours.  It was a bit chilly, but I had a new coat and scarf, and I wore some mitts and it wasn’t too bad.  I finished up this little cuff (it goes with the possibly-bug-adorned hat), and I am smitten with it.  Like the hat, it is asymetric and can be worn inside out or rightside out as the mood strikes you.  It’s the same yarn base as the hat, but it’s a solid.  It picks up one of the colors in the hat though, so I declare that they go together if I want them to.