Andy’s boards & hooded scarf

My brother lives on the east coast, and the winters can be bitter.  He’s a fan of my knitting, although I still haven’t recovered from the time he machine washed the handspun cabled blanket I knit him and turned it into a small bullet proof rectangle.  I try to make him something warm periodically, and I definitely owed him because he just made me the most beautiful cutting boards:

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They are walnut, made from a tree on his land that came down.  He bought a little mill saw and now he can make his own boards!  I love them both, but especially the one on the right which he left with the live edge.

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And the grain is gorgeous.  I’m not sure I’m going to let a knife near them.

He also made a stack of small cheese boards for my friend who wanted them for gifts for her office mates.

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And for my mom he made one using dark end grain cuts.

 

The most creative one I somehow missed taking a picture of – one in the shape of a flying pig for my sister.  I can’t believe I can’t show it to you.  I’ll have to add it if I can get her to take one.

Anyway, as you can see, the man deserved more hand knits!  He’d asked me a while back for a scarf that he could pull up over his head and around his ears when he’s out walking in the cold.  I took some chocolate colored baby alpaca yarn my friend brought me home from Peru and made him a hooded scarf.  It is about the simplest possible pattern – a biased garter stitch scarf with a seam added to create the hood.  I threw in some noro kureyon stripes to add a little more color to it, and made it quite long so he can wrap it around multiple times when he needs extra wind protection.  He can also push down the hood and it just looks like a normal bulky scarf.

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It was a hit!

 

 

Different kinds of crafting

Sliding glass doorMy siblings and I all are handicrafters in very different ways.  I’m the fiber girl, making my crafts with yarn and fabric.  My sister is more paper and paints.

And then there is my brother.  He is the builder.  When he isn’t busy with his regular job (he’s the only non-teacher in the family as a captain in the Navy) he likes to do construction.  In his “spare” time he rips the roofs off houses and adds another level, puts in bathrooms where there were none, and adds new wings to the sides of houses.  While my idea of a weekend plan is to finish quilting a couch throw, his is to build a retaining wall and a fully insulated shed.

My sister and I frequently lament together about how wonderful our houses would be if he didn’t insist on living clear on the other side of the continent.  Two of my most frequently stated desires have been to put a sliding glass door to my back deck, and a side gate in the fence so we could put the utility trailer beside the house instead of the garage.

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For a wonderful birthday surprise, my mom and my sister arranged to fly my brother in for a long weekend!  I got home from work on Thursday and there he was!  It was the first time I’ve seen him in two years.  Lots of hugging.

And then came the rest of the treat.  We raced off to Home Depot that evening and got the door they had already arranged and the dismantling and installing began right away until it was too dark to continue.

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My sister took the next day off and, one table saw purchase later, the two of them got all the trimming and caulking finished.  I just have a little painting left but we have a fully functioning slider now, letting in so much light.  And even better, the French doors are no longer there to bang into the dining table and chairs every time my children run in and out (conservatively, a thousand times a day).  And a screen door!  Breezes without bugs!

image There was also eating birthday cake.  That kept me and the boys busy while the others sawed and hammered.

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And they kept going.  With the kids and my husband helping they took off the narrow section of fencing at the side of our house, my brother whipped up a gate, and we can now squeeze our useful but annoyingly long utility trailer alongside the house rather than taking up every inch of space in our single car garage.

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Much garage organizing is in my future, and I’m so happy about that!

My sister, brother and Mom are fabulous, and it was a terrific birthday surprise.