Friday, December 31, 2010

Looking back



I don't do New Year's Resolutions as such. Maybe just one and then a habit a month. Years ago the habit started with making my bed each day, then I added making sure the dishes were all done before I went to bed...and so on and so forth, with several dips into "watching" my language when little people would repeat the things that I said at the most inopportune moments.

Last year my knitting resolution was the same as the year before, Knit it or Frog it, and with the things you cannot see on my blog and the things that you can by following the FO2010 tag, this year I have completed 97 items.

Why yes, I did count each sock and mitt individually but only when they actually made a pair! But on the flip side, several of those items were large. Large like adult sized sweaters and giant shawls.

At 1760 yards to the mile, I have knit miles and miles of yarn and used thousands of beads. I have learned new techniques, like working nupps in the round, discovered new yarns to love and made more virtual friends around the world. I have won a knitting contest and donated prizes to the fall version. I organized my stash this year and did some major home improvements. But most importantly, when things went wrong, I didn't give up.

All in all, you would think that I hit most of my personal goals for 2010, there is just one thing that didn't quite work....

Dear Son Number Two's sweater is STILL on the needles!

In my defense, he didn't commit to colors until Christmas Day.

Happy New Year everyone, I have some knitting to get done.

~M

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas



The last of the presents were finished last night and placed with care on the table.*
Par 5 Socks
Cascade Sassy Stripes in Blues
size 2 needles, and knit in 3 days!!


Merry Christmas!!

~M

*Not a lot of room left under the tree by late last night.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Secret Santa

Sometime after Thanksgiving, but before this week, the crew and I at work drew names for our Secret Santa Exchange.

The person I drew had been saying that she needed to make herself a scarf as her coat doesn't quite fit (or at all right now). That might have something to do with being well along in her pregnancy!! I pointed her in the direction of a simple wrap that will do more to keep her warm than the scarf would and took it upon myself to keep her neck and head warm for the next couple of months!!

I know, I said no scarves...but...she needed one!

Presenting :

Variations on a 28 row scarf this one actually being 32 rows.
Yarns : Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair, Baby Bee Peach Fuzz and Bernat Alpaca Naturals Blend.
In some places the yarn is doubled up, in others all alone to give the piece just a little more depth and warm fuzziness.
When worn the ruffled edge likes to twist back across itself, making sure that the scarf wraps nicely around the neck. :)
And what is a scarf without a complimentary hat, I ask you?
My take on an Unoriginal Hat. You can just see the sparkle of the metallic in the mohair here.

She got them today at our gift exchange/pot luck where I pigged out on meatballs, two kinds of soup, cookies, greens, chicken drumsticks that melted.

I don't know about you, but I am still full!

Pictures of the latest finished object will be up tomorrow or later, I am supposedly watching 9 with the kids and can't take pics right now....but I have hours to spare before Christmas and nothing of note on my needles.

I wonder if I can squeak out one more project before heading to bed?

~M

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What she said

One of the customers that I occasionally wait on at the bank and I were talking about Christmas, and more specifically Christmas shopping the other day. I was bemoaning my lot of having made so many presents and still feeling like I needed to buy a ton of stuff to keep my children, friends and family happy when she made a statement that has haunted me for the days since.

"We only get three presents at my house" or words to that effect. "It was good enough for the baby Jesus, it is good enough for us."

Think about it for a minute.

Three presents.

Now admittedly, gold, frankincense and myrrh are not on my shopping list but if we think about the meanings of those gifts we today could have our own versions.

Gold* : something of worth, be it your time or a monetary value. A few years ago my kids would have classified the latest video game system as their gold.

Frankincense** : (I am taking BIG liberties here) something to make today sweeter. Be that a good book, favorite music or that warm cuddly sweater I have been knitting on.

Myrrh*** : (Even bigger liberties) something for tomorrow. That present that a year or ten years from now will still be in use or remembered.

Sometimes I feel that I get the same message over and over again, today not only was I thinking about what my customer said but I was reading something very similar on another knitting blog.

Hence the title : What she said.

Unlike the Yarn Harlot I will be back before Christmas with more FO posts!!

~M

*Gold is a precious metal and has monetary value. It represented Jesus' Kingship.
**Frankincense is another resin, an aromatic one, from the milky sap of the Boswellia Tree. it is used as perfume, incense and in aromatherapy today, and was used in religious rites in Jesus' time. This represented homage to God.
***Myrrh is a resin (dried sap) from the Myrrh tree. It is used in perfumes and incense. It was commonly used as an embalming ointment in Jesus' day. This was a startling gift for a young boy--it represented His death.




Sunday, December 19, 2010

Quickies





School is out for Winter Break, and just in time for some really cold temperatures and some snow. Rumor has it that if we have measurable snowfall before the big holiday that the rest of the winter will not be so bad. I hope that rumor is true, I am tired of shoveling snow off my driveway already!

Before the final day of this year at school, TDQ and her friends were hanging out in study hall and TDQ being the enabler she is collected requests for fingerless mitts from all her friends. Not for pay or anything, just requests for if I had time.

Last evening I needed something quick to keep me occupied waiting for a late arriving flight and I knocked out one of those puppies, this morning while children chattered and oohed and ahhed over monster man's fancy (freaking huge) laptop, I knocked out the other.

The reason I was looking for something to fill time was I also finished this :


For once I actually followed the pattern. (I'm practicing for the next round of test knits) and made NO modifications!!

Shrug with Swing
Patons Silk and Bamboo
Size 9 (US) needles
Pretty quick knit on those giant needles!

Wanna see the back?

I like the back the best on this one. :)

There has been other knitting, but it is the stealthy kind.

I am however, getting seriously behind on the Christmas knits! Monster Man might get socks for New Years.

~M

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hot off the presses..or internet or...oh just read it!

When my boys were little they loved a tv show called Blues Clues. I think they were two or three when Blues Clues had a movie that included a song Today's the Day. (really bad quality video start at 2.56 to get the song) I have been singing that under my breath since I looked at Bad Cat Designs blog today.

Today is the day that Andrea (BadCatDesigns) announced her winter project. The Metamorphosis Project.

Go take a look!

I'm in, how about you?

~M

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

When last we saw




When last we saw our neighborhood knitter, she was up to her elbows in Advent knitting, but alas in the time that has passed that knitting suffered from something of a demise.



The knitting was fine, gently laid on her desk when our knitter left it.

If only she had heeded advice she had been given so many years before about not stopping in the middle of a row!

The boy says it was the cats, the cats are inscrutable.

But never the less the needles were missing from the stitches when our knitter returned from her search for another cup of coffee.

Now the poor thing sits in a ziploc bag, awaiting it's final fate...to frog or attempt to pick up those pesky running stitches? Either way, this far into the holiday knitting season it will have to languish in that bag just a little longer. Maybe sometime after December 25th it will emerge!

In the meantime :

Mom's 2010 Christmas Cardigan

Pattern : Mr Greenjeans well sort of!
Mods : Made it longer, make one increases instead of yarn overs, pockets, five buttons.....does that really still count as the same pattern?
Yarn : Lion Brand Wool Ease in Oxford Grey
Size 8 (US) needles

Here is a closeup of the make one increases



And some pocket detail
But wait! That's not all.
TDQ's Featherweight cardigan
Jade Sapphire 2 ply Cashmere in Amethyst Haze
Size 6(US) needles
Mods : added false side seams..wanna see?
And changed up the edges a little so they didn't curl
And again, generally made it longer.

But wait! That's not all

Now doesn't that look nice and professional?

I found a business card template that I played around with for a while, then with the help of one of my employee's and her husband ended up with these cute little care tags.

The employee sells creative memories items on the side and had this great punch to make gift tags which was perfect! If you want one for your very own let me know and I will get you in touch with her!

One last look at the perfect tag and I am away to knit some more!

I thought I had one large project left to knit for the big day, obviously I can't count!

~M

Edited to add a link that will automatically take you to my employees punch page!

Friday, December 3, 2010

3rd day of Advent


Stitch Pattern 3 is up on this site.

Back to my regularly scheduled mad-house knitting!

~M

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On the second day of Advent


On the second day of advent unkatissima gave to me....another lace stitch. Now if only I had also got some better lighting and a steadier hand to hold the camera.

24 quick rows of lace.

Tune in tomorrow for another 30 rows.

~M


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The first day of Advent




In response to some of the comments lately :

Why yes, Amanda, Holiday Knitting could be when you take your needles with you on vacation and show them the beach, or a snowy hill. Sounds like fun to me.

And no, Sue, the herringbone mittens were not very complicated at all. Once you are a few rows into the pattern it all makes sense and apart from remembering when to stop increasing for the thumb gusset or start the mitten top decreases it was smooth sailing, I mean knitting.

But, onto actual knitting type things!

If you are at home with your needles, or happen to have taken some extra with you on holiday check out this blog !

Unikatissima is giving away a free advent lace pattern, and although I am technically not knitting scarves to knit about 28 rows of lace in addition to my regularly scheduled holiday knitting is an extra nice little break. That would also make it Holiday Knitting, don't you think?

Terribly dark picture, but it is terribly dark and cold in Mid-Western America at 9:00pm. Mine is being knit in some gorgeous lace weight wool from Land O Lace in Forada, which is some seriously beautiful greens!

I also got one other thing finished up.


Finally got the mole stuffed and sewn up. Don't you just love the little toes and beady eyes?

Ok, off to take a vacation with my needles now. :)

~M