Sunday, December 29, 2013

On a Happier Note

On a happier note, how was your Christmas?  Did someone remember to stuff your stocking with something nice?

I got things that were whimsical,
 
 things that were practical
 

 
and things that inspire me.
 

 
 In putting away various presents I discovered, much to my chagrin because I had forgotten that I had it, that there was a hank of Lara's Creations Angel's Kiss Semi-Solid yarn in my stash!
Several failed starts later I think I have the beginnings of a wonderful shawl.  But, who can go wrong with a Baby Alpaca, Silk and Cashmere blend?  When I wound this and started knitting I was sure, absolutely convinced, that she could not come up with a better base yarn.

And then these arrived in the mail.

You have got to feel the Soft 'n' Single yarn to believe it! (It's the green and blue on the left, called Amazon if you are taking notes and getting an order ready.)  The yellow arrived just in time to be considered for one of the projects in the new BadCat KnitAlong. (It's Simplicity in Lemon Drop, again if you are taking notes.)

There is still time to join the fun over at the BadCat Group, follow the link above for instructions on how to sign up!

But, before I go, I have one more thing to suggest.  If you answered No to the second question I asked at the beginning of the post.  Assuming you are not driving shy like I am at the minute, take a little time and visit a store.  Pick up a few things that are in the after Christmas Clearance that strike your fancy, they don't have to be big, or many and when you get home, take some of those scraps of wrapping paper that seem to hang around long after all the gifts are wrapped and wrap them up.  Put them in your stocking now, and then when you put away your Christmas decorations put the filled stocking with them.

If you are anything like me, next Christmas, when you open the goodies you stashed away for yourself you will have completely forgotten what you bought!

Happy Knitting!

~M


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Well, I certainly didn't ask for that for Christmas



Enough said.

Except, everyone is a little shaken and will be very sore tomorrow but we are ok.

~M


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The End of the Countdown

Just a sprinkling of snow here this Christmas Eve, not enough to count for a White Christmas, which is good because those secret presents I was knitting were part of a wish for a Green Christmas.

As I have mentioned before, when you are putting together gifts for a bunch of people it can get very pricey in a hurry, and like many others this year for us is the year of Less is More...or as I told my kids, this year I am giving them my love, anyone who doesn't like that gift will not get any next year! (And, yes, there are physical presents to be given as well, but buying for teenagers who do not know what they want is difficult at best.)

But I digress, this post is about that secret present that I was working on.  The gift that TDQ assured me is the lamest thing she ever heard of!

Merry "Green" Christmas Bags.
Contents : 
One Empty Spray Bottle
One small box of Baking Soda
One small bottle of white vinegar
0.5 fl oz of Essential Oil  (If you are interested I got mine here, Lemon Grass for most as it is also an antiseptic and repels sugar ants!)
1 Hand Knit Dish Rag
 


Home cleaner directions:
For an all natural all purpose cleaner, mix together in a clean, empty spray bottle:
  • 3/4 water
  • 1/4 white vinegar
  • 1TB baking soda
  • 6 drops of essential oil

I had a lot to put together, here is roughly half the knitted dish rags.
 
No real pattern, just seed stitch with a garter stitch border.


Now there is nothing left to say except....

From my house to yours........May you have the Merriest of Christmases! 

~M












Sunday, December 22, 2013

Smug

It has been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks...we had snow and icy roads, followed by warm weather and flooding.  Kids with final exams that ended six hours before the bus could pick them up!  Christmas preparations to get rolling, and packages to be put together.  All the early Christmas Parties are over, one I had to sing at...TWICE! and I am really glad that we are down to only going to the things I really want to go to.  But even with all that going on the kids and I found some new Christmas music that we enjoyed.


But it is time for a reality check.... what day is it?  The twenty second?!?!??!?

And I am.......

As ready as I am going to get.

All the Christmas knitting is finished.



 Blocking shot of the cape that TDQ assured me would in no way be ready for Christmas!

I even snuck in an extra pair of mitts to go to a random gift exchange at one of the schools.  The mitts were to fool someone into thinking they weren't getting a full ten dollar gift (which was the rule in this particular game) but hidden inside them was a gift card to iTunes, which I am assured is a favorite of many teenagers...me too, I spent far too much money there getting music for my iPod.








TOB even got into the knitting act and knit a scarf for one of the many people who have the unfortunate job of teaching him.

All my employee gifts are packaged and even sitting in my office (or car in the case of one) ready to be handed to people the last time I see them before the official holiday. Pictures and stats for those will be forthcoming, just not yet!

Packages that needed to be mailed are in the mail.

And my kitchen seems to have been gutted, again!
 


But, all things considered, I think that this evening I am going to put a movie in the BlueRay player, make myself a nice cup of coffee, cast on something that has nothing to do with Christmas and enjoy some knitting time, all while feeling very smug.

I deserve it!

~M

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Day Late, hopefully not a dollar short

That is how the saying goes, right?  A Day Late and A Dollar Short, for whatever wonderful thing was in the offing yesterday for just a little more than you have!

I finally finished the last, I think, of the employee/coworker Christmas knits.  As fast as I have been knitting them I have been bagging and tagging, but...no spoilers on those yet.  (Side note, TDQ says they are the lamest Christmas Present she has ever heard of and she is glad she doesn't work for me!)

Speaking of TDQ her cloak is further along, but still not finished.  She is betting that it won't be done in time, but I am on the hood and that is only 8 more inches of straight knitting before the shaping so I am confident (smug?) that it will be done in time.

So confident that a bunch more fingerless mitts to hold gift cards just jumped off my needles.

No real pattern, just some superwash DK yarn (Patons if you are interested) sixe 5 needles, cast on 36 stitches and run with it.

We have yellow....

And blue....

to go with the grey that I already knit.

At least one more pair should be knit by Friday, when my kitchen project might be ready to be unveiled!

~M




Sunday, December 8, 2013

Prepping for The Holidays including New Years!

It is hard to believe that in the midst of Christmas Preparations I am thinking ahead to the New Year, but I am not the only one.

Get your needles and yarn ready because the Bad Cat has come out again to play, and you are all invited to knit along with her!  Knowing how overboard I went with the Summer Doily Project, knitting so many little pieces of lace all based on just a couple of patterns, I might have to order more needles. This time around we are going into it knowing there will be more than one thing to knit! And, I had better get some payment  t-shirts put  to one side, because my model (TDQ) heard that Andrea's model (Bad Kitten) gets paid in shirts and demanded equal treatment.

The group is already starting to talk about materials, but there is still plenty of time to join, so head over to the Bad Cat's blog and sign up!

But, before I can sort out yarn, payment t-shirts and needles I have some Christmas knitting to get done!

I am exactly half way through the monster addition I made to my knitting queue, but that is staying a secret for now, which doesn't mean I have nothing to show for my week.....just not everything I have knit is going to appear today!

First up we have the First of the Advent Knit Along Projects.

I changed it up a bit, used a slightly lighter yarn and bigger needles to get the look I was aiming for.

Some more mitts also jumped off my needles, very basic and boring but they will be suitable for holding the gift card that the teenager they are meant for will consider the "real" gift.

A little headway was made on the Invisibility Cloak, nearly to the neck which I am going to alter with some braided stitching and the big fancy button that TDQ says will be just perfect.

So, some knitting down, some more to go and plenty of snow on the ground to put me in the Christmas Spirit!  But I can say, I have had enough snow already, can we move right into spring?

~M










Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why do Knitters do this? Or am I the only one?

When last we spoke I was starting to let myself get a little smug about the whole Christmas knitting thing. Admittedly, I had severely culled my knitting list, or so I thought.  And then I had an idea.

A horrible idea. (At least TDQ thinks it is a horrible idea for a Christmas present.)

Every year I put together a gift bag for everyone on my team at work.  Individually there is nothing extravagant about the gifts, but multiplied out over the number of people I end up giving to when you include all my Special Duty Police Officers and back room partners, it usually ends up to be "a chunk of change".  Which is what led to the thought, along with being out of inspiration for something clever to cover up how inexpensive the (individual) gift is.

The down side, and this is where I have to ask if it is just me or do all knitters do this to themselves, the down side is that I will have to knit about 2500 stitches (not including cast on and bind off) for each gift and they have to be done before Christmas......(edited to add, I can't count...that would be 5000 stitches per gift, forgot to count the return rows!)

And......

I haven't finished TDQ's cape yet!

I did however finish another pair of socks, which brings us to a pair a week for four weeks.  Not too shabby as that wasn't the only knitting I was doing!

The Waffle Recipe strikes again, this time in Serenity Garden Yarn in the Crocus colorway.  Slightly smaller this time, only 56 stitches in the cast on, then decreased to 54 to have a multiple of six for the pattern.  My usual take half the stitches and make a slip stitch heel and it was pretty much done.

The kids are decorating their tree today, I threw a little of this and a little of that on mine...and added the scariest thing I could think of to the top (no not a picture of myself, although it is hard to tell in the picture!)



Do you think if I blink I can get just a few more knitting days before the holidays?

~M