Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words...

So, here are about 15,000 words for ya!
Our Christmas was very good, and we are looking forward to a safe and happy new year. I wish you all the same!

Knit (and Live and Love) in Good Health in 2010!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009...the year of dark yarn?

Well, at least for a lot of the Christmas knitting! Take a look:
The projects are, by number:
1 - Coffee? x3, # 3 pair; pattern, Cafe au Lait Mitts; yarn, Lion Brand Jiffy Print; gifted to my sister.
2 - A Gun in Yarn; pattern, Mochimochiland Luvgun; yarn, Caron Simply Soft (gray) and Nashua Handknits Creative Focus superwash (dyed brown by me); gifted to a nice guy at work.
3 - Boyfriend Hat #2; pattern, Gotcha Covered #1; yarn, Naturally Caron Country (orange is 2 plies of Caron Simply Soft in duplicate stitch); gifted to dd's bf.
4 - Kitchen Scrubbies; pattern, Grandma Rita's Nylon Scrubbers; yarn, nylon netting cut into 2" strips and knotted together; gifted to many of the women in my family and friends.
5 - Coffee? x3, # 2 pair; pattern, Cafe au Lait Mitts; yarn, Mountain Colors Bearfoot; gifted to my mother-in-law.
6 - Red Toes for Christmas; pattern, Sinuosity (by a friend of mine!); yarn, Plymouth Yearn Happy Feet; gifted to my dd.
7 - Green Gift Hat; pattern, Gotcha Covered #1; yarn, Wool-Ease; gifted to my father-in-law (who doesn't wear hats like this, he told me... ;-)
8 - Variegated Boy Socks; pattern, Thuja, but in fingering weight on 80 sts for the size 11 feet!; yarn, Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet; gifted to dd's bf.
9 - Coffee? x3, # 1 pair; pattern, Cafe au Lait Mitts; yarn, Mountain Colors Bearfoot; gifted to my mom.

There were other projects as well, cranked out at the last minute...never even took pictures or put up on ravelry...I was a knitting fiend, but I don't have any pictures. However, I can tell you that there was another pair of fingerless mitts, in a stitch pattern called SKYP, I believe...I heard about it on a podcast...stands for slip 1, knit 1, yo, psso the knit and yo. Also made a matching hat. I don't even know if I did it right, but the mitts match each other and their hat, so I call that success!

You all have seen all the candy and cookies, and I had much fun with that as well! BUT, I am glad that the holiday merriment is nearly delicate constitution cannot take much more! (But I do have a new fondue pot, and I am hoping to use it on New Years' Eve!)

Now, for a gratuitous shot of Army Boy, Wifey Poo and Puggle Face - so glad they made it home safely for the holidays!:
Pardon the pet-eye on the pooch...could not fix - aargh! But still a cute shot...I hope that your holidays were good, and that whatever stress the merriment caused you is fading into memory by now... I wish you all the best of the best, and more good than bad for the rest of this year, and all of the year to come!

Knit in good health!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pretty Knitty Christmas Cheer!

So, it has been a fun week at Pretty Knitty's house! College Girl has been hanging out here (and with her boyfriend, which is to be expected, I suppose), and we have enjoyed laughing and playing with her.

Army Boy and Wifey Poo and Puggle Face all made it in safely on Sunday afternoon. There is food and candy and goodies all over the house, and all kinds of presents under the is good!

My little friends (and their great parents) came over to have dinner and decorate a gingerbread house on Saturday night, and it turned out pretty great...have a look:
And we opened presents a little many places to go and people to just seemed like the right time! We all got stuff we asked for and wanted, and I am anxious to use my new fondue pot...but I have pitifully few photos...oh, well!

I have some pictures that I hope to share this Saturday, if I can get to the editing before then. I remember when Christmas was just going to Grandma's house and playing with new's hard to believe how busy it becomes when I am nearing the "grandma phase" of my life! Yikes!

I hope that you all can find the holiday joy amidst the holiday junk we all have to deal with. And I hope that your holiday projects are all done...I have one more to cast on, which I will as soon as I sign off. So....

Knit in Good Health!
Merry Christmas!
Happy Everything!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Forecast - Snow!

So, if you are planning a trip from NC to OH up I-77, and the weather man says expect bad weather on Saturday. . .right where you are planning to drive. . .it makes sense to travel on Friday. . .unless, of course, the storm did not hear the weather man and decides to start dumping early in the mountains, causing a major accident and hours of stand-still traffic which close the mountain tunnel you need to go through to get home!

Army Boy & Wifey-Poo (and Puggle-Face) are safe, and they got a hotel room in VA for the night. They had hoped to get back on the road today, but today is the actual STORM. . .seems yesterday was a prelude, and the delay was more about 2 tractor-trailers and several cars that decided to have a singles party, crashing wildly into each other, on the highway. . . (C'mon! Break it up! Can't you take that somewhere else?!?) There have been many prayers of thanks that DS an DDIL were not a few miles ahead, or they might have been a part of the party! Still, they are safely stuck in a cheap and boring motel, waiting it out for another day and night, and planning to get back on the road sometime on Sunday. . . If you are the praying type, please send one (or several) their way!

In other snowy news, the kind we like has been falling inside the house over the past couple of days. . .the sugar kind that looks so pretty on Gingerbread Houses! Here are a few pix of the snowy construction, and icing covered "big kids" who made it happen:

And here's a shot of the finished house...tada!
Well, truthfully, with gingerbread, there is no such thing as can always add more! And with no building codes to worry about, just cover up the 84◦ angles and the open join at the top of the roof with laffy taffy, and you are good to go! Eventually, that icing is going to dry like mortar, and even the leaning walls will hold up the roof! College Girl was pretty jazzed that she and Boyfriend could do this house last night, and they appeared to have much fun, even despite a crazy camera-wielding mom!

As for knitting, still gift stuff...if you are on Ravelry, you can see some of the projects on my page...otherwise, you will see them here after Christmas! Until then, knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Peanut Butter Cups and Presents!

That's what I have been up to since I last wrote on the Blog! Peanut butter filled treats, and Peanut Butter flavored melts made into nutty treats are the latest float in the parade...but gingerbread will follow later this week! I should even have pictures of completed houses on Saturday! Yay!
For now, here's one from last year:

Not too shabby, eh? I love making gingerbread houses, but it is quite the process! I am glad that the College Girl is coming home on Friday, and that she is eager to work teh houses with me! If all goes well, I will bake tonight, and construction will take place on friday afternoon/evening!

As an extra treat, some of my "little friends" will be coming over on Saturday to decorate their own house that they will then take home with them to celebrate! Yay! What could be better than little kids, bowls of candy and Christmas?!?

And - BONUS! I did all the wrapping yesterday, so there are now presents under the tree! Squeeeee! I don't know just why, but it really isn't a finished tree until there are presents under it...I was up late, but so glad I stayed up!

There is some last minute knitting that I have realized theat I need to do...I knew THAT would happen. ;-) And none of it is too taxing, but it won't appear here until I get to gift the stuff... I am so excited to give so many gifts that I have made this year! I hope they are well-received.

And, speaking of well-received is a picture of the yarn my Secret Santa gave me last Saturday:

I mean, I knew I liked it as soon as I saw it, but I didn't realize that it nearly MATCHES the yarn I made my moebius cowl out of! I see mittens or gloves that match the scarfie for the first time in like ever! Can't wait to start them after Christmas - Yay! Thanks again, Jessica. . .you are a most amazing Secret Santa! (And, I can't wait to use my notecards, too!)

Knit in Good Health, and Happy Holidays, Everyone!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Food Parade

Good Morning, Everybody! (she says, as though the whole world of blogdom has been sitting at their computers all night, wondering what happened to Pretty Knitty's Saturday blog post...she does realize that this is not the case, yet she still feels a strong need to pretend that you are waiting anxiously to see what she will share, and that you miss her terribly when she runs out of day on blog days without posting...alas, whether you are sitting there or not, she will continue, secure in the hope that someone will stop by, read this post, and comment that she was truly missed!)

Yesterday was busy, and I have a feeling that I will just feel like that until all the Christmas Crazies creep away. I usually look forward to said crazies, and this year is no exception. Take the Christmas Food Parade, for example (images left) far, I have made the caramel and toasted the pecans, and put together dozens of yummy turtles, and I have made Cranberry-Orange scones for the Cleveland Knits West Christmas party (yesterday - most of the reason I ran out of day!). I think I look forward to the cooking and baking, chocolate candy-making and gingerbreading the most this year! And so far, so good! Today, I hope to do more chocolate...we will see what happens!

Oh! The Christmas Party! Let me tell you, it was waaaaayyyyyyy fun! I hope that all of you have the chance to attend a holiday party that you enjoy that much...usually there is some amount of holiday party drudgery at this time of the year (Do we have to go to that one?), but I only have the one party for 2009, and it was a blast! Here's the booty:

On the left, my gifts from Jessica for the Secret Santa swap: some Cascade 220 in reds and burgundys and deep dark other yumminess, a BUNCH of handmade cards (how did she know that I like to send cards in the mail? Oh, I may have written that somewhere on the SS form...who can be expected to remember what they write on those things?) And a little notebook with a cute stamp that says, "Rice cakes taste so much better covered in hot fudge!". And some Eucalan Wool Wash that I love (but, sadly, forgot to put into that picture while I was fighting off the kitties to take it!)

In the other photo, the SS gift is joined by all the"stocking stuffers" that everyone brought to share...just little bits of goodness from our craft rooms and some little niceties for knitters: stitch markers, note cards, lotions, CANDY, ornaments, keychains, bags, and the cutest monkey I have seen in a long time! Boy!, we all thought our stockings were going to be HUGE, I think! Thanks to all of you for sharing your time and your talent and the love in your hearts!

And now a moment to thank our hostess, The Queen herself! And thanks to the hostess's son and husband for opening their home to a bunch of wild n'crazy knitters! And thanks to all who cooked or bought and then brought those goodies along, I am still full this morning! Yummmm! Food, presents, and time to knit on Hubby's gloves...what more could I ask for in a party?

Wow! It's still early. I have time to knit in peace before church, so I think I will. I hope that you get some moments of knitting in peace today, too. Thanks for reading!

Knit in good health!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Triumphal Tuesday

So, remember the tree? How it was kicking my decorating butt? Well, I have triumphed! I beat that crazy tree into submission yesterday, and here it is!

and the crowd goes wild! her imagination anyway...

So, here is the tree. 3 of the 4 strands of lights behaved long enough to find their places amongst the branches of my skinny, pencil tree...and now I have 48 - 2.5watt, clear replacement bulbs to take care of any burnout issues.

Wait, weren't the burnouts those kids smoking behind the school that the band geeks avoided? Oh, right...that's a story for another day...back to Christmas...

So, to reward myself for a job well done on the tree, I decided to start the holiday food parade, and I made some homemade caramel... What I really wish is that you could smell this stuff as it heats to it's 230-240 degrees's butter (NOT margarine or any other substitute), half-and-half, whipping cream, sugar, corn syrup, and vanilla............jusht a thec...

Ok, had to go wipe off the drool...even the memory of the smell just makes my mouth water...mmmmmmmm! Next stop for this stuff is TURTLES!

The other thing that got me happy on Tuesday was that I received an item from a fellow Etsian, 5elementknitr...a Stitch Saver! It's really pretty cool...a crochet hook, clipped off just past the plate with the size stamp, and then drilled through for a jump ring. In this case, the whole she-bank is then put on a keyring, so you can always have your hook handy in case you drop a stitch on the go! Way cool - glad you thought of it, 5elementknitr, and super glad I found you!

Well, that's all for now. As per the previous December conversation, there has been knitting, but it is not to be mentioned before the 25th! There may be one item to blog on Saturday...will let you know! I will continue to knit (and cook, and bake, and make candy) like a mad woman until then!

Knit in Christmas Cheer, people!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Not feelin' it

Oh, I look at the Calendar, and I know it's close. I mean, I know it's December something-or-another (aaargh!), and I know that Christmas is coming, and I know that I will have people in my house at some point, but I cannot seem to get myself into the spirit...the holly, jolly of it all. There are a number of factors impeding my progress on this front, I suppose, but I think the biggest of the factors is this: a half-unboxed, half-unfluffed, half-unsteady tree. It has been sitting in our living room like this since Tuesday, when I first thought about taking it out of the attic.

You see, the stand has never been quite right with this tree, and it has mocked me every year by allowing the tree to wobble slightly from side to side, and from front to back, from the day I put the thing up until the day it goes back into the box. A few times during the season, I would have to lie on the floor, on my belly, and lift the tree totally out of the stand to "re- seat" and straighten it, or risk getting a sore neck from holding my head funny to convince myself the tree was stable and straight. This year, I enlisted the help of my loving husband...who fixed the problem in about 5 seconds by inserting a piece into the bottom of the stand that I have never been able to figure was a snug fit, and I am shy about snugly fitting pieces, a little fearful of breakage I guess. But he shoved that piece into the bottom of the tree stand, and now the half-tree stands quite's an amazing thing really. Yay for my Hunny Bunny!

That is to say, of course, Yay for my big, strong, hunk of Manliness! ;-)

So, now that my half-tree is steady, I thought it a good time to go back into the attic to retrieve lights, ornaments, and other decorations, neatly tucked into these boxes...seems like a good idea, no? I agree, yet still, there they sit, next to the sofa. I will not have time to do it tonight (babysitting gig - yay!) or tomorrow (church and a bunch of other obligations for the day, including another babysitting gig - yay!), so I am really not sure when I will be motivated to make the equation work.

Right now:
Tree + Boxes = Mess
Hopefully at some point,
Tree + Boxes will = Holly Jollyness

Despite being challenged in the decorations department, though, my big, strong hunk of Manliness and I did go to the candy store. B A Sweeties Candy Company is the candy store where we buy all the bits for the gingerbread houses, and since we had a 10% off coupon today, we also got the chocolate for the Christmas candy. So, I guess there is a little holiday spirit down in my heart today, after all. I am looking forward to the gingerbread and candy making.

In Knitting Knews, I have started two new projects, both gifts. I think my Dec. 26th post may have many, many more pictures than anyone will want to see! lol Until then, I hope that you are all getting your holly jollies from the season, and that you will continue to knit in good health clean through to 2010 and beyond!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unnamed Knitting

So, over there, to the right, is a picture of some knitting, which means this post has "knitting content." At best, this knitting is a large work-in-progress which shall be referred to only as "The Christmas Knitting." At worst, this knitting is my latest nightmare, as it is a long list of items which may or may not actually be finished by the December 25 deadline. Some of the items in the pile are finished pieces, some are finished pieces of a larger project, some are started pieces and some are completed works. All in all, the photo represents the fact that I am making progress, but am nowhere near finished. . .yet.

Must. . .keep. . .knitting. . . It's a good thing that I like to!

Aside from the knitting, my biggest dilemma this week is that my Christmas tree is not yet up. This is truly quite unusual for me. Most years, I am one of those people who makes friends and family nutso by having the decorating in full Christmas swing before I put the Thanksgiving bird in the oven. My In-Laws have often commented that it seems as though we are celebrating the wrong holiday when they are at my house for that November meal, served up on red plates with green napkins around the golden tablecloth.

But this year, it is different. This year, both of my little birdies are in nests of their own (well, College-Birdie is in a temporary nest, but she is not in this nest on most days since September), and I am having a hard time getting motivated. On top of no kids at home, Hubster and I have a new kitten, and I am truly not looking forward to the first tree-toppling of the season. Decoration Motivation is not such a big part of this year's equation.

That being said, I did move furniture last night, so that I can put the tree in front of the window when I do get around to taking it out of the box. Perhaps I will have a picture in Saturday's blog post. . .perhaps the tree will be standing upright! Until then, I will be plugging away at the Christmas knitting, and trying to focus more on the sugarplums dancing in my head than the ones trying to make their way onto my hips!

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

No one went to bed hungry. . .

So, don't tell my kids that I put this picture on the blog. . .but may I just tell you how wonderful it was to have them all here for this holiday? Normally I cook for the whole extended family on Thanksgiving, but this year we scaled back. I guess it comes down to me being a little selfish. . .I just did not want to share Army Boy, Wifey-Poo and College Girl with anyone. So, it was pretty much just the immediate family, and it was pretty nice.

We have so much to be thankful for. Army Boy is back from the scary place. College Girl is almost finished with her first semester, and she is doing well being away at school. Wifey-Poo managed to set up housekeeping on her own in that Other State, in preparation for the return of her Army Boy husband, and they now have a lovely home to share with their little dog. Hubster and I are enjoying getting to know each other again, now that the kids are flying the coop, and we are enjoying the time we have with them when they come back to visit. All in all, it's a wonderful life around our house. (Contented sigh here!)

We get them all to ourselves for just a few more hours, now. . .everybody goes "back" tomorrow, and the house will feel empty again, but that's ok. There are lots of new memories, laughter and shared moments, to look back upon as we get ready for the Christmas season. I suppose I will put up the tree soon. . .

Oh, and the knitting. . .for some reason, I planned a LOT of holiday knitting this year. Obviously, I cannot give too many details until the gifts are given, but suffice to say that my needles will be a-clickin'! I see some socks, and some toys, and a couple other things. . .and I may throw in a pic or two as we go. . .

I hope that you are enjoying the start to the Holiday season, and that no matter what you are knitting, you will Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope that your homes are happy, and that your table is full.

Knit in Good Health!

(I know that I will be knitting, as soon as the dishes are done tomorrow!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It IS a Wonderful Life!

Tonight I saw a high school production of It's a Wonderful Life, and I liked it! ;-) You see, I know George Bailey personally, and he is a really neat guy! Great job players (and all the unsung heroes of the AVL and backstage world)! Gets me right in the mood to dive into the Christmas season and watch all the Christmas specials my daughter got me on DVD last year! Yay! And the music...I have already started in on the music...oh!, the music is my favorite part! And the baking...DD and I (she is home until after turkey-day) mixed up some cookie dough this afternoon...yum! Just can't wait for next Thursday, and all that follows...sigh!

And to get myself even more in the mood, I have finished the stockings, except for the planned fabric lining which I cut out this evening before the show. Here's a photo:
I hope to sew the linings and put them in tomorrow! Again, sigh!
And one more sigh for the late-night blogging - again...sigh! Busy, busy days...but so easy to fall asleep at night...sigh! By the way, now is probably a good time to say that I may skip my mid-week blog post...the day before is always bread- and pie-baking day (no matter how small the crowd)! Then again, if I am sitting around waiting for dough to rise or custard to set up, I may pop in...if not, look for me next Saturday for sure!

I hope that your Thanksgiving is grand (for those of us in the US), and that the whole holiday season finds you and your family well and content.

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Deck the halls with...

No! Not the Christmas song, my new sweater!

Finally, a photo of my "Holly" cardigan (designed by c2knits)! I love the way it came out! I still need to give it a full far it has only been misted and laid flat to dry, but the collar needs an actual, honest-to-goodness soak and spin and lay out to dry. I think only a drenching will tame the lace into place, so maybe this weekend?

It has been a pretty long day...worked hard (mostly) at the office until after 4, some running around, knitting with a friend, and I got home about 9:30pm...for the first time since I left this morning at 7:30am...yikes! So now that I have showered and started to decompress a little, I thought I'd take a minute to do a quick post before my Wednesday totally runs off without blogging!

As I thought about Holly at left (and the kind you see in December), I can't help but feel sucker-punched at how fast the holidays have snuck up on me this year. Thanksgiving is a week from tomorrow...again I say, "Yikes!" Then Christmas will be here before we know it. I guess I better start shopping soon...I hope I can get all the knitting done in time...I may see Santa on Christmas Eve this year as I finish up. Oh!, I hope I can get it done before I am totally down to the wire!

Well, won't worry too much about that until it gets closer, or at least until after Thanksgiving! I wonder when I will put up the tree...

For now, I hope that you are all on task and that you are meeting your holiday knitting goals! Keep on keeping on, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Nice Day for a Drive...

When your son returns safe and sound from a year in Iraq with the Army, and he arrives to the loving arms of his beautiful wife, and you (the mom) have his car in your driveway, and your husband (the dad) says, "Let's take the Boy's car to him," do you know what to do? I did! And it was a beautiful day for a drive!
We drove over 600 miles yesterday to visit the little family! It was so good to see that it was real...he is truly "home." Note: 2 cars + 2 drivers = almost no!
We even got a chance to see one of the All-Star's of the Boy's youth (grew up across the street, played lots of baseball together!), who also recently returned from a deployment to Iraq.
It's a short visit...we will go back tomorrow, and I will knit my way home on a pair of two-at-a-time socks that should be finished shortly after we stop driving.

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Long Week. . .Short Post. . .

And I hope you will understand. ;-)

First off, I finished my Holly Cardigan in green, and here is one photo. It is still blocking, but I hope to make the drawstring and wear it tomorrow!Then, I took a pile of this (2" - 3" strips of nylon netting):
And turned it into several balls of 6 strips each, like this:And then I crocheted several, colorful pot scrubbers like this:
Oh, and I have recently finished some new Combination Knit/Crochet Row counters, like this one with sheep! They will hit the Etsy Shop sometime over the next few days!
Now, I am off to go get a bath, and enjoy a long weekend! No more "regular job" until Monday. . .sometimes it's just the thing!
Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Plug it!

No, don't plug THAT! I am talking about advertising, and the thing I have been busiest with these past couple days has been advertising. . .so I am going to shamelessly self-promote myself here today, as well! That's the disclaimer. If you don't want to know about Pretty Knitty Jewelry, here is your chance to move on to the next blog. . .but I hope you will stay! ;-)

Some All of you know that I am slightly obsessed with the knitting. Most of you know that I am just as obsessed with the computer. . .for things like Ravelry, Etsy, Facebook (where mostly I lurk) and
blogging. Many of you might know that I am really enjoying learning some code and playing with photo-editing, which ties in nicely with promoting my Etsy shop (see right).

So, my newest blingy things are my newest advertisements for the shop! Look for them in the forums and also on your notebook pages on Ravelry. . .I got a Notebook ad! I got a Notebook ad! I got a Notebook ad!. . .starting in December! Yay!

More knitting next time, I promise! More knitting will be accomplished before I see you again, I am sure! So, until I see you again, Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Research and Development

One of my favorite parts of crafting is figuring out what it is that I want to make. When I knit a sweater, I ask myself what color?, what yarn?, what shape?, what size?, and many other questions. Especially if the sweater is not for me, I agonize over what the recipient of my knitting might most enjoy. My jewelry-making is no different, and over the past several months, I have found that I LOVE to do custom orders for people! Recently, I completed some row counters and stitch markers featuring the buyer's initials in polymer clay, with her name spelled out along the 9 beads of the counter! It was so much fun to work on!

And just this week, I created another for a returning customer that I am enjoying getting to know. I can't show you the whole thing...she is buying it as a gift...but I am happy to share the portion that I like the best! While working on this row counter, I wanted to remind my customer and her gift recipient to love well and laugh often. Even if you have struggles, you can find someone to love and something to laugh about, and I think my new found, faraway friend has figured this out! It's one of those things that helps to make this life more enjoyable, and too many people don't even try, it seems. I am a fan of those who do.

I guess you could say that I am also a fan of research and development. I like to sit at the computer and figure out what is out there, what people are buying, and what they might like, based on that information. Since I was a knitter before I was a seller of row counters, I start with the items I think I might like. . .that's how my very first row counter (partially pictured in the blog banner) came to be. . .I needed a way to count my rows without losing the counter when I put the project down.

After a few months of selling the knitting row counters, I realized that there was a gap in the market for crochet row counters. That could be because (in my opinion) crochet rows are not as difficult to count when looking back on the completed work, or it could simply be that it's not as clear-cut to figure out how to clip a counter onto a piece of crochet. So, I branched out to create crochet row counters and row markers, and I have sold a few of those.

Then, last month sometime, I came up with an idea. . .a wonderful, wooly idea! What if I could create a counter that would function for both crochet AND knitting? And I think I have done it! I have listed the first one in my Etsy shop, and I am excited to see if I receive some feedback on it. The counter can rest on the knitting needles, between stitches. . .OR. . .it attaches by the lanyard hook directly to a crochet piece, and the elastic markers slip past the numbered beads to count single rows and sets of ten. Here it is, shown on my Holly Cardigan!
And here it is on a Crochet piece (finished long ago, but nice for displaying crochet counters). So, what do you think?
So, I guess that's it for now. Research has been my "gig" this week. That cardigan is really coming along, and I am excited about starting the sleeves soon! And I hope I sell some counters this week!

Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween...again...

So, today is Halloween. Not feeling particularly Halloweeny. Tricks and Treats were on Thursday in our town...and you have already heard me rant and rave about that. ;-) Hold on, there's more...

We ran out of candy pretty early in the game. Apparently, when your town holds the "holiday" two days early, and yours is the only town doing this, kids from all the surrounding towns are trucked in to participate in the festivities for an extra boost of sugary goodness. Didn't think about that when we bought our candy...instead, we thought about how few kids have come by in the past few years, and we actually bought less candy than usual... Oh, well. It is what it is. Sorry kids. (rant finished)

Today was a pretty good day. Got an early start, got most everything done, had a nice lunch out with the Hubster, then went for a long walk in the park. The last of the leaves are still holding on, and some of the trees are still beautiful. Some are barely covered, and some looked downright chilly with no colorful blankets on their branches. The weather was cool, but the rain stopped this morning, and the whole walk took about two hours (out and back), which is pretty normal for us on this walk. I stopped to take that photo at the upper left when we reached the half-way point...winter sure is coming!

On a brighter note, here are the salt 'n pepper shakers I painted to go with the bowls...not too shabby! They are baked and boxed and put away with the bowls they now match, and I have purchased some anti-bac hand soaps to add into the gift presentation for these. Now all I need are a few pot scrubbies or dishcloths, and "Voila!," my Christmas "shopping" will be nearly complete! Of course, there are still gifts to buy for those nearest and dearest to my heart, and I am looking forward to that.

In Knitting Knews, you all know that I have taken a break from the stockings to work on a couple other projects, and my Cardigan and Socks are coming along nicely. I am also planning to cast on a hat and some gloves, and some little toys for more gifts. So, I will try to keep you posted without giving too much information away to my recipients!

Off now for a cuppa tea, and a nice sit down in front of the telly!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

THURSDAY? Really????

So, Happy Halloween, Everybody! I would tell you that on Saturday, when it is actually Halloween, but it seems that I would be a little late for my home town if I see, the city I live in has decided that, since Halloween falls on a Saturday...which might make it convenient even for families to trick-or-treat without the rush of get-home-eat-dinner-get-costumes-on-go!...well...isn't it logical, then, to have Trick-or-Treat ON THURSDAY????

I mean, if Halloween falls on a Friday, and there is a home-town football game, well I could see that logic...although the kids that are affected by High School Football games are probably too old anyway, but they might be going with younger brothers and/or sisters...ok. But it falls ON SATURDAY this year! That means that even the folks worried about kids out after dark could be appeased by daytime trick-or-treats...that means that even if the event was scheduled for 6-7:30 (as it is every year that I have lived here), presumably there would be a greater percentage of parents who do not have to work, and perhaps the holiday tradition could be less rushed and more enjoyed...that means that those of us who are passing out candy would not have to feel rushed to get home from work and get the evening chores done before we could settle in to “oooh and ahhh!” and “That’s a great costume!” over the kids we know in the neighborhood.

I mean, I like Halloween...and I like trick-or-treat, even when it's rushed...and our kids went out for candy long after they were probably too old...and I have nothing against the tradition...but THURSDAY? Really???

OK - rant over. sorry. thanks for listening.

We now return you to the regularly scheduled blog...

In Knitting Knews, I finished one-and-a-half projects, and started two. The "a-half" project is pictured to the right, 3 of 5 stockings are finished. Well, technically, that one in the middle still needs some afterthought embroidery, but other than that....ummm, and the lining I plan to put in the stockings...these three are finished!

Originally I had only planned to do 3 of them, but now I am pretty sure I have to do at least two more...but the last two will be smaller and less complex, I think...and they may be I may not be able to even post blog photos until after they are gifted. All-in-all, I am having a blast working on them, and I am even eager to sew the linings and get them completely together!

In other Knitting Knews, I also finished the Candy Cane Socks (more pix at my Ravelry Project Page) in Plymouth Happy Feet, color 4:
I started a pair of Thuja socks (but done in fingering weight, Plymouth Happy Feet, color 18): And I cast on the Holly Cardigan, designed by my friend Cheri or c2knits (Tamaty Tweed in Forrest, worsted, cotton):
Zoe Kitty likes it already!

Whew! I am tired now! I don't know if it was the rant or all the knitting, but I am gonna sign off! Knit in Good Health, people!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Do!. . .

I like them, Sam-I-Am! Weddings, that is! One of the many hats I wear is Wedding Coordinator at the church I attend. Basically I make sure the heat/AC are on when needed, and that the chairs are arranged correctly (my Hubster helps with this - yay!). . .and I run around the building before the wedding, making sure the bride has what she needs, and the groom has what he needs. . .and that everyone has their flowers. . .and that everyone knows where to go and when to go there. . .it's a great hat to wear, and I think it fits well! I love weddings, and today's was another beautiful one, yay!

Before the wedding, when I got out of bed and started the laundry today, each time I returned to the sofa to knit and spend a little more time waking up, some version of this scene kept greeting me. . .
It's pretty difficult to wake up when you have sleeping cats to look at, and even more difficult if one (or BOTH!) of their warm little bodies makes it onto my lap! But today, they just curled up with each other. I thought it especially funny in this shot that the little cat was snuggled up to the big cat's butt. . . Silly Kitties!
The other thing that made my heart sing today is Fall. We are nearly at the tail end of the peak of color that fall leaves brings to our corner of the world, and it has been spectacular this year. Some years, it seems the color is very mute, but this year, the colors are popping all over the place! Even the trees who have mostly shed their "coats-of-many-colors" are creating vivid, flaming pools at the base of their trunks. There was some strong wind this morning that has brought down many of the leaves, but these past 5 or 6 days have been beyond beautiful!
And then there's the knitting. . .here is stocking #3 (of 5). I have just started the heel, and I am having a good time adding all of the 5 colors that I bought for this project to this one! Forgive my "phone photo," which is still a bit dark, even after Photoshop, but I am happy with how this one is coming along. . .a little more "flashy" than the others. . .I hope she likes it!
When I finish three stockings (and I feel like I am within all my deadlines for the Christmas knitting), I plan to cast on another sweater for meeeeeeee! It will be Holly, by c2knits! She is a local designer I know, and her work is fantastic! I will be using Tamaty Tweed (cotton, worsted) in a deep green color.

The other item I will cast on is another pair of socks. . .they may be a gift, tho, so no details here until after the Holidays. . . ;-P I hope your Holiday Knitting (if you are doing any) is right on schedule!

Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's in the Bowl!

Yes. I said, "It's in the Bowl." I did not say, "It's in the Bag," because I am not talking about bags. I mentioned last time that I need another hobby. . .so, well, I picked up another one last night (and Monday, too).

You see, I have these plain, white pieces of dinnerware in my basement. Serving Bowls and Platters, Salt and Pepper Shakers, Desert Plates and Cereal Bowls, and a couple of Mugs. They are from a project a couple years back, and I still have them. Every year I think to myself, "Those would make nice Christmas gifts, all painted and perhaps personalized. . ." And the thing is that I have the paint, and the brushes, and the paint pens, and all the supplies I need for the project. . .yet, still I had not actually done anything with them. . .just too many other things vying for my time, I guess.
Then, on Monday, I started to take inventory of my supplies, and I started the project. I finished painting 10 large-ish serving bowls last night, and I baked Monday's batch (to make the paint permanent and food-safe) this morning. I will bake the Tuesday batch tomorrow. . .what do you think of the finished results?My original idea for the serving bowls was to write on the bowl what might be inside, or to divide the bowl into quadrants with a season represented on each quarter. Kind of like a "bowl for all seasons" that you just turn so the appropriate food or picture is showing. Some of my paints were really thick, though, and the flow was tricky. . .so I opted to rely on the paint pens as much as I could. Over all, I am pretty happy with how they turned out. ;-P

In Knitting Knews, I am still plugging away at the Stockings. . .feels like they are taking forever, but I know in my head that it has only been a little over a week. The stranded knitting makes me crazy, but I think I am getting more used to it. I just cannot like the puckering, and I don't seem to be able to carry those strands loosely enough. sigh! Perhaps a little blocking will help? Not sure, tho. . .this is super-acrylic yarn!

Eventually, I will feel like I have mastered two-color knitting! Until then, I will keep on practicing, I guess!

By the way, Christmas is coming! I hope that you have started your Christmas Knitting and other projects (if you have any planned), and that you will Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I think I need another hobby...

So, I knit.

And I crochet.

And I needlepoint.

And I paint.

And I play with clay.

And I play with wire and metal.

And I write.

And I Scrapbook...which is what I did with some of my Scrappin' friends last night! And I got quite a bit accomplished! Yay! DD's album did not have some major "Senior Year" stuff in it, so that was Priority One...and I am proud to report that I was able to complete 4 2-page layouts (that's 8 pages!) in my 6-hours!

Another friend did 20 pages! (I think she may be an overachiever...shhhh!)

I can, of course, say that because I do not have a problem with the overachieving. I do not have several hobbies that are constantly competing for my time. I do not make myself crazy, trying to be perfect at every single one of them. I do not fill all my "free" time with little things so I won't fidget. I do not constantly bug my friends by fishing for compliments on the various craft projects I complete each week.

Yeah. Right.

I am plugging right along on the Christmas Stocking Project. This is just the first one, and I plan on making at least 3. Possibly 5, and maybe more! Yes! I will make stockings for EVERYONE! And they will all be stunningly beautiful! Bwahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!

Hmmmm, I seem to have gone a bit mad. Perhaps I need a hobby...

Knit (and craft and live and love) in good health!