Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Saturday, December 26, 2009
The projects are, by number:
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
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 tree...life 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 early...so many places to go and people to see...it 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 toys...it'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!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
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 finished...you 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!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
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!
And, speaking of well-received gifts...here 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
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)...so 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
...in 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 F...it'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
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 out...it 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 steady...it'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.
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
Must. . .keep. . .knitting. . . It's a good thing that I like to knit...lol!
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
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
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
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 soak...so 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
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 knitting...lol!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
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:
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
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!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
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
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 gifts...so 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):
Saturday, October 24, 2009
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. . .
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
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
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.
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!