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!