Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mr. Greenjeans! Mr. Greenjeans!

The sweater is almost done!
Ohhh, I can barely stand it! But my new Mr. Greenjeans
is nearly finished, and then I can wear it to the party!
I'm so excited that I'm blogging a day early!
That is all. It's turning into a busy Christmas-knitting season around here, so that's all I have time for this morning...but I am pretty happy about this! Hopefully I'll have more time on Saturday to tell you more about my super-secret knitting...until then, thanks for stopping by! 

Oh!, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Oh, Balls!

Oh, excuse me! I didn't know you were there...what a title, eh? Well, I just couldn't help myself. You see, lately I've been knitting...well, balls! See?
Balls? Where? I don't see any balls.
It looks like Black Cat is not interested in my balls. That's ok...these are really for Peanut anyway...
Peanut has dogs.
Peanut and her parents (and the dogs) live in another state. But they will be coming to Gramma and Pop Pop's house next month (yay!), and she loves her BeeBees (balls)! So, Gramma thought she'd knit some more...you can never have too many balls to play with!
Oh, here they are...now I see them.
What do you think of the balls, Black Cat? Are they fun?
They're...ok...I guess...
They're just "ok" you say? I really thought you'd enjoy them more than this. Look how roly-poly they are!
Well, I like the blue one.
Oh. I see. You only like the blue one...I suppose it's ok to have a favorite. Which one do you think Peanut will like best?
Hard to tell. She likes pink...and purple...I think.
Haha! Yes, you're right! She does like the pinks and purples!
But the blue one is still MY favorite.
You still think the blue one is the best, huh? Well, you sure are good at batting it around! Hey, look! I caught it!
You did. Roll it back. Now. Please?
Maybe you're right.  Maybe the blue one is the best of this bunch after all! Regardless of color, the balls are a fun knit, and so quick! Each one only took about an hour or so, cast on to bind off. Everyone should knit balls (to play with)!

If you're looking for something fun to knit (for kids, or cats, or just to play with), you can find the "recipe" on my project page for Knitted Balls. It's a G-rated project, I promise! You can add some catnip when you stuff (if you need to, they are pretty fun even if kitty is sober), but be sure to hold onto the kitty's keys before he or she partakes of the party-balls! Wow, knitted balls are so good, in so many ways! Go make some!!!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Can We Blog?

Black Cat: Can we blog, Pretty? Can we? Can we?!?

White cat: Don't listen to her, Pretty. Just blog yourself.

Black Cat: Puh-leeeeeeease!!!

White Cat: Whatever. I'm taking a nap.
Black Cat: You can't take a nap! We're on the blog...!!!
White Cat: Still taking nap.
Black Cat: Silly!
Black Cat: I'm going to blog then...did you see her new sweater? She laid it out on the floor yesterday!

White Cat: Don't. Care.

Black Cat: But look! It's so green...
Black Cat: ...and oooh! It's squishy...
Black Cat: ...and comfy!!!
Black Cat: Oh! (yawns) Now I see what you mean about the nap!

Pretty: Black Cat...what do you think you're doing?
Black Cat: What? You made me a sweater to sleep on, so I'm taking a nap...

Pretty: Ummm, that's my new Mr. Greenjeans. It's NOT for you to sleep on, it's for me to wear...well, when it's finished...

Black Cat: But it's good for sleeping NOW!!!

Pretty: No, you're done sleeping. Now, SCOOT!!!

Black Cat: I was just trying to help...I know how busy you are the day before Thanksgiving...and I know that you don't like me to sit on the counter while you cook. I KNOW THAT!

Pretty: Well, I suppose you have a point. Thank you very much for helping. Now, please scoot...I'm really hoping to make some progress on that sweater this afternoon, but I won't be able to work on it if you are sleeping with it. 

And thank you, readers, for stopping by. I hope that you have all your ducks (turkeys?) in a row for the holiday tomorrow, and I hope that you will have a moment to reflect on your blessings every day as we enter fully into the "Holiday Season," starting with Turkey Day! By the way, I won't see you tomorrow, so I hope that my US friends have a very Happy Thanksgiving, no matter who you are sharing it with! 

I also hope that you will have a moment (or more!) to Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Easy-Peasy Trees-y Tutorial!

I recently finished a project that I cannot tell you about until AFTER December 2nd...so I figured that I better put something together quick that I CAN talk about! How about a Christmas Tree in miniature? Works for me!
I know this is a fuzzy photo...sorry. Silly, dark house!
Silly photographer with her phone!
Here's what you'll need:
  • Crochet hook, size K (and crochet hook size F, optional, for garland)
  • Bernat Boa in bright green
  • Loops and Threads Festive yarn in bright green (silver and red, optional)
  • Tree form, cardboard or styrofoam
  • Yarn needle, scissors
My form came from a cone of cotton...
remember The Dishcloth Craze?
I went through a LOT of cotton!
SHINY! Festive bought at Michael's,
but I can't find a link. :(
These will be very loose instructions (dc=double crochet), and anyone with basic crochet experience should be able to figure it out. Here we go!

Using your preferred method (magic ring, chain 3 and join, etc.) and the K hook, and using one strand each of the green Boa and Festive, create a ring to crochet into. 
Round 1: Chain 3 (first dc), and work 6dc into ring, join. (7dc total) It's a little difficult to see where that hole is as you add dcs...do your best. :)
Round 2: Chain 3, dc around, increasing 2dc evenly. (9dc total)
Round 3: Chain 3, dc around, increasing 3dc evenly. (12dc total)
Repeat round 3, increasing 3dc every round, until the work stretches slightly to cover the form. I believe that my last round had 24dc. Here's what mine looked like two rounds before I finished:
See the bottom? Almost there...
Cut both yarns, thread through yarn needle and weave in and out of stitches on last round. Place the blanket of "needles" you've crocheted over the tree form, and draw the woven yarn snug enough to cover part of the bottom of the form. Knot yarn and weave in ends.

At this point, the top of your form may poke through the top of the tree. Just take a strand of either yarn and sew a few stitches to close the hole more tightly there. Look! It's a tree! (I made mine up in an hour or so.)
Yay! A tree! This will be so easy to put up every year!!!
Now you have a decision to make. You might be done with your tree here. I thought my trees looked a little naked, so I also created some "garland" for them. The tree on the right (in the first pic) has a single strand each of the silver and red, wrapped around the tree and stitched in place here and there. I wasn't real happy with that look, so I also added some tiny LED lights...WOW!
Tiny LED lights, with tiny wires...my latest
QVC purchase. Mr. Pretty has
me hooked on QVC!
On the other tree, I used the smaller crochet hook to make a simple chain out of the silver and the red, and I crocheted it right onto the tree every 10 sts or so...I really like how that one turned out, too!
It's a different look...and very flattering!
You might notice some of my new friends in those last couple photos. Tiny, knitted snowmen are like potato chips...you can't just knit 1 (or 10). I've sent a half-dozen in the mail to my Peanut with this...
I was so excited to send the Advent Mittens! Squeee...!
And now I also have 5 (for now) to keep me company at my desk!
Oh, Christmas Tree!
Oh, Christmas Tree!
They keep asking where their "brothers" have gone, and I haven't had the heart yet to tell them. Maybe I'll just keep making more, and just maybe that will satisfy them. I wonder how many it will take to go completely around the tree??? I wonder how many of those cotton cones I still have hanging around my knitting bags???

You should totally go and make a couple of trees of your own! Or maybe some snowmen tinies! OMGosh...I gotta go make MORE!!! 

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Frosty the Snowmen...

Didja ever wonder what Frosty does in his off time? I've often wondered, and now I have some friends to ask. They look like they might be experts, and it all started with one tiny snowman...
OMGosh! Took like an hour to knit the snowman, maybe
fifteen minutes for the embroidery and scarf...quick!
These Mochimochi Tinies are soooo stinkin' cute...I can barely stand it! I got this pattern some time ago, but I can't remember when for sure. Now I've been smitten, and once I knit that first one, I couldn't seem to stop.
Remember "Take your Mochi to Work Day?"
Apparently there's one in November too.
I thought I might be done after five. Five is a good number, right? The Jackson Five were a happy bunch, right? Ummm, no. Donny Osmond has five brothers...and a sister. Now I'm re-thinking five...but, wait. What's this?
Wool snowmen are not at all afraid of melting.
Oh, of course. It's Number Six! Where did this one come from? And since when do snowmen snuggle up to cats? Or play cards?
Who wants to deal? Wait, is there
anyone here with thumbs?
Well, apparently snowmen don't play cards, they tell me. No one ever wants to deal...wait, I think we have a volunteer...
Now THIS should be interesting...
Something tells me this is going to be a very weird day...tiny snowmen snuggling up with cats and playing cards, and insisting on tagging along everywhere I go...just weird. I guess I could be up for some strange today...just like any other day...well, except for the snowmen. Today is a new day with a new and bizarre twist, and I can't wait to see what will happen! Stick around, if you can take it!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!
Mitts created and modeled by my good friend
Corrie, of Standby...Go! Beautimous!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Lifetime Ago

I remember where I was a lifetime ago, at 7:30pm. 

I was doing laundry when my water broke. Mr. Pretty was giving Mork a bath, and I was folding whatever had been in the dryer. At 7:30pm, I bent over to retrieve the next item, and I felt it...not a "whoosh!," but more of a "trickle." I finished folding and took a shower. After all, I was 9 months pregnant, and my bladder was not as reliable with a giant uterus pressing on it...maybe I just peed a little? Once in the shower, I was certain that I did not need incontinence gear, but a trip to the hospital sounded like a good idea.

We packed bags, took Mork to his designated sitter, and hopped I sat gingerly in the car for the trip (at least 30 minutes away, with train tracks in a couple places). I was eager and anxious, and getting more so as the contractions began. They intensified quickly, and once at the hospital, everything happened so fast...

"Wow this hurts! They seem really close. Can I have pain meds?"

"No, you're not dilated enough... (quick physical exam) Wait, she's ready, give her the meds..." (pain meds administered through IV)

"Did you give them to me? I think it's time to push...?"

"No, you're only at 6cm... (checks again) NO, let's get her to delivery, NOW!"

All in all, the labor was just over 3 hours, starting during the laundry. Dollface entered the picture, screaming her healthy lungs out, at 10:37pm. I'll probably be sleeping at 10:37 tonight, but I'll be dreaming of a baby Dollface:
I thought that first 6 weeks went slow.
I was sooo mistaken.
She's still cute today, all grown up! She's even cute with a mustache...
Friends are good. Friends who let you
use their hair as a mustache
She's so young. When I was her age, I was giving birth to my second child...weird. I love you, Dollface! Happy Birthday!

(No pressure here, Dollface. You and Snake will have kids when you are ready...and someday you will also be twice as old as your "baby." THERE's something to look forward to!)

When we left the hospital with our newborn Dollface, one of the nurses leaned in real close to me in the wheelchair, and she said, "Honey, if you have any more babies, and your water breaks at home, I want you to lie down and call 9-1-1...the next one will come faster." Yikes. We did not test that theory. Dollface is our "baby," and she has been in a hurry since before she was born. 

Today, Dollface is exactly half my age. That is to say that I was her age when she was born. Wow! Where have the years gone? Wherever they've gone, they've gone in a hurry... 

Are you in a hurry for anything?

Last Weekend

After a week of rain, we decided to head for a sunnier state last weekend...sooo, we hopped in the car, and off we went! I packed a couple of knitting bags (one containing super-secret, Christmas knitting), and Mr. Pretty packed his puzzles...
I read the clues, and we solve the puzzle together.
No knitting, but this is fun too! :)
...and we headed south. South is where we always head. South is where my perspective changes from ho-hum to this:
That's one of my favorite perspectives on life! The one where this future yarn enthusiast holds my hand, and walks along, learning to love life (and yarn) as much as she loves Gramma and Pop Pop. Here's proof that she loves yarn:
She loves the "BeeBee" (ball) of yarn! And she loves showing
Pop Pop what she can do with the yarn! (She's trying to
make her own ball of yarn. =D) It was ADORABLE!!! 

It was a short trip...we drove down on Friday, played Friday night and all day Saturday, then turned around and drove home on Sunday. It's a beautiful drive, and we fill the time by listening to podcasts, doing crosswords and (of course) I bring some car knitting.
I made some pretty good progress on THIS SWEATER,
in between crossword puzzles, that is!
There was snow in the mountains, leftovers from where Sandy met the cold weather coming into WV from the west...we heard that they got 2 feet of snow! This was just leftovers...
...and I marveled at the way the weather meets the mountains every time we make this trip. I can only imagine what the world looks like from high atop this one, as I always tunnel my way through...
Now that I am home, I am still working on the super-secret knitting (and considering whether there is more of that to cast on for Christmas...hmmmm), and I'm picking patterns for a new, winter sweater for me! I still have not started an Advent Calendar for my house, but I have not ruled it out either. What do you think? Should I just do it??? 

This weekend should be much less hectic, and it will certainly find me less travel-weary. Perhaps there will be a nap or two (one can always hope for a nap on the weekend!) or maybe a nice dinner out...I wonder what Snake and Dollface are doing tonight...her birthday always comes around at this time of year... Hmmm, I guess I'll give them a call! Will you excuse me please? 

Thanks for stopping by! I hope that you get a nap when you most need it this weekend, and I hope that you will Knit in Good Health!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

All About the Mittens

I've always liked the idea of Advent Calenders as a way to count down the days until Christmas, but I have rarely observed this tradition. Even when my own kids were small, and we had a Christmas tree and stockings and lights, and all the stuff of Christmas, we usually did not have an Advent Calender on our wall. But, now that I have a grand-Peanut...
Yes, that is the Wallaby she is wearing!
I can't get enough of the idea of Advent! Preparing for Christmas...Preparing for a trip to see Gramma and Pop Pop...Preparing for any winter/Christmas event with little goodies each day, and a fun decoration to hang each year. So, a few weeks ago, I started to search Ravelry for the perfect thing...I'm a knitter, it's what I do! This is what I've come up with...
I thought about putting nails in the wall to display and photograph the
garland, but all my toothpaste is blue, so I just laid it on the table.
Twenty-four tiny Mittens, ready to be filled with goodies and strung up to count down the days! I have not decided what goodies I will fill the mitts with yet, but I'd be happy to take your suggestions...Peanut is not quite two years old, so we need to watch the hard candy, and stuff like that. What do you think would be good gifties?
Apparently mittens and coffee go together!
Peanut is not a fan of coffee, tho.
The mittens are knit in various colors of Red Heart Super Saver yarn (look away, Trish!), most of which I had in my stash already. (I did purchase the yellow. How did I not have any yellow?) They are soooo cute, with a little loop at the top of each one for hanging!
Yeah, you can't really see the loop,
can you? Bad photog! Sorry!
I knew I wanted to crochet some kindof garland to hang the mittens from, and it took me a little while to figure that out, until I found these:
Snowflakes and trees and stars! Oh, my!
The cutest clothespins to hang the mittens from, I crocheted them right into the garland hanger. Then I numbered each pin, from 1-24, so the kids can decide what order to hang the mittens. I'll send this all together this year, and as they take down the mittens to see the goodies, they can either hang them back up OR use them as additional Christmas tree ornaments. I hope it becomes a fun tradition for them, especially since they don't live close...this makes me feel like I'm a little bit closer to them during this fun time of year!

All in all, this was a fabulously fun knit, and I know I have enough yarn leftover to make one (or two?) more of these, so maybe I'll have one at my house this year, too...we'll see... What do YOU think I should fill the mittens with???

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Lace and Rain...

Many of you know that I live in a place that got hit by Sandy. It was not a direct hit, we are very far from the ocean coast in the northeast corner of Ohio here, and we were not nearly as inconvenienced as many others were. Still, there was rain for 6 days straight (in her defense, it was raining to our west before Sandy came in from the east, but she did contribute to that 6 days with at least 4 of her own). Yes, there was rain...and WIND! It was not good weather to be outside... You all know what that means, right?!?
Luscious Lace Knitting...
Bing! Bing! Bing! Yes...there was knitting! You know me so well. When the rainy weather keeps me in, and I face the prospect of losing power, I am glad that my hobby doesn't require batteries! (I need light, but you might be surprised how little light you need if you are not working with black yarn!) So I worked on my sweater, which no longer looks like a lace border for my coffee, and now looks more like a skirt for a my-size Barbie:
I know, it needs to be blocked. Still, it's lookin' good!
Yes, it would be a short skirt, but on these needles, it certainly doesn't look like it will fit around ME yet! Oh, I can't wait for the magic of blocking... Even so, even unblocked, it is starting to look just amazing, and I am really enjoying the knitting! That's kindof amazing, seeing as how this is a DROPS pattern, but it IS heavily modified...maybe not so amazing? Either way, it's coming together, and I can't wait until it's ready to wear! You know what else is coming together? 
Many Miniature Mittens
I have 22 mittens complete! In the picture, there are only 21, please don't hold that against me. I promise there are now 22. I don't know why I was worried about finishing these for December...they are going SUPER-FAST! So fun!

And now, I think I see the sun in tomorrow's forecast! After all that rain, I am going to go outside to enjoy this bright Saturday, and feel the sun on my face, maybe we'll even get a walk in! I hope that you get to do the same. :) 

Thanks for stopping in, and Knit in Good Health!