Saturday, December 23, 2006

Other holiday crafts

It's been busy. Here's what I've been making!
Recycled sweater bags, a sock monkey for Abby (with lopsided ears and one arm much longer than the other) and a yoga mat bag for my sister in-law with a matching eye pillow.
I'm currently working on a scarf in garter stitch with random rows of yo/k2tog to make holes. And, I'm really loving this head wrap. I finally got yarn for it and I'm messing with it to get it just the right gauge for my liking! Yay. We're off to the in-laws for holiday fun. Have a wonderful season!

Friday, December 15, 2006

100% ready to hang

Woo Hoo!
They're knit, named, hangers on and blocked. Done. Now I just need to figure out what the heck to hang them from. We have a pellet stove, but that means no mantle. I also knocked down a wee scarf with my left over Debbie Bliss for a friend's b-day. Now, it's all about those recycled sweater bags for gifts. Those require time in the sewing room which is DAMN cold right now and it's hard to get myself to go in there. But, this weekend, it'll happen.

Notes about the stocking pattern: This is just so I remember some day in case I need to make another one!
From the top to the heel is the mix and match socks pattern on page 60 of this book. Knit Christmas Stockings by Gwen Steege.
I tried two different heels, one from the basic sock pattern from this book. The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. And one from the "celebration" stocking in the pamphlet Knit Christmas Stockings by Sandy Scoville. I did the heel etc. on circular needles using stitch markers to tell where to decrease etc.

Monday, December 04, 2006

3 stockings down

Well, almost. I still have to decide about the felting, the name stitching, to line or not to line and the hangers. But, the bulk of the work is done. Now what?

Monday, November 27, 2006

That's right. . . 2 stockings!

Two down. One to go. Well, really, I still have to weave the ends in on one, decide if I should felt or not (which will require a swatch that I felt, which is not too possible right now, since my washing machine is busted and there's 2 feet of snow here and the repair guy may never get here), and then stitch (either dupicate or embroider) the names on. But, really that's not too much. . . right? Yeah. It's kind of a lot, but it'll get done. The last stocking will be green red and white (in a different order than the one that's already those colors) or it'll be green red and blue any thoughts on the colors for the last one? I realized early enough that red white and blue is not a great idea for a christmas stocking, unless we're celebrating Christmas in July and then it would be faboo. And, really, the green, blue and white one looks very much like a stocking supporting the Seahawks, but I'll overlook it since I really could give a rip about football.
And, in case you don't believe me about the snow. . . here's Abby in it, and that's yesterday. Now there's at least a foot more. And the thing is, I live in Port Angeles, as in AT SEA LEVEL. We don't get snow here much and when we do, all mayhem breaks loose. No one knows how to drive, the schools shut down until it all melts, people don't own snow shovels here and we don't have that many snow plows, so the town shuts down. It's kind of fun. . . .for a while. I'm reaching the end of my limit on having a toddler in the house all day with no where to go.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Can you guess what this is going to be?

Here's a gift I'm working on for a friend. Can you guess what it's gonna be? I will be making two more of these triangles for the project. Give up? Go here to find out. Scroll WAY down.

And, the finished stocking.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Aha! Stocking!

Since I finally made myself frog the stocking, I've made much more progress. I'm just not that into the fair isle look for the stockings. I'm a simple stripe kinda girl. I hoped that I would be all done with this one for the KAL day. . . but, I'm a few inches from reaching the end. The toe will be green to match (see, there's that symetrical thing I have again!) And then, there's the whole duplicate stitching of the name. . . which I'm not looking forward to. But, forward progress. The pic is not so great due to the UNENDING rain and clouds and Yuk out here. That's probably why I got so much knitting in!
Oh, and a big moment in our world. Abby said, "I love you" for the first time to us this morning. Of course, being the daddy's girl that she is, she said it to Tom first and only said it to me after much prompting from Daddy. But, nonetheless, she's a hoot and a giggle.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Yup, still no stockings

But other good stuff!
I finished the orange sock's mate. And, yes, one is a tad longer than the other, but not nearly as mismatched as the picture looks. The feet are actually the same length, it's the legs that are off a bit. But, I'm fairly pleased with myself, as this is the first real adult size pair of socks I've made. . .yippeee!
And, I put together this nifty little tote from a thrift store sweater. It's felted and then the bottom of the sweater is sewn shut and the sleeves were cut off and the handles are from the shoulder section. I can't take credit for the design. . . I got it from this book. Tom was a little concerned about my fashion sense when I brought the sweater home. When I told him I was going to turn it into a handbag, he said, "seems to me it should have been a handbag to begin with"!

I'm slowly working my way through the UFOs and immediate gift needs on my knitting list, which means. . . I'm going to come to terms with the stockings. No, really. . . it's gonna happen darn it!

Also, how can I not share a pic of my little bumblebee. I was a flower and Tom was a honey comb. . . note the box of Honey Comb cereal strapped to his chest. At least he had a snack! Abby was so excited about being a bee, she kept saying, "bumble bee costume" until we finally put it on her and took her downtown to trick or treat. I, being the mean mom that I am, gave away all of the candy she collected to the neighbor kids when they came to our house.
Which, incidently, gives you a very interesting view into the world of teens. At about 7pm, the older kids started coming to the door. They could be divided into 3 groups: the girls dressed as sluts, the kids that didn't dress up at all and yet still expected me to fork over the goods, and then one boy who showed up dressed, well, I thought he was supposed to be a DJ or a rapper. . . He was wearing a big football jersey and white pants, his hair was greased back and he had a large medallion (wrapped in tinfoil) hanging from his neck. When I asked what he was, he giggled and kind of flapped his hand in the air and then skipped down the stairs. I noticed the glitter on his face and in his hair at that point. His friends told me he was a "gay guy." Now, I had several reactions at once. The first, and probably most prominent thought was, "I don't know any gay men that look anything like that. . . none of them would dress so horribly!" The next thought was, "that's not a costume, that's a person!" In the end, I ended up yelling after him, "We're gonna talk about this later young man!" I realized that he knew it wasn't an appropriate costume, or he wouldn't have avoided telling me what he was. Later, I talked to a friend of mine and she thought it was him trying on the role. . . perhaps he's actually questioning his sexuality. I'm not sure how I'm going to approach him, but since I know him, I can approach him, and I feel like I should because he may not have any other adults that he can talk to about this. Unfortunately, or fortunately. . .depending on your perspective, I didn't know any of the young women that came to my door in next to no clothing. . . so I can't talk to them and have it be meaningful. At least we didn't have any 35 year old men come to our door this year begging for candy. . . I think Tom may have scared that guy last year!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I went away on vacation and. . .

I made these cute little mitts and a baby hat. I made 3 mitts because, well, you always lose one and I wanted to show off all of the colors of the cool yarn. It's fortissima colori socka color superwash wool/nylon. . . I like it a lot. And, I think I still have enough yarn left from one skein to make a pair of little baby socks. That's all for now.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Stitch 'n b product!

Made it through the stitch 'n bitch despite the mulled wine that was served. . .so dangerously good! I frogged and reknit the thank you scarf. I felt like it was too unfinished looking. So I did a k2p1 ribbing and it turned into a very long snake like thing. It rolled back onto itself despite my ribbing. . . so, for one of the first times, I blocked something. I've never really gotten into blocking. I'm sold on it now. It made my snake stay flat and made it looked really finished. Perhaps I should have just blocked the first version. . .but I'm happy with the end product.

Friday, October 13, 2006

And, still. . .no stockings

Here's my latest distraction. I grabbed this yarn from my mom's stash. . .she made a great hat for Abby with it and I was able to make another hat and two mitts for a wee baby in our extended circle. Though, this might be the first mom's heard of me raiding her stash. . . thanks!

The stocking is still in a stall. We have another stitch 'n bitch this weekend, so maybe I'll come to terms with my loathing of this stocking there. Maybe I'll just pull the needles out to start another one and leave the old one dangling for a better day. Maybe I'll just make stockings out of felt like my mom used to. Maybe I'll make another set of baby mitts and a hat for the other baby in our extended circle of friends. . . maybe. . .

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

You know you don't like something when. . .

you make something else entirely unplanned to avoid working on the thing you don't like! I am somehow compelled to keep working on the stinkin' stockin' even though I'm not happy with it. It's just a little too busy for me. However, I keep knitting and knitting and knitting on it. I keep thinking that adding more to it will make it better, but I just don't like it. I figure it's a learning experience. I'll eventually give up on it and move on. So, to distract myself, I whipped out a little scarf as a gift. The picture makes the colors look a little funny. It's just the bush and the light that do it. It's with Debbie Bliss Soho in colorway 02. . .yummy.

Tom and I are going to California for a board meeting for his work (and my birthday). We will be leaving Abby for 5 nights with Tom's parents. I've only been away from Abby for no longer than 12 hours before. I'm struggling with the idea of being gone for so long. However, to make it feel a little better, the Board Chair is putting us up in the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls for our last night there as a treat. So, as she's WAY rich, I figured I'd give her a handmade scarf as a thank you gift since she already has everything in the world she'd need or want.

And, just in case you are dying to see the stinkin' stockin':

Thanks for the ideas. I especially like Amy Lu's idea of duplicate stitching santa's face with a flesh color. If I liked the stocking enough, I'd totally do that. And Laura, don't worry, I'm not giving up on knitting and I won't really go get stockings from Pottery Barn!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Left the Santas in

So, in a marathon TV binge last night (we got season 3 of Scrubs from Netflix yesterday), I knitted the rest of the santas and added half a section of snowflakes. This picture is not the highest of quality. . . my apologies. So, what do you think? Do I bail on the santas? Do I leave them in? Is it better now that he's not a smurf?
In other news, I totally geeked out and started a food blog. I've been writing the crop sheets for our CSA (local farm that we get our veggies from) for a few weeks and found the process quite cumbersome. So, now I'm one of those people who have more than one blog. As if that many people really want to know *that* much about my knitting or what I'm eating for dinner. It feels a little excessive and self-promoting, but it's an easy way to organize my thoughts. If other people decide to have a look inside my brain. . .well, that's their problem/pleasure!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Santa's Back, well, almost

Okay, I decided to try the santas with the grey background. I still kind of think I'll frog again and do stripes, but I had to see what he'd be like in with the grey. I'm done with the red part of the hats, but have had little time to knit, as the weather has been staying so nice and I have a hard time sitting still when it's nice outside. Yesterday, we all went to the best birthday party I've been to for an adult in a long time. Our friends Adrian and Kanyon turned thirty and all Adrian wanted for his party was a bike ride and all Kanyon asked for was a fire. So, we went on a treasure hunt all over Port Angeles by bike. Abby came too, in her little bike trailer. It took several hours, but was so fun. It did kick my butt, but still fun. Then we all went back to the house and had soup and a "normal" party, but there was a campfire in the yard. . . SO GREAT! I wish I'd taken the camera.
Then, we had another birthday party this morning at the park for Abby's little friend "Z". And, as if that wasn't enough, we're going to the 2nd annual apple festival at a friend's house this afternoon. Phew! I could use a little sit-down time after all of that!
Anyway, I thought I'd post a little pic of me and Abby for my profile here. It was taken back in May, I think. More on the knitting later.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Death to Santa Smurf

I frogged him. He's gone. I'm considering not even knitting him back in, even with a grey background. I'm considering stripes. I'm considering just plain copying Laura's beautiful stocking. I'm kidding. . . kind of. Didn't someone somewhere say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? No, in all seriousness, I will not copy Laura's stocking. I will however, be inspired to simplify, simplify, simplify. I think a lot of my "dollar-store" and "red-heart" feeling about the stocking was because of the cheesy design I chose. It looks great in the book with other colors, but the combo of straight up Christmas colors and little santa faces is too much. I'm hazarding a guess that cool colors with the santa faces *or* plain christmas colors in a simple pattern may look a bit more sophisticated. So, I'm re-thinking the designs I'm putting in the stockings.
In more uplifting news: I finished my honest to goodness first sock. The little baby socks don't count. . . this is the real deal. Now I understand why so many knitters have single socks sitting in their knitting baskets begging for a partner. I loved doing the sock, but now I want to get back to the stockings. . . not so interested in making the lovely orange hued sock partner. I'll get to it. . .someday.
Thanks for the sweet comments. It makes me feel less alone out here. Great job to all of you other stocking along folks. .. yay stockings. Oh, and Katie, your belly is beautiful!

And, how can I not show you my sweet husband and daughter pretending to be asleep to "trick mama." They were pretend snoring too. Ya gotta love it!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Stocking Progress on Vacation

We vacationed. It was wonderful. I knit. I hate it. ARRRRHHGG.
In my knit-shop induced stupor. . . I just bought plain old Christmas colors. I am not a strong color person. I mean, I am not super creative with color combinations. It takes a lot of effort to try and do things in a fresh way (I also have a similar problem with needing everything to be symetrical. . .) Anyway, I am feeling like my color choices don't show off how pretty the yarn is. It's cascade 220 and it's wool and yummy. It looks, to me, like I made it with red heart. Now, there's nothing wrong with red heart. . .but I'd just buy red heart if I wanted it to look like that. So, now I'm frustrated because it looks a little "dollar store" to me and to top it off, Santa looks like Papa-freakin' smurf. . . really, can you tell me that he doesn't? Look at him!

The knitting was going along so smoothly. I'm liking the pattern. It's from this book. I'm doing the mix and match stockings with green, red, white, blue and a random purple color. Mostly I picked the colors because my LYS is going out of business and that's what was there. So, I can't even go trade the skeins I haven't wound yet. My best thought, at this point, is to frog the smurfy santas and use some heather/gray yarn I found at a thrift store (have I
mentioned that I'm an obsessive deal-finder?) that is very similar in weight and is wool like the cascade 220. I'll use the gray as the background for santa, so he doesn't have a blue or green or purple face (the only choices with my current colors). Any thoughts?

So, I put the stocking aside while on vacation. I happened upon an entire laundry basket full of knit picks sock yarn and knit one crochet too merino at a thrift store on the oregon coast for 99 cents a skein. Needless to say, I bought it all and immediately started knitting a tasty little sock. . .I love it.
Now, my momentum on the stockings is lagging, but my sock-lust is just beginning. I have some time. Does anyone have any thoughts on a pattern choice for stockings for a newbie knitter? I have a few in my stitch n' B that are wanting to start with stockings and I'm nervous for them (and for me. . . I'll be teaching them!).
Okay, I'll post more after the death of santa smurf.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Knit Along. . Yay!

So the REAL reason I set up this blog is so that when I join a knit along, other knitters can actually come see what I'm doing and encourage me to finish. I am a procrastinator. . .galore. So, with the added pressure of other people potentially coming to look at my progress, well. . .you get it. So, I'm joining my first knit along. Laura, who I went to high school with and haven't seen in YEARS and YEARS is hosting a mistletoe knit along. I'll be making my first ever stocking. Yikes! Also, the stitch 'n bitchers out here in P.A. might knit along too. I've already had one person (who does not knit!) ask to knit a stocking with me. I'm a tad nervous about teaching someone how to knit a sock, as I've really only knit one pair of socks. And, well, they were for my daughter, who is now only 1 and a half. . . so you can imagine how small those were. So, I'm attempting to link Laura's knit along here. If I do something wrong and somehow wreck havok with some techie gizmo in the world. . .just let me know and I'll stop trying to do something I know nothing about.

Twins for a day

I've always wondered how those superwomen with mulitples DO IT! Now I have even more profound respect for the families with twins, triplets or (god forbid) quads and beyond! Abby's little friend "A" came over for about 6 hours yesterday. We've done a few hours at a time before, but never through nap time etc. Both girls are used to undivided mama attention when going down for naps. Needless to say, this mama had a rough time getting them down. In the end, I carried "A" in the sling for nearly 2 hours (she's at least 25 lbs. . .good gods!) until she was dead asleep. Then, with her still strapped to my chest, I layed down with Abby so she could fondle my ear (her comfort) to get to sleep. Then, snuck out of Abby's room and creeped downstairs where I was finally able to put "A" down on the couch and got a whole sweet hour of quiet. Phew!
The girls crack me up. They are both about 18 months old and are starting to actually be friends. Abby sits down in the yard and pats the ground next to her, beckoning to "A", and says, "sit, sit?". "A" sits and then Abby gets up and goes to the sandbox, "bah, bah?". . "A" goes over there. Then, oh the kicker, I put the two of them side by side to eat dinner outside (fried rice with tofu and yummy veggies. ..the only way Abby will eat anything good for her. . .buried in carbs!). The dialogue was hysterical. "poon?" says Abby as she takes "A"'s spoon, "soon," says "A" as she takes Abby's spoon. "A" sneezes and Abby says, "bess yous" (bless you). At the end of the meal, they stacked their bowls and spoons and laughed and laughed as Abby said, "dain dyou" (thank you) when "A" helped take her bib off. Too freakin' cute. Oh, Abby's on the right in the pic.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Uh, how do I work this thing?

So, here we go. The first ever blog entry by this nutty mama. I'm sure I'll stumble a bit as I navigate this crazy world of technology (jeez, don't I sound like a grandma?). Be patient as I learn.
Now, for some knitting content:
I found a great sweater at the thrift store. The sweater's pretty ugly, but the yarn? Well, I'm 99% sure that it's Noro Shinano in colorway 12. I'll be frogging it and making something loverly. I hope. Here's a pic of the sweater.