Saturday, December 31, 2005

The year of lists (and knits)

The year that was 2005 was fraught with changes, transitions, deaths, births, and new friendships. 2005 was the first year that I started blogging even though I'd been blogstalking others for years. Blogging has been very interesting as a form of communication and learning more about myself and others. By blogging, I was able to better categorize my knits and see just what I did accomplish knitting-wise, although it's not really to see how much I did and then to try to improve it for next year, but just to see what all I did. If left to my own devices, my poor little brain just forgets it all.

What I accomplished knitting-wise this year:
1 poncho
baby blanket for Chason
Baby hat and baby socks for Chason
Blueberry Waffle socks (for me)
Earflap Cap (hat from Kittyville) for M2
Nursing shawl for sis
Summer poncho
Rio Tank top
1 Katia Bonita tank
2 OSWs
1 Thandi Mohair Scarf
Clover Lace Rib socks (for sockapalooza pal)
2 baby raglan sweaters (one for Chason, one for Kieth)
M2's shorty socks
1 pair fuzzy feet
Hippy-chic cardigan
1 pair cabled rib mittens
M's hat
my hat
1 pair of handwarmers

WIPS carrying over to 2006:
1. Spork
2. Marilyn NSS cardi
3. M2 earflap hat v.2.0
4. baby raglan sweater
5. Sideways garter stitch scarf
6. Regia Strato stockinette sock (top-down)

Knitty resolutions for this year:
1. Knit more socks (I have enough yarn to make 24 pairs of socks!) Last year, I really slacked on the socks. This year, I want to make at least 8 pair of socks. Pretty ambitious, I know, but the sock stash needs to come down a bit. If I don't make a significant dent in it this year, the sock bin may be revisited later on and some sock yarn sold or traded or just given away. There is alot of self-patterning yarn and I know some of that I'm just not as keen on anymore.

1a) Of those 8 socks, at least 3 pair should be knit using some sort of pattern and not just self-patterning and self-striping sock yarn, but an actual pattern. I think Jaywalker will be coming up soon.

1b) I have enough yarn to make two pairs of Lorna's Laces socks as well as 4 hanks of Koigu KPPM to make socks. This year, I want to make socks using one type of each yarn this year. Yarn is to be used not to just rest in the stash for ages, especially the purple variegated Koigu KPPM which has been resting for at lest 4 years, time to be used or get gone!

2) Most of my resolutions are really related to socks. I do want to knit more sweaters, but I must start and complete M's sweater this year. I also want to finish another if not 2 sweaters for me by this winter's end. Libby from Rowan Cork Mag and Cavern Cardi from Cosmicpluto. I don't really want to go too much further than that, as who knows what I will want to finish my next year's end.

3) Knit more for Chason. Whatever that takes, it needs to be done. Once I finish something else, I do plan to make a pair of baby mittens for him.

4) Knit a pair of gloves. This is slightly frightening for me, so I definitely want to do it this winter.

5) Learn more techniques. I would really like to feel more comfortable with short-rowing, so I will probably apply it to socks as I'm thinking I might like the short-row heels better than the heel flap. With the making of the Jazz Fair Isle scarf, I will get to practice fair isle a bit more and I will be happy to do that. Practice cabling more (perhaps cabling without a needle) and learning to knit backwards. Those are the goals thus far, who know what else may be added.

6)Also knit the Debbie Bliss V-neck Tennis sweater this spring.

7) Make more cardigans, see the Cavern cardi above as well as for Spring/summer as I am always cold.

8) Make and finish a Clapotis.

Personal resolutions:

1) Treat those I love better. Keep in touch more with friends and family.

2) Exercise more. For health's sake, I need to work out as well as trim some weight from this body. I am simply not meant to carry this much weight and I got off-track earlier this year and never really got back to what I was doing. Now is a good time to start.

3) Cook more homemade meals and eat healthier.

4) Make time for myself and M.

5) Read more.

I think that's enough for now. If I keep going, there will that many more things that doesn't get done for next year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Things are looking up

First of all, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa to those that celebrated. Things are/were pretty merry for us this year. Santa came to visit and one child was the happy recipient of an iPod nano (and no that wasn't for me!). And I had a job offer the week before Christmas, so Wanda was a very happy girl as well!

To celebrate the new job (which I started last Friday), I bought a little yarn! Really just a little, but String had some luscious Lorna's Laces in the Shepherd Sport (or Worsted, I can't remember) and some Koigu jumped into a bag and followed me home!

The Lorna's Laces is the Shepherd Sport in Valentine colorway with no plans just yet for it. Perhaps a scarf? How could I resist the beautiful colors of Valentine? And the Koigu is so pretty to me, I just loved it. I was debating between the two and finally decided to just buy both. The Koigu will be a pair of gloves, using
Nona's pattern for I-cord gloves. I think it's an unique way of knitting gloves, with credit to Meg Swansen, and I want to try this "top-down" method of knitting gloves. Seeing the fingers done as i-cord makes gloves seem less scary to me.

In other stash enhancement news, I missed the sale at a LYS in town that was having a sale yesterday. For 2 hours, the sale was 30% off, but after getting up early to work at the part-time gig at EB on Monday, which was supposed to be only 4 hours of markdowns for the huge day after Xmas sale, I ended up being their for 7 hours, with no lunch break. Therefore getting up early yesterday for the sale was just unthinkable for my poor, tired body. And in case you're wondering, I started the new job on Friday (1/2 day), then had Monday and Tuesday off. Today it's back to the salt mines!

I have been knitting and was knitting somewhat fast and furious until mid-week last week and then it just slowed down. We were trying to get all the last-minute gifts together and my bf waits to the last-minute to shop for things anyway and it drives me crazy! Anyhow, in between all of that, I had 5 interviews last week (the week before Christmas!), which was really strange to me, but nonetheless that was a good thing as a job offer did pan out. And just in time before the unemployment bennies ran out completely.

M2's hat is not finished, although this is the result of 2 days' worth of knitting:

This is using the "Official Kitty62 hat", and no, it will not have the pointy ears. But it is a great basic pattern with earflaps and icord dealies hanging down. I made one earlier this year in red/blue stripes, but he has a new winter coat and that hat doesn't match. I'm pretty close to the top and doing decreases now, so I'll soon be finished. I just need to switch over to dpns and I haven't done it yet.

On Xmas day, I started a sock, just so I would have something small and portable to knit, so yes, there is another project on the needles, but this is not nearly as distressing as an actual sweater. I've decided to keep the sock in the car, in the case that I need some emergency knitting, when I'm not prepared I'll have something handy. The colors are very pretty and it's Regia Strato.

And just to show you that I have been working on Marilyn NSS, here's a progress photo of that second sleeve:

And that sleeve has been finished since that picture was taken too. I guess it's time to get the other buttonhole band done and then I'll be done with the knitting. That's my goal to get this thing finished before 2005, so now I know what I'll be doing tonight, working on the buttonhole band. After that's done, then I can block it and begin sewing in ends, but no seaming to be done. And of course tack down the hems. I've never done anything with a knitted hem before, any suggestions on how that's done?

Other than that, I really want to get M2's hat done soon, maybe by next week. As well as finishing the baby pullover and doing the seaming work for it and the other baby pullover for my nephew. Then I can cross a couple more off my list and have one more to do. But I'll be pleased to have these finished.

Well off to work and all that. I'll try to post again by the week's end. If not, best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2005

And the winner is . . .

I neglected to mention in the last post, of my little mini-contest (thanks to those that entered) that the winners are Joanne and Carola! No points taken off for googling the answer, that's why I gave the hint! I figured most people wouldn't know that off the top of their head unless they happened to live there. I'll be getting some packages in the mail soon. Well at least to Carola. Joanne lives in the Denver area, so I'll have something for you soon too! Thanks for playing all!

Greetings from the Arctic Tundra

It's been awhile since my last post. I would like to tell you that I've been terribly busy, and while I have been somewhat busy, I still could have posted. Mostly busting my hump to find a job, although there has been much knitting happening too. Mostly even with all the other stuff, I just wasn't in the talking mood, per se, so no blogging ensued. But I felt like surfing blogs yesterday and today, so I knew I was in the mood to blog too.

When last we spoke, I was working on M's hat and that one is now finished, but I never was able to catch him long enough to actually take a picture with him in it, but he does like the hat.

Since I'm in the hat-making business, I decided to use up the rest of my purple Cascade 220 to make myself a hat and use some of M's charcoal grey Cascade 220 leftovers as stripes in the hat. The stripes were random and I'm totally loving this purple color. I don't know what it is about this color, but it calls out to me. As usual, sorry for the goofy pic.

Amy hosted a contest last week (% days of Christmas) and I won a lovely prize from her. I never win anything and then I won a blog contest, so that was a lot of fun. She sent a great prize and of course, anything with candy goes fast. It was packaged so prettily and then of course everything was devoured.

inside of contents:

There were holiday mint M&M's with peppermints (and I know how Amy loves her mint m&ms, I was surprised she could give some away), a copy of the Yarn Harlot's first book and a tin of Apple Cider, which is something we love around here! Thanks again Amy! It was fun to play!

When I came back home in December, I decided I would get to work on those baby sweaters I've been promising. Since this picture, I've even finished those sleeves. Now all that is left to do is the front. In my mind I have a Christmas deadline, which is silly b/c I won't even see the mother by then, but I'm plan to finish it at least before the end of the year. I still have one more to do, but I will work on it after the first of the year. I will do it either in baby blue Encore or perhaps the Oatmeal color, still unsure of that one.

And just to show you that I'm still knitting on Spork, a progress pic of it:

I'm putting it down for a bit, as the last time I knit on it (rather manically) my wrists began to hurt and since I plan to knit a hat for M2 before Xmas day and start on the sweater for M, that will sit in time-out for a bit. I also plan to knit on Marilyn a little bit today. Maybe make a bit of progress on the 2nd (3rd) sleeve.

That's it from the nuthouse . .

Friday, December 09, 2005

True to my word

I'm back to post again today. Thanks to everyone for the comments on the wedding. It was a beautiful wedding, Chason is the cutest thing ever and my mom, sister and I really do look a lot alike. Whenever I'm home in Louisiana, people that know my mom know I'm her daughter without me having to say a word. It's pretty funny. Actually even while I was home, whenever I answered the phone people would start talking and assume I was her until I corrected them to say I was her daughter not her and everyone kept saying how much I sounded like her.

Okay, enough with the family ramblings, today it's all about knitting. Once I arrived at my mom's house, much knitting ensued. I started on the cabled ribs mittens while on the plane and made some progress. What was really funny was on the prop plane from Memphis to Louisiana was that I sat next to an older woman from Philadelphia and we chatted for a few minutes and after the plane took off, I pulled out my knitting and she took out her crochet and we laughed about it and then started stitchin' through the plane ride (which was only 50 minutes long, but that's what you've gotta do to get to my small hometown). Ooh, I just thought of something, for those that know me, you can't answer this, but how about a little contest, the first correct answer for guessing my hometown will win a little yarn. Here's a hint: It's the birthplace of Delta Airlines.

Anyhow, once I arrived home, I finished the first mitten and then started on the second. But as with socks, once you've mastered the technique the first time, the second one is not as fun to do, so I started working on the handwarmers from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts out of some purple/periwinkle-ish Cascade 220 in a spiral rib pattern, which was really addicting. I could hardly put it down. I was a bit apprehensive about making the mittens and the handwarmers, with the thumb gussets as I'd never done that before, but it was easy-peasy. After I finished one handwarmer, I went back to finish up the second mitten and then finished the second handwarmer. Because I knit those so fast and furiously, after that, I didn't knit for a day or so and then I decided to cast on for M's hat. While I know he would appreciate it and all, it wasn't nearly as thrilling as knitting myself something and my enthusiasm was lagging. I did get the ribbing finished, but that was all. And then it was getting closer to the wedding. Friday and Saturday no knitting was going to happen anyway, just too busy. I thought I might have a chance to do something Sunday, but more errands for the bride and my mother. So once I came back to my mother's house after grocery shopping and everything else, I just sat down and rested for a bit before I starting packing to leave for the next morning. I did get some reading done while visiting my mom, which was good, b/c my reading has gone down considerably, esp. since I've been unemployed, which you would think would be the opposite.

A finished pic of the cabled rib mittens:

One of the handwarmers (I love these for when I'm at the computer downstairs and it's colder there, just the right thing to keep me from being too cold) being modeled:

Both handwarmers together:

M's hat is close to being done now. I used the pattern from Ann Budd's book, but it has the hat height of 9" before doing decreases and I forgot from using this pattern last year that that is too high for M's head. He might have a big head, but it's not that long, so I had to rip back about 1.25" and I will try it again and see if it fits better this time. I'm hoping that it will.

I've been remiss in posting a pic of my felted fuzzy feet:

Initially I was pretty pleased with them, but when I walk around in them at home, I build up static electricity, shocking myself every time I touch something, so that part isn't so much fun. I might give them to M2 instead.

I also decided not to make more fuzzy feet for M and M2 with wool/mohair mix of yarn that I have, but I will use that yarn to make a scarf for me. I think it will be Irish Hiking Scarf.

With all the cold weather, that's all I've been wanting to do is knit hats, and mittens. I even joined another, yes, another KAL, this one, Nona's Peaceful Palms KAL. But I've finished my mittens already. I am planning on tackling gloves as well though.

M2 got a new winter coat and this does not match up with the hat I knitted him earlier this year, so I've been pressed volunteered to knit him another hat in colors that match his coat. Thank G-d for the stash I've accumulated. Who knew when I bought a bunch of Gedifra Cordillera 4 years ago (50% alpaca/50% wool) in a navy color, which while the yarn is nice, is never a color I'm going to get that excited by, would come in handy. I offered to make M2 a sweater in the navy yarn and since I have some green and orange additional balls ( I was thinking of making a Ribby Cardi in it, but I think I would get bored with all the navy for myself), I figured I would put some stripes on the sleeves of the green and orange and maybe a just a row of the other alternating color as a contrast on the bottom of the sweater and on top. Probably a top-down raglan with the body loosely ribbed, maybe 3 or 4x1 rib to make it masculine with regular sleeves. Hmm, I'm liking this idea already. That and a hat with green as the main colors, blue stripes and a little orange (maybe at the top) with earflaps and icord. And maybe pompon spikes at the bottom. This project is sounding fun.

As for the obligatory baby knitting, I've started yet another baby raglan sweater out of Cotton-Ease, this time in pistachio and while the color is oddly fascinating to me, I don't exactly like it. Here's hoping the mother does. I'm making it green with a blue stripe on the bottom and at the top of the color and probably one row on the sleeves of each as well. Miles and miles of stockinette to go. (Thank goodness this is for a baby, b/c I've knit this thing 3 times already and I'm going to do at least one more, although that one will be out of Encore at least).

I'm going to the LYS to get some help on the Marilyn cardi. As I was working on the button hole bands, I noticed one of the cardigan edges, some sts have dropped and I don't know what I did there, so I'm going to get an eagle eye to look at it with me. Once I get the second sleeve done and the buttonhole band done, I will see if my friend's daughter will crochet the ruffles on for me and then I can begin the finishing work. I would like to finish it and get it off my roster. Plus I still have Spork lingering 'round and I really need to swatch for M's sweater and get his measurement for arm length so I can begin the sleeves at least. So much to do and never enough time to get it all done. And I still want to start the Clap, but at this rate, I don't know when it will happen!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wedding Stuff and I'm Back

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone that stopped by and left comments on my Hippy-Chic cardigan. I do totally love this sweater. I took it with me to Louisiana and my mother really liked it as well. I think she was pretty impressed with my knitting skills even though she does think I'm a bit obsessive with it, but why is the obsessive knitting thing not a surprise to all of you? (teehee)

To anyone looking for real knitting content, come back tomorrow b/c today it's all about the wedding today. I had a great in Louisiana even with my mom and sister trying to drive me nuts. All I can say is, my sister planned a great wedding, but I don't have the stamina for all the stuff for me personally. Everything she set up was so classy. My sister ended up going with the first dress she tried on while dress-shopping when I was there with her in Atlanta earlier this summer and it looked beautiful on her.

We got to have a pretty raunchy bachelorette party and then we went out. I tell you, I felt old b/c I cannot party with my sister's friends. (We differ in age by six years with me being the older). My sister even planned to have my nephew Chason christened the day after the wedding, so I was able to be there for that as well. It was all a great time, but one that I was happy to come back to my home afterwards. 11 days is a long time, but it was well worth it. One thing I learned was no matter how much I love my family, after a few days, I always need a break.

I thought I would show some pictures. The first is of the wedding party w/bride and groom and the attendants:

Unfortunately the person taking pictures with my camera did not get one of the bride and groom by themselves, thusly I show you a picture with the bride and groom and the pastor:

One of my favorite pictures here is my sister at the reception in her wedding dress sipping on champagne (probably the first moment of rest she'd had all day!):

As I mentioned before, there was also an infant dedication (which I've always know as christening, so I'm sticking with that term from here on out). Below is a picture of the parents and my mother (the grandma) holding Chason while the pastor speaks:

This picture is of the Happy Family after the christening taken at the church:

The highlight of my trip was getting to see my nephew Chason again (although of course it was good to see my mother and sister as well), but Chason was the star event. He's now 6 months old and is so active. He was teething while I was there and he has the darling habit when being held to pull on your face and either kiss you on the mouth or bite you! (while pulling your hair) and let me tell you that kid has a grasp like you wouldn't believe. And he loved to pull on my glasses, although I tried to cure him of that habit rather quickly! My sister bought him a Christmas outfit with a tartan plaid vest and matching newsboy cap and black velvet pants. It was so cute and it was to be worn while taking a picture with Santa Claus. His first Christmas! This picture was taken after his big day out with the man in the red suit:

And that my dears is it for this post. It is really long enough. I will try to post more tomorrow. With this frigid weather we're having in Denver, I've been knitting furiously on a hat for M.

And one last thing, today is my friend Cathi's birthday! Be sure to stop over and say Happy, Happy Birthday to her! I hope you have a great day Cathi!