Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lazy Days

Yup, I'm lazy today. Actually a bit under the weather but nothing that won't pass. Still, it's stopped my plans for my rather long list this weekend. I've set myself to get up off the couch at 4:00 and get back in gear. The lack of caffeine in my system today isn't helping. A cup of tea may be in order.
In knitting news I've decided not to do the hats for Nick and Will for Christmas. I'm hating the Star Wars hat. The yarns were a mish mash and maybe it'll block out okay but I'm not digging it so I'm not going to finish it right now. But I started crocheting that cute reindeer for Jimmy and if it works out I'll make one for Cassidy too and maybe the nephews also. I also started a pair of hugely (and I do mean huge, size wise) modified pair of slippers for my brother. He's been asking for knitted slippers for years so I don't know why I've never made him a pair. And I just did the Angora Bootees http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/angora-baby-booties for a new baby cousin and loved the construction - double knitting the toe and foot and then doing the bottom of the foot and sewing up the back for the heel. Well, you just have to try it. So I'm cobbing together some sizing ideas and trying a large pair. My brother probably wears an 11 or 12 shoe but the yarn I'm using, Cascade Ecological Wool, is feltable so if they're too big, I'll felt them. If they're too small, they'll fit someone else, especially since, yes, I can felt them. We'll see. If they work out maybe I'll do pairs for the nephews too, instead of reindeer. It's all up in the air now. Totally flying by the seat of my pants.

So it turns out I'm basically a clean eater. Who knew? I was reading Wendy Knits blog http://wendyknits.net/ and she has embarked on a regimine of clean eating. I'm always interested in nutrition, fitness (I'm interested, I don't really exercise enough) and healthy food so I followed a bunch of her links only to discover that I pretty much follow a clean eating regimine myself. I tried to basically cut out processed foods years ago when I was trying to get rid of partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats and the dreaded high fructose corn syrup. That's most processed foods, I think. And then last June I started getting skeeved out by meat. I'm not a strict vegitarian but meat doesn't appeal to me much for so many personal reasons. Voila - clean eating! There's even a group on Ravelry.

Okay, back to the slippers then back to my L.I.S.T.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I Can't Believe I Went the Whole Day

Often I say that I can't believe I ate the whole thing, but went the whole day without knitting? Rarely! And during the middle of knit season? Crazy! But that's what happened yesterday. No knitting. Not a stitch. No crochet. Not a stitch. But the family camped out on the floor in front of the Christmas tree last night which meant that I fell asleep early with the kids so now I'm wide awake early and . . . Let the Knitting Begin! Today I'd like to finish a certain gift that's coming out awesomely for a certain possible reader so I'm keeping it stealthy. Then I'm going to do this totally cute hat for my nephew.

And thanks to the Half Assed knitting blog for the great pattern and cute pic. Definitley go check out her blog. http://www.cyn.ca/knit/patterns/brainmonster/.

I'll have to go buy googly eyes but I need tape anyway so no problem. I got juked in the middle of wrapping yesterday when I ran out of tape. It's amazing how long it takes to wrap gifts but I like the bows and bells and whistles and all so it takes me some time.

One last note. Winter has set in with a vengance. It was 19 degrees Farenheit yesterday morning when I took the girl to school. Cold yes, but I was toasty warm in my SSSeptember Hat which I've been waiting impatiently to wear.


The pattern is from Vogue Knitting Winter 2008-2009 and I used a skein of ultra bulky stuff (lost label, of course) that I've had for years. Probably 6 years. I've never been able to figure out what to do with it and now it my warmest, yummiest, funnest, feel like I'm living in Russia and walking across the square in front of an onion domed building hat. Thank heavens I never de-stash!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And We Crafted

Yesterday I was able to get together with friends and craft all morning. It was glorious I tell ya, just glorious. Tea, cranberry muffins, talk of children and education and health and simplifying life and being happy.

These first two are made of paper and this was my first time using a die cutter that one of the ladies had. Man that was fun! So easy to do and my 7 yo says they looked really professional! (My photography, on the other hand, is not so professional - oh well.)



These next little guys are buttons and beads on a chenille stick modified from a Martha Stuart idea. Super cute.


These button wreaths are simple and so pretty! The best part of the idea (found here http://craftapalooza.typepad.com/crafted/2009/11/its-a-button-wreath-tutorial-but-you-didnt-really-need-me.html) was to use a buckle for the ribbon. I had one for the wreath I did, on the right. My daughter did the one on the left which I will cherish forever - but I had no buckle for that ribbon. It's a perfect craft for kids. Thanks for bringing the buttons down Mom!


This one is much cooler than it looks. It's made out of the front of a recycled Christmas card which is a sparkly snow scene. The balls are jingle bells so it makes a pretty sound. I'll probably make a few more of these.



Now . . . where am I going to hang all these? My house is getting full.






Monday, November 30, 2009

Downsizing

So here's what I do. First, I make The List. It's a budget of both purchased and handmade gifts. I try to save money and buy less, make more. I try to think of everyone so I don't get surprised later. This year my very kind husband looked at the list and said, "It looks good honey but do you want to take a second look at the knitting list? It seems very, well, um, ambitious." His kind way of saying, "Are you out of your crazy mind! We'll never eat if you try to knit all that!" So then I cut the list and start knitting.

I'm not as organized as the Yarn Harlot. I don't figure out how much time it will take me to do each project and what day I have to have everything done by. In fact, I'm just a maniac and I start casting on willy nilly with all my ideas and my gung ho in full force.

Now that was in early November. Not a bad time to start I'm sure. But since then scarves have turned into cowls and ornaments and bookmarks and anyone who we're seeing after actual Christmas day has had their gift set aside for the time being.

In the meantime I've made several ornaments for my own house and already spent several hours sitting in front of the tree with the lights off just talking to the kids. Or sleeping.

What I'm saying is that there's an art to being able to downsize and let go. Ambition is all well and good, but small gifts count just as much and for me it's just not worth the stress of driving myself nuts for 20 perfect, large sized knitted gifts.

So in a couple of days I'll have a rather large stash of bookmarks and ornaments for gifting which I'm really enjoying knitting. And I'm getting to put beads on them which is no end of fun.

Here's one of the ornaments that I'm gifting. It's the recycled silk, which I love and which suits it's recipient perfectly. Then I sewed on some sequins and added the beads. The pattern is out of the Handknit Holidays book which is edited by Melanie Falick but I believe the pattern is by Leigh Radford.


Now mind you, I'll get off my high horse right now and go back to work on those items that I AM still planning to make. I haven't given up completely. Let's see - 2 pairs of socks, a pair of slippers, 2 hats and either a scarf or another pair of socks . . . . . hhmmmm.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

12 Days of Christmas - Knit Style


On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five golden shawl pins,
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six skeins of Noro,
Five golden shawl pins,
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven Turn-a-Square Hats,
Six skeins of Noro,
Five golden shawl pins,
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight Malabrigo hanks,
Seven Turn-a-Square Hats,
Six skeins of Noro,
Five golden shawl pins,
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine knitting nancies,
Eight Malabrigo hanks,
Seven Turn-a-Square Hats,
Six skeins of Noro,
Five golden shawl pins,
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Ten lace shawls blocking,
Nine knitting nancies,
Eight Malabrigo hanks,
Seven Turn-a-Square Hats,
Six skeins of Noro,
Five golden shawl pins,
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven pairs of Fetchings,
Ten lace shawls blocking,
Nine knitting nancies,
Eight Malabrigo hanks,
Seven Turn-a-Square Hats,
Six skeins of Noro,
Five golden shawl pins,
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree.

On the twelfth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Twelve months of Zimmerman,
Eleven pairs of Fetchings,
Ten lace shawls blocking,
Nine knitting nancies,
Eight Malabrigo hanks,
Seven Turn-a-Square Hats,
Six skeins of Noro,
Five golden shawl pins,
All four Barbara Walkers,
Three beaded markers,
Two Cookie A socks,
And some size 5’s of ebony tree!

May your holiday knitting be fruitful and fun.