Monthly Archives: December 2011

2012 Here We Come

With the New Year less than 24 hours away, I thought it would be a good time to set down some goals for the every nearing change of  date.  I realize that a lot of people have already done that  but better late than never.

1. 600 KM or 372  miles on the treadmill.  Breaks down to 50 KM a month which should be doable and still leave me lots of time to go to spin class.  I feel better when I run/spin.  I look better.  And damn it, I am a grown women.  If I want cake for dessert I am going to have it without worrying about it going directly to my waistline.

2. Speaking of spinning, (the kind involving fibre),  I need to do that more.  I love it and I don’t spend enough time doing it.  I’m settling on 20 minutes once during the work week and then a larger chunk of time on the weekends.  I’m hoping it will work out to two or three spinning sessions a week.

3. Knit what I spin.  Seems simple enough.  Seems like the next logical step in the process.  Does not seem to happen.  I either need to use it or find a way to display it and call it “evolving art.”

4. Tame the stash.  I know, we all want to tame our stashes.  I have complained loudly and often about my stash.  But my stash has grown and it’s not all my own doing.  My stash is out of control and I either need to knit faster or accept it.

5. Find a way to blog through the month of December.

It seems simple enough and I look forward to sharing my ups and downs with you.  I hope everyone has a wonderful night and I hope 2012 finds you happy and healthy and surrounded by loved ones 🙂

Happy New Year!!!!


FO Friday – Nothing Says I Love You Like a Dead Fish

I love quirky things.   Most of the time when something is a little off beat or not quite the norm it brings a smile to my face and I fall in love with it.   The object provides a little break from reality and is usually a source of inspiration.  And it’s even more fun when the quirkiness is something  you create.

With that in mind, I present the first of the “I can finally post something about this project” posts.  Here is the Dead Fish Hat for Little J.  (Or as her father put it, the  “Hey Mister, I tried to eat your baby’s head but I got stuck” hat.)  To make it fit her smaller head, I used finer wool and a smaller needle size than the pattern calls for.
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The yarn is three kinds of Rowan Felted Tweed.  The light green and grey were from a project I frogged many moons ago and the dark green is from a bag that was given to me by a friend when she was destashing her tiny condo to make space for other things.  The eye is a Dollar Store tea towel cut up and sewn back on with more of the green yarn.  I had a lot of fun making it and Little J did keep it on for a relatively long time.  (Though I think that her willingness to keep the hat may have had more to do with the fact that we all were  making such a big fuss about it than actually liking it all that much.)

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This was a fun Christmas present to make and to give away.
For more great Friday Finishes check out FO Fridays, Fibre Arts Friday, Creative Friday, and Fibre on Fridays.


On My Needles & Between my Pages December 28th

On My Needles

I must admit that I am feeling a fairly significant amount of guilt about the fact that I am working on something for myself when I still have a few Christmas gifts that didn’t make it to the December 25th deadline.  But since the gifts are already late, the pressure is off slightly and it is allowing me the opportunity to do some much-needed selfish knitting while still making progress on the belated gifts.  So for myself I have been working on My Giant Flamboyan.  I actually broke down and cast it on before Christmas since my in-laws had arrived a week earlier than normal and I needed to have something to knit while visiting with them.  And since 90% of the gifts I had left to knit were for my husband and his family you can see the dilemma I was facing. The yarn is IndigoDragonFly’s Merino Sport  in “When I Bit him I Tasted the Ocean.”  It was purchased and dyed with this shawl in mind (although it will be big enough that I think “small blanket that I can wear” might actually be a more apt description of what I am actually making).  It has gotten to the point where the shawl is very slow going and I have no idea how many stitches I have on the needles.  It doesn’t matter.  I’ll knit to the end of the ball and start the second one.  And when I find myself truly not willing to go on, I will knit the six row border and call it finished.  (I guarantee that my inability to continue will strike long before I get to the end of that ball.)  Then I just have to figure out how to block the beast!

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I realize it looks like a giant odd coloured blob right now. It's as wide as I can stretch it on the needles.

Between My Pages        

Even with the business of the Holidays and the frantic attempt to finish as many gifts as possible. I did manage to finish the first two books on The Hunger Games series and start the third.  When you keep in mind the age group that these novels were originally intended for they are very well written.  The author finds a style that is neither too childlike or too adult while presenting a brilliant social commentary that is clearly meant to be a direct reflection of the developed nations of the world.  Political injustice, marginalizing of minorities and the lower class, the glorification of death and murder and creating celebrities of those who commit said acts, and knowledge that the upper classes have gotten to their station in life on the backs of those beneath them are all major themes explored throughout the narrative of the novel.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first and second books, but I must admit that I am struggling a little with the third novel.  I am a little disappointed that the lead character is making her decisions (so it seems) purely on the manipulations of other characters.  And while I understand that the whole idea is to bring up the question of free will within a free society, I wish she had a little bit more of a backbone and didn’t have to be pointed in the right direction so often.   It seems like a bit of an oxymoron that Katniss is presented both as a young woman who was smart, self-reliant, and charismatic enough to feed her starving family and survive the game while still being too feeble-minded to make a decision on her own about her political future without a bunch of the other characters patting her on the head and showing her what to do.  Most likely I’ll be finished the book by next week.  I’ll let you know if she finds her strength and convection (which is a really polite way of saying I hope she grows a pair), by the end of the series.  That will really influence wither or not I can recommend the set as a whole.

For More Wednesday stuff check out WIP Wednesday and the Yarn Along


Knitting Outside the Box – Maybe

This year for Christmas my BFF decided to get me a surprise package from IndigoDragonFly’s Giftapalooza. It was an awesome idea.  It was a secret Santa of sorts that involved no work on the part of the giver and meant that your knitter received a package with yarn and a pattern and a few goodies inside. There was a whole lot of excitement surrounding the arrival of said package and a whole bunch of us were waiting with batted breath for the packages to arrive.

For me the magic day came of Christmas Eve and I opened my gift and found a cute little tape measure, (what knitter doesn’t need an extra one), a great little reusable tote, a pattern, some magnets, and this.

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There's no denying it. This is yellow.

I really could not have been more surprised if I opened my package and my yarn burst into flames. See, here’s the thing. I’m not a yellow person. Never have been never will be. It’s beautifully dyed and the base is gorgeous. But it’s yellow. And I know that there are people out there who like yellow. Maybe even love it. I am not one of those people. I’m a very pale ghost like white with very dark hair. Yellow makes me look like I have the plague. Yellow, according to the people who study the effects of colour on human moods, causes anxiety. And I can’t lie. This little skein of yellow yarn was making me anxious.

See, I’m friends with Kim. She is a very reasonable human being and she knows the colours I like. I trust her colour choices completely to the point where I recently gave her some yarn and said “make this into something I’ll knit with.” And she did. I love it.

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Used to be boring old Knit Picks Bare. Now it's super pretty.

But, I still felt a little odd about asking to exchange the yellow yarn for me. I knew that it was nothing personal. They had well over a hundred packages to send out and somehow this ended up coming my way.

So instead, I tried to convince myself that this was my chance to expand my knitting horizons and that this was an opportunity for personal growth. And, if nothing else, it would make a heck of a pretty pair of socks.

When Kim arrived at my place on Boxing day she looked at me and said, “you got the yellow didn’t you.” (I had twittered something that kind’ve tipped her off.) Then said, “that’s not you at all. Wanna exchange it for something else?” And all thoughts of personal growth went out the window and I agreed to the exchange instantly.

So, my giftapalooza is still not finished. And there is still a surprise waiting for me. And that’s really okay. And I would like to say a big “thank you” to Kim for understanding and not being offended. And, if you do like yellow yarn get some from her. I can tell you there is a least one skein that is still waiting to find a good home.


Merry Belated Holiday

Christmas kind’ve snuck up on me this year.  Even though I tried really hard not to let it.  At some point I gave up on blogging in an attempt to manage a little bit of sanity in my life.  I do feel bad for skipping YOP Updates, but they literally started slipping by so fast that I barely had time to catch my breath.

For the first time in many years I had to work until December 23rd.  (I would like to take this time to personally thank the idiot at the school board who thought that was a good idea and I would like to invite him/her to come into my room between December 20th to 23rd if they make that call in the future.  It’s so much fun to be in a room of 25 five-year olds who are either in the middle of celebrating their holiday or waiting not too patiently for the arrival of Santa.)  And, for the first time my in-laws arrived the week before Christmas instead of a day or two in advance.  Also, it’s the time of year when my Husband works 10 or 12 hour days and neither of us blink because we both remember the year he worked 85 hours a week for the 6 weeks prior to Christmas and nothing can really compare to that.

But it does mean that I woke up on Christmas with a mountain of laundry (and I really do mean a mountain), the kitchen in a mild state of disrepair and the Christmas knitting not really finished.  But what can you do except throw up your hands and enjoy the holiday.  So that’s what we did.

I saw my Mother in Law drunk for the first time ever and saw my Father in Law laugh so hard he just about bust a gut.  I did start becoming a little concerned when my Brother in law started drinking his wife’s wine under the guise of saving her from the hangover that she would inevitably have while she was trying to cook the roast for Christmas Dinner.  All in all, it was a whole lot of fun and the gifts that were finished were well received.

To finish the festivities, I broke with tradition and opted not to go boxing day shopping this year.  There were a number of reasons for that, but mostly, I just couldn’t be bothered to drag myself out of the house that early this year.  Instead we decided to host an “escape the craziness boxing day brunch.”  I invited up a few close knitting friends and my husband volunteered to make us each personal omelette and be our chef.

We needed something to eat first. And I was able to use my pretty new red plates from my BFF!

Mimosa for everyone!

Pick your fixings!!!

I really love this man! Cooking for 5 knitters and never complaining!

Personalized omelets. Yummy!

It was a great day and the start of a new tradition.  And though it is a little late, I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday celebration and found time to snuggle with your loved ones.

On my list for next year, figuring out how to blog and knit at the same time!


YOP Update Dec 4th

 
 
 With Christmas less than a month away I can no longer ignore the amount of knitting time that I need.  It does seem to mean that I can either blog or knit and knitting has to win out.  Knitting has truly taken over my life.  But that’s okay, there are 21 days left and after that things get to calm down again.  I can survive this.
I also know which projects are not going to be finished in time for Christmas.  This is not a huge problem for me as certain items will be cast on in the new year and will start the Christmas knitting for next year.  It’s all part of my plan to be organized!
But there has been progress.  The Blue Whale shawl is finished.  It needs a major blocking, but I love it and so will my MIL.  I have the first column of squares for the blanket assembled and aside from the massive amounts of monotony that come with that, and a few minor errors when I stopped paying enough attention, it’s all going well.  I’ve even managed to sneak a little bit of time on my husband’s gift. 
 Hope everyone else is having a good knitting week!
 
SO here’s the nitty-gritty and Mr Linky.
 
WIPS:
  • Clockwork (cast on June  &  part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (Finished July 2011)
  • Wallis Cardi (cast on August of last year)
  • Rattlesnake Creek socks (cast on about 1 1/2 years ago)
  • Noro Log Cabin Blanket (cast on in June & it’s Christmas Knitting)
  • Toe Up Socks
Christmas:
  • Super secret BFF gift (I know you read this.  No peeking, but you’ll like it.) (Finished Sept  2011)
  • Super Secret Husband gift (He reads it too.) (In Progress)
  • Urbana  (Finished July 2011) (Dad)
  • Podsters
  • Saturday morning slippers x2 (FIL, mom)
  • Minion (Teiff) (Finished October 2011)
  • Gargoyle (Sean) (Finished October 2011))
  • Strangling Vines scarf (Christine) (In Progress)
  • Windcheif hat (dad) (Finished November 2011)
  • Cherie socks  (mom)(In Progress)
  • AStericks (MIL) (Finished November 2011)
  • Dog Chewie (Maggie) (Finished October 2011)
  • Super Secret Little J gift (See first super secret gift.  That’s her mum.) (Finished Oct 2011)
  • Kleenex covers x6 (Finished October)
  • Sachets x6
  • Algonquin (In Progress)
  • Washcloth x2 ( I really thought I was finished with those!)  (Finished Sept 2011)
 
Shawls
  • Herbivore
  • Flamboyan
  • Reunion Cowl
Cardis
  • Roam
Socks
  • Lenore (The third) (In Progress)
  • Flaming Desire 
  • Staked  
  • Fishbone Gansey  (Part of the Knit-a-long of Doom) (Finished October 2011)
  • Cut & Paste
  • My Vampire Boyfriend (Part of Nerd Wars) (In Progress)
  • Matrimony Socks
  • Masonic Lodge
  • Flutter-by
  • Aragorn
  • Duckies  (Finished Aug 2011)
Newly added
  • West Knits Mystery KAL (Finished Sept 2011)
  • Julia
  • Minion Army (Finished October 2011)
  • Blue Whale shawl – replacement MIL Gift (Finished Dec 2011)
 
The running totals so far are:

16/43 complete

11/27  in progress