Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Just when we thought it was safe to say Christmas knitting was finished:

Didn't catch that? Here, take a closer look.

This is one of my stepsister's arm warmers. (Pattern Dashing from Knitty) The cat got it.

If there were just one hole I would probably try to fix but there are several. We will be reknitting this in short order.

Then I can give it to her when I see her on the 12th.

*headsmack* and I thought I was done.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Do you ever feel like your expectations are too high?
I sometimes do. Not about major things like how much money we have (I would be constantly disappointed) but about little things.

Like, we got home on Sunday evening. Hubby had to work at 7:00 am on Monday morning so I expected him to go to sleep. He didn't. He played on the computer until 1:30 am. His own fault, I don't feel bad for him. (Much.)

Me personally, I was overtired and not feeling well on Sunday night so I went to bed early (for me) at 10:00 pm. I expected that I would get a little extra sleep and feel infinitely better. My body decided that it was somehow "done" sleeping at I woke up at 3:30 am. For no reason at all. I was up the rest of the morning although I did lie down for a bit later because I was so tired. I honestly think this was because for the last few weeks I have been going to bed late and getting up not late so I could get more knitting/baking time in that my body got used to that amount of sleep and thought something was wrong that I was letting it get more.

I expected therefore that I would get a better night's sleep last night. Some idiot called our house at 2:30 am. Me, thinking that it might be an issue with a family member, fly out of bed and across the room to the telephone. Even though I don't recognized the number on the caller ID, I answer it. It was a wrong number.

Let me reiterate that. A wrong number. At 2:30 am that got me up out of my cozy, warm bed. Thinking that it was an elderly grandparent in the hospital or something. Yeah. Not happy to say the least. I crawled, bleary-eyed back into bed and waited for my heart to stop pounding from the scared thoughts running through my head when I thought it was an emergency. Just as I was ABOUT to fall back asleep, it rang again. I wisely ignored it. This morning I checked and it had been the same number calling back. Dummy!!! I normally am very kind and understanding of wrong numbers but this one was at 2:30 am and I got up for it and then they called back almost a half an hour later, just when I was falling asleep again.

My stepsister gets married in 14 days. It's just a small ceremony at the courthouse but we are going anyway. She texted my mom today to say she is expecting. Yes, that's right, another new niece or nephew for me to spoil! Yay!! I'm not all that surprised. Honestly, she had been talking about having more children and said she wanted to be married first. Not really a very nice way to tell the parents though.

I was expecting to be warned that my crochet night would be cancelled. I even emailed the lady that runs the classes and organized us teachers to make sure. No answer, so I drove all the way across town in the snow to find that the store is closing at 6:00 pm due to the weather. It's been that kind of day.

A scrub the toilet kind of day. *sigh* Oh well, off to find something safe to do while I wait for it to no longer be today.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Flamed Out

I have definitely flamed out on re-entry. I have a little bit of an earache and an exhaustion such as I don't think I have ever known before. All deadlines were met although the scarf was finished on Christmas day but my dad didn't care.

I am taking care of this exhaustion both mental and physical by drinking coffee, doing nothing constructive whatsoever and knitting whatever I want. (Hint: It's for me.)

There are still a few gifts that I'd like done by Christmas in Wadena which is on January 17 with my extended family but they can wait a day or two. I need a little mental break.

I'll wash the dishes and clean the house and put away our abundant gifts later but I just wanted to check in here and mention that we had a very wonderful Christmas, filled with people we love who love us back and I'm gonna go make the bed with our beautiful new sheets and take a nap.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


1. In the last few days I have been tempted to say screw it all and just go shopping and not knit any more gifts.
What stopped me? Um, aside from the insane crowds at the malls and all other stores? I feel bad. I love these people, why not knit for them?

2. I have been tempted to forget this stupid living in Minnesota crap and move somewhere warm, without snow. Like Jamaica or someplace.
Not really sure what stopped me here. Lack of money for a ticket? The thought of moving again?

3. I have been tempted to forget about Tuesdays are for Crochet and take knitting to crochet night so I can get something else done.
I didn't. I crocheted a dishcloth that might be an after-Christmas gift to someone.

4. I've been tempted to forget about my to-do list as long as my arm and clean the house. I haven't cleaned the bathroom in like two weeks and it's driving me crazy. Plus I spilled some laundry soap on the bathroom floor (while handwashing gifts in the sink) and I have been SO tempted to use it to mop in there. I never thought I'd say that I am looking forward to cleaning!

5. I've been tempted to completely give up trying to get everything baked, knit and wrapped. Who needs it?
But I'm so close!

Today is my last chance. I'm behind by a sock. I still have deluded beliefs that I might finish. Ya know, if I completely disregard my need for sleep tonight. (I almost did last night but at 2:00 am, I decided I needed at least a few hours.)

Merry Christmas to everyone! (Or, you know, whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year.)

Breathe, just breathe!

You may or may not have noticed (but I did) that over the last few days my post titles have gotten a little weird. Maybe not so creative. Maybe don't tie into the post like I try to get them to do. I may be nearing the edge pretty quickly. I give you exhibit A:

This is a sugar cookie that required surgery last night. It was successful but

He's still angry. I think it might be the lederhosen. Not sure though.

I did manage to finish something yesterday:
(Drumroll please)
May I present: The Pirate Mittens

The Specs:
The Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Merino in Aran and Black.
The Needles: US size 7 bamboo dpns
The Pattern: Pirate Mittens a free pattern from Hello Yarn
The Recipient: A Family Friend's Daughter. Julia.
Notes: The original pattern calls for sock-weight yarn and knit on MUCH smaller needles (US size 3) I tried it. It didn't work. Then I went to heavier yarn and size 4 needles. Still, didn't work. This young lady is taller than me so I think her hands will be slightly larger and my hands fit comfortably in these. Other than that and the reverse colors on the chart (Black is labeled mc and is represented by a blank or white square. The contrasting color, which is white, is a grey square. Crazy making), it was a fun and fast knit. I of course, modified the pattern slightly by adding a single color cuff. (I just couldn't knit it a 4th and 5th time)
For people who are curious about that sort of thing, the backs:

And one close-up shot of my not very pretty stranded knitting.

One last item of business today before I take off for parts unknown (real life stuff).

Last year I knit a whole lot of Fiber Trends Felted Clogs and I took a picture of them all together before I wrapped them up. This year, I wanted to do the same with all my socks so I've been waiting to wrap. And waiting...and waiting.
I decided that I couldn't wait any longer. It's been driving me crazy to have so much unwrapped so you are getting a couple of things still on the needles. Deal with it, I have to.

As you can see, it pretty much takes up my whole bed. In the back, right corner I have placed the two things that remain on the needles. The Boot Socks for Teri and the scarf for my dad (that's an old project really. It had been gifted already and I'm just adding more length to it.)

I'm still hopeful that I can get done although it's gonna really come down to the wire. Why you ask? This is my to-do list for today:
Coat Angel Food Candy in Almond Bark,
Take a shower,
Wrap all the above presents,
cut and wrap caramels,
Plan dinner and put in crock pot,
Fix hair and makeup,
Have lunch with hubby,
Take hubby back to work so I can have my van,
Gas up said van,
Finish the Boot Socks,
Finish the Super Secret Present (somehow),
Go to crochet night,
not go insane.

There you have it. I keep thinking, if i just keep plugging away (and breathing) that I will somehow make it through the holidays this year. (I hope)

Monday, December 22, 2008

The days are passing quickly

I'm still hopeful that I can get done before Christmas. Still on my list is fixing the secret present, finishing a scarf (again) and a pair of boot socks.
Add to that the baking list which includes; coating the Angel Food Candy with chocolate, decorating my sugar cookies, cutting and wrapping my homemade caramels and assembling my shortbread cookie sandwiches.
Of course there's also packing for the long weekend that we will be away and wrapping everything. I haven't forgotten that, I just haven't gotten to it yet.

Since you are probably sick of hearing about me freaking out about knitting I will instead share a funny story with you. (Don't worry, it's about yarn and knitting)

I knew that I wanted to knit socks for my niece for Christmas. She is 3 and I know she will outgrow them in about 90 seconds but that doesn't stop me. I went to the store looking for a single skein of sock yarn that wasn't too expensive that I thought would make cute socks for her.
What I found surprised me. Red Heart's Heart & Sole Sock Yarn. I was unsure. I'm not a total fiber snob but I was interested in washability and cost here so I thought I'd try it. It surprised me.

Who would have thought that this skein of yarn (pictured here with my sheep tape measure):

Would wind up like this:

Please pardon the crappy pictures. It was dark and cloudy when I took them. Much like pretty much every day lately.

And that yarn would knit up like this:

It made a cute and nearly matching pair:

The Specs:
The Yarn: Red Heart's Heart & Sole with Aloe 70% Superwash Wool, 30% Nylon, 1 skein Spring Stripe (213 yards)
The Needles: US size 2 bamboo dpns (like usual)
The Pattern: Just a basic stockinette sock sized for little feet.
The Recipient: My Niece Emma.
Notes: The yarn wasn't bad. It was pretty and I think they look pretty nice. I did notice a tiny bit of acrylic-like squeakiness on the second sock but that was probably my slightly damp hands or the nylon. I would definitely use it again given the price. There's quite a bit of the skein left too. Enough that I considered briefly offering to make them larger when she outgrows them.

That's about all I have for today. I have something blocking that I'm excited to show off tomorrow though!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas (Again)

What am I doing today? Well, I finished another pair of boot socks last night but they look the same as all the others so I'm being lazy and I'm not going to go take a picture of them. Instead I will talk about the snow.

Yeah, again. It's snowing like crazy and we are in a Blizzard WARNING apparently. I have nowhere to go and knitting and baking to do so it isn't a big issue with me.

I'm still in my pajamas and unless I get bored, I will probably stay that way. Hubby is bugging me to get onto the computer to WoW (I find it hilarious and ironic that the company that does WoW is called Blizzard. Ha!) so I will have to get going soon.

That's okay. I have work to do.

I have about 4 projects left to finish by Christmas so I will be knitting my fingers to the bone until I collapse from exhaustion.

Okay, time to get to work. Later.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Marathon Finished

It seems like every year as I work on my Christmas projects that I have one that is a big one.
One project that is huge to me. Whether it is actually a big project or just emotionally big to me.
This year I started in October and I can now present the Big Project:

Here it is! My Mother-in-law's new (soon-to-be) afghan. My own personal marathon.
It's called Musical Interlude from one of the Mile-a-Minute books (I can't remember which) It's crocheted and I've been working on it at my crochet nights every week.

Here's a close up of one of the strips. It's crocheted in strips and then the strips are attached together. It isn't huge but it's a nice size for a lap blanket when you are sitting in the living room. It isn't any special yarn. (Just Bernat acrylic yarn) so I won't do the normal specs for it.

Things are continuing along and I'm still hoping I'll be done by Christmas. I will have to work hard to get done but I think I can do it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Well, the finishing continues apace. I spent yesterday focusing on Tuesdays are for Crochet. The afghan is nearly finished so I will hopefully have that to show you another day but for today,
I have these:

They are some nifty Armwarmers.
The specs:
The Yarn: Some JoAnn Sensations Tesoro I had lying around in the Stash. Purple and yellow.
The Needles: US size 7 Bamboo Dpns.
The Pattern: Dashing from Knitty Spring 2007

The Recipient: My Step-Sister Shelly. She specifically requested Arm Warmers for when she's at work counting registers to try to keep her hands warm.
Notes: I tried these on for pictures. I may love them:

They are soft and warm and nice.

I may have trouble giving them away next week.

If you need me I'll be over in the corner crocheting.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Planning Ahead

Continuing with our parade of finished items, we have more socks:

Does anyone get tired of my endless parade of socks?
These are also boot socks, knit of DK weight yarn. They are the exact opposite of the other boots socks so I won't bother with specs. They are just blue with grey heels and toes instead of grey with blue heels and toes. Knit to men's size 11.5.

I am thinking about the secret present. The one I was gonna frog. I don't think I want to.
Last night at our knitting party the lovely Leah suggested that I might be able to needle felt on it. I also thought if I could stitch on it a little, it might not be so bad.
I would like to believe that I can make it work or I might be up all night coming up with a new plan which involves me building an igloo in the snow that's falling again and hiding until after Christmas so I don't have to worry about finishing anything.

We'll see.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Still Hopeful

To start off with, I'm sorry I went MIA for a few days there. I went down to my mom's house to do some baking with her. (Our oven acts kinda funky sometimes and I was afraid I would destroy anything I would try to bake.) I had thought I would have time to post on Thursday before I left but time got away from me as it tends to do.
Since we are down to one vehicle for now (so close to the tires, I can almost smell the nasty new rubber smell) I had hubby drive me down to my parents' and then come and get me on Friday. The whole weekend kinda went Whooo hoooo! at us after that. The weather decided to throw a big old storm at us. Our friends were supposed to come up and see us but the weather kept them safely at home. We went out to lunch on Saturday for a baby shower. I gifted the mom-to-be with this:

This is the first thing I have ever knit for a baby and I think it's hilarious how tiny it is. It's pictured here with a cute little candle holder thing on my coffee table. It's a little votive inside just so you can see the scale.

While I was down at my parents' I managed to finish these as well.

These are my second pair of Monkey socks.
The specs:
The Yarn: Sockotta in the poetically named colorway 6515
The Needles: Knit on size US 2 Bamboo dpns
The Pattern: Monkey from the incomparable Cookie A. at Knitty
Notes: I don't really have anything else to say about these. I like the Monkey pattern a lot though so I KNOW I will knit it again. (Maybe for me the next time!)
I tried on the socks for modeling purposes.

Does this not epitomize Winter in Minnesota? It sure does to me. On the loveseat in front of the fireplace, knitting and drinking coffee/tea/cocoa.
One more gratuitous shot of the socks:

They look pretty nice if I do say so myself. I think they will be well-received.

Tomorrow we will continue the marathon of project finishing. We're down to about 9 days and I'm still nervous about getting as much done as I need to do but I'm still hopeful that I can do it.

I'm dying to tell you about the disaster that happened with the secret project but I can't yet. After it's gifted, I promise.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Did anyone else notice that my text changed color mid-post yesterday?
Weird. I don't have any idea what I did.

The Christmas knitting continues apace.

Today was supposed to be my day to lie around and get things done. I had no open Crochet night, no class to teach, I was gonna have a pajama day and knit and knit and knit.

That didn't work out. Hubby was feeling a little bit lethargic and bluesy today so I took him to work. (Not sure why he wanted me to take him to work, I wasn't planning on using the car at all today.) Then I came home and did all the decorating for Christmas except for putting up the big tree in the living room. But I did clear a space for it. We're ready. He then decided to use his vacation time and come home early. I went and got him. He was pleasantly surprised.

Tomorrow he is off work so we will decorate the tree and maybe (finally!) get to the new library to check it out.

This of course meant that I couldn't get my knitting done. Plus, I was hoping to finish my baking this week so I have that to do too.

*sigh* I think I'm taking a vacation as of December 26th.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


The last few days have been trying and I have been trying to hold it all together.
When last we left our intrepid Knitblogger (don't you hear superhero music as I say that? I do, but maybe it's just because I'm married to geek-husband.) she was preparing for a meal for 13.
How did it go?

The apple pies. Shown here amid various baking things at their house.
It went great. We had two turkeys which were almost completely gone. We munched later in the day though so it wasn't all at one big meal. The pies turned out well and one whole pie came home with us. (That's because the pumpkin dessert was so darned good!)

Later in the evening as geek-husband and geek-friends gamed, I sat and knit with the other ladies. I managed to get this done:

These are the Peaks 'n' Valleys socks that I have been working on for what feels like FOREVER.
The specs:
The Yarn: Sockotta sock yarn. I lost the ball band so I couldn't tell you the color number, oops.
The Needles: Knit on US size 2 bamboo dpns
The Pattern: Peaks 'n' Valleys Socks (ravelry link) from this book.
The Recipient: Originally intended for my step-sister, I'm now debating so I'll decide later. Hopefully before the gifting day.
Notes: I love this pattern but hated knitting these socks almost the whole time. Why? I'm not sure. I don't love the color repeats in the yarn. I don't like the wide stripes things and the socks are fraternal which doesn't make me very happy either. I don't know but I will knit the pattern again but I most likely will not buy the wide stripes yarn again.
How fraternal are they?

This means that with the boot socks finished earlier in the week, I managed to meet my goal for the week. I'm still on track with my Christmas knitting. These last few weeks will be harrowing but I still (maybe delusionally) think I can do it.

Then something happened which the Knitblogger did not intend. (Why yes, I have been watching Lord of the Rings. What? It gives me copious knitting time.)

Saturday night, an hour from home, we are getting ready to go home. I pack up the leftovers that we are taking with us and get everything organized and ready to be loaded up. Hubby goes out to start the car. Nothing. It's dead.
What do I do?

Console myself with yarn of course.

We get out the jumper cables, we attempt to jump it.


I start knitting. We let it charge, we wait. Nothing. We watch a hilarious old movie on TCM. Bachelor Mother. We try again. Still nothing.

We end up spending the night on the couch at our friends' house. In the morning, we try again. Nothing. We call Mechanic-Uncle. He comes to the rescue and jumps it with his pickup and our friend's car. It starts. Success. I drive home instead of letting hubby drive.

We get home fine. No problems. We sleep. Monday morning arrives. Hubby goes to move it for the snowplows. Dead.
Firk, ding, blast!!!

Hubby's car has a doughnut tire on it still. We find the receipt. It says it was purchased at Cenex in my hometown in 2006. It has a 3-year free replacement. Hooray! Problem. No Cenex with a service station in St. Cloud. We can't get to my hometown Cenex with one donut tire car and one totally dead car. I speak to my mother. She offers to take the afternoon off work and come get me, we will exchange battery.
I agree. She comes. We go to Cenex. The mechanic guys are at lunch. We have to come back in an hour. We go bother brother.

I knit and worry. An hour passes so we go back to Cenex. It isn't their battery. Then mom remembers (my car used to be her car.) she had a dead battery at my grandma's once. My brother traded batteries with her. They never traded back. We go to brother's house.
He doesn't have a receipt.
I knit.

I worry. We go to Wal-Mart to exchange anyway. They exchange it.


My mom brings me home. We install the battery.
Yay women! We did it!!!
It starts right up! Hooray.

I come upstairs and get ready and go to Crochet class.
I think it's okay now. I was really worried not only that it wouldn't be fixable but also that I would have to spend all of our money on a new battery.

My mom's house is 2 repeats on a Monkey sock away.

One is done so I'm going to completely disregard my own Tuesdays are for Crochet rule (at least until tonight) and work on the other one.

That or this:

Another pair of boot socks. This time they will be blue with grey heels and toes.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Apple Pies

Let's get the knitting content out of the way, you know, just in case anyone stops by to actually see knitting. (Ha!)
I'd like to apologize right up front for the quality of the pictures today. The sky is a sort of soul-sucking grey so I couldn't get very nice light.

I finished the Boot Socks and here they are:

TJ's Boot Socks
The Specs:
The Yarn: SRK On Your Toes Sock Yarn, DK weight, 1 skein Blue and one skein Grey (although their colors are just numbers)
The Needles: US size 4 bamboo
The Pattern: Just a basic plain stockinette sock with contrasting heels and toes.
The Size: Knit to Men's size 13
The Recipient: My Brother-in-Law TJ will be getting these for Christmas.
Notes: I was very worried that I would run out of this skein of the grey yarn. I have another, set aside for another pair of socks but I wanted this one to last through these socks, it did. I don't know if there's enough to do a blue pair with grey heels and toes but that's what I want to work on next.

As soon as this is finished and I get my size 4 dpns back that is:

What is it? All will be revealed in the fullness of time.

Okay, back to the title of the post.
Tomorrow is the day I lose my mind. Why you may ask? I am packing up everything I will need and trucking in an hour to cook a large Thanksgiving-style dinner for 13.
Yeah, I know, nuts I tell you. In order to prepare for that meal, I am baking 2 apple pies today. (The only thing that anyone else is doing is making a pumpkin dessert so I don't need to do pumpkin pies.)
I like to cook and this is for a big group of our friends and they are pitching in money to help with cost and all that but I still think I'm nuts.
We did a meal several years ago for them (right after we got married) and it was a ton of fun. The problem this year is that this is my kitchen.

See the wall on the left in the bottom corner? That's the end of the kitchen. The Fridge is the other side of the kitchen. It's small.
As a person who likes to cook and bake and does both often, you would think, what was she thinking moving to a place with this tiny of a kitchen.
The answer is that it wasn't the only factor in our moving here. Cost as well as closet space were bigger factors. You can't see it but there's a decent pantry closet next to that red plastic shelf thing. That makes it do-able. I still worried about the kitchen but once I got it organized and I got into a groove it isn't bad. It's actually convenient to not have to wander back and forth all the time but because of the size of kitchen, here is my counter.

Yeah, you see that? It's about 2 square feet. That's where I'm rolling out pie crust. Right next to the stove. That's why my homemade from scratch pie crusts are so soft (despite my having refrigerated them). The bottom crusts kinda look like Dr. Frankenstein made them.
Too bad, so sad. I think I might tell the guys that if they say one word about the crusts tomorrow (ya know, except for "Wow these are absolutely beautiful homemade pie crusts. You are an amazingly talented woman") that they won't be getting ANY pie. Or dinner for that matter.

Just sayin'

Thursday, December 04, 2008

In which I deal with housework

Since today I am finishing (I hope) the boot socks, which look the same and working on the secret project that I can't post until it is gifted, I don't have any pictures today.
As a matter of fact, I don't think I'm very interesting at all today. I'm going to chatter away anyway, so feel free to skip ahead.

I have never spoken of my relationship with housework here on the blog.

I Hate it.

I work very part-time and so, I am home more than not. That makes pretty much all the household stuff my responsibility. Not that it wasn't when I was working full-time. (Hubby is not a "clean" person.)
That means that my normal list of things to do looks like this:
Get up
Make the bed
Plan dinner
Buy Groceries
Run all other household errands
Wash dishes
Do the laundry
Make Dinner
Vacuum (when I do)
Dust (when I do)
Clean the bathroom

My husband's list of things to do looks like this:
go to work
Take out the Recycling (when wife reminds you repeatedly and the recycling is overflowing)
Take out the garbage (when wife reminds you)

I have a natural tendency to not want to clean but I want things to be clean so I end up doing it anyway. We are both Stashers. We have lots of crap. To me, it should be organized so I can find stuff and my brain doesn't expend all its energy thinking about how nice it would be if things were clean because I want them clean and organized. Then I spend all my time organizing.

This month isn't going to be pretty.
In order to get all my knitting done, I think I'm going to have to let go of my obsessive need to tidy things up. I don't know if I can do it. Today, I was going to work solely on the secret project so I gave myself leave to watch movies and lay about. Here's what I did today:

Get up, make coffee, brush teeth, wash face, make the bed, get dressed, drink coffee while making english muffin for breakfast, eat english muffin, watch TV while knitting, get up several times to do other things, Start a movie (Pirates of the Caribbean the Curse of the Black Pearl for anyone interested in those things.), try to sit still and knit, chat with my brother on Messenger, talk to my mom on the phone, try to knit, chat with my brother some more, send several work-related emails, go to kitchen to make lunch, put away clean dishes first, make lunch, sit at computer chatting with brother while eating lunch, blog, worry about other chores that need to be done today, drink coffee, work on boot socks instead of secret project.

Yeah, I'm not doing so hot. I may need one of those nifty schedules people have been talking about.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wednesdays are for ???

Yesterday I got caught up in "normal world" stuff so the blogging did not happen.
Since we are down to one car as long as hubby's has the doughnut tire on it, I took him to work and had to run all my errands for this week. Then I had Open Crochet night.
Tuesdays were for Crochet but I only crocheted at Crochet night. The afghan is coming along. I think I have 8 or nine strips done so I'm getting there. Soon I will lay them out and start connecting but until I do it's pretty boring to look at.

In other news, more related to knitting, I have started up the Christmas list with great gusto. (It makes me feel so much better to have all these projects started. Like I will somehow get done faster if they are all on the needles at once.)
These are the boot socks for my Brother-in-Law. As you can see, I have one done and the other is started. They are DK weight so they're quick! I love that.

Since I finished my Sister-in-Law's Monkey socks, I started up the other Sister-in-Law's Monkey socks. I'm loving the colors of this yarn and I'm hoping that she will too. They're coming along but I have to pay attention to the pattern so they aren't great for TV viewing.

I have several other projects on the needles too but some of them are Not-for-Blog content since some people might be stopping by (is anyone there?!) who might be getting gifts from me.

I forgot to mention that over the holiday weekend, my niece decided to take over my camera and take some pictures of me. We had taken some pictures of her so it was only fair. She's five but she managed to take this nifty picture of me and hubby in front of the fireplace at my parents' house. Then she made him leave so she could take 25 more pictures of me. Including an extreme closeup of my earring and my necklace. They have since been deleted but some of the other pics she took of me weren't so bad. This one turned out kinda cute though so I thought I'd share.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Home and Happy

We arrived home last night after a quite adventurous weekend. It was "interesting" to say the least.

Everything started with Wednesday. I got up and packed up everything that I would need. This was for a four-day weekend so it was quite a bit. (Especially of knitting and crocheting. I mean, heaven forbid I should run out!) Then, I knew that I HAD to get to the Department of Motor Vehicles before we left town so that I could renew my license. I also realized that I had to get new registration for my car because it had already expired. What? How did that happen.
I packed up my pack-pack. (A friend's kids always call their backpack a packpack and I think it's so cute that I have adopted it.) I packed two knitting projects because I wasn't sure if I would need them or not. After all, I have heard horror stories of trips to the DMV taking hours and I am new in town, I didn't know if I would have to wait or not. I managed to find it okay after the directions a friend gave me. (Although I did have a scare of a cop driving right next to me on the way there. I drive quite nicely but I was so scared he would notice the expired tabs ON MY WAY to renew them. I mean, what would be the chance he would believe me?!)
I found the DMV with very little trouble and way overfed the meter, just in case of a wait. I was in and out very quickly, despite the over $70.00 price tag. Ouch. I was home in about an hour.
Since I had some time and I knew hubby would be anxious to go as soon as he arrived home at 1:00pm, I packed up everything for him as well.

I may have accidentally cast on a new project on the way to my parents' house but it was for Christmas so we will overlook it.

Wednesday night we stayed at my parents and I helped dutifully with the dinner on Thursday. It was yummy and almost the whole family stuck around for the game-playing later on too.

We spent the night and then on Friday my mom and I did a little shopping on BLACK Friday. We didn't go super early so it was busy but not crazy. We did get some super good deals though.
Exhausted we headed back to her house where we lounged and played games together, just her and I, although my dad did join us for a couple games of Farkle.

Saturday morning, my mom had to get up super early (as she usually does) to go help her friend paint her house. It was okay with us because we had to leave to go to Carnage Con.
We spent the day flying our geek flag, playing such games as Star Wars Monopoly with a roomful of loud gamers. It was a blast except for the flat tire on hubby's car. Yeah, it's totally ruined too.

In the Good News department, I did manage to finish something in between games.

These are my Sister-in-law's Monkey Socks.
The Specs:
The Yarn: Plymouth Italian Collection Sockotta (45% Cotton, 40% Superwash Wool, 15% Nylon) in color 6056
The Needles: I used size 2 Bamboo needles
The Size: Ladies Medium although they're quite stretchy, I think they might even be able to go to a smallish large. (does that make sense at all?!)
The Pattern: Monkey of course.
The Recipient: (Always important this time of year) my Sister-in-Law
Notes: This was stash yarn and while I do like the pattern, it's not my favorite yarn. I don't hate it so I would knit with it again but cotton is not my first choice for socks.

Sometime after midnight, we trooped across country to his parents house where we spent the night and got up on my Birthday. Yay! (I'm so sad a little cake doesn't show up like on Ravelry.) We did our family Thanksgiving celebration with his family that day and had a good time altogether. We bowled on his Sis-in-Law's Wii where I earned my new nickname - Guest E because that's the character I played instead of creating a Mii.
I manged to finish the socks that I had started on the start of our weekend, way back on Wednesday too!

They are socks for my little Niece Delia for Christmas.
The Specs:
The Yarn: Kroy Sock Yarn in Coal, about a third of one skein and Kroy Stripes Sock Yarn in Krazy Stripes, nearly one whole skein
The Needles: Size 2 Bamboo needles
The Size: Children's Size 11
The Pattern: I improvised this design but it's something like the Yarn Harlot's Rainbow Peerie Socks (scroll down) from a few years ago.
The Recipient: My niece Delia of course.
Notes: This was a fun knit. Here's a close-up of the pattern, although the color is all off.

Knitting socks for kids (although it's dangerous, since they may not like them and will immediately outgrow them) is Super Fast. Why didn't anyone tell me that. I finished the first sock on Wednesday night, mere hours after I had started it and if I hadn't been so busy with other things, I would have finished the other immediately on Thursday.
Here's the size for scale.

I've pictured them helpfully next to the Monkey socks, although, I have to be honest with you, the monkeys kinda scrunch up.

We headed home on our little donut tire last night and got home safe and sound. Exhausted but safe.

The bad news is that we now have to save up for hubby to buy two new tires for his car. They're expensive because he has the fancy car with the low profile and the other side is pretty well shot too. *sigh* Yarn Diet anyone?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Birthday List

Since Sunday is my birthday (ack! 29. Does anyone else feel like they should have accomplished more at their age than they have?) and my husband is a chronic procrastinator. I know he hasn't shopped for me at all yet. I would like to offer the following suggestions.
1. The obvious Knit Picks Gift Certificate. You know this because I left that "subtle hint" of a catalog page on your pillow.
2. Gift Certificates to other stores I frequent. Including, but not limited to: Bonnie's Spinning Wheel, Uniquely Knit, Barnes & Noble and Crafts Direct.
3. Yarn. Like really good Malabrigo or some nice sock yarn. Ask the ladies at the Yarn Stores, they will help you and yes, it really does cost that much.
4. Certificates for time to knit, this would be coupled with you doing things like washing dishes, making dinner or doing other chores around the house so I don't have to.
5. The Yarn Harlot Books. She has two new ones out: Things I learned from Knitting (Whether I Wanted To or Not) and Free Range Knitter. I have neither.
6. Movies. They are not at the top of my list but they are there. I like movies but I have gotten a lot of them from you in the last few years, stick to yarn.

In other news.
It's Tuesday and so it's for Crochet but I am currently knitting a sock and procrastinating doing anything else. Thanks.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Drinking Coffee and Denial about Nanowrimo

Last week I sort of disappeared and I didn't even get a chance to tell you about our Knit Night at Caribou coffee. It was fun and I came away with some gorgeous stuff but we'll talk about that another time.
The reason I disappeared (and believe me, I had a good one) was because I headed down to my mom's house. While there, her dog decided to wake me up at 3:00 am and 4:00 am so he could go out. One of the kittens also decided to pose for me:
This is Ewok and how can you resist that face?!

The real reason I went to my mom's was so I could go to a baby shower for these guys:

Twin boys born to a cousin. Yeah, they're pretty cute. They are doing great too. They are 5 weeks old here and the guy on the left is almost 8 pounds and the guy on the right is 6 and a half. I could've spent all day snuggling them but that's the thing about a baby shower, you have to share.

After another busy weekend, we headed home and now I'm getting ready for this week.

This week is Thanksgiving here in the U.S. and so, the week is a little crazy and it hasn't even really started yet. Basically, it looks like this:
Sunday: Get home from the weekend, try to write on NanoWriMo.
Monday: Crochet 101 class tonight, try to write.
Tuesday: Open Crochet night tonight, try to write.
Wednesday: Try to write and finish up (notice I'm at like 25,000 words, yeah, I have a long way to go.) Hubby gets done with work at 1pm and we are going down to my parent's house to spend the night so everything at home has to get done before we leave.
Thursday: Thanksgiving Day, have a meal with my family and spend the day playing with my niece.
Friday: I'm not sure yet but it won't involve being at home.
Saturday: Gaming Convention in New London known as Carnage Con, spend the night at in-laws following this.
Sunday: My birthday and also the day we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my in-laws. While this will be fun, I estimate that I will be about 12x more exhausted than I would like to be by then.

Somewhere in there I have to: Bake an apple pie to take along to in-laws, renew my license and tabs for my car because they expire on my birthday (Sunday) and finish my NaNo novel.
Yeah, I may be insane by Sunday night when I finally get home.

In actual knitting news:

The Sock-Ease Socks are done.
The specs:
The Pattern: Just the Basic Sock Recipe again, I like it because I can knit without looking so it's excellent for the dark or for TV watching.
The Yarn: Lion Brand Sock-Ease in color 201, Rock Candy. This was my first time knitting with this yarn. It was inexpensive and they turned out quite nice. Not my favorite yarn but I would probably knit with it again.
The Needles: Bamboo, US size 2
The Size: Knit to Men's size 13.
The Recipient: My Step-brother Chris.
Notes: Since i hadn't knit with this before and I knew I would be knitting quite long socks I made the legs very short (only about 4" including ribbing) so I wouldn't run out of yarn. I had this much leftover.

Please excuse the crappy pictures, not only is it very grey and cloudy here today but I've drunk so much coffee while stressing out about my busy week that I'm a little shaky. The pictures from last week are more accurate color-wise.

I also started the first pair of DK weight Boot Socks.

They are knit on 4s and since I have never knit DK weight socks before, I guessed at the number to cast on but it looks pretty good.
So, where does all that leave me with my Christmas knitting? Well, it's 4 weeks to Christmas and I have approximately 8 pairs of socks left to knit, not to mention my other projects too. Yeah, I may not make it.

I may or may not have time to blog again this week, we'll see, if not, I'll see you all next week.

P.S. Does anyone know anything about Thrummed Mittens? I have a plan to knit some for myself once Christmas is done.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Haul

I didn't even mention it but yesterday was Tuesday making it for Crochet. I'm not working on anything new though. I took my afghan and got another strip of it done. It's coming along (6 are finished and the pattern calls for 12 so I'm halfway) but it looks exactly the same so I won't bore you with pictures.
Yesterday I mentioned that I made a stopover at the Yarn store on my way into Willmar. I mostly got things for Christmas Knitting although there were a very few things to help me keep my sanity as I dredge through it. (I find it hard to think giving thoughts as you frantically try to figure out if you can somehow manage to fit all your normal life stuff in as well as finish your Christmas projects.) I may have somehow also accidentally picked up a couple of things last night at Crafts Direct too while I was there. This is pretty much what I got:

As you can see, there's quite a bit. I got the Interweave Knits Holiday gifts issue. and a whole bunch of sock yarn plus a couple of skeins of Patons Classic wool. This isn't even close to everything that I am knitting for Christmas but the green on the left isn't for Christmas. That's just for me. (ha ha! Selfish!) I picked up another set of Bamboo dpns in size 2 because mine seem to have a death wish lately and keep breaking at unfortunate moments.
Here's a question: Do you think that it helps to cast everything on? Then you can work on this or that or back and forth or do you think it's better to stick to just a few projects, that having too many on the needles when you're at a deadline is crazy-making? I might take advice although I'll probably still be crazy by Christmas Eve.
I got one pattern that I intend to get the yarn for later. I think it will be my reward project for when I'm done with all the Christmas stuff. Check it out here. (Scroll down, it's the Knit/Purl Bag) I'm not sure if I'll do it with the dowels, we'll see. So excited!