Tuesday, December 27, 2005

It all goes so fast . . .

So after all the planning and build up, the holidays are over in a flash. As great as all the celebrating was, it was kind of nice to stay home today. Pea is on vacation until after the New Year, so my blogging will probably be sporadic until he goes back to work (gotta take advantage of my time with him while I can!!). He finished the final paper for his night class today, so now he's officially on vacation! I spent the morning cleaning the downstairs -which was in a scary state of clutter and filth. You can see my hardwood living room floor again, now that I've relieved it from the carpet of pine needles, paper scraps and a cookie & potato chip crumb mixture. Very stressful for someone as OCD as me!!!

I know I should post pictures of all my great Christmas gifts . . . but I'm so tired and got so much I wouldn't know where to begin. My absolute favorite was from Pea, the Jordana Paige Knitters Purse!!! I never dreamed I would actually get it - and cried when I opened it! It is already filled with all my knitting stuff and is the only bag I've carried with me since Christmas morning. It's a perfect size and the pockets and loops keep everything so organized.

Other fab knitting gifts I got were a swift (the ball winder was sold out, but is on it's way), a huge perfect haul from my Secret Santa which included Knitting on the Road, LL sock yarn, beautiful handmade beaded stitch markers, awesome palm tree knitting needles, a handmade pin, and a chibi (I hope I didn't forget anything - there was so much!!), the Knitting Pattern A Day calendar from my mom, and KnitLit Too and The Knitting Directory from my Bestus Buddy. And that was just my knitting related gifts! See, told you I was spoiled. Oh yeah, Pea also braved a LYS alone to buy stash yarn for my stocking. Luckily, it was the world's nicest yarn shop, where they made him feel at home and also looked up my previous purchases on the computer so they could point him in the direction of yarns I might like.

Pea was quite happy with his haul too. Now that he's seen the scarf, I can block it and then write a proper post about it. He really loved it! I also got him a dozen martini glasses (okay, they were on sale for $1 each at Pier One) along with a shaker set - so he can do his suave Bond thing!! And I got him Cirque Du Soleil tickets, so we're looking forward to going to see that in February!!

I did manage to get both sparkly scarves for my cousin's daughter's finished . . . and mohair or not, I still claim they are ghetto because the metallic strand ripped a cut in my finger by the time the second one was knit! They loved them and seemed impressed that I knit them - which says a lot coming from two seven-year-olds surrounded by toys! My size 12 brother's slippers got finished too. The second one got wrapped while still on the needles, but I finished it yesterday before he left for home in Upstate New York. Mom got a box full of yarn with her sweater pattern and my Bestus Buddy got two balls of sock yarn with a promise to learn to knit them soon, but they both seemed perfectly happy and are anticipating their FO's.

And last, but certainly not least, allow me to introduce the person I have had the pleasure of spoiling for Secret Pal 6!! Please pop over and meet Lynne, a warm, witty, funny and wise person in New York!! I hope you'll have as much fun getting to know her as I did!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Have a merry and a happy!!!

The knitting is (mostly) all done and gifted. The past few days have been a blur. Finished shopping on Friday. Baked on Saturday. Christmas Eve at my uncles. Presents and cookies this morning with Pea. More presents with Mom, Dad and "little" brother (6'2"), then we all went to LI for dinner and MORE presents with Pea's family.

I am very blessed and more than a little spoiled!! Tomorrow is one more Christmas with my Best Friend's family, and then I promise to get back to blogging and commenting on a regular basis. I miss all my blog-pals!!

I wish everyone out in blog-land a wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza. Much love and joy through out your holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Getting ghetto

So, you've all heard Chris and Olga talk about Ghetto knitters? You may have even seen Olga's definition of ghetto knitters. Upon reading them, I found out I was a ghetto knitter and didn't even realize it.

Well, it's time to wear my Ghetto Badge loud and proud. On Monday I knitted up this!

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you, a very tacky scarf knit in Lion Brand Moonlight Mohair. (The bad picture may be ghetto, but it doesn't really show the tackiness in it's full glory. You can't see the metallic sparke in the yarn.) It began as a small scarf for my bestus buddy for Christmas, but as I started knitting I realized it was way too tacky to gift to her. Funny thing happened though, the more I knit, the more it started to grow on me. Not only did I finish the scarf in one day (thanks to an obsessive knitting jag and a very easy pattern from the Lion Brand web-site),but I decided if I knit a second scarf they would make the perfect presents for my cousin's daughters. And to be truly ghetto, I also decided I'd love to make one for myself. Off to JoAnn's for two more skiens.

And hey, why stop at one Lion Brand yarn. I've fully embraced my inner ghetto and chose Wool Ease to knit slippers for my brother. The first one is finished. It's almost like the ones Grandma used to make us, but not quite. I have an old one (with a hole) in my closet and I'll have to pull it out and see if I can figure out the pattern.
While I think it will fit his SIZE 12 FOOT, it came out rather thin and doesn't feel very warm. At which point I realized that when I knit my first slippers (as a newbie knitter) I must have used Wool-Ease Chunky. So I think I'm going to start again from scratch. I'll keep this slipper for myself, and start a new pair for him with the chunky yarn. I should still be able to finish for Christmas. That is, if I stop blogging and start knitting!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Tree

Christmas Tree 2005Oh, gee, did I promise to post this two days ago???? I should know better than to give myself a time line during the holidays. So, a bit late, here is my tree, complete with some wrapped presents!! Every year I get the tree home and it is SO MUCH BIGGER than it looked on the wide open tree lot. So this year, I was very careful - and ended up with a tree much smaller than I intended. One of these years I'll get it right.

I do have knitting content to post, but I'll have to save that for "later". I won't promise when later, but I'll try to make it soon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Reality Check

Seven and a half days until Christmas. Reality has come to visit. There is no &%*&%$ way I will complete all the knitting I had hoped to finish. Take a gander at my progress bars, and you will notice I've begun to axe gifts. Including the mini ornaments for the party tonight. I've spend so much time on the hat for my friend Dave (which also won't be finished for tonight, but it's coming along well and I can bring it to show him) . . . uh, what was I saying?? Oh yes, I've spent so much time on the hat for my friend Dave that I haven't knit any more ornaments. So the three I have will go on my tree (which we are getting today) and that will be that.

I'm also completely axing the scarf I was planning to knit for my MIL. It was going to be one of these. She had no idea I even fathomed knitting her a gift though, so she won't be disappointed. I've already bought the pattern and yarn, so I can always knit it for her birthday (in June) or next Christmas (that might be a deadline I can meet!!).

For now, I'm off the do the last little piece of my super secret Christmas gift and work a bit more on Dave's Crazy Hat (or Crazy Dave's Hat). Then we're off to get our tree!!!!! I'll try to post again this afternoon (or maybe tomorrow) with pictures of the tree and hat. Happy knitting!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Three down . . .

Every year, a bunch of my friends get together for a Christmas Party. We alternate hosting duties. Our friends Tom and Leigh are hosting this year, and I decided it might be fun to knit an ornament for each guest. (Yeah, I'm delusional. Fun . . . . ha ha ha ha ha ha!!) I've been working very hard on them since . . . well, since yesterday. I have three done, including the funny looking bear I knit up on Saturday. I gave him a little scarf and I think it improved him a bit.

Ornament 1 - Itty Bitty BearOrnament 2 - Mini Sweater Ornament 3 - Mini Stocking

I also have plans for a Santa Hat ornament, which I think will go more quickly than the other three. However, since there will be ten of us at the party, I have to knit SEVEN MORE!!!! There's no way I can get them done in time, is there? Well, maybe. Realistically, I don't need to knit one for me or for Pea, so that leaves me with five more to do. Two tomorrow, two on Friday and one on Saturday? It might happen. If I don't do anything else!!!! Um, yeah, tomorrow I'll tell you about the hat I need to finish for the party too.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Has anyone seen my motivation?

I've come to the conclusion that I must work best under pressure. I thought I would be so organized and ahead of the game this holiday season. You know, no pesky job sucking up all my time. I don't know what actually is sucking up all my time, but I haven't been doing much knitting or blogging, and my shopping isn't done either. I haven't even started making cookie dough. I must admit, I have more presents bought and wrapped than I ever have on December 13th, but I just thought I'd be much farther along at this point.

We did get some snow on Friday, and I took pictures to post and everything. Four days later, here they are! Better late than never?

back yardin the front
Saturday night we went to Pea's company Christmas party. It was the first year guests had to pay for tickets, and it was a much smaller turn-out. But it sure was a lot of fun. We even got some ballroom dancing done - lots of Cha Chas!

You would think a Christmas party would kick me into high gear, but the Christmas knitting hasn't been going so well. It's not going poorly . . . it's just not going much at all. I just can't get myself in gear. Maybe Christmas still feels far off . . . I need to start chanting "CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND, CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND, CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND" and give myself some stress. I had a bright idea to knit little ornaments for a yearly Christmas party we have with my friends. Little sweaters, hats, stockings and bears. Small, easy and quick, right? Not so much. I have a total of ONE done. It's the little bear from IK summer 2005. For some reason, I'm having a much harder time knitting these than I thought I would. Am I reading the directions correctly? Are they really telling me to "(k1f&b) 2 times k1 all in the same stitch"????? Isn't that knitting FIVE STITCHES into one loop? Are they insane? Those of you who have knit these bears too, is that what you did . . . and how the heck did you manage it? As it turns out, I finished the bear, but he looks kind of . . . . weird? Mis-shapen? Odd? All of the above?

It's supposed to be a bearAll of the above. My best cheerleader (Pea) loves it, propped it on his school book while he wrote his paper, and said it's the cutest thing he's every seen. I may try a couple more. I'm planning to knit a little scarf to dress him up a little, and he might look cute on the Christmas tree. For now, I'll just forge ahead on the rest of my Christmas knitting. After all, CHRISTMAS IS NEXT WEEKEND!!!!!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Imagine . . .

Tonight's forecast . . . .

according to The Weather Channel.

"Partly cloudy skies early then becoming cloudy with periods of snow late. Low around 25F. Winds light and variable. Chance of snow 70%. 1 to 3 inches of snow expected."
That's what they said Sunday night too. Let's hope it's just a dusting again!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Is it spring yet?

I meant to write this post yesterday, but I got distracted by computer games er, quite busy and didn't manage to get to blogging.

Anyway, the 3 to 6 inches of snow predicted for Monday night turned out to be only a light dusting. I'm not really sure exactly what qualifies as a "light dusting", but we probably got less than 1/2 inch. I had promised a snow picture, so here is the view out my front door.

Is it spring yet?See, barely covered the grass.

The thing about snow is that is has to be removed from sidewalks and stairs. And to be quite honest, I haven't shoveled since Sweetpea moved in. However, when one spouse commutes 40 to 70 minutes each way, works at least eight hours in the office, and takes a night course - while the other spouse is currently between "official jobs" and fills her day with cleaning, cooking, laundry, blogging and knitting - which spouse do you think should be assigned to shoveling??

If you said the office guy, you think like me!!! Heck, he's stuck inside all day, sitting behind a desk. The fresh air and exercise will do him a world of good!!!! Unfortunately, he doesn't quite see my point. I even tried to use the "as a knitter, I'm an artisan and my hands are valuable tools that need to be protected from manual labor" excuse, but he wasn't buying that. So I am really glad we only got a dusting. Unfortunately, under the dusting was snow's evil step-sister - a sheet of ice that needed to be chipped away. BLAH!!!! If you look closely at the picture, you'll see I did a very good job until I got to the driveway (far left in the picture) where it was very thick and solid. My OCD (this ice will not get the best of me . . . I will chip off every last bit until the sidewalk is clear and perfect) gave way to my aching tired arms, so I took the easy way out and dumped kitty litter on the ice and called it a day. Kitty litter is an invaluable winter tool. It provides traction on the ice (much like sand) but also absorbs any puddles when the ice melts so it doesn't re-freeze every night when the sun goes down.

I also got very little knitting done yesterday due to all the computer games er, ice chipping exhaustion. How many days until Christmas??? How far along are you on your Christmas knitting?

Sunday, December 04, 2005


Woo hoo!!! The hat is done!!!!

Pea's HatThanks to everyone for the supportive comments. This was the first time I've ever encountered a split in my yarn, but I'm getting the idea it's not as uncommon as I thought? Cottage46 Knitter's comment was right, ripping back to the grey was so much easier because the stitches really stood out against the black and green. And while it was a bit frustrating to have it happen so close to the end, it also was good because it didn't leave much to re-do. I can't take credit for the color combo - Sweetpea picked them out himself. Okay, his first idea was blue and orange, but the next day he changed his mind and picked these nice colors.

finished hatI actually ran short on the black, so we came up with adding the grey and green at the top. It worked out better than I had hoped, and looks like we planned it that way all along.

Pattern: Kim's Hats from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Knit Picks Merino Style in Coal, Moss and Fog
Cast On: November 28
Completed: December 4

That's one more Christmas present knocked off my list!! I still have too many left to do. I've started adding progress bars for some of them over in my sidebar. I was afraid it would make me feel pressured, but it actually makes me feel more organized. I'm also finding it encourages me to knit more, just so I can update the bar!! It also helps me see that I really am making progress if I hit a part of a project that feels like I'm knitting and knitting and getting no where.

In other news, we had our first official snowfall today. I've never been a fan of the white stuff, but I've decided it's not so bad when you don't have to try to travel in it. In fact, I didn't go out in it at all! I had great intentions of taking some outdoor pictures to post (for those of you who live in warmer climates and dream fondly - if not misguidedly - of snow), but I just couldn't convince myself to leave the warm house. Next snowfall, I promise!!

Saturday, December 03, 2005


I've been working pretty hard on my Christmas knitting. It's coming along pretty well too, although I still may have gotten in a bit over my head! But Sweetpea's Secret Present is done - woo hoo!!! The write up will have to wait until after Christmas, but I can tell you I really really loved the yarn.

I thought I'd be able to post FO pictures of his hat too, but I encountered a little glitch. I completed all the knitting, wove the yarn through the last stitches (as instructed) and began to "pull snugly to close top of hat". Funny thing, but there seemed to be a gap forming. Huh, pulled a little tighter. The stitches seemed to be UNRAVELING. Ack!!!!!

so close, but yet so farTurns out, there was a split in the yarn that was loosely spliced together. The snug pulling broke it, and the hat began to unravel itself. Right in the home-stretch too. Argh. I'm going to try my best to save it. I think I can rip back to the grey stripe and just re-knit the green top. It will be a good learning experience, right? If that doesn't work, I can always frog it and knit it over. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger??