Sunday, December 31, 2006

I'm so Spoiled - Part 2

Hello again!! Remember in my last post where I said I was glad to have the Holiday Hustle and Bustle over with? I guess I was just fooling myself into thinking it was over, because it clearly wasn't. We've had parties and get-togethers keeping us busy most of the week. On Tuesday our holiday obligations will finally be finished and our lives can get back to normal. And hopefully, my blogging can get back to normal as well!!

I thought I'd wrap up 2006 by posting the rest of my knitterly Christmas gifts. I supposed my loved ones are more convinced this year that the knitting "will stick" . . . . as opposed to being a fad that passes a few months after I throw myself into it. (Yes, yes, I may be known for that!!) There were quite a few knitting gifts under the tree this year!

The first batch is from Pea. Knitterly gifts found their way under the tree and also into my stocking! My stocking held the mini Kacha counter, the Chibi and the Lantern Moon black sheep tape measure. Since our stockings are so big, the latest issue of knit.1 was also tucked in there!! And under the tree I found the Heal My Hands I'd been hoping for, all four sizes of the Knit Picks DPNs and enough Cinnamon Andean Silk to knit A Cardigan for Arwen!! He also picked out a great skein of sock yarn . . . . which I may have cast-on while eating breakfast on Christmas morning. (I just couldn't resist!!) It's the new Austermann Step, (I've got color-way 01 -laub). This is the new yarn with aloe vera and jojoba right in it to soften your feet (and your hands while knitting). I wondered if such a thing would really work, as my fingers do get very dry and chapped as I knit. So far, that hasn't happened while working with this yarn, and it is very nice to knit with. No splitting or anything, it just runs smoothly over the needles. I can't wait to see how it wears.

Up next, some gifts from my parents and my best friend. My mom buys me a page-a-day calendar each year, and last year I asked for the Knitting Pattern A Day version. As it turned out, the patterns it contained weren't really to my taste, so the only request I had this year was that I DIDN'T get that one! She did a great job in choosing the Stitch 'n Bitch calendar - I can't wait to see what's in there. (Yes, I'm one of those people who thinks it's a sin to look ahead in the calendar. I won't even take it out of the box until tomorrow.) She also surprised me by picking out some yarn! I told her I'd always figured she'd never try, because she would think she didn't know what to pick. (Although I have to say, almost any yarn is good yarn, and you can always find a project for any amount!!) She did admit that it took her a very, very long time, but look how great she did!! A skein of Lana Grossa self-patterning sock wool that will be very entertaining to knit up, and a skein of Noro Kureyon! I've been dying to try some Noro, and I've been surfing around looking for the perfect project for this ball of yarn. I've got several possibilities, but think I've settled on the Kristina bag. I love the look of it, and I know I would get a lot of use out of it. It would also push me to finally try my hand at color-work! Lastly, the two books on the right are from my best friend. A Good Yarn is a knitting novel, perfect for when my hands need a bit of a rest. And the new book One-Skein Wonders! I had just been flipping through that book at Barnes & Noble and had planned to keep it in mind when my birthday rolls around. I was thrilled not to have to wait all the way until May for it!! I looked through it quite a bit yesterday, and it is filled with great patterns. One of the best things about it is that the chapters are arranged by yarn weights, so when you find a random ball of yarn in your stash, you can flip to the chapter that matches it's weight and ponder your options!

I guess I've got plenty to keep me inspired for knitting in the New Year! I want to thank you all for your friendship and comments in 2006. I consider myself very lucky to have stumbled into the world of blogging and to have met such loving and supportive friends. I look forward to sharing another year with you all!

Have a wonderful time tonight, and if you venture out to celebrate, please be sure to be safe. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'm so spoiled - Part 1

Well, I must admit, it sure does feel nice to have the Holiday Hustle and Bustle over with. Pea is on vacation this week, so we are doing some major relaxing and some little chores around the house.

Christmas was wonderful, and I thought I'd share my knitterly gifts with you. (Well, I'm not really SHARING them, but you can look at them!!) The first one was a super surprise gift that arrived on my doorstep on Saturday. I knew from the return address that it was from Melissa!! I suppose I should have put it under the tree until Christmas, but I tore right into it. Look what was in the box.

Oooh, a snowman! I love snowmen! But wait, look what was inside the snowman box!

Honestly, I opened the box and was so overwhelmed. You can click on the pictures for a larger view of everything. There is a lovely Musical Love Charm chime, some sweet Hershey treats (which Pea claims are meant for him), and the cutest little sock blocker key-chain sporting a "chocolate covered cherries" sock Missy knit herself!! And the yarn . . . click the picture on the right to see the yarn better. A beautiful 500+ yard skein of Brooklyn Handspun in "Understated" that is so pretty. I'm going to have a tough time finding a project worthy of this gorgeous yarn!! (Missy knew Pea had ordered something for me from Scout and didn't want to send the same thing!!) The last thing in the box touched me so much, I burst into tears. It's a bundle of mistletoe!!! Remember in the holiday meme I said my mistletoe had fallen apart and I hadn't been able to replace it? She replaced it for me.

It was a wonderful and thoughtful start to my holiday, and made me feel more special than I could ever deserve. Thank you so much, Missy!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Check another one off!!!

Okay, I didn't finish the socks last night. Or this morning. Why? Well, Blogger let me switch to Beta (or New Blogger, since I guess it's out of Beta testing) and it took me all day to figure out how to get my highly customized template formatting to work. I was mostly successful, and the few tweaks that need to be finished can wait until after Christmas. At least, that's what I keep trying to convince myself - although I get really addicted to all of this formatting stuff.

In any case, I did manage to get another project off the needles. DON'T CLICK THE PICTURE IF YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO WILL BE RECEIVING A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FROM ME!!!Everyone else, please click the gold package to see what just came off the needles.

Four days to go, and here's how the list is looking.

  • Flower Cloth
  • Daisy Socks
  • Baby Sweater
  • Fetching
  • Socks
  • Fetching
  • Slippers
  • Fetching

No rest for the weary. I'm off to cast on another pair of Fetchings.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More Mitts

I think just about everyone is knitting some Fetching mitts for Christmas.The gray pair are the ones I knit up for myself during Skate America. I've been wearing them non-stop and love them, except for my picot cuff. So on my Christmas knitting pairs, I am opting for a plain bind off. The maroon pair is for my MIL, and I'm very happy with how it came out. Let's hope she is too.

So, with less than a week to go, here's where the list stands.

  • Flower Cloth
  • Daisy Socks
  • Baby Sweater
  • Fetching
  • Socks - will be done tonight, oh yes, no matter what!!!
  • Fetching - will start tomorrow
  • Slippers - almost there, maybe I can crank them out tomorrow
  • Fetching - don't need to be gifted until 12/30, so I can worry about these next week.

I absolutely can't wait to cast on some STR and knit myself a new pair of ribbed socks. I think that's what I'll be doing Christmas night!!

In other crafting news, as I wrapped presents today we ran out of gift tags. So, I used my new sticker maker and my graphics program to whip up some home-made ones!! I think they came out really cute. Here's a little sample of how they'll look.

Monday, December 18, 2006

One week to go . . .

A week from now, it will all be over. To tell you the truth, I think I'll be pretty relieved a week from now. Provided, of course, I finish my Christmas knitting. Right now I'm flip-flopping between being sure I'll be finished within the next few days, and panicking that it won't be done by Christmas. So, to distract myself from the pressure, I thought I'd do the MeMe I saw on Missy's blog.

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
I really love Egg Nog, but until they make a sugar-free version, I have to just remember it fondly. I like Hot (sugar-free)Chocolate, but I'd much rather have coffee.

Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
When we were little, he always just put them under the tree. But now he wraps them!

Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White. I love white icicle lights for the house, and lots of white, non-flashing lights for the tree.

Do you hang mistletoe?
I used to, until the mistletoe I had fell apart. If I could find more, I'd start hanging it again. I also used to wear a Santa hat with mistletoe tucked in the brim.

When do you put your decorations up?
When ever I get around to it. Usually mid-December.

What is your favorite holiday dish?
Spiral sliced ham. Yum!!

Favorite Holiday memory as a child?
Every year my father would have us wait upstairs while he went to turn on the lights and check if Santa came. Every year, he would come back upstairs and tell us that Santa DIDN'T come - and we would rush past him and run downstairs to our presents!!

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I don't remember, so I guess it wasn't that traumatic. I do remember my little brother was quoted as saying "The kids at school say there is no Santa, but I know there is. There's no way my mom would buy me all those toys!!"

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Yes. We go to my uncle's and I open a gift from them and from my cousin. Then we go to a family friend's house, and I open a gift (or two) from them too!

How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Pea puts all the lights on, but I usually do the ornaments myself. I *ahem* kind of like them hung in a certain way. (OCD takes no break for Christmas!!)

Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Yuck, dread it. Although if I don't have to go outside, it is kind of pretty when it first falls.

Can you ice skate?
I can go forward, and usually stop without falling. You would think after all of the hours I spend watching figure skating, some of it would sink it. But it doesn't.

Do you remember your favorite gift?
That's a tough one, because I always get so spoiled!! I think I have a new favorite each year.

What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
The special magic that seems to be in the air at Christmas time.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Christmas cookies!!! It is actually what I have for breakfast on Christmas morning.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?
Having the cookies for breakfast.

What tops your tree?
A star.

Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
Do I have to pick one? I love them both!!

What is your favorite Christmas Song?
The Carol of the Bells

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum?

Friday, December 15, 2006

What it looks like when Christmas throws up.

It's been a while since I mentioned my strange new neighbors. For the most part, we've decided they aren't too bad. They aren't as loud as they used to be. Although they are somewhat weird, they do seem to be pretty nice most of the time. When pruning a tree, they came over to let us know they would come clean up any branches that fell into our yard. And they have invited us to a few picnics they were having.

So I feel somewhat guilty making fun of them . . . . but not guilty enough not to do it!! I'd been wanting to blog about their Christmas display for a while. And as soon as I caught wind of the XXmas Contest, I knew I had to snap some covert photos and share with everyone.

You see, my new neighbor told another neighbor that they are really excited to be spending their first Christmas in their own home. Now if it were me, I'd show my pride by choosing some tasteful decorations to really make my new home shine. You know, sometimes less is more. But I suppose, in their opinion, MORE is more.

When Christmas throws up I
Click the pictures to read the notes!!
When Christmas throws up II
I honestly don't think they could fit one more think on the lawn . . . . or porch . . . . or roof, for that matter. (I had to post two pictures just to fit it all in!!) Unfortunately, the pictures don't do it justice - it is much more cluttered and tacky in real life!! I shutter to think what their next electric bill will look like! On the up-side, we can keep our living room lights off and still have a nice soft glow from all the wattage on their lawn!!

So, now that I've finished my snarky Grinchy post, I'm going to check on Pea. We've been together for 7 1/2 years, and today was the first day since I've know him that he called in sick to work. He even had a 101.6 fever, poor guy. Although I suppose it's better to get it over with now so he won't be sick for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

It happens every year.

Each December, I set out to find a small tree for our living room. As I search for my cute little tree, I try really hard to remember that the tree will look much bigger in my little house. I remember that a tree taller than me is really bigger than what I have in mind. And each year, I end up with a HUGE tree that barely fits in it's corner. This year was no exception.

The star is about 6 inches from the ceiling. Of course, I do love this tree, but next year I'm bringing a tape measure with me!!!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Thank you, DIY!!!

There was a knock at the door today, so I answered expecting to find the house-painters with a question. To my surprise, it was the Fed-Ex man, with a box addressed to me from DIY. I immediately called Pea, just to make sure it wasn't a Christmas gift that I wasn't supposed to open yet. After getting the green light from him, I ripped into it to find these.

You see, I have been entering the DIY Craftnanza Giveaway every day, and I seem to have won one of the daily give-aways!! One box is an Adhesive Runner, and the other is a Sticker Creator. Hmm, have they been reading my blog? They must have known I've been getting into all of the card making stuff!! I hadn't heard of these things before, but they look really neat. I especially can't wait to try out the Sticker Maker!! These DIY people must be psychic!! Thank you, DIY, for an early Christmas present. You sure made my day!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Busy weekend and a hat.

Whew, what a busy weekend. Yesterday we went to the casino with friends - and won enough to pay for our food and drinks. It was great to come home with the same amount of money that we had left home with! Today we got our Christmas tree, and then I took Pea to see a movie he's been dying to go see. Can I just say, before we went, I didn't quite see the appeal of this new Bond. Less than five minutes into the movie I had totally changed my mind. This guy is my favorite Bond yet. By far. I think I'm still swooning.

Pea got a really good laugh at me on the way to dinner after the movie. One of the main ladies of this film is named Vesper. Which, unbeknownst to Pea, immediately makes me think of sock yarn. So, as we talked about the movie, I said something about "Vesper's sock phone"!!!! Yes, I meant to say cell phone. Those Freudian slips are slipping in again!

Anyway, I do have some knitting to share. I finished my hat for the Soaring Eagles Project.

Chunky Cabled Beanie
Cast On: 6 December 2006
Completed: 7 December 2006
Yarn: Wool-Ease Chunky, Charcoal
Needles: Knit Picks Options size 10 1/2 (magic looped)

This was a fun and very quick knit. The picture isn't the best, but it makes a really cute hat with bulky yarn. I had forgotten how much fun it could be to knit a project on 10 1/2 needles. I also managed to teach myself to cable without a cable needle (so fun!!!). If I do finish the Christmas knitting already on my list, I'd like to make a couple more of these as presents. The chances are slim, but we'll see. You can find out more about Soaring Eagles by clicking the button below!

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Thank you all so much for the enthusiasm about my yarn!! I'm quite anxious to see how it knits up, but I'll have to wait until after my Christmas knitting is done. For those of you who asked, here is my recipe:

  • Tan - two packets of Tamarindo with a sprinkle of Grape
  • Blue - 7 packets of Ice Blue Raspberry, the rest of the packet of Grape and a little sprinkle of Cherry
  • Burgundy - 2 packets of Cherry, 1 packet of Watermelon Cherry, 1 packet Tropical Punch and a half packet of Grape
Not very scientific, it's just important to sprinkle in some grape or cherry to tone down the day-glo quality of the Kool-Aid. I dip-dye the yarn, because we *gasp* don't have a microwave.

I've taken a little break from my Christmas knitting to knit for a couple of good causes. The first is my square for Comforting Jenn - I took the picture before it was blocked . . . I don't know why!

(Click the photo for details)

It's all knit up and ready to become part of an afghan for a woman who has had more sorrow in her life than anyone should have to bear. I hope it brings her some comfort. You can find out more about the afghan here:

I've also finished a hat for another very special cause, but I'll save that for my next post. My wonderful Pea was kind enough to kiss me good-night even though he was sick with a cold. Thanks honey, just what I needed. I'm off to the couch for some tea and a nap. *sniff, cough*

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Am I getting on your nerves yet?

Can you stand one more crafty thing from me? I don't know what's gotten into me lately. Last week I dragged out the Kool-Aid and dyed a skein of yarn.

It didn't come out exactly how I had intended, but I like it a lot. I told Pea he'd know right away what my inspiration was, and the minute he looked at it he said "July at the Beach???". Which, of course, was totally wrong. The inspiration was SUPPOSED to be our house if it EVER gets finished in my lifetime when it's all done. The siding is tan, the trim will be white, and I plan to use navy blue and burgundy for accents on the porch and some of the trim. But he's right, it did come out more patriotic than I had intended. Pea thought it was very Tommy Hilfiger. (Didn't Ralph Lauren have a red, white and blue collection too? I thought so, but couldn't find any pictures on-line. I guess Pea won the designer debate.) In any case, I'm quite happy with the shades I managed to mix up, and I can't wait to re-stock my Kool-Aid stash and see what else I can come up with.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Time for Knit-mas Carols

I was cruising through Bloglines last week when I came across Purl's post. She has declared herself the official broadcaster of Christmas Knitting Carols!!! It's such a cute idea, and I've enjoyed seeing what she and her other readers have come up with. Since I live for this stuff, I immediately wrote my own Christmas Knitting Carol and sent it off to her. She posted it today, so I thought I'd share it here as well.


God rest ye merry Knitting Hands, let nothing you dismay,
I'm sure all of your hand-knit gifts, will be done by Christmas Day,
Just one more scarf, and then some socks knit in soft wool of gray,

oh-a hand massage would bring you such joy, bring you such joy
oh-a hand massage would bring you such joy!!

Hhhmmm, wonder where I got the inspiration for that song? Speaking of which, I'm off to do some more gift knitting. But before I go, I realized I was so tired when I wrote yesterday's post about the baby sweater, I forgot to write up my project info. For those of you who have asked, you can find it here.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Don't you rememeber you told me you loved me, baaa-beeee?

Believe it or not, another gift knit is DONE!!! The baby sweater is bound off, blocked, seamed, and gifted. While working on it, I could not stop singing Superstar. I'm not a Carpenter's fan, but the fact that a whole line of lyrics was comprised of Baby, baby, baby, baby, oh, baby has always cracked me up. It's like they ran out of something to say.

But I digress. The sweater came out so cute! My hairdresser (the new mom) loved it and admitted that she was hoping I would knit something for the baby. She said she couldn't wait to go home and try it on the little guy.Again, I channeled Martha Stewart when wrapping. I decided to use a receiving blanket as wrapping paper.And made a little gift card . . . . complete with one of those little bears from the first issue of IK I ever bought.I seem to have become slightly obsessed with stamping and card making. I've been amassing some supplies and used my Borders Rewards points to score a great card making book for free!!! I whipped up this little card this morning for a birthday party we went to today.Just what I needed, right? Another hobby to distract me from my gift knitting list. Here's where it stands now.

  • Flower Cloth
  • Daisy Socks
  • Baby Sweater
  • Fetching
  • Socks
  • Fetching
  • Slippers
  • Fetching