Sunday, December 31, 2006

Resolution Review

It's that time of year again - time to look back at the year that's ending, and look ahead to a new "start." So how did I do in '06?

2006 Resolutions:
1. Get off my ass. - done a bit this summer, but not enough.

2. Make the morning mine.
- Done a little bit. Staying up too late has made this difficult.

3. Drink more coffee.
- DONE! (This was in lieu of drinking too much Dr. Pepper.)

4. Eat "better." - I did fairly well for a while. I still eat better dinners and less junk food, but there is always room for more fruits and vegetables.

5. Get a job. - DONE!

6. Read more.
- Sadly, I read the fewest number of books this year than I've read in about 7 years.

7. Do more "other" crafts. - I made a skirt (that doesn't fit), several bags, a hanging needle case, several bracelets, a necklace and some stamped tags for knitted gifts.

8. Learn new knitting techniques.
- I did some more complicated projects, my first fair isle/stranded project, several sweaters and more complicated lace.

9. Keep the house relatively clean and organized. - Hmmmm. I guess?

Overall, 2006 was a good year, even if I didn't "do" everything I wanted to. I did get a job, and that's a major accomplishment!

What's in store for 2007?

1. Set up a weekly cleaning schedule and stick to it.

2. Run/walk/work out at least 3 times a week. Ideally, every day. This will be easier as the days get longer, as I don't like to walk in the dark.

3. Accumulate less junk. We have a lot of stuff. We do not need more stuff. We recycle/resuse a lot, and give away things to Goodwill on a fairly regular basis. However, we need to cut back on just getting things because they are on sale or we like them.

4. Spend less. Yes, we were low on funds for some time. Now we have plenty of money. However, if we want to improve the house/take trips/move/retire at a decent age, we need to save more.

5. Plan and shop for better meals. We eat fairly well-balanced meals, but there are only about 5 meals in our rotation. We need more variety. We have plenty of cookbooks, so this shouldn't be a problem.

6. Be calm. Don't sweat the small stuff. Let go.

7. Be a better friend/daughter/sister/wife/mother. Don't we all try to do this? I need to stay in contact more, make more of an effort, and keep my emotions in check. This goes hand in hand with number 6.

8. Craft more. Again, I'd like to use the sewing machine more, and spend more time with needlework/cross-stitch/embroidery. I'm hoping to do this in the summer, when it seems too hot to knit some days.

9. Knit from the stash. I've had this idea bouncing around for a few weeks, long before Wendy ever said anything about it. And now everybody's doing it. (Don't worry, when y'all jump off the bridge, I'll be here. Debating the pros and cons of jumping off the bridge.) My plan is to knit from the stash until at least June '07. This doesn't mean that I can't buy yarn. It just means, for me, that I need to knit up some of the lovely stuff I've been hoarding. I have many sweaters in the stash and way too much sock yarn. I will try to curb the buying a bit, in keeping with the other resolutions, but if the "right" thing for something is on sale, or if it is something I just can't live without, it's OK to get it. I've regretted a few times this year not buying something that I was sure I could get later. Guess what. I can't. (Yes, I realize this bit is in direct opposition to the "buy less stuff" resolution. So sue me. They're my resolutions after all.

10. Knit more gifts. The family and friends really seem to appreciate them. Sadly, they will have to wait a little bit as I knit for mememe for a while! (Don't worry, there are several gifts already on the needles, and more coming up.)

Whew! I think that about covers it. No pictures again today - must straighten up the house before guests arrive for the PARTY! Have a safe and happy New Year. And thanks for reading, I really appreciate y'all!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A year in knits

Another quickie post today - we're off to the Dallas Mavericks game in a bit. I hope to have pictures for y'all tomorrow, but the weather will have to cooperate a bit!

Knitted in '06

Sockpal Savior Socks
Baby Cardi
Red Scarf
Hat for my sister
Turtleneck Shrug
Cashmerino Hat
Super Mittens
Bell Cloche
Pirate Hat
Pink & brown Trekking socks
Fun fur scarf for my sister
Ribby Cardi
P-word socks
Star Gazer Lily Socks
Felted Easter basket
V-neck bulky sweater
Chrysalis Pullover
Sockotta Socks
Felted bag for mom
Cloverleaf Rib Socks
Those 70's Socks
Felted bag - sample for class
Green Trekking Socks
Cabled Footies
Gift Scarf
One Skein Wonder
Felted Sheep
Cardi for mom
Baltic Sea Stole
Sophie purse
Felted Hat
Felted Clogs
Regia Surf socks
Friday Harbor Socks
Cupcake Hat
Hat for Jules
Licorice Whip
Leaf Lace Shawl
Meathead Hat
Socks for Hubbo
Rib & Cable Socks
Scarf for Hubbo
Scarf for Dad
Socks for my sister
School Colors Scarf
Socks for mom
Scarf for my brother
House socks
3 Sophie purses

That makes for a year-end total of
17 pairs of socks
8 hats
8 scarves/neckwarmers
2 shawls
5 sweaters
2 baby items
7 bags
4 sets of dishcloths
2 shrugs
2 mittens/handwarmers
2 stuffed animals
1 pair of felted clogs

Whew! And yet, somehow, it doesn't seem like I finished that many things! I did rip a fair number of things this year too, so it all balances out.

Some questions (and answers!)

What is your absolute favorite project you've ever knit (one that fulfilled both process and product)? - Leaf Lace Shawl. Loved it, though it did get tedious there at the end!

Which of your handknits do you wear the most often?
- Hands down, my socks. I wear a pair almost every day from November until February/March. I wish it was cold enough to wear my hats/scarves/sweaters more often.

What was your favorite gift to knit? - Hmmmmm, I guess the Baltic Sea Stole for my sister's wedding. It was more than a little repetitive by the end, but I was knitting it for a special occasion, and that made it more special.

Which of your handknits are gathering dust your closet? - My long skinny scarves from last year, and my sweaters, because it just isn't that cold enough often for them.

Which of your handknits have you gotten rid of?
- My first hat - it wasn't very warm. It went to charity.

If you've knit socks, what is your favorite pattern? - The P-word socks from Knitty. Looking forward to making a pair for myself in 2007.

What would you like to make in 2007? - Many things. Come back tomorrow for a better look at those!

*I should have all of the KAL participants listed in the sidebar. If you don't see yourself, please let me know!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A year in blog posts

Seen several places - interesting, and a bit of a cop-out post. Hopefully more tomorrow.

January - I hate the word "resolution" - it sounds so final, and I always feel horrible if I don't accomplish my "resolutions."

February - Today marks my 200th post - that's a lot of babbling!

March - Not a lot tonight - sleepy.

April - I'm sure that my stash is nothing compared to some of y'all, but it's a bit intimidating to me!

May - Often, on the first of May, I find myself wishing I lived in a time (or town) when we would dance round the Maypole, and sing songs.

June - Am I too blue for you?

July - We're having a great time on vacation, and I have lots of pictures to share, but I wanted to get this swap info up for my pal!

August - I've been working a bit in fits and starts on some goodies for the Christmas basket.

September - I had nearly no voice today at school, and the two margaritas during dinner have pretty much wiped me out.

October - Socktoberfest is officially upon us, and what better way to kick it off than looking at what's on the needles?

November - How'd I do? Not so great.

December - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

That's it from here - too much playing the Wii and knitting with mom - and buying yarn! :)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's NOT a Gift! 2.0

Apologies for not getting this up yesterday - we discovered last night that my computer has a short in the screen, so I am having to share with hubbo. I miss my laptop! (and most importantly, my couch!) Here we go....

The "Rules"
* Knit something for yourself during the months of January and February.
* "Something" really means anything - an old UFO, mitts, a sweater, socks, etc. Whatever YOU want. After all, it's NOT a gift! right?
* Let me know what you're going to knit - or if you're going to knit several things, choose one, or the first one.
* I'll list everyone in the sidebar (over there under the sock picture with the little tag that says "It's NOT a Gift!") with a link to their blog (if they have one) and the item they're working on.
* You can join even if you don't have a blog - just leave me comments or email me with pictures if you want.
* I'll check in on those with blogs during the week, but you can leave me a comment if you finish something, or want to tell me about a new project!
* I'll post updates on Saturdays.
* You certainly are "allowed" to knit gifts, but you should knit something for you! It's time to be selfish! :)

Please let me know if you have questions. I think I've got most of your blogs bookmarked in my bloglines, but if you're not sure, feel free to leave a comment and I can double check. I'll get the first update up next weekend, but you can start knitting for yourself anytime! I will try to get y'all listed in the sidebar in the next few days, but mom and dad arrive tonight, the house is a disaster, and did I mention I don't have a computer! Argh!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Holiday Cheer

Kat is having a contest for the most over the top light display. I couldn't resist, especially when hubbo took me by this house a few days ago. We finally had a chance to get back there with the camera - enjoy!

Sunday, December 24, 2006


The children were nestled

all snug in their beds

While visions of rawhide chews (and catnip mice)

danced in their heads.

Merry Christmas from our furry family to yours!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

How cute!

Saw this and had to share. Happy Holidays!

Last Minute Knitted Gifts

And, we're DONE!!!!

Pattern: Odessa by Grumperina from Magknits
Yarn: Knitpicks Merino Style
Needles: Sz US 6 Clover Bamboo DPNs
Mods: no beads
Dates: early December to Friday December 22.
Thoughts: Cute! I really like the finished hat. It did seem to go on forever for a while, but it looks great in the end. Someday I'll probably make one for me.
Oh, and it took almost exactly one skein of Merino Style - I probably had two feet of yarn left over.

Pattern: Generic sock pattern over 40 stitches
Yarn: Paton's Shetland Chunky
Needles: Sz US 8 Clover Bamboo DPNs
Mods: n/a
Dates: Monday December 18 to Saturday December 23.
Thoughts: They are very warm, and fit over other socks. I hope they keep some feet warm! The yarn was not the nicest - it was squeaky, and dyed my needles blue.

That makes me done! I did cut quite a few things from the list, but I am DONE! And it feels so nice! Off to knit things for me! I'll be back tomorrow with my "Z" post for the ABC-along, and back on Tuesday with info on the "It's NOT a Gift!" KAL
Enjoy your holiday/weekend!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Holiday Meme

The Christmas knitting is nearly done, so in order to finish it, I present you with a cop-out post.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Both, though usually wrapping paper.
2. Real tree or artificial? Real. Always.
3. When do you put up the tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving.
4. When do you take the tree down? The weekend after New Years.
5. Do you like eggnog? Not too much.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? My American Girl doll.
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes - a small one.
8. Hardest person to buy for? My mother-in-law.
9. Easiest person to buy for? Hubbo.
10. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Excluding teacher gifts, I would have to say a printer. Hubbo got me a very nice one a few years ago, but it wasn't very "special" if you know what I mean. He meant well, but it was kind of a sucky gift.
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, always. Love getting them in the mail.
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? White Christmas and The Muppet's Christmas Carol.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I do a little shopping all year, as I find things for certain people. But mostly as early as possible.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Yep - but only when it was something that wasn't my taste that someone else would love.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Stuffing. Pumpkin Pie.
16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Only colored.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Happy Christmas (War is Over) and Silent Night.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home because of The Girl.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeers? I don't know. How many are there? Dasher Dancer, Prancer, Vixen. Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, Rudolph.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Morning
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? Rude. People. Everywhere.

Hopefully back tomorrow with finished gifts!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

6 hours

In six hours I will be on vacation for two whole weeks. Whatever shall I do with myself? Well, for starters, I have to finish the christmas knitting. And then finish up the Sophie bags for one of mom's friends. But then.....oh heaven. Knits for me, all me! (Lest you think I'm terribly selfish, allow me to say that I really like knitting for my family and they really seem to appreciate it. But since it's been almost a month since I've done anything 'just because' or cast on at whim for a new project, I'm ready to be done with the self-assigned to-do list.)

Today brings you two finished scarves - and the end of the scarf knitting for a bit (and I mean bit - I can't wait to work on My So-Called Scarf!).

Pattern: generic sideways scarf - cast on 200 stitches, work until nearly out of yarn. Bind off.
Yarn: Paton's Soy Wool Stripes in Natural Earth
Needles: Sz US 13 Circulars - so tired of big needles. Cannot wait to get back to my little bitty ones.
Mods: none
Thoughts: I like this colorway much more than hubbos, but he doesn't so he keeps his and this one goes to someone else.

A note about the yarn: I had a bear of a time trying to match dyelots of this stuff. I pulled every ball of yarn out of the bins and checked the dye lots. I could not find two that matched in anything that wasn't pink or light blue to save my life. Luckily, the two balls I ended up with were fine, but it's really hard to tell when they sometimes seem to be wound the other way, so that the outside colors of one ball are on the inside of another. Sounds like Noro to me!

Pattern: 2x2 rib over 30something stitches.
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes in Grass and Daffodil
Needles: Sz US 8 clover circulars.
Mods: none
Thoughts: I never would have chosen those colors, but they are hubbo's school colors and the scarf was for his assistant (she's also the cheerleading sponsor). She really wanted fringe, (I'm not really a fringe person) so she gets some. I hope it looks OK. She gave him his gift yesterday and it is a crocheted pillow for his rocking chair. I love that they both gave handmade gifts (even if he didn't make hers!).

Happy thought for the day: I don't have to set an alarm again until January 4th. Alleluia.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sock it to me!

Two pairs of socks - DONE!

Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill - can't find the ballband to tell you the color.
Pattern: generic sock recipe over 64 stitches - 3x1 rib for the leg, plain old stockinette for the foot. I did try Wendy's method of decreasing extra for the foot (actually she increases for the leg, as she knits toe up most of the time, but same thing), and I hope it works!
Needles: sz US 2 Chiagoo DPNs
Mods: see above re: stitch count.
Dates: sometime in November? to sometime last week.
Thoughts: They are DONE! I really enjoyed knitting up the CTH. I hope it doesn't bleed like they were reporting earlier this year. I hope someone likes them!

Yarn: Knitpicks Sock Memories in Rocky Mountain Dusk
Pattern: generic sock recipe over 60 stitches, 3x1 rib for the leg and top of the foot.
Needles: Sz US2 Chagoo DPNs
Mods: none
Dates: Ugh. Sometime late summer/early fall to Sunday December 17.
Thoughts: This yarn is SOOOOOO SOFT. I know they will most likely felt a bit on the soles (my pair have a tiny bit), but they wil still be wearable, and did I mention the softness? I love pulling on my pair, and I hope that someone likes these too!

The socks are done for Christmas - I had two other pairs tentatively planned, plus hubbo's, but I'm not going to kill myself. I really want to finish my stinkin' green and pink Trekking socks (which haven't made a blog appearance in months), but I've snapped two DPNs on the second sock, so I'm a bit wary of working on them now. I think it was just a bad batch of DPNs, but I don't want to be snapping them! Luckily, my LYS replaces them and sends the broken ones back to Chiagoo (love this!), so I'm not out the cash, but still. I think they're beginning to think I'm breaking them on purpose!

Enough babble. Anyone up for "It's Not a Gift KAL 2?" Check the archives under January and February of 2006 if you're a newer reader. I have a lovely list of things to knit for myself (and, well, a few gifts are in there too, but we shant speak of them), and I'm sure many of you do too. If there is enough interest, we'll start up the first of January. You didn't have to knit holiday presents to join. If it's a go, I'll post more info in a few days. Let me know if you're interested in the comments! It was a great way to "meet" new blogs this year!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Much of yesterday was spent making preparations.

The Girl and I make an ornament every year. This lovely pile will be gifted to friends and family soon. Ours is already on the tree.

The Christmas letter is written, the cards are signed, the envelopes are stamped and addressed. Best part? The post office delivered the stamps with my mail. Awesome.

And hubbo and I have been busy baking. Many of these have already been wrapped up to be delivered today to coworkers. One or two *might* have been comsumed along the way. Don't worry mom - we've got more and he wants to make more, so we'll have some for you!

Best part about this weekend? Three gifts off the needles. Pictures soon.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Random Thursday

1. I have no artifical light photos of finished gift knits for you. We have not been home before dark on a weeknight in two weeks, and we won't be until mid next week.

2. But I do have an artifical light photo of some of my decorations. I love this - it is a something I had in my head last year, and bought all the supplies for it, but somewhere along the line of being unemployed and a bit depressed, it didn't come to fruition. This year I dug it all out, dumped it on the couch to decide where to put it, looked up at the window and said "ah-ha!" Total cost for this project? $3. Two $1 boxes of ornaments from big lots (12 ornaments to a box - what a deal!), a $1 strand of garland from Dollar Tree, clear "string" from the stash, and a box of clear acrylic snowflakes from Pottery Barn (free to me with a left-over wedding gift card!). I turned out better than I expected - love the blues and the slightly gaudy look. Love it.

3. I'll try to take pictures of the tree this weekend - I think it's our best one yet. And for $23 from Lowes, a great deal.

4. Two more gifts are finished. One is 3/4 finished. One is lagging. Several more are whining from the knitting bag due to lack of attention.

5. I really want to clothe my family and friends in hand-knits, but I'm bored of knitting them. However, I'm not sure what else I would be knitting right now. Debating knitting one gift a month for next year and storing them.

6. I've already made the gift knitting list for next year, but I'm sure it will change.

7. I'm considering knitting from the stash for a few months. I've got a *ton* of yarn (had to buy another new plastic tub this week) that I really want to be sweaters/socks/shawls. I'm thinking 5 months? Until school gets out? Then I could go whole hog this summer and knit whatever I wanted and buy at whim. I will probably spend a bit of $$ on some yarn and patterns for fair isle mittens and hats before the new year, as there are several I really want to knit, but I'll talk more about them after I'm done with the torture holiday knitting. If I talk about it too much before then, I may quit the gifts.

8. I'm thinking this "knit from the stash" will work as there is very little that has been published lately that I'm dying to knit. The only exception is the Natucket Jacket from the Winter IK. Terra Cotta Cotton Ease? May have to buy some of that soon too. (And buy soon, I mean this week or next so it's still 2006 and will become stash before 2007. :) )

9. I now drink a ridiculous amount of coffee every day. Thank cheese for my new $5 stainless steel thermos. My new best friend.

10. I'm having a hard time feeling like it's Christmas. Perhaps because it's almost 80 freakin' degrees outside??????

11. My parents are coming. Alert the elves who clean my house. Oh wait.....

12. Three and a half more days of school. How many hours is that?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Top Ten Ways to Avoid the Christmas Knitting

10. Play with the dog/cat. The animals miss you when you're out all hours of the day at school. They need extra attention.

9. Eat peppermint ice cream. Because it's only available for about a month, you have to eat enough to make up for the rest of the year.

8. Sleep. They are always going on about how we don't get enough sleep, so fit in some extra now!

7. Make to-do lists. I am the queen of the list. I may have even made some lists about next year/end of this year knitting stuff. Dork.

6. Finish decorating the house. It has to be done sometime, right? And while you're at it, you can clean out the garage and the storage closet.

5. Write Christmas cards. And order your stamps from the post office to be delivered with your mail. Greatest thing ever. Though going to the post office is another good way to avoid the knitting.

4. Grade papers. The end of the grading period is nigh, must get all of this done. Cleaning up and organizing the classroom are also good substitute should this get done. And there's always lesson plans for next semester!

3. Find new blogs to read. Especially on Saturday and Sunday when no one is posting, and the internets are boring to me.

2. Inventory the stash. Yup. Did this Sunday. A little bit scary. More on this later.

1. Do housework. You know its bad when you've taken this step. Every dish in the house is clean. The slipcovers and towels have been washed. All of the handknit socks are clean. Tomorrow I'm gearing up for sweeping and mopping, with baseboard washing and toilet scrubbing ready if I need extra avoidance time. More laundry to follow, with bathtub/shower scrubbing on deck. Yard work will fill in should housework get finished before the Christmas knitting is complete.

Sadly, I have partaken of each of these this weekend in an effort to avoid the knitting. And just what am I avoiding?

Another long sideways scarf, in more Patons Soy Wool Stripes, a second sock (pictures of the first sock tomorrow), an Odessa hat, and a green and yellow ribbed scarf for Hubbo's assistant teacher. There is more to knit, of course, but these things have my attention for the time being. I figure I have as long as it takes Amazon to get my package here for these to be done, as somethings have to be mailed from Amazon and from me. Sounds good, right? Should I be concerned that Amazon's estimated arrival date is December 23?

How do you avoid the knitting?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Full of Goodies

My mailbox is these days!

Stupid blogger won't upload the picture. Drat!

Last week the lovely Laura sent me the special "limited edition" of the Decemberists embroidery patterns offered by Sublime Stitching. Very nice - hubbo has already made it known that he likes the bicycle pattern. Now, if only I could add 20 more hours to the day.... Thanks Laura!

A few days ago I won a contest on Ruth's blog and she sent me a lovely prize - four skeins of RYC Luxury Cotton DK in a lovely light pink, and a bit of chocolate goodness (which when the hubbo saw, he said "mine!"). Now, what shall this become? Thanks Ruth!

Finally, Henry Hudson has landed!

I signed up for Yarn Aboard way back when, and my explorer arrived on my doorstep today! He arrived bearing gifts of Fortissima Colori Socka Color, some lovely chocolate cookies, green tea, size 0 DPNs and some cute knitting "bits." Yum! Thanks so much to Kate! I shall voyage to the post office tomorrow to send Henry on the way again!

Actual knitting content to follow!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Today my baby Miles is 2 years old. Awwwww. He got a new toy, which he has been carrying around the house all night.

I've got no excitement for you knitting-wise. Still no pictures. I'm just going to have to break down and take crappy indoor photos or take a week's worth of pictures on the weekend. I'll try to have something tomorrow. Pictures or not, the knitting continues apace. Though I really want to cast on for a new project for me.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Not another scarf

Yep. Another scarf.

Pattern: None - I cast on 100some stitches and knit every row until I was close to running out of yarn and bound off. I did guesstimate how long I wanted the scarf to be and swatched to get gauge to decide how many stitches to cast on.
Yarn: Paton's Soy Wool Stripes - nearly 2 balls.
Needles: Size 13 Clover Bamboo Circulars
Mods: n/a
Dates: November 29-December 2. Knit only in the early morning before hubbo was awake so he wouldn't see it.
Thoughts: Good length, nice colors, and I like the yarn. Soft but not too soft.

Hubbo was whining about not having a scarf when he was forced to model dad's, so I gave in and gave him his gift early. He claims to like it, but hasn't worn it yet. We'll see.

I would like to thank TNT for their lovely Christmas gift of a special Closer. What a great show. More would be nice TNT! And Studio 60 is finally getting good. I've really liked the last three episodes - the writing is good, the acting is better, and it's funny! Thank goodness for lovely knitting TV.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Two more Mondays until Christmas

Honestly people, if that thought doesn't freak you out, you're obviously not knitting holiday gifts. (And the rest of us are oh-so-jealous.)

Very sleepy today, tired of writing lesson plans and grading papers. These six week grading periods really suck. If you're not keying in and averaging all of your grades for report cards then it's your writing folders/grade books/progress reports that are due. And lesson plans due every Monday. And staff meeting/diversity training/workshops/grade level planning. In addition to actually TEACHING for 7 hours. And taking at least two grades each week in every subject is fine and dandy except for in this six weeks when one of our "weeks" is the two and a half days we go the week before Christmas, during which the half day is a joke, the Tuesday is Pajama Reading Day and no, I'm not doing anything on Monday, so we have to double up on all of our work for the next nine school days. Blech. And all my kids who were out due to "sickness" (or 'unsafe' roads) Thursday and Friday had to be caught up today. At least I didn't get observed today, like I did last Monday (nice huh? The first day back after having a week off. At 10 am. And did I mention it was MONDAY?) /rant

Today, because I'm tired and I had two margaritas at dinner, you get a boring FO post. Sorry. Probably one to come again tomorrow as we have a workshop and won't be home before dark. I'll try for more excitement on Wednesday. No promises.

Pattern: Ribbed Scarf (not sure of it's real title) from Holiday Knits.
Yarn: Knitpicks Wool of the Andes (is it just me, or has this seemed to have gotten softer recently?) four and a bit skeins of Mist and about 1/4 of one skein of coal.
Needles: Sz US 8 Clover Bamboo Circs (a circular needle is a must for this scarf)
Dates: Early November to November 28 or 29.
Mods: None other than a yarn sub.
Thoughts: Very clever these one rows in each color. Hubbo likes it so much that he's requested one two for himself. I hope the giftee likes it - dressy without being fancy, though the 2x2 rib nearly killed me. Much of this got done in the dark car to and from Indiana.

I have a half decorated tree, blank progress reports glaring at me, no idea what to write in the Christmas letter, dirty dishes on the counter, laundry to do, a messy dining/living room (that goes along with a half decorated tree), boxes of other decorations pilled about, a huge pile of papers to grade and just a *bit* of knitting waiting its turn.

I think I'll go to bed and worry about it tomorrow.

All praise the wonders that are Firefox and my mac - as I hit "upload picture" Firefox shut down. One click of the restore session button and I got my whole post back. Thank you.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Y - iiiiiiiii

Y is, of course, for yarn.

We interrupt your regular schedule of finished objects to bring you the latest in stash enhancement at Chez Knit 'n Lit.

From Indiana: Some lovely Lorna's Laces in red, the oh-so-cute Ann Norling baby fruit hat pattern, and a Lantern Moon silk tote - all from Mass. Ave. Knit Shop in Indianapolis. And two skeins of Koigu in a lovely purpley color from Cass Street Depot.

From Sunshine Yarns: a skein of sock yarn in Peppermint. Yum. I was hoping to have this knit up in time for Christmas - nothing like holiday socks! Sadly, I think it will have to wait until next year. Ah well. I am thinking that I might have to do solid heels and toes with that red Lorna's.

From Knitpicks: Lots for Christmas knitting, a bit for a sweater for me (more on this after the holidays), enough for knee highs for me, and a few other bits and bobs. I also failed to show you the last order's worth of yarn. Much of it was for gifts, but I did get some Gloss for a sweater for me and some Essential in burgundy (I think) that just feels delightful. I'm excited to try both.

And from our LYS - just a bit of sock yarn. Honestly, I can't take hubbo in there anymore! The four skeins on the left are for three pairs of socks for him! I went in there for the pink and orange Regia. But then one of the owners showed me this gorgeous new sock yarn from Colinette - Jitterbug. I bought Bright Charcoal. It is oh-so-yummy. I cannot wait to cast on for these socks. And the price is great - $20.50 a skein! The other colors are a bit bright, but they are coming out with more, I believe.

We also spent a small fortune today at JoAnn's - they had Patons Classic Merino on sale for $3.99 a skein, a great deal, so I bought enough black for a simple cardigan for me and hubbo picked out several balls for a scarf and two hats for him. We may hit the other JoAnn's tomorrow to see if they have other colors.

So much for no yarn until after the holidays! But really, I've been pretty good until lately. Right?

Really. I need to stop buying yarn faster than I can knit it.

Two more gifts started today and two half finished yesterday. More pictures to come this week!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Socks that really do rock

I absolutely love my new socks. Lovelovelove.

Pattern: Rib & Cable Socks by Nancy Bush from Fall '05 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Socks that Rock medium weight in County Clare. Gift from Hubbo for my birthday.
Needles: Susan Bates US 2s DPNs
Dates: Started October 17. Finished Thursday November 30.
Mods: I didn't knit the heel or the toe as the pattern called for. I thought the heel looked fiddly, so I just went with my standard heel flap. I knit the first toe as the pattern was written, but I didn't like the way it felt on my toes, especially in shoes. So I ripped out the first toe and lengthened the pattern and decreased as normal for both toes. Much better.
Thoughts: Love the yarn. Love. And the pattern is great - just interesting enough, gives me something to look forward to every so many rows, and is simple and classic. Fits really well too.

Love the yarn. Love the colors, love the way it feels to knit it, love the way it feels on my feet. Love. Must buy more.

Onward to the Christmas knitting!

Friday, December 01, 2006


"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
~Inigo Montoya - The Princess Bride.

in‧con‧ceiv‧a‧ble [in-kuhn-see-vuh-buhl] Adj.
1. not conceivable; unimaginable; unthinkable
2. unbelievable; incredible.
3. finishing the Christmas knitting

I'm a bit behind my imaginary schedule. I'm thinking that not everything can possibly get done, unless I abandon sleeping now. I've already told the hubbo that he'll get knitted items after Christmas. Luckily, he's OK with that.

First, let's examine the goals.

November Goals

. Finish dinosaur - DONE
2. Start and finish secret gift knit - DONE
3. Finish green socks - DONE
4. Finish Trekking socks - second sock half done
5. Finish back of Central Park Hoodie and start sleeves/fronts - back done, sleeve started
6. Finish Licorice Whip - DONE
7. Finish Leaf Lace - DONE
8. Start and finish Gift scarf 2. - DONE!
9. Work on some of the trillion socks. - Rib & Cable socks done!
10. Work on Glastig. - put aside to finish holiday knitting
11. Work on My So Called Scarf. - put aside to finish holiday knitting
12. Finish two sets of dishcloths. - one dishcloth done.
13. Knit two ornaments. - not done
14. Work on gift socks. one though heel flap, one nearly done

Some things done. Some ignored. I don't think there's any way I can have the Central Park Hoodie done by Christmas dinner. Oh well.

What's on deck?

December Goals

1. Finish 2nd pair of Gift Socks
2. Finish 3rd pair of Gift Socks
3. Knit Scarf #4
4. Knit Scarf #5
5. Knit Hat #2
6. Knit Hat #3
7. Knit 3 Sophie purses
8. Knit Panta
9. If time allows, knit some dishcloths and ornaments. No stress on these items.
10. Work on Central Park Hoodie when gifts are done.
11. Finish green & pink Trekking sock.
12. Work on Hubbo's Trekking socks.
13. Work on Icarus when gifts are done.
14. Work on Anastasia socks when gifts are done.
15. Work on Mistake rib scarf when gifts are done.
16. Work on Glastig when gifts are done.
17. Start Hubbo's Pirate Hat.

I think that should keep me plenty busy, along with writing lesson plans, doing progress reports, decorating the house, getting the Christmas cards out, making cookies and ornaments with the girl, and a trillion other things. The TiVo is set up to be loaded with some excellent knitting programs. More coffee will be purchased at the store this weekend. Sleep? Who needs sleep?

P.S. Got home late today after an ice-cream date with the Nephew. Pictures of the Rib & Cable socks tomorrow.

P.P.S. Watched White Christmas tonight. Makes me cry every damn time when the General comes into the room and they salute him. Every time. And I've seen it over 3 dozen times. Yet somehow, I still don't own this movie. I guess I'll just have to buy it for myself this year.

Thursday, November 30, 2006


We had school today. And the weather wasn't nearly as bad as it was supposed to be. We did loose power for a while at school today, and it was starting to get pretty chilly, but they kept us at school and the power came back on in the early afternoon. One of the news channels erroneously reported that we would dismiss early, so of the dozen kids I had who actually came to school, several left after lunch as parents picked them up early. It was pretty much a wasted day - I didn't want to get ahead with so many kids absent, so we played a few (educational) games and had free choice centers, but by the end of the day my kids were BORED. They were asking for work to do. Repeatedly. Poor things.

We'll see how tomorrow goes - we're supposed to have a hard freeze, but the roads are mostly dry and there is no more precipitation in the forecast, so I'm guessing we'll go on time. Several districts have already delayed, but we hold out for the bitter end.

Luckily, even though with the windchill it was about 17 degrees at dismissal, my head was warm thanks to my new hat!

Pattern: Meathead hat by Larissa - test knit for her new book!
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Bulky - one skein.
Needles: Size US 15 Clover Bamboo Straights
Mods: None.
Thoughts: Love this hat. I hated this yarn when I used it for the felted bag I taught at the store this summer, but something about the bulky version is so much softer. Love the bulky. Wish I could get it locally. I picked this up at mom's LYS while visiting last week. May have to order some so I can make some more meatheads!

Hubbo and I agonized over the embellishment. I tried several things, and settled on these cute wooden buttons we found at JoAnn's. I'd like to make some more hats and try some different embellishments. (Have y'all seen how Larissa embellished her first version? Go see!).

I knit the adult small/medium size and had a few yards of yarn left over. I may add a few rows to the next ones I knit before I start the decreases.

My feet will be warm tomorrow - I finished the Rib and Cable socks tonight! Pictures tomorrow in daylight (and maybe snow!).

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Warm feet

Here in Texas the weather is always a topic of conversation. This is most true whenever there is the slightest possibility of "Weather." That possibility looms tonight - a winter storm warning is in effect. What makes this really odd is that we're currently having a good-sized thunderstorm and just came out of a tornado watch. At any rate, we're taking bets on whether or not we'll have school tomorrow - with all the overpasses and the idiot drivers, they usually err on the side of caution and cancel school for almost no ice. I will admit that I'm looking forward to the possibility of an extra day of Christmas knitting and cookie making. Hubbo will have warm feet though!

Pattern: Simple sock pattern from Ann Budd's Handy Book of Patterns.
Yarn: Wool-Ease Sportweight (discontinued).
Needles: Size US 2 Susan Bates DPNs.
Dates: Started way back in May. Finished Saturday November 25.
Thoughts: So glad these are done. So glad. Hubbo is too, but I'm so glad to not have to work on them anymore.

I may have a new pair of socks for myself as well, if I can buckle down and get them done!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

How fetching

And the finished objects just keep on coming!

Pattern: Fetching from Knitty.
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran - not sure of the colorway. Pretty.
Needles: Susan Bates Size 6 DPNs.
Mods: None!
Thoughts: Very cute. Very cushy. If they were for me I might have made them a few rows longer. Oh, and I had plenty of yarn left over - not as close as some others have found.

Sister got them and reports that she loves them - apparently her office is always cold - yay for a good gift!

Oh - and on a different note - loved Gilmore tonight. I've been so bored this season, nearly to the point of wondering why I loved this show in the past. But, of course, I loved it because of the knitting. Well, and because there was a bit more witty dialogue than there has been. But mostly because of the knitting.

P.S. The blue blob is Icarus. But I'm only knitting gifts, and Icarus is for me, so I'm not really sure how it got knitted. Elves? It is that time of year after all.....

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Amazing Lace

Finally. My first "real" lace project. Done.

Pattern: Leaf Lace Shawl bought from Yarnies. Knit the largest size.
Yarn: Knitpicks Shimmer in Happy Dance. A bit less than two skeins.
Needles: Susan Bates Silvalume Size US 4 29" Circular.
Dates: First started back in January. Ripped out in April due to idiocy. Restarted for the Amazing Lace in May. Barely worked on for many months. Reinvigorated toward the end of the summer. Powered through to the finish in November. Finished on Thursday November 23, blocked on the 24th.
Mods: Used one size smaller needle than pattern called for to make the leaves look more "cohesive" - not as holey.
Thoughts: Love it. Even with the varigated and the pooling. Love it. Was a bit murderous towards the end, but sitting for several hours while others watch football/play video games/drive the car makes for great lace knitting time. Came out the perfect size - I was a bit worried before I blocked it. But man, oh man. It really is magic. Wow.

This? I have no idea where this came from. I'm only knitting Christmas presents. Not lace.

Y'all know you can always click the picture to make it bigger, right? Just checking!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

X marks the spot

X is for Cross Stitch. I know it's sort of cheating, but you do make x's in cross stitch!

I was an avid cross-stitcher in high school and just after college. It was one of the first needlework things mom taught me to do, and it was by far my favorite.

I love the detail you can get in cross stitch, but it does take forever to do anything of any size.

I have completed several more items, a few of which live with mom now - including the one I am most proud of - a Mary Engelbreit Santa. Perhaps when she gets her holiday decorations out she'll take a picture and send it to me?

These are two currently in progress. One is nearly done and one is just started. I would love to have more of both of these done (especially the one that just needs one more color and the backstitching), but I can't seem to put down the knitting long enough to get to them. Perhaps this summer when I'm not working and it seems too hot to knit. It was a "resolution" way back when that just didn't get kept. We'll see if I can do better next year.

More FOs to come this week!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Another one crossed off the list

Thanks to all the driving done by the hubbo, I managed to finish one project in it's entirety en route to see the folks. Sadly, it was given away before I remembered to take a picture of it. Luckily, this was a repeat knit, so I have a picture of the previous version already!

Pattern: Dinosaurs from x-treme knitting.
Yarn: Red Heart Sport in Paddy Green, less than 1/2 a skein.
Needles: Sz 6 Susan Bates Circ.
Dates: Started back in October. Ripped due to idiocy and restarted (and finished) on Saturday November 18.
Mods: No tail spikes again. Don't care for them. Still looks cute.
Thoughts: Very cute. Hope that the reciepient likes it!

If you can believe it, there are more knits still waiting to be showcased! Wow! But, in an effort to conserve slightly interesting blog fodder, well, you know. One a day. C'mon - you know you would do the same thing!

Thanks for all your sweet remarks on the sweater. Theresa had a great point in the comments - how often are we 100% happy with a store-bought sweater, but we still wear it all the time? I am 90% pleased with Licorice Whip, and plan to wear it a great deal. Plus, it's really soft. If you haven't tried the Blue Sky Dyed Cotton, go get some. Yum. Pilly, but yum.