Monday, December 31, 2007

Red Knock-Around Sweater-Done!

This is my last finished knit for 2007.
It's the perfect "knock around" sweater, you know- the sweater you want to throw on when you're just hanging out or a little chilly or on a summer night after a big bowl of ice cream. This is it.

I sewed the button on tonight. They're pewter moons and stars, purchased at Maryland Sheep and Wool last May.

I think it says something about my personality that the sweater's red. I'm not sure exactly what- but it says something, right?

The yarn is Kona Bay Cotton, from Webs. I love this stuff. I wish I could get the paws on some more.

I started a new sweater yesterday. I'm doing the Deep Breath Sweater from Webs with some pretty green rayon also purchased at MDSW. No photos yet. I've had to frog it more than once- that's what I get for try to knit while watching my husband drag The Boy around the ice skating rink. That's right- Jack got his first pair of skates.

And a helmet.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Favorite Gifts

I know that I've talked about my Grandma Jan a couple of times before here on the old blog.

Well, one of my gifts this Christmas was from her, indirectly.
She used to knit us these big "house socks" made from chunky acryllic yarn. You couldn't wear them outside, it was impossible to get shoes on over these socks, hence the name.

Anyways, my mom had one of my grandmother's hope chests in her house. She didn't have room for it any longer so she passed it on to me a couple of weeks ago. In the bottom of the chest were some photos and an old pair of aluminum knitting needles. I took them out, cleaned them up and put them in the fiber closet, thinking that one day when I had nothing to blog about I'd pull them out. I doubt that I'll ever use them (they are heavy) but knowing they were from Grandma Jan makes them so special to me.

I guess my mom also found the yellowed pattern my grandmother used to use for the house socks. There were 3 pages of sock patterns all together. My mom didn't give it to me that day, instead saving it for Christmas. I opened the package during the christmas eve party at my house. It was enclosed in a zippered needle holder, along with a gift certificate to Patternworks. I knew what it was. I opened the pattern slowly, it felt like it could fall apart any second, and I immediately noticed Grandma Jan's handwritting on the second page. I had chills.
Now at the same time that I'm opening my gifts, there's 20 others opening theirs. The house is packed with people, including excited children running around. It was loud and chaotic in here. At that moment though, I found myself alone. I could imagine sitting next to Grandma Jan, listening to the clack of metal, watching the yarn get fed through her fingers.

I could hear my mom calling my name from across the room. I looked up and she said, "Do you know what that is?"

Of course I did.

My favorite gift this year isn't the Ipod Nano, although it is nice and pretty. It's not the gift cards, gym bag or the new LL Bean shoes that I've been wanting for 5 months.

It's 3 pieces of paper and 2 slim pieces of metal used long ago.

Everyone should be as blessed as I am.

What's your favorite gift from this holiday season?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Final Final

I had my final final of this semester today. I think I did well. It took 22 minutes for me to finish it. There were 60 plus questions. Easy.

I had to pull apart the Schaefer cabled vest because of a couple issues. So I'm back to working on it. The yarn is still pooling. I've worked my magic the best I can on this one.

My brother's wife went into labor this afternoon. They were able to stop it. She's home once again. She goes in for a scheduled c-section on January 3rd. I have no idea what's going to happen, with the baby being so ill. I just wish them all the best.

The next few days will be Crrrazy around here, as with most people who celebrate the christmas holiday. (You can tell I mean really crazy when I use caps, right?) I did make progress on the never-ending husband sweater of death.

I swear, next time I'm marrying an ant.

I should show photos of the sleeves so we can all rejoice in the progress, but they still look like mildly brown blobs, which makes for poor photo opportunity.

And in amazing gym news, I took a cardio kickboxing class and didn't even throw up. There was only me and another girl in the class. She had to stop before I did. (She also tailgated me the whole way to the gym, passed me on the left in the parking lot even though I had my left turn signal on, didn't hold the door for The Boy and I even though I was RIGHT behind her, then I got to stare at her for an hour.) The instructor kept saying, "I know it's hard, but think of someone you're angry at and then KICK!"

Hard... yeah, right.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Because It Matters, Atleast To Me.

My mom used to bark at us kids, "Be NICE!" whenever we'd do something mean to each other growing up. And funny enough, it's exactly what I say to The Boy during his brief moments of difficult behavior. I do my best to be nice to everyone in my life- strangers and loved one alike. I like smiling at strangers and flirting with people. I like to make others feel good.

When I read Mrs. Rabies blog the other day I was one of the other bloggers listed for the the "Nice Matters Award". I was pleasantly surprised. Not only because nice matters, but because she was generous to me in the past- she sent me pieces of roving to practice spinning on. It was a gesture I'll never forget.

Anyways, in the spirit of nice, I'll nominate 7 others- which is so hard.

Ok, number 1:
The New Haven SnB group. You all know who you are. These friends have been my support network for the last year and a half. They have cheered me up, kept me from losing it on more than one occasion, travelled in the name of fiber with me, and most of all, eaten plenty of ice cream with me. I thank every one of you. (Sorry to anyone that missed. leave a comment and I'll link it.)

2: Although she's a member of SnB, she has to be listed separately. Gale undertook a huge burden when she said that she'd do a tree of warmth for a local soup kitchen. I'm in awe of her ability to not curl up in a ball and cry, but instead call on friends to help. Many folks will be warmer this winter because of her.

3: Faith! and Carole. Although Faith hasn't been able to blog as of late, and I miss her lists of finished items, she and Carole always find time to write every one of their commentors back. It's not like they only have 3 comments. And never with a quick thanks either. I'm amazed at people who have this ability. Blogger doesn't publish most emails, but when it does I try to write back. But to my eyes it seems like the words are forced. Anyways, Faith and Carole, thanks for being nice.

4: Nerdie. Ah, Nerdie, where the hell are you? You are sorely missed. I hope you and Bradon are as well as you can possibly be this holiday season. Don't forget to see the joy and beauty around you each day.

5: Alison H. Amazing woman. I love reading her stories. I love reading her feelings of surprise and gratitude every time that karma- good karma, that is, comes her way. (She has it stored up, I swear) Next time she comes out east I hope to meet her. She's one of those people who just radiates a vibe of peace. (I love that.) If you get a feeling of peace through a computer, chances are they are that much more peaceful in person.

6: Sophanne I swear this woman must comment on a thousand blogs a day. I see her name everywhere! She's so funny that I have to wait to finish my tea before reading her blog, or else I make a mess.

7: Gauss. She's able to leap tall building while knitting lace, I swear. (Alice is another one who kicks my ass.) She does some of the most beautiful projects and makes it look simple. But the best part- she's brilliant and told me that I am too!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dan Fogelberg, Mrs. Rabies and Grocery Shopping at 11 at Night.

Musician Dan Fogelberg died on Sunday. My heart broke a little when I heard. I've loved his music since I was a teenager. I have a couple of his albums on my IPOD so I listened last night while wrapping gifts. In the middle of "Leader of the Band" the IPOD suddenly shut off. Yeah, the battery was dead, but it was enough to make me a bit weepy. Rest in peace, Dan. I'm sorry that I never got to see your magic live.

It's one week until Christmas Eve, which is going to be celebrated at my house for the second year in a row. I'm nervously making and losing lists, forgetting where I leave one list, making another, finding the first, throwing out the second, losing the first, making a third with different things on get the drift. I went shopping today for some things we'll need- potatoes and soda were on sale. I'm so not going to be ready for this, but I'll pretend as much as I can. :)

I sent out holiday cards to family and close friends- mostly those who sent me one. I love getting mail, yet I'm truly awful at getting stuff into the mail box so it's an accomplishment to have them out before January 1st.

I was nominated over at Mrs. Rabies blog for a nice matters award. I'm not in the mood to link a bunch of people tonight- it's after Midnight and I've been up since 5, so you're going to have to return tomorrow afternoon sometime for my list of nice people in Blogland. (Do I really have to only pick 7?? I can do 17 in my sleep.)

And a special thanks for everyone who commented or emailed me about my algebra grade. Your support is awesome and it keeps driving me forward. Thank you!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Knock Me Over With a Feather.

I got an A in algebra.


Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gift Giving

So Hubs and I exchange holiday gifts every year.

Some years have been fantastic- he gets me exactly what I wanted, it's perfect and I love it.

Some years...not so much.

The not so much years have been awful. He was depressed, I was down or we just we're connecting on any level. I thought he should know what to get me, he thought since I didn't tell him what I wanted, that I wanted nothing.

All around confusion. To make matters worse, I feel like holiday time is the perfect time to show how much you care about someone, to say thanks for everything they do for you. Hubs thinks it's just another time to be tortured in a crowded overpriced mall, buying crap you don't want or need. Romantic, isn't it?

To avoid the confusion of what to get me, I make a list. On my list includes everything- sizes, colors, stores that item is located, everything.

I made him write up a list for me. Usually he's tough to buy for- when he wants something, he gets it. That doesn't leave me a whole lot. This year he gave me a pretty comprehensive list and it makes life so much easier.

Anyways, the Fed ex guy did come yesterday, along with the DHL guy and some other delivery person. I was a good girl and didn't peek at all. (I might have checked the labels and shaken each one.) I have some clue that I'm getting what I need- a new gym bag (because I told Hubs that I'll be divorcing him if he doesn't get me one) and an ipod- because my ipod is dead as a brick.

I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks. I'm anticipating getting gifts, but even more excited to give them. For the first time ever, I think I might get a reaction out of my father in law with his gift. (Hubs comes from a long line of men who buy stuff when they need it- impossible!)

I can't wait to decorate my house. I have no idea why we're putting it off, other than The Boy and his sticky, tricky fingers.

For all the dread I used to be filled with at this time of year, this holiday season is coming together so well. I can't wait to see The Boy open his gifts on Christmas morning....isn't that what it's about...the next generation renewing the holiday spirit? I think that's part of it. And I can't wait.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I Shoveled. (Shovelled?)

Due to the snow, I missed working out yesterday. I'm about 2 pounds from my first goal weight. The date I had set for myself was Christmas. I lose about 1 -2 pounds every 2-3 weeks. Not a mindblowing amount of weight, but steady.

I've noticed in the past couple of days a few things- this morning I was able to lift our heavy frying pan with my left arm, without struggle or almost dropping it. I've never been able to do that.

And I shovel(l?)ed. Twice. Go me. I'm not going to work out again today, so I decided to go out and enjoy some snow.

*Fed ex just showed up with a package. I think it's my gift!! EEEKKK!

Anyways, I feel really good.

And with this shipment came my "payment" yarn. Many skeins of Miss Priss. Yum!

I've been working on my fair isle.

And another hat for a friend.

And a second wee mitten.

What sweater for Hubs?

Off to obsess over the fed ex box...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

When Did My Kid Get So Big?

While I wasn't looking my kid grew.
He needed mittens, his mother is a knitter. How can my kid not have mittens??

I dove into the stash closet and came out with some trusty bulky wool and acryllic blend. I started working on one and noticed that it seemed small. He was sleeping, so I checked after he got up. Yep, too snug.
I made the next size up- 4 years. They fit him perfectly. Look at the difference though!
When did that happen?? When did he grow so much?
Anyways, since I was being all sorts of handy, after I finished the second size 4 (size 4, people!) I made a cord- a crocheted cord- to attach them together. They are securely hanging out of the arms of his coat, waiting for us to try it out.

And I started a hat, since my kid has to match:Yeah, I think it's going to be too small too. Crap.

The rest of my day is going to be full of Santa Claus, working out and SnB.

I have an algebra final on Friday...and a take home final that's due the same day...yeah, I have about 25% of it done....procrastination? Who, me??

Monday, December 03, 2007

Skull Hat and A Korknisser- Done!

I decided to try fair isle. This is my first real attempt at it. I think it looks ok. There's some slight pulling, but when it's on, it's not noticeable. I'm going to block it and see if that helps the visual side of the puckering. Blocking is a gift from the gods, so it might just work. My one big complaint is that the hat is a bit tall. I thought I was supposed to knit a ribbed edge. Obviously, I was mistaken. I will definately make this pattern again. And I will no longer shy away from fair isle, either. It was a tanglely good time!
Here's the pattern. It's a PDF, just to warn ya. I did it in black Cascade 220. The tan is Patons True North. You have no idea how much I loved this yarn. Too bad they don't make it anymore.
I started a pair of mittens for The Boy-
I have to frog them though, they are too tiny. My kid has some big hands.

(We had our first snow of the season. It was a slight dusting, plus some freezing rain. I'm so ready for April already.)

And I finished a Korknisser (don't ask me how to say it, I have NO idea....Or what it means, for that matter.)
Super quick knit. I'll be making an army's worth.