Friday, December 28, 2007

New Projects and Some Special Gifts

As I mentioned in my last post, I have recently cast-on for a couple of new projects. While I have actually really enjoyed all of the Christmas and sample knitting I have been doing lately, it was very exciting to dig in my stash and pick out projects that I wanted to do just for fun.

Here are the projects I am currently spending the most time with:

This one is the "Wavy Gravy" Noro hat. It is a fun pattern and I think is going to produce a hat that will work on a variety of heads, even though this one is destined for A. Assuming she doesn't loose it, it should fit her for awhile.

The other project I started this week is Kiri. I have been waiting, not always very patiently, to get started on a project using the Malabrigo Lace Yarn I bought back in September.

After much deliberation, I decided this was the pattern I wanted to go with and haven't looked back. So far, it is going great. It has a little bit of an odd start, but I just followed the directions exactly as they are written and it seems to have worked out fine. Super simple, but not a boring pattern. Oh, and the yarn is like knitting with a little slice of heaven - so soft!

In other news, I have mentioned before on the blog how talented my mom is. Among the many things she is very good at are sewing, crocheting, baking, cake decorating, counted cross-stitch, painting and ceramics. Needless to say, with such a fantastic example, my siblings and I grew up understanding that amazing things can come from your own hands.

In addition to the PJ's I mentioned last time, my mom also usually makes at least one other gift for each of us for Christmas. Aren't we lucky? This year, she designed and sewed this lovely knitting needle carrier for me.

I love the fabric! It is very much my taste. While I don't have opportunity to carry around extra needles too often that aren't already in a project, when I do you can bet they will be safely wrapped in this beauty.
She made one for my sister too, but hers has a chicken theme. I am sorry to say I have no pictures of it.

Mom decided that A. was old enough for a "real" tea set this year. So she spent many hours cleaning, painting and doing whatever you do to ceramic items in order to produce the most gorgeous kids tea set I have ever seen.

This is, of course, a small sampling of the set. It is a full service for 4 and even includes a special table cloth and napkins. I think I may have to put in my order for a full size one!

I realized after I took this picture today that I didn't include anything for scale. I think it must be about 1/3 the size of an adult set.

I think this is going to be a popular item for a long time. Tea parties were already a daily activity around here, but since Christmas morning I don't think this set has been out of circulation. If you ever come over to our house to visit, don't be surprised if you are asked by the small folks if you would like to join them for a tea party.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Round-up

Where to begin? Christmas was great. We were very busy, right up through Christmas evening, with tons of fun family activities. The day itself was wonderful. Below is a picture that kind of captures the day.

There is a little bit of everyone who celebrated Christmas with us in this picture, except Bianca, our other white cat. She was not interested until the food came out. That's my leg on the far right in the flowered PJ's and Chloe, the "grub" right in the middle, where she always is.

Notice the cute PJ's on V. My mom makes new pj's for everyone in the family for Christmas Eve. That includes all four of my family members, my sisters four family members and my brother and his wife! They are the one gift we open on Christmas Eve and are always warm, brightly colored flannel. I love that tradition.In other Christmas news, we had a very rare white Christmas. It started snowing some time mid-morning and snowed off and on all day. We ended up with about 3/4 inch at our house, which was enough to be exciting, but not so much that it made things dangerous. Actually, it was all gone by the evening. What a treat though. As I understand it, it has been nearly 20 years since it has snowed on Christmas in Portland and nearly 70 years since any snow has stuck to the ground on Christmas.

The funniest part at our house was that A. had said, just the day before "I can't wait for Christmas because I am going to build a snowman." I had tried to gently explain to her that, unlike all of her Christmas story books, it was very unlikely to snow at our house on Christmas. She felt justified in her optimism the next day. I just hope she doesn't expect a repeat performance next year!

In knitting news, production has continued, as it is wont to do. I whipped up a little hat for the hubby this week. I like to keep something simple on the needles at all times so I can keep my hands busy while waiting in lines, etc. Since he has lost many of the nicer hats I have knit for him, he has been seen wearing some of my earliest attempts lately. While I appreciate the devotion, I am embarrassed about the quality. So, another new hat, to go with the one I gave him for Christmas.

Patter: Simple 3x1 rib hat, knit over 92 stitches Yarn: Noro Kureyon, color 124

I received many compliments on this one while I was knitting it. I have noticed that nothing gets the attention of non-knitters quite like Noro.

I also finished my second Great American Afghan square for All About Yarn. This one has oak leaves and acorns on it. The picture pretty much sucks, but I felt the need to include it anyway. It was really fun to knit! By the way, I got the scoop on the class today. Looks like it will meet once a month, on the last Saturday of the month for the entire year. Call the shop if you are interested in price info or signing up.

Next up, I have started a hat for A., a hat for V. and a Kiri Shawl for my new sister-in-law. All are progressing nicely. Perhaps if there is any sunlight (at all!) this week, I will take some progress shots. I also want to try to take pictures of a couple of special Christmas gifts we received this year. But that will have to wait for another, less dark, day.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The end of Cookie Madness 2007

Monday I finished "cookie baking madness 2007" and decided to take a picture of the finished mountain o' cookies, even though it was late and the picture is less than stellar.

This pile represents about 450 cookies, give or take a few. The plastic bins are in the freezer, waiting for our family to eat over the next couple of months. The rest are all being given out over the next few days to friends and family - mostly friends who are like family, actually.

I want to clarify that I do not view all of this cookie baking as a chore. It is one of my favorite parts of Christmas preparation every year and I love it. Too bad I can't figure out how to turn it into a full time job that would support the family!

The only other semi-interesting thing I have to share today is the first of my 2 "Great American Afghan" squares. As I mentioned in this post, All About Yarn is offering a class on this afghan next year and the owner has asked a few folks to help knit squares for the sample, me being one of them.

This one is a little hard to see in this photo - sorry. It is a cat and it actually looks much better in person. Once I finally got through all of the swatching and starting over, I enjoyed this quiet a lot and it only took 2 evenings. I am now making the one with Acorns and Oak Leaves - also very fun. I love just following the directions and having a picture show up in my knitting.

I'm thinking that knitting one of these afghans some time might be fun, but I do not see it in my immediate future.

OK, back to work with me.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Santa's Surprise Book

Today was the first day of the annual cookie craziness at Chez Counting. Every year I end up making hundreds of cookies which my husband then proudly gives to everyone we know (e.g. the neighbors, his band mates, the folks at the local coffee shop, etc.) Luckily baking is one of my very favorite activities, so it seems to work out for both of us. Normally I bake about 6 dozen of at least 5 kinds of cookies, usually all in one marathon day. This year I am calling it quites for day one after only finishing 4 kinds. The kids "helped" today, which was really fun, but really slowed things down. More tomorrow, hopefully.

On the knitting front, I am just 9 rows from finishing the first of my two "Great American Afghan" squares. Jeesh, about time! I ended up making three 4 inch swatches, then knitting 1/3 of the square before realizing that all of that swatching didn't help at all and the thing was going to be waaaay to big. I find this ridiculous since the final square is only supposed to be 12"x12". Anyway, it looks like I have it right this time. Since I am using the same yarn for my other square, I am going to go on the assumption that I can use the same needles again. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

So, since my current knitting is not very exciting at the moment and it is too dark to take pictures of the cookies, how about some pictures of one of my children's books? There was a spot of sunlight today so I ran out and took pictures of one of the Christmas books in my collection.

Santa's Surprise Book by Joan Potter Elwart, Illustrated by Florence Sarah Winship, Golden Press, 1975, Copyright 1966

In this little gem, Santa is sitting around thinking about what to put into people's stockings. He wants to do something new and exciting. Nice to know Santa gets bored too.

He decides that instead of the normal candy and goodies, he will make something new.

I love this picture. I feel like that so often, when a creative bug hits. I run and grab all of my stuff for whatever craft I want to work on and just go crazy - sort of like the cookie baking today...

In the end, the thing Santa made was the Santa's Surprise Book, which is conveniently sized to fit into a stocking. Such a cute little story and really great illustrations.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Pink Shawl

Well, that little unscheduled absence was exciting. I know, everyone's life is busy. However, my work life has gone from 0 to 100 mph in the last week. Aren't things supposed to slow down toward the end of the year?

It has been so bad that knitting has even slowed down. I know, how weird, right? I have gotten as far as I can on the sample I am making for Chrissy. When I get more yarn, which I think will be over the weekend, I will finish it up. Can't show pictures at this time.

I also started one of my squares for the Great American Afghan I mentioned last time. However, even after 2 full 4 inch gauge swatches, it still was coming out too big. I got about 1/2 way before I decided it was too much and had to rip it. If I get lucky, I will start again on it tonight.

So, other things have been happening. The girls are loving their Advent stockings. One day they found a note that said they were going to make some special Christmas gifts. This is what they made:

Each has since been filled with a special picture of them taken sometime in the last 6 months. These are for grandparents, aunts and uncles.

In addition to these, A. has been talking about making a special gift for my sister's husband, who they call "Uncle Honey". Uncle Honey is quiet the outdoorsman, so A. decided he needed a pair of "vonoculars". She was very specific about how she would make them and told me "I need 2 toilet paper rolls, some glue and some paint".

I love them and I know he will too!

Finally, as a reward for reading this far, look what I found on the internet today:

This is the big, pink, lace shawl I knit in October. I wrote about the teeny, tiny yarn here. I knit it for Chrissy, but it was a commission for HipKnits in the UK. Kerrie is using it as a club pattern for this month and had the picture under the link on her blog. It is so nice to see it out there in the world!

OK, back to work with me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Is it time to build an Arc yet?

Boy, have we been having the crazy weather lately! Even though we have a bunch of trees on our property, we seem to have made it through these most recent storms in good shape. Whew! Our neighbors are not so lucky. They have about 1/2 a foot of water in their basement. This is particularly bad for them since they just remodeled it last summer. I think they too are grateful though, it could have been so much worse!

After days of dismal darkness the sun came out today! This is another one of those things I love about living in Oregon. Just when you think you can't take another day of dark, dank weather the sun peaks out for a couple of hours and reminds you that its all temporary.

I did run outside though and took advantage of the beautiful sunlight by taking pictures of a couple of newly finished objects. First, I completed the clogs for my mom's Christmas gift.

Pattern: Fiber Trends' Felt Clogs, Women's size large
Yarn: Cascade 220, not sure of the colorway. If I find the ball bands I will add it later, the eyelash is some old stash - no idea where it came from, but Mom will like it

I am currently leaning toward giving these to her completely unfelted, then helping her felt them later. Thanks for the comments on this Amanda and Yvonne!

Believe it or not, this concludes the 2007 Holiday knitting. Yeah! The list included:
  • 4 hats
  • 4 scarves
  • 4 wash clothes
  • 1 pair of fingerless gloves
  • 1 pair of clogs
  • 1 lace shawl
To be fair, I started back in August and just plugged these projects into my schedule here and there. None was too complicated and only the Shawl took any significant amount of time. I am happy with the results though and pleased that I have enjoyed the entire process!

The other thing I finished this week is a sample for my friend Chrissy. Normally I can't show things I knit for her, but this one is a pattern already in production. She just wanted a sample to take to shows, etc. So, I think it's OK to show it to you guys. I'm not going to get to give it to Chrissy until Thursday, so you get t0 see it before she does...unless she sees it here too.

Pattern: Passport Pouch from Gardiner Yarn Works
Yarn: Merlin by Louet, colorway Citrus Orange

Such a great little pattern! She outlines 2 different finishing techniques and let's the knitter choose the one they prefer. I decided to go with the attached I-cord and I think it really makes the finished edges look tidy.

When I uploaded the picture, I just noticed that the spot where the bag is lying is a bit wet. Oops! Oh well, everything is like that around here. Not much chance of finding a dry spot today!

Next up: Another sample, which I won't be able to show for awhile and some blocks for the Great American Afghan. All About Yarn is going to be offering a class on this project early next year and RaNaye asked me to contribute a couple of squares. Should be lots of fun and I will show you those as I finish them, assuming I can figure them out. I picked a couple I thought would be challenging, but fun.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Advent Calendar

Growing up, my siblings and I always had those Advent calendars with the little windows. You know, the 24 little windows that you open one at time on each day of December until Christmas eve. I have fond memories of opening those little windows and seeing squirrels or mice with their little Christmas wreaths, etc.

My mom, bless her, makes sure every year our girls have the kind with a piece chocolate behind each window. I don't like these as well because they don't seem as magical to me somehow. I'm sure the girls would disagree - such little chocoholics we have!

Anyway, a couple of years ago I remembered seeing a really cool advent calendar idea on the blog "Little Birds". Stephanie, the artist behind that gorgeous blog, created a garland of little stockings, each numbered 1 through 24. The best part of her plan though, I thought, was to put little pieces of paper with fun family activities in many of the days. While sadly Stephanie no longer updates the Little Birds blog, she has left it up. Here is the link to her finished Advent Garland on flickr and a post soliciting ideas for "stuffing" the stockings. The comments are particularly great on this one.

I just love her finished advent garland and her idea to fill it with "experiences". So much, in fact, that two years later I finally made the time to put together my own version. It is not nearly as creative, beautiful or artistic as the original, but I do think the girls are going to love it.

Sorry for the terrible pictures. No matter what I did tonight, they looked awful.

For my garland I went with super low maintenance red felt, simple white number and no frills. I may gussy it up with some trims next year, or I may not. I kind of like the plane Jane look.

Eventually I would love to knit one, similar to the one Liz is knitting over at Crossroad Knits. There was just no way I was going to have the time this year. I think the girls are both old enough this year to really get into it and enjoy the process of finding out what fun thing we are going to do each day. I didn't want to wait until I had time to make the "perfect" set, so I feel this one is "perfect" for right now.

By the way, some of the fun things I plan to put into the stockings include the following - many gleaned from the Little Birds post mentioned above:

  • Get our Christmas Tree
  • Visit Santa
  • Bake Cookies
  • Make Christmas gifts for grandparents, aunt's, etc.
  • Go to lunch at their favorite restaurant
  • Make 'smores in the fireplace
  • Watch a holiday video
  • Make paper snowflakes and decorate with them
  • Paint our toenails
  • Go shopping for mommy with daddy, daddy with mommy, etc.
  • Have breakfast for dinner
  • Go to the Zoo
  • Go on a drive to look at Christmas lights
  • Read a special Christmas book

I also have some little treats to fill in on other days, like new coloring books, small toy animals, etc.

I am really excited about this project and hope it turns into a long family tradition!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

FO's, WIP's and Other Excitement

Well, with a title like that, you might be expecting more than you'll find in this little post. However, if I keep up this "posting once a week whether I need to or not" schedule, the posts are bound to continue to be a bit on the lengthy side.

Thanksgiving at Chez Counting was fab. Hubby says he think the food was the "best ever". Since he does not say that every year, I think he means it. Funny holiday though, isn't it? I cooked for 2 days straight and the meal was over in about 20 minutes. Good thing it's about more than just the food!

We had a great 4 day weekend. In addition to the holiday cooking and eating, we did a little holiday shopping, got some lights up on the house and surrounding shrubbery and took the annual Christmas card picture. All in all, a productive, yet restful weekend.

I also finished up two knitting projects this weekend. Project number one is a super simple little hat.

Pattern: My own basic hat recipe
Yarn: Elsbeth Lavold's Angora, colorways Oats and Driftwood

This one is another holiday gift for one of my husband's friends. Yes, I do knit a lot for his friends, but they are all such nice, appreciative bachelors who would do anything for us. I love being able to give them a little something that will keep them warm and remind them that we care about them.

This one particularly important to me personally this year. The intended recipient, we'll call him Dr. X (which is the actual nickname we use for him) lost a knitter this year who was very close to him. He loves to come over and hang out with me while I knit and tell me stories about this knitter, her projects and talents, etc. Recently he told me that she had knit him an Angora hat a couple of years ago that he ended up ruining in the dryer. He is now sick about it because she will never be able to knit him another. While I know this will never replace that lost hat, it will at least keep him warm and, hopefully, be a nice reminder.

Moving on, I finished another object that has been in the WIP pile for a couple of months now. It is another Snowdrop Scarf using my own pattern. Here I mentioned writing it for a Lace Class I taught back in October. This one is a shop sample for All About Yarn, which is selling the pattern. I love the colorway!

Pattern: Snow Drop Scarf by me
Yarn: JoJo Land Melody, Colorway 02

Finally, I realized recently that I seem to always post finished objects, but rarely "in-process" shots. It's like the completed items just pop out of thin air. So, since the weather was nice and I had the camera out, I decided to take a WIP shot too.

These are the Fiber Trends Felted Clogs in purple Cascade 220 I am knitting for my mother for Christmas. Note the pencil thrown in for size comparison. My mom does have pretty large feet, but these things are just enormous. I just have the outer sole and seaming left on this one, then the other clog to knit. I have found this to be a Super fun and interesting pattern. Nothing like working with double-stranded yarn and size 13 needles to make things move along.

Hopefully some time before Christmas I will have these finished, although I'm still not sure about the actual felting. Do you think it's rude to give an unfelted pair of clogs for Christmas? The issue is that I have a front loading washer, which is very difficult to felt with. My mom, on the other hand, has a top loader. Hmmm, I have a couple of other ideas for how to get them felted. We'll see what I come up with...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Knitting Adventures

Settle in folks, today's post is going to be a long one! Last weekend I was lucky enough to get to travel up North with a couple of my friends for a wonderful, yarny weekend. I can't believe I am so late posting about it. Oh well, better late than never, right?

The mother of my good friend Robert (currently blogless) lives on Bainbridge Island and is always inviting my family and I to come visit. My friend Katrina and I were talking about our desire to check out Churchmouse Yarns and Teas on Bainbridge, as well as our desire to have a little break. Somehow that all morphed into one of the best road trips ever!

Robert's mom lives in a lovely house on a very wooded and rural piece of land on the island. This is what our view was like out of most of the windows.

We had great intentions of getting out and visiting lots of yarn shops, or at least I did, but this view, along with the solitude and quiet were mesmerizing. We ended up spending a lot of the weekend hanging around, looking at the trees and knitting. Glorious!

We did get out a bit though. Here are Robert and Katrina outside of Churchmouse.

It is a beautiful shop and the folks who work there are wonderful. For those of you in Portland, they sell a lot of the same products as Dublin Bay, but they also have needle point and tea supplies. I didn't end up buying any yarn there, but enjoyed the experience very much.

Here are Robert and Katrina on the ferry. We road it into Seattle on Saturday with the intention of doing a little yarn crawl. It was cold and windy!

At one point, we looked over toward the city and saw this beautiful rainbow.

It foretold of the wonderful yarny goodness that was to follow because the end was right over the area of the city where we went next, which included the warehouse of Little Knits. I actually love Little Knits and decided to call them before we left to see if they had an outlet store. They said they did but it is only open a couple of days a week, one of which happens to be Saturday. So, armed with the address on Saturday, we set off to try to find their shop. What we found was this:
This is Little Knits. It's hard to tell since there was no sign and it is in a completely residential neighborhood. After tentatively knocking at the door, we were greeted warmly by Sue, the owner of the company and welcomed into her warehouse. We spent the next 2 hours hanging out with her and shopping amongst her stock while she and her employee pulled orders. There are no posted prices, so if you want to know how much something is you have to ask and they will look it up for you on their web site. If you visit them, I recommend taking a good look at their site beforehand so you have an idea of which bargains you want to take advantage of.

While it is true that the stock is the same as their web site, it's also true that you can save on shipping if you shop in person. You can also check out all of their gorgeous yarn in person and see colorways not posted yet on the site, etc. To any knitter planning to be in Seattle on one of the days Little Knits is open to the public, I highly recommend a stop in. Just don't think it's going to be a quick one!

I did end up buying a bit of yarn there. For your viewing pleasure, I have added a few pictures:

Angora Polymide from Fly Designs. It has approx. 900 yards and is sooooo soft!

2 skeins of Lace Wing Sock from Fly Dyed in color Petrol. Each skein has 546 yards of very light fingering weight yarn. I plan to make lace with it, someday.

Silk Rhapsody from Art Yarns. I purchased a shop pattern at Churchmouse that called for Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. I loved this colorway and plan to substitute this yarn for the Debbie Bliss.

I did buy a little bit of other yarn, but this is all I'm planning to show you right now...

Finally, with all of our knitting time, we managed to only come up with one finished object between the three of us. Even though it isn't mine, I have to show you. These are some socks Robert has been working on for 2 years that he finished over the weekend! OK, so he also completed a nursing degree, started a new job and bought a house in that 2 years too. Still, I think he was very happy to be finished with these.

These are knee high socks he made for a friend of his out of a nylon ribbon yarn. They are really soft and the nylon is very stretchy. I thought it was a very interesting idea to knit socks out of nylon ribbon. One of the things I love about Robert is that he is not tied down by the "standard" way of doing things!

So, anyone still with me after all that? If so, hope you have a happy thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dayflower Scarf

The Dayflower Scarf is finished, including blocking. This is one of those rare occasions when the combination of yarn and pattern added up to a nearly perfect knitting experience for me.

Please excuse the dreary pictures. It is really dark and rainy here today, so I ended up having to take these inside. The second one captures the color a little better, but it's still a bit off.

Size: 5 1/2" x 65"

I found this pattern interesting enough that I never got bored with it, but easy enough that I could work on it at the Knitting Guild meeting last night. I decided to block the edges straight, even though the pattern called for blocking it with a wavy edge. I also blocked it very firmly, which really highlighted the lace.

This was my first experience with the Silky Wool Yarn. I really liked it and mentioned to the Hubby at one point that I would love to make a sweater out of it. Interestingly, a woman at our Guild meeting last night was wearing a sweater she had made with this yarn in a different colorway that was gorgeous.

This is destined to be a Christmas gift for a non-knitter friend of mine. She is one of those people whose thermostat is always set to "high". I don't think I've ever seen her wear a coat, even in the snow! I have asked her several times if there is anything I can knit for her and she finally decided she might like a lace scarf she can use as an accessory, not necessarily for warmth. OK, I can do that! Hopefully she will like the results.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

More Finished Holiday Gifts

As my mother would say, "I've been on a tear lately". By that I mean that I am getting a lot done. WooHoo, love it when that happens!

Among today's finished objects is a hat for the hubby, to go with his set of "Dashing" from the last post.

Pattern: My own
Yarn: Paint Box from Knit One, Crochet Too, color 05

I didn't find a hat pattern I liked that went with the Dashing, so I went ahead and made one up myself. It has basically the same cables, but narrower. I am pretty happy with how it turned out, generally speaking.

I will say that I am not sure I liked the final set of decreases I did at the top. When the hat is on a real head, it is not pointy at the top, but rather stretches out smoothly. It does go from a very textured area to a fairly smooth one though. I probably should figure out a way to may it look more textured up there, but at this point I am not going to change it.

By the way, I've told the Hubby he is not allowed to look at my blog until after Christmas now. Not sure if he would have any idea how to find it anyway, but it's better safe than sorry. Luckily he likes to be surprised, so I know he won't peak.

Next on the completed gift pile are some dish clothes for A.'s teachers.

Patterns: Mulit = Waffle Stitch Cloth, Red = Knitted Round Dishcloth
Yarn: Basic Kitchen Cotton - the multi-colored was a Swap gift from my last Swap. Thanks Lissa!

Patterns: White = Gardiner Yarn Works Spa Set - "Hers", Multi = My own
Yarn: Also basic kitchen cotton

I let A. pick out the colors for each of her teachers, but have not told her what they're for. She has a really hard time keeping secrets right now, so it's better just not to tell her. I plan to package these up in sets of 2, with a bar of snazzy soap and call it a gift.

I've now started the
Dayflower Lace Scarf for a friend. So far, so good. It's moving along at a good pace too. I'm still having a good time, so I'm going to keep going and see how much I get done before Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

FO, Blue Moon and Other Fun Stuff

Well, after I posted nearly every day last week, not sure what happened this week. Sigh. I did start to write a post about my second knitting project, the one that really turned me into the rabidly addicted knitter that I am today. However, I didn't get very far with it and have decided to save it for another time.

This is because I have a lot of other things to talk about today, like a new finished object.

Pattern: Dashing
Yarn: Paint Box from Knit One Crochet Too, colorway 05

Christmas knitting is in full swing around here. These are for my hubby for Christmas. They are my first foray into the fingerless glove arena and I am very pleased with how they came out.

The colors are a little truer in this second picture, but still a bit washed out. I am also nearly finished with a matching hat. I think he is really going to like them, especially since he mentioned to me the other day that after Christmas he would like it if I could "whip him up a pair of those fingerless glove thingy's".

When I get the hat finished, next on the Christmas knitting list are wash clothes for A.'s teachers, some felted clogs for my mom and perhaps a pair of Dashing for my brother-in-law, if I am still enjoying the process. My goal is to not make myself crazy with Christmas knitting and so far, I am succeeding.

In other news, you may have heard that a little local company called Blue Moon Fiber Arts was having a "warehouse/mill ends" sale today. I am grateful every day I get to live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, but this was one of those days that was extra special. I went with Katrina and helped her shop for a list of folks. The amount of yarn we had between us was obscene! What a great sale! Of course, I forgot my camera, but at least have pictures of the spoils...

Socks that Rock, all Medium weight. I think these are, from left to right: "Lagoon", "Pink Granite", no idea, "Falcon's Eye" and Little Bunny Foo Foo". Of course, these are seconds and are not marked with the colorways, but this is what they look like to me. They are all gorgeous and were sold at considerable discount off of the normal price.

In this picture I have a skein of Socks that Rock in Heavy weight, a skein of something called "Icelandic", which is a bulky weight, super soft, wool and a skein of very light weight cotton yarn in the most gorgeous orange-peach color. No idea of the actual colorways.

Finally, in the this picture I have 2 skeins of a yarn called "Lochs" which is a "Wensleydale Wool" in colorway "Chapman Springs".

Today was a very fun day!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

True Confessions

I intended to post about this topic and the next one in October, but somehow October is already over. Wow, it went fast...

Anyway, I count October as the month of my "knitaversary". I know, that might seem silly to some folks, but knitting has become very important to me over the last 2 years and I like to mark the time when it first entered my life full force.

First though, I need to back up a little. I first learned the basics of knitting early in 2005. I was visiting my Aunt trying to get a little break. I was pretty far along in my pregnancy with V. and A. was wearing me out. I was hoping my Aunt and my mom could run interference with A. and let me have a rest. Out of the blue, really, my Aunt said "So, do you want to learn to knit?" I said "You know, I never really thought about it before, but yeah, sounds like fun". She taught me the basics and sent me on my way. Of course, I got home and promptly forgot everything she taught me. The needles and yarn went into a bag and I went on with the process of making and birthing a new human being.

Fast forward several months and I starting thinking about how much I had enjoyed that evening with my Aunt and the knitting. I dug out the yarn and needles, looked up knitting instructions on-line and proceeded to finished this scarf, my first finished object.

Pattern: Basic Garter Stitch Scarf
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick

Do not be fooled by the even stitches and straight edges. When I picked it up again, my "occasional perfectionist" came out and I decided I needed to do a perfect job. I ripped it out and started over several times, until I was happy with it. Sometimes I miss that perfectionist. She doesn't come to visit too often...

After I finally finished this little gem, I tucked it away and surprised my husband with it for Christmas.

This was the beginning. Next time I will show you the scarf that I knit in October 2005 and that I use to mark the "real" beginning of my knitting life. The scarf above was a warm up that helped me get the feel for the yarn and the possibility of knitting as a hobby.

On another note, I don't know what has gotten into me, but I feel like I have so much to say these days. I guess Ill ride the wave until I run out of blog topics...