Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Knitting Wrap Up

What I knitted in 2013---

Cardigans - 3
Peapods - 3
Shawls - 3
Blocks for Afghans - 3
Scarves - 2
Shoulder Shawl - 3
Cowls - 2
Baby Afghans - 2
Pullover - 1
Mitts - 1
Baby Sweaters - 1
Hats - 2
Toddler Pieces - 3
Capelets - 1

Knitting for Mona Lisa:
Daycare Afghan

What I spent at my LYS: Ouch?! Really?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Get Up Get Going!

Okay, I liked having two weeks off, last week.  There was excitement in the air, Christmas, family celebrations and the anticipation of seeing Mona Lisa.  This week, not as much excitement.  There are decorations to take down, getting the house back in order and to top it off I think I have mouse/knitting elbow, personally diagnosed by me, Dr. H.  I have had a little twinge for about the last three weeks, and it is getting progressively a little worse, but that is not going to stop me from  knitting! At least not yet.  There is so much I want to be doing this week and so I am going to pop a couple of Aleve and get up and get going this fine colllllllllld Monday morning.

I have come to the conclusion that I need a finisher/blocker for my knitting.  I, totally, love the process of knitting.  These all need something done to them before they can be worn in public.

My goal this week is to whittle them down a bit this week so in the new year I can start a whole new stack.

I have blogged about this before, so forgive me for bringing the subject up again, but I have a real problem deciding on my next project after finishing one.  I have several in wheelhouse right now that I am contemplating on while I wait for the first of January and then Ravellinics to start in February.

That is one of the things I would like  get a better handle on in the new year.  This indecision of what I want to knit on next.  I am so easily drawn to what everyone else is knitting, what I think someone else is going to ooh and ah over, or what I feel like I "should" be knitting just because a. I bought the yarn for it, b. it is a WIP that I think I need to be knitting on or c. I said I would knit it on a KAL.

In 2014, quite frankly, I want to knit for me.   Years ago, when I worked for a very fashion forward fabric company (Off the Bolt, a div of Vogue Fabrics), we prided ourself in looking at ready to wear styles and then sewing them for way less than half the price.  We had access to many designer fabrics which just made the sewing all the more fun.  I loved the process of pulling it together down to the buttons (that is where I got my love for buttons and is a whole nuther post for the new year).  I believe we had a great idea back then for sewing garments and I believe it has relevance now in my knitting.

My focus for the new year-  Looking good, feeling good, looking fit and feeling fit and knitting sweaters that are fashionable and that fit me and my style.  But, most of all with yarn that I want to knit with!  I believe that even on my not so perfect body, I can knit things that are right out of the pages of ready-to-wear and make them my own.  To get started, I have created a new board over on Pinterest on styles that I want to, for lack of a better word knock off or maybe a better word duplicate for me, my style, my fit.
2014 Knit and Fit!

I feel good about my knitting and as I finish this post, I feel even better then I did when I started writing it.  I feel like getting up, getting going and accomplishing great things this week when it comes to knitting!  I hope you do too, come on, lets get going, lets knit something fashionably forward!  I hope you will come along with me on this journey in 2014 and please jump in and add comments too.

And the elbow, I think it needs less mouse time, so I may scale back from that and narrow it down.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holiday Pictures

I love holiday pictures of family.  This is the last of the celebrating of Christmas 2013.  Tomorrow, it is back to posting about knitting and planning knitting for a new year and where I am going with it.  Until then, this is our Christmas in a nutshell.

My niece and her husband along with their daughter, Bella posed for this picture Christmas night.  My niece makes these cool tutus and hair thingies.  And because she loves being a mom for her first Christmas (the doctors did not think she would ever be a mom), she made matching outfits for her and her daughter.

Last year, Miss Mona Lisa had one that my niece made for her.

What a difference a year makes!

We had so much fun with her this past weekend.  She is starting to say little words, the one she knows the most is No.

She is much loved and we are so blessed.

Did I mention how smart she is?

Christmas, isn't this what it is all about?!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas Presents 2014

The Tall Guy does a pretty good job on Christmas presents.  This year he insisted on a list and he being a good tall elf did good.  I got my new tall bookcase from Oak Express which let me bring some books out of the closet that had been in there.  I have a small version of this one that I have been putting my most used knitting books on.  Now, there is some semblance of order for them.

My DIL gets me.  Knitting and my fave color!   Notice the garter stitches on the to go cup.
Aren't you jealous?

Also, some cocoa and in the Snoopy venue.

I got the Swiss Army knife that I asked for.

And as the Tall Guy usually does, he surprised me with jewelry.

Funny thing?!  They are the same earrings he bought me last year to go with my ring he bought me the year before.  Hey, I am okay with it, I'll just get something in another gem.

This little cutie was left at the front desk for me.  It simply said from "The Elves".  I am still trying to figure out who it was from.  The side note, someone else got a mug from the elves.  Not a snoopy one and no significant tie to me other than we walk together.

It was a wonderful Christmas all the way around...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

I Think We Need More Bags

All this and more need to go into bags to go into the car for our trip to Iowa.  

But, I gave it the college try and it worked quite well.  These are just the Christmas presents sans two.  I am thinking Miss Mona Lisa has enough to open and may save two of the puzzles for her birthday in July, maybe.

Right now, I am trying to figure out if I should take the big knitting bag (on the right) or the smaller one on the left.  The big one doesn't get to go to the shop too often, because on a Thursday night it can be a little cramped.  But for a two day trip, you never know when you might need a bit more knitting!

I am making some great progress on Miss Mona Lisa's Lang Wrap Around Sweater.  The fronts and back are all done and I have just cast on the little sleeves.  I am hoping that when I get home on Saturday, that I will be able to start sewing this one up and call it completed.  I am saving this one for Valentines Day (even though it isn't red) to go with a navy pair of ruffled pants and peachy top to go with.

It will be nice to get this one finished so I can start on a baby blanket that needs to be done by mid January for a baby shower. And I really want to be knitting for me again!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas Eve

This will be my view tonight

with a bit of this.

It will be a quiet Christmas Eve (which I dislike very much).  I miss the traditions that were once ours, but that is what happens when people pass on, children grow up and move away and you lose control over how Christmas Eves are celebrated.  

But, tomorrow, we will celebrate Christmas,  we will be together with family and on the 26th, we will celebrate again with our darling granddaughter and her mom and dad.  The Tall Guy and I  are truly blessed to be healthy and our life is rich with dear friends and family.  I hope the same is for you, dear readers.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Things I Never Do

I don't travel on Christmas.  We are waiting until the day after to go to see Mona Lisa.

I don't ever buy yarn without checking dye lots.  So, tell me why I did not notice that there was a difference in what I was knitting with until I take the final picture?  Seriously.

Talk about head thumping moment.  But, when placed around the neck, it is not so noticeable on the completed Gaptastic.

I used a variation of the Very Stretchy and Beautiful Bind Off that Cheryl posted about in May 2012 on her Knitaway blog  Very nice.

And I never shop this close to Christmas, but I do have to go out to take care of an errand, and I am going to use the opportunity to go out and do just a bit of shopping for me.  Yep, thats right for ME!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

If Ever

If Ever I get a big enough house or a reduction in furniture at the current house, I am going to have at least one or two rooms that have Caribe Blue theme.  And when I do, I am going to steal one or more of these ideas for it!

An excuse to knit Caribe Blue Stockings too!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

It Begins!

Today, amongst a bit of freezing rain, we started the first of three Christmas celebrations and today is the first day of Winter.  And it was the first day of my two weeks off.  I have so much planned for the time off and I am sure I am going to turn around and I'll be whining about going back to work.  But, until then I am going to enjoy myself by knitting, shopping for ME, a little sewing and somewhere in there I'll find the time to do a bit of cleaning.

I am doing some knitting for Christmas, but only one is really part of a Christmas present for Mona Lisa's Mom - Gaptastic.  Nice thing, we aren't going there until Thursday, so I have plenty of time to finish it.

I am also still knitting on this Lang Sweater for Mona Lisa, but it really isn't for a Christmas present (she has plenty of gifts under the tree). 

Nor is the outfit that I ordered to go under it for her.  Both of them can be for later this Winter, since it appears by the forecast that it is going to be a long one.

I am really anxious to get these two knitting projects done, so I can get back to knitting for myself.  I have some great sweaters that I am dyeing to be knitting.  Even though it is the start of Winter and the holiday celebrations, I am ready to update my style, get back on track eating healthier and getting a little exercise.  Summer will be here before we know it!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How About Some Stocking Stuffers to Knit?

You've/I've still got the weekend and a couple of days after to knit some stocking stuffers.

How about:

Some slouchy hats or beanies.  Choose something knit with a medium weight yarn like these.

Knitting Pure and Simple's Mukluk pattern.  And you can buy it and download and print it out with a snap over on Patternfish.

Other quick ideas that are quite the rage that you could knit for stocking stuffers:
Fingerless Mitts, Boot Cuffs, a simple garter stitch scarf or the seamen's scarf made popular years ago (and one that I made about a dozen for co-workers), or if you don't want to knit something, a nice Craftsy Class tucked in your favorite knitter's stocking would be ever so lovely, don't you think?!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Knitting for the Wee Ones

You still have sometime to knit for those little ones, they are small and you have a week til Christmas!

Baby Mittens - In all kinds of yarns from fingering to sport and beyond

Saartje Booties - These are so darn cute

Peapod - A friend knit one to look like a Santa suit

Barnyard Finger Puppets - Seriously quick knits and so much fun to play with

Baby Surprise - This would be so cute knitted up like Santa with white fun fur for the neck, arms and bottom of the coat

Blocks - Knit them out of all kinds of colors, perfect for little hands to stack and knock down

Hobby Horse - I am so knitting this for Miss Mona Lisa for next Christmas

Elefante - What a wonderful toy to knit for that wee one

And from this book, I just want to knit them all!

Monday, December 16, 2013

5 Days

What, yesterday, Penny you told me we had 10 days until Christmas, now you are telling me we have five days?!  What the heck is going on?  Well, you can relax a bit, but not a lot!  Counting today, I have  five days of work and then.....I have two whole weeks off.  Two whole weeks!  I am already making a list of all things I need/want to do while off from work.

Jeans Shopping
Pants Shopping
Coat Shopping
Heck, I think I'll take a whole day and just go shopping for ME!
Hemming my last pair of Lee Jeans that fit that don't have spandex in them, have I told you I hate spandex in jeans and that is the only way my fave style is being sold?!
Repairing some split seams in a couple of turtlenecks (sewing machine required)
Knitting just for me, anything I want to knit just for me
And absolutely no checking emails for work (well maybe just the ones where I clear the unwanted emails so I don't have 2400 emails looking at me when I go back to work)

I can hardly contain myself, I am so looking forward to those two weeks!  

In the meantime, I have found some really cute things that I want to maybe put on the list for next year's pre-Christmas way in advance Christmas knitting.  Wouldn't these be fun to decorate with next year?




Sunday, December 15, 2013

10 Days and Distance

Yep, 10 days until Christmas.  If you are knitting for people for Christmas Day giving,  that is how long you have got until you need to have it ready.  Me, I am really trying hard to not give into the need to cast on a couple of things for the Tall Guy's side family Christmas next Saturday.

 In actuality, I do have until the 25th for a little baby sweater if I was so inclined, mainly because I will only knit for Bella (on the left) because, well frankly that is the only one that mom and dad really appreciate my knitting still, and because I will see them again on the 25th so I could give a sweater to her then without making anyone else feel bad for not getting a hand knit from Aunt Penny (not that they would).

I had pretty much tossed this sweater that I was making for Mona Lisa when she was home at Thanksgiving.  I held the back up to her (when I could get her standing still), and it was way too short on her or so I thought.

But, last night I decided to see just how far off it really was, by measuring it up against a shirt that I had bought her.  I was pleasantly surprised that where it needed extra length was in the first 2/3 of it  - before the binding off and shaping.  I ripped it back last night and am in the midst of re-shaping the top third today.

 I will have to do the same thing for one of the fronts that is done too, but since it is a toddler size I am not minding it so much.  The other front I have caught in time as it is still on the needles.

I guess, sometimes you just need to have a little perspective on your knitting and other things,  and a bit of time away doesn't hurt either from both knitting and other things.  I am now ready to press on with this garment and  I have more than 10 days to get it done.

Happy Christmas Knitting Everyone - you still have 10 days.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snow Day Knitting

Our really first big snow fell overnight.  It is so beautiful in the early morning before anyone has a chance to drive down the streets.

And the backyard and trees before the little creatures start walking around, and big creatures go out to snow blow it away.

The light of the day makes me want to stay home today from the shop, which I am going to and just enjoy the day and knit and do laundry.

Coffee will be involved, mass quantities of coffee, I can stay in my jammies for as long as I want, because I really do not have to go anywhere.

And because I finished my project last night, I get to decide what I am going to concentrate on knitting today.  And because I am not knitting the shop, I can knit on any of the projects that I have in hand.  I just have to figure out what it is I want to be knitting on next.

My yarn shop project from Norah Gaughan out of Kodiak.

My Downover Shawl out of Cheryl's Just Beautiful Alpaca.

Stora Dimun from Unspun Icelandic.

Oh the decisions!  The nice thing is they are all for me.  No Christmas knitting for this girl, well at least I don't think there is, after all there are only like 10 days left!  Actually a week until we celebrate the first of three Christmas celebrations.  I hope I don't get any bright ideas to knit for anyone.

And finally - why does snow always look prettier before Christmas and in January/February just look plain Ugh!