Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Knitting Wrap Up - 2014

What I knitted (completed) in 2014.  I knitted a lot in 2014, but this is what I actually can call done!

2 Baby Afghans
2 Hats
1 Pair of Socks for Me
2 Shoulder Shawls
4 Scarves
1 Pair of Mittens
1 Pullover Sweater
5 Shawls
1 Cowl
1 Adult Cardigan
2 Toddler Cardigans

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Day 364

Only one more day left in the year.  Over on Facebook, I have been posting a daily pic since the first day of 2014.  Always the pic must have something positive going on.  And I think I have accomplished that.  I am not sure what tomorrow's will be, maybe as the year started, in my jammies, sitting in my favorite chair and knitting.

Today, I was invited to a new knitter friend's house for brunch and a morning of knitting.  What fun!  And it came with surprises.

She gifted me a set of mittens that were made from wool sweaters and felted.  This is the top side.

This is the bottom side.  And they are lined with fleece.  How cool is that?!

Afterwards, I ran out to Knit 4 Together and was able to get one more skein of the blue yarn to finish the baby afghan.  With a bit of luck, I'll have it done tonight and can block it tomorrow and let it dry for a couple of days and then get it over to sisinlaw so she can wrap.

I have to say I am going to be relieved to not have to post a pic after tomorrow.  It can be a bit of a pressure finding just the right spot to take the pic and not duplicate any other pictures.  But, it also has been quite a bit of fun, seeing others remark on the pic and like it.  Just call me Sally Field!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Second Week of Holiday Vacation

 Today, the sun is actually shining in Central IL, the birds and squirrels are allover the place today.

They seem to love the full sun today as much as I do.  We seemed to have an abundance of animals around us at the new house or as my sisinlaw said yesterday, we have a backyard full of nature, as it was quite evident to have this Christmas visitor on our garage roof.  They just love the big water bath that nature provides for them.

This morning, the Tall Guy helped me get all of the Christmas trees and decor put away in their various new spaces.  I did a once more cleaning and vacuuming of the house.  I pulled out my Snowman Decor  and found a box that I did not know I had, and am still missing a box that I know I should have.

 I love the holidays, but I really love when they are all over (Christmas Celebrations that is), and I can do a final cleaning of the house and then sit back and enjoy the rest of my time off from work.  I am not going to kid you, most of it will be spent knitting, I've all of a sudden after Christmas have a couple of time sensitive knitting projects that I need to complete.

The first is a baby blanket for my new soon to be born great great nephew Remington.  I just learned this last week that the shower is on the 11th of January so it is going to be my first priority.  I am knitting another of the Heavenly Heathers Afghans out of this book.

This afghan is my go to afghan for little boys, it would seem, since this is my third one.  Not only is it pretty quick, but it is a good fail safe one, when I am not sure of what the decor for the baby boy will be.

This one is a bit different then the others as I am using cream Cascade Pacific as the base.  Of course, I already love the start of it because it has my fave color in it!

I am using leftovers from the other afghans and with cream this one is giving a totally different look to it.

My second is the Dinner in the Eiffel Tower Shawl.  The bind off party is January 3rd, and I need to increase a bit more stitches on mine ( I think) since I am using a much lighter weight yarn than the pattern calls for.  I am so happy that I recast on with a larger needle for this, I wish you could feel the lightness of the fabric that it is giving.

My brain is already in knitting mode for the new year after I get these two under my belt.  I can hardly wait to finish them and start a new round of Knit and Fit 2015!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

It's A Wrap!

 We had our final celebration all day long.  It was our first big celebration, not just in the new house, but really forever.  Because our old house just was not conducive to all day celebrating, we have had quick meals and gift swaps, but nothing where family could come and stay all day and enjoy each other's company.  It was just a really nice day with no major meltdowns.

I've sent all the homemade stuff home with everyone who came, so all I have left is some store bought candies and they are going to get bagged up and sent with the Tall Guy to work when he goes back at the end of the week.  In the meantime, I've had a last bit of cheesy potatoes and yummy corn casserole and it is official, of waking up tomorrow, that it is back to a healthier eating style.  I've been messing around for more than a month now, and it is best to get into the swing of things, now rather than later.

2015 truly is going to be the year of getting back to a reasonable weight for my age, knitting some spectacular sweaters and enjoying all of the things that life has to bring!  I am looking forward to it.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Celebrating All Week Long……...

We've been celebrating Christmas since last Monday when we were with Mona Lisa and her parents.  Yesterday, we spent Christmas with the Tall Guy's Mom, Sister and her family that are here in town, and Baby Boy B.

 Tomorrow, we are officially getting together with them again to include the other nieces that are not here in town.  We'll be celebrating for the first time at the new house (around 20 of us)  and the Tall Guy and I have been working like dogs all day to get ready, between shopping and putting a new rug down, setting up tables, making cookies and the last batch of peanut butter fudge for the year.

As much as I love celebrating, I'll be glad when tomorrow is over and I can start taking down the Christmas decorations and getting back to some sort of normal or also known as, I have another week off before I have to go back to work and I don't have to go anywhere or get out of my jammies until I absolutely have to.

In the meantime, I am going to post some pics of our time with Mona Lisa.  We just cannot get over how much she is talking now and how smart she seems to be for her age.  I am sure that the boys were not like that at her age.  The girl knows what a clementine is for crying out loud!  I have to give kudos to her parents as they are very much all about her and spending time with her.  We had a great time, even if she is very partial to Uncle Baby Boy B!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

3 Day Tour

Going to take a quick trip to see Mona Lisa and her parents.  Sadly, there is absolutely no knitting for her this year.  Maybe in the new year.  This year I decided to partake of the Knitmore Girls Grinch Along and not knit for gifts.  I've been knitting for the Hospice Home in Peoria and for a couple of requests for people at work.  It has actually felt quite good, even though it has been a bit of cold turkey around here with no last minute knitting going on.

Since I've sadly been ignoring sox on Sunday for a couple of weeks, I only thought it was fair that they make the trip to Iowa.

Socks are always a good travel project and should I finish them by chance, sock yarn can always be found somewhere to start a new pair.

A couple of skeins of Liberty Wool are coming along for a cowl for me.  It would seem my scarf/cowl collection is in need of a bit of updating to go with both my black and red coats.

And that is all that is making the trip….most unusual for me.  Blog at you when we get back.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dinner in the Eiffel Tower - Part 2

The second try is so much better.  I am using my same Mad Tosh Merino Light in the Fragrant colorway on Size 8 needles.  I was really close to using something else, but after a bit of time out, I decided to give it a whirl, and I am so glad I did.

Almost immediately, the holes opened up  and I am just loving this pattern.

Even the pesky lattice piece has become so much easier to execute (as it should after doing it three times) on my second attempt.   I will still add some length to it and when we get back from Iowa in a couple of days, I'll probably add some stitches to it and will need to figure out how/when to do that.

I am just so please with the outcome on my second attempt, sometimes you just have to try it again!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Problem

with buying a yarn purely on impulse is then you get home and cannot figure out what it really wants to be so you stay up really late trying to  figure it all out as to what you want to do with it.

You know you want to do something and you want to cast on immediately so you think it wants to be a little hat, so you cast on.

The problem is when you see how soft it feels, you think it must be a baby afghan, even though the next baby that you would knit for is going to be a boy (my great great nephew).  Then right before you go to bed, you realize that you don't have enough yardage and you wonder why your lys only gets four of a color way in from Madelinetosh?

So, you go to bed in the wee hours of the morning thinking while you sleep you may come with an alternative plan for four skeins of this unusual color way of yarn.  When you wake up, you still have afghan on your mind (Mona Lisa could use one for when she comes to Grandma's house and wouldn't that be cute), but you still don't have enough after sleeping on it.  You say to yourself, hey go to Jimmy Beans Wool online and see if they have some ( I love that shop because they generally have what I am looking for) and sure enough they do.

But, before ordering, I head over to Ravelry and advance search to projects for everyone, even those I don't know, I put into the search Holi Festival and come up with even more ideas. 4 pages and several that I like that I create a little tag for them all.

 Lots of hats which makes me start to think…I have time, I could make a hat for Mona Lisa, for Bella, for me, a scarf (do I have any hot pink that I could do the chevron one for a scarf for me?) STOP!!!  I am not making a hat for anyone, and I have two or three scarves already noodlin around.

I take a break and make a second batch of peanut butter fudge.  It is my Mom's recipe and one that no amount of asking will get me to reveal to friends, family or acquaintances.  It is the one thing I do well (aside from knitting) and I am keeping this recipe close.  Every body who tastes it, loves it and it makes me feel good.  I once asked my Mom for the recipe and she refused to give it to me, merely, telling me that it was very unlikely that I would ever make it, so she wouldn't give the recipe to me.  Several years after she passed, I stumbled up on it by accident and made it last year for the first time.  I don't mean to brag, but it is the one thing that I make that people ask me to make again and they rave about it.  So, don't ask for the recipe, I am ignoring you when you ask.

And now, I have taken my shower, finally got dressed and came to a really big decision, put it away for now, think on it, Jimmy Bean has 17 skeins that will still be there next week.

I pull out one of the multiple projects that I have to knit on already and I'm good, time to knit!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dinner in the Eiffel Tower

A couple of weeks ago, a small group of us Knit Wits got together and started the Dinner in the Eiffel Tower Shawl.  It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to knit mine out of.  I made trips to two different local yarn shops and could not come up with a DK that I wanted for it.  And believe it or now, there really wasn't anything in the Yarn Room that I felt was right for it.  So I cast on with my Mad Tosh Light in the Fragrant color way. 

 The color grew on me.  Others liked it so I continued on.  But,  it just did not appear on my scrunched up needles like it was very big.  I knew that I would need to knit more repeats to mine, because I was using a much lighter weight than the recommended dk yarn it was knit with.  

On Thursday night at Knit Night, I made a mistake and just could not fix it without ripping back, so I popped it off the needles.  To say it was small is a bit of an understatement!  It was doll size.  I NEVER knit tight, but this was evident that maybe sometimes I do.

For perspective, I put the coasters next to it.  I was pretty bummed.  This was Friday.    I ripped it out and started looking for something else to knit my shawl out of.   I came home with nothing.  I was at the shop today and still no luck.

Never to give up, I cast on tonight with a size 8 needle.  I love it already.  The hand of the shawl is so soft now and I am excited to  continue on with it.

The most odd thing is that I am a loose knitter, not just loose but a really loose knitter.  Generally, I have to go down a couple of needle sizes from the git go.

This one is most baffling!

Friday, December 19, 2014

It's Friday the 19th!

And I have 15 wonderful days before I have to go back to work.  I know it is just going to fly by and I'll be whining that I gotta go back to work, but it feels so good to know that there is no work for 15 days.

I am making myself a couple of vows on the start of the Christmas vacation.

1.  If it is at least not raining or snowing, I am going to throw my tennies on every day and take a quick walk around the block every morning.

2.  I am getting on the scale tomorrow and from there on out, I am going to cut down on the sugar and start eating a bit better.  We've been celebrating at work all month long, and there is no time like the present to start toning it back a bit.  Plus, we will be heading to the see Baby Boy A and Mona Lisa in a few days and they really are quite healthy in their eating habits, so it won't be difficult to start watching what goes into this old body.

3.  While off, I am going to do a lot of knitting.  I just have to decide what knitting it will be.  Shall I knit from those multiple projects on the needles or start something new?  There are so many options that I feel another  list coming on, you know the kind of list that has my favorite all time knits that I want to knit for me.

4.  While knitting, I am going to catch up on my podcast/videocasts/Neflix/Audible books that I have waiting.

And thats it!  It's going to be a great two weeks, I am so looking forward to the restful time off.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wednesday Websites

As next Wednesday is Christmas Eve, I am giving you the rest of the months/years Wednesday Websites all in one post!

I just love finding new websites that have really cool knitting related holiday stuff you can knit.or somewhat reflects knitting.  Unfortunately, I generally find them too late or just a couple of weeks before Christmas.  So, maybe if you really like some of these ideas, you can bookmark them and look at them again say July and get a head start.  I am thinkin that is what I'll do.


Tiny Tree Garland - Knitionary

Yarn Harlot's Advent Calendar and Gifts for Knitters Posts

Crocheted Ornaments

25 Days of Enabling - The Knitmore Girls

Smitten - Knit Picks Website

Cute Party Food - The Rainey Sisters

Silverware Stockings

Stockings for Gals at Work

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Problem With Being a Knitter

is when someone wants you to knit something for them out of the blue. Someone that normally wouldn't really give a wit about your knitting.

But, because I cannot say no, when it comes to my craft (well, I did say no to the guy at work who wanted me to knit his first grandson a Nemo blanket), I took on a couple of projects for co-workers in the spirit of the season.  They were not,  I repeat not, time and materials knitting but strictly materials knitting, but rather in promotion of my craft.

The first is a Jayne Hat from Firefly.  I have absolutely no idea who Jayne is and I have heard about Firefly, but that is all I can tell you about it.  I searched the internet for possibilities and came back with a couple of options and then headed down to one of my local yarn shops, Fiber Universe on my lunch hour and picked up the yarn.  Funny, as soon as I started picking up the colors, Erin, one of the owners knew exactly what I was knitting.  It would seem someone else had been in the day before getting yarn for one.  I sure hope it wash''t for the same person!

I found a decent pattern on Ravelry that lead me to Jayne's Hat.  I'm pretty pleased with the turnout, but I sure do dislike pompons!  Always have.

The second project was hat for this bare headed snowman.  Another sentimental piece, one of my co-workers has a set of these that someone knit for her and this one was missing a hat (we suspect the dog took off with it).

I had yarn on hand for it and it was a quick knit up, but then again, there was one of those dang pompons, even smaller than the one for the hat.

The Snowman was delivered today and the reaction was well worth the knitting of the little hat.  She was so proud of it, makes it all worthwhile.

The Jayne Hat goes tomorrow, and now,  both are done and  and I can return to my regularly scheduled knitting!  Yea.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

No Sunday Sox Again!

Whats up with that you might be thinking!  It would seem that Sundays are not for sox last week, because I am just too darn busy finishing the decorating around here.

We finally found a skinny tree yesterday at Menards (thanks to the Tall Guy who found it).  He assembled it this morning and I put the ornaments on.  Finally, after many years of not being able to use my ornaments on a tree, we have our first tree, with the ornaments that we collected over the years.

This one I made for my mom when I was in grade school, so it is at least 50 years old.  It is in pretty sad shape but I am keeping it on my tree.

This odd bit was from a Christmas present my Dad gave my Mom.  She kept all those years and it was always on our tree when I was a kid.  Again, this one has to be at least 50 years old.  It is all about sentiment here.

The Yarn Room tree is back in its rightful place upstairs in the yarn room where it is supposed to be.

The Snoopy tree, well, thank goodness, it has a final resting space downstairs where we will all gather for our celebration on the 27th.  Except for before then I need to find the one light in the string that makes the rest go out on the bottom set - I do have one more set that I could replace it with if I have to.

The basement theme is Snoopy because that is where I have my hutch where I can display my Christmas Snoopy collection.  When we bought the new house, I lost my dining room, so we'll be dining/celebrating in the partially finished basement when the 20 of us get together.

And we'll finally get to use my Snoopy dishes again too, although, I sure wish I could have found about another 10 or 12 place settings.  If only I would have thought about the fact that we could be more than 20 people back in the day.  Ah well, hoping the white dishes I have won't clash too bad with them.

So, you can see now, why I've not had much time on Sundays to even think about knitting, too much decorating to be done.  But, I think I may be almost there!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Just A Couple of Shawls

that I am working on.  My first one is Dinner in the Eiffel Tower.  A group of us are knitting this along together, under the guidance of our friend Pam.  Dinner in the Eiffel Tower is a half pi.  This particular pattern calls for a DK, but since I really did not have any in the Yarn Room (I know it is hard to believe) that I wanted to use for it, I chose some Madtosh Light.  

I'm going to need to add some extra rows onto this shawl, otherwise it will barely cover an arm.  And that is going to require some math and thought.  

I think it is interesting the way the color shows up in this picture, there is a bit of orange/rust that shows up that I haven't seen with the naked  eye.  

We are getting together on Saturday to knit together and address questions.  The lattice section seems to give people the most problems, and it has that pesky k2tbl in it.

My other take along shawl right now is the Pi Shawl out of Madtosh Pashmina.  I am just loving knitting on this one when I get the chance.

No major progress on my Hospice Home Prayer Shawl right now, but maybe this weekend.  It really needs some attention.

Just one more work day to get through and then the weekend.  Blog at you later!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Walmart Find

I was looking for something to put cookies in.  These were sitting there saying buy me.  

I don't have a clue what I am going to put in them, but they are in my hands now.

Then, the next day I was at the local Hallmark shop and saw dessert plates and mugs.  They didn't say buy me, so they are still at Hallmark…for now.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

No Sox Sunday

I did not knit on any sox today.  I've spent the day cleaning, putting up some more decorations, laundry and rearranging a room.  When I woke up this morning, I thought we would be putting up a pencil tree in this corner to the left of the rocker.

But when the Tall Guy put the first piece in the stand, it was evident that a slim tree was not a pencil tree.  There was just no way it was going in the corner.  He tried really hard to give me options in the living room of where it would go, but without re-arranging furniture it was a no go.  And as I voiced my thoughts more than once, I moved to a bigger house so I don't have to re-arrange furniture at Christmas.

The slim tree was packed up and returned.  My little tree that I have been using the last few years at the old house was set up in the yarn room.  I was pretty bummed so I went onto other projects that were on my list.  I set up my Precious Moments Nativity Set.  I haven't had room to set it up in years.

Our spare room has been pretty much a catch all since we moved in.  With a bit of re-arranging of my ratty chair to the other side and a rocker that started in the yarn room, moved to the living room, and now has a home in front of the windows so we can watch the major amount of birds and squirrels we have feeding in our back yard.  (Thats why the rocker is facing the windows)

After taking bags and assorted dropped stuff to the yarn room, the bedroom and the basement, I talked the Tall Guy into putting up my quilt rack that has been in limbo with no home since we moved in.  I used it for my quilted wall hangings during the year, and really used the shelf piece too.  Now, I have a space for my new candles too!

After all that, I realized that I could bring my little tree downstairs and enjoy it.  It could go in the rocker space and doesn't take a whole lot of room.

I guess it was bashert that the slim tree wasn't a pencil tree.  It all worked out for the best.

Oh, I am not at all finished on the tree front yet, I still want to buy a larger tree for the 2nd floor, and I am still trimming my Snoopy Tree in the basement (the basement is Peanuts themed), but I am saving that for later this week, for now it is time to just kick back and put the feet up, tomorrow is another work day.

Only 10 more working days to this year for me, though!