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Archive for December, 2008

Its over

The Christmas knitting is done.  I actually finished Monday with all the knitting.  Tuesday I wove in ends, washed and blocked everything.  As of right now it is all packed and ready to go for tomorrow.  The biggest help in reaching my deadline was buying the wrong yarn.  Using a worsted weight yarn instead of a sport weight yarn made two projects go much, much more quickly.  I would have blogged about the happiness of finishing early sooner but Lora lent me some books and reading is my other addictive hobby.  I have just finished all three in the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman.  I enjoyed the books quite a bit.

Here is a picture of a gift already given and three years in the making.

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They are just boring stockinette top down socks.  The yarn is Rowan 4-ply (100% wool) and I used US 2 needles.  I started them I don’t really remember how long ago (I am guessing 3 yrs) and decided that I would finally have them finished this year.  The recipient who has seen these socks shelved any number of times was skeptical, but there they are.

I will be traveling to visit family for the next 11 days so who knows if I will get any blogging done.  I hope to come home with plenty of pictures of the gifts I have been making to share with you all.

Happy Holidays to all and hopefully many yarn gifts in your future.

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Choices

I have now completed another knitted gift, so I am back to blogging.  I wish I had finished a day sooner and could have had post 42, but oh well.  An update on my deadline: I have one gift to go (and the toe of a sock) with 6 days remaining.  I would say that I am sure to finish in time but that would be like kicking karma in the shin.

I am an indecisive person a good part of the time.  As I mentioned previously I have 3 sweaters I could start after the Christmas knitting is done.  The problem is which one should I start?  I am taking the easy way out and polling you all out there in blog world.  The choices with a bit of explanation are below.

1. Leavened Raglan (that was the best photo I could find, ravelry link)

Yarn: Malabrigo Lace (100% merino wool)

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Pros – The easy pattern stitch will not require much thinking so I can spend time talking with family while knitting.  The yarn is super soft and a great color.

Cons – A lot of calculating will be needed to start this pattern because I am replacing the bulky yarn called for in the pattern with a lace weight yarn.  I am basically taking the pattern stitch and the raglan shaping and making the pattern over completely as far as the stitch counts and shaping go.

2. Ribbed Cardigan (ravelry link)

Yarn: Kathmandu DK (85% merino wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere)

pc190019 (bad picture but it had the most accurate color)

Pros – I love this yarn and it is the oldest out of these three project choices.  Also a simple pattern that should be easy to follow while visiting with family.

Cons -I have to recalculate slightly because the yarn I am using is a lighter weight than called for in the pattern, but close enough that I should be able to follow a larger size without too much thinking.

3. Cable & Rib Jacket (ravelry)

Yarn: Harrisville Shetland (100% wool)

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Pros -I LOVE this pattern and really want this jacket.

Cons – I have to recalculate slightly because the yarn I am using is a lighter weight than called for in the pattern, but close enough that I should be able to follow a larger size without too much thinking (yup same as choice 2.)  This will require some pattern following and thinking while knitting.  Also, the biggest con in my mind is that the pattern does not have a chart for the cables, I will either have to read them line by line or make my own chart.

Well folks, those are the choices.  I want to make them all, but need help with where to start.  Please help me decide and leave comments as to why you voted the way you did.

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Mouse Turds on the Counter

For all of you who read this blog who don’t know me personally, (I assume it’s people from all the Twilight traffic) yes, I talk about poop a lot. On a regular basis. You know people who talk about what they do at work? Well, that’s how I feel about poop. When two kids are being raised, poop happens–with surprising frequency. Human poop? Doesn’t phase me. Let me rephrase…KID poop doesn’t phase me. They can’t help it. They haven’t been pooping as long as adults, so they sometimes make mistake. Adult poop, pardon the phrase, scares the shit out of me. (Unless it’s my own.) But, while not quite the same as finding a human dump on the floor, mouse turds on my counter are just as repulsive. Yes, it’s smaller poop. In my germaphobic mind though, each tiny mouse turd contains the Hanta virus. Not to mention where it’s dirty feet have been BEFORE it was walking on my counter. I know it’s an old house, and it’s winter time. They are bound to come in. It’s just the idea of them walking on my counter where I store my bananas and toaster that really freaks me out and makes me mad. Then I remind myself my grandmother’s farmhouse had a bunch, and we slept on the floor. We never got sick. If anything, it probably made us stronger. Think X-Men, or something.

But that’s my mind. Wavering between out-right paranoid and insane to completely rational, “oh, it won’t kill me…” Have you seen that commercial with the baby sitting on a white floor? The one where they have a mouse running in front of him and the announcer says, “If you had a pest in your home, YOU WOULD TRAP IT.” Part of me goes, “EWWWWW!” and the other part thinks, “Many babies throughout history have been raised in homes that had mice and were none worse for the wear. Suck it up, stupid commercial!” Still a third part says, “Pizza sounds good for dinner. Yeah, we should just get a pizza.”

I will be embarrassingly honest here. And you thought the poop stuff was bad…No! This is worse. I have been completely enslaved by the Twilight series. SIGH. I know. I feel like I let myself and all of humanity down on this one. I wish they’d just have sex and get it over with. By the time they do, IF they do, it’s gonna be a complete let-down. I’m not looking for Clan of the Cave Bear action every four pages, but you know, SOMETHING before the third book would be nice. It makes me feel that all this talk of them being soul-mates is really just some seriously pent up sexual tension. For the record, I would of chosen the werewolf. I am on book three, about halfway through. I had to take a break last night from starting the third book because I had to read “Midnight Sun” in its entirety. For those of you who don’t know, it’s the first book from Edward’s perspective that was leaked on the internet. The author says she won’t finish it, but it was still 264 (albeit LARGE TYPE) pages. Yes, I am literally hanging my head in shame as I write this. What is it about these books? People over and over have described them to me as crack, and yeah. That’s about what they are. I did have to put the book down in disgust though, as the whole topic of an army of newborn vampires surfaced. Come on. Give the girl a break. Give her a whole book where she doesn’t have to be pursued by the supernatural. Just let Edward and Jacob fight it out. Death match style. That would be highly entertaining. Actually I would find it quite enjoyable if all the characters were killed off in some mass-suicide.

Knitting news: Nothing. Like I said I’ve been reading, so even monster blanketa is going un-touched. I am staying in Lawrence for Christmas, so I do foresee posting over the break, and of course, probably making a present run-down list. I’m hoping beyond all hope I get a Yarn Barn certificate. After I finish this blanketa, I’m going to make something really epic. Something with lots of cables and oversized sleeves with a fitted waist. I dunno. No patterns in mind. MAYBE I’ll make the fair isle beret in Vintage Knits. I have wanted to try my hand at fair isle and the beret is really cute. There’s also a pattern for matching gloves. How perfectly sweet! So c’mon gift certificate! Mamma needs some new yarn!

Wow. What a blurb. And I’m done. Be safe on the ice! I shoveled my porch, sidewalk and driveway on Tuesday and bought salt today to lay down. It’s looking good! Burton always takes care of the yard, so I guess during the wintertime, my job is to shovel snow.

PS: While I was proof reading this, I heard the mouse trap that Burton set 10 minutes ago go off. Mice is so stupid.

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For your surfing enjoyment

Stumbled on this cafe press store today.

Today is a good day to stay in and knit. Nothing new to report here. Still working on my blanketa. Need to finish up Evie’s slippers, so I will probably work on that tonight as well. In other news, I gave my husband some oil paints as one of his Christmas gifts and I let him open them early. (I am SO nice!) He is using them to paint a chimpanzee riding on a segway. You can watch the real thing here. Stay warm and safe everybody! It’s STILL snowing!

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Tempting fate?

Another quick blog break amidst all the knitting fury.  I am cruising along on the last 2 (plus sock) knitted gifts.  If I continue on my current pace I should be done a day early.  That includes time for finishing.

I really hate to say that I think I am going to make it.  I am afraid I am tempting fate.  Maybe a wrist injury or the nasty “stomach flu” that has been going around will slow me down if I am arrogant enough to say I think I can finish in time.  In order to appease whatever karmic gods are out there I am done speaking of this for now.

On a happier note, I get to plan what project I will be starting as soon as the gifts are done.  I have 3 sweaters planned for which I already have the yarn that are a possibility, two cardigans and a pullover.  Also, I just received my Christmas gift from my grandmother, a check, which needs to go with me to the Yarn Barn this week.  It would be total insanity to buy yarn for a whole new project when I have such a backlog, right?  Hmmm, that strikes me as the kind of crazy I am best at, yarn buying.  What is a girl to do?

Maybe someday soon I will show you all what I am working on.  Until then, back to knitting.

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Black blob

Dad’s hat is done!

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Project Details:

Pattern –  The Boyfriend Hat by Stephanie Nicole

Yarn – Sockotta (45% cotton, 40% superwash wool, 15%nylon) held double.  I think I used about 2/3 of each of the two balls I had, so maybe a ball and a half total?

Needles – US size 6

Modifications – I used smaller needles and cast on 120 stitches.  Instead of a 3×2 rib, I did 3×3.  I knitted to 7.5 inches before decreasing to allow for a folded brim.  The decreases were done approximately as described in the pattern but took into account the 3×3 rib.

Now for anyone who is keeping score at home, that is one day ahead of schedule (I anticipated finishing this hat tomorrow.)  This means that I have 13 knitting days to go and two projects left (plus part of a sock.)  I am counting Christmas as a full day for knitting because we fly to Maryland that evening so I have the airport time and actual flight for last minute knitting.

The end is in sight, but will there be enough time?  I hope so.  Alright, the blog break is over, time to cast on for the next gift.

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Hmmm

My hands are sore, my eyes strained and there are still three gifts and 15 days to go.  Yikes!

I do not have any new pretty pictures to add because what had been finished is boring or a gift.  The boring is a black ribbed hat for my Dad.  It really only comes out looking like a black blob, so no pictures.

As time is catching up with me I am still under the delusion that I could possibly finish all this knitting before Christmas.  I figure that if Dad’s hat is done by Saturday that gives me 12 days to complete the last 2 knitted gifts for the year.  That is doable, right?  (Please don’t mention that I am also planning on finishing a pair of socks before then too.  The socks at already 2/3 done from 3 yrs ago, so not really another project to count.)  This time frame does not take into account my poor hands.  I usually knit as much as I like without any pain (please no hate mail, I am just lucky I guess) but the last two weeks have done me in.  My hands are throbbing at the end of the day.  If I were a smart individual I might just quit, but I am not, so the knitting goes on.  Another round of ibuprofen anyone?

I know this is the most interesting blog post ever, but I thought I would at least check in.  I strongly encourage people to check out the blogs to the right.  They are all good reads.

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