Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Celebration

Finally I have some knitting to show you. Granted it's only half a pair of socks but it's something.



It's the Hermoine Everyday Sock which is another Harry Potter inspired knit that I'm thoroughly enjoying knitting. I just had one little problem with the yarn. Can you see it? How about here?



It's a little tiny nub. It seems to be two pieces of yarn joined together with a knot by the manufacturer. Is this something that happens often? It's not very pleasant and not something I expect from a big name yarn maker that charges a pretty penny for their wares. And, of course, with my luck the way it is, it managed to show up on the outside of the sock.

Christmas Eve was a blast and I wanted to share all the stuff I cooked with you. Ok technically none of this food involved cooking but it was my contribution to the cooking. Glenn cooks all the big holidays since he's much better at it than I am but I make one hell of a spinach dip, damnit!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

True Christmas

It's been a busy couple of weeks in anticipation of Christmas Eve and Christmas day here for us. Between shopping for presents and food, getting liquor and wrapping gifts we forgot one important family member to buy for.

Last night we feasted. We had eight guests plus us. There was much laughter and many stories. The kids wanted to get to bed early so this morning would arrive all the quicker. Even at thirteen and sixteen, the boys get over excited for Christmas morning.

This morning was a blur of wrapping paper and gasps of surprise. Glenn got a new bike because his last one was stolen from the park. Patrick got a guitar from which, I'm sure, we'll be hearing more chords of Smoke On The Water than we've heard in our lives. In the midst of all this my little Gracie was going from person to person, her tail wagging, almost as excited as we were about all the gifts. That was when I realized we didn't get to Petco to get her presents. We felt awful but continued opening gifts and having a great time.

When all was said and done it was about 7:30 am and I was ready for a big cup of coffee. Glenn was so excited about his new bike he wanted to go out for a ride. I asked if he was sure because it was cold and early but he said he wanted to try it out. I said ok and off he went.

Forty five minutes later Glenn came home with a bag. Inside the bag he had a big old smoked bone and a bag of treats for Grace. He rode around town, with some of his Christmas money in his pocket, to several different stores before he found a Walgreens open on Christmas morning. He showed them to me and said "Everyone should have gifts on Christmas day."

That's what it's really all about isn't it?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Presents!

I'm really bad when it comes to Christmas. I love getting gifts early and I always get early presents from Megan because she lives in New Mexico and her presents have to be shipped.

This year, amongst other things, she got me a gift card for Amazon. I told her I wouldn't get anymore knitting books, because I get them all the time, and I'd get something really special. Well I compromised. I got a really special knitting book!




There's so much to love about this book. At the start, there's a forward by Jessica Marshall Forbes who most of us know as one of the founders of Ravelry. Then the photos are all done by Jared Flood aka Brooklyn Tweed. Not only is he a brilliant designer, with a new line of his own yarn, but he's also a great photographer. Then inside are a bunch of designing bloggers with their stories and designs. There are some designers who I know and love like the forementioned Jared Flood, Ysolda, Grumperina and Clara Parkes to name a few. Then there were blogging designers who I had never heard of before like Kat Coyle, Julie Weisenberger and Ann Weaver.

There are all kinds of projects to knit like sweaters, socks, hats and mitts. It's a great mix of designers and a wonderful mix of designs. These people are rock stars in the knitting and blogging community and I think that Julie Turjoman is brilliant for putting them all together in one book for our reading and knitting pleasure.

I think I'm going to need some Post It notes to bookmark many of the designs I want to knit. Think Amazon sells them? I have plenty of money left on my gift card!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Baking

Ok there's not a lot of knitting going on right now but there's a lot of other stuff going on right now! Aside from shopping, mostly done online, we've been baking, decorating and getting prepared for our yearly Christmas Eve get together for friends and family.

In years past, we did the baking with the boys and their friends. There would be a bunch of kids making all kinds of fun sugar cookies in Christmas shapes to take home as a treat. Now that the kids are older they really have no interest in doing this anymore so it was time for grown up Christmas cookies.

This year I was inspired by my trip to City Bakery's hot chocolate knit night. Aside from the amazing hot chocolate and scrumptious dinner that was served, they also had homemade marshmallows. Call me crazy but I'd never even heard of homemade marshmallows. Yeah, Martha Stewart I ain't. We also made krumkake, which is a Scandinavian cookie and, my favorite, oatmeal cookies.





A big thank you to Glenn for doing most of the baking and taking the photos. I love that he labeled the cookies. I was having a hard time distinguishing between them.

Christmas Eve will be the Feast of Seven Fishes although I think we'll be a few short. There will be about fifteen of us for a dinner of seafood and pasta with much merriment and a little bit of alcohol consumption. I can't wait.

Hope you're all enjoying your holiday season as much as we are!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Look

As you may have noticed, my blog is a bit different today. I decided enough with the pink and I wanted something simple and easy on the eye so here we have it!

I put up something on Twitter about wanting a new design and Amoena volunteered to redesign my blog. And believe it or not, she did it for free! She loves to do blog design in her spare time so she put this together for me. It's exactly what I wanted! I wanted something just very simple with no pink. I even got sick of the pink and I love pink! I just gave her suggestions and she came up with this lovely design. She and her boyfriend, JR, worked on this and gave me exactly what I wanted.

If anyone would like a free design done, please contact Amoena on her blog, which I linked above, or you can find her on Twitter here.

As for knitting, I really haven't gotten a lot done....actually I haven't gotten anything done this week because of the holidays. I had started the Cookie's Summer Socks but frogged them because I didn't like how I was knitting them. I've since cast on another pair and will blog about them soon but thus far I've only done the ribbing so there's not much to say.

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Etta

Well this has been a productive week of knitting! I actually have another finished item to show you. Here is the handsome sixteen year old Glenn modeling for me:



This is the Etta hat I found on Ravelry. I used Cascade 220 yarn and I think it looks lovely. I may have to block it again to make it a bit more slouchy. To make it more slouchy I think I need to use a bigger plate but I'm afraid I'll stretch out the ribbing of the hat which fits perfectly.
I wanted something that would look nice with the Entwined mitts but didn't want it to be too matchy matchy. I think this will look great with my mitts and my new brown winter coat. Ok winter, bring it!
I'm working on my first pair of Cookie A socks which is a huge milestone for me. I purchased her first book when it came out but I've been too intimidated by the charts to make anything from the book. Now that I've conquered the world of charts, I'm really looking forward to making a bunch of socks from Sock Innovation. Then I'm going to purchase Knit Sock Love in PDF and send the patterns to my kindle and snuggle in for the long winter. But that will have to wait till after Christmas!
Christmas Eve is big in our house. A bunch of friends and family will be here for the Feast of Seven Fishes. I don't thing we have seven but who's counting? There will be enough wine and beer that I'm sure we'll lose count and have a grand ole time.
I'm off to do some last minute online shopping!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Entwined

I lost one of my mitts so I decided to knit myself a new pair. I looked on my favorite website, Ravelry, and searched for something with a Celtic theme. I got a few hits but really liked the looks of the Entwined mitts. Easy and lovely. Just the way I like 'em!





Two days with a fair amount of knitting time and voila! Here's a photo of the cables:



I used a yarn that's new to me Dream in Color which I really love. It's 100% superfine Australian merino and it's superwash. I'm all about the superwash. It's a worsted weight, hand painted yarn and the color is Good Luck Jade. I love the green with the brown highlights in it.

It was weird knitting with a size five needle after months and months of sock knitting but I got used to it real fast. I don't like the thumb crotch thing though. I always feel as if I'm slapping it together just to get the little hole I always leave closed up.

I'm currently looking for a hat design that will use up the rest of this yarn but I can't find anything. I don't really know what I want but I'm sure that if I peruse Ravelry long enough, I'll find something soon!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Knitting. Really!

I know it's been a while since I actually posted some knitting but I actually have something to show you!



They're another pair of Skyp socks. I made these for my sister's best friend, Kathy. I did these exactly according to the pattern and they came out beautifully. I used Cascade Heritage Paints which I'd never used before. The yarn was really smooth and very easy to knit with. The only issue I had, and the issue is mine not the yarn's, is that I've gotten so used to using Blue Moon Fiber Arts medium weight, that this felt very thin to me. The sock seems like it knit to gauge, so I know that it's just a matter of me getting used to using other yarns. I'll get over it. Or I'll just buy more Socks That Rock. Ha!
As for the Selbu mitts, they've been put on hold for now. I started them and came to the thumb and realized they were much too small even for Patrick so I ripped them down. It may be a bit before I can muster up the courage to cast them on again. I'm thinking Fair Isle will not be my forte. So much for the dream of ever knitting a Starmore sweater.
I started a pair of Entwined mitts for myself. I wanted something with a hint of a Celtic design and thought these were lovely. I'm using Dream In Color Classy in the shade Good Luck Jade which is a green/brown variegated yarn. Can't wait to see these all done!
I'd also like to get a hat done for myself. With all the knitting I do, I have only two hats that I wear regularly. Not sure exactly what I want but I'm sure I'll find it on Ravelry.

Wordle



Click on it to make it bigger for those of you, like me, with over forty eyes.