Friday, December 30, 2005

Crossed In Translation KAL

There's a new button over in the sidebar. Yep, I've joined the CIT KAL. I have the book (remember the package from I have not yet swatched for this project. This is going to be one of those sit down and think projects, and with the holidays, there hasn't been much time for thinking!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Preparing for the new year

Many knitbloggers have written about how they prepare for the new year by:

1) taking inventory of all WIPs
2) either finishing them, or
3) RIPing them out.

I have so many UFOs laying around that I cannot even see the top of my nightstand. I'm going to try to list them all, and take a hard look at why the project moved from WIP to UFO status, and what to do about it. So, here goes...

1) Angela's regia socks - WIP
2) Manos cable sweater - UFO-I didn't follow the 'knit from 2 balls' mantra with this handpainted yarn, and unfortunately, it shows. I need to RIP the back and reknit.
3) The Decade Aran - UFO, but it has been given a certain name for a reason. Winter 2006 will be it's decade, so I better finish it this coming year. I think there is only 1 sleeve left to do.
4) Koigu t-shirt - UFO - can't decide whether to make this a long sleeve or short sleeve. Of course, the pattern is called "t-shirt". Maybe I should just finish this durn thing.
5) Gansey from Handknit Holidays - WIP (for youngest son who did not get a handknit for Christmas)
6) ChildHood - UFO - it's too small for my DD by now. Maybe I will just RIP this down to the armholes and add some length to it. But for now, I think I am all cotton-ed out.
7) Stained Glass Scarf from HandKnit Holidays - UFO - this has already been RIPed 3 times and is currently just a cast on. I should RIP this and redo if it ever gets cold again.

Oh my, I think I will stop there. That covers the night stand area. Next post, the dresser. Eeekkk!

Edited later to add:
And then there are the projects by the nightstand that I forgot about:

1) Short Row Rib - UFO - finish this thing! It is beautiful!
2) I'm sure I will find somwthing else lurking under the pile...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Girlfriend got a new coat

In a moment of madness, I decided that I needed to do some last minute Christmas gift knitting. Because Girlfriend needed a new coat:

I started and finished this within a week. It was a great, quick knit. The only mods I made to the pattern were to add a seed stitch border on the bottom and sleeves, and I knit the collar in seed stitch as well to pull it all together (great idea, Sam!)

I thought Friday morning I would need to make a quick run to a LYS for a button, but when I was perusing my stash, I came across some great buttons I had picked up in NZ this summer.

This one met with Girlfriend's approval:

edited to add: Girlfirend in action:

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Quote of the day

From my 4 yo daughter,
"Mommy, you were wrong. Santa wasn't watching. He brought us LOTS of stuff."

*sigh* somehow I missed the discipline gene.

Cookies, anyone?

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the place,
kids are so excited
They're sledding down the steps in a race.

The handknit stockings are hung
on the banister with care...

There's an awful lot of praying
that Saint Nicholas will appear.

Children still up,
caroling along,
Tum tum tum tum tum
Oh my, I hope Santa brings a drum.

Out on the lawn the beagle is howling,
The neighbors are cringing, the husband is yowling
There will be no Christmas this year if you don't get your butt into bed RIGHT HERE!

The snacks are in place,
Santa's on a diet.
This year there's grapes and carrots
I think there will be a riot

Dad has it on good authority
That only one drink will do
Lactaid milk? asks my son
No, a good stout whisky, it's true!

It's starting to get quiet
My job has just begun
I'll go upstairs now
and read Twas the Night Before Christmas to the dwindling son

I hope if Santa comes,
he is as quiet as a mouse,
it is no easy feat
to get some peace in this house!

Merry Christmas to you and yours! HoHoHoHo!

Getting ready

Expecting a visit from Santa?
Here is a recipe I have found.
It is a special reindeer food
to sprinkle on the ground.

The oatmeal is for energy,
The sparkles are for flight.
So sprinkle the reindeer food
on Christmas eve night!

All of Santa's reindeer
will love this healthy snack,
and next year Santa and his reindeer
surely will be back!

Bagel has given his approval on the reindeer food. He'll be pooping sparkles until next spring!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Clapotis Finito!

Sam asked for a picture of the scarf post-soup.

If you are my SIL, you better not open the present until Christmas:

Look - no pink!

Scarf Soup

Warning - this post is not for the faint of heart!

Also, if you are my SIL, you are not allowed to read this. Close the browser window now. Navigate away. Now. I. MEAN. IT.

OK, here goes (checking to see if SIL is still reading...)
Coast is clear.

Last weekend, I had two knitted holiday gifts to wash and block. One is red. I can hear the collective groans, because you know the story that's coming.

This is the red Clapotis in its initial bath.

If pea's were pink, this would be pink pea soup.

I washed and rinsed this at least 10 times in a water/vingegar solution. Finally - the water was running clear. So I gave it one more bath in Eucalan to freshen the scent, and -poof!- red dye everywhere again.

I posted a plea for help to my buddies at FiberTraditions, and the very talented LisaS gave me some suggestions.

Last night, with Sam holding my virtual hand, and chocolate reinforcements at my side, I prepared a steaming pot of water and vinegar, then gently placed Clapotis in the broth:

There was very little pink runoff. I simmered for 50 minutes, then my kids were really tearing the house apart so I had to turn the flame off. I covered and let sit overnight. The water was clear this morning. I rinsed and spun it in my front loader, then laid it out on white towels to dry during the day. Dear SIL's Christmas present is salvaged! Yippee! Hooray!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Birthday Thanks!

Thank you, fellow knitbloggers and FT friends, for the wonderful birthday wishes! I received the funniest birthday card from my DB and DSIL:

The caption reads, "Henry! Our party's total chaos! No one knows when to eat, where to stand, what to... Oh, thank God! Here comes a Border Collie!" How cute is that?

I had such a great day, I even had time to cast on for a new project. I've started the stained glass scarf from Melanie Falick's Handknit Holidays, I've also joined a new KAL, you may have noticed the button over in the sidebar. Jessica is hosting this great KAL from the same book.

The scarf has given me some troubles to start. It is a double-knit fabric, which means that it has two right sides, or more, that there is no wrong side. You knit both the front and back at the same time, making a double-thick fabric, which takes twice the work because there are twice as many stitches!

The author provides instruction for how to accomplish this on straight needles, with one pass through the stitches per each row. As an alternative, she also provides instructions for a more traditional "slip and slide" method, where the knitter, using circular needles, makes two passes through the stitches, knitting and slipping per pattern.

Always up for a challenge, I cast on with my lovely Brittany straights using the first method. My first attempt left me with a double-knit fabric that was solid on each side. A visit to the frog pond was in order. My second attempt, under careful survellaince by one of the Pink Tea knit divas, and appropriately reinforced with the knitters drink of choice (for a Sunday morning), resulted in a double-knit fabric with stripes appropriately placed, yet uncanny floats where none were supposed to be.

My darling friend very gently encouraged me, the way we knitters do, to whip out the circs and do the double-knit the way knitters have done for generations - with the slip and slide. I cast on for the third time and we were able, quite easily, to make a scarf that resembles the pattern in the book:

I've been making steady progress on this scarf, but feel that it may be destined for another trip to the frog pond. I just can't stand the edging:

The pattern calls for the edge stitches to be knit using both colors held together. This is quite logical, since this is the only way that the two "sides" of the scarf are held together. But I think it looks sloppy. Any suggestions on how to make a neat edging that will hold the two sides of the scarf together?

Knitmobile sighting

I was cruisin' through the town this weekend when what should I see...

I gotta get me one of these. I think it might be too big to fit on the bumper of my sporty sedan, but think how great it would look on the back of my husband's truck, right next to the DU sticker!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Happy Birthday To Me

Happy Birthday to me,
My kids are driving me craz-y,
But the nanny made me a ca - ake,
And the gifts were all sheep-y.

So all in all, a pretty good day, so far. I'll update this post later with some great photos of the sheepy gifts. And there was a new snowfal this morning, so everything looks bright and sparkly clean, just for me!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Just in time...

Last night, I finally finished the endless garter stitch really cool fox stripe scarf from Morehouse Merino. It was well received:

And just in time, for when we got home from work/school today, we found this guy visiting in our backyard:

Say hi to Bob! Not to be outdone by the preschool kids who got to play in the SNOW all day, we quickly made a smaller version of Bob. His name is Freddy:

By this time, the snow was already turning to rain, and it was getting quite dark (at 4:30-ish pm). It's a good thing everyone got a quick snow fix while it was here, because who knows when it will come to visit again.

Next on the needles: Angela's socks. I started to turn the heel last night, using Wendy's toe-up sock pattern.