Thursday, December 31, 2009

Risky Business

Carrying your coffee in your knitting bag is NEVER a good idea.
It's not like I intended it to end up in there but somehow it did. Good thing I take my coffee black because after a ride in the car this half filled cup of decaf Holiday Blend ended up in the bag and upside down. When I discovered it, the bottom of the bag was saturated and the pattern was pretty much a goner. The little camouflage raglan inside is intended as a gift for the big brother of the baby that is getting all the attention around here so it is going to need a good bath before gifting. I have to say knitting on the coffee soaked sweater is not all bad. It actually smells rather yummy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

On and Off the Loom

Although it is sitting right here in the middle of my living room, I have been completely neglecting my loom. I had the purple throw on it completed for at least 2 months until I found the time to cut it off. I was handed a bag of leftover yarn at work on the last day before the blizzard hit and was taken by a red (it looks pink here but it is red) boucle. Aware of my time limitations, I began a simple scarf just to keep the poor little thing from being bare for the holidays. Now that I am looking at it, I am wondering why I didn't just pull out some green and make a holiday scarf. Hmm.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Oh Baby!

After a major effort I finally got the itty bitty Aran finished just in time to try it on the poor unsuspecting little thing.

He wasn't exactly overwhelmed with the whole deal, in fact, he never woke up. It seems that sweater that I had initially declared too small to finish may fit him in a few more months. As for the hat, it is way too small so after a major frogging it's back to square one.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The One That Got Away

This mound of knitted material was piled on my coffee table December 22. I took advantage of a blessed snow day and sat on the couch until it was all finished and ready for blocking.

All but my little Leprechaun, that is. In spite of a marathon effort, newborn baby Austin/Gage will have to wait a few more days for those sleeves and matching hat.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Now Why Didn't I Think of That?

Talk about your cool handmade Christmas gifts. Who wouldn't want a $10 hat and scarf for their wine bottles?

Or a fabulous $32 sock monkey hat?
Watch out everybody on my gift list. Who knows what next year might bring.

All gifts courtesy of Sundance, home of some pretty crazy knitted thingamabobs.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

While I'm off fighting with my family over whether we should order Chinese or go ice skating today, I thought I would share some of my favorite holiday memories-the ones involving a handmade horror that is worth its weight in gold. Growing up, we had a solid paper mache ornament that was the size of a grapefruit on a string that we called the "clunker ball". It was made in school by my sister and weighed so much it would pull over all but the sturdiest Christmas tree. Each year we laughed at it as we pulled it out of the ornament box along with the glittery egg carton bells and milk carton candles that we iced with Ivory Flakes. Finding new ways to display that giant tempera coated softball, without causing anyone bodily harm, was a favorite activity.
Fast forward 30 years and for my family it is the soda bottle Santa with the scotch taped beard. He has been sitting on top of the fridge each Christmas since goodness knows when. He seems to have lost his nose. I don't even remember who made it. If you know, send me a comment so I can give credit where it is due.
Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

I always put my tree up at the last minute as I have this "thing" about having to clean around the Christmas tree. Trees that gather dust are just wrong.

My little vintage pom pom tree gets a present every year for her lovely branches. This year it was a set of happy snowmen. Little did I know when I bought them how appropriate they would turn out to be for this particular December.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mmmm, Mmmm Good

I LOVE fruitcake. Really. Deal with it people.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Little Monkey Business

Christmas card buying is always the highlight of my holiday prep and each year I suffer before the many choices. First, I have to determine the sentiment I wish to convey. Hopeful, pensive, festive, sophisticated? I spent at least an hour at the Barnes and Nobel card table before I selected this year's gem. Shopping alone, exhausted after work with my residual swine flu cough, miserable toothache and with a giant cold sore coming on, this one says it all and then some. Mewwy Chwissmiss!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Blizzard Part 3

Sunday morning I got our official total off the little table in the front yard. Not too shabby for the "snowpocalypse" as the weather people are calling it.

Moving that mountain of snow that fell on my Mini Cooper was not a lot of fun. At least I had my Lopi to keep me warm.

I love Lopi in the snow. Nothing keeps you warmer or dryer. Every time I have to do this I swear I am going to knit me some Lopi leggings.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

December Blizzard Part 2

By 8 pm last night my front yard looked like this and it was STILL snowing.

The jolly snowman was still smiling but only because he is under an overhang.

It was perfect cookie making weather so I kept my fingers crossed that the electricity stayed on.

The rare Maryland snowstorm always calls for a big pot of hot crab soup. I am glad I convinced The Mister to pick that leftover dozen for the freezer back in August.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let It Snow!

4 am Saturday morning looks like this and the worst part of the storm is not even here yet.

I'm blaming it on this guy.

How did I spend my time preparing for the big east coast blizzard of '09?
Standing in line at the grocery store for hours to buy cookie mix and silly hats, of course.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Why it Pays to Swatch

Who would have thought that I needed to swatch a cotton dishcloth? But just look at those stripes. Pretty terrible, huh? Big blocks of color don't work on little bitty dishcloths. I should have figured all that out sooner but I got caught up in a holiday moment with Charlie Brown on the TV and just kept knitting away telling myself it will all work out. It certainly didn't.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

I am celebrating my 56th year by taking the day off work and trying real hard to find my holiday spirit before its all come and gone. Hopefully some shopping, some baking and maybe some tree trimming will do the trick before I just give it up to my inner Grinch. Even my poor little raggedy gingerbread guys are feeling the blah this year. No faces or frosting bling for them because I am pretty sure they would just come out looking like Mr. Bill.

Monday, December 14, 2009


Sometimes I just want to kick myself in the behind when stuff like this shows up in the mail. I get all excited when I read about all the fun people ( Yarn Harlot, I mean YOU) are having with a certain project and I just have to have one for myself. By the time it gets here the fire is totally out and I am left with something else to join my giant pile of kit knits. Besides all the house painting I still need to finish, I am up to my armpits with baby and holiday knits at the moment, not to mention the spinning I really wanted to finish so I could start working on my 2010 MD Sheep and Wool shawl. But now that I think about it-those little swirly things did look awfully fun to make. I could just start a few and then save the rest for later.......

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bad Dog

Those handknit socks my sister was wearing in her hospital bed have an interesting history. Apparently, her Bichon, Lily, took an instant dislike to them. The enemy socks had to be destroyed by any means including trying to rip them off my sister's feet. No matter where she hid them the dog found them and gave them an angry gnawing. After a good washing, my sister reports that the offending smell, was removed. I did not block them before gifting and I reckon the visiting household of cats that like to sit on everything wooly may have been the problem. I should knit that dog a sweater now just to get even.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

On the Mend

This is my not so cleverly disguised little sister recuperating in the hospital after MAJOR surgery last week showing off the plain old socks I recently knit for her. I'm thinking she must have been on some good stuff to be thinking about her socks at a time like that. I am happy to see that they came to a good use but I have to wonder what hubby was doing in there with a camera. Unless there is a new born baby in your arms, no one needs a picture of themselves in this position.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What I Did This Weekend

Here is a hint of what I've been up to.

And another.

Painting over 1950 style, dark wood paneling is not a lot of fun. Especially when your little old doggie walks through those railings and falls about 8 feet onto the kitchen floor because you were stupid enough to take down the protective screening.
After a frantic trip to the emergency animal hospital and a scary 24 hours of wait and see, I am happy to report that little doggie is now fine. Me, not so much.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Promises to Keep

Last December I was in a tizzy trying to find some holiday themed cotton to knit some washcloths out of. I finally found some, but did I ever make those washcloths? Of course not. This job is going right to the top of the queue. Today. Seriously.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Days

No, that is not one of my Christmas Cards. Better. It is one of the fat eighths that just arrived from Connecting Threads.

I also bought some 2" diamond paper pieces in hopes of one day having enough free time around the holidays to start a winter themed quilt. I am such a dreamer.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sock Dork

I just had to post this picture after I read yesterday's Yarn Harlot post. I thought I had a mental defect when it came to insisting that patterned socks COMPLETELY match up. I go through lots of agonizing mathematical calculations and ripping back of Miss Second Sock in order to have the satisfaction of those little matching toes. Toes that will be hidden inside of shoes I might add. I was very happy to see that I am not the only one with this disorder. Someone needs to start a support group.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stash and Trash

First we have The Trash. When the family saw what I was doing, someone went and got me the BIGGEST trash bag in the house in anticipation of some serious down sizing. I just inherited some nice plastic bins and some cabinets from Daughter's NYC move so I decided to finally get around to organizing my mountain of yarn. In spite of all my best intentions, I only managed to part with some partial skeins of yucky stuff that I have no idea why I own in the first place.

Now for The Stash. This is JUST my sock yarn. I have enough for 40 pairs. I have no excuse other than it was all over the house so I had no idea how much I actually had. It seems I can put that sock yarn obsession to rest for a very long while.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Arrivals

I have been in panic mode over the idea that a day may come that I won't have the funds to fuel my fiber hobbies. Sock knitting in particular has been my main obsession as socks wear out often and make great gifts. You just can't knit enough socks to go around. Sock yarn is not cheap but Knit Picks sock yarn is pretty reasonable when you consider I spent $20 on one skein of Socks that Rock at the MD Sheep and Wool Fest last May. At the moment I am finishing up a pair in Imagination for a gift which I fell in love with, so I ordered a few skeins more for myself along with some inexpensive self striping yarn. Now that I have a sizable stash to last those hard post retirement years to come, I need to organize it all so I can find it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

As Good As Gold

Closing in on retirement age, I find myself hoarding my favorite things in anticipation of my departure from the workforce. I can't live without heaps of sock yarn and good tea. I found this 3 pack deal on Amazon during some midnight surfing this past week and low and behold it was here within days. Every afternoon I make it a point to sit down with a pot of this addicting blend and settle my brain. I've got plenty of the tea now. Enough that I don't have to worry for a long while. I even have a teapot warmer, but I have searched the world over in vain for a decent pot to brew it in. I have a Brown Betty, in fact I have two, but I am looking for a clear glass infuser type that lets me watch as the tiny flakes create the clear amber liquid that I just can't live without. All the ones that I have bought recently drip and I hate a messy cup and saucer as that is where I like to park my cookies.
Now about that sock yarn hoarding, let me just say that I am expecting a package...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Being of a certain age, it seems that every holiday, I feel like Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by holiday spirits from the past-but in a good way. I have so many wonderful years to revisit in my daydreams that I never know where to start. The years when my grandparents were alive are among my favorite. My grandmother could put out a Thanksgiving feast that would knock your eyes out. Notice I said "put out" and not "cook". My grandmother, Meme, was no cook but she could shop. She brought home jars of strange things that I can't even name but that always looked so pretty in her beautiful cut glass dishes. She dabbed mayonnaise on EVERYTHING in such an artistic manner that you never even realized that you had just eaten mayonnaise on jello. She put out hors d'oeuvures with frilly toothpicks on those folding TV trays that my 12 year old self believed was the epitome of sophistication.

My goodness. I am really getting carried away with this and I have not even come to the point. The point being that I found this old, very old, magazine in my father's garage last month. It is the 1980 Thanksgiving issue. It was 59 cents. Reading it brought on a flood of memories and surprises. Inside the magazine, along with the ads for home perms and 8 track players, cigarette ads took center stage with giant 2 page ads every few pages.

Meme died in 1989 on Christmas Day due to complications from chemo during a very brief battle with lung cancer. I am going be thinking of her today as I always do when I top my orange jello salad with heaps of mayo. It's good. It really is.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cleaning for Company

This is my coffee table. Seriously.
How long is it going to take me to figure out how to pack all this up for any Thanksgiving company that may come my way. Thankfully I am not expecting much in the way of family traffic as everyone has settled in their own little corner of the world for the time being. But some day someone may come visiting and I need a plan. Or another room.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's a Bootie!

That weird looking thing was the first of the two booties I needed to complete a baby set for a shower Daughter was invited to this weekend. It is a pattern I have been knitting for the occasional baby since the 1980's.

The sweater is knit in one piece from the neck down with raglan shaping. The lace pattern is easy to memorize as it is just a simple yarn over, knit and slip stitch. I wish I could give someone credit for the pattern but there is no name on it. I ripped it out of one of the popular woman's magazines way back when. It is a good thing that I am enjoying making these little things so much because I still have one more set to go. Daughter has ANOTHER friend expecting ANOTHER girl in January. And this one has to get all the way to Texas.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's a Mystery

As I was knitting this thing I realized that it looks kinda like a knitted thong. Ugh. I know that is totally cringe worthy. Sorry about that.

I don't usually knit weirdly shaped objects so it was fun to just follow a pattern to see what turns out. I had my doubts for a while but it all is starting to make sense. Stop by tomorrow and I'll have it done.

You'll have to suffer these awful photos though, as the light is gone before I even get home. Dreary colors, dreary backgrounds all washed out by the big bad flash.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I've Earned It

Now that it looks like I just may survive my swine flu experience after a month of total terror and misery, I think I deserve one of these:

That which does not kill us makes us stronger-but only if it can make us laugh. Oink. Oink. Snort.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Heart Stopper

I was making fun of the Mister for bringing home a giant bag of grease from Outback this weekend but high cholesterol or not, his heart is probably in better shape than mine right now. Pulling the lace socks out of the bag resulted in this disaster. It is never good when a single needle comes out alone. NEVER. If I am ever found dead on the floor, look around for a lace project. There will be one close by. Probably missing a needle.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Update

Thanks to a giant Saturday pity party, complete with tears and gloomy weather, I managed to get lots of couch time. Couch time equals knitting time so for once I have something to show for my weekend. The sleeves of the baby sweater are ready to go. The second Kaffe Fassett sock is done and the Falling Leaves match is on the needles. Whew. I even managed a tiny bit of spin time but the loom is still gathering dust with a project that really, really NEEDS TO COME OFF. Problem is I just don't have the energy to put something back on and I hate the look of it when it is empty.

Note to family members: That is NOT a sweater for the baby shower we have this weekend. I would NEVER make that mistake twice!