Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 wrap up ~

Wow, another year of knitting has gone by and so many delightful projects have been finished ~ thirty four projects, to be exact! So much wonderful yarn has been befriended and loved, and turned into lovely finished objects. Other yarns are patiently waiting to be knit into some treasure of knitted goodness. It has been a great year for knitting ~ a reason to celebrate!

I've made great progress on the 2009 knitting resolutions, only leaving one 2008 item on the needles...I will revisit the Bonnie Ribbon tank top in 2010, as well as the powder blue summer top that needs some help with the sleeves...but let's not talk about what didn't get done......

The Central Park Hoodie was a big milestone, as I'd worked on that for over a was Mum's blanket which I thought about, cast on and cast off in just over a month... how different projects can be! Lots of great fair isle hats, some for family and friends, some for our church bazaar charity. Thirty four finished projects ~ not bad at all!!! Plus I've posted on this blog almost every day, only missing a few days last January....

The best part of my knitting this year was the Sock Summit experience with my friends. A delightful time in a yarn and knitting paradise with long time friends and those we just met yet felt we'd known forever.... Happy New Year to you all, and the best of knitting in 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas wishes ~

I received a package in the mail, from my secret knitting chica from several years ago... although she's not a secret anymore.... and she's the only secret knitting pal I've ever had... as I decided that since she was the perfect pal in my first secret pal experience, why would I want to try again.... I had to open it early, as of all the possibilities that could have been in these packages.... there is a great chance that there might just be some yarn inside.

Check out this Christmas sock yarn with the tinsel built right in! How fun is this!
Now if I could only knit a pair of socks by Christmas....(perhaps that's why the yarn's name is "marathon")

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Jack and Hat ~

One of my Christmas wishes came true. It is a wish that most knitters wish, I think... When we give a gift of knitting, we wish that we would be able to see the items we've knitting being worn by the lucky recipient. Oddly enough, it doesn't always happen. Sometimes we don't live near the recipient, sometimes we live near them, but don't see them in the knitted item... Check out Jack in his Packers' Hat I knit for him.

Pretty cute little guy, eh? Pretty sweet hat, eh? Pretty happy Jack and Hat, eh? I just might knit him another one next year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

One more for 2009 ~

Yippeeee! Another finished project for 2009! These are the socks for sweetie E, from the Sock Summit yarn and I've finally cast them off tonight.

Not in time to wrap them up for an "under the tree surprise" for Christmas, but still done in 2009, so that is good news for all. They turned out very nicely, although pooling and zig zags, but sweetie E loves them just the same as if they were perfectly striped or patterned in a logic way....

Plus, I think sweetie E is very pleased, as these are the first socks I've knit for her...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Fighting with a vim ~

We were watching Michigan State basketball today. Such a close game.

Such a great game to watch ~ tied for most of it seemed, then up by 2 and down by 2... still able to knit the ribbing on these socks... I'm making progress on them...bit by bit...

then Michigan State lost.... to Texas... ug.... Come On Spartans!!!!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Skating ~

We have been having a delightful holiday while not being at school or working. Here we are skating with our girls and their friends.

Nice knitted hat & sweater, eh? I do love checking out all the knitted items twirling around the skating rink...We all had a blast and lots of laughs.

Olympics, here we come!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays ~

May all your good wishes come true, may you have lots of great friends, may your family be healthy and close in hearts and spirit, may you count all your blessings...

...and may all your hats be fair isle and alpaca.... Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

All I want for Christmas ~

I've asked Santa for yarn, yarn store gift cards, knitting books...All Things Yarn. I've asked Santa for only this for several years now. I saw this bag in my house...

It is from my local yarn shop... Cultured Purls...I have high hopes that it might be for me...
Please, Santa, please.....

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Tea ~

We had a delightful neighborhood tea today. Virginia had five of the neighborhood ladies over and we sipped wonderful mint tea and Lady Earl Grey tea out of dainty hand painted cups from England.

We ate little finger sandwiches, crab pastries, raspberry tarts, chocolate truffles and mini-pineapple upside down cakes.

We used silver serving dishes and silver tongs, and Virginia wore a vintage black velvet dress with beaded shoulders and yoke. It was a perfect way to relax with friends this afternoon ~ a wonderful Christmas tradition....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Beginning a blanket ~

I know what you're thinking....

What are you thinking?
Didn't you just cast off your mum's blanket?
Are you ready to be committed to another blanket?
Starting a project like this so close to Christmas?
What about the Christmas gifts you're knitting?

It would appear that I've cast on for a baby blanket, for our dear friends that were married a few summers ago here. They are expecting their first child in July ~ how exciting! I just couldn't resist casting on....(really now, be honest, could you resist?)

My fingers and eyes were getting a wee bit tired of knitting socks tonight, so I cast on with size 11 needles. I'm using Comfort Bulky, and the pattern Zig and Zag Pram Blanket by Debbie Orr and have only knit a few rows. Very nontraditional yarn colors for a baby, but I like them since they are bright and happy....Joy, Joy, Joy.....
I'm really excited to try this new pattern as it has a stitch pattern that is new to me....I'll keep you posted on my success.... (now, back to knitting those socks for Christmas...)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ankle bone connected to...

Yes, the ankle bone is connected to the heel bone... and I've made great progress on these socks of sweet E!

I gave myself a reward of knitting this evening after working very hard today on wrapping a small mountain of gifts.

So I'm about an inch (or more) into the ribbing of the cuff.

Modeled here by sweetie H.... very nice, indeed! Always give yourself a knitting reward if you've been working hard!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Heel Turn #2 ~

Wow, we are making progress on these socks now! Tonight was the second heel turn, and they are looking great.

We are celebrating our vacation time away from school and work now, so I had to get some knitting in tonight to celebrate.

I am planning on much more knitting over the vacation holiday! How about you?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Heritage day ~

This could also be called, "Why I didn't knit tonight" but I thought I'd lead with a positive statement of am I doing so far? The 6th graders are celebrating Heritage Week this week, and on Friday they are all bringing in food from their countries. Sweetie E picked Finland, since her dad is Finnish. So today we are making Nisu for her class project. Nisu is Finnish sweet yeast bread with cardamon spice within ~ extremely wonderful bread. I'm not sure why I am helping her, as I am not Finnish, however I do make great bread... (of course I know why I am helping her!!)

and we had the picture below, you can see my mum's wonderful bread bowl that works like a charm! It is a 'real' bread bowl with that beautiful brown stripe...

some laughs as well....hey, check out her apron, as I made it years ago when I was a quilter....

yummy, I can almost smell the fresh baked bread!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Creche Nativity ~

At a neighborhood holiday party this weekend, I had the most delightful jolt back through time. As I was standing at their fireplace getting our picture taken by the host, I saw a most amazing part of my past hanging on the wall of their entry way. It was a creche nativity scene made out of felt, almost exactly like the one my mum had made for our family 100 years ago, or, perhaps it was just 40 years ago?

I've only seen one other creche scene like this, and that is the one made by mum. What a delightfully small world sometimes! It was great fun to talk to the party hostess about making this creche scene with her mother many many years ago ~ cutting out the felt, sewing on the sequins and beads and lining up the scene just perfectly. I love holiday traditions!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wine and cheeseheads ~

I like white sweet wine, not red or dry white. It has to be sweet for my taste. Imagine my surprise when my guy says he has a special bottle of white wine for me, as a Christmas gift, and it looks like this.

Yes, you do see a mini-cheesehead on the top of this wine bottle. How fun and funny is this! It comes from a winery in Wisconsin, Chateau St. Croix at this link Here are other cheeseheads that are more normal to see (that is, of course, if seeing a cheesehead is normal.)

Cheesehead and Child..

Cheesehead and dog... Go Packers ~ they are in the race for the wildcard!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Heel Turn #1 ~

What a difference it makes to have some uninterrupted time for knitting! (yes, you ask, what is that like these days?) I was able to turn the first heel on sweetie E's sock summit socks while relaxing in front of the Christmas tree last night.

Although the Christmas tree has 'only' lights on it ~ no decorations ~ I decided to relax anyway, as 'tis the season for Joy Joy Joy.....and I needed a bit of knitting time for my Joy!

The netting you see is the 'yarn bra' that keeps the yarn from tangling with the other ball ~ while I'm knitting one heel turn, the other ball is put in the other sock to keep it out of the way, another tip from Queen Kahuna! I hope you are taking some time for knitting joy this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday buzz ~

The packages from on line Santa are arriving and our Shadow seems to be checking out each one as it arrives.

I'm not sure what Shadow is checking for, but she sits on each one, and appears very relaxed...perhaps she would like these to remain as our door mat?

Here are some other packages that need attention, when no one else is at home ~ peeking....

Here is Bennie, still fascinated by our tree....

the holidays are in full buzz....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Heel Turn Time ~

I'm finally getting to knit on sweetie E's Sock Summit socks. I've started knitting on the first heel turn and all is going well. How wonderful to be working on a little project after having mum's large blanket in my lap for all those weeks. I'm sure I will miss the blanket when the house gets cold!

Here's the heel turn beginning! You can see my Queen Kahuna book on my lap for reference...

Super deluxe to have more knitting projects! Never a dull knitting moment!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Those darn socks ~

My sweetie H had a bit of a crisis the other day as she wanted to wear her cozy warm yellow alpaca silk (Debbie Bliss) socks to school as it was below 20 degrees outside... and she ripped a small hole in the heel on the door sill... and she was she loves these socks. These socks were my birthday socks from a few years ago, as I always start a project on my birthday, so I can always refer to it as "my birthday socks" or "my birthday hat" although the last few years (2009 and 2008) have been "birthday socks" and they are always a great way to celebrate my birthday all year.

I've never darned a sock, and now wished I would have asked Marion move details about her "darn it" class at Sock Summit... but I did not...

But, I think I did ok...even though there are no directions in my Knitters Companion (which was a sad surprise, as I thought everything was supposed to be in there!?) I would show you the final darning job, but sweetie H is wearing them that is good news!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Yarn Yoga projects ~

There were other great knitting projects in progress at Yarn Yoga this month. A lovely sparkly scarf on oh-so-smooth rosewood needles...

The "other blanket" on oh-so-smooth rosewood needles... (a theme here?)

Here, with our little Cougar fan.....

A lovely scarf that has such beautiful yarn that I didn't notice the needles ~ I love those deep blues and greens and it is oh-so-soft yarn too.... lovely, and a gift for this month ~ knit knit knit on!!!

Did I mention we also celebrated a December birthday! Hurrah!!

We had a blast ~ thanks again to Sue for being such a great hostess and letting us stay until the wee hours!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sprint to the finish ~

With some cheering from my dearest Yarn Yoga friends, I dug in and knit knit knit until the final stitch was cast off....yes.....Cast Off.....Yes.....Cast Off in early December.....

Here is our little Cougar Mascot, as our Yarn Yoga Holiday Hostess Extraordinaire is a Washington State Cougar... he was very supportive while I finished the last rows and moved into Casting Off....
Which means I can wrap this up and send to mum for Christmas! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Holiday Yarn Yoga ~

I am blessed to have the greatest group of friends, and double bonus that they knit as well. We try to meet once a month for "Yarn Yoga" and we gather and knit knit knit, and talk about projects and new yarn and great ideas. The "yoga" part of the monthly event is when one of us (or more than one sometimes) is winding new yarn and it needs more than one of us to untangle it through a series of stretching and twisting and moving and swooping and sliding....that often resembles untangles the yarn which is calming as well.... There was just a little bit of yoga this time, and lots of Finished Projects such as....(drum roll please)

The Mobeius (not sure how spell check will handle that one) of 100% natural alpaca....this received a standing ovation, plus a few awards from the crowd. It is stunning....Hurrah to Debi!

The Lacy Scarf on size bazillion needles ~ incredible that such honking needles can produce such a lacy feast of fibre...beautiful beautiful beautiful ~ we are all thinking about knitting one of these....who gets those needles next?

P.S. The creative force behind this piece of lacy goodness is our amazing Holiday Hostess. She has been voted in as Annual December Yarn Yoga Hostess ~ we had a delightful time! Thanks Sue!