Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Christmas loot

We had a wonderful holiday. We visited with family and good friends. We ate and drank (some, not a lot) and had a great time. Snow falling would have made it prettier, but not better.

I received a new soft buddy to sleep with. This is a tradition with my husband and I think he considers it a challenge to find the softest stuffed animal in the stores.  Meet Lars. He's going to have a matching hat knitted for him soon, I think.

 Steve and Cheryl know that I love turtles. This watering can will make me smile every time I use it.
 This beautiful pice of fused glass is a lovely necklace.
 This was my one knitting gift and a total surprise from younger son and his partner.
 I had asked for a wireless mouse because I have grown to detest the tangle of wires on my desk. Now I have one for home and one for work. I am very pleased.

 I received 2 pair of earrings and I love them both. Both are at least partly purple and that pleases me a lot, too.
 Batter bowl. I have been wanting one for several years and Chris found it for me in ceramic rather than the plastic that is common but not as sturdy or nice to look at. I made pancakes for the family on  Christmas morning. ; )
  Isn't this a pretty tree ornament? I love the colors and  shapes of a peacock feather and this adds the sequins and bird shape to make it work on the tree. I might have to look for teal lights and silver balls for next year .....
This is Bob's sweater. It is a texture pattern similar to one he had previously that he really liked. So far he likes it but it's hard for him to see, so he needs more patterning to be sure. It's actually further along than this now.

 My current spinning. It's a fiber that I over dyed this past summer. I plan to ply it with the Gulf Coast Native that I have been spinning on my wheel for a three ply for a special Ravelry project. )That's for another post.)
I also got a diz and fiber puller in purple heart wood but didn't get a good picture today. I'll try again in the sunshine.

I love the care and thought that went into choosing these gifts. People really got into finding things that people really wanted since money was so tight. No one wanted to "waste" money on something the recipient didn't really like. I like it this way.

I hope you all had a good Christmas.

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's almost Christmas!

I've been here, doing fine, just busy. Most everyone is at this time of year. I've been doing a lot of catch up at work and have things pretty well under control. My goal is to have everything up to date and organized by the second week of January, and I am well on the way.

The house is messy but decorations are up and the gifts are wrapped. DH does the food thing for the holidays and he has that under control. Later today and tomorrow will be a massive cleaning and putting away effort but it will be done in plenty of time and I'll watch the Ravens beat the Browns while doing it. ; )

I started Bob's sweater. It's a texture pattern - 5 blocks each of seed stitch, stockinette, reverse, stockinette and stockinette again, offset by 10 stitches for the next blocks. I think he'll like it and it's not bad to knit. I am knitting in the round and using stitch markers to separate the pattern repeats to make it a more auto-pilot kind of knitting. Round and round I go .....

The baby sweater needs about 1.5 inches of sleeve and some buttons. I haven't knitted on it in weeks. Laziness.

I am waiting for crochet hooks in tiny sizes to arrive. I started the knit the jeweled cowl, chose my yarn and beads and the beads don't fit on the crochet hooks I have at home   : ( 
I placed and order for a 0.5 mm, 0.75 mm and 0.85 mm hooks. If those don't work I have to exchange the beads I have and that would not please me. Here's a picture of someone else's jeweled cowl. I love the beads but I also love the fact that the beads are only in a small section of the cowl. I think that makes it more versatile. 

I am still trying to finish the Honka scarf. Concentration is not my thing lately, especially late in the evening when I get to sit and knit. Hopefully over this holiday weekend I can get more of that knitting done. I am still plugging away on  the SKYP sock, too. I want to get past the heel (cuff down) and then plan to work harder on the Riff sock for Rob, too. I won't allow myself to knit on socks for me until these are finished. (gritting teeth) I have plans for my socks for this year, including a pair of Baltimore Ravens  socks.

Happy Holidays and peace to all.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shaelyn Finished!

I bound off last night! I still have to weave in a few ends (not many) and block, but the kitting is complete and I love it. I am just not sure whether it will be mine or a gift to someone, but I love it anyway.

I cast on Rob's second Riff sock, blocked Brian's binary cable scarf, blocked the swatch for Bob's next sweater and knitted a bit on Brian's SKYP sock (the second). I didn't get any knitting done on the Honka scarf but I hope to do some of that this week.

I prepped and spun more of the pine green fiber that I started last week for the Ravelry challenge. I think that one more spinning session will give me enough of the main color. I can then spin some of the roving for the 3rd ply of my 3 ply piney yarn. I have fiber coming that will be blended for the sky colors in the painting, and I will use some of my brown BFL for the tree trunks.

The blue spruce tree in the back yard has been lit up for the first time for Christmas. We talk about it every year but it never gets done. This year we seem to be getting to things that we haven't in past years. Maybe it's the warmer weather making us less reluctant to be outdoors doing things that you can't wear gloves to do. ; )

Most of the Christmas gifts have been wrapped and are under the tree - that's a first, too.  I have a few things on order, and a few more things that I have that go into gift bags rather than boxes with wrapping paper. I have not yet written out cards, though. Bad girl.

I am trying to hit the right balance between being active and productive and also giving my back the care that it requires right now. I was in pain most of the weekend because I got impatient and moved some heavy things by myself. Grrr.... When will I learn?!   Thank goodness for ibuprofen!

Friday, December 09, 2011

Not much to report

Why am I writing a post if I have not much to say? Because I feel like I should so that the one or two people who actually read my blog know that I am alive.

Do you remember Shaelyn? I finally decided to buy another skein of yarn and make it bigger. As soon as I decided on that plan of action., I bought the yarn and resumed knitting. That was obviously a sign that I felt that I made a good choice. The shawl sat untouched at the foot of my bed for quite a while before that, and at any time I could have ripped back and bound off.  But I didn't do that. I apparently didn't realize that I had made a decision to buy more yarn. ; )   I knitted the last of the stockinette sections last night and will be starting the lace edging this weekend.

I did a bit of spinning sampling the other night for a Ravelry challenge that I am playing with. That was fun.  I am pleased to discover that the Gulf Coast fiber that I had dyed because it had a yellow stain on it actually came out looking good and I will be happy to make something with it. The color variations look good in the singles, at least, and I think it will be better as a plied yarn. It's a sort of deep pine green with some lighter and darker spots.

 This is a mystery wool that I over dyed because I didn't like the original colors. It will be plied with the above Gulf Coast fiber.
I hope to fit in some fiber playing time this weekend. I am actually hoping to do more spinning than knitting over the next few weeks. I have been bitten by the spinning bug again. I'll finish projects on the needles now but I am planning for more spinning for a few weeks.

Oh, I hope to post pictures of the finished Darkside cowl that I am knitting with my pansy purple polwarth handspun this weekend. It will be finished soon. It's soooo soft! I LOVE it.

That's it. Have a great weekend. Enjoy the holiday preparations.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Various and Sundry

Well. The outside of the house is decorated for the holiday.

Most of the holiday gift shopping is completed. (no wrapping yet).

I baked cookies for the first time in over a year. Yum.

I finished knitting the coordinating scarf to go with the Binary Cable hat for Brian.

I finished the skirt of the baby sweater and need to work on the sleeves.

I started to knit the Darkside Cowl with my pansy purple handspun (just because it was so pretty and soft that I couldn't resist).

I hurt my back on Friday and spent most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday in bed or on the couch resting it. (It is entirely possible to knit while flat on your back in bed, BTW)

We have a tree and a wreath, but neither one is up yet.

We have a brand new refrigerator and it is huge! I love the fact that I don't have to get on my knees to get a can of soda. (top fridge, bottom freezer).

I wore my fibonacci sideways knitted vest on Friday. It looked good.

It's Monday and I made it to work. I am not sure how long my back will let me stay, but I am here.

No posed photos of Rob in his sweater due to my back spasms.

Despite the fact that my fiber stash is starting to take up more space than my yarn stash, and I have 2 washed but not prepped fleeces at home, I am craving a fresh fleece. I just don't get it! So far I have managed to resist, but I'm not sure how long I can be strong ....

We are going to visit Mom in NY next weekend. ; )  Haven't seen her since September, so this is very good.