Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Christmas Challenge

The Beast has returned! She didn’t get away with anything, though. She tried to tear some wire out, but it wouldn’t have done her any good. The ducks told on her and woke us up. My husband went out with a flashlight and discovered WHO and WHAT she is. She’s a Bobcat, not a fox. I say ’she’ because someone saw a female with babies around here. She ran away. Her bad habits may cost her, though. My husband is determined to do away with her.

I’ve been working away on my Christmas projects hoping to get some finished by Saturday. I won’t finish them all, but I didn’t really think I would. I am mostly done with the knitting. I have to rethink the sewing projects. Several gifts on the list are being replaced with different handcrafted items. I just can’t help it if I change my mind…

I had some picture taking to do today. There isn’t one work in progress on my Ravelry project page that has a picture. And I am currently violating my rule about how many projects I can have going at once. I still have high hopes of knitting myself another sweater before the year is out. Perhaps I should go knit. Before I do that, here is the first half of Bloom:



If I were only knitting on this, I would have finished it already. I love the pattern. The short rows make it fun and interesting. I love the way the Silver Thaw looks, too. The version on Knitty was made with a different Noro yarn in brighter colors, but I prefer the shades of blue, lavender and gray I am getting with this stuff. I think I am going to have some leftover, too.

Now I will go knit.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

My New Toy

I do not usually join in the Black Friday festivities. That said, I brought this beautiful machine home for just $200 yesterday.




We went into a local store to look at televisions. And there was MY mixer for $100 off! In red. I have longed for this mixer for so VERY long. I was saving money for a spinning wheel. I’ll have to start over again, but it is worth it. I love my new mixer.

After we got home yesterday, we spent the day over at my MIL’s house watching football. She wasn’t there, but the satellite was. I spent a lot of time knitting. I worked on this for most of the afternoon:



That picture was taken a few days ago. I am far beyond that point with the mitts now. That is the Bearfoot yarn I was showing here a few posts back.

These are the socks I was working on for my Dad.



There was quite a bit of yarn leftover because I was afraid of running out and shortened the leg of the socks. I have another ball that I am hoping to knit up for my husband for Christmas. I haven’t picked a pattern yet.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

I am going to give you all a list of the things that went wrong this week:

1. Our porch light burned out, and we’re out of bulbs. I can’t seem to remember to buy any when I am in town. Our yard light has been out for nearly a year. Dark times in the country.
2. I lost an entire pumpkin pie putting it in the oven last night. It all slid right down into the warming drawer. Yay.
3. I trudged out to the chicken coop at 9 pm last night with a flashlight looking for more eggs for another pumpkin pie…
4. Our tv quit. Replacement #1 was also quits. Replacement #2 has no sound and will show movies, but not television programming.
5. I burned my fingers at least twice today because I can’t seem to remember things are hot after I take them out of the oven.

In spite of all these little failures, our Thanksgiving was wonderful. I honestly can’t remember a holiday when I’ve had more things go wrong. In the end, the food was all wonderful. My fingers weren’t harmed, either.

And I have two new projects to share about. I don’t have pictures yet, but there isn’t much to see, anyway. I started some mitts from the Winter ‘06 IK. And last night in the heat of my stress, I decided to start Bloom from Knitty. There’s a link in the sidebar. Fortunately, I didn’t find the pattern and start it then. I was too tired to be doing something like that. I just wound the ball of yarn instead. The pattern was right where it was supposed to be this morning. I was just too tired to find it. Anyway, this is the yarn I am using for the mitts:



I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monkey Socks Yarn

I braved the ice cold breeze for the picture of this dress:



It is one I was going on about making before my computer went bad. I used the black to lengthen it and embroidered the leaves to fancy it up. We did an art project at preschool one day and I used the leaves that Knitter #2 and I made as the patterns. I traced them with a colored pencil.

And here is my prized yarn:



The reason it is prized is because I finally found something to suit my taste for Monkey socks. The only Monkeys that I have seen and really, really liked were done in shades of blue. I’ve been looking around for months to find a good candidate.

My goodness it is cold here. If it weren’t for the breeze, it probably wouldn’t feel all that cold. It is finally getting that time of year. Maybe the flies will GO AWAY now. I am sick of them. I don’t think I have ever missed summer and looked forward to winter all at the same time like this before. Winter is nearly upon us and I really need some warm gloves. I’m thinking of making myself the arm warmers from Weekend Knitting, too.

I am rows away from finishing some Christmas socks. Yay!!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Yarn Shop For Me

The fox hasn’t been back recently to visit our birds. Not that we know about, anyway. We’ve been keeping them all locked up at night so it can’t coordinate any more massacres.

I got some new yarn last week. I found the local yarn shop that I heard about on Ravelry. If it hadn’t been for Ravelry, I would have continued to drive by it on a regular basis without taking a second glance. Now I have a yarn shop to go to. I no longer have an excuse to be insanely jealous of all the people that have yarn shops near by. There is lots of fabulous yarn and I have only begun to discover their goodies. I couldn’t believe how soft Frog Tree Alpaca is. They had a room with yarn all over the floor and I was sure it was for people to roll in until the owner said she was sorting it…. I promise to take pictures of my new yarn and freshly finished objects tomorrow. Sun or no sun.

Does anyone out there know what sort of pattern would suit sari silk? I have wanted some for a long time and my new home away from home has some and…. I need something to make with it if I am going to buy some. I have heard it isn’t good for garments but works well for bags. I’m not sure I want to make a bag with it. I’m wondering how it might work for some fingerless mitts or gloves. Maybe I will have to spend some time online searching tomorrow. How punishing, I can make up for my online deficit I built up last week.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Where Have I BEEN?!

It is SO nice to have my computer back. It is very nice to be able to get online again. I have been more than a week without. Funny how we get dependent on our online world even if it is only 5 minutes some days. The power supply in my computer went out. Fortunately, I have a brother going to computer school. I don’t know what he is learning or exactly what he will be someday, but he can fix my computer. This is good. Heck, he even showed me how to get my ancient laptop online. It refused to make the connection with the phone line until he gave it a good hard stare. Or something.

Anyway, I did a lot of knitting and sewing over the past week or 2. I finished some stuff and will have pictures to show this week.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Return of The Beast

The Beast has been back. It tore some wire loose to get in. The vile thing killed 2 ducks and a chicken, eating part of one duck and leaving the others. It just killed them. When I found the grisly scene this morning, I felt like I had let my birds down. I told them I was sorry. Tonight we were able to herd the ducks into what we call The Cage. It’s where we keep the baby birds until they are big enough to go out with the rest of the flock. They will be safe in it. Brent is going to get a trap from his boss, Animal Killer Extraordinaire. If we catch The Beast, we will probably not kill it in the manner I would like to (beating to death with a blunt object). That would be morally wrong.

In nicer news, I did get one dress for the girls cut out today. I may not get to sewing it until Thursday. She should have a nice new dress to wear to school on Monday. I will cut out the other dress when I get the first one done. I’ve learned a little something about cutting out too many things at once. DON’T. Last summer I cut out 3 pairs of pants/shorts for myself and I still haven’t sewn up the last pair. I find that if I overwhelm myself with my sewing, I don’t want to work on it. I will do anything to avoid it.

The Cinchy Hat is going much better now. It is neither too large nor too small. I may actually finish it this week!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Troubles and My First Love

I’ve been having nothing but troubles. I’ve ripped the Cinchy Hat back twice now because of the gauge issue. First it was WAY too big. Then it was WAY too small. I am not ripping it back again. I did a little math after I measured for gauge last night. Hopefully this change will be the last one. How many times have we said we wouldn’t rip something out again? Yeah.

We lost more birds last week. This time I found evidence in the pen. It apparently likes chicken better than duck. Friday night and Saturday my husband fixed all the gaps in the roofline so the beast couldn’t get back in. So far, so good. When he built the roof over the pen, he left the very top open. It was easy access for the fox or bobcat. I think I mentioned recently that something had been killing our birds…

A while back I bought the Vogue book on cables (Stitchionary 2). I am not impressed with it as a resource for doing arans, but it has nice possibilities other wise. If you want a book for doing arans, go with Harmony Guides book. I’ve had it for years and think it is a great source. I think it is too bad that Vogue didn’t include the patterns shown at the fronts of the sections like the Nicky Epstein books do. There are some great looking sweaters pictured at the beginning of several sections of the Vogue book.

And how about the winter IK? It’s got some cool stuff. I always love texture stuff and it has a lot of that. And I love Kristin Nicholas, so I had read the interview first thing. She uses bright colors and embroidery on her knitting. What is NOT to love? Embroidery was my first craft love. I learned to crochet when I was 7 or 8 and to embroider at 9. I stuck with the embroidery for years. I want to do it a lot more, so I have some projects brewing in my head.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The Halloween Dresses and Baby Hats

It’s been busy times around here, but at least I’ve gotten some knitting done lately. There was sewing, too. That’s what I have to show you today:



These are the Halloween princess dresses. After they wore them I decided I was not impressed with the pattern. The dresses tend to slide right off them. I think next year we will go with something more fun. I like to sort of leave it up to them what they will be.

I’ve almost finished the hat and scarf set now. I have a couple stripes left on the hat and it will be done. I’m afraid it is going to be way too big for the recipient. The hat just looks terribly big. Like it might fit Brent. He has a big head and 11 year olds don’t really. I’m afraid to check my gauge. I’m not sure I did on the scarf. Usually, with scarves, it doesn’t matter. With most everything else, it does. Perhaps I could give it to one of my brothers if it is off gauge and way too big. I have a normal size head and I figure if it fits me, it should be ok for the person I’m making it for.

Rebecca left a comment asking me about hat sizes for small babies. My kids inherited their fathers giant head. (Sometimes c-sections are a blessing. Thank heavens I didn’t have push those big heads out.)The nurses had to hunt to find hats (large enough) to fit on them. I do wonder what is up with all the hat patterns for babies. As big as my kids’ heads were, the hats I made them were still way too big for them to wear. It is nice that the hats do eventually fit. I checked my books today and the smallest pattern I found was the one that drooped down to the chin of my youngest when she was born. I’m sure with all the baby hat patterns out there, some of them must actually fit newborns. I hope, anyway!