Sunday, December 30, 2007

My New Year's Resolutions

For the knitting blog, knitting! The following picture is the first bear sweater with a finished little girl’s sock:



Somehow when I started working on the sock again, I found that I liked knitting them toe up. Sometime last summer I announced here that I just didn’t like doing it that way. I won’t be giving up top down any time soon. Best of all, I learned to graft off at the top. I may fulfill my 5 new techniques for 2007 after all.

My second picture is a book I got for Christmas. I love used books. When I told my pal Hillary that I would really like some poetry for Christmas, I let her know that used books are very desirable. They aren’t someone else’s junk. They are Vintage Treasures. I really like Byron’s poetry. It seems like many people are fascinated by his racy lifestyle these days. Me, I’m interested in the poetry.



How about my New Year’s resolutions? Here they are:

  • Read more
  • Make a toy every month
  • Knit a pair of socks every month
  • Keep on my workout
  • Plan our meals every week

I didn’t do terribly well on my resolutions last year. I did improve my sewing, but my spinning hasn’t gotten any better. I didn’t knit a pair of socks every month and I didn’t drink green tea every day. However, I do expect to have learned 5 new techniques by bedtime tonight. Not all is lost. I make new resolutions for myself pretty often and break them like crazy. Do any of you have New Year’s resolutions?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Snow!

There hasn’t been much sun lately, so I haven't taken pictures of any knitting yet or any of the fun gift I got. It isn’t a craft related gift, just something I wanted to share. I did get this picture today when the sun was shining:



It is an old sign that my husband’s grandfather had laying in his tractor shed. Our property is part of what was once a large ranch. It has nearly all been sold out of the family now.

Tomorrow I am going to post about my New Year’s resolutions. Part of my resolution keeping plan was joining in the National Body Challenge. Hopefully it will help keep me motivated when my enthusiasm for my workout begins to wane. Earlier this month I also restarted my failed President’s Fitness Challenge. Before I had kids, I had no problem keeping with my workout. None. Since then, nothing but troubles. Kids really do change your life SO much.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

So Sleepy....

I am so tired. We went to a family Christmas party and I wrapped presents when we got home. At least I’m not knitting on anything furiously, trying to get it done for Christmas. Instead, I am trying to finish up some small projects I have laying around. I will feel a lot better about my knitting when I have all my needles free of yarn.

I’ve also kept up with sewing up some small things for the feel goodness of it. I made the kids aprons and baby doll blankets for Christmas. I have also been going to sleep on the couch every night this past week. Almost religiously. Brent will say ‘How can you stay up this late?’ when I finally get to bed. I then mumble something about being asleep for the past hour and a half on the couch. I should just give up the idea that I will watch a little tv and then go to bed.

A few weeks ago I thought I would be helpful and make my husband a list of things he could get me for Christmas. He took it and bought everything on it. So he says, anyway. I have no doubt he did, because the other day he told me we needed to stop by a store in another town because the one in our town didn’t have something on the list. Obviously, I need to have more extravagant tastes. He also bought me some John Wayne movies that we already own. I know this because he was trying to wrestle them from me while my brother was asking me which ones we already have today. That was probably the surprise gift. I have a feeling that this is the way many men operate. I can see why. If their S.O. gives them a list of things, how can they go wrong? She wouldn’t put it on the list if she didn’t like it AND want it. I know I am not alone in missing the surprise value of getting a gift. But, on the up side, I really can’t remember what all I put on that list I gave him!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Knitting Weather

I was going to post a picture of a bear sweater today, but the weather was too gloomy for pictures. It has been rainy all day. Right now it is raining and blowing. Very unpleasant if you are outside. A great time to be indoors and knitting. And maybe eating cookies with a big cup of hot chocolate. I love weather like this if I get to be indoors.

Over the weekend, I sewed up an apron for myself. I made up the pattern myself, and it didn’t take long for me to decide what I didn’t like about it. They are addictive little things. I have half way decided I need to make some for the girls for Christmas. I’ve been sewing small instant gratification things lately. Aprons really fit the bill for that. Last week, I made doll clothes for a naked dolly we had here.

Tomorrow I have to do the last of the Christmas shopping. I can’t tell you how much I hate that. I will have to go in stores that will be crowded with people. The only parking will be far, far from the doors because we have to wait for Knitter #2 to be out of preschool before we go. But there is an upside. We are meeting Grandma for lunch and she is taking Knitter #2 home with her for a couple days. I can’t tell you how I dread the idea of NOT listening to constant fights over toys and who gets the best spot on the couch. Somehow, I will just have to survive it….

Friday, December 14, 2007

Little Red Dress


Is that little red dress cute or what? It is finewale corduroy that I bought this fall and forgot to sew up. I bought it to make the dress I made with it. Sometimes when you buy something and put it away, you end up making something different with the fabric. Especially if it is for a little kid. They can grow faster than sewing ambition can get projects done at times. Anyway, I love the fabric. Corduroy can be a real pain if it is the heavy stuff. This is so fine, it is barely corduroy. I’m thinking about getting some to make myself a big comfy shirt.

I don’t really have any knitting worth showing off, so how about some sugar cookies waiting to have icing poured on them? They were made to take to the Christmas program the dress was made for.



Last night was our first Christmas program ever. We have many, many more years of them. It is kind of hard to believe those horrible hours of labor were so long ago. Our oldest did NOT want to come out. She was 2 weeks late. After we ended up having a cesarean, I told everyone she was just like her dad on the couch. Cozy and warm. Too comfy to be bothered with going outside.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Crinkle and My Mixer

I seriously need to replace some light bulbs in our living room. It actually hurt my eyes trying to knit my black sweater last night:



Not much, but it is a start. The pattern has the sweater knit in lots of pieces. I am not going for that. I am knitting them together until I have to separate for the arms. I am also lengthening it a couple inches.

This is my ergonomic knitting needle with its less ergonomic friends:



And now for some action shots. People have told me how much use I will get out of my mixer and how they couldn’t wait to see what sort of things I whip up with it. Yesterday I made cookies:



Tonight, I made pizza dough:



Tomorrow I have plans for a little red dress AND cookies. I will not use the mixer for the little red dress.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Finished Project

The knitting is growing happier in these parts. I finished my Bloom wrap:



I need to weave in the ends and weave some ribbon through it. I need to find some large pieces of cardboard to make myself a blocking board. I just couldn’t stretch it enough on a towel to please myself. If I can get it blocked the way I like it, I might put an edging on it. Crochet never seems as stretchy as knitting, so I don’t think I would want to do the edging before blocking.

There aren’t any pictures yet, but I have started my long awaited Crinkle. I have wanted to make Crinkle for a very long time and bought the yarn last summer. It is in Rowan 39.

I have also discovered a new line of ergonomic knitting needles. I was very excited. They are called Smashed in the Door of a Jeep Liberty. I was excited that the needle wasn’t broken. However, it IS strangely a perfect fit in my hand. I am not going to attempt to make any more like it, though. Maybe I’ll get a picture of it to show you.

Last of all, I have my bird tree:



My grandma used to decorate some branches every Christmas with birds, elves, and tiny Christmas balls. She had a stand for them and my Dad or uncle would cut her some branches from a bush. Mine is an idea I got from the first patterns in Handknit Holidays. The little tree also now has a little star on top of it. The birds are my grandmothers. They are special little birds.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Knitting and Reading

I haven’t been doing too much knitting lately. Last week I couldn’t bring myself to knit because I had this long list of gifts to make and it made me not want to do anything. Last night I came to the decision that the Christmas Challenge is over. What got finished will be gifted. The things that aren’t finished will be gifted if I finish them in time for Christmas this year. For the rest of the year, I intend to work on things that I really, really want to knit. Things I’ve been wanting to knit. I’ve got a long list of those things, too.

I’ve also been thinking about resolutions for the new year. I guess they are resolutions. I want to read more over the next year. This past year I actually started and finished a book. It takes determination to start and finish a book when you have small children. Finding the time to read when you aren’t being constantly interrupted by them is a trial. Or getting up the nerve to tell them ‘go away, I am reading’. I can do that without guilt if Brent is home. Most of the reading I have done over the past 5 years has been children’s books. I love reading about history, and I intend to get a little done in the next year. Right now I am reading The Little Ice Age by Brian Fagan. Next I intend to read The Anglo-Saxon World: An Anthology. After that, who knows, but I have plenty just lying about. I have The Canterbury Tales tempting me for the past so many years on my nightstand. It and a volume of Victor Hugo have been holding up my alarm clock for FAR too long.

I will have to dig up the post where I announced my resolutions for this year to see how I did. Shameful, no doubt.