November 2007


Thirteen Things I need to do this week to prepare for Christmas!

1. Put up the tree!

Now that it’s just my husband and I, I’m the one that puts up the tree because he’s not all that in to decorating. I use a fake tree, which works well for me because I never have to worry about it being to heavy to heft in by myself! I’ll get the lights up on the tree the same day.

2. Finish at least two gifts.

I knit…a LOT. I step it in to high gear during the holidays and I’ve got a huge queue of projects. This week I hope to finish a baby sweater for a friends daughter and the other fair isle mitten for my mother in law!

3. Begin my ornament challenge!

I lost about two-thirds of my christmas ornaments year before last when my storage system failed and water damage ate everything. I’m challenging myself to make at least 24 ornaments this year, from the 1st of December ’til the 24th. Wish me luck!

4. Bake!

Or more like begin preparations to bake. I need to start stocking up again since my baking supplies always take a blow during Thanksgiving! Chocolate chips, peanut butter and the requisite flour and sugar are low.

5. Start planning my shopping excursions.

I know, a lot of people are already finished! Every year I plan to start early and every year I’m left planning at the beginning of December. Luckily, I hand-craft most of my gifts and my list for buying is pretty small but it still warrants some consideration!

6. Cards!

I’d like to make a few holiday cards for my closest friends and family this week. I only need about a dozen, the rest can be store-bought. I’m thinking something white, with shades of blue, origami or snowflakes 🙂

7. Cleaning!

I’m doing some deep cleaning to get in to the holiday spirit. The cleaner my house is, the happier I am and the more I can enjoy what I’ve already decorated. Floor scrubbing is in my future!

8. Me time.

I need to remember to take a break and relax every now and again. If I don’t remind myself I don’t and then I wonder why I’m so stressed out and grumpy!

9. Get in Touch.

Sometimes I get so busy during this time I forget what it’s all about. I need to make a point to get in touch with a couple of close friends and see if we can spend some time together.

10. Blog!

Busy is the biggest theme here, isn’t it? When I get busy I forget about my blog. This makes me sad because I ENJOY blogging and i don’t like falling out of touch with the few bloggers that actually visit!

11. Decorate my blog!

I’ve been meaning to do this for the past week, but I’ll definitely get to it this coming week. I really really love Christmas and I want my blog to reflect that.

12. One-on-One.

I want to spend a night or two just hanging out with my hubby. A lot of times we’re both tired when he gets home from work and I’ll knit and stay on the computer while he’s zoning on the couch watching TV. This week I want to you know, actually interact with him! We always have a blast when we play board games/video games together so I think some popcorn, a game and some snuggly clothes are in order!

13. Take notice.

I want to enjoy seeing the holiday take hold. Go out to see some of the lights the early-birds have put out, check out one of the parades that’ll be held down-town. Get a picture or two of the cute little banners the city puts up on the light posts.

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I finally finished Paul’s handmade Christmas present! 

He loves all things Transformers and when I found this pattern I couldn’t pass it up!  I’m fairly new to stranded/fair isle work, having only done two or three projects.  This was a pretty big one…literally and figuratively!  It came out pretty large and now that I’m finished I know I would change the gauge and yarn I used for it.  I’m still pretty pleased with the results though and I know he’ll love it.  I’m thinking about getting him the movie and tucking it into the hat when I wrap it.  Pattern is here.  (pdf file)

A super big thank you to Jenn from Enjoying the Ride for the sweet blog award.  She made it herself and I think it’s adorable! 

I used to do a lot of graphic stuff in paint shop pro, but I haven’t in ages.  I think I may have to make a Christmassy header for my blog now that I’ve been inspired! 

Oh, one more thing since I forgot to ask on my last post.  If you’ve got an ornament pattern that you’d like to share with me to kick start my ornament making, please leave me a comment and let me know!  It doesn’t matter what the medium, I’ve got the crafting thing down so pretty much everything is a go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t have much time, but wanted to come post really quick since it’s been almost a week.

Happy belated Thanksgiving to all!  Last week was a blur of Snickerdoodles and preparation.  On Tuesday I made about 300 or so cookies.  Yeah..insane.  I can’t GIVE them away quick enough.  There’s currently a gallon jar and a container that holds 15 pounds of flour left.  Crazy.

On Thanksgiving we went to my parents house.  We deviated from the norm and had baby back ribs and barbeque chicken.  Not really my thing because I really love traditional, but I was out-voted.  Even though it wasn’t turkey though it was really good.  My mom makes this barbeque sauce that is really great…I’ll have to get the recipe!

This whole weekend has gone by in a blur.  Paul and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning on Friday and Saturday to play video games.  We rented Super Mario Galaxy (which is really really fun and a total trip to play!) and we bought Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles on Wednesday.  It’s a lot of fun but not quite what we expected.  I still foresee many nights of zombie killings though.  I’ve also been doing a TON of knitting.  I’ve got Paul’s Transformers toque about done and I’m almost done with two sweater fronts for a friends’ girls.  I had a duh moment and left one of them at my mom’s house on Thanksgiving but Paul should be about there to pick it up for me.

Anyway, I’m on a mad dash to clean the kitchen and living room.  I promised myself that I would start decorating for Christmas tomorrow.  I’ll be the only one to enjoy it since it’s not really Paul’s thing, but I figure I’m worth it.

One other thing.  Year before last I lost a lot of my Christmas stuff.  Ornaments, my tree skirt, lights, paper, etc.  Without getting to much in to it I’ll just say that my storage system did NOT work as planned and everything sustained water damage.  I’m going to make it a point this year, no matter how busy I am, to make at least one decoration per day.  Whether it be clay, knit, crochet, paper, I’m taking on a personal challenge to attain at least 24 Christmas decorations.  I think it’ll be pretty hard but I’m looking forward to the challenge and it will help me recoup some of my loss.  I spent too much time last year agonizing over all my heirlooms so this year I’m going to make new ones.

Okay, I really need to get going.  Books and movies and games are not going to organize themselves.

Happy Monday!

Well…hopefully it’s happy lol.

My plans of spending the entire weekend working on my Oblique went completely out the window.  I’m not sure why, but it seems I’m incapable of working on something for myself when I have even one other project in the works for someone else.  Seeing as how I’ve got three or four Christmas projects going, my intricate and lacy cardi for myself sat lonely and ignored. 

Hmmphhh.

I’ve found a new (to me) favorite dishcloth to knit.  The ballband dishcloth is interesting, fun to work on, beautiful when finished and there’s no end of color combinations to use to make it look different every time.  Why hadn’t I bothered trying it before?!

How cool looking is that?!  I’m sure I’m probably one of the last people with internet access and knitting knowledge to make one of these.  Well, unless you have something against dishcloths.  I know I’m rambling, but I really love this pattern.  I just kind of watch in awe as the pattern starts to show as I’m working on it.  I have plans to make a BUNCH of these for myself when the holidays are over.  Any that I make before that are going to family and friends.

I’m about halfway into the second mitten for my mother in law.  I’ve always loved the Corazon mittens from Knitty.  I started a pair for myself last year and only made it through the first one.  It looked for a while like that was the fate of these mittens as well, but I started the second on Saturday.  I think the pattern may be cursed for me because I had to rip it out three times before I got five rounds in to the strand work!  The first time I didn’t change to larger needles, the second time I started the color work before I did the increase round and the third time I jumped ahead in the charted pattern.  Ugh!  I hate ripping stuff out, and if they’d been for me I’d probably have just tossed them across the room and left them there.

I’ve got about 10 rows of my husbands Transformers toque to go.  I worked on it last night while watching Teaching Mrs. Tingle.  Sigh…Katie Holmes used to be SO adorable.  Now she looks all zombified.  Anyways….I’m still debating whether I want to line the toque or not.  Paul runs super hot so I don’t know if stranded (=thick) and double thick is such a good idea. 

Meh.  Enough about the knitting.

I’ve been wanting to bake cookies for a couple of weeks now.  I had Paul pick up brown sugar, chocolate chips, extra sugar and flour, more eggs.  Now I kinda have to! (Well, that’s my excuse anyways)  The first cookies I HAVE to make are Snickerdoodles.  Paul loves them to death and always complains that I never make them often enough.  There’s a very very large batch in the works. (I could take ’em or leave ’em!)  I’m also going to do chocolate chip, oatmeal, meringues (maybe) and I’m probably going to teach my mother in law how to make sugar cookies.

Anyone have any favorite cookie recipes to share with me?  I’m feeling a little bored with the classics, but I’m rarely adventurous enough to go looking for recipes of cookies that I’ve never tried before.  So help me out! 

I’ve been feeling really listless the past few days.  I had a stomach ache from hell yesterday and didn’t realize it was from the highly acidic oranges I’ve been eating until my husband mentioned it.  Won’t be having any more of those!

I’m not working on any specific projects right now.  I started Oblique from Knitty but I need full concentration for it.  There’s five panels of different stitches on the back so I have to really pay attention.  Not really happening right now.  I started a scrappy afghan, just long strips of stockinette in random colors from my stash, broken up by a few rows of black in between.  It’s a good project for watching tv or surfing the net.  The Corazon mittens for my mother in law are still at the halfway mark.  I’ve heard of second-sock-syndrome, but mittens?  I guess it still applies.  The Transformers Toque for Paul has been languishing for a couple of days.  Oh, which reminds me…

Paul and I went to the Salvation Army on Friday.  We like to go in there to browse from time to time because it’s one of the biggest thrift stores in our area and there’s always neat little kitschy things there.  I found two 16 inch circulars for $1.25.  Why am I so thrilled?  Because around here you don’t find circulars that small unless you pay a pretty price at The Spinster.  I found them in size 2 and 3, which are what I like using the most for hats so that made me very happy.  I also found a Gap wool sweater in white/cream for $2.00 and there’s now about a pound or so of yarn sitting in cakes, waiting to be dyed.  I also found a copy of the Nanny Diaries, which I’ve been wanting to read but not pay full price for.  I’m about halfway through it and it’s pretty good!

Since I’m just jumping from topic to topic, I’ll keep going.  Well, sort of… I learned about recycling (or reclaiming) sweaters a couple of years ago.  There’s a lot of amazing fibers out there, but unless you’ve got a large budget it’s not always practical or affordable to spend $200 on enough yarn for a sweater.  I’d heard about recycling sweater yarn on a forum and decided to use my google-foo to find out more.  This is a good site to explain how to do it.  I like to stick to mainly worsted weight sweaters, single color, the larger the better.  The Gap sweater I found was the perfect recycling project because of a few things. 

1.  100% Lambswool

2.  No serged seams.

3.  Worsted weight

4.  A color I liked/was dyeable

5.  Single color

It was a raglan, so I got four large balls with no breaks.  Good seams make unravelling SO easy.  Just start on the end where the seam would have been finished in the factory, snip the crochet-looking chain and if you’re lucky you can “unzip” it all the way down with no breaks.  Once you have your pieces seperated, unravel the bind-off edge and just start pulling.  I use my ball winder and once the entire piece is wound, I pull the end out and re-ball it.  I do this because when I first ball it straight from the sweater piece it can be pretty tight.  You don’t want to leave your yarn in such a stressed state because it can pull it out of shape and cause gauge problems later on.

One of these days I’d like to make my own tutorial with lots of pictures.  I kind of want to do it now, but I know I’d get halfway through all the pictures and give up.  I’m that discombobulated.  Yucky.

I’m just going to go play around on Ravelry, drink my nut toffee coffee and hope that I’ve waved this fog away enough to get some housecleaning done later this morning.

I decided to make some cookies to go with my coffee this morning.  Crocheted ones of course!  A few days ago I posted a video that someone had done for YouTube on how to make cute little fortune cookies out of crocheted rounds.  I couldn’t pass it up, they’re adorable!

These are made in chenille yarn reclaimed from a sweater I bought at a thrift store.  I’ve had it in my stash for a couple of years now and had no idea what to make with it because it’s thinner in some places and there’s no such thing as stitch definition with this stuff.  I’m glad I finally found something to use it on!  Best part is that the color brings to mind perfectly toasted (but not burnt) fortune cookies!

I used an H hook and just did five rounds, increasing every stitch first round, every other stitch second round, every three stitches third row, so on and etc.  I can see doing a super giant fortune cookie and actually putting small toys or candies in it.  Or a face on it.  A big cute anime-eyed face.  I dunno…I could go on and on about these.

Gutter decided last night that there was absolutely NO other place that could cushion his old regal butt except one of my yarn stash totes.  He barely tolerated me taking his picture but in the end decided that he couldn’t be bothered to move so he could maul me.

Thirteen random songs on my MP3 player

1. Harder to Breathe – Maroon 5 – Songs about Jane

2. Streets of Laredo – Johnny Cash – American IV

3. Falling – Staind – Chapter V

4. I Believe in Rock & Roll – Twisted Sister – Come Out and Play

5. Fortune Faded – The Red Hot Chili Peppers – Greatest Hits

6. Good Times – Ozzy Osbourne – Prince of Darkness Disc 4

7. Candlebright – Stevie Nicks – Trouble in Shangri-la

8. Because I Got High – Afroman – Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

9. Shine Down – Godsmack – IV

10. Burn – The Cure – The Crow

11. The Day the Talkies Came – Queen – Pre Ordained

12. Truce – Dresden Dolls – The Dresden Dolls

13. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd – Shine On Disc 7

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