Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Memories for 2008 (in pictures with commentary)

I have to give the nod to CrazyAuntPurl for the idea to sprinkle my 2008 memory blog with pics of favorite folks and furries.

So far, my top memory for this last day of the 2008 is that I do not have to wait up tonight for fireworks. I just saw the celebration in Auckland, New Zealand this AM while they were shooting off fireworks to mark their midnight. Ain't technology grand?!

In May, I had my first official knitting class with students. It was lots of fun.

In June, I was in Georgia to see the Evil Elf meet Loopy in a yarn store before my folks and I began the road trip home with their new-to-them van.

At Bancroft Park in Old Colorado City, I joined a great group of knitters for Knit in Public Day. I plan to be there again this year. The official date for 2009 is June 13th.

Pedro and I spent many summer afternoons with our favorite neighbors and friends.

And I knit, and knit while I watched the Summer Olympics. In the end, I medaled with seven completed projects, or FOs, over the course of two weeks.

And Loopy and I went off to Taos in October for the Wool Festival where we met up with CatwithCats for a fun-filled weekend of fiber and critters and a huge Ravelry meetup.

And through all the good weather, we had a constant visitor that came for nuts and for Pedro to have his own entertainment in the front window.

And I knit and knit.

And then we cooked and cooked.

And, afterwards, we rested.

And through it all, I had the constant companionship of my bestest bud, Pedro.

He and I wish for you all the best things for the New Year! We will be starting tomorrow to build our memory bank for 2009, won't you join us?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Planning for the New Year

My goals list is just beginning for the new year. I usually have it all mapped out by now however, with all the Last Month of the Year hubbub, I am running behind schedule.

Years ago I gave up the whole resolution thing, I found it a was a way to set myself up to fail. Now I call it goals and work to show progress on those specific goals during the year. So, with that said, I present my goals for 2009:

  1. Schedule and teach two classes a month.

  2. Sell more items on my store.

  3. Design and submit four patterns to the knitting calendars for 2011.

  4. Attend Sock Summit 2009 in Portland.

  5. Have all holiday gift knitting finished by November 1st.

  6. Attend a knitting group once a month.

    I hope everyone has big plans and dreams for this New Year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

As Promised: The Knitted Gifts Gallery

After five months of concerted effort and diligent knitting I can present the holiday knitted gifts gallery. I started my planning in March with a list of folks for my holiday knit list. Then I reviewed patterns, chose the ones I wanted and shopped for yarn with specific people in mind. Once it was all gathered, I began knitting the small stuff first. Then life got in the way and I got slowed down.

By August I was re-evaluating my list and had joined Ravelympics. My plan was to get another batch of gifts finished and I managed to do that, seven projects finished in seventeen days.

I have knitted beaded hats and scarves** for all four nieces, plus hats and tudoras for the parents.

I also designed and created a nightcap** for the self-proclaimed oldest living elf in captivity. I am waiting for the report from him about how it works when he wears it to bed.

There are some gifts that failed to get photoed because of the last minute rush to get them finished and wrapped. And there are still a couple on my needles, plus the one for my mom that got wrapped as two skeins of sock yarn with a note - Let there be socks TBK - that will get started next week.

As you can imagine, I am working on my list for 2009 beginning this week. First I have to clean my knitting shelf so I can find the patterns I wanted to do for the 2009 Holiday season. And I have requests from the Evil Elf in Germany that there are needs for more knitted items for his family.

**The beaded hat/scarf and nightcap patterns will be available soon from my blog and linked to Ravelry for anyone who needs to treat the special people in their life to fun knits.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I hope your Christmas is filled with all the things that makes your life special!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve: It's Not Just for Shopping

For those of you who waited until the last minute to shop for gifts, I wish you good luck, lots of patience, and a relaxing evening afterwards.

I have spent my morning gathering the last of the items to transport to my folks house for this evening including my favorite sleigh buddy, Pedro. He loves to go to Gramma's house where he can snoop to his heart's content in a much larger house. It makes his Nascat racing longer and more fun.

As we got ready, he discovered that he has a Christmas stocking (a great gift from my co-worker) and he ripped open a gift from Florida that I will wear for Xmas Day. And I discovered some great recipes for a my quiet New Year's celebration in the New Mexico magazine.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas Eve Eve: News from My Elf Central

Since my "creature" was stirring, not chasing a mouse, but nowhere was safe for the wrapped gifts in my house.

I had to resort to a new gift holding bay, aka my laundry closet, to hold all the packages that were left to wrap for the big day.

The bandit succeeded to rip holes in the packages and sneak through the house to wreak havoc in my ribbon bag access.

He meowed not a word but went straight for the finished items and struck without warning, my reprimands gone unheard.

There is not much more entertainment than a cat after ribbon, even more hysterical when the holiday is looming. **

**I never told you I was a poet. I hope everyone is having a Holly Jolly Holiday Season!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And in My "Go" Section...

Today my sister and I went to meet our folks to attend the Christmas theater event at the Butte Opera House in Cripple Creek, staged by the Thin Air Theatre Company. This is first class theater in a beautiful mountain setting.

This year, I believe, is the best holiday play they have staged. As stated in the program it "is a re-imagining of the classic Christmas story, Miracle on 34th Street." It is set in Cripple Creek at the turn of the century with Teddy Roosevelt visiting the mining camps where he has an accident and becomes anmesiatic.

There are two villians in this melodrama, however one was booed on a more regular and heartfelt basis than the wicked widow. We must have known that she was redeemable.

The play was written by Chris Sorensen, who has been writing for the Cripple Creek stage since 2001, providing us with such original works as The Vampire of Cripple Creek, The Angel of the Christmas Mine, Frankenstein of Cripple Creek and another adapted Christmas classic, Cripple Creek Christmas Carol.

The play continues it run through a special performance on New Year's Eve. Tickets can be purchased online from the Butte Opera House website. Tickets are very reasonably priced at $11.75 for adults, $9.75 for adults and $7.75 for children 12 and under.

It is well worth the drive to Cripple Creek and the price of admission.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The "Piece de Resistance" of Last Minute Holiday Knits

This is the shining-moment piece of knitting for this season.

It is a nightcap for my dad. He mentioned that he has been wearing his beanies to bed on the cold nights and quoted the poem - "Ma in her kerchief and I in my cap". With that said, I went looking for a nightcap pattern to make him one for Christmas.

A pattern for this is not plentiful or popular. I did find a lovely one (far to fancy for regular wear for my dad) at It is worth looking at if you are interested. Then I found one that is reminiscent of The Christmas Carol and similar to the one you see Scrooge wearing. This one is plain and utilitarian, mostly what I was looking for.

Of course, it was designed for yarn I could not find, so I rewrote and knit this one as an experimental model. I hope that it will fit him. But, since the pattern was done in plain colored yarn, I decided on December 13th, when I was writing the new pattern, that it needed some dressing up. No pressure, let's design a fair isle snowflake pattern to add to it. I had it knit by the 17th, record time I think.

I am very excited for him to open this gift and try it on. There will be pics posted once that happens. I have plans to make him another one once I am certain that it fits the way it should.

I hope all of you have moments of shining accomplishment this year to reflect upon!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Final-Push Knits

This is it! The final push to get my gifts finished. As you see, there are still several skeins in the pile to be turned into some special for my recipients.

Loopy has been helping by sitting on my desk, reminding me that every minute counts. In that pile are four gifts so that is not as bad as it looks.

I have to admit that these projects are additions to the list I made last June in preparation for this Christmas. As promised, finished projects have been photoed and will be up on the blog on December 26th.

I hope everyone is to the enjoyment of the season point in their world!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Last Month of the Year

If anything can get in the way of deadline gift knitting, it will. That is Murphy's Law and I have tempted its limits this year so I am not surprised that it snuck in and presented itself in all its complicated glory.

It started right after Thanksgiving with Pedro getting so sick that I decided it was not going away on its own and had to take him to the vet. After all the tests and xrays he was pronounced with a bacterial infection and put on 3 weeks of antibiotics. The vet also said I needed to quit feeding him Purina and go to a higher grade dry food and add a once-a-day wet food feeding. Well, if Pedro thought he was king of the castle before, he knows it now.

I managed to continue knitting while this was going on, taking it with me to the vet and while I watched over him after he got home to make sure he was done heaving.

While this was going on I was experiencing an abscessed wisdom tooth and waiting for the infection to subside because most dentists will not work on you until then. So I was taking lots of OTC pain meds and plugging through each day at work and then knitting at night for as long as I could. I finally gave in and went to the dentist to find out that it was much worse than I imagined and required emergency oral surgery that hour if not sooner. I drove to the oral surgeon and he had me out within the next hour.

After that, all I could do was sit and knit, so that was the upside to that event. I actually finished two other gifts and designed and started a third while I worked from home the rest of that week. It was amazing what I could get done, in between naps, once I was not battling the pain 24/7. And, yes, the dentist and surgeon both scolded me royally for being stubborn and assured me that a couple more days of that I would have been dead. So I am most grateful to my neighbor who referred me to her dentist and to the oral surgeon who did such a great job and follow up with me. If anyone needs the names of these folks in Colorado Springs, let me know and I will get them to you.

Pedro and I have blown our Christmas wad but are grateful to be on the road to recovery. And grateful to our neighbors who have decorated their windows and trees so I can see them when I get home from work (in the dark). That is the other thing that got bypassed this year because I just ran out of time.

I hope your world is filled with twinkle lights, good health, family and friends!