Thursday, December 31, 2009

Knitting and Movies - Way to Celebrate New Year's Eve - Back in 10

I started out my evening with a yummy Chinese dinner with the family. We really like the little restaurant in Woodland Park and tonight was yummy food as usual. The Missouri group is headed out for home tomorrow. It was great to see them even for a short visit.

Once I got home from dinner under the very full Blue Moon, I found warm lounge clothes and pulled out what I am going to do to celebrate New Year's Eve...

I am preparing for a quiet evening of movies and knitting. Not so different from any other evening, you say. Well, tonight is New Year's Eve and, and you are right, I am not doing a whole lot different. I probably will not even make it to the ball drop.

I have the first disc of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Season One in the DVD player and knitting on the needles...I am good to go.

Happy celebrations to everyone and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another Round of Christmas Festive-ness

More Christmas...bring it on!

I am the happy recipient of a fabulous Secret Santa gift from my other evil elf brother, Dan. It was wrapped up to look like a reindeer complete with reindeer poop. I think the wrapping elves at mom's house had way too much fun with this one. It was a shame to disassemble it to unwrap it.

It was full of wonderful purple yarn to make this sweater for me. I am looking forward to casting it on in the new year. It will become my new house project.

Other family members were present from Missouri and Colorado Springs to make the day extra special. My nieces to the left, sporting new hats. My nephews and one girlfriend in the middle and the evil elf being tormented, er.... helped by Mom to the right.
It was a really fun day to see all the gang. Dinner was wonderful with pork roast, trimmings and dessert of applesauce cake - my fave!

I hope everyone has prolonged the season to their best advantage~!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Prepping for the New Year

For the most part I have a really long list of things to do to get this New Year off to a good start. I sat down Christmas morning while the folks were still sleeping and wrote a list of everything I needed to prep for my upcoming classes. After two full pages I realized that I was going to busy during my week off from the dayjob.

And while I am busy sorting and gathering and reorganizing all the things I need for classes and projects, Pedro is watching intently from his relaxed, I-hope-momma-sits-down-soon-so-I-can-rest-on-her position near my chair. He is so helpful. :-)

I have making good progress and getting some knitting done besides.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful end to their year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Magic Glove Cheater Method

The beauty of a multi-day, spread-out-over-a-week, Christmas celebration is....I had more time to finish knitted gifts and crafts for the family in the second wave.

Now, mind you, this year I am starting my Xmas knitting in February with Ravelympics. Of course, with that said, the pressure is on to pick out the gifts and recipients now so I can have everything staged and ready to go when the flame at the 2010 Winter Olymics in Vancouver is lit.

But, all that is for the future and, today I am working on the last pieces of the gifts for my nieces and their mom from Missouri (already have my brother's gift done and wrapped). For the nieces I knit visor beanies and their mom I did a cowl.

Now I am working on the gloves that go with those three gifts. I did not have time to knit them so I cheated. I bought the famous magic gloves and raided my button box. These are fun and easy to create, with the added benefit of being warm and easy to slide into your pocket on the go.

I hope everyone if finding ways to extend their holiday season!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wee Woodsy Creature for the Tree

Korknisse...what in the world?

I did a little research before this post and discovered that the Nisse are from Scandanavian lore and protected the farms. The tradition is to leave out little treats for them at holiday time so they will continue to bring you good luck and protect your land.

I plan to make these for next year to send as package and tree decorations. They are a fun way to use up yarn scraps from all the knitting I did this year. The one shown is made, at the last minute Christmas morning at my parent's dining room table with a cup of coffee while everyone slept, from the leftover Cascade 220 brown tweed I used to knit Dad a hat.

If you are not a bottle wine drinker or, like my folks, that save their corks to make cork trivets, you can buy corks from some sellers at Etsy. I checked at Michael's and they do not sell wine style corks. You could also try a shop dedicated to wine making and brewing.

I hope everyone is having a peaceful and bright weekend!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you and yours a warm, fun-filled Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

T'was the Night Before Christmas...

and all through the house, Pedro is prowling, anticipating a mouse.

All the stockings are laid at the foot of the tree, in hopes that the big guy is not stuck in a snowbank in Tennessee.

I am still knitting, needles a flying, bet I can beat Rudolph off the line without trying.

Ma is busily beading her frothy knit and Pa is watching the latest delivery from Netflix.

All is quiet in our part of the world and we like it that way.

So we send wishes to you and yours for Warm, Safe, Happy Holidays with family and friends.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lights On Something

With all the knitting I have been doing to get it all done by the big day, I have not taken the time to clean house or decorate for the season. I had dug out the light strings with the idea that I would at least decorate the windows but did not get to it.

I decided this morning that I was out of time to worry about decorating fully but still wanted a little glitter in my house. So, I decorated my snowman.

Happy Holidays everyone, I hope you find a bit of glitter in your world this holiday season!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sock Peacock

This is the cutest display item for wee tiny socks I have seen yet. (Thank you, CatWithCats)

I took most of the wee tiny socks that I got from trading them at Sock Summit 2009 and some I received from participating in the wee tiny sock swaps at Ravelry. Now that he is set up with his feathers full of socks I am ready to join a swap again. That way I can change his look season to season.

There is one sock on him that I knit myself. It is the one in the back on the left hand side. It is the one I fast knit before I went to Sock Summit so I had one to wear as an identifier for the trip. I ran out of yarn about half way down the foot so knit the toe and finished it. I pinned a note to it that said "Ran Out of Sock Yarn, Off to Get More at the Sock Summit." That got noticed.

I hope everyone is finding fun, new things in their world!

Monday, December 21, 2009

On the Last Day of Fall

And, yesterday, on the last day of fall, Pedro was out in the warmish air investigating his bush and wondering where all the leaves have gone. He still thinks he can hide behind it when someone comes by. We are expecting much colder and snowier weather this week so he won't be out again for a while. We wish everyone warm feelings even if the weather is BRRR!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Tis the Season

And we are jolly. My neighbors are displaying their holiday spirit with lots of decorations. I am living vicariously through their efforts as I spend my precious time off knitting. I am on time and on track believe it or not. My goal is to be assembling on Wednesday night and actually knitting to finish something for me by Christmas Day. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I'm In!

I entered the lottery for the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling and I am IN. What a great Christmas prezzie for me. :-)

Over the last couple of years I have read blog posts about the Fling and the folks that have attended have raved about the experience. I can hardly wait to join them for the fun.

Now I have to figure what class I will take. Choices, choices, choices.......
I hope everyone has fun and unexpected gifts come to them this Holiday Season!~

Friday, December 18, 2009

Cowl Mania

Many cowls have been knit on my needles this week. I really like this pattern, Cowl'd and Frosty, and have 6 knit at this time. I have at least 2 or 3 more to do before the big day. Why do I like cowls? Because it does not have long tails to get caught in car doors, or to sit on and choke yourself while driving. They are easy to stick in a coat pocket, or drop in your purse or pack in your to-go bag.

I am making these out of Lion Brand Wool-Ease so they are machine washable. I had to adjust the pattern for worsted weight by casting on 81 stitches and using size 9 US circulars in a 16-inch length. The finished product is measuring out at 22-inch circumference and 7-inches long. They also will make a great headwarmer if you need one.

My next plan with this pattern is to try 71 stitches on 9s and knit an extra two or three repeats of the 15 row pattern to get a better head covering. It will be like an open end hat without the crown shaping. I am going to try that idea for one for me out of all the leftover yarn from these projects.

I have gotten two cowls out of a skein of Wool-Ease with some leftover. I am also going to be making a couple out of Cascade 220 to match visor beanies.

I hope everyone is enjoying the pre-season! Stay warm wherever you are!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tis the Season for the Gift Knits

I am working right along on my fast gift knits, in hopes of finishing the majority before the big day.

So far I am working on the ones that need to be gifted prior to Xmas Eve. Then I will work on the ones that can be opened on Xmas Day or after in the case of my family's multi-day celebration.

These cowls make great gifts, fit anyone, give warmth and pleasure as well as being machine washable.

For the sum total of 34 rows to knit, they are fast and easy for anyone that wants to learn or improve their circular knitting skills.

Next on my list are visor beanies that take a little longer to knit and assemble but are cute and fashionable for either the guy or gal on your gift list.

I hope everyone is putting the final touches on their holiday festivities!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Cutest Pocket Dog Ever

I realize you think this is not about knitting. You will be wrong. It is about what I do not have time to knit right now, however wanted my little nephew dog to be warm.

Mom and I found this little knit dog sweater at WalMart this weekend and knew that it was exactly the theme needed for my sister's little dog, Jackson. He is blind from an injury and going on 15 years old. I figured he needed a little fun in his wardrobe and needs to be warm.

He is a ball of fun and a wonderful companion. Now he is cuter than ever. Stay warm little pocket dog!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On the Go: One Tank Adventure with ZooLights

To celebrate Mom's birthday, Dad and I concocted a birthday weekend adventure that took us about 50 miles from home to the city of Pueblo.

Our first stop was the El Pueblo Museum located in the Historic Union District. The museum is small but will supplied with remnants of the diverse influx of pioneers and visionaries that knew this would become a melting pot created by the existence of the Santa Fe Trail, the railroad, the discovery of gold and the mountain men guiding new settlers through and to the region.

They even had a visiting doll collection that depicts actual history shaping women of the region. They were all beautifully depicted.

Then we were off to dinner at Red Lobster, yummy and back to our hotel to put on warmer clothing so we could go to the Pueblo Zoo to see the Electric Critters. Each holiday season the zoo puts out the light displays, pipe music through the zoo and have a hot chocolate station in the penguin house. There are over 250,000 lights throughout the zoo. It was lots of fun.

I hope everyone is having a fun-filled weekend!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Cold Weather Impetus

Cold weather brings out the serious knitter in me. When I start gathering up my woolen goods to put on myself you know it is cold outside. The interesting thing is I usually knit cold weather protection for other people as gifts. With that said, I own very little knitwear of my own that is for outdoor wear. So for now I rely on polar fleece items I have collected over the years.

This next year I will be working hard to correct that deficit. If you are a knitter or a friend of a knitter you need, at least, the following items for your own wear: soft, warm scarf; hat or wimple for head covering; fingerless handwarmers with mittens to cover; a cowl that can be worn indoors all day if you want to; felted slippers to wear when you come in out of the cold to relax; and a comfy, oversized sweater to lounge in.

Can anyone think of anything else? If you want a giggle, read the comment on A Sign of BRR where it mentions a sheepdog. I laughed heartily when I read it, I could just picture that scene in a movie. There is fodder for someone.

I hope everyone is staying warm and preparing for a wonderful holiday season!

Other Finished Items

I have other finished items ready for gifting. The most complex ones are the Spiraluscious pattern in cowl and handwarmers. I had to borrow some hands to demo the handwarmers because they don't look like much just laying on a blocking board. I hope they are well-liked where they are going.

Happy gift knitting to all!

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Sign of BRR

I have the smartest cat on the planet. He knows when cold weather has descended and makes every effort to have warm places to curl up in.

This is his favorite spot in the bedroom, atop my tallboy dresser. Currently his nest is made up of two pairs of sweatpants, a polar fleece blanket and a skirt that I wear over my pjs in the evening while I watch TV and a pair of polar fleece lounge pjs that need to go to the laundry but I cannot bring myself to disassemble the nest just yet.

Usually in the morning he joins me in the living room on his other fleece and wool nest but today he deemed it too cold to come out of his nest except to eat his breakfast and get a drink of water. He was all cozied down by the time I went to work. I expect he will be there all day. Who says animals are dumb?

I hope everyone is staying warm and happy!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

FO - Go Flight

The gray visored beanie has met its recipient and is getting ready for some fun travel adventures.

It looks great, is light, warm and ultimately packable. A good choice for the jetsetter in your life.

Look for the pattern here at Ravelry.

I hope everyone is having fun finding the best holiday gifts for the folks on your lists!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finished Object: Buttoned Shawl

I just put the finishing touches on the Buttoned Shawl that I knit for the shop sample for a class in January. It was inspired by one of the customers store bought wrap that she wants to learn how to knit. I knit it in stockinette with some garter edges and crocheted edging to try to control the roll that is common with stockinette.

It is knit with Red Heart Fleck in Claret (something carried in the shop) and the very fun buttons can be bought there as well. If I make another one I will doing it in a textured stitch and will be offering those options to my students in January. The pattern is like a blank canvas for using different stitch patterns. It will be fun to see the finished items that other create.

I hope everyone is finding fun ways to express their creative selves!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

FO - Spiral Bit O' Fun

IMG_3246, originally uploaded by anniemaude.

Finally finished and ready to go to its secret recipient. I hope she really likes these items. Currently they are still drying in my laundry closet where Little Loopy is keeping them company.

The pattern, Spiraluscious by Anne Hanson, was fun to knit, well-written and had both line-by-line and chart instructions.

I am on to the next immediate projects which are the visor beanie hats for more secret gifts. Those should go quickly. And I plan to decorate them with buttons like I did the gray one.

I hope everyone is making progress on all their holiday projects!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Days to Celebrate

So many fun days to celebrate, only 31 days to do it in. Welcome to December Days to Celebrate. Let's begin:

In December we can celebrate Read A New Book all month long.

December 1st brings us Eat A Red Apple Day followed by Wear Brown Shoes Day on December 4th and Walt Disney's birthday - December 5th, he was born in Chicago in 1901.

Take a moment to thank a veteran as we remember Pearl Harbor on December 7th.

Next up is National Brownie Day on December 8th and Hanukkah begins at sunset on December 11th.

Poinsettia Day is celebrated on December 12th, watch for all those rich red flowers as well as the new designer colors.

Did you know that the first miniature golf course was opened in 1929 on December 14th? Fore!

National Cupcake Day is celebrated on December 15th. If you are anywhere near Cupcake Jones in Portland, Oregon, stop in and sample their delicious offereings. I had the opportunity while I was there for Sock Summit to see what all the fuss was about and their cupcakes are awesome.

Beethoven celebrates a birthday on December 16th and he should get musical cakes for all his hard work making good music.

The Wright Brothers get a day to celebrate for their first flight at Kitty Hawk on December 17th. You can get goofy on December 18th with Wear A Plunger on Your Head Day. And the First Day of Winter and Bah! Humbug Day share a day to celebrate on December 21st.

National Eggnog Day is slated for December 24th and Christmas is celebrated on December 25th. Kwanzaa begins on December 26th.

Chocolate is celebrated nationally on December 28th and the bowling ball was invented on December 29th back in 1862. Break out the champagne and celebrate the end of the month and the end of the year with New Year's Eve on December 31st.

I hope everyone has found something to celebrate this month. See you next year!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mostly "Mum" Monday

This is a pic from Mom's house in the recent snowstorm. So pretty...

Here is Mom modeling the hat made of wood that we found at the Craft Fair at Phil Long's Expo Center this year. The lady explained it is the expandable wood filler that is used in airplane wings. Hmmmm.....

Mom is modeling one of my secret gift knits after it was assembled this weekend. I think she looks great in it. I hope this hat gets to see lots of great sites this holiday season as it is doing some international traveling.

I hope everyone remembers to celebrate their moms throughout the year.
Love you, Mom!