Friday, December 23, 2005

What can I say ... I'm weak

Thanks to Cara's tip in the comments of the last post, I did actually order some STR. The increased yardage is now listed so that is a good thing. I will still cast on for my first Jaywalker pair from the Lorna's Laces that I showed previously since that is already in my hot little hands and I will be able to work on those next week during my daughter's school vacation. We will be visiting my parents in NJ for the week and I usually can get in some quality knitting time. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I won't have to give any uncompleted knitting gifts so there won't be any finishing stuff to do after Sunday. This will leave me free to start on something for moi and socks will be a nice portable project since my daughter and I will be taking the train back home after our visit in NJ.

We will be making a trek into NYC for a matinee of Peter Pan - I think the kids will like this (I'm looking forward to it also!). I also have plans to visit Modern Yarns and maybe some other knitting shops in the area.

On another happy note, I signed up for Secret Pal 7. This is so exciting - can't wait for the assignments. And remember to check out Cara's birthday showcase - the past questions have been fun. Finding the answers is kind of like a scavenger hunt. And check out Cate's post on the reason for the season - she wrote a wonderful post that makes one remember what's really important.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Bits of holiday knitting

I promised a mitten picture and here it is. Thanks to Sandy I have been busy creating warm hands for others. Starting with the swirly mitten (whose mate is nearly finished) and continuing clockwise, we have Mission Falls Thrill for my niece, Fleece Artist mittens for my daughter, the pattern and Blue Sky Alpaca sportweight yarn (black and eggplant) used for fingerless gloves for a friend (sorry, I forgot to take a picture and the present is wrapped), Manos fingerless gloves (only one so far - I changed my mind about the recipient of these mid-knitting), and Fleece Artist thrummed mittens for my mom.

I also have 2 Girlfriend sweaters that are not quite finished. Here is one that still needs the button loop and the button sewed on. The second one is pink and still needs the collar, blocking, the button and a button loop for closure. They are both made from Jaeger Shetland Aran which I purchased from here. This is a nice yarn to knit with and a great place to order from - excellent customer service. I think I am doing ok with the holiday knitting. Of course, I am probably bringing the knitting powers that be down on my head with that comment so maybe I should just keep my mouth shut.

On a sad note, I waited too long to order my Socks That Rock yarn from The Fold. I was so tempted by all that Cara has to say about this yarn, but kept holding out thinking that I really don't need this yarn right now. Then when I called yesterday, I was told that all the multicolored skeins are gone for now, but a new shipment is expected around mid-January. I tell myself it's better this way. I had told myself to lay low on the yarn purchases for a while and have actually been pretty good about that. Of course, January is right around the corner and all hell can break loose then! Besides, this book came in the mail and will definitely provide much enjoyment with this KAL.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

A very special gift of the season

This is what it's all about - good friends! Every year at this time we get together for a day of shopping, lunch (with cocktails of course), laughs, good times and occasionally a picture with Santa. And we leave with memories of a wonderful day and dreams of next year when we do it all over again. It definitely pushes one over the edge, right into that vat of holiday happiness.

And I am reminded how lucky I am to have such good friends. Friends I can laugh and cry with, who can give and receive hugs, friends who know when to give advice and when to simply listen. Some friends I have had since childhood and some, like these great friends in the picture, I've met through work. Others I have corresponded with only through email and snail mail, the connection being made because of common interests. Even though I have not met them (yet!!!), they are also a very special part of my life. And I want to wish all of you all the joy you deserve - for the holidays and beyond. And thank you all for bringing such joy into my life!

By the way - those drinks in the picture - Key Lime Martinis. I believe the ingredients were vodka, Midori and key lime juice. Quite yummy!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

It's all about the bling

I've been told that "bling" is in this year. I first heard this word this past year when I was beading at my local beading store. Knitting Corner and Scrapbook Nook, as you can tell by the name, also carries yarn and scrapbook supplies and is a fun place to hang out. Here are some of the gifts I have beaded for this year - simple beading projects all. For those who prefer knitting, there will be some knitting content later on (even pictures!). Some things have not been shown just in case certain people are reading this. First the necklaces:

Yes, that's a sheep in the picture - she sits in my bedroom and gets to wear the necklaces before they are given away. And those are dragonflies without chains on the right. Now the earrings:

Angels and snowmen. I have made 5 angels and 6 snowmen - great quick gifts. Of course, I had to have a pair of each for myself. And I have been knitting some gifts too - a good friend will be getting these:

Plain vanilla Opal socks. Speaking of socks, I have been extremely delinquent in the Jaywalker KAL and I must apologize to the gracious hostess. By the way, Cara is having a weekly contest over at her blog with some awesome prizes. Go check it out. Anyway, back to the KAL. I have printed out the pattern and finally picked out the yarn -

Lornas Laces nicely aged from my stash. I've read about the problems some had and am a little worried about my size 10 feet. I usually cast on 72 stitches, so I think I will cast on for the larger size and just keep trying it on. And lastly, I have some spinning photos to share with you. See, I have been playing with my new camera. First a picture of the remainder of one of my Grafton Fibers batts purchased at Rhinebeck this past fall - a beautiful butterscotch color.

And the corresponding singles - isn't this beautiful:

Alas, lately I have not had large amounts of time to devote to spinning. It has mostly been accomplished in stolen minutes - 10 minute periods here and there. Not great for making progress, but better than nothing.

I will try to get a picture together of the mittens I have knitted for Sandy's Warm Hands KAL. I have been better with that than the Jaywalker KAL because the mittens have been for gifts and the socks are to be for me. But when January comes around - then it is totally selfish knitting time for moi - can't wait!

Monday, December 05, 2005

It feels good...

The box to be sent to Anne in Indiana is in the car. The final total is 7 fleece scarves, 1 knitted scarf (donated by my friend Elaine), 1 knitted hat and this fellow.

It's a good thing he was designated for charity from the beginning, 'cause he was hard to let go of - especially for my daughter. She put a pink felt heart inside of him before he was sewn up and gave him lots of kisses. I think I need to make one for her. I hope he will make some child happy. I also got started on a box for Dulaan - one hat and a toddler vest done already. Thank you so much to Margene and Carole for holding the charity KAL. It felt good to be doing something and I think it has cut down on the holiday craziness.

The tooth fairy visited our house last week. It was a very exciting time especially when I was rushing around the house trying to find a camera that worked so I could take a picture. We have 3 cameras and none of them worked that morning. My daughter tried to calm me down by telling me that we could take a picture of her when the next tooth fell out, but of course I explained that this "first" would never happen again. I ranted and raved and she looked at me as if I was nuts when I wouldn't accept her plan that when the second tooth fell out, we could just pretend it was the first tooth. The next day I got my early Christmas present which means I got a picture of my daughter and now I can share pictures on this blog. What fun!!

I've also joined the Jaywalker KAL and ordered the pattern for this sweater.

I'm probably losing my mind as the pattern is in Japanese. Anyone else want to join in knitting this, click over to here. The KAL isn't starting until January 1 and since I try to designate January as "knit for me" month, this may be just the thing. But don't tell all the other projects that were waiting, not too patiently, to be taken out in January. They might not be too happy.