Thursday, December 28, 2006

Well, Christmas Day has come and gone. This was a hard year to feel celebratory, but now that the 25th itself is past, somehow I feel like I can be a little more festive. Maybe it is because we have family visiting now. I am busy feeding (myself and others!), tidying up and visiting places that I don't always get a chance to visit. Today it was Ikea (this is a tourist destination if you are from Nebraska!), tomorrow San Francisco. It's nice to have something to do really and good excuses to get out of the house and abandon, I mean leave the children

I haven't gotten as much knitting done, although I did finish the socks for Bryan in time for Christmas. So funny. They were a surprise for him and yet I knit them right under his nose. He never even guessed that they were for him! I have to thank Isha's boyfriend, Patrick, for being my size model as I was working on them, but true to my past experience with the Sensational Knitted Socks book, I went by the measurements for the shoe size and they fit perfectly.

So, what did you get?

I got a wonderful looking kit to make a scarf or perhaps a wrap with some beautiful silk/wool in a lovely shade of light "sage" green. Ummmmm, I am trying not to cast on yet. It is calling my name though... Thank you!!!!

I received a set of Knit Picks' Options needles, from my husband (LOVE that guy!). OMG, I LOVE these needles! They are like Turbos in terms of the weight and the smooth factor, BUT, and this is where I always struggled with Turbos, - the tips are pointy! Oh, are they wonderful to knit with. They are fast and I find that I don't need to pay quite so much attention because the stitches pick up so easily. Very cool.

My daughter Anna also gave me a pattern, Seda's Vest from Knit Picks. Now I just need to get some yarn to get that started.

I am working away on the shawl/Christening Blanket for Danielle and the baby, but I am coming darn close to running out of yarn. I have ordered more of it, hopefully enough to complete it, but I haven't heard yet whether it has come in or not. Hopefuly soon!

Well, since we are still in the Christmas season and have not yet reached the 12th day of Christmas, I hope that you all are still having a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Of Cookies and Christmas...

Well. Christmas is almost here. While I am not "officially" doing any Christmas knitting, I do have a project that I would like to complete before the 25th. The socks. Of course, I finished one, weighed it, it was 50 g. Perfect! Weighed the leftover yarn... 46 g. Wait? Isn't this supposed to be a 100 g. skein? Yep. Damn. Got the yarn in Ashland too. Luckily, my old favorite yarn haunt, Uncommon Threads not only carried the yarn that I was looking for, but had a skein in that colorway as well. Saved the day.

Oh yeah, did I tell you that I posted a cookie recipe on another yarn blogger's cookie exchange (The Other Cindy)? You should go check it out, some of the recipes look pretty good!

Yeah, well. Must have been bad luck. My oven broke. Turns out that it would have been a couple hundred dollars to fix it and the repair guy sort of indicated that it might not be worth it since the oven (range really) is at least 10 years old. So, we went and bought a new range yesterday. The good news is that this is the one appliance that we have been secretly wanting to replace for years, although the timing could have been better (just replaced a washing machine in September!) But, we found a closeout model that suits our needs AND they are going to install it today! We might be able to make some Christmas cookies afterall!

Update: The stove is here! Ain't it purrty?

Friday, December 15, 2006

math before coffee

Well, seems I miscalculated how much yarn I needed for the shawl. That's what I get for shopping at 6:00 in the morning! Ah well, next time I will have a cup of coffee first. Yeah, I was looking at the specs for the shawl and since I was substituing a different yarn, I was going by yardage, which it had right there on the pattern in front of me, no problem! I can do these calculations-

"Hey Danielle, what's 5 x 175?" (She's the one studying to be an accountant after all...)
"I get 875 yards - that right?"
"Great, I think I need 840 yds. It says it right here"

Yeah, 840 yards. Well, seems that was for ONE hank of the yarn indicated. I forgot to read that bit afterwards that said, "3 hanks". That would be 3 X 840. A bit more.

I am 2/3rd's short.

So, while I am waiting for more yarn (luckily it's white, so there is less chance of having any dyelot issues!) it is back to socks.

Lanna Grossa, Mega Boots Stretch. This is one of the skeins that I picked up in Ashland in September. One of the employees at the shop had warned me that the yarn had a tendency to split, but honestly I haven't had any problems with it. Maybe 'cause I'm using dpn's that are pointy enough? Not sure. Anyway, I am pleased with the results thus far. Although they may turn out a bit big for my foot. Oh well, I'm sure I can figure it out.

I have two other skeins of the same yarn to play with also. (I keep finding sock yarn stashed into nooks and crannies around the house. Oh well, like the Harlot say's, "extra insulation!") Luckily socks are pragmatic AND comfy. Although they do get some strange comments in public knitting sometimes. One lady once looked at my socks that I was oh so happily knitting... "You can get them real cheap at Walmart, ya know?" Man.
She was lucky I didn't poke her eye out...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Whine and Poses

Well, we are getting back to "normal" around here a little more. Thank you, by the way, for all of the kind words and thoughts. It is nice to feel support and community when life hits a bit hard.

I did get a project finished recently. I know you've seen the latest Interweave Knits. The Wine and Roses gloves are simply to die for. However, seeing that I have made them for yet another of my teenage daughters, I have decided to rename them, so here they are:

Whine and Poses

I haven't been able to get them back from her to block them though!

Darling Anna (above) and I spent the weekend traveling to and from Palm Springs. We went there for a feis (pronounced "fesh"), an Irish dance competition. This is a special one though, the Feile na Nollaig is held every year in December. It is a Christmas feis! Santa always makes an appearance and the feis musicians (they dance to live music) have a lively time enjoying food and drink, and drink, and... well you get the picture. There are special dances complete with Christmas themed costumes, dancing a reel to 16 bars of Jingle Bells and the like. Wild, fun, good times. Well, dear sweet Anna competed in many different dances, but one of which was what is called a Treble Jig special. This is a hard shoe dance that is typically danced at Championship levels, but she entered this special that was for Novice and prizewinner dancers and got 3rd Place! I am very proud of her. These competitions attract some very good dancers and she did very well. She also placed 5th in her Hard Jig and 2nd in her Single Jig! So, here is Anna complete in competition gear with her trophy...

Some day I want to knit her some matching socks ;)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

New Beginnings and the Space in Between

I have been busily knitting away on a new project, the Spanish Christening Shawl from the Folk Shawls book. It has been a little therapeutic for me. I started it this weekend, just the night before my father-in-law, Bruce, passed away. The shawl itself is a gift for my niece who is expecting a baby at the end of January. So at this time, one could say that Bruce and the baby are in something of the same state of being. One is descending to this realm while the other is passing away. It is an interesting thought in a way and one that comforts me. I wonder what they are each experiencing. Hopefully Bruce is telling the baby how wonderfully crazy our family is and giving it lots of good advice (including just how everyone is related, that might require a very large wall chart...). Maybe he is showing the baby all of the different birds that exist on the Earth. I imagine them in clouds and laughter and pinky-blue colors swirling around them.

Life and death being two sides of the same coin, I kind of consider birth to be experienced as a death in/of the spiritual world and death to be a birth into the spiritual world. It helps.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

To Everything There is a Season

My father-in-law passed away over the weekend.
I will miss him very much.

Somehow when I think of the last time that I saw him, I remember the way that he moved. He had a very gentle way about him. He was quiet and yet quick witted as well. He was a good listener. But I liked the way that he moved. He had dignity.