Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday Knitting and Tea Parties and a Neice or Nephew on the Way!

Long time, no blog! I've been so busy with the holiday knitting and my new job (I'm not working in an office, as I had hoped, but I rather like my new retail environment - plenty to keep me busy and lots of cool folk to work with) that blogging has been the last thing on my mind - but I'm here now, no pics unfortunately but I hope to upload a ton after Christmas!

1. Holiday Knitting

I have finished two of the minor items, although one still requires having the ends weaved in. I'm 20% through one of the bigger projects, have barely started one of the others, and won't even be able to start the last one because I have no yarn for it. (I know which yarn - bare, 100% Peruvian wool from KnitPicks which I want to dye myself with Kool Aid, and which pattern - time and money have both been a factor, though). So I'm feeling pretty good about what I've managed to get done. I'm going to make a miniature version of the last project in acrylic just to show the recipient what he's getting. I hope he'll be pleased.

2. Tea Parties

Okay, well, just one tea party :) I went to an ornament exchange tea party this weekend. There were twelve of us altogether so we each brought 11 ornaments, and enjoyed Christmas music, a lovely spread of finger foods, and had great fun exchanging decorations. (This is the first year my husband and I have had a tree so it was exciting to have some sweet, hand-picked ornaments to put on it!) It also snowed lightly all afternoon, and cardinals gathered in the tree by the hostess' deck. A picture-perfect sort of outing!

3. My sister informed me earlier last week that she's expecting in March! I'm very excited for her and my brother-in-law, and hope that my nephews and neice are excited to have a new arrival too! I'm also excited that I might be able to do some newborn/infant knitting. I didn't knit when the other three were born so I had nothing hand-crafted to give them (though I've been trying to make hats and things to catch up), so I'm already giving thought to what I can gift the new baby. I also want to make something for the two big brothers and big sister so they're not left out! I have three months to get on it, so if you have any suggestions for a favourite baby/infant project, feel free to leave a comment, I'd love to hear from you!

Well, guess I'd better get some dinner and get on with that knitting! I hope to post again before Christmas, but if I don't, I wish you happy holidays and peace and joy and all that jazz ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

FO: Knucks, on my hand

FO: Knucks, on my hand
Originally uploaded by sammygirl
Well, "knuck", really, as I've only made one. I wanted to make these for a specific person, but how can I make it if I've never practiced the technique? So this week I finally sat down and got over my fear of learning a new skill (since teaching myself how to knit last year... I've had to do that a lot!). On Wednesday I alternated with another Christmas gift project so I only had the fingers done and put on two needles by bedtime. The next day I started on working the fingers into part of a cohesive whole. By the time I went to bed that night, the thumb was on and the gusset was being shaped. And by dinnertime the next night, I had a glove! It's a bit short for my liking but I can fix that on the next one.

Here's a pattern link. It's a bit tricky at first but it's not as hard as it looks... though I will say that I surprised myself by completing something categorised on Knitty as "piquant"!

Well, best get to more knitting. Only 16 more knitting days until Christmas (AUUUUGHHHH!).

Monday, December 3, 2007

FO: Wrist Warmers (finished at long last!)

For this one, you might want to recall this entry from all the way back in July. That was one wrist-warmer in that lovely biscuity coloured Vanna White yarn. Last night I finally cast on for the second one! I don't know why I put it off for so long - I think I was convinced I didn't have enough yarn left to start it. I ended up weighing the wrist warmer and then the leftover yarn and found out I would have enough. Got an inch or so done last night before bed, and I finished it while I watched TV tonight. Even wove the ends in! This is unusual for me, it's the one dread job of knitting, the weaving-in-the-ends. Anyway, I've even included a picture as proof! I feel like I've come pretty far - knocking out the second one was a breeze. The first one felt like a major accomplishment akin to climbing a mountain or running a 5K!

They sure are clunky, but they're warm. And since I have to be at work at 6am tomorrow, that's good enough for me!

Colouring My World With Kool-Aid!

WIP Update: I finished Nathan's hat on Saturday night and hope to post a picture soon. I'm actually quite pleased with the way it turned out - it definitely looks handmade but not crappy. I'm paranoid that the things I make look silly and that any gift recipient is really just being super-polite (but thinking inside, "I really hope she doesn't expect me to actually wear that"). The ol' self-esteem well is a little low today, but I think once I put on my pink earflap hat and get some coffee into my system I'll be fine. ;)

WIP Update II: I started on yet another Christmas Knitting Project (which I can't disclose here in case of accidental click-throughs on my family's part!). What I will say is that the yarn is extremely nice - Mission Falls 1824 Wool. Superwash merino! It's so soft! Me + Mission Falls = ♥


Yesterday I started researching Kool-Aid dyeing. I've been taking a good, hard look at the world of yarn, and realistically, my bank account can't take the hit for some of the yarns and projects I'd ultimately like to try. However, KnitPicks sells some very reasonably priced undyed yarn (an amount of fingering-weight yarn good for a pair of socks comes in at about six bucks!) and I would love to custom-colour some sock yarn (also some Peruvian wool for a slightly ambitious sweater project). Kool-Aid is getting some very rave reviews as a dyeing method, and is quite affordable for my bargain-basement budget, so for my own future reference - and yours too! - here are some very quick links to some Kool-Aid dyeing how-tos:

Dyed In The Wool (
Dyeing Tutorial (free,
Kool-Aid Yarn Dyeing (Quantum Tea blog; it's not a step-by-step but there are some really pretty pictures)

Hopefully I can post more after work. I definitely plan on documenting my first dyeing experience, so stay tuned! ♥