Wednesday, December 26, 2012

holiday surprise

christmas eve found us enjoying some time with family in the afternoon, then returning to our home for our holiday tradition. walk the dogs enjoying the holiday lights and after dinner settling in to watch the polar express. i was plying away ( i can't just sit and watch a movie, there must always be fiber involved) and my partner tells me he's been reading my blog. really??? after all these years he's decided to read my blog? i sat there reviewing in my head all the things that i've posted recently and felt my heart sink when i remembered the wine bottle bags. i just made an off hand remark that i'd need to be careful what i post.
yikes! there no time to even consider doing anything else, (believe me i considered it) so i let it go. christmas morning presents were opened and there sat my little gift bag with the 'non-surprise' gift. i handed it to him to open, and commented that i learned my lesson about surprises. he opened the bag and found these.....
he was flabbergasted! it seems that he only reads the most current posting, so missed the entire wine bottle- palooza! surprise was accomplished for both of us.

Friday, December 21, 2012

gingerbread solstice

time to get those gingerbread houses decorated and ready to travel to their new homes. i was talking about the evolution of traditions today with my sister. the new changes soon become welcome customs, and the memories of our child hood customs become stories for our children. my gingerbread house tradition has been in place for over fifteen years. i wish i had been better at keeping track in the beginning, but i never saw this as an annual occurrence. now it is so ingrained in our family, i can't see ever stopping. as with many things that are done over and over, it gets easier and easier.
they were all baked and ready, so i got them set up and started frosting the helps to have another pair of hands to hold them in place....
and while they look a little rough, they just need those finishing touches...
we'll send then on their way tomorrow. for now, i get to enjoy the sweet smell of ginger and chocolate!

Monday, December 17, 2012

christmas gift

i'm pretty sure i posted that i was not doing any christmas knitting. i had one gift to do for a family gift exchange and that was it! oh how soon i can forget.
my partner has done most of the shopping that will be gifted to him on christmas morning. there seem to be no surprises. i love the surprises more than i need the gift. searching and securing just the right thing that i know is their hearts desire is where i get my reward. so i was feeling a bit deflated knowing that there was no surprise.
then i opened and email and inspiration struck.
the chesapeake bottle bag, courtesy of classic elite yarns. i knew that my wine lover would be speechless when this was opened. this is where the story gets a bit weird. when i went hunting for yarn, i found none. thank goodness for all those michaels coupons. i grabbed two skeins of patons classic wool in red and leaf green. it will totally match the holiday themed bottles that are currently decorated.
i'm really zipping along, and hope to have this done tonight. i've already secured a special bottle of wine to cover. and this is it. no more. really.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

it won't be good enough

i can't tell you how many times i heard that refrain at my last guild meeting. this year we had a fiber swap, the idea being that the end result will be on display at our fiber festival in september. we did this in the past and had about 36 folks participate. this year we had 20. it's hard to find time to be fun and creative, i totally get that. what i don't get is when someone says that they can't do it because 'i can't make anything that will be good enough' really? i've yet to see anything that was totally crap come into guild. now i will admit, it may not be to my personal style, but it was constructed with care by someones hands. it does not need anything more than that!
i was urging a fiber friend to participate and she commented that the last time we did this, she made a pair of fingerless mitts that were terrible. the fiber knit up in two different colors, the mitts were really small and long, she couldn't understand why anyone would wear them.
i wear them. i wear them a lot. in fact, i wear them at least three times a week when i'm trapped  waiting at the skating rink for my little skater to practice. i love them, and when i shared this with her.... i know she didn't believe me. it's sad how we can undervalue our skills. i know that i'll never reach great acclaim with my hand-spun knits, and that is okay. i love hearing that it was worn until it was thread bare, or became a biter for the dogs, or was repaired so many times. that is the gift. that shows me i was successful.
so i'll sit with warm hands, knitting away at the rink and thank holly for the awesome mitts.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

color affection

when i first heard about this pattern i was intrigued. my knitting had been slow and suffering since i injured my elbow last year. to be honest, i didn't injure it, my 'little red' dog did. while training her to leash walk, i got several good, strong yanks to my left arm. soon i had numbness and tingling in my hand leading me to self diagnose carpal tunnel. i mentioned it to my doc this spring and after taking a look, he told me i had lateral epicondylitis and time was the best cure. time is not my friend. lots of ice, planned exercise and limited knitting is slowly making it better. i have struggled with any needle size below 5mm, so no socks, limited lace and shawls. that's one of the reasons i've been on such a kick making all the wraps.... i can use larger needles. so this pattern seemed like a great fit. it is all garter stitch, sock weight yarn on larger needles, a win-win. here it is ready to cast off....
i loved working on it. the colors just made me happy, happy, happy.
this is one big wrap! or maybe it can be a throw to cuddle with. oh heck who am i kidding....
i'll just wear it!

how soon til i cast on another???

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Felled by the flu

the week of thanksgiving was a blur. the tree was harvested on monday morning, our annual tradition. it's always up in it's stand and decorated by thanksgiving thursday.... rain or shine. or mud. or ice. or.... you get my drift. i've harvested trees with a babe in my arms, in a sled, dragged a toddler up a hill and through the woods. every year, i swear that it's not worth the effort and then i sit with a glass of wine and look at this....
so yeah, it's worth it!
back to my story, we came home with this beauty, set it up. later that night i was awakened to 'i feel sick' followed by the gastrointestinal bug from h%#$. just as the sun was rising, the next one started. i scrubbed, kept the washer running, fetched and carried and by the next day thought we were in the clear. our guests arrived for the afternoon, and i went south. i really have no clear focus on time until saturday afternoon when i was able to get out of bed. the worst part? no knitting or spinning or fiber!
this week, i'm back on track and see the end of the color affection wrap. i'm starting the bind-off and since there are 5 billion stitches, it's going to take me awhile. it really is a beast!
as i plug along, i've started to plan my next project. i have only one holiday knitted gift to complete, so i went searching for the yarn. i'm making the cloisonne mittens by yarn harlot as my christmas craft. i've done mittens in years past  and actually thought about finally making a pair of thrummed mitts, but amythefibergoddess reminded me that i had not done these yet, so yarn hunting i went.
i went with some stashed cascade 220. i love this yarn. it's durable, nice to work with and the finished product is lovely. this picture is a very poor representation of the colors, so look at this....
wow, what a difference. going with the basic black for the hand, and kicking it up with the fun colors. i want the recipient to look at their cuffs and smile when they get that blast of color.