Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lost in the Shuffle

Somewhere in all the chaos that was the Christmas queue I completely forgot that I needed to have samples for the two upcoming library knitting programs!


Luckily the teen program just needs a garter stitch scarf or two...I have plenty of those in the bin-o-scarves.


How long is it going to take me to design, knit, and felt a simple beginning purse?

Hopefully not more than this weekend, since I need to have it when the library reopens on January 4!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wizardy Whiz!

Funny, I had been feeling bad about not giving Whiz enough blog attention...and this is his 3rd post in the past month or so!

For Christmas, Psych commissioned a scarf for Whiz. A Wizard scarf. Specifically a Harry Potter Gryffindor House Scarf for Whiz.

I have a knitting book called Charmed Knits in which every pattern is from/inspired by/based on the Harry Potter books and movies. In it, there is a pattern for a Gryffindor house scarf.

As usual though, I didn't like the pattern all that much. I thought the stripes were too wide, the scarf itself was too wide, and that the yarn called for would be itchy. So I changed it up. I substituted a different yarn, used a different needle size, cast on fewer stitches, and changed colors more frequently. In fact, the only thing that stayed the same was that it was striped, knit in the round, and had fringe.

The first problem I had was with the yarn. As mentioned in previous posts, this scarf DEVOURED yarn. It sucked it up like it was the black hole of knitting projects. For more information on the pain I suffered as a result, please refer to previous posts.

The second problem was that the pattern did not give a very accurate finished length, instead it told how many stripes to knit, and what the finished length would be (approximately) including the fringe. My scarf stripes were a different dimension, so when I had finished the completed number the scarf was still really short. Since Whiz is a kid, his neck is thinner than mine and he is shorter than I am. I had a hard time judging size based on myself. Solution: take the scarf to the library and try it on one of our volunteer's third grade sons! Success!

I delivered the scarf to Psych at the ornament exchange. (My normal delivery time/place is church, but there was no way to do that without Whiz seeing.) She loved it.

Christmas morning, bright and early, she texted me a picture of him proudly wearing the finished product!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Gift Parade!

Here are all of the projects that I haven't been able to blog about over the past several weeks. Some of them will be featured in individual entries over the next few days...but for right now, a picture parade:

Sister and her felted catnip mice

Mom and her Scarf that Goes with Everything

Sis-In-Law and her knitted earrings

Dad, Brother, and Nephew in their Generational Beanies

Nephew's Manly Sweater (which looked so tiny when I knit it...but huge when I held it up to him!)

Ontie with her version of the "Blood and Shadows" scarf

The parade of pictures will continue as I get photos from the Christmas commissions I took on as well...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I have actually finished my knitting to-do list for Christmas. With two days to spare!

This leaves me with an interesting quandary...I no longer have any projects that I have to do...so what projects do I want to do?

I am heading to WA as we speak to be with the family. I needed to take at least 3 projects, one of each type:

1. Purse Project: Beret Pour Moi, which doesn't require a pattern, but does require attention.

2. Brain-free Project: Les Tuileries...which just keeps going and going and going

3. Pattern Project: Martinelli Sweater...I have the goal of completing it by New Years.

(I am also taking my Rivendell socks...they are small and portable, but totally require a chart. I figure they will be good for the car trip to my aunt's for Christmas, or the plane trip home.)

Monday, December 21, 2009

You're in the Wrong Field

Candid, my nay-saying coworker, has finally come around.

All the way around.

When I mentioned that I was making my ornaments for the ornament exchange, she poo-pooed the idea. She felt that I should just buck up and face the mall traffic. She thinks my whole knitting thing is silly. I apparently act like an old woman.

(You may recall that she was also averse to the whole CONCEPT of knitted dishcloths...until she got one!)

Well, I took the finished ornaments to work with me on Saturday, and wrapped them on my lunch break. Candid saw them and told me that they were beautiful. She was astonished at how professional they looked. (She even went so far as to say that she might pay for something like that.) She also saw one of the Christmas queue commissions on Saturday, and was impressed by it as well.

I was flattered, and surprised...since it was, after all, Candid.

I was even more surprised this morning when I heard her discussing them with one of my other co-workers. She brought them up, and asked if Miss-A had seen them. She then told me that she thinks I am in the wrong field. She suggested that I open a retail store or a yarn store...or at least teach classes professionally. (As opposed to the for free stuff I do here at the library.)

Hmmm...my own boutique...it is a thought.

(Although, I fear if I knit as a full-time professional that it might lose some of its charm...and I highly doubt that I could completely support myself that way...)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Ornament Exchange

The ladies at my church had an ornament exchange tonight.

I hate ornament shopping, especially this time of year. The ornament shop at the mall is always crowded, dark, and claustrophobic making. The mall in general is to be avoided at all costs.

So instead of buying my ornament...I made two!

I used the same mitten pattern I used for my mitten storytime. I used red and green dk wool, and embroidered the snowflakes on in white. (Actually, the yarn is all from my stash...the red is leftover from Twilight's beret...cream is from my beret...green is from Hawaii's wrist warmers...)

I think they really turned out cute.

And, Blondie seemed very pleased to take them home! (She stole for them!)

Thursday, December 17, 2009


...kind of.

That is to say, I have done all of the knitting required for everything in the Christmas queue.

I still have all of the finishing up to do...such as weaving in ends, blocking, etc.

This is a continual struggle with me. I finish the knitting and my brain is creatively satisfied. I know what the finished product looks like, or will look like, so I have no more motivation. Also, I hate weaving in ends. HATE it. This is how I have, in the past, ended up with garbage bags full of projects with "tails".

I need to buckle down and bust out the darning needle.

I need to do it. Tonight. NOW.

The goal: by this time tomorrow the queue will be both completed AND wrappable.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009



Words cannot express my excitement!

There are not enough exclamation points in the world!

I already have quite a little pile of baby gifts ready and waiting...

And I still have some Christmas queue to work on...

But, I needed to knit for Nephew!

I will celebrate his entrance into the world in stockinette!

(I am hopefully making a baby toy...no pattern, figuring it out on the fly as I go...we'll see what happens!)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Whiz's Wit

I did a special Christmas storytime at the pajama party the foster fam had last night for all of the small folk from church.

As I was leaving, I was slowly putting on my gloves, scarf, hat, coat, etc. and talking to Whiz. (Who had been wearing the Whiz Bang Beanie, by the way...) The conversation went like this:

Whiz: Did you make your hat?

Me: No. I probably could have, but this one was on sale at Target.

Whiz: Do people ask you that a lot? If you made everything you own?

Me: Yep. All the time.

Whiz: It would be pretty cool if you could make, like, everything you ever needed.

Me: Well, I do make a lot of it.

Whiz: Well, but not stuff like food or money.

Me: It would be pretty cool if I could just knit up some money.

Whiz: Yeah...but...you know that's illegal, right?


I love that kid. So concerned that I might try and counterfeit cash with yarn from the stash...wanted to make sure I was aware of the government's current stand on currency production!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Continuing the Birthday Joy...

Happy Birthday Dad!

You might not knit.

You might even be the man who lovingly informed that just because something could be knit, that didn't mean it should be.

Yet, you have always been supportive and appreciative. No one can admire a handknit like you can admire a handknit. You are one man in a million!

Also...you are a great enabler. Like the time you brought me back a skein of 100% alpaca from your trip to Idaho! You went in a YARN SHOP...ALONE...to buy ME something!

Or, the time I left my cabling needle at your house, and you drove it all the way over to me at my condo because I was home sick. That is true love.

I love you! Happy Birthday! See you in a few days!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Crisis Averted...Sort Of

Thought I would give an update even though it is an "even" day.

After taking a major chill pill last night, I re-evaluated my situation.

I could either unravel the whole project and start over, adjusting it so that the yarn I had would be sufficient. (So not going to happen...)


I could go to different stores and try to find more yarn and hope that the dye lots were close enough that it wouldn't matter.

I obviously went with the second.

Without divulging what the project is, since it is a commission for a GIFT...I can say that it has stripes. So, I am going to intersperse the new skeins with the old skeins until the old ones run out. The new skeins appear to be identical to the old ones, but better safe than sorry. Luckily they should be separated by enough space that any minute differences won't show.

I hope.

(Postscript for my mother: I know I told you yesterday morning that I had purchased the rest of the yarn. But it turned out that it was the wrong brand. I hadn't taken the ball bands in with me at the store, and they had moved stuff around to mask how low their stock was. I grabbed yarn from the right aisle that was the right color, but the yarn I needed was wool/acrylic blend and the stuff I bought was 100% acrylic. I realized the error when I got to work. Called my friend, she told me they were out of what I needed. So...I got the right stuff at another store after work tonight, and will return the wrong stuff tomorrow.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I started a commission project.

I went to the store and purchased the yarn.

It was on sale! Woo-Hoo.

I bought a bunch of it.

I started the project.

I knit faithfully on it every chance I got. (At work on breaks, at home during movies...it is a very handily brain-free project. Knit every stitch for forever and a day with an occasional color change.)

I am out of yarn.

The project is not done.

The project apparently eats yarn like I eat green beans. Voraciously.

The store, having had a sale on this particular brand of yarn, is out of my colors.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Insanity...Thy Name is Mine

I had a LONG Christmas queue this year. Long in quantity, but not necessarily in difficulty. A lot of the projects/gifts that I had decided to make were verystraightforward knits. They were things that, generally speaking, I could knock off in fairly short order.

The problem was that even if a project by itself is fast and simple, when you add a gazillion more fast and simple projects to it...well...

I am crazy.

I started planning and knitting the Christmas queue way back in October.

Still not done.

In addition to my own projects this year, I took on several commissions for the holidays. Don't ask me why. I don't know.

All of the commissions were also straight forward simple knits. When I was asked, I thought, "Of course! That is an easy peasy project. It will take no time!"

But again, get enough easy peasy projects in a queue and you have a huge mountain of knitting. So, these just add to the general insanity of my life. Not to mention the fact that commissions need to be delivered on time...and in my case, on time means early since I am going to my parents for the holidays. Unlike my own gifts, I can't IOU a Christmas commission.

Oh, and just to make myself even more loopy, or because I was already loopy...I actually knit 7/8 of a gift for a family member. Then I decided that it was utter rot and I needed to do something entirely different. Hours of knitting gaily abandoned and additional hours tacked on. (In my defense, the original project was a good idea conceptually, and I knit it perfectly according to the pattern...the pattern was just cruddy and not at all what I had envisioned...) Then the back up project also wasn't working out, so I have abandoned it as well. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm.

Now I sit here, on my floor, surrounded by project bags. I have put each project, its pattern, extra yarn, and needles into its own bag in order to stay organized. I am literally overwhelmed by organization. It is a huge ordeal to prioritize what needs to be knit now, what can be put off...if I put it off will I still be finished with it on time? Not to mention having to take into account who will be around while I'm knitting it. Oh the agony!

Thinking positively...I am almost done with the queue...I am almost done with the queue...I am almost done with the queue...

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finally Feeling Festive

Yesterday, my day off, I put up all of my Christmas decorations: the garlands, the wreaths, the tree!

(In order to do so, I had to rearrange ALL of the furniture in the living room...I actually like it better this way, so I will probably leave it like this...the fact that my couch is REALLY heavy has nothing to do with it!)

So, tonight I am sitting here knitting in my muck luck slipper socks and snowflake pj pants. My Christmas tree lights are twinkling, Karen Carpenter's voice is singing, and a mug of peppermint hot chocolate sits at my elbow (with marshmallows)...I finally feel festive! I might just put on the Muppet Christmas Special when the CD ends.

Part of my joyous mood might also stem from the fact that I am 3/4's done with my Christmas Queue! And that includes the crazy commissions I have taken on!

Friday, December 4, 2009


Well, I am over my fever...hooray!

I was able to get a little bit of knitting done yesterday afternoon, but it was hard.

I needed a project that required next to no brain cells.

I also wanted to make sure that it was one that was okay to knit while sick...one that would be impervious to germs.

I ended up making a dishcloth. For myself.

Today I went back to work, and am doing MUCH better. So, tonight I jumped back on my Christmas queue...actually finished one project that I had started last week, and did a second one start to finish. Unfortunately, these are not bloggable since they are gifts...

Productivity. It's a beautiful thing.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

To Knit or Not to Knit

I am home sick with a fever.

I have decided that being drugged and loopy means that I probably shouldn't mess around with sharp pointed objects...like knitting needles.

So, no knitting today.

On a happier note:

It is Mom's birthday. The woman who not only brought me into this world, but who also taught me how to knit.

I love you Mom!