Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas is a time for Friends!

Y'all know how TN Dawn saved my rear when she sent me the NSG #8...Bless her heart, and here is the finished project! I got the hat finished and decided the fishnet sarf I had been working should go to the same person ;)
'Cept Dawn was overly generous with her scosh of yarn that I now have to figure out what to make with the rest of it!!

Project Scoop
Pattern - Beret- had to wing this one and hope for the best!
Yarn- Noro Silk Garden #8
Needles size 7

Pattern- Fishnet Scarf - winged this one too!
Yarn- Noro Silk Garden Sock Yarn #S301
Needles...erm maybe a size 6?

Then, unbeknownst to her, CA Dawn gave me a great idea for a last minute gift to throw in the bag with the slipper gift. My friend at work loooves her Starbucks, so I asked one of the boys to use his considerable charm on the Batista's at our local SB and procure an empty grande cup for me. MMP looked at me and said " You're going to knit a coffee sleeve aren't you?" MMP thought I was going to do them in alpaca...I did not burst his bubble.
Dawns are crocheted and absolutely adorable of course, and I think thicker than these are. TG for friends with great ideas and extra yarn!

Project Scoop
Pattern- Another wing job, took me several tries to get the size right in the end.
Yarn- Left over Cotlin I had laying around
Size 5 DPNS

Here are the happy little packages ready to go to work with me last night.

As far as being in the Christmas spirit, this pretty much covers it. The only decoration I managed to put up was the Fireman Nutcracker I got from JT at work.
That Boy was over the other night, wandering around the house and said "Mary...(cuz he thinks it is cute to call me Mary), where's all your Christmas stuff?" "Under the stairs" I answered, cuz isn't that where we all keep out Christmas stuff this time of year? He just shook his head because he knows I usually deck the place out. I just wasn't in the mood to drag everything out this year. It seemed like I just got the house unpacked and I couldn't face the thought of doing all that extra work. It was hard enough to get the cards into the mail.
Next year, there is always next year...right?

Now to get the rest of the Christmas presents wrapped. Yikes!
Note to self....start earlier next year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Joy of the Christmas Card Photo

To start with... Dawn thank you for saving my butt!!

Just as I was about to put out an APB on Ravelry for a scosh of NSG #8, I get a message from Dawn, who just happened to have some leftover yarn.
Hallelujah, Dawn to the rescue!!!!
You know how it is when you put something away in a place you will remember it to keep it "safe", then when you want it you can't find it anywhere??? That is what happened with the beret. I put it away for "safekeeping" then looked high and low for the darn thing. Finally I found it this evening ( I coulda have been done by now) in Raine's knitting bag!!

The other day I got the terrific package in the mail from her, not only was the yarn there (yay) but also some Christmas goodies to include the cutest little Mr Snowman and Jingle Bells stitch markers (more yay). Dawn remember to tell you alittle story about that later.

Yesterday I took little man Brodie to the doggie parlor so he could get a new "do" for his Christmas photos. Normally as you know, he loves the camera and thinks he should be in every picture. That was not the case yesterday. I bought him the cutest little Christmas hat for his photo. I thought he looked adorable....Brodie? Not so much! We did get exactly two good pictures to use for our cards.

But pretty much the rest of them looked like this! He would not look at me to save his soul. More than a little upset that I made him wear the silly hat I am thinking. Not even laughing and blowing kisses would change his mind. And finally... Then little Elf Slippers (Rav link)are finto! It seemed like it took forever to get them to felt, curse of the front loading washer. Even with with dryer balls and a bath towel in there with them it took about 6 washings. At least I was saving energy with each

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Christmas knitting

Hoping every one's Thanksgiving was wonderful! Mine certainly was. To my surprise, I actually got to enjoy the entire day with my family (minus that sleeping thing I am compelled to do on occasion).
As usual, real time gets away from me. I've made a pretty good dent in the 'ole Christmas shopping game, very neatly avoiding Black Friday by hibernating inside my house and doing all of my shopping online. Now it is just a matter of waiting for the UPS guy to bring me my goodies.

Last minute gift ideas...again as usual. I have begun (twice) a beret intended for a gift, and darned if I am not out of that particular Noro, so I can't finish it at this time. Now I am on the hunt for Silk Garden #8, less than a skein...story of my life.

Other gift idea, a pair of house slippers from a pattern I found on Ravelry. I cannibalized my sweater ( that I'm never going to wear) to make these. By trial and error, I finally figured out that I needed to cast on 15 stitches rather than the 20 the pattern called for. It was the difference in yarn weights. It helped when I found someone else's notes stating the squares were 4x4 inches, which made calculating the size all that much easier.

Construction was a little confusing. I had to watch the corresponding YouTube video a couple of times when I was sewing them together.

Felting now occuring :) and since I have a front loader, I add those spiky dryer balls into the mix to help along the felting process. Still, it will take at least two washings. Hopefully I will have those finsihed slippers to show next. And if I find a skein of #8 maybe another beret too.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Half A Pair and Half A Scarf

Finally I got the one sock finished, I love the pattern but I am not enjoying the yarn. Noro is very pretty but I am not liking the stiffness and scratchiness of the yarn so much. I am hoping the sock will soften up and become a little more pliable after it is washed.

I think I would do this pattern again in another, much softer yarn. I have some Socks that Rock yarn that I got from Carrie I think I want to try in this pattern.
Since I had purchased two skeins of this yarn, and will only need one for the pair of socks I decided to make a fishnet patterned scarf. I figure it will be quick and sleazy to make and I can't have too many scarves.I've discovred that knitting with Noro- requires lots and lots of hand cream.

Basically my goal here??? Use this yarn up as fast as possible so I can get my hands to recover, and to move on to some softer projects!

Now if I could just get figure out how to hold a book and knit comfortably at the same time.

Friday, November 06, 2009

A day of respite

Ahhhh... we finally made it to Starved Rock! Brodie, not really a fan of car rides survived the 2 1/2 hour ride there and even managed to relax on the way home.

See?? Mr Excited strained at his leash the entire walk, and even tried to evade the muddy quagmires.
Being here always renews me. If you go at the right time, you never even see another living soul. Like you're in a place that time forgot.
I left it about two weeks too late to catch the color changes but there is still a lot of green left and still well worth the trip!

This is Council Overhang... so named because it is the place where the area Tribal Chiefs gathered to talk current affairs ;)

Once I realized we were people free, I let Brodie off leash to explore a little. His little nose was sniffin' a mile a minute!

Pictures cannot do it justice. To give you an idea of the size of the cavern, find the little speck that is Brodie in the this picture.

By the time we made it up to the Lodge for shopping it was getting too dark to take pictures or hit anymore trails. I think another trip is in order for next weekend.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


Here I am!!! I dressed as a freelance photographer for Halloween, could you tell?? Ok maybe not really freelance since the Chief requested my presence at the annual Hot Dog Roast to take pictures, but hey, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Note that I am all bundled up in my newly completed Noro Beret and Noro Stripe Scarf and my new fingerless gloves. Not so much a fashion statement since the gloves don't match my hat and scarf but it was darn cold here today!! And of course I had to stand outside (miss going trick or treating a-gain!) freezing my patutie off taking pictures of the hordes of masked masses coming for their free hot dog and chips.

When all that was said and done, go back home so I can sit and veg for a couple of hours before going back to work for my regular shift and ermmm that extra hour while ya'll got to sleep that I got to work.

As you can see, I am on a Noro kick. I picked up some Noro sock yarn on Ebay about a week ago and I am naturally diving right into yet another pair of socks. I don't want to get to crazy or anything but I am trying to be more like TN Dawn and shakin' up my sock knitting with a little stitch pattern. True to Jeanne fashion however, this Twisted Sock pattern (Rav link of course), had to have change up in it. I didn't care for the cuff so I used my standard cuff, I also found that the first few stitches in the pattern aggravated me. It had some purling in the set that make it look like it has a no! Isn't that the whole point of knitting in the round? Anyway I took out the seamy purls and continued in a smooth twist ;)
Here is my completed Beret

Pattern Scoop:Pattern:Last Minute Purled Beret
yarn: Noro Silk Garden (worsted weight)
Needles size 6
(I used 80 stitches to cast on but I think in this yarn I could tighten it up a little for my head)

Poor Sarah had surgery on her ears A-gain! The poor kid has been chronic with ear problems since she was about two and her right ear was severely damaged. So on Monday we all spent 11 hours waiting in the hospital (fun times) for the doctor to work his magic on her - while I knit away on my wimple...slow going for me and slow recovery for Sarah.

A marathon audio book session seemed to be the ticket after that ordeal. I downloaded Nora Roberts Sign of Seven trilogy for my little lazy fest. OMG! That series was so intense that I could not make myself turn it off to go to sleep! I went right from one to the next, and was damn annoyed when I had to stop to take a nap before going back to work. Usually Nora Roberts books don't intrigue me but this was these had me from the first.
So while I had the crap scared out of me I managed to finish my no name slip stitch sockies. Pretty pleased with how they turned out I might add.

Project Scoop
Pattern: My own no name socks... ;)
Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Art Walk sock yarn - Petunia (very very nice to work with)
Needles size 2

I gotta tell you- I have had more trouble getting this post out. Is it me...or Blogger?? 3 times I have had to re-up load my pics...WTF! Lost all of my links I pain stakingly put in, had some wonky stuff happen with the font formatting....and lost my sig!!! It has taken me two days but here it finally is sans sig ;)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My ever-changing view

From my deck, I get to look at this view every day. I can't tell you how soothing it is. Just a little to the left or right, houses spoil the illusion that there is nothing else out there. But this draws my eye every time.

Twice now in the last two weeks I told myself I would take off for a day trip to Starved Rock that never happened. I used to make this small pilgrimage several times a year, but in the last few years I let work get in the way of that. Which is a shame since it is one of all time my favorite places to visit.
Last week work got in the way because I had worked so many extra hours, and I was just too tired to go anywhere- translate to- I slept away my days off. This week again work got in the way- shift changes equaled one real day off, which I spent cleaning...blah! Next week for sure I am going! I'm worried if I wait too long I will miss the color changes. Nothing more beautiful than the arrival of fall in my mind.

My Noro striped scarf is finished. I am not one for blocking a scarf so I draped it on the deck rail to dry, soon realized that if I left it there I risked having it blow away so I had to move it indoors.

I'm still plugging away at my sock and occasionally my wimple, but my mind is racing head to a matching hat.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

You move your car first!

I rarely do this, but at the Mall the other day I found a parking spot right up front in the second row in front of Bed Bath and Beyond. Generally speaking I park as far away from other people as possible. Having spent so many years living with a man that always parks in the back 40, it is pretty much second nature to me to hike my way through the parking lot.

This particular day, however I whipped into a closer-and more crowded spot. I really don't like when other people park next to me, I am not a big fan of door dings you see and I find most people are ignorant in public places. Coming out of the store with my cart full of my sale bounty I run into a couple who was trying to force a baby carriage through the barricade opening. Really??Laughing at the dad I tell him "hey, if you just walk 10 feet that way it will fit". But no, He was trying to prove a point... What ?? that he was too lazy to walk the 10 feet?? I'm thinking.

As I walk to my car the parking lot sharks are circling...I take my time and stow everything into the trunk, as a car waits for my spot, looking at me like I am wasting her time. Now that really tweaks me! I turn around, give the driver my best disparaging look and continue to sloooowly rearrange my trunk, muttering to myself.

Really?? You can't drive you lazy ass over two freakin rows?? and you're going to look at me like I am wasting you're time??? Piss off!
( I understand now how it is I hear so many altercation calls at the Mall over the police band) I take my time putting the cart way ( it is my day off after all, and shopping is my therapy), and leisurely get into my car, make my self comfortable and turn to back out and that lazy biotch is too close for me to get out!

Are you kidding me??? I put my car in park and waited.
Naturally we have the stare down, and eventually she backs up to give me room ( I got all day honey). Don't mess with me today, it's been a baaad week at work and I am not in the mood for your ignorance!

I slowly drive out of the parking lot and back to my sanctuary.

Given the ugliness of my work week, it is no wonder I did so much knitting! My Noro Stripe scarf seems to be growing by leaps and bounds and is nearly finished. I have to agree with TNDawn, it is not a comfortable yarn to with, definitely on the scratchy side, but the end results are worth it. And it does wash up very soft. I find that using two Noro colors is a bit of a pain however, they like to grab onto each other and I am constantly untangling them.
But like I say, the end result is worth it!

My lace wimple is even growing! I am taking my time with this one since I am not a lace knitter and really need to pay attention to what I am doing...

This is my favorite this week. I dug out a ball of yarn I bought early in the year, from Zen Garden, Artwalk sock club. You might remember this one, Petunia. I couldn't find a sock pattern I liked for this yarn so I improvised. Ya'll know how I like to improvise. Not that I am a pattern designer or anything like that, But I am really pleased with how this sock turned out. I think the slip stitch pattern is just enough to shake up the colorway so.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Smells like Fall

It's that time of year again when the crisp smell of the air hits me, leaves are starting to fall and I start thinking cold weather accessories. Oh wait... I do that all year long.

Last year at Stitches I bought this huuge hank of lace weight yarn. Why? because I mistakenly thought I was going to make one of those pretty lacy shawls like CA Dawn makes. Rrriiight! Like that is going to happen.

I have had my eye on this hood/ snood/wimple/cowl or what ever you want to call it, for some time now. Wavy Feathers Wimple (Rav link) is a lace project, and we all know how those usually go for me. Still, all in all it seems to being going pretty well for me. The original is made from Quvit, which we saw at stitches for a mere $70 a teeny tiny ball. Mine is a merino wool if I remember right, and somewhere in the 6 or 7 balls of yarn I got out of it there is a label. Probably not going to keep me warm in the dead of winter or even on Polar Plunge Day, but I should look awful darn cute in it.

Raine spent Saturday night with me and decided she was going to take up knitting, again.

"For real?" I say.. " and you're going to finish it? Remember the bean bag you never finished?"

"Mommy lost the bean bag" (naturally she blames her mother)

"Ok" I say, and I dug out some chunky yarn and chunky needles, taught her to cast on and gave her the refresher on the knit stitch. 3 rows later I was fast asleep on the couch!

She went home on Sunday and well, there are still only 3 rows.

Not content to have an unfinished sweater, or the unfinished wimple and now a stole, and probably some other stuff I don't remember, but I needed the mindless knit of a scarf too.

I bough some Noro at Stitches this year specifically for the Noro Stripe Scarf by Jared Flood (Rav link). Of course, I never do things exactly the way they are written and I had to make my own modifications here.

To start with, I like my scarves skinnier than what Jared recommends so I started with 36 stitches, and I hate starting a row with a purl so I made it even. I love that it is mindless but doesn't look like it is mindless. And a girl can't have too many scarves now can we? I'm thinking maybe if I have enough yarn I may make a matching hat too.

Now to just figure out where to set up my sewing machine this year to start my hats for homeless project.

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