Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas decorations

Well it has been forever since I posted anything here, but until I find time, enjoy these shop decorations I saw in Bern, Switzerland.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Second Finishing Day - Score!

Well I had a rather last-minute finishing day on Sunday. The 3-day weekend snuck up on me. I really had to work a lot over the weekend, but decided to set aside Sunday as a finishing day for anyone that might be in town. Suzy, Margarethe, Cindy and Melodye made it for a while.

But the big news was that I really got some work done and the long-overdue Robert the Bruce is now finished.

This sweater was started a long time ago as a test knit for Glenys Franks, affectionately known on knitting lists as Toad. Unfortunately she passed away before the pattern was published.

I made a really stupid mistake - joined the shoulders when one side of the front was about 8 rows short. It took me an amazingly long time to figure out the problem, and then I had to rip out the shoulders. Given Toad's passing, I lost my motivation to finish at that point.

It is a gorgeous design though, and deserved to be finished. The best part - it is one of the best-fitting sweaters I have ever made. Funny considering I just did the test knitting and figured I'd find someone it fit when it was done.

Anyway, whereever you are, thank you Toad for a wonderful sweater.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

First Finishing Day

Well this will be a picture heavy post. Picture number 1 is Margarethe, wearing a large hank of (I believe I'm remembering this correctly) Mountain Colors wool. Like me, she's been traveling a lot the last year or so. Unlike me, she finds time to do a little exploring and yarn and stamp shopping in new locals. She said she had no idea what to do with this, but loved the color. We said, just wear it as a necklace, which then morphed into this position. We all decided that you could load it with needles, etc. and call it a knitter's bandoleer.

A common site throughout the day was Miss Baloo investigating everyone's bags. There were better shots I missed of her head down deep in a bag. I believe she's been mightily spoiled by Margarethe bringing a turkey sandwich to share (Miss Baloo gets as much of the meat as she wants, Margarethe is allowed the rest) the last few times she was here. In total disbelief that she would have forgotten this time, Miss Baloo seemed determined to find the hidden turkey sandwich.

Here we have Gayle (in green) working on a scrapbook of the trip she and Carl took over Father's Day weekend to a golf resort. She was aiming for her first scrapbook completed in the calendar year the trip was taken. She didn't finish, but got a lot done I think. Cindy (in blue to the right) worked on some cards for a card swap. Again, I don't think totally finished. And Margarethe spent most of the day winding her travel yarn purchases into balls using my big ball winder. That would have been more productive if I could just remember where my swift is!

Melodye also spent most of her visit winding yarn into balls. Though I think here she was still trying to put together her new winder from Knit Picks. Melodye came with Lydia and Lydia's granddaughter Riley Brooke (not sure I spelled that right), but somehow I missed getting a picture of them. I could swear I took at least one, but they weren't in the camera.

Last, Suzy, who I think was the only person who actually knit that day, though again I don't think finished anything. Though part of that was she ended up being the last person to leave and I distracted her at the end by introducing her to one of my favorite tv shows, Rescue Me.

And what did I do? Well I sewed the sleeves onto Robert the Bruce. Since that day I've sewed one underarm seam. So the other underarm seam, the side seams, knit on a collar and sew in ends and that could be done. I'd really love that to happen before sweater weather this year!!!!

So did anyone finish anything? Only if you count some of those skeins that were wound into balls. On the other hand, I anyway really enjoyed the day and hope my friends did also. I was surprised how many hadn't been in the house since I put in the new floors over a year ago!

Friday, June 26, 2009

So, how are those resolutions coming

In a word, not so good.

Let's look back at my March 2nd I Actually Sorta Made Resolutions post. It seems that putting it down in writing threw the brakes on the whole process. I've only repeated items that I've made progress on, and added Ravelry links.

So heading directly to the group 1 resolutions:

March - Cait's Bella's Mittens

April - Oops!

May - Oops!

June - a child’s toy Hello, why am I cranking out more cowls for Christmas this month!

And on to the group 2 resolutions:

3 mittens - Well 1 down, see above.

1 shawl - And now we come to the source of the problem!

I spent most of April and May obsessed with a Secret Shawl KAL. I've joined these in the past and faltered time and again (I think every time). But this one enthralled me and I'm thrilled with my finished shawl. Thanks Vicki!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Finishing Days

Well first, wow, it has been even longer than I thought since I've posted. But I have a few ideas, so maybe I'll start churning a few out.

First idea - encouraging finishing. I've been slowly whittling down my list of WIPs, but not fast enough. Then I read the Finish-It-Friday on Creative Organizing.

And I started thinking (often dangerous).

My friend Gayle has hosted the occasional finishing day, and I've often used it to focus on finishing something. So then I thought, "well Friday doesn't work for me (pesky day job), but maybe I could set aside a day myself every month, or maybe every other month, and just do it myself.

And then I thought, well why not let my friends stop by if they want.

So here's the deal. The first "finish-it" day is July 25th. If you know me, feel free to stop by, with a couple "rules."

1) Please don't show up before 10am (just in case I manage to sleep later than I normally do.

2) Please plan on leaving by 8pm (since I tend to crash early - see those early wake-ups above).

3) I'm not going to go out of my way to make a food spread (since I think that might cut in to the frequency of me doing this), but feel free to bring a lunch, or we could think about getting some take-out around that time. Or something.

4) Maybe give me a head's up if you know you're definitely coming , but don't let a last-minute decision stop you from coming!

5) You're not required to knit or spin, just finish some project. For those of you with potentially messy projects (like stamping), please bring something to protect my table. I got rid of stuff like that when I gave up stamping.

Sound like a plan?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Be Careful What You Complain About

I travel a fair amount for work and often get a "you're so lucky" reaction. I tend to grumble. I rarely have time before or after a trip to extend my stay and do a little sightseeing. I'm often working even longer hours than if I was at home. And then there is the discomfort that plane travel has become.

To the left is the view from my hotel window on a recent trip to Long Beach, California. I had run back to the room during the lunch break at the conference to participate on a call with my office. I was walking around the room and noticed for the first time what a nice view I had (I had arrived via the more working areas of the harbor and hadn't been in the room in daylight before this). Anyway, I couldn't resist taking a picture to prove my grumbling point - good weather, good location, who has time to enjoy it!

So I think God decided to call my bluff. My next trip was to Detroit, Michigan. Don't get me wrong, I know there are nice areas and interesting things to see if I had time, but not a beach! Plus, as a topper, to the right is the view out the plane window as we landed.

Monday, March 02, 2009

I Actually Sorta Made Resolutions This Year

I joined two Ravelry groups and made related plans in each of them. My problem is I never have time to keep up with groups there, but I really would like to do these. So I figured I'd also list things here to help me keep track.

The first group was the Christmas 2009 Monthly Make-Ahead. I like the idea of this since many of the monthly themes were things I'd be making for Christmas anyway, and the others, well, who can't use an extra thing for a present at some point! So this is the list. I've put Ravelry links when I've finished things and ideas in italics. For this one I'm only counting things finished in the appropriate month.

January - Ornament (or two) for tree or house Sweater Ornament

February - Scarf or Shawl Number 1 Orange Cowl and Grace Kelly Scarf

March - Gloves (with or without fingers), mittens, or socks (yes, this is a make a pair month!) - YoYo Mittens for ? (maybe me!)

April - Hat Number 1 or a tea cozy - Reindeer Love for John

May - open - crafter’s choice - gnomes, anyone?

June - a child’s toy

July - iPod, cell phone, or coffee cup cozies

August - Dishcloths/ washcloths/dishtowels and/or felted soap

September - Charity Gift project

October - Scarf or Shawl Number 2

November - Hat Number 2 - Weeweechu Christmas Tree for Fr. Tim

December – UFO’s from the above, felted soap, or felted slippers - Oomingmacks for ?

other hats - Fish Hat for Kathleen

The second group was the Ravelry Queue Challenge of 2009. At some point last year I deleted everything in my queue that I didn't already have yarn for (well I fav'd them instead). Despite that my queue had 177 items in it! But this had the added benefit of knitting from stash. So these were my goals, based on categories I had organized the queue in:

2 baby

1 hat

2 jewelry (bead soup bracelet)

3 mittens

1 scarf Orange Cowl, Grace Kelly Scarf and Best Friend Scarf

1 shawl

AND, for the last I added the idea of not increasing the current number of WIPs.

For that I am going down - I started with 20 and now I have 18!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Hmmm, that's a big pile of yarn!

Well I received my tax refund and did just what the government wants - I went on a buying binge!

Actually, in some ways it's not as bad as it looks. I've started keeping a wish list (rather than just buying things when the urge strikes) and most of that actually came off that wish list. So it was a conscious decision to treat myself.

And, quite honestly a lot of it is for planned Christmas knitting.

Then again, the Mr. Foster and Aguona Laptop kits from Knit Picks aren't in there and those really were just acting on impulse. Though in the first case it sounds like its a good thing since the kit is apparently sold out, hence the Ravelry link.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What do you knit when brain-dead?

Well the big work project made one of its milestones last Friday, which meant I could work a little less this weekend. So I decided to post, but about what? I mean I've been leaving the house about 4:30 am and returning most commonly about 8:30 pm on the last train. Though there was the night it broke down and I was even later. And believe me, I doubt you'd be interested in the work project.

This little bunny was a gift for a friend's birthday earlier this month. In large part because the knitting is "knit a garter stitch square" which was almost beyond my abilities of late! In fact, the sewing up almost stumped me, but it helped to take a deep breath and actually read the directions rather than glancing briefly at the pictures and deciding I knew what to do!

The other square is a close-up of a Darkside Cowl I did after the wee bunny. Not too difficult - a tube and once the stitch pattern was set up it was easy enough to follow without the pattern. BUT, this was my first Malabrigo, which really is as yummy as I've heard people say. With a lot of relatives in New England that appreciate warm things I see more of these in my future.

I'm also taken with how stretchy this stitch pattern is. Given my fat feet I think I'm going to have to give socks in this pattern a try, once I can use brain space for something other than work.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Talk Me Off the Ledge

Okay, so I saw Nicky Epstein's Limited Edition Scarf and loved it. I mean, what's not to like - sheep, chartreuse.... And then I made the mistake of going to the website, and unfortunately its not sold out. And I've been trying to declutter, but I want one!!!!

Unfortunately, I'm no Yarn Harlot, so its unlikely that this blog entry will cause my readers (I believe there are two of you!) to run out and buy them all up before I can. So please, talk me off the ledge!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Long Time, No Posting!

Well I had kinda made a promise to myself to break this blog drought on New Year's Day, which obviously went really well. The fact is, work has gotten crazy busy, and will continue this way at least through January. So I wouldn't expect posting to step up anytime soon.

But I thought I'd post a few pictures. The first is my last FO of 2008. Yes, I succumb to the craze for the Noro Striped Scarf (link to my Ravelry project page). If you've read any blogs in the last year you've probably heard of this! Usually they're done in Noro Silk Garden, but mine is done with Noro Cash Island. I have to admit, I'm not a huge fan of Noro. I get that the colors are pretty, but never really liked the texture and there are a lot of pretty yarns out there! Then Webs had this yarn 1/2 price (I think the colors are discontinued) and I thought, "hey, it has cashmere in it, how rough can it be?" So I gave it a try, and let me say, I really see the allure of this pattern. Its a lot of fun.

The other picture is my New Year's Eve dinner, Harissa Spaghettini. Though in my case it would more accurately be Harissa Pappardalle. I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while, and let me tell you, I should have done it sooner. I used some sprouted wheat pappardelle from Trader Joe's and it was everything I was in the mood for - earthy, spicy and comforting. And beautiful, which is why I took my first picture of dinner ever!

So as I said, work is going to continue crazy for a while, so I'm not sure how frequently I'll be getting back here. I'm hoping it will ease up a little after the end of January anyway.