A Job Well Done

The holiday food has been enjoyed, the gifts have been given & received, the icy roads traversed, and I have joined the entire Christmas-celebrating world with a large sigh — both of relief & of quiet joy. We’ve done well this year.

I’ve finally taken pics of all the items I knitted (knit?) for my friends & family. I was so busy knitting them I haven’t had a chance to post them here before now!

ribbed slippers
Gifted to: my new Step-Dad
Pattern: holiday IK’s 2008 Ribby Slipper Socks
Yarn: Red Heart Super Saver held double
Needles: I forget…size 10 1/2 dpns, I think

fingerless mitts for ellen 3
Gifted to: my youngest sister, Ellen
Pattern: my own — I might try to type it up when I make the next pair
Yarn: Paton’s Merino Wool (brown) and undyed BFL (cream)
Needles: size 7 dpns, I believe (my notes are *somewhere*)

ice cream cozy
Gifted to: my Grandpa, an ice cream lover
Pattern: my own — this one I will type up soon – it was super easy, although it took 2 tries…anyone want a small felted bowl? lol
Yarn: Cascade 220
Needles: size 10 1/2 dpns

dr. who finished 3

dr. who finished 1

dr. who finished 2

Gifted to: my Uncle, a huge Dr. Who fan (the guy in the glasses)
Pattern: Dr. Who season 12 scarf
Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport
Needles: size 5 straights (my pretty Peace Fleece needles!)
Finished size: 10 feet, 7 inches; with tassels: 11 feet, 6 inches

teacher's assistant fingerless mitts 2 teacher's assistant fingerless mitts 1
Gifted to: Mrs. Wilkinson, Ian’s teacher’s assistant
Pattern: my own — just an easy 2×2 rib with a BO then CO 4 sts. thumb hole
Yarn: Interlacements Tiny Toes & Opal — 1 strand of each
Needles: size 7 dpn’s

teacher's fingerless mitts
Gifted to: Mrs. Prout, Ian’s teacher
Pattern: my own — the same as above, but without the stockinette rolled cuff
Yarn: Socks That Rock in “Puck’s Mischief” & Dreams In Color Smooshy — 1 strand of each
Needles: size 7 dpn’s

mini starsky 3

mini starsky 2
Gifted to: my niece, Haley (her mom is owner of the Starsky sweater I knit)
Pattern: my own — obviously inspired by the Starsky I knit for my sister. I doubt I’ll ever go through this pattern — there are sooo many things I’d have to change/fix. The sleeves are puckery as I picked up too many stitches (I reknit those sleeves FIVE times!), the arm holes were 2 inches too deep, so I had to sew them closed, it’s a bit too snug around, the front cables should be reworked as my initial idea wasn’t all that great, and I almost ran out of yarn when I knit the collar. That said — it was the hit of Christmas! My sister is thrilled, and my niece looked very cozy & sweet (although she wouldn’t let me get a decent pic, lol).
Yarn: Paton’s Shetland Chunky left over from her Mom’s sweater — I finished with less than 2 yards leftover!
Needles: size 9’s this is a size or two smaller than the original Starsky, but I think it works better for a little one this way.

Whew…that’s all the knitting! There was another Christmas project for my boys this year, though. We re-did their room & bought them a bunk bed set! My sister & mother-in-law drove over after my husband took the older boys to (a different) sister of mine’s house the evening before Christmas Eve. We tag teamed painting & playing with Spencer (who was fantastic — mostly due to my rockin’ Mother-in-law). My MIL cut out around 10, then my sis & I finished up the painting & decided to surprise my husband by bringing in the bunk bed & setting it up. He was supposed to do it Christmas Eve evening (leaving my family’s celebration a bit early while I stayed with the boys until they would surely fall asleep on the way home so they could be put in our bed for the night). We were up until 4-5am, but we did it! Dh arrived home to find only a few bolts needing to be tightened. Unfortunately he couldn’t find the ratchet either, so he didn’t get quite the break I’d hoped for, but my Step-dad lent me one, so Christmas morning worked out wonderfully.

Without further ado:
boys room 1 boys room 2 boys room 3 boys room 4 boys room 5 boys room 6

We put up a bunch of their posters, and some of their art projects inside white squares. The other two walls are empty for further art projects. The boys were super excited to see the room, but they were a bit scared of the top bunk at first…I swear mine are the only kids who argued over the bottom bunk, initially, lol. Fortunately they got over that within a half hour, or so. I think the Transformers & Spiderman sheets (I soooo wanted to get the nice striped sheets at Target, but I had a feeling that they would prefer these!). Oh, don’t mind the furniture…some day it will get the face lift it needs…the 2nd drawer of the “vintage” (read: garage sale find) desk is being glued as I type. At least I don’t have to worry when they put stickers all over everything!

Anywho, everyone is happy, my boys are sleeping in their own beds (they’re currently trading off the top & bottom bunks every night), and the baby is asleep peacefully, having gotten all the contraband dairy-laden chocolate out of his system last night (which means that theoretically he won’t wake up hourly like he did last night…).

Me? I’ve cast on for a scarf set for myself…no pressure, no deadlines. My work here is done. 🙂

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ROAR!

aiden is 4!

Of course my 2nd born would request a monster cake…it’s in keeping with his ferocious personality (I say that with affection — I truly do!).

aiden's monster cake

There’s no question it turned out a bit “homemade-y,” but he was thrilled. I was a hero, and that’s more than enough for any Mom! I was also excited to see that (for the first time ever), one of my kids smiled instead of crying (or yelling) when we sang the Birthday song.

aiden's birthday party

(No, we will not discuss the appropriateness of my husband wearing a bloody t-shirt at his son’s 4 year old birthday party *rollseyes*).

We will also not discuss the mess I make when baking…although this seems to have contributed to the boys’ quietness the morning after I decorated the cake. They snapped this picture while I was still in bed, and I am pretty sure there was more frosting in those containers before I passed out retired for the morning night.

monster mess

I am proud that I managed to make the natural/alternative food colorings I acquired at the last minute work, but I’m not overly impressed with them. Note to self: too much beet powder does not make frosting red (does anything???); it does, however, make the frosting taste like sweet beets…

Now I’m back to knitting Christmas gifts while dreaming of what will probably be my first after the holidays project for ME:

holly leg warmers

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it, but I am Short. Not SHORT, but definitely Short. I’m a good 5 foot 1/2 inch…with my shoes on. Year after year I have put up with snow on my pants, but as motherhood has set in, it’s gotten worse — there’s just no time to keep out of those whopping 6 inch snowdrifts. This year it has gotten so ridiculous that I have had to roll my pants up over my calves to keep myself from dripping all over when I arrive at my destination. So I am going to knit leg warmers. I intend to wear them over my boots and jeans, and then leave them on my boots while I triumphantly pull out my dry jean cuffs.

Before you ask, no I cannot tuck my pants into my boots. One, they don’t fit (think fat runners calves left over from high school), and two, every time I park beside a curb I have to step in drifts that are higher than that anyway.

I know I don’t have to justify knitting, well, anything, to the knitters out there reading this, but I’m sure my sisters (all younger & much more fashion conscious than me) will have some comments for me…not that it will matter. I am set on these leg warmers. And besides, I’m totally going to look as cute as this model in mine…minus the fishnet stockings, of course.

Baby Knits…aka the 1 & 1/2 day baby sweater

I may have broken my record for quickest baby sweater, but I kinda cheated! Assuming you count size 10 1/2 needles and sport weight yarn held double cheating… 😉

Still, I like it; and I’m pretty sure my friend Autum did at her playgroup baby shower. She’s due right around Christmas, so I knit a little Christmas patch and stitched it on:

Autum's new baby sweater

Don’t mind the little bulge under the arms…these are the things that happen when you don’t stop to think that the customary 4 (i.e.8)sts left under the arm for grafting might be a little excessive in a newborn sweater knit on such big needles. I wasn’t entirely thrilled with my decision to do the increases for the arm at the end either, instead of a steady increase throughout the arm, either. Other than that though… loved it! If anyone ever wants a super quick newborn sweater knit in the round, let me know! I’ll probably drop the instructions in my notes section when I get around to putting this up on ravelry. Someday. 😉

Autum also received the baby blanket our entire group knit for her.

autum blanket 1

The edging is where I learned to crochet! Rachael did all the finish work, though; bless her heart! She wove in all the ends, and sewed the backing down, then did the “grandma ties.” I joined the squares, but didn’t do such a hot job, unfortunately. Still, I think it will be much loved.

Here are the ones I was responsible for:
autum blanket my square 8 autum blanket my square 7 autum blanket my square 6 autum blanket my square 5 autum blanket my square 4 autum blanket my square 3 Autum blanket my square 2 Autum blanket my square 1

There are close-ups of all the squares on my flickr.

I’ve been knitting up a storm — so much so that I haven’t had a chance to photograph them! I’m 1/3 of the way done with a super secret project for my niece, I’ve got 1 last fingerless mitt to knit for Ian’s teacher (the set for the aide is finished), and the Dr. Who scarf is done — ends woven, tassels applied and all. Wait, that deserves a bigger to-do:

THE DR. WHO SCARF IS FINISHED!!!!

Anyone have any nifty ideas on how to photograph a 10+ foot scarf in an interesting way? I’d climb up on the roof if it wasn’t covered in ice (I like my neck unbroken, thank you very much).

I’m back to knitting that last mitt, but here are my random links. Other than the last one, they’re all knitting sites — two I’d never heard of are free sites I learned about on Ravelry (Ravelry rocks!). The Inside Loop, and Popknits. Then Garnstudio put out an advent of free patterns. Knitty’s winter issue is up!! Get thee to the site & check out my favorite — Stefanie Japel’s Therapi. Lots of other great patterns too — in keeping with Knitty’s “quirky” nature. This last link is to a woman singing about motherhood — it’s fantastic!

Happy knitting, and good luck making those Christmas deadlines!

Destashing…

I’m going to be tossing up some yarn for sale on Ravelry, and thought I’d post it here as well. It’s all great yarn, but we’re feeling the $$ crunch a bit more than we anticipated (how those Christmas presents & home repairs do add up!) and I don’t have specific uses for these particular skeins. If you’re interested drop me an email (cinnamonamon at yahoo dot com) or leave a comment. The prices include shipping with delivery confirmation — I’ll round down a dollar for every skein after the first one purchased as shipping costs are negligible when you’re talking about yarn.

100purewool pink
This is 100purewool in color firebrick. $8 each. The one in back is 3 ply, the one in front is single ply. This is great stuff to work with — buttery soft.

100purewool 1 ply
More 100purewool in color ashen. Both skeins are single ply. $8 each.

noro kochoran
Noro Kochoran. Super soft stuff – I made Spence a sweater (two actually) out of this stuff & he wore it for a year! It’s 50/30/20 wool/angora/silk. Color 1, Lot C. $15 each.

I bought the Mountain Colors when my lys went out of business with the intention of making a hat/cowl/scarf type set for myself. Unfortunately, none of the patterns that work with this yardage are ones I want. I’m also selling the 2 balls of Queensland Collection Kathmandu DK that I bought to make matching gloves.
mountain colors

mountain colors mohair mountain colors boucle
Mountain Colors Mohair in Red Tail Hawk. 78/13/9 mohair/wool/nylon. $15
Mountain Colors Moguls in Red Tail Hawk. 98/2 wool/nylon. $15
QC Kathmandu DK in color 405, lot 40. 85/10/5 merino wool/silk/cashmere. $6 each.

Don’t even think about asking about my Misti Alpaca…we’ll never be *that* broke! 😉 lol

A One Skein FO Parade

I’ve been busy knitting lately, but so many of the things were gifts, etc., that I couldn’t post about them. Now that things are winding down, I can post a whole slew of pics. Here we go!

coffee washcloth & tribble scrubbies
Coffee washcloth in Sugar in Cream knit on 7’s. This was a quick knit, but I was a little disappointed in it, until I photographed it. I think it actually looks better in the pic than IRL…weird.

The circles are the Tribble pattern, knit in Red Heart Super Saver. Perfectly scratchy as good scrubbies should be. These two bring my total up to 1/2 a dozen — I keep knitting them for myself then giving them away!

crochet
This is one of those super secret projects, but I was so geeked about learning (finally) to crochet, that I had to share. In fact, I was so excited that I bought this:

crochet book
…because I need more projects (of course my kids would flip if I ever made one of these!).

unoriginal set with neckwarmer
I finished this Unoriginal set with a neckwarmer as I was seriously out of blue yarn (and the white was too scratchy for neck-ware). Then I knit another set (thanks all for the color advice!):
unoriginal set with scarf
The scarf is a bit short, but it’s nice and squishy. 🙂

sophie bag
I knit this Sophie bag a couple months ago, but I don’t think I ever blogged about it. It came out wonderfully, so I immediately knit another one for my friend (which I keep forgetting to get a picture of!). I’ve yarn to make one for myself, after all the holiday knitting.

step dad slippers
These are Ribby Slipper Socks for my “step”dad. The pattern is in the Interweave Knits holiday mag. I used 2 strands of Red Heart and went down a needle size, so I increased by 4 sts. initially (and 8 overall). It isn’t a very attractive slipper, but then, what slipper is? They’re warm & squishy, though, so they should be appreciated in their remodeled house with hardwood floors throughout. I may have to enclose a bottle of puff paint just in case they’re too slippery, though.

For my birthday, my sister (well, the one closest to me in age) sent me the absolute coolest thing I’ve received from my family…possibly ever (I may be exaggerating a wee bit)!
goldfish
It’s a terrible pic, but you get the idea. This is the most ridiculous item — a jeweled goldfish that opens so you can put something about the size of a ring inside. Every time I see it I grin. Between this and the poncho/sweater/wrap thing in an argyle print that the same sister helped my Mom pick out for me, I totally feel like my family is starting to “get” me. It’s a nice feeling. Thanks sis (and Mom!!). 🙂

Oh my…this is going to be the post that never ends!
misti alpaca & buttons
Here’s a shot of the Misti Alpaca that swayed me at the lys last month, and the excellent buttons I picked up — the rectangle ones are all mine!

I received a surprise package last week — a thank you for being one of the Clan leaders in the Ravelry Outlander.
outlander chieftess swap package
Apparently, a bunch of the participants got together & contributed en masse to make one of these packages for each of the four of us. You see here an absolutely breathtaking crocheted lace bookmark & snowflake. A lovely ball of Highlander yarn, pretty, pretty stitch markers, a nifty messenger bag, a wonderful dragonfly washcloth, a cloth postcard, and a “pencil” case with lotions, scissors, post-its, and (of course) candy! I’d say I was speechless from the generosity, but obviously “speechlessness” is not something I’m often afflicted with. 😉

I swear I’m going to shut-up soon, but I couldn’t resist this picture of Ian & Spencer.
ian & spencer playing in snow
Aiden is missing as we were having a 20 minute argument about whether or not he should get to play in the snow wearing a hoody, a t-shirt, sweatpants & a pair of boots. I won, for the record — but it was close! Motherhood is quite an adventure some days…

Dude. Now my computer is complaining of a low battery…how ’bout some quick random links? Twist Collective has a new issue out. I’m totally crushing on Heroine. Not sure how it would be on my body type, though. I’ve decided that after Christmas I’m going to join the 3IG’s sock club (assuming they still have any space) — I love the idea of a choice of colors, the different weights & fibers, and (most importantly ;)) the opportunity to pay monthly! Knotions has a new issue out as well, although I didn’t fall in love with anything. Some cute stuff though — especially the Weasly Girl Sweater. This Etsy shop caught my eye — she does custom orders & made some Diana Gabaldon Outlander series stitch markers for a lady in the swap I was part of — very cool.

Last for the night is a couple books — one I’ve read & the second I’m looking forward to. Our Momma’s group has started a mini book club. We read The Red Tent first, and let me tell you — it was amazing. I totally recommend it to every woman out there. It’s a celebration of our uniqueness, and it has helped me to see that differences between men & women are…right. They should be embraced, not trampled on & ignored. We think, feel & function differently. And that’s a good thing! The next book up is Eat, Pray, Love. I’m going to hunt it down from the library (we’re totally broke over here, lol), but my friend said her sister gave it a huge recommendation.

G’Night!