Sunday, December 28, 2008

a new year upon us

We're home from our Christmas trip and Christmas 08 already seems a thing of the past. We had a nice time visiting with my hubby's family for Christmas eve and day but I missed being home and seeing Kristen wake up on Christmas morning and watching her coming down the stairs to see if Santa had been (we stayed in a hotel for both nights!). We did get a white Christmas which was kinda fun, but I'm glad to be home.

So as a new year approaches I find myself already planning what I want to knit in 2009. Yes! despite the fact I still have things on the needle that I started in January 08! I just can't help myself :-) Although I have to say it bothers me a little that I do still have wips from the beginning of this year, so I want to make a concerted effort to finish them before I cast on for any other large project. As I said in an earlier post, I want to try and make a resolution to only have two main projects on the needles at one time plus a small project that I can carry around with me (like socks or mittens).

Right now I'm concentrating on finishing Woodland and Soleil. It will feel like a huge achievement when I get both done. And after that I want to find something I can knit with Amanda's lovely lace yarn I won earlier this year.

Isnt' it beautiful. I want to knit a lacy shawl, I just don't know which pattern yet and whether I want a triangle or rectangle shape. And if possible I'd like an easy pattern! Anyone got any recommendations?

What do you have plans to knit in 2009? Or is it too early to ask!

Monday, December 22, 2008

thought this would be fun

Leslie just posted about a photo challenge on her blog. I couldn't resist looking at the fourth folder in my picture files just to see what I'd come up with. I keep my photo files in year order (since 2000) the fourth folder was 2003 and inside that folder were the months (not quite in order) the fourth folder was February and here's the fourth picture in that folder. . . .

rather appropriate for this time of year don't you think! This was the swing on our back porch in Maryland - we got 21 inches of snow that week (Feb 2003)

Later that night, the swing looked like this. . . .

I really do miss the snow at Christmas time! Merry Christmas everyone.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

a quick FO

I started these mittens last week when my friend (the one I sent the Chicabean scarf to) mentioned she would like mittens to match. She is a knitter too but doesn't find as much time to knit, but she said if I could let her know what yarn I used and perhaps suggest a pattern, she'd try and knit herself a pair!

Well of course I couldn't let her do that when I already had a ball of yarn left over from knitting her scarf, so I searched Ravelry myself and saw this simple cable pattern.

These were a quick knit (I always love doing a simple cable pattern) and would have been quicker if I hadn't knit one cable less on the second mitt! I had to unwind it this afternoon cos it looked an inch shorter. They look the same now, so I'm sure she'll be pleased with them :-)

Specs: Basic Cabled Mittens (free Ravelry download)
Yarn : Black Horse Yarns, Fantasy - 100% acrylic
1 skein (I actually only used about half of the ball for the pair)
Needles: Size US 6 dpns

I love quick little projects, and am wondering what I can cast on next! Something small while I work on my bigger projects.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

what to do with Rio

I decided to cast on for Cap'n Crunch with the Rio De La Plata skein I bought a few months ago. I had in mind that it might be a gift for Kristen's teacher who's birthday it is at the end of the month. That is, until I finished it.

I'm not really happy with how this turned out. It seems overly wide compared to all the pictures I've seen on Ravelry, and I wasn't sure at all where to place the buttons. As you can see from the picture I had to fold it over nearly half way to get it to look anywhere near decent! I don't think it's long enough either but I knit til the end of the skein and could do no more. I just don't think this yarn is right for the project.

At least one thing good came out of it. . . . . it gave me a few hours of enjoyable knitting!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

that's much better

I can't thank Kelly enough for her suggestion of blocking the cabled beret over a dinner plate! It worked like a charm. Can you tell I'm much happier about this now. . . .

So much happier that I had to take lots of pictures of the beret to show it off to you ;-) I'm sorry about the picture overload, but I just couldn't help myself!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

flying off the needles

Well that's a slight exaggeration, these have been ON the needles for way too long. I actually finished the second mitt a couple of weeks ago but just never got around to casting off! I did that this afternoon and will wrap these for a gift to Kristen's piano teacher.

I really enjoy knitting these but I don't really have a lot of people to knit them for, so this will probably be my last pair for a while.

I'm trying to concentrate on two major wips right now, 'Woodland' and 'Soleil'. Soleil is really just a lot of knitting in the round right now, so that's the perfect wip to take with me when I'm out (like at piano lesson yesterday). I've nearly finished the back of Woodland and will start on the right side next, then just two sleeves and I'll be done - well those and the button band, but I don't want to think of that right now.

Despite my 'early' New Year Resolution of only working on two projects at a time (which I haven't really made yet, I just kinda mentioned it), I am feeling the urge to cast on for Cap'n Crunch with the Rio De La Plata I have in my stash! I just found out it's Kristen's teacher's birthday at the end of this month - I thought this might make a nice gift?

I must say it's fun knitting what you want WHEN you want to. Perhaps I should make that my New Year Resolution ;-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A little knitting....

Despite feeling quite ill last week I did manage to pick up my needles while I was taking it easy and recuperating. I did think my next post would be all about how I am going to make a new year resolution early. The resolution is that I am only going to allow myself to knit two things at any one time. I was thinking that one large item and one small item would work well. Or another approach to this would be to knit one 'complex' pattern and have another 'easy' pattern on the needles for taking with me 'on the go' so to speak.

Well that post fell by the wayside when I saw Katie's hat on Ravelry and discovered that she had knit it with Malabrigo!

Of course you all remember this. . . .

. . . . my lovely Malabrigo I bought a few weeks ago. I still hadn't decided what to knit with it until I saw Katie's post. That was it, I whipped out my needles and cast on immediately!

Isn't it amazing how quickly you can get something knit when you really really want to knit it (unlike many of my wip's that have sat in the closet for this past year, barely touched!). Within 4 days I had this. . . .

In fact I just cast off today and took pictures to share on here. Now I have one problem... how do I get this to look good on my head? Seriously! I tried it on and it looks ridiculous. Granted I have not knit the last cable because I was running out of yarn, and that might be why it's looking a bit pointy and not 'flopping' like it seems to do nicely on the model!

Would blocking help this? And if so, how do I go about blocking a hat? Any help would surely be appreciated, or this pretty thing will end up sitting in my drawer never to see the light of day (*sigh*)

Cabled Beret by Debbie Bliss (Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine - Fall/Winter 2008)
Malabrigo Merino Worsted - 1 skein
Needles US #5 and #8

Thursday, December 4, 2008

It Sucks To Be Sick. . .

. . . especially at this time of year, when you realize you have so much to do before the holidays! I got sick last weekend. Started getting a sore throat on Friday and by Saturday I had a really painful right ear! I suffer quite often with sinus problems, just recently I was diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and put on antibiotics for 30 days.

I feel like it was mainly self-inflicted because I had ran out of my nose spray and hadn't used it in nearly 2 weeks (waiting for it to be mailed to me). By which time I was getting really stuffed up again as usually happens when I don't take my allergy meds. My right ear became really blocked, I think from the fluid that seems to build up in the tube whenever I get a lot of congestion, and I can still hardly hear. It's really very frustrating. Anyway, long story short, I went back to the Dr on Monday, was given 5 days worth of antibiotics to help the infection in my ear, and was sent for another x-ray on my nose. Got the results back yesterday and the diagnosis is I STILL have chronic sinusitis! I'm back on the antibiotics for yet another month. After that I have to have another x-ray and will be sent to an ENT if nothing has improved.

So in saying all of that, what I'm really getting at is that there's not much knitting being going on around here. I did decide one thing (even before I got sick, which was just as well really), I have decided to send the 'kiddies' a money gift for Christmas and keep the toys I've been making them for their birthdays next year. Two reasons for this... I was beginning to think I wouldn't get every thing knit in time to mail to England, and it will also help spread the cost of shipping rather than try to mail everything at once this month, which believe me gets very pricey at this time of year. So once I feel 'normal' again and not so tired from being sick I am going to get back to some 'Me' knitting. I think I will get back to knitting 'Woodland' from the Rowan Nature book. not sure if that link will work, but I tried to link to the 'wip' in my Ravelry.

For now I bid you all a great day and hope to be able to blog about knitting soon!