Friday, December 30, 2011

Did you have yourself a merry little Christmas?

I had a very nice Christmas this year, thanks for asking.  It was relatively calm and relaxed and all of a sudden it was over.  We didn't get snow until I was back home which was fine.  The driving was good and then I had a great excuse to cocoon myself in my house, which is my favorite thing to do.

I asked for and got some cool kitchen knives.  The big one is specifically for vegetable chopping and whoo-wee does it do its job!  Those veggies chop like they are buttah...
And I got some yarn, Berroco Peruvia 7220, Raku Glaze. Soft and pretty. And a cool fabric bag to boot. 

And I did some knitting over the holidays.  Mostly hats, because I can drink wine while I knit them.  And because I can't seem to sit down for any length of time when there is a house full of people and holiday things to do and holiday meals to make.
Anyway, this camera is not a Christmas gift.  I have appropriated it from my son who rarely uses it.  My blog pictures suck and I would really like to do better.  Call this a new year's resolution if you will.  There could be some funky photos coming as I experiment - be warned.
I am off to do some post-Christmas shopping now.  My lys is having a 25% off everything sale and I am obliged to find some yarn to match the Raku Glaze, possibly to make a blanket. And I may do some stocking up on 220.  It is going to be a long winter and if I do find myself unemployed in February then I am going to need a stash.

I may make a little Resolutions list.  I haven't decided yet.  Maybe the blog will keep me accountable. Maybe.

P.S. My brother loved his hat.  In fact, all the hats I knitted for Christmas got adopted and were appreicated which made me happy.  In fact, my brother wants another.  A funky earflap design this time.  So you see, I have to go yarn shopping today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

One day to go and then I am off to the cottage to spend Christmas with my family.  And we are all very merry indeed. The knitting is packed.  The wine is packed.  The gifts are packed. The sons are packed. And that pretty much covers my needs for the next week.

I finished my assortment of gift hats.  Very basic but I'm pleased.  Totally suitable for the gentlemen in my family I think. 

Have a Very Merry Christmas.  And a little Peace for us all.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas knitting

I know it's only a hat but this took some thought!  My brother asked for a knitted hat for Christmas which is great and a compliment.  He explained that the hats he bought were always too small, which is no surprise as I have the same problem and so do my sons.  But he was unable to give me a measurement. And that was a problem.  So I extrapolated.  Ben and I have 24" heads.  So Brad's must be bigger.  He's a big guy.  I did a considerable amount of Ravelry research to determine gauge, number of cast on stitches and a pattern that would give the hat enough ease to compensate for my lack of information.

Anyway, long story short...

Not yet blocked, that is coming this weekend. Your basic ribbed toque in Rowan Tweed  Chunky in Mocha.  Very thick, very warm, very Canadian.  If it fits I think he'll like it.  Fingers crossed.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Silly little washcloths

I have a friend who knits washcloths almost exclusively.  They meet her knitting needs.  Quick and easy and perfect for knitting in front of the television.  They are useful.  She gives them as gifts.  And generally she knits the same washcloth over and over and over.

For me that is shoot me in the head tedious.  If knitting the same washcloth  time and time again was the only knitting I could do then I simpy wouldn't bother.

However, that is not to say that I don't knit the occasional washcloth. I consider them rather like knitting a swatch. In fact I will often test a stitch on a washcloth. I knitted these two over the weekend.

I like my hand knitted washcloths small.  They seem to grow when they get wet and if they are too large they don't dry properly. And we are all familiar with the lovely scent of that. 

Cali keeps me company when I knit.  She is ambiguous about washcloth knitting too.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

it was a cold and rainy Sunday...

...and I am tremendously unmotivated.  I blew off my workout.  Blew off grocery shopping.  Blew off house cleaning.  Would you like to see what I've decided to do with my day?

That is a glass of wine (more on that in a minute), some assorted nuts (yummy, calories be damned), my television remotes (I'm watching Burlesque, for the tenth time because it is great in its badness with some terrific music and Cher!) and some cotton yarn to knit some washclothes.  Kitchen cloths don't last long around here.  They get burnt and stained and washed so often they fall apart quickly.

 Last evening I had a house guest - the six year old daughter of a friend.  Said friend found herself in a tight spot and I agreed to babysit for the evening.  It has been many years since I've had the pleasure of the company of a child for an evening.  Here is a picture of my younger son who has obviously decided to have the same pyjama day as his mom.

So, yeah, its been quite a while since he was six. 

 So, she and I decorated the Christmas tree. And that worked out quite well, because I had forgotten how much energy six year olds have and how demanding of your attention they are.  The tree provided the both of us with a couple of hours of great fun.

A closer look and it you would see that it looks as though a six year old decorated it. Every decoration we owned was put on that tree including some decorations that more rightfully belonged on a centrepiece or hanging from a doorknob or draped on a bannister. And I love it.  I won't change a thing.

We also decorated this.  The boys and I don't have a mantel so the stockings are hung from the antique fridge. Which in these more modern times serves as a .....

Liquor cabinet.  I'm not much of a drinker truth be told.  But I do enjoy a glass of red wine.  And this is our family favorite...

I highly recommend it.  My parents have traveled the world, experienced some of the best wines ever made and they have decided on this one as their inexpensive "house" wine.  I bow to their expertise and have to say, it is fabulous.

And that is the way I am spending my cold and rainy Sunday.  To Hell with the insane boss, bills that need to be paid, Christmas shopping that needs to get done and the dozen other worries that plague me.  Today I'm going to drink wine, eat whatever I fancy, knit some dead simple washclothes, enjoy the guilty pleasure of bad movies, admire my Christmas decor and truly take the day off.   

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Cute. And true.  (I'm trying to figure out the whole imbed thing, or at least give credit where credit is due. This is from Pinterest. Good God this blogging thing gets technical.)

Thursday, December 1, 2011


So I had this plan.  The book is Nicky Epstein's Knitting Block by Block

The pattern is Winter Solstice hooded scarf.

Pretty isn't it. 

The plan involved my much loved Fisherman's Wool.  I had a problem with the visible stranding on the backside of the scarf.  I hate that.  So I considered sewing on a fabric backing but that seemed like too much trouble.  Then I considered double knitting which of course doubles the number of stitches, but more importantly includes lots of purling. So that lost out to knitting a magic loop tube. All knitting, all the time.  So, see there, I had a plan. 

And I got started and I have to say it was looking good and feeling soft and warm. But I stalled. Surprisingly quickly.  You know, when the knitting is sitting there but you find yourself avoiding it? I couldn't figure it out at first. But in the end I think it is the sheer amount of work ahead of me - essentially twice the amount of work it would normally be if I didn't have a hang up over the visible standing.  Which, by the way, I'm not going to get over.

So I find myself at a crossroads.  Possibility number one: put it aside and wait for inspiration to continue.  Possibility number two: frog it.  Maybe rather than stranding I work a cable pattern on the blocks.  Each block a different shade of the Fisherman's Wool.  No ugly backside that way and only eight or ten blocks instead of sixteen or twenty.

I think I've answered my own question.