Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The end of 2013

On this day where we both look forwards and backwards, I'm going to do my best to look forwards.  It's been a rough year.  First there was this:

And we got gallons of water in the house and had to move to an apartment for 3 months.

Then there was this:  Weight Loss

and a little over 9 months later we look like this:
My Daddy was diagnosed with two brain tumors in September, underwent radiation and surgery in October and is now on hospice.   I will treasure this photo forever:

I have two beautiful daughters (inside and out) and am profoundly proud of who they have become...and can't wait to see them on their life journey in 6 months.  I'll miss the devil out of them, but will be so excited to hear about the life they'll build for themselves.

 I have two of the sweetest and prettiest cats one can imagine:

I've knitted a whole bunch...and even started a new blanket to ease the travel time in the car.  Isn't it gorgeous.

Tonight David and I will go out and celebrate making it through all the tough times this year.  We will toast our weight-loss, the professional and crafting accomplishments we've made this year...

And we will ring in 2014 with a positive attitude.  I have decided to stash bust in 2014 (and following) as things have grown to embarrassing proportions.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Love, Happiness, and a Pair of New Socks!

This weekend was a momentous weekend.


I celebrated 23 years of marriage with my sweetheart on Saturday (though our anniversary was on Sunday).  We went shopping for new bras (yep, needed again...but hoping this is the last set) and dresses. I intended to buy 1 dress for going to dinner, but ended up buying 4 dresses and a sweater/skirt set.  1 dress for anniversary dinner, 1 dress for New Year's Eve dinner and the rest for wearing to work.  Here we are in sparkly dress #1 before heading to dinner.


A kitty sitting on my feet which are under a beautiful blanket that I knit.

A pair of finished socks:

Fire and Ice were completed about 15 minutes before we left for dinner on Saturday (thus the hint of fish-net stockings underneath).  I love them and am wearing them to work today.  And if anyone is wondering, I do not wet-block my socks before wearing them.  1: I'm too impatient and 2: I hardly see the need.

And of course finishing a pair of socks means that I've started a new pair (even though I currently have 4 pair (that I know of) on the needles...none of those are calling my name at present).  The yarn is Bertie Bots by GnomeAcres.  I'm using the Hickory pattern from my green socks that I made in August.  I love this pattern and I made it through the heel turn and almost finished with the gusset decreases on Sunday.  It was all I wanted to knit, so I revelled in it!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Birthday Boy

Today is David's birthday...the 12 days of listening to him tease me for being older than he is are over.

This is the hat I made him.  It's made using Zauberball Crazy and is just a plain-old-hat pattern. I made it generously sized so he can pull it over his ears for walking to work.  I think he looks quite adorable in his hat.

He also looks like a little kid!  I'm not sure how we're getting younger by the year rather than older, but I'll take it!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I think every knitter realizes how delusional she/he is at this time of the year.  That feeling of knitting super-power that we had back in November became a reality check at Thanksgiving and now is a pitiful pile of self-doubt.  We know there are 13 days until Christmas...12 presents left to knit.  Even if we stayed up 24 hours a day and did nothing but knit we still wouldn't be finished.

We starting to rethink WHAT we're going to knit for people...looking for chunky yarn, quick projects.  I love all the posts coming around on FaceBook that promise "quickies"...2 hour cowls...that sort of thing.

I learned a long time ago...not from knitting, though...that I will not be able to finish everything I want to by the deadline.  I learned to let it go.  To give the recipient some hint of what they'll receive and hopefully have it finished by the end of January, so I can go back to my own selfish knitting for myself.

This year, I'm doing pretty well.  Thanks to the therapy wash cloth knitting, I have the office folks, the in-laws and my parents taken care of...not to mention having several extra cloths.  And now, I have both daughters and my mother also finished.  I'm starting David's Christmas gift today....

And speaking of David...he's a particular challenge.  He has a birthday on Friday (hat), anniversary on Sunday (cowl--starting tonight) and Christmas (socks).  His feet are huge...those socks will NOT be finished before Christmas.

And in the midst of all of this I had a sick day at home yesterday.  I knitted a lot...finished Alyssa's gift.  Worked on my Fire and Ice Socks.  I had visions of finishing it yesterday and wearing them to work today.  I got just past the gusset decreases...still 5" of foot and then toe decreases left to knit.

I was clearly delusional yesterday!

But now today.  I know that I won't finish everything.  I haven't even picked out the yarn for David's socks yet.  I honestly don't know if I have the yarn for David's socks yet.  I have the pattern but can't remember what weight yarn it requires and the poor fella can't wear wool...so I have to raid my stash for the appropriate sized yarn with enough yardage to cover those boats on the end of his legs...I'm thinking he may have mismatched socks if it comes down to it! ha!

I thought I'd do a throw-back Thursday picture today.  This is the very first sock I knitted.  Every step was an adventure and I knew that I was hooked as soon as I got going good on it--and turned the heel...I discovered that was a bit of magic.  The best advice I got was "just read the pattern and do exactly what it says...don't think about it."  And it worked.  I still love those socks and they still look amazing...Yarn:  Malabrigo Sock.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Spirit

I knitted up some pretty glitter headbands for the girls.  They work at a movie theater and I thought it would be fun for them to wear something festive.  I used Yarn Bee's Glitter Eye Lash yarn, cast on 10 stitches and knit.  When I was about 8 inches into it I decreased 1 stitch on each side for 2 rows and finished knitting the needed length with 6 stitches.  Then I bound off and sewed in.

One fun thing...weaving in the end is a breeze because you couldn't see it if you had to!

Finished product in less than an hour and way way fun.

The kitties thought so, too, last night.  I found this this morning.  I told A&E that they'd better come get them ASAP!

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Blur

This weekend was kind of a blur...as was most of last week.  Not because I did so much, really, but because I don't remember doing most of it!

Kind of like this:

This was one of the "action shots" I got of Pearl when she was acting crazy last night.  It was taken with my new phone (a blue iPhone 5C that I got on Sunday :) )

David and I took a picture before heading out to our friend's Christmas party on Saturday.  While not blurry, it was interesting not being recognized by people who know us.

I wore the hat all night...partially because my hair was out of control and partially because it's all sparkly and festive and perfect for a Christmas party.

Last night the girls came over and we had chili for supper (yum) and played a game called Fortune Street.  I worked on glitter yarn headbands for them.  By the end of the night my eyes were definitely blurry.  (it was particularly sad when I accidentally dropped 2 stitches when I was really close to being finished with the red one, and darn if I couldn't find them.  Had to rip all the way out...but at least it was a quick knit!).

Oh, and I finished Mom's Christmas present.  Daddy's is done.  Sam and Marilyn's are done.  Elizabeth's was finished a long time ago, the office people's are finished...now I just have to finish Alyssa's, START David's...and then finish those Fire and Ice socks for me because that's all I really want to work on...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Birthday Yarn

One of the good things about getting money for birthdays is that it always fits and I will always be happy with the present!

This year I got money from my parents and parents-in-law (as always).  And this year I bought this:

Five gorgeous skeins of fingering weight yarn from Gnome Acres.  They are the following colorways from top to bottom:

  • Mint chocolate chip
  • Bumblebee
  • Hermione
  • Pumpkin spice latte
  • 'Tis the season
Bumblebee and 'Tis the Season are "Sparkly Gnome"...and I love this...75% merino, 20% nylon, and (are you ready for this?) 5% "sparkle."  I can't make that up...they have 5% sparkle.  I think that's just adorable and perfect and made me really really happy.

Anyway, my plan for this yarn is more socks...at least that's what I'm thinking right now.  It could totally change at some time in the near future.  Hermione is definitely going to be Hermione's Everyday Socks...but not before I finish Fire and Ice and then the Bertie Bots socks...oh and all that holiday knitting I'm supposed to do.

Last night "all" I did was address 2 weeks' worth of bills, package up 14 gift bags for my student workers, and continue to unpack and organize stuff from the trip.  (I'm happy to say that all the yarn is back in its place AND has baskets to live in despite Pearl letting me know that this particular basket should be hers.)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Fire and Ice!

I'm in love.  Plain and simple.  Isn't it gorgeousness in sock form?

I can't wait to start its mate tonight.  After this, it's all holiday knitting until the holidays are over.  I'm on a pretty tight deadline with the parents' and in laws' stuff because I need to get that to them (or in the mail) fairly soon...

I am happy to report that I have a nice fat stack of dish cloths knitted up.  They have been great therapy but apparently I've moved on to socks now...the kind without any patterning on them, but something different.

 I'm in love with the yarn I got for my birthday and with my birthday money.  It's all such happiness I hardly know where to start!

OH!  Finish Fire and Ice (then it's Bertie Bots by GnomeAcres).

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday after Turkey Day Hangover

Boy, were things slow-going this morning.  I hope everyone had a terrific holiday and didn't eat too much and enjoyed time with family and friends.

I know I did.

I also spent a LOT of time in the car and did a LOT of knitting.  I finished this pair of socks.  They are the Across the Universe color way from Vesper yarn and are beautiful and wonderful and very comfortable.

And then I finished a hat for my Daddy.  Unfortunately I never took a picture of him wearing it like I planned.  It was the second hat I got out of a single skein of sock yarn.  Zuaberball Crazy by Schoppel Wolle is awesome!

Then I knitted on some dish cloths.  The reckoning when I got home showed 4 finished ones and a 5th started.  They are all washed and ready to pack up for office gifts and a few others.

Finally I started another pair of socks in the Fire and Ice colorway by Vesper.  I'm ALMOST finished with the first one.  Got a lot of knitting done on it after I got home on Saturday while watching football.  Those will, hands down, be my favorite socks ever. (until I make my new favorite socks, that is!)

I'm also happy to report that David and I did very well on our diet during our travels.  I expect to show a loss of a couple of pounds over the 2 weeks since I last weighed...he'll probably be about the same.