Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Year in Review

Here's the first line of my blog for each month of 2006 . . .

January: Stop buying addi turbos in size 10 and 10.5s.

February: Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday--it is all about candy hearts and loving everybody.

March: Lady Eleanor--knitted, blocked and even worn once.

April: All things appearing in my stash were purchased with a specific intent.

May: Knitty’s Sitcom Chic, in Brown Sheep pink-a-boo, is what I cast-on for last night.

June: After a start, a frog, a re-order, a re-start with a re-size, I finally finished the IK’s Streaker Shrug.

July: Happy 4th of July~

August: Amazing Lace Challenge #5--Where’s Waldo?

September: “Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend.”

October: The summer sock party was a cute swap which I was lucky enough to pal-ed up with Chrissy.

November: One pair of Sugar-Free Socks . . . on the feet.

December: Stainless Steel Droppings has introduced another reading Challenge: the 2006 G.I.F.T. Challenge.

It was a very good year, but I am looking forward to a wonderful 2007--Happy New Year and lots of love!
Thursday, December 28, 2006

Knitting shoes and socks

Here's another knitting related Christmas gift . . .
I got a pair of Dansko's Confetti Clogs--doesn't it look like yarn from the stash??! And they are felted! Now I have knitting shoes. I did buy them for comfort though!

And here's a photo of the infamous Go Eagles! socks--they count as December's SAM pair (thank goodness!) and guess what--the Eagles are now in the palyoffs! It is the socks, I am telling you!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006


All the Christmas presents were a hit--especially the sock-blocker keychains. Both kids loved their specially-dyed yarn and personalized notes from Scout (thank you so much, Scout!). The Go Eagles! socks were finished (no photo: he left them in the car . . . don't ask!), but the Blue Java socks . . . well that's a bit of a story!

If you recall, I was so excited about using the Spindle Sock pattern, and finished 1 sock. Before I cast on for the 2nd, I looked at how busy the cables + the varigated yarn was and I loved the way the yarn looked for the heel in stockinette. Soooooooooooooooooooooo, I wrapped the spindle sock and cast-on for the Anastasia Sock Pattern. We had a good laugh when she opened up the box with 1 sock!

One of my favorite gifts was this "knitting chair."

I always tease that I want to make our study the knitting room; I didn't get the room, but I am getting closer: I got a chair!!! Ikea's very comfy, simple, slightly reclining chair is perfect.

Then there were the ski goggles and helmets (and jackets, and, and, and!!!!) . . .

We had a terrific day, but I am ready for my knitting chair! And just in time, this month's swag found itself on my chair: a skein named Glampyre, a pattern written by Glampyre and these adorable Good to be Girl snowman stitch makers!
Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas day, and I will post photos tomorrow of the Christmas socks, as well as Scout's swag, which arrived today, as if it was another Christmas gift--and it was!

I have joined Bookfoolery’s Chunkster Challenge in which I have from January 1st through June 30th to read a chunky book (as defined by more than 400 pages). This, along with some other reading will keep me busy, as I am choosing The Woman in White as well as Ahab’s Wife as my chunkster challenge!
It seems I have my 2007 reading in order, but my knitting . . . well that's a bit of a different story!
Friday, December 22, 2006

Sock Success of sorts!

Last week, I was surfing the blogs when I found this fabulously adorable knitted sock, on a sock blocker, which is a keychain!!!! In a knitting fit, I tracked these little cuties down at The Loopy Ewe. Sheri, my new Loopy Ewe friend, sent them out on the spot, and Monday I was knitting a little sock. While cute, you cannot imagine how fiddly 16 stitches on size 0’s can be!

Here’s one I knit in Brooklyn Handspun’s Chocolate Covered Cherries. When my kids got a look at this they each wanted one--Go Eagles and Blue Java from Scout’s Swag. These are going in their stockings!

I only ordered the sock blocker keychain kits, but the The Loopy Ewe sent me samples of Regia sock yarn, as well as needle cards to keep track of my needles! There are a few other things I need from The Loopy Ewe, and I love there referral incentive, so don’t forget to tell them I sent you!

While I was on the prowl for these little kits, I found that they are from Felt Up Designs.
When I went to the site, there was a little note saying that they were not shipping orders until after January 1st, but get this--they mailed me 2 anyway, and those came on Wednesday! It's like a sock & blocker festival!
Thursday, December 21, 2006

You should . . .

Each year, I re-read two of my very favorite pieces of literature, and then end up sharing them with someone. This year was no exception.

O Henry’s The Gift of the Magi is my very favorite Christmas story. True love, the gift of giving, and the spirit of Christmas all tied up in one little short story. I think it is worth reading each and every Christmas. This year, I shared this story with my children, who have heard many interpretations of this classic, but never heard the original version. Last year, I shared it with a Persian friend of mine, who had tears in her eyes when I finished reading.

The editorial, Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus is undoubtedly the most famous editorial of all times, and continues to appear in newspapers on Christmas Eve to this day. This morning my 9 year old (who is desperate to hold on to the thought of Santa--as are many of his friends), wanted some reassurance that indeed, Santa did exist, despite the common laws of time, physics, and the like. We read this together before he went to bed, I think we are good to go, at least through the 26th!!!

Last, but certainly not least, have you ever read Miracle on 34th Street? I have seen that movie a dozen times, but once again the movie pales in comparison to this terrific read. This is another must read: do not rely on what you think you know of this story---read it, you’ll be so very glad you did!

So let's see, that makes 1 challenge entry which represents a tradition, plus a new read, plus two pair of holiday scissors . . . I think that takes care of completing my G.I.F.T. Challenges!

Another pair of scissors, a la Target--yes, I was there again, last night. This time, snowmen.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Last week’s computer issues, a stomac-ache (I was sure I had ecoli!) with an accompanying headache, and the pressures of the holidays have set me back a few paces. But I am trying to get on the”There’s 5 more day ‘til Christmas” track . . . not sure of the success rate here.

To start, I am down to the foot on the 2nd Go Eagle sock, and I am ready for the toe on the Blue Java sock (let me be honest: I have knit and frogged the toe twice, don't ask what's so hard about this!), but not without some neurotic second guessing. While I really thought the cuff + the Calla Lily pattern on size 3’s would be fine, as I knit, I started to feel like . . . hmmm, maybe it wasn’t. Sooooo, I found this pattern, Spindle which is perfect for this weight yarn, perfect because it’s mixing the blues and browns up, and perfect because it knits up pretty darn quick. Not so perfect: the cuff: I knit the cuff on 3’s (should have knitted on 2’s) and while I love this little picot-eyelet thing, I don’t think it is the right cuff for the baby cables--but I was too far along to abandon the cuff, so I need to learn to love it. Onward.

In one of my many (far too many) trips to Target, I picked up these scissors--

These, my friends, are the highlight of my week. After the holidays, they might just find their home in my knitting bag(s)!
Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Five more days 'til Christmas

"Knit, Purl. Know these two stitches; Rule the world." The Yarn Harlot

I am probably desperately trying to finish socks, or thinking about finishing them while you read this!
Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas MEME-ories

I have suffered from a few computer glitches, but hopefully, I am back on track! There hasn't ben much to blog about considering I feel frantic about the holidays, wish I had more time to knit, and generally can't wait to relax. I don't have two clues as to where I picked up this meme (since it was BEFORE the computer issues!) but take a read, and I think this counts as number 2 for my G.I.F.T challenge. Six more days until Christmas and 2 more challenges, AND 2 more socks to go (plus all the wrapping and some more shopping!).

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Definitely hot chocolate. I am an “I want to love Egg Nog” person, but sadly, I just don’t. This isn’t a Christmas tradition, but every Monday when my kids come home from school we go for hot chocolate, or steamers at the local coffee bar: it gets us all through a Monday! [when it is hot, it is a fruit smoothy at the coffee bar!]

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree?
Santa does it all, including the wrapping!

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
White, little fairy lights and I like LOTS of them.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Mistletoe is part of the Christmas festivities. I love the thought of getting a big smoooooch when you stand under it!

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Usually, the weekend after Thanksgiving is when the process starts, but it takes the entire week (this year it was the weekend after that!). Sadly, all the decorations vanish very quickly after we celebrate New Year's.

6. What is your favorite holiday dish?
I love ham, but I don’t eat it often. And I think ham tastes even more delicious on Christmas.

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
I am the oldest of 6, so I loved when we all went to church on Christmas Eve together. It was process, to all get ready and be on time, sharing one bathroom, but we did it.

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
I can’t remember, since all of my brothers and sister were younger, it seemed like I was obligated to perpetuate this for a very long time!

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
My husband and I exchange gifts Christmas Eve, so on Christmas day, it is all about the kids!

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Like a crazy person! First we get it up, and after that, the lights, and then the kids help put everything on it--EVERYTHING! We have a variety of different ornaments, but I want to do a tree in mittens and snowflakes next year!

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Love it, as long as I am not traveling in it!

12. Can you ice skate?
No. And I long to ice skate in Rockafeller Center.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
A dancing ballerina doll with a pink crown which you pushed and then she spinned.

14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you?
Keeping balance for myself, and my family. I try really hard to keep it all in perspective and help them understand what is important during the holidays.

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
COOKIES--and I have a huge thing for gingerbread men! I like when they are all soft and warm, not the crunchy hard ones!

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
I love to fill the stockings. There could be tons of wonderful presents under the tree, but I will run around to find all kinds of fun things for the stockings. And the rule is the stockings are the last thing--you open all the gifts under the tree and then you go check out your stocking!

17. What tops your tree? A star.

18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving?
I prefer to give, give, give!

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
Oh Holy Night.

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? One for me and one for you!
Friday, December 08, 2006

Java Blues

I cast-on for my daughter’s socks, to match the cute little bag that I had to run to 50 different stores to get (who new this was so popular!?!). Casting on was my reward for successfully obtaining the gift of choice! I want to knit her a calla lily sock, but I changed the cuff, adding the picot an eyelet! It looks cute.

This will be a quick knit, as I am on 3’s instead of 1’s. I am modifying the pattern to account for the thicker yarn and larger needles (and since this is the first time, I find myself worrying . . . a LOT). I am going to knit the heel flap of the Go Eagles! sock tonight (and for that sock I used the calla lily heel) and measure carefully so I can somehow morph the numbers into this sock and have a heel that works! Let’s see . . .

And the Stars Hollow T arrived. So cute in person!
Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Winter Classics Challenge

Stainless Steel Droppings (yet, again--this blogger feeds my reading soul!) posted about this challenge, and I am in! Reading 5 classics in January and February is just the way I want to begin the new year! And since I know what the book selections are for the first 3 months of the new year, as per Knit the Classics, I had a head start:
  1. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  2. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  3. Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  4. The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
  5. Sense adn Sensibility by Jane Austin
I am so looking forward to these reads, but for now, back to socks!
Sunday, December 03, 2006

I just love the perfect gift

When you know you’re on to something, or found something that someone will be ga-ga over, well, I think that’s the best! And that is how I feel about the Go Eagles! socks. He’s going to love them.

almost to the goal line!
1 down, 1 to go . . .
(a little bit of
pooling around the ankle)

And then there’s the Stars Hollow, knitting t-shirt (this week’s Gilmore Girls episode) that I ordered for my daughter.
The whole episode was about a knit-a-thon to save the bridge (Sheep in the City, does the episode justice!). It was such a fun episode--complete with my daughter knitting through the show with the cast!!! She's going to flip when Santa delivers this!
Friday, December 01, 2006

Giving Inspiration, Fostering Tradition

Stainless Steel Droppings has introduced another reading challenge, the
2006 G.I.F.T. Challenge: Giving Inspiration, Fostering Tradition. To participate, one must agree to partake of and/or post on any 4 of the following:
  • Christmas movies
  • Christmas novels/short stories
  • Christmas songs
  • Christmas poems
  • Christmas traditions
  • Christmas memories
The giving comes in, via the sharing of information in a manner which inspires, and perhaps validates others during this Christmas season. The challenge comes in because two of the 4 choices must either involve something completely new or something that hasn’t been read or watched in an inordinately long amount of time.

Here’s my first, of the 4 challenges:

Knit the Classics chose Dickens' A Christmas Carol for the December selection. This story is so much a part of the Christmas Culture (good grief, Disney’s Ducks even starred in an animation version!), and everyone knows the story. But, could I find this book on my home’s library shelf? No . . . in fact, I am sure I never even read the original story. So a trip to Barnes and Noble, and a read of just a few pages allowed me to realize this story in its original form is beautiful, scary, poignant and moving---far, far better than the plays, movies and re-tellings could ever be. I am so happy to have read it, studied it, and contemplated the characteristics of Scrooge, which at times, we might all posess in some shade or another. It is truly a re-focusing of our happiness as humans! Go buy your copy now--you’ll be soooo happy you did!