Thursday, December 29

ring in the new...

second post of the night! this one is about all the things i have done since christmas. i have been knitting away and it is great to relax and knit! i am reading the new yarn harlot book and learned a little something about myself. i am not a process knitter. i knit for the end product (ok so i already knew that). so you can bet i was super happy to get some items on the needle for myself!

it started with a little shopping spree on monday that took me to michaels. although i had no intention of purchasing yarn (they have crap yarn for the most part), i did. they really have some great clearance yarns if you are looking to make something like these. how cute are those trees over at craftymodster's blog? anjo was super creative! although it is after the big day, i bought the yarn below in hopes of making a couple for next year.



they also had a particular yarn that i had been eyeing (i know i said it was crap). but i never bought it because it was over $7 a ball. i just couldn't spend that kind of money on michael's yarn! but then it went on clearance for just over $2!



it is like a ribbon yarn, but kinda velvety in a non-shiny way. how is that for a description?

and finally i bought some yarn (i think it was called pooch!) that reminded me of sheepskin. kinda like the lining of ugg boots, but in no way natural and not nearly as soft. the ugg boots i covet but won't buy because jack on will & grace said they were so last year (and that wasn't even this season!). shallow i know. if i love them i should buy them. but i won't. i have a pair of ugg clogs that i wear constantly. i want to replace them with the boots...anyways! i am way off track, so here is my sheep scarf that i am just about to bind off.



doesn't it remind you of a sheepskin rug? for the love of novelty yarn, i don't know what has gotten into me!

whew, ok, so i actually put some quality yarn on the needles too. i had a fun little project that i had been wanting to knit for awhile. it is just now nearly complete. here is a teaser pic



man how i love the noro 95. mmm mmm good! i'll be finishing it up soon and post a pic of what it actually is!

i haven't mentioned this yet, i didn't want to jinx it, but back in september i found out that my job was going to become a full time telecommuting position. it looks like it is finally going to happen in the next couple weeks. i have my voip (like vonage, but a different brand) all set up. i am so ready! i can't tell you how lucky i feel! i will miss the social aspect of the daily office environment, but in NO WAY will i miss the commute.

also, i will be heading back to the dr. partly because the issues over the past 6 months are still not resolved but mainly because i have a problem with my knitting hand. it falls asleep from the knuckles up ALL THE TIME! especially when i am sleeping or knitting. ugh!! and there is a sharp pain on the right side if i actually write with a pen (odd, typing does not impact it much at all). so who knows. but i refuse to stop the knitting!

happy new year everyone, be safe! and if you are like seattle, it is yarn sale season!! yeah!

christmas



here is a quick recap of my holiday for you. it was nice. i spent a lot of time playing with my parent's cats. everytime i am around them i think about getting a kitty of my own. but anyways..i made both chase (above) and abby ann (not pictured) some felted catnip mice. i think the pattern was on about.com, but can't recall right now. they were super quick, the only pain was that they were hand felted. this would be fine, but i have been having hand problems lately. it hurt. here is chasey enjoying mocha the mouse.



i promised pictures of the handknits, but only have one to share. all in all i made seven items. a hat for my brother (acrylic, he is allergic to wool!), a scarf for my mom (forgot to take a picture), the tree drawstring bag (posted earlier), a flower washcloth (weekend knitting), another wine bag (posted earlier), catnip mice and the cascade 220 scarf for my dad shown below (the blue wasn't so intense).



i made out pretty well this year. i received 2 swifts! my dear friends jan and berna bought me the plastic/metal japanese one and my mom bought me a wood one. with knitting gifts, if you receive two, it is usually not a problem to keep both. however in this case i don't think i need 2 swifts :) anyone have a preference between the wood and plastic one?

hope everyone had a happy holiday!

Thursday, December 22

where does time go?

this month has flown by, and as usual i feel like i am still trying to catch up, to find some time to enjoy this season. but instead, i am baking, cooking, shopping and wrapping. oh and knitting too. i have the next 2 days off so i am hoping that i get a chance to remember the reason i love this time of year so much.

it feels like i have been knitting like crazy, but ultimately i didn't do too much in the way of handknit gifts. in a few days i should be able to show you what i have been working on over the last few weeks. for now they remain snuggled under my tree waiting to be given to their new owners.



however, one of the gifties did make it to their recipient this evening. these lovely felted toys were given to my friend's son. he is only 4 months, but hopefully he will grow into these soon enough and enjoy them. in the meantime maybe his 4 year old sister will put them to use.



i can't tell you where the pattern came from exactly, it was a kids knitting book. i think there is a sweater on the front in blue/green with a star? it wasn't mine, i borrowed it from a friend. they were a fun knit!

as promised the link to this years knitting tags (shown below) is here. it is a printable pdf file, hope you enjoy. i think last years were a bit cuter, but i am still fond of these.



must go climb into bed now. if i don't post before christmas, i just want to say to those who celebrate, have a good one! it really is the most wonderful time of the year (now only if it would snow instead of rain!).

Sunday, December 18

i heart snowmen

i had a little time this season to whip up a few more special stitch markers. i have trouble working with the white clay - it picks up every little thing, but these still turned out great!



they are my good to be girl stitch markers, but in "normal" snowman colors. a couple of these will be going off to erin of skein street who won the final package. and of course i kept a few for myself.

there has really been knitting madness going on. i didn't think i was going to do a lot of handmade knit gifts. but then a couple weeks ago i changed my mind. ugh! why did i do that? that is cutting it so close!! but i have managed to whip up a few creations. i wish it was even more, but this week is going to be dedicated to the baking of the holiday cookies, so knitting will take a backburner (until after christmas in which i have the longest list of "me" projects).

oh! i was going to share my christmas card from this year. it is so knit-a-rific! i knit up a ton of little scarves out of some leftover yarn and did a little design work on my computer. thank goodness for my old dot com job that provided me with a $20 color laser printer when they moved out of town!!



i have completed this years knitting tags as well. i will post a pdf file of them tomorrow. not sure how many people actually use the tags i provide, but hey, might as well put it out there.

well, i am soo looking forward to my favorite week of the year! cheers all!

Friday, December 16

we have our final winner.

yeah! the last contest winner was erin from skein street! i couldn't be happier, she is such a faithful reader of my blog and i so appreciate that! she was right, i was definately frugal last night, but the sale was only 15% off. i picked up 2 balls of kidsilk haze, a ball of some camo looking yarn, a skein of noro and weird fur yarn. yeah erin!!

now knit, daisy, knit won a few days ago and still has not emailed to claim her prize. if i don't hear from her by the end of the weekend, i will send it to a random name i draw from all those who played this week. it was fun - thanks!!!!

knitting post to come soon. it is the weekend - OH JOY, FINALLY!!!

Thursday, December 15

One last question!

carole from knitizen won! she guessed 17 bags and she was correct. now, not all of my handbags are on that top shelf, but that is all i am going to say about how many bags i have or used to have!

carole used to be a local here, but has recently moved to new mexico! i never did get to meet her face to face :( she would have appreciated the midnight sale at our local yarn shop, weaving works, that i attended tonight.

speaking of the yarn sale, tonights question (and the final one!) is..

QUESTION: how many balls of yarn did i buy at the sale tonight?

good luck!

it is late, but be assured i have some good knitting related posts with pictures etc. in the next couple of days. including a link to this years holiday knitting tags. for last years tags, there is a link to a printable pdf file in this post. for a reminder, here is what they look like (this years will be pretty different)

running late..

today's winner and new question won't be posted until later tonight. it is girl's night out and a midnight yarn sale :)

Wednesday, December 14

on the 4th day of christmas...

today's winner was KNIT,DAISY, KNIT! i just left a comment for you on your blog, please drop me an email, thanks! my scarf was 56 1/2 inches long.

and getting right to it...(if you are new, post a comment with your answer and see the rules below in the 2nd day of christmas post)

QUESTION: i am a handbag collector (although i just scaled down considerably over the last year - hint, hint). how many handbags are on the top shelf of my closet?

good luck!

Tuesday, December 13

on the 3rd day of christmas...

we have a 2nd day of christmas winner, it is LOLLY! yeah lolly! I have sent you an email...

my total at b&n was $86.24. lolly guessed $82.34. there was one even closer at $87, but sadly i stated that it was the closest without going over. boy, some of you think i am a big spender ;)

but here is another chance to win! it is the third day of christmas and you know what to do - it is another silly guessing game!

QUESTION: i just finished knitting a scarf. all you have to do is tell me how many inches it is (length) :) same rule applies as before, if more than one person gets the right answer i'll put their names in a hat and do a drawing. the total length is something and a half so be sure your guess has the 1/2 in it (ie. 233 1/2 inches). that way someone will likely be spot on again.

and p.s. so sorry about the raving lunatic post. i had posted earlier this year about meeting a certain someone from a certain food television program and posted a pic. it seems to be getting a lot of attention (my stats are going crazy) and it freaks me out a little bit because it obviously means that someone has me linked ( i am envisioning creepy boys looking for pics of the particular food tv gal ). anyhoo, no worries. i removed the post and pic so hopefully it will settle down a bit.

Monday, December 12

what are you looking for?

if you are a regular reader of my blog, continue to the posting below. IF YOU CAME HERE LOOKING FOR A PICTURE OF GIADA WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?? I KNOW SOMEONE OUT THERE MUST HAVE A REFERENCE TO MY SITE BECAUSE I AM GETTING A CRAPLOAD OF HITS. PLEASE REMOVE ME, I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU ARE COMING HERE. I HAVE REMOVED THE ENTRY WITH THAT PICTURE.

on the 2nd day of christmas...

cutting the contest short an hour, I have to go to a friends tonight. so..first, our winner for the first day is WANDA! I have 36 lovely balls of yarn crammed in my top drawer, she was the only one who got it spot on. yeah wanda! all those colorado knit bloggers are so cool!

READ PLEASE - a new rule, I hate to do this, but I am going to say no international commenters can win. i know, boo on me, but i am sending things from work and to send international it means going to the post office (which is just not going to happen this time of year). i hope you understand!!

and just an fyi, if you post anonymously, there is no way but the post of the winner on my blog that you will know. so watch the blog carefully or better yet, don't post anonymously. i want to get each of these out within 24 hours. i reserve the right to bump ya if you don't give me a holler back.

NEW QUESTION:

being the shopper i am and the season it is, guess the dollar amount i spent at barnesandnoble.com today as i was finishing my holiday shopping. person closest without going over wins. i am giving you no range....just make a guess! contest ends tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. pacific.

Sunday, December 11

the perfect ingredients

saturday was our second annual knotty knitter's holiday party. i had the perfect ingredients for a holiday knit night.



a bucket of goodness! so easy and quick to make and delicious served up in my perfectly pink martini glasses.



i also made an adorable (not to brag) cheese ball. check him out!



he was super easy and impressive. wanna make one? go here for the recipe. you had to have known it was an ms creation ;)

the knitting group was great, we did a white elephant exchange (knitting themed) and ate lots of great food. and drank of course!

i managed to finish up another item from handknit holidays. i was trying to do it as a stash buster project (knit picks andean silk, 1 ball of each color). however, i ran out of black early so the bag was shortened a bit. it would have been better full size, but it is still cute. i refused to order a ball of yarn to finish it!



i have 5 gifts wrapped up and ready to go for the 5 days of christmas. yeah, it was 12, then 6 and now 5. but hey, it is free stuff! :) the gifts are just small tokens, but i hope you participate. i will do one each day, starting today, until thursday. that way everyone will receive their gifts before christmas. so are you ready for the first one?

OK - Here goes.....

leave a comment with your answer to the question below. whomever gets it right will win the first package. if multiple people get it right, i will enter all their names in a hat and do a drawing for the winner. if i email you and say you won, you have to reply within 24 hours with your mailing address. so be on the look out!! i will also post the winner on my blog.

QUESTION: how many balls of yarn are in my top yarn drawer? here is a picture



it isn't the best picture, but i don't want to make it too easy. remember it is the number in the TOP DRAWER ONLY!! good luck!! you have until 7 p.m. pacific monday, when the second question will be revealed.

Tuesday, December 6

cast on, cast off

aha! the knitting bug is back. with a little help from megan, i figured out how to knit continental (although i am still sucky at purling continental). this then led me to a whole new area of knitting. 2 color knitting. yeah! i can hold a strand on each side and it goes so easily! there was no way i was going to let my lack of 2 color knitting knowledge hold me back from making this



it is the candy cane hat from handknit holidays. funny that it was called candy cane in the book but no pictures of it in red and white. i love it! and it is for me! yeah! notice i am hiding behind a box that is another do it yourself furniture assembly project. ugh.

it is a good thing i joined the handknit holiday knitalong (see button at right). i cast on for a third project today (another 2 color one, can you guess?). i think this one will be a gift, we'll see.

quick update on the 12 days of christmas, it will happen, but i am going to knock it down to be a bit more manageable and do 6 days. i'll keep you posted, it won't start until next week.

now, i have been meaning to post about this for a few days. if you are a cat owner you will appreciate it. i was surfing knit blogs again and always stop by purly whites beautiful blog (check out that sweater, lovely!). she linked a couple weeks ago to this. now, truthfully, i don't have cats (yet). all the cute kitty pictures are my parent's cats. but they are like family to me so i ordered them up some DVD entertainment. i got both the bug and the bird DVDs. and thankfully, the money was well spent. here is abby ann watching her bugs. she seems to think that when they crawl off the screen they go behind the tv!



now she goes into the den and just sits under the tv and looks up to let you know she wants to watch her DVDs!

ok, off to get some dinner and KNIT! yeah 2 color knitting! a whole new world has opened up for me!

Saturday, December 3

we won!

ok, so we didn't win for best cookie (which is crap, because we had the best cookie!) but we did WIN a HUGE gift basket for best presentation. it stinks, i didn't take any pictures through this whole process. what a crazy thing it was, about 65 women participated in this cookie exchange. it was cool, it was held at a hotel so we had a nice lunch and there were lots of door prizes etc. besides WINNING, which was the biggest reason i went, we got to choose 12 (6 for me and 6 for my friend, we did ours together) cookie packages. it is a bit crazy, the items get pretty elaborate (nobody was choosing for the cookies, they were all about the packaging, things like fitz&floyd cookie jars etc!). ours of course was more handmade. anyways, i told my friend i wouldn't do it again next year unless we WON. guess what? we are going back next year (would you ever have guessed how competitive i am?).

another crazy thought popped in my head. i think i am going to do the 12 (or maybe just 6) days of christmas (not like my blogiversary, this will be a contest with 1 gift each day from the 12th-23rd for the winner). i know not everyone celebrates christmas, but i do, and want to do a little giveaway (see next line, i am not excluding anyone!). it will be small stuff, nothing major and probably not terribly specific christmas items, so if you don't celebrate, still participate!! i am working out the thoughts in my head right now (blogging in the head, it continues!). so that is your exciting tidbit for a post with no pictures (you know how i hate to do that to you).

quickly, i joined the handknit holiday along (link on right) and removed myself from knit the classics (sorry guys, my follow through was lousy on that, although i am very proud that i read middlemarch this summer!).

check back, by the end of the weekend i should have more thoughts on the contest. i already know what 2 of the gifts will be!

Thursday, December 1

winter wonderland

although my camera isn't able to capture the beauty from inside very well, i was sent home early from work because of this



snow on december 1st, how appropriate! i love snow. it has been snowing since about noon or so and hasn't stopped yet. it will stop though, it will turn to rain. after all, i live in seattle!

speaking of december 1st, my family has a little celebration this date each year. you can read about last years december 1st here. tonight we are having pizza at my place and exchanging our little gifts. my mother has become quite the wine fan this year, so for her i knit up something from my new holiday knits book.



i couldn't find the same handles that the book showed, but managed to be creative and come up with something. they seem sturdy and that is important considering it is intended to carry a heavy glass bottle.

i had a feeling when i knit this that it was going to be a lot taller than the book showed even though i followed their height guidelines. boy was i right! it didn't felt down nearly enough. megan thought that if i cut it after felting and did a blanket stitch it might work. she was right, i like the extra touch. thanks for the suggestion megan! i have another one on the needles now in the same pattern, but with red in place of the green. this will be for another wine aficionado friend of mine.

today, i realized that i blog in my head. am i crazy? i was fixing myself a mug of hot cider, all the while rambling in my mind about what i should post. i caught myself and thought, "am i the only one who does this?". yikes.

anyhoo, one of the things i thought about was my distaste for unassembled furniture. nothing funny happened, i just don't like to do it myself. but it is cheaper and so i purchase anyway. the media center has started to arrive (now that is a funny story, but too long for this entry) and now my craft room is consumed with large pieces of this thing.



it sucks.

ok, gotta go work on my christmas cards for a bit. they need some major assembling. oh yeah, i also have to help my friend package the 156 cookies my friend and i made for a competitive cookie exchange this weekend. it is held at a hotel and everything. don't ask, we already decided we won't be doing it again next year. our cookie entry is a lavender shortbread with white chocolate drizzle. if we win maybe it will be worth the effort. because at the end of the day, it is all about winning ;)

ok now i am just rambling, this is not how the post was going when i was blogging in my head....