Saturday, December 29, 2007

Just from the stash

The lack of blogging is yet again due to my shockingly busy work life. I was called out to Minneapolis for a last minute three day working session the week before Christmas. Fortunately, Minneapolis was experiencing unseasonably warm weather and stayed in the high 20s (F). Considering I was leaving 50 degree weather, it was still cold. At least I got to see snow. Then once I got home, we began the mad rush which is also know as the Christmas season.

Italian and Little Clover baked the best sugar cookies ever.
The secret is to add a little bit of cinnamon to the batter. The cookies were for Santa and made with an extra dash of childhood belief to compliment the cinnamon.

While the boys were busy making cookies, I baked one of my prettiest apple pies. The pie even received compliments on its taste.

We then cooked a couple of other dishes for Christmas dinner, finished some Christmas shopping, and the wrapping of gifts. Yep, we still had to finish the Christmas shopping. At least the Christmas knitting was done in November.

While we were at the store buying last minute gifts and ingredients, I found an entertainment center at a very reasonable price. I introduced Italian to this lovely piece of furniture and we proceeded to have a "discussion." Italian, being a woodworker, has lovingly offered to build all the furniture we need. He has a slight aversion to actually spending the money to buy the wood. So, I offered (brace yourself) to only knit from my stash for a year, this is how badly I want an entertainment center. Italian turned me down. He knew something I didn't. He knew for Christmas, in addition to the sweater's worth of Noro I received from my parents, I would be getting two more sweaters worth of yarn, five skeins of sock yarn, a Sheep to Sock kit, and three pounds of fibre for spinning. I have added an extra bin to my stash pile.

He doesn't think knitting from my stash would be much of a sacrifice. I think he's right. Plus, he asked how my LYS owner would survive if I didn't shop for a year. I can't be responsible for causing other people stress. After seeing the new additions to the stash, Italian asked if I got too much yarn for Christmas. I assured him there is no such thing as too much yarn.

After Christmas, I did get some more spinning done, and I made a bit of progress on Italian's sweater.

We even got took a little trip to the zoo and saw a reindeer.

So far, the Christmas season has been filled with a little bit of rushing, a lot of fun, a dash of belief and magic, and wrapped up in rest. I'm looking forward to greeting the new year with a rejuvenated spirit (a lots of fun new yarn).

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wool hats and 70F

While the temperature outside was climbing above 70F (21C), I was inside finishing a wool hat. Finishing the wool hat is a good thing though because it is suppose to be 35F (2C) tonight.

The hat is a pattern of my own. I casted on 96 stitches and did a knit 2, purl 2 rib for about an inch, then changed to a 6 stitch cable with two stitches of purl between each cable set. The yarn is really the focus of the hat for me. The yarn is a corridale wool I spun. It is the first thing I spun outside of my spinning lessons and I thought the end result was okay, but by no means great. Italian thought the hat was okay and gave it little notice until I casually mentioned I spun the yarn. Then, he became excited about it.

The hat definitely has a homey slubbiness to it which I think is common for most first time spinners. If you look closely, you can see where the yarn is overspun and underspun and too thin and too thick. It will still keep my head warm and I think I love the hat.

Speaking of hats, I had a moment of pride this week. While in St. Louis, I taught Teelee how to knit. I followed the guidelines of the Yarn Harlot who recommends starting off new knitters with a hat instead of a scarf. A hat will provide faster gratification than a scarf, and I agree this is a very good strategy for increasing our numbers. For teaching her how to knit, Teelee in return, sent me a picture of her first FO. I'm so proud!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Is this thing on

Nana Clover comment this weekend that she can tell when I have a busy week because I don't blog. As you may have noticed, I didn't blog last week. Instead, I tidied up the house, preparing it for the mess which is holiday decorating, we had an awesome dinner with a couple of friends, I shopped for presents, we attended a couple of Christmas parties, we saw the play "White Christmas," and we celebrated Christmas with Nana Clover, Papa Clover, and my nephew. Notice knitting was not included.

Yep, we celebrated Christmas. This meant that although Christmas is still 15 days away, my knitting deadline was this past Friday for at least one gift. I think Nana Clover was happy with this years gift of wool. I also have a sneaking suspicion from one of her comments that she did not heed the warnings on my blog to not scroll down and look at the knitting. I know for a fact that Mrs. Soprano didn't heed the warning either, but I think she'll still be a little bit surprised.

Having an early deadline also means I have an earlier reward. Yay! I've been eyeing a Noro sweater at my LYS and my parents gave me the yarn for my gift. I can't wait to cast it on, after I complete the Anniversary Sweater Part 2.

I know I said I didn't get to knit last week, but that isn't completely true. I did actually knit, but not enough to feel as if I knitted, and definitely not enough to satiate my need to knit. The Anniversary Sweater Part 2 is coming along and growing. I've finished the back and have begun knitting the front.

It is being knit in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino which is almost as soft as the Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk I used for the first Anniversary Sweater. The pattern is popping a lot more on this one. I picked a blue with a little bit more gray which makes the blue lighter. He does still have the first one and is more open to me frogging it when I pointed out the sweater has 10 inches of ease now (he lost a little weight) and is 5 inches shorter than it was when it was cast off. The Alpaca silk acts really weird when water hits it. I did promise him he would get another sweater from the alpaca yarn. Plus, I've hidden the sweater so he won't wear it out in public.

I've also cast on for a little winter hat. I'm hoping the temperature will dip below 75 degrees so I can actually wear it.

The yarn for the hat is just plain old corridale wool. It is the first yarn I spun outside of two spinning lessons. It should be a nice sturdy hat. I didn't set the yarn after I spun it, so I have no idea what is going to happen to the hat when I block it. Won't that be exciting?

With some luck, this week will give a little more time to blog and knit.
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