9

Warm Woolies 2008 Finale

So, the holidays are over.  I always get a post-holiday blueness the first few days after Christmas, so you’ll have to forgive me if there’s not much sparkling commentary on the bloggy today.  It’s not like there’s a huge holiday build up for me like there is when you’re a kid, but I still feel sorta sad when it’s all over.  Winter has only just begun and really, there’s not that much to look forward to.

Overall, we had a really nice holiday.  We had the first white Christmas since I can’t remember when, and though the roads were hard to navigate, we were still able to take Christmas dinner to my snowbound parents on Christmas Day.  On Christmas Eve we took time out to build a Snow Slug in our front yard (wish I could show you a pic but R. Darling has the camera out kayaking with him today so it will have to be another time), and snuggle together on the couch.  Hope all of you had a lovely holiday too!

Now that the year is winding down, and my stamina is too, I think it’s about time I recap my Warm Woolies goal of knitting 100 items this year.  It didn’t go so well.  I knit quite a lot of stuff, but didn’t make my goal.  I think perhaps I could have, if that was the only thing I knit all year long, but there were other responsibilities that needed attending to.  I know I shouldn’t feel guilty about that, but I do anyway.  If you look at my accomplishment in terms of grades, I’d only get a C.  I passed, but barely (this would be funnier if all of you were Jack Black fans like I am ;) .  But since I’m laying it all on the line here, these are the final stats for my year of Warm Woolies knitting:


* Knit 70 items total

* Knit 55 pairs of socks, 5 Hats, 5 Vests, 1 Cardigan Coat

* Completed sections of 3 Oddball Baby Blankies

* Seamed 1 Blanket of 36 squares

* 22 squares for the Knit a Square, Join a Swap Group on Ravelry.  However, I’m not counting these in my final total because it takes 36 squares to make one blankie and therefore, these do not count as one item :(


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My 1st Seamed blanket for the Knit A Square, Join A Swap Group on Ravelry


ww-crocheted-cuteness

Crocheted Cuteness: My last contribution to the Warm Woolies Baby Oddball Blankets Group On Ravelry


I met so many wonderful people this year working towards this goal, and among them was my blog-free pal Kathy, who sent me a ginormous box of yarn to use for WW projects.  What a generous and thoughtful gesture, and I’m so glad to have gotten to know you this year Kathy!  I promised that I would post a few pics of items I’ve made from the yarn Kathy sent, so here are the last 2 vests I’m mailing out this year.  The blue/grey/black one is made entirely from yarn she sent, and all the brown yarns in the second vest came from her stash as well.  Thank you again Kathy!


ww-blue-vest1


ww-orange-vest1


My knitty friend Troy, also contributed to my endeavor with 10 adorable hats that he knit for me to send to WW.  He tells me that I should count them in my total, as he knit them for me to do so, but it just doesn’t feel right since I didn’t knit them myself!  But I would love to claim them as Troy uses only the most beautiful fibers and gorgeous colors for his hats :)  Thanks so much for your generous gifty Troy!!  Here’s a pic (which just doesn’t do them justice):


troys-hats1


With that, my Warm Woolies goal draws to a close for this year.  I’ll keep contributing in the years to come but I think I’ll try less to focus on a number for 2009, and more on the joy I experience in the projects I do.  It’s not supposed to be work, right?  It’s supposed to be fun and make me feel soft and fuzzy inside to be able to warm up cold little munchkins.

Thanks so very much to each and every one of you who has cheered me on during this year as I worked towards this goal!  It means so much to have all of your support and good wishes and I can’t thank you all enough for that :)  Hope your 2008 was joyful and that 2009 brings you all that you could wish for!

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9

Let It Snow…..

nelson-snow-2008

Mr. Nelson isn’t sure about all this cold, white stuff

 

It’s been snowing steadily for over a week now, and the temperatures  haven’t been above freezing for at least as long.  Up here in the PNW we usually have a green Christmas and I can’t remember the last time we had this much snow that stuck around for this long.  There’s something peaceful about all of it though.  People seem to take life a little slower, being more content to stay at home than is usual.  To me, there’s something joyful about having snow before Christmas.  Holiday spirit seems easier to achieve somehow, now that it looks like Christmas does on all the cards we send each year.

This morning we rose at 5 AM, bundled up, and headed out to help deliver presents and food to local needy families via Project Santa Claus.  Though the cold was bitter, my heart felt warm to be able to do something for others who need it so much this time of year.  After we left one particular house, I could hear the squeals and giggles of excitment from the little ones echo across the snow before their door closed.  R. Darling looked at me and smiled and said, “Now that’s what it’s all about.”  I tried to choke out a “yeah” but instead burst into tears.  It just breaks my heart to think that these people have so little and there are so many times when I bellyache about doing without, when I really have nothing whatsoever to complain about. 

Because I can’t hardly say anymore right now without bursting into tears again (too late), I’ll leave you with a picture of my Christmas tree, requested by my pal over at Fond Of Snape:

 

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Our 2008 Christmas tree

(and if you look real close, you’ll see a curious Nelson in the corner!)

 

Happy Holidays Bloggy Peeps!

9

Sockses & Sock Clubs & Such

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Personal Sock Club 2009!

 

OMG.  I had myself so much freakin’ fun setting up my Personal Sock Club for the Stash Knit Down 2009 (which I mentioned joining here in case you missed it).  Inside each mysterious pink bag is a pretty pretty yarn and a pattern from my queue on Ravelry that I’ve been wanting to knit.  Since I also joined the Queue Down, this will help me accomplish two things at once.  Bonus. 

The patterns I will be choosing from are (sorry non-ravelry peeps, but these will all be ravelry linkies):

 * Snicket Socks

* Azure Socks

* Plain Vanilla Socks

* Nutkin

* Ziggy

* Jaywalkers (also a UFO that needs work – extra bonus!)

 

I’m so freakin’ excited to open up my first package in January!  It’s kind of disgusting really.  Oh and just in case you might be thinking I own an awful lot of snooty, uncomfortable, underroos (what with the plethora of Victoria’s Secret bags I’ve got goin’ on up there) you can rest assured that my underroos are just about as un-snooty as can be.  Not that there’s anything wrong with wearing fancy pants every day, especially if you have the body to do so.  I just happen to dig hard core on those pink bags they give out and save ’em up any time I get one.  I knew they’d be useful someday!

Speaking of sock clubs, real socks clubs, my good bloggy pal Wendee of Hazel Knits (blog here, etsy shop here) is planning on a 2009 yarn club herself!  You can read more details here on Ravelry.  If you haven’t tried Hazel Knits sock yarn yet, you absolutely MUST.  It is the most gorgeous, sproingy, beautiful stuff you will ever encounter and Wendee has a fabulous eye for color.  Though I have clearly said 2009 will be a knit from stash kinda year, I will most definitely be finding myself some kind of loophole to make it o.k. to join the Hazel Knits’ Sock club in 2009.   Just sayin’.  Check it out – I loves to enable ;)

Well, we’ve been hit by an arctic blast of sorts so the snow is falling all around.  I’m trying to enjoy it, but it’s so nervewracking to try to make it to work every day.  I hate that aspect of it.  I might get a snow day tomorrow though.  Keep your fingers crossed!  Hope all of you are staying warm and cozy! 

6

Christmas Shopping & Friday Fill-In #102

Seen through the window at The Gap this morning in my local mall

Seen through the window at The Gap this morning in my local mall

 

This morning I knocked out a bit of my Christmas shopping while R. Darling was out testing a new kayak. It’s horribly dark and rainy outside, and I have no idea what could possibly be so interesting about sitting in a little tippy boat out there getting drenched. But that’s fanaticism for ya. And I seem to remember myself, freezing my ass off in my kayak last January on a snowy river anyway, so I guess I don’t have room to talk.

Anyhoo, back to the shopping. On a day like today, it’s good to be in a place where it’s warm and things smell good, even if everyone has to walk about 3 mph slower than you want to walk and obliviously amble along in front of you blocking every possible route around them. But what’s this? Much to my wondering eyes appeared a little yarny vision in the window of The Gap. My thoughts raced back to my stash busting plans for the upcoming year. This would be the ultimate scrap scarf! So, rather surreptitiously, fearing I might be hauled off for taking photos of proprietary fashion at the mall, I snapped a quick photo. What do you think? I loves it. Now, just to figure out how to make it! Oh and what is up with Abercrombie & Fitch anyway? I didn’t even go in there but for some reason I keep catching whiffs of myself and I smell like the prepster teenagers who shop there. Mall osmosis?  Yikes – what’s next?

 

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Friday Fill-In #102

(get yours here)

 

1. Friends, really true ones, are one in a million.

2. Good health; it’s so easy to take for granted.

3. I’m ready for a weekend without any running around to do (2010?).

4. Hillary Duff’s “With Love” is one of my favorite perfumes.

5. The oldest ornament I have is probably the ceramic Ernie I’ve had since I was about 4.

6. Take some cocoa & Bailey’s, mix it all together and you have one of the best holiday treats evah!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to decorating the Christmas tree with R. Darling, tomorrow my plans include sleeping in, and Sunday, I want to knit knit knit

 

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Happy Holidays Bloggy Peeps!!

13

Let’s Talk About Stash

Let’s talk about stash bay-bee,

Let’s talk about yarn for “free”,

Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be,

Let’s talk ab-out stash. Let’s talk about stash!*

*Sing to the tune of Salt ‘n Pepa’s “Let’s Talk About Sex”


It may not look like much, but that's only about a quarter of my stash....

It may not look like much, but that's only about a quarter of my stash....

 

I’ve been thinking about my stash a lot lately. Maybe it’s because the rat party (no, not Ratt party, ’cause that might be awesome) going on in the walls at night has driven us from our cozy bedroom into the guest room, or Yarn Room as R. Darling likes to call it. Sleeping in the Yarn Room for the last week has brought me face to face with the excesses of my fibery addiction. (If you are R. Darling, skip this part and start reading again at the end) Surrounded on all sides by boxes and bags of yarn, while the stuff of dreams for me, could be a nightmare when thought of in terms of money spent, and ultimately, wasted. It makes my tummy ache just a little. Each night, threading my way through boxes of yarn I mostly can’t remember buying, brings me one step closer to wondering why I can’t control myself in the face of new, “better” yarn, whenever I go to the LYS or click across the intrawebs. I’ve been pondering my “problem” for a while now and with all the crap we’ve been dealing with lately (I’ll spare you the gory details other than to say, it’s the type of anxiety that even knitting can’t make better), it’s become evident that I should stay as far away as possible from yarn I might be tempted to cheat on my stash with.

To keep me true to my wish, no my need, to work from stash lest I find myself homeless with 6 giant rubbermaid tubs of yarn to carry around in my homeless person shopping cart, I have made it my solemn task for 2009 to knit from my stash as much as possible. That’s not to say I won’t ever buy new yarn in 2009 – I mean, that’s why they make gift cards and birthdays! – but I’m going to make a solid effort to cool it. Like every addict, it helps to have the company of others with like-mined goals. With special thanks to Amy for the links, I’ve joined the Stash Knit Down 2009 group on Ravelry, and checked in with the Queue Knit Down & Personal Sock Club threads. Here’s to hoping they can help me stay cheat-on-my-stash-free in the upcoming year!

 

And with that, I’ll leave you with one more retro flashback that I’ll bet you won’t be able to quit humming all day (you know you want to!):

Stash Stash Baby

dun dun dun dun duh-duh dun dun

What’s in your stash stash baby

dun dun dun dun duh-duh dun dun*

*sing to the tune of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” – don’t even fake like you don’t know that one….

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BTW: My computer seems to be having a little retro flashback of its own with speeds to rival the dial-up days. Needless to say, using the intrawebs, e-mail, or pretty much opening and closing anything on my computer is about as painful as driving hot nails into my eyes lately. So if you don’t hear from me as much, it’s only because I don’t have 2 hours to wrestle with my computer at the moment, but I promise I’ll get back to you. Eventually. Someday. Maybe by 2010. But I will ;)

8

Dashing

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  We had our very own holiday meal for just the two of us at home on Friday and it was totally relaxing and perfect.  Hope your weekend was too!

Remember that thing I said about not knitting any Christmas gifties this year (here)?  Well, I ended up breaking down and knitting one after all.  See, I think I found my Mom’s handknit achilles heel.  She’s a sucker for fingerless mitts all of a sudden.  Can’t seem to get enough of ’em.  And now she wants Dad to have ’em too.  I’m skeptical he’ll be down with the fingerless mitts (hates things on his hands and does NOT wear sweaters or knit items at all. Ever.) but I do think he could use a pair if he could just get over his initial doubt.  So, fingerless mitts for Dad, here we go! 

 

dashing1

 

PatternDashing by Cheryl Niamath (on Ravelry here)

Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Encore Worsted color #1444 (most of 1 skein)

Needles: Size 7 bamboo dpn’s & size 8 for BO

Mods: Just lenthened the portion above the thumb to 22 rnds instead of 18 for a little extra length

New Techniques: Nope.

Time Lapse:  October 24, 2008 – November 6, 2008

Comments:  Love this pattern!  But, naturally, hate this yarn.  As usual, I had to buy a mostly acrylic yarn so that Mom can wash these in the washing machine.  Yes, I know there are now washable wools, but there is no convincing my mother that they are soft enough against your skin.  She has a wool prejudice.  Whatever.  As long as these keep Dad’s hands warm and Mom can machine wash them, then they’re all happy and that’s what counts.  A super easy, super fast knit that looks nice.  Happy Christmas!

 

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Hope everyone had a great weekend!  And hope that all of your Christmas knitting (if you chose to do some) is going well :)