17

The Year Of The Mole

Goodbye 2009.  And good riddance too.
 
Oh yes, I suppose this is the point at which I am supposed to be fondly looking back on the year and reliving the good times.  And there were some good times: a few wonderful trips with R. Darling, getting pregnant, stolen moments of happiness here and there amidst the emotional bombings.  Strangely, I thought that perhaps I was just imagining how awful things seemed to be, until I read this.  But I am ready to move on from this year of maximum suckage.  It has truly been the worst year I can remember in my entire lifetime.  I’m calling it “The Year Of The Mole”;  as in, whack-a-mole.  Because I swear the hits just came coming.  Every time I’d stagger upright from one blow the mallet would be poised to deliver another one and I’d scurry as fast as possible back into my hole hoping the damage wouldn’t maim me permanently.  Whack, whack, whack, came that incessant mallet, over and over.  But enough is enough.  I am going to tuck this Mole Year safely away tonight when the clock strikes midnight, and never look back.  I’m ready for a new beginning.
 
What better way to end the year than to begin already looking forward?  I have one last 2009 WIP to show you, that will be the most fantastic FO I can imagine in 2010, bridging the gap between this old year and the new one on the horizon.  Something to help me visualize the new life we’re looking forward to and symbolize the start of what I hope will be a new phase of happiness.

Meet Knittymunchkin in 3-D!

 

Knittymunchkin


 

I already love him/her and can’t wait until baby arrives :)

 

Wishing you the most joyous New Year imaginable and a wonderful beginning in 2010!!

8

Farewell To Warms

29 weeks 3 days!


 
Hard to believe that Christmas is over already.  It went so quickly and I never felt I got the chance to really enjoy it.  Could be that my cold from hell is still getting me down (come on Booger King – you’ve been in there well over a week already, it’s time to clear out dammit), or that R. Darling had to work Christmas Eve so it felt like just any other day, or maybe I’m just feeling a teeny bit sad knowing that this is our very last Christmas with just the two of us and we really didn’t do much to make it seem special.  Or maybe it’s those pregnancy hormones (get a load of that belly up there!)?  Whatever the reason, I’m feeling a little bittersweet over this holiday.  So maybe I’ll stretch it out just a little bit longer, watch my favorite movies one more time and bake that Christmas cake I never got around to.  It’s still December for another few days….
 
This December also marks the end of another aspect of my knitting life that I’ve been working on nearly as long as I’ve been knitting.  Warm Woolies has officially shut its doors as of December 24, 2009 and will no longer be operating or receiving donations any longer.  As most of you know, I’ve  been contributing to Warm Woolies for quite some time now, and I truly believe in the great work that they do.  It’s been a pleasure to knit for them, knowing that one garment at a time, a whole army of knitters has been able to keep children here and abroad just a bit warmer each winter.  Though I understand that good things don’t always last, I am sad that this wonderful charity won’t be able to operate anymore.   Unfortunately, I didn’t make my goal this year of contributing to their 10 for 10 challenge (knit 10 items for children ages 10 and over) since morning sickness completely derailed my knitting efforts for close to 5 months, but on December 18 I did send off a final batch of 3 pairs of socks, 2 vests, 1 sweater (sized for approximately 6 years old), and 2 sweaters (sized 10 years old and up).  It felt good to mail off that last set of items, even if a little melancholic too, knowing that it’s the last time I’ll be doing it.  I wish all of the people from Warm Woolies the best of luck wherever they head after this endeavor!
 
And so, my final 2 projects for Warm Woolies (and probably for 2009):
 

Comfy Socks


 

  • PatternComfy Socks from Knitscene (Ravelry link here, My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn: Twilleys of Stamford Freedom 100% Wool; Color #408; 3 balls
  • Needles:  Size 10.5 dpns

 
This pattern was super simple and instantly gratifying (super bulky wool + big needles = turbo knit).  I actually loved these so much I considered keeping them for myself, but that kinda defeats the purpose of charitable knitting ;)  Good thing I have more of this yarn left (thanks Troy!) so I could make myself a pair if I really felt like it.
 

July Mystery Sweater for Warm Woolies


 

  • Pattern: Mystery Sweater KAL for the Warm Woolies (now Wool-Aid) group on Ravelry; for the pattern, you’ll have to look through the archives for the July Mystery Sweater at the group and collect all the “clues” (My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn: KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Bulky; Color “Scuba” #I141; 6 hanks (?)
  • Needles: Size 10.5 circular

 
This was such a wonderful pattern!  While I was knitting the neckline I was absolutely confused as to how what I was doing would produce something like the photos I’d seen, but it turned out beautifully.  I opted for the “easy” version of the sleeves as I was sort of down to the wire finishing this on time, but I still think they turned out nice looking.  I won the yarn for the sweater in a contest on the Warm Woolies Group back in July and knitted faithfully along with each clue up until about clue #4, at which time I started incubating a bun in my oven and was so sick I could hardly stand to look at yarn for the next 5 months.  But when I found out Warm Woolies would be closing up shop and wouldn’t be accepting items past December 24th this year, I knew I had to get on it to finish this.  Not only for the little one who will be kept warm in it, but also out of obligation to the pattern designer and her generous gift of yarn to me.
 
So farewell Warm Woolies!  I will certainly miss you.
 
As for Christmas, I’ll miss you too.  I dearly hope that each and every one of you had a wonderful holiday and got to celebrate each moment to its fullest!!
 
And now, I think I heard someone say cake?

9

Sick Again :( And My Contest Winner!

Hi Everyone!  So sorry for the late announcement of our contest winner.  But yes, I am sick – AGAIN.  I swear I am normally as healthy as a horse but I seem to be catching every damn thing that’s coming down the pike this year.  My throat feels like I swallowed a jumbo pack of razor blades, I can’t breathe through my nose, and I am running a fever.  If it doesn’t go down when I take my second lukewarm shower of the day after this post, I will probably have to see about going to the doctor or the hospital.  Yikes.

But the good news!  Thanks so much to all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts and enter my contest.  I do appreciate each and every one of you and what you have to say :)  But without further ado, my contest winner is iKnit.iPurl!!  I may be MIA for a few days, so please don’t worry, but when I get back I will be so excited to see what pattern you choose for yourself.  This will give you some extra time to decide :)

Thanks again everyone!  Hope you are all having a great weekend and I’ll be back when I’m feeling better.

9

Bite Me

Bite me, I said to the Bug.  And it obliged.
 
First there was a tingling in my fingertips.  The current traveled up my arm and burned its way towards my brain.  Once there it danced along the neurons, causing them to fire in unison, and headed straight back to my heart to close the circuit.  Yes, I do believe my knitty infection is finally back after many months of remission.  And it all started with this…..
 

 

  • Pattern: Little Cables Hat (Ravelry link here, My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft Baby DK; color #807; approximately 2/3 ball
  • Needles: Size 4 dpn’s

 

 

  • PatternSaartje’s Booties The Bockstark Way (Ravelry link here, My Ravelry project link here)
  • Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft Baby DK; color #807; approximately 1/3 ball
  • Needles: Size 4 Kollage square circs with 40″ cable for magic loop

 
No, these aren’t for me :)  We’re still waiting (impatiently) for our little one to arrive so we can find out boy vs. girl.  An old friend requested a hat and matching set of booties in pink for his friend who just gave birth to the first baby girl in several generations of her family.  He felt the arrival of a little girl warranted something special and asked me to make something in pink but “not too girly” as the gift was officially coming from him and girly is so not his thing.  The hat pattern seemed perfect: warm and cozy, but not entirely plain.  Because, as a knitter, plain is just, – well, so boring!  I love this pattern for both boys and girls and will probably make some in unisex colors for our own Knittymunchkin (or Babymuggins, as Knitting Up North likes to call him/her :)
 
As for the booties, I went out on a limb here because these are most definitely girly, but I’ve been wanting to try this pattern for such a long time and it just suits girl knitting so much better than boy knitting (if you ask me).  I think they weren’t quite what my old friend had in mind, but I do think that the new Mom will like them.  How could you not?  This is such an adorable pattern!  I kept them simple in one color and plain buttons, so hopefully that smoothed it over with Mr. Gift Giver.  The pattern seemed fiddly at first because I had trouble visualizing where it was going, but once I made the first one the second one went quickly.  So glad I did this version instead of the original so that I could do it relatively seamlessly!  The buttonholes gave me some trouble (made them too big the first time) and I had to make them twice, but I think I learned my lesson. I was thrilled (and stunned) to be able to make both items from one ball of yarn.
 
Now that I’m sort of officially back in the game, I am really looking forward to finishing up some things I’ve been working on for a while so that I can start fresh on a new project without guilt.  Hey, here’s a thought: if you ever feel that knitting has become too much of an addiction, get pregnant.  I swear that will get you off the wagon for at least 3 long months! Or 5 if you milk it like me ;)

9

Christmas Is Coming & It’s Time To Celebrate!

The Bellagio Casino Christmas Display in Vegas - December 2009


 
I love going to the Bellagio Hotel in Vegas whenever we visit.  They always have a seasonal or holiday display of some kind inside the lobby and I make sure I drag R. Darling there whenever I get the chance.  Last time we were there it was autumn and there were gorgeous displays of apples and pumpkins to put us in the harvest mood.  Imagine my excitement this time to realize that we would be there in time for the Christmas display!  Oh how I love Christmas and love all the decorations and good feelings involved.  It was quite the kick-off to our holidays to be able to stroll through the conservatory and catch a glimpse of polar bears made entirely of white carnations, reindeer made of pecans, and the biggest Christmas tree I’ve ever seen in my life (only because I’ve never been to Rockefeller!).  I just wanted to share with all of you who couldn’t be there and hope that your holidays are off to a great start too!
 
Besides Christmas, there’s something else I’m celebrating here at the bloggy.  This is my 300th post!  And I also missed commemorating my 3rd Bloggyversary in October.  I guess it’s all about the 3’s today :)  Because I have so much to celebrate and because it’s the season of giving, I’m going to have a little contest.  If you have a blog, leave a comment telling me how long you’ve been blogging, what you love most about it, and what you do to recuperate if you have a little bloggy slump (I could use the advice!).  If you’re not a blogger, tell me what you like about reading blogs and what keeps you coming back to the ones you like best.  Comment with your answer(s) by Midnight (PST) Friday night, December 18, 2009 and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize!  The prize?  I knew you’d ask, since it’s really all about the prize, isn’t it? :)  Ravelry has just announced a new pattern gifting feature and I can’t wait to try it out.  If you’re my winner, I will purchase a pattern of your choosing (up to $7) and gift it to you on Ravelry.  I’ll announce the winner on Saturday, December 19, 2009. Hooray for gifting!
 
I’m so looking forward to all your answers and thank you so very much for all your support over the last 3 years and 300 posts!  It really does mean so much to me and I’m so very grateful for each and every one of you.  Happy Holidays!

8

Today….

Today…..

  • I have forgiven (mostly) my dog
  • I am sore from yesterday’s strength-training session (the first in many long months!)
  • I am happy to see the sunshine, but also charmed by the frosty patch in the backyard that just won’t melt
  • I’m grateful for one last paycheck from my job to help us get by as we adjust to one income
  • I am listening to Christmas music and feeling happy that it’s “that time of year” again
  • I am finishing one last sweater for Warm Woolies

My forlorn, but nearly finished, July Mystery Sweater

  • I am wondering why that guy at the bank felt safe letting his daughter hand me books and play with me while he was in an office 2 doors away signing paperwork – do I look trustworthy?  Or is it just because I’m a girl?
  • I am going to be packing for a weekend inVegas
  • I’m wondering what kind of kung fu master my baby will become as it kicks me over and over
  • I was pleasantly surprised to find the snow back on my blog for the month of December
  • I feel like the real reason I like Facebook is for the games ;)
  • I’m hoping that you have a wonderful weekend and life is good!

See everyone when we get back from Vegas on Monday!

6

Well, It’s Cheaper Than Eating Rocks

Mister Dog

Ah, Thanksgiving.  Family, turkey, and all the good stuff(ing).  As we sat down to our late afternoon repast, our typically beggarific Jack Russell, Nelson, charmed and astonished us by waiting patiently outside the dining room while dishes clinked and food was passed.  Anyone who has ever owned a terrier, or been around one, will probably be as astounded to hear of this behavior as we were to witness it.  Did someone slip him a Prozac while we were sleeping?  No matter.  He was being the best he’d ever been and amidst exclamations of, “what a good boy you are!” we rewarded him in kind with bits of turkey as we finished carving up the carcass.

Fast forward to Saturday morning.  Our perfect pooch ate his breakfast and then proceeded to recycle it on the back porch and carpet throughout the day.  Terriers are nothing without their bounce, and our little guy’s spring had definitely unsprung.  By Sunday morning he would do nothing but stay in his crate, head bowed, and refused all food and water.  When he couldn’t be enticed with food, we knew something was most definitely wrong.  Besides his tennis ball, food has always been his biggest obsession.  So we took him to the doggie ER and awaited their diagnosis.  Turns out, he had pancreatitis.  And it was all our fault.  All that fatty turkey overloaded his system and his pancreas was working overtime to get rid of it.  We felt awful as we drove him home, dehydrated and drugged, and with pockets about $400 lighter.

Come Monday morning, he still refused to eat and I was truly worried he was still dehydrated.  So, off to the regular vet I went, with poochie in my arms.  As a sidenote, another sign that our dog was seriously ill: he actually let me pick him up without growling at me.  They continued to treat him over yesterday and today and he’s now eating on his own and seems to have recovered quite well.  We’ll probably have to manage his diet for the rest of his life, but we are so glad that he is still with us.  Although, if you’d asked me about 3 hours ago I might have told you something different.  After hours of worry and a total $800 worth of vet bills, the ungrateful bastard bit me.  I guess I’m going to have to forgive him eventually, but it may take a few days.  Good thing he’s cute.

But it’s not all bad I guess.  While we were waiting in the doggie ER on Sunday, our friendly neighborhood celebrity (think: Whose Line Is It, The Drew Carey Show, and Two And A Half Men) came in.  Such a nice guy.  He asked us about our dog and we treated him like a “normal” person, as if we had no idea who he was.  I swear that guy is always “on”.  He had us laughing from the moment he stepped in.  When we told him what happened he shook his head and said kindly, Well, I know better than to feed my dog turkey.  But my dog, he eats rocks.  $1700 and one surgery later, he was presented with the stone as if it was a trophy he might like to keep on display.  I guess we should consider ourselves lucky.  That was one expensive rock.