Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Back to Knitting News for the last day of 2010 now that all the Christmas-ing is finally over.

I made the mistake of showing Jason hat try #2 on Ravelry when he stopped into the dive shop with his dad the other day. He looked at the color and decided that the white next to the red in the variegated yarn looked "too pink" so that attempt went to the frog pond (rrrrrip!) and I started again with the first yarn and a different pattern. Try #3 felt right from the very beginning. I used a pattern out of Knit Simple, the Tasseled Earflap Hat (Ravelry link) that I'd made a few times before and it knitted up like a dream.

I've been working on the next worsted sock for wearing to work. I lovelovelove the
colors. I might have to make something that shows when I wear it one of these days.

The latest purse stitch scarf is chugging along. It's the perfect project to take along to family gatherings. I can just sit and purl along while listening, talking and laughing.
Per. Fect.

I forgot to put the picture of my Christmas outfit on the previous post. Red and green Converse All-Stars with wreaths on the ankle dots and plaid laces. A girl has t
o keep up appearances.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Today was finally the day all of our children, their partners, Mom, Durwood and I had a Christmas meal and exchanged gifts. All of the planets aligned and no one had to work (thanks, Mrs. Boss!) and we had a leisurely lunch of ham, roasted root veggies, homemade cranberry sauce, and Mom's cheesecake after we opened gifts.

Lots of the gifts were handmade, the best kind.
DD & DIL2 made lots of jams and jellies that they shared with us, DS & DIL1 made donations to Heifer Intl. in our names.

Mom made aprons for the girls and gave DS & DIL1 the lace tablecloth her grandmother had made for her hope chest, she gave DD & DIL2 a gorgeous rolling pin her dad had made from a banister taken out of an old bank building in Evansville, IN.

I made all the ladies narrow knitted fashion scarves and bike helmet earmuffs for DS to wear when he rides his bike in spring and fall.

DD knitted DS a beard hat for chilly morning bike rides too.

Mom struck a Theda Bara
pose when she put on her scarf. She's so dramatic.

The kids got Durwood an Apple Master for peeling, slicing and coring apples and potatoes. He loved it; he's a real gadget guy.

DD embroidered a pair of pillowcases for me. They're morning glories and hummingbirds. Just gorgeous.

And DS, the newest knitter in the family made everyone a mug cozy--some with buttonholes!

It was a great day to have all the kids and Mom around for most of the day. The ham was good, the veggies a bit overcooked, the cranberry sauce was soupy, and the cheesecake a bit tough but it was all delicious, we had a lot of laughs. Stories were told and connections strengthened. I loved it all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Winter Visitor

This Sharp-shinned Hawk visits here in summer but it's in winter that it stays the longest. Durwood said it sat on the fence for about 15 minutes, which is about 2 days in hawk time, but it didn't catch anything. In the summer it swoops through and never stays on the fence for more than a minute. It isn't the only hawk that hunts in our backyard, after all we do put out the birdseed buffet which attracts the birdie buffet that attracts the hawks. Durwood wants to dictate which birds the hawks can eat (not hummingbirds or cardinals) but I've told him he'll have about as much luck with that as he's had training the squirrels not to eat the birdseed and suet, which is to say, none, but he keeps trying. It occupies him. And that's the Wisconsin Hawk Report for today.

I've had a lot of knitting time the last few days so the Dreamsicle sock is chugging right along. I really like the color and the way the yarn patterns.

Tomorrow Jason's Hat #2 gets to go to work with me and grow. It looks like it's going to be a lot more his size than the gigantic one I made last week. Whew.

After supper tonight Durwood and I finally got the Christmas tree up
. That's another whew. Next comes making a few treats for when the kids are here. That'll get done tomorrow night and Friday. Can you believe that it's already December and nearly the end of it, to boot? I can't. It seems like 2010 just flew by. I know, that makes me sound old but I want to go out with a tack hammer and nail down a few corners to make time pass a bit more slowly so I can at least notice the days passing instead of having the whole thing just be a blur. I can't decide if I like the flash picture or the no-flash picture best, so you're getting both. You be the judge.

Monday, December 20, 2010


Last Friday at knitting Dusty was wearing a pretty necklace that was nothing more than a looooong chain she'd crocheted from ladder novelty yarn. She said she can't find more of it so she asked us all to check our stashes and let her know if we've got some. So when I got home I made a cup of tea and went downstairs to check the bottom tote of the stash which holds the first yarn I bought once I started crocheting again so I'd have something to do with my hands instead of smoking. You know that burst of enthusiasm for anything yarn that you get and how you're sometimes attracted to sparkly things? Well, DD and I went to Hobby Lobby and JoAnn, they were both having sales and we bought, no, we BOUGHT yarn. I won't show you all of it but I have a lot of Yarn Bee in a spongy, chunky, glittery style. It's called Aurora.

There is a fair amount of ribbon yarn in various colors, some of it waiting to be frogged,

but the most horrifying is the heap of multicolored fuzzy, hairy, and furry novelty yarn meant to be combined with something as an edging or an accent. I call it the "I Can't Believe I Bought This" collection. Unfortunately, there's no ladder yarn here for Dusty. Sorry.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

So Much Fun

You know, when your kids grow up and move away you think you're done teaching them stuff. Not so. Yesterday I got to show DS how to knit in the round with Double Point Needles (DPNs). Teaching someone how to do something makes you stop and think about how you make the motions and how you figure out the muddle of needles and yarn that you've just assembled with your cast-on. Naturally the pattern he chose to start with is a top-down hat so he's beginning with 8 stitches on 4 needles and that's a challenge. Luckily I had a book that I bought when I was learning to knit in the round that I could lend him. I did have him practice on yarn other than the stuff he hopes to make the hat from because I was certain he'd have to rip and restart at least once.

While he was learning I cast on a worsted sock since now's the time I
wear thick socks and boots to work. I think it looks like a Dreamsicle, don't you?

I braved the backyard drifts for the first time since the blizzard to fill the feeders. It was an adventure.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I Made Sasquatch A Hat

I don't know what's wrong with me this winter but I keep making hats way too big.

Way. Too. Big.


I finished up Jason's Hat just now. I tried it on. I immediately noticed that it wasn't the size I
was hoping it would be. It's 14 inches wide and it's reallyreallyreally warm. Really. Warm. It'd be good for a creature who spends his winters in the damp and chilly Pacific Northwest.

What do
you think?

Keeping My Promise

I promised the daughter of a friend I'd make her a hat. I did. But then her brother asked for a hat too. I've been looking and looking for the yarn colors he requested and they are nowhere to be found, so I dug down into the cellar of the stash and came up with a couple skeins of Jiffy Thick 'n Quick to make my old standby, Crazy Aunt Purl's Brangelina Hat. It's a classic style beanie or watch cap that makes up fast and is nice to wear. I like that it has a long ribbed part so that it snugs down over your ears in a double layer. I cast it on at work on Wednesday. Finishing it is this afternoon's project.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Gone Fishin'

Since it's bonechilling cold today and I ditched walking this morning, I sat myself down on the couch and applied my skills to crocheting the second eye, the dorsal fin, and the drawstring for the fish bag for the fish-tastic baby gift. It turned out much bigger and cuter than I had anticipated.

I love the bulging eyes,

and the granny square tail, complete with picots.

The whole group of Fish-tastic baby things makes me giggle. I hope the mama
and baby like it.

This is all the yarn left of a 4 oz. skein of wo
rsted. The bag took more than I thought it would. It was a lot of single crocheting around and around but worth it in the end. Now all I have to do is wait until the baby makes his entrance into this world and I'll box it up and send it off to Madison.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blizzard Aftermath

I know you're out there worrying about if we're buried or if we've survived the latest "storm of the century." We survived. I'm guessing we got about a foot of snow and it blew around like crazy. Having the house face south is mostly a good thing except when there's a blizzard. Then the snow piles up in front of the house and it's work to get it cleared away. But that doesn't happen too often.

The wind sculpts drifts that look like ocean dunes.

The only parts of me exposed to the wind and blowing snow were my eyes--and I squinted them to slits when the snow blew right into my face. I looked like a yeti when I came in.

Seemed like one of the neighbors got an early Christmas present. He was having a
blast snowblowing the street in front of his house.

I think I waited too long to put Fifi and the tree out in the yard. There's 3 ft. of snow there. Oh, well, next year. (this is a picture from last year)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oh Mercy

You would not believe the snow flying around outside. Here's the view out the front door. We were supposed to go to a Christmas party tonight but we decided to stay home and we're both glad we did.

I finished the hat I started the other day, only to discover I had added too many stitches and too many rows. The first hat was too small, the second too big. Way. Too. Big. R-r-r-rip.

In frustration I dug out the Meathead Hat pattern I used for Xmas hats a couple years ago, added another strand of the variegated yarn, and started again. Hats go fast when you
knit them on size 15s. By last night I finished it up at Friday Night Knitting. Now I need to find a big button or a shiny pin to put on it.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Want A New Hat

I thought I'd make a quick rolled brim hat but it was going very slowly (that's two days worth) and I lost patience.

I frogged it and started one with a strand of the wool and one of creamy chunky wool on size 17s. I got it all done by bedtime last night only to find that it was sized for a child or a peanut head, so I frogged that one this morning and brought it all to work with me today. This is how far I've gotten.

The fish bag is coming along nicely. I anticipate getting to the fins and eyes this weekend.