Monday, December 29, 2008

More FO's

I finished the baby's sweater, doesn't he look cute in it? I am making great progress on my afghan. I have completed the magnolia medallions which make up the center strip. I have crocheted half of the top portion of the afghan. With the next 4 day weekend coming up, I should be able to finish it. Yay. Although it is warming up, we are in the mid 30s now.

My cake is excellent and everyone LOVED their gifts. The kids said awesome a lot and the adults were speechless. Davi cried when she saw herself in the crocheted portrait. Sydonia and Harmony wanted to started learning to knit right away. Harmony finished her cast on row and one knit row and Sydonia knit 5 or 6 rows of her scarf before they left. Her Mom said she has been knitting non-stop and is very proud of her scarf. I have created a new knitter!!! Courtney and Dominique made their Grandma take them to McDonald's Friday to spend their gift cards. We had two winners in the lottery scratcher game, Mom won $7 and cousin Michael won $3. It was a lot of fun.

I hope this two and half days goes fast at work, I really am looking forward to being at home. I am slowly de-decorating. I have taken down the wall decorations and removed the holly garter from the banisters. We still have too much food leftover, but that's par for the course.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Quick Post

It's my Friday - so there, I am taking Christmas Eve off. Our Vanpool is not running tomorrow and the firm closes at noon - didn't make sense for me to commute 3 hours to work 4 - so I am staying home. I have to make two German Chocolate Cakes. I use the recipe for both the cake and the frosting from inside the wrapper of the Baker's German Chocoalate bar. We only cook from scratch in my house so that means separating eggs, whipping egg whites and slowly stirring caramelly frosting on the stove until it is thick and rich. And yes, I make the 3 layer cakes - no flat square cakes or short 2 layers. I have to make two because that's just how we roll.

I created a game in my mind and will try to make it a reality. We dote on the children in our family and oftentimes forget the adults. So I came up with a game for the adults. I am calling it penny smart and pound foolish. I will pass out pennies to all guests over 18 years of age. Then I will pass out one California Lottery Scratcher ticket to each adult. I will allow a one minute trading period. During the trading period they can swap scratchers with someone else. We all have our favorites, I like the Big Spin Scratchers and my Mother likes the Millionnaire Scratchers. My guy at the Lottery Store had 15 different $1.00 scratcher games for sale. I bought 40, we are supposed to have 35 adults, so I got some extra tickets in case we have a few drop ins. Back to the game, after the trading is done everyone will scratch off their tickets and see what they have won. If you traded away a winner you are pound foolish, if you traded for a winner you are penny smart. I will try not to be too upset if I have bought someone a Million Dollar ticket, after all we are all family.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wonderful Winter Wonderland

I am so enjoying this rainy stormy weekend. I finished my Austermann Step socks last night, and I finished and wrapped my Sister's scarf. There won't be any finished photos of that project, it's just a longer version of the photo below. I am back onto the Forest Canopy shawl because it is the next project on the sidebar that is almost complete.

I finished something else this weekend, my Commemorative Collector's Book of State Quarters. I got both Alaska and Hawaii quarters yesterday so my book is now complete. 1959 was a very good year !!! I am actually collecting $10 rolls of every state quarter, I finished 4 more states: Delaware, Illinois, Colorado and Michigan. My Mother plays a game called Pokeno with her girlfriends once a month and they bet quarters for different combinations on their playing cards. She got coverall last night and I ended up with $15.25 in state quarters for my collection.

The baby boy dog child has a grooming appointment tomorrow and it is time for his annual shot. I have four 8 row repeats left to finish this FC Shawl, then I will finish his little sweater. I have 3 inches of the body to knit then there is a chest plate which enables you to custom fit your pooch. I am not sure how many rows or inches that will be. But every time the baby comes back in the doggy door he is soaking wet, so I must get his little sweater finished before he gets doggymonia or something. I am making him the Posh Pooches Basic Sweater.

I watched my favorite version of A Christmas Carol last night, the original 1951 black and white version staring Alastair Sim hosted by Patrick MacNee. Tonight I am going to watch the Albert Finney version. Tomorrow night the George C. Scott version, then the night after the Patrick Stewart version. Aw Christmas, I just love it.

I am wrapping green this year, I did not purchase any wrapping paper or gift bags. I am a shopaholic and I have boxes and bags galore, so I recycled and put gifts in what I already had on hand. Hope the recipients aren't too disappointed when they find no Louis Vuitton or Coach items in the bags and boxes. Teehee, I warned my Sister up front because I often give her Coach bags and accessories for Christmas. Did not want to disappoint her, she is getting . . .oops, I almost slipped. My BIL reads my blog and he is a tattler.

I bought myself a sewing machine for Christmas, but for knitting purposes. Let me explain. I bought three of the Knit Picks colorwork kits, the Agouna Laptop Bag Kit in blue which requires steeking; and the Cool and Warm Palette Fingering Yarn Sampler kits with the Sipalu Bag patterns. I also have the Jade Starmore Glenesk sweater kit, more steeking. Steeking is scary enough without trying to do the sewing part by hand. So I bought a little sewing machine to help me over the hurdle. It is a Singer 7470 and it sews alphabetical characters too. I am determined to stitch my username on my Ravelry tote. I wrote my name on another unofficial Ravelry tote from Zazzle, using fabric markers, but it faded very quickly. I also like to put zippers in my tote bags and linings in my knit and crocheted bags, which I have been doing by hand. Now I can do a much better job of finishing.

Last but not least ( I want to get back to my knitting!!), I bought the Knit and Crochet Today DVD set. We no longer get the DIY channel and I wanted to get this set because it comes with a 28 pattern CD-ROM. Pretty cool!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Chilly Dilly

I fell down and started two new projects. So much for good restriction intentions. My excuse - it's COLD. We are experiencing temperatures in the 30s and it's SNOWING. This is California after all, what goes on?!?!? So, I fell off the wagon and started two new projects. I am crocheting my sister a scarf and knitting my dogboy a sweater - it's COLD. I must keep the babies healthy!!!

I cast on and knit the cuff of the 2nd Austermann Step Sock. I made some cute ornaments, a stocking, vest, sweater and mitten.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Photo Op

I had some time to snap some shots.

Completed Davi, bordered and backed. It still amazes me that you can get this result with single crochet stitches. The finished piece is larger than I expected. The upholstery fabric I used as a backing is perfect. The loose ends of the yarn ties is not noticeable. The only thing I would do differently is crochet the border from the very beginning. Picking up the stitches on the top and bottom left a very irregular kind of messy row. This can be avoided easily by crocheting the border stitches as you go, there will be no yarns tied on at the top or bottom. That allows for a much neater and finished edge. Todd is currently offering a pattern promo for the holidays which I completely plan to take advantage of. I want to do my Mom and Dad next.

WIP - Candle Flame Scarf in Wollmeise Buxkranzl (box wreath). Love this yarn!!!

The latest Wollmeise Sock Club installment.
1 Hank of Saami
1 Hank of Jultomye
Both are superwash merino, 574 generous yards. There is a star cookie cutter, gummie bears and a special surprise inside the ball of yarn included. The sock pattern is called Little Brother and it looks like a challenge - I have put it aside for now. I think the Saami will become a bag and the Jultomye a neckwarmer.

The four flowers that make up the center panel of the Homespun Magnolia Afghan in the Tudor colorway.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I am on Restriction

I mean really now!!! Every time Renee (Goddess Knits) releases a new pattern or Miriam (MimKnits) has a new pattern available on The Loopy Ewe, there I am hitting the BUY NOW button. It's ridiculous. I have more patterns than I have yarn - and that's saying something!!! My queue is about to max out on Ravelry, it takes me three or four clicks to get to the most recently added to move them to the beginning (temporarily) of the line. Some people have no control - raising both hands. So I am putting myself on restriction.

I just finished my crochet by numbers portrait, including sewing on the backing and adding a cabachon ring for hanging. I finished another pair of socks - which unfortunately does not count towards my 52 pair plunge because they were a pair I finished and had to rip one out and reknit from the heel. I started my magnolia afghan which is a must - it dropped below 30 degrees last night, gotta have my afghan y'all. But other than that I am on a time out.

The terms of my restriction - and public declaration should shame me into sticking to it - (1) no more yarn until I knit up all skeins of a colorway [DONE= Tudor Homespun] (2) no more patterns until I complete a project using a pattern I have never knit or crocheted before [DONE= Magnolia Afghan and Posh Pooches Doggy Sweater, Miniature sweater, vest, mitten and stocking ornaments] (only exception is downloading the weekly clues for the two Mystery Kals I purchased - see I already own them, so they are not technically new ;P) (3) no more needles or hooks until I free two circulars, and 2 crochet hooks from works in progress [DONE= finished socks, sweater, scarf and ornaments] (4) no more books until I read a knitting or crochet book all the way through, AND make the pattern(s) I bought the book for - wow that's a big one for me, I love me some books (5) no more casting on until I finish all of the WIPS currently in the sidebar of this blog - whew, I am starting to sweat. [Finished two projects from the sidebar, but cheated and casted on the ornaments and a scarf for my Sister.]

These may sound more like new year resolutions than a crafting to do list. But really I need to get some control over these areas. I love to knit and crochet, so it is time I started KNITTING and CROCHETING and stopped shopping and searching and browsing for yarn, tools, patterns and such. You know what I mean?

These are not resolutions however, the restrictions only apply until each of them are accomplished. Then I am free to be me.