Christmas Eve Eve

December 23, 2007 at 3:00 pm | Posted in finished objects, knitting, swap | Leave a comment

After what might easily have won the prize for “The Worst Week at Work Ever”, I’m now immensely relieved to be off until the 27th.

I have to say, Chris and I have had it really easy this holiday season as far as stress-free gifting. We did a little shopping on our cruise, then did a little back in November. We did a little online and have been completed finished for awhile.

Of course this is not including swap gifts and knitting because there definitely was some panic to get those done. Thankfully, the 3rd and final package went out last Monday so now I’m just waiting for my own swap packages to arrive. I’m hoping the recipient of the Christmas Package likes these:

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They are toasty warm on a chilly night.

When I finished the clogs I was still in the Christmas knitting spirit, so I made one of these and am planning to make a few more tonight.

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Isn’t it cute? You can download the pattern here at Kalamazoo Knits’ Etsy shop. This was another fun pickup from Lime and Violet’s Daily Chum.

The other evening I was sitting here in the house alone, waiting for Chris to get home from work, and I finally picked up the yarn and pattern for Eunny Jang’s Anemoi Mittens. I purchased the pattern and yarn many months ago but never had the chance to make them. Well, 3 evenings later I have this in my “next to the sofa knitting” basket:

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I think I can finish the pair by the time we fly to Washington in January. It will be nice to have some warm mittens for chilly Pacific Northwest weather.

Lastly, I wanted to congratulate my sister and new brother-in-law! Last Saturday was their wedding and it turned out just beautifully. Here they are with my parents:

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I also wanted to wish all of my knitting friends a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year.

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Christmas knitting almost done!

December 12, 2007 at 9:50 pm | Posted in finished objects, knitting, swap | 2 Comments

Vacation is officially over and I’ve settled back into work and getting ready for the holidays. I’ve also been working hard to finish knitting for the swaps I’ve joined. Speaking of swaps, today I got my package from the Ravelry Scarf Exchange and it was from my new knitting friend Kim from Canada. She totally spoiled me!

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First off, the scarf was beautiful and it was made out of a lovely bamboo yarn that’s so soft! It’s perfect for Florida wear and I’ve even got a jacket that will match it beautifully. Also in the package was some chocolate from Switzerland that’s really yummy, a vanilla scented candle, some cotton chenille yarn and a pattern for a flower washcloth, a knitting themed notepad, sticky notes in the shape of an “I”, lovely lemon verbena soap and some gummy candies that my husband hasn’t stopped munching on. The best part about this exchange is that she and I have become quite regular pen pals. Thanks so much Kim, I’m so glad we got paired up!

I also completed and sent off my own scarf to it’s recipient, Kyle. He’s already received it so I’m safe to post a picture:

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The pattern is Danica from Knitty and it’s made with Paton’s Classic Merino. The model is my very cute hubby. It was my first try at entrelac and I’m happy with how it came out. I hope Kyle was happy with it as well.

I also finished the sock for the Harvest Sock Swap and mailed it this past weekend. I’m hoping Marisol receives the package by the end of this week. Sadly there will be no pictures of the sock because I forgot to take pictures before I mailed it. Oh well, once Marisol receives it I can reveal the pattern and yarn.

In between the frantic swap knitting I took an evening off and whipped up this little Christmas sachet.

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It was a really quick knit, maybe a 2 hours from start to finish, and it’s filled with lentils to keep it standing up and apple cinnamon potpourri to give it a Christmasy scent. It was really fun to make and is a great way to use up some leftover sock yarn. I’m hoping I can knit up a few of these for co-workers. I came across the pattern while perusing Lime and Violet’s Daily Chum where it was featured. The pattern was created by Whitney, it’s free, and it can be found here. While you’re at it, take a look at the whole blog. There are tons of really great crafty patterns!

Finally, I have some pictures of the completely blocked Forest Canopy Shawl that is now wrapped and will soon be on the way to my mother-in-law for Christmas. The pictures show the yarn colorway really well.

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With a little luck I’ll be able to finish up the last of the swaps. I still have to finish up the International Christmas Exchange but I’m determined to mail it by Saturday. Once that’s finished, I may be able to get a few sachets completed. I’m afraid I overextended myself in swaps so I think my Christmas knitting has been reduced from a list of about 12 items down to one, the Forest Canopy Shawl I’ve already finished. I have to admit, I’ll be glad once all of my obligations are met because after the holidays I’ve got my heart set on starting this:

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It’s from the current issue of Interweave Knits and I’m knitting it for myself. I’m also excited because Chris and I booked our tickets to Seattle for January. We’ll be visiting his family and I’m planning on hitting a yarn store or two in Seattle and Tacoma. If anyone has been there, please tell me the best places to go!

Until next time..Happy Holidays!

Bags O’ Knitting

September 26, 2007 at 7:40 pm | Posted in knitting, stash, swap | 6 Comments

I just love seeing how people organize their stash and am always hoping to get some inspiration for my own. The stash set up I most envy is this one. Her set up is beautiful and I’ve already debated whether or not my office was big enough to accomodate those Ikea shelves. I have to admit though, my stash is teeny tiny in comparison to most. The cost of yarn makes it a luxury for me so I mostly have just enough yarn for the projects I am working on. In order to keep my projects from being strewn from one end of the house to the other, I came up with this system:

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Green Eddie Bauer = Lace yarn and needles for Secrets stole
Bright Green = Ravelry Scarf exchange scarf
White = Washcloth city
Pink = Forest Canopy shawl
Doggie = Sock yarn and DPN’s for Pomotomus socks
Little flower bag = Harvest Sock exchange socks

It’s kind of simple but it works well. I have plans to eventually knit a bunch of different project bags..maybe like the one in Knitting Daily today.

Speaking of Harvest Sock Swap socks…I finally got my match and will be making a sock for the lovely Marisol. I’m pretty sure of the pattern I’ll be using but now I need to find the perfect yarn.

A really nice knit blog I’ve been reading lately is Lime and Violet’s Daily Chum. I’m sure I’m late in jumping on the L&V bandwagon but if you haven’t read it yet I recommend giving it a visit. There is an interesting little tidbit posted every day.

As far as my own knitting progress goes, I’m still working on the scarf for the exchange mostly. It’s getting pretty close to completion but then I’m in weaving hell. I don’t want to elaborate more because I want it to be a surprise for its recipient, but once he’s received it I’ll post some pictures and you’ll see what I mean. Incidently, if you have a sec take a gander on over to Kyle’s blog. He has an amazing stash!

Lastly, tomorrow night is the Light the Night walk here in Jacksonville for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I’ve seen first hand what great work they do and I’ll be walking in honor of many children and families I’ve met as a pediatric oncology nurse. If you’d like to learn more, please click on the button on my sidebar or read more on my Light the Night page.

Christmas Around the World Knitters Swap Questionaire

September 4, 2007 at 7:44 pm | Posted in knitting, swap | 4 Comments

Are you religious?
Well, I think I am in my own way. I do not subscribe to a particular religion but at this stage in my life it’s something I’m sort of searching for and trying to learn a lot about. I would call myself nondenominational Christian.

How long have you been knitting? 1 year
Would you consider yourself a Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced? Intermediate

Do you have any other hobbies besides knitting?
Knitting is really my only real hobby though there are a lot of things that I’m interested in trying.

Favorite color(s)?
I love blues, greens, pinks and earthy tones

Do you collect anything?
Although I’m new to it, I am trying hard to start an Interweave Knits collection. I search everywhere for back issues.

Are you allergic to any fibers or animals? No

Do you have any pets?
One dog named Lucy.

Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?
Recently Tea! My husband and I are currently dabbling in all different flavors but I still love Chai the most because it’s spicy.

Cookies or Sweets?
I prefer cookies over hard or sugary candy, but I prefer chocolate over everything!

Do you knit socks?
Yes! I love to knit socks!

If not socks then what? (tell us about your favorite knits)
I really like to try new things so I don’t know if I have a favorite thing yet. Most of my knits are more for fun than warmth (I live in Florida) but I do love to make bags and socks. I’m itching to try a sweater because I haven’t tried one yet.

Do you put up a Christmas tree? If not then what do you do? Yes, we do put up a tree. My husband and I have also started an ornament collection in order to start a new family tradition. Whenever we travel somewhere we try to pick up an ornament to remember that place and we started it on our honeymoon. We also get one new ornament a year to commemorate another Christmas as a couple.

Favorite holiday treats? Chocolate!

Favorite holiday smells?
I love the smell of cinnamon at Christmas. I always have some kind of Cinnamon Potpourri on the stove.

Do you celebrate Christmas in a traditional or unconventional way? Please elaborate.
My family is pretty traditional at Christmas. We put up trees, fill stockings, open gifts on Christmas morning.

What are your favorite holiday traditions?
We have many! Every single year, as long as I can remember, my family has been together for Christmas. Now as adults we pick one house to gather at on Christmas Eve for a sleepover and we all get into our pajamas while we watch Christmas movies and wrap presents. Then at about 6:00am my niece and nephew get to wake everyone up (only after they’ve turned on the coffeemaker!) and we open presents. Once presents are opened we have breakfast and then go home to nap. Then, we all meet up again for dinner! Christmas has been the same for years and years, we’ve just added new family members along the way, and I can’t stand the thought of changing it.

Finish the sentence: “For me Christmas is all about….”
Spending time with family.

If you were a Christmas ornament you would be…….?
I think I would be a snowglobe.

What was your favorite gift you’ve ever received? Or given?
About 6 years ago my dad, all on his own, put a digital camera on layaway for me and secretly paid it off and gave it to me. My mom didn’t even know about it until right before Christmas. The fact that he thought specifically about what he wanted me to have and put the effort into getting it (vs. letting my mom do all the shopping like she normally does) was so touching to me. And, last year my hubby got me my first gift certificate to buy knitting stuff..I thought it was very sweet.

When do you start your Christmas?
If you mean shopping, we start around Thanksgiving and yes, I’m one of the crazy women out at 4:00am on Black Friday. It’s another tradition for me, my sister and my mom. We start decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Do you send Christmas cards? Do you make them or buy them?
Last year was the first year I’ve ever sent them because it was my first Christmas married. We made our card with photos on Shutterfly so we did both..made them but also bought them.

What is your favorite Christmas dish?
My sister’s breakfast egg casserole on Christmas morning is my favorite. My favorite Christmas dinner item is my mom’s cranberry sauce with mandarin oranges and walnuts…yum!!

Carolers are at your door. What do you do?
Sing along!

When do you open presents? Christmas eve or Christmas morning?
Christmas morning but on Christmas Eve we have a family white elephant swap so we get to open the swap gift, but you never know if it’s going to be a “gently used” or new item.

Do you celebrate with family or friends or both?
Mostly family but sometimes neighbors come for dinner or dessert.

Swap-O-Rama

August 31, 2007 at 11:24 pm | Posted in knitalong, knitting, swap | 6 Comments

The last week has actually felt a little cooler than the previous several weeks and so my knitting has perked up a bit. It’s tough to knit with a heat index of 116 outside. But, although it will be warm straight through October or November, I’m unrealistically hopeful that the worst is behind us. My dear Lucy has been enjoying the heat though!

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She was investigating a turtle that was crawling around our back hill.

So anyway…my recent knitting news..my Knit Picks order came in on Saturday!

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I was extremely happy to add two new books to my knitting library. I very rarely purchase books because they tend to have only a couple of patterns I would use. However I’ve been eyeballing these for a long time and they both have several patterns I’ve added to my ever growing “to do” list. Big Girl Knits also has some really good information on sweater construction which will be great since I’ve not attempted a sweater yet. I also got 2 balls of Knit Picks Dancing and 2 more sets of DPN’s. Now I’ll have the proper DPN’s to start the Anemoi Mittens.

In my last post I mentioned I’d joined a few swaps. Along with the Harvest Sock Swap, I’ve also joined the Ravelry Scarf Exchange. Unlike previous exchanges I’ve joined, this one is not anonymous and it’s up to the swappers to determine the secrecy level of their exchanges. While I’ve already contacted my swap-ee, Kyle, I’ve decided to keep the scarf a secret. I’m itching to post a picture because I’m already a good 2 feet into it, but all I’ll say about it is that I’ve tried a new knitting technique to make it, and I really hope he likes it.

I’ve also joined the Christmas Around the World Knitters Swap. This one should be fun because one of the things you are supposed to send is something that reflects your local Christmas tradition. Our family recipe for Swedish cookies will definitely be included in this package. Christmas is my most favorite time of year so I can’t wait to meet my match and start working on their treats!

Speaking of Christmas, I joined the Christmas KAL in order to try and stay organized with my Christmas Knitting, which is coming along ok. However, I have to take back one completed item from my list. I had originally completed one pair of felted clogs. Unfortunately last night my feet were really really cold so I gifted them to myself! So, I’m back to 0 completed out of 3 sets of clogs.

Lastly and most recently I joined one more KAL I’m probably the most excited about and that is the Secret of the Stole on Yahoo groups. It’s very similar to Mystery Stole 3, which I missed, where small sections of a mystery chart will be released on a weekly basis. It starts on October 5th but signups are currently open if you’re interested. So far the supplies are posted and I’m hoping to pick up some yarn this weekend. This will be my first attempt at lace or a stole so it should be really fun and a great learning experience. Now that I’ve joined so many swaps and KAL’s I’m considering buying a calendar so I can keep up!

Oops…I almost forgot!! One more thing that I joined in on is the Pay It Forward exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works. I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 365 days) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
Someday I will receive something special from Anne, and now if 3 of you would like to receive something from me, please post your comments and continue the PIF exchange your own blog. Ok, now I definitely DO need a calendar!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Hubby and I are off to the gulf coast of Florida to visit my cousin and her husband. The four of us always have a great time and this time even Lucy gets to come along.

Stalled

August 16, 2007 at 10:42 pm | Posted in knitting, swap | 2 Comments

This week has been very slow on knitting progress. After making some great progress on my Clapotis, I ran out of yarn again and it’s now on the “Stalled WIP” pile. I’m ready to start another pair of slippers but I need to pick up some new yarn so I can change up the colors a bit. I have yarn ready to start on the Anemoi Mittens Christmas project but alas, my printer ran out of ink so when I attempted to print the pattern the charts came up blank. I’ve had an unlucky knitting week!

I have joined a few swaps this week, however. One swap I’m really excited about is the Harvest Sock Swap. Each participant knits one sock then sends the pattern and materials to the recipient to knit the second sock. I think it’s a really great way to solve second sock syndrome..how fun! I hope some of you will join in too!

Off the topic of knitting and onto my second favorite topic…movies! One random bit of info about me is that I am a huge fan of Jane Austen. I’ve read all but one of her books and of course seen every movie adaptation of a Jane Austen novel that I could get my hands on. My favorite of these movies is hands-down the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. It’s about 5 hours long and was originally shown as a mini-series, and it’s fabulous. I first saw it when A&E aired it in 1995 and since then, I have watched it too many times to count, and have already worn through 1 copy and am on my second copy of the film. Of course I also loved Sense and Sensibility, adapted by Emma Thompson (who won an Oscar for it) and also Emma. This weekend my sweet husband took me to see Becoming Jane . It’s really wonderful if you are a Jane Austen fan, but even more endearing to me was the fact that Chris sat in an entire theatre full of women and watched this movie with me. Anyway, I highly recommend it and will be adding it to my Jane Austen collection when it comes out on DVD. Incidently, all of these movies would be great to watch while knitting!

Thank you sock pal!

August 10, 2007 at 5:18 pm | Posted in knitting, socks, swap | 4 Comments

I came home from work today to find a package in my mailbox! My sockpal, Kat, really did a great job and I’m so pleased! I first have to say that when I opened the mailbox a wonderful soap smell came drifting out! That’s because Kat included a little bar of handmade-in-Michigan coconut lime soap. It was a perfect choice because coconut is my favorite soap/shampoo/lotion scent. Also included was a container of “Michigan made” dried cherries, a postcard and my new beautiful PERFECT for work socks!

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I love them!

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See Kat, that’s me in the scrubs I wore to work today and they match my new socks perfectly…AND you can see them through my crocs. You did a great job and I’m really happy to meet you! I’m ready for Sockapalooza 5!

Treats!

May 4, 2007 at 7:35 pm | Posted in knitting, swap | 1 Comment

After a long day at work and a near death experience in my hour-long exercise class, I came home to find a package on my doorstep! It was my Knitter’s Treat Exchange package from Nelda the Knitting Nurse! The best word I can use to describe my treats is yummy!

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My treater had me pegged perfectly when she chose Tropical Passion Fruit body wash and lotion from Bath and Body Works.

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She knew exactly what she was doing when she picked chocolate for chocolaholic me.

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And she must have read my mind when she chose Artyarns Handpainted Supermerino in these luscious pinks, purples and blues.

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Also included were my absolute favorite knitting magazine, Interweave Knits, a very cute stationary set with picture frames, and two Aqua Lime soaps that smell SO good. I don’t think I’ll be able to save any of those chocolates until my husband gets home. They are calling to me.

Thanks SO much Nelda. My KTE package was the perfect ending to a long, rough week.

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