knitnana: January 2011

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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust!

Sunday, that is...

Yesterday was just a play day for the most part, because I've been working most of the month and I deserved it.
;)
Sis-in-law and I met up and got scoops of the best darn dark chocolate ice cream ever, then wandered around a couple of "antique" malls - I put quotes around that word, because, like my mother before me, I'm having a rough time seeing the things I got married with turning up as "collectibles!"

When I got home, I did cut some fabrics for bags, and then spent my evening alternately working on my Buttermilk Sky (just realized I don't have a photo of that on my project page! ACK!), and also on the Marsan Watchcap I'm making for Warm Hats for Hot Heads:

I made a Mavis bag for an order today (and will get a photo later of it with the two needle cases they ordered to go with) and then started on this:

I love the way this turned out! The fabrics I used for the pockets are lovely and were what I started with...all in my stash. I found the Asian green leafy fabric under a pile of other green fabrics on my stash shelves and was pretty psyched that everything went together so well...added the baglet when I realized I had a little of it left!

You can see the insides there along with the insides of a Sock Monkey Oressa behind it (those are #8 and #9 of the 111 in 2011 I'm doing).

In addition to all that, I did many loads of laundry and fabric today, and finally got around to finding the matelasse comforter cover that I have been saying I was going to stuff my Mom's antique satin down comforter into. Once I found it and stuffed it in, I then took some white yarn and tied it in several places. The last time I tried to use that cover the comforter ended up sliding to the bottom of the bag. Being satin and all, 'tis the nature of the beast, I suppose. I decided some time later that the solution was to tie it the way you'd tie a quilt...and the hope is that this will keep the satin fabric from shredding and giving up the majority of it's down feathers.

Mind you, Mom's been gone for 15 years next month. I've used that comforter every year since, and the satin has had tears in it long before it became mine. I've agonized over it all this time, but there's just nothing to be done about the age of the fabric. The embroidery on it is stunning, but I never got to enjoy it, because I kept that side turned to the bed to try to protect it. With the arrival of The Tonk, the stuffing's been flying everywhere (and I'm relatively sure is much inside the little guy as well) and the tears have been expanding. It was long overdue to try to find a way to contain it.

(I have no idea if this will work, mind you...)

But the furkids liked the results just fine, so my fingers are crossed!

And then tonight? Not quite finished with my crazy day: I made "Mom's Goulash" for the Clean Out the Cupboards Challenge I'm participating in over on Nana Sadie's Place.

Whew. I'm not done, either...it's time for breakfast making for the week (slow-cooking oatmeal) and lunch packing (leftovers!), as well as taking the last load of fabric out of the dryer.

Oh. Hmm...Maybe a bit of knitting before all is said and done. I must get to my mittens!

Have a great week!
(((hugs)))

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Warm Hats Not Hot Heads...

Catchy title, eh? I can't take credit for it...

Actually, Ellen and her friend Alison have come up with a response to the whole craziness-in-Tucson-stuff that speaks to something I wished for a few years ago...and that I happen to think is an excellent idea!

Warm Hats Not Hot Heads is a knitters' movement for political civility. It follows along the lines of the wish I had that we could teach all these politicians and heads of state to knit, and ask them to knit for those less fortunate, and that in doing so, they might have a moment to think, to cogitate, to consider that the things they are doing now tend to make things worse, not better, tend to make us less likely to care about one another and more likely for some folks to do something appalling.

So, of course, when Jocelyn pointed me to the new endeavor, and I read what both Ellen and Alison had written (and what Joce wrote so eloquently) and I was reminded (by myself) that I'd once had similar thoughts...

Well, what could I do, but sign on?

Representative Goodlatte? Prepare yourself to be met at a (not-too-distant) future event with the product of this knitter's needles.

And prepare yourself for the note I will enclose...I hope you will wear the hat. I don't particularly see your political side of things, but I will knit this hat out of love for this country and remembrance of the shattered lives of those injured and killed in Tucson.

And Rep. Goodlatte? I hope it really does keep your head warm.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Why Yes, I'm a Tad on the Loony Side, Why Do You Ask?

I'm a bit late in joining in on a sub-group in the Stash Knit Down group on Ravelry. It's called 111 in 2011. Um, why yes, that's 111 items completed in 2011. No, really, I'm not insane, a trifle loony, but not insane.

You see, it's not just knitting. It's 111 crafted items from stash.

Oh. Different sort of story, right? Well, it is if you're thinking, as I am, about doing the TKGA Greensboro Conference in September, along with the National Capital Cat Show. So that means, I have to start sewing now!

I have, wanna see?

Well, you've already seen that middle one, but that makes 3 items of the 111 already and I can count: the Musica Mitts I made my sister, and the socks I just finished for my sis-in-law, the Grand Mera I made for the cat show last weekend - if it's stash of any sort, I can count it!

AND guess what? I finally finished these:

On the needles since I went winging off to Vermont last August, the Austermann Step socks are finally done. Please note that they are fraternal, not identical. I'm rather ticked about that. They were identical till I got to the cuff and suddenly there was a black strip (I was at the cat show on a very dead Sunday morning when I saw this.) BLACK? Where did that come from? And the three mini stripes were nowhere to be seen. Straight from lavender to coral with that stripe of black in between.

You do not know how hard it was for me to fight my nature and keep knitting. I wanted to stop, rip, wind off the yarn till I got to the proper spot and rejoin and knit. But I refrained. These are the cuffs. I will wear them UNDER slacks. It will not matter.

And so they're done.

And The Tonk loves them.

*wink*
Seven down, 104 to go!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

High Drama

I tend to sit and watch and listen to the President's State of the Union speech. There are times I want to throw things at the tv, and there are others when I'm in essential agreement with most of what's said...

Tonight, I took advantage of the speech to finalize the first Meeting St. Mitten:

I'm glad to say this wasn't a speech at which I wanted to throw things at the tv.

Nope. I like these mittens too much, and I feel like I've been working on them longer than I want to.

So...50% complete. (Oh and since it was a longish speech, I went ahead and cast on for the second mitten, and got an inch or so up the cuff before I put it away.
;)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Next Interesting Thing On My Schedule

Cat Show? Check.
Done and put to bed. Orders pending and will be put together shortly - of course I'll share as they're created! :)

Then...a planned visit to Big Sis when we'll head off for the Smithsonian and an exhibit I've been so excited about, that I tend to quiver like The Tonk when he hears me pick up his aluminum crinkle ball for a game of "Fetch"


So shoot me. My mom used to say, "You're the mathematician in the family."

I'd crack up and say, "No, Mom. I'm an accountant. The two are very very different...accounting is a language. Math is a science."

I couldn't convince her.

I was really rotten in geometry. I think if they'd taught it via quilting, I wouldn't have had such trouble. And had crochet been involved? Well, I can only imagine that my grades would have been a lot better...

I am so excited about this trip. More later.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fly-By Posting...

A terribly quick post to say a couple of things:
1. W-2's are done and in the mail! (both employer & client!) YEEHAW!
2. I'm beginning the decreases on the Meeting St. Mitten #1!

ok...three things:
3. Tomorrow night is set up for the Star City Cat Show!

Whew...the world keeps spinning faster and faster, it seems...

Oh.
4. We're under high wind warnings, gusts up to 50 miles an hour and dangerous windchills thru tomorrow afternoon. (Wish those mittens were both finished!)

(more later...promise!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

It's Time For A Cat Show!


So, of course, you know I'm making bags?

(I had both Assistants in the sewing room, too! "Helping," of course. Well, in a way they helped...The Meezer stepped in front of the space heater whenever the thermostat told it to turn on. The Tonk chased his aluminum crinkle balls, stepped into his water bowl, and showered us with water. SUCH a big help!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Something's Working in the Background....

I was working on the Meeting St. Mittens for a few minutes tonight, and thinking again about the hat I got Saturday, and the mittens I passed up. Not exactly sure what it was, but I think it was the turquoise in the Berroco Sox Metallic that suddenly caused a *snap* in my mind:

And I realized I don't need those other mittens...these will blend just fine.

Our minds are continually working even when we think they're not, eh?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I Need An Intervention...

That's what I told sis-in-law today...

Do you think mittens and mitts have become the "new" socks for me? I do. First it was the Cat Mittens, then the Musica Mitts for my Big Sis, then the Meeting St. Mittens, and the Wintry Mix Mitts, and now? the "All You Need Is Love" Mittens from Freshisle Fibers of Manitoulin Island (can I admit I had no idea where that was? I didn't think I was geographically challenged, but apparently so!)

And as if that's not enough? I went to the Plow & Hearth Outlet yesterday and bought a handknit hat from knitters in Nepal. I am heartsick that I didn't buy the mittens that matched it. Now I must order them, and that's going to cost more plus shipping to boot!
(sigh)
Mittens and mitts, hats and cowls...

I guess I'm all about the small items, the short projects, the portables.
(Oh and that apparently I have a serious case of startitis again...)

Guess who else likes the latest kit?

The handdyed yarn is yummy...but I didn't let The Tonk eat it...

I think I need an intervention, what say you?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Buttermilk Sky Cowl in a Charcoal Gray

Ok. I lied. I said I was going to knit something simple, suggesting something already on the needles. Nope. Startitis got it's clutches in me bad, and I fished out the Berroco Vintage Wool from last years Rav party at Sock Summit, wound it into a ball (not even putting the swift up, just a regular winding. And cast ON...
And this is at the end of the first 6 rows of ribbing and the beginning of the fourth row of the buttermilk sky pattern.

I think this is a lovely little piece to knit for self and also for gifts. I can see making many cowls and posting a card with hand washing instruction, and perhaps a little slip of a card to point the receiver in the direction of Blue Penninsula to see Bonnie's additional designs.

I really like this...But now I'm off to bed as the pain meds are beginning to make me stupid, and I'd just prefer that you not know me the way I am on pain meds, okay?
:)

I'm Actually Reading a Bit...

Just finished Slow Love which I discovered after I stumbled upon Dominique's blog. I thoroughly enjoyed it, identified with her relationship problems to an extraordinary degree (I swear I know the man she was involved with for years, but I suspect, there is a TYPE and it's not really the same man...). While her life is more comfortable than mine, I can appreciate her fear and depression upon losing her job (been there), and her struggles to become a more whole person as she adjusts, can relate as well to the health crisis that assists her in the process.

I was not the least daunted by a snippy review I read of the book that suggested that because she had lived a life of privilege, that she would not be able to understand the real distress of those who are in the ranks of the unemployed in these recessionary times.

I didn't read the book for that perspective. I read it as a woman's memoir, an example of how a woman copes with adversity and hangs tough, hangs in, and manages to come out feeling stronger about who she is.

That's the kind of book I like to read (some of my favorite authors over the years have been Alice Koller, Alix Kates Shulman, and Joanna Macy). I like anything that discusses how a real woman handles the challenges of her life. And I'm especially interested in the way she interacts with nature as she goes...especially if she ends up being committed to a defense of the natural world.

(Ok...that's my genre along with knitting books and I'll be working on No Idle Hands again this weekend, it's a delight!)

I'm hoping to knit a little tonight, maybe a bit on the Log Cabin blanket or a sock, as I've had a bit of oral surgery, and the novacaine is starting to wear off. I'll be taking pain meds, and I don't think I want to be knitting anything complex, or sewing bags while I do that!
*wink*

And if there's a book like one of those I've linked to that you liked? Let me know, okay? Especially if I can get it on the Nook as I'm hankering after one of those like crazy...soon, I hope!
:)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cute Overload

Ok, I promised:

That looks somewhat familiar doesn't it? Like an Oressa doublepoint needle case?

Yes. Hit it on the head...except remember that back before Christmas I showed you I'd modified it? Well, I also found this darling pampered felines fabric and knew I had to use it in the Oressa to cushion fine, bamboo and wood needles and hooks...

But most of us, "mature ladies" would be less inclined to show off such a cutesy print in a blatant manner, you know?

But those cheetah prints? Well, many of us will celebrate the beautiful big cats if we know we're not going to be harming them, right?

One last glimpse, okay? I do like the fabric flap to cover the needles and hooks and keep them secure - I'm so glad I decided to update this design!

Call me silly, but I just love this charming pink print (note the pawprints?) tucked inside the wildcat cotton!

And, of course, you know...Nana Sadie Rose is all about putting the FUN in practical, right?

Now, if you are in a mind for a lovely, quick knit for either yourself, or a gift this month, when you've little energy left for gift knitting? Then you'll want to see Bonnie's lovely little cowl. I snapped it right up, thinking it would not just make quick work of a gift or two I've got coming up in the next few weeks, but would be nice to knit ahead for the holidays next year...

And while you're visiting Bonnie? Be sure and give her Snickers head scritches! What a pretty little thing she is!
(((hugs)))

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Quick Cute Sneak Peek Post

Tis the season when Knitnana has little time to post.

Still, I kinda thought you might like a sneak peek:

It's cute. Too cute...what is it? Oh, you'll have to wait to see...

But it's almost as cute as these two:

Oh, well, maybe not quite this cute...


I'll be back, promise! *wink*

Saturday, January 08, 2011

A Wintry Mix...

Actually it started snowing ("flurrying," my Vermont Aunts would say) yesterday afternoon, and continued overnight...I had a pretty uncomfortable tummy overnight (I had a massage after work, and I can't decide if it was the Bio Mat which I'd never been on but loved! or if something I was eating or drinking last night wasn't agreeable. But as a result, I didn't get up early, never looked out my door. About 9, I heard the tell-tale sounds {scrape-scrape} and stepped out of the warm bed long enough to peek thru the curtains - my neighbor was finished shoveling my walk and almost finished the driveway. I didn't even think twice: I went back to bed...just not feeling up to snuff at all...

But I did get up about 10:30, got breakfast (I feel pretty good now, just tired) and started laundry, dusting and a little bit of vaccuming. Sue showed up about noon (with a bowl of lentil soup from Wildflour - my FAVORITE! Thank you, Sue, that's dinner tonight!). She and I are participating in the NaKniMitMo this month and had both bought the Wintry Mix Mitts pattern and yarn. Sue and I have known each other a bit over a year, having taken yoga together. I knew she knit, and I've slowly been turning her into one of us - an obsessive knitter. I'm afraid I enabled her right into this pattern and the yarn as well.

So I used my swift and ball winder to wind up her 3 skeins and we chatted about knitting and what she needed to do to get started (this is her first Fair Isle project, and after she went off to her other errands, I wound mine up and got it loaded to Ravelry.

Last night, while I was feeling punk, I finished up dear Sis-in-law's socks and a dishcloth I'd promised her.

Please pardon The Tonk toes in that photo.

Then worked a little on my Meeting St. Mittens.

Tonk, however, was much more interested in his toy. That's one of those aluminum crinkle balls. They're light as a feather, and he can play by himself for hours (unless it goes under the sofa or under the closet door (where he sits and whines till I come with either the yardstick or the thumbs necessary to open the door so he can dart in and pull his ball to safety!
Eventually tho' he did his best Meezer imitation.
I can tell it's Tonk because of the headtilt, but I think he thinks he's fooling me!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

NaKniMitMo and So On...

It's January, and you may not see a lot of me this month, as it's my busiest of the year. And as if my normal stuff isn't enough, I set myself a few goals for this new year, one of which is to participate in NaKniMitMo (National Knit Mittens Month!).

(Over on Nana Sadie's Place I'm talking about food, financial, and community/environmental plans, so if knitting bores you - or if those other topics interests you, please do stop by?)

I started my Meeting St. Mittens last night...

but having just photoed them to show you, I realize that the change I made to make them smaller (instead of 64 sts, I reduced to 48, because my hands are SMALL) has flubbed up the nice boxed effect of the two sock yarns, so this

isn't there any longer (I frogged it). I'll try dropping back on the needle size, but I'm not so sure I think that will make enough of a difference - The above is knit on US 3s, maybe I need 1s?

On a happier note, my last knitting-related order arrived today (bought in 2010):

I have fallen in love with Inggun, a lovely fitted and cabled vest. I'm not ready to knit it, but wanted the pattern available. There's also a great hat and mittens pattern in there so who knows....I might have to make those!

But the real treat in that order?

The Wintry Mix Mitts yarn in the colorway that's featured on the pattern...navy blue, white, and lavender Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light.

You would never have guessed that I'd fall for such colors, now would you? *wink*

I suspect that once again, I've bitten off more than I can chew. I may not even get one pair of mittens (or mitts) finished this month. Did I mention how busy January is?

Still...I like options. (Oh, yeah, I've got options - you should see my queue on Ravelry - I have more mittens there than it's humanly possible for me to wear in my entire lifetime! But then, that didn't stop my sock knitting compulsion, now did it?)
(((hugs)))

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Holiday Knitting!

Ok...today was my family Christmas, and so finally I can stop with the stealth knitting projects and finally let you see what I've been up to!

To begin with, all three of my grandsons wanted new hats, but I didn't learn this until it was almost the 25th! So off I went and bought three colors of Vanna's Choice (which I'd never used before and let me just say this: it's good! REALLY!)

DGS1 wanted a green hat, DGS2 wanted a red one, and DGS3 loves purple, like his Nana! So...I found those colors and went to town, knitting Ryan's Dulaan Cloud Hat - only without the "cloud" of mohair). I used size 10.5 Addis...and, frankly? The boys opened them, and put them on. We had a time getting them to take them OFF. I think that project rated a 10! (But I really felt good when I was able to find matching shirts - okay, they're short-sleeved polos, but hey, they know I love them enough to buy their favorite colors, right?)

One of the projects I was most excited about were the Musica Mitts for my Big Sis...

Does she look happy? :) She was delighted and kept them on through the entire gift opening! Except that once, her husband (who is also a musician) tried to put them on. I stopped him. I blocked those things last night, his hands are much bigger than hers! Hmm...

Probably might want to put another (larger) pair on the list for next Christmas?

Now, the item that you won't believe, is this one. My FIRST sweater:

For my new granddaughter. My friend Rae designed this Easy Cuff-to-Cuff Baby Sweater and suggested I use it for my first pattern. As you can see, my granddaughter is a little bitty thing and this sweater practically covers her to her toes - ok...she can wear it longer!

The hat was an afterthought as I still had some yarn...so I found The Presto Baby Hat and made that to go with...I think her mother was delighted with the set.

The only thing that didn't work was a set of booties I tried to make using Sydney the multi-sized pattern for ruffled baby socks (I have Toe Up!, Chrissy Gardiner's sock book but the baby pattern is free on Ravelry!

The pattern is delightful. There's nothing wrong with it, but I used left-over sock yarn, and once I was done with the first one?

It weighed .5 ounces.

My remaining sock yarn weighed .4 ounces.
Blech.
Arrrrrrggggggghhhh.
Ok. DGD will get this every Christmas on the tree with a gift card in it. It's just the right size...

Saturday, January 01, 2011

What I'm Planning For 2011

I've been spending the past week knitting and sewing my little fingers to the bone, during a week that might have been a bit of a rest from that had I only planned things differently. Yes, that is the story of my life, I'm sure you're aware of that by now. But change is possible...read on!

My Christmas is this weekend, the family is arriving on Sunday for our gift exchange and visit. Since I've known this for a bit, it seems I kept adding things to my list of "to make" items...after all, I had "plenty of time!" {heheh}

I'm hopeful that I'm going to make it - there's today after all, but much of it will need to be spent wrapping, er, gift-bagging things up. *wink*

Here's what I'm hoping to do differently in 2011:

I'm going to once again gift wrap stash yarn, this time with chosen patterns I have in my pattern stash, and do a "Club" - but this time? I'm going to be doing some planning to create gifts in advance of next Christmas. I'm starting with NaKniMitMo in January. Knitting mittens and mitts (goodness knows I have tons of patterns, and they make great gifts!).

Otherwise, I'll mix it up and only open one when I've either got a UFO (read that to refer to large projects) and when I need something simpler than the one I've got on the needles (read that as socks and mittens and cowls). I'm actually thinking of bagging these according to a color code system...hmmm...must dig out some ribbon or something to make the color coding work. If I manage to knit 12 gifts (one per month) that's more than the number of people I have to have gifts for. Oh, that means maybe I can knit for me? Or maybe gift to one of those people I have never knit a thing for?

I'm going to try (again) to knit MUCH from stash this year. I've got a couple of goals to save my knitting money for - Maryland Sheep and Wool in May and the TKGA Show in September. I want to be sure there's available cash to indulge my fantasies of yarn orgies. (Wonder what Google will do with that one?)

You see, even when I don't entirely knit from stash? If I say I'm aiming for that, I do buy less, don't you? I actually think through my purchases a bit better, there's less of the "see-it-buy-it" reaction!

And since I'm also going to be working on paying off debt (i.e. one of my major topics on Nana Sadie's Place all last month with reverb10), in 2011 that will mean it's critical to save a bit of cash for the two events - I'm building it into the budget! Goodness, I'm going completely to a "pay-as-you-go plan." Cash basis all the way! :)

I know it's not what the politicians want us to do with the 2% they're "saving us" in Social Security tax reduction this year, but I'm putting that amount aside immediately to help pay off debt and also to stash into retirement savings. I'll let the guys in Washington (they are mostly guys) figure out how to handle the fact that they couldn't change my behavior!

Oh, and one more thing: I'm knitting a sweater this year.
I know.
I've said that before.
No, really, I am! *wink*
Cheryl Oberle's Three Sisters. I have already swatched (months ago), and have the yarn...Knitpicks City Tweed in Dungarees. I'm knitting the small. I know it's a 40-inch bust, but it's a boxy sweater. I hope it won't be too big. Hmm. What would happen if I dropped down a needle size or two...I must swatch...(again, because the first time? I was knitting the medium because I needed it!)
Whoohoo! Happy 2011!

Namaste
I honor the place in you, which is of love, truth, light, and peace.
When you are centered in that place in you, and I am centered in that place in me,
we are one.

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