knitnana: December 2011

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Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012: The Year of Little Lacey Things & Colorwork, Too

I'm planning. What is it about the hectic, crazy, nuttzy days in between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day that forces us into a desperate reordering of our lives? Is it a planning for calm? Yes, I think so. I dream so for peace and quiet, for long moments of hot tea, Mozart, and knitting lace with a pointed kitty nearby...wishing for snow softly falling and piling up (which means no work!). Lately, our days have been ranging from the mid 40s to upper 50s so there's not a flake to be had...nonetheless, my planning gene is kicking in strong, and I'm coming up with a few ideas for 2012.

Mostly, I'm planning on the one-word idea for the new year, rather than setting up a bunch of resolutions...that said, I'll let you know my word soon enough. I'm settling, I think on two or three and I know one will emerge before too long.

That said, while I initially considered that 2012 would be my Year of Little Lacey Things - "Little" signifies items that aren't so large that I'm easily overwhelmed. Small shawls, lacy cowls, little mitts, small socks (okay, in a couple of ways...I do have small feet, too!) - I then started looking at stash, realizing how many projects I've purchased in colorwork. They are all small things, too.

2011 has mostly been about the hats: Warm Hats for Hot Heads; Warm Hats Warm Hearts; chemo caps; Christmas gift hats. They've been fast and fun, but I'm ready for the steady, blood pressure reducing capacity of lace. And then, for a bit of visual spice and mindful challenge, colorwork.

But rather than get ahead of myself, methinks there will be an initial bout of finishitis! I have so many lacey shawls on the needles, I think they have to get done first. But I want to have my All You Need Is Love mittens finished for February, so must get started right off on those...and I want to make Sheep Heid, too...Oh my, it takes so little to suddenly have a list as long as my arm!

Anyone interested in joining me for a Year of Little Lacey Things? What about a Year of Little Colorwork Pretties?

What will you knit? Short of the above mentioned projects, I'll be working on two pieces from Jackie E-S. I have the yarn and pattern to make Thinking of You Scarf for February's Knit Red for Women's Heart Disease project. Also on my list is a "little something" called the Smoke Ring with Lace Edging. I've adored this one for a long time...will check my stash for the best laceweight I have to make this one for a gift.

That's a start to my list. And since there's knitting from stash involved in this, it will fall into the plans Jocelyn and I have to have an informal KAL for knitting up a bunch of what we already have...I keep telling myself I will NOT buy a 6th bin for my accumulated yarn...I won't. Of course, I promptly went and bought two skeins of hand-dyed worsted from Wild Hare Fiber...

Okay, I bought them in 2011. Maybe that doesn't count Joce?

Oh...and I've exempted the yarn I have to buy for the class I'm taking in early January to learn beginner crochet. I'm really looking forward to that!

So tonight I'm off to sis-in-law's to watch old movies and knit these socks:

Yup. That's Trekkings Brach's colorway (think neopolitan ice cream). I've had it for awhile and I'm itching to have these socks. Plain vanilla with the picot cuff, toe-up all the way.

If you've an inkling, stop by Nana Sadie's Place as I've got some New Year's thoughts over there, too...different theme, of course.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I Do Love Blue & White...

But that's not why I bought these...

I learned of a glitch that kept the book on the right from getting to me before Christmas so I could wrap it for under the tree, so while I was fixing that, I added the book on the left to the order (it was on sale!).

I have much to learn about colorwork...and I can't think of two better sources to learn it from. Yes, I ordered these from Schoolhouse Press. I think I mentioned once before that I do try hard to order my books from them when I can. For all that I like getting a bargain, I hate to see independent booksellers go out of business (like our beloved Ram's Head Booksellers, here in Roanoke!). In Meg's case, she's so wonderful to work hard to bring back knitting books that are long out of print that I'm determined to support her whenever possible. Knitting With Two Colors is also her book, coauthored with Amy Detjen.

Hmm...goes right along with my whole "buy local, support small business" philosophy, dontcha know?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

Traditional or no, Boxing Day is a day when I try hard to do a little bit of organization, when I manage to have the day off. This year, we indeed had the 26th off from work, so I did a bit of clearing off the desk, and thinking of those things that I hope to do in 2012. I have many plans percolating in my noggin' and one is what I hope to knit this coming year. I'll write more about that later this week, but as a sneak preview, I wound up this yarn today:

That's Claudia Handpaint fingering in the colorway Cabin Fever which I bought at NoSoKnit last month.

I also managed to finish these socks tonight:

Yup. One of the most boring things I've ever knit, and one that I'm probably the happiest to have completed, partly for that obvious reason. But partly because, I do have need of those plain dark socks for the times when I have to dress conservatively. I've become terribly spoiled and only want handknits on my feet regardless of the occasion, so Plain Gray Socks had to be made. As an aside, if you are searching for plain gray yarn this might be a serious contender: Joann Sensations Bamboo Ewe, a lovely blend of bamboo and wool, and soft as all get out. I won't ever knit it on my 1.25 bamboo needles again, of that I can guarantee. Perhaps I'll pick the Harmony's next time? Anyway, they're finally done...I started them on Halloween!

So you can now see the top of my desk, I've finished a project that took the better part of two months to complete, and have been working on another that has taken a terribly long time to complete (and isn't near completion either, but I'm making progress). I even spent a bit tossing crinkle balls to The Tonk and chatting with my next door neighbor!

Tomorrow it's back to work, but at least it's a short week. I hope you've had a lovely holiday as I have and Santa was good to you. I enjoyed the first of four Cary Grant movies my daughter gave me, now that I have a working DVD player and television! I don't believe I've ever seen An Affair to Remember but I enjoyed it and made much progress on my sis-in-law's Landscape Shawl. I'll share that with you later this week!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

My Only Knitted Christmas Gift This Year


Because time was tight, and this little one has outgrown the one from last year, which was really tiny...this one won't last too much longer, either. Her mother measured her head a month ago, and this was knit to that size. It was really snug today!

And btw...that little princess up there is as bad as my Meezer when it comes to camera flashes! I couldn't get a decent shot of her with her new stuffed white pony.

Here's hoping your day was delightful!

Merry Christmas from The Meezer!

We still have a tree...and now there are prezzies under it:

The Tonk and I had to check all those prezzies out! Then Tonk kept putting his brand new crinkle balls (can you believe Santa left him 2 4-packs of the little ones he loves the best?) behind the Christmas gifts and Mommie kept getting after him for rustling in the wrapping paper...she doesn't seem to remember that Tonk loves to eat tissue paper!

Mommie says that next year we might put lights on the tree and see how long that lasts...

What did Santa bring me? Just my favorite Fancy Feast canned food and a coupon from Mommie for lots of one-on-one playtime. Oh, and my very favorite thing of all:

Mommie-Lap-N-Snuggle-Time

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Birthday Boy!


My eldest grandson is 9 today! Hippo Birdy to you, my DGS#1!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Tonk's Annual Holiday Video


For your viewing pleasure...

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 in Review

Following along in Margene's and Vicki's footsteps and posting a review that includes the first line of the first post of each month of 2011 and my choice of photo from the month:

January
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.

(Big Sis's joyous face upon trying on her Christmas gift from me at our - late, as usual - holiday gathering)

February
In monitoring my Facebook account, I saw a status update from Jared yesterday, linking to the most gorgeous blanket I think I've ever seen.

The Smithsonian Hyperbolic Crocheted Coral Reef exhibit.

March
I promised these first two photos to Carole today...These lovelies appeared for the first time on Monday (what a way to say good-bye to February, eh?)


April
Not the song, which I think is a bit odd anyway...but the colors.

My two fur kids.

May
It's May!

My beautiful Mom.

June
Long and busy and crazy-making.

A prayer shawl I'm particularly pleased with.

July
Of course, for me that means working at the cutting table and sewing machine (not to mention the ironing board!)...but then again, there are rewards for this, you know?

Me, sporting my beloved Aubergne Ishbel Shawl.

August
As usual, I'm sewing away here, but it does seem to me that I'm not being very good about sharing with you all - at least not as good as I usually am.

My Comical Tonk

September
Bernie scared me today.

The Star Attraction at the National Capital Cat Show!

October
"Oh I'm So Going To Do This"

My Sweet Meezer with her new toy.

November
"Because You Can Never Remind Folks Enough"

My new favorite toy.

December
Since last I posted, I've been in training with Weight Watchers, and busy with holiday shopping, finishing up orders, and of course, knitting and ...

My Wistful, Whiney, Tonk-a-Tonk

Not quite sure what to say, except that as I put this together, I learned that this past year, precious little knitting was done, other than hats for various reasons. Most of my world revolved around preparing for the four shows I went to as Nana Sadie Rose. I hope 2012 is a bit different, more focused on the purpose the blog originally had: Knitting.

And, oh, yeah. My CATS - because I know perfectly well that's the real reason you all keep stopping by! *wink*

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Status Update

Yes. The tree stands still! This morning the whiney beast stood up on hind legs with front paws on the tabletop, and as I gasped, I also clapped my hands and the startled puss got right down. I wondered if the table itself would be across the room when I got home tonight, especially since I didn't get home till way after 9pm what with yoga and then our veggie potluck afterwards... I knew the beasties would be famished and rowdy!!!

But all was quiet and everything in it's place just as I left it this morning.

I still won't hold my breath tho'
*wink*

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Heh...Feeling a Bit Smug

The tree was still standing, untouched, when I got home tonight. There are those on Facebook suggesting it's a Christmas miracle...

Not so sure of that, but whatever. I'd love to have a bigger tree next year, so if Tonk leaves this one alone? Well it's encouraging!!

This Means...


War.

I came home last night to find the tree not just tumbled to the floor, but clear across the room...

There are those who say you cannot win against a cat. I say: Try this one, Tonk!

Monday, December 12, 2011

And It's Down For the Count!


Yeah. Could have told you this would happen.

It's currently back upright, and the old tv you see there is across the room, no longer a spring-board to the table. We'll see how long this lasts...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In the Etsy Shop - Get It While You Can!


You can find it in the Nook Color Cases section. Yes, it fits the regular-sized Kindle, too.
Merry Merry!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

We Have A Christmas Tree!

Keep your fingers crossed. The Tonk was terribly interested and tried to
1) chew the branch tips off
2) bat at the sock ornaments
3) topple the tree as it stood on the floor,

but we do indeed have a tree:

And a closeup of the ornaments that aren't mini-socks from Sock Summit 09

I left it standing on a TV-tray overnight and this morning it was still standing and had all it's ornaments.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed. There are no lights to attract the cats' attention. Perhaps if this one survives, I'll put the 4 ft lighted tree up next year. We'll see at that time if I think the crystal ornaments are a good idea!
*wink*

Friday, December 09, 2011

Once Again, Our Community Mourns...


But we ARE Virginia Tech!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Rasta! Fasta! Wow!

I showed you the Malabrigo Rasta I bought a couple of weeks ago in an earlier post. It took me a bit to get needles and cables. I'm notorious for thinking I have something, only to discover either I don't have it or it's in use. Knitpicks cables were the issue here...not sure where the 32" cables for my interchangeable set disappeared to, but couldn't find them, so picked up more at Wyrd Sisters and then had to wait to cast on for my Mobius Cowl. Today was the day...

And two hours later?

Wow. That's fast. Not to mention it's the first time I've knit a mobius anything!

Hmm...I guess what they say about bulky yarn is true. It's Fasta. No joke. Of course the size 15 needles are really hard on my hands...I'm going back to the size 2s I'm using to knit a hat for the rest of my lazy Sunday.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Whew! Where Does The Time Go?

Since last I posted, I've been in training with Weight Watchers, and busy with holiday shopping, finishing up orders, and of course, knitting and ...

My annual audit is in full swing and I've been crazy busy ... I finally opened up the blog this afternoon and thought - WHOA! It's been a long time...better get something together.

And I have been taking photos, so I'll share everything here, now. I'm making this:

You might remember it as Chapeau Marnier from Knitty a few years ago...That's Berocco's Ultra Alpaca Light and the hat is for a drive my LYS (Wyrd Sisters) is doing for a local cancer center.

Then one evening recently (probably last week) I saw Vogue Knitting post on Facebook a link to this article and upon reading it, hurried to Ravelry (with tears in my eyes) and discovered the group mentioned, and then a link to one of the instructor's websites for the sock yarn she dies and contributes a portion of revenues to the program...the name of it? I Fought The Law and The Law Won!. Aren't the colors rich?

Why, yes, that's the skein I ordered...

Tonight, as we walked back from dinner in a newish downtown restaurant (wonderful food, and we'd hoped to be there for the live music, but apparently it started later) but just a delightful place - Blue 5, for those of you in the area, and were enjoying the crystal clear and very crisp night air, when the carillon above the United Methodist Church began to play almost in the same moment that we realized that along the wrought iron fence in front of the church were tied zip-lock baggies with a note inside saying "If you need one, take one" and a size (small, medium, large). I looked a tiny bit closer and lo and behold - HANDKNIT hats! I stood there in the dark, hearing the Christmas Carols pealing thru the night and realizing that the women (mostly) of this church had made these hats with the intention of helping those in need...and without fanfare, were distributing them in precisely the best manner possible! No one feeling put down because they have less, just a simple, "take what you need" (don't ask us, if you need it that's enough)...

And again, the tears came to my eyes...

It's the magic of the season, of course, but it's something more. It's seeing that women, like you, and like me, KNITTERS (men and women) are making a difference in peoples' lives, in small ways and important ones...caring little steps...

Ok...enough. But I've said here before, it's this sort of thing that can move mountains, and make a world of difference, can literally change what the world is like. What you dream becomes reality.

It's been a year of knitting hats for me, of course, so part of it is that...Such a basic need: warmth. The covering of the head keeps the heat from rising off the top of the head, holds the warmth inside. The handknit nature of the hat being a simple act of ones hands touching the yarn, forming the fabric of loops, to cover others' heads...an indirect laying on of hands.

Ack. I'll stop. It IS a mystical sort of thing...a mission of sorts. My last package to Vermont will go out the first of the week, with a pair of socks, a cowl and another hat.

So much need...so many knitters giving of their time and their talent. We can change the world.

But I've been gone a long time, and I've not kept you posted on the rest of the things in my world...the last of the TKGA Greensboro bags went out in the mail this past week. Two Sadie's:

And once they were done, again, the bursitis returned to the shoulder (probably more from the overdoing it at yoga, but still the sewing aggravates it) and another cortisone shot required. Things are better...

But the weather was also damp and cold (which also aggravates the shoulder (and hip, and hands, and and and...)

The kitties decided my lap with knitting was the best place to warm up.

And Sweet Meezer was most happy when she could be alone with Mommie.

And in the daytime, The Tonk has discovered the birds in the front bushes. He'd love to chase them...

But Mommie says "No." I say, "No Fair!"

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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