Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with the old and in with the new

stash down 2012!

I am quite happy to see 2011 in the rearview mirror.  It wasn't the worst possible year but it was a pretty difficult one for us, at least the first half with the whole unemployment/no money thing.  Here's to hoping 2012 brings much better things for us (steady employment would be huge)!  At least it was a very productive year for my crafting habit.

First, a recap of my goals for 2011, I have had them posted in my sidebar all year and have been checking items off as I did them.  So what did I manage to accomplish this past year?  Well, I did knit at least 6 pairs of socks in the year, as a matter of fact I finished 8 pairs and have had a ninth pair languishing on the needles for the past 2 months (it's a pair for Destucto boy and for some reason I just do not want to work on them).  Going along with the sock theme I also learned to do 2 at a time knitting, in fact it is my preferred method of knitting now, less counting!  I did a pair of toe up socks but prefer top down to ensure proper fit for my incredibly high arches.

I have been swatching for everything, although sometimes that still doesn't work out that well, frogging is my friend!  I did manage to knit at least one pattern from each of the books I owned at the beginning of the year, I have now added 2 more books to my collection and have a stack on magazines also that I need to knit something from.  I definitely worked on holiday knitting all year, starting in January and still finishing up today.

I kind of failed on the whole keeping current with scrapbooks, updating the blog every week, and losing some weight.  You win some, you lose some!

For the coming year I think I want to accomplish the following: make a quilt for Lil' Miss, make a quilt for my bed, make at least one holiday themed wall quilt (I want to make one for each month of the year to switch out on our family room wall), finish up the 2011 scrapbook, finish up Destructo boy's birthday book from 2011, learn to steek (yikes!), make sweaters with my sweater quantities of yarn before purchasing more (4 right now), and make socks/shawls/anything to use it up with all my sock yarns before buying more since the box won't close (11 colorways right now!).

So, do you have any goals for the new year?  Whether you do or not I hope the new year finds you happy and healthy and 2012 brings lots of love and happiness to us all!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Still knitting along!

Yup, I am still keeping up with the advent calendar scarf knit-a-long!  I know, I'm shocked too.  It's a little unclear to me whethe r the patterns are getting easier or if I am just knitting faster as I am getting each day's pattern done on that day.  And doing so even with wrapping presents, last minute shopping trips, and finishing up handmade presents!

Here it is up to day 18, I meant to take a picture every 7 days but I started on the pattern for the 18th before I remembered, oh well, an extra day doesn't hurt!  I am kind of glad I decided to do this in laceweight yarn as this sucker is already pretty long and I still have 6 more days to knit, I probably could have gone down a needle size too. 

As much as I love participating in this KAL I can't help but think about life after it.  I think it will be nice to not have to worry about falling behind if I miss a single day, but it will also be sad to not have something to look forward to every day along with the camraderie of all the knitters working on this around the globe (694 projects, 26 nations and all 50 US states represented).  It will be nice to finally get started on my Dark & Stormy cardigan though!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Advent Craziness

Somehow in my fevered brain I had the brilliant idea to participate in the Advent Calendar Scarf 2011 KAL, what in God's name was I thinking?!  I have been able to keep up thus far, but I fear I will soon fall behind, especially once I start on the cookie baking craziness, {WARNING: extended tangent ahead!}  for some reason I always end up making 10 different kinds of cookies, am totally stressed and wiped out then have tons leftover, when will I learn!  Although I did finally learn about the glitter wrapping paper that tape won't stick to, oh the frustration of self-unwrapping presents, didn't get any of that this year since Target has this awesome kraft paper wrapping paper this year.  I have been wanting to use kraft paper for years and they finally have some for sale, yeah!

progress up to the third day's clue

Anyway, back to the knitting, the pattern is a lace sampler and is a complete surprise as every day we get a clue for that days pattern, like a child's advent calendar.  It usually takes me about 5 to 6 hours to get through the days pattern which I have been able to keep up with so far, I just fear I will fall behind as we get closer to the big day.  It is fun though, I have already encountered a number of stitches I had not done before, and it is interesting to see how each pattern looks with all the others.

I think the idea is to have a scarf complete to wear on Christmas day, but since I already have a red dress to wear I think the scarf might be too much.  I actually have two red dresses, but I got hit bad by buyers remorse and bought the second one as I thought I'd get more use out of it than the first, which I still need to return back to the store, ugh.  Somehow I don't think even laceweight yarn can dry that fast though it would be nice to try.

and progress up to day 10!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Morgan, how I hate thee, let me count the ways!

Which is exactly why I hate this pattern, having to count every stitch on every row.  I do however, love the results.  At the end you have a fantastic driving cap made all in one piece with just a little seaming at the end, ingenious construction truly.  I just wish there wasn't quite so much counting needed for the end result.

Lil' Miss modelling the hat for me, I fear it may be too small for Chef 

I just finished making a second one of these hats for my dear friend The Chef as a Chanukah present.  The one I made last year out of a wool/acrylic blend was so well received I decided to make a second out of a cotton/linen blend for summertime wear for him.  I'm sure he will love this one too and it will undoubtedly look great on him, but, all things considered I think it will be a few years before I even consider making another, I just hate the counting that much.

Then I tried it on and looked in the mirror...dang it looks cute!  I may suck it up and make one for myself since I am sure something in my stash would work.  But all that counting, as cute as it is I'm not sure I am ready to go through that again anytime soon.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Digger is complete!

Sorry for the prolonged silence!  Somehow time just got away with me, I have been knitting but since many of the projects are intended as gifts, well, I just can't discuss them here.  I can tell you all about the latest project for Destructo though, I am quite proud of it.

This jacket took a really long time considering the size but I kept stopping as it made me nervous.  You know how it is, the knitting project is scary so set it aside for awhile as you work on something you have far more confidence in yourself  at making and then get back to it on a particularly good day self-confidence wise (is that even a proper word?).  There were a couple of new techniques in this project for me, of course the intarsia but also sewing in a zipper, yikes!

Destructo-boy seems to love it and I am pretty happy with it myself so it was well worth all the trouble.  For the zipper I first tried to hand sew it in but was not keeping even tension on the knit fabric so it was bunching up kind of funny.  Since I just wasn't happy with that I ripped out the seam and re-pinned the whole zipper so I could make an attempt with my machine.

Ah, the magic of a walking foot!  I went really slowly and carefully as I sewed with the machine and it did a much better job than I did by hand.  All I had to do was whip stitch the floppy edge of the zipper tape down and fold down the upper cut off edged of the zipper tape.  I think it came out beautifully if I do say so myself!  It was just a little strange to sew on a zipper without the zipper foot on the machine.

Another obstacle were all the ends to weave in, even with doing a Russian join at each color change on the striping part of the jacket there were still floppy ends that needed to be woven it.  Well, I suppose I could have just trimmed them but I thought they would look better woven in farther away from the edge of the jacket.

I must say I think it is awesome of the company to provide the pattern at no charge upon request, you don't often find companies willing to do such a thing.
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