Wednesday, November 30, 2005

and then there were...10 (out of 19)

PC's dad needed a hat for the holidays. Last year, I knit his wife the sweater-that-will-not-be-mentioned (yes, it was THAT bad),but nothing for him. So, this year: Coronet from Knitty:

Project Info:
Pattern: Coronet from Knitty Fall03 (I think)
Gauge: 5spi on US8
Yarn: Lion Brand WoolEase (from stash)- color: Heathered Forest Green (very pretty)
Needles: combo of aluminum circs and bamboo dpns
Comments: Overall, I really love this pattern! And I think I have the whole "cabling without a needle" thing down now. The cable band took me 1 hour, the rest of the hat, 1.5 hours. Overall, I HIGHLY recommend it for some fast holiday knitting

I consulted this book for some help on my next hat. Yup, used a mitten book for hat help... I feel like a real knitter now!

So, the final pattern is for these beautiful-will-be-mine-mittens with a Norweigan star on them. My dad's Norweigan, I am Norweigan (btw, my height (5 ft) and hair (jet black) allow me to "blend" with my fellow Scandanavians real well). So, I decided--- Dad needs a Norweigan star hat. Originally, I had planned to do my own Fair Isle pattern (oh, how naive!), but that ended tragically. So, since I had made Dad try on PC's dad's hat (need to make sure it'll fit a man), I knew what would fit him. I present the "Christine Hat" (named for Christine, ND...population like 200, also where my Grampy was born and raised):

If these photos look a little weird, it is because of the following:
1. they were taken at night with overhead lighting
2. the "model" is a Winnie the Pooh

So, this brings my totals to:

1. brother #1 - DONE (1 of 1)
2. brother #2- DONE (2 of 2)
3. Dad- DONE (1 of 1)
4. PC's Dad- DONE (1 of 1)
5. PC's mom- 50% (1 of 2)
6. Mom- 50% (1 of 2)
7. SIL-J- 0% done (0 of 1)
8. best friend projects: DONE (3 of 3)
9. 2nd friend project: DONE (2 of 2)
10. cousin's poncho- 0% (0 of 1)
11. cousins' mittens- 0% (0 of 3)

19 projects: 10 done!
Little kiddo mittens will be done tonight... there are only 3 pair to make and one will be thumbless. :) Am re-thinking the poncho idea.... need to work it out s'more. :) I want to use soem cute pink that I have in stash, but it's DK and even doubled, I am having issues. I am thinking of using size US15 circs and doing 2 panels of the pattern from my-so-called-scarf. Seam it up, add a little collar (perhaps a turtle neck?).... any ideas? Or does, anyone have a great poncho pattern for a fashion-forward 8 year old girl? I crochet too, so that's ok. :)
:) Mini

Monday, November 28, 2005

Can I get off now?

What a whirlwind of a weekend! It all started with a phone call at noon on Wednesday:

PC: I'm leaving work at 2:00.
Me: Ok.
PC: and they're paying me all day
Me: Ok.
PC: honey, I get to leave at 2:00!
Me: Ok.
PC: dinner and a movie tonight?
Me: Ok.

Now, I may sound a little non-chalant in this conversation, but mostly b/c it was on my way home that I remembered: PC's new job is the 1st job where it's salaried. This means no more punching the clock, tracking 40 hours... oh, my! So, PC was LOVING every minute of his paid holiday (also new) and paid early-day and paid day-off! :) So, Wednesday--- off to dinner at Panda Castle (anything not turkey is perfect before Thanksgiving dinner) then to see "Walk the Line". I love Johnny Cash and the actors did a pretty good job of nailing his accent and mannerisms. Overall, an A- (minus b/c of length... at least we got our money's worth!).

Thursday:A coffee would be nice! Up and ready to go. I need to make my Famous French Bread Rolls for dinner. Get everything ready... and rest. Love making bread... it must always "rest" and then I can too! Hmm... dinner's been moved from 2:00 t0 3:00 b/c of a turkey "incident"-- seems someone else decided to make a turkey. There were 2 turkeys, 10 guests and 2 LARGE bottles of wine. :) Grampa (PC's) spilled wine, I spilled coffee (on PC) and well, then it was time for dessert! Lots of laughing, joking and smiling at dinner. My SIL made the dinner for my parents, my two brothers, and her parents. Congrats to my SIL, J, for her first Thanksgiving! Of course, she pulled it off without a hitch!

Friday: hang around house in new pajamas. Watch bad movies... pick up PC, fill in applications for apartment, run around... need coffee... drop off applications. Go to the Celtics game! :) They won with 0.3 seconds left on the clock! I have to say, I always forget how much I love basketball! PC loves it (plays it, watches it) and I was a cheerleader in HS for basketball and football. But, until we are there, I always forget how much I really enjoy the games! I have already told PC... more tickets please!

Saturday: need more coffee.... (sensing a theme here?) Off to shopping/lunch/some sort of activity today! Shopping- we hit the Barnes and Noble (3 children's books, 3 adult books... 5 christmas and 1 birthday gift done). Got coffees. Lunch (before the bookstore), at Lone Star! YUM! All I have to say is "cheese fries". Then it's off to Sears, bought new shoes. Hurry home, and then onto the Orange Line and here we go! You must see this if you live in Boston. The Polar Express in IMAX 3D. :) And it snowed! :)

Sunday: where's the coffee? Mom and I headed off to get "purdy" at the nail salon. :) Then it was lunch at this new place: Bear Rock Cafe. Shopping at Walmart. Made pizzas when we got home. Found out the hometown heroes lost. Watch bad tv Hallmark Movie... off to bed!

Did I knit? Yup... Mom never got her lesson, she didn't really want one after all. :( I made a hat for brother #2, and started a poncho and am almost done with a Coronet. :) More knitting tonight, perhaps even a few pictures!


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Gobble Gobble!

I am thankful for my family, PC, and my happiness :)

Not soo much knitting last night, a few more inches on the never-ending homespun scarf for PC's mom. :) I like the stitch... gonna keep it.

Have a very happy and safe Turkey Day Celebration!

~mini (&PC, by default)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lessons Learned....and Taught.

No big pictures today, sorry. Last night was all about re-grouping, knitting, reflecting and preparing.

PC and I are continuing our foray into co-habitation. I am working under the mantra that "if we don't get it, it's not meant to be". My control freak side says "you NEED to get X apartment...NOW". My PC-induced-centered self says "it'll come, in time". See? It's a battle in my head that either side could easily win.

PC's mom needs a scarf. A warm, wool, straight from the animal yumminess scarf. She has a good walk from the bus stop to her house each night and well, I want to keep her warm. :) So, mittens (yes, i'll be using the same gifted mitten pattern... but with a new stitch) and scarf. I am using the "my so-called scarf" pattern I found online ( I would link to it, but my brain is not cooperating). I really like this, but the fabric is coming out really dense. I like the density, but am afraid it will be too stiff. Will it loosen in the wash it will need? Will the stitches relax and it will become a scarf you can toss around you comfortably? I am going to test-knit with a larger (US13) needle tonight. Mittens will have the same pattern on the backs and palms... thumbs will be

This year I lost my Grampy. Not just a grandfather, a Grampy. It's almost Turkey Day (he taught me that) and I miss him. I also miss my Nana-Banana. The holidays are my favorite time of year, but there is a hole this year. And I can't seem to get around/over/under this hole. PC's own Nana passed at this time of year, so I know his thoughts are with her. It's just that I wonder, the important people who helped shape my life and my "self" (besides parents) are now all gone. Shirley, my godmother, who taught me to knit/crochet and "fake" homemade... I can still smell her and feel her hugs. Tommy, my godfather, who taught me my prayers, leaped (a major accomplishment for someone who wore a brace b/c of a polio infection as a child) when I was accepted to a competitive Catholic college. Nana-Banana, who knew about PC LONG before my parents... I told her he was "it" after our 2nd date. She met him and agreed. :) She taught me how to make fudge, banana bread, feed the birds, ride the #130 bus to Malden Center, shop for the best deals, get it all home on the bus and MOST IMPORTANT: how to love my mom. As my mom's mom, Nana was a valuable asset to both me and my mom during my teen years (a.k.a the i-hate-you-i-wish-you-weren't-my-mom/daughter-years). I called her 2X a week during college. She spent $3.50 to mail me 8 quarters ($2.00) b/c I mentioned I needed to go to the bank to get quarters for laundry. Grampy... who made me wooden tulips, built me a dollhouse, perfected by "princess-ness" (yes, PC you can blame Grampy for that one), who got my stuffed animal collection to 3,498 animals before he passed away. Who sat and counted them with me, and kept the list!, when I was 11. Grampy taught me frugality, Norweigan, and how to learn from my mistakes. I have heard my Grampy say "I was not a good father, but I will be a great Grampy... I have learned from my mistakes." I miss these people and what they gave to me. It's that time of year, and I am getting teary writing this, but it's ok. I want to remember them. I want to tell these stories to my kids. I want my children to know their Irish/Norweigan heritage. But, most of all, I want to make these people proud.

Attention: if anyone drives through Melrose, MA this Friday (Black Friday) and sees a dark haired, short woman chasing a slightly-older version of herself, while holding knitting needles and throwing yarn: it's because i am teaching my mom to KNIT. Yup, Mrs. Anti-Craft herself has requested a knitting lesson. *sigh* and I agreed. We CAN do this. We can sit for hours on my one day off between Thanksgiving and Christmas to learn to knit. I have WoolEase, Size US8, and garter stitch planned. Wish me luck.

I am also hoping to wash and block some of the Christmas gifts, but have NO space to do it... what will hanging a scarf do? Just stretch it out? I will work out something!


Monday, November 21, 2005

As a Biochemist....

You Passed 8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!

Is it strange that I could pass this? Ha ha ha.
Today is a BAD day. No apartment for Mini and PC... :( Got rejected by the landlord (who knows how the heck they determine all this), but it's ok.. the right place is out there, no? If you know a 1-2br in Watertown/Newton please email me! We are not enormously weird people... in fact, we're quite boring when you compare us to others. :) I like boring. I am happy with boring. I am stressed about finding an apartment. *sigh*

So, what's a nerve-wracked girl to do?

And knit s'more.
Finished Gift:
Hat, Mittens, and Scarf for Christmas
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky
Comments: do I really want to give this away? *sigh* yes....

And knit even more...
Finished Gift
Hat and Mittens
Yarn: vegetable dyed wool (romney) from a NH yarn shop. I found this at the League of NH Craftsman's Fair this summer, but they could sell me the yarn, so I called them up the next week and ordered it from their shop. I have one more BIG ball of this put up... for moi. :)

And then more present-knitting:
Brother #2's Scarf
The Boyfriend Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (basically a mistake rib pattern), but I like the "wrong" side better....
Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca
Gauge: 3 spi on 10.5 US
Comments: it used all of 2 skeins to make about a 5 foot scarf... needs blocking and a bath. This stuff sheds like crazy, but it's sooo soft and squishy I didnt' want to stop knitting.:) I have one more skein and it's already wound, so I have enough for a hat

Soon to be hat for PC's mom. I am using another yarn that I got from the same yarn shop at the NH fair. This yarn is romney/alpaca blend--- shetland yarn. I have no idea what that means, it's nice... but I am thinking of moving to the "lady hat" pattern that Amy Boogie designed. :)

So, overall... I have this left on my list:

Mom's scarf-hat-mitten-set
PC's mom hat-mitten-scarf-set
PC's dad's hat
My dad's hat(s)

that's it? YAHOOOOOOOO.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Could we really be this insane?

Ok, so most of you readers (all 3 of you) know that PC and I are apartment hunting... pretty much every night of the week. And our proposed move-in date?

December 1st.

Like 2 weeks.

I have laundry that has been waiting for more than 2 weeks.

I want to move. I want to live with PC. I want to do it NOW. But is it weird that I DON'T want to pack and unpack at Christmas? *sigh* Perhaps some knitted gifts will turn into "bought gifts" and well, all the "i was gonna" gifts can be done in January for NEXT Christmas.

In light of moving, PC and I are setting a gift $ limit. Good idea, no? (it's his... and I'll probl'y go over the limit... but I like to buy him things that will make him happy).

2 mittens down
1 1/2 mittens down
2 hats, 2 scarves, 1 pair of mittens, and a sweater to go. :)


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Scarf for brother #1

Project Specs:
Pattern: my own
Yarn: Lana Grossa Royal Tweed, 4 balls
Needles: US7
Gauge: 5 spi
Size: 7 inches (w) X 6 feet (l) (*my brother is a big tall guy... it needs to be long so it doesn't look wierd)
Comments: I love this yarn. It's soft and tweedy and knits great on many sizes of needles. I would love to knit a sweater in this, but the price is prohibitive.

Scarf for the mamacita (my name for my mom):
Aren't those colors gorgeous? My mom will really like this! The yarn is the Schaefer Memorable Women collection, but there was no tag. :( I am using the p1(yo,p2tog) pattern that I used for my scarf. It's quick, easy to memorize and well, it looks fantastic!

This is for someone very special,but I won't say who! :)
I am making Kate Gilbert's Gifted Mittens
I have to work on the seaming on the side though... Hopefully these will be in the mail this weekend... along with some other gifties. I need to get my last SP6 package together and a second package out. :) I love this quick mitten pattern....I am going to use it for mittens for a few "small people" also.

happy knitting wednesday!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Monday already?

All I wanted was one more day... one more day to sit on the couch, look out the window, take a nap on PC... Oh, yeah. Have I mentioned this? PC is a great guy (you all know this) and he is also a comfy guy. C'mon you've all dated one of these... the one with the perfect shoulder to rest on? The comfiest arms to wake up in? Well, PC has a knack for being so comfy that just snuggling into him can induce full napdom (new word). This works to his favor when he's watching football and I am asking questions like "so, which part of that guy, the cute one, have to hit the ground before they stop hitting him?"

*FYI* At this point, you can go two ways with these questions with a man like PC:
1. look for eye rolling, give up and knit.
2. notice eye rolling, but really need to know the answer and keep asking.

Having been PC's chica for 3+ years now, I try to do #2 less and less.

Brother #1 (funny, whenever I write "brother" i slip and write "bother")
-scarf is finished (pics and stats tomorrow)
PC's Blob-no-more:
- 5 inches and growing.. in you don't want to see that do you? I am hoping he'll wear it for Turkey day!
Brother #2
- scarf pattern is selected... but do I like the yarn? I was thinking Berroco Softwist... any input?
Mom's Scarf-hat-mittens and socks....
-in process...

*sigh* Life trumped knitting this weekend, but that's ok....

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

How much do I love this picture? Found it b/c someone told me that Grommit knits... so, I googled a photo of Grommit knitting... and I found:GrommitKnits. And I found a picture. :)

This picture is pretty much me every night. I knit in bed, watching the news, then fall asleep and wake up on a circ. ouch.

Update on gifted sweaters:
1. boss and boss's wife LOVED sweater and quilt
2. coworker's son LOVED sweater, but it's a "hoochie shirt" on him. (i.e. "cropped")....

So, this is sweater attempt #2 for the "monster in training"...i'll keep you posted. :)

PC's sweater is 3 inches long. Yupp... and holding gauge... I cast on for a slightly smaller size, knowing that my circ gauge is a little looser than my flat gauge and that with Addis... well, it's going to be a lot looser.

Wish me luck.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oh what a feeling!

Finishing is a wonderful thing... you finish one thing and you immediately want to finish another! So, I need to take some lessons at my LYS for seaming and such... it didn't go very well.
This is the completed sweater for my coworker's son...a future linebacker, we think!
Here are the buttons up close:
Project Specs:
Pattern: child's placket sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Cotton Ease in Cherry and Blueberry
Needles: US5
Size: Toddler size 2T
Hints/Thoughts: there are WAY too many errors in this pattern... I should have looked up more errata from this book. I would make this again, but perhaps as a top-down raglan... the addition of the sleeves to the body was awkward and I didn't like the method of grafting the underams. Overall a C.

Next up, my boss's future daughter's sweater:
Here is my first attempt at Fair Isle on my own! (yikes was I scared... tinked back at least 20 times)
and here is the ruffle:
Project Specs:
Pattern: child's sweater from the Knitter's Bible (fair isle was my own design)
Yarn: Clarkheaton 8 ply (2 balls of purple, one of pink)- total of 300 yards
Size: 6-12 mos
Needle: US 5
A very versatile pattern, could easily be sized up or down. The edging was a great addition and I am glad I decided to keep this aspect of the pattern. The original pattern is a great mix of decreases, intarsia and finishing techniques. I am going to use this template pattern again for a boy's sweater, using an intarsia football and 2X2 ribbing where the ruffle is located. Overall, a B+.

And the quilt to go with the sweater! (yeah, this kiddo's spoiled already)
This is a simple "quilter's cheating quilt", 16 squares total. Each square is a sndwich of purple flannel, cotton batting, and print flannel. The flannel pieces are cut 8 inches square, the batting, 7 inches square. You quilt the sandwich together and then sew the squares into strips. Attach the strips to one another, leaving the edges exposed on one side. Then you cut small notches into the seams and toss into the dryer to fluff. Presto! baby quilt. Very little finishing.

The third project I was supposed to finish? My bro's scarf? Well, 4 hours of tv and I am halfway there. Understand, this is a scarf in 3X1 ribbing on size US7 needles...not exactly quick. I did pick up more yarn for PC's sweater... I cast on and started the ribbing. Hopefully, this holds gauge better.

More finished projects this week!
Happy Knitting Monday!
:) Mini

Friday, November 04, 2005

Weekend of Finishing up....

So, this weekend is dedicated to finishing 3 projects:
1. sweater for boss's soon-to-be daughter (baby arrives 11/18)
2. sweater for co-worker's son...
3. scarf for oldest brother... christmas gift. (each of my 2 brothers are getting a scarf and a DVD)

... and swatching PC's new yarn. :)

Oh, and using my 30% off at my LYS for PC's new yarn.

And I am $5 from getting $30 in free yarn from Wild N Woolly.... I see yarn-y purchases for moi next week....then the yarn diet begins!

Yup, from next week until Jan 1--- no yarn purchases.

Happy knitting weekend!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I'm a Maniac, Maniac

Another FO! This bag pattern is SO simple and so elegant! I love this bag... will probably fuss with the ribbon and how I have it woven in, but it's great! Finishing was very easy.

This is going to look adorable with soooo many outfits! Thank you SP! ( I am still assuming it's you.. I haven't heard from you that it's not!). I started this Halloween night and knit in between trick or treaters and burning pancakes.

Burning pancakes. I have to tell you. I am a pretty great cook. PC rarely goes hungry and he loves my cooking. But, I make pancakes that come out like hockey pucks. I know, just add the milk/water/whatever, mix, let it rest, pour and flip. Nope. PC has to make all pancakes that will be fit for consumption. But, we were making pancakes the other night and well, the griddle started to burn the butter in the batter--- next thing, smoke alarm! Pancakes were very delicious though....

Not too much today, working on a 2nd scarf. PC and I are on the apartment hunt tonight... 4 apartment appointments (1 sounds too good to be true...) and I am kinda hoping we find something reasonable and in a nice neighborhood.

Happy Knitting Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Tricks are over... bring on the Treats!

Well, these two (Jack and Jill) were waiting to greet trick-or-treaters at PC's house last night. Jill is on the right (made by moi) and Jack is on the left. PC does this thing where he does a "lecherous" smile and wiggles his eyebrows (as demonstrated by Jack) and I made my pumpkin "scream" in fear! :) It was fun and carving pumpkins was a great way to spend the Sunday before Halloween.

Now, that Halloween is over, Christmas here we come! Here is an FO that will be a Christmas present:

Chunky Ribbed Scarf (see Alison's site for more info) in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky- color: RED

This is what 30 balls of yarn look like when they arrive at your door! (thanks again Anna!)Calling all mitten-gurus (ahem... Sandy...ahem), I need a GOOD fair isle book so that I can get going on some mittens! :) These are post-holiday knitting... they are being popped into a tupperware container (with all other stash yarn) to be transported until after the holidays. Yup, people... PC and I are trying to move! (more 'bout that later!)

Mitten Update:

It looks wrong doesn't it? *sigh* I need some hands on help with this. Anyone give mitten lessons?

More tomorrow....