Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Giraffe Purse is to die for

Hi. How ya been? Have a good Christmas? Our Christmas was a great, whirlwind. That's what happens when you have lots of family close by, friends in town, and special birthdays to celebrate. Joy #1's sweet 16 was special. She was spoiled rotten not only by me but by others who love her. I'm waiting to get the photos back from my friend who was the photographer for the evening. I knew I wouldn't get many pictures so I made sure someone would! I will write out a full post later so I can remember the night and how much fun we had. Here's a shot. You can't tell but she is opening a beautiful, diamond, snowflake necklace from my brother and sister in law.

Last night I met Leah (from Knitting Giraffe) and her mom in Shawnee Mission. She is in town for the holidays and I was lucky enough to get to meet her for coffee. We knit and chatted and it was nice to be able to sit still for a couple of hours. I'm so glad we were able to meet up. It's fun to meet Internet people! I've now met the Yarn Harlot and Leah. :)

And I've started a new project. A Noro Scarf out of the Noro Cash Island. It is so soft, must be the cashmere. :) I'm not much of a scarf knitter but this one is moving along. It's the yarn.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thank You Santa!

A stocking full of Noro Cash Island.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thing that I've really enjoyed this Christmas

I can only remember one Christmas that stressed me out and I felt like I couldn't get anything done. It was a few years ago and if I remember correctly the holiday fell on a weekend. I was jiped of those extra weekend days to get shopping and baking done. Thank goodness Christmas falls in the middle of the week this year.

I am really enjoying this holiday season this year. I don't know if it is because Joy #1 is jazzed up for her birthday or if it's because I'm sharing it with you all. This year I've done some additional stuff that I feel is extra and I do if I want to. Now I'm wondering if these things should be manditory and the rest is extra.

Example A: Christmas Cards. I have never sent out Christmas cards, EVER. Shame on me I know but I've never been a great card sender. I've always thought that this was time consuming, expensive, and a pain. Guess what!? It's not! I had so much fun putting the cards together, addressing them, and putting a surprise inside. I don't know if I got everybody I should have but when people popped in my head they went on the list.

Example B: Giving gifts and tokens to neighbors. I knitted a special hat for my neighbor who does more yard work in my yard than I do. He techinically isn't my neighbor since he doesn't live next door. His mom lives next to me and he comes over and takes care of her yard and throws mine in when he can. The fun of this gift is that he was not expecting it. I love giving gifts to people who you wouldn't (or I wouldn't) normally give to. I also gave baked goodies to his mom and my other neighbor across the street.

Example C: This is another example of giving a gift to someone who doesn't expect one. My mailman. I remember my mom used to always give our mail carrier fudge. It was the norm and somehow we've (I've) gotten away from the norm. I put a card thanking him for delivering even when we don't shovel or get rid of our ice very well and when the dog barks at him. He also got a package of baked goodies. It was so much fun to think how shocked he was at our package. I've lived there 7 years and have always had the same mailman. He wasn't expecting anything from me. Trust me.

I hope you all are having as merry a season as I am. And if not...go find someone who looks wipe out and buy them some coffee. Then you'll find the merry that I've got!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gearing Up

Behind the scenes...getting things done...

  • Ski mask knit for the boy CHECK (pictures later)
  • Another mitten on the needles CHECK
  • Christmas baking CHECK
  • Most presents purchased CHECK
  • Christmas Eve party planned CHECK

Still need to do

  • Wrap Presents
  • Tie up loose end for Sweet 16 party
  • Finish up Holiday Cards

I love the holidays! I think it's because I don't stress out easily. Merry Christmas and I plan on photographing the recent knits soon!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grandma's Snowflake

Many years ago at a Christmas party my grandmother gifted several crocheted snowflakes to whoever wanted one. My grandma has created a large family ( 6 children, 19? grandchildren, more great-grans than I can count!). Obviously, she doesn't gift to everyone, that would be insane. Instead she would make something or give out calendars. I have always treasured the snowflake.

This year when putting up the tree I pondered Grandma's snowflake. Hmm, I wondered if I could find a pattern and make my own snowflake. That same week, Colleen at my knit night brought us a snowflake crochet pattern. Her timing couldn't have been more perfect!
Let it Snow Doily by Susan Lowman; AuntLydia's bamboo crochet thread natural (Sorry for the blurry photo)

I have made 2 snowflakes so far. I'm not sure how many more are in my future. This snowflake thing was harder than I thought! Crocheting into tiny stitches was not soothing. The second went much faster/better. And thank goodness, once you get them wet and block them everything smooths out and it looks like a snowflake!

Grandma's snowflake browned with age.

Thanks for coming by. I'm enjoying blogging through the holidays. Someday when I'm older and have forgotten the little things I hope to look back and remember.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Random knitting

I had a little bit of Telemark still left after crocheting the scarf so I decided to make a cowl.

I'm almost out of yarn (since I don't stash) and am out of ideas of things to knit. I will be at a conference Thursday and Friday will ample knitting time. I guess I'll need to start something new. Another pair of mittens?

Monday, December 15, 2008

2 More extra knits down

I finished up Tess's mitered mitts Friday evening.
I'm dreaming about another pair of these in Noro. How many mittens do I really need? I've only have 4 pairs. Last year I knit 10 pairs of mittens. I was shocked when I looked at my Ravelry notebook and saw that I have made 10 in 2008, though I only kept 1, so far this year. There are still a few weeks left in 2008.

I also whipped out this scarf.
I've been dreaming about making this scarf. It's crocheted using several balls of Knit Picks Telemark. It is hard to get a good picture of this scarf, not that I usually take good pictures but this one looks great in person.

I made it with the intention of keeping it. However, as I was working on it I decided I'd take it to our ladies holiday party tonight. We do a gift exchange/steal game at our party so I may just choose my own gift, unless there is something better I want!

I had a little amount left of the Telemark so I started a cowl. Never not knitting around here. :)

PS) Did you know there are only 10 days until Christmas? Isn't that crazy!?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Christmas Traditions

A long time ago I told you about Joy #1 and my Christmas stockings. Remember? Well, to refresh the newcomers, Joy #1 and I are both born in December. We were also born at the same hospital. Actually all 3 of us were born at the same hospital but just Joy 1 and I in December. I digress...The hospital gives every baby born in December a stocking that is big enough for the baby to fit in. It is so sweet to see a tiny newborn in the stocking. I came home in my stocking and so did Joy #1. We use our hospital stockings every year. There has never been another stocking for me or Joy #1. These are very special to us.

Joy #2 was born in February therefore he did not have a hospital stocking. He uses a stocking my mom made and gave us many years before he was born. It is a cute little stocking but he's always been kinda bummed that he didn't have a hospital stocking. I think it's because you can get a whole lot in our stockings.

Well, this year when I was getting out our stockings I had an idea. Why not make Joy #2 a stocking to match our hospital stockings? I don't know why I've never thought about it before. What a simple solution!

So I did!

I love the way it turned out. I think the green is masculine. I am going to wait to put it up on Christmas eve though. I think he'll be surprised and appreciate it more if I wait. I love it when my ideas turn out!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Succeeding & Exceling

I am doing really well completing my Christmas knitting! I have 2 knitting lists, the have to finish as a gift and the wouldn't it be nice to make lists. Well, I am proud to say that I have completed the first "need to get done list" and have moved on to the "wouldn't it be nice" list!

Must Knit for Christmas:

The wouldn't it be nice list has only item on it right now. That is the beauty of the wouldn't it be nice. When I finish one, then I think about another and jump right in.

Wouldn't it be nice to knit:

  • Mitered mittens for Tess (business partner) in progress
  • What ever else I feel like making and gifting :)

Someday I'll have to get back to the Ivy League Vest. I'm loving the quick projects right now! I hope you all are having as good a luck with your Christmas knitting and crafting!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Trying not to brag

My birthday was great! My girl went out of her way to make my day special. We had planned to have tea and presents when I got home yesterday evening. She had the table set with the good china, had the water boiling for the tea, and even made me a cake. Joy #1 made the best egg nog cake ever. Very moist and delicious. I've never even heard of an egg nog cake but she saw it as a footnote in the cookbook and decided to give it a try. Yum.

I received many lovely gifts yesterday which was a nice surprise! I received a poinsettia, 2 books: Tales of Beedle the Bard & Harry, A History (love), a warm and beautiful robe, bookstore gift certificate, a Dora the explorer video (Joy #1 is soooo funny), and beautiful handmade cards from my friend Bonnie. This is the second year Bonnie has made me cards and she out did herself this year. They are so beautiful!

Gayle & Del out did themselves too! Gayle asked for my grocery shopping list and did my grocery shopping to include putting the groceries away for me. She said they were trying to give practical gifts this year. She saved me at least 1 hour if not more of my time this week! Awesome. My mom also gave me a meal from Social Suppers. Having dinners ready and planned will be so nice the next couple of weeks!

Ok, so maybe I did brag a little. Only on the people who were kind to me on my birthday and made it special! Thank you Janai, Donnie, Mom, Del & Gayle, Toby & Jenni, Bonnie, Debbie, Wendy, Bob, and Tess. I love you, too!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

For unto us a child was born


Today is my birthday. I started celebrating yesterday with lunch with my mom and business partner. Today I will have lunch with my dad, drop in on "The Party of the Season" hosted by MidAmerican bank, and then plan to have tea and open presents with my Joy's before bible class tonight.

I'm guessing that I won't get much work done today.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me notes via facebook, ravelry, and email.

And a SUPER, HUGE THANK YOU to Debbie who gave me a subscription to Interweave KNITS. It is most appreciated and I think we should make the holly mittens.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

We put up the tree last night. I am so glad to have it up. I used to never put my tree up before my birthday. That was before I had a Christmas loving fool in the house. Joy #1 LOVES Christmas. Not only is it her birthday but she loves everything that comes with it. She has been listening to Christmas music since November 1st. I tried to ban it before Thanksgiving with very little success. Enthusiasm like hers is catchy and now, we put up the tree as soon as we can and we always go with a real tree.

Santa & Mrs. Claus were made for me by a lady a church. I love these! Every year I get them out and marvel at the detail and gush about them to my kids. She crocheted the outfits. Beautiful!

This corner of the the living room is my new favorite knitting spot. I have a great view of the tree and I can sneak some chocolate out of the advent envelopes if I want! :)
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Holiday Parade

The back seat driver My "Chauffeur" Ms. Debbie is the president of the Women's Division of the Chamber of Commerce.
I glammed it up! Thanks to my friend Andrea who lent me the fur.

The"celebrity and driver"

Shh...don't tell anyone but I have never been to our town's holiday parade. It's dark and cold! This year was fun though. The fur and car kept me warm. :) It was a nice time with entertainment and a tree lighting ceremony. Plus free hot chocolate and fireworks. I'm glad we went and Debbie was very nice to not only be my driver but decorate her car and dress up.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Up too early

Joy #1's alarm went off at 5 somthing this am. It is Saturday. She spent the night at a friends. Now I am up.

Randomly here is what is going on in my life or mind.

  • It's too dark here to take a picture of the hat I'm working on. I'm using black patons yarn and I'm knitting up the Jacques Cousteau .
  • The coffee is ready but I don't want to go to the kitchen to get it.
  • Our tree isn't up yet. I'd like to get it this weekend. I used to never put up a tree before my birthday (December 10) but now I do.
  • I am training this weekend and a couple of days next week to work at the local ski resort. The one I talked about last year. This year I am working there and getting the awesome ski discount! Not for me but for Joy #2.
  • I get to be in a parade this evening. As business woman of the year, I was asked to be in the holiday parade. It is themed Hollywood Celebrities. I am just gonna glam it up and the president of the women's division of the chamber is going to be my driver and dress up like a chauffeur.
  • I've not done any Christmas shopping yet. I'm actually thinking about hitting this pawn shop in town to see if they have an electronics my kids are wanting. I've shopped thrift but not pawn. It should be interesting.
  • I hope you all have a great weekend!
  • Bloglines is down until tomorrow so if you post I may not know.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So helpful

Photo from the weekend. Cousins making rootbeer at our annual "BratFest"

My little Joy's are very different when it comes to Christmas time. Joy #1 is very specific. She wants to make gift giving as easy as possible for me so mid November she emailed me her Christmas wish list that included pictures and links to retailers that stocked what was on her list. Nowadays, I find web addresses for places like Aeropostle, Abercrombie, PacSun, etc in my drop down menu. If I click to the store guess what!?! The shopping cart is all ready filled and if I so chose I could click, click and buy Joy #1 a few gifts. E commerce these days saves your shopping cart for almost 30 days.

She is so subtle.

On the other hand, Joy #2 hasn't made a Christmas wish list in years. I know in general what he would like but he never directly says,"This is what I want for Christmas." Usually, I have to prod him. Would you like this? How about this? Lucky for him I know just what he'd like. Handknit socks and mittens! Oh and maybe some tools.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Happy December!

Thank you all for your congratulations. It was great to get so many nice comments in my inbox. We had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. I was off for 4 days and did very little housework but lots of visiting with friends and family and a bit of holiday crafting.

A few months ago I mentioned working on an advent calendar. Well, thanks to my mom who helped me at Thanksgiving it is complete! And just in time to since today is the first day.
Joy #1 asked me what I was going to put in the little envelopes and I said, "Funny sayings, inspirational messages, stuff like that." She looked at me very seriously and said, "If there is anything in them besides candy I will cry."

So I guess they aren't old enough to enjoy inspirational messages. Candy it is.

I am almost done with the Slytherin socks too. Have I told you how awesome they are?
I have one more snake to duplicate stitch and then the toe and they are finished.

Once these are done then I can start adding more items to my holiday knitting! These and the Knucks were "must knit" items. Anything else will be gravy.