Archive for Holidays

Out with the old…

and in with the new! I can’t believe how fast this year has gone by, and now here we are for the obligatory End of 2006 post. So much happened to me this year that I’m not sure how to condense it into something readable, but I’ll do my best to not drag it out too much.

Let’s start with the first big knitting event of 2006- the first ever Knitting Olympics. Almost every knitter I know had at least a brush with the Olympic craze, but for our little group of knitting athletes, the Knitting Olympics happened at a time when we were going through a big falling out with the former owners of the LYS where we had made our home. Drama, anger, and hurt feelings were present in abundance, but everything turned out okay (even better than okay, IMO) in the end. The experience was extremely unpleasant, but I made new knitting friends and strengthened my bonds with my original knitting friends.  (And discovering new yarns stores in the bargain wasn’t such a bad deal either!)

The Olympics also served as my primary motivation to start a blog. The funny thing is, I had started a knitting blog in the summer of 2005, but I stopped because I was too embarassed to admit to my other knitting friends that I had a blog! Isn’t that nuts? I obviously knew that they were knitters, but I guess I didn’t know that they were KNITTERS, if you know what I mean. Fortunately, Liz started us on a group blog for the Olympics, and as soon as I realized that at least one person wasn’t going to laugh me out of the knitting group for my blogging tendencies, I was ready to start my blog anew. I’m so glad I did!

In March I got tired of being fat. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be such a big deal, since I’ve been getting tired of being fat for about the last decade or so, but this time I actually decided I was going to do something about it. I joined Weight Watchers online on March 26th, and according my final weigh in for the year, I’ve lost 45 pounds since then. I’m a little disappointed with that number, because I know if I would have stayed focused on my diet every week after March I could easily have lost double that, but still, 45 pounds is nothing to sneeze at!

Most my feelings about the weight loss can still be summed up by the post I made back in August when I found out that I’d met my initial goal of losing 10% of my starting body weight. Today, I would add that even though I haven’t followed the plan perfectly every week since I set out, there is absolutely no way I could turn back now! Seeing numbers on the scale go down instead of up is fun! Fitting into pants that I never dreamed of fitting into again is fun! Getting complimented by people who haven’t seen me since high school is fun! Fun is not something I would have associated with a diet before, but like everything else, losing weight is what you make it.

I know I’ve only said it about a zillion times, but thanks so much to my knitting friends for their support. I wouldn’t have made it half this far without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I met the Yarn Harlot in April, took a vacation to the home of Bob’s family in May, and faced up to the ridiculous amount of UFO’s I have flying around the apartment in July.

Also in July, Bob and I added Fat Louie to our family. I hate to admit it, but our main reason for adopting Louie was so that our first cat, Jet, could have a friend. Little did we know that Louie would immediately snuggle his way into our hearts, and now it’s hard to imagine life without him. The hardest thing we had to deal with this year was Louie’s serious health emergency in September, but luckily Louie pulled through like a trooper.

In November, I started rotating my knitting projects to help me get more done, and I think it’s really helped. Sadly, rotation came too late to really help me kick my Finished Object Ration into gear for 2006, but I have high hopes for next year. I think I might have finished for except for the misery of Christmas knitting, which I am officially renouncing. For my close friends and family, I will probably still try to knit birthday presents, but knitting for Christmas wasn’t much fun, and more than anything I think knitting should be fun. We’ll see if I can actually stick to my resolution when the next holiday season rolls around.

Which brings me to resolutions!

I’m not usually a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions. They’re pretty much a joke, and most people make them fully realizing that they’ll probably fail. I’m not saying that I’ll for sure accomplish everything I set out to do in 2007, but if I say I’m going to do it I’m at least going to give it a helluva try! So finally, I give you my 2007 New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. I am going to make my diet a priority and lose weight every week. It seems risky to throw out a number, but I’m going to fly in the face of danger and say it: I want to lose 100 pounds. For a person of my size, that’s a very reasonable number, just a couple pounds every week. I know that if I set my mind to it, I can do it!
  2. I am going to work on being a better partner to Bob, a better daughter to my mother, a better caretaker for Jet and Louie, and a better friend to everyone I care about.
  3. I am going to knit more, finish more, and blog more! I waste a lot of precious time doing things I don’t really care about. Obviously some things (like work) I have to do, but I’m sure I can find unused time floating around in my day that could be used to the improvement of my knitting life. Time to cast on (and off) with a vengeance!

In closing, I want to wish you all the best year of your lives. 2006 has been a good year for me, due in no small part to having a great group of knitters and friends around me. May all of your skeins be free of knots and all of your stashes free of moths!

Happy New Year!!!

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Christmas, Cats and Cozies

Jettree1
Jettree2

Jet is living proof of the powerful role cuteness plays in natural selection. Since I put up my Christmas tree late last night, he has:

  • climbed to the top of it and come very close to knocking it over twice,
  • chewed on the presents,
  • knocked off every single ornament at least once,
  • and generally wreaked havoc on the tinsel.

If he wasn’t so cute, I undoubtedly would have skewered him on a candy cane by now. We’ll chalk my patience up to an evolutionary miracle.

But holiday cheer isn’t totally lost on me. I have a pretty tree…
Tree

and a singing sheep…

Sheepsong

and a two or three weeks worth of knitting that needs to be finished in the next eight days.

The Ipod cozy is going pretty well, with only a few minor bumps in the design process. I like the way the Wildfoote yarn knits up, but I’ve experience a lot of splitting while casting on, picking up dropped stitches, and putting stitches back on the needle after ripping back. I’m feeling pretty confident that I can finish it in plenty of time.

Cozy5  (This pic is several days old. I’d say I’m about 1/3 of the way done now.)

The prognosis is somewhat more grim for the rest of my holiday projects. I foresee belated presents in several futures, but I’m sure it won’t be the first (or last) time I’ve had to give a knitting I.O.U.

I thought you might be interested to see where I am when I’m not knitting. I spend between 50 and 60 hours in this cubicle every week. There’s definitely some evidence that a big dork (and a knitter) lives here.
Desk1
Desk2

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Secret Pal Fun!

Tonight’s First Annual Knott Too Tightly Wound Holiday Gift Exchange Extravaganza went very well, if I do say so myself. I think my pal will enjoy her gift, and I will definitely enjoy mine! Thank you Liz! (We drew each drew the other’s name! Who would have thought?)
Lizscarf1
Secretpal1

I looooove my new scarf and I can’t wait to knit up some matching accessories. And the sock yarn is so me! I don’t know how I managed to never notice it on the shelf, but I’m in love. I’m feeling quite torn between casting on new socks with the new yarn, or sticking to my plan and doing the Koigu next. Oh, the humanity!

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Discombobulated

Today’s Breaking News:

  • Saturday is great! Not being at work is even better!
  • I am blocking the fronts and back of my Ribby Cardi, and hope to seam it up tomorrow so I can see how far from fitting it actually is. I don’t own an iron, so Jet helped me with the pressing. Bless his heart. Jetblocks
  • I’m very, very tired of my Stripey Socks, but they’re almost done now so I might as well finish them. Plans are in the works for my next pair. I’ve had this beautiful purple Koigu in my stash for almost a year now, just waiting for the perfect pattern to show it off. Koiguyarn_2
    I’m deciding right now between the Mata Hari Socks from Craftoholic or Falling Leaves from Knitty. What do you think?
     
  • Speaking of Knitty…. new Knitty!! I haven’t really gotten a chance to dig in to this issue yet, but at first glance, my top three patterns to knit would have to be Monkey, Emerald, and Eiffel. I’m seriously considering knitting Hexed, not so much because I love the hat, but because it sounds like a fun knit, and I have about a gazillion skeins of Lamb’s Pride Bulky laying around.
  • I’m trying not to think about my Xmas knitting projects. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, the words that come to mind when I think about it are catastrophe, woe and ruin. I’m very close to deciding that Bob’s big ass head can just stay cold for all I care. If he wants a warm head, maybe he should learn how knit. (No, I’m not bitter… why do you ask?)
  • I can’t wait until tomorrow! At least for this week, my Sunday is totally free and I plan on kicking some knitting (and seaming) booty. Woohoo!!

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Warning: Hike Not Actually Included. Some Assembly Required.

Cablescarfandhat_1As promised… it’s finished! Sunday rules!

Pattern: Hello Yarn’s Irish Hiking Scarf (I have some Irish heritage, but no plans to hike in this scarf. But you never know, it could happen…) and Basic Cable from Stitch n’ Bitch Nation.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in #20, pale pink. How many? I lost track around 5. The hat I know took about one and a half balls, and I’m thinking there were about five and a half in the scarf. I probably would have made it longer, but that was all the yarn avaliable so, que sera sera.

Needles: Addi Turbos 24" circular, US size 6. I think out of all my needles, I’ve gotten the most mileage of out these.

Watched While Knitting: So much Grey’s Anatomy (season two) that I started having involved dreams about having dinner with Burke, Christina, and Izzy. I’m so glad Shepherd wasn’t there. Wishy washy asshole. (Thanks for the loan, Liz!)

Final Thoughts: This is really a very pretty scarf that I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of. This is an ideal project for learning how to cable, because after you’ve done it every 8 rows for 6 feet, you’ll be an old pro.

I feel a little guilty about keeping this, since I started it with every intention of giving it away, but it ended up costing more than I anticipated, both in time and money. While I was knitting and feeling guilty, I had a flash of brilliance and decided that the best possible gift would be something I already knit that is perfectly viable, but just didn’t suit me. (Not the Clap, just the mitts.) So my friend won’t be going without a handknitted gift, it will just be slightly recycled.

With the scarf off the needles, the rotation queue is looking a little empty. Bob’s hat is experiencing serious gauge issues and has to go back on hold until I can aquire the correct size of needle. My mystery project is still without the yarn necessary for completion.

But never fear! I still have a frighteningly large backlog of pre-rotation projects to schlepp through. Until I can move forward with the holiday knitting, I’ve (grudgingly) put the final sleeve of the Ribby Cardi back in, at least until Wednesday. The sleeve knitting itself isn’t going too badly, but I’m feeling kind of panicky about putting this thing together. Every time I pick it up, I’m forced to think about the impending blocking, seaming, button banding, zipper installing, and collar knitting. No wonder I’ve been putting this sleeve off since October!

I guess all I can do is take it a step at a time. I still haven’t come across anything in knitting that I just couldn’t do (though I feel I came pretty close with the whole learning to purl thing.)

 

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