Christmas roundup

Hope everyone [who celebrates it] had a nice Christmas! We certainly did. It was both fun-filled and family-filled. My husband and I are both off all week, so it's really felt like a nice, long, holiday.

We spent Christmas day with my cousins and their respective families. Since there were a lot of people, we'd decided ahead of time not to exchange gifts. However, I wanted to do a little something, so I made Cookie Cutter Fudge.

First, you get some cookie cutters that you are willing to give away. Then you cover the bottoms with foil and spray them with non-stick spray.


Then you make the super-easy fudge (it's basically just melted chocolate and peanut butter chips!) and put some in each cookie cutter. Here you can see on the bottom two how they looked before I started decorating them.


I also melted some white candy chips and spread that to cover the fudge, for better decoratability. :)


I then just used various sprinkles and decorations to make them pretty.


(I realized on the last one that it looked better if I left the "tree trunk" uncovered!)

Then you take the foil off, and I put them in little bags I found at the craft store and tied them with pretty ribbons. Everyone seemed to think they looked cute. The only downside was that they're supposed to stay refrigerated or the fudge softens a bit (though it doesn't melt or anything).




I also made these Candy Cane Cookies, but I just realized I didn't take any photos of them, rats. Anyway, not to boast or anything, but they looked pretty much like the ones pictured on that site (they were pretty easy!). Although I didn't put any candy pieces on them (since they were all sold out in the stores), and they tasted okay; I thought they definitely looked better than they tasted. There's another similar recipe on there using pre-packaged sugar cookie dough and that might taste a lot better.

So, enough of that...back to knitting!

I am pleased to say I finished all of my Christmas knitting in time...though admittedly just in the nick of time! I finished my friend's socks with a day or so to spare, and when I gave them to her, she was excited and loved them. She said she was wondering when she'd be getting her next handknit pair! :)



Specs on the project:

Pattern: Basic ribbed socks
Needles used: Size 2 DPNs
Yarn: Regia 4 Fadig color
Color: #5164
Notes: Used K3P1 ribbing
Started: 12/12/07
Finished: 12/23/07

My MIL's hat was finished the day after Christmas, and they arrived that afternoon! It, along with my FIL's hat, were both big hits with the recipients. My FIL doesn't have much hair and likes to wear hats all the time, and he wore his new one the whole time they were here visiting. :) I was quite pleased!

Anyway, as I believe I mentioned before, the yarn was pooling big time. During the straight stockinette part the six colors in the yarn were making big sections that just moved slightly around the hat, as you can see in the first two photos (I flipped it over for the second one):



Then during the decreases for the crown, it started striping, and looking really cool. Oh well!


Specs on the project:

Pattern: Basic roll-brim hat
Needles used: Size 7 (16" circulars and DPNs)
Yarn: Patons Decor
Color: Mountain Top Variegated
Amount used: about 2/3 of one ball
Started: 12/18/07
Finished: 12/26/07

Anyway, my MIL loved it and that's all that matters. She's a mathematician and my husband told her it was a "chaos theory" hat and she laughed and said it was perfect. :)

Back in WIP land, I don't think I ever posted photos of that afghan I started a while back. Here in order from top to bottom of the panel I'm working on, are the squares I've completed. (And no, I did not bother to pin it out before taking the photos, so it rolled a bit! But you can use your imagination...)




It's a fun pattern, great TV knitting. The yarn is soft and colorful and fun.

I have SO MANY projects I want to make and really need to NOT buy any more yarn! For a very long time!! I mean really. My stash is getting very out of hand. So I must exercise some restraint. We'll see how that works. ;)

And speaking of which, I also got quite the yarn haul for Christmas! (Not to mention a couple of skeins I bought recently!) But this post has enough photos, so I'll post about that another day.



I was just over at Peaknit's blog, reading her post about Warm Fuzzies...those well-loved and well-worn toys we loved as kids. And I got to thinking about it...my "warm fuzzy" from my childhood--a dog named Henry-- is somewhat actually knitting-related! I learned to knit as a kid from my mom, and then took it up again briefly when I was about 12 and made my Henry an outfit.

Warning: picture-heavy post!

Here he is in his entire outfit - sweater, pants, hat and scarf:


The sweater has an "H" on the front:


The scarf has fringe:


The hat a pom-pom, and ribbing on the edge:


Funny part is, that hat was made in three triangles! I didn't know how to knit in the round back then.

I made two separate sets of ties to hold the hat on, that all tied under his chin:


Here you can sort of see the hat's construction. The ties at the bottom came around his neck from the back, and then the ties on the sides went under his chin. That hat was not coming off!!


Here are his pants, with a little drawstring:



Now, the Henry sans clothes! This is the little ticking "outfit" my mom had to make him when his original fur started to disintegrate. She stitched it right onto him.


Here you can see how well-loved he was. One ear is shorter than the other because I used to swing on my swing with him, and stick one ear through the chain. I remember grabbing him off one time, and the ear stayed behind! My mom quickly stitched that back on...and it's a little shorter than the other one. His eye fell out when I chucked him down the stairs (he was "jumping" of course) and so from then on a bandaid served as an eye patch. I used to change it periodically. I have a faint memory of him with both eyes, but I can't even remember him with a real nose. What's left is just the glue that held on the original.


As you can see here, his neck has been stitched many times over. His neck actually used to be longer, but since that was how I carried him, my mom eventually had to move his ticking outfit up thereby shortening his neck.


Hope you've enjoyed my little walk down memory lane! :) Anyone else have a favorite toy from their childhood they'd like to share? Leave a comment if so!

12 Days of Christmas

And what I mean by that is that I am now on the first of my 12 whole days in a row off from work!! Yay. Not that I don't like my job, because I really do, and I have great coworkers, but, this will be a much appreciated break. My husband is off the same days I am this year too, and we're not traveling this Christmas, so it's 12 whole days at home to do what we want. So nice!

I'm finally back here to report on my Christmas knitting. I've finished one item, the hat for my father-in-law. I think it came out pretty nicely, I had my husband try it on to see if we think it'll fit my FIL. I hope it will. It's nice and thick, since I made it from bulky yarn, Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky.


I like the color...since even though from a distance it just looks like a brown hat, you can tell it's really a nice multi-colored brown when you look close. You can kind of see that in these photos.


It's so thick in fact that it stands up all by itself! More details on the project here.

In other Christmas knitting news, I'm well on my way with the other two projects I am doing. I am actually halfway through the socks for my friend...one sock done!


So far I love the socks. I am doing a K3P1 ribbing pattern, as per a suggestion from my knitblogbuddy over at Casting Away, which is working out great! It's not interrupting the self-striping pattern of the yarn at all, and yet it's still stretchy like a K2P2 rib. I love it. The yarn is Regia 4 Fadig color in color 5164.

The other thing I am knitting is my mother-in-law's hat. For this one I'm just doing a very simple, roll-brim hat. I'm not very far along with it, but that's a quickie when I really get going. Actually today it's proved useful to have in my hands while I surf the net...I can do a couple of stitches while a page is loading!


The colors are pooling something fierce, but I hope it ends up looking okay. It's hard to tell yet with only an inch or so done. So we'll see. I honestly don't think my MIL would be bothered by it though...I think she'll just be thrilled with a handmade gift. She's nice like that. :)

I guess that's it from here for now. I need to spend a little time thinking about food for Christmas too...I'm responsible for a coffee cake for Christmas morning (I'm making the Apple Kuchen Coffee Cake from Betty Crocker, it's tasty) and an appetizer for later in the day. I like to make a puff pastry with brie and nuts and berries in it, which is always a huge hit and every morsel is gone.

Then I am thinking of making these Cookie Cutter Fudge things as gifts for family members. I might also try this Peppermint Bark as well. We'll see how those come out!

Happy Holidays everyone!


Christmas progress

Hats are coming along...slowly. I have almost completed my FIL's hat, and here's a WIP shot...although I'm further along than this now:


I'm almost done with that, and once I am I'm moving back to my husband's hat. Then it'll be this yarn for my MIL's hat:


For my friend's gift, I have decided not to try the Anemoi mittens now, I just don't think I'll have time to do them before Christmas, and I want to take my time and enjoy them. So I've rustled up this yarn from the stash for some socks for her:

Copy of regiabluegraysock

She's not one much for the crazy colors of socks, so I think this will be perfect for her. I plan to make ribbed socks, she likes them for their stretchyness.

Okay, sorry for the boring update, but I need to get back to my Christmas cards and knitting!


The Plan

As I have no knitting photos to share at the moment, I will instead hopefully appease you with Moose photos, while I yammer on about my Christmas knitting plans. :o)

What mouse? I will sit on your mousepad now, thankyouverymuch. And look! I fit. And I'm cute, sitting here on the very small "carpet".

I know I previously mentioned grand plans of seven hats...nope, that's not happening. (See? I knew I shouldn't have mentioned anything.) However, there will still be hats knit for Christmas.

I am still going to make my mother-in-law and father-in-law each a hat. Simple ones, I think, as they are not really frou-frou type people. I got some Wool-Ease Chunky for my FIL's hat, in a dark brown, and I am making a simple hat with a ribbed brim for him. And for my MIL, I got some Patons Decor in a variegated shade with blues, greens, and some purple (I think it's the one called Mountain Top--I really need to remember to look at the names!) That will be a simple roll-brim hat.

Then there is, of course, the one I've already started for my husband. He's heading out on a business trip soon so I will have lots of time to work on that and his mittens too. Oh, and last night I asked him if I could measure his head for his dad's hat, and he obliged, although he also suggested I measure his baseball hat, which was funny because that is exactly what I did when I was planning for his hat! Turns out I was right on with my measurements, so his hat should fit.

I am also going to make something for my best friend, which will either be a new pair of socks (I'm thrilled that she loves my handknit socks!) or Anemoi mittens. I might cast on for those, see how they go, and then decide if I will have enough time to make them. Otherwise I'll dig through my stash for some sock yarn, and make her some ribbed socks. I like those for her since they stay up reasonably well. The hats and other stuff I can crank out quickly, so I think this list is do-able.

Big-eyed kitty

I am actually getting a lot accomplished in regards to other Christmas shopping, and I have addressed my cards, and just need to write them now. My goal is to get all of the fiddly stuff like that done, and be left with only some pleasant knitting to do while enjoying the season!

I now leave you with a bad photo of Moose but one that showcases his Christmas collar...hee! We have a collar with a bell on him so that Maddie is forewarned of his approach, since she still does NOT like The Moose. I doubt she ever will; our only hope is that he will eventually calm down enough that he will resist bothering her all the time!

Moose's Christmas collar


Christmas Questions

Since I don't have any real knitting updates to post about, nor any photos to share, I thought I'd post this. Here is a little Christmas question & answer list that I found over on Karrie's blog, Too Little Time. I decided to jump on that bandwagon and answer it too! (I'm also borrowing her idea of making it colorful and Christmasy!) :o)

Rules are to copy and paste to your own blog, replacing the answers with your own. If you do answer it on your blog, leave me a comment and I'll come by to see!


1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? -Wrapping paper, and I like to make the gift tags myself. I've also been known to use "fur" yarn for ribbon!

2. Real tree or artificial? -Growing up, we always had a real one, but now my husband and I are contemplating getting an artificial one.

3. When do you put up the tree? -About three weeks before Christmas

4. When do you take the tree down? -Around New Year's

5. Do you like eggnog? -Yup! (and now that I'm a grownup, I like it with a little rum!)

6. Favorite gift received as a child? -A Gund "Snuff" stuffed bear, which became my all-time favorite

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? -Yes

8. Hardest person to buy for? -My nieces and nephews because unfortunately I don't see them very often

9. Easiest person to buy for? -My husband and my best friend, because I know them so well!

10. Worst Christmas Gift you ever received? -I really can't think of one.

11. Mail or email Christmas cards? -Mail, and I like to make those too.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? -Don't really have a favorite movie, but gotta watch the original Grinch TV show each year!

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? -November or so

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? -Not exactly, but there used to be a "joke" gift (it was a hideous thing of plastic "flowers" made from plastic shells--no offense to anyone who likes plastic flowers or shells, but trust me, this was hideous) that we would circulate in the family as a recurring joke gift that kept reappearing quietly and suddenly, which was fun. It stemmed from an older version of a similar joke gift from my dad's generation.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? -Favorite family recipes of Christmas cookies!

16. Clear lights or colored on the tree? -Colorful...growing up, we used the "twinkle" lights that would blink randomly...now we use the tiny colorful lights.

17. Favorite Christmas song? -God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen...I love to sing along in the alto part!

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? -Both...DH's family live 5 hours away.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? -Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen...& Rudolph!

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? -Growing up it was an angel, now we have a star.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? -Christmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? -The crazy shoppers and crowded malls! And the feeling of frustration trying to find gifts just to find gifts. Which is why we're doing some donations this year.

23. What is the "corniest" family tradition you do, or miss doing? -This isn't really corny, but my parents and I used to lie on the floor by the tree and watch the twinkle lights make pretty patterns on the ceiling, listening to Christmas music

24. What is the worst thing you've seen related to Christmas? -There are some jokes passed around the internet that are a little tasteless sometimes.

25. Which looks best theme trees or homey trees? -I think I'm partial to homey trees, full of ornaments with memories, but we've been known to do color-themed trees before (red and green, blue and silver...)

26. Gingerbread or sugar cookies? -um, neither? I like these butter cookies my family makes.

27. Do you like Fruitcake? -No thank you!

Happy holiday season to all!



Before I get to the hat stuff, first I just have to say that I can't believe I forgot to mention in my last post the way my Feathery Lace Wrap ended. I was so close to the end, and I managed to screw it up! I was dumbfounded...I had knitted the entire thing just fine...it had been on a couple of plane trips, various car trips, worked on in front of the TV, while holding conversations...and yet, right at the end? I worked row 1 instead of row 2....ugh! So I backtracked that row...but somehow forgot all of the psso's and managed to screw it up even more, gaining stitches, dropping stitches...it was not pretty. At least the fuzzies kept those dropped stitches from going anywhere. At first I fixed it in a "good enough" sort of way and since I was so close to the end of the yarn it would have been a perfectly acceptable place to stop...but this is me we're dealing with and that bothered me too much so I then was forced (by myself) to go back even further to really fix it...and finally got it together. It's not particularly fun or easy to tink that fuzzy stuff!

Now back to the hat business. I finally have a WIP photo to share of that hat I'm making for my husband for Christmas. I hadn't wanted to take a photo for fear that he'd spot it on the camera, but I am thinking he's not going to notice what it is even if he does spot it. He's just not all that detail-oriented when it comes to my knitting. Anyway, this is making rather slow progress because of having to work on it in little bits when I get home from work before he does. I work on it upstairs sitting on the bed because I can hear him when he gets home and is on his way up the stairs, so I have time to stuff it in the bag!


I originally had worked out a "manly" design using fair isle but I wasn't liking it. First there was too much stranding, and also I was just using the dark gray and the two blues (those are the colors in his winter coat) but it just wasn't showing up well enough. So I ripped back to before the colorwork, and then started a simple stripe pattern, adding in some light gray between the blue and the dark gray, which really makes the blues pop nicely. So I am pleased with it now. I am of course getting the little "jog" where I change colors at the end of my round, but when I go to weave in ends I'll see what magic I can come up with to make that less apparent. Anyway, I like this so far so we'll see how it ends up!

Okay, so I know I said I would do seven hats for Christmas. We'll see about that. More on that soon, I think. I need to come up with a plan. It's not that I'm backing out...I just don't know that this is the Christmas for this particular gift theme. We'll see.


Feathery Lace Wrap

Well, surprise of surprises, I have an unexpected F.O. to share!

I took my Feathery Wrap along on our road trip for Thanksgiving, more as a secondary project and I never expected to finish it! But I just got into a groove with it and then realized that I was actually nearing the end. It was one of those projects that as much as I was enjoying knitting it (I was enjoying it so much that I almost didn't want to end!) I thought I was never going to finish it, and had resigned myself to knitting it in little bits here and there, and never really feeling like I was ever going to get to the end, but just enjoying the knitting process and not concerning myself with the end result as much.

But I was marching along on it and suddenly I realized I was making great strides and decided to just finish it. Now I can wear it for the holidays!

So without further ado, here is my Feathery Lace Wrap (also known as the Feathery Lace Stole, from Exquisite Little Knits).


I used Rowan Kidsilk Spray yarn, 2 whole balls. This is the yarn the pattern calls for, except that it calls for Kidsilk Haze, which is the solid color version of the yarn I used. I liked this though...it was a subtle enough color shift that added to the overall look. These aren't the greatest photos for showing the color, although you can see the changes, but it shows the pattern well. (These photos make the color look like it's dark red and hot pink...which I suppose if you look closely it sort of is...but it just looks more blended in real life, somehow. I love it.)


I really liked this pattern. It was a simple, two-row repeat that was very easily memorized, even for me, a novice lace knitter. And since the yarn is so light and fluffy, it was the perfect project for travel, since it took up zero space. I just put it all into a ziploc baggie, squeezed out all the air, and was all set. And until I started on the second ball of yarn, I even used the small size of baggie!

Some patterns I love but wouldn't make again...this is not one of them. I'd love to make this again, and am thinking that perhaps I'll find some black yarn, since even though knitting a wrap in black might be tough, at least with this pattern it would be familiar. If I was making a black wrap, I might make it a little longer and wider. Oh, and this yarn did bleed on my fingers while knitting it. Doesn't bother me though. I haven't washed this yet but I am sure it'll bleed some when i do.

More details on this project can be found here.


I gots nuthin'

Hi. Just checking in to say hi, since I know I haven't posted in a while. I've got nuthin' for you today, other than a wordy edition of my current WIP status, and some potential plans for Christmas knitting.

First, the WIPs. I have updated my sidebar with my current projects. The observant among you might notice I've snuck yet another thing in there. I had mentioned a while back that I was tempted by this blanket I'd seen the pattern for. Well one night we were out for dinner at a tex mex place in a shopping center with a Michael's, and my sweet husband agreed to follow me in to look for this yarn while we waited for our table to be ready. I decided that if I was able to find at least some of the ten different colors needed that I'd consider getting them and making the blanket. Well, much to my surprise, I found all ten!! So, I got them. Anyway, I started it and, no photos because I am a loser, but I'm on the third block. It's constructed in four vertical panels of five blocks each. The solid colors are done in a pretty star pattern stitch and the stripes are stockinette. So far I really like it, perfect for TV knitting and it's nice and soft. This is the pattern:

Ahem. Yes. Like I needed to start another project. But at least I'm admitting to it, right?! I mean, I could just not mention it here, and you guys wouldn't be any the wiser. ;o) Anyway, the reason I wanted to start it sooner rather than later is because of Moose. See, I have a lovely afghan I'd made last winter which I adore, but, it has fringe. And Moose likes fringe. But I don't like that Moose likes fringe. So it's a hassle to try and tuck the fringe in when you use it. So I thought, why not go for a fringeless blanket to have around? So that's the plan.

Other WIPs are either sitting quietly and patiently waiting for me to return to them, or are being worked on in fits and starts. I have been doing a little work on the Feathery Lace Stole here and there.

However...there's more. I may have to set aside all of these projects in favor of some Christmas knitting. I don't normally do a ton of Christmas knitting, but I came up with an idea this year. I probably shouldn't admit to this one here or I'll feel committed to it, but this morning an idea came to me. Do you think I can make 7 rather simple hats by Christmas? I'm sure I can. Right? I am thinking of these for my in-laws...mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, and then our two nieces and nephew. As you know I'm already making a hat for my husband (more on that soon...I revamped my colorwork design and I like it better now) so I could have one for everyone who'll be there. My husband has two other siblings but a) they live in California and don't really need winter hats, and b) they won't be here for Christmas because that's the sister-in-law who's having the baby soon for whom I made the sweater and booties. We'll just be sending their gifts this year. But a frequent theme with the family is, say, all the girls get the same thing, all the guys get the same thing, or every couple gets the same little gift, and it's fun that way. So I thought, everyone could get a hat. We'll see. Like I said, I probably shouldn't have mentioned it here yet!

That's it from here for now. If I don't post again before Thursday, I wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving!


Solstice Slip Complete

Check it out! I actually finished something!! Bet you thought I'd never do that, huh? It was getting a little out of hand here for a while.

But here we are, completed Solstice Slip socks:




And, to prove I really did finish both socks, here's both of them (I ought to make another sock blocker):


Yay! I'm so excited to finally finish them. When I realized how close I was this morning to finishing them, I just kept on going until I got them done.

I was so excited to post about these that I haven't done my little spec page for these yet. In fact, I have other such pages to catch up on. Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for a new list of links in my sidebar. But, in case anyone doesn't know what these are, this is the June kit from Rockin' Sock Club 2007, the yarn is Socks That Rock Lightweight in Firebird, and the pattern is Solstice Slip. (Currently only available to club members, but I believe they eventually offer them to everyone.)

A fun knit, and my sluggishness doesn't mean I didn't like knitting them! :o)


Startitis, but no Finishitis

Lately I haven't had any FOs to report on because...I haven't finished anything. HA! Imagine that. I have certainly had a rash of Startitis, and while as we all know it is exciting and fun to start new things, it's also bringing me down a little because I am not finishing anything. Yes, I am aware this is of my own doing. And also because I am not finding oodles of time to knit, so when I do knit, I only get a row or two done on something which gets me practically nowhere, or at least it feels like it.

The other day I started yet another project. I know, I know, I should be smacked. But, the idea came to me when I was driving home one day, and since it involved yarn I already had, I figured what's the harm? Plus (because I need another excuse...) it is the only non-patterned knitting I have going right now. This is mindless stockinette...well, mindless to a point. Teeny tiny yarn does need a bit of attention. But still.

Here are some not-very-informative WIP shots. The yarn is KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint.


It's hard to see what this is going to be in these photos, but I am imagining a big, soft, light and airy circular scarf thing that can be worn once around my neck and hanging down, or wrapped twice for added fluff and warmth. We'll see if this comes out at all close to what I am imagining.

Here I've tried to spread out what knitting I've done so you can see the lacy stockinette it is. I like it. Oh, and I did a really loose cast-on on larger needles so that it's not restricting in any way when it's done. So it looks a little loose now but I think that's for the best.


It'll take me a while to do this one...so don't expect frequent post updates on it!! hehe.

So back to the lack of Finishitis...I really have been trying to concentrate mostly on my Solstice Slip socks, since they're the closest to being done of all my WIPs...and while I'm not tired of knitting them, I am tired of mentioning how I still haven't finished them, and I'm sure you're probably tired of hearing about these by now! ;o)


In keeping with my latest trend, I now need to start yet another project. Notice there I said "need"? There's a valid reason for this one, I swear. See, it's a Christmas present for DH and I need to sneak knitting time in on this one whenever he's not around to catch me working on it. I am making him a hat and mittens that will go with his ski coat. I had made him some black mittens a while back which he wears all the time (I love that he loves them!) but I think he needs another pair. And his coat is blue so I figured, there's my plan.

This is the yarn I dug up from my stash (just some Lion Brand Wool-Ease) that goes well with his coat. I'm going to do mostly gray, with some patterning in the two blues. (And for the record, I think there's very little chance he will ever read this blog, so I'm safe mentioning it here!)


Off to swatch and cast on for the hat!

Turkey Lurkey


Isn't he great? We got the kit with the turkey parts at an apple festival a few weeks ago, and then picked up a pumpkin last week. He makes me laugh!