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!