Saturday, December 20, 2003

Christmas ick...Christmas stuff

I'm so not ready for Christmas.. when did you say it was? Next week? Less than 7 days... 5 you say? AAARRRGGG...

OK - I have bought some presents. I have to shop for the Big One and the Little One still - but I have my husbands present purchased... its in the mail. Hopefully it gets here on time. Granted, with the miracle of package tracking I can see it has arrived in Minneapolis, so should be here on Monday. I need to check on the status of more, and go through the boxes and see what I haven't gotten yet.

My tree is up, and has lights on it. (as of Monday) I picked out ornaments today, but didn't hang them yet. And I found my creche scene, and the stockings, and got them out. I've just been unmotivated to get ready for Christmas this year.

I refuse to further clutter my knitting with Christmas presents, yes - no deadlines for blankets. I did give the most recently finished baby present - pictures to come soon. This was a hat and bootie set. I've made great progress on the Panda sweater - I've finished the back, and am 2/3 up the first front half. The fronts are going so much faster than the back - explain that to me. Why is a right front with slightly more than 1/2 the stitches of the back getting knitted up in much less than 1/2 the time?

Yarn non-diet

I succumed to the lure of Elann lately... made my first order. (Don't ask how I resisted until now). It came. Its wonderful. I'll order more from there. I also have some yarn on order from the Threadbear guys. It took a bit for them to get to me (they are swamped), but they are very helpful. Hopefully I'll get this stuff soon!

Kids Knitting

I spent my last time in my daughter's class working with the kids and knitting. They did so well. Only a couple (out of a class of 30!) gave up. Only one or two just never could get the hang of it - the rest produced decent hunks of fabric. Now, to get these in shape that people would want to wear them, I'm going to do a bunch of work. I'm planning on adding crocheted borders, piecing stuff together, adding buttons, ribbons, and sew-on patches. I've got bag full of pieces - along with a couple complete scarfs, one from my prodigy. My prodigy finished a 5+ foot long scarf (approx 20 sts wide) in 3 weeks. And its practically perfect. Beautiful. I have a couple more that are going to be knitting for quite a while. I have a couple who had moms and grandmas help out - or do it for them. Oh, well. It still was a great experience. I'll post pics of their pieces after I have a chance to lay them out and take pictures.

Other Stuff
If anyone's reading this, and knows of a white yarn that will felt, leave me a comment, OK? The Little One is in love with Hello Kitty, so I bought her a great hat that looks like Hello Kittys head, with matching mitts. (polar fleece) Well... I'd like to make wool mittens (since I have had a heck of a time finding waterproof mittens for toddlers), and duplicate the hat in wool as well. I was thinking about felting them for added toughness, but I know white yarns have a bad rep in felting/fulling. I may just have to do some experimenting! (grin)

Friday, December 05, 2003

My life, recentlyAs I look back over the last month and more without posting, I think what started it was the lack of pictures. I was knitting, but I never got pictures taken of what I was working on. I put off posting until I had pictures, and then didn't ever get any taken. Then I was out of the habit.


I still don't have pictures. Yet. Maybe later this week. If I find time during the daylight - this being of short supply here in the upper Midwest. Or, I'll post badly color pictures.

What have I been knitting, you ask? Well... baby stuff, mostly. Too many people around me coming down with babies all of a sudden. I ripped out and restarted the Panda sweater - it was knit too tightly, and I decided to go with a white body with black sleeves instead of the other way around. I think it looks much better.

I finished a pair of baby booties, using a pattern from Knitting for Baby. Very cute. I made them out of Jocelyn's Fiber Farm's Silk and Ewe in the Ocean (I think) colorway. I love this yarn - its so soft. Perfect for baby stuff. I'm working on a matching hat.

I have the fish blanket all connected, all I have to do is sew in tails and block one more time. Hmm... why haven't I finished this yet?

Each of the above 3 projects are for different babies - only one being mine. These are at the top of a list of 9 (count 'em 9) babies who either are newborns now, or will be born in the next few months. That'll keep me going. Don't get me wrong, I love handknitting baby gifts. I find it lots of fun, and a great way to try out new patterns. But 9 on my list at once is getting a bit ridiculous.

This is also why I'm not knitting Christmas presents this year.

Teaching Kids to Knit

A week before Thanksgiving my daughter's teacher asked if I'd like to come in and teach the kids to knit. I thought it would be great. Granted, I was a bit apprehensive about 30 kids learning all at once. Fortunately, the teacher called in 3 other parents to come in too. Not that any of them knew how to knit, but they learned quickly to cast on :-)

I went in the Monday before Thanksgiving for 2 hours. We started by making needles. I bought packs of 5/8" dowels (12" long) at the craft store. I think they're a bit long, but they were easier than cutting dowels down. I bought a bunch of beads, and brought in sandpaper and furniture polish to slick them up a bit.

The making part went really well, then I went around and cast on the class. This is where the teacher and parent helpers learned to cast on so this didn't take forever. I then demonstrated. Taking a leaf from Stitches (specifically, Lily Chin's class), I had picked up 15mm needles, and some Wool-Ease Thick and Quick so the kids could see what I was doing. Then, I went around the class student by student and showed them again. My daughter also helped, since she already knows what she's doing in knitting. We only taught them the knit stitch. We cast on ~30 stitches, and we'll make hats or scarves (depending on how long they get their pieces) Ones that are shorter, I'll sew together (somehow - we'll see what we get, right?)

They learned so well! I was in awe. I went back in Tues. and Wed. for a half hour for trouble-shooting and further instruction. I was in last Thursday, and will go in next Thursday as well. I have one girl who has completed a 5 foot long garter stitch scarf!

On a personal note, I'm starting a new project this month. Very cool. Very I can't talk about it, however - new software projects get that way. I'm almost in the Christmas spirit. I think I'll get some decorations out this weekend, that'll help.

If there are still people out there reading - hi. If there aren't, that's OK too. This is mostly to keep me honest, and on track with my projects.

Thursday, December 04, 2003

you are darkviolet

Your dominant hues are blue and magenta. You're the one who goes to all the parties but doesn't quite fit in at every one... you know what you want, but are afraid of what the world might think of it. You're a little different and that's okay with them, and if you're smart it's okay with you too.

Your saturation level is very high - you are all about getting things done. The world may think you work too hard but you have a lot to show for it, and it keeps you going. You shouldn't be afraid to lead people, because if you're doing it, it'll be done right.

Your outlook on life is brighter than most people's. You like the idea of influencing things for the better and find hope in situations where others might give up. You're not exactly a bouncy sunshine but things in your world generally look up.
the html color quiz

Found via Catherine

And how accurate it is...

Actually knitting stories soon - composing a long post takes time!