Friday, December 31, 2010

Under 40!

So, just before midnight, clocking in at 39 WIPs... and here's my finished quilt block, as proof:

The top (larger) one I finished late last night/early this morning, and discovered my gauge was wonky (or I'd picked up the wrong needles or something), so today, I re-knit it smaller.

So, two quilt squares, bringing Total Things Knit for 2010 to 114. Which isn't bad. It's actually good, since I'm signed up for "111 in 2011"....

Happy New Year!!


I'm probably going to make it under 40 UFOs/WIPs/Projects Going At Once this year... and just barely. As I write this on Thursday (anticipating lack of internet on Friday, when this will post), I have exactly 40 projects on The List, and one is getting close to finished. It's the Quilt Block from the Super-Mysterious Ghost of Slytherins Past that I roped myself into last term. I really, really should have it finished now; I've knit enough rows. I've also frogged about half that number, leaving me about 2/3 of the way to the finish line as of the end of lunch yesterday. To wit:

I've got help, of course. Meet my new friend, Nesbit (Nessie for short. Yes, we know "Nessie" is just as long as "Nesbit", but that's what she likes to be called.) She violates my household's Rule of Plush (get a New Stuffed Plush Critter, lose an old stuffed plush critter), so she actually lives in my backpack for now, which is TOTALLY not my house.

She's a lot like a cat, I've discovered: she likes curling up and sitting on whatever it is I'm trying to read or knit. At least she doesn't chase yarn balls... yet. Anyway, I'm hoping to finish (or, if it's NOW, hoping I have already finished) this quilt square, which will put me at 39 UFOs for the beginning of 2011. If I can manage any sort of internet access, I'll attempt an update post later in the day!

Nesbit (and I ) wishes you a Very Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

An Unexpected Bunny

For the last of my Headmistress Challenge bunnies, I was going to do something for the New Year, or New Year's Eve, but it didn't quite turn out that way. Due to a lack of the proper ecru yarn, and a surfeit of pink, I got an Idea. I made pink ears, and decided she needed a scarf or something. So, I knitted a quick garter scarf, and tacked the ends together.

Yeah. I noticed it, too. It's a Breast Cancer Awareness ribbon. It works beautifully as a scarf, sure, but suddenly, this bunny Meant Something. I can't think of anyone I know that hasn't been touched by this terrible disease in some way. I have several friends who have lost mothers, aunts, grandmothers, sisters, daughters. I'm really hoping that 2011 will be The Year Cancer Is Finally Cured.

Back to the less-serious knitting - it's the usual plain bunny from Heartstrings Fiber Arts, which is, I believe, the pattern I've knit more than any other at this point; it just makes me happy to knit it. I changed the ears a bit, which are now co 9 stitches for 16 rows stockinette, then k1, knit next two stitches together (s1k1psso for most people, I think), then knit next three stitches together (not even gonna try, I know how I do it and no one else seems to do it my way), then k2tog, k1. Purl a row, then do a five-stitch bind off (like on the top of a celtic loop). It makes the ears nice and round, and more bunny-like than the somewhat pointy ears I've made before.

She looks lovely in her scarf, I think.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Turkey Bunny!

It was a nice, relaxing long weekend. I know that "Christmas" and "relaxing" don't go hand in hand for many people, and I'm sure ours was just as manic as usual, but compared to the EXTREME CRAZY at work the preceding week, it felt like I was wrapped in a soft cloud of calm. Luckily, soft clouds of calm tend to have tiny, unfinished knitting projects lying about, and I was able to finish another of my erstwhile Headmistress Challenge bunnies. This one (as you can probably guess) would have been the Thanksgiving Bunny:

The tailfeathers are crocheted - ch6, turn, half-crochet 6. Seriously. That's it. Made three yellow, three orange, and four red; pulled all the bits together and stuffed them into the rabbit, then secured everything with stitching, just in case.

He's totally going to be the centerpiece on the table next year. I'll have to get some sort of stand or something for him, though, because he is TINY. 2.5" long, tip to tail, that's it!

Whee, another finished project!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who? Hat - just int time!

*Phew!* I did, in fact, manage to finish my dad's hat before Chirstmas Morning. (If "12:37 a.m. December 25" counts as "before", that is.) It got tricky when I went to add the eyes: they're meant to go in small, plush animals, not hats. Even hacking off the absurdly long anchor stems (good in toys, bad in hats) left something that might scratch a tender pate, so I needed to plushify it quickly. I hit on knitting on a little pocket-strip. First, I knit, just garter stitch, a strip long enough to cover the eyes.

I then anchored it on three sides, making a nice little pocket.

The pocket was then stuffed with just enough polyfill to make the pointy-things non-pointy, with enough cushion around that even if they did attempt re-pointyness, they just plain couldn't do it.

The bonus is that the only visible effect on the outside of the hat is that the little owl that has eyes (just one of the eleven) sticks out a bit - which, really, is the point of giving it eyes in the first place. I kinda wish I'd remembered to take a photo of the finished hat before I wrapped it... whups!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Tis the season... to show the loot!

First post after Christmas... so let me show you the Knitting Loot from my boss-who-knits! (She goes to FibreSpace; gift certificates were obtained; stuff was then obtained, as said certificated quickly burned a hole in my pocked. You know how it is.) First up, the adorable new Knit and Puuuuuurl shirt. I had to get the version with the blue space-cat. I'm all about blue space-cats.



Then I espied the bargain yarn bin. Lookit those tags. Yep, Malbrogio LACE. In Orange/Tiger Lily (my favorite color), and Chartreuse/Apple Green (a color that's usually on me somewhere). I'll probably be combining both into one lovely shawl, but I'm not sure. It may be one big and one small thing. We'll see. But it's really pretty lovely soft yarn!!

The point-of-purchase display of needle gauges got me, since one of the things I tend to lose with regularity are needle gauges. It's pretty, and flat, and will now live in my backpack. (Which, just so you know, is chartreuse.)

Whee! I got stuff!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Frankie, the Red-Nosed Jackelope

Since it's Christmas eve, I bring you what was going to be my Christmas Critter for last term's Headmistress Challenge, if only I'd finished him in time. Wednesday morning, on the way to work, I secured down his antlers, attached his ears, and stitched on his little red nose.

I really like the idea of a Christmas Jackelope.

He hates this photo, but I have to use it.
Visible project details are important.

His name is Frankie. I figure in a week or two, I should have a song written about him.

I'll get you with the song next year. For now....

Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Finished with TWO whole days to spare!

I managed to duplicate stitch (with some understitching) some I-think-you-can-tell-they're-sailboats on Mom's cozies Tuesday night; they're a little wonky-looking, but cotton yarn? Not the easiest stuff for duplicate stitch. Eschew it, if possible, for this process.

They're cute, though, and I think she'll like them.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finally, some knitting!

I didn't have to work over the weekend, since Our Stuff was finished, and we were just waiting for Their Stuff. *Phew!* Thus, I discovered that I can, in fact, KNIT IN MY SLEEP. I mean, I was *probably* awake, but I'd had my allergy shot, so I don't actually remember finishing the set of lovely colorful glass cozies for my sister-in-law's family. (Witnesses confirm it was, indeed, me knitting.)

At some point, I also taught my mother the long-tail cast-on. (??) This is my first real experience with teaching someone absolutely right-handed something I do left-handed... and it took a while, but it worked. (Luckily, I'm mostly ambi, "thanks" to being a girl-schoolchild in Georgia in the 70s, in an area where using the left hand was BARELY tolerated in some boys, and not at all in girls.)

Now, see the little blue-and-white cozy, bottom right up there? Mom decided it looked like waves, sky and clouds... and wouldn't it be lovely if there were little sail-boats there, too? Being asleep, I started knitting, and by the end of the day, had four MORE glass cozies. (Never underestimate how fast you can knit when you're paying absolutely no attention and are, as far as you know, sitting/sleeping quietly in a comfy chair listening to holiday tunes.)

I've also hit the Owl Cable part of my dad's hat, so I should be able to finish that in time. Really. I'm just gonna keep telling myself that!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010, don't touch that dial!

Um... forgot the SD card again today. Something about lots and lots of OT yesterday. (If I'd managed to stay awake for an hour after I got home, I would've been able to see the eclipse; we weren't clouded over here. I just couldn't - too tired!) So, here's a fun pic from the breakfast place up the stairs:

Yep, Han & Cheese. (Pretty much sums up "Return of the Jedi"...)

And here's a pretty shot of the Airships that used to grace the big mall nearby. No airships this year, so I don't feel quite so foolish for taking photos whenever this was. Because I like airships (and hey, they're making a comeback).

Really, tomorrow, I remember to bring in the card with the knitting photos!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Stay tuned...

Um... very busy at work. Did knit over weekend. Did get things needing mailing knit, finished, and out. Started more, but almost finished. Not much knitting time left until Christmas! Also, brain is fried. More comprehensive report tomorrow, when I actually remember the SD card with the photos of the knitting!

Friday, December 17, 2010

C is for "Cookie!!"

So, it's a week until Christmas. According to the Post Office, I've missed the deadline for normal-rate packages getting anywhere before the day (it was Wednesday), but I can still make the Card Deadline (Monday). The only people that might expect an on-time present are my nieces & nephew out in Michigan - but I'm pretty sure we've been late before. (We've also been super-early, but that's when they were all much younger and ZOMG PRESENTS!!!!!!! would make their entire day. Plus, I haven't got much for them this year, it's been so insane. Still, I'd like to get that package in the mail this weekend - I'm fine with shipping it Express if I must.)

Now, ask me how much knitting I've gotten finished.

If you guessed "Half a hat brim, and three-and-a-half glass cozies", you'd be right (and possibly psychic, because that's a pretty odd answer). Part of the reason is the OT at work (hey, I was home by 9pm last night!! Woohooo! And I only started at 7:30 in the morning!), and part of the reason is cookies.

You see, every year, when work has The Holiday Luncheon and Traditional Yankee Gift Exchange, I take a bunch of litte gingerbread cookies, frost 'em, and give them eyes and gumdrop buttons, wait for the frosting to set, then baggie them & tie with bows. Then, wearing reindeer antlers, I scamper around the firm, and leave one for everyone who isn't diabetic.

No, really!

They look like this:

Right now, I've got four left under my desk, because the younger guys *always* ask for an extra, "if I have one". I've learned to have one (or two...or four). To keep something vaguely knitting-related going (since there's no actual knitting to show), I've decided on my initial third-year Ravatar, if I sort Slytherin. I'm going to play around with it some more, especially since I now have different glasses. I suppose I *could* just do one from scratch, but I like the Hogwarts options over at

Hopefully, by Monday, I'll have all sorts of finished knitting to show you!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Goodies Into the Mail

Down in the Dungeon, we had a Yule Exchange!

Slytherin Yule!!

I had a great deal of fun finding things for my Spoilee, who happens to be a glass artist, too (except a REAL one - as in has stuff in churches, etc). I misremembered the mailing date, though, so mid-week last week, there was a flurry of activity one morning.
First, there was All The Stuff. I had fun getting it all. Matchy-matchy notecards, notebook, pad & pencil (DPN) cases; shiny-matchy pen, notebook & magnets; a cute keychain calculator; tape measures (including some cool peel-n-stick tape measure), and, of course, the owlet twins, Bert & Ernie. (The whole thing was allegedly and ornament exchange, With Other Stuff.)
Then there was the Getting Creative With Wrapping. I did the obligatory "presents hidden in other presents" that everyone, regardless of age, thinks is silly out loud - but secretly loves.
Then it was a case of getting everything (and everyone) into the box I'd lugged home from work the night before. Tucking things carefully into brown paper would, hoepfully, protect *and* keep from shifting.
Then, it was a case of making sure I hadn't forgotten anything. Which, of course, I had.
So, a few things had to come out of the box, then go back in, then get nestled back into the protective brown paper. About three times, before I got everything to fit, finally. (It wasn't that much stuff, and the brown paper didn't take up that much extra space; I think there was a tiny spacewarp on the lid of the box or something. And I managed to forget to add the card enough times that I'm pretty sure it was sneaking out of the box on its own.)
Then I stuffed the CUTEST OWL ART ever, with a greeting, down one side of the box. (Seriously. Cutest. OWL. EVER. Must track it down and attempt to get real, live prints - I just adore it!)
Then, it was time to decorate the box. Because if you've ever gotten a package from me, you know: the box is all this lovely blank space just waiting to be filled up with pictures. Since it's a Slytherin exchange, the art kinda flowed all by itself. And yes, I own red and green sharpie markers - doesn't everyone?
Off to the post office (which isn't open at 8am any more, so it was more like "take bus in the cold to block next to post office, walk up steep hill, discover post office is closed, trudge the half mile to work, work for a while/warm up, then trudge half mile back to post office, mail thing, trudge back to work, make hot cocoa) to get proof of mailing, which I wanted to be able to show to one of the exchange's Organizer Elves, as I was about a week late with the shipping.
Then it was just waiting for my Spoilee to receive her package. I was hoping she'd take a photo - but she took a bunch. The following four pics are from her. This first one is The Loot emptied out of the box...
Photo from Spoilee

Photo from Spoilee
... and here it is all unwrapped.

Photo from Spoilee
Bert and Ernie fluttered around the house, before finding the highest point on which to perch, while they wait for the Holiday Tree to go up. Plus, let's be real, they're hoping that someone will drop food so they can swoop down and grab it before it hits the floor. (They're like that.)
And the Shiny Magnets formed into an appropriately Snake-y shape on the refrigerator door. Wheee!
Photo from Spoilee
The day I mailed the package, while I was trugding back to work the second time, I noticed this sweater at one of the Hip Cool Stores(tm). It matched the notebook, pad, cards & pencil cases I'd just sent. I didn't get it for her, since it cost Actual $$, but I totally thought about it. Plus, I would've had to find a box and go back to the post office a third time - and that wasn't going to happen!

Once my package from my Spoiler arrives, I'll let you know what sort of goodies I got!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm made of WIN!

First, a Big Giant Squeal: It totally doesn't count, or anything, since Hogwarts doesn't rank students (which, honestly, would take the fun out of it for lots of folks)... but if they did, guess who was the Highest Scoring Slytherin last term? Not just for Quidditch, but for Academics, too?

Why yes, that would be me.

I know, I know, it's just a game, and anyone playing wins. But I am a Slytherin, after all, and I do take a wee bit of pride in having Achieved a Great Accomplishment. (Especially since I don't think I'll be able to pull it off again, especially not next term!) A big Thank You !!!!! to the Kindly Staffmember Who Might Prefer To Remain Anonymous that let me know.


Back to what I'm knitting now. It being the Fourteenth of December yesterday, I deemed it a good day to start my Christmas knitting. Yes, you read that right... START. With ten days left, and less than that for the stuff that should be mailed... um... today. That's not going to happen. But last night, I pulled out all the yarn and needles needed for the three projects (one Who? Hat, a stuffed Trilobyte, and as many glass cozies as I can knit before it's time to mail them on Sunday). I started the hat on DPNs, then actually broke out my Boye interchageable set for the first time in who-knows-how-long. I MUST remember to return the needles to the case when I'm done with the hat/have decreased enough that I have to switch back to DPNs!!

I've also got to figure out why the bright red on my Fibre Space holiday hoodie matches my yarn in this photo. My telephone camera is WHACK. But hopefully, by Monday, finished hat - and MORE!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An Open Letter to My Socks

Dearest lovely Serpentine Valentine Sparkly Socks: I adore you, truly I do. Know that really, someday you will be more than just a Right Cuff. It's almost time to start your green, and as you know, shortly thereafter, there will be sparkly silver snakes all over you. It's just that... well.

I don't quite know how to break this to you, so I'll put it bluntly: There's someone else.

I sort of started this...
But need to frog and reknit

Specifically, there's a knitted trilobite, a Who? hat, and eight to twelve glass cozies that have a much tighter deadline - especially the glass cozies, which need to be in the mail tomorrow. You see, there's mailing deadlines, and then wrapping deadlines - I'm sure you understand. It doesn't mean that I love you any less, of course, and please, please understand that this is just one of those temporary things - I won't even be keeping any of those other projects, and you, I'll keep forever.

Must make a larger version for my Dad

I just can't work on you right now. I know, I know, it's cruel - I keep picking you up, and then putting you back down. And, in fairness, I haven't even *started* any of those other projects - even the eight to twelve glass cozies that have to be in the mail tomorrow. I'm not treating you fairly, and it's through no fault of your own. You are an awesome sock... er, cuff... er... well, you understand.

Finished, but going to someone else;
Need to knit at least 8 more

It's not you, dearest lovely Serpentine Valentine Sparkly Socks.

It's me.