Saturday, December 30, 2006

Yarn PAPER Scissors

OK. So, in this modern day and all, paper is a matter of perspective, yes? I'm reading a book called No Plot? No Problem! It is how-to book and kit, directing would-be novelists in a writing adventure. At the end of a month's time, those taking advantage of the kit -- its method, progress charts and these lovely things called "onerosity" coupons -- will have completed a 50,000 word novel.

I'm thinking of actually trying this novel-writing thing. But, I'm also thinking that the method this silly little book uses to get lazy novel-writers actually writing (and not playing computer Scrabble) are worthwhile.

If I were to use the methods for say, sock knitting or crafting that silly little art-canvas scrapbooking dealy that I've been thinking of... just think of the results. This just might be a new-year resolution...

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy New Year!

My knitting resolutions for 2007-

1. Knit a pair of socks each month (finishing the three outstanding pairs I have going counts for January)
2. Enter in the fair again.
3. Knit a complicated sock pattern.
4. Knit something lace.
5. Knit something with fairly complicated cables.
6. Knit from existing stash more often than with new stuff (I realize this isn't much of a yarn diet, but let's be realistic here)
7. Teach all the new Naughty Knitters to purl.
8. Organize my supplies better.

Happy New Year everyone! I will be away from the blog until Tuesday. Maybe Carey will entertain you in my place.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Giant socks

I love my husband. He has big feet. I love him anyway, however, when I get the loving urge to knit him a pair of socks, I should realize knitting two size 14s are like 3 regular socks. His feet are 12 inches long.


This is sock number 1. Yes, three days late for xmas, and he does have two feet, so I have to start another one soon.

Trouble is it is black. I don't see well, especially at night, so I have to knit them in the daytime. In good lighting. The sun is shining right now, but I'm blogging so Tracy will have something to read, and to prove that I did actually finish the first one.

Since it is black, my dear readers, you can't see that there is a nice row of cables up each side of this sock. And for you technical people out there with loved ones with size 14 feet, it is made with Knitpicks Gloss (wool/silk) one skein (I bought extra in case), size 1 needles, 72 stitches around (socks for me are usually 64).

When it is too dark to knit this baby, I have been knitting on my Lucy sock. I have now completed my first ever short row heel since I'm trying them toe up. Santa brought me the prettiest Socks that Rock (Rocktober colorway) and I'm anxious to start those.

More pictures next time.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I quilt too

Every once in a while I drag out the sewing machine and sew something. This particular time I made Tracy a santa quilted wall hanging. I hand-embroidered a santa (can't remember where I found the pattern, I had it for awhile) in red on muslin. I added red and white strips to the edge, then free-motion quilted the whole thing. I thought Tracy would like it because she likes the vintage look type things.

I have been known to have very little self control in a fabric store, almost like a yarn store. Fabric came first actually, and almost completely over-wrote my brain's addiction to yarn, in fact, I didn't pick up a knitting needle for around 10 years while I always have had at least one sewing project going.

Up until Carey mentioned "I want to knit something" I was perfectly contented being a member of the quilting guild, taking classes at Quilter's Paradise, and feeding my fabric addiction. I even was a Alex Anderson groupie at the Quilts in the Garden quilt show in Livermore.

Now, I still like a good fabric store, and can imagine several projects I have to make every time I walk into one. However, I am finding it very easy to pass over the quilting magazines in favor of each and every knitting magazine, and wish my boxes of fabric would magically disappear so I would have more room for yarn. Knitting suits my lifestyle so much more, it is easily portable, can be done in the stolen moments of life, while waiting, etc. and doesn't involve dragging out the machine and supplies only to have to put them away again before I am done.

I feel a little guilty that I abandoned my quilt addiction so quickly in favor of knitting. I can't imagine doing that to knitting when some other craft-of-the-week becomes popular. I know I can do multiple things, and I have been known to bead things, and decorate a cake now and then, but it is much easier to specialize, especially when it comes to storing the supplies for these hobbies.

Maybe heaven allows you unlimited space for crafting, unlimited yarn, fabric, supplies, books, magazines (always a new issue), and time to do it all. Sounds good.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Knitting

Socks for Jean

Backyard Leaves from Scarf Style from Interweave Knits for Carey done in Alpaca with a Twist 100% alpaca. First, shown while blocking-

And shown after -

For Gary, a mock cable scarf (not bad for mock I think)

Here it is up close

I also made Tracy a quilted item that blogger doesn't want me to show you. More next post.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Christmas Express

This Christmas season has seen as much gingerbread as knitting. First Grace and I made cookies for her kindergarten class:

Then I got the brilliant idea to make the gingerbread train from the November issue of Family Fun magazine. Tracy and I thought it would be fun to do it with the girls.

It wasn't hard to do, just time consuming to make 3 batches of gingerbread, cut out all the pieces, bake them all, assemble with royal icing, and of course, shop for every candy known to mankind.

We got the girls together on Friday, the first day of vacation, and they decorated them. We had tons of candy left over. The girls had a good time, eating as much as they used to decorate.

Don't they look like they had fun?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I'm still here!

I haven't been posting lately because I'm busy knitting! Stay tuned for photos of the things I have finished. Any now would spoil the surprise for those who may be getting a handmade gift (Jean, yours was mailed today - How was the cruise?).

Preparations for the holiday are humming along with stress oozing out of my pores. We have been hit by the stomach flu bug around here and then I got a cold to add to my enjoyment. All this has put me behind with Christmas cards, and wrapping, etc. I also have some gingerbread construction to get done. I've been trying to carve out a little sanity here and there by making sure I have quiet moments to remember the pleasures of the season and make sure the spiritual is not lost in the flurry. Seeing Grace's little face singing in her Kindergarten class this morning was fuel for the soul. Seeing the other kids tonight at their program was sweet too. I get all misty when I remember those giant 6th and 8th graders when they were 5.

I am looking forward to Christmas vacation, after Christmas the pressure will be off and I can get to some projects I have been eyeing to start. I'm itching to start something complicated. Cables, lace, whatever. Santa may be bringing me some new books too. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Things you should know about Cindy

I discovered a silly site,, where you answer a bunch of silly questionnaires and can find out all sorts of things about yourself that you never knew. Did you know--

If I were a Brady, I'd be Jan.
If I were a work of art, I'd be be Farbstudie QuadrateBy Wassily Kandinsky (?)
My funky inner hair color is orange.
My aura is violet.
If I were a Sesame St. character, I'd be Cookie Monster (uncanny).
If I were a ice cream flavor, I'd be Rocky Road (how does it know?)
My boobs are named Thelma and Louise (I never knew).
I got 100 % on the 8th grade math test.
70% on 8th grade geography.
I'm 50 % weird.
I'm 70 % normal (must be a statistical variation).

I'm so grateful to the internet for saving me countless hours of inner soul searching to learn this about myself.

I wonder what Carey's boobs names are?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shelly can celebrate her birthday any month she wants. So there.

OK. So, I'm a tad slow sometimes. But just to be fair, I've not received my birthday gift either. I'm finished with Shelly's gift and am now prepared to give it to her. Shelly is my oh-so-creative-with-paper friend and this year I've elected to give her something to enjoy yarnwise. Did I mention her birthday, like mine, is in October? Anyway, here's a snippet of a glance at the belated but still heartfelt gift.

Just for the record, I DID get a lovely birthday surprise in today's mail. Jean, my delightful (but so far away) friend, understands that the birthday season can last a while. To find such a friend is a treasure.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

The gift of knitting

A huge thank you to Lisa, Natalie, and Tracy, for helping teach the junior high knitting elective during these past few days. The class seems to grow every time we meet, and they are now starting to get the hang of knitting. It is so uplifting to see girls who normally just try to act "cool" actually get excited to learn a new skill.

It would have been impossible to do this on my own, so my fellow Knotty Knitters, THANK YOU!!

I remember the person who taught me to knit, Marie-Ann. She was my host mother when I was an exchange student to Sweden. I actually knit at least two sweaters while I was there, and I only lived with them for three months! My first project was a sweater. I began with the ribbing too, so that meant I had to learn knitting and purling right off the bat. The needles were small too, a size 4. She did it very matter-of-factly, like starting off with ribbing on a sweater was no big deal. I didn't realize I could have started out a little more slowly.

Anyway, I think of Marie-Ann often, and mentally send her a thank you every once in a while for giving me the gift of knitting. I hope that me passing on that knitting gift to others is a little way of thanking her.

Spoils from the party

goodthings spoils

Here is what we came home with from Good Things. Everyone did such a good job of packaging their cookies, as usual.

Nolamom's stand in


Here is the photo of Chrissy opening Mom's gift that Blogger wouldn't load to save its little life.

It was funny how we all stole with no mercy except for the teapot which was designated as Mom's and then no one touched it. I thought she only held that kind of power over her daughters. (just kidding, Mom)

Christmas at Good Things

Our annual Christmas is a Good Thing event happened this year with one unwelcome visitor -- the stomach bug. Carey and Mom were stuck home tossing their cookies while I guiltily carried on the exchanging of cookie festivities for the three of us. They got the visit from the unwanted virus from us - blame kindergarten- and I am just barely over it myself.

I tried to document this the best I could so they could be with me in spirit.

First, the before photo:

These are my cookies in the boxes (I made Raspberry Eggnog Swirls and Italian Fig Cookies), my gift exchange gift (penguins) and my little favor things (mini knitted things I bought at Cost Plus because they were cuter than what I could make easily for this many people during the crazy virus filled Christmas season). Also included was a plate of the cookies to taste on Wed. night.

I took Mom and Carey's items and off I went with the loaded car to Chrissy's.

Chrissy decorates a house for Christmas. Wow. She needs to be in a magazine. Seriously. It is incredible.

Here is the cookie table. Chrissy also had some munchies for us to avoid anyone going into a diabetic coma from tasting 10 cookies.

Doesn't it look nice?

While partaking of calories, we played games. Chrissy always has done her research, and seeks to find which Good Thinger is the smartest. This test concerned Christmas Carol Titles and Geography. We thought we were going to get to eat and be merry without using our brain cells! Ha! I did manage to win one of the games due to skillful guessing (and only a smidge of cheating).

Finally, the presents! The stealing! The sport! What we wait for all year! (Or at least since June, the last time we did this).

Here is the before photo of all the gifts:

I stood in for Carey and Chrissy stood in for Mom.

Chrissy opened a santa teapot for Mom (so perfect)--

And then as usual, the merriment started happening and things got a little goofy, including
Cheri wearing a bow on her head, Snowman appearing, and then getting acquainted with one another, and all sorts of goings on.

Finally, I was weak and opened the last gift, putting a stop to the stealing.

Then it was a quick dash to exchange the cookies and relieve the babysitter (Pops who, having just overcome the virus himself, wanted to go to bed).

Blogger stopped uploading my photos so I'll try again later.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Santa Knits

Here is what I have accomplished in the past few days:

Some stripes

that are "soaring",

some dots and v's and circles

that transform into green fuzziness.

My boys are off playing in South America while I knit. I miss them.

Time to knit more.