Monday, December 31, 2012

FOtos


See what I did there in the title?  FO (Finished Objects) + photos = FOtos.  Such a remarkably clever girl so early in the morning.  :D

But enough about that…

I could have had this post up yesterday but the truth is, I was too tired to type.  I had determined I was going to take the tree down and get all that put away, plus The Husband and I decided to move the bird to the other side of the room she’s in which required some re-engineering of the space (read: moving furniture and removing the newly revealed giant mutant dust bunnies that had accumulated under said furniture).  By the time we finished that and I had the rest of the laundry going, it was all I could do to sit, stare, and intermittently knit on the now famous yet still unfinished Christmas blanket which better be done by the end of the day today because I still have sweater #7 to cast on and finish by January 7th…*whew*

The MIL!
I have three more FO’s to share with you today.  The first is one I made and sent to my mother-in-law in Ohio.  Pattern used was Iced by Carol Feller.  Making this sweater was a breeze.  Very well written and I used a bulky yarn which made it go quickly, plus I just really like the general design.  I may have to knit one of these for myself.  I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky.  My MIL loves it which just puts the icing on Iced.











The next two are the sweaters I made for my son and daughter-in-law.  

If you could see his face, you'd see his eyes are closed.
Standard outcome of a picture of my son.

For my son, I made the Grant Park Pullover by Salena Lee.  I used my one of my favorite yarns, Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK.  It’s a good thing that I started and finished this sweater early though (back in October).  I ran into some trouble with the neckline – the pattern instructions were a bit cryptic for that part.  Thankfully, Lady L. bailed me out and it came out okay.  It fit him perfectly and he actually wore it an entire day while he was here which means he either likes it a lot or wanted to make his mom feel good.  I’ll take it either way.

Ribbed!

My favorite daughter-in-law
My DIL’s gift was the Malabrigo sweater mentioned in my previous posts.  I love how this came out and was even more thrilled when she put it on.  It fit her perfectly (except the sleeves are just a tad too long) and, as I suspected, looks great on her (although it would be difficult to find anything that looks bad on her).  The pattern I used is the Tourist Sweater by Joji Locatelli which was well-written and a lot of fun to knit.  There is a “kangaroo” pocket at the bottom which was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be.  I used Malabrigo Merino Worsted and this yarn absolutely rocks as most of you already know.








So there you have it.  I still have four projects to unveil after the 7th assuming I get sweater #7 done by then.  So with that, I’ll sign off.  I still have some serious knitting to do…

He's going to hate that I put up this pic of him, BUT...
they're just too cute (and his eyes are open for once)!


***  ***  ***

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Day After


'Tis the day after Christmas and the house is very quiet since The Husband and my daughter had to return to work today.  I just finished my breakfast which consisted of three cups of coffee and a piece of the yummy chocolate my daughter stuffed my stocking with.  Breakfast of champions, I tell ya...   The smelly doxies are all passed out in the sunshine coming through the patio door, which is a sort of miracle in and of itself because the glass is so smeared with dog nose prints, I’m amazed the sun gets through.  Hey, YOU try keeping the glass clean with six dogs around.  Anyway, I’m glad we have sunshine today as my family in Ohio is dealing with blizzard conditions – yet another reminder of why we left.  I cleaned the house this morning (except for the patio glass) and I will spend the rest of the day knitting and waiting for my son and daughter-in-law to roll in later for our belated Christmas celebration.

Christmas Day was decidedly great - I actually surprised The Husband with a few Duck Dynasty bobbles (he's never surprised by anything).  My daughter got me a rockin’ book of knitting stitches by Barbara G. Walker and the aforementioned chocolate plus some nail polish.  The Husband bought me a portable steam machine which will not only help me clean my house but will come in handy for blocking the big pile o’ knitting I plan to do in the new year.  And it certainly IS a big pile.  After we opened gifts and ate a yummy Christmas dinner, I spent a lot of time adding patterns to my library and queue on RavelryRavelry rocks, by the way (as if you didn’t already know).  I’ve tried Pinterest but honestly, it can’t come close to the sheer volume of stuff I can find on Ravelry.  I might have also perused every volume of Twist Collective’s online mags and added at least a dozen patterns from them alone, but that may be just a vicious rumor.  So much yarn, so many patterns, so little time…

One adorable kid!
(she'll kill me for this)
My daughter at least appears to like her version 2.0 gift, which I still need to take a good picture of to put up on here.  This one will have to do for now.  My daughter makes even a so-so picture look good (she’s so cute!).  The pattern for the first version that was hideous is not worth mentioning, but the second pattern I used is the Ballet Camisole by Alexandra Virgiel which came out pretty good.  If I had to change anything, I'd have modified the number of stitches to cast on for her size, as the bottom ended up a little too wide (it was knitted bottom-up).  The yarn I used was Mulberry by Louisa Harding.  It's 100% silk and I learned through this endeavor that pure silk is very unforgiving.  It is so sleek and shiny; it doesn't hide any variations in yarn tension or decreases.  It feels lovely but I don't think I'd knit anything from 100% silk again unless it was a shawl or something lacy.  Maybe a silk blend would be easier to work with until I reach that pinnacle of perfection in my knitting.  Ha!

Mi Madre
(thanks to my brother for this pic)
I only have one other FO with pictures to share with you today of my mom in the sweater I made for her.  This was the first piece of Christmas knitting I finished.  I'm sorry the pictures aren’t ideal – I’m trying to get better at this photography thing.  This is probably my favorite piece of them all.  Mom chose a beautiful dark turquoise blue color and the only problem I had with it initially was the neckline finishing but this wasn't the fault of the pattern-writer, it was just because I was so new at picking up stitches.  I actually pulled the first attempt apart and re-did the neckline and it came out much better.  The pattern I used is Peasy by Heidi Kirrmaier.  I used Classic Elite Yarn's Liberty Wool.  It's not my favorite wool but I didn't hate it.  The buttons I found at my local Hancock Fabrics really made the piece.  It fit my mom perfectly so I was absolutely thrilled.

You can see the front panel better here
Um...kind of but not really

I plan to have more stuffs and pics to show you over the next few days.  I still have a few secrets to keep until January 7th but I’ll get there.  I’m also still working on the Christmas blanket which is progressing painfully slowly.  I have another sweater to cast on but will do that after spending these next few days with family.  Then I’ll knit like a mad woman, which will be easy because the shoe certainly fits, if you know what I mean.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!


Here it is, the day before the big day.  Other than having to run out in the madness and fetch a few miscellaneous things, I’m ready.  My daughter’s project is done with the exception of one small finishing detail that I’ll do later today.  All sweaters that were waiting on finishing have been properly blocked, buttoned, and wrapped or readied for shipping (yeah, so it’s a little late but hey, it’s done before Christmas).  I still need to finish that blasted Christmas blanket and one more sweater but since that deadline’s not until January, I’m feeling pretty good about it.  I’ve even gotten my groceries for our Christmas dinners.  There’ll be two – one on Christmas Day for The Husband and my daughter and one a few days later after my son and daughter-in-law get here.  This way, I get to have both ham and turkey for Christmas!  While there was some talk this year of obtaining and cooking a “turducken” for Christmas, which is a local favorite, it turns out I’m not brave enough yet.  Maybe next year.

For any of you who may be receiving a hand-knitted gift this year, I want to encourage you to receive it with a true appreciation for the investment of time and love woven into each one.  I’ve learned that knitting for someone is a very personal thing.  If someone made you something by hand, it says something about how special you are.  So no matter what it looks like or if it’s your color, cherish it.  And because I’ve taken a dive into the menopausal pool of hormonal torment, be especially nice if you get one from me.  I am living on the edge of crazy and you don’t want to be the one to push me over the edge.  Just ask The Husband.  Last night I cried for 30 minutes over a comment he made that two years ago would have just warranted a dirty look.  You’ve been warned…

And so, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!  Thank you all for reading and I’ll catch you on the other side of Christmas!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Baby It's Cold Outside


It’s cold here this morning.  Well, cold for us:  36 degrees.  I know, some of you who live in the northern regions are snickering right now but for the Deep South, 36 is stinking COLD.  You’d think since I grew up in north-central Ohio, it wouldn’t faze me.  I remember some Aprils in Ohio where we longed for anything above freezing.  We’d break out the short sleeved shirts when it hit the 40s.  Now I get a scarf out (a nice, hand-knitted one of course) when it is in the 50s.  Even the dogs are quicker to do their business and come back in the house.  We have officially acclimated.  I should get a certificate or something.

They're really good at doing nothing
Fridays are the days each week when I do only what I want to do.  It’s kind of like my weekly sanity day.  I’m still in my jammies.  I just might wear them all day.  Makeup?  Not today.  Do my hair?  Might run a brush through it but I’m not committing to anything.  But since the world hasn’t ended today, I guess I’m going to have to do laundry.  It’s the one chore I do on Fridays.  I have to keep The Husband in clean skivvies – he gets very grumpy otherwise.  Speaking of The Husband, he was not elated when he came home last night to find that the unruly pile o’stuff had been replaced by two sweaters I’d blocked and laid out to dry, utilizing the entire dining room table.  He obviously doesn’t appreciate how long it took me to get to said blocking.  It probably doesn’t help that I make a point to snipe at him to not touch, move, set anything on, or to even breathe on my works in progress.  I can’t help it; I’ve developed some sort of unexplainable radar that alerts me whenever anything comes within 3 feet of my creations.  It’s involuntary.  Really, it is. 

 I will work toward getting my daughter’s gift done – I’m at around 65% and sweater number 6 is coming along nicely.  I should have it done later this evening.  Then if this handful of buttons on my desk would manage to sew themselves onto their respective garments, I’d be completely ecstatic.  Okay, it won’t happen but wouldn’t it be great if it did?  I can dream…

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Party Like Your Christmas Knitting Is Done


I’m not much of a party-goer.  I know you find that hard to believe after reading one exciting post after another and seeing how I live life on the edge (of insanity, anyway).  But this past Tuesday night I learned that knitters throw the BEST parties.  Lady L. courageously invited us all over to her place for a Christmas party.  It was great.  I think there were at least 30 ladies there.  It was an estrogen-fest of epic proportions, one which Lady L.’s husband, David, weathered very well (I told you before he should be nominated for sainthood).  There were all of the standard trimmings to a Christmas party – food, music, gifts.  But this party had something fabulous not found at any other party I’ve been to.  What, you ask?

Well, yarn and knitting of course.  Duh…

Everyone coveting Mary's gift

We brought our knitting.  The gifts revolved around knitting.  I’d never participated in a “Dirty Santa” gift exchange before, where you can steal someone else’s gift, and I must say, it was tremendous fun.  At one point, it did become difficult to figure out who was stealing whose gift and who still needed a gift and who might sneak out the door with their gift before it got stolen, buuuut, SO much fun!  Plus, I got to make some new friends and eat some yummy food.  And knit.  All ingredients for happiness in my book.




Yes, those are jammies you're seeing.

See that stuffs on the walls?  All needlepoint!

Of course, Lady L.’s house is beautiful and filled with a yarn stash that makes most stashes look miniscule.  And then there’s the needlepoint.  Lady L. is not only an expert knitter, she does beautiful needlepoint and her work was displayed throughout the house.  It almost inspires me to take up needlepoint.  Almost…

Yeah, that's right.
Go ahead, say something...

Anyway, it was a great party and I was thrilled to be a part of it. 

TLOTP
(The Life Of The Party)

Even the Grinch had a good time
Special thanks to Lorelei (center) for the pics!

In knitting news, I have been working on the second edition of my daughter’s Christmas gift which is over 50% complete.  I think I’ll make it by Christmas.  I also managed to block one sweater.  I just need to sew buttons on two of them and then another day and a half and I’ll have finished sweater #6 since I started in September.  I still have one to do, but received a reprieve of sorts because the get-together where I’ll need it has been scheduled for January (and the angels sang).  I am getting excited that it’s getting so close because I will finally get to post pictures.  Yay!

***  ***  ***

Anyone else have a “knitty” get-together for Christmas?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dislike!!


It’s raining this morning and probably will be off and on for most of the day.  It’s a good day to knit, which I will certainly take advantage of here in a little while.  It is NOT a good day, however, to think about cleaning my floors which are in desperate need of cleaning.  You can imagine that with six little wieners running around the house, the floors get a good beating.  This time of year is especially bad, since we have a gazillion leaves in the back yard which have yet to be raked and also since we have two long-haired doxies in our pack.  The leaves have a way of attaching themselves to those two like teenage girls to Justin Bieber.  Then they miraculously detach themselves once inside.  If I didn’t know better, I’d swear they had an organized plot to infiltrate the house.  That, coupled with the heavy rain, (water + the backyard + dogs = mud) cancels any plans I had to do the floors today.  I will admit that I am SO not disappointed.  I hate doing floors.  I’d rather clean a dozen gas-station toilets than clean one floor – I kid you not.  It has become the most-hated household chore on my list, having surpassed dusting ever since the creation of Swiffer dusters.  Nope, not disappointed in the least.

Also on my list of things I dislike doing:
  • Staying in other people’s houses (unless they’re immediate family – I don’t know why, it just makes me horrifically uncomfortable)
  • Attending any social function where I only know the person I came with and that person knows everybody there (I really am a people-person except in the aforementioned circumstance)
  • Yard work (hence, the lack of raking)
  • Folding and putting away laundry
  • Doing the finishing on my knitted projects

Yes, you read that last one right.  I absolutely LOVE the process of knitting but I’m really not loving the whole “block - weave the ends in - sew on buttons” thing.  This explains why I have two garments that are done but not “finished” sitting on my dining room table in the midst of the other items that make up the unruly pile o’stuff.  I did finally purchase some buttons that I like this past weekend, but they are still sitting in the store bag I brought them home in.  This is not likely to change today since it is gloomy outside.  The lighting in my house is terrible unless it is sunny out and I wouldn’t want to screw up a neatly constructed garment because of poor lighting, now would I??  At least, that’s the excuse I’m using for the moment.  Don’t judge me…

***  ***  ***

What do you dislike doing?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rip It, Rip It


I should have seen this coming.  It should have occurred to me that something would go wrong with my Christmas knitting other than not getting everything done in time.  There I was, making progress, sailing right along in na├»ve hopefulness but then - an unforeseen problem.  When I laid out the Christmas project I’d made for my daughter to do some finishing on it, I realized that it was just ugly.  Seriously.  Not ugly because I’d slipped a stitch or made a technical error.  No, it was ugly just because the garment itself was ugly.  The picture on the pattern looked so cute.  However, after carefully following all of the instructions to the letter, the thing didn’t look much like the cute little picture.  Instead, it was kind of like when you see those tantalizing pictures of a perfect Big Mac on TV but when you go and actually buy one, the bun is mushy and there’s no sign of the two all-beef patties.  What a colossal disappointment.  There’s no way I could give this sad thing to my daughter.  She’d think I don't love her.

What to do?  What to do? 

So I spent three agonizing days looking through other patterns to see if I could find something I could get done in the limited amount of time I have left (keeping in mind that I still have some other stuff to do too).  The yarn I bought for my daughter’s project is very nice yarn, so scrapping it all was not an option.  I finally found something suitable so I frogged the original project without too much hassle and have begun the new pattern.  I will be working frantically on it and the other few things I have to do over the next, what, ELEVEN days until Christmas.  Oy…

On a brighter note, I finished the one bulky sweater a couple of days ago.  I still need to get buttons for it and for two other projects, but I’ve cast on the second bulky sweater on my list and I’m about half way through the yoke.  I’d have finished the yoke last night and divided for sleeves but I noticed an error on one of my increases and so had to tink back four rows except I only got three rows done because I was too tired to tink any more… 

So today I will work madly on the new project for my daughter while she’s at work.  The house is pretty quiet so far, so hopefully I’ll get a lot done.  I love how the sun shining in through the patio doors acts as an instant sedative for our goofy dogs.  They all just kind of pass out in spots of sunlight.  After Christmas, I may just join them…

***  ***  ***

Have you ever had a project not live up to your expectations?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

It's a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


My LYS is closing.

I’ve known for a while, but it became official a few days ago and this whole thing is a travesty.  It’s not that the shop is in trouble financially – as I understand it, it is running in the black – but apparently the owner has decided it’s time to do something else.  That’s her right, but it doesn’t make anyone who loves the shop feel any better.  There are rumors of a possible buyer and if I had a chunk of $$ sitting around, it wouldn’t be a rumor, but as of right now, there is nothing concrete which would cause us to rejoice. 

I have hesitated to blog about this because of how hard it is to imagine life without the shop, but yesterday I made a trip over, ostensibly to buy some yarn at half off.  When I got there, I could do little but sit and look around at the systematic dismantling of a place I have grown to love so much.  The needlepoint room where every inch of the walls had been covered with beautiful hand-painted canvases is now half-bare.  The yarn room where my jaw first dropped at the sheer volume of beautiful fiber is noticeably less striking.  And the worst part was seeing all the people who showed up for the sale.  It’s not that they’re horrid human beings, but it was like watching vultures picking at a carcass but the carcass wasn’t just random road kill, it was actually something you knew and loved.  I wanted to chase them all out, even though if it were anyplace else, I’d be right there with them, lining up greedily for sale yarn without a thought to the people who normally frequent the place and for those who work there. 

Speaking of those who work there, that was even worse.  Watching Lady L., Jane, Georgie, and Deanne running around selling off bits of the place where they have spent countless hours and touched countless lives teaching, encouraging, and spreading the joy of crafting was torturous.  And that’s just how I felt – I can’t imagine what they were feeling, although it was probably a blessing that they were so busy so that they had less time to think about what was actually happening.  Seeing Lady L. was the hardest.  She has no idea how much it has meant to me and to many, many others to have her as a mentor/instructor/friend.  Even when I first started going to the shop and she could clearly see my skill level (or lack thereof), she never once looked at me like I was crazy to attempt something, no matter how beyond me it may have been.  She’s the reason I’m a fearless knitter, and I am so grateful.

Of course, we’ve talked about making a time and place to get together and knit when the shop closes for good, and I really hope we are able to do that, but I’m not sure any of us believe it will be the same.  In the meantime, I will keep praying that someone with the means is able to buy the shop and make this bad dream go away.  After all, Christmas is the season of hope, right? 

***  ***  ***

Monday, December 10, 2012

Chasing Squirrels

We SO need to get a doggy door. 

I can’t tell you how much time I spend each day getting up (from the sofa, table, etc.) to let dogs out and getting up to let them in again.  You know how they do those studies of how people spend their time in the course of their lives?  Like, “The average person will spend a total of 1.5 years of their life in the bathroom.”  Well, I don’t even want to think about how much time I spend at the back door.  I could probably complete a doctoral dissertation in the amount of time I have spent in the last few years complying with my dogs’ demands.

The Great and Mighty Squirrel Hunters
Waiting on Their Prey
The problem is compounded by the fact that 1) two of our Doxies are obsessed with squirrels, and 2) we have lots of squirrels in and around our back yard.  Plus, I really believe that one of the squirrels either has a death wish, or knows exactly what he’s doing when he taunts the two aforementioned dogs.  I’m not kidding, if the dogs are inside, this squirrel has actually come up to the back patio door and calmly sat there preening while my dogs go crazy on the other side of the glass, and I can’t prove this, but I swear he is making faces at them.  I’ve seen this little guy sit on the roof of our shed out back with our two mighty squirrel hunters sitting right below, going crazy, and this fuzz ball takes a flying leap over our dogs’ heads and runs for one of the oak trees in our yard.  Thing is, the squirrel could just as easily avoid this whole process by jumping into the neighbors yard since our shed is right next to the fence and her tree is right next to our tree.  I’ve also seen this guy sit just high enough on the side of the tree so that our dogs can’t reach him, but close enough to make them nuts. 

This is my life…

This morning, although we have storms due any time now, the weather is perfect for having the windows open, and since the mosquito population has slightly decreased with the change of the seasons, I have opened the back patio door wide enough so that the dogs can go in and out as they please.  The result of this action = BLISS.  I haven’t had to get up but once to go outside and yell at them for barking at the dog across the street (a daily occurrence).  Plus, the psychotic squirrel has been noticeably absent.  It’s a win-win all the way around.  I may get some serious knitting done today.

An Atrocity If I've Ever Seen One

Speaking of knitting, my mother-in-law shared this picture with me on Facebook and I thought I’d share it with you.  If you think this is cool, please stop reading immediately and proceed to your nearest doctor to find out what in the world is wrong with you.  I’ve never seen anything quite so ugly.  The pressing question is who thought this would be a good idea???  

<---  I don’t care if you live in The Arctic, this is just wrong…

On a more cheerful note, while I am still in need of buttons to finish the Malabrigo sweater, I have finished the knitting portion of my daughter’s project and have some detailing to do.  Since I could not work on it over the weekend lest her little peeping eyes see it before its’ time, I cast on sweater number 5 and I must say, this is the easiest sweater I’ve done yet.  It’s from a bulky yarn, so I am progressing three times faster than the other sweaters I’ve done.  I’ve actually got the entire body done and am almost finished with sleeve #1.  I should have this finished no later than tomorrow.  Ooooohhh yeeeeaaaahhhh!!!

I might actually make my Christmas deadline after all…

***  ***  ***

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Unruly Pile O'Stuff


This morning came way too early.  Seriously, it’s one of those mornings where you pull on your sweatpants while still in bed.  The perfect picture of laziness, right?  Of course, it might have something to do with the fact that I stayed up until nearly 1 a.m. last night knitting, which didn’t seem like a bad idea last night, but this morning I’m not so sure.  The good news is…

I got the Malabrigo sweater done! 

Gratuitous and Unrelated to Anything
Photo of Our Tree
Well, done knitting, anyway.  I still have to find the perfect buttons and sew them on but then I’m really done.  This sweater turned out really nice.  I’ll have pictures to post after Christmas but until then you’ll just have to take my word for it.  This is my second project using Malabrigo yarn.  For this I used Worsted and the last time I used Rios.  Both times, it was sheer delight to knit with the stuff.  In fact, I’m pretty sure after I’m done with Christmas gifts (if that day does, in fact, arrive), I’m going to have to search for more things I can make with this yarn.  

I made some progress also on my daughter’s project.  I figure half a day today to finish that and I should be ready to cast on my next project.  I’m still avoiding the Christmas blanket.  It’s laying in a pile in the middle of my dining room table.  Which reminds me, my house is a disaster.  I’m thinking of applying for FEMA assistance.  It’s not that it’s dirty, per se; it's just that I have knitting crap everywhere.  Before we went on the "vacation that was not a vacation", I had this place looking pretty good.  Not just dusted and swept and all but uncluttered and things put away.  We’ve been back what, three weeks?  It’s amazing what a mess can be created in that amount of time.  The dining room table has seen the worst of it.  The unruly pile o’stuff includes:

  • The aforementioned Christmas blanket lying there in a pile
  • An unfinished scarf I’ve toted around with me for almost 8 months and finally took it out of my project bag because I got tired of moving it while looking for something I needed
  • A scarf I knit for my mom a while ago that I brought back from Ohio so I could add some tassles for her (forgot to take the yarn with me)
  • Three finished Christmas projects (in the Bass bag - I have to keep them hidden, don't I?)
  • An empty box in which to ship one of the three finished projects
  • A roll of shipping tape to close the above box
  • Some extra yarn
  • Four Christmas stockings that have yet to be hung or filled
  • The Christmas cards we’ve received to date that I haven’t hung up yet
  • A picture of Grandma Eva that’s in a frame that needs some fixing
  • A tube of “Liquid Nails” to fix said frame
  • My purse
  • Miscellaneous items such as four AA batteries, two screws, two twist ties, two old phone books
  • One of The Husband’s metal detecting do-dads


I should clear it all up but hey, I’ve got knitting to do.

The New Project Bag!
I do hope to get my project bag straightened up today.  You’ll remember that I have been using a beach bag that The Husband and I bought in Cozumel on a cruise we took.  It’s not really the ideal bag and I’ve had my eye on a beautiful real, actual project bag at my LYS for months.  Well, on Tuesday night while I was at knit night, The Husband bought it for me for Christmas.  A miracle, since he wasn’t even there (wink, wink).  Today I plan to make the move from the beach bag and return it to its rightful place at the back of the closet, waiting for next summer’s various trips to the beach.  Who am I kidding?  It will be filled with yarn in less than a month’s time…

*** *** ***

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Hole Story


I still can’t figure out why, but it has been an absolutely crazy week.  I have gotten some knitting done but with various errands and things that had to be accomplished, I feel like I’ve been running since early Monday morning.  I still have some things to get done this morning, but later this afternoon, I shall begin a 36 hour knitting marathon.  I am so close to being done with my daughter’s gift and also with the Malabrigo sweater.  The Christmas blanket is still languishing.  I think I’ve done only a dozen rows on it all week.  Meh…

The Malabrigo sweater is going to look fabulous.  I did hit a small bump on Tuesday morning, although at the time it did not seem so small.  When I looked at the nearly-done sleeve I’d been working on, I saw a wretched anomaly in what was otherwise beautiful (if I do say so myself) knitting:

A hole.  O_o

There, you see?  It’s not a big hole, but any hole is not a good thing when the pattern doesn’t call for a hole in that particular spot.  Scariest thing is, I have absolutely no idea how it got there.  Everyone has made a mistake in knitting where they knew something wasn’t right.  Or if they didn’t realize their mistake, it became apparent rather quickly.  I did not see this hole until I was at least 20 rows past it.  I briefly considered committing hary-kari with one of my knitting needles…

Thankfully, I managed to restrain myself from self-destruction and mutilation until I could get over to the yarn shop and seek the advice of Lady L., who assured me that since it was so small I could easily just close it up with some extra yarn.  As Madea would say, “Halleluyer!”

And, I’m off…

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's A Real Zoo


We got our first Christmas card of the season on Friday.  I love getting Christmas cards, even though I haven't sent any out in years.  Every year there comes a day when I think, "Today is the day!  I'm doing Christmas cards!"  Unfortunately, the day that particular thought hits me is usually on December 23rd or after...boo!  So if you're reading this and you send me a card every year and wonder where yours is, please know that your card is appreciated and that if I were better organized at Christmastime, you'd have one back.

Sophie, Tigger, Hildy, and Daisy
(left to right)
So anyway, we got our first Christmas card.  Guess who it's from.  Go ahead, guess.  Okay, you'll probably never get it so I'll tell you.  It was from our veterinarian.  Our vet, Dr. Beacham, is an integral part of our existence.  You can't have six dachshunds and not be highly invested in your local vet.  I'm pretty sure that Dr. Beacham's children are, in good part, going to college on our dime.  Seriously, between the office visits, medication, shots, and boarding our crew with them when we go on vacation, we have spent more money on our dogs than most people spend on groceries.  It's actually a miracle that we ever get to go on vacation since it usually costs us more to board the dogs than it does for the actual trip.  I know, we have too many dogs, but you try picking one of your children to send to live somewhere else.  Okay, it's not exactly the same thing, but it's awful close.  I  absolutely love all of the people who work at our vet's office.  They are all really sweet and tremendously patient with our pack, especially with our one dog who is short a few brain cells (now him I'd be happy to get rid of).
The Goofball Dog (Mojo) & Trixie

Rather than divesting ourselves of any pets, however, we actually managed to bring another one into the household.  No, it is not a dog, but she does bark.  The Husband has a good friend in Ohio who always seems to have a great "deal" handy (thanks, Steve).  It is probably a good thing that they don't still live in the same state.  So, this last trip Steve had a great deal for The Husband and our menagerie now includes an African Grey parrot named Bella.  Imagine how thrilled I was at the thought of driving nearly 1000 miles back home with a bird in the car.  The good news is, she's a lot better behaved and a lot smarter than the dog who is short a few brain cells.  Gee, all we're missing now is a trained monkey.  I may have to start charging admission...
Miss Bella
Regarding my Christmas knitting, I am now within 25 rows of finishing the body on my Malabrigo sweater.  After that, just the sleeves to do.  I'm feeling much more optimistic about sleeves these days.  I have probably the same number of rows to complete another project and then I'm down to three sweaters and the Christmas blanket.  If I actually manage to get the sweaters done, I may throw in a couple of small projects (yeah, yeah...). 

Off to knit...

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