Monday, December 31, 2007

DONE!

I finally finished off those itty bitty socks for Delaney.


They came out really cute and I'm glad I did them, but boy I am SO burned out on socks! Now that these are done, I will focus on finishing #1 Son's vest, it's blocking as I type. Oh and why is it that a cat (or catS in my case) can find the ONE thing you don't want them on?!?! I was chasing cats off the vest all day today! I finally covered it with a towel. Once it's blocked I can finish seaming it up and then adding the button bands. Now that I'm doing this vest for the second time and I can read patterns a bit better than I used to, I am realizing that the way the button band is constructed, it should have been knit with the main body. If I would have realized that from the beginning, I would have done it that way. Oh well, I don't care anymore. I just want it done. Then I can finish off Samuel's fish sweater (the nephew I'm knitting for. I've been saying Delaney but avoiding Samuel's name). Then start making some quick charity sweaters. As you can tell, I'm taking a break from socks.

I got the pattern for these socks from here. Followed the pattern pretty much as written except I used dpns instead of circular needles. The Fixation yarn (color #6178) is stretchy so I'm hoping these will last a bit longer than regular socks.
Start: 12/27/07 Finish:12/30/07
These suckers took me 3 days to do; not long really, but considering these guys are knit on size 3 needles and only have 24sts cast on, I should have had these done in a day!

I'd like to say that these will be the last of the 2007 projects, but I think I'll finish off some flannel fabric for receiving blankets. They aren't fancy but they are a bit bigger than regular receiving blankets that will last past the kid's first birthday. I don't get much of a response when I gift them, I get it when the kid is 8 months old and it's the only thing that will keep them happy!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday sky

With the work week schedules all messed up, I almost forgot today was Saturday! I love the structure of school and work, but there is something to be said for staying up late and sleeping in!!!

Let's see the latest in sky and temps, shall we?




We are going to have another one of those wknds where it is nice and warm today, but come Sunday night we are going to have another cold front come thru and Monday night is a possible freeze watch. At least we won't have to get out of bed! And maybe I'll be able to finish off this gift box for my SIL.

I'm working on that last darn sock and it's taking me FOREVER! It's the smallest sock I've ever done, 24sts on size 3 needles. I think the cuff is abt 2.5 inches and the foot is the same before the toe decreases. The foot finishes to 3.5 inches so these are definite newborn socks (I also measured #1 Son's footprints from when he was just born for good measure). I have 8 stitches to kitchener and then I need to cast on for the other one. These should be done already!! But I think I"m finally getting a bit burned out on socks. Once these are done, I can pack up the rest of the stuff and mail it out. Most likely on Wed since it will be cold for us Floridians on Monday (highs of only 58 is frigid for us!!) (and don't think I don't hear the mocking comments or the eye rolling going on right now!!! I'm just choosing to ignore it)

Let me show you the socks I DID finish.

I think these came out really cute. They were definitely my favorites until I finished up the 2nd toe. I didn't get them to match. Again. I even specifically counted and measured to be sure they would match up. See?


Even when I started the 2nd toe decrease I made a note of how many rows of the brown there were before I started. As I was getting closer I saw that the pink bit was a bit further along and that even when I kitchenered the sock closed, I wouldn't be using any of the pink. If I did one or two more rows, I'd get the pink but then they'd be off in size. Right now they are perfect. Here's another close up view.


From all the pictures I've taken you can tell that I'm not happy again and have resigned myself to either knit with yarn that gives a mottled look or striping that is close enough that you wont notice it being off. I think its the manufacturers way of playing with the mind of a knitter.

Anyway, after all is said and done, I'm still happy with the socks. There isn't that much pink on the tip so it's not immediately noticeable. And I really like the way the rest of it looks. Here are the stats.

Delaney Socks #2
size: abt 1 year
c/o 40sts on size 2dpns
3x1 rib for 3"; foot length before toe decreases 3"
Knit Picks Simple Stripes in colorway #23547
Gauge = 8"/inch

I've been doing a lot of looking at sizes for infant socks and it's been tricky but from what I can tell, 2.5" from heel to toe decreases fits a newborn (resulting in a sock that measures 3.25" which would have fit #1 Son. His feet were exactly 3" long when born). 2.75" fits a 6 month old, 3" fits a year and 3.25" fits an 18month old. At that point it seems to go into shoe sizes. And it also matters how many stitches you cast on. The more stitches cast on the more room you get in the toes when you decrease down to 12sts. I'm going to ask my SIL if this actually holds true for her.

The last pair should be posted soon.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Year End Recap

With 2008 only 4 days away, it's time to go thru what projects I completed for the year. I have to say, I was a busy girl!!!! It was the year of the knit again; I completed a whopping 44 projects!! A lot of them were baby socks, couple of scarves, cat toys, etc., which makes that number so high. I don't knit to crank out projects, I knit for the therapy of it, so I guess that number is a statement of how much therapy I needed this past year!

Here is a quick rundown:

Non Charity Items
1 baby sweater
1 kid dress
4 pairs adult socks
2 pairs kid socks
1 lacy stole
3 scarves
1 kid tank top
1 cup holder
2 dish cloths
4 cat toys

Charity Items
3 cat blankets
2 kid sweaters
10 kid socks
4 baby hats
1 pair mittens
2 scarves
2 blocks for Warm Up America


See, the majority of my projects have been quick and easy, mindless knitting for my downtime at night.

I only got two projects done in Cross Stitch, two small ones at that AND they have yet to be been finished off. The stitching is done, but the finishing work (sewing border or putting in frame) is not. I'd like to get them done just to get them out of the pile.

I've read 10 books this year, a little more than a book a month, which is better than I would have thought. Speaking of books, I'm revisiting books on tape. I had returned what I thought was all the BOT that I had, but apparently there was one hiding. It wasn't one I had read before so I popped it in while I was folding laundry. And guess what? I'm enjoying it!! I think the key is to listen to a book I haven't read yet. I'm on disc 3 of a 9 disc book and the murder still hasnt happened yet, but for some reason that's ok. It's Key Lime Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke and it's better than I expected it to be. I'm also reading Needled to Death by Maggie Sefton, which is also entertaining; but I have to say, I'm getting some of the storylines mixed up since I'll be listening to one and then later reading the other. Maybe THAT'S why it's so interesting!!

I didn't even touch my quilting this year other than to move fabric around, but that should change for 2008. I have the one for Baby Girl's teacher in the planning stages and I also pulled out the Block of the Month by JoAnn's to work on. I really want to make all of us new quilts this year, but I might be quilting in my mind again. I can get SO much done in my mind, but reality takes a bit longer!

All of these projects have been put in my Webshots site, just click on the link in the side bar if you want to see any again. I did finish another pair of socks for Delaney last night, and cast on for one last pair, but I'll post the details on both of them on another day.


Moving into the new year I have more than a few on going projects.

Knitting

#1 Son's Vest (started a year ago)
It's all knit up, I just need to block it before I sew it up and add the button bands.


#1 Son's Socks (also started a year ago)
I started these socks once before but they were too small. This time I made them to fit ME in the ankles and width, but I'm waiting to get close enough to the toes before I finish them off. That is why both socks are in progress.


Sweater for me


Another kitty blankie


Sweater for my nephew


Not really that bad, other than #1 Son's vest and socks, my turn around in project time is pretty good. And remember this cotton sweater? It is no longer in existence. I really like the pattern and I really like the yarn, but together? I'm just not feeling the love.


Cross Stitch

Bag Ladies


Maggie


Queen Ann's Lace


Seasonal Fall


Seasonal Spring


Too Pooped


And my snowman that requires my new reading glasses


My goals for next year are to get at least 1/2 of these projects finished. I also have lots of yarn and fabric that when I go thru it, I get a bit overwhelmed with what I have. So I guess my goal would be to use more than I buy during the next year. That seems more realistic than cutting out new yarn and fabric purchases. This is why I don't make resolutions, they are made to be broken. A goal is better because you can come close to reaching your goal, whereas a resolution feels more absolute and feels broken the second you falter.

And last but not least, I want to say thanks to each and every one of you. I would write this blog even if nobody read it, but I truly enjoy the comments and feedback from all of you. And I also appreciate the lurkers. I know you are out there, I can tell by my hit counter! Thank you for staying with me thru all the madness of life. Here's to a great 2008!!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday Stuff

We keep Christmas rather low key here at Happy Acres, so I don't have the crazyness that alot of you are going thru right now. However I *am* having my in laws stay at my house while the IO and I (hopefully) get away for a couple of days. This means sleep over company that will eventually come into my bedroom.

YIKES!

So all day Friday I've been cleaning my bedroom, getting rid of stuff I don't need, organizing the craft pile next to the bed, going thru the pile of magazines. I started a system a few years back where instead of throwing magazines away, I put them in the botton drawer to look at the following year. I figured they put the same articles in the magazines around the same time each year so I'll just save it for the next year to read and not spend money on another magazine. (I know, I'm weird). This actually worked quite well and it proved to me that they DO repeat similar articles around the same time each year. If I started falling behind again, I'd just rotate them back in for the following year.

Apparently I did this a few times......



I was surprised by this one!


It is now sitting in the bathroom and I'm reading it in 5 min increments.

I also found something that I want to start in January.

I bought this a year or two ago and yesterday was the first day I opened it. I figure it'll be like joining a Block-a-Month club, and that is doable. And by next year, I should have a finished quilt. The fact that I still like it is a good sign.

Another good sign is that I found Delaney's sweater.

I got off as many fuzzy areas as possible and I think it's going to be ok. I'm still not totally thrilled with it, but it's the yarn I used, not the pattern. The yarn is Bernat's Cotton Tots and I'm really disappointed in how it pilled and fuzzed after only one washing. The pattern was great. It's a wrap sweater and I got the pattern from here. I'd definitely use it again.

Last, but not least, I want to thank everybody who commented on Baby Girl. However that picture was taken around Thanksgiving when she was really sick. Right now they are both well and hopefully they will stay that way.

And if anybody came here for a sunny Saturday sky, avert your eyes, 'cause you ain't gonna to see it here......




Whatever you may be doing this coming week, have a safe one.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Random Kitty Thursday


It's nice to have a friend to cuddle with when you're not feeling well.


What'ja bring me??


Feeding time at the zoo!


Glad you're getting my good side.


Will I *ever* be as big as him?!?


Is that a can of tuna you're opening?


And this is just something green and floral to look at when the majority of the areas are grey and brown. I took it at the beginning of Nov, but now this plant is nothing but twigs.

I've been doing some organizing in my bedroom (the catch-all room) and I'm making good progress. I *started* looking thru my closet and good news! I found the pink sweater!!! How it ended up in the bag it did, I have no idea. And I also found some more yarn for another pair of socks to add to the gift box. Updated knitting and stitching pictures should be coming soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It Happens Occasionally

We had THIS as we were heading out to school yesterday.


Considering we were just frolicking in the sprinklers less than 48 hours earlier, it feels REALLY cold!! But the great part abt living here is that by Friday, it will be back into the 70s. When I read all of your blogs and see all the snow, I am just in awe. It's BEAUTIFUL to look at, but I can't imagine having to deal with cold and snow on a daily basis for months on end. Even when I lived in NY for 5 years, Long Island doesn't get that much snow so we still didn't have to shovel that often. You guys are made of hearty stock.

And it would probably help if I put on clothes warmer than just shorts, a t-shirt and wool socks.

However, the cold weather REALLY gets the knitting mojo working and I finished this little pair of socks for the expected niece.

They are close to being identical, even though one has a bit of red on the tip. I always end up with the tips being different. I used Moda Dea's Sassy Stripes in Crush, the same yarn I used for Baby Girls poncho, and size 3 needles. Cast on 32 stitches and knit a basic ribbed sock sized 6-12mo. I have just a little left over, not enough for a hat, so the rest may go in the ongoing cat blankie.

I'm hoping to knit up another pair (or 2) before I mail out her package at the beginning of the year. I'm starting to gather up all the stuff I want to send out to my sil, and guess what? I can't find the pink sweater I made!!! Obviously it's in the house somewhere, but the question is where? I stuck it someplace *safe*. I have a feeling that its in that mountainous fabric pile on the craft table. At least I hope so. I really thought it was in the closet but I can't seem to find it. Guess this means I'll need to clean it out huh?


Somebody knows how to stay warm!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saturday Stuff

It's official.

I'm getting old.

I know I'm aging because when I look in the mirror I look like my great grandmother w/o the babushka. So I avoid the mirror. In *my* mind, I'm still in my 20s with the body that went with it. Yes my knee will hurt when the weather is just so, or my hips won't always work (they don't hurt, they just don't always work). I know I would feel better if I just lost some weight, but when I'm sitting on the couch with my feet up watching 16 Candles and stitching, it could be 1987 all over again.

Speaking of 1987, I was watching Music and Lyrics last night. First of all the movie got the 1980s song Pop PERFECT! Between the video and the music, it could have been a song from the 80s. However there was a scene where he is singing at a
Class Reunion from 1987 and I'm looking at all the women there screaming at him and I'm thinking, "Wow, these women are middle aged!"

I graduated HS in 1984. What does that make me?!?

Normally this is no big deal, but I had to do something today that makes me feel OLD.

I bought reading glasses.

I know, not really a big deal. I should be more worried abt the fat woman from the old country looking back at me from the mirror, but the reading glasses are pushing me over the edge. I guess because there is nothing I can do abt it. I can lose weight to get rid of the pudge and the aches in my hips and legs, I can dye my hair to get rid of grey. Even when #1 Son asks me what a joy stick is when discussing old video games, I can shrug it off (even though that one was hard!). But needing reading glasses to see my linen as I cross stitch is NOT making me a happy camper.

Thankfully I can still read w/o a problem, because I'm not enjoying the books on tape like I thought. I started Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich and while the book was read to me I cleaned off the dining table, cleaned up the family room and folded two loads of laundry. I was still on disc one and only on chapter 3! The same amt of time it took to listen to chapter 3, I could have read twice as much!! I'll save the books on tape for when I REALLY can't read anymore!

Tomorrow we are supposed to have a cold front come thru and it's supposed to drop our temps by 15 degrees, at least. Today we are having unusually warm temps so we are enjoying it while we can.




Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tuesday Morning Update

According to the calendar, its December 11th. However according to the weather, its anything BUT December. Our high for today will be in the 80s. In central Florida. Oh and did you hear abt Olga? Apparently she's a subtropical storm by Dominican Republic.

December indeed.

Meanwhile I'm finishing up mittens to send to a child where it's NOT going to reach a high of 80.

I finished them up last night and will pop them in the mail today. They should fit a 4-6 y/o child. As proof, here is Baby Girl modeling them.

In a tank top. (that mark on her forehead is a polar bear temporary tatoo)

Now that these are done, I think I'll pull out the sweater for nephew #4 and finish up the socks for niece #2.

I've been working on Too Pooped and realized that I needed to put it away for a bit when my eyes started to cross as I was working on it last night.

Here is my before shot

and after.


I did the little pot above the kitty and also some of the branch he's sleeping on.

Now if it would just cool off enough to make working on wool a bit easier.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Summer Saturday?

So while some of you are battling hurricane force winds and blizzards and floods, apparently Florida is stuck in summer, northern style. Here it is this morning around 11:30

with my sky


Then again around 3:30.

or

depending on what thermometer you look at. Not that I totally mind the near 80 degree weather, but what's a knitter to do when she can't even wear her socks in winter?!?

I know, I'll shut up now.

So with such nice weather, we've got the windows open, the rugrats are playing outside, the IO is playing in the garage and I'm playing in the bedroom. I want to see where I am on various projects. I've got a couple that won't take long to finish, its just a matter of doing it. Hopefully on Monday I'll have some completed projects to show.

And to leave on a funny note, here is a picture that makes me laugh every time I see it. It was a link from a link from a link to a picture somebody posted, but I couldn't get the link to work so I can't even give proper credit. If you know this offending kitty, LMK so that I can give his owners a proper shout out. That is, if the offending kitty isnt at the local shelter by now!!




And you thought I was bad.