Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Good to be back

Ok, so I don't really have the time to do this right now, but I'm going to post anyway.... Thank you for everyone who noticed that I had been a bit MIA in the past 3-4 weeks and welcomed me back to the world. I'm really sorry for being so far gone. As promised, a nice LONG post to update you on where I've been hiding all this time. And it's numbered because I like numbered lists.

1. Christmas Giving
As some of you may have guessed, I was a bit busy finishing the 9 Christmas projects I had planned. All but one was finished. Unbiased Redux wasn't looking like a winner, so it got scrapped. It was a bonus gift anyway.

If any of you were guessing exactly when I'd finish and guessed that it would be Christmas eve, then you'd be mostly correct. I finished the knitting on Christmas Eve around 11:00, but I was blocking and installing zippers as of Christmas morning. BTW, if you need to install a zipper by hand, do not leave yourself 2 hours to install 2 zippers. It just won't happen. Especially if you're OCD. I ended up having to give the garment and the zipper with a note, "Some assembly required." Just trust me that it's a bad idea.

Overall, I think the Christmas gifts went over well. My grandfather thought I made his vest for DF but gave it to him instead when it didn't fit DF. Here's a pic of my grandpa trying it on. A moment of panic washed over me as I was wondering how big of a noggin he had as it just wasn't fitting over his head.
Turns out, it fit him just fine. Of course, I look at the picture below and cringe at how the ribbing around the V-neck was causing the chest stripes to pull. But overall, the fit was good, and he was happy.
I couldn't get a good picture of my grandparents wearing their matching hoodies. Here they just look confused, and well, maybe a little bit embarassed. But give them a break. It was like 80 that day, and probably closer to 85 in the house. My grandfather just isn't a hoodie kind of guy. I'll have to recommend that he doesn't wear it up unless he's really cold...
And my great grandmother thought that her Charlotte's Web shawl was very pretty. Too pretty in fact to wear. Her comment was, "This would be really pretty... if I were younger. I'm too old. Don't make me anything anymore." Okay, so I'm kind of sad about this because honestly, I just don't want to think of my great-grandmother going anywhere. But I told her that I made it for her to wear it, not put it somewhere where it wouldn't be ruined. My mom told me last weekend that my g-g wore it to her doctor's appointment last week. :-) I didn't get a good picture of her wearing the shawl, but here I am trying to put it on her. That hat she's wearing was a gift I made her last year, btw.
DL's hat was perfect! DF did a really good job. We did have to argue a bit about whether or not to add a pompom/tassle on top. But when DL received the hat, he just remarked, "Well, sometimes women are just right." Word on the street says he wore it all weekend snowboarding. He wears it off-center, for a "jaunty" look as he puts it. I think it looks better that way too. As you see below, the skull right above the face just looks like too many faces and just a bit weird. Wait, what am I saying... it's a PINK hat, how could it not look a little bit weird?
2. Christmas receiving
I was very lucky to get a gift this year from a Secret Santa! She managed to pick out a lot of different things that I am REALLY looking forward to working with. Look how generous:
Not pictured: delicious Funyuns. They just didn't last long enough to make it into the picture... shown here counterclockwise(ish) from far left: enough Jaeger Baby Merino for a short sleeved top; Knitpicks Shine which is destined to become a cute baby hat for the numerous babies on their way this year; some very cute, very awesome hand knit socks (see below for just how WELL they fit!); Knitpicks Shadow which is most definitely going to be a purple Flower Basket Shawl; hand beaded stitchmarkers (in the purple sachet, but not pictured separately); and a calendar, which will be a good reminder as I dive headlong into planning TBD (the big day). Also, my favorite part of the whole package, if I had to pick one... right in the middle is a handmade Christmas card with just the sweetest note that I ever could imagine. Secret Santa, you spoil me!

As if that weren't enough... I also got RAK'd! Apparently, some people just have that yule attitude. I was too excited when I opened my package to take a good picture, but along with some incredibly beautiful stitch markers and a pin, I got Vesper sock yarn!!! Yay, I know just what to do with this. Thank you SO much, Jill...

3. Real Live Knitting Progress!

I have been coveting time to make socks ever since Socktoberfest. Thanks to my RAKer, I have the perfect excuse to start the infamous Jaywalkers for DF. I cast on for these 2 days after Christmas, and boy, 2 socks on 2 circs with a new cast on method (Turkish) toe-up using short rows for the toes was just a bit overwhelming at first. Thankfully, it got a whole lot less so once I finished the toe and was on to the main part of the sock. Here's the progress as of last Thursday. Since then, I've only completed 2 more of the beige stripes and I'm preparing to turn the heel. I'll let you know if I throw them out the window at that point...

A word to the wise, if making socks for man-sized feet, don't pick fingering weight yarn if you want to remain sane. Oh, and especially don't combine it with a stitch pattern that requires MORE stitches per inch than normal. Sigh. Well at least I'm finally making SOMETHING for DF. DF's sweater is in this stage:

Yup, that's a BRAND SPANKING NEW swift. DF made me promise not to leave it set up with the ball winder on the coffee table all the time. For now, I've faithfully put it away to leave the coffee table free for things like, um, coffee.

I also jumped (somewhat belatedly) on the blog bandwagon of 2004 and cast on January 1 for Clapotis using Southwest Trading Company Phoenix soy silk. I think it's looking quite lovely except for some pooling going on. I was seriously considering ripping back to the increase rows and taking out one increase section because it looks like this number of stitches is perfect for stacking the colors on top of each other. Can you tell that all the turquoise is in that pool on the left and all the lavender is in the pool on the right?

4. Projects for 2006

Oh good god, this is ridiculous. But, here we have a short(ish) list of projects I was hoping to cast on for in 2006 (in no particular order):

  1. Jaywalker socks
  2. Clapotis
  3. Raglan zip front sweater for DF from Last Minute Gifts
  4. Union Market Square Pullover from IK Fall 2005
  5. Hoodie from VK Fall 2005
  6. Blackberry from Knitty Fall 2005
  7. Unbiased Redux in Kureyon
  8. Un-Blaze
  9. Flowerbasket Shawl from my Secret Santa package
  10. Lace Throw from IK Fall 2005
  11. Arisaig from Knitty Fall 2005
  12. Embossed leaves socks from IK Winter 2005
  13. Bad Penny
  14. Karabella Ruffle Shawl in Gossamer
  15. Handwarmers
  16. Head wrap
  17. Split Neck short sleeve polo for DF
  18. Baby gifts

Well, I didn't quite make it to 20 on the list, but the sad thing is (but probably not surprising) that I have yarn for all of these projects already. And a whole lot more left over.

5. Other announcements

In case you didn't notice, THAT'S MY FACE in the pictures above. New for 2006, I will not be camera shy. Granted, I'm not going to fold my feet behind my head to model new socks just to get my face in the picture, but I won't go out of my way to smudge out or cut off my head in pictures anymore. Unless of course it's a REALLY bad hair day. Who was I kidding? What web stalker is going to look for knitting blogs for their next victim? Plus, I like seeing what people look like in their blogs. It makes meeting up with your blog friends in real life much easier.

Planning for TBD is in full swing. If I don't post for long stretches of time, you'll know why. No other decisions other than date and time have been made yet, but I don't think anyone really wants to read about the minutia of wedding planning here. I don't want to hijack my own knitting blog with this stuff.

Anyway, there are 500 unread posts in my bloglines account right now. Umm, yeah. Don't know what to say about that one...