Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Knitting

Christmas has a different feel this year.  My mom's medical situation has forced me to focus on the essentials. The decorations are slowing getting up.  I've noticed that I want things to be soft and cozy. I like sitting in the evening with only a few lights on and candles lit.

Because of my evening light choice, knitting is a little hard.  There is the fatigue factor also.  I can only get a little in each night before I start getting too sleepy.  My Christmas projects are perfect for my current situation.

I'm making cup sleeves.  I love this pattern.  I have to go to the fabric store and buy small buttons for the eyes.  Each sleeve has three owls.  It is a quick project.  I can make one an evening.  I absolutely love the owl motif.  I can see using this on scarves, headbands, mittens or boot toppers.

Speaking of boot toppers, my girls are getting two-color boot toppers.  I saw this on Ravelry and thought it was a fantastic idea. So that they can tell theirs apart, I did one pair by casting on with the brown and the other pair starting with the beige.  I'm not completely happy with the bind-offs.  I wish I could find a bind-off that is stretchy and looks more like a cast-on edge.  I guess I shouldn't fret about it though. While they are being worn, the flared bind-off edge will be stretched out.

My son is getting a hat.  Actually he knows already because he has seen me knitting it.  I told him to act surprised when he opens it on Christmas morning.  Shoot!  I didn't think of it until now.  I should have put an owl on this beanie.  Oh well!  I might just have to make another one for him.

All of these projects are stash-busters.  The yarn is left over from the afghans I made for the girls.

Now off to get my grocery list made.  Tomorrow will be cookie baking.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Time To Give Thanks

Life has been a bit chaotic lately.  My mom's radiation and chemo treatments are occupying everyone's time. The treatments started in mid-October. Thankfully the end is in sight. My siblings who live near her have been taking her to her daily appointments.  I've been going down on weekends to give them a break.  Weekends don't usually involve treatments.  Two other siblings who live out of state have come in and helped also.  We've all helped where we can.  Having brothers and sisters like them is the greatest blessing.  I'm going to quote something one of my sisters posted on Facebook.  She said perfectly:

"We rallied together to help Dad and now we are united with Mom as she fights her current health crisis. While telling a friend about this, she replies that we are special and it shows that our parents raised us right. While I'm saddened to know that there are families that don't get along, I am grateful for every member of mine who puts aside their own interests to pitch in. I am grateful for having been raised by parents who not only taught but lived a life of selflessness with the expectations that their children do the same."

This picture is from Christmas 2009.  It was the last time we were all together.  The next Christmas (2010) one of my sisters wasn't able to make it and then Dad passed away in October 2011.  There are various versions of this picture floating around.  As you can see, we are looking around at different cameras.  It was like the paparazzi was there.

In between the chaos, I'm getting a little knitting in.  Here's the latest.

I've made decent progress on the shawl for my niece.  I have 3 of the 8 center repeats complete. I'm going to have to revise the schedule though.  This project has been tossed aside for others.

Like these, two color boot toppers.  I'm making a set for each of my girls as Christmas gifts.  These are quick and easy. And a great way to use up scraps in the stash.

Another distraction project is this.  This is a mug cozy.  Another great stash busting project.  I was able to knit this last night in front of the television in less than an hour.  I think they are adorable.  I plan to get tiny buttons for eyes and stitch a little beak. Too cute!

The take along project is making slow progress.  There isn't a deadline for it.  Once Christmas is passed, I'll get it done.

Now I'm off to prepare our Thanksgiving meal.  My in-laws are coming tomorrow.  It will be a small gathering.  Ed wanted lots of leftovers so I'm cooking quite the feast.  I don't mind though.  At least the family will have food to eat while I disappear again on the weekend to Cincinnati.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Off Schedule

I'm not keeping up with the schedule I planned for this.  Funny thing how life gets in the way.

I am in the center section.  The pattern calls for eight repeats with an option for a ninth.  There are 36 rows per repeat.  It is moving along quickly because the center section pattern is easy to execute.  There are only two sequences to follow.  The borders are where I have to pay attention to which row I'm on.  My biggest issue was the yarn slipping off the needles and having difficulty inserting the needle for the K3TOG.  I resolved this issue by switching to bamboo needles instead of metal.  The bamboo grips the yarn enough to make the K3TOG a piece of cake.

As far as getting back on schedule, I hope to make a lot of headway this weekend and next.  I don't have any obligations that will get in the way.  And since the weather is quite nasty this weekend, I'll be content to sit in front of the television, watch football and knit.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Quick Update

The big project on the needles is the shawl for my niece.

I am starting the main section.  I have schedule laid out that will have this completed in January.  I am already behind schedule but not terribly.  As a project manager, I have built contingency into my plan.  I am not worried.  Yet.

My diversion project is the crocheted shawl. It is coming along nicely.  

I have the stitch pattern memorized now.  It is a good one to take along places where I don't have to concentrate.

As an added diversion, I'm making my daughters boot toppers.  There are very quick.

I saw on Pinterest where someone made them two-colored.  I have a lot of wool left from Trisha's blanket.  These will use up some.

The last project currently active on the needles is going to get frogged.  The pattern is called Relax.

I love the color and they yarn, but the gauge is too small for me to deal with right now.  I have a knitting machine.  Since this is miles of stockinette, this is going to be done on the machine.  I just need to clean off my craft table to make a spot to put the machine up.

Gotta go now.  My weekends are busy for the next few months.  My mom is battling cancer.  I'll be traveling to spend the weekends with her. If you are the praying type, send some her way.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

September Gone

September is over.  I didn't meet all of my goals. 

I did finish Trisha's blanket.  I was only able to snap this one picture of it before she grabbed it and took it back to her apartment.  I'm sure she is putting it to good use since the weather has turned cooler around here.

I now have about 800 yards of light fingering weight yarn.  This picture doesn't show off all of the colors well.  Now I have to decide what to make with it.

With the completion of Trisha's blanket, I am able to start a gift for my niece.  I have two skeins of white Alpaca with a Twist Fino.  I wound the skeins into cakes.  I have been waffling on what pattern to make.  I wanted to make it unique, but I couldn't figure out how to fit the design elements together.  I decided that I should stick with a proven pattern.  I found one from a lace book I had in my library.  

After a trip to the LYS to get the appropriate needles, I cast on and got to work.  I am going to have to set some milestones for this project to make sure I get it done.

Sticking to the schedule will be critical.

Because shiny objects can be a distraction, like this yummy Madelinetosh Prairie that I picked up while at the LYS.  The was a sample of Jenny's Faith made out of this yarn in colorway Fog.  It was gorgeous!!!

So what do I do?  I buy the yarn, download the pattern from Ravelry and begin. I needed a little Faith of my own.

Now about the September goals I didn't meet.  Exercising daily is not something I have been able to accomplish.  I am going to still strive to do it.  My problem is that I don't enjoy it.  Unlike my husband and children, I don't get the endorphin rush from exercise.  I don't crave it. They do.  They don't understand me and I don't understand them.  For the sake of my health, I am trying to make some positive changes.  This is one I need to keep working at.

The other goal for September, studying for the PMP exam, has fallen by the wayside.  Something has come up in my life that has suddenly sucked all the motivation out of me.  My boss and I had a talk Thursday at work and he agreed to let me defer this certification.