Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Latest Activity

Just a quick update on my currently active projects.  The personal life is in a state of chaos right now.  I'm in one of those modes where I just have to occasionally close my eyes, breath slowly and tell myself that I'll get through these days.

Making progress on the shawl for my niece.  The center panel is more than half done.  My plan is to get the center panel completed by the end of February.  That gives me March and April to complete the border.  Still doable.

I frogged the Custom Black Cardi and started over.  I didn't like the cast on I used.  I'm at the decreases for the arm holes.  It is a very fast knit.

I'm also still plugging away at a pair of socks for my husband.  In true fashion for me, I will get these finished after hunting season is over.  Ed will just have to tuck these away until next duck season.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Holiday Recap

Christmas is over and the New Year is approaching.  This year has flown by. Overall, it has been a good year.  It's just ending on a sour note.  My mom isn't doing well.  If she doesn't show improvement by the end of January, she and her children will have to make decisions about her care. It's not something I'm looking forward to, but I'm preparing myself.  It is part of life.

For now, though, I'm trying to recoup my energy.  The past couple weeks were very busy.

We hosted Christmas Eve for my husband's family.  Because my father-in-law doesn't like to drive at night anymore, we had an early dinner. It actually worked out quite nicely.  The guests left early enough for us to go to the 6:30 mass.  After mass we drove around looking at Christmas lights.  This was a tradition my dad had when I was young.  Of course, my favorite lights were the ones on our house. When we got home, the five of use watched a movie together.

Christmas morning we opened our gifts to each other.  The kids still like to have Santa bring their gifts.  It is a little extra work for me to keep them out of sight until Christmas morning, but I didn't mind.  Santa wraps each child's gifts in the same paper but doesn't put on any tags.  The piles are identified by the stocking placed with the pile.  This year the stockings weren't filled with candy.  Sure, there was a little candy, but since the kids are young adults, some of their favorite foods were inside:  tea, coffee, cocoa mix, scone mixes and gnocchi.  I little different, but they liked the idea.

After lunch we headed to Cincinnati to spend Christmas with my family.  I gave my siblings mug cozies, reusable travel mugs and coffee.  

Mom was able to join us for the evening.  She was very tired, but sat quietly and listened to the festivities.  The crowd was mostly adults, but there was one little guy there.

I'm back home now.  I'm not going into the office this week.  Resting and knitting are on the agenda.

Getting back to my niece's shawl is the my first priority.  Her wedding is in about 4 months.  Time to get moving!

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.