If It's Fiber...

Saturday, December 31, 2005

This month I decided to join up in the Month of Softies group. Here is my entry for December's theme, "under the tree." I created what is supposed to be a mushroom in Christmas-y fabrics. Then it fits into the theme two different ways. Maybe by joining up in the group I can use up some of my scrap fabrics and get some sewing time into my day. I'm not too happy with the eyes, and could never get a mouth to look right, but Bruce loves playing with it.
I made myself do this without making a paper pattern first. I usually get so obsessive and perfectionistic and want to make a pattern out of paper before I do anything else. Then I can do all the math and adjustments before even cutting the fabric. My younger sister, Meredith, never does that. She just gets and idea and starts cutting and sewing, being much more relaxed about the whole process than I usually am. So I tried to let go of my control a bit and just go with the flow. It was a bit hard for me to do that, but I'm relatively happy with how the mushroom turned out.
As I said, Bruce has enjoyed playing with it. He cooks with it on his carboard stove, puts it at his dinner place and pretends to cut and eat it with his play-doh knife and chinese spoon. I'm considering creating some more food toys for him. Maybe I could make him some of these.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Over the holidays I did some more knitting, mainly for gifts that were little extras. I also acquired these two books. "Stupid Sock Creatures" I found at a used bookstore in Fayetteville. It was only $6 and has no visible wear. I was quite excited to find it. After reading some of it, I found that the author, John Murphy, is from North Carolina. That makes me even more happy to have it, but it also makes me feel a bit guilty for not buying it full price so that he can have a take of my money. Not too guilty, though. I'm keeping it.
The second book is Vickie Howell's new book "New Knits on the Block". I had not intended on buying this one, but as we went into the yarn store, Bruce got spooked by a motion sensored, Christmas carol playing bell and needed some down time. During the down time I flipped through this book and loved it. All of the books are 25% off right now , so I had to get it. I love that there are many patterns for items that boys would like. The chain mail get-up is what sold it to me. That and the Viking costume.
Over the holidays I cooked oyter stew and fried oysters for 7 1/2 people, crocheted a snowflake ornament, finished a sweater ornament, and knitted two toddler hats. Pictures will follow soon.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Pretty scary looking, isn't it? But, this pineapple upside down cake was really pretty good. Sometimes I crave those sweet, colorfully ostentatious dishes that originated way back when. Maybe the threat of atom bombs made people want atomic colors? This was my first time making one of these and I enjoyed it.
I bought a wine to go with it. It was a Messidor 2002 Cotes de Bergerac, Moelleux, Cheval Quancard. It went quite well with the cake. It was sweet enough to take on the sugary cake, but yet still had some depth of it's own. I don't think I would drink this wine by itself - it's a little too sweet for my usual tastes - but it was a good choice for pairing with this dessert.
The cake recipe came from "The Joy of Cooking".

Friday, December 16, 2005

Since my last post I have completed these five projects. The hat for my SIL's boyfriend, a sweater ornament for my friend Stephanie, two Airy Scarves for Bruce's playschool teachers, and a sewn, stuffed dog for a family present. The scarves and sweater patterns came from the "Last Minute Knitted Gifts" book. Working with Rowan's Kidsilk Haze was frustrating at first - it is so light! After a few rows, though, the going was much easier.
The dog pattern came from a book I found at a used book store. It's called "The Big Book of Soft Toys" by Mabs Tyler. It was published in 1972. I had seen it in the store once, didn't buy it, and then thought about it constantly until I got back there about a month later and luckily it was still there. There are quite a few cheesy 70s patterns in it, but I like that stuff. The dog will be a gift to my husband's grandmother. This year, instead of giving gifts to each of the great-grandchildren, each family is giving his grandmother one toy to keep at her house for the great-grandchildren to enjoy.
I really miss sewing. I can't wait to finish getting the rest of our boxes unpacked so I can set up a permanent sewing area.
So those four knitted gifts are the last ones on my to do list for the holiday knitalong! Hooray! I'm ready for my gold star!!!
Now I get to knit up all of the fun stuff that I don't have to do, but want to do. Most of that will be 2-4 more Airy scrves, 4 more sweater ornaments, and two toddler's hats. Three ornaments won't be given until the weekend of January 6, so there is time for those. I want to give 2 of the scarves to their recipients this coming Tuesday, the other two next weekend, and one sweater ornament sometime next week.
(I also have plans for an entry into this month's "Month of Softies", but we'll just have to see about that.)
Maybe I could sedate Bruce so that I could just sit and knit all day, everyday for the next week?

Monday, December 12, 2005

I really need a third arm. If I had a third arm then I could cruise the internet WHILE knitting. When I had dial-up I was able to complete much knitting when online - the wait for pages to load up was so long. But now, I have cable internet and there is no time for knitting while browsing the web.
Or I could grow an opposable thumb on my right foot.
Maybe I should find a house next to a nuclear plant and get started on those additional appendages.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I finished my husband's socks today! It's great to have them completed. Here he is modeling them. This was the last time he will be allowed to see them until he gets them for his Christmas present.

I used Brown Sheep's Wildfoote yarn in camel, bark cloth and lullaby. He had picked out the pattern and the colors so I knew he would like them.

My sister-in-law's boyfriend's scarf has been changed to a hat as per her suggestion. Which is great because there is so much less to knit in a hat than a scarf - especially a scarf for a really tall guy.

I'm off tonight to see the new Narnia movie. I've had quite a few reservations about it. I have read the Chronicles many, many times since I was a kid in elementary school and I dearly love them. I wrote a paper on them when I was in high school. But, I'm going anyway. My friend, Stephanie and her son, Dante, are meeting me there. It's great to have friends to accompany me to the movies!

I hope the movie is done well.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I've finally finished the intarsia on the second sock. That seemed to take FOREVER! I have learned through this second sock that I should not talk and intarsia knit at the same time. Every time I did I ended up having to rip back a few rows and redo things. Hopefully the rest of the sock will speed right along now.

On Saturday I went to a Fair Isle workshop at my LYS taught by Nancy Shroyer of Knit Knacks. (Check out the Knee-sel. She showed it to us and it looked quite useful.) This was my first knitting class and the first time that I really was able to meet and talk with other knitters in person. It was great. I had attempted an Andean hat (scroll in the link down to see it- 7th picture) using Fair Isle techniques last year, but I was too tense about it all and it wouldn't fit on my son's head. What a disappointment! I think I feel comfortable enough with it now. I may rip and reknit the hat after the holidays.
I look forward to knitting more with some of the ladies I met there!