Reflections on 2007

My thanks for the year:

1. My Man! I love him dearly and cherish his presence. We celebrate 30 years tonight.
2. My family, especially my brother. He has such a generous and giving nature. He gives his time away more than any one person I know. I admire that quality in him and it makes me realize how selfish I am with my own time.
3. My health.
4. Where I own slice of heaven. I love the seclusion, I'm such a hermit.
5. My knitting. Since I have been knitting consistently for the last 4 years, I feel that it has truly grounded me. It has given me more patience than I already had. I love to knit and I am constantly thinking about knitting. What project I'm working on, what project I can work on next, what yarn will I use, etc.

For 2008, I've set a few goals. No deadlines, but goals. I'd like to start a walking regimen (not sure when I'll fit it in my schedule yet) and I'd like to do more charity knitting. I'd like to see my Dad more often, I need to make that effort. I am just so eager to get home after work, that I don't take the time. Then on weekends because of the distance back into Nashville, I stay home. So, I know I need to meet up with him after work, I just need to do it.

New project - Baby's First Sweater

I had 3 hours of PTO (paid time off) that I had to take before the end of the year otherwise I would lose, I left the office early, headed to LYS Haus of Yarn and bought 2 skeins of Sirdar Snuggly Bubbly and cast-on last night for this Baby's First Sweater. A pattern by Theresa Gaffey, pattern # 106. It's an easy knit and it appears that it will be a relatively fast knit.

I love the texture to this knitted fabric. It's going to look so cute, I can't wait till it's done!

I also FINALLY bought the pattern for the Fiber Trends felted clogs. I had knit the Fuzzy Feet from Knitty last year (more like a bootie) and when my brother was here at Thanksgiving, he wore them and liked them so well I gave them to him. These were mine.

Finished Objects

Hats off to the book, Sensational Knitted Socks. I finished the Purled Ladder socks, using Jawoll Lang superwash, navy blue. Washed and blocked.

Also finished is a lace scarf that I started quite a while back. I hadn't quite decided whether I was keeping this one for myself or giving it away and I have decided. As you can see by the next few pictures that I am blocking the scarf. I bought these blocks on ebay for $4.50 plus a little shipping. Well worth the cost. It's a great movable blocking board.

Of course, it helps to have a huge island that I can lay it on to block.

I think I have enough pins in it. The towel helps hold the shape a little too.

Zephyr Wool-Silk
50% fine grade merino wool50% chinese tussah silk5,040 yards per poundThis yarn is sold in 2 ounce hand wound ball increments. Each ball has 630 yds. average triangular shawl takes about 4 oz. Dry clean or hand wash

Christmas 2007

After a whirlwind year, personally and professionally, DH and I spent 4 days at home over the Christmas holiday. Our cars arrived home from work on Friday night and they haven't moved since and won't move until tomorrow morning to head back into town to work. I love being holed up at home. I did some cleaning, organizing, knitting, and some surfing.

In my attempts at organizing and eliminating, I came across my passport picture from 1965. At that time, my brother and I had a passport together. With the advent of Social Security numbers being issued at birth now, I seriously doubt they would do this anymore. But I love this picture. I remember, quite fondly actually, that my mother was always putting my hair up in a bun. It suited me rather well. :-)) My Dad was in the Army and my mother was French, so we traveled overseas a lot when I was young, hence the need for a passport.

I also opened an early gift on Sunday............a PMC3 HotPot starter kit. You ask, "what on earth is it and what does it do?" PMC3 is a moldable clay that will turn into 99% pure silver once it's fired. In comparison to sterling silver which is only 92.3% silver. The small kiln that comes with the kit uses gelled ethanol for firing and it fires at a low 1290 F.

My favorite sister-in-law and I took a class on silver clay 2 years ago and we each made a bracelet and some earrings. This will be lots of fun to play with and get some new jewelry to boot. (maybe even some knitting charms) These are my results from the class.

I also received 2 Lucy Neatby DVD's. Knitting Essentials 1 and 2. I can't wait to sit on the couch later to knit and watch one of them.

Also received was this new ColdHeat Glue Gun. This is a serious glue gun. I used a little mini crafter glue gun when I worked on my cork bulletin board, so I'm already planning in my head how I want to use this one. :-)

The last thing I received was a Digital Caliper. It measures in both inches and millimeters. I love measuring tools!

One of the items I knit last night was a Tribble. Free Pattern here. This is a scrubbie and a fun quick knit that could accompany a dishcloth set if you were making one as a gift.

Sweater Ornaments

Have you seen this?? Do you get the Berroco KnitBits newsletter? If not, you need to sign up because they have a ton of free patterns and this one came yesterday. Get the sweater patterns here. If you want to see the archived patterns, go here. I don't normally put up a Christmas Tree but I think I will make some of these for next year and maybe put them on someone's tree. Who will be the lucky recipient? OR maybe on the front of Christmas fun would that be? Just think if I finished one per week in 2008, I would have a lot of ornaments by the first of December.

Present for me.......watercolor art!

My sister-in-law's hobby is painting. She also uses charcoal but she has been mainly doing watercolor. I think she is going to dabble in oil soon, but meanwhile she has painted two watercolor items for me. The latest one that I received at Thanksgiving is a street scene, which to me looks like it could be somewhere in Europe or maybe even New Orleans.

Pretty cool huh? I'm trying to talk her into establishing her own blog to show her work, so we'll see.

Wool and Stainless Steel combination

I belong to the Yarn of the Month Club and every month I receive a package of 4 small baggies of different yarns. It's really cool to see all the different yarns I've received. If you go to the link and sign up, don't forget to give my name because I would get a free month. :-) This month I received an interesting package, it had a yarn by Habu and it's a Wool/Stainless Steel yarn. It's 75% wool and 25% stainless steel. It's ultrafine. How would you use this yarn? What kind of project would you make? The description says that due to the stainless steel, the yarn has memory, so you can form it and it will stay.

Baby booties

I made these booties for a young woman I work with who has a 4 month old. One is knit with Moda Dea and the other with Wool Ease. The one with Wool Ease I decorated with Christmas ribbon.

Found 25 yr old "Almost-Finished" Object

In my attempt to simplify my life and eliminate things, I found something today that I made 25 years ago in my crochet days. It is a log-cabin blanket made totally in crochet. There are 20 squares sized at 14 1/2" square. There were actually about 30 made in total.....the story is this: I had about 10 already made and they stayed in the big bag with me at all times with all my yarn. I was going out of town one weekend but before I left my husband and I went to see a movie. When we came out of the movie, we found the back window of the hatchback completely broken and the only thing they took was my quilted bag of all my crochet squares. They probably thought it was big purse, but alas, it was just a lot of time and work that went away just as quickly as one can blink. We looked around the parking lot and even looked in the trash bins arond the theater to see if they would have thrown it away in disgust after they realized what they had gotten, but no bag was found. I had to start this crocheted blanket all over again. You wonder why?? Because my mother-in-law was also making one except that she surrounded the blocks in black rather than the off-white like mine. Hers was actually more striking with the black. Anyway, I had to start another one, and I had completed it except for a small corner on the lower right that I never finished with the red edging.

Cork Bulletin Board and the Parthenon

For a non-knitting Completed Project... I finally finished my Cork Bulletin Board. I bought the board for this project years ago and acquired the corks as we drank wine. Some I collected when we traveled to France, England, Scotland, Wales and Italy, and some I collected from my own stash and then others were donated to me. It came to me that I obviously don't drink enough wine because it was taking forever to collect enough, so I finally broke down and bought some corks on ebay. May be cheating I know but at the rate I was collecting them personally, I would have been retired and wouldn't really care about keeping notes on a bulletin board. So I've taken a picture of it by itself, it measures 23 inches square. The second picture I placed a recent KnitPicks catalog for size reference.

I took some beautiful fall pictures from my office window on Friday. This is a view of the Parthenon in Nashville. Yes, it is a replica of the Parthenon in Greece, we are the sister city. The Parthenon holds beautiful art and sculpture and is a definite "must see" on a visit to Nashville.

"Snug Harbor" cat bed for Bosephus

In the Holiday 2007 issue of KnitSimple, there is a pattern for a "Snug Harbor" by Rae French. Ms. French is the Founder and CEO of Hugs for Homeless Animals and she designed this Snug Harbor to be knit for animals that live in shelters as part of the Snuggles Project. If you would like to help out with this project by knitting some Snug Harbors, please go visit the above link.

We have an outside cat that we allow inside sometimes on the weekend and he's been lying on a flat piece of knitted fabric. When I saw the pattern for the Snug Harbor, I knew I just had to make it for him. It is knit in the round and then decreased similar to a hat and that's what makes it spiral in the middle. You then take some quilt batting to make a nice rounded padding around the sides which helps snuggle the cat (or small dog if you prefer) and it even gives them a little pillow to lay their head.

I used Lion Brand Homespun in the Tudor colorway, it took a little over 1 skein. The pattern suggests that you stripe it with a darker color, but I decided just to make it one color and the yarn striped on its own. This was easily a weekend project even with the seaming and the padding.

As you can see, Bosephus already loves it and he snuggles in it.

Around the farm

We had our first real frost here on Nov 2nd. See below picture of the frost. It was absolutely beautiful. Much more contrast than the picture provides.

The Man has been bushhogging so the farm is looking very good and I went on a little hike to get some pictures. The vibrant fall colors really show even though we had a terribly dry summer. I think the weather man said we were short on rainfall by around 16 inches this year. That's huge.

As for knitting, I completed the navy socks, pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. I had to frog it a little bit on sock #1, and I rarely frog anything, so it delayed me a little bit. Otherwise, I have been working on the holiday gift, baby bibs and I made a snuggly cat bed. Pics to come soon.

EZ Baby Surprise Jacket

I'm going to be swatching this weekend for the EZ Baby Surprise Jacket with this Jo Sharp DK Cotton. Colorway of yarn: Top left is Currant #234, Top right is Sailboat #219, Bottom is Oyster #235. The Oyster is actually a very, very pale green.
Recommended needle is size 6 US. Care: Gentle hand wash, dry flat in shade. Do not tumble dry and do not dry clean.
The Moda Dea dream poncho is coming along nicely as well as the Crayon bathrobe. So many projects I want to be working on but work always gets in the way. :-)

Wrist warmer and watch! All in One!!

The small project I was working on while driving the tractor yesterday was this wrist warmer and watch all in one.
The other thing I need to show you is my traveling knit kit. I'm going to put a knitting pic on top of this and then glaze it, but for now, you know what it is.

Knitting on the farm :-)

My mother would have cracked up laughing had she seen me yesterday. I lost my mother to cancer over 6 years ago and she never had the opportunity to know how passionate I would become about knitting. My mother was a fabulous knitter and taught me how to knit while I was a little girl, then again as a teenager, but I never did it full time because I couldn't fix errors or pick up dropped stitches. I resorted to crochet because I had one hook and one loop. After she died, I couldn't pick up knitting needles at all and then in late 2004, I picked them up again and I haven't looked back. I am obsessive about knitting now, to the exclusion of all my previous hobbies.

I say all this to get to my point.........yesterday I "helped" pick up rocks around the farm by driving the tractor while DH picked up the rocks and tossed them into the front loader, and yes I had my small project knitting with me, as you can see here. We went from having tornado warnings on Thursday evening to having beautiful weather on Fri, Sat and today as well.
As you can see by this serene scene on my driveway.....

heeeheeee, here I am with my knitting as I drive the tractor!

I'm debating whether I want to drive into Nashville today to the LYS because Cheryl Schaefer is in town. Do I want to drive 60+ miles one way on a day off? mmm, gotta think about that one.
UPDATE: Nope, decided not to leave the peace of the farm.