Goodbye 2008

2008.........Overall it was a good year.
  • I searched for and found a new job earlier in the year and it's been great. Mainly because I can be a worker bee and not have to keep track of billable hours at the law firm. That has been the biggest relief off of my shoulders.
  • I've been knitting on Thursday evenings at my LYS and have made friends with some great new knitsibs.
  • The Wednesday lunch knitting group has grown to 7 people and it's a good break for an hour in the middle of the week. We all seem to look forward to it. Dunn's enjoys having us so much that they set aside the comfortable Dylan room for us. (I have to find one of those knitting chairs for my house, it's extremely comfortable to knit in.)
  • We have purchased some new exercise equipment for the house and they have been pretty easy to use and therefore, should be able to stay on some type of exercise schedule.
  • Other than being overweight, I seem to be in pretty good health.
  • A new president was elected, although not my candidate of choice.
  • We enjoyed a great season of plays at the Renaissance.
  • I gave my belle-soeur (french for sister-in-law) her knitted bathrobe and the Noro shawl.
  • Took a Beginning Spinning Class. (I won't be picking this up as a hobby)
  • Listened to some great books on CD which have truly made my daily commute much easier to bear.
  • Began teaching a neighbor to knit.
  • Began teaching a co-worker to crochet.
  • I have lots of finished knitting projects that I'm happy about for the year.
  • I have a good list of projects for 2009 that I'm excited about.

Whew............Hello 2009 and welcome.

December weather

It's unbelievably windy today.....maybe 40 mph winds and unseasonably warm. I think it's up to 70 degrees today and I'm wearing shorts in the house. How can you knit cold weather goodies when it's that damn hot at the end of December?

The best time to buy calendars for next year? Day after Christmas or later. 50% off yesterday at Borders, can't beat that! Maybe after the first of the year they would be 75% off but I'm happy with my 50%. Even though I'm a Palm Treo gal and I use the calendar, memo and task features ALOT, I still love my calendar book. It's 5 1/2" x 8, moleskin cover and this year I picked a beautiful red. 2 years ago it was purple and I have turned that one into a journal of some of my favorite knitting patterns. Kind of like an altered book of knitting stuff. Here's a sample.






Anyway, in addition to keeping my calendar events, I also keep a running list of knitting projects on the needles (does it help keep me focused?) and projects I would like to make. It never fails that I will think of something I'd like to make and if I don't jot it down, I will forget. I re-look at the list of future projects and sometimes decide that I don't want to make something or it reminds me that I need to cast-on because I've since purchased the yarn. In 2009, I will add a list to my Palm Treo that will include some of my favorite projects that I would like to knit again, the yarn type and how much to buy. It never fails that I'm at the LYS and I see some luscious yarn that I think would be perfect for a project that I'd like to make but my pattern is at home and I don't know how much to buy or if it's even the right weight. So, the list in my Treo (which I always have with me) would be very handy.

In 2009, I will turn 50. What a milestone. I'm actually looking forward to it although I find it strange that I'm nearly that age. Where has the time flown? I heard a statement the other day and I liked it. "Time flies and I'm the pilot." In 2009 I will try to be more cognizant of where my time flies. I know a lot of my time is used up in my daily commute (3 hours per day) but I can't really do a whole lot about that unless I move back to the city and I won't be doing that either. Otherwise, where does my time fly?

Shrug for Gracie

As I was surfing Ravelry one lazy weekend, I came across the Confection Baby Shrug and decided I just had to make it. It was suuuuper easy and looks really cute on Gracie. Picture yet to come of the model. I made mine from Berocco Comfort so it was easily washable. It took a little longer to make than I had expected but it wasn't bad and it's adorable.


I'm still working on my Best Friend's Jacket from the book The Knit Stitch. For the very first time, I had a Knitpicks cable come loose from the needle so I have to return that one. It stalled my progress on the jacket for just a little bit until I could get another cable hooked to the needle.

For Christmas this year we bought some new exercise machines for our aerobics room (aka living room). We had had our treadmill for 15-16 years and it had petered out so we decided to replace it and our old stationary bike with a new elliptical machine and a recumbent bike. Both of them are so much quieter than our old machines it's unbelievable. They were delivered this past Friday and we got on them yesterday for the first time. They're great!! So my DH and I have an exercise plan put together, one that is not so horrendous that we can't stick to I think, but one that will get us a little more heart healthy. I plan on 30 minutes @ 3 times a week, maybe a little extra on the weekends. We'll see. (I perspire as I think about all the yarn I could have purchased instead)

Both of them together in this picture:

DH putting the final touches on the bike:

The Elliptical:

Winter time knitting

I usually keep a big project for knitting at home and currently it is the Best Friend's Jacket. I almost have one side done and I'm looking forward to it's completion. Out winter's aren't usually too awfully cold in Tennessee (although it CAN be). I think the Best Friend's Jacket will be perfect for most of the winter and it needs a scarf. I made the Garter Stitch Loop-Through Scarf from the book 101 Designer one-skein Wonders. I used Malabrigo for the very first time and now I see what all the hullaballoo is about. It's wonderful to work with and very soft and smooth. I used size 7 needles and it took just under a skein of Malabrigo. The color way is Saphire Magenta.


Christmas knitting

I have started several projects for the holidays. One being Koigu wristers, pattern found on Ravelry. I have already finished one pair, and have at least 3 more to go.



I've also started a scarf in some yarn that was on sale at the LYS. Looking at in a ball, I didn't really care for the yarn, however, in just plain garter stitch, it's making a beautiful scarf. I love it.



I also plan on making some sachets, in which I will place a lovely bar of scented soap.

Thorpe for DH

I subscribe to the Yarn of the Month. Last month, I received a sample in red of Berroco Cuzco. A luxurious 50% alpaca and 50% Peruvian wool. I fell in love with it and immediately started looking for a project to make with this delicious yarn. I swatched!! After continuous inspiration from Kathy, I decided to make the Thorpe for my DH (pattern can be found on Ravelry). He loves red and I decided to order the yarn from Webs. The yarn is wonderful to work with and the Thorpe is a great pattern. I know he wanted an ear flap hat for working on the farm in the winter and the Thorpe fits the need perfectly. It is great!! Today it is about 38-40 degrees and quite breezy. He asked for his hat......here he is modeling it before setting out to work. :-) (I think this is the first knit project I have made for him)

I made his in size large and I have purchased the same yarn but in hunter green for me. I will make mine in medium. He says the hat is perfect because it doesn't ride up, it keeps his neck and eyebrows warm without affecting his field of vision. Best hat I could have made. It is the first top-down hat I've made and I really liked it. Kudos to the designer.

Knitting during my computer hiatus

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been without my laptop and therefore I didn't spend hours upon hours in front of my computer on the weekends, and so spent much more productive time with my needles. I started some projects, worked on others, finished some old ones and have decided I now need to have a seaming party. :-) I usually don't mind seaming but here lately, I haven't been too good about it.

In July and August, LYS Haus of Yarn organized a charity knitting project for Warm Woolies. For every project knit, you received an entry ticket. In August, they drew a ticket for their $50 gift certificate............yup, it was me. Hoooorrrrayyyy. I was terribly excited and immediately put it to work. Their next charity project was Gilda's Club and since I lost my Mom to cancer, I knew I was going to knit some hats.

These are the hats I've finished so far.

This one is knit with Chinchilla. This is Shedir, knit with Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece.
This one is knit with Poof.
On to the projects I've been working on........

Moderne Log Cabin:

From Mason-Dixon's first book. This is knit with Bernat Satin, a very soft acrylic yarn and perfectly machine-washable. No plan to the number of rows knit for each color, I just knit until I got tired of the color and moved on to the next. I then went around all the edges with 6 rows of ecru and the 20-25 rows of the dark blue.


Peace Shawl:

I first saw a sample of this shawl on display at LYS Haus of Yarn in pale yellow. I tried it on and it fit beautifully, I just had to make one. So, I bought the yarn and started and finished this project in about 2 weeks, it was a very fun knit.

It is knit with Brilliance in an off-white color that goes with just about anything. Called the Peace Shawl because of the peace sign on the back that was so popular in the 60's. It gives just enough coverage on the back to eliminate any office air conditioning chills. Instead of a traditional triangular shawl, it is wing-like and is comfortable tying in the front. I feel that it doesn't scream "Look at the girls" as a shrug does to me. It's comfortable, light-weight and looks good.

Triangular Shawl:

This shawl I knit with Noro Kureyon Sock yarn. I have not blocked it yet so I'm not completely done. The colors are absolutely gorgeous. The rows got to be soooo long, I thought they would never end, but thankfully I got to the end of the 2nd skein and finished. The yarn itself is what did the striping.



Oktobergurumi

I recently took an Amigurumi class at my LYS and although I already knew how to crochet, this was a fun class. These lovable Japanese stuffed animals are just adorable. They are typically not made to scale which makes them look that much more adorable. For class I made the Papa penguin.
He ended up being a lot bigger than I had expected, so I then made this one...
isn't he cute??
I made the octopus but decided to make curly legs rather than the stuffed ones they had in the book.
I love the puppy too and I made hin as a gift.
Here's the family. (sorry there is so much clutter in the background) with my newly rebuilt laptop, I lost my photo editing program and haven't reinstalled it yet.
To add to the family, I plan on an elephant, rabbit, hedgehog and a turtle. The baby penguin is also a gift, so I will have to make another one of that.

A Long Computer Hiatus

As some of you know, I have been sans laptop since almost mid-August. During this unrequested hiatus, I realized how much of my weekends were being spent reading knit blogs (which I absolutely adore), perusing Ravelry and managing my finances with Quicken, etc.

Without my laptop to keep me so engrossed on Saturday and Sunday mornings, I have gotten so much more knitting done (notice I didn't say how much more housework I accomplished). I started and finished the Moderne Log Cabin from Mason-Dixon Knitting, several baby sweaters, started and finished the Peace Shawl and have almost finished the Noro Sock Yarn Triangle shawl. I've also started the Eiffel Tower top and the Best Friend's Jacket.

And although I know how to crochet and did that craft for years, I took the Amigurumi class that Haus of Yarn was offering. How fun those little critters are to crochet. I started the Penguin in class and by this weekend I was nearly done and also worked on the baby octopus. Pictures will come next weekend.

We have season tickets to the plays at the Renaissance Center in Dickson. There are two different sets of plays, one in the master theatre upstairs and the dinner theater downstairs which is small and very quaint. This past Friday we saw Greater Tuna and I have to say it was hilarious. If that play ever comes to your town, you have to see it, I highly recommend it. In December, we get to see the followup to it, A Tuna Christmas. It's going to be great, I already know it.

OK, it's almost midnight and I have to get up in 5 hours, so I have to go to bed and try to sleep. I am on vacation next week, so I will take pictures and update the blog with knitting information.

Oh yeah, did I mention Stitches South is coming to Atlanta in April 2009??? I am soooo there, I can't wait.

Long time no blog post, what have I been doing???

It is hard to believe that July has come and gone and I did not blog, not one post during that whole month. What the heck have I been up to?? Well, for one, there was the Tour de France. My DH and I watch it religiously and Versus has been great in that they show nearly the whole race. So we record it during the day and then try to pack 5 hours of bike race into a 3 1/2 hour evening. Needless to say, I did get quite a bit of knitting done but not nearly enough sleep. The Tour lasts 3 weeks and I enjoyed every minute of it. The Tour was great this year in that there was not a clear winner, not as much doping and steroid issues this year, although there was some. Carlos Sastre from Spain had a great win and poor Australia's Cadel Evans came in 2nd once again, just like last year. I also had my Yahoo email account compromised so I spent one Sunday afternoon untying everything to that account. I had had that account for 10 years so you can imagine what I had tied to it. It has been fixed now but I learned a valuable lesson. Now the Olympics have started and I will be doing some great knitting through that as well. OK, on to knitting...........

What I have been diligently working on:

Lace Ribbon Scarf - from Knitty Spring 2008. Knit with Shibui Sock yarn in a wine color with some variegation to the yarn. A beautiful colorway. Originally blogged about this in June.


Baby sweater - the 5-hour baby sweater. Found pattern on Ravelry and made it with some yellow Wool-Ease that I had left over from another project. Cute pattern, easy to do and worked up pretty quick. All it lacks now is some lace around the neck for tying.


Baby bib - new short-row pattern found on Ravelry. This was a fun knit with Peaches n Creme 100% cotton. I liked the extra buttonholes it provides so that it can grow with the baby. It has already found a home with an 8-month old.


Baby Sweater - Pink Tweed for Baby - Pattern is from the 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders. I used Katia Samba, and it was wonderful to knit with.

I have also started another one of the Baby's First Sweater with the turquoise blue colorway.

Charity child Sweaters - Pattern from Warm Woolies organization. Knit with Lopi chunky. I wanted to knit some charity projects anyway and Nashville LYS Haus of Yarn is having a contest for these charity items. For every project you complete and donate to the store, you get a ticket and they will have a drawing on Aug 14. The winner gets a $50 gift certificate to the store. Can't beat that great incentive. They will do the same in the next quarter as well. So I know where I will be doing my charity projects. I'd like to get back to doing some hats for cancer patients as well.





Socks - Almost always have socks on the needles. I have finished one sock and working on #2 with this wonderful yarn. Pagewood Farm Yukon Hand-dyed Bamboo, merino and nylon blend. Originally blogged about this yarn here. No photo update.

Triangular Shawl - Knit in Noro sock yarn, I am on the second skein now and it only takes 2 skeins, so it's coming along nicely. I knit on it mainly on knit nights or the knit at lunch because it's good visiting knitting. Straight garter stitch except for the 3 YO's on the right side. Easy-peasy. No photo update.

Blanket Bunny - from 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders - also found it on Ravelry. I knit it with Lion Brand Homespun, mainly because I just wanted to try out the pattern. I loved it and will make it again. I modified the pattern a little by cinching the neck. Meanwhile, I have given this little treasure to a neighbor who just had a brand new grandson.

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket - Mason-Dixon Knitting - This is being made with Bernat Satin as a trial before using more expensive yarn. I am loving this. I don't think I'm following the so-called pattern exactly, but basically you knit with a color until you're tired of it and then you cast-off from the right side until you haved one stitch left, you turn the work 90 degrees and pick up and knit the stitches along the next border. Yep, that's right, no seaming, it is fabulous. I plan on making the border in the dark blue, so I'll go a little longer, make it a little bigger, then finish with the dark blue.

Road Trip

DH and I took a little road trip on Saturday to Land Between the Lakes. They call it Kentucky Lake on the west and Lake Barkley on the east but it's really the Tennessee River and the Cumberland River respectively. Very beautiful scenery and lots to do if you like to camp, boating, ATV's, hike, etc. It was a little warm yesterday but we kept the windows rolled down and took a leisurely drive through the park. We had the forethought to pack a picnic lunch and we stopped at one of the many picnic tables in the shade and ate our lunch. We drove through the Elk and Bison Prairie and took a few pictures of the bison, the elk were smarter and must have hidden in the shade somewhere on their 300 acres.


The car got in the male's way as he was crossing the road and he just stood there and breathed heavily until we backed up. He didn't go around the car, it was the funniest thing.
Then Momma and baby were getting ready to cross the road too and they walked behind the car.

There are supposed to be 67 in total on this part of the prairie, so no telling where the others were. Smarter and in the shade I suppose.
On the way back home, we drove thru Clarksville and stopped at Silke's German Cafe and had some coffee and a slice of Black Forest Cake in addition to buying some bread and croissants to take home.


I cast on for a new project......the Lace Ribbon Scarf from Knitty. I am knitting it with Shibui Sock yarn, 100% superwash merino in the Mulberry colorway (S229), a wine color. I cast-on 5 different times and kept messing up. I was watching Laurel and Hardy's Saps at Sea movie and just kept losing track of where I was. I think it's an easy pattern to remember I just kept losing my place and it's not an easy one to tink because of the YO's. Maybe I need to use some stitch markers.