Saying goodbye to 2012

It's sad to see a year pass by, especially so quickly, but it's always exciting to me to welcome a new year and all the possibilities the new year brings.  Before I start talking about what 2013 will bring, here are a few words to say goodbye to 2012.

It has been a productive year on the knitting front. I actually started and finished 14 knit projects in 2012.  Thanks to Big Huge Labs (link), I'm able to create and save a mosaic of the pictures of my projects.

From left to right:
  1. Sweet Baby Sweater
  2. Mae Day Dress
  3. Summer Flies Shawl
  4. Baby Fern Lace Cowl/Hood
  5. Wingspan
  6. Yoked Baby Cardigan
  7. Baktus
  8. Flat Bear
  9. Dishcloths and Tribble
  10. Portland Hoodie Cowl
  11. Baktus (extended stitch)
  12. Baby Surprise Jacket
  13. Trousseau
  14. Pie Wedge Shawl
  15. remaining pics are some of my own handspun that was spun this year
I'm pleased with my projects this year. I think I have made good progress with my techniques and I've learned a few new things as well.

Overall, 2012 was a good year. I've been at my job for 12 months now and it's gone really well. I appreciate them and they appreciate my abilities, that's always a good thing. I've said goodbye to some friends and family that have moved away and although we still keep in touch, they are no longer nearby.  I've done some re-organizing and decluttering in my home, bought a new freezer and refrigerator, and nearly finished the office which makes it now a wonderfully cozy room.

2013 brings some new adventures. I'm having both knees replaced, one at a time.  Although I wanted to do them at the same time, the Doc strongly recommended against it because of the increased chance of blod clots. So, I agreed to do one at a time.  The first will be sometime at the end of Feb/first of March and then the second one I'm planning on mid-August. I have to call them next week to schedule.  I know the surgery will bring pain initially, but there is light at the end of this tunnel of pain I've been enduring.  I look forward to being able to walk without pain again, and be able to stand up for longer periods of time to cook, go up and down stairs without having to do one foot at a time.  There will be no vacation time in 2013 because I'll be using it along with Short-Term Disability during my knee replacements, but I'll try to make use of some free time during the STD period.  Stay tuned for updates on the knees.

Happy New Year to all of you and I look forward to chatting with you in the new year!

Mae Day Dress

With no recipient in mind, I first started this dress because I wanted to try out the smocking section. I could have just knit a swatch and try out that smocking pattern, but I thought I might as well make a baby dress and try out the smocking at the same time.  The pattern calls for a Vickie Howell yarn and I had some Vickie Howell Rock on hand. So that's what I used. It's not the softest of yarns, it's a hemp, soy, wool combination. It was not an easy yarn with which to try the smocking stitch. Maybe the smocking stitch isn't easy in any yarn, I just can't comment on that. It's not a pattern that I'll be doing again. I think the dress is adorable, but once I was done with the smocking stitch.......well, I was bored. I persevered and finished it, but it's not a do-over.  This picture is pre-washing. I have it soaking now in a little bit of shampoo, so we'll see if that helps soften it a little.  This is my last finished project for 2012.
I have been working on more UFO's.  The Patches Baby Sweater #2 and the Knit 1 Below Cowl.  I love the way the Knit 1 Below cowl looks, but I'm not enjoying the 1x1 rib. Waaaaaay too much back and forth movement. I will continue though. I've got 5 inches done and I have to have 12 inches. argh.

Our first snow for the season

Yes, we had snow come our way. Not sure how much we'll get overall, but it was pretty this morning. Fat, fluffy and wet flakes....the kind that sticks to the trees.....BEAUTIFUL!!!

Joyeux Noel to all.......

I hope that you are having a very Merry Christmas. I know some of you are enjoying a white Christmas, so be careful if you have to drive in it.

I have been working on some UFO's and in addition to the Trousseau that I finished knitting on Thursday, yesterday I finished the Mae Day dress.  All ends are woven in and the I-cord straps are done. It looks lovely although the fabric is a little stiff. I hope that soaking it will help soften it.  Picture to come later.

Today I will be doing a little turkey and some potatoes for DH and I. nothing fancy. I made a cheese ball on Saturday and we have been enjoying munching on that. It's been awhile since I made one. 

Today I will finish some laundry, make gel air fresheners, maybe block the Trousseau, organize my 2013 calendar and who knows what else I'll get into.

A Merry Christmas to all of you!

Happy Holidays one and all

First, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. For those of you in Iowa and other parts of the midwest, enjoy the barrage of snow and please be careful if you have to go out. Safe travels to those of you who travel to see friends and family.

I'm going to try and have a relaxing holiday, eat a little turkey, some green beans, taters, and a little pie.  I'm planning on getting some knitting done and some spinning too.  Maybe watch some old movies on TCM (my favorite).

Speaking of knitting, I finished the Yoked Cardigan with hours to spare. No time to take a picture of it at home with the better camera, so here it is with my cell phone in the harsh fluorescent lights at work.  It was well received by the mother. It turned out to be somewhere around a 12-14 month old size which I think is perfect. That way it will fit the baby at some point.

I also bound off my Trousseau last night at knit-night. So, this weekend, I will weave in the ends and do some blocking. I love the way it turned out. It's a beautiful pattern, it just can't be visiting knitting for me. I have to pay attention to what I'm doing.  Pictures will come after blocking.
Otherwise, I'll work on some other UFO's and then I will probably do some charity knitting.
Again, Happy Holidays!!!

Berger Cookies

A client delivered a tin of cookies yesterday to our office.  We assumed the typical sugar cookie, etc.  oh no, not something as bland as that.  This was a light airy cookie that was slathered with a delicious fudge. Can I say YUMMMMMYYYYY?  I can say YUMMMMY when it comes to these cookies. They are fabulous.  They are from Berger Cookies.  Check them out. Obviously they deliver.  I've posted a picture of the cookies so you can see what I'm talking about.  YUUMMMMMMMM
I'm just saying.

Baby Gifts

My DH asked me several weeks ago if I would knit something special for a friend of his who is having their first baby, a girl (he thinks).  I felt honored that he felt proud enough of my knitting to ask, so after some thought, I decided to knit the adorable Yoked Cardigan by Hannah Fettig.  I had purchased this pattern at my LYS after seeing the store model, it is adorable!!!!  It is a multi-size pattern going from a 17-61 inch bust.  It's a genius design too, easy peasy.  I'm using Queensland's Bebe Cotsoy in a lavender pink color.  I would say I'm over 50% done. (Photo to come later)  I'll probably do a hat or booties to go with it, but depends on how much time I have left.

I've been looking at some new blogs too, non-knitting.  I've been getting the sewing bug and there are a lot more blogs about sewing and quilting than there used to be.  I have a new "page" at the top of this blog titled, Non-Knitting Blogs I Read.  I've placed a few of my favorites in there but I'm sure I'll add more.  In my looking around, I found a tutorial on making a lined fabric bucket.  I'm going to make one of these very soon.

Otherwise, on the knitting front, I had to put the finishing of the Trousseau to the side so that I could work on the baby shower gift. I've also got a pair of black socks I'm working on with Knitpicks Swish.

Update on my kitchen re-do. All new three appliances have been delivered, installed, cleaned and already in use.  A very tiring endeavor but oh so worth it.  My new fridge is fabulous, it has lots of room, things don't get hidden because I'm just cramming it in there.  The freezer is nicely laid out and the new beverage center is working out nicely as well.  The beverage center would have been helpful with my old side-by-side, but we didn't know about them until we started looking for a new fridge. 

I've also been re-organizing the pantry and I love it. I'm using bins that I've labeled and that's working out perfectly.  I had already been organizing and throwing out old cans before I thought to take a Before picture. So here's a BEFORE pic already in progress.
 And here are the AFTER pictures. I'm not completely done yet as I ran out of White Bins (purchased from Wally World) but it's a good start and I'm pleased with the results.  Now all I have to do is slide the bin out to see what I have and I can place the newly purchased cans in the back of the bin more easily and they won't get lost in the melee.