Archive for November, 2012

26 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 7

Projects Complete: 4

Total Presents to Complete: 26

Despite all of my planning – eventually real life takes over.  Including last night, where M stayed up until 11:30 pm, when I finally gave up trying to put her to sleep and went to bed myself only to have her crawl into my bed and fall asleep in under a minute, I have had little to no knitting time this week.  So I reevaluated my present list and somehow, when I was supposed to be cutting presents, I mean postponing them until people’s birthdays or next Christmas (obviously), I instead ended up only reducing by four presents, but also decided that two completed presents would not actually work as presents.

The items I decided to hold off on are for people who are already getting at least one other Christmas present this year, so they still won’t be presentless.  The two completed projects were removed from the count because they are cowls made out of wool.  Not superwash wool, either.  I just couldn’t think of anyone on my list that would hand wash a cowl that didn’t have a wool sensitivity.  That being said, they might get added back to the list when I decide to give them to M for Christmas just to add to the number of presents she gets to unwrap… clearly every three year old’s favorite part.

So the current project breakdown: 3 sweaters, 2 pairs of slippers, 6 pairs of mitts/mittens, 5 hats, 6 neck-warmers/cowls and 3 wraps/shawls.  Completely more reasonable than before…………..

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A Tribute

Today, there will be no Christmas progress update.  Instead I would like to say a few words to honor an incredible person who left us all very suddenly.  Karrie (aka KnitPurlGurl) was an amazing person who encouraged and uplifted people every day.  Though I only knew her online through plurk, ravelry and her podcast, she had become a dear friend that I was looking forward to meeting in person at next year’s Rhinebeck. 

Her passing was sudden and has shocked our knitting community.  But on RAP (Random Act of Patterns) Tuesday, we have come together to carry on her wonderful spirit, gifting each other her patterns and creating a KAL to knit her Crosswords at the Coffee Shop shawl.  She is loved by so many and will forever be missed; we hold her family in our thoughts and prayers.

This is just one more reminder to make every day count and to truly cherish those around us.

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29 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 5

Total Presents to Complete: 30

The wrap is almost 40 percent complete and I have knit two more inches on my father’s sweater. I am now hoping to finish the wrap by tomorrow and then cast on several more projects that are… a touch more portable. For now: back to the wrap, I’m on a roll!!

How are your holiday preparations coming? Cookies baked? Trees trimmed? Other festivities planned? Let me in on some of your secrets.  And if anyone knows the best way to hang lights on the inside of windows… please comment.  Because every time a string of lights falls, so does my Christmas joy.

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30 Days ‘Til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 5

Total Presents to Complete: 30

That’s right, people, we have one month. The lights may be hung, the tree trimmed, but what good is all of the holiday pretty if there are no packages under the tree? In all honesty, I am not completely present driven, as I truly believe in all that Christmas is about.  However, I adore gift giving.  Even when it’s not Christmas, I love the hunt for the perfect gift, whether store bought or handmade.

With M, I am trying to instill that same feeling toward the Christmas season.  We don’t focus so much on what she wants for Christmas, she’s three, she wants everything. Instead, I’ve been having her sit with me while browsing through Ravelry and pattern books, carefully selecting each project for it’s recipient. So far this seems to be working and it’s nice to get someone else’s input regarding what kind of presents the people in our lives would like.  When she doesn’t quite choose the most practical patterns, we switch over to choosing yarn for the projects.

In terms of progress, I have made some with a new wrap I started with some of the Black Friday yarn and did place the sleeves on waste yarn to continue with just the body of my father’s sweater.  I am hoping to have the wrap done by Wednesday and at least 5 more inches of the sweater’s body done by the end of the week.  That being said, I don’t want M to start to resent Christmas for taking up too much of my time.  Most of my knitting time is still being reserved for Sundays and at night after she’s in bed.

I hope everyone survived any Black Friday shopping and made it out for Small Business Saturday.  But if you are still scrambling, Cyber Monday is still to come… Let me know how you are enjoying the official start of the holiday season!

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31 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 5

Total Presents to Complete: 30

Finally, I’ve had some sweater progress! Because I can knit my father’s Christmas present in front of him, his sweater has made some serious progress over the last three days. I have just four more rows… before I divide for the body.  I know.  There is a lot of this sweater left.  But once I divide the sleeves off and start working straight stockinette in the round, I’m certain it will go faster… I am completely counting on the idea that the purl rows are slowing me down right now as I work back and forth to create the buttonhole section of the henley.  This will totally be done by the new year.

I have definitely started thinking about what projects actually need to be finished, wrapped and under the tree by Christmas.  As for the others, I am planning my holiday season and visiting schedule around when I will be finishing their presents.  25 more presents in 31 days might not be humanly possible, especially since three of them are sweaters, but I’m sure by new years I can have everything done, right? Right.

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32 Days ’til Christmas

Black Friday, the knitter’s way:

 

4 am wake up. 5 am in line. 6 am Fibre Space opens. 6:40am inside with 30% discount. 7:15 am 32 skeins of yarn richer and a complete success.

9 skeins of DK, 6 skeins of worsted, 4 skeins of bulky, 9 skeins of super bulky and a set of size 7 DPNs.

Enough said.

Did your Black Friday go as well?

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34 Days ’til Christmas

We’re SO close! You can ALMOST acceptably talk about the holidays without your family, friends and coworkers criticizing you! Obviously, this criticism doesn’t bother me one bit, but YAY YOU! For everyone traveling for Thanksgiving, good luck and I hope you’re safe.  Though M and I did make our way over to my parents’ place for Thanksgiving…. they are only a short drive away.  Does that mean I packed light? No.  Did I only bring one knitting project? Of course not.

When packing to knit in front of the family members you are making gifts for, it is important to plan carefully.  After all, it’s no fun if all of your gifts are revealed.  I am fortunate that one of the very large projects is a sweater carefully picked out for my father…. to the point where we chose the yarn and did a fitting to ensure that it would fit right and actually be worn.  This was a given to be packed.  In addition, I laid out all of my empty project bags and my list of items to knit for the holidays.  I spent a good hour or so matching some projects to yarn and then putting them in an appropriately-sized project bags.

After packing the essentials in my duffle, I started packing project bags.  Aside from the sweater, everything I brought with me is not for M or my parents.  Since most people are not insane and do not make presents for almost everyone in their lives, it is most important that the items packed to work on in front of your loved ones do not give away what they are and who they are for.  So if your mother asked for a lace shawl in a very specific color, maybe don’t bring that project.  Instead bring something in a brown colorway and simple pattern that could be made for any male.

Don’t over think, either.  If your family does not consist of crafters, it is most likely they won’t realize, recognize or even pay enough attention to know what you are working on and if it is for them.  My biggest advice is to keep it simple. You want to spend the holidays with family, not just near them, tucked in a corner, hunched over a pattern.  Find simple gifts to work on that will give you to most output for your time, but won’t take your attention away from the conversation at hand.

Most importantly, make sure to have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your family, friends, food, parades and football!

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