Posts Tagged knitting

21 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 7

Projects Complete: 6

Total Presents to Complete: 23

Although my numbers haven’t changed, I have been making loads of progress.  One of M’s fingerless mitts is complete, and the other should be finished today or tomorrow.  The shawl I am actively working on only has six more rows of the lace border before moving into the stockinette short row shaping, so this should also be finished tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I have gotten a few more rows of my fathers sweater done. All-in-all, I’m not too bad off.

Another thing to point out, though I have seventeen presents remaining, I am only knitting for twelve people.  I have completed presents for five of the twelve… so as long as I complete seven more projects by Christmas, everyone will have at least one present.  Seven isn’t nearly as bad as seventeen.  So my strategy at this point is to work my way through the presents I need to complete so that everyone on my list has a gift, then I will go back and complete the outstanding presents if there is time.  If not, maybe M and I will just make them a lovely handmade card to go with their gift… and pretend like that’s the same.

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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.

, , , , , ,

Leave a comment

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!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

35 Days ’til Christmas

Maybe it’s just me, but every Christmas there is a gift that I am uncertain about, no matter the reason.  Now that I’ve added knitting to my gift bags, it seems like there is always one project that doesn’t turn out right, or just doesn’t get finished in time.  Last Christmas, I had such a project.  It was suppose to be a pair of flip-top mittens for my brother-in-law.  I had the perfect yarn and I was so excited about them, but they were to be my first pair of adult mittens and made from a less-than-clear pattern.  I finally gave into the fact that I would not have these ready by Christmas, put them aside and knit him a hat instead (which M promptly destroyed and no one told me, so a replacement hat must be made as well).

I did tell him about the failure and decided I would have him try on the almost completed first mitten so that I could eventually finish them and be certain they would fit. I remember them being a touch big, but still measuring out how large the flip-top would need to be, with every intention to finish them.  Of course, they have sat for almost an entire year.  Upon pulling them out to finish the first and being the second I made the realization.  I am completely crazy.  THIS MITTEN IS ENORMOUS! The palm alone covers my entire hand! I have freakishly long fingers…. No human beings hand would fit in this, unless the flip-top was only one quarter of an inch tall.  It’s just ridiculous.  Let’s not even talk about the width.

Though I keep telling myself that this error is solely due to the fact that I didn’t try it on any male human during the process… I know that a lot of it has to do with the experience I have gained over the last year.  I am now at a point where I want things to, I don’t know, actually fit their recipient. Silly, I know, but everyone has their quirks.  So I’m frogging the mitten.  Since I have had a year apart from it… it won’t be too painful, but I need to start re-knitting soon if he is ever going to receive these mittens.  Otherwise, it is likely he will only get the replacement hat this year, pushing them off for another year, when I’m sure something else will go wrong.

, , , ,

Leave a comment

36 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 5

Total Presents to Complete: 30

I seem to have finally hit my stride! Another project done and another cast on.. and they are even for family members.

The hat is a simple 1×1 rib watch cap with a three-needle bind off after a few decrease rows.  I love the colorway since it is a manly brown, but with enough variation to create interest… for me to knit. I cast on a 2×2 rib cowl with the remainder of this yarn to either go to the same recipient or another. Either way, I felt like today was a win.   Only 25 presents to go!

, , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

39 Days ’til Christmas!

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 3

Total Presents to Complete: 27

That’s right, we have less than 40 days to get all of our shopping, baking and crafting completed.  I may still have quite a lot of knitted projects to go, but I’m actually on schedule.  Looking at the numbers, though, that sounds crazy.  However, 3 of the 6 cowls are finished. One of the sweaters is half way done and another has about the first fourth completed.  The first of two shawls is nearly complete, I only need to attempt to purchase more yarn for the edging and to bind off.  In all, the major, time-consuming projects are well on their way.

The other projects I am attempting to complete will either have simpler patterns or a bulkier yarn so as to make them quicker knits.  Though I am keeping a list and re-prioritizing and redrawing out my schedule nearly every other day, just to reassure myself that I can finish everything in time… I am definitely feeling the pressure.  Especially since the door decoration seems to have slowed down to an intolerable pace…. More to come on that this weekend.

I hope your Thanksgiving preparations are going well! Pretty soon it will be normal for everyone to be talking about Christmas!

, , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

41 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 3

Total Presents to Complete: 26

Do you feel it yet? Is the pressure on? It certainly is here! So how am I coping with the fact that I only have 41 days to complete my goals? That’s simple: I am COMPLETELY enjoying everything Christmas.  Music, check.  Movies, check. Eggnog and hot apple cider, check and check.  I might be making the season longer than “normal” people do, but why not cherish and enjoy it as much as possible?

One of my favorite holiday pass times – just ADDING Christmas movies to our Amazon Prime watchlist.  It may not have all the Christmasy goodness that Netflix does (from what I hear), but it has some of the wonderful movies I’ve grown to love and adore each holiday season. The other – my “Baby It’s Cold Outside” Pandora station – full of Christmas music and available all year round….. not that I listen to it all year… right.

But curling up under a blanket to watch Holiday Inn or listen to Ella Fitzgerald certainly gets me in the mood to do some holiday crafting.  So tell me, what are your holiday favorites, be it movies, music or anything that gets you excited for the season?  I may need some new inspiration once I’ve gone through all of mine…around halfway to Christmas!

, , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

42 Days ’til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 3

Total Presents to Complete: 26

With our door decoration well on its way (by that I mean maybe 6 inches tall), I am in the decorating mood! We got our first artificial Christmas tree over the weekend – a lovely 6.5 foot pre-lit Aspen Pine.  M also chose a beautiful holiday welcome mat and an in-your-face hip hop animated Santa and Elves decoration.  The tree is now official set up and in it’s semi-permanent place for the season and the beloved decorations are put in their places of honor.  We are ready.

Well, M is ready.  I, of course, still have to finish our door decoration and twenty three more presents. Though we still have plenty more decorating to do, including hanging ornaments on the tree and putting up lights… well, everywhere, Christmas is certainly present in our apartment.  There seems to be nothing better than sitting next to a lit Christmas tree and knitting gifts for loved ones.

Up next: the joys of Christmas music while crafting. 🙂

, , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

My Little Crafter

After struggling to put out a post that captures all of my daughter’s enthusiasm towards crafting, I decided to dedicate the majority of this post to photos and videos.

As a single parent, I try to do my best to balance normal toddler activities with my daughter and crafting time. But let’s face it, she’s growing up in an environment revolved around crafting…. that is the part that isn’t revolved around her. Luckily, she really embraces it.

Giving some love to a swap gift

She even loves modeling finished projects when I forget to have someone take a picture for me:

Beyond creating any form of art with craft supplies, she has found that they are some of her new favorite toys for imaginative play.  Just last night she decided to dump out all of our buttons and sort them into families, having the buttons talk to each other and “find each other”. Little buttons went searching clear across the bed for their moms, dads, brothers and sisters, asking for help from other buttons along the way.

M also partakes in her own knitting during my knitting or spinning time.  She often takes out some of “her” yarn and sits with me, pretending to knit.  She often creates projects that she’s making and let’s me know to whom the finished items will go.

That being said, she definitely has a love for a ladybug in our lives – my spinning wheel.  Back in the days when I would take a spinning break during her naps on weekends, she would wake up and sneak into my lap, slowly sliding her feet down to the treadles to “help” me.  This has now evolved to her going up to my wheel asking to spin.  I set it up so that any project I was working on was entirely on the bobbin so she could treadle by herself and nothing would get in the way.

Recently, she asked if she could spin her own yarn.  After months of treadling by herself, I decided adding the next step wouldn’t hurt.  I predrafted some fiber I had received during my wheel spinning class so that she could spin without needing to draft at the same time.  She sat down and went to it:

I think her first handspun is beautiful and definitely going in the scrapbook…. though I might be biased.

, , , , ,

1 Comment

Jumpstart Into Fall!

Everything.  No, really, everything is inspiring my knitting right now.  Every time I turn around, I see something that even slightly reminds me of a project I am knitting, a project I want to knit, or a design I have started mulling over.  I am not a huge fan of summer, so just the thought that it is ending is sending my head spinning over all of the possibilities.  I keep planning trips in my head to go apple picking with M, wine tasting at my favorite local vineyard, and heading to a pumpkin patch for some extra fall fun.  But even thinking about these wonderful fall activities, reminds me of all of the knitting I want to accomplish.

So I just started casting on everything.  To the point where I am running out of needles.  I asked my father to purchase an interchangeable needle set for me for Christmas (along with some sweaters’ worth of yarn) and nearly broke down when I turned them over to him after the package arrived.  “I NEED THOSE NEEDLES NOW!” I keep screaming in my head.  It doesn’t help that M and I managed to break two sizes of my current interchangeable set, so I’m already down two potential projects!  Not to mention, a lot of these hopeful projects do require the same size needles.  I have been pretty restraint in my needle buying over my ten years of knitting, and there are only a few sizes where I have more than just the one interchangeable size.  Then there’s the problem of how many cables I have for the interchangeables.  

Since everything keeps getting in the way of me casting on every project that’s ever existed, I am trying to set timelines for me to actually finish the projects I currently have on the needles.  The first project, though technically off the needles, is a button up cowl… that only needs the two buttons.   This would maybe take me five minutes to complete so I could gift it to its recipient, and yet, I just cannot seem to do it.  Then, I have a finished shawl, awaiting to be sent off to another friend, if I could only weave in the ends.  Completing this project would take, max, ten minutes, and that includes printing a shipping label.

As for the projects on the needles, I am proud to say I finally picked up for the button band of a baby sweater I’ve been working on since the beginning of July.  The goal is to finish it by Friday, or everyone in my life can yell at me.  I’ve already told my daughter, “an acceptable time to yell at Mommy, when she doesn’t finish this baby sweater this week.”  She’s totally on it. She’s already started practicing yelling at me.  Just in case.

I already have two very large Christmas presents on the needles, both almost halfway complete.  Luckily, one is my commuting knitting.  It is traveling everywhere with me so that I can get in a few random stitches here and there and work on it during my lunch break.  This is not a project I’m worried about completing.  The other present was coming along, until I realized it was going to be a present… and not for me.  Then it took a back burner to the baby sweater.  But it’s looming over me.  So as soon as the first is off the needles, this will move into it’s place as the commuting knitting.

However, the most important and time sensitive knitting.  The one thing that should have a clear external and internal motivator is proving to be the most difficult to be consistent on.  M’s birthday sweater.  She turns three at the end of October and has been asking for a new sweater.  I have had the yarn for said sweater for almost a year and a half.  It’s time.  After casting on and then tearing out one cardigan, I finally found one worthy.  And it is the most complicated pattern.  Clearly, I want to knit all of the things in the world… and use absolutely NO brain power to do it.  I want this cardigan done.  To the point that I have printed out the pattern multiple times, cutting and pasting charts, writing and rewriting row numbers along the charts, and thinking about completely rewriting the entire pattern to try and make it a more portable project.  It’s just not happening.  But I LOVE this pattern.  I NEED my daughter to wear this cardigan.  So I have planned out a strict schedule for knitting this project that gives me a finish date a month before her birthday, so when I utterly FAIL I’ll still have a month to get it done.  Here’s hoping!

Then of course, I have a couple other projects going for christmas presents, ideas for holiday gifts for all of my coworkers (which is just absurd and likely to not actually happen, but they will be cast on…), and an idea for my Christmas door decorating that will be addressed in a future post.  I’d also like to knit about five sweaters for myself. I don’t think I have ever made so many lists over and over again of what I want to knit.  Trying to prioritize and desperately trying to NOT LET MYSELF CAST IT ALL ON! But Fall gets to me and, for now, I don’t see an end in sight until after the holidays.

, , , , , , , ,

1 Comment