Monday, December 29, 2008

The Things I Did Right in 2008 Contest

Each year we make New Year's resolutions and each year we break them - leaving us feeling guilty and depressed. Oh sure, we could, of course, choose not to break our resolutions and then it would be a positive thing, but hey, sometimes we don't even have enough energy to empty the dishwasher, much less lose weight, exercise more, recycle everything, organize our lives, finish all those UFOs, de-clutter our houses, and solve the world's hunger problems. So, for this contest, instead of telling me what your New Year's Resolutions for 2009 are, post a comment telling me about the good things you did accomplish in 2008. You know, like you never once lost your car at the mall in 2008 (well, okay, only once). Or maybe you can actually walk into your craft room without tripping (that's one I can't claim), or, since this is a knitting blog, maybe you learned a new stitch, or finally mastered the art of knitting lace (can't claim that one either), or knit your first pair of socks (or a sock). You get the idea. A comment here gets you one entry in the contest. A link to my contest (grab my contest button) on your blog gets you two entries. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on January 15 and gets to choose.........

Behind door #1.........

Knit One Felt Too, plus two skeins of my favorite felting wool -Paton's Classic or........



Behind Door #2...........


Knitted Flowers by Nicky Epstein plus one skein of Plymouth Indiecita Baby Alpaca Worsted or.......



Behind door #3.....


A Tote bag with a surprise inside.


So tell me what you did right in 2008!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Surprise


What a surprise when the mailman came to the door this morning with another package. I thought that all the packages I was expecting had already arrived but this was one I wasn't expecting! It was from my friend Patty in Florida (who I'm sure wishes she had some of the snow we have on the ground here). Inside were these crocheted snowflakes (I'm guessing her DH crocheted them - he does the most beautiful work!) and this beautiful lighthouse ornament. Patty knows that I collect lighthouses, and that this one will stay out on my shelf all year long. Thanks so much Patty - what a great way to start off the day!


It's Christmas Eve Day - and as you can see, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care. I bought the teddy bear stockings the year the twins were born, and even though they are 15 now I'm still using them. Tori's is the smaller one - but believe me, it is filled so tight it is bursting at the seams. I'm thinking that next year I may retire the baby stockings and knit them each one that they can take with them when they leave home (which I hope won't be for at least 10 more years!).


The presents are wrapped and under the tree - do you think there will be enough? I never think there are enough - but there has to come a time when done is done - and Christmas Eve is that time! I try to use gift bags and decorative boxes that don't have to be wrapped as much as I can - they usually come back to me the next year with presents for me in them!


A very merry Christmas Eve to all of you!











Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I am so spoiled..........




I received a package from my Whoduknit Holiday Swap pal today. The swap was to include a handcrafted ornament, a holiday themed mystery, a holiday recipe, and a treat. Sharon send me that and a whole lot more - come on over to the whoduknit blog to read all the details!



Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Goodies from Norway



Look at the goodies that arrived from Norway today! It is all from my dear friend Vigdis who is a member of my Whoduknit Group. She sent all of these goodies to use a prizes in our mystery and project contests......and, she said I could pick out some for myself too! There is wool, alpaca, cotton, sock yarn, bulky yarn, lace weight yarn, plus some knitting books and cross stitch books. She also sent some of her beautiful hand made stitch markers and dpn holders. It must be Christmas!!!!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Winter Wonderland

We woke to a winter wonderland this morning. The first significant snow of the winter. The first snow is always pretty, but by March it gets pretty old! We were away this weekend and I didn't get my mail until this morning- and what a treat! In it was my package from my Knitting Circle SP, who turned out to be Kathleen.
She made me a pair of really pretty, comfy slippers and some fingerless mitts (which I am wearing now) I've been wanting to make myself a pair but just haven't found the time so I was very excited to get them. She also sent some hot cocoa mix and a book called Murder Can Crash Your Party - both just perfect for a snowy day. And can you see the knitting ball ornament in the picture - how cute is that?!


One of the reasons I haven't had time to knit myself a pair of fingerless mitts is because I was getting ready for a craft fair. Last Thursday night was the annual Christmas Shopping night for our town and the 8th grade class always sponsors a craft fair to earn money for their trip. I did pretty well (if I don't stop to think about the amount of time I spent knitting all the stuff I sold!) I found that using pretty manikin heads (leftover from my DDs beauty school days) helped attract customers, who said "I want to look like that!" LOL. Some of the things I sold were felted bags (you've seen enough of them on my blog!) and felted hats, headbands, scarves, cowls




One lady walked away wearing this felted hat (after paying for it of course) and it looked so cute on her - she was good advertising also!
I sold a lot more than I expected to - and now I have more money for yarn!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Christmas Calendar

This is really neat - A Christmas Countdown Calendar from Garnstudio with a knitting pattern for each day. Only problem is, you can't peak ahead!
And a question for you. My DH went to the town office to renew his registration and a friend of mine who works there and reads my blog asked him to ask me what DH means. DH does not read my blog - (would have no idea how to get to my blog even if he wanted to) but his guess was 'Damn Husband'.

So what does DH mean to you?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Craft Fairs


One of my favorite things about the holiday season are the craft fairs. I love to go and browse all the wonderful handmade items for sale.
I always have to walk around the whole craft fair a couple of times before deciding on my purchases. I usually see a lot of things that I want to go home and try to make myself. The things I buy are usually things I either don't know how to make, or have no interest in making and would rather pay for another crafter's fine workmanship! I went to a couple of craft fairs this weekend and picked up this beautiful quilted table runner for my sister - it's reversible so it can be used after Christmas as well. The little Santa ornaments are painted on the back of spoons and the handles of the spoon are bent down for hangers. These and the snowman ornament will probably be for swaps at staff holiday parties. The bag in the back is for me. They were being sold as Bingo bags - apparently avid bingo players (up here it is called beano - I'm not sure why, but I think it has something to do with the bean suppers that often accompanied bingo games in the past) anyway - they use the pockets around the sides for their daubers (the things they use to mark their paper bingo sheets. I was informed that they like to use all different colors - the reason for all the pockets. I'm not sure what they use the inside of the bag for - maybe their money? I looked at these bags and saw 'knitting bag' written all over them.
Knitting needles, crochet hooks, tape measure, stitch markers, etc. can go in the pockets, and the project in the bag of course.
Now I have to get things ready for my own craft table at our school's holiday craft fair. Do any of you do craft fairs? This will only be the second one I've ever done, and I'm not sure about pricing. Any advice? I'm selling mostly felted bags, but I have some scarves, neckwarmers, headbands, things like that.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snowy Saturday

We're getting our first snow of the season today - I don't think it will amount to much, but it's been snowing since early this morning and the roads are 'greasy' so I'm staying hom and Christmas shopping on line - my favorite way to do it!








I'm also trying to get my Holiday swaps put together and in the mail early. For one of the swaps (won't say which one although I don't think my pal knows who I am) I made this cowl and

"Calorimetry" (headband)


















And look who stopped by to model the Calorimetry I made for her?
I was going to save it for Christmas but she arrived hatless and I couldn't wait to see how it looked on her.
So....cute!








She's a perfect model!















Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rainy Sunday



But at least it's not white - I'm not ready for snow yet! And it's a great day to knit and read and be lazy.
I finished the HMGA mystery #3 and never guessed at what it was until the last clue. It's a hoodie with a neckwarmer - very cute. But also very big. I'm thinking of felting it a little bit since I knit it with wool.
This will be great for recess duty on cold days this winter! So I probably won't be gifting it.


I also finished another small HMGA - this adorable ornament. I used Aunt Lydia's crochet thread in gold. I'm going to make more, some in silver too, but it can also be knit in sock yarn. I think it would be really cute in a self-patterning sock yarn.

I'm in a couple of holiday swaps and I think a few of these would be great in a package along with some other goodies.
That ticker at the top of my blog is beginning to scare me! As usual, my goal of handknit gifts for everyone is not going to be met!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

We had a Veteran's Day assembly at school yesterday. The Cub Scouts led us in the Flag Salute, the National Anthem, and sang God Bless the USA. They also read papers they wrote on what Veteran's Day means to them and a few local veteran's spoke. It was simple but very moving.



So today please join me in giving thanks to all of our veterans past and present, (including my DH who served 22 years in the Navy) and praying for those serving in the current war to come home safe and soon.

And oh yes, I'm thankful for a day off in the middle of the week too!



The picture on the right is my father who fought in WWII.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Whatcha Building?

I don't think my DH really understands my compulsive knitting, but he has never complained about it (probably because I have pointy sticks in my hands). He does try to take an interest and often when I settle down in my favorite chair to watch t.v. and knit he will look over and ask "Watcha building?" So I tell him it's another felted bag, or a scarf, or a hat, or socks or whatever, and he says, "Oh, that's nice." Last night he asked "whatcha building" and I said, "I don't know" - "You don't know?" "Nope - I have no idea. It's a mystery knit and I'm on Clue #5 of 7 and I don't have a clue what it is." I think he's more confused than ever about my knitting now! This is Mystery Knit #3 from the Holiday Mystery Gifts KAL Group


Clue #1 said the size is Adult Female - Well - I don't think it's going to fit this adult female! I have two more clues to go - and I can't wait to see what it is. This group is so much fun.


These two gift bag got a much better response from DH - he thought they were very pretty. They are the Evergreen and Christmas Rose gift bags from Handknit Holidays. I love them too - almost too much to give away!







And, yes, I do have another felted bag on the needles, and a second sock, and a project for Whoduknit, and a neck-warmer.............




Maybe I do knit too much? Nah....


that's not possible. I just wish I could figure out a way to knit more - so much yarn, so many patterns, and so little time!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

SURPRISE!!!!





What's the best way to surprise someone with a birthday party? Have it a month before their birthday! My DD invited us to their lake house for dinner last night and since it was my DHs birthday last week I figured she would probably have a birthday cake for him. My sister and her dh were up from NJ visiting so they came too and when we opened the door there was a large box wrapped in birthday paper - and then....out popped Tori yelling surprise. It took me awhile to figure it out but it was a birthday party for my dh, me, my sister, and her dh. All the birthdays in Nov. Dec. & January taken care of!

And, not just any party- but a "Casino Night" with dice and card games, bingo, and prizes! The whole place was decorated in a Casino theme - the kids were wearing 'casino night'
t-shirts with 'staff' on them. And even Casper was dressed for the occasion.!
What a great surprise!







Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A few WIPs and FOs

Another felted bag in progress.
I'm trying to get a few finished in time for a holiday craft fair at the school next month.



I'm knitting this mock cable neck warmer with the Araucania yarn I have left over from my fidget neck warmer and I think I will have just enough. If not, it will become a headband!






This was a mystery knit on the Holiday Mystery Gift-Along Group. I had no idea what it was even after I finished it - looked like a miniature slipper. But when the photo was revealed - it turned out to be a chapstick holder keychain. What a great stocking stuffer! What a great group this is!



Here is Mspalmtree's Traveling Scarf (Noro Combo Group 37) I added the panel on the bottom - this time I added on to the original panel in crochet.

Hope you like it Nancy!



And, yet another felted bag (I can truly knit these in my sleep.



Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween

OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD (Teenage version!)
WHITCH WITCH AM I?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Wild and Wooly Night

The wind howled all night and we woke up to no power and tree branches down all over the yard.
This is pretty much the end of this tree, there is not much left standing, so DH will be cutting it down next week and cutting up the branches for fire wood.

Fortunately nothing was hit by the branches - not even our grill was damaged.

I do believe this is the end of our foliage though!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Traveling Scarves Spoilers



The scarf on the top is Deebunks scarf - my addition is at the top of the picture and you can't see it very well, so not much of a spoiler! It's a fan & feather stitch in Noro Silk Garden. I mailed that one out yesterday and when I got home there was another scarf waiting for me. I added the piece at the bottom in Noro Kuryon in the same fan & feather. What can I say - I think Noro is perfect for the fan & feather! I have to add some goodies to the package and 'grandma's' scarf will be back in the mail next week. This is really a fun swap. I can't wait to see what my finished scarf will look like. If you are wondering what this is all about - check out the Traveling Scarves Group on Ravelry.
Speaking of Ravelry groups - On my Survivor group I still have one Survivor left - Marcus, and my couple on the Amazing Race Ravelry Group, Terrence and Sarah came in 2nd last week - so they are still in it. As for my Red Sox Knitter's Ravelry Group - well all I can say is wait until last year! But they made it exciting - down to the wire in game 7 - with that amazing comeback in game 5 - so we love them still!



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Costume Parades and Alpacas

Look what I found at the Harvest Ho Down - some Alpacas ....from a new Alpaca farm right here in my town.
These are two of their alpacas, Salt and Pepper. The first thing I wanted to know was what they do with their fleece! They haven't done anything with it yet, but plan to have it processed and spun as soon as they can find a place to do it. They are such gentle animals.
This is my grandson talking to and petting them.
My DH wants to know if I want to get some - he thinks he's being funny, but I do think it would cut down on the grass mowing. Maybe when I retire?
And here is poor Casper dressed as King Casper for the pet parade - he wasn't very happy, but did win a dog biscuit.


And the costume parade - the mermaid with the purple hair is Tori.

Mysteries and Fidgets

Mystery Project #2 is in progress on the Holiday Mystery Gift-Along The clues are being given in both knit and crochet instructions, and I've chosen to crochet this time. These mystery KALs are so much fun, especially since I am usually clueless until the end as to what they will become. These are the first 3 clues - any guesses?

I finished my figet made from the Araucania handpainted Wool/Alpaca/Silk blend yarn. I'm not crazy about the buttons and will probably change them if I can find some I like better. I used this Fidget pattern, but it is basically a 5 1/2" x 23" rectangle with buttonholes at one end and buttons an the bottom side of the other. It can be made with any pattern and any yarn, in knit or crochet - the possibilities are endless! And I think they make great little gifts. This one might stay with me!

I'll be back later with pictures from the Harvest Hoedown at the local community center going on this afternoon. It is a beautiful day for it!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Discoveries & Three Day Weekends







Even though I know Christopher Columbus didn't really discover American (how can you discover a country that already has people living in it?) And some historians believe there was a little hanky panky going on between him and Queen Isabella, I'm still grateful to him for the three day weekend!






While watching the Amazing Race last night (my couple, Terrence and Sarah, finished third so I'm still in the Ravelry contest!) I knit up some baby pumpkins. These were a 'blast from the past' on the Holiday Mystery Gift-Along Group. They are filled with rice and very squishy. You can squeeze them, and change their shapes, and my grandchildren, even the teenagers, will love them! There is also a "shooting star" pattern up (one that will only last a week) for some awesome knit and crochet masks that I will have to make.

If you've been reading my blog for awhile, you probably have heard my sad story about how the grammar school I had taught at for 22 years was closed down due to mold found in the walls, and how we moved lock, stock, and kids, into a neighboring grammar school where we have been packed in for the past 5 years. Our new school is finally becoming a reality. My grandson took these aerial shots from my SIL's plane this weekend. So far it is on schedule to open in September! It's an absolutely gorgeous spot!



Hope you are all enjoying a long weekend too!