Just a place where I can sit and write my thoughts on my newest passion. . . . . knitting. Hopefully, I will better document my progress throughout knitting and get in touch with others as obsessed as I am!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas.

So, here in the States, Thanksgiving has come and gone. We certainly have had lots of family, lots of friends and lots of food to be thankful for. My little threesome of a family celebrated at my DH's stepsister's. We usually head off to the in-laws by she hosted this year instead. My MIL enjoyed the holiday immensely this year as she was outright forbidden in the kitchen. SSIL and I finished up the few last minute things. I even made my FIL happy by carving the turkey and allowing him to remain seated watching football and drinking beer. Ah, it's the simple pleasures in life that are truly blissful, aren't they? Tee hee.

On the knitting front, I have gotten myself into full gear. I've finished 1 of 4 teacher scarves, 1 of 3 (or 4) pairs of socks, 0 of 3 hats (I had only 2 on the list until Thanksgiving when SBIL decided he'd like a skull cap as well) and I have 2 other family scarves to make also (an additional one added for the SBIL to go with his add-on skull cap). YIKES! So much to do in such little time. Well, the teacher scarves are a MUST as well as 1 of the hats (for a male teacher). All others are advised that they are "in the queue". All's fair in christmas knitting, that's my motto. Which brings me to my next knitting quandry. . . read on:

Christmas tree 1 of 2 was up and decorated on Friday. That would be the artificial tree that I put up in the living room. As DS refers to it "the fancy tree". You all know the one, the one with all the coordinating ornaments to match the decor (or somewhat match)of the room. Not a single hand-made, family heirloom, "cutesy" ornament in site. Elegant and picturesque. Planned look from the very inception right down to the last ornament. Beautiful but just for show.

Christmas tree 2 of 2 has been bought, put up, watered and is "falling" as we speak. This would be the natural tree that will hold all the handmade, sentimental, heirloom, etc. ornaments. I put this one up in the family room (as DS refers to it "the family tree"). We went Douglas fir this year. Wanted Blue Spruce but they were either too scrawny or WAY too tall. So, douglas fir it is. We will light and decorate that one tomorrow after we see where all the branches land (i.e. where all the huge, gaping holes are) and we settle on it's location (i.e. turn the holes to the wall away from sight). Oops, flight of ideas. Let's get back on track. . .

SO, I pulled out all our homey type ornaments. This is an annual ritual for me. When DH and I were first married, we bought plenty of plain multicolored glass ornaments for our tree. Each year we bought (and still buy) a dated ornament to add to the collection. When DS was born, we started buying a dated ornament for him as well as for ourselves. Sometimes we buy a single ornament for us and a single ornament for him. Sometimes we buy multiple ornaments because they represent something special in our lives at the time or a special memory (new baby, new house, etc.). Each year I carefully divide out the ornaments. Ours, DS's and the "filler" ornaments (the plain multi-colored glass ones). Then I organize the dated ornaments by year (to account for them all). As I do this I reflect on what was happening in our lives at the time/year of each purchase. Where there lots of ups or some downs that influenced the ornament choice? What were we doing at the time? Where were we geographically? Where did we spend those holidays? Etc., etc.... All the dated ornaments are hung first and then filler ornaments as needed - last year we didn't use a single filler, HA! ;-P

Again, let's get back on track. Each year, I enjoy and look forward to this little ritual. It allows me to look back on my life and reflect on all that has come to pass, for better or for worse. I look at the ornaments and remember the hope of each Christmas season and the dreams that I had at the time of each holiday passing.

SO, what does all this have to do with knitting you might ask? Well, when I was totally obsessed with cross-stitch I made several ornaments and I even bought some cross-stitch themed ornaments. I would now like to make some knitted ornaments and/or purchase some knitting themed ornaments. So, what do all of you, my dear friends, suggest for this undertaking? Do you know of any knitted ornament patterns? I've seen some felted ball patterns but I didn't know if there was anything else that you all might come up with or ideas that you've all done that you can share. Anyone know of any commercially made knitting themed ornaments? Let me know what you all got. Thanks!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Second time in as many months. . . .

I'm in the paper again. They don't show them online, but they ran a picture of the patient wearing her hat and a picture of me at Birds knitting on a cap. Funny, I've never been in the paper my whole life and this makes it twice now. I was glad for the story as I hope to be able to gain more volunteers for the patients, more donations of yarn and more business for the shop. I love that shop. Gotta help them out whenever I can, y'know?

On the knitting front, I finished another baby cap. I forgot to take a picture of it before I gave it to the mom so I will just describe. This one was another blue and white one for the newest baby in my unit's family. I used cotton ease and lion brand suede. Nice combo actually. Very soft lines with the suede in it. This hat was especially dear because the baby was a bit premature, had to stay in the hospital longer than mom and then returned to the hospital less than 12 hours after being discharged. He was VERY sick with a blood infection and had to be life-flighted to our local children's hospital. He was a tough little booger though and is now home and raising all sorts of heck. You GO Sam!!

I have now set a precedent. Every nurse on my units knows that I will knit them a unique baby cap when a baby is born (child or grandchild). It's kinda cool actually because they 'get' how I let the cap tell me what it wants to look like. Problem is that a couple of the moms now want hats to match their babies. YIKES! That may be a bit much. We'll see.

I got the yarn for my Charlotte's Web. If any of you remember, I had bought 5 skeins of Koigu PPPM way back when while on vacation in Toronto. I had decided then to do it all in one colorway. It's in my stash. I've been thinking about it. I want to do the 5 different colors. So, off I went and ordered more KPPPM online. Tee hee! I am such a yarn ho! Really, it's bad. Aweful actually. I could open up my on mini shop and be in business for a few months before I had to get more inventory. Really. No, REALLY! I would be embarassed to even begin to shoot pix of the stash. Besides, DH would die if I pulled it all out at one time.

Last but not least, I received the second set of my stitch markers from the Switch Marker Swap. Here they are:

Aren't those so cool???? I love the way the wire is wrapped around the bottom beads. Very Very cool. Thanks Mandy. I just love them!