Sunday, November 30, 2008

Crafts New & Old

If this time of year isn't a good time to take stock in one's life, I don't know when is. Not to be sappy, thankfully our family is rich in things that matter a lot to us, like health, love and happiness. Ok, I will admit to being a grump, especially in the last month. BUT, it was nice to convene with my sisters and their families and Thanksgiving and be truly thankful. I feel like what money can't buy, we got. Unfortunately, you also need money, too. But that's another matter, and not one for this post.

I'm also immensely grateful for listening to my inner knitter eight years ago. She was screaming at me to learn how. Although my grandmother had taught me to crochet as a young child, it didn't really 'stick'. I loved to peruse her skeins and skeins of bright acrylic yarn in her attic, though; I definitely remember that.

For the past few years, we've been cutting down our own Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. We like to get a jump on the season, as we both really enjoy Christmastime. And each year, I climb up on a chair and put her at the top of our tree:
Kindergarten Christmas Angel
This is my Christmas angel. I made her in Kindergarten when I was five years old. She is, admittedly, a little worse for the wear. Each year I marvel that her Kleenex wings haven't ripped, however. (And each year I also marvel that I made her at public school.)

Here we are, still crafting 31 years later. The great thing about my blog is that my family doesn't know about it. They can't read what they don't know about, so I can talk about gift knitting to my heart's desire. This is for my mother for Christmas:
Baghdad Blue vest
It's not quite finished, but should be done tonight. It's a Basic Cardigan Vest for Women by Diane Soucy of Knitting Pure & Simple fame. Wow, was this simple. And pure. And knitting. ;) This is Peace Fleece worsted in Baghdad Blue. It's a little more purple than shows here.

I plan to place one button on this vest. I'm actually binding off the front edges with i-cord and I hope to be able to manage an i-cord loop to put around the button. But I've never done that before, so we'll see how it goes. It's amazing what a little undivided attention can accomplish, though.
Jennie The Potter button
I picked this button up at Jennie The Potter's stand at the Madison Knitters Guild annual Knit-In earlier this year. Jennie has scads of cute knitting pottery and gorgeous buttons. This came in a 3-pack, but I think one button is fine for this vest.
Christmas 08
Yeah, I think I'll keep them. They're the ones I want in this foxhole we've dug out for ourselves. I hope you enjoy your holiday season and keep people around you who lift your spirits.

Monday, November 17, 2008

FO: Helena!

It's suspicious that I only blog when I have something finished. At least, I think it's suspicious. I'm afraid of boring anyone with WIPs and complaints, which seem to fill most of my days and nights nowadays. Heard of a little thing called the crashing financial economy? It's lately affecting us directly. There has been talk of moving to Singapore. (and not as a joke, either.)


But Knit On, dear friends, isn't Elizabeth Zimmerman's advice pertinent as ever?


For Halloween, we traveled to visit family on the East Coast and I had a lot of precious knitting time. I was able to crank out most of the skirt of Helena and all of one sleeve, too. My plan was to use a worsted weight wool to knit a holiday sweater for the three-year-old in our house. I had this O-Wool Classic in Sumac that I got (drastically reduced, mind you) awhile ago, and thought it would be perfect. Helena (Ravelry project link) calls for DK-weight wool, however, so I decided to knit a size 2, but knit the length to a size 4. I ended up just knitting and knitting and I think, all told, this is really closer to a size 5/6. And thankfully so. The little lady has long arms (like me) and she'll be able to wear this next year and maybe even the year after that.


She likes it. I love it. I think it's the prettiest thing I've ever knit and I'm very happy with it. I already have black leggings to match it for Thanksgiving (and a black shirt for underneath) and green/red leggings for Christmas. We'll get as much mileage out of this sweater as possible. After all, it's 86 degrees every single day in Singapore. (sob)


Helena buttons (ladybugs)
Ladybug buttons (what else?)