Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Knitting Wrap Up or At Least a Shoulder Cozy

First I want to say to all of my friends, I hope you had wonder holidays and are looking forward to a fabulous new year.  Next I need to discuss a problem in the knitting world.  Yes, you knitters know about this problem, holiday knitting.  In my case the words "Christmas knitting,"  should have the ominous, da-da-daa sound after it.  Because you start with good intentions about sharing your talent with people you love and you end up late on Christmas eve night madly knitting trying to get everything done.  You always promise yourself, you will never do this again.  You will buy presents or start knitting tomorrow for the next holiday season.  Then somewhere between December 25 and September you totally forget this vow.

Jessica in Shoulder Cozy
Mom in Shoulder Cozy

This year I really did try to be laid back about what I was going to knit, and for awhile I did seem to have it under control.  In September I knitted two very lovely shoulder cozies for my mom and baby sis.  They turned out so lovely, I especially liked how baby sis looks in hers.  She could not have worn a more perfect dress to wear with the cozy.  Both of the ladies rocked the hand knits.

Scrunchable Scarf for My Minion

I kept a scrunchable scarf in my desk at work, knitting it on lunch and break (sort of) through out the year.  I wanted to make a long scarf for my tall minion, Steve.  About late November, I noticed I was only half way to the finished project (too many naps at lunch).  Less naps and more knitting were required.  The scrunchable scarf just barely got done.  I think I was weaving in ends as he walked through the door.  He seemed to like the scarf, but minions are mysterious.  The yarn I used, a Michael's brand acrylic, pooled up very interesting in the first half of the project, but not the second half.  Look at the photo and pretend the scarf all looks that graphic.

Cheyenne, Tammy, and Sheree Sporting Their New Berets.
I also knit three slouchy lace beret.  One for my niece, my great niece, and of course Tammy, niece's mother.  These were some serious lace berets and I have to say there were a few touch and go moments, but overall, I love how these turned out.  Great niece, Cheyenne, looks exceptionally moppetish in hers.

Cheyenne Modeling for Her Aunt
I also knit a second pencil scarf, because, nothing says I love you like the gift of a bright yellow pencil scarf.  I found a pattern online for a pencil scarf, but it took multiple tries to get the right look.  In the end I did love how the silly thing turned out and I learned a valuable lesson, pencils need to be knitted in the round.

Pencil Scarf #2
Finally, I noticed that my wife really liked a felted bowler hat we saw at the annual Weaver's Guild show.  She looked really cute in it too.  I decided she definitely needed one.  I trolled around on Ravelry and found just the pattern, the fabulous felted hat (  As much as I wanted to knit one for her, I was cautious.  Felting can be tricky, a swatch would help.  A swatch would help, but making a proto type first would help more.  I committed myself to experimenting on one for me and then knitting her the perfected second hat..  Such a good plan, but unfortunately not a successful plan.  The first hat got done, the second one remains a large sack of an item which is currently awaiting the hot water bath. 

Felted and Unfelted Fabulous Felted Hats
Natalie was a good sport about the delayed gratification of her own purple bowler, but I was a little disappointed in myself. I can only hope the end product will be worth the wait.  In the meantime, I am thinking I should start today planning my 2013 holiday knitting. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Oh I Love My Fiestaware!

My loved ones did very well this holiday season in providing me with my drug of choice, Fiestaware.  I got five new items and a gift card to Cornucopia, where Fiestaware lives.  I always get excited when I am handed a heavy package.  I know pottery goodness is within, that or someone is giving me leg weights. 

Holiday Fiestaware Loot
My minion gave me my own rectangle casserole dish in tangerine, which is almost too pretty to use.  My friend Kim gave me new lemon grass oval platter which debuted on Christmas day filled with pot roast.  My mom gave me a new lemon grass canister.  And lastly, I got two new demitasse cups to round out my set.  I am so loved.

Set of Six Demitasse Cups

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Coveting My Friends Socks!

Earlier this year some of friends showed up with these awesome mismatched socks called Solmates.  Apparently, the company makes socks which though similar in design are actually not identical.  I have coveted these socks since first sight.  I kept promising myself I would get a pair or two, but to date I have not kept my vow.  However, the clan at Rivendell saw the longing in my eyes and for Christmas got me my own very special pair.  Can I just say, I LOVE these socks!  I have some of the best friends, thank you Rivendell.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tribe of Knitters

I love my knitting crews!  Last week I went to two of the best knitting parties, ever.  First I went to a yarn swap and came home with some great new to me yarn, in awesome shades of green.  Yarn haul aside it was so much fun to sit with my original knit tribe and talk about life, the world, and putting together a good stitch.

Haul from Yarn Swap
My Sunday knit crowd also did a holiday party.  We drew names and exchanged presents.  I am always amazed by how beautiful presents are from handcrafters.  I received a gorgeous, green bag, a fun, felted bowl, and a lovely button up neck gaiter.  The bag was not only the perfect color, but the level of detail my fellow knitter put in it from top stitching to the polka dot lining charmed me to the core of my fibernista's heart.

Wonderful Gifts from Heather, Loved that All Three Were Handmade.
The gifts and yarn aside the time spent in the company of the knitting circles into which I subscribe made for good times.  One of the women even brought her very artistic daughter who made a point to draw most of us pictures to take home.  Thank you Lael, I love my tree next to the bright flower.
Lael, One of My Tribes Daughter, Drew Me a Forrest Scene
In the end both parties were filled with many warm wishes.  I also left with something else, a sense of community that made me feel proud to be a part of a tribe of such amazing and kind people. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I admit it I am bossy.  I try not to be, but it happens.  When I observe someone, doing something, and I think it could be improved, I can't help but make a polite suggestion.  Okay, maybe I could help myself, but duct tape might have to be involved. 

One day in a bit of pique because I had been called bossy for the millionth time, I quipped, "I am bossy for the greater good."  I meant it too, I am never bossy just because I can be.  I am bossy because I think I am helping.  If bossy was my super power, I promise to only use that talent for the good of humanity.  I swear.

One of my dear friends heard me use that statement as a defense on charges of being too bossy.  She and her partner decided I needed a shirt for Christmas proclaiming my proclivity.  They even further branded the shirt by putting a signature flamingo on the front of the shirt.  Needless to say I love it.

I loved the new shirt so much I wore it the next day to go shopping.  At least three different woman commented on how much they loved the saying.  They wanted to know where they could get one like mine.  Obviously, I am not the only one who has issues with people thinking they are just too bossy.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Suwannee River Valley or Some Fine Ice Tea

Tis the season for much busy-ness.  Before things get anymore frenetic I want to do a wrap up our recent trip to Florida before it is too late to write about the experience.  Because I did have some experiences in the sunshine state.  I could talk about the weather, the lack of a beach, or the insane traffic in Gainesville, but I want to discuss shopping with my nearest and dearest.

My mother is a quilter, an amazing quilter at that, she loves looking at fabric, patterns, and specialty sewing machines.  When we travel with mom, a quilt shop or more like a half dozen is on the list of places we will visit.  I can't complain, because she gets it when I mention a yarn shop I want to visit.  We tried to find a quilt shop in Gainesville, but the one there was very disappointing.  In an effort to make amends we found one outside of town.  Thirty-one miles of country road later we found ourselves in Trenton FL at the Suwannee River Valley Quilt Shoppe and Cafe 

We arrived hungry and ready to find something worth the journey and remarkably we did.  My mom acted like a 7 year old in a toy store once inside, it took a few sterns looks to get her to put a lunch order in before she was off to browse.  Our waiter brought us a round of ice tea and I am here to say southerns get ice tea.  First, unless you tell them otherwise, the tea shows up sweet and always freshly brewed.  They know better than to brew it through a coffee pot, and they clean the tea urn at least once a day to keep it from getting that nasty rancid tang.  Southern tea is rarely too strong or watered down to carmel colored swill.  So when I say this to you, understand, I know good tea and the glass they put in front of me was easily in the top 5 glasses of tea I have ever had in my life.  I was in tea heaven.

The rest of lunch was equally as sublime.  My BLT tasty, broccoli salad yummy, and my bread pudding orgasmic.  I am glad the cafe of the quilt shop was mostly empty, because I made noises that would have frightened a feral cat.  Natalie indulged my multiple exclamations of exhalations and moans of pleasure.  We were both glad we had skipped IHOP for the cafe.

The shop and cafe were in an old Coke Cola building which had been rehabbed and filled with rooms of brightly colored bolts of fabric.  I think my mom must have made 3 tours of the store before deciding on her purchases.  While she shopped I drank tea, lots of tea and started up a conversation with a lady who had bravely decided to sit at the table across from me. 

The shop was worth everyone of those country road miles to Trenton.  My mom bought fabric, Natalie got whistled at by a parrot, and I was sated with good food, so we all left the shop happy.  While we walked back to the car a 1 ton truck drove by us and blew its very loud air horn.  The lady at the table across from me smiled and waved out the truck window as she drove away.  That is me making friends and drinking some fine ice tea.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Tempest Tease

I am superficial enough to be exceptional flattered by my good friend at Dyaebolical Yarn ( for naming a yarn colorway after me.  And of course I am vain enough that I had to buy some of this limited edition yarn for myself.  The yarn is a lovely shade of green, which falls in the pantheon of greens I adore.  So thank you Dyeabolical for giving my already healthy ego a boost.  Love the yarn too.