Sunday, December 23, 2007

Almost Christmas

This will be my last blog entry for the holidays. Work has been so crazy, I’m amazed I had any time to knit. I’m proud to say that the balaclava is done with the exception of the fins on top, which my son reminded me about a few times today. I haven’t worked out the logistics of that yet. It’s been quite the experience, designing as I go, putting it on his head each step of the way and altering my original conceived pattern as required. When I got to the crown, I felt I wanted it to come down further on his forehead so I picked up stitches along the front sides of the face as I worked back and forth instead of in the round. I’m very happy with the results so far and what I have accomplished. Modelling this fine garment today is ninja racoon.
Happy holidays everyone!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snowed In

Friday night was the first chance I had to knit all week!!! How I survived and kept my sanity, I don’t know; must be the underlying work pressure weighing on my mind. We have a pretty heavy project going on at work that we’re trying to get done by Christmas, but due to equipment problems, that won’t be happening. Nothing we can do about that but try and get our stuff cleared so we can take some time off around New Year. So, here I am with not much knitting to show. This is the beginnings of the balaclava.
I finally got Christmas the cards out. Now there are presents to wrap. It seems my husband does the bulk of the shopping while I take care of the kids and I do the wrapping. Thank goodness for on-line shopping. That’s the only way we could have done it this year. He got the rest of the in-store shopping done yesterday before the snow started in.

We’re getting a big storm this week-end. The hubby’s out with the snow blower and the kids are out having fun, too. At last, I can blog. This is the perfect type of week-end for baking comforting Christmassy treats! We bought a pre-baked gingerbread that has to be pieced together; we’re doing that just before Christmas. But that doesn’t prevent us from baking gingerbread cookies now. I didn’t bother making my icing this year so things went quicker. With the pre-made icing in tubes, I can attach all these wonderful decorator tips. My son requested that his gingerbread man have a guitar. I must say, I’m really impressed with what I pulled off this time.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Dragon Returneth

I caved and went yarn shopping for my son’s dragon hat and scarf. The yarn in my stash was either not the right colour or texture. At least I convinced him that his hat scarf should match his hat. My initial thought was to go for a lovely merino. I started phoning around to see what stores were carrying. On store was very helpful and suggested that maybe I would like to use an acrylic or acrylic blend because it was for a child and acrylic wouldn’t shrink in the wash. I knew then this was the store I had to go to; Main St. Yarns. I lucked out in that Friday night, they were participating in a special event with some other downtown Milton stores. They were open from 7-11 pm with specials on. I didn’t know how special till I got there; everything was 50% off. I was going to stick to my budget as I always do but my lovely husband convinced me that at 50%, I had to take advantage of the sale. Okay, so I exceeded my budget but under the sale circumstances, can I be blamed? I picked up some lovely yarn to do a stole from Louisa Harding’s Hummingbirds called Kohl Mexicana.

During the week, I was developing a balaclava pattern to use for my son’s dragon hat. I figured, it’s really not that much different from a sock. I did a small scale version with some yarn I had at home and was quite pleased with what I had come up with. The decreases I ended up working are different from what I would use for a sock but effective.

I then had to find a small doll to try this on. And thus it was that my daughter’s Princess Dora became Ninja Dora.

Here’s a bit of swatching I was doing as practice for the scarf. The yarn I’m using is from S.R. Kertzer and is called Northern. The mitred square is for dragon scales adn the in the round is for the balaclava.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Procrastination continueth…

The second glove done in a week. Got the fingers done during the week and got the whole thing knitted and finished on Saturday! Unbelievable since my husband was gone all day to TABSCon (his quarterly outing to play board games and socialize all day in Toronto). I was home with the kids all day, so it is rather miraculous that I got this thing knit so fast. To their credit, my children were very good that day. We had a lovely afternoon with my daughter serving me tea in her little tea set while I was knitting and my son was playing quietly with his toys while we watched TV. After that, I threw in a movie, gave them some popcorn and some chocolate milk while I kept sipping away at my real tea. That bought me some more uninterrupted knitting time; again, a very pleasant way to spend time with the kids. And here is the finished product.

Then it hit me. Oh oh, what do I do next? Go back to the 5 year old dragon sweater I designed? Go to the multicoloured but generally pink and purple shawl I’m designing as I go? My son’s anxious to cover himself with it since it’s so nice and soft – he thinks it’s a blanket. Then I see my kids playing in the snow and realize their hats and mitts are getting too small for them. Guess we’ll have to put off that dragon sweater for a while; again.

My poor daughter will get her older brother’s hat, mitts and scarf. I feel bad about that. I wanted to make her something pink and/or purple and furry. My hubby and the practical side of me think otherwise; no she can use her brother’s stuff when it’s still in good condition. I don’t carry this policy with their cardigans or sweaters. Those I make just for them and it goes to no one else; so she gets to wear girly sweaters not her brother’s. I didn’t want to have all hand-me-downs; she deserves to have things that were made just for her.

So I ask my son what he wants his hat and scarf to look like (he has water resistant store bought mitts now). I thought he might be a little indifferent. Maybe want to mull it over a bit, but no. Without a second’s hesitation, he gave me an answer. I was astonished by his memory. He wants a red dragon scarf and a blue dragon hat (blue’s his favourite colour; I’m still trying to convince him to go green). Where did he come up with this? A while back, I showed him this awesome dragon scarf that Morehouse Merino came out with that I would love to have for myself even if people would laugh at me as I walk down the street with it. I wasn’t intending on doing mail order from the USA. I’m trying to avoid buying yarn and use up my stash so I was just going to do my own version of it. He’s all gung ho about me doing my version of this scarf for him. Needless to say, I will have to do some similar creative work for his hat. Their hats, scarves, and mitts should get them through this season. I’m doing this now so I can have them ready for next winter. With any luck, he can start wearing them this winter. Now if only I can convince him to let me use burgundy and green, that would really help use up my stash.