Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Heated Love

I really love the Stash and Burn pod cast. Knitting, food, TV, Star Wars and most important our relationship with yarn. It's perfect. Nicole might be the power behind the episodes but Jenny and I are the same person.

Jenny loves her hot water bottle.

She loved it last year, she still loves it this year. She, like me, has a sleeping sweater and hat. She even has sleeping mittens. Or maybe that's Nicole but their places are cold enough that sleeping mittens are a good idea. So is my place.

I searched for a hot water bottle of my own but all the ones I find at the drug stores and Walmart are stinky red rubber enema bags. Um, No.

Amazon reviews say I need a Fashy brand water bottle.

I email Jenny (yes, I'm creepy like that) and ask her what she has. She is nice enough to reply that she has a Fashy.

Fashy are made in Germany and run about $20 plus shipping on Amazon.

I mull this over for a while and then I email a Doctor Who swapping knitter in Germany. She is sad that our favorite $4 China Glaze nail polish is €8 over there. Does she want to trade nail polish for hot water bottle? Sure! Fashy hot water bottles are only € 5.50.

Whatever € 5.50 is, but I do know it's less than a bottle of nail polish.

She can't wrap her mind around how I don't already own a hot water bottle and why a Fashy since they are on every grocery store, convenience store, and drug store shelf. I tell her Americana's aren't cool like that and does she want our nail polish or not?

3 bottles of polish later I get this in the mail.
I love it so much. It's a million times better than I expected. I fill it with hot tap water at night and it's still hot in the morning. It heats the whole bed and is warm and heavy and squishy and wonderful.
I love it so much I'm even knitting it a sweater.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Small Things

Another highlight of 2011 has been nail polish. It all started with the Doctor Who swap and finding the right TARDIS blue nail polish color*. And then there was Amy and the search for all the colors she wears. But it's much more than that. It's a chance to spend small amounts on colorful things in small packages. A pick-me-up that doesn't strain the budget or overfill my apartment. It also satisfies my craving for picking out and playing with colors.

The polish that Kiddo gifted me for Christmas.

I love it and I'm wearing it now.

*China Glaze First Mate is my favorite David Tenant TARDIS blue. China Glaze Bermuda Breakaway is even closer but it's a streaky mess.

For a Matt Smith TARDIS blue I recommended China Glaze Calypso Blue or Barielle Berry Blue.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Winter Madness

2011 has been a good year and one of the highlight of the year has been secret pal swapping.

The most recent swap was Winter Madness. In the madness of the holidays we didn't have to make the gifts along a theme. Who has the time with Christmas knitting? Instead we all sent a care package with everything needed for our secret pal to make something.

Confusing, right? However knitters understand that the best part is the making it our self so to receive a package of knitting bag, yarn, pattern, and needles is wonderful.

Mmmmmm tissue paper goodness.

Joey and I tear into tissue paper like children at Christmas.

The group shot is wonderful but it all ways looks so small and doesn't do it justice. There is much awesomeness packed into these small packages.

Cheery winter mitten pattern on project tote bag.
Yummy yummy yarn in my favorite shades of blue.

About this point I realize the theme might be mittens. Mitten stitch markers, mitten covered tape measure, mitten project bag, double pointed needles..... could my pattern be for MITTENS? It is! IT IS! Plum Blossom Mittens

I've already knit and blogged the mittens. Photoshop was holding these photos hostage. I'm thankful I have a computer and that I can access them again but not so thankful I'm stopped wishing for a new computer.

Knowing that tradition is important and that branching out is not done at the holidays my spoiler gave me exactly what I listed as my favorites-

Dark chocolate covered caramels, chai tea, and cocoa

And she still made something for me too, mitten magnets. Amazing.

For the hands in the mittens, nail polish and lotion.

Such a pretty color. My camera didn't capture it at all. It's the aqua of a 1957 Chevy. One with fins. A Bell Air Coupe. I didn't ask for polish or mention looking for aqua in Winter Madness. I did mention back in May that I really really really wanted this shade of color. So either she has a memory like a steel trap, dug through lots of posts, or has the ability to read minds. However it was done, it was a very thorough bit of spoiling.

Thank you, sprucegoose87, everything is perfect. but I bet you already know that.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Secret Something

Last night I finished all the knitting for today and tomorrow and I was even in bed by midnight.

That leaves me free to knit whatever I want today. I think I'll cast on a secret something* for my dad. Knitting for family today makes me feel closer to them. I want them to have the love in physical form and to make him something special. Never mind that his Christmas gift was knit and finished last January so I knit him something else in July and that is finished too. Something special and new.

December hasn't been all deadline knitting. I've done some decedent knitting for me too. Plum Blossom Mittens in Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky a wool/alpaca blend. They are wonderfully toasty warm. Colors Light Blue and Navy and I love the way they look with my new coat.

*oops almost said what I would be casting on- waves at family

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Christmas eve, the culminating of a year worth of gift knitting. I'm down to the crunch but I'm telling myself I have plenty of time as I lay out my unfinished projects in the order I will be gifting them.

I've spent the day knitting on a project that needs to be done for the 26th. Now it's time to set it aside and pick up the one that will be opened tomorrow. Then tomorrow finish the one for the 26th. 26 through the end of the week work on the ones that will be opened on the 29th. Then 29th and 30 is for finishing the ones that will be opened on the 1st. The 1st I can start on the presents for the 12th.

I have a plan and faith that I can pull it off. However, next year I'm shopping the mall like a normal person.

Friday, December 02, 2011


I've picked my next project, a toddler sweater our of Mission Falls 1820 cotton. Cotton isn't really a decadent fiber but with the cost you would think this yarn is made out of pure gold.

This sweater just does not want to be knit. I've cast on seven time and ripped out inches of knitting more than once. I stayed up late trying to get the kinks out and as I was setting it down I realized that half of the sweater had two more rows than the rest.

How is that even possible while knitting in the round? That is a rhetorical questing. I know how that happens but it's such a noob mistake it's hard to believe I made it. I've never had a 100 stitches in K2P2 ribbing give me so much trouble. I've ripped it all out again and giving it a new go this morning.

Some knits are just trouble but I think this is a sure sign that I need more sleep. I also need some dedicated knitting time. 3 min at a time is not working out.

Maybe I need to cast on a simple hat. Maybe 100 stitches in K2P2 ribbing.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Decadent December

This is the last month of my very own knitters almanac. Decadent December is for taking it easy and knitting those too special skeins of cashmere and silk. Instead I'm afraid it will be another Deadline December because I still have 4 projects to finish for Christmas.

Knitting in November was fabulous. Very freeing to just knit on whatever I wanted.

I knit hats for Operation Breakthrough.

The most notable is Nine Dwindling Cables knit in Brown Sheep Lanaloft Worsted, Violet Shimmer. I love the yarn. A nice hearty robust wool without mohair so it isn't itchy. It cables well. As I said, it's robust so it has body not drape. Maybe not the best choice for a slouchy cabled hat but it will be wonderful for mittens and weekend sweaters. I can't wait to get more.

I did finish a super secret boys sweater. I'm thinking of trying on the boy to be sure it fits before wrapping it up to give to him. I know that is completely weird but then again I know, and I'm pretty sure the boy knows too, that hand knit kid sweaters are really for the moms.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


As is known by now, Ashpags and I got together on TARDIS day to exchange our low-key swap boxes. While I handed over a mediumish box she passed me a smallish blue bag that is so much bigger on the inside.

It started with local coffee.

Banana socks and Ashpag made me a Corn Bag in a soft flannel. Corn Bag, what a strange name. It should actually be called Microwaved Awesomeness. I’ll be using this in bed at night. My place is sooooo cold.

Yarn nail file and the cutest little mini China Glaze nail polish!!!. China Glaze is my favorite. It’s to the point that when I bring up China Glaze is my favorite everyone answers “I KNOW” this is IRL too

Ashpags made me stitch markers. They are so very sweet.

I think Ashpags requested this colorway be made just for me. She will have to tell the story since I’m a little blurry on the details. It is so stunningly beautiful I was having a hard time catching my breath and maybe forgot to listen.

A project bag for the yarn. It’s lined and everything. I’m super impressed with the sewing. Super impressed!

A pattern from my queue to be the project. As if. Maybe in a year or three when “Donna Noble Has Left The Library” stops being trophy yarn. It is too perfect to use right away. In the meantime I’ve already knit one mitt from it in stash yarn.

Ashpags made the cards. She even MADE THE STICKERS! How cool is that?

Rose’s Doomsday mitts. I love them so much I’m never taking them off. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are brilliant!

The most squeezable Adipose ever. I made him a pair of Rose’s Doomsday mitts so he can be a Mini Me. I knit them at work. Everyone thought He, Me, My Mitts, and the mitts I was knitting was too cute.

While all the contents can be compacted into a smallish space this is not a low-key gift. This is the most thought out, skilfully assembled, wonderful, perfect, touching TARDIS Day box ever. It’s MAGNIFICENT.

Thank you Ashpags. I love it!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Knit in November

This was supposed to be NaKnitSweMo. However, that was before casting on a sweater over 220 stitches, knitting an inch, twisting it, and knitting another inch before noticing.

I then decided I could NaKnitSwe light and just fishing a sweater this month would be enough. I pulled a sweater out of the UFO closest and spent the day looking for the pattern book. I never found it. That sweater is now back in the UFO closet.

Just knitting is my theme this month.

So far I've cast on a baby sweater, finished a pair of socks, cast on a pair of mitts, looked at other mitt patterns, and finished a hat. The new theme is working out much better.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Sock Yarn

This is just perfect for Socktober

The cowl I knit for the Hometown swap won the prize. As such I received this gorgeous sock yarn from Germany. One is Trekking the other three are hand dyed by Handarbeitskram.

I've bought absolutely zero balls of sock yarn this year and yet I have more sock yarn than when I started. Nice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Dismay, Irritation, and Avoidance

I admit that I've been avoiding the blog because last time I pushed a Try This button and the whole formatting changed on me. I quickly pressed the No Thanks button in bit of a panic. I do not have time for a learning curve right now even if it is New and Improved.

The behind the scenes where I compose is back the way it was but the layout of the display was gone forever. Gone the pretty heading, gone the margins with my favorites, gone the font of the banner and the most dismaying gone is the easy to read type and no way to get it back. This type is the best of a bad lot and the only thing going for it is the g is charming. Also, it took me an hour to clean up one of the templates to show the way it is now. They were all so messy and cluttered and didn't do a thing to knitting photos.

I needed time to get over my dismay and irritation and to forget the way it used to look. I came back today and it is acceptable. It needs a banner but that will have to wait for someday I'm crazy busy and I'm starting another three study courses at work right now. And when I say at work I really mean study at home for work.

However, I finished my first socks for Soctober. Not for work, not even for me, but done.
A pair of Christmas Gift Socks knit from my birthday yarn. Knit Picks Felici Sport in Garden Gate a really pretty color that isn't available any more. I cast on 48 stitches and knit a plane vanilla 2x2 ribbed sock. Vanilla with stripes is my favorite.

edit to add- there is one nice thing about the new layout. Click on the photo. Isn't that nice?

Sunday, October 02, 2011


Single Skein September is over and well done and it's time to move into Socktober.

Back in January I said

"So 6 pairs of work socks each to match it’s own particular work shirt. I think I can do this from stash but I’m not sure. It will be close.

So the other 6 projects will be anything out of sock yarn (even socks) just to knit down my sock stash so I can buy if I have too to meet the top goal."

My check in; 1 pair of work socks, 1 other pair of socks for me, 3 pair Christmas socks, 2 hats. So the 6 other projects are done and the works socks barely started.

It's time to get knitting on the socks, any socks, and maybe at the end of the month I'll go buy work shirts to match.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Steampunk

More of the projects I made for the Steampunk Swap.

Wire, beads, ribbon, and pearls what’s not to love?

The pattern is Sweet Nothing a knitted wire and bead choker.

Being my first time knitting with wire it came out a little derpy. And by a little derpy I mean fantastic but not quite even and that bothers me. I love it anyway and I will be making more.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Checking up on Ethereal August

More projects that I made for the Steampunk Swap.

These turned out great. However, if I had noticed the Elm Leaf lace pattern was the same lace as the Zokni I might have picked a different lace cuff.

The pattern is well written and clear, after all it is a KnitSpot pattern, it’s just a person failing on my part that I don’t like knitting these particular lace leaves. At least it’s over quick

What did I like knitting? The handspun silk cocoon strippings yarn. The yarn turned out even better than I could hope. It has a subtle rustic shimmer and a nice crisp hand that loosens with use and comes back with a wet blocking. I bought the bag of cocoon striping as Midwest 2005? when I took the silk weaving class from Karen of Treenway Silks. I've been spinning it off and on ever since.

I made a matching Lace Choker. I knit it the night before shipping so I loosely followed the pattern not having time to master new techniques. Picot Cast On wasn't hard but as my first try it was coming out with tension issues. Instead, I knit it from the top down and did a crochet cast off. I'm going to knit one for me following the pattern

A delicate set, refined and rustic with a hint of dystopia about them, perfect for the refined space pirate.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Single Skein September

Right, I'm posting the theme when the month is almost over. Steampunk swap has been all consuming of my crafting time and it was super secret. It's now been safely received so I can share.

My Cog Lily Fascinator made from one skein of M&K Linen.

I just eyeballed it and knit it not using a pattern. Crocheting around the wire was a challenge. Even more challenging was tucking all the wire ends away. I have nightmares of them getting caught in the hair. The pose-ability of the petals is worth it.

I attached it to an alligator hair clip and embellished with a flower pin and a cog. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

I'm going to have to make more hair things since it's impossible to buy a small bag of alligator clips.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Ethereal August was all in the preparation for Steampunk epicness. I'll get to that later. Maybe next week.

And now onto the epic box from senjiva.

The first thing I opened was a beautiful project bag

I was distracted by the loot and didn’t look at it closely so more on it later.

Next was a cheerful small project bag and it was just stuffed full. Thank you for the Burt’s Bees lipbalm. I’m wearing it now and it smells delicious.

I clapped my hands with glee when I pulled out the chatelaine. It holds a locket, scissors, needle case with darning needles. There is also the sweetest hand made with love charm. senjiva I’m truly touched that you made me this. The chatelaine alone would have been enough but there is so much more in the box.

I love to read. This is a steampunk zombie book. Steampunk Zombie! I’ve only started it but the main charter is my favorite type, an ordinary woman. A factory worker, maybe poorer than most. I can’t wait to get to the burning dirigible. It’s about here in the unwrapping that I notice the ordinary woman theme of the package. senjiva did her stalking well.

This bookmark pleases me to no end. When I use it I feel special and fancy. Thank you. It’s little luxuries like this that brighten a day.

More small luxuries in not one, but two embroidered hankies. They are as delicate as air and perfect.

A needle threader which is so useful since my morning tremors are starting to become afternoon tremors and small tasks like threading a needle aren’t as easy as they used to be.

Buttons! Cog Buttons!! I’ve wanted these ever since the teaser photo went up. I even looked for them locally but couldn’t find any. I’m going to use them on Dimorphous Mittens and I’m very excited about it.

I let Kiddlet open this package and the first thing he did was this.

It took some doing to convince him it’s worn like this. I love the newsboy brim. The faded indigo blue is beautiful. The copper buttons are wonderful. It fits me like a dream in every way, my head, my style, it’s perfect!

a top hat for me to decorate. I see some goggles here. And maybe silk roses.

Wonderful tea in the best packaging.

Gorgeous cards! I love the gilt. I’ve already used them. Thank you

Tea biscuits barely show because I needed a close up. First is the Mango Ginger candy. I love mango and ginger I didn’t know I could have both in a candy. They are wonderful. Sweet and chewy with a kick at the end.

Finally, and this one made me laugh senjiva you won the day. You found a foot cream with hand knit socks and cogs. Cogs! Hand knit socks! I love it! Love.It.

(update, senjiva is friends with the publishing house that distributes this foot cream to yarn stores and cogs were put on one just for me)

We have to come back to the project bag. It wasn’t until everything was unwrapped that I truly looked at it. The simple drawstring bag is deceptively cool. First off it has a pocket on the inside. This is a most useful feature and I appreciate it. There is the sweetest little tag inside too. The top has a neat closure. senjiva I’m so impressed!

Because I love the chatelaine so very much.

Thank you senjiva everything is perfect.