I love the Added Touch - I ordered some stuff from there last week, which is how I happened upon this.
Monday, November 30, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Call me crazy, (many do), but really and truly, my feet don't get cold, and I hate shoes. Also, as much as I enjoy knitting socks, wearing them? not so much.
Monday, November 23, 2009
The Fame Trend socks are slowly (very slowly!) getting there, and the blue cotton ones are doing the same. I really want to get the Christmas knitting done, because I have plans for more "ME" knitting in the New Year, and I want to get at it!
Friday, November 20, 2009
I told him that if I ever married again, it would have to be to an orphan with no siblings.
I'm sure my family is no peach at times, but really, there's so few of us, it's easier to take at family gatherings. His is huge, and so diverse, it's amazing to me that these 5 kids were all brought up in the same environment, with the same parents. And there's not that much of an age difference - all 5 kids were born within 8 years.
And this party is just step one - we still have Christmas coming in a few weeks, when this horde will be descending on my house. But that's okay - that's what we prefer. I don't have a problem with cooking or a feeding a large group - its how I was brought up. My parents enjoyed entertaining and cooking and did it often, so my brother and I, growing up in that kind of atmosphere, embrace the same thing. It's just was we always thought was normal. The husband's family was not. Cooking was a chore instead of a joy, entertaining was cause for alarm and panic, and guests were treated preferentially, rather than as just friends. So I can understand where the panic is coming from this week, even if it makes no sense to me. (surprisingly, my husband is more similar to my family - he loves entertaining, hence we do it often).
So, I guess I have to be more understanding. Not everyone had the same upbringing, not everyone looks at things like this the same way I do. And maybe I'm being as much of a pain in the ass to them as they are being to me. It's all a matter of perspective.
Knit Tech made a comment that made me think:
"Since you do everything amazingly, they* have a lot of ground to try and make up."
Do I really come across that way? I kind of hope not. I'd hate for people to think poorly of me because I seem to be an overachiever. (Trust me, if you saw the state of my house, you wouldn't think that). (Knit Tech - I'm pretty sure you aren't thinking poorly of me, you're just putting yourself in their shoes, right? Please?)
I don't give hand made gifts because I want people to think I'm trying to look better than them. I've just always been the type to want to do things myself. I'm fascinated by crafts and creating, and really, I like personalizing things that way. The pajama pants? Yeah, there's a lot of them, but I production line it, and they don't take long to make. The knitting? There's a lot less of it being given away this year, because there's a lot less of it to give. A lot of my knitting time this year was taken up by knitting things for ME. And I liked it. The beads? It takes a heckuva lot less time to bead a bracelet than it does to knit something.
I also spend a lot of time thinking about the people on my list, and their likes, dislikes, and way of life. It's an ongoing, all year thing for me. I like trying to match op things to people. Again, it's something my parents always did, so I don't think anything of it. Others find it incredibly difficult. It seems I am "difficult to buy for". I have trouble with that - I like everything that people give me, although I have been the recipient of some fairly weird gifts. Like the briefcase sized day timer to replace my purse sized one. (the thing weighed 5 pounds!) Or the pink flowery polar fleece jacket from last year. Ask Susan - I don't do pink flowery. Ever. And this from someone in my family that has known me for 20+ years. I say I like wool, they tell me I have so much, I don't need any more. (I've given up trying to explain how wrong that is). I say I like kitchen things and cookbooks, I get told do I really need any more? (Well, yes, yes I do.) I say I like books and music, they say that's too ambiguous. (Okay, so the list of favourite authors wasn't SPECIFIC enough?) Knitting books. Books on sewing, beading, needle felting. I get told they don't know enough about the arts to tell a good book from a bad one. (Isn't that what store clerks are for? Or Google? ask around.) Clothes? I spend a fair bit of time with these people - it's not hard to determine my tastes. Jeans, yoga pants, nice casual tops and hoodies. Nothing pink, ruffly or flowery. Not my style.
Sigh. I feel like I'm complaining, and really, I'm not. To me, Christmas is all about the giving. I don't care if all I get is a bottle of Scotch (single malt, please) and some chocolate. (Actually, I just described what my Mom gives me most years - I love that woman - she knows me so well...) I'm happiest when someone opens a gift that I've thought was perfect for them, and it is. (It isn't always - I've missed the mark a few times). That, and seeing the kids running roughshod, having fun, being kids. It seems the Santa is making a return visit to our hose this year, and I'm thrilled.
The party is going to be fabulous - I know it will. My MIL is getting excited about it, and that's all that matters. Christmas is going to be a blast, and I can't wait. There's nothing better than family at the holidays.
Even if I can't stand the sight of them for the next few weeks afterwards...
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Before anyone thinks I'm done shopping - please. Give your head a shake. The shopping is no where near started, let alone being close to finished.
I'm talking about the handmades. The knitted, the (in a few cases) crocheted, the sewn and the beaded.
I did make it easy on myself - the nieces and nephews are getting hand sewn pajama pants, then a little something extra for each (a Noro knitted skirt, thrummed mitten, beaded bracelets, and in some cases, gift cards) I've been sewing since I was a kid (thanks, Mom!), so I can do a pair of jammie pants in about an hour. And when I production line the cutting (love my big rotary cutter), it can go even faster. I prewash all the fabrics, and toss them in the dryer (they are pajamas - no one is going to handwash them). Then I stack up two or three layers and cut. I'm sure the woman at Fabricland thought I was a touch nuts buying the same pajama pattern in three different sizes, and other pajama patterns as well, but face it - my family comes in all sizes, so I need the multiples. I cut out a few pairs at a time, group them by colour range and then sew away. Grouping by colour range is to make it easy with the thread and bobbins. All those that us white thread go in one pile, the black in another, greys over there, and the odd red or blue or yellow sits alone until I get to them. I'm having a blast with this, matching up the fabrics to the kids (and adults!)
For the hockey players:
Eight pairs are done, 8 more are cut out, and 5 more need to be cut. Then there's some knitting (mostly sock) and a couple of things to buy. Another bonus this year - I have vacation time that I HAVE to use up before the end of the year, so not only will I have the week before and the week after Christmas off, I will still have 3 or 4 days before that! Hopefully one will be spent at the AGO - my son's class is going on a field trip to see the King Tut exhibit, and I desperately want to be going along. So that leaves me a couple of days to shop for stuff.
You know all this organization is going to come back and bite me on the ass, don't you? Especially now, since I've just gloated about it. The universe will stomp on me in a big way...
Friday, November 13, 2009
yeah, I'm having way too much fun. who knew typing with my thumbs was so easy?
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I thank them, and all others.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Can't get any more Canadian than that...
Monday, November 09, 2009
Regarding the thrummed mittens, Tracy asked where I got the roving. The red roving is actually White Buffalo Mills Unspun. It's a wheel of pencil-like roving, and I have tons of it. Years ago, I bought wheels in black, red, navy, rust, green and gold. I have no idea why, or where (possibly from Briggs and Little), and I have used it for thrums every since. Okay, I just did a little checking - I definitely bought it from Briggs and Little - here's the link. It's great for thrums since it's already a perfect size - you just have to rip off the lengths you need. (Most patterns tell you 3 inch lengths, I go for at least 4 inches. For thrums, more is more.) I've also got some braids of Fleece Artist Roving in hand-dyed colours, and these look great with solid coloured yarns. I have used the Fleece Artist kit that she mentions, although Tracy, how the hell did you get two pairs out of 1 kit?? I made one pair and I had to supplement the roving they supplied, as there was no way there was enough roving for even the one pair! as I said, the key with thrums is "More is More" - skimping on them is defeating the purpose. You need enough roving inside to make it worthwhile, otherwise, I wouldn't bother. So lesson learned, the Fleece Artist kits, while absolutely lovely, are fine for 1 pair of small child's mittens, but be warned if making some for adults - it won't be nearly enough. The grey alpaca (I also have a bag of white alpaca) was bought at the Kitchener Knitters Fair, about 2 or 3 years ago. There are plenty of sources for roving out there.
Deirdre asked about the Halloween pumpkins - how did I get the white teeth? That's easy - just carve off the orange skin to reveal the white flesh of the pumpkin underneath. I use my old litho carving tools - they look like small woodworking awls and shapers. It's way easier than it looks to do.
Brenda asked if I enjoy knitting thrummed mitts. I do, although I have to admit mitten knitting is not among my favourite things. I go in jags with it. Right now I'm willing to knit mittens, a month from now, I will hate them, I'm sure. As far as thrummed vs. regular mitts - I like something to keep my brain occupied. So it's either thrums, or colourwork or SOMETHING beyond straight stockinette. (Yet, I rarely pattern my socks, preferring to keep them straight stockinette. I know, my brain is wired a little funny...)
Deirdre again - asking about the yarn and roving. Okay the roving I explained, but the grey wool is also a Briggs and Little wool - for some reason I have a ridiculous quantity of this stuff. I must have bought it during one of my "Buy Canadian" phases. Which is not a bad thing.
Marlyce asked about the charity our Guild supports. We support many, including Yellow Brick House in York Region, a woman's shelter, Southlake Regional Health Centre, and many others that or "charity co-ordinator Jen finds. I believe there are some overseas charities that are helped as well.
Regarding the decluttering, we donate toys and stuff to Goodwill, clothes go there as well, or I give them to my Mom for her church. Some of the toys go to my friend who runs a daycare. Basically, other than things that are trashed, we are not just throwing things away - they are getting re-used by someone. This weekend, another 4 boxes of toys went to a daycare (2 more are in my trunk to drop off this week), and bags of stuff to trash were put out. The basement is getting there - a good vacuuming, and we're good to go. Now I have to convince husband and son that the Playstation and Wii should move down there as well...
Next up - closets and outgrown clothes. I swear, my 10 year old kid grows overnight! Thankfully, he likes his t-shirts baggy...
Friday, November 06, 2009
It's called Fame Trend, by Marks and Katten. It's 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, so it should hold up well. It's like Noro in that it seems to be a single, rather than a plied yarn, so that may negate the nylon content in regards to how well it holds up, but I will try it out to see. The top one is a black, cream and grey mix, and like Noro, it has long colour shifts. The bottom left if actually a green/grey/brown mix, although the green is not showing well here - in reality it's a lovely mossy shade of green. Then there's a rainbow colourway, bought because it looks like fun. The grey and black will probably be for my FIL, the green is for me or possibly the husband, and the rainbow hasn't been decided yet (probably me - I know it will be appreciated that way...) I'll use the extras for my son - he rocks the handknit socks, but he keeps growing out of them.
This yarn would be great for knee socks, as well. (I'm not a fan of knee socks myself, but that has me thinking about my nieces, and the rainbow colourway...)
And yes, I have already started the black grey and cream. Yes, I have multitudes of other projects I could and should be working on. But this is research! Right?
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
But... there are two good reasons for the project I chose to start. One - it will be a Christmas gift for a friend. A University of Ottawa-attending friend. For those that know Ottawa in winter - it's cold, so she NEEDS these. Second, I'm doing a mini workshop at Tuesday's Guild meeting on this technique, so I needed to practice on and have to show. Right. Both excellent reasons for digging into my roving stash for some thrummed mitts. (The irony that I'm probably not going to stop at one pair of these is not lost on me. Yes, all other projects are being left behind...)
This grey and red pair (colours of the University of Ottawa) are for the daughter of my son's sitter, and will be very welcome. Then there's probably a black and gold pair for son's teacher (school colours - those winter days of playground duty can get a little chilly...) Then I found the grey alpaca roving, and well, yeah, I think I need a pair of these as well. I mean, I can't really give someone a gift I haven't road tested myself? Can I?