Friday, December 31, 2010

Another year; another bunch of UFO's.

Well, here it is, December 31st, 2010.

Yup, another year done.

This wasn't my most prolific year in a number of field's. eg. blogging, knitting, quilting, cooking, cleaning...and it was, what it was.

I went back to work! Would not of predicted that one!

I definitely accomplished more spinning than any other year; more about that later.

I'm going to guess, that stash enhancement was somewhat less than it has been in previous years. I say "guess" because there is no way that I am actually going to try to document and keep a tally of such an achievement! That would just take up too much knitting time!

Speaking of knitting time...
Here's the recipient of a knitted toque. He wore it most of Christmas morning and has been seen wearing it out and about since then. Yay, a satisfied customer!
The excitement you're witnessing is his reaction to opening this.
One of the top gifts this year.

Another satisfied customer is the recipient at our clinic gift exchange. This was a fun, quick knit and I think that it turned out beautifully. Isn't she cute? She's always cold too, so when a knitter gets a cold person's name for Christmas...well, stand back; there's gonna be some stash diving!

So when I last blogged I was preparing to attend my Annual Knitting Christmas Party and just in time too. It seemed that this was just the evening that many of us needed to get into the Christmas spirit. Good friends, good food and good times was all it took. This was one of the treasures I brought home from that gift exchange.

A cute little knitting Snowbaby. I love him. I took him out the next morning and inspected and studied and look:

He's keeping the yarn (real yarn!) that's he's using for his sock in a bag on his back! Who thinks of this stuff? He now sits in a place of honour on my mantel in my bedroom and makes me smile whenever I look at him. Thank-you fellow knitter.
We were all treated to so many gifts...a lovely knitting bag, a calendar, some chocolate, a "Love Soup" mix (Yum!), a crocheted topped tea towel, Christmas Tea Towels folded to look like a purse and a tool kit! And that was before Secret Santa and the exchange!
Let me tell you a little about our exchange. There's a lot of laughing and a lot of oooo's and awww's, but it's not pretty! It's down right cut throat at times and usually there is a battle over not one, but several of the gifts brought to the party. And you know what?
"It's not a party until somebody shoves yarn down her bra." Just sayin'.
Even then, it's still not safe from those thieving thieves that call themselves 'friends'! I just think that when pretty sparkly yarn finds it's way into a person's bra; then it should be allowed to come home with that person.
I hope the restaurant lets us come back next year.
There were even some "extra" secret Santa gifts and I was lucky enough to be sent home with a bag that read, "Do not open until Dec. 25th". I love getting gifts like that. There are always so few gifts that I don't know what they are and that are really a surprise under the tree. My Avon lady always leaves me something as a surprise and I've joined sock yarn gift exchanges, but then you still know that you're getting yarn and a pattern, don't get me wrong, it was still fun! I made it quite clear that I thought it was time the kids put a little something under there for their favourite son and I gave each other the same thing. Good times.
Anyway, back to the knitter's secret Santa gift...I was lucky enough to receive a wonderful batt of 50% mohair and 50% lambswool to spin! (Again I'm sorry, but 5 photos is all this blog can handle; so I'll show you another year!) It's a gorgeous charcoal grey that I know exactly what I want to spin it into and what it's going to go with!
Thank-you Secret Santa. Nobody gets me like you. All my family could say is, "What is it?" with that look of serious doubt about my sanity and total misunderstanding of my excitement while hugging and petting and giggling.
I love my knitters.
So much so, that this was my gift to them.

14 grams of handspun 100% Merino that I named Blue Christmas. It's a 2 ply of hand dyed roving one of Royal and one of Jade. I was going to call it Royal Jade, but then it was a Christmas gift and tada! Blue Christmas was born. I'm pretty happy with it, but I think that I'm not spinning my singles tight enough. I keep trying to spin thinner singles and while they may indeed be thinner, they certainly 'bloom' after plying and washing and drying (again, there are some neat photos of this process...for next year).

That sort of shows how Christmas went around here. My dad, my brother and his family came here for Christmas dinner and once again there was good food and good fun.

The title of this post refers to UFO's. What I've shown you, however, are some of my FO's. As of December 1st, I knit only, and I mean, only, for other people. It was gift knitting everyday; all the time and I was o.k. with it, but still did not finish all that I wanted to. I had some gift giving grace due to the fact that one gift could wait until the new year and I thought I might be able to do it too, but then I read the Yarn Harlot. The significance of that post?

I spent the entire day yesterday tidying/playing in my basement/studio/room. I was touching yarn and needles and patterns, but I wasn't getting any knitting done!

Cleaning, tidying, organizing and controlling clutter are not my strong suits. I'm more of an idea kind of girl and it requires a tremendous amount of energy for me to remain focused or even interested in completing these kind of tasks. The only saving grace is that this is my room and when I do clean this one, it stands a much better chance of actually staying the way I left it as opposed to the rest of the house. While I usually end up spending New Year's Day tucked away in my haven, this Christmas had my room just one box away from a Hoarder's Intervention. (Shudder. Can you imagine? A crew just shows up at your door because you've been ratted out as a person who can't seem to say 'no' to yarn? Or fabric?) So, I started at one end of the room and carefully moved through the whole space. I was feelin' pretty good, and then my husband came down and asked what I was doing?

"I'm tidying and organizing," I said, while standing just a little bit taller and grinning, "all the knitters are doing it!" (again, thank-you Stephanie)

"You're just moving stuff from one side of the room to the other. What have you thrown out?"

"--------- "

He decided that he didn't want to go there...again, and went back upstairs.

'Thrown out?' Who said anything about throwing anything out?

I'm not finished, but both kids have noticed a BIG difference and what is left is clean and far more accessible and far less intimidating, but it will have to wait for another day, because today?



After that I will once again look at my bunch of UFO's and figure out which one to tackle first. How do you decide?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Same Bat Place, Same Bat Channel...









Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Attention Cat People!

This one's for you Transit Knitter!
You know who you are. People who get cats, or at least the cats allow you to be a part of their lives.

But first, Flora. Mexican Flora. I finally got to the point last night where I crawled into bed and said, "Can we please go back to Mexico? It's warm there!"
With the wind chill, we're in the -20's, I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit anymore, but it's cold! And more snow is falling as we speak. I know the snow is supposed to make you feel all Christmassy, but I'm not feelin' it this year; not yet, anyway...I just keep trying to think of ways of doing it, without doing it BIG!

Anyway, Flora.

And Fauna.
This was our resident Iguana. He/she lived right beside our Casita and would come out to get warm (see, everybody's doing it!) everyday. On our first day at the resort, when I was being Joe-tourist by pointing at everything and saying, "Look at that! See that?!" One of the employees told me the Iguana's are "good chopped up in Tacos".
I hope he was kidding. I thought he was, but the more I thought about it, I wasn't so sure.

So in keeping with the Cat Loving-Fauna theme; if you need a good laugh then I recommend that you set aside a few minutes and go visit Glenna C. Watch the video she found; then, sit back and watch the other's that come up after that one is finished. Be warned, though, DO NOT have a beverage in or near your mouth when watching them. I personally know at least two of the cats that you'll be watching and one of them lives with me now. Honestly, watching these made me laugh harder than I have in a long time! Thanks Glenna; thanks Simon!

I still wish I was in Mexico.

Friday, December 10, 2010


Thursday's are my favourite day, as you might well know already. There is nothing routinely happening here at Creativehands Central; so I look forward to the day in the week where no body's due here early in the morning and there is nothing booked that I need to rush out to. The icing on the cake, that is Thursday, is that it is also Knit Night.
Yesterday, however, was far from any routine Thursday.
My daughter was in a Volleyball tournament and would I come? Could I drive?
Be at the school at 830.
I am not what you would call, athletically inclined, but when I was a girl.....
I was on the school Volleyball team...and we wore awful pleated skirt uniforms to play in too!
Anyway, I showed up; ON TIME...I'm really trying to make that more of the usual instead of the some girls to the tournament and dutifully sat there knitting and cheering as they lost 8 out of 8 games.

Here a couple of things to make note of as far as our team went. These are junior girls and we had grades 4-6 represented. Have a look at that bench...we had a big team! Everyone of those girls got a turn to play---every game; each rotation meant one girl off and the next one on. I thought that was great. They also improved as the day went on and were playing much better by the last game.
Maybe next year.
Then it was knit night.
Cookie Exchange Knit Night. See? Cookies and Knitting!
For a few years we combined cookies and gift exchange and dinner and....
All on one night! Too Much!
Now we break it up a bit and exchange cookies one week....and everybody shows up.
We plan our dinner for the next week with gifts, etc....and everybody show up.

It's so much fun to have these two get-togethers for fourteen very special reasons.

We even let some mice join the fun. He won't be bothering us anymore though; I took care of it.
This morning I was finally home and alone, so I dug out the Christmas presents that I had put away to get a handle on what I did, and didn't, still need to take care of while continuing to quietly repeat my mantra, "It's not going to be big this year. It's not going to be big this year." Then I wrapped most of the presents, feeling quite proud of myself, thinking, 'I don't want to just survive these holidays' (which let's face it, is the whole month) 'I want to enjoy them and if I'm all stressed and running around all the time..."ENJOY" is not the word that would come to mind.'
Then the power went out. Heck, even before I finished wrapping and tidying up the wrapping paper, the power was out. So I sat down to knit.
Knitting this month is a tricky trick.
There's the knitting for people that you don't live with; so it's o.k. to knit that stuff at home. When other people are home.
There's the knitting for people that you don't live with, but can't knit when other people are around because the knitting is too complicated for outside observers. AKA: Quiet Knitting.
There's the knitting for people that you do live with that you can knit when you are out at knit night or waiting at dance class or drum lessons or dentist appointments or maybe even work.
There's the knitting for people that you do live with that you cannot knit when you are out because it takes more brain cells than you have available at that time. AKA: Alone Knitting. This last one is the trickiest of December Knitting, but I think that I've got it covered pretty well this time.
I made a hat.
It's wrapped so I can't show you, but I like it. Who knows how it'll go over Christmas morning. Do fourteen year old boys like their hats to match their coats? I'm really trying not to dwell on it.
Back to life without power. It is amazing how quiet the house is when the power is off. Luckily I had already turned on the gas fireplace, so I had a nice warm place to settle in and I did knock off a few rows of a hat for somebody that doesn't live with me, but you know what else you can do when the power is off and nobody is here to bug you?
Spin. I spun and I spun and I spun.
My bobbin overfloweth. Sigh.
After awhile the power came back on, I could tell because all the house noises started again, and I went down to finish the laundry that had stopped mid-cycle, wait for the water to get hot, so I could have my bath and have a cup of tea.
I shared this tea with my lovely knitting friends; you know...tea and cookies...and it was a hit...even with the non-tea drinkers! It's a nice festive beverage to drink...that's o.k. to drive after!
You know where else you can have tea and cookies and knitting?

In Mexico and you don't have to lift a finger! (Except to knit)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Catching Up

Made it to Mexico and home again, safe and sound! The holiday was fabulous and we're looking forward to another one about now?

First and foremost...Seascape was finished and blocked and dried in time to make it to the resort. I wasn't especially pleased with my blocking, but I've taken some steps to correct any concerns that I had. (Cough---KnitPick Blocking Mats---Cough---on order---)

I need to be doing about a dozen other things right now; so here it is, a drive by holiday review. I've got some more pictures to post another time...I'll try to anyway.

This is the view from the room. That's right, an infinity pool right outside our door! I would walk that little river, under the bridge to the swim up bar, gather a couple of Raspberry Margarita's (yummo!) and walk back to enjoy a little sunshine in my own private pool.

This is the view from the beach. Here a nice fellow would bring me the Raspberry Margarita.

This is the view from the bar where I switched it up for a Strawberry Daiquiri.

And on our final night we played a little chess. You know it's a good night when your husband ends up wearing your new lace wrap.

I won.