There is knitting, too, I promise….

Allow me to pour us a beverage and explain. I’m having wine, what will you have?

After my nap, I sewed and then sewed some more, then I ripped out some stitches of misplaced hexies, and went back to sewing them in the right place…darned hexies. I was also sent home disgustingly early on Christmas Eve which left my bank account weeping a bit more than expected this year. The snow arrived early this year, which is better than late, when you are not driving home in it too early on Friday night as well….Alas, let’s get back to the sewing I went right back to with the extra time I now had on my hands. I still had tweaks to sew, hexies to place and part of a border to attach….as well as a letter to type and print which would be delivered explaining the quilt top.

dscn1671

Jamie…wondering what he might do with a planetarium (it’s science, he’ll be fine…).

Where’s the super-secret quilt top? What a great question, I’ll get right on that. About 4AM Christmas morning, I put the quilt top in a huge box with some batting choices, the letter and a small, wrapped package of chocolate and popcorn. The child shouldn’t walk away empty handed,after all. As my dear niece, Jessica, worked to undo all my pretty 4AM wrapping, she guessed there was a dress in the box. Unless it was a ball gown replica (one I’d shown her back in October), it wouldn’t have needed such a large box. It was a good guess on her part, and perhaps success on my part. (I have sewn her dresses before, mostly when she was younger). Once she got the box opened and began to lift the quilt out, I had my sister in law step in and assist with the unveiling and handed Jessica my camera. Forgive the photo, I often forget to direct when I’m not behind the camera. Besides, most of my subjects are cats, dogs, and yarn…they have ears only for food, and the yarn, doesn’t listen at all, much like the cats.

dscn1676

The reveal….there’s more to go….but here’s what I’ve been working on forever….or the last three years…if that isn’t loving someone more, I don’t know what is;-).

dscn1670

That being said, the quilt top is still a wee bit unfinished and my dear Dad was the first to point out the holes left in the quilt top. (I wanted to shout, “You should have seen them yesterday!” I didn’t, I was good.) He suggested the holes were arm-holes…you see them…clever, but not quite. I’m quite aware I have more work to do. But once it was unveiled, and I returned to work Monday to double my normal hours this week, including an extra Tuesday, I decided it was now okay to take a slight break from the quilt top. Besides, there is still more to update.

dscn1664

Said quilt top…Spindly legs, and all…spindly term courtesy of Jessica…

I also presented the cable socks to Lizzie(the younger niece), that I’d been working on for much of fall semester. I promised feet photos and forgot them. I’m torn between you have to wait until my pair is done or I’ll have her pose her feet next time…then we have to figure out the best way to photograph someone else’s feet….

dscn1681

Future footwork…(it’s not as if I have three or more of these irons in the fire;-))…

I also meant to unveil mittens to my dad. They did not get finished, not even the first one. Hence why I was on the naughty bench all week, in addition to the quilt top–’When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better.” –Mae West.

dscn1683

Where the mitts are this week….(they didn’t fit…). I’m glad I got the “alternate” gift…perhaps one day, I or Lizzie will love them;-)….

Luckily, I’d received a generous surprise gift card and snuck off the the J-store (Jo-Ann Fabrics) to purchase some last minute gifts….(yes, I know better). While dear James’ journal came in before the big day, he still appreciated the simple hard-cover journal of a similar size I procured for him which may travel better.

dscn1686

The journals….his is much better–the leather one on the right, but mine travels easier….

Then I presented my dad with his “alternative” gift, a simple Star Wars calendar. I proceeded to test his reaction to the wool I was using by thrusting the entire skein into his hand. If it made him itch, I’d have a positive and he could wash the itch off quickly. I showed him the right mitt and had him try it on. Turns out, it’s better suited for my hand than his, which I feared. He was not fully aware of the mittens, so this gift was not an entire bust, thankfully. I might be able to get off the naughty bench for this year. I’ll be sure to join you ladies (and perhaps some gentlemen) right back there next year!

dscn1669

Bubble gum filled Naughty socks….the Nice sock was hidden in the bottom of the snowman….

Now that the big reveals are done and my nephew enjoyed his bubblegum filled socks… presented naughty one first (because the kids really are a chip off the old aunt block….don’t tell them I admitted to anything near old, but the block is old!), I’ve considered reflecting on the past year, but with all the deaths of legends, whether the returned home as the K theory in Men In Black suggests or they are simply gone, we’re begging for a kindler, gentler 2017, and thinking of sending 2016 off with a big bang…or one heck of a salute. It won’t matter to me, unless the big bang is in the gaming hell where I will hopefully be dealing a Carnival game rather than Black Jack.

dscn1678

My happy break from work(except when I’m talking knitting with a Georgian(U.S.) knitter working on a Detroit Lions cowl before a tournament she attends once a year;-). (Squee moment from work).

Enough about work…there’s a reason Londoners, or Englishmen, in historical novels call it a gaming hell, and I’m not really done being naughty, and therefore am absolutely not prepared for reflection…February will be cold enough for that…. Plus, I’ve picked up some “shelved” projects and had others thrust upon me or requested.

dscn1679

The other side of the socks….I still love this color.

Dear James had to fill my stocking after all, and when he got home from his last minute traditional shopping trip to my local yarn store, he reminded me that I’m expensive and told me he got me a new project…well, the yarn for it anyways….

dscn1680

Dear James told me I didn’t have a matching scarf, hat and mittens…half acrylic…Now I’m left searching for a matching pattern….any suggestions?

dscn1670

Reveal of the second sock for the kid willing to wear my Naughty or Nice stocking hat…;-)

Advertisements

Mitten Continuance

December 16, 2016

What can I say….the big gifting day is ten days away…I’m almost half done with the first mitten. Hear me out….classes are done, grades are in–they’re respectable, but not my best work…well, except for the developmental psychology class. That was good work, or a 4.0. The rest, I received an A- in, or 3.7. I was surprised by one of the A-’s as I expected a B at highest, but our last quiz replaced a bad grade on a damned literary map (that likely doesn’t belong in a college classroom), so I consider that A- almost a bonus. But I got used to the 4.0 average I was working my butt off for in school, so forgive me if this feels a bit deflated. Alas, I must respect that it is still decent progress.

dscn1628

Squib, cuddling while I knit…at least he doesn’t grade my knitting….just the yarn quality, sometimes

Moving on, I’m busting my butt on the semi-secret fantasy quilt. I’ve sewn in most of my free time and have over half of the border done as well as the cornerstones. I’m making progress…but I feel like it’s never enough. I’m hoping to get this top done before the 25th. I did catch a break today as my sister-in-law and I had gingerbread house-making planned, but she wasn’t ready as I headed off to learn my final grade in my frustrating class(see above, I hope that rant is over).dscn1630

Side 1 of the mitten…I think this is the bottom side, since it’s for the right hand…

I came home and sewed some clouds and worked out where the fabrics need to go to make more clouds. Then I considered the flowers….I need more flowers….I always need more of one or the other, but I made good progress and just have to keep working. I also snuck in a row or two on the mittens while I got some laundry done this evening. However, I also have to cook this week(projects or not….if I wanna eat, I gotta cook-drat).

dscn1631

Side 2 of the mitten….It’s coming along, but I better return to knitting. I’m hoping it turns out better than it looks on the needles, but I think it will be fun in the end.

Then, as I watched the first half of the season finale of Project Runway, I finished dinner and knit the next row…which got me close to half way done with the chart. Since I have the cuff knit, I might be over halfway done, but I also have to knit a thumb in there…That could get interesting.

dscn1626

Maeve, snuggling on mom while I knit… right on the yarn and covering the pattern…she’s a pro at interrupting the knitting process….

Now, allow me to tell you about my “Oh, crap!” moment. I’m not sure if it was yesterday as I snuck in some evening knitting time, but it must have been, because I barely arrived at class on time this morning(class was meeting early due to the final exam schedule). I started the left mitten, I’ve knit everything for the left mitten…do you catch my drift…then I looked at the chart pattern and realized I was knitting the chart for the right mitten! “You’ve got to be kidding me,” is likely the nice version of what I was thinking.

dscn1627

Squibby doesn’t get the ‘What was I thinking?’ thing….he just tests it and sees what happens….I need to be more like Squibby…

Instead of continuing to swear about my luck, I calmly turned the pattern over, saw where I should be. Then I looked at the first page, and saw my salvation: Right mitten: Work same as left mitten. Thank goodness! I may have done a little jig in my chair…minding the knitting needles (and any other pins and needles) of course. I hesitate to celebrate further this week as I hope to make much more progress before I feel comfortable with the gifting.

…Famous last words…Sure, I can get a pair of stranded color-work mittens done by Christmas. Mittens are easier than socks, right? Granted, I did realize I did not have enough time to knit another pair of socks for Christmas…but mittens, why not.

dscn1606

Mittens are easy, right?

So, I thought when I saw the cute, sweet stranded color-work pattern with a chart. I can do this. Mittens knit up faster than socks, right? Of course they do. I’ll have some time once I finish my classes, right? I can get them done by Christmas, no problem…says every crafter with good intentions each year…Do we ever really learn?

dscn1607

Apparently, I do not learn well…at least when it comes to crafting…

I still have a semi-secret quilt top to sew, work and now these darned mittens. The designer is likely very creative, I got them here at Ravelry.com. They’re cute. And I’m finally using the recycled denim yarn that only took me eleven hours or so to untangle as I wound it. I’m glad I took the eleven hours, though I could have been working on a paper during that time.

dscn1610

Squib, checking my inventory…

Alas, I have one more paper to go, and it’s a reasonably easy revision. But how does a modern woman interpret Medea? (Yes, I’m open to suggestions; I’ll figure out how to give credit later). In the meantime, I’ve been working on them and knitting up little black starbursts in the cloud colored denim before class at school and during extracurricular lectures. I made some progress, but if you know me, you know charts are not my strength…especially when I’m in company.

The lecture was on Neil Gaiman by Dr. Joseph Sommers: “It’s Neil Gaiman’s World, I Just Work In It.” I feel I must confess that I have never read Neil Gaiman(gasp!)–it’s not that I haven’t wanted to, but it hasn’t come up in my repertoire of historical romance and mystery/suspense. I think I need to remedy this…Do you think that will keep Santa from dropping coal in my stocking?

dscn1612

Scamp, arranging her book nest…

I enjoyed the lecture, as did Dear James-who got to go with me and we made a short evening of it, because I had an exam today. It’s done. I now have to decide if I wish to sell this text book on Amazon. But that has nothing to do with mittens. In my defense, I was finishing the cuff of the mitten at the lecture. Now, I’ve attached color two and am working stranded color-work, that has some sort of design to it, I’m sure. “The left mitten features half of the proverb, with a floral Gotland motif, and the right mitten features the second half of the proverb with an abstract star motif, “The left mitten features half of the proverb, with a floral Gotland motif, and the right mitten features the second half of the proverb with an abstract star motif.” (Bujold).

It shall be interesting…I’m no longer sure if it’s faster than cabling…. We’ll save the “What was I thinking?” part for next week, as you may hear about these….

Oh, dear…then I read the note about using a larger needle size for those with larger hands…tune in next week to hear about the fix…(Or ripping and tearing I have no time for…perhaps I’ll buy the man a Neil Gaiman book, I hope tips are good, so if you go gamble, remember your dealer has to purchase gifts too).