I’m finally done with Christmas

Only 11 days after the fact! (I know the sidebar says 12, but I finished this yesterday). I'll reset the countdown tomorrow; I just wanted to enjoy being done for a minute. This is the ornament I finished on December 31st. It was a mere 1.5 hours of stitching. UCSDSU I did the finishing on it yesterday, after my big move to the couch. Ornament I was on a roll, so I pulled out the round robin that I'm only six days late on (I was half finished). :| round robin This one took me a total of 5.25 hours. While I was in the middle of stitching on the round robin, I got an unexpected knock on the door. John, having read the blog, went to buy his own copy of Garden State and brought it to me. It took me a good two minutes to figure out that he had not gone into my office and opened my Amazon box - I'm not sure why multiple copies of Garden State baffled me so. Anyway, it was unexpected and much appreciated - I finished the round robin to excellent programming. I went back to work today. I was even semi-productive (hard when all you want to do is sleep). Thank goodness tomorrow is Friday - it's going to be a mellow weekend. I'm going to prep some packages for mailing, and then I'm going to bed. I feel like I'm in 7th grade.

Tour of the Midwest, Part I

I thought I'd just bite the bullet do this post all at once. I'm at home in bed, still with zero desire to do any crafting, so I have to take advantage of the laptop with the internet access. At least I'm back in San Diego now, in my comfortable bed, and the Vicks Vapor-Steam humidifier pumping out steam. Tuesday, December 21st The day was pretty boring; we flew out in the morning. I cast on for Brad's hat, since he couldn't find his normal winter hat, and I was going to make him one as part of the men in hats along anyway. I was using the leftover yarn from the DNA scarf, and just doing a simple 2x2 rib. When we arrived in Detroit, we got our rental car and immediately headed out to Indianapolis. Nothing like following up a long flight with a long car ride! We got to Indianapolis at about 9 pm, and visited with Collin and Amanda (Amanda is Brad's favorite cousin). I gave them the dog ornament. Here's the reason why I knew it would be perfect for them: Scout Wednesday, December 22nd We had a leisurely brunch with Collin and Amanda, and then headed out to Illinois to Brad's dad's house. This was the first time that I really got to spend time with my father-in-law, his wife, and their three kids. We spent the evening just hanging out and talking. On the drive over, I completed my men-in-hats along hat for Brad. It was a simple 2x2 ribbed hat, 8 hours, using about a skein and a half of Filatura di Crosa 501 in French Navy (leftover from the DNA scarf). Brad hat Thursday, December 23rd More hanging out and talking. We also made a quick trip to Peru (sounds exotic, but I'm talking about Peru, IL, the closest JoAnns to Ottawa, where we were staying). I needed one more skein of Bernat Boa to finish up the scarf for Kenzie. I also started on Lizzie*Kate December while we were doing all of the hanging out and talking. We had Christmas dinner number 1 that night, a wonderful meal of ham and stuffing. We unwrapped gifts after dinner. The kids all liked their quilts, and Sheri and Kevin raved about the scarves. I really wish I made Kevin's longer - he's pretty tall. Oh well. They generously gave us some cash. Here's everyone in front of the tree: XMas Friday, December 24th We had every intention of leaving early to meet up with Madalyn and her husband Kris for lunch. Unfortunately, we had a flat tire and had to get it fixed at Jim Bo's. That really was the name of the shop - you can't make this stuff up! We ended up meeting up with Madalyn and Kris for a late lunch, which was a lot of fun. On the way there, I had a fiasco with that skein of Bernat Boa that we had picked up the day before. Here's me fighting the snarl with two water bottles (I would wind freshly freed yarn on both bottles as I made progress, one bottle for each end). Boa Mess The color is really funky. I would have just trashed it and bought a new skein if I could, but it was Christmas Eve, and we were in parts unknown. It took me over two hours to conquer that mess. Anyway, back to lunch, we had a great time. :) I had actually been talking to Madalyn online long before knit blogging days (back in wedding chat days), and it was really cool to get to meet her. Now we just have to meet Natalie! Rhinebeck, anyone? Madalyn, Kris, Kristin, and Brad Kris and Madalyn After lunch, we went on to Michigan. I finished up Kenzie's scarf in the car, once the Bernat Boa was untangled. The scarf took a little over three skeins of Bernat Boa in Mocking Bird and a little over two skeins of Gjestal Ren Ny Ull Superwash in off-white. The finished dimensions were 7" x 55", knit on size US11 needles, 24 stitches in garter stitch, 5.25 hours to complete. Bernat Boa Scarf The scarf was completed less than an hour before we pulled into Brad's mom's house. Talk about cutting it close! The evening was spent talking with Brad's mom and Kenzie and Zach, followed by midnight Mass. Here we are all dressed up on Christmas Eve: Christmas Eve Saturday, December 25th I was reminded why we don't have kids yet as Kenzie woke us up way too early to open up gifts. Here's Zach and his hat: Zach Christmas Kenzie with all of her boa goodness: Kenzie Christmas We watched one of Kenzie's movies, the newest Harry Potter, and had Christmas dinner number two that evening (turkey, this time). I finished up Lizzie*Kate November Flip-It that evening. It took me a total of 9 hours. December Flip-It Sunday, December 26th We got up early to go have breakfast with Grandpa M. He loved his cross-stitch: Gpa Tractor This was sitting in his garage when we pulled in (just one of many he owns): AC Garage So much for all at once - I'm going to publish this and do a part II later.

Happy Holidays!

I have no idea when I'll get near the internet again. It might be in a couple days, it might not be until December 31st. I'm hoping for sooner than later, but with all the driving around we'll be doing, you never know. Some parting pictures - the dog ornament. I forgot to scan it before I finished it, so this is as good as it gets for a close-up: Dog Ornament The whole ornament: Dog Ornament Finished Here are the finished mittens: Kenzie Mittens I thought I would be starting on Lizzie*Kate December Flip-It on the plane, but Brad has lost his hat. Since I was going to make him a hat on the trip anyway, I'll just make it my plane project. I'll have an FO for the Men in Hats Along in no time! :) Oh, and before I forget again, my sister has something to share - she got some Susan Bates Silvalume needles that were unpleasantly grippy. She used steel wool on them, and the problem was solved. I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday. :)

I’m all twitterpated

So, it turns out that Brad was trying to throw me off of the track with that circular saw comment. His saw never made it out of the box. His tool of choice? You guys ready for this? A needle. As in tapestry needle. For cross-stitch. Pooh legs (For everyone that will be torn about telling me about the color of Pooh's legs, he knows, he was frantically trying to finish in time and will fix it now.) I am so absolutely blown away by this. This is one of the sweetest things that Brad has ever given me. We'll get to hang out on the couch watching TV and crafting together while he finishes up Pooh. :) I certainly don't expect him to make a habit of cross-stitch, which is part of what makes it so darn cool - he's doing this purely because he knew I would absolutely love it. I'm all gushy today. He loved his Michigan colored beer accessories as well - earlier yesterday afternoon; I met him at his office for their weekly beer. As we were standing out there in the 60 degree weather holding cold beers, I was definitely wishing I had one of those coozies, as was Brad. The gift unveiling was very timely as he had just identified a need for them. :) He's very excited about bringing a coozie to work so he can enjoy his Friday afternoon beer in style. We're off to my dad's house in a half-hour or so. I'll finish up the last mitten on the way there and hopefully get more of the dog ornament done. I made good progress on the mitten yesterday - I only have the decreases and the thumb to finish up. :) P.S. Alison, if you're still reading this, Brad would really appreciate it if you wouldn't spread the cross-stitching story around work. He didn't mind at all that I was posting this, but there's definitely a difference between the people who read this knowing and the people he has to work with knowing. Thanks. :)

Half of an FO

I didn't make it to the Stitch 'n Bitch last night, unfortunately. An out of town co-worker was visiting from Monday until this morning, and everyone went out with her every night. I couldn't go on Monday and Tuesday due to school, so I thought I should at least make an appearance last night. While emailing back and forth with Miyon to figure out how to arrange stuff, we ended up deciding that we both had other commitments for the evening that had to take precedence over going to the SnB. I made up for it by knitting at happy hour (hey, same thing except no one else was knitting). I finished up one mitten, and cast on for the second when I got home. mittens I think these are so darn cute. :) My friends did a great job of appreciating the mitten - I guess you don't have to be with other knitters to show off items you're proud of. :) I was right about the thumb - I ended up picking up 3 stitches instead of the recommended 1 stitch over the gap, and it turned out great. In theory I could knock the other one out tonight, except I really shouldn't. I need to be working on the dog ornament cross-stitch tonight, and I have to make pumpkin pies. Anyway, I wish I could have gone to the Stitch 'n Bitch (though I'm glad I hung out with my friends) - my days are limited as next semester I'll have a Wednesday night class. I'll have to start checking out the smaller groups that meet around San Diego on other days. The cool thing is that my monthly fix for a SnB will be met by one in Toronto! :) Lisa confirmed that they'll be having the SnB on December 29th despite the major holidays surrounding it, and I couldn't be more excited! Brad actually booked our hotel with the location of the Naked Sheep in mind. That's normal, right? Speaking of Brad, I got a hint on my Christmas present - it involves a circular saw. It also can't be too large - he got it into our attic way too quickly when he first brought his materials home for it to be a lot of big stuff. He also thought about bringing it to my dad's this weekend, so it can't be bigger than what would fit in a Saturn. I think this rules out the yarn storage/Lani ladder to the bed that we had talked about (basically a couple of storage containers in different heights so Lani can use them to get up on the bed without stressing out her knees). I can't figure it out. I'm normally really good at waiting for surprises, but just the fact that he's making me something is making the suspense unbearable! I lost the bet, by the way. The Christmas cards went out yesterday on time, all except for the ones that I was slow on addresses for. I owe him 3 weeks of making coffee, but that was totally worth it to have close to zero involvement in the whole card making process. :)

The semester is OVAH

Thank goodness. The presentation went well - we got an A- on our final project, which was worth 40% of my final grade. I'm positive that I'll be pleased with my Marketing grade. Financial Management... we'll see. I probably won't know for at least a week. I was going to knit through the presentations like I did last week, but the professor sat in a different position (he had his back to me last week) so I felt really uncomfortable pulling stuff out. I did make progress on the mitten when I got home, though. I'll probably work on it tonight and/or the Blaze sleeve at the Stitch 'n Bitch. Mitten I think the gap for the thumb stitches isn't going to be fixed with just one picked up stitch. I'll have to see how it goes when I get there. Have to finish the finger part first! Since there's no cabling like Blaze, I'm randomly moving the DPNs around (knitting an extra stitch or two to keep the split between DPNs moving) and that's keeping laddering from being a problem. Yesterday I was telling my co-workers that I got google hits from "obsessive-compulsive record-keeping" and they tried it out for themselves. I used to be on the second page for that search, but that post has since been archived. John kept on playing with it, though, and for "obsessive compulsive knitting kriscrafts" he got a result that read like this: Kris Crafts! ... was pretty irritated (John is a compulsive liar, but ... already surprised that she'll be knitting more than ... I was especially obsessive about getting it because ... You have to love the fact that "John is a compulsive liar" comes up in the summary description.

Even with no elves, four gifts are done

I finished up the back of York without even realizing I was that close. It took a lot less time to do the back than the sleeves. I think my bind off for the shoulders was too tight, though, so I'll probably have to redo that. It looks so long and skinny! York Back With a few minutes of hot glue time, the tree ornament was finished. Tree Ornament Back Brad was busier than I was (I spent the majority of my day studying for tonight's exam). He clipped all three quilts and washed and dried them. They're covered in lint now that just can't be taken care of with a lint brush, so he's picking up a lint shaver after work today. Rag Quilts Last but not least, the finished cards. The letter is still incomplete, as are all of the addresses, so we'll see if he makes the Wednesday deadline. Cards Finished Now I just need to get through my final and my presentation, and then I can work on getting that dog ornament completed. I got December's round robin in the mail, but that's really low priority right now.

Completed stitching on one ornament

I still have to finish it as an ornament. This one is going out to Hawaii, so I'm hoping I can have it in the mail by the weekend. Tree Ornament I purchased coordinating cording and fabric yesterday. This was a really quick stitch (less than three hours including the beading). There are lots of embellishments, which helps dress up the minimal cross-stitch. I've been getting swamped with comment spam - after manually deleting 48 comments, I turned on comment moderation. I got six more after that. I'm hoping to turn off the moderation when I figure out the spam, but until then, be patient, as it will take a while for your comment to appear. The Winter Knitty is up. That's just what I need, more things to knit. I really like Tempting (same designer as Blaze). I also like Mariah. Wavy looks like a good alternate to a traditional ribbed scarf.

More pictures

Here's the November Flip-It (click for more project details). November Flip-It The final post-blocking picture of the coasters: Coasters and Coozies Here's the start of a scarf for my sister, made with Peruvian Alpaca in Indigo and Cornflower. I'm using a ribbed pattern, but with a twisted mini-cable for the K2s. I'm switching colors every 28 rows (about 4"). Blue Alpaca Scarf This is the back of York - I'm about ready to start on the shoulder shaping. It looks super skinny because of the ribbing. York Back Progress I thought I would post more today, but I spent a while updating the gallery. I re-organized my stash yesterday, and I have some pictures of new stuff. I have to get off the computer soon to do some homework, and then head off to the gym and a party.

Greetings from Boston

Well, we're here. Our trip was fairly uneventful, despite me losing my airplane friendly nail clippers in the Baltimore airport, making cross-stitching on the second flight impossible. I've been reunited with my lovely Gingher scissors now, and I'll replace the clippers before we fly back home. Before we left, I finished up this month's round robin (I'll post pictures when I get home) and cast on for the back of York. On the flight, I watched Sex and the City Season 5 on DVD and cross-stitched the Lizzie*Kate November Flip-It. I'm a little over halfway done with it now. Today, we got up bright and early to go to my sister's cyclo-cross race in Palmer. I brought the back of York with me, and got about 6" done during the car rides and the down time at the race. Here is my sister racing by: Michele Racing In honor of the Yarn Harlot, here's York at the race: York Race Tonight, we had Christmas. Ed loved his DNA scarf as his co-workers will be quite envious. Michele loved her scarf (though she got it last night because she cheated and looked at the blog entry that it was in). Dad is quite happy with his pajamas. :) I got some great gifts from them, such as a cup to brew loose tea in, the Knitters Companion, a subscription to Interweave Knits, and a red Swingline stapler (Office Space, anyone?). I'm super excited about a gift certificate that my sister got me for a local yarn shop, the Woolpack. We'll be visiting on Friday. Best of all? They carry Fleece Artist! There are other yarn stores in the plan, one in Montreal (Mouline Yarns), and another in Boston (Woolcott). Lovely. :) My father helped me with the annual Christmas ornament design. The first annual ornament, I made an "our first Christmas" ornament. Last year, I stitched a dog in front of a fireplace, which symbolized purchasing the condo with the fireplace and adopting Leilani. This year, we're not that interesting, but we've both started school at the two main universities in San Diego. So here's the design that my father and I came up with this evening: Ornament design It is sized to conveniently fit into a small wooden hoop, a very handy ornament finishing technique. It should also be reasonably quick to stitch up. Tomorrow morning we leave for Montreal! We'll be there until Wednesday, when we head back to Boston to start on Thanksgiving pies. Oh, has anyone heard of Chris Craft Boats? I had never heard of them, but when my dad finally found out my blog address (which he couldn't know due to Christmas information) he thought I had named my site because of them. I've never heard of them, but then again, Natalie named my site. Natalie, is that how you came up with it?