Christmas wrap-up

Better late than never, right? Brad's stepmother asked for a snowman ornament with our names and the year on the back. We're all very sure that she meant something like a ceramic ornament that you get from Hallmark with our names and date put on with a sharpie, but I do have this inate ability to overdo... well, quite a lot. So I spent 7.25 hours from December 23-24 2007 making this: snowman front Snowman back While we're on the subject of ornaments, I finally finished the ornament from last year (I cross-stitched it last year, but didn't do the sewing and cording until this year): 2007 front 2006 back And, on Christmas day, I designed (leaning heavily on Lizzie Kate charts) and stitched our annual ornament (5.5 hours). Every year I pick something that is representative of our year. In 2007, we bought our "forever" home. More importantly, though, we figured out how to be our busy, ambitious, overworked selves and still put each other first and really became a family, thus the "The M*******s" title at the top. 2007 front 2007 back Here's a look at all six Christmas ornaments: six years First year is pretty obvious, the second year is the year we bought our condo (and got a fireplace) and adopted Leilani. The third year, I was in grad school at SDSU while Brad was at UCSD. The fourth year was our last in California, and we were also enjoying wine tasting together. The fifth year was our first real wintery Christmas. The last Christmas gift is from a book that my mother-in-law sent to me. She expressed her appreciation for the feather trimmed tops, so I made one for her for Christmas. peacock top Yarn: 6.5 skeins of Muench String of Pearls in navy Needles: Addi Turbos US 7 Date Started: December 2, 2007 Date Completed: December 28, 2007 Time: 7.75 hours for the front, 7 hours for the back, and 2 hours for finishing for a total of 16.75 hours. The top is finished with peacock feather trim.

Been busy!

I just finished gift knitting/cross-stitching yesterday. I still can't post it all, but I can blog what has been received. First, socks for my sister. Technically, they were her birthday socks, just really, really late (March 8th birthday). Retro Rib Socks Pattern: Retro Rib Socks, Evelyn A. Clark Yarn: Less than one skein of Socks that Rock lightweight in Firebird Modifications: I didn't knit the exact number of repeats stated Needles: Addi Turbos US 1 (2.5 mm) Date Started: October 28, 2007 Date Completed: November 30, 2007 Time: 8.5 hours for the first sock, 8.5 for the second for a total of 17 hours So I made her another pair of socks, her actual Christmas socks: Finished Pattern: Go With the Flow Socks, Evelyn A. Clark Yarn: Less than one skein of Araucania Ranco in 105 (helpful note - do NOT cut off the tag, as they use the yarn from the skein to tie it on. Luckily, the tag was more or less in the middle of the yarn, as I ended up with two balls) Modifications: nothing Needles: Addi Turbos US 1 (2.5 mm) Date Started: December 2, 2007 Date Completed: December 23, 2007 Time: 8.5 hours for the first sock, 8.25 for the second for a total of 16.75 hours Lani enjoyed these socks: Lani I finished Brad's multi-directional scarf too, but haven't blocked it yet. Pictures later. I busted out the cross-stitch to make Ed his gift: truthiness Pattern: Truthiness (available as chart only here), by Julie Jackson Notes: This is one of her most complex charts (her designs are simplistic in nature) and I found her charting style of color, no symbols, difficult for the eagle. I don't see this as being an issue with any more of her designs, but if you want to order this pattern, I would suggest asking her if she could please include a chart with symbols. I have never emailed Julie Jackson, so I have no idea if she would honor such a request - while it's an easy thing to do in cross-stitch software, I have no idea what the volume of her business is or if she keeps any physical inventory (pre-printed charts) or not. Regardless, it would be worth at least asking. Date Started: December 22, 2007 Date Completed: December 23, 2007 Time: 8.5 hours We've been doing a few other things too - here's the picture from the December 15th holiday party: Holiday party The last snow storm brought beautiful trees: winter white Brad borrowed Ed's snowblower to make some paths, which Lani enjoyed: squirrel hole And, we have a snowblower on the way to us (everyone nearby was sold out when we checked last week). It should arrive on Monday, which is also when we're supposed to get more snow. Guess we'll see which one gets here first. Saturday before Christmas, Brad and I went to Brunswick, ME, to participate in Franklin's 1000 Knitters project. Here we are getting ready for my shot - the scarf is huge! 1000 Knitters I'm pretty amazed at Franklin and his project - the thought of having to talk to 1000 knitters makes me kind of nauseated (nothing against knitters - the thought of talking to 1000 completely random people is even worse). I had the added bonus of meeting That Laurie and seeing her amazing sweater in person. Christmas was nice and relaxing - just the four of us (my sister and Ed came over) having a casual day in our house. Leilani allowed herself to be tortured for a bit: Nice present (The other side of the hat says "naughty.") Here are some lamb booties that Brad got her - so cute! She hates them, though (as predicted) but they were too cute to pass up. lamb booties

The first gift has landed

I've been absent a while, I know... the week before last was a truly horrible week, with customer meetings at work and trying to get everything done before the last weekend of school. This last week... well, I had the best of intentions of catching up on blogging, once I met a Tuesday night work deadline, but you know how that goes. :P I do know that the first gift that I finished was received, so I can post that now (I sent it to my mom early so she could take it with her on a trip last weekend). The gossamer shrug is just a big rectangle (2x2 rib), 45" long, and since I forgot to measure, I'm going to guess 20-22" wide: blocking With a couple of 10" seams, transformed into the shrug my mom wanted: front back Pattern: Shop pattern from Yarn in New Haven, CT. Very loosely followed. Yarn: Karabella Gossamer in 6250, a little over two skeins Needles: US 10.5 Addi Turbos Date Started: November 9, 2007 Date Finished: December 8, 2007 Time: 16.25 hours (16 for knitting, .25 for finishing) Have to get back to the grindstone! Christmas is in three days, and no, I'm not going to make it. (Two gifts will definitely arrive late.) If I call victory as having mailed before Christmas, though, I might have a chance.

Well, she went ahead and did it

Stephanie dropped the "C" word a few days ago, accompanied by "42 days left" (which would now be 40.) Granted, I am not attacking Christmas with the reckless abandon I did in 2005 (and by reckless abandon, I mean carefully planned, must start in January, tightly packed schedule of over 20 handmade gifts). I went for realistic last year. This year I'm shooting for a few gifts, so I really shouldn't be worried, but I am just a tad. I do have a good start on my mother's gift, a simple shrug out of Karabella Gossamer: shrug It does in fact look like I'll have some extra yarn, and I'm kind of excited, since I really wanted to make this awesome jacket when I saw it in person (the pictures are great, but the jacket is amazing in person). I never could wrap my head around the yarn cost, though - but now I'll have the spendiest part, the Gossamer, just waiting! :) The shrug is perfect social knitting, so I got a lot done at Knitsmiths on Sunday. The beauty of your mother picking out the pattern and buying the yarn (besides the fact that I know she'll love it) is that you can actually blog the process. I do have socks in progress for my sister, and she even knows what sock yarn (she picked it out), but since my sister is on Ravelry and reads the blog (and SO cannot be trusted with a link that she's not supposed to click on), there will be no pictures of that. Though technically they are her really really late birthday gift (birthday is March 8 ) and I hope to have something that is completely a surprise by Christmas, but I'm trying to inject some realism as well (yes, you're at the right blog. :) ) After that, there's something for Brad (obviously), and then for two more people. I think I have a chance, especially since I ended up buying a dress for my company's holiday party that won't go with black, so I can escape from any plans I might have had (allegedly, of course) to finish the mystery stole by December 15th. :)