Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Year's Eve Eve at Crossroads

We had an absolutely beautiful day of sunshine and very cold (for us... meaning about 34 F or 1.1 C) temperatures.  I spent the day mostly just knitting.  The HPKCHC group on Ravelry has sorted for the Winter Term, but the first month of classes doesn't start until January 1, so I have 2 more days until the madness officially begins.  I am finishing the last of the sweaters for my nieces and nephew (it's the nephew sweater) who live in Tucson.  I'm on the sleeves, and am knitting them 2-at-a-time of course.  I have started decreasing them, so they are going faster and faster.  I will try to have everything finished except for the weaving in so I can turn in this sweater for Detention points on January 1 and earn the WIP the First Badge in Gryffindor.  If this makes no sense to you, just know that I am finishing the last of my Christmas Sweater gifts and hope to have it all done on January 1.

Moogie left for Nicaragua last night.  She is meeting up with 3 of her friends from NYU for a few weeks of vacation.  If she sends some good photos, I will try to do a bit of a post for her about her trip.  Himes and Pookie are still home, though Pookie will leave to go back for school on Saturday.  I love having my family around for the holidays.  But, when Wednesday comes around, I am soooo ready to get away from my family for a few hours of knitting with my friends at Crossroads.

There was a good crowd tonight of people who were also ready to have a break from their families.

Hrvdmnky brought her peacock hats.  I thought she was going to need me to help with the feathers, not because she doesn't know how to crochet, but  because she wasn't that excited about hooking 12 feathers, but she brought all of the finished feathers tonight.  They aren't sewn onto the hats yet, but you can get the idea of what they will look like.
Photo by Hrvdmnky
She was working on her Guernsey Wrap by Jarod Flood.
Pamela2708 is hard at work on the Level 2 Master Knitter Program of the Knitters Guild of America (KGOA).  She has to knit a vest for this level, and is making a child's vest with a cable detail.
WireKnitter brought a beautiful shawl.
BlueBerryMary was sewing the nose on a Racoon Hat.
Wajio is knitting the teeth border on her test knit for VanesaPolo's newest design, the Lluna Shawlette.
I just finished mine Lluna Shawlette today, and will show you the photos tomorrow.
Crunchynumbers has almost finished the first of her Cadence Socks by verybusymonkey.  She ran into a problem of an ipad with no charge, and the dependence on Knit Companion for this complicated and beautiful cable pattern.
DomesticShorthair has started a new "bed jacket."
Here is Anuwizard modelling an owl hat knit by ReadnitDream.  Anuwizard brought a brioche scarf she was knitting out of her own handspun.  She spun this yarn on a drop spindle, and dyed it herself.

ReadnitDream brought a new pair of socks that she is knitting.
VanesaPolo is finishing another Hitchhiker.
This encouraged Hrvdmnky to bring out 2 hitchhikers that she has been working on.  The first is finished, and is her Advent Hitchhiker which she knit from 24 different mini-skeins that she got for Advent.
The second is WIP and is made of one skein of yarn with 2 long stripes that repeat.
The last project for tonight is GwenS's little dress for her expected baby, Ceecee.  The pattern is Belle Isle by Heidi Atwood-Reeves.

I will be at Yarn Church on Sunday morning at the Panera's in Redmond as I will be ready for another break from my wonderful family.  Not sure I will post about it, but I will be there knitting.

I also wanted to say that this is my 999th blog post.  Whoever thought I would continue to blog for this long?  Not me, for sure.

shaping the planet with yarnie friends on the eve of New Year's Eve.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Yule Log

I forgot to show you the photo of the delicious cake that Moogie baked for our Christmas dessert.  It is the Buche de Noel from Mary Berry's Baking Bible.  It is supposed to look like a French Christmas Log.  The cake is a chocolate sponge, and the filling is made with chestnut puree (yes, we peeled and pureed half a pound of chestnuts since we couldn't find this in any local store), coffee and chocolate. The topping is whipped cream dusted with cocoa.  Delicious!

shaping the planet with traditional desserts.

Merry Christmas

May the Force of Christmas be with you!

One of my favorite Christmas traditions in our family is the "Ornament for the year."  Every year I get each member of the family a special ornament.  Sometimes they are just  an ornament I thought was fun or beautiful, like this dancing cow.
Other years' ornaments commemorated something special.  This Mountie is from Victoria, Canada.  I bought it on a trip the girls and I took one summer.
Last year, the ornaments were the crocheted snowflakes and colorwork knit christmas balls I made during the summer.
This year, the ornaments are all Stars Wars themed!  They were a big hit. 
One of our other traditions is to go to a movie on Christmas.  When I was young, we woke up Christmas morning and opened presents.  Then we drove to either our Grandma and Grandpa's house or to one of the Aunt's and Uncle's house for a big family gathering.  Since we have always lived so far away from our family, Christmas is spent with just our immediate family.  After we open presents, we are ready to get out of the house, and that has always meant going to a movie.  Well, since we had seen Star Wars, and there weren't any good seats left on Christmas day at the Crossroads Regal theater, we decided to stay home and play board games.

 While we waited for Allifer and her BF to arrive, Himes, Pookie and Moogie played Ticket to Ride.
I took a break and ran over to GwenS's house to whisper some cats.
 Sunny was pretty shy, but Rocky actually let me give him some scratchies!
We had all kinds of appetizers with the games.
When Allifer and her BF arrived, we opened presents, then had dinner.  After that, the kids played some game that Allifer brought that involved Las Vegas and developing casinos.  Not sure of the name, but there was a lot of shouting and laughter.

 Note that Himes is wearing the hat I made him for Christmas.  He needed something warm to wear under his snowboard helmet.  Thank you Cascade Superwash Aran!  Wow, does that yarn knit up fast.

I mostly knit on the Lluna Shawlette that I am testing for VanesaPolo.  I don't have any good photos yet, I'll try to take some tomorrow.

But, here is the Cables and Lace Advent Scarf 2015 off the blocking wires.  I folded the scarf in half to try to get better pictures of the patterns.

This is the scarf folded.  I'll try to get some photos of the scarf being worn tomorrow in sunlight.  Maybe I'll get Pookie to model for me.
shaping the planet on Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 Advent Scarf ... BLOCKING!


No kitty photo today, even though Sunny let me scratch her neck for a bit.  She disappeared before I got my camera out, and would not come even though I whistled and whistled.  Rocky is still in hiding.

I have finished the knitting of my 2015 Advent Scarf!
This is the wrinkly unblocked stage.

This was a really interesting knit.  The designer is one of the mods for Sock Madness, her name is Tricia Weatherston, zemy on Ravelry, and the scarf is called the Cables and Lace Advent Scarf 2015. Rather than design separate sections with dividers, she had the sections run into each other, and just divided the scarf into 24 different 20 line charts.
Each chart has some lace and some cables.  Often the cables are in the middle, but they also are set on one side,
with the lace on the other, dividing the scarf in half.  The cables then wander back through the middle, and to the other side of the scarf.
I know I just knit 3 pair of cabled socks this summer, but somehow I had forgotten how much fun it is to knit cables.  Also, the lace sections were really inspiring.  None of the sections were particularly difficult.  There were some motifs with nupps.  I think you can see them on the bottom right of the scarf section shown below.
If I had trouble catching all of the loops on the purl, I just used a crochet hook.  But, I discovered that if I knit the "make 5 from 1" (knit, yo, knit, yo, knit  all in the same stitch), loosely, I was able to catch them all with a purl fairly easily on the next row. 

I fell behind about 6 days because I had to finish up a few other things and could not just devote all of my time to only this project.  Once school ended, last Friday, I have been knitting about 8 hours every day on this scarf, and was able to totally catch up.  I got up this morning, went to the gym, came home and knit the final chart.

I was finished well before noon.  I had time to soak the scarf, then get it all pinned out.  It should be dry by morning, and I plan to wear it to Christmas Mass.
Merry Christmas,
shaping the planet with cables and lace.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Eve Eve, or Wed Night Knitting with Eastside Stitchers

Yes, that is Sunny hunting a spider, and trying her best to ignore me, Tutu, who was checking in on Rocky and her.

So I thought the Eve of Christmas Eve would be a quiet night for the Eastside Stitchers, but just as I was ready to take a break from all the family festivities and knit with my buddies, so were many of Eastside Stitchers.

BlueBerryMary brought a finished Racoon Hat (modeled by dreamweaver19), and was hooking another.

Dreamweaver19 was also finishing up some Christmas gifts, wash cloths.
Well, look who finally made it to a Wednesday night meet up.  CathyC is knitting a hat pattern from the Gift-a-long on Ravelry.  This hat is Calm Frenzy by Sara Gresbach.
Wajio is almost to the border rows of the test knit she is doing of VanesaPolo's newest pattern.  (I am working on this pattern, too.)
DomesticShorthair brought her finished lace shrug/sweater for Show and Tell.  The pattern instructions for the sleeves were a bit challenging, but she figured it out, and the result is lovely.
She brought her second Easy by Martina Behm.  This looks lovely in Crazy Zauberball.
Puzan is knitting another Stashbusting Helix Hat, by Jessica Rose.
Puzan was starting a new cowl with a new cast on.  It is a provisional cast on that does not use crochet.
JitteryKnitter is a-l-m-o-s-t finished with this Christmas gift...
VanesaPolo brought a new shawl idea.  She is knitting the prototype.
Anya has startitis.  She brought two different projects that she is trying to finish before Christmas.
This is Anya's second project.  I think they are both cup cozies.
ReadnitDream brought some socks that are in the home stretch.  She has finished the feet and heels and is on the legs.
shaping the planet in the most beautiful Christmas sweater EVER!