Saturday, December 18, 2010

Softest Red Scarf Was Warming Your Throat


The Scroll Lace scarf I started in November for one of my Virginia nieces is done and drying! The knitting went very quickly, but the bind off was soooooooo slow--a lot of stitches, and alternating casting on a few and then casting off more to get the picot edge. Totally worth the extra effort, but not nearly as fun as making tiny Santas or gnomes.

The scarf used about 2.5 skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca 100% Alpaca sport weight, and it should be very warm and soft. Fingers crossed that she's not sensitive to alpaca!

I've finished a couple of other Christmas projects, and really want to make some more of those snowmen and santas this next week. And I need to locate the cards that I started last year but never sent, and get them in the mail, and I'm supposed to be at a Christmas party in an hour or so but am not yet dressed. I'd better get cracking!

Softest Red Scarf Was Warming Your Scarf: Laura Marling, Goodbye England (Covered in Snow). Love this song, love the album it's on. Just realized that it's a good Christmas present for at least one person on my list!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa, Gnome, Snowman, Santa, Gnome


My niece's scarf is ready to block, but above is the real accomplishment. I want to make many more tiny things--similar to my tiny mitten phase a few years ago. Which reminds me--where did I put all of those mini mittens, anyway? I need those for gift packages!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Christmas 2010: It's Closer Than You Think


Usually, by December I'm ready to forget the current year altogether, and move as quickly as possible with a clean slate into the new year. This is especially true this year, because 2010 has been the worst year since I returned to the Seattle area in 2003. It's been a super frustrating year from both a personal and professional perspective, and without dredging up all of that frustration over again, it's pretty clear that I need to make some changes (maybe small, maybe big) in 2011. It hasn't been all bad, of course, but it's been markedly more bad than good.

So jumping into the holiday spirit with both feet seems like a reasonable way to go to improve my bad attitude, and the idea took hold over Thanksgiving with work on Christmas projects & some quality (and decidedly NOT quality) time with family and friends.

Yesterday in particular was all about getting into the Christmas spirit, here's a rough schedule of the day:

  • 8:45am: Depart for the big city.
  • 9:45am: Pick up E___, leave for craft fair #1 after 5 year old J_____ shows me the awesome ornaments on her tree
  • 10:00 - 12:00: Craft Fair #1: Phinney Neighborhood Association Winter Festival
  • 12:00 - 12:30: Lunch at Dante's Inferno Hot Dog Cart. Delicious!!!
  • 12:45 - 1:00: Craft Fair #2: Urban Craft Uprising
  • 2:00 - 4:30: Volunteer @ company children's Christmas party, pouring soda to super excited kids, many in fancy holiday dress.
  • 4:30 - 5:30: Treadmill run (it's dark by 4:30 here now)
  • 5:30 - 9:30: Drive home, feed dogs, web surf, watch TV, organize supplies
  • 9:30 - 11:00: Knit the gnome above

The Phinney craft fair is one of my favorites, although it's super crowded and difficult to move through. It definitely has a neighborhood feel to it, with many vendors returning year after year, and festival entertainment. I always buy a gnome from the Thursday's Child booth, and for the second year in a row I picked up a letterpress / silkscreened desk calendar from ilee papergoods. Beautiful stuff!

Urban Craft Uprising has been going on for 5 or 6 years now, and I've been to it at least three or four times. I had a very limited time to check it out this year, and it was really overwhelming. Too much ground to cover in too little time! I had to all but ignore most booths in order to make it to three places I really wanted to see: Spincycle Yarns (one new skein of yarn), Queen Bee Creations (a new bag & zipper pouch), and last but certainly not least, Mochimochi Land (tiny unicorn + gnome inspiration).

After seeing the Mochimochi gnomes in person at the booth, I knew that I had to make one immediately. Regular (or even not so regular) readers of this blog know that this is not an uncommon reaction for me, but this time I followed through. While opening hundreds of soda cans at the Christmas party and running 2 miles on the treadmill, I thought about where I could find the yarn in my stash to make them, and where to find my fancy Signature double points in size 1. I bought the pattern online, and knit & finished the whole thing in about an hour and a half (timing includes ice cream break). I used yarn from stash, mostly Dalegarn Baby Ull. The pink is Libery's Yarn Kaguya, leftover from the Ishbel Pinky. I expected this pattern to be really fiddly (as toys often are), but even though there are a lot of ends to deal with it wasn't bad. I love that the arms are a single i-cord pulled through, because sewing on the arms was what I was looking forward to the least!

My gnome pattern came with a free Santa & snowball pattern, so I may try one of those next. Like later today. That should help this Christmas spirit thing along, shouldn't it?