Updates and Planning

I don’t know about the rest of you, but it’s fucking cold here. I’m one of those people who generally like the cold but the last few days have been kind of ridiculous. There’s ice crystals on the inside of the car windows, the heat’s been running constantly, just now the cat pulled a blanket down from the arm of the couch to lay under. I’m grateful that the sun is shining through the windows and I’m actually awake in the day time to see it, but it’s too damn cold.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday, I know ours got to be a little stressful this year.

I actually managed to finish all the things I set out to make this year as gifts. I ended up making two pairs of socks, a cowl, a pair of pajama pants, and some little stockings were extra and just for fun. Everyone seemed really happy with their gifts which always makes me happy. My sister put her cowl on as soon as she opened it and aside from going to work or the grocery store, K hasn’t taken the pajama pants off.

I think those were the first garment that I actually completely finished sewing. I’ve made a few quilts and little pouches but I’ve never actually completely finished a garment before. He split his favorite pajama pants right up the back seam this fall and we never got around to buying him a new pair so I figured I could make him some new ones for christmas. I ended up cutting the old pair at the seams to draft a pattern. They turned out so well, I’m a little jealous I haven’t made a pair for myself. The hardest part was probably the dang button fly. Since I wasn’t using an actual pattern with instructions I ended up watching a handful of youtube videos trying to figure out the best way to do it. I eventually figured it out, but it turns out he doesn’t even use the fly. I don’t even have a picture of the pants for you, but he wore them on christmas and everyone seemed quite impressed with them.

I’m not working on anything specific right now, just the shawl I’ve had sitting around since summer. It takes about half and hour per row now so I’ll probably finish it sometime in the next twenty years. A friend has asked me if I would knit her pet rabbit a little sweater (and offered to pay in the same sentence!) so I’ve been thinking about the best way to do that. K has also noticed the lack of hand-knit items in his wardrobe so I’m gonna work on that for him. He needs gloves – he’s been wearing big work gloves to drive because that’s all he has – and I know he wants a bunch of socks. I’ll probably start with a bunch of basic socks and then make some really cool gloves for him in the next week or so, we just have to go buy more yarn.

Screen Shot 2017-12-27 at 11.48.15 AM.pngThis one got pretty long, but one more thing! Currently, all of my patterns are on sale for 25% off through the end of the year! I know lots of people knit a special project for themselves after all the gift knitting they did so check ’em out if anything catches your fancy.

Thanks for sticking around on this blogging adventure with me.

#Friday Favorites: Holiday Kitsch

Haven’t done one of these bad boys in a while but it’s Friday so let’s do it! It’s probably to late to make any of these for this year, but maybe I’ll remember next year to start early, or better yet make a bunch of holiday stuff in the summer slump and have them ready to go.

 

I’m a big fan of kitschy holiday decor. Not really sure why but there’s something nostalgic about it all that it just makes me smile. So here’s some of the kitschiest holiday knitting patterns I could find this morning. (I’m not intending to hurt feelings here, just celebrating the kitsch!).

Christmas Lights by Amelia Samios 

big_cord_square_small2Actually, I don’t know how kitschy these are but I really like them. A small string would look cute or make enough to decorate you’re whole tree! This is also the kind of pattern that would work in any size yarn really, so you could make tiny little ones. Reminds me of Charlie Brown.

 

Christmas Holly Wreath by Hayfield

433_-_4_small2This one is so extra. It might actually be pretty hanging on a door, but can you even imagine how many fucking ends you would need to weave in. Plus all the sewing and arranging to get it into a wreath. It would really bother me to make a bunch of holly leaves over and over again, casting on and off and on and off forever… so much garter stitch… but ’tis the season to be extra.

Christmas Baskets by Jean Woods

2348045355_9428c5601d_zI’m just going to leave this one here.

 

 

 

O Hanukkah! by My Savannah Cottage

No Holiday is safe. This dog sweater made me laugh so hard! While there doesn’t seem to be a lot to choose from on Ravelry as far as Hanukkah patterns go, this one is a winner. That dog knows sure well that he looks ridiculous, those baubles though… I do think with some finagling and careful editing this would make a really cute Hanukkah sweater for a kid. Ugly sweaters are still a thing right?

Yuletide Gnomes by Alan Dart

I can’t decide if these are super creepy or cute. This is the kind of thing my family would hide around the house to try and scare each other. Having lots of little ones sitting around in the corners and peering down from shelves might be fun if you’re hosting this year.

 

Not sure if I’ll find time to post over the weekend (we have FIVE Christmas gatherings to go to in the next three days…), but I hope everyone has a lovely holiday.

 

Professional Procrastinator

Turns out I’m really not good at keeping up with blogging when I don’t have a set topic to write about each day. Something I’d like to get better at, though there really wasn’t much to talk about this weekend besides massively fucking up my sleep schedule again. Since K is on third shift I switched over to his schedule. Mostly I like it. Nights are quiet and I get a reasonable amount of stuff done while he’s at work and I don’t have to worry about waking him up. Plus we get to spend more than two grumpy hours at a time together which is nice. The downside is that on the weekends it’s nice to do things during the day, and, you know, see the actual sun for a few hours. He’s been doing this a lot longer than I have and has a much easier time switching back and forth. I, on the other hand, am struggling with it. Staying up for 24 hours straight kills me. I usually fall asleep on the couch around five or six on Friday evening and then any kind of plans are cancelled (we ended up blowing our friends off twice this weekend because I couldn’t stay awake) which kind of defeats the purpose of trying to switch over in the first place. I have an even harder time switching back to sleeping during the day. I get about 4 hours at a time and feel miserable. Unfortunately with the holidays coming up there will be at least two more weekends of switching back and forth but after than we’ve agreed to stick to pretty much the week day schedule after that.

On a somewhat related note, I’ve procrastinated my holiday baking and making so hard that now I’m in a little bit of a panic. I’ve got one knit item to finish up and two things to sew – they’re two of the same thing so hopefully I can make it go fast, and a bunch of cookies to make. I haven’t done a lot of baking since we moved, mostly because it took some time to slowly buy the things I needed a few at a time. I also needed to clear off some counter space, and in order to do that I needed to fix the shelf in the cabinet. One side of the shelf wasn’t properly supported, but I was using it anyways, and it finally let go when I was putting dishes away. So I got all that done this morning and pulled out the stand mixer I got for Christmas last year that I hadn’t even used yet! I feel so fancy using it. It’s so pretty, and made baking sooooo much easier. I made 4 dozen peanut butter blossoms this morning. I have a habit every year of baking enough cookies for a small village. A few years ago I made 12 different types of cookies and candies and didn’t start halving the recipes until about half way through. This year I think I’m only making 4 or 5 types and I have at least three houses to bring them to so I won’t end up eating all of them myself. I have a busy few nights ahead of me, but it’s all things I actually enjoy doing.

Do you guys do a lot of baking for the holidays? What are your favorite recipes?

Overzealous Crafting

Made this little guy last night. I took those dumb leftovers from these socks separated all the different colors into balls (which admittedly probably took longer than the actual knitting…) and made this little stocking. I got a little carried away this morning with the embellishments but hey, now it’s festive.

Not sure if this one is worth writing a pattern for but I’m tempted to make a new one every night until Christmas until my tree is covered in dumb little stockings. But I also have cookies that need to be baked, actual things I should be knitting, and a sewing project all before christmas so we’ll see..

Long Weekend

I sorta fell off the face of the earth for a few days there, sorry everyone. I’m back now. I switched my sleep schedule back to normal for the holiday and that tends to result in both K and I passing out on the couch at 7:30 pm and waking up at 2 am with sore necks. I’ve been struggling a bit with staying up all night lately, I’m trying to decide if the benefits are worth the troubles. Anyways, hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving weekend, or regular ol’ weekend for any readers not in America (as most of you are not).

It was in the 50s on Friday which is unseasonably warm but a most welcome reprieve. K had some secret Black Friday/Birthday shopping to do so I stayed home to rake all the leaves out of the front yard. Not an entirely un-enjoyable task, at least the weather was nice, but my hands hurt so bad from rake. Even now, three days later, the bones in my hands feel like they’re bruised. That didn’t stop me from knitting though. I knit an entire pair of socks these past few days – all that’s left is the kitchener toe and to weave in the ends. It’s my first of five (???) holiday gifts this year.

I also got to see my best friend and her family this weekend. My town is situated conveniently between her Husband’s family in Illinois and her family in Wisconsin. We were able to meet up for breakfast in between baby naps and catch up. Saturday we took a lovely little hike at Glacial Park. I basically spent the weekend trying to soak up as much sunlight as I can for the last couple weeks of Autumn.

I’ll go back the knitting posts tomorrow and finish those off over the next few days.

Dream Projects vs. Reality Projects

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 23

If you had the supplies (and patience) for it, what project would you start today?

This one! This one! This one! I’ve definitely talked about this pattern in a POST before but it’s Persian Dreams by Jenise Hope. It’s been in my queue for a while. It seems like such an extreme project to take on but it’s so stinking beautiful and would be so fun for me to knit. Picking a color-way is probably the biggest obstacle to starting this project. I love how fun the original is (image on the right) but the more monochromatic ones suit my style and taste a little better and would probably get more use. I also think the budget for this project would run rather high – If I’m going to put this much effort into something like this I would like the yarn to be a rather high quality. I think wool obviously, but I would opt for super wash since having this thing felt up and shrink down would be a major disappointment. And then… there is my cat who would probably knead the final project into shreds.

502fa634-ed02-40f1-82b2-5fa0634d7b19But alas, it’s not time for starting fun new projects. It’s Thanksgiving here, which means I can no longer procrastinate on the gift knitting. I went and bought all the yarn I needed for my gift projects yesterday (except for K’s because he was with me and I still don’t know what the hell I’m going to make him… ). I ended up only needing to go to one store much to the relief of K. I started the first pair of socks yesterday evening and immediately remembered why I don’t like those variegated yarns – especially not for socks. As you can kind of see in the picture, I had to pull out yards and yards from either end of the skeins in order to find the color repeat so I can make matching socks. I found one set so far and I’m not entirely convinced that they’ll stay matching. It kind of seems like this yarn is made by just dumping a bunch of colors into an industrial spinner and hoping for the best. It looks great and enticing in the skein – which is why I somehow keep buying them – and then they turn into a giant jumbley pain in the ass to knit up. But that’s how it goes – maybe the blue ones will be easier since there’s a little more contrast. Time for me to get off the computer and get to knitting.

Holiday Knitting Rant

Knitting Blog Challenge Day 21

Do you knit gifts for friends and family for the holidays or birthdays?

I used to do this a lot more than I do now. One year I think I made like ten things as gifts and I don’t think I bothered to start until at least Thanksgiving. I’ve cut down a bunch in the past years for various reason’s that I’ll probably get more into tomorrow, but mainly it ends up being so stressful that it takes the fun out of it. There are certain people that I’ll happily knit gifts for. I know they’re going to appreciate them and I know that they’re going to take care of whatever I give them.

I knit a few things for my best friend when she announced she was pregnant. I love making baby items – they’re so fast and they’re just so stinking cute. Knitting baby items is basically like making sample sizes. I can experiment with new techniques or make dumb adorable stitch patterns with a lot less time and a lot less yarn. She loved the little things I gave her, and sent me pictures of her little guy wearing them which is basically the greatest thank you I could ask for. She then told me that anything else I make for them she’s insisting on paying for. At first I was a little hurt by this but she explained to me that what I make is worth a lot more than I give myself credit for. This has kind of been simmering in the back of my head for the past year or so. Yes, knitting is my hobby, but it’s also my passion and I’ve worked really hard to become very good at it. It goes back to discussions my studio had over and over again about the value of “art” and “craft” practices and how they’re both perceived by people in the art world and everyone else. I’ve always felt like the craft world is highly undervalued by most people and I know there’s conversations all over the internet that basically boil down to people expecting crafters to make things for free or for material costs – like it’s something we’re going to do anyways so we should be overjoyed that someone is willing to buy us yarn.

Sorry for ranting but this is where my brain is at as the looming holiday deadline approaches and I internally debate what and for whom I should be knitting. I know most of my readers are knitters and crocheters and crafters in general, what are your thoughts on all this? Do you knit for everyone or just a select few?