spiky hat

Sometime in the fall Stefan and I were at Purlescence and he picked out two colors of Cascade Cotton Club, a cotton/acrylic blend that I think is very similar to my beloved All Seasons Cotton. In fact the blue/grey he picked out is almost the same color as my Manon. His request for the yarn was a "spiky" hat. The red was supposed to be the spikes. I looked around on Ravelry for a while, trying to find just the right hat and finally settled on Chullosauro (Ravelry link to my project – sorry I have been neglecting to add these). I think it fits the bill, don't you?

It is supposed to be a chullo hat, with ear flaps, but I didn't have enough of the blue yarn. Also, the pattern didn't have the spikes in it so I improvised a bit. I think it's okay but not great. Maybe the designer will get back to me on Ravelry and tell me how she made hers.

This second picture is a bit out of focus but captures Stefan's smile so perfectly that I had to upload it too.

I know I"m biased, but isn't he a cutie?

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legwarmers, butterfly, return of the chaos

Mom's legwarmers were delivered on Christmas. I was a little nervous about how well they'll stay up. We'll see how it goes!

I finally got a photograph of the snail outside his home. He's dirty now because he was taken to the park one day.

I then made a butterfly in a strawberry for Stefan. Again, too stinkin' cute for words.

butterflystrawberrystefan and the strawberry house

Finally, my house has descended into chaos again. We got a new TV and all the components had to be pulled out so the new stuff could be put together but nothing works immediately, of course, so everything is spread around the house. Also, the boys went and slept at my parents' house and brought back bags and bags of stuff with them. I don't get how the smallest people require the most stuff. Actually, I do get it but it gets frustrating.

I'm hoping that a) all the new electronics will play nicely with each other tomorrow (once we get the right cable) and we can start sorting out what needs to go and where it can go.

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snail in a pear, living room

For some reason I don't want to work on big projects. I go through this at times. I usually end up knitting dish cloths but this time it's amigurumi that have caught my obsession attention. I was going to make another snowman but instead I decided to make a snail in a pear from a pattern called Little Toys and Their Homes. Niels had asked for it and I started and gave up on a seahorse and robot (the yarn wasn't right in both cases) for him after make a turtle and a seahorse for Stefan. So, here's the snail in his home, the S.S. Leaf (according to Niels).

Isn't he too stinking cute for words?

smiling snailpear

I just realized that I need a picture of the snail out of the pear. I'll get that tomorrow as Niels is currently sleeping with the snail.

I've also been thinking a lot about my living room. (I know, exciting!) We had a Hannukah party this weekend and it got me moving to get the living room, dining room and kitchen into much better shape. Big parties will do that. I'm still not entirely satisified with the state of the living room, though. I would like to replace the giant white Ikea monstrosity that surrounds our TV.

You can only see part of it here. There is another of the four-cube pieces to the right of the TV as well. It is useful in that it has a lot of drawers and closets, however as you can see from the state of the pieces on the far left, the drawers and doors have broken off a few of them. I wanted to get the TV stand that goes with our new bookcase in the corner but I don't think it is big enough for the size TV we want to get. Our couch is a fair distance from the TV and the flat TVs are wider so we'd need something bigger. Erik and I are still discussing. Anyway, here's a couple more photos.

yarn cornercurrently christmas tree corner

I occasionally consider putting the kid's play/train table in their room but I think it would take up too much of the room, so I'm not sure what to do. I have to say this: the room is much nicer when everything is put away. The new bookcase really helps with that.

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amigurumi ornaments galore

I gave the boys' teachers their gifts today, so now I can show them to you.

Aren't they too stinkin' cute for words? They came from one of my favorite amigurumi designers on etsy. She also designed the bear in the balloon and the robot I made earlier in the summer. They were ornaments and I took the photo before I put the yarn in their heads (aw) to finish them off. The kids wanted some too, so I made Niels another snowman.

Stefan got a Christmas tree.

I didn't have the right sized eyes left, so we got those little jingle bells to make ornaments instead. Stefan was excited about it. As you can probably tell, we decorated our tree today. Niels insisted that the tree and snowman should be next to each other. Our little fake tree isn't very big but it was decorated with enthusiasm.

Erik used the extra big tree lights to decorate the rest of the room a bit.

I guess filling that top shelf will have to wait until after Christmas is over. I don't mind, though. I have lots of other things to do in the meanwhile!

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gifts, warping, house projects

My gift projects are progressing. The leg warmers are done but need the ends woven in. I think they're nice. I hope they work. I'm also working on a few small crochet gift projects. After Friday I will be able to post about them. They're nice, though, trust me.

I warped the Beka looms again but am sparing you the photos. The nice thing about having them done is that I was able to return my friend Victoria's warping mill which did make the warping much much easier but took up a significant chunk of space in the living room. I am also looking forward to not having warped and unwarped looms hanging around. They were a challenge to store. I hope to cut the projects off tomorrow at the end of class and leave the Beka looms in our storage space at school. My Cricket will, of course, come home. I would like to warp it and let Stefan and Niels give it a try over break. I always have lots of plans for break, though, and not much ends up getting done.

Speaking of my living room (in the middle of that last paragraph) I have had an ongoing living room project for about a week. It's making serious progress though. We had a fireplace stove thing in the corner of the living room which I originally considered replacing with a gas stove. The cost of running the gas line was a barrier and then our kitchen remodel was so traumatic that it turned me off from home improvement projects involving workmen for a while. In the meantime I decided that I didn't want a hot metal object in the corner of the living room and decided to just have it taken out. I finally got it together to get someone to come and do that last week.

fireplace/stove beforefireplace/stove after

I knew I would want to cover the tile but the ring of rust and the fact that the tiles under the stove were a totally different color confirmed it. I ordered some Flor tiles (from the outlet, actually) and they came yesterday. Erik put them in which required a lot of kneeling on the hard floor to trim them. Yay Erik.

When my parents were here over the weekend Erik and rushed off to Ikea for the fastest, most efficient trip to Ikea in history for an Expedit bookcase. In. Out. Boom. There was a small moment of panic when Victoria asked me the next day what color I got and I realized that I hadn't checked that on the box. Luckily, the bookcase I had used to get the bin location was the same color as the one I wanted. I'm pretty sure they divide them that way. Or I got lucky. Anyway, it was light birch.

Niels was very excited to be involved in the process and helped Erik by using his new LEGO Power MIners claw car to deliver the bolts and such that Erik needed.

He stayed up for the whole process. Oops, that wasn't my intention. He was pleased, though. After he finally went to sleep, I started filling it.

Click over to Flickr if you want to know what's what. I emptied the thing that had been sitting in the corner (seen behind the brown chair in this photo) and some of the entertainment center that you can see on the right. It's falling apart and will hopefully be replaced with an Expedit TV storage unit to match this piece once we're ready to upgrade the TV. The Expedit TV storage unit only holds flat TVs and we have an old school Big Ass ™ TV.

This is what happens when I post on a schedule, I end up talking about anything but knitting!

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gift knitting and hkf

So it's no longer Friday and I should be asleep but I'm going to call this my scheduled Friday blog post. (You're welcome.)

Yesterday and today felt like crazy hectic days where I had hardly a minute to sit down, let alone knit. The evenings were slightly more relaxing, I went to BobaKnit last night and got very hungry talking to my fellow BobaKnitters about things like potato lasagne (genius) and learned about crazy solutions to leg cramping issues like soap in the bed. Be careful, though, apparently the cat might make off with the soap and you'll need to keep buying a new bar. Don't ask me, it wasn't my idea but apparently it works for Jen's mom! The topic came up because I am knitting leg warmers to help someone in my family keep from getting leg cramps. I actually think I might knit myself a pair too. My legs don't cramp but they get achy if they're too cold at night. By the time I finish them, of course, it will be back to being 70 degrees outside, just watch. I am slacking in a major way on holiday knitting this year. I'm working on those leg warmers and perhaps a couple other small things but most people are getting purchased gifts. I feel guilty about it but then I remember that I hardly got to sit down today.

Janice posted on Facebook today that December 11th is the second anniversary of Hand Knit Friday, a tradition she started that I keep forgetting to keep. I tried for a while and then it gets warm and I flake and by the time it's cold again, I forgot. But today! I wore my cowl-o-tis and my Sugnim socks.

Happy Hand Knit Friday-aversary, everyone!

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it’s that time again

Well, we see how well my posting schedule is working. I haven't posted in a week! Of course, I was sick as a dog last week adn not knitting much and then I started on a gift knitting project that I think I will be abandoning.  My "November" sweater has one sleeve and I started the second one, so there is progress being made but not much. We have Arts Focus at school this week so I had to warp the looms again.

I might venture to say that I'm getting good at it. In the last class the other mom who is sitting at the weaving table with me and I decided that something between the warp and the two pieces of wood that hold it tight might help with said tightness. We opted for paper towel since we had that on hand. It seemed to work so I used those same pieces again. Fabric might be a better permanent option but I can't decide if the fabric should be attached to the bars or if it needs just sit between like the paper is. I'm not sure I'll get a chance to find out. We have one more class after tomorrow's class and in the spring we go back to our old class format which includes a smaller individual weaving project where each child weaves on an improvised weaving frame. In the past we used plastic lids from file boxes that we could get cheaply at RAFT (Resource Area for Teachers) but we are going to try paper plate weaving this time. It looks easier to tie off and remove than the plastic lid ones, which usually stayed on the lid.

So there you have it: warping, not knitting. It's a lot like November, except it's not daily.

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a posting schedule

So now that my daily posting is done I have decided that I should still post on some kind of schedule. My original plan was Monday, Wednesday, Friday and sometimes the first idea is the best so we're going with that.

The only problem with this plan is that this week I have been sicker than I can ever remember being and I haven't been knitting at all since my last post. Well, that's not true, I knit a few rows just now before I started this post. My first sleeve needs about three more inches. I might try to finish that tonight. I'm trying to decide if I push through and try to finish this thing soon or if I'm going to try to do some gift knitting this holiday. I'm leaning towards no holiday knitting this year, unfortunately.

Is that exciting? Aren't you glad I'm posting on a regular basis? I promise the next one will be better.

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NaBloPoMo Day 30: NaNoSweMo Fail

Well, this is as far as I got in my NaNoSweMo goal.

Pardon my expression I'm still under the weather. I didn't do too badly, I think. I am going to do one or two more decrease on the sleeve and then knit straight for two inches and bind off. I need to make sure I start the other sleeve fairly quickly so that I don't forget what I've done. Even when I write things down I am sometimes not clear enough that I get what my notes mean.

I'm holding the sides of the sweater down because left to its own devices the front panel poofs out which is not good. I'm going to have to try to block that out of it, maybe with an iron. If that doesn't work I might actually tack it down so that it's more like a pleat. We'll see.

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