Who spiked the eggnog?

Don’t you just love those radio stations that decide come Thanksgiving that they are going to be playing Christmas music 24/7? It’s O Holy, Santa Baby, Rockin’ around the Tree all the time.  Do they know it’s Christmas after all?  Well at this station… yes they do.

I mean throw them in every once in a while but constant holiday music for a month? Seems a little bit much to me.  I’m not not going to say though that if I’m driving and happen upon this particular station and hear a familiar poppy song you may find me behind the wheel ring-ting-tingeling too!

Those few moments of driving karaoke frankly happen more often than I let on.  You see, I must admit, I love Christmas.  I love the dinner parties, I love all the presents and mistletoe and snow!  I love the huge meal my mother cooks complete with her famous Coquito (egg nog Puerto Rican style, aka 151 Rum).  I love going shopping and trying to find that gift that will make the receiver realize a lot of thought was put into it.  I simply love the season of giving.

Of course for me most presents often mean they are going to be handmade.  Thus for me, knitted. My knit
plan this Christmas is sketchy at best.  I have one project completed and another on the needles.

Gretel

My mentality is the mantra of the procrastinator I am, "You’ll have time, we’ll just start it tomorrow".  Yes, so tomorrow we’ll start a pair of mittens, a few baby hats, another scarf, and maybe a baby sized Wallaby.  I must be out of my mind.  I’ve got 25 days – 21 if I want to mail it out and have it arrive in time to make all these presents.  I’m trying to not stress out about it all so back up plans are always a good idea.  Maybe I’ll do like the Handknit Holiday book tells me, send them a photo of the knitted item you just couldn’t finish – it’s the thought that counts right? ha!

Oh christmas knits, O christmas knits, why don’t I start them earlier… 

Afghan Squares

On a much more positive note.  We’ve hit the goal of "squares" for the Hoboken Homeless Shelter Afghan!!  I am like doubled over in excitement!  I shamefully had a small pang of doubt that we were going to make the goal in time. But Knitta, please…  there are more than enough squares for a blanket!!

So if you want to know what I’ll be doing this weekend – lots of mattress stitch.

Ps. Those slouchy berets are everywhere nowadays aren’t they!? 

and twice on sunday

I’ve got not one but two FOs for you today!  What has gotten in to me?  Well it might be the 5 gin and tonics I drank last night 😉

PY Sloucky Beret

I finally made myself a slouchy beret that I’ve been thinking a lot about after seeing a few on Ravelry and the queen of cute berets, Jenna of Knit and Pieces.  This hat is really a mutt from several knit patterns and is something that my friend Patricia of Patricia’s Yarns put together.  Her original version has a garter stitch edging while mine is changed to a 1×1 ribbing.  I also extended the body of the hat by about an inch or so to make it a little bit more slouchier. 

PY Slouchy Beret

Amazingly, this hat only took one ball of Rowan Cocoon on size 10.5 needles.  A few of you asked what I thought of that yarn from my Juliet post.  I really love the softness of this yarn but beware it sheds a ton while knitting.   After a wash it calms a bit and so far this hat hasn’t left my head looking fuzzy after wear. It also gives a good drape but can really only see using it for smaller knits and not sweaters – it seems to me that a sweater out of this stuff would be really heavy wearing.

Sands Jr.

I also finished my 3rd Shifting Sands scarf.  I know I don’t need to explain much about this scarf and how i love it.  I did make a small modifification by casting on 37 instead of 42 stitches.  It came out a little skinner and longer… hmmm I just love it.

Thus ends the selfish knitting for a while.  Time to capitalize on the Christmas knits and not to mention I’m still working on the Hoboken Homeless Shelter Blanket!  We’re still taking squares if you got a few hanging around 🙂  Remember the due date is Friday Nov. 30th!

Covered in good knits

Two fabulous knits and a lazy Sunday make this girl a happy one.

giving thanks

There’s so much this year that I have to be thankful for. Of course no true list can encapsulate what that truly means but I figured like an actress who’s won an academy award I would try.

I’d like to thank: (sounds of paper being unfolded, shuffled and reshuffled)

My mother who is celebrating her 5th year of being breast cancer free.  Your inspiration is my guiding light.

My father who is always loved and cherished.

My brother who is an ocean away but never far from a loving call or email.

My wonderful BF who knows how to make me laugh everyday in words and mostly actions ;-).

My girlfriends who listen, guide, inspire, amuse and challenge me everyday.

My readers who have kept me bookmarked and have helped me to grow in my craft and creativity.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

-sound of the orchestra leading me off the stage-

I made a promise

I have to admit that I do not do much charity knitting.  Yes, I’ve made a bear for the Mother Bear Project and I did a few baby hats for the Caps for the Capital campgain but those were inconjunction with my LYS and not formulated in my own thankful mind.  It seems this year I am stepping up to the giving plate.  I, in my infinite wisdom, gave a "somewhat" promise to the coordinator of the Hoboken Annual Homless Shelter Benefit that I and some other Hoboken area knitters would have a blanket in time for their Dec. 5th auction.  Today is November 19th.

I could be crazy.

Or we could prove that not all Hobokenites like to pose with Hooters girls.

I dusted off my Knitting for Peace book and went to work on the Warm Up America Afghan.  If I do my math correctly, if we can get about 10 knitters to do about 5 squares each we would be golden.  I made this "promise" on Friday and already have myself knitted 3 and have recruited a few other knitters to make a few.  Now, dear readers, any of you in the Hoboken area?  Wanna knit a "square"?

The "squares" are really 7inch by 9inch pieces in any type of stitch pattern you choose.  The yarn has to be machine washable but can be any weight – I am knitting mine in Cascade 220 Superwash.  More information for the Warm Up America Afgan can be found via their site: www.warmupamerica.com.  If you happen to be in the Hoboken area you can drop off these squares at Patricia’s Yarns, 4th street btwn Washington and Bloomfield by Nov. 30th.  That should give me enough time to stitch the thing together!

I figure in the end it’s a win-win situation.  We win big if we can make it for the auction and therefore raise some monies to help many of their homeless visitors but we also win even if we miss the auction but make a blanket to donate to the shelter to help keep someone warm this winter. 

I stand corrected.

I guess when you speak, Manos listens.

Manos Silk Blend

Imagine the softness of Malabrigo in the bright beautiful dye of Manos.  Omg. Not sure if I can contain myself.  My LYS, Patricia’s Yarns just got it in and I nearly tried to take it all home. It’s a silk merino in dk which has now triggered my mind to search what patterns to make.  I have the Handknit Holidays book and am eyeing the Stained Glass Scarf that I’ve wanted to make for so long now.   I also see a nice shrug, gauntlets, perhaps another Shifting Sands, or head warmer.

Silky Manos

And boy is this yarn is SO soft! I cannot lie that although I love using Malabrigo I was sad that I felt I was leaving Manos behind.  But oh boy Manos, you sure did an "Nah ah, girl, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!"  They only have a select few (beautiful I might add) colors at the moment but I’m sure this is the direction they are going and I’m loving every bit of it!

Way to add the fabric softener, Manos!

hey juliet.

Hey Juliet

It’s a wonder how the length of time it can take one to find some buttons and ribbon and actually sew them on is quadruple the time it actually took the piece to be knitted.  The majority of that definitely has to do with the fact that I had no idea how to attach the ribbon and left it to the wayside simply because I was too lazy to find out.  Other knits as you very well know also caught my attention so knitting on buttons vs. knitting the cable of the TY was also another mental battle.

Overall I’m very happy with this new addition.  The yarn, Rowan Cocoon, is ever so soft and fluffy!  I can tell now that this will not be the last time I will be using it.  I still need to give this top a little steam to make the edges lie flatter but she’s already been through the wash.   I’ve been eying the Neaty cardigan from the latest Rowan mag ever since I finished Bridges this past summer.

I’m also a huge fan of the Zephyr Girls.  They have such simple and yet classy patterns and I love seeing how they take a few increases here some garter rows there and whola! a beautiful garment.  This piece has waited so patiently for me to finish her but I think the wait was worth it.

juliet2

Details: Juliet by Zephyr Girls
Yarn: Rowan Cocoon – 4 balls
Needles: Size 10.5 circs

Get out your Dire Straits and feel inspired.  ‘Cause this Juliet’s done!

startitis

It seems that I’m just itching to cast on a bit of everything right now.  It’s perhaps a combination of knowing I have a substantial stash and should knit it up, wanting to knit gifts for people for Christmas and knowing that’s not that far way off and seeing such great inspiring knits around that beg to be casted on.

Shifting Sands III

First we have another Shifting Sands scarf.  This for me is my 3rd which I find interesting for me because I’m typically not a repeater but when you have mmmmmalabrigo and a fantastical pattern it’s hard not to want to make it over and over again.  This time I casted on 37 instead of the 42 from the other Malabrigo SS scarf I did.  I think the width is just right and will length the scarf a bit too.  The two other scarves were presents and this one is for moi!

I also have a Tilted Duster on the needles. (No pic due to lack of sunlight and black yarn!)  I ended up getting the yarn with a friend of mine and we’re trying to do a bit of a knitalong together.  The back and fronts were done in no time and I’m now on to the sleeves.  I suspect the skirt to be the longest timewise portion for this sweater.  I love the uniqueness of the construction of this sweater and hope the black yarn won’t hide it.  I am hoping for a jacket that can really be dressed up and down and no color does that better than black.

Other smaller projects I’m itching for:
–  Mittens, want to try to just make my own with a cable pattern from a stitch dictionary
–  Fingerless gloves, like the mitts above with a funky pattern – may just wing it.
–  Hats!  I am ever inspired by looking at Knitkid’s on Flickr – he makes me want to just take a few colors and just cast on and see what happens.  He even has a book coming! Sign me up for that!
– Those cute knitted bangles as seen on Knits&Pieces and Si Mi Knit.

I think that’s good for now to keep me busy through to the new year.  However you know me come tomorrow there may be something that will just blow those ideas away.

Tagged.

Jenn tagged me a few posts ago!  8 random things… I think I’ve done this before but that was 7 random things then – this is 8 random things now.

Velvet Koolhaas

1. I love to play blackjack.  Actually, my boyfriend and I took a little trip to AC Halloween night.  We both had off on Nov. 1st and did an over night there.  We played for a few hours and came home with more than we left with. I heart mid-week vacations! It’s also possible that in my last 7 Things I mentioned this and how I spent an exorbitant amount of time at the tables in Vegas.  I did however come home a winner this time and am now contemplating more yarn to buy 😉

2. Before knitting I loved doing other crafty things.  I made necklaces with beads and buttons.  I loved making friendship bracelets and probably have more scrap-booking supplies that I know what to do with.  I even bought glycerin to make my own soap.  Knitting has since taken over those other loves but I’m sure they’ll poke their crafty goodness in here some day.

3. I’ve recently been very monogamous with the cereal I eat in the morning.  Right now it’s Vanilla Almond Peace Cereal – i love it.  Now only it is pretty good for me (sorry Frosted Flakes!) and organic it raises money for different organizations and events that promote peace in the world.

Velvet Koolhaas

4. I only drink iced coffee.  Yes even in the dead of winter you can see me rolling up to the closest D&D and asking for a Medium Iced Coffee with skim and splenda.  I always manage to burn my tongue on hot drinks and therefore figured if it’s 98 degrees on the inside ice coffee is fine all year round.

5. I collect wine corks.  I’ve been collecting them ever since I saw a huge wine cork board at a restaurant I went to a few years ago.  Have I made said cork board yet?  Well no, but I have enjoyed many a great bottle of wine 😉

6. Just found out that i love the Complete Spiniach Salad at Trader Joes.  Me, the girl who never eats salads and always opts for Chicken Fingers and french fries.  It has cranberries, blue cheese and almonds. YUM!! I may grab a few bags on my way home from work tomorrow.

7.  I pretty much wear the same makeup everyday.  I love stila.  I wear their lip gloss and shadows all the time and although I may go crazy at their kisosk at Sephora I end up putting on the same shadow and eye liner to work everyday.  I want to be more creative in that area but find that I’d rather be knitting ;-).

8. I love making hats but rarely wear them!  It just turns out that either I forget them at home or give them away.  I also feel I have a weird shaped head and they always seem to ride up and look funny.  However meet Koolhaas.  I LOVE this hat and have already casted on for another.  The yarn of course is Malabrigo in Velvet Grapes.  Velvety it is.  This took up a little less than a ball and there just might be enough left over to make a Calormetry for those big curly head days.

Velvet Koolhaas

I hope to be posting more this week as work has gone back to normalcy (for now!).  Hope everyone has a great Monday!