Sunday, December 28, 2003 

Hope you had a Merry Christmas! I'm thankful to be done (more or less) with my Christmas knitting. Next year I'm either starting very early, or I'm not making anything at all. My goal is to have anything I'm making for someone done before December, so I can just do some relaxation knitting during the month of December...but we'll see how that goes.

My mother bought me a ball winder (actually, it was a late birthday present). I haven't had time to start playing with it, but I definitly have yarn to wind with it. As for knitting related Christmas gifts, well I didn't really get any. Except that my mom says she still plans to buy me one of the knitting books I wanted. I did however buy myself the book "Knit One, Felt Too." It has some cute patterns in it, but I really want the other one that just came out, "Felted Knits."

Jonathan got me some really cool gifts. He bought me some stuff for my computer (top of the line video card, new case, more memory). Now I think I'm all set for when The Sims 2 comes out next year (I'm a huge Sims fan). He also bought me some really pretty pearl earrings with little diamonds to match the pearl necklace he bought me when I graduated from Berkeley. I had asked him for some pearl earrings after on of the fake ones I bought at Ross on clearance for $0.35 a few years ago got lost. I was thinking of just the pearl studs, but the ones he bought me are much nicer, and I like them a lot better. He also got me some other items, like a photo album I asked for, and a picture frame for this picture of us I had.

Other things I scored included new speakers for my computer, a two pistol locking case (for the gun I buy in the future), a cashmere sweater, a handheld Shark vacuum cleaner, as well as some other stuff.

I've also been buying myself some presents. The Lily Bag pattern, and Cascade 220 came in on Tuesday, so I need to start working on that. And then there's all the Kureyon I mentioned earlier. So, I've got some felting projects to start working on. I should finish the felted bag I was already working on, but I'm getting too excited about making something out of Kureyon, since I haven't done so before.

All I know is that I'm looking forward to making some stuff for myself. I've got a million projects I'd like to make. Choosing what's next is the hard part.

Monday, December 22, 2003 

We just had a 6.5 earthquake out here in California. I felt it more than 150 miles away, in San Francisco. The office building I was in was swaying and creaking. I love earthquakes (when they don't cause damage)!


I've signed up for the Great Stash Reduction Project over at Cyborgoddess' website. I checked the timeline (for the Aran group), and I should be getting the box the first week of February. Prior to me on the list is Joanna, who I notice is in the same zip code (94105) as myself. Joanna, if you're reading this, send me an email, and let's discuss getting together and going through the box at the same time so we can get it out faster, and we can split the shipping costs.

I've officially decided to hold off on the throw for Jonathan's parents. Instead, I'll work on it over the next year and give it to them next Christmas. However, this means I need to come up with something else. I think I'll finish the napkin rings and give them that. And I'm making a herbal neck wrap for them too. And then maybe I'll throw in a box of chocolates, or some wine.

I've been feeling very overwhelmed this year, with Christmas. Normally I have it together, and I have just about everything taken care of by now. But, I've been so busy these last couple of months that Christmas just snuck up on me. I keep obsessively making lists of everything I still need to do. And when I look at it, I guess it's not that bad -- I have done quite a bit -- but I feel like I haven't done anything. And I keep going back and rewriting those lists, as if it's going to make things clearer, or easier. It doesn't help that I tend to overdo it. I have a tendency to spoil the people closest to me.

So, needless to say, I'll be happy once it's over with. I love Christmas time, but I'm not loving this stress. Fortunately I'll be taking a week off of work for Christmas, and hopefully that will give me a chance to relax.

Friday, December 19, 2003 

Check out the first picture on this page. Notice how the woman seems to be suppressing a laugh and thinking "My, what a God awful, tacky sweater that is you're wearing, Joe." And the guy is looking back at her thinking "Don't you even think about laughing at me, or I'll have to kill you."

I mean seriously, what is with the neck on that thing? I hope they burned that sweater after the photo shoot.

While you're there, check out the rest of the site for some better (and some just as bad) pictures from vintage knitting pattern books.

Thursday, December 18, 2003 

Alright, I need to get cracking. I've got to make Jonathan's remote control holder before Christmas. I just need to find some time to do a quick felting swatch of the black Patons Classic Wool. Knitting it up should hopefully be easy peasy -- though I still need to finish sketching it out. Perhaps when I finish it, I'll either post the pattern to my site, or submit it to Knitty. If it comes out looking really cool, I'm going to make a felted remote control holder for me too, only in sage and lavender.

I ordered "Knit One, Felt Too" from I checked it out at a book store, and it looked pretty cool. I also want to get the other felting book that just came out, "Felted Knits." But, I didn't see that one on Overstock yet. So, I'll either have to wait, or pick it up elsewhere.

I ordered the pattern for the Lily Bag through Threadbear along with some Cascade 220 in 9451 for only $15. I'm looking forward to receiving that.

The other day, I also received a bunch of Kureyon. I got my Ebay Kureyon. And then I ordered 6 skeins of #116 and 3 skeins of #51 from Ewe Knit Kits, where they were on sale for $5.95 a skein. Those too will go towards some felted bags. I may make a felted tote for my best friend for Christmas with some of the Kureyon. But, if I'm going to do that, I better get a move on it. Christmas is a week away!

As for the throw blanket for Jonathan's parents...I've decided to change the pattern, but I haven't ripped it out and restarted it yet. So, I'm going to do what I can before Christmas, and then I'll wrap it still on the needles and give it to them. Then I'll take it back and finish it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003 

Hey, I just wanted to pop in with a quick post to let you all know I survived my trip to New York, and I'm back home and trying to survive through Christmas. I didn't end up finishing the Christmas top, so that's still on hold. I did make a scarf for Jonathan for New York, and a scarf for my best friend for her birthday on the plane ride back. I took my Denise Interchangeables on the plane with me, and had no trouble getting them through security.

I won some Noro Kureyon on Ebay, and I'll be making a Booga bag, most likely, with some of it. I also bought some other Kureyon from another source to make some other felted bags. I'm also planning on ordering the kit from Threadbear to make the Lily Bag.

Time is scarce, so I have to cut it short, but I'll post more later!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003 

Marnie asked, in yesterday's comments, about using a lifeline in your knitting. For those of you who aren't aware of this nifty technique, I'll explain below.

Basically you just take a piece of waste yarn (preferably of a contrasting color), thread it through the loops on your needle (using a yarn/tapestry needle), and then continue in pattern (making sure not to pick up the piece of waste yarn as you knit). Then, if you hit a snag, you unravel until you hit the waste yarn, and the waste yarn holds the stitches for you so that you can put them back on your needle without worrying about the stitches dropping down to other rows. If you have a really complex pattern, you can always put a lifeline in every 10 rows, or every pattern repeat, or whatever you choose. That way, making mistakes doesn't have to be quite as stressful. Then, when you finish the piece, just pull the waste yarn out (it should come out fairly easily with some gentle tugging). Use this technique for everything from sweaters, to socks, to scarfs, to you name it.

You can also thread a lifeline through a row that's already been knit. So, if you forgot to put in a lifeline, and you made a mistake, you can insert a lifeline a few rows below the mistake and only rip back to there. Of course, it's much easier to already have the lifeline in place. The best way I can explain how to do this would be to tell you to check out the fabulous article on the new Winter Knitty that discusses frogging. She discusses how to insert a needle into a completed row of your knitting. It includes clear pictures, so be sure to check it out. Of course, instead of doing a lifeline in this situation, you may just want to use the needle. But, if you want to insert a lifeline, do as the article instructs, except use waste yarn and a yarn/tapestry needle instead.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003 

I'm going shopping today to buy a backup outfit for the Christmas party. I had finished both the front and back pieces of the Xmas top last night, and it's not getting the right drape. Plus, the armholes could stand to be a little smaller. I think I may be able to rectify the armhole situation by picking up some stitches and knitting a little border. It may help to just tighten it up a little. As for the drape neck...well, fortunately I put a lifeline in just after I finished the armhole decreases. So, I ripped back this morning to that lifeline. I'm going to try doing increases to make it fan out more, so there is more fabric to drape. Should that not work, well, I guess I could just skip the drape neck and do it differently.

Last night as I tossed and turned after going to bed at midnight (way past my bed time on a weeknight) I thought I could do a cowl neck, but I really don't want a cowl. Plus that's a whole lot more knitting. Then I thought I could do a boat neck. Not very fancy, but it could work. Whatever I do, I need to do something, or it's going to end up being a huge waste of yarn.

I've only got two more days to work on it, and not a lot of time. I really didn't want to work on it on the plane ride out to NY. I wanted to have it ready to go by then, and plus, I'm supposed to make Jonathan's scarf on the flight out, so he can wear it when we get to NY. And knitting time will be scarce today and tomorrow since tonight I have a board meeting (for a non-profit mediation organization I'm a board member for), and then tomorrow night I have a class for H&R Block. And I still need to pack. Yikes!

Here's a picture of the top (after ripping out part of the front)

And here's a close up of the back (with the yellow lifelines)

And here's a picture of how I'm feeling right about now

Thursday, December 04, 2003 

Gah! Only a week to go until I leave for New York. I better get moving if I want to finish that top on time. I started hesitating yesterday, because I had tried the top on and I noticed it looked a little loose at the base of the breasts. So, while I was working the chest increases, I started wondering if I should do a few less increases. In the end I decided to stick to the plan. Though, this morning I got distracted by my own thoughts, and finished my last increase row without increasing. And ripping back this combination of mohair and novelty yarn is definietly NO FUN!

I've also decided it's time to start bringing my lunch to work. So, as I type, I'm enjoying a delicious tuna sandwich on pita bread. Though, I must admit I'm secretly imagining I'm eating a nice, juicy hamburger. I've packed on some pounds since graduating from Cal, and enough is enough. It's time to shed it. I have no idea what my current weight is (though I have a rough guess), but I think I could stand to lose about 15 pounds. Of course, toning would be really great too, and that could add weight. Basically, I just want this padding of fat to go away! I figure brown-bagging will help me eat helthier, and save money (for those shiny new wheels I'll be buying next year). I also need to get my fat butt back into the gym though. And that's going to take nothing short of a miracle. Or, maybe a pact with God that if I start going to the gym regularly that he'll make chocolate healthy, nutritious, and anything but fattening, without affecting the taste.

I also need to figure out what to bring with me to New York next week. I need to make Jon's scarf (because he wanted it for New York), and I'll probably do that on the plane ride there. And then I need to make Alicia's scarf. And then I wanted to make something for Abigail, my cousin's daughter, who is a year old. I was thinking of a little sweater, or something she can wear. And then, I also need to get cracking on the dog sweater for my parent's dog, Chip, or he might bite me next time I come over.

Tuesday, December 02, 2003 

I had a very nice weekend (nothing like having a 4 day weekend, you know). I ended up making the Cranberry Sauce with Roasted Shallots and Port, and it turned out yum. My family liked it too. Yay!

Friday I spent most of the day cleaning my apartment up top to bottom (it hasn't had a really good, thourough cleaning since September). I wanted to spiff the place up for having people over for the holidays. Plus, as much as I hate to clean, I do admit that having a tidy apartment is nice.

Then, when I had finished Friday night (well, everything except the laundry) I put up my Christmas tree! My grandparents gave me a 4-ft artificial tree they had, that they no longer had the energy to put up (they used to put up two trees, and they've decided recently to cut back to one). It's perfect size for my apartment. I had a blast Friday night decorating it in silver and gold. I had bought a bunch of ornaments for super cheap at Target last year the day after Christams (no better time to shop for Christmas stuff, if you ask me). It turned out looking really awesome.

I didn't do a whole lot of knitting this weekend. I tried to play a little catch up on my Christmas top, but didn't get too far. Though, after working on it yesterday and today, I'm at the waist. Only about 30 more rows to go until I'm back at the armholes. I better hurry though, because I need it in less than a week and a half.

Tonight is the Stitch & Bitch meeting. This time I'm hosting at my place. It looks like I've got only two people so far that said they're coming. Hopefully the two "maybes" will show too, and maybe a few others that didn't bother to RSVP. After the holidays I'm going to start advertising for the group again. I'd love to have a few more people at each of the meetings.

And since I skipped last week's Knitworthy, here's a website with a handful of really great knitting patterns. MLM Inspirations has patterns for lacy legwarmers, a flapper hat, a baby boa and cuff set, a kitty purse, a gothic lace sweater, a sexy halter, a hat for guys, a bikini top, and some fingerless gloves. All the patterns are unique and fun. So, check it out.

About me

  • I'm Dani
  • From San Francisco
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