Monday, December 31, 2007

Best of 2007

I saw this new meme going around on Lolly's blog (It's from Knitlit originally), and I wasn't going to do it until I found myself coming up with answers without having to think too hard. It's just a questionnaire; no rules; no muss; no fuss.

Jenny's Best of 2007 awards:

1. your best FO of the year
Hands down, my Two Toned Shrug from Fitted Knits. I wear it so much, as it goes with everything. The yarn is great, the fit is great, and it was super easy to make.

2. best FO of the year made by a blog you link to
I would have to say Jessica's Tree Jacket. I know dozens of bloggers were inspired to make this after seeing hers, including me. I didn't even like it before I saw hers. Now it's a major player in my wardrobe rotation!

3. best yarn you tried
I have two that I really liked that I had never tried before; one sweater yarn and one sock yarn. The sweater yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. Pilly? Yes. But, get a little fabric shaver, and it will stay looking nice day after day.
The other yarn that I LOVED was the Painted Sock by the Painted Sheep. I'm not just saying that because I know the owner of the company, either. It was great to work with and didn't pool or make weird stripes like say, Lorna's Laces. The big thing for me with sock yarn is that it not be too grabby on the needles. I'm a tight knitter, so it sucks to have to force my stitches to the end of the needle. I didn't have this problem AT ALL with the Painted Sock. It was smooth knitting the whole way, and it made for very speedy socks.

4. best new book/mag/pattern of 2007
Book: Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel. Magazine: Interweave Knits. I know Interweave isn't new, but I think the editor change made it a much improved product.

5. best new knitting technique or gadget you tried in 2007
Technique: Fair Isle knitting. Gadget: Knit Picks Inter-changeables. They qualify as a gadget, yes?

6. top 5 inspirations--what five things inspired you the most over the past year?
In no particular order:
-Sexy Knitters Club. Being part of this KAL has really gotten in the way of my queue getting done, but also has gotten me to make some pretty darn cute sweaters.
- Fitted knits KAL. Same reasons as SKC
- Robin! Whenever I need a good kick in the pants, I go check out all the stuff she's up to, and am instantly inspired. I have never seen someone get so much done! What can I say, girl? You rock!
- Ravelry. I am eternally grateful for this site. Whenever I'm bored to tears at work, I just click around on Ravelry for a while, and I get so inspired to make just about anything. Honestly, what did we ever do without it?
- Finally, I have to give Joe credit for this one too. If he didn't watch such crap on TV, I wouldn't get half the stuff done that I do. Thanks for never giving up the remote, babe! ;)

7. designer who most amazed & inspired you throughout the year
I have to go with Stefanie Japel. I had no idea I would like her book as much as I did. I was especially amazed that she sent it to me for free as a thank you present!

8. knitting resolutions for 2008--what's next for you and your blog?

My goal for this year is to knit at least half of my Ravelry queue. I especially want to get Clapotis and Salina done. I also NEED to destash in a big way, so that's a little goal as well. I'm not making any pledges or promises, but I have enough yarn to keep me busy for quite some time, so I'd like to see how far it can take me. Also, I can't find a pattern I like for the Hermione sweater, so I'm going to attempt to design it myself. Wish me luck!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Santa Came! Santa Came!

OK, so I know everyone else already posted their Christmas pics, but I've been on Virginia time, so everything was going a little slower than usual (especially my parent's internet connection. Yikes!). Now I'm back in CT, and ready to show all my gifties. First, I'll show what Santa Joe brought, pinking shears and the Harmony Needle set (YESSSSSS!!):
Pinking Shears
Harmony needle set
I got other stuff too, but that's all the blog worthy stuff. Next, my Secret Santa from work got me all these goodies:
Happy Feet
Lantern Moon Bag
Lantern Moon bag, Brittany crochet hook, Happy Feet sock yarn, and the Secret Language of Knitters book. She also got me a Creative Fibers gift card too. I don't think she got the memo that said the SS limit was $10, even though she was the one that sent the memo. Moving on, this was from my BFF:
Solitude Wool Sock Kit
It's a sock kit from Solitude Wool in Virginia. Her MIL is a knitter, so I think she had a little helper pick it out. Whatevs, I scored! This is what I gave her (No, I didn't finish the blanket):
Swedish Lodge Teapot
Tea Cozy
(the teapot from her china pattern plus the matching cozy.) Per Blogless Audrey's suggestion, I needle felted the little swirlies on the already felted cozy--which I had never done before. What a great idea that was! So easy and WAAAAAY better than duplicate stitch. Thanks, Audrey! :)
I finished mom's socks in the car on the way down to Virgina:
Mom's Socks
They are knitty's toe ups made with Painted Sock by the Painted Sheep. They were a big hit. Too big of a hit, in fact. She asked for more for Mother's day. I politely told her to not hold her breath. ;)
This is the scarf I knit for Joe's daughter.
Olivia Scarf
It was not as big a hit as the socks. It's still sitting on the steps with the crap her grandmother bought her. Oh, well. 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What's one more tiny project?

I was almost done with my Christmas knitting. I only needed to needle felt a little embellishment onto my friend's tea cozy; I'm through one of Mom's socks, I can probably finish the other one in the car on the way to Virginia; Olivia's scarf is done, wrapped, and ready to go. Then, I remembered this 'little' giftie:

I was supposed to give this to my friend as a housewarming gift 2 summers ago. Then, it became a possible wedding gift for her that fall. Then, I vowed to have it finished for Christmas. That didn't happen. So, here we are, a year and a half later, and I am vowing yet again to get rid of this thing. I completed the squares and the horizontal seams this weekend. Hopefully I can get the rest done this week. It's only 100 or so ends to weave in. Simple, right? ;)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

7 Random *Christmas* Facts

I was once again tagged for 7 Random things, and since the knitting blog fodder around here is pretty non-existent these days, I figured I'd play along. I decided to do a theme list like my tagger, Robin, did. This now makes 22 random things you guys know about me...

1. I L.O.V.E. Christmas. I love the decorations, the baking, the shopping, the songs, the craziness and everything about it. I hate to hear people complain about the commercialism, the money strain, blah, blah, blah. I only celebrate as much as my Christmas savings account will allow, and encourage others to do the same.

2. I found out about Santa at a pretty young age. It was the big Cabbage Patch doll year, and I overheard my brothers ask my mom if Santa was bringing me one, and she said say yes. Whatevs, I got my Cabbage Patch baby. I was happy.

3. Joe has asked me like 20 times if I want the “Journey diamond” necklace for Christmas this year. NO! A hundred times, NO!! I know he means well, but if I don’t get those GD Harmony needles, I’m going to poke him in the eye. ;)

4. My brothers’ wives get in a little spat every year about who brought more stuff to Christmas dinner. I find this immensely entertaining. They always try to drag me into the fight, but I never take the bait. If they only knew how much that shrimp cost me every year, they would shut the F up.

5. When we were little, my brothers & I would go downstairs at like 4 AM and get our stockings and bring them back up to my bedroom and open them and get all high on chocolate. We weren’t allowed to wake my parents until the sun was up, so we would take turns opening one thing each to make it last longer. This is honestly one of my favorite memories as a kid, as it was one of the few times we all got along whilst unsupervised.

6. I secretly like it when people ask for hard to find gifts that I have to go 10 places to find. It’s like a little project. I’m not kidding.

7. The thing I look most forward to at Christmastime is Joe's family's celebration on Christmas Eve. We stuff ourselves silly, do secret Santa, have a Yankee swap, have way too much dessert, and Joe's mom even fills a stocking for every single person there. It's so much fun. I hate to be a traitor to my family and all, but we just don't know how to party compared to these Italians!

I don't want to tag anyone--the holidays can be stressful enough without an extra meme to do, but it was pretty fun; give it a try if you have time!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Knitting

After declaring (rather loudly) that I would not be making any knitted Christmas gifts this year, a couple people hinted that they can't wait to see what I'm making them, so I have caved. Nothing major, just a few small items, but caving nonetheless. I almost finished a scarf for Joe's daughter, finished the knitting part of a felted tea cozy for my BFF (I only call her that b/c she hates that I call her that. LOL).
I haven't started my mom's socks, though. I can't figure it out; why don't I want to knit for her? Is it because she never wears what I make her? Is it because she knows how to knit, but refuses to apply herself and learn new techniques beyond knitting and purling? I know she'll like whatever I make her, and there's never been a more appreciative recipient of a hand knitted gift, but the fact that she won't wear/use what I make her because "it's too pretty" drives me absolutely insane!!

On a lighter note, here's what's been making me all giggly lately:
He practically LIVES under there lately. So cute!