Wednesday, December 31, 2008

it's the end of the year, and...

... I've got WIP's. Not liking that!

I'm in the midst of knitting my Mariah sweater (which I knew I wouldn't get done by now, so that's ok) plus that bat shawl that I started at the end of August (and wanted it done for Halloween - so much for that!) plus a sock yarn blanket (scroll down to find links to tutorials) that I started back in June, to which I'm not even an eighth done. Phew.

Hating WIP's. Maybe 2009'll be my year. My new year's resolution for then? To finish the year w/o any WIP's!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

moderately wasted baking

The tradition has been, in my side of the family, for Christmas, is to have 13 dishes for the main holiday meal, and 13 desserts. One of those two traditions belongs to the Polish part of my family, and the other belongs to either the French or Italian part of my family, I forget which is which. Since DH and I were in charge of desserts @ my SIL's, then we thought to bring13 desserts.

So, as I posted the other day, DH and I spent two days baking in preparatin for this. We made 3 different kinds of cookies, DH whipped up some eggnog flavoured tapioca (which turned out awesome) and to go along with his family's tradition, we served pie and ice cream as two of the desserts. To fill in the balance of the 13 desserts, we brought over some chocolates and nougat that my parents have care-packaged to us from France.

Now, I must post at this point that I did tell everyone way in advance that 13 desserts were coming that night. And I even strongly hinted that if not all the desserts were at least tried, that I'd be disappointed.

Well, the chocolates went. DH's tapioca was mostly gone. The inlaw's traditional pie and ice cream was eaten. All the cookies I baked though - and I do mean all 3 dozen plus (with the exception of 3 cookies, mind you) were uneaten. Granted, we did have a big meal, as always at Christmas, but I hate the fact that I wasted 3 days baking and none of it was eaten.

I hate to sound like a sourpuss during the holidays, because I am grateful for the time I spent with my inlaws, especially since my parents and brother live out of the country and I miss spending the holidays with them. And I did get some fantastic gifts for the holidays nonetheless.

But I'm just so disappointed that I wasted all that energy in trying to incorporate my family's tradition, and wasted all that time making things from scratch, and the stuff made from scratch was the stuff uneaten.

Ugh, well, it's out now. Oh well. Unto the next holiday.

Friday, December 26, 2008

gingerbears with scarves

Instead of knitting, I've been baking for the last two days, in preparation for a belated Christmas celebration (tomorrow) with my inlaws. As a result, my gingerbread bears all got scarves:

These guys are just a sample of the 30 or so DH and I ended up baking. It may be hard to tell, but with the bottom two bears, I was trying to make cabled scarves with them. Yum.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

more sweater progress

Here is what 2 skeins knit look like:
Not the best picture, mind you, but you get the idea. Lighting sucks, sorry. Lucky to have this much done so far. Hopefully no more frogging!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

anti sweater progress, froggery and recovery

(insert curses here)

I stupidly realized that I had knit 8" of sleeve w/o starting any increases at 6". So I've had to frog 2" worth of cables and reknit that part, which took me all of Friday and yesterday. Ack.

But thankfully, now it's fixed and I'm on my merry way.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

sweater progress

My goal is to keep progress on my sweater via my blog ~ and hopefully it'll become a weekly contribution. I hope to knit at least 1 skein's worth of sweater a week, so it'll get done before winter ends!

So far I've been working on this sweater for a few days (not even a week yet!) and I've already got one skein's worth done, in the sleeves:
If the cables weren't taking me forever to do, I'd have a lot more done, but the cable's only on the sleeves, so it's worth its intricacy. Also, knitting a sweater on 4mm's is also contributing to how long it's taking, but I'm sure it'll be well worth it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

makin' myself a sweater

I'm finally getting around on knitting myself a sweater - I've decided on Mariah - a knitty publication from a while ago. I noticed it when it was first published, but was initially discouraged for two reasons: firstly, because it didn't come in my size, and secondly, because I couldn't afford or decide on the yarn I wanted to use.

Thanks to ravelry though, I've collected a whole bunch of Debbie Bliss Merino DK in green - well, one of their shades of green. Since it's not a yarn I can find at an LYS within arm's reach of where I live, I had to rely on people's destashery to collect enough. I've got about 20.5 skeins all together, that I've collected from 3 different people.

Over the weekend, I've adjusted the pattern to fit me - the only major change I had to do was the torso part, but I think the XXL sleeves will fit alright, with maybe only some minor tweeking. Oh, and just to make my life easier (she says with sarcasm in her voice!) I'm going to change the zipper part to button holes. I've got some buttons in earth tones I'd love to use.

Now, realistically, based on the yardage used in the pattern, I may have just exactly enough, but since I'm tweeking the pattern, I realistically may be short. So, I've found someone else who's destashing some Debbie Bliss merino dk but in a different shade of green, of which I'll save for the hood. Of course, it's optional to not make it a hoodie, but hoodies are not only trendy atm, but convenient to have on those cool evenings.

Here's hoping I don't botch it up - I've already got a few inches of the sleeves knit! I both love and hate how confusing the cables on the sleeves are, but I'm sure they'll look great in the end! Phew!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

chocolatey care packages!

My parents and grandmother in France sent DH and I our annual Christmas Chocolate Care Package! I just received it today - Woo Hoo!

There are all kinds of decadent treats in there that I can't wait to gobble up, although we'll (try to) keep them for Christmas, when we have it with my in-laws.

My favourite treats are the pains au chocolate (in the blue bag, pic on the right) and the papillots (the clear bag with gold foils). Not pictured is a Bergers de France yarn catalogue, which I've slightly looked through and looks fantastic. One other thing - and I'm not sure if it's noticable in the picture, but we were sent marzipan (yuuuuummmm!) that's pineapple flavoured! That'll be decadent, I'm sure.

I also love those chocolates that are also tree ornaments - there's a couple packs of those, which'll look great on the tree @ my SIL's place, we'll keep it for then. I don't see as much of those in Canada, or maybe I'm just looking in the wrong stores? But it's pretty big over in Europe.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

mittens for charity

I'm currently using this pattern for children's mitts to knit 10 pairs for charity, using the wool I have in my stash.

I bought, a while back, some variegated Patons Classic Wool Merino in different colours, most of which I've barely touched, and currently have no use for. I also received some 100% wool in different brands in the mail, from just random exchanges via, which have since just been sitting in my living room. All of this is being converted into kid's mitts.

Pictures will come soon. I currently have 6 pairs finished, and have started a 7th pair - the ribbing of which was done during tonight's bitch n stitch meeting when I went out.

Why ten pairs? No idea. Why not?

I was thinking of donating them for afghans for afghans - but I'd have to wait until they campaign for children's mittens again, and who knows when that'll be. They may get donated to a different charity in the meantime.

I've been on a knitting-for-charity kick lately. Maybe 2009 will be the year that I'll manage to get a crapload of knitted and crocheted donations out? 2007 I managed to donate nearly 80 items to the Dulaan project alone - or rather over the 2006/2007 winter season. Tons went out.

Ah, who knows. In any case, they'll be made and ready to donate for some kids that need warmer hands. Maybe it'll do some good?

Monday, December 8, 2008

what to knit with glow in the dark yarn?

I bought these four skeins of yarn a while ago - 3 of them glow in the dark, and I bought the black one to make a good contrast. But I've no idea what to make with them. I want to make or design something practical and functional, not just decorative. I'm totally brainfarting. It's one of those yarn purchases that I 'had to have', without any rhyme or reason, and it's not something that I normally do... I'm just clueless.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beer Cheese!

I meant to post this a while ago ... DH and I went grocery shopping one weekend, and one of the stops that we do around the grocery store is in the cheese section, because we just love cheese. And, we happen to find the oddest thing: cheese made from Guinness! Ack!
It was picture worthy, I thought, because it's just something I've never seen before. It was covered in a layer of brown wax; the cheddar parts I assume are the orange parts, and the brown part was what contained the Guinness. It didn't taste like beer at all, and it tasted more cheddary if nothing else.
There's just a part of me that can't help thinking that it looks like chocolate fudge with weird orange marshmallows in it.