Monthly Archives: December 2007

Final FOs for 2007

I spent the weekend trying to finish up some final FOs for the year. I managed to finish a hat that has been on the needles for over a month. I also finished one pair of mittens that are a gift. I had already finished the other pair of mittens that are also a gift for some one. I am working on finishing a final pair of mittens for the year that belong to me. Can I just say that I see more Malabrigo in my future? I love the stuff. Two out of the three pairs of mittens are done in Malabrigo. And I love the yarn. It is so nice and soft. I am using the Classic Mitten pattern out of Folk Mittens and have modified it slightly by using a smaller needle size I knit the first pair on the size 5 recommended in the pattern. The second pair was knit on 3s. The final pair is knit on my Brittany size 2.5s. I like the firmer and denser fabric created by the smaller needles. I am going to be making a few more pairs of mittens using this pattern and smaller needles. My hands get cold easy and the firmer fabric will help block out the wind better. (And yes, the pair that are mine will be finished before midnight.)

I also finally decided to commit to a large project that has been sitting in a basket for over a year. Over a year ago, I had ordered the now discontinued kit for Cat Bordhi’s Island Embrace pattern from colorsong yarn. I wound all of the yarn into center pull balls and bought a pair of size 17 Addi’s for the project. And it has sat in the living room in a pretty basket since. Well I have finally decided to commit to the project and cast on for it yesterday. I have decided to modify the pattern slightly by just doing 2 rows of garter stitch for each yarn. But my goal is to finish it by the end of January. The colors in my kits are the pale blues and look like sea foam. And yes, this will be mine. (Photos will follow shortly.)

This afternoon I am planning on heading downtown to play with my new camera weather permitting. I had planned on doing this yesterday but the sky was full of very dark and ugly looking clouds that let loose with sleet and rain. I will try again today. And tonight I plan to be all curled up on the couch watching a marathon of Duncan MacLeod in Highlander Season 1. (Thank you P!!!)


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Friday Sky & Friday Kitty


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Holiday Knitting

I managed to finish all four hats just in the nick of time. The two hats that went to my fire chief’s little girls were given to their grandmother Christmas Eve. They were still damp but she said that she had a place to put them and would make sure they were dry by Christmas morning. She and another lady at the post office feel in love with them so I will be making two hats for them.

I finished off my hat for my niece late Christmas Eve. It was washed and drying as was her older brother’s but they were still wet Christmas morning. And since my mother’s dryer has a nice drying rack that you can sit inside it, I decided that the two hats would have to be found as part of a treasure hunt for these presents. The first thing that we all did after my brother and his family arrived was to eat brunch. The youngest nephew’s priorities were simple – he wanted to eat. He walked in and said that he was hungry and climbed up into my chair and helped himself to my French toast. And yes, his parents had already feed him earlier that morning. After the oldest boy finished eating, he was wanting to open presents but everyone else was still eating. So I sent him and his sister on a treasure hunt with only one clue. His sister figured it out right away since the clue was “I take things that are cold and make them warm and I am not in the kitchen.” She figured out that is was something in the utility room. The dryer was running but it took them both a few minutes to figure out that their presents were in there. Her hat was dry but his was still damp. She came upstairs wearing her hat and he reset the timer. He went back down to check on his hat after everyone had finished eating and came back up with his hat on his head even though it was still damp. Neither hat left their respective heads all day. I get the feeling that they both loved their hats.


I thought that I have had my present since early November since my mother decided to replace my dying pink mini. I had planned on purchasing a replacement one for it but she bought one for me as a replacement. But when it came time to open all of the presents, my brother was very insistent that I open one particular package first before anyone else opened packages. Well, I had been hinting that I wanted a new digital camera but I truthfully was not expecting to get one as a present. Well, I did. My brother who is normally a pain in the rear was the one who picked it out for me. I opened the box but my hands never saw it Christmas day. My brother had already made sure that the battery was charged and was using it all day to take pictures. It is going to take me a day or two to figure it all out and get going. So there may be more photos than normal for a bit.


My niece is in love with her new yarn. She requested a purple yarn for her gift, and being a yarn snob already, she requested the “good” stuff. So she received two skeins of Malabrigo and stitch markers. She is already planning her next project. But she was told that she has to finish one project that is already on the needles first. So she is using her school break to knit. And she carries her knitting bag around with her everywhere in case she can find a few minutes to squeeze in knitting.


My oldest nephew was given three skeins of yarn to chose from plus several patterns to pick his new hat from. His choice was Stone Chat in Malabrigo and he rejected all of the patterns offered to him. He wanted to know if I could use the Malabrigo to make him another hat just like the one on his head. He wants another Thorpe hat. He said if I wanted to make him a beanie that would be fine but he prefers the Thorpe. And he said that all of his friends will thing it is cool since no one else has a hat like his. So I will be starting his second Thorpe shortly.

I am still trying to finish some holiday gifts that weren’t even started in time. But I have managed to get one of these projects done and am hoping to have th other one done by the New Year. But weather permitting, I am planning on heading to downtown Frederick tomorrow to play with the new camera. I am liking it so far.

And here is what the breakfast thief thought of Christmas. He wanted to watch his new movie and forget the rest of the stuff. He has been getting one new package a day since that is all he is interested in.



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Busy Helping Elves Finish

Trying to finish one more project before tomorrow morning. But so far I have delivered two hats and still have one more to go. The two hats that were delivered are for two little girls. The one that is left to finish up is for my niece. What is funny about her hat is that she called me yesterday to see if I could knit her a hat very similar to the one I am making her. Now to finish her hat up. But in the meantime, here some photos that I took while walking around window shopping this afternoon in downtown Frederick. I know have a new favorite place to go there since the new downtown Starbucks is open. All of my favorite barristas are there and I can go in and get a drink after checking out all of the sights downtown.


I hope everyone has a fanastic holiday. Time to get back to knitting….


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I was tagged by Lynda over at Knitting Across America for this one. It is the Christmas one. And if you haven’t ever read her blog, it is worth a trip over to check it out. Her home is the cab of a semi that she shares with her DH and son. She gets to see more of the US than the rest of us. And her knitting is always with her. And if you think you have problems storing our stash, think about her storage options….

The rules are as follows:

~ Link to the person who tagged you
~ Tag three random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs
~ Let each person know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs

Here are the questions (feel free to substitute the winter holiday of your choice & to add questions):

1. What was the best Christmas present you got as a kid? Well, considering my brother is a pain in the rear most of the time and even worse around the holidays, it certainly is not him. I would have to say that my best present ever was the Nativity set we bought the first year that my family lived in Naples, Italy. I have it and sometimes it is the only holiday item I set up.

2. What was the best Christmas present you got as an adult? A car. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was in college. And I never had a car while I was in college. My parents gave me a used small car for Christmas right right before my graduation from college. (I graduated in December.)

3. What’s your favorite Christmas carol? Silent Night in German but not in English. But I also like What Child is This. And you can add It’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by U2; who can resist Bono?

4. How long can you stand to listen to Christmas music before you break? Not very long. I worked in retail for a few years so that took care of that.

5. How many Christmas albums do you own? Not too many.

6. Did you ever go caroling as a kid? No. I grew up in climates where it was pretty warm at Christmas time.

7. Would you willingly eat fruitcake? No but I will make one if you really want one.

8. Do you own any Christmas sweaters? There is one that my mother bought me several years ago that is stuffed in the back of the laundry room. I wore it once when I worked in a ski shop over the holidays.

9. Do you own any Christmas jewelry? I have some hand carved geese that have little wreaths you can add to them but I never wear them.

10. Do you wear them? I used to wear but not anymore.

11. Did your family have any Christmas traditions? Like what? Besides my brother and I getting ticked off at each other. (Yes, this has happened ever since childhood.) We normally eat Cuban food for Christmas dinner. The menu always includes black beans and rice, marinated pork, ropa vieja, and rice.

12. Do you buy Christmas presents for your pets? Cats deserve presents too. They have to put up with the fuss and having their naps interrupted.
13. What’s your favorite Christmas cookie? I like making them not eating them. But if I had to pick one it is the base for the mincemeat cookie recipe that was my grandmothers. I like the dough not the mincemeat.

14. What’s your favorite Christmas candy? Again none. I rarely eat candy anymore. Something to do with eating way too much once before.

15. What’s your stocking look like? Mine was made for me by a family friend when we lived in Naples. It is red and has different cutouts on it.

16. How do you feel about the “Steal from Your Neighbor” Christmas present game (the one where people pick gifts from a pile, but others get to steal it)? Hey, if my brother gets something I like or want, I will take it. He does this to my dinner plate whenever we eat together so turnabout is fair game.

17. What is the oldest ornament on your tree? I have a old beat up plastic bell that still has some of the silver covering on it and a few of the “original” jewels on it from nursery school. It was given to me by my Italian pre-school teacher. Plus I have several that I took from my mom’s house that are old glass ones.

18. Real or artificial? Artificial. I have the same one that I have had for about 6 years. Growing up, we rarely had a live one since we lived in warm climates. But I do remember one when we lived in Virginia. But I also remember that I sneezed the entire time it was in the house.

19. How do you feel about Christmas letters? They belong to an older generation. Some of the ones that my mom receives are more like bragging letters.

20. Do you have Christmas decorations or lights outside your house? What are they? No. I find that they are often over done. And growing up in southern Europe, this was something that was only done by the Americans and we always tried to celebrate in the manner of the country we were living in at the time.

21. How far would you drive to see Christmas lights? Wouldn’t drive since I could walk around the neighborhood to see them.

22. Are you a fan of tasteful or tacky? I prefer tasteful but my SIL seems to like tacky so I end up with it.t

23. Annie added this one: Do you have any Christmas collections? I have a set that I bought one year after Christmas that is baking related. And my mother has been giving me the White House ornaments for the past few years.

24. Do you travel to celebrate Christmas? Normal, I go over to my mom’s house but that is less than half a mile. My SIL wants everyone to come up to her house this year and that is 7 miles. Growing up, we always lived too far away to travel so we stayed home. Living overseas tends to do that and my one grandmother would not fly. And my abuela and abuelo always visited us every summer we were in Europe. But we did get to spend Three Kings Day with my cousins, aunts and uncles, and abuela and abuelo the year we moved to Panama. We also had a late Christmas with my great uncle Sam and my great aunt and second cousins and all in Miami that year.

I could tag a few people but I will let you tag yourselves.


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A Kermit Thorpe

I finished the Kermit Thorpe hat this morning. And the best part is that it was all stash yarn!!! I have had the Kermit Had a Nightmare yarn in the stash for a few months and the trim yarn is some black Manos that has been in the stash for quite awhile. I just need to attach the ties to the ear flaps and wash it before it is totally complete. I need to measure out the Kermit yarn and see how much I have left and combine it with the black for the ties. My niece was complaining that I always make hats for her brother and not her but I think this hat will be her brother’s. The color and style are very much him. The color is obnoxious enough to bother his parents but not too much. And at 13 year being obnoxious is part of the game for him. I am still going to let him pick a hat pattern for the hat that his sister picked the yarn for though.


I am going to be starting a hat for his sister tonight though. She can knit but she hasn’t progressed to patterned hats yet. Plus her speed is still at turtle speed. She asked for yarn for her present so I ordered an extra skein of the color she picked just in case it was needed. Well, it will turn into a hat for her now. I have narrowed the choices down to two different patterns for her. I will pick one tonight when I cast on. She will be thrilled to have “her” hat.

And yet another prewrapped present arrived today from the wonderful wrappers at Amazon. It will join its cousin from yesterday which is still wrapped. Yes, I have good willpower with some things. Back to knitting. And there will be better shots of the Kermit Thorpe being modeled but after Christmas. I will get the boy to model it.

Edited to addd – Go and listen to the latest episode of Katia and Kylie Mac. Actually listen to episode 103 since they mention an email I sent them. But after listening to them, you will be hooked and you will want to head over to Podcast Alley and vote for them. Yes, I have Scout to thank for my addiction to this podcast!s

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Getting Ready

I think I may be ready in time for Christmas. Mimi doesn’t care if her quilt is finished in time. Nice thing about making something for a cat is that they don’t care about Christmas. They just want affection and to be feed and such. And Mimi has already walked and sniffed all over her quilt. I was working on it at my mother’s house yesterday afternoon and laid it down to place a quilting line on it. Mimi had already been sniffing the quilt so she decided that since it was on the ground, she would walk allover it. I guess she likes it since she stayed on it for awhile. But as soon as I reached for the camera, she walked off it. And in one of the photos you can see what my brother calls her devil side. (That is the only side she shows him too.)


I still haven’t figured out what to give my brother since he is such a pain in the rear. (His wife says that about him too.) I am packaging up stuff today to ship out UPS to two friends. I still have knitting to finish that was supposed to be part of their presents but I am sure that as knitters they will understand.

I seem to have the start-itis that is going around last night as well. Last night I started a hat that may end up on my nephew’s head or I may keep it for myself. (All depends on the final look.) I happened to have the right weight yarn to make the Thorpe hat created by Kristen of Through the Loops. I started it a few times last night but I ended up making a few modifications to the pattern. The changes that I made were to make the pattern easier for me to get started. The changes for right now are up on my project page over on Ravelry. Once I am done with the hat, I will be sending the changes I made on to Kristen just in case anyone else has those can’t think times when starting a top down pattern.


I was waiting on a book order from Amazon to arrive so that I could send some one’s present out to her. And when my UPS driver arrived this morning, I was a little confused when he delivered a box from Amazon. Some one was sneaky and had a package sent straight to me. Amazon does a wonderful job of wrapping. I wonder if they will wrap all of my presents for me? I am a tissue paper and gift bag wrapper. I always save the tissue paper and bags and recycle them to use again. There is one gift bag that has been going back and forth between my SIL and my mother for about 6 years now. But as to what is in the package, well I can be good and wait to open it.


Time to get back to knitting. I want to try and finish my hat in the next day or two. Plus I have a sweater to finish up. I have one sleeve left to do. At least if it is done but not washed, I can give it as a present Christmas day.


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A Cold Sunday

Yesterday was cold. We never got the storm that we were supposed to have. We got a tiny bit of ice Saturday night. I managed to get photographic evidence of the ice. But I also discovered that I have to figure out how to clean my kitchen windows this spring. I am not sure if I want to hang out the window or find a ladder I am comfortable with to climb. My kitchen window is on the second floor and the steps to the basement are in the same area too. But the window needs to be cleaned.


Yesterday was all about the cold and the winds. So I stayed inside and knit, quilted, and cleaned. One advantage of living by yourself is that you can have piles of knitting books and yarn all over your living room and no one will complain. But I decided that it was time to rearrange the living room and clean it up. I have been sorting through magazines of all sorts. If anyone is interested in a large batch of Taste of Home cooking magazine, leave me a comment and I will email you. These are older issues that are looking for a good home.

I am also trying finally to organize all of my knitting patterns into large notebooks. In cleaning up the office, I found several very large notebooks that I am going to use. And to store them, I have space under the bay windows in the living room. While I didn’t get everything done yesterday, I made a huge start. I also managed to un-bury my favorite rocking chair and move it to a better spot in the living room. I can sit in this chair and comfortably use my quilting frame.

I managed to baste both of the quilts that are supposed to be Christmas presents. I started hand quilting the smaller one since that is for Mimi. Yes, the cat is getting her own quilt. Mimi likes to sleep on the flannel quilt on my parents’ bed so my mother wants her to have one that she can put on the couch in the living room. I was going to use a left over block from another quilt but it would be too small. She is skinny but long. But I have plenty of this fabric left. I made a quilt for my now 13 year old nephew when he was a baby. His quilt is not quite a twin size. I have also made a queen size quilt for myself out of the same fabric. And I still have fabric left. Does that say how much fabric I bought? But I like flannel quilts. And I am now almost out of these fabrics. But isn’t it pretty? Yes, I am utility quilting it using perle cotton.


The second quilt will also be hand quilted. The person I am making this one for and I talked yesterday. And after discussing the decision of whether or not to hand quilt or machine quilt, we decided on hand quilting it. It will also be utility quilted using perle cotton. But my utility quilting tends to be more of a smaller stitch size. I found the perfect color perle cotton for this quilt. It will be nice and warm for some one’s office though. I have another quilt that needs to be finished but it will have to wait until after the holidays. Her husband is picky and this quilt is for him. But he is willing to wait.

I managed to finish one mitten. Well, it still needs a thumb but I save them for last. I have started on the second one already and should be done with the ribbing shortly. I just got my short dpns that I need for my convertible mittens. So I should be able to get back to work on them in the next day or two. The oldest nephew has a store bought pair and loves them. So he may get a hand knit pair once I get some Encore in a dark blue for him. His favorite color for mittens and hats is black but he likes blues and grays as well.


And question for those with teen age boys, I am going to knit the boy a hat and scarf for his present. I have the yarns all ready but I can’t decide on the patterns. Should I give him the yarn and a few patterns to pick from? He loves hand knit items and he understands that they take time to make. Any suggestions. I already have a few new patterns to get some yarn for after the holidays to knit him some additional hats.

Time to get knitting. I have been managing to get quite a bit of knitting done while watching Highlander. Adrian Paul is such nice eye candy……


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Rant Update

My parents got their power back about 3 am this morning. My brother got his back around 11 pm last night. But there are still people without power out there. And what is funny is that the electric company on Friday announced major upgrades which are really a way to do the maintenance that they have been putting off for years.

I did get some knitting done over the weekend but it was mostly spent cleaning. Photos later.

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Little Rant

Okay, the storm that was promised never materialized. It wasn’t even that much rain. But I still have a little rant aimed at the electric company. I got a phone call from my parents this morning wanting to know if I had power. I live in the old part of town and we have above ground lines. They live in an older development and their lines are all underground. Apparently their power went out about 3 am this morning. The power company said that their power would be restored by 8 pm tonight. Well, when my father called them again earlier this afternoon, he was told it might be Wednesday before their power is restored. My parents spent the day at my brother’s because his house has fewer steps than mine.

So I called a little bit ago and after about 15 minutes on hold, I finally got a person. I was told the same thing. When I asked the lady on the other end if they preplanned for situations like this, the response was well that is why we are here. As a fire fighter, we preplan for different emergencies and are able to adapt the plans to fit the situation. The electric company does not plan ahead. And what is funny is that people at the op of the street from my parents have power and the shopping center at the bottom of their street has power. But their little street does not. I kept being told that their power must come off a different line. The lady couldn’t seem to grasp that I was familiar with the underground lines on their street and that her explanation made no sense. And oh yeah, it is your problem to find a place to stay until your power is restored.

There are still several areas without power and yet the power company has not asked the Red Cross to open warming centers. And there are designated warming centers in the county. But in the entire time, I lhave lived in this county (over 20 years), they have never been opened.

The power company will have a lot of explaining to do and soon. And my brother lost power about an hour ago and now has no water. He lives out in the county and has well water. He does have a back up generator but he has never gotten around to rewiring the well pump to the generator. My parents are going to stay at their house in tonight since the cat needs the company. But it will be interesting to see how long it takes for them to get power. And my place is too small for anyone to stay. Plus my place is a little on the cold side too. But the cold in my place is because I have old windows. Time to go and curl up under a quilt while I hand quilt someone’s present. Back to knitting.


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