Wednesday, December 28, 2011

christmas knits

Wrist warmers, fingerless gloves, mitts, driving gloves. I'm not quite sure what to call these, but I spent the weeks (and hours) before Christmas knitting lots of them. The wristwarmers were a hit with the recipients and were fairly quick to knit, too. Knitting the thumbs and sewing in ends took the longest because I'm not fond of those tasks. I put them off as long as possible.

The brown and pink ones on the left were made using the Susie's Reading Mitts pattern, which is the same one I used to make my own fingerless gloves. These mitts are wonderfully fancy and very ladylike. They make me want to curtsy and attend afternoon teas. Sadly, the pattern is unavailable now. Apparently there were some copyright issues between the designer and the publisher. However, after poking around Ravelry a bit, I found that there's a loophole so that you can still access the pattern. Just check out the recent comments on the pattern page. Nothing ever really disappears on the internet, does it?

I knitted the shorter brown and yellow mitts by modifying the pattern. The honey-colored ribbed gloves would be perfect for plain jane days, and the cream embellishment really perks up the garter stitch wrist warmers. I'm excited to try more modifying and much more embroidery on knits.

* * * 

I haven't joined in the yarn along in ages, but I happen to be blogging about knitting on a Wednesday. So, I'll go ahead and throw in my reading, too. I just devoured Agatha Christie's Crooked House on my new Kindle Fire, a gift from my sweet sister. Paper and ink are still my thing, but now that our library is lending eBooks, I can definitely see myself using the Kindle. Oh, and Crooked House? Meh. Yes, it was suspenseful and fun to speculate, but ultimately the oversimplified midcentury take on genetics turned me off.

{Ravelry links}

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

brown paper packages

a peek at the packages.

merry making!

free gift tags from hey look

crochet stars. 

free pattern from a foothill home companion.

* * * 

and just so you know, only hours before the gifts looked like this.

 knit mess.

More photos to come, of course.

Friday, December 23, 2011

christmas sweets

Hello there. These last few weeks have been busy at work and busy at home. I've logged plenty of hours in the kitchen--mixing, rolling, baking, icing, sprinkling. I had four generations of family over to help prepare the Christmas sweets this year! I've never been able to do that before, but with the new house we finally have enough room. Hooray!

We actually didn't go overboard with Christmas baking and making this year, but we definitely made enough to share. We made butter cookies, peanut butter cups (the best!), butterball cookies (I'm noticing a butter theme here), fudge, chocolate-covered pretzels, and Italian Cream cake.

butter cookies

Christmas pretzels
[these disappear as fast as they're made]

Italian Cream Cake

my sweet love-
roasting marshmallows in our living room

I've also kept busy with Christmas crafting, but I'll save the photos for after Christmas. I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise. I love surprises!

* * * * * 

Remember this? I was spot on for winter. 

Here's hoping I was right about the rest of the year, too.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

floppy-eared bunnies

 Bunnies featured heavily in my childhood. Peter Cottontail, the Easter Bunny, and these adorable sleepy rabbits kept me company through bedtime stories as I drifted off to sleep. My mom and I had matching pink and white bunny slippers. We kept a concrete bunny in the garden named PeeWee. To top it all off, "Bunny" is the nickname my mom gave to my sister and me when we were kids. Actually, I'm pretty sure she still calls us that sometimes. So, when I came across the hopsalot pattern, I knew I had to make these sweet little critters.

The knitting part was quick and easy--big needles and two strands of yarn held together. This was the first time I've held two strands together. It was no harder than regular knitting.

What held me up was the felting. I started by hand-felting the slippers, which took about a million years and left me with one slipper that fit and one that fell off my foot every time I tried to walk. I chucked them into the washer and dryer, which made for a slightly better fit. In the end, I just had to stitch up the top of the heel on the bigger slipper so that it fits more snugly.

 I still found myself stealing K's slippers when he wasn't looking. He's got store bought ones with comfy, substantial soles. My bunny slippers felt more like glorified socks. My solution was to cut out two foot-shaped pieces from a felted scarf and tuck them inside the slippers. The felt lining makes a world of difference. It's thick and cushy, making the slippers more comfortable and giving them more structure. K can keep his slippers. I'll take my bunnies.

And just like the bunnies of my youth, these have fluffy white tails. I love them. 

I can see myself making another pair of these slippers sometime down the line. The fit issues I had make me want to take on other projects first and let my frustrations settle. Next time I'd skip the hand-felting and go straight to the machine. Find more details here.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


solid vanilla perfume. clementines. green tea.

This blog is about moments. I've written that before, but what I've left unspoken is that it's a blog about good moments.

I haven't written much about my job. It's pretty much a mixed bag of moments. I work for an IT company, which requires me to spend 8-10 hours a day in front of a computer screen. Sometimes my eyes go out of focus, and sometimes I feel bad about all the time I spend with computers. Wendell Berry makes me think I need to hightail it out of the office and into the fields. Maybe someday.

But for now I want to savor the good moments in my days.

I get to talk with college professors every day.

I create online courses for colleges all over the U.S.

I work with smart, talented, funny people.

And I fill every spare moment with good things--tangible things--in an effort to live and appreciate a "three-dimensioned life." Clementines. Tea. Vanilla perfume. Knitting. Origami. Books. Crocheting. Walks.



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