Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Where have I been??

Thursday, December 27th, 2012
It's been over two months since I've blogged!!! So much has happened and it has just been so crazy of late. That happens, from time to time, I guess. Sigh…
What have I/we been up to?
Jermaine and I took a very relaxing trip to the Florida Keys:
I basically spent a week in a hammock and it was fantastic! We spent our second anniversary at a very nice Lady-and-the-Tramp-like Italian restaurant in Key Largo…very delicious and romantic.
Then we came home just in time for Hurricane Sandy:
Fortunately we were fine but I can not say the same for my cousin and his family in New Jersey. They were without power for a week. So many families had more issues to deal with too with all the damage to properties.
Then there was the election.
Maryland legalized gay marriage. Wohhooooo!!!! I am so proud of my state!
Work has been so crazy for the both of us. The craziness for my job occurred a little earlier this year. Luckily, it will always be busy but the crazy, ER-quality pace has dissipated.

Jermaine and I are enjoying a nice Christmas. Here is a picture of our Christmas tree:

 

It's what tress often turn into, no? :-)

Craft-wise and book-wise, I've:

  • Finished 11 books. No idea if I'll be able to write reviews for every single one
  • Finished three pairs of socks for girlfriends and one pair for moi.
  • Made two fairly nice necklaces for my boss and my mom. I've come a long way since making necklaces out of macaroni teehee
  • Started knitting a monster for the 600 Monsters Strong group. Inspired by the terrible traders in Newtown this December, this group aims to send these knitted monsters to kids impacted by gun violence.
I hope to share more here in the upcoming months. I feel bad that I have gone MIA both with my blogging and my commenting. I hope to change that.
 
Happy 2013, everyone!!!
 
 

2 out of 4 Now Completed!

Friday, December 16th, 2011

I have finished my Christmas stocking:

Laura's Christmas Stocking

And now only two more to go!

Pattern:A NEW Mom’s Christmas Stocking by Dorene Delaney Giordano from her Ravelry Store (Note – This is a toe-up pattern)
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): Patons Pure Merino.
Colorway(s): Purple and Gray.
Needle(s): US 3– 3.25 mm
Casted On: November 5, 2011
Casted Off: December 4, 2011
Modifications:  Like with the previous stocking, I wanted to make it bigger. I based the instep on 60 stitches (3 pattern repeats) and the sole on 40, making the total stitch count 100 and not what the pattern stated-100.

This made the fabric VERY dense so towards the end of knitting it, it was a rather rough knit! But I still like the final result:
Laura's Christmas Stocking

I just love stars so I knew this pattern had to be the one for my stocking. :-)

Laura's Christmas Stocking

I am not entirely sure I’ll get Layla and Luna’s stocking done in time for CHRISTMAS DAY but I hope to get them done within a months time. I’ve started on Ms. Luna’s:

Luna's Christ Stockin

She is a kitty that loves being in the center of attention. She has a super hero complex as well. So I found it only appropriate to use bright colors for her.

Layla on the other hand is a very gentle soul. Calm and soothing colors were required to match her personality however the combination still had to provide enough contrast for the stranded pattern to be visible. And yes, I’m sure plenty might say I was definitely over-thinking what colors I would use for her. I wanted to get it right though. I finally found it:

Cascade 220 Sport

Seeeeeeeeeeeee….soothing colors but will still provide some wonderful contrast.

Have a great weekend everyone. Knitters, getting all those handknits done for the holidays? What all are you making for loved ones?

One Down….Three more to go…

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

We adopted Layla and Luna in 2005. Back then, I was quilting more than knitting. I started picking up knitting more seriously at the weeeee end of 2006. By the time 2007 came around, the knitting bug hit hard and it became my primary craft. Then, in 2008, I said, out loud, “You know honey, it would be great if I knitted each of us a stocking for Christmas.” Cute idea right?

And naturally I didn’t actually start one till 2009:

365.200

Note: This pic was taken 8/23/09

I’m not proud. It took Jermaine and me buying our house to realize I really really wanted all of us to have a stocking this Christmas.
Jermaine’s, I knew, would be the most difficult. His name is just too long–8 letters. Why does that make a difference? I wanted our stockings all to have our names shown on one half of the stocking. Jermain’s name required about 70 stitches, so that doubled would make for a 140 stitch stocking. Depending on what yarn I’d use, sizing and shaping would vary.

So there’s that fine line between one hand where I make him a stocking out of fingering weight yarn, size 1 needles and it taking forever OR, on the other hand, I make him one that ends up so big it can fit Luna.

I then found designs by 2 Sticks and a String on Ravelry and I knew these were the patterns I wanted for our family stockings! :-) I grew up with stockings a little bigger than her planned schematic but overall, I really like the designs!

And with this, I present Jermaine’s finished Christmas Stocking:

Jermaine's Stocking

Jermaine's Stocking

Pattern: A NEW Dad’s Christmas Stocking by Dorene Delaney Giordano from her Ravelry Store (Note – This is a toe-up pattern)
My Ravelry Project Page
Yarn(s): KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Sport
Colorway(s): Aurora Heather (green) & Dove Heather (white/gray)
Needle(s): US 1 – 2.25 mm & US 2½ – 3.0 mm
Casted On: October 7, 2011
Casted Off: November 5, 2011
Modifications:

  1. This pattern was based on repeats of 20. So to add some width because of my preference and because of the length of Jermaine’s name, I expanded the stocking to 120 stitches, as opposed to the 80 it called for. So for the instep, heel and “leg” portion, I used size 2.5 needles. After the border on the top, but before Jermaine’s name, I changed to size US 1-2.25 needles and increased twenty stitches evenly by making one stitch after every six stitches. I was concerned that the stocking sizing would look off but with the needle size decrease, everything coincided nicely.
  2. 120 stitches made for an awkward heel flap, so I ripped it and did a short row heel (I mean it’s not like Jermaine is actually going to wear this. It’s for stuffing present(s) in! ).
  3. I also did an i-chord bind off. This was a first time doing this bind-off for me. Sure, it’s not the quickest one in the world, but it gives the stocking a very nice edging. It’s curling over a little bit, as you can see so perhaps I should go up a needle size the next time I use it? I don’t know.  But this certainly won’t be the last time I use it.

I know this project came with a lot of false starts. (Did you notice the first pic? How there’s no gold in the final stocking? That was Jermaine’s request and I was more than happy about that. Never been a fan of golds/yellows/oranges.) But I am quite pleased with the end result.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd I’m half way done with my stocking :-D

Laura's Stocking

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