Monday, February 17, 2014

Yep! I'm back

     I know it's been a while since I've updated this blog and I apologize to anyone who follows it. Life happens and some things (unfortunately) slip by the wayside... There is literally NO breathing time between the end of soccer season (GO DRAGONS! LOL!) and the start of preparation for Thanksgiving (which I host here, this year we had a good turnout, I think my next house needs a much bigger dining room!) So for a quick update...

I think I was drinking some pretty good stuff this past holiday season... I somehow thought I could not only knit four hats in three days, but design one of them.. on top of baking cookies, making candy, etc...... After Thanksgiving, my granddaughters (D is 10 and J is 5) spend the weekend and we put our tree up... well, the kids did... my son (C) in the maroon shirt has always been Mr. Yuletide. It's his favorite time of year, always has been and each year we get him a new Santa hat that he starts wearing on Thanksgiving. I figure he has to have something to look forward to, especially since he's a NY Giants fan....
 I had it all planned out, the baking would be all set up and go smoothly (which it did, I added an old family recipe that my great aunt used to make for the most ultimate in evilness cookies. They're actually called khruchiki and the recipes are as varied as the Polish grandmas!) and I would have plenty of time to knit gifts.... Well, you experienced knitters out there know that we make plans and the knitting fates laugh.





It started with a stomach virus and I lost two weeks...during which I tried to figure out what to knit for my granddaughters, seeing as my sons (the moochers) managed to get their knit hats early (using such phrases as "Mom, the school is REALLY cold and my hat from last year is too small" or the "Mom, do you have my hoodie? The wind hitting us on the bench between the times we go in (for soccer) is cold and my ears are really cold." How could I resist?
But I also put the stipulation on that they had to let me take pictures... J gave me his "derp" face while C gave me a really nice picture before one of his games....











That left my nephews and my granddaughters... I was trying to figure out what to knit for them, especially since I didn't want the hand-knit item to go shoved in the back of a closet or drawer, never to see the light of day again...Then their mother posted this pic to Facebook and it hit me... hats! So I figured I'd go and start making them, doing the ones for my nephews first so that I could check how bad the jogging or gap was using two different methods for adding stripes when I knit in the round...
But, after knitting two hats already (the patterns are out of the "Charmed Knits" pattern book, I just made a couple of adjustment as my boys seem to have inherited the "BIG HEAD" syndrome from their father's side)

I was a little burnt out and figured I'd have a go at the Yarn Harlot's "Cutest Booties" (The yarn is the Premiere Yarns serenity Garden sock yarn, I think the color is called "Pink Sugar") since I could learn and get really good at purling in the round and hey, booties are small right?..... but that set off a "small item" binge and I also pounded out a couple of stretchy ribbed newborn hats to take care of some of my leftover sport weight and baby yarn....





Then crunch time hit, I gave up sleep. I am a champion when it comes to coping with sleep deprivation, I had a colicky infant who was up screaming all night long and would just finally start to doze off in his snuggli pack or swing just as his two year old brother was getting up and a husband who at work early mornings (he was news director and talk show host for a local radio statio) and then gone a few nights a week to cover meetings. NOTHING can phase me? Right?   My minions were taking care of the cleaning, my brother in law hosts Christmas dinner every year so I didn't have to worry about any of that. I had my dvd's and blu rays lined up, Mountain Dew (the foul stuff that it is now) ready to roll for the caffeine and I sat down to knit...
3 days to go? That's plenty of time... it's not like I was off my rocker and trying to crochet a ripple blanket in a week without any sleep at all... that was crazy, these were only four hats. So I whipped off the ones for my nephews and managed to get them both done (in all honesty, one was already about halfway done) the first day... no sweat... I started thinking I could get a little fancier with the ones for my granddaughters and took the time to work out a chart for one who is a Batman fan.... I got to the first stripe and realized how much I hated the yarn.. it was fuzzy, splitting, and getting all over the place.... so I threw it in a bag and tossed it into my closet figuring I'll have plenty of time to work on it for next Christmas...

I needed two hats in two days... the socks for my mother in law had been completed (and wrapped) months ago and I'd been wrapping as I went on the other gifts (I use the Organized Christmas planner to an extent, this year I had been writing things in a notebook as I purchased them as to who each item was for) not a big deal... worsted weight yarn on size 6 through 8 needles? I can manage that... I went stash diving and pulled out some Red Heart Super Saver (my go-to for kids that don't live in my house, it's toddler boy proof as we found out when my youngest two were babies and toddlers) in their favorite colors and quickly got one hat done and was halfway done with the second. I decided I was pretty far ahead... the ones for my nephews were wrapped and had been delivered, I still had more than twenty four hours before I was going to see my granddaughters so I finally caved and went to sleep for a few of those hours and woke up with stiff hands....  
I was still under the impression that I still had a good twenty four hours before I'd be seeing the girls and even at my slower pace I would still have plenty of time to get them finished and wrapped. So naturally I was ready to throw something when my dh informed me that we'd be going up THAT DAY (Christmas Eve) to see them.... and could I "hurry up" and get finished so that we could wrap them and go? Yeah, I was NOT a happy camper and was thinking some choice words but I just gave him the patented "glare over the top of the glasses" that he hates and knit on.... I managed to get them done and the girls loved them...
I was happy that I didn't have any wrapping to do... just ribbon and bows to put on the gifts... that was finished, the candy cane thief and entourage were mad that we DARED to put presents under the tree that were not for them which also meant they couldn't sleep there... and this Mama was able to get to bed before the sun was starting to make its appearance.... Shortly after gifts were opened my spousal unit was talking to his mother who asked if I had checked my e-mail yet... Keep in mind she doesn't have a computer and her computer usage is pretty much limited to her asking other people to look things up for her because she doesn't think she could learn how to do it herself... So I pulled out my cell and scanned my e-mail quick and saw this from my nephews:




They'd sent me a thank you e-mail with a picture they had their dad take with one of their iPads because they'd be at their mom's that afternoon and I wouldn't get to see them. Things like this is why I knit for them.














As for the other hat and the hand knits for my sons.... The design is all set up and planned out, but given it may have a copyright issue (due to the design) I am not going to be selling it, but once I do get it knit and tweaked I will probably offer it as a free Ravelry download. My sons know that they get what I make for them when they get it and the only way to get it any quicker is if they do extra chores and I work on their items while they work on the chores... it's a win-win! So C got his new socks (he'd worn a hole in the others) and J got some new fingerless mitts to match his hat (picture still pending)