Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Finished Vacation Knit

I fussed packing my knitting for our trip to   Tahoe for what my husband said was hours.


I remembered last year and how I didn't knit as much as I thought I would. I also remembered a project that tested my skill and patience (more on that in a future post), so I thought to bring an "easy" knit.

You know some instant gratification.

It wasn't instant, but it was forgiving when I kept knitting after I miscounted my rows. 

Pattern: sand banks

Yarn: Leftover acrylic for a trial run: brava worsted.

New technique: German twisted cast on. ( knit witch has an excellent video)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter Break

It's been a pleasant holiday.

Christmas Eve dinner at my apartment with our parents and my sister's family.
Christmas morning was early and fun, followed by play and relaxation and last minute packing.

The next day we headed up to Tahoe.

Fun times, indeed. 

Next up mountain knitting...

Monday, December 23, 2013

Emergency LYS Trip

Have you noticed I have a penchant for the dramatic?

Saturday post school families festivities, which were super fun, The Kid and I relaxed between chores. (Of course we seem to be battling a cold now. But we are so happy and relaxed we don't mind much.)

We listened to audio Harry potter and the order of the Phoenix. I think when I put my sock down to fold laundry I did this:

Yes that is still fall sock #1.

Yes I cannot find that 5th needle.

Know what I did Sunday? That's right, I bought a new set of needles or 3 ... what? I needed some US 5 32" circs for my attempt at magic loop knitting! pshaw, I really needed them!

(Not that I don't have a zillion other things I could be doing or knitting. But I love an excuse for a trip to the local LYS 😍)

What's not to love at Imagiknit?

Busy Day!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Teacher's Cowl, done!

I barely made it. I got to school half an hour before bell to weave in the ends. I realized I had dropped the end of the bind off and had to borrow two pencils from the school secretary to fix it.

It wasn't pretty, but it was done!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Things that are making me happy.

The title by no means implies I'm unhappy. I'm not.

I am disorganized and a little disappointed in myself because of it. But I refuse to waste energy on beating myself up and feeling sorry for myself. I refuse. I am going to keep working on not just having good cheer, but spreading it. Dadburn it! And I will get that teacher's cowl present done!

Tomorrow I have the day off. I'm going to have breakfast with one of my bezzies and we are going to do a little volunteering at the school.

Tomorrow is the last day of school for the fall term and calendar year.

The apartment is a wreck. But I feel better after reading about the book stacking situation in other homes. (Though for us, that is only one tiny fraction of our cluttery, messy problem). The Kid and I have resolved to putting the stacks in brown shipping boxes (that had presents in them) and squirreling them in my bedroom until company leaves. We will do a thorough what will be reread vs. what will not during winter break. All books that can be donated to the school classroom libraries will be. Grown-up books will find new homes at used book stores or the Goodwill.

I have a gang of 10 year old boys coming over tomorrow after school to play. There will be loud indoor apartment play. There will be snacks, there will be build your own cookie tins to take home.

There will be a Parent or 3 that stop by for grown-up snacks  while they let their children linger/play. 

I am going home to throw off the exercise shackles to bake some cookies and trudge around in jammie pants with a mug of hot black tea and maybe a glass of red wine ... I'm going to cook, bake, wrap, and knit, and I'm going to love it.

Wishing you all good cheer :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Weekend Recap: Holiday Family Fun

The kid has had an epic weekend. Too much fun. Maybe I did too, hehe.

Sleepover go karting birthday party on Friday.

The Manfriend (aka "the less embarrassing parent" ) and I had an early dinner at a new bar/restaurant in our neighborhood, Alta. It beat the heck out of doing laundry, but we were home in time for my Friday night PBS mysteries and a little holiday organization/checklist/knitting.

*oysters w/mandarin mignonette and salad
*warm root salad
*smoked trout & beets
*beef tendon and chick pea fritters
 * The captions are not exact titles, but general memories of what the dishes were.

Sunday was Vietnamese food and the Hobbit 2 in IMAX 3d with the Santa Rosa cousins. (My husband's step brother's family.) No photos of that adventure either, but lots of salt and pepper crab and garlic noodles and cubed beef were involved. We also got to catch-up as two families that don't seem to ever see each other all together enough. DEE-Lightful!

And Saturday my sister and I took our boys down to Gilroy Gardens, she secured great discount tickets through work. This was the first time I had been here. I had meant to go for many years while The Kid was younger. But I am really glad he got to go with his little cousin.

3 late nights for my boy. But many memories and lots of fun.

The boys loved the rock maze, they had to direct me out from the bridge!

Such a fun weekend, it went by fast, but not a complete blur ...

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Holy - Daze in Motion

Well, here we are, in the thick of it my friends.
The front door to my apartment. It's my yarn wreath.
The Kid put the bow on and had his father hang it up for me. They love me.
I am not feeling as grounded as I like to this time of year. Everything is sort of half-assed done. I keep waiting to check things off my to do list, and it doesn't seem to be happening. This is not just the knitting, for example. We have a tree, the lights are on, but it is STILL not decorated. We have not been home together in the evening for long enough. There have been swimming lessons, soccer try-outs, dinner with friends, exercise.

I spent an hour last night working on a schedule for the next week  and a half. I feel faint.

Don't get me started on the knitting ...

(See my shaking knitting needles here.)

This time of year brings out the attempt to knit like a maniac (a reoccurring theme abound the internet.) which is not working since it feels like we have plans every evening! I have reduced my goals to finishing the cowl for the teacher and a soccer hat for the other soccer coach (I handed the first one off at the tourney last weekend) and 4 coffee sleeves for some friends. Wish me luck.
I'm okay. I'm okay.

I've stopped reading everyone's suggestions for quick knits. In fact I've also stopped reading books completely. I hope to resume the world of literary escapism the weekend before Christmas. See? Even that is scheduled!

I think I'm mopey because I have not had a sufficient amount of caffeine. I stress ate a mini candy cane in front of Personnel reception today ... when I locked myself out (I left my badge at my desk) when I went outside to make a personal call. The receptionists always take pity on me. I like them and their kindly candy canes.

This post finds me working very hard to shake the fog, be decisive, productive and fun and caring to all. But! I will find time to knit, just for the soothing aspect of it. I didn't touch any yarn yesterday. I think it effects my mood. And damn it Kathy, I want some gingerbread now, preferably with a LOT of whipped cream.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A work not really in progress and other diversions.

So the Common Ground cardigan has come to a grinding halt. My very simple reasons:

1) I cannot count and cast on in dark colors after 10 pm. I started things to find out I was ... wrong, and it has been restarted twice and ripped out twice. I am letting it ... rest, while I work out my remedial math a little earlier in a day with more time ... and maybe light.

2) I knit Autumn in New York, with the intention of giving it to a local charity. I gave a call to someone I used to work with at the local APS, remembering they have an emergency pantry for the elderly and disabled adults who could use a little extra warmth. Anyhow, they said they'd be happy to take a hat.

But, one hat? I felt like a loser. So I dug up a few other homeless knits I had laying around and one of the old pals from the office knitting group brought me over one ...and I decided I needed one more quick knit. So I think this is some spare Gryffindor yellow that is in progress to be just one more hat.

3) My son's 5th grade teacher is SO nice. My son and his classmates seem to be enjoying school and learning and remain respectful of her and each other. This is very important to me. I feel like teachers get such a lot of crap. It is important that respect for teaching authority is instilled not just in school, but at home, and is expected in the community, which includes your own classmates. [/end rant]

Anyways, I just wanted to give her a little token of appreciation, in the form of an Alpaca Gaptastic Cowl. I'm halfway finished and will post an FO pic soon! Did I mention she was really responsive, nice and cute as a button? All while maintaining a classroom of 10 and 11 year olds? sheesh! Cowls for all the great teachers!!

4) Soccer team knits. Hats and coffee sleeves. Relatively quick knits, but still eat away at what I had "planned" on knitting. You know, like those fall socks, that are turning into winter socks. Below is a hat I knit on the right to match the team colors. I think this guy is experiencing the Plymouth Encore Wool/Acrylic blend. The guy on the left is wearing a Barcelona hat (machine made shhh).

5) Holiday spirit.I have plans to knit a few pieces of happy decorations. We'll see how I do.

6) Chipping away at the first of my autumn / fall socks ... still. I should have sock #1 done this weekend.

7) I think maybe I can knit a kindle cozy like Wee Pleasures for my sis? Maybe?

Also I wanted to knit, Christmas socks. That might have to wait until next year eh? And I want to learn how to knit two at a time like all the cool kids on 2 circulars. This always looks magical to me. I hope it's not too hard on the hands.
Tell me, are you staying on knitting track? Or are you enjoying the journey like me?
Even when not knitting gifts I feel the "frenzy" this time of year.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Weekend Recap: Soccer Mom the Weekend Tournament Edition

This one was a whirlwind. Chocolate Crinkles were baked for the Soccer tourney down in Morgan Hill. Last hurrah of the season. Thursday night I realized I was out of eggs, so I ran home during my lunch hour on Friday to make the dough so it would have enough time to set before baking in the evening. Promises had been made! (Fear not, I live walking distance from where I work.)

We lost 2 won 1. But really it's an excuse for a team retreat. We stayed down south midway between SF and there, and the kids swam, played and ate together. We could've driven home and back the next day, but we made it a non rushing soccer weekend.

Hair, it's all about the hair. Sheesh.
The parents had a good time too, all for an amazing deal. There was a complimentary happy hour and snacks as well as a FANTASTIC breakfast buffet including omelets made to order!

The Manfriend drove up to watch the Sunday match (he works Saturdays) and about a third of the team had lunch on the way back to the city. We had cups of tea and watched the end of the 49er football game at Coach's house before going home to put the lights on the tree, shower (hygiene is very important we are constantly telling our boy) and make some Thai food for dinner.

The apartment was a wreak, but there was A Mickey's Christmas Carol, some knitting and an early bedtime. And here we are, back at it again ...

Tell me, are your weekends packed during this holiday season? Are you finding time to savor it and appreciate it? I feel like even in this busy pace we are going at in my little household, we are all having a good time.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Some Finished Knitting

I promise you, I have been knitting.

I finished the Clapotis. I always want to say Clafoutis. But it's not cherry season. I suppose I could use apples, but whatever, I digress again.

My trusty pal B.C. is nice and never says no, when I ask her to put something knitted on for a photo.

This one was taken while we waited for our food at lunch :) 

Late to the finish

F i n a l l y.

The Hitchhiker has long retired from the road and has happily reached it's destination after over a month of sitting in a Ziplock bag at the side of my bed. Can you say, "Weaved-in, baby!"

I wonder if I still have enough yarn for a pair of socks ... someday, one day, maybe in the spring.

Thanks little snoopy for modeling it at school drop off/coffee klatch!