Recovery Mode

Why do we get so worked up for the holidays?  I suppose most of the anxiety and stress is due to unrealistic expectations of having or recreating the "perfect holiday".  I don’t stress about the perfect holiday anymore.  I am always visited by the ghost of Christmas Ruined after growing up with an alcoholic father who had issues with his controlling and authoritarian dad.  I remember family celebrations often ended in angry shouting matches followed by the early exit and wretched car ride home.  I guess every family has some level of disfuntion to it.  We don’t have those kinds of Christmases any more.  My dad passed away 10 years ago and we’ve all pretty much grown up and would do anything to avoid that sort of gathering.  I just always feel enormous relief when it’s over and all I have to look forward to is a fresh new year and cleaning and de-Christmasing the house. 

Mvc013f_2 Mvc012f_3 I made Kandis a cozy for her Ipod Mini for Christmas – I looked at many patterns on the web and settled on this one, but made one small adjustment.  I used the Manos I had left over from the Panta I made someone else.  There wasn’t enought for another Panta, but plenty for this cozy.  I had read on another blog that Ipods can be slippery and slide out of cozies that dont have a flap.  I didn’t want to add a flap, so I chose to simply add a crocheted chain and a barrel button.  Now it’s safe and secure, and has a  pocket for the earbuds. It was so cute, it made me want an Ipod too.

It’s the last week of 2005.  I don’t really do resolutions, who needs the guilt?  Nonetheless, I do embrace a sense of renewal with the arrival of a new year.  Time to get a new calendar

Shhh, it’s a present

Mvc028f I am running the risk that my thirty year old son-in-law might decide today to visit my knitblog and spoil his Christmas surprise, but I guess you can just call me gutsy.  I love discovering a knitted gift pattern for someone hard to knit for.  Perhaps you or someone you know is also a musician and might find this a fun project.  I ran across this blog entry and decided I had to make one for Rob.  He has 3 guitars.  I decided I didn’t want to seam 50 inches if I didn’t have to, so I made it in the round, like a sock.  It was so easy and I think it came out great – makes me wish I played guitar.

Here’s the recipe:

one inexpensive 2 inch wide webbed guitar strap(I paid 3.95 at a local pawn shop, you may already have one)
Noro Kueyon, 2 skeins
7US dpns

Cast on 20 stitches

knit 1 inch of 1 x 1 ribbing
Begin stockinette for 1 inch shy of the strap length (watch a couple of movies, it’s really boring knitting, but worth it)

Finish with inch of 1 x 1 ribbing and bind off in pattern.

Mvc022f The hardest part of the whole thing is getting it on the strap.  I used a carabiner that I took off my keychain and hooked it in the hole of the strap and used it to push through the ‘sock’ and pull the strap along.  You need to do it gently, stretching a bit as you go.  It took me about 4-5 minutes. 

Then you have a cool gift for your rocker friends.  I know that Vicky Howell designed one for Knitty, but I think it was more girly than I could use here

Here is the finished product in good light.

My mom came down on Thursday and we are doing serious cooking and baking today.  More photos after the holidays, so I don’t spoil any more surprises. 

Now I just need a no fail recipe for a breakfast casserole for the next couple of mornings that will feed a small crowd. Share if you have one.  Okay, where’s that wine?

Now we are five.

Abby_1  Today (in fact, all week long) we celebrate this child.  A trial and a treasure.  Abby came to us later in life than most children do, but we wanted her badly.  I regret that she is the second only child I have raised.  I hope she turns out as well as her sister.  She loves to draw and explore outside.  She is impatient like her mother and sensitive like her father.  She has a very old soul.  Happy Birthday Abby!  We love you very much.

From Where I Sit

I didn’t get tagged for this meme, but I’m ignoring that technicality in hopes that perhaps someone among you can offer advice on streamlining the whole thing. Click the image to embiggen it, the numbers will be readable then.

  1. Knitspot Hapless bookshelf whose empty spaces were commandeered for stash overflow
  2. Official Stash storage in rubbermaid containers with spillage on top with swift evicted from office closet by spouse
  3. Stash overflow spillage begins to take over other pieces of furniture(any horizontal surface remains in jeopardy)
  4. Knitting literature, seaming tools and sock starts
  5. Coffee table which acts as staging area for project production and pattern storage below (it’s from IKEA and I love it!)
  6. Traditional knitting bag/stand which laughingly was thought to be adequate for containing my projects at one time
  7. Needle storage with DPN’s container on top
  8. My butt goes here

The condition of this area is embarrassing if not alarming. I have not figured a good way to store or organize anything and I am loathe to put much of it out of my sight or reach. I actually like looking at some of it even though I can’t get to it right away. My family is a little disturbed by this arrangement, but their suggestions for a solution are not acceptable. I need a proffessional organizer who also knits.

HatsThe hats are beginning to pile up and I love the Panta pattern (thanks for the links, Lauren), I wish I had more Manos. I have a few more to go and then I can work on socks.

Bdaycake One birthday party down and one to go. Abby sucking the icing off the candles – no chocolate wastage here. This weekend is the family party and my sister will be here for it. Actually she is coming down from Dallas to see Jimmy LaFave play at the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar – it’s becoming a tradition for us. It’s my favorite shopping environment:

  • few or no children
  • food and adult beverages
  • live music from some very cool Austin talent
  • and shopping some very cool handcrafted items.

What’s not to love about that?  There’s even a local mohair farm that offers spinning and knitting fibers as well as finished gift items.

Added note: upon reading my list of blogs this morning, it occurred to me that it seems I totally ripped off Vicki‘s title for her post.  I did read her post last week, but probably didn’t register the title in my memory bank, but honestly, Vicki, I just think we think alike, it was the first thing that popped in my mind.

December craziness

My December calendar is filling up at an alarming pace.  Normally it’s pretty tame since I have gotten out of the habit of planning ANYTHING.  In fact, if there is one thing on my calendar for a specific day, that’s all that will fit.  I refuse to add anything to the day.  I am so afraid of over committing, one of my past weaknesses, that I have avoided many social events that I would have enjoyed, but my brain couldn’t imagine the logistics of doing more in a day.  Perhaps I have just learned my own limitations.  We rarely have childcare available.  Yes, Abby has a big sister.  Who lives 40 minutes away and works full time and has a robust social life.  Yes, one of Abby’s grandmother’s lives with us.  She works and she has a robust social life.  So that leaves us at home with NO social life.  I don’t mean to whine, but the more my calendar gets filled in the less time I have to knit and that makes me a little cranky.  Not to mention that it’s dark when I leave in the morning and dark when I get home so I can’t even show you photos of the knitting that I have managed to get done. 

<sigh>So I’m planning Abby’s birthday party for this Saturday with her friends.  A modest affair with just 2 guests, her best buds from school – Clay and Grayson.  Yep, boys.  The girl who only wants Barbie for her birthday is having a party with just her and 2 boys.  I found something else for them to play with besides Barbies.  I refuse to get caught up in gender issues.  These are the kids she gets along with and I think I can handle being trapped in my house with 3 kids for a few hours.  Did I mention that I’m not good with kids?  Yeah, I know , kindof embarrassing admission for a mother of two.  My husband is great with kids, he is patient and he likes to play games with her and read to her and all that.  I am too impatient and usually, I need to be doing something and when I’m do things, GET OUT OF MY WAY! So, she requested chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and white icing in the middle.  Ah, maybe she is my daughter after all.  And balloons, she loves balloons, so we’ll have tons of those and I got all 3 of them each one of those big punching bag balloons that are real big and sturdy.  And then there’s Magnetix.  And I found party favors of Magnetix so the boys can take some home too. 

In the meantime, I’m knitting hats and Socks like a fiend, and have put off all knitting for myself until the holiday obligations have been met and I’m trying to be a big girl about it. 

The temperature is dropping here in Central Texas – they even closed UT today at 2pm – during finals week!  and sent everybody home.  If you live in a place where they have serious winter every year, you just have no idea how badly these southerners drive in snow, sleet and icey roads.  For one thing, we are lucky to get sand on bridges and nobody in the state has snow removal equipment.  We just wait for it to melt.  It’s pretty comical to see the run on Duraflame logs(like they’re gonna keep you warm) and window and door weatherstripping as the mercury creeps down below 40.  Take pity on us, we don’t know how to behave when it gets really cold.