Sunday, November 17, 2013

No Lack of Communication

I have tried to stay current with everything related to the coming barrage of holidays.  There isn't anything I can do about interpersonal drama, but I can try to keep from falling behind.  The last 2 years held a major family health problems, so I was overwhelmed and didn't enjoy this fabulous year-end time as I usually had.  I don't want that to happen this year.  

In addition to sending birthday cards out to all my music students and their family members every month, I send them and a small list of friends and family Thanksgiving, Chanukah and Christmas cards at this time of year. 

November birthday cards - Done!

Chanukah cards - Done!

Thanksgiving Cards - Done!

I hope to get the Christmas cards done over Thanksgiving weekend. Then, I can relax and enjoy this most celebratory time of the year.


Smooshy is a word that sounds like what it means - as it relates to yarn and the fabric said yarn produces.  

A friend of mine will be receiving a very simple,  Smooshy to the max, garter stitch scarf made from the few scrap balls of Patons North America Carmen, a long discontinued yarn.  

The colorways of the Carmen I had left in my stash are Steel and Ebony.  The friend for whom this little scarf is, dresses very conservatively.

I randomly striped the scarf, trying to somewhat  equalize the ends, which may show at the same time, depending upon how she wears it. The yarn is so smooshy and fuzzy that whatever stitch is used, it just dissolves into the smoosh, so I just knit every row.  Easy peasy.  All that's left to do is sew on a label and it's ready to wrap.  I also have to sew a label onto the Easy Drop Stitch Scarf I completed a month or 2 ago.  

After my last project for the holidays is done (a pair of Spatterwash Wristwarmers by Damar Mora), I will sew all the labels in at the same time.  (I think I'm going to have to make myself some, too.  I like them!!)

Lavender Topaz Socks

Although I have at least 1, but perhaps more Chanukah/Christmas gifts to make, which I will cast on tonight after blogging, I spent a little time this week to finish the pair of socks I was knitting on and off since July.  When I'm not distracted by a bracelet obsession and holiday crafting, pairs of socks usually work up more quickly than this pair.  

Yes, I always swatch, even if I have used the yarn before. If I'm relaxed or if I'm tense, my gauge varies.  If I spend time, I want my socks to fit.

I label and save my swatch with yarn name, gauge, WPI and any other pertinent info. After a while, the swatch collection is a great reference.  

The finished socks.

I like Cat Bordhi's Sidestream and Riverbed toe up constructions. This one is a modified Sidestream.  The names of the two constructions allude to where the arch expansion is placed.  On the Sidestream, while you knit, you only increase on one side. Before it's blocked, the sock looks funny, but the stitches distribute perfectly well.  I usually do a reinforced heel with a traditional gusset. The last pair of sock I made had an afterthought heel.  I was neutral, leaning toward not liking it much.  I thought I'd give it another go this time.  I know there are a lot of benefits to the afterthought heel, especially if you're a social sock knitter.  It's much less complicated and it fits quite well. I just don't like doing it. I think I'll forgo any more afterthoughts for a while.  In my next few pair I will try Cat's Sweet Tomato heel and I will try Crystal heels from the Crystal Socklets in Knitty Spring Summer 2012.  I don't mind making gusseted heels. In fact, because I have such a long relationship with them, I rather like them.  I do think I need to explore my options - and maybe even give afterthought heels another whirl.  Sometimes, 3's a charm.

I made these socks out of unremarkable stash Premier Debra Norville Serenity Sock. I got the yarn on sale and it was extremely inexpensive for a cozy pair of socks. They were made 2 at a time on 2 circs from the toe up.  I prefer toe up construction because you can try the sock on as you knit, in case you need to make adjustments.

Glad these are done.  I hope I will have my last gift done by the end of the month.  Then, I'll cast on another pair.

Obsession Confession

Last weekend I cheated.  No, not on my DH, E-Rex!  On my yarn!!!!  Or, at least I felt like I was cheating on my yarn.   I was bitten by the bracelet bug.  I had come across some of the "inspired by Chen Luu" bracelets, which then made me want to make some bead bracelets.  I didn't get too much knitting done, but I did make 3 bracelets with supplies I had in my craft stash.

I don't want to become any more obsessed than I am with this fun craft, because I know myself. It will burn and then sizzle out.  So, in the spirit of creativity but not bankruptcy, I picked up a few stringing supplies and only a few strings/vials of beads.  Most of the beads I have in my stash have smaller holes than what is optimum for my purposes.  I exercised great restraint. 

I will be making a few more. They are fairly fast after you've gotten the hang of knotting.  I like the textures and colors of the finished bracelets as well as the rhythm of making them.  
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