Sunday, 14 December 2014

Music for the third week of Advent

Such a busy season this has been for me this year.  I guess that is part of growing up?  Lots of work, not a lot of time to relax, or contemplate, or even reflect on the reason for all the holiday preparations.

But there is still beautiful music.  This anthem is a new one to me this year but it is lovely indeed!


"Before the marvel of this night, adoring, fold your wings and bow,
Then tear the sky apart with light, and with your news the world endow.
Proclaim the birth of Christ and peace, that fear and death and sorrow cease:
Sing peace, sing peace, sing gift of peace, sing peace, sing gift of peace!"


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Delusional

The thing about being a knitter is that you are an eternal optimist.  You are always completely convinced that you can finish a project by (or even before!) a completely unrealistic deadline.  Sweater needed in three days and you've only got the back and one sleeve knitted?  No problem, totally got this!  Birthday party on Saturday and you haven't even cast on that pair of socks on Thursday?  Oh, of course you'll have time to finish.  Christmas in 19 days and you only just opened the box containing the yarn (all the yarn) for the eight separate gifts you intend to give (all but two of them on the actual day of Christmas) - and you have to finish two pairs of socks and an elephant for customers before you can start any of the Christmas knitting?  Oh sure, I'll just invent a time-turner and probably figure out how to make every day between now and then have an extra 40 hours, and everything will definitely be finished and blocked and wrapped under the tree by Christmas Eve.  Of course!

Riiiiiiiight.

Laptop in the photo for scale. Teapot for emotional support.

The thing is I do this every year.  Every year I leave things too late and I procrastinate and I underestimate the amount of available time and over-estimate my knitting speed, and end up wrapping up things with needles in, or worse, just the yarn and a picture of what it's meant to look like someday.  It never changes, and I never suddenly triple my knitting speed in the three weeks before Christmas, and yet every year I'm totally sure that this year, this year that enormous pile of yarn will somehow all be knitted into scarves and socks and mittens and those darling ornaments that I've deluded myself into thinking I'll have time to make on top of everything else, and it will all be finished by the deadline.

Maybe the fact that I've realised I'm delusional is the first step towards doing better next year?


I'll think about it later.  For now, I have to go finish a pair of socks and cast on an elephant.


Sunday, 30 November 2014

Music for Advent

Oh, guys, I seem to have taken a year-long hiatus from blogging.  It was completely unintentional, but somewhat refreshing to be honest!  But I'm going to make an effort to get back into this blogging thing with at least some regularity, and this season of quiet, the dying of the year, the anticipation of Advent, seems like a good time for a new beginning.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent.  Think of it - less than four more weeks until Christmas!  (My inner child is excited about that - my inner knitter is crying.  So many gifts to knit, so little time...!  And naturally my grand plans for epic amounts of knitting this afternoon have been foiled by the cat, who lay down on top of my arm a couple hours ago. She's making typing difficult.)  I have the house to myself this afternoon and I'm enjoying the quiet, the lack of noise and confusion; the perfect atmosphere for contemplation.  This year I really want to be mindful during Advent -- to keep it a season of quiet, of peace; filled with anticipation for Christmas, but free of the confusion, panic, and stress which are so common in a busy season.

To start off on the right foot, here's some lovely music.  A beautiful arrangement of the classic Veni, veni Emmanuel sung by the Choeur d'Enfants de la MaĆ®trise de la Perverie. 


Monday, 20 January 2014

Exterminate!

So, as you may have gathered, I'm kind of a fan of Doctor Who.  And in fact the whole family is coming round to my way of thinking... so when I saw this pattern for a KNITTED DALEK I knew I had to make one.


Fortunately it was just before Christmas and I was also trying to think of something fun but lightweight to send to my brother who's stationed in Okinawa.  Perfect!


This guy was really fun to knit.  He took a whole day - I cast on after breakfast and sewed in the last ends before bedtime.  The bobbles added quite a considerable amount of knitting time, which I hadn't expected, and they're a bit tedious but I think you'll agree they're worth it!  (The pattern suggests sewing on buttons if you don't care to knit bobbles, but I think that would be even MORE tedious and would also make your Dalek less cuddly.)


Unfortunately I didn't get any really good photos of him, since I had time constraints before we shipped the package and it kept snowing, but I think you get the idea.  I also think this will probably not be the only Dalek I ever knit!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

strange weather (and a moose)


We have been having the strangest weather this week.  Saturday and Sunday we had a huge snowstorm, which dumped well over a foot of snow on the whole of southern Michigan and followed that up with high winds and significantly sub-zero temperatures - part of that "polar vortex" thing that's been going around.  Schools were out for two or three days because it was so cold.  Then yesterday it got really warm - for January in the north, anyway - with above-freezing temperatures.  And now I look outside and it's snowing again.  (Was that a polar vortex or a bi-polar one, guys?)


When I haven't been shovelling I've been mostly inside, catching up on my tv shows and knitting madly at the incredible number of custom orders I've got on my list.  But I realised I'm a bit behind at showing you some of the things I've finished recently that weren't Christmas gifts!  This one was knit for the new nephew of my college roommate.  He was a fun project and I think he turned out pretty cute.  Hopefully his new human will love him too :)


Unfortunately my schedule and the weather never cooperated, so I don't have any nice crisp natural-light photos of Mr. Moose.  But I can assure you he is cuddly!

 
I've still got the last couple bits of Christmas knitting to show you, and some more custom knitting, and I did some sewing this week as well, so there's plenty of blog material out there!  And maybe soon the weather will settle down and we'll have a nice fresh coating of snow, which would make a better backdrop for pictures than the greying slush last weekend's snow has become in this thaw.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Christmas Cosy

Here's Kat's Christmas gift - a tea cosy for the pot she has at college.  (It looked a little cold last time I went to visit!)


I measured the pot but didn't get a chance to try this on as it went, so I hope when she gets it back to school that it will turn out to fit correctly.  We can but hope!


I've realised that while I love the way these cosies look and fit and function, I really don't enjoy knitting them.  Stranding the yarn along behind the work, and dropping one yarn to pick up the other every ten stitches, is fiddly and tiresome.  I wish there were an easier way to produce the same effect!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Mum's mitts


Mum got a pair of my Bad Wolf Bay mitts for Christmas, in a colour my camera totally fails to capture.  The Canon thinks it's a bright pink/magenta, while it's actually a dark, saturated pinkish-purple.  Change of light and settings didn't make much of a difference, either.  How odd!


I sized these down a little bit as I used fatter yarn than in my original design (and Mum has thin wrists anyway!)  Warm and soft in the dk-weight Gloss yarn from KnitPicks.