Saturday, December 29, 2012

Technical Difficulties

Hi everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas/Tuesday, and that you are staying warm and out of the snow this week.

I had a wonderful Christmas with my family, and have been knitting up a storm the last few days. I came down with a cold the day after Christmas, so yesterday I just laid in bed, knitted, and caught up on some TV shows. 

A few days before Christmas, I hung out with my best friend, Hannah. We made chocolate peppermint and chocolate chip pomegranate cookies, and she let me teach her how to knit!! 

I started teaching her in the English style (holding the yarn in the right hand), but she wanted to learn to knit the continental style like her Grandma (and I) knit. I was surprised by how easily she picked up knitting continental, since it took me a lot longer to get the hang out it. I think that it is easier to learn an entirely new skill than it is to change the way you have been doing something for years.

I am really hoping she gets hooked on knitting so that we can be knitting nerds together.

Last Sunday, I had Christmas with my mom, stepdad, my sisters, and my step-brothers. It was a lot of fun, and we spent hours eating delicious food and playing board games. I got a lot of wonderful presents including this gem from my sister and brother-in-law

I am, of course, currently using it to hold my works-in-progress.

On Christmas Eve, Brandon and I both worked all day and then had Christmas with his family, which was also a lot of fun. His parents and siblings got us a computer chair, a new vacuum, and a new set of silverware and dinnerware. Awesome!

Brandon and I exchanged presents Christmas morning. He loves his scarf, and he got me some wonderful presents as well!

He definitely spoiled me this year, with yarn, a new blender and iced-coffee maker, some board games, and a ton of candy. But best of all he got me a webcam, so I can finally start making my podcast. Hannah told me that I can't call it a podcast because it will actually be a videocast, but anyway. It will be some sort of video-thingy. 

Then we went up to my grandparent's house and had Christmas there. It was so much fun to spend time with my cousins and grandparents, and my aunt and uncle whom I don't see very often. Everyone loved their handmade gifts, which made me really happy.

Molly and Brandon

Molly, mom, and Celeste modeling their presents

I love my family

My mom looks great in her sweater!

Celeste and Levi

My mom and Ken

I am always reminded this time of the year how much I love my family. They are so awesome, and so much fun to be around. 

Now, on to the knitting!

Finished Objects

The only thing that I have finished recently is my adorable little monster for the 600 Monsters project. 

He is so adorable. I definitely want to make another one to keep. I made him out of Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn in the Peacock color, and I used Michele Lugo's Adorkable Monster pattern. I was not completely in love with this pattern, but the result is so adorable that I can understand the fiddliness (my spell checker is telling me that is not a word, but I am too sick and grumpy to care :P)  of the pattern. This little guy will be going out in the mail on Monday, and will be sent with hundreds of other monsters to Sandy Hook Elementary at the end of January.

Works in Progress

This is where the title "technical difficulties" comes in. I was home sick from work yesterday, so I spent all day knitting this:

I'm sorry about the poor picture quality. The camera has been acting funny. This is my first ever sweater for myself. I am using Blue Alvarez's Nutmeg sweater pattern, which is a wonderful unisex top-down, seamless raglan sweater and I am really loving it. I am adding some waist shaping and ribbing at the neckline, sleeves, and hem.  I am also probably going to have to make 3/4 length sleeves because I only have two balls of the Laines du Nord Prancer yarn (in color number 77). I am in love with this yarn. It is very soft and snuggly, and the color changes are beautiful. 

I am knitting this on my size 9, 5.5 mm, circular bamboo needles. Or I was knitting with them, until the cord completely snapped off the needle halfway through a round. I was very upset, but  I cannot say that I am surprised- I bought this needle as part of a very cheap set on Ebay a few years ago, and the cables are extremely flexible, but they do not stand up well to magic loop knitting. So, unfortunately, this sweater will have to be on hiatus until my new needles come in the mail, since I do not have another set of size 9 circulars. 

2) Since I could no longer work on my sweater, I cast on for my first pair of toe up socks

I am using Knit Picks Felici Sport in the Groovy color, and am using size 2, 2.75 mm, dpn's. I absolutely love how soft and smooth this yarn is. This was one of the yarns I got from Knit Pick's black Friday sale. I believe it is still on sale on their website. 

I used the figure 8 cast-on method, which was way more difficult than it should have been.  I tried three different cast-on methods before I finally got it right. I don't know if it is my cold, or my crappy needles, but I was definitely having some knitting problems yesterday. 

One of the main problems was that my size 2 needles are super dull, and I kept casting on too tightly. Finally, I just decided to knit the first row in the next needle size down, and that worked perfectly. It also had the added benefit of eliminating the looseness that this cast-on can sometimes cause. I am using Wendy D. Johnson's Sport Weigh Toe-up Socks pattern as a guideline.

Stash Enhancement 

I have actually purchased a little bit of yarn with my Christmas money, but for the moment all I have to show you is this wonderful yarn that Brandon got me as a present.

These are five balls of Bernat Natural Blends Alpaca yarn. He got me the Natural, Lavender, Aqua, Tomato, and Forest colors. They are very beautiful and soft yarns. I am not sure what I will be making with them yet, but I may either buy a couple more skeins to make a striped or colorwork (eeks) sweater, or make a striped cowl or scarf. 

Hopefully I will be feeling (and looking) better soon so I can officially start my videos. It is snowing like crazy outside right now, which makes me think it is a perfect time for a nap.

Have a great weekend!


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