somewhat homemade holidays, after the holiday. *ahem*

grr, my computer powered down and my draft wasn’t saved! Why is it when you try to re-write something it never seems better than the last. Anyway…

Merry after Christmas! It went by fast this year, faster than it has in previous years. Granted it might have been because of all the things we had to do, Corra was sick for a bit. Which made for some good crafting time, not so much for secret shopping time. There where lots of things that I finished off my list, still some that didn’t get done. But that’s ok.
10 done (9 pictured) wire votive sleeves
I said that I wanted to make 12 of these wire votive sleeves from Handknit holidays, but after the 9th one I coulda died. It almost killed me to knit the 10th, after that I couldn’t knit anymore. I used 26 gauge wire in silver, green and gold some beads from my stash and some purchased. Made a few using US8’s but after a while decided to switch to US10’s. I gifted off 9 of them and kept one for myself
raveled.
Now these cute little sweater ornaments seem so innocent in the beginning, I made one for a old friend of Mike’s who works at my kids school. She commented me on the kids lovely sweaters and asked for her own.
sweater for Susie
raveled.
I don’t think its quite what she meant, but she got her handknit sweater! There was a lady that I told about the cute little sweater ornament, she asked to see it, so I made one for her. They are so quick and cute I couldn’t help it!
sweater for Dorothy
raveled.
Once I got started on them I couldn’t stop and knit a swarm for the kids, Mike and I. I thought it would be best to make them ornaments this year instead of purchasing them, since we made ornaments for our tree.
swarm of mini sweaters
raveled.
pattern: Cheers! By Cheryl Niamath linky here
needle: US 3’s (3.25mm)
yarns: light green is leftover Cascade 220, white is Lionbrand fisherman’s wool and the rest is Knitpicks swish.
Used pipe cleaners for the hangers, and for the ones I gifted a way clicky here to see how I packaged them.

There was a touch of sewing done too which is quite unusual for me. My machine and I don’t always see eye to eye and the bobbin loves the taste of fabric. Corra had a gift exchange and I picked up a pack of chapstick but felt like there should be more to the gift. I made 2 bags from bend the rules sewing (just what I needed to get back into sewing, fab book!) and let Corra choose which bag she wanted to gift away.
clutchyblue bag

click on the pics for more info, Corra ended up gifting the bag with handles to one of her friends, so I’ll have to make her another one.
Finished the stupid sock creature for Corra’s teacher
Say hello Irving
along with another mini-sweater ornament to go with it. Click on the pick to read what was on Irving’s tag. Irving was well received and has to be my fav creature to date. I inadvertently made another sock monster to keep,
Astare
Astare was intended for Corra’s teach, but Astare is a little, well.. lets just leave it at that. He was meant to live with us.
Well now, this post is long enough. There are still a few things that I made but am going to save for another post. Hopefully my next update will be tomorrow not in 3 weeks!

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going through withdraw

I’m not quite sure how this happened, but somehow after I finished a pair of fingerless mitts on Friday night I didn’t start another project till Tuesday night. Almost 96 hours. It took me a little while to realize why my shoulders where achy, my wrists hurt and my fingers where tingly. It was withdraw. Withdraw from knitting. Yep, my body was having withdraw symptoms from not knitting. Yes, I’m crazy and need my head checked but that’s beyond this point. I had to cast on something, and quick. I wound up some BFL roving from Spunky Eclectic that was a gift from my sister that I had spun in early September and my second ever wheel spun. Since Corra hasn’t been wearing her hat from last year because she says it doesn’t fit her head, I casted on a hat for her. Here it is in its unblocked glory.
withdrawl hat
Pattern notes: casted on 48 sts using US 11’s (8.0mm) knit for a bit, went to find my size 11 fixed circular needle because the stitches where jammed on the dpns. Couldn’t. Found the US 13 (9.0mm) switched to that. I’m calling it shaping, but its really pure laziness.
I knit till there was about 10 yards left of the blue, then knit 3 rows with the white. Then 2 rows with the blue, a bunch more rows with the white, then knit 1 more row with what was left of the blue before knitting the final decrease row with the white. raveled here
withdrawl hat
It felt so good to knit something! I swear I have a darn good reason for not knitting for a whole weekend. More on that later.

Holiday sock swap

I’m a sahm so I don’t get to go to too many holiday party’s that don’t involve people I’m related too. So I find myself looking forward to my GS leader Christmas party, because its not too often I find myself having conversations with people that I’m not related too.  For the past two years we’ve exchanged Christmas socks, which I have to say is a swap I can get behind. We don’t get assigned names and don’t know who our gift will end up going too, so knitting a pair of socks wouldn’t quite work.  The crafter in me couldn’t just give a pair of store bought socks like I did last year. There was no real fun in it, there wasn’t much excitement in it for me. So, I thought it would be great fun to make a sock monster to give for the exchange. *eg* Well, the person planning the party  just said purchase a pair of Christmas socks…. she wasn’t quite specific…
Petunia, the first
Petunia was my first sock creature, and she will continue to live with us. She came out a bit bigger than I had intended, and I do love her so. Even with her unintentional tummy tuck due to a misplaced tail hole. (I have a problem reading directions.) She has a nice long neck that gets a bit cold, so a scarf was in order. She wears it with pride, even though the green doesn’t quite match.  She was created using the Owlsley pattern in the stupid sock creature book by john murphy.
Harold, the stupid sock creature
Harold was my second creature. And he went for the sock exchange His tag reads:

Hello, my name is Harold. I’m a stupid sock creature made special for you. I like to watch a wonderful life over and over. Candy canes are my fav treat. Don’t let me eat chocolate or I’ll eat your tree. If I ever, ever need a bath remember I’m dainty. Wash me in a bag on gentle cycle in the machine or handwash.
Give me lots of love, and please don’t let me play with the dog. He’ll eat my eyes.

The scotty dog pattern came from allsorts. Harold’s a bit of mutant. A smidge of Owlsley mixed with red wetty. (doesn’t that sound dirty!) He was very well recieved and passed around the room, I packaged him up with a pair of store bought holiday socks, the scotty dog ornament and some pepermint hershey kisses. I can see many more stupid sock creatures in my future!  One for Corra’s teach and more for the kids. But they just might be getting theirs for valentines day…

Can I keep it?

I guess its a good sign of a good handmade gift when you done making it you want to keep it something fierce? It all started with this absolutely yummy yarn from Canada, handmaiden casbah. mmm! This stuff is a joy to knit with, so soft and yummy! I did however find one knot while knitting, someone that seems to have become more and more common with many yarns. Anyway, once I got this yarn in the mail, I knew it would be perfect for my son’s teacher. She has to deal with my darling child all day, she deserves something really good. Don’t get my wrong, I love my son. I do however wonder if he will continue to run through the house when he’s in his 20’s…. Anyway, We talked a bit before Thanksgiving about colors and coats. I’m not well known for my ability to be subtle!  After browsing through my raverly queue, grabbing my needles and a few days of knitting this lovely came off my needles:
cowly goodness for Bryce's teach
modeled by Corra

pattern: Abby by Amy R Singer published in the Fall 2008 knitty
yarn: 1/2 skein Handmaiden Casbah Sock in the Novia Scotia colorway
needles: US 5 (3.75mm) Honestly I thought they where 6’s for a few rows. Once I realized (ok, admitted) they where 5’s I wasn’t going back. The fabric it created is perfectly drapey! 6’s might have been too big for this yarn.
time: think I casted on Nov 24 and finished Nov 28 but I lost my notes. Again.
length: I knit 8 repeats making the cowl 10″ long, its about 16″ around. It’s perfect.
my favorite thing? It.is.reversible. Inside and Outside.

I so want to keep it.

somewhat handmade holiday

Wow, what happened to November? Time continues to be this elusive creature which is impossible to track and capture. November was crazy here, but then again its always crazy here. This was just crazy with a few car trips, two diorama’s, a few birthday party’s, that big holiday involving a turkey and a bunch of gift knitting thrown in for good measure.  Even though I completely missed posting on Thanksgiving, I was totally blogging in my head which counts right? There is so much that I’m thankful for, its hard to blog about it with someone across the table from me signing John Jacob Jinglehimer Schimdt complete with the obligatory yelling.

What I really want to blog about is my crazy idea of a somewhat handmade holiday. There is no way I could pull of a compete handmade holiday. I have four kids (yep, I’m playing that card!) add a dash of incredible amount of laziness your gonna get an almost handmade holiday. I’m all for spicing up something store bought with a bit of homemade, also not everyone on my list is going to be getting handmade gift. Remember? Four kids? They are a bunch of time suckers, and you should see the laundry and dishes they all create! I made a list, and I didn’t check it twice I know for damn sure I’m forgetting something cause I always am. Its a good thing I started in November and I can cross some stuff off making it incredibly confusing.

Corra’s homeroom teacher – sock monster (or a scarf or handwarmers. I haven’t quite desided. Her teachers a man, and I always find them hard to make stuff for.)
Corra’s flute teacher- handwarmers (I have a new appreciation for music teachers after going to a music night at our local middle school. God bless the music teachers!) Done!

toasty handwarmers more info on ravelry here.
Bryce’s homeroom teacher- a cowl using handmaiden casbah in Nova Scotia – done but not blocked. So its not really done.
Bryce’s speech teacher- haven’t decided handwarmers? a cowl? Not sure, he’s been working with her for 3 years now so the woman deserves something really good!
Allysa’s pre-school teacher Ms. C- handwarmers and hat
dashing mitts for Ms. C
gotta get started on that hat.
Allysa’s pre-school teacher Ms. A – handwarmers and hat (This is Allysa’s last year at this school and if you saw what these ladies have to put up with! We also joined in Jan last year so they didn’t get pressies.)
Fingerless mitts and hat
Done! More info on ravelry the hat and the mitts.
Receptionist at pre-school- jar candle with metal thingy.
school nurse- (this blessed lady has to deal with my kids) a jar candle with one of those metal cozy things from handknit holidays.
10 more jar candles with metal bead cozy things just in case.– 5 done so far.

Diane- I’m not telling. 😉 but its probably not going to be done in time.
knitting buddy Amanda- crazy here suggested we knit each other socks after Christmas, and knitting buddy said how about we spin the yarn for them? Suuuureee…. I’m not that great of a spinner. Good thing this is an after holiday knit!
SIL Kelly- short socks. Might use the cable twist socks definitely use Handmaiden casbah in blue lagoon.
MIL Cheryl- a keyhole scarf using dream in color classy cocoa’s kiss. Maybe a tam, She keeps telling me about the tams she had growing up but can’t tell me much about them. I don’t want to knit her a tam and then her not want to wear it , ya know?
keyhole scarf for MIL raveled here.
BIL Eric- probably a gift card. He doesn’t “get” my knitting (like I asked him too?)
Babysitter- a pink and orange cowl. I want to spin the yarn for this, but I can’t decided on how I want to dye the fiber.
Mom- mittens, stranded mittens with lots of colors and lined with something soft. (Mom and Dad’s mittens aren’t due until January, hurray!)
Dad- Magnificent Mittens – Chapter 5, Pattern 1 using Paton’s classic merino lined with something soft. (I should have never showed them my fiddlehead mittens)

See? Incredibly confusing, it looks a little crazy and probably only makes sense to me. But I feel some comfort knowing that some of it is already done.  I’m filled with this immense pleasure now that handmade gifts seem to be more socially acceptable! I never really know when people tell me how great a handmade gift is how they really feel about it.  So, are you planning on making gifts this Christmas?

PS. Thursday my little guy turned 8, I don’t know where he got the notion he could grow up.
eight is great!
Happy Birthday Bryce! Eight certainly is great 🙂

PPS. I changed my header and added some snow! Its starting to feel a lot like Christmas.