Monday, December 31, 2007

Hats, anyone?

I made a few hats for Christmas, as I mentioned before.

For my youngest nephew, who is 9 months old. (Swirl hat from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.)

This one went to my youngest brother's wife. (Foliage from Knitty.)

This one ended up coming back home with M, who is modeling it. (Beaufort hat.)

My other younger brother's wife chose this one. It reminds me of Charlie Brown's zigzag shirt. (Claudia hat.)

This one came back home with us, and my oldest daughter E is trying to claim it. I told her she has to share with me. Hee. (Chicabean hat.)

This one went to my other nephew, who is 2 years old. (Unoriginal hat from the Yarn Harlot.)

My older brother claimed this one. (Kim's Hats from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.)

This one came back home, and I think I'll keep it. (Prime Rib hat by Elizabeth Zimmermann.)

My older brother's wife took this one home. The brim can be worn up or down. (Palindrome hat.)

At the last minute (the 23rd of December) I freaked out that there weren't enough masculine hats in case some of the women claimed the more manly ones and left the lace ones for the men. I made a Natty Hat by Wendy Bernard (Knit and Tonic) with black yarn which was claimed by my younger brother. I neglected to get a picture of it, though. I was finished knitting the whole thing before I realized the cables were reversible and there was no wrong side. It's always right side out. Her free pattern also has a scarf to match, which would make a lovely set.

I saw a lot of the hats being worn at a second Christmas celebration we had this weekend. Everyone seemed very pleased. Success!

All hats were made of Patons Shetland Chunky, a soft, washable wool/acrylic blend.

2007 was a challenging year. I think we've learned a lot about ourselves. My husband is starting 2008 with a better-paying job and a new-to-him car. We have high hopes of making a lot of positive moves (literally and figuratively) over the next year. Happy new year, everyone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


No, these bowls are not suitable for cereal. But fruit would be fine.

I think they're pretty cool. They were fun to make. The kids helped and they wanted to keep going. They would have melted all the records they could lay their hands on.

Fingers off The White Album, kids!

Don't worry. No valuable or even mildly desirable albums were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Purple Brain

Sorry, Heather, no pictures. I'm fairly certain none of my gift recipients read the blog, or I wouldn't be writing about the gifts. But between the possibility of them seeing the gifts and the fact that I am suffering from crappy camera/laziness syndrome, there are no pictures, yet.

Here, enjoy a picture of my apparently purple brain. I think the purpleness is due to bruising from all the wild thoughts banging around in there.

Your Brain is Purple
Of all the brain types, yours is the most idealistic. You tend to think wild, amazing thoughts. Your dreams and fantasies are intense.Your thoughts are creative, inventive, and without boundaries.
You tend to spend a lot of time thinking of fictional people and places - or a very different life for yourself.

In the midst of holiday crankiness and overwhelmedness . . . (Yes, I know few of the "ness" words are real words. Deal.) . . . look at this funny blog. It never fails to bring a smile to my face. This guy has a really clever mind. And apparently some good fine motor skills. Look at all the little stuff he bends and puts together! Fun.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas is coming . . .

The goose is getting fat!

Or maybe the schedule is just getting fat. This time of year sure comes with a lot of things to do.

Oops. Half hour break there. Phone call. Discussing Christmas plans. All has been worked out. There has been a little family drama in my mom's family. It's not a usual thing with them, but with Grandma's stroke a year ago August, things are in transition. Everything is now arranged for this year. Next year may be different. We'll have fun either way. Grandma will get to see everyone.

Christmas knitting has consumed me. Why did I decide to do Christmas knitting? What's my damage? Sheesh. Last year I had a large stack of knitted washcloths that I decided would make lovely gifts. So, the kids and I made soap to put with them and let people choose their favorite. It was a success. So this year, I thought, "Hmmm, maybe a hat grab bag would be fun!" But, there is one major difference from last year. I didn't have a stack of knitted hats laying around waiting to be gifted. I had no hats laying around waiting to be gifted. So, I bought a pile of bulky, soft, washable wool blend yarn to make a variety of hats. I'm nine hats in, and I'm sick of hats. There are 20 people on the list. (This is just immediate family, meaning parents, siblings and their partners and kids.)

Yesterday, it all resolved itself. Hubby suggested we send gourmet popcorn to the New York relatives. A few clicks and a few bucks later, four people done. Then, I saw an online tutorial for making bowls out of old record albums. I had seen these before, but never realized how easy it was. I just happen to have a box of old records in my garage that even the thrift store didn't want. The kids and I made three of those last night for the most musical members of the family. I also made boxes out of the album covers, but I don't know how useful they'll be. (Amazing what you can get done while watching Samantha Who and October Road, huh?) I think I'll make one more. By the magic of co-habitation, these four record bowls cover five more gifts. I even managed to match the genre of music to the recipient. (Don't worry. None of these albums was valuable or desirable on its own, but as a bowl, cool.)

Eleven to go. Well, I already have nine hats. I'm in the midst of a lace scarf for Mom after she expressed several times how much she liked mine last week. (Still knitting, but not a hat.)
And I always make a cross-stitched cat ornament for MIL. Yes, I have to stitch and sew it, but again, not a hat. In fact, I'm due for a little stitching project like that.

Ta-da! All 20 gifts accounted for. This also means that the hats will be going to the people most likely to want and wear them. The alternate gifts are being given to people who probably wouldn't wear them or already have a knitted hat from me. We may make a little yummy something to pass out to everyone, as well. The kids love to do that.

Ahhhhhh. How nice to take a deep cleansing breath. Now where are those cross-stitch ornament magazines?