As I didn’t post all that much last month in the end, I thought I’d do a round up of last year’s finished projects now, before it gets too out of date. Some of these I’ve mentioned before, but I wanted to get some better pictures of one or two anyway. So, in order of finishing:
I never did talk about how Christmas was in the end, did I? So I shall inflict in upon the world now. I actually did get everything finished and ready that I needed to. All my online shopping arrived (whew!) even though the post was all over the place, I finished the present I was making for Mum, and I even made chocolate chip cookies with moderate success!
The scarf for Mum was the Branching Out pattern [Ravlink], and I knitted it in a lovely Merino / Tencel blend that I spun on the wheel – the first time I’ve knit with my own handspun. I just left it as a single, and it worked really well (imo, anyway!) and I like the way the colour repeats came out. Mum says she really likes it too, which is the main thing!
I also joined two Christmas swaps, one through the Limegreenjelly group, and one through Plurk. The post was / is still being less kind where those are concerned. It seems to have eaten the parcel from the latter altogether, but I have now had my LGJ parcel from Cal, and a fabulous one it is too:
Two braids of LGJ fibre (one Merino/Silk, one Merino, yum!), a beautiful skein of Posh Yarn Elinor, an Orange Blossom perfume stick which I think is from Lush, mini Green & Black’s choccy bars (om nom nom!), a set of Knit Pro interchangeable needle tips and a cable for them (which spookily I’ve been wanting for ages), and an adorable Lego keyring. :-D I just hope she likes her gifts from me as much as I do mine.
My brother and sister-in-law brought pressies back from New Zealand! So I thought I’d show one of mine off:
The name of the colour comes from a New Zealand bird which has plumage in the colour of the yarn. Oh, and it’s a lovely 100g hank of bulky-weight mohair… I’ve been thinking about what to make with it, but I think I’ve settled on a shawl of some kind.
Which three things sum up my day fairly well, really. My whole weekend, in fact. Like I said, we went to see Ally and family yesterday and out into the park where I saw several people I’d been at school with and their kids. I think I must be the only one who has no offspring! It was a lovely sunny day for it, and today was lovely as well although there was lots of rain and thunder last night.
Charlotte has gone now, but we went over to my brother and sister-in-law’s place for Sunday dinner today. Mmm, Sunday roast! I’m feeling pretty wiped out (but full!) so I can’t think of much else to blog about, so I’ll go and check out the prompts for some inspiration:
What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of your father?
His smile; a feeling of safety; and woolly bobble hats! Dad liked to keep his head warm, and embarrassed me horribly (as parents will!) when I was in my mid-teens by taking my into town still wearing his slippers (moccasins, so I’m sure no-one knew but me) and a woolly hat. Later on, of course, it became a lovable eccentricity, and when I learned to knit, one of the very first things I made was a hat for Dad:
I’m just popping by to wish everybody a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from both me and the Xandermog.
I’m looking forward to spending a lovely day with the family1, cooking together, eating til we feel slightly ill, giving pressies2, and of course watching the Doctor Who special and other Christmas telly. I hope you all have an equally excellent one planned if you’re celebrating, and if you’re not, then have a lovely day regardless.
Do I have a New Year’s resolution? Try to post more often, of course! ;-) Probably also some others, but I’ll go in to that more in January.
In other news, if you’ve been here before you might notice that I have a new seasonal theme for the site. I was going to do a little bit of tweaking to get the Ravelry progress bars working with it, and change the non-blog pages a little, but I haven’t had time, and I think it looks fine as it is anyway. Hooray! Thank you to the Amberpanther team for making it available :-)
1 Mum, brother and new sister-in-law.
2 Which is more fun than the receiving to be honest, since I pretty much know what I’m getting already.
I haven’t blogged much recently because I’ve been knitting. Which means I don’t have enough hands to type at the same time! I should at least be mostly done with the things I’m knitting as Christmas presents. Ahem. I might be completely done, who knows? I probably would have been fine, but Mum asked me for mittens which I then had to factor in… and it all went a little bit wonky. Not too much though.
Other than present knitting, I’ve finished my gloves (pictures soon), done a bit of spinning at the 1066 Spinners group, and of course have been Christmas shopping. There’s an open air ice rink in town for the festive season, so Jo and I are hoping to go down there at some point. Although it’s just started snowing today, so I spose it depends how bad that gets. I also did an hour of carolling at the local hospital last night with choir. I really love singing carols, so that was lots of fun. Even though I did have to stand in the front row where people can – oh no!!! – see me! Happily for my ridiculous stage fright, most people didn’t stop and stare: we were in the foyer, so the majority of the people just passed through.
Anyway, I’d better go and have dinner before KnitJam tonight. I’m sure there was something else I was planning to blog about, but I’m sure it’ll come back to me. If not, it probably wasn’t important!
Since I don’t think I actually posted here when I finally finished Mum’s birthday shawl, I shall do so now! I was almost a year late giving it to her in the end, so instead of it being finished for her birthday in April 08, it was finished for Mother’s Day in February 09. The border had taken me *so* much longer than I anticipated, and then I had blocking anxiety so it took me ages to screw up the courage to do that in case I messed it up! But the finished result was worth all the work:
Actually, I don’t think I ever put put the project stats here for this, since it was Sekrit Knitting, so here they are now:
And would you believe, this shawl is now almost-famous? Our knitting group was in the Readers Projects section ofmagazine, issue 7, and this shawl was one of the ones we sent off to them to feature. Hee!
Oops again: I managed not to blog for yet another whole month, and missed my 8-year Blogoversary in the bargain (thanks for the ‘versary wishes!). So what have I been doing?
Well, I’ve done a couple of websites for my brother and another group in his year at uni, for one of their group projects (no, I wasn’t doing the work for them! They’re allowed to ’employ’ people for various jobs that they can’t cover themselves in the group). Gave me a chance to do something new-ish with embedding streaming video and audio, and play with some CSS3 as well. Hooray!
Talking of websites… I still haven’t got the redesign for this one sorted out. Really must buckle down and do that. I had to delete the (MT) search script for the blog because it was being hammered with spam and overloading the server… hopefully when I switch over to WP I won’t have that problem. However, I want to get the new design done before I change over (so I don’t have to faff around turning this one into a wp theme as well), especially since I’m going to be running the whole site apart from the photo album through it.
Other than that, I have got some knitting done: I finished Em’s mittens, and I’ve even managed to blitz through the rest of the WFS [RavLink], which is actually Mum’s birthday present… from last year. Ahem. But it’s done now! All except a bit of weaving in, and the all-important blocking, that is. I’m thinking I’m going to evict the cat from the bedroom tomorrow, clear off the bed, and use that for blocking it on. If it doesn’t get dry in time, I can always sleep on the sofabed for one night. I’ve actually been quite organised with my knitting so far this year: I still have several unfinished projects, but I’ve put most of them to one side and worked on just two or three… which has meant I’m finishing, or getting towards finishing things! My final pair of SKP08 socks, and the gloves I’ve had hanging around for ages with just one done are both well on their way. No pictures today, though. Site redesign first! Off I go again to work on that :-)
Huh, yeah… you remember how I was babbling about different voices. Or ranges / registers in your voice, I suppose. Well, my chest voice is now still about as much use as it was the other day, but my head voice has taken itself off as well. D’oh! I probably sound rather silly. However, I feel quite a lot better, so yaaaaay! I haven’t gone back to knitting anything because I don’t want to cough over it and make it all germified… although I spose if I do my Pentathlon sock it won’t matter since that’s only for me anyway and the needles should be perfectly washable.
Anyway, here’s what I did get done for Christmas:
Some fingerless mittens as a surprise for my brother, since their flat is really cold! He also thinks they’ll be good for when he’s on his bike. [RavLink]
And some rather less finished….
… mittens for my sister-in-law-to-be (I have got to find a snappier way of phrasing that, but “brother’s financee” is almost as long to type!). I did actually finish this one, but I forgot to take a photo. D’oh. Anyway, I gave her that one as an “IOU”, and as soon as I’ve stopped being all yuck, I’ll get the other one done. At least I now do know that I had the sizing right! [RavLink]
I think they both liked them – I wasn’t quite sure what my brother would think about a (*gasp*) hand-made present, but he actually seemed pretty pleased :-)
… mistletoe and wine. Or in my case, mince pies and lemsip! Yes, I was feeling a bit grot, but I had a lovely day nevertheless. I spent it, as is traditional, at Mum’s. We ate loads of nummy food, opened all our pressies, and watched Dr Who and Wallace & Gromit. Yay :-) I hope you all had one that was as good (or even better and germ-free!).
Anyway, I’ll try and remember to write more tomorrow, but now I’m off to bed. *ded*
Whew – today I’ve been round to A’s for pre-Christmas… um… muffins! And company and chat and stuuuuff. It was fun :-) I even have photos of little H wearing the hat I made him back in the summer – hee! I’ll download those off the camera and post them here at some point.
Now though, I’m off back to the sofa and that last-minute knitting! Aaaaaaah!!!
Can’t spend long at the computer, because I need to be sitting with my feet elevated. D’oh. Still, I’m to stop taking the new meds, so hopefully I’ll be back to normal (ahem) soon. I am quite pleased with myself that I’m managing to keep this BloPoMo thing going, though. Even if it’s with boring posts like this…
Oh well, back to reclining on the sofa and knitting it is. Oh, it’s a hard life!
It’s looking like I’m experiencing a side-effect from the new medication I started a couple of weeks ago: oedema. My feet and legs have swollen up, and I think my arms have a bit as well. My skin feels too tight. Oh yay fun. This happened to me a few years ago, quite severely. It was in the summer, so I thought it was because of the heat or something and I ended up having to go to hospital for a few days for tests-and-boredom. I’d rather like to avoid that this time, so I shall give the doctor / CMHT a call in the morning. This time of year, I don’t really want to get to the point where I can’t fit any of my shoes on!
In other news, I’ve been knitting away – and in fact I’m going to go back to that now, with my feet up on the sofa (should help the oversized feet problem a bit!) and podcasts in my mp3 player. Aaaah :-)
However, before I go back to that, I just wanted to mention that I’ve now downloaded and watched Strictly (ILU iPlayer) …. and woohoo! What an awesome finale! I’m sorry it’s over for another year now though, cos it’s so sparkly and feelgood! Still, there’s the Christmas special to watch. Yay!
Ooops, only just got this entry done. And I can’t even think of much to say. Um. It’s been a pretty average day, really. A normal one, even. I did housework*, the postman delivered the last parcel I need for Christmas (phew!), I knitted, I even wrapped one present, and I went over to Mum’s this evening. I’ve actually had the computer off for most of the day – most unusual!
I haven’t watched any telly either: we had a yummy Chinese takeaway at Mum’s, then played board games. So I’m going to set the Beeb iPlayer to download the Strictly Come Dancing final shows and Casualty for me overnight, and watch those tomorrow. I very nearly got “spoiled” for the Strictly final, I think, by foolishly looking at my LJ friends page: someone was talking about it, but I only got as far as seeing that she’d mentioned Strictly and hurriedly scrolled back up! *g* Of course, now it’s really tempting to go back and read to find out who won. Or look at any number of news sites. Or Twitter. Oh internets, sometimes you tell me too much! It’s all too overwhelming!! ;-) I’m off to bed!
* although there’s still some to do tomorrow because my brother picked me up earlier than I’d anticipated
I’ve been working away on Christmas presents again today, and I got to the casting off part. Only I managed to do it too tightly the first time. D’oh! So I dug out some online tutorials to help me decide which technique was going to be easiest to use instead. Ta-daa:
Techniques with Teresa: Binding Off at Knitty – various techniques for flexible bind offs, including the sewn bind off. (Instructions with photos)
Techniques with Teresa: Binding Off, Pt 2 at Knitty – decorative bind offs. (Instructions with photos)
Tubular Bind-Off in K1 P1 rib (Instructions with photos)
– a lovely flexible bind off that I’ve used for toe-up socks when I’ve done them. Has similarities to the Tubular bind off. (Instructions with photos)
In the end I went with the sewn bind-off, and it came out perfectly. Plus, it’s dead easy – always a bonus.
Now to go and cast on the next thing…