Saturday, January 16, 2010

Quick Holiday Knits

I've been a knitting fool lately. We've experienced record lows here in the Sunshine State, and as Rose says, there's just something about chilly weather that makes you want to curl up on the couch with a couple of sticks and a ball of yarn. I knitted a total of eight gifts for the holidays. They flew off the needles so quickly I didn't even catch some of them to take their pictures. Here's what I did manage to capture.

The standard K2,P2 rib pattern hat was a staple of holiday gifting. I used variations of Alex Zorn's Hot Head pattern from the original Stitch 'n' Bitch book for each of four hats. Here's one I made for PawPaw using super chunky yarn. I adapted the pattern to include about an inch and a half of garter stitching at the base, to keep it nice and snug.I made the same hats for Big B and little b using the colorway I used on my very first knitting project for Papa. I also made a hat for Noni using this pattern, but in a gorgeous homespun green yarn. The same yarn also contributed to a simple stockinette hat I made for The Girl's second birthday. I didn't get pictures of either of these, but I had so much fun knitting with the homespun!

For my stepsister, who lives in a colder place than I do, I made these awesome fingerless mitts. I used chunky yarn in the interest of time, and though I absolutely LOVE the color, I think next time I'll use a worsted weight yarn--and there will be a next time, because I must own a pair of these for myself!...and my latest completion was this scarf for Grammy, made with 2 skeins of Angel Hair yarn--easily the most luxurious and soft fiber I've ever worked with. It was such a pleasure to knit this scarf that I may just have to make another one. I didn't use a pattern, but CO 28 stitches onto size 10.5 needles and knit until it was the right length for her. I also made my first fringe, which was so easy and gratifying I must do it again!!Now on the needles is a red chenille hat for Mimi. I got nice and familiar with chenille when I made a black neck warmer for my next door neighbor a couple of weeks ago (the eighth gift, also not pictured). Working carefully with this brittle yarn is worth it; the results are velvety smooth.

Not to worry, sewing machine, I will visit you soon...there are quilts to be finished and baby gifts to make. But for now, I will soak up the cold weather, curl up on the couch, and grab a couple of sticks and a ball of yarn.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

New Year Wishes, New Year Gratitude

Happy New Year everyone! Our family could not have started the year off on a better foot, throwing our annual New Year's Day party and surrounding ourselves with family, friends, food and football. What could be better?

The backdrop to the overwhelming abundance of food was an altar of prosperity. The collection included fertile and promising pomegranates, rich, sweet tangerines, and a candle to bring happiness to our home. Guests were given blank strips of paper upon which to write their wishes for the coming year. Some of the wishes from guests of all ages:

--to be happy
--prosperity, joy, wellness, love

--joy, abundance, health, deep peace

--a more positive perspective

--good job, good grades, good love

--to discover my passion

--to be a knight

--that everyone is safe and sound and happy

--to find beauty in every moment

Now our cozy home has fallen back into the daily routine, with two beautiful exceptions. The first is this gorgeous book, given to me as a gift of gratitude. I decided to use each page to express the gratitude of our family, for things great and small, each time we site down together for a meal in 2010. We may not write every day, but we will get into the habit of noticing the little things...and celebrating our togetherness in one more special way.
The second difference in our home happens each day around 4:00 pm. Because of the awesome rainbow maker given to us by Big L and little l, when the sun comes through our dining room window, rainbows dance all around our house for about twenty minutes. It has had an amazing effect on our afternoons!
May your wishes come true in 2010, and may each rainbow you chase be yours!