Back on the horse

The presents have been opened, the turkey eaten, and the pants have been let out.  Christmas is officially over.  We were so blessed to be among family and enjoyed being with the nieces and nephews, who really make the holidays fun.  We dearly missed the family members we could not be with but look forward to spending some time with them in the new year.

I was able to get most of my holiday crafting done, including a few of these "I Spy" bags for the littles.  This one was for the three year old nephew.  He liked poking the bag and watching the items pass across the plastic window.  I took a picture of all of the contents of the bag and then listed the items on the other side.  These toys took no time to put together.  The only difficult thing was finding 30 tiny things to put inside.  
The long awaited Tomten was finally completed on the flight to Seattle and the zipper sewn in in Vancouver.  You could say this was somewhat of an international project.  I liked how it turned out and knitting it was a pleasure.   You gotta give it to EZ for her smart patterns.
I've already been poking around on Ravelry for new projects to start but I'll wait until after New Years to begin Christmas 2011 projects.  Knitters can never begin too early, right?


Bread & Butter with a Little Dill

Christmas has been a success on all fronts.  We gave and received plenty.  Silly bandz have been sorted by colour.  Turkey was scarfed down.  The house is surprisingly tidy.  Knitting continues.  Five full-length family movies have been watched.  Pyjamas need to be laundered.   It's time to get dressed and step outside. :)

Peace and joy to everyone!  I need to make a pickle tray.  I googled it already, and there's no way to kick this one up.  Any ideas?


Second Time's A Charm

For the story of this garland, check out my SECOND guest post over on the Canadian Living craft blog.  I had so much fun writing and making these garlands that I had enough for two posts!  Thanks, Austen, for the opportunity to contribute to your blog.  My fifteen minutes of fame were brilliant. :)


Christmas Knitting

These seed stitch bracelets from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts take an hour from start to finish.  They take just a titch of sock yarn, and they're so sweet.   I think they would make a lovely little last minute gift for a hip teenager.  Thankfully I have a hip teenager, and she has many friends.


PS. The bracelets were knit exactly the same except I stretched the bottom one when I was testing it out on my wrist without undoing it (like a lazy teenager).   Now you probably think I have chunky wrists.  I assure you they're normal-sized.  After I took this picture, I stretched the heck out of the top one, so now they look the same again.  Huzzah.

Friday Morning

Tomorrow, I'm sleeping in. At the very least, I will stay under the covers until 8 a.m.   I'll be back, pillows and duvet.  Do not fear.   Until then, stay warm and cozy please.


Guest Appearance and Pom Poms

I'm so excited!  (Now I have the Pointer Sisters stuck in my head.)  I guest-blogged over at the Canadian Living craft blog today.  Thanks, Austen, for letting me ramble on about pom poms.  'Cause pom poms are where it's at.  And for those of you living in my vicinity - why wasn't today a snow day, eh???   It totally should have been a snow day.  Thankfully the children only have two more school days left until their holidays.  I'm looking forward to two weeks of vacation. :)  Think of all the crafting that's possible in two whole weeks!


Marshmallow world

This is the "marshmallow" that appeared outside of our window during Saturday's worst storm since Halloween '91.  We got hit with over 15 inches of snow!  Pure madness but  it was actually kind of fun since we had nowhere to go and I stayed in my pajamas all day.   After the blizzard finally subsided, the car was dug out.  This is where our car was.
A car shaped snow bank.
The sun came out and although there are snow banks as tall as I am, we got out unscathed, which is more than can be said for some (yikes!). 
All is calm.

Pi Shawl Progress

Popping in to say hello!  I'm still very much consumed by this shawl.  I'm two-thirds through the third part, and I'm eager to double my stitches and start in on Part 4.  At this time, I'm ignoring housework, cooking dinner and the children.  The children are surprisingly happy to be doing their own thing - the littlest is cutting up empty cereal boxes and constructing what seems to be a hamster mansion with a wild disco theme.   I bet you wish I had taken pictues of that in place of this cream blob.  I promise it gets better. :)


Pi Shawl

Last spring my parents went on a Baltic cruise, and they brought me back the most wonderful gift.  A giant skein of undyed sheeps wool from Estonia.  This was the best gift I've ever been given besides the three snow days in a row that Mother Nature just presented us AND the Mike Milbury autograph my dad brought me back from a baseball trip when I was in high school.  Don't ask.

I have spent months researching Estonian patterns -  borrowing books from the library and browsing the patterns on ravelry.  I just knew that the project had to be very special and worthy of the wool.  And then December came, and I was gettting anxious about my EZ project.   I need to finish a few last Elizabeth Zimmerman patterns in order to pull it off.  And then I found Wendy Johnson's Shetland Pi Shawl that she had designed to celebrate Elizabeth Zimmerman's 100th year.  It is more than worthy of my precious wool, and it is written in 5 easy-to-follow parts.  I finished part 1 yesterday before heading to bed, and I finished part 2 shortly after lunch today, and now I am into part 3. 

Of course, I should really be knitting Christmas gifts, but I can not stop knitting this shawl for the life of me.  I am loving it.  It's highly addictive.

And that was Snow Day #3.


Snow Days

We're on a second snow day here in southwestern Ontario.  No one is complaining.  There's been baking, playdates, cleaning, laundry, knitting, lots of shovelling, building snow forts, pyjamas, hot chocolate, movies, and lots of relaxing.  It's been a gift.

On the other hand, I'm very cognizant of the work piling up on my desk in the office, but it will have to wait.  The weather has other plans. :)


Gingerbread House

Holy moly cannoli.  It's snowing hard and crazy.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . .

And speaking of  Christmas , we can check off decorating a gingerbread house. Done.


Now I'm going to have to dig out the driveway, so that I can get out to play soccer.   Bleh.


Party Down

 Sleeping in.  Check.

Big ol' cup of coffee for me.  Check.
 Hanging with her favourite cousin.  Check.
 Clown?????   CHECK!
 Crafting ornaments with ice cream cones.  Awesome check.
 A decorated tree.  Not ours.  We're deferring that one until tomorrow.
Verbally telling Santa she wants an ipod touch.  (Letter has been mailed - but she's still not getting one.) Check.
Sneaking in her one glass of pop for the month. (Please ignore what I think may be my Grampa's beer bottle in the bottom left-hand corner.)  Check.

Home safe and sound and high on sugary pop and chocolate balls and molasses crinkles.  Check.

Happy? Check.


Alpine Mitts

I bought this mitt kit at the Wellington Fibres booth at the Fleece Festival this year, and it didn't take long to cast on these puppies.   There were many colour combinations, but I picked blue and orange because I think they pop out together.  And there wasn't a kit with blue and white. :)   Dang it!  I'll make them match something.

For the most part, this is a simple pattern that doesn't require a lot of counting stitches.  That's what I like most about it because, to be honest, I like mindless knitting, and usually colourwork doesn't equal mindless for me.  The plaited cuff did throw me for a loop.  I've never used that technique before, and I was infinitely glad that it was only four rows, but I figured it out, and after that it was smooth sailing.  Now that they're finished, that little plaiting may be my most favouritest part of my new mittens.

And although I probably have amassed a giant pile of handknit mittens now, I think everyone deserves a pair of bright, new shiny mittens every winter.  Don't you?


Family Meeting

Inspired by this post, I called a meeting of the minds - big and small.  We compiled a list of all that we want to do and see in December.  Once we got started, there was no stopping us.  Here's our holiday agenda in no particular order although some thing naturally come before others:
  • decorate a gingerbread house
  • get a tree
  • decorate the tree
  • baking extravaganza (the littlest likes these and the eldest likes these)
  • build a snowman
  • wrap gifts
  • go ice skating (LOTS) in the park, at the market, at Storybook, at the arena
  • craft night (I admit that this suggestion got plenty of groaning, but I persisted)
  • listen to lots of holiday music
  • clean and sort and donate
  • two school Christmas concerts
  • tour of lights
  • two family turkey dinners on-site and two family dinner off-site
  • playdates up the wazoo
  • pizza and bowling night
  • wearing our pyjamas and sweats for days on end
Oh yeah, and it's Friday!  I must go make a new banner.


Dark December

The calendar turned today to the last month of the year.  Just when I was getting used to 2010.  It's been unseasonably cold here in the Midwest and all I feel like doing is nesting.  Of course as the calendar changes to December I also realize that there are mittens to be knit, cookies to be baked, and gifts to be wrapped--activities that fill a house with creativity and warmth.  So I shall plug in the Christmas tree, sit down on the couch next to my dear one and make up those little mittens that will keep little hands warm.  Hope that you are staying warm and cozy too.