29 December 2007


so busy so busy. even more so now than when i first started writing this post, oh 15 days ago. one sunday i was caught up, and then we had a week to get ready for MA. and a bunch of holiday festivities.

we went to the north pole ice park with a couple from church. the fairbanks ice park is usually in march, but this year north pole decided to do one too. i don't know if it was the time of year, or the fact that it's in north pole, but the theme was christmas (the fairbanks one always has a theme - last year it was sea stuff). and not only was there santa claus stuff, but several nativity scenes. very good for getting in the holiday mood. chuck even got some good shots in.

nowhere but alaska would you find a sculpture of santa riding a salmon, or a reindeer on a harley. i like how there's always a few life-sized sculptures that you can sit on (even if the pic of me on the camel was a bit blurry). and the slide they had was way fun. they even provided sleds to go down it. whoo-hoo!

then we had two bank parties, a cookie swap, and christmas dinner with chuck's family. so tuesday was the only free night we had. craziness. somewhere in there we finished decorating the tree.
not bad for a fake one, eh? while the camera was out, i shot some of my favorite christmas decorations.

a straw pig and straw julbock (christmas goat) from sweden. *sigh* i miss swedish christmas. maybe it's just the difference in culture, but i miss their traditions. i weasel in whatever i can though *wink*
like our advent candles.

knitting did not get much time in before we left. the most i got done was at work, which meant the hedera socks. we (chuck put in his 2 cents too) settled on a heel flap, it seemed best suited to the lace pattern. the toes always seems to come fast after the heel. before i knew it i was decreasing. but when i tried it on after a couple decrease rows, i noticed this
normally i start the toe when the foot reaches the base of my big toe. and this was a bit past it. so i think i frogged back 2 lace repeats, finished the toe and it fits perfect.
yay!! one more to go. the lace on this pattern really stretches. i wasn't sure it would stretch enough, but it does. the second one i cast on in transit, and right now it's past the heel on the home stretch to the toes.

the FFF shawl is hibernating for christmas vacation. in the bustle before we left, i didn't quite make it to the yarn store for an extra skein of yarn. just in case i needed it. i wanted a shorter shawl (since i started out with the summer shawlette as my chosen pattern - remember?) and since the yardage was good for that pattern i thought, hey it should be enough for this one right? hope doesn't kill you i guess, but it doesn't give you those extra hundred yards either.

that's my only complaint so far about stahman's shawls - no solid yardage requirements. her only advice is to measure etc. the woman made a couple shawls in each design - couldn't she have written down how much she used? i mean, she's got the same brand yarn for every shawl, just tossing in the yardage, even in small print, would have been nice. i wouldn't have minded. so while flying, i finished my second skein. and wouldn't ya know it, it's not 15 inches long yet. augh. so i just have to really really hope that no one's bought that yarn since i did and maybe the same dye lot will still be there. except if i'd known i wouldn't be able to work on it the whole trip, i'da left it home to finish after. since i'll have to anyway.

based in how much knitting i did in arkansas, i maybe went a little overboard in how many projects i brought with me. i definitely forgot how time disappears with my family. our first week was busy busy getting ready for christmas and doing last minute shopping (all the way to christmas eve). usually my shopping's done early, but with traveling we still had a few things to find. but you know what? christmas eve just might be the key to stress free shopping. there wasn't a grouchy person in sight. shoppers and workers were pleasant and lines weren't too awful either. i would have expected otherwise, especially with the east coast reputation for attitude.

so between family and christmas (and driving. i never realized how much car knitting i got done because chuck was driving. i like driving but miss the knitting), i think i pulled out knitting for the first time.....sunday. um yeah. so chuck's sweater? not getting done. i'm determined to finsh at least the hederas cuz it would be ur-pathetic not to (ur would be the swedish equivalent of uber i guess). but my clessidras and charade socks will not be seeing much, if any, action. bummer.

on the other hand, seeing my family has been fun. there's just something about family jokes that nobody else gets. compared to our tree, my mom's seemed a bit straggly and bare of ornaments, but somehow lights and presents transform everything.
giving and receiving is always fun. a lot of our gifts have jokes or meaning to them, so we appreciate them more for that. we didn't take very many pictures this year like we usually do. since we were kids we had this tradition of opening presents one at a time so we could see what everyone got, and then playing for a bit. no matter how few toys we had, christmas always stretched out all day. sometimes it drags a bit, but mostly i like it. seeing reactions is fun, and enjoying what you get takes away some of the greed and commercialism i think.

my brother adam got me this t-shirt
which i had got my dad. hehe. i wonder where i got my squirrel-hating tendencies from?

of the few pics i have, i liked seeing miah's reaction to his rubberband ?oozie? it's a 5-shooter.

we gave him a ball of rubberbands in his stocking, of course. two part preseents are the best cuz you get the first part and wonder half the day, what the freak do i need rubberbands for?

shela squeals of joy at her socks were very gratifying. she said they felt " soft and comfortable." then yesterday she asked me for another pair. hmmm. . . . . maybe handmade socks wasn't a good gift idea after all *wink* and the thujas i made went to my pops. my mom seemed to like the washclothes she got too
although they weren't made for her head.

my niece serenity got a new doll. she curled up next to it and was out in less than 2 minutes.

07 December 2007

i used to be schizo but we're (not) ok now

i guess getting up those thanksgiving posts wore me out, cuz i've missed almost a week now.

tuesday our knit group met. we're still only a few people each time, but there's starting to be regulars who are really interested. having people to talk knitting with is so much fun. one lady, who's more of a spinner than a knitter, said her daughter asked her where she was going. after saying she was going to knit with the neighbors, her (teenage) daughter said, "it's confirmed, you're officially in the old lady group now." except the spinning lady was the oldest one there. *giggle* which she was going to be sure to tell her daughter.

sunday night i cast on xela's second sock, and got a few hours in on monday, putting me herexela2heelthen i got past the heel at knit group, and wed morning i went with chuck to the doctor. military doctors, so it was hurry up and wait. by the time we left, i needed only another half hour to finish the sock. whoo-hoo!!xela's doneall done, all done. i love it. in less than a week. i'll have to make more sport-weight socks in the future. i just wonder how they fit into shoes. there wasn't much yarn left either :)xela leftoversall this month i've been a good girl, only working on a few projects rather than my normal uncounted mass. finishing things faster is nice, but i'm starting to get itchy hands. my ravelry queue is gowing in leaps and bounds as i find more i want to make. any mention of sock yarns has me surfing the net wanting to buy something (for all those queued projects of course). there was a little bazaar here last weekend, and a local was selling alpalca yarn. oh, it was so nice and soft, in natural cream and charcoal (and brown but i can live without that). that was soooooo tempting, but i resisted. sweater patterns keep calling my name. finally i realized my project schizophrenia was too repressed and needs to come out. so i'm going to dig through my sock yarn and start some of those sock projects.

now that xela's socks are done, it's time for the hederas to get done. i'm adding to the leg, and thinking about a short-row heel. here's where it's at right now hedera take 2maybe 2 lace repeats were added to it today (pre-picture). after no calls all week, i got an all day science teacher job. quizzes and babysitting, with some pain in the butt energetic kids. not much knitting gets done with those kinds of jobs.

and the FFF is started again, after frogging and re-swatching. football and faroese shawls may not be a good combination though. we were watching the patriots nearly lose to the ravens, and i kept losing track of my stitches. finally i gave up and devoted myself to agonizing over the offense's bad blocking. since frogging it, i am not nearly as enthused about it as i was. part of the problem is (da dum) gauge. i like my lace a bit tighter than most gauge recommendations, so i think my next lace project i will pick a sportweight yarn maybe.

our christmas tree is slowly working its way up to fully decorated. it's up, and has lights on it, but no ornaments yet. we want to do them all at once, i think, but haven't come across a big enough chunk of time yet. our fake tree has fake berries on it too, which actually don't look as bad as we thought they would (we didn't realize it had berries till we got it home - oops). my very favorite lights are these candle-wannabes
bubble lightbubbling
we had those when i was a kid and i love the way they bubble.

tonight we're going to listen to some military band play. with a christmas theme (i think? i hope). not bad for a date night.

01 December 2007

there's a downside to everything

so the FFF that looked kid-size? it probably was. cuz it sure didn't fit my neck after i put the bottom on three circulars and tried it on. which means. . . frogging. *sigh* the worst part is, since i log all my time on knitwars, i know exactly how many hours of work i'm ripping out. ouch. big ouch. otherwise i could be more diplomatic about it.

we found a cheap fake tree last night, without lights. do you know how hard it is now to find trees that don't come with lights? geez. so monday night we'll be setting 'er up and decorating. fun fun! i love decorating. when i was a kid we'd always listen to these old records of christmas carols, and those have always been my favorites that i think of as "the" christmas songs. luckily i've found lots of them so we can listen to them as we decorate. and i found candles that fit my advents holder! yay!

tonight we're babysitting step-grandbrat seth otherwise we'd probably start decorating tonight. after the last couple days catching up on bills and blogging and reading blogs and unpacking and doing laundry and most importantly not knitting, i have got an itch to knit like you wouldn't believe. but with a kid wandering around, i don't know how likely that is tonight.

my library book pile has been out of control lately. actually, it's more that i haven't been reading as much rather than checking out mountains of books (which i have done on occasion). so i'm trying to whittle it down before christmas. i'll keep a couple for the trip, hopefully paperbacks. our library has a surprisingly good selection, but most of them are hardcovers. ugh. how am i supposed to fit those in my back pocket? in our stack of mail was promises to keep, an update on jilly by charles de lint. i'm reading wild magic right now, and need to finish the amber spyglass. chuck already finished it (!) and started on a wrinkle in time. he's been testing out this reading thing, and i try to read the books (again) with him so we can talk about them.

this morning, (my brother) miah woke us up, cuz he found out what his first assignment (after he graduates in may) in the airforce would be: guam. which makes his clearance top secret, so he had to get our updated address. the military actually sends people out to ask about him. i always want to make fun of things like that, but they're so deadly, deadly serious i can't. what's cool is, guam was chuck's first assignment, 20+ years ago in the navy. so we'll try and dig out some old pics to take home for miah. all the traveling he'll get to do makes me jealous and gets my feet twitching.