December 24, 2011

A Guest Post

No-Bake Cookies

Merry Christmas Eve! I forgot to mention this yesterday, but I've written a guest post over at Harvest Kitchen Sisters for my favorite holiday treat, no-bake mountain bar cookies. They're really good, and take hardly any time at all to make, so go and check it out!

I hope you're all staying warm and cozy for the holidays. I'll see you in 2012!

December 22, 2011

Knits for Kids

 Saartje1's Northern Lights

 Morfo's Ducks

 Kale80's Baby Bear

CelticCastOn's Little Red

FlickaFish's Clara

All of these amazing knits make me want to:
1. Have kids and dress them up.
2. Make adult-sized matching knits for myself.
3. Learn colorwork.

Have a good holiday weekend, and stay warm.

December 15, 2011

Currently

Wood Stove Wood Stove

I love this wood stove, and I love being warm. These photos obviously aren't taken from my apartment with its inefficient baseboard heaters and leaky windows. They're taken from my dad's house, which is where I've been staying during the weekdays, helping my step-mom with errands and such as she recovers from an injury.

Rags Jake the Dog

And while I miss home terribly, these little creatures - Rags the cat and Jake the dog - are good company throughout the day. They're both furry and friendly, and they seem to like me well enough. As it were, I generally like any animal that likes me back. Rags has a particular affection for my little stash of wool, so we get along well due to our common interests.

Knitting

The observant among you may notice that my festive red and gray scarf seems to have lost length since the last time I shared my progress with you. This is such a simple project that I'm embarrassed to tell you exactly how many times I've frogged it. I'm also a little embarrassed to admit that I refused to be sensible and research the proper way to carry yarn up the sides until after I had already ripped it out for the sixth or seventh time in frustration. I thought I could figure it out on my own, and that I would be able to settle for a conspicuously messy side, but after giving the scarf close, objective inspection, I sighed deeply, and began ripping away once more.

So now that I know the proper technique, I've decided to make this horribly monotonous project a little more interesting by teaching myself to knit continental. I've heard many a great thing about the speed one can attain through continental knitting, and although some argue for the joys of English-style throwing, my project-oriented mind sees great value in getting things done quickly.

My first rows in learning this new technique have been rough to say the least, but I'm starting to get the hang of it. Every time I make noticeable improvement, something in my brain dances with joy, which is enough reward to keep me going. And if continental knitting is really as fast as everyone claims, it will be well worth the effort.

As for this poor scarf, my stitches are frustratingly uneven due to my lack of dexterity. So... I may have to frog it again  and restart before the end. We'll see.

December 12, 2011

Layered Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

 Peppermint Bark Peppermint Bark

I know. Everyone is making homemade peppermint bark right now, but I had to pitch in my two cents on the subject. I was determined to make it this Christmas, and after reading this post, I decided Orangette's recipe was the one to try first. And wow. Very simple, and very tasty.

After looking over my last few posts, I note that things are feeling very festive around here as of late. I'm quite satisfied. I'll be spending my week in front of a warm wood stove with a box of wool and my hook/knitting needles. Not bad, eh?

December 7, 2011

Festive Red and Gray

Festive Scarf

The mailman just delivered a huge order of yarn at my doorstep, so I've been knitting and crocheting non-stop this week. And now that I'm finally done with all of my Christmas knitting, I can start making stuff for myself again. It's exciting! And strange.

I'm not sure how the idea popped into my head, but I've been dreaming about a red and gray wool knit scarf for a few weeks now. I'm not sure if I'll be able to translate the idea I have in my mind to reality, but it shouldn't be that complicated. It's just that the scarf in my mind doesn't specify whether it's garter stitch or stockinette, thin or wide, short or long. So I'm just going along with whatever feels right. Right now that means a thin and long scarf with 1x1 ribbing. The color-change edge is complicated, but maybe nobody will notice.

(another) Autumn (another) Autumn

I also finished another (yes, another) Autumn in a really pretty brass color. I love how this one turned out, and I have enough yarn for matching mittens or a scarf.

December 5, 2011

Baked Clay Ornaments

Baked Clay Ornaments

It's December 5th! 20 days 'til Christmas. I just finished decorating the last of my baked clay ornaments, and I still have the paint on my fingers to prove it. And aside from the part where you have to condition the clay before it's even remotely moldable, I thought it was a really fun project! You can get information on how to make these here. It'd be a great activity to do with kids. 

I've got all of my Christmas gifts ready, and the front room is fully decorated, but I still feel compelled to make more. I should just relax and enjoy it, right? Maybe I'll go make some cookies...

December 1, 2011

Christmas Garland

Christmas Garland

Making Christmas Garland Christmas Garland

Today is my free day, so I've spent it listening to the Fleet Foxes (big surprise there) while sewing up strands of Christmas garland. Later tonight, Matt and I are going to paint our baked clay ornaments, and drink champagne while watching LOTR. I can't wait to see how the ornaments turn out.

It's crazy. We're only one day into December, and my schedule is already completely full. I actually had to make an emergency trip to the bookstore the other night so I could grab my favorite planner for 2012. It must be that time of year.

Happy first day of December!