Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is it!

OK - I'm going to be "going away" for a while.... I'm having a baby tomorrow! And I have no idea when I'll be back to post - probably during a late night adventure with the new baby? Nah... but I'll figure out some time to hop back online with updates and pictures!

I finished up my final Christmas knit last night. And I so wish I had my camera during this entire process.... I left my camera at my in-laws for the 2 weeks there were exciting things to take pictures of.

Remember this that I wanted to knit for my brother? First of all, I have no idea how she got hers to come out so square. And neat looking. All I can say is that I hope my brother appreciates the time and love that went into this thing. All Hubby does when he looks at it is laugh...

Here's a picture from the side. The bump is made from where the acrylic yarn did not felt. So now my brother will always have something to remind him that I was great with child when I knitted this thing for him.

Sigh... It really was not a hard knit. And sewing it all together was a breeze, too. It felted well (except for the acrylic, duh....), and stuffed and finished well. Why does it look so silly? hmmmm....

I did have some issues, though. The pattern said it would take one skein of yarn - and I got the exact same specs for the yarn I used as she did with the yarn she used.... however, it was definitely not a one=skein wonder. As I started on the back of the robot, I realized there was no way I would be able to finish the thing with the amount of yarn that I had. So out I run, hoping that this yarn is still carried, since I've had the first skein in my stash since the spring. Thankfully, it's a staple in Lion Brand's collection, so I got one more skein. Not in the same dye-lot, but I didn't think my brother would mind or even notice.

Then, as I'm knitting up all the little pieces that go around the edges of the robot, I again start thinking, "There is no way I will have enough yarn to finish this, even with the second skein!" So I run out again to get another one... This is all happening while I don't have my camera, but I wanted to document what I had left over when I finished all the knitting pieces.

Sorry about the quality - if you can't tell, it's a picture of a picture on my phone. That is a picture of the last arm that I knit, along with the smallest ball of yarn I've ever worked with. A quarter would've easily hid that little ball from sight.

With that little ball of yarn, I was able to sew all the pieces together AND sew up the robot after felting and stuffing. I seriously only had a couple of inches left over.

And now, with Hubby laughing, I will wrap that little sucker up and proudly put him under the tree for my lil' bro. Merry Christmas, UncaDo!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Themed gifts....

Amanda is going strong on her oh ho ho a bloggy Christmas with oh amanda... check it out! She's asking now about any themed gifts we've given or gotten, or even we would like to give... Honestly, I couldn't think of any! Until I remembered.... I sent Amanda one - it was a blue, white, and silver holiday themed gift! Remember? And then I sent this one, which never got to its intended recipient....

But thinking about true holiday gifts that I've given or gotten with themes.... I'm truly at a loss! My aunt and cousins all gave me Christmas ornaments the first year I had my own tree - but they weren't all given together. I think I've given some book-themed gifts - to either my brother or to a close friend, but I can't remember what themes they were (besides books)! Dang this pregnancy brain! I bought my SIL a pre-packaged theme gift from the Pampered Chef last year - their Pizza Party gift set.... hmmm... I've tried several years to "reform" my dad's taste in cheesy jazz by giving him what I consider gifts of good jazz (it's hard to undo 60 years of cheesy jazz, though!).

But if I had a million dollars to give a themed gift... I think I'd like to give my Hubby a "Thank You" themed gift. A "Thank-You-for-all-you-sacrifice-and-do-so-we-can-raise-our-little-family-the-way-the-Lord-wants-us-to" gift.

First of all (and everything could go inside this one), I would give him his dream car, for driving crappy cars for years so that I can drive the boys around in a new, safe car. I think that for a dream car, this is a very realistic choice, and I would really like to make sure he drives one one day.

Then, for the years wearing of hand-me-downs and not buying clothing for himself, I would buy him a new wardrobe.

I would also give him some type of gutter-shield, for the years of climbing up onto the roof to empty out our gutters. And while I'm at it, I think I'd get him at least a year of a lawn service so he can take a break. Well, let's see - installation of a lawn and then a year of care. I think we'd like to do this together with the kids when they start getting older, so if we can get a good lawn established, then we can take over from there.

For the backyard, I'd like to get him a "sports complex." Nothing fancy - just a concrete pad for a basketball hoop (our driveway has no room for one!) and a sand pit volleyball court. We have a nice sized backyard... Hubby loves a pick up game of basketball, and he would play volleyball every night if he could! So instead of having him go to play with others, let others come and play with him! The boys could grow up enjoying these, too.

Then I have to find something to keep his coffee hot! I think I found something like this for his Christmas gift - so I'm not going into too much detail here. But one of his pet-peeves is drinking cold coffee.

The rest of the million (heck, I have the whole million, right? it's my pretend gift!).... I calculate to have spent:
  • $25,000 for car (I rounded up a bit from what the website said, so he could get some upgrades)
  • $5000 for wardrobe, according to WNTW
  • $5000 for installation of gutter shields, lawn, and year of lawn care (only speculating on cost of these items!)
  • $5000 for "sports complex" - I think this might be high, but then he could get stocked with nice equipment
  • $25 for coffee solution

for a total of $40,025. OK, so I would pay off the mortgage and put the rest in a high-yield account so Hubby would never have to worry about providing what we need again.

There you go! I know a lot of these things I would benefit from, too, but if I could take some of the pressure away from my Hubby so he can enjoy our family more, I think it would be mighty fine!

Merry pretend Christmas, my love...

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's amazing what lack of sleep can do for your productivity!

So I'm having trouble sleeping. A lot of trouble. My doctor has been wonderful in giving me some sleeping aids, but on the nights I'm not supposed to take anything (that's every other night....), I. just. don't. sleep. Sigh... But I'm getting some great late night knitting done!

Last night, Hubby went to see the Skins play in DC. Of course, it took me a while to get to sleep, as usual. But then, when he got home at 2:30ish (that's AM, folks...), I was wide awake. I laid there for a little bit, in pain, until I couldn't lay there any more. I think I got out of bed around 3:00. AM. I went out to the den, opened up iTunes, and played some Robert Shaw Christmas. Nice and soothing... so calm, so Christmasy. And I picked up some knitting... and got started on these bracelets. Remember me saying I wanted to knit some? I just wanted a nice mindless knit so that maybe I could drift off after a while.

I started my swatches, and I finished 2 today during the day! See?

I love them! The first is Lion Brand Organic Cotton. Oooo, I like it. and I like how the seed stitch looks in it, how defined the stitches are... The yarn is a bit splitty, but it's so nice and soft! mmmm... The second is Lion Brand Jiffy. I have tons of it, so I thought I'd use some. I really like the color, but it fluffs up a bit too much for me when you knit it. I did the same seed stitch in it, but you can't really see the stitches.

I did a bracelet a couple of days ago, but I didn't take a picture of it. It's laughable. I thought I'd do it in the round, so I'd only have to finish up the sides.... it's about 4 inches too large to go around the bracelet insert. I thought fleetingly about cutting it (steeking it? What's the correct terminology?) - then I laughed at myself.

What did I use as the bracelets? This plastic thing I got on sale at... you know. I tried on several bangle bracelets at places at the mall, only to find that either my arms and hands have gotten fat, too, or I'm just really big-boned. None of them fit onto my wrist. So I bought 3 of these stretchy things. I think they look really good covered. Some of the bracelets I'm giving as gifts to much smaller relatives, so if I find solid bangles on sale someplace, I'll snatch them up and use those. The yarn adds considerable bulk to the bracelets, though, so I'll have to watch that.

Oh, wait - go back a couple of days! Look at what I used to wind my organic cotton into a center-pull ball!

Mmmm - too much fun! I need to buy more yarn to wind myself! Like this yarn!!! Next step will be a swift, but it wasn't too bad winding it off of the back of a chair.

Also, last night (before the above-mentioned attempt at sleep) I got a big chunk of the PillowBot done for my brother. The pattern calls for some intarsia. But I realized the yarn I had for the stripes was an acrylic blend and would not felt as needed. So I doubled the stripe colors with the main body color. I think it will be fine. I'd like to get these all marked off my list as I count down the days to baby...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Photos (not taken by me!)

Fun fun fun! My last Color Me Happy Swaparooni swap pal has a great blog - she's a great person, too! And I have to say, in my pregnancy-brain-fog-slash-lack-of-sleep-for-the-past-7-months-fog, she's given me some great blog reads and some great ideas! I liked this photo meme that she just did...

If you like it, join me! Just type in the answers to the questions on Google Images. Then paste the first picture that comes up in as your answer.

1. Age at my next birthday…

2. Place I’d like to travel…

3. Favorite place…

4. Favorite objects…

5. Favorite food…

6. Favorite color…

7. Nickname…

8. Place I was born…

A note about the nickname... it's not the Hurricane part. But when I typed in Li-li, I got a picture of a scantily clad woman as the first image. The Hurricane was the first appropriate picture!

Some Christmas knits...

No baby knits, but some Christmas knits to show you!

It's a knit Squid iPod cozy! In it's Christmas habitat, a bowl of ornaments on my side board!

It must be comfortable there... look, it's comfortable enough to show you its backside, too!

For my new SIL... it was a special request, made in her favorite color, an unknown red from Red Heart.... at least I think it was a Red Heart yarn I used. I went stash diving for a red, and found this one rolled into a big ball - no labels anywhere. It was not the most fun yarn to knit with, but it was a fun, quick knit! Mr. Squid is a bit stiff, due to the yarn, but he'll be oh so fashionable with an iPod nestled inside him, the earphone cords dangling out of his little pointy head-hole... I would've finished it in one day save for the toddler crawling all over me.

Here's the other Gillian scarf I cast on a while back. I love this one, too. It's for my cousin, who apparently will be skiing away the winter blues in Aspen. Sigh.... I hope a bit of me will hit the slopes with her when she wears this one...

I love the colors on this. It's like a classic red scarf, but it's not.... it goes from an orange to a brownish-red to a maroony color, and I love it! I think the yarn is a Moda Dea - ooo, I'm so bad! I just bought the yarn for this one, and I've tossed the label and can't even remember any specs on it! I think this is it, in Cinnamon Twist. I like the yarn - it's a great, bulky, wool and acrylic blend. Very soft.

This is what it looks like in post-snow gloom, sitting on my sofa. I missed the sun that melted the little bit of snow we got this morning, so all I got was gloom.

But I think the colors really perk up the place, don't you?

So, as I said, no new baby knits. I still have only one leg of the cargo pants done. And I'm OK with this. I need to finish up on my brother's PillowBot, and then I'm going to try to make a couple of these up quickly for gifts, and if the cargo pants need to wait, that's OK.

Oooo, and did you see this? mmmmm..... bags.....