Resolutions

As 2011 draws to a close and a shiny new year opens up before us I thought it would be a good time to have a look at my New Year’s resolutions for 2011 and see how I did:

The Good:

  • ::eek:: update my stash page on Ravelry which is now about 2 years out of date:  I updated my stash page (after a serious culling before I moved to HK) so it is up to date.
  • add projects I’ve knit to Ravelry along with photos: Along with updating my stash page, I also photo’d and listed all my WIPs and cleaned up all the WIPs that I no longer have or were frogged.
  • cook more: since moving to Hong Kong I definitely bake more. That counts, right?
  • read more blogs more regularly: This is my part of my morning ritual now, though come February next year I’m afraid my morning ritual is likely to change significantly!

The Bad:

  • create (and use!) a gift knits schedule to avoid 3am crazed and blurry eyed last minute knitting: Um, I did avoid 3 am blurry eyed knitting for Xmas, and I did create a gift knit schedule… but it was completely crazed last minute knitting (only one, but it was a jumper that I finished a day late).
  • be more diligent and less hedonistic about working on and finishing personal knitting projects. Have less than 5 knitting works in progress (WIPs) at the end of the year: Oops – I have 12. But I ::feel:: like I’ve been more diligent on finishing personal projects… does that count? AND all the WIPs I have are ones that I want to finish….
  • give my post titles better names – makes the retrospective slightly easier! Some of the post titles were easier for me to identifiy, but not all since I totally forgot about this resolution. Oops!
  • do my taxes on time Um, they were submitted, mostly on time…

The Ugly:

  • blog at least 4 times a week: Epic fail. April, May, June I didn’t even manage once a week – and July and August not at all! I sort of picked up again in the fall after moving here…
  • no more missing people’s birthdays! Make a list and use the thing: Epic fail. I don’t even know where that list is.
  • ski more Another epic fail – but for good reason! Can’t be skiing with this huge belly. Next season though I’m on the hills for sure! I just hope my Strolz boots still fit.
  • make it to Monday knit nights more Bleh.  Didn’t do so well on those….
  • cycle more so I can go on cycle trips with hubby! Another bleh.  Still, I feel like I have a pretty good excuse!  LOL Blueberry my scapegoat….

My 2012 Resolutions:

Apart from the usual resolutions to try harder, be better, do more, these are my resolutions for the coming year:

  • Blog at least 4 times a week.
  • Finish my 12 current WIPs by the end of the year
  • Make a Gift Knits Schedule BEFORE the 18th December. In fact, plan the schedule by the 1st September, buy yarn in September and start knitting by 1 October
  • Keep Rav stash up-to-date.
  • Keep Rav projects page up-to-date.
  • Knit 3 pairs of socks for myself
  • Stay me when Blueberry comes into the world.  I’d hate for her to think I’m someone else.
  • Remember birthdays and key dates. I’m going to have to print my own calender for this….

 

DH’s Xmas Jumper: FO

You remember my last minute whim decision to knit hubby a jumper, and how Kim at the Woolen Rabbit totally pulled through for me and sent me the yarn at record speed? I knit away like a demon possessed, but despite my rather optimistic/delusional belief that I’d finish in time for Christmas dinner, by dinner time on Christmas day no matter how I looked at the sweater, I had to admit that DH could not wear it out as it was. That sucker was not finished. Close, but no cigar. I still had the neck to finish and the collar to knit, not to mention all the blasted ends to weave in (at this point I was on my seventh skein).

So I continued to knit and knit and knit…. and finally, finally! on Boxing Day victory was mine.

So, in pictures, the story of a Woolen Rabbit WW Kashmir yarn (80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon) that was dyed lovingly in New Hampshire and sent post haste halfway across the earth to Hong Kong, and which with the clickety clack of needles, some entertainment in the form of a very dialogue light cowboy movie (hubby’s choice: Once Upon a Time in the West), Harry Potter’s Order of the Pheonix, and a couple audiobooks, grew up to be a cozy jumper for my hubby.

8 skeins of WW Kashmir in Enchanted Forest arrived 18 December

20th December

22nd December

Christmas Eve

Christmas, end of day

And the finish line on Boxing Day, the FO (finished object)!

Back of sweater

Front of sweater, lattice detail

And hubby himself modelling the finished, blocked product with all ends woven in! Fits him perfectly and is nice and cozy and warm.  Perfect for the coming colder days.

DH’s Xmas Jumper (Rav project link)

Pattern: Carol Feller’s Lattice Sweater (aka Terry’s Pullover -Rav pattern link), 44 3/4″ size

Yarn: WW Kashmir from the Woolen Rabbit, 175 yards (160 metres) per 115g skein

Gauge: 19 sts and 28 rows per 4″ in st st.

The called for gauge was 19st and 25 rows.  I got the stitches per inch gauge which is the  most important one.  I used 7 skeins plus 10 grams of the 8th skein to finish – approximately 1240 yards/1134 metres.  The pattern calls for 1232 yards/1120 metres so despite my rows per inch gauge requiring slightly more yarn than the pattern calls for, the estimated yardage from the pattern was spot on.

Mods:

-Knit arms in the round rather than flat.
-Added a crochet reinforcement to back neck as I worried there would be stretch there since the collar is knit in one piece up from the raglan decreases of the chest/neck.
-Used shadow wraps for short rows on the collar instead of the w&t method.
-Used EZ sewn bind off on collar to match long tail cast-on for cuffs & hem.

Otherwise knit to pattern as specified. Nicely written, easy to follow, simple and pleasurable knit.

Cookies & Sweaters

Merry Christmas Eve! There has been crazy knitting and I’m pleased that I’m sort of knitting to schedule –

This was the knitting schedule:
22 Dec: Finish body (7″ inches more) & split for arms. Knit arm
23 Dec: Finish first arm, knit other arm.
24 Dec: Finish other arm. Join to arms to body, knit neck. Finish & Block.

So far I’ve managed:
22 Dec: Yay! Body done & split for arms. Boom!

23 Dec: Arm number 1 done. Boom!

24 Dec: Arm 1 joined to body, boom! Knitting on arm 2.

Realisation has dawned that I’m not going to finish the neck and arm number 2 today. I can knit about a skein and a half in a day, but as I completely omitted including the chest/shoulder decreases into my knitting schedule I think that after the arm is done (1 skein) that the chest and neck will take another 2 skeins. But, am happy that there is a good chance that the sweater (lol not overalls! now that would indeed be totally nuts J!!) will be done, though not blocked, tomorrow night in time for our yuletide fondue Christmas dinner fest. Woot!

Now that Coookie’s last sock club packet has been issued, I can show you what I’ve been baking! I was lucky enough to be asked to be a guest baker twice – the first time was for my favourite white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, and the second time for these socktastic sugar cookies (my favourite festive cookie)! I just love how they came out.

Aren’t they just the cutest? And they were tasty too. Glad though that all the cookies have been baked and eaten (not all by me thankfully!) as my blood sugar got a little too high with all the Christmas cookies (I got a little finger wagging at my last OBY appointment).

Have a wonderful Christmas Eve – I hope Santa is good to you!

Delusional Holiday Knitting

My two furballs are actually playing together!! It started earlier this week – and they are really started to have a good time. Here’s a little vid I captured this morning – you get to glimpse my awesome Life is Good pjs. Playtime sort of ended when hubby decided to wipe Meimei’s butt as he thought she sat in her pee (**rolls eyes**).

DH is now officially on holiday until after the New Year – so this morning we took Deuce down to the park for a little run around. He’s now snoozing away after coming home and playing with Meimei some more. So sweet!

I decided, at the last minute, to knit DH a jumper for Christmas. Of course, the yarn had to be from the Woolen Rabbit in the US who only dyes to order, who also happened to be undergoing back surgery on the 16th of December…. but when I sent my crazy email asking if Kim could dye the yarn and send it express to Hong Kong, Kim didn’t balk. She dyed up my yarn in 2 days and posted it to me the day of her surgery. What incredible service – and beautiful yarn and colourway to boot! I got it two days later and cast-on.

This was progress as at the 20th December – about 2″ worth of ribbing.

And today midday 9.5″ of jumper.

This is the knitting schedule:
22 Dec (today): Finish body (7″ inches more) & split for arms. Knit arm
23 Dec: Finish first arm, knit other arm.
24 Dec: Finish other arm. Join to arms to body, knit neck. Finish & Block.

I’m not entirely sure how realistic this schedule is; in fact, I fear it may be plain delusional; but what’s a holiday gift knit if it doesn’t have an edge of insanity to it? So I plan on doing all our activities today while knitting – took Deuce out for a walk and knit the whole while, later we’ve got to head out to the pet shop and get some dog food for Deuce so I’ll be shopping and knitting. Ooh boy, I like to live life on the edge. 😉

Doesn’t Meimei look sweet and innocent here? This was taken right after she was finished being a little terror running around and pulling anything she could reach off the coffee table and chairs and hiding with her treasures (tissues, toilet roll, my knitting!!!) under the sofa so I couldn’t reach her. She is a clever little imp. When she rolls around on her back looking so cute, who can stay mad?

32 weeks 4 days

Lesley the sweetheart very kindly asked me to redraw a name for the Socktopus book prize – since she’s a muggle and her partner already has the book. The new winner is dear Eirwen!

My belly has taken on a life of its own (literally) and is now a great protrusion from my body. It’s amazing how much it has grown over the short span of a couple weeks. DH took a photo of the bump this morning – it’s funny how you don’t really see yourself properly until you see a photo of yourself! It really isn’t the same as looking in the mirror. I look like I have a basketball shoved up my shirt.

Breathing is getting harder – I’m often short of breath, and the amount of water I now consume is pretty crazy. I even have dreams I am drinking water but still thirsty. The cool thing is that I haven’t had to buy too many maternity clothes – most of my tshirts will fit over the bump, and my two pairs of maternity jeans are definitely being put to use. The only complaints I have are mild to intense itching on my sides, and getting lightheaded when I bend over – otherwise am happy to report am feeling fine, and can still comfortable sit on the floor!

The past weeks I’ve been organising the volunteer’s Christmas party for Hong Kong Dog Rescue, but since it is a fairly informal affair it really was just getting the food and drinks sorted for the party which took place last night. It was really lovely to meet all the people that keep the wheels of HKDR running, though I have to admit I was knackered as I hadn’t slept well the night before.  Still was good fun and so nice to see all those happy faces!

On Wednesday I went to my first Hong Kong knit night – and met fellow knitters! There is a secret santa next Wednesday so I’m looking forward to that too.

It’s been a bit weird living in a vacuum – being here without the benefit of a structured social environment like school or work means the opportunity for meeting people is mostly 2 degrees apart – that is friends of friends, so it was doubly nice to finally have the time and opportunity to get out and meet people with similar interests like at knit night and at the HKDR party.

DH went to a 1920s fancy dress party this week – and had a cracker of a costume. He managed to pull it together at the last minute by buying a pair of herring bone trousers and vest from H&M, pairing it with some rowing socks and his uni bow tie.  Pretty Great Gasby, no? He’s just missing a walking stick and fedora!

I picked up a wee Christmas tree this week as well – only 3 feet tall, small but perfect for living on top of the cabinet. I figured  it was much safer to have the tree out of reach of furry little imps.

I also got it into my head to knit a big cozy throw to match our sofa.  I was member to a couple yarn & pattern clubs this year, one of them being my friend Anne’s Fall in Full Colour club.  The second last yarn installment was a worsted weight yarn from Briar Rose in a gorgeous autumnal colourway (Fourth of July, but not sure what the colourway is called) which just sang to me.  I managed, through trading with others in the club, to get my paws on 5 hefty skeins of the colourway (over 2000 yards worth!).  Once my very last pattern for the Knit Love Club 2011 year was sent out, I wound a skein and cast-on as reward.  I had to play around with a few stitch patterns to find something that worked with the colourway (it has really short colour repeats) and finally settling on a comfortingly mindless and easy herringbone stitch.  I have 362 sts on the needles, which, at 6 sts per inch gives me a width of 5 feet. I’d like the throw to be at least 5 feet long…. and the row gauge is 6 rows per inch.  The photo below has 8 rows – so just over an inch.  I think this is going to be a long term project… I’ll be pleased if I finish it before the end of 2012.  Am really loving how it is coming out, it will be soft, squishy, and warm!

And for Meimei’s international peanut gallery, this is a recent video of her being a little rascal.  Poor Deuce!