The unwrapping is all done

Merry Christmas everyone!  Following are a few photos of gifts that were given, but could not be shown until today so as not to ruin the surprise. 

These two little things are ipod holders.  They are for Jessie and Lauri.  These are two girls I work with.  They have been best friends for ever, and will still be best friends when they are in a nursing home.  They are both 18 and are in their first year of college.  Jessie is at UMaine Farmington and Augusta, and Lauri is at UMaine Orono.  This is the first time they have been apart.  I think they are adapting beautifully.  Both are more mature and responsible than people I know who are much older than they.  Jessie still works with us and lives at home.  Lauri lives on campus and works a bit when she is home on break or at the weekend.

Jessie said she wanted a knitted pink ipod holder for Christmas.  And in the same breath she said that Lauri should have one too, but blue or green.  I love how they think of their friend almost immediately after themselves–and usually before themselves.  These two are more sisters than sisters can be.  Jessie has the larger type ipod and Lauri has the mini-whatever-its-called.  Merry Christmas girls.

This hat is for Ug’s Pa.  His head does not resemble the model pumpkin.

This hat is for Ug’s Ma.  She was the only recipient of a gift still on the needles this year.  I was up until 11 last night trying to finish the last 6 rows.  But my eyes were too droopy to finish, and there were deviled eggs to make and a cake to frost and stuff to pack and muffins to make this morning, so this one got wrapped up as is.  It was finished by the time they left however, so she got to take it home with her.  The look on her face was priceless though.  She thought the needles meant that SHE had to finish it.  Fright and disbelief that I was asking her to knit. 

My own mum is in hospital for this holiday, so we will have another Christmas with her when she is out and feeling better.  That means I have some time left to work on her gifts. The last couple years we have had a later Christmas with them.  In January or February.  It takes some of the pressure off everyone, and since we live about 3 hours apart, it is a lot to try to fit in a one day visit and have it be Christmas. 

Christmas just wasn’t the same this year though.  I was trying to enjoy the morning, but was really worrying about her and wishing that she was having her own presents and snacks and fun instead of spending Christmas in the hospital.  Even if we don’t usually see them on the day itself, as least I know that she is having her own holiday. 

We went to see our friend Everett this afternoon.  He was having his own fun by himself, but seemed really pleased to see us.  While we were there he ate half of the snack plate that we brought for us.  Everett is not shy about being a good eater.  He is usally at our family holidays, but not this year.  We wanted to include him anyway. 

Another year gone by.  What will next Christmas bring? 

 

 

 

 

Sue’s Hat

Sue is my other boss.  Neal’s wife.  The place does not run without her.  We all agree that we don’t like it when Sue is on vacation.  Things slowly fall apart.  We’re okay for the first day or two, then things go downhill after that.  Good thing she doesn’t get much time off! (Someone has to be there while Neal is hunting!)

So this hat is made from some superwash Merino.  It came to me in pencil roving, and all the colors were separate.  I blended them together at the wheel.  This was before I had a carder, or I would probably have carded them together.  I have some blue from the same supplier (have lost the tags for this one, so I don’t remember where it came from).  I did card the blue together, and will show this on a later post. The colors blended beautifully with the blue.  But with the green they are all separate and form repeating color changes.  I did not ply the singles together as I wanted to maintain the distinct colors.  Plying would have given it a barber pole effect which I did not want.

I took this off the needles part way through to get a better idea of how big it was.  Sue is  a small person and I did not want the hat to be big and floppy on her.

 

 

Neal’s (3 year) Socks

These socks are a Christmas present for my boss —- which I started 3 years ago.  Sorry Neal.  And even at 3 years, I had to pass them on to my mum to finish.  I got as far as the bottom of the leg, or the top of the heel.  She had to do the heel and the foot (feet).  Not because I don’t know how—I do know how to make socks—but because if they sat there any longer they would be 4 year socks.  Thanks for the help mum. 

I can knit one sock quite well and easily.  I don’t like to knit the second sock.  This would not be the first sock project that she has had to finish for me.  They call that “second sock syndrome”.  Knowing this about myself, I decided to get around it by using the two-at-once method of sock knitting.  That works great for a lot of people.  For me it meant that I had two socks half done, not just one. 

Anyway, Neal is a avid outdoors man, hunting, fishing, canoeing, etc.  So I think he will really like these.

I should have blocked them, since the heel looks a bit crinkly, but time does get away……

 

Just in time for Christmas

Look who decided to bloom at just the right time.

This is a fairly young plant, maybe 3 years old, and the first time it has bloomed.

This Christmas Cactus had no intentions of even thinking about making a flower until I moved it and the Peace Lily shown next to it together.  Almost immediately after I put them together, the cactus developed little flower buds, and the lily–whose name is Droopy–had a baby himself.  Droopy very rarely shoots up these white flowers on tall stems.  I hadn’t seen one in a long time.  So I guess these two are quite happy to live together. 

 

 

 

 

 

How many days left until Christmas?!?!?!?

Today is December 13.  It was quite a shock to me yesterday when I realized that it was December 12.  I mean, I KNEW it was December 12, but it was more like  DECEMBER 12!?!?!?!?!  When did that happen???  I have been quite happy smuggly thinking that I had just weeks and weeks of time left to putter around and make some nice gifts for Christmas.  In fact, until yesterday I was still working out what it was that I was making.  I think that is called denial.  So panic set in.  And now I am furiously knitting.  And making lists.  And knitting.  I’m a pretty slow knitter, so this is not something I can just pull out of nowhere.  I’ll give it a go, though.

This is a hat that I have been working on for my Secret Santa at work.  Leisurely working on.  Until yesterday.  Then I sat up a bit late last night and cranked out some stitches.  I think she’ll like this.  Not this picture, since this is right off the needles.  This is actually a lesson in blocking for me.  Looks like junk right off the needles.  Like when you find your hat at the bottom of your book bag.

But after a brief soak in a basin of hot water and soap, then a bit of a rinse, and it looks entirely different.  The ridge in the middle is because there is a dinner plate in there helping to shape the hat.

 The gray is handspun wool that I spun a couple of years ago.  The pink and cream are commercial yarns.  Wool-ease maybe? (Lion Brand)

I think it could have been just a bit smaller, but with 12 days left, there is no way I even thought about pulling it out and starting over.  The colors are pretty together though.  I was surprised at how little yarn this took.  Three little balls.  I mean little.  The pink was the size of a golf ball, and the gray and cream weren’t much bigger.  A great way to use up some little bits.

I hope you like it Sharon!

Note:  Am I worried about revealing who my Secret Santa is?  No.  First of all, no one reads this, and second of all, the first thing after the co-workers pick names, they are all telling each other who they picked.  I didn’t tell, but they work these things out by process of elimination.  Shameless.

The next project is already underway. 

 

 

A new/old tool

A tool that most knitters have in their little tool boxes and bags is a row/stitch counter.  This keeps track of your rows or stitches so you are not forever going back and counting out what you have just knitted.  It is designed to fit over the needle, so that it does not get lost while you are knitting.  This works great on straight needles.  Not so great on double pointed needles (dpn’s).  While, yes, it fits, it will also fall off the end of the needle as you work your way around. 

I thought this was an original idea, but the more I think about it, I’m sure I have seen these little counter gizmos with a plastic loop for attaching to your knitting.  But I turned my counter into a stitch marker.  So it can happily zip around the circle of a set of dpn’s. 

Now I don’t have to keep fumbling with the little thing and my knitting.