Sunday, November 25, 2007

T-Day Recap

Snowflake Coasters
Originally uploaded by craftytails
The final count of FOs from this weekend is three. I really feel I could have done a better job. Certainly this was nothing short of a miracle, considering family obligations and a post-Thanksgiving dinner with friends.

My mother's feast on the day itself was incredible. I don't know how she pulled off the shocking amount of food and dessert present. She is really a superhero and no one can convince me otherwise.

On Saturday, the hideously talented Miss Dee made a cake so delicious and fattening that I swear I heard Satan laughing when I took a second piece. I should write an open letter to Paula Deen expressing my admiration at her sheer disregard for health concerns when flavor is involved. My love for traditional pumpkin pie was displaced in a manner that was both disturbing and rapid.

Also, Mr. Dee really outdid himself with the turkey. He brined it overnight in a mixture of vegetable stock, salt and honey. First thing in the morning, he started smoking the meat on the grill. After a large number of Thanksgiving dinners, I can state I have never tasted such moist meat. Yes, I said that. And in a public forum, no less.

Now on to the knitting news. The three FOs were the snowflake coasters, simple cable beanie (in hunter green) and the pair of dark brown Fetching gloves for myself. I am on another pair of the same gloves and plan on switching to another gift project to avoid boredom. I still have a lot to do before the dreaded day arrives. There is a sushi toilet roll cover, another hat, Calorimetry, a robot, a sweetheart bag and a few other projects that I want to squeeze in. Ambitious is not my middle name. More like delusional.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Holidays = Knitting Time

Originally uploaded by craftytails
At long last, I have several blissful days to create my yearly "knit panic" right before the holidays. Since I avoid overcrowded stores on Black Friday, this is my one opportunity to complete a few smaller projects in time for Christmas. I think I have really dug myself into a hole this year. This means knitted gifts are a necessity. Hats, gloves and small toys are the only game in town right now. I realized that I did not take vacation time from work this year and I am looking forward to a few days off next month to see friends from out of town. Much FO goodness will result, I hope.

In the midst of my holiday knitting, Texas had a temperature drop. This is no match for the extreme cold I tolerated in New York, but it is enough to make my hands curl. Suddenly, I realized I have not made any gloves for myself yet. Thanks to the magic of Fetching, I can insert a personal project into the queue. I knit one pair for Coreen, and there are several more waiting to be made for Dee and Chiye.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Jitterbug Ballband Socks
Originally uploaded by craftytails
Despite rampant rumors about the large number of 'acceptable' knots in skeins of Colinette Jitterbug, I have been lucky enough to have two very nice skeins in my stash. They were, in fact, so tempting that I immediately knit them both up. Not only were the colors vibrant, but the yarn was both soft and smooshy and had a nice twist. There are, however, a few drawbacks that bother me. The ball band pattern was a perfect mindless project to work on while having conversations with friends. This being said, I felt I *had* to use their pattern because the yardage is very low for the price. After altering the largest size by increasing the leg length to 47 rows, decreasing the foot to 36 rows and decreasing the toe to 20 stitches, I had barely enough yarn left for mending purposes. This ended up being OK, but knitter beware... The biggest issue I had was the dye itself. The Fruit Coulis colorway pictured here held up in the washer. Unfortunately, the Tapis colorway from a previous post did not do so well. The bright red and dark brownish black faded quite a bit and I felt the sock looked older after only one wash. Luckily, both socks were for my feet, so I can avoid the guilt of giving a present that may disappoint someone.

After embarking on this new sock knitting fetish, I have discovered some interesting things. My feet have always dropped to freezing temperatures when I sleep at night. I read somewhere that poor blood circulation is a genetic trait with my race, so this is not too surprising. A few 100% wool socks later, the problem no longer exists! There is something to be said about a craft that enables me to sleep in comfort.

The secret gift project has been completed and is awaiting a mailing. I will send it early to the bad man, who should guess what it means if he is as clever as the rumors lead me to believe. A photograph will be posted after he has played my little game.

Speaking of gift knitting, I am dying to selfishly work on my sweater project. I have to keep telling myself that I will be allowed to do so after Christmas. Not only do I have a few more pairs of Fetching to finish, but there is another scarf and several more hats waiting in the wings.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Triumphant? Return

Connections: A Red Scarf
Originally uploaded by craftytails
I have so much to cover, but little brain power right now. There is a lot going on at work and in my personal life. Plus, holiday knitting has taken the forefront (see the photo as evidence). I can't knit for everyone, but I am trying my best to create items for as many people as possible. Unfortunately, most non-knitters are enamored with scarves. Perhaps they associate scarves with knitting, like afghans and sweaters. People have been surprised when I have offered less time consuming alternatives like hats, gloves and socks. (Admittedly, I don't make socks for most people. Not only do I need specific foot measurements, but I hoard my sock yarn in a way that Gollum would envy.) Two scarves down, one to go. I don't think the third will make it on time, as my patience is waning. Perhaps after I knock out a few of the smaller projects. We'll see.

Besides the knitting, I want to recap what happened at Oni-Con craft panel this year. I am sorry to say the event was not a success this time. It wasn't terrible, but I had several factors working against me. First, the room was locked until after the panel was supposed to start. Many people walked away, assuming it was canceled. Once the room was open, I quickly found that I did not have a table or microphone onstage. For those who know me, I am not comfortable with public speaking in the first place. Having to project my voice (or rather, shout) makes me nervous and is not conducive to the intimate and personal atmosphere I typically prefer. I wish I could be as publicly outgoing as some of my coworkers, but I am simply not wired that way. It was not a complete failure, as several people (including myself) walked away with some really useful information.

My con report, however, is far from dark. I am waiting on a final total from the convention, but the preliminary number from the charity auction was over $6,000! I couldn't believe our success. The staff and attendees were so generous with their support and time. The proceeds will be divided evenly between the Dream Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Not only am I thankful that we did so well, but I am grateful to my coworkers for supporting the additional workload. We need a lot of prep time and signatures to make the auctions possible.

Well, enough with the sappy. There are finally Choo-Choo Bear corsets available for sale! I am so happy that Randy will finally infiltrate goth clubs in a way he didn't expect (or desire).