Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas is over!

I love Christmas. Really, I do. But I am kind of happy it's over this year, from a knitting perspective. I just took on too much, and it became less fun. However, I am pleased with the outcome of most of my knitting.

My mother's sweater was knit from a Classic Elite pattern booklet. It's ribbed at the bottoms and then goes into cables on the chest. It was pretty fun, but I had hoped to hire out the finishing. However, the woman who does that in this area was out of town, and I couldn't get in touch before she was booked for the holidays. As it was, I procrastinated, so this was sewn together on Christmas day, and was still wet from its final bath when my mom arrived! The yarn was Classic Elite Skye Tweed. It's an awful yarn. I am thrilled they've discontinued it. I've had generally good luck with Classic Elite yarns, so this was a disappointment.

I also finished some toys for my cats. Here they are before they were stuffed with catnip and sewn up. The cats seem to like them OK.

The other items I knit for Christmas: Fiber Trends clogs, a felted wristlet, two pairs of socks, one scarf, one hat, a teddy bear, and an elephant. The last two are unfinished. My husband's sweater also sits unfinished. But he has a January 10 birthday, and there's always Valentine's Day, right?

Now that the Christmas crunch is over, I am itching to cast on for something new. I need to finish the elephant and the bear for Zoey, but those will likely be done in the next couple days. I am definitely going to participate in one mystery lace KAL, but I am not sure which one - Secret of the Stole ii, Spring Shawl Surprice, or Secret of Bad Nauheim. I think I'm leaning toward SSS, because it involves knitting lace on both sides of the stole (is that lace knitting or knitted lace??), and I've never done that.

Additionally, I am going to cast on for Wicked and one other sweater (both for me!). What shall it be - Tomato, Central Park Hoodie, Rogue Hoodie, Dahlia, Sunrise Circle or Twisted Float?

Any thoughts from anyone whose made these?

Happy New Year to everyone. I'm hoping for a better 2008. So is ZEN.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I received a wonderful winter treat in the mail today. Christy (christinajrn on knitty) sent me a great Snow Flake package. The box was bursting with treasures! She sent a lovely skein Highlander yarn, made by Alpaca With a Twist. I love their yarns, and I've never had the chance to play with Highlander, so that's exciting!
She also sent some yummy peppermint bark, which I'm going to try to keep from eating immediately. There are some gorgeous hand-crafted stitchmarkers and an adorable tin to keep everything organized. And finally, and oh so sweetly, Christy sent along a pair of stripey socks that she knit for her daughter. Her daughter has outgrown them, so now they'll be ZEN's to wear in a couple years! And the little characters are wind-up Christmas figurines. I think I'll try to get them to chase my kitties!

I think I mentioned the Fiber Trends felted clogs, right? Well, here they are, in all of their obnoxious, brightly colored glory! I bought some puffy paint at Hobby Lobby last night, and I'm going to use that to paint non-skid surface to the sole. I'm holding off, though, because I think I might have to felt them once more for my mom. I'm going to wait until she gets here though, and we'll let her foot be the judge.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Where have I been?

I've been knitting! Actually, I've been knitting and helping my friend in her yarn store, and knitting, and trying to work, etc., etc. December is so busy! I have some proof that I have been knitting. A couple of holiday FOs...

Here is shedir, knit for my friend who is battling breast cancer, again. I did not use Calmer, but now I wish I would have. Instead I used JaggerSpun Zephyr DK (the yarn is yummy, but I messed with gauge and ended up with a too-big hat - I'm trying to shrink it down, but not having a ton of success). Anyway, regardless of the hat, my thoughts and prayers are with my friend and her family at this tough time.

I also finished a wristlet for my sister. This is "Toothpick Optional". Isn't it adorable? I didn't really do the pattern justice, but I'll definitely knit this again. My photography stinks, but there are shades of pink in there you can't see that well.

In other holiday knitting news, I decided to throw in the towel on my husband's sweater. He has a January 10 birthday, and Valentine's day is coming, too, so he'll get it for one of those. I will finish my mother's sweater. I had planned to hire out the finishing, but I'm not sure if the woman who does the finishing is available. If she's not, I imagine I'll be sewing it up on December 25, because I won't see my mom until December 26.

I also am working on a little elephant for ZEN. Pretty cute, and a good way to use up some yarn.

I finished a pair of Fiber Trends felted clogs, but they're still felting. Those are for my mom, too.

Speaking of my mom, I have a sinking feeling that she won't wear the sweater I am knitting for her. Given that, I'm not sure why I'm busting my butt to finish it. She kind of rolls her eyes at my knitting (although she does love felted slippers, so I know the clogs will be a hit). I'm sure that there's some deep psychological reasoning that would require delving into our moderately tortured relationship, but maybe I'd rather not know? I'll be disappointed if she doesn't like the sweater - it's taken a lot of time and work. We'll just have to see - maybe she'll surprise me.

Oh, and did I mention here that ZEN got honoroable mention for the knitty calendar? I'm pretty sure everyone who entered did, but if you want to check out ZEN and the others, go here. There are some really great photos in the calendar. I suppose some of them are even better than a goofy, orange-nosed baby in a pool full of blue yarn! We might try again next year. There are some ideas brewing.

And I'll leave you with a picture of ZEN with Santa. She's not a huge fan just yet. Nat thinks that maybe she was suspicious of him because of his skinny legs. We'll have to see if he forgives her and brings her anything this year.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Moment of Ritual Humiliation

You know how Brenda Dayne has her moments of ritual humiliation on her podcast? Well, I had my very own earlier this week. I am copying a series of emails from earlier this week, removing names to protect the innocent. To help you understand the situation, know that I have a dear female friend who we'll call Chris Jones. Now start at the bottom of the email chain and read to the top... And then feel free to laugh at/with me.

From: Christopher Jones [mailto:chris.jones@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:34 AM
To: Holly
Subject: Re: address

That is hilarious :-) And this female Chris lives/works in the DC area? You should forward my pictures to her so she can see what she would look like if she was Chris Hines the male (A big American Indian) hahahaha. And don't worry, I have only been getting email from you since the beginning of April, and Zoey is a cute baby so it is all good :-)

It is always best to have a kind response, we share this tiny little planet. So I try to be kind to all, as often as I can. Imagine that I was a bouncer for a long time :-) Although I was described as "the nicest bouncer ever". I will have to call the bouncers in Detroit and make sure you behaved yourself :-)

If you allow me to return the favor, I would like a X-mas card.


On Nov 27, 2007 11:20 AM, Holly wrote:

Hi Chris. Thank you for your kind response (and for not completely beating me down for being an idiot). I'm looking for my friend, who is jones.chris@xxxxxxx. I apparently got a little full of myself thinking that I had her email memorized!

And I checked the photo just to be sure, and I can confirm I do not know you. Although you do seem quite pleasant. There are a few bouncers who might know me, but they're all in Iowa City or Detroit.

Thanks again for being so nice to me. If you want, I can send you a Christmas card anyway!



From: Christophen Jones [mailto:chris.jones@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 11:03 AM

To: Holly
Subject: Re: address


Now, I was wondering if there was some confusion.... but since the 60's were rough on my memories (and I wasn't even born then) I assumed that I knew you in some way, or thru a mutual friend. However the statement " I can't keep up with you, girl!" kinda proves that to be a misconception. I am a 34 year old man, and I haven't worked for the Government since 2000 (Census Bureau). I will attach a picture of me, if you know me, please tell me where from :-) I was a bouncer in DC for 6 years so you can imagine a few people know me that i don't quite remember (damn Jim Beam). If not you will probably delete me and I will miss the legal humor... I am an IT Tech and we have different humor :-)

Have a nice day...


The first photo is recent and the second was taken 3 years ago. Know me?

On Nov 27, 2007 10:28 AM, Holly wrote:

Are you still with the fed. Govt? I can't keep up with you, girl!


From: Christopher Jones [mailto: chris.jones@xxxxxx]
Sent: Tuesday, November 27, 2007 10:16 AM
To: Holly
Subject: Re: address

Actually, I don't work in DC any more (well i am interviewing to go back) I live in Martinsburg, WV and work in Chambersburg PA.

Home address is:

Unit XX
Martinsburg, WV 25401

On Nov 27, 2007 10:03 AM, Newell, Holly wrote:

Hey Chris:

What's your mailing address in D.C.?




My friends, the real "Chris Jones" included, have enjoyed laughing at my error. I'm just happy that I was emailing some kind soul. And heck, he said Zoey was cute, so that makes him a friend, as far as I'm concerned. But still, to think that this poor guy was copied on dozens of emails sent with pictures of Zoey and other emails in which several of us girls were complaining about the legal profession...

That's all for now. I'll leave you with a sweet Christmas picture: