Thursday, January 04, 2007

Crazybusy but fun - how was yours?

Well, PHEW! Holidays are over! Ours were extremely busy & filled with my wonderfully wacky and delightful family members (two of my siblings are shown to the right kindly walking/corralling my little Munchkin down the boardwalk, thereby keeping him from getting run over by bicyclists!) but still - all that family & planning & keeping track of things makes you a bit tired & blurry around the edges by the end of the day, you know?

I only have one knitting disaster holiday-gift story to relate (and no pics, as it was - of course! - my SuperSecret project that I had been working on, and never photographed out of fear of it being discovered...) - and that would be - again, of course! - for my husband.

I was knitting him a vest.

Notice I said 'was'. I took an Interweave Knits cabled vest pattern, threw out the cables as they'd obviously take way too long (and don't forget that I started this in - what - September?) and substituted in some nice Paton's Tweed. With some lovely Paton's Merino in an acid green for a hem liner. I knit the whole thing in the round up to the armholes at which point I divided it and started to knit flat. Then came - oh - the third weekend or so in December when I figured "heck, I won't finish this in time unless I knit it in FRONT of him, so I might as well SHOW it to him!" so out of the knitting bag came the vest and out the window went my surprise.

Imagine, then my surprise - my ducks - when I managed to put it on him and realized that really unless my husband was to suddenly morph into the Hamburgler there was no flipping way this thing was EVER going to fit him. Huge does not begin to even cover it. Monsterously huge is closer to the truth. And I even checked gauge! I was soooooooo annoyed. I was on my 5th (6th?) or so skein of yarn and it looked good! Yeah, sure, it looked BIG, but so what - the guy is 6'4" and over 200 pounds - it SHOULD look big, you know what I mean?

Bugger, I was so, so, so annoyed.

Happily though I made up for it by ripping it ALL out and deciding to being again, this time knitted in the flat instead of in the round (circs just skew any normal sense of knitting proportion, which is already skewed in the first place!) and will most certainly size it on him over and over and over again until I get it right. This is probably better, as he was able to put in a few requests - like more visible acid green on the hems and armholes - and hmmmmm........I wonder if he'd want a zipper along the front instead of a pullover version?

I also made up for my disappointment by knitting myself a hat in record (3-day) time with some handspun hand-dyed fiber that Mom had Christmas gifted me with. I used the Droplet Hat pattern from Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan that Peggers so kindly got me for Christmas. (Knitting stuff for me for Christmas??? Could there be a more perfect gift?????) The colour is a bit brighter than my typical taste, but I like it muchly nonetheless. It's a wee bit roomy around the forehead, and the yarn is likewise a wee bit itchy/scratchy, so I'm in the process of knitting a ribbed headband to sew inside to both soften it up a bit and to snug up the fit. For the headband I'm using some leftover Meilenweit Mega Boot Stretch that the Harlot first posted about & I promptly fell in love with. This is from my first pair of socks ever, people, so you know the kind of love I'm talking about......

I took a few blog-possible pictures of myself wearing the hat, but I just looked so stupid and fake-ly pouty (I was trying for a model pout!) that I promptly deleted them from my digital & just went for straight 'product' shots instead!

So I've now got a thing with hats. I was looking around on the various blogs, catching up on stuff, when I saw two incredibly beautiful hats via She Shoots Sheep Shots' blog and my heart just about stopped. My brother is a professional ski instructor out in Wyoming (Jackson Hole) & also is breaking into the wildlife photography business at the same time - just had a 4-photo spread in Camping Life & spent several days shooting pics for a fairly prominent fishing supply catalog. (If he told me which supply folks it went right in one ear & out the other - you know, the same way that all of our talk to our non-knitting spouses/partners/friends does when we start to use words like gauge, double-circulars, dpns, etc......) So needless to say, the guy is outside lots. And he's not a hugely curly-headed guy - he goes in for the short & practical cut - so a hat is very, very important to him.

So a passion was immediately & irrationally born. And I'm off to Michael's tonight for some Paton's SWS to buy - both for the hats for my bro & for a Calorimetry for me! Let the Good Times Roll! (Oh, and that reminds me, I'm walking daily in my new jacket & my new sports bra & will give a full report sometime soon on both. I promise. Lots of good updates on that front!)

Not like I don't have enough already-promised knitting in my future! I washed the 2nd red knee-high and still need to rip & re-knit that (note to self - order extra skein of yarn from Knit Picks for knee-high sock.) Can you believe that I have to tell myself to go & order yarn?????? So I have that to rip out & re-knit. I finished my Dusk Socks (Sundara's masterful yarn) for myself, as you can clearly see, but still have one more feather & fan to knit for my friend S - I'm almost to the heel on that one. Then also my aunt, who was visiting over the holidays, was browsing through Gaughan's Knitting Nature and asked me if I'd knit her this. To say that I'm terrified is putting it lightly. This woman - my aunt - works as a professional interior designer for Architect of the Capitol. She's daily in the White House, in Senator's offices, chatting with Congressmen about this & that - she's a brilliant brilliant fashion & design person - and she wants me to knit her a sweater? And not just any sweater - a hard sweater to knit!!!


I'm already wondering if I can talk her into doing a Grumperina special - I mean, the sweater is nice as-is, but it's Oh-So-Much-Nicer done via Kathy's Special Treatment....

On a totally different (aka FOOD) topic can I just say that I love love love technology when it actually helps us out & saves us time instead of wastes time?

Dinner last night was:

Chili w/ my brand-spanking new adobo chili powder - made in my lovely super-duper Crock Pot. (Oh, but walking in the door after a very long day to smell that lovely smell is just **wonderful**, isn't it????)

We also had a super-cheesy carb fest that is a family favorite - Georgian (as in Eastern Europe, not as in Georgia Peach) Katchapuri. I think I have the spelling close to correct. Basically a ton of grated cheese (meunster & monterey jack) mixed w/ some beaten eggs, minced parsley, cilantro, and scallion, salt, and pepper and then mound of cheese mixture is placed in the middle of a round of luscious bread-dough (made w/ yummy stuff like milk & honey) and then sealed - and then baked until all is melted & mixed and slightly browned and just too delicious for mere words to describe. And I did the dough in our bread machine & when I came home all we had to do was mix up the cheese filling, roll out, stuff, let rise, and then bake. For non-cooking types that might sound like a lot of work, but trust me - it wasn't, and it was totally worth it.

Kind of like the apricot-amaretti ice-cream that we made earlier in the week, in our new ice-cream maker.

Here's to not only surviving the holidays but also enjoying the heck out of them as well!


Emily said...

That was quite an update! Hats are so much fun to make - and they look great! I am really looking forward to watching the ear flappy one grow.

Sucks about the vest but I bet the largeness came from leaving out the cables - they pull everything together and make it smaller. So when you left them out but still made the right patterns size, there were all these extra inches. I usually have that problem in reverse and have started swatching cable patterns in the pattern insead of stockinette. :P

Hey, which Interweave pattern? I like making vests.

Sandy said...

It sounds like you've been busy! I love the hat and am glad you had a nice, if crazy, holiday.

I'm jealous about the slow cooked meals. My hubby is scared the house will burn down if we leave ours on when we're at work....hmmmm. Happy new year :)