Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs

Are you tired of winter and need a little something to help pass the rest of the winter season?  Here are some of my ideas...

1. Buy some flowers.  They're always cheery and personally I don't do it very often so it's always a treat.
2. Paint a room.  You know that room in your house that you're tired of the color?  Change it.  For me it's the half bath.  It's small so it only takes a  day to do.  And then I can....
3. Buy some new hand towels in a fun color
4. Read a great book.  There are a couple ladies in my book group who always want a "rich epic tale that they can sink their teeth into" in January/February. It's a great time of year to get lost in a book!
5. Bake some fresh bread.  I did this Sunday, completely from scratch, for the first time.  It was delicious!  I can't wait to do it again!
6. Rent some Oscar nominated movies.  Oscar season comes and I always wish I had seen more of the movies that have been nominated.
7. Plan a Date Night.  Sometimes you just need to get out of the house.
8. Do something out side, other than shoveling.  Even if it's just going for a walk, the air is so fresh and crisp that it can be really refreshing.
9. Get a manicure. Does the thought of walking out of the salon in flip flops make you shiver?  Get a mani instead!
10. Wear your hand knits.  Or better yet, start a new project.  There's still plenty of time to make a new hat or mittens!

Now if you'll excuse me, there's some fresh snow outside.  As soon as the driveway is cleaned up I'm going to snowshoe on the lake with the dogs!

Visit Carole's blog to get some more ideas.  And please share your favorite way to beat the blahs!

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Little Variety

The hat knitting continues!  8 hats are finished, hat #9 just needs braids, and I have started #10!  The reactions I'm seeing from the kids has been great fun, and honestly, it's what's kept me going on these.
But I have to admit that I needed a break form the hats.  Other projects in my queue and some knit-a-longs have me yearning for something new to knit.  So I decided to take a break Sunday and cast on what is currently calling me.

I started with the Hazel Knits Mystery sock.  Wow is this pattern gorgeous!  All the clues and the name have been revealed, and as it turns out, I can double dip with the SKA group January theme.  This is the beginning of Chinese Bell Flower.  Click on the projects and you can see some beautiful finished socks!

  I have also been wanting some new mittens, so I cast on Fallow Mittens yesterday too.  I'm ready to put the thumb stitches on waste yarn and finish the hand.  I'm using Madelinetosh Vintage and it's working up to be nicely thick and plush!  

I also finished a great book last week. If you haven't read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn yet, I highly recommend it!  It was wonderfully twisted and kept me guessing and turning pages until the end!

Now it's time to return to my hats.  12 more to go....

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday - The Car Edition

This week's prompt is 10 Things You Always Have in Your Car.  By funny coincidence, DH has been having some car trouble recently and with nearly 200K miles on his work car, we decided it was time to replace it.  And so this past weekend we bought a new car.  This will be primarily for Tom for work.  Anyway, over the past 10 days, he has been using my car and we've been shuffling our essential things around and we have had the "Oh crap, I left that in the other car" moments.  So what did I discover are my essential car items?

1. Sunglasses.  I wear them almost all the time while driving.
2. Blanket.  It comes in really handy at the hockey rink to sit on and keep warm.
3. Dog leashes.  The pups love to go for a ride and I like to be sure I have a leash with me.
4. Hand Cream.  My hands are so dry in the winter.
5. Umbrella.  Always handy when the weather is nasty.
6. Cooler bags.  Handy for keeping my cold items cold on errand days.  They also work great for keeping pizza hot :-)
7. Napkins.
8. Straws.  It's really irritating to drive away from the drive-thru and realize there's no straw for the drink.  I always manage to spill it if I have to take the cover off, hence the reason for #7, so I try to keep an extra one in the armrest.
9. Phone charger
10. Change, for parking meters.

Making this list makes me realize that my car has become a giant purse!  What do you keep in your car?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

The Great Hat Challenge

I've decided I'm "all-in" on the biggest knitting challenge I've ever contemplated.  Personalized hats for every kid on my son's high school hockey team!

I made this one for Chandler right after he made the varsity team .  Try-outs were the week of Thanksgiving and I made this hat the following week.  Chandler came home and told me that everyone loved his hat and they all wanted them too.  That is both flattering and overwhelming! But I decided that, bottom line, when 15-17 year old boys ask you if you'll make them a hand-knit hat....., you figure out how to make that happen.  So the great challenge has begun!

I started with the seniors.  Clockwise, these are for Thomas P., Craig (who was Chandler's locker buddy last year & co-captain this year), Casey (co-captain), and Carter.
Next up are the juniors, but I decided to throw a fun challenge at the kids too.  Regardless of their grade level, if they score in a game, they go to the top of the hat queue! This is totally for fun, but maybe it will add a little fire to their game :-)

The grand tally to date: 5 hats done, 16 to go.  Last day of the season is February 23!  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hello Again!

I can't believe how much time has gone by since my last post!  All I can say is that I got caught up in the whirlwind of the holidays and enjoying my family, and POOF, more than a month has gone by.
Here are a few highlights from the past 6 weeks.

All the boys were home on the same weekend so that we could pick out a tree as a family.  I think it's been 5 years since the last time that happened!
We had a wonderful day celebrating Christmas with Tom's side of the family.  We were only missing our niece and her family, and Justin who was back at school.

The following weekend we had a fun day celebrating with my side of the family.  Our family continues to grow with the addition of 2 baby girls in 2012!  It was really fun having my niece Morgan and great-niece Aubree even though they were too young to understand what was going on.  We ahd extra fun for them.
I had a few knits that I gave as gifts too.  This is Jesse's Christmas Hat that I knit for Tom.  He got a new winter jacket this year so I made him a hat to go with it.  I used Lamb's Pride Worsted.
Matthew got a Fake Isle Hat.  I used Noro Kureyon and Cascade 220.  I'm not a fan of Noro yarns generally, but the concept of this hat is pretty clever and I couldn't resist!  I'll probably make this hat again, but I will use some Lamb's Pride for the solid contrast. The Cascade 220 was a little too thin and made it a little challenging for me to properly tension the stranding.
I made Moody's Stockings for Danielle, who is Matthew's girlfriend.  She is a big fan of the Harry Potter books and movies, so she appreciated the tie-in.  I used Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga in Acmon Blue for these.
I made Alpine Lake in the infinity size for Emma, who is Chandler's girlfriend.  I used Lamb's Pride Bulky for this. It came out great and Emma LOVES it :-) The Lamb's Pride may not have been the best substitution as I ended up using a LOT more yardage than the pattern called for, but the end result was beautiful.
Justin said he would wear a hand-knit hat "if it's in my school colors and has the Alabama A on it"  That was a challenge I couldn't resist!  Off to the yarn store I went to pick out some yarn and then did some planning with my graph paper.  Ta-Da!!  He loves it and so do all his friends back at school.  He says someone is constantly swiping it from him :-)
Chandler made the varsity hockey team this year!!!!  We're so proud of him and happy for him too :-)  He's worked hard for this and there is very stiff competition for the position.  He is one of 5 goaltenders at his school who tried out.
I decided my boy needed a new hat, and wouldn't it be fun if it matched his jersey?  I found cheap yarn that could be used and abused in his school colors and made him a hat with hockey sticks on the front and I also put his number on the back.  This was a huge hit with his teammates and everyone wants one. After much waffling on the subject, I've decided to give it a try.  My goal is to complete 21 hats by the end of the season which is February 23rd.
Wish me luck!  I'll keep you posted on how it's going.  If I can make 3 hats a week for the rest of the season, I can get it done.  As of today, I am about to finish hat #5....

I hope you are all well and had a wonderful holiday season too!