December 29, 2006

holiday whiplash

The big holiday is finally over and thank heavens. Christmas is always hectic for me since both my husband and I work in retail, but this Christmas got sucked into some sort of insane vortex of christmas-crazy. The two weeks preceding Christmas were about as crazy at work as they could possibly be. We were incredible understaffed and I was grabbing as much overtime as I could handle. My hubby was working a lot of (unpaid-he's salaried) overtime as well and we barely saw each other. Add into that all the shopping that was left to do, decorating, and knitting. Whew!

Then my grandmother passed away on December 23rd. I wish I had a picture I could post of her here, but the most recent picture I posess of her was in my pre-digital age and I haven't scanned in any pictures from that era. She had been declining in health for quite some time so it was by no means a shock, but still heartbreaking, especially being so close to the holidays. Last minute plans had to get thrown together to either postpone, hasten, or shorten the Christmas celebrations and make travel arrangements. (She, and most of my extended family, lived in Missouri.) So halfway across the country we (my hubby, sister, and her fiance) trekked overnight on Christmas day. We drove 30 hours in the course of less than three days. It was, to say the least, rushed. In a way, it was also bittersweet. We got to see lots of family that we hadn't seen in years, but such a sad event to bring us all together.

As soon as we got back into town I took down my Christmas tree. I usually leave it up until New Years-ish, but not this year. I don't really feel like celebrating and it was almost dead anyway. I didn't really manage to finish many Christmas knits and in all the rush, the ones I did finish I forgot to take pictures of before wrapping. I don't mean to sound all woe-is-me or anything, but this Christmas was....well.....different. I don't want to say it was a bad Christmas because the abbreviated celebration we had was wonderful. Oh well.

I wrapped up half-finished knits because I have every intention of finishing them immediately. In fact, I am not allowing myself to start my fair isle mittens until they are done. I have half a scarf, one sock, and one and a half legwarmers to finish. Wish me luck.

December 10, 2006

I've been converted

Yep, that's right. I'm a changed knitter. I have just completed my very first lace project. I've dabbled in a bit of lace here and there, but never a project that was completely lace and that required actual blocking!

Note: I didn't actually intend for my scarf to match my carpet perfectly. That was an accident. So what does my beautiful new scarf look like when I'm wearing it, you ask? I am in fact wearing it right now, but here is a pic.

This knit was so quick that I didn't even get to post an "in-progress" picture. I started this knit on Thanksgiving Day to avoid spoiling any gift knitting surprises while all my family was in the same room. I finished it Wednesday evening, blocked on Thursday, so it took exactly three weeks from cast-on to blocking, during which time I did absolutely no gift knitting. I am soooo behind in all the knitting I am supposed to be doing, but that's usually the case when I set a deadline for myself. I'm going to end up wrapping up half-completed projects for Christmas. Sorry everybody!

I have been keeping crafty though. My mother-in-law and I have been working on a quilt off and on since the summer. You may remember when I first got on my quilting craze. I haven't been all-quilting-all-the-time since then, but the past few weeks have been pretty productive. Kathy (my MIL) found a fabric at a quilt shop and after a discussion abou quilts back in July she went out and bought a few yards of that and some other fabrics she liked. After that we looked through several quilting books and together designed a basic nine-patch quilt.

These are the three main blocks for our quilt. There will be some sashing, borders, and other things to break up all the small calico prints. All of these fabrics are vintage, circa 1940s. I love the country feel it's got to it.

So that's what I've been up to. Here's hoping I can get all my presents knit in the next FIFTEEN days!