Thursday, December 31, 2009

A year in review

As 2009 comes to a close, I thought I should look back over the goals that I'd set for myself in January and see what I've accomplished.

- Try dying yarn with Kool-aid (perhaps move on to roving if that works out ok) Check!
- Do the cross stitch pattern that I bought (see picture) Psuedo check (I started it but it's got a long way to go for sure)
- Figure out if I really do want to buy that darn weaving loom! Check!
- Finish the sweater that I've been working on for a year now that's been hiding...crazy cable patterns lead to long time knitting! Total fail on this one. It hasn't come out of the bag all year.
- Sew the curtains for our bedroom Check!
- Learn to sew zippers properly Admittedly, I haven't done as much sewing this year as I was planning. Going to have to push this one to 2010.
- Go on a couple of field trips with my camera (definitely need some new portfolio shots) Also a fail. Will need to work on this one too.
- Thrift more yarn (I had fun with my first sweater so will try to find more!) Check!
- Attempt to felt something in the washer Fail. I've got a couple things knit up to do this to at least.
- Write down a couple more of my knitting/crochet patterns. I have them in my head but not yet on paper. Well, I managed the Harpa socks on this and have 2 sweater patterns in the works for next year.

My plan for 2010 is basically one gigantic stash bust - yarn, fiber, jewelry supplies, etc. It occurs to me that if I ever plan on putting a child in our second bedroom, I should probably make some room. :)

2009 was a difficult year in various ways, especially with my husband being laid off and then losing mine (although I was instantly rehired so more fortunate than I can truly express). Having said that, I feel that I also accomplished a lot. I would say my biggest accomplishment this year is probably my health. I wasn't an unhealthy person before but on my 30th birthday in May, I decided to kick my own ass into shape and end this year having lost about 5% body fat, around 7 inches in total measurement and one pant size smaller. I still have a way to go with that but I'm in fighting shape so to speak and I foresee a lot of time in the swimming pool for next year as well.

So, whatever dreams you may have for the upcoming year, I wish you all the best in achieving your goals. It's a wonderful thing to wish, but remember you're the only one that can make your wishes come true.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sample knits are up!

I was just sent pictures from the sample knitting that I've been working on diligently, with designer Vanessa Ewing for Plymouth Yarns, and I'm excited to share them! There are several other knits that I've done but the patterns aren't finalized and in production yet, so no go with sharing those yet. However, I'll be sure to provide all the info once I have it so that you can buy the patterns if you want too.

This one is the very first sample knit that I did for Plymouth - a hat/mitten set in Trabajos del Peru yarn. The yarn is yummy and reminds me a little bit of Manos for those that are interested. The colors are great too and I would put this on my suggested yarn list for sure.

This other pattern is a mother/daughter sweater set that just looks so cute together! The yarn is Jeannee DK (cotton/acrylic blend) and also very nice to work with - super soft. The biggest problem I had with this pattern was time! I had both sweaters knit in a month, which was tough going considering the yarn weight. It just might be my biggest achievement in the world of serious speed knitting...the kind that gives you small callouses on your pinky fingers!

I've got 3 more things in the works right now so there'll be lots coming too.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kitteh obsessed

Adopting Deuce might have made me realize my potential as a future parent to an actual child. I might become one of those "cat people" who talks about what accomplishments their cat managed that day. In a strange way, it's not dissimilar to the parents I know that don't blink an eye when discussing how many times their baby has pooped that day. (I should like to let you all know that my kitten has been successfully litter trained in less than 72 hours and even covers up his business ok?)

The last couple of days, we've had a very quick introduction to Deuce's personality. Even funnier is the new side of my husband that seems to have popped out - starting with the post it note stuck to the bathroom mirror with instructions on how much kitty medicine to put in his food, and how long to stick the food in the microwave. The kitten on the other hand has stopped hiding behind toilets/books/vases/boxes and is now happily sleeping/playing/running in the upstairs hallway.

Last night we were both playing with him and left the room for a moment when he started up the little squeaking that he does. I pretended like I wasn't hearing it and went to the computer while my husband continued making his famous teriyaki bowls for dinner. Next thing you know, the squeaking has stopped and I turn to wonder why when suddenly a little ball of fur is seen jumping the hallway barricade and landing (rather ungracefully because he hasn't quite figured out hardwood flooring yet) in the living room. Little smart ass. Having said that, when I put him back in his designated area, there was no attempt to replicate his escape. As a reward, husband dutifully let him into the living room today so he could explore space #2 of his new home where he promptly discovered his reflection in a mirror and has apparently been engaged in ninja kitteh activity, pouncing at his own reflection, ever since.

Since he tried to lick me to death this morning before I left for work (the cat, not the husband), I've actually been sitting here wondering what the cat's been doing today and looking forward to going home just those few minutes quicker so we can play with the balled up paper and I can trim his claws. I've fallen madly in love with the ball of fluff and I get it - this just might be my first foray into motherhood!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

What the Deuce?

December/January is always a crazy time in our household. In the space of 3 weeks we have Hanukkah, wedding anniversary, Christmas, New Year's, then my husband's birthday. It gets a little whacky and the hunt for the perfect gifts for the husband in particular can get a little stressful. This year, in that he's unemployed, we decided not to go crazy on the gift exchanges and when contemplating anniversary gifts for each other, we decided that we should add to our family and adopt a kitteh!

Being the prepared parents that we are, we did a trip to Target last weekend and bought food, litter, bowls etc. Then Tuesday on my lunch break, took a trip over to the local shelter where they had lots of little kittens as well as older cats. Husband always claimed to not be much of a cat person (something to do with cats lacking personality....ha!) Having said that, when we walked into the cattery at the shelter, he spotted one in the litter who was later to come home with us. He had an identical twin brother in there with him but his brother was a little too much to handle - lots of tail chasing, hopping around on his hind legs and smacking the other kittens to try and get them to react. Our little guy just sat there looking at him with the contemptuous "what the hell are you doing dude?" look on his face. We tried looking for markings to distinguish them from each other and found none - it was all in the personality with these two. As much as I would have loved to take both, there was also some concern that we'd come home to find the more boisterous one swinging from a ceiling fan or 5 feet up the bedroom drapes.

His name is Deuce in honor of being our second anniversary cat. He's about 3 months old and the sweetest little bundle of joy. Husband picked him up from the vet yesterday and brought him home where he cowered in the corner of his crate for several hours before coming out and cowering behind the toilet (which is where he was when I came home). I can't blame him after what must have been an incredibly traumatizing 24 hours - being separated from the litter, traveling to the vet, losing his manhood, then waking up and not knowing where he (or his balls) are. A little love and cuddles helped though and by later last night he was exploring the staircase and finding new spots to hide in the bookcase.

Husband seems to be adapting well, leaving me a post-it note on the bathroom mirror this morning with instructions on how to heat up his food with his post-op antibiotics into it. I have a feeling his "I'm not really a cat person" days have come to an end after catching him late last night playing with the cat and a balled-up piece of paper. I had a very proud parent moment this morning when I discovered he used the litter tray last night while we were asleep and I caught him cleaning his paws too.The one thing we do need to teach Deuce is how to retract his claws. He's got a tendency to get stuck on clothing/carpeting because he can't figure out how to pull his claws out! He also doesn't know why he can't pick up his toy when he's standing on the other side of it with his back paws. He's a smart one though and I'm quite sure he'll figure it out! ;)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Baby, it's cold outside

The fact is that people in Southern California are total weaklings when it comes to cold weather.

When I lived in England, I would walk from the train station to my school (about a mile) every morning in frosty weather, skidding around on mulchy leaves and potentially getting drenched by a soccer mom's Land Rover after a badly timed puddle splash. All of this in a thin button down shirt and my blazer. More than once I ended up on my ass having slid on black ice somewhere on the paving - one time in particular coming to memory because my walkman fell out of my pocket and busted into about 4 different pieces which flew all over the street.

Now, that obviously still isn't anywhere near as bad as being in Cleveland or somewhere similarly freezing. I had a 2 hour layover in Cleveland during January several years ago and recall everything being covered in at least a foot of snow.

In Los Angeles, people are liable to freak out about the weather when it ducks below 60 degrees but even at 40 degrees outside, it's quite likely you will spot one sorry person wearing flip flops. I will admit that I have somewhat become a person that doesn't know how to handle the cold weather on account of having left all of my big fuzzy sweaters in England after I moved. My limited amounts of cold weather clothing have been leaving me somewhat stumped over the last few days as we've hit temperatures of freezing.

Yesterday, I was standing outside with some co-workers complaining about having a cold neck. It then occurred to me that I am an idiot. I KNIT! Why on earth would I not have anything around to wrap myself in?! It seems that I am extremely good at knitting for others and assuming that living in Los Angeles means that I will never really have a need for big warm wooly accessories to heat up my freezing bones. So, last night I whipped up a rather simplistic cowl to throw around my neck. It's now my mission to make 3 or 4 more in different colors over the next 2 weeks so that I can wear them before the weather warms up again!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving fun

I'm finally getting back into the swing of things post Thanksgiving. We took a little trip out to Las Vegas to visit with the in-laws and got to see my nephew, who is growing ridiculously quickly. He's getting chatty and while a lot of it sounds like a foreign language, the occasional word or phrase makes it through very clearly. I loved it when he was putting away his toys before bed and said "I'm a big boy". All four of us in the room heard it and agreed wholeheartedly!

I wish I could see him more often and the beauty of the holiday season being that I will get to over the next month. :)