Sunday, December 30

A few more days.

I am revising my previous statement to say that I will be back after new year's day, instead of Christmas.

This past Friday was my last day at the old job (from hell) and I don't start my new one until the 7th, so I guess technically I am unemployed right now. It is one of the best feeling I have had in a long time.

I know that is a horrible thing to say since many people are unemployed against their will and not enjoying it at all (my husband was one for over six months), but this is the first time I haven't worked and it is a nice break.

See you next year!

Monday, December 24

Merry Christmas!

I am going to be away from my computer until after Christmas. I hope everyone who celebrates has a wonderful and safe holiday, and that you get to be around people you love.

As a side note, does anyone else suffer from wrapped-gift amnesia? I was packing up gifts I had wrapped a week or so ago to bring down to my parents and came across a few boxes that I could not figure out the contents of. I know I purchased them and wrapped them, but I can't remember what in the world would be in that size box! This happens to me every year.

Finished: Small Christmas things

I pretty much gave up on my Christmas gift project list a few weeks ago when I was interviewing for my new job. So when I had some free time the last few nights I didn't know what to work on. Should I knit on one of the gifts that will never be done in time? Should I start something new for myself? The first idea wasn't very appealing and the second made me feel a little guilty so I started a few little gifts that I knew I could finished.

First up, mini mittens (pattern is here) out of Knit Picks Palette yarn. I attached these to the ribbon on my in-law's gift.

mini mitts 2

I also decided I had to make a toy for my parent's (spoiled brat) cat, Maggie. This is the mouse from the "catwarming set" in S&B Nation. I left off the eyes and ears, since Maggie would destroy them in about 30 seconds.

cat toy mouse

I used Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted in brown, along with some leftover Trekking XXL for a little color. I know she will appreciate it! ;-)

Monday, December 17

Finished: Felted Pottery

This felted pot is a Christmas gift for my Mom. The pattern is Autumn Duo from Carol Bristol Designs. I made the "beaded yarn bowl" without the beads.

The yarn is Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Onyx Heather. I used exactly 4 balls.

It was difficult to get a good pre-felting photo, since it just looked like a gray blob. (I thought too late that I should have stuffed the unfelted bowl with something so at lease the shape was visible.) Christmas ornament included for scale.

vase pre-felting

I ran it through the permanent press wash cycle twice (about 16 minutes) with hot water before letting it rinse in cold water. I did pull it out before the spin cycle, since I have heard that can put creases in your project.

felted pot 1
felted pot 2

Once it is felted, you stuff the thing with something (I used plastic grocery bags) to shape it and let dry. I had a difficult time making it perfectly round and symetrical, but I don't think anyone but me will notice that it is slightly lopsided.

I did buy enough yarn to make two of these, on for my MIL as well, but I don't think I will get to it before Christmas. We'll see... I might just make it to keep for myself!

Thursday, December 13

Exceeding my daily ration of exclamation points.

I got some great news on Tuesday that has had me feeling better than I have in a long time. I have a new job!!!! Everything has kind of happened in a whirlwind this week and every other sentence out of my mouth sounds like it should be followed by exclamation points.

I have been looking for something perfect for a long time; basically since last March when layoffs began at my current job. The new gig is much more hands on (read: not sitting on my butt in front of a computer all day), much closer to home, and has terrific benefits.

I start January 8th. I have a feeling this is going to be the best Christmas season in a long time. I’ve been so psyched up that I have finished not one, but TWO knitted gifts.

Nothing like a little success for motivation. =)

Since I can not show any photos of the gifts here yet, I’ll leave you with a shot of my kitchen table centerpiece. It’s comprised of a Crate and Barrel Orion glass bowl, a set of red ornaments, a curved vase from Target, and a bunch of glittery twigs.

Christmas centerpiece

Please ignore the insurance papers on the table and the recycling in the background! Somehow I didn't even see them until I was posting this photo.

Monday, December 10

Nothing much to show.

I think I may be one of the only people who doesn’t turn to knitting when I am stressed or busy to unwind. I wish I could just pick up the needles and work on something to help calm me down or get my mind off life but it really doesn’t happen that way for me. Knitting becomes one more thing when I am busy, almost a chore, and I honestly spend more time than I would like to admit occupying my brain in very un-interactive ways. I have had a lot on my mind the last few weeks (nothing bad, just lots of little stuff) and have filled my evenings with wandering somewhat aimlessly around the apartment, staring at the TV or surfing the internet without really seeing any of it. Unfortunately, my coping mechanism for stressed and busy is complete avoidance.

Some stress is coming from the projects that I wanted to knit as Christmas gifts. Now this really isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things and I had alternate ideas from the beginning in case I didn’t finish anything. But I still wanted to try, you know? And I am dealing with running short on time by ignoring it all. Knit? What? I do that? My husband mentioned the other night that I hadn’t been knitting much lately and was a little worried. No, nothing’s wrong, just avoiding reality!

So we’ll see. I am very close to finishing one gift and if I can get myself to focus for an hour or so tonight it should be done.

Wednesday, December 5

Good Times all Around

Last Saturday we had a surprise party for my grandpa’s 85th birthday. Everyone on my Mom's side of the family was able to be there; it’s unusual to get us all in the same state at the same time. (And no, we didn't jump out from behind something and scare him... That was a common question from my co-workers!)

Papa's birthday

Happy Birthday Papa. I love you!

And some at least equally exciting news, I had a job interview on Monday that went very well. The job seems perfect for me and is much more interesting than my current job, not to mention closer to home. I would very much like to receive a call back. They told me if I don’t hear from HR in two weeks to give them a call. Please keep your fingers crossed for me!