Hello! Happy new year! I guess I'm a little late with that, but what can I say? The days, they are so long, and yet time whizzes by faster and faster.
Let's get this out of the way first. BEST Christmas gift I received? Well, first let me say this: you know that question people ask about what person, living or dead, you'd want to have dinner with if you could?
My answer, no doubt about it, is Elizabeth Zimmermann. My sister went trolling around Amazon.com and found my wish list. She took a chance and ordered this for me. Woot! It's a colleciton of her original typed (!) newsletters with hand drawings and anecdotes, along with commentary by others. So, so good. I've been savoring it each evening before I go to sleep.
As far as Christmas crafting is concerned, I did get most of my goals accomplished. Daughter's knee socks were done a few days early so I gave them to her as one of her last advent gifts. And pretty much one day before Christmas (the 23rd, no kidding) I sat AJ down with play-doh and he happily mushed it around for TWO HOURS, so I was able to bang out 5 more little Barbie garments:
The final tally was 3 pairs of pants, 3 dresses, one skirt, and 4 tops (I am just now noticing one of the tops is missing here). Daughter was absolutely tickled and brought all of this along to Grandma's house later in the day. I was tickled because to me that's how you gauge Christmas gifts...if they come along to Grandma's you know they are liked!
I have one more item to photograph from Christmas but that will have to wait for another day.
On to 2011...
First official F.O. of the new year:
Tiny Tea Leaves cardigan for Daughter. This is the size 6 and it fits her perfectly. I used Caron Country yarn, which I don't particularly like because it splits like crazy and the plies tend to break easily, but I got it for $2.99/skein on clearance and I'm a sucker for clearance yarn. This sweater took almost 3 skeins, on a US 7 needle. The pattern was ok - I'm not racing to make it again, but it wasn't difficult to follow.
And because the most intellectually stimulating thing I do most days is load and unload the dishwasher, I need something really good to sink my teeth (and brain) into. That calls for cables!
This is the beginning of the back of a hooded cabled jacket for AJ. This is the most luxurious yarn I've ever bought - Rowan something-or-other, can't recall, will have to look for a ball band later. The pattern is FREE from here.
That's fun, but I can't work on it while I care for the children, so I also started another simple cardigan for Daughter:
I do so love mill-end yarn. This is some truly obnoxious Patons Classic Wool that I found in the mill-end bin at A.C. Moore sometime last autumn. I got a pound of the stuff for something like $5 or $6. Ridiculous. This feeds my need for mindless stockinette and you can't beat an all-wool sweater for that price! There will likely be enough here for a hat and/or mittens too. And it goes without saying, I think, that my almost-6-year-old simply adores these crazy colors. I have no pattern - just winging it with EZ's percentage system and a US 7 needle.
And because it is now the coldest, most miserable part of the year here in Western New York, I'm also whipping up a Milo vest for AJ. I don't have any DK yarn stashed so I'm trying this with worsted weight and a US 6 needle. It's ok if it comes out a bit large - it will fit over several layers and hopefully fit into next fall. And dark gray goes with everything (including the sky most days...bleh).
I don't really have many resolutions for the new year...they never seem to work out anyway, you know? But I do think this is to be the year of the stash for me. I've already given myself several mental hand-slaps when I think about purchasing yarn, fabric, or patterns. It is really time to push myself to use what I already have! It's not like that should be a hardship...there is quite a backlog of projects here waiting for my attention.
Here's hoping for a productive 2011!