Trouble with Trebles

This blog is to keep track of my knitting, other craft projects, and the weird bits of life that don't fit anywhere else.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Handmade Gifts

Recently I watched one of those celebrity profiles on Martha Stewart. It wasn't watching closely, really. It was on in the background as I worked on crocheting more gifts, but it reminded me of the first time I encountered her books. I was planning for my first wedding in the early 90's at the age of 19 or so (just to clarify, this wedding never actually happened because I called it off just a scant two months before the date, right before the invitations were to be mailed). Anyway, as I was still in the planning stages I checked out Weddings by Martha Stewart, and pored over the photos and descriptions weddings. This was before "Martha" became a brand name and I had never heard of her. I had never been to a wedding that even remotely resembled those in the book. Most wedding receptions I had been to were in either 1) a church basement, 2) a city hall, or 3) a bowling alley. There's nothing wrong with that (who hasn't had the urge to bowl a few frames in dress clothes?), but these were not the type of weddings that Martha Stewart attended.

Ironically, Martha Stewart may have helped bring on the latest crafting craze, which made the pastimes of us country folk (with our receptions in bowling alleys and such) cool again. Whatever the reason, handmade gifts are now all the rage and this makes me happy. It has also made my holiday list of gifts to make much too long, which explains why I haven't posted in awhile. I am still working on a couple Christmas gifts, as well as birthday and baby gifts. Now that I'm in the gift-making zone, there's no stopping me! Here is one FO that I actually finished and mailed off in time.

Yarn: Misti Baby Alpaca Chunky in color M707 "copper melange"
Pattern: this free one
Changes: I made it a lot longer than the pattern called for, around 60 inches long, and used a smaller needle.
Yardage: approximately 150 yards (one and half hanks)
Needle: US size 11
Notes: This pattern is easy and fun. The ruffle is not too girly, but still interesting, and the rib works well with the yarn.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

First, I'd like to point out that I've been very good this year. I moved 3000 miles (actually 3,100, but whose counting) and I had to restrain buying things so we could fit all our belongings in one moving truck. So, I've been especially deprived this year, despite my good behavior. When I think of all the yarns that got away it almost breaks my heart.

Also, this fall I think I've earned a lot of good will in my role as an understanding professor. I patiently listened to students as they explained why they missed deadlines for papers and assignments due to tragic circumstances that invariably involved either their car or their pet (sometimes both) and I graded all my exams and paper in a timely fashion, even when I was sick. Thus, I don't think I'm asking for too much under the circumstances.

In the interest of full disclosure, my friends and family have been very supportive of my knitting habit this Christmas. I've already received several fantastic knitting books (thanks, Brother!), a subscription to Interweave Knits (Thank you Theresa!), and the coolest coffee pot on the planet so I can stay up late knitting (thanks Mom & Dad!). Despite these generous gifts, as you know knitters are insatiable so there are a few more things left on my wish list.

First, I would like some yarn for the Union Market Pullover. If I am allowed to be picky, I would like some Elann Peruvian Baby Silk
I need:
13 skeins aubergine
4 skeins lotus blossom

Santa, don't you think that would make a lovely sweater?

Also, I would like a set of interchangeable needles. I've heard the Options Set from Knitpicks is outstanding, but if your elves can whip up something nice I won't be too picky.

For my stocking, skeins of hand-dyed yarns, a needle sizer, and cable needles would be great. As always, I can't get enough yummy coffees or chocolates, if you find there is still room in my stocking or under the tree.

I will be sure and leave some milk and cookies for you on Christmas eve, and a knitted ornament to show my gratitude.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

One. Word.

Well, since everyone's doing it, I will too. It's easy and fun to read, so why not?

It’s Only Words.


1. Yourself: cheery
2. Your spouse: best
3. Your hair: uncontrollable
4. Your mother: comforting
5. Your father: loving
6. Your favorite item: pants
7. Your dream last night: food
8. Your favorite drink: coffee
9. Your dream car: mini-cooper
10. The room you are in: office
11. Your ex: gone
12. Your fear: failure
13. What you want to be in 10 years? settled
14. Who you hung out with last night: husband
15. What you’re not? quiet
16. Muffin: chocolate
17. One of Your Wish List Items: silk/alpaca
18. Time: fleeting
19. The last thing you did: type
20. What you are wearing: sweats
21. Your favorite weather: spring
22. Your favorite book: APrimatesMemoirs
23. The last thing you ate: breakfast
24. Your life: full
25. Your mood: content
26. Your best friend: few
27. What are you thinking about right now? yarn
28. Your car: gone
29. What are you doing at the moment? this
30. Your summer: transition
31. Your relationship status: joyful
32. What is on your TV? news
33. What is the weather like? sunny
34. When is the last time you laughed? today

I'll leave with a photo of some beautiful yarn. It's Lornas Laces Swirl Chunky, and I just purchased it as a holiday gift to myself. Won't this make a fantastic scarf?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Holiday Redux

Happy Birthday to my "little brother"!!! His birthday was yesterday, so I just wanted to acknowledge him. He turned the ripe old age of 26 (I vaguely remember my 20s). He's a great guy, and even bought me knitting books for Christmas. You can't get much better than that!

I also realized that in my last couple posts I never mentioned what I did over Thanksgiving. It was a lovely week of spending time with friends and relaxing. Sure, I should have been working (chapter to write, papers to grade, lectures to prep), but it was nice to ignore it all for a little while. On Thanksgiving we had a lovely meal out with a good friend and her family in San Diego. We had a wonderful time catching up and showing the hubby San Diego for the first. On Saturday, we hosted a few friends at our apartment for "Thanksgiving" dinner. We made:

12-lb turkey
mashed yukon gold potatoes
carmelized mashed sweet potatoes
sausage stuffing
pear-cranberry-jalepeno chutney
homemade cloverleaf rolls
dill-vinegar cucumber salad
pumkin cheesecake (we cheated a little and bought a Cheesecake Factory one. Yum!)

Our friends brought a delicious carrot salad, lovely flowers, and wonderful conversation.

This past weekend, I started to come down with a cold. A whole semester of fighting off various viruses and my immune system was finally worn down. So, my amusing banter for this post will have to kept to a minimum. It requires too much thought. Instead, I will show you with a progress shot of a scarf I'm making for a Christmas gift. It's made of baby Misti Alpaca Bulk and is softer than you can imagine. My husband says it's like touching clouds. The color is a lot more muted in person, more of a burnt orange.