Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday Thoughts

Alright. Someone needs to calm me down. There's a week and a half until Christmas day and I'm frantically feverishly still knitting...and get this: crocheting Christmas gifts! The Kiddo has been asking for a scarf since last winter and I sort of just laughed it off, as I didn't think he would actually wear it. So what's the point of making him something that he's not even going to use? Well fast forward to after the winter break and I see a lot of his friends and peers wearing themed hats and scarves (now I know what inspired this need), but he never mentioned wanting a scarf again. Until now. We've been having quite the record-breaking cold snap here on the West Coast and the Kiddo has been appreciating all the cold weather gear he can get his hands on (except for when he's at home...where I'm cocooned in a blanket fort trying to stay warm and he seems very content in shorts and a t-shirt), and has once again put in a request for a scarf. 

Ok. I'll give in. I'll make the Kiddo a scarf. Right off the bat I knew I wanted to make him a fun, themed scarf. I thought about something Pokémon related but decided that an Adventure Time theme would be better and most likely would last longer in terms of interest. It didn't take long to sort out which character I was going to go with: the Kiddo views and relates himself to Finn (the human); the Mister as Jake (the dog); and has been obsessing over the BMO / Football episodes as of late. A quick Google-fu showed me that this has been done before and how relatively easy it is to pull off (or so I say/think right now...ask me again Christmas Eve!). The original plan was to knit a simple garter stitch scarf but didn't think the fabric would be stable enough to sew on the felt pieces needed to get that BMO video game console look. Knitting a tube, even a skinny one, might take longer than expected. So I looked into a crocheted version. 

I can do this.

A few days ago I stopped by Michaels and found the right shade of turquoise that the Kiddo loves, even though the actual BMO is more of a teal-y blue-green. Friends, I am knitting with Red Heart. Now, I have nothing against acrylic or the Red Heart brand (even though I spent a good few years trying to get rid of it from my stash from my earlier crafting years), it's just that I find the yarn really rough and hard on my hands. The skeins I picked up were from the Soft line. Ok, so it's not the same Red Heart that I remember and it really is much more gentler on my hands. But it seems that I replaced the rough plastic feeling for a yarn that is so, so, SO splitty! Yikes!

That night I took the yarn, a crochet hook, and a few beers and settled in front of the computer to watch a few Youtube videos and vowed that I wouldn't go to bed until I got the scarf going. Let's just say I was feeling a little tipsy by the time I did go to bed...but hey, I got it figured out and the ball is rolling. As I mentioned earlier, I was really hoping that I could whip up this scarf in crochet in record time, even though crochet kills my wrists. My thought process was that unlike the crochet basket that I made at the beginning of the year, where the gauge was super tight and the fabric mega thick (re: it was a hand killer!!), this scarf is lighter, loose, and supposedly kinder on the wrist. I have had to take several breaks and even though it has only been four days, I only have about twenty inches to show for it. Le sigh. Just forty more inches to go...

In the meantime, I finished the Waiting For Rain shawl that I plan on gifting to my Kiddo's teacher! I'm not out of the woods just yet I type this shawl is on the floor beside me. Still soaking wet and blocking. It's starting to freak me out. I have a feeling I'll be spending a good chunk of tomorrow morning using my hair dryer trying to get it to dry faster so that I can gift it to said teacher before the school day is over and the winter break begins!! Ack! Talk about pressure!

At least I didn't have too many ends to weave in, not that it matters. I bought myself a handmade twisted darning needle by Kristan MacIntyre (pictured above) when I was at Knit City in October. I've been coveting her jewelry for knitters for so long and somehow managed to constantly miss her at knitting events. Well I finally have one and it seriously makes weaving in ends SO much more enjoyable! As in I want to weave in ends, I'm trying to find reasons to do Russian Joins, and best of all, I purchased a silver chain to go with it so that I can wear the needle as a pendant! I currently have my eye on one of her tiny darning needles, I could definitely use such a short length when it comes to weaving in the ends of my socks! If you haven't already, check out Kristan's Etsy shop and website (at the time of this post, she has/had a STUNNING necklace on her home page that's a mini version of one of Sylvia McFadden's (aka softsweater on social media, aka the person who designed this very shawl I'm knitting!) shawl designs. But in silver. And in jewelry form. So beautiful!

One more thing before I have to take off and get the Kiddo to his last performance of his Winter school production: advent calendars. Once again a few of my awesome sauce knitting friends (or what the ladies of the Okanagan Knit Co would say, my "knesties") and I have created advent calendars for each other. This year would be the third year in which we've embarked on this knitterly holiday fun. Like in previous years I've posted a photo on Instagram what I got for each day in one post at the end of the week, rather than daily. But if you would like to check out what everyone received, take a look at the hashtag friendmadeadvent. Without conversing with one another this hashtag just came to be the first year and we sort of stuck with it. If you're too busy to be scrolling on Instagram (I totally get that...Instagram can definitely be such a time suck!!), you can also take a look at the blog post I wrote about ideas of what to put in a knitterly advent calendar!

These same friends and I also discovered that Opal Yarn has put together a sock knitter's dream of an advent calendar. They debuted it last year but we only caught wind of its existence this year, and well, the three of us couldn't resist and had ordered ourselves one of those too! It arrived a little late but that's ok (note to self: don't order in mid-November if you want it to arrive for the beginning of December). I really don't mind playing catch up with this amazing box of fun though!! The box is much bigger than I thought it would be and it's just so much fun to open each little door and seeing those cute mini skeins - which, by the way, are 15g and about 63 m/69yd each. That's a total of a little over 1,500 m/1,600 yds when all twenty-four windows are opened! That's about four or five pairs of socks!!

Amaze balls. It's simply amaze balls, I tell you!! My original plan was to knit up each mini skein each day for who knows how many pairs of monster socks (or Frankensocks...or scrappy socks...they go by so many names), but aside from the late arrival of the box, I couldn't stop working on the gift knits. If I get my act together and get my gift knits done before December (HA! Wishful thinking??), then maybe I could do this next year? Cause I can tell you already that I am definitely planning on getting another Opal advent calendar for next Christmas!

How's your holiday crafting and making coming along?

1 comment:

  1. I love that your son asked you for a scarf. My tween would like that color. She wears a top and light denim button up under maybe a jean jacket for these 40-60° days. Says she's not cold. Wears shorts sometimes at home too. Nuts.


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