Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My Knitting Resume

I just read Brooke's latest post and I congratulated her "single-minded focus" and said that she was a "truly driven knitter." It occured to me that these sound like things you would put in a resume. How cool would it be to have a knitting resume?
  • Increased the winter comfort level of family friends through the use of hand-knitted hats, mittens, gloves, socks, and scarves.
  • Developed knitting patterns from inspiration in print and online media.
  • Increased knitting efficiency through new yarn and needle storage system.
  • Cataloged all electronic knitting patterns for increased knitting productivity.
Then I thought about my work resume, which I recently updated. I hate updating my work resume. It is painful and unutterably depressing. I actually considered not trying for the new job so I wouldn't have to update my resume. That's how much I hate my resume. So why is a knitting resume so fun and a work resume so disgusting? Shouldn't I be just as jazzed about my work as I am about my knitting? (Jazzed. Yeah. I said it.) Perhaps it is time for a new line of work.

Christmasing Around the House

Busy, busy, busy! I'm supposed to be starting a new job soon. Any day now. It's urgent. This is a high-priority project. Any day now.

While I wait I have plenty of time for Christmas Crafting! First, the knitting.

I finished and felted the green slippers.

They turned out bigger than I wanted. I started another pair with a slightly finer yarn.

Hopefully these will be the right size. The picture doesn't show the color very well. The body of the slipper is a very nice blue and turquoise. I love the blue and black together. I'm not sure I'll want to give these up.

Most of my time has been spent making Christmas candy. I love making candy and there's really no other time when it's appropriate to make candy. So for Christmas, I make so much candy that I'm sick of it until the next Christmas.

For the past few years, I've made chocolate covered cherries. The recipe I've been using says to make a dough out of powdered sugar, corn syrup, and butter; wrap the dough around the cherries; and dip them in chocolate. Then, as the cherries set up, the dough turns to liquid. There are several problems with this recipe. 1) Sugar, sugar, and butter don't really make a dough. They make a sticky mess. So mixing up the dough and wrapping it around the cherries is very difficult. 2) The dough never really turns to liquid.

So this year I applied some Brenda logic to the chocolate covered cherries. My mom gave me her chocolate molds and two of them are chocolate covered cherry molds.

Aren't they beautiful? I coated the sides and bottom of the molds with melted chocolate. After the chocolate set up, I put a cherry in each mold along with some sugary syrup. (I used the dough recipe but with half the powdered sugar and about half a tablespoon of liquid from the cherries.) At first I was a little worried. The syrup didn't taste very good and I was having trouble getting the chocolates out of the molds. But once I figured out how much syrup to use in each mold, they started turning out very nicely. And once you get the chocolate and the cherry and the syrup all together, they are oh! so good.

Since the cherries went so well, I decided to be still more adventurous.

That is a plate of home made peppermint patties! This recipe also calls for a sugar mixture which you knead until it is dough-like. The sugar mixture made by the recipe was not at all knead-able. So I dumped it on the counter and worked in more and more and more sugar until it was dry enough to handle. It's not like more sugar is going to make it taste bad. I then rolled out the dough, cut out circles, and dipped them in chocolate. I rolled the dough pretty thin since it had so much sugar in it. That was a wise choice. I ate two of them and got heart burn like nobody's business. These too, are oh! so good.

After sampling the candies, James added several names to the list of candy recipients. Which means I have to make more. I've got 5 days to finish all this Christmas madness. I'm not sure it's possible.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Christmas Spirit!

I finished the buttonhole scarf and it is a thing of beauty. James kept making fun of me because I kept trying it on while I was knitting it. Until I put it around his neck. Then he made that same little sigh that I made when I put it on. It's so soft. I think I should make one for everyone.

This weekend we put up our Christmas trees. We bought a cheap little tree for the living room. We could probably put a 10 foot tree in the living room but that seemed like an awful lot of work. This tree has sparkly lights and that's really all I require of my Christmas trees.

On top of the tree is an angel I knitted last year. Unfortunately the light at the top of the tree is red so it looks like the flames of hell are burning in her heart.

I also have a little tree in my office. This is the knitting tree. I put all the grab bag items under this tree. I plug both trees in at around 4 pm and they stay on all night. I love Christmas trees.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Weekend Knitting Frenzy

Ok, it wasn't really a knitting frenzy, though I did start two new projects.

1. Button Hole Scarf
I went to the yarn store a few weeks ago and my mother-in-law was with me. While there she saw a button-hole scarf she liked. So this weekend I went to the yarn store and asked about said scarf. They supplied me with the pattern and told me it was knit from "Touch Me." I found a pearly white color that is very pretty. When I checked out the total came to a lot more than I was expecting. I inspected my receipt and realized I had missed the "1" in front of the "5.95" for the Touch Me. She had better REALLY like this scarf. If I can part with it. It is the softest scarf I have ever made.

2. Skull Mittens
I mentioned that Pete wanted mittens for Christmas. I had decided that I really don't have time to make mittens so I went ahead and cast on for a pair of mittens. I found a pattern for Morphing Skull Armwarmers and I thought I could easily make it into a pair of mittens. Because I am making quite a few changes, I decided to try one in my size first. I figured if they went up to my elbow, they'd go a little more than half way up my brother's arm. Well, there is only room for four of the pattern repeats and the calculations don't work so well. The wrist is so tight that I can't get my hand through it. And I think the red and white looks a little girly. I'm not sure if I'm going to pursue these or not.

And in existing projects:

1. Fuzzy Feet
I felted them. They are tiny. I can just stuff my feet into them. The white and purple part felted up tighter than the toes and heel, which didn't felt hardly at all. I'm not sure what to do about those either.

2. Green Slippers: Still not done. I bought more yarn and then realized that I had made a mistake at the beginning of the second slipper. So I have to start that one over. Haven't done it yet.

3. I-Cord Scarf
I pick this up whenever I realize that I have made a mistake or something hasn't worked out right. It is now 12 inches long.

4. Isis Wrap: No more progress. I should probably be picking this up when I get discouraged with other things, but I am totally paranoid that I am going to mess it up again. I seem to be making a hella lot of mistakes lately.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Project Update!

I have been knit-knit-knitting away!

When I realized that Christmas was drawing near, I put aside my current projects (the i-cord scarf and the isis wrap) to work on Christmas presents. Last year I made a pair of felted slippers for the Christmas grab bag and they were a much sought after item. This year I'm making a pair for my mom and my sister and James's mom. Pete asked for a pair of mittens, but I don't know if I'll have time to finish mittens. Obviously, I absolutely could not have knitted any of these items earlier in the year.

So far I have finished one pair of Fuzzy Feet:

I'm hoping that they'll felt up to be purple with white flecks in them. If they are terrible, well, I made myself a pair of fuzzy feet!

And almost finished one pair of felted slippers:

I ran out of green yarn 10 rows from the end of the second slipper. I guess I'll just HAVE to go to the yarn store this weekend. Shucks.

Since the slipper needles are stuck in an unfinished slipper I decided to pick up the Isis Wrap last night. And I finished the left side! Horray! I'll finish the right side tonight. Hurrah!

Unfortunately there was no hope for the back. The stitches got hopelessly fuggled when I ripped back and there was no way I could figure out what row I was on and how many stockinette stitches I had on each side.

Remember the 6 pages of directions I painstakingly wrote out for the front pieces? I was a little ashamed that I had to do that. Now I am very glad I did. Those directions are the only reason I was able to finish the front pieces. I didn't write out the directions for the back and, as a result, I had to rip the whole thing. But it's all for the best. Now I know how to avoid the stair-steps on each side. And I really like the yarn and the pattern, so I don't think it will take too long to re-knit.


No time at all.