Monday, December 29, 2008

A Little Bit Late

Wow, this is already my 150th post!!!

First off, some belated x-mas greetings:

I'm not one for much christmas decoration in my place (heck, I don't even have a tree), but every year I set up this little group on top of my TV (of all places). The cute thing about this is that this is part of a puzzle and all pieces fit together in a really small box.

We are not much into christmas presents either. I did get a lovely, home-made bird feeding station from my nephews, but the birds haven't shown any interest in it so far. If they ever do, I'll be ready with my camera.
However, as my sister mentioned that she wanted some wrist warmers (in black, if you please) I quickly whipped a pair up.

The pattern is inspired by Rose's wrist warmers, which I found on ravelery. I did a couple of modifications, mainly because the yarn I used was a bit thicker than the one the pattern called for. I ended up with one extra, so in case my sister should ever grow a third arm (left please) I'm prepared. This third one (or rather the first one) was for testing the pattern and I decided, based on it, to change a few more things.

Other than that I've indeed went back to the Castle Sample for one last push to finish the monster.

This is from before christmas, to mark the point when I finally finished the border - including all back stitches. Go me!

Since then I've finished the three musicians and the background around them (except at the bottom), but not the back stitching there. This will be my next task.

After then all left to do is the stitching lady on the right hand side and I'm done, done, DONE!!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Final Dash

Only a couple of days to Christmas. Even though we don't normally give presents among the adults in my family (which does reduce the pre-chrismas stress by quite a bit) I do have one for somebody in the family. Though I can't say who. And what. So the picture will come up after the holidays.

I did finish the Charade socks from last weekend, though. Now I'm not soooo sure about the colors anymore, but not enough unsure to say I hate them. I guess, they're still perfectly alright to wear in my boots and stop me from getting cold feet.

I also finished another project, which was a sort of made up on the spot - I have to wool - lets make something with it project.

The scarf is warm and fluffy and I have absolutely nothing I can wear it too. My blue/black jacket has velcro all over it, which is just Bad to a knitted scarf. And it doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, match to my red winter coat (for which I do have a nice, home made scarf anyway)

Even though I've started one more project for knitting (a simple, plain hat - nothing exciting in any way) I switched tracks, and went back to my x-stitch for a change. For the last two days I've stitched tiny green stitches in the border, over one, until I've got the feeling I'm getting blind. I'll make a pic as soon as I'm done with the border.

Various disasters did strike last week, the most annoying one my phone, that simply stopped working. When I pick up the receiver I don't get a free line (well, I don't hear one) but when I try to call myself, it sounds like the line is free, only I don't hear a ring tone from the phone I'm calling and the answering machine doesn't pick up. I already checked the line, at it seems fine.
I hope I can get it fixed tomorrow, even if that means I'm going to brave the pre-christmas shopping frenzy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Socks ... again

I know, it's getting boring, but I'm still knitting socks.

Pattern is called Charade, yarn is from Schoppel and called Admiral Flakes in a color way called 'After the Rain'
In the forefront is the first finished sock, in the back the start of the second.
A fairly simple sock, but I love, love, loooooove how the colors are pooling.

So much for this week's update.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Torchwood .... socks?

Torchwood is a British TV show with now two full seasons (13 episodes each) to its credit. The show is a spin off of the long lived SciFi TV show Doctor Who. It is set in Cardiff of all places and shows the adventures of a team fighting aliens and supernatural occurances which happen to come through a rift in time and space that happens to be in the middle of Cardiff.

Over the last four weeks or so, I did watch all Torchwood episodes there are and I quite enjoyed it (else I probably wouldn't talk about the show at all)

Now, last week was also a fairly slow week in the office, so I happened to doodle a bit, and one of the things I doodled was the Torchwood logo (you can take a look at it here if you want)
And as I was doodling, I thought it shouldn't be too hard to make a pattern out of it for knitting.

It wasn't (very hard, I mean) and here's the first of two Torchwood socks

I didn't get quite the 3D-ness the logo has, but for the resolution I had at my disposal (the pattern is 25 stitches wide) I'm not too unhappy.

The knitting technique was a bit of a challenge, though. I know I could have easily stitched the pattern on top of the sock, once finished knitting it plain, but what would have been the fun in that?
So I did a sort of intarsia in the round where in row 1 I did normal fair isle until I was a the other side of the the pattern (at this point the main and the contrasting color threads are hanging on this side of the pattern. If I continue on, I would have had a problem with the contrasting color, as it would be on the wrong side of the pattern when I came back to it). So I turned around, slipped all stitches of the main color according to the next row in the pattern, but purled (after all I was on the wrong - inside - side of the sock now) all the contrasting stitches. Now the contrasting color is again at the beginning of the pattern. I turned the work again, slipped everything back to the other side of the pattern and continued knitting. At the point I reached the pattern again (now in row 2) I knitted all the main color stitches and slipped the contrasting ones (they have already been knitted in the row before). Row 3 I worked like row 1 again and row 4 like row 2 and so on.

Sounds complicates and in a way it is, but main thing is, it works.

My cookie stash is already much reduced - my parents got some and I brought some to friends and collegues to quite positive comments.
The sock yarn stash, on the other side, has grown thanks to a little trip to the Schoppel Wool factory sale outlet in Rodenbach.

I only feel a little bit guilty about this ...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Once a Year

... I get the x-mas cookie itch. I mean, serious, I don't bake much over the year, and why should x-mas time be different? Besides, I do prefer a nice sandwich over a sweet cookie any day. And there are the calories ...

Usually, I have three standard recipes I do every year, which are coco macarones, cinnamon stars and ginger Heidesand (which is a buttery cookie to which I decided a couple of years ago candied ginger would go well ... and it does fabulously)

This year, I haven't made any of my standards (yet), though one is going to be close.

Jam filled cookie stars. I made them for my dad, who loves those (or at least a variation of them, my mum used to make)

I got some of the dough left and made puzzled cookies.

I did get the cookie cutter a couple of weeks back and sure I had to try something with it.

Nutty triangles with chocolate

Coco-choco spirals

And finally (though I have plans for two more kinds I want to try)
Ginger bars (with candies ginger, tried apricots and almonds)

Not a dud so far in the lot