Saturday, January 2, 2010

With a little help from a friend

We had a rocking New Years! Okay, not really. It was lovely, though. And productive. My good friend Anita came on the afternoon of the Eve, to hang out, help me clean my craft room, spend the night and ring in the new year. It was fab! We got to celebrate without worrying about being on the road at the same time other revelers were doing the same. We actually had booze in the house, but totally forgot about it. We didn't even ring in the new year. We were exhausted and the clicking over of the calendar happened while we were preparing for bed. (Poor Anita. Some day, we'll have a guest bed of some kind. (She was prepared and brought an inflatable mattress.))

What we did was spend a bit of time in the craft room, then return to the living room to watch something. Then back to the craft room. Anita got to watch the first few episodes of Firefly (I knew she'd like it). We also watched an early MST3K episode: The Crawling Hand. (Next morning, while John slept, we broke out Unconditional Love, best viewed under those circumstances. It's terrible and wonderful, and I was glad to get to watch it with her.)

Have I gone on about the diet here yet? Well, doesn't matter. It's boring. Effective (for lowering blood pressure and losing weight), but boring. So, for holidays, we allow ourselves a treat. Like a regular meal, the kind that other people eat. John made a superb roast beef pie, with onions, potatoes, corn, carrots and a bit of salt pork. Swoon. We also had popcorn, for the first time in months. After a tiny slice of the pie for breakfast on the 1st, we were back to the regular way of eating.

While we haven't painted anything yet, we have gotten most parts of the house organized. The exceptions have been the entry room (large room with no purpose yet, so stuff kind of accumulates) and the craft room. The latter because our basement kitty, Lily (Cass & Charlie's mom), selected that as her hiding place and freaked out if we went in the room too often. So, I didn't use it much -- just dashed in when I needed something -- and left her on her own. She passed away a few weeks ago, and I decided to get the place cleaned up and organized.

Yarn storage reorganized for 2010I don't have pics of the whole room yet. It's not going to be an impressive room for a long time, if ever. Right now, there are boxes, totes and baskets on two large sets of utility shelves. It gets the job done. But we did get the yarn area reorganized and it's acceptable for viewing. (Click on the image to see notes for all the cubbies.)

Up on the top shelf is large basket that is now full of projects waiting in the wings: yarn and pattern, bundled together. As mentioned in my last post, I'm determined to knit more for me. The last project on the needles (that isn't just a random scarf project-in-progress) is a pair of large, very warm (thrummed) mittens for John. I expect to finish those this weekend. (They match a hat that I'll show in a bit.)

After that, I'm going to knit up a pair of mittens for me, and line them with some felted cashmere. Then, a cowl or scarf (haven't decided, but probably the former, since it's COLD and I would like a matching set (the yarn choice unifies, regardless of pattern)). Then, on to the project basket:

  • My nephew got me some yarn for Christmas that he picked out all by himself. It's a lovely olive color. I'm probably going to make these Ballet-Style slippers. (Got a second ball, in case I don't have enough yarn.)
  • Baby gift (obviously not for me): Right now, Baby Sophisticate is the front-runner.
  • Using some recycled cotton/cashmere yarn, Mitts of the Dystopian Future (Rav link) are destined to be mine.
  • These Delovely cabled fingerless mitts are intended for a gift. I've earmarked my two skeins of Silky Cashmere (actually picked out the yarn first, then had to find something that would do).
  • More slippers: I was recently shocked to discover that I love Mary Jane-style shoes and slippers. These Mary Jane slippers are in the queue, but with a closure like these (I can't crochet, or I'd just make these). The more I think of it, the more I'm inclined to using this pattern for my "nephew yarn.")
  • Socks for John and me are also on the list.
emergency knitting kit #1I also put together a couple of emergency sock-knitting kits, one for each car. Pictured here is one kit; the other is on Flickr. Each contains a ball of yarn, appropriate circular needle (for Magic Loop), corresponding pattern for the combo, and accessories like stitch markers, yarn cutter or scissors and darning needles.
Finally, a brief knitting update. Still some Giftmas presents that haven't been received, so here are a couple of hats that I did for John. One is a replacement Jayne hat, and the other was part of his Christmas gift (as are the thrummed mittens I'm almost done with). Detail will be with the image, on Flickr:

Replacement Jayne hatfleecy-earflap-hat1

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