31 December 2013
The end of world. Or year, whatever.
Sorry to have disappeared for a bit there. The holidays take a lot out of me. As much as I love my family, I am totally exhausted after I see them. The joys of being an introvert--ha, I bet you'd never have thought that. It used to be a bit more obvious, but then I worked at a radio station in the promotions department, and that cracked my shell.
Anyway. So the holidays happened, and they wore me out. And also my job, while not quite as soul-crushing as a retail position, is still tiring (especially now that I've been moved out of data entry and into phone enrollment, so I spend my days talking to little old ladies instead of sitting at my desk and typing).
For Thanksgiving, Boston Husband made us a turkey (brined in apple cider, it was delicious) and I made potatoes and stuffing balls, and we had green beans and cranberry sauce, too. After we ate, we went to his mom's house, only to find that only about half of the food was ready and the turkey was drying out in the oven. Boston Husband stepped in to make gravy from the pan drippings--let me just add that last year when I did this, EVERYONE looked at me like I was crazy--but his mother still didn't understand that this is a thing people do, so she opened a jar of Heinz gravy and add that to the drippings to "help." Except it didn't and it kind of ruined the gravy. Good job. Then to top it off, maybe an hour after we got there, Boston Husband's mother and her husband left to go see her new father-in-law who was dying in the hospital. So they took off with food left out everywhere before Princess Sister (my sister-in-law) eve got there. By then, the food was really stone cold and awful, so we tidied it all up and cracked into the desserts, and then left when we'd had enough.
All in all, it was a better Thanksgiving than the Saturday before when we went to my aunt's house and my mom had her boyfriend's kids instead of my sisters, AND THEN went to New York for actual Thanksgiving after already saying she'd come to my house. Plus by the time we got to my aunt's house, the food was cold and everyone had finished, so they were just watching me eat and I hate that. Also one of the boyfriend's kids kept calling my mom "Mom" and saying he was her favorite son. I almost caused a scene over that. I don't handle change well (hurray autism spectrum!) and I was really pissed my sisters weren't there but those kids were, plus my mom had already told me she was bailing on holidays at my house to have Thanksgiving with Maymae and Xmas with her boyfriend. So, holidays ruined.
For Xmas, Boston Husband got his letter from Boston Fire. He's starting the academy this spring. So that was a really great present from the city. The downside is, he was planning to take me to Iceland, so that will have to wait a little bit, but I'm fine with that.
Speaking of Xmas, the other reason my blog fell to the wayside was the Xmas Knitting Frenzy. There were two BFF Cowls (one for Maymae, one for Mommy) and the Laurel Leaf Cowl went to my mom as well. Okay, those were things I had already made, but then I made matching Unicorn Hats for Thing One and Thing Two (Thing One had a blue mane and Thing Two had a purple mane) which were more time consuming than anticipated, plus Thing One got an Etta toque as her serious gift (I shouldn't have done it in acrylic, but I don't think she can handle the care of wool just yet) and Thing Two got a pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks in a stripey pink and brown yarn. I liked the finished socks, but the pattern had a lot of wrong stitch counts for the heel and gusset. I also did a reverse Stockinette sole, so I kind of inverted the pattern to keep the sock smooth on the inside for comfort. Thing Two was in love. I don't think she'll ever take them off.
I'd show you all pictures, but of course I forgot to take any.
It's really quite impressive that I managed to get all my knitting done, but I did a lot of it at work when I had downtime between the data that needed entering and then later the phones that needed enrolling. But when we moved to phone enrollment, I had a couple of people shadow me because their phones weren't working, so I put them on my phone, pulled out my knitting, and only opened my mouth if they needed help.So right before Xmas I placed a new order with Craftsy. I got a kit for the Empalme cowl (pattern and three hanks of Manos Silk Blend--to die for) in Nickel, a nice silvery gray you can see over on the right. I also got two hanks of Miss Babs Yowza! Whatta Skein in Night Lights (these are seriously the biggest hanks I've ever seen, excluding some of those "one hank makes a full-size afghan" yarns) which is beautiful and soft and machine washable, hurray!
And then, because a coworker recommended them to me, I ordered a set of interchangeable needles. I thought about getting a set from KnitPicks since they have their new line of wood needles in interchangeables, because those blue-green Caspians are beautiful, but Craftsy has the complete ChiaoGoo Red Twist set, and you all know how much I love my nice pointy ChiaoGoo needles (not to mention the Twist set has more needles). So now I have a full set of US2-15 complete with three cables each for the small and large needles, end stoppers, extra joins to make super-long cables, and the cutest stitch markers I've ever seen. I've very happy with my set, although I am very conscious of how I move my needles to make sure I don't accidentally untwist them off the cables. So far I haven't had any disasters, knock on wood. (Craftsy links in this paragraph are affiliate links, and any purchases made through those links will result in compensation as detailed in my previous post here.)
I also made a big decision for 2014. I still have a lot of downtime at work, and since I'm no longer allowed to knit (GAHHHHH!), I've been making a list of what projects I want to make with my stash. So for 2014, the plan is to not buy yarn. This is going to be really difficult, as I typically buy a skein or two when work has me down or I'm mad at my mom or whenever I need cheering up. So now you know why the stash is taking over the spare room. Having said that, I just placed another Craftsy order on Sunday night. And I do plan to lift the yarn-buying restriction for yarn crawls, since I only do two (unless I have time and the money to do the Rhode Island crawl...). But the Craftsy purchase doesn't count, because I paid for it in 2013. Aren't I sneaky? But I've picked out a pattern for the bulk of that purchase, a really nice but simple sweater dress for the Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Pewter (another affiliate link). I can't wait for that--you know I love my Lorna's. I also ordered some more Yowza, because the color is so nice and I want a sweater dress out of that, too.
I also may or may not give myself a pass on some sock yarn on Etsy. Invictus Yarns does some really great things with the dye pot and I might not be able to resist for much longer, especially since it is sock yarn. That one's not an affiliate link, I just really love their colors.
Speaking of yarn, here's the yarn I bought recently (well, since my last post, at least). This one here is Island Yarn, Co.'s Chesterfield in Black Light. I love the silky Chesterfield and this is one of my favorite colorways. Mmmm, I can't wait to work with it. The question is, do I want to work with this one, or the Saffron colorway from yarn crawl first? Decisions, decisions.
A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by Stitch House on my way home from work. I still had the unicorn hats on my mind, I guess, because I picked up some US15 DPNs and a 16" circular and some Malabrigo worsted (which is what the pattern calls for, but I made mine with Ella Rae Mega and Worsted).
I climbed up on the step ladder to get the Malabrigo, so be jealous of my colors. I got two hanks of Lotus and one of Polar Morn. I also got some Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in a color called Sigrid. I really love the bright colors from tosh, and while I haven't picked out patterns for all of my hanks yet, I know I'll figure something out for all of them.
Let's see, what else? I also ordered some Cupcake with Sprinkles from Blueberry Pie Studios in Canada to celebrate my new job. It was dyed to order, so the waiting was torture but I'm really happy with it. Definitely worth the wait, so I definitely recommend visiting Catherine's shop.
I also placed an order with KnitPicks for more Felici yarn, because I love it so. I got two skeins of Rainbow, which seems to be the only color of Felici that stays in stock (anyone who's ever bought it can tell you, once a color goes, it's gone unless you can find someone on Ravelry looking to unload a spare ball). I also got four each of Spooky and Maple Leaves, some nice fall/Halloween colors. I think I'm going to use some of the Spooky to make myself a pair of Wraptors, and maybe a pair of Longitudinal socks with the Maple Leaves (or possibly with some of the Firefighter colorway I bought when it was on clearance and I bought something like the last eight balls).
I'd post more pictures of the Felici, but this is already a long post. So if you're dying to see, KnitPicks still has it in stock (though they're currently between shipments of Rainbow, it looks like) so you can see it there and order some for yourself, or you can check out my stash on Ravelry (which probably won't be updated until at least tomorrow, I plan on getting good and drunk to ring in the new year tonight). You'll also be able to see my progress on the Empalme cowl, as well as a new pair of Skew socks for Boston Husband....as soon as I update my projects page.
I'm also expecting a Soakbox from Craftsy in Grape Gatsby. I'm a purple kind of girl, and the yarn in the Soakbox is a funky pink/purple combo. It also comes with a small bottle of soak in Celebration, a little bottle of purple nail polish, and a little tub of skin cream for my feet. I might be more excited for the cream than the yarn, because my feet are in rough shape.
Unrelated to all this yarn talk, on Sunday Boston Husband and I took our last road trip of 2013. We went up to Salem, NH to look at an old pickup so we can save a little wear and tear on the Challenger and save a little money on the insurance. Boston Husband is planning to use the truck as his winter vehicle and keep the Challenger for the summer to keep it out of the salt. Unless the roads are really bad, in which case I might take the truck to work and he can handle the Challenger in in the snow. I need something a little more solid so I don't bang around if I get hit.
Now on that note, I'll wrap this up. Enjoy your evening and I'll see you all next year.