Thursday, December 27, 2007

Norwegian Christmas Stocking

I decided to knit a Christmas stocking for my son. It was kind of spur of the moment. I got interested in Norwegian knitting about four years ago and have made a couple stranded projects. I joined a Norwegian Sweater Knit Along and was reading up. More about that later, I'm planning a Fana cardigan.

I had red, white and black Cascade 220 left over from a test project felting stranded patterns.

The charts and inspiration come from "Everyday Knitting: Treasures from a Rag Pile", "Knitting in the Nordic Tradition", and "Traditional Scandinavian Knitting". I planned on making it just like a sock, but when I got to the toe shaping I decided to move the decreases so that the foot would lie flat, like a Christmas stocking.

As it progressed, I was happy with the way each section looked. I was a bit concerned that the checkerboard was going to pucker, some of my floats were too short. I thought the heel was too big. And I didn't like the transition from heel to foot. I wish I hadn't decreased along the bottom.

When I got it off the needles, I was even less happy. The ribbing should have been taller; the checkerboard was out of scale and puckered; the name was too close to the edges; the hearts didn't show; and even my husband said the foot looked weird. He's the one who talked me out of ripping back to the heel when I got done with the stars! But then he said, as a complement, that it looked like a sock, a giant's sock. Great.

Here it is pre-blocking:

I decided to cross my fingers and full it a bit to see if the puckering would go away. I put it in the sink with hot water and dish soap; agitated and rubbed it together a bit. It shrank just a little, but a lot of the flaws disappeared diminished. I was happy that the hearts "popped". I blocked it, forcing the name to the front, and pulling out a bit of the funky foot decreases.

Here it is hanging up. It is pretty rustic, but that's okay, I have come to like it quite a bit.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007 Recap

Well, that was a very different Christmas!
  • We didn't go to the candlelight service because I couldn't bear to wake my son up at 10:00 p.m. First time I have missed it in years.

  • Said son woke up screaming at 3:15, and took half an hour to calm down. We don't know what gives with the kid.

  • He wakes up for good at 6:15, and *warning graphic* out of the blue vomits on me in such a way that I have to take a shower. So much for a sleepy Christmas morning together snuggling in bed.

  • Open presents and it turns out my husband has tricked me, in a good way. I ordered knitting books for myself on his behalf so I would get exactly what I wanted. Well, he has gone out and got me other gifts that are just right for me.

  • Person close to me has not spoken to me in months. Doesn't even send card or email for Christmas. HO HO HO.

  • We decide to go to the zoo. Here we are on the carousel. We also saw the big cats get fed.

Did I mention it was the San Francisco Zoo? Yeah, fortunately we left at 3:00. I totally freaked out when the news alert came on about the tiger attack. I go to the zoo at least once a week. Usually we see the giraffes fed at 4:00. Luckily Dad & Kid were too tired to stay, or we could have easily stretched the trip until 5:00. I couldn't stop thinking about the families of the victims and any witnesses, and the zoo employees who have to go back there.

All day I was joking that this would be remembered as "The Christmas I Got Puked On", instead it will be remembered in all seriousness as "The Christmas We Didn't Get Killed by a Tiger".

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

God Jul

God Jul from the Korknisse crew!

Pattern: Made by Manne
English Translation: Saartje Knits

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Our stockings are hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that Peace is with all you out there.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

No Peeking Under My (Tree) Skirt

This is our tree. It is small, up high and started with no breakable ornaments.

The guy on the right the reason for our truncated tree.

This is the angel I embroidered many years ago. I just love her.

This is the ornament that my friend Linda painted, inspired by rosemaling. She loves purple as much as I like pink. She sold her ornaments at a craft fair this year and made one pink one. Luckily I got it.

This is the tree skirt I finally finished last week.

I have made the pattern a couple times before. It isn't hard but a little time consuming and of course I had to have the iron, and other dangerous implements out in the process. It was a challenge to get it done with a toddler helping. I knew it wouldn't be perfect. However, if I were to let you peek underneath, you would see the visible seam where I pieced the backing fabric. Yes, I cut, pinned and sewed the entire backing on upside down without noticing. Ugh!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Knitting In Public

The other day my husband and I traded jobs. He stayed at home with Mr. Tippy Toddler, and I went downtown for some fun and games with the Building Department. I took my Christmas stocking project with me.

A contractor and I were commiserating about how maddening and time-consuming it is to pull permits and deal with bureaucracy. He said he usually sends his "guys" to do it. I told him that my husband is a general contractor and usually sends me, and I have to drag my toddler along, but that day I was so happy to be alone, that I wouldn't let anything bother me. He said he noticed I brought my knitting. I told him that way, I don't feel like I've wasted a bunch time, even if denied the permit. Which I was.

I was knitting on the streetcar on the way home when a man got on through the door near me and shouted belligerently "it says press the button when lit and I pressed it." Oh dear! I intensely knitted, praying "please, please, don't start talking to me, drunk, dis-shelved man."

He immediately sat down near me and barked "knitting or crochet?" I had not made eye contact. Should I pretend I didn't hear? No, don't be judgemental. We had the following conversation"

Me - "Knitting."

Him - "It's an art, you know."

Me - "Thank you. Not everyone feels that way."

Him - "They don't know how hard it is. My mother knitted."

Me - "My grandmother taught me."

Him - "Is that knitting or crochet?"

Luckily we were at my stop.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Turkish Delight!

Remember my disappointment with Turkish Delight?

I didn't get a response from the email I sent to Turkey. I found out the company has an outlet in New Jersey and contacted them for help. I got an email a few days later from Turkey. A little back and forth and I was told that it sounded like the product I purchased was in an outdated package and damaged by heat.

Just three days later UPS delivered this:

Inside I found this carton:

Inside the carton was Double Pistachio Turkish Delight:

It was good:

So good that our dinner guest, who ironically had been in Turkey about the same time I wrote my first rant, said it tasted like what she on her trip. If the house wasn't full of Christmas cookies right now, the whole package would be gone.

Thank you, Gulluoglu.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Loyal Reader(s?),

I've tried to make some improvements to my template. I've got categories over on the sidebar now.

I'm also working on updating my link lists, and organizing them a bit.

I'm using a classic Blogger template, so I have to edit the html, instead of dragging and dropping icons. It's kind of fun to learn. I started playing with in last month to add the NaBloPoMo badge. Then I added Stat Counter code. Obviously I have a lot to learn - I can't get the "previous post" list to match to others at the moment.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mt. Lassen

Well, there's nothing like a contest to get me to post! And OMSH is throwing one perfect for me. You just have to post a picture of yourself making a funny face, like this:

This is a self portrait of me at the summit of Lassen Peak in Northern California. Why is it a self-portrait? Because my husband, a former beaver trapper from New England, was too cold to go to the top. He hunkered down with this guy:

Yeah, there was a little snow but it was September, and the mountain is only 10,462 feet high. On my way up I passed a person with a cane, and a toddler. Not a Sunday stroll, but not that strenuous. See, just a little snow:

Okay, it was pretty cold, but I was on a mission. The first time I went to Lassen there was too much snow, even in July, to hike up, this was about 1991. The second time, in about 1999, the trail was clear, but halfway through it got cloudy and my hiking partner insisted we turn back.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who takes or lets others take silly photos of themself. So head on over to the contest, you have until midnight Thursday.

Saturday, December 01, 2007


Can you freaking believe it??? I missed the last day of NaBloPoMo by 1 hr 40 min?

It was due to illness, I swear. I had to go to a play rehearsal for my Daughters of Norway Christmas Party last night. I am sick as a dog with some rattle in my chest. And my back is out. But, I dragged myself there. Finished my sock, and took photos while we waited to get started so I would have post fodder. We practiced and I got home at the very late hour for me of 9:30. I immediately took the baby to bed so my husband could shower and go to bed because he has to work tomorrow (really today it is 1:40 a.m.). I was sick and coughing for quite a while. Then the baby got sick and we all got up. I was trying to get back to sleep just now when I remembered.

Anyhow, here is the one pair of socks I fixed over Thanksgiving:

If you recall, I had two very different socks, and not enough yarn. I frogged the original sock, used a little bit to finish the second sock, and then made a new sock. It turned out fine and the socks fit and are cute. They don't match and I like it that way.