Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Tuesday's Tin of the Week

In reference to Tuesday's Tin of the Week from 2 weeks ago, I love when I can "rile up" Olive!  I just love knowing that I can bring out that competitive edge that she keeps so well hidden from others ... until this moment.  

Jesus, the reason for the season ... Thanks Olive!

Merry Christmas!
The Martini Knitter

Monday, December 24, 2012

Still Procrastinating ...

For some reason, all of a sudden, I have found time to knit.  The Shaker, Gin and Vermouth are all, officially, on holiday break.  Gin has even finally finished her rough draft of her extended essay – which I can say was no easy feat.  Because of this, Gin has even inspired me to get over my procrastinating 

With the holiday break, I can, finally, sleep in but I am finding that I can’t sleep past 7:30 am; and it’s not for a lack of trying either. I just find myself wide-awake and so I start to think … the house is asleep; no one is after me to get something/do something. So I have found about 2 hours, for the past 3 days to knit – uninterrupted! 

Look how far I have gotten on Gin’s Roam Tunic by Amy Christoffers (Interweave Knits, Fall 2012).  And then check this out! I found this IOU from Knit Picks … Just in case anyone else needs it …

This is the back ... completed!

And this is the front. I finished the pocket
including the whipstitching on the inside

And finally, let’s not, for one second, think that I have cycled out of my “procrastination 2011 holiday phase” … I found these mittens to knit!

The Martini Knitter 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Full Procrastination Mode

I have no idea what has gotten into me but I am in full procrastination mode! What I mean is this: yes, I have been knitting but not knitting on projects that have a deadline; and, I have even started new projects. I can hear Olive saying, “What are you doing???” and here’s my answer:  I am in full vacation mode as I call it.  I want a break from all deadlines including Christmas deadlines.  You might think I have had too much gluhwein (mulled wine) from the Basel Christmas market … and you may be right … drink for thought …

So this is what I have knitted … a hat for Vermouth to go with her new winter coat; a cowl from Jared Flood for me; I resumed knitting on last year’s Advent scarf (just finished Day 8); started another scarf (Topiary by Michele Wang); those little Christmas ornaments for friends and family; and owl mittens for Vermouth – which was never in the plan.  Which is even funnier because I actually knitted 3 mittens instead of the required 2 to make 1 pair of mittens.  Maybe it’s because it’s a small project and that’s why it didn’t bother me to rip out and start over again. 

The mitten pattern called “Give a Hoot” is free online but the directions have many mistakes in it.  Nothing to traumatic but I now understand why it was free.    So I was knitting the mittens and my ruler guide that I was using to remind of where I was on the pattern slipped down the page from the “left mitten” to the “right mitten” – I was talking and drinking coffee when this happened. And, of course, didn’t realize the problem until this mitten, which was suppose to the left-handed mitten and wound up being “the right-handed mitten with issues.”  I didn’t realize my mistake until I had started the left-handed mitten.  I was thinking that there was a mistake in the labeling of the mittens because this second mitten I was knitting was turning out just like the one that I just knitted – the right-handed mitten.  Craftstina” on Ravelry helped with all of the clearing up of the mistakes in the pattern so I thought that this was an error by the designer and not me. But nope, it was all me! So something that should have taken a Saturday afternoon to knit up turned out to be a 3-day project …

Vermouth even set the bar higher by requesting
"texting thumbs" to be added.
Challenge met and achieved!
What I am actually suppose to be knitting is the Roam Tunic for Gin and you see how far I am on that project …

That would be the back ...
Maybe my procrastination is due to the fact that I have seen Gin and Vermouth work very hard this past semester at school and then watching them take this much needed break from school pressures that has convinced me as well to take a break too – like peer-pressure. Yeah, that’s it!  That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!  Blame on it Gin and Vermouth … and who care’s if I throw them under the bus … it’s not like they are reading this post!

The Martini Knitter

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday's Tin of the Week

Yum, Swiss Chocolate!  And ... Bonus! It comes in this really nice tin …

The Martini Knitter

Friday, December 14, 2012

As I Call It: Knittin' and a Drinkin'

Since about the end of November, (around Thanksgiving time for my American friends), the “Weihnachtsmarkt” (Christmas market) has begun in Basel and it will remain open until Christmas Eve.  I have finally tried “chestnuts roasted on an open fire” and, boy, are they fantastic!  And … I have been meeting friends regularly for “gluhwein” (mulled wine) at the “Drehbar;” my friends here refer to it as the “carousal bar” as it does turn at slow pace round and round.  Hence, the reason for no blogging. I found some photos of the Drehbar on the Internet but for some reason I can’t post them; so click here and here to see the photos of this fun Christmas bar.

It is also that time of year where I stop knitting for myself and focus on Christmas knitting and sewing. My favorite Christmas ornament is this little guy - my snowman.  However, most of my friends and family have this little guy hanging on their tree already. 

So every year I search for a new ornament to make.  I found 3 this year that I really enjoyed knitting: a sock, a hat and a sweater.

I enjoyed knitting up these “Mini Stocking Ornaments” by Mara Jessup.  But I used Ann Budd’s Getting Started Knitting Socks as the reference for the heel flap, heel turn, and gusset. 

The hat was fun to knit and super quick.  I made the “Santa Hat Ornament" by Aime Yago but I wanted it pointier.  So on my next hat, I casted on 30 stitches, knit 1, purl 1 for one round and round two I, purl 1, and knit 1 and alternated this pattern for my desired brim length.  Then I switch to knitting every round and I placed a marker after every 9th stitch on the first round. On the second round, I knitted to the first marker and then did a k2tog (knit 2 stitches together); I did this as I came to the next 2 markers.  I did these 2 rounds all the way to the end and then just cut the yarn about 6 inches long, thread the yarn on to a darning needle and ran it though the last 3 stitches. 

And then I found the “Mini Sweater Ornament” by Emily 5446, which was equally fun to knit, as the socks and hat were to knit. 

I call this one "The Grinch's Sweater"

This is Santa's Sweater and I used craft wire to make
the hanger 
But what I enjoyed about knitting these 3 patterns were the choice in yarns.  I did go out and buy white yarn that was lace weight; one had small sequins in the yarn and the other was a kidsilk haze (fuzzy) yarn.  Then I knitted one of these yarns along with with the white, fingering weight yarn to give the edging some stability.

And lastly, I knitted this star by Cecile Renaud last year as a gift exchange ornament and then again this year for a family member who kept saying she just loved it.  But sadly, not one of these stars hangs on my Christmas tree. How crazy is that???

The Martini Knitter