Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our Family Christmas Timeshift

Due to a conflict in our son's work schedule, we celebrated Christmas yesterday, December 28th.
Our time-shifted Davis Christmas yesterday was perfect  - complete with snow that arrived on the 27th.  Here is what our Christmas morning looked like as the sun came up.




It remained clear and crisp all day - just the way you hope it will. The kids' first gift to us was a shoveled driveway. which we truly appreciated. And the rest of the day was filled with love, laughter, favourite food, gifts, games and movies. Plus a little online ukelele lesson for me. (Rick remembered that i said i wanted to learn to play. how can you resist an instrument that makes you laugh.)

It made for a very quiet 25th, since we wanted to have the full experience - from stockings to turkey with all the trimmings - when we could be together. So, part of the 25th was spent working on this pattern that was percolating as I worked on all those knitted gifts.

here is the full design which is about 20" x 18"


and here is a closer peek at the face in the frame


I am determined to get him done while still in the mood - I doubt I will feel like working on him in July. And then he will be ready to welcome the month of December.

Not  sure if that makes today a time-shifted Boxing Day LOL, but I still have my kids for 24 more hours. Yippee!

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Snowless and Loopless Christmas

I can't believe that we have absolutely NO SNOW! I know there are still a few days left, but the long-range forecast is not looking very white. How strange it all seems.

I also can't believe that I have not hooked a single gift this year. That is a definite first!

Knit - check.  (three pairs of socks, three hats, a cowl and a scarf - and two dogs!)
Stitch and sew - check.  (5 Santas and a couple of ornaments)

In fact, I am stuffing the remaining 2 Santas as I write this. And this morning, I quickly adapted the pattern to a little ornament for my brother in NB.  I made it light enough to fit inside his card and he will be wending his way east today.


But no hooked ornaments, or decorations of any kind. First time since I started hooking, I think.

This morning as the stark realization hit, I sketched out a few possible mats for next year. I've had one particular design dancing through my head (with the sugar plums LOL) for a few years, and it is finally sketched out at least.

The good news is that the new challenges that presented themselves were on a new learning curve and with those behind me, I will probably start the new year with hook in hand. And perhaps by next Christmas, there will be a few new hooked treasures to share.

And - who knows - there are still 6 days left, right?????

Monday, December 12, 2011

All Through the Night Santas

On Friday, a group of us made Santas from this pattern. You can find the pattern here, along with a bunch of other great folk art applique patterns. I purchased it when we were in Vermont. This one, called Seven Santas, is on the 3rd page.


We did the stuffed ones on the lower right, but the runner is very cute and may be on the "list" for next year. I forgot to take a picture of them all together, but did get one picture of my friend Kathy's and my first one. And then I took a picture of my two "New Brunswick tartan" Santas together. They will be gifts, so I have a few more cut out and ready to go for me.



They do end up turning out completely different, even though the steps are all the same. And each one has such great character. It would also be fun to combine the applique with a hooked background in a runner. Food for thought....

The other big accomplishments this week are for our office party on Friday night in Toronto. It's a "Whacky Tacky" theme for gaudy festive wear, and since we couldn't find anything, I made us each a sweater. Plain red sweatshirts/hoodies with lots of stuff sewn on. I can just take the basting out after the holidays and we have wearable, red tops.


My hoodie looks quite lovely until you realize that the trim is a plastic 9' garland that goes all the way  around and those snowflakes are reflective. There's a huge one in the centre back. Rick's is quite hilarious and has a Santa door knob hanger on the back, complete with bells. I'm sure we won't be the tackiest, which is a scary thought, but it was fun to design and baste them.

Oh, the things we do at this time of year!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

New Dog. New Tricks.

Well, doggie number 2 is done. And he was quite a bit trickier than his pug sibling. First of all, the yarn that was the right colour for a silver lab - see below - was hard to find. The research I did into the Silver Lab was extremely controversial! Man, the dog people can sure get their knickers in a twist!

how cute is this little fellow?
The yarn I found was quite a bit thicker, so up a needle size or two and the knitting was tighter. Assembly was more difficult - wire in the legs - and the longer legs made balance an issue. (At one point I skewered the poor thing with double-pointed needles to get the legs lined up.)

I'm awfully glad I didn't do him first. But I am happy with the end result and amazed at how much expression is built into the patterns. Because he is looking up, it was a bit difficult to get a shot of him.



This fellow is about 8" long (not counting his tail) and about 10" high at the tip of his nose. I'm glad there are no more dogs on the Christmas list, but I'm pretty sure I'll be back to do a few more in the future. And for anyone who has the urge, the directions are fantastic in the book and do yield great results.

Now on to the tacky sweaters for the office party......