Be of Good Cheer

My husband’s favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard.  I didn’t know that was actually a Christmas movie until we were married for about 5 years.  It just never registered on my personal list of Christmas movies.  Action – yes.  Christmas – no.  We watched it the other day and so we keep repeating one of our favorite lines,

“It’s Christmas, Theo.  It’s the time of miracles.  So be of good cheer….. and call me when you hit the last lock.”

It’s a surprisingly versatile line.

So when we realized last night that the girls (both of them) were allowed to wear Christmas hats to school today, and we couldn’t find the (many) Santa hats that must be in bins in the garage, what’s a knitting mom to do?  Be of good cheer, and knit some Santa hats.  I know that it’s a bit cray-cray to start knitting a Santa hat at 8pm the night before it’s needed, but I was feeling a bit nutty last night.  Plus, the girls go to a school with uniforms, so any chance to be out of uniform and do something a little different is a ton of fun.

Darn Knit Santa Hat

The yarn I had in my stash.  Once upon a time I thought I would make Bella’s Mittens out of the red wool.  Somehow it never happened, mostly because I really couldn’t see myself wearing bulky weight cabled mittens.  They’d be lovely and warm, but just didn’t look practical for everyday wear.  (Feel free to tell me if I’m totally missing the boat on this one).

The hats took a little over an hour each.  For the first hat, I broke out the pom pom maker and added a nice fat fluffy pom on top.  I was out of time for the second hat and so I added the fur pom that I just got at Yarn Harbor.  The ends are not woven in on the second hat and I’m not totally confident about how secure the pom is, but Lily is under strict instructions to be kind to the hat.  I’m planning on weaving in the ends tonight and wearing it to work at Yarn Harbor tomorrow.

An Elf Invasion

photo-nov-27-7-41-07-pmCall them elves, call them gnomes, call them tom ten.  The little people have invaded my home.

Maybe I can convince them to make me some new shoes.  Or just clean up a bit.  Do elves do dishes?

I am making these wee little shoe toy makers for the annual Merry Market that is held at the school.  (Full disclosure, I did not make the one with the gray hat)  Each year, the 5th grade makes projects and sells them during the Christmas Concerts.  I like to make a few things to help the kids out.  All the money they raise goes toward a trip to the Science Museum of the Twin Cities and the St. Paul Cathedral.  When Addie was in 5th grade I crocheted mug cozies.  This year for Lily’s class I decided to do something smaller and faster.  Well, I did until I decided to make that big guy in the back right.  He takes a bit longer.  I’ve got a second one coming along.  Then it’s going to be all the little ones.  They’re roughly the size of a wine cork (because the wine cork makes up their body).

For the wine cork elves, I used the Woodland Elves pattern.  I’m using my mini skeins of fingering weight yarn and some Louisa Harding fun fur that I had in my stash (I don’t even remember which swap it came in, but I know I didn’t buy it).

For the bigger guy I am also using up the mini skeins.  He’s a Rebecca Danger Gnome Nugget.  I’m not thrilled with how the eyes turned out, but I’ve got a plan for this next one.  I found some blue buttons that I think will work better than clear.  I also think he needs a little white trim on his hat to make him less gnomey and more elfish.

The kicker is that I think I’ll have to make more of these guys after the sale because they look so cute & festive hanging out in my house!  How many elves does a girl need?

La Dolce Vita

I flew halfway around the world and found yarn.  And gelato.  More gelato than yarn to be truthful.


I think it’s important to note that the absolutely best gelato to be found was the Chocolate Nero with strawberry in Amalfi.  Although the Coconut and Strawberry combination near St. Mary Major was also pretty fantastic.

I knitted in the plane, on buses, and in my hotel room.  I refrained from bringing my knitting out in restaurants as I normally would just because I wasn’t sure how it would be taken.  Overall I got less knitting time than I would have expected just because we were so busy.  Instead of getting 3 projects completed, I finished one and started another.

The local guide we had along the Amalfi coast was very interested in my knitting.  She told me that her mother knit.  I asked where her mom bought her yarn and she said, at yarn stores in Sorrento.  Bingo!  The chase was on!  So one night after Mass, I drug my Mom into a store that was near our hotel that we found online.  Turns out that Google was wrong and that store did not carry yarn, but the woman working understood “knitting.”  She gave us instructions (mostly in Italian) to go to the quatro up ahead (done with hand signals to explain that she meant the 4-way intersection) and turn left.  We kept on walking until Mom started to get nervous about how far we were going.  We stopped in a party supply store and asked directions to the “knitting store.”  She said we were almost there.  Sure enough, 2 stores down was an honest to goodness yarn store.

The woman smiled when I walked in because she could see how happy I was to find a real yarn store.  I might have even said, “Hooray!”  The woman was very kind and helped me find some cashmere, although she was sort of steering me towards the 100% merino.  The cashmere was 4.90 euro per 70 yd skein.   There wasn’t a huge color selection – 3 shades of gray and a navy.  I asked, but she did not have more colors.  I ended up buying 4 skeins of the navy blue and picking out a fur pom pom to go with it.  I’m now feeling a need to pom all the things.

I could be happy living in Sorrento I think.  There are lemon and orange trees lining the streets, the ocean is right there out your window, the people are (extremely) friendly, it was very easy to eat gluten free, and there are yarn stores.  On a side note, my hair liked Sorrento also.  For some reason my hair was very curly in Italy.  Weird.


As for my finished project.  I finally completed a Clapotis.  This is a pattern that everyone and their mother was knitting in 2004.  I even started one out of laceweight that is still in my stash somewhere.  At the time (I was having babies and was a little preoccupied) the project just seemed overwhelming.  This time around it was a soothing easy knit.  The most you have to count to is 3!

Yarn:  Socks that Rock Lightweight in Festivus – 1.5 skeins used

Needles:  Size 6

Mods:  None, I actually knit this as written.

Size:  It’s ginormous.  It’s long and drapey and I need to wrap it around my neck a couple of times in order to make it not drag on the floor.

WIP Round Up

I went through the stash yesterday in an attempt to clean before Christmas.  I have some seriously nice yarn in there.  I also have a very large number of Works In Progress that I need to get a handle on.  Some of them are a really good knitting day (or two) away from being finished.  Some are longer but definitely on the downhill side of being finished.

Here’s a look at what’s on the needles and what needs to be on the needles for Christmas knitting.

Currently Knitting:

  1.  Elves – I have lots of elves coming off the needles right now, but those are almost done.  I even made up my own elf that looks a little like a Weeble with a pointy hat.
  2. Red Robin Shawl – this is in the 3rd section, which means I’m almost done!
  3. Project Peace – this cowl is intended to be knit one repeat each day until Dec. 21.  I’m on day 3 (it’s day 5 here).  I think by definition Project Peace should not be stressful.  However, this one repeat a day is putting pressure on me to keep up.  Falling behind makes me feel kind of panicky!

Not Currently Knitting but should be:

  1. Hamilknit Hat – I have the yarn.  I have the pattern.  I’m ready to go as soon as I can finish one of the other 3 things I currently have going right now.
  2. Doodler – I’m on the 3rd section – which seems like it should be good because it’s the last section.  However these short rows are killing me.  Seriously, Stephen West, the waves upon waves are killing me.  It’s currently in time out waiting for some time.
  3. Sock Monkey Sweater – I’d like to have this done by Christmas.  If not Christmas, then the child’s birthday in February would be good.  I hope the arms are long enough!
  4. Ciao!  A cabled cowl for a class I am teaching this spring
  5. A brioche hat for a class I am teaching this spring
  6. The Western Auto Cowl.  Still.  I just need to commit to the last color and be done with this.

I’m not even counting the number of socks that are single socks.  I wonder if my children would notice if I didn’t make dinner for the next few weeks in order to get just a leeeettle more knitting time each night?  Just think of the time I would save shopping, prepping, and doing dishes!  2016-12-04-15-57-37-1