Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Gift Cards to LYS

Wow, Christmas is over. Thank God...I don't think I've knit so many hats in a one week period since...well...ever. Everyone loved their hats and Mom thought the Woodland Shawl was gorgeous. I have a picture of it on the blocking board, but didn't get a picture of it on Mom's shoulders. Hayden loved Christmas, technically this is his 2nd Christmas, but the 1st he was only 1 month old. He had a blast ripping off the wrapping paper. I think he actually liked the paper more than the toys. Out of all the toys he got, his favorite is the popper. Remember that toy? The blue handle with the clear bubble and the balls that make that horrible annoying popping sound everytime the wheels move. Yeah, that's his favorite toy.

I received $110.00 in gift cards to my local LYS, Loops in Tulsa. Luckily, I read my emails on Christmas day and found out that Loops was having a huge sale on Friday. Everything was 25-40% off and some stuff was 75% off. So Friday morning (I had to work until 10am) I headed to Tulsa. The store opens at 11am and I got there about 10:25am. So I parked and sat in the car knitting. I watched a lady with a knitting bag walk up and look into the windows and then walk away, then 2 more woman walked up, peeked in the windows and walked away. By now, I'm not knitting anymore, I'm watching the door like a guard dog. The clock in my car said 10:43am, and then I saw the first woman coming back. Right then I decided I'd had enough of these people trying to horde in on "my sale". (I really don't know what came over me, I usually a very docile person) I got out of my car and stood next to the door, eyeing the women in the store and checking the watch every few seconds. The big clock in the shopping center started chiming and donging the hours. I looked behind me and there must have be 50 people lined up to get in the store. Suddenly, I saw the owner of the store walking towards the door. I could feel my blood rushing through my veins in excitement. She pulled the door open and took a picture of all of us standing around the door like a pack of starving dogs waiting for their master to throw the last bone into the yard. Finally, she let us in...I ran straight back to the back room where all the clearence stuff is always kept. I grabbed up about 7 or 8 skiens of alpaca in varying colors and a lady tried to grab it out of my hands. I jerked it back and said "exxxcccuuussee you" and grabbed the yarn back. After making sure there wasn't anything else in the bins that I needed I made my way out to the store to see what 40% off stuff I could find. I filled my basket with Blue Skys Organic Cotton, Noro, Malabrigo and then a miscellaneous skein of this or that, just because. I finally made my way to the cash register thinking I was probably going to have to write a good sized check on top of my gift cards. Amazingly, the total was $109.83. I handed her my 3 gift cards and said "I've got $110.00." She replied "You've still got .17 cents." I told her to keep it and use it for the next persons tax or whatever.

Mom and Dad are heading back home to Colorado today. Dad was getting antsy, he was missing his own stuff and we all know how we like our own stuff. It was nice having them here and I wish they didn't live so far away.

Chelsea had her MRI on the 18th and there were no tumors, but she does have an enlarged pituitary gland. They ran blood work (which came back normal) and a 24-hour urine test (we don't have those results back yet).

I've started knitting the Dead Fish hat, you can find it on my favorites on Ravelry. I don't have a picture of it yet, but I'll get one posted tonight when I finish the hat. I'm also getting ready to start a wedding shawl. I haven't picked out a pattern yet, but I've got to hurry because Chelsea is getting married on March 14th. I'm not sure why they are all of a sudden rushing to get married except that Spring Break falls the same week and Brennan will have been at his job for 1 year and be able to take vacation.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and ready for all the excitement that 2009 will bring.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Chelsea Star Hat Pattern

Here it is! The Chelsea Star Hat hat 001

Materials: (I was able to make 2 hats with 2 skeins of Paton's Classic Merino Wool worsted weight) MC-Cream and CC-Paprika

Note: This hat is meant to be creative, after knitting the star chart you can use your own imagination and add different color strips or whatever you feel like doing.

Needles: US 6 circular 16" and US 6 DPN
2 Stitch holders
1 marker
tapestry needle

This is knit for a SM (L) will be in parenthesis

Earflaps (make 2) same directions for either size. I don't have a chart for the earflaps, I just improvised a diagonal pattern. The first 8 rows were knit with CC, then I started knitting 2 stitches with MC and 2 stitches with CC and made a zigzag design. You can make solid color earflaps.

create a slipknot.
R 1 - K,P,K into the same stitch (make 3 stitches on needle)
R 2 and alternate rows Purl
R 3 - Kfb of 1st stitch, knit to last stitch, Kfb in last stitch
Repeat this pattern until you have 25 stitches on needle, turn and purl
Place earflap on a stitch holder.

Cap - with MC cast on 31 (39) knit 1 earflap onto needle, cast on 31 (39) knit on 2nd earflap. Connect stitches in the round making sure not to twist stitches.

Knit 10 rows with MC
R 11 - start working chart

R 26 - with MC knit 10 rows
R 36 - with CC *k12(14), k2tog (repeat from * around)
R 37 - with MC knit

R 38 - continue with main color *k11(13), k2tog (rep from *)

R 39 - knit

R 40 - *k10(12), k2tog (rep from *) ( I changed colors here and did a k1 with CC and k2 with MC)

R 41 - knit with MC
R 42 - *k9(11), k2tog (rep from *)

R 43 - knit
R 44 - *k8(10), k2tog (rep from *) with CC
R 45 - knit with MC until R44
R 46 - *k7(9), k2tog (rep from *)
R 47 - knit
R 48 - *k6(8), k2tog (rep from *)
R 49 - knit
R 50 - *k5(7), k2tog (rep from *)
R 51 - knit
R 52 - *k4(6), k2tog (rep from *)

R 53 - knit
R 54 - Finish crown with CC *k3(5), k2tog (rep from *)

R 55 - knit
R 56 - *k2(4), k2tog (rep from *)

R 57 - knit
R 58 - *k1(3), k2tog (rep from *)
R 59 - knit
R 60 - *k2tog (rep from *) (If you are making the large size continue until you are at k2tog) - 8 stitches left on needle.
Use a tapestry needle and thread threw remaining stitches and pull tight, weave in tail on the wrong side. Weave in all tails

Ties - Cut 3 pieces of yarn approximately 2 feet, (I used both colors) loop them through the point of the earflaps, make sure you have the same amount of yarn pulled through evenly, braid and tie at the end. Do this on both earflaps.
This pattern is fast and alot of fun, you can do any kind of color switches or designs that you think would look cool.
©copyright 12/17/08 Teresa Harmon (knakedknitter)


Well, I'm back at work. (yes, I'm blogging right now, but I've still got work stuff floating through my mind also). But anyways, I came back yesterday and everyone was so happy to see me! Yeah!!! That's job security. I was able to get back in the groove of things pretty quickly and it wasn't really busy since the economy sucks so badly right now. No body is hiring people, which is what we do. So business isn't looking good, but we hear thing should pick up in February.

Today we are having a Christmas party at the office. We decided to draw names this year and we are going to go out for lunch. We're eating at The Hammett House. YUM! I love their chicken spinach salad. It's my absolute favorite. So the girls drew names and since I wasn't here to draw, I got the last name in the hat which is Debbie. She's new to our little team and actually works in our Tulsa office. I had to do a little sleuthing to try and figure out what to get for her, but I didn't have time to go out and get something for her. I did find out that she needs a scarf, well...I thought to myself. That's easy enough, I'll just knit up a scarf for her, but then I thought about the cashmere lace scarf I made this summer. It's finished, ends are woven in and it's been blocked, no one has used it and it's so pretty. Ta-da - Christmas gift ready for wrapping! I hope she likes it as much as I do, if she doesn't I'll be bummed that I gave it to her. On the flip side of the present buying is the getting. Rita got my name and she knows that I love anything fibery or needles or notions, so I'm sure whatever I get I'll love. (especially if it's fibery).

Talking about fibery goodness, I've made another hat using my new pattern. hat 001This time I adjusted it for a larger size. But I still can't get my pictures to load. What the heck is going on with blogger? I'm so anxious for you guys to see my hats. The first one I made was white with the red star and then I reversed it and made a red hat with white star. Last night I started another one for who ever needs a gift. It's going to be very pale pink with navy blue stars.

Tomorrow is Chelsea's MRI at 7:30 in the morning. She's not happy about it being so early and it is a huge pain to get her and the baby out that early, but we'll manage.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Winter Weather

The weather was so nice yesterday afternoon. It was about 65° until 4pm and then it dropped like crazy.

I had a nice evening last night. The girls and I haven't had a knitting night since before Thanksgiving, and then the last 2 weeks I've been cooped up here with my own demons. I want to thank everyone who posted comments regarding my last post. It really made me fill good, just to know there was someone out there sending me love. Chelsea is feeling alot better, the dr. took her off the medicine because it just wasn't working for her body. She said she felt like she was completely paralyzed, she couldn't move, talk, or even open her eyes, but her mind wasn't shutting down. So even though I thought she was sleeping for 14+ hours. She was really only getting about 7 or 8 hours of actual sleep. The rest of the time she was trying to will herself to move. How scary is that. She has an appointment for an MRI on Thursday at 7:30 in the morning. But, she's doing good, no more seizures. I'm going back to work tomorrow.

Anyways, we had a Survivor finale get together last night. It was nice seeing the girls and just hanging out and not worrying. But while we were there we had a blast of sleet come in. Man, it got really cold quick. By 9pm it was 23° and the roads were really slick. I was just so happy that I had gotten a ride instead of driving. I'm not good at driving at night and add an ice storm to it and I might still be trying to find my way home. My survivor was Kenny in the Ravelry pool and of course he had to open his mouth one too many times and they kicked him off the island. Bob won and he deserved it, so I'll send my goodies off to the winners and wait for the next pool to begin.

Saturday, was nice because I was off duty. I had been trying and trying to figure out what to get my dad for Christmas. I finally decided to knit him a hat, but it couldn't be just any hat. I wanted a hat that had earflaps (so his ears don't freeze of in the Colorado mountains), something really warm (so I dug out some wool from my stash) and something with a cool design. I've never tried fair isle so I thought this would be a perfect time to try.

I found a chart for the Norwegian Star and then just started knitting. It took me about 6 hours to design, knit and complete this hat. Now if I can get the picture to upload, I'll show it to you. I'm going to write up the pattern and I'll post it in my blog if any one is interested in knitting this hat. As soon as I finished it and showed the kids, they ALL wanted one, so now I'm knitting another in different colors.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

16 days till Christmas

It's been a crazy week.

On December 2nd at 9pm my daughter, Chelsea suffered a grand mall (tonic-clonic) seizure. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen.

The dr is trying to get the insurance to authorize an MRI and a referral to a neurologist. She's now on Keppra an anit-seizure medication with awful side effects. The worst side effect she's having right now is the sedation. She takes 250mg (recommended daily dose is 1000mg) at 9pm and it's now 11:33am and she still isn't awake. It makes her sleep for 14 hours or more. I'm only giving her the night-time dose because I don't want her sleeping her life away. She is 20 years old and has a 1 year old son. So until we can get her in to see the neuro I'm working from home.

I don't think I've been this exhausted since my kids were babies. I'm getting up at 5:30 or 6am to take care of Hayden and then when he goes down for a nap around 10am I try to get about an hours worth of work done. Then he's up and hopefully his mom wakes up around noon to take over.

On to better subjects:
Knitting for the holidays. Is anyone getting anything finished? I've been working on that Woodland Shawl since August and I think I'm ready to cast off. I've decided to give it to my mom for Christmas. I made my grandson the cutest pair of mittens out of Malabrigo worsted. I read somewhere that wool mittens are better for little ones because if they get wet, wool will hold in the heat and acrylics will freeze. I don't want my babies fingers freezing, so he got the good stuff.

This Christmas is going to be slim this year. I had big plans, but the funds just aren't there. This has been the worst year and I don't think 2009 looks much better for the 1st quarter. My salary is compensated with a month bonus or commission based on Ebitda percentages. In 2007 my commission checks were in the thousands, this year I think the highest I've gotten for a month is 600. That really hurts when you're used to making one amount and then it drops like that. I think my annual salary for this year is about $15,000 to $20,000 less than last year.
This year will have to be more about love, and being with family than presents.

I hope everyone has a great safe.