Sunday, December 07, 2008

Brrrrr...Christmas Tree Weekend!



Finally, after much deliberation, we decided to get our tree. We were (or mostly me, I guess) unsure whether or not we'd actually get a tree this year with us traveling so close to Christmas and I didn't think I wanted to go to all the trouble if we wouldn't be home to enjoy it the whole time.

BUT....

My boys (and, surprisingly, my hubby - who is a notorious "Grinch/Scrooge" around this time of year -not with money, but with decorations, parties, wrapping gifts, socializing, etc......Though....Um....really, he's not THAT bad!....was FOR getting it!) were upset when they thought we might not get our tree....so....I gave in.

We went to our usual place, Noel's Tree Farm in Litchfield, NH...a great place...and had a really fun time. Was hoping to meet Jackie there but, sadly, we missed each other again this year.

We picked out a beautiful 8 foot Balsam - a little slim and pretty tall - and, though we couldn't cut it ourselves (those were TINY!!!), it's pretty fresh. Smells mmmm.....

The tree farm had a huge fire to roast hot dogs and marshmallows over - the boys LOVED this part!



And I was able to snap a quick pic of the three of my "boys" without any silly faces (an almost impossible job!)....



And...Ian got a pic of me and the boys, but it's strangely distant....



It was the perfect day - spending time with the boys (and very little arguing...lol), snuggled by the fire and bringing home a gorgeous tree. I love New Hampshire!

BTW- WEIGHT WATCHERS UPDATE: I'm up to having lost 24 pounds (2.4 last week!) and also made my 10% a couple of weeks ago. Pretty cool!

Monday, December 01, 2008

The Armando Hat, A Felted Bag and Me



A new free pattern! A felted bag (though not so new) and Me! Woo-hoo!

It's been almost 2 weeks (more?) since I've blogged. I feel like I'm having a hard time keeping up with my blogging, holiday knitting, Facebook (ugh...something else to get addicted to!), Ravelry and the couple of swaps I'm involved with. Anyone else feel the same? I think about cloning myself, but...well...I just couldn't do that to the world. One of me is PLENTY! (poor Ian)

First, an update on my never-ending food deprivation torture weight loss. (If this bores you, please scroll down to more important, yarn-y things below. It's fine...I don't mind!) I'm up to just over 22 pounds as of last Wednesday in 6 weeks. I'm still feeling motivated (which is a relief), but still get bogged down in thinking about how much MORE I want to lose - and how long it might take me. Sigh. It's a difficult thing - especially when your family is munching on pizza, chips and dip, apple cider and donuts and other delicious stuff. Ian, bless him, has been extremely supportive and cheers me every time I lose (even if it's only 1.8 pounds, like last week) and tells me how nice I look. (Love you, honey) I also wanted to say a very large and squeezy "Thank you" to everyone who commented on the last post - oh, all of those lovely words, compliments and support. You guys are THE BEST!

Second, The Armando Hat!!!



A free pattern that compliments The Amanda Hat pattern perfectly. I got a few requests for child size hats (check Ravelry for inspiration) and some for a more masculine Amanda hat. So, I came up with this. The first hat was named after the awesome and lovely Blogless Amanda (PandaPoison on Ravelry if you want to compliment and/or ravish her...he he), so I thought it would only be appropriate to name the male version of that hat after someone in her family -which would be Uncle Armando.

(Vibrant Orange is good for hunting/geocaching/hiking men:)


The pattern offers three sizes: beanie (small), medium, and full (large) - they're all the same in circumference, but differ in the length from the top of the head down. Beanie doesn't quite cover the ears, while the full covers the ears nicely. You can make 2 hats from only 1 skein of Malabrigo - buy here at Yarnzilla.com - two medium or one beanie/one full. Makes a perfect gift for your husband, brother, boyfriend, nephew, etc. and you can make a set for your favorite couple - guy/gal-Armando/Amanda hats.

The back of the hat:


You like? (Here is the link for the pattern on Ravelry)

Third, an FO! (Meant to be posted last Friday...or actually 2 weeks ago on Friday!)

DETAILS:

Pattern: Felted Tote by Two Old Bags (Rav Link)
Yarn: Cascade 220 (4 shades of green)
Needles: Addi Turbo 10.5 (circs)
Fun Level: A- (Finished it in a little over or under 1 week and is a very easy and enjoyable knit. This is actually my second tote bag using this pattern. The first I knit 3 years ago using Manos (must remember to put on Ravelry!). Only thing I didn't like so much was that I decided to stripe the bag (using the Fibonacci sequence) and that made for a LOT of ends to sew up. And also the straps took forever. But, besides that, I loved making it and I love how it came out. It's for my sister-in-law, Felice, for her holiday gift.

Before Felting:


The final touch was a pewter turtle button that I bought at Yarn and Fiber (last one!) for only $5 or so! I think it totally makes the bag - ka-pow!



Finally, a sneak peek of the "Branching Out" lace scarf I'm making -it's slow going but very nice so far! I'm using Filatura di Crosa's Superior in a steel gray (50% brushed cashmere/50% silk):



How was your Thanksgiving holiday??