Thursday, January 24, 2008

boy, it's a good thing I'm supermom, huh?

"Hey mom, you know that hero report I did? Yeah? Well we have to dress up like our hero tomorrow morning." nice. What ever happened to the "Mom, I have to bring cookies to school" crap? With the hero being Christa McAuliffe (the first teacher to go into space when the space shuttle exploded back in the 80's), you can't just pick up a space suit from the HyVee bakery department. I think I did pretty damn good for the evening before. I also had offered to cover a bowl in aluminum foil as a space helmet, but being an 11 year old fashionista, my daughter passed on that one. You don't EVEN want to know where my brain was going when Lizzie said her teacher said to "be creative" and do a before and after the heroic event costume. Um, yeah. Maybe that would have worked better with someone like Laura Ingalls Wilder, little girl on the prairie, grown up author. Um, before=teacher/astronaut. after=boom. Yeah, I thought the sweatshirt and sticky-backed felt was a better idea there. I told her to carry a stack of books like she's a teacher, then an astronaut and just skip the whole acting out the ending business. I did make her do most of the work on cutting out the letters and fitting it on there, so it was good old bonding mom & daughter craft time.

More socks done. Finished these up with a teensy bit of yarn left over for future darning if necessary. Wollmeise yarn, color Gewitterhimmel (stormy heavens), needles 1.5 hiya-hiya metal dpns. LOVE those needles. The yarn had enough for a pair for mom and one for Joey. I'm also almost ready for the heel on my smooshy socks from birthday yarn. Since it's all of 12 degrees outside, I'm sure these socks should get some good wear before long.

So, you've all heard about how cotton burns and wool smolders but stops immediately when the fire source is removed, right? Well, it's true. Ask me how I know. Go ahead, ASK ME! Well, I'm glad you asked. See the smoldering log on the left in the fireplace insert? See it sitting nicely INSIDE the firebox? That was AFTER a bit of fireworks in the house. Ever heard of burning hedge wood? It's that unbelievably hard, dense wood that early farmers used as fence posts hundreds of years ago and they're still standing. The wood is almost petrified. Well, when that wood starts to burn and then fresh air gets in, it sparks like the 4th of July. No, not quite like the 4th of July because those sparks are IN THE SKY. These were IN MY FACE and apparently a few settled on my arm. The mild-mannered log on the left decided to try to roll out in the midst of the fun. I couldn't get it shoved in there enough to shut the damn doors and the sparks were just getting thicker and crazier. EVERYWHERE. I see this FLASH of flame. ON MY FREAKING ARM. The whole stop, drop and roll just somehow didn't stick in my brain. My sleeve was ON FREAKING FIRE. I went more with the flail arm about wildly (fanning the flame), curse loudly and jump around until I grabbed the edge of the big Zimmermanish vest thing I was wearing (made from yarn from Joanna, bless her fire-putting-out stash) which smothered the flames, used superhuman strength and shoved the damn log back into the firebox, slammed the door and sat down panting. I looked at my sleeve and the cotton edge of the sleeve was charred black, apparently cotton shirts make quite the fire starter. I should email survivorman, wonder if he knows that. The Zimmerman vest? Not even a scratch. I even pulled out a tiny chunk of sparked wood that was still smoldering from the thick wooly stitches and dropped it in the pot of water on top of the stove. No burns, no horrible stuff. Just an even bigger love of all things wooly and natural and Zimmermanny. Usually Jeff takes stove duty. We pretty much heat the whole Weasley house with firewood since we're able to come by it free. Since Jeff had been traveling a great deal lately, I'd become NATURE GIRL, almost enjoying the clear mind that comes to you while "wood chuckin'" (carrying wood in from the pile by the side of the house to the garage) and was getting quite cocky in my Nautre Girl abilities. I've officially turned all things fire-related back over to Nature Boy himself. Most of the problem was that after burning wood for almost a week at a pretty steady rate left this big angle of ashes and the logs want to roll right out at you if you don't do the shoveling ashes thing. Nature Girl will chuck wood, but she could find 45 other chores she'd rather do than shovel ashes.

Later while knitting I kept getting this smell of steaks. Grilled steaks. At first I thought the neighbors were grilling. Then I realized it was 1 degree outside and almost 11pm. Then I smelled my arm. Yup. Somehow I'd got the stink of singed meat without actually burning myself. cripes. Washed and slathered my arm in lotion and went back to knitting, but I can totally still smell it.

OH and the month-old fudge? It rocked.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I am a very good driver.....

I AM a very good driver, I am just NOT a very good backer-upper. SO, what have I been up to these last couple of days? Working on the resume? Finding local colleges to complete those damn few hours left for the official degree? Snuggling up in bed watching the Walton's while knitting and sucking down hot chocolate and hiding from reality Making life plans for the future for where this career opportunity is taking me? kinda.

Also BACKING INTO THE NEIGHBOR'S FREAKING CAR. nice, huh? They always park this little white honda RIGHT where any car backing out of our driveway almost hits. Jeff even told me he's almost crunched it at least a dozen times. Only thing is, ALMOST doesn't help me here. Good use of my savings, huh? damn. damn damn damn. Car is being appraised and at least the neighbor is letting us use Jeff's brother-in-law's body shop. damn damn damn. Pictures tomorrow. I was entirely too depressed and it was entirely too cold to try to snap a pic tonight. At least the damn thing's still drivable, it just has to have the entire front freaking end replaced since it's a itty bitty toyota and is only made out of about 4 pieces. damn damn damn Only good thing is that the truck didn't even get a scratch.

One smart thing I've done is put down the sweater knitting and back away slowly (without running into anyone) and stick with sock knitting. A lot of freaking sock knitting. The gorgeous wollmeise I got a while back became mom's first pair of knitted socks. Size 11 knitted socks. There was still enough left (hopefully) to make Joey a pair as well. My camera was in Germany with Jeff when mom's socks were delivered, so I've only got pics of Joey's socks in progress. In the last few days, I've knitted the heel and foot of mom's sock and one and a half sz 3 kids' socks. I'll probably finish the other one tonight. I'm actually working most of the day and hardly knitting until night. It's been freaky. These fingers be flyin'. When stressful things occur in your life, your tension WILL change and you will be even more pissed off if your sweater suddenly gets much, much tighter for a while, so do us all a favor and PUT THE GOOD KNITTING DOWN when life gets too hairy. Socks are much more forgiving.

Oh, and the best thing about today? While digging through my cabinet where I keep the extra vitamin bottles and lotions and such, looking for some vitamin C as my throat is killing me, head hurting, stress must be wiping me out and I don't want to get sick......GUESS what I found? CHOCOLATE!!! During a trip to Crown Center right before Xmas Joey and I wandered into that shop that makes its own fudge, mmmmmmmmmmm, and watched them make some. SOoooooo, I ended up bringing home a boatload of it. Ate about half of it, stuffed it into the cabinet and FORGOT about it. I'm thinking the m&m's are good. Anyone think I'll get sick eating month old fudge? Does it go bad? Cause it smells sooooooo good. I'm thinking to be safe I'll eat just a little bitty bit. and see what happens. Yeah, you know I'm eating more than an itty bitty bit. These are TWO slices of inch and a half thick KC homemade fudge. One's chocolate peanut butter and one's pure chocolate heaven. Screw the m&m's. I want FUDGE! Wish my belly luck.

Thanks for the good thoughts, guys. It means a lot. It really does. And Teri, I'll bust a move with you ANYTIME lady. Parking lots full of ice in the freezing cold are no match for a couple of 80's flashbacking almost 40-yr old girls like us. MAN that felt good. Nothing finishes off a night of good old' knitting guild official business like that. You know what to do, now bust a move....

Good night Jim Bob, Good night Elizabeth. do dah dahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh (come on you KNOW the last notes of the Waltons always leave you wishing you were there too! And yes, I can totally sing/hum the entire freaking song.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Knock, Knock...

R: Knock, Knock
Me: Who's there?
R: REALITY, turn around, please.
Me: Reality, who? *turns around obediently*
R: Reality THIS! Bwa ha HAAAAAAA *CHOMP! *biting me right in the ass*

Well, it's been nice. Really, really nice. Working from home as a consultant. So very, very nice. Ah well. It's all over. My yarny, happy world has crumbled around me. Good thing I've been budgeting lately, huh? DAMN!

In the last 48 hours I've been told of the "great opportunity" for my future. My company is being sold. My job is going bye bye. Very, very quickly. GREAT opportunity, huh? Ah well. Because I do have a good man as a boss, who talked up my abilities and skills, I also had an interview to work temporarily with the new company. There is actually the potential to have full time employment with a good growing company and work about 5 minutes from home.

I know, I know. Everyone ELSE works in the real world. I've had it good. I know it. I'm just a little bit absolutely freaking out about entering the real world work force again. Big shiny buildings make my innerds all funky. It's not pretty. I only cursed a little bit under my breath while walking into corporation-world central for the meeting. Turning around I heard a man chuckle at me. With how my life usually works, I figured it was the guy set up to interview me, but you know what? I got lucky and he got out on another floor. *whew*

Best interview advice had to come from Teri...I said I was feeling as lost and confused as a newly divorced single momma out in the dating world again. Then I said, oh, yeah, I was REALLY good at dating, so maybe that's not a good example. Teri said, That's it! Just think of it like a date. Then she looked at me, realization set in and she said, um, yeah. Maybe NOT think of it like one of YOUR dates EXACTLY, you know..... a few snorts of laughter later, we figured I'd better just think of it as an interview after all. Instead of lucky panties I wore my lucky socks. I have superhero powers while wearing my mountain colors barefoot socks. 60% superwash wool, 25% mohair, 15% nylon, 48% superabilities. I know the numbers don't add up right, but who'm I to question such amazing sock yarn? I'm a believer, baby.

THANK GOD for good friends and family. You guys rock. You kept me mostly sane and helped me pull my act together pretty damn quick from full freakout mode to interview-ready in a matter of hours. Best part of the day? The fact that the monster sized goiter zit on my chin broke out about 2 hours AFTER the interview. Nothing says competent, professional business woman like a goiter zit on a middle-aged woman's chin, huh? nice.

The hardest part of this whole situation was my nature boy was in GERMANY. (He'll be home by the time you read this for any crazy stalker-people out there.) Across an OCEAN, for cripes sakes. I gotta hand it to the man. I tried to hold out until the end of his big training trip so I didn't ruin his fun, but he could tell something was wrong. When he asked what was bothering me I dumped it all on him in about 5 minutes straight in full crazy-speed-talk-mode. He calmed me down, then called me and left some amazing messages on the answering machine for me throughout the day today. Basically he said that I've always supported him through any troubles and he'd do the same for me....we can get through anything together...he knew I'd be spectacular in the interview, not to worry a bit...and mostly that he loved and believed in me. You know, the man may drive me up the wall sometimes, but THIS is why I love him so. This and the fact that he wears my socks and sweaters with pride.

OH and the police thing? That's now TWICE I've attracted attention from the men in black here while knitting in the car. I think it's because I've switched to metal hiya-hiya double point needles. All that silver flashing or something. Maybe I need wooden needles for car knitting. Hiya-hiya's should come with a warning label.....WARNING: May attract police or impale knitters if held in lap while driving. Yeah, I totally poked myself with one the other day as well. Hard enough to leave a little red dot. That's how crazy good karma's stabbing me in the tummy kicking me in the ass this week.

Thank God it's Friday. This week sucked. I'm ready for a break. I'm gonna curl up in bed and knit and hide for a while. ok?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Yes, sir. No, sir. Only on the red lights, sir.

SO, sitting in the left-turn lane at a red light. Minding my own business. Knitting on a sock. A quick WHOOP WHOOP of a police siren next to me got my attention. Mr. Policeman has an intent look on his face and his window's rolled down. I roll mine down and say, "yes, sir, is there a problem?" He gets out of his car, with the lights going. nice. Apparently, when I held the knitting up close to see whether I needed to decrease on this round or the next on the heel gusset, it made the man a titch uncomfortable seeing a driver wielding metal implements of doom double pointed sock needles instead of having both hands on the steering wheel. After explaining what I was doing, "yes, sir." And promising that I never, EVER knit while driving, "Oh, no, sir!" that the knitting goes in the lap as soon as the light turns green he seemed to be ready to let me get on with it. (That really long stretch of very straight, very deserted highway last summer and a stockinette sock in progress don't count here.) Also, Mr. PM didn't agree that sock knitting is, in fact, why God made red lights, no chuckle at all. That's the beginning of the "yes,, sir" business began. Apparently I'm not nearly as funny in real life as I sometimes think I am in my head. Knitting humor and policemen don't mix well. Thank God it's not a ticketing offense to knit a sock at the wheel.

What, MORE run-ins with public servants? Yes, please. Saturday afternoon Jeff's burning off a pile of brush and apparently had a few too many wet smoldery leaves in the chiminea. Ok, in the big metal barrel that was cut in half and serves as our outdoor firepit. There was a column of smoke so thick and rolling that the local firemen that were heading back from a grocery store stop decided to come and check things out. After admiring the screened-in back porch Jeff made and talking twigs, leaves and all things fire and smoke, they said we weren't in trouble since the fire was technically in a chiminea, but should put this smoke-fest out so the neighbors would calm down. While they were there we must have had 4 old men come running thinking the house was burning down. I do love our neighbors.

Knitted objects in action. We bundled up and packed snacks and such and spent Sunday afternoon playing in the park. Football, hide-n-seek tag, lava tag, hiking around the paths, throwing sticks on the frozen ice, generally having a good time. Thank God for warm wool. And long underwear. Good times had by all.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Well Darn it!

Guess what new knitting skill I get to learn now? I wasn't actually saying "darn it" when I found the hole. I was saying "it" but I used a little more descriptive word in front of it. I always thought, Oh, I won't ever darn socks. I'll just wear them until they start to give out, realize they've done their job and that'll be the end of them. But these are my MONKEY socks. My very, very favorite pair of socks. Darn it.

Skating party at 4:00 today, gotta get the hanging with the kids thing done while they still think it's cool that their mom likes to roller skate too. I'm sure I'll be a social pyranha soon enough.

How can I say no to toes as prettily dressed as these? Guess I'll have to do some surfing around to find directions of darning. Anyone with points can sure send me info if they'd like.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Well, so much for stash-diving

OK, so I said I never said I wasn't going to buy new yarn. I just said I was going to try to make it on the budget. In my defense, if this yarn works up like I hope it will, it's a hell of a shopping triumph. $12. TWELVE DOLLARS! It feels fabulous, has good squooshability, smells good. 75% superwash wool 25% nylon with Aloe Vera. One skein is supposed to be enough for one pair of men's boot socks. Since Jeff seems to like the thicker yarn for socks and I'm sporting bags full of sock weight yarn, what's a girl to do? I'll probably actually swatch this stuff up. I don't think I've ever swatched for a sock. Ever. I just either frog it in process and reknit, or find someone to fit the sock I made, or usually my socks just magically fit. Of course, that's usually with sock weight yarns that I can usually guesstimate pretty well what size needles and how many to cast on, etc. What? MEASURE a foot? Swatch it? *sigh* I'm crossing over to the dark side of knitting, where you do things that make sense. I haven't decided if I'll make these toe up, which would make the most sense of all, since I'm not sure how long of cuffs to make, but that's really pushing it for me. We'll see. Twelve dollars plus sales tax? Absolutley the cheapest I've ever gotten out of a yarn shop.

Isn't this pretty yarn? Damn, I love Cascade 220. This is from the heathers line. I got 7 skeins on the day-after-Christmas sale at Knit Wit in Olathe. Shopping pre-budget, you know. It's going to become the Laced-Front Sweater from Knitting Lingerie Style. A butt-load of ribbing, but it is so pretty I can't help myself. The dreamweaver link of this book has good pics of the book's projects. The one I'm making is the grey laced-up sweater leaning against a yellow background.

Does it totally cancel out the goodness of drinking the slim-fast ultimate no-hunger stuff if you have to mix a couple massive squirts of hershey's chocolate syrup in there? Is there any flavor that doesn't taste like fake-chocolate-flavored dog barf? I'm not going crazy with the whole weight loss thing this time around, I'm just trying to whittle down those thighs if I'm going to be getting married on a boat and wearing a bikini for a honeymoon. I figure if I can drink that crap in the morning and eat normal food at night I should be ok. Of course, that means avoiding those damn Crispy Creme donuts at the Knitting meetings. Oh and those damn chocolate chip cookies. Maybe I'll bring a veggie tray instead of McDs' next time. It looks like the official date is moving from February to late-April or early-May. We're still trying to work out the legalities of getting married in the Bahamas on Jeff's uncle's boat.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Resolutions Schmezolutions

I don't do well with the whole resolutions thing. I will try, don't get me wrong. I just get tired of not completing whatever tasks I set myself. I have found I'm much happier in life with lots of itsy bitsy goals. I can cross so much more of life's list that way and it's not that big of a deal if I don't follow through. Wow, that's really pitiful. Ah well, I'm happy.

I do have one resolution for 2008. I resolve to smile politely and QUIETLY when people point out that I may knit too much and may have a problem. My usual response is to smile not-so-politely and say "BITE ME!"

I'd also like to get a real camera this year and learn to use it. I take sucky pictures. I hate that. Ah well. Bite me.

I sure didn't end up with what I was aiming for on this one. I think I like it, though. I may make the actual long sweater jacket this was supposed to be someday. It was SUPPOSED to be the Long-Collared Jacket-Sweater in Garter Stitch, Spun-Out #32 from Elizabeth Zimmerman. I ended up making a 4 ridge garter stitch border band and bound off knitwise so the braid-like edge matches the phoney seams on the sides. Freakishly deep armholes meant the sleeves would make me crazy on this one. I think it works as a vest though. I'll probably add buttons and pockets down the road. I made the collar increases one at each collar point instead of 2 so it kind of rolls into a tighter shawl collar kind of thing. I'm pleased with myself for making changes and following my knitter's instincts on this one. Yarn was Gjestal Naturgarn, No. 1, dark grey wool from Norway, that I got from Joanna in the local knit guild's yarn swap night. I've still got 4.5 balls of this stuff, I really REALLY like it.

Ok, I apologize to long-time readers that have already heard this story, but the "itsy bitsy" made me flash back to my daughter's preschool days. Even though the girl is usually quiet (NOT like her momma) when she wants to she can be LOUD as heck. Music teachers usually love this and put her in the front row of concerts because she can belt out the songs. Lizzie's preschool teachers asked me to practice new words to the Itsy Bitsy Spider at home with her. Apparently they had to change the words due to a "situation" at a little concert. They went to the old folks' home to sing and there's my daughter in the front row, singing at the top of her lungs, "The ITCHY, BITCHY SPIDER went up the water spout...." I almost swallowed my tongue I was trying so hard not to laugh. The teachers were all in a huff, I think I escaped with a few snorts and covered them well with a coughing spell.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Quite possibly the ugliest thing I've ever knitted. Ever.

Nine partial balls of Schaefer Elaine yarn. Each one beautiful in its own way. Independently beautiful. Together? It's as if I knitted up the barf from my dog after he got into the kids' neon twist-up crayons. (Thank God that stuff was non-toxic.) It was the strangest thing. I was POSSESSED by this project. The more I knit, the uglier it got. The uglier it got, the more I was compelled to knit it. I started it Wednesday morning, finished it last night. 5 days. Of knitting this thing. I used the basic idea of the Moderne Log Cabin garter stitch blanket from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book. Seriously, I love this yarn. It made some of my very favorite scarves knitted years ago. I just would NEVER put these colors together on purpose. It ended up being 26" X 44", which is just perfect for a lap blanket for me while I'm working at my computer. Also, if you spin it in an ever widening circle and flip the lights on and off, it looks just like the start of a migraine. You never know when that may come in handy.

I've decided to not make sleeves for the Zimmerman-ish sweater jacket thing I'm working on. Adding a band/border thing around the inside, not sure if I'll like it or not. I'll probably finish it off with an i-cord bindoff and see what I think.

Anyone, besides Chery catch the little phrase "HUGE downturn in the freshly acquired yarn department" in the lat post? I'm on a budget. *gasp* I know, it sucks. The whole saving for our future crap, not living for today, but living for tomorrow......blah blah blah. Yes, I do truly want to have a place to live and retire early enough to be able to enjoy our lives. I'd also like the home we retire in to have electricity, running water, air conditioning and internet access. Though the tick-infested "farm" we were looking into has dropped off the list, we're now looking at 3 more country properties. Our goal is to move there when the kids go to college, in about 12 years. In order to do that, I've got to help save for the greater good. The budget I wrote had a very modest $300/year yarn allowance. Those that know me well snorted quite loudly at that amount. Apparently, I don't walk into a yarn shop without spending about $80 per trip. Seriously. The whole "you need MORE YARN?" discussion came about after the boy pointed out the cedar chest full of lovely yarn. I decided not to point out the large 6-drawer monster dresser also full of yarn. See, sometimes I CAN think before I talk. So, the $300/year is off the board. gone. no yarn budget. for me. none.

SO, the new plan is to pay groceries, medical stuff, bills, gas, etc from the checking account. Live on $100 per month for the rest of my misc. spending needs. This includes McDonalds' trips, pizza deliveries, movies, entertainment and YARN. Cripes almighty. Seeing as I'm a shopaholic yarn snob, you'd think the stash would have some good stuff in it. It does, but also my tastes have changed drastically in the almost 4 years I've been knitting. The plan is to re-fall in love with this fiber that I couldn't live without. I do have some good stuff in there along with a lot of single balls of strange stuff. I'll save my pennies up for goodies and use the couple of gift certificates I've got and hope to make it through. I still have a secret stash fund for monster yarn cravings, (and the yarn shopping room at the Knitting in the Heartland Spring festival thing) but I'm going to try to use it sparingly.

Frugal doesn't come naturally to me. A normal weekend outing with the kids would be taking my two to the movies, buying popcorn and icees and pop for me and a big ass bag of peanut m&ms to share. Easily spend over $50. Then maybe order pizza for dinner, another $20 including tip. OK, so I see how this COULD add up to a lot of wasted cash. In a fit of frugal go-get-it-ness I planned an entirely FREE outing this last weekend. The kids and I mixed up some kool-aid in thermoses, iced tea in a thermos for me, packed some granola bars and fruit roll-ups and hit the road. We went to the Nelson Atkins Art Gallery and parked on the road outside (free parking) and toured the old part of the museum and admired traditional paintings and sculptures and various Chinese displays. Then we wandered into the new Bloch wing and it ROCKED! That had such neat, unusual things the kids were fascinated. Then we walked all freaking OVER the outside checking out the sculptures and enjoying the beautiful weather. We must have walked for almost 3 hours total. We had a picnic snack in the minivan and headed for home, tired and proud of ourselves. I'm going to try to scout out other free adventures here around the city. Being frugal sure does take a lot more planning and thinking.

I was all inspired by myself and went to a frugal mom website to get more ideas. They were talking about making their own granola for cripes sakes. I'm not going that far, I just wanna save some money but still knit with soft, pretty yarn. Is that so wrong? For the record, saying "for the greater good" in Dumbledore-speak doesn't really help either. Not shopping still sucks. Anyone with good ideas of outings for the kids and I please feel free to send a note. I'm just starting on this stupid ass budget challenging new lifestyle and could use some help.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

He may ruin the house and drive me crazy, but the boy gives good presents!

Santa's little helper did a very good job this year and got me a ball winder and a really nice wooden swift. I've spent HOURS winding yarn into cakes and rewinding my old hand-wound balls into cakes. I do love cakes, whether they be chocolate or yarn. OH there's nothing prettier than a freshly wound cake. I've not wound the new yarn I got at Knit Wit's big sale yet, I've got to drag out that little pleasure as there will be a HUGE downturn in the freshly acquired yarn department. Details later, let's just say it's a good damn thing I've got a monstrous stash.

Joey loved his sweater made by his momma! Yeah! He wore it for about 3 days straight and now my mother has decided the whole family needs these wallaby sweaters. Oh, she'd like hers just like Joey's, but washable, ok? Sure mom. Joey's doing his modeling shoot with the "this one the girls will think is hot, mom" shot. Yes, I'm surrounded by dorks. I love them, but they're all dorks.

We've been busy here at the Weasley house. All Christmas decorations are put away snugly in their tubs and stored away in the basement. The boys found the snow and a sled helped get the newspaper up to the recycling bin a little easier.

Much sledding was done, we went to the super hill over by I-435 by corporate woods at least 4 times in the last 2 weeks. The last picture is Jeff and his friend balanced on a giant innertube with his friend's little girl riding on top of the both of them like a pyramid.

The action shot of my hat is the new hat I started because I was feeling left out without having a hand knit needing completion by Christmas. I ended up making TWO of them just the same. I used my Kansas Alpaca yarn I got last year. I them with 2 strands of dk alpaca held together using my Dax Alpaca's Seed Stitch Knited Cap pattern I got in Taos. I love this hat! I gave the other one to my cousin Kelly. Jeff's the one in the pics with the strange elf-looking red tipped hat. It was a gag gift received by his youngest son and is now Jeff's favorite hat.

OH, and I almost forgot. I'm Zimmermanning myself. I'll give details tomorrow since this post is so freaking long. I'm having to recalculate everything because I couldn't get the gauge called for and it's mostly working out. The sleeves are NOT, so the whole thing is now in time out stuffed in my dresser drawer for another day. It's a garter stitch long sweater coat kind of thing from one of the little pamphlets put out by EZ and Meg.

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