Sunday, December 30, 2007

A Light Lunch

With the Holiday gift-making rush over for another year, I decided to use the next few, precious weeks of "down time" and make something for myself.

I started this a few months ago in another (increasingly rare) lull between self-imposed deadlines. It's about 40% completed and I love the colors I chose. Although I still remember the concept of the piece really well and know what I wanted the end result to be, it did take me a little time closely examining my previous progress on the piece to remember just exactly how I was plotting it all out.

Of course, I couldn't be satisfied with only one major project at a time, so along with the above piece I am doing from my own pattern, I am also making a sweater for myself, this time using a published pattern from another designer. The pattern is from "Crocheted Aran Sweaters" by Jane Snedden Peever. You may remember that the purple sweater I made for my Aunt Barbara from this book won a blue ribbon at the State Fair of Texas last year. Of course, that sweater was substantially altered from the pattern, but I am doing my very best to follow the pattern for this one, including even -(get ready for it) - using the recommended yarn! ::gasp:: I know. It's shocking.

Here's a peek at the wip using Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn, color: Wheat:

With this worsted weight yarn, the sweater is moving alot quicker than I am used to one growing. Still, I want a nice thick cardigan that can double as a jacket in the Texas seasons, so I figured the yarn would be appropriate. I'll let you know what I think when I've worn it...

All is not just cables and posts, though! Afterall, what is Jer without a little whimsy?!?

Several months ago I made the "killer tomato" that I found on this web site. A co-worker so enjoyed it, I made a mental note to myself at the time to also make him one. Taking advantage of the "down time," I whipped out a (smaller) companion to my original so he could enjoy the strange in his office. Here's a pic of "Quincy" next to his original brother, "Sammy." Each one only took an evening to make and what fun!!

Who knows? Maybe there's a whole psychotic salad in my future!



Monday, December 24, 2007

Fa La La La La

"Tis the season..."

I don't know about you, but for me, that means "Tis the season to run around like crazy with too many things on your agenda to possibly get them all done and keep a smile on your face while doing it..."

To catch you up, my friends, on the last three weeks of my life, I offer the following as an explanation of my absence:

3 full sized throws, 6 pair of earrings, one necklace, 1 pair of socks, several lots of sock yarn dyed, one sock pattern written and printed, gifts purchased and gifts shipped, a holiday fund raiser, a couple of Holiday concerts, several holiday parties and countless Christmas cards sent. This is all in addition to the "usual" things in life that lay claim to my time (you know, like eating, sleeping and a full-time job.)

I know all that is not a good excuse for not posting during the process, but I'm sure most of you reading this have encountered similar experiences in the last few weeks and can relate...

"Hello. My name is Jer and I'm a fiber-holic."

Actually, most of the crochet time in the last three weeks was spent making the throws for three special friends. Those three guys have helped me alot over the past year, in ways too complicated to go into here. Let me just say it in terms to which you can relate... each throw was more than 18,000 stitches... that's alot of love right there. Sorry, no pictures yet; I can only show you pictures of the gifts that have already been given to the recipients.

This is "Mayan Jungle," a crochet wire and bead neclace with matching earrings.

Here are a couple of the latest sock yarns:

I call the second one with coordinating toe/heel yarn "Pep-TOE Berry." The variegate was specifically set in lengths to work with my pattern, "SDOSAS Sox" which is being tested by another crocheter as we speak. (I could also use a couple other volunteers to work the pattern to help me check for errors. Any takers?)

For the gift exchange at the holiday party for my local crochet group, I included a copy of my sock pattern, along with some yarn to make a couple pairs of socks. Here's my first pathetic attempt at creating a label of sorts for the yarns.

I like the fonts and the color choices for the label, but clearly the light-weight paper and the scotch tape have to go! (Be kind, this one is still a WIP.)

With all the activity and seemingly endless barrage of deadlines, it would be easy for me to forget what all this is really about. Luckily, though, I've had little reminders along the way. Whether making Rachel Ray's five-minute fudge for our dinner party at home with friends or seeing the thrilled look of surprise on loved ones' faces when receiving gifts, the simple joys remind me to cherish each moment in life and enjoy the special times with loved ones.

This holiday season, when things can often be hectic and complicated, I wish you something more. I wish each of you the comforts and joys found in the simple things.