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Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

The fourth and final pair of Christmas gift socks went to Josh, my daughter’s boyfriend.

I forgot to get a good picture of the completed socks before Josh left with them, but I’ll edit the post later if I do get one.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of the start and a close-up of the knit stitch.

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The sock pattern is, once again, from Favorite Socks:  Diagonal Cross Rib Socks by Ann Budd.

The socks are knit in one of my favorite yarns, Schaefer Yarns Anne that I got from one of my new favorite yarn sources, The Loopy Ewe.  The colorway is Full Moon, and I like it so much I’m going to try to snag another skein before they’re all gone to make a pair of socks for John.  It is a very subtle hand-dye of shades of slightly blue tinged gray.  Very lovely.  The fiber is superwash merino wool, mohair, and nylon.  Very soft, washable, and durable, I hope.   

 John got left out on the Christmas gift socks because I ran out of time, but mostly because I learned while making his Buffy Tracks Scarf that I cannot knit anything for him in secret.  So I’ll be making his Christmas socks in the New Year.

John says one of the best things about hand-knit socks is that they don’t fall down.  It’s especially true with the trick that Ann Budd uses on her men’s sock patterns–and maybe others. The first several inches of the leg are knit with one size larger needle than the rest of the sock.

Well, it’s the last day of the year, and I think I can say I accomplished a lot in 2008.

Knitting:  12, yes, 12! pairs of socks.  

                       I finished the October socks yesterday and will post them tomorrow.

                       2 Sweaters  

                       4 Lace Shawls

                       1 Bison yarn scarf — Buffy Tracks 

                       1 Entrelac Headband

                       1 Flower Washcloth — for fun — have to make more of these

 Sewing:       3 Bow Tucks Totes

Quilting:      Two lap-size quilt tops, yet to be quilted

                           A set of pot holders for the Taos house.

On-Line Classes:  Journal Making w/ five journals completed

                                        Monoprinting

Spinning:      1000 yards of Coopworth yarn spun and plied — My first handspun!

Dyeing:             Lots of fabric and yarn

Challenges:     6 months of projects for the Take It Further Challenge 

Plus some miscellaneous things here and there.  Not to mention making a cross-country move and starting back into full-time ministry.  Granted, a lot of this was done before I went back to work, but still, it sort of astounds me when I look back over the year.

This is starting to sound like one of those awful Christmas letters bragging about all you and your kids have done over the year–and I hate those.  But since this blog was started to help me keep on track and get more accomplished I have to say it has fulfilled its purpose.    

I’m sure next year will not be quite as productive, but hey, I’ll be working on the Doctor of Ministry, so who knows what that will inspire?

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The third pair of Christmas gift socks was made for my daughter, Larissa.

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This time I used Panda Toes which is a blend of superwash merino and bamboo rayon.  The yarn has a little more slippery texture so dropping a stitch can be a bit of a problem in terms of recovery.  But the yarn has a feel and hand that makes it worth a little extra attention while working it.  I also hear that bamboo has wicking and anti-bacterial properties that make it great for socks.

I was a little afraid Larissa wouldn’t like these socks because the pattern is very textural, and I’ve recently learned she’s not fond of a lot of texture.  But she seems to like them.  

I think they turned out really pretty.  The pattern on the leg travels down the entire heel, which was something different for me in the knitting.  

The colorway is Greens of Summer and I kept alternating between calling these “salad socks” and “mermaid” socks because the pattern down the front and back reminded me of a mermaid’s tail.  I still haven’t quite decided on a name for when I post them on Ravelry.

The pattern is, you guessed it, another from Favorite Socks.  This time it’s Anne Woodbury’s pattern for Merino Lace Socks.  With this yarn my socks look distinctively different from the more conservative looking socks in the illustration.  Very nice pattern that I’d like to make again.  

It was supposed to be made on two circular needles, but I chickened out on taking the time to figure that technique out since I was in a hurry, but now that I’ve learned how to do it with my October socks, I’ll try it next time I make this pattern.

Incidentally, the October socks are nearly finished and Larissa likes them so I’m going to part with them and give them to her.  I made them just a tiny bit smaller than I like for myself in case she didn’t like the green socks.  They fit her great, so they’ll be going out to her, probably by the end of the week.

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The second pair of Christmas gift socks was completed during October.

These socks were made for my sister, Cindy.

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The yarn is Monkey Toes again.  I bought the yarn for several pairs of socks at the Pagosa Springs Fiber Festival last spring, and chose the colors especially for each recipient.

The colorway is Amethyst and the pattern is Embossed Leaf Socks by Mona Schmidt, again in Favorite Socks.  I probably don’t need to add that I love this book.  There are still many more patterns I want to make from it.  

I didn’t plan it that way, but these socks sort of go with the Bow Tucks bag I made Cindy for her birthday.  

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The angel wings worked great!  Our Living Nativity Walk went very well on Saturday night and I was the envy of all of the rest of the angels.  They all wanted wings like mine.  So guess what? We’ll be making more of these stylized wings for next year.

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That’s me up at the very top.  It was a little breezy so my “wings” flowed like they were supposed to.  Only problem was that the breeze was blowing the wrong direction.  

Incidentally, we all had a ball being angels and actually even broke into song near the end of the event after so many people asked why we weren’t singing (we had recorded music playing, after all!).  We might plan to sing for real next year.

I thought there would be a lot of little girls being angels, but it ended up being a bunch of grown women who all thought it was pretty cool to dress up as angels.  It was a real highlight of the season for us all.   

I haven’t touched any needles for a couple of days.  I’m hoping to pick up a little knitting tonight.

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So it’s not couture sewing but I actually sat down at my sewing machine yesterday and in about two hours put together two costumes for our first (annual — I hope) Living Nativity Walk.  We’re setting scenes for people to walk through that tell the Christmas story.  They’ll be bordered by luminaria, or as we say in New Mexico, farolitos, and surrounded by music that was recorded at our Christmas Cantata.

Each scene will have live “characters” as our Living Nativity creator and director, George, calls them and we’re expecting some live animals as well.  Our only hope is that the rescue squad siren (the rescue squad is across the street from the church) doesn’t go off in the middle of everything and frighten the animals who are used to being out in the country.  I’ve checked my Bible and I don’t see animal stampede anywhere in the Christmas story.

We’re also hoping that it doesn’t rain–at least not too hard.

George brought me some fabulous material he got at a mill end shop and I quickly stitched up this Wise Man’s/King’s costume, tunic and robe.  I made a bit of a mistake on the cutting of the tunic, which is ridiculous because it’s ridiculously simple, but I fixed it with a little fancy zig-zagging.  Pretty opulent, I’d say.

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I’m going to be an angel–no comments!  So I pulled out my old white robe (alb) that I no longer use for preaching and worship and embellished the arms with stylized “wings.”  Considering the fact that my sermon tomorrow is titled, “The Truth About Angels,” and I’ve learned in my preparation for it that nowhere in the Bible do angels have wings, it seemed odd to me to equip myself with the typical stiff, stuck out from the back wings.  

Here’s how I made my “wings.”

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I tore two yards of shimmery, filmy fabric across the grain into approximately two-inch wide strips so they would be frayed and would not just lie flat as they would if simply cut.

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Then I pinned them onto a 30-inch length of 1/2-inch wide ribbon.  I started with one piece at the half way point and then made each one longer with a shorter “fold-over” as I headed from wrist to shoulder.  The fold-over acts as a second layer for the wing.  Then I stitched down the middle to attach to the ribbon.

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Finally, I tacked the “wings” on by hand to sleeves using a long running back stitch down the middle of the ribbon.  It will be easy to go in from the back side and snip them off when I’m finished with them.

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The strips of fabric fold over to make a layered “wing”.  One problem is all the strays threads that keep coming off the fabric strips, but it’s not a big problem.  I’m hoping there will be a slight breeze that will make the wings “fly about” a little while I’m standing there being a “character.”

Now I just have to finish folding down the tops of 50 more brown paper lunch sacks for the luminaria.  We’re making over 200!  (I love this picture from newmexicophotos.com.  Check out the site for more farolito pics and other great New Mexico pictures.  I’m dreaming of a New Mexico Christmas!)

five-luminarias THEN I have to get on with some of the other things I have to do today:  finish preparing for worship and teaching tomorrow, make cookies for Larissa and Josh’s arrival on Wednesday, fix a pot of vegetable soup, and of course, get ready to be an angel.

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