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The TWELFTH and FINAL pair of socks for 2014!

I'm done!

I'm done!

I'm really and truly done!!!!  YAY!!!!!! 

Here are the twelfth and final pair of socks for the 12-socks-in-2014 challenge:
Unexpected bonus?  My daughter now has a few new pairs of handknit socks in her wardrobe!  Yay!

This was a really fun challenge, even though I started to fall behind once school started up for the kids again.  I caught up though, so all is well!  This is one of the first times that I have set a crafting goal and actually completed it; so I'm pretty proud of myself!

Also, one of my awesome crafting friends made me the cutest badge; I have to share it with you all!  Thank you, Tammy!  :)


NOTES:

YARN:  Vanna's Choice in Gray

NEEDLES:  Addi Turbo Interchangeables, size US 5

PROJECT BAG:  Madbird, Holiday Owls

AUDIOBOOK/ MOVIES:  New episodes of Doctor Who (series 8)

PROJECT DATES:  December 25-27, 2014

Sock Pair #11 of 2014

Yes, I'm furiously knitting my last pair of the year as we speak, so no time for chit-chat!  :)
NOTES:

YARN:  Vanna's Choice in Radiant Orange

NEEDLES:  Addi Turbo Interchangeables, size US 5

PROJECT BAG:  Madbird, Holiday Owls

AUDIOBOOK/ MOVIES:  Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon; and LOTS of Christmas movies!

PROJECT DATES:  December 20-24, 2014

Sock Pair #10 of 2014

I'm so busy knitting and doing holiday stuff that I don't have a lot of time or commentary here!  Suffice it to say that I'm running a bit behind on my 12-socks-in-2014 challenge, but I'm determined to finish before the year is up!

Above you see my tenth pair of the year!  YIPPEEEEE!!!  Two more to go!

NOTES:

YARN:  Vanna's Choice in Radiant Orange (MC) and Aqua (CC)

NEEDLES:  Addi Turbo Interchangeables, size US 5

PROJECT BAG:  Madbird, Holiday Owls

AUDIOBOOK/ MOVIES:  Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon; and LOTS of Christmas movies!

PROJECT DATES:  December 15-19, 2014

Weasley Sweater #4

And thus it endeth!  Or something like that!  I love Weasley sweaters.... but I am SO SO SO SO SO glad that this is the last one, and I'm done!!!!  WOOHOO!!!!!
I knit four Weasley sweaters this year for my four children.  This is the final one for my baby daughter, even though she is fast becoming a toddler every day!  I can't wait to see her in it.  Yay!
NOTES:

Project Dates:  November 25, 2014 - December 11, 2014

Yardage:  Approximately 284 Yards

Yarn:  Knit Picks City Tweed HW in Rhubarb (MC); Vanna's Choice in Black for Duplicate Stitch

Needles:  Knit Picks Interchangeables, Caspian, US Size 8

Project Bag:  Madbird Christmas owls

Audiobook:  Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon





The FINAL Weasley Sweater of 2014

My Christmas crafting goals this year were lofty indeed.  So lofty, in fact, that I started working on them in January and have done little else all year long!  Here are a few things I've learned:

1.  I am VERY ambitious when I'm pregnant.  In the very beginning of January of this year, I was still pregnant and ready to pop, and that is when I made my crafting plans for the year ahead.  Everything seems do-able when you are that pregnant.  There is something about creating a life that makes you feel like a superhero, completely invincible and capable of absolutely anything.  So yeah, that was my mind frame when I set my crafting goals for the year!  (And no, I did NOT factor in the fact that I would be dealing with a newborn..... please see the above comment regarding "feeling like a superhero"!)

2.  I set the bar high this year, and though I reached all my goals, I feel like I've done nothing but knit for Christmas ALL YEAR LONG.  I think it might be a good idea…

My 10-Year Knitaversary!!!

Today I celebrate TEN YEARS of knitting.  A whole decade!!!  And since I am a sentimental fool to the core, I have to reminisce a little.

Knitting came into my life on December 18, 2004, for a very silly reason.  At the time, I had just moved in with my boyfriend, and we were both very recently unemployed.  While we hunted for jobs, we also spent every spare moment together.  It was a fun time, and when we weren't job-seeking, we took walks to the library or grocery store, played tons of Scrabble and other board games, experimented with new recipes, did a TON of baking, went dancing, fixed up the cute little house we lived in at the time, etc.  We had grown accustomed to doing everything together.

That weekend in December, though, my boyfriend's longtime best friend was getting married, and my BF was to be the best man.  It was a weekend filled with wedding activities for the wedding party, and so we spent our first weekend apart.  I distinctly remember after he left on Saturd…

"Regeneration Carol" — A Doctor Who Christmas parody by Not Literally Pr...

Hogwarts Tote Bag

AI have blogged before about a trip I took to LeakyCon back in 2013.  It was epic, and one of the very best weekends of my life, thanks to the awesome friends I got to hang out with and the great times we had!  During that trip, one of my pals had brought a beautiful Hogwarts bag that she had crocheted.  It was gorgeous, and I have admired it ever since.  I really wanted to make one, but it got pushed down my queue by other things (this year, mostly Christmas knitting and SOCKS!).

Recently though, Jen (aforementioned pal), hosted a CAL for the Hogwarts bag and I decided that now was as good a time as any!  In fact, now is the ONLY time, but I'll save my timey-whimy, wibbly-wobbly philosophical discussions for some other time.  ;)   I went out and bought the yarn, which was super inexpensive (thanks, Red Heart!), and ordered the patches online.  At the time, Amazon had a pretty sparse selection for patches, and because of that, the prices were sky high.  Thankfully I found a good s…

Crafting Harry Potter Spellbooks and Project Journals

My kids are (finally!) as obsessed with Harry Potter as I am, and I confess to feeding their addiction with fun crafts and toys!

Lately, after receiving new wands, they have been trying to remember the spells featured in the Harry Potter books and films.  I suggested it might be a good idea to keep a spellbook with a list of spells so that they could start to remember them (I also saw this as a great opportunity to have them willingly practice their reading and writing skills!).

A few years ago, I had made myself a really neat project journal out of a simple blank composition book and some simple scrapbook supplies.  This journal ended up being indispensable!  I use it more than I use my daily planner.  In its pages I have planned the births of two of my children, kept lists for gifts (Christmas, birthdays, and other) for the past three years, planned countless menus, and most of all, kept notes on my many ongoing crafty projects!

I am nearing the end of this awesome book that I made …

Paper Snowflake Mania!

The kids are out of school for awhile, and I've been coming up with different winter/ Christmas-related crafts for them to do.  Gotta keep those kids busy!

Today, we worked on making it snow in the house.... with paper snowflakes!  There are actually a TON of great tutorials on YouTube for various paper snowflake-making techniques.... if you need inspiration, that is where you should go!  I chose a rather simple video for the kids to start with.  For the younger ones, I pre-cut and folded the paper so they could just snip out their designs.  My older kids were able to cut and fold their own paper, and they came up with a lot of amazing designs!

After cutting them, we took various lengths of white yarn, attached them to each snowflake, and strung them around the house on the ceiling, the chandelier, and any other place we could find!  Our house now looks like the scene from the movie "Elf" where Buddy decorates his Dad's apartment overnight.... paper snowflakes everyw…

Hat of The Month | Jan. 2014 | Frozen - Anna

Claire Beauchamp's Herbal Gauntlets (Outlander Inspired)

Like most of the world right now, I have Outlander fever.  And I'm sure its abundantly apparent at this point that my crafting life tends to reflect my fandom life.... I love to create things associated with the fandoms I love!

So, to celebrate one of my all-time favorite book series come to life on the small screen, I participated in a KAL/ CAL for fingerless mitts that (hopefully) resemble one of the pairs Claire's character wears.
I am desperately hoping that a book or magazine of Outlander-inspired knits is in the works somewhere, because this show has some seriously drool-worthy knitwear in it!  I really don't know what I find more distracting:  Jamie in his kilt, or Claire's gorgeous knit gauntlets, capelets, shawls, and cowls?  Hmmmmm..... hard to determine for sure!
In any case, my queue is virtually exploding with Outlander-ish things that I simply must create.  I think my next attempt will be Claire's fabulous cowl.... its so pretty!  I may just improvise…

Come Along Pond - September 2014 Socks

I am finally getting around to posting my completed September 2014 socks! I LOVED knitting these. I loved the pattern, the yarn, and everything about them. And now, I love wearing them! I'll go light on commentary and just provide pictures and all the deets (mostly because its late and I'm tired and this has been a crazy month so far!)







Start Date:  September 1, 2014

Finish Date:  September 14, 2014

Pattern: Come Along Pond Socks (Doctor Who Inspired) by C. C. Almon

Yarn:  Come Along Pond by Pandia's Jewels

Needles:  Knit Picks nickel-plated fixed circulars, US size 2

Project Bags:  Madbird and Slipped Stitch Studios

TV shows/ Movies/ Audiobooks:  Outlander by Diana Gabaldon; Doctor Who; misc.

Total Yardage:  296 Yards

13 Awkward Moments Only Harry Potter Fans Will Understand

Book Review: Princess Elizabeth's Spy

Princess Elizabeth's Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I first started this series last year, and immediately fell in love with the setting, the characters, and the delicate but gripping plot twists of the novel. Life got in the way and I wasn't able to return to the series until now, but I am so glad I did!

The second installment provided just as much entertainment, espionage, intrigue, and plot twists as the first. Not only that, but it set up some pretty interesting situations that will need to be dealt with in the third novel, including a HUGE cliffhanger at the end! To be honest, I saw the cliffhanger coming (I kept waiting for it, and hoping it would come, rather), but as the novel drew to a close I thought it wasn't going to happen. The author splendidly waited until the very last second, after you think all is said and done and the characters are happily settled, to spring upon us not one but TWO huge twists (one of which I did not see coming a…

River Song "Spoilers!" Socks - August 2014 Socks

The eighth pair of twelve are COMPLETE!  These days mommy brain has completely and utterly taken me over.  In my every day life, this manifests as mixed up doctor appointments and putting the soymilk in the cupboard instead of the refrigerator.  In knitting, this manifests as wonky cables, random purls in the midst of stockinette, and other minor mistakes that will henceforth be referred to as "design elements"!!!

These socks are no exception to my craziness of late, but I love them anyway.  The mistakes are not noticeable, the yarn is freaking gorgeous, and it was a really fun pattern to knit.

Also, I learned something new:  the super stretchy bind-off!!!  Here is the tutorial I used to learn this AWESOME technique:

I cannot believe I have never used this technique before, because it is really great.  I guess its because I don't knit toe-up socks that often, but whatevs.... I am super happy to add this technique to my knitting repertoire!
Without further ado; here are m…

Book Review: The Book of Life

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been almost a week since I finished reading this book, and I am just now able to collect my thoughts about it and post a review! There WILL BE SPOILERS, so please keep that in mind if you choose to read ahead.

Once again my expectations were sky high for this final installment of the All Souls Trilogy, and once again Deborah Harkness did not just meet those expectations, but she far exceeded them. Like... WOAH. The book itself feels magical, in that it is so complex and there are so many intricate details and plot twists and a host of new characters from the first to the last page. With so much going on, I often would stop and think, "how is she possibly going to wrap this up in this ONE volume???? HOW???" I kept expecting to reach the end of the book and have a little note from the author say, "GOTCHA! I'm writing six more books in the series. Stay tuned!" In my mind, that was the only …

Weasley Sweater #2

As mentioned in an earlier post, July has been a crazy month.  I was seriously freaking out that I would not finish my July socks let alone this sweater.  Seriously.  Freaking.  Out.  As I furiously stitched in the evenings while watching TV with the hubby, I would be sitting in my corner with my craft light muttering things like, "I'm never going to finish this by the 31st.... must.... knit..... faster..... what was I thinking..... how am I ever going to accomplish this....." Thankfully hubby is used to my "colorful" (crazy?) craft-related ramblings, so he didn't take much note....

....with the exception of one fateful evening when he had the gall to ask me, "so what if you don't finish by the 31st?  The world isn't going to end.  Just take a few extra days to get it done.  No big deal."  No big deal????  I stared at him wondering if he'd ever MET me before.  I then proceeded to give him an earful that my OWL examiners in the House Cu…