Monday, December 14, 2009

Jackson Meets His Bear Hat

Well, after nearly two solid days of travel, I finally made it to Ohio late yesterday afternoon.  I am SO glad to not be in an airport or on a ferry.  And I'm especially glad to be with my family this Christmas.  It's been a while.

Of course, the first thing I did when I flew in yesterday was head to Indiana with my mom to see the little man.  We spent the night and then brought Lib and Jackson back with us since Todd has to work all week and I wanted to spend as much time with Jackson as possible.

And the second thing I did was whip out Jackson's Aviator Bear Hat (blogged about here a couple weeks back) to see if it fit his head.  I honestly thought that the hat was going to be way too big, but I forget that our family produces larger-than-average size children so I was surprised to see that it fit perfectly!

He looks rather frightened here doesn't he?  Well, maybe that was because there was a crazed woman following him around with a camera trying to get that one perfect photo for a certain blog you might be reading right now.  It's not the best picture (he's gotten a heckuva a lot more mobile since the last time I saw him and I couldn't get him to stand still), but it's cute nonetheless.

In other knit news, I officially threw in the towel on a couple WIPs that I was trying to get done before Christmas.  The big one being Jackson's Christmas stocking.  I feel like I let the little guy down since he won't have a handmade stocking this year.  But I still have faith that I'll be able to crank out a pair of elf booties for him.  Now I just need to make a quick run to Hobby Lobby (since it's only 30 minutes away and not 3,000 miles away!) and buy some feltable wool in festive holiday colors. 

I'm headed to Columbus on Wednesday with my friend Molly (of Fall Festival of Leaves float-hopping fame) to do some mall walking and Christmas light viewing.  I fully expect to be completely overwhelmed at the people, sights, and sounds but I'm really looking forward to it. I haven't been near a mall during the holidays since 2002 and I'm so excited to be thrown full-throttle into the Christmas spirit. 

Oh, and I'll be making Molly make a pit stop at a couple yarn stores I want to check out.  Even though I lived in Columbus for five years before I moved to Alaska, I wasn't a knitter then so I'm excited to see what I was missing all those years!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Knitting Community

I was thinking today that I really wish I had a knitting community that I belonged to.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the online knitting community that I belong to, but sometimes it would be really nice to go somewhere - a friend's house, a coffee shop, a yarn store - and sit there and knit with other people, learning new techniques, hanging out, and making fiber friends.

I just came back from spending a few days in Juneau at a work seminar (for the record, I'm now able to communicate effectively and assertively) and on the ferry ride home I was lucky enough to have some company.  Allison (yes, I know, she has the coolest name on the planet) was on her way back from Juneau after spending the fall there starring in Perseverance Theatre's production of Leading Ladies.  (I had the pleasure of watching the show while I was there and it was wonderful and she was amazing in it...but I digress.)

Allison also lives in Skagway and happens to be a knitter and we have been talking for a while now about getting together and knitting.  But life always seems to get in the way and we've never hung out.  But I guess all it took was a long ferry ride to force us to finally get together and knit.

We sat there and chatted for a while and then once we pulled our knitting out I suddenly felt really self-conscious.  It was then that I realized that I've never knit in the presence of another knitter.  Oh, I've knit on a plane where there was a person knitting two rows ahead of me, but I've never just sat and knitted with someone I know.  Knitting is a very personal thing for me and it's something that I always do by myself to quiet my brain.

All of a sudden I started this weird neurotic internal dialogue:  "Am I holding my yarn right?"  "Why I am knitting so slowly? She must think I'm an idiot."  "Crap, I made a mistake and have to rip back a row. She must think I'm the worst knitter ever."  I continued to feel awkward until she admitted too that she hadn't really knit around other people either.  And then I didn't feel quite so bad and just relaxed and had a good time.

But I realized I wouldn't have been so weird in that situation if I actually had a group of knitters that got to spend time with on a regular basis.  I would LOVE to live in a place where I could go to a stitch n bitch evening or a spinning class or a fiber festival.  Sometimes I feel like I'm missing out all the way up here in the middle of nowhere with no LYS and no one who I can talk fiber to.  *sigh*    I'm just glad that I have Ravelry and this blog, because without both of them, I would have gone crazy a looooooong time ago.

On the WIP front, I have a couple things on the needles that need to get off the needles ASAP.  The first one is a scarf for the Red Scarf Project.  And the other one is a stocking for my nephew Jackson.  The scarf needs to be done first, since I have to mail it off tomorrow (eep!), but the stocking is pretty pressing as well since I leave for Ohio on Saturday.  It will be my travel knitting for sure.  Long ferry ride and long flights = rows and rows of stockinette in the round.  Can't wait!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

A Beet for Dwight

Back in the spring I stumbled upon a group on Ravelry called Beets for Dwight (Rav link).  It's a group of people who love The Office (US version) and, more specifically, Dwight Schrute. 

For those who do not know, Dwight Schrute is a beet farmer/paper salesman on The Office and is played by Rainn Wilson.  The goal of the group is to knit a beet for Dwight so that our moderator can eventually send them all to Rainn as a gift.

Now, I've had all summer and fall to knit a beet and I just never got around to it.  But our moderator set a deadline of December 17th to get the beet done and sent off to her, so I knew I had to get my butt in gear.

Last Sunday I finally cast on and it was done in no time!  I absolutely LOVE how it turned out.

I used Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Black Cherry Heather for the beet body and Knit Picks Palette in Verdant Heather (lighter green) and Rainforest Heather (darker green) for the leaves.

I didn't want the leaves to be as bulky as some of the other beets I saw on Ravelry, so I chose to use the fingering weight to make them thinner and almost wispy.  I made the right choice because they turned out perfectly.

Jeff thinks it's a little stalkerish and creepy to knit a vegetable for a movie star...and if I really gave it some thought I might agree.  But on the other hand I think it's a clever idea and hope Rainn finds it quirky and interesting and appreciates all the hard work that was put into it.

I was really reluctant to mail my beet away on Friday because I loved it so much, but it had to be done.  Perhaps I'll make another one someday.  I've already gotten a request for a carrot from my neighbor!