Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas stuff

Ok, so in the last two weeks, I've been on a knitting, baking, Christmas binge.  I have cards sent out, I have presents bought, and most things wrapped.

I knitted up this scarf for the aide in girltwina's class:

Mrs. S Scarf
here's a closeup when it was in progress.

 title="basketweave scarf by jodieg99, on Flickr">basketweave scarf

I ended up putting a crochet edging around the whole thing which was mixed.  On one hand it evened it up, on the other, I think my gauge on the crochet was a little off and so was tighter than the knitting.

I didn't take any pictures of the e-reader covers I made for a variety of reasons. First, the pattern I was following made one WAY too small, and so I had to adapt the pattern.  So that made what should have been an easy sewing project into a nightmare--that I saved until the last minute.  Then I decided the end results were ugly!  However, add a gift card and who cares.

The parties were Thursday.  I had been baking for days so that all the "Specials" teachers could have some goodies, and then at the end I only made up goodie bags for the science teacher, math teacher and social studies teacher.  Some of whom already got other presents.

Part of my problem was running out of time.  Christmas snuck up on me in a way that it hasn't in a while.  Part of it was just sadness weighing me down.  It was really hard to do anything on December 14th except cry and craft angry letters to my legislators.  Then I felt because I didn't make a small metric ton, that I didn't have enough to divide up to the art, music, gym and spanish teachers and the principal.

I made: Spiced pecans, peppermint marshmallows (yes I made marshmallows!), hard candy (just cherry), peppermint truffles, and salted caramel.
Sometime in 2013 I should write the recipes down for the spiced pecans and hard candy--I did a quick search because I was sure I'd mentioned them before, but evidently I hadn't.
The salted caramel didn't ever really set to a point where I could wrap it up, so I wrapped up everything else.  Well, I clearly had too much and clearly should have at least made a plate for the principal or the teachers lounge because man do I have a lot of leftovers.

I've been slowly eating the caramel--although other people in the house like it, I seem to be always taking it to new heights (high calorie levels that is). The caramel must be eaten on a spoon or on a trefoil cookie.  Just to kick it up a notch, I add melted dark chocolate:

salted carmel shortbreads

Thursday, December 06, 2012

ruffle scarves

Ok, so the two ruffle scarves, I mentioned in the last entry are finished!
ruffle scarves

As you can see one is considerably bigger than the other. This is because I made them with two different brands of yarn. Both went faster than I thought it would, despite the fact that the process itself was so slow. The blue one is made with red heart Shashay and the black one is Starabella.

Red heart Shashay Had a video on how to knit with the yarn (cheater tip: knit into the top--and sort of backwards loop cast on)and was the cheaper of the two. I also think it looks fuller. However, I could not find it in the black I was looking for. Also, I discovered later--it was on sale, but didn't ring up as such--but I wasn't driving across town for $1 difference. It has 30 yards, and I knit with a US size 9. I still need to sew in the ends.

Starbella, was as I said a touch more expensive. It was $6.99 when I bought it, and I used a 40% off coupon. I've seen it on sale since then for 2 for $6. I thought the color choice I had was better (perhaps because of the price difference!) and they had the black I was looking for, whereas there was no black to be found in shashay (and I again, didn't want to drive all over town looking). It felt a little more sparse when I was knitting it, but it looks full. The longer length may come from the fact that it has 33 yards. I would never have guessed that 3 yards would make nearly a foot difference. This basically knit up the same as the Shashay, and I finished both within 10 days.

Closeup of the blue:

and the black:
Overall verdict: I don't know. On one hand I liked the longer Starbella, but on the other, I thought I liked how much fuller the Shashay was. So for me it was a toss up.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

christmas decisions

First off, I want to say, I got some great suggestions about teacher gifts. And so thank you! One of the most liberating of these was the suggestion of: You know they don't all have to be the same.

Well I took that and ran with it. I have five teacher/aides I wanted to gift this year (plus specials, but they get homemade candy). So here is what I decided:

both main teachers will get a gift card to Barnes and Noble (already purchased on special).
girl twin B's teacher and one of the aides in girl twin A's class will get a ruffle scarf. (already made!)
Girl twin A's teacher and the aide in the other class are getting quilted e-reader covers, that I'll be sewing.
The remaining aide is getting a regular scarf.

All of this feels do-able to me. The two ruffle scarves are done, and went fast. (I'm planning a post on them--hopefully tomorrow) And the other scarf is well under way: basketweave scarf

It is at the stage where it doesn't feel like it is getting any bigger, but it is. I'm just using a cheap (but nice) acrylic, I picked up on sale. I initially bought a variegated thinking I would make a drop stitch scarf, but once I started knitting it I realized two things:
1)it didn't match her coat and
2)it was UG-LEE!!

So I returned it, picked up two skeins of this cream, and decided a basketweave would be pretty. It is going to need a crochet edging or something I think.

I know the two people with e-readers have nooks so that's all good. Now to find a time to stash dive and get a selection for the girls to pick out. More on that, as it happens!