Monday, November 30, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year!!!!

My first Eggnog Latte of the holiday season! Yippeeeee!

Attention, Starbucks baristas! You haven't seen me in 11 months, but I plan to drink approximately 200 egg nog lattes from you in the next month!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Black Friday Deals - 24 hours only!

I thought I'd jump into the Black Friday madness and offer three patterns at 50% off for 24 hours only! That's a mere $2.50 a pattern! If my website had doors, you could bust them down like a Walmart at 3 in the morning!

These patterns will be 50% off until about 10pm on Friday (when I go to bed). I chose these three patterns because they each are great for gifts. They look cool, work up quickly and are great for almost everyone on your gift list.

First up is the
Double-Knitted Felted Clutch:

This pattern uses one of my favorite techniques - double-knitting! Double-knitting is an easy way to make a tube on straight needles. Sound crazy? It's not! It's fun and easy. These little clutches make great teacher gifts, girlfriend gifts or daughter or granddaughter gifts. You can needle-felt or embroider decoration or just sew on a fabulous button and be done with it.

Here's one I made as a sample:

Here is Barb, who took a class with me and her beautiful bag:

Next up is the
Easy Mosaic Knitting Pillow:

Another one of my favorite EASY techniques, mosaic (or slip-stitch) knitting is an EASY way to do complicated-looking colorwork with no bobbins or two-handed stranding. This pillow is knit in bulky-weight yarn - the back is garter stitch stripes, so this is another quick gift. Great as a hostess gift, for yourself or as a house-warming gift.

Here is a sample that Maureen, one of my sample-knitters, made for her daughter:

Here is Marina (of Marina's Soap Sock fame!) and her pillow made at a class I taught:

Finally, there's
Fingerless Gloves Two Ways.
This is one of my favorite last-minute (or not-so-last-minute) gifts. Gus has had
a lot of teachers who got these as presents. They're also great for surly, hard-to-buy-for, teenagers because they look cool and leave fingers free for endless texting.

The pattern is written for a true, thumbed glove worked in the round:

And also, in thumbless mock cable version worked flat and seamed up:

really go fast!)

Here is charming Sue and her gloves from a class she took with me:

So there you are. Go crazy! Bust the doors down! Try a new technique! Enjoy!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Teensy Weensy Sweater Ornaments!

Okay, first a shout-out of appreciation to the newest additions to the Momogus Knits Patterns family - Circle of Friends Yarn Shop in Elkin, North Carolina, The Open Door to Stitchery in Great Neck, New York, Down Cellar in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, Knit A Bit in Westfield, New Jersey, Knit Your Dreams in Quincy, Illinois, and The Knitting Gallery in Colts Neck, New Jersey. If you're in any of their neighborhoods (or the neighborhood of any local yarn store!), pop in and give them your business. Without you, local yarn shops will start to close and you'll be stuck wandering the aisles of A.C. Moore, trying to get someone to show you how to do Kitchener stitch. Scary!!!

Now, on to more holiday knitting stuff. In Berroco's weekly email newsletter this week there was this!
I don't know about you, but I am the original sucker for tiny knitted objects! These are little sweaters that can be holiday ornaments for your tree, or adorn your wonderful holiday present wrappings or just make you squee from their adorable teeniness. The free pattern is here. It takes dk weight yarn and size 4 and 6 needles. The little capelet in the middle kills me! I wish I were 8" tall so I could wear it! If you are certifiably insane, there are two other sets from 2007 and 2008 that you can make as well.

As I said, if you have the inclination (yes!) and the time (well, maybe....), even just one of these ornaments would make a sweet present for a teacher or hostess or your own tree.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Felted Bowls Anyone?

Last year the only knitted gifts I made especially for the holidays were little felted bowls. Unfortunately, because I gave them away I don't have pictures. But they were awesome - trust me!!

Here are some things I like about felted bowls:

1. They're quick - you can knock out a bowl during an episode of "Top Chef" or "Mad Men" (ask me how I know!)

2. They use very little yarn. Over the years of many felting projects I have accumulated a bazillion little balls of leftover Lambs Pride Bulky, my favorite felting yarn. I can't make myself throw them out, and I can't give them away to any of my designated leftover yarn recipients. So they sit in a drawer in my yarn cabinet (yes I have a yarn cabinet - wanna make something of it?!) until it's time to make felted bowls!! Little balls of leftover felting yarn are perfect for felted bowls! If you run out, you just use another little ball of leftover yarn and make a striped bowl.

3. Felted bowls are awesome for containing little giftees. Last year I made felted bowls for a bunch of my school-mom friends and put little felted hearts in them. (Brace yourself if you follow the link - they're mighty cute!!)

I'm linking to a great free pattern from alice*thelma for felted bowls of several sizes. Her pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but you can also use bulky weight and follow the instructions for the smaller sizes and use #13 or #15 double-points.

Instead of buying another gift bag, why not knock out a little felted bowl? They're great for holding jewelry or potpourri or knitting notions (like stitch markers, etc) or action figures (ask me how I know!) or little felted hearts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Boston Images

These are a little bit late (and I actually have some more that are stuck on the laptop), but here are some images from our latest trip to Beantown:

Gus and big old Boston lobster:

Luna Moth from the Museum of Science:

This time we stayed at The Langham, which is in Boston's Financial District. This is a few blocks south and east of the more downtown-y part where we stayed before (at The Copley and Park Plaza). I loved this part of the city. It's by all the wharves, and the configuration of the streets shows how old it is. They all curved all over the place and dead-ended and had a great juxtaposition of old and new architecture:

Because it was Halloween, we stopped at the Granary Burying Ground. It is the final resting place of many Revolutionary luminaries, but I found the gravestones of the lesser-known people fascinating. Here is one for John Hancock's servant, Frank, complete with spooky skull and angel wings:

Here's the gravestone for Miss Ann Maud. She has a relatively more benign, though still stern, angel on her stone:

Here's Gussie in front of the dismasted masts from the U.S.S. Constitution (one of my favorite pictures of him of all time. Please note Phillies shirt - Martinez, because he was pitching that night - sailor hat and navy pin, which he picked out at the gift shop. Sometimes kids are so great that it makes your head explode):

On our way home, we stopped as we always do, in Palmer, Massachusetts to have lunch at the Steaming Tender. We got there early this year and found to our delight that brunch was served in this Pullman car. Yippee!!

My two trainwatchers caught some freight action:

And then we went home.

Monday, November 16, 2009

J.A. You're My Rookie of the Year

National League Rookie of the Year will be announced later today. This guy has my vote:

Mostly because of his pitching prowess, but also because of the arbitrary way he pronounces his name. What if he gets traded to the Toronto Blue J.A.Y.s?

Friday, November 13, 2009

One Little Last Blast of Phillies Cheer...

...courtesy of my alma mater's Glee Club:

I tried to smallify it to fit better, to no avail. And no snide remarks about "Go Phills" at the end, please. Some rogue Yankees fan obviously.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Not to Scare You But....

....the holiday season is creeping up on us, and not in a slow way!! I got sucked up into the vortex of Phillies/Halloween/Boston and was merrily in autumn mode until I got startled by a phone call to my sister in which she said she was finishing her Christmas shopping online. Yesterday. November 8. Yikes. Yeah, I haven't given Thought One to holiday gifts.

So now I've started thinking about the holidays. For knitters this can be a fraught time. I swing back and forth between "Everybody's getting knitted presents this year!" and "Nobody's getting knitted presents this year!" The happy medium between those points is where I'm most comfortable. Last year, in a fit of selfish genius, I knitted every single thing I wanted to knit all year and then went through and gave away most of it during the holidays. Because really, I don't need 8 pairs of fancypants mittens. The only things I made specially were little felted bowls for my school-mom friends.

So, not to scare you and not to urge you to "get going on your holiday knitting" because we all have enough stress this time of year, but I'm going to start a series of posts with suggestions for great quick holiday gifts, but only if you feel like knitting!!! C'mon, enjoy the holidays and reduce the stress!!

First up is.....Fingerless Gloves (Momogus Knits NS1)!

This pattern flies out the door of the Tangled Web this time of year (in fact it's the November special right now). You can make the ribbed, thumbed, gloves on double-points (the gold ones above), BUT the mock-cable, knit-flat-then-seamed, gloves, these:

are easy and fast and look really pretty. They're a great teacher gift (ask me how I know!!) and are also great for that hard-t0-buy-for teenager on your gift list. They look cool and let those teenagers' thumbs fly for maximum texting.

Stay tuned for more easy stress-reducing ideas to make your holidays fun and festive!! Some will be my patterns and some will just be some of my favorite other-people's patterns or ideas.

In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful autumn around you.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Last night....

....I had a dream that I beat Nolan Ryan for a spot on the All-Star Team. But exactly what All-Star Team I'm not sure. I was my age now, because Gus was in the dream. And Nolan is 62. Was it the Knitting All-Star Team? Because I would surely beat Nolan out on that (as far as I know). It was in the newspaper because I remember looking at it because I couldn't believe it, but no one around me seemed too impressed.