You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2008.

To bolster my spirits as a I slog along on the second sleeve, I’ve decided to review my accomplishments in 2007.   I had hoped to accompany this with an updated photo album (and it is in part).. but I’m afraid I will also have to add this task to my list of wips.

So here it goes, 2007 FO’s (finished objects) a Year in Review:

January: Red Cap for afghans for Afghans

February: 2 pairs of stripey socks for afghans for Afghans

April: crocheted shell top to go with knit-mermaid skirt, Tigerlily tank-top

June: Easy-Breezy raglan-T

August: 7-Chakra Shawl, Baby Yoked Cardigan, Striped Sun Hat, 1st half of MS3, Crocheted Vest for afghans for Afghans, Green Girl’s cardigan, 3 dishcloths

September: Crocheted hat for afghans for Afghan

October: Rogue Pullover, Crocheted slippers

November: 2 Baby Kimonos, Mini-Stocking

December: Silken Kydd Cardigan, also made good progress on Durrow and start-up socks.

That’s: 4 hats, 1 and 1/2 lace shawls, 4 tops (if you can count crocheted shells as a top), 6 sweaters (3 baby sweaters, 1 girls sweater and 2 adult sweaters), 3 dishcloths,  2 pairs of socks, 1 pair of slippers, and a stocking for a total of 22 objects.   Something to keep in mind as I plan for 2008. 

However,  one of the biggest accomplishments for me for 2007 was making peace with frogging (or ripping back) work that wasn’t satisfactory. I spent at least as much time re-knitting this past year as I did "knitting for results" (I had to think for a moment for a polite way to say this, since this is still very much my situation starting off 2008), and I think it both helped me to both find joy in every stitch and also to lead to more pleasing finished results.  It has also led me to rethink the type of projects that make me excited to cast-on for 2008.  Stay tuned…

I’ve been making my list and checking it twice, my crafter’s new years resolution list that is. It started like this:

1. Finish current works in progress (w.i.p.s)

*Mystery Shawl 3- low priority…that is until I was invited to a "Winter ball" this weekend.  Doesn’t that sound like the perfect place to debut the swan-lake shawl?  Alas, or perhaps fortunately as it will save me needless suffering from trying, there is absolutely no way to complete by tomorrow evening.

* Hubbos sweater- high priority- have re-begun the second sleeve with out incident, have high hopes of finishing soon, as my favorite circular needle will be held hostage until the sleeve is complete.

*Friend’s B-day socks AKA "start-up" socks- High Priority  Complete and in the mail, late (due date Jan 9th receipt) because I did not stick to schedule, but complete.

2. Knit More For Others- current count III

*Family- partially covered above, I got off to a good start in 2007

*knit promised cabled vest -high priority  completed  2/07/08

* Sweaters for new arrivals

*Charity- baby socks etc.

3. Polish my knitting skills- I 

I have chosen to do a study in socks, using Vogue’s Ultimate Sock Book as a point of departure.  Hopefully by the end of this year I will know how to knit from the toe up, how to execute short-row heels, how to knit a sock on two circs, etc!  This may also dovetail nicely with resolution #2 and eliminate my need to Christmas shop next year..or not.  I am going to try and shoot for a pair a month.

4. Take on less overwhelming projects

*See above= new challenges in small packages

5. Crochet an afghan– 2/17/08 this does NOT contradict the resolution above, as long as I stick with a simple pattern yet TBD, but the yarn will be the organic pakucho shown previously (the pakucho one is still pending).

6. Sew a quilt using squares purchased At Houston Quilt show.

* Ignore The Quick and Easy Giant Dahlia Quilt on the Sewing Machine until you complete 1st simple quilt, reduce yarn stash and regain sanity..probably a 2009 project.

7. Play with Natural Dyes (before my husband throws away all the onion skins I have stashed in the closet).

8. Spot UFOs (unfinished objects) and bring them back down to earth.  Transform dead-end projects and unrealized yarn-dreams into completable projects, also dovetails with resolution number 4.

At this point, and after wanting to list about 20 projects under every category, I decided I needed more of an overall mission statement.  Knitting Daily has rallied us all to knit fearlessly in 2008 and I’m all for that, but I actually think that was a bit more of a 2007 resolution for me.  This year, perhaps it is to craft wisely.    But more on that another day…

My mother used to make cardamom cake to celebrate 3 Kings day.  Usually we remembered to set out our shoes the night before and sometimes new presents appeared in or next to them the following day.  Other years we would save a present from Christmas and open it then, and still others, straggler presents would arrive, just as the original Kings did, a little after Christmas. 

I’m sure my mother’s cardamom cake was rich with symbolism, seeing as how it made use of spices from the orient and she always was sure to make it in a round bundt cake pan, so as to retain a close resemblance to the traditional oblong dough-nut shaped rosca.  The cake’s traditional round or oblong dough-nut shape makes reference to the Kings’ crowns but also to the circuitous path they supposedly took on their way to Bethlehem in order to avoid King Herod’s Army. 

I also know she just liked to have a traditional excuse to make cardamom cake.  If we had one, she would tuck a plastic infant inside, but was not above stuffing in a plastic telephone or some other small and toy lying about that could be reasonably cleaned and looked like would withstand the heat of the oven.  In this she was also in keeping with tradition: as almonds, coins and beans have also been traditional substitutes for the baby. 

Whoever got the baby got to be King for the day.  In our house, this meant the title and a paper crown, but in other traditional Mexican households being King also came with responsibility; specifically the responsibility of providing the tamales for the next gathering on February 2nd to celebrate Candle mass in honor of the presentation of Christ (you can read last year’s Feb 2nd post for my rantings on Candle mass).  I think the epiphany of January 6th for me was the realization that with a little imagination one could extend the excuse for festivities and merriment all year round.  After all shouldn’t we rejoice in life’s miracles each and every day? 

This is exactly the way 3 Kings day is perceived in New Orleans, where it marks not the end of the Christmas season, but the beginning of Carnival.  Kings cakes are decorated with Mardi Gras colored icing which, in case you didn’t know are: green for justice, purple for faith and gold or yellow for power.  We live in Texas now, but the cake we purchased this year at the Hispanic grocery (for I have yet to purchase a bundt pan) came with a packet of purple, green and yellow Mardi-gras beads. The baby, wears a tiny crown.Kings_001