Thursday, January 09, 2014

The few weeks leading up to Christmas can be a very hectic and sometimes stressful time for us grownups (at least those of us who fuss about gifts, cooking, decorating the house, etc., all at once, while still trying to run our normal lives on the side). But for kids, this time is part of the magic, full of anticipation, expectations, wishes and whispers.

Advent calendars of course make the wait a little easier with a little surprise every day and a way to see how many more days until The Big Day. With my kids I have tried many kinds of advent calendars--picture, chocolate, lego... but my favorite ones since my own childhood are the ones that mom or dad (or an elf?) can hide a little surprise in. When I was a kid, we had a fabric one that had 24 little pockets and us kids took turns to check what was in the pocket every morning. So I wanted to make something similar, but maybe something that would include knitting. Enter 24 little socks:

Each one is a little different, but they are all knitted using a very generic sock pattern. Depending on the yarn, I started with 28 or 32 stitches. Most yarns were about worsted weight. Fingering weight yarns I doubled to get to a similar weight. I used up a bunch of stash, which was great, and was able to make 1-2 socks per night (yes, I was playing catch-up with December). One sock took about 1 hour or so, i.e., one TV show's worth. Each morning there would be a small ornament or a wrapped chocolate in one of the socks and the kids got to take turns finding it.

Once all that hectic preparation was done, the wait climaxed in the tranquility of Christmas day:

Hope it was a good one for you and your kin! In anticipation of the next one, happy New Year to all!

Monday, January 06, 2014

Back... maybe?

Have you noticed how many of the knit bloggers of the years past have either quit blogging or have converted their blogs into somewhat professional/semi-professional websites? For many, blogging was a way to catalog their work, maybe show it off to some friends, family, or virtual knitting friends, and keep track of yarn and other details of their projects, etc. Since the emergence of Ravelry (which, by the way, is the most awesomest tool for doing all of that and more), the need for blogging seemed to go away. Why take the time to double up by updating Ravelry and your blog, when it's easier and more conveniently done all in one place--Ravelry.

But one aspect of blogging still remains and cannot be easily replaced by the awesomeness of Ravelry--sharing the story of your craft. Sharing more than just the pictures and the technical details. Yes, you can type notes into Ravelry, but following a person and how a project lives on Ravelry is different (I would say more difficult) from following a blog. For me, Ravelry is a tool (an awesome one at that, as you might have guessed), but I miss blogging. I miss getting the story out there, and the dialogue with the followers and the random passers-by.

Also, now that life has more or less settled down and I feel like I might actually have the time to write something, I want to try to get back into blogging. No promises, but I'll give it a shot. (As a side note, I would love to switch blogging platforms to get rid of buggy Blogger, but that feels like starting over and a lot of work.)

This is a sweater sleeve for Mr. D. More details to follow.