Thursday, December 31

2009 in Pictures

January was all about Family. We made a wonderful road trip that included both of the boys. Something I never thought would happen again.

The three of us drove up to San Francisco to spend 1 night and day on Wesley's turf with his girlfriend. We were blessed with a stellar day for January in SF.

Then the four of us where off to Eden Utah to ski and spend time with my Mom, Dave, my Sister and her boys. This is a magical place to live and visit.

Wesley is a graphic artist and an apple aficionado sharing with the grandparents how easy it is to do fun things with a Mac.

Josh, the athlete, snow boarded with his cousins and my sister who is an instructor on the mountain. She keeps him honest!

Febuary was a quiet month with lots of time for knitting.

March was more knitting and my continued time each week spent with Miss Claire.

April was a very sad month. Unraveled had to close it doors. I had been working and teaching there for 4 years and loved the people and the space. It was a very sad day to see those doors close.

May was a very busy month. Out of the ashes of Unraveled "Marvels of knitting" came to be. I really enjoy teaching people to knit and didn't want that to die with the store. So I opened my home and started teaching from there. My goal was to continue to build the community around all things Fiber and you know what? It has worked. Better then I could have hoped for. I am blessed to work, laugh and play with some amazing people every week.

May also brought Josh's graduation from Colorado College. What a happy day!!

June brought Wesley and Heather home for a visit. He pulled out his old legos and they started building. Childhood peeked through for a moment.

June was also the big kick off month for classes at my house. It all went so well!! We are touring around "Ravelry" and figuring out how to use this amazing website

July I dropped into a knitting slump that lasted for a couple of months. I looked for inspiration every where. I spent a lot of time on Ravelry and at book stores. Ultimately, amazon was the happiest for my slump. I bought a lot of books during this time.

The end of August I finally found a project that I was excited about. This Clapotis, my first, made from Noro "silk garden" sock yarn was the answer. It was so much fun and the colors made me smile the whole time I was knitting.

September I continued with color. Just about that time Kristen Nicholas' Book on Color came out (blogged here) and all I wanted to do was something fair isle. I found one of her patterns in the Knitted Gifts book (one of the best books of the fall season) (rav link). This was nothing but fun. I see a lot of fair isle and other types of color work in 2010.

In October there was a lot of teaching going on. With class samples ready to go and the website in full swing (thanks Wesley) people where signing up for all the classes. I was so happy. All of my classes where a go for the whole season except for 2 of them. That was a record! Again, I am so blessed to have so many people joining me in this passion. This is our Friday morning group that meets at Chris's house in Arcadia. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Chris.

November was the first knitting retreat for Marvels of Knitting. We rented a wonderful house at Lake Arrowhead, right on the lake. It had lots of bedrooms, a great kitchen and a large couch to gather together around.

Again a lot of fun was had, some knitting was seen and a lot of it was worn.

More delicious food was eaten then any one would belive.

And one of the hits of the weekend where these little guys.

December was all about getting the christmas gifts finished and in the mail by mid month. It was a success. Mom and my two sisters received completely finished gifts (blogged here) and Josh had a completed afghan, last years christmas present.

Once again my knitting buddies did not disappoint as we had a felting party in Maria's garage to end our wonderful year of fun.

All in all 2009 has been a very good year here at the Marvel home. I am looking forward to next year. There is so much fun to be had with knitting, friends and family. I have so much to be thankful for.

Monday, December 28

FO: Holiday Gifts

My Christmas knitting has all been received and I can now post about them. I was pretty ambitious this year but I did complete it all in time, which has often not been the case. So I am feeling rather good right now.

I knit the Every Way Wrap for my Mom. (Ravelry).

Yarn: 12 skeins (1,176 yrds, 600 oz) of Berroco Ultra Silk.
Gold 6113

Make sure you down load the Errata before you start. The key to the chart is wrong.

This was a pretty straightforward knit with cables. I love that they are reversible so there is no wrong and right side. I have to say that cabling with yarn that has no stretch is a bit hard on the hands and made the progress a little slower then I wanted. Having said that, the yarn showed both stitch patterns beautifully and the sheen from the silk makes this very luxuious. I chose the silk because my mother doesn't like wools around her neck and I new this yarn wouldn't be the least bit scratchy. It was also on closeout at Webs so the price was right. The silk makes this something she can wear throughout the year in Utah.

I knit the Sweet Pea Jacket by Kate Gilbert (ravelry) for my youngest sister, JN, who also lives in Utah.

Yarn: Berroco Peruvia.
#4777 Blue Nile 7 skeins (700 gr, 721 yrds)

Needle size - 11

Size: I had major gauge issues (blogged here) with this. I ended up knitting the medium size as far as number of cast on stitches and such go, but used the measurements from the small size. This ended up working out perfectly.

My sister is amazed at how well it fits, as though we had fittings during the making of the jacket!! This was a very succesful knit and after I figured out how to deal with the gauge it was a fast and easy knit. Big needles and big yarn, almost instant gratification.

This is the Striped Clapotis for my other sister, LA, who is in the Bay Area.

Pattern: Clapotis
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden sock. I used three skeins of color 211.
Needle: #6

I used both ends of the same skein and alternated the two ends every two rows, like the Noro Scarf. I love the way the dropped stitches stripe one way and the colors striped the other. I love the colors. A few times I took out a color as it came up so I didn't have the same color on both ends of the yarn. But that didn't happen to much.

I was burning some late night knitting oil to get these done and in the mail before we left for our vacation on the Dec. 13. Even though I started them relatively early in the holiday process, LA's in Aug, Mom's in Sept, and JN's in Oct. that was still too late.

Next year I am going to reinstate the "knit the christmas present when their birthday comes up" rule. I did this one year and it worked so well I am not sure why I have not continued to do that. Their birthdays come in May, June and August so it works out really well.

I am telling you this now so that you can remind me in Sept or Oct when I come up with the big idea to knit a major project for someone for christmas you can refer me to this post. I have too many other things to knit, with class samples and all, not to be more organized about knitting the things that are really fun for me.

My family really appreciates handmade gifts so it is pleasure to knit for them.

Do you have any good ways of dealing with handmade gifts for the family?
Do you knit for your family and/or friends?

Saturday, December 19

Where did the Week Go???

Our week in Vegas went so fast. We were very successful moving ourselves onto Vegas time. We stayed up late, like 1 and 2 in the morning every night! Woke up late and didn't get out of the room until mid afternoon most days. We have had the best time visiting lots of casinos and some of the nature that surrounds Vegas. I don't think we have ever had a vacation that we stayed in one hotel (actually it is like a one bedroom apartment) for a whole week, ever!

Here are some more pics of the fun and mayhem. All of this was a block from my Hotel.

The Bellagio, beauitiful. Can not get enough of the water fountain.

The Bellagio was all made up for Christmas. It was about the only thing that was decorated for Christmas.

The brand new City Center, which opened this week. We watched the fireworks from our window. The Casino opened at 11:00 pm!! Only in Vegas.

One afternoon we went to Red Rock Canyon. Breath taking and peaceful and only about 20 minuets west of the Strip!

We even touched a bit of snow on the side of the road.

The Venetian and the Palazzo where my favorite places to hang out. They where also decked out for the season.

But the Highlight of the whole week was happening upon this amazing Violinist and Flautist in the Venetian Square where the gondolas are. It is very rare that you get to hear someone so good on an instrument just playing. We had dessert at the the Italian restaurant right there just so we could listen to them longer. All I can say is Wow!! I may have to pull out my flute and start playing again after listening to them.

Last stop today was Hoover Damn. Since we were on Vegas time we didn't get there until 4:30 and the vistor center was closed, so all we could do was walk around. It was dark before 5:00!

I did go two yarn stores and I did buy some yarn. I will blog about those when I get home.

All in all a great week of relaxation and lots of fun.

Tuesday, December 15

Los Vegas

We are in Los Vegas the week before Christmas. We are staying at a wonderful time share (extra points from mom) located right next to Planet Hollywood and across from the Bellaggio. The weather is perfect and the crowds small, just the way we like it. Our first night was spent getting the lay of the land and taking in the sights.

Of course almost the first store I come to is this wonderful import store with lots of knitting garments.

Look at the color work in these sweaters!! I just love them all.

I can find yarn anywhere. But there where only two skeins left and orange just isn't my color.

I love being a tourist

And Scott love taking pictures

Time to unwind. I worked hard all week to get the Christmas knitting all done and I was successful!! I mailed it all off on Saturday morning. No worries, just relaxation, wine and time with my Hubby!